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Things I've Found 15 (If I Had an MLife, I'd Use It to Make Threatening Phone Calls to Olympic Skating Judges)—2/15/2002

by Mark Rose

Figure Skating: Is there anything more laughable than the sport of figure skating after the debacle of the 2002 Olympic pairs competition? This piece is being sent out after the Men’s competition and frankly, even though the ordinal placement of the judging was correct (Yagudin - Gold; Plushenko - Silver; Goebel - Bronze), the scores were still woefully ridiculous. Yagudin got 4 6.0s for presentation of a performance that had me repeatedly rolling my eyes in the back of my head and reading a magazine until he skated to the next jump. Yes, he deserved gold. No, he didn’t deserve a single 6.0. No man did in the competition. How about the ordinal placement for Alexander Abt? Fifth after the short program; after a truly uninspired, dull and technically flawed long program, the Australian judge placed him second, and the hard-scoring Finnish judge notched him in at tenth! Second to tenth! This “sport” needs a major overhaul. From Janet Lynn to Linda Fratianne to the Duschenays in ice dancing, to Sale and Pelletier in pairs, we all know the sport is fixed, fixed, fixed, and has been for decades. We might as well roll dice, it would be a hell of a lot fairer. Methinks the sport needs a stabilizing influence: someone along the lines of Don King.

No! Not Winona Department: Well, at least Winona Ryder isn’t an Olympic skating judge, or for that matter, a counterfeiter. But Olga Korbut might be: http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/metro/0202/0206korbut.html [Still with the Olga and Winona fixation; I’m a sad, pathetic soul. By the way, the link doesn’t work any more.]

Sadness: Sheldon Allman was the voice of Mr. Ed (a horse is a horse, of course of course) and wrote the great Saturday morning cartoon theme songs for George of the Jungle, Super Chicken and Tom Slick. He died January 22 (Things I’ve Found is always up to date on these things).

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-020207georgeofthejungleauthor.story?coll=chi%2Dnews%2Dhed

Mailart: Yes, I was a mail artist for many years. It’s always important to spell out the word “mail” when you say that in conversation at a party. We prefer to be called correspondence artists. Basically, our tenets were simple: we are all artists, we can create art and do not need to commodify it into expensive objects of pretentiousness, we can freely create and trade our art with others. Simple, but prone to abuse. Still, I wish this site was around when I was actively mailing:

http://www.nervousness.org/

Fried Potato Products: Those who know me well and those who wish they didn’t know me so well know that fried potato products, most especially potato chips, are my favorite food in all the world. Followed by French Fries. And there’s a lot of Frenchified Fried goodness to report on. We need to remember that pommes frites are France’s greatest contribution to world culture, and NOT their military prowess or their ice skating judges such as poor manipulated “fragile” victim Marie-Reine Le Gougne.

— It’s National Chip Week in the UK! Come celebrate with me!

http://www.potato.org.uk/include.asp?sec=76&con=76 [instead, check out the main site: http://www.potato.org.uk/]

— Patenting salted fries sounds ludicrous, and that’s the point. British group ActionAid is trying to do something to change outmoded patent laws by using food of the gods:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1809000/1809581.stm

— Kids need to stop being the arbiter of what new products get made. Ore-Ida is going to start creating frozen French fries in various colors, including a Kool Blue shocker that will have pre-teens begging Mom and Dad to stock up on the fat-filled bag of ultramarine carbohydrates. Think it’s stupid? So does this guy, but only because of the color:

http://www.ncbuy.com/news/wireless_news.html?qdate=2002-02-12&nav=VIEW&id=2771Z86P1BA020212

The full story is here, including the delectable thought of chocolate fries. Ugh.

http://money.cnn.com/2002/02/11/news/wires/funkyfries_ap/ [This one’s gone, just the thought of “chocolate fries” makes me weep anal underwear tears.]

Sadly, these artificially colored foods do well. Has anyone seen the flavored ketchup called Kick’rs? I can find no information on the Web about them but James Lileks (at http://www.lileks.com) raved about the various flavors a month or so ago.

Monopoly: I love Steven Wright’s line: “I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the Monopoly game.” Pop Culture Junk Mail found these new Monopoly cards which are much more realistic than the ol’ Uncle Moneybags version:

http://www.dribbleglass.com/monopoly/index.htm

User Contributions: Loyal reader (well, that’s an assumption on my part) Mary Ann passes on this link to the World’s Worst Halloween Costumes:

http://www.retrocrush.com/costumes/

(The Flipper one is classic.)

Actually Retrocrush is a good site from the getgo, in that they have lots of pics of Catherine Bach, you know, Daisy from The Dukes of Hazzard. Hmm, excuse me while I bookmark that.

Robots: Do I really want a robotic cat?

http://www.necoro.com/photo/index.html [don’t install the language pack unless you can read the language]

(This also came from Mary Ann, who has two delightful cats of her own. I’ve seen the robotic Aibo dogs, and seen the heavy-handed response from Sony to any manipulation of their intellecutal property, so maybe I’d rather . . .)

Build my own R2D2 robot!

http://www.robotbuilders.net/r2/

But what I really want is to build my own robot of Catriona LeMay Doan, Canadian speed skater.

http://www.finsandskins.com/celeberty_profiles/sports/lemay-doan.htm [Aarrgghh. Link dead. Hulk mad. Writer horny. Google employed. New link found: http://www.sasksport.sk.ca/images/aoty/2002/lemay_doan.gif]

And with THAT last Olympic segue, I shall leave you until next time!