Russian Olympic Opening of The 2014 Sochi Winter Games
Hello Steve and everyone who've seen the opening. I was wondering about your opinions on the opening, Steve. To me the opening was very wonderful, and impressive. When the opening was finished, I went to check out some of the things that was shown and said. Like the name chikofsky, and other bits of Russian culture. What about other people? Did any of you like the opening.of the games?
United StatesI saw the German's outfit. It doesn't really suit them at all. It isn't very much German. I'm sorry to say this about the outfits, but it was just too colorful.February 2014
AdministratorCanadaMy main impression was of the grandeur of Russia, the depth of their music and culture, the high quality of the singing, and above all the delight that I could understand everything that was said in Russian.February 2014
United StatesThere was also French that was spoken too, during the opening.February 2014
United StatesWho is Chikofsky? All I get when I google this name is
Do you mean Tchaikovsky?February 2014
United StatesYes. I'm not familiar with Russian name spellings.February 2014
Canada"It wasn´t very much German"
The German uniform is supposed to ressemble the LGBT Rainbow Flag...
We´re trolling Putin ;)February 2014
United StatesI thoroughly enjoyed the opening ceremony, and it makes me glad to see some other people did too. In general I'm always very excited for the Winter Olympics, there's a lot to appreciate - not only the convergence of so many countries, but also an appreciation for winter. I think winter sports are good for that, to me one of the best reasons to like skiing, for example, is not just for the adrenaline but the winter landscape and feel. Add on to that such a brilliant display of Russian identity...through their long tumultuous history, expressive music, and enigmatic culture, and it made for a spectacular ceremony.
Shame politics, on both sides (by that I mean Russia and the U.S./E.U.), has to basically ruin it. The stadium looked rather empty yesterday....thanks to the typical ranting on cable news here about how scary the al-qaeda folk are in the land of non-America.February 2014
United StatesRussia has the whole town on lockdown, so there won't be any terrorists bombings in Sochi. Putin made sure of it that'll won't happen again.February 2014
United StatesConsidering Russia's recent legislative turn, the music of Tchaikovsky was an interesting choice...
United KingdomI wonder whether people (especially in the Western media) are somewhat exaggerating the significance of this legislation? As I understand it, homosexuality isn't in any way illegal in Russia; indeed from what I've heard there is a highly visible gay scene to be found in cities like St Petersburg.
Of course I get that people are unhappy about the concept that school children are barred from hearing about gay issues - but this Russian law isn't actually very much different from the so called "section 28" which was on the British statute until well into the 1990s...is it?February 2014
The problem with the propaganda law is that it leaves a lot of room for interpretation. As I understand it, the worry is that it could allow for laws that remove children from the custody of LGBT parents, or even take away coparenting rights from gay parents who have children from past heterosexual relationships.
I guess you could call it exaggeration when you consider the 29 American states, including my home state of North Carolina, where it is still legal to fire an employee for being gay.
AdministratorCanadaKimo, Which version were you watching? Mine had French.
I was most impressed with Thomas Bach, a welcome change from the dour Rogge. Bach was highly eloquent in two foreign languages, French and English. Bach is German.February 2014
AdministratorCanadaKimo, on the CBC it seemed as if everything was in three languages. The Russian Olympic spokesman also spoke French, although not nearly as well as Bach. Bach is an example of how one can be extremely eloquent in a language and yet have an accent, i.e. not sound like a native.February 2014
AustriaI'll watch the Olympics because I like sports. I also think the inauguration ceremony was impressive, at least I liked it.
ad Jay: (...) I wonder whether people (especially in the Western media) are somewhat exaggerating the significance of this legislation? As I understand it, homosexuality isn't in any way illegal in Russia; indeed from what I've heard there is a highly visible gay scene to be found in cities like St Petersburg. (...)
I don't agree with you. The law has strengthened an already extremely anti-gay movement, with the Orthodox Church playing a crucial role. There are many reasons why homophobia is so widespread in Russia and in many other Eastern European countries, I won't go into details here (and, again, people will view things differently).
The number of homophobic attacks (injuries, murders) has increased significantly after the law has been passed (according to Human Rights Watch and other institutions; again, some people will doubt their figures are correct. I have talked to people who have to live in that kind of atmosphere and they confirmed the impression I had gotten through some of the media reports).
The law itself does neither incite to attack or kill gay people nor does it ban homosexuality.
However, it clearly portrays gays as people being dangerous for children. Why not ban any kind of talk about sexuality in front of children if the law were only meant to "protect" children?
Because their message is clear: Gay people are child molesters and they are bad for society. We can't officially say go out there and attack them, but if you do, rest assured the law will be on your side, after all you help us protect our children.
The Russian Ambassador in Austria said (in excellent German) in an interview on our TV: Wir sind nicht gegen Homosexuelle, sie sollen einfach unsere Kinder in Ruhe lassen. Das Gesetz schützt unsere Kinder (We are not against homosexuals, they should just leave our kids alone. This law protects our children). He then went on to say: Das Gesetz ist ein Gesetz gegen Pädophilie.
This is both outrageous and stupid (though the Ambassador is a highly educated person; it just proves that you can be highly educated but still say many stupid things). He clearly linked homosexuality to pedophilia. That is also what most churches do and that has been the official and openly propagated line of argumentation of the Russian Orthodox Church for years.
I think I wrote in another thread (either in German or in English) that we had similarly outrageous laws in Austria up to only a few years ago.
I'm convinced that this law is not a law aiming at protecting children (what from? from being or "becoming" gay? That's ridiculous).
It is clearly an anti-gay law and it obviously was a "gift" offered by Putin to the Orthodox Church. The Church will pay him well by supporting his nationalistic policies. Just my way of looking at things.
As for the open gay scene in St. Petersburg. If you consider code names for bars, private security in front of the entrance, huge chain locks and sometimes even codes to enter the bar or "gay centre" (where they provide information about the legal situation, coming out support etc.) an open atmosphere, well, then you have hit the nail on the head (This is not second-hand information by the way).
Other than that I don't think that gay people can live nearly as free a life as homosexuals in most western European countries. Sad but true. So many problems to solve on this planet, and people still freak out when two people who care for each other and decide to live together happen to be of the same sex.
Evolution, evolution where are thou? .....February 2014
AustraliaI have no idea why the Russian Orthodox Church equates homosexuality with paedophilia. Very strange.February 2014
Someone told me: in ancient Greek the word for "homosexuality "and "paedophilia" was the same.
And this gives some misunderstandings in the interpretation from some biblical text.
Russian FederationI'm not a sporty or even a fitness-minded person at all, but I was impressed with the show of the opening.
And I think that the problem with the homosexuality in Russian is very exaggerated.
I have some homosexual acquantances and I can't say that they feel themthelves infrinched, at least in St Petersburg.
The most of reproaches in the western Media are explained by the geopolitical fight that was during the Soviet time and that unfortunatelly continues now and maybe will continue for ever.
But at least it's better than a real war.February 2014
AdministratorCanadaI don't agree Evgueny. I don't see this as an extension of the cold war. Rather, the media see themselves as progressive, and the issue of equal rights for gays, is very much a "progressive" issue. Progressives usually have nothing but contempt for people whom they see as less progressive. The recent Russian law, and the statements of many Russian officials are to say the least not progressive, and in associating gays with pedophiles, quite outrageous.
I think that many people in the West do not like the strident promotion of gay rights that we see in our society, but grumble privately, if at all. This resistance is particularly strong from certain religious groups. There is generally better acceptance of gays than before. The problem seems to me to be that public officials in Russia say the kinds of things that people here might say to their friends in a pub.February 2014
United KingdomThis is a massively controversial area. I remember hearing about this case a while ago:
The guy was sacked (apparently?) for making an argument based on the UK government's own statistics. The argument goes: upwards of 20% of child abuse is carried out by only 1.5% of the population who are homosexual...
(Just to be absolutely clear: this is NOT what I personally think - it may be that the statistics are flawed in some way? I am just aware of the controversy, so to speak...)February 2014
AdministratorCanadaVery interesting article Rider. I had not realized this. The sacking of this person is quite typical of the reaction of "progressives".
On the other hand, I question the study. I wonder how complete or accurate these statistics are on child abuse. Any kind of child abuse issue brings out the irrational in us.
I remember a case in Canada of a forensic coroner who wrongly convicted more than a dozen parents for the deaths of their children. I also know of a local hockey coach who was wrongfully accused of molesting a boy, with his picture plastered all over the newspapers, damaging his reputation, all based on a total fabrication.
And then there was the paranoia in Russia over the deaths of adopted Russian children in the care of American adopted parents, when the rate of violent death of adopted children in Russia is much higher. This lead the Duma to adopt a law forbidding Americans from adopting Russian orphans, thus condemning thousands of kids to sad lives in orphanages, most of whom would have been far better off being adopted.
But in any case, it should be possible to refer to this study without fear of losing one's job.February 2014
United KingdomSteve, I agree that we should question studies like this. There is the old saying about "lies, damned lies and statistics", so it may well be that the reality is more nuanced than the data would seem to indicate.
However, I do find it uncomfortable that this case was so little discussed in the mainstream media. There are literally only a couple of mainstream newspapers with online articles about it. I do wonder whether there are some things which are now deemed politically unacceptable, just too explosive if you will, and so they are ruthlessly suppressed?February 2014
AdministratorCanadaOf course you are right, and it is "outrageous" that this information is suppressed.February 2014
Austriaad Jay: Any information about how the study was carried out, who carried it out, how they came to the conclusions they published? How did they define child abuse? Where did they get their numbers of child abuse from (the police, social services, the Church...)?
The mere fact that such a study exists says next to nothing about the actual situation.
(...) ...The argument goes: upwards of 20% of child abuse is carried out by only 1.5% of the population who are homosexual... (....)
Interesting. Where did they get the number of 1.5 % from? In the study you mentioned it appears that they talk about 3 % of the population. There are other studies talking about 5 to 10 %.
You probably refer to Erickson et al. (1988). Behavior patterns of child molesters. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 17, 77-86.
(...) The paper does claim in passing that 86% of molesters of boys identified as gay or bisexual, but the paper does not describe how this data was gathered, and how it ascertained the sexual orientation of these men. (...)
A more detailed discussion can be found here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/09/18/903178...
I have never seen a long-term study that would prove that your sexual orientation makes you a child predator. If you or anybody else has more information about that, I'd love to read such a study.
Child abusers are first and foremost criminals. The reasons for their crimes may be rather complex, but I'm convinced that your sexual orientation does not play any role there. If homosexuality makes you want to rape little children, how do you explain that there are straight people who commit the same kind of crimes?
What about the gay and straight people who do not molest children? What does that say about their sexual orientation or the way they live their lives? If you do not rape children and don't feel any sexual attraction to children, is that because you are straight or because you have a sane mind?
What if somebody were to come up with a study saying that blue-collar workers are more likely to rape children than white-collar workers or the other way round? Would your immediate reaction be that such a report must not be "ruthlessly suppressed" or wouldn't you start by questioning how people came up with such a theory in the first place?
(...) ...than the data would seem to indicate. (...)
Which data are you talking about? So far I have only read about allegations. Is the study publicly available?
(...) ....I do wonder whether there are some things which are now deemed politically unacceptable, just too explosive if you will, and so they are ruthlessly suppressed? (...)
I'm very much in favour of making the "study" public. Let's see the scientific standards of that study. You do know that there have been studies "proving" that black people are generally less intelligent than white people, don't you?
From a "racial study" by George Cuvier: (...) The Negro race ... is marked by black complexion, crisped or woolly hair, compressed cranium and a flat nose. The projection of the lower parts of the face, and the thick lips, evidently approximate it to the monkey tribe: the hordes of which it consists have always remained in the most complete state of barbarism....(...)
There you go, we have scientific evidence that blacks are inferior to whites......(George Cuvier was not the only guy postulating such theories).February 2014
AdministratorCanadaRobert, you are confusing things a little here. Quoting long discredited pseudo-studies about Black people is not relevant to this discussion. Nor is the implication of the study that being gay makes you a child molester, as you put it.
However, if gays are statistically overrepresented in child molesting, this is information that should available to anyone who wants to know about it. Bringing these studies to light would also bring them under closer scrutiny. Is in-family child molesting under reported? Is heterosexual child molesting under reported? Are child molesting cases that are reported more often from schools, or sports clubs or boy scouts etc, where child molesting would more likely be of a homosexual nature?
Or, are gays statistically more likely to engage in child molesting, however low the actual number is? If the latter is the case, then I think many in the population, not the least of which members of the gay community, would want to know this.
Brits have the highest obesity rates in Europe apparently. This does not mean that all Brits are obese, and that other Europeans are not obese. It is still interesting information, and may lead to a greater effort to find out the reasons and do something about it.February 2014
AdministratorCanadaWith regard to what percent of the population is gay, Wikipedia has an interesting collection of results of surveys in different countries.
and a further discussion of the subject is here.
It would appear that when people are asked what they think is the % of gay people, they will say a higher number, which might have led to to the estimates of around 10% or more. However, when people self-report, even anonymously, the results show a lower number, nearer the 1-3% number in most cases. The percentage of gays in cities and certain visible professions, media etc. is also higher than the average.February 2014
Austriaad Steve: First of all, I think it is great we can have such discussions here. Secondly, I don't think I confuse things here, not even a little ;-)
(...) ...Quoting long discredited pseudo-studies about Black people is not relevant to this discussion. (...)
Of course, it is. You just called the study I mentioned a pseudo-study. So, do you know that the study Jay mentioned does not fall into the same category?
I was trying to point out the fact that simply because you call a document "a study" this does not say anything about its scientific value nor the accuracy of the data it presents. We need more information to judge it and that's why I think, as I clearly stated in my post, it is important to make such "studies" available with the full set of data and background information.
(...) ....Quoting long discredited pseudo-studies about Black people is not relevant to this discussion. (...)
Why would that not be relevant? The whole study is about gays supposedly being overrepresented amongst child molesters. I don't understand why you would not see the relevance here with regard to Jay's posts.
(...) ...Bringing these studies to light would also bring them under closer scrutiny. (...)
Exactly, so let's see those "studies".
(...) Are child molesting cases that are reported more often from schools, or sports clubs or boy scouts etc, where child molesting would more likely be of a homosexual nature? (....)
Boy scouts, ok, but why would child molesting more likely be of a homosexual nature in schools and sports clubs? At least here in Austria we have lots of girls joining sports clubs and most of our teachers are female. Is that so different in Canada?
(...) Brits have the highest obesity rates in Europe apparently. (...)
I don't think that what the study in the British newspaper article suggested is in any way comparable to your example.
(...) .... It is still interesting information, ....(....)
It sure is, if it is true. To be able to judge that, I need data. Unless this data is made available, the "information" is nothing but an "allegation" to me.February 2014
I'd like to make clear, once again, that I personally do not take these statistics at face value: certainly they should be scrutinized, examined, challenged. It may well be that there is some flaw to them.
But it would be a whole lot easier to decide whether that were the case if the whole thing were not, so to speak, swept under the carpet and regarded as taboo by the government and media.
(BTW even if one assumes that gay people really are statistically overrepresented in cases of child abuse, that still wouldn't by any means imply that ALL gays are automatically child abusers - that is quite obviously NOT the case.)February 2014
Austriaad Steve: Thanks for the links. I'll have a closer look at them.
(...) ...The percentage of gays in cities and certain visible professions, media etc. is also higher than the average. (....)
I guess the fact that gays try to live in cities where they are more anonymous is quite obvious. Why there would be a higher percentage of gay people in certain "visible professions" is an interesting question, if that should really be the case.
Basically, I don't think that the actual percentage of gay people changes with their profession. The atmosphere at their place of work might make them more or less reluctant to be open about their sexual orientation. That's just a guess, of course, I don't have any scientific data to back that up. It sounds like a reasonable explanation to me though.
There was a thread on another site where some people actually suggested that homosexuals are better at learning foreign languages than others ;-)
As for my job, I can testify that most (of course not all) of my male colleagues are indeed gay. However, personally I'm convinced that your sexual orientation does not influence your capability to study languages.
Generally, I'd say the more information we have, the better it is.February 2014
Austriaad Jay: (...) ....But it would be a whole lot easier to decide whether that were the case if the whole thing were not, so to speak, swept under the carpet and regarded as taboo by the government and media. (...)
I totally agree. Suppressing information never does any good. If that person really got sacked just for referring to that study, then this is outrageous, stupid and counter-productive.February 2014
Russian FederationLedies and gentelmen, do not you think that LGBT theme and Russian Olympic Opening of The 2014 Sochi Winter Games are so different themes to disscus?February 2014
You quoted Georges Cuvier, presumably this one
Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier (French: [kyvje]; August 23, 1769 – May 13, 1832),
whose theories on evolution have since been discredited by Darwin, and who had other strange positions, and you put this forward as equivalent to a statistical study where we can look at the results and the methodology? Are you being serious?
Further re Cuvier,
"(he) Cuvier was a Protestant and a believer in monogenism, who held that all men descended from the biblical Adam, Cuvier believed there were three distinct races: the Caucasian (white), Mongolian (yellow), and the Ethiopian (black). Cuvier claimed that Adam and Eve were Caucasian, the original race of mankind. The other two races originated by survivors escaping in different directions after a major catastrophe hit the earth 5,000 years ago, with those survivors then living in complete isolation from each other.
Cuvier categorized these divisions he identified into 'races' according to his perception of the beauty or ugliness of their skulls and the quality of their civilizations. He placed the Caucasians at the top with the skull shape he considered the most beautiful, and the Ethiopians at the bottom.
Cuvier wrote regarding Caucasians:
Regarding Ethiopians, he wrote that the race:
...is marked by black complexion, crisped of woolly hair, compressed cranium, and a flat nose, The projection of the lower parts of the face, and the thick lips, evidently approximate it to the monkey tribe: the hordes of which it consists have always remained in the most complete state of barbarism."
Most coaches of boys are men, that is what I meant. Those have been some of the high profile cases here in Canada.
The fact, if it is a fact, that Brits are more obese than other Europeans, would be equivalent to a statistical fact, if it were established to be a fact, that gays are more likely to engage in child molesting. What problem do you have with that?
A study is not an allegation. It is a set of conclusions. The methodology needs to be scrutinized, but it is not just an allegation. Science is based on observation and studies, but not all of them are done in an objective manner, that is why the methodology needs to be scrutinized. The studies should not just be dismissed as allegations or suppressed.
As to gays and certain professions, it appears to me that male gays are overrepresented in the arts, and to judge from the female athletes I know personally, lesbians are overrepresented in the sporting world.February 2014
AdministratorCanadasdom, all of our threads wander. You may have to get used to it.February 2014
Austriaad sdom: (...) ....Ledies and gentelmen, do not you think that LGBT theme and Russian Olympic Opening of The 2014 Sochi Winter Games are so different themes to disscus? (...)
They can be and - in many cases - probably should be. But there was a lot of talk about it in the media that linked these two topics. I guess this is why people started including it in this thread. So, I think this thread very much reflects what a lot of people think and talk about.
I remember discussions about the Summer Olympics in China being extremely political too.
And, yeah, Austria won the gold medal in the men's downhill race (we call that the "Königsdisziplin" in Austria, so we are pretty happy about it :-)))February 2014
United StateslovelanguagesIII- I remember discussions about the Summer Olympics in China being extremely political too.
I think when the Olympics or any world sports comes around, they shouldn't include any politics. It's a time for some peace, for a short while though.
F.Y,I North Korea isn't at the games for some reason. Irag and Iran are there, but North Korea didn't bother even to show up.February 2014
CanadaAnguilla and Vatican State don´t compete in the Olympics either. Bummer.February 2014
United StatesIMPERIAL-SCALE. FANTASTIC. That is all I have to say about the Opening Ceremony. I've watched it twice and loved every second of it. Mr. Putin is the man.
Today our figure skating team pretty much destroyed all others. Yulia Lipnitskaya is the new superstar skater (knock on wood): incredibly charismatic and stoic at the same time. Pluschenko - the genius of ice, unsurpassed.February 2014
United StatesAnd hockey is about to begin on Wednesday: Czech Republic vs. Sweden and Latvia (boo) vs. Switzerland!!!February 2014
United Kingdom@Robert: "...is the study publicly available?..."
I think this is one of the studies referred to:
AdministratorCanadaWhy Latvia (boo)?February 2014
Austriaad Jay: Thanks for the link. I've read the abstract - that's all I could get access to. Were you able to find the full text? It does not seem to be available through the site you linked to (maybe I made a mistake while looking for the full text).
When I worked in Latin Amercia with street children we also had to deal with many cases of child abuse. While any act of violence is deplorable (except for self-defense), it simply is beyond me how one could harm a child........
As for the Olympic Games, I really look forward to a lot of the competitions. The ones I have seen so far were amazing. I might try to put on my cross-country skis again this weekend ;-)February 2014
Austria(...) Why Latvia (boo)?.....
I wanted to ask the same. I enjoy watching all athletes. If Austrians win, nice, but what counts is fair play and that people give their best, I think.February 2014
United StatesSteve: for their mistreatment of Russians that live there and for yearly official Legion SS veterans marches.February 2014
AdministratorCanadaThe Russians are the masters in figure skating, many of the greatest coaches. They are deep, but each competition is a new chapter.February 2014
United StatesCesi do toho ! Cesi do toho ! Cesi do toho ! I love hockeyFebruary 2014
United StatesGo Russia! And go Czechs, Slovenia, Slovakia, Canada, Finland, Norway and Sweden. And then go all Slavs for bronze and silver, and gold for Russia. But if Slavs fail to get bronze and silver, then I am most excited to see Russia win over Canada in the match for the gold!February 2014
United StatesAs of now Norway and the Netherlands are both beating the US in medal count. What does that even mean? ;(
USA USAFebruary 2014
United StatesBecause Norway is traditionally super duper badass in Winter sports. The Dutch apparently always win at speed skiing. Russia got silver in luuuuuuuuuuuuge today too.
Besides, have you seen the Norwegian team?! They all look like they work as models on the side. They have this very distinct nordic look. Weird and beautiful all in one. They deserve a medal for that.February 2014
United StatesThe US should get an anti-medal or have a medal subtracted for those uniforms. And the Germans (what? how could Germans wear that silliness?). Sorry. Nice teams but the uniforms aren't. I like Russia's the best (duh, and well, it really is the best).February 2014
CanadaDon´t judge us. We´re just trolling.^^February 2014
United StatesI honestly think that the Russians might be trolling themselves with those uniforms.February 2014
United StatesMost likely Putin made the Germans wear those uniforms to look like they are trolling him but in reality it is him trolling them.February 2014
United StatesI was referring to the volunteer uniforms.
Maybe it was done to offset the work of Mastertroll Merkel?February 2014
United StatesAnd I was referring to the awesomeness and the almighty-ness of the baddest man on Earth Vladimir!!! Putin!!!
P.S. The uniforms reflect the traditional Russian ornaments. Also, the bright colors of the whole event and the cultural and historical references that they picked to showcase in the Opening Ceremony are meant, I think, among other things, to show Russia from a different point of view.February 2014
United States"P.S. The uniforms reflect the traditional Russian ornaments. Also, the bright colors of the whole event and the cultural and historical references that they picked to showcase in the Opening Ceremony are meant, I think, among other things, to show Russia from a different point of view."
Of course! I don't actually think that there is a conspiracy or anything :pFebruary 2014
United StatesApparently Ralph Lauren was appealing to the Russian sense of fashion with those "Ugly Christmas Sweater" uniforms. ,can you believe that those are all sold out on Lauren's website? Oh well Olympic uniforms have never been important nor the height fashion.Its the athletic endeavor where the true beauty lies.February 2014
AdministratorCanadaI think we all get wrapped up in cheering for our team and hope they do well. But there is usually lots of good will towards all competitors. I remember in Whistler, a Canadian girl broke her ski pole in a Nordic event a Norwegian standing alongside the course gave her a new pole and she finished third or something, ahead of some Norwegians.
At the Junior Hockey tournament in Ufa a year or so ago, the Russians and Canadians cheered loudly for their own teams but got along fine, and even arranged a friendly hockey game between parents of both teams and a good time was had by all.February 2014
I actually like the sweater and the little hat. I could do without the peacoat though.February 2014
United Stateshaha That's awesome Steve. The parents of Russian and Canadian hockey players are naturally hockey players themselves.February 2014
United StatesPutin the baddest man on earth????? You obviously never met my man Ice Cube THE baddest man on any world TruthFebruary 2014
AdministratorCanadaAs for Latvia, that is a long story and when I get off Korean, if you offer a Russian conversation at LingQ, nebulae, I will sign up and I am sure it would make for a lively discussion.February 2014
I missed the opening. I still remember the Winter Olympics of 2010 held in Vancouver, and remember the opening vividly. I remember watching them going from torch to torch across Canada. That was one of our Countries finer moment's when we won 14 goal medals, breaking the old record. I still remember Sydney Crosby making that amazing shot and solidifying our place in history.February 2014
AdministratorCanadaMostly I remember the festive mood in the city. Everybody was downtown every night. Every day was one long party. And the weather even cooperated. Beautiful sunshine in February.
I am sorry I am not in Sochi.February 2014
United StatesI'm sorry for not being in Sochi too. If only I had the money, I would travel to Russia and learn Russian while enjoying the games. But all of it is only a dream, a fantasy of one's desires to be at an Olympic Game. Unfortunately not everyone has the luck or like I've said," The Money" to go to one. It is very shameful though. The opening was fantastic, if only I was really there to enjoy it.February 2014
FranceSave your money for the World Cup in June!February 2014
Austriaad Paul: Do you have any idea if the people who presented the German uniforms were the actual athletes or models? (I'm afraid I don't know too many athletes by their looks). If they were all athletes, then wow .........The woman in the middle of the picture almost looks like an angel ...;_)
Maybe your angel has a name:
CanadaIt´s weird to see a German team where most athletes have German-sounding names...
Neuer, Aogo, Boateng, Höwedes, Lahm, Khedira, Özil, Müller, Podolski, Klose, Gomez,
Angermüller, Pechstein, Schneider, Thöne, Wischnewski, Hüfner, Neureuther, Kröckel, Szolkowy,February 2014
Austriaad Jolanda: Danke :-)February 2014
The Dutch apparently always win at speed skiing?????
No, this has to be speed skating!!! Yes, they are always relatively strong with that, it is quite popular: Lots of flat ice traditionally. Alass, no mountains to be seen in the Netherlands, so speed skiing is not their strong point.
AdministratorCanadaCongratulations to the amazing Orange machine. Just saw them sweep a race in speed skating.
Kind of makes me want to learn Dutch if it would improve my skating. Last time on our way through Schiphol we bought three large chunks of aged Gouda. We are still eating it. My skating has not improved though.February 2014
AustraliaI have never seen snow in my lifetime!
But I can walk down to the beach whenever I like:)~
@Paul - I saw my maiden name amongst the soccer team names you listed, lolFebruary 2014
United StatesSteve: The beauty of the Norwegian team members makes want to learn their language. As for Latvia, I'd rather talk about something else.
Ozzy and Steve: I will regret forever that I'm not in Sochi. From all the way here in NYC it seems that the Russians are having a grand time. There are few things as energizing as being one with your people in body and in mind (or whatever the expression is). I think the Games are very good for Russia's spirit.February 2014
United StatesJulz, have you seen the snow on TV at least?February 2014
Australia@nebulae - It's a joke question, right? :)~February 2014
ModeratorUnited KingdomI thought the Olympics were not until 2016.February 2014
United StatesWell, it depends. Do you have a TV?
Yes, it is a joke. I think you may want to experience the snow before it all melts forever.February 2014
Australia@nebulae - When you first asked me, I was gonna jokingly reply whether you knew what a kangaroo was, (if never seen a kangaroo in the flesh). Sheesh, even babies here know what snow is from books, pictures, Sesame Street etc.
Yeh, it would be nice some day to travel to the snow fields.
Our Aussie Torah Bright won gold for Australia at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 in the women's snowboard halfpipe event, and Lydia Lassila won gold in the Aerials. We were the only Southern Hemisphere country at that Olympics to get medals.February 2014
United States@ Julie Schneider (did I guess right?)
It doesn't really snow where I live. Two weeks ago we had an inch of it and classes were canceled for three days.February 2014
AdministratorCanadaWhen I drove through the Snowy Mountains of Australia in March,on my way to the coast, amongst the wild horses and road signs telling us to watch out for wombats etc. there were signs telling us to put our chains on. For another season no doubt.February 2014
Australia@steve - well, aussies can get a little kinky...just joking, hehe. Ya, for the winter season, no doubt. Did ya hit any kangaroos? I opened my door a few years back and saw one hopping down my street, for real. Rare indeed.
@David, lol - the "S" in my current surname is compliments of my Dutch-born husband. My maiden name is compliments of my German ancestry, not starting with S, so that narrows it down to... Ssh! Hackers might steal my $5 bank balance, lol.
Edit: he's useless for teaching me Dutch. He only has a passive knowledge of the Limburg dialect.February 2014
United States@Nebulae "The beauty of the Norwegian team members makes want to learn their language."
Join the club :)February 2014
United States"The problem seems to me to be that public officials in Russia say the kinds of things that people here might say to their friends in a pub."
You mean they are speaking honestly? What a concept. I prefer it. it's better to know what people really think up-front.
"upwards of 20% of child abuse is carried out by only 1.5% of the population"
I'd like to see what the percentage is of men that abuse kids. Any data on that?
"men are 12 times as likely as women to perpetrate abuse against children, or put another way, they are 1100% more dangerous to children than are women"
It may not be about preference it maybe be something about maleness. I would never trust my child to the care of any man.February 2014
Canada"It may not be about preference it maybe be something about maleness. I would never trust my child to the care of any man."
Wow...that´s lovely...February 2014
United States"It may not be about preference it maybe be something about maleness. I would never trust my child to the care of any man."
You don't believe in paternity rights?
You would not leave your child with your own father? Not with a favorite uncle?February 2014
United StatesIn public places, like a classroom but other than that, no. Any man that seeks one on one time with a child other than his own, unfortunately, is regarded with suspicion in society, at least US society but it's this way for a reason. If you stay up on current events & crime it's a LONG list of mostly male names doing the damage. It's sadly very common.
If you think it's ridiculous that, say, the vast majority of abusers are male but it's even more ridiculous to say if 13% of abusers are gay then gays are bad which is what a previous post tried to do. That's correlation that doesn't prove causation.February 2014
United States"Any man that seeks one on one time with a child other than his own, unfortunately, is regarded with suspicion in society, at least US society"
You just negated your prior opinion by using the word "unfortunately"
Do you not understand the importance of the father role? One of the big problems of our society is father absenteeism. Do you not comprehend the kind of good that is done by organizations like this one ? http://www.bbbs.org/site/c.9iILI3NGKhK6F/b.5962...
I'm offended that you group men together as you do. That would be a bit like me grouping all women together with the mothers who have killed their children in the name of god.
Clearly you are basing your opinion on that stigma that you say you perceive.February 2014
I prefer to have leaders who don't express the kind of prejudice or rash opinions that we can hear in pubs. It makes for a better society. A leader should lead by example.
As for men and children, I don't know what you mean by "seeks one on one time" but doctors, sports coaches, male relatives, and others regularly interact with children. If we become so paranoid that a man interacting one on one with children is regarded with suspicion, then we really lose something quite valuable in our society. Trust.
By the way, here are some interesting facts on chid abuse.
It appears that child abuse is on the decline, at least as reported in the US. We are more paranoid now, but maybe the problem was worse 100 years ago and just not reported.
Girls are up to three times more likely to be abused than boys.
Abuse is overwhelmingly caused by a family member or someone well known to the child.
This kind of contradicts what was reported earlier here implying that gay men were more likely to commit child abuse. It also suggests that random males with whom we entrust our children are not the main culprits.
Here is another source
51.2% of child abuse victims were female
53.6% of child abuse perpetrators were women; 45.2% were men
44.8% of child abuse victims were White; 21.9% were African American; 21.4% were Hispanic
78.3% of child victims reported neglect
17.6% of child victims reported physical abuse
9.2% of child victims reported sexual abuse
15.8% of child abuse victims reported as having a disability
79.2% of child fatalities were caused by one or more parentsFebruary 2014
United States@Davidjivi No. Just because it's true doesn't mean it's not unfortunate. It's unfortunate that we must be on constant guard but it's necessary. If you read my post, I said "Any man that seeks one on one time with a child OTHER THAN HIS OWN."
But to your point it's far better to have no father than an abusive one.February 2014
United States"But to your point it's far better to have no father than an abusive one."
Yes. The same could be said of mothers...February 2014
United StatesFor the meaning that you wanted, you should have written:
"Any man that unfortunately seeks one on one time with a child other than his own is regarded with suspicion in society, at least in US society"
I'm becoming a grammar nazi. Well, this is a language learning forum.February 2014
United StatesAre you going to send your kid off to Sandusky or Gacy or Bundy in the name of trust? It's a long list. Remember Gacy was regarded as pillar in his community and involved, a leader in local politics and Bundy was a volunteer for a suicide hotline & etc. so I will err on the side of caution.
As far as doctors...mother's go into the consulting rooms with their little children. This is the norm. Like I said as long as it's in public it's fine, like a sports field.
Have any stats on sexual abuse? This is what we're talking about.
"I prefer to have leaders who don't express the kind of prejudice or rash opinions that we can hear in pubs. It makes for a better society. A leader should lead by example." I prefer honesty. Any egomaniac can placate you with what you want to hear but where does that lead? If there was some honest communication you could more easily make a decision then these people may not be in leadership roles in the first place. You prefer they express their prejudice privately? I think we can learn something from the Russians. This is what I discovered on this post.February 2014
United States@Davidjivi I agree you are like a Nazi.February 2014
Steve gave you all the data you asked for.February 2014
United StatesActually he didn't.February 2014
United StatesAnyone have access to the BJSW?
Title: Child Sexual Abuse and the Male Monopoly: An Empirical Exploration of Gender and a Sexual Interest in ChildrenFebruary 2014
United Kingdom@Newbie77: "...I agree you are like a Nazi..."
Crude jibes like that aren't such a great idea - they could lead people to think you are just a troll.February 2014
ModeratorUnited KingdomI have access to this journal. Put your email address on my wall if you want a copy of the paper.February 2014
ModeratorUnited KingdomBritish Journal of Social WorkFebruary 2014
United StatesWiki has a page on Gender & Crime:
In 2011, the United States Department of Justice compiled homicide statistics in the United States between 1980 and 2008. That study showed the following:
"Males committed the vast majority of homicides in the United States at that time, representing 90% of the total number of offenders."
"of children under 5 killed by someone other than their parent, 80% were killed by males."
Aggressive male behavior.February 2014
Let me see if I understand. You would like your elected officials to speak the way some people do casually in their living room or in the pub, where we are not concerned about the effects of our words on society at large. No difference between a private conversation and a public utterance which seeks to bring people together for a common cause.
You would like to see leaders deliberately exacerbating differences between different segments of our society, or better still you would like to hear political leaders putting these ideas forward as part of their electoral platforms. Well all I can say is I don't agree.
As for your anti-male hysteria, I will continue to entrust my grand children to members of society who want to help them, male or female. In fact, I wish there were more male teachers in the school system. The preponderance of women is not good for boys or girls, in my view. Because, like it or not, there are two genders in our society.
From all of the statistics I have looked at this morning it would appear that.
Males are more likely to commit murder.
Women are more likely to abuse children, usually their own.
The murder rate in Canada is 1.6 per 100,000 (around 500 or so), even in the US it is 4.5 per 100,00. Now how many children under 5 are killed by someone other than their parents? What is the total number of such cases, and what is the significance.
We hear from the child abuse protection advocates that 5-25% of children are sexually abused, with even higher rates reported in countries like South Africa and India. Child abuse in total, including physical and emotional abuse would be even higher if we believe these numbers.
It kind of makes these murder statistics appear quite irrelevant to the discussion here.February 2014
Canada"80% were killed by males." Aggressive male behavior."
In my view, women are as aggressive as men...it´s just that they´re passive-aggressive...
A man might shout at you, while a woman might take behind your back.
A man might stab you, while a woman might poison you or talk someone else (probably a man) into killing you.
The vast majority of people are not dangerous though. There´s no need to be paranoid.February 2014
United StatesNo, Steve, you didn't understand. Let me try again. Every now and again at some international event a foreign leader will speak and the media and others will be horrified and shocked by the person's honesty because they rarely encounter honesty. I think US society is in dire need of honesty. The US is filled with privately racist/prejudiced people that are politically correct in public --doesn't make them less prejudiced it just means they are duplicitous.
As for my anti-male hysteria 90% of homicides are committed by men. Some say sexual abuse is an act of aggression so it's not hysteria it's being careful. When I have time I will track down the stats on gender & sex offenders of children though we all already know it will be dominated by males.
Time in public places of course but one on one time sought out by any male other than the father whether it be a priest , a male coach or whomever. that should be shut down. My point was that it's not gay men --it's men. When you step back and look at the stats males dominate crimes of sexual abuse and violence. What is it about maleness that drives sexual abuse? Probably a whole other thread for a whole other web site. :-)February 2014
CanadaYou completely ignored the point(s) that Steve tried to make and repeated for the 3th or 4th in a row that men are murderers and rapists. Are you a feminist by any chance?February 2014
United States@Paul No I addressed honesty in official speech, his male-hysteria claim, and I spoke to sexual abuse. Did you read the last post?
Am I feminist? Ha! What's your take on this? The world waits to hear your masterful conclusion. Perhaps you have thoughts of your own? :-)February 2014
Canada""You´re like a nazi", "it´s not gays, it´s men", "what is it about maleness that drives sexual abuse?", "The world waits to hear your masterful conclusion. Perhaps you have thoughts of your own?"
Holy shit...you must be fun at parties...February 2014
United KingdomThe Norwegians have a saying: "when you talk about the trolls they're sitting on the porch". (I don't really know why that pops into mind here? :-D)February 2014
United StatesI wish trolls were more present in my culture. Norway gets everything. Trolls, tallness, trilingualism...February 2014
United StatesWell, Paul, those quotes would make excellent song lyrics. Perhaps a ballad. :-)February 2014
CanadaYeah, if only they would rhyme :(February 2014
United StatesPaul, yours are better for lyrics.
"men are murderers and rapists" "Are you a feminist by any chance?" " a woman might poison you"
"There´s no need to be paranoid."February 2014
CanadaThat´s pretty metal o/
Writing a song about all the things that could potentially harm you and using "there´s no need to be paranoid" as a punchline sounds like a good song idea, actually.
I´ll let you let you if that song ever takes shape.February 2014
United States^^Exactly. It's good to be cautious. A good question is why would an adult want or need time alone with a child that isn't theirs? A priest or coach or whoever --good question to ask.
I"m sorry to hear about your step-child.
There were a number of mandatory reporters that did the bare minimum in the Sandusky case. They passed the buck and Sandusky continued for years --it was a big case here in the States about a respected football coach that preyed on children. Another coach, named Mike McQueary, witnessed the goings-on and did the bare minimum of reporting rather than stopping it.
I like your idea of being "quietly cautious". I can't see a good argument against being careful.
Also, I think your post shows how our experiences shape us. Working in a very poor, dangerous city and seeing all kinds of miscreants first-hand and reading the news daily reminds me of the darker side of reality and to be cautious. Perhaps someone that hasn't had experiences like yours can get more easily fooled by a Sandusky-type.February 2014
United StatesJulie, I am sorry that you had to deal with what you had to deal with.February 2014
United StatesLet me interrupt with an update on Russia's sweeping win in the sport that has belonged to it for 40 years and that, after last Games' hard blow, has come back - figure skating. We now have two gold medals and one silver. It was a familiar and a dearly missed sight today at the flag-raising ceremony when two of the top steps of the podium were occupied by the great Russians. The bronze was given to a pair that skated for Germany, even though the woman was Russian or Ukrainian and the man's last name was Szolkowy.
Tomorrow the madness continues with men's skating.
You're very welcome for this all-important update on the greatest figure skating achievements any country has ever had.February 2014
AdministratorCanadaWho wants to watch figure skating when you can watch luge?February 2014
United StatesLuge is where it's at for the Germans. But what's luge compared to figure skating. Nothing.February 2014
AustraliaOur aussie girl Torah Bright has won silver in the snowboard halfpipe, missing gold by just 0.25 points! (Back in Vancouver , she won gold)
And her reaction to just missing out by a fraction?
"But I don’t care about the colour of the medal, life isn’t about winning. It’s about putting your best foot forward, it’s about sharing your light and I’m happy, I’m so happy to be here.”
Atta girl! :)February 2014
AdministratorCanadaAll of the athletes are be admired.
I must say when I saw the Canadian girl who won the slope-style skiing or whatever it is called, flying backwards through the air and over ski jumps and down that course, while casually doing flips or whatever, I mean, there is no way I would ever contemplate doing any of that stuff.
I will stick to learning languages, drinking fine wine, playing old timers' hockey, and arguing with people.February 2014
AustraliaWell...you're already a gymnast/contortionist, if your videos are anything to go by! :)~February 2014
United StatesYes, it really is not only the physical toughness and agility, but also the capacity to stay super focused, optimistic and motivated that I admire in these people.
In addition to this, I admire the Norwegian speed skaters for the handsome looks and huge thigh muscles.February 2014
AdministratorCanadaLuge is simply more dignified and varied as a spectacle than figure skating.February 2014
United StatesThe luge is much safer for children. Beware of the bobsled teams or the over-eager skating coach! :-)
United StatesYou don't say, Steve, The tension of figure skating and the drama that can unfold (like it did last night when our best man Pluschenko withdrew from the competition due to essentially being an invalid with metal and plastic parts inside his spine which finally caught up to him) - are on their own level. Figure skating is also an artistic endeavour. A sport where you can begin to feel particular affection for some skaters. Like the young Yulia Lipnitskaya who has charmed, it seems, everyone, with not only her superb physical skill, but more than that with her artistry, innocence and earnestness when she skates. That look on her face. If you saw it, you'd immediately fall in love and want to adopt her.February 2014
Are you saying that you've never been charmed by a luger?February 2014
United StatesDavid, I indeed haven't. Maybe I haven't watched enough luge. It's pretty impersonal though. They get into the sled, covered head to toe with the helmet and suit, zip through the tunnel and that's that.February 2014
AdministratorCanadaI think luge is a fantastic spectator sport, so varied, so expressive, so artistic. Much better than figure skating. There should be more luge events, not just singles and doubles, but also 4 man luge.February 2014
United StatesNot a luge fan myself. Probably fun to do, but really boring to watch. When it comes to figure skating, I enjoy women's individual competition. I don't like to watch ice dancing or off-ice dancing, for that matter. I don't like men's figure skating. Women were made for delicately prancing around on the ice. If you make men's figure skating into a combat sport, perhaps arming them with hockey sticks and being allowed to use skate blades as weapons, I'll watch.
I think that the lack of winter combat sports in the olympics is unfortunate. Let the biathletes shoot at each other. Take an african elephant, dress him up as a woolly mammoth, and see which team can bring him down the fastest. Finally, a good use for african elephants.February 2014
I'm guessing you missed the Dutch Giraffe killing championship?February 2014
United StatesDamnit! Did anybody save the video?February 2014
United StatesOops, I meant Danish.
United StatesI'd congratulate the Canadian men's hockey team but it would be like congratulating the US basketball team. They are too good. They can play bad and still squeak out a victory.February 2014
AdministratorCanadaAfter watching the Finns demolish the the US, I think that the Canadians had better have their A game against the Swedes. In hockey, any of the top 6 teams can win any game.February 2014
FranceI will really miss the Olympics. I'm not used to watching winter sports on TV (I'm not used to seeing snow at all actually) and it was refreshing. I particularly liked the fact that they added new sports. I look forward to PyeongChang.February 2014