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The alpha female's job is now complete
February 18, 2014 7:49 PM   Subscribe

Sir David Actual Attenborough on the curious Sliding Curler [slyt]
posted by wemayfreeze (132 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Super awesome. We were watching the UK today and trying to break it down. I can't handle sports, they can, I was making a culturable argument, and now I can, because David Fucking Actually Fucking Attenborough. This makes it for nerds.
posted by nevercalm at 8:15 PM on February 18


Curling is an ultra-nerdy sport. Strategy runs to deep levels. But it's also a game where no matter how good your strategy might be, if you can't execute the throw correctly, it doesn't matter. It's like, if you were playing chess but you could never be guaranteed that your knight would actually end up on the square you aimed it at.
posted by hippybear at 8:21 PM on February 18 [31 favorites]


It's like, if you were playing chess but you could never be guaranteed that your knight would actually end up on the square you aimed it at.

That's a really cool way to look at it.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:26 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]


Perhaps inspired by this non-official appropriation of an Attenborough.
posted by potch at 8:34 PM on February 18


Funny. It's also kind of funny how much makeup these women wear on competition day.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 8:46 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


Ah, yes, they show the UK take on the worst team in the entire competition... a tiny bit unfair. We'll see who the real alpha female is in the semifinals.
posted by GuyZero at 9:50 PM on February 18


It's also kind of funny how much makeup these women wear on competition day.

It seems to vary a lot among the women curlers. I don't know if there's any rhyme or reason. The UK team seems to wear more, most teams don't seem to wear a lot but the 2010 Canadian women's team wore more. I guess women are all different or something.
posted by GuyZero at 10:00 PM on February 18 [13 favorites]


It's like, if you were playing chess but you could never be guaranteed that your knight would actually end up on the square you aimed it at.

That's a really cool way to look at it.


Yeah, really, ditto. I was approaching it from a (yeah, snobby as fuck) scenario about it being wonderfully "not American." No shitty music, no attitude, just lots of like sober contemplation about throwing a rock x number of feet. I love how calm and quiet and slow it all is. I mean, it seems like a match lasts about 3 days, but it's so nice and even as background stuff. I think what I said today was that it was a shame that they couldn't make it work in the US, and while the base would be rabid and cool, it would not be large enough to make it worth anything other than like ESPN 18, and even then they'd fundamentally ruin it to make it sell.

It's such a strange, wonderful interesting thing that couldn't be capitalized enough to reach such an incredibly casual fan such as myself. It would need a hulu channel or something, and I wouldn't be a reliable viewer. But I love it when it's on.
posted by nevercalm at 10:05 PM on February 18


And are the pants like a thing? The ridiculous, ridiculous pants?
posted by nevercalm at 10:06 PM on February 18


I had a date last Saturday. We went to see The Lego Movie, ate some pizza, played video games, and then watched curling. Neither of us knew the rules of curling, so we were trying to figure it out just by watching. We came to some conclusions about the rules that were not true. Watching curling is super romantic.

I am inebriated, don't mind me.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 10:07 PM on February 18 [15 favorites]


And are the pants like a thing? The ridiculous, ridiculous pants?

That's really just the Norwegian's Olympic men's team. Here's all 10 pairs from this year's round-robin. (in more than 10 pictures, keep scrolling)
posted by GuyZero at 10:12 PM on February 18 [7 favorites]


But I love it when it's on.

Move to Ontario, where it's on every weekend, all winter long, every year.

You once-every-4-years fans seriously have no idea how much Canadians watch curling. Even I as a fan find it a bit much.
posted by GuyZero at 10:13 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


Curling clubs are popping up all over the US, too. It's serious fun to play. And playing it a bit makes watching things like the UK olympic teams execute perfect draws and triple take-outs even more mind-blowing.
posted by hippybear at 10:16 PM on February 18


Funny. It's also kind of funny how much makeup these women wear on competition day.

Well, they know they're going to be in front of a ton of HD cameras doing super closeups of their faces, so it's really not surprising that they want to look their best.
posted by planetesimal at 10:18 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Move to Ontario, where it's on every weekend, all winter long, every year.

You once-every-4-years fans seriously have no idea how much Canadians watch curling. Even I as a fan find it a bit much.


If it was more available here, I would. There's no real way that I could ever move to Ontario, but start making it a thing. If it was on as much as hockey I'd watch it more. I just don't think there's a way to make assloads of cash on it, so it's not going to be on here more.
posted by nevercalm at 10:25 PM on February 18


I had no idea people *did not* know about curling. There's a rink just up the street from my house. It's the intramural or course union sport for people who don't like sports. It's the ultimate group bonding game in Canada.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:33 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


Well, they know they're going to be in front of a ton of HD cameras doing super closeups of their faces, so it's really not surprising that they want to look their best.

Well I'm hardly the arbiter of female beauty, but in my own personal opinion, I wish they didn't feel like they had to wear makeup to "look their best."

I think most of these women look much better without it. Especially the ice skaters. Meryl Davis is a case in point. In normal photos, she clearly exhibits a marvelous natural beauty, but when she's caked in mascara, she looks rather odd.

I realize they're out there for their athletic abilities, so I try to ignore it. But I can't help but wish it didn't have to be so.
posted by mikeand1 at 10:33 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]


Well I'm hardly the arbiter of female beauty, but in my own personal opinion, I wish they didn't feel like they had to wear makeup to "look their best."

I think many of us feel that way but maybe we could try not to judge women for the choices they make by saying they look "odd", be by it wearing or not wearing makeup, and instead think about how it turns out curling really is pretty cool?

Actually, if we're going to talk about appearance in curling, I really liked the Russian Olympic team's jackets (same jackets I've seen in other sports too); I don't particularly know know anything about fashion but those seems like a really tasteful nod to traditional Russian textiles and I thought the red and white looked very nice together.

Basically I love those jackets and I find curling to be a lot of fun to watch although there's so much of the strategy I'm not sure I'll ever get. The end.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:45 PM on February 18 [8 favorites]


Meryl Davis is wearing stage makeup. Seriously, when you see any ice skater out on the ice, think how far away the judges are from them. They aren't watching on TV. So the skaters are wearing stage-distance-visibility makeup.

She isn't *supposed* to look right close up, you're supposed to see how she expresses the emotion of the dance from far away.

I haven't the slightest idea why the curlers wear makeup though.

IN other news- my ldr so and I were together the first week of the Olympics, and it was our major goal to watch some curling (which we both came to enjoy separately). Sadly NBC makes it very obnoxious to watch (although we did manage to watch a few ends). On the bright side when I got back home I figured out how to get CBC coverage of curling--- which is clearly better anyhow.
posted by nat at 10:50 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Yeah, stage makeup is pretty crazy. It's even crazier bc now it has to look good in HD. So, the makeup women I work with are really earning their money. Working in the theatre district you can spot the actresses instantly.

As far as why the curlers wear makeup...man, that HD is harsh. Like I personally don't like just walking around in front of those cameras, and I'm a shlubby lighting dude. It's not a mystery, and it's not vanity. Men wear makeup too.
posted by nevercalm at 10:56 PM on February 18 [4 favorites]


I think most of these women look much better without it.

It's not a female beauty issue, it's a thing people do when they are on television. Every male sports announcer puts on makeup.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:03 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]


maybe we could try not to judge women for the choices they make by saying they look "odd"

If I thought it was really a choice they made, I'd find that more convincing.

But it seems they're making themselves look less natural because they feel like they have to; then I can't help but find it unsettling.
posted by mikeand1 at 11:12 PM on February 18


Sadly NBC makes it very obnoxious to watch (although we did manage to watch a few ends). On the bright side when I got back home I figured out how to get CBC coverage of curling--- which is clearly better anyhow.

Traditionally, NBC imports relatively competent commentators from Canada, so the coverage is better than it has any right to be. After all, to the NBC sports organization, curling might as well be cricket.

Vic Rauter is THE curling commentator, but sadly he might not even be in Sochi.. Considering that the players are all miked, it is amazing how important the commentators are.
posted by Chuckles at 11:17 PM on February 18


I think most of these women look much better without it.

They definitely do, but not on HD. That old saw about the camera adding 10 lbs? It does crazy shit in HD. It makes colors shift, little flaws look massive...it's not a vanity thing, it's literally to look human in some cases. The cameras are awesome but not kind.
posted by nevercalm at 11:23 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


But it seems they're making themselves look less natural because they feel like they have to; then I can't help but find it unsettling.

Welcome to the patriarchy, dude.
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:32 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]


(and also HD television)
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:32 PM on February 18


Vic Rauter is THE curling commentator , but sadly he might not even be in Sochi.. Considering that the players are all miked, it is amazing how important the commentators are.

He's not doing commentary for the olympic coverage, but even more importantly, the commentators they DO have for NBC aren't even in Sochi. They are apparently in Stamford, Connecticut commenting on a video feed they are watching. That is where basically all the NBC online olympic coverage is being processed, but curling is the one television event that is coming mainly from there.

Honestly, my DVR has grabbed so many hours of curling just off my satellite service I will likely still be watching for a week after everyone has left Sochi. I don't think there is any other sport which gets as much actual airtime as curling during the winter games.
posted by hippybear at 11:50 PM on February 18


You're not alone, hippybear!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:58 PM on February 18


I was actually asked to join an Olympic curling team once.

I got cold feet.
posted by iotic at 12:24 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


"This video has not been made available in your country."
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:42 AM on February 19 [7 favorites]


"The uploader has not made this video available in your country."
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 12:53 AM on February 19


For me also in Europe. Not a fan of viral video-regurgitating aggregator sites, so not an endorsement — but I noticed my local gaping maw of content's already sunk its indiscriminate teeth into this, so considering it seems to have not so much vanished from YouTube but is maybe temporarily (?) broken: if you want to watch the video you can do so here I guess. I'm going to wash my keyboard now.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:07 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


It's also kind of funny how much makeup these women wear on competition day.

I completely understand the makeup. If I thought high-definition close-ups of my face might be shown around the world, included in the official Olympics record, and compared to all the other competitors, I would not want to show up looking like I'd just rolled out of bed.

I'm just not 100 percent convinced that curling is a sport like skiing is a sport. This guy has fairly convinced me, but still... anything I can picture being done reasonably well by an old pot-bellied guy with a cigarette and beer waiting on a table just off to the side feels more like bowling than the Olympics. I guess it used to be pretty unathletic but now they take themselves very seriously as athletes. OK, OK, I guess it's a sport.
posted by pracowity at 2:46 AM on February 19


I think most of these women look much better without it. Especially the ice skaters. Meryl Davis is a case in point. In normal photos, she clearly exhibits a marvelous natural beauty, but when she's caked in mascara, she looks rather odd.

Dude, just because you don't notice it, doesn't mean she isn't wearing makeup in those "normal" photos.

Because after all, 9 out of 10 blokes who say they prefer a given woman without makeup mean they prefer her without noticeable makeup, having no clue what that "natural" look needs in maintenance.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:13 AM on February 19 [17 favorites]


"This video has not been made available in your country."

I was able to view the view it in the US here.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 3:35 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


> I got cold feet.

I thought that was a prerequisite.
posted by ardgedee at 4:04 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Traditionally, NBC imports relatively competent commentators from Canada, so the coverage is better than it has any right to be. After all, to the NBC sports organization, curling might as well be cricket.

As one of the many who lives and breathes cricket, that near-perfect intersection of cognitive aptitude, ability, skill, mental endurance and art, I'm in love with curling when it's actually shown online or on the television. The teamwork, captaincy, and the minor and major arcs of strategy; it's a truly beautiful battle to watch and focus on.
posted by Wordshore at 4:04 AM on February 19


Actually, Eve Muirhead (in the nest) is the alpha female.
posted by ikalliom at 4:07 AM on February 19


I got cold feet

You just let it slide?
posted by Segundus at 4:14 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Ok, chill out with the puns already.
posted by davelog at 4:26 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


nevercalm: They definitely do, but not on HD. That old saw about the camera adding 10 lbs? It does crazy shit in HD. It makes colors shift, little flaws look massive...it's not a vanity thing, it's literally to look human in some cases. The cameras are awesome but not kind.

Relevant 30 Rock clip.

posted by Rock Steady at 5:03 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


That's really just the Norwegian's Olympic men's team. Here's all 10 pairs from this year's round-robin.

I had pants very much like those black flowery ones back in 1986. Fantastic. :)

I'd rock the swirly pants. I don't know where, but I would find a place to wear them.
posted by Foosnark at 5:03 AM on February 19


You've iced the puns, but no eponisterical for the OP? Hmm, curling is srs biznss.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:15 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Because after all, 9 out of 10 blokes who say they prefer a given woman without makeup mean they prefer her without noticeable makeup, having no clue what that "natural" look needs in maintenance.

While I think it's tiresome to debate the makeup choices of women, this line of argument implies that 9 out of 10 men who say that simply haven't ever seen a partner on the way to bed after having removed her makeup. Since that strains plausibility, it seems overwhelmingly likely that a lot of dudes have seen women without makeup, some of those dudes preferred how that looked, and some of those dudes feel the need to relay their preference to others.

To dudes that say they prefer women without makeup: I disagree that you've been fooled into thinking what you think. But I do think that there are already enough conflicting constraints on how women present themselves that it's not necessary to add to it. You may think (and I know this is a possibility because I used to think this) that by saying you prefer women without makeup, that you are removing or ameliorating one of those constraints, because obviously there are a lot of people out there that prefer women made up and you probably hope that your statements help to break the illusion of unanimity or something. But, in a practical sense, it doesn't really shake out that way; the constraints superimpose without cancelling.
posted by Jpfed at 5:20 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


This post is about curling, not makeup. The makeup argument's already been done to death.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 5:26 AM on February 19 [12 favorites]


Re Curling: I loved to watch it when I was a kid, but I had no idea what is going on. I still don't understand the point system, let alone the strategy. Before the Canadian government shows up to confiscate my passport, is there a curling for idiots page I can read?
posted by jb at 5:43 AM on February 19


Why, you could come to a Toronto learn to Curl meetup and fight deportation there!
posted by anthill at 5:55 AM on February 19


I just want to know how I can get Sir David Actual Attenborough to follow me around and narrate my life for a few hours.
posted by mhoye at 6:27 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


The relevant issue with the makeup is whether it is a personal choice, in which case we should all shut up about it, or part of the team uniform and imposed on the women, in which case it's a valid topic in all kinds of ways.

curling might as well be cricket

The difference is that cricket makes sense. Even with Attenborough explaining the social hierarchy curling doesn't really track, though it looks like the very rare Olympic event that would actually be a ton of fun to try out.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:31 AM on February 19


40+ comments and not a single link to this?
Oh Metafilter, I am disappoint
posted by bitteroldman at 6:32 AM on February 19


There's a whole thread for that.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:36 AM on February 19


?? Curling makes as much sense as any sport; more than some.

Attenborough was wrong when he said that the sweeping makes no difference. Sweeping alters the curl of the rock. It's how you manipulate the rock's path such that it goes straight past a guard rock and then curls around to be safe behind it. I mean, the sport is called curling!
posted by erlking at 6:59 AM on February 19


There's a whole thread for that.

Dang!
posted by bitteroldman at 7:01 AM on February 19


The men's semifinals are on right now (China vs Canada, Sweden vs Great Britain). The women's finals (Canada vs Sweden) are on tomorrow, men's finals are Friday.
posted by jeather at 7:22 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


1. That was great. Thanks gnfti! Thanks, scummy but useful just this once content aggregator site!

2. Every so often we should all pause to reflect on the fact that Hammerfall did something good once.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:35 AM on February 19


Uni-Watch on the Aesthetics of Curling in the 2014 Olympic Games. It's mostly about Norwegian pants, plus a bonus section on skeleton helmets.
posted by zamboni at 7:39 AM on February 19


Thanks, jeather! (Had TV on English CBC, so it was some cross-country skiing nonsense. However, the men's curling is on French CBC, huzzah! CBC's general programming choices seem ridiculously cocked up and inconsistent this Olympics; sometimes stuff's on CBC, sometimes it's on CBC first/live and TSN or whatever later/edited, sometimes something's on CBC and they'll interrupt it because hockey is on in a fucking hour and half and god forbid I don't see Glenn Healy's stupid florid face and 90 minutes of pre-game yammering... when will you stop letting me down, CBC?)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:41 AM on February 19


It's not a female beauty issue, it's a thing people do when they are on television.

It's simpler to note that in our societies makeup is a thing that women do for their own reasons. Maybe wearing makeup makes them feel more confident, which isn't any crazier than being more confident because you're wearing lucky socks, or is in sort of the same ritual-ish place as war paint. Maybe they just like it.

The important thing is to make sure that even when we're not judging women for their appearance, we're judging them about taking control of their appearance, because the really, really important thing is that women can never, ever be allowed to win.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:42 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]


Ailsa Craig is a small, uninhabited Scottish island where most of the stones for curling are quarried. The Sochi Games uses Ailsa Craig stones - notice the distinct blue lines in the granite.

And Ailsa Craig can be yours for a mere £1.5 million (offers over preferred but asking price has already been reduced significantly).
posted by kariebookish at 7:46 AM on February 19


when will you stop letting me down, CBC?

Their streaming has been awesome because they have about 10 different possible streams, so you don't get your all-important curling pre-empted by hockey. I'm watching the men do badly.
posted by jeather at 7:47 AM on February 19


Stream, shtream, I need my computer for complaining on the internets while I watches my curling on the Tee-Vee!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:53 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


That's what dual monitors are for.
posted by planetesimal at 7:59 AM on February 19


Well, I'm just made of dual monitor money all of a sudden. And French CBC switched to singles figure skating. To hell with everything.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:03 AM on February 19


The difference is that cricket makes sense

Curling is a lot shorter.

Both feature lots of drinking, though, so I approve of both. Plus, silly, Cricket is a summer sport, Curling is a winter sport. There's no need to compete. We can embrace them both, and drink year round!
posted by eriko at 8:08 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


Oh man Canada's men's team is about to beat the Chinese team in the 9th end... go Canada!
posted by GuyZero at 9:29 AM on February 19


"The uploader has not made this video available in your country."

Unfortunately, this is also the video I have wanted to watch more than any other YouTube video in the last three months. :(
posted by blue suede stockings at 9:39 AM on February 19


The game officially ended partway through the 10th end, when Canada knocked out enough stones that China couldn't win and they conceded. That was fun. (Sweden is 5-4 in the 10th end, but GB has the hammer.)

Also, I absolutely loved the Team China jackets.
posted by jeather at 9:42 AM on February 19


Oh, and Sweden just screwed it up but good on their last stone. GB has a chance for 2.

(If GB gets 0, they lose. If GB gets 2, they win. If they get 1, then they're in the next end where Sweden gets the hammer = the last rock.)


And it's Canada vs GB in the gold medal game, China vs Sweden for bronze.
posted by jeather at 9:49 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


That was great.

I really like watching curling, though I get self conscious about it sometimes because I'm afraid my neighbors think I'm having really intense sex with all the 9 and a half, 9 and a half, haaaaaaaaard haaaaaaaard yep yep whoa whoa yep haaaaaaard.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:55 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


I was watching a DVR'd game of the men's Norway vs Great Britain tie-breaker last night (to see the pants in action) and I couldn't understand a word the Norwegians were saying... but as both men's and women's GBR teams are Scottish it took me a minute to realize that I actually could understand what they were saying if I concentrated really, really hard. But basically Scottish (accents) is about as intelligible as Norwegian it seems.
posted by GuyZero at 10:00 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


How curlers use computerized sweepers, infrared cameras to perfect their throws (Globe & Mail video, starts with an auto-playing ad -- sorry!)
posted by maudlin at 10:19 AM on February 19


"The uploader has not made this video available in your country."

Unfortunately, this is also the video I have wanted to watch more than any other YouTube video in the last three months. :(


Does this version work?
posted by dng at 10:37 AM on February 19


LiveLeak version
posted by maudlin at 10:39 AM on February 19


Curling for dummies


Curling glossary

(NB: The glossary does not include "Parking Lot Weight" - a joking term heard amongst amateur curlers to refer to a rock thrown with enough weight to leave the rink, take out end boards, and come to rest in the parking lot, unless somebody does something about it)
posted by nubs at 10:50 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


And going way back, because it bothered me:

It's also kind of funny how much makeup these women wear on competition day.
Men in our culture have been socialized to believe that their opinions on women’s appearance matter a lot. Not all men buy into this, of course, but many do. Some seem incapable of entertaining the notion that not everything women do with their appearance is for men to look at. This is why men’s response to women discussing stifling beauty norms is so often something like “But I actually like small boobs!” and “But I actually like my women on the heavier side, if you know what I mean!” They don’t realize that their individual opinion on women’s appearance doesn’t matter in this context, and that while it might be reassuring for some women to know that there are indeed men who find them fuckable, that’s not the point of the discussion.

[...]

The result of all this is that many men, even kind and well-meaning men, believe, however subconsciously, that women’s bodies are for them. They are for them to look at, for them to pass judgment on, for them to bless with a compliment if they deign to do so. They are not for women to enjoy, take pride in, love, accept, explore, show off, or hide as they please. They are for men and their pleasure.
So, ha ha, look at these Olympic athletes! Let's not bring up anything but their makeup. Silly women, can't even be athletes without performing traditional femininity. I don't know if they were obliged to wear it by the country's committee, decided to wear something as a group, all decided individually -- but on some level, it doesn't matter who decided about makeup, what matters is that people feel the important thing for women, no matter what they are accomplishing, is to comment on and judge their appearance.
posted by jeather at 11:00 AM on February 19 [9 favorites]


And because that curling for dummies link doesn't explain the scoring:

After the last rock is thrown, scoring begins with the rock that is closest to the button (the button is the exact centre of the rings aka "the house").

The stone that is closest counts one point. If the rock that is next closest belongs to the same team as the first rock, it counts as well, and so on. Counting continues outward until a rock from the opposing team is the next closest rock; no further points are awarded to either team at that point.

So the situation is that only one team can count points in an end - the team with the stone closest to the centre. They keep scoring points for each stone that is closer to the centre than any opponent rock; as soon as there is an opponent rock that is closer than any other stone, nothing else counts.

Strategy wise - if you have the hammer (the last rock to be thrown for the end) - you are hoping to score at least two points on the end (or try for a blank end - no rocks in the house means no score for anyone, and you keep the hammer). Because once you have scored a point, the hammer switches to the other team - so you want to get more than one. The team without the hammer is trying to "steal" - get one rock buried in near the centre that prevents the team with the hammer from scoring at all (in which case you "steal" a point by being closer than they were) or force them into a situation where they have to use the hammer to score one point but no more.
posted by nubs at 11:04 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]


So, ha ha, look at these Olympic athletes! Let's not bring up anything but their makeup. Silly women, can't even be athletes without performing traditional femininity. I don't know if they were obliged to wear it by the country's committee, decided to wear something as a group, all decided individually -- but on some level, it doesn't matter who decided about makeup, what matters is that people feel the important thing for women, no matter what they are accomplishing, is to comment on and judge their appearance.

What are you talking about?

I think it's funny to imagine someone getting ready on match day, palms anxiously sweating, applying mascara in the mirror like it's her wedding day.

Whatever people think it says about society or individuals is immaterial.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 11:20 AM on February 19


I think it's funny to imagine someone getting ready on match day, palms anxiously sweating, applying mascara in the mirror like it's her wedding day.

I think it's funny to imagine all kinds of things, but I'm usually able to refrain from posting about them in threads where they contribute to an unpleasant atmosphere for people reading. Some of the people here are presumably actual women who are actually personally fed up of having their appearance commented on at every irrelevant moment, and have long passed the point of thinking it is funny.
posted by emilyw at 11:38 AM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Let's be real here, we're talking about a funny video about curling, and we're not talking about appearance so much as a surprising but understandable set of priorities.

Instead of wishing that other people would ignore some random aspect of reality you find distasteful, maybe you should ignore the comments you find distasteful.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 11:43 AM on February 19


Indeed. This is a fun video, and those women opt to wear makeup perhaps because their faces are going to be on HD screens all over the world. If people want to cry "patriarchy!" and get upset, well, that's really just slacktivism and noise here.
posted by planetesimal at 11:47 AM on February 19


[Seriously, folks, all around maybe just drop it at this point for the nth time with the makeup thing, all around.]
posted by cortex at 11:48 AM on February 19 [6 favorites]


Faces of Olympic Figure Skating.
posted by unliteral at 2:52 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Speaking of curling, I just noticed that Norway has broomhandles to match each pair of pants. :D
posted by hippybear at 7:44 PM on February 19


Women's gold medal game has started (1-0 for Canada over Sweden after the first end).

Here's Tournament of Hearts by national treasures The Weakerthans to get y'all in the mood.
posted by maudlin at 5:54 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


1-1 after 2; Sweden made some nice shots to get out of trouble in that end.
posted by nubs at 6:08 AM on February 20


In a very, very irritating move, Sweden has the red rocks and Canada the yellow.
posted by jeather at 6:17 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Canada very lucky to only give up 2 there.

Not sure about the Olympics, but usually before the match there is a coin toss - the winner either gets to take the hammer in the first end or pick rock colour. It may be that Canada with their record just had first pick regardless - but they obviously took the hammer to start. Sweden then picked the red rocks either because they think they curl better or because of the psychology of it. Or both.
posted by nubs at 6:58 AM on February 20


jeather: In a very, very irritating move, Sweden has the red rocks and Canada the yellow.

Yeah, I can't even deal with that.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:00 AM on February 20


I cannae take this. I heard a lot of shouting downstairs about stealing two when the score was 4-3 Canada -- but it was a Swedish mistake. One more end left with a score of 6-3.
posted by maudlin at 7:57 AM on February 20


Argh, the webcast is delayed? Spoilers!
posted by jeather at 7:59 AM on February 20


(Sorry! Will shut up now. You can interpret any upcoming piercing screams from the Junction as you see fit.)
posted by maudlin at 8:00 AM on February 20


It's not a big deal, I'm just going to turn away from this thread for the next 10 rocks.
posted by jeather at 8:04 AM on February 20


(Incoherent screaming from the Junction that I will not identify as thrill or agony)
posted by maudlin at 8:08 AM on February 20


It's okay, I'm all caught up.
posted by jeather at 8:10 AM on February 20


Really? Where's the screaming? Also: holy fuck!
posted by maudlin at 8:11 AM on February 20


Argh - had to start my commute after the 8th. Know Canada won but can't wait to get to the office and see how the 9th and 10th went.
posted by nubs at 8:15 AM on February 20


So exciting a game!
posted by jeather at 8:16 AM on February 20


OK, I spoiled the game for myself and I suppose I should not spoil it for others, but all is right in the universe. Now on to hockey.
posted by GuyZero at 8:23 AM on February 20


That 9th end was something.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:43 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Enjoying the webcast of the 9th and 10th; because there's no commercial breaks for the TV, the TV feed was picking things up 2 or 3 rocks in. On the webcast, the commentators know they aren't on the air so there's some discussion between them before the TV feed picks up. Nothing weird or outrageous, just kinda neat to hear some of the between end discussion for the TV crew.
posted by nubs at 8:46 AM on February 20


The stone that picked made me kinda sad for Sweden in the 9th; hate to see a game get lost on a stone that picks. But then the 3rd missed her shot, and the skip's last stone overcurled...and that just blew the end. So I'm glad it wasn't on a rock that picked, but on a couple of missed shots - because that's the game.
posted by nubs at 9:19 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


And I just sent the TSN webmaster an email, because their live scoreboard for the Olympics shows "no games scheduled" today. Not sure why Women's hockey doesn't count.
posted by nubs at 9:24 AM on February 20


I forgot the gold medal game was on, and when I went into the office building next to mine to buy a breakfast, I saw the team on the podium. But I went back and watched that 9th end; what an exciting end. (And props to the CBC for having the webcasts have little links to important moments, so you can just jump right to a given end.)

Jennifer Jones was awesome this week, in the Old Testament sense of creating awe by destroying all she surveyed. So glad her team won gold; they've been the best women's rink in the world for the last decade and it must have killed them to be sitting at home watching Bernard and Kleibrink struggle, (if winning silver and bronze means struggle, which by Canadian standards...).
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:06 AM on February 20


IIRC, in Vancouver, it was just Bernard missing slightly on the final shot that made the difference between gold and silver. That to me isn't struggling, just the difference that can happen in curling between the great teams.
posted by nubs at 10:34 AM on February 20


(This would be a bad place to talk about hockey, eh?)
posted by maudlin at 11:53 AM on February 20


How awesome! I was standing in line to buy my lunch when my twitter feed started to go nuts about the Canadians tying it up; I just now had the courage to check what happened in overtime. (Honestly, there was some loud honking outside which made me wonder).


Looking forward to catching the replay. Canada-US women's hockey is incredibly entertaining.
posted by nubs at 11:58 AM on February 20


Grr. Fine. You've got the Women's, now just go ahead and let us take the Men's, mmkay?
posted by Rock Steady at 12:01 PM on February 20


I have to say that the US Men's team looks like the class of the field this year - everything is working for them, and they seem to have it all together. It pains me to say it, but I'm anticipating a US - SWE final; but with single elimination games you just never know...
posted by nubs at 12:03 PM on February 20


There is nothing like the hockey medal ceremony to remind me of the quote "You don't win the silver, you lose the gold."
posted by nubs at 12:10 PM on February 20


No, no, this is an awesome place to talk about hockey.

I think the Canadian men are having too much trouble to make it to the gold medal game, but I have hope.

Did the US women look more distraught than the Swedes? They looked miserable.
posted by jeather at 12:31 PM on February 20


Having played hockey - though never at anything near the level these women play it at - I can tell you the few times I was in a game that meant something (beer league divisional playoffs, for example) - there is nothing like skating your guts out for the entire game, playing hard, and losing the game. And then you have to stand there and watch the other team get their medals?

Having just watched the last five minutes of the 3rd and the overtime...well, this had to feel like a sucker punch. You're up 2-0; it becomes 2-1, but you're still in control...you hit the post on the empty net (!); they tie it up - overtime, the US really carried the play for the first 90 seconds/two minutes...the penalty...well, it should've been a penalty shot (cross-checking? seriously? tripping, really) - but on a penalty shot, the goalie has the advantage in my opinion...so yeah, this had to be a punch to the gut that winds up with your heart being ripped out. I can't blame the US women for looking utterly devastated.
posted by nubs at 12:47 PM on February 20


The Americans do look really strong this year. The women came through today, so I can live with a loss in men's hockey.
posted by maudlin at 12:54 PM on February 20


Well, the only way the Men's game tomorrow is better than this one is with some level of special effects I think.

And it's time we got a little honest in Canada - when it comes to Men's hockey, there are at least five to six (Canada, the US, Russia, Sweden, Finland, the Czechs) nations that are always threats to medal at international events. We can't expect a medal every time, much less a gold. (And I would also argue that the US has been doing much, much better with its development programs at young levels than the Canadians have for quite a while, and the results of that are now quite apparent - the US Juniour team is now always competitive, there's a lot of great US players in the NHL, and they look fantastic at the Olympics - both in 2010 and this year).

And - a good laugh
posted by nubs at 12:58 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


jeather: They looked miserable.

Did you see it hit the post? I look miserable, and I can barely skate.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:17 PM on February 20


the penalty...well, it should've been a penalty shot

Truth. But the previous penalty (slashing? really?) was crap.
posted by inigo2 at 1:19 PM on February 20


It's archaic to have this be a sex-segregated sport since it seems to be more of a skill-based sport than one based on strength. Correct me if I'm wrong, but curling just begs to be integrated.
posted by ooga_booga at 1:22 PM on February 20


nubs: And - a good laugh

We've been telling the US Men's National Soccer Team to do that for years now and they just. Don't. Listen.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:42 PM on February 20


Correct me if I'm wrong, but curling just begs to be integrated.

Mixed curling is certainly a reality at a lot of different levels currently; there is a Canadian championship for it.

I suspect that this is one of the areas where the Olympics has a problem - gender segregation is the norm (pairs figure skating being the only counter example I can think of). For some sports, it is no longer necessary or perhaps mixed events should be allowed beside the current events.

Men's curling will sometimes - emphasis on sometimes - feature shots you are unlikely to see in the women's game simply because they can physically get the rock moving faster; they can attempt triple raise takeout runbacks because they can get lots of speed. But, from my admittedly amateurish eye, the elite women's teams are becoming just as capable of that now.

But the previous penalty (slashing? really?) was crap.

I thought it was beyond weak; I haven't seen the whole game, but the Canadian commentators noted that while it wasn't much of anything, that the US team had been warned earlier in the game for whacking at the goalie's pads in a similar situation.

I think the larger issue here is the quality of officiating; watching the ref for this game reminded me of the men's international games twenty plus years ago - refs from countries without a strong hockey tradition getting completely intimidated by (a) the level of play of elite level teams - the game is played at a much higher pace and level than they are used to; (b) the emotional intensity of the situation and the pressure; (c) managing the emotions that come from being yelled at by the players and coaches of these teams, who carry themselves with such huge confidence and experience next to a referee who might be feeling somewhat overwhelmed; and because these teams use everything they can to work the ref during a game - inexperienced refs are just more workable. So they make bad calls - odd calls - at high pressure moments. In this case, she was scared - she had given the US a powerplay in overtime of the gold medal game and didn't want to be the "reason" the game was won or lost (and it was an honest penalty that Canada took) so she was looking for any reason to even it up.

You can see the fear even more clearly on the non-penalty shot call - her initial instinct is to point at centre ice, and then she changes her mind and gives the cross-check signal because she was freaking out internally.

I seem to recall the Women's final at Salt Lake also had some bizarre officiating moments in it - along with the doubly horrible fact that the ref for that game was from the US, so it became rather questionable for several reasons. The officiating on the men's side has improved a lot because they started (a) pulling refs from the NHL to do games alongside international refs and (b) provide training to the other nations officiating crews. I think a similar training model would benefit the women's game.
posted by nubs at 2:26 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


gender segregation is the norm (pairs figure skating being the only counter example I can think of). For some sports, it is no longer necessary or perhaps mixed events should be allowed beside the current events.

Now Biathlon has a mixed relay event also in this year's Olympics.

posted by GuyZero at 2:50 PM on February 20


Heh.
posted by maudlin at 3:24 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Apparently the goal post is now a darkhorse candidate for flag bearer in the closing ceremonies.
posted by nubs at 3:36 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


The Twitter profile is also good.
posted by GuyZero at 4:29 PM on February 20


Regarding mixed curling, the paper about the effect of sweeping also looks at the difference between the sexes. Men sweep harder and heavier but they fall off when they are forced to sweep again. Women, on the other hand, don't show a drop in speed or pressure which suggest to me they're not sweeping at their maximum.

But! The main thing I wanted to say is that if you're throwing a rock hard enough to see a difference between men and women, you're doing it wrong. I curled in high school and could easily make a double take-out even though I weighed well under 100 lbs. I mean I didn't often succeed but that was because I lacked the skill, not force. One of the first things you learn in curling is to moderate your weight because newbies always throw right through the house.

Mixed teams would be great and would require some strategizing about who would play which position. I'm guessing women would skip and third so you could have two men sweeping their final rocks.
posted by hydrobatidae at 5:36 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Men's gold is on now, and it's going very surprisingly.
posted by jeather at 6:46 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Murdoch mystified.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:35 AM on February 21


Wow, did not expect the men's curling final to go that way.
posted by nubs at 8:15 AM on February 21


Nor did I expect the men's hockey game to go that way.
posted by nubs at 11:24 AM on February 21


Yes, these have been surprising games today. But fun. I'm looking forward to the bronze and gold medal hockey games.

Though the curling was really just a shame -- I don't know what happened there, because it didn't look like an Olympic-level game. Just a bad day for them.
posted by jeather at 11:33 AM on February 21


From what I saw, GB was just missing lots of shots - not big misses, but enough that Canada could just take control.
posted by nubs at 11:38 AM on February 21


Same as with the women's CAN-SWE final - I don't know when they started tracking accuracy numbers in curling, but if both teams played at their historical accuracy rates which means that Canada just made fewer errors than Sweden.

Also, the Canadian skip said "sorry" about 5x per end. My wife and I lost count eventually.
posted by GuyZero at 11:53 AM on February 21


And the next CAN-SWE gold medal game is on now. Going for the double double.
posted by jeather at 5:43 AM on February 23


Have to wonder if that hockey game goes differently if Sweden has Sedin, Zetterberg and Backstrom.
posted by nubs at 9:20 AM on February 23


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