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Everything posted by HarryKane09

  1. And to be fair, “I am NOT a time traveler from antiquity” is exactly what a time traveler from antiquity trying to pass himself off as a man from the current day would say, so I am asking people to make a leap of faith on that.
  2. Kobe’s action IMO registers a lot higher on the Quit scale because he his health was fine, but he went out there in the second half and barely engaged in the action, put a lot more effort into talking trash about his teammates to fans and press seated courtside. The most important thing to him in that moment was to make sure his teammates got as much blame as possible for the loss. I’m also uncomfortable elevating Kobe to a comparison to Biles for other reasons. One that stands out is Kobe in all likelihood committed sexual assault. When the charged crime was being investigated, Kobe’s team, his league, and the court system worked very hard to accommodate him so he could keep playing while accused of the crime. And after it was settled out of court, his team, his league, and his sponsors worked very hard to rehabilitate his image. Contrast that with Biles, who was one of many, many victims within USA Gymnastics, and the system worked to silence her and the other victims, and tried very hard to protect her perpetrator.
  3. I would like to take this opportunity to assert that I am NOT a time traveler from the age of antiquity, so the mindset of the ancients shouldn’t apply to what I said.
  4. (I will eventually bring this back to Simone Biles.) I've been around a lot of young 99th percentile people in a wide range of endeavors: sport, art, music, academics, what have you... if you're going to develop that 99th percentile talent to its maximum, a lot of other stuff won't get developed. It takes too many hours to become elite and keep up with the others in your 99th percentile. And in sports, individual sports in particular, the commitment at that level is so complete it dominates not just the athlete's life, but several family members as well. You usually have to move to particular region or city to train with the right coach or live in the right climate. You're often homeschooled so there's extra practice hours in the day and it's easier to travel to competitions. So you have this childhood where you're not asked to be a dynamic personality, and you're surrounded by people committed to your wants and needs and aren't asked to reciprocate. So you have this deep, deep skill and understanding in your area of expertise, but haven't developed much outside it. In short, these young 99th percentiles I was around were often #######s. And not necessarily their own fault - maybe they were never taught how not to be an #######, or maybe their coaches wanted to intensify the ####### part of the athlete's personality because they thought it would give them an edge. When success and fame hits, there's a reckoning with the ####### side of you. For most, you've got about 18-24 months once you hit it big to tame the ####### within or it's going to set and be a core part of you the rest of the way. If it happens when you're young and haven't been given the tools to come with us, it's harder to tame. Phelps beat the odds twice. He was a generational talent who more than delivered on his promise, and then he tamed his inner ####### and has become this thoughtful man who wants others to learn not just from his successes, but also his weaknesses and setbacks. I find that admirable. I promised I would bring this back to Simone Biles. Gymnastics isn't a team sport. It's barely an individual sport. It's almost a solitary endeavor. There isn't much camaraderie. There's other athletes at your gym, but at meets you're competing against them, not with them. And there's soooooo little room at the top, it's almost impossible to celebrate a peer's success, because at the elite level it's a zero-sum game. These teammates Biles supposedly let down at Tokyo? They are her opponents and adversaries most of the year. Even at "team" events like the Olympics and Worlds, the USA individuals are still competing against each other because there are only so many slots in individual events for each nation. In every apparatus, someone with a qualifying score gets left out because too many ahead of you are from your country. And if you want an individual gold medal, you've gotta beat your "teammates" to get it. So it's hard enough as it is designed. And Biles had to play a game rigged against her. All these other all-time greats from other sports thrown around in comparisons here... how many of them had to beat their own teammates to achieve their goals? How many of them had coaches who were low-level tacticians and theorists, openly saying they didn't have to plan anything because they had an all-time great? How many of them were told by the sport's governing body that your skills weren't going to count what they are worth because that would be unfair to your opponents? How many of them were sexually assaulted by the team doctor repeatedly while their team management covered it up? Simone Biles did. She was told she had to play a rigged game, she beat it, and tried to change it. When the elite gyms weren't safe for gymnasts, Biles's family opened one of their own, with a lot of open space and transparency to make it a safe space for young athletes and coaches who wanted to train athletes in a better way. When Biles heard Jordan Chiles's gym wasn't safe, Biles recruited Chiles to move to Texas and train at her gym. When Larry Nassar was finally brought to justice, Biles stayed in the sport and on the national team, partially to go for a second Olympics, but also to force some accountability for Nassar's enablers. So, I guess I'm having difficulty understanding what Biles's detractors think she owes us. Who did she quit on? The athletes she was competing against? The team officials that knew she was being sexually assaulted and did nothing? The sport that openly conspired against her and told her she wasn't going to get the scores she earned? Simone Biles is the GOAT in her sport, and second place is so far behind none of her detractors can produce a name who should replace Biles at the top if she isn't the one. She's one of the greatest in any sport. She's better at gymnastics than billions of people have ever been at anything. And she accomplished all of this by age 24. I'm pretty comfortable calling Biles a hero.
  5. The calling for an average person to do the event right before the Olympians compete so we can appreciate how difficult the events are would certainly apply here. Longtime swim/Olympics fans… I might be imagining this, don’t know the right terms to search for it on YouTube or Wikipedia… was there once an Olympic swimmer who figured out a backstroke loophole and did the entire first lap underwater? Launched off the blocks, did that dolphin-on-back thing down to the bottom of the pool and just kept going? I can’t figure out how to confirm/refute this, and it’s bugging me.
  6. This Olympics is the first time I've found Phelps endearing. He has some really interesting and thoughtful things to say about elite competition, mental health, and the technical side of world-class level swimming (the latter of which I know absolutely nothing about beyond "get to the other end of the pool before the others do"). I've enjoyed hearing him speak at length and comfort in his areas of expertise. And he looks great with the beard.
  7. Meh. There isn't a lot from Ben Shapiro's (gestures vaguely at everything about him) that suggests "let people be people" is a guiding principle of his. He's contributed to and benefited from societal polarization way too much to suddenly lament it now.
  8. I’ve seen this on social media. While I agree with the greater points it is making and am glad it is making the rounds. there are a few unforced factual errors in it…. The actual circumstances and stakes of Strug’s second vault were already covered previously, so I’ll skip that part. The senior age minimum at the time was only 14, so Atlanta was Strug’s second Olympics. Because of the toll the sport had already taken on her body, there wasn’t any expectation of Strug competing internationally after 1996. Because she was only 18, there was a possibility of competing at the NCAA level post-Olympics, but because of endorsement money she had already accepted it's highly unlikely she would have been cleared to be eligible. The Atlanta Games were probably going to be her last high-level competition no matter how her vaults in the team competition went. Dominique Moceanu didn’t retire from injuries shortly after Atlanta. Two years later, she won the All-Around at the 1998 Goodwill Games, the biggest international gymnastics meet of that year. She was indeed a generational talent who drew comparisons to Nadia Commaneci, and injuries did derail her bid to make the 2000 Olympic team. But it’s incorrect to say Moceanu retired shortly after Atlanta when she was the de facto world champion two years later. None of this alters Heath’s greater points. I like his main ideas and how he said them. But it bugged me that he got some of the facts wrong, especially since the truth isn’t in the way of what he’s trying to say.
  9. A quick synopsis of Simone Biles’s career… Simone Biles joined the senior international gymnastics circuit in 2013. And she’s been the best gymnast in the world since. The crown jewel of Artistic Gymnastics is the All-Around competition in the World Championships and Olympics. You have to be world-class in all four apparatuses to even qualify. And because the skill sets in all four are so different, penalties for mistakes are so severe, injuries are so frequent, and the window of peak performance is so narrow, it is rare for a gymnast to win the All-Around at the Worlds more than once, and rare for a gymnast to compete in more than one Olympics. Simone Biles has won the All-Around at Worlds five times. Add her Olympics All-Around gold in 2016, and Biles has won the crown jewel six times. Biles has also won apparatus gold at Worlds on Floor, Beam, and Vault, and in 2019 she won all three, This would be like leading the NBA in points, rebounds, and assists in the same season. Here’s a recap of her golds at the Worlds and Olympics before Tokyo: 2013 Worlds: All-Around, Floor 2014 Worlds: All-Around, Floor, Beam 2015 Worlds: All-Around, Floor, Beam 2016 Olympics: All-Around, Floor, Vault 2017: (Did not compete, contemplated retirement) 2018 Worlds: All-Around, Floor, Vault 2019 Worlds: All-Around, Floor, Beam, Vault 2020: (no Olympics or Worlds due to Covid) (Biles has also won three silvers and three bronzes in apparatuses at Worlds. But the list was getting kinda long.) Had Biles retired after the 2016 Olympics, she would have left the sport as unquestionably the greatest who ever did it. No one in the sport’s history can match the difficulty of her routines, her excellence in execution, and the length of time she has been at the top. Biles took a year off after Rio, and when she returned she won Worlds again. And again. The Worlds have been staged 49 times, going back to 1903. Only 8 women have won at least five career individual gold medals in the Worlds via all-around or individual apparatus. Biles has won 15. No one else is in double digits. Add Biles’s four team golds, and she has double the gold of any other competitor. In fact, if you split Biles’s career into “Birth-To-Rio” and “After Rio”, Birth-To-Rio Biles would be the most decorated gymnast ever, and After Rio Biles would be the third-most decorated, behind Birth-To-Rio Biles and Svetlana Khorkina. Another measure of an elite gymnast is eponymous skills. When you successfully complete a skill no one else has done before in a top competition, the skill gets named after you. It is a big honor, your name gets written into the sport’s history, and your name gets called out when a subsequent gymnast hits the skill. It is very rare for a world-class gymnast to have one eponymous skill by the time they retire. Biles has four: a Beam dismount, a Vault, and two Floor tumbling passes. In fact, her skill level is so high, her difficulty scores are knowingly artificially low - FIG chose not to rate some of her Difficulty properly for dubious reasons not worth getting into here. So when you see someone argue that Biles isn’t GOAT because of [grievance issued against Biles based on things that happened in 2021]”, understand the label of GOAT for Biles was settled years ago. The last four years have been Biles continuing to separate herself from past champions, current peers, and making it tougher for future gymnasts to challenge her for the title.
  10. (repost from Olympics thread, clearing up some misconceptions about Kerri Strug's vault in the 1996 Olympics) To protect the next person tempted to bring up Kerri Strug: Strug’s vault in 96 that made her a hero was actually a really selfish act. USA didn’t need Strug’s vault to win gold, and they knew they had enough points to win before she threw her second vault. Karolyi knew the team event was won, but coaxed Strug to vault again for selfish reasons. At the time, the Optionals portion of the team competition was also the qualifier for the individual all-around and apparatus finals. And at the time, the individual finals were limited to three rep per country. Strug vaulted that second time because if she landed it, she would pass Dominique Moceanu (who was competing with a stress fracture in one leg, and botched her vault) and grab the third USA slot in the all-around a couple days later. That’s why Karolyi coaxed Strug back up to vault again - he knew Moceanu was too hurt to medal in the all-around and wanted Strug to pass Moceanu in the individual scoring.
  11. The mass disassociation of top coaches from the USA national program was not lost on me with the Nassar stuff finally disclosed. Mihai Brestyan (Aly Raisman, Alicia Sacramone) left the national team to run Australia’s gymnastics program for a while. Liang Chow (Shawn Johnson, Gabby Douglas) coached the China team this cycle, and has put out a few thinly veiled shots at the USA program in the press. Valeri Liukin (Nastia Liukin, Carly Patterson) had Marta Karolyi’s old job for a while post-Rio, but left in 2018 and took the Brazil job, a move that makes no sense on paper. Whether it’s because they knew too much about Nassar or knew too little, I have no idea.
  12. To protect the next person tempted to bring up Kerri Strug: Strug’s vault in 96 that made her a hero was actually a really selfish act. USA didn’t need Strug’s vault to win gold, and they knew they had enough points to win before she threw her second vault. Karolyi knew the team event was won, but coaxed Strug to vault again for selfish reasons. At the time, the Optionals portion of the team competition was also the qualifier for the individual all-around and apparatus finals. And at the time, the individual finals were limited to three rep per country. Strug vaulted that second time because if she landed it, she would pass Dominique Moceanu (who was competing with a stress fracture in one leg, and botched her vault) and grab the third USA slot in the all-around a couple days later. That’s why Karolyi coaxed Strug back up to vault again - he knew Moceanu was too hurt to medal in the all-around and wanted Strug to pass Moceanu in the individual scoring. (Strug was too injured to compete in the individual competitions, and Moceanu took Strug’s place in the all-around,)
  13. You might have read that. But it’s wrong. The Olympics gymnastics team final has been “three up, three count” since 2004.
  14. Oh man. That’s rough, and I’m sure that’s going on with Finance teams all over the country right now. I was working at a two-year college when the housing crisis tanked the economy. We knew we were going to have a gigantic spike in enrollment of both the 18-year-olds who were going to stay home for a year instead of going away for school, plus an influx of non-traditional students who had job disruptions and would go back to school to change careers. But since we couldn’t forecast it with much precision, it was a huge cluster#### adding course sections and staff at the last minute. And all that didn’t have to factor in things like on-campus housing of any kind, much less making good on guarantees of on-campus housing without knowing how many to house. OMG what schools are going through now are that snafu times a hundred.
  15. Good call on the Burbank airport. Closer to Pepperdine, and not LAX so the logistics of getting in/out/through the airport will be a lot faster. When we did our SoCal college visits, we used the Ontario airport because it’s so close to the Claremont Colleges and we wanted to look at a couple of those. Liked the people we met at Claremont a lot, intrigued by the collective of small schools giving a small-school feel with the resources of a larger school. (I wished I’d heard of them when I was looking at colleges - I think I would have liked Claremont McKenna a lot.). We went a different route, but definitely a place we would recommend to others.
  16. A few random thoughts from a seasoned California traveler from flyover country... Shop around a bit on the different airports in LA and SF, both for flights and rental cars. Flight availability and costs can vary wildly, as can rental car prices. Santa Clara University is really close to the San Jose airport, which you can often fly in/out of a lot cheaper than SFO if your travel times are flexible. Loyola Marymount is right by LAX so trying one of the smaller LA airports probably won't be more convenient. Southwest and Delta fly into Long Beach, which will be a bit farther away than LAX but I wanted to mention it just in case there's a deal to be had there. Rental car prices are really high right now (rental car companies sold off a lot of inventory to stay solvent during the pandemic, haven't fully replenished their supply yet to meet demand) so expect a pay a premium, especially for dropping off at a different place than pickup. ETA: If you’re a Costco member, HIGHLY recommend investigating car rentals through Costco Travel. They work with Alamo, Avis/Budget, and Enterprise. They usually bury everyone on price and you don’t have to pay anything upfront. If your drive between LA and SF is during daylight hours, highly recommend driving along the coast if you haven't before. It will take a bit longer, but there's nothing quite like it. The Interstate route won't be scenic. The Pepperdine campus is beautiful. So nice, I'd almost recommend doing the SF leg first then driving down to LA, so you don't see the Pepperdine campus first. There are so many great college campuses, but man Pepperdine's setting really is special. As for eating... highly recommend eating on-campus at one of the dining halls if your timing and tour allows for it. The food won't be great, but if you're going while classes are in session, it's a great way to get a feel for the vibe of the student body and daily campus life. Are the students are stressed and studying while eating? Are they interacting with each other or alone together on their phones? Are the students dressed or are they wearing what they slept in? I'm not passing judgment one way or the other on any of those choices, just pointing out information that can be obtained and see if any of it is a good fit for your prospective student.
  17. Really good advice here. So much of immunization/health talk is dominated by COVID, it's easy for other required immunizations to slip by. And like you said, requirements vary state-to-state and campus-to-campus, so double-check campus requirements. I had a big scramble before my freshman year of college to get sufficiently vaccinated - the combo of going to college in a different state from where I grew up and my parents not being too detail-oriented about my health history created some gaps. Tangential to this... check out the student health insurance offerings by the college to see if it's a better deal, especially if out-of-state. It's not always a great fit, but we've had a few friends report back cost savings for comparable coverage by having the college student get health insurance on campus. Definitely worth looking into it you had a work disruption/stoppage due to the pandemic.
  18. The kid and I are both game theory enthusiasts, and PKs are a great game theory lab. During the last World Cup, the kid wondered aloud why so few PKs are kicked to the center since goalies usually dive left or right. On that match day, Kane scored a PK on a shot right down the middle. And the kid’s all “that’s my guy! Right there! Kane! Down the middle!” So we became Harry Kane fans, and started following the Spurs. I think she will follow Kane to his new club, but if it’s City his home games are no longer a Tube ride away. We checked. Arsenal’s is the closest EPL stadium to campus, but the rest of the London stadiums are just a short walk to a train/tube station. We have pledged to catch a game at Selhurst Park because so much of Ted Lasso was filmed there.
  19. Thank you! One of my cousins got his PhD at St. Andrews. He loved his time there, his family still goes back and visits friends they made there, was a great resource when we were having “are we nuts for considering this route?” thoughts.
  20. She's made her decision. London School Of Economics. Going to take a gap year and enroll at LSE for Fall 2022. How we got there: After visiting a few schools sophomore year of HS and getting an overview of the USA elite college scene, it was pretty clear overseas was going to be a better option for the kid. There were three main reasons: 1) The kid doesn't plan on living in the USA as an adult. There's a lot of reasons why, listing them might trigger some of the trash from the PSF to come over and start talking #### so I'll just say there are a lot of reasons and I accept her reasoning. So, we thought it would be better for her to try an overseas school and she how she likes life in another country. 2) The game at the USA elite colleges is too rigged towards the wealthy. Top schools waste a lot of spots on legacies and megadonors who wouldn't have been candidates for admission otherwise. The kid was more interested in a college environment where the admitted students were a meritocracy. Didn't see the virtue in begging for a spot at a school where the general population has a 3-5% chance of admission but being a million-dollar donor adds a zero to those percentages. 3) Even with overseas travel, cost at comparable overseas schools is a lot lower, and ones we inquired about were interested in grabbing a 99th percentile student from the United States. There are even a handful of public universities in the EU who offered tuition waivers to admitted students from the USA just as they waive tuition for students from their home country. The LSE rack rate for overseas students (variable based on exchange rates of course) is about $31K-$32K for tuition with expectation of tuition increasing 4% each year. Housing cost about $10K-$15K depending on which house and if you have a roommate or not. So not cheap, but still tens of thousands of dollars cheaper than the top private colleges in the USA. Thanks to a combination of a scholarship from LSE plus private awards, it's going to cost us on average about $8K-$10K per year depending on how often she comes home. I doubt an American school in LSE's class would have gotten down even close to that. In fact, I'd guess a single year at the best American schools the kid would have gotten into would more than the entire LSE undergraduate programme. COVID of course threw a wrench into these plans. We had to cancel a trip to the EU for summer 2020 where we would have visited schools in England, Spain, Germany, and Sweden. We had previously been to the some of the cities where schools of interest were located (London, Oxford, Cambridge, Barcelona, Madrid) but with COVID we were going to have to settle for virtual visits, applications, and interviews. We also, unfortunately, had to scratch Australia and New Zealand entirely. When we inquired, schools there couldn't promise they would be able to get an American on campus in the next couple years even if the candidate was exceptional. We didn't want to risk taking a gap year and waiting to apply, only to find out they still couldn't take Americans. So that was disappointing, but I respect how upfront they were from the beginning. We've even fortunate enough to travel all over North America the last 5 years pre-COVID and went to Europe a couple times. We've been to pretty much every big city in the USA and Canada, all over the UK and the Iberian Peninsula, plus a couple islands. The kid's favorite places of all our visits were "beaches" and "London". We had originally put England on the college radar to get Oxford and Cambridge in play, but then LSE emerged as a great fit for her academic interests (economics, environmental policy, maths) with the opportunity to study and live right in London. And then when the COVID vaccines got rolled out it was clear UK universities would be accepting Americans for on-campus study, LSE was alone in the top tier. So when the offer came in from LSE, there was screaming and joy and tears, and the kid was pretty excited too. Got offers from a few other EU schools, but LSE said yes, the search was over and decision was made. LSE was really cool about the kid deferring a year. They officially needed a letter explaining why the deferral was requested and what would be done during a gap year, but they understood why ANY admitted student might want to take a gap year right now, especially an American, and their offer and award would be waiting Fall 2022. Not sure yet what the empty nest plans are. My wife and I are self-employed and can work from home from pretty much any location with high-speed Internet access, by design. We don't plan to follow the kid to London, too much pressure to also have the parents uproot their lives. But if the kid loves it there and wants to live their as an adult, I'd be open to moving to the English countryside to keep the family closer - I don't have interest in living in the big city, but I'd enjoy one of those countryside towns where you could hop on a morning train and be in London by lunch. Thanks to everyone in this thread for sharing the ups and downs of their searches with their kids. It helped us think unconventionally for our unconventional kid, and I couldn't be happier or prouder with the result.
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