Tag Archives: Olympics

Forget The Terrorist Threats, Sochi Has a Bigger Problem: The Bathroom Situation

Sochi Toilet

Apparently the Russians were too busy beefing up their security and defending themselves against accusations of homophobia that they forgot how to properly construct a bathroom.

After BBC journalist Steve Rosenberg tweeted a picture from the men’s bathroom at the Olympic Biathlon Centre showing two toilets side by side in the same stall, some began to question if the budget for the Olympic Games, estimated to be $50bn, had been spent wisely.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny retweeted the picture adding the comment: “This is a men’s toilet in a Sochi Olympics media centre for 1.5bn roubles [$45m].”

Spending criticisms aside, this is the most awkward (and possibly gayest?) bathroom situation that I’ve ever seen. How do you even reach for paper with your bowl buddy sitting next to you?

Wait… I take that back. THIS is the most awkward bathroom situation I’ve ever seen:

Awkward bathroom

(Communal toilets at Kazan University, Russia – aka my worst nightmare)

But in Russia’s defense, maybe these toilets are all part of the Olympic spirit, designed to bring the athletic community together. While they’re not competing in official Olympic events, the athletes can maintain their competitive nature by participating in tandem pissing and synchronized pooping events.  

Via: BBC News

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Russia’s Ban on Gay Propaganda is Totally Fine Because Putin Has A Gay Friend

Putin Propaganda

President Vladimir Putin insists he’s not a homophobe, despite defending Russia’s law on gay propaganda by equating gays with pedophiles and suggesting Russia needs to “cleanse” itself of homosexuality if it wants to increase its birth rate.

Last year, there was international outcry when Russia passed a law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” among minors. As the controversy continues ahead of the Sochi Olympics, Putin has made an effort to reassure gay athletes and fans that they will not be discriminated against and that he himself is not prejudiced against homosexuals.

“I myself know some people who are gay,” he said. “We’re on friendly terms. I’m not prejudiced in any way.”

Ahhh, the old “gay friend” trick.

“If you want my personal attitude, I would tell you that I don’t care about a person’s sexual orientation,” Putin continued. “I’ve honoured several members of the gay community in this country but for their personal achievements, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

Putin was also quick to point out that while many other countries banned homosexual relations, Russia was a gay haven that only prohibited “gay propaganda”.

“There’s no danger for individuals of this non-traditional sexual orientation who are planning to come to the games as visitors or participants,” he said.

As long as they stay away from the children that is.

But not everyone is outraged by Russia’s laws against homosexuality. During a panel discussion on ABC’s This Week, Republican strategist Mary Matalin asserted the Russia’s ban on homosexual and pedophilia propaganda were irrelevant because “all of my gay friends” think Russian President Vladimir Putin is “so buff in his shirtless photos.” Interesting. All of MY gay friends think that the drugs from Mary Matalin’s latest facelift have clearly not worn off yet and she should probably refrain from speaking on television until they do.

Meanwhile, the Sochi Olympics organizers have bigger problems on their hands. A new video has been posted on a Chechen extremist site showing two militant Islamists vowing to wreak havoc during the 2014 Olympic Games.

“We’ll have a surprise package for you,” they say. “And those tourist that will come to you, for them, too, we have a surprise. This will be our revenge.”

Well I certainly hope the surprise package isn’t a gay dick in a box. Otherwise that could cause some serious problems.

Via: BBC News 

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Jamaican Bobsled Team Headed to Sochi… Pending Funding

Jamaican Bobsled Team

Feel da riddum! Feel da rhyme! Get on up it’s bobsledding time! Jamaica’s two-man bobsled team has qualified for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, but they’ve run into a few funding issues.

Hopes for a Cool Runnings sequel rose after Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon, the two-man Jamaican bobsled team, qualified for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

Overjoyed, the Jamaican Olympic Committee tweeted the celebratory news on Saturday:

Screenshot 2014-01-19 18.42.37

But despite the celebratory mood, the Jamaican bobsled team still has one hurdle to face (other than being a Jamaican bobsled team): money. Sled driver Winston Watts said he is going to try raise $80,000 to cover the expenses of getting to Sochi. Watts was already forced to cut his four-man team in half due to budgetary restrictions

“In truth, we still don’t really know at the moment if we’d even have enough funds or sponsorship to fly to Sochi itself for the Games itself. It all depends. Our families need to be taken care of first. If there’s no funding, who knows?”

“But, I’m one of life’s optimists. I put my heart on the line for this. Any British companies out there interested in sponsorin’ us? Hopefully, the Jamaican Olympic Association will step in and support us now we’ve qualified.” Watts said.

Hopefully. But if they don’t I think there’s a movie out there that could help the team with some fundraising ideas. I believe it’s called Cool Runnings and it’s about some kind of Jamaican bobsled team raising enough money to get themselves to the Olympics…

For example, fundraising initiatives could include a kissing booth:

Or perhaps a catchy tune:

But the real question is, will they be able to make it without John Candy this time?

UPDATE: A group of enthusiastic Jamaican bobsled supporters have raised more than $25,000 in the internet currency Dogecoin – which I assume is Bitcoin’s little, slightly less legitimate brother.

Dogecoin Bobsled

Via: The Guardian

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Putin: Sochi is Gay Okay, Just Leave the Children Alone… And Other News

SOchi gay children

Gay athletes and visitors will be safe in Sochi – as long as they leave the children alone.

During a question-and-answer session on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reassured everyone that gays need not fear persecution at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. But Putin also stood behind his country’s ban on promoting homosexuality to children. “We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors,” Putin said, “We don’t ban anything and we won’t arrest anyone. Therefore you can feel calm, relaxed. But leave children alone please.” That doesn’t seem very reassuring… but if you want further proof that gay Olympic-enthusiasts will be safe, just check out Sochi’s rainbow-coloured uniforms. If they don’t say gay-friendly, I don’t know what does. Just don’t hand them out to children. Washington Post

California FireAustralia isn’t the only place that’s experiencing heat-related problems. On Thursday, a fast-moving brush fire erupted in California and burned through 1,700 acres in a matter of hours. Three potential hooligans were arrested in connection with the blaze, which is burning north of Los Angeles. The trio is facing charges of recklessly starting a fire and although they were “apologetic,” they are being held on $20,000 bail. And then to make matters worse, on Friday California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for the entire state. Fast-moving fire + no water = recipe for disaster. As a result, the governor has called for a voluntary “20 percent conservation” of water use – at least until the rain comes. New York Times

Vatican_2792788bThe U.N is on to you Pope Francis… The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child got all up in the Vatican’s face about over the sexual abuse of children by clergy. Although the Vatican insisted on Thursday that it is committed to stamping out it’s pedo-reputation, the UN panel publicly confronted the church over the numerous allegations. Vatican officials faced a barrage of tough questions as they appeared before the panel including “Does the Holy See believe that paedophilia is something that can be successfully overcome?” Vatican Answer: “To prevent abuse of minors is a real, immediate concern.” So… is that a yes? BBC News

CENTRAL-AFRICA-REPUBLIC-CRISISFrance may have underestimated the level of hatred between Christian and Muslim communities in the conflict-ridden Central African Republic. In fact, there may be impending genocide… France’s ambassador to the UN warned the organization that African Union and French forces were confronting a “nearly impossible” situation between “two communities who want to kill each other”. The former French colony spiralled into total chaos after a mostly Muslim rebel coalition, Seleka, seized power in March and installed their leader Michel Djotodia as interim president. Djotodia resigned last week under intense international pressure but the violence is still going strong. I’m not sure what tipped the French off about their hatred underestimation, but it may have been when a member of a Christian mob attacked and burned a Muslim man and then proceeded to chew on his charred flesh. BBC News

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Volgograd Bombings Rattle Sochi Olympic Enthusiasts

Volgograd Bombing

Twin blasts in the Russian city of Volgograd have left Russians and Sochi Olympic enthusiasts rattled – but not as rattled as the dozens who were injured in the deadly attacks.

The first attack occurred over the weekend when an explosion at Volgograd’s main train station killed 17 people and wounded at least 35. The second blast happened on Monday when at least 14 people were killed and dozens more injured in a bombing on a trolleybus in Volgograd. The second suspected suicide bomb hit the trolleybus near a busy market during the morning rush hour.

A spokesman for the country’s federal investigation agency said the twin explosions were terrorist attacks – and not the kind of terrorists who hate public transportation, but the kind of terrorists who are involved in the Islamist-inspired insurgency against Russian rule in Chechnya and Dagestan (or so it’s speculated…)

“This strike, which was cynically planned for the period of preparations for New Year’s celebrations, is one more attempt by terrorists to open a domestic front, sow panic and chaos, and trigger religious strife and conflicts in Russian society,” said a statement Monday by Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The attacks come just weeks before Russia will host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, about 430 miles away from Volgograd. Despite the recent violence, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach insisted after Monday’s bombing that they feel “safe and secure” holding the games in Sochi – because, well, what else is he going to say? He also added that the Sochi Olympic Games will not require any extra security measures to be taken because “everything needed has already been done.”

But on the bright side, at least the bombings have temporarily distracted the international community from Russia’s anti-gay laws. Now athletes can concentrate less on being outed and more on not getting blown up.

Via: CNN

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Obama’s Sochi Snub

Current Event Cat - Sochi

U.S. President Barack Obama announced that neither he nor Joe Biden will be attending the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. But he will send along a few gay delegates – just to stick it to Putin and his anti-gay laws.

Obama’s absence from the Sochi Olympics is a clear sign that the U.S. is concerned over human rights in Russia, especially the country’s anti-LGBT laws. The Sochi Games will mark the first time since 2000 that the U.S. will not send a president, former president, first lady or vice-president to the Games.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will go in Obama and Biden’s place, along with a few choice delegates including Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow, two openly LGBT athletes. Take that Russia!

White House spokesman Shin Inouye said the delegation “represents the diversity that is the United States” and that Obama “knows they will showcase to the world the best of America — diversity, determination and teamwork.” Can you add a few more diversities in there?

Obama claims his schedule doesn’t allow him to travel to Sochi, but Gay rights groups viewed the announcement as a strong statement.

“It’s hard to look at this delegation without seeing it as a criticism of Putin’s anti-gay laws. … What it’s doing is showing the true power of the Olympics, the ability to move people, to change people’s minds and open them up to new ways of thinking. The delegation is shining a light on the values of the Olympics,” said Andre Banks, the executive director of All Out.

And U.S. officials aren’t the only ones snubbing Sochi. German President Joachim Gauck and French President Francois Hollande announced earlier that they will not attend the Sochi Games. Although maybe it’s less about Russia’s “gay propaganda” laws and more about not wanting to endure a cold, dark Russian winter.

Via: Buzzfeed

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French Cartoon Angers the Japanese

The Japanese Mad About Cartoon

The Japanese and Muslims now have something in common: they both throw fits of rage over cartoons in obscure European newspapers.

The Japanese are furious after the French satirical weekly, Le Canard Enchaine, published a cartoon depicting two emaciated sumo wrestlers with extra limbs at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. The caption of the political cartoon reads: “Thanks to Fukushima, sumo is now an Olympic sport”, a reference to Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

Fukushima cartoonA second image features two people in protective clothing conducting radiation tests by the side of a pool, along with the caption: “There is already a pool in Fukushima for the Olympics.”

The Japanese SO MAD that they plan to lodge an official compliant (gasp!) with the French embassy.

The triple meltdown at Fukushima, which is about 227 km north of Tokyo, was deemed a level seven incident on an international scale. For context, only one other incident was ever given this high of a ranking – the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Since the incident, which was triggered by the 2011 tsunami, the plant has continued to be plagued by problems, such as leaks of radioactive water from storage tanks and concerns that contaminated water is seeping into the ground.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the cartoons give the wrong impression about Japan and the nuclear plant meltdown and resulting wastewater issues are under control and will not affect the Olympics.

“It is inappropriate and gives the wrong impression about the issue of contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi,” Suga said. “It is extremely regrettable.”

Relax Japan. You’ve already won the Olympic bid despite the whole Fukushima nuclear crisis/ongoing safety concerns. And you’ve got bigger things to worry about. Like developing thyroid cancer from all that radiation…

Via: The Guardian

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Brazil Protests Turn Violent… And Other News

Brazil Protests

Well, this isn’t great publicity for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil…

Brazil’s nationwide protests turned violent on Monday, prompting police in Rio de Janeiro to fire rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators who were burning cars and ravaging buildings. Approximately two hundred thousand Brazilians have taken to the streets to protest government corruption, rising public transportation costs, and the belief that the billions of dollars spent preparing for the World Cup and the Olympics could have been put to better use (i.e. education, healthcare, anything that is not a stadium). Don’t fret Brazil – it could be worse: Over in Russia, the government is being accused of stealing $30 billion while preparing for the Sochi Winter Games. The Guardian

Taliban TalksThis is going to be one awkward conversation… The United States will officially meet with the Taliban for the first time at their office in Qatar as early as next week. Yes, the Taliban have an overseas office. Oh yeah, and Hamid Karzai will send some delegates too – he’s a little busy with taking over Afghan security from NATO right now. The talks between the US and the Taliban will be to discuss each other’s agendas: “We want to get the hell out of your country” – US. “We want to bomb the hell out of your country” – Taliban. One catch though: the direct peace talks are on condition that the Taliban renounce violence, break ties with al-Qaeda and respect the Afghan constitution – including the rights of women and minorities. BBC News

Digging For HoffaDigging for Hoffa! Nearly 40 years after his disappearance, the FBI are still trying to solve the mystery of Jimmy Hoffa. The notorious Teamsters boss went missing in 1975 and remains one of America’s most famous missing persons. A hot tip from a mobster turned informant sent FBI agents on a tame goose chase, digging up holes in a field outside of Detroit. They didn’t find anything but the head of the FBI’s Detroit office insisted that the digging was justified – the informant was “credible”. CNN

Michael Applebaum,After being charged with 14 charges related to corruption, Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum has called it quits. Despite maintaining his innocence Applebaum announced in a brief statement on Tuesday that he would be resigning from his post. “Being mayor of Montreal is not a task one can do while defending themselves against accusations of this nature. This is why I am resigning as mayor of Montreal.” Well, that makes two Montreal mayors in a row to resign amid allegations of corruptions. Maybe that will give Toronto an idea of how to get Rob Ford to resign… CBC News

HowellAnd the award for Mother of the Year goes to…. 25-year-old Jessica Lynn Howell! The Missouri mother has been charged with child abuse and murder after she let her boyfriend rape her 4-month-old infant, resulting in the child’s death. Her 4-month-old daughter Ashlynn Lilith Peters died on December 3rd after she was allegedly sexually assaulted and strangled to death by the mother’s boyfriend, Jordan Lafayette Prince. However, the strangulation didn’t really matter because apparently “the injuries to her anus and rectum of Ashlynn were sufficient to eventually cause her death even without the strangulation.” Evidence from text messages sent between the two reveal that Howell was willing to let him have sex with her daughter even though she knew he was a convicted pedophile. Raw Story

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