Friday, August 31, 2012

Post GOP Convention Response ....zzzzzz

Mitt Romney, pictured above, did not get around to delivering his stump speech until circa 10:30 p.m. last night, which was apparently almost as late as when Democratic nominee George McGovern gave his party nominee acceptance beach at the 1972 Democratic Convention in Miami.

Our personal, which is assuredly a bit biased, New Jersey governor Chris Christie gave the best speech in Tampa whereas Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) gave the worst.

We thought we'd do something a bit different with this entry by using seven terms to describe the Republican convention: they are Zippy the Pinhead, Albert Einstein, Che Guevara, Charlie Chaplin, Peter Pan, Kyla Ross (a member of the Fierce Five Olympic gymnastics team) and Yakubu Adesokan, the Nigerian paralympic weight-lifter who won gold this week at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London; we do owe Mad Libs as our inspiration for this:

"The 2012 GOP Convention seemingly featured everyone from Condi Rice to Zippy the Pinhead this week in Tampa. One of the highlights/lowlights was when Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) essentially compared President Barack Obama to Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara. Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina might have benefited with a quote from Albert Einstein, so liberal critics of her Tea Party politics would come to the realization of just 'how smart' she is. When Ann Romney said her husband should be president, she mentioned how great she was as the title role of Peter Pan in a fifth grade play. She also said he was as funny as Charlie Chaplin, which drew an applause from Karl Rove and John McCain. Last night, every Olympic athlete except Kyla Ross came on stage to endorse Romney, and then retreated to the hot tub backstage. Paralympic athlete Yakubu Adesokan was considered for a speaking lot until his birth certificate disclosed that he was born in Nigeria. "

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Virtual Postcard from Florida...(even though I'm not really there)

Though we are not in Florida, and certainly not at the 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa, which is 38 miles from Weekie Wachee where these real-life mermaids are from. Weekie Wachee Springs, which I visited as a teenager in 1984, was in danger of being closed, but it has become a state park in recent years.

I am cutting this tonight to hopefully watch some of Current-TV's coverage of the GOP convention with Cenk Uyugr, a fellow progressive Turkish-American, and former vice president Al Gore.

Michael Moore delivered a shocker today as the very left-of-century documentary filmmaker predicted that his fellow Michigan native Mitt Romney would win the election; hmmmmmmmmmm........At least, Moore is not in my home state of Virginia as we desperately need Democratic candidate and former Tim Kaine to win that now vacant U.S. Senate. I dislike his opponent so much that I refuse to mention him by name:)

We were actually hoping to see the Black Mormon Republican congressional candidate Mia Love, who is currently, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, speak, as she seems to be quite a novelty on the political scene, but we missed it. Though the likes of Bill O have made it seem like newspaper aside from "The Wall Street Journal" and "The Washington Times" are as far to the left as Radio Havana, the truth is that most newspapers in Utah appear to be giving Love very subjective love indeed.

Lastly, we heard today that Aly Raisman, the recent three-time medal winning Olympic gymnast, received an unwanted marriage proposal from some autograph seeker she didn't know; Raisman is only 18 years old!

And, finally we want to thank her teammate Gabby Douglas, who won all-around gold in London, and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn)., who will hopefully make Sean Hannity's head blow up live on Fox News one day, as they are now both following me on Twitter... so can you at:

Monday, August 27, 2012

GOP Tweets_Turning It Over to Bill, Cenk and Charlie

Last year, a good friend of mine, announced to the world that he woke up one morning and decided to quit blogging. He had 10 times as many followers as I did, so this was a shock. Well, now I understand how he feels. While I'm not completely stepping away from blogging, I am going to wrap up this Republican convention tweet-a-thon sooner than I expected; but I will leave the coverage up to the subjective Bill O'Reilly (from the right) and Cenk Uygur (from the left; I personally prefer Cenk over Bill O) and the objective Charlie Rose.

But, we do hope to post entries on both blogs later in the week about a few heated races, and perhaps I will post a commentary on my thoughts regarding the GOP Convention in Tampa and coverage of it.

We are posting an image of Gov. Chris Christie (R-New Jersey) and American Olympics gold medal gymnast McKayla Maroney because we were thinking the other day that if Maroney got an on an elevator with the governor that a red light would come on. If this seems a bit mean, I should point out that I'm a hefty guy myself and folks have said much meaner things on Twitter about his weight, even Republicans!

As for Maroney, we have no idea where she stands politically (she is not quite old enough to vote), but her unimpressed/disappointment look has made her an Internet sensation, or what is called a meme. She made the wince when she got a silver medal on vault in London; an event where she was highly favored to win gold.

Here are some tweets about the GOP Convention from the night, some adjustments have been made to teh tweets for clarity: 

1) @susanlbrannigan (Susan L. Brannigan): "Rachel Maddow made the Olympic gymnast 'not impressed' look there for a second. LOL!"

2) @THEHermanCain (Herman Cain, a fringe candidate who sought the GOP nomination): "Why all the focus on #Isaac & how it hurts #GOP2012? #Pray for New Orleans and let's focus on #Solutions in Tampa."

3) @BlueInRedZion (a liberal blogger from Utah referring to the heated Congressional race between Mia Love, a Republican challenger to Utah Democratic representative Jim Mattheson): "#MiaLove to speak because she is representative of all female, black Mormons as Rs for Congress."

4) @LeslieType: "I adore Chris Christie. A straight talking mind your business, do as I say New Jersey man. I love it! Repubs and Dems are not ready for him."

5) @cocaoforreal (Touche): "not a big fan of Chris Christie, but of all the GOP 'stars,' he's the most tolerable to me."

6) @TeaPartyCat (Top Conservative Cat, a liberal satirist tweeter): "Because tonight's #RNC was rained out, no speeches from Nikki Haley, Mike Huckabee or Jeb Bush. Just reruns of 2 Broke Girls. Oh, the irony!"

7) @TedCruz (Ted Cruz, the Republican U.S. Senate nominee in Texas; he will face Democrat Paul Sadler. Cruz has a radical Fire Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General on his campaign web site): "Speaking at@GOPConvention tomorrow night at around 8:10 CT! Please tune in and RT to remind your friends."

GOP Convention Day One (Delayed Due to Weather) Tweets

Today was supposed to be Day One of the exciting Republican National Convention.........oh well!

Of course, by now, you've figured out that this blog has a strong center-left, pro-Democrat bias, nevertheless, we feel for our Republican friends who might well be stuck in their Tampa, Fla., hotel rooms watching "The O'Reilly Factor" or "Antiques Roadshow" tonight.

But, there are still lots and lots of tweets that we can log here, including one from Callista Gingrich, the 46-year-old wife of Newt Gingrich. We were stunned to find out that Cally, born on March 4, 1966, is exactly four years older than Tilly Gokbudak, who happens to be, well, me.

Robert Costa of the online version of the conservative magazine "National Review" wrote about Newt U, Mr. Gingrich's new workshop at the convention which will be a week-long series of lectures on right-leaning issues, such as Medicare-reform proposals and free-market principles. Newt U was also covered by National Public Radio (NPR), the leading commercial-free radio news source in America.

We should explain that the images above are of: 1) Cuban hats; according to Hats on the Belfry, an east coast hat store, fedoras value for between $25-59 2) Cally Gingrich herself and 3) Sri Lankan Tea: Yes, that is a dig at the Tea Party.

Here are the seven selected tweets from this afternoon/early evening east coast USA time:

1) @TeaPartyCat (Top Conservative Cat, actually a liberal satirist): "GOP: While Donald Trump will not be attending the #GOP2012 convention, he says he remains available to the press to make stupid comments."

2) @RedRoadRail: "Tea Party takes credit for pushing Mitt Romney to the right."

3) @seanagnew (Sean Agnew, a self-described Reagan conservative): "Must Eat Tampa: Hugo's Spanish Restaurant THE Best Cuban sandwich (Hyde Park).

4) @thenation ("The Nation," a liberal magazine): "The Tea Party came to Tampa, but not to celebrate the Republican nominee."

5) @DailyKos (The Daily Kos, a liberal blog): "Mitt Romney comes full circle on abortion: 'It's been settled for some time in the courts.'"

6) @NPRPolitics (NPR Politics): "Herman Cain and his ABCs: He sees Blacks Turning to the GOP."

7) @callygingrich (Callista Gingrich): "Looking forward to offering remarks with @newtgingrich this Thursday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa."

For other tweets, check out our sister blog at:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

GOP Pre-Convention Tweets: If We Had a Real Media

The 2012 Republican National Convention gets underway in Tampa, Fla., tomorrow, and we have decided to be both objective (in the Charlie Rose sense) and subjective as can be (in the Cenk Uygur sense). So, I guess for the next five days, we will essentially be like Fox News in reverse.

On Twitter tonight, east coast USA time, one of the main trending topic was #IfWeHadARealMedia; though most tweets were right-leaning, some liberals chimed in as well.

Before we post tweets ranging from right wing comic, talk-show host Dennis Miller, who will perform in Durham, NC, on Sept. 8, ironically the most liberal zip code in the Tarheel State, to Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist who was part of Bill Clinton's War Room, let's go over the images:

1) Travis Tritt: The country singer has let his conservative views be well-known, but to our knowledge he has not resonated the same hate speech rhetoric as Hank Williams Jr. Tritt will be the feature performer at the Shenandoah County in Woodstock, Va. on Aug. 31st.

2) Big Splash. At $1.5 million, this Tibetan mastiff is the most expensive dog in the world, which means Mitt and Ann Romney could afford to have the dog as a pet. Today (Sunday) is incidentally National Dog Day.

3) Vincent Lecavalier. We don't know the political views of the Tampa Lightning captain, which is just as well, as he is a Canadian, and presumably can't vote in the American presidential election.

Here are the tweets:

1) @DennisDMZ (Dennis Miller): "Biden told Obama that's not how you spell Phio. You've got the O's switched around."

2) @LisainDallas (Lisa in Dallas): "#IfweHadARealMedia: They would report on the wars the same way they did under Bush."

3) @word_34 (Spread the Word): "If.......: You would know that Bush kept 1.2 trillion off the books for two unfunded wars."

4) @noiwillnotbe (I Will NOT Be Quiet): "#If......the republican war on women would be covered."

5) @exrepublicans (Ex-Repubs for Obama): "#If......: Bill O, Hannity, Hush, and Beck wouldn't exist."

6) @Reagan-Girl (Marjorie Haun): "#If......: Keith Olbermann would be behind glass in a "Ripley's Believe It or Not" museum."

7) @PaulBegala (Paul Begala): "Sure, Romney's humor is lame & offensive. Could it be strategic_ to distract from new docs on Caymans tax dodge?"

And, for more tweets from tonight about the GOP Convention, and see an image of a Tampa Bay Bucaneers cheerleader, visit our sister blog at:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rainy Days and Sundays and Weather Around the World

We got pretty much rained out of our beach vacation and Tropical Storm Isaac is heading for Cuba and the Florida coast with the possibility of threatening the Republican convention in Tampa. Out of respect to our 'Republican friends' we will hold off on the Paul Ryan jokes until...well, tomorrow.
Here is a look at weather conditions around the world (we are using Fahreinheit, apologies for those of you who use Celsius):
Ankara 61 cloudy
Amsterdam 61 rain
Baku, Azerbaijan 73 cloudy
Buenos Aires 48 clear
Dubai 90 sunny
Frankfurt 61 partly cloudy
London 61 cloudy
Moscow 55 rain
Nairobi, Kenya 59 cloudy
Nassau, The Bahamas 84 cloudy
Singapore 84 sunny
Sydney 64 sunny
Tokyo 88 partly cloudy
Toronto 75 clear

Happy 100th Birthday, Gene Kelly and Weather Around America

The late great actor/singer/dancer/ film director Gene Kelly (1912-1996) would have been 100 earlier this week. His great films included "Singin' in the Rain" (1952), which is celebrating its own 60th anniversary re-release this year.

And, with that, we give you the blog-reader a look at some weather around the nation as Florida is barcing for Tropical Storm Isaac:

Atlanta75 clear

Baltimore74 cloudy

Chicago 81 partly cloudy

Denver 72 clear

Greensboro, NC 66 clear

Hartford, Conn. 70 clear

Houston 77 clear

Los Angeles 70 clear

Miami 83 cloudy/rain

Salt Lake City, Utah 85 cloudy

Seattle 73 sunny

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Tweets_ Patio Party Time

Let's jump in the pool, here are some tweets from the 15:00-16:00 (3:00-4:00 p.m.) hour New York time today; at that hour, it was 4:00 p.m. in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 8:00 p.m., in London, England, 10:00 p.m. in Istanbul and 11:00 p.m. in Dubai:

1) @LailaLalami (Laila Lalami is a writer whose work frequently appears in "The Nation"): "What a difference 4 years make. A majority of Democrats support keeping Guantanamo open and approve of drone program."

2) @GroveWinery (a winery near Greensboro, NC): "Patio Party! Sunday! $2.99 glasses of wine all day_ Readings from local novelist_ Free food tasting."

3) @WVUSportsBuzz (West Virginia University sports): "The WVU volleyball team competed in its annual Gold-Blue match today with Team Gold claiming victory."

4) @tnr ("The New Republic"): "Will the Obamas be able to convince people who already support him to vote."

5) @ncatsuaggies (North Carolina A & T University in Greensboro, NC): "Welcome to all our new followers. We are 5 followers short of 500. Who should we follow to even things out?"

6) @davidmtset (Dave Test): "The internet is a better place beacuse @GMinusG exists." (referring to the "Garfield" satire "Garfield Minus Garfield" with no fat cat).

7) @LOLGOP: "Paul Ryan taking over your Medicare is like Mitt Romney and Bain taking over your factory." (Yes, this tweet is the reason for the purple elephant).  

New Words to Live By

We just finished a gut-wrenching article in "Rolling Stone" about the life of Adam Yauch (1964-2012) who was one of the Beastie Boys; the band made it big when they were young (Yauch is in the center, he is the one without a hat). He died from cancer in May.

But, our entry tonight is meant to hopefully be a happy one, as we look at two words in "The Urban Dictionary," a web site which also has a print version, in similar fashion to "What White People Like."

We are also striving to post four entries per blog tonight, since we will not be blogging tomorrow. Thus, ironically, like Chick-fil-a, (we strongly differ with their right-wing politics) we will be closed on Sunday. The satirical publication "The Onion"wrote that the fast food chain owned by evangelicals would start serving the "Queer-hating Cordon Bleu" sandwiches soon.

Here are two recent words which may go over well with the Beastie Boys fan base:

MEDAL FATIQUE: The inability to stay awake during the day because one has stayed up late watching coverage of the Olympics......(editorial note: Would apply to anyone who had to watch Turkish women's weight-lifter Nurdan Karagoz; the mere mention of her name seems to increase our blog hits!).

COFFEEDANCE: The sudden burst of confidence, focus, or creativity one experiences after drinking coffee or a drink with caffeine (editorial note: Yay! Starbucks!).

One can also find discussions of matters pertaining to the English language through the American public radio series "A Way with Words."

We fully intend for the use of words from "The Urban Dictionary," and we sincerely hope that neither they, nor "The Onion" or Chick-fil-a sue us for billions of dollars.

Quote of the Week- Leo Tolstoy

Today, we quote the vintage Russian writer Leo Tolstoy who wrote both "War and Peace" (1869) and "Anna Karenina" (1877). The Turkish-American writer Elif Batuman wrote a wonderful, fairly-recent memoir about her interest in Russian novels, which we highly recommend.

Here is a quote from Tolstoy:

"The vocation of every man and woman is to serve other people."

Quote of the Day- Umberto Eco

We continue our quotes from famous authors around the world with a quip from Umberto Eco, 80, the Italian novelist who penned "The Name of the Rose;" here is his quote:

"I love the small of book ink in the morning"

Friday, August 17, 2012

Quotes from Famous World Writers, contd._ Gabriel Garcia Marquez

We continue our series our quotes of world-renown writers with a quip from the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 85, who was the subject of an excellent article by Enrique Krauze in an October 2009 article in "The New Republic" about his friendship with the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who turned 86 this week.

We imagine many of this writer's works, including "Love in the Time of Cholera" (1988) can be found at Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe in Washington, DC.

Here is the quote:

"A famous writer who wants to continue writing has to be constantly defending himself against fame."

Quote of the Day_ D.H. Lawrence

Today, we continue our quotes of the day with a quote from the English writer D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930); his most famous novel is "Lady Chatterley's Lover" (1928), a rather controversial steamy novel which we presume can be found at the Tattered Covered Bookstore in Denver, Colo., one of our personal favorite independent bookstores.

Here is the quote from Lawerence:

"Never trust the artist. Trust the tale."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Quotes from International Writers- Albert Camus

This just in: Nancy Pelosi and Michele Bachmann have agreed to a celebrity women's boxing match at half-time of the Minnesota Vikings-Washington Redskins game in Washington, DC (well, actually the game will be played in Maryland) on Oct. 14th. I'm sure Katie Taylor, the Irish woman who won gold for her country in the sport in London, will be very proud.

Yes, we thought that would get your attention. Of course, it's NOT true. We must profess to being influenced by the satirical publication "The Onion," which stated this week that Barack Obama will star in a Judd Apatow comedy to appeal to young voters.

But, this entry is actually our kick-off in a series of quips from famous writers. We start with the French novelist Albert Camus (1913-1960) who alas lived a short life. The writer who was born in Algeria is perhaps best-known for his novel "The Stranger" (1942).

Here is his quote:

"Any authentic creation is a gift to the future."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Republicans Are Coming! The Republicans Are Coming!

Since this Shark Week on the Discovery Channel here in the United States, and the Republican Party National Convention will be starting on Monday, Aug. 27th in Tampa, Fla., we thought we'd make fun of our friends on the right. Of course, not all of them are as radical, fringe as Michele Bachmann, but then again, quite a few of them are indeed like sharks, and we don't mean the nice, friendly sharks one sees in the comic strip "Sherman's Lagoon."

As of today, many right-wingers are skewing Vice President Joe Biden for controversial remarks he made in Danville, Va., a town I'm a bit familiar with, in which he told a largely African-American audience that the Republicans would put them back in chains. The right immediately saw this as a reference to slavery. Biden also thought Danville is in North Carolina, but when college basketball season comes along, many residents in Danville pretend they are in the Tarheel State as well (for those of you in Dubai, the University of North Carolina and Duke University, both in North Carolina, are national powerhouses in the sport).

Of course, the partisan party faithful will be more likely to get excited if they see Chuck Norris as opposed to the likes of Congs. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky), Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), then they will accuse Chevy Chase of having too much power and influence in the Democratic Party.

Then, some convention-attenders may have one too many bourbons and have to call Yellow Cab of Tampa (a real taxi company), and hence miss out on the prayer breakfast the next day.

There have been some folks who are new Republicans like Cong. Artur Davis (R-Ala.), an African-American party who quietly switched sides in June. But, one has to wonder if this is genuine or if Cong. Davis just wants to stay in office as Alabama is a red state even by the South's standards.

And, assuredly, tonight Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okl) will sleep well tonight having decided to execute an inmate named Michael Hooper last night. We will admit that Hooper's crime, which was the murder of his girlfriend and her two young children was very heinous. But, isn't hypocritical of Fallin and those who proclaim to be fiscal conservative to spend at least one million dollars per execution (according to a 2011 column in "Tulsa World," Oklahoma has not released figures on how much capital punishment costs), not to mention that executions seem to certainly contrast the teachings of Jesus Christ.

But, we look forward to posting several entries about it here and our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Times" as we include voices ranging from Cenk Uygur, a Current-TV progressive talk show host who used to be a Republican, and Dennis Miller, a comic/talk show host who switched stripes from liberal to conservative. Perhaps, now he even shares a Pabst Blue Ribbon or two with his pal Bill O'Reilly.

The links above are for: 1) Shark Week; 2) Republican Convention; 3) Taxis in Tamps; 4) "Sherman's Lagoon" (comic strip); 5) Danville Register and Bee; 6) Oklahoma governor's home page 7) Oklahomans Against the Death Penalty; 8) Dennis Miller; 9) Current TV; 10) Pabst Blue Ribbon

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

And Now a Word from Our Sponsors, Ipana Toothpaste, etc.

Since we were hit over the head with the commercials during the 2012 London Olympics, including everyone running for political office except Chris Knight, my friend who ran for school board office in North Carolina in 2006, I thought I would do a satirical entry dedicated to ads. If you'll notice, we don't have any ads here at "The Daily Vampire" as we don't want ads for things that irk us to appear on here, but well, if the price is right that might change.

We also want to thank American Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, who appears on David Letterman tonight with the other members of the Fab Five, for finally letting us know what meme means. The photo of her disappointed look for not getting a gold medal on vault has now been attached to everything from art work to NBC's Olympic coverage.

Here are the products we are promoting tonight; we believe only one is relatively easy to find here in the United States unless you reside in War, West Virginia:

1) Carlsberg: This is a popular beer in Denmark which reportedly doesn't sell well in Qom, Iran, especially during Ramadan (which is now),  but it can be found in Turkey, a much moderate Muslim country (yes, I'm a Turkish-American, but I think even Greeks and Armenians have to admit Iran is a bit more conservative).

2) Ipana: Speaking of Turkey, we presumed this brand which started in the good ole USA was only available in Turkey, but further research indicates the product featuring ads with Bucky Beaver here in the States back in the day, is once again available on the American market though in limited quantities. Ipana has been featured in at least one "Zippy the Pinhead" comic strip.

3) Orangina: Hopefully, none of you will mispronounce this French orange drink now readily available in most parts of America. One time, I pronounced it like the a certain word in a certain Eve Ensler play at The Green Bean Coffeehouse in Greensboro, NC. Yeah, it was embarrassing.

The Finish Line_ Track, Water Polo and Field Hockey

1) The United States won its first gold in women's water polo with an 8-5 win over Spain in the gold medal match; the two teams met earlier in the preliminaries and the game finished in a 9-9 tie. Earlier, Team America had won a highly competitive 11-9 game over Australia in the semi-finals.

The team was lead in scoring by Maggie Steffens, 19, (we believe that is her pictured top) who will go on to play for Stanford, scored five goals in the final. She scored 21 goals overall. Her older sister Jessica Steffens was among her teammates as well as a holdover from the 2008 team that won silver in Beijing.

2) The Dutch women's field hockey team was a social media sensation because of the team members' good looks and their flashy orange uniforms, ironically, a quarter of the team, including captain Maartje Pausen (profiled in Aug. 9th entry) is lesbian. The Netherlands/Holland won gold in the event, also in large part because of Ellen Hoog who scored the game-winning shoot-out goal over New Zealand in the semi-finals. In the final, the Dutch beat Argentina 2-0 with one goal coming from Pausen.

3) Turkey's Olympic team was being skewered back home due to a low medal tally. But, that radically changed when Asli Cakir Alptekin, 26, who won gold (pictured) and her teammate Gamze Bulut, 23,  (silver) came through in the 1,500-meters. Along with weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu aka "The Pocket Hercules" setting a world record at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the moment is now considered to be one of the greatest in Turkish Olympic history. Alptekin edged out Bulut by a time of 4:10:23 to 4:10:40.

In the same event, Maryam Yusuf Jamal, 28, won bronze for Bahrain; it was the tiny gulf Arab nation's first-ever medal. She finished with a 4:10:74. Other countries that won first time medals in London, include Botzwana, Cyprus, Grenada, Guatemala and Montenegro.

UPDATE: In an earlier version of this post, we wrongfully reported that Afghanistan had won its first ever medal in London, but actually Rohullah Nikpai, who won bronze in men's taekwondo, had actually won a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well.

Links: (Our sister blog with a sister entry)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Four Who Finished Fourth_ The Women

Both "The Washington Post" and "USA Today" have run stories about those athletes who have the unfortunate distinction of coming in fourth, in some cases milli-seconds away from winning a medal; the companion part to this entry on male Olympic athletes who finished fourth can be found at our other blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time"

David Mitchell, a bookshop owner in England, actually made unofficial fourth place medals for these athletes who include the likes of Turkish women's weightlifter Sibel Simsek.

Here are four other female athletes who came in fourth at the 2012 London Olympics:

1) Karen Cockburn, 31, Canada, trampoline, (pictured third in order)_ In London, Cockburn competed in her fourth Olympics. She had won a silver and bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and followed it up with a silver at the 2008 Olympics. But, this time, she was edged out of a bronze medal by Chinese trampoline gymnast Hu Wenna. But, gold went to Cockburn's Canadian teammate Rosie MacLeennan, and it was Canada's only gold medal at the summer games.

2) Lolo Jones, 30, USA, track and field (100-meter hurdles, pictured last)). At the 2012 Olympics, the 400-meter hurdles proved to be an agonizingly close race both for Jones and Nevin Yanit, 26, of Turkey, who finished fifth even though she and Jones both finished the race in 12.58 seconds. Sally Pearson of Australia won the race in 12.35 seconds. Jones was stand-out at LSU where she won three NCAA titles, and she has won gold in two world championships. One unique aspect of her personal life is that she told HBO earlier this year that she was a virgin, yet she posed semi-nude for "ESPN the Magazine" in 2009. Jones was hoping to rebound from a disappointing 2008 Olympics.

3) Aliya Garayeva, 24, Azerbaijan, rhythmic gymnastics (top image). In London, the rhythmic gymnastics competition was dominated by women from former Soviet Republics. Garayeva improved from her sixth place finish at the 2008 Olympics, but that was not enough to get the bronze medal which went to Liubou Charkashyna of Belarus.

4) Kaliese Spencer, 25, Jamaica, track and field (400-meter hurdles). Jamaica rocked the 2012 London Olympics with 12 medals, including three gold medals from the incredible sprinter Usain Bolt. But, Spencer, an impressive athlete in her own right, was unable to pass Zuzana Hejnova or the Czech Republic who came in third.

Monday Morning Twitter Feeds_ London Calling and a Missing Kangaroo

Within the last fwe weeks, we have decided to post Twitter feeds from Saturday evenings/nights and Monday morning. We're still trying to figure out exactly why ourselves. Here are some of today's interesting tweets taken from the 10:00-11:00 a.m. hour (eastern time, USA):

1) @rollingstone: "Blur's headlining set in London may have been their last ever gig."

2) @jaketapper (Jake Tapper): "In addition to @martharaddatz, the other debate moderators are Jim Lehrer, @bobschieffer and @crowlycnn. Congrats on the honor."

3) @politico: "Don't over-interpret warns @aburnspolitico, but Gallup have data indicating tepid reaction to the Ryan announcement."

4) @ sbnation: "Did you watch Closing Ceremony? We did. And now, lots of jokes."

5) @Politicalticker: "First on CNN: Atheist group targets presidential candidates' faith with billboards" (After checking out the link, we found out that American atheists is putting up the billboards in Charlotte, NC, ahead of the Democratic National Convention. Since North Carolina is a swing-state, and Charlotte has lots of evangelicals, we think this is politically a bad idea. But, by the same token, evangelicals seem to have no problem with radical 'If you die tonight? Heaven or Hell' billboards, such as one near Roanoke, Va.)

 6) @Weirdwire: "Animal escape in Germany; kangaroo on the lamb."

7) @HuffingtonPost: "Did you see London's mayor hilariously dancing along to the Spice Girls last night?" (London's mayor Boris Johnson is pictured above)

8) @capitalweather: "Felt great this A.M., didn't it? 60s and low humidity in most spots to start day. Warming up now, low 80s at 10 a.m." (This is in reference to weather conditions in Washington, DC, hopefully, Democrats and Republicans can put aside partisanship for a nice not too hot day in the nation's capital).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Our Favorite Gymnasts_ Jordyn, Beth, Catalina, et al

Yes, Bob Costas fatigue has set in here at the offices of "The Daily Vampire" in Hartford, Connecticut*, USA (*-not the American city we're actually blogging from), but rather than watching the closing ceremonies with George Michael and pop/rock stars, we thought we'd blog about some of our favourite** gymnasts at the 2012 London Olympics (**-British spelling):

1) Jordyn Wieber, 17, USA, (pictured center) London: Won gold in team competition. Missed out on all-around due to controversial rule that only allows two gymnasts per country in the finals. Finished seventh seventh in the floor final with a 14.500 score. In total, Wieber has 14 career medals, 11 of which are gold.

2) Beth Tweedle, 27, Great Britain/England, London: To the delight of the home crowd, Tweedle won individual bronze on uneven bars, which is considered to be her specialty. Aliya Mustafina (Russia) and He Kexin (China) won gold and silver respectively on the apparatus. Prior to the 2012 Olympics, Tweedle had won three golds at individual events at two separate world championships. In 2006, she was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

3) Catalina Ponor, 24, Romania, (pictured below): London: Won team bronze and silver on floor at the Olympics, but she was denied another bronze when judges overturned an earlier decision that had her place third ahead of American gymnast Aly Raisman, who ended up with the bronze for the balance beam instead. Prior to London: Ponor arrived at the Olympics as one of the most-decorated gymnast in competition. She helped Romania win team gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where she won a total of five medals, three of them gold. Ponor retired in 2007, but she came back in 2011. She has reportedly told various media outlets that she will retire for a second time after London.

4) Victoria Komova, 17, Russia. London: Komova won all-around and team silver, but she told the press she was very discouraged with her Olympic experience because mistakes in the team and all-around cost her and her teammates potential gold. Prior to London: Komova won gold on bars and silver in all-around at the 2011 Tokyo World Championships.

5) Gabby Douglas, 16, USA. London: Douglas, who is known as the Flying Squirrel in reference to Rocky the Flying Squirrel who was Bullwinkle the Moose's sidekick in a 1960s American cartoon, won both team and all-around gold at the Olympics. She is on the cover of the current issue of "People" magazine, and she will be on Corn Flakes boxes this fall.

6) Brittany Rogers, 19, Canada. London: Rogers helped Team Canada finish fifth, the country's all-time highest result in team competition. Rogers scored a 14.666 on vault and 14.500 on balance beam; she finished eighth on the beam in event competition. After London: Rogers will compete for the University of Georgia, a traditional college powerhouse which has won 10 NCAA titles. Ironically, an American athlete with her name played softball several years ago for the University of Alabama, which is UGA's main rival in gymnastics.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Olympics and Politics Clash on Twitter Today

We got in the Twitter forum ourselves today by congratulating Mitt Romney for choosing former American Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton (pictured top) as his running mate aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va. (for our yack-herding friends in Tibet, we should point out Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was Romney's actual choice, as it is Retton's home state of West Virginia is not considered a swing state this time around).

For those of you in Denver or Los Angeles I will issue a SPOILER ALERT as many of the Olympic events discussed here have not been televised as of this writing.

These tweets were compiled between 5:00-6:00 p.m. New York time, which would 10:00-11:00p.m. in London and 12:00-1:00 a.m. in Istanbul. We shall explain some of the tweets with info at the end of the compilation. We should point out that the center image is of Hodari, the tiger mascot of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and the bottom image is a zombie version of Michele Bachmann.

1) @VanouverSun: "Canada disqualified in Olympic men's 4 x 100-metre relay as Usain Bolt, Jamaica sprint to victory (with reaction)*

2) @AlexSemin: "There's better chance that I would be absolutely #filthy @ men's field hockey."**

3) @NPROlympics: "America's Brigetta Barrett Brings Out Her Best, and Jumps To A Silver Medal***

4) @LOLGOP: "We'll stop blaming Bush when you stop running on his ideas."

5) @tomperriello (Tom Perriello): "Romney comes to VA with a chairman behind sequestration that put millionaires ahead of the military. Classy." %

6) @BBCWorld: "(Tom) Daley secures 10m diving bronze." ^

7) @TeamBachmann: "#RomneyRyan 2012 is a winning combination! RT if America's Comeback Team has your support." ^%

*_Team Canada was disqualified because Jared Connaughton had stepped out of his lane during the relay. Trinidad and Tobago got bronze instead. Team America got silver in the event.

**_Alex Semin was a Washington Capitals star who recently joined the Carolina Hurricanes. Germany beat the Netherlands 2-1 to win gold in men's field hockey. Australia won bronze with a 3-1 over host Great Britain.

***-A pair of Russians_Anna Chicherova (gold) and Svetlana Shkolina (bronze) won the other medals in the high jump.

^- British diver Tom Daley won bronze; and American diver David Boudia (gold) pulled a huge upset over Chinese diver Qui Bo.

%-Tom Perriello is a former Democratic congressman who represented the very conservative fifth district of Virginia for one term; he pulled a major upset over arch conservative Virgil Goode, who is now running for president with the fringe right wing Constitution Party (ironically, Goode was once a Democrat). Perriello is now CEO of American Progress Action.

^%_In case it's not obvious, we do not share TeamBachmann's views.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Our Favorite Athletes- Logan's Run

Well, as luck would have it, we could not come up with an image for American women's volleyball player Logan Tom, but we could find one for her teammate Destinee Hooker (pictured above). The other photos are of Angel McCoughtry, who (well, obviously) plays basketball, and of Julie Zetlin who doesn't play basketball, but is a rhythmic gymnast. Here is a look at some of our favorite American women athletes who competed in London:

1) Dawn Harper, 28, East St. Louis, Ill., track and field_ Harper ran the 100-meters hurdles in an amazing 12.37 seconds, but that was two-tenths of a second slower than Sally Pearson of Australia, so she is going home with a silver, which is certainly well-deserved. Harper also competed for UCLA during her college years, and she won gold in the same event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

2) Destinee Hooker, 24, San Antonia, Texas, volleyball._ Hooker, who competed in both volleyball and track and field at the University of Texas, will be helping Team America in its efforts to win a first gold medal in women's volleyball against the defending Olympic champions from Brazil, who got off to a sluggish start. Hooker is known for her effective skills and frequent scoring.

3) Angel McCoughtry, 25, Baltimore, Maryland, basketball_ She lead Team America in scoring in a win over Turkey in the preliminaries and this former University of Louisville star continues to be a great contributor for Team America. Professionally, McCoughtry plays for the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA and Fenerbahce (Istanbul) in Turkey.

4) Jessica Steffens, 25, San Francisco, Calif., water polo- Steffens was the leading scorer for the national water polo team, and she helped guide the team to its first ever gold medal at the Olympics. Steffens scored an amazing seven goals in the team's first game over traditional powerhouse Hungary, a game that the USA won by a 14-13 score. Yesterday, she scored five goals in the 8-5 gold medal win over a very talented team from Spain.

5) Logan Tom, 31, Salt Lake City, Utah, volleyball_ Tom and teammate Destinee hooker look to make history tomorrow when the United States faces Brazil in the gold medal match. Tom made the Olympic in Sydney when she was just 19. She is ranked as the 91st sexiest woman in the world according to "FHM" magazine, and she plays professionally for Fenerbahce, the Turkish club team is considered to be one of the best in Europe.

6) Julie Zetlin, 22, Bethesda, Maryland, rhythmic gymnastics_ The United States has never been strong at rhythmic gymnastics, a sport dominated by the likes of Russia and Bulgaria. But, Zetlin made a noble effort at the 2012 Olympics. The daughter of Zsuzsi Zetlin, who competed in the same sport for Hungary, finished
21st in London. Zetlin won a gold medal at the 2011 Pan Ameircan Games.


UPDATE: Since I published this entry earlier in the afternoon, "The Bleacher Report" has posted a subjective, but interesting list of the 50 hottest American Olympic athletes, including one paraplegic female swimmer, of both genders. Of the six athletes in this entry, both Logan Tom (#17) and Julie Zetlin (#34) made the list.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Our Favorite Olympic Athletes_ Vollyeball Anyone?

Here is a look st six of our favorite Summer Olympics athletes and brief rundown of their accomplishements so far:

1) Sarah Attar, 19, Saudi Arabia, track and field (pictured above)_ Attar broken a gender barrier by competing as one of two female athletes for Saudi Arabia. The conservative kingdom which governs in accordance with strict Islamic law has never allowed women to compete before. Attar finished last in 800-meters with a time of over 2 hours and 44 minutes, but she is one of the most inspirational stories in London so far.

2) Nesilhan Darnel, 28, volleyball, Turkey (pictured center)_ Darnel was the flag-bearer for Turkey and she came through with an outstanding tournament. But, Turkey was a tough group and they lost to Brazil, China and The United as a result though they defeated a very talented South Korean team which advanced to the semi-finals. On a personal note, we were surprised to learn that Darnel got her start at the Yesilyurt Sports Club in Istanbul, which I frequented when I visited Turkey as a child and teenager.

3) Anna Esper, 19, water polo, Spain_ The United States won the gold medal match for water polo today over Spain, but it was outstanding tournament for many Spanish players, including Esper who score four goals in the team's semi-final win over Hungary.

4) Maartje Paumen, 26, field hockey, Netherlands (pictured bottom)_ The openly lesbian captain of the popular Dutch field hockey team will play Argentina in the gold medal game this weekend; they beat New Zealand in a shoot-out to get there.

5) Marketa Slukova, 24, beach volleyball, Czech Republic_ Along with teammate Krstyna Kolocva, Slukova helped upset the Brazilian upset the Brazilian duo of Antonelli and Artune on Saturday; the Czechs lost their next game in the quarter-finals to the American duo of April Ross and Jennifer Kessey, which won silver.

6) Kim Yeon-Koung, 24, volleyball, South Korea_ The ever gorgeous and extremely good volleyball who plays volleyball professionally in Turkey helped propel her team to the semi-finals, which surprised many volleyball insiders. South Korea now plays Japan in the bronze medal game.