Tag Archives: Hawaii

Long Shots: Olympics and Politics

16 Feb

My definition of a long shot: Any person, idea, or movement which has nearly every obstacle ahead of them imagined to complete a goal, yet still goes after it and completes it or some other unintentional and/or unstated goal.  I’ve started thinking about these ‘long shots’ because of the Sochi 2014 Olympics currently going on.

Of course, there is the Jamaican bobsled team made (more) famous by the movie Cool Runnings.  The fictionalized movie was based on the real 1988 4-man Jamaican bobsled team in Calgary, Canada.  The team during these Olympics in Russia, however, was decided to just be a 2-man team due to the increased costs of 4 people.  Even then, right before the Olympics, they still needed more than $30,000 for a lot of related costs; however, they not only reached that, but received almost $50,000 more than they needed which helped with some upgrades to the bobsled.

Jamaican Bobsled Team Qualifies for 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

via bleacherreport.com

I was excited to see, because of my Filipino heritage, the only athlete from the Philippines to compete in these Winter Olympics, Michael Christian Martinez.  He is the first Filipino Winter Olympian since the country sent “an Alpine skier to the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, France” (New York Times) and the first figure skater.  I really don’t know that much about him, but I’m just glad that he got the funding from his family and the government because winter sports are extremely expensive and it’s just a shame that more people are not able to at least try it out due to costs.  And he didn’t do too bad, he got 19th place, so not bad at all.

EVERYTHING ON THE LINE. With little government support, the family of Michael Christian Martinez's family mortgaged their home to send him to Sochi. Photo by Andrej Isakovic/AFP

via rappler.com

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Hyperdodecahedron

16 Mar
120-cell family polytopes in H3 Coxeter plane ...

Image via Wikipedia

Definition: a compact 4-dimensional hyperbolic manifold obtained by identifying opposite faces of the 120-cell, whose universal cover gives the regular honeycomb {5,3,3,5} of 4-dimensional hyperbolic space

How is this related to the state of the GOP race? Well, the race for delegates is as complicated as this shape in math.  (And math is what you need to win, at least according to Romney.)

Did you know that Romney actually won the Dixie primaries, but of course with the help of islands on the other side of the world of Hawaii and America Samoa

…by winning Hawaii and America Samoa, as well as some delegates in the Southern states that award them proportionally.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/74024_Page2.html#ixzz1pL13qpMC

I mean, the race is about looking at the intricacies of each state, each district, each precinct, and each delegate and figure out how you can have them vote for you, never mind the preference of voters.  Voters should always look at the delegate count, and not the policies of a candidate.  We should be thinking that because Romney will be the nominee, that we might as well not have the primaries.  Why not just let the Super PACs pick the delegates for us, then we would not have to actually do anything, I mean let’s be real, we don’t even vote.

The nominee for the presidency should be uplifting and commanding and not make excuses.  We should demand for from the people who run for positions of power.  Questions from the media should be why do you think you’re best and not what is your strategy to win.  We should be asking what will you do for me, my family, my state, and my country and not why the other person is worse than you.

Math should not be the focus of politics, unless you’re talking about the need for it in our current education system.

(I know I ended with introducing a new topic which is bad, but it’s still true.)

Boris Shor, PhD

Assistant Professor, Dep't of Political Science, U. of Houston

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