Archive | August 22, 2016

Olympic Medals At Rio 2016 Per Population Of Country.

by Anura Guruge


The medals table for Rio 2016 in terms of TOTAL MEDALS per country — for 10 medals and up. Click to ENLARGE.


TOTAL MEDALS relative to the POPULATION of the country. Very different. #1, #2 & #3 in terms of ‘totals’ come towards the bottom of the table.


GOLD MEDALS relative to the POPULATION of the country. Very different. #1, #2 & #3 in terms of ‘GOLDS’ — the ranking you are most used to seeing. But when population is factored in they come towards the bottom of the table.

I used to have a very British father-in-law who was passionate and knowledgeable about sports — in particular football, cricket, rugby, Formula 1 and the Olympics. I used to spend a lot of time talking and watching sports with him. We would even call each other up on the phone to talk cricket and he used to take me to football games (he a Bristol City Season Ticket holder) and I would take him to cricket matches, especially Tests and World Cups at Lord’s. He, whenever, the Olympics (whether Summer or Winter) or the Commonwealth Games came up, would maintain, unwaveringly, that “it was a percentage game”. He was totally convinced that countries with large populations stood a better chance at winning medals than countries with smaller populations since the larger countries, obviously, had a bigger catchment pool. To be fair to him this argument does have some merit.

I think of his contention every time the Olympics come around.

The medal numbers in Rio are, of course, skewed because so many of the Russian athletes were banned because of the doping scandal. If their whole contingent had been able to participate — doping, notwithstanding, Russia would have had more medals.

But I, remembering “Walt’s sage saying”, always try to work out whether it is indeed but a percentage game.

And as my two tables above confirm — IT IS NOT!

Yes, Jamaica is an exception — thanks to Usain Bolt.

But you have the likes of New Zealand, Denmark, Croatia etc.

This medals/population is a very sobering table to consider.

The achievements of U.S. & China — and even my own Great Britain — don’t look as impressive from this perspective.

And it begs the question. What is WRONG with India? A population nearly as big as China, and nearly 4x greater than that of the U.S. and they can only win 2 medals — one silver in women’s badminton & one bronze women’s 58kg freestyle wrestling. Does not make sense. Ditto for Pakistan. No medals! I won’t even mention Sri Lanka. 21 million people and no medals.

Study these tables. They do tell an important story.

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by Anura Guruge

November 2016 Cardinal Creating Consistory Or Will Pope Francis Hold Out Till February 2017?

by Anura Guruge

From “CRUX“, August 21, 2016.


In this post in June 2016 I had opined that November 19, 2016 would be a logical date for the next cardinal creating consistoryPope Francis‘ third.

However, after what had been a long hiatus, I was talking, this weekend, with cardinalabili expert Louis Epstein. He believes that Pope Francis will wait till February 2017 given that both his prior cardinal creating consistories were in February.

He definitely has the option of waiting till February or even later.

We have 111 cardinal electors right now. Three will age-out (i.e., reach 80) by November 19, 2016. Three more would have aged out by February 16, 2017.

So, barring deaths, there will be 108 electors in November 2016 and 105 in February 2017. This is plenty enough to elect a pope.

So this again begs the question as to whether Pope Francis, who turns 80 on December 17, 2016, plans to retire anytime soon as he has been intimating for ‘years’. Louis thinks that Francis is having too much fun right now to retire. He could be right. If he doesn’t plan to retire before February 2017 he could very well wait till then for the next consistory.

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by Anura Guruge

Sunset Cruise On Schooner “Argia” Off Mystic, Connecticut.

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Taken with a rented Nikon D500.

Evening of Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

Teischan and I both like being out on the water, and doing so on boats. So doing a cruise or ferry crossing of some sort was definitely on the agenda for our 3-day jaunt to Mystic, Connecticut — primarily to visit the famed aquarium.

I had seen ads for the ‘Argia‘ schooner, online, even before we left. So I had made a mental note that it could be a possibility. On our first time into Mystic per se, as opposed to the aquarium which is situated just outside (right on I-95 (to speak)), we saw a sign for the ‘Argia Cruises’, pointing down a side road, just before we got into town. I turned in — and it was easy enough to find since they have their own wharf. The schooner (along with a couple of others) was at dock getting ready for its 10am morning cruise. It looked fun. Teischan liked it. It was a perfect day. The forecast was great for the whole day. So I got two tickets for the Sunset Cruise which departed Mystic at 5:30pm.

It worked out well. Very pleasant and educational. Though we had taken the Amtrak from Boston to New York many times I had not realized that when crossing the Mystic River the train goes over a ROTATING (beige colored) bridge. [See pictures above.] This is just beyond the Route 1 drawbridge in Mystic — more or less the first thing we had to negotiate on the cruise.

The name refers to a water nymph on the Tiber River in Rome.

100hp diesel engine is used while going through the river and Mystic harbor. It is only under sail, for about 30 minutes, when it is in the ‘Sound’.

You go past “Mason’s Island”, “Sixpenny Island” (famous for its clams) and “Noank“. Lots of other islands. The crew does a great job mingling with the passengers, doing running commentaries and answering questions. There is a complimentary platter of cheese, grapes and crackers as well as an endless supply of sharp lemonade. You can also bring your own tipple of board — though we didn’t.

Very relaxing. Just over 2 hours. We had a great time. We would gladly do it again. I recommend it, highly.

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by Anura Guruge

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