Why is the US Twisting the Medals?
Wednesday, August 4th 2021
Lots of bits today. Firstly, make sure you open next weeks email, you have a huge chance of winning a cosy hoodie if you do 👀
I’m sure you’re all watching the Olympics, I’ve found it particularly cool this year that, through social media, athletes can bring everyone along behind the scenes like never before - we’ve all seen the demos of the cardboard beds.
Whilst social media was around for London and Rio, for the most part you had to have ‘followed’ an athlete in advance in order to see their content during the games, but Tiktok has opened a whole new world of organic reach, where individual videos can become popular rather than accounts, which is amazing and allows athletes from all over, no matter their sport or country, to share their experience to a potentially massive audience that doesn’t ‘follow’ them. What’s also mad is that social media was barely a thing during the Beijing games!
C’mere to me…
Typo on Irish Covid Cert Site
Good news first, the latest data now shows that over 87% of the Irish adult population (over 18) has had at least one shot, with over 73% fully vaccinated - Irish Times Tracker
However, when it came to distributing the EU digital certs, remarkably, the Irish Government managed to register, and subsequently publish a website to, a domain with a typo... The domain was irishcovidcertifcate.org (missing the second ‘i’ in certificate)
Fionn Kelleher and Adam Conway spotted the mistake, purchased the correct version of the domain (irishcovidcertificate.org), and set up a joke site to mock the mistake.
They also kindly redirect folks though, and it’s very fortunate that two kind souls noticed the error before someone else with more nefarious intentions did. It would have been far too easy for a scammer to have created an identical lookalike site on a seemingly valid domain, and happily collect people’s names and PPS numbers.
Fionn and Adam now own the correct domain, with the ‘i’, so the government, in order to correct the error, had to completely change the name of the site.
Twitter Removed Fleets
Software as a service can become very cluttered when companies are constantly copying each other and adding as many new products as possible to their services. Social networks, in particular, are big culprits.
Twitter’s Fleets, similar to an Instagram Story, were just that, a pretty unnecessary product for a platform like Twitter. Therefore, to see companies pairing back their offering and doubling down on what they’re good at is refreshing.
On a similar note though, I really enjoy Twitter Spaces (an integrated Clubhouse copy) and I think it has a lot of potential as audio rooms suit Twitter far more than fleets - the same way stories suited an already media-based Instagram when they ‘borrowed’ the idea from Snapchat.
Why is the US Twisting the Medal Leaderboard?
I want to preface this by saying that the overall medal totals don’t actually count towards anything, they are a vanity metric. Nevertheless, I think this is pretty outrageous, I’d even go as far as to say propaganda.
According to all major international newspapers and sports networks, that I could find, as of today, these are the current medal totals from Tokyo 2020 (2021), they may vary slightly by the time of the screenshot.
The ones I’ve included below include the Official Tokyo 2020 site (whose data Google use), BBC Sports, The Guardian, Sky Sports, News AU (Australian), and Frankfurter Allgemeine (German). There are far, far more though across all languages that agree with this list.
Notice how China is on top because they have the most Gold Medals. And notice how Japan is listed ahead of Great Britain for the same reason (despite this being a large selection of British media).
Sorting by Gold medals is the norm at the Olympics, it’s always been the way. If countries are tied on gold medals then it goes to how many silvers they’ve won, and so on to bronze.
If you go back through the previous medal totals on Wikipedia, the lists are always sorted this way.
Of course, in many cases, the country with the most Gold medals often also has the most total medals but take this example from the 2010 Winter Olympics. Germany has more total medals but Canada, with 4 more Golds, is listed first.
However, all US media sites, that I could find, list the US on top of the Tokyo 2020 medal tables because they choose to sort by total medal count rather than by gold…
From the New York Times, Washington Post, ESPN, NBC, Fox Sports and so many more…
They are technically correct, they do have the most medals by sheer total but this is not normal etiquette and feels very propagandistic to make such a conscious decision to sort this way.
They would have had to technically alter how their tables totalled from previous years, all in order to make it seem like the US is leading.
If you live in the States you likely have quite a different perception of how the US is doing in the games…
Jocelyn Bell Burnell was an astrophysicist who grew up in Armagh in the 1940s.
In 1967, as a PhD student at Cambridge University, Jocelyn discovered Pulsars, a radio wave phenomenon caused by spinning stars and a hugely significant revelation for astronomy.
However, in 1974, her supervisor, Anthony Hewish, was awarded a Nobel Prize for his work on this discovery and as this short op-doc by the NYT points out, it seemed Jocelyn was robbed of that joint honour largely because she was just ‘a girl’ and just a graduate student at the time.
16 mins, and is really worth a watch.
She did eventually get significantly recognised with an award in 2018, albeit not a Nobel Prize, and incredibly she decided to donate all of the prize money, £2.3 million! to help female, minority, and refugee students seeking to become physics researchers.
Too many people hire for the y-intercept when they should be hiring for the slope
I love this one, it’s so true. If you’re confused, the y-intercept here is where x=0, implying x is your time at this new company and the y value being your skill level.
That’s all 🤙🏽
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