1. Let the games begin. NBC did its absolute best to ensure that no one inside the United States got to watch the opening ceremonies before tonight’s scheduled 8 pm broadcast. But it didn’t work. Here’s a rundown on what you’ll get to see if you watch tonight. Things didn’t go off without a hitch. Within minutes of the ceremony getting underway, there was a snafu with a set of giant glowing Olympic rings. Only four of the five rings functioned. But was that yet another #SochiProblem? Or was it on purpose, designed to send America a message? Who knows. What else? The bad Olympic outfits we’ve been talking about were just as bad as you dreamed. Each country’s delegation was led by a Russian woman wearing this uncomfortable looking getup. A little context on the historical significance of that outfit. While giant stuffed animals floated across the stage, there came word of an attempted hijacking on a flight from Turkey. Putin’s alleged mistress just happened to be chosen as one of the Olympic torchbearers. And there was a fish-shaped land mass with colorful castles. What’s it really like to be gay in Putin’s Russia? It’s not just being gay that’s hard in Russia. Wanna know what Russia thinks of all the reporters discussing ad nauseum all that’s wrong with Sochi? They have had enough. Heidi Moore, journalist and world reknowned expert on infuriating people, won’t be watching the Olympic Games. Google has its own Sochi message, in the form of a doodle. The Sochi Olympics logo, explained. Here’s a map of Olympic scandals, if you’re into that sort of thing. Imagine life as a Tonya Harding lookalike. Ever dreamed of becoming an Olympic bobsledder? Start training. Oh and NBC’s Bob Costas has an eye infection. So instead of watching NBC you might want to head to the New York Times “Photo Firehose” instead.
2. Urban life. What if all you had to do to bring down crime rates is ban parking? It worked on one San Francisco block. If Boston tried this, it would be fine, because the MBTA runs seamlessly and everyone loves it. But not everyone loves it as much as Boston.com’s own Catherine Cloutier. Speaking of urban planning, what can snowstorms teach us about how to make cities better? Imagine suspended traffic circles, for bikes. We would call them sky rotaries, or something.
3. Fashion faux pas. There are so many kinds of elitism that sometimes it’s hard to choose the worst. But here’s a solid contender: raw denim elitism. For those who care, a raw denim primer. And the Olympics don’t have a complete monopoly on bad clothing decisions. Fashion labels are trying to use what celebrities wore to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s funeral to promote their wares. What are the chances Disney lets a plus-sized princess happen?
4. Is it 2016 yet? Imagine a speech so bad even Washingtonians think it’s bad. What lessons can be learned from Chris Christie’s BridgeGate scandal? I mean, other than the fact that creating enormous traffic jams as political retribution is almost always a pretty terrible idea. Don’t fall in love too fast. Is Joe Biden running for President? We won’t know until summer 2015. Should he run? Here are six obvious reasons why he shouldn’t. And here’s one obvious reason why he should. It’s not just the GOP that’s divided. There’s a tribal divide in the Democratic Party, too.
5. Also ... After more than two decades hosting The Tonight Show, the Leno era is over. He hosted his final show last night. A selection of Leno’s best punchlines. Some of which he may have stolen. Speaking of entertaining people with things that do not belong to you, a well-known Japanese composer turned out to be a fraud. Dream of a basketball career? What about a basketball career in Libya? Amazon is ramping up its effort to create original programming. They will be releasing 10 new pilots, and then deciding which move forward based on viewer feedback. (If you haven’t seen Alpha House yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.) The final implosion of Occupy Wall Street. Stop talking on your cell phone so much. The NSA can’t handle the volume. Before you determine just how many minimum wage jobs you need, check out how many hours you’ll need to work at each job just to buy a beer. An old person thinks Justin Bieber should stop smoking weed. And speaking of old people, can you believe how much Medicare is overpaying for penis pumps? Why are all the good pranks happen in New York? Happy Friday. You should really get some sleep this weekend.
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