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Links – Looks can be Deceiving Edition

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I'm still away on my vacation. We've had a little lot of trouble trying to get on the free military cargo flights that we were told were "typically very, very easy, but nothing is guaranteed." It seems like there's some value to a guarantee.

While we were on vacation, we got a little sucked into the National Spelling Bee on ESPN. I'm sure a number of people (including one of my favorite writers Bill Simmons) has wondered how spelling qualifies as a sport. I guess this made me a two sport player in the fifth grade (soccer being the other). Maybe kids are getting out of phys. ed. now because they've passed that requirement with their spelling prowess. It's a sad day in the world of fitness.

I didn't really want to off on the spelling bee like that. I like spelling bees, I was in one and did quite well (until I misheard except as accept). What I wanted to point out was a particular contestant - Sidharth Chand. I've included a picture of the 12 year old speller who finished in second place:

Judge, I assure you I am not 28 years old.

Judge, I assure you I am not 28 years old.

Now with that in mind, take a look at the 16 year old gymnast from China. Many claim to have evidence that she's not 16, but for official Olympic purposes she's 16 (unless something changed while I was on vacation).

Judge, I assure you I am 16 years old.

Judge, I assure you I am 16 years old.

I want to congratulate these children for their great achievements - they've done more than I have at their age than I have. The only issue I have is how is anyone to know how old a child is these days. A 16 year-old looks like she's 10 and a 12 year-old looks like he's 28. If you told me that the spelling bee child was the father of the gymnast, I wouldn't have called you on it. I think a direct result of this was the English-Thai translation book my wife found last week that translated the phrase, "Can I see your ID for proof of age?" Just think about that in the world makes me feel all dirty. While I take about 15 showers, here are some personal finance links for the week:

Posted on September 22, 2008.

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6 Responses to “Links – Looks can be Deceiving Edition”

  1. Frugal Dad says:

    Oddly enough I was a spelling bee runner up in middle school. I had the word “extract” for the win and rattled off “e-x-t-a-c-t, extract.” Oops, left out the “r.” That’s what I get for being in a hurry!

    Thanks for the mention, and safe travels on your return trip.

  2. I’m a great speller, but only if I’ve heard of the word before ;) . Those photos are really funny — I agree with you, I can’t believe those kids are those ages that they state.

  3. Nairobian says:

    sometime backi did a post on what Chinese children have to go through inorder for them to be seasoned gymnasts in their later years! makes for good read you should check it out!

  4. Jake says:

    Military flights can be a pain to get on at times. It gets even worse when you throw in a sand storm. I was stuck in Iraq for a week once trying to get out.

    Have fun on your trip!

  5. kitty says:

    I think one of the things mentioned about those girls was missing teeth. Regardless how a girl looks, 16 year old has to have all adult teeth. That is unless some of these girls lost their teeth during training.

    The main issue was that the female gymnasts peak at 14-16 on the average, and younger female gymnasts have the advantage of being fearless, lighter and more flexible. Historically, most famous female gymnasts won most medals at around 14. At least this is what I read, I like watching female gymnastics, but I am no expert. Oh, and having grown up in a communist country I know that anything can be printed on a document if the government wants it.

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