Posts Tagged ‘hurdle’

London Trains for Post-Olympic Hurdle

June 23, 2014

The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, August 15, 2012


London Trains for Post-Olympic Hurdle, by Alice Sperit

LONDON–The flame no longer burns inside London’s Olympic Stadium, but property developers still are hoping that the Summer Games will ignite the moribund housing market in the neighboring area.

The idiom here is hurdle, from track and field sports.  One has to jump over the hurdles on a track.  Apparently, the British government did well with their hurdles turning the old Olympic Park into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for residents.

Monday, June 23, 2014:  From the online ad for the reconfigured Olympic Park:

“The same size as Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined and the biggest new park to open in London for a century, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the one of the most ambitious developments the capital has ever seen. Now, almost two years after London was taken over by Olympic fever, the park has just reopened for public use and the ambitious plans for its legacy can be finally put to the test. The park has received a facelift to make it a green and spacious environment: 4,300 new trees have been planted and four new outdoor spaces added on top of the miles of waterways, acres of woods and habitats for wildlife. From the nature and mountain biking trails to the Olympic pool, we look at the what’s on offer in the capital’s newest playground.”

In addition, there are the following spaces:  A velopark for cyclists; a multi-use sports arena; a hockey and tennis facility, as well as “The Orbit,” the largest sculpture in Great Britain,  a great looking cafe and playground.




Travelers: A Curveball and a Hurdle

October 11, 2012

NEW YORK TIMES BUSINESS Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ON THE ROAD, by Joe Sharkey

A Few Well-Chosen Words Pay the Fare for Some

“That white-knuckled flier sitting across the aisle muttering anxiously may well have a case of fear of flying.  But it may also be a case of fear of public speaking.”

Mr. Sharkey, the author of this article, states in this article that public speaking is a basic requirement for many jobs.  He then states that “one curveball being thrown at speakers, incidentally, comes from technology.  At big events, the speaker’s image is often projected on giant video screens, allowing people to see quirks that once went largely unnoticed.” 

A curveball thrown at a baseball pitcher is difficult to hit;  a tech curveball may make the comfort level a bit more discomforting.  As the author states: “If you’re in a room with 2,000 people, most people really can’t see the small inflections and changes in your facial expression.”  But with those giant screens, “suddenly they really can, which makes body language far more important than it ever was.”  

Travelers Find Frustrating Hurdle at Customs

Past Brushes With Law Complicate a Trusted Traveler Program, by Susan Stellin

“The government’s trusted traveler program has proved itself more popular than officials expected, with 1.2 million people now eligible to speed up their entry to this country using a self-service kiosk rather than waiting to speak to a customs agent at the airport.

But some people have been surprised to find that their applications for the Global Entry trusted traveler program have been rejected–not for some serious infraction but for a minor brush with law enforcement or customs inspectors that turned up during the required background check.”

In track and field sports hurdles are barriers runners must jump over. The hurdles in traveling and at U.S. Customs must be frustrating, especially if a former infraction was minor, such as an apple in a bag that was prohibited. Usually, though, according to the article, “any type of criminal conviction would disqualify someone,” as well as some prohibited or undeclared items.

Game Change?

September 21, 2012

The Economist: The Euro Crisis

September 15, 2012

The euro zone’s leaders have turned a corner.  Where to, is not yet clear:

“When history books trace the evolution of the euro crisis, September 2012 will mark the beginning of a new chapter… On September 12th Germany’s constitutional court backed the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the euro zone’s permanent rescue fund, removing the last hurdle to its launch.  The same day, the European Commission laid out a blueprint for joint European banking suprervision, the first step to a banking union.  Days earlier the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that, under certain conditions, it would buy unlimited amounts of the bonds of troubled euro-zone countries. 

Taken together, these actions mark a big change.  At best they constitute the foundations of a more sustainable monetary union…The hope is that this marks the beginning of the end of the euro crisis…”

The paragraphs above explain game change.  The heading is a great introduction to the article as is: The euro zone’s leaders have turned a corner.  Where to, is not yet clear.”

 The larger idiomatic question is the use of the noun “game” for societal decisions. 

Hurdle is used in the second sentence, and the question here, again, is it idiomatic and related to field games, or is it simply used for overcoming difficulties.

The Dismal Dash: Olympionomics

August 16, 2012

The Economist, July 28, 2012:  Finance and economics

Olympionomics: New York.  

Which economist will win the medal-prediction gold? 

Finance and economics “Athletic prowess is not all that is being tested at this year’s Olympic Games.  There will also be teams of econometricians battling it out to predict how many medals will be won by the host nations.  Over the years economists have deployed all sorts of mental gymnastics in their search for a model that can reliable forecast Olympic winners.  Initial expectations that medal tallies would be closely correlated with the population and per-capita wealth of a country were soon dashed.  The models leapt over the hurdle of statistical significance only when a third variable was added–how many medals the country won the last time were soon dashed.”

According to this article, the “dismal scientists hopped, skipped and jumped to two other statistical significant results.”  First, was “the Soviet effect” ; this “began to fall with the Berlin Wall.  Second, the host nation effect, that they tend to win more medals than at other times.  Predicting the size of the effect and the number of medals Britain “will bag is the equivalent of the 100-metre dash.”

The events/metaphors used in this article are:  the dash, the 100 meter dash, the hop, skip and jump, the hurdle, and gymnastics.  All but the last is a track and field event.  

“The 100 yard dash is an event of 100 yards or 91.4 meters.  It was part of the Commonwealth Games until 1966 and was included in the decathlon of the Olympics, at least in 1904.  It is not generally used in international events (having been replaced by the 100 meter sprint.  However, it is still occasionally run in the United States in certain competitions.”  (Wikipedia)

Carlyle Group Raising the Bar

November 13, 2011

The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, November 9, 2011



Carlyle Cuts Fees to Sell New Funds, by Graig Karmin and Gregor Zuckerman

“Carlyle Group, the large private-equity firm that is preparing for a public share listing, has had to cut fees and offer other unusual incentives to lure investors to a new $2.3 billion real estate fund.

Carlyle has offered large investors annual management fees of as little as 0,75% of assets, half the 1.5% industry standard.  Carlyle also has raised the bar that must be cleared before the firm can share in the fund’s profits, known in the industry as a hurdle rate or preferred return.”

The sports idioms in this article are from track and field.  When the bars are raised for high jumps or hurdles it makes it more difficult for runners and jumpers.  In the case of Carlyle, the group has higher hurdles and bars to “jump” over to get new investors.