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Posts Tagged ‘Doubleday

“The Olympic Games… purport to follow the traditions of an ancient athletics competition, but today it is the commercial aspect that is most apparent”*…


The above graphic from HowMuch.net, a cost information site, visualizes data from a recent study by Oxford University to compare the budgets of previous games.

The study found the average cost overruns for Olympic Games to be a whopping 156% from 1968 to 2016. This means that the Rio Games were a budgeting success, at least in relative terms, by ‘only’ running 51% overbudget.

It should be noted that the study accounts only for sports-related costs, such as those relating to operations or building venues. The study excludes indirect capital costs such as upgrading transport or hotel infrastructure, since data on these costs is harder to come by, and is often unreliable. Also, some Olympic Games were omitted from the study, as they did not have available public data on the costs involved.

The good news for organizers is that cost overruns, as a percentage, are generally going down.

The 1976 Summer Games in Montreal caught everyone off guard after going 720% overbudget, and the city was saddled with debt for 30 years. Lake Placid (1980), Barcelona (1992), and Lillehammer (1994) were all grossly overbudget as well with 324%, 266%, and 277% overruns respectively.

However, recent games – with the exception of Sochi (289%) – have all been pretty good as far as Olympics go. The average cost overrun since 1998 has been just 73%.

The bad news for organizers is that costs, in general, are still going way up. Organizers are just getting slightly “better” at budgeting for them.

Here are the total costs for all games in the study – note that costs are adjusted to be in 2015 terms.

More– and enlargeable/zoomable versions of the graphics– at “Rio Games a success at ‘only’ 51% over budget.”

* Ai Weiwei


As we pass the torch, we might note that it was on this date in 1791 that the town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts voted to ban the game of baseball (and other activities that had disturbed many of the townspeople).

Until about a decade ago, it was widely believed that baseball was created by Abner Doubleday (or his contemporary Alexander Cartwright) in 1846; and indeed, the “modern” game– baseball as we know it– was. But historian Jim Thorn’s discovery of the Pittsfield Bylaw, fifty-five years older, is the earliest known reference to the game.

The relevant section: Be it ordained by the said Inhabitants that no person or Inhabitant of said Town‚ shall be permitted to play at any game called Wicket‚ Cricket‚ Baseball‚ Batball‚ Football‚ Cats‚ Fives or any other games played with Ball‚ within the Distance of eighty yards from said Meeting House – And every such Person who shall play at any of the said games or other games with Ball within the distance aforesaid‚ shall for every Instance thereof‚ forfeit the Sum of five shillings to be recovered by Action of Debt brought before any Justice of the Peace to the Person who shall and prosecute therefore And be it further ordained that in every Instance where any Minor shall be guilty of a Breach of this Law‚ his Parent‚ Master‚ Mistress or guardian shall forfeit the like Sum to be recovered in manner‚ and to the use aforesaid.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 5, 2016 at 1:01 am

From me, to you…


To my darling Husband –
We have now been married for 6 very special months. Enjoy memories of our wonderful Honeymoon as you read this
Anita XXX

As he explains in The Guardian, Wayne Gooderham was inspired by a passage in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca

I picked up the book again, and this time it opened at the title-page, and I read the dedication. ‘Max – from Rebecca. 17 May,’ written in a curious slanting hand. A little blob of ink marred the white page opposite, as though the writer, in impatience, had shaken her pen to make the ink flow freely. And then as it bubbled through the nib, it came a little thick, so that the name Rebecca stood out black and strong, the tall and sloping R dwarfing the other letters… I could see her turning to that first white page, smiling as she wrote, and shaking the bent nib. Max from Rebecca. It must have been his birthday, and she had put it amongst her other presents on the breakfast table. And they had laughed together as he tore off the paper and string. She leant, perhaps, over his shoulder, while he read. Max. She called him Max. It was familiar, gay, and easy on the tongue. The family could call him Maxim if they liked. Grandmothers and aunts. And people like myself, quiet and dull and youthful, who did not matter. Max was her choice, the word was her possession; she had written it with so great a confidence on the fly-leaf of that book. That bold slanting hand, stabbing the white paper, the symbol of herself, so certain, so assured.

…to begin collecting the inscriptions he found in used books– “the secret history of second-hand books.”  From the warm-and-heartfelt to the ironic (intentional and otherwise), it’s all at Book Dedications.

Sept. ’73
For mummy –
may you read it all – clearly and without prejudice – right to the end!
 Lots of love
 Hetty xxx


As we recap our pens, we might send sturdily-bound birthday greetings to publishing pioneer Frank Nelson Doubleday; he was born on this date in 1862.  Doubleday began his career at Charles Scribner’s Sons, rising to become publisher of their magazine.  But after falling out with Blair Scribner, Doubleday  recruited Samuel S. McClure, publisher of McClure’s Magazine, to form Doubleday & McClure Co.– soon known simply as Doubleday, the company grew organically and through acquisition until 1986, when it was acquired by Bertlesmann.

Frank was a hands-on owner:  he had close working friendships with the likes of James Barrie, Andrew Carnegie, Alfred Harcourt, Edward Mandell House, Rudyard Kipling, T. E. Lawrence, Christopher Morley, Mark Twain and John D. Rockefeller (whose autobiography Doubleday edited– and may have ghost-written).  His nickname, “Effendi,” was bestowed on him by Kipling (who derived it from his initials, F.N.D.).



Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 8, 2012 at 1:01 am

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