Olympics Night One

Here's a thread for the Olympics in case you're watching. I am.

There are also China protests going on around the world.

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    Highly recommended viewing (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:24:42 PM EST
    I watched opening ceremony on Canadian Broadcasting Channel so I could skip the political ads (total of $11M spent by the two campaigns).

    The ceremonies are absolutely breathtaking!

    JC Pal (none / 0) (#83)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:04:16 PM EST
    Are in Canada or get it on satellite or something?

    Maybe you can answer a question I"ve always had.

    NBC has the broadcast rights -- is that just for the US, or the whole world?  Does each country have different broadcast rights?  Or, if they all have to use NBC's broadcasts, does each country at least have their own announcers?

    I mean, if every country gets one set of broadcast rights, wouldn't that be an awful lot of cameras and broadcasting infrastructure that would need to be accommodated?  But then, don't most non-U.S. countries want to see a lot of events NBC doens't broadcast?

    Anyone know how this all works?  I've always wondered.


    I think .... (none / 0) (#84)
    by Paprika on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:07:53 PM EST
    the way it works is there's an official feed for each sport and then the networks that have the rights in each country can pick it up.

    Now with the internet, it looks like some channels (CBC in Canada at least) are streaming the events they're not even airing. I just watched a Chinese girl win a gold medal in weightlifting.

    However, I would assume only people from that country can view it. Just like I can't watch the Colbert Report at Comedy Central, I have to watch the Canadian comedy channel version.


    CBC is Channel 99 on Cable in the (none / 0) (#95)
    by JavaCityPal on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 12:59:47 AM EST
    Seattle area. It comes in very handy at times.

    Continued answer (none / 0) (#96)
    by JavaCityPal on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 01:08:08 AM EST
    I'm sure every country has some journalistic presence, and many, many TV stations. I do not believe TV broadcasting channels can be owned by anyone outside the country where they broadcast. Not sure if that's still true, but I vaguely recall something like Murdock becoming a US citizen strictly because he wanted to own a broadcasting company here...don't quote me, it's late at night.

    If you've ever seen the journalism tents outside anything, it is amazing, and I'm sure these events have as many reporters as participants.


    I'm a bit late to the party but... (none / 0) (#111)
    by tree on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 01:40:12 PM EST
    I can answer that one. There is always one network from the host country(in this case China's CCTV) that is given the international rights to the broadcast. It is their responsibility to provide TV coverage of all Olympic events, both for broadcast in their own country, and, separately, to feed an international broadcast to other counties' selected networks. The international feed covers many more events than the national coverage, due to other countries having different ideas about what they want to see. NBC only has rights for broadcast in the US.

     Networks, from other countries that have "broadcast rights", like NBC, get access to this "pool" feed and can also augment the coverage with some of their own  event cameras, and of course their own "talent" and studio cameras.  

    For NBC that most probably means that they will get access to a switched feed from the Chinese broadcasters (camera shots selected from a multi-input switcher) as well as access to many of the individual Chinese cameras and the rights to place some of their own cameras in events they choose, and of course, their own cameras in studio to cover their talent, and some of their own roving TV coverage throughout the city for "color". The amount of independent access to events that NBC gets is usually dependent on how much they pay the IOC for that access. There are probably many smaller poorer countries that simply take the international feed from the Chinese and add in their own commentary.


    Thanks so much for that (none / 0) (#112)
    by Valhalla on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 07:59:34 PM EST
    thorough explanation!

    I've been wondering for years, I feel so happy now that I know.


    I'm watching from Puerto Rico.... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Maria Garcia on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:25:01 PM EST
    ..which is the good news. The bad news is that we are sharing a vacation villa with extended family and my sister-in-law is being very annoying by turning the volume up really, really high and chasing everyone out of the living room because we are talking and she wants to hear every single word uttered by the NBC hacks. Considering that she is the only one who has a TV in her bedroom, I think she's being kind of rude chasing us all out, but we are on our best behavior as she is the newest member of the tribe.

    So let me vent to you so that I can hold my fire. Ah family vacations.

    Did you see? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:29:21 PM EST
    There was a part where the dancers all made a gigantic "O" for Obama.

    My wife claims it was a bird's nest or something, but come on.  He's the biggest celebrity in the world!

    I'll bet he really isn't in Hawaii...you know how (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Teresa on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:37:44 PM EST
    the flame lighting is always a big secret? I'll bet you it's him. :)

    ROFL :) (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:43:56 PM EST
    Tooooo funny!!

    They also made 5 gigantic "O"s (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Politalkix on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:15:29 PM EST
    on the Olympic flag. The IOC is calling them the Olympic rings, but McCain is saying that they were made for the world's biggest celebrity, Obama. McCain should know because he was born before the Olympic flags were designed, he is adamant that the Olympic flag was designed to celebrate the coming of the "Messiah". Snark

    Well, to be fair (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:35:25 PM EST
    they probably are 5 big Os, because as everyone knows, no one's done more for the Olympics than....

    Ha. (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:33:14 PM EST
    Obama's new ad:  hands.  But I can't bear to look, espec. after my earlier comment was deleted.

    there's another open thread up now (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:37:04 PM EST
    you can talk about politics there.

    ROFL :) (none / 0) (#7)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:33:18 PM EST
    The globe to follow is breathtaking.

    The Canadians broadcast at 3:00 PM PDT...one of the blessings of bordering our northern neighbors.


    what a spectacular (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:35:03 PM EST
    P-Oed because the networks are not available in HD here.
    welcome to the 21st century.

    lots of talk about the environment in the extremely annoying voice over.  interesting.

    I usually do not watch local networks on HD (none / 0) (#94)
    by BarnBabe on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 12:09:28 AM EST
    BUT, as I was suggesting to my brother in California that they watch it, I switched it on to HDTV and it was great. You think there is not that much difference, but there really was. It bugs my brother that he has Time Warner in San Diego and has less of a variety and reception than I get from a little old cable company in the rural country in Penna.

    I watched the entire program and all the countries parade into the stadium. I really need a geography lesson as there were a lot of countries that I did not know existed.


    Wow the China knows how to put on a show. (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Saul on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:39:24 PM EST
    With the vast amount of population.  Bodies are no problem.  Need to see 2000 guys doing Ti Che you got them.  Need 800 women for the next show you got them.  I think this is the most awesome opening ceremonies of an summer Olympics I have ever seen.

    $100M spent on it (none / 0) (#22)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:06:04 PM EST
    and considering the cost of their labor, that same show here would have cost.........

    Some pretty amazing effects, but (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:49:33 PM EST
    as always, my biggest complaint is that Costas and Lauer just cannot bear to shut up - would there be something wrong with just letting us watch?

    I appreciated their yapping (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 03:35:15 AM EST
    when the teams started marching in.  I learned a lot of trivia that I've already forgotten!  

    (Interesting about the two countries that had the same flag in the 1936 Olympics though, and the one country that had a flag with two different sides.  I thought the yapping added to that portion of the broadcast.)  


    True...have to wonder if they enjoy the (none / 0) (#98)
    by JavaCityPal on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 01:16:18 AM EST
    events, or if they are distracted themselves by their non-stop talking.

    The Chinese gave the world something very remarkable tonight. The story, the choreography, the shear enormity of getting that many people to do what they did was fantastic.


    When is (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:11:32 PM EST
    Matt Lauer going to retire?  

    Maybe I'm alone on this, but I loathe him generally, and he and Bob Costas have done a truly exceptional job at providing insipid commentary ("You may know Malawi from Madonna, who adopted a child named David from there...").

    Yeah, but I'm just glad Brian Williams isn't there (none / 0) (#27)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:13:23 PM EST
    trying to say something political about every country like he did last time.  That drove me insane.

    I missed that.... (none / 0) (#34)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:23:27 PM EST

    Bjork really blew me away in 2004.  I was hoping Beijing would have a big headliner as well, but Sarah Brightman didn't really do it for me.  

    I thought the drumming at the beginning was cool though.


    I loved the drumming at the beginning (none / 0) (#104)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 03:40:09 AM EST
    -- that was just so cool.  

    Then I loved the thing with the boxes that went up and down and the guys in the light suits and the big globe with the people running around it.  


    What a spectacular presentation!  

    I would have liked to have seen it without commercial interruption.

    The costuming was fabulous! And can you believe that stadium?  Fantastic!  


    It's like a non-stop trivia (none / 0) (#32)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:22:34 PM EST
    contest, and it makes me crazy.  Nothing - NOTHING - is ever allowed to just be viewed, enjoyed, whatever.  

    And can someone explain to me why I keep hearing bagpipes?


    I know!! (none / 0) (#35)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:24:57 PM EST
    I don't get the bagpipe sounds either.

    Cutting to Sarkozy...I guess we can console ourselves knowing GW isn't the only one in the "wish I was napping" club.


    Did you see the guy near Karzai (none / 0) (#37)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:26:21 PM EST
    who was napping. Really funny.

    Heh. No. (none / 0) (#43)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:32:14 PM EST
    GW hogging the binoculars...

    is he sitting away from other world leaders, or is that my false impression/hope?


    What about bush....looking so bored, (none / 0) (#109)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 11:34:33 AM EST
    and checking his watch...

    You are not alone. n/t (none / 0) (#47)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:35:42 PM EST
    Canadian TV (none / 0) (#51)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:38:48 PM EST
    is the way to go. You get all of the events with none of the fluffy BS.

    I love the costumes and the smiling faces (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:23:26 PM EST
    Just what I needed. Such beautiful young people.

    The women dancing and cheering in heels was odd. (none / 0) (#89)
    by ctrenta on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:18:31 PM EST
    I know people don't like the political commentary (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:25:38 PM EST
    But it does give you a sense of some countries I wouldn't otherwise know anything about.  They could be much better though.  Sucks about the one woman who was supposed to compete for Afghanistan, she received death threats and had to disappear, so she isn't competing.  The UAE has their first women competing.  Still no love for the ladies from our BFF Saudi Arabia though...

    I think they are doing OK with it (none / 0) (#42)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:29:51 PM EST
    Mixing it with sports stories.  I think they are mostly keeping it relevant.  In previous years it seemed like they thought the sports stories weren't important enough and they had to tell all the politics also.

    I really like the little globe graphic.


    OK (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:36:31 PM EST
    They are butchering some of the country names though.  If you can't say it in the original language, why not just say the english version.  Case and point, the Ivory Coast which they called the Cote de Ivoire, for no reason, except to prove they can't speak french.  I mean, it's not like they are announcing Germany as Deutschland or something.

    The worst offense... (none / 0) (#86)
    by ctrenta on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:10:31 PM EST

    .... was Bob Costas' pronunciation of Cape Verde. He called it "Cape Verd."

    That's terrible. Truly terrible.


    The political stuff is too facile and (none / 0) (#55)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:43:29 PM EST
    superficial to me.  It diminishes it I think.  If you don't have time to do a half-decent summary, or don't want to bring down peeps during the ceremonies, then lay off it.

    I don't nec. mean specific stories like the Afghani woman, but the big stuff.  Glib references to China's struggles amidst glowing adulation over the artistry (which is amazing, no question) is just cr*p.

    Ok, more positive -- I love the countries where it's 1 or 2 athletes.  Good for them!  Yaay for them.  I'd be really happy if they highlighted a lot of the non-medaling athletes more.  There must be really interesting stories there.


    The other stupid thing they keep saying... (none / 0) (#87)
    by ctrenta on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:14:28 PM EST
    ... which is TRULY unnecessary is Lauer and Costas will name a small country, say Equatorial Guinea, and follow it up with

    "that country won't win a gold medal at these summer Olympics."



    and they follow it with a haw-haw (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:33:21 PM EST
    chuckle.  Well, Matt, Bob and other annoying guy, let's see you get out there and drag your sorry butts across an Olympic size swimming pool.

    Smug just doesn't look good on anyone.


    U.S. coming on (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:38:02 PM EST
    They got a huge cheer.  Also, I thought it is nice that they have an immigrant, a Sudanese refugee as the flag-bearer.  Good choice.

    I always say (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:58:30 PM EST
    that my daughter is going to win a gold medal in the Olympics someday.  (She's 2.)

    My wife gives me one of those looks and says, "She can do whatever she wants to do!"

    "Oh, of course, honey.  She can win it in whatever sport she chooses!"

    I'm sure you're correct, too (none / 0) (#99)
    by JavaCityPal on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 01:19:42 AM EST
    We call my 10 month old grandson, Mr President.

    Just tuned in (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:28:08 PM EST
    The parade of nations is in progress, which I love.  Sorry I missed whatever was before this. Did I miss much?  Not sure what time it started.

    It was beautiful. I read that the lighting of the (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Teresa on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:36:16 PM EST
    flame is beyond belief. JavaCity...don't spoil it for us since you've already seen it!

    Not to worry.... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:46:32 PM EST
    I haven't been descriptive so far :)

    It was fabulous. (none / 0) (#105)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 03:43:42 AM EST
    You missed a lot.  I'd try to find it on Youtube or wherever else it will be shown again.  

    It's going to make it hard for the next country to even try to top it.  


    tons of technical difficulties (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:46:39 PM EST
    is anyone else having them?

    never mind (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:52:56 PM EST
    they just flashed a sign saying the rainstorm in Denver is causing the difficulties and preventing HD as well.

    Oh man (none / 0) (#18)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:56:57 PM EST
    Negative McCain ad.  Negative ads during the Olympics?!

    I though the same thing. (none / 0) (#21)
    by NJDem on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:03:39 PM EST
    I missed the passing of the flame, but the rest of the opening was amazing--truly breathtaking.  I don't ever remember one as interesting--it's amazing what they can do with so many people.  I still can't believe it was people doing that thing with the box-things going up and down (hopefully someone knows what I'm talking about).  

    I was on a high until that poorly timed, stupid ad.

    Oh, but for fun, do a running GWB commentary :)  


    unfortunately McCain's opposition has no (none / 0) (#110)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 11:37:15 AM EST
    sense of anything....

    Here is a news item that put a bit of a damper on the Olympics already:



    Jeez. (none / 0) (#19)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:59:46 PM EST
    Anybody else see Bush checking his watch?  What an embarrassing couple.  As ambivalent as I feel about China hosting the Games, it's really hard to say we're much better.  

    I love the parade of nations though.  Beautiful.  The US team is wearing berets...not so beautiful IMO.  They look like they're going to march straight into a boarding school.

    Aw! (none / 0) (#23)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:06:57 PM EST
    Like father, like son.

    Ah, but was Poppa (none / 0) (#24)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:09:18 PM EST
    able to smile so smugly on seeing the Iraqi team march by? ;)

    I noticed they didn't show him when Iran came in (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:11:45 PM EST
    probably good thing - wouldn't want a diplomatic incident.

    Oh man (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:20:10 PM EST
    I cannot believe he SMIRKED while the Iraqi team was coming in!

    I felt so guilty and so proud of those athletes at the same time.


    Ignorance is bliss. (none / 0) (#41)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:28:57 PM EST
    France coming in...where is Carla Bruni?  

    I'm glad the Olympics in in China (none / 0) (#20)
    by dianem on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:00:13 PM EST
    No, they're not a very noble nation (to say the least), but I'm not in much of a position to judge other nations right now. I wonder that nobody is protesting the U.S., or maybe they are and we just don't know. The Olympics is supposed to bring people together, not provide some kind of cover for bad actions. But how on earth are we ever going to get together if all we do is protest? I'm betting that Chinese people are learning more about the west during this Olympic session than than they do with a decade of outside protests.

    I wish people would hold off on the political (none / 0) (#107)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 03:58:35 AM EST
    protests during the Olympics.  

    The athletes are (mostly) non-political.  

    Protests should be aimed at politicians, not athletes.  Let the countries compete!


    They just showed one country (none / 0) (#28)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:16:41 PM EST
    I think it was Andora???  Wheere there are 20,000 more people in the stadium than their entire country...

    they are going to replay the opening later (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:18:23 PM EST
    since we're having flash floods and they can't broadcast properly. Sure hope this doesn't happen on Aug. 29.

    Well, if it does... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:20:47 PM EST
    We know who can part the waters.....

    The ceremonies aren't on here yet (none / 0) (#38)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:26:29 PM EST
    I'm in the Seattle area.  However, I am reading the blog from my new tablet PC, shipped from Shanghai.  Three days delivery time from Shanghai to Seattle.  The wonders of modern technology.  I am old enough to remember when Hewlett Packard products actually came out of Utah. (or at least they pretended they did).

    I have a friend who was married to a Chinese man.  They lived in China for awhile then moved here. He insisted on returning to China so she divorced him.  There was no way she would raise her female child in China, but he refused to understand that.

    I started watching an incredible documentary series on Animal Planet called "Wild China".  It covers many of the species that are unique to China, and is unmissable if you're interest in natural history.

    I agree with those who object to holding the Olympics in China.  However, China is carrying "many of the cards" in the world economy and I think the rest of the world is in the position of kissing their hineys.  So sad.

    Time zones (none / 0) (#39)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:28:26 PM EST
    We're all in different time zones, The "O" just came on here a while ago, an hour after it appeared above in comments. We just got our hd back.

    This is totally stunning to watch (we're on Mali in the Parade of Nations now.) I'm going to mute the sound though to block out the chattering announcers.

    It's making me want to go back to Shanghai -- I've been there twice and loved it both times. I hear Beijing is nowhere near as nice.

    I missed the O (none / 0) (#44)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:32:26 PM EST
    But where I am the U.S. is about to come on, and someone above posted that they are wearing berets.  I wish I was in another time zone and could see the dancing that people were talking about earlier.

    NOT berets. (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:43:50 PM EST
    Lauer and Costas keep calling 'em that, too.  Those are newsboy caps, as some call 'em.

    Actually, they're standard Irish caps, worn all over the loveliest isle there is.  And worn by my very Irish gramps all his long life.  I asked for his cap when he passed on, and I still have it and wear it.  It must be many decades old by now, but it's made of that incredible wool that just lasts forever.

    I also have lots of berets, being French, too.  So any Frenchy like me would feel obliged to point out that those are not berets.:-)


    Thank you! (none / 0) (#64)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:00:44 PM EST
    Even as I said beret I knew it was the wrong word. Wasn't sure what to call them though.

    AKA: Ivy Caps (none / 0) (#69)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:12:37 PM EST
    They are quite popular again. I've gotten several for my baby grandson.

    I missed the O too (none / 0) (#54)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:42:21 PM EST
    Whatever that is!!!  I'll catch it on a replay at some point.

    NBC will rebroadcast at 2:30 AM (none / 0) (#59)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:49:56 PM EST
    and, I bet you will be able to find video on the NBC web site beginning tomorrow.

    Okay, inquiring minds here wanna know (none / 0) (#40)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:28:33 PM EST
    if anyone knows why we keep hearing, in the opening ceremonies in Beijing . . . bagpipes!

    I'm a Celt, I love 'em, but they seem a bit out of place in Beijing. :-)

    None of us can figure that out. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:33:47 PM EST
    I thought I was hearing things, but my husband was hearing them, too.

    Seems like Lauer and Costas can tell us the most mind-numbingly trivial bits of info, but I bet they never mention the bagpipes.


    Sounds like the bagpipes (none / 0) (#61)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:55:19 PM EST
    just got the hook.

    They are mixing a lot of music (none / 0) (#45)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:32:35 PM EST
    in.  One minute it is bagpipes, the next African music, then Asian, etc. I think it is just that the bagpipes are more noticable - they don't blend in with the rest of it very easily.

    That's the impression I get anyway.


    US team (none / 0) (#50)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:38:12 PM EST
    is cuter and better recieved than I thought they'd be.  

    I guess I'm the only person on earth who looks terrible in a beret :(

    No fear (none / 0) (#58)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:44:43 PM EST
    Not the only one! I do too.  Then again, I have the largest, frizziest hair on the planet so I don't really wear any hats since they don't fit, or cause a "triangle effect".

    U.S. team looked very cute, and was much better received than I thought.  Although the Chinese don't hate us as much as everyone else.  They probably have no problem with our "human rights violations" in Guantanamo, etc...


    True. (none / 0) (#63)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:58:42 PM EST
    But it was a wonderful thing to hear the US greeted by cheers instead of jeers.  Long may it last!

    As far as berets go, my hair is straight, my skull, not so much.

    Kudos to the perimeter dancers, they are really getting a workout tonight.


    The go-go dancers? Those boots! (none / 0) (#67)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:10:29 PM EST
    And short skirts . . . I used to dress just like that.  Three or four decades ago, of course.

    Kobe Bryant in a beret. Heh. (none / 0) (#52)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:39:20 PM EST

    Performance Enhancement and Olympics (none / 0) (#53)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:41:28 PM EST
    From the ancient times, people tried to enhance their performance.  Onions, were the earliest of those "drugs".  The athletes would eat onions for 24 hours before the event and would bathe their body in onion juice.  Onions were thought to have the power, the heat needed for winning.

    So, all this lamenting of the times were athletes were honest, is a mythology.  Athletes always tried to enhance their performance.  

    Cheating (none / 0) (#62)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:57:27 PM EST
    I heard that this year they're testing for sexual orientation. I'm sure the cheating has been going on  forever, but they're certainly getting more creative as time goes on!

    Sexual orientation? (none / 0) (#93)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:42:40 PM EST
    Do you mean the sex identity/gender verification testing thing they do?  (they wouldn't really test for orientation, or try to, right?)

    Heh, caught the USA team (none / 0) (#57)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:44:12 PM EST
    so the question is, do I flip to the Yankee game?!

    methinks I will for a bit.

    Heh. (none / 0) (#60)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:52:50 PM EST
    Everyone sort of looks ready for job interviews, though the decade varies...

    Anyone know why no baseball at this (none / 0) (#65)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:06:19 PM EST
    and the next couple of summer Olympics?  Costas brought it up then went on blabbing about something else.

    Baseball and softball were put in as (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:10:36 PM EST
    temporary additions a couple of Olympics back.  They were not meant to be permanent.  I guess they could have made them permanent though -  they'll probably say more about it during those events.

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#82)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:00:39 PM EST
    Didn't realize they were temporary.

    Geography (none / 0) (#66)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:08:17 PM EST
    I've been playing this geography game on facebook for months -- By now, I actually know where almost all of these little known countries are. It's totally addictive and keeps track of your score so you can play against yourself or your other friends on Facebook.

    You can check it out here. (If you are wondering why I only have 22 friends on Facebook, it's because I use TalkLeft's page and they zapped it last week, along with my 300 friends. They won't tell me why either. It's probably because I signed up with my first name as Talk and last name as Left. Still, no warning or anything, I just get a "page is disabled" message and they ignore my emails.)

    I play that too (none / 0) (#70)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:14:28 PM EST
    I'll have to send you a friend request, Jeralyn!

    please do (none / 0) (#71)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:22:28 PM EST
    China now (none / 0) (#72)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:24:44 PM EST
    Yao Ming is TALL.  Especially next to a 9 year old. -> Who saved 2 of his classmates in an earthquake.

    I know! (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:29:33 PM EST
    China goes for the cute and scores!  Everyone looks great.  And that earthquake was terrible so very sensitive of them to acknowledge it.

    I'm a pile of mush (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:30:27 PM EST
    for that little boy.  What a story, and what a beautiful scene.

    I'm watching the Olympics now! (none / 0) (#75)
    by Paprika on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:43:15 PM EST
    Every year, I think, meh, who cares about the Olympics, senseless nationalism.

    Then it starts and I'm hooked! The men's road race is on live now on CBC.

    Oh and the opening ceremonies were fantastic. Really beautiful.

    we haven't even gotten to the U.S. yet here (none / 0) (#76)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:46:11 PM EST
    glad to know there will be some athletics tonight too. The parade is getting boring.  They just flashed a pic of Bush tapping the flag along his leg looking angry, hot and bored.

    Hang in there...it is beautiful at the end (none / 0) (#77)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:48:53 PM EST
    You mean (none / 0) (#78)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:51:25 PM EST
    The guy flying with the torch?  So cool...

    I was only on the flag raising when I wrote that (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:00:33 PM EST
    I'm easy to please - so you can imagine how I loved the flying torch and cauldron lighting, fireworks, etc.   I'm speechless!

    Like I wish Costas and Lauer were at this point.


    The zzzzzs are calling ... (none / 0) (#79)
    by Paprika on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:52:04 PM EST
    There's a apparently a whack of sports on today (Saturday in China), volleyball, men's gymnastics (one of my faves) qualifying, swimming, weight lifting and so on.

    I don't think they're going to show most of it and I have a feeling I'll fall asleep before the good stuff starts. Damn you Eastern time zone!

    I doubt I'll make it to the end of the road race before I fall asleep the thing is like 240 kms.


    Despite all its imperfections.... (none / 0) (#85)
    by ctrenta on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:08:05 PM EST

    ... with regards to China's human rights violations, the corruption of the IOC, the performance enhancing drugs, the blatant commercialism, etc., etc. .....

    these opening ceremonies were probably the most intense and most amazing ones I've seen yet. Li Ning's run across the stadium, was unexpected. I just thought he was going to the top of the stadium to light the caldron. Instead we got SO much more. Then the fireworks. As Costas said, they were "breathtaking."

    NBC's blackout... (none / 0) (#91)
    by OrangeFur on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:34:30 PM EST
    ... is infuriating. Here we are in what is supposedly one of the world's richest countries, priding ourselves on our freedom, and we can't watch the Olympic opening ceremony at the same time as four billion of our fellow Earthmates? They prohibit US networks from showing footage, and go after YouTube videos? It's mind-boggling.

    I was able to watch some video on the BBC site by using a proxy server in England, but it really annoys me that I'd otherwise have to wait over 12 hours to actually see the ceremonies for myself.

    Which were spectacular, by any definition.

    I liked the China expert (none / 0) (#97)
    by akaEloise on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 01:13:01 AM EST
    who was explaining things like Taoist and Buddhist iconography and Tang Dynasty history during the ceremony.  Joshua Cooper Ramo.  

    Cooper-Ramo? (none / 0) (#100)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 02:05:04 AM EST
    He must be the son of Roberta Cooper-Ramo of New Mexico, former American Bar Association President and the ABA's first woman President. I really like her. Her husband was pretty cool too, a doctor if I remember correctly (I had dinner at their house once a long time ago.)

    Must be (none / 0) (#101)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 02:09:25 AM EST
    just found this:

    Joshua Cooper Ramo was raised in Los Ranchos, New Mexico, on the Rio Grande River. He began flying in his late teens and holds two national point-to-point airspeed records. He joined Time in 1996 as the youngest senior editor in the magazine's history and went on to become its foreign editor and assistant managing editor. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum's Global Leaders of Tomorrow, as well as a Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a cofounder of the U.S.-China Young Leaders Forum.

    He was good. I watched with (none / 0) (#102)
    by Cream City on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 02:37:27 AM EST
    my son, majoring in Asian religious studies, among a few fascinating majors, and he has had many good teachers and has read a lot on it all, with only one course to go -- and he really appreciated the commentator, too.

    My spouse and I also watching it both are media historians, so we got great fun from so much attention to the Chinese contributions -- paper, moveable type (no, not Johannes Gutenberg, but he was in a culture that wasn't so secretive), etc.  I had read a review from others who saw ceremonies before we did here, so I taped it all -- because some of that will be just the thing to enliven a lecture on those inventions for frosh. :-)

    And, of course, the Chinese also reminded us quite well just which culture invented fireworks!


    He was very good. (none / 0) (#106)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 03:55:49 AM EST
    and added a lot to the broadcast.  

    Whoa - death in Bejing (none / 0) (#108)
    by JavaCityPal on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 11:01:24 AM EST
    Father-in-law of the coach of the US Men's Volleyball was killed in a stabbing incident. Others were injured.