Olympic hatred

I won’t bother linking to news stories about the shambles that is the Olympic Torch Relay. I’ll just quote George Orwell. “Even if one didn’t know from concrete examples (the 1936 Olympic Games, for instance) that international sporting contests lead to orgies of hatred, one could deduce it from general principles.” Hat-tip to John Quiggin.

Olympians score Internet kiddie-chat perk

Not only do Australia’s Olympic athletes have superb pectorals, the government has set them up with a bevy of 5 to 12-year-olds to chat to on the Internet.

Olympian Andrew Gaze says the program will provide inspiration to young people and the Olympic team.

Indeed. And if you set up, say, Wollongong property developers with a bunch of pre-pubescents online, Serious Questions Would Be Asked. Why are Serious Questions not being asked about this initiative?


Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch unveiled

Photograph of Olympic Torch for Beijing 2008

Given my comments on the Torch of the 2006 Commonwealth Games, which was later revealed to be little more than an elaborate USB data key, I supposed I should say a few words about the recently-announced design of the torch for the 2008 Olympic Games to be held in Beijing (pictured left).

Actually, I quite like it.

Which is more than I can say for the slogan “Light the Passion Share the Dream” — but then such slogans tend to be collections of relatively meaningless nice-sounding words that couldn’t possibly offend anyone.

But back to the torch…

Fortunately, despite being designed by computer company Lenovo, there don’t seem to be any lame technowank features like built-in webcams. However the propane burner only has enough fuel for 15 minutes in good wind conditions — which means there’ll be a lot of these torches lighting each other and being passed along.

“The Torch incorporates technological innovations to be able to remain lit in winds of up to 65 kilometres-an-hour and lit in rain of up to 50 millimetres-an-hour,” says another media release. “Other technological advancements prevent colour discolouration and corrosion around the cone from which the Flame burns. The Torch construction is also environmentally-conscious. The materials are recyclable…”

… though I can’t see too many of these sought-after souvenirs being melted down for scrap!

So, folks, what do you think?