29 Aug 2008

All that stuff about the Beijing Games starting on 8th of the 8th 08 because 8 is supposed to be a lucky number in China? Guff, naturally. You might have heard about the piece in the NY Times where a senior executive at NBC TV explained what really happened.

Fearing that their severe summer weather might cause problems for the outdoor events, Beijing had originally wanted to host the games in September. But that would mean NBC, who were paying more than a half billion euros for the TV rights, would be up against the extremely popular Monday Night Football over on ABC (the American football season starts the beginning of September). So, the Chinese offered to move the start of the games to mid August. Which was fine, until the TV people figured out that some of the top tennis players, tempted by Olympic Gold, might pull out of the US Open in New York, which traditionally begins the last week in August, creating yet another ratings situation.

Luckily, having the games start on the 8th meant that everyone could make money.

Meanwhile, there’s a thing going around the web you may already have come across regarding the situation between Russia and Georgia. Some folks are saying that the whole thing is something to do with the Winter Olympics of 2014 which are due to be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Unluckily for Russia, all the raw materials needed to build the facilities are buried in Georgia and South Ossetia. Also apparently unluckily for the Russians is that the area which stands to gain the most from the Olympics in terms of increasing real estate values is Georgia’s Black Sea Coast. Wealthy Moscovites think it should be theirs.    


I can’t stop thinking of things I’d put into Room 101 if I ever got on the show. Here’s a few more:

People called Jeremy. Like, for example, Paxman: a few weeks back on University Challenge the answer to the starter-for-ten was something to do with Irish mythology and a person called ‘Cush-a-layne’ (Cú Chulainn). And I seem to remember last year that the five point bonus was a ‘caymin’ – a stick apparently used in the Irish sport of hurling. 

'Friends' who, for example, of your holiday photographs say things like: ‘you should really check your lens to see if it’s gone out of alignment… ’

Wayne Rooney ability exaggeration.


The yellow part of GB registration plates. Apart from the minging colour and the weird font, what really bothers me are the letter combinations: don’t you find you spend all your time driving behind these guys making up stupid words?

The Heineken Cup. I’m sorry, lads. It just seems like the whole of Munster has succumbed to the most successful beer ad campaign in history. How come no French fans go to Cardiff? Because the French don’t guzzle cheap lager, that’s why.

Female TV presenters who use the Irish form of their last name.


I came across this on one of the environmental websites the other day:

[Bloggers] and other Internet critics have already started to expose what they see as ‘greenwash’ advertising – ads put out by mega corporations which exploit the current craze for all things green amongst the young people. A French group called l’Alliance Pour la Planète, which monitors this type of advertising, cites an ad for a Japanese sport utility vehicle that was billed as having been “conceived and developed in the homeland of the Kyoto accords.”


I start lecturing history of architecture in WIT next week! Luckily for me, I found this very useful map animation...


I'll have good stuff next week like how planners get approval for their own one off houses in the countryside, and how you can build a building after its been refused permission and not have to remove it and how you don't have to comply with planning conditions. Have a great weekend.

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