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Author Topic: Records set in smoggy Olympics?
Farmpunk
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posted 28 July 2008 03:30 PM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm a sports fan but not a fan of the Olympics. This looming event is getting beyond my capacity to understand and I'm enough of a sports geek to enjoy NFL football.

So, what's everyone think? There's a lot of issues floating around the games, but one - the smog - is actually suspended in the air and seems to me to be an interesting one.

I heard a nervous sounding Oly official give a hilarious account of how the smog has improved to "more of a light mist."

Is the smog even that bad? Is the Western media playing this up to diss China?


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N.Beltov
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posted 28 July 2008 05:01 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Olympics is turning into, has turned into, a giant greasy, fatty burger. Avoid it and live longer.

If anyone breaks a world record, then it should be played over and over on the news and sports roundups in any case. I just hope that no marathoner drops dead from toxic exposure or something.

OTOH, I plan to watch the spectacle of the Opening Ceremonies, and anything that celebrates Chinese culture. Maybe check Chinese news sources DURING the games, especially when the Western media - as it inevitably will - descends to racist generalizations and hate propaganda.


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Wilf Day
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posted 28 July 2008 05:36 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
I plan to watch the spectacle of the Opening Ceremonies, and anything that celebrates Chinese culture. Maybe check Chinese news sources DURING the games, especially when the Western media - as it inevitably will - descends to racist generalizations and hate propaganda.

Or if not expressly racist or hateful, then focussed on some angle that scratches us where we itch but bears little relation to Beijing reality.
quote:
Originally posted by Farmpunk:
Is the smog even that bad? Is the Western media playing this up to diss China?

It has been very bad for years, and getting worse each year in both Shanghai and Beijing, and in other cities to a lesser extent.

That's why they had to shut down all Beijing's construction sites and large numbers of factories, drop the subway fare to 30 cents, and ban half the cars -- odd numbered plates one day, even numbered plates the next. That's been the plan for months. It's not working too well. Today for the first time I heard the idea of banning 90% of vehicles, and shutting down more factories than they planned. I predict they will do whatever it takes.


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N.Beltov
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posted 28 July 2008 07:48 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's an interesting expression: "some angle that scratches us where we itch".

I remember the PanAm Games in Winnipeg in 1999. The Winnipeg Sun suddenly discovered Spanish and published daily instructions for Cuban athletes on how to "defect". The provocations were endless. It shamed our city and country. The sporting events were a sideshow to the main acts.

These sorts of events are often highly politically charged, and I expect nothing less in Beijing.


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Farmpunk
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posted 29 July 2008 01:45 AM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wonder if the air quality is really that much worse than in certain areas of NA. Seems to me it's being played up as a serious issue - for the athletes, the pampered "amateurs". It's not like we build soccer fields around sour gas wells but the gas wells are still there, as is Nanticoke, etc. But in China, wow, they got pollution.

The one sport I am looking forward to is men's basketball. I cheered loud and hard when the US lost last time around. I hope they do again.


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Boom Boom
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posted 29 July 2008 04:41 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The CBC correspondents for China - I forget their names - have been mentioning the poor air quality in parts of China for many years. That raises the question: how do ordinary Chinese who live in these polluted places 365 days a year cope? (yes, I've seen those images of thousands of Chinese wearing gauze masks while walking or cycling to work)
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 29 July 2008 05:05 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
OTOH, I plan to watch the spectacle of the Opening Ceremonies, and anything that celebrates Chinese culture. Maybe check Chinese news sources DURING the games, especially when the Western media - as it inevitably will - descends to racist generalizations and hate propaganda.

America Über Alles -- 1984 Olympic Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles

[ 29 July 2008: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Nanuq
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posted 29 July 2008 05:08 AM      Profile for Nanuq   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Given that the Chinese media will be engaging in propaganda as well (Tibet? What Tibet?), maybe they'll balance each other out.
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ElizaQ
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posted 29 July 2008 05:24 AM      Profile for ElizaQ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:
The CBC correspondents for China - I forget their names - have been mentioning the poor air quality in parts of China for many years. That raises the question: how do ordinary Chinese who live in these polluted places 365 days a year cope? (yes, I've seen those images of thousands of Chinese wearing gauze masks while walking or cycling to work)

I guess 'coping' is relative. In a nutshell people get sick a lot and suffer from numerous chronic ailments.

China, Health and Pollution

quote:
Pan Xiao-chuan, a professor at Beijing University's School of Public Health, says the number of children with acute respiratory infection (ARI) is on the rise.

"Yes, we could call it a trend," he said. "With the density of nitrogen dioxide increasing, the number of children suffering from ARI will increase. Some develop pneumonia symptoms, and that can be deadly."

A United Nations report in 2002 said that 23,000 respiratory deaths, 13,000 fatal heart disease cases and 15 million cases of bronchitis in China were attributed to air pollution that year. Two Chinese University researchers recently concluded that by immediately reducing Shanghai's air pollution, up to 5,000 deaths could be prevented over the next five years.

At Beijing Children's Hospital, Deputy Director Yang Yong-kong believes pneumonia is the number one killer of children. He says that since he became a doctor in the 1960s, he has seen a dramatic rise in asthma cases as well.

"When I was a young doctor, in that time there was not so many [cases] but in recent years it is getting more and more," he said. "In Beijing, nearly double."


Pollution Soars

Although not about China, I have a friend who related a pretty illuminating anecdote about his time spent teaching english in South Korea.
He said that the area he was in was so polluted that there was this yellow dust on everything and the air and sky was just a chronic yellow haze. He developed a chronic cough when he was there.
The thing that got to him most though was one day all of the kids drew pictures and in each and every one of them the sky was colored yellow. Not a blue crayon in sight.

[ 29 July 2008: Message edited by: ElizaQ ]


From: Eastern Lakes | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
ElizaQ
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posted 29 July 2008 05:39 AM      Profile for ElizaQ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Boom Boom here's another article I found about the effects on everyday people and how the cope, though in this case I'm not sure if coping is the right word.
Flowers and Pollution

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TemporalHominid
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posted 29 July 2008 06:38 AM      Profile for TemporalHominid   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Farmpunk:
...- the smog - is actually suspended in the air and seems to me to be an interesting one.

...Is the smog even that bad? Is the Western media playing this up to diss China?


consider other smoggy cities that hosted olympics... there were concerns about smog in Los Angeles,Atlanta, Athens and Barcelona.

Does anyone remember the smog filled hazy days of summer in those cities?


From: Under a bridge, in Foot Muck | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 29 July 2008 06:50 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Athens was particularly bad on the distance atheletes, as I recall, partly because it was also 35+ degrees for much of the games. I don't remember similar complaints for Atlanta or LA (which surprises me, for LA).
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 29 July 2008 07:15 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, smog wasn't on the public radar back in tha day like it is now, but athletes definitely complained about pollution in 1984. The first time pollution was a major issue was (predictably) 1968 in Mexico City.

I have no doubt the environmental situation in Beijing is very poor, but I am equally sure that the West will take any opportunity to criticise China or exercise their cynicism.


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Le Téléspectateur
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posted 29 July 2008 09:33 AM      Profile for Le Téléspectateur     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Although not about China, I have a friend who related a pretty illuminating anecdote about his time spent teaching english in South Korea.
He said that the area he was in was so polluted that there was this yellow dust on everything and the air and sky was just a chronic yellow haze. He developed a chronic cough when he was there.
The thing that got to him most though was one day all of the kids drew pictures and in each and every one of them the sky was colored yellow. Not a blue crayon in sight.

This thread is about China. Not any Asian country that your friends have been to.


From: More here than there | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
ElizaQ
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posted 29 July 2008 09:49 AM      Profile for ElizaQ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Le Téléspectateur:

This thread is about China. Not any Asian country that your friends have been to.


Snark much? Yeesh. This thread is about pollution and the effects of it, excuse my horrible transgression for daring to make a connection with kids and pollution in one locale with kids and pollution in another locale. Perhaps if I point out the connection between the pollution in China with the smog in South Korea as per at least one of the articles I posted that would quell your sensabilities somewhat? Funnily enough there's a connection with California as well. Funny thing pollution, it just doesn't recognize those durn man-made borders. I also see other places being brought up as well. Where's the snark on those?


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West Coast Greeny
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posted 29 July 2008 10:16 AM      Profile for West Coast Greeny     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Uh... yeah, its bad.

The "birds nest" yesterday.


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kropotkin1951
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posted 29 July 2008 10:31 AM      Profile for kropotkin1951   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A city with smog, how very unusual. Here is how one city thinks people should cope.

quote:
Exercising outdoors during
a smog or heat alert?
High smog and heat levels can be dangerous.
Toronto Public Health estimates because of air
pollution, every year 1,700 people die earlier
than expected and 6,000 hospital visits are
linked to heart or lung diseases.
A smog alert is issued when smog conditions
reach dangerous levels (i.e. Air Quality Index
reaches or exceeds 50). Most of Toronto’s smog
(a mixture of air pollutants on hot summer days),
comes from the burning of fossil fuels to run
motor vehicles and generate electricity.
A heat alert is issued when the combination of
heat, humidity and other weather conditions can
be very dangerous.
Health risks may increase during high smog or
heat levels for:
• those who play sports or exercise outdoors
• cyclists
• others active outside (eg. gardeners)
Parents, coaches and others supervising children
should also be aware of the risks during a smog
or heat alert.
The air quality in Ontario is now poor all the way up past Algonquin Park and our media is vilifying the Chinese. Go figure.

The London Killer Fogs 50 years ago were far worse than anything in China but that was understandable since they were trying to rebuild their industrial economy quickly. I've been to LA where for a week we had "sunny" weather. It all looked like a grey cloud to me but the locals thought it was quite good air.

Does anyone have actual comparisons from the Greek Olympics or the Seoul or LA games so that we can judge how much worse it might be in China than any previous games.


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Farmpunk
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posted 29 July 2008 10:58 AM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For such a search I believe we're going to need the help of the multi-gold medal winning, and consistently record setting Lord of Links... M Spector.

Sigh. I assume though he's off plotting ways for Canada to survive invasion by the US once the revolution arrives. Too busy, in other words, to stoop to sports.


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N.Beltov
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posted 16 August 2008 06:31 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Usain "Lightning" Bolt is the fastest human on the planet with a time of 9.69 in the 100 m final this morning. Canadian Donovan Bailey, whose Olympic record was broken by Bolt's world record time, predicted such a time. It is Jamaica's first Gold medal in the men's 100 m.

He actually let up at the end, looked around, savored the sweet moment as King of the world, tapped his chest, and coasted to victory. Unbelievable.

Bolt. Lightning Bolt. How apropos.

[ 16 August 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


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N.Beltov
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posted 16 August 2008 06:54 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Canada has a Gold, a Silver and a Bronze Medal this morning. A woman of colour, Carol Huynh, from Hazelton, B.C., took the Gold in the 48-kilogram freestyle wrestling weight class. Huyhn wept tears of joy on the Podium as the Canadian anthem was played.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict a world record by the Jamaican team in the Men's 4 x 100m Relay Final. It should be fun to watch 10:10 am (Eastern) on Friday, August 22nd.

American Michael Phelps now has 7 Gold Medals in these games and is on track to break the record of Mark Spitz with one more race to go. His attempt for 8 Gold Medals in a single Games should be at around 10 pm Eastern tonight.

[ 16 August 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


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Boom Boom
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posted 16 August 2008 09:10 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Phelps is going to make many millions of dollars from endorsements.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 16 August 2008 10:07 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ahem.
quote:
Although he is only 18, is less than a year out of high school and still lives with his mother in a Baltimore County townhouse, he already is a millionaire.

He has been a professional swimmer since he was 16. He is the youngest male ever to turn pro in his sport. He has sponsors, agents, lawyers, accountants, deals, charities, obligations, his own Web site, and his own logo, a jazzy-looking MP over the name Michael Phelps.


Filthy rich already!


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RosaL
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posted 16 August 2008 10:07 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:
Phelps is going to make many millions of dollars from endorsements.

the Jamaican runner who broke Donovan Bailey's record this morning was holding his shoes, kissing them for the cameras - obviously something commercial is going on there.

I just happened to see it. I really don't give a damn about the olympics.


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abnormal
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posted 16 August 2008 04:06 PM      Profile for abnormal   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
He wasn't just kissing the shoes. He was holing them up pointing to the logo on the heels.

Not that he had to. Every serious runner on the planet knows the story of those shoes and how they were custom designed to compliment his personal running style.


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Boom Boom
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posted 16 August 2008 06:15 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just watched the women's 42 km marathon, won by a 38 year old Romanian (now living in Colorado). She was a minute and a half ahead of her nearest competitors at the end - amazing. She did it in 2 hours, 26 minutes, and a few seconds.

I ran a cross country marathon - 26 miles - back in 1969 in Belleville, I think it took me over three hours, but we ran on dirt, gravel, and through streams and over hills. I was happy just to finish, even though I was near the end of the pack.

[ 16 August 2008: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


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NorthReport
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posted 16 August 2008 06:23 PM      Profile for NorthReport     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
if we take the respective countries population into account, Australia is running away with these Olympics, aren't they?

And don't knock Canada either as we now have three medals.

Go Lightning Go!

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/beijing/medals


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M. Spector
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posted 16 August 2008 08:13 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah! We're tied with Zimbabwe!
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
abnormal
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posted 17 August 2008 08:36 AM      Profile for abnormal   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
To heck with Zimbabwe. If things go well Canada will end up with as many medals as Michael Phelps (total population - one).
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unionist
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posted 17 August 2008 09:02 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Any word on the grapevine as to what Phelps is on?
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al-Qa'bong
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posted 17 August 2008 09:14 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jesus?
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Stargazer
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posted 17 August 2008 09:17 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Pretty sure he's on his 10th medal.

Oh and he was very happy that Murdering Bush was there. How sweet.


From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
abnormal
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posted 17 August 2008 09:26 AM      Profile for abnormal   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah. We all know that it's Bush's fault. Clearly if it wasn't for him Canada would have swept all the gold medals.
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Stargazer
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posted 17 August 2008 09:28 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is that what I said? I don't think so. It's a sunday and I don't want petty scraps okay? Thanks.
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500_Apples
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posted 17 August 2008 10:11 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stargazer:
Pretty sure he's on his 10th medal.

Oh and he was very happy that Murdering Bush was there. How sweet.


I think that if I were eating 12, 000 calories a day and training as hard as he has I would not have had nearly as much time to follow politics as in this life where I have not been training hard. I might have some vague sense that Bush is controversial, and I'd be happy an important person is there to watch.


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Stargazer
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posted 17 August 2008 10:14 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You're kidding right? Even if he was in a locked room for 10 hours a day and only let out to walk to the mall he would have an idea of how his government performs on a world stage.

No way can anyone in the US claim ignorance.


From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 17 August 2008 10:19 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stargazer:
You're kidding right? Even if he was in a locked room for 10 hours a day and only let out to walk to the mall he would have an idea of how his government performs on a world stage.

No way can anyone in the US claim ignorance.


I'm not kidding.

I don't think most people pay as much attention, and anyway the media in the USA has a tendency to filter information.

Besides, he could have done worse... like the women's beach volleyball team.


http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/bush-with-volleyball-players

And many more photos that look worse.

ETA: Holy crap those women are tall... I think GWB is 6 feet? That makes those women like 6"3 or something.

[ 17 August 2008: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]


From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 17 August 2008 10:50 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How do I link to a youtube video properly?

Men's 100m dash:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lyo-eu2R2Rg

The Jamaican sprinter, Bolt... just wtf?


From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 17 August 2008 11:38 AM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Barnett of AU is 6'4", Walsh of the USA is only 6', I believe.
From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 17 August 2008 11:41 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh yes, I forgot about that nice little back slap from Bush. Good catch 500.

And yes, the mainstream media sucks but he is amongst world athletes and someone, somewhere has been talking about the US and Bush. He certainly must know the animosity aimed at Bush, even from other athletes. Right now, even though they are doing well at the Olympics, I am positive that the press on Bush in other media and the basic contempt the world has for Bush cannot possibly go unnoticed by this guy.

quote:
'm not kidding.

I don't think most people pay as much attention, and anyway the media in the USA has a tendency to filter information.

Besides, he could have done worse... like the women's beach volleyball team.


The blond is 6'3" and the dark haired girl is 5'11" (close enough).


From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged

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