Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Well, I was going to write about myself, of all things, but I just spent four hours watching extended live coverage of the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Beijing.  The first hour, especially, was completely mindblowing, and I have just come to the conclusion that the Chinese are either magicians or robots.  Or maybe some amazing combination of the two. 

I can't even begin to describe some of the things they did, so here are some numbers instead:

  • 08/08/08: the 29th Olympiad Games opens.
  • 43 billion USD spent on this year's Olympic Games.
  • 15,000 individual (and very detailed) costumes involved in the opening ceremony.
  • 20,000 people performed in the opening ceremony.
  • Over 10,000 athletes from 205 countries are competing.
  • 4 of these athletes are from Iraq, and were only very recently allowed to compete.
  • 91,000 seats in the Bird's Nest stadium, with 11,000 temporary seats erected for the opening ceremony.
  • Tickets for the opening started at 600 USD, but the price increased dramatically over the past six months.
  • The famous Chinese basketball player Yao Ming is 7'6".
  • 29 sets of fireworks in the shape of giant footprints led to the Bird's Nest Stadium as the games open.
  • 2008 drummers began the ceremony in almost perfect synchrony.  2008 t'ai chi players did an amazing demonstration later on.
  • 29,000 fireworks shells were used in the biggest fireworks display in history.

I really just wanted to play it in the background so I could get along with a backlog of work I have at the moment, but it pretty much held my attention the entire time (except for when I got really hungry and ducked off to boil some dumprings during the bit where all the athletes come in).  So now I have a whole bunch of stuff to do, and I'm tired from the overstimulation of probably the biggest event the world has ever seen (until the closing ceremony, probably!). 

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