I missed most of the live broadcast of the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, but from what I saw it was quite the Canada-fest. Someone should look into how it compares to the way Calgary presented the country in 1988. As someone who grew up in Calgary in the decade following the Olympics, I can attest that it had a permanent transformative effect on the city and its sporting culture, and its legacy can still be felt there today.
But let’s begin with some links. I read up on much of what I missed via this article by Paul Wells, who saw the opening from inside GM Place. Jonathon Narvey and Adrian MacNair made photographic excursions to capture the early protests, which they described as scattered in a plurality of marginally coherent agendas; that was before things turned violent. For an alternative look at the political counter-programming, my friend and former schoolmate Meera Bai visited the Poverty Olympics in the Downtown Eastside. The political dimension of the Olympics doesn’t interest me all that much, to be honest, but the stories and pictures are flavourful.
I have a lumbering giant of a feature article in the works that will hopefully see the light of day soon. Until then, content yourself with some further reading:
- Kevin Brown of Geographicus wrote a comprehensive introduction to authenticating rare and antique maps—a must-read for the cartographically inclined.
- And while on the subject of maps, Google incorporated aerial images from World War II into Google Earth.
- Roger Ebert took a mental walk around London. Like most of the personal recollections Mr Ebert has put in writing of late, it’s a beautiful piece—and near the end he comes by my present stomping grounds in Cambridge and Grantchester.
- Terrence Deacon raises some problems with the theory that language is a product of natural selection.
- When David Ben-Gurion was Prime Minister of Israel, he considered Albert Einstein for President. Einstein declined.