29 July 2012

View the Tribute Segment that NBC Edited Out

Category: Randomness — Posted by Michael at 0114

The Opening Ceremonies of the London 2012 Summer Olympics were impressive for many reasons. If the Beijing Opening Ceremonies represented how creepily impressive thousands of people all thinking alike can be, then the London ceremonies showed the world what can be accomplished when creativity and free thought are allowed and put to their fullest use.

While watching the impressive event on NBC, it appeared that we were seeing the entire ceremony minus the many commercial breaks. Apparently, that wasn’t the case. It’s now known that NBC edited out a 6 minute segment that represented a somber memorial tribute. It was not officially for the victims of the 7 July 2005 terror attacks in London, but it did feature photos of the victims of those attacks which occurred only days after London was awarded the 2012 Summer Games. The segment can be viewed in BBC One’s broadcast right here.

There’s a bit of an uproar online about this editing choice by NBC. I definitely disagree with the removal of this segment. When I watch the ceremonies I want to experience them as they were intended, not as NBC wants me to see them. I recorded them, so I could fast forward any part I didn’t want to see. The only thing (besides commercials) that I skipped over was Paul McCartney’s performance. (Sorry, I’m not a Beatles fan at all.) Additionally, I see nothing wrong with acknowledging the attacks. During the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, the attacks of September 11th were acknowledged.

The part of the outrage I cannot get behind is the comparison of NBC now showing the tribute segment to the IOC’s refusual to acknowledge the 1972 terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics that year. Obviously, I am neither pro-terrorist or anti-Israel, but I think the IOC made the right decision by deciding against holding anything more than the small gathering that they held in the Olympic Village. The 7/7 attacks took place in the host city, London, right after games were awarded. The murder of Israeli atheletes occurred 40 years ago in a different country. That does not make it any less of a tragedy, but there was also a bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics; should we acknowledge that too? Should every Olympic related tragedy be acknowledged at every opening ceremony? Just because you don’t mention something constantly, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or that it wasn’t tragic.

28 July 2012

The Online Olympics

Category: Interesting Links,Randomness — Posted by Michael at 2331

I usually write many more posts in my blog during the Olympics than I do in the intervening years. The Olympics are also the only time (other than the occassional Phillies World Series appearance) that you’ll ever see sports of any kind mentioned on my website. However, usually I’m writing them as I watch the Games on television. This year that’s changing some. The more widely popular events are on the primetime broadcast and (my favorite) the late night broadcast. But what if you want to watch the women’s badminton preliminaries or for some odd reason, any fencing match. Then you’ll be glad (as I am) that NBC is live streaming every round of every sport at which they have a camera. While you can view it on their website, the best way is to download the NBC Olympics Live Extra app.  (Fair warning: You must be a cable or satellite subscriber to view NBC’s online content.)

01 July 2012

My Cousin Theresa’s Book

Category: Interesting Links,Life — Posted by Michael at 1831

A Long Way From RunnemedeAlmost everyone’s career has some interesting moments, but how many people can say that their career has had enough interesting moments to fill a book, nonetheless a book that people would actually want to read?  My cousin (first  cousin, twice removed on my maternal grandmother’s side for you genealogy buffs out there), Theresa, can say exactly that. She spent her career as a member of the US Foreign Service. She was in Saigon, Vietnam during the Tet Offensive and again at fall of Vietnam. She was Consul in Cebu, the Philippines, chargé d’affaires in Laos, Ambassador to Guyana (appointed by Ronald Reagan) and Ambassador to Brunei (appointed by Bill Clinton) among many other fascinating positions and places.

I strongly encourage you to take a look at her newly published book, A Long Way from Runnemede: One Woman’s Foreign Service Journey. I’ve known Theresa forever and have always loved hearing her stories but reading them all in one place made this a book even I couldn’t put down. Besides, the fact that the cover features a picture of her standing in the Oval Office with Ronald Reagan has got to tell you the book is going to be interesting!

Check it out on Amazon.

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