austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

No matter where we go

Few things make me less secure than groups of serious-looking uniformed men with military rifles. So I got nervous at Raffles City, a mall/office complex/hotel that's the center for the International Olympic Committee meeting. Tony Blair and other officials are converging on it; thus security checkpoints and guards for a place that, a few weeks ago, had a big Lego member of the Fett clan.

For the Olympic theme display at the mall floor they have five nearly complete rings all with big athlete pictures and small trivial panels. The rings were all about the Summer Olympics, since the Winter Olympics never get any respect, and this near the equator it's hard to visualize snow. There was also a big TV showing a documentary on Pierre de Coubertin, creator of the modern Olympic games, delivered in that homogenized History Channel style where even when they explain things you didn't know, it doesn't surprise you.

According to the schedule -- I got there after it was done -- the early afternoon included a Team Singpaore show. The schedule (in reverse order for comic effect) had ``Kickboxing Performance'' by the Fitbods Team; ``Taekwondo Aerobics,'' from the Singapore Taekwondo Federation; and ``Rope Skipping'' from Rope Skipping Singapore. I'm so very sorry I missed it.

I'd have tried taking pictures. There were curious things in the panels, even beyond the Mexico 68 Olympics logo random spots blocked off by panels insisting it was for security. But, again, there were those many people with grim looks and big guns, so I didn't feel like testing their patience.

Trivia: Testing of NASA's tracking network by launching a Mercury mockup on a Scout solid rocket lasted 43 seconds before Range Safety destroyed the erratically moving rocket. Source: This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, Loyd S. Swenson Jr., James M. Grimwood, Charles C. Alexander. NASA SP-4201.

Currently Reading: The Investigation, Stanislaw Lem.

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