Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama Promises A Changed America

He was the face of change in more ways than one as US Senator Barrack Obama addressed tens of thousands of Democrats in attendance at the Invesco Football Field in Denver, Colorado, USA, and millions more by television worldwide, as he accepted his nomination to be the Democratic Presidential Candidate for the upcoming 2008 US elections.

I haven't heard such a stirring oration since Michael Douglas portrayed an embattled re-electionist in the movie "The American President". Whether or not Mr. Obama's vision will be realized should he take on the post come November is something that would have to be left to the course of history. But being the first African-American presidential nominee is already quite a cinematic historical moment.

Would he be able to have his cake and eat it too?

Obama touched on the legacy of past Democrat presidents citing Franklin Roosevelt and Kennedy in his speech and urging on the audience to bring back the "American dream". Towards the last part of his speech however, Obama drew on his roots as an African-American, not naming the "preacher" he spoke of but obviously referring to Martin Luther King Jr. in his famous "I have a dream" speech.

Definitely the battlecry of the Democrats in this election is change. Mr. Obama himself personifies such a huge change in American politics, one cannot wonder just how ready America is to embrace this change. Once such a segregated nation in terms of its history with blacks, will America now embrace a man of color over another 4 years of what is perceived by some as a lackluster 8 years of Republican rule.

Skin color aside, Mr. Obama boasts of a record that is impressive enough for a relatively young achiever in public service. In his acceptance speech, he identified with the average American's struggles, even drawing on his familial experiences, as his motivation to pursue the highest post of public office. He promises to change so many things from the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq to tax cuts for 95% of American workers, to an aggressive environmental policy. He even categorically declared to end America's dependence on Middle Eastern oil within a decade.

There are of course other issues other than color in this elections but for now, the Obama saga continues. Will the promise of change convince enough Americans to look beyond deeply rooted racial bias and vote for a young candidate of African-American descent?

We'll know the answer this November.

Here is an excerpt from Mr. Obama's acceptance speech:
"I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer, and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. That's to be expected, because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters.

If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things."

For a complete transcript of Barrack Obama's speech visit the

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2008 Olympics: Bye-bye Beijing, Hello London!

The last of the fireworks fizzled out late August 25th as the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games came to a very spectacular close. Despite its many detractors, the Beijing Olympic Games would remain a historic, fantastic and the most grand Olympics of the global sporting meet.

Already, London, which is up next in hosting the games by 2012, have its mayor Boris Johnson almost half-apologetically expressing to the effect that the next instance of the Olympiad would be quite modest compared to the just finished Chinese version. Says Johnson thru the BBC, "This is not going to be a cost-cutting Olympics, but it is essential we watch every penny to deliver a Games that is value for money."

Olympic Medal Tally Results

The top 5 countries dominating the games were the USA, China, Russia, Great Britain, and Australia. Germany, France, South Korea, Italy and the Ukraine rounds up the top 10.

Overall, there were 87 countries that ranked with a medal out of the 204 states that participated for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Catch the Games results and other Olympic statistics in detail at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) website.

The Philippine Performance

The Philippine delegation did not succeed in bringing in any medals in the official Olympic competitions. However, Filipinos have a consolation in Wushu athlete Willy Wang who brought home a gold for the demonstration sport.

This is the second gold for the Philippines in a non-official sport in the Olympics. The first one was bagged by celebrated bowler Arianne CerdeƱa during the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

With another medal-less Olympic campaign the Philippine government pledges to overhaul the sports program of the country.

Bolt and Phelps Victorious

The athletes who stood out at the Beijing Olympics were of course, Michael Phelps of the USA and Jamaica's Usain Bolt.

Michael Phelps has now reached legendary status for taking 8 golds in swimming, breaking 4 world records as an individual and helping to break 3 more records in the men's relay events. Phelps now stands as the person with the most gold medals for a single Olympics, overshadowing his predecessor and compatriot Mark Spitz.

Usain Bolt ran away (literally and figuratively) with 3 gold medals corresponding to 3 world records in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay track and field events. He is the world's fastest man despite the disapproving remarks of IOC President Jacques Rogge's regarding Bolt's bragging attitude over his wins.

The Beijing Olympic Games will be a memorable celebration for the 10,000 athletes who played in the events and the tens of thousands more who presented the pageantry, the fireworks, the men and women flying on strings, the neon-lit monocycles and the singers and dancers who represent the billions of dollars spent for hosting the 2008 Olympics. For the millions of viewers worldwide who watched the games on TV, special effects and lipsyncing aside, and anticipated the results on the Web (over 16 million tuned in at IOC's You Tube channel), the Beijing experience is finally over. We can now go on with our lives undistracted by what was the most fantastic hosting of the Olympics in all of history.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Five Blogs Friday: Olympic Blogs

Marathon blogging was removed from the
Olympic games as it tended to damage eyesight.
Marathon blogging was removed from the Olympic games as it tended to damage eyesight.
I'm going to start a new recurring feature for Daily Dotventures which will henceforth be called Five Blogs Friday. Got this bit of inspiration from Blog Day 2007 where upon registering at the Blog Day site, you get to cite five other blogs in keeping with the celebration (as well as to spread some "love").

This time however, Five Blogs Friday will feature themed or topical blogs every week. Hopefully this will spark some interest in you folks into exploring thousands of other blogs you otherwise would not even come across in your regular blog searches. I also hope that this new mid-year resolution will keep these blogger fingers of mine busy, at least once a week. :)

While the blogs we will feature here are mostly random uninitiated picks, if you have any suggestions for future editions of Five Blogs Friday send me an email (see my profile below).

For this initial salvo, let's look at five noteworthy blogs that have taken on the sometimes controversial, always nostalgic, and mostly hyped up 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Matt in Beijing

This one is hosted at Windows Live Spaces and is the blog of Matt Plowright, "MSN UKs man" to the Beijing Olympic games. It's got nice pictures and well-written commentaries although it lacks the blow-by-blow coverage other Olympic-themed blogs offer.

Deadspin - 2008 Olympic Coverage

From the friendly fellows at Deadspin, an edgy collaborative work on everything sports. Their coverage of the Beijing games are an entertaining read. That is, if you find no-BS, in-your-face sports editorials entertaining. I for one do. I'm bookmarking this one.

Beijing Olympics Blog

Over at Wordpress, "Bob" gives us a spectator's look at the Beijing of the 2008 Olympics. It's a rather intimate behind-the-scenes perspective that began way back in December 2007. You may want to look at the Olympics Blogroll here for more resources on the Beijing Olympic games.

Beijing Olympics 2008

If you want detailed accounts of the games, this niche blog at Blogspot got game. It's simple, straightforward, all text, all news about the Beijing games, and even more text. It's just text after text of every breaking update on the Olympics. Enough said.

Beijing 2008 - Olympics News and Info

Here's another Olympic results-oriented blog like the previous one mentioned but with a bit more pizazz. It's got color, it's got pictures, and the texts are shorter. Just the highlights, just the stuff at the finish line.

So there you have it. Our first Five Blogs Friday. Enjoy and have a safe and happy weekend.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Catch the Olympic Fever

With only less than 3 days left before the biggest and grandest sporting spectacle the world has ever seen, just about everybody on the Web is all in wild anticipation about the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Mark that date if you haven't yet, 08-08-08.

To get you sprinting off to everything Olympics here are some smashing sites that are right on target to pole vault your online experience of the Games of the 29th Olympiad.

If you want to dive right into what the Olympics is all about, this is the official website of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). When I first visited this site about a year ago, it was more of a corporate presentation. Although, it contained a very rich history about the Olympic games (and still does), it was back then somewhat in the doldrums.

Now, it is a very interactive resource for all things Olympic -- from an exhaustive database of all Olympic records and medalists since its 1896 beginnings, to the most current news about the Beijing 2008 Summer Games. There is a digital magazine called the Olympic Express that's very informative. Then if you want to learn more about the basic rules of the various Olympic events, browse over to the Sports Animations section and go over the games in a flash (pun intended; you will need Adobe Flash to watch the presentations).

Then if you want a taste of the competitive Olympic spirit, try out the Olympic Mini Games. Its a fun preview of the Sega video game Beijing 2008. You can rack up scores in three events -- archery, weightlifting and diving. Then see how you fared against the best mouse-clickers in the world. I tried my hand at the archery event (see accompanying image). Though I had a perfect 10/10, I only ranked 159. Not bad for a first try though.

There's more to explore at the website. Be sure to check out the stunning multimedia gallery and the Olympics quiz contest for a chance to win the Beijing 2008 video game.

The Beijing 2008 Official Website

This is your ultimate web destination to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Know the news, view the sights, swim in the intricate details that surround this enigmatic event, the biggest ever Olympics in Asia.

Follow the footsteps of the most controversial Olympic torch relay in history, one that was marred by protests at every major city in its world route and even scaled the heights of the highest spot on Earth at Mt. Qomolangma (Everest). See blogs contributed by common folk at My Olympic Story, showcasing their interest and passion for the Olympics.

Discover the feats of engineering that transformed Beijing to become Olympics central this year. Enter the infamous National Stadium or "Bird's Nest", and the magical "Water Cube" that is the National Aquatics Center.

Watch the 29th Olympiad online through This is the first live Web coverage of the Olympic games, thanks to the global growth of broadband Internet, and MSN/NBC got the exclusive go to broadcast the games online. The NBC Olympics site contains news and information about the games, the individual sporting events, key athletes, country profiles as well as photos and videos to give you a comprehensive ring side look at the Beijing Olympics.

Lastly, stay tuned here at Daily Dotventures for more Olympic updates.

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