May 20

Oh My

Posted 05/20/10

Wenlock and Mandeville

Yesterday, the organizers of the 2012 London Olympic Games unveiled their two mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville.

The pair are based on a short story by children's author Michael Morpurgo that tells how they were fashioned from droplets of the steel used to build the Olympic stadium. They will be crucial in raising funds and spreading messages about the games.

Wenlock, named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock that helped inspire Pierre de Coubertin to launch the modern Olympics, and Mandeville, inspired by the Buckinghamshire town of Stoke Mandeville, where the Paralympics were founded, will become very familiar in the next two years. The chairman of the London organising committee of the Olympic games (Locog), Lord Coe, said the mascots were aimed squarely at children and designed with the digital age in mind. He said they had the most positive reaction in workshops to road test them.

Among the designs rejected at the start of an open pitch process were anthropomorphic pigeons, an animated tea pot and a Big Ben with arms and legs.

You know, I think I could warm up to anthropomorphic pigeons a little quicker than to . . . well, whatever these things are. And I'm not the only one - the comments following the Guardian's story are hilarious:

"Ikea toilet brushes."

"They look like what I imagine humans will look like in 10 years, once Apple buys the species and merges it with the iPod to make the iHuman."

"Because nothing says 'Britain' like a creepy bipedal showerhead/p---- thing with lobster claws."

May 19

Buh Bye

Posted 05/19/10

I wondered what topic would prompt me to write a new blog entry after all this time. There have been several moments during the past months where I *almost* wrote something, but today . . . today is different.

Last night, Pennsylvania held its primary elections, with the key race being Senator Arlen Specter (R Turncoat-PA) up against Joe Sestak. You may recall when Specter sold his vote/soul on the Stimulus Bill - I wrote to him at the time and told him that if he voted for it I would do everything in my power to make sure this was his LAST term as a Senator. Apparently I wasn't the only one, as he panicked and changed his party allegiance from Republican to Democrat to avoid a Republican primary challenge from Pat Toomey.

Unfortunately, things didn't exactly go as planned for our boy Arlen. Despite the endorsement of the Democratic National Committee and full support from Governor Rendell and President Obama - apparently that was his Faustian deal - he ended up getting a primary challenge anyway - and lost.

Alas, PA law prevents him from changing his party allegiance again and running as an Independent, so there's no Charlie Crist option here. Benedict Arlen, after 29 years in the Senate, is out. Don't let the door hit you on the way out, champ.

What part of "Buh Bye" didn't you understand? The "Buh" or the "Bye"?"