Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Feast of the Seven Fishes

Announcing A New Online Comic Strip

Monday, August 30 marked the beginning of the countdown strips for FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES. Created by noted film maker Robert Tinnell, author of the popular Image graphic novels THE BLACK FOREST and THE WICKED WEST and drawn by AMERICAN SPLENDOR'S Ed Piskor, the story begins on Monday September 6th and runs into early 2005.
-- Insight Studios
My friend of many years Bob Tinnell is on a roll. His considerable storytelling talents, initially showcased in his films, are now being put to great use in the venerable art of comics. I was excited to find out that he was carving yet another, personal pathway with his latest Feast of the Seven Fishes - a comic strip that will be tooncast here in Kapowie Zone, and in other Internet venues.

If you're using Mac OS X Safari, you will be able to follow the daily comic strip, 5 days a week, by scrolling down to the end of the page, or for MS Explorer users, click on the link provided in the sidebar. I look forward to following his story. Hope you do, too!

Congratulations, Bob!

Read more about Feast of the Seven Fishes, and other tooncast comic strips at Sunny Fundays

Monday, August 30, 2004

GOP Convention: Hookers, Strippers and Republicans

Copyright © 2004 Mary Carey (Independent)

Sex pros get ready for party

With thousands of Republicans set to invade the city this summer, high-priced escorts and strippers are preparing for one grand old party.

Agencies are flying in extra call girls from around the globe to meet the expected demand during the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 gathering at Madison Square Garden.

"We have girls from London, Seattle, California, all coming in for that week," said a madam at a Manhattan escort service. "It's the week everyone wants to work."

"It's going to be big," agreed one operator at a midtown escort service.
-- Jose Martinez, Daily News 6.28.04
Click to read the full story.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The legacy of the 2004 Athens Olympics

Warrior Athena atop column in Athens. [Photo: A. Christiansen]

Once the Games finish Sunday night, the Greek people will be left with wider roads, better subways, a new tram line and a host of new stadiums and athletics fields that no one seems to know what to do with next.

The office buildings that have served as media centers will host conferences. Media housing developments will become a police academy, a location for the Ministry of Education and private homes.

View of the Acropolis. [Photo credit: unknown.]
But the sporting venues' future remains up in the air.

"The government has already announced a big commission with 33 members," said Serafin Notrotos, another ATHOC spokesman. "They will announce use of the venues the day after the Games."

Modern Athens from the Acropolis. 4.5 million people living in a city designed for 60,000. 2.06.0. [Photo: C.W. Blackwell, Furman University.]
Maybe the Greek population will learn to love softball, cycling and badminton, and maybe it will use the Olympic Softball Stadium, velodrome and Goudi Olympic Hall for their intended purposes.

The better bet is they won't.

Either way, the Greeks likely will see the people who once competed there again. Only the next time, the athletes will be tourists.
-- Jody Berger, Rocky Mountain News 8.28.04
Click to read more about the expected aftermath of the Athens Olympics.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

2008 Chinese Olympic Stadium

Copyright ©2004 Ellerbe Becket

80,000-seat Guangdong Olympic Stadium

The design team [Ellerbe Becket from Kansas City] set out to create an icon that relates to the physical environment and history of the 2000-year-old city. The climate of Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton) is balmy, and the city is green year-round. Guangzhou also is known as the "Flower City." The stadium bowl grows out of the ground to a sculpted upper edge, like the petals of a flower. Floating above the bowl is a shimmering ribbon of roof flowing like a wave over the seats. It parts at the ends and holds the Olympic flame, suspended between the two ribbons.
Click to read the full 1.04.99 press release.

Photo: Federico Motta Editore

Read about and view more images of the Guangdong Olympic Stadium.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Meet the Mascots

Schuss - 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics

Schuss, the first unofficial Olympic Mascot, appeared in Grenoble in 1968 and is the father of all Olympic mascots. He was portrayed as a little cartoon-like character on skis.

Waldi - 1972 Munich Olympics
Waldi the Dachshund was the first official mascot and appeared in 1972 at the Munich Summer Games. Since then there has been a mascot for every Olympic Games, winter and summer, with the exception of the Sapporo Winter Games in 1972 which had no mascot.

Amik - 1976 Montreal Olympics
Amik the beaver was chosen as the official mascot for the Summer Olympic Games of Montreal, 1976. "Amik" in Indian language means beaver.

Misha - 1980 Moscow Olympics
The Moscow Olympic bear Misha was developed by the renowned illustrator of children's books Victor Chizikov. It took the illustrator six months to draw one hundred variations of the bear that also carried the full name Mikhail Potapych Toptygin.

Sam - 1984 Los Angeles Olympics
The eagle Sam became the mascot of the Los Angeles Games. He was chosen because the imposing bald eagle is the national symbol of the United States.

Hodori - 1988 Seoul Olympics
Hodori, the mascot of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, portrays the friendly side of a tiger, which is present in many Korean legends.The "Ho" in Hodori comes from the Korean word for tiger, and "Dori" is a common masculine diminutive.

Cobi - 1992 Barcelona Olympics
The Spaniards did not immediately take to Cobi, the surreal dog from the Summer Olympic Games of Barcelona, who was designed by local cartoonist Javier Mariscal. Cobi's popularity slowly grew and by the end of the Games he was loved universally by the Spanish and the rest of the world.

Izzy - 1996 Atlanta Olympics
The mascot of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta was an amorphous abstract fantasy figure. It carried the name Izzy, derived from "Whatizit?" because no one seemed to know exactly what Izzy really was.

Olly, Syd and Millie - 2000 Sydney Olympics
Olly, a Kookaburra; Syd, a Platypus; and Millie, an Echidna, are three native animals chosen as mascots for the Sydney 2000 Games. These Australian animals represent the earth, air and water.
-- The Olympic Mascots - CCO

Athenà and Phèvos - 2004 Athens Olympics
Brother and sister, Athenà and Phèvos, are the mascots for the Athens 2004 Olympics. They are named after two Greek gods. Athenà is the protectress of Athens and the goddess of wisdom. Phèvos is the Greek god of light and music.
-- The Olympic Mascots - BBC

Click to view and read about the mascots of the Winter Olympics.

© IOC 2004. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Olympic Women of the Century

[Illustration Copyright ©2004 Steve McGarry]

Swimmer Amy Van Dyken tried so hard in her first final at the 1996 Olympics, the 100m freestyle, that she tied up and cramped after the race. The disappointment only served to inspire the 6-foot, 23-year-old from Colorado. She captured her first gold in the 100m butterfly, swam two superb legs in the 4x100m and individual medley relay victories and then captured the 50m sprint ... her four gold medals making her the most-successful woman ever at one Olympics
-- Great Women Olympians Quiz
See more great cartoons and illustrations by UK artist Steve McGarry and
take the Great Women Olympians Quiz, then visit his web site.

[Via Daryl Cagle's Pro Cartoon Index]

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Muslim women and the Olympics

[Photo credit: sporting-heroes.net]

THEN: 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Legendary Moroccan athlete
Nawal El-Moutawakel was the first woman from an Islamic nation
to win an Olympic medal of any kind when she won gold in the
400m hurdles.

Photo credit: Middle East Online

NOW: 2004 Athens Olympics. Bahrain's Rakia Al-Gassra finished fifth
in the 100m heats.

Read their stories: 'Muslim women enjoy first taste of Olympics'
and 'Gulf women sprinters fail to qualify.'

Click to learn how to make your own running chador.

[Thanks to Mark of Marina del Rey.]

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Olympics' barefoot champion

The famous barefeet of Abebe Bikila, the Olympics'
greatest marathon runner. Sportscaster Card

"Going barefoot... can symbolise a way of living — being authentic, vulnerable, sensitive to our surroundings. It's the feeling of enjoying warm sand beneath our toes, or carefully making our way over sharp rocks in the darkness. It's a way of living that has the lightest impact, removing the barrier between us and nature."
— Adele Coombs, "Barefoot Dreaming"

1960 Rome Olympics: Abebe Bikila, Ethiopia, in marathon leading Abdesiem Rhadi Ben
Abdesselem of Morocco.

Ethiopian athlete Abebe Bikila was the 'father of the great East African runners.' Timed running with and without shoes, Bikila actually ran faster without them. He was the first to win the gold medal in two Olympic marathons. In the first famous race, Bikila ran barefoot on the Appian Way's cobblestones at 1960 Rome Olympics, breaking the previous 1952 Olympic marathon record by almost eight minutes. Ironically, Bikela's win happened in Italy, the country that invaded his native Ethiopia 30 years earlier.

Click to read more about Abebe Bikila at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics .

Read about the running barefoot lifestyle.

Monday, August 23, 2004

A Fair and Balanced Olympics

[Water polo photo, uncredited, sent by Karen of Venice.]

After receiving some comments complaining about the sexist nature of my recent women's beach volleyball blog entry, I felt compelled to publish the above photo of Olympic men's water polo. As you can see, the wedgie is endemic to both men and women Olympic athletes.

In the spirit of fairness and balance, here are more action photos from women's beach volleyball at the Athens Olympics:

[Beach volleyball photos, uncredited, sent by Mark of Marina del Rey.]

Sunday, August 22, 2004

A future Olympics event?

Ray Meduna, gustatory athlete from Mount Vernon, WA, works out in a local supermarket.

They are known as gustatory athletes, gurgitators and, in France, epicuriators. They are athletes in one of the oldest and most fundamental of disciplines - competitive eating. It is a demanding sport to say the least and requires enormous commitment.
If there's an organization likely to petition the IOC for inclusion of competitive eating in future Olympics, it is the IFOCE:
The International Federation of Competitive Eating supervises and regulates eating contests in their various forms throughout the world. The IFOCE helps to ensure that the sport remains safe, while also seeking to achieve objectives consistent with the public interest -- namely, creating an environment in which fans may enjoy the display of competitive eating skill.

Eric Booker, left, and Richard LeFevre, right, are two potentially, huge eating stars of the future Olympics event.

425 pound champion Eric Booker, 36, has consumed a record total including, 15 burritos in 8 minutes; 2 lbs chocolate candy Bars, 6 minutes; 4 pounds of corned beef hash, 1 minute 58 seconds; 49 glazed donuts, 8 minutes; 50 traditional Hamentaschen Purim cookies, 6 minutes; 21 baseball-sized matzoh balls, 5 minutes 25 seconds; and 9.5 one-pound bowls of peas in 12 minutes.

135 pound champion Richard LeFevre, 58, holds a record for eating 1 1/2 gallons of Stagg Chili in 10 minutes; 12 corn dogs, 10 minutes; 6 pounds of Spam from the can in 12 minutes; and 25 hot dogs and buns in one sitting.

Read more incredible statistics of these and other gustatory athletes on their IFOCE Bib Sheets.

[Photos courtesy of IFOCE web site.]

[Thanks to Steve of CUNY.]

Saturday, August 21, 2004

You've come a long way, baby

THEN: 1934 Women's beach volleyball. Mirmar Beach Club vs. Deauville Beach Club.

From a fun diversion on the beach

Santa Monica, California. In the early 1900's, around 1917, volleyball on the Pacific Coast of Southern California was just beginning. It was mostly played by players associated with the YMCA. During this period, volleyball began a natural growth to the outdoors at playgrounds, parks, and the beach... As the game spread up and down the coast, the beach game began to take hold.

During the depression, a time when many people needed to escape, and many did so by going to the beach to play beach volleyball. It was during this period, on the beach in Santa Monica, where volleyball developed into the beach sport as it is now known.

-- The Sands of Time" - a history of beach volleyball.
To a world class sport

NOW: Daniela Gattelli of Italy crashes into her playing partner Lucilla Perrotta in their match against South Africa in the women's preliminary match, at the Faliro Coastal Zone Complex in Athens, 08.19.04. © Getty Images/Nick Laham

With your own special rules and signals

Italy's Lucilla Perrotta gives partner Daniela Gattelli signals behind her back during their match against Ishizaka/Seike of Japan at Bondi Beach during the Sydney Olympic Games, 09.18.00. Italy won the match 15-5. © Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

And cheerleaders at the Olympics

Members of the 2004 Olympics Beach Volleyball dance team.

Click to read and view photos of the history of beach volleyball.

Friday, August 20, 2004

The Art of the Olympics

Official poster designed by the Image & Identity Department of the OCOG
Athens 2004 Communications Division.

The official poster of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games incorporates three key communication elements of the Games visual identity: the emblem of the Games, a section of the “Panorama” composition, and a view of the Acropolis.

The emblem serves as reference to the four key values of the Athens Games: heritage, human scale, participation, and celebration. The “Panorama” artwork composition is based on forms that reflect images of Greece’s cultural heritage and natural environment: waves, a fragment of an ancient Greek inscription, an ornamental motif from an ancient vase, the blue colours of the Greek sea and sky, the vibrant colour of the bougainvillea, the grey of stone, the warm orange colours of the sun.
-- Athens 2004 Olympic Games
The following are a sample of the large collection of posters that have recorded modern Olympic Games history:

One of my favorite Olympic posters, it captures the swimming event for all its elegant simplicity: Following the big line painted underwater.

Any idea which country the bunny rabbit competed for? I'm guessing Fredonia.

Now that's appealing: Attending the Olympics, sipping champagne in an open air café in the freezing, high latitudes of the Northern hemisphere.

Is it my imagination, or is that splendid blond beast's arm raised up, giving us the old sieg heil?

A quintessentially Southern California poster, complete with a golden boy in wrinkled tennis shorts, wearing a hemp boa, set against a stucco background.

The Brave pounding on the tom-tom must be a member of the little known Pajama tribe, famous for their colorful bottoms and comfortable slippers.

A courageous poster considering the event took place at a location where the per capita use of soap and underarm deodorant was the lowest in the civilized world.

Proof that the modern Olympics shamelessly emulated their ancient counterpart: Too many half-naked young men and boys. It would be years before the modern Olympics would mature with the inclusion of Women's Beach Volleyball.

More Olympics posters can be viewed and purchased at Sports History, Olympic Sports Gallery and AllPosters.com.

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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Biggest story of the Olympics?

North and South Korean Olympic athletes marched together
under this single flag depicting the whole Korean peninsula.

A member of the "Axis of Evil" marching with its sworn enemy at the 2004 Athens Olympics? What's happened? Did North Korea cancel its "evildoer" membership, or did South Korea join the rogue nation club? Somebody better tell President Bush's speechwriters.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — In a show of reconciliation between two old foes, the South and North Korean Olympic teams will march together again at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics.

The two teams will enter the Olympic Stadium on Friday under the same flag — a blue image of the Korean Peninsula on a white background — and to the tune of the Korean folk song Arirang, South Korea's Olympic committee said.

The official name of the teams during the march will be "Korea," although the North and South will compete separately for medals.
Read about the 2004 Athens Olympics march. [USA Today, 8.10.04]

What seems like the biggest story of the Olympics is actually old news, because the the North and South Koreans marched together, and competed separately, at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. That news escaped us as well, especially those darned speechwriters.

about the 2000 Sydney Olympics march. [BBC News, 9.10.00]

[Thanks to Mark of Marina del Rey.]

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Going for the gold!

I prefer the chocolate inside.

Tastes like gold: Italy's Aldo Montano licks his golden medal on the podium after winning the men's individual Sabre finale, at the Helliniko fencing hall in Athens during the 2004 Olympic Games. (AFP/Thomas Coex) Yahoo! News
For your very own gold coin, without the years of effort, practice and
self-sacrifice, try the U.S. Mint:

2004 American Eagle Gold Proof One-Ounce Coin, price: $675.00

Or, you can go to ChocoNet and order real chocolate gold coins,
in any theme and denomination, for as little as 30¢/each in bulk.

[Thanks to Mark of Marina del Rey for the gold-licking photo.]

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

High on the Olympics

Poster from Hemp Olympix - the Alternative Olympics.

Sydney 2000 Hemp Olympix
Motto: "Drug testing is mandatory."

Held as an alternative to the Sydney Summer Olympics in 2000,
the Hemp Olympix included such sports events as Joint Rolling,
Bong Throw and Yell and Police Triathlon.

Read about Nimbin, the alternative community in Australia, where
the Hemp Olympix originated.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Kudos to the Greeks!

The photo doesn't do the huge DNA justice. It looked more spectacular on TV. ©2004 NBC

kudos (koo'doz'), n. [from Greek ky^dos, magical glory.]
Glory; fame; renown; praise; an accolade; an expression
of commendation and approval.

There is no better word to use in congratulating the current and proud achievment of the Greeks!

"After years and months of pessimistic speculation, with dire results expected even by themselves, the Greeks pulled it off. Their opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympics was incredible! That gigantic, animated intertwined strand of DNA projected on mist, hovering above the stadium was worth the price of admission alone! Seeing over ten thousand world athletes standing together in the center of it all was truly inspiring. Let's pray that the rest of the event will run as smoothly, and without incident. The Greeks need it. The world needs it." -- All The Grey In Between

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Wee Geordie, star of the 1956 Olympics

Poster by Jack Davis, 1956; rubberoid souvenir statue of Geordie; original 1955 UK poster.

A number of movies have been made about the Olympic games, including official films such as the 1936 Olympia, 1956 Rendevouz à Melbourne, 1960 The Grand Olympics, 1964 Tokyo orimpikku, 1972 Visions of Eight. There also a number of theatrical features with an Olympics theme: Charlie Chan At the Olympics, Million Dollar Legs, One in a Million, A Million to One, The 500 Pound Jerk, and a personal favorite, a film I loved as a child, Wee Geordie.

A heart-warming story set in the rugged scenery of beautiful Scotland, this classic Scottish comedy stars Bill Travers in the title role. The plot revolves around a small boy called Geordie McTaggert, whose school mates bullied and teased him as "Wee Geordie" because of his small stature. He decided to send away for a "Charles Atlas" weight-lifting course that he'd seen in a comic book ad. In a few years he builds himself up into a tall, strong young man who competes successfully in hammer-throwing at the Highland Games, and then goes on to compete at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games - all the while remaining a endearingly naive Highlander.

Click to read more about Wee Geordie and the Melbourne Olympics.

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