In my post yesterday, entitled “Iraqi Athletes at an Olympic Crossroads“, I reported that, unless an agreement was reached between Iraq and the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.), Iraq’s athletes would probably not compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Yesterday, the Iraqi and I.O.C. delegations held a final negotiation session and, thankfully, Iraq pledged a compromise that will allow two Iraqi athletes, comprising Iraq’s track and field team - Dana Hussein Abdul-Razzaq, the sprinter discussed in yesterday’s post, and Haidar Nasir, a discus thrower - to represent Iraq at the Beijing Olympics as wildcard entrants.
For most of the world’s athletes, the Beijing Olympics begins on August 8, 2008. For Iraq’s team, however, the Beijing Olympics may have already ended. That is because on June 4, 2008, the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.) suspended the Iraqi National Olympic Committee, citing “political interference”. The I.O.C. suspension is punishment for the Iraqi government’s May, 2008 disbanding of its original Olympic committee and replacement of it with government officials from Iraq’s Ministry for Youth and Sports. Iraq has said its original committee was illegitimate and corrupt, but the move is widely seen as yet another example of Shias wresting administrative power from Sunnis.
I support Barack Obama’s campaign for the Presidency. Over the next several weeks, I will post a series of articles laying out Barack Obama’s position on the issues that matter most to me and discuss how those positions differ from - and are better than - John McCain’s. I start with Obama’s healthcare proposal. Senator Obama’s proposal is a move toward universal healthcare. As a primer, most developed nations - and many developing nations - have universal healthcare. According to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, the United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not provide universal healthcare.
The July 21, 2008 cover of the New Yorker will feature a drawing depicting Barack Obama, in full militant muslim garb, giving a “fist jab” to an afro-headed, fatigue-clad, AK-47 toting Michelle Obama while standing in the Oval Office with a picture of Osama bin Laden on the wall and the American flag burning in the fireplace. The response has been critical, to say the least. But for all that the New Yorker’s image has been called, one thing it is not is funny. And the militant muslim Obama caricature lacks funniness not because it’s offensive, but because it misses the necessary context, or accompaniment, to make it funny. It simply isn’t funny. That the New Yorker would even evoke Barack Obama’s image in an attempt at some form of comedy, however, raises an important question: why haven’t we heard more jokes about Obama?
Okay, Apple’s new iPhone 3G officially hits Apple and AT&T retail outlets in the U.S. tomorrow at 8 a.m., and the hysteria has already started. As early as last week, iPhone 3G lines started to form outside the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York. And the hysteria is well worth it…well sort of at least. Among the iPhone 3G’s most exciting hardware upgrades is GPS Technology and its ability to utilize AT&T’s 3G Wireless Network, which is twice as fast as the EDGE network that first-gen iPhones are forced to work on (Note: if the 3G network isn’t available in your area - or on the side of the road you happen to be standing on - the iPhone 3G will automatically switch to the EDGE network). One hardware upgrade that should have appeared but didn’t is a higher resolution camera. The iPhone 3G retains the 2 megapixel camera of the previous generation iPhone.
Google has unveiled a new feature of its popular Gmail service that will allow users to see how many terminals their email account is open on. The new Gmail feature will allow users to remotely log off of any terminal either that they forgot to close or that someone else used to gain access to their Gmail account. Google’s new Gmail feature will be beneficial not only for public terminal users who may have forgotten to log off of a public computer, but also to monitor Gmail accounts for privacy intrusions.
If you’ve ever looked at a commercial from Christian Childrens’ Fund or the American Red Cross, or any other agency devoted to feeding the world’s hungry children, and said to yourself “if only I had the money, I would help feed these children”, this aid program is for you. Through FreeRice.com, you can donate rice to needy children and help end world hunger WITHOUT SPENDING ANY OF YOUR ALREADY-STRETCHED-TOO-THIN MONEY. FreeRice.com, a sister site of Poverty.com, has teamed up with the UN World Food Program and several other sponsor agencies to create a donation program whereby you donate food simply by going to FreeRice.com and answering vocabulary questions. For every vocabulary question you answer correctly, 20 grains of rice are donated through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger. The sponsors listed at the bottom the website pay for the rice you donate, but you don’t even have to click on the sponsor links! All you do is answer vocabulary questions. It’s a win-win - you improve your vocabulary while helping to end world hunger, all without having to click on banner ads or part with gas or grocery money.
FYI - it takes about 400 grains of rice per day to feed a person, so get started on those vocabulary questions! You can click the FreeRice.com banner at the beginning of this post to get started.