I did not welcome the Olympic Games in the beginning. I worried about the tourist flooding the city and curse the Olympics cuts my ski season shorts. I never watch much Olympic Games, not even the 2008 Beijing Olympic. Before February 16, it seems Olympics is none of my business.
It turns out the Olympic Games is a huge success and somehow I caught the Olympic fever. I was glued to TV every night watching events highlights, cheering for Canadian (and Chinese) athletes. All those winter sports seems so boring in the past to watch suddenly becomes interesting. When a Canadian is fighting for a place in the podium, tense atmosphere got me and I shared the excitement. I watched Olympics with colleagues in the cafeteria at work during lunch. For some high stake events, I slack off a bit and watched the CTV online broadcast in the afternoon using my laptop while trying to get some work done at the background. We even book a meeting room to watch preliminary hockey games together when the Canadian team is playing.
The city is full of Olympic spirit and the Games indeed brings people closer with each other. I went to downtown twice to experience the Olympic events. I lined up for 5 hours just to hold the gold medal. Everyone in the city becomes more friendly and open. Strangers whom don’t look at each other in normal days now talks to each other. The Olympic seems universal catalyst to begin a conversation. Everyone has something to say about the Games.
I watched the hockey semi-final and final at a local pub. I wanted to watch it in downtown with the crowd in front of the big TV but I am turned off by the traffic and long line up. The hockey game connects everyone in the pub together. People smile at each others’ Canada goodies and we make waves during game. When there are a full room of people cheering for the same team with me, I really feel like Canada is where I belong. The mood of the whole pub is controlled by what is happening in the TV. When Canada is leading 2-0, we are all yelling and cheering. When the US tie Canada 20 seconds before the end of game, everyone is dead silence. When Crosby score the golden goal, everyone gets loud and give high fives to anyone. It’s a weird scene that the whole pub sing O Canada after we won the game full of enjoyment.
We have spent $1.67 billion to host the Olympic Games, we won’t know whether we can will break even or not. However, Canada won 13 gold medals and 25 medals in total and we gave the world a really good show. I don’t the Economical return of the Games, but it definitely raise the morale of the country and united the Canadian identity. Regardless of your background, your colour, everyone in Canada is together with Team Canada striving to win the hockey game. This is the most watched hockey game ever in Canada history, probably in the world too.
Superinsulator is a Nobel prize worthy discovery. Remember these two names, Vinokur and Baturina, they will definitely get a Nobel prize if superinsulator turns out to be real just like superconductor.
I don’t buy into the hype of 3D TV or 3D movies. 3D TV is just a fad that comes and goes. It happens before and history will repeat itself. Forget about the lame 3D TV. Holographic TV is the real holy grail of next generation TV technology.
How far is an Olympic gold medal? To the athletes, it’s thousands of hours of training and many years of hard work. To me, it’s 6 hours standing in line. In the past, normal people can only see the medal on TV or behind display cases unless you happen to know a medalist. For the first time in the Olympic history, the public are allow to touch and hold an Olympic medal. The Royal Mint of Canada pavilion is probably the best free attraction in this Olympic game and always have the longest line up. Other pavilions are either tourist show case from other countries or advertisement in disguise of the corporate sponsors. The Mint gives you a once in a life chance to hold the Olympic medals, so it is a must see.
The line up is very very long. The pavilion opens at 9:00a, but when we arrive at 8:30a the line up is already one block away. I was told the person at the head of line was waiting there since 6:00a. The line is moving very slow because they only let 20 people into the medal room every 10 minutes. Since everyone in line has the Olympic mood and start chatting with each other. For the next 5 hours, I talked with two grannies, two young guys living on the West side, a mother with 2 teenage kids, a couple from HK and a lady with her dad. It is pretty interesting to hear different perspectives about the Olympic and Vancouver. It is the longest wait I ever have. I never know I can be this patient. Luckily, we can take turns go to the washroom and get coffee from the near by Starbucks. To my surprise, all the strangers I talked to are local Vancouver folks, except one family from White Rock, which is only 2 hours drive away. I wonder where all the tourist is. Maybe they are too busy watching the games and don’t bother lining up for the free shows.
The medals definitely worth the long wait. We are allow to pick up the medals, see it up close and take as many photos as we like. They give out white gloves and can only touch it with our glove hand. But we are not allow to pose any V sign nor allow to bite the medal like the athletes. There is an engineers from the Mint today to give us a brief talk about the making of the medals and answer all the weird questions. The Olympic medal is round in shape and the Paralympic medal is slightly square. The Paralympic medal has braille dots on the back for the blind athletes. The medal is heavier than I expected, each piece weight about 0.5kg. I am not going to repeat the information about the medals here. To know more about the medal, please visit mint.ca.
Other than the Olympic medals, the Mint pavilion has other cool stuff to see. There is a $1 million dollar coin made in pure gold in display. It looks like a giant loonie except the face value has 6 more zeros after the one. We can also lift up 400oz gold bar. It is exactly like the gold bars I always see in those bank robbery movies. I can feel how much half million dollars worth of pure gold weight. It’s very heavy. I had never hold something such valuable with my hand. Too bad that the gold bar is chained and guarded by armed policemen. I really want to take it home.
My legs and back is soared when we left the Mint pavilion. Originally I planned to visit three different pavilions today, but after the Mint, I have to call it a day. I am sure I will have a sweet dream about golds in my hand tonight.
As a philosopher wanna-be, I always wonders why privacy seems to be good in the first place. Wouldn’t a total transparent society that everyone knows everything about everyone else at anytime minimize the transaction cost? So far my idea is just a hypothesis without any supportive argument. I need to learn a lot more about privacy theories to work out some thought experiments to test the total transparent society hypothesis.
Promotion often directly link to immediate and future monetary reward. If employee perceive unfair when a under performer gets more money than he deserved, it would be even worse if the under performer is promoted.