Ah yes, the end of the work week and another sizzling weekend (as in hot temps) is headed our way. Let's get caught up on the latest and greatest, shall we?
- The Summer Olympics officially start tonight in London with the Opening Ceremonies. And, once again we television viewers will get to see the storytelling ability of NBC's Bob Costas, the network's anchor over the 17 days of the games. During that time, Costas will be on air an average of four to five hours per day. Tonight Costas, as only he so eloquently can, will call out the International Olympic Committee for denying Israel's request for a moment of silence acknowledging the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Games. It's the 40th anniversary of that terrorist attack and resulting tragedy, and Costas finds the decision "baffling." I can't wait to see how Costas handles it tonight.
- What's the longest running episodic primetime program in the U.S.? Give up? It's Raw, the World Wrestling Entertainment's show on the USA Network. Raw had its 1,000th episode this week--the show reaches 600 million homes worldwide.
- Quote of the week: "In the left-hand corner of each page of the U.S. itinerary was the legal age for sexual intercourse in that particular state," John Taylor, bassist for Duran Duran, revealing how the band kept current on the age of consent during their U.S. tours. Taylor has written an autobiography on his time with the band.
- Perhaps we should file this in the "duh" category. In Sweden, a recent study of 4,100 people found that those who never turn off their smartphones and computers are prone to sleep disorders, depression, and mental illness.
- A South Carolina funeral home is opening a Starbucks in its lobby. The baristas will wear Starbucks uniforms as they sell lattes to mourners. Hopefully the home will have a rule preventing any beverages in proximity to an open casket displaying the deceased.
- What impact will the Olympics have on London? Tourists are expected to spend $3 billion during the event and the London Organizing Committee says the Games are already spurring the redevelopment of East London where 11,000 new homes and 8,000 jobs are expected. A study by Lloyds TSB estimated that hosting the Games could add $24 billion to the U.K.'s gross domestic product.
- This may have been the most telling fallout from yesterday's Google Fiber announcement--a former ad agency colleague in San Francisco posted on Facebook, about Google's roll-out plans, that he "wishes he lived in Kansas City." The company's first-in-the-nation Internet services are coming to select neighborhoods in Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO, with the company urging those interested to register and rally their neighbors into "fiberhoods"--areas of town where the network will be deployed based upon interest.
- Tampa is readying itself for this year's Republican National Convention and one group that is rallying in preparation are strip clubs. Tampa's club owners have heard that revenue pours in during convention time and that other cities, who have hosted political conventions, claim the Republicans spend more in these venues than Democrats. The city has a dubious unofficial designation as the "strip club capital of the U.S." (Source: New York Times)
- A recent Gallup poll notes that 44% of Americans say they have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in churches or organized religion. That's a new low in our country and marks a long decline form the 1970s, when confidence in organized religion was as high as 68%.
- And, finally, here's yet one more statistic that reinforces the growing dominance of women in U.S. culture--this year's Olympic team will have more female athletes competing than male athletes. In a first for the U.S. Olympic effort, this year's team will have 269 women and 261 men. It's too bad they all have to wear those dorky berets designed by Ralph Lauren.
Have a great weekend, campers!