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A gallimaufry of London 2012 bits


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Happy to say I (eventually) got the London 2012 android app working and it's very good, lots of content, really nice looking.

2012 are ramping up their digital efforts. Every sport in the Games now has its own Twitter feed, with results and news etc. Here's the full list:


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Actually the parliament square is a great venue location too for beach volleyball. Wonder if it's been considered before? Maybe not as big as horse guards but perhaps can host the finals only? Reckon it's more iconic and telegenic than horse guards. BTW why are there still squatters camping on the pavement, thought they were evicted?

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Not sure where best to post it but I'll try here:

Aussies cry foul over 'dawn' starts in hockey

Australia's men's hockey coach Ric Charlesworth has slammed London Olympic schedulers for lumbering his team with three early starts in their round-robin matches at the Games.

The 'Kookaburras' are favourites to win the gold medal in London but Charlesworth said the schedule, released on Tuesday, was unfair and would be disruptive to his top-seeded team.

"I don't expect special treatment, I expect not to be disadvantaged, out of five matches you may expect one 5am start for our athletes not three," Charlesworth told Hockey Australia's website (www.hockey.org.au).

"It interferes with momentum, as major finals won't be played at that hour and it interrupts our routine over two weeks. Early games should be fairly distributed between all teams."

While Australia face Spain, Argentina and Pakistan in matches starting at 8.30am local time, second seeds and defending champions Germany play all their games later in the day.

Charlesworth, who led the Australian women's team to gold at the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics before taking over as coach of the Kookaburras in 2009, also pointed to the fact that the top seeds in the women's tournament, the Dutch, had no 8.30am starts.

"It's not that they are number one, again it's just that it's not equally shared when some teams have to play three early matches and others none," he said.

In response to the criticism, a spokesman for London 2012 organising committee (LOCOG) said match timings were designed to "achieve the widest possible global audience for the sport" and that they had worked closely with the International Hockey Federation scheduling.

Hockey Australia chief Mark Anderson reflected Charlesworth's dissatisfaction with the schedule.

"When you look at the schedule it is patently unfair in our opinion," he said. "None of the teams want to play in this early morning time slot.

"We have been scheduled to play at this time on three occasions. The world ranked number two, three and four teams do not have any matches scheduled for this time. The fifth and sixth ranked teams feature once.

"Out of the 12 teams in the competition, only six teams play at this time and Australia features three times. We are not looking for an unfair advantage, we just want to compete on a level playing field."

Charlesworth did not like the playing fields in London much either, fuming earlier this month at a test event that the blue and pink surfaces were too bouncy and did not reward skilful players.

The Olympic men's hockey competition takes place at the Riverbank Arena from July 30 to Aug. 11.


I'm going to one of the 08:30 games, versus Spain.

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Olympic organisers have been criticised for a "completely ridiculous" ban on the saltire being flown over Scotland's national stadium during the Games. Under Olympic rules, Scottish athletes represent Great Britain, meaning only the Union flag should officially be flown at venues.

Alyn Smith, an SNP member of the European Parliament, has complained to Lord Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organising committee.

Mr Smith also complained that the rule could stop fans bringing the national symbol into the stadium when events are held at Hampden this summer. However the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games said that people have always been allowed to bring in flags and wave them provided they are not too big or on poles.

Mr Smith criticised the ban on the saltire being flown above the stadium.

He said: "It's still completely ridiculous and unacceptable that Scotland's national flag is going to be pulled down from its iconic place flying over Scotland's national stadium.

"The saltire normally - and quite properly - flies above Hampden 365 days of the year.

"Forcing it to be taken down in this way will not only anger many home-based supporters, but also disrespects our history and nationhood."

The rule hit the headlines during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games in 2002. Skier Alain Baxter, from Aviemore, was ordered to cover up a blue and white saltire he had dyed into his hair before competing.

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'Olympic rings' molecule olympicene in striking image


Researchers have succeeded in taking a stunning image of a newly synthesised molecule called olympicene.

The molecule - just over a billionth of a metre across - gets its name because its five linked rings resemble the Olympic symbol.

It was first made by collaborators at the University of Warwick in the UK.

They teamed up with IBM researchers, who in 2009 pioneered the technique of single-molecule imaging with its non-contact atomic force microscopy.

The team, based at IBM Research Zurich, announced its first success with a molecule called pentacene, five linked hexagonal rings of carbon all in a line.

But it was Professor Graham Richards CBE, former head of Oxford University's chemistry department and member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) council, who first conceived of the idea to create a more Olympic-themed molecule along the same lines.

"I was in a committee meeting of the Royal Society of Chemistry where we were trying to think of what we could do to mark the Olympics," Prof Richards told BBC News.

"It occurred to me that the molecule that I had drawn looked very much like the Olympic rings, and it had never been made."



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Food glorious food.

The food available at the games apart from the branded (McDonalds etc) will fit into 2 categories. British and International


Porridge and maple syrup, made with UK oats and milk - £2.20

Toasted tea cakes, with Yorkshire butter – £2.10

Carrot and cucumber sticks with red pesto hummus - £2.50

6 Jerk Red Tractor assured chicken wings – £3.50

Red Leicester British cheese with British apple chutney and Farm assured lettuce on Oxfordshire bread - £3.80

Jacket potato with Dingley Dell bacon and Freedom Foods chicken in a herb mayonnaise, served with roquete and watercress salad - £5.80

Pole and line caught tuna and sweet potato British salad – £5.90

Freshly carved Dingley Dell hog roasted Red Tractor pork, served in Oxfordshire cross hatched bread roll with mixed leaf salad and assorted accompaniments – £6.50

Grilled Red Tractor chicken burrito - £6.50

Penne pasta Red Tractor chicken and mushroom white sauce - £6.50

Thin crust stone baked 10” pizza with spicy pepperoni, spicy beef, basil and oregano - £7.50

Farm assured Scotch Beef with Long Clawson Stilton Pie, Irish mashed potato with Red Tractor Cream and British butter and onion gravy - £8.00

Cod and chips – from £8

Singapore noodle, stir fried egg noodle, chicken, prawns, char sui Pork, chilli and shredded peppers in a hoi sin dressing – £8.50

Lamb Rogan Josh served with Pilaf or Saffron rice - £8.50

Bottled water - £1.60

Fairtrade Tea from £2.00

Fairtrade Coffee from £2.60

500ml bottle of Coca Cola - £2.30

330ml bottle of Heineken - £4.20

London 2012 red wine 18.7cl - £4.80


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Visa making things difficult for people again....

London 2012 Olympics: Visa accused of monopolising cash at the Games after switching off competitors' ATMs

Olympics sponsor Visa has been accused of limiting visitors' access to cash at the Games by replacing almost 30 dispensers with just a fraction of its own outlets.

Visa confirmed it was replacing the 27 ATMs at the various Olympic sites with eight which would run on its own system as part of its exclusivity arrangement as a sponsor.

Ron Delnevo of the UK Payments Council said the move appeared to be designed to "compel those visiting Olympic venues to use only Visa cards".

He added: "The Olympics are going to be cash-starved by design. This is plainly unacceptable in a world where 85 per cent-plus of all transactions continue to be made using cash.

"The Olympics do not belong to any sponsor, however much money they have paid for brand awareness. The Games are meant to be a celebration of the sporting prowess of men and women from every corner of our planet. Sadly, it seems that the ideals of the Olympics now take a back seat whenever they get in the way of needs of commercial sponsors."

UK Payments Council understood Visa requested that the existing ATMs, which would have accepted all Link cards, were switched off and replaced with eight new machines which would only accept Visa cards.


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Somebody needs to explain to Visa that you become an Olympic sponsor to get people to feel all warm and fuzzy about your company. This <crap> just pissed people off.

Precisely - I can just about cope with only using the credit/debit cards but stopping people potentially getting cash out by replacing ATMs just leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Thankfully my debit card is a Visa one so I won't be adversely affected but not all banks offer a Visa debit.

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