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A gallimaufry of London 2012 bits

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I wasn't sure where to post this - but I guess, when in doubt, the gallimaufrey thread serves.

Anyway, another hint towards a "literary themed" games?

Poetry wins Olympics role

The nation is set to be "carpeted in poetry" next year with works by poets including laureate Carol Ann Duffy and Wednesday's Forward prize winner John Burnside to be installed to in the Olympic Park.

The Forward Arts Foundation announced, on National Poetry Day, that poems by Duffy and Burnside have been commissioned as part of the Winning Words project to include poetry in London 2012. Their poems will become a permanent part of the Olympic Park, with the last line from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem Ulysses – "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield" – also featuring on a permanent installation in the centre of the Olympic Village, Winning Words said.

Burnside is tackling cycling and the Suffragettes in his poem and Jo Shapcott taking on swimming, while Duffy's poem will be installed at the Eton Manor venue, which is hosting wheelchair tennis during the Paralympic Games. Poets Lemn Sissay and Caroline Bird are also taking part.

Winning Words also hopes to bring poetry to public spaces, schools and local communities, not just to the Olympic Park, it said, "inspiring the whole nation to create new and exciting contexts for this dynamic and immediate medium". A "poetry bank" of more than 150 poems connected to the values of the Olympics and Paralympics has been created, and Winning Words is hoping that communities around the country will display, perform or install verse.

"Winning Words will carpet the nation in poetry", said its creator William Sieghart, "showing poetry as a valuable part of our national life and a great way to enjoy and celebrate the exciting moment of London 2012 right across the nation".

The news comes as the country marks National Poetry Day with events around the UK. Taking the theme of "games", and celebrating poetry relating to mind games, board games, athletics, hopscotch and wordplay, these range from Coventry's haiku project, to get as many people as possible writing haikus about Coventry life, to outdoor poetry workshops in Keswick and poetry bingo at the Southbank Centre in London. Pupils from Bickley Park Prep School were on Bickley station platform recited poems to morning commuters, poetry slams are lined up around the country, there are readings from poets including Michael Rosen and Wendy Cope and even the opportunity to request personalised poems from the Poetry Take Away Van in London. The day's poet in residence, Jo Shapcott, has penned a poem on computer games to mark the occasion.

"Poetry is the great British art form," said the day's director Jo Bell. "National Poetry Day covers the nation in poetry, celebrating great traditional poems and bright new voices. Last year over 20 million people experienced National Poetry Day through live events or media coverage. This year's theme acknowledges games of all sort, from cricket to wordplay and we hope everyone will enjoy it."

Sieghart, who founded National Poetry Day, believes the public's response to the day celebrating poetry over the past 17 years "shows that poetry is alive and well". "It's a moment of great importance for the medium of poetry, it breaks down the embarrassment associated with reading poetry aloud and is a call to arms for everyone who loves poetry to join in the fun," he said.

A new survey from Oxford University, meanwhile, is attempting to prove that learning poems "brings comfort and strengthens identity". Initial findings already suggest that people take more comfort from poems they have learnt by heart and that learning poems by rote helps to play a part in people's development of identity, said the university, but it now wants to widen its research out to members of the public.

"Rote learning has become a dirty word in educational theory because it is not seen as a creative or enabling way of learning," said Dr Abigail Williams of St Peter's at Oxford University. "But results from our survey so far suggest that over the course of our lives these poems often acquire an emotional significance for us – poems learnt off by heart are significantly more likely to be used to bring comfort than those not learnt by heart. These preliminary results indicate that poetry makes you feel better and plays a significant role in self-development and the establishment of personal meaning and identity."

Her comments were echoed by University of Reading psychologist Dr Clare Rathbone, who said that it has been shown that when people look back over their lives, they tend to be particularly good at remembering events from young adulthood, a phenomenon known as the "reminiscence bump". "Our study shows that memories of personally significant poems tend to come from young adulthood (even when we exclude poems people had to learn for school or university) so these fall under the 'reminiscence bump'," said Rathbone. "It's interesting that people's most personally significant poems come from this time of identity-development, as this suggests that poems might play an important role in shaping people's sense of self. This novel line of research could provide insight into the ways people use and remember the poems that are personally significant to them."

Williams hopes the survey might help explore the therapeutic possibilities of poetry, she said. "Alzheimer's sufferers may forget people's names, but they can often remember bits of poetry they learned by heart when they were only 10, and often these poems are associated with happy memories which in turn improve mood. This study helps to show us what kinds of psychological role learnt verse plays in our mental make-up."

The Guardian

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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.

This really made me chuckle this morning on the way home from the Closing Ceremony... it may have been the fact that I'd been up for 24 hours but I don't think so! New wayfarer signs at Stratford sta

The wrap idea has not been dropped.

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Well, this is bright . . .


A striking new piece of architecture for the Olympic Park was unveiled today as the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) announced the completion of a key footbridge that spans over the River Lea, at a focal point between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre.

A design competition was held in 2007 to select an emerging architectural and engineering practice to create a key piece of architecture in the centre of the Park. Dublin-based Heneghan Peng Architects, with Adams Kara Taylor Engineers, were selected as the winning team. The construction of their winning bridge design has now been completed and features both permanent and temporary elements to integrate Games-time and legacy use.

The bridge features two permanent footbridges linked by a central blade-like walkway, creating a ‘Z’ shape, clad in mirror-finish stainless steel. For Games-time, a multi-coloured temporary deck has been placed between the permanent spans of the bridge to increase the width, allowing it to carry increased spectator numbers. The temporary Games-time bridge deck has been covered with a multi-coloured rubber surface, inspired by the London 2012 brand colours.

ODA Director of Infrastructure and Utilities, Simon Wright said: ‘With the main Olympic Park venues in place we are now seeing the completion of crucial new infrastructure to help stitch the site together and create an open and accessible new park for London. The Central Park bridge creates a new focal point in the Olympic Park for spectators and future generations to enjoy.'

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This is my biggest disappointment in the park so far. I was so looking forward to this bridge and they've turned it into a cheap looking kiddies playground surface. Absolutely awful! I studied the plans for this bridge and nowhere did I get the impression that anything like this was intended. The finish is all wrong, the colours are all wrong and where on earth is it being underlit with LED's as promised. Really annoyed.

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London 2012 will fail to deliver lasting legacy for young, says Lord Moynihan

British Olympic Association chair and UK team manager condemns missed opportunities to inspire schoolchildren

Toby Helm

guardian.co.uk, Saturday 19 November 2011 22.53 GMT

Article history

Lord Moynihan, who will manage the British team at the 2012 Olympic Games. Photograph: Rex Features

The 2012 London Olympics will fail to deliver any lasting sporting legacy for most young Britons because of six years of failed government policy and "missed opportunity", the chairman of the British Olympic Association says today.

In an outspoken attack, Lord Moynihan, who will manage the British team for next summer's Games, said that since the UK won the 2012 bid in 2005 politicians have failed to honour pledges to drive through a national, sporting revolution at school and grassroots levels.

In terms that will infuriate ministers past and present, Moynihan – who won an Olympic silver medal as a rowing cox – told the Observer that barring a last minute "step change" in policy to build better links between schools, local sports clubs and volunteers, the Games would spur precious little improvement.

London 2012 will fail to deliver lasting legacy

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£100k Olympic gold coin revealed


A gold coin commemorating London's 2012 Olympics, designed by eminent sculptor Sir Anthony Caro, has been revealed by the Royal Mint at London's Royal Academy of Art.

The UK's first Kilo coin - one of just 60 to be produced - is worth £100,000 as it contains 1kg of fine gold.

A silver Kilo worth £3,000 designed by artist, composer and writer Tom Phillips was also revealed.

Both coins are UK legal tender and 2,012 silver Kilos will be produced.

The Queen personally approved both designs in order for them to become legal tender.

The obverse of the coins features her effigy, created by sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, whose design of Her Majesty appears on all UK and Commonwealth coinage since 1998.

Sir Anthony Caro's design represents how the Games focus on success and pushing the body and mind to their limits as well as the long heritage of the Olympics. His coin is framed by a laurel wreath and the London 2012 logo, and depicts the sports equipment used for weightlifting, boxing, football and athletics.

During the manufacturing of the gold Kilo, a special press and production technique was used to achieve the highest ever relief on a coin struck by the Royal Mint. However because of its worth and size, it is unlikely to go into circulation.

The silver Kilo design focuses on the idea of teams working in unison to achieve success and victory, featuring the words "Unite our dreams to make the world a team of teams". It also has images of celebratory flags creating a sun for the Games while also representing the Olympic flame.

Both coins are accompanied by individually numbered Certificates of Authenticity. Sir Anthony Caro has personally signed and numbered the certificates for each gold Kilo coin.



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Ken Livingstone warns of 'crisis of legitimacy' for 2012 over Dow deal

• Former London mayor: 'Olympic Games could be undermined'

• Indian Olympic Authority to discuss issue on 5 December

Ken Livingstone, who was mayor of London when the city won the right to stage the 2012 Olympics, has warned that the Games risk a "crisis of legitimacy" over a contentious sponsorship deal with Dow Chemical which has led to fears that Indian athletes could stage a boycott.

Livingstone, who will stand again next year to be London mayor against the incumbent Boris Johnson, has joined a growing chorus of criticism from those who believe Dow is refusing to face up to ongoing liabilities from the 1984 Bhopal disaster, which, according to Greenpeace, has killed up to 20,000 people and injured tens of thousands more.

Ken Livingstone warns of 'crisis of legitimacy' for 2012 over Dow deal

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Andrew Lloyd Webber predicts 2012 theatre 'bloodbath'

30 December 11 10:28

The Olympics will cause "a bloodbath of a summer" for London theatres in 2012, Andrew Lloyd Webber has predicted.

"Nobody's going to go to the theatre at all," the composer told Radio 4's Today programme, predicting that "most of the theatres in London will shut".

"It's going to be very tough," he said, revealing advance bookings were "about 10%" of their normal level.

Three major musicals, he added, "are not going to play over the Olympics" - but he would not name them.

Lord Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group owns seven London theatres which are currently hosting shows including War Horse, Matilda and The Wizard of Oz.

The impresario said "big, big, big hits" like his own The Phantom of the Opera would continue during the Olympics period.

But he said some of his other theatres "will have to" close because of a drop-off in the "ordinary West End tourist audience".

On a brighter note, the 63-year-old said a host of new musicals would arrive in the West End after the conclusion of the 2012 games.

Shows heading into London include a Spice Girls musical, a Bridget Jones stage show and the Tony award-winning The Book of Mormon.

"They've never been so commercially popular," he told BBC arts correspondent Rebecca Jones. "The appetite for musicals is insatiable in a way.

"I don't think I've ever had so many musicals being offered to our theatres in London as there are for the end of next year."

The capital's promotional organisation London and Partners added that 29 shows would be running next summer, with an "unprecedented" number booking through to the autumn.

A spokeswoman said that a whole series of experiences would be on offer next year, including London's "world-beating theatre".


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The transformation of Stratford in east London, ready for the 2012 Olympics, has been recognised in the opening titles of the BBC soap EastEnders. The new graphics, which show the Olympic Park, including the stadium, will be first aired on New Year's Day.

Will keep an eye out for a bigger image, but here it is!!


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London 2012 chief calls on public to wake up and seize the Games

Businesses and the public must wake up to the "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" afforded by hosting the Olympics, the head of London's 2012 organising committee says.

With just 200 days until the opening ceremony, Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog), said he was concerned people would not recognise the scale of the event until it was too late. "When the world starts arriving here, the light will begin to go on and people will start to say, 'Wow, I had no idea – this will be the experience of a lifetime'," he said. "This is my real concern. The thing that keeps me up at night is whether we will take full advantage of the extraordinary opportunity coming our way this summer. I know that by the time we get to the end of this, most people will say that they had no idea of the scale and opportunity of this."

Parents in particular should "feel a responsibility to make sure their kids experience these Games in every way they possibly can, because they won't see this again in their lifetimes", he said, adding that London is in better shape at this stage than most other host cities were, although more work is needed.

"We have considerably more than 8 per cent of the work left to do," he said. "And the work we have left to do will determine whether the Games are ultimately successful."

This week, David Cameron will chair a special cabinet meeting to discuss Locog's progress. The priority is now to complete temporary venues.

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