Thursday, August 21, 2008

the silent "s"

the announcers at the 2008 beijing olympics shook the world when they announced, as the 4 Lao athletes (2 swimmers, 2 runners) entered the bird's nest arena, that Laos is actually pronounced Lao, and that the "s" (a french additon) is silent. my phone has been ringing non-stop since that day... "is it true? is the country really called Lao and not Laos?" and yes... it is true; it is really called meuang Lao, not meuang Laos.
and on a different note: the olympics have been my new best friend. we hang out every night until 1 am. and did yall see misty may and kerri walsh beat up china in volleyball last night? and in the pouring rain too. amazing.
and i actually saw one of the Lao runners in his qualifying round - Souksavanh Tonphithak. he came in last place in the prelims... so i really only saw him just when the starting shot was fired, then the camera left him to follow the jamaican runners zooming to the finish line. but nevertheless, it was exciting to see him there...
here is a link to a blog with another report about the beijing olympic athletes.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

cambodia and thailand don't get along

did yall know that president bush was in thailand this morning? and the only news outa his visit there is what he said right before leaving for the opening ceremony of the beijing olympics - something about how china should improve their human rights record. (by the way, zhang ziyi made a couple comments about that herself:

well, in other news from thailand that bush didn't hear about, the preah vihear temple is causing problems again. the temple was awarded to cambodia by and international court in 1962 after disputes between thailand and cambodia about who really should have it within their borders. (it is a khmer temple, but was within present-day thai borders, until the international court ruled in favor of cambodain sovereignty.) well, the temple was set to be awarded a world heritage site... but that just dug up the past. and now for the past month or so, there's been these thai and khmer soildiers posted up by the temple waiting to shoot each other. (actually i hear on npr that they're really just sitting back, playing 6-cards, drinking rice liquor, waiting for the uppercrust to figure this whole mess out.) read below for details.

some history: