Friday, August 15, 2008

Weekend Edition

What, no real content?

Eh, summer. As the Cars taught us, it turns you upside down. I'm behind.

How about something random yet adorable, then?

Well, here's a set of pictures of a panda, from birth to panda toddlerhood. Cooler than it sounds.

There's always flags....

Have we done Icaro Doria yet? He's a Brazilian artist who makes legends for national flags, as if they were graphs. The result is always clever, generally acidic social commentary. (If you know of a better link for Doria, let me know; I haven't been able to find a personal website for him.)

Turning to sport...

Awareness that the Olympics is happening has penetrated even the legendary michael5000 media blackout, and naturally I'm as curious as anyone else how the nations of the world stack up against each other in the production of freakishly overachieving athletes. Unfortunately, most lists of medal count you see around make a amateurish error in data handling, and fail to standardize by population. I thought I was going to have to do this myself, but fortunately the L.A. Times beat me to it.

Now the Olympics of course is really just a big international lovefest, and of course there are no winners and losers, only competitors. Having said this, here are the countries that are winning the Olympics as of several hours ago:

1. Armenia (3) - 989,529
2. Georgia (3) - 1,543,614
3. Australia (12) - 1,716,738
4. Switzerland (4) - 1,895,380
5. Slovenia (1) - 2,007,711
6. Slovakia (2) - 2,622,375
7. Kyrgyzstan (2) - 2,678,435
8. Azerbaijan (3) - 2,725,905
9. Finland (2) - 2,727,704
10. Mongolia (1) - 2,996,081

The number in parentheses is the number of medals won by that country's athletes; the second number is national population per Olympic medal. Go Armenia!

(We here at Castle5000 are of course hoping that either the United States of America, the country in which the L&TM5K is written and published, or Estonia, the only country thus far to have established diplomatic relations with the L&TM5K, will do well enough to crack this list before it's all over. Don't give up, guys!)

How's the diet cola thing going?

Not bad, actually. I didn't have my first diet cola today until a full three hours after my usual time. Eventually, I'll push it past noon! However, due to some practical considerations I won't go into here, we are going to spend an extra week at 64 ounces, before taking the plunge down to 48 starting on Monday the 25th. Don't worry, though. I'm totally on track.


MJ said...

wow, i didn't know that campaign was so well known!
i've searched, but could only find this:

Tereza said...

I didn't know Australia had such a small population. Is that possible? Compared to most of the countries on the list, the Czech Republic seems huge population-wise! Over 10,000,000!

Glad to hear you're cutting down your diet coke consumption. I think it's better healthwise to drink less because of how dangerous aspartame possibly is and soda being bad for the bones, the stomach etc.

Anonymous said...

The panda pics are cooler than the year long progression pics of 20 somethings experimenting with facial hair. More interesting too.

I have seen Icaro Doria linked in blogs before but I just searched and cannot find a better link than you have. The American flag is amusing. Topical art is cool he can update it . . . wait, I bet someone will make a Doria flag maker one day so you can do it yourself online.

Holy cow, what are the eating in Armenia?

Good luck with your cola reduction. School with kids starts for me on the 25th so I might be upping my intake.

Michael5000 said...

@Tereza: Notice that Australia has (or at least had at that point) 12 medals, though. So, it actually has a much larger population than most of the other countries on that list.

But, it's a desert country, so its population is small for its size. It has almost exactly double the population of the Czech Republic. And a hell of a lot more kangaroos.

Tereza said...

Oh... I misread your post. National population per medal... I get it now... like a month later.