So, it's the Olympic Opening Ceremony this friday, on the 8/8/08 - an auspicious day as the Chinese consider 8 to be a lucky number.

The opening ceremony should be spectacular; so how odd to find that the games have already started? Without fanfare, without pomp and ceremony, the women's football has kicked off, with the men's starting tomorrow.

Taking part in the Olympics prior to the Opening Ceremony seems a little odd to me; there's a loss of 'je ne sais quoi' about this... and I'd be a little peeved in their studded boots and having things happening in the wrong order. Some of those players will be going to the opening ceremony already knowing that they've blown it. Of course, they're at the Olympics, which covers a lot of sins, but still....

Meanwhile, the US cycle team have apologised to officials for arriving in Beijing wearing facemasks; apparently it caused offence. "Olympic officials say air quality is good. ". Nevertheless, as I type I see this datum:

Latest BBC air particle reading
186 micrograms per cubic metre
World Health Organisation target = 50

It seems justified to me!

In other news, two British people are under arrest for putting up a banner. China would do itself more favours by showing it's resilient enough to take things like this. This isn't clear cut though - as the people hanging the banner were climbing street furniture to hang their banners. This would cause them problems in most places (though it depends on what ultimately happens to them). It remains to be seen what happens when someone protests by just holding a banner.

As well as being the opening ceremony of the Olympics, 8/8/8 is pegged as another 24 hours of flickr.