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  • 2010 Winter OlympicsXXI 2010 Wnter Olympics Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Beginning tomorrow, February 12, 2010, the 21st Winter Olympics will begin in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and is the biggest international winter multi-sport event in the world. Other events will be held in nearby Whistler, British Columbia and the Vancouver suburb of Richmond. This will be the third Olympics hosted by Canada and the first one held in the province of British Columbia. Enough has been said about the debacle in Salt Lake City in the 2002 Olympics, and the rules have changed to stop such abuses. Although the final tab has yet to be determined, an estimated $1.354 billion was given in 2004, and then in the middle of 2009 was raised to $1.76 billion; but that all was before the need to bring in snow, which is a rare occurrence in this province in the winter season. The first of this month, the estimate was raised to $6 billion, with $600 million being spent to host the games and the benefits and revenues are projected to be in the $10 billion range; although Price-Waterhouse projects them to be in the area of just $1 billion. Many of the venues will be at sea level, which is considered to be a rarity for the games, and this will be the first time that the opening ceremonies will be held indoors. Vancouver is the most populated city to have hosted the winter olympics, and it is going to be the warmest.  The number of nations that will send teams to this venue is believed to be over 80, with debuts by Pakistan, Cayman Islands, Serbia, Peru, Colombia, Ghana and Montenegro. Fifteen winter sports have been made part of the olympics, with 8 of them being classified as ice sports. Those are curling, bobsled, speed skating, short track speed skating, figure skating, skeleton, luge and ice hockey; with other sports being alpine skiing, snowboarding, Nordic combined, biathlon, ski jumping, bobsleigh, freestyle skiing, and cross country skiing. Since the H1N1 virus is of such high concern, all visitors, including spectators, and athletes are encouraged to get these shots, which will be on hand for those that didn't get them. Women's ski jumping was not to be included after the 2006 vote, but many members of various teams have filed grievances with the Canadian Human Rights Board over gender discrimination and all are awaiting its decision. The games are full of agendas and protesters, all screaming out to be heard in this international venue, which is a shame since it is an Olympic event specifically aimed at the sports venues and the fantastic athletes that promote a healthy lifestyle and other human rights interests. The games have always brought the world's attention to the Olympics, and those surrounding the games that have set up their own agendas. Many are against having the games here, especially in these hard economic times, but it is a venue for the members of various countries to showcase their special talents and abilities for the world to see and thoroughly enjoy. It has become such a popular sporting event that is also shown on the internet so that those that don't have televisions or access to them can use the net to still watch their favorite teams play. Still time to get there and enjoy the amazing feats of the world's greatest winter sports athletes that compete against each other from the many countries around the world, some that don't ever have snow or ice. 

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  • SFU Museum of Archaeology & EthnologySimon Fraser University Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
    In the northeast corner of the Simon Fraser University Academic Quadrangle, the museum of archaeology and ethnology showcases exhibits from the British Columbia province, as well as from around the world. The campus is set on top of Burnaby Mountain that gives a marvelous view of the city and bay below. The museum researches and displays artifacts from around the world, with a major focus on the ones from British Columbia. Their marvelous examples of totem poles is beautiful and inspiring, with an equal diverse index that is also delightful. These categories include; archaeology 100 - stratigraphy, archaeology of Britain, archaeology of Britain, King Arthur, argillite, basket montage, boxes, carving a totem pole, ceramic features of central and south America, dene caribou bone scraper, Fijian pottery, First Nations basketry, First Nations Totem poles, Machu Picchu, Monte Alban, northwest coast art, northwest coast art-a visual introduction, northwest coast rattles, olduvai gorge, palenque, wood, bone & stone tools, rock art in British Columbia, visual learning, northwest coast art, Russian villages, totem poles, virtual gallery of totem poles, totem poles, carving and raising a pole, and totem poles at Mamaliliqula.  The marvelous tools that can be seen here will tell you how admirable these natives were, using the barest of tools they were able to carve, cut  and manipulate various types of materials to create their own tools or utensils that have been discovered in numerous sites.  Always an exciting moment when one of these small arrowheads or maul heads are discovered, making you wonder about the owner and user of these fantastic primitive tools.  Many other discoveries can be found here and it is one place that will inspire you to learn more about the peoples that lived here so long ago  and developed their own tools, utensils, and whatever else they needed to live and thrive.

January 11, 2011