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Before I get to this week’s list, I want to express to the world just how excited I am about the Olympics.

THIS excited


I’m a little bummed that opening and closing ceremonies will be delayed because I’m in Pacific Time right now, but at least this year all the events will be broadcast live.

And so you ask, will you be waking up at 5 a.m. Pacific just to watch swimming and rowing? Why yes. I’ve got the local NBC station’s schedule open in a tab and it isn’t going anywhere until the Games end. And if the rest of the family thinks that’s too early, I’ll lay in bed and watch it on my laptop or phone if necessary.

I could go on and on about why the Olympics are so exciting for me, but alas, this is Friday Favorites so here’s this week’s list:

Starting off on an Olympic note…watch this amazing commercial for the Paralympic Games. http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-paralympic-games-142183

Teddy bear diplomacy: Belorussian leaders have finally admitted that yes, they were invaded by parachuting teddy bears.  http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/07/belarus-leaders-admits-air-invasion-by-teddy-bears/1#.UBLRi7SvKSp

In an age where many TV stations are being combined and news operations have become shared, pooling interviews would be a bad sign. But in the aftermath of tragedies such as the Aurora shooting, they are signs of the triumph of humanity over ratings. http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/als-morning-meeting/182888/denver-tv-stations-pool-interviews-with-theater-shooting-victims-families/

Outrage in the court: 17-year-old sexual assault victim faced contempt charges for revealing the names of her attackers http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/21/savannah-dietrich-faces-charges_n_1692374.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular (Fortunately, the contempt charges were later dropped; no victim should ever be silenced.)

And in military court, the trial of soldiers accused of hazing an Asian American soldier to the point of suicide. Now that we’ve got Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell out of the way, can the military please work on race relations? http://www.stripes.com/news/trial-of-soldiers-accused-of-hazing-pvt-danny-chen-draws-national-interest-1.183646 (More background: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/danny_chen/index.html)

When the Soviets left Afghanistan, the country broke out in civil war. Will it happen again when Americans leave? A wonderful piece that takes you through history and into the minds of Afghans: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/07/09/120709fa_fact_filkins?currentPage=all

On a lighter note, what exactly is this, um, exercise machine, from Korea? http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/korea-has-invented-something-much-worse-than-the-s

And to leave you in the spirit of the Olympics, stories of American Olympians who competed at the last London Olympics: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/07/22/sports/olympics/olympians-1948-london-photos.html?smid=tw-nytimes ….

and a photo of the torch from Beijing 2008, taken at the track and field finals the day before the closing ceremony.