Let the Games Begin

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Image credit to london2012.com
The Olympics are where the best athletes in the world compete to be viewed as the best in the world. So it's only natural that Opening Ceremony to such a prestigious event should be spectacular. An estimated five billion people watch the summer Olympics (hosted by London this year).

Directed by American filmmaker Danny Boyle, everyone watching expected an amazing performance. But could Boyle deliver under this kind of pressure?

The grand ceremony started with a video of James Bond (Daniel Craig) entering Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen. To get to the games in East London, Bonds takes the Queen in a helicopter, right as one hovers above the dome. The screen shows them both jumping out of the helicopter, and on cue, two stunt doubles jump out of the real one. All cameras are on Her Majesty the Queen as she walks into the stadium.

Slowly, the dome starts to light up. The stage tells a story about London life in the 1800s, a time where farming and agriculture was the main economy. Slowly, the grassy hills rolled back and manufacturing towers started to rise, signaling the beginning of the industrial era. As the scene shifts again, viewers finally realize that Boyle is showing the history of London and the UK. Some may remember the Beijing opening ceremony in 2008 as being a more culturally directed ceremony. 2012's is more history, with a little bit of culture at the end. The music changes, and now spectators see the change in music and technology over the years. There was a tribute to Queen and the Beatles, among others. 

Image credit to nbcolympics.com
The screen now plays a live video of David Beckham and Jade Baile (Arsenal, soccer) on a speedboat, cruising the River Thames to get to the stadium. Clever camera work has the audience believing that Beckham is controlling his speedboat, James Bond style, but there are crewmen there, behind Beckham at an angle the camera can't see. Jade Baille hands off the torch to five time Olympic champion Steve Redgave (England, rowing) to light the cauldron.

When he enters the stadium, there are "metal petals", which is what he will light the flame too, so people thought. But instead, he passed the flame to eight kids, meant to represent Britain's future athletes. They lit the petals, which slowly rose into a cauldron, where the flame will remain burning for the seventeen days of the Olympic Games.

Let the Games begin!

Best of the Best

The MLB All Star game is where the best players from all thirty teams compete in a battle for supremacy between the National League and the American League. The winner of the game gets the first home-field advantage at the World Series. For the past two ASGs (All Star Game), the NL has won and therefore been given home-field advantage.

This year proved to be no different. The NL dominated the game early on. Justin Verlander of the Detriot Tigers was the starting pitcher for the NL. He has been called the pitcher in baseball this season, but he didn't pitch as well as he usually does. In the first inning, he gave up five runs on just four hits. Verlander looked shaky, even after striking out his first batter on three pitches. After that, it all went downhill for the AL.

The San Francisco Giants were the heroes for their team. Matt Cain proved to be a stellar pitcher, as he continues his hot streak. Sluggers Melky Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval had big hits that helped the NL win it all. Sandoval fired his first triple with the bases loaded. Cabrera doubled, homered and won the MVP award in the stadium where he played last season.

This year's ASG was the most lopsided win for the NL ever, as they crushed the AL eight to zero. It was a dissapointing loss for the AL, who were trying to finally prove themselves to be the better league. The NL certainly deserved their win, they outhit the AL ten hits to six.   Perhaps next year, the AL can break their unluckly losing streak.