Monthly Archives: July 2012

#EK – TEAM KENYA OLYMPICS SCHEDULE (ALL KENYAN TIME)

TEAM KENYA 2012 -Schedule (all local time).

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JULY 30

Morning session

4:30 pm     M       Flyweight (52kg)                   R 32

 JULY 31

Morning session

12:00 pm   M       100m Freestyle           Heats

Afternoon session

9:30 pm     M       100m Freestyle           Semi- Final

AUGUST 1

 Afternoon session

10:17 pm M     100m Freestyle               Final

AUGUST 2

Morning session

12:00 pm   M       50 Metres Freestyle             Heats

1:14 pm     M       100 Metres Butterfly             Heats

Afternoon session

9:30 pm     M       50 Metres Freestyle             Semi- Final

10:51 pm   M       100 Metres Butterfly           Semi- Final

AUGUST 3

Morning session

12:15 pm   M       400 Metres Hurdles              Heats

2:00 pm     M       3000 Metres Steeplechase          Heats

3:20 pm     M       Flyweight (52kg)                   R 16

Afternoon session

9:05 pm     M       1500 Metres                                     Heats

9:38 pm   M     100 Metres Butterfly               Final

10:09 pm M     50 Metres Freestyle                Final       

10:25 pm         W     10,000 Metres                      Final       

AUGUST 4

Morning session

12:35 pm   M       400 Metres                                       Heats

1:35 pm     W      3000 Metres Steeplechase          Heats

2:30 pm     M       100 Metres                                       Heats (Bolt/Blake)

Afternoon session

11:15 pm         M     10,000 Metres                 Final         

AUGUST 5

Morning session

1 pm                W     Marathon                         Final

5:30 pm     W      Middleweight (75kg)            R16

Afternoon session

9:45 pm     M       100 Metres                                                          Semi-Final

10:15 pm   M       1500 Metres                                                       Semi-Final

10:40 pm   M       400 Metres                                                         Semi-Final

11:25 pm         M     3000 Metres Steeplechase             Final

211:50 pm          M       100 Metres                                                Final

AUGUST 6

Morning session

12:50 pm   M       800 Metres                            Heats

1:45 pm     W      1500 Metres                           Heats

5:30 pm     W      Middleweight (75kg)           Quarter-Final

Afternoon session

10:45 pm   M       400 Metres Hurdles                                Final

11:05 pm         W     3000 Metres Steeplechase     Final

11:30 pm   M       400 Metres                                                  Final

 AUGUST 7

Morning session

12:55 pm   W      5000 Metres                          Heats

11:50 pm   M       200 Metres                            Heats

Afternoon session

9:55 pm     M       800 Metres                            Semi-Final

10:30 pm   M       Flyweight                               Quarter-finals

11:15 pm   M       1500 Metres                          Final

AUGUST 8

Morning session

12:45 pm   M       5000 Metres                          Heats

1:35 pm     W      800 Metres                            Heats

2:20 pm     W      Middleweight (75kg)            Semi-Finals

Afternoon session

9:05 pm     M       Javelin Throw                       Qualification

9:45 pm     W      1500 Metres                           Semi-Final

10:35 pm   M       Javelin Throw                       Qualification

AUGUST 9

Morning session

1:35 pm     M       4×400 Metres Relay             Heats

Afternoon session

7:15 pm   W     Middleweight (75kg)               Final

9:30 pm     W      800 Metres                                        Semi-Final

10:00 pm         M     800 Metres                            Final

AUGUST 10

 Afternoon session

10:05 pm         W     5000 Metres                    Final

10:30 pm M     Flyweight (52kg)                  Semi Final

10:55 pm         W     1500 Metres                      Final

11:20 pm         M     4×400 Metres Relay    Final       

 AUGUST 11

Afternoon session

9:20 pm   M     Javelin Throw                         Final

9:30 pm   M     5000 Metres                             Final

10:00 pm         W     800 Metres                        Final       

AUGUST 12

1:00 pm   M     Marathon                                   Final       

3:30 pm   M     Flyweight (52kg)                 Final

 

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VENTURES AFRICA – Worth a staggering $11.2 billion, Aliko Dangote is the richest man in Africa and amongst the richest 100 people in the world. A commodities titan who is also a cement king, his business interests continue to expand. He is also a philanthropist who has given away millions to education, health and social causes, notably giving $600 to each person displaced by the post-election violence in Nigeria. Tom Jackson looks at five important lessons that can be learned from Dangote’s success.

Aim high

Dangote Cement set itself an ambitious target of producing 60 million metric tonnes of cement from all its plants, a target that now looks like it will be met in the next three years. Its six million metric tonnes plant in Calabar, Rivers State, is almost complete and primed for operations. Should Dangote achieve his target, as it looks he will, it will make Dangote…

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#EK – 12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Popular Music

  • By Dave Stopera BuzzFeed Staff

    1. Creed has sold more records in the US than Jimi Hendrix

    Creed has sold more records in the US than Jimi Hendrix

  • 2. Led Zeppelin, REM, and Depeche Mode have never had a number one single, Rihanna has 10

    Led Zeppelin, REM, and Depeche Mode have never had a number one single, Rihanna has 10

  • 3. Ke$ha’s “Tik-Tok” sold more copies than ANY Beatles single

    Ke$ha's “Tik-Tok” sold more copies than ANY Beatles single

  • 4. Flo Rida’s “Low” has sold 8 million copies – the same as The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”

    Flo Rida's “Low” has sold 8 million copies – the same as The Beatles' “Hey Jude”

  • 5. The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” is more popular than any Elvis or Simon & Garfunkel song

    The Black Eyed Peas' “I Gotta Feeling” is more popular than any Elvis or Simon & Garfunkel song

  • 6. Celine Dion’s “Falling Into You” sold more copies than any Queen, Nirvana, or Bruce Springsteen record

    Celine Dion's “Falling Into You” sold more copies than any Queen, Nirvana, or Bruce Springsteen record

  • 7. Same with Shania Twain’s “Come On Over”

    Same with Shania Twain's “Come On Over”

  • 8. Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singles from an album

    Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singles from an album

  • 9. Barbra Streisand has sold more records (140 million) than Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, and Tom Petty combined

    Barbra Streisand has sold more records (140 million) than Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, and Tom Petty combined

  • 10. People actually bought Billy Ray Cyrus’ album “Some Gave All…” 20 million people. More than any Bob Marley album

    People actually bought Billy Ray Cyrus' album “Some Gave All...” 20 million people. More than any Bob Marley album

  • 11. The cast of “Glee” has had more songs chart than the Beatles

    The cast of “Glee” has had more songs chart than the Beatles

  • 12. This guy exists.

    This guy exists.

    That is all.

#EK – The man in the Predator suit

The Late Kevin Peter Hall (May 9, 1955 – April 10, 1991) was an American actor known for his roles in Misfits of Science, Prophecy, Without Warning, and Harry and the Hendersons. He was also best known as the title character in the first two films in the Predator franchise.

#EK – (“Facts” about the 1500s:) Of course it is true. My mum said so!

Here are some ‘facts’ about the 1500s:

Source – http://matthewgreen.com.au/2011/08/17/interesting-trivia/

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery…….if you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot, they “didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were the lowest of the low.

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good byJune. However, since they were starting to smell . .. . brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift..) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer…

And that’s the truth!

Of course it is. My mum said so!

#EK (Be inspired!) Odd day jobs that Olympians do

The path to gold isn’t always a path to riches. Many Olympians train alongside their day jobs–picking up trash, fighting fires, or laying concrete.

Without sponsor support, financial backing, or paid leave, athletes have to fund their own training and Olympic dreams.

The days of the amateur-only Olympic Games may be long gone, but the “everyman” spirit lives on. –

By Andrew Dubbins

Team GB Kitting Out

1.

When she isn’t lifting weights for Team GB, Welsh-born Natasha Perdue lifts garbage cans. The 36-year-old weightlifter balances her day job at the refuse department of Leeds City Council with an intense nine session a week training regime. Formerly a national karate champion, Perdue switched to weightlifting after her father (who lifted for Britain in Munich and Mexico) passed away.

To match Interview OLYMPICS-ATHLETICS/MARATHON-NORWAY

2.

Norwegian marathon runner Urige Buta works full-time as a janitor and trains during his shift breaks. Buta fled Ethiopia after his father was arrested for political dissidence. He found asylum in Norway, where he trained in an underground sewage tunnel to escape the harsh winters. He eventually caught the eye of marathon trainer Erling Askeland. ‘I went to see him and immediately knew he had it in him,’ said Askeland.

2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials - Day 7

3.

After 12 hour construction shifts, 28-year-old Team USA discus-thrower Lance Brooks puts in two hours at his local gym. Unlike the money available to runners, discus throwers often need to take full-time jobs to make ends meet. At one point, Brooks had seven jobs, including construction worker, bouncer, bartender, substitute teacher, and Wal-Mart employee.

2012 Team USA Media Summit

4.

21-year-old Julie Zetlin is an aspiring actress and Team USA rhythmic gymnast. After London, she plans to retire from gymnastics, move to LA, and pursue acting fulltime. She caught the acting bug at 4 years old when she landed a Welch’s grape juice TV commercial. Despite injuries and knee surgery, Zetlin earned a wild-card berth at the London Games.

2012 Olympic Teams Trials - Wrestling

5.

25-year-old U.S. wrestler Chas Betts labels himself a Motion Designer first. Search his name and you’ll find his design website, with the brief introduction: “Hi. My name is Chas Betts and I am a motion designer. Please enjoy my projects and take a look at my blog to see what else I am up to when I’m not animating.” Spoiler alert: when he’s not animating, he’s wrestling. His father introduced him to the sport when he was five.

Triathlete Gwen Jorgensen poses for a portrait during the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit in Dallas

6.

26-year-old Renaissance woman Gwen Jorgensen thrives at running, biking, swimming, and accounting. The Team USA triathlete is also an accountant with Ernst & Young in Milwaukee. She ran and swam for the University of Wisconsin, but didn’t begin competing in triathlons until 2010. Now, two years later, she’s off to London.

Samsung - World Rowing Cup 2012

7.

Norway’s Olaf Tufte juggles three jobs: farmer, fireman, and gold medal-winning single-scull rower. Tufte earns a living by growing food on the family farm and fighting fires. He took home the silver in Sydney and overcame asthma and injuries to win gold in Beijing. As if that’s not enough, Tufte also hosts the “Tufte Farmers’ Challenge,” a competition for top Norwegian athletes featuring axe throwing, car-pulling, and tire flipping.

Source –> http://sports.yahoo.com

#EK – (Yes and he’s back) When John Mayer came out of the shadow

July 17, 2012
Mumbai
Dhara Vora
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For over a year now, musician John Mayer has been battling with granuloma in his throat and has yet managed to release a successful album, Born And Raised. Mayer gets talking about his album and experiencing happiness akin to that of releasing his very first album

Singer/ musician John Mayer

Q&A

You’ve had a tough year. How have you managed to cope with your physical and emotional stress and come up with an album? Is that why your recent album took some time to come out?
I was frustrated for a few days. I would lie in bed all day, listening to Bob Dylan’s Freewheelin’ or Times They Are a-Changin’; I would find happiness in finding such great music. I was in a weird phase, because I used to get excited and upset with myself because I heard someone do something that I would love to have come out of me. I had really started wondering if I could find the excitement that usually accompanies someone’s first record. Somewhere inside me, there was something that I had found, similar to discovering music back in High school. Now, I had this kind of fresh download, not just musically but also lifestyle wise — I wanted to give it all back to music again. So, I went into Electric Lady Studios and it became a safe place.

How are you doing these days?
I am up and running and living my life with the flow. I am waiting for surprises that will be thrown up on me.

Born and Raised has several different (there’s Soul, a lot of Country) and new sounds. What were your inspirations for this album?
I wasn’t writing for Born and Raised with the anticipation that it was going to be adored by just Australia but world over. It was about going back to the process of having a great idea that you could play on the piano or a guitar, and those are just really hard to write. The process, if you don’t hit it, is terrible. The process of… when you’re in a studio and you got other people listening to you, you can’t help but have a performance mentality. I think, many times, people want to have a loop going, and a drum machine going, so that people get satisfied around you. What I would do is go behind the microphone and say hey, could you turn me down in there? So, I was the only person hearing it. But what wasn’t there was discouragement about other people worrying that other people would like to be somewhere else. And then, I’d text and say turn me up and I’d have the chorus to “Shadow Days,” and then, I would work from there. But, this is not about will anyone like this? I feel like it’s an old record in a sense that it’s what you get if you only focus on writing a record. And again, I don’t think I’ll ever do it differently. If you write without worrying about what it is you got, you really can plum some depths.

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You have included some of personal memoirs (your childhood and love life too) with your song writing for this album. What led to that?
This time I had made my music because it made me contented. I heard the tunes repeatedly. I didn’t pay attention to the groove or the sound of it, just made sure that they were pure at the core of the composition of lyric and melody. Born and Raised was the song that showed me that if you’re honest, if you’re a little braver than you want to be, it can pay off.

Till date, who has been the most interesting person you have collaborated with? Any plans to work with an Indian artist or come to India?
I loved working with everybody associated with this record. It’s always a pleasure to play for fans. I have heard that music scene is huge in India, would love to perform for the music soiree here.

Born and Raised, John Mayer, Sony Music, `499. Available at leading music stores.

#EK Send and receive Gmail on your phone as SMS

Google launches Gmail SMS, letting users in Africa send and receive emails by text message.

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18th July 2012 by

Google has rolled out a new service in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya that lets Gmail users send and receive emails using the built-in SMS features of their mobile phones.

The implications of this are pretty big, as it means mobile Internet access isn’t required, and users don’t need a new-fangled smartphone with 3G or WiFi capabilities either. For emerging markets, where iPhone and Android uptake may not be what it is in the Western world, not to mention limited Web access, Gmail SMS (available locally) is an interesting launch.

As long as you have a basic mobile phone with voice and SMS capability in these three African countries, you’ll now be able to do all your emailing by text message through activating a simple setting on your Gmail account.

How it works

“Gmail SMS automatically forwards your emails as SMS text messages to your phone and you can respond by replying directly to the SMS,” says Geva Rechav, Product Manager of Emerging Markets at Google. “You can control the emails received by replying with commands such as MORE, PAUSE and RESUME. Additionally, compose a new email as an SMS and send to any email address recipient – who will find your message in the right email conversation thread.”

So, how do you set yourself up with Gmail SMS?

First of all, you’ll need to log-in to your Gmail account, and click on your profile at the top of the page and then hit Account.
a16 520x208 Google launches Gmail SMS, letting users in Africa send and receive emails by text messageNext, you’ll have to access your settings in the “Phone and SMS” section:

b9 520x132 Google launches Gmail SMS, letting users in Africa send and receive emails by text message
You will then have to link your mobile phone number to your account to be able to send and receive emails from your handset:

c6 520x382 Google launches Gmail SMS, letting users in Africa send and receive emails by text message
When you click to send a verification code to your mobile phone, you then enter that number you receive into the box on the set-up page.

While the Gmail SMS service itself is free, you will of course still be charged whatever your local SMS rates are.

It’s not yet clear if it plans to open up this service to the rest of the world, but it seems that it likely will make this available in other key emerging markets across Africa and Asia, with Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya the test-beds for this initial launch.

We’ve contacted Google for further comment here, and to establish what its longer term plans are for Gmail SMS.

#EK – (Isn’t it freightening? The thought) Truvada: FDA Approves First Pill To Help Prevent HIV

By MATTHEW PERRONE 07/16/12 06:17 PM ET

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the first drug shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection, the latest milestone in the 30-year battle against the virus that causes AIDS.

Truvada

The agency approved Gilead Sciences’ pill Truvada as a preventive measure for healthy people who are at high risk of acquiring HIV through sexual activity, such as those who have HIV-infected partners. The decision comes less than two weeks after the agency approved another landmark product: the first over-the-counter HIV test that Americans can use in the privacy of their homes.

The two developments are seen as the biggest steps in years toward curbing the spread of HIV in the U.S., which has held steady at about 50,000 new infections per year for the last 15 years. An estimated 1.2 million Americans have HIV, which develops into AIDS unless treated with antiviral drugs. And it’s estimated that one-fifth, or about 240,000 people, are unaware that they are infected.

“I think the combination of self-testing and a medicine that you can take at home to prevent infection could mean a whole new approach to HIV prevention that is a bit more realistic,” said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis of New York University’s Langone Medical Center, who served on the FDA panel that recommended approving Truvada. While a positive step forward, Daskalakis added that Truvada would likely be unavailable for many people without health insurance, who often face the greatest risk of acquiring HIV.

Researchers had long sought to create a pill that could help stem the epidemic. Public health advocates said Monday that Truvada represents a major breakthrough, both as a medical therapy and as a means of expanding other preventive measures. Patients who get a prescription for Truvada will be expected to take part in a comprehensive HIV prevention plan, which experts say will enhance the drug’s impact.

“It really marks a new era in HIV prevention because in adding Truvada as a prevention strategy, what comes with it is expanded access to HIV testing, condoms and preventive counseling and support,” said James Loduca, vice president of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

But HIV experts have raised concerns that patients might not use the drug correctly. Dr. Tom Giordano of Baylor College of Medicine said Monday the drug must be taken every day to be effective, and would be most effective for a relatively small group of people.

“It’s been most effective in people who are at very high risk and are able to take the drug on a regular basis,” said Giordano, who served on the FDA panel that recommended approving the drug. “When you really boil it down that’s going to be a relatively focused population, but it’s an important population to treat.”

The drug’s label carries a warning that people should be tested to make sure they don’t have HIV before starting Truvada. Patients who already have the virus could develop resistance to the drug, making their disease more difficult to treat. The label also warns of side effects, including kidney and liver problems.

Gilead Sciences Inc. has marketed Truvada since 2004 as a treatment for people who are already infected with the virus. The once-a-day pill is a combination of two older HIV drugs, Emtriva and Viread.

Starting in 2010, studies showed that the drug could prevent people from contracting HIV when used as a precautionary measure. A three-year study found that daily doses cut the risk of infection in healthy gay and bisexual men by 42 percent, when accompanied by condoms and counseling. Last year, another study found that Truvada reduced infection by 75 percent in heterosexual couples in which one partner was infected with HIV and the other was not.

Because Truvada is on the market to manage HIV, some doctors already prescribe it as a preventive measure. FDA approval will allow Gilead Sciences to formally market the drug for that use, which could dramatically increase prescriptions.

Truvada’s groundbreaking preventive ability has exposed disagreements about managing the disease among those in the HIV community. Groups including the AIDS Healthcare Foundation asked the FDA to reject the new indication, saying it could give patients a false sense of security and reduce the use of condoms, the most reliable preventive measure against HIV.

But FDA scientists said Monday said there was no indication from clinical trials that Truvada users were more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior.

“What we found was that condom use increased over time and sexually transmitted infections either remained at baseline levels or decreased,” said Dr. Debra Birnkrant, FDA’s director of antiviral products. “So in essence, we don’t have any strong evidence that condoms were not used or there was a decrease in condom use.”

Gilead Sciences said Monday that it would keep the pill at its current price, nearly $14,000 per year. Even at that price, HIV physicians said the drug could be cost effective if it prevents people from contracting the virus.

“It is expensive, but on the other hand it’s far cheaper than a lifetime of HIV treatment,” said Dr. Joel Gallant of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “So if there are people who will not use condoms but are willing to use this, then for those people it’s cost effective.”

The lifetime cost of treating one person diagnosed with the AIDS virus has been estimated at more than $600,000.

The decision by the FDA on Truvada follows its approval of the OraQuick test earlier this month. The test, which detects the presence of HIV in saliva collected using a mouth swab and returns a result within 40 minutes, is aimed at people who might not otherwise be tested. The FDA has said the test is not 100 percent accurate.

#EK – London 2012: an etiquette guide for Olympics visitors

Monday 16 July 2012

How do you hire a Boris bike? Why are Brits always saying sorry? Do you look a bit like a terrorist? Find the answers in this guide for foreign visitors

The 8,000 volunteers who will welcome international visitors to London 2012 have been issued with a 66-page instruction manual, covering everything from foreign etiquette to uniform care and advice on dealing with journalists. But what of the visitors themselves? Could they not do with a manual outlining the customs, manners and practicalities of the islands they are visiting? We hereby present a simple guide to UK etiquette for the 2012 Olympics.

London taxi cab

Cab drivers: do not be tempted to engage in conversation. Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian

• Welcome, and before we begin – please accept our apologies. Your four-hour nightmare wait at passport control should not be taken as a symptom of Britain’s contempt for foreigners. It is merely a symptom of a woeful lack of spending on a key aspect of travel infrastructure in the run-up to a hugely important event. In other words, it’s the government that hates you. Don’t worry, they hate us too.

• Canadians: I’m afraid that while you are here you will be repeatedly mistaken for Americans and blamed for all sorts of stuff you had nothing to do with. Unless you can think of a quick and simple way to distinguish yourselves at a glance – flower in lapel? Saddle shoes? Maple leaf eyepatch? – then you are just going to have to suck it up.

• Americans: While you’re here, why not pretend to be Canadian? Very few Britons can tell the difference, and it will allow you to rescue yourself from awkward conversations about the death penalty.

• Under no circumstances should you ask your taxi driver how excited he is about having the Olympics in London this summer. It’s not that he will be reluctant or embarrassed to offer a personal opinion on the matter. That is not the problem at all.

• You will repeatedly hear that the East End of London, where the bulk of the Olympic events are being held, is an “up and coming” area. You may wonder what this odd English expression means when applied to your immediate surroundings. You are quite right to.

• Nobody here can answer any questions you have about fencing. Google it.

• Pay no attention to those bow-tied etiquette experts you sometimes see on CNN International, telling you how to behave while in Britain. These people are generally of dubious provenance, normally live in California and tend to peddle advice that is either irrelevant or out of date. For example, they will often say that Britons love queuing and are so fond of apologising that they will often say “sorry” even when something isn’t their fault. In reality, Britons are just as likely to jump to the front of a queue and then punch the person behind them for coughing. It all depends on how muggy it is.

• British people may seem to apologise a lot, but it doesn’t quite mean the same thing here. In the UK, “I’m sorry” actually means either a) I didn’t hear you; b) I didn’t understand you; or c) I both heard and understood you, and I think you’re an idiot.

• You might expect locals to be, in the circumstances, a bit defensive about the weather. But it’s true: it really doesn’t rain like this every summer. This is exceptional, which is why it’s so cold in your hotel room. There aren’t normally this many soldiers in the streets either. No, honestly.

• Britons love bleak humour: that’s why all the hire bikes are branded with the name of a bank currently being investigated for fixing interest rates. It’s supposed to be funny.

• London’s bike hire scheme couldn’t be simpler, by the way: just go up to the terminal at any docking station, pay by card and take away one of our so-called “Boris bikes”. When you’re done with it, simply throw it into the nearest canal. They’re disposable!

• If you have arrived early, you might just be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the final leg of the Olympic torch relay. Or you might be at a riot. Ask yourself the following questions: are there lots of people holding flames, or just one? Is everybody running in the right direction? Does the nearest branch of Foot Locker appear to be having the craziest sale ever?

• None of us is officially allowed to speak to members of the foreign press. We have all been instructed to avoid eye contact while referring your queries to a team of dedicated information managers who don’t really exist. The same policy applies to ministers from totalitarian states and anyone who turns up at the airport holding a Pepsi.

• Do not ask a policeman the best way to get to the West End or how to use an Oyster card. He wants to help, but he’s from the West Midlands.

• Please aid the Olympic authorities and organisers by demonstrating at all times that you are not a terrorist. Do not perspire, take off your shoes, smile in a weird way while texting someone, or point and shout: “Hey! Look at all those missiles on that roof over there!” In fact, if you’re not using your hands for anything, it’s probably best if you keep them in the air where everybody can see them.

• We here in the UK want nothing more than to provide you, our guests, with a fantastic experience this summer, combining the best in international sport, brilliant facilities, fantastic entertainment and a cultural legacy that draws on centuries of excellence in art and architecture. If you ended up with four tickets for the wrestling at the ExCel Centre, well, better luck next time.

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