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This week Estonia hosted the virtual Olympics in Tallinn where contestants would run, jump or do whatever they do at the Olympics, in a square, in a gymnasium while looking at a video screen. They would imitate the action, for instance running on the spot. The computer device would decide who would be the fastest or strongest. They went through the entire gamut of sports mind you, even keeping dry while swimming. The sponsor was a company named Kinect which provided the computer games. Their motto is to get people off the couch. The winner of the Olympics was Guatemala. Estonia didn't even qualify.  eesti.ca

 

The organizing committee of the XXXI West Coast Estonian Days (LEP) - XI ESTO is inviting all Estonian artists, designers and friends to submit designs for the Festival’s over-all logo. Due to the dual nature of the combined Festivals - LEP and ESTO - it is requested that THREE VERSIONS of the logo design be submitted. All versions should have the same overall design, but different text (see below).The winning design will be selected by the organizing board and shall be considered it’s property.

On Saturday, October 1, at the Latvian cultural center “Priedaine” more than 100 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians met to demonstrate their unity and friendship. Around 1950 there was a large influx of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians into New Jersey.  In those beginning years the three baltic nations worked together to explain their tragedy to their fellow americans. With the fall of the  Soviet Union and regained freedom, the baltic unity efforts slowed.

 

In a job-share program with two other troupes, the Opera Company of Philadelphia has named its first composer in residence. New York-based Lembit Beecher, 30, will spend stretches of several weeks at a time at the Opera Company, as well as Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group in New York, observing productions and developing ideas for potential projects. Beecher was chosen not for having big operas under his belt - he has to his name only a chamber opera he wrote as a student - but for his potential.

 In support of ensuring the security of NATO airspace, members of the United States Air Force will be in the Baltic region this week to participate in an aerial- conflict simulation.  This simulation, which is being held over the skies of Lithuania, will include planes and NATO professionals from several nations.  Over the course of the next two days, several Danish Air Force figh-ters that are currently participating in the Baltic Air Policing mission will be joined by two USAF F-15 fighters, a U.S. KC-135 tanker aircraft, as well as Polish and Lithuanian aircraft, as they work together in this detailed aerial exercise.
 US Embassy in Estonia
 

 

Centennial year inaugural celebrations were held outdoors simultaneously in Tallinn, Tartu, Kilingi-Nõmme, Haapsalu and Rakvere. In Tallinn, scouts and friends of scouts gathered in Vabaduse väljak / Freedom Square where they lit candles, played games, sang and watched video greetings from other troops. Cake was later served at the Tudengimaja / Student House on Raekoja plats where a video was shown of President Toomas Hendrik Ilves speaking about his vivid memories of Estonian scouting in the U.S. Karolin Lillemäe, editor-in-chief of Eesti Skaut magazine cut the cake honouring the birthday of the founder of Estonian scouting Anton Õunapuu (born Nov. 7, 1887) and marking the opening of the jubilee year of 100 years of Estonian scouting. The first troop was established in 1912 in Pärnu. Anton Õunapuu väljak, the main field at Kotkajärve was named after the phys. ed. teacher who introduced scouting to Estonia and fell fighting its War of Independence in 1919 at the age of 31.

 

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet reminded us of an issue that has completely disappeared from the agenda: new rounds of EU enlargement. Despite the changes of guard in Athens and Rome, Europe is still desperately trying to overcome its biggest crisis since the end of World War II, to use German Chancellor Merkel’s pompous words. The almighty and all-knowing rating agencies are not impressed by the vigorous statements made by crisis managers Mr. Papademos and Mr. Monti. European Commissioner Rehn spoke discouraging words about the economies of Belgium, Po-land and other member states. And even the Nether-lands, traditionally considered to be an economic stronghold i.e. a solid outpost of the Bundesbank, are facing rising bond yields.

 

Never in days of old, when I had the “enormous fortune” to be stuck with football yobs in the subways of Munich (“wir sind die blöde Idioten” or “we are the stupid Idiots” echoing around innocent passers-by as their rallying cry), did I think I’d ever venture to write a piece about soccer (European football), but as Butch Cassidy once declared, “there are no rules in a knife fight”. There is always a first time for everything. A good Estonian has gotta do what he has gotta do. Estonia (population 1.3 million) faces Republic of Ireland (population 4.5 million) in a two-game play-off during the first half of November. Round 1 to transpire this Friday – Nov. 11 – while the second match will be played Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Dublin. Responding preemptively to nitpickers, “bantamweight” is of course boxing nomenclature, but you get my drift.

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