Well, the results are out. The names of the eight foreigners who are to participate in the Olympic Torch relay have been released. You may remember I encouraged people to vote for one of my predecessors as a Time reporter in Beijing, Jimmy Florcruz, and his daughter. Despite some fairly heroic efforts, Jimmy didn’t make it, garnering a respectable two thousand or so votes, even though he came into the game late. It’s telling that one of the winners, Russian Yury Ilyakin, had to get a bunch of his votes rescinded when he discovered that someone had used a ‘bots’ or enslaved computers (the person who does this is charmingly called a ‘bot herder’) to bolster his numbers. China is the world’s center for such activities, which are most often used in hacking attacks, some of which by criminals attempting to extort money from online companies by shutting down their websites through massive bot or Designated Denial of Service (D-dos for the initiated) attacks. Luckily for Ilyakin he was still able to squeeze through even without the help of his unknown hacker friends. It was a testament to good old fashioned empathy, manwhile, that the top vote winner was Jenny Bowen, who runs the Half the Sky Foundation (a reference to the Mao quote about women holding up half the sky, which it sometimes seems to me is a little too nice to the lazier members of my gender, who presumably hold up the other half when they aren’t off leaving toilet seats up, getting lost and refusing to ask for directions, drinking beer, watching football, etc etc) which does great work for orphans in China. Congrats to her and the others. The cynical among us (you know who you are) might pooh pooh the whole thing as a propaganda exercise that forced participants to compete to see who could be the most unashamed panda hugger. But I say pshaw to such cyncism and hoorah for the Olympic spirit!