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Over-the-top publicity stunt of the week No.1

It was a spectacle of surrealist theatre that brought back memories of the Lillehammer Winter Olympic closing ceremony. But the unveiling of the Airbus A380 in Toulouse yesterday was such an overblown spectacle, so much so that Sky News, BBC World and CNN International were all sucked in to taking this live informercial as a "breaking news" event during their 9pm AEDT bulletins last night.

The Guardian has analysis of the launch and the prospects for viability of the plane itself. If you feel inclined you can go to the Airbus website and drool over the specs of this new tyrannosaurus rex of the skies. Google News links to more items but I have yet to find online a copy of the video of those giant inflated puppets who somehow depicted the history of aviation. The Register has also done its take on the launch.

Four heads of government gave their ringing endorsements yesterday: Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder and Senor Bean... er Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Ostensibly a socialist, Zapatero is quoted in an Airbus press release as saying "It’s the best example of civilised co-existence devised by man." Maybe he was mis-translated from the Spanish.

Here in the inner west of Sydney, under one of the flight paths into and out of Mascot Airport, we are beside ourselves with excitement at the prospect of one of these A380s shaking hands with our rooftops.