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The Physics of physicality

WIRED has been running a fascinating series: Olympic Physics: Can Runners Benefit From Drafting?, Scoring the Decathlon, New [Swimming] Platform Is No Chip Off The Old Block [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 13, 2012 - 16 comments

Chinese Women's Olympic Weightlifting

It’s a very specialized set of sports that the Chinese focus on but they simply kick absolute ass at them. ... If you look at the 2008 Olympic weightlifting results in Beijing... the women didn’t just squeak by to win a medal; most were simply so far ahead of their competition that it was a joke. In most cases, the Chinese women took their first attempt after everyone else had already finished lifting for the day. And they came out and just dispatched their weights in perfect form, setting new world records and winning medals with abandon. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 4, 2012 - 52 comments

Read my lips

As is well known by now, the opening spectacle of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing featured a young girl's performance of Ode to the Motherland which was later revealed to be a lip-synch. The talented original singer Yang Peiyi was considered not "cute" enough. As is perhaps not so well known, however, the resultant flap resulted in the creation of a strict anti-lip-synch law in China, and now two Chinese pop stars face a $12,000 lip-synching fine. Some Chinese rockers have eagerly supported the creation of the ban on lip-synch, and, interestingly, the practice of lip-synching in Chinese musical entertainment had been under discussion in Chinese government circles since at least 2005.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 23, 2010 - 40 comments

China's Olympic Pollution Control

New Satellite Data Reveal Impact of Olympic Pollution Controls. [Via James Fallows]
posted by homunculus on Jan 9, 2009 - 26 comments

English as a Shouted Language

"Conquer English to Make China Stronger!" is the philosophy of Li Yang, founder of the Crazy English school (and style) of language, described by some as "English as a Shouted Language" for its main method of shouting English words in public to overcome shyness. Li Yang has achieved Elvis-like popularity in China, not just through his public lectures but also through the sales of books, media, teaching materials, and a memoir titled "I am Crazy, I Succeed". Li Yang's unorthodox methods - which include encouraging students to "lose face" and cope with embarrassment on the way to success - have earned him fame and fortune, including headlining the 5th Beijing Foreign Language Festival and being the main English teacher for China's Olympic volunteers. Li Yang's secret to success: "... to have them continuously paying—that’s the conclusion I’ve reached."
posted by divabat on Dec 31, 2008 - 10 comments

James Powderly's story of his Beijing detention

An American in Beijing's Detention Facilities (via kottke) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 3, 2008 - 69 comments

Well, there's a surprise

Some of the female Chinese gymnasts are apparently under-age. It wasn't their skulls, their chins or their eyes that gave them away: it was the internet.
posted by chuckdarwin on Aug 20, 2008 - 130 comments

Disaster Capitalism

"Like the dotcom bubble, the disaster bubble is inflating in an ad-hoc and chaotic fashion." Journalist Naomi Klein discusses how corporations and governments are working together more closely than ever, using the mandate of catastrophe — whether natural or man-made — to further concentrate power in fewer hands, with less oversight: from illegal sales of American police technology to China to avert hypothetical tragedies during the Beijing Olympics, to the privatization of water supplies in post-tsunami Sri Lanka.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 17, 2008 - 50 comments

RememberTibet.org

Remember Tibet during the Olympic Games. Jonathan Barnbrook and Pedro Inoue raise awareness through this new site. [Via Computer Love]
posted by wundermint on Aug 11, 2008 - 72 comments

A murder clouds the olympics

A chinese man killed Todd Bachman in Beijing today before jumping to his death from an ancient tower. Todd Bachman was the father-in-law of Olympic Men's Indoor Volleyball Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon, his wife is still in hospital for her injuries. Not part of the curse of the fuwas.
posted by dabitch on Aug 9, 2008 - 66 comments

3...2...1... COUNTDOWN.

Opening the Olympic Ceremony with a bow to ancient Chinese tradition, 2,008 Drummers on the traditional Fou drums. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon on Aug 8, 2008 - 117 comments

08 08 08 = luck x3

08-08-08 is not only the start of the Olympic games in China. It's also an extremely lucky date, given that the number 8 is considered fortuitous in Chinese culture, being associated with wealth and prosperity. Due to this unlikely (but very lucky) confluence of events, upwards of 9,000 Chinese couples will be getting hitched on 08-08-08. Note that not everybody agrees with the astrological implications of this particular date, but that just sounds like mumbo-jumbo to me. [more inside]
posted by baphomet on Aug 7, 2008 - 63 comments

Jumping Through Hoops

Is Xinjiang Province The Islamic Jihad Battlefront in China? China detains 82 'terrorists' targeting Olympics and police have shot Uighurs dead. Meanwhile people from the Uighur minority call on the international community to boycott the Beijing Olympic games. What side of the Jihad is China on? Previously there was The Al Qaeda - China Tie. The oil and petrochemical sector account for 60% of Xinjiang's local economy.
posted by adamvasco on Jul 16, 2008 - 21 comments

China's plan to tame Tibet

China's secret plot to tame Tibet. "Internal Communist party documents have revealed that China is planning a programme of harsh political repression in Tibet despite a public show of moderation to win over world opinion before the Olympic Games next month." Meanwhile, the military has sealed off several monasteries in Lhasa, keeping over 1,000 monks locked up. Another 1,000 monks have mysteriously disappeared, and may have been sent to prisons in a neighbouring province to keep them silent through the Olympics.
posted by homunculus on Jul 13, 2008 - 111 comments

China's Olympian Human Rights Challenges

Beijing 2008: China's Olympian Human Rights Challenges. This website was set up by Human Rights Watch to monitor human rights issues in China during the run-up to the Olympics. "This is a historic opportunity for China to show it has the confidence to make tangible and sustainable progress in ensuring basic human rights for its 1.3 billion citizens." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jun 11, 2008 - 34 comments

Cute but foreboding

Superstitious bloggers explain the recent earthquake in China by suggesting that the official Olympic Mascots of the Beijing Olympics foretold of disaster. [more inside]
posted by NikitaNikita on May 19, 2008 - 26 comments

Woeser

A Lone Tibetan Voice, Intent on Speaking Out. Woeser (previously mentioned here) is a Tibetan writer and poet living under house arrest in Beijing, from where she blogs about the recent unrest in Tibet (there are English translations of her posts at China Digital Times). Last year she was awarded the Norwegian Authors Union Freedom of Expression Prize, but she was not allowed to travel to Oslo to collect the prize.
posted by homunculus on May 6, 2008 - 15 comments

New China?

The Olympic Boom is shaping a new Beijing. These fancy new venues and skyscrapers are being built largely by migrant workers facing a harsh reality. The non-stop construction has also threatened to make these "green games" brown. The city may be smoggy and mistreated migrant workery now, but don't you worry, a series of measures will be taken to curb the pollution for the events.
posted by clearly on Apr 23, 2008 - 54 comments

Chinese Nationalism

The "sacred flame" winds its way towards Beijing, creating new flashpoints like a car bumper scraping sparks from the pavement.

The chinese public's anger at CNN now has a wildly popular theme song. "You can't turn lies into the truth by repeating them a thousand times"

Chinese nationalism and an American backlash are both growing. Where is all this leading to? And even if we can't understand how China sees Tibet, or know whether the Shanghai Princesses will really give up their Chanel, can we at least assure the Chinese that we don't like Jack Cafferty either?
posted by Tlogmer on Apr 19, 2008 - 100 comments

Genocide Olympics

The Genocide Olympics. The human rights group Dream for Darfur is trying to use the Olympics to pressure China to change its policies on Sudan and the genocide in Darfur. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Mar 30, 2008 - 13 comments

Trouble on the Roof....... of the World

China ready to hold talks with the Dalai Lama. With nearly 1,000 jailed in Lhasa, the Dalai Lama has offered to resign. China has blocked the media, and reporters have been taken in for questioning. China is opposed to the US speaker's Dharamsala visit. Meanwhile France raises the idea of boycotting the Olympics opening ceremony. Existing thread arising from Björk's protest.
posted by adamvasco on Mar 19, 2008 - 120 comments

Raise your flag!

Björk, in Shanghai, on Tibet: Declare Independence! [YouTube] [more inside]
posted by finite on Mar 6, 2008 - 80 comments

Going to the Beijing Olympics? Don't be black!

As Beijing prepares for the Olympics next year it is trying to clean up some of the shadier sides of the city. Apparently, one way of doing this is going to the popular bar street, Sanlitun, and arresting and beating all the men who appear to be of African decent, even if one happens to be the son of a diplomat.
posted by afu on Oct 4, 2007 - 40 comments

One World, One Dream, Four Mascots

China Praises Its Progress Toward Olympics. With one year to go before the 2008 Olympics, China still has many challenges ahead, like dealing with Beijing's terrible air pollution. There is still much criticism over China's record on human rights and freedom of the press, and some protests. But perhaps the most embarrassing public relations setback is that one of the official mascots, Yingsel (aka Yingying) the Tibetan Antelope, has defected from China's Olympic team and gone underground to campaign for a free Tibet. [Some links via BB and MoFi.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 9, 2007 - 43 comments

More Luxury Hotels Required

SimCity 2008, Scenario: Beijing. Prepare your city for the 2008 Olympics. Raze slums, build luxury hotels, and stadiums. Make the nation, and the world, proud!
posted by SansPoint on Jun 11, 2007 - 38 comments

My cup runneth over ... How bout you and yours?

The Da Vinci Cup Think of it as a gathering of tribes... There's a lot of ritual involved. It's probably the biggest single unifying event that our species can muster. Forget the Olympics. Not even close. Poor poor China. Keeping the romans entertained since BC.
posted by Unregistered User on Jun 25, 2006 - 11 comments

China does great propaganda.

China does great propaganda. From the Great Leap Forward to the 2008 Olympics, the posters tell the story and this guy collects 'em. My favorite so far is this one.
posted by hob on Jun 1, 2002 - 7 comments

And the winner of the 2000 metre evasion of a tank is....

And the winner of the 2000 metre evasion of a tank is.... Well, you'll have to wait until 2008, when Beijing hosts the games. Maybe in seven years their human rights stance may have shifted a bit.
posted by dwivian on Jul 13, 2001 - 50 comments

Don't look behind that wall

Don't look behind that wall, Mr. Olympic inspector. In advance of the ongoing assesment by 17 Olympic inspectors, thousands of unwanted people have been tossed into a detention center in China, without trial. For a month, 500 to 600 people a day have been tossed in. Human Rights in China interviewed former inmates of the detention centre, and they reported
"There were no bathing facilities, food was poured from buckets and fought over by mice, and beatings with leather belts were common."
Is this what China does to "put on its game face"?
posted by will on Feb 24, 2001 - 3 comments

17 International Olympic Committee inspectors

17 International Olympic Committee inspectors are in China reviewing its bid for the 2008 Olympic Games. Should human rights concerns be a factor in their decision? Does a sporting body have a duty to use compliance with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as a gauge to measure hosting worthiness for any country (not just China)?
posted by will on Feb 22, 2001 - 7 comments

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