New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz has another hobby.
Can you learn to be an expert at table tennis in a year? That's what Sam Priestley, 25, from Wimbledon, London attempted to find out. With his friend Ben Larcombe, a table tennis coach, the aim was to reach the top 250 in the UK.
Two commercials came out this week from KUKA starring their robot and their new spokesman. Timo Boll vs the Agilus robot, and the obligatory The Making Of video to go with it. Player reaction ranged from FAKE!!! to possible-but-highly-staged. It's at least more real than the Bruce Lee/Nokia video. [more inside]
Following the slope formula of a morbid turn of mind is not the only reason to orbit the obits. Every now and then, the reading's well worthwhile! Marty Reisman, 82, a Wizard of Table Tennis, Dies.
"Finding my way in Beijing was tougher than I'd ever imagined. But sharpening my skills at a local youth academy for ping-pong—a game at which I'd dominated friends back home for years—seemed like an opportunity not to suck. So what if it meant beating up on little kids at the school and old men in the park? This would be my key to assimilation. Nice plan—but then I stared down the pre-teen pong machines and got my first real taste of China's national pastime."
It's possibly the most popular (est. 300M participants) individual sport in the world. The 2007 World Championships starts today in Zagreb. (Sports nerds- there's also a scientific conference affiliated with the tournament.) Ma Lin and Wang Liqin and Wang Hao of China are ranked #1 #2 and #4, but #3 Timo Boll of Germany beat all three in a row to win the 2005 World Cup. How do you get to be as good as Timo? Start young, work on fundamentals, and persevere.
There are those who play Ping-pong and those who live Ping-Pong. As for me, it was the first game I was ever able to beat my Pops at. But no matter how good you think you are, there is always someone ready to wax your ass. Printer-friendly version just for you y2karl!
I've been accused in the past of only posting serious news item type links - so just to prove that i'm no stick-in-the-mud here is a fun link. It requires shockwave plugins..... ladies and gentlemen i give you.... table tennis!! please enjoy this during work hours.