Archive for August 9th, 2008

Two reasons that my Olympic boycot could be slightly difficult

The amazingly amusing statements coming out of the Chinese media are just too good to resist:

The People’s Daily, a newspaper controlled by the ruling communist party, has made the rather bold declarations that last night’s opening ceremony is a “potential turning point in world history” and “will become an important page in the history of world civilisation”.

Meanwhile The China Daily (with information courtesy of official Chinese news agency Xinhua) reports that:

Beijing fired over 1,000 rain dispersal rockets on Friday evening to blow away rain clouds for the smooth opening ceremony of the 29th Olympic Games at the National Stadium, confirmed the local observatory on Saturday morning.

It was the largest rain dispersal operation in China, and the first time that such technology has been used to ensure the weather condition for Olympic opening, said Chinese meteorologists.

“We fired a total of 1,104 rain dispersal rockets from 21 sites in the city between 4:00 p.m. and 11:39 pm on Friday, which successfully intercepted a stretch of rain belt from moving towards the stadium,” said Guo Hu, head of the Beijing Municipal Meteorological Bureau

Apparently the weather bureau had forecasted rain which leads me to wonder why, if they were so confident of their technological achievements, they didn’t issue a forecast of “it would rain, but we’ll make sure it doesn’t”, and why we have only been told about the 1,104 rain dispersal rockets after the event.

Perhaps this perplexing sentence explains it:

“Under such a weather condition, a small bubble in the rain cloud would have triggered rainfall, let alone a lightening,” said Guo, whose team had monitored the movement of the rain cloud heading for Beijing from 7:20 am Friday.

With English skills as excellent as those, a forecast of “rain avoided due to rain dispersal rockets” would probably have come out as “fire of rockets raining away” which could very easily have alarmed the international media who had already reported on a terrorist threat against the opening ceremony.

As much as I really don’t care about the actual sporting events of the Olympics, I have to admit that the reporting of it and the bizarre stories being produced by China’s bizarre media are most enthralling.


August 9th, 2008 at 05:21pm

Email to Andrew Moore and the Continuous Call Team

Greetings amusements of the airwaves,

In reply to the question of whether I have ever seen a dog walking a human, the answer is yes, every time my dog takes me for a walk. I have almost no say in which direction we go or how often we must stop to sniff things…and for some reason, whenever I want a quick walk, the directive from my canine overlord seems to involve a lot of very slow walking and a stop every half a metre.

It’s very clear who wears the doggy coat in this relationship!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

August 9th, 2008 at 04:52pm


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