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2008 Olympics - Beijing
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9" monochrome
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: 🇦🇺
 
2008-03-28, 05:02

I just came across this article about how the Chinese are going to try to influence (control?) the weather in Beijing during the Olympic games and it is fascinating reading.

Here's an excerpt:
Quote:
To prevent rain over the roofless 91,000-seat Olympic stadium that Beijing natives have nicknamed the Bird's Nest, the city's branch of the national Weather Modification Office--itself a department of the larger China Meteorological Administration--has prepared a three-stage program for the 2008 Olympics this August.

First, Beijing's Weather Modification Office will track the region's weather via satellites, planes, radar, and an IBM p575 supercomputer, purchased from Big Blue last year, that executes 9.8 trillion floating point operations per second. It models an area of 44,000 square kilometers (17,000 square miles) accurately enough to generate hourly forecasts for each kilometer.

Then, using their two aircraft and an array of twenty artillery and rocket-launch sites around Beijing, the city's weather engineers will shoot and spray silver iodide and dry ice into incoming clouds that are still far enough away that their rain can be flushed out before they reach the stadium.

Finally, any rain-heavy clouds that near the Bird's Nest will be seeded with chemicals to shrink droplets so that rain won't fall until those clouds have passed over. Zhang Qian, head of Beijing's Weather Modification Office, explains, "We use a coolant made from liquid nitrogen to increase the number of droplets while decreasing their average size. As a result, the smaller droplets are less likely to fall, and precipitation can be reduced." August is part of Northeast Asia's rainy season; chances of precipitation over Beijing on any day that month will approach 50 percent. Still, while tests with clouds bearing heavy rain loads haven't always been successful, Qian claims that "the results with light rain have been satisfactory."
They're a crafty and capable bunch aren't they.

In this spirit, rather than add to the other threads about China, I thought I'd start one, instead, dedicated to the preparations and plans for the 2008 Olympic games.

Feel free to comment or post interesting news items about this topic in here.

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Edna Crabtree
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Vostok Yacht Club
 
2008-03-28, 10:54

I don't mean this to sound reactive or troll-y, but I just can't bring myself to support the Olympics in China. I won't watch a second of the games on purpose. Maybe that makes me a backwards sort of person, or anti-athlete, or whatever. China's growing human rights issues, environmental concerns, information restriction, Tibet struggles, etc. just seem to be already overshadowing the goal of competition. I'm not calling for a 1980's type boycott, because to each his/her own. It's just not for me.

I do have hopes that the "spotlight," that these games bring to the host city will work both ways.
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Swox
OK Mr. Sunshine!
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Toronto
 
2008-03-28, 11:02

I'm with you on not watching the games. Unfortunately, what is most likely to happen is that media attention will focus on China for a few months, then once the games are over and the world stops paying attention, the real crack down will come. This is what happened in Burma, and it's likely what will happen in Tibet.

Anyway, I'm not going to hijack this tread anymore. I guess it's easy to personally boycott these Games for a Canadian - we do much better in the Winter Olympics

Do not be oppressed by the forces of ignorance and delusion! But rise up now with resolve and courage! Entranced by ignorance, from beginningless time until now, You have had more than enough time to sleep. So do not slumber any longer, but strive after virtue with body, speech, and mind!
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Dorian Gray
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2008-03-28, 11:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edna Crabtree
China's growing human rights issues, environmental concerns, information restriction, Tibet struggles, etc. just seem to be already overshadowing the goal of competition.
You sound like Sarkozy.

The Olympics always brings out the jingoists, and I intensely dislike that aspect of it, but I think China has already acted to improve its human rights position directly because of the Olympics' spotlight. For example, a few days ago the Chinese government made the BBC website freely accessible to its citizens. Would that have happened so soon without their hosting the Olympics?

For that matter, has anything positive ever been achieved with boycotts?

I think this year's Olympics will be fantastic, possibly even better than Greece 2004, the opening ceremony of which was unbelievably impressive.

… engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams.
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Swox
OK Mr. Sunshine!
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Toronto
 
2008-03-28, 11:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post

...I think China has already acted to improve its human rights position directly because of the Olympics' spotlight.
It's good to have dreams, Dorian...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
For that matter, has anything positive ever been achieved with boycotts?
Hmm... the end of Apartheid in South Africa, British rule in India... certainly not the only cause, but boycotts are potentially very powerful politically and economically, and they were major contributors to the end of these regimes. A boycott of the opening ceremonies would certain result in major loss of face for Chinese leaders, though I'm not sure that it would necessarily help Tibetans. However, not watching the games or buying Chinese products is healthy political action.

I think that there are likely to be a lot of people who don't want politics to interfere with their enjoyment of the Games. I cannot relate with this position one bit. What is and has been going on in China and Tibet is cultural genocide, political and religious repression, torture, corruption, environmental devastation, and so forth. I honestly do not understand how someone can turn a blind eye to the immense suffering of all of these people, both Chinese and Tibetans alike, and just want to bask in the spectacle of a sports game with a mind unfettered by the reality of what is going on just outside of the arenas.

My apologies to anyone who wants to just enjoy the games, but this one is going to be sharing the spotlight with China's outrageous human rights, political and environmental records. How the Chinese government thought they would avoid that is a mystery...

Do not be oppressed by the forces of ignorance and delusion! But rise up now with resolve and courage! Entranced by ignorance, from beginningless time until now, You have had more than enough time to sleep. So do not slumber any longer, but strive after virtue with body, speech, and mind!
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beardedmacuser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: eastmidlandshire
 
2008-03-28, 11:37

I won't be watching much of the Olympics, but that's because athletics bores me. Nothing against it... but it makes for easy TV and therefore we get to see an awful lot of it. I'll catch the occasional other sport, such as cycling, but as a whole I find the winter Olympics more fun to watch.
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SKMDC
superkaratemonkeydeathcar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: chicago
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2008-03-28, 13:21

China has "growing" human rights issues? Or is the attention to their human rights issues growing? Because of the spotlight shown on them for the Olympics.

They most assuredly have human rights issues, but to say they are growing, meaning increasing, from the 50's to the 60's and the 70's is absurd and ignorant.

China has two kinds of bureaucrats, those trying to get the toothpaste out of the tube, and those trying to push it back in. They both can be dangerous for different reasons, the ones pushing it out are doing it for economic reasons, ecology, environment and health issues be damned. The ones trying to get it back in want the clampdown back and they still have some power and they still get their way sometimes......but the toothpaste ain't goin' back in.

oh and I will watch my "friends" Kerri Walsh & Misty May-Treanor defend their gold medal in beach volleyball.

"What's a Canadian farm boy to do?"
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Swox
OK Mr. Sunshine!
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Toronto
 
2008-03-28, 20:41

I wish beach volleyball was hotter... the girls never do it for me.
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colivigan
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Join Date: Nov 2005
 
2008-03-28, 21:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swox View Post
I wish beach volleyball was hotter... the girls never do it for me.


I dunno, I'd probably watch that on TV ... if nothing else was on.

Last edited by colivigan : 2008-03-28 at 21:17.
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SKMDC
superkaratemonkeydeathcar
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2008-03-28, 21:21

Kerri Walsh is pretty much curveless.....but she's a tall drink o water.

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Swox
OK Mr. Sunshine!
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Toronto
 
2008-03-28, 21:27

Yeah, I loves my curves... The Summer Olympics are much more fun for girls to watch - swimming, etc. The most of the girls are a tad ripped for my taste (though I don't mind a girl who can fight my battles for me either...)

Do not be oppressed by the forces of ignorance and delusion! But rise up now with resolve and courage! Entranced by ignorance, from beginningless time until now, You have had more than enough time to sleep. So do not slumber any longer, but strive after virtue with body, speech, and mind!
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beardedmacuser
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: eastmidlandshire
 
2008-03-29, 04:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swox View Post
(though I don't mind a girl who can fight my battles for me either...)
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