Bei jing, not Bei zhing

July 4, 2008 at 12:30 am (games, international, sports)

Why do people say “Bei zhing” and not “Bei jing?”  Not only does pronouncing Beijing as “Bei jing” make more sense because that’s how it’s spelled in the Romanized form, “Bei jing” actually sounds more like how Beijing natives pronounce the name of their city.  Where did this “Bei zhing” come from?

I love a good cheesy Olympics athlete story.  Dara Torres is 41 and competing to qualify for the Olympics, 24 years after her first trip to the LA Olympics in 1984.  Competing against people that could barely walk or who weren’t even born during her first Olympics trip.  She volunteers for urine and blood tests to prove that she is not doping.  And her times now are faster than her times from 24 years ago.  In fact, she set her personal best tonight in the semifinals of the 100 M freestyle race, qualifying for the finals in 2nd place.  That’s spectacularly amazing.

From a NYTimes article from Nov 07:

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Crayon Physics! I want to play this game!

March 20, 2008 at 10:52 pm (games)

Maybe you’ve seen it already. If you haven’t, you need to check it out. It’s such a simple basic concept, but the variations on top of that basic concept could be endless.

Can you make springs? How about umbrellas and parachutes and balloons? Can you burn stuff? Heat or cool stuff? Can you draw things with different states of matter? Can you change the friction of surfaces? Can you coordinate the timing on multiple objects? How complex can your machinery get? Rube Goldberg complexity? Does this game have AI to figure out what to do with an object it’s never seen before? Or can you just apply the rules of physics and there’s no need for complex AI? And what if someone’s a bad artist – how closely does a drawing have to resemble a real thing before it’s recognized?

Maybe I’ll have to play the game and try all these things out! There’s a demo version available, but you can only draw squares and nothing else.

Update: Even the basic game is really addicting. It actually might be more fun because you have to make things work with only blocks. It’s better than Snood! But they only have a limited set of levels. 😦 But then again, now I’m free to go to sleep. If they had more levels, I probably wouldn’t have gone to sleep for a while…

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