January 18, 2017

USA Citizens Rankings
They went up recently in the USATT ratings database. Go to the pre-set lists on the left, and click "US Citizens Only" at the top. And Behold! This is one of the things I promised to get done when I ran for the USATT Board. While I didn't do anything directly on this, I've been sending out periodic emails on this, asking them to get this done . . . and finally, it's done! (If you have any questions on this, or see any problems, contact the USATT Ratings Coordinator.)

For several years circa late 1980s/early 1990s I was in charge of creating and maintaining the citizenship list for USATT. We had no such list at the start, so I was asked to create one. So I sent out a mass postal mailing to the top 100 men and women in the country (this was before email was widespread), and had them contact me if they were USA citizens, including one-time proof (birth or naturalization certificate). For many of the "obvious" ones, I pro-actively contacted them, hounding them until I got the needed info. Once on the list, you stayed there forever. We regularly published the list of top men and women citizens in the print magazine.

Campaign 2100: Game of Scorpions – “What Have We Done?” Inauguration Day Sale
My SF novel is on sale! (With a number of table tennis scenes - more on this below.) But only for a few days. From my publisher (World Weaver Press), "From January 17 to January 24, 2017, we're running a Kindle Countdown deal for the ebook version of CAMPAIGN 2100: GAME OF SCORPIONS: get it for 99¢ until January 20th, or $2.99 until January 24th." You can buy it directly from the publisher or from Amazon (same price).

They're calling it the "What Have We Done?" Inauguration Day Sale. What's the connection? The opening line to the novel is, "What have I done?", the thoughts of regretful campaign director Toby as the guy he put into office is sworn into office as president of Earth (in the year 2100). Five years later he'll be running for president against the guy he put in office, with an "impossible" third-party moderate challenge! (Did I mention that the world has adopted the American two-party electoral system? And that his daughter is running the president's re-election campaign? That there's an alien ambassador, an assassin, war, pirates, and a mysterious teenage girl from Antarctica?)

But more importantly, what's the connection between this novel and table tennis, since this is a ping-pong blog? As noted in the past (and especially in my March 8, 2016 blog, where I wrote about table tennis in the novel), one of the four main characters in the novel is Bruce Sims, a professional table tennis player who quits the pro circuit to run Toby's campaign. There are several table tennis scenes, including Bruce playing in the national college championships while having a war of words with his opponent, the umpire, the crowd, while trying to follow the breaking news of first contact; his teaching an alien ambassador to play table tennis; a search for a ping-pong paddle at the Great Mall of China; and an exhibition between him and the alien in front of the Chinese leadership that ends in disaster. One ironic item from the novel - when I needed to come up with a sponsor for Bruce, I decided it would be - and I kid you not! - Trump Sports! This was at least two years before Trump decided to run for president, which happened after the novel was already accepted for publication.

Not sure yet? Read over the 11 Amazon customer reviews! Or just buy a copy of Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers - here are the 57 Amazon customer reviews!

Crystal Wang and Jason Zhang Take Butterfly Canada Cup #1
Here's the article and results. "In the Women’s Singles Crystal Wang (USA) cruised through the Canada Cup draw dropping only two games." Crystal developed at my club (MDTTC), and I've practiced with her many hundreds of hours. Alas, their family moved to Seattle for non-table tennis reasons.

How to Stay Low During Rallies
Here's the article, which is linked to a podcast (3:43), from Expert Table Tennis.

Adam Bobrow in Taiwan
Here's his Facebook account of finding four clubs in walking distance, and visiting one.

Ma Long When He Was 14 Years Old
Here's the video (4:08) of the current World Champion and #1 ranked player.

The $1Million Table Tennis Player
Here's the video (49 sec) on Club Wuhan in China paying that transfer fee for the services of Liu Shiwen, world #2 woman (but #1 much of 2014-2016, and runner-up in Women's Singles at the last two Worlds).

Can Ping Pong Make You Smarter, Happier and Relieve Your Stress?
Here's the video (8:01).

All Japan Championships Underway
Here's the article, with a link to live streaming.

Every Table is a Ping-Pong Table!
Here is the Facebook gallery - click on them to see all six.

Bird Playing Tetherball Pong
Here's the repeating gif image!

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