May 24, 2018

No Blog on Friday and Monday
On Friday and Saturday I'll be at the Baltimore Science Fiction Convention ("Balticon") where I'm a panelist and have a book signing - here's my schedule. My first panel actually isn't until 4PM but I'm going out early (it's an hour away) to spend the day at the Baltimore Aquarium. On Sunday and Monday I'm at home reading and writing, i.e. celebrating Memorial Day, though I may drive over to coach at the Washington DC May Open, if I have the energy. (But I still have to coach a junior class on Sunday from 4-5:30 PM.) See you next Tuesday!

USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame
Here's a picture of the USATT Hall of Fame at the Triangle Club in North Carolina. I think it's great that after so many years we finally got this, with the grand opening last year. It's a million times better than what we had before, which was no USATT Hall of Fame.

But you know what? I'd like to see something a lot more extensive. Maybe not as big as the ITTF Museum, but a real tourist attraction. Here's an article on the ITTF Museum in Shanghai, from the Global Times. (It was previously in Switzerland.) Here's a video tour (1:51) of their exhibits at the 2017 Worlds in Dusseldorf, Germany.

I've always had this thought that we'd find some building, perhaps in the suburbs of some large city but far enough out so the cost of renting or buying a building isn't so high, hire a full-time curator, and see if it could pay for itself, or off sponsorships. Or maybe a large house, and the curator could be live-in. Perhaps it could stay in its current location, but expanded into a real tourist site. I just think it needs to be bigger, a real tourist attraction with paying customers who'd could walk through it like any other museum, or perhaps get a guided tour.

I mean, seriously, just in the U.S. there's (and read these over carefully) a Toilet Seat Museum, a Twine Ball Museum, a National Mustard Museum, a Pharmacy Museum, a Potato Museum, a Neon Sign Museum, a Banana Museum, a Maple Tree Museum, a Museum of Bad Art, a Barbed Wire Museum, a Barbershop Museum, a Hammer Museum, a Trash Museum, a Teddy Bear Museum, a Ventriloquism Museum, a Dentistry Museum, a Moist Towelette Museum, a Popcorn Museum, a Vacuum Cleaner Museum, and a Kazoo Museum.

What's probably needed is a wealthy sponsor to get it started. If I had loads of money, it'd be the Hodges USATT Hall of Fame Museum, but I'm a little short right now. But there must be someone out there who wants to be immortalized forever in this way!

Can anyone tell me that table tennis can't compete with toilet seats, balls of twine, potatoes, bananas, mustard, moist towelettes, and barbed wire???

Tips Ahoy!

I had seven Tips of the Week outlined but had been putting off writing them. (They go up every Monday morning.) Yesterday I went to the giant eatery at Lake Forest Mall at 11AM, and armed with pepperoni pizza and Mountain Dew, wrote all seven of them - and then, after a lot of brainstorming, did four more. It took about six hours, three slices of pizza, a cucumber & tomato salad, and two large Mountain Dews. (I only drank half of the second one.) They average about 550 words each. This may have been the single greatest burst of creative inspiration since Einstein in 1905 and Newton in 1666.

Hong Kong Open
Here's the ITTF home page for the event which starts today, May 24-27, where you can find results, news, pictures, and video. Here's their preview video, Get ready for the 2018 ITTF World Tour Hong Kong Open (30 sec). (Note - Zhang Jike is making a comeback, but he just lost 3-4 in the first round (round of 32) in the Main Draw to Maharu Yoshimura of Japan, world #25, 9,-8,11,-13,-6,8,9. Zhang won both his matches in the Qualifier - yep, he had to go through that, since his recent lack of play had dropped him to #168 in the world - but both were 4-2. See video on Zhang's comeback in EmRatThich segment below.)

Final Deadline to Enter the USA Nationals - Friday, May 25
Enter now, or forever not be entered! After tomorrow (Friday), no more entries will be accepted. The Nationals are in Las Vegas, July 2-7, with 91 events. I blogged about it on April 19. You can see the current list of entries (577) by name or by event. I know USATT has a lot of entries received that haven't yet been in putted, so they are likely well over 600 entries now, and could hit 700 if there's the usual last-minute surge.

USATT Insider
Here's the issue that came out on Wednesday. 

Discovering Happy Medium Pips
Here's the article by Coach Jon. "To really understand medium pips, you probably need to really understand long and short pips."

Shut-Up and Just Play...or Call an Umpire?
Here's the article by Samson Dubina. "In the US, most tournament matches are not umpired.  However, you can request an umpire if there is a problem.  So when should you seek help from a tournament official?  You should get help when your opponent is getting an unfair advantage from something like his serve."

Parent Toolkits
Here are five free online manuals from SafeSport.

New from EmRatThich

NCTTA Coaching Certification in Northeast at Zing! Table Tennis
Here's the article. "NCTTA's Coaching Committee has been busy at work setting up yet another College Table Tennis Certification training."

Where Are They Now? Anderson College Series
Here's the article by Steve Hopkins.

Zhang Jike and Ma Long Make ESPN World Fame 100 List
Here's the ITTF article. (One little interesting note about the ESPN list - there's not a single baseball player on it.)

NBA Showdown - Warriors vs. Houston Rockets and Ping-Pong
Here's the article by Shashin Shodhan.

Handcrafted Ping Pong Paddles - Why Not?!
Here's the video (9:40).

Double Knockout on Ping Pong
Here's the video (14 sec).

Overwatch Comic Dub: Ping-Pong
Here's the video (61 sec)!

Play 50 Around the Net Shots
Here's the video (3:45) from Pongfinity.

Star Wars Pong
Here's the video (1:58)!

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