7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
World News

Proud China names babies after 'Games'

The upcoming Beijing Olympics is more than just a point of pride for China - it's such an important part of the national consciousness that more than 3,500 children have been named for the event.

Most of the 3,491 people with the name "Aoyun," meaning Olympics, were born around the year 2000, as Beijing was bidding to host the 2008 Summer Games, the Beijing Daily reported yesterday.

The vast majority of people named Aoyun are male. Only six live in Beijing, though the report didn't say where the others live. Names related to the Olympics don't just stop with Olympics. More than 4,000 Chinese share their names with the Beijing Games mascots, the "Five Friendlies." The names are Bei Bei (880 people), Jing Jing (1,240), Huan Huan (1,063), Ying Ying (624) and Ni Ni (642). When put together, the phrase translates to "Beijing welcomes you!" Chinese have increasingly turned to unique names as a way to express a child's individuality. In a country with a population of 1.3 billion, 87 per cent share the same 129 family names. That's why 5,598 people have the same name as basketball player Yao Ming and 18,462 share a moniker with star hurdler Liu Xiang.

A hot idea!

A sun-drenched town in Australia's north hopes to use only solar power in two years after being chosen as the site for a solar thermal power station. Remote Cloncurry, which boasts recording Australi's hottest day, would be able to generate electricity on rare cloudy days and at night from the station, which runs off heat stored in graphite blocks.

The Queensland state government said yesterday it would build the $6.5m (BD2.49m), 10-megawatt power station as part of a push to make Cloncurry one of the first towns to rely on solar power alone.

"The town of Cloncurry has long claimed the title of having recorded Australia's hottest day - 53 degrees Celsius in the shade in 1889, so I reckon we're on a winner," Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said.

Solar thermal power differs from photovoltaic panels that make power directly. Instead, 8,000 mirrors will reflect sunlight onto graphite blocks. Water will be pumped through the blocks to generate steam which generates electricity via turbines.

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