Monthly Archives: April 2017

Importance of Statistics in Marketing – A Concise Account

Over the years, the corporate ambience has cultured a potent need for research and development. While research is just as important an area in other fields such as finance, sales, or human resources, the scope of research in the dimension of marketing and sales management has only amplified with time. Corporations at the very top are investing millions of dollars in marketing research that includes both qualitative and quantitative research. Regarding the latter type, marketing innovations depend a great deal on the findings of quantitative research.

Statistics and Marketing

The statistical inferences delivered from the carriage of these researches are vital factors in determining the direction of an organization’s marketing flow. Be that product development, market development, promotional campaign plans, or knowing the customer standpoint, statistics run the state of affairs in contemporary marketing. The field of statistics contains a whole area of study relevant to marketing. Sophistication of these statistical methods goes a long way in enlightening the marketer about multiple aspects of marketing that aid him in the decision making process. Different methods help in different ways.

MDPREF

For example, there is a statistical analysis termed as multidimensional preference analysis (MDPREF) that employs the use of columns and rows for consumers and products respectively. With the help of this data analysis, the marketer can determine consumer preference patterns for different products. Essentials of the target market come out in the open along with the areas of potential market growth. Also various ideas can be deciphered through these patterns about product innovations.

Standing Out

Then there is multidimensional scaling (MDS), which throws light on the comparative analysis of the product and its competitors. Consumer standpoints generated from this analysis pave a path of illustration regarding the similarities and differences between different products. This, in turn, helps the marketer in descrying the product’s competitors and hence empowers him to develop the marketing base in productive accordance. In other words, the incorporation of insight produced from this method enables the marketer to develop the unique selling proposition of the product, thus making it score an edge over its counterparts.

Conjoint Analysis

Furthermore, another statistical strategy is conjoint analysis, the application of which evaluates consumer preference. Each product has a number of attributes. By employing conjoint analysis, the marketer succeeds in uncovering those combinations of attribute levels that have a high level of consumer preference. Consumers are given choices of different sets of attributes out of which they have to choose the one that will motivate them to a purchase. This is indeed valuable insight that facilitates the process of feature development, a prime context of marketing.

A Complimentary Hand

The aforementioned methods of statistics are just marginal accounts of the otherwise paramount contribution that statistical procedures are making to the field of marketing. Multiple innovations and advancements in marketing can be attributed to statistical findings, the utility of which has only diversified with the passage of time. Insight is key for business success and sustaining the freshness of that insight is exactly what statistics accomplishes. To cut a long story short, marketing owes a lot to statistics, given the consistency of value generation the latter continues to accomplish for the former.

The Melian Dialogue

I was once asked to study and discuss the opposing views of Athens does Thucydides present in "Pericles' Funeral Oration" and "The Melian Dialogue?" As I began to study the matter, I surprised why he presented such contrasting views. A focused reading of Thucydides '"Pericles' Funeral Oration" and "The Melian Dialogue" uncovers two clearly contrasting views of the ancient city of Athens. The former, being a funeral origin, depicted Athens as the model city-state, worthy of emulation, while the latter shows the less flattering image of arrogant, Athenian military aggression.

I believe one of the keys to understanding this contrast lies in the following portion of the funeral origin:

"For there is justice in the claim that steadfastness in his country's battles should be as a cloak to cover a man's other imperfections; since the good action has blotted out the bad, and his merit as a citizen more than outweighed his demerits as an individual . " (Thucydides 3)

Thucydides shows each side of the workings of this 'cloak' in these two pieces. As the fallen war heroes are eulogized before the city in "Pericles' Funeral Oration", their valiant actions, typical for any Athenian, are justified and extolled as he outlines the four 'habits' that have caused Athens to attain and maintain such greatness. These habits, the young orator, Pericles, son of Xanthippus, rhetorically identifies as the cause of Athens' success, "But what was the road by which we reached our position, what the form of government under which our greatness, what the national Habits out of which it sprang; " (Thucydides 2) Athens is thus, presented as a prototype city.

"The Melian Dialogue," however, reveals what imperfections and demerits are laying beneath its habits and victories. In these two pieces we see Athens, the virtuous city and Athens, the neighborhood bully. The steadfastness and sacred valiance of the fallen soldiers is contradicted with the aggressive, colonialism of Athens. Certainly Athens was an envied city, but perhaps she was not as virtuous as she appeared in her own eyes.

Beginning on page two of the translation of "Pericles 'Funeral Oration," Pericles, son of Xanthippus, outlines four habits that have resolved in Athens' success. These being: their laws, their balance of work and pleasure, their military policy, and lastly, and their high culture. A brief sampling of each of the text will suffice herein.

The first habit consists of the superior laws and government of Athens. The Athenians were proud that their constitution did not copy the laws of neighboring states; They were rather. Its administration favored the many instead of the few and they felt that this was why it was a democracy. Upon looking at their laws, they found that they agreed equal justice to all men.

Next, the leisurely pleasures that Athens afforded its citizens was vital to their success. They provided plenty of means for the mind and body to be refreshed from the stress of business affairs. They celebrated games and sacrifices throughout the year, and the elegance of their many private establishments formed a daily source of pleasure for Athenians.

Continuing, Athens' military might was an important aspect of their society. "If we turn to our military policy, there also we differ from our antagonists. We throw our city to the world and never by alien acts exclude foreigners from any opportunity of learning or observing …" (Thucydides 2) Interestingly, Pericles positions Athens as the protagonist who is simply defending herself from the 'antagonists'. Later, he employs the word assailants as well. This time, he admits that Athens, herself, also plays the role of the antagonist, "For Athens alone of her contemporaries is found when tested to be greater than her reputation, and alone gives no occasion to her assailants to blush at the antagonist by What they have been worsted … "(Thucydides 3)

Finally, the culture of Athens was highly sophisticated one. "Nor are these the only points in which our city is worthy of admiration. We cultivate refinement without extravagance and knowledge without effeminacy; wealth we employ more for use than for show … Our public men have, besides politics, their private affairs to Attend to, and our ordinary citizens, although occupied with their pursuits, are still fair judgments of public matters. " (Thucydides 3)

Far removed from the proud citizens of Athens finest, Thucydides turns our attention to the front lines of battle in "The Melian Dialogue." Here we see a glimpse of what Pericles would never share with the distinguished citizens of Athens. Simply stated, the Athenians came to the island of Metos to enslave, or to kill the Melians.

The first peek behind their honorable cloak of steadfastness in one of country's battles is the sheer magnitude of their army. They overwhelmed the Melians with a show of force. The Athenians also made an expedition against the isle of Melos with thirty ships of their own; Sixteen hundred heavy infantry, three hundred archhers, and twenty mounted archers from Athens, and about fifteen hundred heavy infantry from the allies and the islanders. They intended to force the Melians into servitude. This is a stark contrast to "We throw open our city to the world, and never by alien acts exclude foreigners from any opportunity of learning or observing …" (Thucydides 1)

Actually, the real mindset of the Athenians viewed the Melians as inferior. They saw them as islanders and weaker than others rendering it all the more critical that they do not succeed in defeating "the masters of the sea." (Thucydides 2) In the reminder of this conference, The Athenians go on to deride the Melians' hope, strength and even their trust in the gods. It is the ugly side of Athens. Perhaps the fifth habit responsible for Athens' success was her aggressive military conquests.

Why did Thucydides present such contrasting views in a simple funeral agreement and "The Melian Dialogue"?

Undoubtedly, he was privy to much of the inner workings of Athenian politics, scandal, and hypocrisy. He wanted to savage nature of Athens' success to be seen and judged in the same light as its finer attributes. He wanted to expose the realities that came with a democracy that favored the many instead of the few. He understood the dangers of elevating the beloved, hidden 'imperfections' of the state at the expense of human life and dignity. He wanted his readers to understand these things equally as well.

Greek Engagement and Wedding Culture and Traditions

Greek weddings feature a combination of ceremonies representing an unforgivable part of Greek culture. The Greek wedding ceremony is heavily immersed in tradition, joy, excitement, and profound symbolism. The Greeks believe a lot in traditions and superstitions, and these phenomena are flamboyantly showcased on the occasions of engagement and wedding.

History
According to Greek mythology, Cecrops, the legendary ruler of Athens, who was half-human and half snake, established the institution of marriage in Greece. Before his reign the Athenians lived promiscuously. The storming motives for marriage were the political coalition between the royal families that marriage would demonstrate and creation of children for next generation.

Pre-engagement
In Greek society, engagement is a cause of great celebration. The potential husband will visit the bride's father and ask for his daughter's hand in marriage. Upon the approval of bride-to-be's family, the date of engagement is fixed. The relatives and close friends of both the families are invited to attend the engagement.

Engagement
Traditionally, the couple gets engaged by exchanging rings in the presence of family and close friends. The priest blesses the engagement rings for the couple. The bride and the groom then place the blessed rings on the left ring fingers. The guests present wish them many blessings.

This is followed by a large feast. The engagement is believed to be as binding as wedding. According to Greek Orthodoxy, it is mandatory for the newly engaged couple to visit the priest thrice before he will give his consent to perform the marriage ceremony. The couples are forbidden to perform wedding during certain days of the year. This includes the first half of August, forty days prior to Ester and forty days prior to Christmas. The Greek Orthodox Church considers these dates to be unsuited.

Pre-wedding Ceremonies
After the engagement, the first thing done is to pick the Koumbaros. He is the witness to the marriage ceremony and has many spiritual and financial responsibilities. It is important for Koumbaros to be a man in good standing of the Greek Orthodoxy.

Greek weddings usually take place on Sunday. On the Wednesday before wedding, the ritual of 'Starting the Leaven' takes places. The couple sieves flour and relatives observe this in silence. Once there is sufficient flour, all the guests throw coins into the sieve and wish the bride and groom good luck. On Friday before the wedding, there is another ceremony 'Filling the Sack.' It's an occasion when the bride fills in the sacks all her possessions and the guests throw coins into them. Bride's mother is the first one to place the collections she had piled up over the years into her daughter's sacks. In the meantime, the groom meets his friends and relatives, offers them drinks and formal invitation to attend the wedding feast.

The household goods given by girl's mother are used, in a custom called Nyphostoli, by local woman volunteers to furnish the first home of newlyweds.

The Wedding Ceremony
The banquetment of wedding procession takes place at the groom's house where the wedding flag is raised. The flag-bearer leads the priest, the groom and the guests to the bride's home. The bride's mother offers him wine, and when he has drunk it, the Koumbaro leads the wedding party to the Church.

The bride wears red veils that symbolizes fire in order to protect her from evil. She also has a lump of sugar with her that ensures a sweet future.

Betrothal ceremony begins with the priest blessing the rings and reciting Bible passages. Then the Koumbaro exchanges the rings three times between the couple's fingers. It signifies that the weaknesses of one will be compensated by the other. The bride and groom are given a pair of lit candles which symbolize the eternal light of Jesus Christ.

Crowing is the most iconic part of the Greek wedding. The priest takes two crowns or Stefana and adorns the couple by placing them on their heads. Koumbaro then invites the couple to take their first step together by walking three times around the altar upon which rest the Holy Bible and cross.

At the end of the ceremony, the priest offers his blessings to the newly married couple. The couple then goes to the groom's house where the flag is raised again and the bride throws on the roof a small piece of iron as a symbol of strength of her new life. Traditionally, the bride's parents plan and pay for the reception.

Attire
The Greek wedding attire is traditional, the bride is usually in a white gown with long train and a traditional black suit with a bow tie for the groom. The Greek wedding dresses are an image of elegance, simplicity and high class. These dresses can easily be identified by the unique cut of the wedding gown that preserves the femininity of a woman.

Ancient Greece – The Role Of Donkeys, Mules And Horses

Both the donkey and the mule were certainly known and used in antiquity. Mules were employed both for riding and for drawing carts; From 500 BC on there were actually mule-cart races in the Olympic games, and one of Pindar's odes celebrates such a victory (Olympian 6, 468 BC). Yet what must have been a somewhat undignified event did not maintain its popularity, and it was abandoned in 444 BC

One old Athenian mule, who worked long and hard on the construction of the Parthenon, is said by Aelian to have been fed at public expense in the town hall (prytaneion) for the reminder of its life. Donkeys, as today, were used primarily for riding and as beasts of burden. Often associated with the god Dionysos and his rowdy, drunken followers, they are readily identified on painted pots by their characteristic long ears and evidence of sexual arousal. Remains of a donkey were found in the kitchen of a house, a victim of the destruction of Athens by the Herulians in AD 267.

Ancient Athenian literature is full of references to the horse, which played a significant role in Athenian social, political, and military life. Athenian sculptors, painters, and potters found horses a popular subject from the beginnings of Greek art to the end of antiquity. The excavation of cavalry archives and victory monuments, as well as the roadway used for processes and the training of horses, has shown that the Agora, focus of so much of Athenian life, was also for centers of the center of equestrian activity in the ancient city .

Ancient Greece – The Role Of Donkeys, Mules And Horses

Both the donkey and the mule were certainly known and used in antiquity. Mules were employed both for riding and for drawing carts; From 500 BC on there were actually mule-cart races in the Olympic games, and one of Pindar's odes celebrates such a victory (Olympian 6, 468 BC). Yet what must have been a somewhat undignified event did not maintain its popularity, and it was abandoned in 444 BC

One old Athenian mule, who worked long and hard on the construction of the Parthenon, is said by Aelian to have been fed at public expense in the town hall (prytaneion) for the reminder of its life. Donkeys, as today, were used primarily for riding and as beasts of burden. Often associated with the god Dionysos and his rowdy, drunken followers, they are readily identified on painted pots by their characteristic long ears and evidence of sexual arousal. Remains of a donkey were found in the kitchen of a house, a victim of the destruction of Athens by the Herulians in AD 267.

Ancient Athenian literature is full of references to the horse, which played a significant role in Athenian social, political, and military life. Athenian sculptors, painters, and potters found horses a popular subject from the beginnings of Greek art to the end of antiquity. The excavation of cavalry archives and victory monuments, as well as the roadway used for processes and the training of horses, has shown that the Agora, focus of so much of Athenian life, was also for centers of the center of equestrian activity in the ancient city .

Greek Engagement and Wedding Culture and Traditions

Greek weddings feature a combination of ceremonies representing an unforgivable part of Greek culture. The Greek wedding ceremony is heavily immersed in tradition, joy, excitement, and profound symbolism. The Greeks believe a lot in traditions and superstitions, and these phenomena are flamboyantly showcased on the occasions of engagement and wedding.

History
According to Greek mythology, Cecrops, the legendary ruler of Athens, who was half-human and half snake, established the institution of marriage in Greece. Before his reign the Athenians lived promiscuously. The storming motives for marriage were the political coalition between the royal families that marriage would demonstrate and creation of children for next generation.

Pre-engagement
In Greek society, engagement is a cause of great celebration. The potential husband will visit the bride's father and ask for his daughter's hand in marriage. Upon the approval of bride-to-be's family, the date of engagement is fixed. The relatives and close friends of both the families are invited to attend the engagement.

Engagement
Traditionally, the couple gets engaged by exchanging rings in the presence of family and close friends. The priest blesses the engagement rings for the couple. The bride and the groom then place the blessed rings on the left ring fingers. The guests present wish them many blessings.

This is followed by a large feast. The engagement is believed to be as binding as wedding. According to Greek Orthodoxy, it is mandatory for the newly engaged couple to visit the priest thrice before he will give his consent to perform the marriage ceremony. The couples are forbidden to perform wedding during certain days of the year. This includes the first half of August, forty days prior to Ester and forty days prior to Christmas. The Greek Orthodox Church considers these dates to be unsuited.

Pre-wedding Ceremonies
After the engagement, the first thing done is to pick the Koumbaros. He is the witness to the marriage ceremony and has many spiritual and financial responsibilities. It is important for Koumbaros to be a man in good standing of the Greek Orthodoxy.

Greek weddings usually take place on Sunday. On the Wednesday before wedding, the ritual of 'Starting the Leaven' takes places. The couple sieves flour and relatives observe this in silence. Once there is sufficient flour, all the guests throw coins into the sieve and wish the bride and groom good luck. On Friday before the wedding, there is another ceremony 'Filling the Sack.' It's an occasion when the bride fills in the sacks all her possessions and the guests throw coins into them. Bride's mother is the first one to place the collections she had piled up over the years into her daughter's sacks. In the meantime, the groom meets his friends and relatives, offers them drinks and formal invitation to attend the wedding feast.

The household goods given by girl's mother are used, in a custom called Nyphostoli, by local woman volunteers to furnish the first home of newlyweds.

The Wedding Ceremony
The banquetment of wedding procession takes place at the groom's house where the wedding flag is raised. The flag-bearer leads the priest, the groom and the guests to the bride's home. The bride's mother offers him wine, and when he has drunk it, the Koumbaro leads the wedding party to the Church.

The bride wears red veils that symbolizes fire in order to protect her from evil. She also has a lump of sugar with her that ensures a sweet future.

Betrothal ceremony begins with the priest blessing the rings and reciting Bible passages. Then the Koumbaro exchanges the rings three times between the couple's fingers. It signifies that the weaknesses of one will be compensated by the other. The bride and groom are given a pair of lit candles which symbolize the eternal light of Jesus Christ.

Crowing is the most iconic part of the Greek wedding. The priest takes two crowns or Stefana and adorns the couple by placing them on their heads. Koumbaro then invites the couple to take their first step together by walking three times around the altar upon which rest the Holy Bible and cross.

At the end of the ceremony, the priest offers his blessings to the newly married couple. The couple then goes to the groom's house where the flag is raised again and the bride throws on the roof a small piece of iron as a symbol of strength of her new life. Traditionally, the bride's parents plan and pay for the reception.

Attire
The Greek wedding attire is traditional, the bride is usually in a white gown with long train and a traditional black suit with a bow tie for the groom. The Greek wedding dresses are an image of elegance, simplicity and high class. These dresses can easily be identified by the unique cut of the wedding gown that preserves the femininity of a woman.

Does Your Website Follow “The Iron Law of Marketing?”

Many websites unwittingly ignore ‘The Iron Law’ of Marketing. They begin by explaining features about the company, e.g. how long they’ve been in business, what their premises look like, etc. The truth is that most visitors to your website couldn’t give a hoot about the features of your company! What they primarily care about is WIIFM.

WIIFM stands for ‘What’s In It For Me’. It’s ‘The Iron Law of Marketing’. Unless visitors to your website can quickly see what your business can do for them, the chances are that they’ll be gone quickly, typically in seconds. Once they’re gone, they’re gone – probably never to return.

WIIFM – ‘What’s in it for me’. Are we really so self-centred? Well, yes, I’m afraid that we are. Please don’t feel guilty – it’s just the way we’re hard-wired. Sure, farther down the line, we care about others. But, first and foremost, we’re concerned about how we survive and thrive. That’s simple evolutionary common sense.

If you want your visitor to stay on your website, you need to heed ‘The Iron Law of Marketing’. You need to give your visitors WIIFM – ‘What’s in it for me’. But the paradox is this: the ‘me’ shouldn’t be you (i.e. your premises, etc). It should be them – your visitors.

You need to put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and address what they’re interested in, what they might want, how you may be able to help them.

Most companies are concerned to get ‘targeted traffic’ (i.e. potential clients to their sites) through SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and other clever stuff. And this is important – very important indeed.

But if most of your prospective clients leave your website in a few seconds, isn’t that just a little bit silly? (And we’ve all done it, me too!) Isn’t that rather like filling a bucket with water… which just runs out of all the holes in the bottom?

It’s not rocket science! We simply need to show visitors to our websites the benefits of doing business with us. And we need to do it in a fun, interesting manner.

If possible, we should pack our websites with ‘FREE gifts’, so that visitors derive immediate benefit. One of the most valued gifts is FREE information which you give to your visitors and which will help them.

I’m amazed when I see websites created and run by people ten times more clever than me… yet doomed to failure because they broke ‘The Iron Law of Marketing’ – WIIFM, ‘What’s In It For Me’.

Often it just needs a change in focus and some alterations for your website to be much more successful. If you disregard WIIFM, it will become your worst enemy. If you take heed, it will become your best friend.

Facts About China's Sports

DID YOU KNOW …

Yao Ming is an Chinese professional basketball player who plays for the Houston Rockets of the NBA (National Basketball Association). Like Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of Congo), Tracy Mc Grady (United States) and Luis Scola (Argentina), he is one of the best players in the world.

Liu Xiang won the gold medal in the men's 110 meter hurdles at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. He was the first Asian man to win an Olympic gold medal in track, and his victory in Greece was hailed in his country as a cultural leap forward because it ran counter to the stereotypes of what makes a great hurdler.At the medalist's press Conference following the men's 110-meter hurdlers, Liu said: "My victory has proved that athletes with yellow skin can run as fast as those with black and white skin". He was born on July 13, 1983 in Shangai, China.

The Chinese delegation participated in the 2000 Olympic Games held in Sydney (Australia), and won 28 gold medals in such events as athletics, badminton, diving, gymnastics, judo, shooting, taekwondo, table tennis and weightlifting.

Kuoshu is the national sport in the People`s Republic of China.

Lang Ping played volleyball at the 1984 Summer Olympics for China. In the 1980s, she was the best volleyball player in the world. In 2004, she became the head coach of the USA women`s national volleyball team. "Lang Ping is an individual who has been uncommonly successful in every phase of her career as a player and a coach, and her accomplishments are unequaled," USA chief executive officer Doug Beal said. "She won every major event as a player for China during her career and was clearly the dominant player in the world in the 1980s." And she transitioned more seamlessly than almost anyone in volleyball history to her role as a coach, leading China to a silver medal at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and successfully coaching professionally in Italy for many years. "

China sent 246 athletes to the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona (Spain). It participated in gymnastics, athletics, boxing, cycling, fencing, diving, judo, shooting, swimming, table tennis, archery, badminton, sailing, weightlifting, wrestling, modern pentathlon, basketball and volleyball. The People's Republic of China finished 4th in the medal count, with 54 (16 gold), trailing the Unified Team (112), United States (108) and Germany (82).

The Chinese metropolis has hosted the 11th Asian Games in 1990. Over 6,122 athletes from more than 35 countries participated, along with 1,000 coaches. It was the largest multi-sport event in the Third World in 1990.

Beijing has hosted the 1990 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship. It is the capital city of China.

The Asian country has had many famous sportswomen in the past century: Kuo-tuang Jung (table tennis), Lu Li (gymnastics), Chen Yueling (track and field), Fu Mingxia (diving), Zheng Meizhu (volleyball), Gao Min (Diving), Haixia Zheng (basketball), Yang Xilan (volleyball), Zhuang Xiaoyan (judo), Hong Qian (swimming), Gu Jun (badminton), Chuang Tse-tung (table tennis), Wang Huifeng (fencing), Hsie -ting (table tennis), Wei Qiang (softball), Yong Zhuang (swimming), He Ying (archery), Ge Fei (badminton), Le Jingyi (swimming), Wang Junxia (track and field), Xu Yanmei (diving) , Sun Fuming (judo), Li Duihong (shooting), Mo Huilan (gymnastics) and Qu Yunxia (athletics).

Zhu Jianhua was one of the most famous athletes in China and in Asia. He was an Olympic bronze medalist and former world record holder in the high jump.

The Chinese team won the women`s volleyball World Cup by defeating Cuba (3-1) in 1985. It was the 2d World Cup victory for the People`s Republic of China.

China did not participate at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, URSS (currently Russia) .Many Chinese athletes -notably hurdler Tsu Lin, high jumper Ni Chih-chin, long jumper Hsia Chieh-ping, runner Sung Mei-hua, and volleyball players Liang Yan, Zhang Rongfang, Zhou Xiaolan and Zhu Ling- lost their Olympic opportunities.

Li Ning won three gymnastics gold medals at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California (USA). Like Nadia Comaneci (Romania) and Vitaly Scherbo (Belarus), he was one of the best gymnasts of the 20th century. Li Ning was born on September 8, 1963 in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China.

From 1993 to 1996, Wang Junxia was one of the greatest runners in China and Asia. She set three world records in 1993 (3,000- metre and 10,000-metro events). This year she won a gold medal in the 10,000m at the World Championships in Stuggart (Germany). At the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta (Georgia, USA), she notified the world of her championships abilities by winning the gold medal in the 5,000-meter race.

The Asian country won the silver medal in softball at the 1996 Olympic Games in the United States.

Diver Fu Mingxia won 5 gold medal at three successful Olympic Games: Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000). She is an idol in her natal city of Wuhan, China.

Chuang Tse-tung was one of the best-known players in the history of table tennis (also known as ping pong). In the 1960s, she was an idol in the People's Republic of China.

China has competed in the Winter Olympics 8 times and has won a total of 33 medals. It has more Olympic medals that Iceland, Hungary, Australia and Poland combined.

Michael Chang, who had won a Grand Slam, plans to open an academy for young players in China. He once said, "I have a wish, which is to contribute my experience accumulated from playing in world tournaments to the development of tennis in China".

China sent 219 athletes to the 1984 Olympic Games, which were held in Los Angeles, California, USA. The Chinese delegation had athletes competing in 16 sports: archery (6), athletics (22), basketball (22), canoeing (4), cycling (7), fencing (17) Wrestling (10), rowing (9), shooting (17), swimming (35), tennis (1), volleyball (22), weightlifting (10) and sailing (4).

The Melian Dialogue

I was once asked to study and discuss the opposing views of Athens does Thucydides present in "Pericles' Funeral Oration" and "The Melian Dialogue?" As I began to study the matter, I surprised why he presented such contrasting views. A focused reading of Thucydides '"Pericles' Funeral Oration" and "The Melian Dialogue" uncovers two clearly contrasting views of the ancient city of Athens. The former, being a funeral origin, depicted Athens as the model city-state, worthy of emulation, while the latter shows the less flattering image of arrogant, Athenian military aggression.

I believe one of the keys to understanding this contrast lies in the following portion of the funeral origin:

"For there is justice in the claim that steadfastness in his country's battles should be as a cloak to cover a man's other imperfections; since the good action has blotted out the bad, and his merit as a citizen more than outweighed his demerits as an individual . " (Thucydides 3)

Thucydides shows each side of the workings of this 'cloak' in these two pieces. As the fallen war heroes are eulogized before the city in "Pericles' Funeral Oration", their valiant actions, typical for any Athenian, are justified and extolled as he outlines the four 'habits' that have caused Athens to attain and maintain such greatness. These habits, the young orator, Pericles, son of Xanthippus, rhetorically identifies as the cause of Athens' success, "But what was the road by which we reached our position, what the form of government under which our greatness, what the national Habits out of which it sprang; " (Thucydides 2) Athens is thus, presented as a prototype city.

"The Melian Dialogue," however, reveals what imperfections and demerits are laying beneath its habits and victories. In these two pieces we see Athens, the virtuous city and Athens, the neighborhood bully. The steadfastness and sacred valiance of the fallen soldiers is contradicted with the aggressive, colonialism of Athens. Certainly Athens was an envied city, but perhaps she was not as virtuous as she appeared in her own eyes.

Beginning on page two of the translation of "Pericles 'Funeral Oration," Pericles, son of Xanthippus, outlines four habits that have resolved in Athens' success. These being: their laws, their balance of work and pleasure, their military policy, and lastly, and their high culture. A brief sampling of each of the text will suffice herein.

The first habit consists of the superior laws and government of Athens. The Athenians were proud that their constitution did not copy the laws of neighboring states; They were rather. Its administration favored the many instead of the few and they felt that this was why it was a democracy. Upon looking at their laws, they found that they agreed equal justice to all men.

Next, the leisurely pleasures that Athens afforded its citizens was vital to their success. They provided plenty of means for the mind and body to be refreshed from the stress of business affairs. They celebrated games and sacrifices throughout the year, and the elegance of their many private establishments formed a daily source of pleasure for Athenians.

Continuing, Athens' military might was an important aspect of their society. "If we turn to our military policy, there also we differ from our antagonists. We throw our city to the world and never by alien acts exclude foreigners from any opportunity of learning or observing …" (Thucydides 2) Interestingly, Pericles positions Athens as the protagonist who is simply defending herself from the 'antagonists'. Later, he employs the word assailants as well. This time, he admits that Athens, herself, also plays the role of the antagonist, "For Athens alone of her contemporaries is found when tested to be greater than her reputation, and alone gives no occasion to her assailants to blush at the antagonist by What they have been worsted … "(Thucydides 3)

Finally, the culture of Athens was highly sophisticated one. "Nor are these the only points in which our city is worthy of admiration. We cultivate refinement without extravagance and knowledge without effeminacy; wealth we employ more for use than for show … Our public men have, besides politics, their private affairs to Attend to, and our ordinary citizens, although occupied with their pursuits, are still fair judgments of public matters. " (Thucydides 3)

Far removed from the proud citizens of Athens finest, Thucydides turns our attention to the front lines of battle in "The Melian Dialogue." Here we see a glimpse of what Pericles would never share with the distinguished citizens of Athens. Simply stated, the Athenians came to the island of Metos to enslave, or to kill the Melians.

The first peek behind their honorable cloak of steadfastness in one of country's battles is the sheer magnitude of their army. They overwhelmed the Melians with a show of force. The Athenians also made an expedition against the isle of Melos with thirty ships of their own; Sixteen hundred heavy infantry, three hundred archhers, and twenty mounted archers from Athens, and about fifteen hundred heavy infantry from the allies and the islanders. They intended to force the Melians into servitude. This is a stark contrast to "We throw open our city to the world, and never by alien acts exclude foreigners from any opportunity of learning or observing …" (Thucydides 1)

Actually, the real mindset of the Athenians viewed the Melians as inferior. They saw them as islanders and weaker than others rendering it all the more critical that they do not succeed in defeating "the masters of the sea." (Thucydides 2) In the reminder of this conference, The Athenians go on to deride the Melians' hope, strength and even their trust in the gods. This is the ugly side of Athens. Perhaps the fifth habit responsible for Athens' success was her aggressive military conquests.

Why did Thucydides present such contrasting views in a simple funeral agreement and "The Melian Dialogue"?

Undoubtedly, he was privy to much of the inner workings of Athenian politics, scandal, and hypocrisy. He wanted to savage nature of Athens' success to be seen and judged in the same light as its finer attributes. He wanted to expose the realities that came with a democracy that favored the many instead of the few. He understood the dangers of elevating the beloved, hidden 'imperfections' of the state at the expense of human life and dignity. He wanted his readers to understand these things equally as well.

10 University of Georgia Quirks, Facts and Traditions

O "The Arch," an iron gate found on everything from the UGA logo to t-shirts is representative of the Arch on campus which was an original gateway to the school. Legend has it that if a freshman walks under The Arch during his first year, he will never graduate.

O When the UGA Bulldogs have won a home football game, the school's Chapel Bell traditionally rings until midnight. Exception when Georgia beats Georgia Tech, one of their biggest rivals- then the bell rings the entire night! In the old days, it was the job of freshmen to do the hard work of ringing the bell- today, fans, students, and alumni all take turns.

O During the 2007 Season, the bell was ringing after UGA's defeat over the University of Florida, when the 877 pound bell fell. It has since been returned to the platform.

O The Bulldogs like to get their opponents 'Between the Hedges.' This is a reference to the hedges that grow all the way around the playing field of Sanford Stadium, and dates back to the 30's, when a sports writer made the reference.

O In 1939, Coach Wally Butts decided silver pants would pair well with red jerseys- so began the start of the Bulldog's 'silver britches.' Although Coach Vince Dooley changed the pants to white for several years, the silver britches were brought back in 1980, and were worn during the school's National Championship season.

O UGA has a student ID card and travels in his own dog house- with air conditioning! Because bulldogs are susceptible to heat stroke, he spends football games perched on bags of ice. If opposing teams get close to his precious ice, he growls ferociously. He's a tough pup, who wears a jersey with a Varsity letter and a spiked collar.

O The costumed bulldog mascot is called 'Hairy Dawg.'

O Football players go through the 'Dog Walk,' which features players walking through crowds of fans on their way into Stanford Stadium, led by the Redcoat Band.

O Georgia's original colors included 'old gold,' until the intense rivalry between Georgia Tech and Georgia rejected in a skirmish over colors- Georgia students declared yellow an unfit color for the Georgia Bulldogs, deeming it a cowardly color, and yellow was removed- and Crimson (also referred to as' Good old Georgia Red) and black have been the official colors ever since.

O College Football was almost outlawed in 1987, after UGA Quarterback Richard Gammon was injured so severely in a game against the University of Virginia, he died as a result. In those days, players did not wear helmets. Football was immediately disbanded in schools across Georgia, and just as the Georgia Legislature was raising up to formally outlaw college football, Richard's mother wrote a letter, published in newspapers, asking the legislature to save football, saying it was her son's most cherished object. "The ban was defeated, and college football in Georgia survived! Today, visitors to Rome, Georgia, Gammon's hometown, can stop and pay tribute at the family graves, complete with plaques detailing the sad death and a mother's great plea to rescue the sport So beloved by her son.