30 July 2008

Excerpt from the official 2008 Olympics Media Guide

Why is there so much smog in Beijing?

This is not smog. It is merely a light mist, a purely natural phenomenon.

Sometimes there is the sound of something very much like a screaming man coming from some government buildings. What is this?

It may sound like the blood-curdling wail of a human being in extreme physical distress, but it is in fact the warm summer air whistling through the peculiar layout of the ventilation system that is used in all official buildings. The locals often jokingly refer to them as the "Houses of Terror," but this is not to be taken earnestly; it is simply a demonstration of the Chinese sense of humour which is a part of the warm friendly nature of the people which will make these Games an unqualified success. Do not concern yourself further with this.

How come this whistling sound is often accompanied by a power surge?

Are you Amnesty?

A suspicious-looking man seems to be following me at a discreet distance at all times and...



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