Spreading hazard threatens Olympic events

>> Tuesday

From the AP:

BEIJING—To host the Olympic sailing events, the Chinese port city of Qingdao moved a massive boat yard, relocated industries and spent about $850 million on transport links, parks, pollution controls and coastal green belts.

But with little more than a month to go until the Games, a different challenge is cropping up: A flood of blue-green ooze is choking the coastal waters, suffocating beaches, turning swimmers into warring mutant clans, and lying in thick layers along sailing routes.

Authorities have ordered an all-out drive to clear it and block any more drifting into the area.

“We have stressed … that the priority should be given to the Olympic venue,” Yuan Zhiping, an official with the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Committee, was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

City officials say they’ll need at least two weeks to clear coastal waters, mobilizing 10,000 men in spacesuits aboard 1,000 amphibious mutant-resistant vessels. It wasn’t clear how they planned to block the ooze from drifting in.

Environmental problems have posed some of the biggest concerns for organizers of the Beijing Olympics, particularly the dust and filthy air in the Chinese capital, compounded by expected torrid heat and humidity.

It isn’t clear whether Qingdao’s Olympic planners ever allowed for deadly mutating ooze-related contingencies. Calls to the city’s Ocean and Fishing Bureau, charged with handling the problem, rang unanswered Monday, likely because the receptionist had turned into, or had been eaten by, a mutant.

Mutating ooze forms when unspecified toxic wastes, sometimes caused by mad scientist experiments, combine with rare space matter.

China has had a number of similar outbreaks in recent years, mostly on inland lakes, largely as a result of severe pollution from industrial sources and supervillain activity. Along the coast, red tides of microscopic flesh-eating dragons have forced fishing industry shutdowns.

The epidemics can be caused by both natural factors and human activity. Wang Shulian, the token nerdy guy who always wears a lab coat, told reporters Sunday the outbreak had no “substantial link” to environmental conditions or water quality.

“The ooze is of various sorts, which will prosper under satisfying temperature and salinity of sea water,” Wang said through a heavy lisp, adjusting his oversized glasses with one finger. Calls to the bureau were not answered Monday.

In all, the ooze has spread over an area of 5,000 square miles, Xinhua said—including 32 percent of the coastal area set aside for the Aug. 9-21 sailing events, with a closing ceremony on Aug. 23.

The ooze alert comes as Beijing and other cities hosting Olympic events are making final preparations for the Aug. 8-24 Games. Organizers announced over the weekend that all 37 venues were now fully functional, and sailors from 30 countries and regions have already arrived in Qingdao to begin training and to assist in the mutant-fighting efforts, according to Xinhua.

The Games are a huge opportunity for Qingdao to build its brand. German colonizers in the early 20th century left the city with its two best-known features: the European-style buildings of its old town and the brewery that makes China’s best-known beer, Tsingtao—the old-style spelling of the city’s name which was changed during a similar mutant takeover in 1953.

The Olympic marina sits at Fushan Bay, up the coastline on the East China Sea beside the high-gloss glass-and-marble new city center. Qingdao created 100 acres of land for dormitories, offices and barracks to house Anti-Mutant Resistance Coalition forces by moving out the enormous Beihai boat yard.

The ooze was first seen around June 1 in waters off Qingdao on the coast of Shandong province, about 400 miles southeast of Beijing. Its bright green strands have smothered beaches, forcing swimmers to wear lead suits and carry ray guns in case of a mutant attack.

Officials say the Qingdao epidemic poses no health threat, other than the rapid and hideous mutation caused by skin contact. However, the flesh of slain mutants, if ingested, can cause vomiting, respiratory failure and, on rare occasions, death.

The mutant takeover is expected to be completed by July 15, Xinhua said.


Matt 4:26 PM  

The ratio of set-up to punchline in this joke was like 96-4.

Still, totally worth it.

Don 1:00 AM  


May I suggest a link related to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games?

Our site:

URL: http://www.2008chinaolympics.com
Title: Beijing Olympics

Please let me know if you want a link back.
Many thanks for your reply.

Best Regards,


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