Table Tennis Shoes
In my SF novel "Campaign 2100" (which covers the election for president of Earth in the year 2100, and is currently making the rounds of publishers and agents), one of the characters was a championship table tennis player who quit the sport to run the election campaign. I stuck in three table tennis scenes. One of the innovations I used was that his shoes had adjustable traction, which he'd vary based on the floors. Why don't we have that?
Okay, the answer is we don't have the technology. But more specifically, why don't we use different types of shoes for different conditions? I see two main variations: grippiness and support. On slippery floors you'd want grippy shoes, but on grippy floors a grippy shoe might be too grippy, making it grippingly difficult to move. (Isn't that a gripping sentence?) Older and overweight players, and those playing on cement, would want shoes with more support, while others might want a shoe with little support so they can "grab" the floor better with thinner, more flexible soles.
I envision a scatter plot on a square graph where the higher on the graph you are, the more support; the more to the right, the more grippiness. Then players could choose the shoe that fits their condition and the playing conditions.
I used to have both my regular playing shoes, and these "suction cup" table tennis shoes from China that were super grippy. On slippery floors I'd pull out the suction cup shoes. Also, when I had knee problems, I started using shoes with more support. But now that I play almost exclusively on red rubberized flooring designed for table tennis (at the Maryland Table Tennis Center), and my knees seem fine, I prefer shoes with little support and thin soles. They don't need to be grippy - you can move on the red flooring with iced soles. However, I never wear the low-support table tennis shoes outside the club. (You do carry your table tennis shoes to the club in a shoe bag, right? NO ONE in their right mind would wear them outside the club, where you might hurt your feet or get the shoes dirty!)
What I Did Yesterday
How Ping Pong Saved the World
Here's the trailer (2:18) for the upcoming documentary "How Ping Pong Saved the World." It includes short statements on how they got started in table tennis by Connie Sweeris, Tim Boggan, Errol Resek, Jack Howard, Judy Hoarfrost, Rufford Harrison, George Brathwaite, John Tannehill, and Olga Soltesz.
And here's an email I received regarding the documentary and the book series that features table tennis by Jerome Charyn.
I'm Lenore Riegel, partner-in-crime of Bronx author Jerome Charyn, the well-known player who wrote Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins: Ping Pong and the Art of Staying Alive. Charyn is featured in the upcoming documentary, How Ping Pong Saved the World.
Ping-pong figures heavily in the first two of his ten Isaac Sidel crime novels, recently re-released, and soon to be an animated adult TV series, Hard Apple.
I know you already have a picture of Charyn on your site, but it occurred to me that you might like to read Charyn's ping-pong books - I'd be happy to send them.
Meanwhile, the book trailer features ping-pong.
I've attached a sketch from the animated TV series based on Charyn's crime novels - there will be lots of ping-pong in them. I've also attached a few pictures you might enjoy for your site.
Charyn plays regularly at SPIN in NYC.
Table Tennis Rulez
Here's a new table tennis promotional video with lots of great points (7:12). It starts off with two very long and great points, then the music starts.
Ford Uses Ping-Pong Balls to Measure Vehicle Space
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