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Wednesday, January 14, 2009
What else can you do with a ping-pong ball?

Whenever you start to feel like your job sucks and you just can't take it anymore, remember this photo.

For his latest column, Rick Reilly delved into the world of competitive beer pong. But as you may or may not know, you can do a lot more with a ping-pong ball than toss it into a cup of cheap beer. Allow us to explain.

In an attempt to piggyback on the growing success of lawn and court tennis, table tennis was developed in England during the latter half of the 19th century. Around 1900, after first struggling with the unpredictable bounces of rubber and cork balls, ping-pong pioneer James Gibb introduced the celluloid ball, a version of which we still use today, after discovering the material in America. Little did he know, his little innovation would allow for the sport to finally take off and give the Chinese a forum to routinely embarrass the entire world in international competition. But, with the help of a few ping-pong balls, you can also …

subvert Cold War politics.

waste an incredible amount of time perfecting a completely unmarketable talent.

save a toddler's life.

make a smoke bomb.

impress Geena Davis.

blow up your microwave.

test out the Large Hadron Collider.

expand your mind without taking illegal drugs and listening to Jefferson Airplane.

collect data from outer space.

raise a sunken ship.