Saturday, March 15, 2008
So today, I went to a celebration of sorts for chinese culture and language at the student center. One of the booths that they had was to try your hand at playing with the chinese yoyo. I noticed that it was a rather peculiar object to be working with. The goal was to take a string connected to two sticks and place it in between the two large parts of the yoyo. The center was made of smooth metal so that the string could slide easily between it. With a quick roll on the ground to get it spinning, you had to lift it up and begin whipping your hands back and forth in order to keep it spinning. Much easier said than done. Not only did you have to whip it, but you had to keep it balanced on that one point where the string came in contact with the yoyo. I immediately noticed that this was very odd. In order for the yoyo to spin smoothly, the center had to have low friction. But in order for it to spin at all it needed to have relatively high friction. This interesting conundrum made the yoyo hard to handle. However, the trained performers could even build enough friction so that the yoyo could climb up the string nearly vertically. I on the other hand, couldn't even manage to get it spinning. Oh well.