london 2012

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Social Digest: 3D Printing, Today’s Future, Olympic Spirit

Welcome! As part of a series that keeps students up to date with international insights, current technology and popular culture, this week we're bursting at the seams with amazing hand picked content.

Print it in 3D

We live in remarkable times where technology advances at an unprecedented rate. Rapid prototyping or 3D printing to the layman (also known as additive printing) is beginning to branch out from design and manufacturing to different sectors and eventually our homes. Originally developed for creating product prototypes, a 3D printer takes a digital design and literally prints it out by constructing it layer by layer, just like the picture above. The ramifications for the future of commerce are epic. Find out more here. 

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The Tale of Two Teenage Swimmers

Two female swimmers have been attracting all the headlines in the Aquatics Centre at London 2012 over the last few days. One Chinese swimmer has broken world-records and set faster times than her male equivalents, whilst a Lithuanian has just won the first Gold medal her country has ever won in the pool. The truly extraordinary thing is they are 16 and 15-years-old respectively.

Ye Shiwen: Faster than the Men?

Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen (pictured above left) shocked the world of swimming on Saturday when she smashed the world record for the 400m individual medley. She broke her own personal best by more than five seconds and, most incredibly, she swum the final 50m faster than the winner of the men's event. All this at 16-years-old.

However, her performances have been so astounding that some figures in swimming are questioning whether they are a little too good to be true. She is at the centre of a row over doping, with a top coach accusing her of taking performance-enhancing drugs, and others rushing to her defence.

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Experiencing An Olympic Event

With London 2012 underway, Editor Andy describes his experience of one of the events live.

After applying for dozens of tickets for the London 2012 Olympics earlier this year, I got a grand total of two. They were for boxing at the ExCel Centre, and the big day finally came around yesterday.

With all the warnings of packed tubes and gridlocked streets, we were preparing for the worst. However, the trains all ran perfectly and we even got to pretend we were drivingone of them (as you should always do on the driverless DLR line- pictured below). Everything ran so smoothly that we even had time for a couple of pre-event pints after we arrived at ExCel an hour and a half early.

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Watch the London 2012 Opening Ceremony

On Friday night, the London 2012 Opening Ceremony officially opened the Olympic Games. Directed by Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle, the ceremony was both spectacular and very clearly British at the same time.

It was based loosely on the Shakespeare play The Tempest and charted Britain's history, right from rural greenery, to the industrial revolution, to World War I, to the Beatles to modern day Britain. It climaxed with a stunning lighting of the Olympic cauldron. Seven young Olympic British hopefuls were handed torches by current Olympians and they each lit one of 204 separate 'petals'. These all slowly caught fire and rose up to create one huge flame. Watch the stunning footage here.

Instead of us simply describing the ceremony to you, you can watch it for yourself in its entirety on the BBC website here. One particular highlight was an amazing scene when James Bond met a very special person at Buckingham Palace. You can watch it below.  

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Get the Olympics Party Started

After seven years of planning, the London 2012 Olympics are finally officially starting tonight with the Opening Ceremony taking place at the brand new Olympics Stadium in Stratford. Whilst there will be 80,000 spectators there in the stadium, there will be millions (possibly even billions) more watching at home on TV. It will all be kicking off at 9pm tonight and is being shown live on BBC 1. 

What better way for you to start the Olympics than by having an Opening Ceremony party? Gather your friends in front of a TV and make it a night to remember (or not, depending on the amount of alcohol drunk). Here we have gathered some of the very best ideas for Olympics parties. 

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