You might not know this, but autumn has begun in Beijing. According to the Chinese solar calendar August 8 was the first day of autumn. In this calendar a lunar year is divided into 24 "solar terms" each with its own name. The solar term that began on August 8 is called li qiu, which means, well, "Beginning of Autumn." It was also probably one of the reasons why August 8 was chosen as the start of the Games.
Unfortunately it has also been the reason why a certain BOCOG official has been making slightly dogmatic announcements that the weather will definitely change on August 8, and Beijing will become sunny and cooler. This has yet to happen. He also recently promised that after the 8th, there would be no more 'sauna-like' weather. Again, hasn't happened. In fact, yesterday and today were downright sweltering, and this afternoon the heavens opened up and the rains came down. And are still coming down. I was riding home in a taxi earlier, chatting with the driver about the weather, mentioning my hope that the rain would end tonight and the skies clear tomorrow. "Absolutely guaranteed," he told me. "It will be sunny and cooler. It's autumn!" I didn't have the heart to remind him that it was also August, and August is always hot and miserable.
One world, one dream, two calendars!