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January 16, 2008 > All fall down

All fall down

Cooperative effort to break record spans Pacific Ocean

Toppling an intricate pattern of 5.6 million dominoes is a daunting task. To do this in strict sequence at several different sites seems almost impossible, but this is the goal of representatives for 32,000 students in school districts of Fremont, Newark, New Haven (Union City), Hayward and Fremont Union (Cupertino, San Jose, Sunnyvale). The efforts of these students will be linked with thousands of others throughout China including Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing. The idea of forming a domino bridge over thousands of miles through an internet connection is the result of a similar connection called Nexus Bridge, a collaboration of American businessmen and Chinese officials that has now spread throughout the world. This concept, manifested as the "portal" website www.nexusbridge.com, will link millions of students, teachers and administrators throughout the world.

On Saturday, February 9 students at high schools in California and China will attempt to break a dominos record. Using sequential coordination that will span an ocean is a highly visible demonstration of the power of the NexusBridge website, a celebration of the 2008 summer Olympic Games to be held in Beijing, China and the Chinese New Year. If successful, this will set a new world record for toppling a domino chain. A successful test run at the Legend Learning Center in Cupertino included high school students - some from Irvington and Mission San Jose High Schools - who will act as trainers for the February 9 event.

"All festivities will start in Fremont with a tentative location of Washington High School," said Ben Yee Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer of Nexus Bridge. A randomly selected high school student will push the first domino in a chain that will travel from Fremont through Newark, Union City, Hayward and Sunnyvale before hopping across the Pacific Ocean to China where cities, including Shanghai, Hong Kong and many others terminating in Beijing. Hayward will have the honor of sending the final U.S. signal that will initiate the Chinese portion of the domino chain.

Electronic triggers will initiate and signal the completion of each phase of the chain. "When a domino falls on a trigger, it is connected to a laptop computer which sends a signal to the next location. When the signal is received, the receiving computer will 'pop open' its disk drive and knock the next domino down. This process will continue until all locations have participated."

High ranking dignitaries will be present in both countries to watch and congratulate the efforts of participants. "It became bigger than I thought," says Yee. Representatives of school districts and national, state and local governments have been invited to attend. Due to the delicate nature of the domino chains and space considerations, most locations will be closed to the general public although video and media coverage will allow live remote and subsequent viewing of the event. A commitment by CCTV-4 is expected to broadcast the event to 1.3 billion Chinese citizens and, through their affiliates, local Bay Area TV stations and CNN coverage, millions more will witness the event.
Chinese participants will be using gymnasiums to fulfill their portion of the record-breaking attempt while American efforts will find other spaces since this event will occur at the height of basketball season. For instance, Washington High School's portion of the chain - approximately 30,000 dominos - will use cafeteria space.

With 100,000 dominos in an undisclosed location and another 100,000 on the way, Yee says he has space reserved for the chain of dominos, but could use financial support for the effort. There will be strict limits to those allowed to attend each site due to the delicate nature of the event and space constraints. However, Yee notes that sponsors will be given priority and receive significant media exposure throughout China, the United States and other areas of the world.

For additional information about the event and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.nexusbridge.com, email Benjamin Yee at benyee@nexusbridge.com or call (510) 651-2448.

A previous article regarding Nexus Bridge can be found in the archives of Tri-City Voice at www.tricityvoice.com. It appeared December 12, 2007.


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