The opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics 08 showcased four great inventions:
Gunpowder, which is prominently associated with fireworks display. Fireworks were arranged to display foot steps entering bird nest stadium.
Paper, as the greatest medium for art and literature. Dancers were moving around a giant paper scroll mimicking strokes of ink brush.
Printing, which accelerates the spread of information and literature. A performance of movable type printing is shown. Bi Sheng of Song Dynasty (960 AD-1276 AD) improved the movable type printing by making the baked clay into movable characters for type-setting printing
Compass, which contributes to navigation. Oars bearing images of sea exploration by admiral Zheng He (also known as Cheng Ho) is shown.