Saturday, July 31, 2010

Totally Useless Trivia

The coach of FC Barcelona, Josep Guardiola, who led Barcelona in 2009 into becoming the first club ever to win 6 out of 6 championships in one season, used to be a player in Barcelona and later in some shitty clubs like Al-Ahli in Qatar.

While playing in Al-Ahli, Al-Ahli faced Jordanian club Al-Hussain Irbid in the Arabian Champions League in 2005.

Al-Ahli won 3-0, and Guardiola scored the 3rd goal from a penalty kick.

So, Guardiola played against a Jordanian team and scored a goal against us, which makes ecstatic. I guess this makes me a football masochist.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Journal Round: Time, Foreign Policy, Rolling Stones

Call me old-fashioned , but I still enjoy reading paper magazines rather than electronic ones, just like I love holding a real book rather than turning pages on a electronic book reader like kindle.

I'll talk about a few topics from this week's magazines.


I never thought about summer vacations, but according to Time's edition this week, summer vacations are harmful. It's a period during which school students forget a lot of things they have learnt in school. The tradition of summer vacation started 100 years ago when school kids had to help in the farm during the growing days, but now it should become obsolete. The writer emphasizes on how students of low-income families are the ones hurt the most from summer vacations. their Maths skills seem to deteriorate following any summer vacation.
Local governments can't add more school days to the calender sue to cost and culture. Also tourism industry won't like it that much.

Time dedicates one page to talking about Panera bread, a restaurant chain that is not asking its customers to pay whatever they want for their sandwiches. It gives a "requested amount" and generous well-off people may pay more than that in order to allow the less fortunate to buy sandwiches at a lower price. It's working well so far although some people seem to be abusing the idea.

This is a wonderful idea, if it works maybe other chain restaurants will start considering it.

Foreign Policy (FP)

This magazine is worth every girsh you pay for it. It provides good analysis of any political problem that's going on, often giving both sides of the story. The articles are written by world intellectuals. If you are a regular reader there is no way your letter will be published in the comment section.

Let me quote something about Lebanon, which might be well-known to a few,

" No one knows who exactly lives in Lebanon. The country hasn't had a census since the French colonial government conducted one in 1932. A census would likely reveal the uncomfortable truth- for Lebanon's Maronite Christians- that their numbers have been slipping as percentage of the population. When Lebanon became independent in 1943, a national pact divided power between Christians and Muslims in a 6-5 ratio based on the 1932 census, later changed to an even split after the brutal 1975-1990 civil war Since then, the Shiite community is believed to have grown faster than any other community, but Christians, despite making up only an estimated quarter of the population, still hold half the parliamentary seats. They'd prefer to keep it that way. "

In the last page, FP writes: Five things you don't know about Ramadan:

1- Ramadan is Big Business
2- After oil, Ramadan is Saudi Arabia' biggest export.
3- Ramadan is a time of peace, but it's also marked by war
4- Globalization has changed Ramadan.
5- Ramadan is a tyrant's best friend.


Rolling Stone
(Special Collectors Edition)

The Rolling Stone has a special edition of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

The top ten were:

1- Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan, which by the way never reached number 1 on the charts when released
2- I Can't Get No Satisfaction (Rolling Stones)
3- Imagine (Beatles)
4- What's Going On (Marvin Gaye)
5- Respect (Aretha Franklin)
6- Good Vibrations (Beach Boys)
7- Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry)
8- Hey Jude (Beatles)
9- Smells Like a Teen Spirit (nirvana)
10- What I'd Say (Ray Charles)

I don't think you'll find 2 people in this world who can agree on the same list, but it's good to run through the top 500 songs in the list. Songs from the 1960s had nearly 40% of the songs on the list.

See you next week

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Punctuation, Punctuation.

This is why punctuation and pauses are extremely important while reading the news.

This news anchor was telling listeners that his co-anchor was off that day, then proceeded to report a murder. Punctuation was, apparently, missing from the teleprompter.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Taxicab from the hotel to the airport.... 19 dollars

Coffee at the airport..... 4 dollars

Flight from Las Vegas to Minneapolis...... 206 dollars

Having a random 40-something male passenger wake up at the end of a 3-hour flight in terror, grab your arm and scream at the top of his voice, "Daddy" then stare awkwardly around him .... PRICELESS

There are things that money can't buy,
For everything else there's MasterCard (or Visa, cash, your parents...etc)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In Conclusion, Best Moments of the World Cup

Casillas' Interview with His Girlfriend

Casillas, Spain's captain and goalkeeper, did an interview with a sports reporter who happened to be his girlfriend right after the final game. She was asking him who did he thank for the victory. He answered, "to everyone who supported me, my parents, my brother..... then he said "to my friends, and to you", then you can tell she was very uncomfortable with what he did next. It's a little unprofessional but very excusable. She can also be grateful they don't have honor killings in Spain.

Maradona's Press Conference

As you've noticed Maradona is very close to his players, kissing them before they hit the field and when they come out of it, which made this insecure reporter ask this question.
you can always tell Maradona's response from his eye.

I have to say, this is a much more friendly response than his response to Argentinian reporters who previously predicted he was too bad of a coach to get Argentina to qualify into the World Cup. I can't even post that video here, it was so incredibly nasty that the FIFA had to suspend him from attending his team's games for 3 months. Click here to watch it.

Most Outrageous Penalty Drama
Without a doubt it was Gyan's missed penalty in the 121st minute against Uruguay. Not only that, but Uruguay's winner penalty by Abreu was one of the most classical of all World Cups, a Panenka style penalty.

Gyan's Miss

and Abreu's classical penalty

Best GoaL
I might be biased here, but I'll go for Tevez' 3rd goal against Mexico. The reason is that Tevez looked as if he was losing control of the ball and falling down just before he fired his missile.
Van Bronckhorst's goal against Uruguay comes second

Worst Behavior By Anyone
French Coach Domenech refusing to shake hands with a (much better) coach Carlos Alberto, for no reason other than Domench being an asshole.

Worst Tackle On the Field
That happened yesterday, in the final game, as Dutch defender De Jong kicked Alonso
in the middle of the f-ing chest. Surprisingly enough he only got a yellow card.

Close second, Felipe Melo against Holland in the quarter-finals.

Most Affectionate Player
On average, North Korea makes it to the World Cup twice every 100 years, so some players like Jong Tae-Se can get very emotional when their national anthem was being played during their first game against Brazil, which was their best.

Most Arrogant of All
Kaka, of Brasil, proving again why does his name mean the same in all languages and cultures across the world after refusing to swap his shirt with a North Korean player.

See you in 2014 !!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Spain, World Champions, I Think

The final game of the world cup was played today, and sure on paper they deserved it perfectly, Spain winning the last 32 of their 34 matches and the Netherlands winning their last 10 games. However it felt like the wrong teams were playing this final.

The Netherlands have been a pleasure to watch several times before. The 1970s team was a powerful team, total football, Cryuff, Neeskens, Krol, then the 1988 team with their shocking awesome performance and the genius Van Basten and the others with their curly hair. Even in the last Euro 2008 Holland seemed to be on top of the world after destroying France and Italy.

But in this world cup, they won their 3 games in the first round simply because the opponents sucked more than they did. They seemed to lack spirit. Even in the game against Brasil they were a little bit lucky with ball deflections and Filip Melo doing them some favors.

Meanwhile, Spain would have exited from the first round if it wasn't for David Villa. They would have exited from the second round if it wasn't for David Villa. They would have exited from the quarter-finals if it wasn't for David Villa. They won the world cup after scoring 8 goals only by 3 different players. Some teams that were relegated in the second round and quarter-finals scored more goals than them.

None of those 2 teams looked convincing enough to be world champions, in my opinion. Before this game they were the best 2 teams to never win a world cup, besides Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and now Spain the worst team to win a world cup. However there was no cheating, no referee mistakes, no deals made behind the door (I think), so it's all fair and square. Welcome the new World Champions: Espana!

Saturday, July 03, 2010


Congratulations for Brasil for making it to the quarter-finals in this world cup, I was not expecting it and they indeed impressed us with average victories against the Ivory Coast and North Korea and even scored a goal against a real team like Holland. I can comfortably say they're an above-average team, and they proved they deserved to qualify to the world cup.

Clip of the day:
Snjiedier screaming at the camera after the first goal! At 0:35 !