Archive for June, 2010

angela merkel uses football metaphors

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

german chancellor angela merkel compared the 3 rounds of voting needed to elect christian wulff as president of germany in terms of the world cup tournament. according to the wall street journal, she said ‘We’ve just had the (unsuccessful) game against Serbia. Now for the (triumphant) game against England.’

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russian spies in america, sounds like promo for next angelina jolie movie

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

guess tom cruise is really pissed he passed on this movie. talk about impeccable timing.

twilight eclipse set for soft numbers outside north america

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

don’t know why summit decided to open the 3rd film in the twilight franchise smack in the middle of the world cup and on the even of the quarter finals. everyone in europe, asia and south america will be glued to their screens. well,perhaps minus the countries that don’t have good teams (like in scandinavia and belgium). but this just confirms that americans tend to be completely clueless when it comes to cultures that don’t have anything to do with america.

and despite the fact that japan, the last asian team competing in the world cup, got eliminated yesterday during that marathon of a snooze called a game, people in japan still have their favorite teams. and the reports that twilight screenings are a madhouse in brazil so cannot be true. especially not this weekend. if brazil wins on friday, it will be one long party weekend in sao paulo.

but let the robert pattinson backlash begins. apparently it is already starting.

german government wants to control the price of drugs

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

no, not street drugs, but those produced and sold by pharmaceutical companies. if we at a blog about whatever were socialists or commies, we’d say go for it, that’s a good thing. but perhaps these needs a more nuanced view than that. basically, if the german government were to push through the proposed legislation to control prices on patented drugs wouldn’t this be considered constraint of trade? normally such terms are applied to monopolists in anti-trust lawsuits. but could this term also be applied to a government or a government agency?

angela merkel and the cdu party she leads, are intent on putting a cap on the price of drugs in the germany market. and let’s say germany successfully passes its legislation. now what? well, we think that big pharma will say ‘screw you. we won’t sell our patented drugs in your market.’ because if big pharma were to agree to let the government set the ceiling on prices, then why can’t every one else? the whole snowball could end up decreasing the monster profits of the pharmaceutical companies, minimize the benefits of their patents, and decrease the motivation for companies to invest in the pricey process of research and development to invent new drugs and to create new diseases so that they can create new drugs so that they can market and sell them to the german government.

UPDATE: now we hear that the reason the government has proposed setting prices on drugs is because pharmaceutical companies (allegedly) charge neighboring countries such as denmark and sweden far lower prices for drugs (no, not those kinda drugs!) than they do germany.

germany football coach jogi loew picks his nose during germany england game

Monday, June 28th, 2010

germany football coach jogi loew picks his nose during germany england game during the round of 16 of the 2010 world cup in south africa.

suckie referees blow world cup right open

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

it’s great that germany advances to the quarter finals. but england didn’t get a fair shake. frank lampard’s disallowed goal mentally destroyed the team and that was the end of that. the same thing happened with mexico. it was clear that carlos tevez was offsides when he scored argentina’s first goal. the mexico team rightfully protested to no avail. and then proceded to lose it mentally, conceding a second goal on a very bad mistake. the subheadline of this blog post is ‘mexico was robbed by fifa because they aren’t a football nation!’

comedian becomes mayor of rekjavik

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

the recently elected mayor of the icelandic city of reykjavik (th emost populous on the island) is a comedian who only last winter decided to launch a political party.

Reykjavik

football as metaphor for national identity

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

if way a country plays football (soccer to you aussies and u.s. americans) is a metaphor for naitonal identity what does the 2010 world cup say about the participating countries?

uruguay, which only ceded its first goal yesterday in its 2:1 win against korea, has one of the highest literacy rates and lowest corruption rates in south america, is perhaps a sleeping giant. south africa played its first and last games confidently but lost its way in between. ghana has consistently played with passion and has demonstrated that its got youth and technique on its side although there is still a tendency, once approaching the goal post to think of the indivdual as opposed to the team.

the u.s. is a plucky undergdog that has a can-do spirit. but since california kids grow up playing the beautiful game by not keeping score (least these testostorone filled boys become competitive men), this plays out negatively on their passion for the sport as adults. perhaps it’s why the u.s. at times seems to play to tie.

are france and italy broken? why does the germany team play with bouts of confidence (beating australia 4:0) followed closely by insecurity (losing to serbia 0:1)? the brazilian team play with a confidence they lost in 2006 when france took them out. the country, which forms one of the booming BRIC nations, has managed to avoid getting completely lost in the quagmire of the world recession. the country is expected to grow at a rate of 5.2% this year. while the team looks more and more like an international champion. but argentiana, which just 7 years ago was bogged down in a huge financial crisis, has rebounded and the football team, lead by coach diego maradona threatens to do the same. but the question is does a team built around lionel messi have a chance if messi gets boxed in?

and what about spain? the football team chose to stay on a college campus while the france team chose a 5 star hotel. spain, which has a 20% unemployment rate and is being led by a socialist government, is not weathering the financial crisis and the world recession very well. spaniards hard pressed to find jobs in their home country have been moving in droves to cities across europe. but can a team built around the talent of fernando torres beat brazil in the achtefinale (as they call it in germany) –a team whose wealth of talent is more generously spread across its team incompassing robinho and kaka?

ghana beats u.s.a. in extra time

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

the ghana team advances to the quarterfinals of the world cup for the first time in its history. it is the last team from africa that is still in the championships and perhaps this is why they played football with a passion while the u.s.a. team played with the look of a deer caught in the headlight. that the u.s. team got into the second round was due more to pluck and luck than skill. the game, in the united states is played by nancy boys. it is perceived as a game for affluent kids whose mothers (soccer moms) drive them to practice in theri bmw suvs. while in south america it is more for kids from the shanty towns. and in the uk it is played by tough guys who like to fight.

suarez scores two goals takes uruguay to quarter finals

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

everyone seems to have forgotten that uruguay has won 2 world cups. mind you the last one was in 1950. but the team, which looks to face the u.s.a. or ghana in the quarter finals, is one of the few teams during the 2010 world cup which is playing in top form. uruguay won 2:1 against brazil. luis suarez scored both goals.