SSV Cuddlefish 1964
Germany 2:0 Sweden
Argentina 2:1 Mexico (overtime)
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
The reasons for the Americans’ 2-1 loss to Ghana Thursday and their three-and-out elimination from the World Cup are obvious enough: an inability to attack creatively (witness the dozens of hopeful long balls hoofed uselessly right to the Ghanaian defense); a poor tactical set-up (a 4-5-1 when it had already been proven that the Americans cannot score with a lone striker); a lack of highly skilled players (the Yanks have no field player who comes close to matching Essien, Appiah, Rosicky, Nedved, Del Piero or Gattuso); and poor preparation that depended on excessive secrecy and that somehow left the players psychologically overwhelmed. The blame spreads around evenly among the players, the coach and the federation — though it does seem as if the man most responsible for the missteps in preparation and tactics, Bruce Arena, bears the biggest share of that blame.
Referees Need Help
I felt for Graham Poll last night. In one respect - making the Croatia v Australia game flow - he did pretty well. But in pretty much every other he had a shocker, booking one player three times, blowing for full time just as a Tim Cahill shot was crossing the line, and missing a blatant handball to boot.
He's not the only ref to struggle in Germany 2006, of course. We've had a phonebook-sized number of erroneous yellow cards, three goals that weren't spotted, and myriad incorrect penalty decisions.
The first problem could be solved by Fifa toning down its gung-ho directives to officials, and by introducing a panel to review and rescind yellow and red cards after the match. It won't happen though: Fifa has an almost-Catholic belief in the infallibility of referees, and themselves.
The second solution is also obvious, if contentious: introduce instant video replays.
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:32 AM
AUSTIN, Texas — Donning red fishnets and olive drab miniskirts, the women of Seattle’s Derby Liberation Front roll onto the track raising revolutionary fists in the air. The team’s mascot, Dr. Five, strides across the arena in fatigues, mirrored sunglasses and a red beret. It’s showdown time at Playland Skate Center.
In the lineup are Kim Reaper, D-Bomb, Sybil Unrest and Ann R. Kissed — who as a newcomer is considered “fresh meat” on this team. Two key players — Burnett Down (injured) and Captain Lorna Boom (pregnant) — are on the sidelines, worsening the team's already poor odds against the more seasoned Honky Tonk Heartbreakers of Austin.
"We're up against what is probably the best team in the world," says Ida Slapta, aka Meghan Smith, who has been known to show up for her day job as a receptionist with her nose out of joint and sporting a shiner. "They're very, very aggressive."
Despite Ida’s misgivings, the Derby Liberation Front proves itself a scrappy and determined underdog. Overcoming a series of missteps — rules breaches that land its skaters in a mock electric chair serving as the penalty box — they surge in the second-half and nearly topple the Texas team.
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:05 AM
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Air Torture is the premiere airline transporting detainees to select torture chambers around the world. Organizations such as Amnesty International like to call our business "outsourcing torture" because we deliver all our customers to countries where torture is routinely practiced - but our partners at the U.S. government have come up with a much better name: "extraordinary rendition."
Thanks to the Bush Administration, the "war on terror" has been a big boon to our business. All flights are fully funded by unsuspecting taxpayers in the United States.
Posted by cuddlefish at 10:16 AM
I have to admit, even I didn't think the political pimps in control of our national whorehouse would have the gall to sneak through a pay raise for themselves, then turn around a week later and kill the first increase in the minimum wage in almost ten years. Even I wouldn't have imagined they would think they could get away with it. Not in an election year. I guess it's their way of showing Tom DeLay they don't need him around to act like a pen full of swine with a taste for eating their own feces. The Bug Man may be gone, but his pestilence remains.
Thinking that they took an oath to support the president rather than an oath to uphold the Constitution, the Republican Congressional majority is hopeless. But the real spotlight of history now rests on those Congressional Democrats who support sinking deeper into the Big Muddy of Iraq out of fear of Karl Rove and greater concern for their own reelections than the lives of U.S. service personnel being destroyed by roadside bombs. What will history say of them? How will they account for their own silence, their own weakness, their own careerism?
There is something in life a lot more important than holding on, at all cost, to a Congressional seat. There is integrity, there is conviction, and there is courage. History's jury will sit in judgment today on those Democrats and will find wanting those without the conviction and courage to say "enough".
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:58 AM
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
In a Harris opinion poll, published on the eve of Mr Bush’s latest visit to Europe this week, 36 per cent of respondents identify the US as the greatest threat to global stability.
The poll, conducted in association with the FT, questioned a representative sample of 5,000 people in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain on a range of issues. Thirty per cent of respondents named Iran as the greatest threat to global stability, with 18 per cent selecting China.
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:55 AM
Monday, June 19, 2006
NASA managers have rejected last-ditch pleas from their top safety officer and chief engineer to scrap next month's shuttle launch, saying that they will press ahead despite potentially catastrophic risks.
The head of the US space agency, Dr Michael Griffin, overruled warnings that there was a "relatively high" chance the shuttle's external fuel tank could shed some of its solid foam coating when it launches on 1 July, carrying seven crew including Briton Piers Sellers, an Edinburgh University graduate.
In 2003, falling foam knocked a hole in Columbia's wing, causing the craft to break up as it returned to Earth, resulting in the deaths of seven astronauts. Last year, Discovery came within inches of disaster when a chunk rattled loose from the tank and nearly struck the orbiter seconds after lift-off.
During a weekend meeting at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, Florida, Dr Griffin gave the final nod for next month's mission, despite what he called an "intensive and spirited exchange" with senior colleagues who recommended a "no-go". "We have elected to take the risk," he said.
If the mission ends in disaster, NASA's multi-billion dollar shuttle programme will be scrapped, leaving construction of the International Space Station unfinished and marking the end of an era in human spaceflight.
Posted by cuddlefish at 9:51 AM