Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
The title holders went down at the San Siro 3-1last Tuesday following the official’s favoritism for Jose Mourinho’s Inter, but the Catalans were not able to overturn their negative score line at home in Spain. Hence, a 1-0 victory for Pep Guardiola’s team subsequent to Gerard Pique’s goal was not enough to keep the Blaugrana alive in the Champions League.
How Barcelona became the “Unbeatable Side”
After keeping their courage despite their controversial victory over Chelsea in the semifinals of the European Championship last season, Barcelona went on to defeat Premier League defending champions Manchester United 2-0 in the final.
As they won the treble that season, the Catalans had the chance to compete in 3 additional tournaments, which were the Spanish Super Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
At everyone’s amazement, Barcelona finished their 2009 year with the snatching of all 6 possible cups, and Lionel Messi played a major role in the creation of their incomparable success. With this achievement valuing their greatness, the Blaugrana became the “unbeatable side” according to many journalists, players, coaches, and fans.
Messi himself declared that his club was undefeatable when in form, but surely without knowing it, such a statement coming out of his mouth went straight across the ears of his biggest enemies. Regardless, Barcelona kept powering their 2009-10 season with precious victories in all possible competitions, but nevertheless, they suffered an early Copa del Rey exit when they lost to Sevilla.
Yet, Barcelona tried to cope with what they still had left, and it seemed like everything was on track. Humiliating Champions League victories against Stuttgart and Arsenal when Lionel Messi revealed his strongest goalscoring skills, as well as convincing wins in La Liga, were just enough to confirm the might of the FIFA Club champions.
Nonetheless, Barcelona knew that in order to seal their excellence in football, they had to defend their Champions League title. And it was only then that they faced their toughest challenge as they were placed against the Special One’s army in all its power.
Jose Mourinho's triumph, controversy, and the end of Barcelona's reign
The clash between Inter Milan and Barcelona had many representations for the majority of football fans, among which were: Jose Mourinho vs Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o vs Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and a few others. Unexpectedly, Inter Milan immediately stamped their authority on the Azulgranas by stealing a controversial 3-1 victory at the San Siro when they both met on April 20.
Video highlights clearly showed the partiality of Referee Olegário Benquerença who is said to be a long-time friend of Inter coach Jose Mourinho, but bizarrely, the Portuguese manager justified his side’s triumph by repeatedly putting emphasis on Referee Tom Ovrebo’s favor toward Barcelona last year against Chelsea at the Stanford Bridge in the Champions League.
This angered Barca fans and players, and since the second leg was set to be played at home, the least Barcelona could do was to secure a 2-0 win. All eyes were then set on the Champions League’s top scorer Lionel Messi and his potent team mates; yet, things did not really prove to go as positively as Catalan fans were hoping.
Despite the sending-off of former Barcelona player Motta after 26 minutes of action, an ineffective Zlatan Ibrahimovic was incapable of giving the hosts the lead. Inter then decided to play a completely negative game, and with Lionel Messi only being able to make intelligent and short passes outside the D, Barcelona were struggling to make goalkeeper Julio Cesar work.
Messi however came close to scoring late in the first half, but it was the second half which proved to be more promising. A few substitutions from Pep Guardiola enabled Bojan Kikrik and Jeffren to make their entries into the game, and on 84 minutes, Gerard Pique scored an offside opener which truly got the home crowd on their feet.
Watch the video highlights of Gerard Pique's goal and Barcelona's attempts
Barcelona kept pressing on for a second goal which would have been the saving goal to reach the final, but it never came. Dani Alves was in some way fouled inside the box by Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari, but the referee waved away the appeals for a penalty.
In the end, 3-2 the clash ended on aggregate at the delight of Inter Milan, and Coach Jose Mourinho–who was verbally abused before the game by opposing fans–could only run onto the pitch after the final whistle to celebrate was is said to be his 6th Champions League final in 6 years, and the beginning of a new football era.
Watch the celebrations of Inter Milan after the match
Lionel Messi and Barcelona’s powerful empire has now collapsed under the invasion of the Special One. No matter what happens to the Nerazzurri at the Bernabeu Stadium in the final against Bayern Munich, Mourinho can feel proud that he broke the chains and realized the dreams of Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid, and all the previous victims of Barcelona’s incursion.
Surely–not counting the invasion of Pep Guardiola last season in soccer–football has not witnessed an achievement as memorable as the one Jose Mourinho just did, since a couple of years. Perhaps, it will take a lot of strength and cleverness from the next coach which will be able to make such an attainment.
Currently, most Barcelona fans might be complaining about their unjust defeat against Inter Milan in the semifinals of the Champions League; while others might wonder if and how Jose Mourinho was able to do what was previously regarded as the “impossible.”
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The findings are from a study that tracked nearly 5,000 British adults for 20 years, and they highlight yet another reason to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Overall, 314 people studied had all four unhealthy behaviors. Among them, 91 died during the study, or 29 percent. Among the 387 healthiest people with none of the four habits, only 32 died, or about 8 percent.
The risky behaviors were: smoking tobacco; downing more than three alcoholic drinks per day for men and more than two daily for women; getting less than two hours of physical activity per week; and eating fruits and vegetables fewer than three times daily.
These habits combined substantially increased the risk of death and made people who engaged in them seem 12 years older than people in the healthiest group, said lead researcher Elisabeth Kvaavik of the University of Oslo.
The study appears in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine.
The healthiest group included never-smokers and those who had quit; teetotalers, women who had fewer than two drinks daily and men who had fewer than three; those who got at least two hours of physical activity weekly; and those who ate fruits and vegetables at least three times daily.
"You don't need to be extreme" to be in the healthy category, Kvaavik said. "These behaviors add up, so together it's quite good. It should be possible for most people to manage to do it."
For example, one carrot, one apple and a glass of orange juice would suffice for the fruit and vegetable cutoffs in the study, Kvaavik said, noting that the amounts are pretty modest and less strict than many guidelines.
The U.S. government generally recommends at least 4 cups of fruits or vegetables daily for adults, depending on age and activity level; and about 2 1/2 hours of exercise weekly.
Study participants were 4,886 British adults aged 18 and older, or 44 years old on average. They were randomly selected from participants in a separate nationwide British health survey. Study subjects were asked about various lifestyle habits only once, a potential limitation, but Kvaavik said those habits tend to be fairly stable in adulthood.
Death certificates were checked for the next 20 years. The most common causes of death included heart disease and cancer, both related to unhealthy lifestyles.
Kvaavik said her results are applicable to other westernized nations including the United States.
June Stevens, a University of North Carolina public health researcher, said the results are in line with previous studies that examined the combined effects of health-related habits on longevity.
The findings don't mean that everyone who maintains a healthy lifestyle will live longer than those who don't, but it will increase the odds, Stevens said.
Dusan Kecman became the game hero with a midcourt buzzer beating three pointer that allowed Partizan to lift the trophy in unbelievable fashion.
Cibona trailed 68-72 with seconds left but back to back triples by Marko Tomas and Bojan Bogdanovic gave their team a 74-72 edge with 0.6 seconds left, but Kecman stole the show right when it mattered.
Aleks Maric led the winners with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Lawrence Roberts added 13 points and 14 rebounds while Aleksandar Rasic and Petar Bozic each had 11 points for Partizan.
Marko Tomas and Jamont Gordon led Cibona with 31 points apiece. Partizan led for the best part of the fourth quarter but Gordon allowed Cibona to force overtime, 60-60. Roberts downed 4 of 6 free throws to give Partizan a 68-72 lead late in the extra period and even when Cibona regained the lead, Kecman sank a shot that will go down in history as one of the most incredible ones in Adriatic League history.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
While Victor Huang was trying out his shiny new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2 in Wahine Memorial, Wellington, New Zealand, he attempted to get video of a large wild octopus. The octopus snatched the camera from his hands and swam away with it while still recording — subsequently filming a chase for the camera that lasted several minutes.
“While trying to get video of a wild octopus, it suddenly dashed towards me and rips my shiny new camera from out of my hands, then swims off, all while the camera is recording! he swam away very quickly like a naughty shoplifter. after a 5 minute chase, I placed my speargun underneath him and he quickly and curiously grabbed hold of the gun as well, giving me enough time to reach in and grab the camera from out of his mouth. I didn’t feel threatened at all during the whole ordeal. he seemed to be fixated on the shiny metallic blue digital camera. the only confusing behavior was how he dashed off with it like a thief haha. cheeky octopus.”
The above video is the chase, with the following credits: Music by Vincent Gillioz (Car Chase) and Dalmatian Rex and the Eigentones (Octopus I Love You). First unit camera: Victor Huang. First unit director and second unit camera: Cheeky Octopus.
It said the pilot lost his way, saw a tractor below and decided to land to get advice from the driver.
Oleg Ugnivenko, a spokesman for the regional branch of Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry, said the An-2 agricultural plane grazed the tractor while landing in the field and broke its landing gear. He said no one was hurt but gave no further details.
Ay-ya Fjat La Yuu Kul
Now try to say it really fast. You still won't sound Icelandic, but you'll be on somewhat the right track.
Icelanders are enjoying hearing foreigners massacre their extremely difficult language. Their main newspaper, the Morganblad, has a story about the mispronunciations. And someone's put together a hysterical YouTube piece on all the foreign reporters trying to pronounce the thing on camera.
The name means "the island mountain's glacier," says Anna Bjartmarsdóttir, Nordic Studies Librarian at the University of Washington in Seattle. Here's how it breaks down:
Eyja = island
Fjatt – mountain
Fjattla – the genitive form of mountain, or 'the mountain's'
Jokull – the nominative form of glacier
Someone in Iceland has also kindly put together a playlist of volcano songs to listen as you watch reports about the eruption.
Icelandic may be one of the most conservative languages in the Indo-European language family, but that doesn't mean Icelanders are. They've got a lot of jokes going around about the eruptions, most centering on the island nation's on-going banking and debt crisis.
Here's one: Holland and Britain asked Iceland to pay back the money it had borrowed. When Eyjafjallajokull erupted and closed down air traffic across much of Northern Europe, the Icelanders explained. "The letter C doesn't' exist in the Icelandic alphabet. So when you asked for 'cash' we could only send you 'ash.'
(Jag har ingen aning hur man uttalar det." means "I don't have the faintest idea how to pronounce that," in Swedish.)