- sport -
In this eventful week or so, North Korea upset Brazil and won the World Cup, various areas in Singapore got flooded (if I had a penny for each time it rained when I visited Sim Lim, I would... have an advance on a visit to a washroom), and I attended another wedding.
Alright, North Korea probably didn't resort to time-delayed video editing, but broadcasting their getting wiped 7-0 in their second match against Portugal didn't make for the best propaganda. It was probably a calculated gamble given their respectable showing against the Brazilians, but unfortunately for them it became the biggest omelette in superior racially-pure faces since Jesse Owens won four golds in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Probably bigger.
There has been no word if the 3-0 defeat to the Ivory Coast (eliminating both teams) was shown also live in the Workers' Paradise, but one has sympathy for the returning North Korean footballers, other than the few who are based in Japan. Hopefully they're not of the Uday Hussein school of football management.
If the footballers are lucky, the Dear Leader will be focused on getting US$65 trillion from the accursed imperialists. Good luck with that, especially with said imperialists having mucho debt and oily seas on their hands, even if Chinese workers finally demanding increased wages (Honda strikes in China at the same time as Honda strikes against Denmark, heh heh), and the yuan being allowed to rise, should allow them to correct their trade gap. By a bit.
In which the chest-to-face nerve is pinched
(Source: Pesfan forums)
As for the Ivory Coast, they provided a prime example of how to win a skirmish, but lose both the battle and the war. Two goals down with a few minutes remaining, Keita had the bright idea of deliberately running straight into Kaka, then falling to the ground clutching his face.
Sadly, the referee got conned and sent Kaka off - but the Ivory Coast didn't have any time to make good on their extra man advantage, and ended up ruling one of Brazil's better players out of their last group game, not to mention pissing the already-qualified Brazilians off; Which would be fine, except that the Ivory Coast needed Brazil to beat Portugal to have any hope of advancing. Oops. (Brazil and Portugal ended up playing out an entertaining 0-0 draw).
[Quick historical aside: Brazil was once a Portuguese colony, about the time that Malacca was one too, and Singapore wasn't all that far from being taking on an Iberian, or even Dutch, flavour - see, history can be fascinating!]
It wasn't as if the samba boys were shy about falling over easily either, and frankly it's getting ridiculous that some of the best players in the world have to resort to such deception - or is this part of the reason why they're among the best? It's certainly safer to try flashy moves when they can be parlayed into a foul whenever they don't work out. Then again, defenders also get away with a lot of shirt-pulling...
Admittedly the Brazilians also displayed a lot of what makes them many peoples' second team, with Fabiano outdoing Maradona with a double-Hand of God for his second goal. Still, I wouldn't begrudge them a sixth World Cup victory, unless they meet England.
The cheeky Busquets Peekaboo trick (in context)
England... got better and scraped through behind the USA (what if...), which is not saying much given how painful they were to watch for their first two matches. Rooney seems to be offering himself up as the scapegoat by sniping at the English fans after a combined poor individual and team performance, and they now meet the Germans next. All according to script.
An Anglican bishop, who recognized the magnitude of the task before the Three Lions, has even penned a special prayer for the team, even as he admits that it might be too much to ask God to have them actually lift the trophy. He could perhaps ask for some tips from the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, who seem to have less trouble with World Cup glory (and better fashion sense to boot)...
At least England's still unbeaten and in the mix, which is more than can be said for the finalists of four years ago, France and Italy. I once commented on how current teams are superior to past ones, but have probably underestimated the effect of team spirit and camaraderie; It should be reasonable to expect national representatives to put aside any personal misgivings, especially on such a public stage, but the French in particular have shown how a collection of unmistakeably talented players can wither miserably. Contrast to say the South Koreans and Japanese, who man for man are not quite up to them, but who have both made the next round.
With the Liverpool manager job now open, I found myself wondering if outgoing French coach Raymond Domenech might be interested in it, but was immediately ashamed as that would certainly constitute inhumane punishment.
Special mention goes to the Kiwis, who bow out undefeated, and to a lesser extent the Swiss, Aussies and South Africans, who got four points, which might have been enough to get them through (even three is possible, in a group where one team wins all three of its matches, and the remaining teams get a win and a loss against each other).
On the betting front, I expect the bookies to be cleaning up, what with all the upsets and the tendency of people who know next to nothing about football to wager on the "favourites". Somehow nobody ever admits to making a net loss, though. Shrug.
In non World Cup stuff, I finally got about setting up Remote Desktop for my lab computer. For some reason to be further investigated, SoC-VPN (based on OpenVPN) apparently doesn't work well on dual-boot systems (Props to Technical Services for this info), and even after I got it running on my netbook, I couldn't immediately ping my lab PC.
As it turns out, the IP address of the lab PC isn't automatically routed through the VPN's gateway - where they gateway IP is of the form A.B.C.D, the lab PC's IP is of the form A.X.Y.Z; The solution then is to simply use the command:
route -p add [IP of remote computer] mask 255.255.255.255 [IP of gateway]
to force the proper route. It's always slowest the first time...
Also, Mr. Ham finally got a YouTube comment! Yes!
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