Berlin in Pictures

I never thought I’d set foot on German soil, but photos from my dear friend N’s recent travels may have me booking a flight to Germany in the near future.  Here is a tiny glimpse of Berlin through the lens of a BlackBerry Torch 9860:

(Berlin TV Tower)

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(Aerial view of Berliner Dom – upper right)

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(Brandenburg Gate/Brandenburger Tor)

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(East German border guard)

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(Swatch shop with Dunny)

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(Berlin’s Sony Centre)

Viva la FIFA (Part 5)

The consolation of having multiple loyalties from living in several countries still does not take away the pain of watching your favourite teams “lose.”  A fellow tweeter reminded me that “it’s not about their final score but being proud of their performance.”  I must admit, however, I’m gutted that my top teams have all been ousted from a chance at the world cup title and all too early in the game!

Although not quite as bad as Team Le Sulk, I wish England had pulled it together to beat Germany.  Still, I should say well done England for making it to Stage 2. And let’s not forget the great performance Japan gave against Paraguay!  They’re a tough team to beat and I think Japan played well.

Having said all that, the games must go on and I’m sad that before we know it we’ll have to wait another 4 years for the world cup to come again.  Pigs may fly if Ghana emerge the champions, but I think I’ll still adopt them as my team to cheer for.  Realistically, I think Spain or Brazil will win the title.  Either way, the last few matches will be exciting to watch.

Viva la FIFA (Part 3)

The FIFA World Cup is now underway with its first match involving host country, South Africa, and Mexico in a Group A match-up in Johannesburg, resulting in a tied score of 1:1.  If you still haven’t picked a team to cheer for, there is still plenty of time!

I’ve come across another innovative look at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, this time a project by the World Development Movement (WDM).

Offering a fun and different way to look at more serious issues, visitors to the site can compare teams based on their social justice indicators.  The indicators include factors such as happiness index, carbon emissions per person, and women in government, etc.

The teams are given a mean score based on their ranking for each indicator and somehow unsurprisingly, the USA came in last.  This is due to the country scoring badly for its high carbon emissions, high military spending and high inequality.

South Africa is ranked 28 and oddly, Japan is ranked 14 even though it almost equals South Africa in low carbon emissions per person.

Of course this is all in good fun, but the site does offer a look at issues that I think inadvertently shape and form the spirit of each team (or perhaps more so, the supporters).  England is also ranked quite low, but it won’t stop me from supporting my No. 1 team!

Viva la FIFA (Part 2)

Bloomerg Businessweek’s Roger Bennett gives an interesting take on how to pick a team to support during this year’s FIFA World Cup (June 11- July 11).  The article offers advice to the “typical American spectator” on who to support based on each participating team country’s GDP, fan base, on and off-field talent, and more.

I don’t think the tips should necessarily be limited to Americans, as anyone new to football would benefit from reading it.  The article has further piqued my interest in football and now I’m even more upset that I will have limited access to this year’s matches.

I never thought of picking a team based on its country’s credit risks or political turmoil, but it does give some food for thought.  All in all, the article is insightful and offers a different perspective on the World Cup that we don’t often hear about.  I will, however, admit that I do believe having a stylish team jersey has its advantages.

Below are my own picks underlined in bold for which teams I think will advance to the next round:

Group A: South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France

Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea, Greece

Group C: England, U.S., Algeria, Slovenia

Group D: Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana

Group E: Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon

Group F: Paraguay, Italy, New Zealand, Slovakia

Group G: Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast, Portugal

Group H: Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile