Weekend of sport

What a great weekend of sport! Yesterday was Super Saturday in the US Open from Flushing: the two men’s semi-finals in the afternoon followed by the women’s final in the evening.

American Express has set up a big screen just next to Ellen MacArthur’s boat in North Cove Marina to cover the tennis, so I popped down yesterday, my Corporate Amex allowing me into the front seating. Great atmosphere for the Agassi vs. Ginepri match, with lots of whooping for Agassi from the surrounding Americans. Then Federer disposed of Hewitt, allowing him a rare set in the process. (Hewitt just can’t seem to come up with the goods against him, having all of the last nine encounters.)

Then, after some great tacos for dinner, it was great to see Kim Clijsters finally win a major, beating a somewhat lacklustre Mary Pierce, who always looks like she’s about to burst into tears.

Up early this morning to watch Raikkonen take the Belgian Grand Prix in an eventful race – Eau Rouge never fails to impress me.

And now, NFL season has started, so I’m watching a feckless Jets side losing 27-0 to the Chiefs early in the fourth. The distressingly ugly Chad Pennington has fumbled six times today, compared to five times throughout the whole of last season. I can’t see them coming close to the play-offs this time around.

Meanwhile, despite their convincing lead, Dick Vermeil, the KC head coach looks very much out of place on the sidelines. When the 68-year-old shouts at his players through the Motorola headset, his face seems to merge into his body due to the stretching of his neck. It’s a very odd sight.

The sporting weekend will be capped off through participation as opposed to idle watching. I’ll be playing my first eleven-a-side game of football since a few such games during my Warwick post-grad., just over ten years ago! Fingers crossed.

I had to pause for 2 minutes 40 seconds during the writing of this post as The LibertinesTime for Heroes came up on my iPod. I’ve commented on this track before, but it really is fantastic, and for such a short track, it’s got a helluva lot of lyrics, the highlight being:

There are fewer more distressing sights than that of an Englishman in a baseball cap.

I’d have to agree in principle, although I’m sure Andy will have something to say in defence (or even defense).

Tap the 57

I’ve heard a couple of theories for the most efficient ways of getting ketchup out of a traditional Heinz glass bottle. The first one I heard was pretty useless, but one I have continued to employ for the last ten or so years since finding it out. It involved tilting the bottle at a shallow angle – around 20° – to the horizontal and tapping the base firmly.

Today’s revelation is worth sharing. Tilt the bottle at a more extreme angle, say 60° to the horizontal. Now look on the shoulder of the bottle, where the chamfer (nice word) meets the straight side of the bottle. You’ll find a "57" embossed in the glass, representing the number of Heinz varieties. Repeatedly tap the 57, and watch the ketchup spew forth.

Beautiful!

In Memoriam: New York City

I just watched the film In Memoriam: New York City. The film is a very compelling depiction of the events that took place four years ago this Sunday.

Some of the footage is surreal, and seeing the street names from which atrocious footage was shot brought home to me just how close we now live to the tragic events of that day. The West Side Highway, Chambers Street, North End Avenue, Park Place, Greenwich Street, Murray Street, West Broadway, Church Street were all scenes of horror, yet they’re all streets that I now frequent. Seeing footage of the second tower collapsing viewed from the junction of Chambers Street and the West Side Highway was incredible.

People have said that New York is a city that coped well with the adversity, and having lived here for over a year now, I agree. There are few cities big enough to cope with such a disaster, but I think New York and London are two such cities. And I feel that two contrasting characteristics of the two cities probably equip them well for this sort of thing: optimism and stoicism respectively.

www.whenimgone.com

I had a business idea some time ago that I’ve been giving some more serious thought of late. The business would offer services to people immediately after their death. So once notified of a death, the service would send out emails to loved ones, composed by the user. Maybe online payments could be made, again at the request of the user.

The premise behind the idea is that wills are seen as overly officious documents, that don’t necessarily address the human nature of death. This offers a way of people communicating with the living after they’ve gone.

My main sticking point with the idea is obtaining reliable information about someone’s death. It’s not as if the user could send you an email confirming their own death. And relying on notification from a next of kin compromises the secrecy with which someone could register with the service (not to mention the fact that in certain circumstances, the next of kin may have died simultaneously).

I need to do some delving into how death registrations are recorded, and whether this would offer a reliable means for validating people’s death.

There’s an amusing sketch on Little Britain in which two police officers go to the wrong Mrs. Jones’ house to inform her of her husband’s death in a car accident, only to be directed two doors down to that of the other Mrs. Jones. Then there’s the ensuing laughter over the confusion. Probably a mistake you don’t want to make in real life.

It sounds like a morbid idea, but the whole premise of it is to ease the pain of death for the folks left behind.

← Previous Page