As the 2011 cricket World Cup dawdles toward the knockout stages, I’ve been mining the team sheets for any reason to believe my beloved South African Proteas can overcome their long tradition of wobbling in this tournament and finally secure some silverware. I took a look back at a paper I wrote about the 2003 tournament on the role of left-handers in tournament performance, and I found little comfort there. In fact, we should put our money on a final between India and Bangladesh.
Back in early 2003, I had just become a father for the first time, and I was on the night-shift looking after my son while my partner got some sleep. As a result I spent a lot of time watching the Cricket World Cup on late night television (I live in Sydney and the tournament was in South Africa). I began to get irritated every time the commentators droned on about the benefits of having a left-hander and a right-hander batting together because it “breaks up the bowler’s line”. It was as if a professional athlete might be surprised in his delivery stride to find he had to deliver to a leftie rather than a right-hander. It also occurred to me that the tournament was a perfect place to test this idea. Continue reading Cricket World Cup: Prepare for a Bangladesh-India Final
A lovely segment from this week’s American 60 Minutes. He’s an amazing intellect, and an unbelievable speaker. I have to appreciate the honest candour with which he’s grappling with cancer. The world needs more folks like Hitchens, willing to question comforting myths and expose stupidity and cowardice wherever they hide.
So Natalie Portman, fresh from her Oscar triumph, is up the duff. Good for her. Yet to the shock of the American reactionary right, whose ranks grow faster than an infestation of gastro can spread through a day-care centre, the Black Swan is <GASP!> yet-to-be married.
Politician and former Southern Baptist minister, Mike Huckabee, knows a high-profile chance to appeal to the “family values” throng when he sees one. According to the website Mediamatters, Huckabee told a radio host that he is troubled whenever “Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts …, ‘hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.'” He reportedly also said “it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock.”
Picking on the newly-crowned Queen of the Screen seems to have backfired, though, and Huckabee has backtracked. Not least because Portman intends to enter into blessed union with her choreographer fiancée. “Natalie is an extraordinary actor, very deserving of her recent Oscar and I am glad she will marry her baby’s father,” reads a post on Huckabee’s website. Nope, the real issue seems to be those layabout welfare-dependent single moms, according to the same post: “my comments were about the statistical reality that most single moms are very poor, under-educated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death. That’s the story that we’re not seeing.”