For a global sporting event to be considered successful, it must be preceded by dire predictions of unfinished facilities, dangerous infrastructure, drug scandals, blatant corruption and civil unrest. The Games of the XXXI Olympiad delivered on all those requirements and surpassed previous Olympiads by throwing in the threat of a particularly nasty tropical disease. The first half of Rio 2016 will be remembered as the games that had everything. (more…)
August 23, 2016
February 14, 2016
In an increasingly predictable and occasionally boring existence, there are very few things that can still provoke jaw-dropping astonishment. If the discovery, observation and actual measurement of gravitational waves left you agog with wonder, consider the utterly remarkable and almost frightening piece of reality that two weeks into February and with 12 matches to play, Leicester City are 2 points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Although narrowly beaten by Arsenal, Leicester are still favourites to win the title and on current form clever football pundits suggest that Arsenal were lucky to score the winner in the fifth minute of added time against ten men. Astonishingly, the Gunners were considered as underdogs and their last gasp victory is regarded as something of a shock. Once considered as lower league cannon fodder at the mercy of better resourced global brands, Leicester have spent the equivalent of the fines accrued from motoring offences by players at richer corporate entities. (more…)
January 3, 2016
It`s not that I`m ungrateful or that I`m unaware of the considerable expense but after years of resisting intrusive technology, Santa delivered unto me a smart phone on Christmas morning.
It would be an appalling abrogation of fatherhood to dismiss this kindness and tell my children that I would have preferred a bottle of Lagavulin or a ticket to the Edgbaston test match. So I thanked them profusely for clubbing together with the help, I suspect, of their mother to allow me to connect to the internet thingy when walking along the street. On reflection, this is a long-held ambition that I have never actually considered. It seems that my existing phone has caused them embarrassment due to its great age and although the screen is badly scratched and it requires a lump of Blu-Tack to connect the charger, it does what I want it to do. It can make and receive telephone calls and on some adventurous occasions, send and receive text messages. Call me old-fashioned, but I have no wish to join the throngs of automatons walking into lamp posts whilst immersed in a digital conversation with people they saw five minutes ago and will see again in half an hour. (more…)
December 23, 2015
In retrospect and with the clarity of vision that only hindsight can give, rather than designate 2015 as the International Year of Light and the International Year of Soils, perhaps the sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly missed a trick by not naming 2015 as the International Year of Victimhood.
Once upon a time, when powerful public figures were caught doing something illegal or immoral, they would own up, display heartfelt contrition, beg for forgiveness and quietly disappear. Now, with wealth and power more than willing and able to blur the boundaries of criminality and with an aggressive disregard for common decency; those that have will fight tooth and nail to keep what they have. Consider a character by the name of Sepp Blatter. (more…)
December 11, 2015
Regardless of the swirling opprobrium and the hysterical gibbering of social media, two things are certain in any future that approaches for Donald Trump. Firstly, he will not be the next President of the United States and secondly, he will not get even close to securing the Republican nomination. By spring, he will have packed his bags and said goodbye to the circus.
There are forces with more power, wealth, intelligence, guile and all encompassing self-interest that will not allow this showboating huckster anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC. The United States Republican Party, or the “Grand Old Party” as they like to be known, currently hold majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives and have many more state Governors than the Democrats. The GOP would never in a million years adopt an erratic train wreck like Trump to go head-to-head against Hillary Clinton for fear of electoral collapse and decades of obscurity. (more…)