"indecision may or may not be my problem."
i'm a big fan of using technology to improve traditional stuff when it doesn't take anything away from it, and reading about the above-linked tennis innovation, i really hope that fifa will adopt some similar technology in their refereeing soon.
speaking of which, this weekend i was taken by a very cool feature in the very cool car that i rented to go to a wedding in canada.
the speedometer on the dashboard (as well as the resulting measurements such as the fuel consumption, trip distance, etc) could be switched from english to metric, i.e. from mph to km/h.
but here's the cool part: when you change the unit system, a light indicates that you're now on "km/h", and instantly the 0-20-40-60 markings now represented kilometers instead of miles per hour. and in place of the double line of numbers, which is found on the speedometers of most cars, the needle would instead change position according to your current system.
this was in line with an overall minimalist design of the car's controls and indicators, using digital displays instead of permanent markings in many cases.
this reminds me of another digital-age design choice, and really my favorite feature in the (mitsubishi) elevator we had at my old company in israel: undo. yes, amazingly, this is not available in every elevator - but at my old employer, you could undo a floor selection after it was lit, but before you arrived at the floor (by pressing it again). simple but brilliant.
telling this story to a friend, he mentioned another interesting innovation in elevators: no internal floor selection. instead, you select your destination floor, and not just the direction of travel, outside of the elevator, allowing the elevator computer to schedule the cabin travel more efficiently.
right next to safdie's classic habitat '67, the rapids in the st. lawrence river create a standing wave, which has recently become the locus of a river-surfing subculture.
the wave is so steady that at times it seems the surfers are just hanging out on their boards waiting for inspiration to make their next move.
topping off this bloggy day - this is from the nytime's wrapup of the world cup:
What a great tournament the Germans put on. As hosts, they were tremendous, making the Weltmeisterschaft a safe and joyous monthlong party for everyone.
of course. safety first. the first thing they call the world cup after it's over is 'safe'. great.
enough has been written about the actual world cup final, so i feel no need to add anything of my own to the recount of the insult that is italy's victory. allow me however to offer as a dessert to this summer's celebration of skills the following gem from goal-scoring and head-butt-receiving italian actor marco materazzi:
Materazzi himself has not spoken publicly about the incident except to deny a claim by Paris-based anti-racism group SOS Racism, made on Monday, that he had called Zidane "a dirty terrorist".
"It is absolutely not true, I did not call him a terrorist. I'm ignorant. I don't even know what the word means," the Italian news agency Ansa quoted Materazzi as saying after the Italian team returned to Rome.
from bbc sport.
interestingly, zidane ended up winning the golden ball award (a journalist's pick of the tournament's best player). this is much due to the fact that the votes for the award were cast mostly before half-time of the final game.
this may remind the observant reader of oliver kahn's golden ball award in 2002, which might have been taken away from him and given to ronaldo, had the voters had a chance to see him fumble all the way to brazil's victory in the second half of the final game in japan.
maybe it's time to wait with the votes until after the game. electronic technology should make that possible these days. and while we're at it, i think it's time to allow the coaches to challenge calls with instant replays, if fifa cares about the future of this game.
and finally, for materazzi's agent claudio vigorelli, who is quoted in the same bbc article to say "I've known Marco for a long time and I don't think he is capable of provoking a player. He is a good boy.", i suggest watching this little collection of clips.
after watching the u.s.a-italy game today (btw, the yanks fought like tigers with 9 players vs. 10 - they even kept controlling the game - by karma alone they deserved to win this game):
cutting away to (the pretty empty) times square in the middle of an attack is not cool. and cutting to the u.s locker room during the czech game is also not cool.
then, why is 10% of the screen obstructed by the top bar, when the top half of it is just blank?
and covering up a quarter of the screen every 10 minutes to promote future broadcasts should pretty much cost a channel the fifa broadcast rights.
in a wonderful play on the national/international spirit of the fifa world cup, someone covered footballs with national fabrics and icons.
a more elaborate post on the american revolution in football and my personal bet on this tournament's semifinalists - tomorrow.
the onion says it best, of course, in its recent street poll about the red sox breaking the curse:
"I've been rooting for the Sox for the past 20 years, but I finally gave up hope on them this season. I was expecting them to lose, so they managed to let me down again."
cute mit moment for the red sox. you gotta love the multitude of puns in the headline of the linked-to article.
due to time and navigation constraints i ended up watching game four at 'spirit' and boy was i out of my demographics. the harvard m.b.a crew cut was mandatory and everyone was dressed business-casual.
couldn't help it.
this pretty much knocked me away - on the cover of the boston globe today, over the fold, was a 6x4'' color photo of gal fridman, the surfer who was the first israeli to win olympic gold. entitled: 'an olympic first for israel'
my god was i flattered. i had no idea that boston was so closely related to israel.
and that in a country that doesn't even show events on tv that don't have their own athletes in it.
and since we're on it, the picture of him biting down on the gold medal, as a friend of mine here put it 'does really nothing to perpetuate stereotypes, now does it?'
and since you all think i'm a pinko appeaser by now anyway, i may just as well throw into the mix that, incidentally, the uae won their first medal ever in athens, too.
my favorite olympic moment so far had nothing to do with protein drinks. it was kimiko soldati sitting on her towel beside the pool and text messaging between jumps.
suffice to make a grown man go 'aww'.
"Before the third round, I (messaged) him, 'I'm a fighter, I'm not gonna give up,' " she said. "And he messaged, 'Way to go. Believe.' "
and of course, i'm always rooting for the thirty-something with a dream.
heard this today from a brit:
the good news is that saddam is getting the death penalty. the bad news is that beckham is taking it.
bbc sport's photo gallery of diego armando maradona's rise (1982) and fall (2004 and counting) made me really sad this morning. maybe it's because this reflects a sliver of my own youth vanishing.
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content here by guy hoffman .. as seen times since march 2004