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Monthly Archives: May 2010

So, back in October, we undertook a journey through the history of the World Cup and have arrived at the present day. 18 tournaments, 4 continents- 7 different winners. There have been unexpected victors (1950, 1954), dubious victors (1938, 1966, 1974), but never any real surprises. In the finals in which the best teams did not win (1954, 1974) they were not beaten by rank outsiders, and even in the tournament in which the best* two sides were not in the final (1982) it was still competed by two leading nations.

*the world cup is actually a football fair; not a proper championship… more than half the matches are knockout ties, anything is possible. Merit doesn’t count.Socrates on Spain 1982, interviewed in FourFourTwo (2010).

So- players to watch?

Eight months ago I’d have said Arshavin(Russia), Cambiasso(Argentina), Ronaldihno (Brazil), but they won’t be there…
Messi (Argentina), Ronaldo (Portugal), Ribery(France), Drogba(
Côte d’Ivoire), Villa, Xavi(Spain), Rooney(England) of course, but expect a no nonsense victory based on solid defence and counter-attack from Brazil (probably against Spain in the final).

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I’m assuming that this was pretty early in Frank’s career. I gather that in later years he got his exercise in other ways…according to Robert Christgau his conquests included Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall, Mia Farrow, and the love of his life, Ava Gardner, he also went to bed with a dumbfounding profusion of starlets and prostitutes
A dumbfounding profusion? Now, as I can hear Sinatra saying as I type these words- that sure is a lot of broads.

Well, here in the northern hemisphere summer is well and truly upon us. João is brushing down his summer wardrobe ready for the pleasures of the months ahead…

I’ll hopefully get enough time away from my desk to catch some rays poolside with Mrs K.

The only problem with these snappy shorts- where do you keep your pipe? And what’s the appeal of the poolboy?

Seriously though, It would be nice to see a return to the age of elegance in swimwear.


Is Wisconsin the flattest state in the Union?

A few players have appeared in more than one World Cup Final (Luis Monti , as we have seen, for two different countries), and Zinadine Zidane is not alone in having scored in more than one final (Vava,Pele,Breitner), but Zidane perhaps, has left an indelible mark on two finals in a way that not even the genius of Pele in 1958 and 1970 achieved.
In 1998 Zidane stepped into the void temporarily vacated by the incapacitated Ronaldo . In 2006 he was arguably the greatest player in the World- in the final he opened the scoring with a penalty and then in extra time planted his head firmly into the chest of Materazzi and saw red.

It was an ill tempered tournament-345 yellow cards and 28 red cards were shown, with Russian referee Valentin Ivanov handing out 16 yellow and 4 red cards in the round of 16 match between Portugal and the Netherlands. English referee Graham Poll got in on the act by mistakenly showing three yellow cards to Croatia’s Josip Šimunić in the match against Australia. Mr Poll had a great excuse for his error- when booking Šimunić for the second time he marked him down as Australia #3 because of his Australian accent (Šimunić was born in Canberra).
Italy were very fortunate to progress against Australia via a dubious late penalty.
When I first saw Portugal’s Maniche I thought that he would soon take his place amongst the all time greats, but it was not to be, although he was one of the outstanding players of 2006.
Argentina’s Esteban Cambiasso scored one of the greatest ever World Cup goals…following a 25 pass move against Serbia Montenegro.

The details of the Final are overshadowed in the memory by Zidane’s sending off- Italy triumphed on penalties- Trezeguet hitting the bar with France’s second kick whilst the Italians got five out of five past Barthez.

The so-called Beat Generation was a whole bunch of people, of all different nationalities, who came to the conclusion that society sucked.
– Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)

The Beat Generation evolved in the 1940’s and 1950’s, headed by a holy trinity of Allen Ginsberg(1926-1997), William S Burroughs(1914-1997) and Jack Kerouac(1922-1969). It gave us literature inspired by the cadences of Be Bop jazz, spontaneous and non conformist, dealing with issues such as sexual liberation, drug use and alternative religious views (such as Zen Buddhism). There was a rejection of the materialistic ideals of cold war USA.
The phrase Beat Generation was coined by Kerouac in 1948, describing the New York scene at that time; the name came up in conversation with the novelist John Clellon Holmes (who in 1952 published an article in the New York Times Magazine titled This is the beat generation).
The movement was massively influential on the counterculture of the following decades. In Friction, 1 (Winter 1982) , Ginsberg published a summary of “the essential effects” of the Beat Generation .
Spiritual liberation, sexual “revolution” or “liberation,” i.e., gay liberation, somewhat catalyzing women’s liberation, black liberation, Gray Panther activism.
Liberation of the world from censorship.
Demystification and/or decriminalization of cannabis and other drugs.
The evolution of rhythm and blues into rock and roll as a high art form, as evidenced by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and other popular musicians influenced in the later fifties and sixties by Beat generation poets’ and writers’ works.
The spread of ecological consciousness, emphasized early on by Gary Snyder and Michael McClure, the notion of a “Fresh Planet.”
Opposition to the military-industrial machine civilization, as emphasized in writings of Burroughs, Huncke, Ginsberg, and Kerouac.
Attention to what Kerouac called (after Spengler) a “second religiousness” developing within an advanced civilization.
Return to an appreciation of idiosyncrasy as against state regimentation.
Respect for land and indigenous peoples and creatures, as proclaimed by Kerouac in his slogan from On the Road: “The Earth is an Indian thing.”

In June 1959 Playboy featured a piece by Kerouac on the origins of The Beat Generation (by now he was 37 and a best selling novelist).

Scans of the article from Playboy (June 1959): http://rapidshare.com/files/389348330/jk.rar


Audio files (MP3) of Kerouac’s readings on the Beat Generation:
http://rapidshare.com/files/390117775/Readings__Jack_Kerouac.rar

Designed by Dante Giacosa , The Fiat 500 (cinquecento)was launched as the Nuova 500 in July 1957. Measuring only 3 meters in length, and powered by a 479 cc two-cylinder, air-cooled engine, the 500 is considered one of the first city cars.

In 2007 Fiat launched a similar looking, retro-styled car, the Fiat Nuova 500.

Mrs Kartoshka’s birthday is coming soon- all contributions in US dollars please…

This tight trio, led by the Bossa Nova drummer, Milton Banana, was made up of extremely accomplished and prolific musicians, all of whom had contributed to classics of Bossa Nova by artists such as Gilberto, Getz , Jobim and Toquinho. Milton himself had drummed on João Gilberto’s 1959 hit Chega de Saudade (Tom Jobim/ Vinicius de Moraes). He later had a relationship with Elza Soares . Banana was acording to Ruy Castro ‘a mad Botafogo fan’ who enjoyed a drink- his reaction at losing out to Mané Garrincha in the romance stakes is, as far as I know, unrecorded.
This is the Trio’s 1968 Odeon LP.

http://rapidshare.com/files/390734521/Milton_Banana.rar

Drums- Milton Banana (Antônio de Souza 1935 – 1998)
Piano – Wanderley (Walter Wanderley 1932 – 1986)
Bass- Azeitona (any information welcome)

Helena Antonaccio (born March 21, 1949 in Morristown, New Jersey) was Playboy magazine’s Playmate of the Month for the June 1969 issue.
Here she demonstrates conservation of momentum and energy…
In 1967 English actor Simon Prebble coined the name ‘Newton’s Cradle’ (now used generically) for a version of the device that demonstrates conservation of momentum and energy, manufactured by his company, Scientific Demonstrations Ltd . Harrods of London stocked the model, effectively creating the executive toy market.

In South America there is a local variant on the cowboy theme, namely the gaucho- the cowboy of the pampas. The image of the gaucho is central to Argentine national identity. He is seen as a tough upholder of traditional values, facing adversity in an inhospitable environment.
The seminal work of the gaucho genre is Martín Fierro ,an epic poem by the Argentine writer José Hernández. Originally published in two parts, El Gaucho Martín Fierro (1872) and La Vuelta de Martín Fierro (1879)it is a protest against the Europeanizing and modernizing tendencies of president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and the urbanization of society . The poem also acknowledges the role of the gauchos in the development of Argentina and it’s independence from Spain.
Written in rural language evocative of earlier folk ballads,Martín Fierro holds a position of unparalleled esteem in Argentina’s heritage and has been much analyzed by later writers including Jorge Luis Borges, who made reference to gaucho culture in a number of his stories.

The gaucho resided outside the region’s growing urban centers and farming settlements. He developed a strong sense of identity and code of conduct, traveling when and where he wanted. He willingly shared his food and lodgings with fellow travelers. When not working, he spent his time drinking maté or alcohol, card playing, and fighting.

The gaucho was the ideal soldier during the wars of independence and the civil wars that followed. This skilled rider could survive off the land, knew the terrain intimately, and was a brave warrior.
The gaucho has come to mean many things to Latin America. He is the romantic image of the past, representing freedom from colonial control and from the urban encumbrances that have come to define the Latin American experience. He could live off of the land with no need for civilization, only his horse, knife and lasso. Not unlike the American cowboy, the gaucho has become idealized and the stuff of myth. No one did so much to create that myth than José Hernandez with his poem Martin Fierro , one of the finest and best-known pieces of Latin American literature.

Scott Van Jacob- University of Notre Dame.

Frank Sinatra Has a Cold is a seminal work of New Journalism written by Gay Talese for the April 1966 issue of Esquire magazine. Fans of Sinatra or lovers of good writing can read it here .

Gay Talese