Posts tagged “football”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] A Quandary for Swatch – It’s Too Popular [] – [They are also looking to stop being the parts supplier to all of their rivals] Swatch, the world’s largest watchmaker, is rushing to add factory capacity so that it can make enough watches to meet demand. It wants to add as many as 2,000 employees this year ­ about 1,500 of them at home in Switzerland. But it is struggling to find enough qualified people. “Managing our stock is at the moment not an issue for us because demand is so big that we unfortunately don’t even have the time to build up any stock”… Swatch’s production and hiring problems reflect the overall health of a sector that has rebounded from the world financial crisis. Demand for watches has soared in Asia ­ a region that accounted for more than half of Swiss watch exports last year ­ with makers of mechanical watches capturing an increasingly large slice of the market. Exports of mechanical timepieces rose 32 percent in unit terms last year, compared with an 18 percent increase for less expensive quartz watches.
  • [from steve_portigal] Remembering the XFL, a 1-and-done league in 2001 [SFGate] – [Lessons from a failed attempt to innovate against an established competitor] While some ideas (trash-talking announcers, no penalties for roughness) didn't work, McMahon was a visionary in how he let fans inside the game. Players and coaches were miked up during games, and cameras were allowed into the locker room and behind the scenes. The XFL used the Skycam, the camera held up by wires over the field, and the NFL adopted that almost immediately. McMahon also did away with extra-point kicks, fair catches and coin tosses. At the start of the game, a player from each team would line up at the 30-yard-line and race to the ball at the 50 and fight for it in a "scramble." However, a member of the Orlando Rage separated his shoulder in a scramble the first week…In the end the XFL was caught in the middle. The football product on the field wasn't good enough to lure NFL fans, and there wasn't enough of the "personality-driven stories or crazy characters" to attract wrestling fans.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from julienorvaisas] Robonaut 2 to meddle in Super Bowl pregame [CNET] – [Before they throw it into outer space, they'll test this bot first, to see how it does in the challenging atmosphere of a FOX Sports studio. The description of the thing sounds like it could fit any one of a number of the Packers' offensive line!] NASA's experimental humanoid bot took a break from training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston earlier this week to tape a segment with Fox Sports analyst Howie Long. The 330-pound R2 has a torso with a head, two arms, two dexterous humanlike hands complete with four fingers and one thumb each, and its own Twitter account. When it's not sending tweets or pondering football stats, it's learning skills that eventually will be uploaded to its twin, which is already packed in special casing aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Once inside the ISS' Destiny orbiting laboratory, the robot will be tested by engineers to see how it operates in microgravity and the station's radiation and electromagnetic interference environments.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Homeless World Cup – [An interesting reframe of sporting championships and an interesting reframe of 'charity'] The Homeless World Cup is an annual, international football tournament, uniting teams of people who are homeless and excluded to take a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent their country and change their lives forever. It has triggered and supports grass roots football projects in over 70 nations working with over 30,000 homeless and excluded people throughout the year. The impact is consistently significant year on year with 73% of players changing their lives for the better by coming off drugs and alcohol, moving into jobs, education, homes, training, reuniting with families and even going on to become players and coaches for pro or semi-pro football teams.
  • [from steve_portigal] In Scholastic Study, Children Like Digital Reading [] – “I didn’t realize how quickly kids had embraced this technology,” Ms. Alexander said, referring to computers and e-readers or other portable devices that can download books. “Clearly they see them as tools for reading — not just gaming, not just texting. They see them as an opportunity to read.”… “The very same device that is used for socializing and texting and staying in touch with their friends can also be turned for another purpose,” Mr. Chen said. “That’s the hope.” But many parents surveyed also expressed deep concerns about the distractions of video games, cellphones and television in their children’s lives. They also wondered if the modern multi-tasking adolescent had the patience to become engrossed in a long novel. “My daughter can’t stop texting long enough to concentrate on a book,” said one parent surveyed, the mother of a 15-year-old in Texas.
  • [from steve_portigal] Get a Geek in Five Easy Lessons [AMD at Home] – [AMD tries for humor on their corporate blog but ends up with an awkward, dated, false, sexist and generally alienating tone. Was this wise?] It’s hard to find a good man, but not impossible if you’re willing to make a little effort. Working in high tech, I’m mostly around guys all day. And I can tell you that – in general – technical guys are pretty cool. If nothing else, they will always be able to fix the TV, your PC, and the sprinkler system in a pinch. Yes, they have way too many gadgets, but come on, how many shoes do you have? How about just the black ones? So, if you’re single and find yourself at a TweetUp chatting with the cute geek in a backpack, here’s how to speak his language, appreciate his hobbies, and potentially snag a date at Fry’s. (Leslie Sobon is corporate vice president, product marketing at AMD. Her postings are her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions.)

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] A Flag Isn’t Just A Flag In Soccer-Crazed Germany [NPR] – [Reminds me of some of the discussion we had at UPA after my presentation on culture, around German tension over signs of national pride] Some bars in Berlin and elsewhere are offering "flag-free public viewing" of all soccer matches. One garden bar is offering "all the games, all the goals, none of the national anthems." They offer a big willkommen for all "who love the game but don't want to be forced to watch it surrounded by patriotism, nationalism, chauvinism and colonialism, and who don't want to feel forced to support Germany." Achim Trautvetter helped create an alternative outdoor World Cup watching zone near an old industrial site in Potsdam just outside Berlin. He and the other organizers are gearing up for a big crowd Saturday. There are a humongous viewing screen, a canopy against the sun, lots of seating and plenty of beer and bratwurst in a friendly, flag-free surrounding. Co-organizer Max Dalichow says, "We all know about the German trauma and extreme nationalism."

Meme Diffusion

I’m amazed (constantly) at how fast this blogosphere stuff is. BoingBoing posts a story about a stupid move by a corporation or politician, and within 24 hours there are t-shirts, slogans, dance videos on YouTube, mashups with new lyrics; all based on some simple and outrageous idea.

I was actually refreshed (instead of my usual infuriated) when a story about running into (a lookalike for) Samuel Jackson at the airport did not turn into a Snakes On Plane (or SoaP as it’s now known) story. Further, one of the people in the group hadn’t heard of the movie (et. al).

And no, I’m not going to explain any of that, or even provide links. That’s sort of my point – that a seemingly tight network establish common language and points of reference proceeds to further riff as any group does) in extremely inventive and entertaining ways. But it’s very disposable. You don’t need to know why my Rolling Stones group makes jokes about cheese, and you don’t need to know why Samuel Jackson wants to get the motherfucking snakes off the motherfucking plane. If you do want to know, there’s always Google.

But my impetus for this post (finally!) was this (via Chroma with absolutely no context provided): an instantly famous sports moment (a head-butt in a World Cup match) is now rendered as an 8-bit Nintendo game, complete with animation and sound effects and music.

Sure, it was the World Cup, and it was one of the more dramatic moments (I guess; I didn’t see moment one of the whole affair), but isn’t interesting how some people – many people – don’t know of the original moment, but others are doing their own versions of it? Indeed, maybe someone reading this will learn about the head-butt (and I’m not going to bother looking up the story, who it was, that’s my point, the partial knowledge or even lack of knowledge, in the face of all this other energy – maybe Ronaldo or Ronaldino or Rodolfo – either you know how wrong I am, or you have no idea what I’m talking about) as a second-order effect.

The classic example of this is kids using Mad Magazine as a source for plot lines and famous moments of classic films. I read many issues of Mad, long before I saw a James Bond film or Chinatown, yet I was conversant with their iconic aspects through exposure to the parody.

Update: moments after posting this I see (via Experience Curve, also without explanation) another funny site on the same incident – here – and learned that the player’s name is (presumably) Zidane. No Ronaldino, guess I was wrong. And I noticed that both these paraodies came from the same domain. Whoah! It’s called YTMND – You’re The Man Now Dog, and they’ve got a great story.

YTMND is a site created for the purpose of furthering the creativity of its users. It stems from an idea that, using sound, and image, and some text, the users can convey a point, funny, political, or otherwise, to the general media.

I know someone is reading this and thinking “Dude, you don’t know about YTMND?!”


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