an "a to z" of thoughts, conversations, remarks, observations,musings about

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

a tall man

I first saw football on TV one summer in Kolkata, at my grandparents house. Something called the world cup was on. A television had just been purchased. The newspaper published a photograph of a knee, and the caption - If you see this knee, kick it. That was 1986, and that was Diego Maradona's knee. The hot summer days flew by, as I watched all the matches I could, and I fell in love with football.

With the advent of cable tv, I started to watch british football on television in the 90's while i worked in a call centre job late at night. After finishing my shift around midnight, I would get home, and would have no social life, but just the television, and it was about 8pm UK time, so I would have some amazing football to watch. I saw Thierry Henry run one night on a small 14 inch tv and I was hooked. Arsenal became my club. A new manager had joined them, from Japan, and he talked like someone from the future. This was all so fascinating. He talked and talked about stuff when they asked him stuff, and he answered in depth, with thought and intelligence. 

As a fan, all I can say is that Arséne Wenger gave us fans something to be proud of. For the past decade, rival club supporters and then some of Arsenal's supporters, started to taunt us in earnest. On the field we were being kicked off and the referees and moneymen were bullying us. Off the field, we were bullied by those who did so, just because they could. 

I have watched and listened hungrily to the press conference of Arséne for most of his 22 yrs at this club and seen every match if not live on tv, then a recording.It became something that reminded me of those days, when I was struggling to make a career, alone in a big city, living in a crummy little room and working insane hours. Arsenal was a living presence in my life, something to look forward to, a tribe to belong to, values to adhere to and a mythology was being built. For 10 yrs a winning team strode rampant on the footballing scene and then Arsene moved on. He started to build the club itself. That was the scale of his ambition. 

I do not doubt for a minute, that Arséne deviated from those values. A lot of the magic came from his behind the scenes work, and brick by brick, a value system, style and ethos was built up. Of course there were foundations, and a glorious past, not denying that.

However, from head to toe, from the laces on the boots to the light on top of the stadium, Arséne transformed the club. He made it future ready and fully equipped for the current age. This was one of the most amazing sustained professional jobs executed by any professional. Even the Taj Mahal was built in 20 yrs.

Please do not abuse him. Please do not taunt him. Please do not mock him. If we do that, we lose our values, and the whole edifice will come crumbling down. Anyone, wherever you are, whomever you support, if you love sports then please do not just take a swing at Arsene, just because you can.

Sorry. I am very emotional. I really liked hearing him talk intelligently and he was a big role model. I will post a few things on and off till I remain emotional. Please bear with me. Probably when Arséne leaves, I will shut up too. Its how I grieve. I am grieving.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

My Only True Friend (OFFICIAL VIDEO) | Gregg Allman - Southern Blood

Gregg Allman, part of the Allman Brothers Band.

A legend and a musician.

Left the earth recently.

Left behind a song to remember him by.


Sunday, August 05, 2012

the season ahead - Arsenal post on the season ahead for Arsenal

Why Nations Fail - India

succint comment on India's condition

Great comment on the Guardian -

 India was one of the richest countries in the world before British came to India in the 17th century. Indeed, had India not been rich, British would not bother to invade and enslave India. Then once British defeated all the Indian Rajahs and Maharajahs in battles and took over political control of the country, they systematically began a policy of extracting wealth from the people. They did so by imposing punitive taxes, not allowing economic or political freedom, not giving the people the right to compete freely at business. The state ruled over the individual. When India became free, the successive Indian governments led by Nehru and his progeny followed the same policy of the Brits, with brown sahibs taking over from the white sahibs.... socialism and the accompanying bureaucratic rule taking over from the imperialism of the Brits. As a result, India's rise was stunted. Over the last couple of decades, socialism has been restricted some-what and a bit of free market capitalism is allowed, so there has been a major change in India. For instance, India's economy was 1/4th that of British economy in 1991. Today both countries have equal size economies in terms of GDP. But descendants of Nehru are still in power and as long as they are in power, they will not allow real free market capitalism in India, and allow the transfer of power from the state to the individual.
India is poor (albeit not as poor as before), not because of religion or caste system... but because Indians only got freedom to elect their rulers ....not the freedom to rule themselves. .....i.e, India is poor because we have political freedom, but not economic freedom.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Venkys, Blackburn and the Premier League - Part of the plan?

  • Venkys has been somewhat of a sudden star in the Indian business horizon. A few years ago, no-one had heard of them. Then they sponsored Trinidad and Tobago in the Champions League ( the cricket version that complements the IPL ). There was some favourable media press about how they were touched by this brave team, which did not have a sponsor. The T&T team played the whole tournament with Venkys written on their chest, and all of India scratched their heads, wondering who Venkys was, coz none of their products or their logo was familiar to the average Indian.
    They are listed on the stock exchange and their total market cap looks like 70 M USD. Looking at that I wonder how they passed the fit and proper person test. The total market cap of the group is say 50M pounds, and they sell Phil Jones and Samba for more than half that amount. It sounds lopsided.
    Ask any Indian, and they would tell you that the Reddy's are not stupid. They might be the cleverest of all businessmen you would have known. They did not go into this with their eyes closed. They bought something that was not in their league, by being at the right place at the right time, and making the right noises.
    The first job was to get rid of costs. So expensive players, managers, staff etc will be let go. Relegation or promotion doesnt affect them. I am sure the underlying asset, property, stadium, brand value etc will be comfortably more than their investment, so there is no way they can make a loss.
    Relegation helps by making things even easier. All players that can get a buyer will be sold, with noises about building a team for the future. If money is invested, it will be in tangible assets, improvements to stadium, purchase of training ground etc. They invested 23M in the takeover and say another 20M in clearing debts. They have already sold players for about that amount, so that means whatever remains cost them nothing.
    Now that it costs nothing, and there's still Yakubu, Pederson etc to be sold, they seem to be sitting pretty. If the club also owns property and physical assets, that is almost like a 100% profit in 2 years.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Barca Milan ... a tale of two cities

There are 3 parts to this debate -

1. Barcelona's performance - Oscar worthy. Defence is pretty rocky, though Mascherano intercepts well. Puyol is just a few games away from a downhill slide and Valdes is a shaky GK. No forwards of note and pretty bad finishing. Xavi on the verge of decline, Fabregas still a pretender. Busquets, Alves etc do the dirty work, but have lost their cutting edge. Iniesta playing with purpose and skill while Messi seems to be getting a little predictable as defenders mostly make him go around them, and try and nick the ball. Without Messi or Iniesta this team is far below the levels they were playing at a year or two ago.
2. Milan's performance - Thiago Silva, Mark Van Bommel, Zambrotta, Gattusso and Pato missing. So probably this was the best they could do. Seedorf, Nocerino, Boateng and even Robinho showed they belonged at this level, while Abbiati was the better GK by far. Tactically weaker game in second leg, as they should have relied on booting the ball upfield, since Ibra can hold up the ball well, and also Barca take their own sweet time in bring the ball forward. Mexes was not able to cut it while Nesta and Ambrosini faded away. They should take heart from their performance, as the only field goal Barca scored was from a lucky deflection that fell at the feet of Iniesta.
3. Referee's performance - As a neutral, his decision to award the 2nd penalty, spoilt the contest which was setup for a nervy tiki-taka vs italian defending stage. It would have been fun to watch, and wish he had made them retake the corner and maybe showed a few cards. Calling Robinho for handball was a cringeworthy moment, and exposed his bias clearly. Either he had lost patience with Milan, or was just giving everything the Barca protestors wanted...but for a 10-20 minute spell, he just lost it. Ruined a good match, after 3 halves of great football, which had left the match excitingly poised. UEFA should be answerable for their choice of referee for such a occasion.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

a brand new day

These days am getting very interested in Brands and how a brand is built. Its a fascinating subject, and seems to have replaced religion as a community identifier among todays urban youth. Are Apple stores the new temples, and the new product launches with queues outside the new piligrimages. Something is happening here, and you dont know what it is you jones / samsung / blackberry / microsoft / google ? Just being a popular brand is no longer need to be loved with a sufi like intensity it seems. As the Brand Consulting firm Industree says on its blog -

Just like new product slogans or campaigns are referred to Legal before being finalised, corporate communication and marketing/sales activities might benefit from a layer of brand advisory which functions independently of pressures, and is staffed by competent experts with exposure to multiple brands and the science of brand building..

Thursday, August 04, 2011

if "You Gotta Curse Someboy"

if you gotta curse somebody....if you gotta rant...this is how you do it -


the last paragraph is amazingly blunt -

"And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead."

Full lyrics -

Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion'
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins.

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The show is not over !

Well, United look crap a lot of the time, Nani, Rooney etc have all had bad patches. Chelsea looked crap and Essien, Malouda, Drogba, Anelka all turned in pathetic perfomances from time to time this season. City and Tottenham got found out a lot when they attempted bigger feats, and Liverpool were shit for patches in almost every game they played.

Its a bit unfair to pick on the fact that Arsenal gave away a penalty so late, and forget that it was your second choice Eboue, in place of the injured Sagna, who anyway had shown great heart and energy throughout the match. So what if you come 4th or 5th in the league....didnt these lads sweat blood for the team throughout. They played through injury, exhaustion, chaos and humiliation and picked themselves up and kept slugging it out, and are still standing in the ring. What display did any English club give this year that can compare to beating Barcelona 2-1. At the end, the players looked exhausted and running on pure will power, and they kept taking the punches and kept believing and they counterpunched late and won it. They did it again in the return leg and this time the dice rolled the other way. Thats what it is, its a game.

There are shortcomings, they are immature and not 100% professional and focussed on winning. More focussed teams would not be distracted during a match by the referee or the opponent. They would not kick the ball after the offside whistle went, they would not take their shirt off and celebrate and they would know enough gamesmanship to slow the game down and kill the opponents tempo when needed.

Man U LOST to City and still no ones head is being called for, and Arsenal DRAW to Liverpool and people want the head of the manager and the players. What nonsense. They are learning and they will learn. They may have won and they may never win or they may win next year. Its a game, its unpredictable and it can change in a flash.

This year they learnt to be more physical Now we dont hear that they are soft and dont like it up to them, do we. They also can dive and get a penalty or free kick sometims now.

Now they need to decide if they really want to win. If they do, then they will need to learn gamesmanship. The art of slyly fouling like Barca, the Art of targeting oppostion players of suspect temperament, the art of managing and pressuring the Ref throughout not after a bad decision, the art of kicking out a dangerous opponent or disrupting the tempo, even if a player is sacrificed to a red card. The press will hound them, saying that they are playing dirty, but thats the game isnt it. The Scholes, De Jongs and others are on the same field arent they.

Chelsea missed Ballack this year the most, because now they didnt have the dirty snarling mean blackguard element in them. Its needed and sometimes a player like Rooney whacks a opposition player in the face with his elbow, just to keep that aspect of his game alive.

Cesc says Arsenal has to decide if they want to win. If they do, they will get some muscle in attack, midfield and defence. 3 big strong players who are a bit dark and mean, to keep on the bench and throw in when needed to rough things up.

Personally, winning means a lot, but I wouldnt take it at that cost. Create a stronger bench by all means, but simply so that it helps to keep the players fit and you can rotate more. I like this team. They fuck up now and then. They produce magic now and then. I would like to see them with the same best XI for one more season, after a couple of months proper rest and pre-season with a settled board and revamped bench. If you gave the project 6 years, give it a seventh. Its always darkest before dawn.

Another thing to remember is that soon the game will be faced with a choice, is it sport or is it entertainment ? Money will win, and it will be entertainment, a form of a reality show. Results will be manipulated to maximise viewership etc etc... that time will come too. Till then, lets enjoy the pure fun of a bunch of kids playing. People criticise Arsenal by labeling them as kids. I say, that is a compliment. Its better to play the way kids play. Thats the true spirit of football.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Balls !!

Craig Johnston Ex Footballer with Middlesborough FC and Liverpool FC England. Technical Observations of the Jabulani Football… Craig Johnston …South Africa June 2010

To Mr Joseph Blatter President FIFA FIFA-Strasse 20, P.O. Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland 2nd July 2010

Dear Mr Blatter, If a sponsor came into your office before the World Cup and said. “ We are going to give you a new, perfectly round match ball…the players wont like it at all…and there will be more mistakes made than in any other World Cup…” “ There will be less goals scored…less free kicks scored...less passes complete…less control by players….and roughly 70% of crosses and shots on goal will miss wide and go way over the crossbar…” What would you say to them..?

My name is Craig Johnston. I am risking my reputation and goodwill within certain football circles by writing this open letter to yourself and anybody else who is interested in the Jabulani ball issue and why its endorsement by FIFA could ruin the game as we now know it. I am however not only writing with the problem, but also an easy solution to the problem… I am a former football player with Liverpool Football Club in England, and I am also known for inventing the adidas Predator football boot, the adidas Traxion sole system…and the research and testing done on previous World cup footballs. I am a big supporter of the FIFA Goal initiatives, and we have met many times over the years, on various football issues.

I have also presented to you, the executive committee and the FIFA Technical team many innovations in football and specifically youth development over the years. I am therefore writing to you as a friend of football, a friend of FIFA. I am also writing to you as someone who actually knows what they are talking about when it comes to World Cup footballs and their flight characteristics. A lot of things have been said and written about the new Jabulani Ball…but the word disaster is on a lot of players and managers lips...

Pazzini -Italy “ The Balls are a disaster, both for goalkeepers and for attackers.” David James-England " Dreadful and Horrible..." Fabio Capello-Manager England " The worst Ball I have ever seen." It is very alarming that the best players and teams in the world are struggling to control this ball to their own satisfaction. What is even more alarming than the players‟ assessment of the „bad ball‟, however, are the statistics of „ bad play‟.

What this means to the quality of this tournament in South Africa is quite shocking. The statistics are showing that is the worst passing, shooting and controlling of the ball of any World Cup in history of the competition. That cannot be ignored…and it cannot be fixed up we are being told.. The problems with this ball will not go away and they need to be understood by the FIFA Technical department and addressed immediately…before there are any more on field disasters. I know you and FIFA are under pressure at the moment. The issues such as Goal Line Technology and poor refereeing decisions are not as important compared to the Jabulani Ball issue and the poor quality of play that it is causing.

There was a furious global public reaction to Frank Lampard‟s goal against Germany that was denied by the officials… By my calculations we have been denied at least 10 more goals that were not scored in this World Cup so far, because of the erratic and unstable flight of the Jabulani football..but nobody is jumping up and down…yet…! Who is taking responsibility for denying us these goals and bits of magic.. To make a get a goalmouth call wrong and make a mistake happens once or twice a year. To get the actual football itself wrong, affects every single touch, pass or shot that a player makes, in every single game. And there are an awful lot of mistakes happening at this showcase tournament.

Daniel Agger-Denmark- Dead Ball expert "It makes world Class players look like drunken sailors" The erratic behavior of this ball is ruining the flow of the game and downgrading the quality of play. This is an absolute disaster for the purists…and it cannot continue in this manner. Just listen to the players ….just look at the statistics…they are very very damning of this ball. Robhinho-Brazil “ The guy who designed this never played Football.”

The fact is that the Jabulani ball with its new materials and new construction methods simply does not behave in the same predictable aerodynamic manner as the old ball we have all been using perfectly well for 40 years previously... The players are all saying that the Jubalani has a mind of its own... I have a trained eye and have been watching these things for years. If you watch carefully, and know what you‟re looking for, you can see it move erratically, even on television... I have seen hundreds of basic trajectory miscalculations so far in this World Cup where the ball usually ends up going out of play… Surprisingly, nobody has made a big deal out of it yet…but football people who really watch for the art and craft are starting to notice…like the players…like the managers…like the purists…like the statisticians…its all starting to add up.

I have outlined the more scientific reasons for the balls unpredictable behavior in a separate section below…please read it and you will understand the problem immediately….then count the on-field mistakes… In short, the new ball does not translate a lot of the backspin, topspin or sidespin…all of the special language that a player normally applies to a ball to make it behave properly in the air. Why is this so important…? This language is the real art and craft of the footballer and of the game.. This is what we really pay all of our money to see. This is what makes these guys so different from us…this special language is the genius.. Asking players to Shoot or pass with this new Jabulani ball is like asking Picasso to paint a picture without bristles on his brush…to paint without the usual texture and without all of the feeling…

I have spent 3 weeks in South Africa at the World Cup and I have seen the Jabulani ball move more than 2 feet in the air in some instances when it is not supposed to move in the air. I have also seen the ball go absolutely straight at other times when clearly the player has tried to put a bend on it of 2 feet or more. Luis Fabiano-Brazil " All of a sudden it changes trajectory on you...I think it is Supernatural.." Unfortunately the ball is also very nervous and jumpy to the touch when controlling it close to the body and when dribbling it. Julio Cesar- Goalkeeper Brazil " A Ball you would buy in a Supermarket..." So the ball is a disaster… and because of it there have been many mistakes...more than any World Cup ever…I really believe that FIFA cannot continue to endorse this ball… Why...? Because by endorsing this ball, FIFA are endorsing every mistake that that has been made by the players using it during this World Cup...

By endorsing this ball, FIFA are endorsing the removal of the players‟ art and craft at the very top end. The most frightening thing however is that by endorsing this ball, FIFA are allowing a sponsor to alter the very dynamics of how the game is played… and for the worse. Not just in this competition, but going forward…into schools and youth leagues the world over.. Players are very clever and are adapting already technically and tactically to the balls idiosyncrasies… The German team knew exactly what they were doing when their goalkeeper kicked the ball deep into the edge of the England Penalty box, up and over the English defense for an unchallenged 1st goal. No other ball could ever have traveled that far… That is also called Route One Football and soon everyone will be doing it because the ball is encouraging it… To change the dynamics and the craft of the game like this is not a call that a vested interest sponsor should be allowed to make…they have got it horribly wrong already…

Mr Blatter, I know you are horrified about the poor play because I know you are a football man. We have heard the excuses from FIFA but who is really making these critical footballing decisions about the players craft..? The governing body of a sport needs to be independent from the sponsors products. FIFA should have been far more diligent in their own tests….and should have binned the Jabulani ball before the competition.. This is what a very respected goalkeeper said a week before the competition started. Tim Howard-USA Goalkeeper "It's tragic that you‟re going to see good players look foolish. Defenders are having a tough time judging it, strikers are having a tough time judging crosses as well and for goalkeepers it's murder so what can we do?'' "I think you're going to see some really weird and unfortunate goals.''

From day one I have been saying that there is a simple solution and back up plan for this World Cup. You can easily apply exactly the same Jubalani ball graphics onto the traditional construction of your sponsor‟s previous Buckminster construction World Cup balls. Two of the best footballs ever made were made by your sponsors...The Fevernova and the Tricolor Ball from the Asian World Cup and French World Cup‟s respectively… The normal Buckminster construction has given us every glorious moment of football we can ever recall... As players and as fans…it set the standard for the very craft and soul of the game…it has proven reliable, predictable…dependable… This new Jabulani ball is unnatural, unpredictable, unreliable ... and it is totally unacceptable how this ball has been endorsed by FIFA for this tournament and going forward..

The sponsors and FIFA marketing seem to be the tail that has been wagging the FIFA dog…and so far they have got away with it… The only people that can make the call to radically change the dynamics of the ball and therefore the game itself…. are the players…. And no….not the players that are already being paid by the sponsors…! For me, probably the post prophetically damning statement about the Jabulani ball comes from the English midfielder Joe Cole.. „‟ It took a bit of skill out of the game…but It's the same for everybody.” Wow…what an unbelievably sad statement… I am not employed by anyone...and I am not looking for a job…I also know I won't make any new friends at FIFA, in-fact, I will probably be blacklisted, but it‟s a price I am willing to pay. I owe it to the game to speak does anyone that believes in skill and craft as the ultimate attributes for a footballer…

Mr Blatter, and FIFA…this has been a fabulous World Cup in many many ways, and you all need to be congratulated. I am sure that the ball designers, manufacturers, sponsors and testers of the Jabulani ball will not have been as honest and straight with you as I have in this letter….and that is the big problem.. But why would they…? They are making hundreds of millions of dollars already out of this perfectly round football.. So, having had the benefit of understanding the problem, I will ask you the simple question one more time… If a sponsor came into your office before the World Cup and said… “ We are going to give you a new, perfectly round match ball…the players wont like it at all….and there will be more mistakes made than in any other World Cup…” “ There will be less goals scored…less free kicks scored.....less passes complete….less control by players….and roughly 70% of crosses and shots on goal will miss wide and over the crossbar… What would you say to them..? …

Unfortunately, the players do not know WHY or WHAT is causing the Jubilani ball to behave., so erratically, I do have some knowledge of the reasons, and that is why I am writing to you now to explain why this new ball is behaving in the manner that it is. First of all….How do I know all of this information.....? I know it because I personally designed, built and set up the original testing Lab for adidas In Herzogenaurach Germany in the early 90‟s... In my role as lead innovation consultant I created the Predator football boot, The Traxion sole system...and tested the original prototypes of a ball that would fly further …the Questra World Cup Ball for USA 1994... It was also at this Lab that I pioneered the use of super slow motion footage with Oxford scientific Films and digital techniques with the Frauenhoffer Institute. This was specifically to study and understand the moment of contact between boot and ball and the following aerodynamic characteristics of the football in flight… Although this was conducted with scientifically controlled parameters ... I did it with a footballers touch and sensitivity always in mind...and a solid vision and feel for the end result...

First of all however, just a bit of background is required to put the balls behavior into a more scientific context... Each kick of a ball can be quantified as a mathematical equation ...and some of the forces important to this equation include but are not limited to velocity, trajectory, lift, drag, external and internal air pressure and of course gravity... You and I, and Pele and Franz Beckenbauer , and every other footballer on the planet grew up kicking a 32 panel Buckmister construction hand stitched football....It had 20 hexagon panels and 12 pentagons (small black ones). The design and shape of this Buckminster ball that we all know so well, is not spherical, but is called a Truncated Icosahedron. It is not rounded until it is blown up with air and forced, with a butyl bladder...into a ball shape. This football with its 180 panel edges, exposed to the elements, is far from round and far from perfect.... ...and these very imperfections are what gives it it's unique repeatable feel to the footballer. These imperfections help produce an optimum flight trajectory that players have been able to depend upon, every single time they kicked or received a ball...before even the World Cup Telstar ball in Mexico back in 1970. This ball has a soul…it is predictable… reliable… beautiful.... Technically speaking, the construction of this normal ball, with its exposed panel edges and stitch lines, give it high lift and drag coefficients which in turn, encourage a high rotation rate around the balls axis...

It is this rotation, when propelled forward which help create the drag and lift properties which magically seem to hold the ball up in the air. This is called the Magnus effect…and it impacts the many types of technical kicks in many different ways The long Pass The Magnus effect happens at a optimal velocity when the airflow around and perpendicular to, the balls rotational axis, become a different pressure, and the ball starts to deviate substantially in the air... This is usually when a ball has decelerated and is closer to the target. This is what we call swerve or curl...where the ball literally bends it's flight path in the direction of the spin that has been imparted... We have all kicked a ball into a strong headwind and witnessed the huge and dramatic swerve effect that extra lift and drag have on a normal football...or cricket ball..or golf ball… This phenomenon, is what allows a player to shape and curl each pass or shot on goal with backspin, topspin, sidespin or a combination of those attributes.... This is what you and I and every other footballer grew up with...and this, is the ultimate craft of a footballer...

Unfortunately the designers of the Jabulani have totally misunderstood the importance of this as their ball doesn't behave in the same way… It has an artificial feel and trajectory and only about 20% of the craft a player is putting on the ball is being translated. This equates to about 70% or more of crosses and dead ball free kicks being overhit… The passing in this World Cup has been the worst ever. Unfortunately the problems with the ball do not stop only with the craft of passing of the ball... Straight Shooting With Power It is a little known fact but once a ball has been kicked it is always decelerating… With a hard straight shot towards goal, that is, without spin, the drag and lift on a normally constructed ball is roughly equal on both sides…. The balls forward movements are therefore stabilised, predictable and repeatable... that's why golf balls have dimples...

On the Jabulani ball the flight path is unstable, erratic and unpredictable... This World Cup has seen the worst long range shooting ever... Shooting with Accuracy On a hard shot for goal, drag on the ball is really important to keeping it stable, to keep it flyng straight and steady.. With this technique, the ultimate objective of a players strike is to get the centre of percussion (sweet spot) of his kicking foot, through the centre of the ball.. With traditional footballs, the kicking foot sinks deep into the panels and deforms the ball substantially, therefore the foot is in contact with the balls surface for longer. This extra time, even if it is measured in milliseconds, allows a player to be far more accurate with his strike... It is also the extra time that allows the secondary movement of the foot to put the spin or movement of the ball that the player wants to shape the shot…as in passing above…

With the Jabulani, the ball seems to jump nervously off the foot before the required deformation and therefore before enough purchase has been achieved by the kicker...which has ended in the disastrous number of strikes over the crossbar or completely missing the target on either side of the goal... This lack of purchase issue, combined with the unstable flight path, can also account for the many mistimed headers and volleys in the competition so far... The accuracy of shooting and heading is the worst of any World Cup...ever Goalkeepers and Attackers Receiving the Ball It is not only the goalkeepers who have been complaining about unstable and erratic movements of the ball. Many attackers have complained about the ball moving at the last second as they attempt to head or volley the ball from crosses or set piece plays...

Refereeing Errors I believe that the erratic and unpredictable flight paths of the Jubilani balls are the cause of many strange refereeing errors and have also contributed to controversial goals and penalty decisions… The pace of game itself has become faster and more frantic, at this World Cup, specifically because the Jabulani ball is hyper sensitive to the touch. It is nervous and flighty to control, and to the players feet it has an artificial and jumpy feel. The players are all making simple mistakes…and the referees simply can‟t keep up with play.. Craig Johnston July 2010

Monday, November 09, 2009

something new


just when you thought what scope is there when designing another stack of matchboxes in the sky. architect jeanne gang brings us this....
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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Baltimore to Fort Hood

just read this on the Fort Hood shootings....and i quote.."So Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan is a 'devout' Muslim, we are told, who prayed several days a week at a Mosque in Silver Spring, Maryland. He’s also a native born American of Palestinian parents. My Muslim friends tell me Islam is a peaceful religion, with dozens of references in the Koran rejecting violence. We don’t know if his religious beliefs played any part in his alleged murderous rampage, but the case of Maj. Hasan, who technically at this stage is only a 'suspect,' is not helping the image of peaceful Islam. While we withhold judgment awaiting more facts, it’s safe to say this terrorist act will only deepen the mistrust many Americans have for those who follow the Islamic faith. And that is a sad truth."

This made me sit up a bit....thats a place I have been to...and I have some friends who went to the very same mosque. I lived in this area for a few months and did meet a few very very religious people. Fanaticism has been growing in america nourished by a state that forgot its role of building communities and caring for all its citizens. The public area of being a benovelent daddy, vacated by the state, has been occupied by religious focus groups....

Monday, November 02, 2009

kid on bed on cow on road

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ok...thats not a cow...thats a donkey

slight shift in perspective

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View from the cubicle


Not bad .....for a view from the office..... sometimes while busy in the latest work related emergency you catch sight of the view from the window.....and its like a sudden shifting of perspective.....sweet..
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

dotcom entrepreneurs from roorkee....about time

this website a nice idea...just like facebook allows you to stay in touch with your friends without having to jhelo them face to face... now you can do the same with your neighbours....

interesting that 25 yr old from roorkee are showing up in the young entrepreneur brigade..... the winds of change managed to sweep away some of the cobwebs in the laidback old alma mater it seems...or is this the exception that proves the rule...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Familiar College Blues

Nice stuff on the IT BHU page on facebook....would be familiar to most ex hostelers...

You know you went to ITBHU in the '90s when:
1. Mochu was the biggest food brand you knew
2. Munna Maharaj was the best chef
3. You ate aloos till you resembled one
4. Lankating was your favorite sport
5. Girls were the beings that did not resemble men (in an obvious manner) and were few and far in between
6. All your afternoons were spent at corners, Limbdi, Rajputana etc.
7. Grass was not green
8. Bhoot stories abound esp around DG and Morvi hostel
9. Everyone south of Vindhyas was a Makku
10. You had a nickname you don?t want to remember
11. Maggus were half the class population
12. Tattas were not round objects
13. Everything was arbit
14. Mandir was for drinking shakes and generally lounging
15. Jawani series movies were hot and had some decent following
16. Mastram was your fav author
17. GRE was the ticket to success and GRE scores were your achievement
18. Endless nights spent on discussing useless things
19. Career was a something you got with a job (usually with Infosys)
20. Topo was your strategy for passing sems and tests
21. At least 100 males had a crush on 1 female
22. Ayn Rand was your philosophy teacher
23. La Be La was your favorite Chinese restaurant (& for some their fav dating place)
24. Talli till death was your favorite pastime
25. PLD was a nice to have title

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

nice coffee architecture

Thursday, September 17, 2009

nice article about auroville

how dare he have a sense of humor

?Absolutely, in cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows,? Mr Tharoor had replied to a question on whether he would travel ?cattle class? to Kerala the next time.

Mr. Tharoor is a minister in the Union Cabinet and an author of best selling books.

Humor and politics, can they mix ?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009



the heart of new gurgaon...metropolitan mall with a metro station in front.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

playground images


playing by the side of the road...making mudcakes...
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view in the rear view


best way to ride a scooter when you are small
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view from window in gurgaon


bet no one would believe that one day sleepy old gurgawa would have a view from the window like this.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

strange designs for sinks

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Virus kills 200 in india. no cure.

As the BBC reports....<br />
A virus, which kills children every year, in the heart of india, in the eastern part of UP. No one can cure it and no effective vaccine. Still there is no fuss about it. 900 children are sick with this virus and in hospitals, still there is no panic. 40 have died due to the swine flu H1N1 virus, and the media is full of it.....

thats how it goes....even diseases need to have glamour, a catchy name and good PR.
rather than defend its turf from the apple iphone, nokia has executed a classic counterattack ...and launched a netbook, or booklet as they call it...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ashes to ashes

England won the ashes. Its tough to understand how Australia could lose, but the answer is simple. They just ran the contest too close. When it gets down to just one game, a single standout performer can swing the game. Like Ajit Agarkar in Australia some time back, Stuart Broad got into rythmn, settled into a groove and just kept sending beautiful deliveries down, one after the other. When the dust had cleared, he had 5 wickets and Australia had folded.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

on the itenerary for the next decade of wandering

Owned by a local Navajo family, the View is the only hotel in the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. It was designed with meticulous care to blend into and capitalize on the splendor of the landscape,

check the slideshow here ....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

If you wanted to invest 1 lakh in Indian Stocks

Here is what I bought recently....and am sharing, in case anyone wants to figure out how to invest a lakh in indian stocks =

Stock Symbol Qty Current Market Price Value At Market Price
BHATE 50 409.50 20475 BHARTI TELECOM
TOTAL 96202.5

lyrics to remember

Where were you when I was burned and broken
While the days slipped by from my window watching
Where were you when I was hurt and I was helpless
Because the things you say and the things you do surround me
While you were hanging yourself on someone else's words
dying to believe in what you heard
I was staring straight into the shining sun
Lost in thought and lost in time
While the seeds of live and the seeds of change were planted
Outside the rain fell dark and slow
While I pondered on this dangerous but irrestiable past-time
I took a heavenly ride through one silence
I knew the moment had arrived
For killing the past and coming back to life
I took a heavenly ride trough our silence
I knew the waiting had begin
And headed straight... into the shining sun

Pink Floyd Coming Back To Life lyrics

Thursday, August 20, 2009

stocks to buy

lupin - good
cipla - good
irb - good
jain irrigation - good
walchandnagar - good
ahluwalia -good

hcl tech
indian hotels
bilt - ok
cairn - ok
mahindra holidays

Monday, August 17, 2009

microsoft retail stores being designed.

10 Ways Microsoft Stores will be Different to Apple Stores
Microsoft announced plans to open retail stores, hoping to boost visibility of many of its products and its brand. The move seems to be an effort to mimic the success that Apple has had with its retail stores. The news is just too tempting not to have some fun with. So here are some yet-to-be-officially-revealed details about the Microsoft stores.

1) Instead of Apple's sheer walls of glass, Microsoft's stores will have brushed steel walls dotted with holes -- reminiscent of Windows security.

2) The store will have six different entrances: Starter, Basic, Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. While all six doors will lead into the same store, the Ultimate door requires a fee of $100 for no apparent reason.

3) Instead of a "Genius Bar" (as Apple provides) Microsoft will offer an Excuse Bar. It will be staffed by Microsofties trained in the art of evading questions, directing you to complicated and obscure fixes, and explaining it's a problem with the hardware -- not a software bug.

4) The Windows Genuine Advantage team will run storefront security, assuming everybody is a thief until they can prove otherwise.

5) Store hours are undetermined. At any given time the store mysteriously shuts down instantaneously for no apparent reason. (No word yet on what happens to customers inside).

6) Stores will be named Microsoft Live Retail Store with PC Services for Digital Lifestyle Enthusiasts.

7) Fashioned after Microsoft's User Account Control (UAC) in Vista, sales personnel will ask you whether you're positive you want to purchase something at least twice.

8) Xbox 360 section of the store will be organized in a ring -- which will inexplicably go red occasionally.

9) DreamWorks will design a scary in-store theme park ride called "blue screen of death."

10) Store emergency exits will be unlocked at all times so people can get in anytime they want even if the front doors are locked

Monday, May 18, 2009

Getting on the road.

Today in suburban cities like Gurgaon, the supply of public transport is woefully inadequate for the daily commuters. Traditionally women, students and elderly have been more dependent on public transport and are hardest hit by failure of the public transport system. As our cities grow and public transport is not able to keep up, most people feel the need to own a vehicle. After a few attempts to use public transport, a daily commuter or suburban resident soon starts to evaluate which vehicle to buy and how to drive and maintain it.

In places like Gurgaon, it is not uncommon to see someone learning to drive a car that he or she has just bought. The requirement for a commuting solution is immediate and a new car owner is in a hurry to get up and running on the road. They have to quickly get up to speed on

-Learning to drive
-Getting a driving license,
-Deciding on the vehicle to buy
-Selecting and buying car insurance.
-Learning to maintain and protect your vehicle.
-Navigating and staying calm on the crowded roads of India.

The first milestone on this journey is getting your first driving license. The law is clear on this, “No person shall drive a motor vehicle in any public place unless he holds an effective Driving licence issued to him authorizing him to drive a vehicle of that particular category”.

There are two steps to acquiring a driving license and both involve a trip to the RTO office. First time you get checked for color blindness, take a simple objective type test and get a learner license issued. This license allows you to drive on the road provided you have someone with a valid driving license sitting along with you. Second time you return after learning to drive to get a Permanent license. This second visit should be within 30 days to 6 months of issue of learner license. You need to take your vehicle with you, demonstrate your driving skills, satisfy the examiners and become a proud recipient of a driving license. It is advisable to use a good professional driving school to help you through this stage.

At some point along the way you will also need to decide which vehicle to buy. Consider both second hand cars and first hand cars while comparing so that you get a full picture. While comparing various options, take into account the total cost of ownership per year to decide which fits your budget. A common mistake is to only consider fuel economy while assessing the ownership cost.

Total Cost of Ownership includes -

-Fuel Costs
-Insurance charges.
-Maintenance costs.
-Interest if car loan is taken.

Take the example of a new 4 lakh rupee car, which is driven 1000 km a month with a petrol fuel economy of around 15km a litre.

-Fuel costs – about 3000 rupees a month.
-Car insurance policy would be about 10 – 12 thousand a year, or 1000 rupees a month.
-Depreciation would be 5000 – 10000 a month, considering that the car value goes down by 15% to 30% in a year.
-If you took a car loan of 75% you might be easily paying 4000 a month in interest alone.
-Servicing and maintenance charges - About 800-1000 per month.

So fuel economy though important, is just one cost among many associated with vehicle ownership. Lets compare this with a second hand car bought for 2 lakh.

-Its fuel economy would not be too different from a new car.
-Its maintenance cost might be higher, say at 2000 rupees a month,
-Its insurance would be lower at 100 - 500 rupees a month since the car is of lower IDV (insured's declared value)
-the depreciation would be lower for the same reason.
-You might be able to buy it without needing a loan.

You have to choose between having the greater reliability of a new car versus the lower cost of ownership of an older car. The prestige value attached to a new car may tilt your decision. On the other hand you may want to commit the beginner's mistakes, minor accidents, clutch plate burnouts on an older car and so opt for the latter.
Now that you have your car and your license, its time to get on the road and drive on towards a different lifestyle. Make sure you have the contact numbers of your dealer and service network with you and don't hesitate to call for help when facing any problems on the road. Inspect your car from time to time, by walking around it, bending down and looking at the undersides, kicking the tires and lifting the bonnet and having a look at the engine.

Your car is a machine that will carry you at high speeds in dense and chaotic traffic and you should tend it with care. Avoid unnecessary manoeuvres on the road, aim to protect your car and your car will protect you. Renew your insurance on time and never drive when you don't feel fit enough. Check the engine oil and coolant levels regularly and get the tires air pressure checked routinely. Ignore distractions, keep your focus on the road, stay cool and always wear a seat belt.

When one is commuting by bus one looks at cars and thinks they have it easy. When you own a car and realize its responsibilities, you may end up looking at the people riding on buses and thinking that they have it easy. No stress of driving, no worries about accidents and maintenance and no hassles over parking. Don't worry when you sit in your own car, turn up the music and rev up the engine all these thoughts will disappear as you get on the road and get going.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

fake ipl player...;

amazing creative discussions happening on fake ipl player blog .... sample below ---

to go there click this ...

the blog is hilarious..specially liked the part where fakie wonders if he can stick a cable up a big eared bowlers ass and see if receives satellite tv.....

A is for Awpheesh (as in Office). This is where the average Kolkakatan goes and spends a day hard at work. And if he works for the 'Vest Bengal Gawrment' he will arrive at 10, wipe his forehead till 11, have a tea break at 12, throw around a few files at 12.30, break for lunch at 1, smoke the 7th unfiltered cigarette at 2, break for 5th cup of tea at 3, sleep sitting down at 4 and go home at 4:30. It's a hard life!

B is for Bhision. For some reason many Bengalis don't have good bhision. In fact in Kolkata most people are wearing spectacles all the time....Bhishon Bhalo and Bibhotso.... though means opposite ...used for same situations.. .depending on the Beauty of fairer sex...are close ...almost in a tie for second spot....

C is for Chappell. Currently, this is the Bengali word for the Devil, for the worst form of evil. In the night mothers put their kids to sleep saying, 'Na ghumoley ebar Chappell eshey dhorey niye jabe.'

D is for Debashish or any other name starting with Deb. By an ancient law every fourth Bengali Child has to be named Debashish. So you have a Debashish everywhere and trying to get creative they are also called Deb, Debu, Deba with variations like Debopriyo, Deboprotim, Debojyoti, etc. thrown in at creations of God himself !!

E is for Eeesh. This is a very common Bengali exclamation made famous by Aishwarya Rai in the movie Devdas. It is estimated that on an average a Bengali, especially Bengali women, use eeesh 10,089 times every year. 'Ei Morechhey' is a close second to Eeesh.

F is for Feeesh. These are creatures that swim in rivers and seas and are a favourite food of the Bengalis. Despite the fact that a fish market has such strong smells, with one sniff a Bengali knows if a fish is all right. If not, he will say 'eeesh what feeesh is theesh!'

G is for Good name. Every Bengali boy will have a good name like Debashish or Deboprotim and a pet name like Motka, Bhombol, Thobla, etc. While every Bengali girl will have pet names like Tia, Tuktuki, Mishti, Khuku, et cetera.

H is for Harmonium. This Bengali equivalent of a rock guitar. Take four Bengalis and a Harmonium and you have the successors to The Bheatles!

I is for Ileesh. This is a feeesh with 10,987 bones which would kill any ordinary person, but which the Bengalis eat with releeesh!

J is for Jhola. No selfrespecting Bengali is complete without his Jhola. It is a shapeless cloth bag where he keeps all his belongings and he fits an amazing number of things in. Even as you read this there are two million jholas bobbling around Kolkata, and they all look exactly the same! Note that 'Jhol'with mysterious condiments.. . as in Maachher Jhol is a close second. Jhaamela and Jachhetai are distant 3rd and 4th

K is for Kee Kaando! It used to be the favourite Bengali exclamation till eeesh took over because of Aishwarya Rai.Kee mushkil is a close second.

L is for Lungi, the dress for all occasions. People in Kolkata manage to play football and cricket wearing it not to mention the daily trip in the morning to the local bajaar. Now there is talk of a lungi expedition to Mt Everest.

M is for Minibaas. These are dangerous half buses whose antics would effortlessly frighten the living daylights out of all James Bond stuntmen as well as Formula 1 race car drivers.

N is for Nangto. This is the Bengali word for Naked. It is the most interesting naked word in any language!

O is for Oil. The Bengalis believe that a touch of mustard oil will cure anything from cold (oil in the nose), to earache (oil in the ear), to cough (oil on the throat) to piles (oil you know where!).

P is for Phootball. This is always a phavourite phassion of the Kolkattan. Every Bengali is born an expert in this game. The two biggest clubs there are MOHUNBAGAN and East Bengal and when they play the city comes to a stop.

Q is for Koshchen (question) as in "Mamatadi koshchens Cheap Ministaar in Writaars Buiding."

R is for Robi Thakur. Many many years ago Rabindranath got the Nobel Prize. This has given the right to all Bengalis no matter where they are to frame their acceptance speeches as if they were directly related to the great poet and walk with their head held high. This also gives Bengalis the birthright to look down at Delhi and Mumbai and of course 'all non-Bengawlees'! Note that 'Rawshogolla' comes a close second!

S is for Shourav. Now that they finally produced a genuine cricketer, that too a captain, Bengalis think that he should be allowed to play until he is 70 years old.

T is for Trams. Hundred years later there are still trams in Kolkata. Of course if you are in a hurry it's faster to walk....Trams are still existing in Paris see !

U is for Aambrela. When a Bengali baby is born he is handed one.

V is for Bhaayolence. Bengalis are the most non-violent violent people around. When an accident happens they will fold up their sleeves, shout and scream and curse and abuse, "Chherey De Bolchhi" but the last time someone actually hit someone was in 1939.

W is for Water. For three months of the year the city is underwater and every year for the last 200 years the authorities are taken by surprise by this!

X is for X'mas. It's very big in Kolkata, with Park Street fully lit up and all Bengalis agreeing that they must eat cake that day.

Y is for Yesshtaarday. Which is always better than today for a Bengali (see R for Robi Thakur)?. It is also for Jubraj Shingh and Joga.

Z is for Jebra, Joo, and Jipper.

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