mcgillianaire: (Default)
I wish there was a job that existed along the lines of "Professional Sport Armchair Spectator" because not only would I be very good at it, but I'd also bring two decades worth of extensive work experience. It occurred to me that in the past ten days, I have been smothered with at least one match/race of all the sports and teams which I follow and/or love. Starting with cricket, India and England have been in action, in football both England and Liverpool have flattered to deceive (as usual), Federer's lost at the US Open, Usain Bolt got disqualified from one race, won another and helped set a world record in a third, while the Rugby World Cup got underway and Sebastian Vettel won yet another Formula One race. Sportsgasmic!
mcgillianaire: (Default)

  • 07:35:39: RT @dafnalinzer: MT @yochiNJ Military source tells me #Seals built full-scale mockup of #bin Ladin compound, spent weeks practicing raid ...
  • 07:47:14: RT @ReallyVirtual Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event). << The IT consultant who unwittingly live-tweeted the raid!
  • 07:57:30: RT @Chobr: BBC reporter says 'very unique' on @r4Today. A sad day...
  • 08:44:44: ‎"Everybody knew he was in Pak except the Pak authorities who were in denial." -Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist on @BBCr4today
  • 08:45:02: RT @tomscott: Bin Laden's dead; some Americans party in the streets. I was thinking "not classy, USA" — then I remembered what's planned ...
  • 08:47:53: RT @CulturalSnow: Super quick Osama Downfall video
  • 08:49:16: RT @simonpegg: There's a slight sense in the more sensationalist media that the world just completed a particularly tricky video game.
  • 08:59:04: Checked Google Earth. Most recent images of area around Pak Milit Acad are from Jun 2005 & Mar 2001. Hmm... #obl #osamabinladen #abbotabad
  • 09:00:45: @CulturalSnow Dude, in the immortal words of Richard Keys - your tweets/RTs this morning have smashed it. Thanks for the entertainment.
  • 09:08:51: RT @dannynic: Waiting for Huw Edwards to tell us all about Osama's outfit....
  • 09:13:16: RT @LFCZA: Rumours of Bin Laden being caught whilst wearing his Arsenal shirt remain unfounded.
  • 09:23:29: "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles." -Proverbs 24:17 (New American Standard Bible)
  • 09:27:37: @ReallyVirtual Read your tweets - v.interesting! Wondered how long you've been in A'bad and if was the 1st time you heard a milit op there?
  • 09:28:30: RT @largeburrito: In the early hours, US special forces attacked a house in Pakistan and destroyed Donald Trump's Presidential campaign.
  • 09:29:05: @pappubahry It's reducing by the dozen every minute so I'll live in hope. :)
  • 09:29:37: @pappubahry Oh and it's back up again. I guess I'll ask him in a few weeks time if he's still online!
  • 09:30:25: RT @suellewellyn: RT @kenyanpundit RT @itsthiz: Obama is now America's hero. Just last week he had to prove he was even American.
  • 09:34:09: RT @LSEpublicevents Expert Anatol Lieven talks about Pakistan at LSE on 9/5 ("Pakistan: A Hard Country") #obl
  • 09:42:10: "Coincidentally or not, Panetta was promoted at end of last week, from CIA head to become the next sec of defence." (
  • 09:50:18: The Pakistani High Commissioner is the most deluded man in Britain. Not surprised but still sickening to hear his ilk spew filth. #bbc5live
  • 10:04:03: @pappubahry I never realised there were so many versions of the Bible. I'd like to pick up a copy. Recommend any in particular?
  • 10:08:31: @pappubahry Thanks. Have you read it in its entirety? Do you still read/refer from it?
  • 10:16:53: RT @tweetminster: Twitter first with news of Osama bin Laden's death via ex-Bush staffer @keithurbahn - The Guardian
  • 17:21:41: Can't blame him but Obama had that "I'm the man" look just now. First Trump, now Bin Laden. Two slam dunks in a good week at the office.
  • 17:54:31: All these references to the good Lord above on #bbcradio4 are making me feel just a little bit ill. #obl
  • 18:12:33: "USA! USA!" is the wrong response - -- Couldn't word it better myself. Death is not something to be celebrated. #obl
  • 18:25:50: RT @nytgraphics: Map and diagram of the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad
  • 18:26:04: RT @ogleearth: CIA confirms location of Bin Laden compound, releases aerial imagery (scroll to end of article) | Ogle Earth http://bit.l ...
  • 18:29:53: RT @LondonHistorian: Handy article in the Indy about UK place names.
  • 20:35:43: @pappubahry Interested in any of the these? Can upload.
  • 20:48:15: @pappubahry Also have (except ep1)
  • 22:52:19: Great to see The Canaries back in the Premier League next season. Let's be 'aving you!!! #norwichcityfc #ncfc #championship
  • 23:00:52: RT @maproomblog: I've updated the Bin Laden compound post with additional links.
  • 23:03:34: So you're in a Norman church. How do you know it's Norman? (pdf)
  • 23:05:51: Can't believe Hazel Irvine is trending but I must admit, it was an insensitive question to ask and worsened only by John Higgins's reaction.
  • 23:06:58: RT @geoeye: New @GeoEye High Resolution Imagery Released of Abbottabad, Pakistan (a walled compound)

Tweets copied by

mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)
Last night was the deadline to enter the ballot for obtaining tickets at next year's event. My dad, sis and I have applied for tickets to the Opening Ceremony, Badminton Semifinals, Men's 100m Final (includes Men's 100m Semis, Women's Triple Jump Final, Men's Hammer Throw Final, Men's 400m Final, Women's 400m Final and Men's 3000m Steeplechase Final) and the Women's Individual All-Around Artistic Gymnastics Final. I have also made a separate application with a couple mates for tickets to the Men's Football Final at Wembley and a Ground Pass to the Tennis First-Round at Wimbledon. I doubt we'll get it all but I'll take anything! I just can't wait for it! :)
mcgillianaire: (BBC Logo)
16 DEC - The rights and wrongs of hacktivism (Economist)
16 DEC - Art imitating life: Funky new ad puts a spin on personal hygiene and politics (The Express Tribune, Pakistan)
14 DEC - Why I'm Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange: Michael Moore (Huffington Post)
10 DEC - Ron Paul’s Passionate Defense Of Julian Assange And WikiLeaks On House Floor (MEDIAite)
09 DEC - Pakistani media publish fake WikiLeaks cables attacking India (Guardian)

16 DEC - Top judge complains about 'sex with corpses' rules (Daily Telegraph)
16 DEC - Court backs tourist ban for Dutch cannabis coffee shops (BBC News)
15 DEC - Tweeting in court: why reporters must be given guidelines (Guardian)
14 DEC - Qatar: A centre for 'quality' international dispute resolution? (Guardian)

14 DEC - Let’s get London’s riots into the right perspective: Simon Jenkins (London Evening Standard)
14 DEC - An attack on the royal carriage by angry protesters. Sound familiar? (Guardian)

14 DEC - 'We the people' deserve something better than a high-class villain's charter (Guardian)
13 DEC - Toby Ord: Why I'm giving £1 million to charity (BBC News)
06 DEC - Medieval Britons were richer than modern poor people, study finds (Guardian)
03 DEC - Woman dials 999 to report snowman theft in Kent (BBC News)
03 DEC - Christmas with a German accent – the PR ploy taking Britain's towns by storm (Guardian)

03 DEC - India's third richest man gives £1.27bn to children's education charity (Guardian)
19 OCT - Indian man of 100 goes back to university for PhD (BBC News)

12 DEC - German man castrates teenage daughter's 57-year-old boyfriend (Daily Telegraph)

18 DEC - Liverpool fans outraged after Paul Konchesky's mum launches Facebook blast (Daily Mail)
16 DEC - India enter Formula One limelight (
09 DEC - The top 10 worst misses in football history: your votes are in (Guardian: Sports Blog)
17 SEP - Blackburn's Sam Allardyce 'more suited to Inter or Real Madrid' (Guardian)
mcgillianaire: (Muscat (Sultan's Palace))
Muscat is currently hosting the 2nd Asian Beach Games but really, who cares? You can't take an event seriously with the name beach in it, especially not one in which you can win medals for tent pegging! It's a popular sport in these parts. Apparently the opening ceremony was flash. Not surprisingly, the crowds have been thin except for the beach soccer in which the hosts are defending champs. Coinciding with the Games but not related to it is the World Fireworks Championship also being hosted in Muscat as part of Oman's 40th National Day celebrations. Six teams from USA, France, Italy, Australia, UK and China are taking part. I've seen some of it but honestly, there's only so many displays you can watch till you get bored. Even if you add a soundtrack. Today beach and pyrotechnics, tomorrow the World Cup?
mcgillianaire: (Default)
Exactly two years to go. Will you be there?
mcgillianaire: (Default)
A major study by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) has found that black students are more than 3-times less likely to be awarded a 1st-class university degree than white students. Can somebody please hide its contents from Nick Griffin and his ilk!

Britain's oldest cinema, the 100-year-old Phoenix in North London is getting a £1 million makeover and will reopen in September.

Sticking with London, the UK-based chain Selfridges has been named the world's best department store, fighting off competition from NYC's Bloomingdales and Hong Kong's Lane Crawford, by the International Group of Department Stores and the International Association of Department Stores. Less known is that it was founded by a Wisconsin-born American-magnate unimpressed with British stores in 1909!

Sources close to Inayat Bunglawala, the founder and chair of Muslims4UK (a group to celebrate the UK's democratic traditions and promote active Muslim engagement), tell him that the Home Office is considering issuing two exclusion orders; one against Jamaican-born Muslim preacher Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips and the other against Mumbai-based Zakir Naik. Bunglawala argues that if we really care about freedom of speech, we should let these Muslim speakers in and let the law take its course. He includes a good quote from a spokesman for Nick Clegg from a couple years ago over the controversial proposed visit of Qatar-based Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi:
    "Many of Yusuf al-Qaradawi's views are repugnant; the job of a truly liberal society is to defeat such abhorrent ideas by arguing forcefully and persuasively against them. Giving al-Qaradawi the publicity that a ban would create would ultimately serve only to legitimise his views in the eyes of extremists. If he is allowed into this country he is of course subject to our laws; and if he were to break the law in any way including inciting or glorifying terrorism he should obviously be prosecuted."
I couldn't have put it better myself. I hope the Lib Dems put their foot down on this issue and ensure the two men are not excluded.

Meanwhile viewing figures from both sides of the Atlantic during last weekend's World Cup fixture between England and USA appear fairly similar. 17 million people watched the game in American homes, more than the number who watched the first four games of the NBA Finals! It's all the more impressive given that the NBA viewing figures itself were up on previous years. Game 5 of the NBA Finals drew in an audience of 18.2 million. And though we don't know what the total viewing figures were because of those who watched it in pubs and bars, it's worth pointing out that over 100 million Americans watched this year's Super Bowl. Closer to home, it appears a similar number of people watched it on the telly. There was a maximum of nearly 20 million as full-time approached, but the real talking point was felt by the 1.5 million watching it on HD, who missed Gerrard's goal as ITV broke into an ad-break. Plebs like myself who were watching it on Freeview were not affected. ITVs coverage of the World Cup has generally been poor and this major blunder has not won them any friends. And from what I gather about their coverage of Formula One events in the past, this isn't entirely surprising either! Thank goodness for the BBC!!

Finally, Jeffrey Archer has been approached by Bollywood producers intent on making blockbusters of his short stories. Not a rupee more...
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
It's my fave non-video app and the one I waste most of my time on. It's really worth it. Thought I'd share some interesting articles:

The Library of Congress, the world's largest library based in Washington DC, has announced that it will store every single tweet posted on Twitter, going back to March 2006, for posterity. Twitter processes more than 50 million tweets a day, the total numbering in the billions!

Staying with America, it's come to light that George Washington, the country's first President, never returned two books he borrowed from the New York Society Library in 1789, resulting in a fine which in today's prices (when adjusted for inflation) would total $300,000. One was an essay on international affairs called Law of Nations and the other, the 12th volume of a 14-volume collection of debates from the English House of Commons. When the librarians checked their collections, they found only thirteen volumes out of the fourteen! Other prominent borrowers such as Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr didn't seem to have the same problem returning their books, but the current head librarian has kindly offered to waive the fine on Washington's descendants if at least the books are returned.

Meanwhile Down Under, Penguin Australia has ordered the destruction of 7,000 copies of The Pasta Bible held in its warehouses. A recipe for tagliatelle with sardines & prosciutto contains the misprinted suggestion that the dish required "salt and freshly ground black people"!

Closer to home, Geoffrey Alderman, professor of politics and contemporary history at Buckingham (Britain's only private university!), explains the Jewish vote really does count. Not in terms of the big picture, as British Jews only make up 0.5% of the population, but because they are heavily concentrated in London and Manchester. He says there are 7 seats with Jewish populations of at least 10% and all are held by Labour. But some of them are key marginal battlegrounds, for example Finchley & Golders Green, Hendon and Bury South.

Speaking of battles, IT geeks will be closely following the interesting tussle taking place between Apple and Adobe. Apple's iDevices are not Flash compatible (unless they are jailbroken). Flash, developed by Adobe, is the multimedia platform that has become the de facto industry standard to add animation and interactivity to web content. But Apple doesn't want to become dependent on a competitor's product, so they've made a key change to their 21,000-word 'agreement' that you have to sign if you want to develop applications for Apple's iDevices. Section 3.3.1 of the document contains a provision that prohibits the use of "an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool" to develop applications for iDevices. Why? Because four days earlier, Adobe launched the latest version of their Creative Suite software which tucked within it, is a new tool that converts Flash applications into something that'll run on the iPhone. Coincidence?

And finally a bit of sport. "Is the rise of the super-athlete ruining sport? From Usain Bolt to Rafa Nadal, top sports stars are fitter, faster and stronger than ever. But how long will it be before the pursuit of perfection takes all the drama out of sport?" Read David Runciman's rant.
mcgillianaire: (Bedouin in Desert)

In the midst of my exams I failed to notice a road bicycle race that has descended upon the shores of the Sultanate for the first time this year! The Tour of Oman is a part of the UCI Asia Tour, is classified as a 2.1 and is run by the Amaury Sport Organisation. Held between the 14th and 19th of February, the race consisted of six stages, mainly flat ones with some hillier parts. Some chap called Fabian Cancellara won the first event. Not bad Oman, first this and next the Asian Beach Games later this year. For a country almost unheard of in many parts of the world not too long ago, you are slowly but surely making your presence felt on the global stage. Yalla Oman, keep it up!
mcgillianaire: (Football player)
"One of the best and worst things about listening to sport on the radio is when you turn on mid-match and, before the score is given, try to discern what is happening to your team from the tone of the commentators and their particular choice of words. We all become amateur linguists, and the moment is fascinatingly pregnant with possibilities."
~ Rob Smyth in The Guardian, 25 September 2009 ~
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
A season of F1 and testing consumes less fuel than one 747 flying across the Atlantic. I can't verify that but a search online suggests he's been making this comparison for at least two years. But I have found a comment to an article describing the F1 as the world's dirtiest sport that sorta agrees:
    50 tons of carbon emissions works out to burning the equivalent of about 20,000 litres of gasoline. That is a lot for 1 car, but probably about the same as any 10 single-passenger vehicle commuters (even in reasonably efficient cars) might burn in a year. And keep in mind that a 747-400ER has a fuel capacity of over 200,000 litres. One 747 flight from Vancouver to Australia will burn about as much fuel as TEN F1 cars running all season!
Whether it's all true or not, just finished listening to an awesome interview with the legendary commentator. It'll be available as a podcast later today.
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
I just discovered that Ronnie O'Sullivan's dad is serving a life sentence for murder while his mum served seven months of a year-long jail sentence for tax evasion worth £250,000. Where were the profits raked in from? His dad's Soho porn shop empire. It got me thinking. Who else do you know has overcome their parental follies to become a legend of their own, for all the lawful reasons?
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
Which are the only three cities in which British Baseball is still played? (Clue: only one of them is in England!)

Answer Under Cut )
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
I watched a BBC programme called Lewis Hamilton: Billion Dollar Man that was originally broadcast last year but was naturally re-aired earlier this month following his Formula 1 victory. It's under an hour long and so totally worth it. Unfortunately, you can only watch it using the link above if you live in the UK but I'm sure it must be available as a torrent. It traces his life from a young boy growing up in Stevenage to his stunning arrival on the Formula 1 circuit last year. Interestingly, the Beeb have been following him since he was eight years old when he appeared on a local show called Blue Peter. The Beeb have been following him ever since so there's some awesome footage of his rise through the racing ranks. He's younger than me and only spent two seasons in Formula 1 but his story is already the stuff of legend.

The beginning of the show reminded me of the video below which is of an interview conducted with Sachin Tendulkar when he was just fourteen years old and was making waves on the maidans of Mumbai in the late 80s. The focus, drive and single-minded determination is easily noticeable in both child prodigies. I sincerely hope and believe that Hamilton is going to become as big a brand in his sport as Tendulkar did in his. There's simply no doubt about it. It's such an incredible story. The relationship between Hamilton and his dad also reminded me of the relationship between Tendulkar and his dad and also between Tendulkar and his older brother. It is a truly inspiring story.

A great week for Black people, first with Hamilton becoming not only the youngest Formula One Champion but also becoming the first black driver to race in Formula One, and also secondly with Obama becoming the President of the world's most powerful country. Both pioneers come from mixed-race backgrounds, a fitting attribute to a world moving forward and where traditional cultural barriers are no hurdles to achieving the ultimate success in life. I cannae wait till next season's Championship!

mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
What drama! I tuned in late but not too late to witness Lewis Hamilton becoming the youngest ever Champion. What a year for British sport it's turning out to be! The end of another season and just a couple more to go for an Indian Grand Prix. Cannae wait!
mcgillianaire: (Team GB @ 2008 Beijing Olympics)
Rebecca Adlington is the first British female swimmer since Anita Lonsborough (in Rome in 1960) to win an Olympic Gold medal. To make things even better, compatriot Joanne Johnson won bronze. The commentary was electrifying and the American should've won.
mcgillianaire: (India Flag)
Abhinav Bindra made Indian Olympic history by winning the Men's 10 metre air rifle event with a score of 700.5!!! JAI HIND!!! This is the moment we've all been waiting for! A silver in the Double Trap in Athens four years ago and now this. COME ON YOU INDIANS!!


mcgillianaire: (Default)

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