Sunday, January 30, 2011
For those (like me) left distraught by Murray’s loss in the Australian Open final to a dominant Djokivic, I have a heart warming tale from Scotland. Adam Potter, a climber on the 3,589ft Sgurr Choinnich Mor reached the summit of the Munro but lost his footing. He fell more than 1,000ft down an almost vertical slope and his fellow climbers feared for his life. A Navy helicopter was scrambled and began to search for the man. At the bottom of the slope they saw someone, standing and reading a map! Initially it was thought impossible that this could be the same man, given the series of rocky outcrops he must have hit on the way down. However on closer inspection a trail of climbing paraphernalia indicated that this was indeed the lucky Mr. Potter. The Guardian reported that he was bruised and cut with a minor chest injury and suffering from “extreme emotional shock and relief” but otherwise unscathed. The paramedic couldn’t believe the man was alive stating “he must have literally glanced off the outcrops as he fell, almost flying.”
Everyone loves a dip in a warm pool but Redditch council have come under fire for their “environmentally friendly” plans to heat a local swimming pool using heat from the nearby crematorium. This use of energy would reduce carbon emissions overall and (probably a more pressing concern for the council) it would save an estimated £14,000 per annum for the pool. The proposals have received a mixed reaction from swimmers and local residents, many of whom feel it is a disrespectful suggestion. There have been a few positive responses from those who believe that the council are dead on target with the idea. Supporters point out that there is a precedent with the chapel in Royal Leamington Spa being heated by the waste heat from the crematorium (indeed one would question why all crematorium chapels are not heated in this way?) and the idea originates in Scandinavia where this is apparently common practice.
If sport is your thing then you have been well served this winter with a glut of opportunities to spectate. The ashes brought glory to the boys from Britain (and a few from South Africa!), the Australian open followed close on the heels of the cricket, with plenty of football and skiing to watch in between. If you did find yourself hard up for sporting excitement there was the world bowls championships to tide you over! Next on the horizon is surely the joy that is the Six Nations; however the big news in Nepal has been elephant football. Sky news reports that this will be the seventh year of the elephant football tournament in the Chitwan National Park, which sees trainers sitting on the elephants’ shoulders, guiding the elephants to dribble the ball and put it in the back of the net. The spectacle has drawn significant crowds, eager to watch their team score. Alongside the popular football event is an elephant polo event.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
What is the first thing you think of when Lacrosse is mentioned? Everyone having a jolly good time at a Mallory Towers match, with Darrell scoring the winning goal before heading in for a wizard tea? Jim Brown, the great lax player who has a style of play named after him? Whether your only contact with the sport came through the pages of an Enid Blyton favourite or you are an avid fan of lax, the halftime entertainment at a Boston professional match would have come as something of a surprise. The fans at the Boston Blazer’s game witnessed the team’s mascot receiving a lap-dance from scantily-clad women, very much incongruous with the reputation of the sport. The team’s manager apologised for the unexpected show.
For many the hero of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was not Thomas Müller, David Villa, Wesley Sneijder, or Diego Forlán, the top goal scorers of the competition, but Paul the Octopus who famously “predicted” the outcome of all of Germany’s games and the World Cup final. He was offered two tubs, each containing a mussel with one team’s flag, whichever tub he opened first would prove to be the winner of the match. CBS news reports that a memorial of Paul the Octopus, who sadly passed away following the World Cup, has been unveiled in Oberhausen, where he lived in the Sea Life aquarium. The statue is a two metre tall replica of the octopus clutching a football. Paul’s ashes are inside golf leaf covered urn contained within the ball!
Friday, January 21, 2011
This week the "other" Murray hit the headlines at the Australian Open. The Guardian ran an article which began "Andy Murray's brother..." which must have been slightly sickening for the only Wimbledon champion in the Murray family. Andy's following in the ATP singles tour normally overshadows Jamie's doubles efforts, but with abundant opportunities for puns the papers could not resist proclaiming that Jamie's "killer serve" had felled a sparrow during practice.