Posts tagged Soccer
The human body is 18 percent carbon, which means that if you subject it to high enough pressures at high enough temperatures and hold it there for a long enough time, it will form diamonds. You can try this yourself, in a laboratory. 

All it takes is, say, a pound of human ash, more than 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and 60,000 times the standard atmospheric pressure of Earth at sea level. Extract carbon, bake, compress. Check back in a few weeks. Not a DIYer? No problem. Just FedEx your burial urn to one of the many Internet-facing memorial-diamond companies that have sprung up in the last few years. 

For between $2,500 and $25,000, outfits like Chicago’s LifeGem and Switzerland’s Algordanza will take the cremated remains of your loved ones and return them, presto chango, in the form of wearable jewelry. Diamonds created from human ashes often carry a blue tint. 

This is because of the boron contained in bone. “I don’t know why,” the CEO of Algordanza has said, “but if the diamond is blue, and the deceased also had blue eyes, I hear almost every time that the diamond had the same color as the eyes of the deceased.” 

Gems can also be synthesized from dead pets and, since the mid-2000s, from hair. Several memorial-diamond firms report revenue in the millions of dollars. In 2007, a diamond made from a lock of Beethoven’s hair sold on eBay for $202,700. 

The World Cup tends to gather every thread of weirdness on the planet; as the largest human spectacle in existence, it rolls through every four years trailed by a vast peripheral freak show of psychic octopuses, celebrity witch doctors, and horse-placenta fetishists (otherwise known as soccer players). 

So it’s no real surprise that the tournament’s 2014 edition is now officially the World Cup of diamonds made out of people. In late May, a Brazil-based memorial-diamond company called Brilho Infinito began selling a series of 1,283 diamonds made from the hair of Pelé, the most celebrated footballer in Brazil’s football-obsessed history, and widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time. 

The 1,283 gemstones are one for every goal that’s claimed on Pelé’s (dubious) official record. The gemstones are selling for about $7,500 each. The proceeds will be donated to a pediatric complex in Brazil. 

Diamonds in the Rough

The human body is 18 percent carbon, which means that if you subject it to high enough pressures at high enough temperatures and hold it there for a long enough time, it will form diamonds. You can try this yourself, in a laboratory.

All it takes is, say, a pound of human ash, more than 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and 60,000 times the standard atmospheric pressure of Earth at sea level. Extract carbon, bake, compress. Check back in a few weeks. Not a DIYer? No problem. Just FedEx your burial urn to one of the many Internet-facing memorial-diamond companies that have sprung up in the last few years.

For between $2,500 and $25,000, outfits like Chicago’s LifeGem and Switzerland’s Algordanza will take the cremated remains of your loved ones and return them, presto chango, in the form of wearable jewelry. Diamonds created from human ashes often carry a blue tint.

This is because of the boron contained in bone. “I don’t know why,” the CEO of Algordanza has said, “but if the diamond is blue, and the deceased also had blue eyes, I hear almost every time that the diamond had the same color as the eyes of the deceased.”

Gems can also be synthesized from dead pets and, since the mid-2000s, from hair. Several memorial-diamond firms report revenue in the millions of dollars. In 2007, a diamond made from a lock of Beethoven’s hair sold on eBay for $202,700.

The World Cup tends to gather every thread of weirdness on the planet; as the largest human spectacle in existence, it rolls through every four years trailed by a vast peripheral freak show of psychic octopuses, celebrity witch doctors, and horse-placenta fetishists (otherwise known as soccer players).

So it’s no real surprise that the tournament’s 2014 edition is now officially the World Cup of diamonds made out of people. In late May, a Brazil-based memorial-diamond company called Brilho Infinito began selling a series of 1,283 diamonds made from the hair of Pelé, the most celebrated footballer in Brazil’s football-obsessed history, and widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time.

The 1,283 gemstones are one for every goal that’s claimed on Pelé’s (dubious) official record. The gemstones are selling for about $7,500 each. The proceeds will be donated to a pediatric complex in Brazil.

Diamonds in the Rough

My grandfather, born in 1919, grew up playing football in a wooded corner of the British empire.

The eldest son of a family of bright-eyed troublemakers from the southern Indian district of Palakkad, Kerala, he wore knee socks and a chip on his shoulder to the local missionary high school, where beatings from teachers quivering with rage were the chief method of keeping boys in line. 

Tempers ran high on the playground. 

Thanks to what must have been a combination of extreme arrogance and extreme vulnerability, my grandfather’s boyhood was marked by a determination to start or escalate fights. 

Playing “soccer,” as he called it from beginning to end of his life—Edwardian slang has a certain tenacity, as North Americans will know—he was an aggressive and inconsistent forward, not notably destined for success on the field. 

Although some of his brothers and friends would play the game for a great part of their lives, my grandfather gave it up relatively quickly. In the middle of the Second World War, he boarded a train for Bombay: a metropolis then, as now, suffocating in its love of cricket. 

On the churning streets of the vast city, he found himself stepping aside sometimes for trucks full of European soldiers, who were either passing through on their way to other theatres of war or enforcing imperial law in a restless city. 

The Dream-Time of the World Cup | Roads & Kingdoms

My grandfather, born in 1919, grew up playing football in a wooded corner of the British empire.

The eldest son of a family of bright-eyed troublemakers from the southern Indian district of Palakkad, Kerala, he wore knee socks and a chip on his shoulder to the local missionary high school, where beatings from teachers quivering with rage were the chief method of keeping boys in line.

Tempers ran high on the playground.

Thanks to what must have been a combination of extreme arrogance and extreme vulnerability, my grandfather’s boyhood was marked by a determination to start or escalate fights.

Playing “soccer,” as he called it from beginning to end of his life—Edwardian slang has a certain tenacity, as North Americans will know—he was an aggressive and inconsistent forward, not notably destined for success on the field.

Although some of his brothers and friends would play the game for a great part of their lives, my grandfather gave it up relatively quickly. In the middle of the Second World War, he boarded a train for Bombay: a metropolis then, as now, suffocating in its love of cricket.

On the churning streets of the vast city, he found himself stepping aside sometimes for trucks full of European soldiers, who were either passing through on their way to other theatres of war or enforcing imperial law in a restless city.

The Dream-Time of the World Cup | Roads & Kingdoms

VEDAD IBISEVIC ACCELERATES his black Mercedes-Benz into Stuttgart traffic, almost outrunning the memory of his family crammed into an overcrowded bus, fleeing another home. His memories are always there, exerting both lift and drag. Today he is a star striker in the German Bundesliga. 

Twenty-two years ago, in a four-month period, the following things happened to him and his Bosnian family: Serb neighbors invaded his mother’s village, Pijuke, and called out familiar names on a bullhorn, promising that no one would be hurt. 

They murdered everyone who emerged. The ethnic-cleansing militia tortured and killed as many Muslims as they could find, burning down every house. 

They split his grand­father’s head open and carved a cross into the chest of a local shop owner, a man who kept chocolate in his store for children like Vedad. Eleven of the estimated 100,000 killed in the Bosnian civil war died on May 8, 1992, in a little town surrounded by rolling green hills and grazing white sheep. 

The soldiers forced 7-year-old Vedad and his family from their nearby city of Vlasenica and sent them fleeing, from Bosnia to Switzerland to St. Louis. Vedad slept in forests and buses and refugee camps. 

He hid in a hole. Soldiers burned down his father’s village, a place named Gerovi, which was where Vedad had always felt most at peace as a child. Soccer had taken hold of his imagination there, at a field next to the river, down a narrow path from the town. 

Gerovi was his favorite place in the world, and like everything else he’d known in the first eight years of his life, it was gone. His fingers curl around the steering wheel as he drives away from practice. 

He is here and he is there. When the war started, there wasn’t room in the family’s two bags for him to bring a soccer ball or for his sister to carry her new doll, though she did squeeze the doll’s shoes into their luggage. His past throws a poignant shadow onto his present, making something as emotionally insignificant as a doll’s shoes or this car, an AMG-designed, twin-turbo, 577-horsepower E63 sedan, seem like a triumph of the human spirit. He once fled a war in a bus, and now his feet rest on stainless steel racing pedals. 

The distance between these things can be dizzying. An old Bosnian love song plays on his stereo. The music reminds him of home, which reminds him of the goal he scored against Lithuania last year, which sent his nation to its first World Cup. 

"People from other countries," he says, "they don’t understand. To them, it’s just another soccer game and the goal I scored is just a goal. But it’s not just a goal. I think the people who know me and know my family members, they have the same feeling. It’s not just a goal. It’s much more than that. It’s the whole story." 

Nothing can stay buried - Bosnia-Herzegovina forward Vedad Ibisevic returns to homeland

VEDAD IBISEVIC ACCELERATES his black Mercedes-Benz into Stuttgart traffic, almost outrunning the memory of his family crammed into an overcrowded bus, fleeing another home. His memories are always there, exerting both lift and drag. Today he is a star striker in the German Bundesliga.

Twenty-two years ago, in a four-month period, the following things happened to him and his Bosnian family: Serb neighbors invaded his mother’s village, Pijuke, and called out familiar names on a bullhorn, promising that no one would be hurt.

They murdered everyone who emerged. The ethnic-cleansing militia tortured and killed as many Muslims as they could find, burning down every house.

They split his grand­father’s head open and carved a cross into the chest of a local shop owner, a man who kept chocolate in his store for children like Vedad. Eleven of the estimated 100,000 killed in the Bosnian civil war died on May 8, 1992, in a little town surrounded by rolling green hills and grazing white sheep.

The soldiers forced 7-year-old Vedad and his family from their nearby city of Vlasenica and sent them fleeing, from Bosnia to Switzerland to St. Louis. Vedad slept in forests and buses and refugee camps.

He hid in a hole. Soldiers burned down his father’s village, a place named Gerovi, which was where Vedad had always felt most at peace as a child. Soccer had taken hold of his imagination there, at a field next to the river, down a narrow path from the town.

Gerovi was his favorite place in the world, and like everything else he’d known in the first eight years of his life, it was gone. His fingers curl around the steering wheel as he drives away from practice.

He is here and he is there. When the war started, there wasn’t room in the family’s two bags for him to bring a soccer ball or for his sister to carry her new doll, though she did squeeze the doll’s shoes into their luggage. His past throws a poignant shadow onto his present, making something as emotionally insignificant as a doll’s shoes or this car, an AMG-designed, twin-turbo, 577-horsepower E63 sedan, seem like a triumph of the human spirit. He once fled a war in a bus, and now his feet rest on stainless steel racing pedals.

The distance between these things can be dizzying. An old Bosnian love song plays on his stereo. The music reminds him of home, which reminds him of the goal he scored against Lithuania last year, which sent his nation to its first World Cup.

"People from other countries," he says, "they don’t understand. To them, it’s just another soccer game and the goal I scored is just a goal. But it’s not just a goal. I think the people who know me and know my family members, they have the same feeling. It’s not just a goal. It’s much more than that. It’s the whole story."

Nothing can stay buried - Bosnia-Herzegovina forward Vedad Ibisevic returns to homeland

Jamaica’s National Stadium in Kingston is one of the strangest places to play in international soccer. The track that surrounds the field is pristine, but the pitch is marked with patches of bare dirt. 

There is a scoreboard, but it has no clock. The U.S. national team came here to face Jamaica last June in a crucial World Cup qualifier they were widely expected to win. 

But after the U.S. took a 1-0 lead deep into the second half, Jamaica took advantage of a free kick and a sleeping U.S. defense to sneak a header past the U.S. goalkeeper and equalize the score. 

In the convoluted math of World Cup qualifying, a tie against Jamaica was as good as a loss for the U.S.—one that could seriously damage its chances of even making it to Brazil for the World Cup. 

The Americans desperately needed a quick score. But without a scoreboard clock, none of the players knew how much time was left. U.S. defender Brad Evans asked the referee, but he just ran on by. Finally, an official on the sidelines held up a card. Four minutes to go. 

With His Eye on the World Cup, Soccer Coach Jurgen Klinsmann Overhauls Team USA - WSJ

Jamaica’s National Stadium in Kingston is one of the strangest places to play in international soccer. The track that surrounds the field is pristine, but the pitch is marked with patches of bare dirt.

There is a scoreboard, but it has no clock. The U.S. national team came here to face Jamaica last June in a crucial World Cup qualifier they were widely expected to win.

But after the U.S. took a 1-0 lead deep into the second half, Jamaica took advantage of a free kick and a sleeping U.S. defense to sneak a header past the U.S. goalkeeper and equalize the score.

In the convoluted math of World Cup qualifying, a tie against Jamaica was as good as a loss for the U.S.—one that could seriously damage its chances of even making it to Brazil for the World Cup.

The Americans desperately needed a quick score. But without a scoreboard clock, none of the players knew how much time was left. U.S. defender Brad Evans asked the referee, but he just ran on by. Finally, an official on the sidelines held up a card. Four minutes to go.

With His Eye on the World Cup, Soccer Coach Jurgen Klinsmann Overhauls Team USA - WSJ

Got Hope? This week’s Newsweek sure does. From the story, we learn how she lost her dad, got benched, had shoulder surgery, and tested positive for a banned substance, yet somehow survived it all and put U.S. women’s soccer in position to bring home gold again. Here’s a choice quote:

“An NFL player never has to do any endorsements, and he’s fine,” says Solo. (She hawks Gatorade, Bank of America, and Simple skin care, among other things; an autobiography is due out in August.) “But it doesn’t work that way for us. My soccer salary would only make me an average living. So we can’t just market to little girls constantly. We need to start selling tickets to the masses. To middle-aged men. To all walks of life. At the end of the day, these stupid photo shoots are about bringing more recognition to the game, getting bigger contracts, and putting ourselves on the same level as the men.”

iPad people click here to DL this puppy right now. Internet humans click here to read it.

Got Hope? This week’s Newsweek sure does. From the story, we learn how she lost her dad, got benched, had shoulder surgery, and tested positive for a banned substance, yet somehow survived it all and put U.S. women’s soccer in position to bring home gold again. Here’s a choice quote:

“An NFL player never has to do any endorsements, and he’s fine,” says Solo. (She hawks Gatorade, Bank of America, and Simple skin care, among other things; an autobiography is due out in August.) “But it doesn’t work that way for us. My soccer salary would only make me an average living. So we can’t just market to little girls constantly. We need to start selling tickets to the masses. To middle-aged men. To all walks of life. At the end of the day, these stupid photo shoots are about bringing more recognition to the game, getting bigger contracts, and putting ourselves on the same level as the men.”

iPad people click here to DL this puppy right now. Internet humans click here to read it.

Andrew Sullivan points us to a Brazilian soccer team’s “ingenious" way to promote blood donations.

Nicknamed the ‘Red and Blacks’, there’s no prizes for guessing what colours Vitoria usually play in. However, ahead of the new season, the club have ‘drained’ the red hoops from their home strip in a bid to raise awareness and get their fans to donate blood for transfusions and the like. The red hoops on the home shirt will then be replaced one-by-one as the level of blood donated rises, until the shirt is eventually restored to it’s former glory when the target is met.

Andrew Sullivan points us to a Brazilian soccer team’s “ingenious" way to promote blood donations.

Nicknamed the ‘Red and Blacks’, there’s no prizes for guessing what colours Vitoria usually play in. However, ahead of the new season, the club have ‘drained’ the red hoops from their home strip in a bid to raise awareness and get their fans to donate blood for transfusions and the like. The red hoops on the home shirt will then be replaced one-by-one as the level of blood donated rises, until the shirt is eventually restored to it’s former glory when the target is met.

Today in Newsweek archives: Girls Rule!
Yesterday’s dramatic penalty shootout win over Brazil in the semifinals of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup marked the 12th anniversary of this iconic 1999 image, showing defender Brandi Chastain (now an ESPN commentator) just seconds after she secured the penalty for the World Cup win against China (the second win in U.S. history). At the time, international interest in women’s soccer was at an all-time high—and the celebrated match against China was the most-attended women’s sporting event in history. Chastain called it “the greatest moment of my life on the soccer field. The U.S. is set to face France on Wednesday.

Today in Newsweek archives: Girls Rule!

Yesterday’s dramatic penalty shootout win over Brazil in the semifinals of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup marked the 12th anniversary of this iconic 1999 image, showing defender Brandi Chastain (now an ESPN commentator) just seconds after she secured the penalty for the World Cup win against China (the second win in U.S. history). At the time, international interest in women’s soccer was at an all-time high—and the celebrated match against China was the most-attended women’s sporting event in history. Chastain called it “the greatest moment of my life on the soccer field. The U.S. is set to face France on Wednesday.