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07/02/10

Permalink 09:19:45 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture

Macka Diamond’s Book Tour Report

Normally when one hears that an artiste is on tour, performances in a variety of cities are the first thing to come to mind, but with all the changes that dancehall music has experienced in recent days, innovation seems to be the order of the day, and Macka Diamond seems to be leading the way.

Macka aka, The Money Goddess, is on tour, and interestingly enough, it has nothing to do with her on stage performances. The Real Gangster’s Wife, Macka’s latest literal effort, launched earlier this year to great fanfare locally, has generated even more interest beyond Jamaica’s shores, so much that Pageturner Publishing House and Macka have literally taken the show on the road, doing what could be considered, Dancehall’s first book tour of sorts.

“The reception has been fabulous,” declares Macka, when asked about the book tour so far. “Just wonderful,” she continues. “We are in New York now for about seven book signings, we already did one in Manhattan which was just awesome, and we have the Bronx next, then Mount Vernon, Brooklyn, and few more places, then we shoot over to Bridgeport in Connecticut and we also have New Jersey coming up”.

“This entire book tour thing is not only new, but very interesting,” states Macka, “because for the first time I am actually getting to meet my fans in a more personal and sociable way and it’s been extremely interesting,” she states with a chuckle. “I mean, we were in Antigua the other day, and did a few signings and I am in New York getting calls from fans over there telling me how much they enjoyed the book and how much they are looking forward to part two.”

So what can fans expect; is there a part two of The Real Gangster’s Wife in the works? “Well yes, most definitely, its actually already done, it just needs to be edited, but fans have been asking me for Bun Him part two, so I am also working on that right now.”

So far Macka’s book tour has touched parts of Canada, Florida, Antigua and Guyana, and is presently in New York City, with plans for California and Atlanta waiting in the wings.

07/01/10

Permalink 10:37:41 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, Commentary

Time to get rid of the Old Guard

I hate Jamaican politics. Ok maybe that was a little harsh, but to be honest its the truth. I hate Jamaican politics not because I think its slow, or backward or old. I hate Jamaican politics because it seems to be a political system that does not focus on the populace, but instead focuses on the politicians, and their friends. No really take a step back and think about it. How many times since this year have you heard a politician make a statement, or done something that is genuinely aimed to make life better for the people of Jamaica. As a matter of fact I challenge you to look back on the past 10 years and count how many policies were implemented that made you smile and have faith that the world isn't out to get you? Off the top of my head I can only think of around 3, only 1 of which had very little negative effects on Jamaica. The 3 are, Free Health care, Free education up to high school level and the move by Tufton to remove foreign products from our local market. All in all our politicians pretty much suck.

I could go into all the problems caused by our politicians to Jamaica but it would really just be a case of me repeating myself as alot of the articles I've written have been me ranting on about all the rubbish they have done over the years. However the fact remains we as Jamaicans, have definitely dealt with alot of crap, but we persevere, and I would suggest that maybe its time that we change the status quo and change politics in Jamaica. I have made the suggestion on numerous occasions that what we really need to do is to break apart the two party system of politics that has existed since independence, and start anew. I still believe that we should take this step, but after some thought, and a very funny drawing in the local newspaper, I realize that maybe I have been getting ahead of myself. The real first step that we need to take would be to get rid of the "old guard" that is currently in charge of our parties and our government, and start with a fresh new face to our government.

Old guard asleep**Taken from Jamaica observer

The two party system can stay, because it isn't exactly the root cause of the problem, the only problem is the people within these two parties. It should be obvious by now that something is wrong when the majority of the politicians on either side of the party boat are all old fogeys, who were born and raised in this corrupt political system. Of course these old fogeys do serve a purpose and that is the reason why it is important to have some of them. Only SOME. The rest of them aren't doing anything but taking up space in parliament and continuing to play the same tune that my father, and my grandfather will have known. Nobody is attempting to change the tune a little bit for the benefit of breaking us from the boredom. Well that is... nobody old.

Alot of the politicians from the current government that keep presenting radical ideas are in fact people less than 50 years of age. Andrew Holness (Education), Christopher Tufton (Agriculture), James Robertson (Mining) are all pretty young guys and whether you would like to believe it or not, these are the guys who are currently the most active people and who are currently trying to change things as much as possible. Just look at the work that they have been doing since they have been put in power, it is surely something to be proud of and that really inspires us as Jamaicans that maybe we do have a political future. The other interesting thing is that the majority of these young politicians are people who are actually qualified in these posts that they take up. Unlike many of the old guard who are really only there because the parties leadership saw it fit that they be placed there.

I know this because in a chat with a politician friend of mine the other day I asked him if elected what ministry would he take up. He could provide me with no answer and instead said that the party was yet to decide where he would be most useful, however being a brilliant business minded person, I would assume he would take a role in an industry such as tourism. But alas maybe I'm being too logical.

In the end however there is one thing that is really holding us back as a country and that is the fact that the people who we want to lead us, are the same people that have been leading us since the 70's... that is the period where we ended up screwing ourselves over in the first place. This cannot be a logical way to solve our problems can it? The old guys have all had their chance and now its time for them to take themselves away. After all how can we expect to be doing the same thing over and over again, but somehow expect that the result will change?

Permalink 10:45:39 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment

Usher Confirmed For Reggae Sumfest 2010

Jamaica’s premier summer music event Reggae Sumfest, is again living up to its reputation of delivering only the finest acts, by bringing one of the music industry’s most celebrated pop stars, Usher, to this year’s 18th staging.

The International R&B star has been confirmed as a performer to take the stage at the show which runs in Catherine Hall, St. James between July 17 and 24.

Usher will join a cast of fellow performing giants such as Chris Brown, Beenie Man, Shaggy, Bounty Killer, Mavado, Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica, Jah Cure among others.

Though not his first local performance, Usher has been on a phenomenal streak in recent times, with memorable music and electrifying performances. His latest album Raymond V. Raymond which was released on March 30 this year, debuted at number 1 on the US Billboard 200 charts. His latest single OMG featuring Will.I.Am is also currently blazing the airwaves, clubs and parties across the world.

This is only his latest crown in a career decorated with accomplishments. Usher has won 5 Grammy awards, 8 Soul Train Awards, and 19 Billboard Music Awards.

He made his musical debut in 1994 with the single Think of You but it was not until 1997 that Usher gained popularity with the hit song My Way. Since then, he has turned into a virtual hit-maker.

In 2001 Usher released the album 8701, which went four times platinum riding on the success of hit singles such as U Remind Me and U Got It Bad. In 2004 Confessions sold over 10 million copies in the US. It was ranked as grossing the highest sales in the first week for an R&B artiste in history. Subsequently, the album sold 20 million copies worldwide and was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In 2008, his album Here I Stand sold over 5 million copies worldwide and was certified platinum.

In addition to Usher’s recording feats, he is also known for his talent on the stage, and on the screen. Usher appeared in the 1998 film The Faculty and a year later She’s All That. As a Humanitarian, Usher founded New Look, a non-profit organization that seeks to give young people a ‘new look’ on life through the use of education and real life experiences as the incentive. With a string of accolades and awards, there is no doubt Usher will add considerable value to an army of stars now billed for the greatest summer Festival in Jamaica.

Reggae Sumfest is the most celebrated and supported Reggae Festival in Jamaica, and attracts the world’s leading musicians and performers. In its near 20 year history, the show has boasted a superb entertainment package, loaded with the best performances, food, music, and culture. This year’s Festival runs from July 17-24 at Catherine Hall, St James.

Red Stripe is back as a sponsor of Reggae Sumfest, after a one-year hiatus. The brand now joins fellow Platinum sponsors Ibero Star, Digicel, and the Jamaica Tourist Board. Gold Sponsors include CVM, The Gleaner, and Irie Fm.

Permalink 10:36:06 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment

Nyc Brooklyn Music Festival To Showcase Top Reggae, Hip Hop Acts

Thousands of Caribbean American nationals in the New York Diaspora will converge on the Aviator Sports & Recreation Center on American Independence Day July 4 for the third annual Brooklyn Music Festival. The 2010 lineup includes Atlanta blaze-fire rapper and hit machine B.o.B and Fabulous, multi platinum selling reggae artiste Shaggy, Gregory Issacs, King Yellowman, Barrington Levy, Lady Saw, Assassin, Tanya Stephens. D’Angel, Shabba, Daville, ska bands The Rudie Crew and New York Ska Jazz Ensemble, and several other acts.

This sizzling one-day festival has quickly become a premium item on the summer calendar of events in New York City, and its placement over a major holiday weekend will ensure a big participation from locals as well as out-of-towners in this celebration of the legendary and compelling Jamaican culture. In past years, the festival has attracted over 10,000 patrons. This year the festival is partnering with New York City’s newly crowned CBS radio market leader 92.3 NOW FM in order to bring new layers of demographic energies to the event.

“This year we have made great efforts to broaden the scope of the festival to make the offering culturally more full-bodied”, festival founder and promoter George Crooks commented. “The event is still anchored in excellent reggae music, but this year we’ve added pop and ska. Additionally we have expanded vending to include classic culinary temptations, arts & crafts souvenirs and colorful urban wear from scores of small merchants”, Crooks continued.

The festival comes as good news too for Caribbean American New Yorkers hungry for entertainment and who have seen a downturn in recent months in both the quality and quantity of ethnic entertainment in the New York tri-state region due to a litany of tribulations –from visa woes to artist incarcerations. The timing of the Brooklyn Music Festival is smart too, coming as it does at the startup point for the usually hectic summer concert season when reggae music lovers embrace the events of choice. Part of the proceeds from this year’s festival will be donated to the American Foundation of the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) scholarship fund.

06/30/10

Permalink 12:34:36 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Technology, Commentary

Jamaica's Energy Future

We live in a world where energy controls our lives, the mere fact that you are reading this article right now means that you have used some amount of energy, the mere fact that I typed this article means that I also used some energy myself. Even if you are gonna tell me that you are smarter than the rest of us and printed the article on recycled paper on your energy saving printer, think about this: It cost roughly 3000 kWh to make 1 ton of paper, A small printer uses 156 kWh per year, add to this the energy cost to make the ink cartridges, the energy cost to turn on your computer, the energy cost to run your modem etc. When you add all of this together, just to print this article alone is really high. Reading it on a computer isn't that more energy efficient either so I wont even go there. But what I'm getting at is that we need energy to do everything, and the major problem for Jamaica (and the majority of the world), is that we get our energy from oil, a limited resource that we do not ourselves have... yet.

We have taken steps to try to stem our need for oil by implementing an Ethanol blend into our fuel. Ethanol is a renewable resource which you get by fermenting cane into alcohol, and like alcohol it can burn and produce energy which is why it can be a suitable substitute for fuel. However there is a slight problem in that our current mechanical devices are not able to take pure ethanol as fuel, so we have to blend the ethanol. Of course this means that we still rely on oil to some extent, though thankfully a little less. However with an oil bill that calculates to US$1.4 billion annually, one would think it would be high time that we take a few steps to change our energy future, its either that or continue to dig a deeper hole of debt for us to bury ourselves in.

Our current Energy Minister James Robertson seems to agree with me on that point, but only to an extent. He states the major strain that ethanol production is having on Jamaica in that we are now short on mollasses, an important ingredient in the production of rum, which is another major industry in Jamaica. His solution involves the move to Liquified Natural Gas LNG to offset the cost of regular oil due to the fact that it is a much cheaper alternative to oil. Robertson also goes on to state that the high cost of renewable energy is another reason why it makes no sense to continue to stick with that as our source of energy. One cannot deny that his argument is in fact very sound, with the exception of one thing. The mere fact that LNG is a natural gas means that supplies of this are also limited to the amount stored up in the earth, and eventually when the supplies of LNG become limited, the prices will begin to rise again and we will yet again be placed in more and more debt.

I would propose that Instead of focusing on using these non-renewable resources, we focus on the resources that we have readily available to us, things that will eventually pay for themselves given enough time. Being a caribbean island we are lucky enough to have the sun steadily available to us on average 5 days out of the week. Solar Energy is therefore much more cost effective for us than for other countries. The only major cost we would have to bear from Solar energy use would be in the form of the cost of batteries which do not have extremely long life cycles, however the Solar Panels do have a long life and would be able to last in excess of 20 years with the only level of maintenance needed would be to clean them. If the government takes steps in making this type of energy more attractive to consumers and also subsidizes the cost, at the end of the day this will cut our fuel bill by an even greater amount than LNG can do, and it will last for as long as the sun still burns (it will be burning for a while).

solar panels

We also have the wonderful sea breeze that is almost constantly available on the coastline and also in the mountains. There are even currently successful windfarms in use in Manchester and St. Elizabeth which have helped to reduce the cost of energy to those parishes, but yet we still want to focus on using non-renewable resources to solve our energy problem

Wind farm

There are also multiple other sustainable energy solutions which are available which can be taken from the earth at low long term costs. Things such as Tides and Wave energy are all readily available to the Jamaican populace for our energy needs, however we refuse to think about investing in them because we continue to look at the short term costs instead of the long term benefits. Maybe that is the problem that we need to fix, maybe it is a mindset that really needs to be changed. After all I can remember none of the governments ever taking a step to help sustainable energy gain popularity, both governments have instead been spending most of their time trying to find cheaper gas and different types of gas.

In the end however we need to remember that while we have grown to accept oil as our go to type of energy, we need to expand our horizons so that we can create a better energy future for Jamaica. After all, even if we do find oil in Jamaica, how long till we have tapped that well dry?

How long until we have to ask ourselves the question... what next?

Permalink 10:58:03 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture

Award Winning Author Set To Take Over Airwaves of Jamaica

Award winning Jamaican born, Toronto based author Sandy Daley, author of the controversial book "Whose Vagina Is It, Really?" will be in Jamaica this week for various radio and TV interviews as she launches her new book.

CONFIRMED RADIO/TV INTERVIEWS 1) CVM TV - CVM at Sunrise - June 30, 6:30 am - In studio.

2) HOT 102 FM with host Richie B - July 1, 3:30pm - In studio.

3) Nationwide News - July 1st - In studio .

4) Streethype Radio show, WVIP, 93.5 FM, New York - July 1st, 2 am - remote from Jamaica.

5) HOT 102 FM, Reasoning with Devon Hunter - July 2, 10am - In studio.

6) WPBR, Florida with host Jr Soul - July 2nd, 6:30 am - remote from Jamaica.

about the book "Whose Vagina Is It, Really?" by Patrick Maitland (editor Street Hype newspaper).

Everybody requires enduring behavioral interdependence, repeated interactions, emotional attachment, and need fulfillment. Undoubtedly, intimate relationships play a central role in the overall human experience. Humans have a universal need, which is satisfied when intimate relationships are formed with another human being.

However, intimate relationships consist of the people that we are attracted to, whom we like and love, romantic and sexual relationships, and those who we marry and provide with emotional and personal support.

With the divorce rate in America and other countries estimated at over 50% for the past ten years, an increasing number of people are finding it affordable and less nerve-racking to be engaged in non-committed intimate relationships..

While money and other resources are always a major spotlight in most relationship, the woman’s body especially the vagina continues to be the focal point of the relationships.

For most women their vagina is their prized-possession, power and bargaining chip. On the other hand, it is the opinion of most men that a woman’s vagina is for them to keep and care for as long as they are paying the bills, providing food and shelter.

As the vagina fights between men and woman continues, one of the most prolific and modern-day writers, Sandy Daley has put forward some solutions in Whose Vagina is it really? In her own unique and hilarious style, Sandy encourages women to keep the power, while demanding more respect and understanding from men. Sandy skillfully ignores the Idiom, “He who pays the piper calls the tune.” She comments that men may have the money and are paying bills, but they should not dictate the terms of the relationship. The writer urges women to “Love yourself before anyone else; but love him wholeheartedly as well if you have chosen him. Often times we become nags and don’t support our men. If you want him and he is worth it and he is the One then love him the right way.”

Whose Vagina is it really? is the ideal teaching tool for the girls, but the instructive eye-opener for men. Funny, but conscious writings.

"Whose Vagina Is It, Really?", will be in available in bookstores and from her personal sites www.sandydaley.com or www.whosevaginaisitreally.com.

Permalink 10:34:40 am, by amilnal
Categories: Business

Pay it Forward says Perkins

Donovan Perkins, President and CEO of Pan Caribbean Financial Services Limited (PCFS), has called on the corporate community to Pay it Forward, which he described as a "charitable pyramid scheme". Mr. Perkins, who was speaking at the Salvation Army Fundraising Gala on June 21, stressed the importance of individual and corporate responsibility as a route to our country's development.

"There are so many young people who could use your help and advice. You can identify one young person who has shown some promise or who just needs help...and personally guide and support them," he told the audience at the Jamaica Pegasus. "Our country is filled with so many children who are talented who just need some encouragement... and a little help. Find one in a primary school or high school and make that commitment....with your help, that child can develop into a productive citizen of Jamaica," he said, pointing out that there are additional benefits for corporate Jamaica.

"Corporations that have a keen awareness of their social responsibility are likely to have better relationships with their customers, with the leaders in their community and with its employees - and all are important to the well-being of the company, and its longevity," he added.

Mr. Perkins also handed over a donation of $500,000 to the Salvation Army to assist the Haiti Relief Initiative. The funds, he says, were contributed by Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited and PanCaribbean team members who felt compelled to play their part in assisting the group. PCFS, a member of the Sagicor Group, is one of the island's leading financial institutions with an admirable reputation of solid corporate governance. Through the most recently formed Sagicor PanCaribbean Foundation, the Group has increased its aim of improving the lives of Jamaican children in the areas of health, education and sports.

Over 60,000 Jamaicans receive assistance from the Salvation Army each year through a range of programmes that include providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, and shelter to the homeless.

06/27/10

Permalink 04:05:33 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Sports, Commentary

Implementing Technology into football

In the 1966 world cup final between England and West Germany Geoff Hurst made a shot that bounced off of the upright and right on to the goal line, after some deliberation the goal was awarded to England who subsequently went on to win their first and only world cup. In 2010 Frank Lampard made a shot that bounced off of the upright and landed in the goal before bouncing out into the hands of the keeper, this was not awarded as a goal to England despite the fact that the replays showed a clear goal. The difference between these two occasions was that in 1966 colour televisions had just started to become popular and computers still required entire rooms to be held in... while in 2010 there are cell phones that have the ability to do what computers can do, cars that can drive themselves, and kitchen appliances that can surf the web. This contrast is important as even though technology has now gotten to the point where there are fully functional bionic body parts, football still seems to be trapped in the dark ages wid the most recent technological innovation being the substitution boards.

Football substitution boards

One is forced to ask, why is it that football is still this way? It cannot be that the technology is unreliable, after all the type of technology that would need to be used has been used in countless sports such as Tennis, Rugby, Ice Hockey, Cricket... almost every sport as a matter of  fact uses some form of technology to aid its officials in making more accurate decisions, but not football. The reason given by most FIFA officials as to its decision not to use the technology is that it is trying to maintain the tradition that football has always had, another reason that has been given is that it makes football an equal sport the world over, in that the same way that the sport is played in the sports premier competition, it is played the same way in high school leagues, and even in primary school leagues. All that is needed is a whistle, and some flags and using that alone you have all that is necessary to officiate. While one can see the merit in having equality all around, it should also be noted that the sloppy officiating does make the game less attractive to the people who are watching the sport and also leads to people being frustrating at the football governing body. After all a goal given or taken may be what makes or breaks a football match.

To me however the argument for technology goes way beyond having it involved in every game, but more goes into the question of exactly what kind of technology should be implemented into the football game. There are many different types of technology available which can be used, this video by the BBC goes into just a few of them and how they can be used in the game. However I have to question the feasibility of putting them in the game because there is one thing about football which differs from every other sport, and that thing is that football is a continuous sport. There are rarely any breaks in the game of football, and it is possible for a game to be played without the referee ever having to blow a whistle except to announce a goal (though that never happens). This is one of the reasons why football is an exciting game, the continuous stream of attack and counterattack makes it one where the viewer has to sit at the edge of his seat for the entire time and pray that his team will win.

If one is to implement replay technology in the football game, you will break the flow of the game. These pauses in the game slow it down and to me causes it to lose some of what makes it such an attractive sport. Especially in those times where a replay is so close that it requires the referee to look at it from different angles to make the best call possible, (such as in offside calls). An example of this is in the NFL, where when a review of the play is called the broadcasters have the time to play 3 or 4 advertisements and then come back and focus on the referee watching the video, and then focus on the players, and the coaches, and then finally a call is made. This means that 5 or more minutes are wasted, gone, and in the case of football will be added to stoppage time. This means that games will now have 10-15 minutes worth of stoppage time each, this to me in no way adds any attractiveness to the game and instead takes away from it.

Goal line technology (see the video) however I can see making some amount of sense in the football game. This technology is one where once the ball passes the goal line and enters the goal, the referee is signaled that the ball has in fact entered the goal and awards the goal to the team. This is pretty straightforward and does not pause the game in any way, and will have made the difference in goals such as the one that happened this morning.

Another issue I forsee with technology being used in football is the issue of offsides. The only way to properly tell an offside is by using replay technology, and I have already stated that replay technology does pose problems as far as its effects on football. The only other way then is to have something like goal line technology being used on players. Placing a transciever on all players and then having and one on the ball  and of course doing all the calculations (if ball is kicked in direction A and player B is in front of player C then it is offiside, else onside) all makes perfect sense, except one question is at wat part of the player do you place the device. Is it torso, legs, feet, head etc.? All of these decisions will have to be made, and then after that happens players will now know and have ways in which they could beat the system. Can you imagine the expense of implementing this as well?

The final issue that I can forsee with technology in football is the issue of punishment. Lets say, that we implement the replay system. A player runs offside and the referee blows, the coaches call for a review, and it turns out that the player was not in fact offside. What do you do then? Do you give a free kick? Or a Penalty kick? Or even a goal? The problem comes in because football is a game where as they say "the ball is round". Just because you are in front of an empty net does not mean you will score, this has happened on numerous occasions. The keeper who gave away 5 goals earlier in the match, may just decide to perform a brilliant save on that 6th goal. The player may slide because one of the pegs on his boot comes off. There are just too many variables available to give one fair punishment for an offside call.

So one can see that technology in football isn't something that can just be put in and then work. There is always a way in which the system can fail in the same way it can be successful. There are always variables which simply cannot be calculated and the decisions made can end up being the most unfair call, despite having the noblest of causes. The human side of football is very important and despite what some people may believe, it is one of the reasons why football is such a loved sport around the world, because in the same breath you will curse a referee if the call is against your team, you will love him if it is for your team. While one can see the use of goal line technology in football, the use of replay and  any other technologies, will in my opinion do more harm than good.

06/25/10

Permalink 03:10:57 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Sports, Commentary

The world cup to me so far

Ok there have maybe been a little too much world cup posts for the past 2 weeks, but you must understand, it only happens every 4 years, of course we are gonna discuss the hell out of it when it finally comes around. Now this world cup has certainly been an exciting one so far... the different upsets which have occured, the surprise goals, the hand balls, the crappy refereeing, the red cards, this has truly been a world cup with all the excitement of all previous world cups, despite what many people believe. Now I wont start drawing battle lines as yet and say what team I am a fan of, but I will take as objective a view as possible at alot of the events of the world cup... and then draw battle lines, because its the manly thing to do.

Now the first event of the world cup to draw the attention of the press was the big USA v England clash. This clash was really a match up of nation against nation more than football teams against each other, simply because both countries were depending on their teams to give them a sense of pride if they beat the other. Maybe its historical, but USA and England rivalries no matter what form they take are always more for pride than anything else, if England loses then USA will say that they are still the better country since their independence, and if the US loses then England will say that they are the better country etc. But I digress, this is about football. In my opinion both of these teams are pretty much evenly matched, the only difference between them is that the English players are more internationally popular, with people like Rooney, Gerrard, etc., while the US players while not as popular (internationally), make it up with their skill, athleticism, and their will to win no matter the cost. However I will not deny, that I gave the edge in this match to England, for the reason that their attack should have been stronger than the US attack especially with Rooney being so deadly a striker and also on form. And in all honesty the game was really turning out to end the way I predicted with the US on top, until...

Robert Green Miskeep

Need I say more. In what can only be described as the most horrible showing of goalkeeping skills ever seen, Robert Green gave the match back to the US in fine style.

But no need to linger on that match, I need to look on all the other things that happened, such as Spain losing to Switzerland. I will be honest I did expect Spain to lose eventually, but I didnt expect them to lose so spectularly, or as a matter of fact that they would lose to Switzerland! But lose they did, in what has been descibed as probably the most painful type of defeat possible, losing by only 1-0.

The next important upsets that occured only this week was the ousting of both France and Italy from the world cup. The two finalists from the last world cup, could not even make it past the 1st round, both finishing at the bottom of their groups, against teams that really should have been a walk over for both of them. But alas they did, once again I did fully expect them to lose eventually but not so early. Reason being, France has shown time and time again that without Zidane, they may as well be ranked 100th in the world, because they will become rubbish. Italy I expected to fail because their team selection was horrible, they were probably the oldest team on average at the world cup and they didn't even bother to pick the good old people like Totti, nor would they pick the good young guys like Toni and Ballotelli (not like they'd pick a black man to play for them anyway). But alas they both suffered because of their choices. Other teams which have made a poor showing at the world cup include Portugal, the Ivory Coast, and all the African teams (except Ghana who cant seem to score unless its a penalty).

Italians crying

Finally there are the teams that have lived up to their expectations, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, and Argentina have all come into the world cup seemingly to show that their top 10 ranks are definitely not in anyway mistaken and they deserve it all. While Germany did lose a match that should have been a shoe-in for them, they still pretty much dominated the group and their beating of Austrailia did show that they can in fact stamp their class when necessary. The Netherlands had a pretty easy group but they still showed some quality football and based on that one can expect them to go far in the world cup.

Now on to the people who were largely expected to either win or reach the final game in the World Cup... Argentina and Brazil. Both teams had pretty slow starts to the world cup but they still showed that their names were in fact ones to be feared. The one surprise about Argentina is Lionel Messi's seeming inability to actually put the ball in the back of the net, however it does seem that Maradona has truly freed himself from cocaine addiction and picked the best squad possible with only one exception... Juan Roman Riquelme, who was missing after he and Maradona were at odds with each other. One can truly expect Argentina however to go very far in this world cup. Brazil on the other hand picked a squad which was notably missing two of their biggest names (Ronaldinho and Pato), but still performed excellently under without them. It seems that Dunga's squad selection is not what many Brazilians had expected and has as a matter of fact put him at odds with many Brazilians, however has been successful as brilliant goals from Elano, and Luis Fabiano have shown Brazil will defeinitely be putting the fight to the world cup.

I will be writing more and more about the world cup as it progresses though, as it is seemingly the only way to calm me down between matches. Oh and as for the team I cheer for... I will only say one thing: Joga Bonito!

Permalink 10:40:35 am, by amilnal
Categories: Education, Culture

Magnificent Chess Summer Camp To Build Jamaica One Mind At a Time

The Magnificent Chess Club's mandate is to steadily build the future of Jamaica one mind at a time. This through a variety of chess programmes established within various schools and communities islandwide, and now through a physical space dedicated to the exclusive pursuit of all chess related matters.

The club is actively engaged in developing a range of initiatives designed to help children and adults become more focused and be able to concentrate more intensely through the tactical, analytical, disciplined, and focused mental approach required in the teaching and playing of chess. The club will be hosting the Magnificent Chess Summer Camp which runs from July 5 to August 20, at its headquarters located at 10 Swallowfield Road in Kingston. The aim of this camp will be to sharpen the minds and attitudes of the participants .

"We want people to come, learn the game, improve on their skills, and play others here," explains Sash-Nicole Noble, General Manager of the Magnificent Chess Foundation. She adds that in addition to chess, there will be other activities that help to build character and sharpen intellect such as Tae-Kwon-Do, art, drama among other things. Though the camp is to sharpen the mind through chess primarily, there will be other activities that make the participants more rounded when they finish."

In addition to those benefits, early bird registrants who complete registration before June 30 will benefit from the club's discounted packages. The camp will take place at the Club's official building, which is to be formally opened on June 29, 2010. This physical space will also be an area where regular chess enthusiasts, chess lovers and those curious about chess may go to have questions addressed, research chess material, or simply to sharpen their skills.

"People have been asking where they can go and learn to play the game, some have felt left out, and as if they needed a physical space to come to for all chess matters," explains Sash-Nicole.

"So at this space people may simply come here, they may use the library, the media room, or do online gaming, or simply hang out with other enthusiasts."

There are immediate benefits to joining the Magnificent Chess Club including learning the game, academic performance is improved, members become a part of the region's most exciting chess community, and also get access to other non chess activities.

The game of chess relies on memory along with analytic and strategic thinking, so the benefits to a developing mind are significant. The Magnificent Chess Club has been using these positives as the springboard to getting more Jamaicans into the habit of thinking in a similar manner. The inevitable result is a significant improvement in academic grades and professional performance. The team is comprised of Mr. Ian Wilkinson, Ms. Sash-Nicole Noble, Mrs. Loraine Amitirigala, and Dr. Seymour Douglas.

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Bruk Pocket Jamaican

"Recently, this Jamaican won the 10 million special lottery for a dollar. As soon as the office of the Lottery Corporation was open on the following day, he was there to collect his winnings.

Graciously, he presented his winning ticket to the clerk and in his best English uttered his request "Me cum fi collect the 10 millian dallars, si me ticket ya".

After reviewing and checking the ticket with his manager, the clerk returned and requested on how he would like his payments. The Jamaican replied "Mi wan all a de moni now". "Unfortunately, Sir" the nervous clerk responded, "The procedures are that we can only give you one million now and the balance equally over the next 20 years".

Furious and agitated, the Jamaican asked for the manager, who re-iterated "Sir, my assistant is correct, it is the regulation of the corporation that we initially pay you one million dollars now with the balance paid to you equally over the next 20 years".

Outraged, the Jamaican slammed his hand on the desk and shouted in anger, "Oonu tek me fi idiat, me wan all a de moni now or oonu gi me bak me rass dallar!!"

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