Welcome Manu!

Most welcome news! Born a week early and after only 90minutes of labour, this little lad was keen to start early. He is gonna be a genius.

Congrats Matt and Minka!


Spot the Difference

This image was created well before the present furore over Henry’s handball which sent the Irish out of the World Cup qualifiers last week. But see any differences in the marketing strategy?

On the left is the image in France. Both Federer and Woods have their weapons of choice while Henry stands there nonchalently with anything to play with. The image on the right is in England, Spain and Germany.

It seems in France hand and ball just don’t have that essence of je ne cheat quoi.

German General Quits Over Airstrike

Interesting story this. The head of the German Army General Wolfgang Schneiderhan resigned along with the then-Minister of Defence Franz Josef Jung after a cover-up over the bombing in North Afghanistan of two stolen tankers killing up to 142 civilians. The tankers were stolen by the Taliban and then got stuck in the sand. Civilians came along to siphon off the oil while the Germans marked the target and an F-15 arrived to bomb the site. The resignations only happened after Bild, the German daily released of the video showing the bombing this week. 

Seems to make sense doesn’t it? But then you ask how that video was leaked. The US military is hardly known for losing incriminating evidence about itself. The Germans spent 6 months denying the story and mumbling the truth. So you can guess the US military finally leaked the video to rightly implicate the German Army and the two resignations followed soon after. All part of the usual European politics. 

The European states are having huge problems in Afghanistan committed themselves to the mission. The Italians have been revealed to be famously paying off the Taliban to not shoot at them so they go home in a blaze of glory, the German troops have rarely left Kabul and/or are too stoned too and the rest are tucked away in the nicer parts of the country biding their time until home time. The Brits, Danes, Estonians, Americans and Canadians are meanwhile fighting into the wind like Sisyphus. Add the muddled consensus over the European President and High Representative of Foreign Affairs, two jobs that will involve more negotiating to a muddled decision and you can see the mess the EU has when it tries to act as a union.

Happy Thanksgiving!

ONE thing Americans should be thankful for this Thanksgiving is that they have not put on as much weight as the average turkey. Between 1960 and 2008, turkeys bulked up by around 11lb (5kg) to 29lb, an increase of 64%, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Coincidentally, in that same period the average American man gained 28lb, almost the equivalent of a turkey, according to data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, another government agency, and a Gallup poll of 2008. This year an estimated 250m turkeys will be raised, 8% fewer than a year ago, but still almost enough for one bird each for America’s 308m people.