1994 Pulitzer Prize winner for Feature Photograhy: Kevin Carter

November 19, 2009

    I am depressed … without phone … money for rent … money for child support … money for debts … money!!! … I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain … of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners…I have gone to join Ken if I am that lucky. (27 July 1994 – From Carter’s suicide note)

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Roger Federer – Rafael Nadal (Wimbledon 2008 final – last game)

November 19, 2009

The most beautiful final in  history

James Blunt – Wise men

November 19, 2009

Coventry F.C. against their own history

September 12, 2009

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     The sixth league game schedules some of the top matches. While Derby are trying their luck at Sheffield Utd,their fiercest rivals, Sheffield Wednesday host the current underperformer Nottingham Forrest, in an evening full of football in the Championship. Payback time for Ipswich and Plymouth in impossible travels to Middlesborough and West Bromwich and Coventry F.C. play by “all or nothing” on an eagerly expected match against Bristol City at Ricoh Arena.

    Five defeats in five games. These are the less encouraging statistics when it comes to counting the last matches between Coventry F.C. and the team which is currently regarded as a strong contender for the upper table this season, Bristol City. More than that, the “sky blues” seemed to have lost their confidence after a series of two straight defeats and no goals scored for a period of three games by now. On the other side, Bristol City come after a brilliant 2-1 win over promotion favourites Middlesbrough and find themselves on an honourable 5th place in the Championship table after five games. All these would lead to a facile win for the visitors at Ricoh on Saturday afternoon, but Coventry is not as easy to break down. Coleman’s team is currently only three points down to the play-off places and a win over “the Robins” would send the team “back in bussiness” for earning the top spots in a long and contested season.

    coca-cola-championshipBristol’s manager Gary Johnson seemed rather optimistic when talking to the journalists and stated that ” Ricoh is a lovely stadium, especially when you’ve got that deja vu feeling in the dressing room. To us the away dressing room has only been a happy one. Our supporters enjoy going there too as it’s not a million miles away and we always put on a good performance there.” On the other side, his team should take care of avoiding complacency as a win over the Sky Blues is not to be earned by the simple presence on the field, concluded the manager.

     Coventry F.C. have to manage this match without the services of the dutch defender Patrick Van Aanholt, but also without the long-term injured James McPake and David Bell, due to problems at collarbone and ankle. More than that, the other two defenders Marcus Hall and Elliot Ward are not certain for the forecoming match, but they are expected to be on the bench as reserves. Bristol City have come to Ricoh with two players less, John Akinde injured and Paul Hartley exhausted after playing in both matches for Scotland in the last five days.

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Bibury (Cotswald villages, Gloucestershire UK) no comment

September 11, 2009

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The Hampton Court Maze – Jerome K. Jerome (fragment from “Three Men in a Boat”)

September 8, 2009

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        Since I read the book of Jerome K. Jerome, especially the fragment about the maze at Hampton Court I became fascinated by this medieval castle situated in the south-western part of London, in Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Not only the charm and the  british atmosphere of the Palace managed to impress me, but also its maze, planted in Hampton Court Palace Gardens in 1702.  Covering an area of an acre ( about 1350 sq meters ) and with its paths  of half a mile  (0.8 km ) long, the famous Maze asks his visitors to fulfill a very simple task: getting to the center and then finding the way back. Sounds easy, isn’t it?  The fragment from the book of Jerome K. Jerome, written in the purest british humouros style just proves how “easily” the exit can be reached:

Harris asked me if I’d ever been in the maze at Hampton Court. He said he went in once to show somebody else the way. He had studied it up in a map, and it was so simple that it seemed foolish – hardly worth the twopence charged for admission. Harris said he thought that map must have been got up as a practical joke, because it wasn’t a bit like the real thing, and only misleading. It was a country cousin that Harris took in. He said:

“We’ll just go in here, so that you can say you’ve been, but it’s very simple. It’s absurd to call it a maze. You keep on taking the first turning to the right. We’ll just walk round for ten minutes, and then go and get some lunch.”

They met some people soon after they had got inside, who said they had been there for three-quarters of an hour, and had had about enough of it. Harris told them they could follow him, if they liked; he was just going in, and then should turn round and come out again. They said it was very kind of him, and fell behind, and followed.

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 They picked up various other people who wanted to get it over, as they went along, until they had absorbed all the persons in the maze. People who had given up all hopes of ever getting either in or out, or of ever seeing their home and friends again, plucked up courage at the sight of Harris and his party, and joined the procession, blessing him. Harris said he should judge there must have been twenty people, following him, in all; and one woman with a baby, who had been there all the morning, insisted on taking his arm, for fear of losing him.

Harris kept on turning to the right, but it seemed a long way, and his cousin said he supposed it was a very big maze.

“Oh, one of the largest in Europe,” said Harris.

“Yes, it must be,” replied the cousin, “because we’ve walked a good two miles already.”

Harris began to think it rather strange himself, but he held on until, at last, they passed the half of a penny bun on the ground that Harris’s cousin swore he had noticed there seven minutes ago. Harris said: “Oh, impossible!” but the woman with the baby said, “Not at all,” as she herself had taken it from the child, and thrown it down there, just before she met Harris. She also added that she wished she never had met Harris, and expressed an opinion that he was an impostor. That made Harris mad, and he produced his map, and explained his theory.

“The map may be all right enough,” said one of the party, “if you know whereabouts in it we are now.”

Harris didn’t know, and suggested that the best thing to do would be to go back to the entrance, and begin again. For the beginning again part of it there was not much enthusiasm; but with regard to the advisability of going back to the entrance there was complete unanimity, and so they turned, and trailed after Harris again, in the opposite direction. About ten minutes more passed, and then they found themselves in the centre.

Harris thought at first of pretending that that was what he had been aiming at; but the crowd looked dangerous, and he decided to treat it as an accident.

Anyhow, they had got something to start from then. They did know where they were, and the map was once more consulted, and the thing seemed simpler than ever, and off they started for the third time.

And three minutes later they were back in the centre again.

After that, they simply couldn’t get anywhere else. Whatever way they turned brought them back to the middle. It became so regular at length, that some of the people stopped there, and waited for the others to take a walk round, and come back to them. Harris drew out his map again, after a while, but the sight of it only infuriated the mob, and they told him to go and curl his hair with it. Harris said that he couldn’t help feeling that, to a certain extent, he had become unpopular.

They all got crazy at last, and sang out for the keeper, and the man came and climbed up the ladder outside, and shouted out directions to them. But all their heads were, by this time, in such a confused whirl that they were incapable of grasping anything, and so the man told them to stop where they were, and he would come to them. They huddled together, and waited; and he climbed down, and came in.

He was a young keeper, as luck would have it, and new to the business; and when he got in, he couldn’t find them, and he wandered about, trying to get to them, and then HE got lost. They caught sight of him, every now and then, rushing about the other side of the hedge, and he would see them, and rush to get to them, and they would wait there for about five minutes, and then he would reappear again in exactly the same spot, and ask them where they had been.

They had to wait till one of the old keepers came back from his dinner before they got out.

Harris said he thought it was a very fine maze, so far as he was a judge; and we agreed that we would try to get George to go into it, on our way back.

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Cum sa fii un gentleman – John Bridges

September 7, 2009

      gentelman[1]

    Am pus ochii pe cartea lui John Bridges pe cand ma aflam intr-o librarie, pe Calea Victoriei. Ajungand cu cateva minute mai devreme la o intalnire de “afaceri”, mi-am permis sa pierd un pic vremea pe la raionul cu “Aparitii noi”. Si nu am regretat. De indata ce am inspectat-o, mi-am dat seama ca trebuie imediat cumparata. Acest “mic tratat de elganta”, asa cum frumos titreaza prima pagina a cartii, este un indrumator moral indispensabil pentru orice barbat care doreste sa faca ordine in viata sa si mai ales sa traiasca pentru ceva anume,dispus sa lupte si pentru valori morale si intangibile si nu doar pentru ce este palpabil, dar banal si trecator. Cuvantul autorului mi-a intarit ideea printr-o afirmatie cruda: “Intr-o lume a grabei cotidiene, sa fii un gentleman pare din ce in ce mai complicat.” Intr-adevar, bunul simt si politetea au devenit in zilele noastre instrumente de atingere a obiectivelor si nu garantii ale respectului de sine si calitatii umane, asa cum reprezentau intr-un trecut parca apus de veacuri. Acelasi autor clarifica insa imediat rolul statutului de gentleman, in aceeasi nota simpla si fin umoristica, ce face de altfel deliciul cartii pe parcursul intregii lecturi.

 “Nu este suficient sa te comporti ca un gentleman. Important este sa fii un gentleman in orice ocazie, iar asta inseamna sa te gandesti la ceilalti, sa fii prezent atunci cand este nevoie de tine si sa-ti dai seama cand trebuie sa te retragi. Un barbat devine gentleman prin ceea ce face si ceea ce este – o acumulare de comportamente elegante de-a lungul intregii sale vieti.” Cartea devine astfel, ghidul din umbra al oricarui barbat inteligent, capabil sa se descurce in orice situatie, din care sa iasa victorios, cu eleganta si subtilitate. Prezint mai jos cateva din aceste invataminte savuroase.

“Un gentleman traieste in lumea reala.” “Acesta stie sa-i faca pe altii sa se simta comfortabil.”

“Un gentleman stie sa faca un sandwich cu cascaval la ora doua si o omleta la sapte dimineata.”

“Daca este racit si mai ales daca are febra, un gentleman refuza orice invitatie la evenimentele sociale. Daca este posibil, el va evita chiar sa mearga la serviciu.”

“Chiar daca locuieste singur, un gentleman nu va bea lapte direct din cutie.”

“Daca se rataceste, un gentleman va recunoaste asta. El trebuie sa solicite imediat indrumari.”

“Cand isi plimba cainele, un gentleman trebuie sa stranga dupa el.”

“Cand merge la teatru, un gentleman nu isi va lua cu el telefonul mobil.”

“Un gentleman nu ezita sa-si filtreze apelurile.”

“In sala de pregatire fizica, un gentleman nu va acapara toate aparatele.”

“Un gentleman nu va manca niciodata la volanul automobilului.”

“Din motive de politete si de siguranta, un gentleman nu pierde vremea la un bancomat. Daca in urma lui asteapta si alte persoane, el nu-si va verifica soldurile tuturor conturilor. Isi va incheia tranzactia si-si va vedea de drum.”

“Daca mananca in pat, un gentleman trebuie sa isi schimbe cearsafurile.”

“Un gentleman nu foloseste claxonul automobilului fara discernamant. Pe de alta parte, el nu trebuie sa ezite sa claxoneze pentru a evita un eventual accident.”

“Daca este extrem de devreme sau de tarziu, un gentleman nu va suna la o resedinta privata.”

“Un gentleman nu trebuie sa se simta niciodata obligat sa vorbeasca laudativ despre persoane pe care nu le agreeaza. Cand se refera la persoane pe care le place, pe de alta parte, el nu trebuie sa ingroase adevarul. Cand este descrisa cu acuratete, bunatatea isi gaseste singura aparatori.”

“Un gentleman se ofera intotdeauna sa imparta umbrela cu alta persoana.”

“Un gentleman nu isi aranjeaza tinuta in public.”

“Pe vreme calduroaza, un gantleman poarta intotdeauna maiou.”

“Un gentleman are intotdeauna pantofii lustruiti.”

“Cand poarta vesta, un gentleman trebuie sa lase nasturele de jos mereu neincheiat.”

“Daca urmeaza un anumit regim, un gentleman nu va vorbi despre asta in timpul mesei.”

“Un gentleman nu spune decat ceea ce trebuie.”

“Un gentleman stie ca “te rog” si “multumesc” sunt cuvinte magice, impuse de un comportament civilizat.”

“Exista anumite intrebari pe care un gentleman nu le adreseaza niciodata:

– Cum ati ajuns voi doi sa va cunoasteti?

– Cum se face ca numele voastre nu-mi sunt cunoscute?

– Nu-ti amintesti de mine, nu-i asa?

– Te superi daca arunc o privire la eticheta?

– Chiar ai de gand sa mananci tot ce ai in farfurie?

“Un gentleman nu lanseaza niciodata amenintari fara rost.”

“Un gentleman nu se vaicareste.”

“Cand incepe o convorbire telefonica, gentlemanul trebuie sa stie ca tot el trebuie sa o si incheie.”

“Un gentleman nu va intreba niciodata o femeie daca este insarcinata. Se va feri sa spuna: Inca nu ai nascut?”

“Un gentleman are intotdeauna o umbrela in masina.”

“Un gentleman va purta intotdeauna batista.”

                                                                   VA URMA

 

* Am selectat randurile ce mi s-au parut cele mai interesante, dar si utile. Dupa cum se vede, nu le-am abordat intr-o ordine logica, pentru ca insasi viata ofera situatii dintre cele mai neprevazute si diverse in orice moment. Tocmai acest lucru o face mai frumoasa, insa, nu-i asa?

     Prin urmare, o carte ce merita citita, fie ca e frunzarita in metrou sau sorbita intr-o seara ploioasa alaturi de o ceasca de ceai. Un ghid de zi cu zi ce invata un lucru esential: scopul unui gentleman este acela de a face viata mai usoara nu doar pentru sine, ci si pentru prieteni, cunostinte, si pentru toata lumea in general. Daca este un gentleman adevarat, nu va considera acest lucru o povara, ci o provocare pe care o va depasi cu fruntea sus in fiecare zi.

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STEAUA – DINAMO

August 30, 2009

   FOTBAL

     Pentru ca inimile bat mai puternic in seara asta. Pentru culori, pentru jucatori, palmares, ambitie. Poate numai pentru ambitie. Peste o jumatate de secol de istorie, confruntari aprige si meciuri pe muchie de cutit. 321 de goluri marcate in 120 de meciuri, care au desemnat de 75 ori o castigatoare.  De 41 de ori Dinamo, iar de 34 Steaua.  Jucatorii se schimba, conducatorii la fel..insa spiritul ramane.Rivalitatea. Determinarea.  Pentru ca STEAUA – DINAMO e mai  mult decat un derby.

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Coventry to turn the tide at Bloomfield

August 29, 2009

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   Positive spirits plain at Ricoh right before the away clash against Blackpool on saturday. Apparently, Coleman’s players are ready as ever to make another victim in the current Championship season, and this time it is Bloomfield Road standing in their way.

  ” The response has been good from the players. We have a great dressing room with a good work ethic. We knew we weren’t to win every game, but that doesn’t mean when we have a loss we can brush it under the carpet.” stated Coventry manager Chris Coleman, who reveiled the players’ determination to show that the former defeat was just a matter of bad luck. ” The defeat changed the mood of camp and everyone was a bit down on Monday which I am not opposed to in our last two performances,but I have been pleased with the response. We know we can do better than in our last two performances, especially against Swansea.”

“Different challenge”

   In spite of this strong desire for a win at Blackpool, Coleman wanted to make his team aware of the fact that a game against Blackpool means a different challenge to those faced at Doncaster and against Swansea. “Blackpool had a great win against Wigan and are undefeated with four draws. We have to get a performance because we have been under par in out last two matches. It will be no easier or harder, but we’ll have just different pressures. We know those pressures and we can hopefully get a result.”

” Possibly the last at Coventry” 

    The away clash on saturday could get a historical meaning for the Sky Blues. The 31-old-striker Leon Mckenzie is rumoured to leave Ricoh and this means the clash against Blackpool would be his last in a Sky Blues shirt. Even though Leon feels he has yet a lot to offer to his club, the decision is all up to the manager: “I’m out of contract at the end of the month so I don’t know if I have a future at Coventry.” Nevertheless, the coventrian player stated he was extremely happy with the reception he got from the fans the last match at Ricoh, when he went in in the last five minutes of the game, but he declared himself worried to the possibility of him moving out of the club.

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Coventry F.C. – Swansea City

August 23, 2009

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    After an unexpected dream-start in the current Championship season, the “sky-blues” get to see their first free points given away following a 1-0 defeat on Saturday evening at Ricoh

  The expectations for this year in Championship are high at Ricoh and this is an obvious thing to notice. The blue-white club from West Midlands have brought on no more than five players this summer, includind two resoundful loans from Chelsea, with defender Patrick Van Aanholt and central midfielder Jack Cork joining the team for a period of six months and also the aquisition of Martin Craine from Portsmouth for 600 000 pounds. “It is definitely an exciting league to be in and hopefully I can push Coventry towards promotion” stated Craine after his debut in the away clash againts Barnsley.Apparently the other members of the squad shared the same idea and the league table proundingly placed Coventry F.C after two games at the very top.

    The third league match planned a trip to Doncaster for “sky-blues”, with the team in very high spirits. The match ended 0-0, after a middle-field battle and shared chances to score. It was the second consecutive clean sheet in the away clashes and a team profile could already have been drawn: impecable defence and two lethal players in attack: Clinton Morisson and Leon Best. Coventry manager Chris Coleman was now facing another difficult job. Warning the team against complacency seemed not an easy thing to do and the next fixture against low-table placed Swansea meant they had to do a professional job if they wanted to make their supporters happy by earning all the three points on the Saturday match at Ricoh. This thing didn’t happen.

   Coventry F.C. manager Chris Coleman decided not to make any changes to the team in comparison to the midweek match against Doncaster and left a couple of experienced options on the bench, such as Freddy Eastwood,who returned from illness and Leon McKenzie, back after a long lay off with injury. Nevertheless, Coleman had the possibility of introducing the newly brought midfielder Jack Cork, from much fancied Chelsea, which made the confrontation even more interesting to follow. The “sky-blues” lined up a team consisted of Stephen Wright, Martin Craine, Ben Turner and Patrick Van Aanholt on the baseline, Isaac Osbourne, Sammy Clingan, Aron Gunnarsson and McIndoe in the middle, as well as Leon Best and Clinton Morrison in attack.

    Both teams made a start far from a flying debute of the match with Leon Best and Andrea Orlandi the dangermen of the two sides in the first twelve minutes of the game. The same Orlandi from Swansea made a terrible mistake to handball in the penalty area and the referee had no hesitation in pointing the spot. It was the minute 13, which proved unlucky for the “sky-blues”, with Sammy Clingan, who was brought this summer from Norwich, missing the penalty and leaving the scoreline intact. Apparently this moment pushed Swansea to a more daring attack and the welshmen had a few chances to score,but the half time found the sides all square.

    The second part of the game revealed the goalkeeper abillities of Swansea’s Dorus De Vries and also of the asisstant flagsman, who made a couple of tough, but correct decisions to see the fast striker of Coventry, Leon Best in offside position in minutes 58 and 60.

    The next minutes found Coventry F.C. in attack and the well struck free-kick by Sammy Clingan was followed by a brilliant save by de Vries, who managed to keep a very difficult ball after a center by Patrick Van Anholt. The crowds at Ricoh felt the better period of their team, as well as manager Coleman, who immediately made a double substitution on the 63 and 64 minutes, including the long waited bringing in of the attacking midfielder Jack Cork. All seemed fine for the “Sky-blues”, who looked as determined as never to earn the victory. But the blow was about to come. In the 68th minute of the game, following a shot by Nathan Dyer, Swansea midfielder Ashley Williams manages to fire in a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Coventry City 0, Swansea 1.

   The final part of the match found Coventry attacking, but the defensive substitutions of Swansea and the lack of clarity in coventrians’ game led to a surprisingly defeat on the home ground and the dream of promotion seem a bit more far than the previous week.

   At the press conference post match, manager Chris Coleman expressed his dissapointment about the way the team decided to treat this clash, but he felt still confident enough to promise a different face of Coventry F.C. in the away game against Blackpool.

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