Monday, July 24, 2006

Coming back

After surviving the heat without air conditioning, I'm on the way back. The train strike is supposed to be cancelled, but still my train is delayed somewhat. At the airport, they are overbooking and can't give me a seat until the very last minute. Just too many people are travelling in the summer... An aisle seat, it turns out.

The aircraft just waits and occasionally moves around on the runway for a whole hour before it finally takes off. But then it arrives half an hour earlier than scheduled...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The purpose of a library

I seldom go to the library here. It has practically none of the books that I want (for example, no book about online algorithms). Last time the department is soliciting book requests for the library to buy, and I managed to trick them to buy some, although they did it just a bit weirdly - now a module has more copies of a reference book stocked than the main text, and an online algorithms book with a chop "received 1998" appears when I'm absolutely sure it wasn't there before.

But this is not the point of this post. This library is among the few places in the campus to have air-conditioning. Looking forward to a 35 degrees Celsius tomorrow, the library suddenly becomes a very nice place.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

network rail

I don't know what I did wrongly, but the people at Network Rail simply don't like me and always choose to have a strike only when I need it. Last time the tube was also on strike but it was better - no one collected money for the Heathrow-London Central journey...

Monday, July 10, 2006

So it finally ended

今屆世界杯真係一個字:精采,包括:三黃一紅、批「爭」爆缸、眼底「紅卜卜」嘅 C 朗拿度對你單眼、大量演技粗糙嘅插水與痛苦表情、大陸評述員「偉大的意大利左後衛」事件、葡萄牙荷蘭表演暴力足球、瑞士十二碼全部唔入、巴夫斯排球 手...... 當然重有「施丹鐵頭功」。唔講都唔知世界杯原來係踢波嘅......

Saturday, July 01, 2006

England is out

So finally, England is out. It would be a miracle if a team like this can get the World Cup. The primary reason, of course, is Sven-Goran Eriksson:

1. Four strikers. Chose only four strikers, including one who was injured (at that time), one just recovered from injury (at that time), one who can do anything except scoring, and one Eriksson himself don't dare to use. (More about strikers below.)

2. Theo Walcott. I become more or more believed in the joke that Eriksson lost a bet with Arsene Wenger on something and therefore has to bring Walcott to Germany. If you don't dare using him, why bring him there?

3. Crouch, Lampard and the formation. There was the 4-4-2 vs. 4-5-1 issue. I don't have a problem with switching between formations; however, it switched just because of who is available and who is not.

First, people keep on saying Crouch is rubbish. In terms of scoring he is, and you better pick someone else in the first place, but given that no other strikers are there, I think he should play along Rooney. BBC showed an analysis where no England player is within 27 metres of Rooney... how can anyone play in such case? You need someone to support Rooney. And Crouch did hold the ball for some time.

Then, if you play Crouch (or anyone else in a 4-4-2) then someone from midfield get to be sacrificed. I always believe they need a holding midfielder, whoever that is. You just can't play Cole-Lampard-Gerrard-Beckham. Given that Lampard is not performing well, and the Lampard-Gerrard problem that so many people have discussed, I think Lampard should be dropped. But this is not something that Eriksson would do.

4. Penalties. "We practised penalties so much, I really don't know what more we could do about it." said Eriksson. And this completely misses the point. Penalties is not about practice. That's why they will never win a penalty shootout - they simply don't believe they can. Ironically, the only one to get the ball in is one who is least British. But this is not something that Eriksson can solve, I suppose.

Having said all that, I hope Portugal won't win the World Cup. If every team played like them - just imagine a scene where players are all covering their face, rolling on the pitch every minute. It is claimed that it has something to do with Scolari (as in Brazil 2002). I wonder what would happen if Scolari is England coach. Gerrard holding his face rolling on the pitch when he is slightly touched in his chest... so funny just to think of it.