Archive for August, 2009

I watched bits and pieces Sunrise of Sunrise this morning. I know that this is a shameful admission, but to my credit I didn’t turn the TV on and just managed to catch one segment only. The segment that I did catch made my blood boil as there was some Professor who was advocating that all baby boys be circumcised. This guy was saying that uncircumcised men are more susceptible to STDs such as HIV and AIDS and penile cancer, and that boys are more susceptible to getting infections in their penises. Is this true? Have there ever been any studies on this? Could the reason why more uncircumcised men show up in the statistics as catching STDs be because 80% of men are uncircumcised? Could the reason why this dude was advocating that there be compulsory circumcision be because he himself has been circumcised? Do we advocate all girls having mastectomies once they reach puberty so that they can avoid breast cancer? Should this be a parent’s choice?

Good Old Collingwood

Posted: August 26, 2009 in Sport
Tags: ,

The AFL finals are fast approaching and it seems that Collingwood has emerged as one of the favourites for the flag as we enter September. This is a real change from when I last wrote about Collingwood twelve weeks ago. Since then the Magpies have just lost one game and are the form team of the competition.

Whilst the Pies are an exciting team with loads of potential I feel that I need to put a few things into perspective. I feel that this team can beat anyone else in the AFL, even the mighty St Kilda and Geelong, but find that whenever I get too enthusiastic about Collingwood’s prospects that they find new ways to disappoint me. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that in my 36 years as a Collingwood supporter they have played in seven grand finals and only won once, the most recent loss being in 2003. It is true that they drew in 1977 before losing the replay, whilst in 1979 and 2002 we were probably robbed by poor umpiring decisions in the dying minutes of the final quarter, the fact remains that our finals record in that period is not something to boast about. (If I remember correctly in that time we have also lost two preliminary finals, the most recent being in 2007 to the dominant Geelong by three points!) I am trying not to get my hopes up too high because I don’t want to be bitterly disappointed, which is why I always try to tip against the Magpies. I’ve found that if I pick the opposing team to win against Collingwood that the Maggies will actually win, whilst if I tip the men in black and white to win they will lose. The last time I picked Collingwood to win was when they played Hawthorn a few weeks ago, when the Hawks humiliated them. I now try to not be too confident, arrogant or cocky whenever Collingwood play, even if they are playing against the hapless Richmond or the hopeless Melbourne.

The truth is that there are only two teams that I fear can stop Collingwood from winning the premiership. No, not Geelong or St Kilda, but Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs. For some unknown reason Collingwood always play poorly against the Hawks, which is why I hope Essendon wins this week to deny the reigning premier a spot in the finals, whilst I feel that the Bulldogs match up well against us and always give us a close match. I feel that Carlton, Brisbane, Essendon and Adelaide pose no threat to the Magpie juggernaut, whilst I am very confident that we can beat Geelong and St Kilda.

St Kilda have undoubtedly been the form team of 2009, but I wonder if they are starting to become very complacent or if the pressure f becoming the first St Kilda premiership team for 43 years is beginning to take its toll. I know that the Saints are a very skillful team but I just wonder if they are psychologically capable of winning the premiership. The Saints have lost their last two games after winning 19 straight, so I feel that they are a little vulnerable.

Geelong have been the dominant team of the last three years but they have come back to earth this season after losing four of their last seven matches. The Cats are likely to be the team that Collingwood play in the first week of the finals and I think that we match up against them pretty well. Even though we have been thrashed the last two times we have played them, in the Grand Final of the preseason championship and early in the home and away season, when we were struck down with injuries and poor form, things seem to have turned around in recent weeks. Let’s also not forget that only two teams beat Geelong last year, Hawthorn and Collingwood, whilst in 2007 we came so close to beating them in the Preliminary Final.

I feel that of the teams currently in the final eight, only the Bulldogs stand a chance of beating the Magpies. They are a hungry team and always seem to exceed expectations. They are well coached and seem to be mentally and physically fit too. This weekend both Collingwood and the Bulldogs clash in what could be a prelude to the Grand Final. A few weeks ago when the two teams last clashed we won by a single point, which shows just how similarly matched these two sides are.

Twelve Angry Men – Trailer

Posted: August 25, 2009 in Cinema, Movie Review


Here is a movie which I hope won’t give me any nightmare in the coming couple of weeks, considering what I am doing at the moment. Still, this is one of the greatest movies ever made, and Henry Fonda’s character is one of the great heroes of the silver screen. (Along with Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird)The film also features Jack Klugman and Lee J Cobb.

The Ashes

Posted: August 25, 2009 in Cricket, Sport
Tags: , ,

Australia has once again lost the Ashes. This post may seem like sour grapes but I believe that England did not lose the Ashes; we lost it, through poor selections, bad captaincy and inconsistent performances. Now it seems that the formerly invincible Australian cricket team will be demoted to fourth place in the rankings of test playing nations.

I believe that the Australian selectors did the team no favours at all throughout the series. They stuck with Mitchell Johnson throughout the series even though he was hopelessly out of form. It seemed as though Johnson was the batsmen who the Poms most looked forward to facing, as they plundered his bowling with abandon. I think that Stuart Clark should have been playing in the team from the start. Even though he is not a spectacularly fast bowler like Johnson, Clark is a lot more accurate and can tie down their scoring, enabling the bowler coming from the other end more of a chance to take wickets when the batters try to lash out against the looser stuff. I also cannot understand why Hauritz was dropped for the final test on what turned out to be a very spin friendly wicket. It is especially condemning of the selectors that Hauritz had shown reasonable form in the series prior to the deciding test at the Oval and that the part time spin of Marcus North was able to take wickets in that match. I also do not understand why the selectors did not call for a replacement bowler when Brett Lee became injured. He did not play a single test during the series and it always looked unlikely that he would recover in time from his injury to play at all.

Whilst a lot of blame has been leveled at our bowlers during this Ashes series I don’t think that our batsmen can hold their heads up high either. For much too long have we relied on Ponting to make runs with the other batsmen just putting in cameo performances. Katich, Michael Clark, Shane Watson and Marcus North all showed the odd moment of brilliance but were perhaps not consistent enough. I feel that Phil Hughes should have been given more chances and was dropped too early, whilst I do not understand why the selectors persisted with the out of form Mike Hussey, whose form was even worse than Hughes’ and who seemed to remain in the team more because of his reputation than his form line. Still, I do not understand why Brad Hodge was dropped from the team a few years ago just after making a double century at the MCG and why he was not chosen for this tour. Perhaps it is just that the selectors do not like Victorian batsmen, something which Dean Jones and Matthew Elliott can both empathize with.

Rubens Barrichello won last Sunday’s European Grand Prix in Valencia to set up what is now an intriguing four way tussle for the 2009 World Driver’s Championship. The popular Brazilian has jumped to second place in the standings behind his Brawn team mate Jenson Button, leapfrogging the Red Bull duo of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

Even though the resurgent McLaren of the current World Champion Lewis Hamilton lead for most of the race, Barrichello took a flawless victory after the Brit was hampered by an uncharacteristically Ferrari-esque McLaren pit stop which handed Rubens the lead of the race. Ferrari’s mullet-man Kimi Raikkonen brought his red racer home in a solid third position.

Of the other contenders for the World Championship Crown only Jenson Button scored points with his sixth placing, extending his lead over Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Webber had a rather lackluster race finishing ninth, while Vettel’s race was wrecked by a pit stop bungle and then a blown Renault engine, the second that he suffered on the weekend.

The only other talking point of the weekend was the performance, or lack of, of Ferrari’s Luca Badoer, who is subbing for the injured Felipe Massa. Badoer was a major embarrassment for Ferrari, qualifying last on the grid and then plodding around at the rear of the field, making rookie errors and even spinning one time. Badoer has not competed in F1 for a decade and it was only expected that his racing would prove a little rusty. However while Luca’s lack of recent racing may explain some of his poor performance on the weekend it should be remembered that he was never a very good driver back when he was competing in Formula 1 in the 1990s. It is with very good reason that Badoer is still the driver who has the started the most races without scoring a single World Championship point. While he has been Ferrari’s test driver for ten years and apparently a big reason for the Prancing Horse’s success in the early 2000s we should also remember that the last time Ferrari needed a substitute driver in 1999 when Michael Schumacher broke his leg, team manager Jean Todt overlooked Badoer for Mika Salo. Apparently Luca has been an ultimatum to perform at Spa this weekend or else his F1 race career will be over. Still, I think that Ferrari would have been better off using their other test driver Marc Gene, who has been competing recently at LeMans with the triumphant Peugeot team, and has been a regular member of the successful Maserati team in the GT championship.

I post these clips with a brief word of warning. Firstly I admit that I am a Ric Flair fan and think that he was one of the top five wrestlers that I have seen… but he has become a bitter old fart in recent times. Not only that but I think that he has become a bit pathetic and that now that he’s over 60 years of age he should retire from the ring.

Still, I didn’t expect that there would be more wrestling fans willing to defend Hulk Hogan than Mick Foley. Some Youtube comments even went as far as to say that Hogan was the greatest wrestler ever, which is rubbish, since all he could do was kick, punch, big boot, leg drop of doom, 1, 2, 3… Hogan only really got to the top because of his charisma and looks and stayed on top because he made money and then played politics. Maybe those Hulk Hogan vitamins that all the Hulkamaniacs have been taking are a little stronger than I thought!

I would have thought that there’d be more defence of Mick since he’s a nice guy and got to the top through lots of hard work and determination against the odds and prejudices of guys like Ric Flair.

As for the comments he makes about Bret Hart, technically he is right and wrong about Hart being a draw. When Hart was champion in the WWF he was not a huge draw in the US, but that could be more due to the way he was booked by the WWF than to anything Bret was doing. You can also say that Bret was a bigger name than Flair outside of America, not just in Canada but the UK and Australia too. (But this was probably due to us Aussies only having access to the WWF and not the NWA/WCW!)

I think that part of Flair’s problem is that he is a complete suck up, especially to his best friends HHH and HBK, as well as Vince, but that is probably a story for another time.

Here’s a cute clip from the Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV Show.

These intros to the show were perhaps as famous as the show itself and shows his wicked sense of humour.

Season 1 of Alfred Hitchcock Presents has just been released on DVD in Australia.