Friday, March 31, 2006

one letter away from "loud"

Our friend Lou Dobbs of CNN considers himself the hero of "working class America", diligently reporting from Cancun, Mexico. His points are not invalid entirely but they are parochial, isolationist, narrow - and in the long run will undermine the working class Americans by giving them excuses to lose. The main problem is that with his reporting/ ranting - he riles up audiences with a warped view of the global reality by relating unrelated issues. (mmmhhh... sound familiar)

Let's consider
his truth: "The truth is advocates of amnesty, guest-worker programs and open borders are unconcerned about the 280 million American citizens, the men and women of this country who work for a living and their families."

What?? If you read and hear what he says carefully, Lou's policy implies that the best way for American citizens to stay up is by making sure no one else can come up either! He undermines the American citizens as incapable! Americans can take on the world and win it! How does some poor hungry worker, desperate enough to risk his life to send money back home, limit the possibilities and abilities of an American citizen who is protected by all rights?? Granted, some illegal immigrants are killers and drug peddlers too (as are citizens), but the fact remains that
migrants cannot stop a winning American from winning and achieving their dreams. But Lou provides a losing American the excuse, the scapegoat to lose.

Immigration must be controlled - YES. Border security must be enforced - YES. Terrorists should be stopped - YES, YES. No one is above the law (well almost). But why give the Americn citizens the excuse not to achieve and succeed by blaming all problems on
illegal immigrants who make pittance for a hard's days work?

When a land is built on the brain and brawn of immigration - humanity and inclusionism are essential for the survival of the super power. There are plenty of examples to show otherwise. A lifetime is nothing compared to a few hundred years, and a few hundred years is nothing compared to history. Self-righteousness is distinct for success and lawfulness.

I am an equal opportunity critic - but equally applauding in opportunity. I applaud President Bush for taking the strong and pragmatic stand in this issue. This is leadership. As for Lou, well, the title says it all...

turning it around

normally i dispense my political prose with the ease of a wand ....

i should ask myself how exactly am i a part of the solution and not the problem - or vice versa?

(you know i am resisting the urge to callously state that i add beauty and charm and dazzle to the world ;-) )

1. once i tried to dye some old t-shirts in an attempt to wear them instead of throwing them away. clearly i did not count on the color teracotta looking like muddy dirt - this was a problem - so my solution is to not wear old t-shirts and instead buy new ones

2. the other day someone gave me a porcelain doll for my birthday - it looked very frightening and ugly, caused my heart to flip in dismay, and i couldn't bear to look at it - this was a problem - so i gave it away for a charity auction

3. yesterday at the unversity cafe, i had 85 cents on me - so i asked the familar cashier if i could have the $1 roasted almonds and would pay the difference later - i even smiled dazzlingly. he said, "no". this was a problem. so i counted 15 pennies from the "take one" cent collection box - holding my smile at him. then today i emptied out all the change from my purse into the box, while smiling steadily at him

4. today i woke up one hour before my alarm clock rang - this is a problem - so as the solution, i shall institute daylight savings for the whole wide world

5. on Monday i missed a meeting that was not on my calendar - that was a problem - so to be fair, i missed the rest of the day's meetings too

6. today is a spring day - yet the weather remained cool. this was a problem - so to solve the problem, i defiantly wore open-toed shoes and challenged the weather. it started to rain

(now you understand why it is much safer for me to just dispense political prose?)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bush Blair Summit 2003

President George W. Bush made clear to British Prime Minister Tony Blair in January 2003 that he was determined to invade Iraq without a UN resolution and even if UN arms inspectors failed to find weapons of mass destruction in the country, The New York Times reported.

Oh my word! No, surely not! I don't believe it. No - not in a democracy! President Bush would not lie and mislead the American people by capitalizing on their emotional connection to 9/11. No he would not! And PM Blair would not be so spinelessly enamoured at the expense of British soliders! No he would not! Not in a democracy! Not at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives! No! Saddam would do that, because he is a dictator - but not the democratic representives of Bush-Blair!

Arab Summit

The 22-member Arab League met in Sudan - Secretary-General Amr Moussa called on Arab leaders Tuesday to move toward a goal of "entering the nuclear club" and making use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes

"atomic energy for peaceful purposes"? oh my word! ... (permission to laugh in disdain)

come on now - tell the truth - you want and need nuclear weapons because you feel you should have the same right as Israel to bear nuclear arms - right?

Monday, March 27, 2006

I simply love...

... this world - I really do!

It belongs to me - this beautiful, spectacular world and endless the skies above it!


caribbean coast of cartagena, colombia

p.s. there is a place on Earth called Humble, Texas ... and yes that belongs to me too ;-)


Gosh, I feel so brazen today... in my relentless pursuit of being alive!

uneducated, unenlightened clerics!

can you tell I am mildly perturbed :-) ... there are some uneducated village clerics in third-world Muslim countries who are so unenlightened on the depths of the Koran that a story like this emerges. A foolish husband was dreaming of “divorce” and said the word three times. His equally foolish wife gossiped about it. The local cleric – the greatest fool of the bunch, decided this meant they must be divorced and the wife must spend a night with another man and then be divorced by him. Clearly this bloody cleric has been watching too many Hollywood flicks. It's comical and I am laughing but in all seriousness – this is the stem of the promlem - isn't it??

And the leaders of these Muslim countries are equally culpable for allowing this agenda-driven inhumanity at the expense of Islam!

Ok, ok - that's it for dissecting the problems of the world for now :-) moving on to the technical nuances of cryptography - still laughingly perturbed though
Ciao

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Glory to Manchester United


Try as I may to search for balance and measure in my thoughts, when it comes to my passion for my football (soccer) team, Manchester United, there is no balance and no measure.

I simply love Manchester United! Always have, and always will - and no I didn't just pick this team on their winnng streak - it was far more meaningful and sweeter than that, involving my brother choosing it while United was on a rare losing streak. Can you believe it? But we stood by - united!

If I hear a bad word said about my team, I only assume it is out of jealousy and spite and malicious ignorance. I cannot bear it when United loses and when they win, I am ecstatic! Yes, I have an illogical dislike for Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City et al. For no reason, excpet that for me, it's OneUnited

Having expressed my dislike for the other teams in the English Premiership, I must immediately add that dislike does not equate to disrespect - not at all. In fact it is not possible to appreciate the glory of Manchester United, without understanding just how good the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal are. And the Managers play as significant a role as the players, so Fergie is surely our man - but respect to Wenger, Raffa, and somewhat grudgingly to Mourinho.

Players and managers, they come and go- but Manchester United remains the champion of my game.

And yes yes - Manchester United won today 3-0 against brave Birmingham

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Changing Times


Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of April, lasting till the last Sunday of October. Each time zone switches at a different time

In the European Union, Summer Time begins and ends at 1:00 a.m. Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time). It begins the last Sunday in March and lasts till the last Sunday in October. All time zones change at the same moment

Friday, March 24, 2006

Diverse Country

today I have already done something fearless...

...I willingly listened to country music AND I liked it - Travis Tritt's rendition of "Tougher than the Rest". Nothing to compare the mighty orignal by Springsteen - but enough to make me consider country music from a new light.

wait a minute now...come to think of it - I do have Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Wynona Ryder on my playlist too - quick steppin' baby ... oh I am so diverse!


and for a shot of extra diversity, I listened to "I got a man" by Positive K ... I now crown myself "Miss Diversity"..nah..."Dr. Diversity" ;-)

next? I should test drive a bit of Bollywood music - for complete diversity

Thursday, March 23, 2006

what for water!?

this is the most refreshing story from Rwanda!

has me in smiles, dancing for joy! where is my dasani?

Tolerant

...like the Taliban

randomness of thought

...some research indicates that attractive people are more likely to be successful So is beauty to the eye of the beholder - or is it universal...skin-deep, or deep-seated?

...the Democrats in the US Government watched and allowed and voted for the US to go to war - and now they conveniently blame President Bush
...the Democrats are equally responsible as the Republicans

...just read a charming article on good luck charms in the US military

...the mainstream media was just as ineffective and guilty for not pursuing the pernicious reality

...cannot wait to watch Da Vinci Code

...my fortune cookie reads: "your happiness is in your outlook to life" . Mmmmh -
at least the cookie tasted good

...love avocados & mangos and they are fattening - cannot bear water melon & peaches and they are so good for me. Compromise? No!

...Icarus believed he could fly, so did the Wright brothers and Seal

...my grandfather believed that the face is the index to the mind...I think he was biased to good looks having been such a fine looking gentleman himself

...Putin is interesting to me - this
China-Russia-Iran connection leaves me intrigued

...if I were in Monaco right now, I probably would not care about the Dems or the Russians or the unending war...right - that settles it - Monaco it is!

Johnny Cash saves the day for the England Cricket team - watch India react with Bollywood renditions of Cash

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

O'Reilly's Sanity


On March 8, American TV show host, Bill O'Reilly of FoxNews, preached "sanity" on his radio show: "You know in a sane world, every country would unite against Iran and blow it off the face of the Earth. That would be the sane thing to do."

Wow - mass murder, the sane thing to do!

"Blow it off the face of the Earth"! Is this the example of democracy? Blowing up a country full of people just like you and me? And yet - this is the current climate amongst some...Conservatives... (dare I use the "C" word here :-0 )

What if a TV show host from a foreign country had said that about the US. So, replace "Iran" with "US" in O'Reilly's rant- and you would have had a massive condemnation (rightly so) and calls against the "terrorist" TV show host. Maybe even calls for another pre-emptive war?

As Cheryl croons, "good is good" - so true, but "bad" is relative. Blowing a country off the face of the Earth? I remain baffled as to how this has gone unchallenged by the "civilized" world.

Somehow, I don't think some simple Iranian family having dinner and discussing their children's future would subscribe to O'Reilly's laws civilized "sanity"

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Precariousness of Perception

This morning an article caught my eye:

'Dog' to marry on 'Bounty Hunter'

My initial reaction was of absolute horror for the poor dog being forced to marry a bounty hunter - and then I read the article - and it warmed my heart

A lovely lesson for me - in my relentless pursuit of being alive...

Spring!


official welcome to Spring - Tuesday, March 21, 2006!

pink, yellow, green, blue
such happiness & joy in all I do
breezy warm sun
light-hearted fun

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fashion Forward

I have a feeling that I will be back to "saving the world" mode shortly. But while I am still in mellow mode, here are two sets of fashionables from Olympus Fashion Week in New York, during the first week of February.

One set, I love, the other...well, leaves me with hope that even I could draw up random wrappings and claim it to be fashion forward!

Oh - you don't believe me? Ok - prove me wrong. Go to your closet, close your eyes. Pick a skirt/trousers, any shirt, find a belt to tie them together. And for good measure, perch a hat - and then pout as mightily as you can. The pout can be interchangeable with a severe sulk as well. Aah Voila!

Avant-Gardly Yours,
:-)

Set 1













sui........................................................................................................sui

Set 2













milly................................................................................................peter som

Spring???

No! Nein! Non!

Today, March 20, is NOT the first day of Spring!
It's the last day of Winter. Though Winter and I will never be close, I must give it due its last day

If you have "First Day of Spring" inscribed on your calendar, as I do, erase it and replace with "Last Day of Winter"


The Vernal Equinox is one of the four main seasonal changes every year when day and night are equal - and that is tomorrow, my friends!

Let's celebrate the end of Winter today and the beginning of Spring tomorrow!

:-)

Winterly Yours,

Sunday, March 19, 2006

What a Wonderful Week of my World!


Hola - thanks for visiting my blog this week - despite the lack of updates recently. It's exciting to have a bit of a readership from across the world - it's fantastic!

This week has been the most spectacularly beautiful week of my world...to date! Though, you know, I have absolutely no idea what is going on in the world at all.

Can you believe that? I have no idea what went on in the world for the last 8 days? Yes, I was within civilization with opportunity to watch the news, read newspapers, access Internet - but world affairs simply had no chance to capture my attention. This only gives me the faint notion that perhaps world affairs are actually able to continue without me - but that can't be right, so I shall delve into my lofty analysis with full force, no fear!


What has been going on? Well, let's see. After a quick skim, it appears that that Manchester United won and Chelsea lost their respective games. Bravo! Then something about attempts to curb the Dictator of the World - President Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Colombia is drawing quite a tourist attraction. Some utter rubbish interview with Eva Longoria that speaks of "desperate" journalism. Milosevic escapes answering to the world conscience. Trouble on the third anniversary of the US-led preemptive strike on Iraq. There are anti-war protests world-wide. Labour Law Liabilities in France. Somalia and the US Navy. Will look into these for upcoming analysis

I must document that what I did learn this week has only exponentially enhanced my relentless pursuit of being alive. I witnessed such lovely warm acts of human generosity, clapped eyes on the finest person on Earth, watched Irish spirit in South Asians, understood "utrinque paratus" with overflowing pride, saw Orion's belt - & stars that light up my night skies, faced racism in front of my eyes - from which I benefited. I truly believed, I truly felt...and so much, so much more...

(Just read the last paragraph and it sounds like a biography spanning 8 years of some deep thinker - whereas for me they were but minutes of my most beautiful week :-) )


Oh - and I now have glimpse of infinity, infinite, endless, exponential, timeless...Gosh - how did I get so lucky?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday Funny

Ok, ok - I will be the first to admit I do take world affairs seriously :-) as if the world really needs my help....but it's primarily in my pursuit of finding a balance ad being true to my conscience - being fearless enough to point out the obvious - even if the view is unpopular

However - in my relentless pursuit of being alive - I find that life is so beautiful and there is much much much with which to be in love

Today is Friday - what a gorgeous day here - the sun is up, flowers are springing, my conference paper is submitted, my quota of sea shells have been sold - and I am truly joyous and looking forward to a fantastic week ahead - with no heady world affairs on my mind at all - hey the Arabs and Americans can look after their own affairs for a while :-) :-)

This article below, made me laugh out loud - hope you laugh too :


A man has been fined £50 for putting rubbish in a bin.
Andy Tierney of Hinckley, Leicestershire was issued the fixed penalty notice for dumping two junk mail letters. Hinckley and Bosworth Council accused him of committing "an offence under Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Domestic refuse from your property was dumped into a street litter bin the fixed penalty is £50." The council classes letters as "domestic litter", which should not be dropped in public street bins.


According to The Sun Andy said: "How on earth can they fine me for being tidy? It's absolute madness. "I could have easily chucked those letters on the ground, but I put them in the bin. What has happened is a joke. The council is barmy. I never thought you could be fined for putting rubbish in a bin - that's what they're there for." Andy was walking from his house to his car when his postman handed him the junk mail. He opened both letters as he strolled - then dumped them in the bin on a lamppost. Council officials traced him from the addresses on the envelopes and issued the penalty. The letter threatens Andy with further action and a conviction if he does not pay within 14 days. Andy insisted: "There's absolutely no way I'm paying up. You get fined for chucking rubbish on the ground. You get fined for chucking rubbish in the bin. So what exactly are you supposed to do?"

A spokesman from the council said: "A fixed penalty notice is served to people who we believe have committed an offence. Our litter bins are there to keep streets tidy, as they enable the public to deposit small amounts of litter. They are not provided for household waste."

source: ananova.com

Here's wishing you an absolutely fantastic weekend and week ahead - see you soon :-)

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Marching to March


March means much to me
month of endless possibility
the harbinger of all that can be

marching to the beat of my own heart
marching to the beautiful start
marching to spring & art

tulips - red, pink, yellow, blue
warmth after a winterstorm hue
riding over any ocean to you


marching forward, two to one

such light, hopefulness won

the moon, the stars, the sun

in March, when the stars realign

the finest of human - truly mine

so here is March...till the end of time

Monday, March 6, 2006

abstract of the conference paper (work in progress)

Wall Street remains the symbol of world financial domination. The skyline glittering in gold against a darkened sky. Paranoia is a common phenomenon in the current world climate. Fears of terrorists and Islamists fills the airwaves. While it is essential and crucial to take all measures to thwart any form of terrorism, it should not distract Wall Street from its greatest security risk; “social engineering”. While cyber-terrorism requires advanced technical skills, social engineering requires little technical skills but advanced skills in malice. Social engineering can pose the greatest threat to Wall Street because sometimes technology cannot compare to malice.

In this paper we explore the inherent and structural vulnerabilities of Wall Street companies, and the possible steps in methodology of “hardening” the information security infrastructure of the glittering skyline of the Word’s Financial Capital

...just taking a quick break from selling sea shells by the sea shore :-)

should have, could have...but we did it again


Paul Jewell's side appeared set to gain sweet revenge for their 4-0 Carling Cup final hammering at the hands of Manchester United eight days ago, but alas, Manchester United won the day - again....deserving or not....

Not sure about Fergie's reasoning to bench Ruud - but the man has been United's Manager for 20 years while I have approximately 0 years of football team-managing experience...

Still - all is well that ends well - though I must admit, my heart was forlorn for much the time as I watched my beloved first rate team play a second rate game...

On behalf of relieved United fans everywhere, we thank Pascal Chimbonda - our hearts are with you...


(note the look of abject disbelief on the faces of all players involved)

beetle in a bottle

there is a beetle in my office...and it is trying to creep into my bottle of iced tea
....very uncouth...


how will i ever finish this conference paper and this presentation by tomorrow?
...I shall just have to delay tomorrow...

lost my Internet connection for my few minutes - and I was literally alarmed
...alarming that I should be so alarmed by intermittent internetting...

the two Paces of Iraq

Christian Science Monitor reports that while Gen. Peter Pace says things are going 'very well' in Iraq, John Pace, former UN-Iraq human rights chief, say abuses are as bad now as under Saddam Hussein


so many viewpoints...so many angles...so many agendas...so many interests...
and who does it serve in the end?

image source: savethechildren.org

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Themes of Love, Justice, Being in Touch...

Best Supporting Academy Award Winner - George Clooney: Syriana

"We are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood every once in a while," Clooney acknowledged referring to an earlier joke by Oscar host Jon Stewart. "We were the ones who talked about AIDS when it was being whispered. We talked about civil rights when it wasn't really popular," he said. "This Academy gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters. I'm proud to be part of this Academy. I'm proud to be part of this community. I'm proud to be out of touch."





Best Supporting Academy Award Winner - Racehl Weisz: Constant Gardener

Weisz thanked author John le Carre during her acceptance speech for playing a reporter investigating a global pharmaceutical conspiracy in 'The Constant Gardener.' "He really paid tribute to the people who are willing to risk their own lives to fight injustice - they are greater men and women than I."

Best Foreign Film: Tsotsi

"Nkozi Sikelele Afrika - God bless Africa!" director Gavin Hood said as he accepted the award.
He praised his fellow nominees, saying that while the films were in different languages, "our stories are the same as your stories. They're about the human heart."


"Paradise Now," which won a Golden Globe award, generated some protest when it was designated a submission from Palestine, a country that does not technically exist.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences initially referred to the film as a submission from Palestine on its Web site, then later said it would refer to the film as coming from the Palestinian Authority. That decision angered the film's director, who said it represented a slap at the Palestinian people and their national identity. Finally, the academy decided to say the film was from the "Palestinian Territories," a compromise designed to be the "least controversial" option according to academy spokesman John Pavlick.


Best Film: Crash

“I just want to thank the people who take big risks in their daily lives when there aren’t cameras rolling and there aren’t people there to applaud, and who stand up for peace and justice and against intolerance,” Paul Haggis said accepting his screenplay award.

Best Director - Ang Lee: Brokeback Mountain

Lee mentioned that the fictional characters in the movie had taught audiences "the greatness of love, itself."

list of winners

IslaManifesto?

In my search for moderate muslim voices (which are potentially prominent & powerful), I came across this article - I do not know whether it respresents the viewpoints of the moderate muslims or whether it is an exercise in self-righteous intellectualism of "isms"

You decide

This "Manifesto" was published in Jyllands-Posten on February 28, 2006

"We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.

The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.

Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man's domination of woman, the Islamists' domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.

We reject « cultural relativism », which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of "Islamophobia", an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.

We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.

We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism"

12 signatories

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Chahla Chafiq
Caroline Fourest
Bernard-Henri Lévy
Irshad Manji
Mehdi Mozaffari
Maryam Namazie
Taslima Nasreen
Salman Rushdie
Antoine Sfeir
Philippe Val
Ibn Warraq

(islamism? islamists? islamaphobia? islamanifesto? islamania?....

While intellect, equality and freedom are my passionate principles, I have an instinctive reaction to this "manifesto" for there is a key element missing. However, I shall reserve my judgment - for judgement & "rejectionism" are often the antithesis for humanity & understanding and the synonyms for self-righteousness)

humanism? humanist? humanaphobia? humanifesto, humania?....

Saturday, March 4, 2006

Here's to the Americans


I understand that there were demonstrations in Pakistan and India this week due to the visit by President Bush - in which several people were killed. They are very upset. At the same time, why be killed over it?

However, it is important to remember that Americans contributed significantly to the South Asia Earthquake in October 2005 that claimed the lives of close to 80,000 people and left millions homeless. Dr. Codoleeeza Rice said: ""I just want the people of Pakistan to know that our thoughts are with you, that we will be with you in your hour of need and that we will be with you not just today, but also tomorrow as you try to rebuild"


In addition, whatever the response (or lack of) by the FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the massive outpouring of physical, humanitarian, monetary support by the American citizens to their fellows is awe-inspiring! Church groups, individuals, the press, school children, professionals have reached out with their hearts in solidarity - in the greatest show of humanity. Knowing of school children who have spent their vacation helping Katrina victims, is wholly inspiring!

fearfully free advertising...?

AP reports that in Athens, Ohio, authorities shut down four buildings at Ohio University after a police officer noticed a sticker that said "this bike is a pipe bomb."

It turned out the message was the name of a punk rock band, a university spokesman said

Police noticed the sticker on a bicycle early Thursday.

Officers then blocked streets around a university-owned restaurant where it was found, spokesman Jack Jeffery said.

A bomb squad came from Columbus, about 65 miles away.

The bomb squad pried apart the bike with a hydraulic device normally used to rescue accident victims trapped in cars, acting Athens Fire Chief Ken Gilbraith said.

Once they had it open, they saw there was no bomb.

The buildings were reopened after about two hours.

Dean of Students Terry Hogan asked that fans of the Florida band be more careful when showing support in the future.

University police interviewed the bike's owner and later released him

Thursday, March 2, 2006

World Cup of the Beautiful Game

if you are not familiar with the great phenomenon that is the World Cup Soccer, you haven't truly lived!

so let's start from the very begining - a very good place to start...when we read we begin with ABC, when we play world cup soccer we begin with the countries that will be particpating in the World Cup 2006 in Germany

source of images: Fifa World Cup

every 4 years, more than half the world stops in its tracks, tears are shed, friends are made, and the earth revolves around the football...for a while..

keep tuned, lots more to follow periodically on the beautiful beautiful game - and in a few weeks my predictions!

cheers,

the groups of the game

After many rounds of qualiying matches within their respective continents, a total of 32 countries from all over the world qualify to play in the actual World Cup

The countries are divided into 8 groups (A-H) within which they play against each other. From each group, the two top winners qualify to the next round, then the quarter finals, semi-finals, 3rd place, and the finals (of-course, we generally remember the winners :-} )

Each of the games will be played in different stadiums around Germany


source of images: Fifa World Cup