Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Cutaway illustration of the Red Bull garage

Mercedes garage and Fifa headquarters:

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

A look at how soccer fans from other countries were selected to cheer for Qatar at the world cup


The code of ultra culture is antagonistic and deeply anti-authority, and in constant conflict with the police and the news media. In the Middle East and North Africa, ultras have been politically influential, too: Egyptian ultras played a key role in the 2011 Arab Spring that toppled Hosni Mubarak as president, and such was their street power and popularity that ultras were barred by one of his successors, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, after he came to power in a coup.

The songs crafted on the bleachers in Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Lebanon have been the soundtracks to antigovernment protests, too. But inside stadiums, they can fill even the most sterile spaces with passion, color and sound.

So, in April, a test event was arranged in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. Hundreds of Lebanese students and fans of a local club, Nejmeh, were recruited to make a proof-of-concept film at Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium by recreating the atmosphere an ultra group can provide. The video shows hundreds of fans chanting, displaying banners and letting off pyrotechnics.


The video impressed the right people in Doha. Through word of mouth, young Lebanese fans were offered an extraordinary deal: free flights, accommodations, match tickets and food, plus a small stipend, to bring some ultra culture to Qatar’s World Cup games. The fans arrived in mid-October to rehearse their choreographed actions and to practice their newly written chants.

And to learn Qatar’s national anthem. 

Today's funny posts

Ornate video game weapon props

Monday, November 28, 2022

Picked up from my wishlist, "The Appeal: A Novel" is $1.99 right now; Also, there's a free short story by Tamsyn Muir

at Amazon.

NYT said:

It’s a new year, which means a new crop of thrillers to provide some delicious diversionary relief from the sometimes less thrilling things going on in the world.

Let me suggest, to begin with, Janice Hallett’s witty, original THE APPEAL (Atria, 416 pp., $27.99). Reading it is like taking part in an immersive theatrical production in which you wander through an unfamiliar house, collecting clues to a nebulous mystery.


The whole thing is a delight; teasing out the mystery is almost as fun as searching for its solution.

And even cheaper, Tamsyn Muir wrote a 59-page short story for Amazon called "Undercover." (Free with Prime.) It's a good, creepy thriller. I recommend not reading the plot summary because each reveal is part of the fun. (It's not funny, and not connected to the Gideon series, as far as I can tell.)

"Brooklyn Democratic Machine Appoints Little Pakistan Residents to Party Posts Without Their Knowledge"

The City:

It was part of a successful effort to shut out a slate of would-be appointees assumed to be at odds with party leadership. 


In April, THE CITY reported that party members allied with the establishment forged at least five residents’ signatures in a bid to block rivals campaigning to join the county committee.


When political pundits predicted a national “red wave” in the midterm elections, they never imagined that one of the few areas it would actually surface would be southern Brooklyn, New York.

"Nine Civilians Killed in Militant Siege at a Mogadishu Hotel"

The assault began Sunday evening when six fighters from Al Shabab, an extremist militant group that swears allegiance to Al Qaeda, stormed the Villa Rosa hotel after evening prayers. At least one assailant detonated a suicide vest while others opened fire with guns on the guests, witnesses said.  

At least three government ministers were present, including the internal security minister, Mohamed Ahmed Sheik Ali, who was injured after he leaped from a window to escape the assault, according to local news reports.


The siege ended after the six attackers had been killed
In August, three months after taking office, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud pledged "total war" against the Islamist militants following an attack on another popular Mogadishu hotel. More than 20 people died.

Two months later, twin car bomb explosions near a busy junction in Mogadishu killed at least 100 people. Al-Shabab also said it was behind that attack.