Playing on God’s Team – Brazilian Soccer Stars and Christian Evangelism

September 18, 2008

Kaka
Brazilian superstar Kaká bows down and praises the Lord in a very public display of his faith

When one thinks of Brazil, one will automatically think of Ipanema Beach, Carnaval in Rio de Janiero, beautiful women, and of course soccer. North Americans have difficulty understanding how popular a game soccer is worldwide and especially in a country like Brazil where it is a national religion thanks to the fact that their national team has won the World Cup a record five times.

Not only does Brazilian soccer and its fans take on a religious sensibility, its soccer stars are infusing the game with their own brand of Christianity, Evangelism. Superstars such as Kaká (pictured above), Lúcio, Zé Roberto, and Cacau openly profess their faith during matches by either wearing undershirts with a Christian message, or consistently making the sign of the cross throughout the game. Logic would suggest that these players are simply devout Roman Catholics since we’re talking about Brazil but they aren’t: they belong to the Pentecostal Church which counts 17.6 million adherents in this South American country.

Cathrin Gilbert takes a look at this phenomenon in Playing Soccer for God:

The Schalke team captain Bordon has joined the other Evangélicos in the Bundesliga, as well as about 100 other athletes from Brazil, and formed an organization called Atletas de Cristo. Their mission, as stated on their Web site, is to convert the world to Christianity. As often as his playing schedule permits, Bordon meets with his brothers for religious services.

At a training camp, Bordon invited Schalke manager Andreas Müller, a Mormon, to a bible circle. Missionary work is part of the commitment Bordon entered into when

click here to read Cathrin Gilbert’s article in its entirety


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Google Targets Blackberry and the iPhone in its Quest for World Domination

September 18, 2008

android
Conference attendees were given a sneak peek at the look off the Google Android )pictured above)

A decade ago, the fears expressed in the media were that Microsoft was headed towards world domination thanks to their operation system and software. Only a decade later, Google is now the driver’s seat in the technological world thanks to their dominance online with web applications. Their internet browser known as Chrome has launched successfully and will in the future do battle with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Now Google is branching out and heading into the mobile phone world with the coming release of Google Android. Claudine Beaumont explains: Read the rest of this entry »


It’s Good to be the King!

September 18, 2008

berlusconi

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi simply can’t help himself when it comes to beautiful women. On this occasion, the subject of his all too obvious glancing is the newly-crowned Miss Italy Miriam Leone.

Many of his supporters certainly do forgive him, with the exception of his long suffering wife, Veronica:

Mr Berlusconi was appearing on the current affairs show, Porta a Porta, and found himself discussing the issues of the day with Miss Leone, a 23-year-old student who possesses a pair of enviably long legs.

But his admiring glance is likely to provoke the ire of Veronica, Mr Berlusconi’s long-suffering wife of more than 20 years.

She took the unusual step of contacting Left-leaning newspaper La Repubblica following reports that the politician had approached several women at a party and told them: “If I wasn’t married, I would marry you straight away.”

In her letter, she wrote: “These were declarations that I see as damaging to my dignity and cannot be treated as just joke. That is why I am asking for a public apology as I have not receievd one in private.”

Read the rest of this entry »


North Korea – A Peek into the Hermit Kingdom

September 17, 2008

Kim Jong-Il
Even in death former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il watches over his people with a stern eye

Speculation is rife over the health of North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung. In a manner befitting all dictators, actual hard facts have been difficult to come by yet it’s quite obvious that something is happening in country. Recall only months ago all the speculation regarding the health of Fidel Castro and what his death would do to Cuba.

Naturally, the topic of North Korea after Kim Il-Sung has been played up in the media. Some suggest that his illness could open the door to Korean reunification. Others are taking a more cautious wait and see attitude.

This is all the more fascinating because the rule of the Il family in North Korea has been marked by an uber-paranoia about foreign influence and subversion. Coined “The Hermit Kingdom“, access to the approved non-tourist parts of North Korea (of which there are few) is incredibly difficult to obtain. Jerry Guo shares his experience of travel through North Korea with Chinese tourists: Read the rest of this entry »


Did you hear the one about McCain, your wife, and the blackberry?

September 17, 2008

mccain
In his lust for power, Presidential candidate John McCain explains to the press how he likes to carry a first generation mobile phone around with him to prepare himself for when he gets the “Presidential Football” that will allow him to nuke the world

Being a world leader in technology, American politicians have constantly championed research and development in this area not only for business purposes, but also for matters of national security. Some of these politicians go as far as to take credit for inventions that shouldn’t really be credited to them. For instance, many allege that former Presidential candidate Al Gore claimed to invent the internet. This has led to cottage industry of jokes, especially in the online world. Common sense would suggest that in the future, political figures would hesitate to exaggerate their roles in technological development.

John McCain doesn’t live by those rules. Yesterday, John McCain’s economic advisor credited the candidate with the invention of the . From Wired.com:

Asked by campaign trail reporters what McCain’s experience as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee does to help him to understand the economy and lead the country through its current turmoil, Douglas Holtz-Eakin waved his BlackBerry in the air, according to The Politico.

“Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce committe,” Holtz-Eakin said. “So you’re looking at the miracle John McCain helped create and that’s what he did.”

Holtz-Eakin has been mocked by the blogosphere since he uttered those words.

But there is a political dimension at play here which few realize. McCain’s reintroduction of the “culture wars” in this election through his choice of Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential candidate leaves McCain in a bit of a dilemma: his invention is playing havoc with the stability of the family! Professionals Choosing Blackberry Over Spouse:

How much do tech-addicted workers love their PDAs? Let’s count the ways.

A new survey found that about 35 percent of professionals would pick their PDAs over their spouses if they had to choose.

Senator McCain, your invention is destroying the family.


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How the Internet looked back in the olden days

September 17, 2008

macdonald's
This is an actual image from the McDonald’s corporate website back in 1996

I find it quite odd talking to teenagers today since the are truly the internet generation. So much is it a part of our daily routine that it’s difficult to think back to BI – Before Internet.

I first “surfed” the internet back in 1994 during my university days. I was already familiar with computers and programs such as Word Perfect, but the internet was something new. The terminals at my school library were hooked up to the internet, but it was still text-based meaning no images, and a lot of tabbing and hitting “enter” since the mouse wasn’t all that useful. Most time in those days was spent on Usenet.

The following year our computers got an upgrade and the world wide web came alive. Images flashed on our screens, and always very slowly…..waiting for objects to load was par for the course. The search engine of choice was AltaVista (yes, this was pre-Google) and your website options were quite limited.

Here is a presentation of what the internet looked like in 1996. You’ll notice how primitive sites were and how aesthetically unappealing they could be. It’s a great collection courtesy of the Wayback Machine.


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Have the French Finally Accepted “Franglais”?

September 16, 2008

francaise
The resistance to Anglicization of the language has been a strong one until recently

It was only last week that we reported how Italians are calling for resistance to the anglicization of their language. The Italian drive is spearheaded by the Dante Alighieri Society which is calling for protection of the Italian language in opposition to “Anglitaliano”, the hybrid mix of Italian and English. The Dante Alighieri Society was has been influenced by French efforts to roll back the creeping anglicization of their language through the Académie française which has a long track record of trying to keep the French language as free of English influence as possible.

However, The Economist is reporting that the English language and Franglais in particular are experiencing a resurgence in France:

Despite rules requiring advertising slogans in English to be sub-titled, French manufacturers brazenly borrow English words to confect brands in franglais. L’Oréal, a cosmetics group, promotes “Age Re-Perfect Pro-Calcium Nuit” and “Revitalift Double Lifting Yeux”. France’s fashion press is another cross-dresser, writing of “Vive la fashion attitude” or “Le Hit des It Bags”. In a post-modern twist, teenagers are importing American slang via the heavily north African banlieues, where hip-hop flourishes and street dress is styled on the Bronx.

The sheer power of American and British popular culture was the initial force behind the anglicization of French. It continues to be so, but with globalisation the financial incentive of knowing English also comes into play. Lastly, the rush in Italy to defend the language and the rising French acceptance of English reflect political trends in both countries. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy has ended the long run of French ambivalence towards the United States while Silvio Berlusconi of Italy has changed course from a pro-American position towards a more nationalist direction.


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