Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011 (Sydney, Australia)

GETTING BOWLED OVER? Fueled by her own growing knowledge of Australian sports (thanks to a class at the U. of Melbourne), Eileen Turpin gave Sandy and me a copy of Inside Out: Writings on Cricket Culture by Gideon Haigh of Melbourne. It's better than trying to sit down and read the rules. He made me pause--I knew then that he had me in his flipper-grip-- when I got to a small sequence on page 14. Here it is:
Cricket takes time. Games evolve. Light fluctuates. The ball ages. The players tire.
This sequence made me stop and take note, for a reason other than the fact that he nearly set a world's record for using only 13 words (19 syllables) to make five sentences. I suddenly liked cricket, in a scales-dropping-from-the-eyes kind of way. One sentence probably did it: "The ball ages."
I had no idea that they allow balls to deteriorate during a cricket match. [See this, from Wikipedia: "During cricket matches, the quality of the ball changes to a point where it is no longer usable, and during this decline its properties alter and thus influence the match."] In contrast, baseball has scrubbed itself clean from the "aging ball". A mere scuff on a baseball disqualifies it from competition.
Still, a tough go awaits if I want to watch a game. There's no denying what will likely happen when Sandy and I do so...
Cricket takes time. Minds wander. Heads droop. Blackberries buzz. Eyelids flutter.
[NOTE: If you are counting, that's 11 words (17 syllables) for five sentences. Still not a record, though.]

A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY: Yes, a lot of coffee gets consumed here. So does another pick-me-up, which I have enjoyed. This is a Ginger Zinger juice drink (right). There are plenty of variations. This includes orange juice and carrots, plus the requisite ginger. That's a bircher meusli in the background. I slid the sausages, bacon and eggs aside for a more healthy look.

THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN: Evidently, when you want to control an image, it's not always as easy as simply sliding the sausages, bacon and eggs out of the picture. The Hasidic newspaper in Brooklyn called Der Zeitung had a tougher task, and today's Sydney Morning Herald took them to task (right) for the way it manhandled the official "situation room" photograph related to the killing of Osama Bin Laden. In keeping with its policy to NOT publish photographs of women, the paper simply removed Hillary Clinton and counter-terrorism expert Audrey Tomason from the photograph (see above). The paper allowed Clinton's laptop to remain in the room, however. This was originally reported by After criticism surfaced, the paper printed an apology/explanation/excuse (which triggered the report in today's paper). Here's an excerpt:
Our photo editor realizing the significance of this historic moment, published the picture, but in his haste, did not read the "fine print" that accompanied the picture, forbidding any changes and published a picture omitting the female participants in the room.
Sure, the photo editor (man or woman?) was working in great "haste". But he/she had enough time to take two important people out of the picture. The apology names Clinton; it would have been a nice gesture if the newspaper's apology had actually NAMED the other woman. So, fine, you don't want to print pictures of women. But don't change reality, for goodness sake.
The Sydney paper says Der Zeitung's "coverage of the women's final at Wimbledon must look very surreal." Furthermore, the paper "must live in fear of a first woman walking on the moon."

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