Monday, 30 June 2014

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

x 3

How to Recreate 36 World Cuisines With 3 Spices

Chin, Chin

The 2022 World Cup could be hosted in Scotland, if craft brewers BrewDog have their way.

The controversial brewery today unveiled a new beer entitled ‘Vote Sepp’ in an attempt to “sweeten the deal” and convince the FIFA President to host the 2022 World Cup in their native Scotland rather than Qatar.

Its release comes amid accusations of bribery and corruption within FIFA over its consideration of Qatar as a host country, with some questioning its ability to host the 2022 competition.

The 5% beer, believed to be the industry’s first craft beer bribe, will be served at BrewDog bars from brown paper bags “to aid drinking with greased palms”, with its label featuring an image similar to that of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign posters.

James Watt, BrewDog co-founder, said: “Vote Sepp marks the official launch of our unofficial bid for Scotland to host the World Cup 2022. We know the event was awarded to Qatar, but once President Blatter has a sip of this incorruptible hibiscus wit beer, we’re sure he’ll come around to our way of thinking.”

“There are so many benefits to hosting it in Scotland. Unlike Qatar, there would be no concerns over people overheating during the summer in Scotland and with the hosts guaranteed a place in the tournament, we could finally see the Scots make an impact.”

A case of the beer has been sent to the FIFA President in Zurich, along with an invitation to discuss their bid at the BrewDog bar in Sao Paulo, which opened this year.

Watt added: “BrewDog is built on integrity and passion, and since we launched in 2007 we have been sticking two fingers up to the institutions that threaten those values. Whether it is corrupt establishments controlled by greedy gatekeepers, policies that threaten civil liberties, or the stranglehold the mega breweries have had on beer production over the last 50 years, we’ve always aimed to put the embarrassing status quo under scrutiny. Vote Sepp is part of that tradition.”

It is not the first time that BrewDog has launched a beer designed to stir up controversy.

During the Sochi Winter Olympics in February 2014, the brewery launched and anti-Putin beer in protest against Russia’s laws on homosexuality called “Hello My Name is Vladimir.”

Its label featured a Warhol-style image of Putin and carrying a warning that the beer was “not for gays” and “may contain traces of sarcasm”.

Earlier this year, the brewer launched an attack on The Portman Group after it banned its Dead Pony Club Ale, branding it “a gloomy gaggle of killjoy jobsworths”.

I'm Concerned Too

Ein Land, eine Mannschaft, ein Traum – “One nation, one team, one dream”, read the legend on the window of the German team coach which drew up under a slate grey sky here yesterday. Though there is a solidarity within Joachim Löw’s ranks, the aspiration to clinch a first World Cup in 24 years is yet to grow from fantasy into deep conviction.

There was certainly bold talk after the second favourite’s sensational opening win against the Portuguese. “This is going to be our World Cup,” proclaimed the German tabloid Bild, bearing out all the pre-tournament fervour at home. “Germany will be world champions. There’s no better than us. The only team who could pose us problems are Brazil,” was the pre-tournament assessment of Jürgen Kohler, a member of the class of 1990, who last lifted this prize. “The best squad ever,” added Günter Netzer, a former German international and now a media pundit.

But we are still searching for more evidence of German invincibility. Some of the noises emanating from the squad’s entourage suggest the multi-million euro training base, Camp Bahia, that the German DFB have built just north of Porto Seguro is too insulated and cut off, while “Jogi” Löw’s side have fluctuated between the loose abandon of the 2-2 draw with Ghana and the rather stiff inertia of the win over Jürgen Klinsmann’s United States.

Löw deployed the energy of Sami Khedira for the former but when he bolstered the midfield with more strategic Bastian Schweinsteiger alongside Philipp Lahm and Toni Kroos for the latter, there was not enough attacking impetus to create any sense of satisfaction. Rotating the pair resolves the problem of neither being fully fit. Schweinsteiger has been suffering inflammation of the knee, while Khedira is returning to full strength after six months’ recuperation from cruciate ligament surgery.

Schweinsteiger seems a more natural fit for a nation who are a mirror of Bayern Munich and their passing game, and will be preferred against the Algerians tonight, but Dietmar Hamann, a member of Germany’s 2002 World Cup final team, is among many who view the nation’s dependency on “Schweini” as unhealthy. “He has had a lot of problems with injuries and if he doesn’t perform, then Germany cannot win the World Cup – it really is as simple as that,” Hamann says.

Germany’s national conversation is also consumed with the question of Löw’s decision to deploy Lahm as the central midfielder he has morphed into under Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich. Hamann is among those who believe that constitutes a risk. Operating there will not be as elementary as it is for Bayern, with their passing game, for the German nation whose route towards the final will grow steeper if they beat Algeria tonight. France, then Brazil, then Argentina or Netherlands lie ahead. “Lahm wants to play in the centre because that’s where he has been playing his club football with Bayern Munich,” Hamann says. “He should be playing at full-back, which is his best position.

“Lahm has been playing for six or seven months in a new position, but it’s not enough time to learn it. It is staggering that he is playing there after just a few months in the role with Bayern Munich. He plays there for Bayern Munich, who have 75 per cent possession in most games. It is different playing for the national team in that role. But he has made it clear he wants to play there. Instead Germany are playing with two central defenders [Jerome Boateng and Benedikt Höwedes] as full-backs.”

These issues suggest that this Nationalmannschaft still searching for all the answers and certainly not one without flaws.

The same can be said of many of the nations who aspire to win this competition. No one looks imperious. The winner may be the nation who best shake off their weaknesses, and German confidence is certainly bolstered by Thomas Müller. No one expected the man who once called himself a “Raumdeuter” – space investigator – to put himself in a strong position to win the Golden Boot for the second tournament running. He, Neymar and Lionel Messi have four goals, and Colombia’s James Rodriguez five.

The question for Löw is how to deploy him. At Bayern, Jupp Heynckes liked to play him on the right while Pep Guardiola has set him free to roam, with Arjen Robben on the right, though for Hamann, the solution resides in not making his role too complicated.

“He is a clinical finisher playing in a team that creates a lot chances – you could see that with his goal against USA,” Hamann says. “He is a very clever player. His biggest asset is his pace and finishing. He is not the most gifted, but I think his best position is up top because he is a goal threat.”

The ice in Müller’s veins at the age of 24 gives the former German international most reason for optimism. “Players make the World Cup,” says Hamann. “This is the biggest stage and Müller has shown in 2010 and in Brazil that he can handle it. It is seven games of high intensity and the players have to perform at their very best. He is doing that.”

Löw is not imbued with a galaxy of talents in reserve. Though there is Toni Kroos and Mario Götze in the squad, seven of the squad have fewer than five caps each. Hamann certainly takes issue with Günter Netzer’s talk of the best side ever.

Löw, without Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski tonight due to a muscular problem, admits things are not perfect before the match with Algeria – who have revenge on their mind for the so-called no-aggression pact between Germany and Austria in 1982, which resulted in the North Africans’ elimination.

“There’s been lots of light, but also plenty of shadows; some good things, but also things which didn’t work,’ Löw said at the weekend. “We won our group, which was our primary objective, so we are happy, but we are also self-critical and we know that we can play better. We’ve not reached our limit yet.”



Best Deal of the Day?

Hofer's six pack of orange juice in a bottle, not carton.  4.68€.


Out But Not Down

Click your team for their fixtures during the next season, with thanks to TInd.

Anyone Shocked?

It may be overpriced and only be available at the end of a long queue, but a glass of Pimm’s has become an almost mandatory part of the experience of a day out at Wimbledon.

Imagine the shock of customers, then, who discovered that the £7.80 beverage can come served at just a third of the strength recommended by Pimm’s itself, and tasting more “like a soft drink” than a gin-based cocktail.

According to reports in the Sunday Times today, laboratory tests carried out on the Pimm’s served across the All England Club’s official bars and drinks stands showed a huge variation in percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV).

A standard bottle of Pimm’s No 1 Cup is 25 per cent ABV, and according to the producer’s own recommendations should be mixed with one part spirit to three parts lemonade – creating a drink of about 6.5 per cent ABV.

Yet analysis of a drink bought from the Café Pergola at Wimbledon reportedly found it was one part Pimm’s to nine parts lemonade and melted ice – just 2.5 per cent ABV.

Drinks bought from other locations around the All England Club varied in strength, but none contained as much alcohol as a Pimm’s bought from a bar outside the tournament’s walls – which was also almost £2 cheaper.

One tennis fan told the Sunday Times she was “not surprised” by the results of the tests, saying: “I’m shocked at how expensive the Pimm’s is at Wimbledon. It’s nearly £8 and tastes like a soft drink.”

Pimm’s said the draught drink it provides for Wimbledon is based on its “pre-mixed product” which also comes in shops at 5.4 per cent ABV instead of 6.5.

It said its “perfect serve recipe” dictates that it is best served over ice which, once melted, then dilutes the drink further.

A spokesperson for the All England Club and Facilities Management Catering (FMC), the official caterer at Wimbledon, said: “The Pimm’s comes in pre-mixed sealed containers and we serve it over ice as recommended. The amount of ice in the glass will affect the dilution but you can always ask for it without ice.”


Till Death do us Part- 4

19. Cake first, then tattoo.

Cake first, then tattoo.
Retro Bakery /

20. Aww, this one is actually kind of cute!

Aww, this one is actually kind of cute!
~Who’s a grumpy little divorce cake?~

21. Enough said.

Enough said.

22. Have you ever seen poop made out of icing?

Have you ever seen poop made out of icing?
Well….at least we think it’s icing.

Till Death do us Part- 3

13. Is that how the saying goes?

Is that how the saying goes?

14. Misandrist alert.

Misandrist alert.

15. She doesn’t look very sorry about it.

She doesn't look very sorry about it.

16. That is one large pan.

That is one large pan.

17. This one focuses on the positive aspects of being single.

This one focuses on the positive aspects of being single.

18. Freedom isn’t free.

Freedom isn't free.

Till Death do us Part- 2

7. Draw!


8. Melancholy, but very intricate.

Melancholy, but very intricate.

9. Bury the ring, once and for all.

Bury the ring, once and for all.
Just be careful not to swallow it.

10. Has anybody seen Ken?

Has anybody seen Ken?

11. One ring to rule them all.

One ring to rule them all.

12. Clear. Concise. Confirmed.

Clear. Concise. Confirmed.