Sunday, November 30, 2008

X Factor Folly

The British comparison to American Idol, X Factor, recently had its contestants perform songs previously recorded by Brittany Spears. She was also a guest performer on the show, making it her first appearance in Britain in 4 years.

Spanish singer Ruth Lorenzo was voted off the show that night.

I was just wondering how bad it really could feel to be booted from a show who thinks that Brittany Spears is worthy enough a performer to base an entire episode around. I've heard of shows like this surrounding a particular artist who has gained respectable praise from the industry and has become something of a legend. I am just a little beside myself to see that in other countries, the best they can come up with for a respectable singer in the United States is Brittany Spears. I guess it just goes to show that no matter what you think is noticeable and respectable in your own country, other places in the world will take what they want. Hopefully they can find a better angle for next week's episode so people in the UK don't believe that Brittany Spears is the best musical artist that the United States has to offer.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Santa Making His Rounds

It was recently reported on that Santa Claus was seen making his rounds. Andy Arkell recently flew from London back to Baghdad and rather plump individual with a red suit, black boots but oddly enough without the beard. The writer tried to implor us that this is in no way a joke blog but you be the judge!

So once again for college students it is about that time to stop buying rediculous amounts of beer and save every so often in order to buy friends and family gifts. As a college student this can be hard to do, I mean not sacrificing your beer runs but more along the lines of saving money when you are already on a tight budget. It is never too early to start saving for this spending spree. What are some ideas you have towards cost saving Christmas presents? Get another job? Sell a kidney? Lets hear what you have to say...

10 Tips for Shopping on a Budget
Shopping Sales
Seven Ways to Prepare a Holiday Budget

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Don't Taser Me Bro

We all remember the popular youtube clip showing a student getting tasered at a Q & A with John Kerry. So you might ask what's the relevence now and how does this incident relate internationally?

Well the answer would be, that England plans on using many more stun guns. They actually plan on arming police officers with 10,000 more stun guns. They hope these guns will help deter violent crimes.

But I wonder how they hope these will end violent crimes, when one of the most commonly known instances involving a stun gun was in an attempt to silence a student. I guess the moral of the story is to watch what you say in England because you may just happen to be the newest youtube sensation. Don't taser me bro'.

Too Competitive

Williams Soccer coach Ady Williams was arrested on assault and making threats to kill in Swindon Town, England. The 37-year old was bailed out and has to return for more questioning on December 7th.

I am currently in NYC visiting my brother. He is a die-hard Bills fan and apparently there are a few bars here that are dedicated to playing the games on Sundays. They are packed with insane sports junkies who get too emotional for their own good. Thinking about my past occurrences with crazy fans, I don't know how thrilled I am to hear about a sports fan assaulting and threatening to kill someone.

So wish me luck as I step into the chaos that is the "Bills Bar" today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Australian Man Found with Penis in Pasta Jar

Keith Roy Weatherly, 46, of Australia was caught in his car by police with his penis inside a 750ml empty pasta jar.

Police thought Weatherly was armed when they first approached the car. They drew their weapons in defense. This scared Weatherly and he sped off, leading the men on a 20kph chase (mind you, this is Australia) for roughly ten minutes. When the police finally got to Weatherly, he refused to leave the car so police had to spray and hit the man with batons. It is then that they found the pasta jar on his penis.

While the police were trying to cuff Weatherly, he still continued to "take in the pleasure" of the pasta jar. Police searched Weatherly's car and found various items admist it including porn, a home-aid sex aid, women's stockings and a Jack Russell Terrier. Weatherly pleaded guilty and was fined for offensive behavior, resisting police, and disobeying a police direction.

This is what makes international news sites so interesting. You are able to read stories like this and not feel weird because you are reading them. This Web Site also featured a story about a man in Florida who hit a woman with a sandwich while she was driving, knocking her glasses off. Talk about legit weird...

British accents foil iPhone voice app

Google's newest application for the iPhone is a voice generated search capability. All you have to do is say something into the phone, and search results are instantly displayed. For a more detailed version of how this new application works, watch this:

Here's the catch: People with British accents are having trouble using this feature. Apparently, their accents are not registering correctly in the phone. One man apparently said "pizza" into his phone, only to receive search results for "volcanoes." Sounds pretty ridiculous, right?

Whats even more ridiculous is the solution to this problem - an iPhone that not only detects your voice, but distinguishes what kind of accent you may have. Stay tuned, because it sounds like this solution could become reality sooner than you think.

But for now, angry British iPhone owners will have to begin working on their American impressions. Either that, or slave through the absolutely grinding and unbearable task of typing out their Google searches (sarcasm noted).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Winter Doesn't Mean Laziness

As I have stated before, it is useful to look at and read other countries Web sites about any issue, any topic, etc. They have different perspectives and different ways of looking at things. And since the weather is quickly beginning to change as the leaves fall off the trees and the snow begins to fall, college students are looking forward to break in December. This is the time when students fall into the trap of laziness; stay at home, eat cookies and watch reruns of "Full House". But winter is NO TIME to be lathargic.

The cold weather is actually the best time to run outdoors. And what does running mean to college students? Well, when they return from winter break, they can be fit and trim instead of overly obese and complaining about how much weight they gained while being at home. College students should be happy they have more time over this break to focus on staying healthy.

According to, running outside actually burns more calories than running on the treadmill and being outside helps advance calorie and fat burn because when your body is cold, it takes longer to get warm, burning more calories. The Web site also says that running outdoors is one of the quickest ways to get rid of belly fat!

A few quick tips to remember while running are:

  • Wear reflectors somewhere on your body whether you are running at night or during the day

  • Wear many layers of light weight fleece so you can gradually take it off as you warm up while running

  • Try to run with a friend, its the safest way

  • Running up hills burns more calories than on a flat surface--but do not just run uphills always because it is hard on the joints--mix it up with hills and flat land


  • Trying to run backwards--it helps your knees and burns more calories--it also helps with coordination and balance

If you want more detailed information and quotes from the experts, go to

And remember...


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Champions League brings world together

Each year, the UEFA Champions League brings 32 of the world's best club soccer teams together to compete against one another. With the title of "the world's best" on the line, drama and passion run high at each and every match.

To qualify for the league (which is actually set up more like a tournament) each team must win or place near the top of the standings in their own country (each country has its own club soccer league). The larger, more prominent countries (such as England, where the top 4 teams of the English Premier League earn spots in the Champions League) typically are allowed to send multiple teams into the tournament, whereas smaller countries usually only send their league victor.

The brunt of the Champions League schedule is made up of what is called the "Group Stage." In this stage, the 32-team field is broken down into eight groups of four. Each group is labeled with a letter - Group A, Group B, and so on. Each team then plays the other members of their group twice, resulting in a 6 game schedule. The games are spread out during a four month period, September to December.

Currently, each team in the Champions League has played four games. To see the standings as of November 6th, click here.

At the end of the group stage, the top two teams from each group move into the "Knockout Stage." This stage consists of head-to-head matchups, much similar to the "Sweet Sixteen" of the NCAA basketball tournament. The matchups are spread out over the course of four months, from February to May with the championship match being played in late May.

^Cristiano Ronaldo and his Manchester United teammates
conquered the Champions League last season.

What intrigues me about the Champions League is the world involvement. The 32 teams come from countries such as France, England, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Germany, Portugal, and Russia (just to name a few). This tournament, more-so than any other on earth, truly determines a "world champion" (alright, a case can be made for the World Cup soccer tournament, but that only happens once every four years, so I'm excluding it from consideration).

What bothers me most about the Champions League is the lack of United States involvement. I'm not trying to blame UEFA officials for that, don't get me wrong - I'm saying the U.S. needs to step its game up. Maybe we could start calling it football
(which makes a helluva lot more sense than soccer). Or maybe we could just start playing better. I really think that if a club team from Major League Soccer (the U.S.'s crummy professional version of the sport) begins to win multiple league championships and dominates a few exhibition matches against European competition, the world will take notice.

My hope is that college soccer players (er...should I say "footballers") will take the necessary steps to increase the level of play in America. I mean, how cool would it be to see the New York Red Bulls or Chicago Fire (two MLS teams...yes, I realize you have probably never heard of them) competing in Europe 10-15 years from now against the best the world has to offer?

I think it'd be pretty cool. And I hope future generations of footballers in the U.S. think so too.

Friday, November 7, 2008

50 Dead in School Colapse

50 people are dead in Haiti while 100 are injured. The death toll is expected to rise. 700 people were in the school at the time. The ages of students ranged from 10-20 years old. The Haiti Red Cross is helping in the school collapse and can still hear children inside. Remembering the story I wrote last week about supporting the Red Cross still applies to this week. It's just a horrible reminder of how many bad things can happen anywhere in the world and that people always need someone to help them out, from wherever they can get it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Senator Barack Obama was elected President of the United States on November 4, 2008. He won both the popular vote as well as electoral (349 to 147), something that has not been done for eight years.

To see what other countries think of Obama's win, click on any of the links below:

To watch Barack Obama's acceptance speech, click here:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In the spirit of Election Day...

When I think about politicians, I mostly think of swift-talking dudes who can avoid any question thrown their way. Thanks to these two videos, my opinion has...well...stayed the same. But at least now I know that John McCain can tell a joke, and Barack Obama has a few legit dance moves...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hunger and Poverty Still Ongoing Problem

When the world has advanced in so many fashions, you would expect people to be able to provide for themselves. However in many parts of the world, hunger still affects people by the millions. The numbers are outlandish considering all the advances in civilization and it just shows you that there is much more to be done.

The newly elected president of Zambia, Rupiah Banda, has pledged to end poverty in his country in order to help combat hunger. With his goal to end poverty in his country, more leaders should follow Badna's example.

Some may say what does this have to do with college students but this problem is ours to solve. We, the college students, are the future of the world and this problem will soon enough be inheritted. What do you think are some solutions for the problem?

Some sites on the same problem:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Red Cross looking for $ for Quake Victims

The Red Cross is looking for $7.8 million from emergency funds to help aid the victims of an earth quake in Pakistan. 200 people were found dead and over 4,000 homes were destroyed leaving people homeless. With the colder months coming up, they are in a rush to get help to the country before people have to brave the weather homeless.

With the Red Cross and other such organizations so easily accessible to Americans, I think it is important to help out whenever you can. Even as college students, we can have a large impact on the world through the small things we do, like through donations and volunteering.