Tuesday, June 29, 2010

YouTube, now with instant vuvuzela sound

Want to hear what your favorite pop star or politician sounds like accompanied by the most memorable sound of the soccer World Cup in South Africa -- the droning vuvuzela trumpet?

Try YouTube. The popular video-sharing website has added a vuvuzela button -- in the form of a soccer ball -- on its latest video player, allowing the sound of the vuvuzela to play alongside the video being watched.

The results can be hilarious, try watching a speech by any major global politician drowned out by the relentless blasting of the plastic trumpet, which has caused controversy at the World Cup.

For the full article on moneyweb.co.za, click here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Something for SA to be proud of

The Huffington Post
Shari Cohen
International development worker in the public health sector
Posted: June 15, 2010 11:35 AM

South Africa Rolls Out the Ubuntu in Abundance I went on a rant the other day regarding the cost of the 2010 World Cup versus all the critical needs South Africa is facing and whether or not the most vulnerable of this country would gain anything from having the World Cup hosted in their country. At that time, I also had some very positive things to say about our hosts for the 2010 World Cup and I wanted to share that side of the coin as well, because it is equally important.

To say that I have been blown away at the hospitality South Africa has shown the rest of the world would be an understatement. I think back on recent Olympics and struggle to remember much reporting in the USA of athletes from other countries. I remember when a Togolese guy won a bronze medal in kayaking and NBC reported it and I thought to myself, "Where are all the other fascinating stories like this one...like the Jamaican bobsledding team." In today's America, sadly, we have drifted so far towards being so US-centric that we only seem to root for the Americans.

Not so here in South Africa. I've been here since early May and each week I have become more and more impressed with the global embrace that South Africans have offered up to the world. On the way to the airport a couple of weeks ago, I heard a radio program that said each day they would focus on one country that would be coming to South Africa for the World Cup, and they would explore not only that sport's history in soccer, but also their politics, religion, and socio-cultural practices. On the television, I've seen numerous programs that focus on a particular country and its history of soccer and how the history of that country is intertwined with their soccer history. I've seen programs on India, exploring why India enjoys soccer but hasn't really excelled at the global level... yet. And I've seen shows on soccer in Muslim countries. Maybe it's planned, maybe it's unplanned, maybe it's by chance, but it is happening. It's not just about South Africans showing off their varied and multifaceted culture to their global guests; it's also about using this opportunity to educate South Africa on the rest of Planet Earth's inhabitants.

As I moved through my work here in the provinces over the last six weeks, I had a pivotal meeting with the Board members of a rural NGO. They were explaining their guiding program philosophy of Ubuntu. No, not the Linux program. I'm talking about the traditional African philosophy of Ubuntu that essentially says, "No man is an island."
I found a better explanation from Wikipedia:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu further explained Ubuntu in 2008:
One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu - the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality -- Ubuntu -- you are known for your generosity.

We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.

To me, Ubuntu is the acceptance of others as parts of the sum total of each of us. And that is exactly what I have experienced during the lead up to, and the initial days of this World Cup. There is nary a South African citizen that I've met on the street, or in shops or restaurants or hotels, that hasn't gone out of their way to greet me and make me feel like I am home. And I don't mean that in the trivial, "Oh, aren't they nice, homey people here... “Sort of way. I mean real, genuine interest and questions. People seriously want to know where I come from. What it's like where I live. How does it compare to where I am now. What do I think of South Africa? Oh yes, and what do I think of Bafana Bafana... The questions and conversations are in earnest. They are honest. And they are had with enthusiasm and a thirst to know more. South Africans are drinking deeply from the cup of humanity that has been brought to their doorstep. I would never imagine that an American World Cup or Olympics would ever be this welcoming to the rest of the world. And that saddens me for the state of my home country, but it also makes me feel the pride of the South African people.

I have been truly humbled on this trip. And while I have my gripes regarding development here, I cannot say one negative thing about how South Africa has handled its duties as host and hostess to the world. If I could say one thing to sum up being here during this once-in-a-lifetime experience, it would be that I've learned the value of Ubuntu, and that when found and offered in abundance, the world is indeed a better place to live in.

So, if South Africa accomplishes nothing more on the playing field, it will still have won as a host country. I am a cynic, no doubt about that. And yet I have to admit, I'm a little teary just writing this because I leave for home next weekend and I will be leaving a little piece of myself here in South Africa. I just hope I have learned enough to bring back a little piece of Ubuntu to my homeland, where perhaps with a little caring and a little water, it will take root as naturally as it does here, in the cradle of civilization. It's funny; many people in America still ask me, "Are the people in Africa very primitive?" Yes, I know, amazing someone could ask that but they do. And when they do, I usually explain that living in a mud hut does not make one primitive, however, allowing kids to sell drugs to other kids and engage in drive-by killings -- isn't that primitive behavior? I think it is. When I think of Ubuntu and my recent experiences here, I think America has much to learn from Africa in general, in terms of living as a larger village; and as human beings who are all interconnected with each other, each of us having an affect on our brothers and sisters.

As the 2010 Cup slogan goes, "Feel it. It is here." Well, I have felt it, because I am here. Thank you South Africa, for giving me this unexpected gift. I am humbled.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 12 Matches

The qualification equation will be resolved once and for all in groups A and B on Tuesday when, to ensure fairness between the teams in contention, the two games in each section will kick off at the same time. Uruguay and Mexico currently lead the way in Group A with four points apiece and a draw between them in Rustenburg would send both through to the last 16. In Group B, Argentina stand on the verge of the knockout phase, even if they could still conceivably be eliminated on goal difference if they lose to Greece and three teams finish on six points.

France vs South Africa, Bloemfontein (16.00 local time)
Mexico vs Uruguay, Rustenburg (16.00 local time)
Greece vs Argentina, Polokwane (20.30 local time)
Nigeria vs Korea Republic, Durban (20.30 local time)

For the full article on Fifa.com, click here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 11 Matches

Although European champions Spain were widely backed to take Group H by storm, it is Chile and Switzerland who will battle for top spot in the section after the less-fancied duo both recorded wins in their initial outings. Having been humbled by the Swiss, Spain now need to get their tournament up and running against a Honduras side that put in a valiant effort before losing 1-0 to Chile.

Portugal vs Korea DPR, Group G, Cape Town, 13.30 (local time).
Chile vs Switzerland, Group H, Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth, 16.00 (local time).
Spain vs Honduras, Group H, Johannesburg (Ellis Park), 20.30 (local time).

For the full article on Fifa.com, click here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vuvuzelas go global

The vuvuzela may have had a lot of bad press overseas, but English football fans seem to be so smitten with them that a British supermarket can’t keep up with demand for the infamous South African plastic horn.

Sainsbury's, the country’s third-largest supermarket chain, said on Wednesday it expected to sell out of vuvuzelas within 48 hours as British fans snap up English-themed versions of the horn. According to AP, the retailer has sold more than 40 000 vuvuzelas, which are priced at £2 each.

"Overall we originally had anticipated selling 75,000 by the end of the tournament we could possibly reach this target by the time England kick off again on Friday as the vuvuzelas have been so popular,” said a spokesman for the supermarket. England play Algeria in Cape Town on Friday.

For the full article on iafrica.com click here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 5 Matches

The only country to have won the FIFA World Cup™ outside their own continent, five-time champions Brazil take their opening bow at South Africa 2010 against Group G outsiders Korea DPR.

The Matches
New Zealand-Slovakia, Group F, Rustenburg, 13.30Côte d’Ivoire-Portugal, Group G, Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth, 16.00Brazil-Korea DPR, Group G, Johannesburg (Ellis Park), 20.30

For the full article on Fifa.com, click here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 4 Matches

A cosmopolitan cast is preparing to light up the fourth matchday at the 2010 World Cup South Africa™. Following an all-European affair between the Netherlands and Denmark, Italy take on Paraguay in a Europe-South American showdown before Asian hopefuls Japan meet four-time African champions Cameroon.

The matchesThe Netherlands - Denmark, Group E, Johannesburg (Soccer City), 13:30Japan - Cameroon, Group E, Mangaung/Bloemfontein, 16:00Italy - Paraguay, Group F, Cape Town, 20:30

For the full article on Fifa.com, click here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

SA is more than ready!

Just days before South Africa meets Mexico in the opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Soccer City, Johannesburg, the host country’s President Jacob Zuma took the opportunity to welcome the world to South Africa.

South Africa has resembled a construction site for the last six years as world-class stadiums have been built and roads, rail, airports and communication systems upgraded in record time to meet the demands of the tournament and the country’s developmental needs for years to come.

For the full article on Fifa.com, click here.