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Misc.

Brazil wins World Cup

Ronaldo scored two goals yesterday, and Brazil beat Germany 2-0 to win their record fifth World Cup title. The Brazilian striker, who suffered from a mysterious illness before his team’s ill-fated ’98 final against France, has exorcised his demons.

And although he won the Yashin Trophy for being the Cup’s best goalkeeper, German shot stopper Oliver Kahn could not hold Rivaldo’s 67th minute shot; the rebound spilled to Ronaldo, who tucked it away for the game’s decisive tally. “I am fully aware that this is the only mistake I made in the seven matches of the World Cup,” Kahn said after the game. “That one mistake was brutally punished.”

So World Cup 2002 is over. Though the semifinals and the final were rather lifeless, the earlier stages of the tournament were phenomenal. Michael Davies, writing on ESPN.com, sums it up nicely: “…the truth is this was a World Cup of highs and lows, of positives and negatives, of yin and yang. It was a World Cup of karma, of settled scores and of reputations built over years undone in an instant. It was not a World Cup, on the whole, of unforgettable football. But It was a World Cup that has, perhaps, changed the landscape, the hierarchy of worldwide football. Or maybe it hasn’t. We’ll see in 2006…”

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Misc.

Goldmember and World Cup memories

The “Austin Powers in: Goldmember” trailer is now available.

David Lacey, a journalist who has covered the last 10 World Cups, offers his top six memories from the tournament.

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Misc.

“Puncturing Web Ads Before They Pop Up”

“Puncturing Web Ads Before They Pop Up,” (NY Times; free registration required) is a good overview of ad-blocking software options. Ironically, when I viewed the article, it launched a pop-under window–the very sort of annoying advertising the article discusses combating.

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Misc.

World Cup final is set

The World Cup final is set. Germany beat South Korea 1-0 yesterday, and today, Brazil defeated Turkey by the same scoreline. The Germans meet the Brazilians on Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. Eastern.

For ongoing coverage, check out Bill Davis’s amazingly comprehensive World Cup Weblog.

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Misc.

“The politics of futbol”

In “The Politics of Futbol,” William Safire says, “Set aside the game itself; this is not the sports page. Consider instead the intelligence, geostrategic, cultural and diplomatic ramifications of futbol, with its World Cup played, as always, halfway between U.S. presidential elections.”

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Misc.

World Cup: looking back at 72 years

This World Cup has unquestionably been one of the most exciting ever. In the 72 years since the tournament’s inception, only seven teams have ever won the title: England, Brazil, Germany, Italy, France, Argentina, and Uruguay. This year, only Germany, England, and Brazil have made it to the quarterfinals, where they’re joined by Spain, Senegal, S. Korea, Turkey, and the US. England plays Brazil tomorrow morning at 2:30 a.m. Eastern, and the American team battles Germany at 7:30 a.m. Eastern.

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Misc.

This week’s New Yorker

The current New Yorker fiction issue contains some powerful writing: Charles D’Ambrosio’s mournful “Documents;” “Alone at the Movies,” a moving piece by Jonathan Latham; and the lyrical, dark “I Bought a Bed,” by Donald Antrim (not available online).

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Misc.

U.S. team in quarterfinals

For the first time since 1930, the US men’s soccer team has advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. They beat Mexico 2-0 today and will face Germany on Friday.

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Misc.

U.S.-S. Korea game

World Cup update: the US tied South Korea 1-1 today. Clint Mathis scored in the first half, and Brad Friedel’s brilliant play in goal salvaged the draw. With one game left in group play, the American team is likely to advance to the second round of the tournament.

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Misc.

Reuters on Onion’s U.S. Capitol building spoof

“BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing’s most popular newspaper has unwittingly republished a bogus story about U.S. Congress threats to skip town for Memphis or Charlotte unless Washington builds them a new Capitol building with a retractable dome. The source? America’s celebrated spoof tabloid, the Onion.”