Manchester United: The Devils in Hell

9 Dec

Well. Looks like the Red Devils have finally fell back into the depths of Hell. If running second in the Premier League to across the town rivals Manchester City wasn’t bad enough, Fergusson’s boys fell to FC Basel in the UEFA Champions League group stage, failing to qualify to the knockout round. After placing runners up at Wembly last season, what is going on with United? While a team like Manchester United obviously has the caliber to come back from such an “embarrassment,” let me start out and point out a couple flaws.

Inconsistency from Star Players: Nani and Rooney

Don’t get me wrong; Nani and Rooney are some of the finest players in the world. However, they are yet to become those players that teams can depend on in the dark moments on a regular basis. Ok, so Rooney, after having a horrific start to Manchester United’s 2010-2011 Premier League Campaign, regained form after his world class bicycle kick against Manchester City, which most experts claim was the goal that won United the title. However, after starting this season in top-flight fashion, Rooney has evaporated from the headlines, having a goal drought after scoring two hat tricks. While the Englishman has also put in a couple assists, he has yet to achieve that consistency that will place him amongst the classes of Ronaldo and Messi in brute attacking penetration. Nani also has a similar issue. While he has already had a couple of remarkable strikes on goal and pulled United from down under with impressive dribbles and crosses, he has yet to achieve his job in replacing fellow countryman, Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United. He has the ability to due so, but fails to meet his high standard of play in all matches that count. Both players are without a doubt top class players (both made the FIFA Baloon D’or 55-List). However, United fans are always going to look to them for the extra attacking power they offer. Hopefully they will stop disappointing.

Extremely Defensive Midfield:

Nani, while starting as a right midfielder, has now been pushed to more of a right-winger. So, this leaves absolutely no attacking creativity in the midfield. Anderson opens up the midfield with the most flaws. The Brazilian (who has only eight appearances with Brazil’s National Team) has very little attacking creativity. He is not by any means a gifted dribbler with the ball nor is he fast. When he plops a goal, it is quite a remarkable scene. He is backed up by absolutely zero offensive minded midfielders of Carrick and Fletcher. Both, almost always, hate playing their backs against a defender, just hitting the ball at the back with Ferdinand and Vidic. One possible replacement for the center-mid is Cleverly. The boy has had some remarkable games this season, and I hope Ferguson sees the potential I do to save United’s midfield. Ashley Young was a great signing. The ex-Aston Villa star is always giving a 100% on the field and open’s up United’s attack with grace. A signing of a center-attacking midfielder has to be on United’s List (hopefully Wesley Sneidjer).

While I could keep on going on, these are United’s two big issues. That’s why they have games in which they just win 1-0. There defense has had its faults with Johnny Evans and the occasional minor blunder by Vidic, but they are very consistent in keeping the ball away from the net with the help of the excellent de Gea.

Citations:

First Photo (Fergi):http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2915/europa-league/2011/12/09/2794433/manchester-united-or-manchester-city-could-face-tuesday

Second Photo (Nani and Rooney):http://www.deeyoo.com/ciyaaraha/2010/feb/01pleage.htm

Third Picture: supersport.com

Confidence

5 Dec

Having confidence can help you in so many situations in your life. It is can be false confidence or real confidence that can get you out of many situations.

 

One’s confidence can reflect his or her decisions. If you cannot confidently present your idea, why should anyone else believe or have any motivation to follow it? If the creator cannot articulate his audience to follow the idea, it gives the feeling that even the creator does not have faith in the idea. Confidence is key when trying to sell an idea or product. Simply being confident can intimidate opponents as well. While you may be scared of an enemy, by maintaining a confident attitude and expressing that confidence through your words, you may instill your opponent to doubt him/herself.

 

The great thing about confidence is that it can be false. Lets say, hypothetically speaking of course, you were not prepared for a presentation. However, you were very interested in pursing your idea over anyone else. When giving your presentation, you hit points with confidence, express your idea with those “power words” and this can develop the false confidence that could get your idea sold. However, if not diligent enough in creating the false confidence, your lack of preparation could be caught.

 

Sometimes people need to hear a confident leader. Many decisions the president makes are on matter and principles that the majority will not accept. However, through the confidence in the speeches and interviews, a president can keep a nation calm and under control while following through with an idea. Hopefully, the president has no false confidence.

 

You can read books and articles on how to raise confidence, but in the end, it comes down to the individual. When obtaining confidence, believe that you are right. You are correct. No one can wrong you. It is your idea, you thoughts, and how can anyone say your thoughts are wrong?

 

This is pretty funny………. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clXERkuQmXM

The Subconscious

4 Dec

 

 

This has been a subject of great interest to me as I have seen it many times. I first got interested in this area when I read Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. The book was basically composed of various examples of how people were able to use their subconscious without having any control of it. Utilizing one’s subconious is essentially unintentional. However, it is an accurate reflection on what we believe or think. Yet, there is only very little reasoning behind it.

Have you ever heard of first impressions? Well, that would be one person’s subconsciously making a observation upon another. You might see a color or a piece of clothing that you don’t like due to a past experience. Your subconscious applies that past experience to your current observation, correlating the two things together. For example, lets say you had a memory with a clown when you were small. This clown had frightened you. Now that you are older, you do not recall the memory of the clown as well as you though you could. This would be the memory area of your mind that you can access. However, the subconscious also carries this memory. But, it is untouchable. In the future, you see a person with similar colors to the clown, and immediately make the judgment that you would not like him. You personally don’t realize the lack of a thought process until you psychoanalyze that statement. However, your subconscious has matched your hating with clowns to the color of the clown on another person.

Have you also ever heard of the statement that we can only access 10% of our brain? Well, the subconscious is a great example of what we cannot access. It is a part of the mind that essentially has a mind of its own. I have also looked at this principle exhibited by the narrator in the Journal of a Plague Year written by Daniel Defoe. While the narrator claims he is a devote Christian, he subconsciously uses existential reasoning to make is claims on the Plague. As he desires to follow is religion, his subconscious essentially takes control for his reasoning.

 

 

This could be a untapped resource of information. If people are able to access this part of their mind, we may have a breakthrough in understanding the intricacies of the human mind.

Malcolm Gladwell – Blink

Apple, Google and Those Other Companies Part One: Visual Presentation

3 Dec

Apple and Google are probably two of the most powerful companies in the world today. Some people even believe they could be two independent countries, breaking away from California. Every once in awhile, you can even hear the news that Apple and Google have more money in surplus cash than the American government. Well, this could probably be true due to the debt that America is currently trying to dig their way out of. But, what makes Apple and Google so attractive to the consumer market? Well, I believe, their ability to follow some of the key principles of the WOVEN text, (yes, the WOVEN text) and physiological marketing are what makes them so attractive to the World.

 

Ask any child between the ages of 5-14, and they will easily identify the colors, symbols and styles of Apple and Google. This is because both companies take appearance in their logos and products into consideration. Apple, from the very start, had chosen an apple to represent their company. Initially, the apple was rainbow in color. Their initial color established them as the creative and innovative company they are today. They chose to start their company on bright, vibrant array of colors, which correlated to the newly designed computer age. Both the new computer age and the colors of Apple’s logo carried the same message of bold and futuristic. Microsoft, Apple’s mortal enemy, has just released their new symbol as multi-colored, trying to uphold the same creative emotion Apple once had. Now, always being one step ahead of Microsoft, Apple have chosen to go with a much more professional, sleek, white, metallic and black look which have defiantly appealed to the 21st century principles of futuristic in simplicity. Apple sells to the eyes first, which is an innate principal human’s from birth.

 

Google also has a great control over their visual appearance. What makes everyone so eager to use Google is their user-friendly homepage. First of all, they make sure that the search bar and buttons are clearly visible, making it the center or the focus of their page. This allows the user to waste no time, scrolling up and down on the page, trying to search for something they want to use to search (ironic isn’t it). Secondly, they keep their logo clearly defiant, using a blank white background as the contrast. Other website like Yahoo and MSN, tend to have less focus on their logo. However, Google’s ability to imprint their logo into their user’s mind has cost them little to nothing on advertising. Google, as the multi-billion dollar corporation as it is, has spent the least amount on advertising than any other Forbe’s 500 company.

 

By following the visual presentation principles of WOVEN text and understanding the mind set of the consumer or audience, both companies (Google and Apple) have had success in presenting their brands as superior to their competitors. 

London: Past vs. Present

24 Nov

London is a city associated with its past.  After founded in 43 AD, London has been the center of various English transitional phases including an era of imperialism and conquering and an era of expansion and industrialization. However, London has done its fair share to be one of the modernized cities of the present. However, when the culture and tradition of the past collide with modern London, tension and conflicting emotions arise. This power struggle between the past and present in London is presented in various forms of media including the novel, Saturday by Ian McEwan.

If you have ever been to the city of London, you will notice that the city has chosen to stay with its architectural style of the past.  Much of the buildings still in use in London were created in London’s time of expansion, which was roughly 1840 to 1925. This also includes the Victorian Era. Much of this time was based more on the monarchial ruling of a single leader, Queen Victoria. The class struggle was evident, as people were much more defined to the class in which they were born. In the novel Saturday, the present London setting is presented. Perowne the main character is constantly transitioning from place to place with the use of his car.  During these scenes, a narration is given on what is occurring in the car rather than the city of London around the car. As readers are so used to past writers mainly focusing on the aesthetic qualities of London in the setting, newer books focusing away from the culture and history of the London setting are interpreted as seclusion and isolation. When Perowne drives in his car, readers immediately interpret the car as a bubble of division from the real world. However, modernization itself, in any setting, can be concluded as a separation from history and culture. However, as London is a city founded on very strong history and tradition, readers find the dichotomy between culture and modernization very evident.

While the car seems to physically divide Perowne from the city of London, the car also destroys another quality of past London: the class system.  In Saturday, Perowne and Baxter are only identified as two different class levels through characterization. The narration tends to separate Perowne as a doctor while Baxter as a shadier individual. In addition, there is direct characterization through the way the two characters talk. In the past, people of London could be identified to be part of a specific class in their manner of speaking English. The upper class would speak English much more conventionally and proper compared through the lower class people, who tend to place more focus on slang. In Saturday, there is not much difference in the English between the two contrasting characters. Essentially, the proper English of London and slang English have essentially merged. The only possible speculation that could be made is that Baxter uses aggression and physical confrontation rather than knowledge, which is used by Perowne, to solve is conflict. Yet, what’s not to say that a upper class individual would not get violent? Essentially, modern London has eliminated a distinct division between classes. Both Perowne and Baxter have cars, establishing them on equal ground. Both are confined within their car. When the cars hit, both are evoked out of the car into confrontation.

Essentially, it is the reader who does not except a modern London setting. Readers are so used to the orthodox conventions of London of the past, that simply driving in a car is casted of as seclusion and isolation from culture. This is also evident in the Premier League, founded at the start of the Industrial Revolution. With newly founded team Manchester City buying their way up the Premier League ladder, old and tradition founded Liverpool have been slowly falling down. This has arisen a lot of tension within soccer fan support in England. With much of London established in the past, anything of the modern era triumphing over tradition is threating.

Saturday: Theme of Seclusion

9 Nov

Seclusion is a dominant theme in Saturday. It comes up in various aspects of the novel.

 

 

The first aspect of isolation is Perowne’s mode of transportations: his car. It is quite ironic that a car, a utility that allows people to travel far and meet other people, is a symbol of isolation. However, Perowne is constantly dividing himself from the aesthetic qualities of London as he moves with his car. During a scene, the narration starts to focus on the car’s radio as Perowne travels to a destination, instead of the city of London. This might be a point that Ian McEwan was trying to make. It is possible that our present day technologies do seclude us from noticing the aesthetic and simply urban qualities of a city. We are capped in a bubble that is our car, sheltering ourselves from nature. Essentially, we are isolated from the world around us when in a car. As the novel continues, Perowne is eventually forced out of his car when he hits into Baxter. The car had initially sheltered him from urban life. However, when forced to confront Baxter, Perowne had to move out of his car, where he exposed his vulnerability to the exterior environment that was once secluded to him.

As the confrontation between Baxter and Perowne progressed, one could see that Baxter had the physical advantage, as he had two other guys willing to support his argument violently. Perowne, who had been isolated from an urban environment, tried to apply his background in neuroscience to help is case in the fight. As we can see, urban street quarrels are rarely ever solved with medical science. In fact, Perowne appears to come off as snobbish and arrogant during the scene, establishing himself as a “doctor” with very formal English. In addition, Perowne actually began to instigate Baxter, which led to the eventual violent outbreak that left Perowne on the receiving end. Due to his seclusion to the urban environment, Perowne was unable to successfully deal with the argument.

Perowne use of neuroscience during social situations shows his constant engagement in his work. In a way, Perowne is secluded within his job as a neuroscience. He is constantly describing people in terms of their neurological state rather than regular social conventions. In fact, his use of neuroscience in his confrontation with Baxter was quite naive. As Perowne is always stuck within his work, he tends to be separated from an understanding of social acceptability.

Perowne’s sport of squash further establishes the theme of isolation. Squash is not a team sport. It is confined within four walls, with only a back glass wall. It is a sport that is one vs. one. It requires no communication. It is just a symbol of seclusion that further contributes to Perowne’s unwillingness to escape isolation.

To sum it up, the theme of seclusion is evident throughout the novel, Saturday. It seems to be a direct characteristic of Perowne, who seems to be isolated within his mind.

Now Playing —-> Tiësto

8 Nov

Electric and House music takes talent to create. While some people are masters of guitars and drums, others have the control and technique to use technology to create music. The man who is pure sensational is Tiësto.

To give a brief background, Tiësto was born and brought up in Breda, Netherlands. It was here that young Tijis (his real first name) gained interest in music and began to DJ at a couple of venues near his house. People loved him for his ability to beat match and put twists on classic songs. Once his popularity began to grow, Tijis created a couple of different names for him to go buy. It wasn’t until his first album in 1998 did Tijis go by the name DJ Tiësto. Eventually the DJ was dropped, and Tiësto was born. He has made the Billboard Top 100 several times with hit songs and his album Elements of Life.

Tiësto is known for his beat-crazy, base-dropping creations. At concerts, he has amazing visual effects and lighting. The man has crowds of thousands, jammed into an arena or open venue, screaming and jumping to his songs.

Below are some links to some of Tiësto’s songs and live preformances. Just press play and enjoy…

Zero 76 – Tiësto ft. Hardwell

 

C’mon – Tiësto ft. Diplo

Tiësto Live at Electric Zoo New York 2011

Maximal Crazy – Tiësto