Monday, November 9, 2009

Remembering Fall of Berlin Wall

Today, November 9, 2009 marks the 20th Anniversary of Fall of Berlin Wall. Here is a video of TIME photographer Anthony Suau and the pictures he took while covering the opening of the border between East and West Berlin. In short, his account of the Fall of Berlin wall.

P.S. I didn't know that on embedding this TIME magazine video on my blog, they introduce an advertisement of 15 seconds before the video begins. So bare with the ad please. Cheers to TIME for sharing this video.

Friday, July 3, 2009

What can we learn from Forrest Gump

Yesterday, I watched a great film named Forrest Gump. It's wonderful story, full of emotions and humor. It's about a guy named Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks. He is average person but does a lot of great things. Here is what we can learn from Forrest Gump. I am not going to write details since it might give away the fun while watching this film.

1) Always listen to your family and loved ones.

2) Be true to yourself. If you are not smart, accept that you are not. Move on and concentrate on your strengths.

3) When you know something, master it.

4) Give back to society and people who played some role in your success.

5) Make sure your motives are true and you will achieve whatever you are after.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

IBM Visual Match : A tool to analyze a tennis match visually

At this year's french open, IBM and Roland Garros have come up with a fresh and innovative way to analyze match visually. This tool, called as Visual Match, can track how the momentum switched back and forth between the players. It's basically a two series line graph of the momentum of two players.

If you are looking over the course of entire match, It can tell you the key points with striking clarity. More importantly, you will know what was 'The turning point' of the match. See the following picture. It's a screenshot of Federer's semi final. You can make out very easily that turning point of the match came at Set 4-Game 4, when Del Potro lost the service game with 2 forced forehand errors. Federer gained the control of the match afterwords which is evident from the graph.

Courtesy: IBM and Roland Garros-Visual Match

Cheers to guys at IBM and Roland Garros for this impressive tool. As they say, a picture says thousand words and this is a striking example. Read this link on the french open website for the description. See this tool in action here for the matches.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bike tricks

This is one of the coolest videos I have ever seen. It will just make you 'Wow !'.

It's said that practice makes man perfect. Lots of practice makes a man wizard. 
Watch to get yourself dazzled. Make sure you have earplugs, music is awesome too.

Hat Tip: Gary

Monday, March 2, 2009

Credit Crisis Demystified

This is first post on this blog which doesn't fall in Sports category. I hope to post frequently into this new category, ~sport.  ~ means Not, hence category is Not Sport.

This post is about the presentation created by Jonathan Jarvis, a designer based in Los Angeles, which explains credit crisis in very clearly.

Even after reading lots of news and articles, I was still confused about how did it actually happen. This explains it all. 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Champions for ages: Federer and Nadal

Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer in the final of Australian Open 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2. This was the fifth time Federer was defeated by Nadal since start of 2008. Their head to head record now stands at 13-6. In Grand Slam finals it's 6-2.

Statistics courtesy: ATP WORLD Tour

Lets analyze their matches on each player's favorite surface. Nadal being a spanish player favours clay court (French Open) while Federer likes the grass court (Wimbledon). Out of 8 finals they have played, 4 were at French Open. Out of these 4 finals, none of them was a 5 setter. Nadal won 3 of them in 4 sets and 1 in straight sets. 3 were at Wimbledon. Federer won 1 final in 5 sets and another in 4 sets. Nadal won their memorable 2008 duel in 5 sets. Nadal won this year's Australian Open in 5 sets.

Somehow, Federer is getting frustrated by Rafa's tenacity. Federer's tendency to hit winners is playing to Rafa's strength which is, keeping the ball in play. Rafa, with age on his side, returns almost from anywhere on court. I think Federer is still not comfortable with that fact. Since his game is based on winners not on rallies, he is having tough time against Rafa.

If we consider the style of play, both have their own strengths and weaknesses. However, none of them possess a sure weapon like serve. Pete Sampras and Boris Becker both used to hit ace after ace on grass and hard courts which would give them confidence that they can hold their own serve. Federer has really good serve but his game is not based on that alone. Direct consequence of this is the fact that Rafa has more chances to break Fedrer's serve. In all of their matches, you will find that Break points saved % is in favour of Rafa. If Federer can hold on to his own serve, he definitely has a chance against Rafa.

On top of that Rafa is a left hander. Federer's forehand is returned with a double handed powerful backhand. Although one would argue that Federer has devastating single handed backhand against Rafa's forehand. More importantly, Federer's serve is taken on Forehand by Rafa.

Finally, out of 19 matches they have played against each other, winner of first set has went on to win the match fourteen times. Rafa 10 times and Fed 4 times.(5-2 For Grand Slam Finals) After losing the first set, Rafa has won thrice and Fed has won twice. Maybe, Fed needs to win first set to at least have a chance against Rafa.

Many people think that Federer has a mental block against Rafa. I am pretty confident that that's not the case. Federer has been World No.1 for consecutive 237 weeks. It's very difficult to get to No.1, staying there is even tougher. Fed definitely has got the mental strength.

I think It's more based on their style of play. I think he can beat Rafa by adding new dimension to his game like serve. Once he has a confidence on his own serve and Rafa can't break him, he will surely be more comfortable against him. At least, he can win their battles on grass and hard courts. Pete Sampras has mentioned in his autobiography, A Champion's Mind, that rivalry with Andre Agassi made him work on his game and it improved his game. I feel Fed, being a champion himself, will do the same thing. He will come out even stronger than before.

This debate about them can go on and on. To be honest, I am just a guy in front of a computer pulling up the stats from Internet, watching YouTube videos and staying up late to watch their matches live. I don't have slightest idea what goes on through a Pro's mind in a tennis match. Just being a tennis and Fed fan, made me write this post.

Lets just hope that this rivalry continues so that we can see them competing in grand slam finals for years to come.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Impenetrable defense of Man Utd

Manchester United kept their 11th successive clean sheet against West Brom on Tuesday, the 27th. In process, they broke Chelsea's long standing record of 10 consecutive clean sheets set 4 years ago in their championship season. It's a truly outstanding achievement.

They had to this with Rio Ferdinand and Wes brown injured, 2 of their regular back four. John OShea, Johny Evans, Gary Neville and Rafael all contributed in this run. However, the star of the show is Nemanja Vidic. The big Serbian defender was faultless in his reading of the game and dangerous in set play situations.

As they say offense wins you games, defence wins championships. Having a good defense, makes the other team frustrated since they can't break you down. This in turn, helps attacking players. Man Utd's defence has helped their attacking players like Ronaldo, Berbatov, Tevez and Rooney to score goals.

It's important to note that 6 of these matches had 1-0 score and one had 0-0. When the other team is playing their best game on a day, it's very easy to concede a goal and that puts pressure on your team and players can make a mistake in pressure situation. That's why, having a solid defence is important. Your team can be safe in knowledge that we don't concede and hence we can't loose.

Jose Mourinho applied the same philosophy to Chelsea team in 2004-05 and they were experts in 1-0 wins. It may not be the most effective and popular brand of football, but it's the safest way in a league tournament.