Unfair play

I have no interest in sport of any kind. At school we had to play rugby in the winter and cricket in the summer, but no-one ever explained what you had to do, so it was difficult. Maybe you were just supposed to know, but mine was not a sporting family. My dad watched football (soccer) a bit, but that was that.

I do, once in a blue moon, watch cricket. Maybe once a year. The shorter games can be entertaining.

Cricket has been in the headlines recently, when Australian players were shown to be using some yellow thing to alter/damage the ball to gain an unfair advantage over the South Africans they were playing. When challenged, they lied about it, bigly. Having been caught out, we were treated to the three players who admitted being involved, plus their coach, hosting press conferences and crying for the world. Thinking of all the millions of dollars they would be losing I suppose, and the fact they had been caught lying. But who cares that they have wrecked their careers, if indeed they have.

Now, other players in the past have been caught ball tampering, so it’s nothing new. And I am guessing that very many more have got away with it, so it’s not that unusual.

So what? It’s just a game, a sport, throwing a ball and running about a bit. For lots of money, of course.

The words ‘sporting’ and ‘sportsmanship’ are common in life, and indicate some level of fairness. But sport isn’t fair. Some people are better than others, and some people win without letting others have a chance. It’s competitive, not fair.

But I don’t mind that. I truly believe that athletes should be allowed to take drugs, tamper with balls, cheat in whatever manner they like, just so long as we know. Knowing that athlete X ran such-and-such a distance in record time but had taken drugs A and B is fine. You can accept it or reject it, as you choose. Either way it’s meaningless. We would have two tier races, people who were ‘enhanced’ and those who are ‘normal’.

Several sports are said to be sports for ‘gentlemen’. Cricket is one, so is snooker. But cricketers lie often. They claim catches when the ball has clearly hit the ground. They say that a ball has not hit the boundary rope when it has. They claim for lbw even though the batsman hit it. That’s how sporting they are.

 

 

 

Spam etc

Sadly, this site is under attack and nonsense is being left in the comments. It seems there are people who will happily spoil anything. The ones I have just deleted seem to have Russian e-mail addresses attached.

Please don’t click on anything that looks suspicious, ever. Always assume that people are out to get you until you are sure otherwise.

If the spam attacks continue, we will close down.

Russia etc

One of the headline news items in the UK is not Donald Trump, nor the weather but what appears to be an attempted assassination of a Russian former spy and his daughter in Salisbury a couple of weeks ago.

You can read about it here, if you haven’t seen it already: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43440992

The pair were attacked by some kind of nerve agent stuff that has been identified as of Russian origin. Other people have been affected by the attack which seems to have taken place in a public restaurant.

The UK government has said that they are sure Russia was responsible, and issued an ultimatum to that country for clarification and explanation. Russia says it wasn’t them. Mr Trump thinks it was, so it must have been.

Twenty three Russian diplomats, or ‘spies’ depending on who you listen to, have been expelled from the UK. Russia has retaliated in a similar way. Britain’s ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, is one of my former pupils, not that that has anything to do with anything. He has appeared on the news, being ‘diplomatic’.

Russia is due to have elections tomorrow, which Mr Putin will win.

Another Russian exile has also been found dead: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43438615

Police and the Home Office are telling any Russian ex-pats in this country to be careful.

How will it all be resolved? My guess is, a couple of weeks and it will all be forgotten.

Sums

I used to enjoy Maths. At school, it was my favourite subject. I was not the greatest at it, but it made sense to me.

Partly, i suppose, I got it from my dad, who had that kind of mind and was good with numbers. I had some great teachers. But mainly, it was logical, more so than History, for example, which was all about learning unrelated facts, something I can never do. I mean, look at the dates of Kings and Queens of England and tell me the logic behind it. None, of course. Chemistry was similar. Possibly there was some kind of logical system in naming organic and inorganic compounds, but it was never explained to me.

We didn’t have calculators in my day. We used books of tables, and great fun it was. You really understood sines and cosines, and could do logarithms like nobody’s business.

I taught Maths in school for a lot of years, and enjoyed it when apparently unrelated topics finally came together and the pupils could see links between, say, trigonometry, complex numbers and hyperbolic functions.

When I would go out, people would often ask ‘what do you do?’ and I told them. Usually you would get ‘I hated Maths’. Sometimes ‘when do I ever need to calculate the area of a parallelogram?’ I do understand that not every person enjoys every subject, and that is fine. But studying Maths helps you think rationally and logically. When presented right it can be really fascinating.

I am sure Stephen Hawking would have agreed.

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