Tuesday, July 15, 2014

8 Reasons why I am glad this World Cup is over

1. Germany won the world cup. What better way to placate your post-World Cup sudden existential crisis than to keep reminding yourself that the team you vouched for..won! And that the same people who called Germans chokers choked.

2. No more of Korean commentary. You can argue that my Korean skills wouldn’t have allowed me to understand shit but you don’t need to pass level 6 of Korean to understand things like “ Goaaaaaaaalllll입니다”, which is quite appalling to listen to.

3. And regret later on when the pub owner puts K-pop in the background instead. Conversational watchers would then have to figure out how on earth the score had suddenly become 4-2.

4. No more of having to watch Neymar hug every soul that was in front of the camera.

5. No more of having to wait for the game, drink pints after pints and then characteristically pass out just when the game’s about to begin.

6. Then decide to go all early bird on the bed only to wake up after the game was over. 5am kick offs were so not worth it.

7. No more of running for your life from angry, bottle clutching Dutch. Not supporting Costa Rica again.ever.

8. No more of laughing at Brazilians who came over for summer. I felt genuinely bad for them to be honest. When the world’s vector was all but turned to the samba nation, they decided it was the right time to go all Kimchi.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The World Cup Final

My Pop’s Prof told him once that if he was really after money, he did become a professional footballer. He had a choice of going on to become a national side hero while bulging out his bank account or become an academic whose wealth solely lied on students he would teach. Not surprisingly, he chose the latter. Nobel for sure, however, I cannot help but think there wasn’t a time where he looked at that 1974 black and white broadcast of World Cup final and thought, what if?

I guess everyone dreams of that but not everyone has the honor.

Let’s look at scale of what we were indulging ourselves in. Wiki states that the current population of the world exceeds 7.175 billion. Now think about the number of players that get to play in the final. Each team has a starting 11 with maximum of 3 substitutions. Given that each manager uses all of his substitutions, that’s a grand total of 28. That’s 1 in every 0.24 billion people. So every single human being has a probability of 0.00000000418118467 of representing his country, to be precise.

To put matters into better perspective, the odds of getting hit by a lightning in year in US is 1 in 700,000, dying in a car accident is 1 in every 67 (you have to factor in the odds of crashing itself), getting caught cheating in exam is 1 in every 25, Arsenal getting spanked in the first 20 minutes is 1 in every 8 and getting cheated in China while buying dumplings is.. 1 in every 1.

This is too trivial you say? Fine.

Let’s take a look at the airline industry. Airplanes are probably the safest piece of machinery out there. It is estimated that every plane is almost 99.99% safe. Yet, you can never be sure.

Odds of being on an airline flight which results in death in 78 major world airlines is 1 in 4.7 million. Juxtapose that to the act of actually representing your country on the final and you can see why this is such a big deal.

Of course, this is exactly the opposite of what the manager wants his players to think about when they exit the tunnel. They will be asked to keep it stone cold cool, add a dash of organizational peppery powder and wear a mask of impeccable confidence. For the rest of us though, we will be hiding behind the comforts of our chair trying hard not to piss on our pants.

Messi will have left his magic wand at the hotel’s check-out counter in haste, while ozil’s googly eyes will have hypnotized Romero to kick the ball into his own net.

Die Mannschaft all the way. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Three Hundred Divided By Three

come on boy, one more

That’s the number of posts madeinepal has endured so far. It’s a milestone of some sort yet celebrations for the occasion will largely depend on Holland getting spanked by a nation where I plan on spending my early retirement days. As mentioned on the previous post, this mildly amused blogger here just can’t wait to see an asteroid land on van Persie’s head. If Koreans high school students can calculate the probability of getting a ball bounce off on the other side of a solid wall, then getting hit by an asteroid while playing on a stadium with 60,000 packed audience and the whole world watching isn't impossible either. Who knows, he might even try heading it.

Fingers crossed. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Madeinepal's Biased WC Quarterfinals Preview

I am waiting..

The who’s playing who of the quarterfinal of this world cup has been finally placed on a silver platter and this blogger here is finally turning up the heat on what is possibly the world’s greatest event of people gluing themselves to their television screens and going absolutely crazy over people passing a ball around for 90 plus minutes. It is, if you step out of the box and think a little, bollocks of time wasting but that’s what entertainment is all about isn’t it? Let others do the work while you shut your brains off for eminent time travel.

That is, frankly, what I will be doing for the next two weeks as well. I have conspicuously been skipping on most of the matches although media coverage and the accessibility to longer, lengthier replays has had me covered. Not anymore though. I will be finally leaving the comforts of my bed and getting out there with fellow nocturnal Seoulites.

For this alone, I have here produced a biased, unfair and totally unwarranted approach to previewing the upcoming games. 

First stop:
Brazil vs Columbia:

This is perhaps, one of the youngest teams Scolari has ever had to deal with most of the players debuting in the big stage. Yet, with likes of Neymar and Oscar leading the front line, you cannot deny that they don’t have the quality. They have a plenty, however, most of them are guilty of overplaying a bit. This was apparent in their game against Chile where they struggled to put the game in designated time. If it wasn’t for not-so Luiz’s goal, the samba boys would have have to endure the wrath of the home crowd.

Colombia on the other hand look rejuvenated with James Rodrigez pulling the strings. He’s been the unlikely star of the tournament so far and rightly so; he’s already put five goals to his name. With his apparent form, I will have my money on him to score the first goal in the game.

Verdict: My animosity towards brazil has died down, but I still don’t want them to progress any further. The prospect of Germany playing them brings out bad memories of obese Ronaldo doing what he used to do and I honestly don’t want that. And with the backing of home crowd, you just never know.

So vouching for Colombia to win 5-0 with Rodrigez adding an extra two goals to his name and Luiz scoring at the wrong end.

Germany vs France:

I can’t remember the two neighbors going head to head and have yet to see a full game of Patrice Evra kick himself on the balls but I fear the boys who like to dry their boxers on the 29th floor of the Eiffel tower will be seriously up for it.

This being said, it’s blindingly obvious to everyone that Germany will win the world cup this time which could only mean that the French will have to go back to their selfie taking ways alongside Mona Lisa in the Louvre while Lahm lifts the trophy.

Verdict: A hat-trick suicide from Patrice Evra coupled with Klose’s half way line stunner to make it 4-0 comprehensive win for the Germans. 

You are welcome.

Netherlands vs Costa Rica:

Captained by a player who Arsenal fans can't stand, Netherlands seems to be the side that are clearly thinking of taking a step further from their previous attempt at the cup. However, they are up against the not-so-thought-before but everyone-thinks-now-they-are dark, dark horse of the tournament, the Costa Ricans. A tournament where the underdogs are barking on the microphone, Campbell’s team could pose significant problems to van Gaal.

Verdict: Robben gets a straight red after attempting to dive rape the referee, van Persie gets hit on the head by a falling asteroid and Campbell scores a 95th minute goal to secure the passage to the semis. 1-0 to the Costa Ricans.

Argentina vs Belgium:

Everyone seems to have concluded that an Argentinian team without Messi is like a chicken curry without the curry powder (and salt), but with the likes of Di Maria, Aguero and Higuain, they have world class strike force that teams like Arsenal can only dream about. However, the original dark horse of the tournaments who later amazingly transformed themselves into a boring, slightly patchy pony will have plenty of tricks up their sleeves to deny them from going any further.

Verdict: Eden Hazard and Messi collide onto each other and explode causing a mass exodus from the stadium. The game is later decided on Rock, Scissors and Paper and Belgium go through.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Corn Tea

I love our laboratory office space. We have a seminar room, the balcony space outside for recreational curry bbq (which needs some climbing into certain window), the experimental space, the club room where all the quadcopters, uav’s and smart phone controlled balls go (not to mention the ramyan storage and beds thrown in there) and the main office where I am currently, stealthily typing these down. But with all the joy of having your own table and a nice little board to stick printed copies of Will Ferrell and Steve Carrel’s face comes a price; a price of personal freedom. Especially when the Prof’s office seat is right next to yours.

Today’s no different. 

Everybody’s busy working on stuff they are supposed to work on and the Prof’s quietly typing down emails to important people he needs to. I, on the other hand, am finding it hard to put down a book I got off the shelves of a very dusty, cramped second hand book store nearby my place run by an Ajashi (Man in Korean) who speaks no English. Yes, I could have got it from the library but the act of borrowing itself prohibits me from actually opening the book and indulging in it. Spending some of my own quid instead, makes me force brain-feed through the first few chapters and see if the book actually grows into me.

And oh my, did this book grow on me!

Unfortunately, I was now having a hard time trying to make sense of the words printed down with my Prof’s constant sneezing. At the rate of two per every minute, this was as chronic as anyone I had seen. Having now withstood a considerable amount of time listening to periodic randomness of those loud bursts of “Haaachuuu!” I decided it was finally time to do something about it.

“Do what, exactly?” my brain questioned. There was a slight possibility of me strengthening my balls and asking him not to sneeze to which I would also have to pack up my bags and book the next flight home but to be completely honest, I was basically staring at this sea of robust, impervious darkness. Much like that time when you get the honor of standing up in the class you had been busy dozing off when suddenly you have to answer a seemingly senseless question. In fact, this reminds me of a friend who got himself into a similar situation when asked to read a paragraph off our science book titled “Where does the food go?”

Characteristically, the boy’s head was in Hawaii drinking Coolamuchaha and instead of simply reading off what the damn book said, he cross-answered “Stomach?”


“Ah tea!” I suddenly thought, and quickly made my way towards the water dispenser, perfected a corn tea and brought it in front of my almost sneezing professor.

“Would you like to have some tea Prof?” to which he stared at me as if I had just kicked his cat out of the window and gave an empathic “No!”

Having now to gulp on the very last of that very same tea, I can completely understand why he was wise enough not to.