Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Some lax marking from a corner ourselves allowed Newcastle to pull one back on the stroke of half-time and go in just 2-1 up (it could have been 5-1 then). It didn't take long for Babel to restore our cushion - given two chances to poke home, despite there being four or five men on the line.
Gerrard scored another after a great through ball from Lucas (many called this his best game in a red shirt, though it may have helped that Newcastle had no midfield). Sadly, he was taken off for a rest before Ngog won a penalty, so it was left to Alonso to convert when Stevie could've had a hat trick. Oh well, I don't think anyone from the Liverpool camp will be complaining after a win like today, even if it could have been double figures... I think Newcastle need to pull out all the stops to keep Given.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Whereas last week I walked from Paddington to Liverpool St, this time I didn't have 6 hours to kill so got the bus part of the way (to Piccadilly), then stopped to look (very quickly) at the sales before walking the last bit to Paddington - 1950 train got me home by 2100. Didn't see much in the sales - I was hoping Zavvi would be having a real big clearout, but not yet at least... (Nor did I see any of this in Colchester's Woolworths).
Friday, December 26, 2008
I'm not sure who I'd rather miss, him or some of our star players, but it's worth noting there was still no return for Torres (as some had predicted) and we're obviously very short of full-backs: with Arbeloa, Aurelio, Degen and Dossena all out, Carragher and Insua filled in (personally, I agree maybe two inexperienced full-backs would've been too risky, but I'm disappointed that Darby didn't get to at least make a substitute appearance on the right).
In any case, the game proved to be a fairly routine three points once Riera turned our dominance into a first goal (scoring from what was, I think, our eighth corner in the first half). Then Keane followed his goal against Arsenal with another brace - taking him to five now in the Premier League. We'd perhaps hoped for more, but it's worth remembering I think Crouch was still to score for us at this point in his debut season: at least Keane now seems to have found some form, which is making the return of Torres less urgent.
With the score at 3-0, both managers seemed content to settle for what they had - Megson's substitutions looked more like resting players for the next fixture than a serious attempt to get back into the game, while unsurprisingly Gerrard and Kuyt were withdrawn for a bit of a rest (though, as I say, I'm disappointed Darby didn't get a run out - we'll probably need him if Arbeloa's injury is serious: maybe against Preston though).
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
It was pleasing to see Keane score a good goal - latching onto Agger's long-ball on the half-volley to equalize van Persie's earlier strike. What was disappointing was that, even after Arsenal lost Fabregas (to injury) and Adebayor (to two yellow cards) we couldn't capitalise with a winner. Then again, we were missing a few players ourselves - Keane filling in for Torres, Lucas for Mascherano and Insua for Aurelio/Dossena.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line from the first 30 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 3: Strike through the songs when someone guesses both artist and track correctly.
Step 4: For those who are guessing -- looking the lyrics up on a search engine is CHEATING!
Step 5: If you like the game post your own
1 Crucified millions go to mass every day
2 Weighing on your mind, like a ball and chain
[One skipped because it had no lyrics: Spahn Ranch ‘Commitation’]
3 I warned you, you didn’t believe me
4 You got your tongue pierced once
*5 [Song title] Sooner than much later, we’ll be there
6 Gonna let the lightning / Tuck me into my bed
7 Sister step love I torn equal Filter and refine my black holes
?8 So in love she says
*9 You need coolin’, baby, I’m not foolin’
10 Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue
11 One million light years from home
*12 Melinda was mine
13 We are here to make a choice between the quick and the dead
14 [Song title] Just a little more peace
15 Welcome to the edge of the world
16 Well you may think that this is it
17 I know that I want you
?18 Menage a trois
19 Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, Marijuana, Ecstasy and Alcohol
[Another without lyrics: Fluke ‘Amp’]
20 [Song title] you’re here again
21 You thrust the knife into my side with words you say you realize
22 Our domain, this kingdom come
[Instrumental: LCD Soundsystem ‘Yeah (Pretentious Version)’]
?23 A million beaches all laid out
*24 [Song title] You talk about things that nobody cares
25 She said words don’t matter
26 Don’t believe in anything
27 [Song title] Baby is this love for real?
28 Let's see a mortal type
?29 They found your body by a lake
30 The winds of fortune don't blow the same
* = cover
? = to be honest, I’m guessing somewhat at these
A few I had to guess at as I couldn't find the lyrics online. Also I've removed the song title from some that I think would be a giveaway.
Only two artists feature twice and I was somewhat surprised/disappointed that a number of my favourites are missing - though, at least, I don't think there was anything too embarrassing...
Friday, December 19, 2008
The night before those of us from 10 Merton Street had a works outing to Loch Fyne - with slightly less wine but in between pints before and after.
I think I need to make new year's resolutions to eat and drink less and exercise more...
Then again, at least nothing like this happened - closest I came was a peck on the cheek after walking a colleague home!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Whatever replaces it will apparently be based on 'impact factor', i.e. citations. Sadly, Piled Higher & Deeper have already rumbled that, pointing us to one's real impact factor.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I'm not really clear on how this happened. If the judges' votes had been revealed, then one could say it's at least partly the fault of the people concerned (though the BBC probably should've pointed out that there was no point voting). If the judges votes weren't revealed, then one could simply say people took that risk, knowing that their vote may prove meaningless, and it is no more reasonable to complain about the fact that their vote was meaningless because of the judges' votes than to complain that their vote was meaningless because most of the public disagreed with them...
In any case, it's good to see that people feel strongly about making their voices heard - if only they felt so strongly about electoral rules that effectively exclude most from a say in matters of government...
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Since we've already come back from such deficits a few times - such as against Man City and Wigan - I hadn't given up hope, and when Gerrard quickly pulled one back I still hoped that we could get at least a draw. As it was, he struck another to bring us level before half-time but that, perhaps surprisingly, was it - a game that looked as if it could have finished 4-3 ended up at 2-all.
I must say, I found it strange that Benitez didn't introduce Keane or even Ngog. Still, if there's any consolation (aside from briefly extending our lead over Chelsea, who play tomorrow) it's that we did play quite well and create plenty of chances, unlike in the frustrating draws against Stoke, Fulham and West Ham. Nor should it be forgotten that Hull have beaten Arsenal and only lost 4-3 at Old Trafford...
UPDATE: Steven Gerrard was voted Liverpool's man of the match by fans on the official website, receiving 80% of the vote.
Friday, December 12, 2008
1029 - WICKET! Tendulkar c & b Flintoff 37, India 102-5
"Just so you know, it's customary to enjoy poetry in motion in an awe inspired silence. Hence why Ashburton Grove can prove quiet when The Arsenal are playing."
Adam C via the TMS inbox
"As an Indian and Arsenal fan - you really know how to hit a man when he's down!!!"
Sonny Nanua via the TMS inbox
"As an Arsenal fan I resent your accusation that the Emirates Stadium is quiet. We're usually very vocally and aggressively barracking our own players these days."
Harry H, London via the TMS inbox
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Anyway, my room is tidy compared to these pictures. Predictably, some of them are academics. (These pictures follow this rather pointless column).
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I was pleased to see there was some role for lotteries, albeit only in selecting between colleges competing to offer second interviews to marginal candidates.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
I'd still say Babel was somewhat frustrating - it's nice to see him take on defenders but too often he loses the ball and failed to pass to a better placed Keane. On the other hand, it was a good performance from Keane - not so much in terms of threatening himself, but it was a great pass from inside his own half to set Ngog clear (one of the assists of the season, perhaps) - and minutes later he set up Leiva, only to see the Brazilian fluff his chance.
Nancy Rosenblum's On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship (this should be interesting; party faction has traditionally been attacked from Rousseau and Burke to the present day, though Goodin has a chapter in his latest book defending parties)
The other is a forthcoming release from Fabienne Peter, though details are sketchy: it has a different title here and here. It looks like it's coming out next week though, and that it will be prohibitively expensive (£70+).
The obvious solution would be to review them, particularly the latter, for a journal - and I'm open to offers/suggestions - but having written a couple of such reviews recently this warning (about being quoted out of context) is particularly apt...
Sunday, December 07, 2008
One thing you can be almost certain of is intense media scrutiny. Just as, every year, record A-level results are greeted with accusations of dumbing down, so it seems that whatever happens Oxford (and Cambridge) will be accused of not letting in enough state school applicants.
In fact, I've long held the view that the problem lies earlier in the admissions process - with many state schools obviously failing gifted pupils (either in not allowing them to achieve their academic potential at the school or not encouraging aspirational university applications). Now research from the US suggests that there's a difference in brain activity between children from rich and poor backgrounds as young as age nine. Obviously, damage happens long before these children reach the stage of applying for university, and social imbalance in Oxbridge may be no more than a symptom of a broken system...
Saturday, December 06, 2008
I think that recent stalemates against Fulham and West Ham may have affected our confidence because, still without Torres, we looked short of ideas in the final third - despite the introduction of Babel and Benayoun. Once the goal did come - Alonso slotting in from the edge of the area after a Kuyt knock-down - we looked to have more confidence and began to play better. Benayoun's individual effort looked to make things safe, although Santa Cruz's consolation ensured that the last 5 minutes would be nervy. I was worried when I heard there'd been another goal on Final Score, afraid that we'd thrown two points away, but it turned out Gerrard was able to put a gloss on the scoreline as Rovers pushed for an equalizer.
Overall, it was far from a fluent performance, but another three points (keeping us top of the table) and an end to our scoring duck. Insua got a full 90 minutes, and looks like he can challenge Dossena for the left-back slot, while El Zhar provided another lively cameo (indeed, he played a role in the third: forcing Robinson to slide out of his area but only to clear as far as Riera). Also, despite Torres' absence, we were able to 'rest' £20m worth of striker in Robbie Keane...
Friday, December 05, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
Oh, two others point of note: I didn't think much of Keane's response to being substituted. Yes, he's been taken off a lot - only playing three full games apparently - but at least he's starting and until he starts justifying that summer price tag he can't have much complaint. On the other hand, Dossena apparently had his best game since arriving.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal
30/11/08: "We lost because one goal was not a goal, and it was a goal which changed the result. If we won, Arsenal would have been 13 points behind us and their championship would have been finished."
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
It's enough to guarantee our progression, though it remains to be seen whether Benitez will go all out against PSV to top the group (which will require us to overhaul Atletico Madrid's goal difference) or whether he'll rotate to keep our stars fresh.
Then again, others are more sceptical (here and here).
Monday, November 24, 2008
I didn't know Princeton was the place for ancient philosophy, although I know several Oxford ancient philosophers trained there - including my colleague Ursula Coope (albeit only as a visiting student). I'd have thought that Oxford would rank fairly highly, with Terry Irwin, C. C. W. Taylor, Richard Sorabji, David Charles, Chris Shields, etc and its new M.St in Ancient Philosophy.
CALL FOR PAPERS
3rd LONDON FORUM IN MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
27th March 2008
STEWART HOUSE, LONDON
Supported by the Institute of Philosophy and UCL Philosophy Department
Following the success of the previous two years of the London Forum in Moral and Political Philosophy, graduate students working in any field within moral and political philosophy are invited to submit papers for the 2009 meeting. This will be held on 27th March at Stewart House, Bloomsbury, London.
The Forum aims to provide a friendly and supportive atmosphere in which graduate students can present their work and receive constructive feedback from their peers.Submissions should be in the form of abstracts of 300-400 words, and should be sent to LFIMPP@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is 15th February 2009.
Paper selection will be by the Organisation Committee and Prof. Veronique Munoz-Darde.
This years keynote speaker is Dr. Thomas Pink (Kings College London)
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Fixed Term Lecturer in Philosophy
Salary: £30,594 pro rata
Job Ref: PHIL/04 - Closing Date: 12 noon Friday 28th November 2008.
The Department seeks to appoint to a fixed term lectureship from November 2008 (or as soon as possible thereafter) - September 2009.
The person appointed will contribute to Philosophy teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and will be prepared to be research active in this field. Candidates able to offer expertise in any area of Philosophy will be considered, but we are particularly interested in applicants working in the area of Philosophy of Mind or/and Modern European Philosophy (broadly construed). The position will incorporate some thesis supervision, and usual non-teaching duties.
An application form, job description and person specification may be obtained by contacting the Personnel Office, University of Wales, Lampeter, SA48 7ED, telephone 01570 424700; fax 01570 424988; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or www.lamp.ac.uk/vacancies.We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community whilst affirming that appointment will be strictly on merit.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Still, at least it's better to focus on the league - from which point of view, it's a shame that Chelsea also went out.
In other news, I was playing football myself at the University Club: making the regular philosophy game for only the second time this term...
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Obviously, this is not a new trend. Last Monday I saw Bonnie Honig give a paper on mourning and membership in Sophocles' Antigone - which is certainly not my normal kind of political theory - but it raised interesting questions about the nature of Athenian democracy. Although Pericles celebrated Athens for permitting individuality and freedom - the very features Plato condemned - her claim was that Creon represented an equalizing and collectivizing democratic tradition going back to Solon.
Athenian democracy, of course, operated by lot rather than election - so it is important not to conflate democracy with elections. There are still some present writers who would advocate sortition; while deliberative democrats sometimes aspire to 'talk as a decision procedure', hoping that we can reach unanimous consensus and thereby avoid the need for voting.
This BBC article focuses on elections, and correspondingly seems to adopt a minimalist understanding of democracy as the power to 'throw the rascals out': Any election that can actually depose a government fulfils the minimum requirement of democracy, by which no oligarchy can count on maintaining itself in power because the electorate might decide otherwise... A government should be certain that it has been elected, but never certain that it will be elected again. All kinds of benefits flow from that uncertainty. (As Adam Przeworski notes, these benefits could actually be achieved by a lottery).
Interestingly, however, it then goes on to make a number of rather inflated claims about the connection between democracy and openness, freedom, equal opportunity and justice. For example: In 1995 a young right-wing zealot called Yigal Amir murdered [Israeli] Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin... In a non-democratic country he would have been quickly dealt with, but in democratic Israel he is still alive. If democracies cannot have the death penalty, then the US (despite widespread coverage of their recent election) is no democracy.
The article goes on to talk about how democracy allows men of colour - such as Martin Luther King Jr, Lewis Hamilton and Barack Obama, to come to prominence. I'm actually writing a response to a paper on citizen leadership for the Public Reason Podcast Symposium that touches on this - to which I'll link in due course.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
I was hoping we'd be able to kill the game off in the second half, but it remained two until Arbeloa sneaked into the area and curled in a left-foot shot (that had me thinking it was Benayoun at first) to put a more satisfying gloss on the scoreline. The other welcome sight was the return of Torres as a sub - although he hardly did anything in his 15 minute cameo (I barely even saw him run), it will be some useful match minutes and help his return to fitness. Imagine having him and Keane both scoring...
Friday, November 07, 2008
The OED defines adultery as follows:
Violation of the marriage bed; the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with one of the opposite sex, whether unmarried, or married to another.
If we focus on the first part then, provided we are willing to describe civil partnerships as marriage, then adultery should be possible. If we take seriously the latter description, then adultery can only take place with one of the opposite sex. Even so, it would remain possible for there to be adultery in a gay relationship (e.g. one of the two men sleeping with a woman). Also, interestingly, if the husband in a heterosexual marriage sleeps with another man that wouldn't be adultery either.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I've pointed out before (e.g. here) that postcodes aren't allocated by lottery. The problem with distributing certain goods by postcode would be that the rich have more choice over where they live and can thus buy access to things like good schools or medical treatment via the back door.
This case is even worse as it's not as if the difference in funds is attributable to different LEAs or where one chooses to study (Oxford and Oxford Brookes, for example, may involve the same postcode). The problem is that traditional 'good' universities have more funds than modern ex-Polys. One would need a substantive debate to settle whether this was a fair meritocracy or whether competition for the best academic tuition should be of any relevance to funding, but it has nothing to do with postcodes.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I must say, one thing I found disappointing was that Stevie G looked determined to produce one of his performances of match-saving heroics and kept shooting from 20-30 yards and missing the target. It reminded me of having Riise back in the team. Then again, with Keane and Ngog leading the line, maybe Stevie can't be blamed much.
It was, at least, Stevie who won and converted a 94th minute penalty to give us a deserved point. It's true that the award was possibly soft, but only in the sense that Stevie didn't have full control of the ball and was heading away from goal, so there was no need for the defender to barge into him - it's not like Stevie threw himself down without contact; he made sure he got to the ball first and then let the defender take him out. In any case, we'd been denied a fairly clear handball shout around 50 minutes in, which if converted may well have led to us winning the way things were going.
Still, one point each means that Liverpool and Atletico are both well-placed (although not guaranteed) to go through. Interestingly, if both are still level on points after playing PSV and Marseille again, the group could go to goal difference to decide 1st and 2nd - which is a blow for any plans Benitez might have had to rotate the squad.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Even so, it looked for long periods like we would retain our winning start. Kuyt put us ahead inside three minutes and then, with the score at 1-0, we went on to hit the woodwork three times. Oh what a difference some clinical finishing would have made... As it was, Benitez introduced Babel shortly after the hour to threaten the Spurs defence with pace - but sadly things went wrong when soon afterwards Carragher inadvertently deflected into his own net to level the scores, thereby nullifying our game plan.
From that point on, Spurs seemed to have more belief and we lost our shape a bit. The commentators had pointed out earlier that we hadn't lost a league game from a winning position (or scoring first) in around two years - and that curse struck, when Pavlyuchenko scored a late winner.
The BBC described it as the least deserved victory of the season, but one can't complain too much - after all, we've won several that we didn't really deserve to with late winners ourselves (such as Middlesbrough). I'm not saying luck evens out, but individual games don't always go the way that the 'ought' to. At the end of the day, we're still the last team in the Premiership to lose our undefeated record and level with Chelsea on points despite having played several of our trickiest fixtures (Man Utd, Chelsea away and Everton away).
In fact, if anything, this might prove a reality check on any unrealistic expectations (one idiot on the Liverpoolfc.tv messageboards had already asked whether we could go the season undefeated...). The fact is that Liverpool are still working to catch Man Utd and Chelsea, and it's been far too long since they've really had to deal with the pressure of a title race. It's too soon to expect them to win anything this season; what I want is for them to challenge - to still be within reach of the leaders until at least March. Unfortunately, I remember the way that Arsenal made so much early running last year only to fall away, and the disasterous November we had in 2002 after leading the league. My concern is to see how we bounce back from this defeat...
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I hope the 'War on Terror' (is that still going?) doesn't lead to Oxford being flooded with American troops - that would be even worse than the protestors...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Although we thankfully managed to keep Crouch quiet, it looked like we'd be frustrated by another Anfield old boy at the other end - David James pulling off several good saves, notably tipping a Kuyt effort onto the post, and not showing any of the rashness that made him a liability for us and England. Thankfully, the moment of madness was to come from someone else: Hyypia escaped his marker from a corner and, in a moment of panic, Papa Dioup punched the ball away from the Finn's head. It was as clear a penalty as you will ever see, and Gerrard duly did the honours.
Three points today, but we need to be more clinical if we're to keep winning. Torres' return to fitness can't come soon enough...
UPDATE (06/11/08): It now seems to have reached 23p. While I was somewhat worried as to how they could possibly produce it and sell it for four pence, this is almost a 500% price increase it about a month...
Sunday, October 26, 2008
A lot of people had been saying, in the build-up to the game, that we could do it. I wouldn't have disputed for a minute that we could, but I wasn't expecting us to actually do so: I'd gladly have settled for a point before the game. Even though it must be pointed out that Chelsea were missing Drogba, Essien, Joe Cole and Ballack, we were without Skrtel and Torres ourselves, while several others had been rated doubtful (I think it was known in advance that Keane wouldn't play for more than an hour or so).
We had a bit of luck scoring first, when Alonso's shot took a deflection, and I was worried that we wouldn't be able to hang on - but with a lead to protect we defended like lions (or something more renowned for defensive abilities: maybe like a team of Jamie Carraghers?). In fact, I felt sorry for Agger being the only one of our back five not to make Garth Crooks' team of the week on the BBC website. So good was our defence that Reina hardly had a save to make - though he did claim a few crosses.
Chelsea will no doubt point to their loss of attacking options, but they were reduced to pumping hopeful long balls into the box - in a way that might have proved more effective had Drogba, rather than Anelka, been leading the line. Later on, John Terry started to venture forward, but was effectively neutralized by the introduction of Hyypia.
In fact, it was Liverpool that looked more like scoring another. Substitute Babel redeemed himself for some indifferent performances with a lively half-hour (including a near miss), while Alonso struck the post from a free kick.
Nothing's won in October, but hopefully this hugely satisfying performance and result will give us confidence for the coming months. I don't want to get carried away though - I remember being top of the table in November 2002 only for it all to fall apart. We need to consolidate this result by beating Portsmouth and Spurs - which will be all the more difficult following their recent changes in management.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
It's actually been quite a run of dinners for me, as on Saturday my housemates and I had a special dinner to which we each contributed a course and then on Sunday my former housemate and his girlfriend invited me for a Greek-themed 'Symposium'.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Certainly Kuyt scoring in the Premiership isn't something we've seen too much of. Last season he scored only three: two penalties against Everton and a rebound off his knee against Newcastle). Having only just scored his first league goal in 11 months, he's already equalled that tally for this season.
Moreover, it's nice to see Benitez is willing to take risks to win games - sacrificing both fullbacks in favour of El Zhar and Benayoun - meaning we were playing with four wingers towards the end. It'd be nice, of course, if we had a striker of Crouch's quality to bring on in these situations, but there's no point throwing on strikers without any service and, as it turned out, the wingers did the business: El Zhar creating space for Riera and then Pennant crossing for Kuyt's winner.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Ban lamentations and music fit for drinking parties. "[L]eave me, then, these two modes [Dorian and Phrygian], which will best imitate the violent or voluntary tones of voice of those who are moderate and courageous, whether in good fortune or in bad... [W]e won't need the craftsmen who make triangular lutes, harps, and all other such multistrigned and polyharmonic instruments" (Rep 399a-d)
'Ultra-Orthodox' Rabbi Luft:
Rabbi Luft has drawn up a black-list of musicians and bands - music that he says that is not kosher and cannot be played at ultra-orthodox weddings or public events because of its decadent nature... "The main part of the music should be the melody. Percussion should be secondary. They should not bend notes electronically and should not use instruments like electric guitars, bass guitars or saxophones in Jewish music," he says... [T]he "purpose of modern music - its influences - is to distract young people and change good characters into bad"... such music, even Jewish rock music, "where the dangerous beat plays more of a part than the melody, has no place in a society where people are trying to keep their moral standards high.
Is Plato "really totally in another league as far as insanely illiberal policy preferences go"? If he is, it certainly isn't a league of his own...
Following the problems in the sub-prime lending market in America and the run on HBOS in the UK uncertainty has now hit Japan:
In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.
Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.
While Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.
Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Liverpool apparently dominated the early exchanges, only to fall apart and concede a couple of goals - leaving them trailing 2-0 at half-time. Coming back from two down was a tall order, especially against a team like City, but the trick is to score the next - which Torres did, to put us back in the game.
This gave me hope but then Zabaleta decided to follow Cahill's example - earning a straight red for a sliding tackle on Alonso. (It was worse than Cahill's - I haven't heard any neutral argue with the sending off). I worried that, reduced to ten men, City would close ranks and defend for a 2-1 win but, soon after, Torres scored another - all five of his goals this season have come away from home; if only he could score at Anfield!
As is often the case, momentum was in our favour, but it looked like we might have to settle for a draw that we'd have gladly taken at half-time. As it was, after Torres had missed a glorious chance for his hat-trick, Kuyt was able to stick away his deflected shot for a winner late into injury time. Unfortunately, we only had the extra 6-7 minutes due to a serious injury to Skrtel: I'd have preferred to have taken the draw, or even defeat. Still, at least it gives Daniel Agger his chance to re-establish himself...
Stats fans: Kuyt's goal was his first in the league for almost a year. Torres' first was Liverpool's 1000th in the Premier League and his brace takes him ahead of Patrik Berger as Liverpool's highest scoring foreigner (which I take to mean non-Brit).
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
One thing I disagree with though is the glossary of Oxford terms given out in the info pack, which says the week before 0th (nought-th) is -1th (minus one-th week). I think I might have heard that term but, in my experience, -1st (minus first) is more common as well as more natural.
Certainly -1st is what you currently see displayed on the DPIR website, although that shouldn't be taken as definitive since their IT bods either a) can't make the calendar update on Sunday or b) think the week starts on Monday.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Thankfully, all changed in a five minute period. First Keane got on to a long pass and - doing well to keep it in - lobbed a rather hopeful looking cross into the box, over Kuyt (who'd dragged Lescott to the near post) only to fall invitingly for Torres to run onto and shoot into the net. Soon after, a second followed - this time, Kuyt was briefly given space in the box only for two defenders to slide in, the ball falling to Torres unmarked to slot home a second. I'm not sure whether it will last, but the Liverpool website is currently showing clips of both goals free.
Things could have got much worse for Everton as, over the next five or so minutes, we twice more had the ball in the net only to be ruled out. Kuyt's I think rightly, because the ball had clearly gone out of play and the defenders seemed to have stopped, but Torres was denied a hat-trick because Kuyt was adjudged to have fouled a defender, which I thought was rather harsh.
Still, things arguably even out when Cahill received straight red for a foul on Alonso after 79 minutes. It wasn't has bad as Pogatetz on Possebon, but somewhat similar in style - initially sliding with one foot, but also connecting with the trailing leg - so not too surprising to see it given red. Opinions are divided on whether it was harsh or deserved - personally, I'm sitting on the fence and saying that it was 'between red and yellow' (so couldn't complain much either way), but only a deluded fool would claim it affected the result: Reina didn't have to save a single goal-bound shot all match.
Overall, any derby win is good, but it was pleasing to see the 4-4-2 work better than against Stoke. Gerrard pulled some strings from deeper in midfield, while Kuyt and Keane got in the box - the latter showing some promise in creating the first goal - and, best of all, Torres is back to scoring form after his injury. In the first half, he looked a little petulant - even picking up an unnecessary booking - but as soon as he scored his body language changed. That's the way to answer critics. And I believe he already has more Premiership goals away from Anfield this season (3) than last (2).
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Nonetheless, the point that I wanted to make is that we do care what we expose children to - controversy over 'Gollywogs' in Enid Blyton being another example - and, if this is our general concern, then there has to be a worry that context restriction will never be enough. (Of course, there's a balancing that goes on here: we may think that context restriction sufficiently limits harm with minimal loss of liberty, while a total ban - as Plato proposes - would be too great a price to pay to prevent undesirable influences).
Here, it seems, is an example where concern goes beyond mere context restriction. The controversy surrounds whether it is ok to use the term 'retard' in satire. That could be a matter of context, because there are some things that we think it ok to discuss but not make fun of; but as I read it, the suggestion is that the term - like, perhaps, 'nigger' (with the possible exception of between blacks) - should be taboo and not to be used at all, even in comedy (which is sometimes exempt from certain restrictions).
Note, in particular, the BBC headline: The path from cinema to playground. The concern is, in particular, the effect on the young, but the proposal is censorship far wider than school textbooks or even the school context. As Myles Burnyeat puts it, in his Tanner Lectures, "Plato’s insight is that if you are concerned about the souls of the young, it is no good simply laying down rules for parents and teachers, or agreeing to keep sex and violence off the TV screen until after 9:00 P.M. His conclusion: for the sake of the young, the entire culture must be purged" (p.47).
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Nonetheless, it apparently helps the likes of Insua, Plessis, El Zhar and Ngog to play alongside more established players and, while Crewe made them work for the win, they came through the test. Agger's opener was cancelled out, but Leiva restored the lead and - though we couldn't make the game safe, despite the introduction of Torres (who created several chances) - it was avaoiding a major scare or 'cupset' that mattered.
The main downside was finding that our new right back, Degen, is officially made of glass. I was surprised that Benitez named such a strong bench actually: surely a few senior players, in case the game needed 'rescuing', would have been caution enough, and he could've had some more youngsters in case we were coasting. Had he not named Carragher and Skrtel, for example, then not only could one of them have had a night off, but Darby could've got a chance too.
Anyway, let's hope to avoid Premiership opposition in the next round, and see what our second string can do there.
Monday, September 22, 2008
The breakfast was nothing special (one slice of toast, scrambled egg and orange juice), but the cycle doctor did fix my loose rear mudguard (too bad he couldn't do the front) - and getting there for 8:30 and having to wait until 11:30 meant I was able to get a solid couple of hours of reading done in the SSL.
Today is actually the first time I've cycled since my return to Oxford and, despite the large number of cyclists, I was struck by how the city isn't actually that cycle-friendly: I encountered unhelpful road signs/markings (places where I think something like 'no right turn, except cyclists' would be useful), broken glass, buses, pot-holes and one pedestrian who stepped out right in front of me without looking - in hindsight, perhaps I should have hit (or at least shouted at) her, to remind her not to do it again...
More seriously, the article does a good job of explaining some points about the electoral system and the fact that "The founding fathers centred the idea [of the state 'unit vote'] on the fact that the nation was a confederation of states rather than a pure democracy of individual voters".
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I guess they were, as one thing that I learned this morning was that a separate application form and additional payment is no longer necessary for those applying to Oxford. Also, on Friday, I found that PPE candidates no longer have to submit written schoolwork (thanks, Scot). I still don't see why they can't have a lottery. I actually asked a related question in the admissions talk this morning, but I'm not sure the guy really got it: he simply stated the obvious, that we'd still need to make choices. I suppose I'd better get back to reading Gataker (annoyingly, cheaper on Amazon than the publisher's own site, or even their conference stand)...
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Sometimes matches like this happen, and not only to us: remember already this season we've season Arsenal lose to Fulham, Chelsea held by an out-of-sorts Spurs side and Man Utd get off to a poor start. The key is to remember it's a marathon, not a sprint, and make sure that these days don't happen too often. It's too bad we don't have some players like Crouch and Barry (or, as I predicted, Hyypia) then some of those corners may have been more dangerous. As it is, despite naming an attacking line-up, I don't think 4-4-2 really suits our players: Kuyt is not a wide midfielder and neither he nor Keane even looked like scoring.
Crewe next and hopefully we'll see a few young reserves (Ngog, El Zhar, Insua, Spearing), plus perhaps a chance for the likes of Degen and Agger to stake their claim for a place. Though I wouldn't be too surprised if Keane and/or Kuyt play, in the hope of scoring...
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Anyway, back to the game, it was a surprisingly open match, with plenty of end to end action (if not necessarily clear cut chances). By the time Marseille's pacy attack finally sprung our offside trap to open the scoring, it could already have been 2-2. Thankfully, it took just minutes for Torres and Kuyt to combine to set up Gerrard for an audacious equalizer. (I've seen numerous videos remvoed from YouTube but it's currently here. Worth watching if still available).
Not long after, Babel's trickery in the box drew a foul and won a penalty - which Gerrard did well to score twice, after having to re-take for encroachment. After that, the game continued to produce chances at both ends - with Marseille probably enjoying the better share - but there were no more goals. Credit in particular to Carragher and Reina, who pulled off two great saves just in injury time. At the end of the day though, we all know Liverpool couldn't possibly win without Gerrard...
Stoke next, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more rotation, possibly with Hyypia starting.
p.s. I wouldn't be so sure that this puts us in a 'commanding position' in the group. We're second, after Atletico Madrid made a mockery of their 4th seeding with a 3-0 away win over PSV. This could well be the 'group of death'.
Monday, September 15, 2008
For those looking for something a little more permanent, my friend Seth is a keen photographer and sells wonderful Panoramic photos of the dreaming spires and has a new website: Oxford Panoramas. I must admit that I haven't bought one myself, but largely because I'm unsure which to get.
Ord, T. 2008. The scourge: moral implications of natural embryo loss. American Journal of Bioethics 7(8): 12–19.
It's a 'target article', featuring no less than seven responses. Well done Toby! (via Colin).
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Personally, I'm somewhat surprised to see some that are ranked A* and to see the likes of JPP and ETMP in the same category (A). Thom does point out a few problems with the methodology, so perhaps - like all of these calculations - it's worth taking it with a pinch of salt, but hopefully triangulation will lead to some reliable results (and it's always worth knowing people's perceptions, even if there is an independent truth).
For my own part, I'd like to add that I was taught by Mr Bayes in year 7 (1993-4) and again in Sixth Form (1998-2000), where my memories of his passion for Remains of the Day will stay with me - even if I did once catch him out on a textual point. That and him literally hopping around, even redder than usual, during a particularly animated portrayal of Norman from Ayckbourn's Norman Conquests. Sadly, I haven't had as much time as I'd like for literature since leaving CRGS, but his enthusiasm was an inspiration. RIP.
[From the school website] There will be a service in the school hall in memory of Roger Bayes on Friday, 26 September at 4.30 pm. Former colleagues, students and parents are most welcome to attend but we would be most grateful if you would e-mail JHowlett [at] crgs.co.uk (or telephone 01206 509103) if you are coming along, so that we may make adequate seating arrangements.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Although we beat Utd in the FA Cup, Benitez had yet to register a league win over them, even if most of the games had been very tight - with Utd sneaking a few that they didn't deserve to. As a Liverpool fan, I tend to think that every year will be different, only to be disappointed yet again. When Berbatov pulled back for Tevez to open the scoring after only 3 minutes, I feared that those hopes would be dashed yet again.
Although there was some fortune about our equalizer - when Van der Sar punched the ball into Brown, only to see it rebound into the net - there's no denying that we were dominating possession and chances, even with Gerrard and Torres confined to the bench. Although there were unsurprisingly some scary moments, such as a Giggs shot that Reina was forced to tip over, had we a striker more clinical than Kuyt or Keane we may have put the match to bed earlier. (Not that I'm faulting them - both worked tirelessly to close down from the front and harry Utd into mistakes).
Better was to come when Mascherano beat Giggs, the ball fell for Kuyt in the box and he squared for Babel to score. There were a few nervous moments after that, but Vidic's dismissal for two yellow cards - either of which could have been red - helped ease the pressure in the final moments. Having ground out victories over Sunderland and Middlesbrough without playing well, it was pleasing to produce our best performance of the season and have even Ferguson admitting that the best team won.
Last year, Benitez was criticized several times when he rested Gerrard and/or Torres against 'weaker' opposition, resulting in drawing games that we should have won - it was nice to see the rest of the team step up this time. Mascherano and Alonso won plenty of plaudits in midfield, while Riera looks a useful signing - even if he did cut inside quite often. Certainly, after the first five minutes, his debut out-shone Berbatov's.
On the subject of former Spurs strikers, a lot seems to have been made of the fact that Keane hasn't hit the net yet, but last season apparently it took him a while to get off the mark before going on to hit 23 goals (in all competitions). I think he was probably over-priced, and we've had a struggle to fit him into our system, but I would rather have him than Berbatov.
Stirling 2nd Graduate Conference
Thursday 11 - Friday 12th December 2008
Department of Philosophy, University of Stirling, Scotland
Prof. John Horton (Keele University)
Prof. Leif Wenar (King's College)
Submission deadline: 10th October 2008
Following the success of last year's event, the Department of Philosophy at Stirling University is holding the 2nd Postgraduate Conference Law and Philosophy. This event aims at bringing together postgraduate students working on any area of Political and Legal Philosophy. The focus of this year's Conference will be particularly, but not exclusively, on issues of Political Obligation and Global Justice (e.g. State Legitimacy, Anarchism, Civil Disobedience, Distributive Justice, Nationalism/ Cosmopolitanism, Legal Positivism, Natural Law, etc.).
Contributions are invited from graduate students working on any topic in political and/or legal philosophy. Each postgraduate presentation should be max 30 minutes, and will be followed by a 10-minute reply, and by an open discussion. Each session will last 90 minutes. Abstract of max. 500 words should be sent via email to email@example.com by 10th October 2008. Selected participants will be required to send a full draft of their paper by 3rd November. Thanks to generous support from the Department of Philosophy of Stirling University, The Roberts Funds and The Scots Philosophical Club, there will be bursaries available for participant postgraduates. Inquiries should be sent to Ambrose Lee or Piero Moraro
Friday, September 12, 2008
I must in particular thank my friend Becca, who kindly hosted me in her flat (rather than halls). I'm back in Oxford now - and starting to prepare for the coming term.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
I previously has other examples, such as fuss over Gollywogs in Enid Blighton, but this BBC story brought my attention to the recent removal of a Carol Ann Duffy poem about knife violence, 'An Education in Leisure' from GCSE anthologies. The Guardian's report reproduces the poem, while there's an analysis of it here.
The Guardian report quotes Michael Rosen, the children's laureate [not the ex-Oxford philosopher], as saying: "By this same logic we would be banning Romeo and Juliet. That's about a group of sexually attractive males strutting round the streets, getting off with girls and stabbing each other."
Sunday, August 31, 2008
It was notable that Mascherano and Lucas came straight back into the side and, as I expected, we reverted to a 4-2-3-1 (although I would have expected Keane to play centrally, in place of Lucas, with Babel or Benayoun on the left). Hopefully there will be a signing or two tomorrow to boost the squad: Riera is apparently still 'close' but, after hearing that Newcastle may sell Owen for £2m due to his refusal to sign a new contract, I wouldn't mind a cheeky bid to bring 'St Michael' back, even if some supporters haven't forgiven him for the way he left.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
In a world where numbers are thrown around to make sensational headlines, and their meanign rarely scrutinized, this is a welcome development. Ironically, it comes at the same time as the BBC report this regional happiness survey, glossing over the admission "researchers stress that the variations between different places in Britain are not statistically significant".
Worse, they an attempt to infer causation from correlation, and probably get it back to front. "Another important factor in determining happiness was the length of time that a person spent living in a place. Staying in an area for five years or longer was an important indicator of well being, said the scientists." The scientists point out only that length of time is an indicator of well-being, which to me makes it sound more like the dependent variable (i.e. people stay because they're happy), rather than - as the BBC report - a 'factor determining happiness'.
While I repeat my admiration of their attempt at public education, this not the only recent example of shoddy reporting - I pointed out a contradiction in this other piece before (and I have seen errors in their football reporting too, even if they didn't actually do this). I'm certainly less impressed by and more critical of BBC reporting than I used to be.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
As it turned out, there was only a single goal in it (1-0, not 2-1: the mistake is LFC.tv's as the BBC site has it right) and it took 117 minutes on the night. We'd again had Reina to thank for a couple of good saves as, while we managed to dominate possession it was probably Liege who enjoyed most of the clearer chances.
Tonight we seemed devoid of shape and ideas, which has been something of a problem all season (not that that's very long). As the clock ticked towards 90 minutes, I was reminded that we have yet to score in the first 80 minutes of any of our four competitive fixtures this season (though we have now scored four goals after that point!) In this game, things were a bit different because, although we pressed, the risk of an away goal made it too dangerous to throw everything forward: extra-time seemed safer.
Again, the commentators go on about our lack of width. It seems we're closing in on signing Riera, who at least should provide some natural width - I only hope he proves more effective than Nunez or Gonzales (and let's not forget we have another winger denied a work permit). I do think the return of Mascherano will help as well, giving us more balance in centre midfield and allowing the full-backs more licence to get forward.
Anyway, the goal when it finally game tonight involve Babel running at his full-back and then I thought the chance had gone as he had to cut back to cross with his right foot - nonetheless he was able to sent the ball over to the far post for Kuyt, playing his 100th game for the club, to slot home (when the full-back really should have cleared). It was no doubt a cruel blow for Liege, but whatever one might think was deserved over the previous 207 minutes of the tie, it's worth pointing out that we were denied what seemed a fairly clear penalty just moments before when El Zhar was felled in the box.
At the end of the day, we haven't always been convincing during CL qualifying (even in 2004-05 we only scraped through, beating Graz AK 3-2 on aggregate, before going on to win in Istanbul), but what matters is being in tomorrow's draw. Credit to Liege though - they're a side with plenty of good young players, and I'm sure bigger clubs will be after several of them after these two matches.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The entry 'How to Agree With a Majority' is particularly amusing.
Step 3 clearly provides a sufficient but not necessary condition: "If there are two thirds or more people siding with one topic, choose that one." It seems that the author may have been mislead by considering only one, six-person, example: "Make sure you do your math correctly. Three out of six is not a two thirds majority, four out of six is. Five out of six is also a majority."
Saturday, August 23, 2008
After starting fairly brightly, but being denied by late replacement goalkeeper Turnbull, we failed to create many clear chances and it wasn't so surprising when Mido put the visitors ahead - threatening their first win at Anfield in 30-something years.
Thankfully, while our play didn't improve too much, our determination got us through. Carragher scored a rare goal (deflected off Pogatetz) to level the scores on 86 minutes and then, having already been denied by a fine save from a free kick in injury time, Gerrard got onto a knock down around the edge of the box and fired in a not-really-deserved winner.
Two wins out of two is a good start - after all, we could have done an Arsenal and lost - but we do need to play better before we run up against big teams. A lot of commentators are saying we need width, and while a new winger would be welcome they're like gold dust - I'd rather see Pennant re-instated to the squad than El Zhar, who doesn't fill me with much confidence coming off the bench. On the other hand, maybe it's the 4-4-2 system not working. It'll be nice to welcome Mascherano back from the Olympics (with his second gold medal) and interesting to see what happens. One possibility is reverting to something like last year's 4-2-3-1 (with Gerrard, Keane and Babel in the three supporting Torres), but another is that we stick with 4-4-2 with Gerrard on the right - you won't find many better players there...
p.s. We do really need to work on our attacking set-pieces though. I've long thought Alonso should take more (if only because I'd rather have Gerrard on the end), but he in particular was woeful today.