Cricket mad

July 6th, 2011

Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara remembers being in the Sri Lankan team bus when it came under fire during the team's 2009 tour of Pakistan:

Tharanga Paranvithana, on his debut tour, is [...] next to me. He stands up, bullets flying all around him, shouting "I have been hit" as he holds his blood-soaked chest. He collapsed onto his seat, apparently unconscious.

I see him and I think: "Oh my God, you were out first ball, run out the next innings and now you have been shot. What a terrible first tour."

[Via MetaFilter]

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… but …

May 2nd, 2011

Quote of the day:

"I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."

Mark Twain Clarence Darrow

[Post updated to correct attribution. jr 3 May 2011]

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You couldn't pay me enough money to get me to stand under that tree!

April 3rd, 2011

The UK's Department for International Development has posted pictures from Sindh in Pakistan of trees cocooned in spiders' webs:

An unexpected side-effect of the flooding in parts of Pakistan has been that millions of spiders climbed up into the trees to escape the rising flood waters.

Because of the scale of the flooding and the fact that the water has taken so long to recede, many trees have become cocooned in spiders webs. People in this part of Sindh have never seen this phenonemon before – but they also report that there are now less mosquitos than they would expect, given the amoungt of stagnant, standing water that is around. [...]

The spiders being up in the trees is one thing, but I wouldn't want to be around when the flood waters recede and the spiders climb down again to return to their old homes.1

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  1. Assuming that they'd ever try to return 'home.' I don't know how spiders react when their nest is destroyed. Given that the locations of their old nests have presumably been submerged for a while would the spiders even try to return to them to build new nests, or will the next few generations of spiders just hang out in the trees until someone or something disturbs their new 'home' and they need to move again?

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Vicious beastie

November 28th, 2010

Beware the Sufi crocodile.

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A Squash Town

October 20th, 2008

I don't follow squash, but I was vaguely aware that for most of the last half century the game had been dominated by a succession of Pakistani players. I just hadn't appreciated precisely how much that group of players had in common:

The small village of Nawakille (pop. few thousand) outside the frontier city of Peshawar in Pakistan boasts something that no other in the world can. Over the last half century, the village that does not have a single squash court, has produced six world number ones in the sport. In fact, since 1950 the six between them have won 29 British Opens (the Wimbledon of squash) and 14 World Opens (which started only in 1975).

It's as if Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker had all come from one small town somewhere in Eastern Europe.

[Via 3quarksdaily]

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