Monday, July 31, 2017

Captains of Sporting History

FOR Les Murray's parents, there was no queue to jump, immigration officer to plead with or process to follow. Nor was there a destination, other than to flee Hungary, where Soviet soldiers were crushing the 1956 uprising, in which his father had played a small but dangerous part.

Old photo of Les Murray with a soccer ball.

Murray's parents, and the go-betweens who helped them cross the Iron Curtain, the Austria-Hungary border, one icy winter's night, risked everything to give their boys freedom. They succeeded

Les Murray: A trusted mate and a tireless fighter for football

Laszlo ܨrge: Google Compiles Eulogies Gordon Mittleuropean Antipodean Fotbal Icon Les Murray

Books about sporting greatness get Kevin Robert's attention. The Captain Class: The Hidden Force behind the World’s Greatest Teams by Sam Walker is a standout. Walker is The Wall Street Journal’s deputy editor for enterprise. He studied 1,200 teams across 37 sports from the 1880s (some enterprise!), identified the top 16 top performing teams, and then went to work on isolating the secret sauce of their success. There’s an entire pub night argument in this (Real Madrid in the 60s, Australian cricket under Steve Waugh, Australian rugby league under Mel Meninga??). In an article in The Australian, Walker writes:

“No matter the sport, I heard the same handful of explanations: talent, commitment, discipline, coaching, a knack for making decisive plays in the final moments of a tight game. I was struck by the businesslike sameness of these groups and by how nonchalantly their members spoke about winning. It was as if they were part of a machine in which every cog and sprocket functioned ­precisely as intended…But what provides the spark? …When I started out I never expected to reach one emphatic conclusion. So I was shocked and frankly delighted to discover that the world’s most extraordinary sports teams didn’t have many ­propulsive traits in common, they had exactly one. The most crucial ingredient in a team that achieves and sustains historic greatness is the character of the player who leads it.”

Walker identifies the seven core qualities of this Captain Class—from extreme doggedness and emotional control, to a knack for nonverbal communication, to tactical aggression, and the courage to stand apart.

Walker’s top performing teams and their captains are (in chronological order):

The Collingwood Magpies, Australian Rules Football; Four consecutive grand finals (1927-30); captain Syd Coventry

The New York Yankees, Major League Baseball; Five World Series titles in a row (1949-53); captain Yogi Berra

Hungary, Men’s Football; Lost only twice in 53 matches (1950-55); captain Ferenc Puskás

Montreal Canadiens, National Hockey League; Five straight Stanley Cups (1955-60); captain Maurice Richard

Boston Celtics, National Basketball Association; Eleven championships in 13 seasons (1956-69); captain Bill Russell

Brazil, Men’s Football; Two consecutive World Cups (1958-62); captain Hilderaldo Bellini

Pittsburgh Steelers, National Football League; Won four Super Bowls in six seasons (1974-80); captain Jack Lambert

Soviet Union, Men’s Ice Hockey; Triple world champions; Olympic gold (1980-84); captain Valeri Vasiliev

New Zealand All Blacks, Rugby Union; World Cup; undefeated 49-match run (1986-90); captain Wayne Shelford

Cuba, Women’s Volleyball; Won every major title over 10 years (1991-2000); captainMireya Luis

Australia, Women’s Field Hockey; Two Olympic golds, two World Cups (1993-2000); captain Rechelle Hawkes

United States, Women’s Football; Olympics, World Cup, 31-match run (1996-99); captain Carla Overbeck

San Antonio Spurs, National Basketball Association; Five NBA titles; 19 straight playoffs (1997-16); captain Tim Duncan

Barcelona, Professional Football; 15 trophies in five seasons (2008-13); captain Carles Puyol

France, Men’s Handball; Back-to-back Olympic gold medals (2008-15); captain Jérôme Fernandez

New Zealand All Blacks, Rugby Union; Consecutive World Cups (2011-15); captainRichie McCaw

My game is Rugby and it’s notable that only the All Blacks get ‘freak’ status twice, with two of the greatest captains to ever wear the black jersey and lead their team into battle (but he missed Sean Fitzpatrick…next edition Sam).

Check the book out for Mr Walker’s seven traits of elite level captains. The clues are there when you take the test. Are you Captain Class Material?

Research Libraries and Tools

Solidarity Movement. Perestroika and Glasnost. The fall of the Berlin Wall. All of these movements, policies, or events had a tremendous influence on the dissolution of communism in Eastern Europe and the end of the Cold War. While not attributed the same attention and certainly less well known, many diplomats operating behind the Iron Curtain recognized that the Helsinki Final Act, signed August 1, 1975, was a crucial step towards the fall of communism...

Les Murray (1945-2017)

  • Born in small village on outskirts of Budapest, immigrated to Australia in 1957 as refugee
  • Began work as a journalist in 1971, moving to SBS in 1980
  • Host of SBS's World Cup coverage since 1986, covering eight World Cups
Hungarian Les Murray Australia's voice of soccer aka football dies aged 71 - Les was 11 during 1956 Hungarian Revolution 

Gangs in the '70s and '80s meant business – so much so that many even had their own business cards. A new book by urban historian Brandon Johnson looks at 60 of the best.


Via LLRX – The Library of Congress opened its catalogs to the world. Here’s why it matters. – Melissa Levine’s article articulates for us the historic significance and professional impact of the recent announcement by the Library of Congress that 25 million digital catalog records are now available to the public, at no cost. This remarkable treasure trove of free descriptive data sets includes records from 1968 to 2014

North Korea Makes Hacking Into a Profit Center New York Times. Bill B: “Oddly, so does the American defense industry. To the tune of $70 billion a year:”

“The bipartisan Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was introduced in the US House of Representatives on July 26, 2017. Co-sponsored by Representatives Kevin Yoder (R-KS-3), Mike Doyle (D-PA-14), and Zoe Lofgren, (D-CA-19), FASTR will accelerate scientific discovery and fuel innovation by making articles reporting on publicly funded scientific research freely accessible online for anyone to read and build upon.”

The Abandoned Fishing Village (That Actually Isn’t)

Unlocking the Mystery of Paris' Most Secret Underground Society (combined) - Gizmodo Exposing the Charter 77 cold war Code:

Test your knowledge of prominent people and major events by taking our short 10-question quiz. When you finish, you will be able to compare your News IQ with the average American and compare responses across demographic groups

Via LLRX – The Real “Black Box” Dilemma of Legacy Legal Research Tools – Andrew Arruda, CEO/Co-founder of ROSS Intelligence talks about how new artificial intelligent methods currently under development to leverage deep learning and neural nets will be game changers in the area of legal research

In this report, we offer a comprehensive but not exhaustive accounting of the Trump administration’s record on open government to date…In the following report, organized into sections we consider the record to date, in context. Six months from now, we will compare and contrast the Trump administration’s progress — or further regression — with the Obama administration’s mixed record on open government and reflect further on the way forward…”

Draft Research and Learning Agenda for Archives, Special, and Distinctive Collections in Research Libraries

OCLC Research is pleased to invite comments to our draft Research and Learning Agenda for Archives, Special, and Distinctive Collections in Research Libraries. The Research and Learning Agenda was produced by Practitioner Researcher-in-ResidenceChela Scott Weber who has worked collaboratively with the broad archives and special collections community in the OCLC Research Library Partnership and beyond, as well as with Program Officer Jackie Dooley and Senior Program Officer Merrilee Proffitt. An early version of the Research and Learning Agenda was vetted by an invited group at the 2017 RBMS Conference in Iowa City. Input from this group has helped to inform the current document, which will be reviewed by a broader group at the 2017 Society of American Archivists meeting. You can review the Research and Learning Agenda and give comments directly in Google Docs or download a PDF version and send comments by email to Please submit comments no later than Monday 28 August. A finalized version of the Research and Learning Agenda will be presented and discussed at the OCLC Research Library Partnership meeting in Baltimore on 1 November.”'

185 studies reveal men’s sperm count has plunged worldwide over the last 40 years Business Insider

Researchers examined the brains of 111 former NFL players. Only one didn’t have CTE. Idaho Statesman (Re Silc). CTE: chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
file-photomeeting-of-the-signatories-of-charter-77-activists-with-cbra0c Study: US is slipping toward measles being endemic once again Ars Technica

Dynasties of Inequality: Rolling Stone

The power of an idea is intense, just so long as it improves people’s lives. It’s the emotional quotient that counts most, and that comes back to leadership. As American political theorist Benjamin Barber said: “Above all we need smart mayors and smart citizens, not smart cities.”

The real story of inequality in Australia

A World Without Poor People (Sort of) Ian Welsh 

Trusts and tax minimisation explained

ack of Hope in America: The High Costs of Being Poor in a Rich Land

Tying the loss of economic mobility to the loss of hope and personal despair...
Former Georgian president Saakashvili could seek asylum in the US New Europe. Micael: “The dude that attacked Russia.”

Wells Fargo Lawyer Who Released Client Information Wants It Back Bloomberg L: “Another Wells Fargo innovation in customer disservice.”

How work changed to make us all passionate quitters aeon. IMHO this is a big reason  productivity isn’t growing. Turnover is a big cost to a business. And employees with their  eye on the door won’t go that extra mile for their company. By contrast, Goldman has very  low turnover and it is very adept at getting employees to invest psychologically in the firm.   

Why the Trump dynasty will last sixteen years Edward Luttwak, Times Literary Supplement

Senators Prepare Bill to Block Mueller Firing Daily Beast. Resilc: “The cracker backer bill of 2017, thank you for your service.”

Anthony Scaramucci Called Me to Unload About White House Leakers, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon New Yorker. Lambert: “So he didn’t know to take himself off the record?”

Conservative Woman Publicly Humiliates Trump American Conservative. Resilc flags:
The president’s primary problem as a leader is not that he is impetuous, brash or naive. It’s not that he is inexperienced, crude, an outsider. It is that he is weak and sniveling. It is that he undermines himself almost daily by ignoring traditional norms and forms of American masculinity.
I dunno. Trump is a lot like the first big TV star from Queens: Archie Bunker. I don’t recall anyone saying he wasn’t masculine.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Laughter is the best Medicine

Exclusive Irony on Twitter

It might have benn the hottest July day on record but The rock pool was still freezing two laps and We jumped out ... No need to laugh 😎🏊😵

There's always that one person trying to bring you down. Throughout being active in the fitness industry there has always been someone making up lies, talking shit and hating. But never directly to my face. I always have to hear it from someone else, and 99% of the time it's just made up gossip.

Remember people hate because of their own insecurities and inhibition. They're envious because you have something they want. Whether it be someone from the gym or a jealous ex girlfriend, "Learn to use the criticism as fuel and you will never run out of energy". -Orrin Woodward

Sydney beaches are good for you

Trumpier Scaeamuchi: Sydney of Terror ...

Lack of Hope in America: The High Costs of Being Poor in a Rich Land

Tying the loss of economic mobility to the loss of hope and personal despair...

Anthony Scaramucci, Donald Trump's latest hiring, has US reeling

In five torrid days, the US president alienated conservatives by savaging his own attorney general; earned a rebuke from the Pentagon over a rushed ban on transgender troops; watched impotently as the Senate dealt a crushing blow to his legislative agenda with the fall of healthcare reform; ousted Priebus; and threw a human grenade – the new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci – into his already dysfunctional White House.

Terrorists' cross-border movements targeted

Screening at all major Australian airports has been ramped up overnight and air travellers have been warned to expect delays following the discovery of a terrorist plot to bring down an aeroplane with a bomb.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who said "the threat of terrorism is very real", warned that airport security has been "enhanced and intensified" in light of the operation overnight.

Sydney terror raids 'disrupted' plot to bring down plane, Malcolm Turnbull says

Australia's China play wrong: US adviser

Former US Presidential advisor Dr Pippa Malmgren can't believe Australia sulks at home while our biggest trading partner builds a new world on our doorstep.

NSW ALP set to back Palestine despite 'furious' lobbying by Israeli government