Tag Archives | World Cup

Nearly 1,000 Workers Have Already Died Building Qatar’s World Cup Infastructure

qatarOur global sporting championship has a higher blood toll than the Hunger Games. Via the Smithsonian:

In 2022, Qatar will host the World Cup. Since 2012, about 900 workers have died while working on infrastructure in Qatar, in a building boom anticipating the World Cup.

A report by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) says that if conditions don’t get any better, by the time the World Cup kicks off, at least 4,000 migrant workers will have died on the job. For comparison, only six workers have died during construction for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil that starts this summer.

Workers described forced labour in 50C (122F) heat, employers who retain salaries for several months and passports making it impossible for them to leave and being denied free drinking water. The investigation found sickness is endemic among workers living in overcrowded and insanitary conditions and hunger has been reported.

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Robotic Clouds Could Help Cool 2022 Qatar World Cup (Animation)

Qatar 2022BBC Sport reports:

Scientists at Qatar University claim to have developed artificial clouds to provide shade for stadia and training grounds at the 2022 World Cup.

The fierce summer heat in the Gulf has led to concerns about conditions for players and fans at the tournament. Temperatures in June and July can reach up to 50 C.

Qatar were announced as hosts in December, and Fifa president Sepp Blatter initially said he expected the 2022 competition to be moved to winter.

But Blatter has since stated that he feels the tournament will go ahead as planned in the summer months. Qatar plan to air condition their World Cup stadia via solar power, and now scientists have designed the ‘clouds’, which can be produced at a cost of $500,000 (about £310,000) each.

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The World Cup Of Robot Soccer

In addition to the World Cup, this summer featured RoboCup — an international tournament in which teams of soccer-playing robots square off. The level of play is low, and the game is often unsettling to watch, as when a fallen robot player struggles fruitlessly to right itself, limbs flailing. The hope, however, is that by 2050, a robot team skilled enough to compete against humans will be developed.

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The Psychic Crocodile Gives Paul The Octopus Some Competition

Anyone who paid even a little bit of attention to the World Cup this summer must have heard about Paul, the psychic octopus in Germany. Now Australia is heralding a psychic crocodile, as reported in the Telegraph:

Harry, a saltwater croc who also predicted Spain would win the World Cup, only to be overshadowed by the German mystic Paul, made his choice in his enclosure in the northern city of Darwin.

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Alternative Marketing for Vuvuzelas

With the World Cup finished there has been a deafening quiet without the constant noise of vuvuzelas. To make sure that all those horns don’t go to waste we’ll have to get creative about different ways to use them. Vuvuzelas make noise, Guitar Hero is a game based on noise, the two seem like a perfect match. Maybe Vuvuzela Hero will catch on.

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Unity and Autonomy In Spain After World Cup

“We are a nation, we decide ourselves,”  waved on Catalonian flags. With the united celebration in Spain after the World Cup final, domestic concerns for Catalonia’s autonomy still persists. Over a million people marched in the streets of Barcelona after Catalan was declared, yet again, that the region would not be recognized as a nation. BBC reports:

The demonstration comes a day after a constitutional court declared that there was no legal basis to recognise Catalonia as a nation. The ruling also said the Catalan language should not take precedence over Castilian Spanish.

It followed a challenge to the region’s statute by the opposition People’s Party, which favours Spanish unity. The statute of autonomy was approved by Catalan voters in a 2006 referendum. It gave greater powers to the regional parliament in taxation and judicial matters.

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Germans Want To Throw Psychic Octopus Into Shark Tank

Paul the Octopus in his aquarium  tank next to a football shoe marked with the German flag colors. Photo: Tilla (CC)

Paul the Octopus in his aquarium tank next to a soccer shoe marked with the German flag colors. Photo: Tilla (CC)

You knew the psychic octopus was going to upset a lot of people in its homeland, Germany, if it predicted–correctly–a loss for their team. As AFP/The Local reports, the eight-legged wonder now needs all its supernatural powers to remain in good health:

It won’t come as much of a consolation to heartbroken German fans, but at least Paul, Germany’s now world-famous “Octopus oracle,” has maintained his perfect record predicting World Cup matches this summer…

The “psychic” creature has correctly predicted all six of Germany’s matches and, amid excruciating drama broadcast live on national television on Tuesday, plumped for Spain, causing anguish across the country.

The eight-legged soccer soothsayer was spot on Wednesday, as Carles Puyol’s semi-final header shattered Germany’s dreams of winning their fourth World Cup…

According to daily Der Westen, there have been “a host of comments on Facebook, Twitter … suggesting Paul should be fried, grilled or turned into a seafood salad or paella.

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