June 24th, 2006

International Kittens of Mystery

World Cup

And now there are 16. And time, I think, for me to dig out the magic pendulum and scry the results.

Tonight we have Germany v Sweden. On paper the Swedes have the edge but Germany are the hosts and have the momentum. Everything about the fixture screams penalties. So, swing that pendulum, and ... we have Germany.

Next up is Argentina v Mexico. Unless the rules are changed to allow the Mexicans to field 14 players all wearing large hats that completely block out the Mexican goal - always a possibility and why FIFA insist on a fourth official - Argentina will walk this. Even the magic pendulum agrees.

Tomorrow we have England v Ecuador. On paper this should be easy for England but as it's on grass, and it's England, it will not. Latest news is that England will be playing with 6 midfielders. I kid you not. Apparently, with only two fully fit strikers left, Sven has decided to play neither and gamble on filling the team with his best players - who just happen to be midfielders or recovering from broken feet. So he's going for a 4-1-4-1 formation with Hargreaves moving from midfield to right back, Carrick playing a holding role - presumably grabbing the shirts of anyone trying to get past him - and Rooney playing the role of lone striker. Bizarrely, I think it might work. Anything that can free Lampard and Gerard has to be worth a try. England so far have looked a team that is nowhere near the sum of its parts.

So, the result? You don't need a pendulum to tell you that England will alternate between the masterful and the tottering on the brink. They will look great early on, fade, come back, hang on, experiment with new ways to press the self-destruct button, and then, just when you've given them up, conjure a win. That's England. The pendulum swung itself into a frenzy and then the string broke. An England win I think.

The final match of the weekend is the best: Portugal v Holland. Two entertaining, attacking sides. Which might mean that both teams pack their defences just to confuse the other. But the pendulum thinks not, and goes for Holland on penalties.

Tune in on Monday to see if the magic pendulum has been sacked.
International Kittens of Mystery

Blog Carnivals

During one of my many forays into the world of self-promotion - the curse of the not so well known author - I discovered Blog Carnivals. 'What's a Blog Carnival?' you ask. And even if you didn't, you'll going to find out. It's a themed collection of blog posts. Someone chooses a theme, sets up a date - usually weekly - then asks for submissions. Bloggers with suitable posts then submit the relevant urls, the host collects them together and then, on the due date, posts the carnival with all the links back to the original posts and some linking text to whet reader's appetites.

There are many carnivals (over 200) and range from the very popular Carnival of the Cats to the narrowly defined Carnival of the USB Pen Drive Linux (now, admit it, we've all got a funny USB pen drive linux story:)

Anyone can start their own Carnival. There's even a place to register. http://blogcarnival.com/bc/p_about.html

And anyone can submit to an existing carnival or offer to host an existing carnival. No money changes hand, only urls and cat pictures.

Ones which I've submitted to include:

Britblog roundup: (a round up of ... Brit Bloggers)

Retro Carnival: (anything you love before the turn of the century)

Friday Ark: (anything to do with animals - pictures appreciated)

Carnival of the Cats:

Carnival of Family Life (funny stories)

As to whether they increase your profile ... some might. And if you already have a suitable post on your blog why not share it?