English Hillsborough football disaster, 28 years ago


This video says about itself:

15 April 2017

The Hillsborough disaster happened 28 years ago, 96 people were killed in the man-made catasrophe.

It has taken 28 years for the first charges to be laid against any of those culpable in the killing of 96 Liverpool football fans. They were crushed to death on April 15, 1989 at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium, South Yorkshire: here.

Famous Greek footballer helps refugees


This video is about the Greek national football team unexpectedly winning the 2004 European championship by beating favourites Portugal in the final match.

A big factor in the Greek victory was their goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis. He stopped many dangerous shots by Cristiano Ronaldo and other Portuguese players.

As Dutch daily De Volkskrant reports today, Antonis Nikopolidis now is 46 years old, and still involved in football. He is a trainer for refugees from the wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan, stuck in Greece because of anti-refugee policies in European countries.

Football helps the refugees cope with their terrible memories of bloody wars, and with their uncertain present.

How a project to help refugee women is making American produce a lot more interesting: here.

Nigerian women bobsleigh team to Olympics?


This music video from Jamaica says about itself:

The Bobsled Song

13 February 2014

Song by Sidney Mills & Jon Notar, and Groove Guild.

Download the Bobsled Song … and press play the exact moment our Jamaican Bobsled Team begins their big race … . You’ll be amazed how the song syncs perfectly with the rhythms of the bobsled track itself.

After the Jamaican men’s bobsleigh team, this news from the BBC:

The Nigerian bobsleigh team racing towards history

29 March 2017 Last updated at 20:52 BST

Fighting freezing winds, bone-breaking speed and up to five g-force, the Nigerian women’s bobsleigh team are training hard in western Canada.

Driver Seun Adigun and brakewomen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga are all former professional track and field athletes.

Their practice times on the ice run are fast – and they are aiming for a historic first. No bobsleigh team from Nigeria or any country in Africa has competed at the Olympics.

The team’s dream is on the verge of coming true. The Nigerian bobsleigh team only needs to complete three more competitions to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

This video says about itself:

9 December 2016

Nigerian track stars Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere are determined to make history by being the first bobsled team to represent the African continent at the Olympics.

Bumblebee football video


This video says about itself:

Watch a bee score a goal | Science News

23 February 2017

In experiments, buff-tailed bumblebees learned how to roll a ball to a goal (first clip), a task more bees mastered after watching a trained bee do it (second clip). When successful, bees received a sip of sugar solution as a reward.

From Science News:

Score! Bumblebees see how to sink ball in goal, then do it better

Lesson in six-legged soccer tests power of insect learning

By Susan Milius

2:32pm, February 23, 2017

Even tiny brains can learn strange and tricky stuff, especially by watching tiny experts.

Buff-tailed bumblebees got several chances to watch a trained bee roll a ball to a goal. These observers then quickly mastered the unusual task themselves when given a chance, researchers report in the Feb. 24 Science. And most of the newcomers even improved on the goal-sinking by taking a shortcut demo-bees hadn’t used, says behavioral ecologist Olli Loukola at Queen Mary University of London.

Learning abilities of animals without big vertebrate brains often get severely underestimated, Loukola says. “The idea that small brains constrain insects is kind of wrong, or old-fashioned.”

He and colleagues had previously challenged bees to learn, in stages, the not very beelike skill of pulling a string to reveal a hidden flower. Bees eventually succeeded. So the researchers devised an even more fiendish protocol to see how far insect learning could go.

Loukola invented six-legged sort-of soccer (or football for bees in London) in which a Bombus terrestris rolls a yellow ball about the size of its own body down a trackway to a central goal, where researchers dispense sugary rewards. This time, there was no pampering, no working up in stages to full completion of the test. But bees could observe a trained ball roller, a ball moving on its own (thanks to a researcher sliding a magnet under the arena) or get no advance ball-movement hints at all.

The 10 bees that saw an expert bee roll the ball and score three times before their own attempt succeeded in almost every trial at the task. Watching ghostly movement didn’t help as much, and only a few bees happened on the solution on their own. Social learning matters, but Loukola highlights the way bees changed the technique they watched. Most of the successful bees ignored the ball they had seen rolled and instead used one closer to the goal, doing less work for the same reward.

“Fascinating,” says Dave Goulson of the University of Sussex in England, who studies bumblebees. Ball rolling may not be part of routine foraging behavior, but he notes that bees do drag around nesting material, moving backward as they do when playing soccer in the test. And they occasionally remove fat almost ball-like grubs from the nest with a similar technique.

Exactly how the bees solved the problem remains a puzzle, says Bennett Galef of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, who has studied social learning. He would like to know more details, for instance, about how untrained bees react to a ball.

Loukola often gets a different question: Could he train bumblebees to play a soccer match? He says he could certainly train some to score on one side of an arena and some on the opposite side. Then he might be able to study whether bumblebees could share a ball.

United States wrestlers welcome in Iran after all


This video, from the Olympics in Brazil last year, is called J’den Cox (USA) wins the bronze medal in men’s freestyle wrestling at 86 kg.

In about ten days time, there will be World Cup wrestling in Iran. Then came United States President Donald Trump’s decree banning people from seven countries, including Iran.

As a retaliation, the Foreign Affairs Department of Iran banned the United States wrestling team from coming to the World Cup tournament.

However, then a federal judge (by the way, a Republican, a George W Bush nominee) decided that Trump’s travel ban was illegal. A federal appeals court confirmed that decision.

As a reaction, the Iranian Foreign Affairs Department has reversed its earlier decision. The United States wrestlers are welcome to participate after all.

Football and peregrine falcons


Logo of Valken '68

This picture shows the logo of Dutch football club Valken ’68.

It shows two peregrine falcons, sitting on top of two footballs.

The number 68 refers to the founding of the club in 1968.

‘Valken’ means falcons in Dutch.

Valken ’68 is an amateur club from Valkenburg village in South Holland province; not to be confused with the other Valkenburg in Limburg province.