CSA MESS by Luke Alfred • Published on ShareTweet Smith confirmed his love of the local game but also admitted that he had been "frustrated" with CSA © Getty Mental Health issues have recently loomed large in cricket's spotlight, with Glenn Maxwell, Nic Maddinson and Will Pucovski turning their back temporarily on the game. The theme is well-grooved, with Jonathan Trott, Shaun Tait and Marcus Trescothick all having suffered from cricket-related demons of one type or another over the years. Trickier to identify by far is systemic institutional malaise, although suspicions are that Cricket South Africa (CSA) is now an organisation flirting with a nervous breakdown. Such a situation was inadvertently confirmed this week with Graeme Smith's withdrawal from CSA's recently advertised Director of Cricket role, with his statement requiring the kind of careful analysis that would have done most forensic pathologists proud. Taking to … [Read more...] about Smith’s self-sacrificial withdrawal symptomatic of CSA malaise
Presumably one properly left an intangible asset
At the end of the first world war it had been possible to contemplate going back to business as usual. However, 1945 was different, so different that it has been called Year Zero. The capacity for destruction had been so much greater than in the earlier war that much of Europe and Asia lay in ruins. And this time civilians had been the target as much as the military. The figures are hard to grasp: as many as 60 million dead, 25 million of them Soviet. A new word, genocide, entered the language to deal with the murder of 6 million of Europe's Jews by the Nazis. During the war, millions more had fled their homes or been forcibly moved to work in Germany or Japan or, in the case of the Soviet Union, because Stalin feared that they might be traitors. Now, in 1945, another new word appeared, the DP, or "displaced person". There were millions of them, some voluntary refugees moving westward in the face of the advancing Red Army, others deported as undesirable minorities. The newly … [Read more...] about Rebuilding the world after the second world war
Labour’s pledge to provide free full-fibre broadband to every home and business in the UK, including part-nationalising BT and introducing a tax on the tech giants to help pay for it, is an eye-catching offer to potential voters – but raises a host of questions about the feasibility of such a move. So what is full-fibre broadband and why is it important to the UK? Full-fibre networks use fibre optic cables to deliver broadband directly to homes and business premises at speeds of more than 1 gigabit per second – which allows an HD movie to be downloaded in less than 50 seconds. Until recently the government had been focused on rolling out only “superfast” broadband, which uses a slower mix of part-fibre, part-copper wire to homes, which has much lower download speeds. How does the UK compare with other countries on superfast broadband? The UK is an embarrassing full-fibre laggard on the world stage, with only 8% of homes able to get it. This compares to … [Read more...] about How feasible is Labour’s free broadband plan and part-nationalisation of BT?
For over 200 years, modern civilisation has been built on fossil fuels; now climate science says we must phase out fossil fuel pollution in just a few decades. That’s a colossal challenge – especially if we are to keep anything resembling current lifestyles while also ending the poverty that blights the lives of more than 1 billion fellow human beings. We are already seeing a significant shift in thinking. The Rockefeller Foundation is divesting from coal and tar sands. Oxford University is considering similar action. And the Bank of England is analysing the impact on financial systems of fossil fuel investments becoming “stranded assets” – in other words worthless – if the world gets its act together on climate change. I want this year’s UN climate change negotiations to be the seminal moment when humanity faces up to these challenges. That’s why I’m strongly backing the Guardian’s campaign to raise the profile of the … [Read more...] about Britain must signal the beginning of the end for coal investment
Star Wars: The Last JediDirector - Rian JohnsonCast - Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio del Toro, Lupita Nyong’o, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran, Andy SerkisRating: 5/5When was the last time you had a spiritual experience at the movies?When was the last time a movie brought you to your knees? It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, it reminds us why we put ourselves through this at all -- surrender ourselves to strangers and their vision. There is a certain amount of trust involved, but it’s something more than that, something more sacred, more intangible.It’s faith.Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a rewarding experience for anyone who has stuck with this venerable series through thick and thin. But for the uninitiated, it could prove to be just as enjoyable as being held in a Force Choke for two-and-a-half-hours.This image released by … [Read more...] about Star Wars The Last Jedi movie review: A profound spiritual experience. 5 stars