To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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Just to keep perspective: 11 men lost a footy match yesterday; 90 years ago yesterday,20,000 British soldiers died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Fortunately my grandfather Hawley J, 41971, Private, was not amongst them.

Australia lost 46,000 men at the Somme. They also lost a footy match last week, but in their case they were robbed !!! [Windows Media Player|Realplayer]

In Greater China, a pro Italian commentator totally lost it when Italy won, and was forced to apologise for his anti Australian ravings.

In Hong Kong, nearly 40000 households have been watching World Cup matches for free over the internet. Only the semi's and finals will be shown on public TV, all other matches are shown on pay TV. However up 'north' CCTV5 has been showing all matches and these are available over the internet using P2P streaming services. Helpful local HK papers published details of URLs (all in simplified chinese) to access the streams [ 51live|pplive|ppsstream]. Use babelfish to transalate.- quality is better than Google.

The quality (and speed) of the P2P streaming is (I am told) excellent. FIFA, who clearly don't understand the concept of one country 2 systems,apparently is discussing the matter with the authorities. Some hope !!! BTW the FIFA site has Austalian Game highlights.

In china Dong Lu a journalist,and blogger, has had 10 million + hits on his blog (don't I just wish), by visitors who watch his chinese language world cup "podcast" commentaries. Unfortunately these stream slowly even in HK, Here is a direct link to a sample WMF

The chinese version of Esquire Magazine has also done its bit to further the sport with a topical piece on Chinese women's football.(In fact not 1 but 4 seperate postings from 25/5 to 8/6!!!) If nothing else, it is illustrative of the social progress made in China.

This naturally brings me to the most important issue..... now England and Australia are out, who will win the World Cup?? This afternoon, the HK Jockey Club is offering 2.65:1 odds on Germany winning. Personally, although I total dissapprove of gambling, my money would be on France, after all they have Henry (Arsenal) and Zidane, and besides I didn't get a MacDonald's Germany card , but I did get one for France !!.


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