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Friday, November 19, 2010

Quidditch World Cup held in New York

Posted by Matt Pepin

I remember going to a Little League organizational meeting several years ago, and the talk was all about how lacrosse was booming and Little League participation was suffering as a result.

"Don't say 'lacrosse,' around here, that's a dirty word," one of the Little League officials quipped.

Turns out lacrosse may have been the least of their worries. The fourth Quidditch World Cup was held in New York over the weekend. That's interesting enough, but the size of it is astounding.

There were 46 teams, including squads from Boston University, University of Vermont, Emerson, Tufts, UMass, and Middlebury, competing in the sport of wizards that was popularized in the Harry Potter children's book series. More than 700 players participated, minus the flying on broomsticks (although they do have to run around with a broomstick between their legs). There is even a sanctioning body, the International Quidditch Association, complete with an NBA-style logo.

So who knows, maybe in a few years youth lacrosse leagues are going to be moaning about losing all their players to Quidditch. The upcoming new Potter movie will surely spike interest even more.

Here's a look at how the magical game is played given the limitations of mere humanity. (Video by the New York Daily News, includes interview with Boston University's goalie).

Beyonce Ad Deemed Too Hot For TV

Beyonce's got a lot going on, including a new perfume called, 'Heat.' The ad for it was pulled from British TV prior to 7:30 PM because her scantily clad decolletage was moving in such a way as to offend young eyes.

Check out the ad and tell us what you think, is it too hot to air before 7:30PM?

Splashtop Remote Desktop brings Windows PC access to your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

By Darren Murph


Oh, sure -- you've got a smorgasbord of virtual machine clients out there for the iDevice in your life, but you haven't had this one. Until today, of course. Splashtop (the former DeviceVM) has just unleashed its Remote Desktop app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, enabling users to funnel Windows PC content onto their handheld. The catch is an obvious one -- you'll need a WiFi connection to make the magic happen, though we're assuming you wouldn't even want to imagine how sluggish the process would be over 3G. The company claims that this app will let users "watch movies, listen to music, or access any other Windows files and programs, including full web browsers with Flash," and you'll need a WiFi-connected Win7, Vista or WinXP machine nearby to take advantage. We've got a feeling this won't work nearly as well as advertised (sorry, it's just the nature of tunneling / emulation), but those willing to take the plunge can tap into the App Store as we speak.

Harrison Ford goes on Conan while completely drunk


Harrison Ford appeared on Conan last night in a surreal interview that left many wondering just how many trips to the bar the two made before sitting down, but towards the end the talk went to the possibility of Indiana Jones 5, and once again he reiterated that Lucas was working on a script and he conversation then went into hilarity when Ford said making Indy 5 would be “More than fun” while making “money” motions with his hands. Right now there’s no word as to when Indy 5 may hit, but you can check out Indy himself lushing it up in the video below:

Best American Wines Under $20

F&W honors eight new American value wines.

The winners of F&W's 13th annual American Wine Awards, chosen from a field of nominees at blind tastings, celebrate the diversity of America's West Coast vineyards.

Most U.S. wine comes from California, and the state delivered 5 winners for less than $20—two from the 2007 vintage, which was stellar throughout most of the state. Specifically, two winning bottles came from Sonoma County, a powerhouse region that produces exceptional Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinafandel, and consistently gives good value. While all of these wines are well worth a search, most—like Columbia Crest's Merlot from Washington state—are widely available. The quality and price point of these award-winning bottles make them an ideal choice for Thanksgiving, dinner parties or gift giving.


Sauvignon Blanc

2008 Honig ($16)
Winemaker Kristin Belair innovates with different winemaking methods on different parcels of grapes, allowing her, for instance, to emphasize the grapefruity character of a specific lot. The Napa winery itself is innovative, too: All energy needed for production, cooling and bottling is solar-generated.


2008 Mount Eden Vineyards Wolff Vineyard ($20)
In 2008, bad weather in California's Edna Valley drastically cut the amount of fruit from Wolff Vineyard but packed flavor into the grapes. Jeffrey Patterson makes this wine exactly the same way he makes Mount Eden's pricier estate Chardonnays, producing a white with vivid flavors of pear, peach and lime.

Pinot Gris

2008 Elk Cove ($19)
Elk Cove benefited from the fine 2008 vintage in Oregon's Willamette Valley, where it's been producing top Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris since the 1970s. A cool summer and sunny fall meant ideal grapes, and winemaker Adam Campbell accented their brightness by fermenting this lemon-zesty wine in stainless steel tanks.


Pinot Noir

2008 Wallace Brook ($19)
This Oregon red offers the lively, aromatic appeal of Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs costing twice as much. An affordable secondary brand made by the Willamette Valley's Adelsheim Vineyard, one of the pioneering producers of Oregon Pinot Noir, this Wallace Brook shows the ripeness of the great 2008 vintage.


2007 Columbia Crest H3 ($15)
This widely available Merlot comes from Washington's Horse Heaven Hills (hence H3), a promising region for complex, full-bodied reds. Its ripe blackberry fruit keeps some needed restraint thanks to the skill of winemaker Ray Einberger.


2007 Four Vines, Old Vine Cuvée ($14)
Founder-winemaker Christian Tietje scoured vineyards from California's top Zinfandel counties—from Amador to Paso Robles—to assemble the fruit for this streamlined red. It's sumptuous in style, full of blackberry and blueberry fruit.


2008 Red Car, Boxcar ($20)
Winemaker Carroll Kemp started Red Car back in 2000 in his Los Angeles driveway with two barrels of Syrah. His output has grown since then, but Syrah remains the focus, as in this highly polished red's array of classic, cool-climate Syrah flavors: plum, dark berries and black pepper.

Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Louis M. Martini, Sonoma County ($17)
Michael Martini's winemaking team used vineyards around the county for a straightforward red that also has considerable finesse. That deft touch isn't surprising, as Michael himself has been making wine for more than 30 years, and his family for more than 100.

Google and Apple working on shake-to-pay smartphones

Don't blink, because Near Field Communications (NFC) might soon become a household term before you know it.

By Yoni Heisler


Don't blink, because Near Field Communications (NFC) might soon become a household term before you know it. NFC is a wireless communication technology that when integrated with a smartphone enables users to pay for goods simply by waving their device over a payment pad.

iPhoneOver the past few months, there have been a number of rumors, along with some tangible albeit circumstantial evidence, that Apple is planning to include NFC technology in the iPhone 5. Indeed, there have been reports that Apple is already testing iPhone prototypes with built-in RFID readers in its labs - which, of course, isn't all that surprising given that Apple divulged that the iPhone 4 underwent rigorous testing in its labs for 2 years prior to its release.

In any event, Google may very well beat Apple to the punch when it comes to using a smartphone as a wireless payment device. During Monday's Web 2.0 Summit, Google CEO Eric Schmidt demonstrated the upcoming version of the Android OS, codenamed Gingerbread, and showcased one of its new features - NFC technology. Schmidt explained that the next iteration of Android will enable users to hook up their credit cards to their Android phone and complete transactions simply by waving their device over a special sensor. And when can users expect to see Gingerbread on Android devices? "In the next few weeks", Schmidt noted.

But even with the introduction of NFC capable smartphones, don't expect credit cards or cash to go anywhere anytime soon. There are still issues to be worked out with respect to security and having credit card companies fully commit to NFC initiatives. Also, it remains to be seen how receptive the general public will be to linking up their credit cards to their smartphones.

So with Android 2.3, or Gingerbread, just a few weeks away, here's what we know so far about Apple's NFC related activities.

Most recently Cult of Mac reported that the next iteration of the iPhone will let users carry their desktop data with them wherever they go via NFC technology.

If users wave a NFC-equipped iPhone at a NFC Mac (they need to be in close proximity to interact), the Mac will load all their applications, settings and data. It will be as though they are sitting at their own machine at home or work. When the user leaves, and the NFC-equipped iPhone is out of range, the host machine returns to its previous state.

Back in August, Apple hired Benjamin Viger, a near field communications expert to head up its mobile commerce division. Viger had previously been the man responsible for NFC initiatives at Sandisk and the French mobile operator Bouygues Telecom. More recently, Viger put his NFC skills to use at mFoundry where he helped oversee the PayPal Mobile service and the Starbucks barcode mobile payments service.

Jumping back a few months earlier, a patent application from Apple surfaced back in April describing a "Concert ticket +" feature that would enable iPhones with NFC functionality to be used as an e-ticket to enter concert venues as well as payment devices for the purchase of food, merchandise, and even exclusive concert footage.

Clearly, NFC is a technology Apple is exploring, and with Google publicly showing off an NFC capable Android device, I wonder how long it'll be before people start saying, "Hey, remember way back when people used to carry around credit cards?"

And below is video of Eric Schmidt at the Web 2.0 Summit talking about NFC and Android.

How to Ask for One More Beer in 50 Languages



Image: Matador

Languages are tricky, and as no one here at Matador is yet fluent in 50 languages, I reached out to native speakers around the world. From our own editors to tourism bureaus to hostels around the world, this is our collection of how to ask for “one more beer, please” in 50 languages.
Remember to use these responsibly – in some countries, drinking is illegal. There may also be some regional and formality variations in pronunciation, but these should get the job done!

Photos left to right: rick, dynamosquito, @sahxic <>.


Language Spelling Phonetic Pronunciation
Afrikaans Een meer bier, asseblief /
Nog ‘n bier, asseblief
Een mear beer, ah-seh-bleef /
Noch ayn beer, ah-seh-bleef
Albanian Edhe një birrë, të lutem Edhe nye bi-re, too luh-tehm
Arabic (Egypt) واحد بيرة كمان من فضلك Wahid beera kaman min fadlak
Armenian (Western) Ուրիջ մեկ պիրա, հաձիս
Ourish meg bira, hajis
Ourish meg bira, hajis
Basque Beste garagardo bat, mesedez Beh-ste –aragar-doh bag, mehshedez
Bavarian No a bia, gäh san’s so guad /
No oans, gäh san’s so guad
No a be-a gah san s-so gu-ad /
No o-ans gah san s-so gu-ad
Bosnian Molim vas, još jedno pivo /
Još jedno pivo, molim
Moh-leem vuhs, yosh yedno pivo /
Yosh yedno pivo, mohleem
Burmese Beer ta buu htut pay bar Beer ta buu htut pay bar
Catalan Una altra cervesa, si us plau Una altra ser-ve-sa, see oos plow
Chamorro Un setbesa ta’lo, fan /
Un setbesa mas, put fabot
Un set-beh-sa tah-lo, fan /
Un set-beh-sa moss, put fah-bot
Chinese (Mandarin) 请 再来一瓶啤酒
qǐng nǐ zài lái yī píng pí jiǔ
Shing knee dzai lai ee ping pee gee-oh
Croatian Molim vas, dajte mi jos jedno pivo (formal) /
Još jedno pivo (informal)
Moh-leem vuhs, duhte me yosh yehd-no pee-voh /
Yosh yehd-no pee-voh
Czech Ještě jedeno pivo, prosím Yehsh-tyeh yehd-now pih-voh, proh-seem
Danish En øl til, tak Een oel til, tack
Dutch Nog één biertje, graag Nog een beer-t, grahg
Estonian Üks õlu veel, palun /
Veel üks õlu, palun
Ooks ur-loo vehl, pah-lun /
Vehl ooks ur-loo, pah-lun


Language Spelling Phonetic Pronunciation
Filipino/Tagalog Isang beer pa po Eeh-sang beer pah po
Finnish Vielä yksi olut, kiitos (kiitos is polite, but not always needed) Viela yks oh-lut, key-tos
Flemish Nog een bierke alsjeblieft Nog een beer-keh all-sye-bleeft
French Une autre bière s’il vous plaît Oon o – tra bee yehr see voo play
German Noch ein Bier, bitte Noch ein beer, bit-uh
Greek άλλη μια μπύρα, παρακαλώ
Ali mia beera parakalo
Ah-lee me-a bee-ra pah-rah-kah-lo
Hebrew אוד בירה אחת בבקשה Od beera akhat bevakasha
Hindi Ek aur biyara chahiye Ek aur bi-ya-ra cha-hi-ye
Hungarian Kérek szépen még egy sört (formal) /
Egy sört kérek (informal)
Keyrek say-pen may egye shirt /
Egye shirt keyrek
Icelandic Annan bjór, takk Ann-an bee-yor, tack
Irish Beoir eile, le do thóil Byor el-eh, leh doh hul
Italian Un’altra birra per favore Oona al-trah birrah, pehr fahv-oh-ray
Japanese ビール もういっぱい お願いします
biiru mou ippai onegaishimasu (in a glass) /
ビール もう一本 お願いします biiru mou ippon onegaishimasu (in a bottle)
Bee-ru moe eep-pie oh-neh-guy-she-mahs /
Bee-ru moe eep-pie eep-pon oh-neh-guy-she-mahs
Korean 맥주 한 병 더 주세요
Mekju han byung du juseyo (in a bottle)
Mek-ju han byung du ju-seyoh
Latvian Vēl vienu alu, lūdzu Vehl vi-eh-nu uh-lu, loo-dzoo
Lithuanian Dar vieną alaus, prašom Dar viena alous, prashom
Macedonian Уште едно пиво, ќе ве молам Ushte edno pivo, kye ve molam
Mongolian Dahiad neg shar airag Dah-iad neg shar ar-ag

Photos left to right: Wotang01, minor9th,sun_summer.


Language Spelling Phonetic Pronunciation
Norwegian En øl til, takk /
En pils til, takk
En oel til, tack /
En pills til, tack
Polish Poproszę jeszcze jedno piwo /
Jeszcze jedno piwo proszę
Poprohsheh yesh-teh yedno pee-vo /
Yesh-teh yedno pee-vo prohsheh
Portuguese Mais uma cerveja, por favor Myees uma cerveja, pohr fah-vohr
Romanian Încă o bere, vă rog Inkha o behre, vah rogh
Russian Еще одно пиво /
Еще пива, пожалуйста
Esche ad’no piva /
Esche piva, pajaloosta
Serbian Mala, daj još po jedno Ma-la, daj yosh poh yedno
Slovenian Še eno pivo, prosim She eno peevo, proseem
Spanish Otra cerveza por favor Oo-trah sair-bay-sa por fah-bor
Swedish Jag tar en till bira /
Jag tar en öl till, tack (more formal)
Ya tar en teel beera /
Ya tar en uhl teel, tackh
Thai Kho beer eek kaew ka (for women) /
Kho beer eek kaew krab (for men)
Ko beer ik kae kaw /
Ko beer ik kae krab
Turkish Bir bira daha lütfen Bir bira da-ha luet-fen
Vietnamese Cho một bia nữa Cho mo’oht bee-ah neu’uh
Welsh Un cwrw’n fwy, os gwelwch yn dda Un corwn foo-ee, os gwel-ookh un tha
Xhosa Ndiphe obunye utywala futhi Ndip-he obun-je uc-wala futhi
Yoruba J Ọ, fun mi l’ Ọ tí kan si Jaw, foon me law tea con see
Zulu Nye ningi utshwala JNee nin-gi ut-sch-wala

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