Chelsea Set to Dominate European Football

There is a new heavyweight force in European football, they are being bankrolled seemingly by the Russian economy, they mean business, and their name is Chelsea F.C. Chelsea Football Club have always been a decent club in the second strata of English clubs. In London alone Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have invariably been ahead of the Chelsea Blues, even West Ham have often put Chelsea in the shade. But no longer, for in the season 2004-2005, Chelsea won the English Premier League title for the first time in fifty years, their only previous winning season.

But they haven’t stopped there, in the new season 2005-2006 they are already well clear in the title race leaving all their rivals gasping, and now they have set their sights on the pinnacle of all the club trophys, the European Champions League. Chelsea have never won the Champions League, indeed no London club ever has. And it is clear that their charismatic manager Jose Mourinho is intent on winning the Champions League again, he did so with his previous club Porto, of Portugal.

So what of the traditional English giants? Manchester United, often described as the world’s richest football club, have fallen into the hands of the Glazer family of Tampa Bay fame, but they reportedly needed to borrow half a billion pounds to buy United, a debt the club now shoulders. Spending on new players has so far been thin on the ground and United’s brusque Glaswegian manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has admitted that United, for so long England’s most successful club, cannot compete with Chelsea when it comes to buying players. The hordes of United fans are not amused, the natives are growing restless.

Arsenal, London’s biggest and most successful club, lost their skipper and driving force Patrick Vieira last summer, he moved to Juventus in Italy for £12 million pounds and with their star striker Thierry Henry suffering fitness problems, they picked up some uncharacteristic defeats at unfashionable clubs like West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough. This is their last season at their famous old Highbury Stadium before they move to their new purpose built Emirates stadium almost next door. The increased capacity of 60,000 will undoubtedly give their French manager Arsene Wenger more money to spend next year, but of course they have to pay for that new ground too. Far from challenging Chelsea again, it would seem that Arsenal are more likely to fall further behind.

That leaves Liverpool and Newcastle. News comes through just today that the American Kraft Company and family are interested in investing in Liverpool F.C., perhaps even buying the club outright just like Manchester United fifty miles up the road, but that is some way down the line. And they too are seeking to build a brand new stadium on Stanley Park and of course that all costs big money. Despite last year’s freakish win in the Champion’s League, Liverpool’s league form this season has again been patchy, and that included a 4-1 walloping by Chelsea on their own Anfield pitch. The idea that Liverpool might challenge Chelsea for the title remains a far-fetched one. Newcastle, England’s second best supported club are gradually improving, and they have signed England’s centre forward Michael Owen, but they still remain unconvincing at the top level. They haven’t won the title since Noah was seen building his ark, or so it seems, and they aren’t going to do so this season either.

So though it is very popular for foreign investors to snap up the leading English (and Scottish) football clubs, it appears that only Roman Abramovich at Chelsea has the financial muscle to buy the best players around. He is the only one to put unlimited funds on the table. Top class players now command a transfer fee of £40 million each and whereas Manchester United might afford one of them a season, Chelsea’s purse seems bottomless. They have already spent £220+ million and are still in the market to buy again when the transfer window re-opens in January.

They have already achieved success by winning at home, now the European Champion’s League is the Holy Grail for them, a trophy they are now the outright favourites to win with the odds layers. And astonishingly they have achieved their success to date with an array of strikers who haven’t really cut the mustard. Mutu the Romanian, was promptly sacked for drug taking, Crespo the Argentinian, was sent out to Milan on loan last season, and though he is back now he is hardly setting the world afire,or even playing that often, Gudjohnson an Icelander, plays more often than not, the muscular Drogba from the Ivory Coast, seems to have finally claimed the number nine shirt as his own, yet many blues followers still remain unconvinced about him, so it would seem likely that Chelsea may yet be looking for another proven goal scorer come January, especially after a recent rare defeat at Manchester United.

It would take a brave man to back against Chelsea in any competition at the moment. But if you’d like to, you can still have a free $30 dollar bet at Betfair.com by entering the code 6CHE3VPWJ when prompted. But one thing is for sure; no one would be surprised if this time next year the Premier League trophy AND the Champions League trophy were both on display in the Chelsea boardroom. It seems that only the Italian giants Milan and Juventus, and the Spanish top two, Real Madrid, and most especially Barcelona with their Brazilian superstar, surely soon to be the world player of the year, Ronaldinho, might stop the London blues. It really does seem as if we have entered a new era in European and world football, or if you prefer the ridiculous name that no one ever uses, Soccer. Chelsea fans have never had it so good while everyone else is left gasping in their wake, for it is a fact that Chelsea Football Club have raised the bar for everyone else to follow. Time will tell if anyone can.

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Making a Guaranteed Sure Bet Profit From Soccer

If we want to find guaranteed profitable sports bets then soccer is a great sports to start with.

Soccer matches are priced up by all the big bookmakers and some nice guaranteed profitable bets are available if you know when and where to look. Sports bookmakers never miss a trick when thinking up new ways to extract your money from you and there are many inventive bets on offer.

Soccer can in many ways be about timing. The earlier the price appears the more likely there will be a sure-bet or arbitrage opportunity (arb).

Bookmakers clearly do a lot of research as soccer has now become a big earner for them. They need to do this as they are only too aware that the serious punters are becoming much shrewder in this market and will exploit any snippets of news that could give them an edge. They advertise heavily in the tabloids.

Whereas in some minor sports there may be only one odds compiler working for the bookmaker soccer is too lucrative for this any many odds compilers will work feverishly setting prices for the big bookmakers. Any European bookmaker worth its salt will offer odds on soccer, its a high revenue turnover sport.

Such is their turnover on the ever increasing soccer betting market that Ladbrokes and other such big bookmakers are willing to take a ‘big’ bet on the outcome of a match. This is clearly great news for the arb maker. This means that the maximum bets they will accept on a bet are a lot higher.

There are many types of soccer bets. Firstly there is the match winner. This is split into 3 results, win, lose or draw. Then there are the first goal scorer and the precise match score. The less obvious bets are half-time, full-time results, total corners, total throw-ins, total numbers of yellow and red cards and so on. In fact anything where odds can be set to will offer a betting opportunity.

So which are the best soccer bets to look for? Firstly forget about predicting the match score, there are too many outcomes. The first goal scorer is a waste of time too. Both these types of bets are heavily advertised but are for mug punters only, the odds consistently being offered are poor, the bookmakers regularly taking over 15% profit on the book. These bets have far too many possible outcomes. We are looking for bets with ideally 2 or 3 possible outcomes.

Other types of bet can throw up the odd arb but the main source of arbs is on the match result over 90 minutes. This is where we should concentrate most of our efforts. Clearly this falls into 3 results, win, lose or draw.

Here is an example:

Team A versus Team B.

Team A Draw Team B

Bet365 3/1

SpotingOdds 9/4

Victor Chandler 11/10

The way to play the soccer market is to open accounts with European bookmakers as the difference in opinion between UK and European bookmakers is a good source of sure bets. They both have strong opinions on this sport. They will price up the sport in their own country and the matches in foreign countries. Anything to make a profit.

Italy, for example is even more soccer crazy than the UK, with newspapers dedicated to the sport. Everyone thinks they know best on this subject and egos get in the way of sensible pricing. This is great news for us. The European bookmakers can be opinionated and where as they may well have greater detailed knowledge of the comings and goings in their own countries they are relying on third parties to collate information on their foreign counterparts.

One good starting point is in midweek games between teams of different nationalities. There is a tendency in punters to get patriotic when it comes to events where the opposition are ‘foreign’. The chances of the home team get talked up and the odds could get skewed in their favour as the weight of money is overly wagered in their direction.

Having said that the big bookmakers offer an early price, they will often advertise it in the national papers and by and large stick to it. This means that a bench mark has been set and subsequent bookmakers may take a different opinion or try to tempt money in their direction by offering different odds. If this were to happen the arb may be available for a considerable amount of time.

There are always discrepancies in odds but clearly bookmakers tend to stick around the same price. They figure there is safety in numbers. But remember they are ‘guessing’ what the odds should be just like you and me. They are basing their opinion on past experience and they might utilise statistical formulae but they still need to form an opinion on the likely outcome.

They can get it wrong and other firms can take a totally different view of the outcome of a game. A totally different view will only result in a slight variation in the odds but this can be enough to offer a sure bet profit.

Another approach is to start with the more obscure games in eg. the Spanish, Italian or Norweigen lower divisions. They can have quite lucrative discrepancies. They will be covered by a number of different bookmakers all over Europe. This does however add a complication. Although quite easy for finding arbs, the mere fact that you concentrate on these obscure matches will throw up the possibility that you are going to get spotted by the bookmakers if you concentrate your action here.

Also they are going to be reluctant to accept high maximum bets on matches where they have done little research. On the other hand it is a training ground for arb spotting and may gain you valuable experience. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of this strategy.

This is a fairly obscure area of betting and if someone was to check your account over a number of months and found solely these obscure foreign matches on your account it could ring alarm bells. The motto here is to dilute the bets by betting on as many different type of sport and events as possible so that your accounts have varied bets on them. This shouldn’t be a problem as many different sports are great for sure bets.

The more prominent European ties will also produce arbs and they are less likely to attract attention to you and the maximum bets will be higher.

As before you cannot control whether the individual bets win or lose but soccer is a 3 way result and so 2 losing bets to one winning one can be useful on your account. The point here is that not many people are interested in the lower European divisions and it may become clear that the betting pattern is a little unusual. This is especially true if your bets towards the maximum permitted.

Injury news can be a lucrative area in soccer. Think about it. If a player fails a late fitness test on a Saturday and he is the teams star striker then this will greatly affect their chances. Recently Alan Shearer turned up to play a premiership game for Newcastle but was declared unfit to play at the last minute. Newcastle were soundly beaten. I am not saying this wouldn’t have happened, I don’t know. But the odds on the game clearly changed the minute this news broke.

Some bookmakers were alert to this and altered prices as the money poured in for the opposition. Some were slow to react or would not have reacted at all. Either way arbs were available. This type of last minute frantic activity is particularly keen on the betting exchanges like Betfair where you can act as the punter or the bookmaker (lay bets).

You can find injury news through one of the many soccer web sites. Alternatively satellite television channels always have comprehensive news coverage of all the games and are quick to offer any ‘off the press’ news. Slowly the bookmakers’ prices will all change, but not all at the same time, only one by one so creating sure bets.

In this scenario where prices are changing bet on the old price first. The new price is the one that wont change the old price is the one that is about to and so may be lost if you are not quick.

To re-emphasise, arb hunting can be all about timing. When the odds are first produced or have reason to change then the arbs are much more likely to appear.

Recently the English referees have become more lenient in the issuing of yellow cards. This had an effect on the prices for the total number of bookings in a game. Some of the bookmakers adjusted their prices accordingly and others did not. This will affect the bet ranges applied for total bookings.

Let’s look at the red and yellow card market. If you didn’t know the yellow and red cards bet is calculated as 10 points for a yellow card and 25 points for a red. A player can get a maximum of 35 points in a match (10 + 25).

The betting here is normally split into 3 ranges. Under 11 points at say odds of 100/30, 11 to 30 points, at 6/4 and over 30 points, the most likely outcome, at about 11/10. This doesn’t vary much unless there is a history of animosity between the teams in which case the odds are adjusted accordingly.

Here is an example:

Team A versus Team B – Total points for red and yellow cards during the match.

Less than 11 points 11 to 30 points Over 30 points

Ladbrokes 100/30

William Hill 6/4

Victor Chandler 11/10

Usually this type of bet will not figure strongly in your plans. Also it is unusual to find information being issued that will affect the total bookings bet. But a simple piece of news like the policy for issuing cards has just changed can affect prices and lead to one or more arb. The conclusion is not to expect too much sure betting activity from the issuing of red and yellow cards but it simple enough to check the odds.

Soccer and the English football league is the basis of a lot of arb opportunities. A Saturday morning is a very hectic time in the soccer season and if you only allocate 3 hours on each Saturday morning, up to half a dozen arbs could appear every week. Equally spending the same time researching prices when they are first issued earlier in the week can equally be rewarding. Have a game plan and concentrate on how you are going to organise your trading activity.

The obscure British matches are more likely to offer an arb than one of the premiership games. This is because there is less information available on team selection and injuries. Bookmakers will spend a lot of time gathering information on the likely result of the premiership games because they are high profile but are less likely to research the more minor games. They tend to try the ‘safety in numbers’ approach and all give a similar price for the games where they have little or no current information on the outcome.

This can lead to some more informed bookmakers, who have a stronger opinion, seeking out the money by offering differing prices. This inevitably leads to arbs appearing. Injury news is clearly a news event that will change a team’s chances, so keep informed of the injury news by looking at one of the many soccer websites that are running.

As mentioned previously foreign games produce arbs on a regular basis. Whether it’s the fundamental difference of opinion between the British and continental bookmakers or just the fact that the foreign ones are going to be better informed about their own matches matters not. Variations in prices occur regularly.

Here are some recent UEFA cup examples:

Celtic versus FK Teplice (Note the odds are in the decimal format).

Celtic Win(1) Draw(X) FK Teplice Lose(2)

Sportwetten 1.45

Canbet 5.50

Canbet 13.00

Here are the odds translated to percentages:

Celtic Win(1) Draw(X) FK Teplice Lose(2)

Sportwetten 68.97

Canbet 18.18

Canbet 7.69

This resulted in an arb of about 5%. If our total stake was £1,000 we would have bet about £690 on Celtic, £182 on the draw and £77 on FK Teplice.

The interesting thing here was that Canbet make up two sides of this arb. Their thoughts were that Celtic were overwhelming favourites to win this tie and priced the match accordingly. Sportwetten, along with other bookmakers, had the Celtic win at 1.45, favourites yes, but not as much as Canbet had thought. Maybe Canbet were trying to attract a lot of money. They were certainly offering what appeared to be generous prices on FK Treplice.

Another example: Benfica versus Rosenborg:

Benfica Win(1) Draw(X) Benfica Lose(2)

Canbet 1.95

SportOdds 3.50

SportOdds 5.50

Here are the odds translated to percentages:

Benfica Win(1) Draw(X) Benfica Lose(2)

Canbet 51.28

SportOdds 28.57

SportOdds 18.18

This resulted in an arb of 2.0%. If our total stake was £1,000 we would have bet about £513 on Benfica, £288 on the draw and £182 on Rosenborg.

Not as lucrative as the previous arb but again one bookmaker, SportOdds, making all the running in terms of two generous prices and Canbet being the make weight in the bet.

These days, the major clubs have big squads and participate in at least three different competitions. Tactical switches of personnel are more common and unpredictable than injury news which is normally known a day or two in advance of a match and will focus on only one player. Be wary of personnel changes, weaker teams being fielded to save the best players for the big games.

As always, the rule is the earlier you can get a price, hopefully by phoning up before the prices are on-line, the more likely a price differential will appear. Also the period before a match results in frantic trading and can lead to price movements. With so many bookmakers offering prices they will not all move as one.

There are so many bookmakers catering for soccer that you are spoilt for choice. Terrestrial and satellite TV. This is fast becoming the best place to pick up to the minute news on injuries and team selections. Satellite TV stations literally show wall to wall coverage of soccer on Saturdays and this can be invaluable when looking for sure bets.

Equipamiento, ropa y calzado deportivo . Compra online ahora con los mejores descuentos. Camisetas futbol

Top 5 Ways To Get Rid Of Belly Fat, Including Exercises

With the advances in technology these days, going to the office may be as easy as turning on the computer and logging on to a network. With the majority of white collar work already accessible through the internet and mobile systems, more and more people no longer find it necessary to get up from their couches in order to get things done. Although these tools help us from accomplishing our tasks more easily, it has also created a generation of people who live a sedentary lifestyle. This inactive lifestyle has led to a host of health-related problems.

A «pot belly», «beer belly», or «apple shaped» figure is most associated with an inactive lifestyle combined with overeating, and has been strongly correlated to the risk for cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and myocardial ischemia, as well as insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus. Recent studies have shown that reducing the amount of belly fat can significantly reduce the risk of acquiring these life-threatening diseases. Although there are numerous ways to reduce the amount of fat in the stomach area, the top five belly fat exercises and stomach-busting measures are enumerated and discussed herein.

1. Cardiovascular exercise.

There is no substitute for this old-fashioned activity. Sit-ups and crunches may make your abdominal muscles tighter but you have to get rid of the exterior flab first so that your abs will show. Researchers have found out that as little as a 20-minute daily cardiovascular exercise can do wonders to burn calories and melt away body fat. Jogging, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics, jumping rope, and even dancing can all do wonders to trim down not only that stubborn stomach area but most other body fat as well.

2. Strength-training sessions.

Once you have rid yourself of the surface fat, regular strengthening exercises can help you lose those remaining flab from your waist area. This is the part where targeted belly fat exercises come in. Abdominal crunches, stomach twisting, hip raise, leg lifts, air cycling, reverse crunches, and hanging leg raise are just some of the «spot exercises» that one can do to really define those abdominal muscles.

3. Learn to relax.

Scientists have recently studied the effects that stress has on body fat and has found a direct correlation between the two. Cortisol levels in the blood are found to be elevated when the body is exposed to stress and this then produces insulin resistance, causing a craving for fats and sugary food. Instead of worrying, why not try to read a book, listen to soothing music, or do yoga.

4. Refrain from cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol drinking.

Nicotine and alcohol are major stressors to the body, thus increasing hormone cortisol levels.

5. Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet.

Carbohydrates are easily broken down to glucose which is the body’s major source of fuel. Because they are so easily digested, the body feels hungry again in only a short span of time. Proteins, on the other hand, are not easily processed and can thus provide more energy over a longer period, decreasing the need to constantly feed. It is also recommended to have a water intake of about 1.5 to 2 liters a day, and to have 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Compra online la Camisetas de fútbol! En JD encontrarás las del FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, la selección de España y equipos internacionales. by Steven J Garrett

Do You Believe? A New Source of Faith for Leaders

Following any national or international crisis, we Americans tend to dissect the leadership style of those responsible for handling the crisis. Think about the collective time spent analyzing post-Katrina disaster relief; studying Rudy Giuliani's remarkable efforts to restore his city to normalcy following the 9-11 attack; evaluating the police response to the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. As a nation, we learn by example, we learn from our mistakes, we re-learn lessons we once knew about leadership by studying the leaders who demonstrate how leadership is (and isn't) defined.

But perhaps we're missing an opportunity to learn about leadership from a source available to all of us, free of charge. Perhaps we're overlooking exemplars that are right in front of us. Instead of exploring, as the study of leadership usually does, the style and methods of those men and women (and sometimes, even children) who assume the leadership mantle, perhaps we should be studying nature. Instead of turning automatically and immediately to recognized leaders when we are contemplating leadership, it might be worth our while to turn first to the animal kingdom, which has learned to survive despite threats from man, from nature, and even from meteors hurtling to earth from outer space. (The crocodile, for example, has been around for over 200 million years.) By extrapolating from natural examples to leadership behaviors, we can ideally gain fresh perspectives. We can look at situations in a new light, thereby garnering invigorating insights.

Leadership in Atypical Places

Literary lion, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, suggests new understandings will accrue if we are able to "Love all God's creatures, the animals, the plants. Love everything to perceive the Divine mystery in all." Whether you are seeking to unravel divinity-secrets or merely seeking to better understand the elements of good leadership, you'll find nature one of your best sources / resources.

We find evidence of behavioral guidelines, of course, wherever we look-including glimpses into proverbs. This one, from Malaysia, advises, "Trumpet in a herd of elephants; crow in the company of roosters; bleat in a flock of goats."

The very predictability of political speech suggests the need for new understandings of leadership, understandings that can be derived by studying the birds and the bees and the beasts. Inevitably-no matter the party, no matter the events of the day-there will be talk of lowering taxes or restoring the American dream. There will be pledges to make America great again and to do something long-needed on the first day in office. And, of course, there will be references to the Constitution and comparisons to Ronald Reagan.

The contenders for the 2016 presidential race found "outliers" drawing some of the biggest crowds. People like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were more of a draw than seasoned political leaders. This dissatisfaction with traditional leaders is another good reason to consider atypical sources of inspiration and best practices. The predictability of political speech and the unpredictability of the speakers' behavior lend importance to the need for a new font of leadership knowledge.

Biomimicry and a Creed of Your Own

There's a word for the emulation of nature to derive scientific benefits: "biomimcry." It is considered a method of solving human problems by imitating nature. We hope that you will soon subscribe to a "biomimicreed yourself," a belief that there is much we can learn from nature's way. If you do subscribe to this belief, you will discover there are many benefits to be derived from studying the animal, insect, and marine world.

You'll come to understand how much is to be learned in the examination, for example, of the tensile strength of a spider's spun silk, which is stronger than steel. You'll comprehend scientists' fascination with burrs stuck on the coat of a Swiss engineer-which led to the creation of Velcro. Become a serious student of biomimicry and see why the nose of Japan's bullet train resembles the long beak of a kingfisher; why NASA engineer replicated the dentricle patterns in the skin of sharks in order to reduce drag.

No doubt you'll be impressed by Pak Kitae, who was drawn to the Namibian beetle and its capture of fog in a desert setting; you'll readily come to see why Peter Agre of Johns Hopkins University won the Nobel Prize in 2003 for his identification of a membrane protein that permits water to pass through the walls of cells. (It wasn't long before the Danish firm Aquaporin use this discovery to desalinate sea water.)

Mother Knows Best

Mother Nature, that is. If you develop a biomimicreed-ie, faith in the possibility of learning important lessons from nature – you will understand Dr. Jonas Salk's explanation: asked how he came to develop the polio vaccine, he simply said, "I learned to think the way Mother Nature thinks." Mercedes-Benz adopted this kind of thinking when they devised an experimental car based on the aerodynamically flawless boxfish. And speaking of fish, biology professor Frank Fish put bumps on turbine blades in order to minimize both drag and noise. The source of his inspiration? A humpback whale statue he saw in a Boston gift shop. Schools of fish led John Dabiri of Caltech University to devise a wind farm that optimizes air flow.

A team of University of Massachusetts researchers have developed an incredibly strong adhesive named Geckskin, in honor of the gecko whose powerful grip is the result of millions of microscopic hairs on its toes. And perhaps you've heard about the new vaccines that no longer require refrigeration. Their producer, Nova Laboratories in Leicester, England, invented them by studying tardogrades, micro-animals that can live without water for 120 years and come back to life when they imbibe water once again. There's so much more we've gained and continue to gain from nature, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that came about after scientists in several countries analyzed why fireflies have "fire" in their bellies.

If you watched the 2008 Olympics, you no doubt saw the "Watercube," a swim center that replicates the crystal-like structure of soap bubbles. And, if you subscribe to the online Optimist Daily, you'll know that researchers have discovered a natural sunscreen, by studying the slime that comes from algae and reef fish.

University of Exeter researchers have discovered a way to make energy derived from the sun more efficient-by imitating the method butterflies use to raise the temperature on their flight muscles. Transferring this knowledge to the emission of power coming from solar panels, they have managed to improve output by a nearly 50% increase: by reproducing the butterfly's wing formation, researchers found the power-to-weight ratio of the solar structure expanded seventeen-fold .

As one who has adopted a biomimicreed, you'll be attuned to ways you might improve a leadership undertaking by thinking about nature in new, more respectful ways. You'll not skip over articles like the one by Christopher Solomon that appeared in the May 18, 2015, online edition of New York Times. It featured Dr. Erick Greene, a biology professor at the University of Montana. He finds that "when birds squawk, other species seem to listen."

Greene and others have found that animals can identify the alarm signals of other species. There's a lesson here for business people who tend to become insular in their thinking, failing to benchmark or to bring in divergent thought. Greene found that when little chickadees spot raptors in nearby trees, they make their "chick-a-dee" call, which actually galvanizes other birds to the spot. This avian mob harasses the potential enemy until it leaves the area. (Interestingly, when the chickadees add more "dees" to their calls, it means the danger is larger than usual.) Teamwork triumphs, indeed.

"Biomimicry" usually aligns science and nature. However, in a TED (Technology, Education, and Design) talk delivered in November 2010, Michael Pawlyn explores "using nature's genius in architecture." He maintains that imitating nature would allow us to factor 10-perhaps even factor 1000 times-the savings in energy and resources used in buildings. He speaks of pollen grains that inspire architects to create efficient architectural designs using hexagons and pentagons.

The Wild and the Wildebeests Call

Just as our nation represents unified diversity or "e pluribus unum," the wildebeest looks as if it was carved into one creature from the parts of many others. Like the ferocious bull, the wildebeest has horns; yet, its head looks a horse's (as does its tail). The wildebeest's front end is sturdy, like an ox's, while its hindquarters are slender, like an antelope's. On a very basic level, the wildebeest example provides a lesson for leaders: diverse elements can be united to yield remarkable results-whether in an entire nation or in a humble beast.

Fortune magazine cited numerous other examples of nature as a mother lode of leadership information several years ago ("Calls of the Wild," Tim Carvell, page 121, June 12, 2006). The article begins with a provocative question, "When you've phoned in sick, have any of your co-workers ever been thoughtful enough to come over and regurgitate blood into your mouth?" This is what vampire bats do for each other. Of course, other examples abound of animals working together for the collective good, and of nature fixing her own problems. (An article by Justin Adams in the e-edition of The Optimist [June 15, 2015], asks, "But why invest so much time and money in developing new technologies when nature already has evolved the cheapest, most effective and scalable tool at our disposal: forests? ")

Lee Dugatkin, a biologist-author ("Cheating Monkeys and Citizen Bees") asserts that our animal counterparts are actually operating on a simple cost-benefit analysis. They realize that by working together, they can more easily achieve success for the community as a whole. There is even a phrase that's been coined to explain the individual animal or insect that is willing to deny itself in order to aid the group: "biological altruism."

Unfortunately, we don't always find examples of such altruism in the corporate kingdom. The good news, though, is that improved communications and sincere commitment can overcome some of the stumbling blocks to productive results. Reading about the selflessness of our natural counterparts may indeed inspire.

Plankton author Christian Sardet maintains we owe our very existence to the single-celled ocean drifters. He says that for every two breaths we take, we owe once of them to the photosynthetic microscopic water beings. Apart from such debts, though, we find ourselves indebted to the natural world in less critical ways. By examining various practices evident in nature and natural creatures, we can find add to leadership-knowledge in the human sphere.

The Childhood Connection

By making extensions to leadership practices, we can eliminate some of those stumbling blocks in the way of productivity. After all, we have identified with animals from childhood-all those stuffed animals in our cribs and playpens formed an early linkage, a simpatico with animals we believed, at least for a while, to have hearts and souls. And then, there were all the books and movies and videos-when children cry over Bambi or The Velveteen Rabbit, something has caused that emotional reaction. That something is our early bonding with creatures of the earth that don't look like us but that we relate to, nonetheless. And when children laugh at Mickey Mouse's or the roadrunner's antics, it is because they understand them; they are kindred spirits.

Our imaginations have made us aligned with creatures, as have certain traditions, in particular those inherent in the Native American culture. Each tribe is guided by an animal spirit, the energy belonging to that animal on earth. The power is greater than that belonging to just one animal, as it represents the spirit of all that animal's predecessors.

From the Bible, through Aesop's Fables to modern works of literature like Animal Farm or world-acclaimed accounts like Jane Goodall's of animals in their natural state, we have bonded with and been inspired by animals all of our lives. (As a child, Goodall had a toy chimpanzee named Jubilee that helped shape her future.) It is a very small leap then to move from this enormous influence to the lessons to be learned from the nature world. Up to eighty million dogs and ninety-six million cats are find themselves in American households-to say nothing of the other species cherished as pets. Is it any wonder we find ourselves mirrored in their behaviors, our lives entwined with their existence?

It's true that scientists have been at work for a long time, studying nature and then applying its lessons – scientists like those at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory who, in an attempt to create more efficient solar panels, studied the eyes of moths and lotus leaves and their ability to repel water.

This whole notion of deriving an unexpected understanding of our role as leaders by studying the environment may be new to you, but brilliant minds have been exploring such connections for decades.

Whether you're interested in improving your individual leadership style or interested in improving the way your team functions; interested in getting your entire staff or department to think more about leadership characteristics; or hoping to lead your parish or school or neighborhood in undertaking a project of some kind, turn to nature-if only occasionally-for inspiration.

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Short Breaks in the Capital – Choosing a Hotel in London

The rising cost of air travel has put UK city breaks firmly back in fashion, and with a multitude of crowd-pleasing attractions and affordable travel links to the rest of the country, there’s never been a better time to take a short break in the country’s capital.

Its spectacular West End productions, historic buildings, grand palaces, spellbinding museums and pioneering art galleries ensure London offers something to appeal to everyone.

And whether your budget is lavish or shoestring, you’ll be spoilt for choice with places to stay, from fashionable boutique hotels to ancient converted buildings and modern masterpieces.

Piccadilly makes a perfect base for theatre breaker’s and shopping fanatics alike. It’s ideally placed for bustling Oxford Street, home to Selfridges and a myriad of fabulous shops and department stores, while the hip hangouts of Soho and Covent Garden are also nearby.

In the evening, you’ll find the bright lights of London’s famous West End are just a short stroll away. Here you can catch a show, see a musical, visit the opera or laugh the night away with the country’s top comedians.

And if you’re in need of a little refreshment, head for Leicester Square to sample delicious international cuisine or innovative cocktails at one of the area’s many restaurants and bars.

If you’d rather explore London’s historic buildings, look for hotels around Westminster. From here you can visit Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and nearby Buckingham Palace, then cross the bridge over the Thames to the London Eye and take in the city’s majestic landscape.

Some of London’s best museums are located in South Kensington, just south of Knightsbridge and Hyde Park. Here you’ll find the Science Museum, the Earth Galleries Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Brompton Oratory.

Art buffs should stay near Southwark on the banks of the River Thames – the iconic Tate Modern is just off the nearby Millennium Bridge. Visitors can take a short ferry ride between the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain galleries, while to the east of Southwark lies the Tower of London, one of the most compelling and historic buildings in the city.

If you’re after pure luxury, seek out hotels around the upmarket neighbourhoods bordering Hyde Park. Most have stunning scenic views and its proximity to nearby green areas like St James’s, Park, Green Park and Kensington Gardens make it a perfect base for relaxing strolls and picnics.

North of Hyde Park, the leafy Regents Park makes an excellent base for visiting the the must-see Madame Tussauds waxworks museum. Tussauds also offers some great time-saving packages combining the museum with other attractions like the London Eye and and the London Dungeon – not for those of a nervous disposition!

It’s a good idea to make a list of everything you plan to do before you book a hotel in London. Taxi’s around the capital can be very expensive, and choosing the right base for your short break will help you reach most of your destinations on foot and take in some spectacular sights on the way!

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Why On Earth Should I Moan – Still Nothing To Complain About in ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

YEAH YEAH YEAH to coin a phrase – I know, I know, another appraisal of The Beatles film ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

Nearly fifty four years old and the subject of countless critiques does the world really need one more? Well after watching it on television for the umpteenth time over Christmas I decided another set of observations could do no harm – after all what is wrong in celebrating eighty seven minutes of such joy one more time?

Having watched ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ at least once every eighteen months for the roughly the past forty years I thought there was nothing new for me to see but like the brilliant rock album and great film (which it most certainly is) there is often something new to discover. Much of the back story I discovered in the two-set DVD edition that I received as a birthday present about five years ago and while ‘the making of,’ documentary of is both fascinating and informative it also served to shatter one of my lasting illusions of the film. Down the years when walking along the platform of Liverpool Lime Street station I always conjured the image of the Fab Four being chased down the same walkway in the opening scene, only to discover it was not shot there but at Marylebone Station and the train journey they take in the first twenty minutes of the film is not from Liverpool to London, but back and forth from Marylebone to Minehead – leaving me with mixed feelings whether it was information I really needed to be aware of.

But no matter how many times I see it (and on this latest viewing I did spot a couple of errors in continuity that had never come to my attention before) I am always enthralled by the sheer exuberance of how The Beatles perform as actors. To clarify ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ completely breaks with the tradition laid down in the films made by the likes of Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard up to that point, as rather than play singing characters The Beatles are themselves which gives ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ its documentary feel and in a story that sees them travelling to London for a television appearance also provides an insight into the lives they were living at the time. The film, cleverly directed by Richard Lester, depicts each member with a distinctly individual personality that from this point onward they would retain until virtually the day they split up – John (rebel), Paul (romantic), George (thinker), Ringo (jester) – but in 1964, before a dark side to ‘Beatlemania’ had developed, their camaraderie is joyful and a far, far cry from the tetchy, squabbling individuals they became when breaking up in front of cameras for ‘Let It Be,’ just five years later.

In early 1964, however, the hand of manager Brian Epstein is still on the tiller, evident in their clean shaven, collar and tie appearance – with hard drugs, political pronouncements and mysticism still someway off. The music too has yet to undergo the transformation that happened once Bob Dylan and psychedelics replaced Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran as the principal song writing influences of Lennon and McCartney – nevertheless the soundtrack of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ is still a marvel. ‘If I Fell,’ ‘Tell Me Why,’ and ‘And I Love Her,’ all have gorgeous melodies and straightaway as songwriters they are way ahead of the field, while in the latter song the stunning classical guitar arrangement shows The Beatles were quite capable of eclecticism in their own right.

One oddity of the film given it is their movie, is the name of the group is never mentioned – ‘The Beatles’ appears on Ringo’s drum kit and on the helicopter in the closing scene – but everywhere else the superb script, written by playwright Alun Owen, contains comical references to their fame and throws in several in-jokes for good measure, the most obvious being frequent remarks made to Paul’s grandfather, who is travelling with them, about him being ‘a clean old man.’ Played by Wilfrid Brambell, this is a reference to the character Brambell was currently making famous in the television comedy ‘Steptoe and Son’ where he is often labelled ‘a dirty old man.’ After spending time with The Beatles, Owen manages to give his script strong authenticity, picking up on expressions the group were using such as ‘grotty’ and ‘mocker’ that had never been used before. What did come as a surprise when recently watching the film was a scene on a backstage staircase where there road manager (played by Norman Rossington) says to John Lennon as a chorus line passes: ‘put those girls down Lennon or I’ll tell your Mother.’

It seems a strangely insensitive line particularly as Lennon had lost his Mother in a tragic car accident six years before and in view of the tortured songs he wrote about her (‘Mother’, My Mummy’s Dead,’) most notably on his breath taking solo album ‘Plastic Ono Band’ in 1970.

But let us not leave ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ on a sombre note – it is much too upbeat and infectious for that.

If you have seen the film then see it again and dare yourself not to smile. If somehow you have never seen it what a treat awaits – a wonderful opportunity to witness many of the reasons people remain enthralled by The Beatles to this day.

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A Short Biography of Famous Soccer Players – Diego Milito

His complete name is Diego Alberto Milito. He was born in Bernal, Argentina on 12 June 1979. Diego Milito is a professional soccer player and now become a part of national team of Argentina. In club level, he presently plays for F.C. Internazionale Milano. In the field of arena, he is always played as a center-forward.

For international career as professional player, Milito made two goals on his first appearance in opposition to Uruguay in 2003. He participated for Argentina national team in the 2007 Copa América competition.

Milito is so powerful with a keen eye for goal. And he is considered as one of the finest headers of the ball in the modern game. In addition, he is also considered as a productive and consistent striker. His nickname is Il Principe (Italian for «The Prince»).

During his career as a professional soccer player, he ever played for some senior clubs. Some of them are Racing Club (1999-2004), Genoa (2004-2005), Zaragoza (2005-2008), Genoa (2008-2009), and Internazionale (2009- ). He got some honors with his clubs. And some of his honors are Primera División Argentina (Apertura 2001 with Racing Club), and Serie A: 2009, Coppa Italia: 2010, UEFA Champions League: 2010 (with Internazionale).

At Real Zaragoza, Diego Milito was a captain for the club, taking over this position from Gabriel who leaved for Barcelona in 2007. In the La Liga 2006-2007 season, he was one of players who got the top scorers. His goals assisted the club to a sixth position finish in the league.

Thomas Russell & The Early English Watchmaking Industry

Thomas Russell ‘s name is synonymous with the Lancashire watch making industry and he is an icon for watch purists and enthusiasts around the world. But how he came to become a watchmaker and why Lancashire played such an important role in the watchmaking industry is a fascinating story.

In the 17th century farmers and agricultural workers who needed to supplement their income during the winter months undertook much of the work of watchmaking. In and around Lancashire this was particularly important and the proximity of metalworking, the availability of fine metal tools and the port of Liverpool aided the growth of the industry. By the 18th century watch parts were being sub-contracted to small farms and cottages throughout the region.

Another factor in the growth of this cottage industry were the significant lower overheads that the farmers enjoyed as part-time workers in their own homes. Elsewhere wages were the largest contributor to the total cost of watch manufacturing with the cost of raw materials, apart from gold and silver used in the making of expensive cases, relatively small.

One commentator notes that, «From Prescott to Liverpool, eight miles as the crow flies, the countryside was dotted with the cottages of spring makers, wheel cutters, chain makers, case makers, dial makers – every speciality that went into the making of a watch.» By the end of the 18th century between 150,000 and 200,000 watches a year were being produced by this system, satisfying the national need for accurate timekeeping as the industrial revolution took hold.

The Lancashire sub-contracting system allowed the production of watch movements at such low prices that by the end of the 18th century, the Lancashire manufacturers were supplying most of the great watch firms in London, Coventry and Liverpool. All that these firms needed to do was to make or source their own case and dial, and then assemble the watch.

Thomas Russell joined this hive of activity in 1848 when he moved his business as a watch manufacturer to Slater Street in Liverpool. The city was a major seafaring port and the manufacture of ships’ clocks and chronometers became an important revenue stream for the business.

Thomas Russell’s father, also named Thomas Russell (1780-1830), the founder of this watchmaking dynasty, was born in Eskdale a small village in Cumberland. He served his time in watchmaking in New St. Broughton-in-Furness Lancashire under William Bellman, he then served his journeyman time with William Wakefield in Market St Lancaster where he later started a business of his own in the same street.

He had two sons; one named Thomas was married to Mary in 1831. They also had two sons, Thomas Robert (1833-1894) born in Lancaster and Alfred Holgate Russell (1840-1893). In about 1840 the family moved to Halifax setting up a watchmaking business in Lord St. It was here that Alfred was born.

By 1848 the family had moved once more and records show that Thomas Russell was a watch manufacturer with premises at 20 or 22 Slater Street, Liverpool and later at number 32 in the same street. It was here that Thomas Russell became arguably Liverpool ‘s finest watchmaker and the business produced quality watches and clocks, including the celebrated Russell Hunter pocket watch. Thomas Senior and his oldest son Thomas Robert were granted a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria indicating their rapid progress in watch manufacturing.

Around 1859, Thomas handed over control of the business to his sons Thomas Robert and Alfred Holgate and the company changed its name to Thomas Russell & Son. Following Thomas Russell’s death in 1867 the business was divided into two; the trade side continued under the same name and was run by Alfred and Thomas ran Russells Limited. The retail business became importers of Swiss watches and music boxes.

By 1877 the company had moved the business once more, this time to Cathedral Works, 12 Church Street, Liverpool, with additional offices at Piccadilly in London and Toronto, Canada. It was now known as the Russell Watch and Chronometer Manufactory and was listed in 1880 as «watch and chronometer manufacturers and machine made keyless lever and jewellery merchants» and additionally, «by Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen and HRM the Duke of Edinburgh and the Admiralty».

After Queen Victoria’s death, Thomas Russell still signed their watches «Makers to Queen Victoria» even though officially the warrant had ceased with the Queens death. This was tolerated for a time before they removed this from their watches.

Following the deaths of Thomas Robert and Alfred Holgate, Alfred’s son Bernard Holgate Russell and his cousin Thos Townsend Russell took over the company and the name of the business was changed in 1894 to Russells Limited. From this date it appears that they continued as retail jewellers with several branches in Liverpool and, by the early 1900’s, Manchester and Llandudno as well.

Bernard married and had a son Thomas Graham (1906-1999). In 1915 Bernard and Thos Townsend Russell invited Joseph Wright to become a fellow director of Thos Russell & Son. Joseph had extensive trade knowledge, travelled extensively and had business contacts in Switzerland and working experience with the famous American Illinois Watch Case Co.

The sons of these directors all seemed to have worked in and run the business in later years. During WW2 Joseph Wright kept the firm going despite wartime shortages of materials and men until the sons returned from the war. In about 1994 both the retail Liverpool Russells Ltd and the workshops and offices at 12 Church Street closed their doors for the last time.

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Manchester United Football Club

There is no way of talking about English football without a mention of Manchester United. This is the most decorated and successful professional football club based in Greater Manchester to the North-West of England. The club was formed way back in 1878 under the name Newton Heath LYR Football Club and acquired its current name in 1902. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club moved to their current Old Trafford home in 1910.

The club’s first real taste of glory was when they won the Division One title in 1908, then won the FA Cup the following year before reclaiming the Division One title in 1911. But the successful history for which the club is mostly famously known for did not start until 1945 when Matt Busby was appointed manager. The success was not immediate but by 1957, the club had championship triumphs thrice. The ‘Busby Babes’ as they were called due to the youthfulness of the side were fast evolving into a force to be reckoned with in English professional football. It was also in 1957 that the Red Devils became the very first English club to compete in the European Cup, the predecessor of the now lucrative UEFA Champions League.

In 1958, however, disaster struck when eight players died in a plane crash as the team was flying home from a European club tie. Coming from a quarter-final triumph over Red Star Belgrade, the plane carrying the team and journalists crashed on take-off after refueling in Munich, Germany. Busby, who survived the crash, had to rebuild the team which he did and in 1963 they won the FA Cup against many odds. They followed that with league triumphs in 1965 and 1967. Glory on the European front came in 1968 when the Red Devils won the European Cup. The victory came over none other than the then Portuguese giants Benfica.

When Matt Busby resigned in 1969, the club underwent a very difficult period. A flurry of successive managers could not save the Mancunians from being relegated in 1974 though they went back to the top flight the following season. 1977 saw them beat Liverpool to win the FA Cup under Tommy Docherty but the success of Sir Matt Busby was not anywhere in sight. Success in the league continued to elude them though they won the FA cup twice in the mid-80s under Ron Atkinson.

The current United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, was appointed in 1986 and his successes are only comparable Sir Busby’s. Despite a slow start, he won the FA cup in 1990 and followed that up with European triumphs in the Cup Winners Cup and the European Super Cup. His real success, however, was from 1993 when United won the now renamed English Premier League and as of 2010, they had won the league a record 11 times and UEFA Champions League twice in 1999 and 2008.

Among the notable players to have played for United include George Best, Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs, who is the most decorated player in English football.

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