Who was the unknown rebel?

One of the most potent images of the late 20th century was of the man who stood in front of a row of 17 or more tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

This person is often referred to as The Unknown Rebel or Tank Man.

But who was this mysterious person?

According to the wikipedia.org and truthout.org, the persons identity is still a mystery to this day. Some newspaper columnists claim it was Wang Weilin, a 19-year-old student; however, this claim is dubious and unsubstantiated.

As with most matter, the Tank Man topic is still a political taboo in mainland China; this man whomever he is was moved by his convictions, beliefs that he stood alone against not just a row of tanks, but by a country and a political philosophy.

Solving the dilemma for Video refereeing

The match between Manchester Utd and Tottenham Hotspur will be remembered, not for the dismal 0-0 score-line, but because of a goalkeeping error, which lead to an unawarded goal scored by Pedro Mendes whose goal clearly crossed the line.

This incident has re-ignited the desire to install video technology for referees. Whilst it probably wouldnt be sanctioned by FIFA, and perhaps some of the premier league clubs would argue for its use, but I for one would support their introduction and use. Although Im neither a Man Utd or Spurs fan I think it would stop the endless arguments, unless of course one of the clubs starts suing the Video Panel for the loss of a game.

But how should video refereeing be used, benchmarked and improved? I propose a trial period of one season and the combined use of Video, Radio and Bluetooth technology. I also propose a panel of independent referees that are not in earshot of the TV and Radio Pundits to oversee the video footage, which must be 360°, finally all the Premier League bosses agree to its use.

Then, at the end of the season simply call a meeting between the Premier League club bosses and some FA, and FIFA officials and simply review the overall results of video refereeing. Was it a success? Or was it a failure? I think by letting the club bosses benchmark it, it would resolve any controversy or issues.

This needed be a job for a UN diplomat or ambassadors, but a simple solution could be within touching distance.

All there needs to be is open discussion, listening and practical application and benchmarking. This is all that is needed for the success/failure of video referring.

Blogging the Asian Tsunami

On December 26 2004, Boxing Day, a huge underwater earthquake struck Southern Asia, leaving hundreds of thousands dead, and massive damage in its wake.

Perhaps some of the most vivid descriptions of the devastation in Southern Asia are on the internet – in the form of web logs. Bloggers have been posting information from around the affected region and are also providing information for those who wish to help.

Of the blogs around, I think these offer the most poignant stories;