Three Links: World Cup Edition

(1) There was much sadness in Diesel-land this week, with the United States men's soccer team falling to Belgium in one of the thrillers of the World Cup. Ah, but let's not hold it against our friends in the Lowlands of Western Europe. Without them we wouldn't have this transcendent cover by Nina Simone. Few imagined Jacques Brel's original could be rivaled. Ah, but like a late goal by an American in extra time, au contraire. 

 



(2) Speaking of the World Cup, that month every four years set aside for many of us to celebrate until the final whistle tells us it is time to sorrow, this is a striking bit of Facebook research.

Facebook has analyzed posts during the World Cup to see which countries celebrate goals the “loudest”—that is, add the most characters when typing the words “goal” in English, “gol” in Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, “golo” in European Portuguese, and “tor” in German. (While other languages have their own written words for soccer goals—such as ゴール in Japanese or ประตู in Thai—Facebook says those are the only four where they saw “significant use of redundant characters in exuberant posts.”) 

 

 

Take from that what you will. 

(3) Jack Spicer's poem "The Sporting Life" isn't explicitly about soccer, but you who read this space know we're in the business of musing impressionistic and side-glancing stream-of-consciousness. Which is to say, we love excuses to quote writers we love.