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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Odds and Ends

1. This soccer fan has been pleasantly surprised by the performances the United States Men's National Team have turned in en route to advancing from the group stage in the World Cup.

In its last match, a must-win against Iran, every single starting player on the pitch played professionally for a club in a major European league for what I think is the first time. That in itself is a sign of progress for soccer in the U.S.

But I have managed to watch every American game so far and like what I've seen: In the two draws, we should have beaten Wales outright, and could have defeated England. We beat Iran and were the only team they faced to shut them out. In every game, we had a lot more of the ball than I expected, based on past tournaments.

Christian Pulisic, who scored the winner against Iran is, understandably, the face of the team, but other players have impressed, particularly the team captain, Tyler Adams, who plays defensive midfield, my old position.

The British Guardian recently ran a good profile of the player, which I'll excerpt:
Cutting his teeth in two of the world's best leagues has done wonders for Adams' play and it's paid off handsomely in Qatar, where he's passed well and made countless important interceptions in the No 6 role, helping the Americans overrun the midfield for long stretches. But as Berhalter has noted, his readiness as a locker-room leader was apparent from the moment he made his international debut back in 2017.

"We think he has great leadership capabilities and he leads by his actions and his words," Berhalter said. "Tyler's a guy that's just mature beyond his years, and you notice it from the minute you start talking to him. He's a guy that teammates know exactly what they're going to get from him. They know that he's going to go out on the field and compete."

For Adams, who wants to pursue sports psychology once his playing days are done, it's a moment that he's prepared for since he first broke in with the national team.
The piece mentions Adams's composure during a press conference in which Iranian journalists tried to bait him with questions about racial discrimination in the United States.

That impressed me, too, and I was glad to read more about Adams, who, at only 24, looks like he will be an important player for the US for the better part of another decade.

2. Facing a ten-hour drive to Mississippi the day before Thanksgiving, I smiled when I got the answer, D-R-I-V-E, to that day's Wordle.

But then I recall getting H-A-P-P-Y, F-E-A-S-T, and C-L-E-A-N within a week or so of that.

Slate confirms my suspicion that something was afoot at the New York Times with a piece titled, "The New Wordle Editor Is Ruining Wordle."

I think something like that -- once in a while -- is fine, but the barrage of themed words was a little too much.

File under too good not to post: Via GeekPress comes this very well-done Lord of the Rings-themed "Uptown Funk" parody.

3. The Word of the Day is Anglish:
Anglish is how we might speak if the Normans had been beaten at Hastings, and if we had not made inkhorn words out of Latin, Greek and French.

So, we say things like 'hearty' instead of 'cordial', and 'wordbook' instead of 'dictionary'. Read more about the History of Anglish here on the Wiki...
I bumped into the word elsewhere, and I can't tolerate not knowing what a word means, so here we are.

4. In an amusing juxtaposition of bookmarks after I filtered for material for today's post, I see that I have successive entries for (1) a collection of obsolete sounds, and (2) an Ars Technica piece titled, "Amazon Alexa Is a "Colossal Failure," on Pace to Lose $10 Billion This Year."

She Who Must Not Be Named may not make enough money for Amazon, but I hope she does not end up being scrapped altogether!

-- CAV

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