Randomness

Raiden

Hall of Fame
Why did the guys only thread get closed? Is it just because of the over saturation of girls who are primarily models who just happen to have played tennis at some point rather than the other way around?
That wasn't even the case. They never had any genuine tennis career.

They were just instagram clickbaits who conducted photoshoots on a tennis court.

So good riddance to that thread as it devolved from its original "tennis pro" intent.
 

Vcore89

G.O.A.T.
Did u see that mushroom risotto :X3::sick:
I watched the whole thing, you can just hang that thing on the wall; that brick of a rice, but thanks to Sharyn's carrot cake. And oh, just blame it on Paul--as if the patronage came for the service instead of the food, ''if he did a good job chef Ramsay would've said the food was great'', really?!.:confused:

Re soul food, ''If we get one-out-of-three we might be all right'', seriously aiming for mediocrity here?!:confused:
 
Interesting fact about how the parting of the Red Sea was filmed in The Ten Commandments:

Cecil B. DeMille was also known for his use of special effects without the use of digital technology. Notably, DeMille had cinematographer John P. Fulton create the parting of the Red Sea scene in his 1956 film The Ten Commandments, which was one of the most expensive special effects in film history, and has been called by Steven Spielberg "the greatest special effect in film history". The actual parting of the sea was created by releasing 360,000 gallons of water into a huge water tank split by a U-shaped trough, overlaying it with film of a giant waterfall that was built on the Paramount backlot, and playing the clip backwards.
Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_B._DeMille
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru

@duaneeo @NoleFam what yall know about some of these hits :D
Yea I basically know about every song. Big R&B fan here and come from a musical family so you already know. Lol. They really pulled out some good ones here and that middle section was fire. Surprised as heck to see Force MDs. Worth noting that Patti L. And Gladys K. are in their mid 70's and can still sing like that. Crazy talent.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Yea I basically know about every song. Big R&B fan here and come from a musical family so you already know. Lol. They really pulled out some good ones here and that middle section was fire. Surprised as heck to see Force MDs. Worth noting that Patti L. And Gladys K. are in their mid 70's and can still sing like that. Crazy talent.
Such fire lol. Took me back to riding in the car with mom as a kid lol. Wasn't expecting such a great video when I clicked it lol never had seen one of those. Fire! :D
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
Such fire lol. Took me back to riding in the car with mom as a kid lol. Wasn't expecting such a great video when I clicked it lol never had seen one of those. Fire! :D
Yea I love a lot of the older music tbh. I've never seen one like that with back to back artists, and hit after hit. I texted it in my family chat..lol
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
Did Vladimir Putin win Cold War 2.0?
Lionel Barber
Published: April 7, 2021
Updated: April 14, 2021




The choreography for an interview with Vladimir Putin is worthy of the Bolshoi Ballet; every step rehearsed, nothing left to chance. Our stage that night on June 26, 2019 was the cabinet room in the Kremlin senate building next to Red Square.

Russia’s supreme leader swept in. A short compact figure with a touch of swagger, Putin was alternately friendly and intimidating. For the most part, he played statesman, a model of self discipline. When I questioned him about the botched assassination of former GRU double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England, his answer was cold-blooded. “This spy story is not worth five kopecks… Treason is the gravest crime possible and traitors must be punished. I am not saying the Salisbury incident is the way to do it. But traitors must be punished.”


Then I asked Putin about the populist backlash against the establishment with Brexit, Trump’s election, the rise of the AfD in Germany and other insurgencies in France, Spain and Italy. How long could Russia remain immune?

Putin, briefly unsettled, replied that the purpose of government – never to be forgotten by those in power – is to create a “stable, normal, safe and predictable life” for ordinary people. Western elites forgot this lesson and lost touch with their populations. “So the liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the majority of the population.”

Henry and I looked at each other. On the eve of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Putin had declared the end of the liberal idea. We had a world scoop and a front page headline which wrote itself, as good stories always do.

Two years on, it is worth returning to Putin’s proposition that liberal democracy is a spent force. A new study by the Freedom House watchdog highlights that democracy is increasingly under siege and authoritarianism on the rise, from west and central Africa to Turkey, India and the Philippines. Even America, the champion of western democratic values, does not escape criticism – a reflection of the damage inflicted by four years of Donald Trump.

Some observers, like the FT’s Janan Ganesh, believe the world’s lurch backwards into illiberalism is a source of regret, but understandable. In his view, the democratic boom after the Cold War constitutes the historic aberration. “If there is a democratic recession it began from a unique, never-sustainable high.” He adds: “If anything, the real news is how tenaciously democracy has stuck in much of ex-communist Europe and South America. There, despite qualms about Brazil, only Venezuela is 'not free'.”

The theory that history moves in cycles is seductive, but it leaves many questions unanswered. The most obvious is whether a complacent West fell victim to hubris after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet union. The spirit of the time is best captured by Francis Fukuyama’s best-seller, The End of History, which proclaimed the comprehensive victory of liberalism over communism.

For a while, countries from Poland to Hungary, Russia and even some elements in communist China followed Fukuyama’s script. Yet as Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes describe in their book The Light that Failed, revulsion at the politics of imitation gradually spread: “An anti-liberal backlash was arguably an inevitable response to a world that had been characterized by a lack of political and ideological alternatives.”

Vladimir Putin never subscribed to Western-style democracy but it suited him to play along. The rupture came in a speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2007. His message was that the Cold War was over, and the Soviet Union had been defeated, leading to its tragic break-up. Now, in effect, marked the start of Cold War 2.0. Russia’s mission would be to undermine the liberal democratic model which the West so hypocritically foists on the rest of the world.

And so began Cold War 2.0, a contest which differed from the bipolar nuclear stand-off, cloak and dagger espionage and proxy wars in Angola, central America and Mozambique. This time round, Putin gave the west a taste of its own medicine, deploying military force in Syria to rescue the Assad regime, as well annexing Crimea and invading eastern Ukraine.

Moscow’s revanchism also took the form of 'hybrid warfare', combining conventional force, cyberattacks, propaganda campaigns ('fake news') and other forms of subversion in the democratic West.

The most egregious example was Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential campaign. To be clear, US interference in post-Second World War foreign elections is well documented, but in this case Moscow’s role was brazen. Russian hackers infiltrated the Democratic National Committee’s computer system, while Russian trolls and automated bots promoted explicitly pro-Trump messaging via social media to stoke controversy and division around topics such as immigration and Islamophobia.

The charge of collusion with the Trump campaign against Hillary Clinton was never proved, but in a sense it did not matter. By casting doubt on the legitimacy of a presidential election in the world’s most powerful liberal democracy, Putin had achieved a return on his investment beyond his wildest dreams.

In the UK, a succession of referendums have undermined the principle of representative government. The Brexit referendum polarised the UK, exposing fault lines between town and country, regions and generations. These divisions in turn paralysed politics, stoking further rancour and frustration. When the High Court ruled, for example, that the government would require parliamentary consent for triggering the process of withdrawal from the EU, the Daily Mail published a picture of three judges in ermine under the headline “Enemies of the People”.

The US has witnessed similar wilful damage to its institutions. Donald Trump demeaned the office of the presidency, mixing nepotism with self-dealing in business. He went to extraordinary lengths to overturn the legitimate result of the 2020 presidential election, pressuring federal and state officials to delay certifying the results, only to be defied by a few brave men and women in the courts and at local level.

Finally, social media is both a symptom and a cause of liberal democracy’s present discontents. As I can testify after my 14 years as editor of the Financial Times, the digital revolution transformed modern media, both for the good and bad. The internet destroyed the traditional business model of newspapers based on advertising, but it also removed barriers to distribution, allowing insurgents to enter the market and offering (the best) publishers the chance to become global brands.

On the other hand, the rise of Big Tech – in the shape of powerful global platforms such as Apple, Facebook and Google – stripped mainstream media of their traditional role as 'gatekeepers' on the flow of information to the public. In a fragmented market, where information can be spread at speed and at scale, those who shout loudest gain the most clicks and attention. Truth is often the first casualty.

In sum, we have only begun to scratch the surface in understanding how the cheap armies of social media with their targeted messaging have begun to impact our democratic politics. Vladimir Putin understood the potential better than anyone, with the possible exception of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

After more than a year of living under lockdown during the Covid pandemic, it is easy to feel pessimistic about the future of liberal democracy. Political leaders have been found wanting. Social and economic inequality has risen. For the second time in just over a decade, the liberal capitalist system has had to be bailed out by the state and central banks, to the tune of trillions of dollars.

But authoritarian rulers like Putin also struggled. His approval ratings slipped to historic lows last spring as the Covid virus raged. Russia’s oil dependent economy is not delivering higher living standards: GDP has fallen by 30% since 2013, squeezing an embryonic middle class and diminishing prospects for the younger generation. These are conditions which breed discontent.

Tim Garton Ash, the Oxford historian, believes liberalism must fight back on three fronts: the defence of traditional liberal values and institutions; a reform of “one dimensional economic liberalism” and its most extreme form of “market fundamentalism”; and finally using liberal means to tackle global challenges such as climate change, pandemics and the rise of China, the new force on the global chessboard.

This is the stuff of further debate. For now, it is safe to say that after a dismal decade, the West has a chance to stop the rot. But the task is urgent. Was Putin right to declare victory in Cold War 2.0?
https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/brexit-news/europe-news/putin-and-the-liberal-west-7833230
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
I'll just have to watch this once more. (y) Still keep thinking the first black is going to get rejected by the pocket jaws. Somehow it makes its way in.

Ronnie is taking part in a special event in August at Melton.
The Rocket’, known for his fast and attacking style, is appearing in a unique event at Jackson’s Lounge in August and eight people will have the privilege of playing a frame against him in front of an audience of around 100.

It promises to be a special evening for snooker fans with former professional and now top TV commentator, John Virgo, acting as compère.

The night, at the King Street club, is the culmination of many hours of planning by owner Ben Jackson.

He said: ”It’s quite a coup to get such a high profile player to come to our club as we are a relatively small venue in a market town.

Ronnie, who is often called the most naturally gifted and greatest player of all time, has such charisma and is sure to put on a dazzling display.

Ben said he read that Ronnie was starting to do exhibitions again so contacted Jason Francis, creator of the Snooker Legends events company, to find out what was involved.

Ben added: “Dates were booking up fast so I had to act quickly.
“It should be a superb evening - an intimate experience with Ronnie back in a club environment.”

There will also be a professional referee to oversee play.
Tickets for the event on Saturday, August 7 are £65.

They are available to members now - people can become a member at the same time as buying a ticket - and will go on general sale from next Friday (June 11).

The cost of playing a frame against Ronnie is £250.

One of the places will be up for grabs in a competition and another in a prize draw.
The remaining places will be available on a first come-first served basis.''
Damn, I'd part with the £250 to play a frame against Ronnie even though I'm a terrible player. I'd want him to tell me that I don't belong on TV because I don't know how to play. :giggle:
 
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Vcore89

G.O.A.T.
I'll just have to watch this once more. (y) Still keep thinking the first black is going to get rejected by the pocket jaws. Somehow it makes its way in.

Ronnie is taking part in a special event in August at Melton.


Damn, I'd part with the £250 to play a frame against Ronnie even though I'm a terrible player. I'd want him to tell me that I don't belong on TV because I don't know how to play. :giggle:
Don't spend all of £250 in one place, Ronnie would tell you that. Instead, spend £125 each playing a frame with Judd and Mark.;)
 
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