Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Equus ("Harry Potter" nude)

Daily Mail has a new article on Equus, the play in which Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe sheds his clothes and hits the stage.







This seems like a brave step by Daniel to get away from his branding as "Harry Potter", even though some narrow-minded parents object to his nude scenes, according to Daily Mail.

John Arne Riise nude

Sexy Norwegian soccer player John Arne Riise has sent a nude photo to Charlotte Fredriksen, according to her blog. If true, it was not a good idea, as Charlotte posted it.



Update: according to Dagbladet, the photo is from a series taken for an interview in 2005, but this particular photo was not published then.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Stupid Norman ad

Every time I turn on my computer, an "ad" flashes up, asking me "Would you go for anything but green?" - showing a picture of a pedestrian traffic light. This is a Norman (virus defence etc) start-up screen.

The problem (for Norman) is that I most certainly would. In Norway, passing the street on a red light is perfectly legal - you just have to make sure there are no traffic around that might kill you. Therefore, only passing on green means choosing to be overly protective, at the cost of being held up, not progressing.

So the image Norman's ad gives is that it is a product for those who want something slow and safer than necessary. Which may explain why I don't use Norman at home.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Nude medical students get attention

NRK today writes about how the new students in medicine at the University of Oslo were welcomed, at a party arranged by older students: "Simulation of sex without clothes, licking of rats, towers of half-naked students [...]"

One of the students says: "If you came into the house, Domus Medica, where we were, you would see, in one corner, someone in a boxer shorts drinking shots and drinking soya sauce, in the hallway, two half-naked people would run around a beer can to get dizzy. And on the second floor, there would be a long row of maybe ten half-naked or naked people".



Nothing like that existed when I was a student...

(The photo is a Spencer Tunick, by the way - it's not the actual students... No known photographs exist of their party.)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

M. Carlsen - A. Shirov ½-½

To decide who would be at the bottom of the table after Corus Chess 2007, Magnus today met Alexey Shirov. Sadly, there was another draw, and Magnus ended up with a shared 13th place with Shirov. Here's the end result:

1. V. Topalov 8½
1. L. Aronian 8½
1. T. Radjabov 8½
4. V. Kramnik 8
5. V. Anand 7½
6. P. Svidler 7
7. S. Karjakin 6½
7. D. Navara 6½
9. R. Ponomariov 6
10. L. van Wely 5
10. S. Tiviakov 5
10. A. Motylev 5
13. A. Shirov 4½
13. M. Carlsen 4½

By the way, the FIDE today announced that there will be no rematch between Kramnik and Topalov before the World Championship tournament in Mexico in November-December, according to veselintopalov.net. The decision seems to be a quite straightforward decision based on the current rules of the FIDE. So then we can only wait until then to see who will be the new World Champion.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I'm puzzled (again)

I've just been following A. Shirov - L. Aronian. This was the situation before the 55th move:



Shirov chose 55. Kd4, which in my mind (and with my moderately able computer) seems to put him in an awkward position. The game went on with 55. ... Nf3+ 56. Kd3 Kxa3 57. Ke4 1/2-1/2



Could someone explain why Aronian accepted a draw in this position? It seems possible to win this, doesn't it? (But then, I'm easily puzzled...)

The standings after this match are as follows:
1. V. Topalov 8
1. T. Radjabov 8
3. L. Aronian 7½
4. V. Anand 7
4. P. Svidler 7
4. V. Kramnik 7
7. D. Navara 6
8. S. Karjakin 5½
8. R. Ponomariov 5½
10. L. van Wely 5
10. S. Tiviakov 5
12. A. Motylev 4½
13. A. Shirov 4
13. M. Carlsen 4

Radjabov-Topalov tomorrow will therefore be very interesting. As will Carlsen-Shirov (for Norwegians).

S. Karjakin - M. Carlsen ½-½

Another draw for Magnus today, with black against Sergey Karjakin, an almost equal-rated player - by threefold repetition. A much shorter game than yesterday, with only 35 moves. Karjakin seemed to have a tiny edge through most of the game, but never decisive, and then this situation turned up after 31 moves (black to move):



After 31. d4+, Karjakin had nothing better to do than protect his king with his bishop, whereafter Magnus threatened the queen and Karjakin had to keep protecting...
32. Be4 Qe6 33. Bf5 Qc6+ 34. Be4 Qe6 35. Bf5 Qc6+

It would be terribly nice if Magnus managed one win in this tournament, but the only chance is tomorrow (with white against Alexey Shirov, who was, before this round, occupying a shared 13th place with Magnus). He currently has 4 points after 12 games, which is certainly a bit less than we would have hoped for.

Friday, January 26, 2007

M. Carlsen - L. van Wely ½-½

A long, long game today ended with a stalemate after 109 moves. Magnus had a good position early on, only to lose the initiative to van Wely. Only an error by van Wely made it possible for Magnus to save half the point:



Here, van Wely chose 53. Kf6. It is hard to see how he could get anything more than a draw out of that, while 53. Kh6 would probably still keep a win within reach. That they kept playing for another 56 moves is amazing.



The main surprise of the day was clearly Topalov's loss against Peter Svidler, which leaves Svidler only half a point behind Topalov. Topalov seemed to be heading for a win in the game (and the tournament), but after two big mistakes, the game swung the other way.

The second (and main) error occured in this situation, according to Susan Polgar's live comment:



Topalov chose 34. f5??, which was followed by 36.Qd2 Qxd2 37.Rxd2 Kg6?

Final Fanasy XII



In today's Aftenposten there's a review of Final Fantasy XII, which gets a top score from Aftenposten's reviewer.

I must admit I sometimes wonder what I'm missing when I don't know a thing about what Final Fantasy is. I haven't played fantasy games since I played "The Hobbit" on a ZX Spectrum in the mid-80s, and I do have a tiny suspicion that things have moved on a bit. At least, the pictures seem to have improved... :-)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Movie: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan



Some of the scenes in this movie are really hilarious. They manage to be both incredibly funny at the same time as they reveal depressing sides of American society. Not sides we don't know of, of course, but sides we need to be reminded of.

One important part of the first sentence is "Some of" - this is a very uneven movie, with parts not much better than what an average teenager would be able to make with a hidden camera. But try to bear with the worse parts and enjoy the good ones.

An amazing fact about this movie is that many of the people in it has sued Sacha Baron Cohen. This must be motivated by the huge piles of money he has after the success of this movie. It can obviously not be motivated by a regard for their own reputation - the reasonable thing to do if you have been taped saying disgusting things about gays, jews or other minorities, would be to pretend that you were playing a role to please this filmmaker, not to draw attention to the fact that you actually said these things seriously...

All in all, well worth a look. But we don't need a follow-up...



Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)
Directed by Larry Charles
Main actors:
Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat Sagdiyev
Ken Davitian as Azamat Bagatov

Index

Topalov - Carlsen 1-0

Magnus is at the bottom (with Shirov) after today's loss against Corus Chess' leader (and world #1) Topalov. It wasn't surprising that Magnus would struggle, of course, but according to the official Corus Chess site, Magnus made at least two important questionable moves, which sealed his fate.

The rest of the games should decidedly be more within reach for Magnus. They are
M. Carlsen - L. van Wely
S. Karjakin - M. Carlsen
M. Carlsen - A. Shirov

So, the last game may decide who takes the demoralizing 14th spot...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

M. Carlsen - T. Radjabov ½-½

Radjabov was in the lead of the tournament only three days ago, so I did not expect Magnus to do too well today. But it turned out to be totally okay, as they agreed on remis after Magnus' 21st move. As Kramnik and Topolov also played draws after twentyish moves, Susan Polgar (in her enjoyable blog) headed her posting on these games "Players taking a second consecutive day off"...

It is indeed a bit interesting, this. In which other sport would people be that defensive - and get away with it? Granted, it does happen that both soccer teams seem to be only too happy with a draw, but in that case at least the spectactors feel free to verbally abuse the players...

In soccer, by the way, the problem was addressed by awarding 3 points for a win and only 1 for a draw. The idea is free... :-)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Kramnik - Carlsen 1/2 - 1/2

A solid game by Magnus today gave him half a point with the black pieces against the world champion. Great work!

Here's the end:



Kramnik then did 28. Qxb7, at which point they called it a day. Now, there is a day off before Carlsen meets Radjabov, who was leading the tournament before this day. Then he's facing Topalov on Wednesday, who will possibly be in the lead after today. (Radjabov has not finished his game at the time of writing...)

Here's a photo of Carlsen having some time off, by the way...

Naked yoga?

Montreal Mirror writes about the new thing in yoga in Montreal, imported from the country of George W. Bush: Nude yoga!



"Flewelling reports that one of the main questions he gets asked is, "What if I get an erection?"

"My response is that that is part of being male. The question itself suggests shame. There’s nothing wrong with an erection. They happen. And they do disappear pretty quickly too."

For more information, go to nakedyoga.net."




That's another thing that's not in Oslo yet...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Carlsen - Svidler

The game between Magnus Carlsen and Peter Svidler is going on at the moment. Magnus seemed to be doing fine, but at the moment I'm worried about his 30th move. The position was like this:



Carlsen chose 30. Ng3, while my computer thinks 20. Kg1 would be a much better bet. It will be interesting to see if Magnus knew what he was doing...

(It turned out he never got back in the game, and lost. So: three defeats and four draws so far. And no big expectations with black against world champion Kramnik today...)

Motylev - Carlsen 1/2-1/2

According to the reports, Motylev had Magnus on his knees yesterday, but didn't see the opportunity to decide it. Thereby, Magnus has probably had an equal amount of luck and unluck in this Corus Chess...



Motylev tried 28. g4, which got him nowhere, while 28. Re1 would have put Magnus' under a lot of pressure, with a hypothetical continuation of 28…Nf5 29.cxd5! Nxd4 30.dxe6+ Kg8 31. e7+



Luckily, Magnus didn't get in that position...

Now, Magnus is already playing his game (with white) against Svidler (world #12). It would have been fun to see him win a game soon...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Fashion

Some fashion trends that just don't fit the Norwegian winter climate:







(From Femina.no.)

L. Aronian - M. Carlsen ½-½

Another day in Corus Chess 2007, another draw. But this was a bit more impressive than the last one - Aronian is the world #7, and should normally be expected to win with white against Magnus.



Tomorrow will be interesting - Magnus has black against Motylev, who is one of only three players in this tournament that are supposedly not better than Magnus. Maybe that will be the day of Magnus' first win in this tournament?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Carlsen - Anand 1/2

I planned to write a blog post on every one of Magnus Carlsen's games in Corus Chess, but today's game against Viswanathan Anand (the world's no. 2), almost does not deserve a post. They decided on a draw after only 20 moves - which must be an ok result for Magnus against a player with a rating 89 points higher than him, and ok for Anand as well with black. After tomorrow - which is a day of rest - Magnus will perhaps be rested and full of fighting spirit with the black pieces against Aronian.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Wrestler Fritz Aanes nude

John Andresen is back with an update of his website - now with Norwegian wrestler Fritz Aanes (who did well in the Olympics a few years ago).



Here's a photo from Team Aanes, by the way:



R. Ponomariov - M. Carlsen 1-0

Another day at Corus Chess, and another disappointment from Magnus. Although that is perhaps a bit harsh - I shouldn't expect him to take points in too many of his games with black.

After 16. Nc8 the position was already desperate for Magnus:



He chose 16. ... Qxc8, which, sadly, seems to be the best move in that position. The alternative is to save the rook with 16. ... Ra8, whereafter 17. Nxd6 would put the rook on f8 in an awkward position. Anyway, he never surfaced after this. Tomorrow, Anand is waiting with the black pieces!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Movie: Sweet Charity



Decidedly dated, this movie nonetheless has a bit of good music, entertaining dancing and funny episodes to be worth seeing. I'm not sure I would say the same if I saw it on an ordinary tv - I saw it as part of the Cinematek's almost-yearly 70mm-festival. That means that I saw the movie the way it was meant to be seen, not in some dvd, vhs or 35mm version...

The story is ridiculous, and could have been told in a fraction of the two and a half hours that Bob Fosse spends. At times, it is all too obvious that the story is just an excuse to film dancing. And Shirley MacLaine is a bit too sweet for my taste (even though I should of course have been warned by the title...)



Sweet Charity (1969)
Directed by Bob Fosse
Main actors:
Shirley MacLaine as Charity Hope Valentine
John McMartin as Oscar Lindquist

Index

Magnus Carlsen - David Navara 0-1



Magnus Carlsen didn't manage to win in his first party with white in Corus Chess 2007. According to my computer, he was positionally ahead for most of the game, but unable to turn the advantage into a point - instead, he lost. After 27 moves, this was the situation:



Here, 28. Be5+ seems obvious to me, but Magnus chose 28. h3 instead. (According to comments on this post, Fritz also prefers 28. h3, so I guess that move's advantages positionally outweights the advantages of 28. Be5+)

A few moves later, Magnus again had a chance to nudge the game in the right direction, when Navara gave Magnus this situation:



He played 32. a5, but my computer suggests 32. c6, which would seem to force an exchange of queens, and giving the black rook a whole lot of trouble as well. What happened in the game was that the pawns were exchanged before the queens, giving the black rook an easy game.

(Chess is so easy as long as I can rely on my computer instead of playing myself...)

I hope Magnus does better tomorrow - he will need a bit of confidence in the run-up to the matches against Anand (Tuesday), Aronian (Thursday), Kramnik (Sunday) and Topalov (next Wednesday).

Corus Chess 2007

The chess tournament Corus Chess 2007 is underway in Wijk aan Zee. One reason for Norwegians to follow this closely, is that 16 year old Magnus Carlsen is having his first tournament at this level - meeting both Topalov, Anand and Kramnik.

There are 14 players in the A group, and 6 of the 7 games in round one were drawn. In group B, Georgiev met Eljanov, and this was the standing after 42 moves (after Georgiev had just given away a rock at e1):


(Online
Chess Diagram Editor
)

43. Qxh2 Qf1+ 44. Nf2 Bxf2

I'm very much an amateur, so I don't automatically see the trouble with taking the bishop here. But the problem becomes evident seconds later...

45. Qxf2? e4+ 0-1

A better idea would be 45. Ke4. Of course, the position is pretty hopeless anyway, but the little twist in the ends the game brutally.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Norwegian victory in 4 Schanzen Tournee

Anders Jacobsen won the prestigious 4 Schanzen Tournee today - in his very first World Cup-season. Congratulations!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Student sex in the US

New York Daily News writes about the sex practices of students at Columbia University.

"While their parents shell out $33,246 a year in tuition, Columbia University students doff their clothes at naked parties, flock to sex toys workshops, broadcast porn on campus TV, bake anatomically correct pies for the "Erotic Cake-Baking Contest" and heat up the steps of the Low Library in a mass makeout session called the "Big Kiss."," the journalist writes.

I know that the competition among universities to be attractive among the students is hard, but this seems to be a new way of catching prospective students' attention...

Nude swim in freezing water

"Swim in freezing water with chubby Berliners" is the title of an article in "The Berlin Paper". Apparently, a nude swim event takes place every year - 1 January at 11 am. Looks a bit cold...



Happy new year!

Handball World Championship coming up...

In only two weeks, the handball world championship is starting. Norway is in a group with Denmark, Hungary and Angola, and is expected to make second place, according to bookmakers. It will be interesting to watch.

As usual, one of Norway's most important players is Kristian Kjelling, which gives me another excuse to include his photo here...

Friday, January 05, 2007

The world's 25 sexiest beaches

Forbes Traveler has made a list of the 25 sexiest beaches of the world. The ones I've been to are in bold - you see that I have a whole lot of travelling yet to do...

Byron Bay (New South Wales, Australia)
Eleuthera (The Bahamas)
Pinney's Beach (Nevis)
Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)
Saline Beach (Saint-Barthélemy)
Shoal Bay (Anguilla)
Copacabana (Rio de Janeiro)
Ipanema Beach (Rio de Janeiro)
Placencia (Belize)
Lover's Beach (Cabo San Lucas, Baja Peninsula)
Playa del Carmen (Yucatan Peninsula)
Monterosso al Mare (Cinque Terre)
Nissi Beach (Cyprus)
Paradise Beach (Mykonos Island)
Playa d'en Bossa (Ibiza)
Pula Beach (Sardinia)
Red Beach (Santorini)
Tahiti Beach (Saint-Tropez)
Lhaviyani Atoll (Maldives)
Natadola Beach (Fiji)
Phang Nga Bay (Phuket)
Sanur Beach (Seminyak, Bali)
Ka'anapali Beach (Maui, Hawaii)
Kauapea Beach (Kauai, Hawaii)
South Beach (Florida)

miami1

Monday, January 01, 2007

Movie: A room with a view

At the moment, there is a video on Youtube showing some of my favorite scenes from A Room with a View (my favorite movie of all time). Have a look while it's still there:

2006: tithing

In April, I decided to take up the ancient practice of "tithing", that is: to give 10% of what I earn to good causes. (Although in a slightly adjusted version, giving 10% of what I earn _after tax_.) This of course means I have to choose some good causes. Here are the causes I've given to in 2006:

Red Cross 22,9%
Medicins sans frontiers 22,9%
Amnesty 14,9%
Redd barna 14,3%
Plan 12,3%
Kreftforeningen 5,7%
Unicef 5,7%
Care 1,4%

I take the same approach as with stocks - diversifying decreases the chance that lots of money will be wasted. And I'm happy with the profile - most of the money go to helping disadvantaged people in poor countries, while a bit goes to human rights work and a little to cancer research.

By giving a little to these causes, I also get flooded by magazines on their particular areas, which hopefully means that I will some day be more qualified to give intelligently than I am today...

Garmisch-Partenkirchen



Andreas Küttel won the Garmisch-Partenkirchen part of the week, after only one jump, when the second part was cancelled due to uneven conditions.

Here's the top three after three jumps, according to 4schanzentournee.com:
01 G.Schlierenzauer AUT 425.4
02 A.Kuettel SUI 422.4
03 A.Jacobsen NOR 407.8



Ski jumping

Ski jumping is going on in Germany and Austria these days. Here are a few photos I found from this summer:





Tom Hilde




Anders Jacobsen




Bjørn-Einar Romøren