Arsenal 1-2 Brighton | Premier League highlights | Dec 5, 2019

We were beaten by Brighton on another frustrating night at Emirates Stadium.

In Freddie Ljungberg’s first home match in charge since becoming our interim head coach, we made a bright start – but soon the visitors started to take control.

Neal Maupay fired one shot across the face of goal that somehow evaded the foot of Aaron Connolly, before Bern Leno was called into action to deny the former after he took aim from distance.

Our goalkeeper was called upon again soon afterwards to palm away Davy Propper’s shot, but two minutes later the Seagulls took the lead when Adam Webster poked in after a scramble in the area.

Joe Willock had a close-range header saved by Mat Ryan before the interval, but having been unable to make the breakthrough, Ljungberg brought on Nicolas Pepe for the second half.

We needed more, and we soon got it as Alex Lacazette equalised, meeting a corner and send a looping header to the back post where it just crept in.

Game on.

The crowd responded as we continued to drive forward and threaten, although Brighton were dangerous on the break and we were again indebted to Leno as he denied Maupay from close range.

David Luiz soon had a goal disallowed for offside after a VAR check, before the visitors retook the lead when Mooy crossed for Maupay to head into the far corner.

Gabriel Martinelli came close with a glancing header than Mat Ryan did well to palm away as the game neared stoppage time, while Nicolas Pepe saw a free kick fly inches wide.

But there was no way through, and our winless run in the Premier League extended to nine games.

#arsenal #premierleague #highlights

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Arsenal Football Club were formed in 1886. They have amassed 13 League titles, 13 FA Cups and many other major trophies since then. Their greatest players include: Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams, Ian Wright, Robert Pires, Liam Brady, Patrick Vieira, Cliff Bastin and Charlie George.

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Lionel Messi V Cristiano Ronaldo – Who Is the Greatest?

Last night saw yet another epic El Classico where Lionel Messi and Cristano Ronaldo continued their ongoing battle for World supremacy. Barcelona and Real Madrid played out a spectacular 2-2 draw with Ronaldo and his arch nemesis Messi scoring all of the goals. These two players are taking the art of a footballer to whole new levels, but whilst there is no denying that they are the stand-out talents of their generation, and perhaps of all-time, the ongoing question is ‘who of the two is the greatest?’ Whilst there is no definitive correct answer to this, the widely held view over recent years has been that Messi is the King and Ronaldo the very talented Prince. However, the gap between the magical Argentinean and the Portuguese adonis appears to be closing, with some feeling that Ronaldo now deserves the crown of ‘World’s Best Player’.

Despite often playing just behind the main striker, Messi seems to be able to score from anywhere and everywhere. Last season, at the age of only 24, he became Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer. In addition to that he also broke the 39 year old record which was set my German super striker Gerd Muller for most goals in a single European season. Amazingly, Ronaldo has managed a similar record to Messi and their overall ‘goals to games’ ratio since 2009 is almost identical. Despite starting his career as a winger, Ronaldo’s ‘eye for goal’ became apparent under Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. His trademark ‘dipping’ free-kicks and solo goals prompted Real Madrid to break the World transfer record to bring the Old Trafford hero to the Bernabeu. Just as Messi can often be found collecting the ball in his own half, Ronaldo often drifts back in search of possession, and is also found in wide positions tormenting the opposing left and right backs. Given the fact that neither player is what is referred to as a ‘goal poacher’ makes their records even more unbelievable.

With regard to awards, both team based and personal, Messi is the clear winner at present. He has won the Ballon d’Or three years running (much to the obvious dismay of Ronaldo!), and his La Liga and Champions League silverware outweigh Ronaldo’s.

In conclusion it is evident that both Lionel Messi and Cristano Ronaldo are head and shoulders above any other current players in World football and there are no signs of this changing any time soon. Given their relatively young ages there is every possibility that they will go down as the two greatest players in the history of the sport. For all the achievements of Pele, Maradona, Eusebio etc, there is already a case to be made that Messi and Ronaldo have matched and surpassed them all. The fact that two such players are present in the same era, playing in the same league and at almost the same ages makes the comparison slightly easier, so here goes…

Lionel Messi is currently the ‘World Greatest Footballer’ with Cristano Ronaldo an extremely close second. The fact that Lionel Messi has been officially awarded this title three years running with the Ballon d’Or adds weight to the argument. That along with minor points such as his superior assists record, the fact that he has consistently made more appearances than Ronaldo and that his all-round team-play is slightly better just edges it for the Argentinean genius at present. In Ronaldo’s defence he is the faster / stronger physical specimen, has better heading ability and does not have a Xavi or Iniesta to link up with, but this just doesn’t quite level it – for now!!!

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Six Guided Tour Options for Your Paris Trips

Why would I pay for a guided walking tour? There are two good responses to that question:

The first would be that I only have a short time in the city and I want to maximize what I see. Tours can be particularly useful for giving you a nice over view of popular attractions. Which would lead to my second reason for taking a tour – now that I have a good over view of the city I can choose where I want to spend my in-depth time. My last reason for taking a tour would be that I am traveling alone. The group interaction is an added plus for the single traveler. Some of these tour groups even provide tours especially for single women.

These tour groups are not listed in any particular order as far as quality or cost. They are here to provide you with options in planning your trip to France. All tours are in English.

Discover Walks – Their motto is «see Paris with a Parisian. Their tours include:

  • Paris Landmarks
  • Notre DameTour
  • Romantic Paris

Paris Conciergerie Like the concierge desk at a fine hotel, Paris Conciergerie will help you organize your trip. Their tours include:

  • French Wine Introductory Tasting
  • Paris Tour and Eiffel Tower Visit
  • Paris a la Carte
  • Paris Must See Tour – major landmarks and monuments
  • Lunch Cruise Irresistible – a two hour lunch cruise in a glass topped boat.
  • Disneyland Resort Paris
  • Versaille Audio Guided Tour
  • Panorama Paris tour- history and major landmarks
  • Monet’s Giverny
  • Louvre Museum Guided Tour
  • Wine and Cheese Tasting Lunch
  • Fontainebleau and Barbizon Tour
  • Champagne Discovery Tour
  • Loire Valley Castles Tour

Paris Walks «All our guides are university graduates, knowledgeable, professional and enthusiastic about Paris and its history.» Tours include:

  • The Old Marais Quarter
  • The French Revolution Tour
  • The Village of Montmartre
  • The Two Islands
  • St Germain de Prés
  • Hemingway’s Paris
  • Paris Chocolate Tour
  • Several Fashion Walks
  • Private Tours

Classic Walks of Paris Tours vary from broad overiews of the city to themed subjects or to specific areas. Tours include:

  • Classic Walk – overview of the city
  • Da Vinci Code Walk – follows Dan Brown’s novel throughout Paris
  • The French Revolution Walk – follows the gripping tales from the overthrow of the monarchy to the guillotine
  • World War I Walk – Paris’ darkest hours in history
  • Montmartre Walk
  • Latin Quarter Walk
  • Wine Tasting Experience
  • D-Day Beaches Day Trip
  • Paris du Jour – itineraries exclusively for small groups of women
  • Fat Tire Bike Tours
  • City Segway Tours

Private walking tours in Paris Each personalized walk is about three hours long with a small break.

  • Saint Michel District- The Roman and Student Area
  • The Islands ‘ La Cite ‘ and ‘Saint-Louis’ – The Middle Ages
  • The Marais – The Parisian Renaissance and Louis XIV
  • The Tuileries Gardens and the Classic Style of Paris
  • The Covered Passages – Paris of the Empire Period
  • Les Halles – Paris Old and New
  • Paris and The Seine River
  • Montmartre

Rick Steve’s Paris Audio Tours – mp3 and map downloads available at this link –

There are many choices and you may even want to schedule more than one tour. Personally, I am adding the chocolate tour to my «to do» list the next time I am in Paris!

Bonne Vacance!

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Why Is Paris Considered One Of The Most Romantic Cities In The World?

Norm Goldman, Editor of Sketchandtravel and Bookpleasures is excited to have as a guest, world- wide Paris expert, Thirza Vallois. Thirza is the author of the three volumes of "Around and About Paris", and another excellent book, "Romantic Paris".

Thirza has lived in Paris for the past 40 years and holds several post-graduate degrees from La Sorbonne. She contributes to television and radio and has appeared on PBS, BBC, The Travel Channel, Discovery, CNN, The French Cultural Channel, among others. She also writes for The Financial Times, United Airlines' Hemispheres, Condé Nast Traveler, among others.

She is the author of Three Perfect Days in Paris, aired as a film on all United Airlines international flights and on television throughout the world. The article has won her the first award of NATJA (the North American Travel Journalists' Association).

Thirza has also contributed the Paris entry of the latest edition of The Encarta Encyclopaedia.

Thirza is also an expert on the Aveyron area in southern France. During the past several years she has devoted much of her time to exploring and studying this region of France. She is now completing a new book on this last hidden region of France, to be published in 2006.

Thirza has also informed me that she has been traveling extensively in the USA, especially to California, about which she has written a couple of articles, with more to follow

Today, Thirza will be discussing with us why Paris is so romantic?

Good day Thirza and thank you for accepting to be interviewed by and


Thirza, could you tell us something about yourself, how you started as a travel author and writer, how many travel books have your written, and why have you chosen to write about Paris?


A long time ago, when I was still a child, and traveling was still the privilege of the "happy enlightened few", I happened to be blessed with an exceptional mother who believed that the best school was life itself and that the best way to embrace life was by traveling.

My exposure therefore started at a very young age, as did my love for writing, through which I expressed myself the way one does through painting, singing, playing an instrument, dancing …. I never intended to become a writer, it was just part of me. And I never chose to write about Paris. It just happened, and for two specific reasons looking back with hindsight.

Being a savvy traveler, it upset me to see how most visitors to Paris (and any other place), do it the wrong way, using directory-like guidebooks that make them go through all the endless lists of touristy "musts", rather than point them to the "real" place, which is the city itself. It is only through an in-depth exploration and the understanding of a place that one can make the most of one's visit, and that's what my books "Around and About Paris" are all about.

Like all forms of self-expression, there is always an element of therapy behind the motivation, and I certainly needed to do my own therapy regarding Paris when the idea of ​​writing about Paris began to gestate in my mind, back in the 1980s. Paris has changed dramatically since, but in those days it was an exasperating place, inhabited by very difficult people, to say the least, and my feelings for it were far from the phony "I love Paris in the spring time" picture postcard cultivated by Hollywood. It was really a love and hate passion, and I needed to understand my own heart, which could only happen through understanding the city.

It is the combination of the above that gave birth to my 3-volume series, "Around and About Paris". As for "Romantic Paris", it was their natural extension in a way. Once I provided my reader with all the meaty stuff, it was time to relax, enjoy and feast, and who does it better than lovers? It was a book written for lovers, past, present, and future, for whom Paris, more than any other city I can think of, has been designed by the gods. This also answers your other question. I have so far written four books on Paris. I have actually written a fifth book on Paris, targeting children, but have never pursued its publication (to my regret), having embarked on my new project, my book on the Aveyron which is now more than two thirds done.


Can you explain to our audience why Paris is among the top romantic
venues in the world?


Everyone asks me this same question, on every interview. The answer I give is always the same, and best resumed in the introduction to "Romantic Paris". Rather than paraphrase, let me quote directly from my book:

"For decades I tried to figure out why Paris is shrouded in such mystique. Granted, walks at night along the Seine are enchanting, but that alone cannot explain why the very mention of Paris had always conjured up tales of romance, well before it was blessed with gas or electricity, well before its exquisitely lit street-corners were replicated the world over in black-and-white print. After all, medieval Paris was a dark den of filth, reeking with nauseous stench, and the two sinister prison fortresses that jutted out of its skyline could hardly have been conducive to romance. Not to mention the 32 rotting corpses dangling in the offing when the royal gallows was used to full capacity. Yet the myth has been perpetuated for a good thousand years.

I racked my brains, I dug into the past, I traveled into my own psyche looking for an answer, but I came back empty-handed. There simply is no answer. There lies the beauty of the enigma. Paris is poetry, Paris is mystery, Paris is beauty-an exasperating decoy that never quite delivers, all the more compelling for its imperfection, the archetypal reservoir of all our passions …. "


If you had to choose six unique romantic venues in Paris, where would they be and why?


Very tough question, and it sometimes depends on the season or time of day or night, because "romantic" implies seclusion.

* Definitely the two western tips of the two central islands, Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint-Louis, but down the steps, at water level, and in the case of Ile Saint-Louis, preferably after dark.

* The tiny place de Fürstemberg, near the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés: it is a rare jewel after dark, but is also quite heavenly in the morning, when one can meanwhile take in the delightful little Delacroix Museum.

* Place Dauphine, on the western side of Ile de la Cité, also preferably after dark.

* Buttes Chaumont, which has all the ingredients of a Brahms symphony that would have appealed to the likes of Lord Byron: a grotto, a dramatic waterfall, a lake with weeping willows, sheer cliffs topped by a Temple de l'Amour-what better place for a lovers' kiss with eastern Paris spread like a carpet at your feet!

* Palais Royal (the home of writer Colette and Jean Cocteau), in early morning, before the arrival of the crowds, or at night time, after they have departed.

* Montmartre, especially on the little frequented side streets, again in the early hours of the morning, or after dark.


Could you describe to our audience six unique wedding venues in Paris to celebrate a marriage, and explain why you would consider these venues to be most unique?


Once more the choice is tough, so I am trying to be as eclectic as I can, to match people's different tastes.

* Without any shadow of doubt, my first choice would go to a cruise boat on the river Seine. These come in different categories and different price ranges, my favorite fleet being "Les Yachts de Paris". Nothing equals in terms of urban beauty and glamor the city's river views, even more so when seen from the water. Try to prolong your festivities into the night so as to enjoy the splendor of the floodlighting.

Les Yachts de Paris

10, quai Henri IV, 75004

Tel: 01 44 54 14 70

* At a price, every monument of Paris is for hire, even the Château of Versailles. If I were to hire one of them (or just part of one) for my wedding, I would probably go for the Jacquemart-André Museum, because as the one-time home of the famous art collectors Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart, it has a private feel, to a certain extent, despite its palatial glamor, which makes it an ideal venue for a wedding occasion. The couple's fabulous art collection is on permanent display on the magnificent premises of the museum.

Musée Jacquemart-André

158, Boulevard Haussmann, 75008

* Countrified weddings are always appealing, and the Bois de Boulogne is as countrified as you can get within the boundaries of Paris. Le Pré Catelan offers luxury and refinement amidst beautiful green surroundings, combined with the renowned Le Nôtre's top-quality catering.

Le Pré Catelan

Bois de Boulogne

Route de Suresnes, 75016

Tel 01 44 14 41 14

* If you wish to have it countrified while staying in central Paris, you can opt for the discreet magnificence of the peach-colored Laurent, in the lower gardens of the Champs-Elysées, and still enjoy the leafy surroundings of one of the city's most prestigious neighborhoods (the presidential residence is across the street). Make sure to hire a dining room that comes with a terrace.

Le Laurent

41, avenue Gabriel, 75008

Tel: 01 42 25 00 39

* There was once an excellent film by Chabrol, Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie. That kind of charm, which was first and foremost that of the old aristocracy, was beautifully captured by Marcel Proust. It still lingers on Faubourg Saint Germain in the 7th arrondissement, notably in the 18th century townhouse, now the home of the celebrated Ecole Polytechnique alumni, where many of the nation's creme de la creme elite were trained.

La Maison des Polytechniciens

12, rue de Poitiers

75007 Paris

Tél: 01 49 54 74 74

* The avenue d'Iéna, in the plush neighborhood of the 16th arrondissement, is home to a magnificent town mansion from the late 19th century, decorated in traditional, period French style and overlooking a beautiful garden. Ideal for a wedding in grand style.

La Maison des Arts et Métiers

9bis avenue d'Iéna

75116 Paris

Tel: 01 40 69 27 00


If you are planning to have a destination wedding in Paris, how far in advance should you prepare for the wedding, and where would you go to find out about the legal requirements?


There is a strict separation between state and church in France (see the recent headlines about the Islamic veil …..). This is important to understand because only civil marriage is recognised by French law. It is celebrated by the Mayor of the arrondissement where one of the spouses resides, and the ceremony takes place in the Salle de Marriage of the Mairie of that same arrondissement. There is a legal procedure to go by and you will need to seek legal advice for that. If you are considering a civil marriage in France, a lawyer is the person to consult, obviously (although I do know how it works, this is not the right forum to expand on administrative issues). You may also require the service of a notaire, should you be dealing with property issues. Your lawyer can refer you to a notaire. On the other hand, you don't need to be a French resident for the celebration of your religious or non-religious ceremony, nor do you need any legal advice for that. However, you should definitely prepare for it as early as possible because, as they say, "the early bird catches the prey". Certainly months ahead, if not a year, should you plan your wedding to take place in spring or early summer.


If you had to choose three of the most romantic restaurants in Paris, which ones would you choose and why?


* If by romantic we imply secluded cosiness which is what lovers usually seek, and since I haven't yet focused on winter, the Coupe Chou comes first to my mind, located in an ancient medieval house in the Latin Quarter, a few steps away from the Sorbonne. It's all dark nooks and crannies, which are graced with glowing log fires. If only it could snow more often in Paris than it does these days! It would then be altogether fit for a fairy tale. As an extra bonus, this is a medium-range restaurant pricewise.

Le Coupe-Chou

9, rue de Lanneau, 75005

Tel: 01 46 33 68 69

* Le Beauvilliers in Montmartre, on the other hand, is a pricy place, but as good as it comes and cheaper than others that fall into that category. Here you step into the romantic splendor of the Second Empire in the heart of real Montmartre, just a few minutes'walk from the differently (yet equally) romantic and cottagy Lapin Agile cabaret, where I would head after dinner, for a night filled with old French songs, sketches and hearty laughter.

Le Beauvilliers

52, rue Lamarck, 75018

Tel: 01 42 54 54 42

* Lapérouse, a pricy place too, cannot be overlooked either, its scintillating setting having been the rendezvous of Venus's protegés. There is even a private boudoir-lounge where the two of you can dine alone undisturbed. It comes with elaborate, dainty decorations and is named La Belle Otero after the famous, fiery courtesan. If you are worried for your good reputation, note that France's most honored members of literati also dined here regularly, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, George Sand among them. Remember that the French have a sophisticated, unpuritanical approach to love.


51, quai des Grands-Augustins, 75006

Tel: 01 43 26 68 04


If a couple were planning to honeymoon in Paris, and were not sure which area to stay in, which three areas of the city would you choose and why?


Saint-Germain-des-Prés / Luxembourg area, Paris at its most sophisticated, colorful and arty, lined with extraordinary boutiques that will be hard to resist. It boasts a greater number of "hôtels de charme" than any other part of the city, which speaks for itself, and that's exactly the kind of hotel a honeymooning couple would choose to stay at, short of choosing one of the city's luxury hotels.

The Marais is similar in spirit but is less spacious, and doesn't have a park. It also has several "hôtels de charme", though not quite so many as Saint-Germain.

Ile Saint-Louis because it is a self-contained miniature of romance, lined with boutiques and eating places of all sorts, and conveniently located for every part of Paris. It has four "hôtels de charme" to choose among and is within a few minutes' walk from both the Marais, on the Right Bank, and the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank.


Is Paris a safe city to visit?


No city and no place on earth is fullproof. As I am writing this interview South East Asia is subjected to a deluvian tragedy, all the way to the eastern shores of Africa. Paris is as safe as a big city can be, but one should always use one's common sense and avoid carrying cash and other valuables when going out. Pickpocketing is rife, and I have been victim to it many a time myself- A brief moment of distraction and your wallet is gone. Leave all your valuables in your safe, and carry a photocopy of your passport rather than the original document. Watch out even at the airport and hold on to your handbag in all public places (including your taxi: some delinquents may open the door and snatch your bag at a traffic light or in a traffic jam. They often operate on motorcycles and that has happened to me too). Be sensible but not paranoid.


When is the best time to visit Paris from the point of view of climate, crowds, travel deals, etc?

Obviously spring time is unique. Good weather is never guaranteed though, no matter what time of year, but should the gods be with you, then spring, by definition, is the season of romance, and an early feel of spring can even be detected as early as on Valentine's.

I personally have a distaste for July and August, especially from the middle of July on. Most Parisians are replaced by tourists, often in organized crowds, and it just isn't it. This can also happen at weekends during spring because Europeans nowadays are very fond of weekend city breaks. Fall is a beautiful time of year, often accompanied by a lingering Indian summer, which the golden beauty of the trees contribute to enhance.

Strange as it may seem, I find Paris particularly romantic in winter, when the leafless trees allow you to enjoy the architecture of its buildings. After dark the city is altogether magical, as its street lamps don it with an amber light. It can be cold, but all you have to do is dress accordingly and make the most of the fact that you are likely to be alone out there and the entire city will belong to you and your sweetheart, as you stroll through the streets or by the river into the late hours of the night. At Christmas time you will also enjoy the festive decorations, which, it being Paris, tend to be exquisitely elegant and tasteful.
As for travel deals, they are the same all over the world. Prices shoot up in the summer and plummet in the low season.


How easy or difficult is it to get around Paris?


It is extremely easy to get around Paris. Public transportation (buses, métro and RER express trains) is very efficient and many lines run beyond midnight. Taxis are easily available except on weekend nights. They also get grabbed into thin air as soon as it starts raining. However, Paris is regularly disrupted by protest and other demonstrations (the French thrive on them), which can paralyse the city, usually from 2:00 pm on, often with no forewarning. It is therefore good to stay in central Paris so that you can make your way back to your hotel on foot, should you experience one of those typically French "happenings".


Is there anything else that you wish to add about Romantic Paris that we have not discussed?


Most of the recommendations in this interview are on the pricy side, because we are speaking here of a special event and moment in your life. My book "Romantic Paris" has pages and pages of tips and recommendations of things to be done and enjoyed on all budgets, including low budgets. Paris can truly be enjoyed romantically on a shoestring. The best of Paris is strolling through its streets, and that costs little or nothing. I have designed several romantic walks for you in "Romantic Paris". That's over and above the scores of walks woven into "Around and About Paris". Put on your most comfortable footgear and venture into the city, including in the heart of winter. Soak it all up. And try, just once, to stay up all night, so that you can enjoy a sunrise either from the river, or from the foot of the Sacré Coeur.

Thanks once again and best of luck on all of your future endeavors including your future book on Aveyron.


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Arsenal fought back from behind twice to salvage a point against Norwich City at Carrow Road in their first game under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg. #NBCSports #PremierLeague #NorwichCity #Arsenal
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The Premier League across NBC Sports Group launched in 2013 with their biggest and broadest programming commitment to-date in the United States. With live multi-platform coverage of all 380 games, analysis from best-in-class talent and extensive surrounding coverage all week long, NBC Sports Group has become the ultimate destination for new and existing Premier League fans.

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Southampton v. Everton | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 11/09/19 | NBC Sports

Richarlison’s 75th-minute winner lifted Everton to a crucial three points at St. Mary’s and resigned Southampton to a heartbreaking, and potentially costly, defeat. #NBCSports #PremierLeague #Southampton #Everton #Richarlison
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The Premier League across NBC Sports Group launched in 2013 with their biggest and broadest programming commitment to-date in the United States. With live multi-platform coverage of all 380 games, analysis from best-in-class talent and extensive surrounding coverage all week long, NBC Sports Group has become the ultimate destination for new and existing Premier League fans.

The Premier League maintains strong and consistent reach across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and NBC Sports Group’s live streaming products, led by the biggest stars and most prestigious teams in the world.

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Top 3 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned

The debate over whether homework is still a viable learning tool or has become outdated has actually been going on for many years. The trend in this debate seems to be heading in the direction of «outdated» but there certainly is no consensus yet. The factors I see as most significant in this issue are societal, centered on the family, and are primarily based on TIME; and as such, are unlikely to be reversed.

Top 3 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned:

1. Family time gets first priority.

Family life has changed considerably over the past few decades. With today’s high divorce rate, many parents spend a great deal of time just shuffling children back and forth. Each parent values the time with their child and the child values the time spent with each parent.

The financial realities of life now dictate that both adults in the home need to have jobs, but those jobs do not always coincide. Many of the jobs in today’s society are not the old standard 9-5 kind of jobs. When parents get home, they very often bring their own version of homework.

Many families are having to deal with military deployments to various parts of the world, and all indications are that we will be deploying soldiers as «peacekeepers» for many years to come. A parent on deployment may be gone for up to a year at a time. Some families have had to deal with multiple deployments. In a few cases both parents have been deployed at the same time.

For each of these situations and many others, family time becomes too precious to spend on school homework.

2. Children are too busy.

In years past, children came home from school, changed clothes, went outside to play with the neighbor kids until dark, did their homework–sometimes with parental help, and then went to bed early. Not so anymore!

Today, a large percentage of children are involved in some kind of sport after school. It may be Little League, or league soccer, swimming at the «Y,» football, volleyball, etc., but kids are involved in sports. Many also take music lessons, or dance, or gymnastics, or even language lessons. Some children are involved in scouting. Some are active with church activities. The list of potential involvements is quite long; but the point is that by the time children get home, THEY ARE TIRED!

School homework is the very last thing they want to do.

3. Teens are even busier.

Many teenagers are involved in the same kinds of activities as their younger siblings, but they may also be involved in school activities like band, drama, debate club, etc. Some teens play school sports as well as league sports. And on top of everything, some teens have jobs. Many of the teens who don’t do school activities, work a job after school every day.

When are these students supposed to do school homework?

Certainly, it can be argued that a student’s «job» should be learning first; and, I hate to admit that I said those words once or twice in my teaching career. However, we all must realize that life changes and we must adapt to those changes. To continue to require homework of students whose families endorse their activities is simply not fair. The schools cannot be in a position of punishing the child (for failing to do homework) when the family considers other things more important.

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PES Games – A History Of Pro Evolution Soccer Part 2

In 2003, Pro Evolution Soccer 3 was released and included a big game play engine update, introducing new features such as the advantage rule and much improved long-ball passing techniques. PES games were now starting to get their hands on lesser European licenses such as the Dutch Eredivisie, but at least this was a start or inroad into FIFA's dominance by Konami.

Pro Evo 3 was the first PES game to be programmed for PC via Microsoft and it was popular, but the lack of online mode disappointed. Further enhancements to the licensing agreement occurred over the next few PES iterations, with many more official teams and players included, but the big one, the Premier League, always eluded Konami – not something FIFA was willing to give up. The Master League (career mode) was expanded and editing options improved, making likenesses even closer to reality.

In 2005 Pro Evolution Soccer 5 finally cemented Pro Evo online, allowing players to play against other PES gamers anywhere in the world. Jubilation reigned in online forums as we finally got real English teams, albeit only two – Arsenal and Chelsea, but again it was a start.

At this point in history PES was still dominant over FIFA, generally getting higher review scores, despite the lack of complete licenses throughout the game. PES stood up so well against the FIFA machine because of the superb two player experience.

Playing against a computer can only ever be so good, as computer AI is still no match for the gaming experience of another human being. It was this sense of randomness and downright fun that kept Pro Evo at the top of the footy charts and this position was further solidified in Pro Evolution Soccer 6, which for many PES fans was the finest hour for Konami.

Pro Evo 6 or Winning Eleven 10 had most of the best elements that have survived to the present incarnation. Fast, fluid, attacking football, a combative tackling mechanic and a slew of new tricks and flicks. To go along with the ever present official Japanese strip, the England National team were now decked out in their official kit as well as other nations. The Xbox version even had next generation high-definition graphics and this would be the last version before Pro Evo made the transition to PS3.

There was no Pro Evo 7, the next installment would arrive in 2007 and the naming convention changed into what remains to this day – Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 or PES 2008. This was the first version to debut on PS3, but still remained on PS2 and the other consoles. High definition graphics enhanced the gaming experience and PES started to move away from FIFA in the player likenesses stakes, although at the same time the complacency led to FIFA closing the gap and it was around these years that FIFA for the first time started to achieve higher review scores, as ironically, it was likened to the PES game play of old.

Even though many things improved, PES games started to struggle during the versions 2008-2012. Improvements in graphics, master league, competitions, licenses and online play, were negated by fussy changes to game play, that made Pro Evo harder, but sometimes less fun. It seemed that the game almost had a cheat mode in player versus computer games on harder skill levels, as it could be almost impossible to win the ball back or keep it against the computer. Keepers would inexplicably parry weak shots straight back out to unmarked strikers for easy tap ins and referees could be incredibly harsh, sending players off for minor offences, whereas it seemed computer controlled players could get away with murder!

The last few years have been repeated 'overhaul' fixes for PES as they've tried to regain top spot. Shingo Takatsuka known as 'Seabass' has come up with multiple buzz words every year as Pro Evo innovates and pushes the limits of the high-definition consoles and what PS3 And XBOX 360 can handle. The online play has improved on PS3 as it struggled at first to catch up to the online system XBOX had in place and now the edit modes, coupled with the skill and efficiency of PES fans means that the lack of licenses is almost irrelevant.

PES games will have their latest blockbuster out in October 2012 and by all accounts, online rumors and playable demos, PES is back. The review scores were close to FIFA last year and although the FIFA machine now exudes a high level of polish and superb game play, if PES 2013 regains some of that magic from the mid noughties, it'll be top dog again this autumn.

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Formula 1 Rising Stars: Interview With Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas is regarded as one of Formula 1’s rising stars. And rightly so; in 2014, in only his second season in the sport, the Finn secured six podiums and finished fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, outperforming his more experienced teammate Felipe Massa.

Bottas’ breakthrough season greatly contributed to the resurgence of the Williams F1 team, which saw them finish third in the Constructors’ Championship; their best result since 2003’s second place.

The 2015 campaign, however, hasn’t quite got off to the start that the clear potential of the Mercedes-powered FW37 would suggest: Bottas failed to take the start of the Australian Grand Prix after injuring his back in qualifying, and he and teammate Massa found their race pace lacking in the searing heat of Malaysia.

I spoke exclusively to the Finn about his rise to Formula 1 and his expectations for the year ahead.

EH: You first got behind the wheel of a kart at the tender age of five, but your interest began a year earlier when you, along with your Dad, discovered a kart race during the summer. Can you tell me about that day and then your first experience in a kart the following year?

VB: Well, that day, I was actually going to Lahti (a town in Finland) with my father and we saw a sign about the go-kart Finnish championship race. We went there just to check it out, none of us was familiar with the sport. When I saw it the first time I thought it was really cool and wanted to get in to try one! My fist time actually trying a go-kart was about a year later, I was about 5-6 years old, and I actually crashed in the first corner of the first lap, as I did not use the brakes, and went off to the barrier. Nobody actually explained to me how it worked and they only said «Off you go»! That day, I learned from my mistake.

EH: In 2008 you won both the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup Championships. That is an enormous achievement, you must have been very proud of your efforts that year. How difficult was it competing in two championships?

VB: It was an important year and difficult too, as [I had] lots of races between two different championships. [But I needed] to get the support to move up to Formula 3. But overall it was good to get as much mileage as possible, the season went really well and I won both championships. This is also how I met and started working with my management (Mika Häkkinen, Didier Coton and Toto Wolff) so it was important to show them good results!

EH: You have had a very impressive season last year with six podiums, including your first Formula 1 podium at the Austrian Grand Prix on an unfamiliar track. Can you put into words how that felt and what thoughts were going through your head on the final lap, knowing you were mere seconds away from claiming your first podium?

VB: Austria was a very special moment, we had been chasing the podium for a long time and the last lap, even though you should never make any plans before crossing the finish line, I started thinking (as there was enough margin at the front and back) how cool it would be to cross the line and make the podium and meet my team when I get back, as the whole team had been working really hard for good results. The podium was very special, to see everyone there, it was a really nice day which I will remember forever.

EH: Last year Formula 1 veteran Felipe Massa joined the Williams team replacing Maldonado. What did you learn from his experience and knowledge of the sport, and how did it feel beating your more accomplished teammate in only your second year?

VB: My experience as a teammate of Felipe has been very good; obviously he is very experienced, he has been in different situations, car set-ups, different conditions, tracks. It has been good to work with him even though, as a racer, my goal is to be quicker than my teammate (whoever that is) and get more points.

EH: For a long time the Williams team appeared to be in racing ‘No Man’s Land’, but 2014 saw a dramatic shift in fortunes for the team. What do you think have been the major contributing factors to this remarkable turnaround for the team?

VB: I think the arrival of [Chief Technical Officer] Pat Symonds made a very big difference since joining the team mid-2013. He has been reallocating people at the factory, bringing new people to the team. Now we have the right people to the right positions and that definitely brought the results back. Another major contributing factor is the switch to Mercedes-Benz power units.

EH: For a country with a relatively small population, Finland has delivered three Formula 1 World Champions (and perhaps soon a fourth). What is it about your home country that sees it produce so many world class drivers in racing and rallying?

VB: First of all Finland is a motorsport country, it is part of our culture – we simply love F1 and rallying and it is true there are quite a few very good drivers from our country. Also, the level of go-karting (at a young age) is very high so this could explain it also. The mentality of Finns is also good for the sport, we can keep focused and don’t stress about things too much which is very important in F1 in my opinion.

EH: What are your first memories of following Formula 1 as a child and which driver/s did you most enjoy watching race?

VB: The first car I remember is the blue and yellow Williams car – my favourite in the beginning. One race that stands out as a race is Mika Häkkinen’s first win in 1997 in Jerez! I remember this race very clearly.

EH: After your most successful Formula 1 year to date in 2014, what are your expectations for 2015?

VB: In 2015 the competition is going to be much closer between the teams.

World Cup 2010 and the Year 2012

As we know that in 2010 there will be great football event, which is FIFA World Cup that will be held in South Africa next June and July. Then what will happen in 2012? Maybe our first mind when hearing 2012 is the movie entitled 2012. As we know that this movie is about the forecast of the end of the world that will happen in 2012. Maybe it will become true or not, but it’s a really great public opinion.

In the movie, we may show that there will be great catastrophes in the world that will kill the majority of the people. Although it is just a movie, but some believes it as becoming reality since the Mayan Forecast says about this. Some people believe about this thing since the some of Mayan forecasts are relevant. But I don’t think that will be great matter to debate whether this will become true or not. Just take it calmly since it’s just a movie. But it’s OK if you believe this.

Back to world cup 2010, the event is attracting great attentions from the football lovers in all over the world. The greatest football event in the world becomes the event to show which team is the best. Some known big teams with good football traditions like Brazil, Argentina, Spain, and Italy will show their best performance to become the king of the world’s football.

In my analysis, the two big teams from Latin America, Brazil and Argentina will easily step forward to the next phase. It’s very realistic since both teams have great talented players. Some of them are young talented players like Lionel Messi from Argentina as the best player of 2009, and Richardo Kaka from Brazil that also has good performance. Meanwhile, in Europe, I see that Italy, Spain, Germany, and Portugal have the same opportunity as Brazil and Argentina. It’s reasonable since they have also great players on the team. The big event of world cup will be great football show that will attract the world’s attention. Finally, my conclusion is that in both years, there will be great events (or just imagination in the case of year 2012) that will make the world influenced.