Simple Ways Of Quick Drying Wet Soccer Boots

Wet soccer cleats can be challenging to play in and they can also be pretty uncomfortable for your feet. It is also very important to remember that moisture can be damaging to shoes and you therefore need to ensure that your cleats dry properly after every wash or after wet play. But what do you do when you have very little time to allow the shoes to dry properly?

1. Let the laces loose. Loosening laces opens up your cleats getting more air in them, hence hastening the drying process. When you let the cleats dry with the laces on, you also expose the seams to tension because they contract as they dry. Loosening the laces is therefore also helpful in eliminating this kind of stress.

2. Remove the shoe insole. Most cleats come with removable insoles. Such insoles are convenient because they give players the chance to change into more comfortable and supportive ones as the situation demands. They also come in handy when looking for a quick way of drying the cleats. Removing the insole does not only help the shoe interiors to dry faster, but the insole will also dry faster by itself. You can wrap it up with paper towels or hang it upright using clothe pins or pegs to hasten the process.

3. Wipe off grass, dirt and mud. If the cleats are wet from a rainy game or wet grounds, you should make a point of wiping off the grass, dirt and mud off the shoes using a damp towel. It could add to the wetness, but the drying process will be simpler without these elements. This is also a simple way of ensuring that you have an easier time the next time you wash the boots; dried mud can be harder to remove when washing.

4. Use dry cloth to pat your cleats. It helps in removing most of the surface moisture this kick starting the drying process. You can do this both on the outside and the inside of your boots to reduce dry time.

5. Fill the boots with balled newspaper. The newspaper ball will help in absorbing a good percent of the moisture. You can let it sit for a considerable length of time before removing and replacing with a dry ball before later allowing the boots to air dry. This action can also be helpful in keeping the cleats from shrinking when drying, but you should ensure that the newspaper does not leave them too bulgy either. You can also slide a newspaper piece on the laces and the tongue to enjoy similar drying results.

6. Place cleats in breezy areas. The truth is that even cleats will dry much faster under moving air. The breeze wicks off the moisture speeding the drying process. It is however important that you ensure the area is not humid or damp; drier air is much better in hastening the drying process. Avoid using heat as it can permanently damage your shoes.

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The Amazing And Often Strange Coffee News Highlights Of 2014

2014 was an exciting year for our beloved coffee, some good, some bad, some strange. As we approach the end of the year we’ve taken a look at some of the more notable stories of 2014.

December: A Time For Giving… But Probably Not Cocaine.

December, time for giving and the warm feeling when we see others open their presents. These acts of generosity were put to the test in Berlin when a local coffee roaster opened up their latest shipment of coffee from Brazil, to find it contained 33 kilos of cocaine! We’re unsure whether they had a hearty Christmas smile on their face, but we’re presuming confusion and fear was a more likely response. They reported the «shipment» to the police and Santa.

November: Peak Coffee Prices

Coffee prices reached their peak in 2.5 years during November. The dry weather in Brazil that has affected much of their yearly crop played a significant role in the increase. Much of the speculation now is how this year’s drought will affect the crop in 2015. Although there have been rains over recent months, the question still remains as to how this will impact the flowering of new plants over 2015.

Many are predicting that if the weather returns to a semblance of normality, then the crop should be roughly the same as 2014. If weather continues to become more extreme then production would fall below the levels of 2014.

October: Cup North

A little closer to home we saw the inaugural «Cup North», a coffee party for all coffee lovers in the north of England. Put together by the local coffee community it was a chance for the spotlight to shine on the culinary and coffee developments outside of London.

While the focus was on coffee, the 2-day event also promoted beer, chocolates and some of the exciting «foodie» developments in and around Manchester. Let’s hope it continues for 2015.

September: Coffee & Biofuels

There are many known alternative uses for leftover coffee ranging from an effective compost, to being used an odour remover for whiffy socks. One of the most exciting developments of 2014 was the new company Bio-Bean.

Set-up in January by Arthur Kay, the company takes the used coffee grounds from London coffee shops and turns the waste into an advanced bio-fuel. In September they received a €500,000 grant from the Dutch Lottery.

Although widely suspected as a bribe with which to increase their scores from the UK during EuroVision (OK I made that bit up), the money will help the environmentally green Bio-Bean expand their operations and build a plant large enough to handle the processing of the collected coffee grounds. One gold star for Bio-Bean. A great idea and good luck for 2015.

August: Coffee Theme Park Given To Green Light

If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting a theme park with a giant caffeinated mouse, then August may have been the month for you. Funding was granted to develop a 64 acre coffee theme park in the Gangwon Province in South Korea.

The area has seen lot of development ever since the announcement that the 2018 winter Olympics were going to be held in the area. Designed as an environmentally friendly family theme park, the location will also house a production, roasting and distribution facility. Presumably the latter won’t be of interest to the kids. A distribution roller coaster with embossed livery on the side doesn’t really appeal to children.

The project will however create over a thousand jobs for the local community and feature a resort and coffee museum.

July: Fresh vs. Instant

In July the Euromonitor International Study published their latest research highlighting the continuing growth of instant coffee in countries that historically were associated with tea drinkers, namely China, Turkey and India. Almost half the world prefers instant coffee to freshly ground coffee.

In the UK, although the coffee market maturing and we’re seeing a greater understanding of fresh and gourmet coffee products, the instant coffee market continued the gain strength especially when being consumed at home. Quite surprisingly in the UK us Brits are responsible for over a third of all instant coffee sold in Western Europe.

While it’s still often viewed as unacceptable to offer instant coffee in many social or business situations, when at home these malleable rules seem to go out of the window. Convenience in many situations wins over quality.

Part of the growth was attributed to the marketing of instant coffee, many of the words traditionally reserved for fresh coffee were finding their way onto packets, jars and bags in the supermarket. One product describes itself as the world first «whole bean instant»… we still have no idea what that means!

June: World Championships

June saw the winner of the 2014 World Barista Championships. The title eventually went to Hidenori Izaki of Maruyama Coffee Company, Japan. The judges awarding him the prize after evaluating all contestants on a selection of criteria including their cleanliness, creativity, technical skills and presentation.

Hidenori was the 15th winner of the competition, produced and held by the World Coffee Event (WCE). The annual championship was held in Rimini, Italy and was the culmination of many local and regional finals throughout the world.

Congratulations to all participants especially Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood from the UK who eventually came in 5th, yes we are showing geographical bias.

Final Standings

Champion: Hidenori Izaki, Japan

2nd: Kapo Chiu, Hong Kong

3rd: Christos Loukakis, Greece

4th: Craig Simon, Australia

5th: Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, United Kingdom

6th: William Hernandez, El Salvador

May: Coffee & Cows

It seems that used coffee grounds can be used for almost anything! Starbucks partnered with a Japanese manufacturer of contacts lenses in the hope of turning leftover coffee grounds into a viable and environmentally friendly livestock feed for the Tokyo dairy market.

The fermented grounds were removed from the stores at Starbucks and incorporated into the food for cattle. The process has been tried before but the results showed that the coffee acted as a diuretic among the cattle and the high salt content was a concern. Apparently the new process includes lactic acid fermentation that ensures the feed produced became a viable option. Again, we have no idea how this works, but it sounds very impressive.

April: UK Barista Championships

If you mentioned the World Championships during April most people (probably tea drinkers) would immediately think of the F1 Grand Prix in China, or the start of the Snooker World Championships with its whispering and dapper waistcoats. To the creative coffee folk of the UK, April could only mean one thing; the build up to the Barista World Championships had begun.

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood who took home his second title ultimately won the regional UK Barista Championships, held during the London Coffee Festival. Congratulations to Maxwell. With the award firmly tucked under his arm he would travel to Italy to compete in the World Championships in June. Flying the flag for the UK… probably without a waistcoat.

Feb/March: The Football World Cup

Much of the speculation during February and March was around the football world cup and how the Brazilians passion for their national sport would affect the coffee industry.

With around a third of all coffee coming from Brazil, the concerns were that the games held in Rio De Janeiro would disrupt the production, delivery and overall infrastructure of the coffee industry. At the risk of sounding anti-climatic it all worked out OK, even if it didn’t for the Brazilian football team.

January: Myth Busted

We’ve probably all heard the old wives tale that coffee causes dehydration. We’re told that we should drink a glass of water for every cup of coffee we consume. Where this theory comes from we have no idea, but research released in January from the University of Bath concluded that this was actually a myth.

Rather than cause dehydration, moderate coffee consumption actually hydrates us in a similar way to water. Personally if I was stranded in the Sahara with the choice of either a cup of coffee or nothing, I’d certainly choose the former… but only if it had cream… and sprinkles.

Denis Law Was the King of Stretford End

The great Denis Law was born in Aberdeen on the 24th February 1940 and he began his soccer career as a wee boy playing for Aberdeen Lads Club. When Law left the Granite City to join the once great Huddersfield Town, he was only 15 years old and and it did not take him long to make his debt debut for his native Scotland against Wales in 1958.

The legendary Sir Matt Busby reputedly wanted the promising Denis Law to play for Manchester United but was turned down by the Terriers. Bill Shankly, who was the manager at Huddersfield Town at the time, then tried to take Law with him to Liverpool. However, the Liverpudlians didn't have the money to take the prolific marksman out of Yorkshire. Instead, the vastly talented Leeds Road youngster went to Manchester City when the Maine Road club paid a then British record transfer fee of £ 55,000 for him in March 1960. After a rather disappointing spell with famous Italian club Turin, he returned to Lancashire finally signing up for Busby's Manchester United in 1962. Denis Law opened the 1963-64 season on a bright note and was deservedly picked out to play for a Rest of the World side against England at Wembley. As a Manchester United player, the Scottish international won every major domestic honor, despite injury kept him out of the European Cup Final against Benfica at Wembley in 1968.

Denis Law returned to his old club Manchester City in 1973, and retired from football in 1974 after playing his last match in the World Cup in West Germany. During his 585 matches for his clubs, he managed to score a massive 300 goals. He also scored a total of 30 goals for Scotland in 55 matches. In 1964, Law was voted European Footballer of the Year as the only Scotsman to this day. Always in the best of spirits, Denis Law was no doubt one of the greatest entertainers ever watched on the British soccer scene. He was not only a Danny Kaye look alike, he also closely resembled the American comedian when performing some of his antics on and off the football pitch.

AC Milan’s Dutch Trinity: Van Basten, Gullit and Rijkaard Showing Unique Soccer Skills

AC Milan, the reigning champion, won the Italian league 18 times now. A remarkable period in their rich history was highlighted by Dutch influence. The Dutch stars Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten played a major part in the club’s successes in the late 80’s and first half of the 90’s. National and international titles found their way to Milan and to this day Milan fans and (former) players still express their gratitude.

Gullit and Van Basten joined the club in 1987, Rijkaard one year later. At first, it was Gullit who had the biggest influence. Charismatic Dutch captain Ruud Gullit’s first season at Milan saw the club win the «Scudetto» for the first time in 9 years. To sign Gullit, AC Milan paid the world record transfer fee (at that time) to PSV Eindhoven. But they earned that back in no time.

Marco van Basten played for Ajax in Amsterdam before moving to AC Milan. In Holland, he became the top scorer in the league for four seasons from 1983 to 1987, scoring 117 goals in 112 matches. In 1987, he also scored the only goal in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final. That was the last European trophy Ajax was missing. So it was a great «going-away» present to the club, as a new adventure awaited in Italy.

Like Van Basten, Frank Rijkaard took his first professional steps on the pitch playing for Ajax. He lived in the same part of Amsterdam as Ruud Gullit during their teenage-years. After becoming Europe’s best with Holland in 1988, he completed AC Milan’s Dutch Trinity. In the end each played a significant role in the career of the other.

AC Milan was almost invincible and played a revolutionary type of soccer, demonstrating skills hardly ever seen before in the Serie A. This was part of the owner’s Master plan. In 1986 entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi acquired the club and saved it from bankruptcy. Berlusconi got manager Arrigo Sacchi to lead the team to success. He was followed up by Fabio Capello, England’s current manager. The «Rossoneri» signed the Dutch trio, where they already had players like Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini and Carlo Ancelotti. This was the start of arguably the most successful era in the history of AC Milan.

During the time of the Dutch trinity (1987-1994) they managed to win four domestic titles, reach the final of the Coppa Italia in 1990 and won four Supercoppa Italiana. They were also a force to be reckoned with in Europe. They won three Champions League trophies, three UEFA Super Cups and two Intercontinental Cups. In all of this the Dutch players effectively used their super soccer skills. AC Milan won the 1989 Champions League final with 4-0 against Steaua Bucuresti. Gullit and Van Basten both scored 2 goals and Van Basten become top scorer with 10 goals in total. The year after it was Frank Rijkaard’s turn. In the final against Benfica he scored the only goal, Van Basten provided the assist.

Along with Boca Juniors, Milan won more FIFA recognized international club titles than any other club in the world. There is no denying the Dutch trinity played their part.

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Liverpool FC – The History Of The Badge And The Meaning Of The Crest

Liverpool Football Club are one of the most successful teams in English and European football history, and the club not only has massive support in England but also around the world, the club probably has many millions of fans. Liverpool were founded in 1892 and have won 18 League titles, seven FA Cups and famously, they are five times winners of the European Cup and Champions League, combined.

The club badge or crest, is the epitome of this famous club, and the badge on their shirt is often kissed by the players when celebrating a goal or a victory, as a sign of loyalty and love for the club. The badge has changed considerably since the formation of the club well over a hundred years ago, but today’s crest has much significance about the history and tradition of this famous football club.

The club badge is predominantly based on the city’s famous Liver Bird, which has represented the city for many centuries. The mythical bird, which many believe to have been derived from a cormorant, can be seen on the top of the clock towers on the Royal Liver Building, where two famous Liver birds sculptures dominate the building and overlook the River Mersey, and they date back to 1911. Many modern myths have evolved regarding the origin of the Liver bird, but it is widely accepted that they watch over and protect the people of Liverpool and myth dictates that should they ever leave, the river Mersey would burst its banks and flood the city.

The Liver bird dominates the centre of the Liverpool badge, which is placed inside a shield. The image of the Liver bird on the badge has a short head and curved beak, which is more usually associated with a bird of prey rather than a cormorant, but it retains the sprig of laver, a type of seaweed, in its mouth.

In 2008, Liverpool FC attempted to claim copyright for the Liver bird image, but they failed in their attempt as it was deemed that the Liver bird belonged to all the people of Liverpool and not one company or organisation. The Liver bird image is also used by several other organisations.

Above the shield is a representation of the famous Shankly Gates, which were erected outside the Anfield Stadium in 1982, as a tribute to Liverpool’s former and most famous manager Bill Shankly, who had led Liverpool from Second Division mediocrity, to win three League titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup. Bill Shankly is regarded by most fans as the greatest Liverpool manager, by the way he transformed the club.

Across the top of the Shankly Gates, and portrayed in the badge, are the words You’ll Never Walk Alone, which is the title of the song by Gerry and the Pacemakers that has been adopted by Liverpool fans as the club’s anthem, this again stems during Shankly’s time as manager, and is still sung reverently by Liverpool fans today.

The twin flames either side of the shield are symbolic of the Hillsborough memorial outside Anfield, where an eternal flame burns in memory of the 96 Liverpool fans who tragically died in the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, when the fans were crushed due to overcrowding during Liverpool’s FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest, 766 fans were also injured in the disaster.

The date of the formation of the club is clearly displayed below the shield, and while the club crest has changed a number of times over the years, it symbolises some of the most important events in the history of the club, the badge is worn with honour and pride by both players and fans alike.

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Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Definitely Not Learn German!

1) The Germans don’t want to talk German to you anyways – the majority

Ask any American, Aussie or Kiwi who has lived in Germany: As soon as the Germans hear that you are a native English speaker, they will be so keen on practicing their English that you will barely have a chance to have any conversation in German. Even if you approach them in German – they will reply in English.

2) The Germans that will talk German to you – a dangerous minority

There is a small minority of Germans that will talk German to you. However, once you find one of those German exhibits, it is very likely that they will not rest until you have perfected every tiny detail and obscurity of German grammar, sentence structure. They will probably also push you to be at least fluent in 10 of Germany’s regional dialects. So think twice about disclosing your interest in learning German to those folks.

3) The Pope & the Champions League

The pope is no longer a native German speaker (if I understand the news right it should be someone from South America right now) so there is not need to learn German in order to talk to the Pope. On the other hand, judging from the current Champions League, I would presume that a German soccer player should be the next world-soccer player of the year. However, I feel it might be Bastian Schweinsteiger who is from upper Bavaria, and thus, will not be able to communicate with you in a proper standard German way.

4) The ultimate German dialect: Kölsch

You will not learn what really matters in a class. My own research indicates that a vast majority of Germans and German residents agree that the regional dialect of the great City of Cologne (City: «Köln»; dialect: «Kölsch»; regional beer: «Kölsch») is the most desirable and fun of way of talking German. However, you cannot learn Kölsch from a book, but you will have to actually come down hang out with the local crowd.

5) German is too difficult anyways

The last and obvious point is: German is just too difficult to learn. If you disagree, please let me know and will post my next blog entry in proper «Amtsdeutsch» and have you guys translate it.

I am not sure if I might have missed some points. Please feel free to let me know and maybe we can continue the list.

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