Posts from 21st December 2009

21
Dec 09

FT Advent Calendar Of Free Online Games: 21st December

FT1 comment • 716 views

A lively discussion was had last night amongst several FT regulars about why basketball and soccer don’t lend themselves to a Moneyball-style stats revolution where conventional wisdom about “character” and coming through “in the clutch” are deposed into the sweaty gym bag of history and replaced with a gleaming Excel hierarchy of excellence. Cause basketball and soccer don’t have very many individual, repeatable moments – they’re about how a team coheres and responds to an ever-morphing flow.

Well here’s an online basketball game to set that right. How many baskets can YOU make? (The physics in this are quite nice.)

bball

Popular Is On Christmas Holiday

FT + Popular20 comments • 1,017 views

I’m suffering from pop fatigue, readers, so Popular is off on its Christmas break, and will return after Xmas if I feel inspired, or in January otherwise. Sorry to not put 1986 to bed – it’s proved unexpectedly gruelling! You’ve been a lovely comments crew as ever and I hope you all have a terrific festive season.

(Posts on the rest of FT will keep on a-rollin’, of course.)

Rage vs X-Factor: Winners and Losers

FT//59 comments • 6,542 views

Well, that’s that: the machine has been given a good beating and we can look forward to “Bulls On Parade” on the festive Argos ad next year. I will admit I didn’t think the RATM crew could do it: I was wrong. But as the dust settles on this most fractious and increasingly entertaining Christmas No.1 race, who has actually benefited? Here’s my round-up of winners and losers.

Joe McElderry: He’ll be Number 1 next week most likely, but while the ‘battle’ was never about him this puts him firmly in the “Leon Jackson” box, not the “Will Young” one. On the other hand, the constant refrain from the judges during the series was that he had a musical theatre kind of a voice, and this might nudge him in that direction and away from the fickle world of pop. Before dabbing your eyes over Joe’s lost dreams, it’s worth noting that if he’d sold as many as Alexandra did with “Hallelujah” last year, he’d have been #1, Rage or no Rage.

Rage Against The Machine: It’s good profile-raising stuff for them and their other material will do well from it, though unless MP3s come with reading lists in their IP3 tags the ‘educational’ element of RATM may be a little missing. The downsizing of their song’s target from “institutional racism” to “Simon Cowell” is probably a fairer reflection of their listeners’ concerns anyway but it’s left them looking a little… cuddlier… than once they did (and their participation in a classic British radio brouhaha has only helped). They themselves have joined in with gusto, of course: “RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE THANKS ‘EVERY FAN AND FREEDOM FIGHTER’ FOR THE ‘ANARCHY CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF 2009′” blared their press release.