Iceland Bringing More than Football to Euro 2016

Share this
Share

It’s become journalistic shorthand to describe Iceland’s impact at Euro 2016 as ‘volcanic’, but the team’s success in France is down to the close bond that exists in in the squad, and the harmony between the players and the fans.

These are the two constructive, rather than destructive, forces setting the scene for a history-making tournament for Lars Lagerback and Heimer Hallgrimsson’s players, and its little wonder that people around the world have taken a shine to them.

Such is the good feeling and bonhomie, even the fans are getting in on the act of charming the world; their good conduct means they may usurp the Republic of Ireland’s green army and become unofficially recognized as the best supporters in world football.

Their ominous, Viking roar is designed to drive on their team, in contrast to the deep pop of the flares and hooligan violence that serve only to disrupt matches and create disorder.

And they share with Ireland an underdog typecasting that is befitting of a windswept island in the Atlantic; and Euro 2016 can be for Iceland what Italia 1990 was for the Irish, a transformative event that was more about lifting a nation and less about the football.

d8a648b0cc178e99ef385510e36e919d

A Team That Can Play

But they can play football, and that 1-1 draw against Hungary in the Stade Velodrome felt like a loss; Gylfi Sigurdsson slumped to the grass on the final whistle and the entire team were left to rue two points dropped.

Many of the players graduated from the Under-21 side together, and the fact that the men in the blue jersey share a friendship that extends beyond the white lines of a football pitch means they will be united in these low moments.

This familiarity is hardly surprising considering how their co-manager, Hallgrimsson, doubles as a dentist and is beloved in his community.

Hallgrimsson has also revealed a unique tradition that used to take place before every Iceland game – 200 fans would gather and learn of the lineup before the media got a chance to see it; and those fans always kept the information secret.

The practice has been discontinued now because there are too many fans following them in France, and that number looks set to grow because the Nordics keep putting in good performances – on the pitch and in the stands.

Their propensity for a headline grabbing quote or a robust tackle show that they’re not unblemished saints, but the freedom and innocence they bring to Euro 2016 is a refreshing antidote to the violence that continues to mar this tournament.

Possible new law of nature on the way

Share this
Share

The world of physics is excited about strong but early evidence about the behavior of muons, paricles identical to electrons only 200x more massive (heavier), which once born take 2.2 microseconds to decay into an electron, and which spin like tops. In a new, extremely precise measurement, they were made to wobble using magnetic fields but they unexpectedly wobbled quite significantly faster than the Standard Model suggests they would. They might spin so fast due to an unknown force caused by an unknown particle, and this is what is so exciting.

“We found that a muon … is not in agreement with our current best theory of physics at the subatomic level, and … it potentially points to a future with new laws, new particles and new forces in physics which we haven’t seen to date,” said Professor Mark Lancaster at U of Manchester.

“The main goal of the experiment is to make the measurement and compare with the theory, and if they disagree then it’s telling us that there’s something in nature which is not in the theory,” explained James Mott at Fermilab.

The four known forces of nature (gravity, electricity, two nuclear forces: strong and weak interactions) have left scientists without an answer for some observed phenomena, such as the speed at which galaxies spin (faster than the best model suggests). Therefore, they continue to search for glitches in their already-tight models which might point them things they don’t yet know about.

The most recent work was done at Fermilab (Muon g-2 experiment), but a similar experiment was already done earlier at the Large Hadron Collider. These tools accelerate particles in large rings at close to the speed of light.

The evidence needs more tests for greater certainty, particularly to rule out the possibility of a systematic error, and particularly with a new, independent experiment, but physicists will be chasing this line of experiment eagerly.

“This is outstanding confirmation of experimental technique, and very, very suggestive of the possibility of new physics,” noted scientist David Hertzon of U of Washington.

By the editors

#AnomalousMagneticDipoleMomentOfTheMuon #QuantumElectrodynamics

Leave a comment

People in Kachin state demonstrate against China

Share this
Share

YANGON, Myanmar – The people in the Pharkant area of Kachin state demonstrated against China this week, drawing a cross on the Chinese flag and burning a picture of Myanmar’s military leader Min Aung Hlaing.

“China stands with the military leader,” shouted the demonstrators.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Aye Yarwaddy

Leave a comment

Myanmar military council arrests the artist Zarganar

Share this
Share

YANGON, Myanmar – The artist Zarganar was arrested by the Myanmar military council from his home in Tarmwe township, Yangon this morning.

Zarganar is not only a director but also a comedian famous for political jokes since the 1988 democratic revolution.

Zarganar was arrested by the Myanmar military many times before 2010.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Zarganar page

Leave a comment

Kayin IDPs struggle to get for food

Share this
Share

YANGON, Myanmar – Kayin internally displaced people are desperate for food, clothing and shelter, hiding in the forest from the air strikes of the Myanmar military.

The IDPs fled to neighboring Thailand, but Thai government turned them back. However, Wednesday morning the Thai government opened Maeseli jetty in Maehaungsaung district to sending rations and medicines over the border to Kayin state, according to a Thai media.

By Htay Win

Leave a comment

Twenty Myanmar celebrities charged with incitement

Share this
Share

YANGON, Myanmar -They were charged under the country’s media law with inciting government employees to join the popular civil disobedience movement (CDM) through social media.

Celebrities took part in the NLD election campaigns and are thought to have played a large part in influencing the public, particularly Myanmar’s youth, to vote for Aung San Suu Kyi.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Myanmar celebrity

Leave a comment

More news in Sports

Most recent: