Ruskipolla 2018 results

Vive La France. The World Cup is now over, which means we can go back to feeling a sense of emptiness and lack of purpose in our lives but instead of lasting 47 months, this time it will be for 53 months.

That said, Ruskipolla 2018 was a big success with 211 participants. And on a whim, right before the tournament, I entered with my second non-admin account “marcos” which was originally created for test purposes.

And I’m glad I did, as I managed to make it to third place, beat that cheater “Rolando”, and win a modest percentage of the polla.

Congratulations to the winners. We had a three-way tie in first place and a two-way tie in second place. Ties weren’t that common with less people playing but this is something I’ll have in mind for next time.

And an unexpectedly high percentage of those who played took some time to  submitted feedback, 74 and counting. I don’t know when or if there will be another polla, but rest assured I have a bunch of improvements in mind, many of them coming from you.  This usually means I won’t be able to help myself so…

Women’s World Cup, anyone?

The strange case of captain Lior Besalu

I received the following text and video from several sources over both WhatsApp and Facebook:

Filmación de rescatistas israelíes en Tailandia al mando del capitán Lior Besalu !! Aprecien la dificultadad paea ingresar y después salir con estos niños !! De los ochos israelíes tres son los que ingresaron en la cueva !!
La prensa no menciona nada de israelíes!! Hubo un protocolo de silencio en Tailandia para no revelar nacionalidades ya que lo más importante es rescatar a los niños!!

Which roughly translates to:

Film of the Israeli rescuers in Thailand under the command of Captain Lior Besalu! Appreciate the difficulty to enter and the exit with the kids!
The press does not mention anything about Israelis! There was a protocol of silence in Thailand in order to not reveal the nationalities size the most important is to rescue the children.

The original text in Spanish contains typos, poor grammar, and poor punctuation. It is of course about the recent ordeal in Thailand.  It is written as if someone had carelessly typed it on a phone.

Like the people who sent this to me, I would love for this beautiful tale of Israeli heroism to be true. But the whole thing smelled strongly of BS.

  • No sources, no credits
  • Clothing doesn’t match that from videos coming from trustworthy sources
  • The video is silent
  • It has a watermark “The Dudley”… what is that?
  • If you watch closely, you will see a partially credit at the end: “A Caver Keith Pr…” which is cut short by shoddy editing.

If the information is true, surely it can easily be found somewhere on  the Internet. A quick Google search for “Lior Besalu” reveals…

… a bunch of websites regurgitating the same exact snippet. Coincidence? No. Google is actually indexing the same tweet attached to all these articles through some automatic keyword based search.

This is, I believe, the original tweet:

And surprise… the first reply by the author apologizes for the video being unrelated.

Don’t keep reading replies unless you want to see stomach-turning antisemitism at its best!

It took me ten minutes to find the source of the video.

The people who sent me this are educated and trustworthy people that I respect. Yet the information is shared as-is without regard to its veracity. It takes one minute and a bit of common sense to verify things like this and stop the spread of misinformation, yet people don’t do it because they liked or agreed with the content in the first place so it must be true, right?

The tweet is less than 12 hours old and has already spread like wildfire. It’s all over Facebook too.

We know the video is completely bogus. We don’t know if the information is true but it probably isn’t. Does “Lior Besalu” even exist?

This flaw in human nature is easily exploitable, and has in fact been exploited in recent past. I won’t go into that. Just please confirm shit you see on Facebook, Tweeter, or WhatsApp before you share it, ok?

Update July 11, 2018: Fixed wording. Here’s a video from CNN talking about technology from an Israeli company used in the rescue. Thanks Elias! CNN, believe it or now, is a trustworthy source.

Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

We visited a small private collection of arcades from the Soviet era in Moscow. Given my field of work and the man years I spent playing video games, I found this interesting.

It was a stark contrast, these games and what was available in the western world. Games contemporary to the Sega Genesis era looked only marginally better than Pong.

Lots of mechanical, as in little moving parts, displays. This, instead of the raster graphics on CRT displays common at the time. I will have to look more into what kind of processors these things used and how capable they were.

Add terrible video games to the list of why it was crappy to grow up in the USSR.

Morocco vs Portugal

I’m starting to fall behind with these posts. Last Wednesday Portugal won through a solitary Ronaldo goal. I was there, and I have photos prove it.

Poland vs Senegal

Another unexpected result: Senegal beat Poland 2-1. There were by far more Polish fans than Senegalese but that didn’t help…

Mexico vs Germany

In the most important match of my trip, México faced off against tournament favorite and defending world champion Germany.

As usual, Mexican fans outnumbered rival fans 3 to 1. But nobody predicted the World Cup history we were about to witness.

Excellent game played by the Tri. I’m so glad I was there.

Argentina vs Iceland

We arrived late last night to our hotel in Moscow after a lot of traveling. Had to get some rest before tomorrow’s warm up game (for me).

Today we got to see Iceland earn their first ever World Cup point and Leo Messi miss a penalty kick at the Spartak Stadium. Good match.

Masacotes 2018

We won the championship, once again. Unfortunately I missed the final this time due to travel commitments.

Well done, team.

More than meets the eye.