Monthly Archives: January 2010

Australian Open women predictions

Alright so now that the Australian Open, the first of the Slams, is in the semis, I’m making my official predictions for the Final. (Note: I did make an initial prediction, I admit. It was for Cljisters…sigh)

Women’s: I think this is a relatively simple prediction. Yes, the Chinese players are the up-and-comers but I really don’t think it’s their time yet. S. Williams (#1), a 5’10 mass of muscle, will be playing Na Li (#17), a 5’4 waif. Li has beat a lot of great players in her run (from third round): Hantuchova (#25) in a three-setter, Wozniaki (#4) in two, and V. Williams (#6) in three. The game against Venus was brutal. The average break point conversion was 54 per cent and the match featured a combined 110 unforced errors. Wow. Venus had 11 double faults, five alone in the third set. Both players did a bad job. Now Li has to face the bigger and badder version of Venus in her sister, Serena. Game over. Serena hasn’t had it as easy as no doubt she wishes. The quarterfinal game against Azarenka (#7) looked to be lost but it’s never over for Serena. She fought back to win in three sets. Her other opponents were relatively easy two-setters. She won the Australian Open last year, can she do it again? On the other side, the comeback kid, Henin (unranked) is playing Jie Zheng (#35). Henin is hungry after coming out of retirement. It’s clear in the way she has been playing. I really don’t know much about Zheng but the last two rounds (quarters and fourth round) she won in two sets. She hasn’t had to work as much as, say, Cilic. Henin is fresh off her win against Petrova (#19) whose rank doesn’t give her justice. I just have a gut feeling and it’s going with Henin.

Serena vs. Henin? Well, I prefer Henin. I really can’t stand the way Serena plays tennis, too much force and no delicate, jaw-dropping shots. Henin is more the artiste—the style I enjoy watching. Henin also looks a lot smaller than she actually is. Sites range her height from 5’4 to 5’6, which is small for tennis but she just looks so tiny out there. If she can make Serena move, that’s key. Azarenka, when she was in the lead, had Serena moving all over the court and, with her size, it’s to her disadvantage. But you don’t want to make Serena mad. Somehow, her anger makes her better. She’s like a bull with smoke coming out the nose, I would not want to be on the other side of the court at that point. Will delicate play defeat brawn and power? I don’t think so. I think Serena will win, but it’ll be a three-setter with Henin winning the first set.

Written after the final: So, turns out I was pretty bang on. Williams won the championship, but Henin did take one set, just not the first one. The final score was 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. Looking at the match statistics, they are close. Serena had 90 total points won with Henin at 85. They had a combined unforced error of 69 (way better than the 110 between Li and Venus). I prefer Henin but I don’t make predictions based on preference. She is a force to be reckoned with coming back out of retirement and you’ll see her in more finals for sure. Now for Federer to dominate against Murray….PLEASE!

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Learning da HTML

Ok, so. In my Online class, we’ve been learning the basics of HTML, and even though it’s the basics, I still get confused. I consider myself techno-savvy to a certain extent but not to the extent of knowing much more than anybody else. Haha. As I write this in WordPress, I switched from Visual to HTML and wrote in the code for everything. WordPress makes it easy for you and does everything. All you have to do is click a button. But I decided not to do it so easily and to make myself learn HTML. Hopefully this works. I will bold the following word —> BOLD! Hehe. Simple eh? Not if you didn’t know the code word (it’s “strong”). I went to this site: http://www.w3schools.com/ which is really helpful and has some great tutorials. Really practical. Ooooh added Italics…or “em.” Of course, why would you do this if WordPress does it all for you? I’d like to think it’s because you want to actually get down to the basics of how it’s done. Adding that wonderful picture of me above was mega hard. I tested it about a hundred times before I got it right. I compared another post that I had automatically added a photo and tried to do the same but with a different photo. The thing about HTML is that if you get ONE THING wrong, it looks like this –>

<img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-201" title="SL" src="https://leavittjschool.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/yearbookyourself_sl_1986

Ok, another lesson learned. WordPress gets it if you make a little mistake and fixes it, damn you! So I had to mess the HTML for the picture quite a bit for you to see it as code. But as you can see, the picture is left-justified. Too amateur to center it, believe me, I tried. I like writing my post under HTML, makes me feel smart. Now to work on a whole webpage…sigh.

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Website Critique

The Huffington Post

 Organization:             14/20

 Ease of use:                13/20

 Aesthetics:                  12/20

 Content Richness:     17/20

 Content Style:            17/20

 TOTAL:                     73/100

 Critique – The Huffington Post is a sensationalist news website that attracts people through huge headlines and photos and using the techniques of both a newspaper and a blog. The organization of the site is fairly simple. It is divided by subject and features a sidebar showcasing the most frequented/popular stories. I gave it 14/20 however because the home page is way too busy. I can never read from this site because there is too many options to choose from, from the home page to subjects like politics. The ease of use is complicated because of this and because the Home page scrolls on forever. Meanwhile, the photos and massive amount of links makes it hard to look at. Where it succeeds is in content. The sensationalist headlines and photos attract readers and the home page only offers a glimpse into the article or post. I think the comment section of each article should be linked to and not at the bottom of the article because this makes for continuing scrolling. The writing is entertaining and attention-grabbing. Overall grade of 73 out of 100.

 Sympatico.ca

 Organization:             17/20

 Ease of use:                17/20

 Aesthetics:                  17/20

 Content Richness:     15/20

 Content Style:            16/20

 TOTAL:                     82/100

 Critique – My parents continue to use Sympatico as their homepage despite my many tries to change it to Google. Then I really looked at it. It is a very decent website. The overall organization of the site is crisp. Divided by subject as well as different news organizations, this site is an amalgamation of news, weather, online games, shopping…etc. Looking at it in a strictly news sense, it’s appealing. The home page offers a lot of information but does so neatly. The aesthetic is clean. The top of the page flashes from news story to the next without being too distracting. The writing of the headlines are key here since that’s all you see. Once linked to an article written for Sympatico (not CTV News or CBC), the writing is not too dull, however, not extraordinary. An article that runs longer than 500 words links to a second page, instead of taking up a page and scrolling forever. Some of the pictures that relate to the article, though, are just too small. The site, like the Huffington Post, has a sidebar of popular articles, an element I think is crucial in a news site. Overall grade: 82/100.

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Michael Ignatieff whirlwind uni tour

Michael Ignatieff came to Montreal today on a stop in his cross-country university speaking tour. He stopped in at Concordia to answer questions from students. As a former university professor (ehem, Harvard), he was at ease with the crowd and as a politican, particularly good at not exactly answering the question. There were several Liberal MPs in the room, including Justin Trudeau (teehee) and Marc Garneau. It can be heard here. Go to his Facebook page to see where he stops next.

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