Bibek Bhandari, the man, the journalist, the hair

The wind blows strongly through the trees, rustling the growing leaves that are ushering in the first days of spring.

With it, the wind brings a set of problems that for the inexperienced person would lead to the most terrible of all things: a bad hair day.

The unrelenting gusts mercilessly push their way through everything, not caring whose hair they move out of place, disturbing every follicle.

There is one man however who has hair so perfect, so exquisitely beautiful that even the wind, the most heartless of creatures, is powerless to do anything but admire….

When you meet Bibek Bhandari for the first time, it is impossible not to remain astonished in front of such perfection.

This Nepalese guy, whose age is unknown to most, is a concentrate of awesomeness: his journalistic skills make him be on the go at all times, while his perfect hair allows him to get every door opened.

Born in Nepal at a certain point between 1980 and 1989, Bhandari has made his way into the world of news through an enthusiastic attitude towards the world’s oldest job.

Or one of the oldest.

The mass media were created to allow a larger portion of people know about the world. However, we could easily say that Bhandari actually invented the mass media.

There is no question on why he did this: he IS the news.

We asked him what he thought about that statement, a knowing smile breaking on his face as the question unfolded.

In reply he turned his head to the side, tilted it back and started laughing, the early morning sun glinting off the perfectly formed locks that sit so easily on his head.

He is such a pensive person, so calm and quiet, yet the confidence in his ability is for all to see. It is unclear whether this confidence comes from his skill or his hair.

He looks into the distance waiting for us to bring the conversation back to a level he feels worthy of joining.

When the World needed fire, there was one man who heated all the others.

When the World needed to communicate, there was one man who taught them how to write.

When the World needed to speed up travelling, there was one man who gave them a steam train.

But when the World needed news, well, there was Bibek Bhandari who gave it to them.

To you, he may just be the man with perfect hair that you see flitting in and out of the world leaving all those in his wake fulfilled with a sense of knowledge from the news he leaves behind.

To us, he is our Captain. He is Bibek Bhandari.

By: Patrick McCaul and Bibek Bhandari
Picture: courtesy of the man himself

Alonso wins in Malaysia

Fernando Alonso gained an unexpected victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Spaniard won ahead of Sauber’s underdog Sergio Perez and poleman Lewis Hamilton.

The heavy rain affected the race, which was interrupted after only nine laps due to visibility and safety problems. After a 45-minute break, the race was started again under the safety car.

Fernando Alonso, who started from 8th, gained advantage by his strategy, since he changed his tyres to the “Intermediate” compound before all of the others.

The right choice made at the right moment allowed him to take the leadership of the race with large advantage.

Nevertheless, he was helped in this by the fact that the current leader, Jenson Button, had to head back to the pits to change a tyre flattened after a contact with Narain Karthikeyan, who was surprisingly in the top ten.

From this moment on, Alonso started to gain more and more advantage over the others, while Perez, who started from 9th, was able to maintain his second position.

None of the big contenders (McLarens, Red bulls and Felipe Massa) were able to keep up with the pace of the first two drivers, who put more than 15 seconds between them and the rest of the group.

However, Perez was going to catch Alonso in the last laps of the Grand Prix, when his team told him “Be careful, this result is very important to us.”

Maybe distracted by this radio announcement, he made a mistake going wide when he was almost behind the Ferrari driver.

Not a big deal: he could recover but he was unable to catch what would have been the first victory for him and for his team.

“It’s an unbelievable result for us, today,” Alonso told in the post-race press conference. “We were not competitive in Australia, we were not competitive here, so it’s an unbelievable result.”

However, as he admits, “this changes nothing. We are in a position that we don’t want: we want to fight for pole positions, for victories. There is still much work to do on the car, but we trust each other a lot in the team.”

The championship now sees the Spaniard first, five points ahead of Hamilton and 10 on Jenson Button, who scored a none, as well as reigning champion Sebastian Vettel.

The circus will move to Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix, on the 15th of April.

 

How to become every girl’s best heterosexual friend

I consider myself to be many girls’ best friend. I haven’t really chosen this role, but surely I haven’t done anything to avoid it.
And this without being gay at all. I mean, I have never had any prejudices against gay people, but it is common sense that gay people are girls’ best friends.

This post is dedicated to my five best female friends: Martina (“Testa di minchia”, “Cazzona”, Ronca” and “Bisonk”), Silvia (“Silviotta”, then changed to “Silvietta”, “Marquetti”, “Marchetta”), Alice (“Nana”), Anna (“La negra”, “L’egizia”, “Mamma Africa” and many other famous black people) and Desiree (“Denise”, “Cugghiuna”).

Here is a little guide on how to become the girls’ best friend, if you really want to (although I don’t really see why you ever would) …remaining 100% heterosexual.

Rule#1: LISTEN.

Which is a pretty demanding thing to do, considering that we are just at the first rule, and considering that we are talking about girls. Those living beings that never stop expressing their thoughts.

And trust me, there are some girls who are more…girls that others. But if you manage to listen to them, you’re already half way into your process of de-sexualisation in your female friends’ eyes!

Rule #2: DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL.

I could write a book called something like “101 things that I know about girls, and that I didn’t really want to find out.”  Because you don’t really want to know how to use a tampon when you are wearing a thong, or how a, let’s call him “Notorious B.I.G.” as affected the sexual life of your female friends… but that’s it, you need to go through this in your process to become every girl’s best friend.

Rule#3: DON’T SHOW ANY SIGNS OF SEXUAL INTEREST TOWARDS THEM.

Ever. Don’t be tempted by their cleavage, their skirts or other factors that would revive your almost lost primordial instincts. Remember, you have now committed to become their best friend. What a hell of a best friend would stare at their boobies like a perv?

It’s tough, I know, especially in the spring time. But if you are patient, you will be later allowed to do some things that only their female friends or their gay friends are allowed to do. Focus on the worst parts of your targeted female friends. Try to imagine them boobless. That might help.

Rule#4: SLEEP WITH THEM ONCE WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING BUT SLEEPING.

At this point, you should have entered their circle of intimacy. You have probably started going shopping with them. It’s now time to prove that you can be a great friend. It’s time to sleep with them.

Any by sleeping, I mean: sleeping. Not “sleeping”. Simple, mere sleeping. Don’t even try to think of other things. If you have a TV with an Xbox, ask them to play with you.

Girls go mad with videogames more than what you think, although you’ll need to spend some time explaining that pushing the buttons randomly it’s not the way you do it.

But it could be fun. If for no other reason than that you want to be part of their world.

Rule #5: FIND THE RIGHT GIRLS.

I did. My five best female friends are the sisters I’ve never had (not that I’ve ever wanted any, however). We’re like a family, although we are spread all around Europe. And you’re the best thing that I went through during our BA in Varese, Italy.

I miss you, my bitches!

Yours sincerely,
Tommaso Cervini (da pimp/yo daddy)

Team GB kits launched

The official Team GB kits for the Olympic Games were launched on Thursday at the Tower of London as part of the merchandising campaign by official supplier Adidas.

The kits, designed by former Beatle’s daughter Stella McCartney, have been designed for all of the 26 Olympic sports, but particularly interesting is the football jersey.

In fact, this is the first time a Great British team will take part in the football competitions, so it is quite a collectors’ “must have”.

However, the Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh Football Associations have discouraged their home players from taking part in the Team GB, warning them against the fans’ backlash.

Indeed, this has been one of the most controversial choices made by the British Olympic authority, and surely one of the least popular.

Despite this, Welsh players Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale have posed with the Team GB jersey on, regardless of their Association’s warnings.

The jersey will be sold at an arguable price of £52, making most of the fans unhappy, also if we consider that the junior jersey will be sold at £42, and the shorts at £26.

As part of the merchandising campaign for the Olympics, the kit selling will play a huge role in funding the Games.

However, none of the Olympic Sports associations will receive a penny from this, since the British Olympic Authority sold their marketing rights to Locog (the London 2012 organising committee), in 2004, for £30m.

As reported on The Independent website, Locog is planning “to raise just over £2bn, the cost of ‘staging the games’” –which means, providing the sports equipment for all of the activities, the uniforms, the medals etc.-

However, at the end of the games, 60% of the revenue surplus, if at all, will be given to the British Olympic Authority; but they don’t expect to have any.

Jenson Button wins in Melbourne

Jenson Button won the Australian Grand Prix, the first race of the 2012 Formula 1 season.

This is the third time in four years that the Briton tops the podium in the opening event, in Melbourne. He was followed by Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.

“Every victory means a lot, but the starts of the past two seasons have both been tricky for us, so today is really encouraging,” he told the reporters after the race.

Traditionally, the driver starting on pole position on this track is also the winner, but this time the starting order was completely twisted.

Everybody was expecting a great performance by both of the McLarens, with Hamilton starting in first and Button in second, while Sebastian Vettel, who was starting from sixth, was able to gain four positions at the end of the race.

After a very disappointing qualifying, Fernando Alonso finished in fourth, gaining eight places from his starting position, while his teammate at Ferrari, Felipe Massa, retired after a collision with Bruno Senna.

Michael Schumacher started in fourth (his best starting position since he came back in 2010) but suffered from a gearbox failure after a few laps.

Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen was probably the best of the rest: started from 18th, he finished his comeback race in seventh.

The first race of the year does not tell much about the real values of the teams, however, we can make some deductions.

Red Bull appears to have lost its supremacy of last year, when they had the most reliable and unbeatable car of the field; McLaren has repeated the consistency shown during the winter tests, whilst Mercedes has not, but it has room to improve.

What about Ferrari? They are lost. Team principal Stefano Domenicali  admitted that they have problems with the balance of the car, and this was clear in the qualify (with the drivers starting from 12th and 16th), while the race pace was slightly better, thanks to Alonso’s determination.

“Today the car was better than yesterday; however, we still have a lot of work to do to reach those who are ahead of us in terms of performance,” Alonso told the press.

Felipe Massa was never able to find a suitable set up all the weekend, and his “DNF” in the race standings is just not surprising.

The 2012 season is already in the record books because six World champions (Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen) are taking part in it for the first time in the F1 history.

The next weekend, the Formula 1 “circus” will move to Malaysia, for the second round of the season.

One-way ticket to the past

Who does not remember the 2011 British Grand Prix? For those who do, during that ridiculous weekend they could not agree on whether Red Bull’s blown diffuser was legal or not and, therefore, they changed the rules three times in two days.

Controversial episodes in the previous years are countless: the F-duct (2010), the double-decker diffuser (2009), Ferrari’s nose hole (2008) and Renault’s mass damper (2008), just to name a few.

For 50 years, Formula 1 focused on drivers rather than cars. People tend to remember the drivers’ performances, rather than their cars’.

Everybody who is a Formula 1 enthusiast (and also those who are not) know about the deeds of people like Gilles Villeneuve, Ayrton Senna or Michael Schumacher.

They were the centre of attention, and everything that surrounded them took a back seat in one of the world’s most glamorous sports.

Cars were important, too, since they have always been the inseparable element that links drivers with achievements. However, except in some rare cases, they did not take as much space in the news as they do today.

The problem is that, nowadays, Formula 1 is getting more and more technical, and further and further from the general public and from the Formula 1 fans.

In the past 10 years we have seen an escalation in the changes to technical regulations. At first, because they tried to put a stop to Ferrari’s success of the first years of the century. Then, because races had become extremely boring for the general audience (which is more appealing to the advertisers than the inner circle of F1 enthusiast).

The lack of “show and overtakes” during the Grand Prix led to a huge change in the technical rules for the 2009 season, but there was still space for the engineers to find loopholes and gain an advantage, which is exactly what BrawnGP did.

Therefore, today, the regulations are so strict and detailed that the media, before and during the season, spend most of their time trying to explain things like double-decker diffusers, new tyres, blown diffusers and so on.

This year, the first team to undergo the FIA’s judgement was Lotus, with its reactive height system, and there are suspicions that Red Bull’s front hole in the chassis is against regulations.

Not all of the viewers are keen on technical matters, and surely most of the people and F1 enthusiasts are not interested in these topics at all. People want the focus to be put on the races rather than on such nonsense problems.

The FIA has tried to make races interesting again, but not only they have not succeeded, but they have made the wrong decisions and too often change their minds.

Every year, you know there will be something that is going to be banned on some car, or controversially allowed, giving the rest of the teams the benefit of the doubt.

To call a halt to this, the FIA should stop changing the technical regulations every year, or even more than once a year, and leave the engineers and designers freer to do their job.

Working in Formula 1 was the best job an engineer could aspire to, because not only it was the top of motorsports, but it was also one of the fields which the company invested more money in.

A simpler Formula 1 would attract more people to it and would restore its former glory, but those who rule this sport seem not to be able to understand it.