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Two of the top soccer nations in the world clash in World Cup qualifying Friday as Chile faces Colombia. Currently second in South American qualifying, Colombia, ranked fifth by FIFA, can book its ticket for the 2014 World Cup in neighbo...
Two of the top soccer nations in the world clash in World Cup qualifying Friday as Chile faces Colombia. Currently second in South American qualifying, Colombia, ranked fifth by FIFA, can book its ticket for the 2014 World Cup in neighboring Brazil with a win. They face Chile, ranked No. 16, which is guaranteed at least a playoff shot at getting into the global soccer showcase next summer. Colombia was favored midweek at -110 in World Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com with Chile at +300 and the draw line at +240. Chile is in third place in South America with 24 points, and this game could be more important for them. Chile has won three of the last four matches against the Colombians, but they lost at home in their last match, a World Cup qualifier last September. Chile will have a tough time facing a Columbia defense that has five clean sheets at home in qualifying so far. The past three meetings between these rivals have played OVER the total, according to the Chile vs Colombia matchup report. The Chilean defense will have to key on the Colombian duo of Radamel Falcao (six goals) and Teofilo Gutierrez (three goals). If they can keep those players in check, they have a good chance to win this match and stay ahead of Ecuador and Uruguay in the standings. Chile is resigned to playing stout defense, as they lack a dynamic and creative offense. In World Cup qualifying, Matias Fernandez is their leading scorer and he only has three goals. Both teams have won eight of their 14 qualifying games to date. Defense has proven the difference maker. Chile has conceded 21 goals while Colombia has allowed just nine. The match is being played at Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Melendez.
about 5 hours ago
We have just arrived to Ayampe a small fishing village were we will stay the next weeks for a two week long crash course in Spanish. Even though we have managed to get by without basically knowing any Spanish we feel we will get out more...
We have just arrived to Ayampe a small fishing village were we will stay the next weeks for a two week long crash course in Spanish. Even though we have managed to get by without basically knowing any Spanish we feel we will get out more from our time in South America with some basic knowledge of the language. Ayampe should also have one the best beaches in Ecuador for surfing and we are planni
about 5 hours ago
Social media is increasingly becoming the method airlines, hotels, credit cards and consumers get in touch with one another about the latest news, deals and promotions. Every week, Team TPG and I comb through Facebook posts, Tweets, Inst...
Social media is increasingly becoming the method airlines, hotels, credit cards and consumers get in touch with one another about the latest news, deals and promotions. Every week, Team TPG and I comb through Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram pics and more to find the most interesting things going on. Here’s a look at the latest interesting contests, trending topics and more on social media from the week, but if I miss something you’d like to discuss feel free to: -Post on my Facebook wall -Tweet me @thepointsguy -Instagram me @thepointsguy Here are some of the hottest news stories that everyone has been tweeting about this week. Starwood’s Take a Spin Promotion: Don’t forget to enter Starwood’s Take a Spin promotion which ends on Thursday, where you can win a number of instant prizes such as free nights or Starpoints, and be entered to win the grand prize of 250,000 Starpoints. You can enter online once a day through Thursday, October 10, 2013, or you can also enter onsite at several Starwood sponsored events. You might as well enter since it only takes about 30 seconds. The nine-year-old stowaway reportedly had a criminal record. Nine-Year-Old Boy Who Sneaked Onto A Las Vegas Plane Reportedly Had Criminal History: There has been continuing developments about the boy who stowed away on a flight to Las Vegas this week, and the latest report from @FOX5Atlanta is that is wasn’t his first time in trouble. In an email obtained by the Star Tribune, Janine Moore, the area director of the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department, said child protection investigators have conducted four assessments on the boy’s family since December 2012, including vehicle theft and sneaking into a water park with another family. However, the release of the memo to the media was without Moore’s authorization, she claims. Business Insider contributors reported the return of the Pinocchio Lizard. The Pinocchio Lizard Returns To Ecuador After 50 Years: @BI Contributors is celebrating the return of the Pinocchio Lizard after 50 years to the Ecuadorian town of Mindo, a popular ecotourism venue, in which tourists can see a relatively undisturbed rainforest. The Pinocchio anole was discovered in 1953 but since then had been barely spotted and many assumed it was extinct. Follow the Olympic Torch across Russia. Follow The Olympic Torch Across Russia: @HuffPostTravel is following the 39,000-mile trek the Olympic Torch will make across Russia before kicking off the Winter Games on February 7. The flame for the 2014 Sochi Games was finally lit on Sunday by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and even though it went out, it was quickly relit. The Appalachian Trail is 90 years old. Happy Birthday Appalachian Trail!: One of America’s most famous hikes celebrated a milestone birthday on Tuesday. The journey which will take you from Georgia to Maine — or vice versa — right through New York’s Bear Mountain State Park, where the national scenic trail was essentially born 90 years ago, reveals @USATodayTravel. @AP reported that the UN wants compensation for Haiti cholera victims. United Nations Demands Compensation For Victims Of Haiti Cholera Outbreak: The UN made a rare case for compensation for the thousands of Haitians who have died of a cholera outbreak in the Caribbean nation, reported @AP. The deadly disease is thought to have been brought in by UN peacekeepers, and claimed the lives of more than 8,000 people. @NBCNew York reported that a drifter has confessed to attacking a tourist in 2012. Canadian Drifter Admits To Attacking Tourists Sat On A NYC Park Bench: A drifter has pleaded guilty to attempted murder in a July 2012 incident in which he allegedly attacked a Spanish tourist with a claw hammer, reported @NBCNewYork. Visiting from Barcelona, Spain, Hugo Alejandre was eating lunch with his girlfriend in a park surrounding New York’s City Hall when a business-suit-clad man sitting next to them pu
about 10 hours ago
Manager's notion of 'garra' has turned rugged Uruguayans into a team who believe they can beat anyone by sheer force of personality and reach the 2014 tournament in BrazilRationally, football teams should not have personalities. There is...
Manager's notion of 'garra' has turned rugged Uruguayans into a team who believe they can beat anyone by sheer force of personality and reach the 2014 tournament in BrazilRationally, football teams should not have personalities. There is no reason why certain clubs or countries should not be able to change the way they play, or why the same pattern should keep repeating itself, and yet they do. Why do England keep losing on penalties? Some would argue it is to do with basic technique – and yet Holland's record is almost as bad. Why did Sir Alex Ferguson's teams score so regularly in the final minutes of games? Given how Roy Keane briefly transferred the habit to Sunderland, it cannot surely only have been fitness?You end up concluding that, up to a point, things happen because they have happened before, that habits become self-perpetuating. England and the Dutch lose penalty shootouts because they are used to losing penalty shootouts. Manchester United scored goals late in games because they expected to score late in games. When the habit, for good or bad, is bound up with a supposed national characteristic, it is all the more potent.Since returning to the Uruguay national job in 2006, Oscar Washington Tabárez has done two great things. He has revolutionised the youth set-up, rebuilding it to mirror the work José Pekerman did with Argentina in the 90s (establishing the foundations that won five out of seven Under-20 World Cups), and he has reinstituted the notion of "garra" as a positive force.Garra – literally "claw" – is the defining Uruguayan characteristic, a term that incorporates determination, hardness and being streetwise. In the 80s it was used to justify football of unconscionable brutality and cynicism; Tabárez began the process of rehabilitating Uruguay's reputation at Italia 90 and has taken his work far further in his second spell as national manager.Over the past seven years, garra has come to underpin Uruguay's mental toughness. Tabárez has created an environment in which Uruguay's players have come to believe that they are grittier than opponents, that, when it comes down to it, they can beat them by force of personality.That is not to say the cynicism has vanished – as Luis Suárez's handball on the line in the final minute of the 2010 World Cup quarter-final against Ghana attested. And there remains a ruggedness to their play – as the forward Sebastián Abreu noted after Uruguay won the fair play award at the 2011 Copa America, to see Diego Lugano with the trophy was like seeing Osama bin Laden with the Nobel peace prize.That belief in their own powers of durability carried Uruguay to the semi-final of the last World Cup – the first time they had been beyond the last 16 since 1970 – and to the Copa America in 2011. It might also have salvaged their campaign to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.As late as June this year, after a run of nine months without a win in a competitive fixture, Uruguay looked unlikely to make it. The miserable run began with a 4-0 hammering in Barranquilla to a Falcao and Teó Guttiérez-inspired Colombia. They then lost 3-0 in Argentina, 4-1 in Bolivia and 2-0 in Chile, while drawing home games against Ecuador and Paraguay.Tabárez, almost unthinkably, found himself under pressure, while the widespread assumption was that, at 34, Diego Forlán was over the hill. Hope came, though, when Jhasmani Campos scored an 86th-minute equaliser for Bolivia at home to a Venezuela side that has improved out of all recognition over the past decade.That meant that when Venezuela, having played a game more, hosted Uruguay in Ciudad Guayana four days later, they did so with a lead of three points rather than five. Uruguay dug in, defended ferociously and won thanks to a superb Edinson Cavani goal on the break.Venezuela then lost in Chile as Uruguay won with a Suárez double in a fractious Peru (whose Uruguayan manager, Sergio Markarián, has imbued his side with a deal of garra as well). Those results essential
about 13 hours ago
Assange has been forced to take refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since he was granted asylum by the South American country in June last year. “It’s been over a year that Mr. Assange has been in our embassy. We are seriously co...
Assange has been forced to take refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since he was granted asylum by the South American country in June last year. “It’s been over a year that Mr. Assange has been in our embassy. We are seriously considering what we will do in the coming months and the possibility of using other diplomatic bodies, as we have been raising [with London] proposal after proposal,” Patino told local media. Patino said he may go “for example, to the International Court of Justice to deal with it.” Patino continued that while up to now the British authorities have shown their willingness to meet with the Ecuadorians, they had not shown any desire to resolve the case. Patino added that he was becoming increasingly concerned about Assange’s health.  Unable to leave due to police outside waiting to seize him, Assange is confined to just one small room in the Ecuadorian embassy. Assange is the main founder of Wikileaks and requested asylum in Ecuador’s embassy to avoid being extradited to Sweden where authorities want to try him for alleged sex crimes. The whistleblower believes that the Swedish extradition request is a legal smoke screen to send him on to the United States, where he says he could face the death penalty for revealing secret US diplomatic cables. Keeping Assange under lock and key in the Ecuadorian embassy has cost the British tax payer well over £4 million as there is a permanent police presence of at least eight officers outside, should the Australian whistleblower attempt to make a run for it.
1 day ago
It seems like almost everyone I have talked with recently laments, where has the summer gone? As a matter of fact, where did September go? It seems like yesterday that it was Memorial Day and all of the summer residents to Maine were jus...
It seems like almost everyone I have talked with recently laments, where has the summer gone? As a matter of fact, where did September go? It seems like yesterday that it was Memorial Day and all of the summer residents to Maine were just rolling into town and we were rolling out our summer annuals. When I look back at photographs taken early in the season, it is amazing to see just how small all of these plants were in May. June was cool along the Maine coast but once July came, things warmed up and carried us through September. As the temperatures warmed, our plants grew. Some plants grew more than others and these are the ones we are noting to use again in different ways for next year’s displays. This week’s plant was one of the show-stoppers of our summer display. We had an exhibition of Lunaform pots at CMBG all summer long. In our Burpee Kitchen Garden, there were 4 matching pots that our kitchen gardener filled to the rim with plants. The centerpiece of this arrangement was Solanum quitoense or “bed of nails plant.” The common name for this tomato relative comes from the nearly inch long, purple spikes that emanate from the leaves, stems, and main stalk of the plant. Another common name is naranjilla, although this is primarily associated with the non-spiky plant grown more for its fruit, than its leaves. A plant native to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela, it can grow up to 8 feet tall in cultivation, although in our short summer of Maine, we will be lucky if ours reaches 3-4 feet in height by the end of the summer. It is an annual so we can propagate ours through cuttings or by saving the seeds from the fleshy, bright orange fruit. An individual leaf on these plants can be over a foot in length and 10″ or more in width. They are fuzzy, light green with a purple tinge, and the afore to mentioned purple spikes. People who have never seen these plants before cannot believe that such a macabre plant really exists. I remember when I saw one for the first time 15 years ago at Swarthmore College. I did a double take and then of course, immediately wanted one. I would suggest that you grow this annual out of the reach of children. The spikes not only look sharp, they are sharp! Grow these plants in a rich, well-drained soil in part-shade to full-sun. The warmer your climate, the more shade I would give this plant in the middle of the summer. -Rodney Images: Carrie Eason, The Garden Diaries , finegardening.com
1 day ago
The final round of World Cup qualifying matches in South America is set to get under way this Friday with some games taking on huge importance. Argentina are already qualified, but what of the teams right behind them? Colombia, Chile, Ec...
The final round of World Cup qualifying matches in South America is set to get under way this Friday with some games taking on huge importance. Argentina are already qualified, but what of the teams right behind them? Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela sit second to sixth, respectively, all harbouring hopes of reaching next year's World Cup hosted by their overbearing neighbour, Brazil. So what better time than now to look at a power ranking of South American nations? Instead of simply using the qualification table as an indicator, we are going to do things a little more thoroughly. Three criteria will help rank all South American nations: History: How many trophies has each nation won? A World Cup will weigh far more heavily than a Copa America crown. Present day: What is the make up of the current squad and how strong do the country look eight months before a ball is kicked at the World Cup? Future: Upon reaching a World Cup, how would the country realistically fare? Begin Slideshow
1 day ago
This ain't no lie: The Pinocchio lizard was thought to be extinct for 50 years, but has been rediscovered in the cloud forests of Ecuador.
This ain't no lie: The Pinocchio lizard was thought to be extinct for 50 years, but has been rediscovered in the cloud forests of Ecuador.
2 days ago
Pinocchio Lizard Alejandro Artega / Tropical Herping The Pinocchio lizard, horned anole, or Pinocchio anole (Anolis proboscis) was discovered in Ecuador in 1953. Sometime in the 1960s, we lost track of it, and for decades it was assu...
Pinocchio Lizard Alejandro Artega / Tropical Herping The Pinocchio lizard, horned anole, or Pinocchio anole (Anolis proboscis) was discovered in Ecuador in 1953. Sometime in the 1960s, we lost track of it, and for decades it was assumed to have gone extinct. But it was seen again in 2005, and a few times since then, and now, reptile- and amphibian-focused ecotourism group Tropical Herping has managed to snag one and observe it for a whole day. Which means we get to look at pictures of one of the weirdest lizards on the planet!     The Pinocchio lizard is native, we think, to a tiny area around one small road near the Ecuadorian town of Mindo. It's become an odd sort of white whale for researchers; the (excellent) anole research blog Anole Annals routinely features stories about the creature. Mindo is a popular ecotourism venue, in which tourists can see a relatively undisturbed rainforest, go zip-lining, and tromp about in search of cool weird animals and plants (it's also home to about 170 species of orchid). In other words, Mindo is home to a weird-looking, super rare lizard, and also full of a lot of people who would be very interested to see such a lizard. Tropical Herping stumbled upon a male Pinocchio lizard—only the males have the exaggerated snout that gives the species its name—and managed to snag one for overnight observation. (It was returned to its home territory the next day.) The group was trying to find this species because it's the only one they had left to photograph for their new book, The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo. But they've also gotten some new information about the lizard; for example, we now know that the snout is flexible, and that the lizard is found in both deep cloud forest and in the border areas near towns. The time spent with the lizard confirms that it is weird and cool.  [Destination Ecuador via NBC News]
2 days ago
The Russian website LifeNews has published a photo of a man resembling NSA leaker Edward Snowden shopping for groceries and interviewed Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, who said that the man in the picture is the 30-year-old American...
The Russian website LifeNews has published a photo of a man resembling NSA leaker Edward Snowden shopping for groceries and interviewed Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, who said that the man in the picture is the 30-year-old American. The man in the picture is wearing a silver shirt that resembles the one Snowden wore in his initial interviews with the Guardian. Max Seddon of Buzzfeed reports that Kucherena, who has links to the Kremlin's security services, told LifeNews that the former CIA technician is thinking about applying for Russian citizenship, which requires that he live in Russia for at least five years. On August 1 Russia granted Snowden temporary asylum, which Kucherena said gives him "the same rights and freedoms possessed by the citizens of the Russian Federation.” It can be renewed indefinitely. Snowden flew to Moscow on June 23 after spending several days in the Russian consulate in Hong Kong. During that time WikiLeaks founder Assange had convinced Ecuador's consul in London to provide a document requesting that authorities allow Snowden to travel to Ecuador via Russia "for the purpose of political asylum." Ecuador's president subsequently said the document was "completely invalid," stranding Snowden in Russia.SEE ALSO: Did WikiLeaks Sell Out Snowden To The Russians? Join the conversation about this story »
2 days ago