Monthly Archives: January 2006

Australian Open Winner 2006: Roger Federer

Roger Federer celebrating after claiming the 2006 Australian Open title

Read all about Roger Federer winning the 2007 Australian Open.

Swiss No.1 seed Roger Federer has claimed the men’s title at Australian Open 2006 after a brilliant comeback against unseeded Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis to win 5-7 7-5 6-0 6-2.

Roger Federer claimed the win after recovering from being a set and a break down to Baghdatis. During the first set, both players were exchanging blows frequently and by the end there were only a handful of points between them. One of the most telling points of the first set was the first serve statistics. The Baghdatis first serve wasn’t quite as consistent (lagging by a few percent) however he won a staggering 85-90% of the balls compared to 65-70% from Federer.

The second set continued where the first ended with Baghdatis bringing it to Federer from the baseline and being rewarded with a break. At this point, it seemed possible that he was going to streak to a 3-0 lead. Federer was forced to change his game, slowing the pace down, offering a lot more slice backhands to Baghdatis and continued to press on. It seemed a strange tactic at the time, presenting a slow moving ball to the magnificent Baghdatis backhand. When Baghdatis was forced to generate all the pace, cracks started to show in the armor and unforced errors crept in. Federer recovered the break and towards the end of the set upped the ante, taking it 7-5.

After Federer took the last few games of the second set, there was a momentum shift and Baghdatis felt was it was like to be on the receiving end of Federer when he is freely hitting. With nothing to combat the pure excellence of a free hitting Federer, he stormed through the third set 6-0 and Baghdatis was left wondering what had happened.

The fourth set continued in a similar fashion with Federer dominating. Roger took an early 3-0 lead in the set when there was a chance for Baghdatis to get back in. Unfortunately, after having a short lived cramp in his left calf muscle – he couldn’t muster the intensity to run down the balls Federer was firing at him. Federer took the fourth and final set 6-2.

At the presentation ceremony, Federer was speechless. Once he collected his thoughts, he managed only a few words before he broke down in tears with the emotion of the moment. After winning this years Australian Open, Roger has now been elevated even further into the history books. This particular win puts him in the esteemed company of only 2 other men to win three consecutive Grand Slam tournaments, Rod Laver and Pete Sampras.

There has been some fantastic tennis played over the last fortnight and its safe to assume that the name Marcos Baghdatis will be on the radar of every top 50 player in the world after the Australian Open this year.

Chuck Norris

Chuck NorrisChuck Norris has recently been experiencing the same phenomenon that David Hasselhoff has, email mania. With the email(s) flashing around the world, it seems that Chuck Norris has also seen them and has posted a response on his site! What follows is a list, in no particular order, of some of my favourite Chuck Norris facts:

  • Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried. Ever.
  • The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Chuck Norris, not the box jellyfish of northern Australia, is the most venomous creature on earth. Within 3 minutes of being bitten, a human being experiences the following symptoms: fever, blurred vision, beard rash, tightness of the jeans, and the feeling of being repeatedly kicked through a car windshield.
  • When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes, ever.
  • Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
  • In fine print on the last page of the Guinness Book of World Records it notes that all world records are held by Chuck Norris, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone else has ever gotten.
  • The Great Wall of China was originally created to keep Chuck Norris out. It failed miserably.
  • Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.
  • Chuck Norris has counted to infinity. Twice.
  • There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris allows to live.
  • Chuck Norris does not hunt because the word hunting implies the probability of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.
  • Chuck Norris once bet NASA he could survive re-entry without a spacesuit. On July 19th, 1999, a naked Chuck Norris re-entered the earth’s atmosphere, streaking over 14 states and reaching a temperature of 3000 degrees. An embarrassed NASA publically claimed it was a meteor, and still owes him a beer.
  • Chuck Norris has two speeds: Walk and Kill.
  • Chuck Norris’ blood type is AK+. Ass-Kicking Positive. It is compatible only with heavy construction equipment, tanks, and fighter jets.
  • Chuck Norris is 1/8th Cherokee. This has nothing to do with ancestry, the man ate an Indian.
  • There is no chin behind Chuck Norris’ beard. There is only another fist.
  • Most people have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Chuck Norris has 72… and they’re all poisonous.
  • If you ask Chuck Norris what time it is, he always says, “Two seconds ’til.” After you ask, “Two seconds ’til what?” he roundhouse kicks you in the face.
  • The quickest way to a man’s heart is with Chuck Norris’ fist.
  • Chuck Norris can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves.
  • What was going through the minds of all of Chuck Norris’ victims before they died? His shoe.
  • Chuck Norris is the only man to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.
  • A Handicapped parking sign does not signify that this spot is for handicapped people. It is actually in fact a warning, that the spot belongs to Chuck Norris and that you will be handicapped if you park there.
  • Chuck Norris originally appeared in the “Street Fighter II” video game, but was removed by Beta Testers because every button caused him to do a roundhouse kick. When asked bout this “glitch,” Norris replied, “That’s no glitch.”
  • The opening scene of the movie “Saving Private Ryan” is loosely based on games of dodgeball Chuck Norris played in second grade.
  • Chuck Norris once shot down a German fighter plane with his finger, by yelling, “Bang!”
  • Someone once tried to tell Chuck Norris that roundhouse kicks aren’t the best way to kick someone. This has been recorded by historians as the worst mistake anyone has ever made.
  • Chuck Norris is not hung like a horse… horses are hung like Chuck Norris.
  • Chuck Norris doesn’t shower, he only takes blood baths.
  • Time waits for no man. Unless that man is Chuck Norris.
  • In the Bible, Jesus turned water into wine. But then Chuck Norris turned that wine into beer.
  • In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Chuck Norris could use to kill you, including the room itself.
  • Faster than a speeding bullet … more powerful than a locomotive … able to leap tall buildings in a single bound… yes, these are some of Chuck Norris’s warm-up exercises.
  • Chuck Norris is the only human being to display the Heisenberg uncertainty principle — you can never know both exactly where and how quickly he will roundhouse-kick you in the face.

Brisbane Story Bridge Adventure Climb

Alistair Lattimore At The Top of the Story Bridge In Brisbane - 14 January 2006On Saturday, it was time to use my birthday voucher for the Brisbane Story Bridge Climb.

The bridge climb headquarters are located physically under the Story Bridge on Main Street. When I arrived, I was taken aback by how professional the premises were. For some reason, I had a mental picture that it would, to some extent, be a bit of a backyard type operation – I was very wrong. When you walk in the doors, it’s new, clean, tidy and has a very professional feel.

The climb was scheduled for 5:00pm and we were instructed to be at the headquarters at least 15 minutes prior. Once inside, you hand in your voucher, receive a ticket in its place and take a seat. Shortly, your climb leader will arrive – we had a bloke named Steve and he was excellent.

Your instructor will take you through all the formalities, such as a breath test and indemnity statements. While we waited for everyone to be breath tested (same rules as a car, 0.05 limit) – we went around in a circle and introduced ourselves and grabbed one of the jump suits. Soon enough, we’re downstairs fitting a belt style climbing harness, attaching our accessories and going through how the safety equipment works.

The bridge climb itself was an experience. You start off climbing up a spiral staircase to get up to the underside of the bridge, then walk directly under the bridge until you popup on the eastern side at road height. Soon enough you are faced with the first serious section, where you’re ascending to the viewing platform on the main pier. I didn’t check the time exactly, however I suspect it would have been about 6:15pm by this stage. There was still plenty of light and we had an excellent view around Brisbane – we could even see the sand dunes on Stradbroke Island! We stayed up there for 5-10 minutes, enjoyed the view and had a chat with the rest of the group. You then descend from the main pier to the middle of the Story Bridge where you traverse over to the south side. At this stage, you’ve now completed half of the over all distance and you’ll soon be ascending back to the top of the main pier. Before we reached the top again, the sun had already set and the lights of Brisbane city were on – it was a spectacular view! The photo is shot looking south; the city is on my left with airport on my right. From here, you descend the main pier on your way back to the bridge climb headquarters where you de-kit and cool down.

The climb was fantastic and I’d recommend it to anyone. It wasn’t particularly strenuous; we had a couple in the 50-60 year bracket complete it without a hiccup. During the climb, you’re walking on metal grating which you can see through. Steve informed us that it actually causes more problems for height sensitive people than the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, even though their climb is higher; however the walking surface is solid. If you are height sensitive and you think you can overcome it, the experience and views truly are worth your effort.

Interesting Facts:

  • The Story Bridge opened on July 6th 1940, after being under construction for approximately 5 years.
  • Construction cost was £1,492,000. Seven years later, the State Government sold the Story Bridge to the Brisbane City Council for £750,000.
  • There are 1072 metres between the southern and northern anchor piers which spans 282 metres of water.
  • At its highest point, the Story Bridge is 74 metres tall or approximately 22 stories and 24 metres wide.
  • There were 12000 tonnes of structural steel, 1650 tonnes of reinforcing steel and 1.5 million rivets used.
  • You’ll step up 1100 stairs during the climb.

Emily Williams Recording Contract

Sony BMG announced today that Emily Williams has signed a recording contract with them. From what I understand, immediately after Australian Idol finished Sony had all but said they were not interested in a contract with the runner up. Maybe after the lack-lustre record sales of Kate DeAraugo, they’ve realised that maybe the wrong person won the competition again and are now hot on the heals of the rightful winner.