Meimi Wong (Ms), Office Assistant, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Phonetic-based?
Whoever goes down can count themselves as unlucky as they would have been safe in 12 of last 15 seasons
May 21, 2011
Victory in the Championship playoff final reputedly is worth £90 million (HK$1.13 billion) to the team that reaches the promised land of the English Premier League, which makes clear what is at stake tomorrow for the five teams still battling for survival. Two of the five must go, along with already relegated West Ham, and only their parachute payments will cushion the fall.
This is not the first time five teams have been involved in a final-day relegation dogfight, but it is the closest battle in Premier League history because never before have the combatants been separated by just a single point going into the last game of the season.
The permutations are complicated and three of the teams - Birmingham, Blackpool and Wigan - know they may not be safe even if they win. Goal difference could be decisive, which means there could be some shuffling of the pack even if four of the five teams lose (Wolves and Blackburn are playing each other). One of the few combinations certain to maintain the status quo is if all five draw.
Whichever teams go down can count themselves as unlucky because, with 39 points or more, they would have been safe in 12 of the previous 15 seasons with a 38-game Premier League.
There is still the possibility this season could break new ground with the relegation of two teams that take 40 points or more from their 38 games.
Tomorrow's fixtures bring echoes of previous final-day showdowns and one that has been highlighted this week was West Ham's win at already crowned champions Manchester United four years ago because Blackpool go to Old Trafford this time in a similar position, with Alex Ferguson expected to rest most, if not all, of his first-choice players ahead of next week's Champions League final.
In the end, a draw would have been enough for West Ham that day - just as it might for Blackpool - but the fact that United have lost a crucial relegation match in similar circumstances has caused some jitters among Blackpool's rivals.
But perhaps we should also note that on the final day of the 2008-09 season United were champions already but still won 1-0 at Hull, which did not matter in the end but could have done, and in 2004-05, when third in the table and with nothing to play for, Ferguson's team relegated Southampton with a 2-1 away win.
The other echo from four years ago is that Sheffield United and Wigan - the two teams in the survival battle with West Ham - played each other, just as Wolves and Blackburn do this time.
The difference then was that Wigan needed to win - and did, to send Sheffield United down on goal difference - whereas a draw might well be enough for both Wolves and Blackburn, which is the reason why the draw odds in that match are the shortest on tomorrow's programme.
Logic suggests Wolves and Blackburn will play safe, at least while they can, because a draw would mean two of Birmingham, Blackpool and Wigan would have to win to overtake them. The draw looks a good bet, even at shorter odds.
If a relegation-threatened team could choose their final-day fixture, it might be what Wigan face when they travel to ninth-placed Stoke. Relegation battlers have lost only one out of eight final-day games in the past 15 seasons against teams that were comfortably becalmed in the safe waters from eighth to 12th, with three wins and four draws.
Stoke are strong at home to teams like Wigan but if there is a good time to visit the Britannia, this could be it. If Wigan get even a point, it puts pressure on Blackpool and Birmingham to do the same at United and Tottenham respectively.
Birmingham may well have the hardest job of all because in Tottenham they face a high-placed team with something still at stake - the final qualification spot for the Europa League.
There have been two games with a similar scenario in the past 15 seasons and the relegation-threatened team lost both, by scores of 1-0 and 5-0.
In the event of a defeat, the best Birmingham can do is keep the score down to protect their goal difference and hope Blackpool and Wigan also lose. All in all, it doesn't look good for Birmingham.
Many twists and turns are likely once the matches kick off, and for in-play punters it promises to be an exhilarating ride. The most reliable of the five relegation-threatened teams when scoring first are Blackpool, with eight wins and just two defeats out of 14, while Wigan have lost only one out of 12 from that position.
Wigan are the best of the five at coming back from conceding the opening goal, taking something from nine out of 22 games. Blackburn, by contrast, have lost 14 out of 16 when conceding first.
Blackburn are best, however, at protecting a half-time lead (eight wins and four draws from 12). Wolves and Blackpool have the same abysmal record when trailing at half-time (one point from a possible 42).
On the stats the best in-play bet could be Blackpool in the unlikely event of them scoring first at Old Trafford. A goal in Wolves v Blackburn could be decisive because the hosts have lost 16 out of 19 when conceding first - a similar defeat rate to Blackburn's from that position.
TOP 5 BETS
1 Arsenal away win Have scored in last five away games despite their problems
2 Wigan on handicap Have a good shot at survival after last week's spirited fightback
3 Wolves v Blackburn draw Caution likely and under 2.5 goals also worth considering
4 Mallorca on handicap Solid enough with just three defeats in last 10 home games
5 Osasuna home win Rank eighth on home form and have been scoring goals
Aston Villa v Liverpool, Bolton v Man City, Everton v Chelsea, Fulham v Arsenal, Man Utd v Blackpool, Newcastle v West Brom, Stoke v Wigan, Tottenham v Birmingham, West Ham v Sunderland, Wolverhampton v Blackburn
Kennus Chow Wing-yan, a self-funded tourism management student who pays HK$75,000 a year, compared with HK$42,500 paid by her government-subsidised classmates), Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Reuters in Manila and Bloomberg in Beijing
May 24, 2011
Defence ministers from the Philippines and China agreed yesterday to avoid unilateral action that may fuel tension in the South China Sea as Manila said the site of two recent incidents was unquestionably its territory.
Last week, two MiG fighter jets were reportedly seen intruding in Philippine air space by an air force patrol over Reed Bank near Palawan Island, two months after Manila said Chinese boats had harassed a survey ship there.
Philippine Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said his counterpart, General Liang Guanglie , told him that China had no MiG fighters. Liang did not say whether other fighter jets were on patrol over disputed areas of the South China Sea.
Gazmin said the Philippines was not accusing China of violating its air space because there was no clear identification of the aircraft.
"Both ministers acknowledge the need to ensure that the South China Sea remains stable," the ministers said in a statement after meeting at a main army base in Manila.
"Both ministers recognised that unilateral action which could cause alarm should be avoided."
Beijing, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim territories in the South China Sea, which covers an important shipping route and is thought to hold untapped oil and gas reserves.
Last month, the Philippines protested to the UN over China's claim to disputed areas, saying Beijing's position had no basis under international law.
Manila said Reed Bank was not part of the Spratly Islands, known in the Philippines as the Kalayaans. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said: "It has always been an integral part of our national territory, and not subject to negotiation."
Meanwhile, Beijing rejected as "totally unreasonable" a protest by Vietnam over plans by the parent of China Mobile to expand mobile phone coverage in the Spratlys.
Sinney Cheuk Woon-yee, third-base baseball fielder, Hong Kong baseball team (who was shot in her leg by a sniper during the 2010 women's world baseball championship at Jose Antonio Casanova stadium in Fuerte Tiuna, Caracas, Venezuela)
Edthancy Tseng Pei-kun, personal assistant to TVB's general manager and celebrity show host Stephen Chan Chi-wan or head of business development Wilson Chan Wing-suen* [since from the poorly written/edited SCMP news article dated 14 August 2010 it is not clear which “Chan” is Edthancy’s boss]
Windfall from stake sale in casino operation lifts personal wealth of Stanley Ho's daughter to US$5.1b
May 20, 2011
Pansy Ho Chiu-king is set to become the richest woman in town on May 26 thanks to MGM China Holding's pending Hong Kong stock market listing.
Ho's sale of part of her stake in the Macau casino operator via a public offering will net her a US$1.21 billion to US$1.5 billion cash windfall, catapulting her to a net worth of about US$5.1 billion, based on a South China Morning Post (SEHK: 0583, announcements, news) analysis of her holdings.
At 48, the divorced daughter of Macau gaming magnate Stanley Ho Hung-sun will be the youngest among the city's 20 richest people.
The amount would rank her in the top 10 of the Forbes list of Hong Kong's 40 richest people published in January - her father came in at 13th. It would also place her among the 10 wealthiest on the mainland, where she serves on political bodies, and in Canada, where she has citizenship.
The MGM China offering will see Ho sell 20 per cent of her stake to the public and 1 per cent to MGM Resorts International, giving the Las Vegas firm a controlling 51 per cent of the Macau business.
Based on a mid-point pricing of HK$13.85 per share, the listing will net Ho HK$10.53 billion cash and value her remaining stake at HK$15.26 billion - she retains up to 29 per cent in MGM China after the listing.
Ho also has indirect, effective stakes in Shun Tak Holdings (SEHK: 0242, announcements, news) (11 per cent) and SJM Holdings (2.1 per cent) worth a combined HK$13.97 billion based on yesterday's closing prices - for a total net worth of US$5.1 billion.
Vincci Hui Wai-sum (Miss), 17-year-old Hong Kong triathlete participating at inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (August 2010)
Google unveils 16 doodles of characters from much-loved books by English author and illustrator
Monday 9 May 2011
The 76th birthday of Roger Hargreaves, the English author and illustrator who delighted generations of children with his Mr Men books, has been celebrated by the unveiling of no less than 16 Google doodles.
Ranging from Mr Forgetful to Little Miss Tiny, the doodle image changes each time the page is reloaded.
More than 100m books based on Hargreaves's characters have been sold worldwide in 28 countries, while five more were completed by his son Adam, but even greater world domination may yet be on the way in the form of a big screen adaptation.
Twentieth Century Fox's animation department is working on the project although it is unclear whether the Little Miss characters will feature.
Hargreaves's stories have been adapted into four animated television series, most recently airing in the UK on Channel 5 in 2008 and 2009. A total of 46 Mr Men and 33 Little Miss characters were created.
The first of the Mr Men characters is said have been created when Adam Hargreaves asked his father what a tickle looked like.
Hargreaves drew a figure with a round orange body and long, rubbery arms. Mr Tickle had been born.
Adam, who has said that the simplicity of the characters was the key to their success, took over the running of the Mr Men empire after his father died of a stroke in 1988 at the age of 53.
A round-bellied fish with a small head and black spots is making a return to Hong Kong ...
May 07, 2011
A round-bellied fish with a small head and black spots is making a return to Hong Kong's supermarkets, but anyone who wants one will have to pay a relatively high price.
The pearl perch, with properties said to promote growth and help stave off cancer, will cost HK$60 to HK$70 a catty (600 grams), double the cost of the popular grey mullet.
Native to Australia, it was first brought to Hong Kong from Queensland nine years ago, but the high cost of its fry and difficulties in breeding it discouraged some fish farms, and supplies have been inconsistent.
But a breakthrough last year made it possible to provide a stable supply to the market in the coming years, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said.
The aim is to bring 300,000 of the freshwater species to the market each year starting with the first batch of 3,000 in mid-May, and the Fish Marketing Organisation expects them to sell well despite the price.
"Even when the supply was unstable, we got calls from the public asking when the fish would be available again," the organisation's market manager, Henry Yip Hin-wai, said.
The fish is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to normal growth and, according to some studies, can help reduce prostate tumour growth.
The department first bred the fish successfully in 2007 in co-operation with several fish farms, but many were eaten by birds and other fish before they reached marketable size.
John Lee Hong, who has farmed pearl perch for a couple of years, said they cost 10 times more to rear than other freshwater varieties, and farmers were still looking for ways to reduce the costs. He said they ate a lot and were picky about their food.
Here follows a brief lesson on the perils of giving your son your name, if you are a football coach and he grows up to be a budding sports writer.
Wally Downes, assistant to Avram Grant, manager of West Ham United, has a son, also Wally, a young journalist of much promise. Asked to preview Sunday's visit to Manchester City by the Sunday Telegraph, he eagerly complied, which is how the headline 'Downbeat Grant is fast running out of time' came accompanied with the confusing ascription 'By Wally Downes'.
Avram Grant fast running out of time as his team take on Manchester City in crunch game
By Wally Downes 30 Apr 2011
Imagine a young writer by the name of Pat Rice putting his name to a piece calling for Arsene Wenger to stand down and you get the general idea.
For future reference, it might be an idea if the younger Wally applied the word junior to his name.
Apr 26, 2011
The problem of teenage pregnancy has got worse in Hong Kong in recent years.
I think often teenagers become pregnant because of a lack of parental care. This means that youngsters are not given the guidance they need from their parents.
They may go astray. They may also not get sufficient sex education, not just at home, but also at school. They develop misconceptions about sex and take risks which result in pregnancy.
If the problem gets worse it can have an effect on society as a whole.
It means that a lot of unwanted children are born and the number of abortions goes up.
An unwanted pregnancy obviously has a physical effect on a youngster, but can also affect her psychologically and lead to depression.
This is a problem that must be dealt with.
There must be more comprehensive sex education in schools starting at primary level. The government should also use the mass media for educational purposes. Workshops could be organised which focus on sex-related problems, organised by a school social worker.
Prompt action must be taken to deal with this problem.
Chan Hoi-yan, Sham Shui Po
Devil. Whale. Chlorophyll, Violante, Treacle — you name it, Hong Kong probably has someone who goes by it. Inquisitive, enterprising and...