Rafael Nadal had to struggle through another three-set challenge before beating Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4 on Fri
day to reach the Rotterdam Open semi-finals.
The world number one has been taken to three sets in all three rounds this week, but the Spaniard said his game was improving on this fast, indoor surface.
“This was definitely my best match of the week,” said Nadal after two hours, 40 minutes in a contest where Tsonga fired six aces.
“Tsonga just came from winning a tournament and was extremely tough. This was a very important win for me. I’m so glad to be in my first semi-final here.”
The Australian Open champion had chances in the second set to wrap up a quick victory, but couldn’t convert.
A 2-0 lead in the tiebreaker went begging as Johannesburg champion Tsgona reeled off six consecutive points his way to levelling at a set each.
Nadal finally got on top with a break for a 2-0 lead in the third set, but promptly handed it back. A double-fault from Tsonga set up a match point, which Nadal converted.
Nadal will face either Gael Monfils or Julien Benneteau on Saturday for a place in the final.
Andy Murray produced a 7-6 (7/2), 4-6, 3-0 victory over French opponent Marc Gicquel, who pulled out with a hamstring injury, and then suggested a plan to try and change the new drug-testing regime.
The Scot continued to quietly rail at the new demands from international anti-doping bodies that top 50 players report their location for one hour per day every day of the year in case drug testers want to pay a surprise visit.
“I read somewhere that some Italian football teams are simply refusing to do it (report),” he said. “Sometimes things have to happen for a change to be made.
“At least 95 percent (they met in Melbourne before the Australian Open) are against the system. We’re not against drug testing, we’re against having to report your location every single day.
“If everyone signed something (to protest) maybe something could be changed. I don’t see them banning 90 of the top 100 players.”
Murray will next meet Croatia’s Mario Ancic, who put out 2007 champion Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-2.
Ancic, ranked 28th, has lifted two of his three career titles in the Netherlands and was a Rotterdam semi-finalist four years ago against Roger Federer.
After two years of illness and injury, the 24-year-old is finally starting to believe that his run of rotten luck has ended.
“I really believe that it’s all behind me now. It’s now up to the hard work and the comeback. I’m full of confidence,” added last week’s Zagreb finalist against countryman Marin Cilic.
Ancic managed nine aces and saved all seven break points he faced against Youzhny, the Rotterdam winner in 2007.
RSS or Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary is the latest information management tool that is gradually earning popularity among web users and website owners. With RSS technology, it is possible to get the latest postings from your favorite websites. But clicking on the RSS or XML button in a homepage is not enough to give you the service you need. An RSS feed or code displayed in the pop-up screen if not on the main page is composed of symbols and words that would only make sense to advanced RSS users and computer programmers and software enthusiasts. Another software tool called an RSS aggregator or reader is needed.
An aggregator works by scanning the worldwide web with latest postings based on the RSS code (containing the website’s URL) provided or added by the user. When it finds a new posting, news, or update, it will publish the RSS feed on your home page containing the title of the posting, which also serves as a clickable link to the website source. This RSS feed may or may not contain the whole article, a summary, and photos, depending on what RSS aggregator you are using.
Aggregators come in two types: the downloadable program or desktop-type and the online or web-based type. The desktop aggregator usually charges a certain amount for its services; this would include regular updating in the form of upgrades or patches to the original version. This type of RSS reader allows more customization of RSS feeds as well as page format or design over its on-line counterparts. But of course, price can be a drawback.
On-line or web-based aggregators are free of charge. All you need to do is register an account with them then you can start enjoying their services. Depending on the “brand” of the aggregator, customization is more limited. Some even do not allow you to customize at all.
Product and service advertisers are realizing the potential of RSS aggregators in internet marketing. In fact, several submit RSS codes to several popular web-based aggregators to reach the growing technophile and internet-based market. My Yahoo has been instrumental in popularizing RSS technology to both users and website owners and advertisers.
At present, there are many aggregators to choose from and newer versions of the same aggregator are constantly developed by its programmers.
Below are some of these desktop and online aggregators:
– supports Linux, Mac, and Windows
– easy addition of RSS feeds
– not maximized use of screen display
– few options for customizing
– user friendly
– free trial version
– contains prepared popular feeds
– allows filtering of RSS feeds
– configurable “watch list” to manage junk RSS feeds
– search channel feature that incorporates other RSS services e.g. Feedster
– allows feed storage for future use
– tabbed browsers for channel navigation
– built-in podcast receiver
– supports only Internet Explorer (embedded)
– paid software (`$29.95)
– all major browsers supported (e.g. Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, Firefox)
– user-friendly especially for beginners
– free, web-based aggregator
– easy registration
– no advertisements
– contains its own directory of RSS feeds of thousands of websites
– personal email account for subscribing to newsletter emails (optional)
– allows privacy adjustments for personal blogs
– allows saved searches
– mobile version available
– 10 languages supported
– Additional add-on tools for automated blogrolls and subscription buttons
– free (consumer-standard version)
– provides personalized news channel
– allows translation of RSS articles into email format
– synchronization of feeds in several devices possible
– browse and search feed capabilities save time on surfing
– allows keyword filtering
– blog headlines
– button-click automatic subscription to news feeds
– Outlook-based thus limited to Windows
3. My Yahoo
– Free web-based aggregator
– customizable home page design
– button-click subscription to RSS feeds
– built-in directory and search tool for feeds
– wide variety of feeds e.g. news (science, technology, local), weather
– connects to all Yahoo features and services
– banner advertisements
There are also lightweight RSS aggregator extensions which are actually plug-ins to existing internet browsers. An example of which is Sage aggregator.
– free of charge
– reeds both RSS and Atom feeds
– allows feed discovery
– can be assimilated to Firefox bookmark (storage and live)
– allows OPML feed lists imports and exports
– customizable style sheets
– supports a wide range of locales e.g. Catalan, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Polish, Slovenian, etc.
– easy installation
– good for about 12 RSS feeds
– limited use to Mozilla-Firefox and Mozilla-Firefox supported browsers
RSS developers promise better features in future versions of their aggregators. Microsoft is planning to include a built-in aggregator in their next Windows version. These developments are definitely something to look forward to by all internet aficionados.
Top Gear is a BAFTA, multi-NTA and International Emmy Award-winning BBC television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars. It began in 1977 as a conventional motoring magazine show. Over time, and especially since a relaunch in 2002, it has developed a quirky, humorous style. The show is presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May and The Stig, an anonymous test driver. The programme is estimated to have 350 million viewers worldwide.
Clint Eastwood stars as Walt Kowalski, a widower who holds onto his prejudices despite the changes in his Michigan neighborhood and the world around him. Kowalski is a grumpy, tough-minded, unhappy an old man, who can’t get along with either his kids or his neighbors, a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in mint condition. When his neighbor Tao, a young Hmong teenager under pressure from his gang member cousin, tries to steal his Gran Torino, Kowalski sets out to reform the youth. Drawn against his will into the life of Tao’s family, Kowalski is soon taking steps to protect them from the gangs that infest their neighbourhood
Directors: Clint Eastwood
IMDB Rating: 8.40 of 10 possible (9904 votes total).
Everyone loves heart-shaped decorations. This cute wooden handicraft can be hung over a doorway or as part of a wall display. Paint the hearts red, pink, and white, and you will have a decoration for Valentines’ Day. Paint them red and green for Christmas, or red, white, and blue to display love for America. You can leave it plain for a natural look. The string of hearts wooden handicraft fits well with country style furnishings.
To make the string of hearts, you will need 5 wooden heart cut-outs approximately three inches wide, a drill with an eighth inch bit and a quarter inch bit, a small amount of raffia, two yards of 1 -1/2 inch wide soft ribbon, two large wooden beads, and acrylic paints in the colors you want. The ribbon and the beads should match the color sceme you desire. Plaid ribbons are particularly effective. The string of hearts has five hearts side by side tied together with small raffia bows. The first and last hearts have the wide ribbon strung through a hole on each side and a bead strung on the ribbon. The ribbon is knotted at the very ends, making a loop of ribbon on each end which can fit over a nail for hanging.
The first step in making the wooden handicraft is to drill a small hole on each side of the hearts. The two outside holes are made with the quarter inch bit, and the other holes are made with the 1/8 inch bit. Now paint the hearts with the acrylic paint in the colors you desire. Acrylic paints are the small bottles of craft paint that are sold in 2-ounce bottles in a wide variety of colors. They can sometimes be purchased very inexpensively. Tempera paint will work if you can’t get acrylic paints. Another idea is to spray paint them, especially if you want to use a metallic color.
When the paint is dry, tie the hearts together with the raffia. To do this, cut four 10-inch lengths of raffia. Thread the raffia down into one hole and up through the hole on the next heart so that they lay side by side. The raffia should be tied in a neat bow on the top of the arrangement. Do the same between the rest of the hearts so that all the small raffia bows are on top. Trim the raffia ends if necessary.
Through each of the outside holes, thread one of the ribbons. Pull the ribbon through until the ends are even. Thread the large bead over both ends and slip it up close to the heart. Trim the ends of the ribbon decoratively and knot them. Repeat the process on the other side to complete the wooden handicraft. Now hang the string of hearts wherever desired for a cheerful decoration. A wooden handicraft like this makes a nice gift for someone special.
Some adults never seem to grow up. They seem to retain their childlike wonder at the world around them. These are the adults who have started a toy hobby. Kids like to hang around with these adults because they seem more like kids. Sometimes having a child or a grandchild can spark an interest in toys. Be that as it may, a toy hobby will keep a person young at heart.
Many women love dolls and never outgrow them. Some prefer baby dolls, some fashion dolls, and still others go for antique or decorative dolls. Often an interest in dolls will spill over into a craft interest, as the doll lover begins to craft clothing and accessories for favorite dolls. Sometimes the hobbyist becomes skilled at crafting the dolls themselves. Some types of dolls that are often hand-crafted are rag dolls and cloth bodied dolls with ceramic heads. It is not uncommon to find older women who have an entire room of their homes filled with special dolls on display.
Older men, on the other hand, (and sometimes women, too) often like cars and trucks. Antique metal cars are hot collectibles, with some older ones being quite valuable. Matchbox cars have always been loved, but so have the large Tonka dumptruck, road grader, and bulldozer. You can bet the grandkids will want to play with your trucks and cars.
A toy hobby that is extremely popular is collecting Beanie Babies. These small velour animals, made by the Ty company, each have a personality all its own. You can find Beanie Babies in every type of animal you can think of. A similar hobby is collecting teddy bears. There are many Beanie Baby teddy bears, but a teddy bear collector will probably want to branch out to collect other types of bears. In fact, many bear collectors have figurines and other items collected in addition to their teddy bears.
Wooden toys are popular among adults, both to craft and to collect. There is something quaint and pleasant about a child playing with a handcrafted wooden toy. Wooden toys make attractive home accents wherever they get dropped, which is not something you can say about the latest plastic gizmo. People who like country decorating often prefer wooden toys for their kids.
You don’t have to outgrow toys! A toy hobby will keep you young at heart and make you a favorite among the kids in your neighborhood. Whether you collect toys or craft them, a toy hobby is something you can play around with!
What is your favorite past time? Hobby enthusiasts know that spare time is not to be “spent” but savored. If you have a past time you enjoy, you will never look at your spare time in the same way again. If you’re not sure what past time hobby you would enjoy, here are some suggestions.
Many people listen to music as a favorite past time. There is much you can learn about any style of music. You can learn composers, famous melodies, and all about performers past and present. You can develop sophisticated tastes in jazz or classical music or collect a large assortment of CD’s. Music makes a great past time hobby.
A lot of people love animals. Pets of all sorts can become your hobby. Perhaps you enjoy watching birds. If you have trouble finding them in the trees to watch, maybe you’d like to get a pair of canaries, a budgie, or a cockatiel. People who live in the country sometimes become interested in raising ornamental chickens, pigeons, or pheasants. It is very interesting to watch a mother bird take care of a nest of young chicks. Perhaps you can even raise some prize winners!
Dogs make a great hobby, too. Walking and enjoying a pet dog is one thing, but breeding and raising show dogs is something else entirely. Show dogs may require a bit of an investment, but many puppies are free. There is also the aspect of training a dog in obedience. Dogs give a lot of love back to their owners, too, so if you start a past time hobby of caring for a dog, you will never be lonely. However, dogs require quite a bit of work and attention, especially when they are being trained, so keeping dogs is not for everyone.
Bicycles can become your favorite past time. Hobby bicyclists are becoming more and more common to see cycling along lesser traveled highways seeing the countryside up close and personal. Bicycling requires a helmet and suitable clothes as well as a small tool kit for roadside repairs. Or maybe you would enjoy cycling on a smaller scale, simply taking fun rides with your family. The choice is yours.
The world is full of interesting things to learn and do. Don’t merely sit back and watch TV. Get interested in a past time hobby. It’s good for your mind. In fact, it might even keep you from going senile in your old age, if you stay active in a past time hobby. And it’s a good example to our kids and grandkids if we spend our time doing something meaningful.