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“I Believe That We Will Win!”

Argentina v. Switzerland will be a fascinating battle between a nation that was ranked as one of the best going into the 2014 World Cup (and not just for fancy, MacGyver-approved pocket knives) and the country next door to host nation Brazil led by one of the best footballers on the planet in Lionel Messi.

Both nations have played well enough to advance to the round of 16, but neither has necessarily dazzled with respect to the astronomical expectations each had entering the group competition. Can Xherdan Shaqiri make that definitive declaration to the world that Switzerland is no longer a force of neutrality, but a force to be reckoned with? Will Lionel Messi finally reveal a world-class performance he’s fully capable of against a highly-rated opponent during the sport’s biggest tournament while wearing baby blue and white?

The bottom line is that this match will be fun to watch.

Belgium v. United States is a rematch of a friendly most Americans have wanted to forget. The Belgians defeated the men in red, white and blue in a convincing 4-2 effort in Cleveland, Ohio back in May of this year. However, that was a friendly and the Americans proved to be anything but friendly to their World Cup adversaries in their three group matches. Since the Portugal game ended in a heart-breaking 2-2 tie, this game versus Belgium in the round of 16 is the U.S.’s statement game. And if Jozy Altidore makes it onto the pitch, it’s a fair bet he’ll be looking to make a statement or two of his own…

And that pregame speech for the Americans may go a little something like this:

“I Believe That We Will Win!”

Go USA!

Got Slogans?

A recent article on CNN revealed the winning slogans for all the teams that will be playing at the World Cup in Brazil this summer. The winning slogans, written by fans from each country, will be displayed on the team buses for all to see during the tournament. A few are good, but most of them are bad.

Solution?

Here is Jimmy’s Daily Planet’s list of better, more realistic team mottoes for some of the 32 teams that will compete in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil:

Algeria: “Yes, We’ll Keep Track of Landon Donovan This Time”

Argentina: “We Have Lionel Messi, So Yeah”

Australia: “Forget Kangaroos, We’re Bringing Our Damn Crocodiles!”

Belgium: “At the End of This, You’ll All Be Eating Waffles”

Bosnia and Herzegovina: “If You Lose to Us, Everybody Will Know”

Brazil: “Win or Lose, We’ll Be in the Final!”

Colombia: “We Brought Our Own White Powder to Line the Fields With…”

England: “Excited For Our 10-Day Vacation Every 4 Years!”

Ghana: “Time to Beat the U.S. Again”

Honduras: “Just Happy to Be Here”

Italy: “And You Thought a Flower Blew Over Easily”

Japan: “We Have the Sudoku of Defenses”

Mexico: “We Have No Idea How We Got Such an Easy Group Again (Ju$t Kidding, We Know)”

Holland: “Real Men Wear Orange” (It’s the real one, but it’s so awesome & true!)

Portugal: “We Have a Star Player Named Ronaldo Who Speaks Portuguese Playing at the World Cup in Brazil…I Mean, C’mon”

Russia: “What’s This Rule About Wearing Jerseys?”

Spain: “Hey, Does Anybody Care or Want to See the World Cup Right Now!?”

Switzerland: “We Don’t Want to Offend or Defend Anyone”

Uruguay: “South America’s ‘Middle Child’ Will Be Kicking Butts & Taking Names!”

The United States of America: “One Nation, Under God, We’re Praying”

A little truth in advertising doesn’t hurt. It definitely revealed how Spain would fare 4 years ago with their simple slogan:

Spain in 2010: “We’re Going to Win”

P.S. You have no idea how painful it was for me to write that as a longtime and dedicated Dutch fan…just one delicate foot deflection away!

Damn, it still hurts.

Extreme Makeover: Knowledge Edition

Upon first glance at today’s cover page on bing.com, I was baffled. As is protocol with viewing Bing’s daily front page, I scrolled over the image to navigate to one of the four informational boxes. The link took me to a collection of pictures of the University of Zurich Library.

Stunning.

The big, dramatic curves guide your eyes within its grandiose space. This description is hardly ever used to characterize a library. Most of us know libraries to be very quiet, calm and non-exciting. The need for such fancy, eye-catching exterior and interior designs is considered nonsense when referring to a place to read, write and study.

Maybe this is the problem.

Books, periodicals, research journals, magazines, movies and so forth remain popular commodities with the public for various reasons. Despite the demand and ample supply on the shelves, libraries are rarely packed from wall-to-wall, unless it’s mid-term or finals season. As a solution, I suggest more libraries search out for private investment collaborations. Specifically, imaginative minds, inventors and architects who would jump at the opportunity to make his or her mark. Living in the age of information (ie- digital technologies), libraries offer an outstanding and nearly unlimited resource for people to invest their time and energies to further their education and personal enlightenment.

Think of it as “the knowledge renaissance.”

It’s time to view libraries as not just a building filled with old books and shushing librarians, but instead a destination of learning. In other words, it’s time to follow the lead of some around the United States and the world in their recent and historic efforts to boldly brand libraries as, generally speaking, “a cool place to be.” The silence must be upheld, along with the other proper rules and norms for any library. Learning and expanding one’s mind still need to be the predominant objectives. The primary difference is making the trip to the library an experience for people of all ages with dynamic and innovative educational value, attraction and content.

To better illustrate my point, below is a small collection of some creative takes on the library:

zurichuniversity~s400x400(Keystone/Gaetan Bally)
The University of Zurich Library

tumblr_ldvnwyOsrF1qfx0suo1_500(STUA on Tumblr)
Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

QU Library at night
(princetonreview.com)
Arnold Bernhard Library at Quinnipiac University

cover_geisel_libraryThe Library at the University of California at San Diego

greathall_standard

mainreadingroom_standard(myloc.gov)
The Library of Congress

Above are only a few examples of how architects throughout history have defined libraries as spaces intended for learning whilst being surrounded by magnificent inspiration. Hopefully, the future will feature creative minds who expand on past and present designs (there really is something truly special about those old world libraries and the history they speak to its visitors…). Architects could also innovate these themes with entertaining and engaging technologies with the aspiration of uniting communities and people all around the world towards the journey of abundant knowledge and unparalleled perspective.

How does that phrase go, “if you build it, he will come.”

With all the technological advancements and varying mediums for sharing and presenting information, the grand opportunity to innovate, reinvigorate and redirect the public to the library in masses is undeniably present. Could this mean holographic shows with famous historical figures? Perhaps. There are seemingly countless possibilities. The key is finding and connecting with eager and imaginative men and women (like Ted Mosby, formerly of Mosbius Designs) to collaborate with to build these kingdoms of knowledge.

Kingdoms of knowledge…sounds like an adventure already.