The Haka’s Place in the Modern Game

All Blacks Perform The Haka

Slap the hands against the thighs! Puff out the chest! Bend the knees! Let the hip follow! Stamp the feet as hard as you can! It is death! It is death! It is life! It is life! This is the hairy person Who caused the sun to shine! Keep abreast! Keep abreast! The rank! Hold fast! Into the sun that shines!

What the…? If you were to walk down the road (with a group of people) and shout this at passing strangers, you’d get some weird looks, fainting grannies, vomiting babies and maybe the odd punch. But then of course you wouldn’t. And even if you would, you wouldn’t be saying that. You’d be hollering this out:

Ringa pakia Uma tiraha! Turi whatia! Hope whai ake! Waewae takahia kia kino! Ka Mate! Ka Mate! Ka Ora! Ka Ora! Tenei te ta ngata puhuru huru! Nana nei i tiki mai! Whakawhiti te ra! A upane ka upane! A upane kaupane whiti te ra! Hi!!

Nice friendly hello at the end there. See, the haka doesn’t really translate. And that’s fine because it’s a Maori tradition, not meant to translate at all (they didn’t have Google Translate back then).

And that’s my point. It’s a Maori tradition. Traditions should have no function to intimidate in an arena where getting the mental edge is key.

Think about it. The All Blacks are a legendary brand, not just team. When preparing to face the All Blacks, seasoned internationals put that branding out of their mind, realise the players aren’t demigods, just individuals they need to beat. But then throw in the Haka. This pumps the All Blacks up while the opposition have to face up to some serious aggression; doubts can come crawling in – pure intimidation. Not only that, it is a challenge the All Blacks lay down, a challenge the other team cannot even respond to. Brian O’Driscoll consulted some Maoris on the 2005 Lions Tour to New Zealand to ascertain how best to respond to it. Apparently he got it wrong! Wales, more controversially stood up to the Haka in 2009. Watch the video to see the reaction:

The All Blacks were disgusted, apparently Wales hadn’t shown respect.

The All Blacks get to have their cake and  eat it. On one hand it’s a challenge and it gets them pumped for the match while the opposition have to grin and bear it. Then when the opposition try to lay down a challenge of their own by standing up to the challenge they suddenly become horrible monsters disrespecting an ancient tradition!

And that’s what it is, an ancient tradition. This is a modern game. Remember, the Haka is a war dance; Maoris would dance this to warn their enemy and try to intimidate them to the point of surrender. This intimidation has no place, somebody get rid of it.

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Wednesday

Ah good ol Wednesday. A much maligned day. In fact, the Romans named it after “Wednestachio”, the famous Roman god of broken bottles. Actually I’m really lying. Anyway, we did stuff today. This morning we looked at some blogs like The Daily Spud and Trust Tommy. Both are excellent blogs and I’d recommend you check both out. And while we’re on the subject of cool blogs, if you’re a rugby fan check out RugbyDump.

Then we watched this video on blogs. Pretty darn informative I must say:

We talked about blogs in general. And how not to fail too badly at them. I set up a tumblelog just for the pure, unadulterated lulz. And it looked pretty cool. (Just to remind you, catch me on Twitter here. Please) Altogether, pretty darn awesome. Then it was lunch time.

Seeing as we’re based in a computer lab, we rarely, if ever, actually do the work we’re told. Instead we’ll play ridiculous games (World’s Hardest Game, QWOP and Minecraft I’m looking at you). Also, we’ll look up ridiculous images like:

See we get distracted easily here.

So after lunch we were instructed to set up an oul blog. This is my humble offering to the God of Blogs (or GOB for short). Spent lots of time on that alright. Setting up a blog is easy but is also quite easy to screw up. I sure hope it’s rewarding…

Another part of the CTYI course is games. Epic football was played today. Other options include Harry Potter Discussion, Tea Appreciation, Capture the Flag (actual flag not included), Tip Rugby (yeah…non contact…), Dodgeball and the CTYI favourite Knutsack. I’m not even going to explain Knutsack because it’s complicated and makes no sense.

Packed a lunch today, in case you were wondering. Rice and beans and whatnot. Muy bien. Then study (which is this blog) and probably home but sure I really don’t know.

Laters.

By Daire Boyle, 22/06/2011.


Angus and Julia Stone – Yellow Brick Road

Love this TUNE.


Angry Birds Chrome – For Cheaters

So if you’re using Google’s Chrome browser you’ll obviously have downloaded Angry Birds for Chrome. If not, why not? It’s awesome. Here it is for you weirdos who haven’t downloaded it. Anyway, that Chrome Dimension is awfully hard to unlock. You’ve to play all those levels and win and agh…. But because we all love a good cheat, there’s a workaround for all of you who want to bask in the glory of having all levels unlocked with 3 stars.

Simply go to the Angry Birds Chrome app and paste this into the address bar:

javascript: var i = 0; while (i<=69) { localStorage.setItem(‘level_star_’+i,’3’); i++; } window.location.reload();

Voilà!

If you do want to go back, paste this into the address bar:

javascript: var i = 0; while (i<=69) { localStorage.setItem(‘level_star_’+i,’-1′); i++; } window.location.reload();

There ya go. This hack was discovered by Wes Bos.

Via The Next Web


Wordle of Awesomeness

Some stuff I remember from the first 2 days.

Create your own at wordle


Web 2.0

So this is a video we watched on the first day. Tis pretty cool.


CTYI – The First Day..or Two

So I’m no newbie – this is my second year at the course run at DCU each year for 3 weeks in the summer. That course is of course the Irish Centre for Talented Youth (CTYI – yeah makes no sense, I know). This year I’m doing 21st Century Technology Skills.

I was actually fairly unsure of what was in store for me this year. Turns out, I’ll be learning about social media and other web 2.0 features this year. This blog, in fact, is one of my projects.
We went into our classroom and got to know each other. Then it was time for some presentations and YouTube videos. Interesting stuff, all in all. After some lunch it was off to the computer labs for a rather peculiar assignment – our brief was to find out as much information about each other on the internet. I guess it was supposed to be rather eye opening but no one could find anyone.

Games, dinner, study, home, bed.

Tuesday was good. We had a good discussion about some social networking sites and different types of social media. We covered foursquare, twitter, Second Life, flickr and others. In particular, we had a great discussion about Second Life. It was interesting to hear of businesses actually starting out on Second Life – Amy Weber for example.

We then wrote down what we thought we knew about 2 brands – Pepsi and Finches Drinks (Gleeson Group) and the amount of social media they used to promote themselves. After lunch we found out what the real story was, learning that searching for Finches on the Internet will probably return results of birds and that Pepsi is actually quite popular.

More games, tasty dinner, study (this blog), home, bed.

By Daire Boyle, 21/06/2011.