Bitcoins Are Back, at Least for Porn and Poker
August 01, 2012
If last November you had pressed an economist on the life expectancy of the bitcoin, you would have likely heard a variation of the doctor’s worst words: “It’s not looking good.” The bitcoin, a digital currency that operates free from central authority, was furiously shedding value, having lost nearly 95 percent of its spending power in the five months prior. By the time its freefall thudded to a halt around the two-dollar-a-coin mark, many of bitcoins’ biggest supporters had turned their back on the cryptocurrency. Yet for the past three months, bitcoin has been making a quiet resurgence.
Spain vs. Ronaldo
June 27, 2012
Last year, the football editor of The Independent ran an article with a surprising headline: “Portugal ‘sells’ Ronaldo to Spain in £160m deal on national debt.” Less than ten days earlier, Portugal’s prime minister, José Sócrates, had resigned upon failing to enact a fourth round of austerity measures to make up a severe budget shortfall.
Robben and Germany: The Decade-Long Choke
June 13, 2012
Much has been made of Dutchman Arjen Robben’s almost preternatural ability to choke on soccer’s biggest stages. There was his series of oh-so-close shots in Bayern Munich’s losing effort against Inter Milan in the last match of Europe’s most prestigious club competition, the Champions League, in 2010; his indefensible blunders in the final game of the 2010 World Cup; his uninspired and easily-corralled penalty kick in the overtime period of this year’s Champions League Final.