BOSTON, MA — The editors of the American Heritage® dictionaries have compiled a list of 100 words they recommend every high school graduate should know.
"The words we suggest," says senior editor Steven Kleinedler, "are not meant to be exhaustive but are a benchmark against which graduates and their parents can measure themselves. If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language."
elva is back. as in finally back and performing in a concert over in taiwan today. she came back and had a horrendous injury to her leg which she is still recovering from. it kinda disrupted her promotion and all her events for the new album. but she's trying her best to perform now that the injury is much better. and she's back dancing and she's still damn hot!! ahhhhh....... save me....
We looked at a map of Britain and realised that their towns' names read like an erotic novel. So we went looking for more certifiably retarded place names.
22. Cockburn, Western Australia Although this name is often pronounced "Coburn" by those who stand to lose from its awfulness, who actually reads that when they see this word? Oh, how it burns.
21. Twatt, Orkney, Shetland Islands, Scotland The Shetland Islands, pronounced "Shitland Islands" if you have an accent like mine, make up a happy little area north of Scotland where it's too cold for trees to grow. I am related to approximately half the population of the Shetland Islands, share a last name with a quarter of them, and can probably trace my ancestry back to Twatt if I try hard enough. The pride!
19. Muff, Ireland We here at Drivl love puerile humour. They have a town called Muff. Har har har.
18. Looneyville, Texas, United States Little Looneyville was named for storekeeper John Looney in the early 1870s. But who gives a shit. This is a hilarious name for a town in the state that brought us Dallas, the Bush Twins and Waco. How awkward must that be when you go to college? "Hey guys, my name's Sue and I'm from Looneyville!"
17. Titty Hill, Sussex, England Falling squarely into the extensive Stupid Place Names From England category, Titty Hill is probably located just north of...
16. Thong, Kent, England Which actually is south-east of...
15. Gravesend, Kent, England Oh, come on, England. Graves End? What a nasty, depressing little name. You could have at least gone all the way with this one and called it Corpse Feet.
14. Wetwang, Yorkshire... yep! England again! Okay, so I'll cut England some slack. It's an old country. You know, if the United States is Google, then England is IBM. Their country is older than fucking dirt. They can't be blamed for having names that sound funny in 2007. But this is kind of ridiculous. Wetwang? I'm surprised they don't have towns called Squishy Vagina or Infected Scrotum.
13. Spread Eagle, Wisconsin If I were mayor of Spread Eagle, I'd be making diplomatic advances towards the city leaders over in Wetwang to form a Sister-City relationship. Or maybe more of a Platonic-Friends-City relationship. After that, we'd just take thing slow and see what happened.
12. Bald Knob, Arkansas, United States Well, I guess it's better than Hairy Knob. I assume England already has that one covered.
11. Cockup, Cumbria, England Cumbria is a county in the very north-west of England. What the backwoods of Alabama are to America is what Cumbria is to Britain. They talk funny up there. Thus, it isn't thoroughly surprising that they have a town called Cockup. What do you call someone from this place? A Cockupper? Cockupeleite? Cockuppian? Cockupican? I suppose it's mildly better than Wetwangger.
10. Whiskey Dick Mountain, Washington State, United States As hard as America tries, it can't compete with Britain's high standards. This was a good effort, though. Well done, Washington.
9. Hookersville, West Virginia Undoubtedly named before "hooker" meant "prostitute who picks men up on street corners," Hookersville combines two crimes of place-naming. One, a dirty sounding adjective (they couldn't have chosen "Pleasant"? "Sunny"? "Happy"?) And two, they added "ville" to the end of the town's name. Affixing "ville" to the end of a town's name is like dressing your silly little dog in a cardigan and letting him carry his leash around in his mouth. It just makes the poor animal look fucking stupid.
8. Hell, Michigan, United States The people in this town at least seem to have a good sense of humour about their home's unfortunate name. Although, I'm sure there's some midwestern idiots in Hell who get all offended and defensive when the town shows up on lists like this. I'm looking forward to reading their insightful emails and comments.
7. Toad Suck, Arkansas, United States So that's what they do down in the big AR. 6. Middelfart, Denmark I guess it's not so funny to them, but how do we know that "Seattle" doesn't mean "Big Fat Stinking Turd" in Danish? That's right, we don't. And it probably does. 5. Horneytown, North Carolina, United States Its proximity to Hookersville, West Virginia is no coincidence. I also assume that, like Hookersville, the naming of Horneytown took place before "horney" meant "aching for a hot piece of ass" with an extra "e". But I'm starting to wonder why, pride and tradition aside, the townspeople in these little places never saw it fit to change their homes' names? Do they enjoy being ridiculed by the entire English-speaking world? 4. Shitterton, Dorset, England I wonder if they bleep out the first part of Shitterton's name if it's mentioned on TV in America? 3. Disappointment, Kentucky, United States Le sigh. Never mind. You live in a small town in Kentucky. At least it was appropriately named.
2. Fucking, Austria The idiots who live in Fucking, Austria had a vote in 2004 to determine whether or not they should change the town's name, and you know what they did? They voted against it, preferring instead to put up with international ridicule, numerous stolen road-signs and horrific Google results.
But the hands-down winner, again from New Zealand is:
1. Whakapapa Why is this the worst place name in the world? In Maori, the native language of New Zealand, the "wh" sound is pronounced "f". Say it aloud in your office and see what happens.
So how many movies have you watched? i think i'm too bored.. so i'm compelled to do something like this.....
(x)Nacho Libre - Jack Black movies, i'm surely there.... (x)Grease- Old School stuffs.... can't miss it. (x)Pirates of the Caribbean (x)Pirates of the caribbean 2 - haven caught 3 though... ( )Orange Country (x)The Green Mile - think i cried while they tried to kill the big black fella... (x)Charlie & the Chocolate Factory- of cos! caught it 3 - 4 times somemore. (x)Neverending Story - who never watch? it was on perpetual repeat mode on channel 5 man! ( )Blazing Saddles ( )Airplane ( )Red Eye ( )Stick It (x)Shes the Man - watched it on that crazy movie marathon session where we barely survived (x)8 Mile - not fantastic but i like his music ( )The Princess Bride ( )Napoleon Dynamite (x)Fun With Dick and Jane - bad. ( )Saw ( )Saw II ( )Saw III - not a big fan of gore.... ( )White Noise ( )White Oleander (x)Anger Management - ah! adam! (x)50 First Dates - aha! another adam! love him, love his shows. (x)The Princess Diaries ()The Princess Diaries 2 (x)Legally Blonde - (x)Legally Blonde 2- somehow i have no idea how i ended up watching both legally blondes ( )Scream ( )Scream 2 - i forgot if i watched any of the screams. maybe it was forgettable (x)Scary Movie (x)Scary Movie 2 (x)Scary Movie 3 (x)Scary Movie 4 - best series ever. i love it!!!!!! (x)American Pie (x)American Pie 2 (x)American Wedding - well, we had to watch this show right? ( )American Pie Band Camp (x)Harry Potter (x)Harry Potter 2 (x)Harry Potter 3 (x)Harry Potter 4 - i'm totally not a harry potter fan at all u know? but probably got pulled to watch, or there was nothing else better at that time. (x)Resident Evil 1 ( ) Resident Evil 2 (x) The Wedding Singer - adam. nuff said ( ) Cinderella Man ( ) The Village (x) Lilo & Stitch (x) Finding Nemo ( ) Finding Neverland ( ) Signs ( ) The Grinch ( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre - not a big fan of gore again. (x) White Chicks - hbo showed it. quite hilarious i have to say. ( ) Little Manhattan (x) 13 Going on 30 - hbo too. quite a nice light hearted chick flick. (X) I, Robot - chn 5 showed it recently! ( ) Robots (x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story - oohh.. wouldn't miss it for anything. ( ) Universal Soldier (x) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events - watched it twice, cinema n hbo. (x) Along Came Polly - hbo! funny and romantic. ( ) Deep Impact ( ) King Pin (x) Meet The Parents (x)Meet the Fockers - both these shows are damn funny. can't forget gaylord focker. ( )Eight Crazy Nights ( )Joe Dirt (x)King Kong(2005) - think its the last show i watched with her. ( )Alice in Wonderland (x)The Terminal - the best show in the year it came out. 2004 was it? ( )The Lizzie McGuire Movie ( )Passport to Paris (x)Dumb & Dumber (x)Dumber & Dumberer - pretty lame stuffs. (x)Final Destination ( )Final Destination 2 - i had enough after FD1. haha ( )Final Destination 3 (x)Halloween (x)The Ring- watched it and dint dare go toilet alone. darn... ( )The Ring 2 ( )Surviving X-MAS ( ) Flubber (x) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle - this movie is epic. stuffs legends are made of. ( ) Practical Magic ( ) Chicago ( ) Ghost Ship ( ) From Hell (x) Hellboy - hbo again. ( ) Secret Window ( ) I Am Sam (X) The Whole Nine Yards - pretty good show. ( ) The Whole Ten Yards ( ) The Day After Tomorrow (x) Child's Play (x) Seed of Chucky (x) Bride of Chucky - not a big fan of chucky but hbo loves to show him. so i'll jus watch. (x) 10 Things I Hate About You - kinda forgot wat it was about. (x) Just Married - refer to above. ( ) Gothika (x)Nightmare on Elm Street ()Sixteen Candles (x)Remember the Titans (x)Coach Carter - kinda similar to remember the titans. sports. great inspiration. inspiring. ( ) The Grudge ( )The Grudge 2 - i'm a pussy (x)The Mask - come on.. i'm sure anyone watched this.. (x)Son Of The Mask - hbo showed it. damn damn bad. stay away. ()Bad Boys 2 ()Joy Ride (x)Lucky Number Slevin - cast full of stars. not bad. (X)Ocean's Eleven (X)Ocean's Twelve - 11 was better then 12 (x)Bourne Identity ()Lone Star ( )Bedazzled (x)Predator I ( )Predator II (x)Ice Age (x)Ice age 2 The Meltdown - nice! (x)Independence Day ( )Cujo ( )A Bronx Tale ( )Darkness Falls ( )Christine (x)ET ( )Children of the Corn ( )My Boss' Daughter ( )Maid in Manhattan (X)Monsters Inc. (x)Rush Hour (x)Rush Hour 2 ( )Best Bet (x)How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days - refer to ''just married'' (x) She's All That - refer to above ( )Calendar Girls (x)Sideways - issit the wine tasting movie? if it is i watched it. ( )Mars Attacks (x)Event Horizon - one of the worst ever show i watched. ( )Ever After (x)Forrest Gump - all time fav!!!!!!!!! ( )Big Trouble in Little China (x)The Terminator (x)The Terminator 2 (x)The Terminator 3 (x)X-Men (x)X-Men 2 (x)X-Men 3 (x)Spider-Man (x)Spider-Man 2 (x)spider-man 3 (x)Sky High - i love superheroes! haha. ( )Jeepers Creepers ()Jeepers Creepers 2 (x)Catch Me If You Can - watched on chn5. good. (X)The Others - the one with the twist. (x)Freaky Friday - the one with the rock chick mom. ( )Reign of fire ( )Cruel Intentions ( )Cruel Intentions 2 (x)The Hot Chick - crazy show.. (x)Shrek (x)Shrek 2-who wana watch 3 wif ME? ( )Swimfan ( )Miracle ( )Old School ( )K-Paxx (x)Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (x)Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (x)Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - LOTR!!! (x)A Walk To Remember ( )Boogeyman (x)The 40-year-old-virgin - watched on hbo agn. i'm a tv junkie ( )The Hills Have Eyes
nothing seems to be going right. was supposed to meet this chap to collect my uglydoll cards. but suddenly he tells me that his supplier ran out of stock and that the next shipment will come in latest by a month. and i was soooo looking forward to thrashing everyone with my fast hands. looks like that have got to wait....
mystery of my name is revealed... I LOOK LIKE A BOB!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Science Daily — Researchers at Miami University think they know why you can remember some peoples’ names but not others’. They’ve shown quantitatively that certain names are associated with certain facial features.
For example, when people hear the name “Bob” they have in mind a larger, round face than when they hear a name such as “Tim” or “Andy.” Robin Thomas, associate professor of psychology, and colleagues not only show that this link exists, but they also show that if people try to learn face-name pairs that go against their expectations, they have a hard time doing it.
Melissa Lea, visiting assistant professor at Union College, N.Y. and a former Miami graduate student, and Aaron Bell and Nathan Lamkin, former undergraduates with research scholarships, worked with Thomas through various steps of establishing the face-name association. Their article on this research has been accepted for publication in the Psychonomic Society’s journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.
Mixed gender groups of college students participated in the study, which used men’s names that appear with equal frequency among that age group. Only white male faces with the same hairstyle were used, as gender and race have large impacts on perception and researchers were looking for subtly perceived differences among mostly homogeneous faces.
Participants were asked to create faces appropriate for 15 specific names using face construction software, similar to programs used by the police in eyewitness identification. A second group of participants generally endorsed the faces as fitting the names: Most predictable name-face matches were Bob, Bill, Brian and Jason. “These prototype faces that seem to exist for different names are not just idly occupying space in our mind, but have implications for how easily one learns the names of individuals,” says Thomas.
In a third study, the authors demonstrate that if the name fits the face, with ‘fit’ being defined by the previous matching study, participants can more easily learn the face-name pairing, but when the name doesn’t fit, people have more difficulty learning to name the faces.
“People choose names for their babies not knowing how they will look later in life, but it seems society has an idea of what people’s names might be merely by looking at them,” says Thomas.
Thomas and colleagues have two directions in mind for more research. One is to try to identify why people seem to have particular types of faces in mind for some names. One hypothesis that has some support is that the sound of the name crosses over to the visual representation. For example, ‘Bob’ is a round sounding name and many participants produced a relatively round face for the name ‘Bob’. Evidence from a recent study supports this possibility.
A second direction of their research is to examine if there are any top-down consequences on face perception of having face-name prototypes in our heads. “That is, if I tell you the fellow you will be meeting this afternoon is named ‘Bob’ will you perceive his face rounder than it actually is? Or if I tell you that his name is ‘Tim’, will you perceive him to be thinner than he actually is?” asks Thomas. “These types of effects of category labels on lower-level perception are becoming a concern for researchers in cognitive and social psychology because their existence suggest that we may not ever be able to see what’s actually there but will always be influenced by what we expect to be there.”
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Miami University.
ok, i'm strangely attracted to selina from she nowadays. which is weird, cos i nv thought she was very pretty last time. and i used to prefer hebe to selina even. maybe i'm too old for this kind of idol stuffs.. but if the girls my age or older can still go crazy over wu zhun... i dun see any problem if i jus feel that selina is quite attractive right?
i'm using my free time quite usefully i guess. listening to music and watching some movies.
linkin park's new album is sooooooooooo bad.... it's really a disaster. apart from their first single off the album, ''what i've done'', the other songs in the album sounds like it's taken off some other artist's b-side albums or it has no directions at all. totally different sound from their previous album. no idea what they're trying to pull off here, but its a massive disappointment for me.
maroon 5 on the other hand, delivered the goods. i enjoyed listening to the whole album. a couple of tracks were kinda off but they managed to keep the maroon 5 formula intact. hip hop grooves mixed in with a couple of slower numbers. wonderful.
i watched just follow law cos my brother bought the vcd. quite hilarious. always hard to find someone to go watch this kinda show with me. i've got the vcd for 'i not stupid' 1 & 2 cos cudden find anyone to watch with me. haha. i always enjoy watching local shows, especially comedies where they can throw in some hokkien, cantonese or other languages. feels more connected to it. ''Love me if you dare'' was also superb. it's a very typical french romance. crazy, out of this world love that people would fantasize about to have but never dare to do. and i still want to watch ''PRICELESS''!!!!!! AAHHHHH
Anybody got the book ''Dear John by Nicholas Sparks''. i want to borrow it! i wanted to buy it but borders had no more stock. and tat was while the 35% thingy was going on. tmd. damn wasted.
And finally, looking forward to the Champions League Finals. Ever since supporting Liverpool from 1994, it was plenty of disappointments. Seasons and seasons of underachieving. But never the thought of changing to club crossed my mind. I think it's like that. you choose a club, and you stick by it. thru thick and thin. that's what i feel. of cos there are people that choose a player and stick by him thru thick and thin. by that i mean if you support beckham, u will be supporting whatever club he plays for. well, that's ok by me too. Passion is the most important. you need to have passion.
back to liverpool... after the many disappointments and the tears shed, everything was just forgotten one night in may 2005. it was a totally incredible night, totally unreal and unbelievable. but it really happened. now we have another chance to do it again... in 2007. i'll be eagerly awaiting the start of the match. Liverpool vs AC Milan
Spiderman 3 is not just all fun and games, you know. Look a bit closer and Sam Raimi and co. are really making very acute social observations about life, love and sand.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
1.EMOs are a product of alien symbiosis
2.If you find yourself running from the law, no problem! Just hop over the gate that says ‘DANGER! Particle Physics Experiment in progress’ and you’re in the clear.
3.If your girlfriend is hanging from the roof of a demolished skyscraper, never fear. Nonchalantly take some pictures and introduce yourself to her father, who also doesn’t seem to give a shit.
4.Flipping omelette and listening to vintage dance songs will only lead to adultery.
5.Black is the new red. And alien goo is the new cotton.
6.If you ever find yourself battling a giant sand person and a jagged-toothed photographer alongside your best friend who just tried to kill you, be sure that you and him exchange ‘witty’ banter at every opportunity. “I’m a little busy over here, buddy.” “I’d love to help you, but I’ve got my hands full, buddy” and so on.
7.If you want to kill someone real bad, then go to church and pray and maybe, if you’re lucky, God will provide you with an alien suit made of pure evil.
8.Sufferers of amnesia just can’t help smiling ridiculously and eating ice-cream. Oh life is good when you can’t remember anything.
9.Bad boys eat cookies, drink milk and mimic their lecturers down the phone in a hilarious manner.
10.Is your girlfriend feeling down? No problem, make her feel better by passionately upside-down kissing some really hot chick in front of her.
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the latest stats show that Gmail users skew younger and richer than those on Yahoo Mail and Hotmail.
Gmail opened up to all comers in February, with Gmail’s market share of US visits climbing 17% from February 2007 to April 2007. However, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail are still much bigger by comparison, says Hitwise: Yahoo had 13x the market share, and Hotmail had 6x the marketshare of Gmail.
The good news, if you’re a Gmail user, is that you may be part of the elite: while Yahoo and Hotmail users are decidedly average, Gmail users tend to be young, have a high income, and be early adopters of technology. 54% of users are between 18 and 34, while 18% have an average annual household income between $100,000 and $149,999 (compared to 15% for Hotmail and 13% for Yahoo Mail). Another stat, probably related to the young age of GMail users: they’re more likely to be Facebook users than those on the other services.
As for performance in the bedroom - well, we kinda lied. In fact, the stats show that solitary Gmail users are far more likely to Google themselves.
so the highly anticipated bobby pua badminton open finally took place this evening. 2 teams were involved in the grand finals which happened in some hall in ntu.. team bryna vs team bobby.
after some warm ups and shuttlecock hitting, the match finally went underway.. team bryna raced to a supreme 7 point lead while the 2 members of team bobby were still trying to find their feet. However, after scoring their first point, team bobby started to have more confidence and tried some fancy serves which resulted in both of them misplacing their services and giving points back to team bryna. more miscommunications and misplaced shots later, team bobby finally succumbed to losing the 1st set.. and by quite a big margain at that.
bouyed by the win, team bryna went on to enjoy a can of 100plus, while team bobby could only drink from the water cooler during the break. the 2nd set started the same way as the 1st. however, this time round, team bobby seemed to have more momentum and the teamwork was much better then the 1st set. service started going where they wanted and they quickly caught up to team bryna. however, just when team bobby was on a row. disaster struck. bobby got smacked at the back of his head by his own teammate at full force by the shuttlecock. a moment of shock combined with uncontrolled laughter by the other team, this will prove to be the changing point. internal conflict was threatening to break up the newly found teamwork for team bobby. however, bobby decided that teamwork was more important then having a spot at the back of head where hair could not grow anymore, and play continued.
however, team bobby could not recover from the lost of momentum. and went down again in the 2nd set.
another break, and this time, it's do or die for team bobby. lethargy seemed to be setting in on team bryna and team bobby sensed that this would be their chance. team bobby seemed to be moving around the court with more purpose, hitting the shuttlecock with more vigour. but they would be let down by their own misgivings. too many unforced errors. the ability to miss the ball even when dropping at slow speed, hitting the shuttlecock too hard and ending up out of court. this meant that they were unable to capitalize on the lethargy factor. mounting a titanic effort to win was not enough.... team bobby lost the 3rd set. and it was all over. team bryna emerged victors. well deserving victors.
Winner of 1st Bobby Pua Badminton Open - Team Bryna
thats only the 1st. team bobby will be back with more teamwork and less unforced errors. till the next bobby pua badminton open... thanks to all!! goodbye...
kinda enjoyed it. missed the first part though. thanks to someone... who missed the whole part she was fat. lol. but she's gorgeous... the lead actress. Kim Ah Jung. damn ah beng her name.. and she sang the songs in the show. She sang Maria too... but tat song's kinda getting on my nerves.. so i chose the other song instead...
finally when I decide that I want to type something into blogger, the whole thing is down. It’s just too irritating to be true. So I’m typing this in word first and I’ll post it up only when blogger allows me to. It’s been rather depressing. Or I should say, I’ve been rather depressed. The words cover letter, resumes, attach photo are all haunting me right now. Not fun. So whats the best thing to do when everything is not fun? Well, then it’s to go and find fun.
So the gang met for café del mar… but later decided against that place as it might be too young and noisy for old fogeys like us. So headed up to Altivo instead. Gorgeous looking place, but rather dark I have to say… the gang was pretty depleted as Ms ‘New Job’ Fanny had to be at her new job and jamine was overseas.. but wat was pretty amazing was that everybody was late… and hence nobody had to really wait for anybody? Everyone has to do something about their sense of punctuality.. especially someone… if you’re reading this I hope you know who u are.. I’m being nice and refraining from announcing.. it was all fun and relax at Altivo. haven been so unstressed for a long time. and i hope that next year's holiday plans will be able to pan out as planned.
the only photo i took wasn't in my phone... so this is the only shot of the night i have. another round of mustafa watch shopping right after Altivo and then to newton for supper. we just don't stop eating do we? damn damn bad. and then right away, once i reached home and bathed, i jus greyed all the way... non-stop until my eyes were ready to pop out and drop down onto my keyboard and bounce onto the floor... there's still 2 episodes to watch but i really had to stop watching as i watched more then 10 episodes on the trot..
do i watch too much tv? maybe i do.. prison break, heroes, grey's anatomy, bleach. and a couple of hong kong dramas on chn 55. not that bad wat. the first 4 shows are all on a weekly basis. 42mins x3 + 20mins = less then 3 hours per week!!!! doesn't seem that bad. but i seem to be deviating from the previous topic of going out to destress. anyway, fanny pls send me jacky's birthday photos n videos.. that was one classic example of going out to destress with everyone getting so violent... i better stop typing now cos i'm rambling and not really making any sense. and i've gotta go make a new pair of specs of my old one jus disappeared into thin air.. tmd...
Not even Jose Mourinho can seriously believe the best team lost this time, not when Liverpool struck once and had another perfectly good goal disallowed.
Not when they had countless other opportunities to score; not when Pepe Reina’s only saves of any real significance came in a penalty shoot- out that brought this extraordinary evening to a close. Andriy Shevchenko sprung something of a surprise when he appeared in the Anfield directors’ box but nobody else turned up for Chelsea last night.
There was no sign of owner Roman Abramovich and there was no sign of a team he financed, either. A team that had won two Premiership titles and, until last week, appeared to be chasing an unprecedented quadruple.
The pursuit of four trophies ended in four desperate days, a third Champions League semi-final defeat in four years coming after a crushing 2-2 draw against Bolton and the sudden disappearance of Shevchenko and Michael Ballack.
Will Mourinho be staying beyond the end of this season? It is now more difficult to say.
His team lacked staying power at Anfield, the physical and mental demands of a campaign that has already stretched to 60 games seemingly taking their toll.
They had no answer to Daniel Agger’s slightly controversial firsthalf strike, no answer to the spirit and determination this remarkable Liverpool side displayed and no response when Rafa Benitez’s men once again emerged as the masters of the spot-kick lottery. First, it was AC Milan in Istanbul, then West Ham in Cardiff and now this.
As Benitez sat cross-legged among his coaching staff on the touchline, Reina and his colleagues did the rest. Bolo Zenden, Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt drove the ball into the net in front of the Anfield Road end, while Reina saved first to deny Arjen Robben and then Geremi.
Reina is a genius when it comes to saving penalties. He saved seven out of nine for Villarreal in the season before he joined Liverpool.
But last night he had 42,000 people Benitez refers to as the ‘Special Ones’ standing alongside him. Just as they were two years ago, the fans were magnificent last night. They sang chorus after chorus of You’ll Never Walk Alone, most memorably just before the shootout began, and greeted every Chelsea penalty taker with a deafening cacophony of boos. Only Frank Lampard delivered. Pity he couldn’t do the same in the World Cup.
It was not the most wonderful game of football but it was one Liverpool richly deserved to win, not least because of their industry. Jamie Carragher was immense, Javier Mascherano was defensively brilliant and what Kuyt lacked in finishing ability he made up for in sheer courage and resolve. Last night he must have run further than anybody.
Liverpool simply wanted it so much more — wanted to reach their second Champions League final in three seasons and write another chapter in the history of a club Mourinho so foolishly dismissed.
The first half statistics said it all. Liverpool had 64 per cent of the possession and a goal that wiped out the advantage established by Joe Cole’s goal at Stamford Bridge last week. They were the better team even if Mourinho could have complained that Mikel John Obi was fouled by Kuyt when he was trying to mark Agger.
It remained a fine goal, though, the Danish centre half meeting skipper Steven Gerrard’s cleverly executed free-kick with a quite breathtaking finish.
Whatever Mourinho said to his players at half-time, it had no effect.
Peter Crouch went close to increasing Liverpool’s lead with a header that Petr Cech saved and Kuyt went closer still, meeting a cross from John Arne Riise with an effort that rattled Cech’s crossbar.
Chelsea also threatened to score, notably when Ashley Cole crossed towards Didier Drogba, only for Carragher to beat him to the ball and clear over his own bar. Somehow, he also earned a goalkick.
Extra time then followed and an extra 30 minutes of high pressure, high intensity football that a weary Chelsea team were fortunate to survive.
Kuyt should have scored when he was sent clear by Mascherano. Cech had to make a magnificent save.
And the Dutchman then did score in the 100th minute when Cech failed to hold on to a blistering effort from Alonso. The assistant referee raised his flag but Kuyt appeared to be level. So much for cries of conspiracy when UEFA selected Spanish officials to take charge of the game.
Anticipating penalties, Benitez then sent for God, otherwise known as Robbie Fowler, and a moment of divine intervention very nearly followed. Fowler presented Kuyt with another chance to score but again Cech made the save.
Only penalties remained, but not before a reminder from the fans. ‘In Istanbul we won it five times,’ they cried in the hope that their heroes would soon have the opportunity to make it six.
While an animated Benitez spoke passionately to his players, Chelsea gathered in a huddle. They had won the toss and opted, understandably, for the opposite end to the Kop.
But at Anfield there was no escape. No escape from these incredible supporters and no escape from Reina. ‘The best team lost again,’ Mourinho dared argue, but this time nobody will be listening.