When we first meet fresh-faced, girl-next-door type Akiko (actress Takanashi Rin, who played the “pink” team member in several “Power Rangers”-esque TV shows), she’s sitting in a Tokyo cafe arguing with someone on her cell phone. As mere observers, we aren’t privy to the other side of the conversation, but we eventually figure out that Akiko is verbally fencing with her overly jealous boyfriend. This one-sided, information-light style of storytelling is part-and-parcel to Like Someone in Love, the low-key new drama from award-winning Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami (Close-Up, Taste of Cherry, The Wind Will Carry Us, Certified Copy).
South Korea elects first female president, conservative Park Geun-hye.
The sky (of The Pit) is falling!
Penn State scandal voted top sports story of the year (again).
APD officer arrested and accused of theft.
Tebow’s sad, sad story.
American pastor imprisoned in Iran while visiting family.
Rumors of school violence lead to 7 suspensions at Manzano High School.
Those darn foxes getting their heads stuck in everything.
A menagerie of adorable things that happened in 2012.
How gun control works for Japan.
US job growth picked up in November.
Changes have been made to Bernalillo county animal law.
Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen welcome baby girl.
Who wants a a steaming hot cup of really expensive elephant poop coffee?
Man who lost $20,000 in drug money, asks police for excuse note to prevent the cartel from killing him.
In the spirit of Christmas, here are some tips to avoid giving a gift that will later be returned.
Grieving father writes 14-song tribute album for missing daughter.
High magnitude earthquake hits northeast Japan.
Following the demise of Hostess, Burque residents have started selling Twinkies on Craigslist.
The Biebs didn’t get a single Grammy nomination.
Nurse involved in Kate Middleton prank call found dead.
This years top most perfectly timed photos.
Heavy rains leave at least 28 dead on island in southern Japan.
Let the FBI know if you have any information that could help solve an armored van murder from 1994.
Albuquerque police arrest two people in human trafficking case.
Mom infected with flesh-eating bacteria seems to be on good road to recovery.
Violent police standoff in northern New Mexico leaves one man dead.
This Monday just keeps getting worse and worse: Gemini the two-faced kitten died.
Budget cuts in Oregon prison mean nearly 100 released inmates.
Everybody wants Jeremy Lin, but not everybody can afford him.
One does not simply cut off the power to Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen's microphones just as they are about to start a duet.
Breaking Bad back for 5th (and final) season.
Japan, as a nation, is filled with people doing incredibly brilliant and incomprehensively weird things. There may be no clearer proof of that than this video in which someone goes through the unbelievably labor intensive process of creating Japan’s hottest new snack food: a powdered McDonalds Happy Meal. This thing is as fascinating as it is repulsive. I’m craving one right now.
Some people won't let this sculpture in Tempe be.
Ted Nugent takes more dying boys and girls on last fishing trips than anyone else.
Albuquerque Public Access Television meeting this Monday May seventh at City Hall.
The New York Times was able to claim a staggering 73 percent increase in circulation since last March. Here's the why.
Here's a Gretsch guitar catalogue from 1961.
Arizona Governor signs bill that would cut off any funding to Planned Parenthood and other health providers who perform abortions.
One can't expect the Olympics in London to go on without a Falkland Islands flap.
Fifty hottest female inmates, the webpage.
On this day in 1943 Michael Palin was born.
Japan to go nuclear energy free.
Better buckle up if you’re out cruising today.
Dog kills its Santa Fe owner.
Pakistani suicide bomber kills at least 19.
Best closer of all-time may have just suffered a career-ending injury.
A game in which you drink in a tree until you get drunk and fall off the tree is apparently all the rage in New Zealand.
Obama’s attention-seeking college girlfriend dishes on their love life, and on the Prez’ literary smugness.
South African cat survives almost two hours in the washing machine.
Remeber that bear from last week that got shot with a tranquilizer and fell out of a tree? It’s dead.
Inside the mind of bin Laden.
The alco-bra. ... Kids these days.
Japan threatens to shoot down North Korean rocket if it gets too close.
Pink slime to be removed from NM public school lunches by July.
Is it cruel and unusual to sentence a 14-year-old to life without the possibility of parole?
I've been to Tennessee and this anti-science Monkey Bill recently passed seems about right.
Religious exemptions for childhood vaccinations will doom us all.
Now you've got to worry about blood-cashews.
Nokia patents text-message tattoos.
Four guys walk into an Australian bar, order fancy drinks, then parachute off the roof without paying.
Blood Urine Man wins top prize at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts competition.
In Florida, wearing an orange shirt is a fireable offense.
$200 for a cup of organic green tea grown in panda crap? I'll take two!
Pfizer's recipe for pig testicle tacos sounds positively delicious.
The women of "Mad Men" supercut.
How to tell if you're being monitored at work.
Photos from Frida Kahlo's private collection are on display.
Sigh, another reason to hate The Phantom Menace.
It’s not all that surprising that Hello Kitty has teamed up for a Valentines’ Day promotion with the Hooters restaurant chain in Tokyo, because, you know ... Japan. But look at the thing Hooters Kitty is promoting! The “Volcano of Love” parfait is a two-foot Eiffel Tower of calories that will set you back $30. If you’re one of the first 1,000 couples to order it, though, you do get a free pin featuring Hello Kitty in a sexy Hooters T-shirt and hotpants. And we think “Toddlers & Tiaras” is inappropriate.
Buffalo rampages through Edgewood, N.M.
Former Gov. Gary Johnson ditches the GOP and goes Libertarian in his quest to become president of these United States.
Should be a $4.2 million surplus in the state budget. Gov. Susana Martinez wants to spend it on college prep programs.
Barbie is a hoarder.
Best insta-celebs of the year.
The 10 most absurd quotes about women in 2011.
Apes to video chat on iPads.
Wendy's $16 foie gras burger.
At Vow's Bar in Tokyo patrons are served by real Buddhist monks.
The professional laugher.
Beware the deadly three-ton satellite telescope falling to earth.
Beware the deadly horse tail thieves.
This 100-year-old bacteria probably won't kill us all.
Netflix cancels plans for Qwikster.
Look mom, no head!
Former Miss Iceland was tipster in Whitney Bolger fugitive case.
New Chinese opera about the 1911 revolution must not use the word revolution.
Paul McCartney still has enough money to get married.
Send this to your dirtbag friends.
Beware the deadly hot dog thrower.
I wish I had an alligator bike.
How does Japanese art of the 1700s stack up against Europe’s?
What shall I read next?
Mathematicians reveal the newest imaginary number.
I-25 was shut down for a jumper.
A toddler was shot in the head with a pellet gun.
Beware the mailbox bomber.
Happy birthday, David Lee Roth.
Thanks to Nayder and Moss for the link assists.
Japan's prime minister quits.
Is the US West coast next for a massive tsunami? This geographer thinks so.
A history of gays in the military and some moving firsthand stories.
The fake puke industry. Didn't know there was one? Read this.
Mexican police launch drug raids from inside US borders.
In some African countries mosquitoes and malaria rates are falling mysteriously.
Syrian political cartoonist is badly beaten and left on the roadside.
Learn about Ireland's history through 100 important objects.
C.I.A. demands cuts in memoir by former F.B.I. agent, bringing up questions about who gets to tell the 9/11 story.
C'mon Irene—hurricane threatens toward New York as the city battens down.
The Burqueño who saved the little girl from a kidnapper is being praised and rewarded by people around the country.
What's this about a new oil sheen in the Gulf?
President Obama tells Assad to split.
In Japan more than $78 million was found in the post-earthquake wreckage. The people who find the wallets and cash and safes keep turning them over to authorities. Weird.
California high court won't hear Phil Spector's appeal.
Coco Chanel: Nazi agent?
The taxonomy of graffiti.
Veteran APD officer made a deal with a decoy prostitute, according to police. He was arrested.
This person could die if she combs her hair.
Hey little girls: It's never to early to think about dieting.
Religion is going … going … gone in nine countries.
U.S. agency wants to know what it would take to travel to another star. Figuring it out could take a hundred years.
Not everyone is meant for college.
Team U.S.A. prided itself on succeeding with its back against the wall. It wanted the pressure. In the final match of the 2011 Women's World Cup, that pressure might have proven to be too much.
The U.S. played a better game at every single point of the game that mattered, until the part that mattered the most. Up by one in regulation and then again up by one in overtime, the Women's team twice let its lead evaporate and eventually headed to penalty kicks. The only other Women's World Cup that had gone to penalty kicks was the famous 1999 Brandi Chastain-imprinted win. When it came time to shoot down those echoes of the past, however, this team simply could no do it.
When the game started, it looked as though it was going to be a US-dominated affair. Lauren Cheney got things off on the right foot with a quick run up the left side within the first minute. Megan Rapinoe continued the US pressure with a killer cross to Cheney in the 8th minute and Carli Lloyd almost had a neat clean-up at the 11th minute. Cheney passed to Rapinoe for a fantastic straight-on shot only 20 seconds later.
After an advantage call in the 28th minute, Abby Wambach had a shot bounce off the top of the crossbar, in a dramatic instance that would be repeated time and time again. Despite numerous chances, the United States did not seem as though they'd be able to capitalize.
Things started to pick up for Japan when Shinobu Ohno got a good shot in the 30th minute, but U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo cut off that effort easily. In the 2011 Women's World Cup, three of Japan's 10 goals had previously come on set pieces. And at the 37th minute, despite being outplayed for virtually the entire first half, they got a corner kick where they might have had another one of those set piece goals. One minute later, Japan got a great service for Kozue Ando, but Solo came off her line quickly and successfully.
As the first half ended, the momentum appeared to have shifted, albeit slightly. The United States had more chances—all missed—but they couldn't capitalize at any point. They played so well for almost the entire half, but they could not come out ahead. It was at this point that the question of pressure had to be rising in many people's minds.
To counter that doubt, coach Pia Sundhage started the second half by removing Cheney and putting in Alex Morgan, who almost put in a cross to the short corner a mere four minutes into the second half. After the referee incorrectly called an offside offense against Japan, Heather O'Reilly hit Wambach with a lift in the 64th minute that Wambach nearly headed just above the Japan keeper.
In the 68th minute, super-sub Morgan got an excellent feed from Rapinoe. Morgan took one touch on the ball and blasted a left-footed shot into the lower right hand corner to take the lid off the goal for the Americans.
In the 80th minute, though, Japan got an equalizer from Aya Miyama and put on non-stop pressure. With two more chances in the next minute for Japan, it seemed as though the U.S. was on its heels. Making it through the last ten minutes of the regulation game was its own blessing, though, and the World Cup Final went to overtime.
Team U.S.A. got overtime started in a similar fashion, with an on-target header from Wambach that was halted by Ayumi Kaihori. However, as the first half of the overtime period moved toward its conclusion, in the 103rd minute, Morgan sent a small cross sailing past the Japanese goal which Wambach redirected masterfully into the back of the net off a header.
In the 111th minute, Team U.S.A. survived a scare, as Solo came off her line, missed the ball and then two defenders collided while attempting to clear the ball. But Japan could not convert. Shortly after, Rapinoe got subbed out in favor of Tobin Heath finishing the game with fresh legs. The threats were not over, however, for the United States, as Yukari Kinga broke toward the goal off a feed from Homare Sawa. Solo was hurt and remained on the ground, but captain Christine Rampone was there to clear the goal. Unfortunately, on the resulting corner kick in the 116th minute, Sawa put in the cross to knot things up 2-2.
There would be no more points scored in the overtime period. And while Japan converted three of its first four penalty kicks, Team U.S.A. was only able to put in one of five, total.
As the pressure finally cracked, nothing good came of it. There was no tremendous release, no dismissal of the specters of the past. There was a better finish for Team U.S.A. than in the previous two World Cups. That's the silver lining. But for the game they played, the way they executed, the near-perfect—minus goal-scoring—team effort, it's hard to focus on that silver lining. For a team that was aiming for a championship or bust, second place cannot be anything other than first loser.
Across the Pacific Ocean, Japanese coastal towns are still in need of volunteers and donations as they struggle with the aftermath of March's earthquake and resulting tsunami.
Sunday's fine art auction “Hands Together for Japan” at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History refocuses attention on ongoing relief efforts. Decorating your home has never been so karma-positive:
Albuquerque Museum (2000 Mountain NW)
Sunday, July 10
6 p.m to 9:30 p.m.
Five aid organizations put the event together. It features work from various Southwest artists including Anthony Abbate from Beals & Abbate Fine Art in Santa Fe.
Pieces for sale include pottery, oil paintings and prints that represent the culture of the Southwest and Native American traditions.
All proceeds go to Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team, an organization that provides aid around the world. The team's efforts in Japan focus on restoring the homes and lives of the displaced elderly and affected communities. It also offers counseling and activities to help alleviate mental trauma after the disaster.