DOHA, Qatar — The sun comes up before 5 a.m. and immediately puts the entire city on convection bake. By lunchtime, the temperature has finished its methodical climb up the scale, from unusual through uncomfortable to unbearable and then, finally, to unhealthy. The wind off the bay offers no relief; in June in Doha, even the summer breeze blows hot.
This was to be the summer the World Cup came to Qatar, an idea that seems as preposterous now as it did a dozen years ago, when the tiny Gulf country, let’s just say, acquired the hosting rights to soccer’s biggest championship. FIFA’s own evaluators had labeled a summer World Cup in the Gulf as “high risk,” and a single morning’s walk this week confirmed that assessment. Still, for years, Qatari organizers promised to deliver what they had proposed, whatever FIFA asked: new stadiums, new hotels, new cooling technologies, a new frontier for soccer.
Organizers, of course, eventually came to their senses, or at least to that one sense that lets humans differentiate hot from sun’s anvil hot, and in 2015 moved the tournament to the winter. The past week, though, offered a glimpse of what might have been.
Over eight days, Qatar hosted three intercontinental playoff games that determined the final two teams in the field for this year’s World Cup: Australia and Costa Rica. Like so many of the marquee events hosted in Doha in recent years, the matches were a chance for Qatar to test-drive its facilities, its infrastructure and its tolerance for all the disparate guests.
How did that glimpse into the future look this week? Both reassuring and incomplete, depending on one’s perspective.
Five months from the World Cup’s opening match, Qatar appears to have gotten the big things right. Seven of the eight air-conditioned stadiums built or refurbished for the World Cup have hosted matches, and the largest (and last) will have its first test events in the coming months. All but one of the arenas are reachable by one of the three gleaming new subway lines that speed under and through the capital, and work continues on office towers, apartment blocks, roads and sidewalks every day. Even with so much ready to go, though, to see Qatar this summer, so close to its big moment, is to see a place that is a work in progress rather than a completed vision.
Peru brought the most fans of any country playing this week, a raucous army more than 10,000 strong, but every morning it was possible to walk long city blocks without seeing a soul. Many residents and visitors emerged only in the evening, to sip coffees, to stroll the parks and green spaces and to wander the Souk Waqif, the capital’s rebuilt marketplace — filling its tables, disappearing into its warren of stalls and shops. But even as the locals, the Qatari families and South Asian workers, pulled out their phones to snap photos and record videos of those fans enjoying this place they probably never thought they’d visit, one couldn’t help but feel that none of them could yet be sure what November would bring.
Organizers expect that more than a million fans overall will enter Qatar during the World Cup — 32 cheering sections, just like Peru’s, but neutrals, too, all of them crowding the same spaces, competing for the same hotels and cafe tables, all waving their own colors and carrying their own hopes.
Questions persist about where all those guests will sleep, eat, shop and drink. Cruise ships and tent camps may help with that first problem, which remains the biggest unanswered question for fans and organizers. Qatar’s decision to require those attending the World Cup to have proof of a ticket purchase to enter the country or book a hotel room could help keep the numbers down. Saudis and Emiratis who love soccer could pour across the border to bring those numbers right back up. But the tournament also is four full days shorter than its predecessors in Brazil and Russia; if it turns into a chaotic mess, then at least it will be a shorter one.
There are still a few months to sort out the final details, to find the room and rent the buses and the boats, for Qatar to produce the smooth-running showpiece it promised, to flex all that shiny new soft power.
The heat? That’s so low on Qatar’s list of concerns that officials and engineers now dismiss it with the wave of a hand. Anyone who has spent time in the Gulf in the winter, they will tell you, knows the mercury drops into the 80s by then, and it is cooler at night. Could that lower the temperature, literally and figuratively, in the fan zones and elsewhere? Maybe.
On game days it won’t have to. The stadium air-conditioning systems functioned as advertised all week; on Monday, during Australia’s shootout win over Peru, blowers and vents built into the 40,000-seat Al Rayyan stadium cooled the match to a comfortable 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 Celsius), even though it was still well over 90 degrees outside the stadium’s open roof and swirling metalwork shell.
In a few months, the last and most elaborate system built into the 80,000-seat showpiece stadium in Lusail, which will host 10 matches, including the final, will get its final tests. The engineer who designed it promised this week that it would work. He had, he noted with a laugh, done the calculations himself.
By: Andrew Das and Tasneem Alsultan
Title: In Qatar’s World Cup Summer, the Mercury Rises and the Clock Ticks
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2022/06/15/sports/soccer/qatar-world-cup-preparations.html
Published Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2022 22:33:21 +0000
Remember That Time Sean Astin Tried To Direct a ‘Fantastic Four’ Movie?
As we are reaching the end of 2023, casting rumors around the MCU's Fantastic Four movie are swirling in the air, and the Fox Marvel movie characters are reportedly returning for Deadpool 3, there has never been a more appropriate time to look back on the cinematic history of Marvel's first family. At this point, The Fantastic Four has been brought to life by numerous filmmakers. Tim Story gave us the original duology in the mid-2000s, Josh Trank bamboozled us with the production mishap that was Fant4stic, and even Roger Corman produced an unofficially released live-action film in the mid-'90s. Simply put, this group of characters are no strangers to moviegoers. But what about the films that were never made? What about Sean Astin's Fantastic Four?
By: Samuel Williamson
Title: Remember That Time Sean Astin Tried To Direct a ‘Fantastic Four’ Movie?
Sourced From: collider.com/sean-astin-fantastic-four-movie/
Published Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2023 13:00:14 GMT
Did you miss our previous article…
‘May December,’ ‘Maestro:’ We Take On Two Awards-Buzzed December Releases
Two huge awards-buzzed films will be released in the month of December, and we’ve seen them both! Todd Haynes’ May December stars Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in a camp drama that explores the aftermath of an illicit love affair between an adult woman (Moore) and a teenage boy, played as an adult by Charles […]
By: Clarence Moye
Title: ‘May December,’ ‘Maestro:’ We Take On Two Awards-Buzzed December Releases
Sourced From: www.awardsdaily.com/2023/11/27/wcpep439/
Published Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2023 02:23:18 +0000
Mo Gilligan to “step down and hand over the baton” as BRIT Awards host
Mo Gilligan has announced he will be “stepping down” as a BRIT Awards host due to his first world tour.
- READ MORE: Soundtrack Of My Life – Mo Gilligan
The comedian took to his official social media account to share that due to scheduling conflicts with his first-ever world tour, he will “hand over the baton” and give his usual hosting duties to someone else.
“I’ve had the most incredible time working on The BRITS but unfortunately as I’ll be in the US for my first world tour next spring. I’m sorry to say that I’ll be stepping down from hosting duties for 2024 and handing over the baton,” began his statement on his Instagram stories.
He continued: “It’s been phenomenal to work on this iconic event. I’ve loved getting to know all the remarkable people who run The BRIT Trust and the outstanding BRIT school. The tireless work you do to improve lives through the power of music and the creative arts is sensational and I promise to continue supporting wherever I can.
“Thank you to ITV for making a young man’s dream come true and to all the brilliant performers, guests, production team and most importantly, the viewers at home for all your amazing support. It’s been an honor. See you on tour!”
Gillian also shared one of his tweets from 2011 in which he wrote: “In 2013 I need to host the #MOBO’s or #TheBritAwards *Fingers Crossed*”.
The comedian has served as the awards show presenter for the past two years. Speaking to The Sun, a BRITs spokesperson said: “The BRITs are incredibly proud of Mo hosting the awards for the last two years, he is an exceptional entertainer who is going from strength to strength in his career, and we thank him for delivering two brilliant shows for us.”
They continued: “The live awards show is always evolving, and we are excited to welcome someone new to the helm for 2024, with more details to be announced at a later date.”
I did it. I hosted the @BRITs https://t.co/ACaToEAkLr pic.twitter.com/9w0CKveszc
— Mo Gilligan (@MoTheComedian) February 9, 2022
Back in September, the date for the BRIT Awards 2024 was revealed. Next year’s ceremony is due to take place on March 2 at The O2 in London. It’ll mark the second consecutive year that the show has aired in a primetime Saturday night slot on ITV1 and ITVX.
Last week, the BRIT Awards organisers announced that they will be tweaking their rules for the 2024 instalment, following a row over diversity.
According to a new report by BBC News, it has been announced that the organisers of the BRITS will now increase the number of shortlisted artists for the Best Artist award. This sees an expansion from five to 10 nominees for the 2024 edition, in the hopes of creating a more balanced field.
The expanded shortlist will also apply to the Best International Artist category as of next year. As well as broadening the number of nominees, the organisers have also confirmed that they will be introducing a new award category, dedicated solely to the R&B genre.
The post Mo Gilligan to “step down and hand over the baton” as BRIT Awards host appeared first on NME.
By: Anagricel Duran
Title: Mo Gilligan to “step down and hand over the baton” as BRIT Awards host
Sourced From: www.nme.com/news/music/mo-gilligan-to-step-down-and-hand-over-the-baton-as-brit-awards-host-3549693?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mo-gilligan-to-step-down-and-hand-over-the-baton-as-brit-awards-host
Published Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2023 16:52:29 +0000
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