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The Science of the World Cup

To celebrate the opening of the World Cup 2006 today in Germany, The New Scientist is running a story listing their favorite science stories relating to the ‘beautiful game.’ Among them is proof soccer is the best sport, the formula for world cup success, how to keep unruly fans in line, and multiple ways to tweak a team’s gear to give them a competitive edge.

Elsewhere on the science side of the World Cup 2006, two students from Iran and India have developed a statistical model that predicts Brazil over Italy in the finals, and ZDNet is reporting on the IT efforts of FIFA in the face of huge amounts of expected denial of service attacks against the World Cup football network.

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The Teamgeist by Brandon

Another interesting innovation in this World Cup is the ball. Adidas, who has supplied the World Cup balls since 1970, introduced the "Teamgeist; this time, which includes some accuracy and precision improvements. The commentary during the Cup games so far has mentioned the ball a number of times and there appears to be some controversy over its use; defending champions Brazil and England’s goalkeeper have expressed concern.

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