Four days after Sweden's defeat (one-nil) to Denmark at the FIFA 2010 qualification, rumors about Sven Göran Eriksson surged. Since Sweden was no longer a qualified team for the upcoming World Cup 2010, the Swedish soccer manager apparently turned his attention towards east, according to British sources. The journalists' focus is not just any country in Asia, this time, it's all about North Korea, who made it to World Cup for the first time since 1966. The day after, both Notts County and the former England and Mexico soccer manager himself denied that he ever got an offer from DPRK. What a bummer!
Talking about North Korea, I'll update you with some old news. Kim Jong-il is dying from terminal disease, but then again it can't be confirmed. Among his three sons, the oldest Kim Jong-nam(金正男) was the most likely successor, until he lost his father's favor when trying to smuggle into Japan's Disney Land with a fake Dominican passport using a Chinese alias, "fat bear"(胖熊) back in 2001. The autocrat passed over his throne to his youngest son, Kim Jong-un（金正云） while the middle son Kim Jong-chul（金正哲） kept a low profile. Let's keep an eye on this fellow. You'll probably hear his name a lot 10 years from now on.
When I was in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there was this strange encounter. In the Egyptian Art Section, you find Temple of Dendur. That's right, the temple, is, in New York. It was given as a gift to the US government back in 1965. So the story is: right next to this temple there was a replica of a sphinx statue. I was just telling my friend Kedar how Napoleon Bonaparte placed a canon in front of the Egyptian sphinx in Giza and fired a shell into its nose, disfiguring its face. Before I could finish my story, this lady who was standing next to Kedar, turned around, looked at me and shook her head. So I stopped. She said "no, no that was complete urban legend". After completing her statement, she started to talk about the sphinx. First she tried to read the hieroglyphs on the statue, while me and Kedar was watching in disbelief. Next you knew it, a guy who works at Met came over and told us that the sphinx resembles the Egyptian pharaoh "Hatshepsut". The name turned to be exactly what she was trying to utter. From that moment, her image turned from an insane zealot to a female version of Robert Langdon. This lady told me: Hatshepsut was one of the few female Egyptian pharaohs in history. Her name was systematically removed by the ancient historians, who couldn't stand having a woman ruling the country. Hatshepsut married her half-brother, Tuthmose II and ruled the country before leaving the throne to her stepson, Tuthmose III. Still, having a statue of Hatshepsut right next to the Temple of Dendur is out of place, since Hatshepsut's own temple if way further to the north on Nile, while Dendur is downstream to the south. She kept pumping information with such an enthusiasm that it was unbelievable. Out of her bag she took out a small booklet and a map, showing places such as the Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak. After a while, taking in all the information was getting overwhelming for me. So I asked her to stop, and started to recite what she told me: she was a queen of the 18th dynasty, ruled alongside Tuthmose II and III, built temple of Karnak... After hearing me mentioning the facts, our mrs. Langdon got so excited that she decided to give away her booklet to me. She said "my husband got another one of these so you may have it. Oh gosh, I went to Egypt four years ago and I can clearly tell you, I have yet to come back". By the time I rejoined to my friends, they told me they've been waiting for me for 20 minutes, in what I felt like 5 minutes.