Places with bad names-1

There are places which have names which may sound funny or offensive in other languages. Probably the most famous one is this:

Fucking, Austria

More about this tiny place with a population of around 100:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fucking,_Austria

Obviously this name is not particularly significant to German speakers, but is a source of amusement to English speakers, especially Brits.

The Brits have something similar in Surrey, but not in the same class:

Dorking, England

While “dork” is not a verb, it is a noun in American English:

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dork 

A standard sign in the US (especially in college classrooms) in “No food and drinks”. Someone at Stanford had put up a realistic sign stating “No freaks and dorks” which the faculty chose to leave untouched.

There was a controversial judge named Robert Bork who was nominated by President Reagan to the Supreme Court, but his nomination was rejected by the US Senate in 1987. While his name rhymes with “Dork”, the word predates him.

This town is somewhat larger than its Austrian counterpart. It is perhaps appropriate that it is famous for poultry:

Dorking Cock

More on the general topic of places with unusual names:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_names_considered_unusual

That is a bit exhaustive and lengthy, but a shorter one is:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/united-kingdom/galleries/Britains-silliest-place-names/

This topic is indeed worthy of a doctoral dissertation.

Next we will take up a few such cases in India.

 

IPL League matches 2018-what lies ahead

At the time of writing (after the RR-SRH match on 29/4), when 28 of the 56 league matches were over the points table was:

IPL 2018 halfway

Now we look at the final points table for 2015, 2016 and 2017:

2015:

2015 IPL League

2016:

2016 IPL league table

2017:

2017 IPL League table

The main concern now is to predict who will be in the last four. We see that in the three seasons a team needed 16 points to qualify. This would correspond to 8 wins, or 7 wins and two no-results. Once you are in the last four it is even more of a lottery than in “normal” tournaments such as the World Cup.

A quick look at the half-time table for 2018 shows that the leader SRH has played 8 matches and have 12 points. To just scrape through they need just 2 wins in 6 matches.

Second-placed CSK have 7 matches and 10 points. They need 3 wins in 7 matches.

At the bottom end, DD have 7 matches and 4 points. They need 6 wins from 7 matches. But if you look at the history of the IPL, probably comebacks like this have happened on rare occasions.

Next to the bottom there is RCB with 6 matches and 4 points. They need 6 wins from 8 matches.

More renamed stations (Revised Feb 2019)

We have earlier covered stations which have been recently renamed in Karnataka. Here we take up a few more which have been renamed in the recent past, as well as those which were supposed to be renamed but have so far not been changed.

Starting with Sunam in Punjab, named after one of its famous sons:

Farah Town (between Mathura and Agra) now appears in railway databases as Deen Dayal Dham. Pandit DDU was born in that area.

Farah TownDeen Dayal Dham

While the renaming of this small station did not attract much attention in the media, this one certainly did as it is a major junction:

Similarly, Gurgaon is now officially Gurugram but the Railways have not made any changes yet.

Mhow has been renamed:

Mhow was the birthplace of Dr. Ambedkar. His family was originally from Maharashtra, but his father was serving in the armed forces at Mhow.

And yet another one near Bhopal (thanks to the photographer who furnished this two-in -one picture).

Bairagarh and successor

This station (SHRN) has now gained importance due to a Bhopal bypass from Nishatpura yard (north of Bhopal Jn) to this station on the west towards Ujjain, Indore and Nagda. It therefore acts as a proxy for Bhopal.

Robertsganj in eastern UP was renamed Sonebhadra.

Near Kanpur we have Panki renamed Panki Dham:

Jagadhri (between Saharanpur and Ambala) has become Yamuna Nagar-Jagadhri. This has some logic as Yamunanagar is the larger and better known of the two.

Jagadhri Workshop station remains unchanged.

Malkhedi was renamed Bina Malkhedi, after a new bypass line caused many long-distance trains to skip Bina and stop at this station instead:

A similar case is seen in the bypass station of Chheoki, which has become Allahabad Chheoki to reduce confusion among passengers. However, unlike Bina Malkhedi, Chheoki was there since British times and was used by a limited number of trains such as the Imperial Mail. It was not used for a long time and started reappearing in timetables from the 2000s.

From Mumbai we have:

Elsewhere, a new station was supposed to be named Oshiwara. At the last moment it was changed to:

Ram Mandir station

Another change was first reported in 2009 but has not occurred yet. Silchar was to be renamed  Bhasa Shahid Silchar. It remains as it is:

Silchar station

A nice new building has come up recently:

Silchar exterior

However someone has put this little sign near the station entrance. So far it has not been disturbed:

Silchar Bhasa Shahid

The story behind this would be known to anyone familiar with the history of Cachar and adjoining districts.

 

The importance of Sheikhupura

The city of Sheikhupura in Pakistan was in the news recently:

https://www.geo.tv/latest/192419-sikh-pilgrim-who-went-missing-in-pakistan-found-from-sheikhupura

There is a happy ending as he was promptly deported to India a few days later.

Sheikhupura is on the route from the Atari/Wagah border to Nankana Saheb, where special trains from India run occasionally for the benefit of Sikh pilgrims. The main stations on the way are Lahore and Qila Sheikhupura:

Qila Sheikhupura

There is a video on Youtube produced by a passenger on of the pilgrim trains, showing it passing through these stations.

Nankana Saheb is not really a major railway station. Timetables of the 1930s and 1940s show it as a wayside station served by two pairs of passenger trains between Lahore and Shorkot Road (now Shorkot Cantt). In recent years an express has started running on this route which stops at Nankana Saheb and several other stations.

Those who follow cricket closely would remember that Sheikhupura had staged two Test matches and two ODIs in the 1990s. The first Test was against Zimbabwe in 1996, where Wasim Akram’s record of 12 6s in his 257 not out is still a world record. With Saqlain Mushtaq (79) he put on 313 for the 8th wicket which was the new Test record.

This record was surpassed by Trott (184) and Broad (169)’s partnership of 332 against Pakistan at Lord’s in 2010. Given the later disclosures of various tricks being played by Salman Butt and his friends, it is quite likely that they were “allowed” to run up large scores.

In that match in 1996 Paul Strang scored a century and took a five-for. He remains the only one from Zimbabwe to achieve this in a Test.

In 1997 this venue hosted another Test against South Africa. Nothing much happened as 3 days were washed out.

While Test matches did not return here, the people of Sheikhupura were more fortunate than their neighbors in Gujranwala. The one Test there (against Sri Lanka) in 1991 saw only one day of play before the weather played spoilsport. There are several other venues in India and Pakistan which have hosted only one Test so far.

Sheikhupura also features in jokes where it is supposed to be the home of Sheikh Pir, who wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare. Tamilians disagree as they say the plays were written by their scholar Seshappa Iyer.

There is a lesser-known Sheikhpura in Bihar state in India, on the Gaya-Kiul route:

Sheikhpura (Bihar)

US Presidents: some notes on longevity

First, a picture taken on the occasion of Barbara Bush’s funeral. Note the caustic comments of the writer regarding the prominent absentee:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-golfed-instead-of-going-to-barbara-bushs-funeral-that-was-a-good-thing/2018/04/23/a5930974-4731-11e8-8b5a-3b1697adcc2a_story.html?utm_term=.587b697c623c

Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn were not present either, though that is understandable as they are both above 90.

Barbara Bush was not, however, the longest lived First Lady. She lived to be 92 years 10 months. “Lady Bird” Johnson (94/7), Nancy Reagan (93/8) and Betty Ford (93/3) lived longer.

She was one of two First Ladies whose son became President, and the only one to see her son become President (in 2001). Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams (President in 1797-1801) passed away in 1818 before her son John Q Adams became President in 1825.

The marriage of George Bush Sr and Barbara was the longest-lasting marriage of an US President, at 73 years and 3 months. Next in line are the Carters, married in July 1946 and currently on 71 years 9 months. Rosalyn Carter (born August 1927) is now on 90 years 8 months.

George Bush senior (born June 1924) is the longest-living President at 93 years and 10 months. Next in line is Jimmy Carter (born October 1924), presently on 93 years 7 months.

Bush reached this record only in November 2017 when he crossed the record of Gerald Ford (93 years 5 months, 1913-2006). He is also the last President to have served in World War 2, in a long line going back to JFK and Eisenhower.

An odd coincidence is that 4 successive Presidents (Ford, 1974-1977; Carter, 1977-81, Reagan, 1981-89 and Bush Sr, 1989-93) all celebrated their 93rd birthdays.

Carter has lived longest after his presidential term, which ended in January 1981. He is thus holding the record at 38 years 5 months in June 2019. Next was Herbert Hoover (President in 1929-33) who survived 31 years and 8 months until his death in October 1964.

An older post on similar topics: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/present-and-past-us-presidents/

Update: The information given above was correct up to April 24, 2018. Since then, George Bush Sr passed away on Nov 30, 2018 and more recently Jimmy Carter became the longest living President, having been born on Oct 1, 1924.

If Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter are still living in October 2019, theirs will be the longest-lasting marriage of an US President at 73 years 3 months. And he will be the first US President to celebrate his 95th birthday.

A closer look at centuries in fourth innings of Tests

Note: All data correct as of April 15, 2018. The Test involving the ICC XI in 2005 is excluded.

We first look at the best averages in the fourth innings:

4th innings averages

Boycott, Gavaskar and Hobbs top this table though there is very little difference between their averages.

We now look at those who scored the most centuries in the fourth  innings (3 and above):

Century in fourth innings

Younis Khan leads with 5 centuries, followed by Ponting, Gavaskar, GC Smith and Sarwan with 4. Bradman is also here with 3. Among current players, there is only Williamson with 3.

Now let see who disliked the fourth innings. These players made the most centuries (20 and above) without ever making one in the fourth innings:

SR Waugh (32), Mohammad Yousuf (24), SPD Smith and V Sehwag (23 each), IR Bell and MC Cowdrey (22 each), DC Boon (21) and G Kirsten (21). Of these only Smith may get a chance to change these figures.

Conversely, there are those who love batting in the fourth innings. Apart from Younis Khan and his companions at the top of the table, there are those who scored all their centuries in the fourth innings:

There are several who scored their only century in the 4th innings. The only current player is Shan Masood. And there is only one who scored his only 2 centuries in the 4th innings: W Watson (Eng) of the 1950s. Honourable mention to JB Stollmeyer (2 out his 4 centuries came in the fourth innings).

So we conclude that the 4th innings is indeed the most difficult innings to score in. Bowlers may have a different opinion about the 4th innings.

 

A closer look at centuries in third innings of Tests

Note: All data correct as of April 15, 2018. The Test involving the ICC XI in 2005 is excluded.

We first look at the best averages in the third innings:

3rd innings averages

Bradman does not figure here, as he and his team-mates probably scored enough in the first and second innings so that they did not have to bat much in the third and fourth innings. So we have May, Kallis and Compton at the top of this table. There are also Amla and Azhar Ali from current players.

We now look at those who scored the most centuries in the third innings (5 and above):

Century in third innings

Sangakkara and Cook lead with 12, followed by Tendulkar, Kallis and Hayden with 10. Perhaps Cook will add to his tally.

Now let see who disliked the third innings. These players made the most centuries without ever making one in the third innings:

SC Ganguly has the most (16) followed by AG Prince, M Vijay and TW Graveney with 11 each. Possibly Vijay, like Cook mentioned above, will be able to change his status.

Conversely, there are those who love batting in the third innings. Apart from May and his companions at the top of the table, there are those who scored all their centuries in the third innings:

R Subba Row (3). followed by ADR Campbell, GC White and JDB Robertson with 2 each.

Also WW Armstrong scored 5 of his 6 centuries in the third innings (which can be seen in the bottom of the above table).

To be continued with the fourth innings.