THE OPTION | The World Cup: Group by Group

The Group Stage is Coming to a Close. Who's Set to Advance?

This year's World Cup has been full of surprises, and has served as reminder that the United States doesn't sit at the center of the international sports community.

The tournament is no worse for the wear without the involvement of the stars and stripes. That said, American soccer fans don't really have any skin in the game, and many viewers are looking for someone to root for. Some have suggested that we root for Mexico due to geographic proximity, and, sure, if someone besides us has to win, it might as well be our neighbors to the south, but it's not the same. Enough complaining though.

For those of you unaware with how the World Cup works, it's relatively simple. At the start of the tournament, there are eight groups of four. Each team plays everyone in their group once. The top two teams in each group move on to the round of 16. The tournament then progresses in a way similar to March Madness. As we head into the third game of the group stage this week, there are too many story lines to keep track of. I've decided to give you a rundown of each group, so you can decide what day to take an extra long lunch and watch.

Group A (Russia, Uruguay, Egypt, Saudi Arabia)

Russia celebrating their victory over Egypt

The talent disparity in this group is wide. Many fans are wondering how much Putin paid FIFA to put Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the same group as his Russian national squad. That said, as I write this, I'm watching Uruguay absolutely dominate their Russian opponents, exposing them as a second-rate team.

Uruguay: First

Russia: Runner-up

Egypt: Out

Saudi Arabia: Out

Game to watch: None

Group B (Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Iran)


This is another two team group. Christiano Ronaldo has scored every goal for team Portugal thus far in the tournament, and seems committed to dragging his nonscoring companions into the next round. Spain, on the other hand, is dominating the group stage like they always do.

Spain: Tied for first. Advances with a tie, win, or Portugal loss (depending on goal differential)

Portugal: Tied for first. Advances with a tie, win, or Spain loss (depending on goal differential)

Iran: Advances with a win OR a tie and a Spain loss (depending on goal differential)

Morocco: Out

Game to watch: Iran v Portugal 2:00pm, EST 6/25

Group C (France, Denmark, Australia, Peru)

High five!

So far, France and Denmark have managed to control the group, but with those two teams playing each other tomorrow, Australia has a chance to sneak into the next round.

France: Tied for first. Advances with tie, win, or Australia loss.

Denmark: Tied for first. Advances with tie, win, or Australia loss.

Australia: Advances with win AND Denmark or French loss (depending on goal differential)

Peru: Out

Game to watch: France v Denmark 10am, EST 6/26

Group D (Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria)


Every tournament, there's a group that's so evenly matched that good teams get left behind. Group D is this year's group of death. Argentina, last year's tournament runner-ups, find themselves at the bottom of the table, and only Croatia has guaranteed their spot in the knockout round. Because of this, the scenarios surrounding advancement are a bit complicated. Stay with me.

Croatia: First

Nigeria: Advances with a win OR a tie and Croatia win/tie or loss (depending on goal differential)

Iceland: Advances with a win AND Argentina win or tie (depending on goal differential)

Argentina: Advances with a win and a Croatia win, or tie OR with a win and Croatia loss (depending on goal differential)

Game to watch: Argentina v Nigeria 2pm, EST 6/26

Group E (Brazil, Serbia, Costa Rica, Switzerland)

Neymar crying...again

While Brazil should be dominating this group, Switzerland has been a thorn in everybody's side, beating Serbia and tying the Brazilians. The Serbs, for their part, are still hanging around as well.

Brazil: In with win or tie OR loss and Switzerland loss (depending on goal differential)

Switzerland: In with win or tie OR Serbia loss OR loss and Serbia tie (depending on goal differential)

Serbia: In with win OR tie and Switzerland loss (depending on goal differential)

Costa Rica: Out

Game to watch: Serbia v Brazil 2pm EST, 6/27

Group F (Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea)

It's a Kroos missile

Germany was the tournament favorite back at the beginning of the month, but after being stunned by Mexico, their stock has fallen a bit. Without that late Toni Kroos goal this Saturday, Germany would be in pretty bad shape. As it is, the defending champs look ready to head into the knockout round. All that stands in their way is South Korea.

Mexico: Advance with a win or tie OR Germany loss OR with a loss and Germany victory (depending on goal differential)

Germany: Advance with a win OR a tie with Sweden loss OR a tie with Sweden tie (depending on goal differential) OR a loss with Sweden loss (depending on goal differential)

Sweden: Advance with a win and German loss or tie OR with a tie and German loss OR with a loss and German loss (depending on goal differential) OR with a win and German win (depending on goal differential)

South Korea: Out

Game to watch: Sweden v Mexico 10am EST, 6/27

Group G (England, Belgium, Tunisia, Panama)

Harry Kane ripping a shot

Both England and Belgium have absolutely dominated their group and are the only teams in Group G with wins. They face off on Wednesday to decide who comes in first. The teams are tied by every differentiator though, so if they tie in their matchup, the deciding factor will be fair play (the amount of yellow cards each team gets). The top half of the knockout bracket however is pretty stacked, with both Germany and Brazil as potential opponents. This gives each team incentive to foul one another, so they end up in the bottom half. This matchup is shaping up to be a violent one.

England: First place with win OR tie (depending on very strange fair play tiebreaker)

Belgium: First place with win OR tie (depending on very strange fair play tiebreaker)

Tunisia: Out

Panama: Out

Game to watch: England v Belgium 2pm EST, 6/28

Group H (Japan, Senegal, Poland, Colombia

Japanese fans are wild

Japan is the odd standout of this year's tournament. They weren't expected to make much of a splash, but they've proven that they have what it takes to win in this extremely competitive tournament. That said, they still have to prove themselves against Poland before they can advance to the knockout stage.

Japan: Advances with win OR tie and Colombia tie or loss OR with Colombia

Senegal: Advances with win or tie OR loss and Japan loss (depending on goal differential)

Colombia: Advances with win OR tie and Japan loss (depending on goal differential)

Poland: Out

Game to watch: Senegal v Colombia 10am EST, 6/28

Matt Clibanoff is a writer and editor based in New York City who covers music, politics, sports and pop culture. His editorial work can be found in Pop Dust, The Liberty Project, and All Things Go. His fiction has been published in Forth Magazine. Website: Twitter: @mattclibanoff

POP⚡DUST | Read More…

THE OPTION | The Last Giant

THE OPTION | The Stafford Effect

THE OPTION | Catalan Independence and What It Means for Barcelona Soccer


Why Nietzsche Was Philosophy's Biggest Sadboy

Zarathustra walks a lonely road.

By Jonathan Keshishoglou

The sadboy, as is only fitting, gets far less attention than his cousin, the softboy. He's more benign but also more helpless; less manipulative, more, well, sad. While Drake has become both the sadboy and softboy poster boy here in the year of 2016, the archetypes are far older than their terminological labels. Today in Famous Sadboys of History, I present to you the 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

Born in 1844 in Röcken, Prussia (which later became part of Germany upon its unification in 1871), Nietzsche grew up to write such influential philosophical works as The Birth of Tragedy, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and On the Genealogy of Morality, all of which are still studied by scholars and sadboys today (did anyone make it through school without some smug teen boy telling you that "God is dead?"). If his works sound dark and strange, it's because they sort of are, but not nearly as dark or as strange as his life. Consider now the Case of Nietzsche.

Too Emo for Any Nation

For reasons mostly unknown, Nietzsche really, really didn't want to be considered German, despite being born in the German kingdom of Prussia. He spoke adamantly in the latter years of his life about how he was, despite a complete lack of evidence, entirely Polish by ethnicity. Which, ok, sure. It's not known if Nietzsche had any Polish ancestry or not, but his motivation for this claim seems to be more motivated by a disdain for Germany than any real affinity for Poland. In fact, in 1869 he relinquished his Prussian citizenship by choice and remained willfully stateless until his death.

"Best Friends" Means You Get What You Deserve

[rebelmouse-proxy-image image-library="0" pin_description="" photo_credit="" expand="1" caption="Portrait of the philosopher as a young sadboy."]Portrait of the philosopher as a young sadboy.

Like any modern sadboy, Ol' Freddy Nietzsche had his share of contentious friendships. While in secondary school, he befriended the poet Ernst Ortlepp, only for Ortlepp to be found dead in a ditch a few weeks after their meeting, likely as a result of Ortlepp's documented alcoholism. In their short friendship, however, Ortlepp introduced Nietzsche to the music of Richard Wagner, with whom Nietzsche would go on to have an epic bromance-turned-sour. In The Birth of Tragedy, early in his writing career, Nietzsche praised Wagner as basically the savior of Western culture, but in 1888 he dropped the 19th-century equivalent of a diss track: an essay called The Case of Wagner savagely criticizing Wagner's creative and personal trajectory. Not unrelated: Nietzsche may have had a thing for Wagner's wife, Cosima. But he also thinks she corrupted him with her antisemitism, which Nietzsche had no tolerance for, so to hell with them both. How very Brand New/Taking Back Sunday.

Unlucky (and Unconventional) in Love

[rebelmouse-proxy-image image-library="0" pin_description="" photo_credit="" expand="1" caption="Friedrich (right) art-directed this photograph Jules Bonnet himself, whip and all. Kinky."]Friedrich (right) art-directed this photograph Jules Bonnet himself, whip and all. Kinky.

Poor guy never married, but he definitely had some interesting trysts. For a time, he lived in a sort of intellectual commune with Lou Salomé and Paul Rée, which he described as "kind of a monastery for free spirits." Uh huh. It's widely speculated that the three were in a sort of polyamorous relationship (it isn't entirely improbable that he was bisexual, seeing as some historians firmly believe Nietzsche had other relationships with men throughout his life). He proposed to Salomé three times but she rebuffed him each time, and eventually she and Rée decided they just wanted to be together. Like, without Nietzsche. Awk :/

He Loves Horses, and He's Freefallin'

In 1889, Nietzsche had a very public mental breakdown wherein he saw a horse being beaten by its owner and ran across the town square in Turin, throwing his arms around the poor horse's neck to stop the beating. But hey, you say "mental breakdown," I say "basic human empathy."

In all seriousness though, it was a breakdown of massive proportions. After days of writing erratic, disturbed letters (which were, incidentally, very angry about the widespread antisemitism of the time; evidence that social injustice really can affect your mental health), Nietzsche's friends and family determined that he was in dire mental straits and remained under the care of his mother and sister for the last 11 years of his life. The original diagnosis was long-untreated syphilis, but medical historians have proposed it could have been any number of other afflictions, from bipolar disorder to a brain tumour.

No One Understands Him

In his final infirm years and after his death, Nietzsche's sister Elisabeth managed his publications, editing and printing his unfinished manuscripts. However, unlike her brother, Elisabeth was a tried and true German Nationalist and antisemite, and she took great liberties in her edits, so her editions are generally regarded as ingenuine to her brother's legacy. Additionally, and perhaps in part due to Elisabeth's work, a number of Nietzsche's concepts and terms were later appropriated by the Nazi party. For instance, Nietzsche's concept of the "Übermensch" (loosely translates to "superman" or "overman") was an ideal form for an individual to aspire to; one who has freed himself from the artificial moralities and constructs taught by society and is free to form his own ideas and values. German nationalism took the word and used it to refer to their concept of a white Aryan master race. Nietzsche, who once said that all anti-semites should be shot, would have been rolling in his grave.

Also, everyone calls him a nihilist. He wasn't. He was an existentialist. They're really different. Get it right.

A sadboy in life and in legacy, Nietzsche still made incredible contributions to the studies of philosophy, history, literature, and the arts. It's hard to say if he'd be proud, though; not because he didn't think he was a genius (all of these old male philosophers did), but just because he was so damn moody.

Minds were blown on The Blacklist this week when we found out from Red that Tom Keen is blacklister number 7.

Number 7 people!!!! That’s literally the highest ranked blacklister yet.

Well, naturally Red did it. He found out that Tom infiltrated a drug cartel in Germany, so he and Ressler took off to find him. The way Red’s mind works is amazing. He notified the German police that there would be a shipment of illegal weapons at the airport which they confiscated, and one guess who’s weapons they were.

Red then met with an acquaintance named Franz who arranged for the shipment and he convinced Franz to let him deal with the drug cartel (and Tom) who wanted the weapons. When Tom showed up, he was shocked to see Red. Red told him that Lizzie was in deep shit and needed his help to get out of it, but he informed Red that Lizzie was on her own.

Just then, the rest of the gang walked in and Red royally fucked Tom by identifying him as a police informant. Cue bullets flying all around. Every single gang member was killed but Tom escaped and Red seemed satisfied that he delivered his message.

Back at the FBI, things were not looking up for Lizzie. Cooper is pissed that he had to lie for her after he said he wouldn’t. As they were arguing, Cooper collapsed and was taken to the hospital where the doctors feared that his brain tumor was getting worse.

Lizzie was left to face the music with Judge Denner all on her own, and just as he was getting ready to throw the book at her, the guards walked in with Tom in handcuffs and he confessed to killing the harbormaster. No freaking way.

In chambers, Tom and Denner have it out over the real story and whether or not Denner would charge Lizzie with additional crimes. Eventually Denner returned to the courtroom and announced that he would not be requiring Lizzie or Cooper to testify as a matter of national security.

Lizzie was concerned about what would happen to Tom but was informed by Tom Connolly that “there’s no Tom Keen in federal custody.”

That sneaky spy!!!!!!! The fact of the matter is that Red knew that the government would let Tom go, but he didn’t care as long as it meant that Lizzie was OK.

What a sweet, loving criminal!

What did you think of this week’s episode of The Blacklist? Sound off in the comments below!

The Germans are renowned the world over for their achievements in science and technology—physics, mathematics, medicine, engineering, t-ts…

Yes, t-ts.

If you require any proof of Deutschland's significant contributions to the latter, you need look no further than to the astounding Beshine, AKA Mayra Hills—self professed proud owner of the world's largest (fake) boobs.

The 31-year-old adult model—who measures a jaw dropping 59-28-36, courtesy two separate breast augmentation surgeries—wears a 32Z bra in a bid to contain her gargantuan globes, which, according to DailyDot, weigh in at a whopping 20 pounds each.

Not surprisingly, Beshine is quite the hit on social media, with a loyal Twitter following of 126,000, her very own subreddit (with 500 subscribers) and successful website, which promises:

Access to never seen before giant boobs action and what every lover of huge and heavy juggs have ever dreamed off ! The biggest t-tted blonde boobmodel Beshine and her record breaking rack captures you with her mega gigantic melons and her sexy body. Her mix of blue eyes, blonde hair and her enormous knockers draw fans from all over the globe. Every inch of her delicious small frame with those mounted monster mountains and her attitude of becoming even more humongous makes her the hottest giant breasted woman on the planet. Beshine is truly one of a kind and has given a new meaning to the words giant boobs!

Indeed, of that there can be no doubt....

Fortunately—for her legion of fans, but not so much for her poor back, the likelihood is that Beshine's boobs will blossom to become even more bountiful in the future.

She recently tweeted that her plastic surgeon (who clearly never bothered reading that silly old Hippocratic Oath thing doctors are bound to follow) said that if Beshine “[slowed down her] traveling schedule to very little" then she could boost her breasts from her current 10,000 cc implants to 50,000 ccs.... that's FIVE TIMES THE SIZE!!!!!


All together now, Deutschland, Deutschland über alles!

There are certain things that are hard to come back from.

Like falling on your face outside the bar. Or making a poorly-received joke about rape. Or doing what Liz Lemon so elegantly refers to as “snarting" in front of your boss. But all of these examples seem like happy little accidents when compared to some other real-world examples. Like getting frisky… with your siblings.

Patrick Stuebing and Susan Karolewski are brother and sister. So it may take some by surprise to hear that they have 4 kids together. Man, their bar stories must kill.

All jokes aside, the duo has been a tabloid favorite for years in Germany. Newspapers have even coined them the “Forbidden lovers of the Fatherland." And their story isn't exactly a happy one.

Patrick and Susan were born into a poor, uneducated and abusive household. Patrick was made a ward of the court and eventually adopted after his father, now dead, attacked him with a knife. He was just 3-years old at the time.

Susan was born into the same family, the day her parents' divorce was finalized. And while being attacked at knife point by your father doesn't exactly seem ideal, it may have placed Patrick in a preferable environment to the one Susan was left to endure.

Their unemployed mother often left Susan home alone, or invited lovers over while the little girl was present. Susan remembers being unloved and a burden to her mother. She remains poorly educated and barely able to write, even to this day.

Six other brothers and sisters, some of whom were born with disabilities, died in childhood. One was run over and killed at age 7.

At age 18, Patrick decided to track down his biological parents. Four years later, he located his mother and met Susan for the first time. He eventually moved, and even shared a room with his younger sister Susan.

Patrick told the Daily Mail back in 2007, “We both stayed up late into the night to talk to each other about our hopes and dreams."

Six months later their mother died of a heart attack—and, that's when their relationship began to evolve into a whole new realm. Susan said, “Trust grew into a different type of love when our mother died."

Fast forward to October of 2001—after things turned sexual between the siblings, Susan gives birth to a baby boy, Erik, at the tender age of 16.

The infant was taken into care and now lives with foster parents in Potsdam. He is severely disabled and can hardly speak or walk properly.

But, that's just half of the story.

The pair was tried for incest in 2002. Patrick received a year's suspended sentence after being found guilty on all counts. Susan, then 17, was tried as a juvenile and placed into the care of youth services. But, after Susan gave birth to two more children with her big brother, their legal issues were revisited. Patrick was eventually sentenced to ten months in jail.

In 2005, after the birth of yet another child, Patrick was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for recommitting incest.

One of the children suffers from similar disabilities to Erik, while the other two appear to be developing “normally."

“We do not feel guilty about what has happened between us," the couple announced in a statement. “We want the law which makes incest a crime to be abolished."

And, it looks like they may get their wish.

The German Ethics Council recommended recently that Section 173 of the criminal code – which forbids sexual relations between siblings, or between parents and their children – be repealed.

14 members of the council voted in favor of the movement, while 9 voted for the ban to continue, and 2 abstained.

A statement released by the council reads, “The majority of the German Ethics Council is of the opinion that it is not appropriate for a criminal law to preserve a social taboo. In the case of consensual incest among adult siblings, neither the feat of negative consequences for the family, nor the possibility of the birth of children from such incestuous relationships, can justify a criminal prohibition."

“The fundamental right of adult siblings to sexual self-determination has more weight in such cases than the abstract protection of the family," the council concluded. “Incest between siblings appears to be very rare in Western societies according to available data but those affected describe how difficult their situation is in light of the threat of punishment."

But, not everybody is on board. Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, a spokeswoman for German Chancellor, Angela Merkel's CDU party, said the abolition of the law is not an appropriate course of action.

“Abolishing criminal punishment against incestuous actions within a family would go completely against protecting the undisturbed development of children," she told Deutsche Welle.

It's a nearly impossible situation. Is it a happy end to an unhappy beginning? Or is Patrick and Susan's relationship clearly one born of misfortune, that's been wrongly condoned by the Ethics Council?

There's no simple answer, just as there's no recreating the past. All we can do is hope both Patrick and Susan can move on in life in a way that brings them more happiness than their childhoods were able to.

Emails in this day and age have become a great way to communicate with both friends and people at work. Fast, efficient and with the rise in popularity of the smart phone they are beamed to us 24 hours a day 7 days week.

But, what does that say about our work schedules—not to mention quality of life—when anyone can reach us at any time? How do we blur the line between personal and work time if clients and bosses can reach us whenever, wherever—when will we ever have time for us, to relax from working?

Germany asked that same question and is looking into bringing about legislation that will make sending work emails after 6 pm illegal.

Research suggests that additional emails sent after office hours are adding another 5 hours to the average worker's day. The research, conducted by the German minister for Labor, Andrea Nahles, also found a link between a decrease in mental health and out-of-hours work emails.

What do you think about the idea? Sound off in comments below

Via Metro