So-called “Russian” female tennis player Maria Sharapova has described herself as “cow on ice” when it comes to playing on the red clay of Stade Roland Garros at the French Open grand slam event (“shrieking cow on ice” would be a little more accurate). And it did not take her long to prove it in her semifinals match against Chinese journeywoman Na Li.
Sharapova went down in straight sets and had her serve broken a shocking five times by the diminutive opponent, who is five years her senior and seven inches shorter and has never won a grand-slam title and had only beaten Sharapova twice in seven prior meetings. Our gal Shamapova struck a pathetic 12 winners compared to a whopping 28 unforced errors, served no aces and a ghastly ten double faults. It was another classic Shamapova implosion, occuring with Sharapova just two matches from a career grand slam. Likely she’ll never get that close again.
But say this for the “Russian” who lives in America and spends no time in her so-called country: She was by far the class of the Russian field.
Sharapova was the only Russian of three who made it to the quarterfinals to reach the semis. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova were both blasted off the court by their opponents, although in their defense they were forced to play the tournament’s #5 and #11 seeds while Sharapova, surely one of the luckiest human beings ever born to live, only had to face the #15, who barely put up a struggle. In other words as soon as Shamapova had to face a tough opponent she too, like the other Russians, promptly lost.
Russia’s top seed, Vera Zvonareva, lost in the fourth round, as did #25 seed Maria Kirilenko. Nadia Petrova, the #26 seed, lost her opening match.
Russian female tennis is clearly in decline. Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina have disappeared from the landscape and rust buckets like Kuznetsova and Sharapova and Zvonareva and Petrova can barely keep the Russian flame alive. There are no bright stars on the Russian tennis horizon, and the predictions of Russian tennis dominance on the female circuit have been exploded as mere pipe dreams.
I agree: a country’s performance in women’s tennis speaks volumes about the quality of life in that country.
Russia placed only 6 out of 16 one-eighth-finalists, 3 out of 8 quarterfinalists, and 1 out of 4 semifinalists.
They should learn from us, Americans, and our great system that has produced 0 (zero) players in all these categories.
Do you agree then that Russia is a basket case because America’s top two in the WTA rankings hold more grand slam titles than ALL RUSSIAN WOMEN WHO HAVE EVER PLAYED THE GAME COMBINED?
Are you admitting that Russia is to be compared to America, and whenever it falls short it must correct? Then where are Russia’s televised presidential debates, opposition parties and independent national TV stations?
Do you think AT ALL before you write, creep?
The point of this post is to explode the myth that Russian women are good at tennis. They aren’t good, they suck, and the myth is quite similar to the myth that Putin is good. He also sucks. Get it, ape? If you are comforted by the fact that Americans also suck, if you don’t mind seeing Russia destroyed as long as America is also destroyed, then you are one sick puppy and no friend of Russia.
When American players lose badly, Americans wonder why and try to get better. When Russians lose, they make excuses and get worse.
It’s pretty sad if Russians are reduced to being proud of placing “one-eighth finalists.” Most normal countries think the purpose of entering a tennis tournament is to win it, not to play like a cow in the semis and go down in straight sets to an inferior player. But Russian “logic” has always mystified normal countries. Russians know best, right? Eh, yeah.
You are more right than ever: The fact that Russia placed 6 out of 16 one-eighth-finalists and 3 out of 8 quarterfinalists is proof that Russia is bad at tennis.
Now its dawned on me you are a “redneck” from the Ozark mountains. Every thing that you write is perfectly clear now.
As an avid tennis buff I have watched most of the Paris tennis matches. But against my better judgement, I did watch the Sharapova Vs Li match. The way that Sharapova moaned and groaned through the whole match was nauseating, if she had saved all her energy and redirected it into her game it may have helped – though only a little may I add.
Now there’s a Russian that is not stupid – as she lives and trains in America and not your beloved hell hole of a Russia. Obviously she factually knows a lot more about the two countries then you do?
I don’t know, but maybe you in your strange and very quaint way can describe the reason why this Russian player lives in America and not your so called beloved Russia. Aye comrade, I’m all ears, do blab away?
How is the weather in your Crete?
Maimonides, he told me (in passing) it was great this very morning!
Although I don’t know – as I’ve never been there? but, I’ll bet a lot better than your beloved Ozark mountains, daah – dearie ‘redneck.’
What my Crete!! child are you dense!!
For your information Crete has a democratically elected government, so unlike your beloved dictatorial ruSSia.
Tell me more bird brain as I am all ears to learn more about your lop sided version of the world.
Don’t you dare put the words “us” and “Americans” in the same sentence when referring to yourself. You are not one of us, even by some trick or device your managed to get yourself American papers. You hate us and everything we stand for, that’s clear from your “writings.”
I couldn’t possibly agree more wholeheartedly, RV! Maimonides’ perspicacity, educational level, and sense of humour — Bohdan from Crete being the most recent case in point — are indeed light-years away from your av’idge Amurrrkan National Socialist PEAS of trash. Educated and sensible people are anathema to Yanks.
That’s very good. In that case, why does he try to pass himself as an American, being that wonderfully “educated and sensible.” Thanks God, you don’t it. Why does not he stay light years away and where he belongs, i.e., in the enemy camp, like you do? Thus United States could surely survive without him.
Manfreddo Limpschwanz, (the impotent)
Treat this vegetable ‘swede’ with the contempt he deserves RV. The only thing he excels at is his ability to rave on and rave on, hysterically and endlessly.
As per usual I have to correct you Monsewer Manfreddo. For your information, I have been longer on this magic blog then you, ‘dearie’ bird brain! So if I am, as you write, “the most recent case in point,” must mean that you don’t even get a mention or exist as far as your tenure is concerned.
Have mercy on my bird brain, but is “than” spelled “then” in Cretensian English?
Hey russian baboon,
Talking about languages; tell us, tell us; is the russian language’ still spoken, it seems to everybody that your ‘beloved’ cyrillc slang becames a dead language – nobody wants to speak it. Is it american/capitalistic conspiracy??
Erm, from Latvia to Kyrgyzstan people still speak Russian when they do business or just talk to people who do not speak their national languages. I was in Tbilisi recently, and all government meetings were in Russian, not just all the business meetings. Kiev and Almata are Russian-speaking cities 2o years after the Soviet Union collapse, not to mention Minsk or any other place in Belarus really.
I doubt you were in Tbilisi, and certainly not in any government meetings.
Current rules for the Georgian parliament and government ministries are that all official meetings are held in Georgian or English is used if Georgian is not understood.
Nice try AT, but you are a terrible liar.
Of course, if you would care to provide your real name I could check to see if you had visited Georgia at any stage recently, the US Embassy is good like that, so is the Georgian foreign ministry, and ministry of the interior.
…except for no one appears to be following the rule. I should have probably said “meetings with government officials” rather than “government meetings” — its not that I represent any goverment or ever sit in a large room with journalists and press taking pictures. And no, Andrew: I am not going to provide you with my real name: it is neither my job or intention nor my job to prove anything I claim about myself or my experience is true. If you don’t believe I spoke in Russian with Georgian government employees in their offices in Russian, nevermind, you can easily verify fact that Kiev, Almata and Minsk are all Russian-speaking not relying on my words.
As your long-term psychiatrist, I can clearly discern a Freudian slip in your latest confession: “/…/ cyrillic slang BECAMES a dead language “. This contorted verbiage testifies not so much to poor language skills but rather to anguish and incertitude as to with what to corroborate your assertions. Hence your perception of time proper gets blurred which, in turn, logically takes its toll on verb tenses and their proper conjugation.
New appointment: Tomorrow morning.
Au revoir et bonne nuit.
Hey kleine schwaine,a russian baboon who thinks he is Swedish,
Dearie, today you are a psychiastrist, yesterday you were a poet, a linguist, swedish social assistance receiver, active kgb resident in Sweden – you must be hearing voices too…..
Again, your perception of time seems to have suffered irreparable damage:
Your appointment was due Monday June 6th. You finally showed up 3 days later and, to top it all, you insinuated I should be working at the clinic by then, to which I had NOT committed myself.
Were you in fact a supervisor at the LdMPC ?
New appointment: Monday morning, June 13th.
RV, you do not decide who is American and who is not. Hell, you even don’t decide what underwear you wear. As far as I am concerned, you are a disgrace of this country. The US would be so much better without you.
Indeed, I don’t decide. But I can have an opinion on that. And I happened to have been born, raised and lived all my life in this country but you and that other goon were not. Whatever language and cultural knowledge I have have come to me naturally and were not learned as foreign, unlike you and that other clown. So, I think my opinion counts for a little more than yours.
I realize that it’s not your fault that you were born in a filthy prison called Russia. You obviously had no choice in that. So, having arrived here, unlike generations of previous immigrants, you could be learning and be grateful and yes, a little humble. Instead, you and your cohorts are pouring buckets of filth on this country, glorifying Russia and her Beloved Paramount Leader for Life at the same time. You love Russia — no problem and no crime in that. Just go back and leave us with all our faults and imperfections.
What about this morbid curiosity with my shopping. As I said, my wife buys everything for me, not just underwear that for some reason you concentrate on, but everything, clothes, shoes. Shopping is mostly women’s job, except for hardware stores and such. When you get married, you’ll find out that’s how it is in millions of families. What’s your problem with that?
Shopping is mostly women’s job, except for hardware stores and such — and — right after this sexist quote — Whatever language and cultural knowledge I have have come to me naturally and were not learned as foreign, unlike you and that other clown — and after this xenophobic quote — think my opinion counts for a little more than yours. Well, in my opinion, you are a true disgace for this great country. It a real misfortune for this place you were born here. We need as fewer of people like you as possible here.
As far as my focusing your shopping habits/immaturity, your stingyness, and — from now on — on your sexism, I am exposing the revolting nature of Russophiles.
Russophobes I mean of course.
And remember, America was built by people of different cultures and languages. And its values are contrary to what you practice and preach: sexism, xenophobia and narrow-mindedness. Remember this before you have the nerve to call yourself American, little old man.
Actually AT, you are a fairly racist chap yourself.
More Russian hypocrisy on your part, but not at all surprising considering that Russia has more Neo-Nazis than the rest of the world put together…..
Well, Andrew, I am rar less racist than you and people you support at this forum (mccusa) are. If your statement is more than an empty insult, prove how racist I am using a quote from my post.
I don’t know about sexism. Women buy clothes, shoes, home decorations, dishes, stuff for kids and small appliances, and men buy hardware and power tools. My wife has 40 pairs of shoes, probably, and I have 6. It just the way it is, and I am not the one who made it so.
Just go to any department store, whether Neimann Markus or so hated by you Penney’s and see how many women shoppers there are there and how many men. Then go to Hone Depot and compare there. You’ll see I am right
To have the nerve to write this on a blog hosted by a woman!
To write what? That women shop a lot and like it too? Do you object to that fact or deny that the fact exists and that’s true?
What you wrote: “Shopping is mostly women’s job”. What ‘s next? “Cooking is mostly women’s job”? “Voting is mostly men’s job”? “Science is mostly men’s job”.
I said this about shopping and I stand by this. This is not an opinion but a clear fact, whether you like it or not. Other things you mentioned I never said and don’t agree with them. Those are yours. So, stop distorting my views.
Well, I am not as bad as Andrew twisting my views, am I.
He only decides on “Bremsestreifen” on his underware:-)
well, this is piteous to see how you dis Russia just because of some tennis fails. Russia deserve a political slap in a face, but why it all has to do with the tennis? WTF?
RV wrote: “You are not one of us, even by some trick or device your managed to get yourself American papers. You hate us and everything we stand for, that’s clear from your “writings.””
“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.” /Eleanor Roosevelt/
Just ignore the cheap trash, he is American by sheer accident. He does not have much to do with this country in terms of his character, beliefs and way of life.
We’ve all heard your great discussion of ideas
Then why don’t you reply to my ideas? This thread is about tennis. Do you have anything to say about my original post about tennis here? If so- let’s here it, instead of ad hominem attacks for a change.
That’s “hear” nor “here”.
Fine. I don’t know much about tennis, but find female tennis pretty boring, there is obviously not enough power compared to men. With your observation that U.S. women haven’t produced anything this time, I must agree that this is of course true, and the state of U.S. women tennis seems quite weak. I have more important things to worry about.
I generally dislike this topic, it’s not important in my view. Except one thing. Did you notice that Russians are always “proud” of “their” athletes who have become sort of propaganda agents for the Russian state, probably unwillingly. The Kremlin uses these athletes the same way and for the same purpose as the old U.S.S.R. and E. Germany used them — to prove their superiority, and so on.
I have no doubt that if a Russian tennis player had won this or any similar level tournament, there would have been official congratulations from the Leader or from Medvedev. They forgot that these players play not for Russia but (as it should be) only for themselves, i.e., for money. And many of them don’t even live in Russia. Professional sport is just a form of entertainment, and governments should just stay away.
RV, again, you expose your delusion of grandeur telling others — nothing less than governmentS — what they should or should not do. The sense of pride for national athletes and teams is not unique to any specific country and official ceremonies for winners held not only in Russia. Just calm down. Accept this as a fact of life. I know, you think the world would be a better place if you ran it, but maybe you could make the first steps taking charge of buying your own socks first?
Yes, this is common in many countries. Does that make it less ridiculous when Russia does it? If this is a fact of life, I have a right to criticize it, as much as you criticize another fact of life, i.e., that most shoppers are women.
And this is not a “fact of life” in the United States and probably many other countries. As to tennis players specifically, they are not “national” athletes and don’t represent any country or anybody, but themselves. They work for money and nothing else, as it should be. Would you understand this some day?
RV, yes, athletes work for money, and they sell many products, including (i) the pleasure of watching a sport played with technical perfection; (ii) physical attractiveness of the player; (iii) rumors and gossip surrounding the player’s lifestyle; (iv) the sense of national pride, which the spectator can derive from his or her being from the same country or of the same ethicity as the player… and many others. And then there are competition of national teams, like the Olympics in which the sense of a national pride becomes a more marketed product resulting in its higher perceived value for the consumer. So what is your problem with this?
I agree with your points (i), (ii) and (iii), but not with (iv) and below. When a spectator “derives pleasure” just because somebody from his country runs fast, that’s irrational, and is a result of brainwashing, in my estimation. That applies not only to Russia, but to all countries, including the U.S. to some degree, except Russians use it more than most. Why talk about homelessness and orphans and poverty and lack of sanitation? Why not talk about some skier or skater instead. That’s my big problem with that. Don’t get defensive, as I said, it’s not just a Russian behavior, it’s an American one to some extent too.
About your observation that “the sense of a national pride becomes a more marketed product resulting in its higher perceived value for the consumer,” I don’t understand what you mean by this.
Pride is one of Biblical sins big time, and national pride only more so, in my view.
RV, emotions are irrational… To me, watching sports on TV is not rational.
Also, people cannot talk about orphans and sanitation all the time. Maybe in your world, but even in the poorest countries, people will watch movies, gossip and cheer for athletes from other countries. Trust me, they cheer for the Indian Olympic team in Mumbai’s shantytowns, and even more so for Brazilian athletes in Rio’s favellas.
I mean cheer for athletes from their countries.
This is just part of being human.
Two final remarks: you don’t have agree to (iv), but people buy it. Just like I don’t drink soda, but I cannot say that I don’t agree with it: it exists and plenty of people buy it. Finally, do you realize that you sound like a senile Communist Party functionary: “capitalist art — and watching sports — provides shallow entertainment with the hidden goal to distract the masses from social problems — like orphans and the lack of sanitation — and class struggle”.
RV wrote: “ I have no doubt that if a Russian tennis player had won this or any similar level tournament, there would have been official congratulations from the Leader or from Medvedev. ”
That’s utterly false. In the past 7 years Russian women won 6 individual Grand Slam titles plus 4 world team championships:
2004 Maria Sharapova
2004 Svetlana Kuznetsova
2004 Anastasia Myskina
2006 Maria Sharapova
2008 Maria Sharapova
2009 Svetlana Kuznetsova
Russia 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008
However, neither Medvedev nor Putin ever issued official congratulations.
“ Did you notice that Russians are always “proud” of “their” athletes who have become sort of propaganda agents for the Russian state, probably unwillingly. The Kremlin uses these athletes the same way and for the same purpose as the old U.S.S.R. and E. Germany used them — to prove their superiority, and so on. ”
No, your information is outdated. This has not been the case since the early 1990s.
OK, have it your own way. I am certain Russian government is involved at some level, but I admit I don’t have proof and am too lazy to be looking for one. We know that the government is definitely involved with the Olympics, another example of professional sports.
But you should coordinate better with your fellow Russian AT when you say that Russian government is not involved and does not use this for propaganda purposes. AT seems to think such use is OK
Erm… what makes you think that I would need to coordinate my thoughts with another person? Are you also coordinating your positions with mccusa. I have no view on government’s using sports to advance political agendas. I just don’t care.
I thought you two co-ordinate your postings because you seem to belong to the same organization.
Come on, you cannot be that stupid. Also looking for KGB under your bed?
I haven’t said a word mentioning the KGB, you did. I see what’s on your mind
Just cannot resist, can you. Shall we go back to pointing out who buys your socks and mocking at your favorite passtime of looking for cheap spuds? Yes, after a bunch of posters here say that you must be posting for the KGB if you disagree with their rabid Russophobic rants, this is exactly what comes up to mind when you say that me and the other Russian poster here work for the same organization. It would be pretty “irrational” (to use your word) for me to deduct that you thought I and the other Russian poster (I’m too lazy to look up whom you referred to) both work for the Salvation Army.
RV wrote: “ I thought you two co-ordinate your postings because you seem to belong to the same organization. ”
You couldn’t last long before going back to childish ad hominem attacks, could you?
BTW, seeing conspiracies everywhere is a sure sign of paranoid schizophrenia. Seek help.
RV wrote: “ Yes, this is common in many countries. Does that make it less ridiculous when Russia does it? And this is not a “fact of life” in the United States and probably many other countries. ”
Well, this may be true in some backward African countries, but not in the rest of the world. While in the USA, most of the sports fans’ attention is given to local professional and college teams, in the rest of the world, the most important events are international ones, like the soccer World Cup, UEFA Cup, European championships, rugby and cricket world cups, etc.
“ If this is a fact of life, I have a right to criticize it”
Actually, I find the American attitude towards sport to be provincial. It is hard to believe that there is no American TV coverage of the world hockey championships, baseball world championships, and this year – no coverage of the world figure skating championships, while we are inundated with dozens and dozens of college football and basketball games.
But you are entitled to your own opinion. However, given that Russian attitude towards sports is the same as in most other countries, why do you criticize only Russia?
“ They forgot a not too distant time when they were begging for food assistance; they were not too proud then, were they? ”
When exactly did this happen?
Food aid was given to Russia several times in history. Last time, I think it was in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s; there was something from the U.S. Government and private relief as well. According to this article, food assistance was provided as recently as 1999:
Click to access pm_0086.pdf
Since gratitude is not a Russian trait, you don’t remember that, but this reference below, for example, states that $1.2 billion in food aid was provided since 1992, under Operation Provide Hope.
RV, I told you what this “food aid” really was. Another waste of resources typical of the US and other governments. This country’s government has just admitted it also wasted $18 billion on Afghanistan. Do the Afghans have to be grateful for the fact that all this money was used with no result on the ground whatsoever. I do not pass judgements about nations and governments as easily as you do, but what I see as a professional with a financial background, the US government appears to be borrowing money from China to put it into highly inefficient aid programs with beautiful names. And as you see based on the Russian and Afghan example, people for whom such programs have been allegedly designed see neither tangible results from them and are irritated by the inappropriate expectation of “gratitude” on the part of Americans. Just pathetic.
RV wrote: “When a spectator “derives pleasure” just because somebody from his country runs fast, that’s irrational, and is a result of brainwashing, in my estimation.”
How about the American way of rooting: rooting for the pro sports franchise from one’s own city? When a spectator “derives pleasure” just because somebody from his city scores a home run — is that also irrational and a result of brainwashing, in your estimation?
Yes, it is irrational but not a result of brainwashing. I know you try to find various problems in American life in order to show that Russia is wonderful. I do not defend American ways in this area because I think they are pernicious. We should concentrate on more important things. But, professional sports teams in the U.S. may be backed by not more than a city of county government, and those don’t have brainwashing power
RV, I think its because you made up your mind about the subject does not let you comprehend what people are trying to tell you here. I never claimed that life in Russia, the 56th most richest country in the world is more wonderful than life is in the US, the 9th richest country in the world. I don’t think Maimonides tries to argue this point either. The point is that what you try to portray as issues typical of Russia only, are pretty much universal. Yes, Russians root for Russian athletes, like the Brazilians root for Brazilian athletes. There is nothing unnatural about it. The official government ceremonies for athletes take place in Russia, Ukraine and other ex-USSR republics indeed. You can call it a tradition rooted in the long history of paternalistic state, which is still present in these countries to a significant extent. But how on earth do you see this as brainwashing? Brainwashing for what? What ideology? That Russia is the greatest?…well, Russians travel, watch foreign movies, use the Internet and have a pretty clear picture of how their country compares to others. That Russia should be the greatest? If this the case, I am all for such brainwashing. There is nothing wrong with advancing the agenda of making the country a leader in as many areas as possible, including sports.
You forgot that Russian government actually pays many of these athletes, and of course it is not City of Sochi that organizes and pays for the Olympics. It’s the Kremlin. Why do they do that? Olympics are rarely if ever profitable, usually it’s a lot of expenses and overall financial losses. Maybe Germany or England or the U.S. or Canada can afford such losses (and I doubt even that, these days), but poverty-stricken Russia or China? In Sochi it’s going to be extremely expensive, they start building from scratch, plus of course a lot of money will be spent on bribes etc. Greece spent billions on the Olympics, don’t you think it would be good for the Greeks to have that wasted money now? And don’t Russia and China have enough orphans and simply very poor people so that the money could be spent on them instead?
Well, so I think I have a strong case that the purpose behind the Olympics and other forms of support of professional sports in poor developing countries such as Russia is brainwashing or propaganda, call it what you wish — an attempt to show how great Russia or China is, regardless of whether it’s true or not. It’s an attempt also to use the medals as a proxy for real achievements. And it’s a form of an intoxicant — perhaps all those poor people will forget how desperately destitute they are if some gymnast wins some gold. You find any of this legitimate? I don’t. Just my view
Well, the same argument can be applied to other countries, like the US and Canada. Everyone has problems that are probably more important than the Olympics. As I said, however, we are all human beings and even in Rio’s favellas poor people root for their countrymen at the Olympics, just like their much poorer counterparts in India’s shantytowns. The Olympics are expensive, but people generally support their countries hosting them, and not only governments but people, poor and rich, in these countries would object against the Olympics becoming entertainment for the rich only. Again, this goes deep into people’s being human: they cannot focus just on sanitation and poverty alleviation, they need entertainment, as well as bread. In market terms, the Olympics satisfy people’s needs, whatever they are, hence, they have value for people, hence people are prepared to pay for them (or to accept that their govenments sposnor them).
Would it be then safe to assume that you are equally angry at Brazil for organizing the 2014 World Cup?
Yes, provided World Cup tournaments generate as much in financial losses to the organizers as Olympics. I don’t know whether it’s true or not, though. If they are profitable, then it’s different.
Wrong as always you stinking moskal ! Maybe in ” Kiev ” there are some
residual leftover katsap sovietchiki , but Kyiv is cleansing itself of the ear
offending ugro-finnish , mongolo-tatar with a mixture of german , french
dialect that has been passed of as the ” great russian ” language , excuse
me — tongue ( they don’t even have a word for language ) . The best part is that
the youth of today’s Ukraine is growing up learning the beautiful , melodious ,
and lyrical Ukrainian language , while the ” tongue ” , is destined to be cast
off unto the dung heap of history like the rest of the useles , out dated
moscovite crap !
By the way, why do you hate the Finns, Tatars and Mongols? You’re a racist?
Whatever, it does not make sense to argue with a racist, does it? Apart from the fact that none of Kiev’s youths in the streets of Kiev speaks Ukrainian, the only thing to point out about this message is how it exposes the nature of most of the people posting here: “mongol, tatar, finno-ugric” are considered insults by these people. While one language is considered “melodious and lyrical”, another is “a mixture that has been passed as a tongue”. By the way, does the language you post in, with its germanic grammar base and its romance morphology “passes as a mixture” to you? What other languages do you not consider to be “real languages”?
Why do you waste your time on this paid Muscal troll, he who writes A(bsolute) T(rash)?
Stop reading and hence replying to his verbal diarrhea of unbelievably stupid propaganda and treat him with the utter contempt he deserves.
Welcome, hohlomor! Bring an example of best-selling book in the Ukrainian language has been translated into all major languages in the world.