IoS World Cup water cooler!

England's woes aside, the tournament has exploded into life, providing us with joyous moments of often-heated debate in the workplace. Rob Sharp and Samuel Muston on the successes, failures, and controversies so far

Jabulani bombs out

Too round? Not round enough? It certainly has a freaky name. It's the Adidas-designed ball that conveniently doubles as a punch bag, if players' protestations are anything to go by. The most hysterical claim against "Jumanji" (so nicknamed because of its unpredictability) goes to the US goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, who said: "Scientists came up with the atom bomb. Doesn't mean we should have invented it." Steady on, old boy.

Blown away by vuvuzelas

The instrument was adapted from a bicycle horn by South African football fans in the 1960s. Medics had fretted that the sound of the plastic trumpets could damage hearing. Fifa thought of banning them, but became enchanted by the endless sound of spittle-flecked B-flats.

James Corden loses the comic touch

What is this guy's problem? First he's insulting Shakespearean actors with his paunch, then he's hosting an unfunny chat show. There's only one way to go from there. Selling out with Simon Cowell to release a World Cup song with Dizzee Rascal and heffalumping around before the reappearance of Adrian Chiles's smug face on ITV. If England's performance doesn't finish us, this will.

French surrender monkeys

Pull out your hankies for Les Bleus. That supine display from Anelka. Lackadaisical play from Ribéry and Malouda. It's all a long way from Zidane's brawn on the ball. Such performances make the English weep. With happiness.

Swiss surprise

No one was more surprised than Switzerland when they emerged as giant-killers by felling favourites Spain on Wednesday. Cue much soul-searching by the Spaniards (see below) and bemusement among the Swiss. If only they'd shown this much steel in 1939.

Ambushed by Dutch brewers

"Call me naive, but I didn't think I was doing anything wrong," said disgraced ITV commentator and former Jamaica international Robbie Earle, whose ticket allocation for the Holland vs Denmark game found its way into the hands of Dutch brewery Bavarian Beer. The firm got 36 models to wear short orange dresses – much to the obvious chagrin of newspaper picture editors.

North Korea – democracy in action

The prospect of a totalitarian lockdown is a great impetus to score goals. That's what North Korean left back Ji Yun-Nam, aka "the People's Six-Pack", learned on Tuesday when he scored against Brazil. His post-goal rictus wasn't so much celebratory as relieved. Such elation was matched by the country's "fans", hand-picked by the North Korean government for their ability to sing their national anthem with fear-free gusto.

Clueless in the commentary box

The BBC's coverage hasn't escaped the excoriating barbs of football hacks who have been unimpressed with pundits' "expert analysis". Last Sunday, the BBC's Alan Shearer was unsure when appraising Algeria and Slovenia. "Our knowledge of these two teams is limited," he said. Later, in the six-and-a-half minute introduction to New Zealand vs Slovakia, just one player out of 22 was given a name-check.

The gospel according to Diego

In possession of a deity's digits and now the sexiest salt and pepper beard east of Buenos Aires, Argentina's favourite teeth-grinder knows how to generate a drama. He's told Pelé he should "go back to the museum" and damned Uefa chief Michel Platini for being French, though has since apologised to the Gallic football overlord. Thankfully, Maradona's got his own house in order: his team doctor, Donato Villani, issued a statement last week saying the players could have sex during the tournament. Phew.

Spanish inquisition

Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas had his cojones cajoled by his girlfriend, Sara Carbonero, a reporter for the Telecino network, after his team's crushing defeat by the Swiss on Wednesday. She asked him, "How did you muck it up?" Clearly shocked, he replied: "I don't know what to say... The dressing room is fed up." She later faced a similar line of questioning from her own channel, who asked her whether she felt responsible for "destabilising" the team.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game