And now a post combining football and science:

Imagine a robotic David Beckham six times smaller than an amoeba playing with a ‘soccer ball’ no wider than a human hair … with all of the action happening on a field the size of single grain of rice.

Yes, it’s “Nanosoccer“:

[S]occer nanobots, operated by human players via remote-controlled magnetic fields and electrical signals, slide tiny discs around on a 30mm x 30mm playing field. The human players view the competition through an optical microscope

[via Slashdot]

Depressingly, if you look at the results from the wider RoboCup 2008 World soccer championship (held in China this year), the bloody Germans seem to dominate the winning positions, though the UK seems to have crept into the first place group in the “Secondary Dance” category. Presumably this is the robot equivalent of the FIFA Fair Play Trophy.

On a related matter, I heard on the radio this morning that a Welshman has been convicted of “racially aggravated” abuse of an English family visiting from Bolton. Some Preston North End fans might be surprised (and relieved) at this, given that the relevant legislation was already in place at the time of the final of the 2001 Championship play-offs in Cardiff.