Once every four years, we here at Globe Tech HQ suddenly become much less productive, start caring about a bunch of athletes we'd previously never heard of, and begin building flimsy personal connections with whatever country is most likely to finish on top, just so we can cheer for the winning side.
We speak, of course, about the Winter Olympics. But the World Cup inspires similar sentiments.
First and foremost: most of you already know this, but you can watch streaming games live on the CBC website. We haven't tested this theory, but we're pretty sure the live stream won't work if you're logging in from outside Canada. Like the Olympic committee, FIFA enforces regional broadcasting rules tenaciously.
The World Cup has now surpassed Barack Obama's election as the biggest event in the history of the Web. On day 1 of the football championship, the number of Web visitors per minute soared. Even now, worldwide Web traffic is well above normal.
A lot of this traffic has found its way to the microblogging site, Twitter. Regular users of the service are well aware that the site is pretty unreliable even on good days (What Twitter user hasn't tried to log in, only to see the Fail Whale?). As you'd expect, the World Cup has only made things worse.
Speaking of Twitter, our favourite bizarro-tech-world football story right now is taking place on the site. For the past few days, the number-one trending topic on Twitter -- the term the most people are using in their Tweets -- has been " CALA BOCA GALVAO". This, we're told, roughly translates from Portuguese to "Shut Up Galvao," Galvao being a football announcer in Brazil that, apparently, everybody hates. So far, so good. Except that somewhere down the line, folks who had no idea what the phrase stood for fell for a joke posted by some Twitter user that Galvao was some kind of endangered bird, and that the phrase was a reference to a campaign to protect the Galvao.
From there, a massive game of online broken telephone began: If you re-tweet the phrase, one poster said, a dollar will be donated to the save-Galvao campaign. Last time we checked, millions of Twitter users were eagerly awaiting Lady Gaga's newest single, "Cala Boca Galvao." The singer has promised to donate all proceeds from the song to the campaign to protect the poor endangered bird, or so we hear.
A good synopsis of the whole cyber-prank saga can be found here.
Finally, another celebrity has found their way to Twitter. We give you ... the vuvuzela horn!.
Of course, like so many big names on Twitter, it's unclear who's account is the real one.
So, as we continue to rue our decision to bet the entire editorial budget on the North Koreans, we leave you with what the Internet has deemed to be the best World Cup sign so far.