Friday, June 12, 2009

I've yet to find that constitutional right to "feel safe" or not be offended. It must be in there, as much as folks talk about it.

Particularly nice is the folks who threaten violence - "we know where you sleep" - so that they don't have to be afraid. 

Tancredo's ridiculous on immigration, but this is, dare I say it, far stupider. 

Hit & Run - Does Tom Tancredo Count as an "Under-Represented Group"? - Reason Magazine:
"Former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo recently came to speak at the University of North Carolina... Students engaged in an act of destructive free expression to shut him up. Now the same students demand that UNC adopt a policy that...limits free expression.

...After a few students disrupted Tancredo's speech and broke a window, a couple hundred protesters gathered outside the building where the speech was being held:
"We shut him down; no racists in our town," they shouted. "Yes, racists, we will fight, we know where you sleep at night!"
In the MyNC article linked above, Haley Koch, a student who was arrested for her involvement in the dust-up, rocks the cognitive dissonance like it's going out of style:
"[College is] a place where people should feel safe to be themselves and under-represented groups shouldn't feel that they have to be afraid when they walk around campus.""

Exceptions to everything, apparently.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Training 352-3.

352 - DB upright row w/rotation, Pushups, RV Lunges, Russian Twists- worked out late in the evening and totally forgot to do my NEPA.  Lose my head if it wasn't attached.
353 - NEPA 29m Rutten MMA wkout/boxing 2m rounds - light.  2 sets shoulder dislocates, face pulls, bridges

Brilliant - Tony Horton's Blog Spot: Who Are You?:
"...once you grow up, being different is how you stand out. Standing out is how you break out of the sameness that is keeping you from loving life.

When everything around you says to stay the same, to fit in, it's hard to break out of the ho-hum, humdrum world you find yourself in. Everything you want comes from asking yourself what you want, not the drag-ass people in your life who want you to be like them. Your journey should be as unique as your DNA. Your choices, actions and words need come from deep inside. What is your gut and mind telling you? If outside influences feel wrong then they probably are. And by the way, what you want and who you are requires working your butt off. Choosing to sit on your ass because your gut tells you to is a lie. Study, practice, effort, time and patience are all part of an authentic journey. It's you doing, that allows you to be you. Sometimes just the thought of all that will make you feel like you're hanging in the wind, but most often it will give you the strength to feel like you control your destiny.

When you're living for others and just surviving, the weight of the world sits on you like a two ton truck. When you choose to stand up and stand out, and be the person you were meant to be, the world is a playground filled with adventure and possibilities...  The first steps to getting there requires your desire to change..."

Talking with the animals - "Lion Whisperer" and animal behaviorist Kevin Richardson.

Way cool.

Lion King Kevin Richardson Treated Like One Of The Pride By The Big Cats At His South Africa Reserve | World News | Sky News:

"Kevin, 34, met his first lion 11 years ago and was hooked.

"There were two cubs born in captivity, and I got the opportunity to spend some time with them, never guessing that it would change my life."

Those two lions are adults now, part of a pride of 38 that has been raised at Kevin's vast private reserve near Johannesburg.

...Through the years he has developed a remarkable, if sometimes hair-raising, relationship with all of them as an animal behaviourist.

"Some people might say I'm interfering with nature," he said. "But these lions were born in captivity and I'm trying to give them the best life possible. They seem to thrive on the human interaction."

...His lions are not tame, with lots of space to roam they have retained plenty of their wild instincts and we were not allowed to interact with any of them for our own safety.

Kevin is the only human they have accepted, and he is aware that one day that could change.

"I know they could kill me in a second," he said. "But that doesn't bother me. If I came back to life, I would do it all again.""

Hat tip Free the Animal: Animals

Dan Gilbert's TED talk on synthesizing happiness - "...nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" - Shakespeare.

"Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our "psychological immune system" lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.

About Dan Gilbert

Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong -- a premise he supports with intriguing research..."

What geek dreams are made of.

Gotta love the cons.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Worth reading in full at the link.

The Heart of the Matter: The Torture Temptation:
"What I find most remarkable about America's debate regarding torture -- beyond the fact that such a debate could even be necessary in America -- is the continual recourse of both proponents and opponents to the question of whether torture works. I can't think of any other illegal behavior -- not murder, not rape, not kidnapping, not assault -- that receives this kind of rhetorical makeover. When a murder has been committed, you don't hear people agonizing over whether killing can never, ever be justified. When someone has been raped, people don't ignore the crime in favor of a discussion of whether a rapist's satisfaction could possibly be proven to outweigh a victim's trauma and horror. If a child is kidnapped, the airwaves aren't polluted with discussion of whether kidnapping might actually be an effective way of acquiring ransom money. And so on.

Torture, apparently, is different. Let's talk about why.

Unlike other crimes, torture has a constituency, in the form of the architects who created America's torture regime..."

North Carolina is the promised land, surprisingly.

Overheard in New York | The United One-Liners Of Wednesday:
"Female suit on cell: And if we get custody, we can take the girls to North Carolina! Fuck it! Yeah, we can!

--37th St & Madison

Overheard by: catching a train"

Seems wrong on a few levels.


True understanding.

Overheard Everywhere | You'd Rather Be Cheated on with Someone Ugly?:
"Hot girl: So when I finally met the girl he cheated on me with, I was in shock, because she was about a thousand times hotter than she looked on the picture I found.
Guy friend: Yeah. Well, some people are just not photogenic.
Hot girl: No, you don't understand! She's like supermodel hot, he had like no choice, even I would have fucked that Moroccan bitch right then and there.
Guy friend: That's so hot.
Hot girl: Life is not fair.


Ah, existentialism.

I'd have that conversation.

Overheard in New York | At Which Point He Recommended Botox:
"36-year-old bald clubster: There's no way you're 36. I'm 36, and there's just no way.
36-year-old woman: No! Really, I am.
36-year-old bald clubster: What did you do--make a deal with the devil?
36-year-old woman: We've talked.

--Union Square

Overheard by: birdie"


Overheard in the Office | And There Are Too Many Holes Involved.:
"Male coworker to female coworker: Hey, do you ever play golf?
Female coworker: No, I don't play with balls that small.
(male coworker chokes on drink)

Bellevue, Nebraska"

Flashback to my childhood.

Overheard in New York | It's Not Just Trees That Have Trouble Growing in Brooklyn:
"Mother to toddler: Do I love you a lot or a little?
Toddler: A little?
Mother: No, a lot! It's your shithead father that only loves you a little!

--Jay St, Brooklyn

Overheard by: Margaret"

Some people just don't appreciate honesty.

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Comedy gold.

Overheard in the Office | Who Didn't Play That Game in High School?:
"Manager, about getting her nails done: I wanna get just the tip red, I see lots of girls with the tip.
Annoying coworker: Just the tip?
Coworker: Wanna play a game called 'just the tip'? Just for a second, to see how it feels.

Manhattan, New York

Overheard by: Can we go crash a wedding now?"

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Crushing belief systems is the best.

Overheard in the Office | How Many Guests on The O'Reilly Factor Feel:
"Female coworker on phone with manager: Yes, I know it's an impossible request. (pause) I don't know, either he thinks he's freakin' Jesus or he thinks I am. Either way, I'm about to get a cheap, perverse thrill out of crushing his entire belief system.

Chelmsford, Massachusetts

Overheard by: I think I'm Santa"

Training 351.

NEPA - 29m light shadowboxing/Rutten MMA wkout/Boxing 2m rounds

Nicely done.

Students who went on strike over CCTVs in classroom speak - Boing Boing:
"Leia Clancy and Sam Goodman, two of the English students who staged a strike when they discovered CCTV cameras had been installed in their classrooms have written an impassioned-but-reasoned op-ed about their desire to be educated without surveillance...
"...Many users suggested that cameras were a good idea because they could be used to keep an eye on bullying and student behaviour, we were accused of been "narcissistic megalomaniacs" angry at "being nabbed for our churlish troublemaking". This stereotypical and frankly ignorant view ignores the fact that Davenant Foundation School produces some of the best exam results in Essex. Violent behaviour among pupils is simply not an issue, making the justification for putting cameras in our classrooms more surprising.

Adults are often quick to define the youth of today as stereotypical troublemakers and violent offenders - generalisations which are prompted by the media - when in fact the majority of students at our school are as responsible and arguably better behaved then the majority of adults. Some commentators insinuated that we overheard adults talking about rights and repeated it. That notion isn't worth the space it was typed upon. We are A-level politics students who have been studying civil liberties as part of the curriculum for the last two years..."


Overheard in the Office | Like That Colored Dye That Appears When You Pee in a Swimming Pool:
"IT worker: I stated that. We cannot make this idiot-proof, but we can identify them.

Scottsburg, Indiana

Overheard by: Larry G. Case"

Monday, June 08, 2009

Training 350.

Romanian DB DL, Atlas pushups, Assisted Chins, Seated/hanging leg raises
NEPA - 28m Rutten MMA wkout/boxing 3m rounds

That's a damn shame. Poor guy seems like a nice dude. Hope the cop gets hammered, but he'll probably walk.

The Agitator » Blog Archive » Morning Links:
"New Jersey cop beats the hell out of a man who appears to have done nothing wrong. They then arrest him for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and “wandering for the purpose of obtaining controlled dangerous substances.” That last one is actually a crime? And yes, the whole thing was captured on videotape."


Overheard in the Office | Why Did We Come to This Godless Country, Jimmy?:
"Irish construction worker #1, exiting job site: You know what's wrong with this job?
Irish construction worker #2, behind him: What?
Irish construction worker #1: We're workin' on an Irish bar, and there's no bloody beer!
Irish construction worker #2: Sure there is! There's Guinness!
Both, in chorus: In cans! (they spit on the ground)

Haigh Street
San Francisco, California"


News Briefs 08-06-2009 | TDG - Science, Magick, Myth and History:
"Adverse childhood experience is one of the largest contributors to such chronic health problems as diabetes and obesity, psychiatric disorders, drug abuse – almost every major public health challenge we face.

The authors of a study published June 2 in The Journal of the American Medical Association."

Debbie Gibson?

Is still around? And is older than me? That seems wrong...

Apparently she also does a lot of Broadway now... and posed for Playboy.

God I'm old.

Hollywoodtuna » Blog Archive » Debbie Gibson’s Still Got It Going On:
"Before Britney Spears, there was Debbie Gibson who opened the door for all these young teen skanks and their career’s. Debbie was smart, she quit while she was ahead.

She didn’t become a 20-something washed up popstar with psychological problems. She became a hot 38 year old, dressed like a 20 year old washed up popstar. Now let’s see if Britney can pull this look off when she’s 38. Doubtful!"


In Europe, no less.

Pirate Party takes two EuroParl seats! - Boing Boing:
"The Pirate Party, a Swedish copyright reform party that was inspired by The Pirate Bay, has won two seats in the European Parliamentary election...
"When we asked Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge about the outcome, he told TorrentFreak:
"This feels wonderful. The citizens have understood it's time to make a difference. The older politicians have taken apart young peoples' lifestyle, bit by bit. We do not accept the authorities' mass-surveillance," he added.

...roughly 200,000 Swedes have voted for the Pirate Party. This is a huge increase compared to the national elections of 2006 where the party got 34,918 votes.

...With their presence in Brussels, the Pirate Party hopes to reduce the abuses of power and copyright at the hands of the entertainment industries, and make those activities illegal instead. On the other hand they hope to legalize file-sharing for personal use."

The Japanese educational system delights me, at times.

Only in Japan... a lesson introducing 13 year old Jr High freshman to pronouns - 'he' and 'she' - turns into an in-class discussion of what terminology is appropriate for cross-dressers, transexuals, gays and lesbians. True education.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

America's prison system is in dire need of reform.

Kick started by absurd drug laws and mandatory sentences, perpetuated by the privatization of prisons and corrections officer unions. You know, I tend towards libertarian on a lot of things, but whoever thought it was a good idea to put profit into the prison system was out of their damn mind.

Be interesting to see if Webb's proposals go anywhere.

Guantanamo is the least of America's prison problems. - By Dahlia Lithwick - Slate Magazine:
"We already have a prison problem, and it's already in our backyards. That's what Sen. James Webb, D-Va., wants us to understand as he launches an ambitious new effort to reform U.S. prisons nationwide...

Here are the facts about America's prisons, according to Webb:

The United States, with 5 percent of the world's population, houses nearly 25 percent of the world's prisoners. As Webb has explained it, "Either we're the most evil people on earth, or we're doing something wrong." We incarcerate 756 inmates per 100,000 residents, nearly five times the world average. At this point, approximately one in every 31 adults in the United States is in prison, jail, or on supervised release. Local, state, and federal spending on corrections now amounts to about $70 billion per year and has increased 40 percent over the past 20 years.

...Webb wants us to recognize that warehousing the nation's mentally ill and drug addicts in crowded correctional facilities tends to create a mass of meaner, more violent, less employable people at the exits. And unlike Guantanamo, there are always going to be exits.

The Justice Department estimates that 16 percent of the adult inmates in American prisons—more than 350,000 of those incarcerated—suffer from mental illness; the percentage among juveniles is even higher. And 2007 Justice statistics showed that nearly 60 percent of the state prisoners serving time for a drug offense had no history of violence and four out of five drug arrests were for drug possession, not sales. Webb also reminds us that while drug use varies little by ethnic group in the United States, African-Americans—estimated at 14 percent of regular drug users—make up 56 percent of those in state prison for drug crimes. We know all of this. The question is how long we want to avoid dealing with it."

August does look kind of tremendous.

And when you factor in UFC 100 in mid-July [Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir, Georges St-Pierre vs. Thiago Alves, Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping and Mark Coleman vs. Stephan Bonnar] you're looking at a pretty ripping 6 weeks of MMA.

MMA in August Looks Tremendous - Bloody Elbow:
"August 1: Affliction Trilogy

Josh Barnett vs. Fedor Emelianenko

Gerard Mousasi vs. Babalu Sobral

Tim Sylvia vs. Paul Buentello

Jorge Santiago vs. Vitor Belfort

August 8: UFC 101

BJ Penn vs. Kenny Florian

Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin

August 15: Strikeforce

Gina Carano vs. Cyborg Santos

Alistair Overeem vs. Brett Rogers

August 29: UFC 102

Randy Couture vs. Antonio Nogueira

Demian Maia vs. Nate Marquardt

Keith Jardine vs. Thiago Silva"

So typically...

You know, I was gonna go with "so typically Japanese" here, given the concern for appearance over truth and corporate rep over public safety... but considering it's Monday morning and I'm in a bit of a mood, I'm just gonna go with "so typically typical." Sometimes people suck.

Farm ministry hid 90% of food mislabeling cases | Japan Probe:
"Are you afraid that you may be buying food products that have been intentionally mislabeled? Don’t worry, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry is hard at work making sure you never find out:
The farm ministry uncovered 879 cases of mislabeled food products last year but only disclosed 110 of them in order to protect the companies responsible, according to documents obtained from the ministry Saturday.

Some of the cases involved selling Chinese imports as “made in Japan” food, deceptive packages that described old food as “newly harvested,” and improper use of the term “organic.”"

That's gonna sting.

Nick Diaz v Scott Smith

Pics by Esther Lin, via Where the Strikeforce pics are - Fightlinker - MMA, UFC, and other funny fight crap

Training 347-9.

347 - DB DL, Atlas Pushups, Lat pulldowns, Hand walkouts - NEPA 30m shadowboxing
348 - NEPA, 30m light shadowboxing, Rutten MMA Boxing/3m rounds
349 - BW Circuit, 6x10 - 35m - Jump Squat, Hand Walkout – from knees, Single-Leg Deadlift – arms out to sides, Plyo Push-Up, Jumping Jack, Reverse Lunge – twist, Pike Push-Up, Squat Thrust | The Embarrassment of Bodybuilding:
"The caricature of bodybuilding still exists to some extent, but a few things have changed. For one thing, I don't give a rat's ass what lay people think about it, but mainly, bodybuilding has largely morphed into something else altogether: it's left the stage and the pages of silly magazines to go back to where it started, to the dimly-lit garages and back-alley gyms.

It's back to being about preparing yourself for some battle that may never come. It's back to battling the weights; to feeling the pleasant "uncomfortableness" of having trained your ass off. It's back to being connected to your body in a way the normal people can't imagine...

It's back to being about personal growth, both physical and mental, as opposed to being about public display and plastering over personality disorders.

People are happiest when they're building something, facing new challenges, or mastering some skill, and what is back-alley bodybuilding but facing new challenges and mastering them in order to build something—your body—every single day?

Mastering a lift or movement creates satisfaction, and if you do this over time, bodybuilding itself becomes truly meaningful. Sure, it sounds silly to the person who's never exerted him or herself in anything, let alone the gym, but the rest of us know exactly what it means.

(Please nod solemnly if you agree.)

That grunt we make as we push up that heavy weight—the weight that makes us just a little bit nervous—is an affirmation of sorts that says, "Up yours, universe. This is one thing I control, and every rep is my version of a foot up your infinite ass."

...We told them about fish oil and functional fatty acids years ago; we told them about the benefits of Testosterone replacement; we told them about manipulating carbohydrates to change body comp; we told them about the benefits of protein; we told them all kinds of stuff we're only now starting to read about in medical journals and the popular press.

...Here is what bodybuilding does for someone:

It builds strength of character, strength of body, knowledge of yourself and your own limitations, a quiet confidence in being able to face any challenge no matter how daunting; one that carries over to anything you might do.

And none of that is anything to be embarrassed about." - Female Transformation Of The Week - Female Transformation Of The Week - Danitza Freigher!:

"Name: Danitza Freigher
Age: 34
Height: 5'2'
Weight: 125 lbs
Body Fat: 22%

Age: 35
Height: 5'2'
Weight: 108 lbs
Body Fat: 10%

This stuff fascinates me.

The cheese-making, that is. I have no idea why.

Alpine farms welcome travelers for a peek at the cheese making action and each village takes pride in its own cheese.

It's the whole food prep thing, I think. Same reason I dig on Iron Chef America, though actually cooking doesn't appeal much to me. It's the process, the artistry, the... excellence... invested, for lack of a better word.

Rick stays at a farmhouse B&B in Tuscany's hilly Crete Senese country, where generations of the same family have celebrated "the sweet life" with locally-produced pecorino cheese, prosciutto ham, and Chianti wine.

This, on the other hand, makes Germany seem like a magical place... beer, sausage, surfing, and nude sunbathing. Brilliant.

Students, office workers, and families alike enjoy a sunny break from everyday life in Munich's 200-year-old English Garden. Sprawling over three miles through the city, it's the largest urban park on the continent. In August, surf's up where the stream enters the park, and sunbathers enjoy their own private bank.

I never really got into Europe, per se, but I do dig on Rick Steves' podcasts and vids. Something soothing about his voice, I think. I'm simple.

"Meet New York City's Most Functional Couple."

Pretty damn funny.

Overheard in New York | Meet New York City's Most Functional Couple:
"Male suit: See, look at her! (points at woman on BlackBerry) Women are more likely to get killed while texting than men. Men are always aware of their surroundings.
Female suit: No, men just can't walk and text at the same time. Women are better at multi-tasking.
Male suit: Alright, since you're so good at multi-tasking, suck my dick and make me a sandwich.
Female suit: I've got news for you. If you keep eating sandwiches, even hookers won't want to suck your dick.

--Broadway & Astor Place

Overheard by: Ashley"