Saturday, July 11, 2009

Yogis Vs the Bureaucratic State.

State occupational licensing is such a damn boondoggle. What the hell do politicians know about yoga? [Or barbers, or beauticians, or massage, or interior design, or plumbing or... well, damn near anything for that matter? Just a way to graft more money out of people. At least the mafia offers "protection" for your money...]

Hit & Run > Yogis Against the State - Reason Magazine:
"The New York Times reports on an unlikely new front in the war on meddlesome and unnecessary occupational licensing laws:
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Ten years ago, with yoga transforming itself into a ubiquitous pop culture phenomenon from a niche pursuit, yoga teachers banded together to create a voluntary online registry of schools meeting new minimum standards for training instructors in the discipline.

But that list-which now includes nearly 1,000 yoga schools nationwide, many of them tiny-is being put to a use for which it was never intended. It is the key document in a nationwide crackdown on yoga schools that pits free-spirited yogis against lumbering state governments, which, unlike those they are trying to regulate, are not always known for their flexibility.
Citing laws that govern vocational schools, like those for hairdressers, chiropractors and truck drivers, regulators have begun to require licenses for yoga schools that train instructors, with all the fees, inspections and paperwork that entails. While confrontations have played out differently in different states, threats of shutdowns and fines have, in some cases, been met with accusations of power grabs and religious infringement-disputes that seem far removed from the meditative world yoga calls to mind."
More from here:
"...In April, New York State sent letters to about 80 schools warning them to suspend teacher training programs immediately or risk fines of up to $50,000. But yogis around the state joined in opposition, and the state has, for now, backed down.

In other states, regulators were not moved. In March, Michigan gave schools a week to be certified by the state or cease operations. Virginia’s cumbersome licensing rules include a $2,500 fee — a big hit for modest studios that are often little more than one-room storefronts.

Lisa Rapp, who owns My Yoga Spirit in Norfolk, Va., said she was closing her seven-year-old business this summer. “This caused us to shut down the studio altogether,” Ms. Rapp said. “It’s too bad, because this community really needs yoga.”

The conflict started in January when a Virginia official directed regulators from more than a dozen states to an online national registry of schools that teach yoga and, in the words of a Kansas official, earn a “handsome income.” Until then, only a few states had been aware of the registry and had acted to regulate yoga instruction, though courses in other disciplines like massage therapy have long been subject to oversight.

The registry was created by the Yoga Alliance, a nonprofit group started in 1999 to establish teaching standards in an effort to have the industry regulate itself. In a recent newsletter, the alliance warned its members that nationwide licensing might be inevitable, “forcing this ancient tradition to conform to Western business practices.”

...Brette Popper, a co-founder of Yoga City NYC, a Web site that has chronicled licensing developments, said the yoga community — described on the site as “a group that doesn’t even always agree about how to pronounce ‘Om’ ” — was uniting around a common enemy.

The teachers formed a coalition and enlisted a state senator, Eric T. Schneiderman of Manhattan, to take up their cause, hoping that New York would buck the national trend. “It’s really kind of historic in the yoga community,” Ms. Popper said.

That unity was on display last month in a small studio in Midtown Manhattan, where nearly 100 devotees from around the state sat barefoot and cross-legged on the wood floor. The group, whose members ranged from lithe young teachers in spandex to older ones in religious garb, opened with a traditional chant and ended two hours later struggling with parliamentary procedure as it established a formal organization. One attendee cast the conflict as “bureaucracy versus freedom.”

Alison West, who was selected to lead the new coalition, the Yoga Association of New York State, prayed for “some joyful conclusion we’ve never conceived.”

Within days, Joseph P. Frey, an associate commissioner with the State Education Department, said in an interview that the department would suspend the licensing effort, allow the classes to continue and instead lobby for legislation adding yoga to a list of activities that are exempt from regulation.

“I understand how folks could get upset,” he said."
No. Shit. Genius.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Training 381-2.

381 - 20m interval/HIIT mma/kickboxing, 2x10 dislocates/facepulls
382 - rest/free/sayonara enkai, etc, etc...

The Philosophy of Truth 101 - "Your only real enemies are douchebags."

Joe Rogan, natch.

How's Taste My Tweet Tweet? Mixed Martial Arts on Twitter for the 2nd Week of July - Bloody Elbow:
"...don't get caught up in nationalistic nonsense. It's one planet, bitches!! Your only real enemies are douchebags.' -Joe Rogan."

1 in 10 chance of being sentenced to death for something you didn't do.*

As much as I think you can absolutely do something so heinous your own life is forfeit, I just as strongly think that the government is vastly underqualified to make and/or carry out those decisions. Can't trust 'em. Just can't.

Only person I'd trust with that decision? Charles Bronson. Maybe Steve McQueen. That's it. And they're dead. So we'll call that a wash.

Hit & Run ; This Week in Innocence - Reason Magazine:
"Thanks to the work of Northwestern University Law School's death penalty clinic, another man wrongly convicted of murder walked free this week...

Illinois has sentenced 224 people to death since reinstating capital punishment in 1977. Since then, 20 have been exonerated. I'm not sure what an acceptable rate of error in death penalty cases would be, but nine percent seems awfully high, doesn't it?"
*Yeah, the math is wrong, but I barely passed Probability and Statistics in college, anyways. Besides, it sounds catchy.

Parenting tips...

Overheard in New York | Wednesday One-Liners Get Ready to Rummmmbbbble:
"Woman on cell: Did you try changing its diaper? (pause) What about smacking it around a little and telling it to shut up?

--26th & 7th

Overheard by: Liz"

The 1960s were, apparently, a magical time...


Australian govt memo, 1968: Women become "spinster battle axes;" "men usually mellow" - Boing Boing:
"Even conceding these points, a woman could not stay young and attractive for ever, and later on could well become a problem.

(vii) A spinster lady can, and very often does, turn into something of a battleaxe with the passing years. A man usually mellows."

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Teaching the smallest of the munchkins.

What with the new mandatory hours of teaching of the elementary school 5th and 6th graders, it feels like those are the only classes I teach these days. But, this past week I had the 1st and 2nd graders. The awesome powers of their cuteness is overwhelming.
From 2009-07-07

From 2009-07-07

Bribery remains my primary teaching strategem.
From 2009-07-07

Training 379-80.

379 - 20m HIIT/interval kickboxing/mma, 2x10 dislocates & facepulls, 1x20 hyperextensions
380 - DB Squats/Assisted Pistols, SLDL/Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls, Calf Raises, Crunches/Alt Knee Situps, 2x10 dislocates, 1x20 hyperextension

What. The. Fu*k?

This is a whole new level of fuckedupedness. Honestly.

The Agitator » Blog Archive » Obama Administration Official Won’t Rule Out Post-Acquittal Detention:
"Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson moved the Obama administration into new territory from a civil liberties perspective. Asked by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) the politically difficult but entirely fair question about whether terrorism detainees acquitted in courts could be released in the United States, Johnson said that “as a matter of legal authority,” the administration’s powers to detain someone under the law of war don’t expire for a detainee after he’s acquitted in court."

Watch! As the 4th Amendment dies!

The Agitator » Blog Archive » Some Afternoon Links:
"Florida DUI checkpoint yields 1,131 vehicle stops, two outstanding warrant arrests, six felony drug arrests, one misdemeanor drug arrest, and 104 traffic citations. Hmm. What’s missing, here? "

"If Sex Ed PSAs Were Realistic" via

I, myself, never got the "sex talk." I learned the way all good red-blooded American males apparently learn - my dad's Playboy's and Penthouse's.

If Sex Ed PSAs Were Realistic -- powered by

It's a whole new world.

Overheard in New York | ...Long and Prosper:
"Girl #1: You should see Star Trek.
Girl #2: But I don't like Star Trek.
Girl #1: I didn't either at first, and now all I want is to fuck Captain Kirk.
Girl #2: That's ridiculous.
Girl #1: I'm not ashamed to love.

--Times Square

Overheard by: I'd Fuck Him Too"

Said the Brain to Pinky.

Overheard Everywhere | What Are You Doing in Albuquerque, Then?:
"Security officer, pulling out fingernail clippers from carry-on: Sir, what are your intentions with these?
Man in line, deadpan: To take over the world.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Overheard by: Zombie"

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Chris Rock's Cure for Depression.

Well I'm totally going to hell.

Overheard in New York | Subway Preacher Tip #403: Know Your Audience.:
"Jamaican man: The biggest issue of our society is not terrorism but men lusting after women's butts! If you lust after women's butts you will burn in hell! Women, do not show off your butts for you will burn in hell! Do not wear jeans or tight pants! Make sure you cover up your butts!
Passenger: I love the butts.
Jamaican man: Do you have no soul? The lust of the women's butts will only bring you to the devil! Please save yourself and stop lusting after the butts!
Passenger: Who loves the butts?
All men on train: Yay butts!

--Uptown 4 Train

Overheard by: white girl with a big butt wearing tight pants"

So incredibly wrong.

Still funny though.

Overheard in the Office | They Are Truly Our Unsung Heros:
"Woman at table with large group: We had so much fun on vacation with the kids.
Man next to her: Wouldn't it have been more fun without the kids?
Woman: What? Why, don't you like kids?
Man: Nah, not really. I've never liked kids. I don't know how pedophiles do it.

Detroit, Michigan

Overheard by: PeterG"

Monday, July 06, 2009

Training 378.

So the "100 Pushups, 20 Pullups, 200 Squats and 200 Situps" programs are challenging, but kind of boring... so yeah, not gonna do those. Booyah. Freedom of choice.

Next two weeks till my sojourn in the states, gonna do a strength/upper/lower split 3x a week and conditioning 3x a week. On the seventh day, like all gods, I shall rest.

378 - Pushups/Flyes, Rows/Assisted Chins, Dips/Kickbacks, Curls/Hammer Curls
30m light shadowboxing


In HS, when I was up late at night, and this infomercial would come on, I would sit with rapt attention. Something about the design and the hook always sucked me in. I totally coveted one. Pretty sure I got the free pamphlet in the mail, too. I was too young during the era of the infomercials to buy one - and after HS, time in college, the military and then living now in Japan has conspired to prevent me from owning one, but I was always ridiculously inspired and motivated by the advertising. Apparently, they stopped making them back in the 1990s [but might start producing them again soon] Maybe one day, if I ever settle in one place long enough to make a difference.

We have been fascinated from the beginning, as a machine the human body remains a supreme invention. To unlock it's potential, we offer Soloflex. Simple and efficient like the body itself.

You don't have to be 19 to have a body like this. You don't have to work out 8 hours a day and you don't have to be narcissistic or shallow. All you need is Soloflex.

UFC History Highlight.

UFC 1-99 in 4 1/2 minutes. Via Fightlinker. Good stuff.

Saturday Morning Cartoons, just as I always imagined them.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

I did it all wrong, clearly.

This does seem like a fascinating book. Really good review as well [read in full at the link...] Certainly makes it sound far cooler and far more effective than the norm.

The Simple Dollar » Review: The New Global Student:
"The New Global Student by Maya Frost is one of those books that takes what you think you know about a subject and flips it on its ear. This time around, it’s the standard route that most high schoolers take towards their education: take lots of AP classes, sweat about the ACT and SAT, apply to hyper-competitive colleges and hope you get in, apply for piles of scholarships, sweat out the FAFSA, then go on to college, where you’ll likely be buried in mountains of student loans.

This process is seen as so standard that many people don’t even question whether or not it makes sense to start pushing our fourteen and fifteen year olds through this woodchipper. The New Global Student argues that this path is not the only path - in fact, Frost argues that there is a much better way to help your children transition into the latter stages of their education. Hence the eye-catching subtitle: Skip the SAT, Save Thousands on Tuition, and Get a Truly International Education.

I fully expect that many people will immediately reject the central premise of this book - that the “traditional hypercompetitive SAT/AP/GPA path” can be easily dumped and a new path to educational success can be found. All I can say is this: time and time again, throughout my college career, the people that seemed to have the best grasp of what they needed to do to succeed and the value they could get out of college were people who came in from outside that treadmill..."

Training 377.

Best I've felt all week, honestly...

MMA Standup Training 2009-7-5 from Rob Pugh on Vimeo.
[password is 'robert']

And how was your 4th of July?

(Happy 4th of July!) - my geekbone enjoyed this.

Cross cultural appreciation.

Overheard Everywhere | ...Given the Painful Inflammation Of My Chamber Of Secrets:
"Angry British guy on phone: My name's 'arry. No! 'arry! 'arry! Dammit, no! 'arry, like 'arry Potter! Thank you.
Girl nearby: You just made my life a little better.


Overheard by: Meg:)"

Well done, Japan. [World's Biggest Hamburger.]

Hey, I've been to Miyazaki. Cool.

The World’s Biggest Hamburger | Japan Probe:
"Congratulations to Miyazaki City for its creation of the world’s biggest hamburger...

The hamburger, which was made for a promotional event for the Phoenix Seagaia Resort, weighed it at 136.2 kilograms (300 pounds), beating the previous world record burger, which weighed a measly 84 kilograms (185 pounds). "

Sometimes, drugs are awesome.

Tripping "Terminator" arrested - Boing Boing:
"On Tuesday, Sean Stanley Smith, 19, ran around Lake Tahoe's casino arcade naked until police subdued him with a taser. They arrested him for indecent exposure. According to the Record Courier, 'He reportedly told officers he had ingested marijuana and LSD, and was running naked because he thought he was 'the Terminator.'"