Posts from May 2008

Want a gun with that?

While the Chinese are busy regulating knife sales, Kansas car dealers are giving away guns with every purchase:

“Max Motors, a small Butler, Missouri dealership that has as its logo a grimacing cowboy wielding a pistol, has sold more than 30 cars and trucks in the last three days, far more than its normal volume. And owner Mark Muller credits his decision to start offering buyers their choice of a $250 gas card or a $250 credit at a gun shop.”

Just how effective traditional weapons would be against an armed truck driver is quite obvious. Instead, I think this is a job for the Ninjutsu (“martial art of distance”) technique “distancing one’s self from Kansas”.



For the first time: A European Sumo wrestler wins the emperor’s cup!

Kaloyan Mahlyanov, known with his Sumo name Kotooshu, made history, For the First Time a European Wins the Emperor’s Cup.

Kotooshu, a Bulgarian, became the first European sumo fighter who won the Emperor’s Cup after winning the 2008 May Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo.

“I’m so happy,” a beaming Kotooshu told Japan’s NHK television after becoming the seventh foreigner to win an Emperor’s Cup. “I’m speechless. I did it at last.”

If Kotooshu, an ozeki ranked fighter, wins the Nagoya tournament he could rise to the esteemed rank of yokozuna.

Link to IHT


Better to rest after a concussion

Recent research discovered that it may be better to refrain from sports and “high-intensity activities” in the period after a concussion.

Tara Parker-Pope writes:

“The researchers tracked the medical records and activity levels of 95 student athletes, including 15 girls, who had suffered concussions in school sports. The students were evaluated using cognitive tests immediately after the concussion and in follow-up visits. The data showed that athletes who engaged in the highest level of activity soon after the initial injury tended to demonstrate the worst neurocognitive scores and slowest reaction times. Students fared better if they didn’t return immediately to their sport but instead simply engaged in normal school and home activities.”

Head injuries are common-place in contact martial arts, no matter how many safeguards are put in place.

Link to the NYTimes blog article

The original report


Super suit does what?

Yet another burn-a-hole-in-the-nations-pocket military project has emerged recently, the “Raytheon Sarcos Exoskeleton”. For those of you who are not familiar with sci-fi, this is the type of super strength suit the terminator’s arch enemy would have been wearing.

Sounds cool, but what does it really do? As you can see in the video below, it can allow an average human being to lift large weights with the help of assisting hydraulic arms. While connected to a massive hydraulic controller of course.

Even if you overcome the challenge of powering the suit, will this sort of device not be obsolete by the time it is practical, replaced by purely robotic vehicles? Surely in it’s current state it isn’t much use outside the lab, and lets not go into what it looks like.

As Calvin would have said:

Here’s the video: link


Challenges of triathlon training

An interesting article in the Herald Tribune deals with the problematic nature of triathlon training.

Apart from the obvious level of physical ability required, most amateur athletes who compete in triathlon find that excelling equally in all three aspects of the race a difficult task.

“Anne Gordon, 51-year-old triathlete and a partner at Dubilier & Company, a private investment group, has never gotten a personal record in each leg of a triathlon on the same day. “I find it is possible to peak in two out of the three sports, but no matter how hard I try the third eludes me,” she said.”



The 19th century gym


If you were wondering “what the hell is that thing?” you may be surprised to hear that it is in fact the forefather of today’s gym. This is one of many bizarre contraptions made by the Swedish physician Gustav Zander.

Cabinet magazine report:

“His mechanical horse was an early version of the Stairmaster, a contraption for cardiovascular fitness designed to imitate a “natural” activity. His stomach-punching apparatus evokes contemporary “ab-crunching” machines.”

Moony writes about it in the hebrew blog


CCTV in Britain failed to cut crime rates

The United Kingdom is leading the Orwellian world in the number of video surveillance cameras suctioned by the public in a futile effort to control terrorism.
It now seems that the huge investment and the anti privacy losses were for naught – Less then 3% of street robberies in London were solved using CCTV images.

The issues involving the spread and use both of state sanctioned surveillance and video equipped private phones has the Akban thinktank pondering the implications of this visibility, both for martial arts experts and for inexperienced citizens alike.

“Massive investment in CCTV cameras to prevent crime in the UK has failed to have a significant impact, despite billions of pounds spent on the new technology”


New weapon: flickering light

A strange one indeed, apparently strobe lights are the police force’s weapon of the future. As explained on NewScientist:

“Wielded like a conventional gun, this weapon is designed to trigger “flicker illness” – a condition akin to severe motion sickness – which leaves the target dazed, nauseous or completely immobilised. Its developers suggest it could be just the thing for disabling armed criminals or dispersing a rioting mob. If all goes to plan, police and border guards could soon be using the weapon in earnest.”

And here I was thinking of a future with sinister looking high-powered laser guns.

They should also play some 70’s disco B-side music as an accompaniment, so as to further shock the target.



Chinese knife owners no longer anonymous

In a move aimed at reducing violence in the lead up to the coming world Olympics, China has decreed that citizens must register their identities when buying potentially dangerous knives.

“The targeted daggers include those with blood grooves, lock-knives, and knives with blades measuring over 22 centimeters, the ministry said in a circular posted on its website,”

Probably a good idea, a simple scuffle can quickly escalate into a very bloody affair with the help of a knife. Not that only “dangerous” knives can cause serious injuries.

Sadly, US citizens can only dream of this kind of law, as even firearms regulations in the states are lax.