[Five Deadly Everythings]

Bueller?

Posted in 8 million ways, design by Jef on July 28, 2010

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Peace signs from Dan and Bruce

Posted in photos steal souls by Jef on July 27, 2010

Asians!

Oh and happy belated to Guro Dan Inosanto, 74 last Saturday and still nothing to mess with.

Stay cool, Brigitte Helm

Posted in monsters, photos steal souls by Jef on July 24, 2010

(Via…? Can’t remember where I got my right-click on at, but thank you.)

Martial artists and the tao of routinely getting your ass kicked

Posted in FML - fix my life, Healthiest Everythings, missives by Jef on July 23, 2010

Got into a conversation with A the other night (not sober) about how martial artists tend to be some of our favourite people. There are a lot of exceptions to this, of course, but it’s a true enough observation that it sticks out to both of us. I’ve tried to pin this down before in past conversations, and mainly what I’ve ended up with is this: martial artists routinely beat the shit out of other people, and also routinely get the shit beaten out of themselves. This is ideal. Basically you end up with a tasty swirl of confidence without cockiness, humbleness without self-loathing, and constant concern with self-improvement but not to the point of being a culty non-blinking cheer zombie.

I don’t know how much this has changed since the upsurge of mixed martial arts — the sport tends to have a douche fan base so maybe there’s a high occurence of douche in the gyms as well — but truthfully I doubt things were that different back then when I was training. The best thing about this ass kick/ass kicked formula is that it transcends all that stuff. Some of the best people I’ve met through martial arts are people I wouldn’t have built with at all given different situations. It’s an equalizer.

The Star recently profiled a local muay thai fighter and instructor named Jenypher Lanthier. I’ve never met her, though we know a lot of the same people, but she had this to say and she’s already cool in my books:

“I was convinced that if I was in Thailand reading and doing the things that I wanted to do, that I would grow as a person and my life would change,” says Lanthier. “You think, ‘I’m gonna go away, discover myself, iron the kinks out.’ Then you come back, and within three months, the kinks are back,” she says.

“I just didn’t feel like I meshed with society. After a few years of that I realized that it had nothing to do with society, it had to do with me, and that that’s where the change comes from.”

That kind of mentality and that kind of reasoned real talk has been missing from my circle and from my life the past however many years. The time since I got back from Malawi in 2009 has been a roughshod ride, but on the plus side it’s given me the distance to stand back and at least notice what’s missing, see the patterns of my failures and of my successes, and realize what’s been healthy for me and what’s been toxic as hell. That specific knowledge doesn’t really change things for me, but at least I have a starting point. Whatever’s around the next bend, I’m glad to have martial arts — and hopefully soon, martial artists — back as a part of the journey I’m on.

America and the Afghan rug trade

Posted in *dead*, news stories by Jef on July 23, 2010

From the Danger Room:

The Pentagon and the Interior Department are about to issue a year-long, no-bid, $7 million contract to Adelphia, New Jersey’s Tremayne Consulting to turn Afghanistan’s storied, broken carpet business into an international powerhouse.

It’s yet another sign of how deeply the American war effort is, um, interwoven with Afghanistan’s economic fortunes.

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The Remorse of Nero After the Murder of his Mother

Posted in Art, mob deep by Jef on July 17, 2010

J. W. Waterhouse’s The Remorse of Nero depicts the Roman emperor Nero sadly contemplating his dead mother, Agrippa, whom he had murdered. Agrippa had installed her son as emperor in 54 AD after killing her husband-uncle Claudius. Nero and Agrippa reportedly had incestuous relations, and after her murder he allegedly praised the corpse’s beauty. Nero lived a life of infamy for more reason than one, however; he was believed to be behind the burning of Rome to clear land for his grandiose residence, the Domus Aurea (Golden Palace), flaunted his bisexuality, and systematized the persecution of Christians.

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The Curious Case of Jemmy Button

Posted in mob deep by Jef on July 17, 2010

I’m swiping this verbatim and whole from Aaron, which feels like a weird thing to do in a WordPress blog but is just par the course for a Tumblr. When in Rome? His writeup is perfect and I have nothing to add other than “holy crap.”

via Consensus:

This guy came up in research for a story I’m doing about Tierra del Fuego. By all accounts Jemmy Button is a hero. Kidnapped from his island by British scientists, he learns perfect English in a year, becomes a celebrity, wears white gloves and shiny shoes, is pals with Darwin, inspires his theory of evolution, goes back to Tierra del Fuego where he chooses the naked possession-less life of a Yaghan over returning to London and then allegedly massacres some missionaries. The British launched an official inquiry but he can’t be touched because he’s too smooth.

Buddha in everything

Posted in dead sea scrolling by Jef on July 13, 2010

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“I Will Survive” (the Holocaust)

Posted in *dead*, video clip by Jef on July 13, 2010

A Holocaust survivor dances (as best he can) with his progeny at various historical concentration camp locations.

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In which Wax gets bitten by a snake and we learn we’ve run out of antivenom

Posted in 8 million ways, beware of (blank), hip-hop, this is why you're dying by Jef on July 12, 2010

Leave it to Wax to record something this innovative when tagged in a Youtube rap cypher. Just sit in a chair and rap a written to his webcam? Heck no:

In related news (check out this segue, mom), Popular Mechanics reports on how the coral snake’s relatively inefficient method of poisoning its victims and calmer demeanor (than, say, pit vipers like the rattlesnake that bit Wax), has led to low profits for the sale of its antivenom. Subsequently, the antivenom’s manufacturers, like good capitalists, have gotten the hell out of the racket:

Unfortunately, after Oct. 31 of this year, there may be no commercially available antivenom (antivenin) left. That’s the expiration date on existing vials of Micrurus fulvius, the only antivenom approved by the Food and Drug Administration for coral snake bites. Produced by Wyeth, now owned by Pfizer, the antivenom was approved for sale in 1967, in a time of less stringent regulation.

Wyeth kept up production of coral snake antivenom for almost 40 years. But given the rarity of coral snake bites, it was hardly a profit center, and the company shut down the factory that made the antivenom in 2003. Wyeth worked with the FDA to produce a five-year supply of the medicine to provide a stopgap while other options were pursued. After that period, the FDA extended the expiration date on existing stock from 2008 to 2009, and then again from 2009 to 2010. But as of press time, no new manufacturer has stepped forward.

That’s right, no more antivenom, and even if you’ve got some, chances are it’s expired. Stay away from corals, kids.