Thursday, April 30, 2009

SUBMISSIONS: Fashioning your own sticks from Rattan by Army Maguire

Fashioning your own sticks from Rattan

A simple and easy method

by Richard “Army” Maguire

Here is an easy method for shaping, curing and burning a pattern into rattan sticks. I have spoken to many practitioners of martial arts and read many items over the years regarding working with rattan. Here is a method that I presently use and a few tips I use to fashion sticks for our Balintawak club. This by no means is the only way to bend a stick straight or the only method to burn a pattern into the rattan you use. It however is the cleanest and safest way to date I have found.

I will explain all the materials to get you started and the many steps to the completed product. There really are not many sources on the internet explaining the actual curing process of rattan. By curing I mean removing the moisture inside the rattan to make it hard. Once hardened it will not warp or bend but remain straight. You want to straighten, taper or finish your sticks for practice then cure them. Whether your choice of rattan is with the skin or not the curing process will remain the same. For more durable sticks as both for heavy use in hitting or furniture making the skin is left intact. In our Balintawak club here in Los Angeles, California we prefer to practice with rattan without the harder skin attached. This is done for safety. The light-weight, tapered and skinned rattan is easier on practitioners if an accidental contact is made to the head or bony areas of the body. For tire hitting or more durable applications a stick with the skin on is more practical and will hold up better.

Here are the brief steps to working and fabricating your own sticks for your practice.
    1. acquire rattan.
    2. cut it to length
    3. straighten
    4. shape or taper (skip this if you are using rattan with the skin)
    5. cure
    6. burn pattern
    7. sealing the wood optional

Rattan purchased from a martial arts vendor can be expensive. Buying rattan in bulk and following these steps will save you lots of money while you learn a new skill. If you are reading this article you most likely are a martial artist or Arnis teacher or student. You will want to share this information and possibly your finished sticks with fellow students and enthusiasts of the arts. Making your own sticks for practice can save you and fellow club members as much as 8-10 dollars per stick. Let’s get started.

First we need a supply of Rattan there are two trusted companies that I deal with here in Los Angeles. I will include contact information at the end of the article. Both companies will send Rattan anywhere in the United States. If you live outside the US do a web search or look in your local phone book under Cane repair or Cane , Rush or Rattan suppliers. Bamboo will do you no good.

9 foot poles with and without skin

9 foot poles with and with out skin

You can buy Rattan pre-cut or in lengths as long as 9-12 feet. The easiest method to work with is to buy pre-cut rattan in 28 inch lengths either with or without skin. One-one and an eighth inch diameter is a common size. I suggest buying a variety of sizes for your first purchase to get familiar with the sizes and feel of different sticks in your hands.

This will give you a better idea of what to buy when ordering your poles or pre-cut sticks.

If you know the length of stick you want and diameter then move right into cutting the desired lengths once you get your stock.

Above is a photo of the basic tools to assemble for cutting, shaping, bending and curing the rattan

Above is a photo of the basic tools to assemble for cutting, shaping, bending and curing the rattan

I use a standard handsaw with fine teeth to cut rattan. Some people use an electric cross cut saw. Either method will do. First measure the desired length then cut. Often times I cut just an inch longer than the finished sticks will be. This gives me a little room to play with. It is easy to over taper the ends when first learning to use a wood plane. I can cut back a little if I taper the end of a stick to0 much.

Two small hand planes and a little sheet of sand paper for shaping the rattan.

Two small hand planes and a little sheet of sand paper for shaping the rattan.

I use two small hand planes to shape the rattan. You can see them here in the above photo. The larger plane is set to take off a little more material .The smaller plane is for finishing and smoothing right before sanding. If you are going to leave the skin on your sticks then skip this part of the process and go right to heat curing.

I will share an easy way to trim a stick down to fit the hand the way you like and taper it. I must first mention there is a good reason why our club only practices with rattan that has been skinned. In a word SAFETY! We do not want to injure each other. If the rattan has the skin removed then it is lighter and has less density. This diminishes the force of impact. We do use larger and heavier sticks for strength and power practice or when tire hitting.

To remove the skin I lay the raw rattan on a flat bench and use the hand plane to remove the skin. I have two little tricks I use to keep the stick still so they are easier to plane. I have a block of wood attached to the top and rear of my bench.

Taking off the skin with the hand plane

Taking off the skin with the hand plane

I rest one end of the rattan on that and push the plane in that direction. I also have a few small recessed holes in the front of the bench. They not only will hold one end of the stick but give me an easy guide as to how much I need to take off a stick.


These recessed holes can be seen in the front portion of the bench in the above photo. I insert one end into the hole and hold the stick still with my body weight as I lean forward with the hip. I push the plane forward taking small bits of wood off till I get the desired shape. I examine the sticks many times to make sure the sticks are symmetrical and straight. If a stick has a slight curve when I start I ignore it. I can usually take that away as I remove material from the shaft of rattan. After getting the stick down to almost the proper size and taper I then finish it by sanding. Sanding can be done with sandpaper and by hand. I however do my sanding with a Flex Drum sander. Unlike a grinding wheel or other flat sanders this is a flexible shaft 8 inches long. Some are made of a spongy material or air filled and they conform to the wood when you apply pressure. This makes the job of sanding so easy and as well as fast.

Sanding on the Flexible Drum Sander

Sanding on the Flexible Drum Sander

If a stick is very bent then I may straighten it first before investing any more time in the shaping.

There are two methods I use for bending rattan. If the bend is not too severe I can often just heat the stick where the bent portion is.

Heating the rattan with skin on to prepare it for straightening.

Heating the rattan with skin on to prepare it for straightening.

I run the heat gun up and down the bent area till it is very hot. This will usually make it pliable. I use a jig to straighten it. Another time that is suitable for straightening bends is right after they come out of the oven. You can place a number of rattan shafts in the oven to dry them out or cure them. We will discuss this further in the article. Usually just running the heat gun back and forth across the area you want straighten works very well.

A home made jig used to straighten rattan.

A home made jig used to straighten rattan.

Insert the end of the stick into the jig and bend it straight. Here is a photo of a home made jig. Drill varied size holes in a strong piece of lumber. The holes must be large enough to accommodate the stick easily. Smooth the corners of the Jig holes so they do not dent your rattan when being bent. This idea has been around for years it is used by the Australian whip makers when straightening rattan for whip stock handles.

Now that you have trimmed the skin off shaped and straightened your rattan it is time to cure it.

There are three methods that I know of and they all involve heat. Some guys lay rattan out in the hot sun for a week or more. This may or may not completely dry all the fibers in the rattan. If rattan is at all moist inside it may bend or warp over time. It also may eventually rot if it is too moist and lose its strength. Heat will dry the internal fibers out. Rattan is hollow all the way through. If you blow very hard on one end you will usually feel the air from the breath pass through the stick and out the other end. When you heat rattan it will cause steam to exit the ends of the sticks if the temperature is hot enough. Heat an oven to 350 degrees then place your sticks on the oven rack and let them dry inside. Leave them inside the closed oven for twenty minutes checking them after the first 10 minutes. When steam no longer comes out the ends of the sticks they are done. Use oven mitts or welders gloves to remove them. Be careful not to lay them on the counter or the kitchen floor. They may leave marks or burn those surfaces. Have a suitable container ready to place them in before removing them. This is often a good time to straighten any sticks that have yet to be straightened. I will hold them with Kevlar oven mitts and bend them straight at this point also. Traditional men used open fire to harden sticks for spears or clubs. I personally like to use the electric heat gun. It is safer and does not risk fire in the home. When I use my heat gun I usually take my work outside. I stay away from cars or flammable or combustible liquids and paints.

If drying the sticks makes them hard and durable then water has the opposite effect. If you want to bend a length of rattan into the shape of a cane with a crook then soak the rattan for twenty four (24) hours. Do not exceed the 24 hr time period for it may have an adverse effect and the rattan fibers may start to come apart. I have soaked rattan thoroughly in the bath tub and then bent it straight. Make sure you tie or bind it for a couple of days or longer to allow it to dry before releasing it or it may snap back to it original shape.

Experiment with throw away pieces you have cut from longer poles. I soak some extra pieces, burn some, dry some, etch patterns in others. This way I am always learning new techniques. Play around have fun and learn.

Regardless of how you dry your pieces of rattan make sure they are completely cured. This will ensure that they last and hold up better under a lot of impact during practice.

Heat gun is easy and safe to control for creating burn pattern.

Heat gun is easy and safe to control for creating burn pattern.

Heat Gun is Safer than an open flame to burn pattern into sticks.

Heat Gun is Safer than an open flame to burn pattern into sticks.

I do not intricately decorate my sticks. I simply use the heat gun to spiral a pattern the length of the stick. These sticks are for working out they will eventually start to splinter and fray and come apart and will need to be replaced. This is why I do not spend much time in etching decorative dragons or burning intricate leopard spots into the wood.

Finally when I have gotten the shape, burned pattern and dried or cured my sticks. I sand down the edges on the ends with my flex drum sander. I want the ends rounded so if I come in contact with a training partner it will not tear or scrape the skin. Safety is our watch word. We are always courteous and safety conscious when it comes to our fellow Balintawak members. No need for heavy sticks or sharp stick butt ends when in practice.

Many people seal their sticks it helps hold the fibers together where they make contact with other sticks. Some guys do not like the feel of the varnish, shellac or wood sealer close to their hands. I personally like to leave the handle where the hands come in contact with the wood free of shellac or wood finish. I tape the handle area off and seal the rest of the stick. I like to use a water based product. This gives you the feel of the natural wood in the hand and still helps in protecting the wood fibers.

These directions are by no means the only way to treat or finish sticks. It is simply the way I have learned and developed over the years.

New sticks for the NNG Balintawak International Club

New sticks for the NNG Balintawak International Club

Grand Master Nene Gaabucayan and Francis Smith practice Pakgang.

Grand Master Nene Gaabucayan and Francis Smith practice Pakgang.

Here are some more examples of sticks I fashioned and burned with a special one of a kind pattern for Grand Master Nene. You may get as creative as you like. Here is also a pair of Garrotes that I made for Grand Master Nene.

There are some arnis players who inject epoxy fillers or other synthetic materials into the raw rattan with skin intact. This is done after the straightening, curing and a pattern has been burned into the sticks. This is no job to get into for the beginner. It is messy and requires alot more equipment. It makes the sticks heavier but also dense. What I have shared with you in this article is the method that uses the least money, time, effort and tools. You can start making your own sticks with the shape, weight and feel you like. These will cost you no more than a few dollars each and give you years of service. Please share this information with others be safe and most of all have fun.

Suppliers of Rattan for making Arnis Sticks

Franks Cane and Rush Supply
7252 Heil Avenue
Huntington Beach, Ca. 92647
Phone: (714) 847-0707
Fax: (714) 843-5645

Cane and Basket Supply Co.
1283 South Cochran Ave.
Los Angeles Ca. 90019
Phone (323) 939-9644

You can contact Army care of his site:

BOXING: Pacquiao's popularity getting bigger as Hatton fight looms

Cut and pasted from

Click thumbnail for bigger picture.

By J. Michael Falgoust, USA TODAY
To understand exactly who Manny Pacquiao is requires deeper inspection than simply calling him the best pound-for-pound fighter today.

While he's the first Filipino athlete to appear on a postage stamp in his country, he's also a virtual lock to win a congressional seat in the Philippines when he runs next year. On Friday, when the next issue of Time magazine hits the stands, Pacquiao is listed as one of the world's 100 most influential athletes.

Saturday, when he meets junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton in the first major pay-per-view bout of the year (HBO PPV, 9 p.m. ET, $49.99), he could solidify his position as the best fighter of his era as he goes for a record fourth lineal world title after becoming the champion at flyweight (112), featherweight (126) and junior lightweight (130). He's also held major belts at junior featherweight (122) and lightweight (135).

"He transcends just an Asian fighter," says boxing historian Bert Sugar. "He's a great fighter."

It's an accomplishment that once seemed unreachable when Pacquiao — who grew up in squalor, living in housing made of cardboard — began his career in 1995 at 106 pounds, even though he won his first world championship three years later.

He didn't appear to be special. He had only four knockouts in his first 11 fights, and he was knocked out twice on singular body shots as a flyweight.

"When I lost before," Pacquiao says, "I lost because I couldn't make my fighting weight. I was too dehydrated."

As he added pounds, Pacquiao morphed into a fighting machine, dubbed the "Mexican Assassin" after toppling the holy trinity of boxing's featherweight and lightweight divisions — Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez.

Barrera was considered the best pound-for-pound fighter, with Morales and Marquez not far behind.

All three are future Hall of Famers, but Pacquiao fought each at least twice, going 5-1-1 and scoring 11 knockdowns. Pacquiao is the only boxer to knock out Barrera and Morales.

Pacquiao also became the first fighter to stop Oscar De La Hoya below the middleweight division. In the highest profile victory of his career in December, Pacquiao battered The Golden Boy into submission after the eighth round.

As a result, he comes into Saturday's bout with Hatton as the favorite, although the Englishman is undefeated at 140 pounds, where he has been champion since 2005.

"The pressure is there and it is big, but I don't want to put that in my mind," says Pacquiao, whose trainer, Freddie Roach, has predicted a third-round knockout. "I don't want to think about that.

"Ricky Hatton is a different kind of fighter than I have ever fought before. The style of Ricky Hatton is not easy. He is a good fighter, and a strong fighter."

It took 34 fights before Pacquiao burst onto the American scene in 2001.

He was a big underdog against Lehlo Ledwaba — a junior featherweight beltholder who was being bred for stardom in the loaded 122- to 126-pound classes— but Pacquiao was too fast and too strong in his first fight under Roach.

Pacquiao, a southpaw who took the fight on just two weeks notice when Ledwaba's original opponent fell out, busted the South African's nose in the first round and finished him with a series of straight lefts in the sixth.

Proving that his victory wasn't a fluke, Pacquiao cleaned out boxing's most competitive division (126) for the past decade, triumphing where Latinos, especially Mexicans, had dominated.

"It's definitely unique. He carries his weight very well," says Shane Mosley, a three-division world champion who climbed from lightweight to junior middle (154). "His power stays around because his legs are big."

Last year alone, Pacquiao won fights in three weight classes. The Marquez win made him the lineal champion at junior lightweight, he won a share of the lightweight crown by knocking out David Diaz three months later, and six months after that he stopped De La Hoya.

Even Hatton can't deny the magnitude of such a feat. "That's incredible, bearing in mind the weight he's fighting at now. It's an absolutely unbelievable achievement," Hatton says. "From where Manny started to where he won his last world title, that is more impressive (than what I've done)."

Plenty of exceptional fighters have risen in weight only to falter. One of the most glaring examples is Alexis Arguello, a classic boxer-puncher who ruled between 126 and 135 pounds from 1974-82. But when Arguello moved up to 140, he lacked the firepower to hold off Aaron Pryor.

More recently, two-division lineal champion Felix Trinidad, the first to defeat De La Hoya in a welterweight unification bout in 1999 and undefeated between 147-154 pounds, rose to 160-170 where his two-fisted power hasn't been nearly as lethal. He's 3-3 there.

As a lightweight, Mosley won all 31 fights and 29 inside the distance for a 94% knockout rate. In the 20 fights he's had since, between 147 and 154 pounds, his KO percentage has fallen to 50.

"It's a little different for Pacquiao. Pacquiao is a little more amazing in that he can still be competitive with all this extra weight. That's remarkable. I kept my power at '47, but at '54 I lost a little bit."

Pacquiao insists that the argument over size or who'll be strongest is overblown. "Boxing is (about) more than hitting," he says. "It is using your mind, and being quick is very important."

Bob Arum, chairman of Top Rank Inc., which promotes Pacquiao, expects him to fight once more this year — provided he wins Saturday — and a bout in early 2010 before the fighter campaigns in June for a congressional seat in the Philippines. Arum recently had dinner with Imelda Marcos, the country's former first lady.

"They hope even if he's elected to Congress that he will continue boxing," Arum says.


Professional record: 48-3-2, 36 KOs

Opponent: Ricky Hatton, 45-1, 32 KOs

Best performance: 11th-round TKO vs. Marco Antonio Barrera in 2003 to win featherweight championship.

Quotable: "Pacquiao shows great flashes, great patience then great flashes. ... He's an Energizer bunny with a hell of a left hand. (Trainer) Freddie Roach taught him he had two hands. When we first saw him he was a one-handed fighter. He wasn't Manny Pacquiao as we know him today." -- Bert Sugar, historian

Being a FMAist at heart, and Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao was an arnisador, I'm rooting for Pacman. From all accounts, this will not be an easy fight for both fighters. Looking forward to the fight this weekend!

MMA: Jose Canseco to make MMA debut

Cut and pasted from

Even by Japanese standards, Dream's open-weight tournament has an eclectic mix. There's Gegard Mousasi, ranked fourth among middleweights in the new USA TODAY/SB Nation rankings. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou has slipped in light heavyweight rankings. Bob Sapp, a former NFL lineman turned Japanese ring celebrity, will squeeze in an appearance between his Dec. 31 demolition of a cartoon character and his upcoming bout with former pro wrestler Bobby Lashley. Then we have two kickboxers who occasionally dabble in MMA -- Mark Hunt and 7-foot-2 Korean Hong Man Choi.

Choi's first opponent: former baseball player Jose Canseco. Yes, that Jose Canseco.

Multiple sources are reporting this, Sherdog and MMA Junkie among them. The official Dream site has a cardboard cutout of Canseco next to a cardboard cutout of Choi. Safe to say Choi will have the reach advantage.

Canseco's boxing experience is mixed. Former NFL player Vai Sikahema knocked him out. He then earned a majority draw against radio personality and former Partridge Family star Danny Bonaduce.

Choi mostly sticks to kickboxing but has been a fixture of New Year's Eve MMA cards for the past three years, including a credible bout against No. 1-ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. He's 1-2 in official MMA bouts.

By Beau Dure

Say it ain't so! I don't know how much training Canseco has had in MMA, but how old is he? 40-something going on 50? He has had steroid issues, marital issues, and I'm sure financial issues, in which this appearance at Dream may be one of the last paydays he may see. I hope I'm wrong ... I want Canseco to prove me wrong and be successful... I want him to have had MMA training and I hope he wins. But I really cannot help but think this is one of his last shots at any kind of payday. Good luck to Jose Canseco!


Welcome to Silat.TV - The First Social Network Dedicated to Silat!

The Best Source of Silat Videos and Information on the Internet!

Image borrowed from

Silat.TV aims to bring together Silat practitioners from around the world in a thriving, video-centric online community. Silat.TV is a community of mutual respect and camaraderie. All are welcome!

I've known of the site for some time but never had time to surf over there to check out. From what I hear, it truly is THE site for silat. Check it out if you are into silat.


MMA: Kyle Maynard - A True Inspiration

Here's the American news program 20/20's piece with Kyle Maynard:

Kyle Maynard of Suwanee, Georgia, U.S. was born on March 24, 1986 with a rare disorder called congenital amputation. He has no elbows and no knees, yet he competed in the 2004 Georgia High School Wrestling Championships. He graduated from Collins Hill High School with a wrestling record of 35 wins, 16 losses and a 3.7 GPA.

He is the recipient of a 2004 ESPN Espy Award for the Best Athlete With A Disability and has been featured on many radio interviews, talk shows, and television programs. He has modeled for Abercrombie & Fitch. Currently he works as a speaker for the Washington Speaker's Bureau, specializing in motivational speeches. He is also the author of the memoir, No Excuses: The True Story of a Congenital Amputee Who Became a Champion in Wrestling and in Life (Regnery Publishing, 2005).

Kyle Maynard is attending the University of Georgia, continues to wrestle, and expects to graduate in 2008 with a B.A. in Broadcast News. Also, Kyle has recently began training in Mixed Martial Arts, and there is an upcoming doctumentary on his story entitled A Fighting Chance.

Video source: ABC News 20/20 (2006)

There are a few more videos of Kyle Maynard on youtube. Check them out.

Remember when you don't feel like training or ever want to give up on something, there are champions like Kyle Maynard out there who won't give up, won't take no for an answer, always pushing themselves to the limit, giving 110%, ... Let Kyle Maynard inspire you in your endeavors!

MMA: Kyle Maynard - No arms, no legs... no problem!

Cut and pasted from CagePotato:

Kyle Maynard – the former collegiate wrestler/congenital amputee with no arms past the elbow and no legs past the knee – will soon make his amateur MMA debut. If the name sounds familiar it’s because Maynard’s almost ridiculously inspirational story of overcoming his disability and wrestling at the University of Georgia has spread far and wide by now, and he even won an ESPY award in 2004 for “Best Athlete With A Disability.”

Now he trains at the Hardcore Gym in Athens, Georgia and has been saying for the past couple of years that he wants to get into MMA, but was denied a license to fight in Georgia. Apparently he faced no such issue in Alabama, because he’ll be competing at Auburn Fight Night on April 25.

A lot of people are going to say it’s crazy and maybe even dangerously negligent to let a guy with no hands or feet into a fight where his opponent is allowed to punch him in the face.

Here’s the thing: screw those people. Do a quick YouTube search and you’ll see he knows what he’s doing on the mat. He’s not some guy off the street, which is more than you can honestly say for Ross Clifton. Maynard trains at an MMA gym, and one assumes he has a plan for how he’s going to deal with the striking game (a plan I’m really interested to see put into action, BTW).

So to hell with Georgia, for not licensing him, and to hell with the people who think he shouldn’t fight. He’s going to fight, and we’re just glad not to be the poor schmuck who has to face him. Not only would that guy get booed if he just started teeing off on Maynard, there is also the very real possibility that Maynard will totally own his ass, like he did to this dude.

Here's a short clip of his MMA fight:

Not to trivialize Kyle Maynard's accomplishments... I am reminded of the scene in Monty Python's The Quest for the Holy Grail in which Arthur takes on the Black Knight. Both Maynard and the Black Knight are a testament to the indomitable human will! An inspiration to us all! I wish Kyle Maynard continued success in his endeavors.

NEWS: Girl beats off muggers with marching band baton

QUARTZ HILL, Calif. – Don't mess with the marching band. That's what California authorities are saying after a 17-year-old girl used her marching band baton to beat back two would-be muggers.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Michael Rust says the Quartz Hill girl was walking to school April 24 when two men approached her from behind, tried to grab her coat and demanded money.

Instead, one got a punch in the nose and the other a kick to the groin. Rust says the girl then beat both of them with her band baton before she ran away.

The men had not been caught. But Rust says there's a clear message to take from the encounter:

"The moral to this story is don't mess with the marching band girls, or you just might get what you deserve. Final score: marching band 2, thugs 0."

Cut and pasted from Yahoo News.

YES! One for the good guys!

NEWS: Black belt teen strikes back at bully, and rallies community against racism

From Thursday's Globe and Mail
April 30, 2009 at 4:21 AM EDT

KESWICK, ONT. — The 15-year-old black belt thought he was doing his tormentor a favour when he elected to fight back with his weaker left hand.

He had heard his white classmate throw an angry racial slur in his direction after an argument during a gym class game of speedball, and now the student was shoving him backward, refusing to retract the smear.

The white student swung first, hitting the 15-year-old with a punch to the mouth.

The 15-year-old heard his father's voice running through his head: Fight only as a last resort, only in self-defence, only if given no choice, and only with the left hand.

His swing was short and compact, a left-handed dart that hit the white student square on the nose.

The nose broke under his fist, igniting a sequence of events - from arrest to suspension to possible expulsion - that has left the Asian student and his family wondering whether they are welcome in this small, rural and mostly white community north of Toronto, one that has been touched by anti-Asian attacks in the past.

The 15-year-old, the only person charged in connection with the April 21 school fight, faces one count of assault causing bodily harm.

But a remarkable thing happened this week.

On Monday, 400 of his fellow students, wearing black in solidarity and carrying signs of support, walked out of Keswick High School to rally in protest in front of their school.

Organizer Mathew Winch, a Grade 12 student, said the school has fewer than 10 Asian students, but everyone wanted to stand up against bullying and racism. The story even hit the front page of local newspapers.

After the public outcry, the York Regional Police hate crimes unit reopened the case. Although the other student has not been charged, further charges are possible, a spokesman said yesterday.

The case is particularly sensitive because of a series of attacks on Asian fishermen in the same area in 2007 - given the name "nipper tipping" by locals - which led to a high-profile investigation by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Five such cases in 2007, ranging from violent car chases to fishermen on piers being pushed into the water, led to criminal charges. As a result of the publicity, many other Asian anglers came forward to say they had been abused or harassed while fishing in the Lake Simcoe area.

The Asian boy's father is a martial-arts master who trained with the Korean national team. He brought his family to Canada in 2004.

They settled in Keswick in 2006, and his son, who is still learning English, has studied hard to become a top student.

He proudly showed off a report card with a 90-per-cent average. The boy has struggled a little socially, his parents said, which makes the outpouring of support from his classmates all the more remarkable.

"It's the first time in my life I ever fought someone. I've been trained not to attack. It's total self-defence," the boy said. "I felt sorry because I broke his nose, but I can say he deserved it because he called me the racial comment. He started the fight, he punched me first."

He said the boy called him a "f*cking Chinese," a comment he instantly knew was far from a joke.

"It's upsetting," he said. "I don't know how better to tell it."

For the moment, both students are suspended from Keswick High School, but the Asian student's parents have been told he could be expelled and forced to find a new school.

They are shocked and saddened by the ordeal.

The day after the fight, an older cousin of their son's antagonist approached him in the school cafeteria and uttered a similar slur, compounding their sense of despair.

"He said, 'You punched my cousin you Chinese f*ck,' " the 15-year-old said. That student was overheard by a teacher and suspended.

His father explains that the easiest course would be to move somewhere else and get a fresh start for his son. But he can't do it.

"I don't want to run away. If another Asian kid comes to this school, what happens to him? Will he run into problems? Will they think they can just kick him out? I don't want to set that example," he said.

"Personally, for my kid, I should move. But as a Canadian I cannot move."

Cut and pasted from

This is really sad at first, but heart-warming in the end.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009



Check out for your free copy (if you haven't already) of Stephan Kesting's "A Roadmap for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu".

You have to add your email address to the form and you will be emailed the pdf or a link to to download the free pdf (forget which at the moment). In addition you will get a complimentary Beginning BJJ eCourse courtesy of Stephan Kesting.

If you have not heard of Kesting before, here is his bio (cut and pasted from his site):

"Hi there, and thank you for visiting my site!

My name is Stephan Kesting and I operate and Through my DVDs, articles and newsletters, I have helped tens of thousands of grapplers all over the world improve their Brazilian Jiu-jitsu skills.

Grappling is my passion, and I want to help it become yours too. Whether your goal is to compete, challenge yourself, improve your fitness level, lose weight, or acquire some serious self defense skills I truly think that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) has a lot to offer you. I'm not kidding when I call it the most sophisticated martial art in the world.

Why should you listen to what I say? Here's my brief biography and Martial Arts resume:

I am a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt, and have been doing martial arts for over 25 years. I am also a certified instructor in Erik Paulson's Combat Submission Wrestling, a black belt in Kajukenbo Karate, an instructor in Dan Inosanto's Jun Fan JKD, Maphalindo Silat and Filipino Martial Arts program. Additionally I have also studied Japanese Judo, Russian Sambo, various Chinese Kung Fu systems, Brazilian Capoeira, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and many other martial arts."

Read more of his bio at

For anyone into BJJ or just grappling, this should really help your game. Check out the testimonals on his site.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

MUSIC: "Take Five" ~ The Dave Brubeck Quartet

These two youtubes are not the studio version on the cd, but live performances. First one if from 1961 and the 2nd is from 1972.

This next clip is Kurt Elling and Al Jarreau performing "Take 5" from the LEGENDS OF JAZZ episode, The Jazz Singer.

Like life, jazz is the same, yet sometimes improvisation makes it different.


MUSIC: "Let's Get Lost" ~ Chet Baker

Another of my favorite jazz songs.


Friday, April 17, 2009

VIDCLIP: Time Warp - Kali Dog Brothers Real Contact Stickfighting

2 days ago, 4/15/09, Discovery Channel had Time Warp: Slings, Rockets, Sticks. For the sticks portion of the show, Nick Papadakis, Roan Kalani Grimm and Erik Bryant, associated with the Dog Brothers -- demonstrate the Filipino art of Kali. MIT scientist Jeff Lieberman and the Time Warp team use the latest in high-speed photography to capture the stick strikes against stick, against a coconut, and against the human body.

One word: OUCH! ;-)

NOTE: My thanks to lone_wolf for the headsup on this.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

ARTICLES: Close Combat by Robert Bolt with Carl Cestari

Check out this Black Belt magazine article with Carl Cestari, Close Combat by Robert Bolt.

LINKS: Battlefield forum aka Close-Combat forum

Image borrowed from Battlefield forum

Welcome to the Close-Combat Forum. This is a Close-Combat board, devoted to discussion on WWII-Combatives Close-Quarters Battlecraft, Reality Based Self-Defense, Edged-Weapons, Knife-Fighting, Impact-Weapons and the Tactics, Strategies and Concepts used in the REAL WORLD!

Check it out: Battlefield forum aka Close-Combat forum.

Loads of knowledgeable members, including Combatives luminaries such as Clint Sporman, Ralph Grasso, V42", "stickfighter", and more. Various sub-forums including a special section archiving Carl Cestari, Clint Sporman and also Ralph Grasso posts. Great subsection with Techniques with pictures. Veritable goldmine of combatives/self-defense info!




Picture borrowed from

Speaking of Carl Cestari, please check out for photos, video clips, articles and more on the man. Loads of practical advice on self-defense as well as the history of combatives.

LINKS: Clint Sporman's

For a great site about the WW2 Combatives, please check out Clint Sporman's Lots of information on there, including an archive of some of Carl Cestari's articles/posts.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Finally, I added a site counter to my blog

For the heck of it, finally, I added a site counter to my blog... Site Meter. For whatever reason which I'm clueless as to why... I've never added one to the blog until now.

LOL @ me.

LINKS: Personal Protection Systems / Darren Laur

Check out Personal Protection Systems / Darren Laur.

When I used to have more time in the past, Mr. Laur was prolific on many of the "martial arts" forums, and I would love to read his posts. He shared with the members of those forums various articles he wrote, and more importantly, his experience and wisdom in street situations. He was mostly concerned with "reality-based self defense" (RBSD)... what and how we trained in the "dojo" may not be what will really happen on the streets. His articles has helped me tremendously! Other RBSD instructors have material that is similar, but Mr. Laur was prolific in helping people with questions on the various forums as well as providing ease of access to his articles.

IMO, Mr. Laur's 40 or so articles should be on everyone's required reading list, that is, if your focus is on self-defense. Do yourself a favor and read his articles. It may save your butt!

Start with:

Street 101: How fights go down on the street and what to look for

I can go on and on from here on what to read and in what order, but your focus may not be my focus... your experience may be at a different level than mine... read the rest in any order you fancy.

The articles are mostly, if not all, in MS Word format, therefore, just right-click the link and do a save-as.


LINKS: Sun Bear's Training Hall

Check out Sun Bear's Training Hall. He is a martial artist who is getting back into training after raising a family and will be learning Silat again. I wish him the best of luck and happiness on his journey in the martial arts! I look forward to reading his blog and seeing how he is progressing in his journey.

VIDCLIP: Dude Mugged On Bus In Paris

The footage seems to be taken 7/12/2008, but was uploaded to the net yesterday.

A guy gets his wallet stolen by a gang while riding a bus in Paris. He is beaten up in front of the other passengers while he tries to get it back.

2 links... the same vid, in case one of them goes down.

Embedding is disabled, so just click the link... lots of interesting dynamics going on IMO in this clip.

NOTE: I watched both the and 2 youtube links earlier this AM, got busy with work and now as I post this, I cannot access one of the youtube links and the 2nd, I have only because my browser was still up. Youtube says "This video is not available in your country."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

MMA: Crazy 20 second Capoeira MMA Knockout!

Marcus "LELO" Aurelio of AXE Capoeira Vancouver knocks out Keegan "The Marshall" Marshall at North American Challenge #24 in North Vancouver, BC on April.4th.2009.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

NEWS: Google’s Plan for Out-of-Print Books Is Challenged

April 4, 2009
Google’s Plan for Out-of-Print Books Is Challenged

SAN FRANCISCO — The dusty stacks of the nation’s great university and research libraries are full of orphans — books that the author and publisher have essentially abandoned. They are out of print, and while they remain under copyright, the rights holders are unknown or cannot be found.

Now millions of orphan books may get a new legal guardian. Google has been scanning the pages of those books and others as part of its plan to bring a digital library and bookstore, unprecedented in scope, to computer screens across the United States.

But a growing chorus is complaining that a far-reaching settlement of a suit brought against Google by publishers and authors is about to grant the company too much power over orphan works.

These critics say the settlement, which is subject to court approval, will give Google virtually exclusive rights to publish the books online and to profit from them. Some academics and public interest groups plan to file legal briefs objecting to this and other parts of the settlement in coming weeks, before a review by a federal judge in June.

While most orphan books are obscure, in aggregate they are a valuable, broad swath of 20th-century literature and scholarship.

Determining which books are orphans is difficult, but specialists say orphan works could make up the bulk of the collections of some major libraries.

Critics say that without the orphan books, no competitor will ever be able to compile the comprehensive online library Google aims to create, giving the company more control than ever over the realm of digital information. And without competition, they say, Google will be able to charge universities and others high prices for access to its database.

The settlement, “takes the vast bulk of books that are in research libraries and makes them into a single database that is the property of Google,” said Robert Darnton, head of the Harvard University library system. “Google will be a monopoly.”

Google, which has scanned more than seven million books from the collections of major libraries at its own expense, vigorously defends the settlement, saying it will bring great benefits to the broader public. And it says others could make similar deals.

“This agreement expands access to many of these hard-to-find books in a way that is great for Google, great for authors, great for publishers and great for readers,” said Alexander Macgillivray, the Google lawyer who led the settlement negotiations with the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild.

Most of the critics, which include copyright specialists, antitrust scholars and some librarians, agree that the public will benefit. But they say others should also have rights to orphan works. And they oppose what they say amounts to the rewriting, through a private deal rather than through legislation, of the copyright rules for millions of texts.

“They are doing an end run around the legislative process,” said Brewster Kahle, founder of the Open Content Alliance, which is working to build a digital library with few restrictions.

Opposition to the 134-page agreement, which the parties announced in October, has been building slowly as its implications have become clearer. Groups that plan to raise concerns with the court include the American Library Association, the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School and a group of lawyers led by Prof. Charles R. Nesson of Harvard Law School. It is not clear that any group will oppose the settlement outright.

The groups representing publishers and authors, which filed a class-action lawsuit against Google in 2005 in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of their members, are defending the settlement, as are some librarians at major universities.

“What we were establishing was a renewed access to a huge corpus of material that was essentially lost in the bowels of a few great libraries,” said Richard Sarnoff, former chairman of the Association of American Publishers and co-chairman of the American unit of Bertelsmann, the parent company of Random House.

The lawsuit claimed that Google’s practice of showing snippets of copyrighted books in search results was copyright infringement. Google insisted that it was protected by fair use provisions of copyright law.

The settlement, which covers all books protected by copyright in the United States, allows Google to vastly expand what it can do with digital copies of books, whether they are orphans or not.

Google will be allowed to show readers in the United States as much as 20 percent of most copyrighted books, and will sell access to the entire collection to universities and other institutions. Public libraries will get free access to the full texts for their patrons at one computer, and individuals will be able to buy online access to particular books.

Proceeds from the program, including advertising revenue from Google’s book search service, will be split; Google will take 37 percent, and authors and publishers will share the rest. Google will also help set up a Book Rights Registry, run by authors and publishers, to administer rights and distribute payments.

Authors are permitted to opt out of the settlement or remove individual books from Google’s database. Google says it expects the pool of orphan books to shrink as authors learn about the registry and claim their books.

While the registry’s agreement with Google is not exclusive, the registry will be allowed to license to others only the books whose authors and publishers have explicitly authorized it. Since no such authorization is possible for orphan works, only Google would have access to them, so only Google could assemble a truly comprehensive book database.

“No other company can realistically get an equivalent license,” said Pamela Samuelson, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology.

Mr. Macgillivray said Google shared with many of its critics the goal of making orphan works more widely accessible. He said Google would continue to lobby for legislation to that effect. And he said that nothing prevented a potential rival from following in its footsteps — namely, by scanning books without explicit permission, waiting to be sued and working to secure a similar settlement.

Yet even Michael J. Boni, the lead lawyer representing the Authors Guild, conceded that “Google will always have the advantage of having access to 100 percent of the orphan works.”

Mr. Darnton of Harvard said he feared that without competition Google would be free to “raise the price to unbearable levels.”

But Mr. Macgillivray and Mr. Boni said prices would be kept in check, in part by the goal, spelled out in the agreement, to reach as many customers as possible.

Some of Google’s rivals are clearly interested in the settlement’s fate. Microsoft is helping to finance the research on the settlement at the New York Law School institute. James Grimmelmann, an associate professor at the institute, said its work was not influenced by Microsoft. Microsoft confirmed this but declined to comment further.

Amazon also declined to comment. An unmatchable back catalog could eventually make Google a primary source for digital versions of books, old and new, threatening other e-book stores.

Cut and pasted from:

Friday, April 03, 2009

NEWS: NY gunman kills 13, commits suicide

NY gunman kills 13, commits suicide
By WILLIAM KATES, Associated Press Writer William Kates, Associated Press Writer 6 mins ago

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – A gunman barricaded the back door of a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full of immigrants taking a citizenship class Friday, killing 13 people before apparently committing suicide, officials said.

Investigators said they had yet to establish a motive for the massacre, which was at least the fifth deadly mass shooting in the U.S. in the past month alone.

The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the American Civic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in this country. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said the gunman parked his car against the back door, "making sure nobody could escape," then stormed through the front, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word.

The killer, believed to be a Vietnamese immigrant, then entered a room just off the reception area and fired on a citizenship class.

"The people were trying to better themselves, trying to become citizens," the police chief said.

One receptionist was killed, while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and then crawled under a desk and called 911, he said.

Police said they arrived within two minutes.

The rest of those killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were critically wounded.

The man believed to have carried out the attack was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office, a satchel containing ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Police found two handguns — a 9mm and a .45-caliber — and a hunting knife.

Thirty-seven people in all made it out of the building, including 26 who hid in the boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours while police methodically searched the building and tried to determine whether the gunman was still alive and whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said.

Those in the basement stayed in contact with police by cell phone, switching from one phone to another when their batteries ran out, Zikuski said. Others hid in closets and under desks.

Police heard no gunfire after they arrived but waited for about an hour before entering the building to make sure it was safe for officers. They then spent two hours searching the building.

They led a number of men out of the building in plastic handcuffs while they tried to sort out the victims from the killer or killers.

Most of the people brought out couldn't speak English, the chief said.

Alex Galkin, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, said he was taking English classes when he heard a shot and quickly went to the basement with about 20 other people.

"It was just panic," Galkin said.

Zhanar Tokhtabayeva, a 30-year-old from Kazakhstan, said she was in an English class when she heard a shot and her teacher screamed for everyone to go to the storage room.

"I heard the shots, every shot. I heard no screams, just silence, shooting," she said. "I heard shooting, very long time, and I was thinking, when will this stop? I was thinking that my life was finished."

Dr. Jeffrey King, speaking at a Catholic Charities office where counseling was being offered Friday night, said he was certain his mother, 72-year-old Roberta King, who taught English at the community center, was among the dead.

Authorities read a list of survivors and his mother's name wasn't on it, he said.

King, one of 10 children, described his mother as a woman brimming with interests ranging from the opera to the preservation society to collecting thousands of dolls. He recollected a recent conversation in which he told her to enjoy her retirement.

"I said, 'Mom you're in your 70s,'" King said. "She said, 'What? You don't think I enjoy working?'"

Gov. David Paterson said the massacre was probably "the worst tragedy and senseless crime in the history of this city." Noting mass killings in Alabama and Oakland, Calif., last month, he said: "When are we going to be able to curb the kind of violence that is so fraught and so rapid that we can't even keep track of the incidents?"

The community center was holding class "for those who want to become citizens of the United States of America, who wanted to be part of the American Dream, and so tragically may have had that hope thwarted today," the governor said. "But there still is an American dream, and all of us who are Americans will try to heal this very, very deep wound in the city of Binghamton."

The suspected gunman carried ID with the name of 42-year-old Jiverly Voong, of nearby Johnson City, N.Y., but that was believed to be an alias, said a law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A second law enforcement official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the two handguns were registered to Jiverly Wong, another name the man used. Both officials were not authorized to speak publicly.

Initial reports suggested Voong had recently been let go from IBM. But a person at IBM said there was no record of a Jiverly Voong ever working there.

The police chief would not confirm the name of the dead man with the ammunition satchel, saying authorities were still trying to establish with certainty that he was the gunman.

"We have no idea what the motive is," Zikuski said.

He said the suspected gunman "was no stranger" to the community center and may have gone there to take a class.

A woman who answered the phone at a listing for Henry D. Voong said she was Jiverly Voong's sister but would not give her name. She said her brother had been in the country for 28 years and had citizenship.

"I think there's a misunderstanding over here because I want to know, too," she said.

Friday evening, police searched Voong's house and carried out three computer hard drives, a brown canvas rifle case, a briefcase, a small suitcase and several paper bags.

Police leaving the Voong home shortly before 8 p.m., soon after four people arrived by car and went into the house. It wasn't clear who they were, but they promptly turned out the lights.

Crime scene tape was stretched across the street about 20 yards from the house, and a steady rain fell as two state troopers stood guard to keep anyone but neighborhood residents from entering the dead-end street.

Waiting outside a Catholic Charities office where counselors were tending to relatives of victims, Omri Yigal said his wife, Delores, was taking English lessons when the gunman attacked. He had no word on what happened to her.

He finally left the center feeling sullen shortly before 8 p.m.

"They told me they don't have much hope for me," the Filipino immigrant said before going home to wait for a telephone call.

The American Civic Association helps immigrants in the Binghamton area with citizenship, resettlement and family reunification. The shootings took place in a neighborhood of homes and small businesses in downtown Binghamton, a city of about 47,000 situated 140 miles northwest of New York City.

The Binghamton area was the home to Endicott-Johnson shoe company and the birthplace of IBM, which between them employed tens of thousands of workers before the shoe company closed a decade ago and IBM downsized in recent years.

A string of attacks in the U.S. in the last month left 44 people dead in all.

A gunman killed 10 people and himself in Samson, Ala.; shootings that began with a traffic stop in Oakland, Calif., left four police officers and the gunman dead; an apparent murder-suicide in Santa Clara, Calif., left six dead; and a gunman went on a rampage at a nursing home Sunday, killing seven elderly residents and a nurse who cared for them.


Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers George M. Walsh and Chris Carola in Albany; Kimberly Hefling and Devlin Barrett in Washington; Michael Hill in Binghamton; and John Wawrow in Buffalo; John Kekis in Johnson City; and the AP News Research Center.

Cut and pasted from

My sincerest condolences to the victims' families and loved ones.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

READING LISTS: Terry Trahan's Required Reading

Check out Terry Trahan's blog and his post about Required reading.

MUSIC: Olivia Ong ~ L.O.V.E


Olivia Ong: L.O.V.E from the album, "A Girl Meets Bossanova 2" (2006)

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore

Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please dont break it
Love was made for me and you

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore

Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please dont break it
Love was made for me and you
Love was made for me and you
Love was made for me and you

MUSIC: Olivia Ong ~ Fly Me to the Moon

Forgot who turned me onto Olvia Ong, but she has an awesome voice. Technically not jazz, but bossa nova, but like the Cowboy Bepob entries, I'm not making a separate category bossa nova LOL


Olivia Ong: Fly Me to the Moon from the album, "A Girl Meets Bossanova" (2005)

Fly me to the moon
Let me sing among those stars
Let me see what spring is like
On jupiter and mars

In other words, hold my hand
In other words, baby kiss me

Fill my heart with song
Let me sing for ever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore

In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you

MUSIC: Astrud Gilberto ~ The Girl From Ipanema (sung all in English)

One of my all-time favorites! Well not quite "jazz", it's categorized more as 'bossa nova'. This Youtube is all in English. The original version starts off in Portuguese and then changes to English. The original is much better. Still looking for it.


Song is from the 1964 album "Getz/Gilberto" by Stan Getz & João Gilberto. Music video is from the 1964 film "Get Yourself a College Girl"

Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, each one she passes goes - ah

When she walks, shes like a samba
That swings so cool and sways so gentle
That when she passes, each one she passes goes - ooh

(ooh) but I watch her so sadly
How can I tell her I love her
Yes I would give my heart gladly
But each day, when she walks to the sea
She looks straight ahead, not at me

Tall, (and) tan, (and) young, (and) lovely
The girl from ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, I smile - but she doesnt see (doesnt see)
(she just doesnt see, she never sees me,...)

MUSIC: "Rush"/"NY Rush" from anime Cowboy Bebop

Yet another favorite!

A variation of "Rush" called "NY Rush".


MUSIC: "Clutch" from the anime series Cowboy Bebop

Another of my favorites!


LIFE: Infidelity and Talkativeness -- 2 Cavemen Theories

December 11, 2008: our department had a Holiday Dinner party. As we were leaving for it, the breaking news was that Bernard Madoff was arrested for operating the largest Ponzi scheme in history. We had drinks before the dinner party and the chatter got to Madoff and cheating. It was easy to understand why Madoff cheated ... greed... pure and simple.

Then one of my co-workers started talking about infidelity. One of his former co-workers cheated on his wife. The talk went back and off amongst us and we all were married and said we would not cheat on our wives. Some of them wondered why men cheat. Most of them knew a cheater... they have money, they hadvea loving wife, they have children. Why do men cheat on their wives?

I mentioned that I heard some theory about infidelity and it was hardwired to our genetic makeup to ensure the survival of the human race. Cavemen would mate with whichever cavewomen they could. I also stated that I had no backup to this, that is, I didn't have books/authors/sites etc to back up what I heard. One of my co-workers mentioned that he has heard that, but if he ever cheated on his wife (he wouldn't), but if he ever did cheat, he could not use the "caveman/survival of the race" defense. He has already used 'cavemen' as a defense for something else. I was curious as to what he was talking about. I was puzzled.

My coworker says that back in the cavemen days, it was a hunter-gatherer society. I nodded in agreement. He says that men were the hunters and the women were gatherers of fruits, nuts, etc. So far, so good, I understood this. I was curious where he was going with this.

He described a typical hunting foray... men go out with their weapons... they lay in hiding when they see an animal... they had to be quiet or else they scare off their prey. An image of Elmer Fudd in Fred Flintstone's outfit holding a spear and whispering, "Shhhh! I'm hunting mastodons." came to mind. LOL

My co-worker then goes on to describe how women went out to gather food. They would all go out and make as much noise as they can... talking to each other loud enough for the wild animals to hear and be scared off. That made sense. That was their survival mechanism.

And then he laid it on me... the punchline... mental drumroll please.....

He doesn't talk much to his wife just to talk or to pass time, and his wife blabbers on and on constantly whenever. He says generally men are taciturn and women are verbose. Everytime his wife is in the mood to talk, he doesn't converse back. She gets upset and asks why he doesn't talk to her. He says, "Blame it on the cavemen!". And then he says, "If I ever cheated on my wife, I couldn't use your 'cavemen defense' as I use it already for not talking to her."

We both broke out into a good long laughter!


A belated selective cut and paste from


240 BC - 1st recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.

1822 - Florida Territory created in the United States.

1842 - Anesthesia is used for the first time in an operation by Dr. Crawford Long.

1858 - Hymen Lipman patents a pencil with an attached eraser.

My father has always taught me 'Men are not perfect and will make mistakes. That's why there's an eraser at the end of the pencil." Now I know... I can thank Hymen Lipman for allowing us to be imperfect. :-)

1867 - Alaska is purchased for $7.2 million, about 2 cent/acre ($4.19/km²), by United States Secretary of State William H. Seward. The media call this Seward's Folly.

1870 - Florida territorial government is established.

1909 - The Queensboro Bridge opens, linking Manhattan and Queens.

1939 - The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph.

1954 - Yonge Street subway line opens in Toronto. It is the first subway in Canada.

1981 - President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John Hinckley, Jr.


One of the earliest instances in my memory of seeing the Secret Service in action. Check out the agent with the Uzi.


1853 - Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter (d. 1890)


Know him best for THE STARRY NIGHT JUNE 1889.

1913 - Frankie Laine, American singer (d. 2007)

I know him best for singing RAWHIDE.

1927 - Peter Marshall, American game show host

The host of the game show THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES... a staple of our household when I was a kid.

1930 - John Astin, American actor

Probably best known to TV fans as Gomez Adams of THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Another staple of my childhood TV.

1937 - Warren Beatty, American actor and director

1945 - Eric Clapton, British guitarist

1957 - Paul Reiser, American actor

1962 - MC Hammer, American rap musician

1964 - Tracy Chapman, American singer

1968 - Celine Dion, Canadian singer

1970 - Secretariat, American racehorse (d. 1989)

1979 - Norah Jones, American singer and pianist


1986 - James Cagney, American actor (b. 1899)

The second movie Cagney's company produced was Blood On the Sun. Insisting on doing his own stunts, Cagney required judo training from expert Ken Kuniyuki and Jack Halloran, a former policeman.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

NEWS: Man Hit by Spear Done With Underwater Fishing

Man Hit by Spear Done With Underwater Fishing

Published: April 1, 2009
Filed at 4:07 p.m. ET

SAO PAULO (AP) -- A Brazilian man who came to a hospital with a spear stuck in his head after a diving accident says he is done with underwater fishing. Three days after doctors surgically removed a 6-inch spear from his brain, Emerson de Oliveira Abreu says ''never more'' will he get back into the water to fish with spears. Abreu is in stable condition and expected to be released in 10 days.

Abreu told Globo TV on Wednesday that he felt ''a sharp pain'' after his shot apparently ricocheted off a rock and entered his head just above his left eye.

He said the pain was unbearable every time he touched the spear or when the ambulance hit bumps in the road on the way to the hospital.

cut and pasted from


A belated selective cut and paste from


1799 - New York passes a law aimed at gradually abolishing slavery in the state.

1879 - Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Kambula: British forces defeat 20,000 Zulus.

Shaka Zulu... 'nuf said!

1886 - Dr. John Pemberton brews the first batch of Coca-Cola in a backyard in Atlanta, Georgia.

I'd like to teach the world to stop drinking soda...

1951 - Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage.

1971 - A Los Angeles, California jury recommends the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers.

1973 - Vietnam War: The last United States combat soldiers leave South Vietnam.

1987 - WrestleMania III sets a world indoor attendance record at the Pontiac Silverdome with 93,173 fans.

2004 - The Republic of Ireland becomes the first country in the world to ban smoking in all work places, including bars and restaurants.


1867 - Cy Young, American baseball player (d. 1955)

1913 - Tony Zale, American boxer (d. 1997)

Hmmm...listed as May 29 for Zale's birth date, yet, the wiki page for March 29 has Zale's birthdate as March 29.

1917 - Man o' War, American thoroughbred racehorse (d. 1947)

The greatest Thoroughbred racehorse of all time... The name "upset" is thought to have come from the horse Upset, the only horse ever to beat the great "Man o' War".

1928 - Vincent Gigante, American mafioso (d. 2005)

aka The Chin aka The Oddfather because often wandered the streets of Greenwich Village, Manhattan in his bathrobe and slippers, mumbling incoherently to himself, in what Gigante later admitted was an elaborate act to avoid prosecution.

1940 - Astrud Gilberto, Brazilian singer

Astrud Gilberto (born March 29, 1940) is a Brazilian singer best known for her samba and bossa nova music, most famously as the vocalist on the Grammy Award-winning song "The Girl from Ipanema".

One of my favorite songs ever!

1943 - Vangelis, Greek musician and composer


1944 - Denny McLain, American baseball player

Last major league baseball pitcher to win 30 or more games in a single season.

1945 - Walt Frazier, American basketball player

Former NY Knick, Frazier is regarded as one of the best point guards in the history of the game.

1955 - Christopher Lawford, Irish actor

1955 - Marina Sirtis, English actress

Any Star Trek fan can tell you who this beautiful actress is :-)

1957 - Christopher Lambert, French actor

There can only be one!!!!! If you have never watched HIGHLANDER, you should. Cult classic.

1964 - Elle Macpherson, Australian model

Yummy! Supermodel alert!!

1968 - Lucy Lawless, New Zealand actress and singer


1976 - Jennifer Capriati, American tennis player


2005 - Johnnie Cochran, American lawyer (b. 1937)

Hmmm...OJ Simpson... glove....

"If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!"


A belated selective cut and paste from


1834 - The United States Senate censures President Andrew Jackson for his actions in de-funding the Second Bank of the United States.

1910 - Henri Fabre becomes the first person to fly a seaplane, the Fabre Hydravion, after taking off from a water runway near Martigues, France.

1979 - In Pennsylvania, operators fail to recognize that a relief valve is stuck open in the primary coolant system of Three Mile Island's Unit 2 nuclear reactor following an unexpected shutdown. As a result, enough coolant drains out of the system to allow the core to overheat and partially melt down.

This, at the time, was very very scary for me.

1990 - President George H. W. Bush posthumously awards Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal.


1613 - Xiaozhuangwen Grand Empress Dowager, Empress of Manchu (d. 1688)

1919 - Vic Raschi, American baseball player (d. 1988)

Part of the powerhouse NY Yankees teams of the 1940's-1950's. He, along with Allie Reynolds and Eddie Lopat, were the "Big Three" pitchers of the Yanks.

1922 - Joey Maxim, American boxer (d. 2001)

He was a light heavyweight champion of the world. He took the ring-name Joey Maxim from the Maxim gun, the world's first self-acting machine gun, based on his ability to rapidly throw a large number of left jabs.

1958 - Curt Hennig, American professional wrestler (d. 2003)

Hennig aka Mr. Perfect. Described by WWE as "one of the best in-ring technicians of his generation", peers including Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Randy Savage consider Hennig to be one of the most gifted in-ring performers in professional wrestling history.


1953 - Jim Thorpe, American athlete (b. 1887)

In 1950 Thorpe was named the greatest athlete of the first half of the twentieth century by the Associated Press (AP). In 1999 he was ranked third on the AP list of top athletes of the 20th century.

1969 - Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States (b. 1890)

IN MEMORY OF: Mrs. Vicenta Ong Canete

Just saw this post by Pat O'Malley on Martial Arts Planet:

It is with my heart and sould that I unfortunetly have to inform you that that on April 1, 2009 at 10:59am Cebu time, Mrs Vicenta Ong Canete died. Mrs Canete is the loving wife of GM Dionisio Canete.

Our thoughts and prayers are with GM Dionisio Canete and his family at this sad time. We will miss Mrs Canete's kind hospitality and presence at the Doce Pares HQ. We are very grateful to Mrs Canete's hard work and help with many things over the years and we will never forget the extra mile Mrs Canete went to make our wedding day so special. Wishing a lovely lady well on her journey.

The O'Malley Family xx.

My sincerest condolences to GM Dionisio Canete and his family.


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Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillion Steps