July 26, 2005

Reading List Thus Far

Just finished Liberty (A Jake Grafton Novel) by Stephen Coonts. Good no-thought-required entertainment, but marred in quite a few places by cliched phrases and just plain wrong facts.

One of the things that really irks me in action-adventure fiction is when writers don't get combat right, either unarmed (martial arts) or firearms. Coonts had one of the villians "setting the safety" on a Glock. That's an error Clancy would never have done.

Just started: The Master of Rain by Tom Bradby. This one is looking to be pretty good, set in 1920's Old Shanghai when it was a Berlin-like city-state with different foreign sectors. Like the Amazon reviewers say, it is turning out to be a modern serial killer vs. honest hard-working cops story, just set with period costumes and accents. Like the autopsy scene I just finished, where the cops and medical examiner discuss the murder of a Russian prostitute by a wacko sex fiend killer, is right out of a CSI: Miami episode.

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July 21, 2005

Wax on, Wax off. On DVD

DVD Savant has a totally funny review of the Karate Kid Special Edition DVD. Talk about "tellin' it like it is".


The Karate Kid was one of my "Top Ten Most Influential Martial Arts Movies." Say what you will about the movie, but I think it influenced the boom of the martial arts in the USA in real terms as much as Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon. Just in a different way.

It's The Karate Kid that is responsible for such things as Junior Black Belts, and Little Dragons programs at your local YMCA. So now you know who to blame.

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July 08, 2005

Karate Makes it to the Olympics...Almost

So the IOC kicked softball and baseball out of the London Olympics. Too bad, because it would've been fun to see Japan pull its all-stars out of the US league teams to field a kick-ass national squad. So much for the American pastime, huh?

Instead, they looked at some other replacement sports, including karate. But in a political mess, here's what happened, according to AP:

In a farcical display of bureaucracy, IOC members went through seven rounds of voting to decide which two of the five would-be Olympic sports should be put up for a vote to give them Olympic status.

Having selected squash and karate, the members then overwhelmingly rejected their bids to join the Olympic program.

The other three candidates were rugby sevens, golf, and roller sports. "Roller sports"? What the hell is that? Skateboarding? If so, that would put a different spin on the whiners who complained that baseball and softball were booted because they are "native American sports". Huh? I don't remember reading anything about the Navajo or Hopi doing batting practice, other than to whack those durn homesteaders.

But seriously, you've got to figure that the US would dominate skateboarding, rollerblading, and other "roller sports". Can you see Tony Hawk atop the podium, with a string of gold medals around his neck?

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July 07, 2005

Ninja G-8: The Protest II

This photo shows a bunch of cops adopting a rather Highlander-esque ready stance. Connor McLeod, anyone? But I guess this is the Edinburgh constubalary, after all...

Edinburgh, Scotland policemen adopting ready position with raised batons

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Ninja G-8: The Protest

This image of an ASP-wielding cop taking on a would-be ninja protester was front-page news here in Silicon Valley the other day. Having written about ASPs for the About.com site, I found the photos rather interesting:

Anti-G8 protestor blocking ASP strike by Edinburgh Scotland policeman

Looks like the hooligan-in-black is attempting a lame two-handed quarte parry of the cop's ASP. What body target was the cop aiming at? The stick? Why not rap the punk on the upper arm (in the fleshy part, not the elbow, naturally) and make him drop the weapon? If this technique is a "beat", in the fencing sense, the cop needs a good follow up, and it's hard to tell if he's setting one up from the photo.

Interesting to see differences in baton doctrine in Europe. Wasn't it just a few years ago where the introduction of the PR-24 baton caused all sorts of protest? Now they're starting to carry ASPs. Next thing you know, they'll start carrying .40s too--no more crappy 7.65 Browning. Delivery like a brick through a plate glass window? Yeah, right.

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July 06, 2005

Pimp Beaten by Karate Master

Great clip, courtesy of iFilm:

Pimp Beaten by Karate Master

Ok. Name the technique.

Looks like backhand shuto (knifehand) to the carotid, the way the pimp drops so quickly. Kind of a bold move by the karate instructor--almost like he just wanted to try it to see if it would work (knowing he had a bunch of cops to back him up).

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July 05, 2005

Niche Marketing: Lawnmowers for Prisons

Just picked up a manual lawnmower (the excellent Scotts Classic reel mower) and found this interesting site on the Web:

PrisonMowers.com

I saw a bunch of crazy dot.com ideas during the boom, back when our Firm proudly touted its "eBusiness innovator" customers as being mostly "two guys and a dog and a shitload of VC money". Yeah, we actually bragged about that--then did a quick about-face in 2000: "oh, most of our accounts are Enterprise customers".

But oddly enough, this guy seems to be making money. Who'd a thunk it?

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July 01, 2005

Google Siteseeing

Somehow, seeing a place from 10,000 miles away just isn't the same as being there for me...

Google Siteseeing

Bill Gates House

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