Our Lady by Alma Lopez

Isn't this beautiful?

From Alma Lopez's interesting website:

The "Our Lady" print was in an exhibition titled CyberArte: Tradition Meets Technology curated by Tey Marianna Nunn at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Soon after the opening reception on February 25, 2001, protests against the print began. CyberArte closed as originally scheduled that same year on October 28.

Bikini-clad Madonna can stay - BBC

A controversial portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe wearing a floral bikini will remain on show after a US court refused to order a gallery to take it down. Protesters had said the digital image of Mexico's national representation of the Virgin Mary was offensive and insensitive after it went on show in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in February. But a judge has decided that the city's Museum of International Folk Art can keep the picture, by Mexican-born Alma Lopez, on its walls because of a legal technicality. ... Ms Lopez defended her work, saying she intended Our Lady to show a strong and beautiful woman.

A bit from Alma's bio on her site:
Alma Lopez is an artist, activist and visual storyteller working in painting, photo based digital prints, and video. She is internationally recognized for her innovative digital images, which recontextualize cultural icons bringing issues of race, gender and sexuality into relationship with transnationalist myths.

...She has several other interesting projects on her site, including art of a Mary figure intimate with a mermaid, and a video on women wearing butch haircuts, called Boi Hair.

Good lift

First good lift in two weeks.

Yesterday, finished lame work out with Endurox.

Today, plenty of green tea; eggs/oats; eggs/yam/prunes/teeny Xmas orange/Pearl soy drink; white fish/1 can green beans in vinegar/1 can mushrooms fried in oil; 1/2 Thermonex capsule, 1 cup green tea, small portion of homeade bagel with 1 packet honey Ginsting; long clean & jerk lift, descending weights 'til done; Muscle Milk in Pearl soy.

new lifting shoes
At first, felt like my feet were in huge casts. But it seemed to make a difference...a little easier, more solid, I felt more grounded.

Ritual cues

lifting - gloves, supplements
boxing - handwraps
power lifting - chalk
climbing - chalk bag
running - shoes

Oldest woman to earn blackbelt in Ireland

She's only 40, but still. From Waterford Today online. What is it about Irish newspapers and chatrooms that makes them so darned enjoyable?

Waterford Kickboxer becomes oldest woman to earn blackbelt
By Ian Pepper

Fiona Stafford from New Bawn in Co. Wexford felt over moon on Saturday when she was awarded the black belt in kickboxing at the Waterford Kickboxing and Street Awareness Centre, Tycor in Waterford City. Although she is only 40 years of age. Fiona has the honour of being the oldest woman in Ireland to earn the Black Belt,

Santa on the run

Thousands of Santas were run out of towns across the globe this season, when the public common sense and intellectual brigade finally toppled the commercial holiday movement. In an unprecedented windfall, all major corporations donated money allocated for advertising and executing Xmas sales to charities deemed legitimate by the Better Business Bureau. As a result, this is the first December on record that no individual can be found without secure housing, heat, and food for the winter. Individuals opting to observe the gift exchange tradition opted only for goods made by themselves with materials native to their locale, and the majority presented recipients with intangible creative works. The absence of garbage generated by packaging left garbage services with an unexpected cumulative expanse of land, which was donated to the Green Party to use as they see fit.

Happy holidays. Be mighty merry.

union-made "no sweat" clothing co.

Check out No Sweat clothing....
"Bienestar International manufactures union-made footwear & casual clothing under the brand name No Sweat™. Our gear is produced by independent trade union members in the US, Canada, and the developing world. We believe that the only viable response to globalization is a global labor movement. No Sweat defines the market for goods that support independent trade unions - the only historically proven solution to sweatshops. We market direct to consumers, relying primarily on internet sales for distribution. We provide a competitive product to you and a living wage to our workers. How? By not advertising. We rely on you to help us spread the word! It’s our world. Let’s change it. "

I'm looking forward to my first order, a Rosie the Riveter T-shirt. Prices are reasonable, shipping is swift, the satisfaction is savory.

T-shirt came remarkably fast. It's really great - excellent quality, high grade cotton, neck not so high it chokes me (aha! for Americans!), and preshrunk. I've already ordered more stuff. Check it out.

got more stuff, for me and for DH. It's all good. Very good!

Andy Serkis: Gollum & Kong

Yes! A story on the man behind the bodies and motions of movie creatures, the model for Gollum and King Kong - Andy Serkis

Of Gollum and Kong
Andy Serkis gets inside characters' heads

NEW YORK (AP) -- In computer-generated bodies not his own, Andy Serkis has starred in two of the most humongously budgeted films of the decade. Serkis, who stands 5 feet, 8 inches, plays the role of Kong in Peter Jackson's $200 million-plus "King Kong." As he did for the "precious"-hungry Gollum in Jackson's $300 million-plus "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Serkis' human performance has again been transformed by computer graphics into a fantastical creature. As with Gollum/Smeagol, each movement of the actor's was meticulously captured and enlarged into the computer-generated image that is the hulking, roaring Kong. Even Serkis' yawns and frowns were adapted to the facial structure of the gorilla's.

Saw the movie Xmas eve - excellent, everything you'd want, tons of eye-popping action scenes. Left while Kong was still King. Screw this Manifest Destiny, kill-the-monster crap. As it was, I still got a full movie-length experience, and it was perfectly good that way.

Vote for my photos to be on a Jones Soda bottle

Please check out the fabulous photos I have entered into the Jones Soda label contest. Once you see how stupendous they are, click to vote 10, okay?

1 vote per computer

gangsta lift

Using Pandora for my chest lift today, and after a few adjustments, the fingerprints of the music that was working for me were "hardore gangster attitude, west and east coast rap influences, aggressive rapping and violent lyrics." That was for a straightforward, work work out.

Gawd, I love Pandora. Music Genome Project. Definately check it out if you don't know what I'm talking about.

honeystinger energy gel

See all my fitness product reviews at The Mighty Fit Review

My newest supplement discovery - I am very excited about this stuff. See, here's another reason you shouldn't limit yourself to the traditions, marketing product lines, mindset and paradigm of your discipline. This line of honey-based energy supplement food products is aimed at endurance athletes. You'd never find it by browsing weightlifting or bodybuilding supplement stores alone. But there's no reason that fast-twitch muscle development athletes can't dip into sports aids enjoyed by cyclists, runners, etc. Energy is energy, and the body is the body.

I'm still on my first product in the line, pictured here - Ginsting Honeystinger energy gel. I consider myself a connoisseur of legal sports energy aids (speeders, as I affectionately call them), and this one is placing into my top picks. I get an instant, sustained energy - the best word I can think of is smooth. And no crash so far. Oh and yeah, it's delicious. I'm looking forward to trying the other products.

Info on the product
Honey Stinger is a natural energy gel made from a combination of Pure Honey, Pure Water, Salt, Potassium Citrate and Vitamin B Complex (Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, B1, B2, B6, B12. Ginsting also contains kola nut caffeine.

Calories 120
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 50mg
Potassium 85mg
Total Carb 29g
Sugars 29g
Protein 0g
Vit B 25%DV*
Caffeine 32mg

Scientists 'crack' secret of Mona Lisa's smile

I've never been impressed with the Mona Lisa, frankly, and I suspect its actual appeal is significanly less than hyped and assumed, but I do enjoy analysis...

Ananova - Scientists say they have finally cracked a 500-year-old mystery - the secret of the Mona Lisa's smile. The enigmatic expression on Leonardo da Vinci's most famous work was analysed by computer software, reports the New Scientist. And the conclusion was that it conveyed 83% happiness, 9% disgust, 6% fear and 2% anger. The conclusion was made after the painting, on view in The Louvre in Paris, was analysed at the University of Amsterdam.

my feet

My feet have changed with Olympic lifting. At my age, I'm not expecting to outgrow my shoes, but suddenly, last summer, I was on vacation and, trodding around on the West coast, found I could no longer wear my shoes! I had to go buy sandals on the spot, it was that extreme. In less than a year, my footplant has changed so that my size has gone from 8.5 to 9. I finally figured it wasn't going away, and recently bought a pair of New Balance 609. I love them! They're narrow width, feel great. BUT not suitable for O. lifting. My toes look like they're in the war - purple and red blotches, literally dings all over the front and outer sides. Doesn't hurt, tho. I thought maybe it was some kind of fungus (gross thought), but it's actually bruising from jamming my toes into the toebox of these shoes under heavy pressure. I consulted with my friend the brilliant Dr. Joe, and have just ordered a pair of shoes to use only for lifting. I sure hope they work out! I ordered Otomix power trainers. Marketers say "The Power Trainer Shoe is designed for the rigors of EXTREME SPORTS. Otomix incorporates extra protection and support in the Power Trainer for the most demanding workouts. A great cross training shoe for all sports. The best shoe for bodybuilding, weightlifting and intensive Karate/Martial Arts training." Meanwhile, I'm looking ruefully at the rest of the footwear in my wardrobe...

EXTREMELY PISSED OFF AT OTOMIX. Will not order from them again. Waiting for these shoes, finally called to see where they were, found out the order was never processed because I didn't include a phone #, which I don't do for merchants. Customer service my ass, all the automoton did was try to rebut me. How would I ever have known the order wasn't processed? Where was the policy on the phone # requirement? Yes, I did receive a confirmation that the order had been placed! Oh, so pissed. Ridiculous. They don't give a shit.

In my letter to Otomix, I wrote:
After receiving confirmation of my order, a week passed with no delivery. When I called to inquire, I was told the order had never been placed after all, because I did not include my phone number. HOW WOULD I EVER KNOW THIS? The girl on the phone demonstrated an utter lack of concern, and sought only to rebut my problems, not solve them or record my concerns. Her behavior makes me think your phone people have no training in basic customer service whatsoever.

If Otomix required my phone number, which is unacceptable to me as a privacy advocate, then I should have been notified during the ordering process and after I had placed the order, because my order should have been flagged. As it was, had I not taken initiative to inquire on my order, I would have been wating indefinately.

Meanwhile, from Krista, webmistress of Stumptuous.com, this message with shoes advice and a great source for O-lifting shoes, which I'll definately try next time. Thanks Krista.
For O-lifting you need a rigid sole with a slight heel. Regular running shoes are totally useless because they are so squishy. Army boots are ideal (and cheap) but sometimes you get hassled in gyms with them, even if you protest that you never wear them outside. My old OL coach used to wear bowling shoes. Another option is http://www.weightliftingshoes.ca/.

Krista would have posted this here, but like many other complaints I'm getting, there are complications with posting to my blog, and she wasn't able to. :-(

Families eat their way cranky on Xmas

Scientists blame festive feuds on Xmas dinner

Scientists say they know why so many families fall out over Christmas dinner - it's all down to what we eat. Traditional Christmas fare can lead to repeated changes in blood sugar levels, according to Paul Clayton, president of the forum on food and health at the Royal Society of Medicine.

From Ananova, jumping on a TV feature

Skydiver falls facefirst into motherhood

Holy shit!
...There's one for the album. (Wallace)

SILOAM SPRINGS, Arkansas (AP) -- Shayna Richardson was making her first solo skydiving jump when she had trouble with her parachutes and, while falling at about 50 mph, hit face first in a parking lot. Although badly hurt, she survived -- and doctors treating her injuries discovered she was pregnant. Four surgeries and two months later, Richardson said she and the fetus are doing fine.

Film - Beautiful Boxer

The film Beautiful Boxer has raked in awards. The actor playing the lead spent a year preparing for his depiction of Parinya Charoenphol (Nong Toom), a famous Thai kickboxer who believed he was really female and went for it. I haven't yet seen this unique film (it's at Amazon), but looks like it'd certainly be memorable. The image above shows the actual person, from ages 12 up to 21.

From the official web site -
Based on the true story of Thailand's famed transvestite kickboxer, Beautiful Boxer is a poignant action drama that punches straight into the heart and mind of a boy who fights like a man can become a woman. Believing he's a girl trapped in a boy's body since childhood, Parinya Charoenphol (affectionately known as Nong Toom in Thailand) sets out to master the most masculine and lethal sport of Muay Thai (Thai boxing) to earn a living and to achieve his ultimate goal of total femininity. Touching, funny and packed with breathtaking Thai kickboxing sequences, Beautiful Boxer traces Nong Toom's childhood, teenage life as a traveling monk and grueling days in boxing camps. Shot in 9 provinces across Thailand and in Tokyo, the film also features a series of explosive matches where Nong Toom knocks out most of his opponents in Thailand and Japan.
Beautiful Boxer has been officially selected for the Panorama Section of the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival. It’s the only Thai film in the 2004 Panorama. Directed and produced by Ekachai Uekrongtham, the film stars Asanee Suwan, a real-life kickboxing champ as Nong Toom. The role earned him the 2004 Supannahongsa Award (Thailand's equivalent to the Oscar) for Best Actor.

Superman digitally castrated!

Superman's bulge worries movie bosses
from Ananova

The new Superman is giving movie bosses a headache - because of the size of his bulge. They fear Brandon Routh's profile in the superhero's skintight costume could be distracting, reports the Sun. Hollywood executives have ordered the makers of Superman Returns to cover it up with digital effects. The Sun's source said: "It's a major issue for the studio. Brandon is extremely well endowed and they don't want it up on the big screen. "We may be forced to erase his package with digital effects."
Brandon, 26, has taken over the superhero's cape from the late Christopher Reeve. Wardrobe artists have had to fit him with a special codpiece for the new film out next year.

This pic is circulating on the net now, but no word on whether Routh's manhood has been reduced in it. Frankly, I don't see what the fuss is about. One thing's for sure, Routh won't ever need to leap tall buildings to get girls' attention after this publicity.

Marilyn Monroe lifted weights

I love this picture.

Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood Workout, 1952 - by Philippe Halsman

From David Morrell's Loving Marilyn article at avguide.com -
... she wanted to look even better and asked a military instructor who'd been a weight-lifting champion to teach her how to use barbells and other gym equipment. Her commitment to remaining in physical condition would continue throughout her life. One of the most interesting photographs of her shows her in jeans and a sweat bra, lying on a bench, lifting weights. Visitors would find gym equipment in the corner of her living room. At a time when hardly anyone ran for exercise, let alone women, she would regularly take early morning jogs through the back streets of Beverly Hills.

Elvis Stojko

Wow! This man is incredible. On the Ice Wars this week, he brought rock 'n roll into the arena, giving me my most exciting ice skating memory (and ok, I'm not "into" ice skating). He exuded a riveting, healthy all-masculine vibe, and his athletic performance was spellbinding. As for watching another athlete do his thang, the man was in the ZONE! And just last week he won awards in martial arts! A three-time world champion of Canadian origin, he's made history in ice skating and also is into Hun-Gar (a form of Kung-Fu), dirt-biking, jet-skiing and non-contact hockey. Carpe Diem!

Slam site on Elvis

How to watch Olympic Lifting

From e-how: How to watch Olympic Weightlifting
1. Find an event to attend. Visit the U.S. Weight Lifting Web site (see Related Links) and click on the calendar icon to see a list of events. "You're going to see a dynamic and explosive sport," says Wes Barnett, two-time Olympic weight lifter who is currently training in Colorado Springs for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

2. Understand the rules of Olympic weight lifting. "In competition, each lifter gets three lifts in the snatch, which is the first event, and then three lifts in the clean and jerk. The best lift in each is added up and that is how you get your total."

3. Listen to the announcer. "A good announcer will explain whether a lift is good, and also mention what is coming up next," Barnett says. "An announcer can make all the difference in your experience as a spectator."

4. Look for explosive lifts. "Olympic weight lifting is all about speed. Watch for the lifters to explode into the lifts as they set themselves. Watch for locked elbows at the finish of the lifts."

5. Keep an eye on the lights on the scoreboard. "As lifters put the weights down, look for the lights on the scoreboard. Three referees will press buttons: a white light if it is a good lift or a red light if the lift is not good. Two out of three rules, so if you see at least two white lights on the board you know the lifter will get credit for the lift."

6. Watch the different weight classes. "There are eight different weight classes for male lifters and seven for women," says Barnett. "These are based on the size of the lifters obviously. The women are up and coming and a lot of fun to watch."

7. Don't be afraid to cheer. "Olympic lifting is a lot of fun. The lifters really get excited when the crowd is into the event."

Don't be confused between Olympic weight lifting and power lifting competitions. Olympic weight lifting is a sport that is built around just two different lifts.

Try to find an event that features both men and women lifters.

two more lifters - from Hawaii

Nice outsider's view of two women getting into Olympic lifting, from The Honolulu Advertiser.

Competition drives women weightlifters
By Oscar A. Hernandez - October 21, 2005

Jill Remiticado - "You must be a risk-taker in order to succeed as a woman weightlifter," she said. "One must be willing to persevere and endure the lifting techniques in order to hoist a particular weight amount and eventually succeed. (Don't) be so hard on yourself when you can't lift a particular weight. Keep trying." ... "If anything, it provides awareness of balance and kinesthetic intelligence," said Remiticado, a construction engineer for Hawaiian Dredging Construction. "It strengthens the legs, the back and upper body." ... "I don't think of (weightlifting) as being a 'male-dominated' sport," said Remiticado, 24. "I've experienced nothing but support from the weightlifting community."

Shannon Abac - "It was a lot of fun," Abac said. "I felt my adrenaline pumping during the competition, especially because I've never competed in any type of sport in the past. I was nervous at first, but then I got into the groove of the competition and had a great time." ... "I like the danger of lifting a heavy weight above my head," said Abac, originally from Maui. "If you mess up any part of your technique, it could end in serious injury, but when you succeed, it's such a rush."

See Team Hawaii

another grrl boxer knocking 'em out

Her name is Elena Reid. The article is from the University of Nevada's The Rebel Yell. yawn Writer Barry Wong took such a worn, trite approach, I'd be irritated if I weren't so genuinely dismissive. But here it is, because Elena deserves some positive attention.

Elena Reid fights through world dominated by men
By: Barry Wong

For 30 to 40 hours a week, Elena Reid spends time at a 2,000-square-foot gym at UNLV.

The building, formerly an athletic equipment room, is not filled with weights, treadmills and stationary bikes. Instead, speed bags, heavy bags and a ring occupy it.

Within the sport of boxing, the 24-year-old marketing major participates in a world dominated by men.

"It's an everyday obstacle," Reid said.

Reid faces the gender challenge outside the walls of UNLV's boxing gym as well. Two different situations for first impressions arise. On one side, Reid meets people who know she boxes but have never seen her.

"They think I must be manly. Like there's something wrong with me, and I can't be a girl if I want to box," Reid said. "I wear dresses. I wear pink to all my fights. I'm a girl."

click above to read the full story

prison can't tell gender of inmate

As presented by Ananova, which apparently saw this as an entertainment piece rather than news, this "report" is very difficult to make ANY sense of. Too bad we don't have any pictures! (of course you recognize the photo here is from Boys Don't Cry.)

Woman sent to male prison

A Peruvian woman spent a month in a male prison in Argentina after she was mistaken for a man. And, when she was finally discovered and transferred to a women's jail, she asked to be transferred back. Pagina 12 newspaper reports that Carla Aguilera was arrested for robbery but told police her name was Manuel Martin Aguilar. According to police in Buenos Aires, Mrs Aguilera was checked by several policeman but none noticed she was a woman. An anonymous phone call alerted the police to Mrs Aguilera´s real gender and after a medical examination she was sent to Ezeiza female prison. A police spokesmperson said: "She looks and acts exactly like a man, it was impossible to see that she is a woman. "She insists she is a man and wants to be transferred back to the male prison!"

Mighty Kat & Kristin Kaye

Slummin' it offseason
Taken in October. I've grown more since then. See the smile on my face? That comes from enjoying Olympic lifts and all the calories I want ... and of course the countless other great things in life that have nothing to do with lifting at all ... like meeting Kristin Kaye, author of the new book Iron Maidens, which I highly recommend (see my review and interview with Kristin on my site). Photo by Matt Wong of Willamette Week. Thanks for sending this to me, Matt.

and no, for you sickos out there (and you know who you are!) that's my long hair hanging between my legs!

new Lucia Rijker picture

Lucia Rijker, "the most dangerous woman on earth", is also one of the most centered, eloquent, and inspiring. World champion boxer and (before that) kickboxer, Lucia is one of my heroes. If you don't already know about her, take in the film Shadowboxers, visit her web site, and if you read Dutch, read her new biography (then translate it for me, please).

Anyhow, this new image of her is on her site, and, like the woman, it's awesome.

New world records in women's Olympic lifting

Gu Wei breaks world record in women's 53kg

DOHA, Nov. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Young Chinese strongwoman continued to shine in the World Weightlifting Championships as the 19-year-old Gu Wei smashed the world records to clinch the women's 58kg class gold here on Friday. Gu Wei, coached by Athens Olympic champion Chen Yanqing in China, followed Chen's successful step as she snatched 102kg and jerked 139kg to knock down a convincing total of 241kg, 1kg more than the previous record created by Chinese Wang Li. Her jerk result also shattered the world record of the kind by 7kg.

Russia’s strongwoman Kasaeva breaks world record
The Peninsula/Agencies Nov. 13, 2005

Russia’s Zarema Kasaeva shattered the clean and jerk world record in the women’s 69kg category at the World Weightlifting championships here yesterday. The 18-year-old Russian hauled 157kg in her third and last attempt to win the gold in the clean and jerk and her total of 275kg also gave her the overall title with China’s Liu Haixia finishing second with a total of 274. Kasaeva’s effort beat China’s Liu Haixia’s mark of 154kg set a few minutes earlier. Prior to the World Championships in Doha, the world record of 153kg in the clean and jerk stood in the name of China’s Liu Chunhong, who set the mark at the Athens Olympics.

anybody willing to figure out the American poundage for me?

Backpacks a heavy burden for kids

The reporter misdirected the slant: it's not that the load is too heavy, it's that the structure of the pack is damaging. This is interesting new solid research to back up the concept behind one smart man's inventions - the Manta Ray and Stingray. Hopefully, we'll see more of this kind of thinking in fitness equipment design and elsewhere, with this science to motivate marketers.
story link

HealthDay News - Backpacks carried to and from school by the average American child are too heavy for safety and need to be reduced, warns a new report. The University of California, San Diego-led study included five girls and five boys, aged 13, who wore identical backpacks fitted with pressure sensors in the shoulder straps. The children first carried 10 percent of their body weight in the packs, then 20 percent, and finally 30 percent of their body weight. With each increase in weight, the children reported increased shoulder pain levels. Surface pressure was higher than the pressure threshold (30mmHg) that obstructs normal skin and muscle blood flow. As reported in the Dec. 5 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, the study found that when the children's backpacks were loaded with 20 percent of their body weight, pressures measured 70 mmHg on the left shoulder and 110 mmHg on the right shoulder, more than double and triple the threshold for reduced blood flow. Previous research showed that children commonly carry backpack loads of 22 percent of their bodyweight. Strap pressure was much higher on the right side than on the left side at all weight levels, which may have been due to posture. This requires further study, the researchers said. "The concern of heavy backpacks and back and shoulder pain to parents is not new. However, the objective data that we have published is new and important. The more objective data the public has, the more educated they become, and perhaps more inclined to change the way children carry backpacks," co-principal investigator Gita Murthy said in a prepared statement. "Furthermore, manufacturers and designers of backpacks often try to optimize design based upon the data available in the literature. Our shoulder loading data may help designers and engineers design a wide shoulder strap, for example, that will help spread the load of the backpack," Murthy said. More information can be gotten from The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has more about backpack safety.

my lifts

For the better half of the past year, I've been Olympic lifting - snatch, clean & jerk. It's gone a long way toward my evolution, and I feel even more than ever that I am at my peak. I'm a hardgainer, and have worked for every ounce of muscle I have added over the past 15 years. So to see more development suddenly over the past several months is really something. Legs, core (so the little waist is thickening, I don't mind), and terrific lat, trap and shoulder development. My bra band size went up 2", my jean cut changed, I had to cut bigger neckholes in all my tees, my necklaces no longer fit, and early on, my foot plant changed, so my shoe size went up 1/2 size (jeez, growth is expensive). Stabilizers, prime movers and everything in between responds to this demand. And the convenience and rush are unbeatable: after years of doggedly doing specific work in splits, not only was the joy of it all waning, but I was finally surrendering to the demands on my time from other things, so I started turning to more multijoint exercises to get more done in less time - variations of pull-ups, squats, push-ups, gorilla crunches, etc., etc., etc. And after contest time, I dropped the cardio. With Olympic lifts, a full body work out is truly beneficial for maintenance, hypertrophy, and the added bonus I hadn't expected is cardio conditioning. After zero cardio for all this time, I ran on the treadmill the other night - and was fine. No rebound whatsoever. So I've propelled this aspect further and am giddily returning to boxing, kickboxing and some plyometric stuff to really round out the addictive trancelike zone I get into with the O lifts. After maxxing on C&J, I still want to do more...my new favorite topper is jumping jacks with ten# DB in each hand. Complete taxation, overall, systematic fatigue, neural failure, endurance conditioning, and yes, specific demand as well.

So I've very organically settled into this routine, which seems anything but: On the weekend, I do one all-out, FB O work out, ending with the JJ. Through the week, with plenty of rest days, I do some low-grade specific work, trying to hit everything with at least a couple of sets of something. It feels like a break, and there's no pressure to hit everything, because I know I'll get it on the pound day. So I relax into it, and before I know it, I'm easing into the pump & burn of specific work.

I'm lucky because this works both for my body and for my temperment. I maintain and continue to make gains even with a lot of sedentary time and excess calories. And I have lots of time to spend in other ways, including guiltfree TV watching.

At another time, I want to go off here about the emotional rush of the "pound day." Both yin and yang are satiated, I get into the blissful zone of endorphines, T, etc., and I'm happily fatigued the rest of the day.

It's tempting to wish I'd discovered O a long time ago, but since I'm happy with my current state of development, I'll be satisfied that it is the result of just the way I've done things, and the way things have unfolded is excellent.

It all leads into appreciating maturity, and age, and experience, and the pay-off of honest efforts over the longterm. That makes me pretty happy with the way I've handled things for the past 15 years. And grateful to everyone who's helped along the way.

This article on healthfitness.com.au (Australia) on breaking lifting plateaus via a neural approach - i.e. integrating Olympic lifts - by Mark Kovacs explains exactly what I've been talking about.

Here's a picture of Ms Natural Olympia Susan McGee enjoying an overhead lift with a guy named Rob.

Super cooler

I freakin' love this pic. Thanks James and Gene at Genex

Miss Penitentiary 2005

The annual Miss Penitentiary pageant just took place in Brazil. The winner of the title is just beautiful, and look how happy and supportive everyone looks. Must have been a hell of a good time.
I'm seeking the winning prose from the writing category, a piece doubting that society would give the author a second chance.

Everyone needs some glory....

good photo source

71 year-old woman pulls car with teeth

A 71-year-old woman has pulled a car for 65ft - with her teeth - in China.
Wang Xiaobei performed the stunt with a car weighing more than a tonne in Jinan, Shandong province, where she lives. She attached one end of a heavy rope to the car and wrapped a handkerchief around the other end before biting on the rope. Mrs Wang said she had been practising feats of strength with her teeth for more than 30 years. She has previously managed to carry a 25 kilo bucket of water with her mouth, and also a bicycle.



S. Asian women boxing

Boxing future for Muslim women

By Soutik Biswas
BBC News Online correspondent in Calcutta

At the crack of dawn every day, a wiry girl leaves her cramped home in Calcutta's squalid Kidderpore area and jogs to the lush gardens of the city's stately Imperial Library. For the next hour, Razia Shabnam goes through her paces, as early morning walkers gape at her.
"She's the woman boxer. Be careful of her!" quips one passerby.

Razia Shabnam, 23, is more than a female pugilist. Braving stiff resistance from relatives and neighbours in the desperately poor Muslim ghettos of Calcutta where women have traditionally lived a cloistered life, Shabnam made it to the big ring. Now she is India's first Muslim woman boxer-turned-coach and international referee. More importantly, she is like the Pied Piper to poor Muslim girls who are making their journey to the boxing ring and making a statement. There are over 150 women boxers in India today, but the majority of those hailing from Calcutta are Muslim girls who have come out of the shadows. Inspiring them to take up what, for Calcutta, is a rather unusual sport, is Laila Ali, the boxer-daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

click above to read the full story

Like wow

I grow so weary of blowhards whining about the word "like" in current vernacular. The most lucid and sharp commentary on the truth of the matter was written by linguist extraordinaire Geoffery Nunberg (Language Log) and aired on Fresh Air on March 20, 2001. Here it is.

Like wow
By Geoffrey Nunberg

I had been thinking about the word like, so I was on the lookout for it in all the press interviews with students after the school shootings near San Diego last week. Understandably, most of the kids were struggling to put their thoughts in words, and their speech was punctuated by um's and er's and you know's. But of the dozen students that I listened to, not one used the word like. Nobody said, "Like, they were yelling at us to leave" or "I was like, 'let's get out of here.'"

There's no question that all these kids use like that way in their ordinary conversation -- you'd be hard-pressed to find a dozen adolescents in the whole country who don't. But whatever critics and teachers may think, it's more than just an unconscious tic, or a filler that people stick in while they're vamping for time. It's a word with a point of view, and speakers can shut it down when that isn't what they want to convey.

Like a lot of modern sensibilities, that point of view and that use of the word got their start with the hipsters of the fifties. In their mouths, it wasn't a sign of inarticulateness, the way people would come to think of it later. Nobody ever accused the hipsters of being at a loss for words, even if it wasn't always easy to know what they meant. But the word contributed to the sense of a language that didn't actually mean anything so much as it evoked, the way a jazz riff does. It turned everything the hipsters said into a kind of extended simile, as if to say, "I, like, gotta use words when I talk to you."

Mainstream Americans didn't learn that kind of talk from the hipsters themselves. They got it from TV and radio programs that diffused the lingo in a diluted form. DJ's like Wolfman Jack and Philadelphia's Hy Lit lifted their patter from the hipster comic Lord Buckley, who also originated the shtick that that Steve Allen worked over in his bopster fairy tales. Sid Caesar had a bopster character called Progress Hornsby, and Lennie Bruce did a much more dead-on routine in the persona of jazz musician Shorty Peterstein. And then there was Maynard G. Krebs, the goateed beatnik wannabe that Bob Denver played on the late-fifties TV show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Krebs was given to saying things on the order of "Like, wow! That is, like, really, like, cool!"

To a lot of adults, that was pretty much the way all teenagers were starting to sound. In short measure, critics were making like the symptom of an alarming decline in communication skills among the nation's young people. That single word seemed to embody all the pernicious influences at work in the culture -- lax standards, television, poor manners, and a spreading mindlessness. And it's true that the teenagers who picked up on like seemed to use it indiscriminately. But there was method in it -- one way or another, like lays a certain distance between speakers and their words. Sometimes it can soften a request, as in "Could I, like, borrow your sweater?" Sometimes it communicates disaffection: "Whaddawe suppose to, like, read this?" Or you can use it to nod ironically at the banality of your words, as in, "Do you suppose we could, like, talk about it?" That's one use of the word that just about everybody has picked up on; I even use it in email.

However like is used, though, you can still hear faint echoes of the hipster, in that implicit awareness of the limits of description. That might explain why young people in the eighties started to use the word as what linguists call a quotative marker, as in "I was like, 'That is so uncool.'" The construction first came to national attention in 1982, when Moon Unit Zappa used it in her song "Valley Girl," and it was quickly stereotyped as adolescent female speech -- though in fact boys probably use it as much as girls do. And in short order the new use of like was joined by other quotatives like "I was all..." or just "So she's 'Oh my GOD!'"

Not surprisingly, this set in motion another wave of denunciations from critics who wondered why teenagers couldn't say "I said" instead of "I was like." But those aren't the same. What follows I said is a report of people's words; what follows I was like is a performance of their actions. That's why I was like is as apt to be followed by a noise or gesture as by a sentence. Say is for telling, like is for showing.

It's no wonder like has become one of the linguistic emblem of the age. There's no other single word that embodies all the sensibilities that have been converging in the language since the hipsters first made their appearance -- the ironizing, the mistrust of description, and the way we look to drama and simulation to do the work that used to be done by narrative. As the critic Raymond Williams once put it, "We have never as a society acted so much or watched so many others acting."

In the midst of all that theatricality, it's a little silly to get all huffy when the language comes up with a new construction that sets the scene for our dramatizings. And anyway, language doesn't determine our mindset nearly as much as people like to think it does. When those kids down in San Diego County were faced with talking about the school shootings, they had no use for like and the distance it would have interposed between them and their words. They know as well as anybody that there are times when you have to throw yourself back on narrative to make sense of things.

keeping it real with language differences

In a searing commentary, linguist John McWhorter rebukes the notion that polysemies (you know, words with multiple meanings) in indigenous languages denote some superior mystique. The post is Mohawk Philosophy Lessons at Language Log.

Similarly, LL regular Geoffery Pullum has exhaustively disproven the popular myth that Eskimos have dozens of words for snow. Despite how many articles and posts he writes, even a book called The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax and other irreverent essays on the study of language, this one just won't die.

So if you're here and this stuff is new to you, puh-leez, take a moment ...

Vocalizations of Norway rats

This guide to rat vocalizations, with sound files, is on "Anne's Rat Page", an excellent resource on rat behavior and biology.

The real million dollar baby?

The movie Million Dollar Baby was fiction, but there was a real event that may have inspired FX Toole's story. The crippled boxer is Katie Dallam, and many news stories covering the parallel are posted on her site.

Meanwhile, here's my commentary on the film.

Million Dollar Backlash
By Kat Ricker

Now that Million Dollar Baby has had its run, taken the crown at the Oscars and been digested, debated, reviewed and fallen out of the fickle spotlight of pop culture, I am relieved that I can coddle the film in peace, but troubled at its wake.

While the film was in production, I eagerly awaited its release. The project is significant to me for reasons not on the radar of the mainstream moviegoing public. One, this is a female boxing movie. I am a female boxing buff, so I am thrilled that a major film revolving around this fringe sport broke through to mainstream. Secondly, as a female boxing fan, I have my champions, and Lucia Rijker, dubbed the most dangerous woman in the world, is more than the ultimate boxing champion to me – she is one of my greatest heroes, an uberwoman of unparalleled eloquence, lucidity, discipline, strength, power, beauty and grace. I’m a fanatic; I know the documentary Shadowboxers by heart, own the soundtrack, and have a collection of Lucia Rijker fight tapes and postcards. She’d been trying to break into movies for years, and after my bitter disappointment that she was not cast from among three finalists as the robotic femme fatale in Terminator III, I was overjoyed that she had nailed a significant role not only in a mainstream movie but also one that raised awareness of her beloved sport. Third, Hilary Swank is my all-time favorite actress. I have long felt connected to Swank on a deep level, and her phenomenal performance in Boys Don’t Cry permanently bound my loyalty to her. So you can imagine that all three of these factors coming together in one film was something of a Kismet moment for me.

The movie itself was good enough. It struck me as two different movies, split by Maggie’s tragedy. I was much more engaged in the first half, the wannabe-come-champion, than the second, the drawn-out drama, but all in all, it was an engrossing couple of hours with stellar performances, and as movies go, that’s good enough for me. Then all there was to do was settle back and watch the public react.

That’s where the disappointment set in. All I heard about this movie, in reviews, commentaries, debates, etcetera, was that it was a sticky suicide issue film. I couldn’t believe it. Nowhere did anyone talk about female boxing, athleticism, ethics in boxing, equality in boxing. Not once did I hear anyone but a boxing insider comment on Lucia Rijker’s chilling and polished performance. And poor Hilary, sure she won the Oscar and recognition among her peers, but the wide range she displayed as an actress in the film was so overshadowed by the media’s manhandling of her as a delivery tool for the suicide rights issue.
Where were the women, inspired by Maggie’s rise to the top? Where were the women, inspired by seeing strong, determined, successful females triumphing over society’s expectations? As Lucia once said, women can find strength in seeing other women fight. They can take something from that, even if they are not boxers.

In some ways, Million Dollar Baby is a sneaky success for female boxing. It crept the sport into mainstream so skillfully that most people appear not to notice. And as I go down the aisle at the videostore, I spot more and more films about female boxers on the shelves. I see it surfacing in the background of television dramas and sitcoms. And that does make me smile – the insidious rise of this sport, once considered fringe, into the public consciousness. They may not recognize Lucia yet, but they don’t recognize anything unusual is going on, either. And that’s the work of champions.

Waxing on bodybuilding

This is my edited adaptation of an original post by "Sully" (veteran natural bodybuilder Sean Sullivan) on the OCB bodybuilding discussion forum. Thanks Sully, for putting your thoughts down so well.

Bodybuilding is not really a sport nor an artform, although the latter comes closer. Bodybuilding is a discipline, like the martial arts. When practiced in their true form, these disciplines are a beautiful way of life, and create a better understanding and spirituality for the student. True mastery takes a lifetime, and there are few masters. When the martial arts are practiced for the wrong reasons or in the wrong way, the results are not good to the practitioner.

Bodybuilding is not about the competition, awards or titles. The stage is only a venue where we go to celebrate our accomplishments together. This is why, no matter how small, there will always be an outlet for those who wish to display what they have accomplished. Male or female, no matter what the criteria, it will prevail, no matter how small the numbers get.

I hear people talk about bodybuilding's identity crisis, but bodybuilding has never really had an identity beyond what the individuals practicing it make it out to be at that particular point in time. If bodybuilding really had its own identity it would be unchanged for the most part, like baseball or track events, and far more accepted. Now physical culture, care of the body, health and exercise are universally accepted, and that is what bodybuilding really is. Shaving, tanning, oiling up and parading around wearing less material then a dinner napkin is not what bodybuilding really is. When you think about it, bodybuilding has been around from the times of Greece and the Roman empire. Exercise to develop a physical ideal is a thought process that has endured for thousands of years, and it will continue to endure for thousands more. For those who practice bodybuilding for the wrong reasons - those little, insecure, over-pumped, drug-induced, skitzo-looser types that never got enough attention from momma and who feel bodybuilding is a excuse to rush to a early grave...they will not make it. Those who practice the art form of bodybuilding - the Drapers, Zanes, Pearls and yes, Arnold - they will assure bodybuilding's longevity.

I will continue to practice the discipline of bodybuilding and use it as my way of life. I train therefore I am.
As for the rest of the sport... Ronnie, Lenda and the IFBB can continue their downward spirial to hell if they want; that has no bearing on true bodybuilding. Our way of life as a sport will continue with or without them. So rest assured, the sport aspect of bodybuilding will continue.

Longer needles needed for fatter buttocks

Yup, it's official.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051129/od_nm/buttocks_dc Reuters

Fatter rear ends are causing many drug injections to miss their mark, requiring longer needles to reach buttock muscle, researchers said on Monday. Standard-sized needles failed to reach the buttock muscle in 23 out of 25 women whose rears were examined after what was supposed to be an intramuscular injection of a drug. Two-thirds of the 50 patients in the study did not receive the full dosage of the drug, which instead lodged in the fat tissue of their buttocks, researchers from The Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Dublin said in a presentation to the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. Besides patients receiving less than the correct drug dosage, medications that remain lodged in fat can cause infection or irritation, researchers Victoria Chan said.

"There is no question that obesity is the underlying cause. We have identified a new problem related, in part, to the increasing amount of fat in patients' buttocks," Chan said. "The amount of fat tissue overlying the muscles exceeds the length of the needles commonly used for these injections," she said.

The 25 men and 25 women studied at the Irish hospital ranged in age from 21 to 87. The buttocks are a good place for intramuscular injections because there are relatively few major blood vessels, nerves and bones that can be damaged by a needle. Plentiful smaller blood vessels found in muscle carry the drug to the rest of the body, while fat tissue contains relatively few blood vessels. Obesity affects more than 300 million people worldwide and is based on a measure of height versus weight that produces a body mass index above 30. An estimated 65 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese.

Too much Dick in Jane

Photo by Bill Dobbins

Here are some articles related to females tampering with their testosterone & estrogen balance. Tampering or not, the key is balance, as with all things, and tipping too far into testosterone has consequences for anybody...and everybody around the anybody. Whatever your relation to the subject, the links below are undeniably interesting.

Rough firsthand account of dating a woman on steroids, by John Romano

Hormone abuse information from The Hormone Foundation

A defensive article suggesting that media is exaggerating about the proliferation of girls on hormones, at Steroidlaw.com

Lots of instant, organized info on steroids and the systematic substitute recommendations of one supplement company at thepumpingstation.com.

diet or training questions?

While I enjoy getting emails from like-minded people, please be aware that if you contact me with training questions, I'll recommend that you consider my email-based training arrangement (details at mightykat.net). In other words, the information I post is free, but my personal training advice is not.

Meanwhile, two free, excellent resources of sound information and advice are my site, mightykat.net, and Krista Scott's megasite, stumptuous.com.


Please visit my virtual portfolio at mightykat.net for background on me, my approach to training, samples of my articles, plus a guide to my cherished recommended links, books and films.