Bill Ricardi writes: "What is Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)? Simply put, MMA is a fighting sport that incorporates most of the techniques seen in martial arts around the world. There is kicking, punching, wrestling, knees and elbows, throws and slams, holds, and a myriad of defenses to these attacks. Rather than limit the practitioners to just one martial discipline (such as what you might see at a Karate competition), they are encouraged to cross-train, learning as much about the general art of fighting as possible before stepping into the ring or cage.
The history of mixed martial arts goes as far back as the martial arts themselves. Those who study the way of the warrior have always sought to hone their skills. Whether it was to learn more about their opponents, or to adopt the techniques themselves, many practitioners would observe arts that they had no personal knowledge of, and some would even seek out training in these disciplines. The earliest example of an organized martial art that had a broad mix of different standing and grappling elements was probably Pankration in the Greek Olympic Games (around 648 BC). They have continued to evolve in both eastern and western cultures ever since, with official and unofficial events held all over the world for centuries.
The recent return of Mixed Martial Arts to the mainstream was helped by the popularity of a competitive sport called Vale Tudo in Brazil. Though more raw than modern MMA, Vale Tudo briefly made the transition from underground sport to open spectator event in the late 1980's and early 1990's. This inspired some members of the famous Gracie fighting family to bring the sport to the United States, but in a safer and more consumer friendly package. The Gracie's helped found the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, which gained a foothold in North America. Ironically, the safety rules adopted by the UFC were shunned by the major Vale Tudo organizations (The WVC and the IVC), and the sport mostly went back to its underground roots by the late 90's after the state of Sao Paulo refused to sanction the events in Brazil.
The UFC was joined by new Mixed Martial Arts organizations springing up all over the world, the largest early booms happening mostly in Japan, Canada, and the U.S. Now there are dozens of MMA organizations, all with their own ideas of the best rules, safety features, fighter promotion, and compensation.
Bill Ricardi writes: "Observing recent political protests in America, my thoughts do NOT stray towards the activities of our founding fathers. I can only compare them to something that you might see in a local high school: Angry students writing a firmly worded editorial and passing out black and white fliers. It is protest of the worst kind: Low commitment activity attempting to express ideals that outreach the dedication of the participants. The media sees activity like this as weak, and even worse, amusing.
In order to evoke the spirit of activities such as The Boston Tea Party, or civil rights sit-ins, a new level of dedication must be reached. The modern protester must draw upon both their history and the power of modern media. Great leaders aren't necessary, but a unified purpose that drives people beyond normality and stagnation is required. This guide will help you to channel the energy of unrest to effect social and political change.
I'm not going to quote historical books at length, as the purpose of this article is to adapt those older concepts to today's sensibilities. If you want some scope as to the source and the impact of this theory of revolution, you should read Civil Disobedience and A People's History of the United States. These and other texts demonstrate both effective protests of the past, and both the pitfalls and the boons of attempting to effect change in a peaceful way.
Bill Ricardi writes: "When we talk about 80's tunes with the guys, we tend to drink a beer and recall the over the top glam rock, the hard line metal, maybe the complexity of prog rock. You know, Queen, Metallica, and Rush. But what you never discuss with the guys are the songs that bring a misty tear to your eye, or a bittersweet smile to your lips. Here are 5 tunes that we bet will 'out' you!
Nobody is calling you a wimp, man. But our intensive studies, our quiet conversations with lyrical gurus, and our drunken 4 A.M. musical confessionals have led us to one solid conclusion: If you were a young person in the 80's, there are certain songs that you secretly love, but would never admit to your friends. That's OK man, that's cool. It doesn't mean anything. Well, we don't think it means anything. OK, even if you ARE gay (and there's nothing wrong with that by the way), nobody is calling you gay! Well, not to your face.
Our research of demographics, sales figures from our website (U.K.), and industry statistics say that one or more of these tunes makes your heart flutter in a way that you wouldn't bring up at the next monster truck rally, if you know what I mean. We've provided links to the U.S. and U.K. MP3's, just in case you want... no, NEED to hear them again. We won't judge you. Much.
Bill Ricardi writes: "The zombie apocalypse is most likely right around the corner, as you know. Those of us who survive the first shocking, bloody horde of infected will need a plan to stay alive until the hellish infestation has killed all of the easy prey and starves itself out (or a cure is found if you're an optimist). If you are currently living in an urban, landlocked area... well you didn't really consider how undead-friendly your lifestyle is, did you? Why not just cover yourself in tartar sauce? We're going to write you off as tasty infected-treats and move on now. If you're in a rural area, you have a shot at survival if you stockpile a lot of canned food and reliable weapons, so that you can literally head for the hills.
Now if you're in a coastal location, you have another option. Life at sea. In this article, I'll explain the benefits of getting yourself a ship, how you're going to want to equip and modify her, suggested activities, and tips for the crew. Avast me maties, there be zombies!
rrauwl writes: "The Slashdot and Digg effects have taken down many websites. Running out of bandwidth, server side CPU and memory overload, and pushing too many total bits for your quota can all be avoided by using Google Knol to submit your content to social media sites and blogs! This guide goes through the pro's and the con's of using Knol to host your social media-worthy content, and the fringe benefits."