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Topics - matinik

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Politics & Religion / with friends like these....
« on: September 12, 2009, 12:59:00 PM »

I thought i'd start this thread on what our "allies" :| have been up to...

" British special forces train Libyan troops

By RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press Writer Raphael G. Satter, Associated Press Writer – Sat Sep 12, 12:38 pm ET

LONDON – Some of Britain's most elite soldiers have been training Libyan forces in counterterrorism and surveillance for the past six months, a newspaper said Saturday.

The Daily Telegraph said a contingent of between four and 14 men from the Special Air Service, or SAS, were working with Col. Moammar Gadhafi's soldiers in Libya, a country once notorious for its support of terrorism.

The paper cited an unidentified SAS source as saying that the training was seen as part of the deal to release Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, whose return to Libya last month outraged Americans and raised questions over the nature of Britain's relationship with Gadhafi's authoritarian regime.

Britain's military refused to comment on the Telegraph's report. The Foreign Office said Britain had "ongoing cooperation with Libya in the field of defense," but refused to comment on the issue of special forces. It denied in a statement that the defense cooperation had anything to do with al-Megrahi's release.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other government officials have emphasized Libya's remarkable transformation from rogue state to Western ally and the need to keep Gadhafi on board since he renounced terrorism and dismantled his country's clandestine nuclear program in 2003.

But media reports have suggested that the prisoner exchange agreement that paved the way for al-Megrahi release was motivated in part by a desire to secure access to Libya's vast energy reserves. British Justice Secretary Jack Straw seemed to endorse that claim when he told the Telegraph last week that trade played "a very big part" in the negotiations over the prisoner deal.

Britain's thirst for Libya's oil and gas resources was again thrust into the spotlight earlier this month when it was reported that Brown had refused to lobby Gadhafi for compensation for the Britons killed and injured by Libyan-supplied plastic explosives used by the Irish Republican Army in the 1980s and '90s.

In a letter written last year to a survivor of one of the IRA bombings, then-junior Foreign Office minister Bill Rammell explained that Libya was now "a vital partner ... in guaranteeing a secure energy future for the U.K."

Britain's secretive SAS is among the world's best respected commando units. It was created during World War II for attacks behind Axis lines, but the group has since turned its attention to fighting terrorists. Among its best-known operations was the 1980 raid on the Iranian Embassy in London, which broke an Iraqi-backed siege. The SAS also played an active role in suppressing IRA rebels — many of whom were supplied with Libyan weapons and explosives.

Robin Horsfall, a former SAS soldier who participated in the Iranian Embassy siege and fought the IRA in Northern Ireland, said giving special forces training to the Libyans was putting lives at risk.

"People will die as a result of this decision," he told Sky News television, explaining that the Libyans "can learn how to defeat what we do."

He added that the military's refusal to talk about the report was telling.

"When they say 'no comment' we can read our own interpretation into that," he told the broadcaster."

Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pets (Who controls whom)
« on: July 13, 2009, 03:24:24 PM »
this sort of confirms my sinking suspicion   :lol:!
Cats Do Control Humans, Study Finds

If you've ever wondered who's in control, you or your cat, a new study points to the obvious. It's your cat.

Household cats exercise this control with a certain type of urgent-sounding, high-pitched meow, according to the findings.

This meow is actually a purr mixed with a high-pitched cry. While people usually think of cat purring as a sign of happiness, some cats make this purr-cry sound when they want to be fed. The study showed that humans find these mixed calls annoying and difficult to ignore.

"The embedding of a cry within a call that we normally associate with contentment is quite a subtle means of eliciting a response," said Karen McComb of the University of Sussex. "Solicitation purring is probably more acceptable to humans than overt meowing, which is likely to get cats ejected from the bedroom."

They know us

Previous research has shown similarities between cat cries and human infant cries.

McComb suggests that the purr-cry may subtly take advantage of humans' sensitivity to cries they associate with nurturing offspring. Also, including the cry within the purr could make the sound "less harmonic and thus more difficult to habituate to," she said.

McComb got the idea for the study from her experience with her own cat, who would consistently wake her up in the mornings with a very insistent purr. After speaking with other cat owners, she learned that some of their cats also made the same type of call. As a scientist who studies vocal communication in mammals, she decided to investigate the manipulative meow.

Tough to test

Setting up the experiments wasn't easy. While the felines used purr-cries around their familiar owners, they were not eager to make the same cries in front of strangers. So McComb and her team trained cat owners to record their pets' cries - capturing the sounds made by cats when they were seeking food and when they were not. In all, the team collected recordings from 10 different cats.

The researchers then played the cries back for 50 human participants, not all of whom owned cats. They found that humans, even if they had never had a cat themselves, judged the purrs recorded while cats were actively seeking food - the purrs with an embedded, high-pitched cry - as more urgent and less pleasant than those made in other contexts.

When the team re-synthesised the recorded purrs to remove the embedded cry, leaving all else unchanged, the human subjects' urgency ratings for those calls decreased significantly.

McComb said she thinks this cry occurs at a low level in cats' normal purring, "but we think that cats learn to dramatically exaggerate it when it proves effective in generating a response from humans." In fact, not all cats use this form of purring at all, she said, noting that it seems to most often develop in cats that have a one-on-one relationship with their owners rather than those living in large households, where their purrs might be overlooked.

The results were published in the July 14 issue of the journal Current Biology.

Science, Culture, & Humanities / the most dangerous sport
« on: June 26, 2009, 09:42:59 PM »

The Most Dangerous Sport: Cheerleading

Cheerleading safety efforts have led to modest reductions in the number of serious injuries in recent years, according to a new report about college and high school sports and cheerleading mishaps.

But cheerleading continues to cause more serious and deadly injuries by far than other sports.

Researchers have long known how dangerous cheerleading is, but records were poorly kept until recently. An update to the record-keeping system last year found that between 1982 and 2007, there were 103 fatal, disabling or serious injuries recorded among female high school athletes, with the vast majority (67) occurring in cheerleading. The next most dangerous sports: gymnastics (nine such injuries) and track (seven).

Today, the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released its 26th annual report on the topic. The latest figures are from the 2007-2008 academic year for college and high school sports, male and female. The report defines catastrophic injuries as any severe or fatal injury incurred during participation in the sport.

The new numbers are for the 26-year period from the fall of 1982 through the spring of 2008:

    * There were 1,116 direct catastrophic injuries in high school (905) and college sports (211).
    * High school sports were associated with 152 fatalities, 379 non-fatal injuries and 374 serious injuries. College sports accounted for 22 fatalities, 63 non-fatal injuries and 126 serious injuries.
    * Cheerleading accounted for 65.2 percent of high school and 70.5 percent of college catastrophic injuries among all female sports.

The number of cheerleading injuries fell slightly in the 2007-08 academic year.

"Progress has been slow, but there has been an increased emphasis on cheerleading safety," said the study's author Frederick O. Mueller. "Continued data collection on all types of cheerleading injuries will hopefully show that these safety measures are working to reduce injuries."

Martial Arts Topics / tennis elbows in kali
« on: May 16, 2009, 08:51:53 PM »
woof all

as you all know, swinging the stick (of various length and gauges) tends to give the
arms some wear and tear through out the years. one of those nagging aches are the
dreaded tennis elbows :cry:. any strenghtening/conditioning exercises you guys might want to
share would be great and a worthwhile topic imho. perhaps how to prevent this mishap from happening
in the first place would also be information widely appreciated, i'm sure :-). i've seen some
exercises pertaining to this on some tennis sites. but the strokes in tennis doesn't exactly match
the strikes in kali, so i'm not sure if the exercises shown in these sites would cover most of
the issues involve in kali (abaniko, witik, V-de Kadena-V and so forth). it would be a boon to
have info directly from practitioners.



Martial Arts Topics / kali in the media 2
« on: May 08, 2003, 01:20:28 PM »
woof all

nice new interface 8) ! there was a segment on the stabbing incident on a news show "balita america" seen on the international channel recently. it was a cool bit. they interviewed a cop who trained in serrada and he spoke about the defensive nature of the art and how it helped save his life on the job. they also interviewed a professor of far east studies, if memory serves, and he also put the training in context.and all the while showing serrada eskrima people training. they also showed the current head, gm vincent cabales as well. a bit of fresh air from the usual shrill sensationalism the media is apt to take on things of this nature.


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