|by StrayCatBlues on July 30, 2013, 05:15:00 AM
This weekend was the International 2013 CrossFit games, and by golly was it a good year for the US (again) and the UK!
Both of our countries apparently host the fittest individuals to walk our earth.
So what is CrossFit?
Over here in the UK it is a fairly new program but the years 2012 – 2013 have seen its popularity grow considerably; last year in my hometown of Manchester, there was only one CF affiliated gym - now we have three and the regular gyms are catching on, offering an array of strength-conditioning programs.
CrossFit is designed to help people gain a broad range of general fitness and reach their overall personal top! It’s a varied program, which will change each time you go to the gym - so it never gets boring, like so many other regular gym memberships. Workouts are short, thirty minutes or less - and intense: you could be running, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, flipping tires, weightlifting, carrying heavy, awkward objects, playing catch with medicine balls or swinging kettle bells around like some Russian Cossack!
It is always varied and never once dull, and it can be tailored to any person, regardless of age, weight, or gender - from kids to the elderly -
so there really is no excuse for anyone who fancies improving their health and fitness not to give it a whirl!
So now you know what it is, let’s press on with what has been happening over the weekend.
The CrossFit Games have been held every summer since 2007 over in California. The Games are designed for the purpose of determining "The Fittest [people] on Earth,"; competitors should be "ready for anything."
In 2011, the Games adopted an online format for the sectional event, which includes participation by CrossFitters on a worldwide scale. During the "CrossFit Open", a new workout is released each week; CrossFitters then have a week or so to complete the workout and then submit their scores online.
The top CrossFit Open performers in each region subsequently advance to the regional events, held over the following two months. The top CrossFitters from each participating country (up to three of each gender) are eligible to compete in the Games. The Games include divisions for individuals of each gender and age groups, as well as for teams.
So what sorts of things would you expect to see at a CrossFit Games?
I saw teams compete in - and win - the Squat Burpee competition; in just over thirteen minutes this event saw the competitors working through three rounds of thirty squats - whilst holding considerable weight on their shoulders - before knuckling down for thirty burpees.
Twenty-two year old Amanda Goodman won the women’s individual clean and jerk event with a lift of 235 pounds!
Two-time defending champion, Rich Froning attempted the win in the male contest, but fell short, with the victorious 355-pound clean and jerk mark set by both Aja Barto and Lucas Parker.
Rich Froning is a name you hear associated a lot with CrossFit, but this year, I don’t feel he was overly happy with his performance in all of the events; however, by the last day he was certainly back on top! Froning managed three rounds of five heavy deadlifts - with five weighted one-legged squats per leg - before an eighty foot handstand walk; Round two saw him perform three rounds of five muscle-ups and five deficit handstand push-ups before ninety feet of walking lunges with a bar overhead. It was his show…
...he beat second place by a clear eleven point six seconds. You don’t mess with this guy!
Manchester Firefighter (and coach at the Train Manchester facility) Samantha Briggs came first in the women's tournaments. She
owned all of the Crossfit workouts thrown at her; with the result being that local girl, Sam Briggs, was proclaimed fittest woman on Earth!
As you can imagine there is a fair amount of local pride in this for me because of that!
You can find footage of all these events online, so why not check them out for yourselves...
Talk about it here: http://www.criticalmess.net/index.php?topic=19840.0
|by StrayCatBlues on July 29, 2013, 03:55:00 AM
Here's a story which has been appearing on social media this week: "The Simpsons" co-creator Sam Simon, diagnosed with terminal cancer, is spending his vast fortune on animal rights and feeding the hungry.
Other articles are focusing on the word "philanthropy"; though I prefer the word generosity - I read about a man who puts more than money into charities; he’s providing awareness, and most importantly: providing change; and though money has to be involved, the care and the empathy has to be inherent within the person to start with, regardless of financial status.
Sam Simon says:
"I get pleasure from it. I love it."
Called both "brilliantly funny" and "mentally unbalanced" by Simpsons co-creator Matt Groening, TV writer and producer Sam Simon has become more than just a Hollywood name for his generosity towards charitable organisations.
When asked about estimating the monetary amount of his donations Simon confesses, "I don't know," His contributions include founding the Malibu-based Sam Simon Foundation (worth nearly twenty-three million dollars as of 2011) that rescues both hungry humans and stray dogs;
in addition to contributions to other charities, such as PETA, Save the Children and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a global marine conservation organisation.
In addition, he turned a Malibu mansion into a canine haven that rescues dogs from kill shelters and trains them as helper dogs for the deaf.
Sam Simon is undergoing chemotherapy; he has said he gets every possible side effect, fatigue and nausea, and has about two good days per month.
Simon told the Hollywood Reporter:
"I was just an animal lover. Everything that the Sam Simon Foundation does is supposed to help dogs and people -- that's our mission. I like dogs and meeting people whose dogs we've saved with our free-surgery day.
When The Drew Carey Show did a show about greyhound racing, I was on the show and asked the writer for a script change. I didn't think it affected the story at all, but they didn't want to do it.
I didn't want to take any money from this episode and [wanted] to make a statement about dog racing, so I donated my money from this episode to PETA.
So PETA set up this photo shoot and were supposed to get these six dogs from this California greyhound rescue on this track. I got up there, and there were no dogs.
They said that the greyhound track found out about the PETA shoot, so if they put their dogs in the shoot, they were going to kill the six dogs that the rescue was going to get the next month.
I just thought that was pretty startling. Then I started hanging around with those PETA maniacs, and it's a slippery slope, and I just slipped all the way down to the bottom.’’
I find this such an amazing story… by an amazing guy who on his two good days of the month makes sure he makes the very best of a situation! I wish there were more folk like this in the world, let alone Hollywood!
|by StrayCatBlues on July 23, 2013, 05:20:00 AM
This could be fun on a bun!!!
It's something I reckon we can all relate too...
So get the beers in, order take out and out-geek your friends with this exciting new project on Kickstarter.
You could even test your individual knowledge too!!!
It's THE GREATEST COMIC QUIZ BOOK IN THE MULTIVERSE!!!!
It has 300 (black and white) illustrated comic-fandom-testing pages packed with over 1000 questions, crosswords, mini-games and puzzles with 100 illustrations of original characters.
The brain behind the book is freelance artist David Golding.
When talking about the inspiration behind the quiz book he recalls:
''I remembered train trips with friends to our nearest comic book shop when we would quiz each other on our comic book knowledge. It's something we still do now, and it gives me a buzz when I occasionally come out on top. ''
It's a very attractive looking book and I'm sure it could be a lot of fun, with a release date around Autumn time.
So if you fancy increasing your geek status amongst friends lets help this project get off the ground!!!
You can pledge as little as £1 and gain the eternal gratitude of Mr Golding! Or if you're feeling a little flush you pledge up to £2000 for many perks!
This is one that I'm going to pick up; it will certainly give my Toga parties an extra pizzazz come winter!!!
Check it out here!!! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/744434885/the-greatest-comic-quiz-book-in-the-multiverse
|by StrayCatBlues on July 15, 2013, 04:03:00 AM
Each Monday I shall be giving us a feelgood story which has been happening curently on our fantastic little planet. News and media can focus all too much on what is going wrong in the world and we can easily get swept along and it can drag us down. So introducing the first of what should be a fun, inspiring, and perhaps sometimes thought inducing, but ALWAYS positive set of articles, I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I do finding them. SCB.
Teenagers Invent Malaria Preventing Soap!
Luckily, in the Western world, we can obtain the drugs needed to treat it and prevent it - but ninety per cent of Malaria deaths are within Africa where it affects up to nine hundred thousand people annually.
Six hundred and sixty thousand malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, are mostly among children under five years old.
If anyone reading this has witnessed the symptoms of malaria - or unlucky to have contracted this - than you are well aware of what the ups and downs of the disease and how it effects our bodies and immune system.
However, an award-winning innovation has been made by two students in Burkina Faso which could help reduce the effects of this life-threatening disease which is caused by parasites that are spread to humans via the bites of infected mosquitoes.
Moctar Dembele and Gerard Niyondiko, from Burundi, are using locally found herbs and natural ingredients to create a soap that they say repels mosquitoes, in order to prevent malaria.
Under the name "Fasoap," this innovation was awarded the $25,000 Grand Prize in the Global Social Venture Competition in April; Launched by Berkeley MBA students, the Global Social Venture is aimed at helping budding inventors transform their ideas to a reality, for the sake of a positive social impact.
This soap is known to contain shea butter and essential lemon grass oil, but as in all good entrepreneural ventures, the other ingredients are being kept secret.
After a person uses the soap, the scent on the skin repels mosquitoes.
Inventors Niyondiko and Dembele - who study at the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering in Ouagadougou - say that in addition to this, waste water products that contain these substances will prevent the development of mosquito larvae as the local sanitation system is so poor.
Something seemingly so simple can produce such positive impact!
My virtual hat tips towards Moctar Dembele and Gerard Niyondiko!!
Good on ya lads!
Talk about it here: http://www.criticalmess.net/index.php?topic=19719.0
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|by StrayCatBlues on July 12, 2013, 10:24:00 AM
Britain’s favourite BOND DIES AGED 37….
He was known to millions of families throughout Britain as
He was the handsome face of tea company PG Tips adverts throughout
the 1970’s and 80’s parodying James Bond.
Louis the chimpanzee, passed away on Monday at his home of Twycross
Zoo in Warwickshire following a short illness.
His on-screen and off-screen partner, Choppers (42), is being
monitored closely by zookeepers as she mourns her lost love.
Louis, never allowed his fame to go to
his head. Zoological director Sharon Redrobe said:
''millions of people would
have visited the chimp over the past few decades. Louis was a very gentle and
laid back chimp and a favourite of everyone.''
Born at Twycross, he was one of the original PG Tips chimps
and he lived to see the change to a more ethical nation. From chimps’ tea
parties to the modernisation of conservation and the Zoo where our hairy cousins can live
amongst large social groups happily.
Widowed Choppers will be being introduced to other chimps in the very
near future, but as recent studies show, chimpanzees mourn with what
is very much like a human response to death, so at present she is being comforted by
those who love and work alongside her.
We say farewell to Louis, may he be remembered for his suave
performances which brightened up a generations TV screen and we send our condolences
to Choppers and all those at Twycross.
Share your condolences to Choppers here: http://www.criticalmess.net/index.php?topic=19704.0
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|by StrayCatBlues on July 05, 2013, 03:19:00 PM
It's been a week since I went to see punk legend John Lydon; my bruises are still there but have now faded to yellow, and the scratches I attained across my back and shoulders have since disappeared - but I wore with them with pride!!!
Walking onto the stage in his "dirty old man" coat, flicking the Vs under it, that impish childhood grin which has graced the public for many years was still very much in evidence. He and the band kicked off the show with Albatross; my place was right down the front - I'm only 5'3" and there was no way I was missing this!
It was by far the most violent gig I have ever attended - luckily I only had to dodge the missiles; I was pushed up against the barrier so there was no way I could have moved even if I wanted, but a few rows behind me, it was kicking off BIG time!!
You name it: booze, blood, spit and probably piss was being shared between punks old and new.
The guys wearing the Abercrombie shirts standing smartly to my left - declaring they knew nothing by Public Image Limited - who were there to see Lydon as ''he was a name'' were in for a shock: let's just say they weren't still standing there by the third song - this was an old school show with old school intensity building up with each track.
Swigging from a bottle (of what looked liked brandy) throughout the show, Lydon was in fine form; he sounded great! The band were tight and eclectic, applying instruments such as a bowed banjolele to create the dance/trance vibe, and catchy sounds, which make up PiL.
My "oh fuck!" moment has to have been during the song Warriors; I was in a Lydon trance and loving it! I took a mental image of that moment so it can live on with me! Standing on the stage, giving us the dirty old man impression, John proclaimed,
''Johnny Rotten is in your house Manchester! I bring you flowers: crumpled ones''
GEEK OUT!!!! This then kicked into Flowers of Romance of course.
The set was non-stop awesomesauce!
They encored with three songs; but my all-time favourite song - Rise - is when true anarchy reigned; fifteen-hundred fans chanting ''Anger is an energy!'' made for a hair-raising moment - put it this way: I'm surprised nobody ended up going over the balcony anyhow. There was a lot of fire and spirit in that old dance-hall that evening, which made for an electric atmosphere throughout....
This was rough-and-tumble at its best, yet I never once felt threatened by it; there was still that unity that fans have, especially when it comes down to a subculture.
My verdict for PiL in 2013: Bring it on! I want MOAR!!!!
Flowers of Romance
This Is Not a Love Song
Out of The Woods
Check out my pix from the show here: http://www.criticalmess.net/index.php?topic=19582.0
|by StrayCatBlues on June 21, 2013, 10:09:00 AM
A tongue- in- cheek glance at a seven day countdown till Public Image Limited play the Manchester Ritz!!
There’s been a question burning inside me for some time; one
that I would really love to know the answer to.
When you sang We’re
so Pretty, Oh so Pretty… my only condition was that you show me you Don’t Care.
I’ve never asked for blooms… just a nod towards a Fascist Regime, as I know that We ARE the flowers that just so happen to be in the dustbin but I turn a blind eye to that bit.
I know you’re not a man for Love Songs and This is not
one of them, but I am a girl who likes a good Swindle, tinged with a little bit of Anarchy.
I Never did Mind The Bollocks and even Country Life went down nice first thing
with toast and a cuppa, but I don’t quite get the Knighthood; but if it made
you Happy then that’s fine with me
as I’m sure it’s part of the greater plan for World Destruction?
You’ve never asked of me to follow Rules and Regulations and that’s caused no Problems.
After all I’m not an
Animal and if England’s Dreaming, I
don’t want to wake up!
So the burning question... Will you RISE for
me on the 28th of June? Or will I be left Disappointed?
Don’t Ask Me…
So come and tickle the ear buds and join me in a countdown on our music board. Post, talk, debate all that is British Punk icon John Lydon.
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|by John Moores on June 18, 2013, 02:39:00 PM
By John Moores.
Okay, so today: 18th of June, is none other than Paul McCartney's 71st birthday. He played in a little known band around the Liverpool clubs back in the day. They got quite big, but stopped playing live in 1966. Such a shame...
In two days time, i.e. Thursday, the 20th, happens to be Brian Wilson's 71st. Brian didn't let the fact that only one of his ears work get him down, and some say he shows a little bit of promise as a songwriter.
What the fuck was in the water in October 1941?
Either way, happy birthday, guys!
To Talk About It!! Head over to our music board Let It Rock!
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