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Was Bass Reeves — a former slave turned deputy U.S. marshal — the real Lone Ranger?

Alex Hannaford, The Telegraph | 13/08/06 8:43 PM ET

Bass Reeves was Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Arkansas and the Eastern District of Texas, 1875-1907

Art Burton listened intently as the old man on the other end of the phone cleared his throat and began telling him a story. Burton had only been researching the life of Bass Reeves for a short while but that afternoon what Reverend Haskell James Shoeboot, the 98-year-old part-Cherokee Indian, was about to tell him would persuade Burton he had stumbled upon one of the greatest stories never told.

Born in 1838, Bass Reeves was a former slave-turned-lawman who served with the U.S. Marshals Service for 32 years at the turn of the 20th century in part of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas known as Indian Territory. Though he was illiterate, Reeves became an expert tracker and detective – a man who, in Burton’s words, “walked in the valley of death every day for 35 years and brought in some of the worst outlaws from that period”.

That afternoon on the phone sometime in the late-1980s, Shoeboot recounted an event he had witnessed with his own eyes in the early-1900s: Shoeboot had been chauffeur to Deputy U.S. Marshal James Franklin “Bud” Ledbetter and early one morning a posse had gathered at Gibson Station, 18 kilometres north of the east Oklahoma town of Muskogee, to track and capture an outlaw. By the middle of the day they hadn’t made any progress and Ledbetter was irate.

“That’s when somebody suggested heading back into town to get Bass Reeves,” Shoeboot told Burton.

By the time Reeves arrived, the sun was setting and Shoeboot saw the outlaw jump up from where he was hiding and begin running across a field. “The posse started shooting but kept missing,” Shoeboot said. Reeves “cooly and calmly told Ledbetter he would break the outlaw’s neck with one shot from his Winchester rifle at a distance of a quarter of a mile.” With that, he took aim and did exactly that.

It reaffirmed what Burton had suspected: that (Armie Hammer’s caucasian portrayal aside in the movie The Lone Ranger) Bass Reeves — perhaps the first black commissioned deputy marshal west of the Mississippi — could well have been one of the greatest lawmen of the Wild West. But most people hadn’t heard of him. Over the next 20 years, Reeves would become an obsession for Burton, culminating in a very interesting hypothesis, which he puts forward in his book Black Gun, Silver Star.

Bass Reeves, he argues, was almost certainly the real-life inspiration for the Lone Ranger.

Art Burton’s evidence to support his conclusion that Reeves was the real-life lawman is pretty compelling. It goes something like this: federal law dictated that deputy U.S. marshals had to have at least one posseman with them whenever they went out in the field and “often, the men who assisted Reeves were native Americans”. Tonto was said to be a Potawatomi Indian — the same tribe that was forced to move to Oklahoma.

The fictional character’s last name was Reid (he was never given a first name), which Burton points out is very close to Reeves. Burton discovered that Reeves often wore disguises while tracking fugitives — the Lone Ranger, famously, wore a black mask. But, he says, “you’ve also got to realize that in the late-19th/early-20th century, black people were pretty much invisible. The first images of the Lone Ranger in the Thirties saw him wearing a black mask covering his whole face. For me that’s interesting. Why would you have a black mask covering his entire face?”

Burton reckons Reeves’s calling card could have been a silver dollar, citing a story he was told in which Reeves left coins with a family who fed and housed him while he was on the trail of a gang of train robbers. The Lone Ranger’s calling card was a silver bullet.

Another similarity, Burton points out, is that, like the Lone Ranger, Reeves rode a white horse. He cites transcripts from trials of outlaws Reeves captured which describe his horse as a “large grey” (adult greys usually have a white coat).

Many of the fugitives arrested by Reeves were sent to prison in Detroit in the 1890s and early 1900s. The Lone Ranger story first appeared on the radio in Detroit in 1933 (the series conceived by George W. Trendle and written by Fran Striker) and Burton says it’s very likely that anyone connected with the prison system during that time would have heard the incredible stories about Bass Reeves.

“Prisoners were singing songs about him,” Burton says. “He was a celebrity. They would have been talking about him in Detroit.”

And Burton wasn’t the first author to make the connection. In his book Black Pioneers: Images of the Black Experience on the North American Frontier, John Ravage also suggested Reeves could have been the inspiration for the Lone Ranger. Burton says “unequivocally” that Reeves is the closest real person to resemble the fictional character.

    ‘He was bigger than anything I’d seen in fiction. I always said when the public heard about Bass Reeves it was going to blow the lid off everything’

After his conversation with Shoeboot, Burton became obsessed with finding out everything he could about the mysterious lawman. He knew Bass Reeves had killed 14 men during his career and captured 3,000 felons — once bringing in 17 men at once. Burton says he first set out to disprove some of the overly dramatic stories about Reeves but each time came across information that seemed to back them up.

For his research, Burton’s starting point was a man named Richard Fronterhouse who had written a 60-page college dissertation on Reeves called “The Forgotten Lawman”. According to Burton, Fronterhouse had gathered first-person testimony for his essay and among those he spoke to was Reeves’s own daughter, Alice Spahn, who was still alive at the time.

Burton visited Oklahoma himself to dig up more stories. One woman, who grew up on the Osage Nation reservation, said her grandmother once told her of the day Reeves stumbled upon a lynch mob near a large Oklahoma cattle ranch.

“Evidently a rustler had been caught and was about to be strung to a tree on the prairie by a group of cowboys,” the woman told Burton. “Without any thought of the danger he might be in, Reeves rode straight up to the mob, cut the man down with his knife, and rode off with the man without saying a word to anyone.”

In his book, Burton relays a conversation in which he’d heard Reeves was so quick with a pistol he was likened to a “Methodist preacher reaching for a platter of fried chicken during Sunday dinner at the deacon’s house.” Another story had Reeves using “superhuman strength” to free a steer that had become stuck in a bog, despite failed attempts by a group of cowboys to help the animal. One book about Reeves had it that his hat and clothes were riddled with bullets, his horses killed, his gunbelt shot off his body – but “miraculously, he was never wounded”.

“He was bigger than anything I’d seen in fiction,” Burton tells me. “I always said when the public heard about Bass Reeves it was going to blow the lid off everything. He’s actually like a combination of Sherlock Holmes, the Lone Ranger and Superman.”

Reeves was born a slave in Arkansas Territory and grew up in north Texas. According to court records, he murdered his “owner” following a card game and escaped into Indian Territory where he lived among local tribes, even learning their language, and earning money as a bounty hunter. Because of his skills as a polyglot, he was recruited by the Federal Marshals Service: Reeves was the ideal person to capture outlaws in that hostile environment.

Uncovering biographical information about a black lawman in America at the dawn of the 20th century is tough. Although there was a vibrant press through which these lives could have been documented, and slavery had been abolished, the so-called “Jim Crow” laws had come into effect, mandating racial segregation in all public facilities in former Confederate states.

One person who could shed some light on Reeves was Paul Brady, a retired judge living in Atlanta, Georgia. Reeves was Brady’s great uncle – his grandmother’s brother – and while he never knew him personally (Reeves died before Brady was born), Brady’s father was close to the lawman and stories of his escapades became family folklore.

“It’s funny,” Brady tells me over the phone. “I grew up hearing stories about cowboys and Indians and we were told the cowboys were the good guys and the Indians were the bad guys. But hearing stories from my father about Uncle Bass confused me because he had lived with Indians and had such a good experience with them; he had their trust and they had faith in him. So I couldn’t rectify in my young mind how they could be the bad guys.” So fascinated was Brady with his great uncle’s legend that he wrote his own book about him, The Black Badge, published in 2005. When he began his research, Brady was amazed at how little people knew about Reeves, even in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he had worked as a marshal. “Unfortunately, had Bass Reeves been white he’d be known from coast to coast, by the old and young.”

Brady says his father told him stories of how Reeves would trot off on his horse into Indian Territory and return to Fort Smith with prisoners. “After he’d drop them off he’d clean up and go over to Van Buren where he lived on his farm. My father and other kids always knew when Bass was expected back. They’d wait for him to arrive. Dad said Bass sat so tall in his saddle and had such a large horse. His badge always shone brightly on his vest.”

None the less, Brady doesn’t accept that his great uncle was the real-life inspiration for the Lone Ranger. When I mention it he tells me it’s the first he’s heard of the connection. “It’s not acceptable to compare him to a fictional character,” Brady says. “This was a real man who never had the distinction he deserved for many, many years.” Bass Reeve’s final days were tragic, Brady told one U.S. magazine last year.

“He witnessed a backward spiral of segregation and had to relinquish his position as a deputy marshal in 1907 when Oklahoma became a state.” Two years ago, Brady attended a ceremony honouring Reeves when the lawman was included in an exhibit at the U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith. Brady donated Reeves’s gun, badge and several bullets, which had been handed down to him by his father.

Included in the information about Reeves at the museum is the story that Belle Starr, a notorious female outlaw from Missouri, apparently gave herself up after discovering Reeves had a warrant for her arrest; and that in 1902, Reeves conducted the most difficult arrest of his career: taking his own son, Bennie, into custody for the murder of his wife.

Then, in May last year, 1,000 people gathered at a small park in Fort Smith to witness the unveiling of a six-metre bronze statue of Reeves. And there he sits, high in the saddle of his horse, under the hot Arkansas sun – one of the first and most feared federal lawmen on the early western frontier.

Following his death in 1910, nobody knows where Reeves was buried. Art Burton likes to tell people it’s because he’s still in disguise.

From the Daily Telegraph

Geneticist wants to use ancient Neanderthal DNA to make Neanderthal clone that will be carried by a surrogate mother

A Harvard scientist has said it would be possible to clone a Neanderthal baby from ancient DNA if he could find a woman willing to act as a surrogate.
The process would not be legal in many countries and would involve using DNA extracted from fossils.
George Church, a genetics professor of Harvard School of Medicine, said that the process was possible and that Neanderthals were intelligent beings.
They are believed to be one of the ancestors of modern man and became extinct 33,000 years ago.
He added that altering the human genome could also provide the answers to curing diseases such as cancer and HIV, and hold the key to living to 120.
The professor claims that he could introduce parts of the Neanderthal genome to human stem cells and clone them to create a foetus.

Oh boy

General Discussion / Boldly go....
« on: December 05, 2012, 11:38:27 AM »
How NASA might build its very first warp drive

By: George Dvorsky

From: io9.com

 A few months ago, physicist Harold White stunned the aeronautics world when he announced that he and his team at NASA had begun work on the development of a faster-than-light warp drive. His proposed design, an ingenious re-imagining of an Alcubierre Drive, may eventually result in an engine that can transport a spacecraft to the nearest star in a matter of weeks — and all without violating Einstein's law of relativity. We contacted White at NASA and asked him to explain how this real life warp drive could actually work.

The Alcubierre Drive

The idea came to White while he was considering a rather remarkable equation formulated by physicist Miguel Alcubierre. In his 1994 paper titled, "The Warp Drive: Hyper-Fast Travel Within General Relativity," Alcubierre suggested a mechanism by which space-time could be "warped" both in front of and behind a spacecraft.
Michio Kaku dubbed Alcubierre's notion a "passport to the universe." It takes advantage of a quirk in the cosmological code that allows for the expansion and contraction of space-time, and could allow for hyper-fast travel between interstellar destinations. Essentially, the empty space behind a starship would be made to expand rapidly, pushing the craft in a forward direction — passengers would perceive it as movement despite the complete lack of acceleration.
White speculates that such a drive could result in "speeds" that could take a spacecraft to Alpha Centauri in a mere two weeks — even though the system is 4.3 light-years away.


 In terms of the engine's mechanics, a spheroid object would be placed between two regions of space-time (one expanding and one contracting). A "warp bubble" would then be generated that moves space-time around the object, effectively repositioning it — the end result being faster-than-light travel without the spheroid (or spacecraft) having to move with respect to its local frame of reference.
"Remember, nothing locally exceeds the speed of light, but space can expand and contract at any speed," White told io9. "However, space-time is really stiff, so to create the expansion and contraction effect in a useful manner in order for us to reach interstellar destinations in reasonable time periods would require a lot of energy."
And indeed, early assessments published in the ensuing scientific literature suggested horrific amounts of energy — basically equal to the mass-energy of the planet Jupiter (what is 1.9 × 1027 kilograms or 317 Earth masses). As a result, the idea was brushed aside as being far too impractical. Even though nature allowed for a warp drive, it looked like we would never be able to build one ourselves.
"However," said White, "based on the analysis I did the last 18 months, there may be hope." The key, says White, may be in altering the geometry of the warp drive itself.
A new design
In October of last year, White was preparing for a talk he was to give for the kickoff to the 100 Year Starship project in Orlando, Florida. As he was pulling together his overview on space warp, he performed a sensitivity analysis for the field equations, more out of curiosity than anything else.

"My early results suggested I had discovered something that was in the math all along," he recalled. "I suddenly realized that if you made the thickness of the negative vacuum energy ring larger — like shifting from a belt shape to a donut shape — and oscillate the warp bubble, you can greatly reduce the energy required — perhaps making the idea plausible." White had adjusted the shape of Alcubierre's ring which surrounded the spheroid from something that was a flat halo to something that was thicker and curvier.
He presented the results of his Alcubierre Drive rethink a year later at the 100 Year Starship conference in Atlanta where he highlighted his new optimization approaches — a new design that could significantly reduce the amount of exotic matter required. And in fact, White says that the warp drive could be powered by a mass that's even less than that of the Voyager 1 spacecraft.
That's a significant change in calculations to say the least. The reduction in mass from a Jupiter-sized planet to an object that weighs a mere 1,600 pounds has completely reset White's sense of plausibility — and NASA's.
Hitting the lab
Theoretical plausibility is all fine and well, of course. What White needs now is a real-world proof-of-concept. So he's hit the lab and begun work on actual experiments.
"We're utilizing a modified Michelson-Morley interferometer — that allows us to measure microscopic perturbations in space time," he said. "In our case, we're attempting to make one of the legs of the interferometer appear to be a different length when we energize our test devices." White and his colleagues are trying to simulate the tweaked Alcubierre drive in miniature by using lasers to perturb space-time by one part in 10 million.
Of course, the interferometer isn't something that NASA would bolt onto a spaceship. Rather, it's part of a larger scientific pursuit.
"Our initial test device is implementing a ring of large potential energy — what we observe as blue shifted relative to the lab frame — by utilizing a ring of ceramic capacitors that are charged to tens of thousands of volts," he told us. "We will increase the fidelity of our test devices and continue to enhance the sensitivity of the warp field interferometer — eventually using devices to directly generate negative vacuum energy."
He points out that Casimir cavities, physical forces that arise from a quantized field, may represent a viable approach.
And it's through these experiments, hopes White, that NASA can go from the theoretical to the practical.
Waiting for that "Chicago Pile" moment
Given just how fantastic this all appears, we asked White if he truly thinks a warp-generating spacecraft might someday be constructed.
"Mathematically, the field equations predict that this is possible, but it remains to be seen if we could ever reduce this to practice."

What White is waiting for is existence of proof — what he's calling a "Chicago Pile" moment — a reference to a great practical example.
"In late 1942, humanity activated the first nuclear reactor in Chicago generating a whopping half Watt — not enough to power a light bulb," he said. "However, just under one year later, we activated a ~4MW reactor which is enough to power a small town. Existence proof is important."
His cautious approach notwithstanding, White did admit that a real-world warp drive could create some fascinating possibilities for space travel — and would certainly reset our sense of the vastness of the cosmos.
"This loophole in general relativity would allow us to go places really fast as measured by both Earth observers, and observers on the ship — trips measured in weeks or months as opposed to decades and centuries," he said.
But for now, pursuit of this idea is very much in science mode. "I'm not ready to discuss much beyond the math and very controlled modest approaches in the lab," he said.
Which makes complete sense to us, as well. But thanks to these preliminary efforts, White has already done much to instill a renewed sense of hope and excitement over the possibilities. Faster-than-light travel may await us yet.

Brazilian student sells virginity to build homes for the poor
By Lee Moran
PUBLISHED:07:49 GMT, 28 September 2012| UPDATED: 13:54 GMT, 28 September 2012
From dailymail.co.uk

A Brazilian student is auctioning off her virginity to the highest bidder to raise cash to build homes for poverty-stricken families.

Catarina Migliorini, 20, is set to plough the money - currently standing at $155,000 (£95,400) - into a non-governmental organisation which will construct modern houses in her southern Brazilian home state of Santa Catarina.

Rejecting claims she is a prostitute, she said she still believed in love but saw the opportunity to make a positive difference to the world.

Good deed? Catarina Migliorini had rejected claims she is a prostitute, saying she saw the opportunity to make a positive difference to the world
But the physical education student has sparked controversy because she will be followed every step of the way by an Australian film crew for a documentary film called Virgins Wanted.

She said: 'I saw this as a business. I have the opportunity to travel, to be part of a movie and get a bonus with it.

'If you only do it once in your life then you are not a prostitute, just like if you take one amazing photograph it does not automatically make you a photographer.
'The auction is just business, I'm a romantic girl at heart and believe in love. But this will make a big difference to my area,'  she told Folha newspaper.

Catarina, who is of Italian descent, signed up to the project two years ago when she saw an advert by Thomas William Productions looking for a virgin to film.

Director Justin Sisely will record her emotions before and after her first sexual encounter. A male virgin called Alexander is also being followed.

Charitable: Catarina Migliorini says the money will be spent on building houses for the poor. She will receive $20,000 and 90 per cent of the final auction sale price, which ends on October 15.

The winner will be tested for sexually transmitted diseases prior to the encounter which will take place on an aeroplane, leaving from Australia to the US, in a bid to circumvent prostitution laws.

A condom will be compulsory, with Catarina saying she was prepared to prove to any sceptics that she has not had sex before.

General Discussion / We could use this in T&T?
« on: July 19, 2012, 05:58:40 PM »
Republican vigilantes target accused drug dealers in Northern Ireland

June 26, 2012

From Torontostar.com

By Westhead, Rick Staff Reporter

To spot the drug dealers in some parts of Northern Ireland, you don’t need to scour seedy street corners.
Your first clue might simply be someone walking with a limp.
For the past several years, the Republican Action Against Drugs, a local vigilante group also known as RAAD, has been working in Londonderry to rid the community of illegal drugs.
RAAD has been giving alleged drug dealers a simple choice: either they allow the shadowy group to “kneecap” them with a non-fatal gunshot wound, or they face a death sentence.
In February, Northern Ireland’s second-largest city received an idea how serious RAAD was in delivering its brand of justice.
Seven months earlier, in August 2011, an unemployed 24-year-old named Andy Allen was among six people named in a letter from RAAD that was discovered in a post box in Londonderry. For effect, two bullets were enclosed with the letter.
On Feb. 9, someone knocked on the kitchen door of the home Allen was renting in County Donegal. When Allen stood to answer the door, the former boxer and father of two was shot to death.
The mother of another alleged drug dealer described RAAD’s punishment in an interview with the BBC. The woman, who wasn’t named, took her son to the vigilante group.
“I shaked hands with him and said good luck and I let him walk on down the hall,” she said. “I knew how he was feeling. I knew how scared he was. I seen the men coming towards him. I turned my back. Then I heard the two shots. My heart just kind of went.”
The woman said she turned and saw her son, shot in the knee.
“He was white. He was just lying there. He says ‘Mommy, I’m OK.’ Then everybody started coming around. A man put a coat under his head. Someone put a cover over him.
“I know it’s bad and maybe some people will say how can I do what I did,” the woman told the BBC.
“I tried my best. My son is there, he’s alive. He got off lightly. It was something that had to be done to try to save him. It might have been brutal, but he’s not dead. He is alive.”
It’s unclear how many dealers have been given the ultimatum.
RAAD has shot at least 85 men over the past three years and forced more than 200 others to flee the city, the Guardian newspaper reported in May. The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and a local hospital later said its own statistics showed 40 men had been shot in the paramilitary-style attacks in the Londonderry area since 2008.
In most cases, alleged drug dealers are being shot with small-calibre weapons, said John McPoland, an official with the ambulance service.
“In some cases, they are using shotguns, to inflict more pain,” he said, adding such shooting victims have been as young as 17 or 18.. In Londonderry, there have been five paramilitary shootings this year, including two in May, McPoland said.
For years this community of 230,000 has been beset by violence related to the fight for control of Northern Ireland by Catholic republicans and Protestant loyalists. A predominantly Catholic city, it was the site of an infamous demonstration in 1972 that saw 13 unarmed civilians shot during a Catholic demonstration, an event that became known as “Bloody Sunday.”
Michael Doherty, the head of the Peace and Reconciliation mediation group in Londonderry, said he helped 36 people like Andy Allen flee the city last year.
“It is outrageous that this situation exists and as a community we must all stand up against it,” Doherty told The Independent newspaper.
But few of the men targeted by RAAD have been willing to speak publicly about their fears.
And on June 14, in a move that underscored RAAD’s reach, a judge asked journalists not to publish information about two Londonderry residents charged with drug offences.
“I am asking the press not to publish their addresses because I do not think those paramilitary thugs out there should have any more help than they already have,” judge Barney McElholm said, according to the Belfast Telegraph newspaper.
While the media complied with the request, local journalists have also helped to build up RAAD’s mystique.
The Strabane Chronicle newspaper, for instance, in 2009 published a photograph that purported to show a drug dealer handing himself and his drugs over to the group.
The picture showed the hooded dealer’s drug haul on the table next to guns and ammunition. RAAD, whose members were disguised by ski masks, said it handed the drugs over to a community worker and released the man unharmed. It issued a warning to 12 other alleged drug dealers in the area they promised to target.
“We’re trying to be careful not to blow this out of proportion because it’s pretty isolated to Derry and parts of western Strabane,” said Nigel McDonagh, the Chronicle’s editor.
“At the same time, RAAD has become like the mafia where people feel like the police can’t help them. There’s a big element of fear with their shootings by appointment,” he said. “What choice does a parent make — bring their kid in to be shot in both knees, or don’t and see them either shot in both knees, elbows and ankles, or killed?”
RAAD have accused its victims of selling cocaine, cannabis and mephedrone, a man-made chemical found in the street drug bath salts.
“The only way to alleviate this problem is to remove the dealers, those who peddle death within the community,” an unnamed RAAD spokesman said in an interview with the Derry Journal newspaper in 2009.
John Lindsay, a journalist who has written about RAAD’s rise in his book No Dope Here, said the group was formed around the end of 2008 by some former members of a splinter group of the Irish Republic Army, with some tacit support from a section of Sinn Fein, the IRA’s political wing.
Lindsay said RAAD leaders were aware the British state had largely turned a blind eye to a series of murders and kneecappings in the 1990s carried out by IRA members in Belfast who called themselves Direct Action Against Drugs. At the time, the British government declared those killings did not constitute a breach of the IRA ceasefire.
In addition to its shootings by appointment, RAAD has also detonated at least 17 pipe bombs in peoples’ homes, Lindsay said.
“There is a consensus that none of RAAD’s victims has been a major drug dealer who has grown rich from his crimes,” he said. “Most victims live in areas such as the Bogside and Creggan, which suffer from multiple deprivations, poverty and high unemployment rates.”

From: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nymphomaniac-strikes-twice-in-germany-what-815099

Two men were left exhausted and crying for help after being targeted by a nymphomaniac in Germany.

The 47-year-old woman was arrested last month after forcing her date to make love to her eight times.

The desperate 42-year-old man resorted to escaping from the woman’s apartment from a balcony to raise the alarm when his insatiable lover refused to let him go.

The woman struck again this week when an African man was found sobbing in the street after being subjected to a 36-hour sex ordeal .

He reportedly told police: “Oh God, it was hell. I can’t walk. Please help me.”

The woman has now been taken to hospital for psychiatric observation.

Nymphomania is a term used to describe a woman whose sex drive or sexual activity is deemed too high.

The term nymphomaniac is no longer recognised in the medical world.

According to Discovery Health, the term is “not scientifically meaningful simply because there are no specific criteria that would define a nymphomaniac.

“In other words, there isn’t a way to determine how much sexual desire or activity is too much.”

Instead, recognised clinical conditions attributed to those with an obsessively high sex drive are “hypersexuality”, “sex addiction” and “compulsivity”.

It is estimated that six per cent of the UK population are sex addicts, and one in five are women.

Although some medical conditions and medication can cause hypersexuality, in most cases the cause is unknown.

Several neurological and psychological conditions, such as bipolar disorder, Pick’s disease and Alzheimer’s can result in extreme swings in sex drive.

Street drugs, such as methamphetamine, can also contribute to hypersexual behaviour.

The terms nymphomania and nymphomaniac can only be attributed to females – the male counterpart is known as ‘satyriasis’.

Both words are derived from Greek mythology -  nymphs are “minor deities represented as beautiful maidens” and satyrs are “woodland creatures depicted as having the pointed ears, legs, and short horns of a goat and a fondness for unrestrained revelry.”

i hear the only cure for that is a one way trip to 'bago

Football / MoS and the future of football: Make your views known
« on: April 02, 2012, 12:47:58 PM »
The Ministry of Sport is developing attempiting to overhaul and improve the structure, development and delivery of football in Trinidad and Tobago. As part of the process they are seeking feedback from the public on how to move forward. They have published a draft paper compiling data from MoS researchers and reccomendations from coaches, former players, and everyday fans, including some of our very own forum members such as Asylumseeker, Tallman, Palos, Patriot, Just Cool, Weary and BrownSugar.

I'm posting some excerpts from the document here so that forum members can be informed of what the MoS is planning for our football and provide some feedback if you so choose.

The process of reforming the game in Trinidad and tobago will be a long, tough process. And not everything the MoS does we will agree with. But as it stands, the Ministry will be exerting great influence over the TTFF over the next few years, and this is a good opportunity for football fans to make themselves heard loud and clear, from everything from MoS funding of the TTFF to where football academies should be developed in the nation.

Write your views in this post or PM me. you have until 10pm on Tuesday April 3rd. Your information will be recorded and sent off (anonymously) to the MoS. In a few months time they will be using this information to develop a set of policies that will have a big impact on the game in our country, good or bad.


From http://24hourhiphop.com/2011/12/20/video-hivaids-vaccine-approved-by-fda-for-human-clinical-trials/

Canadian researchers received approval Tuesday from the U.S. FDA to start testing an experimental and potentially breakthrough HIV vaccine on human subjects with the first phase of clinical trials scheduled for January. Would you try the vaccine?
The vaccine could be a milestone achievement in HIV prevention because it works similarly to existing vaccines for polio and the flu:by using whole samples of dead viruses to stimulate an immune response in recipients without causing them to contract the disease. The National Post has also reported that the vaccine has gone through preliminary toxicology tests without raising safety concerns.
“None of the researchers in the past have used this approach,” lead researcher Dr. Chil-Yong Kang, a virologist at the University of Western Ontario who has been working on the vaccine since 1987, said in an announcement.
Previous HIV vaccines tested on humans didn’t use whole HIV-1 viruses as antigens- or substances that trigger the immune system to produce protective antibodies- but rather used small parts of viruses, recombinant DNA, or viruses carrying HIV genes.
In order to test the effectiveness of this new approach, the vaccine will have to undergo three phases of clinical trials which are, as outlined by CBC News:
Phase 1. Beginning in January 2012, this phase will involve 30 HIV-positive people on whom safety will be retested.
Phase 2. This phase will examine immune responses in humans and will involve 600 HIV-negative people who are at high risk of contracting the AIDS virus.
Phase 3. This phase will determine the efficacy of the vaccine and will involve 6,000 HIV-negative volunteers at high risk of contracting the virus.
The clinical trials come in the wake of a disappointing blow earlier this year to HIV prevention efforts. Researchers were surprised to learn that Truvada, a prophylactic drug suggested to prevent HIV infection in gay men, did not work for women during preliminary clinical trials.

Elegant science of the highest order, with stunning possibilities for combatting MDR pathogens and beyond

From: NewScientist


Resurrected ancient protein is a potent antibiotic
24 September 2011 by Wendy Zukerman

IF MODERN medicine cannot provide an answer to multidrug-resistant microbes, perhaps ancient animals can. Biologists have resurrected a mammalian antimicrobial compound that was last seen on Earth 59 million years ago when mammals were recovering from the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. Even now it is potent enough to destroy some of our most troublesome pathogens.

Last year the Infectious Diseases Society of America launched an initiative with the aim of producing 10 antibiotics to tackle multidrug-resistant bugs by 2020. The lower reaches of the tree of life are being explored for those antibiotics, says Ben Cocks of La Trobe University in Bundoora, Australia.

Already, promising molecules have been found in the tissues of primitive fish called lampreys (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1108558108).

Such an approach is effective because these molecules are so simple, says Cocks. Conventional antibiotics target precise flaws in a pathogen's armour, such as a particular enzyme. This is similar to how the adaptive immune system found in vertebrates works: it learns how to fight a new pathogen and then remembers the lesson for future battles. The trouble is that the pathogens patch their armour, requiring the immune system - and drug companies - to identify new weaknesses.

Cocks says this evolutionary arms race can be side-stepped by falling back on the cruder innate immune system that is found in all plants and animals - and which has largely been ignored in our fight with multidrug-resistant pathogens.

The molecules of the innate immune system use simple chemistry to target the lipids in cell membranes. They can either disrupt and weaken bacterial membranes, or subtly alter the properties of the host's healthy cells so that pathogens can no longer attack them.

But there's a problem: animals with the strongest innate immune systems tend to be so distantly related to humans that molecules taken from them can have toxic effects in humans. Cocks's solution is to study the mammals with the best innate immune systems, the molecules of which are more likely to be compatible with humans. His work has taken him inside the wallaby's pouch.

As marsupials, wallabies give birth to young at a much earlier stage in their development than placental mammals. For example, the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, is born after 26 days, equivalent to a 6-week-old human fetus. The tiny wallabies then crawl into their mother's pouch to grow larger.

"It's not a clean environment," says Cocks. Bacteria closely related to the superbugs affecting humans in hospitals have been found in the wallaby pouch. But the baby wallabies are so underdeveloped that they lack an adaptive immune system to fight them; their survival depends on their innate immune system.

Cocks's team scoured the wallaby genome and found genes that code for 14 cathelicidin peptides, a component of the innate immune system. Lab tests revealed that many of the peptides could kill a range of multidrug-resistant pathogens - without damaging human cells.

The team noticed that genes in five of the cathelicidins were remarkably similar and probably evolved from a single ancestor. "We thought that the ancestral form would have a special broad-range activity," says Cocks.

Using the changes within the five peptides, Cocks and his collaborators at the University of Sydney, Australia, worked backwards to predict the genetic sequence that codes for the original peptide. His team then used it to produce a synthetic version of the peptide, effectively resurrecting it.

"The amazing thing was that it worked well against a broad range of pathogens," he says. Lab tests showed it destroyed six of seven multidrug-resistant bacteria, and was 10 to 30 times more potent than modern antibiotics such as tetracycline (PLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024030).

"This is really significant," Cocks says. "Now we have access to ancient peptides for future drug development."

Damian Dowling at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, says some ancient and extinct peptides might be more effective than those found in living creatures because bacteria haven't been exposed to them for millions of years. "Even if the bacteria once developed resistance against the peptide, it has probably lost it," he says.

General Discussion / Neutrinos can move faster than the speed of light?
« on: September 23, 2011, 09:38:04 AM »
Scientist break the speed of light'

GENEVA— The Associated Press
Published Thursday, Sep. 22, 2011 4:08PM EDT

Taken from the globeandmail.com

A fundamental pillar of physics – that nothing can go faster than the speed of light – appears to be smashed by an oddball subatomic particle that has apparently made a giant end run around Albert Einstein’s theories.

Scientists at the world’s largest physics lab said Thursday they have clocked neutrinos travelling faster than light. That’s something that according to Einstein’s 1905 special theory of relativity – the famous E (equals) mc2 equation – just doesn’t happen.

“The feeling that most people have is this can’t be right, this can’t be real,” said James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, outside the Swiss city of Geneva.

Mr. Gillies told The Associated Press that the readings have so astounded researchers that they are asking others to independently verify the measurements before claiming an actual discovery.

“They are inviting the broader physics community to look at what they’ve done and really scrutinize it in great detail, and ideally for someone elsewhere in the world to repeat the measurements,” he said Thursday.

Scientists at the competing Fermilab in Chicago have promised to start such work immediately.

“It’s a shock,” said Fermilab head theoretician Stephen Parke, who was not part of the research in Geneva. “It’s going to cause us problems, no doubt about that – if it’s true.”

The Chicago team had similar faster-than-light results in 2007, but those came with a giant margin of error that undercut its scientific significance.

Outside scientists expressed skepticism at CERN’s claim that the neutrinos – one of the strangest well-known particles in physics – were observed smashing past the cosmic speed barrier of 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometres per second).

University of Maryland physics department chairman Drew Baden called it “a flying carpet,” something that was too fantastic to be believable.

CERN says a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometres) away in Italy travelled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds, making the difference statistically significant. But given the enormous implications of the find, they still spent months checking and rechecking their results to make sure there was no flaws in the experiment.

“We have not found any instrumental effect that could explain the result of the measurement,” said Antonio Ereditato, a physicist at the University of Bern, Switzerland, who was involved in the experiment known as OPERA.

The CERN researchers are now looking to the United States and Japan to confirm the results.

A similar neutrino experiment at Fermilab near Chicago would be capable of running the tests, said Stavros Katsanevas, the deputy director of France’s National Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics Research. The institute collaborated with Italy’s Gran Sasso National Laboratory for the experiment at CERN.

Mr. Katsanevas said help could also come from the T2K experiment in Japan, though that is currently on hold after the country’s devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Scientists agree if the results are confirmed, that it would force a fundamental rethink of the laws of nature.

Einstein’s special relativity theory that says energy equals mass times the speed of light squared underlies “pretty much everything in modern physics,” said John Ellis, a theoretical physicist at CERN who was not involved in the experiment. “It has worked perfectly up until now.”

He cautioned that the neutrino researchers would have to explain why similar results weren’t detected before, such as when an exploding star – or supernova – was observed in 1987.

“This would be such a sensational discovery if it were true that one has to treat it extremely carefully,” said Mr. Ellis.

General Discussion / Man to pay the piper for not laying down pipe!!!
« on: September 13, 2011, 11:04:50 AM »

A 51 year old Frenchman was fined $12,000 under article 215 of France’s civil code, which says married couples must agree to a “shared communal life”.

A judge says the law implies that “sexual relations must form part of a marriage”.

The wife filed for divorce two years ago, blaming the break-up on her husband’s lack of activity in the bedroom.

A judge granted the divorce and ruled the husband named only as Jean-Louis B. was solely responsible for the split.

But the 47-year-old ex-wife then took him back to court demanding compensation for “lack of sex over 21 years of marriage”.

The ex-husband claimed “tiredness and health problems” had prevented him from being more attentive between the sheets.

But a judge in the south of France’s highest court in Aix-en-Provence ruled: “A sexual relationship between husband and wife is the expression of affection they have for each other, and in this case it was absent.

“By getting married, couples agree to sharing their life and this clearly implies they will have sex with each other

From CNN.com

S&P downgrades U.S. credit rating

By Charles Riley @CNNMoney August 5, 2011: 10:46 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's on Friday downgraded the credit rating of the United States, stripping the world's largest economy of its prized AAA status.

In July, S&P placed the United States' rating on "CreditWatch with negative implications" as the debt ceiling debate devolved into partisan bickering.

To avoid a downgrade, S&P said the United States needed to not only raise the debt ceiling, but also develop a "credible" plan to tackle the nation's long-term debt.

In its report Friday, S&P ruled that the U.S. fell short: "The downgrade reflects our opinion that the ... plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics."

S&P also cited dysfunctional policymaking in Washington as a factor in the downgrade. "The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed."

A Treasury Department spokesman pushed back on the rating change, saying that S&P's analysis was flawed.

A source familiar with the matter said S&P initially miscalculated the growth trajectory of the nation's debt, and then went ahead with its downgrade anyway.

The source also said S&P didn't give enough credit for the debt-ceiling compromise, which paved the way for more than $2 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years.

However, one of S&P's explicit criticisms of the compromise was that it didn't address the biggest drivers of the nation's debt -- Social Security and Medicare -- and didn't allow for additional tax revenue. ("What's wrong with the debt ceiling deal?")

John Chambers, Head of Sovereign Ratings for S&P, told CNN that though S&P didn't have a specific target in mind, the total debt reduction package was not sufficient. Chambers also noted that the plan did not take steps in the near term to boost economic growth.

The safest bets are stamped AAA. That's where U.S. debt has stood for years. Moody's first assigned the United States a AAA rating in 1917. The country's new S&P rating is AA+ -- still strong, but not the highest.

The downgrade puts the U.S. debt rating on par with that of Belgium, but below countries like the United Kingdom and Australia.

In the days after lawmakers managed to strike a debt-ceiling deal, the two other major rating agencies have both said the deficit reduction actions taken by Congress were a step in the right direction.

On Tuesday, Moody's said the United States will keep its sterling AAA credit rating, but lowered its outlook on U.S. debt to "negative."

Even after a downgrade, the United States will likely still be able to pay its bills for years to come and remains a good credit risk.

A downgrade really just amounts to one agency's opinion. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke articulated that view in April when S&P placed the United States on credit watch. "S&P's action didn't really tell us anything," Bernanke said. "Everybody who reads the newspaper knows that the United States has a very serious long-term fiscal problem."

Investors have limited options for making safe investments, and Treasuries are effectively as liquid as cash. And other big countries have been downgraded and were still able to borrow at low rates.

At the same time, some experts warn that a downgrade could gum up the banking system and ripple out onto Main Street. Treasuries are used as collateral in many transactions between financial institutions and grease the skids of lending.

Shortly after the downgrade, the Federal Reserve, FDIC and other bank regulators moved to blunt the affect of the action on the banking system. In a joint release, the agencies said they would continue to treat Treasuries and other securities issued by government-sponsored entities (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) the same as before they were downgraded. Treasuries are often used as collateral for short-term lending among banks and other financial institutions.

Consumers and investors could feel the impact of a downgrade. Interest rates on bonds could rise, and rates on mortgages and other types of loans along with them.

Government-backed agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may also be downgraded. It's also possible that some state and local governments could also face a downgrade.

And investment decisions would become complicated for large institutional investors that are required to hold highly-rated securities.

FROM: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com

Are black women less attractive than other women?

By NADINE WILSON All Woman writer

Monday, June 06, 2011

AN article carried recently in Psychology Today questioning the perceived unattractiveness of black women has reignited debates of racism and has fuelled international outrage.

The piece entitled Why are black women rated less attractive than other women, but black men are rated better looking than other men? has since been pulled from the magazine's website following its appearance on May 15 this year. But this has not stopped public criticism of the editors of Psychology Today or the author of the piece, Satoshi Kanazawa, a Japanese evolutionary psychologist.

Sociologist Dr Orville Taylor says the bleaching phenomenon is not about people trying to become white, but about people establishing a pattern of beauty that they aspire towards. In this AP photo, from a story titled, Skin bleaching, a growing problem in Jamaica, Mikeisha Simpson poses for a portrait in Kingston. Simpson, 23, hopes to transform her dark complexion to a cafe-aulait- colour common among Jamaica’s elite and favoured by many men in her neighbourhood. She believes a fairer skin could be her ticket to a better life, so she spends her savings on blackmarket concoctions that promise to lighten her pigment.
In this AP photo, a woman applies skin lightening cream to her legs as she sits on a curb in downtown Kingston. In Jamaica, doctors say the skin lightening phenomenon has reached dangerous proportions.
     Sociologist Dr Orville Taylor says the bleaching phenomenon is not about people trying to become white, but about people establishing a pattern of beauty that they aspire towards. In this AP photo, from a story titled, Skin bleaching, a growing problem in Jamaica, Mikeisha Simpson poses for a portrait in Kingston. Simpson, 23, hopes to transform her dark complexion to a cafe-aulait- colour common among Jamaica’s elite and favoured by many men in her neighbourhood. She believes a fairer skin could be her ticket to a better life, so she spends her savings on blackmarket concoctions that promise to lighten her pigment. 1/2 

Kanazawa concluded, based on a study in which several persons were interviewed, that black women were objectively less attractive than white, Asian and North American women, though they "subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others".

"Black women are significantly less physically attractive than women of other races," said Kanazawa, who works at the London School of Economics.

"The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races," he explained.

The claim that blacks are unattractive, while offensive and backward, has not come as a surprise to at least two local academics who said that years of independence from slavery has not changed people's perception of blacks.

Neither does it surprise counsellor Carla Brookes, who said the way some black women behave, dress and act fuels a perception of "the fat, loud video model type with loose morals".

"You can't blame people sometimes for judging us the way they do," Brookes said. "We cuss, we fight, we're loud and we act like we're proud of it!"

Noted Sociologist Dr Orville Taylor said the "seasoning" blacks underwent during slavery has caused many to look at blacks in a negative light, despite our achievements since independence.

"I am not surprised by any type of survey or psychological research that points to negative self-imagery (especially) when you juxtapose that against the bleaching phenomenon which is not about people trying to become white, but about people establishing a pattern of beauty that they aspire towards," he said.

He explained that like a curry stain, the effects of slavery which saw many blacks humiliated and exploited under European rule cannot be reversed overnight.

"In the United States, it is perhaps a little bit worse, believe it or not, because at least in Jamaica, we managed to achieve something called national identity and status. Black Americans wear this kind of marker where they are called something else, they are called African Americans. Nobody walks around and talks about European Americans or Caucasian Americans," he pointed out.

Lecturer in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of West Indies, Mona, Horace Williams, believes that while more blacks are now embracing their 'nappy' hair styling, signalling, "an impression of updated appreciation", there is still a strong indication of a lack of appreciation of self.

"Persons are marketed differently. They wear their hair in a sort of style that speaks to a mimicry of appreciation, but in fact and indeed, there is really no appreciation of self," he said.

"I really believe we haven't really gone anywhere different, it is just a matter of new marketing, but same old problem," Williams noted.

Although the black women in Kanazawa's study considered themselves beautiful, Dr Taylor has found that blacks in the Caribbean have perpetuated this general belief that something is wrong with how they look.

"It must be seen in the same context of the black hair phenomenon that we use even today. We make jokes that people's hair look like 'kiah' and we make jokes about people's hair looking like grains of [pepper] or scotch brite. We make those kinds of jokes and we still associate, and I suspect the psychological studies will show as well, we still associate black and ugly," he said.

"When a very, very dark woman with distinct African features is good looking, they tend to say in a normal way, even when people are not trying to be offensive, 'oh, she looks nice for a black girl' or 'she is a nice looking black girl'. It is almost never said that this is a nice looking brown girl."

While the study found black women to be unattractive, the same study concluded that black males were considered more attractive than Asian, white and North American men. This finding too does not come as much of a surprise to Dr Taylor who believes this belief is a subtext of colonial discourse where the wives of the white plantation owners or overseers sought out black men for sexual satisfaction.

"They always show stories of the wife of the plantation owner or overseer bringing in the Mandingo through the back door or having sex with the gardener," said Dr Taylor.

"The idea of a virile man was also part of the stereotype and that has always been engrained in our minds to incorporate a notion of this animal-looking thing, this strong black man, a little bit less than the human, but more than the animal, a stud. The word stud is not a flattering word, but we have embraced it," he said.

The fact that women are now embracing their natural hair more is a good indication for Dr Taylor that we are slowly accepting various aspects of our blackness, but he doesn't expect a full acceptance of our black features anytime soon.

"It took several hundred years to evolve in a negative way, so it's going to take a long time as well for that to change," he said.

Meanwhile, Williams also believes that it is going to take a while for people to truly accept black features as opposed to just using it as a "marketing strategy to mimic appreciation".

"The appreciation of black features, I am not sure that time has healed that," he said. "What has changed is the media marketing and a broader context in which multi-culturalism is fundamental to any type of institutional advancement, educational, work [and] otherwise."

Well, this one going to stir up some real shit. Race, gender, LGBT..its all here folks  :-\


Football / The Evolving Midfielder Role
« on: February 06, 2011, 11:48:18 PM »
Interesting article, especially since 3 of our boys could end up playing in Colorado

Armchair Analyst: The evolving MF roles
D-mid or holding? Bradley, Mastro & Co. are changing perceptions

Matthew Doyle MLSsoccer.com February 4, 2011
(MLSsoccer.com Editorial Staff))

 What’s a “holding” midfielder? I’m not really sure. To be honest, I don’t think anyone is.

The term is applied pretty liberally across the board. Is it Andrea Pirlo? Is it Michael Bradley? Is it Osvaldo Alonso?

It can’t — it really can’t — be all three. They’re vastly different players who excel in different areas of the field, yet all three are commonly referred to as “holding” midfielders.

Soccer, you see, needs new words. And it’s all Carlo Ancelotti’s fault.

The problem goes back to Pirlo, who was the canary in the coal mine. The AC Milan and Azzurri star was hard to peg early in his career, bouncing around Italy without a permanent home at a club or on the pitch. Finally, he settled into the Milan lineup at the ripe old age of 22.

Not one of his managers, at that point, could figure out quite what to do with him. They didn’t know what he was, how to play him on the field or who to put around him. They just knew he was talented.

Then Ancelotti, now fighting for his coaching life at Chelsea but forever a legend with Milan, had a “eureka” moment: He’d move Pirlo to the spot just in front of the central defense — a spot then occupied almost exclusively by the “defensive midfielder” — and ask him to make plays from there.

Ten years later and most of the footballing world has caught up to the shift in tactics. Both MLS Cup finalists last year used a tactical approach similar to that of Ancelotti’s Milan, as have with countless other teams from Manchester United to die Mannschaft.

But while the game has evolved, terminology we use to describe that shift has barely changed at all.

Pirlo is described, rather clunkily, as a “deep-lying playmaker” or, frustratingly, as a holding midfielder (which means nothing). Ten years ago positions were more rigid and defined: Didier Deschamps was the defensive midfielder, Zinedine Zidane was the attacking midfielder. Deschamps hardly ever had work to do in the attack while Zidane was freed of defensive responsibilities.

Now, we call a player like of Gennaro Gattuso a "defensive midfielder," even though he almost never plays that position. Instead he prowls deep into the midfield of his opponent, trying to force turnovers that his more skillful teammates can turn into chances.

The fact that those skillful teammates are largely deployed on the wing nowadays is a testament to how effective the Deschampses and, if you want to keep it MLS, Chris Armases of yesteryear were at winning the “d-mid vs. a-mid” battles. The a-mids had to get out of the middle of the pitch in order to find space to operate.

The Gattuso role now requires an extraordinarily high level of stamina and range, because you have to be able to cover from box-to-box and touchline-to-touchline for 90 minutes. This is why the term “holding” is so badly misused. It’s also why Bradley is so effective in the spot: He has superhuman stamina, as his heat maps from last summer’s World Cup can attest.

Bradley is part of a new wave of these “disruptors” who’ve even added a facet beyond what Gattuso brought: finishing.

Earlier this week, Sounders manager Sigi Schmid told reporters that Brad Evans, when healthy, plays the Gattuso/Bradley role in Seattle:

"One of the other MLS coaches who's a friend of mine, one of the first things he said when we saw each other was, 'Do people realize how much you miss Evans? He has the ability to make those late runs in the box, which are so hard to defend,'" Schmid said. "I said, 'I don't know if everybody realizes that.'"

In MLS, the change in tactics is embodied in the career of Pablo Mastroeni. The Colorado Rapids man was long a US national team stalwart as a d-mid, the Deschamps of the Red, White and Blue, a position he played at the club level as well.

Until 2010.

Take a look at the graphic at the top of the page.  (http://www.coloradorapids.com/news/2011/02/armchair-analyst-evolving-mf-roles) This past year, Colorado Rapids coach Gary Smith had Jeff Larentowicz (No. 4) play the Pirlo role, a “deep-lying distributor,” while Mastroeni (No. 25) was pushed higher up the pitch. Instead of shielding the back line, as he’d done most of his professional career, Mastroeni spent much his time 50 yards or more from his defenders.

His ability to cover ground frees up the fullbacks – most notably Anthony Wallace (No. 6) to push fully into attack. It also allows room for wide midfielders Jamie Smith (No. 20) and Brian Mullan (No. 11) to press inside in possession, giving the Rapids an unpredictable element in the final third.

Mastroeni is still called a d-mid by most, but that’s clearly not what he does anymore. His high pressure creates turnovers, but not the classic “turnover from a tackle.” Instead, the focus is in forcing bad passes that lead to interceptions, the most effective way to start the break.

Anyone who remembers the Rapids playoff performance is nodding right now. From 2002, when he joined the Rapids, to the end of 2009, Mastroeni had two goals in all competitions for his club. In 2010 alone, he had three. He also had three assists and could have had another early in the Cup when he put Mullan through on goal off – yes – a turnover.

OK, so Mastroeni’s not exactly a scoring machine. But that three goal tally wasn’t insignificant, especially since those late runs into the box opened up space for the rest of the attack even when he wasn’t scoring himself, and because those intercepted passes were the lifeblood of Colorado's offense.

So ... is he a d-mid? Is he a holding mid? Is he simply a central midfielder? And what are Pirlo, Gattuso, Bradley et al?

Right now, we just don’t have the words to say.

Other Sports / Allyuh doh like UFC?
« on: December 12, 2010, 12:38:53 PM »
From Opposing Views.com

UFC 124 Play By Play And Results
News by Rich Bergeron

Josh Koscheck vs. Georges St. Pierre (UFC Welterweight Champion)

GSP gets a quick takedown. Koscheck is back up on his feet within a few moments. GSP is punching with steady 1-2 combos. GSP goes for another takedown and gets clocked for trying. GSP is working the jab. Koscheck wings a right hand that glances off GSP's head. He lands his own combo a few seconds later. GSP is hammering him with punches from all angles, keeping his distance. A head kick lands as Josh checks his chin for damage. GSP escapes to land outside shots each time Koscheck comes in. Koscheck rushes in for a takedown. He won't give up and finally gets it with 15 seconds left. He doesn't have much time to do anything.

GSP starts off jabbing again and lands a leg kick. GSP is working boxing and leg kicks exclusively. Koscheck is leaning in every time he thorws. He's leaving his hands down way too much, and GSP is making him pay. At the same time he's tenderizing his legs with kicks. Finally GSP gets caught with a decent combo, but he keeps coming at Koscheck. GSP goes for the superman punch for the second time in the round. He's getting a little flashy. GSP lands a really hard right and follows with a nice combo. GSP is mixing it up well, but Koscheck catches him with an uppercut. GSP slows down a little. GSP establishes the outside jab. He lands a nice right at the end of the round.

Both guys trade jabs early. GSP lands a nice overhand right. Koscheck tries more jabs and seems to be connecting more this round. GSP goes for another takedown and gets stuffed. GSP presses Koscheck up against the fence and goes to work with knees. He drops down to try another takedown and can't get it. Both fighters get their distance and go back to boxing. GSP is really going to work with the jab on Koscheck's eye. GSP forces him back up against the cage again. GSP lands a huge inside leg kick and follows with punches. GSP lands another smashing leg kick. Koscheck is looking really awkward as GSP bounces around him and kicks and punches him at will. GSP's constant jab is winning the fight for him. His leg kicks are getting mixed in perfectly.

Both guys trade punches for a while, then GSP goes to his kicks. GSP manages a quick take down and almost gets Koscheck's back. Instead, Koscheck scrambles out and up to his feet.GSP keeps him on the fence and uses his Muay Thai. Herb Dean breaks them. GSP is landing well, changing levels and landing a good mix of kicks and punches. GSP lands another hard leg kick. GSP jabs away, lands a 1-2, goes for a head kick. It's not looking good for Koscheck.

GSP goes right back to the jab and is out boxing Koscheck from the jump. Koscheck wings a wild right and misses. GSP goes back to the jab. He lands a mean left hook after another hard inside leg kick. Koscheck misses wild again and GSP nails him with a right. GSP  moves in with punches, ducks down for a takedown, and gets nowhere. GSP leans on Koscheck against the fence and finally does secure the takedown. Koscheck gets backed up and dumped on his head again. Koscheck gets back up again, but he has nothing left.
Unanimous Decision For GSP: 50-45 x3

20-year-old student named police chief in Mexico town
She was the only one to accept job in violence-wracked part of country Advertisement | ad info

msnbc.com staff and news service reports msnbc.com staff and news service reports

A 20-year-old criminology student has been named the chief of police in one of the most dangerous municipalities in Mexico's violence-wracked northern state of Chihuahua.

Marisol Valles Garcia, the only person to accept the post, took charge of public security for Guadalupe Distrito Bravo on Monday, according to radio station network Notisistema. The district has a population of 9,148 residents, according to newspaper La Jornada, and comes with at least one police car, Notisistema reported.

The state of Chihuahua has borne the brunt of spiraling drug-related violence that has left around 28,000 dead throughout Mexico in the last four years. Guadalupe's former mayor was assassinated in June, and local police have been kidnapped and murdered. At least eight people were slain in the last week alone in Guadalupe, news.com.au reported.

The tiny but energetic Valles Garcia says she wants her 12 officers to practice a special brand of community policing.

"My people are out there going door to door, looking for criminals, and (in homes) where there are none, trying to teach values to the families," she said before she was presented to the public on Wednesday.

Valles said during her swearing in that her job will not be to fight drug trafficking because that responsibility falls on other organs of government, according to Notisistema.  Instead, she will focus on preventative programs for schools and neighborhoods, rehabilitating public spaces and fostering better relationships between neighbors in order to improve general security, according to Notisistema.

She has not discarded the possibility of creating a cycling police force, according to Notisistema.

Guadalupe lies in the Valle de Juarez, which is thought to be controlled by Gabino Salas Valenciano, aka The Engineer, La Jornada reported. Salas is part of the the Sinaloa cartel, which is led by Joaquin El Chapo Guzman.

Local residents say the drug gangs take over at night, riding through the towns in convoys of SUVs and pickups, assault rifles and even .50 caliber sniper rifles at the ready. The assistant mayor of nearby El Porvenir and the mayor of Distrito Bravos were killed recently even after they took refuge in nearby Ciudad Juarez.

Drug cartels in many drug-plagued parts of Mexico have killed or threatened police chiefs and their departments, buying off some officers and prompting some others to quit en masse.

While the bullet holes that pockmarked police headquarters in Praxedis have been painted over, police buildings in other towns in the valley remain empty, with broken windows and few sign of life.

In past months, soldiers and then federal police largely took over patrols, but they stick mainly to the main road, afraid to venture down unfamiliar dirt roads that branch off into the valley and are well-traveled by drug traffickers.

"Let's hope it is not a reckless act on her part," said Miguel Sarre, a professor who specializes in Mexican law enforcement at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico. He said that "a municipal police force cannot protect itself against such powerful forces."

Mexico's federal government has struggled to cope with the drug cartel threat to the underpaid, untrained and often corrupt local police that work for Mexico's roughly 2,022 municipal police forces.

President Felipe Calderon has recognized the problem faced by local police forces, whose officers earn average monthly salaries of only 4,000 pesos (about $300). Most of them have completed less than 10 years of schooling and are either at basic education levels or illiterate, according to the report.

In some cities and towns, entire municipal forces have been fired or arrested for allegedly cooperating with drug gangs, and officials say their low wages and poor weaponry — most use shotguns and pistols, while drug gangs have assault rifles — make them ineffectual or worse.

Calderon has proposed a "unified command" structure in which Mexico's 32 state governments would have state police take on the main responsibility, backed up by federal officers and soldiers where needed.

Observers like Sarre generally support that idea, given the vulnerability and lack of trustworthiness of local forces. "As long as there is no broad solution, municipal police forces will have to be substituted by state and federal forces," he said.

Two bodyguards have been assigned to protect Valles Garcia. While the cartels have been more than able to penetrate much tighter security details — killing mayors and police chiefs throughout northern Mexico —she says she isn't afraid.

© 2010 msnbc.com

Football / What's going on with our national youth teams?
« on: July 09, 2010, 01:49:18 PM »
Does anyone here have knowledge of what is going on with preparing teams for the next CFU cup? What stage is the preparation at? Has a national team been picked as yet? What is the hold up..budget constraints...coaching issues?

Next question, is the cup happening in T&T again, if at all?

Last I heard was some screenings happened last year...Serious questions, I'm not looking to start another TTFF bashing thread

Football / Return of the Mack
« on: September 26, 2009, 06:49:17 PM »
W Connection resurrects ‘Strike Squad’ member Leonson Lewis
From TTproleague.com
Former Trinidad and Tobago and W Connection striker and current youth coach at the club Leonson Lewis will suit up for the Reserves on Thursday against St Ann’s Rangers from 9am at the Ato Boldom Stadium.

Leonson Lewis registered this week under the request of the club’s management as the Reserves are currently suffering a shortage of players with Shahdon Winchester, Brandon Neptune, Dwayne Edwards, Anthony Paris and Wesley John rejoining their schools, Aubrey David and Andre Marchan currently with the T&T U20’s in Egypt for the U20 World Cup, Al Muhammad and Andre Ettienne sidelined and other reserves among the Seniors currently on CONCACAF Champions’ League duty in Guatemala on Wednesday night and then in Mexico.

“It’s a matter of helping out the situation at the moment,” said the famous “Strike Squad” star. “I am not in best condition at the moment, so I will most likely take up a role up front where I am most comfortable.”

Lewis who is currently nursing a slight knee injury holds a magnificent record of 21 goals in 32 appearances for Trinidad and Tobago. He will wear the number 24 shirt which is ironically the flipside of his age.

The 42 yearold Lewis last played professional in 2002-2003 with Connection before shifting to coaching at the club in 2000.

He is a popularly known for his performances in Portugal with clubs União de Lamas (2000-2002), Estrela da Amadora (1998-2000), Boavista (1996-1998), Felgueiras (1994-1996) and Académica de Coimbra (1990-1994). He also played professionally with Jamaican club Port Morant United, Desportivo Chaves and former local club of W Connection senior team coaches Stuart Charles Fevrier and Brian Williams, Trintoc.

Leonson is also likely feature for Reserves in next week’s clash against San Juan Jabloteh. Connection are currently third on the Reserve League standings with 28 points(15 games), United Petrotrin second with 29(14 games) and Bmobile Joe Public at the top with 41 poinst(16 games).

Coach Brian Williams who didn’t travel with the Seniors on CONCACAF duties will be in charge of the Reserves. He has a limited squad with Leonson, Kerron Smith, Joevin Jones, Kemuel Rivers, Kerron Cummings, Isaiah Smith, Jeremy Williams, Alusine Bangura, Bevon Bass, Stanley Touze, (newly signed) Vurlon Mills from United Petrotrin. Devon Drayton, senior team goalkeeper Miguel Lloyd and Kelvin Modeste are also available for selection.

Football / Beenhakker no longer coach of Poland
« on: September 09, 2009, 04:59:34 PM »
From UEFA.com

Slick Slovenia spell end for Beenhakker
Wednesday 9 September 2009Match report

Slovenia boosted their FIFA World Cup ambitions and all but ended those of fancied Poland with a victory that answered coach Matjaž Kek's call to arms in emphatic fashion. A lack of answers from his own side saw Leo Beenhakker sacked.
Early strike
Kek had called the game make or break for his charges and, as the hosts fizzed the ball around right from the kick off, they played like it. They were ahead inside 13 minutes when Zlatko Dedič – a goalscorer in the 1-1 draw when these sides met in October – fired in following good work from Mišo Brečko. Dedič's strike did little to quell Slovenia's attacking ardour and the 24-year-old turned provider late on in the half as he and Andraz Kirm combined to tee up Novakovič for the simplest of finishes.

Attacking ardour
And still the hosts came in Maribor, Valter Birsa capping a fine win soon after the hour with his first goal in 28 international appearances after another Kirm assist. It leaves Poland needing an unlikely sequence of results to even finish runners-up in Group 3 and they will do so under a new coach after Polish Football Association president Grzegorz Lato announced the end of Beenhakker's rein. "It was Leo Beenhakker's last match as Poland coach," he said. "We were terrible against Slovenia and something must change. We are now looking for new coach, though we'll perhaps use a caretaker in our remaining qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Slovakia."

General Discussion / Canadian scientist to turn chickens into dinosaurs???
« on: September 04, 2009, 09:02:31 PM »
Scientist Vows To Reverse-Engineer Dinosaur From Chicken By Stuart Fox
From popsci.com: Posted 08.25.2009 at 5:20 pm

When I was a kid, the only animal I wanted for a pet was a dinosaur. Seeing as non-avian dinosaurs had been extinct for around 65 million years, I settled for an iguana. However, new research at McGill University in Canada may finally bring me that pet dino I've been waiting 20 years for.

In an effort to meet the challenge posed by the book How To Build A Dinosaur, Hans Larsson, the Canada Research Chair in Macroevolution at Montreal's McGill University, has claimed he will attempt to reverse-engineer a dinosaur from a chicken by altering chicken genes known to have evolved since the Cretaceous.

Larsson usually works as a traditional paleontologist, digging up fossils and studying the macroevolution of vertebrate limb bones. This will be his first genetic engineering project. But despite that lack of experience, he has already secured funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Research Chairs program, and the National Geographic Society.

Needless to say, there are many problems with the very concept of making a dinosaur out of a chicken. For one, dinosaurs, as a group, are defined by only a few characteristics: a hole in their hip socket, some limb bone flanges, and other minor anatomical features. Changing chicken DNA won't produce those traits, because chickens already have them. A chicken, like all birds, is already a dinosaur. Getting rid of its feathers or giving it teeth won't make it more of a dinosaur than it already is.

But hey, if Larsson wants to engineer school-bus-sized, featherless chickens with teeth, more power to him. And I call the drumstick.

Football / Gunplay at Portuguesa: Simoes resigns
« on: August 30, 2009, 05:38:57 AM »
Armed Brazilian club officials threaten players
Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:10am IST 
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters India) - Two armed officials of Brazilian second division club Portuguesa accompanied by bodyguards threatened the players after a defeat this week, sparking coach Rene Simoes' resignation on Wednesday.
Simoes said that on Tuesday night, after the Sao Paulo-based team lost 2-1 to Vila Nova, the men burst into the changing room with guns in their belts and slammed the players for allowing the team to drop six points behind the promotion places.

"They were four armed men and one appeared to be the boss," Simoes told reporters.

Portuguesa, 1996 Brazilian championship runners-up who were relegated last year, named the leader of the four as Antonio Jose Vaz Pinto, a member of the club's executive council, and said the bodyguards were off-duty police officers.

"Catching everyone by surprise...Mr Antonio Jose Vaz Pinto insulted the players and technical staff, showing a complete lack of control," said a statement on the club's website (www.portuguesa.com.br). It added that Vaz Pinto would be severely dealt with.

Simoes is a former coach of Jamaica and the Brazil women's team.

Three arrested in attack posted on YouTube

By Brennan Clarke: The Globe and Mail

Victoria — Last updated on Tuesday, Jul. 07, 2009 10:33PM EDT


When a truckload of young men drove past his apartment building hurling racial slurs and threats in his direction Friday night, Jay Phillips reacted the only way he knew how – by fighting the way his mother taught him.

They were yelling “ ‘we're gonna lynch you, we're gonna kill you, get out of our effing town.' I'd never seen these guys before in my life,” said Mr. Phillips, who describes himself as half-black and half-white.

“So I called back ‘eff you too.' They turned the truck around and got out and surrounded me with their fists up.”

“They were saying ‘this is a white town and you and your whole race aren't welcome here.' ”

The confrontation and subsequent assault, filmed and posted on YouTube by an unidentified neighbour, shows three fit, young Caucasian males attacking Mr. Phillips in the parking lot of his Courtenay, B.C., apartment complex.

After taking turns swinging and missing for a minute or so, one of the attackers tries to kick Mr. Phillips, who deftly knocks him to the pavement.

All three men then jump Mr. Phillips, punching and kicking him as he lies on the ground in a fetal position. At several points, the attackers can be heard yelling racial slurs at him.

Mr. Phillips then struggles to his feet and fends off the assailants for another minute or so, landing a few punches before the three men jump in the truck and drive off.

Mr. Phillips, who escaped with two stitches above his right eye and a couple of bruised ribs, said Tuesday the incident is yet another example of the racism he's battled all his life, despite being a born and raised in B.C.

He said he remembered being four years old in preschool and his teacher telling him to shut up, using a racial epithet.

“From that moment on, I was changed,” he said.

“My mother went and broke that teacher's nose.”

Comox Valley RCMP Constable Tammy Douglas said Tuesday three men aged 19, 24 and 25 have been arrested and charged with assault in connection with the attack on Mr. Phillips.

One of the accused was arrested on the weekend, while the other two turned themselves in Tuesday, she said.

Police refused to release the names of the three men, saying the investigation was continuing and charges had yet to be forwarded to the Crown. Investigators are considering adding a hate-crime designation but that would not change the fundamental nature of the charges, Constable Douglas said.

“They will still be charged with assault. But if it's a hate crime they might get a stiffer sentence,” she said.

“There's elements of the offence that appear to be racially motivated, but that determination won't be made until all the evidence has been collected.”

Comox Valley officers investigating the case are “liaising” with the RCMP's B.C. hate crime team, Constable Douglas added.

Witness Heather Zygarlicki, a resident of the building, said the men were “definitely making racial remarks” during the attack.

“We went out when we heard the commotion and we were yelling at the guys to get lost,” Ms. Zygarlicki said. “We're all disgusted by it, that's for sure.”

While others would have run away, Mr. Phillips said he's had a “hard life” and learned how to stand up for himself along the way.

“When four guys surround you with their hands and fists, that to me is go-time,” said Mr. Phillips, who has taken some mixed martial arts training.

“There's a lot of young kids like me out there and I don't want this to happen to any of them. I want everybody to know, we completely will not tolerate this kind of thing.”


FROM: The Birmingham News via blog.al.com

A group of Birmingham police officers beat an already-unconscious suspect with fists, feet and a billy club, a battering caught on videotape until a police officer turned off the patrol car camera.

Authorities believe the video, taken in January 2008 after a chase by several area law enforcement agencies ended when the fleeing suspect's van flipped, has been seen by numerous Birmingham officers and as many as a half-dozen supervisors over the past year.

But top city and police officials weren't made aware of the taped beating until they were contacted by the district attorney's office three months ago.

In fact, investigators say, the suspect, Anthony Warren, didn't even know he'd been beaten until the tape surfaced in March. Warren was ejected from the vehicle and knocked unconscious, and thought all of his injuries were sustained in the wreck.

Five days after the January 2008 beating, Anthony Warren's booking mug.
Police Chief A.C. Roper called the video "shameful." Mayor Larry Langford said it was "disgusting."
After an internal investigation into the five officers shown in the video ended Monday, Langford and Roper are scheduled to announce disciplinary action this morning against those officers.

"Police brutality changed Birmingham," Langford said in an interview. "We are not going back."
Langford noted that Warren was "knocked out cold before they even got there. ... We are not going to tolerate that."

Roper said the video shamed the Police Department and the citizens served by the department.

"It was also troubling because these are seasoned, veteran officers," Roper said.

Roper said Tuesday there will be additional disciplinary action against supervisors who failed to report the incident to higher-ups. He has demanded the Internal Affairs Division track down every supervisor who saw the videotape, including those who have since retired.

The chief has also called in the Alabama Bureau of Investigation to probe possible criminal charges against the officers involved in the incident.

Four of the five officers worked in the department's Vice and Narcotics Unit. The other was a North Precinct patrolman.

The 22-minute chase on Jan. 23, 2008, involved nine police cars, and included officers from Birmingham, Hoover and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

It began near the downtown Police Department, when a North Precinct officer tried to question Warren about suspicious behavior.

The video, taken from inside a Birmingham Police patrol car, follows the chase from downtown Birmingham on Interstate 59 to Trussville, down I-459 to Hoover and around the Riverchase Galleria, where on U.S. 31 the Ford van driven by Warren struck and injured a Hoover police officer on foot.

Throughout the chase, the video shows Warren weaving through heavy traffic, cutting off motorists and crossing multiple lanes at speeds Langford said exceeded 100 mph.

The chase ended on a ramp back onto I-459 when a police cruiser nudged the van, causing it to flip.

Warren, 38, was thrown out of the driver's side window, landing face down and apparently unconscious.

Officers converged on him, beating him even though he never moved. On the video, Warren makes no defensive moves as he is beaten with billy clubs, punched and kicked.

The beating on the video lasted 12 seconds before officers stepped back and the camera was turned off.

At the time of his arrest and beating, Warren, of Vestavia Hills, had a string of felony arrests and convictions dating back to 1989 for crimes including theft, receiving stolen property and escape.

UAB Hospital officials said Warren was released from the hospital five days after the incident.

He was booked into the Jefferson County Jail on Jan. 28, with his bond set at $1 million.

Warren was charged with attempted murder as a result of the chase but pleaded guilty in March 2009 to first-degree assault. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Top police officials became aware that the tape showed Warren being beaten the day Warren's trial was to begin. Because he pleaded guilty there was no trial. Prosecutors notified top police officials of the tape.

"No doubt this guy was a menace to society, but he didn't deserve what happened to him, bottom line," Roper said. "I fully support our officers and fully believe in officer safety, but this video speaks for itself."

Roper, who took office just a few months before the beating and since has made major changes in his command staff, emphasized that the incident is not reflective of the majority of Birmingham officers.

"We handle over 7,000 calls per week and receive very few use of force complaints because the vast majority are extremely professional in carrying out their duties," he said. "This tape shows a problem, and it's our job to fix it."

Langford said he intends to put video cameras in more police cars.

"We put cameras in the cars for their protection," he said of the officers. "These idiots were too stupid to know they would film them doing something wrong, too."

To see the video click here: http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2009/05/birmingham_police_beating_vide.html

General Discussion / Purported "Missing Link" found in Germany
« on: May 20, 2009, 10:37:22 AM »
FROM: nationalgeographic.com

 May 19, 2009—Meet "Ida," the small "missing link" found in Germany that's created a big media splash and will likely continue to make waves among those who study human origins.

In a new book, documentary, and promotional Web site, paleontologist Jorn Hurum, who led the team that analyzed the 47-million-year-old fossil seen above, suggests Ida is a critical missing-link species in primate evolution.

The fossil, he says, bridges the evolutionary split between higher primates such as monkeys, apes, and humans and their more distant relatives such as lemurs.

"This is the first link to all humans," Hurum, of the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway, said in a statement. Ida represents "the closest thing we can get to a direct ancestor."

Ida, properly known as Darwinius masillae, has a unique anatomy. The lemur-like skeleton features primate-like characteristics, including grasping hands, opposable thumbs, clawless digits with nails, and relatively short limbs.

"This specimen looks like a really early fossil monkey that belongs to the group that includes us," said Brian Richmond, a biological anthropologist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the study.

But there's a big gap in the fossil record from this time period, Richmond noted. Researchers are unsure when and where the primate group that includes monkeys, apes, and humans split from the other group of primates that includes lemurs.

"[Ida] is one of the important branching points on the evolutionary tree," Richmond said, "but it's not the only branching point."

At least one aspect of Ida is unquestionably unique: her incredible preservation, unheard of in specimens from the Eocene era, when early primates underwent a period of rapid evolution.

"From this time period there are very few fossils, and they tend to be an isolated tooth here or maybe a tailbone there," Richmond explained. "So you can't say a whole lot of what that [type of fossil] represents in terms of evolutionary history or biology."

In Ida's case, scientists were able to examine fossil evidence of fur and soft tissue and even picked through the remains of her last meal: fruits, seeds, and leaves.

What's more, the newly described "missing link" was found in Germany's Messel Pit. Ida's European origins are intriguing, Richmond said, because they could suggest—contrary to common assumptions—that the continent was an important area for primate evolution.

Quebec dad sued by daughter after grounding loses his appeal

From CBC News

Father's lawyer says they may take case to Canada's Supreme Court

A Quebec father who was taken to court by his 12-year-old daughter after he grounded her in June 2008 has lost his appeal.

Quebec Superior Court rejected the Gatineau father's appeal of a lower court ruling that said his punishment was too severe for the wrongs he said his daughter committed.

The father is "flabbergasted," his lawyer Kim Beaudoin told CBC News.

In its ruling, issued Monday, the province's court of appeal declared the girl was caught up in a "very rare" set of circumstances, and her father didn't have sufficient grounds to contest the court's earlier decision.

The family's legal wrangling started with a dispute over the girl's internet use.

rShe had been living with her father after her parents split up when he grounded her in 2008 for defying his order to stay off the internet. The father caught her chatting on websites he had blocked, and alleged his daughter was posting "inappropriate pictures" of herself online.

Her punishment: she was banned from her Grade 6 graduation trip to Quebec City in June 2008, for which her mother had already granted permission.

The father — who had custody — withheld his written permission for the trip, prompting the school to refuse to let the girl go with her classmates.

That's when the girl asked for help from the lawyer who represented her in her parents' separation, and petitioned the court to intervene in her case.

"Going to court was a last resort," said Lucie Fortin, the legal aid attorney that represented the girl.

"The trip was very important to her."

A lower court ruled in the girl's favour in 2008. She went on the trip, but her father appealed the decision on the principle of the matter.

The legal battle destroyed father-daughter relationship said Kim Beaudoin, the attorney representing the childs father.

"Either way, he doesn't have authority over this child anymore. She sued him because she doesn't respect his rules," Beaudoin said.

"We went from a child who wanted to live with her father, and after all this has been done, they're not speaking anymore. It's very hard to raise a child who is the boss."

Beaudoin believes the ruling reflects a loss of moral authority in Quebec's court system.

"Is this what we want in our society? Laws are supposed to reflect our values. And if the courts aren't reflecting that, maybe the government will intervene, to prevent children from going this way," she said Tuesday, adding her client may take the case to Canada's Supreme Court.

From CBC news:
London, Ont., man pleads guilty to murder in 1970 missing girl case
Manion gets life sentence in slaying of 12-year-old northern Ontario girl

A London, Ont., man pleaded guilty in a northern Ontario court on Wednesday to the murder of a 12-year-old girl who disappeared nearly 40 years ago, his lawyer said.

Barry Vincent Manion, appearing in a Haileybury, Ont., court, received a life sentence for second-degree murder with no possibility of parole for 10 years in Katherine May Wilson's 1970 disappearance in Kirkland Lake.

Her body has never been found.

The 61-year-old was arrested in January and initially charged with first-degree murder, abduction and forcible confinement.

Manion, who most recently lived in London, resided in Kirkland Lake when Katherine went missing on Oct. 10, 1970. He is a distant cousin of the missing girl, her family has said.

The girl had been picking up groceries for her mother, Aline Wilson, on the afternoon she went missing on the town's outskirts. Katherine called home just before 5 p.m. to ask whether she could buy a can of pop or a bag of chips with the leftover change.

Her mother agreed, and Katherine said she was going to walk home. Katherine's two sisters walked out to meet her halfway, but the girl never showed up.

An exhaustive police search that included dogs, helicopters and boats lasted for several weeks.

Football / Pro-League to expand.
« on: January 20, 2009, 11:02:02 PM »
New clubs seek Pro League birth.

The TT Pro League line-up of teams is expected to grow from ten (10) clubs to maybe fourteen (14) clubs in 2009 following interests from South End, Angostura 1976 Phoenix and Marabella Flames among others.

South End, Phoenix and Flames are all in talks with the TT Pro League hoping to meet the requirements of the professional league with the deadline date set as January 30, 2009.

Also in the mix for the 2009 season are Police FC, hoping for a comeback after missing out the 2008 season due to national security reasons. Police FC's debut year in the Pro League was in 2007 which they finished ninth in the League.

TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene confirmed interests by the new clubs saying, "This is unprecedented in the League's history. It augurs well for the League. It shows that we are doing something well. It shows that the brand, TT Pro league, is getting alot of interest locally and internationally because some of these owners are foreign based."

"We will be looking at the proposed entrants when the board of directors meet on February 3rd and at that point we will decide who will be added within the Pro League."

CLICO San Juan Jabloteh, W Connection, North East Stars, Neal and Massy Caledonia AIA, Joe Public, United Petrotrin, St Ann's Rangers, Defence Force, Ma Pau SC and Tobago United are all expected to return for the 2009 season however Skeene went on to explain that a demotion process will be discussed in February's Board Meeting.

"Demotion will definitely be discussed. We are also looking forward to working with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) and the Super League to promote teams into the Pro League," added Skeene.

The Board of Directors of the TT Pro League will meet on February 3 and further to that date, announce the successful applicants ahead of the 2009 season.
Marabella Flames confident of Pro League birth.

South based club Marabella Flames is confident that their application to join the Pro League line-up of clubs for the 2009 will be accepted.

Chairman of the club Anthony Lambert based in the US explained that although his club is very young after only being established in 2007 they can meet the requirements of the Pro League with ease.

"We are confident that our application will be accepted," said the Trinidadian businessman. "Financially and with our proper club structure we are ready for the professional level."

"For the past two years we have been preparing ourselves for the professional environment and we are ready. Our main focus establishing Marabella Flames was doing something for the southern community and we are happy that things are looking great for us."

Marabella Flames participated in their first competitive level football in the Southern Football Association in 2008 and finished 6th under coach Jan Steadman—a former Trinidad and Tobago international.

Lambert explained that there will be a number of additions to the club in 2009 as the club is negotiating with a number of coaches internationally and locally but preferred not to release names. The club is also in the process of scouting for players throughout Trinidad.

Further to that, Lambert boasted that his club will have the 'biggest soccer academy' based in south Trinidad. Their academy will be tied with CHAMPS (children happy and motivated playing soccer) United Incorporated—a soccer academy based in the New York.

Marabella Flames will however have to wait along with the applications of South End—another southern based club and Angostura 1976 Phoenix of Tobago to see whether or not their applications will be accepted by the Pro League. The Board of Directors of the TT Pro League will meet on February 3 and further to that date, announce the successful applicants ahead of the 2009 season.


By: Randy Bando (ttproleague).

Family court to men - 'Just shut up and pay'

There is perhaps no area of law in which logic is so distorted as family law. Men are seen as only two things: deadbeats or moneybags.

Consider the case of Pasqualino Cornelio.

Mr. Cornelio is a Toronto man who was ordered before Christmas to continue paying child support to his ex-wife, even after it was proven the couple’s twin girls were fathered by another man with whom the former Mrs. Cornelio had had an extramarital affair while the couple was still together.

Madame Justice Katherine van Rensburg of the Ontario Superior Court ruled that Mrs. Cornelio had wronged her ex-husband by lying about the paternity of the twins she had borne 16 years ago. But, “It is a wrong that does not afford him a legal remedy to recover child support he has already paid, and that does not permit him to stop paying child support.”

Justice van Rensburg explained that in 1999 the Supreme Court decided family law cases should be decided in the best interests of the children. “The right to child support is the right of a child, and is independent of a parent’s own conduct.”

Apparently, even when the “father” isn’t really the father his conduct doesn’t matter. All that matters is a man has been found who can write cheques so a woman is spared the financial hardship of living with the consequences of her actions or the irritation of trying to find the real father and make him pay.

Conveniently, the former Mrs. Cornelio claims she doesn’t remember having an affair because of some medication she was taking at the time.

As with almost all family law cases, the Cornelios’ is not entirely cut and dry. Mr. Cornelio did apply for joint custody of the twins in 2002, even though he had had suspicions about their parentage for years. He wanted to be their father then, but now that he wants to be done with his financial obligation to their mother, he’s trying to disavow this earlier emotional commitment.

Still, all along he has had little choice about his obligations to the twins — obligations that, initially, at least, were based on a falsehood. And now a court is telling him he has no choice at all, even though the initial lie has been exposed.

Some in agreement with Justice van Rensburg’s decision have said Mr. Cornelio should not complain. Biology is not as essential to family formation as it once was. Surrogacy and adoption have led to all sort of non-traditional family arrangements. In 2006, an Ontario lesbian was even permitted to list her partner as the other parent on her child’s birth certificate, even though the other women could not possibly have been the other biological parent.

All of which is true, but entirely besides the point. In each of those other non-traditional arrangements, all the partners had a choice to accept family obligations, or not.

Mr. Cornelio is being press-ganged by a judge into funding his arrangement. Imagine the hew and cry if he had fathered children out of wedlock and the courts were now forcing his ex-wife to pay support to the mother of those children.

Harold Niman, an expert in family law at the Toronto law firm Niman Zemans Gelgoot, told the National Post on Friday, “Should [Mrs. Cornelio] be accountable? Not in the sense of losing child support, because child support is for the benefit of the children.”

The fact that support is a desirable benefit for children does not entitle them to receive it from just any man. Their mother has an obligation to seek it, first and foremost, from the man with whom she conceived them. They, together, were the ones who brought the girls into the world, and they, together, are the ones obligated to underwrite their stay here.

Mr. Cornelio has discharged his humanitarian obligations to the girls and his former spouse by paying for the twins’ upbringing, even though he was not their real father, while he and his ex were together — and for 10 years since.

I would argue that on a personal level Mr. Cornelio still needs to provide the twins emotional and financial support for as long as he desires a familial connection with them.

But personal obligations are voluntary. They should not be enforceable at law. And in Mr. Cornelio’s case, he should be free to stop maintaining another man’s children whenever he chooses, even if that makes him a heel.

Admittedly the article does not present in a substantive way the views of the ruling judge, but oh God man, that is pressure!

Things getting REAL BAD in Mexico.

Kidnappers kill Mexican child with acid injection

Associated Press

November 3, 2008 at 3:39 PM EST

MEXICO CITY — Kidnappers killed a five-year-old boy by injecting him with acid after his family sought police help – a new low even for Mexico's brutal kidnapping gangs.

Mexico City Attorney-General Miguel Mancera said Monday that assailants injected the acid into the boy's heart and buried him on a hill outside the capital – a death that showed the plague of kidnappings for ransom afflicts the working class as well as the wealthy.

A kidnapper seized the child at a street market in the gritty borough of Iztapalapa on Oct. 26 and the boy was killed three days later, Mr. Mancera's office said in a statement.

Prosecutors said kidnappers hailed a taxi to carry the child to a house in neighbouring Mexico State. The taxi driver later saw the boy's image on a television announcement seeking information on the kidnapping and returned to the market to alert the child's parents.

Authorities said the kidnappers asked for 30,000 pesos ($23,000 U.S.) in ransom but killed the child after hearing police were looking for the boy.

Anti-kidnapping prosecutor Juan Maya told Reforma newspaper that the abductors knew the boy's parents, who he said are street vendors in Iztapalapa, but spokespeople for the agency could not immediately confirm that on Monday.

Mr. Mancera said five suspected kidnappers, including a 17-year-old, have been arrested.

The child's death recalled the recent kidnapping and slaying of Fernando Marti, the 14-year-old son of a sporting-goods magnate whose death prompted a national outcry against crime.

Fernando's decomposing body was found in the trunk of a car even though his family reportedly paid a ransom. Prosecutors said a federal lawman was part of the gang that kidnapped the teen.

Outrage over that case prompted more than 100,000 people to march through Mexico City in August to demand an end to endemic police corruption and rising crime.

On Monday, dozens of people left messages on Reforma's website expressing outrage at the five-year-old's death. Some called for Mexico to reinstate capital punishment.

“They should definitely give the death penalty to these people, who have no conscience,” wrote a man who identified himself as Eric Aguilar of Mexico City. “Keeping them alive only guarantees a hidden danger for the rest of society.”

Mexico has one of the world's highest kidnapping rates, according to the anti-violence group IKV Pax Christi. Kidnappings are up 9 per cent this year, and average 65 per month nationwide, according to the federal Attorney-General's Office, which blames a growing web of drug cartels, current and former police officers and informants who point out potentially lucrative victims.

Most kidnappings go unreported for fear of police involvement. The non-profit Citizens' Institute for Crime Studies estimates the real kidnapping rate to be more than 500 per month.

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