Okinawa: The Karate Challenge

Now that you’re all familiar with the Cult of CrossFit, check out German CrossFitter Felix as he visits Okinawa to learn the ancient art of Karate:

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Doomsday Deferred

By Dennis Skley via Flickr (CC by 2.0).

By Dennis Skley via Flickr (CC by 2.0).

via Providentia:

The history of religious movements seems filled with examples of religious figures proudly proclaiming the imminent coming of God, along with redemption for the faithful and punishment for unbelievers. Many of these religious figures even go so far as to give a specific date when these things would come to pass and instruct their followers to wrap up their affairs and get ready for what was to come. And, sure enough, many followers would do just that, even to the point of quitting jobs or selling houses to await the promised day. That this day of judgment has yet to materialize and previous promises have failed in the past seems not to matter so much to the believers. Except for the inevitable disappointment afterward and the crisis of faith that always seems to follow.

And so it proved for Wibur Glenn Voliva.

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Dracula’s dungeon discovered in Turkey

news-vlad

via Unexplained Mysteries:

The dungeon in which Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned by the Turks has been found at Tokat Castle.

Back at the beginning of the 15th century Wallachian Prince Vlad III, the real-life inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s character Dracula, was held captive by the Ottoman Turks for twelve years.

Now archaeologists believe that they have discovered the very prison in which he had been held captive deep beneath Tokat Castle in northern Turkey. The dungeons were found following the discovery of a secret tunnel that was unearthed while restoration works were being carried out on the building.

“The castle is completely surrounded by secret tunnels. It is very mysterious,” said archaeologist Ibrahim Çetin. “It is hard to estimate in which room Dracula was kept, but he was around here.”

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Leaving Your Religion Can Damage Your Health

WARNING: Leaving your religion can damage your health (courtesy of The Atlantic):

…Americans are less religious than ever. A third of American adults under 30, and a fifth of all Americans don’t identify with any religion, according to a 2012 study by Pew Research (an increase from 15 percent in 2007). But though scientists have studied people who leave cults, research on the health effects of leaving religion is slim.

Minsk praying woman

The most mainstream research on this is a 2010 study out of Pennsylvania State University, which examined data from 1972 to 2006. The study showed that 20 percent of people who have left religion report being in excellent health, versus 40 percent of people currently part of strict religious groups (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Latter-Day Saints) and 25 percent of people who switched from a strict religion to a more lenient religion. “Strict” in this study was defined as “high-cost sectarian groups that are theologically and culturally exclusive.”

There are some studies comparing the health of religious and nonreligious people.

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Be Kind

Nothingness by Hartwig HKD via Flickr. CC by 2.0.

Nothingness by Hartwig HKD via Flickr. CC by 2.0.

we are always asked
to understand the other person’s
viewpoint
no matter how
out-dated
foolish or
obnoxious.

one is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
with
kindliness,
especially if they are
aged.

but age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
badly
because they have
lived
out of focus,
they have refused to
see.

not their fault?

whose fault?
mine?

I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their
fear.

age is no crime

but the shame
of a deliberately
wasted
life

among so many
deliberately
wasted
lives

is.

– Charles Bukowski

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Protests in Pakistan: Curiously Underreported by International News

Thanks to a Facebook commenter on this post, the underreporting of the protests in Pakistan has been brought to my attention. While some of the mainstream media has covered these protests, their narrative has been dwarfed by other, more popular stories. Here’s a short recap from different sources.

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Imran Khan, Pakistani politician and former cricketer.

“Imran Khan vows to carry on protest till Pakistan PM resigns” via Arab News:
(September 28)

LAHORE: Opposition politician Imran Khan has vowed to continue his protest against Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif until the leader resigns over allegations of election rigging.

Khan, along with populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, has been staging a sit-in in capital Islamabad since August 15.

Last week he took his protest to Pakistan’s largest city Karachi and on Sunday he addressed thousands of people in his home town and Pakistan’s second largest city — Lahore, which is also the home town of Sharif.

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The End of Peak Oil

Peak oil has been an alarmist catch phrase for so long that many of us simply assume that oil production has in fact peaked and we’re well on the way to running out of the world’s favorite fossil fuel. Not so, according to this story in the Wall Street Journal:

Have we beaten “peak oil”?

For decades, it has been a doomsday scenario looming large in the popular imagination: The world’s oil production tops out and then starts an inexorable decline—sending costs soaring and forcing nations to lay down strict rationing programs and battle for shrinking reserves.

Estimates of Peak World Oil Production.jpg

U.S. oil production did peak in the 1970s and sank for decades after, exactly as the theory predicted. But then it did something the theory didn’t predict: It started rising again in 2009, and hasn’t stopped, thanks to a leap forward in oil-field technology.

To the peak-oil adherents, this is just a respite, and decline is inevitable.

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