News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty


January 8, 2016

This summer I began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and Muay Thai Kickboxing with a couple of instructors. One of my Senseis is a retired Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) cage fighter and excessively admires my aggressive performance. His wife is one of the Kickboxing Senseis, always hugging me and exclaiming how jealous she is of my squats or kicks or strenght. The Sensei who instructs me the most is one of the most supportive and inspiring people I’ve met in my life. He’s full of understanding and dedicated to motivating us.  I’m sassy and outgoing when I’m in class; I usually end up getting told to do burpees as punishment for extreme sass, but I do love my instructors. (Burpees are an exercise where you squat, drop into a push up, and jump back up–all in one motion. They’re punishment because they’re brutal.)

full post and fascinating insight in this sport from a beginner shaybnana











1.	Boon County

The 1930s were a particularly difficult time, especially for rural Missourians.  The Great Depression, locusts, grasshoppers, and drought made things difficult for almost everyone.  Many of the homes where families lived during that time were temporary shacks, overcrowded, simple, and basic.  Let’s take a visual trip back in time and visit some of these homes.


Interior of Ozarks cabin housing six people. May 1936


A sharecropper’s family. May 1936


full story at the Only in your State








Lady Trieu Thi Trinh

In the year 43, Vietnam came under the rule of the Chinese Han dynasty. This foreign domination was to last for hundreds of years, with the Chinese campaigning to “civilize” and assimilate the native people. Though the Chinese ruled Vietnam for hundreds of years, their rule was not accepted by the Vietnamese and there were many organized rebellions over the years. One of these rebellions was led by a legendary Vietnamese hero known as Triệu Thị Trinh.

The name Triệu Thị Trinh has a few sounds that don’t exist in English. You can probably get pretty close by pronouncing it as “Jeu Tea Gin/Chin”. It can also be translated into Chinese as Zhao Shi Zheng and in Korean Cho/Jo Sa Jung. (Thank you to Sa for commenting with a better transliteration.)

Trieu Thi Trinh, also called Lady Trieu (Bà Triệu) or Triệu Ẩu (趙嫗), was born in a small village in Vietnam. She was orphaned as a toddler and lived with her brother.

Lady Trieu saw the way her people were oppressed by the Chinese and could not take it.Trieu ran to the countryside and set up an army base, training a thousand rebels to fight against the Chinese. When her brother tried to discourage her, Trieu famously said:

“I will not resign myself to the lot of women who bow their heads and become concubines. I wish to ride the tempest, tame the waves, kill the sharks. I have no desire to take abuse.”

Before the age of 21, Lady Trieu successfully fought over 30 battles against the Chinese with her rebel army. According to legend she was over 9 feet tall, with a voice which sounded like a temple bell, and rode into battle on an elephant, wearing golden armor and carrying a sword in each hand. The Chinese were said to be afraid of her fierce gaze, and said it would be easier to fight a tiger than to face Lady Trieu in battle.

Lady Trieu, fighting with her small rebel army against the huge occupying Chinese forces, could not last in her success. In 248 CE, the Chinese finally won against Lady Trieu. It’s said that she despaired so much at the loss that she committed suicide by throwing herself into a river.

Even after her death, she inspired her people to fight against the Chinese. For centuries she was said to have appeared in the dreams of Vietnamese revolutionaries offering support and guidance.

Today, Lady Trieu is a national hero in Vietnam. A national holiday honors her bravery, and many streets are named after her in Vietnamese cities.

Image of Trieu Thi Trinh courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

source and highly recommended  further reading   KeriLynn Engel









© Kacper Pempel

Tech giants have condemned the government’s Investigatory Powers Bill, which will allow security services to hack anyone’s device and access their web history, branding the legislation “very dangerous.”

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Yahoo have joined forces to oppose the Bill, known to its detractors as the ‘snoopers’ charter’. It was proposed by Home Secretary Theresa May in November.

The bill requires telecommunications agencies to hand over data to security services and gives police, GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 unfettered access to the records of Britons’ web use.

Domestic communication providers would also be required to help police to hack into suspects’ computers and phones.

The bill has attracted criticism from Internet Service Providers (ISPs), civil liberties groups and the UN’s privacy chief.

In a joint statement addressed to the government, the firms said it is a “general rule” that users should be alerted when the government spies on their web browsing history, adding the Bill could have “far reaching implications.”

They said surveillance shouldn’t include “bulk collection” of user information and individual accounts should be targeted instead, further saying many parts of the law “remain opaque.”

The groups also warned the wording of the bill could force companies to weaken encryption and provide “backdoors” to data, despite statements to the contrary.

We reject any proposals that would require companies to deliberately weaken the security of their products via backdoors, forced decryption, or any other means,” it said.

We have collective experience around the world of personnel who have nothing to do with the data sought being arrested or intimidated in an attempt to force an overseas corporation to disclose user information,” it added.

In a statement, May said: “Internet connection records would update the capability of law enforcement in a criminal investigation to determine the sender and recipient of a communication, for example, a malicious message such as those exchanged in cyberbullying.”

New legislation will have to be passed by the end of 2016, in part because existing laws will run out by the end of next year.

More news at RT twitter










Six Huge Stories The Mainstream Media Don’t Want You To Know About

by Sophie McAdam at

You might have heard about a few of them, but not as much as you should. Here’s our pick of the last 12 month’s top news stories, all pretty much ignored by the corporate press.



Whistleblowers, Ecocide, top secret trade deals, and shady ties between the Islamic State and the West’s closest allies…here are a few hot topics the mainstream media barely covered in 2015.

1. Any Tragedy That’s Not Western-Centric


The outpouring of fury, despair and grief by the corporate press over the November 13 Paris attackshighlighted the bias of the mainstream media towards western victims of terrorism. There were two suicide bombings in Lebanon the day before the events in Paris, killing 37 and wounding 180, but they were not mentioned much in the sensationalist coverage of France’s tragedy, nor were they mentioned in the minutes’ silences and vigils conducted across the Western world in the aftermath.

From the horrors of the Congo’s bloody civil war to Erdogan’s persecution of Turkish Kurds, from Boko Haram’s ongoing reign of terror in Nigeria, Chad, and Cameroon to the plight of Sudanese refugees, the mainstream media seems to pick and choose which human lives deserve our empathy and which aren’t quite so important.

2. Indonesia Burning

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

As we previously reported, the Indonesian wildfires that caused devastation to the country’s people and wildlife last year were largely ignored by the mainstream media until several months after the devastating event began. The fires were started by loggers to clear the way for controversial palm oilplantations and caused health problems for over one million people. The World Bank estimates that the fires destroyed 2.6 million hectares (6.4m acres) of rainforest between June and October, costing $16.1bn and causing untold loss of life to the endangered animals who depend on the forests for their survival. Terrified orang-utans fleeing the disaster were abused in a sickening way by some Indonesian villagers.

Ecocide on this scale should have been one of the biggest stories of 2015, but with the exception of Guardian columnist and environmental activist George Monbiot (who attacked his industry for censorship of the event), the tragedy was largely ignored to protect corporate interests.


full story at Anonymous







Small migratory birds were found stuffed into crevices by Eleonora's falcons so that they could not escape. Abdeljebbar Qninba

photo credit: Small migratory birds were found stuffed into crevices by Eleonora’s falcons so that they could not escape. Abdeljebbar Qninba

Falcons in Morocco’s Essaouira archipelago have been observed “imprisoning” other birds and holding them for several days before feeding them to their young.

The unusual behavior was observed by Abdeljebbar Qninba from Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco, while conducting a census of falcons on the island of Mogador in 2014, and reported in the latest edition of the journal Alauda. Among the species residing on the island is Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae), which normally eats only insects but has been known to feed on other migratory birds such as the common whitethroat, the tree pipit and others during the breeding season.

For this reason, Eleanora’s falcon colonies tend to synchronize their chick-rearing with the height of the annual migration, in order to ensure that prey is at a maximum when their young hatch.

Typically, this dietary switch from insects to other birds occurs a few days prior to laying their first eggs in late summer, as the falcons begin catching prey in anticipation for the arrival of a few extra mouths to feed. However, by killing their food so early they risk it drying out or rotting before it can be eaten.

To get around this, the birds were seen keeping their prey alive for varying periods, thereby ensuring its freshness when it came time to feed it to the chicks. This was achieved using a number of cunning tactics, such as stuffing small birds into small crevices, ensuring they were tightly wedged in and unable to escape.

full story at IFL








A portrait of jailed Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi © Vincent Kessler

Hundreds of activists have descended on the Saudi Arabian Embassy in central London to hand over a petition signed by 250,000 people. It calls for the release of jailed activist and blogger Raif Badawi.

Marking one year since the 31-year-old was lashed 50 times in a public square in Jeddah, protesters will also hand over a separate petition demanding the release of his lawyer, who was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for attempting to set up a human rights monitoring website.

In 2014, a Saudi court imprisoned Badawi for 10 years for “insulting Islam” and setting up a liberal web forum.

He was also sentenced to 1,000 lashes and ordered to pay a fine of 1 million riyals ($266,000, £133,000).

Human rights organization Amnesty International, leading the protest vigil on Friday, is urging the Saudi government to release the writer, who was awarded the EU’s Sakharov prize last October.

The group has criticized Prime Minister David Cameron for responding inadequately, as Saudi Arabia is now taking a tougher line on dissent under King Salman, who came to the throne last year after the death of King Abdullah.

Since the brutal flogging of Raif Badawi a year ago there’s been an intensified crackdown in Saudi Arabia,” Amnesty UK’s director Kate Allen told the Guardian

more at RT
















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