Saturday, June 26, 2010

Armed Forces Day

It's Armed Forces Day here in the UK, so spare a thought for the men and women engaged in war in a far-off land.

Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines don't get anywhere near the respect or gratitude that they deserve. The fighting in Afghanistan is brutal and intense- and the British public only hears a small fraction of what's actually going on over there. If you haven't already, I strongly suggest you head on over and read some of Michael Yon's posts.

Bug Out Bag

I'm putting together a "tiered" bug out bag. Level One will provide enough for 24 hours, level Two 72 and then Level Three will be a less man-portable system for a longer duration emergency. I did have my eye on one of County Comm's superb little EOD utility bags (along with a good deal of the rest of their products - they couldn't have designed a better product line aimed at me personally if they tried- Pico Pen? I want one so bad). Unfortunately, they don't seem to like making money and won't sell their products outside of the US- and the only other supplier of the EOD bag is LA Gear which wants to charge me in the region of $80 shipping for a little bag. Wow.

So, I'm looking for an alternative (or a dealer who will ship internationally without robbing me blind) and if anyone can suggest one I'd really appreciate it. I like that the EOD bag came with MOLLE webbing so that extra pouches can be attached.

For what it's worth my Level One gear will be based on what the British military term assault order- the contents of webbing (and in my case the gear normally carried in your combat jacket too). Minus the magazines for the L85, cleaning kit and grenades of course. This basically boils down to a mess kit, 24 hours of rations, stove, mug, water bottle and a few little extras.

Ninja Assassin

Just watched Ninja Assassin. Quite possibly the greatest ninja film ever made. And Sho Kosugi is in it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Convict Conditioning

Although my back injury prevents me from engaging in vigorous exercise I do try to keep abreast of what's going on in the world of strength and fitness training. I recently stumbled across a Dragon Door book called Convict Conditioning. Written by an ex-con it details the system he developed to become scary strong and fit inside the joint. Utilising nothing but bodyweight exercises, the book can trace its heritage back to old-school strongman The Mighty Atom.

What's refreshing about this book is that not only does the author explain the reasoning and history behind his system, he also lays out a foolproof guide of how to progress from absolute beginner to master athlete. I've read a lot of exercise books and while many offer explanations of certain techniques and some sample routines, few- if any- lay it out in such a clear, simple way as Convict Conditioning. Based around six main exercises, it takes you step-by-step through the program. Take press ups, for example. This section starts with standing, wall press ups for those with little conditioning, and then builds gradually- level by level- towards the peak movement: the one handed, handstand press up. It's as simple as that. Get the book, follow the routine- with clearly pictured and described guides to each of the exercises- and get strong. And the best part is that you don't need to buy any expensive or fancy equipment; or even go to the gym for that matter.

Quite simply this is one of the best exercise guides I've ever seen.

The Tunnel

This is interesting- an Aussie firm has made a horror movie called The Tunnel and they are releasing it themselves as a torrent. They intend to pay for the production costs by selling individual frames of film. It's a rather daring step to take and it will certainly be interesting to see how well this system does. If it works we'll be sure to see others try the same approach- and surely a successful cult film will be able to charge a bit more than a dollar for at least some of the frames.

“An investigation into a government cover-up leads to a network of abandoned train tunnels deep beneath the heart of Sydney. As a journalist and her crew hunt for the story it quickly becomes clear the story is hunting them.”

You can check out the teasers- and buy your own frame- here. And don't forget to look for the torrent.

Centurion Trailer

Neil Marshall's a genius- Dog Soldiers is a blast, The Descent was genuinely scary and Doomsday was a hugely entertaining homage to the post-apocalyptic films of the '80s. So, I'm really, really looking forward to seeing his latest flick Centurion.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Obama's Anti-British Rhetoric Attacked

Britain's Lord Tebbitt slams Obama's continual blame-shifting and finger-pointing-

‘The whole might of American wealth and technology is displayed as utterly unable to deal with the disastrous spill – so what more natural than a crude, bigoted, xenophobic display of partisan political Presidential petulance against a multinational company?’

London mayor Boris Johnson also joined in-

'I do think there's something slightly worrying about the anti-British rhetoric that seems to be permeating from America.

'I would like to see a bit of cool heads rather than endlessly buck-passing and name-calling. When you consider the huge exposure of British pension funds to BP it starts to become a matter of national concern if a great British company is being continually beaten up on the airwaves.

'It was an accident that took place and BP is paying a very, very heavy price indeed.'

BP provides income for millions of pension savers- Obama's constant demagoguing of the company might in the short term deflect blame from his rudderless "leadership" but in the long run it could have a ruinous effect on the pension plans of many retirees dependent on those funds.