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Jungle Paradise

Below a photoshop jungle paradise - the type of place that would make a great setting for a fantasy adventure.



Bamboo Blade

I want to talk about several different things.

#1. Japanese Anime is awesome.

#2. English dubs of Japanese Anime is still awesome, but only if the company doing the dubbing is a quality one. eg. The Canadian company "WordFit" is particularly good, but there many other quality companies that do some seriously good quality dubs for Japanese Anime.

#3. For example Bamboo Blade is an awesome show whether you watch it in Japanese or in English. You can stream ALL the English episodes by going to various different websites online or downloading the torrent and I think you will agree that the quality of the dub is extremely excellent.

#4. Just because it is not in Japanese does not make it inferior. I know, I know, there are Anime Freaks out there in North America who think that the shows should be watched in original Japanese with English subtitles because they apparently think that by watching and reading subtitles that their Japanese will improve dramatically.

But the truth is people who believe that are: #1. Fools, because you can't learn a language properly that way. #2. Idiotic Elitist Nerds like the type who play Magic the Gathering in competitions instead of for fun.

You see I studied a BA in Asian languages during university, which included learning Mandarin, Korean and Japanese. I would have studied Vietnamese too if I had had the time. And what I can tell you, and what my Japanese professors most certainly would tell you, is that while you can pick up one or two phrases and some nouns watching TV shows in another language, the truth is you are still converting those words from Japanese into English via the subtitles and you aren't really learning the language. Word vocabulary is not learning a language. Sentence structure, syntax, knowing how to phrase a question, how to pronounce it properly, how to respond, how to say something politely or impolitely... that is learning a language.

So if you are one of those idiots who thinks watching subtitles is somehow superior, pfff! Get a freaking life and go take some courses in Japanese and then you will learn the difference.

#5. Back to Bamboo Blade - Awesome show! Why? Because during the course of the show they actually try and teach you Kendo. However like I have explained above, watching other people do Kendo on TV and actually doing it yourself is a big difference in your ability to learn it.

Watching Bamboo Blade can help teach you some of the terminology and the rules of Kendo. A bit like watching Harry Potter and learning how to play Quidditch, but unless you have lots of friends with flying brooms it really isn't going to happen. But Kendo... well you would actually go out and enroll yourself in a Kendo dojo or join a Kendo club and then learn it for real.

I guess the real thing about Bamboo Blade is that, yes, its a funny show (hysterical at times), and yes it does try to teach you the basics of Kendo, but its true goal is encouraging people to go out and try Kendo for themselves.


#6. I did sword-fighting almost every day from the age of 8 to 18.

I grew up on a farm and to be fair there wasn't much else to do outside except go swimming in our pool or go cycling. Sword-fighting was what I was good at and I practiced it every day using dumbie equipment + practicing with my best friend Jonathan and my younger sister (both of whom also got extremely good at sword-fighting as the years went by). Sometimes I would also sword-fight (for fun) at school with other kids, but it had reached a point where most of them couldn't compete with me because I was on a whole different level then them.

One time during high school I even fought a guy while blindfolded (I was blindfolded, not him) and still beat him. I managed to do it by being unpredictable, incredibly fast and anticipating his moves, despite not being able to see.

During high school I also learned Olympic wrestling and kickboxing, and I later took up boxing and archery as an adult and now teach both boxing and archery (not at the same time, separately of course). I also studied Tae Kwon Do while living in South Korea for a year.

But I miss the amount of sword-fighting I did when I was younger. I have never taken fencing or kendo lessons, but one time in university I did have a chance to sword-fight against a guy who apparently did competitive fencing - and I beat him. He was extremely pissed off when I scored a headshot on him.

I do own a Katana (and several other swords) and keep it in a corner next to my archery equipment. One time I scared the crap out of a would-be burglar trying to pick the lock on my door. She (I think she was a crackhead looking to steal stuff and then get drugs) made too many scratching noises at the lock and woke me up. So I grabbed my Katana, flung open the door and I think she nearly wet her pants in fear.

Unfortunately I didn't get to do any sword-fighting that time, but oh to have a willing partner and have duels... that would be fun. :)

Conclusions?

Japanese is Awesome. Anime is Awesome. English Dubs are still Awesome. Bamboo Blade is Awesome. Kendo is Awesome. Scaring the Crap out of Burglars is Awesome.

Idiotic Anime Nerds can go suck a lemon, get a life and take some actual Japanese lessons.

Thor's, err, I mean Chris Hemsworth’s Workout and Diet

Chris Hemsworth’s Thor Workout

Chris Hemsworth used a 4 day on, 1 day off training split:
  • Day 1 – Chest and Shoulders in the morning. Boxing and Abs in the evening.
  • Day 2 – Back and Arms in the morning. Boxing and Abs in the evening.
  • Day 3 – Surfing in the morning. Legs in the evening.
  • Day 4 – Abs and cardio in the morning. No evening workout.
  • Day 5 - OFF


Chest and Shoulders Workout
  • Dumbbell Flyes – 3 sets of 12, 10 and 8 reps
  • Barbell Bench Press – 3 sets of 12, 10 and 8 reps
  • Bent Over Lateral Raise – 3 sets of 15, 12 and 12 reps
  • Side Lateral Raise – 3 sets of 15, 12 and 12 reps
  • Arnold Press – 3 sets of 12, 10 and 8 reps
.
Back and Arms Workout
  • Chin Ups – 3 sets of 15, 12 and 10 reps
  • Deadlift – 3 sets of 10, 8 and 6 reps
  • Barbell Curl – 3 sets of 10, 8 and 6 reps
  • French Press – 3 sets of 10, 8 and 6 reps
Legs Workout – *Performed as a superset
  • Leg Extensions – 3 sets of 10, 8 and 6 reps
  • Leg Curls – 3 sets of 10, 8 and 6 reps
  • Squats – 3 sets of 10, 8 and 6 reps


Abs Workout – Performed on Days 1,2 and 4
Performed as a circuit. Repeat each circuit three times. Rest in between circuits.
  • Plank – 60 second hold
  • Side Plank – 60 second hold
  • Roman Chair Leg Raise – 20 reps
  • Cable Crunch – 20 reps
  • Oblique Crunch – 20 reps
Boxing Workout
  • Speed Bag – 5 rounds, 3 minutes each.
  • Focus Pads – 5 rounds, 3 minutes each.
  • Jump Rope – 5 rounds, 3 minutes each.
*Rest in between each round.


Chris Hemsworth’s Thor Diet and Supplementation 

A main priority for Chris Hemsworth was adding more daily protein. Protein staples for Thor included:
  • Steak
  • Egg Whites
  • Chicken
  • Fish
Carbohydrates were based on time of day.
  • Potatoes and rice were eaten earlier in the day.
  • Broccoli and spinach were eaten at night.
Chris Hemsworth relied on the following supplements:
  • Amino Acids prior to his workouts.
  • Whey protein post-workout.


The Real Thor Workout and Diet

Chris Hemsworth used a 4 day on, 1 day off training split. The real Thor doesn’t take days off because he is a Norse god and is totally awesome.
  • Day 1 – Lift Mjölnir, the Might Hammer of Thor. 50 sets of 50, 100, and 150 reps.
  • Day 2 – Eat two oxen, chug two casks of mead.
  • Day 3 – Swing Mjölnir, the Might Hammer of Thor. 50 sets of 50, 100, and 150 reps.
  • Day 4 – Abs: Stare into mirror, Abs Assemble.
  • Day 5 - Eat a school of salmon, all of Thyrm’s wedding cake, and chug two casks of mead.
  • Day 6 - Hit things with Mjölnir.  50 sets of carnage.
  • Day 7 - And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made (Genesis 2:2). 
    However, Thor is not a Christian god.  And on the seventh day, Thor deflowers a 100 virgins with the other “Mighty Hammer of Thor”.  Then he eats a herd of bison and washes it down with more mead, lots more mead.  (TwoScoops 2:2)

Superhearing - Why is it considered such a wimpy superpower?

Everyone takes hearing for granted - unless of course they have hearing damage or are deaf.

Thus perhaps it is no surprise that "super hearing" isn't really considered to be that great of a superpower when it comes to comic books.

For example Superman can fly, is super stronger, can shoot lasers from his eyes, has X-ray vision and a lot of other awesome powers (eg. super fast healing whenever he is in the yellow light of the sun). His super hearing isn't really a central part of his character. (Same goes with Supergirl and any other Kryptonian.)

Another character with Super Hearing is Aquaman - but he only has super hearing when underwater. He also has super strength underwater, super swimming, the ability to breathe water, etc. So his ability to hear really well underwater is a lesser ability.

Wolverine - again, another character who's other abilities overshadow his hearing ability. His super sense of smell overshadows even his hearing, let alone his healing factor and bone claws.

Spider-Man - Yada yada yada, you know the drill. Super reflexes and strength vs his spidey-sense hearing.

Wonder Woman - On the long list of Wonder Woman's powers, yes, she also has super hearing. Yeehaw!

Daredevil - You were probably wondering when I would get to Daredevil. Yes, Daredevil's super hearing is basically his main forte. His hearing is so good it is basically radar. He also has a super sense of smell, touch, balance - and despite being blind, apparently can match red colours with matching red colours so his outfit looks normal.



But Dare Devil's enhanced senses are really just designed to counter his lack of sight. Yes, he has super hearing. Yes, it is amazingly good - like radar. But it really is kind of a wimpy super power.

But here is the interesting thing.

If you shoot yourself with a couple CCs of adrenaline in a syringe, you too can have super hearing. The extra adrenaline heightens brain activity and boosts your senses - giving you what could basically be considered to be a super power. It wears off over time, adrenaline shots do that, but it is one way of boosting hearing to superhuman levels.

You could also combine adrenaline with hearing aids and other electronic devices to give yourself unusually powerful hearing. So much that you could be "Super Hearing Man!" or "Super Hearing Woman!"

But what would be the point? Could you stop crimes using your super hearing? Not really. No more than police or spies using tech toys to listen in on criminals or other spies.

eg. The tech toy on the right is a mere $62 USD on Amazon.com.

Call it part of the whole "why is there no superheroes" problem. The problem isn't really the issue of having access to tech toys so you can become Batman, the problem is being able to find criminals and stop them in the act.

Anyone with enough money and wherewithal could train themselves to become a proverbial Batman - but having the ability to find criminals, that is the true challenge. Vigilante crime fighters are as rare as female Navy Seals (there are no female Navy Seals currently, but the Pentagon recently changed their policies and are hoping to have the first female Navy Seals trained by 2016).

There have been people who wander around at night, in costume, masquerading as vigilantes. But they are the superhero equivalent of firefighters who rescue kittens trapped up trees and boy scouts helping elderly people to cross the street.

Yes, you could go out and spend lots of money on audiologists, visiting hearing clinics, buying the most high tech hearing aids that money can buy, but even if you did have superhuman hearing, what would you even do with it???



Dragon Queen

It is digital artwork, but it is still very impressive. "Dragon Queen". I am getting a Game of Thrones vibe.



Secrets of the Viking Sword

"Secrets of the Viking Sword" is a PBS Nova documentary on how Vikings made their swords and their metallurgy, and how it was far advanced compared to their other European contemporaries.

While the swords have rusted and eroded, the viking swords known as Ulfberht swords were made from far superior steel known as "crucible steel", which was heated and melted at 3000 degrees to remove impurities known as slag. Removing the impurities plus adding carbon made the swords significantly stronger, less brittle and more flexible.

According to historians the Vikings probably didn't have the knowledge of creating such pure steel themselves, but instead gained it by trading with the Persians (Damascus steel) via the Volga trade route, taking steel ingots back to Scandinavia and then crafting their Ulfberht steel blades there.

The vikings also tapered the tips of their blades to better pierce chain mail of the era and crafted their swords with special techniques.

Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy

Say hi to Lucy.
2013-09-15-Geny1.jpg
Lucy is part of Generation Y, the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s. She's also part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y.

I have a term for yuppies in the Gen Y age group -- I call them Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies, or GYPSYs. A GYPSY is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story.

So Lucy's enjoying her GYPSY life, and she's very pleased to be Lucy. Only issue is this one thing:
Lucy's kind of unhappy.

To get to the bottom of why, we need to define what makes someone happy or unhappy in the first place. It comes down to a simple formula:


2013-09-15-Geny2.jpg
It's pretty straightforward -- when the reality of someone's life is better than they had expected, they're happy. When reality turns out to be worse than the expectations, they're unhappy.
To provide some context, let's start by bringing Lucy's parents into the discussion:
2013-09-15-Geny3.jpg
Lucy's parents were born in the '50s -- they're Baby Boomers. They were raised by Lucy's grandparents, members of the G.I. Generation, or "the Greatest Generation," who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II, and were most definitely not GYPSYs.


2013-09-15-Geny4.jpg

Lucy's Depression Era grandparents were obsessed with economic security and raised her parents to build practical, secure careers. They wanted her parents' careers to have greener grass than their own, and Lucy's parents were brought up to envision a prosperous and stable career for themselves.

Something like this:

2013-09-15-Geny5.jpg

They were taught that there was nothing stopping them from getting to that lush, green lawn of a career, but that they'd need to put in years of hard work to make it happen.

2013-09-15-Geny6.jpg

After graduating from being insufferable hippies, Lucy's parents embarked on their careers. As the '70s, '80s, and '90s rolled along, the world entered a time of unprecedented economic prosperity. Lucy's parents did even better than they expected to. This left them feeling gratified and optimistic.

2013-09-15-Geny7.jpg

With a smoother, more positive life experience than that of their own parents, Lucy's parents raised Lucy with a sense of optimism and unbounded possibility. And they weren't alone. Baby Boomers all around the country and world told their Gen Y kids that they could be whatever they wanted to be, instilling the special protagonist identity deep within their psyches.

This left GYPSYs feeling tremendously hopeful about their careers, to the point where their parents' goals of a green lawn of secure prosperity didn't really do it for them. A GYPSY-worthy lawn has flowers.
2013-09-15-Geny8.jpg

This leads to our first fact about GYPSYs:

GYPSYs Are Wildly Ambitious

2013-09-15-Geny9.jpg

The GYPSY needs a lot more from a career than a nice green lawn of prosperity and security. The fact is, a green lawn isn't quite exceptional or unique enough for a GYPSY. Where the Baby Boomers wanted to live The American Dream, GYPSYs want to live Their Own Personal Dream.

Cal Newport points out that "follow your passion" is a catchphrase that has only gotten going in the last 20 years, according to Google's Ngram viewer, a tool that shows how prominently a given phrase appears in English print over any period of time. The same Ngram viewer shows that the phrase "a secure career" has gone out of style, just as the phrase "a fulfilling career" has gotten hot.
2013-09-15-Geny10.jpg


2013-09-15-geny11.jpg

To be clear, GYPSYs want economic prosperity just like their parents did -- they just also want to be fulfilled by their career in a way their parents didn't think about as much.

But something else is happening too. While the career goals of Gen Y as a whole have become much more particular and ambitious, Lucy has been given a second message throughout her childhood as well:
2013-09-15-Geny12.jpg

This would probably be a good time to bring in our second fact about GYPSYs:

GYPSYs Are Delusional

"Sure," Lucy has been taught, "everyone will go and get themselves some fulfilling career, but I am unusually wonderful and as such, my career and life path will stand out amongst the crowd." So on top of the generation as a whole having the bold goal of a flowery career lawn, each individual GYPSY thinks that he or she is destined for something even better --
A shiny unicorn on top of the flowery lawn.


2013-09-15-Geny13.jpg

So why is this delusional? Because this is what all GYPSYs think, which defies the definition of special:


spe-cial | 'speSHel |
adjective
better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.
According to this definition, most people are not special -- otherwise "special" wouldn't mean anything.
Even right now, the GYPSYs reading this are thinking, "Good point... but I actually am one of the few special ones" -- and this is the problem.

A second GYPSY delusion comes into play once the GYPSY enters the job market. While Lucy's parents' expectation was that many years of hard work would eventually lead to a great career, Lucy considers a great career an obvious given for someone as exceptional as she, and for her it's just a matter of time and choosing which way to go. Her pre-workforce expectations look something like this:


2013-09-15-Geny14.jpg

Unfortunately, the funny thing about the world is that it turns out to not be that easy of a place, and the weird thing about careers is that they're actually quite hard. Great careers take years of blood, sweat and tears to build -- even the ones with no flowers or unicorns on them -- and even the most successful people are rarely doing anything that great in their early or mid-20s.
But GYPSYs aren't about to just accept that.

Paul Harvey, a University of New Hampshire professor and GYPSY expert, has researched this, finding that Gen Y has "unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback," and "an inflated view of oneself." He says that "a great source of frustration for people with a strong sense of entitlement is unmet expectations. They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren't in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting."

For those hiring members of Gen Y, Harvey suggests asking the interview question, "Do you feel you are generally superior to your coworkers/classmates/etc., and if so, why?" He says that "if the candidate answers yes to the first part but struggles with the 'why,' there may be an entitlement issue. This is because entitlement perceptions are often based on an unfounded sense of superiority and deservingness. They've been led to believe, perhaps through overzealous self-esteem building exercises in their youth, that they are somehow special but often lack any real justification for this belief."

And since the real world has the nerve to consider merit a factor, a few years out of college Lucy finds herself here:
2013-09-15-Geny15.jpg

Lucy's extreme ambition, coupled with the arrogance that comes along with being a bit deluded about one's own self-worth, has left her with huge expectations for even the early years out of college. And her reality pales in comparison to those expectations, leaving her "reality - expectations" happy score coming out at a negative.

And it gets even worse. On top of all this, GYPSYs have an extra problem that applies to their whole generation:

GYPSYs Are Taunted

Sure, some people from Lucy's parents' high school or college classes ended up more successful than her parents did. And while they may have heard about some of it from time to time through the grapevine, for the most part they didn't really know what was going on in too many other peoples' careers.
Lucy, on the other hand, finds herself constantly taunted by a modern phenomenon: Facebook Image Crafting.

Social media creates a world for Lucy where A) what everyone else is doing is very out in the open, B) most people present an inflated version of their own existence, and C) the people who chime in the most about their careers are usually those whose careers (or relationships) are going the best, while struggling people tend not to broadcast their situation. This leaves Lucy feeling, incorrectly, like everyone else is doing really well, only adding to her misery:
2013-09-15-Geny16.jpg

So that's why Lucy is unhappy, or at the least, feeling a bit frustrated and inadequate. In fact, she's probably started off her career perfectly well, but to her, it feels very disappointing.

Here's my advice for Lucy:

1) Stay wildly ambitious. The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success. The specific direction may be unclear, but it'll work itself out -- just dive in somewhere.

2) Stop thinking that you're special. The fact is, right now, you're not special. You're another completely inexperienced young person who doesn't have all that much to offer yet. You can become special by working really hard for a long time.

3) Ignore everyone else. Other people's grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today's image crafting world, other people's grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you'll never have any reason to envy others.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


Above: Director Matt Reeves and cast tell us about the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Release Date/Year: May 23, 2014

New 2013 Archery Movies and TV Shows

Want more archery in your life?

#1. Arrow - Season Two.

Enter "Speedy" and "Black Canary"... Oh and that chick from the Terminator Chronicles!


#2. Reign - Season One.

Reign is a new teenage drama series set in France about Queen Mary of the Scots. The show is billed as "Game of Thrones meets Marie Antoinette". And yes, it has archery in it. See the photo below to see two of the young actors learning how to do archery for the first time at the Toronto Public Archery Range.

The Reign series is being produced by the CW, the same people bringing you "Arrow", which suggests they are really betting the farm on archery continuing to be such a big thing with teen audiences.

In the forefront below is Toby Regbo, the male lead, on his first day of doing archery.


#3. Catching Fire - Part Two of The Hunger Games Series.

Can't wait to see Katniss in action again? Watch the trailer below to see Katniss once more.


#4.The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug

Dwarves doing archery? Yes, but we also get to see the return of Legolas doing archery too!

And don't forget lots of other elves doing archery, and the human archer known as Bard from Laketown.

What this means is that The Desolation of Smaug promises to have A LOT OF ARCHERY IN IT. Just plain a lot. You may want to count the number of arrows that actually get shot during the film because it may break a lot of records compared to other films which had a lot of archery in them.


#5. The Walking Dead - Season Four.

Seriously. This is so happening.

Yes, okay, we know crossbows aren't really archery, but that doesn't stop us from liking Daryl right?


#6. Brave 2?

No sign of this happening any time soon. Sorry to get your hopes up but we may not see a trailer for this until Summer 2014 or later.

#7. War of the Titans.

Clash of the Titans (2010), Wrath of the Titans (2012) - they've both been done. The third film is due out in 2014 and best guesses are that it will be called "War of the Titans" and be about the Trojan War. According to my sources "Clash of the Titans 3" was already in development stages back in 2012. So we should be seeing a trailer for it sometime soon for a Summer 2014 release date.

#8. Avatar 2.

We know it is coming - Avatar (2009) is James Cameron's baby after all, the same guy who made the Terminator series. He stated way back in 2006 that he would make two sequels.

Here it is 2013 already and no trailer yet. However perhaps that is because in 2012 James Cameron changed his mind and now says there will be THREE sequels. Or more precisely, one prequel and two sequels.

The prequel will be about Dr. Grace Augustine and her early encounters with the Navi. James Cameron also states each film would have a clear conclusion as opposed to being cliffhanger to the next film. Production is set to begin in 2014.

Release dates for the films are set for December 2016, the second in December 2017 and the third in 2018.

#9. Other movies and TV shows we haven't heard of yet...

Do you know of any? Post them in the comments.

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