Archives for June2015


Lingua Di Suocera

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Dudes, you should ALL know that the way to your significant other’s heart is two-fold: A. If you cook for her, and, B. If you do the dishes. Ladies believe there is nothing sexier in the kitchen than a man who cooks and/or who does the dishes. If you do both, your pretty much have it made. You might not be able to do any wrong. Well, for a while, at least. Why not cook a simple, elegant, healthy pasta dish loaded with nutrients and flavors that will rock both of your palettes? And Then do the dishes? What in the world have you got to lose?

Let’s do this. Here is my starting line-up for this awesome, simple pasta dish you can cook at home in less than an hour. But, keep in mind, with fresh pasta sauces, the longer, low and slow cook time, the better. We can do this in an hour, however, so not stress.

 

Ingredients:
2 shallots, slivered
4 – 6 ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and slivered
4 cloves garlic, half finely chopped and two sliced into discs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
A sprinkle of fresh or dried thyme leaves
Salt and Pepper
Lingua Di Suocera pasta*
Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated

 

Let’s talk pasta*. Lingua Di Suocera is known as the “Mother-in-Law” pasta, so why use that one? First, it is fancy and elegant-looking. Next, it is loaded with vegetable-based nutrients. You can find this or something like this at your specialty gourmet store (it is not real expensive for an imported product of Italy) or possibly at your local gourmet butcher shoppe. That is where I found it. IF you cannot find it at your local gourmet or butcher shoppes, you can for sure find penne, rotini or possibly rigatoni made with vegetables; look for the red, green and semolina striped pastas. You will be fine with any of them. Lingua Di Suocera pasta is just elegant, is all.

Next, to the base flavors of the dish. Using a sharp culinary knife, carefully slice off the tops of the Roma tomatoes, halve them, slice out the ribbing and scoop out the seeds. You might want to use a paring knife (short knife) for the ribbing and seeding part. You want clean slivers of Roma tomatoes. Why Romas? They are flavorful and sturdy. We do not want them to become mush and sauce; we want them to hold up and be part of the colorful dish.

Before we get to the rest of the aromatics prep, place four quarts of water into a large pot over high heat.

Moving right along, using the flat blade of your sharp culinary knife, crunch the garlic cloves. This will help you to peel the outer skins much easier. Now, slice two garlic cloves into thin discs and set aside. Finely grate or chop the other two. IF your significant other, or You, are not excited by garlic (and by-the-way, two garlic breaths cancel each other out and do not kill the romance!) just use two garlic cloves. This is all about what is good for you and what you are comfortable with! While you are at it, add the evoo (extra virgin olive oil) to a large high-sided sauce pan or skillet and place the garlic discs (they will become chips, to top the end product) into the pan over low heat. This will infuse the evoo with that awesome garlic flavor.

Now to the shallots. Shallots are bulbous and have a mild onion flavor, and are usually a light shade of red (like a light red onion) with a golden paper outer shell. It is easy to remove and slice these after you slice off the tuber top. Shallots are smaller than onions, and usually come two half bulbs to one head, or clove. Slice these into slivers and set aside.

We are ready to get the show on the road! If you are new to the kitchen, this may take a bit of time. Hit me up for questions, and I will be happy to help! If you are not new to this, all of this topping, peeling, slicing and dicing will be a breeze.

Bring the garlic and evoo stovetop temperature to medium. The garlic chips will begin the sizzle. Just as they start turning light golden, remove them to a small bowl or plate and set aside. You will use these as dish toppers later. Turn the heat to medium-high. When the oil begins to ripple, add the shallots and garlic to the sauce pan. You will be blown away by the garlic and shallot aroma as this begins to cook! Stir immediately to prevent the garlic and shallots from sticking. Add a little salt and pepper to the shallots. This helps the shallots release their sugars and “sweat” out their awesome flavors. This is all good, Dudes, trust me!

After three or four minutes, the shallots will start turning a little translucent (clear). Add the tomatoes at this point and stir well to incorporate with the shallots. Also, add the oregano at this point. If you are using fresh oregano, pull the leaves from the stem in a backwards motion (like we do with rosemary). Pluck any remaining leaves and add them whole to the sauce pan. Stir. This aroma will rock your world, trust me! At this point, reduce the heat to just slightly above low. You do not want the veg to break down too much from here.

By now, the pasta water should be at a roiling boil. Liberally add salt to the water and stir, as this is the Only chance you get to season the pasta itself. Drop the pasta into the water and immediately stir. This is to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. You really do Not want that to happen.

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Keep an eye on this pasta and stir about every two minutes. This pasta will begin to thicken up and get a bit rubbery. It is important to cook this about twelve minutes, maybe slightly longer. While you will be tossing this in the sauce pan with the veg, you do not want to eat rubbery pasta! Inevitably, pieces of the pasta will break off, so use that as a guide to when it is done. Twelve minutes is al dente (just before done) cook time for Lingua Di Suocera pasta, but if you are using another pasta, stick to the directions on the box or package.

When the pasta is done, carefully remove the pasta with tongs or, simply pour the contents into a colander in your sink, shake the water off the pasta and pour it into the sauce pan. Using tongs, or a wooden spoon, toss the pasta with the sauce, which should be quite ready by now. You do not need a whole lot on one plate to make a huge meal. Top with your pasta with a little finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley or whatever greens you have on hand. Cilantro would be good, too! Also top with the garlic chips, fresh or dried thyme leaves (adds a lite lemony flavor) and parmesan cheese. Shaved is elegant, but grated is fine.

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I added a little crisped slivered salami to my dish.
Easy, simple, elegant, and a winner for you and your significant other!

 

– Martin Phillips

TWITTER: @grnmn1
EMAIL: crdn3@yahoo.com
In-House Cook at inhousecook.blogspot.com

 

Top 10 Best Comic Book Movies

Honorable Mention: Thor – The “Thor” movies are widely considered to be the weakest link in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s not to say that the franchise is bad by any stretch of the imagination. They just aren’t quite at the same level as the MCU’s stronger entrants. The first “Thor” film came very close to cracking the top 10 due to the amazing performance Tom Hiddleston turned in as Loki. His turn as the god of mischief ranks at or near the top of the list of greatest villains in the genre, if not modern movies all together. Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, and Stellan Skarsgård all turned in solid performances. The set pieces in Asgard and Jotunheim were breathtaking. But overall, the movie was just not that memorable outside of Hiddleston’s iconic performance.

thor

Image Credit: imdb.com

10. X2: X-Men United – This movie at the time was the absolute standard bearer for the genre. The plot was solid. The acting was solid. And the overall movie was pretty high quality. The Nightcrawler assassination scene at the beginning is still one of the most visually amazing scenes in a comic book movie. And the “school vs army” scene was pretty amazing in its own right. And this was the “X-Men” movie that really established Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine as a total bad ass. Much like the rest of the X-Men trilogy, this movie suffered from poor casting decisions and weak dialogue. But, it still holds up as being one of the better comic book movies of all time.

Image Credit: imdb.com

9. Blade – “Blade” is often overlooked in its importance in the modern comic book movie industry. The genre was essentially dead when the Daywalker caught Hollywood by surprise. Wesley Snipes still ranks as one of the best casting decisions in the genre. The action scenes were elaborate and intricate. The supporting cast was phenomenal. And the plot was extremely memorable. Kris Kristofferson absolutely stole the show as Whistler. The overall visuals and themes from the movie were extremely faithful to the source material. It honored the comic book and still managed to stand on its own. It was an extremely intelligent idea to make a film about a lesser known hero. We would not have some of the great modern movies without Blade.

blade

Image Credit: imdb.com

8. Hellboy – This movie proved that a complete unknown character could carry a comic book movie to commercial success. Ron Pearlman absolutely killed it as the titular character. He brought a calm sarcasm to Hellboy that really spoke to the source material. Doug Jones, Selma Blair, and John Hurt were particularly strong in their supporting roles. The story was well crafted and the characters were all given a decent amount of development. The villains were fairly unmemorable and the visual effects seem dated. But overall, “Hellboy” really opened the door for more obscure characters to take center stage, and it really brought some much needed attention to the smaller comic book companies.

hellboy

Image Credit: imdb.com

7. Batman Begins – As I’ve stated in the past, I’m not a fan of the Nolan trilogy as a whole. The exception is “Batman Begins”. It was faithful to the source material while still deviating enough to stand on its own merits. The movie had a level of stylization that paid homage to the Tim Burton films that preceded it without feeling like a copy. Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy turned in strong performances as Ra’s al Ghul and Scarecrow respectively. Christian Bale was able to effectively portray Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Batman and the struggle between the dual sides of his personality that followed. He was also able to do this without the awful Batman rasp that he used in the two sequels. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman were stellar in their supporting performances. This was also the only film in the Nolan trilogy that felt like a Batman movie. Christopher Nolan’s disdain for the source material really showed in “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”

batman_begins

Image Credit: imdb.com

6. Spiderman 2 – Sam Raimi proved that comic book movies are always better when they are made by fans of the source material. His reverence for Spiderman continually showed in his trilogy, particularly the first two entrants. The first “Spiderman” movie struggled to find its identity in a genre that was still developing. But Raimi really found his stride in his follow-up effort. Despite all of the shortcomings in the trilogy, “Spiderman 2” stands up as one of the great films in the genre. The movie finds its strength with its villain. Just like the source material, comic book movies are always going to be made better with a memorable villain. Alfred Molina played Otto Octavius with a tragic sense of humanity that really added depth to Doc Ock. His story was the real shining star of the film. The action scenes were well choreographed and fairly memorable overall. The Spidey vs Doctor Octopus fight on the train still stands up as one of the better fight scenes in the genre.

Spider-Man-2

Image Credit: imdb.com

5. The Avengers – The sheer scope of this movie makes up for a lot of its shortcomings. The plot of the movie mirrored the actual movie itself. Taking several vastly different movies with different personalities and combining them all into one coherent film was a daunting task. Joss Whedon handled it masterfully. But there were times when he put his personal stamp on the movie and it just didn’t work. Joss is amazing at creating witty banter and humor to break monotony and tension. But there wasn’t really much time for monotony in The Avengers. It seemed at times like the banter was shoehorned in and it broke up the flow of the movie. And it seemed at times like it was the RDJ show, and everyone else was only along for the ride. Overall, the acting was superb and the movie was full of “Holy Shit” moments. The final battle was well choreographed, but it felt muddled and rushed at times. But overall, it was a heck of movie, and it was truly groundbreaking. It’s safe to say that The Avengers changed the way that movies will be made for a very long time.

The_Avengers

Image Credit: imdb.com

4. Guardians of the Galaxy – This movie was another genre groundbreaker. It showed that an offbeat property that wasn’t even overly popular among fanboys could be successful. The casting was brilliant, from top to bottom. There was not a weak point in the cast. Chris Pratt had an absolutely star making performance as Peter Quill. The supporting cast was great enough that it wouldn’t be fair to single out any of them above the others. But Pratt blew it out of the water. His turn as Star Lord ranks right up there with Robert Downy Jr’s Tony Stark and Christopher Reeves’s Clark Kent. Like many comic book films, the villain was somewhat weak. Lee Pace did a great job portraying Ronan The Accuser, but there just didn’t seem like there was a lot for him to do. But the plot, the visuals, and the soundtrack of the movie combined to create a unique cinematic experience. This movie was so much better than it had any right to be. And if it wasn’t for the phenomenal quality of my top 3, this movie would be number 1 by a mile.

guard

Image Credit: imdb.com

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Another movie that was a different kind of comic book movie. It really captured the essence of Captain America. He’s a man who is from a different world who struggles to do the right thing in a time dominated by shades of gray. Again, the supporting cast was amazing. Robert Redford, Sam Jackson, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie all excelled in their roles. This movie really illustrated the drastic social changes that occurred in the second half of the 20th century. The shift was gradual to the world as a whole, but it was night and day different to Steve Rogers. The fight sequences are unparalleled in their technical excellence. You would be hard pressed to find any movie, regardless of genre, that had as much care poured into its fights. And the story was deep, thoughtful, but still unabashedly fun.

captain-america-2

Image Credit: imdb.com

2. Ironman – Calling this movie awesome would be a gross undersell. Robert Downy Jr turned in a performance that ranks up there with some of the most iconic character portrayals of all time. He is right up there with Sean Connery’s James Bond, Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, and Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones. He played the character with all of the bravado, arrogance, and cynicism that were needed to be a great Tony Stark. But he also portrayed enough humility and humanity to make the character heroic. Jeff Bridges played a memorable villain. In fact, other than Loki, Obadiah Stane was probably the top bad guy in a Marvel film. The plot was formulaic, but extremely effective and memorable. Even if this movie didn’t give way to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, it would still be the second best comic book movie of all time.

IM Payoff 1sht

Image Credit: imdb.com

1. Superman (1978) – I must preface by saying that I hate the character. Superman is one of the most bland comic book characters of all time. But that being said, he is THE icon of the genre. And Richard Donner was able to craft a film that still stands up as being the standard bearer for the genre. Every element of this movie worked. It is not just a great comic book movie, but an all time great movie in general. Christopher Reeves brought a presence to the character that made him believable as The Man Of Steel. He was larger than life as Superman, but bumbling and human as Clark Kent. Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor was calculated, charismatic, and utterly detestable. The subtlety he brought to the character is unparalleled. And if it wasn’t for Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, he would stand alone at the top of the mountain as the greatest villain in the genre. The plot was strong enough that it still holds up nearly a half century later. The effects were groundbreaking at the time, and still hold up in a Star Wars kind of way. This movie was and is iconic. And it may never be topped in the genre.

Superman

Image Credit: imdb.com

Thanks for playing along…

 

– Ron George

TWITTER: @ronsense64
ronsense64.blogspot.com

Real Men Play Bocce

bocce

Image Credit: today.duke.edu

We’re between seasons the swimsuit issue is long gone, and babe of the year (who even knows who that is any more) is months away. Adding insult to injury baseball is too early to be interesting. It just is! There’s always hockey, but unless you’re in Canada it’s hard to find a chick into hockey. Besides it’s just a matter of time until the Ranger beat that other team (where are they from?). The beach would be cool, but it’s cool. Too cool to find any hot women anywhere near the sand. Golf might sound like a good call, but that’s a faster way to ditch your chick than to get in her shorts (you know that all too well).

This my friends is where we take a lesson from our romantic elders in the land of the boot. Learn to play Bocce. Yea, you laugh and think that is a game for fat old men in the park. Maybe true, however those men get (and have gotten) more ass than your average airport toilet seat. So, you and I might do likewise if we take a class in rolling the ball. Step one is learning the words, let the words roll off your tongue. You never know maybe the Italians know something? Step two is the etiquette of the game. Step 3 is the game. If for nothing else my consider this, a Bocce date is cheap, the game is easy to learn and it will set you apart from the rest of the losers on Tinder. So here’s what you’ll need to know if you’re going to make Bocce work for you.

Don’t look anywhere else, I’m going to teach you the game the old school way. That’s the way the women like it, add to that it makes you seem worldly. Follow me along:

Bocce balls there are nine usually 4 red, 4 green and one smaller one that’s white. Do those colors mean anything to you? The larger red and green balls are the scorning balls. The red balls are called “Rossia” (rose-a) short a. The green balls are called green, (don’t ask me… I didn’t make this up I’m just teaching you). The smaller one is called Pallieenio long e and o.

balls

Image Credit: burlingamebocce.org

Some other words you’ll need to know to be able to score, I mean play… “Acourta” I’ve tried to spell that phonetically. Think of it like “A court A” short a at the beginning and the end. In the same way, Aloonga, I hope by know you get the idea. Otherwise just stop reading. The last one is the toughest. ARREfaatt. Again my best shot at phonetic spelling, sharp ARE F long A sharp t all together, it means which one, that one, mine? There’s lot of inflection here that I’m not going into but you get the idea. You can make this a question or a statement just with the change in inflection. Use your tongue! After all, that’s what turns her on!

Now, we’ve got balls and our tongue is lose. Some etiquette so you don’t make an ass out of yourself. First never walk back and forth on the court. Nubile foul, walk outside, show some respect, never use off color language, this is a gentlemen’s game. Yes you’ll treat her like a farm animal later, but for now play it cool. Keep your eyes open for “foot fouls”. When the players foot is on the line either to the side or leading. Call it after the roll but before it hits anything and the ball is lifted from the court.

Remember these few things the team with the white ball, (Quiz, what is that called?) Is at advantage. Only the balls closest to the Pallieenio but before the opponents nearest ball score(s). The game is played to 12. Balls that hit the back of the court or removed unless they hit Pallieeno first. If Pallieeno hits the back wall it’s called “anything goes” which means feel free to hit away.

Flip for how goes first, they get Pallieeno (and to pick which color they want to play with), the team that scores points keeps Pallieeno. If your right handed put your right foot forward and release the ball as low to the ground as you can. (Lefty go the other way.) If you come up clearly short, what will you say? “Acourta…” Long, you get the idea, and if you’re not sure who has the point or where you stand in the game. I’ve taught you the word for that too.

One final word on Bocce, after you’ve played once or twice some hot shot may try to knock your ball out or to move Pallieeno to a more favorable place for his/her team. Don’t be tempted to do likewise. Your dating, this is a game of oral skill and genital precise touch. Don’t be a smasher, just like with your date, points are made by being close.

Now go, be a man and roll your balls.

rooftop-bocce

Image Credit: guthriegreen.com

 

– Bill Nye

 

What lurks in the dark

dark

Image Credit: flickr.com

 

From the beginning of time man has feared what lurks in the shadows. Whether its monsters or ferocious beasts the darkness of the night has been revered with great caution, today i will shine a light on some of the real terrors that inhabit the vail of night.

Eastern shadows:

When you talk about shadow warriors the first thing anyone thinks of is of course the ninja or “shinobi” of ancient Japan, Shinobi were thought to be the decendants of half crow half man demons known as Tengu. Centuries before the ninja, in China we find the Moshuh Nanren in having first appered in 453-221 B.C.E. These night warriors where believed to be decended from the lin kuei, which where night demons. Now if Lin Kuei sounds familiar thats because of the popular game franchise Mortal Kombat, the ever popular character Sub-Zero was a member of the Lin Kuei. In Korea there is the Hwarang of the Silla Dynasty comprised mostly of the sons of the elite. These warriors were masters of archery, horsemanship, and hand to hand combat.

Hidden in the sand:

As we move further west into east India we learn of the followers of Kali-Ma known as the Thuggee Faithful Tigers who before World War II were better known than the ninja. The first nine Thuggee warriors allegedly were Bengal tigers that Kali-Ma transformed into men to battle a demon. Now in the middle east there are the Hashishins of the late 11th century, founded by Hasan-ibn-Sabah, which were a branch of the Shiite.

The knights of the night:

The Ulfhedin or “Wolfshirts” were the Northen European version of the ninja. Painting their shields and bodies black these fighters often fought naked wearing nothing more then a shield and a wolfskin cloak to break up the outline of their body. The Templar Knights even had their own stealthy combatants known as the Shirkers. Using techniques called shirk and dirk which was steath and assassination, shirk meaning to evade or elude and dirk after the knife.

 

 

– Matt Mollett A.K.A the WolfKing

TWITTER @therealwolfking

Drunk Sport Fan

DrunkSportFan2

Drunk Sportfan is a podcast that mixes booze and sports debate into a fun-filled half hour that covers every aspect American sports.  Every month the hosts sits down with a guest for 4 episodes.  The shows are recorded in one sitting, which means every week the conversation gets drunker.  Whether you love sports, day-drinking, or just want to feel better about where you are in life, DrunkSports welcomes you to grab a drink and join the debate right here on Stuff Dudes Like!


Kosher Vibrators

Here comes another SDL animated short our good friend “CW”! This one has to be seen to be believed!!

 

 

– CW

TWITTER: @NitoApp
#BeAnimated with NitoApp: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nito-3d-avatar-messenger-share/id579232012?mt=8

Boston Musician Noiseink Poised to Rise

Highly motivated to succeed, Boston area artist Noiseink leads a disciplined life focused on his music. After receiving a guitar and amplifier from an older cousin when he was 13, he was hooked and quickly gave up more typical youthful pursuits like sports.

Noiseink’s musical influences include Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Wu-Tang Clan, MIA, Gorrillaz, Marilyn Manson, and Beck. “I don’t really hang out in town except to run the Charles River. Boston is good for sports and higher education. I’m not really into the Boston music scene,” he says. Other than music, he likes to run, play tennis and basketball, and hit the gym.

Noiseink’s latest EP, Animal Kingdom, is a euphoric blend of instantly contagious beats, clever words spun eloquently within its animal kingdom theme, and includes the title track as well as tracks titled “Alligator,” “Caterpillar,” and “Phoenix.” The songs are haunting and infiltrate your senses. At times taking on the persona of an animal as in his fourth track, the mythical “Phoenix,” we are given a glimpse of Noiseink’s perspective: “Every time that I rise, I rise up like a phoenix from the ashes I ignite.” Able to recognize his mistakes, he remains hopeful. When asked about the album’s theme, Noiseink responds by discussing the subject of his first track, alligators: “Alligators have been my favorite animal since elementary school. They are chill unless you mess with them, then they get violent. That’s what the whole animal kingdom concept is about. There is a lot to be learned about life from watching animals.”

Noiseink’s creative process starts with a title and then he makes a beat. After getting the beat going, he hums/mumbles words over it and records lyric ideas. Then he expands on his ideas, writes the full lyrics, arranges the song, and finally mixes it. The results are impressive beats with hella cool hooks and thoughtful lyrics—a genuine voice.

And while this voice already draws a large number of followers on Twitter and Instagram, one of Noiseink’s goals is to keep growing online. He explains that he wants to “see where it takes me and prove everyone wrong who told me to quit!”

It appears he is well on his way to doing just that.

Check Noiseink out online at:

Twitter: @noiseink
Instagram: noiseink
SoundCloud: noiseink
Noiseink.com

noiseink

 

– Trish

TWITTER: @imtrishpie
traveltomusic.net

A Warm Sunny Saturday Morning

It’s a warm sunny Saturday morning, we have finished loading our kayak and gear into the car and are ready to head out. We head towards St. Armand’s in Sarasota, to the South Lido mangrove tunnels. The mangrove tunnels are full of wildlife ranging from manatees, dolphins, Egrets, mangrove crabs, starfish and the list goes on. The tunnels can be navigated by kayaks (tandem and single), and paddle boards.

We arrive at the entrance of the park where the road is lined by, small mostly family owned, kayak and paddle board companies. We unload our kayak and gear, which include our paddles, life jackets with whistles, plenty of water, a snack, sunscreen, and hats. The launch area is not too far from where we park, so we climb into our kayak and get started.

The beginning of our trip starts in open water where during low tide you can almost touch the sea grass and sand. We continue to the marked entrances of the tunnels; the maze of tunnels lead to the grass flats where there’s a chance to encounter manatees.

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We find that stopping at the flats is a nice break. We sit there surrounded by mangrove trees, the refreshing breeze coming off Sarasota Bay and drink our water and have a snack. We then head back into the shady escape of the mangroves. Winding through the tunnels of mangrove roots can be challenging at times but is very manageable.

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After finding our way back out into open water we head back to the launch point which is clearly marked.

These South Lido mangrove tunnels are fun filled and adventurous; for all ages and families. Don’t have a kayak or paddle board? No problem, you can call ahead or if you are early enough you can rent from any of the many kayak rental companies located on site. They have guided tours you can join as well if you call ahead!

 

– Storm & Lasuzaca

TWITTER: @stormnlasuzaca
INSTAGRAM: @stormnlasuzaca

The Controversy Surrounding Transgender Athletes in Female MMA

Fallon Fox and the Controversy Surrounding Transgender Athletes in Female Mixed Martial Arts Today.

fallon

Image Credit: bloodyelbow.com

As more time passes and more people chime in and lend their two cents, it is beginning to look like we are getting farther and farther away from ever coming to a consensus about this issue. And this is a relatively new argument. We do, however, seem to be as divided on the subject as we are on such famous standards as politics and religion. It seems as though, like those two infamous arguments, it doesn’t really matter to one what the other thinks. What seems to be clear and plain fact to one is taken as ridiculous hearsay by the other. Regardless of how rational and supported that opinion may be, the opposition is positive that the results of that poll were fixed and the expert opinion of that particular Nobel prize winner was swayed.

There is hate mongering happening on both sides, everywhere you turn. Fox has been accused by some as just wanting to exploit her physical advantages and use them to beat up on girls. Fox herself has said that she believes that any woman that doesn’t want to fight her is either scared or hate filled. Both are unsubstantiated generalizations by parties that really have no idea what the basis of belief and/or the motivation of the other is.

Like the religion and politics debates of the ages, we find ourselves in a similar position on this one. We are looking at it from the outside – trying to filter, interpret, and otherwise decipher all the information and opinions out there. We are going to take you with us on this one. We are going to present to you all the information that we can find, knowing full well that it is not all the information out there. We will look at cold hard facts and we will look at other people’s interpretations of those facts.

We are going to start our information gathering with The International Olympic Committee. In May of 2004, the IOC adopted the policy recommended by the Stockholm Consensus. The policy has three main requirements for both male-to-female and female-to-male transgender athletes.

– Surgical changes must heave been completed, including external genitalia changes and gonadectomy

– They must have legal recognition of their assigned sex

– Hormone therapy for the assigned sex must be given for a long enough period to minimize any gender-related advantages in sports competition.

That period must be at least two years after gonadectomy.

Any athlete meeting these minimum criteria can compete in the Olympics

Dr. Marci Bowers, M.D., formerly known as Dr. Mark Bowers, a physician board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, has performed hundreds of sex reassignment surgeries, and seems to agree with the IOC. According to an interview with Bloody Elbow, she believes that Fox would not have much of a physical advantage beyond the normal variations in body type between born females. She states that with hormone replacement therapy to suppress the effects of testosterone, “Most measures of physical strength minimize, muscle mass decreases, bone density decreases, and they become fairly comparable to women in their musculature. After as much time as has passed in her case, if tested, she would probably end up in the same muscle mass category as her biologically born female counterpart.”

But as you can guess, not everyone is in agreement with the IOC or Dr. Marci Bowers. Dr. Ramona Krutzick, M.D., for one, does not. Dr. Krutzick believes that since Fox started her treatment so late in life, it is not likely that her musculature and skeleton would have undergone any significant changes at this point. Dr. Krutzick told Bloody elbow:

Typically, you’re looking at about 15 years after androgen suppression and sexual reassignment surgery to really start to see significant changes in bone density. It’s been too early for her to see much of a decrease in bone mass or to make her equal to that of a female. She started off with a much higher bone density than other women her same age, and therefore will maintain a lot of that for a while. Additionally, because she is taking estrogen, that will actually help to maintain that bone mass. Women also have lighter, child bearing hips because of the difference in hormones during the body’s developmental years. Her skeleton and body mass and shape developed a long time ago. Those changes cannot be undone. They are permanent.

Her testosterone levels are more than likely in the normal female range, since her adrenals are the primary source for it now. She didn’t undergo hormone therapy and surgery until she was fully developed, as compared to someone who completes therapy and surgery in their adolescence or very early adulthood, when they haven’t completely developed. She has the potential to be significantly stronger because her muscle development reached several years beyond full maturity, giving her the potential to be significantly stronger than other age matched women. There’s not really a way to determine how much her muscle mass will decrease over time. What can be said is that she has a naturally higher propensity to build and maintain muscle mass because she was once a fully developed, adult male. You can’t ever take that away from her.

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It seems as though a great many ruling bodies are using the IOC decision as a guideline when adopting a transgender policy of their own.The Association of Boxing Commissions has drafted a transgender policy that would require, among other things, that transgender competitors provide a complete medical history, as well as have a board certified endocrinologist testify that they have been on hormone therapy for more than two years. High schools are generally (and here we are generalizing again) adopting similar guidelines whereas the National Collegiate Athletic Association has a policy that is more inclusive to transgender athletes. The NCAA does not require that sex reassignment surgery be completed. It does not require legal recognition of the athletes transitioned sex. The NCAA allows athletes that simply identify as female to participate in woman’s team sports providing that they are undergoing hormone treatment to neutralize the effects of testosterone. Additionally, the NCAA requires only that the athlete undergo hormone therapy for one year, as opposed to two years like the IOC.

Other female mixed martial artists are sounding off as well. Liz Carmouche, who recently fought Ronda Rousey in the first ever women’s bout in the UFC has come out to say that she supports Fox and would be willing to fight her, providing she makes it to the UFC and is competing in the female 135lb division. Miesha Tate, who is scheduled to make her UFC debut April 13thagainst Cat Zingano for a chance to Coach against Ronda Rousey in the first ever mixed gender version of TUF, also has come out to voice her opinion. According to an interview with ESPN Tate would not be willing to fight Fox. She went on to state: “ I just have a lot of questions and I don’t feel there’s been enough research to safely say it’s OK for Fallon Fox to fight other females. My concern is that she went through puberty as a man. Does that change bone density? Does it change body frame?
And it is those questions that bring us to the fact section of this journey. Everything presented to you to this point has been, opinion, conclusion or consensus. First we will look at some medical facts.

According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, evidence suggests that women are more susceptible to injuries of tissue that have a large collagen component, such as tendons and ligaments. They concluded that the collagen synthesis response after exercise is much less in women than in men.
According to the Reveiw of Medical Physiology, men have a greater average lung capacity than women. Noting a vital capacity of 4.8 litres in men as opposed to 3.1 litres in women and a total lung capacity of 6.0 litres in men as opposed to 4.2 litres in women. Demonstrating an average difference of about a 30 percent higher value for men over women.

According to The Journal of Bone And Mineral Research males have larger skeletal size and bone mass than females despite comparable body size. It also states that women, with a naturally smaller skeleton may also incur greater microarchitectural damage than men. Males and females closely matched for height and weight show males to have a total hip bone mass density six percent higher and a femoral neck bone mass density five percent higher than females.

Male skulls are denser and heavier than female skulls.

Tendon insertions are generally shorter in females than in males. We will concede that tendon insertions vary widely among men and women. We will also concede that there is likely an overlap of the shortest tendon insertions in males and the longest tendon insertions in women. We are also going to assume that males in the one percent of shortest tendon attachments are not trying to make a career as professional mixed martial artists. Tendon insertion dictate the power that a muscle can exert. If you take two people, of the same bone size and muscle mass, one with tendon insertions twice as long as the other, that person will be proportionately that much stronger than the other. Chimpanzees have tendon attachment as such that a 100lb chimp is twice a powerful as a 200lb man.

We are coming to a conclusion here. We should note hear that the IOC presides over two different sports that entail striking between women. Both woman’s boxing and womens taekwondo, neither of which involve any scenario where one opponent stradlles the others chest and proceeds to punch and elbow the other in the face until they surrender or the refferee steps in to put a stop to the proceedings.
There is an awful lot of talk out there about rights. There also seems to be an awful lot of people losing sight of the first and foremost right. Safety. Testosterone and its effect on muscle mass and strength seem to be the least of the problem here. There are too many differences in skeletal geometry and physiology between men and women.

There is a huge amount of information out there. You can find the weight and density differences between each bone. You can also find the differences in the thickness and angle of the different parts of the skull.

In the end though, it comes down to one simple thing. No matter how you look at it. No matter where you stand. No matter how many changes have been made to the transgender person’s body – physically, mentally or hormonally – it is still a man’s hand punching a woman’s face.

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– Anthony Pepe

TWITTER: @AnthonyMFPepe
FACEBOOK: anthonyfpepe
EMAIL: FunkyGorillaFist@hotmail.com

A lesson in Trust

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Trust is one of those elements that really enters play in everyday life. From brushing your teeth, to driving to work, to eating lunch and more. We put our trust into lots of things, people and processes that go into most aspects of our lives. Which is what puzzles me when someone says they have “trust issues.” Now I’ll be the first to admit, I’m guilty of this as well as anyone. When the (then) love of your life leaves you for your friend, you tend to be weary of friendships, relationships and definitely mixing the two people together. When someone says they have trust issues, what they really mean is that they don’t put much stock into the character of others. And looking at society today, how can you blame them?

I get asked on a routine basis nowadays as to why I’m single. I’m not a horribly unattractive guy (though even I’ll admit I could stand to lose a few on the scales). The answer I usually give is that “I’m yet to find someone who likes me and that I can stand to be around.” And for the most part, it’s true. But there’s another part to it that I rarely admit; not even to myself. I don’t put stock into the character of others. And my latest endeavor has proved me right to not.

Over the last couple weeks I’d met and been talking to a very attractive woman who was a few years older than myself. She has a toddler (as most of the women I attract these days do- but that’s another rant), and seemed very interested in me. We texted on and off for a week or so and had added each other on the almighty Facebook. This is where the trouble began. This is gonna sound creepy, but admit it, you do it too. One day while creeping on her facebook profile, I noticed that she and a guy she was friends with were extra chummy. Now knowing some personal details that she’d share with me (and I will not with you), I assumed this was an ex. Finally I asked if she was emotionally invested in anyone else. I get the answer of “No, he’s an ex and doesn’t know when to quit.” First off, shame on me. I know better than this. But being the optimist and trying to put some stock into the character of others, I let myself believe it. Secondly, she obviously was invested with him because I didn’t even have to mention Facebook for her to know what I was talking about. I simply asked the question with no prior conversation on the subject.

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Then last week, almost as if someone had flipped a switch, she stops texting me. The next day there’s pics all over her social media of them going on an outing and she’s went “Facebook Official” with him.

What I can’t wrap my head around is this: I gave her the opportunity to be open with me on the subject. Why didn’t she? Because people generally have poor fucking character, that’s why.

Now I could message her and try to get some details, etc… But: 1. I’m not gonna be that guy who won’t leave her alone. You don’t want to be that guy. 2. I really don’t want to sit and listen to a “Well ya see, what had happen was…” bullshit excuse. C’mon kids, we’re all grownups here. Let’s not bullshit one another. She was keeping me on retainer because she hadn’t made up her mind about him yet. But why not just tell me? How selfish of her to waste my time.

Luckily I found this all out before becoming too emotionally invested. So what’s the point to all this? To let my screw up pose as a lesson to you. When deciding to put some stock back into the character of others, be careful who you try it with and be prepared to get let down. As in my case, I may have failed, but I also know her character and not to trust her. Of all those fish in the sea, I know she’s not a keeper.

Next article preview: I did an online survey on dating habits with 100 participants. My next article will divulge the results of this article and change your perceptions on who really cheats, money in relationships and much more!

 

 

– Cameron Blevins

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