Friday, February 28, 2014

The Recent Nevada State Athletic Commission Ruling on TRT Makes No Sense

So the NSAC has just banned testosterone replacement therapy for fighters in the state and they are encouraging other commissions to follow suit. Essentially, a precedent has been set and knowing the way people/bureaucracies work they will. The response to this in the mma community seems to be, at least so far, overwhelmingly supportive. The consensus seems to be that trt is somehow cheating, and it allows fighters to use steroids with reckless abandon as if they damage their hypothalamic pituitary testicular axis (HPTA), the areas that regulate hormonal levels in men, they can simply use testpsterone replacement therapy later on as compensation, bringing their now unnaturally low levels up to par. 

Is it me or is everyone completely missing the point here? 

There are defined levels of testosterone allowable in the sport. As long as the fighter is within them, why exactly does it matter where it comes from and why they might need it in the first place? People might say "oh, so we're going to allow people to use steroids and then rely on trt later on?" one's allowing anything, and steroid use will happen regardless. All you're doing is limiting a fighter's career when science/medicine has perfectly safe ways of extending/enhancing it. And some cases of low T are NOT related to prior use, so what about them? If two fighters have equal test levels, there is NO ADVANTAGE to said levels being from trt. The only thing that matters is the levels of the hormone in the blood and that is already regulated. All this does is punish fighters and limit their careers. This is terrible, especially in a sport where they don't make a lot of money as it is yet need to dedicate their lives to it in order to succeed. 

It seems pretty fucking simple to me: Here are the testosterone limits, stay within them. Everything else is just noise. Am I missing something here?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Advice To Potential 'Self Help Gurus' ('Life Coaches', Marriage Counsellors, Sex Therapists, etc)

There are often two paths when it comes to advice about life, yet in cases where this is true, the path that is followed is the one that is perceived as the sole option, as those who follow this path are blind to the existence of the second, and more importantly, correct, path. For example:

Let's say the advice in question is regarding a married man, self described as "happily married," who is guilty because even though he loves his wife and the marriage is great he can't stop wanting to sleep with other women. He doesn't act on it this desire, but he feels it. Often. Now, the path most travelled, seen to those taking it as the only path (they're wrong) is the sit down/discuss the relationship/examine the self/spice up the sex life with the wife path.

If you want to really help people, stay away from that path. The people on that path are playing in a matrix of socially approved and spread ignorance they just don't see (or they do but they deny it because it is threatening to them in some way). There's a second path, at that path is truth. Real truth. Often politically incorrect truth. So, in the example above regarding the husband with the wandering eye, the second path would be the that's natural/there's nothing to worry about/and p.s your wife does the same thing path.

Stick to the second path and you'll draw the ire of the masses but you'll also be truly helping people and what could be nobler than that?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

UFC 170 Quick Take (More of a Brief, Curse Filled Rant)

1) Goddamn Ronda Rousey. Just....ARGH. FUCK! God I hope the Cyborg fight happens. I need to see her get fucking smashed, if not for her own sake then for my own (okay, mostly my own.....just my own, fuck her).

2) For a second there I thought Maia was going to take Rory. That was pretty exciting, which is surprising because I like Rory as a fighter. A lot. I guess I just really love underdogs. Always have. Great fight.

3) Patrick Cummins- just lol. Destroyed. He probably has a future in the upper echelons of the sport but definitely not yet.

4) Near the end of the prelims Mike Goldberg said "millions" were going to be watching the main card. Liar liar, your pants are on FIRE!

5) Fuck Ronda Rousey.

6) I am getting extremely sick of the crowds booing and motherfucking standups. Last night they fucking booed while someone was working on setting up a head and and arm choke from the half guard. And guess what? As they sometimes do, the ref responded to the crowd and initiated a standup. For fuck's sake! Plus bad decisions. The integrity of this sport is definitely an issue.

7) Seriously, Ronda Rousey.....fuck you.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Problem With Media Reports On Video Game Violence Studies

We've all read the headlines. "Video Games Lead To Violent Behaviour." "Video Games Cause Immoral Behaviour In Teens." "Video Games Lead To Aggression." The question is, are the conclusions drawn in these reports backed up by the science they are reporting on? My contention is that they absolutely are not and I will use a recent study to demonstrate where they are going wrong.

The study in question, conducted in Italy and published in the online journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, looked at how violent video games influenced post play morality in teenagers. The researchers recruited 172 high school students (aged thirteen to nineteen) and separated them into two groups. The first group was tasked with playing a violent video game. The second group was given nonviolent games to play. After both groups played the games, they were directed to complete a logic test, and every time they achieved a correct answer they were allowed to remove a raffle ticket from a bag. The teens were left alone in a room to do this, and upon completion of the study the researchers found that those who had played violent video games prior to taking the logic test were eight times more likely to remove more than the one raffle ticket from the bag when they correctly completed a section on the logic test.

The authors noted that the teens who showed signs of 'moral disengagement' were the most affected by playing violent video games. Moral disengagement is the ability to remove oneself from the normal rules of morality in certain situations because, in the view of the people who show this trait,  morality does not apply in certain situations. The teens with this trait were much more likely to steal after playing a violent game. A nonviolent game did not trigger as large a discrepancy between the two groups.

A study like this is perfect fodder for one of those media frenzies mentioned earlier. According to the study, the teens, especially those who score highly on "moral disengagement" scales were more likely to take extra raffle tickets; to steal, essentially. At the very least, to cheat. Not good, right? Obviously the violent video games are having a negative effect, one that was not seen to the same degree in the group that played non violent games. Seems like an open and shut case on the face of it. Except it's not. At all.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fable Anniversary Review- Saving The World, One Chicken Punt At A Time

You want to pass through me and gorge yourself on my treasures? Get fat first. That is the message delivered to you by one of Fable Anniversary's so called 'Demon Doors,' magical doors created long before the time during which the game takes place, made to conceal the existence of various treasures. Approach the door in Barrow Fields and this is the message with which you are met:

"Oh no, not again. Another bony adventurer seeking to plunder my riches. I'm not interested in your meager frame. Get some meat on you! I want beefy! Blubbery! Plump! Porcine! Stop being a slave to public perception, and treat yourself. Pies, meat, beer, anything; but lots of it! Eat yourself large, and you'll be welcome here!"

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I Finally 'Get' The Fluidity of Gender Idea

I have always accepted the idea of a sliding scale of human sexuality, but it never quite 'clicked' with me until now. Thinking of men, if a 'straight' dude had a sexual experience with another man, people would say "well then he's gay, or at least bi" and I always felt the same way (I would have said bi) although I didn't ascribe  any morality to it. I could not understand how a 'straight' dude could fool around with a gay guy and still be 'straight.' I mean, if you like girls you like girls, right? If you are into guys how could you possibly be with one in that way?

And then today it dawned on me. Well wait, we don't ascribe any sexual categories or morality onto masturbatory practices. You're not into dildos or a man's hand (it's yours but it's a man's), watermelons, etc. You just use them to get off. Everyone accepts that. No one makes sweeping/black and white statements about your sexuality based on these factors. And it was this thought that sparked the realization that well wait, why can't a person of the same gender be used in that way? Given the right circumstances, I could see how a person could use someone of the same sex in that way and how that would not speak to their preferences in terms of attraction.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

If You Liked The Original, Don't Overlook Fable Anniversary

Update: REVIEW now available

Fable Anniversary, an HD remake of Lionhead's now ten year old Xbox original adventure/rpg hybrid Fable will be available for purchase both at retail and online this Tuesday (at least in North America) for $39.99. The question you may be asking yourself is, is it worth the asking price? Considering the fact that this is a remake of an already existing game, that question seems entirely warranted and valid. Let's consider the facts and perhaps together we will answer this question for you.

The first thing anyone who has played the original will notice upon first seeing Fable Anniversary in action is of course the updated visual fidelity. Lionhead, tasked with bringing Fable to the modern era, utilized the Unreal 3 engine and employed 100 artists with the aim of totally redoing the textures, lighting and special effects. Widescreen support was added, a very important upgrade since the original Fable only supported a 4:3 aspect ratio. This might not sound like much in 2014 but pop in the original Fable and you'll be met with black bars on both sides of the image, which are now thankfully removed as the native aspect ratio has been updated to the industry standard, widescreen enabled 16:9.

In addition to the aforementioned textures and lighting, draw distances were improved, as were the particle effects, shadows and water effects. All of this has resulted in a much prettier version of the original game. It still retains the visual style and flair of the original while updating the visual offerings to a level more suitable for consumption in the modern era.

One of the strengths of the original game was the sound, especially the musical score. At the time, this high point was held back by audio compression as well as being limited to two channel (stereo) audio. Fast forward ten years and the original score that was so beloved by the fans is not only still intact but allowed to shine, freed from the chains of compressed, two channel audio. For the first time, fans of the Fable will be able to play the game they love with no limits placed on the aural experience. Multi channel surround sound and uncompressed audio are now a part of the Fable experience.