December 3, 2012

    Photo: specialoperations/Flickr

The End of the Japanese Ninja

Grandmasters won't name heirs

There still are real, practicing ninjas in Japan—but that won’t be the case for much longer. According to the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum, 63-year-old Jinichi Kawakami of the Koka clan is the country’s last living ninja grandmaster. However, 80-year-old Masaaki Hatsumi claims he is also the leader of Togakure clan. So, there might be two living ninjas, but neither one plans to name an heir, which means the end of the ninja in Japan. Both men have day jobs—Kawakami is an engineer; Hatsumi runs an international martial-arts organization—and they claim that the ways of the ninja just don’t serve much purpose today. "In the age of civil wars or during the Edo period, ninjas' abilities to spy and kill, or mix medicine may have been useful," Kawakami said. “But we now have guns, the Internet, and much better medicines, so the art of ninjutsu has no place in the modern age."



McAfee in an undated Facebook photo.     Photo: John McAfee

Publication Reveals McAfee's Location With Photo Data

Programmer still in hiding

On-the-run software designer John McAfee seems to have made a mistake in trusting a pair of journalists from VICE magazine with his whereabouts: The risqué online publication published a photo of the fugitive earlier today with the headline, "We Are With John McAfee Right Now, Suckers." But it seems they failed to wipe the photo's GPS data, which a hacker on Twitter noticed pinpoints him at a location in eastern Guatemala. McAfee, who is wanted in connection with the shooting death of a neighbor, was presumed to still be hiding out in Belize.

UPDATE: The VICE photographer and McAfee have each come forward on social media to take credit for deliberately manipulating the geotags to keep their location secret. But—VICE has also deleted the original photo and replaced it with one without GPS data....

Via Gizmodo


Ted Ligety and Lindsey Vonn

Ted Ligety and Lindsey Vonn at the World Cup Finals in 2010     Photo: U.S. Ski Team/Flickr

Ligety, Vonn Control Races

Vonn sweeps Lake Louise; Ligety crushes in Beaver Creek

Utah skier Ted Ligety crushed the competition at this weekend's Birds of Prey giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colorado, beating defending World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher as Lindsey Vonn pulled off a similar feat in Lake Louise, Alberta. Ligety won his race by 1.76 seconds, wrapping up his second win in as many giant slalom races this season.

“It's great winning in front of the home crowd, especially by that kind of margin,” said Ligety, who took home a gold medal in combined at the 2006 Winter Olympics. “It's so nice to have so many friends and family here and on this slope."

Meanwhile, Vonn swept the women's competition at Lake Louise, winning the super-G and downhill ahead of fellow Americans Julia Mancuso and Stacey Cook. The two-time Olympic medalist had been struggling following a hospitalization for a stomach ailment and a lackluster 21st-place showing in the giant slalom at Aspen last weekend. "I was definitely feeling extremely low after being in the hospital and my poor result in Aspen. But I knew if there was a place to turn it around, it was Lake Louise," she said.

Via Aspen Business Journal


Chrissie Wellington

Chrissie Wellington     Photo: Andrew Hetherington

Chrissie Wellington to Retire From Ironman

Kona record holder to move on from racing

Ironman World Championship course record holder Chrissie Wellington has announced that she will retire from competition. Wellington, who had taken off the 2012 season, said Monday that she would like to go out on the 2011 Hawaii Ironman, where she managed to overcome several injuries to compete in the race. “As an athlete I sought ‘the perfect race,’” Wellington said. “That race within myself where I dug to the depths mentally and physically, and that hard-fought race with my competitors. The World Ironman Championships in 2011 was the icing on the cake for me as an athlete. It was my ‘perfect race’ and it ‘completed’ me.” The 35-year-old athlete is a four-time Ironman World Champion and undefeated in the Ironman distance.

Via Triathlete


    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Small French Town Is Apocalypse Haven

Designated safe by doomsday cults

Rumors and speculation spread by doomsday cults have turned the small farming community of Bugarach, France, into an apocalypse destination. Anyone in the vicinity of the town’s nearby Pic de Bugarach will supposedly be spared on December 21, 2012, the date of the Mayan Apocalypse, when aliens emerge from the mountain and rescue anyone in the vicinity.

While the village’s 176 residents may not believe this, they are more than willing to accommodate those who do. As UFO watchers and Armageddon tourists flock to the town, locals are selling everything they can, from chunks of Pic de Bugarach’s rock face to water from the local spring at $20 a bottle. One landowner is even renting his house overlooking the peak for over $1,500 per night. “I possess a rare asset,” he told a local paper. “The land of immortality.”

Bugarach mayor Jean Pierre Delord has requested additional police presence in the town to help deal with the influx of tourists, many of whom have attempted to climb the mountain.

Via The Daily Mail