Archive for the ‘Shooting’ Category

Ronda Rousey Takes Aim at Octagon Ring Girls

Image: "Arianny Celeste (crop)" by US Marine Corps - AriannyLopez.png. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arianny_Celeste_(crop).jpg#mediaviewer/File:Arianny_Celeste_(crop).jpg

Bantamweight world champion Ronda Rousey has taken the UFC to task for allegedly paying the ring girls more than some fighters.

Rousey, a two-time judo Olympian, said, “They (fighters) should get paid more than the ring girls.”

No one except the individuals involved knows how much any of them get paid. Neither the salaries of the fighters, nor those of ring girls have been disclosed by the UFC.

In both cases, however, the money they earn on the job is usually just the tip of the iceberg. Depending upon their contracts both the ring girls and the fighters can earn other monies as a consequence of their high profiles. Octagon cardholders Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer, for instance, are always being feted for glamour magazine photo-shoots. While several past and current UFC fighters (including Rousey herself) have accrued massive supplemental income from sources as diverse as movie acting.

One other variable Rousey seemed to forget was that the ring girls work a lot more frequently than the fighters. Where fighters may show up for fights twice or three times a year the ring girls do so that many times a week.

Granted, a ring girl doesn’t risk serious, long term physical damage as part of her job. But then neither does she receive the same kind of medical coverage.

“I don’t know if the ring girls get paid too much or the fighters don’t get paid enough,” Rousey said ahead of the build up to her UFC 184 conference. “But yeah, there’s definitely a lot more in what the fighters do than what they do. So I think that’s one thing that’s unfair.”

Rousey obviously doesn’t understand the demands made on the ring girls. Where a fighter has to diet to a certain weight prior to a fight, a ring girl has to maintain that weight all the time. As such, what she can and cannot do (dining, public appearances, sports that may injure their flawless skin etc.) extend well beyond wiggling around the Octagon two nights a week.

The Wizard Searches for Form Slump Answers

Simon Whitlock. Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Australian darts powerhouse Simon ‘The Wizard’ Whitlock is facing a crisis of confidence as he fails to regain from.

Whitlock was known for his heavy scoring and fast finishes, gathering momentum as the match proceeded. He took the world by storm in 2010, charging into contention in the 2010 world championships. Since that time he has made a name for himself rising as high as number 4 in the world rankings.

More recently, however, he struggled with form.

In the current world championships, held at Alexandra Palace in London, he appeared nervous ad distracted, with his hand shaking prior to throws.

Whitlocks mentor, Noel potter, has confidence in his charge,. “It’s just probably mind problems and that sort of stuff,” he told reporters.

Whitlock has slid to number 7 in the world rankings and frankly admits he doesn’t know what to do to reverse his current form. In his past six tournaments he has been unable to move past the first round or group stage.

He will need to do something soon, Whitlock is scheduled to compete in the 2015 Invitational darts Challenge at Etihad stadium on January 9 – 10. There he will face an on form world number 1 by the name of Micahel van Gerwen.

“I’m looking to have a chat to him about how he’s doing,” said Potter. “And hopefully we can sort some things out.

“It could be sleep or he could just have a lot of things on his plate at the moment.”

Potter was quick to point out everyone endures slums in form at some stage of their career. Even darting legend and 16-time world champion Phil Taylor had fallow spells.

12- Gauge Paige Wins Debut Fight

Paige VanZant wins fight. Image: www.foxsports.com

115 pound straw weight contender Paige VanZant has shown she is more than a pretty face. On the weekend she won her first UFC event against highly rated Kailin Curran (3-0) via third round TKO. The two girls thrilled the crowd with tenacity and technique, which saw them win $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus.

Paige ’12 gauge’ VanZant was thrilled to have her arm raised by the referee, saying the win only made her hungrier for more.

VanZant originally began combat training out of boredom. She began with boxing, throwing all of her diminutive 115 pounds into ever drill and punch. Soon her coaches were telling her she had potential (in MMA) and would she consider a career?

VanZant thought they were joking.

“I was just 15 at the time, and I never imagined something like that (the win over Curran or $50,000 fight prize).”When I turned 18 theyasked if I would take a fight and I said, ‘Yeah.’ I won it and all of a sudden there was all this interest and all these opportunities. I had just one amateur fight, then my coach got a call for a pro fight for me. I thought about it and said, ‘If I’m going to fight anyway, I might as well get paid for it.’”

Piage VanZant. Image: www.sherdog.com

Piage VanZant. Image: www.sherdog.com

But it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the former cheerleader. She was turned down for The Ultimate Fighter because of her age. Then she lost to current TUF housemate Tecia Torres. This was followed by an 18-monthlong hiatus from the sport because of a serious neck injury.

But after her recent win VanZant has “realised I want to make it a career in the cage.”

Keep your eye on this fighter people.

The Evolution of Gaming – Insurance

And here it is, the next step in personal insurance.

The world of sport has moved online and the stars here attract as much attention as the stars on the telly every weekend. And now, it seems, they’re beginning to be treated with as much attention.

But first some background:

In ancient Phoenicia traders would approach lenders to insure against the piracy or loss of their trading ships. In the London coffee houses merchants would trade insurance bonds with one another on the safe delivery and good quality of their stock. By the 1940’s personal insurance was providing premiums against damage to homes and loss of property. This was quickly followed by a slew of insurance products covering debilitating events most likely to befall an individual. By the 1980’s one could insure cars, boats, even pets. In the 1990’s rock star David Lee Roth stunned the world by taking out paternity insurance (wouldn’t you like to read the indemnity clauses on that one!). But now the market has taken another step.

HIF were approached earlier this year about insuring an online game character. Don’t scoff, it’s big business. Many players spend years building up their characters and sell them (for real money) to other players not willing to put in the work. It’s not yet an industry. But there is a cashed-up elite who want the kudos of an impressive game character without putting in the time themselves.

The problem for the people who create these characters is that their avatars are exposed to pretty much the same risks we all are. They can get injured, punished or die just as we can. They can make bad decisions or just have bad luck.

Plus there are events to which characters are exposed that we are not. Imagine a cataclysmic outage wiping all character records from the game database (solar flares known as a Carrington Event,may achieve this); or hackers scrambling the server network: All very unlikely, yes, but still possible.

And for these few (I hesitate to call them professional) dedicated gamers this could entail the waste of years of hard work.

I know about this because the person to approach HIF is a friend. He didn’t tell me about the negotiations, or their result. But there is an ever growing concern and demand to insure against these precious online avatars.

The Enigma Charters Shoot-Out

Brian and I work for a large entertainment business. We’re mid-level managers; more dogs-bodies than high-fliers. Last week we were given our first corporate hosting gig. A big client was flying in for a meeting with our Betters.  For good or ill we were tasked with keeping him entertained for one afternoon. All we knew about the guy was that he liked to shoot.

I’ll give credit where it’s due. It was Brian who discovered the Laser Clay Pigeon shooting on Sydney Harbour. Corporate & Executive Yacht Hire in Sydney, Australia – what could be better? We get to show off the wonders of Sydney while also engaging him in his favourite pastime. Unfortunately, it was to be Brian’s last good idea.20091207-20091207-DSC_0957-848x250

For anyone interested, the Laser Clay Pigeon shooting is offered through Enigma Charters. You and your guests climb aboard a luxury yacht, with everything provided. The Captain and crew do it all and really go out of their way to make the trip pleasant. For special occasions like corporate events, weddings and parties I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Our departure was held up because Brian was late. Not a good start. The client was unimpressed.

When Brian did finally show, he was dressed like a traditional English sporting shooter: Deerstalker cap, tweed jacket, and one of those stupid capes that only come down to your shoulder blades – like the one Sherlock Holmes is always depicted wearing as he hunches over his magnifying glass.

The client looked like he’d just been given second place in a lemon eating competition.

‘Ahoy!’ Brian greeted us both.

I cringed.

It was a glorious, warm October morning: Perfect boating weather with blue skies and light winds. The Captain introduced himself and the crew. “Welcome to Enigma Charters, Sydney Harbour Wedding Cruise & Boat Charter. Today we are going …” We were given the safety talk and an outline of the events of the day. The client sat as far away from Brian as he could

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to throw Brian overboard. I think it would have been in everybody’s interests had I done so; even Brian’s.

By the time the laser clay pigeon shooting was ready to begin I had the suspicion Brian had made a bet with the client.

I pulled him aside, “Have you made a bet on this clay pigeon shooting?” I whispered heatedly.

“Nooooooo,” said Brian, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, noooOOOooo!”

He thought a moment. “Well … yes.”

Brian had never fired a gun in his life. Let alone a laser rifle on the rolling deck of a luxury yacht.

“You idiot!” I was shaking with rage, “We could lose our jobs for this. What’s the bet for?”

“A case of Grange Hermitage.”

That’s six hundred dollars a bottle. “Well don’t expect me to pay for it,” I hissed. “I want no part of this.”

The competition went as expected. Brian, still in his tweeds and deerstalker despite the 30 degree heat, allowed the client to shoot first. He scored 100% – five pigeons from five shots.

Brian stepped up for his turn. “Pull!” he commanded, quite unnecessarily. And the clay pigeon sailed off unharmed towards the Headlands.

“Pull!” Brian went on quite unperturbed.

I couldn’t watch. I left them to it, preferring instead to work on the resume I’d be needing when the boss fired us.

When next I saw them, the client had his arm on Brian’s shoulder teaching him how to hold the gun properly. I’m not sure if the client looked sympathetic or bemused, but he was clearly enjoying himself.

enigmaThe day passed pleasantly enough. The Sydney Harbor boat cruise was beautiful, the food magnificent, the Captain and staff were very friendly and unobtrusive. When at the end of the day we disembarked the client shook both our hands and gave Brian a queer look.

“I’ll have the Grange sent to your rooms tomorrow,” Brian said.

When we got in the car I begged Brian to tell me he didn’t bet any more than one case of Grange.

“We doubled up,” he said.

I put my head in my hands and moaned.

“Twice.”

“Leave Sydney,” was my advice. “You owe him almost twenty thousand dollars! I’m taking you home. Pack your stuff, grab the wife, and go.”

But when we got to Brian’s place there was a surprise waiting for us: Brian’s wife rushed out to the car, all smiles and bubbling with excitement. “Brian!” the news was bursting out of her. “Your boss rang to say the client just has accepted the deal! You’re both getting a ten thousand dollar bonus!”

Brian looked at me hopefully.