>NOVA girl murdered

>A British girl, aged 23, Lindsay Ann Hawker was found murdered on Monday after going to a student’s apartment to give a private lesson. She left her apartment, leaving the address of her student with her house mates but when she failed to answer her phone the next day, they called the police who found her in the bath, covered in sand (?).

The student, Tatsuya Ichihashi is now on the run and is the only suspect. Hawker had only been in Japan for a few months and naivety/greed has got her killed. Having lived in Japan and done private lessons, its well-known that you meet on neutral ground and considering she had complained she’d been followed the previous week, going to a single Japanese man’s apartment was naive in the extreme.

Her family has gone out to identify the body which seems a formality now. Her boyfriend is amongst them. People who don’t know Japan fail to understand what a bubble Japan is, how unique it is. It’s social conventions are far different to the West. Kids as young as 8 have house keys to let themselves into their houses as the parents are busy away working. They cook and play alone. Its so common, it’s coined the name key kids. Working in Tokyo or Osaka is seen as the only choices post-graduation and this accentuates the loneliness.

Japan is a fascinating place but this tragic case is a lesson to not get caught in the lights.


>Lamps out:

According to Si’s email:

Class. Fat Twat Out. So Lampard’s broken his wrist? Let’s hope it’s not his double quarterpounder with cheese and family size chocolate milkshake holding one.

Lucky McClaren. He doesn’t have to make a decision. the story was Hargreaves was going to be dropped as England were going for goals. read: McClaren didn’t want to make a decision. The blood was boiling when I heard that idea.

While I understand you rotate players for this game especially with the view that we should beat Andorra by many, what happens next game against the Russians? McClaren, as usual, solves a problem by ignoring it.

I have a friend who did this. Irish lad. drank too much and worried about it. so he started smoking to take his mind of it. now he smokes too much and drinks too much but only worries about the smoking. what’s next?

>The world’s tallest man has married a woman who is 25 years younger than he is – and two-thirds of his height.

After a global search for a suitable bride, herdsman Bao Xishun ended up marrying a saleswoman from his home city of Chifeng in northern China.

Mr Bao, who stands at 2.36m (7ft 8.95in) tall, tied the knot with Xia Shujian, 29, several days ago.

Well, good to them both. I have no idea how the ‘mechanics are going to work there but its good to see she dressed up for the occasion.

Credit to Nathan

>Pride bought by Zuffa

>So Pride, the greatest MMA show was finally sold after limping along for the last year. DSE, the parent company in Japan lost the Fuji TV deal after alleged Yakuza connections in Japanese newspapers and never recovered. While these alledgations were undoubtedly true, the entire Japanese economy is also open to that charge!!

So after much negotiation, Zuffa, owned by Las Vegas casino owners the Fertittas brothers (Lorenzo left, shaking hands with Sakikabara, have bought Pride, lock and stock. They also own the UFC, Pride’s main rival but will run the the companies as separate entities. It could be seen as a sad day for Pride who have brought us the best MMA shows in the history of the sport but the Fertittas brother have been keen to emphasise that nothing will change, they haven’t bought Pride for merely making money and are in fact interested in pitting the worlds best martial artists against each other.

“Bottomline, I’m a huge fan of MMA. This is not about business, this is not about making money. This is about putting together the dream fights that me and you as a fan have always wanted to see.” Continuing, Lorenzo Fertitta said, “The UFC is obviously like my baby, and now I have another and I love both just the same.”

<– the epic battle between Shogun v Lil Nog 2005.

As Jake Rossen on Sherdog stated, its a mixed day for MMA fans. Excited by the financial security and new match ups, yet we all feel sad and worried that we may no longer see shows like Bushido 7 & 9 or the great MW and OW GPs that made Pride great.

“If this indeed the end of an era, PRIDE’s contributions, while often haphazard, cannot be undervalued.

When the sport was marinating in the tobacco juices of backwoods arenas, PRIDE brought in a sense of tremendous dignity and pageantry. The current of blood feuds — Sakuraba vs. the Gracies; Silva vs. the Japanese; Fedor vs. everyone — cannot be revisited.

DSE successfully married a sense of showmanship with gore. It was almost operatic. And whatever the Fertittas or any other potential suitors might devise, it won’t be quite the same.”

UFC President Dana White still came across like a moron, completely hitting the wrong tone of triumphalism. He comes across as a guy who was bullied at school and belittled. I imagine he is masturbating right now in his office over the purchase, telling himself he is now a big man, screaming at his school picture, asking each person “where are you now hey?” In sort, he is a wanker.

UFC President, Dana White (above), then took the stage saying,“Today is a great day for me. I’m very excited today.” Mentioning how over the years he has been “challenging Pride and Pride fighters to fight in the UFC.” And saying that he disagreed with Sakikabara about the competition from the other MMA organizations climbing up the ladder saying, “I laugh at that, I think they are all a joke. The only two companies in this world that matter are the UFC and Pride.”

The good news is the match-ups we will see in the coming years. Some of the great fighters in their respective organisations will match up to truly decide the world’s best. I can’t wait. Wanderlei Silva will face off with Chuck Liddell while Mauricio Rua waits in the wings, Randy Couture, the UFC HW champion is gonna have a hard few months. First he must face Mirko Filipovic, followed by match-ups with Brazil’s BJJ master Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira followed by a match-up with the greatest mixed-martial artist in the world, Fedor Emelianenko (left). At the lower weights the fights are equally intriguing, Gomi v GSP BJ Penn v Aoki.

The whole of MMA world has opened up here. Its time to be positive about it. Along as the GPs and the production values stay the same, I will be happy.

Dana White’s comments would have bene felt hard in Japan who are proud people. His promise that the UFC would be coming to Pride to crush them was met in typical Fujita style. As his match up was announced, he promised Japanese fans the personally would crush the UFC.

You gotta love the guy and hopefully the Crusher Tatsyua Kawajiri (left of picture) and Mach Sakurai (right) will be able to restore some pride in the ring.

Before leaving the podium Pres. Sakikabara left the words to everyone, “Please take good care of Pride.”

We’ll see to it.

Some Pride HLs, from last year here.
and Akihiro Gono’s crazy entrance from last year.


>I went with Steph to see this last night, Volver by Pedro Almodovar, starring a clutch of women including Penelope Cruz.

It was an typically Spanish; slightly quirky but pleasing. A disjointed story of a disjointed family, split through abuse and death. It’s the first time I have seen Penelope Cruz and she is at times mesmerizing. It’s difficult to follow the dialogue as you find yourself just staring at her. Not just because she is pretty but also, as the director’s muse, she is generally the focal shot.

Would I see it again? No.
Did I enjoy it? Yes.

>I don’t even want to talk about the game last night. I barely watched it after the appalling first half. While I have ranted about McClaren before and seemingly quite rightly, the performance was so poor, it merits a moment of contemplation. Those poor guys and girls who flew out to Tel Aviv for the game, spending serious cash to do so deserve some money back from the players, the management and above all the FA, who employed this muppet.

Above all, it highlights the lack of depth England has going forward especially when Gerrard is shackled. Strikers like Johnson, Defoe are not good enough and NEVER will be. Nor is Crouch but at least he offers a threat of some sort. Implying that somehow Lennon is the answer is bullshit. Rooney hasn’t turned up for England for almost 3 years. The system is wrong as always. Unless you have a player like Zidane or Maradona, you have to play a system and run over the opposition, be it with skill, pace or power. We aren’t the best passers in the world so do what we are good at. While it is stereotype to a degree but having watched a lot of Spanish football recently, English football is far more direct and that’s the way we have to play. Fuck the beautiful game. Win some fucking matches.