The West owes Qatar a favor over Afghanistan. That was the point.

(www.japantimes.co.jp)

Since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the world’s top diplomats have been beating a path to Qatar, long the gateway to the Taliban and now the essential go-between as the West tries to deal with the new Kabul government. This is no accident.

Analysts describe Qatar’s emergence as a broker in Afghanistan as a part of a carefully nurtured strategy by the tiny but rich state to bolster its own security, by becoming indispensable as a venue for international mediation.

Indeed. Qatar has made quite the name for themselves. The question is whether their bid to be an impartial player in world negotiations will stick 🤔

Stalker Assaults Alec Peters at Dragon Con

(axanar.com)

On Sunday, September 5th, Shawn O'Halloran, the cyber-stalker who has harassed Alec Peters and Axanar for 6 years, flew into Atlanta from his home in Las Vegas and assaulted Alec while he was working at the Ares Studios Booth.  This assault elevates Shawn from cyber-stalker to full blown stalker.  Flying across state lines to stalk and engage a person you have been stalking for 6 years manifests the crime and Alec plans on reporting this matter to the FBI.

So much drama … 🙄

Is Kung fu useful for self defense?

(martialarts.stackexchange.com)

I am not an expert in Kung fu, but having seen some tutorials it seems to me that it's useless in a street fight because of the following two reasons.

First of all the stances are ridiculous, for example the eagle stance is one of the worst stances I have ever seen, you basically stand on one leg in a squat position, why would anyone want to fight like that? The problem with the stances is that they require a lot of training just to be able to sit in the stance, they are very uncomfortable and waste a lot of energy for no particular reason.

Second, the other problem is that many moves require a lot of energy and in my opinion it's easy to miss, many moves are acrobatics essentially and I see no reason why to do this unless it's for a show.

Please note that I am not trying to insult Kung Fu practicioners but rather trying to understand how this can be useful. Also I am referring mostly to animal style Kung Fu and similar styles like wushu, shaolin Kung Fu etc. I am not referring to wing Chun and Jeet kune do, which I Know are very useful for self defense.

So, having said that, can Kung Fu be useful for self defense?

Finally! A question on a Stack Exchange site worth asking 😉

Parents must pay their 43-year-old son $30,000 for throwing out his extensive porn collection

(nationalpost.com)

It 'took quite a while' to destroy the 12 moving boxes of pornography, and two boxes of sex toys. David Werking's father said

This will make future family dinners awkward 😆

Two die in Japan after shots from suspended Moderna doses; cause of deaths under investigation

(www.japantimes.co.jp)

Two people died after receiving Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shots that were among the lots later suspended following the discovery of contaminants, the health ministry said Saturday.

The men in their 30s died this month within days of receiving their second Moderna doses, the ministry said in a release.

A mother of one of the boy’s friends had one of these shots. Suffice it to say, she’s worried sick … 😕

30 years later, the baby on Nirvana's Nevermind cover is suing for damages

(arstechnica.com)

Nirvana's 1991 album Nevermind is widely credited with bringing alternative and grunge rock into the mainstream, but now it's in the news for another reason. Spencer Elden, the adult who was the baby depicted swimming naked on the album's cover, has filed a lawsuit on the grounds that the photo violated various federal child pornography laws.

Child pr0n? The Nevermind album cover? I've seen it thousands of times and never thought of it as porn. It's no different than seeing a picture of a dolphin in the water.

[…] The suit is seeking "the actual damages [Spencer] has [sustained], or liquidated damages in the amount of $150,000, and the cost of the action."

Only $150K? That's … minuscule.

Perhaps more relevant for this lawsuit, Elden has also expressed a longstanding frustration with being excluded from the album's success. The Time interview mentions that he had pursued but didn't follow through with earlier legal action against Geffen Records, saying that "it's hard not to get upset when you hear how much money was involved."

I guarantee the album cover had little to do with the success. People didn't say "Oh, snap! Baby penis! I want to listen to this band from Seattle!" The success of the album came from the artists who put it together and the marketers who got it on the radios across much of North America and Europe …

Alas.

'Rust Valley Restorers' is holding a massive auction of tonnes of cars

(driving.ca)

Former highway rock scaling contractor Mike Hall got himself his own Rust Valley Restorers TV program – now broadcast around the world – because he was trying to sell more than 400 cars. He had been buying old cars since he was a teenager, and they were scattered over his five-acre property in the tiny hamlet of Tappen, on the Trans-Canada Highway in the centre of British Columbia. […] Now, his cars will be sold at a live auction on Saturday, October 2 as part of season four of Rust Valley Restorers.

Although most of the sale will be for project or parts vehicles, bidders will have the opportunity to buy three restorations completed by Mike Hall and his Rust Valley crew on episodes of the show: a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro; a 1955 Chevy two-door station wagon; and a 1970 Chevy K5 Blazer.

I’ve been watching Rust Valley Restorers for a couple of years and enjoy the show quite a bit. Mike does have a terrible habit of acquiring cars that he can’t do anything with. This auction must be eating him up inside … 😕

Russian man from disputed island in taken into custody in Japan

(www.japantimes.co.jp)

A Russian man who claims to have come from one of the islands at the center of a territorial dispute between Tokyo and Moscow has been placed under protective custody in Hokkaido, the Japanese government said Monday.

The man has told immigration officials that he swam to Hokkaido, the sources said. He was reportedly wearing a wet suit at the time he was found. There have also been suggestions that he is seeking asylum in a third country.

How unusual this must be for the immigration officials …

B.C. photographer must pay couple $22,000 for failing to deliver wedding photos for six years

(nationalpost.com)

“The court must denunciate such behaviour and deter Mr. Bal for further victimizing others from his unsavoury business practices,” ruled Surrey provincial court Judge Valliammai Chettiar in a written decision after trial, using the terms “deterrence” and “denunciation” usually reserved for sentencing in criminal trials.

She chastised Bal for “numerous inconsistencies,” “evasive” answers on the stand, and “most troubling,” his “readiness to come up some narrative without any foundation or documentary support.”

“There is not a shred of evidence to support this assertion,” said Chettiar. “He appeared to be making up answers on the spur of the moment,” she said. He was a “completely unreliable witness. I reject his evidence.”

Hehehehe. I laugh at the silliness, but it must have been stressful …

How to disable battery charging?

(apple.stackexchange.com)

If you use a small piece of tape to block the middle (signal) pin on your MagSafe charger, your Mac will not charge because it can't identify the charger.

Tape over the MagSafe

Oh, this is a nice solution. I'll give this a try. My older MacBook Pro battery is expanding like an ageing sun, which has me worried that I'll wake up to a mess one morning. It's always plugged in, so this may resolve the issue …