Monday, December 28, 2015

Wrestling Star Challenges Presidential Candidate

In the wake of Hulk Hogan’s racist outburst about his daughter dating a black man, another racially charged issue has emerged from the weird and wild world of pro wrestling.

TNA wrestling star Tigre Uno, who has also wrestled for Mexico’s AAA (Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion) promotion as Extreme Tiger (sometimes written as Xtreme Tiger) has issued an open challenge to US Presidential candidate Donald Trump, over statements made by the latter regarding Mexican immigrants in the US.

Trump, himself an inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame and a personal friend of WWE boss Vince McMahon, made a number of ill-conceived public speeches wherein he blamed illegal Mexican immigrants for bringing drugs and crime to the country, before further suggesting that Mexican immigrants were more likely to be rapists than anybody else in the US.

He then promised that, if elected, he would build a great wall along the US/Mexican border. And no, Mr. Trump wasn’t trying to audition for Robert De Niro’s role in Machete either...

In an act of sheer, thoroughbred lunacy, Trump announced his desire to be US President by uttering the following “They’re sending us not the right people,” he said, followed by “The US has become a dumping ground for everyone else’s problems” and also “They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing their problems,”

“They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people but I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting.” He went on.

Mr. Trump then declared that the American Dream was dead and that current President Barack Obama had turned the US into a third world country- which is actually quite funny, when one considers that, if his statements were accurate, the opulence in which Mr. Trump actually lives would make him the latter day equivalent of a feudal lord.



In response to this nonsensical tirade, Tigre Uno began to author a series of Tweets challenging Trump’s views. He then delivered a heartfelt interview â€" in Spanish - to the viewers of TNA’s most recent Impact Wrestling broadcast. The video package featured shots of Tigre in his hometown of Tijuana speaking with local people and spending time with his children.

In a surprisingly cool and patient manner, the masked luchador said “I believe that Mexico is a great country. I have lived my whole life here in Tijuana. Mexicans are just passionate about our people. We are so proud of our history, who we are. We are very hard working people, we love our country. We are so proud of our culture and we love our lifestyle”

When asked to discuss Trump’s claims, Tigre responded, “Mostly all Mexicans who come to America are good people. They are good workers. They are artists, they are plumbers, they are carpenters, they are construction workers â€" some are even landlords. The people who come to the United States work hard, they come to do good things, come to make a life for themselves and their families”

Then, his point made, Tigre officially challenged Donald Trump to come to the next Impact Wrestling broadcast, saying, “I’m going to show you who a real Mexican is and who the real Mexicans who came here to work are. Not all Mexicans are bad. I’m Tigre Uno and I invite you to come to Impact Wrestling”

Fans have criticized TNA for attempting to capitalize on the furor surrounding Trump’s comments, but the reality is that Tigre originally made his statements without consulting the company and that TNA only became involved once they had ascertained that Tigre was indeed the author of the Tweets.

If Trump does turn up for the taping (which, quite frankly, would be a huge surprise in and of itself), he’s in for a long night. Trained by Rey Misterio Sr (Uncle of former WWE Champion Rey Mysterio), Tigre Uno has a long history not only of brutal, all out ring wars featuring tables, ladders and the like, but also of performing graceful aerial maneuvers that seemingly defy gravity.

Tigre is the current reigning TNA X-Division Champion and has also held AAA’s Cruiserweight and Tag Team Championships, as well as winning the 2011 Rey de Reyes (King of Kings) tournament.

Yes, wrestling may be a scripted show, but that doesn’t mean that Tigre couldn’t do some serious damage to Trump if he got the chance...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Life On Mars? Scientists Find Liquid Water On The Red Planet

Unless you happen to be a natural history buff or a science nerd, the word extremophile probably won’t mean much to you. However, once the world’s public has a chance to fully absorb the implications of a discovery made this month, I can pretty much guarantee it’ll be on everybody’s lips sooner or later.



Basically, an extremophile is an organism that thrives in conditions that are seemingly too extreme to support any kind of life. Last year, for example, scientists confirmed the existence of microorganisms living half a mile below the ice of Antarctica, but that isn’t the weirdest place you can find microbial life. Different types of extremophiles have been observed in places as inhospitable as the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, the driest deserts on Earth, boiling hot springs and even deep sea hydrothermal vents.

This month’s confirmation that liquid water exists on Mars has gotten a lot of people â€" myself included â€" wondering if the Martian landscape may include an extremophile, or two (billion, that is). In general, the rule of thumb here on Earth is that water generally supports life. Of course, it’ll be a while before we know for sure if the same holds true on the Red Planet, but the potential implications for such a discovery are literally enormous. It would be final, incontrovertible proof that Humankind is not alone after all and that, somewhere out there, life does indeed exist on other worlds. Just take a second and imagine that.

...But that isn’t to detract from the enormous significance of finally confirming that there is water on Mars, a planet long considered to be dead and devoid of anything even remotely connected with life as we know it.

New data retrieved from a NASA satellite has been used to link the long, dark streaks that appear on Martian slopes with salt deposits. If this is indeed the case, then these salt deposits could allow water to remain in a fluidic state for long enough for it to move around. This is no mean feat, as Mars features average temperatures well below zero and the low atmospheric pressure means that any liquid water would boil instantly. However, it has been theorized that the deposits of salt could change all this, altering the freezing and vaporization points of water and, in the process, allowing for the existence of the life giving liquid.



Long-term observation of the Red Planet corroborates this theory, as the streaks tend to change with the seasons, leading some scientists to link them with trickling water, however this could never be proven, until now.

Luju Ojha, a PhD student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has used data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which makes use of an instrument called Crism to determine the chemistry at work on the Martian surface, to make the incredible claim.

By employing the Crism data and looking at four separate locations where the dark streaks regularly appear and disappear during the Martian summer, Mr Ojha was able to prove that these formations are covered with salts, particularly magnesium perchlorate, chlorate and chloride, the exact types of salts that are known to alter the freezing and vaporization points of running water.

So, it is fairly safe to say that we now know that there is water on Mars. The next big question (before we get to the possibility of anything living in it) is, where is it coming from? It has been suggested by some that ice exists at a great depth below the surface and by others that the salts are literally pulling moisture from the atmosphere itself. For now, we just don’t know.

...And now back to the million Dollar question, first put to us by the philosopher David Bowie in 1973, Is there life on Mars?

Interviewed by BBC News, Dr. Joe Michalski, a Mars researcher at London’s Natural History Museum was optimistic, "We know from the study of extremophiles on Earth that life can not only survive, but thrive in conditions that are hyper-arid, very saline or otherwise extreme in comparison to what is habitable to a human. In fact, on Earth, wherever we find water, we find life. That is why the discovery of water on Mars over the last 20 years is so exciting."

The wonderful, exhilarating reality of this discovery is that, through its profound implication, you may very well see within your lifetime an answer to that most vexing (and famously unanswerable) of questions, are we alone in the universe?