Wrestling Legend Rowdy Roddy Piper Dead At 61

The world of professional wrestling is in mourning following the death of the legendary Rowdy Roddy Piper last month. Piper suffered a cardiac arrest whilst at his home in Hollywood, California. He was just 61 years old.

For many kids (including myself) that first became fans in the mid-late 1980’s, Roddy Piper was the definitive wrestling heel (industry jargon for a bad guy). Whether hosting his notorious Piper’s Pit segment, or facing off against Hulk Hogan & Mr. T (with partner Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorf) at the inaugural WrestleMania event, Piper was one of the industry’s biggest starts during one of its most popular and lucrative periods.

He was also instrumental in making the WWF (now WWE) brand the biggest in professional wrestling. In addition to headlining the very first WrestleMania event (a pioneering Pay-Per View extravaganza that could easily have ruined the company had it proved to be a failure), Piper also featured in one of WrestleMania II’s three main event matchups, thus securing his position as one of wrestling’s most bankable stars.

His undercard matches at WrestleManias III, VI and (the stone cold classic against Bret The Hitman Hart at) VIII are absolute highlights of a classic era of pro wrestling. He even acted as a guest referee for the main event of Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna at WrestleMania X. Younger fans, however, will undoubtedly remember Piper teaming with fellow veterans Ricky Steamboat and Jimmy Superfly Snuka to face Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXV.

In an era defined by outlandish babyface characters with bodybuilder physiques and sometimes questionable in-ring abilities, Roddy Piper stood out as a genuine wrestler’s wrestler, an authentic tough guy – and the necessarily evil counterpoint to the simplistic, superheroic good guys being featured at the time by the WWF.

Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1954, Roderick Toombs was always an unruly personality. Expelled from school at a young age and subsequently falling out with his father, (a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Toombs hit the road, staying in various youth hostels and earning a buck wherever he could. Eventually, the tempestuous youth wound up in a wrestling ring, making his in-ring debut at the tender age of just 15-years-old.

The kid was tough (he had a Black Belt in Judo), displayed a natural affinity for the ring and he had a roguish charisma all of his own. In addition, he really could play the bagpipes. After early stints jobbing in Verne Gagne’s AWA, NWA Houston and Fritz Von Erich’s Big Time Wrestling promotion in Dallas, Texas, Piper debuted for Mike and Gene LeBell’s NWA Hollywood promotion and soon became the outfit’s top heel. A slew of regional Championships followed.

Whilst working for promoter Roy Shire in the NWA’s San Francisco territory, Piper developed his character and ring work. In Los Angeles, he feuded with Chavo Guerrero Sr, Hector Guerrero and ultimately locked up against their father, Mexican wrestling legend Gory Guerrero (father of future WWE Champ Eddie). In The Pacific Northwest, he unseated former NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco for Mid Atlantic’s version of the World Heavyweight Championship, a title he would go on to hold twice more.

In the mid 1980’s, Piper entered Vince McMahon’s insurgent WWF. He was billed as being from Glasgow, Scotland and was well known for being the only wrestler to wear a kilt to the ring. Fans ate it up. Feuding with such stars as Hulk Hogan, Adrian Adonis, Andre The Giant, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Jerry The King Lawler and Bret Hitman Hart, to name but a few, Piper always brought out the best in his opponents and it was with the WWF that he became a household name, as well as one of the industry’s biggest ever stars.

In the mid-1990’s, Piper wrestled for WCW (World Championship Wrestling), where he debuted as one of the company’s headline stars. He feuded, once again, with Hulk Hogan and also battled old rivals such as Ric Flair, Bret Hart and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Whilst working for WCW, he was even chosen to headline ‘Starrcade’, the company’s flagship Pay-Per-View event.

In his later career, Piper made sporadic reappearances for the WWE, briefly worked for TNA, enjoyed a reasonably successful acting career and also hosted his own podcast. He battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after being diagnosed with the illness in 2006, but had completely beaten it into remission as of last year. Despite the setbacks caused by his ill health, Piper wrestled his last match in 2011.

Although he never held a recognised World Heavyweight Championship, Piper will be remembered as one of the greatest WWF Intercontinental Champions of all time, a reign that was attested to during his appearance at this year’s WrestleMania XXXI, where he congratulated then-IC Champion Daniel Bryan on his victory. He also held other notable belts, such as the United States Championship, the WWF/E Tag Team Championship (with Ric Flair) and the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship.

Piper was a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, as well as the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Cauliflower Alley Club.

On the August 3rd edition of RAW, the entire WWE roster, each member clad in Roddy’s signature Hot Rod t-shirts opened the show with a very moving ten bell salute in tribute to the fallen legend.

WWE boss Vince McMahon said, “Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world. I extend my deepest condolences to his family.”

UFC Bantamweight Champion Rowdy Ronda Rousey dedicated her 34-second victory over Bethe Correia to Piper’s memory, “I just want to say that we lost a really close friend, Rowdy Roddy Piper, who gave me permission to use his name as a fighter (…) And so I hope him and my dad had a good time watching this today.”

Former WWE and WCW Champion (and Piper’s frequent in-ring rival) Bret Hart wrote, “I can’t find the words to describe the sorrow in my heart upon learning the news of my dear friend, Roddy Piper, passing away. He was my closest friend in the business, a man that schooled me and guided me throughout my career. In fact, if it wasn’t for Roddy Piper reaching out to help me, I’m sure I would’ve been a mere footnote in wrestling. He was always there for me. He was family to me.” Hart also recalled that, following his stroke in 2002; Piper was the only wrestler who visited him in hospital.

Hulk Hogan, another of Piper’s famous adversaries, said of Piper that, “He was my best friend. He is a legend. God’s gain is our loss. May his family in this time of need, find peace”

Other friends, colleagues and admirers of Piper’s included former WWF Champ The Iron Sheik, who said “Roddy Piper. I love you forever. God bless you Bubba” and multi-time World Champion Chris Jericho Tweeted, “Sorry to hear of the passing of my friend and Wrestlemania rival #RoddyPiper. One of the greatest who ever lived, but more importantly a legit sweet family man with a good heart”. Former WWE Divas Champion Paige called Piper a “legend” and Tweeted a picture of a broken heart, an image which reflected the feelings of many a wrestler and wrestling fan.

Roddy’s son, Colt, said that his father was his “best friend” and a “great man” saying that he would miss him forever and “always try to be the man he raised me to be”.

Rowdy Roddy Piper lived a life littered with accomplishments. Not many of us will ever be declared as legendary by our peers and fewer still will be able to stack 30+ Championship reigns anywhere on our resume, but those weren’t the man’s proudest achievements. Piper had been married to his wife, Kitty, since 1982 and is survived by her and the four children they lovingly raised together. My thoughts are with them, as well as everyone else who knew, worked with, or simply enjoyed to watch the late, great man work his magic in front of a capacity crowd. R.I.P Roddy.

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Theportable Motorola DP4800 that is top in class

Despite the massive onslaught of mobile phones and smartphones in recent times, portable radios have managed to hold firm ground as they specifically cater to special communication needs across industries where clear and precise interaction is paramount. Motorola is considered a pioneer and a household name in the radio communications industry. The Motorola DP4800 portable radio proves yet again that the company is committed towards delivering world class communication products that make use of the latest in technology.

The inclusion of GPS, Bluetooth audio and data and full-fledged text messaging capability makes the DP4800 an extremely powerful and well-rounded communication device. Moreover, it provides quick call-capability to individuals as well as to groups. The built-in full color LCD display has day/night modes that facilitate easy reading of messages. Plus, the DP4800 is no slouch in the audio front as well. Its Intelligent Audio feature along with customizable audio announcement capability guarantees enhanced audio performance every single time you communicate with it.

The Motorola DP4800 supports both VHF and UHF frequency bands and has a 5-line keypad with clearly visible and well-aligned alphanumeric buttons. This 5-tone device has a capacity of 1000 channels and comes with five quick programmable buttons, an additional emergency button on the top, IP57 certification for waterproofing, a tri-color LED that gives feedback on the radio operating status, and a FM intrinsically safe option. Apart from these major features, there is a whole host of other notable highlights which makes the DP4800 an appealing choice for consumers. Some of these include VOX capability, option board capability, privacy features, analogue mode compatibility, and digital phone patch compatibility.

Like all other modern day portable radios manufactured by Motorola, the Motorola DP4800 takes complete advantage of the customized applications that have been built for it. Some of the applications include the likes of email gateways, location tracking, remote monitoring, management of work order tickets and man down emergencies. The DP4800 works flawlessly with Motorola’s MOTOTRBO system which maximizes the radio’s capacity using a technology called ‘Capacity Plus’ and thereby permitting high volumes of voice and data to be transmitted up to a thousand users without the need to add any new frequency bands. On the other hand, the ‘Linked Capacity Plus’ technology of DP4800 allows users to use the MOTOTRBO system for covering a wide area in order to link teams working across multiple sites.

Users can benefit from secure communication channels when using the DP4800 as it comes loaded with built-in scrambling. The DP4800’s Transmit Interrupt functionality provides users with an option to interrupt an ongoing communication in order to relay important or highly critical messages. Its mechanism for Emergency Calling ensures safety of employees. Communication is further improved with the help of PTT ID. The calls are received every time with the help of its channel scanning schemes. In terms of design, the DP4800 ticks all the relevant boxes as it exudes compactness , looks toughened to handle harsh conditions and is also water and dust proof. After going through the features and capabilities of Motorola’s DP4800 portable radio, it is fairly easy to conclude that the product has been built to last and deliver a unified and seamless communication experience which is hard to match by its rivals.

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 – myself included – 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?

A Right Cock-Up: Hilarity Ensues As Council Workers Paint Huge Tarmac Penises For Fun & Profit

A residential area in Tamworth, Staffordshire has become the talk of the Internet after council workers painted a bunch of dicks on the tarmac there.

Staffordshire County Council contractors Amey were tasked with the job of re-painting some old road markings in the area and apparently, they decided to get a little bit creative with the task. Using their school desks and the cubicle walls of gents toilets for artistic inspiration, the team apparently painted a dazzling array of gigantic penises all along the tarmac.

Featuring members of many different shapes, sizes and states of apparent arousal, the phallic paintings have angered local residents who, yknow, didnt necessarily want dicks painted on the floor outside their houses.

The official line is that the paint somehow caused a reaction with the existing markings, creating the distinctly adult imagery completely by accident. Uh huh.

Now, is it easier to believe that Staffordshire County Council has access to magic penis paint, or that the workers got a little bored and covered the street in dicks?

Given the amount of the constantly complaining, utterly humourless residents frequently quoted in articles, the street appears to be full of uptight pricks anyway, so its likely that the contractors didnt think anybody would notice a few more.

Since The Penis Incident, the Council has received a bewildering 300 complaints about the “disgusting mess” caused by a bit of magic paint and a few repressed urges. 300? The average fella wouldnt get that many complaints if he took his actual penis out at a gathering of 300 people!

Resident Graham Wood (no joke, thats really his name!) was quoted by Yahoo! News as saying, “There are some very bizarre, obscene shapes. One of them looks like someones giving someone the finger sign”.

Well, if you can create a detailed hand giving someone the finger using road paint, Id say that youre probably some sort of artistic genius. However, my personal favorite is still the extra long, almost mournful penis that appears to be dragging his two big balls across the street in search of food…Theres just an unspoken poetry to it all if you ask me.

Apparently, the paint settled down long before the local residents did and any surviving penises have since been hunted down and eliminated by the contractors.

All joking aside (but not for long, I promise!), whether the phalluses were painted there deliberately or not, this story really serves to highlight what a humorless bunch of dicks the British public can be at times.

Mysterious Floating City Seen Over China

A mixture of panic, fear and awe gripped the residents of the Chinese cities of Jiangxi and Foshan earlier this month, when an ethereal floating city appeared to be hovering amongst the clouds.

It’s the sort of thing you’d usually expect to find in video games, fantasy literature and the deranged ranting of conspiracy nuts (more on them later) – and that’s probably where the rest of the world would have consigned it if the beguiling phenomena hadn’t been captured on video and disseminated to the world via YouTube.

The footage is certainly eerie and doesn’t appear to have been tampered with in any way. In fact, it appears to depict an actual floating city hovering in thin air. Now, there is a perfectly scientific explanation for this unusual sight, but before we get to that, I just had to see what the David Icke crowd were saying about it.

So, after getting my (virtual) jabs, I headed off to YouTube in search of comedy. Here are a few of the best explanations for this event (spelling mistakes and grammatical catastrophes left in deliberately). Enjoy!

First, here’s an observation from a guy who took off his tin foil hat just long enough to share this little nugget with us.

“This is more than just clouds that assume shapes, these are holigraphic pictures, wonder what else they have in store for us, they probably have differant countries developing things in differant areas of technology to make all the tech, miricles start appearing around the world to make us think they are gods, when infact only saten needs technology, The real God allmighty dosnt, he created all and everything!”

…Including Saten and his evil tech? Or am I just being pedantic?

Next up, here’s someone who just went out there one day and never came back:

“I’ve explored about E.T’s and their history on planet Earth , this is true , this is what ancient people called home of the god’s , there are cities in the sky and under the ocean , many of truth is hidden from humans becouse humans like to panic. We are not alone , there are about 100 different alien species on planet Earth , co-existing with us , shapeshifters as well , with more advanced technology than ours”.

…If I were him, I would have explored about the rules of grammar before posting my comment.

Now, here’s an exercise is complete logical disconnect.

“A scientist named AL Bielek, who worked on the Montak Project and the Philadelphia Experiment and other Top Secret Fringe science programs, said that he was taken into the future by ET’s to live in floating cities in the sky around earth, for 2 years. I believed him because I have a close friend who knew him very well and she said that AL was an honest man, before his death in 2011. Or did he die? He maybe there right now in the year 2315”.

Uh huh. I believe in aliens, time travel and floating cities because my mate has a mate who swears it’s true! Your Doctorate is in the mail.

Oh here’s another prize winning pudding brain. Possibly the best of the bunch!

“The point is to make everyone believe there is no God and that aliens exist they’re trying to manipulate you into believe something just like they did with earth it’s flat not round there is Proof about it search it up find it yourselves cause who would believe someone that just says things without showing so please do your research”.

Yes, please do your research before you say crazy, unscientific nonsense such as “the earth is flat!” with a straight face.

Last one now, I promise!!

“It’s actually a breif invasion of parallel universes intervening with our own reality this was proven by scientists and is scientifically possible”

1) No it wasn’t.

2) No it isn’t.

The reality, of course, is far less exciting. The mysterious cloud city is actually an example of a naturally occurring phenomenon known as a Fata Morgana, which is a rarely seen (but very cool) mirage that occurs when a hot atmospheric layer converges with a cool one, creating a temperature gradient that reacts to light. This light then bends, creating the optical illusion that a distant object being witnessed at ground level is higher up than it actually is. This means that the floating city seen in the video clip is actually a projection of the Foshan city skyline itself and was, in reality, nowhere near the clouds.

A quick trip to Google images reveal’s Foshan’s skyline to be very much in keeping with the architectural style of the floating city…

A Fata Morgana is also mooted to be the origin of sailor’s tales about the famous ghost ship The Flying Dutchman. A similar phenomenon, known as a Brocken spectre is thought to be the cause of Scotland’s Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui as well.

It should be noted that a couple of YouTubers actually pointed this out – and were met with a shower of abuse for their troubles, including one user who typed, without a trace of irony “LOOKS LIKE A F*CKING CLOUD TO ME” and another who responded with “Ya, what you say is bullsh*t. The reflection has to look like what it was reflected from dumbass”. Which it does, so, in the immortal words of Captain Kirk, “double dumbass on you!”

Another user, rather more patiently, explained that “the media want you to believe its some bullsh*t scientific thing”. Damn media, wanting me to believe in science…

Well, I guess that settles it then. It’s obviously aliens. Or magic. Or magic aliens. FFS.

Computer Helps Paralyzed Man to Walk Again

Cutting edge technology has enabled a paralyzed man to move his legs again.

According to the Journal Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, the subject, a male suffering from total paralysis of the legs for five years, was able to walk just under four metres with support.

The system used in this breakthrough was developed in the US by researchers from The University of California, Irvine. The test subject had suffered a severe spinal cord injury, which disrupts the link between the brain and the leg muscles. Essentially, this means that the brain can still generate signals to the legs and that the legs are still fully capable of receiving them, but the spinal cord is incapable of relaying the messages between the two.

What the researchers were able to do was use an electroencephalogram cap to read the activity in the man’s brain; a computer then interpreted his brainwaves and electrodes, placed at strategic points along the man’s legs, were then used to stimulate the leg muscles whenever he thought about walking.

It took a lot of gruelling training on the part of the patient, who effectively had to re-learn how to use his legs. He was trained, in part, via the use of virtual reality avatars and video game characters.

The results speak for themselves, although a full cure for paralysis is still a long way off, you have to feel that it just got a little bit closer to becoming a reality.

One of the researchers, Dr. An Do, told BBC News, “We showed that you can restore intuitive, brain-controlled walking after a complete spinal cord injury. (…) This non-invasive system for leg muscle stimulation is a promising method and is an advance of our current brain-controlled systems that use virtual reality or a robotic exoskeleton.”

Although the results of this test are highly encouraging, experts have been quick to point out that there are many hurdles yet to overcome, among them the issue of balance, which has yet to be addressed. The patient was strapped into a harness for the experiment, something that would not be possible anywhere other than a home or hospital environment.

Nevertheless, this is still a hugely encouraging step and the success of this test will hopefully serve as a ray of hope for many people suffering paralysis.