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6 states that recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day this year

The second Monday in October, long referred to as “Columbus Day” in recognition of the Italian navigator Christopher Columbus, has increasingly come to be recognized as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” in cities and states across the U.S.

In an effort to better acknowledge the atrocities committed by Columbus and his crew against Indigenous communities in the Americas, Indigenous advocates have called for the day to instead recognize and celebrate the diverse cultures and traditions of Indigenous people. The effort has been a long one; the designation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day was first proposed at a United Nations conference in 1977. 

The movement to change the title and focus of the day has gained momentum in recent years. Of the 13 states that officially acknowledge Indigenous Peoples’ Day, six did so for the first time this year. 

1. Louisiana 

Baley Champagne, a tribal citizen of the United Houma Nation, petitioned the office of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards earlier this year, requesting official recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day from the state. Her request received a response on Sept. 11, just three weeks after she filed the request, according to KALB reporting. A month later, Indigenous Peoples’ Day was officially celebrated in Louisiana. 

“We’re still here, but we’re not celebrated or recognized. We go unnoticed a lot,” Champagne told WAFB, a news station in Louisiana. “This proclamation brings a conversation, awareness, and recognition.” 

2. Maine 

Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law in April 2019 that would acknowledge Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of the former Columbus Day holiday within the state of Maine. 

Mills called it an “overdue step forward to heal past wrongs.”

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3. Michigan 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation calling for Michigan’s acknowledgement of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The proclamation urges  Michigan residents “to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous peoples on this land, and to celebrate the thriving cultures and values that the Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and other indigenous peoples contribute to society.” 

While her proclamation extends only to Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2019, legislation in the state senate has called for changing the name permanently. Major cities in Michigan already celebrate the holiday on a city level, including Detroit and Ann Arbor. 

4. New Mexico 

In New Mexico, a state where Native Americans comprise 10.9% of the population according to U.S. census estimates, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s decision this year to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day has big implications. 

“This new holiday will mark a celebration of New Mexico’s 23 sovereign indigenous nations and the essential place of honor native citizens hold in the fabric of our great state,” Lujan Grisham told CNN. 

5. Wisconsin 

An executive order issued by Gov. Tony Evers last week makes this year’s October holiday the first to be officially recognized as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Wisconsin. Evers’ executive order also advocates for changes in Wisconsin schools, encouraging the day to be seen “as an opportunity to engage students across the state on the importance of Native American history, culture and tribal sovereignty.”

6. Vermont 

Vermont unofficially acknowledged Indigenous Peoples’ Day since 2016, but 2019 marks the first year that Gov. Phil Scott also abolished Columbus Day.  

“I think that we need to rely on history and talk about history on all different levels,” Scott said to WCAX, a local station. 

MH370 revelation: How plane’s co-pilot was ‘known to break aviation rules’

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. The missing Boeing 777 has not been located to this day and there are many theories as to what happened to it. The investigation naturally looked into those who could be responsible for the disappearance in the crew and passengers, in particular Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and his co-pilot, Mr Hamid.

Mr Shah has come under intense scrutiny, with some suggesting he went on a suicide mission, after allegedly “practicing” the route on a home flight simulator.

However, Mr Hamid has also come under the spotlight in two documentaries which revealed he allegedly broke flight rules by having guests in the cockpit and smoking mid-flight. 

In 2011, he invited two women – Jonti Roos and Juan Maree from South Africa – into the cockpit during a one-hour flight from Phuket, Thailand, to Kuala Lumpur.

In ITN’s 2016 documentary ‘Malaysia 370: The Plane That Vanished – Air Crash investigation’, it was revealed this meant “there are questions about the character and professionalism of the 27-year-old”.

READ MORE: MH370 revelation: Why experts think plane ‘could have landed safely’

Ms Roos and Ms Maree took a selfie in the cockpit and claimed they sat in the two spare jump seats for the entire flight, including take-off and landing. 

Ms Roos said in 2014: “Throughout the entire flight [the pilots] were talking to us and they were actually smoking throughout the flight, which I don’t think they’re allowed to do.

“At one stage they were pretty much turned around the whole time in their seats talking to us.

“They were so engaged in conversation that he took my friend’s hand and he was looking at her palm and said ‘your hand is very creased, that means you’re a creative person’ and commented on her nail polish.”

David Gleave, an aviation expert from Loughborough University said this conduct was questionable, but not suspicious.

He said he believes Mr Hamid is just “a young man with normal desires”.

In 2019 Channel 5 documentary ‘Flight MH370’, it revealed: “[Mr Hamid] is rising up in his career – he is close to being fully qualified. The psychology doesn’t stack up.” 

Risk management consultant Dr Sally Leivesley insisted that people who commit serious workplace suicides usually have a history of depression and aggression.

She said no such psychology was indicated in the co-pilot, or indeed in the pilot or the rest of the crew.

However, another clue that the co-pilot may have been involved was that his phone was turned on mid-flight.

The signal was picked up by a ground station on Penang Island, northwest of Malaysia.

Guinea Pig Ice Cream Becoming A Cool New Treat In Ecuador

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — It’s a real ice cream flavor: guinea pig.

Anyone who thinks of guinea pigs as pets _ cute, squishy, squeaking bundles of fur _ might find that idea hard to digest.

The rodents are a traditional hot dish in some Latin American countries, including Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. In Ecuador, people typically cook guinea pigs with salt and serve them with potatoes and peanut sauce. But one vendor is taking things to another gastronomic level, serving guinea pigs as a cold dessert.

Some people like ice cream made from “cuy,” as the animal is locally known.

“I was suspicious, but it was tasty,” said Marlene Franco, a 78-year-old retiree who tried a scoop at a stall next to a highway linking the Ecuadorian capital of Quito to the city of Sangolqui.

The stall owner is María del Carmen Pilapaña, whose offbeat offering inspires disbelief and laughter among first-time customers.

Pilapaña’s operation is small. It consists of two tables in an open area lined with dentists’ clinics and other businesses. Even so, demand is growing. Every week, the entrepreneur prepares 150 servings ($1 for a cone) of guinea pig ice cream.

She also makes 40 servings of ice cream flavored with beetles, also traditionally eaten as a salty snack, and a smaller amount of mushroom ice cream.

“My family and my husband thought I was crazy. They didn’t think anyone would like these ice creams, but now they’re our main product,” said Pilapaña, who acknowledges that she had her own doubts about whether her investment would pay off.

It was a close call. Out of work, with three children in tow, Pilapaña began attending free training courses for entrepreneurs. She was challenged to do something innovative and, after six months of testing, she starting selling her range of ice creams at the beginning of September.

Pilapaña manages to concentrate guinea pig flavor after cooking and preparing a pate from the animal’s flesh, adds milk or cream and refrigerates the concoction until it has the rough consistency of ice cream. The taste is similar to chicken.

The beetle and mushroom ice creams include fruits such as pineapple and passion fruit. Beetle ice cream has a slight aroma of wet earth.

Ants, cicadas and worms are used to make some desserts, often chocolate-infused ones, in parts of Latin America. But incorporating such ingredients _ guinea pigs included _ into ice cream is unusual.

Carolina Páez, director of the anthropology school of the Catholic University in Quito, isn’t surprised.

“The guinea pig is a very important ancient food in Andean indigenous societies, especially for its high protein content,” she said. Other cultures eat various types of animals, Páez said, “so there is no reason to be amazed that Ecuadorians eat guinea pigs, even in ice cream.”

For Pilapaña, guinea pig ice cream is just the beginning. She has new flavors in mind: crab, chicken and pork.

“Seeing how my business is picking up, I’m sure I’ll do well,” she said.

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Atari’s retro console project appears to be completely falling apart

Things are not looking good behind the scenes of the Atari VCS, Atari’s retro console loaded with more than 100 old games, despite what Atari would like everyone to think.

On the same day that Atari released a blog post updating the world on the progress the company was making on the VCS console’s hardware, The Register reported Tuesday that the Atari system architect Rob Wyatt quit the project on Oct. 4, stating that Atari hadn’t paid invoices to his design firm for more than six months.

Not only that, The Register spoke with sources involved with the project, one of whom called it a “shit show.”

That really doesn’t look good, especially when you couple it with the fact that there have been several delays in the development of the Atari VCS since it was first teased in 2017. With an expected shipping date for the $250 console set in the vague window of “early 2020,” we haven’t seen a lot of concrete progress on the VCS. Atari was also accused of failing to pay another individual involved in the early stages of Atari VCS development, Feargal Mac Conuladh, according to a lawsuit filed against the company.

Atari’s blog post appears to show a bit of progress on the development of the console, but there are some red flags littered all throughout the update.

It appears Atari doesn’t want to give anyone too much hope

In three instances in the blog post, which shows photos of the console’s motherboard and a handful of pieces of what will make up the outside of the console, it notes either that a certain feature isn’t visible in the photo, or the picture doesn’t accurately represent what it actually looks like.

You would think that in a blog post created specifically to show off hardware progress, the parts they’re talking about would be fully shown and the pictures they shared would live up to the words and promises that are being shared. It appears Atari doesn’t want to give anyone too much hope.

Additionally, Atari made sure to note that backers for their IndieGoGo campaign would be getting finished hardware products but not finished software, and Atari would be relying on them to help provide ” feedback and ideas” before the Atari VCS hits retail in the spring. At least they’re being honest that they aren’t shipping backers a finished product.

The Atari VCS is looking less and less like a video game console akin to Nintendo’s NES Classic or Sega’s Genesis Mini and more like a cheap Linux PC in a chassis that’s inspired by the Atari 2600.

The Register received a response from Atari’s PR firm, stating: “Atari wishes to inform you that some of your questions indicate that you possess information that is incorrect and/or outdated. In addition, some aspects of the Atari VCS project clearly have been leaked to you in violation of existing confidentiality agreements, and Atari therefore hereby reserves its rights in that respect.” 

Atari didn’t refute anything specific in this statement, which calls into question the suggestion that The Register actually misrepresented anything in its reporting.

If you’re a backer of the Atari VCS, keep your fingers crossed that Atari actually hits its latest promise of shipping consoles in early 2020.

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