Kacy Catanzaro is 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds and she is a total badass. The former Towson University gymnast recently became the first woman to qualify for the finals of American Ninja Warrior. Esquire has an after event interview. [more inside]
Ed Brubaker on Velvet (his new comic book series with Steve Epting): “I loved the idea of flipping the typical male-oriented spy story, and doing one about a woman who was also a mature, middle-aged woman.” [more inside]
Here's three minutes of giant telescopes shooting lasers into space. (Also on Youtube). [more inside]
At 9:45am on July 14, 2013, Alison Bradley met her mom on the steps of LA's City Hall and had a beer. Why? She'd just (unofficially) broke the previous World Record for a a Transamerica Run by a Female. Running mostly unaccompanied, Bradley covered 2,800 miles in 68 days (and burned through 6 pairs of shoes), starting at New York's City Hall. Why? Cancer research. [more inside]
Prior to their southward migration, the godwits eat up large, until up to 55 per cent of their body weight is fat. They then reduce the size of their gut, kidney and liver by up to 25 per cent to compensate for the added weight. Godwits are amazing migratory shorebirds who travel many thousands of miles at a go. Here's a brief documentary of people studying them (12 minutes on youtube + ad, shows invasive surgery). Here's some science on their flights (creative commons). [more inside]
Rescue of a model airplane using a helicopter (five minute YouTube video)
Kaseyama Co. makes clothes for Japanese construction workers, who are called "tobi." Here is what they look like.
It's unusual for a woman to be a leader in Afghanistan but Zarifa Qazizadah has become the country's only female village chief through force of personality and determination to get things done - even if that means cross-dressing, wearing a false moustache and driving around on a motorbike at night. "I tell the men of the village, all I want is your prayers," she says. "When you have a problem, I'll speak to the government on your behalf and whenever there is any disturbance at night-time, I'll pick up my gun and come to your house to see what's going on."
If you have a taste for a certain flavor of North American, 20th century rebelliousness, you may enjoy a photo blog called The Acid Sweat Lodge. Contains some NSFW images. And lots of bad-assery.
Alone In The Wilderness "Documentary tells the story of Dick Proenneke who, in the late 1960s, built his own cabin in the wilderness at the base of the Aleutian Peninsula, in what is now Lake Clark National Park. Using color footage he shot himself, Proenneke traces how he came to this remote area, selected a homestead site and built his log cabin completely by himself. The documentary covers his first year in-country, showing his day-to-day activities and the passing of the seasons as he sought to scratch out a living alone in the wilderness." (Color, 57mins)
Badass Lego Guns, a short YouTube video (1.55) showing five working guns built from instructions from the book of the same name by Martin Hudepohl. [more inside]
Cromartie High School is a Japanese manga and animated series. It investigates poignant issues and themes in contemporary culture such as Internet Trolls, Denial, and Perception. Most importantly, it educates the viewer on what it takes to be an honest-to-goodness Badass. [more inside]
Badass of the Week. Feeling uninspired? Certain that the world is utterly bereft of all things baddass? Well, go get your weekly dose of inspiration! [more inside]
Contenders for this year's Badass of the Year award will have a tough time topping Italian surgeon Claudio Vitale, who completed a delicate brain surgery despite having a heart attack during the procedure. He pushed himself to complete the surgery when he realized that his patient was unlikely to survive if he halted the operation.
sQuba Submersible Sports Car --Rinspeed calls the sQuba the first real submersible car. Unlike military amphibious vehicles, which can only drive slowly on a lakebed, the sQuba travels like a submarine - either on the surface or submerged. The interior is resistant to salt water, allowing the skipper to drive into a lake or the sea. The only downside? It's a convertible.
The trap-jaw ant, best known for its powerful jaws which hold the land speed record for movement at 145 miles per hour, is brilliantly captured in a short film shot at 100,000 frames per second. [more inside]
Badi Assad has some incredible technique goin' on (YouTube) and charisma to burn. The 41-year-old Brazilian singer and guitarist comes from a musical family and has been signed to a pretty prestigious North-American record label. Of course these days there is the obligatory Wikipedia entry and her MySpace page. Here's an interview (from ten years ago) wherein she discusses her music. So far as I can see those hips and those lips and those fingertips don't lie. [Much more Badi Assad on YouTube]
Meet Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the World's Greatest Living Explorer...
Renegade wild hogs captured using dogs and bare hands. Greg Whidden captures the hogs from a nature preserve where they're causing environmental damage.
Kurt Steiner is better at stone skipping than you are. Link goes to brief bios with downloadable avi's of the proof.
So by 2006, tattoos and piercings are so mainstream that it's hard for a genuine bad-ass to stand out anymore. While some options still exist, for my money nothing beats embedding a set of brass knuckles directly under your skin.
KRISTOFFERSON!! Born in Texas to an Air Force General, Kris Kristofferson was a Golden Gloves boxing champ who studied writing at Pomona College. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford (students of Merton College later voted that the college should erect a statue of Kristofferson, naked astride a motorcycle of his choice, in Front Quad but funds were never made available) and had two short stories published in the Atlantic Monthly. After Oxford, he joined the military where he trained as a Ranger and learned to fly helicopters. Turning down an invitation to teach at West Point, he packed his bags and left for Nashville, taking a job as a janitor at Columbia Records' recording studio and following his dream to be a songwriter. He flew helicopters to offshore oil rigs in his spare time, until he became too frustrated and, as legend has it, got drunk, flew his helicopter onto Johnny Cash’s backyard, and handed him his demo tapes. A week later Cash sang Kris’ song “Sunday Morning Coming Down” on The Johnny Cash Show, four months later it sat atop the country music charts, and later that year it won the CMA for best song of the year. (more inside)
So You Think You're Fundamentally Badass, Do You? Well...*hearty guffaw*... take the test and think again, dude! ( That is, ass if I knew what badass or kickass or even ass itself meant...)
Dan Rather: bad ass or nut? Maybe I'm just too young to remember all of the times the CBS anchorman has been beat up, including the famous "What's the Frequency, Kenneth" incident. Now there's a web site where you can read about all of the times that he's been randomly assaulted, generally harassed, or tear gassed. There are also a few video clips. I think the best one is of him getting punched at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. And of course, it wouldn't be Dan Rather without the long list of weird quotes.