• Did the Cryptocurrency Revolution Fail?

    Blockchain Seemed Poised On The Edge Of Greatness — Is It Dead?Nothing brings change like a revolution. If successful, they disrupt the status quo and nothing is ever the same again. If they fail, they fail in catastrophe, with bodies swinging from the gallows. But whether successful — the American, French, and Internet revolutions — or failures — the Boxer Rebellion in China or the Great Jewish Revolt against Rome, they are milestones of history. Some fail because outside forces brutally crush them and some fail because the doctrine itself has insurmountable limitations. As the market sits at nearly 10% of its previous high, we stand shaken, witnesses to an attempted revolution. We nurse our wounds, redistribute our meager portfolios, and turn to face the question:“Everyone WAS getting (...)

    #cryptocurrency-revolution #hackernoon-top-story #cryptocurrency-fail #crypto-revolution-fail #blockchain

  • Before the CIA, There Was the Pond | Newsmax.com

    The head of the Pond was Col. John V. Grombach, a radio producer, businessman and ex-Olympic boxer who kept a small black poodle under his desk. He attended West Point, but didn’t graduate with his class because he had too many demerits, according to a U.S. Army document. His nickname was “Frenchy,” because his father was a Frenchman, who worked in the French Consulate in New Orleans.

    The War Department had tapped Grombach to create the secret intelligence branch in 1942 as a foundation for a permanent spy service. Grombach said the main objectives were security and secrecy, unlike the OSS, which he said had been infiltrated by allies and subversives and whose personnel had a “penchant for personal publicity.” It was first known as the Special Service Branch, then as the Special Service Section and finally as the Coverage and Indoctrination Branch.

    To the few even aware of its existence, the intelligence network was known by its arcane name, the Pond. Its leaders referred to the G-2 military intelligence agency as the “Lake,” the CIA, which was formed later, was the “Bay,” and the State Department was the “Zoo.” Grombach’s organization engaged in cryptography, political espionage and covert operations. It had clandestine officers in Budapest, London, Lisbon, Madrid, Stockholm, Bombay, Istanbul and elsewhere.

    Grombach directed his far-flung operations from an office at the Steinway Hall building in New York, where he worked under the cover of a public relations consultant for Philips. His combative character had earned him a reputation as an opportunist who would “cut the throat of anyone standing in his way,” according to a document in his Army intelligence dossier.

    In defining the Pond’s role, Grombach maintained that the covert network sought indirect intelligence from people holding regular jobs in both hostile countries and allied nations — not unlike the Russian spies uncovered in June in the U.S. while living in suburbia and working at newspapers or universities.

    The Pond, he wrote in a declassified document put in the National Archives, had a mission “to collect important secret intelligence via many international companies, societies, religious organizations and business and professional men who were willing to cooperate with the U.S. but who would not work with the OSS because it was necessarily integrated with British and French Intelligence and infiltrated by Communists and Russians.”

    On April 15, 1953, Grombach wrote that the idea behind his network was to use “observers” who would build long-term relationships and produce far more valuable information than spies who bought secrets. “Information was to be rarely, if ever, bought, and there were to be no paid professional operators; as it later turned out some of the personnel not only paid their own expenses but actually advanced money for the organization’s purposes.”

    The CIA, for its part, didn’t think much of the Pond. It concluded that the organization was uncooperative, especially since the outfit refused to divulge its sources, complicating efforts to evaluate their reports. In an August 1952 letter giving notice that the CIA intended to terminate the contract, agency chief Gen. Walter Bedell Smith wrote that “our analysis of the reports provided by this organization has convinced us that its unevaluated product is not worth the cost.” It took until 1955 to completely unwind the relationship.

    Mark Stout, a former intelligence officer and historian for the International Spy Museum in Washington, analyzed the newly released papers and said it isn’t clear how important the Pond was to U.S. intelligence-gathering as a whole. “But they were making some real contributions,” he said.

    Matthew Aid, an intelligence historian and author of “The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency” who has reviewed some of the collection, said there was no evidence the Pond’s reports made their way to decision-makers. “I’m still not convinced that Grombach’s organization was a worthwhile endeavor in World War II and even less so when it went off the books,” he said.

    What it may have lacked in quality and influence, however, the Pond certainly made up with chutzpah.

    One of the outfit’s most unusual informers was a French serial killer named Marcel Petiot, Grombach wrote in a 1980 book.

    The Secret Intelligence Branch, as he referred to the Pond, began receiving reports from Petiot during the war. He was a physician in Paris who regularly treated refugees, businessmen and Gestapo agents, but he also had a predilection for killing mostly wealthy Jews and burning their bodies in a basement furnace in his soundproofed house. He was convicted of 26 murders and guillotined in 1946.

    Nevertheless, Grombach considered him a valuable informer because of his contacts.

    One cable discovered among the newly released papers appears to confirm the Pond was tracking Petiot’s whereabouts. In the undated memo, the writer says Petiot was drawn by a Gestapo agent “into a trap to be arrested by the Germans.” Petiot was briefly arrested in 1943 by the Gestapo.

    Such sources were often feeding their reports to top operatives — often businessmen or members of opposition groups. But there were also journalists in the spy ring.

    Ruth Fischer, code-named “Alice Miller,” was considered a key Pond agent for eight years, working under her cover as a correspondent, including for the North American Newspaper Alliance. She had been a leader of Germany’s prewar Communist Party and was valuable to the Pond in the early years of the Cold War, pooling intelligence from Stalinists, Marxists and socialists in Europe, Africa and China, according to the newly released documents.

    But it was the help from businesses in wartime that was essential to penetrating Axis territories.

    The Philips companies, including their U.S. division, gave the Pond money, contacts, radio technology and supported Grombach’s business cover in New York. Philips spokesman Arent Jan Hesselink said the company had business contacts with Grombach between 1937 and 1970. He added that they could not “rule out that there was contact between Philips and Grombach with the intention of furthering central U.S. intelligence during the war.”

    The Pond laid the groundwork and devised a detailed postwar plan to integrate its activities into the U.S. Rubber Co.’s business operations in 93 countries. It is unknown if the plan was ever carried out. The Pond also worked with the American Express Co., Remington Rand, Inc. and Chase National Bank, according to documents at the National Archives.

    American Express spokeswoman Caitlin Lowie said a search of company archives revealed no evidence of a relationship with Grombach’s organization. Representatives of the other companies or their successors did not respond to requests for comment.

    The Pond directed its resources for domestic political ends, as well.

    In the 1950s, Grombach began furnishing names to McCarthy on supposed security risks in the U.S. intelligence community. By then, the Pond was a CIA contractor, existing as a quasi-private company, and the agency’s leadership was enraged by Grombach’s actions. It wasn’t long before the Pond’s contract was terminated and the organization largely ceased to exist.

    #histoire #USA #espionnage #CIA

  • Heather Hardy : The Fight Lady - The Fight CityThe Fight City

    To understand why Heather Hardy thinks of herself as a fighter is to know her life story, which is well documented. Raped by a drug dealer in her neighborhood in Brooklyn before she hit her teens. Married and divorced before she finished college. A single mom working multiple jobs because she had no child support. Hurricane Sandy destroying her home and forcing her to crash with her sister. Running nine miles a day to train at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn’s Dumbo district.

    Today, she is one of the most recognizable faces in combat sports, her life battles serving as a backdrop to a perfect 20–0 record in her five years as a professional boxer.


    Hardy herself could have chosen the path well traveled. With a forensic science degree from John Jay College in New York, she could have landed a job at the police force. Or she could have chosen to pursue a career in internet marketing, which she had started to do after college. Yet she chose a path that many tend to view as having more drawbacks than benefits for a woman.

    “I’m a very passionate person and I didn’t feel passionate about anything I was doing,” she said of her life prior to boxing. “It sounds so horrible coming from me, saying this as a mother. I was a mother and I love my daughter but I didn’t feel like it was what defined me. I’m her mom but I didn’t want to die just being her mom. I needed something where I wasn’t a mother, I wasn’t someone’s ex-wife, where I wasn’t just someone’s friend or someone’s employee. I needed something that made me.” And Heather Hardy found that boxing, and especially winning, gave her that sense of having achieved something for herself.


    “I don’t see this dying out and me ending up as a hotdog vendor or something,” she laughed. “I’m smart. I didn’t get this far without knowing how to get this far.”


    #boxe (bon #mma là)

  • Hollow At Its Core: The Career of Floyd MayweatherThe Fight City

    Only through continual personal transformation can Floyd remain relevant, and so he recently evolved from “Money” into “TBE”, an acronym for “The Best Ever”. Floyd’s appraisal of his talent is justifiably high, but like everything he’s done since abandoning Bob Arum, his former promoter who anointed him “The Pretty Boy,” there is a calculated edge to the TBE designation. Floyd understands the necessity of manufacturing perception in the service of wealth creation better than any other boxer, and perhaps any North American athlete. Whether he’s truly the best ever is immaterial. Instead, what’s functionally important is the idea of him being the best ever, and that this idea be talked about, debated on ESPN, formally branded, and eventually, at least by some, bought.

    • One of the most beautiful athletic sequences (4:55) I know of comes thirty seconds into the sixth round of this fight. In it, Mayweather stands in the center of the ring and pulls his neck back from the Mexican’s jab with mechanical precision. In one fluid motion he then lands a straight right hand flush on Marquez’s face as he simultaneously ducks to avoid his counter-right, which Floyd has anticipated perfectly. In doing so, Mayweather reverses his ring position to where he’s now on the other side of Marquez and can attack again. He does this with the brash precision of an athlete in complete control of himself, wonderfully amalgamating his mental and physical gifts.


    • Mayweather is too canny to serve the interests of the fans at the expense of his own, perhaps because of his own dramatic background. Floyd grew up in boxing, spending his childhood in gyms with his unyielding, abusive father. Floyd Mayweather Sr. was a decent professional who fought Ray Leonard, and brother Roger Mayweather was a two-time world champion. Both have been to jail (as Floyd has), both speak today with diction that’s nearly incomprehensible, and would it not be for their son and nephew, both might be without any financial stability. Having personally witnessed the ravages of prizefighting, why should Floyd do anything to endanger himself? Given the sport’s extreme physical consequences, a fighter should only be beholden to himself, since he is the sole person sustaining the trauma. Riches aren’t obtained without fan patronization, but we, the fans, aren’t the ones whose lives will be dramatically affected long after a boxer’s career ends.
      Aware of boxing’s cost but intent on becoming a superstar, Floyd found himself in an untenable position. His personality had to be the centerpiece of the promotion, because his skills, by themselves, are too subtle to entice fans. By calling himself “The Best Ever,” Floyd imbues his safety-first approach with historical gravity, which simultaneously inculcates it from criticism as it encourages people to take interest.


      If strong feelings are finally being directed at Floyd, it’s because more people are becoming aware of his sordid personal life. Mayweather has been cited or arrested seven times for #domestic_violence, and in 2012 served an 87 day jail term for a violent incident with Josie Harris, the mother of three of his children. He’s accepted no responsibility for a slew of documented incidents, some of which sound horrifying, nor has he shown contrition. Floyd is not the world’s only sinner, but to repeatedly make mistakes of this order and evince no guilt or responsibility eventually becomes unpalatable. Adjectives unrelated to boxing now bookend Floyd’s name, like “repulsive”, “misogynistic”, and most recently, on Deadspin, “monster”.

      (bon « mistake of this order » ça pue la merde, ok)


      Floyd shouldn’t be blamed for managing his career so cautiously; his careful approach has made a once poor man incredibly rich. But calculation comes with a price. His skills are underappreciated by the majority who buy his fights, and while he remains popular, he is so only in a superficial, quantifiable sense. But I suspect that Floyd, who is alone at the top and decidedly alone, doesn’t care. In Mayweather’s world, where money substitutes for love, he is winning outright, the playwright and protagonist of his own grand drama. Unfortunately for him, the only stories that last are the ones of substance. While he’s staged some brilliant productions, the #Mayweather folio feels hollow at its core.

      #boxe #Mayweather

  • Les troupes d’élite muselmanes de la dernière impératrice de Chine

    Pourquoi cette histoire de 1900 ? Je m’intéresse au comportement du diplomate allemand von Ketteler. C’est est un exemple pour la pire manière de gérer une crise. Ce fait divers tiré de l’histoire de la rébellion des boxeurs nous montre que l’appartenance religieuse des protagonistes ne joue un rôle qu’une fois l’escalation d’un conflit est assez avancée.

    Kansu Braves
    During the Battle of Peking (1900) at Zhengyang Gate the Muslim troops engaged in a fierce battle against the Alliance forces.

    The role the Muslim troops played in the war incurred anger from the westerners towards them.

    As the Imperial court evacuated to Xi’an in Shaanxi province after Beijing fell to the Alliance, the court gave signals that it would continue the war with Dong Fuxiang “opposing Court von Waldersee tooth and nail”, and the court promoted Dong to Commander-in-chief.

    The Muslim troops were described as “the bravest of the brave, the most fanatical of fanatics : and that is why the defence of the Emperor’s city had been entrusted to them.”

    Clemens von Ketteler

    On June 17 the Chinese Muslim Kansu Braves attacked Ketteler and his German Marines at the Legations. After stones were hurled at the Germans by the Chinese Muslims, Ketteler told his men to shoot back at the Muslim troops.

    The Muslim troops were feared by the westerners, so the British minister Sir Claude Macdonald warned that “When our own troops arrive we may with safety assume a different tone, but it is hardly wise now.” He thus warned Ketteler about his shooting incident with the Muslim army.

    Ketteler brutally attacked a Chinese civilian for no known reason, and beat a boy who was with him after taking him to the Legations. Ketteler then murdered the boy by shooting him. In response, thousands of Chinese Muslim Kansu Braves under General Dong Fuxiang of the Imperial Army and Boxers went on a violent riot against the westerners. The Kansu braves and Boxers then attacked and killed Chinese Christians around the legations in revenge for foreign attacks on Chinese. Angry at the Chinese Christians for collaborating with foreigners who were murdering Chinese, the Boxers burned some of them alive and attacked and ransacked their property.

    55 days at Peking

    12:12 Charlton Heston : _We’re almost in Pekin, capital city of China. This is a nation and a highly cultivated civilisation. Don’t get the idea that you are any better than these people simply because they can’t speak english. Your words of chinese will go a long way. Repeat after me : The word for yes is shit !
    Troopers :
    Shit !_
    C.H. : _The word for no is bullshit !
    Troopers :
    Bullshit !
    C.H. : _Remember, it’s just the same as anywhere else inthe world.



    The Muslim troops led by Dong Fuxiang defeated the hastily assembled Seymour Expedition of the 8 nation alliance at the Battle of Langfang on 18 June. The Chinese won a major victory, and forced Seymour to retreat back to Tianjin with heavy casualties by 26 June. Langfang was the only battle the Muslim troops did outside of Beijing. After Langfang, Dong Fuxiang’s troops only participated in battles inside of Beijing.

    Summary of battles of General Dong Fuxiang: Ts’ai Ts’un, 24 July; Ho Hsi Wu, 25 July; An P’ing, 26 July; Ma T’ou, 27 July.

    6,000 of the Muslim troops under Dong Fuxiang and 20,000 Boxers repulsed a relief column, driving them to Huang Ts’un. The Muslims camped outside the temples of Heaven and Agriculture.


    The German Kaiser Wilhelm II was so alarmed by the Chinese Muslim troops that he requested the Caliph Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire to find a way to stop the Muslim troops from fighting. The Caliph agreed to the Kaiser’s request and sent Enver Pasha (not the future Young Turk leader) to China in 1901, but the rebellion was over by that time. Because the Ottomans were not in a position to create a rift with the European nations, and to assist ties with Germany, an order imploring Chinese Muslims to avoid assisting the Boxers was issued by the Ottoman Khalifa and reprinted in Egyptian and Indian Muslim newspapers in spite of the fact that the predicament the British found themselves in the Boxer Rebellion was gratifying to Indian Muslims and Egyptians.

    Les articles dans Wikipedia en anglais sont très complets et contiennent une grande quantité de notes bibliographiques et références.

    Sources supplémentaires :

    Digital Resources for Sinologists 1.0, Part I : An Introduction to Chinese Electronic Dictionaries and Criteria for Their Evaluation

    Lookup Chinese, Pinyin or English

    汉典 zdic.net

    Han Yu Da Ci Dian 漢語大詞典
    disponible en CD-ROM

    The electronic version of the 12-volume printed Han yu da ci dian, a comprehensive Chinese language dictionary. It contains over 18,000 Chinese characters with pronunciation in Mandarin, 336,000 compound words, 23,000 idioms, 500,000 definitions and 861,000 citations. About 20 different searching methods are available in the database. Each entry includes phonetic notation, radicals, stroke count, and stroke order. Sentence examples of previous usage go back through all eras of Chinese texts, providing a great tool for studying both modern and classical Chinese.


    #Chine #Allemagne #impérialisme #histoire

  • === 4 neue Ergebnisse für [Berlin Olympic Games] ===

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  • Shot at Boxing Title Denied, Tamerlan Tsarnaev Reeled - NYTimes.com

    It was a blow the immigrant boxer could not withstand: after capturing his second consecutive title as the Golden Gloves heavyweight champion of New England in 2010, Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev, 23, was barred from the national Tournament of Champions because he was not a United States citizen.


    Mr. Tsarnaev portrayed his quitting as a reflection of the sport’s incompatibility with his growing devotion to Islam. But as dozens of interviews with friends, acquaintances and relatives from Cambridge to Dagestan showed, that devotion, and the suspected radicalization that accompanied it, was a path he followed most avidly only after his more secular dreams were dashed in 2010 and he was left adrift.

  • WickedGayBlog.com: Boxer Micky Ward Pulls Scott Brown Endorsement Over Gay Rights

    Boxer Micky Ward Pulls Scott Brown Endorsement Over Gay Rights

    Republican Scott Brown meant to hold an event today in which Micky Ward, the boxer who inspired the Oscar-nominated movie The Fighter, would throw his weight behind the Massachusetts Senator’s reelection campaign.

    Ward, however, pulled out at the last minute because, much to his chagrin, Brown does not support labor unions or marriage equality.

    “I can’t support Scott Brown. I just can’t do it,” said Ward about a half-hour after telling The Sun of Lowell he was backing the Republican. "I found out Scott (Brown) is anti-union and I’m a Teamster guy. I found out he’s also against gay marriage, and I say if you love someone, you should have the same rights no matter who you are.” Full story here via Towleroad!

  • Orlando Cruz becomes first openly gay pro boxer | Gay Star News

    Orlando Cruz becomes first openly gay pro boxer
    The Puerto Rican says he has ’always been and always will be a proud gay man’
    04 October 2012 | By Joe Morgan
    Orlando Cruz, a 31-year-old Puerto Rican, has become the world’s first openly gay professional boxer.

    A featherweight Puerto Rico boxer has claimed to be the first openly gay man to come out and continue competing in the professional sport’s history.

    Orlando Cruz, ranked the number four featherweight by the World Boxing Organization, said: ‘I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself.

    ‘I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career.

  • Remarks By Stephen Lewis, on international AIDS politics

    right at the moment when we know, irrefutably, that we can defeat this pandemic, we’re sucker-punched at the Global Fund.

    What’s a sucker punch? It’s when a boxer in the ring gets a punch below the belt that he doesn’t see coming. No one expected a complete cancellation of Round Eleven, with new money unavailable for implementation until 2014.

    It’s just the latest blow in a long list of betrayals on the part of the donor countries, in this instance the Europeans in particular. I’ve heard from several people that the politics of the Global Fund meeting in Accra two weeks ago, when the decision was made, were not just complicated, but amounted to miserable internecine warfare. Certain governments on the Board of the Global Fund simply discredited themselves. They give a soiled name to the principle of international solidarity. The Chair of the Board, in a remarkably convoluted effort, tried to explain things in a press release. He would have done far better to remain silent.

    The decision on the part of the donor countries is unforgiveable. (...)

    I asked: “Do they regard Africa as a territorial piece of geographic obsolescence? Do they regard Africans themselves as casually expendable? Is it because the women and children of Africa are not comparable in the eyes of western governments to the women and children of Europe and North America? Is it because Africans are black and unacknowledged racism is at play? Is it because a fighter jet is worth so much more than human lives? Is it because defense budgets are more worthy of protection in an economic downturn than millions of human beings?”

    et sur l’#Afrique_du_sud

    I’m thrilled with the turnaround in South Africa. The dramatic roll-out of treatment is nothing short of miraculous. But I remember all those years of denialism, and not a single voice at the most senior levels of the United Nations-Under-Secretaries-General, the Secretary-General himself. Not one of them said publicly to Thabo Mbeki, “You’re killing your people”. Oh, to be sure, it was said in private by everyone. They took Thabo Mbeki aside and begged him to reverse course. He didn’t budge an inch. Around him, in every community in South Africa, and in communities throughout a continent heavily influenced by South Africa, were the killing fields of AIDS. As we come to this thrilling moment of progress, I can’t forget the millions who died on Thabo Mbeki’s watch, while those who should have confronted him before the eyes of the world stood mute.

    #sida #global_fund