AIDS in Western Africa

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If the figures are more or less correct, it is not clear how Equatorial Guinea escapes gradually increasing percentages of adults with AIDS as well as debilitating economic damage. The situations in Cameroon, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo should be viewed with grave concern – once the prevalence of AIDS among adults passes six percent (6%) it is difficult to foresee how a country recovers.

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Malaria in Western Africa

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Malaria is complicated. There are multiple types each of which can be transmitted by more than one species of mosquito. If you are not young, old, already sick or pregnant, the odds are excellent malaria will not kill you. That’s the good news. The bad news is you will be weakened; you will likely need to take an anti-malarial drug and you are a reservoir for mosquitoes so that they can bite you and then bite someone else. The malaria – tested numbers are supposed to be fairly accurate and consist of samples analyzed at labs. These numbers are greatly influenced by how many inhabitants choose to be tested as well as how many samples the labs can process. No one (yet) tallies how many people have malaria and something else like Lassa fever, yellow fever or dengue. The malaria-total numbers are supposed to be a sampling of people who have not been tested and a statistical worst case estimate of how the entire national population is doing. Sometimes these samples are done by city or province. A rough rule of thumb is the best case is about one-third (33%) of the worst case.

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The Flaws of Floors

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Given the prevalence of foot pain and the number of toe, foot, ankle and knee injuries, it seemed like a good idea to review floor coverings. We are NOT expecting blood to be spilled are buckets of perspiration to be sweated out, but there is a fair chance that if someone has a major seizure there will be some vomiting. Accordingly, it would be preferable to have a floor that can be readily cleaned (especially so we can clean the floor before each class and eliminate a variance) or replaced in a modular manner. Bare concrete has hygiene problems and is brutal on feet and knees (and tough on shoes) so it is out of consideration. For whatever ‘real’  wood actually means these days one could choose between a relatively softwood like pine or a firmer wood like oak. As with synthetic woods like Pergo, one advantage is the lines formed by the edges of the planks can be useful for students trying to line up and to stay aligned. There are issues with acoustic brightness: for example, 20 small cymbals on Heavenly General Nine Point Rakes make an amazing amount of racket.

Among others, Sifu David Chang of San Jose California uses a large carpet. An alternative would be artificial grass – something like AstroTurf. The Chief Cinematographer has expressed some concerns about the rather vivid green usually encountered. Another possibility would be carpet tiles which are modular and have some of the linear aspects of planking. There is quite a diversity of opinions about linoleum.

Early Drawings of Martial Arts Forks

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As the 16th century came to a close the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) was struggling to survive. Mongol raiders under the Altan Khan (1507-1582) had attacked China several times – they even burned parts of Beijing in 1550.  At the same time China’s coastline was under attack by pirates alleged to be Japanese. Qi Ji Guang was assigned responsibility for the defense of Zhejiang in 1555. He published two versions of the Jixiao Xinshu, his commentaries on military tactics. The first version was printed in 1561 and had 18 chapters. Qi was forced to retire some years later and published a revised version with 14 chapters in 1584. Here is one of the drawings of a squad-sized (5 or 10 men) tactical unit that would be arrayed in a formation known as a Mandarin Duck. Note the forks

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Mandarin ducks

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Scientific name: Aix galericulata – related to the North American wood duck

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The male (above right) changes plumage and more closely resembles the female when not in his courting colors.

In Chinese known as yuanyang (simplified: 鸳鸯; traditional: 鴛鴦; pinyin: yuān yāng), and often used as a symbol of  conjugal affection and fidelity.

But there is a weapon (from Bagua Zhang, I think) that is used in pairs and sold by WLE.com (Product ID W552)

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from Vincent Lynch of China’s Living Treasures

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“YouTube has changed their monetization policy and as a result we won’t be able to continue to stream full length videos until we meet the new requirements, which demand that a partner must have over 1000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours. We have the sufficient subscribers, but our watch time is below the threshold. We just started this year to upload the series for low cost streaming and haven’t even finished the complete upload of the series. Unfortunately, this means we’ll have to take down the complete instructional videos offered, when the monetization is removed. When we meet YouTube thresholds of watch time, we will be able to post the series again and resume streaming.

As a reward for being a channel subscriber to the China’s Living Treasures series and in attempt to increase our total watch time, we are offering the complete 120 min. award winning documentary, Volume One – Kung Fu Diplomacy for free viewing. In August of 1985, a representative group of American martial artists were invited to the Peoples Republic of China by the Beijing Wu Shu Team, the most prestigious wushu team in the world. In an effort to promote cultural exchange through the martial arts, under the leadership of team captain, Professor Wally Jay and co-captain Al Dacascos, they traveled to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, and the Shaolin temple in Henan Province, the original birth place of the martial arts, as emissaries of cultural exchange performing their skills for their hosts and observing demonstrations by the greatest masters living in China. Please feel to forward the link to your subscribers, friends and share on social media, if you think they would be interested. The URL to view the documentary is:

Thank you for your support and enjoy the film.

Addtionally, if you have any friends that are curious about taijiquan, the following URL has a free short ten video series on the first section of the Yang taijiquan 108 movement long suitable for beginners or seniors:

Please feel free to share these links on social media.”