Archives January 2010

Body Armor: Bulletproof Vest

By Dark Guardian
You don’t have superpowers. No matter how much training you have it can only take one bullet to end your life. This is real life and if you are going to be doing anything that might put yourself in danger you need to keep yourself protected. You should make sure you have a bullet proof vest. Buying vests can be pricey, but you always have to think; how much is my life worth?
Here is a list of the different level vests and the protection they provide.
Type I
Type I body armor is light. This is the minimum level of protection. This armor would protect against 2.6 g (40 gr) .22 Long Rifle Lead Round Nose (LR LRN) bullets & .380 ACP Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets. Type I body armor is not what you would want if you are possibly going to be in danger.
Type IIA
(Lower Velocity .357 Magnum; 9mm). This armor protects against .357 Magnum jacketed soft-point bullets, with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr), impacting at a velocity of 381 m/s (1,250 ft/s) or less, and against 9mm full-metal jacketed bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr), impacting at a velocity of 332 m/s (1,090 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against such threats as .45 Auto., .38 Special +P, and some other factory loads in caliber .357 Magnum and 9mm, as well as the Type I threats. Type II–A body armor is well suited for those seeking protection from lower velocity .357 Magnum and 9mm ammunition.
Type II
(Higher Velocity .357 Magnum; 9mm). This armor protects against .357 Magnum jacketed soft-point bullets, with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr), impacting at a velocity of 425 m/s (1,395 ft/s) or less, and against 9mm full-jacketed bullets, with nominal velocities of 358 m/s  (1,175 ft/s). It also protects against most other factory loads in caliber .357 Magnum and 9mm, as well as the Type I and II–A threats.
Type II body armor is heavier and more bulky than either Types I or II–A. It is good for those seeking protection against higher velocity .357 Magnum and 9mm ammunition.
(.44 Magnum; Submachine Gun 9mm). This armor protects against .44 Magnum, lead semi-wad cutter bullets with gas checks, nominal masses of 15.55 g (240 gr), impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) or less, and against 9mm full-metal jacketed bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr), impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) or less. It also pro-vides protection against most handgun threats, as well as the Type I, II–A, and II threats. Type III–A body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available from concealable body armor and is generally suitable for routine wear in many situations. Type III-A offers great protection but can start becoming bulky and warm especially in hot and humid climates.
Type III
(High-powered rifle). This armor, normally of hard or semi rigid construction, protects against 7.62mm full-metal jacketed bullets (U.S. military designation M80), with nominal masses of 9.7 g (150 gr), impacting at a velocity of 838 m/s (2,750 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against threats such as 223 Remington (5.56mm FMJ), 30 Carbine FMJ, and 12-gauge rifled slug, as well as the Type I through III–A threats. Type III body armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection, such as barricade confrontations involving sporting rifles.
Type IV
(Armor-piercing rifle). This armor protects against .30–06 caliber armor-piercing bullets (U.S. military designation APM2), with nominal masses of 10.8 g (166 gr) impacting at a velocity of 868 m/s (2,850 ft/s) or less. It also provides at least single-hit protection against the Type I through III threats.
Type IV body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available. Because this armor is intended to resist “armor piercing” bullets, it often uses ceramic materials. Such materials are brittle in nature and may provide only single-shot protection, since the ceramic tends to break up when struck. As with Type III armor, Type IV armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection.
I do not advise putting yourself in a situation where you are in danger of being shot. If there is any chance please keep yourself protected. Decide what level vest suits your needs. I have not been shot at yet, but there are times where it could have came close. For myself and especially for the people in my life I make sure to wear my vest.
Stay protected and stay safe.
Here are some site suggestions to check out bullet proof vests.

Real-Life Superheroes

By David Finniss
I’m a big comic dork. Anyone who’s read my articles can tell that is a pretty big hobby of mine. It seems that some people have decided to live out their fantasies, take LARPing to a whole new level and try to become bona fide superheroes.
I’m still not sure what my view on the topic is. I mean, I get it. I would love to be a superhero too, whether it be Batman, Green Lantern, or Superman there is something appealing about having that level of impact. I also want to commend the people for trying to, in their own unusual way, make the world a better place. I just don’t think that that is the way to do it.
What works in the comics and on screen doesn’t work in real life. For one thing, vigilantism is illegal, and the costumes these guys end up donning look silly.
“Oh, but Batman does it” you say?
The cops are somewhat tolerant. They encourage these real life superheroes to be proactive and are grateful for the assistance, but there is a clear line that they don’t want you to cross. As one would expect, they’re not quite as tolerant of the idea as say Commissioner Gordon.
A part of me wants to support this, it really does. I mean, I think it would be pretty cool to live in a world where there are superheroes and I’m all for people taking the initiative to make the world a better place and showcase humanity’s capacity for good. That’s all awesome stuff and for that I commend these people. One of the awesome things about Superman is that he represents what we can all aspire to be. The Nolan movies play up the idea that Batman too is a symbol that has more endurance and impact than a regular man. With most of the role models the media tries to create coming up woefully short, there is something to the idea of becoming an embodiment of goodness and charity.
At the same time… no. I mean, come on. You can become an icon and embody all of those ideals without the costume. Michael Jordan is an icon, Ronald Reagan was an icon, Martin Luther King Jr. was an icon. You can effect the same change via other means (joining the neighborhood watch, volunteering, donating money etc) and bypass the inevitable snickering that a good chunk of people are going to do as they discover this sort of stuff.
Batman isn’t a realistic character, yes I said it. He runs a multi billion dollar corporation, has a genius level intellect, and has the strength and agility of an olympic athlete. That’s like taking the athleticism of Lebron James, the wealth of Bill Gates, the brain of Stephen Hawking and rolling it into one and giving it access to state of the art military technology. Even the people with the drive and determination usually succeed at one or two, but not the trifecta. The real life people who are trying to do the same thing don’t have any of those attributes.

Florida Supergroup Raises The Bar

by Allison ‘Apocalypse Meow’ King
Anything is possible with a dream and a few friends. Just ask Master Legend.
Based in Orlando, this Real Life Superhero is the founder of ‘Team Justice’, and he isn’t doing it alone. The new non-profit joins heroes such as Superhero, Lady Hero, Tothian, Symbiote, Enviro-Hero, Entomo, Crimson Fist, Thanatos, Baffling Weirdo, Disabler, Securio, Ace Diamond, Knightvigil, and Brimstone to the cause. Master Legend originally formed his early team, then called the ‘Justice Force’. However, he later realized that the name was taken, and team member Tothian renamed the group ‘Team Justice’.
Superhero first met Master Legend during a handout on Christmas 2007, in Orlando. But the two main forces behind Team Justice had come from very different places.
A resident of Clearwater, Florida, Superhero served in the Navy and even graduated from the police academy. In the late 1990’s, he was a pro-wrestler that used his name as his gimmick. After an injury halted his career, Superhero retained the name and kept his persona alive for tv pilots. Superhero later worked in camera and audio, video retail and broadcasting for UPN, PAX, Ion and others. He was even a one-time bodyguard for actor Patrick Wilson.
Known as ‘Captain Midnight’ and ‘The Legend’ in his younger days, Master Legend partcipated in motorcross stunts and jumps. A master at Kung Fu and his signature ‘Twisted Tornado Kick’, he helped at youth camps for troubled youth. Already introducing himself as ‘The Legend’, a child once called him ‘Master Legend’ by mistake, and the name stuck. Knowing firsthand about being disadvantaged, helping others came easy to Master Legend. But the twenty-year Red Cross member always had to turn financial donations away because it was not legal to accept them for his patrols and missions.
Central Florida News 13 reported another Christmas handout for Master Legend, Superhero and other members in 2008. Master Legend, who had helped in the search for Caylee Anthony, had announced that all the gifts were being donated in her name. The 2008 toy drive at Christmas was bittersweet for Superhero, who was thrilled to help but was saddened that they couldn’t do even more. As many Real Life Superheroes have come to realize, some handouts are only as large as your own pocketbook. That’s when ‘Team Justice’ knew they had to do something.
Superhero started by completing applications for non profit status for the group by himself, so that Master Legend could retain his secret identity. Assisted by the Chamber of Commerce, a non profit advisor, judge, and two lawyers helped to provide invaluable support and guidance. After countless documents, procedures and waiting, ‘Team Justice’, now four years old, officially became a non profit organization on December 8, 2009. ‘Team Justice’ is proud to be the first non-profit organization of the Real Life Superhero Community. And thanks to the new development and assistance that the non profit status allowed, the 2009 Christmas toy drive was the best ever.
Team member Symbiote made arrangements with a Presbyterian church, and an 8 x 12 storage shed was soon packed wall-to-wall with gifts. Approximately 2000 toys were given away, thanks to help from the church, combined donations from ‘Team Justice’ and other generous contributors. Because of the new non profit status backing the event, each child was able to go through the line twice. In addition to toys, 600 diapers and many Master Legend goodie bags were given.
Master Legend has even found other ways to help others, in addition to charity. In 2005, Master Legend and Team Justice member Disabler were given a prestigious Heroes Award from the Orange County Sherriff’s Office. After Hurricane Charlie, the two heroes teamed up to free people that were trapped in their homes. Using their chainsaws, Master Legend and Disabler also cleared trees from highways and other areas, enabling scores of blocked cars to pass.
Being a part of Team Justice is an honor for Symbiote, who is excited for many productive missions with the group. He even created the website for Team Justice.
‘Master Legend and Superhero both exhibit qualities that I wish most Americans could show’, Symbiote says. ‘Master Legend is one of the most dedicated men I know to the cause. He would give you board in his own house if it meant helping you. And Superhero is one of the most charismatic people. His attitude is a super power’, he adds.
‘This is just the beginning’, says Superhero, referring to the non profit. ‘Now we’re running on all eight cylinders’.
Indeed. Thanks to Sunscreen Film Festival and C B & C Television, ‘Team Justice’ is working on achieving a $30,000 grant from the American Cancer Society. In return, Master Legend, Superhero and other members of the group will be filming commercials for health and cancer awareness for Univison. These Latin television spots will start filming January 2010 and air through the year. In addition, ‘Team Justice’ is planning a water and sock drive by April 2010, assorted anti-mugging patrols, and a meet-up in Orlando with Enviro-Hero.
‘I can’t believe how well everything has fallen into place, I’m very excited’, Superhero says. ‘We hit the ground running and we’ve been flying ever since.’
In addition to the plans and patrols, ‘Team Justice’ is working to acquire a warehouse and a business office in Orlando, in order to establish headquarters and handle even bigger projects.
‘It’s a dream of mine come true’, says Master Legend. ‘This is not a hobby for me, this is my life’, he adds.
‘Team Justice’ shows no sign of slowing, and they are leading by example in the Real Life Superhero Community. Displaying the results of hard work and persistence will be encouraging to other groups in the subculture that wish to achieve the same. The establishment of ‘Team Justice’ as a non profit is proof positive that any determined group of individuals can make a difference for their community, even if they are wearing helmets and tights. This development enables folks with big hearts to not only donate, but distribute and make an indelible mark on children and citizens everywhere.
Does Master Legend have any advice for aspiring non profits or heroes?
‘You need to stick to your mission. Don’t forget your purpose’, he answers quickly and matter-of-fact.
‘When you’re handing out goods, don’t look inside the box, keep reaching’, he says.
‘It just keeps flowing’.
Contact Team Justice at 407-588-7583 or email [email protected]
Also visit their website at
Allison ‘Apocalypse Meow’ King is a costumed activist in Portland, Oregon.

Zero to Hero – 5 Steps to a Bodybuilder’s Physique

By Adam Sinicki
With permission from
All over the internet there are hundreds of bodybuilding articles that tell you how to add an inch to your arms or chest and there are hundreds of crazy new training systems that promise awesome results, but there aren’t so many articles that tell you how to get to a decent size to start with. How does Joe Blogs get himself to a stage where he’s ready to try out this crazy shit? How does he go from having the body of a normal fella to having the beginnings of a body worthy of a bodybuilder? How does our average Joe go from ‘zero’ to ‘hero’?
I don’t know. I’ve always been awesome, that was just a rhetorical question.
Nah not really! That would make a very short article otherwise! I do know how and infact I’ve outlined how in, as the title suggests, 5 easy steps. Why five? Well I like five okay? These 5 stages will set you on your way in the world of bodybuilding and assuming you’re currently in average shape you should be able to achieve the body of an amateur bodybuilder in 6 months to a year, although you’ll start seeing results way before then (unless you’re blind or a vampire (the reflection thing)).
The training zero: Step 1 – Full body routine of bodyweight training
Step 1 sounds like a good plce to start and it’s just the ticket for getting yourself into a decent shape. At the moment you may be unused to training so you want to start off gently. Your supporting muscles are all fairly weak so you don’t want to injure yourself with heavy weights and as a beginner you may have no equipment. The solution? A full body routine focussing on calisthenics (bodyweight training) 4 times a week. For each session you will attempt to hit the whole body and the key part of your workout will be press ups and variations of them. You will also use the sit-up, the dip (using the edge of a bed or a chair), the pull up (purchase a ?5 bar for your door frame), the chin up, leg raises (from the pull up bar), the squat-thrust, the lunge, the calf raise (one legged on the edge of a step) and the horse stance (standing as though you are sitting in a chair and holding the position).
Each workout should be approximately 45 minutes and should use any combination of 5 exercises from the list above (and variations) that hits the whole body. You should train 4 days a week, having your resting days whenever is convenient but not two in a row. Every exercise should be performed in sets of three and as you progress you should increase your repetitions.
You should also begin to cut down the carbs and fats in your diet and begin eating generally healthy. If you manage to stick to this routine for a month or two you should begin to see improvements in your strength and in your endurance. This means you are ready my son.
The okay-but-a-bit-pants bloke: Step 2 – Resistance machines and dumbells
This step is fairly self explanatory. You should continue with your routine but introduce resistance machines and/or dumbells into the mix. The resistance machines will be found at a gym, or if you’re loaded you can buy yourself a multi-gym (I’d like one too if you’re stuck for christmas ideas for me).
This will greatly increase the number of exercise moves available to you for training and you can start hitting your muscles from new angles. With the dumbells you can now do shoulder presses, weighted lunges, curls, tricep kick backs, bent over rows and much more. With the machines you can start using the pec dec, chest press, lat pull down, hamstring curls and anything on offer which will target very specifically certain muscles (usually indicated on the machine itself). Don’t forget those bodyweight exercises though, they brought you this far and should stay with you until you quit the iron.
You should now begin to increase the amount of protein you eat. Don’t go over board, but once you start seeing the muscles you should strive to add a little more tuna and egg to your diet. As you begin to improve you can up the weights on your dumbells and machines and maybe train 5 days instead of 4. Still not enough? Then move onto the next step.
The athlete: Step 3 – Free weights and the big three
Free weights just means weights not supported by a machine. You’ve already done some of that with the dumbells but now it’s time to go hardcore. By the big three I mean the benchpress, the deadlift and the squat. These are ‘compound’ movements that hit a lot of muscles and improve overall power like no other exercises. You’ve had practice on the resistance machines but this is the real thing. Simply by adding these to your workout you will begin to see massive improvements. You can use the barbell for other movements too – upward rows or barbell curls for instance.
You will find that with all these movements that you are finding it difficult to fit them all into a workout, and that you feel tired and lethargic the next day. For this reason you should break down your training a bit, probably across two days to begin with. One way of doing this is to do your lower body, legs and abs on one day, and the upper body, arms and torso, on the next. Alternatively you can do ‘pull’ days and ‘push’ days.
By now you will be training hard enough to warrant the usage of a protein shake. Go easy to start with and up the dosage as you begin to see results. Again though you’ll begin to see dimminishing returns before eventually your workout fails to offer you a challenge. Move on my friend. Move on.
The iron warrior: Step 4 – Splits and high intensity
When you started this gig you probably found it difficult to find moves easy enough to sustain for a decent set of reps. These days you’re probably looking at quite the opposite problem and are struggling to find new ways to challenge yourself and shock your body into action. Fear not! Bodybuilders bigger and stronger than you have faced this problem and come up with many varied and interesting solutions.
There are lots of ways to increase the intensity of your workouts. You should now be hitting each muscle group with as many as 10 sets of either the same exercise or different movements using supersets (alternating between sets of two different movements), dropsets (lowering the weight each time you can do no more then continuing without a rest), pyramid sets (going up in weight then down again), and other techniques to squeaze every last drop of effort out of your muscles. Each set as well should be performed to failiure using forced reps, cheats (engaging other muscles to help in the exercise), half reps and more to really feel the burn. By now you should instinctively be able to feel whether you’ve done enough on a certain muscle group.
Obviously doing 10 sets of every muscle group in one workout would take ages and is impractical. It would also be very ill advised to work out a single muscle group on such high-intensity for more than one day in a row. Therefore you need to split your workout across even more days using a ‘split’ (clever name huh?). Basically you will now dedicate each workout to just one or two muscle groups, allowing them to rest while you train the others. Depending on your seriousness and available time you might want to train 6 or 7 days of the week.
You’ll probably find that you want to up your protein intake even more by now, and may want to try using other supplements like creatine to give yourself more energy in the gym.
The training hero: Step 5 – Experiment
There are many, many more techniques out there. Hundreds of advanced and strange and experimental ways to go the extra mile to get that competition-winning physique. As I said, there are many articles out there that will guide give you all sorts of crazy advice. But more importantly you now know yourself the basics of training. You know what works for your body and what doesn’t and you have the strength and experience to follow the good advice and reject the bad.
You’re finally strong enough and experienced enough to start using those articles and even better, trying new things out yourself. The difference between an average bodybuilder and the outstanding bodybuilder is the willingness to experiment, to break the rules and to be creative. It’s time to start inventing some of your own routines, diets and constantly keep the body guessing. Do the research, put the time in down the gym and the sky is literally the limit (mostly true of planes and birds).
So there you are, you’re a hero now, just like Hercules. You’ve got the moxy, brains and spunk, from zero to hero – a major hunk (from the song… never mind). To follow the above correctly I recommend 6 weeks on each stage and 1 week between each to give your body a break. That means in total it should take roughly 35 weeks until you’ve reached heroic level, although this will vary greatly from individual to individual and only you will know when you’re ready to progress. Unless you tell someone and then they will also know.
This is a very simple guide and doesn’t provide anywhere near enough information on its own, but with a little adaptation and research it should provide a safe and efficient framework to get anyone to the top of the sport. So go and become a hero!