Archive | Wednesday , June 20 , 2012

Wimbledon Women’s Preview: Will Maria Sharapova Continue Her Domination Of Women’s Tennis At Wimbledon?

Maria Sharapova finally had her breakthrough on clay over a week ago when she won the French Open for the first time. Sharapova enters an elite group of only ten women in women’s tennis history to win all four grand slam championships. Sharapova also reached the finals of the  Australian Open final in January  and the Wimbledon final last year. Sharapova’s confidence is back and she already won Wimbledon eight years ago when she was only seventeen years old.

Will Maria Sharapova build on her incredible performance in Paris and win Wimbledon for the second time? Sharapova has never won grand slam singles titles back to back.  Wimbledon is a huge opportunity for Maria Sharapova to cement her status as the Queen of women’s tennis. Women’s tennis needs a dominant number one player.

I believe the reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic has a lot to prove her performance this year is just satisfactory.

Kvitova hasn’t won a WTA tour title since November 2011 and her results are inconsistent. Meanwhile, Victoria Azarenka the second ranked woman in the world’s form has gone down since winning the Australian Open back in January. Serena Williams the four-time Wimbledon champion is a question mark because her performance this year is erratic. Serena lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open and in the first round of the French Open.

Serena is thirty years old and she’s not getting any younger. I am uncertain if Serena’s heart is in the game anymore she seems disinterested on the tennis court.

Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams are on their way out to retirement I don’t see either woman being a factor at Wimbledon.  Agnieszka Radwanska needs to prove she is worthy of being the third best women tennis player in the world. Radwanska has reached the quarterfinals twice at the All England Club but she has never advanced beyond the quarterfinals in her career. I belive Agnieszka needs a more aggressive game and take some risks if she is going to breakthrough.

Caroline Wozniacki the former number one from Denmark performance this year is terrible! Wozniacki has dropped from the top rank in the world to number seven. The problem for Caroline is she refuses to play more aggressively and prefers to play a more defensive style of tennis. Finally, Samantha Stosur has never advanced beyond the third round at Wimbledon. I am shocked that Stosur never does well at the All England Club because she has a huge serve, big forehand, and solid volleys.

Globe& Mail Article: Accused Killer Luka Magnotta’s Murder Victim Jun Lin’s Troubled Life.

Mark MacKinnon

Beijing — The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Jun. 02 2012, 10:36 AM EDT

Last updated Saturday, Jun. 02 2012, 3:21 PM EDT

Lin Jun was a gentle soul, the kind of guy who went to see The Smurfs movie in 3D and who posted photographs of his beloved tabby cat and snowy Montreal street scenes for his friends back home in China to see.

But the photographs and comments posted on his Sina Weibo account (a Chinese microblogging service that’s part Twitter, part Facebook) also reveal hints of a darker side, one that might have drawn him to someone such as Luka Rocco Magnotta, a porn actor and white supremacist who was already famous online for posting a video of his torturing of a kitten.

The 33-year-old Mr. Lin, who police have suggested might have been romantically linked to the man who murdered and dismembered him a week ago, gave himself the nickname “Justin the Villain” on his Weibo account, a moniker that seems at odds with the soft personality that comes through in most of his postings.

But dark thoughts clearly came to Mr. Lin from time to time. On Valentine’s Day last year, he posted a computer-altered photograph of himself with wild purple hair and a cracked face that turns grey around a mouth of broken and missing teeth. “My self-portrait,” he wrote beneath the repulsive image.

In another on-line posting a month before he was murdered, Mr. Lin took a photograph of an empty Montreal subway car. His mystifying caption “midnight cannibalism train,” led some Chinese Internet users to speculate Saturday that he was somehow foreshadowing his own gruesome death. (Police say some of Mr. Lin’s body parts were eaten before his hand and foot were mailed to the offices of political parties in Ottawa. Mr. Magnotta flew out from Montreal to Europe the day after the killing, and is the now target of an international police hunt.)

Mr. Lin also used the online user name Justin Rain, the name of an actor with a minor role in the Twilight vampire saga. And, once in Montreal, he registered the web domain homoBJ.com.

Other images on Mr. Lin’s Weibo page are much more pedestrian: a poster promoting the 3-D version of the movie Titanic, a robot he and his classmates built for a “mascot competition,” and links to romantic French songs, as well as several postings mourning Apple founder Steve Jobs. “We lost Steve Jobs forever” he wrote following Mr. Job’s death last year. “We lost you forever,” a friend replied Saturday on the same page of his Weibo account.

Also pictured on Mr. Lin’s Weibo is a medical bracelet from the Montreal General Hospital, where he was admitted last August after getting his hand caught in a subway door.

Mr. Lin was clearly very lonely, and somewhat narcissistic. He’s alone in nearly all of the photographs posted to his account. In many of them his chiselled body is either partially or fully naked.

He was also brave. Despite the conservatism of Chinese society – where homosexuality was considered a mental illness as recently as 2001 – he was openly and seemingly proudly gay. (That homophobia lingers in China. Scattered among the thousands of posts on Weibo mourning Mr. Lin’s death were a large number suggesting it was his sexuality that lead him into a dangerous situation.)

Born Dec. 30, 1978 in the industrial city of Wuhan, the capital of China’s central Hubei province, he moved to Beijing several years ago and began preparing for his dream of moving to Canada. He studied French at the Alliance Française cultural centre, hoping it would help him qualify for immigration to Quebec.

More than anything else, it was a partner he hoped to find. When the teacher of an entrepreneurial course at Montreal’s Tyark College asked him what his goal in life was, Mr. Lin said his biggest ambition was to find love. “That is what I remember about him. He was in computers, and he was looking for love,” recalled Alexandra Afanase, a fellow student in the Tyark business class.

While he was initially elated to be moving to Canada – “I’m going to Canada!” he posted on May 10, 2010 – Mr. Lin seemed to feel even more isolated after arriving in his new home. At one point, he notes that he’s the oldest person in his class at Concordia. “Suddenly I realized that I am about 10 years older than my classmates. They would have no problem calling me ‘uncle.’ It’s so crushing,” he wrote.

Using his chosen English name, Justin, he studied computer science at Concordia and worked at a convenience store, where he was described as a polite, responsible employee who never missed a shift – until his sudden disappearance last week. But there are hints that life in Montreal didn’t make him as happy as he’d hoped it would.

One of the first photos he put on his Weibo account after arriving in the city is of a sparsely populated street, under which he posed the question: “what kind of life?”

“You don’t have to consider this question any more,” read one of hundreds of replies that were posted today as news of Mr. Lin’s murder spread through China. “Rest in peace.”

Interesting Article: Why Are Gay & Straight People Afraid Of Bisexual Men?

Sex and Sexuality

Will Men Ever Be Able to Come Out of the Bisexual Closet?

By Vanessa L. Pinto Mon., Jun. 11 2012 at 3:30 PM
More-Men-Kissing-William-Hamon.jpg
William Hamon
Women have it rougher than men in many respects — we get paid less, we are constantly judged by our appearance, and we are not supposed to be promiscuous. But there is one area where women definitely have it easier than men: Women are allowed to experiment with bisexuality without it being a huge deal. Men, on the other hand, are not given this same permission. In fact, quite the contrary.

In the porn industry, several men that I know do not disclose their bisexuality to employers, nor do they do bisexual porn, for fear of being discriminated against or losing jobs. One such porn star (who wished to remain anonymous), said that several female co-stars would not appear with him on screen due to that fact.

The more time I spend writing about sex, more and more of my male friends and acquaintances have brought up this topic as a source of frustration. While many seem to be comfortable with experimenting sexually, they feel they can only do so as long as no one else knows about it. A friend of mine and fan of the swinger site Lifestyle Lounge, checked bi-comfortable on his profile and then received several hateful responses via chat, saying bi men were not welcome in the swinger community. He changed his status back to straight, in order to avoid further aggressive behavior.

Bisexuality is often seen as a cop-out, a phase, or an all-out denial from people on every side of the sexual spectrum. Again, these are all fear-based reactions to a subject that makes people extremely uncomfortable. If you are a man, you are encouraged to have a lot of sexual partners, but you are never encouraged to be sexual with other men.

Straight men are barely even allowed to be on the receiving end of anal sex with women because it’s seen as gay behavior. Never mind that a lot of men happen to enjoy anal stimulation. If society says you like to take it up the ass, then you must be gay. This is the kind of thinking that leads to self-hatred and feeds outdated gender stereotypes. Even in my enlightened sex-positive community, men are very uneasy even broaching this subject.

On a personal level, I think it’s hot when a man is sexual with other men. In the handful of times I’ve jerked off to porn, it was always the guy-on-guy variety. I also enjoy having threesomes or foursomes with men who interact with one another and then with me. But, I am not all women, and some women can’t handle it because according to the stereotype, it is just a matter of time before the bi guy discovers he is gay and leaves her.

I know several men who have tried to have this conversation with their female partners, and they have been shut down. We really need to start discussing this as a society, because men should be allowed to explore bisexuality without fear. Sexual attraction is not black and white, nor should we try to make it so. Adults should be encouraged to play in ways that feel right to them, regardless of the label. As one of my male friends said, “I am figuring out what I want sexually, versus what I have been told I am supposed to want.”

Wimbledon Preview: Can Serbian Tennis Stud Novak Djokovic Get His Year Back On Track At Wimbledon & Defend Title?

Last year, Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic did the unthinkable he won the Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open, and dominated men’s tennis. Djokovic also won ten titles and only lost six matches in 2011. At the beginning of 2012, Djokovic won the Australian Open for the third time barely defeating Rafael Nadal.  However, Djokovic’s last title was the Miami Masters in March.

Djokovic lost the Monte Carlo, Rome, and French Open finals to Rafael Nadal. Nadal’s is the greatest clay court player in men’s tennis history.  Djokovic is the reigning Wimbledon champion if he does not defend his title he will probably lose the number one ranking.

I think one of the reasons Novak is less dominant this year is due to the fact his beloved grandfather Vladimir died in April. The emotional and psychological trauma of his grandfather’s death has affected Novak’s game.

I believe Rafael Nadal is the only man who can seriously challenge Novak at Wimbledon. Since Roger Federer lost to Tommy Haas in the finals in Halle Germany, I am not sure if Federer can challenge Nadal and Djokovic. Federer has lost in the quarterfinals the past two years to big hitters Tomas Berdych and Jo Wilfred Tsonga.

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