Beloved Wrestling Champion & Promoter Verne Gagne Passes Away, Aged 89

Philosopher Albert Camus once wrote, “What I know most surely about morality and the duty of man I owe to sport”. It is hard to find a more fitting epitaph for Verne Gagne, beloved wrestling champion and influential promoter, who passed away in April of this year.

Verne, who was 89 years old, had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and living in a health care facility in Minnesota. However, it would be wrong to dwell on the saddening end of a life as successful and pioneering as that of Verne Gagne, a man who helped to shape the landscape of professional wrestling forever.

At varying times during his life, Gagne was an NFL pro footballer (with both the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears), an alternate for the USA’s Olympic wrestling team, a multi-time amateur wrestling champion, a US marine, a World Champion professional wrestler, a hugely successful promoter and a devoted husband and father.

He trained, or helped to train, many of the biggest and most successful names in professional wrestling history, including future World Champions Ric Flair, Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, The Iron Sheik, Bob Backlund, Dick The Bruiser, Sgt. Slaughter, Blackjack Mulligan and ‘Mr. Perfect’ Curt Hennig (father of current WWE wrestler Curtis Axel), as well as industry legends such as ‘Cowboy’ Bill Watts, Larry ‘The Axe’ Hennig (father of Curt), Blackjack Lanza, Baron Von Raschke, Jimmy Valiant, Ken Patera, Ole Anderson, Jim Brunzell and, of course, his own son, Greg Gagne.

Verne Gagne’s story begins on a little farm near Corcoran, Minnesota. He was born in 1926, into a very different world than the one we live in today. As a child, Verne would sit on his grandfather’s lap and listen to wrestling on the radio, as there was no television. As Greg Gagne recalled in the WWE’s 2006 ‘Spectacular Legacy of the AWA’ DVD, it was during one such session that Verne announced his intentions to become a professional wrestler.

Gagne’s amateur wrestling accomplishments speak for themselves, Verne was named the Northwest AAU Champion in 1942, Minnesota High School Champion in 1943 and ‘Big Ten’ Champion in 1944, 1947, 1948 and 1949. He was also crowned National AAU Champion in 1948 and 1949 and was selected for 1948’s US Olympic Team (although he didn’t compete). Gagne also won the NCAA Championship in 1949.

As a promoter, Verne was famous for his emphasis on realistic, ‘scientific’ wrestling, a view that contrasted sharply with the then-WWF’s more cartoonish, family-orientated approach to the sport.

After he turned pro, Verne Gagne became one of the first stars of the early TV era of wrestling, becoming the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) Junior Heavyweight Champion in the process. In an era of more serious, credible and ‘straight-laced’ wrestling, Verne Gagne exhibited a special kind of charisma, which was backed up by his great work-rate and wholly believable matches. He was also among the first wrestlers to seek endorsements outside of the wrestling world, a move which paid off handsomely at the time and hinted at a high level of business acumen.

Eventually, as Gagne’s popularity with wrestling audiences increased, he became frustrated at the NWA’s apparent unwillingness to allow him a run with the World’s Heavyweight Championship, at that time held by Lou Thesz. Later, when Pat O’Connor was World Champion, the NWA again refused Gagne a title run. Because of this, largely political, limitation, Gagne and his partner Wally Karbo purchased the Minneapolis territory and seceded from the NWA, taking several other territories with them and forming the bedrock of the American Wrestling Association (AWA) in the process.

The AWA proved to be a successful venture and ran between 1960 and 1991. During that time, the company expanded outwards into traditional NWA territories, in a similar (albeit less aggressive) manner to the way that Vince McMahon Jr’s WWF would expand in the 1980’s. Vince Jr has even gone on record to say that if he hadn’t taken wrestling national when he did, Verne Gagne would have done so.

Whilst still an active competitor, Verne drew criticisms in some quarters for constantly booking himself as the AWA World Champion, including one run that lasted from 1968 until late 1975 (he eventually lost the belt to Nick Bockwinkel). However, it should be noted that Verne was undeniably the promotion’s biggest star and that the company was effectively built around his star power. As AWA World Champion, Verne feuded with some of the all-time greats of pro wrestling, stars like Bockwinkel, Fritz Von Erich, Gene Kiniski and The Crusher.

In the 1980’s, the AWA found itself going head-to-head with Vince McMahon’s WWF, a promotion which had been mainly built around the acquisition of Hulk Hogan, a man who had been the AWA’s biggest drawing card not long before. McMahon sought to dominate the wrestling industry by expanding his New York-based territory via cable television. Almost overnight, the AWA’s top talent abandoned Verne’s outfit for the greater exposure offered by McMahon’s WWF and the AWA suffered for a lack of credible main event stars.

Despite this, Gagne’s AWA still offered a very different product to McMahon’s WWF. Where the WWF promoted bodybuilders and super heavyweight ‘big man’ bouts as its top attractions, the AWA was still offering classier, more traditional wrestling matches.

Even under diminished circumstances, the AWA was still an important starting point for many wrestlers to polish their performances and ‘round out’ their ring work and personas.

Over the years, Gagne’s promotion gave a start to many talents that are now regarded as legends within the wrestling industry, including WWE Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes, ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham, Scott Hall, Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, The Road Warriors and even announcer ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund, as well as many other stars including Big Van Vader, The Nasty Boys, ‘Mad Dog’ Vachon, Marty Jannetty and Rick ‘The Model’ Martel.

The AWA hung on for as long as it could, but in the wake of the WWF onslaught and an ongoing legal dispute concerning some land he owned along Lake Minnetonka, Verne was effectively forced out of business, going bankrupt in 1991 and later selling his company (and its entire video library) to the WWF.

Despite the ultimate demise of the AWA, Verne Gagne remained one of the most recognised, respected and beloved professional wrestlers of all time. In his 2013 book ‘The 50 Greatest Professional Wrestlers of All Time’, former ‘Wrestling at the Chase’ announcer Larry Matysik ranked Gagne at number 11, saying “As much as his ownership of the AWA leads to criticism that he was its champion, the reality of the promotion’s huge profitability for more than two decades demonstrates that the audience bought him as that champion. And AWA shows drew well even when Gagne was not working”.

Gagne’s legacy as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time is already assured. By the time he retired, he was a 15-time World Champion (10 time AWA World Heavyweight Champion, 5 time Omaha World Championship), as well as a Champion in Japan.

He was an inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, as well as the WCW, Professional Wrestling and Wrestling Observer equivalents. In addition to his incredible in-ring exploits, Verne Gagne should also be remembered as one of the most successful wrestling promoters ever, as well as one of the best teachers the industry ever produced.

For his talent, charisma and freewheeling entrepreneurial spirit, Verne will always be remembered as one of the very best. He was, to quote his son Greg, “a special man”.

Idiot In Venezuela Mutilates Himself In Order To Look Like Marvel Comics Villain

Created by writers Joe Simon and France Herron, together with artist Jack ‘King’ Kirby, Marvel Comics’ ‘Red Skull’ character first appeared as an antagonist for Captain America in 1941.

An unreconstructed Nazi supervillain, Red Skull’s plans post-1945 typically centred around world domination, the clever application of his ‘Cosmic Cube’ weapon and a membership in the evil organization ‘Hydra’.

As a result, he has been a popular antagonist in Marvel comic books for several decades and was even selected to be the main enemy of Captain America for the 2011 movie ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’.

One of the most unrepentantly evil Marvel Comics villains, Red Skull isn’t a tortured political idealist like Magneto, or the product of a lousy upbringing like Doctor Octopus. He’s just a Nazi douchebag, plain and simple.

…And now, Henry Damon, a husband and father from Venezuela, has mutilated himself in order to look like him.


Well, he apparently has an appointment booked to have his entire head tattooed red.

Plus, he’s already had his eyeballs tattooed entirely black (which, I have to say I didn’t know was possible) and he has even had sub dermal implants placed under his skin so that his brow and forehead appear ridged and more ‘skull like’.

Next up, he’ll have silicon implants placed under his chin and his cheeks, which will give him the broad, skull-like grimace of the comic book character.

…But by far the most wince-inducing aspect of Mr. Damon’s transformation is that he has recently had most of his nose cut off.

The surgery was performed by Emilio Gonzales (you’ll not the absence of the word ‘doctor’ anywhere in that title), a medical school dropout who earns a living from extreme body modification. In response to critics, Gonzales has said that Damon is “physically and intellectually” a healthy person.

No joke. He really did say that.

OK, so this guy wants to be a Nazi supervillain. In fact, he wants to be a Nazi supervillain so badly that he’s willing to endure no small amount of pain (and spend what is probably a small fortune) on mutilating himself unrecognizably in order to achieve his goal of becoming a Nazi Supervillain from a comic book.

…Yeah, because that’s healthy.

Instead of being offered the psychiatric treatment he obviously needs, Damon apparently passed a number of ‘psychological tests’, but honestly, I can’t imagine any credible, certified psychiatric professional agreeing with that diagnosis, can you? More likely it was the ‘surgeon’, asking him to fill out a few forms in order to cover his ass in case of a lawsuit.

Whatever the reason behind this insanity, there are a great many jokes to be made about this particular idiot. Firstly, if he has no nose, how does he smell? Secondly, he’s cut off his nose to spite his face…And so on.

Joking aside, the really stupid thing is that once this idiot is done mutilating himself, he won’t even own the rights to his own face anymore.

Also, I sincerely hope that he never catches a cold…But that’s more out of concern for the rest of the community than it is for Mr. Damon.

2 Way Radio Headset for Events

If you have ever been involved with the planning or organizing of an event then you’ll know just how important it is to keep everyone informed with what’s going on. Failing to properly communicate with other event planners can have disastrous consequences and the whole event could fall apart.

Walkie talkies have a wide range of applications, but they are used primarily at events — whether it’s by event planners and organizers or the security personnel at the door.

A Quick Introduction to Walkie Talkie Headsets

A walkie talkie can be a great way to communicate, especially during events. The majority of events are now held at large venues, have a lot of attendees, and require proper communication amongst planners and organizers.

Walkie talkies are a standard way to help you communicate with everyone involved with the planning and organizing of the event. A headset takes it a step further and allows you a hands free operation of the walkie talkie, which is crucial in many circumstances.

Walkie talkies have two main uses: to ensure proper communication with event planners and organizers, and to ensure that security personnel can handle threats accordingly.

Where Can Walkie Talkie Headsets Be Used?

When it comes to events, walkie talkies have a wide range of uses, including the following:

• Nightclubs

• Festivals

• Sporting events

• Charity events

• School/college events

• Shopping centres

• Outdoor activities

Finding the Right Headset for You

The best important thing when it comes to choosing the right headset for your walkie talkie is brand. Two of the most reputable brands are Sordin and Peltor. These two brands offer headsets to suit just about any occasion, whether you need an aviation headset or an in-ear device.

If you are anticipating loud noises at the event then you’ll also want to think about noise cancellation for your headset, you have two options here: active noise reduction and passive noise reduction. We won’t get into technicalities, but active noise reduction will give you the best results.

Also, don’t forget about accessories for your walkie talkie. Depending on the type of event you are planning, you might want to think about accessories such as earpieces, microphones, carry cases, spare battery packs, headsets, and more. Make sure that any walkie talkie you are planning to use is compatible with the accessories that you need.

Not Quite Ready to Buy?

So, after reading all of the advice and guidance provided for you above, you probably have a good idea about the headset you are planning to purchase. However, what if you’re not quite ready to purchase it just yet? Well, that’s completely fine!

The vast majority of two-way radio retailers will allow you to hire your chosen radios and accessories. This is an ideal option for anyone who wants to try before they buy or just need the equipment for a few days.

Closing Notes

Hopefully you now have a much better understanding about walkie talkies and how they are so important for events. You should also know that just any standard walkie talkie won’t get the job done right, you need to have a specific criteria so you can be sure that your equipment will be good enough.

The information provided above will help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing a walkie talkie headset for events . It should also help you decide whether you should rent the equipment or buy it.

Taking The …. Campaign To Urinate In The Shower (In An Effort To Save Water, Apparently), Goes National

Remember that episode of Seinfeld where George Costanza committed a major social faux pas by peeing in the showers at the gym? Well, it turns out that he wasn’t simply being lazy and disgusting. No, he was actively taking a stand to save the world’s water. Or something.

The Go With The Flow campaign, spearheaded by University of East Anglia students Debs Torr and Chris Dobson, is actively trying to encourage students to urinate in the shower as a way of saving water, apparently blissfully unaware that most students (the male ones, at least) probably already do.

In fact, male students have actually been ‘saving water’ for generations now. In addition to mastering the dubious art of shower urination, young men have also managed to ‘save water’ by urinating in other places, too.

Yes, that’s right, by spending literally decades peeing in places as diverse as the alley outside the pub, our mates’ mum’s carpet, empty beer bottles, abandoned port-a-loos The Download Festival and especially Swindon, male students in the UK will probably have saved the equivalent of the Atlantic ocean by the end of the year (possibly even the weekend, if the drinks are cheap enough).

You’re welcome, everyone.

Joking aside (not really), 20-year-old Chris Dobson, who has almost certainly destroyed his own chances of ever getting any female students to join him in the shower, reckons that if every student at his own Uni does just one ‘number one’ a day in the shower, they will save enough water to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool 26 times over.

Of course, even that isn’t particularly impressive, because, if that happened, all the water would just overfill the pool and flood the changing rooms and the car park, making the entire town centre stink of chlorine – and nobody needs that.

His findings also imply that nobody ever pees in public swimming pools. A fact which most of us know to be false.

In fact, according to ‘Pissy Chrissy’ if all UEA students accepted the challenge (as I said, not counting the 50% of them that probably already do), they’d save a combined £125,000 per annum. If the population of East Anglia joined in, they’d be looking at around £42.5 Million.

“We’ve done the maths, and this project stands to have a phenomenal impact”. Said Dobson, accidentally outing himself as a maths nerd as well as a dude that pees in the shower. Sexy prospect.

As you can extrapolate, the numbers would be amazing if the whole country took part in the ‘challenge’ of pissing in the shower once a day, but personally, I think it would be a shame if it was limited to just the shower. Let’s all find exotic places to pee and, when questioned, simply state that we’re doing it for the planet. The power is yours (a brand new no-prize for everyone that gets the reference).

Of course, the ‘Go With The Flow’ initiative only saves water if you flush after every trip to the loo, which is, in and of itself, a huge waste of water. But we already knew that. In fact, the entire thing would appear to be based on assumptions about other people’s urination habits, rather than any sort of quantifiable facts.

On a final note, I just hope some bright spark doesn’t confuse this latest viral campaign with the ‘ice bucket challenge’  – because, quite frankly, nobody needs that.

…And on that note, I’m off to take a quick shower.

PS – by the same logic, you can also save water by taking a dump in your local Sainsbury’s.

The Shakespeare Code: Does a 400-Year-Old Portrait Offer a New Image of The Bard?

Historian and botanist Mark Griffiths claims to have cracked a centuries old code, revealing a brand new image of William Shakespeare.

The picture appears on the title page of the 1598 volume ‘The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes’ by the horticulturist John Gerard.  Apparently, Griffiths was able to decode a Latin cipher “of the kind loved by the Elizabethan aristocracy” which then revealed the identity of the man in the picture as William Shakespeare.

If he is correct, then this picture is the only demonstrably authentic portrait of the famous playwright that exists from his lifetime. But remember, I said ‘if’ – Mr. Griffiths is by no means the first person to make such a sensational ‘discovery’.

It is a spectacular claim for sure, but one that is fast gaining currency in the international news media. The only accepted images of The Bard are the famous picture from the cover of Shakespeare’s First Folio and the effigy on his monument in Stratford-Upon-Avon, both of which were created some time after his death.

Griffiths, who is presently writing a book about Gerard, came across the picture whilst browsing a first edition copy of ‘The Herball’. The image appears to have been created by William Rogers, the first English engraver and a man of much renown in his own right. Copperplate engravings, such as the ones he made of Queen Elizabeth I, are key pieces of historical evidence for the study of England in Tudor times.

Rogers’ title page shows four male figures surrounded by flowers and symbols, so Griffiths decided to try and discern the identities of the four men.

One of the men is apparently Gerard himself, whilst the second image appears to depict the Flemish botanist Rembert Dodoens. The third man is assumed to be Lord Burghley, who was an adviser to the Queen and a patron of the book’s author. The three aforementioned men could be readily identified using existing portraits from the period. However, the identity of the fourth figure, clad in classical Roman garb, wearing a laurel wreath and holding a both an ear of sweetcorn and a fritillary flower, eluded him.

Griffiths began to read up on the sort of codes, ciphers and hidden messages frequently used in Tudor times and, from his research, he concluded that the identity of the fourth man had to be Shakespeare himself.

For Griffiths, there can be no doubt at all that this is the definitive image of William Shakespeare, “For me, it is not about doubt or supposition. I’m faced with a series of facts that I can’t gainsay, as much as I try. This is what these facts are, these are what the plants are, this is what they signify, this is what the symbol decodes as. All of that adds up to Shakespeare. I can’t make that – and believe me I’ve tried – add up to anybody else but Shakespeare.”

However, some of the ‘clues’ unearthed by Griffiths do seem to be somewhat strange, to say the least. For example, the image around the fourth man shows an arrowhead with an ‘E’ stuck to it, alongside a figure four. For Griffiths, this equates to the Latin word Quater, which was (apparently) a slang term for the number 4 in games of chance. Add the ‘E’ on the end of the word and it becomes quatere, which is the infinitive of the Latin verb quatior, meaning ‘ to shake’. Accordingly, Griffiths believes that the number 4 seen nearby can also be interpreted as a spear. Literally, this means ‘shake spear’.

Another ‘clue’ is the presence of the word ‘Or’. Apparently, Shakespeare’s father was presented with a golden coat of arms around the time that ‘The Herball’ was being written – and the heraldic symbol for gold is ‘Or’.

Elsewhere, he also points out references to various Shakespeare writings, particularly Venus and Adonis, in which a fritillary flower appears. He even goes as far as to suggest that the ear of sweetcorn is a reference to a single line of dialogue from Titus and Andronicus.

So, is it Shakespeare’s picture, or is Griffiths simply getting carried away looking for clues as to the identity of a so-far-unknown man who lived 400 years ago? Opinion is so far divided and, given the age of the text and the many-fold interpretations offered by the image, it seems doubtful that anybody will be able to either conclusively prove, or disprove, Griffith’s theory.

Professor Michael Dobson, Director of The Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham said that, “I can’t imagine any reason why Shakespeare would be in a botany textbook. It’s a lovely picture. Everybody is very fond of it. But that doesn’t mean that he had anything to do with it apart from the fact that he read it. (…) It’s a man in a toga, holding a little bit of a corn on the cob in one hand and a fritillary in the other.”

In his defense, Mr. Griffiths has posited that Shakespeare may have been patronized by Burghley and that he could potentially have worked with Gerard on the book, hence his appearance on the cover, but critics of the theory find this hard to swallow, especially due to the lack of any hard historical evidence to back it up.

World-renowned Shakespeare expert Stanley Wells took his disdain to Twitter, saying (slightly flippantly) “So apparently Shakespeare went around in fancy dress holding a fritillary in one hand and a cob of corn in the other.” Of course, the ‘fancy dress’ could be symbolic of the man’s connection to the theatre, but equally, it could be a romanticized portrait of a nature spirit.

As reported by The Guardian, Griffiths hit back at his critics, saying, “What we have here is a series of incontrovertible facts. I dare say people will think: ‘Oh no. It’s not him.’ But there is no other construction that can be placed on these facts. It is not an assumption that he is Shakespeare, it is algebra … it is an equation.”

Erm…No it isn’t. It is a series of educated guesses, aided and abetted by what seems to be more than a little wishful thinking.

The image and indeed the story as a whole, may put science fiction fans in mind of the 2007 ‘Doctor Who’ adventure ‘The Shakespeare Code’, in which a young and handsome Shakespeare portrayed by Dean Lennox Kelly (and eerily similar to the man pictured in ‘The Herball’) aids The Doctor and his companion Martha Jones in expelling Carrionite witches from The Globe Theatre. Indeed, Griffiths himself compared the image of a young, good-looking Shakespeare to the appearance of a contemporary film star.

So, when we gaze upon this Elizabethan image, are we looking at the only authentic picture of William Shakespeare? Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t, however the fact that Mr. Griffiths is now claiming to have uncovered a new play by Shakespeare does suggest, that, whether he manages to convince us or not, we’ll be hearing more from him in the future.

I Just Got a Spy Earpiece…Now How Do I Wear it?

In simplest terms, the loop goes around your neck and the small earpiece goes inside of your ear. It is important, however, to ensure that the loop is well concealed, otherwise it can totally give the game away. Wear a high collared shirt or blouse in order to hide the loop around your neck.

The earpiece itself is usually flesh coloured (different shades and skin colours are available), but even if it isn’t, the earpiece is so small that people are unlikely to even notice it.

The microphone needs to be positioned near to your mouth, but not so near that people can see it. Once again, a high collar will be of some service here, because you can place it underneath the collar line (spy earpiece microphones tend to be rather powerful for their size – but remember to test the whole setup first before you go into the field). If you happen to be wearing a tie, then so much the better, because the microphone can be easily clipped behind the tie (where it is very unlikely to be noticed).

Next, take the loop (making sure that it is under your clothing) and ensure that you can easily access the battery, beeper button and any other attached gadgets. You can run the battery straight into your pocket, provided your shirt is long enough, or, if you’re feeling particularly clever, you could even cut a small hole inside of your jeans pocket and thread the beeper/battery through the inside of both your shirt and your jeans (this will also work for your phone).

The hardest things to hide will be your attached cellphone or two-way radio. The cell can sit, quite happily, in your pocket (in fact, people generally expect you to be carrying one anyway), but the earpiece’s connection to the headphone socket must not be seen (keep it under your clothes, as discussed above). The two-way radio option is a little more difficult. Two-ways can be hidden on your belt (underneath loose-fitting garments), around your back (again, covered by clothing) or even strapped to your leg. It is definitely harder to hide a two-way, so it isn’t the ideal option for prolonged covert usage.

Finally, we advise you to check the whole thing out in the mirror first. Make sure that outside influences such as wind, rain, pushy crowds or actions such as running to catch a train are not going to expose your subtle setup. If you think you are too exposed, try different permutations on the advice provided, until you find something that works for you.

All That You Should Find Out About Icom Earpieces And Icom Radios

The range of accessories offered by icom includes earpieces, radios, radio chargers, and microphones. Each product of icom is nicely designed, compact in shape and having one year warranty.

Working of icom earpiece

The icom earpiece is in G-Shape with right angled 2 pin headset along with PTT microphone. The use of earpiece is the most economical and highly preferred by the users while using the two way radio.

It is suitable for long distance communication and also it helps the radio user in making the private communications. The earpiece is made up of smooth material with soft rubbery surface which can comfortably fit over the ear bones.

The icom earpiece is the part of the radio which has coiled wire with a medium sized push to talk. The attached microphone is designed so well that it works in the loudest situations and in noisy environments. The microscope with its PTT unit is attached to the G-shaped earpiece. In most cases the earpieces with 2-pin connectors are the most common to be used in the radios which are useful in both marine field and the aviation field.

The connector having straight angle is present on the earpieces is mainly used by the radios to either switch on or off the sound directly.

Types of icom earpieces

The earpieces with single connection such as IC (with various identification codes which defines the uniqueness of this Icom Radio Earpiece with Microphone) have the straight fit connectors with the cable which controls the volume without affecting the earpiece.

The earpieces with two pin connectors such as IC – (with various identification codes which defines the uniqueness of the earpiece) have separate volume control switch along with the earpieces which will fit into the radio easily without any difficulty.

The 2 pin connectors in available for these Icom radios (with various identification codes which defines the uniqueness of the earpiece) having the well-designed compact switch for sound control and it helps the earpiece to fit comfortably into the radio without affecting its operations.

Features of icom earpiece

Most of the two pin connector fit comfortably into all types of icom radios depending on special kind of earpieces which can match the code number of the radio set. The information gives clarity about the compatibility of earpiece for the particular radio has been given in the detailed chart.

The icom earpiece has in-built microphone which is located in the middle of PTT switch and the flexible usage helps in transmitting the sound without using the microphone.

The icom marine radio

The range of icom marine products includes- Marine VHF, Marine HF and Marine UHF radios. Each one of the products has been time-tested and of higher quality and reliability.

The icom marine radio is water proof and starts flashing red light when comes in contact with water. The marine radio is lighter in weight but having high transmition capability and having longer battery life which is more than 10 hours.

The marine radio has beenbuilt with the help of advanced radio technology and it works perfectly well based on human reactions. Presently this device is used mainly by the security personnel and the police force in UK.

Is the DP2400 worth Purchasing?

The Motorola DP2400 is designed to make it easy for individuals to

stay connected to one another. It is ideal for construction sites and

manufacturing lines where employees need to be in constant

communication. It is one of the best digital radio solutions. This

portable radio provides best-in-class audio. It comes with a variety

of intelligent voice and audio announcement components that help to simplify communication in difficult work settings.

There are 16 channels on this portable radio. It is powerful and

versatile and integrates two-way radio operation and advanced digital

technology. This device can change the way people communicate at your

workplace and help you to improve safety and productivity. It is a

non-display model that comes with 3 programmable buttons. It is

available in both VHF and UHF frequencies.


There are several benefits that you can enjoy when you purchase this

portable radio for your workplace.

Audio Clarity

One of the main benefits of the Motorola DP2400 is its outstanding

audio clarity. This radio offers quality digital audio all over your

coverage region. It comes with unique features that are included to

assist your personnel to speak and hear clearly in spite of their


Automatic Volume Adjustment

The intelligent audio feature adjusts the radio’s volume

automatically. This helps to make up for any background noises that

can make it difficult for your personnel to hear and speak. With this

portable radio, you do not have to adjust the volume. You will be able

to hear a call even when there are loud noises around you. If you are

in a quiet environment, the radio volume will reduce automatically,

ensuring you do not disrupt the people around.

Analogue and Digital Modes

This radio allows you to switch between analogue and digital to suit

your specific situation. The Motorola DP2400 has a mixed mode repeater

that is designed to update automatic changes between digital and

analogue calls. With this portable radio, you only need a single

repeater to use these two modes.

Capacity Plus

This portable radio comes with an optional single-site digital

trunking that enhances the capacity of the MOTOTRBO system. You can

take advantage of this system for high volume data and voice

communication. It can be accommodate more than a thousand people on

one site. You will not need additional frequencies to accommodate

several users.

IP Site Connect

This portable radio relies on an IP network to extend data and voice

capacities. The IP network can be used to connect about 15 sites to

allow communication among personnel that are in different geographic

locations. This network also comes in handy when a company wants to

increase area coverage in one site if there are physical barriers.

Linked Capacity Plus

This is an optional feature that is available on the Motorola DP2400.

It is a multi-site digital trunking configuration designed for

MOTOTRBRO platform. The feature is used to control the enhanced

capacity offered by Capacity Plus. It also boosts the increased area

coverage capacity offered by IP Site Connect to ensure employees who

are in different locations remain in contact.

Transit Interrupt

This optional feature allows users to cut short other radio

conversations to send critical communication precisely where and when

it is required.


There are two privacy options to choose from when you purchase the

Motorola DP2400 including enhanced and basic privacy. These are

optional features that come with in built scrambling to give you

additional security.

Missed Calls Alert

You do not have to worry about missing calls when you do not have the

portable radio on your person. The device has a feature that allows

you to receive missed calls alerts.

Busy Channel Lockout

If you are busy on a certain channel, you can lockout other calls from

coming in to ensure interrupted communication during crucial moment.

Hardy Design

The Motorola DP2400 is designed for outdoor use. It is sealed tightly

to protect it from dust and wind. It also has an IP55 water protection

rating to prevent damage in case it comes into contact with water.

If you are thinking of upgrading your communication systems, the

Motorola DP2400 is an ideal choice because it will allow you to use

your current analogue system before you can migrate to a digital one.

It a good choice to if you want to ensure a smooth transition.

Will Niagara Get What It Bargained For? Emergency Radio System Brings Profits to Motorola

It’s always good when you see new radio communication systems being installed and going live on a big scale. Motorola are one of the big companies able to implement these systems, but as you can see below it didn’t all go smoothly, 

This is the first of a multi part investigative series on Niagara County’s new “Emergency Radio Communications System”.

The Reporter plans to  examine the roles of county officials, elected and appointed, a Pittsburg consultant and a Syracuse lawyer, both hired by the county, and a faction of first responders and others. At the dispatch end, we will examine the role of the 2-way radio king, Motorola Solutions Inc., of Schaumberg, Ill. Motorola managed a entire network of people through various channels, at whatever frequency was needed to interconnect and transmit to themselves a lucrative contract, sold, conceived, approved, designed, built, maintained, resupplied, and sold and up-sold again.The series will examine behind the scenes the course of business – as money interests intertwined with public interests and as the project comes online, we will attempt to evaluate whether Niagara County reaped the benefits it was promised or, as is so often the case in other localities, this is another deal where Motorola seems to have alone profited.


Niagara County’s new emergency radio communications system is expected to go “live” in June or July. Reported as a $10 million project, the system’s true cost has not been published. On April 29, the Reporter filed a Freedom of Information request with the clerk of the Niagara County Legislature, Mary Jo Tamburlin, for all contracts associated with the emergency radio project.

Based on estimates of reported cost overruns, consultant and legal fees, and Motorola’s reported contract price, the system cost at least $11 million and, if change orders,  maintenance, rentals and other expenses are similar to other Motorola projects, the final cost may be substantially more.

An FCC Mandate?

In Niagara County, the stated goal of the new emergency radio system was declared to be  undertaken to comply with the FCC’s “narrowbanding” mandate which requires 2-way radio licensees to reduce bandwidth to a narrower (weaker) signal.

The purpose of the mandate, the FCC declared, was to reduce congestion on UHF and VHF frequency bands. Whether public or private, 2-way radio systems were ordered to migrate from  bandwidths of, typically, 25 kHz to a narrower 12.5 kHz or its equivalent efficiency.

The deadline was set for Jan. 1, 2013.

The deadline missed, Niagara County applied for and was granted extensions from the FCC.

The simple change to narrower bandwidth was not what made Niagara County late by two years and five months and counting.

The county melded narrowbanding with a plan to combine every public safety division in the cities, towns and villages in Niagara County, along with Niagara County’s public safety departments, into one unified Motorola designed digital system.

Each independent department would abandon their analog systems and their scores of dedicated channels and share a pool of far lesser channels that Motorola would arrange to help provide.

To be clear — the main cost of Niagara County’s Emergency Radio Communications system was not FCC narrowbanding, but the merger of all public safety’s 2-way radio communications into a single digital Motorola system to be used with top of the line Motorola 2-way radios.

Digital Trunked System Promises Better Communications, New Radios

The system, a microwave network with Motorola radio transmitters on seven radio towers strategically located throughout the county and linked to a dispatch center and a backup center replete with top of the line Motorola equipment. The system does comply with the FCC narrowbanding mandate and in addition promises, as all Motorola ‘trunked’ digital systems do, the ability of radio users on the system to be able to speak directly to any other user regardless of agency or department.

Called “interoperability,” it is perhaps infrequently used except in times of crisis when coordination among first responders can be of paramount importance.

The second feature, one that Motorola contracted to provide, was 2-way radio reception with 95 percent reliability over 95 percent of the land area of Niagara County which, if realized, is greater than the county enjoys collectively with its various analog radio channels. Finally, as a sweetener, Niagara County purchased from Motorola, at, reportedly, a cost of about $2 million some 1850 top of the line 2-way Motorola radios. Normally sold to governments for $5,000 each, Motorola discounted them to not much more than $1,000 each.

County legislators made these available as gifts to every public safety employee whose agency or department joined the new Motorola system. Not every department wanted to join. Lockport Fire Chief Thomas J. Passuite said his fire radios could be bought into compliance with narrowbanding for $3,500.

Lockport Police Chief Lawrence M. Eggert said his department could comply with FCC narrowbanding for $21,900.

Eggert apparently understood that by selling $5,000 list price radios for $1000, Motorola  ensured future sales. In five years or so, when the typical 2-way radio is ready for replacement, Eggert knew his department would have to buy new ones at a price 10 times higher than the $500 narrowbanding compliant 2-way analog radios cost.

The Lockport City Council – under mounting pressure from county officials – overruled Eggert and Passuite’s analog plans – and voted that their police and fire departments must join the county system and accept the gift of Motorola radios – estimated to have a replacement value of $425,000.

Now the Niagara County digital system is, according to County Manager Jeffrey Glatz, essentially finished.

Whether it will achieve the promised 95 percent coverage goals may take some time to determine.


Motorola has Digital Troubles and ‘Shady Dealings’ in Other Cities

In other municipalities, background noise, garbled transmissions and dead spots inside of buildings have plagued Motorola digital systems and some have failed to achieve the 95 percent coverage and 95 percent reliability Motorola appeared to have promised.

In fact, problems with Motorola digital systems are so fully documented that some readers may be surprised that Niagara County officials did not address this publicly before buying  a Motorola digital system. “Fire departments in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Phoenix and Boise, Idaho — communities that have spent tens of millions of dollars on the new equipment — are so leery of problems that they won’t use digital radios at fire scenes,” reports McClatchy DC News, a publication of the McClatchy Company, owners of Knight Ridder and 30 daily newspapers in 15 states, in a story that was part of an investigative series on Motorola’s business practices, published in 2011.

The McClatchy series prompted the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, John Roth, to order an audit to determine whether federal grant money has bankrolled biased contract awards to Motorola.

There are reports, easily found online, published in newspapers across the nation, many of which were available to Niagara County lawmakers when they were considering contracting with Motorola in 2010-2011, that suggest Motorola’s cozy dealings with government officials were something to be wary of.

Dozens of shady dealings with officials of various government agencies were alleged that led to Motorola getting questionable no bid contracts then adding change orders, as they did in DuPage County Ill., where a $7 million, no-bid contract wound up costing more than $28 million.


In Many Places Motorola’s Digital Systems Have Failed

There are as many reports that suggest Motorola’s digital 2-way emergency radios and digital communications systems – like the one Niagara County purchased – have a troubled history.

The City of Chicago, as the Chicago Tribune reported in 2011, spent nearly $23 million on a no-bid Motorola digital radio deal in 2006 for their fire department, “that still doesn’t work after more than five years”.

The Tribune reported that firefighters continue to use their 50-year-old analog radio system.

Chicago Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff told the Tribune that “digital radios have been problematic for fire departments in big cities across the country.”

McClatchy reported that Motorola’s “digital radios’ shortcomings are so widely known that they’ve acquired nicknames. There’s the ‘digital cliff,’ when a radio is out of range and the connection ends without warning. There’s ‘bonking’ — also dubbed ‘the sound of death’ by some Philadelphia firefighters — when an important transmission gets rejected because too many other radios are using the system. Then there’s ‘going digital,’ when a radio emits a garble of beeps and tones instead of a voice.”

Failures of Motorola’s digital radios were blamed in part for two firefighter deaths in Philadelphia, two in Cincinnati and one, on April 16, 2007, when a Woodbridge, Va., firefighter died in the line of duty.

The Prince William County Department of Fire Rescue concluded that the county’s Motorola digital trunked radio system contributed to the tragedy.

And Motorola reached settlements for undisclosed sums with the families of the two dead Philadelphia firefighters.

In Hamilton County, Ohio,  after some $35 million was spent on a new Motorola digital trunked system, a 2008 fire erupted in suburban Cincinnati.

Firefighters Robin Broxterman and Brian Schira perished there after they repeatedly tried to summon help on their Motorola digital radios.

A Colerain Fire Department investigation found that, in a half-hour period, the Motorola trunked system rejected at least 43 attempted communications by firefighters, some of them because 22 agencies and 75 nonparticipants monitoring the event tied up space on the system.

Broxterman’s parents, Donald and Arlene Zang, sued Motorola but lost.

The Zang’s did not sue on the premise that Motorola’s digital trunked system was defective, but that digital trunked systems in general are inferior to analog systems for firefighting.

While the court did not rule on Zang’s argument that a digital system is inferior to analog, the court reasoned that Motorola cannot be held liable for supplying an inferior product, since it was in compliance with what the buyer, Hamilton County, wanted.

More Problems in Ontario, Orlando, Houston

Closer to home, the Niagara Regional Police in Ontario, which converted from analog to a Motorola digital system, had problems with dispatch failures in 2012 and, after repeated failures, the Ministry of Labour had to intervene demanding the department identify the problem for the immediate safety of workers.

In Orlando Fla, for years digital garbling and unintelligible transmissions made the Fire Department’s Motorola digital system worthless.

Firefighters continued to use their old analog radios.

Ultimately, according to Deputy Chief Greg Hoggatt, the digital system was righted and the department is now 100 percent digital.

But problems in other cities continue.

Jeff Caynon, the president of Houston’s firefighters’ union, said problems with Motorola’s $140 million digital system, completed in 2013, forced rescuers to resort during a blaze in May 2013 to use “hand and arm signals and cell phones as a reliable way to communicate.”

As recently as January, Houston’s Fire Department was still having problems with Motorola digital radios – having to frequently discard useless but expensive Motorola digital 2-way radios.

“It compromises the safety of firefighters at emergency incidents,” Captain Ruy Lozano, of the Houston Fire Department, told ABC News in January 2015.

Which brings us back to Niagara County.

Will Niagara County’s Motorola digital system work?

There are certainly cases where Motorola digital systems do work.

Although the successes seem to be a little harder to find on internet searches.

Motorola has Checkered Dealings with Local Governments

So how did it come about that a system with a track record of flaws was pushed through with hardly a word of discussion?

This is a topic that should be explored in depth.

Motorola secured a contract for Niagara County’s digital 2-way business in a way that parallels what the company did in dozens of other municipalities and several states.

In Chicago, Dallas, the San Francisco Bay Area and on statewide systems in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Washington, Motorola has been accused of irregularities or of winning contracts through government favoritism.

In the San Francisco Bay Area a $50 million deal imploded when investigators for the Commerce Department’s inspector general’s office concluded that a grant application had  “significant misrepresentations.”

A McClatchy survey of the largest cities in America show that Motorola won 20 of 22 contracts – about half of the time these were no bid awards.

In some municipalities Motorola has been accused of deploying sales staff whose primary tasks is to counsel government officials on how to skirt public bidding laws, something Motorola spokesmen have denied.

Similarities Between Niagara County and Other Municipalities and Motorola

Ironically Niagara County sought to hand Motorola a no bid contract.

The Republican majority on the legislature was ready to vote on a $22 million no bid Motorola contract until it was scuttled, at the 11th hour, not by the savvy resolve of cost conscious legislators but through dumb luck.

Only Minority Leader Dennis Virtuoso called for an RFP and open bidding, but he was ignored.

In many localities Motorola has been accused of winning RFP’s through the aid of friendly government officials and their hired consultants who craft the RFP’s to ensure Motorola wins.

In Niagara County, after several strokes of the most extraordinary dumb luck, to be detailed in a subsequent story, an  RFP was crafted by the county’s consultant and bids were solicited,  much to the credit of certain elected officials – whose desire for the public good, as opposed to Motorola’s, was evident.

But there were some who were ostensibly working, or contracted to work, for the county who, for reasons to be examined, appeared to be working behind the scenes to aid Motorola.

As readers will see next week, Niagara County was accused of writing an RFP that not only favored Motorola but literally excluded any competitor from having a chance at winning the contract, and this, we submit, is based on standards that, once reviewed by competent experts, will reveal themselves for what they were intended to be.

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British Screen Icon Richard Attenborough Passes Away, Aged 90

British actor, director and screen legend Lord Richard Attenborough passed away last August, he was 90 years old.

The iconic performer, known for a plethora of memorable film roles over a career spanning an impressive six decades, leaves behind a majestic legacy. What follows is an overview of Attenborough’s film work, both as an actor and a director and, after that, a few words about his contributions outside of cinema.

Beginning his career in the 1940’s, the young actor started out in numerous stage plays before attending The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), which he would later serve as president. His early film roles included the Noel Coward directed wartime film ‘In Which We Serve’ (1942), which starred John Mills, ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ starring David Niven (1946) and the original film version of ‘London Belongs To Me’ with Alastair Sim (1948).

Lord Attenborough’s big break came in 1947, when he starred as unscrupulous gang leader Pinkie Brown in the film adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel ‘Brighton Rock’ (which also stars future ‘Doctor Who’ actor William Hartnell). Attenborough’s portrayal was nothing short of mesmerizing in its coldness and cruelty and, by 1949, he was considered to be among the most popular British actors of the day.

Throughout the 1950’s, Attenborough starred in war films such as ‘Dunkirk’ – again with John Mills (1958) and comedies like ‘Private’s Progress’ (1956), he also dazzled as Stoker Snipe in the 1950 film adaptation of ‘Morning Departure’, a highly moving piece about a submarine crew stranded at the bottom of the sea, which also starred John Mills.

In 1960, Attenborough portrayed factory worker Tom Curtis in ‘The Angry Silence’, a British ‘kitchen sink’ movie that saw his character refuse to join his fellow workers on strike as himself and his family dealt with the consequences. He also appeared in the classic crime drama ‘The League of Gentleman’ in the same year.

In 1963, Attenborough starred in ‘The Great Escape’ playing Bartlett ‘Big X’ alongside an all-star cast that included Steve McQueen, James Garner, Donald Pleasence, Charles Bronson and James Coburn.

1965’s Oscar nominated ‘The Flight Of The Phoenix’ saw him playing alongside Hollywood screen legend James Stewart. In 1967, Attenborough portrayed Albert Blossom in the musical film ‘Doctor Dolittle’ and, in 1969, he directed his first feature, the musical ‘Oh, What A Lovely War!’

In 1971, Attenborough performed one of his most memorable roles as the serial killer John Christie, acting alongside John Hurt and Judy Geeson in ‘10 Rillington Place’. He was reluctant to take the part at first, but appears to have done so in order to take a stand against capital punishment.

In 1975, he starred alongside John Wayne in ‘Brannigan’. In 1977, he directed ‘A Bridge Too Far’, a war story that starred Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Gene Hackman, James Caan and Anthony Hopkins.

In 1981, Attenborough completed a true labour of love and his most noted work as a director, the epic biopic ‘Gandhi’, starring Ben Kingsley. The film earned Attenborough two Academy Awards, one for directing and one for producing. In 1987, he directed Denzel Washington in ‘Cry Freedom’, which celebrated the life of anti-Apartheid activist Steve Biko. He would next produce and direct a biopic in 1992, directing Robert Downey, Jr, Marissa Tomei, Dan Akroyd and Geraldine Chaplin in ‘Chaplin’, a film depicting the life of influential movie star Charlie Chaplin.

Attenborough’s two most famous late career roles occurred within one year of each other. In 1993, he portrayed impresario John Hammond in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’ (a role he would reprise in the 1997 sequel ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’) and in 1994, he joyously appeared as Father Christmas in the re-make of ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, both roles won Attenborough critical acclaim, as well as an entire generation of new fans. In 1998, he appeared as Baron William Cecil in ‘Elizabeth’, an historical drama also starring Cate Blanchett, Christopher Eccleston and Geoffrey Rush, which focussed on the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Attenborough directed his last film, ‘Closing The Ring’ in 2007 and gave his final acting performance in 2004, lending his voice to the film ‘Tres En El Camino’.

Away from acting, Lord Attenborough was active in politics; he was appointed as a life peer (as Baron Attenborough) in 1993 and chose to sit on the Labour party benches at The House of Lords. He was a vocal opponent of South African apartheid and a lifelong advocate of racial equality. In 1983, he was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Non-violence Peace Prize by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Centre For Non-violent Social Change.

A passionate advocate of education at all levels, Attenborough served as Chancellor of the University of Sussex for 10 years (from 1998 until 2008) and he was a patron of University College, Leicester, where his father had served as principal.

He also worked tirelessly on behalf of several charities, including The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, The Richard Attenborough Fellowship Fund (which also aims to fund research into neuromuscular conditions) and UNICEF, for whom he served as Goodwill Ambassador and donated many of the proceeds from ‘Gandhi’ to. From ‘Gandhi’ alone, he raised in excess of a Million Dollars for the charity.

Lord Attenborough received a CBE (Commander of The British Empire) in 1967 and was fully knighted in 1976. From 1969 – 1982, Attenborough, a dedicated football fan, served as the director of Chelsea Football Club. Between 1993 and 2008, he was also the club’s Honorary Vice President.

Richard Attenborough’s career was truly groundbreaking in every sense of the word. He was unquestionably one of the greatest actors of all time as well as a man of moral courage and noble spirit. As an artist, philanthropist, educator and man of conscience, this world will be much poorer without him.

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