22 December 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from everyone at ADC.


Posting resumes in January, until then celebrate the season by re-rediscovering the rediscovered manuscript.

18 December 2007

I am bananas but have no recipes

In the Whitby Gazette Jacqui Carter (no relation) writes:

Banana bread help

I would be grateful for your readers’ help as I have lost my banana bread recipe; I have bananas but no recipe.

Can anyone send me one and a bread and butter recipe.
Poor, naive, Jacqui Carter (no relation), believe me when I say you will receive no help from the wicked inhabitants of Whitby, for Whitby is an accursed town of the damned.

Loyal ADC readers, on the other hand, are nice people known for having jugs of Christmas spirit. I'm betting they can find it in their hearts to give Jacqui Carter (no relation) a banana.

Send bananas to:

Jacqui Carter
101 Millbrook Avenue, Middlesbrough TS3 9EA, UK

09 December 2007

Christmas books short list

From Bauhaus to Our House. Tom Wolfe.

Funny look at ugly buildings.

Speculations. T.E. Hulme.

What A.R. Orage described as “fragments for a cyclopean architecture.”

Pure Pagan: seven centuries of Greek poems and fragments. Selected and translated by Burton Raffel.

“Europa costs you a dollar. No one cares, including her.” – Antipater of Thessalonika.

A Balthus Notebook. Guy Davenport.

The secret motion of people and things.

The Voice Imitator. Thomas Bernhard.

104 pages, 104 stories.

Journey to the Land of the Flies. Aldo Buzzi.

Philosophical travel.

The Abbess of Crewe. Muriel Spark.

Satire of Watergate set in a nunnery.

Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths. Karl Krauss.

“Where shall I find the time to do all this non-reading?” – Karl Krauss.

Floating in the crystalline structure

Glassbau seele.

25 November 2007

They are going for a meeting

The slob-orgy that is the ‘holiday shopping season’ coming on the heels of the festival of stupidity that is Thanksgiving with my family always dangerously heightens my already considerable loathing of humanity. To cool my spleen I put down my rifle and turn to the pages of The Tide News:
This is a bizarre story that unfolded recently in one of the communities in Rivers State where a vulture was said to have turned to a woman.

Small Talks was told that the said vulture was in company of three other vultures that perched on a tree close to a building where a young man recently died and had been buried in the community.

On seeing the four vultures, since in African setting, vultures portend evil omen, relations of the deceased young man were said to have chased them away.

While three of the other vultures fled the scene, one of them was said to have remained firmly rooted to where it was perching.

According to the story, when pebbles were cast on it, it surprisingly turned to a woman. [MORE]
That is suprising. The Tide also brings the confession of a repentant wizard in Church:
“I was two years old when my grand mother initiated me into so many cults. I killed my mother because she rejected me, I killed my father in an accident.

I also killed my twin brother Obinna . I killed my sisters, killed my elder sister and her husband.

I killed my last sister, I buried her alive. I have initiated so many children, boys and girls, women, men, pastors who used the powers I gave to them to commit havoc (evil). In my village I communicated with the mermaids in the mermaid world named Linda and Diana Ross.

I promised not to marry in this world. Each time I want to go to the snake world, I turn to a snake physically and each time I want to visit the vulture world, I turn to a vulture.

I abort pregnancies and make women barren. I visit strong churches and diminish their numbers. I have the powers to initiate people on phone. I have initiated a lot of pastors and killed virgins which I used their heads to bury in altars. I give handkerchiefs to pastors which they use to prophesy as they clean their faces. My mother I killed is still in my temple, I drank her blood that was my first sacrament (Holy Communion).

I saw this church in my altar and I was warned not to come because the church is powerful but I insisted that I must come because I have killed so many people and needed deliverance.

I went to Mountain of Fire Church, the redeemed Christian Church of God, Christ Embassy, initiated a lot of their members and those of them speaking in tongues.

At this juncture, he stopped confessing and started crying. Apostle Abia then commanded him in the name of Jesus to talk on, so that he can be free and be a new creature.

There, he went on again. “At times the police will look for me I will then change to a woman, when they are gone I will change back to a boy.

I go to schools and initiate them, both Elementary and Secondary schools, I take their brains, I invoked evil spirit into the breeze.

At Anambra State, Nnewi to be precise, I killed some virgins and I moved to Onitsha and killed so many people through motor accident, there is one like that, the luxurious bus fell into the river.

“My name is sucker blood. I send the python (snake) to kill people. He released an information demonstrating that if you see a vulture in your compound or house, it is not a vulture but a human being on assignment. Birds in group flight are not ordinary birds, they are going for a meeting.

This world is vanity, I started my atrocities too early, I thought I have the whole world and powers.

As am initiating them, I gave some people wrist watches, crosses, rings, others necklace, all these people must bow to me. I initiated a pastor’s wife and now the oracle is broken in this church.

Names of some of my demons are living in darkness, 33, YY, 99, Master Dunga, mermaids etc. [MORE]

15 November 2007

Great Smokers in History


“The harder I work the more I need to smoke because tobacco is the handmaid of literature.” – Sir Compton Mackenzie (1883-1972). Author of nearly 100 books, Mackenzie by his own estimate smoked half a ton of tobacco by the time he was 74, starting with his first cigarette at age four. He once described tobacco as “one of the greatest boons ever conferred upon humanity.”

14 November 2007

The politics of demeaning

Unedited, uncensored, unpleasant, and unpredictably updated - behold Craptocracy. Political commentary, all the latest news from the campaign trail, and more.

13 November 2007

Man marries bitch

Those of us warning homosexualist marriage would to lead inter-species unions were proven right last Sunday when a man in Southern India married a female dog named Selvi. Alas, the honeymoon was over before it ever really started:

"During a feast attended by some 200 guests after the traditional Hindu wedding ceremony, Selvi grew restless and ran away."

But the newlyweds may have patched things up:

"She was subsequently recaptured and returned to her husband who gave her milk and a bun to eat."

It’s is easy to foresee what comes next: gay inter-species marriage, followed by increasingly disgusting combinations unpleasant to even imagine, leading inevitably to a transsexual marrying a bowl of pudding.

11 November 2007

Vroom

Exciting news from the Islamosphere:
An ‘Islamic’ car, complete with compass to find the direction of Mecca and a compartment for the Koran, could soon be under production in Malaysia, Iran or Turkey...

Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, managing director of Malaysian carmaker Proton, told the agency during a trip to Tehran “We will identify a car that we can develop to be produced in Malaysia, Iran or Turkey”.

"The car will have all the Islamic features and should be meant for export purposes," he continued, adding that the vehicle was an Iranian initiative.
I once invented an ‘Islamic’ TV set. It was an ordinary television with two black bands painted over all but the middle of the screen allowing Mussulmen to safely view Western shows featuring women. It never caught on, which ought to tell you something.

10 November 2007

White negroes and black Jesuses

Was Jesus a descendant of black extraterrestrial time travelers? The Canadian, Canada’s finest newspaper, investigates.

In other news, novelist and vulgarian Norman Mailer has died. While no one reads his fugging books anymore (much like Norman himself, as they aged they only became more rancid) his film Tough Guys Don’t Dance is now widely recognized as the second best movie of 1987.

08 November 2007

A call to underarms

"Driving home, with canals, slums, and giant toll-roads passing by outside, the invisible fumes made it hard to breathe. And sadly, the pollution came not from a factory or a machine, but the moist armpits of my toothless Javanese driver.

Indonesia, it seems, is content to fall behind its neighbours, Thailand and Malaysia, not only in education and science, but now in standards of personal hygiene as well. Indonesians may be overcoming the Krismon and building democracy, but along the way we’ve abandoned the basics: soap and deodorant.

It’s not just the men, either. Ladies, cheap perfume — no matter how much you lather on –- cannot hide the pungency if you’ve been wearing the same panties for days. A guy wants a woman to smell like a Jasmine flower or a Rose, not a raw, week-old Gurame fish!"
- Achmad tells it like it is.

Dept. of Corrections

Dear The New Criterion,

In the current issue Jeffrey Hart writes:
Jacques Barzun was so eminent a figure that it is surprising to me that he remained so accessible and encouraging to much younger men. Then and now, when I think of Barzun, I recall the Oxford clerihew about the great classicist and polymath Benjamin Jowett:

My name is Jowett
Of Balliol College;
If I don’t know it,
It is not knowledge.
Alas, that is not a clerihew. Neither is it an accurate quotation. The famous verse about Jowett was:
First come I. My name is Jowett.
There's no knowledge but I know it.
I am the Master of this College,
What I don't know isn't knowledge
While we’re at it, the January 2006 issue arrived in my mailbox minus its cover. While vandalism perpetrated by a Leftist postal worker can’t be ruled out (why are so many postal workers Communists?), it seems likely the missing cover is the result of a mishap at the printing plant. I would be much obliged if an intact copy were sent as a replacement.

Thank you,

CVC

30 October 2007

Terrifying true tales of terror

He raised alarm
"Eye witness account informed our reporter that three women had approached the man at Nwaja round-about opposite the Tantalizers restaurant Trans-Amadi, Port Harcourt, and asked him to assist them with the sum of N100 as they have run short transport fare.
According to the account, the man who told them that he had no money later started feeling a sensation inside his body.

The man who later spoke to The Weekend Tide under condition of anonymity said, “as soon as I told them that I had no money, I discovered that my penis was disappearing, so I raised alarm."
-Irate crowd strips woman naked, a terrifying true tale of terror from The Tide News Online.

Reptoid Musulman

"Villagers in a suburb of Katerini, a small city at the foot of Mount Olympus in northern Greece, claim to have seen a brown Reptoid prowling around their homes…Residents of the Katerini area are wondering if the Reptoid is a scout for an alien force. Or if he is perhaps an escaped prisoner or slave from the large alien underground base on Mount Olympus..."The clothes that the creature was wearing were similar to what Arabic people wear," i.e. a burnoose like in Algeria or a galabaa like in Iraq."
Small reptoid spotted in Northern Greece, a terrifying true tale of terror from UFOINFO.

Pissing midgets from space

"Pichaca (Peru). A farm woman saw an object land, and six dwarfs, 80 cm tall, emerged from it. They wore very shiny white clothes and "walked like ducks." She hid during the observation, and noted that they spoke in a language she could not understand. After their departure, a liquid resembling vinegar was found on the ground."
Case 703 (Sep. 20, 1965), a terrifying true tale of terror from the Magonia Database.

Mind the helm

"A merchant sailor in the coastal trade had shipped with his father since youth. After his father's retirement, he was on watch in a ship off the Humber River when his father came to him repeatedly over a period of several hours to remind him to mind the helm. His father spoke through this image, but the young sailor was shaken by it and did not respond; he had another crewmate take finish his watch; none of the other crewmen saw or heard the apparition. The sailor later learned that his father had died at home during that watch. Gurney concedes that the percipient was uneducated and that the duration of the apparition (several hours) suggests either exaggeration or insanity."
Case 300, a terrifying true tale of terror from Phantasms of the Living.

29 October 2007

Pili Mara II

Was a cow really attacked by a carnivorous tree in Padrame (or Patrame), India?1 Skeptics have repeatedly pointed out how unlikely it is a tree, which after all only has slender branches to strike with, would attack prey as large as a cow. Birds, rodents, or other small game perhaps, but a cow, the skeptics argued, would be too bulky, and honest cryptobotanists conceded they had a point.

But now, thanks to the fieldwork of intrepid reporter Melka Miyar, we have more details on the case, including a photograph of the injured bovine, a photo which changes everything. Everyone assumed the animal in question was a big fat Texas-style cow, the kind white men turn into delicious steaks and hamburgers. In reality it was a tiny jungle cow, roughly the size of a large dog, the kind men who wear towels around their waists instead of pants worship as a god. The tallest of pili maras wouldn’t dare attack the former, but even a small pili mara would have a no problem taking a bite out of the latter.

Miyar’s report also features photographs of the pili mara’s stump, eyewitness statements, and identifies the hero who chopped the hungry tree down as a local man named Vasanna.

1That Pili Mara post is far and away my most popular ever, which shows you never know.

24 October 2007

Pili mara


In the village of Padrame in the Uppinangady forest range of India cows are being attacked by carnivorous trees:
According to reports, the cow owned by Anand Gowda had been left to graze in the forests.

The cow was suddenly grabbed by the branches and pulled from the ground. The terrified cowherd ran to the village, and got Gowda and a band of villagers to the carnivorous tree.
The cow escaped after Gowda and the villagers beat the hungry tree into submission. Locals call such trees ‘pili mara’, or tiger trees, and many believe snacking pili mara are the reason so many of Padrame’s cows have been coming home at night with missing tails.

Mintern's return

“By the way, building the pyramids would not have been so difficult, if the stones were lighter at the time; they might also have been, these stones, very porous, which helps (and I say helps) explain why the Egyptians appear to be able to walk sideways, and through walls. It is as if they, the Egyptians were actually two-dimensional. Only later did the pyramids actually unfold, if you can imagine that! This reminds me of that cardboard Pirate Ship my grandmother gave me...”
- Lloyd Mintern posits an alternate Egyptology .

16 October 2007

Extraneous notification

I will be spending the rest of the week attempting to acquire adequate socks.1 (Was it Jeffrey Apern, or Apern's butler who said, “Every sock goes on one’s foot, and not another sock”?2) Despite our differences, I think we can all agree it would be nice if posting resumed Monday. And maybe it will.3

1Something which requires more drinking than you might imagine, at least for me.

2See comments to the entry of 14 October.

3Extraneous Notifications would make a good title for a blog. Feel free to use it.

14 October 2007

The poetry of reality

Why is the ocean salty? Galen McKinley, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison may finally have the answer to this age old question. According to his theory, “The saltiness of the sea comes from dissolved minerals, especially sodium,” or, to put it in layman’s terms, the ocean is salty because it has a lot of salt in it.

Where does science go from here? Look for a major breakthrough determining why BLT's are so bacony delicious.

11 October 2007

Three Dwarves From Now

Readers who’ve been following the persecution of Across Difficult Country’s legal counsel Judge Florentine Floro will be delighted to learn Judge Floro has shown up in comments and provided links to the text of all the Philippines Supreme Court decisions regarding his case, to local and international media coverage of the controversy, to his various blogs, to his Myspace and Facebook accounts, to videos of himself on YouTube, and to some other stuff. He’s also listed his email addresses and his telephone numbers (cell and land line). (If you call him, tell him I say “hi”.)

I’ve taken the liberty of forwarding this material to my Congressmen, my Senators, the White House, The White Stripes, The Tide News Online (“A commitment to truth”), Art Bell (broadcast journalist and former resident of the Phillipines), Wynne Jones (Manager of Arts, Leisure & Cultural Events for the town of Whitby, the United Kingdom), Doudou Diène (United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance), and Fedor Emelianenko (PRIDE heavyweight champion).

Which should just about take care of it, I think.

10 October 2007

If they didn't they wouldn't be plains

From a recent book review:
The plains stretch for many cold and lonely miles, but Haven Kimmel fires her bittersweet Indiana novels with a warm sensibility and a compassionate understanding of the people shaped by the chilly, conservative and remote landscape.

Kimmel was raised in Mooreland, Ind., population 300, "the dearest postage stamp of native soil a person could wish for."

Author of two coming-of-age memoirs, she has a homegrown yet unromantic tenderness for the rural towns rusting quietly away as family farms vanish, and methamphetamine labs and vigorous megachurches flourish, the latter so cavernous they include indoor basketball courts and other secular amenities.
I'm reminded of scene from my own life. I'm 16 years old, walking down a side street on an October afternoon...

“Hey, you!”

It was Jessica. She was with some friends from school: Olivia, Chad, Emily, Rocco, Hampton, Lionel, Chloe, Frijole the exchange student from Mexico, Biff, and Biff’s sister Gertrude.

“Hey, Jessica,” I said, “What are you guys up to?”

“We’re going to the cavernous megachurch.”

“The one with all the secular amenities?”

“Yeah. Want to come with?”

I looked at Jessica, and at Olivia, Chad, Emily, Rocco, Hampton, Lionel, Chloe, Frijole the exchange student from Mexico, Biff, and Biff’s sister Gertrude. We were all, with the possible exception of Frijole, about the same age, but suddenly they all seemed so young. Younger than me.

“I can’t. After the family farm vanished my dad and my uncle started up a meth lab, and I have to go help out.”

“That sucks...” she said, her voice trailing off. The silence was awkward, and everyone looked away, except Frijole the exchange student from Mexico, who didn’t really speak English well and probably had no idea what we were saying. I stood and watched them walk off, laughing, carefree. Like I used to be.

I felt as cold and lonely as the plains which stretched for miles around the rusting city. I stared out at the chilly, conservative and remote landscape, knowing things would never be the same.

“Someday,” I thought, “I’m going to write this all down in a book. Or maybe two books.”

07 October 2007

Maple bar

From Missouri comes the sad tale of a man facing a 30-year prison sentence for stealing a doughnut:
Scott A. Masters, 41, of Park Hills, Missouri, has been charged with felony second-degree robbery in the theft of a 52-cent doughut [sic] from a Country Mart in Farmington, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of St. Louis. Store employees said he slipped the doughnut into his sweat shirt without paying last December, then pushed away a clerk who tried to stop him as he fled the store.
But what kind of doughnut was it? Chocolate? Jelly? Those ones with the sprinkles? The story doesn’t say. How could the AP reporter omit what is the most telling detail? It must be something taught in journalism school, where being boring is considered a virtue.

For crime news done right we must turn to the Philippines. In the sordid story “Jailed cop tags mistress the killer”, notice how hard-hitting reporter Jay Dooma Balnig saves the telling detail for last, to devastating effect.

Pocket guide to UFO shapes (clip and save)

Free blurbs (cheap)

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03 October 2007

Innocent when you dream

Last night I had one of those dreams where you dream you’re chewing on a big fluffy cake and wake up to find yourself gnawing on medallions of lamb tenderloin that have been flash cooked in a small wok with hoisin, garlic, and chilies to enhance the lamb’s natural flavors.

The Senoi is a tribe living in the mountainous jungles of the Malay Peninsula which have made dreaming central to their existence. In his seminal essay “Dream Theory in Malaya” anthropologist Kilton Stewart writes:
Dream interpretation...is a feature of child education and is the common knowledge of all Senoi adults. The average Senoi layman practices the psychotherapy of dream interpretation of his family and associates as a regular feature of education and daily social intercourse. Breakfast in the Senoi house is like a dream clinic, with the father and older brothers listening to and analyzing the dreams of all the children. At the end of the family clinic the male population gathers in the council, at which the dreams of the older children and all the men in the community are reported, discussed, and analyzed.
Maybe television isn’t so bad after all.

I found this portion of Stewart’s essay illuminating:
Datu Bintung at Jelong had a dream which succeeded in breaking down the major social barriers in clothing and food habits between his group and the surrounding Chinese and Mohammedan colonies. This was accomplished chiefly through a dance which his dream prescribed. Only those who did his dance were required to change their food habits and wear the new clothing, but the dance was so good that nearly all the Senoi along the border chose to do it. In this way, the dream created social change in a democratic manner.
I finally understand what Shabadoo and Penguin were attempting to achieve.

I once dreamt I was a savage living in the jungle, an outcast for mocking the idols of the tribe. I awoke to find myself not living in a jungle.

30 September 2007

Why did I ever go to Whitby?

“When humanity, subjugated by the terror of crime, has been driven insane by fear and horror, and when chaos has become supreme law, then the time will have come for the empire of crime.” - The Testament of Dr. Mabuse.

More strange news from Whitby:
A MYSTERIOUS oil spill has covered the roads around Whitby and has brought chaos to the town.

Police were forced to hold up traffic at locations around the town while sand was put down.

One witness described seeing pedestrians fall in the street and cars skidding as they struggled for grip in the wet conditions.

Sgt Paul Delaney described the source of the spill as a "mystery".
Notice the mysterious oil spill is both more elaborate (it’s no simple task to not only spread that much oil, but do it undetected) yet less physically destructive than ordinary vandalism. Why would someone do this? Because it brought chaos to the town. This is what links the bizarre and seemingly disconnected events of Whitby - the senseless crimes, the sightings of weird creatures and out of place animals, the outbreaks of diseases “seen nowhere else in the country”, all serve to bring chaos to Whitby.

But what comes after?

“Log of the Demeter, Varna to Whitby. Written 18 July: things so strange happening, that I shall keep accurate note henceforth till we land.”

“On 17 July, yesterday, one of the men, Olgaren, came to my cabin, and in an awestruck way confided to me that he thought there was a strange man aboard the ship. He said that in his watch he had been sheltering behind the deckhouse, as there was a rain storm, when he saw a tall, thin man, who was not like any of the crew, come up the companionway, and go along the deck forward and disappear. He followed cautiously, but when he got to bows found no one, and the hatchways were all closed. He was in a panic of superstitious fear, and I am afraid the panic may spread. To allay it, I shall today search the entire ship carefully from stem to stern.” – Dracula, by Bram Stoker1

A ship in trouble off the coast of Whitby. A distress signal, a rescue, a seemingly happy ending:
A WHITBY lifeboat was called to assist a chartered fishing vessel which got into trouble off the coast on Saturday.

The 37ft Tina Dawn reported to Humber Coastguard at around 11.30am that it had broken down and couldn’t drop anchor due to the depth of the water.

The George and Mary Webb lifeboat was launched and towed the boat, with its two crew and 17 passengers, back into the harbour.
But nothing is ever as it seems in Whitby:
THE skipper of the Tina Dawn chartered fishing vessel which was towed to safety on Saturday morning has contacted the Gazette to stress how many people were on board.

Gordon Cross says there were 12 anglers and two crew on board the vessel when it broke down and could not drop anchor due to the depth of the water...

The Gazette was told by Humber Coastguard there were 17 passengers and two crew on board and the coastguard confirmed those numbers when we asked again.

However, Mr Cross is adamant there were only 12 passengers and two crew on the vessel when it got into difficulty.
A discrepancy of one or two could be attributed to bureaucratic error, but it stretches the imagination to believe the coastguard miscounted by five the number of people on a small boat. Leaving, as is usually the case with Whitby, unanswered questions and feelings of unease. Who were these five passengers? Where did they go? What comes after?

“The Whitby Gazette', of which I had made cuttings, had helped us to understand the terrible events...” – Dracula, by Bram Stoker

Approximately eight miles from the accursed town of Whitby is the village of Goathland:
GOATHLAND people awoke on Tuesday morning to find six decapitated heads scattered around the village.
The carved stone faces were placed at different spots, including in the phone box and as quickly as they appeared they had gone again.

The Whitby Gazette received an anonymous call saying that the mysterious heads had appeared overnight.

Reporter Carl Gavaghan and photographer Doug Jackson instantly set off for the village but arrived to find no sign of the boulders.

However, villagers we spoke to closed ranks and denied all knowledge of the strange occurrence.

Doors closed, curtains were pulled and residents remained tight-lipped on where the stones came from and where they had gone.
Eventually one of the heads was found hidden away behind a wooden board and a quick picture was snapped.
What comes after the stone heads of Goathland?

1 I’ve never read Dracula (apparently no one else has, either), so I only recently discovered much of the novel takes place in Whitby.

28 September 2007

Untrustworthy monkeys

In Malaysia, lesbian Orangutans are tearing off women’s pants (probably because they know they can’t be sued for sexual harassment).

Cambodian police have placed bounties on the heads of a group of macaque “gangster monkeys”.

The macaques’ crime spree includes acts of theft, burglaries, assaults, and sabotage of internet lines. According to deputy district governor Pich Socheata, “Authorities tried several times to get the unruly monkeys to eat eggs laced with sleeping pills, but had always been outsmarted.”

Are monkeys getting smarter? These types of incidents suggest that’s the case, leading me to conclude the Flynn effect has been occurring not only in humans, but in monkeys and apes as well.

Humans, as I’m reminded by my family every year at Thanksgiving, are primates too, little different from the hairier primates. In human crime news, Things Move Around has been doing some looting. Or has he?

23 September 2007

An egg is a proposition with a yolk

PIERO DI COSIMO. Perseus Frees Andromeda. 1515.


The Florentine painter Piero di Cosimo (1462 – 1522) hardly ate anything other than eggs. He would boil 50 at a time (who counted?) and nibble on an egg held in one hand while painting with the other. The time saved allowed him to get a lot of work done, though some claim he wouldn’t cook other foods because he suffered from pyrophobia, or fear of fire (how did he heat the boiling water?), but I think he just loved eggs.

___


First published in 1886, Phantasms of the Living is a two volume, 2,000 page compendium of the research of the Cambridge educated psychologist Edmund Gurney, the poet Frederic William Henry Myers (he coined the term ‘methetherial’), and the postal worker Frank Podmore (who, when not delivering letters, did things like suggesting the name for the Fabian society) of ghosts, precognitive dreams, precognitive visions, and telepathical hallucinations.

In the pages of this pioneering work of parapsychology we encounter the eerie case of an educated, rational man who – well, I’ll let Gurney, Podmore, and Myers tell it:

At mid-morning the percipient had a mind's eye image of an egg basket containing five eggs--four elongated and yellowish, one more round and white but soiled. At noon he discovered that these eggs had been sent over for lunch by his mother-in-law about a half-hour earlier; in pursuing the matter, he learned that his mother-in-law had thought of sending the basket of eggs at 10 o'clock, the time of the mental image. Gurney notes that, as a scientific draftsman, the percipient was a trained observer by habit; but he also notes that the percipient's wife had "almost forgotten" the incident; in her words, "All I can say is that my husband looked at some eggs and made the remark that he had seen them before. I know he told me my mother had sent them."
I'm not a psychic, but I predict many of you will recall this unsettling account the next time you bite into an omelet.
___

In the evening of December of 1973, a proprietor of an Alpine lodge (let us call him Mr. L.) was gazing out the window at the snowy peak of the Weitlahnerkopf.

Like most endeavors, being the proprietor of an Alpine lodge has its ups and downs, but on bad days Mr. L would gaze at the Weitlahnerkopf and by experiencing the tranquility and natural beauty would reestablish his emotional equilibrium. On good days he would also gaze upon the Weitlahnerkopf, to remind himself to be humble. For unlike the solid and immense Weitlahnerkopf, a man’s victories in this life are small and transient.

On this particular evening while gazing at the Weitlahnerkopf Mr. L saw something he had never seen before in all the times he had gazed at the Weitlahnerkopf:
...the object started to shine in a much brighter red color and rose-up slowly in the air. After 4-5 minutes it hovered about 200 meters over the top of the mountain. Suddenly it moved in the direction of the Hochries-lodge. When it was only 2 km away it stopped in mid-air. The witnesses now recognized that the object was egg-shaped and not a helicopter as they had expected. Its upper part resembled a transparent cockpit. Colored lights rotated around the external rim and around the lower part of the object. The "egg" had a height of about 10 meters and flew absolutely soundless. The rotating lights were comparable with a light show in a discotheque, randomly flashing on and off without a pattern. From top to bottom the colors of the lights were red, green, blue and white.

"The lights ran counter-clockwise, from left to right, without any apparent system and not simultaneously,” said Mr. L. "At first one light appeared, then came the next one and so on. It looked as if fluorescent tubes were running around and flashing in several different positions.”
The flying egg was last seen headed toward Klausenburg, and who can blame it? Klausenburg is a delightful place to visit in December.
___

If you had invited Ludwig Wittgenstein to spend the weekend at your country house, as a certain class of English persons sometimes did, believing, correctly, that philosophers, the more incomprehensible the better, provide amusing conversation for party guests of a certain type, you would quickly have learned Ludwig Wittgenstein did not care what he ate, but after being served one sort of dish would demand he be served the same dish every meal thereafter. You can easily imagine how difficult breakfast on Saturday was on visits when Wittgenstein had arrived the night before for dinner.

Eventually one of his hosts wised up, and when Ludwig arrived on Friday night, instead of a seven course meal served him a poached egg. True to form, Ludwig ate the egg without complaining, and the rest of the weekend went smoothly for all involved, especially the kitchen staff.

Sunday Punch



Cartoon by John Leech.

17 September 2007

The rarest of coconuts

Across Difficult Country's legal counsel Judge Florentino Floro Jr. is in the news again, this time on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

As readers surely remember, Judge Floro was declared psychotic and removed from the bench for being in psychic contact with three invisible “mystic dwarves” 1 named Armand, Luis and Angel. Angel, Judge Floro tells the Wall Street Journal, "is the neutral force", Armand "is a benign influence", and Luis,"whom Mr. Floro describes as the "king of kings," is an avenger."

Now the Supreme Court which fired him is persecuting him again, issuing an “en banc resolution asking Mr. Floro to desist in his threats of 'ungodly reprisal.'”

While not stating explicitly, the Court appears to be blaming Judge Floro for a series of unfortunate events, including a “mysterious” fire which “destroyed the Supreme Court's crest in its session hall”, and a string of accidents and illnesses numerous members of the court and their family members have recently suffered from.

It escapes me how Judge Floro could possibly cause these things to happen. It’s true the judge is a man of many talents, including the power to heal, but he’s not a warlock. To have the same people who declared the debonair Judge Floro mentally unstable merely because a few of his friends were invisible now essentially accuse him of casting spells on them is not only slanderous but also hypocrisy of the grossest sort.

The judge himself thinks the plague of misfortune is the handiwork of Luis. Given what we know about Luis that seems the most plausible explanation.

1The author of the WSJ article repeatedly refers to the beings, which Filipinos call dwendes, as elves. This is incorrect. For one thing elves don’t live in the tropics. For more, see one man’s story about his grandmother and the dwende, illustrated with a picture of naked ladies.

10 September 2007

I wear not motley in my brain

It's obvious to anyone with eyeballs that the liberal brain, by its very nature, is more susceptible to fads and fashionable nonsense than the conservative mind. Now, if a new study is correct, there may be scientific proof:
Frank Sulloway of the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the study, said results "provided an elegant demonstration that individual differences on a conservative-liberal dimension are strongly related to brain activity."

Based on the results, Sulloway said, liberals could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas.
The compulsive acceptance of new social, scientific or religious ideas is, of course, a major reason why liberalism is so corrosive and destructive. For most new ideas are wrong, if not harmful. As David Stove wrote, in his brilliant essay "The Columbus Argument":
“No doubt it is true that, for any change for the better to have taken place, either in thought or in practice, someone first had to make a new departure. But it is equally true that someone first had to make a new departure for any change for the worse to ever have taken place...if in the past bad innovations ave been at least as common as good ones, we have every reason to conclude we ought to discourage innovations in the future as to conclude we ought to encourage them.” In reality, however, innnovations for the worse and "innovators-for-the-worse have always been far more numerous than innovators-for-the-better: they always must be so.”
Human societies are so complex “no one understands them well enough to repair or improve them,” therefore any new idea is far more likely to make things worse than better, in the unlikely event it changes anything at all.

09 September 2007

Now we'll wreck the subways

Apparently I’m not the only admirer of the retarded brilliance of Fletcher Hanks:
"There is a man in a blue suit and a green and red skullcap piloting a red plane across a yellow sky. Crossing a lush jungle valley, he spots thousands of “gigantic royal panthers” and instantly declares: “I CAN USE THEM IN MY PLAN TO WRECK CIVILIZATION!”

Though the colorful and crudely drawn adventure comics gathered in I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! read like the fevered imaginings of Henry Darger’s bully older brother, they are, in fact, the garish and terrifying work of Fletcher Hanks." [More]

Another dispatch from Helvetia

The anti-Swiss slander campaign continues. Writing for Foreign Policy, deep thinker Preeti Aroon claims the proposal by the Swiss People's Party (SVP) to deport immigrant families if their children are criminals is part of “a larger general trend of racism and anti-Semitism brewing in the region.”

And once it’s fully fermented, the toxic Swiss brew will spill over, and hordes of Swiss will sweep across Europe, stabbing every minority in sight with the corkscrew attachment of their army knives, as they’ve done so many times in the past. This charge would be stupid even if we weren’t talking about Switzerland.

Aroon concedes “not all Germans, Swiss, and Austrians are cold-hearted extremists” (how generous) but threatens “history is replete with examples of populations that have been radicalized quite fast. This German-speaking part of the world should be kept on our radar screens.”

Step 1: Lock target on radar. Step 2: Commence bombing.

The Independent takes up the issue by asking if Switzerland is "Europe's heart of darkness?

I would like to believe it an intentional joke, but how can you tell? Despite the absurd headline, the article itself is highly informative, mostly because it quotes Dr. Ulrich Schlüer, the head of the SVP. Compare the intelligence, understanding, and straightforwardness of Dr. Schlüer’s statements with the dishonest ravings of his critics (or to the inane blatherings of the typical American politician, for that matter):
Dr Schlüer is a small affable man. But if he speaks softly he wields a big stick. The statistics are clear, he said, foreigners are four times more likely to commit crimes than Swiss nationals. "In a suburb of Zürich, a group of youths between 14 and 18 recently raped a 13-year-old girl," he said. "It turned out that all of them were already under investigation for some previous offence. They were all foreigners from the Balkans or Turkey. Their parents said these boys are out of control. We say: 'That's not acceptable. It's your job to control them and if you can't do that you'll have to leave'. It's a punishment everyone understands."
Poor reactionary Dr Schlüer! He hasn’t progressed enough to realize that the cost of a few gang rapes are outweighed by the wonderful benefits of immigration and multiculturalism.

Schlüer has a pointed response for his his UN critic, special rapporteur on racism Doudou Diène:
"He's from Senegal where they have a lot of problems of their own which need to be solved. I don't know why he comes here instead of getting on with that."
Schlüer is fully aware of the real reason why the EU is so disturbed by Swiss immigration policy:
"How direct democracy functions is a very sensitive issue in Switzerland," he says, explaining why he has long opposed joining the EU. "To the average German, the transfer of power from Berlin to Brussels didn't really affect their daily lives. The transfer of power from the commune to Brussels would seriously change things for the ordinary Swiss citizen."

02 September 2007

The last days of disco

Korean scientist Dr Mi-Jeong Jeong has discovered certain genes in plants which can be activated by sound. When researchers directed sounds toward the plants at specific frequencies:
Two genes, called rbcS and Ald, became more active at 125 and 250 Hertz, and less active at 50 Hertz.

Both genes are known to respond to light, so Jeong's team checked out what happened when the test was repeated in the dark -- and found that the two genes still responded to the sound.
This breakthrough has far reaching implications, As any student of palaeontology knows, in the distant past of long ago (what specialists call “dino-time”) nearly every inch of the landscape was overrun with stupid looking plants, and among this dense growth roamed gigantic, preposterous animals. Obviously, with a few exceptions, that’s no longer the case.

There have been many explanations for why things changed, all unsatisfactory. But Dr. Mi-Jeong Jeong’s work provides a crucial clue, one that leads to a new hypothesis.

In prehistoric epochs the music of the spheres was in all likelihood a different tune. This background noise activated sound responsive genes - in plants causing superabundant growth, in animals inducing gigantism and all the accompanying horns etc., like on this fossil. Then one day, for reasons unknown, the music changed, and life on Earth said to itself “The party’s over, we might as well go.” And so it did.

SEE ALSO: Did the Big Bang Make a Sound?

Dispatch from Helvetia

A Swiss political party’s proposal to deport immigrant families “if their children are convicted of a violent crime, drug offenses or benefits fraud” has provoked hyperbolic reaction, within Switzerland and without.

The Swiss Foundation against Racism and Anti-Semitism dishonestly equated the policy to “the Nazi practice of "Sippenhaft" — or kin liability — whereby relatives of criminals were held responsible for his or her crimes and punished equally”. AP reporter Frank Jordans even invoked Stalin and Mao, claiming, “Similar practices occurred during Stalin's purges in the early days of the Soviet Union and the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution in China, when millions were persecuted for their alleged ideological failings.” Mr. Jordans seems to have a novel notion of what reporting is, and and a novel notion of what the word “similar” means.

The UN has also condemned the proposal, suggesting it may violate European law, an odd complaint considering Switzerland is not a member of the EU.

One hears so little news from Switzerland, why is this story getting attention? Because Switzerland has sanely resisted mass immigration, and therefore poses a threat to the countries which haven’t. In coming years ‘xenophobic’ and ‘homogenous’ Switzerland will be increasingly subject to hostility and vilification from the ‘open’ and ‘diverse’ United States and EU, because the contrast between them and Switzerland will be so embarrassing.

29 August 2007

Fainter and languishing

John Donne on climate change:
As the world is the whole frame of the world, God hath put into it a reproof, a rebuke, lest it should seem eternal, which is, a sensible decay and age in the whole frame of the world, and every piece thereof. The seasons of the year irregular and distempered; the sun fainter, and languishing; men less in stature, and shorter-lived. No addition, but only every year, new sorts, new species of worms, and flies, and sicknesses, which argue more and more putrefaction of which they are engendered. And the angels of heaven, which did so familiarly converse with men in the beginning of the world, though they may not be doubted to perform to us still their ministerial assistances, yet they seem so far to have deserted this world, as that they do not appear to us, as they did to those our fathers.

Julian the Apostate on racial differences and their consequences:
Come, tell me why it is that the Celts and the Germans are fierce, while the Hellenes and Romans are, generally speaking, inclined to political life and humane, though at the same time unyielding and warlike? Why the Egyptians are more intelligent and more given to crafts, and the Syrians unwarlike and effeminate, but at the same time intelligent, hot-tempered, vain and quick to learn?
_____

As for men's laws, it is evident that men have established them to correspond with their own natural dispositions; that is to say, constitutional and humane laws were established by those in whom a humane disposition had been fostered above all else, savage and inhuman laws by those in whom there lurked and was inherent the contrary disposition. For lawgivers have succeeded in adding but little by their discipline to the natural characters and aptitudes of men. Accordingly the Scythians would not receive Anacharsis among them when he was inspired by a religious frenzy, and with very few exceptions you will not find that any men of the Western nations have any great inclination for philosophy or geometry or studies of that sort, although the Roman Empire has now so long been paramount. But those who are unusually talented delight only in debate and the art of rhetoric, and do not adopt any other study; so strong, it seems, is the force of nature. Whence then come these differences of character and laws among the nations?
_____

And yet among mankind the difference between the customs and the political constitutions of the nations is in every way greater than the difference in their language. What Hellene, for instance, ever tells us that a man ought to marry his sister or his daughter or his mother? Yet in Persia this is accounted virtuous. But why need I go over their several characteristics, or describe the love of liberty and lack of discipline of the Germans, the docility and tameness of the Syrians, the Persians, the Parthians, and in short of all the barbarians in the East and the South, and of all nations who possess and are contented with a somewhat despotic form of government?
_____

For different natures must first have existed in all those things that among the nations were to be differentiated. This at any rate is seen if one observes how very different in their bodies are the Germans and Scythians from the Libyans and Ethiopians. Can this also be due to a bare decree, and does not the climate or the country have a joint influence with the gods in determining what sort of complexion they have?

19 August 2007

Camels are for smoking

From the Australian outback comes the gruesome story of a woman killed by her own pet camel:

“The 10-month-old animal knocked the woman, 60, to the ground, stomped on her head and then lay on top of her.”

A policeman on the scene, Sen-Constable Gregory, reports the camel had a history of odd behavior:

“It had a bit of a habit with a goat, knocking it over and sort of straddling it and laying on top of it.”

There’s little to be said after such a tragedy, which didn’t stop local “camel expert” Paddy McHugh from weighing in:
Townsville-based camel expert Paddy McHugh said the behaviour was “extremely unusual” for a camel so young.

“That’s a characteristic of a camel out of control,” he said.
Mr. McHugh said camels still made great pets, “often better than dogs”.
Yes, except for being six feet tall and weighing over a thousand pounds and occasionally stomping your head in because they are acting out some psycho-sexual urge, camels are much better pets than dogs.

Why must animal experts always make excuses whenever their favorite beasts do something terrible? It’s as if they’ve spent so much time studying and working with the animals they’ve contracted a zoological variant of Stockholm syndrome. If a shark eats a man, shark biologists rush to say it’s only because the shark thought the man was seal. If a tiger mauls a homosexualist it’s claimed the tiger was, in reality, only trying to help the victim of a stroke. If a mamba snake inflicts multiple bite wounds on a family inevitably some ophiologist jumps up shouting the mamba snake only did it because he had a difficult childhood and suffered from low self esteem.

RELATED: Bovine strangler.

It’s dead ingredients mingle deathiness

“The Hand of Glory is the hand of a man who has been hung, and is prepared in the following manner. Wrap the hand in a piece of winding sheet, drawing it tight so as to squeeze out the little blood which, may remain; then place it in an earthenware vessel with saltpetre, salt, and long pepper, all carefully and thoroughly powdered. Let it remain a fortnight in this pickle till it is well dried, then expose it to the sun in the dog-days till it is completely parched, or, if the sun be not powerful enough, dry it in an oven heated with vervain and fern. Next make a candle with the fat of a hung man, virgin wax, and Lapland sesame. The Hand of Glory is used to hold this candle when it is lighted. Wherever one goes with this contrivance, those it approaches are rendered incapable of motion as though they were dead.”
Notes on the Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders, by William Henderson.

It’s also believed those knowledgeable in the arcane arts can use a Hand of Glory to open locks and locate concealed treasure. The Whitby Museum possesses a Hand of Glory, it’s the most popular object in the museum’s collection.

16 August 2007

Speckled inexorable

Mass immigration makes the United States increasingly “diverse”. Now Daniel Henninger, a member of the open borderist Wall Street Journal editorial collective and a supporter of mass immigration, has discovered:
“People in ethnically diverse settings don't want to have much of anything to do with each other. “Social capital” erodes. Diversity has a downside.”
What’s to be done? Henninger suggests:
“What's needed now is for a younger black, brown or polka-dot writer to recast the idea in a way that restores the worth and utility of assimilation. Somebody had better do it soon; the first chart offered in the Putnam study depicts inexorably rising rates of immigration in many nations.”
He recognizes we are already at the point where certain arguments won’t be fairly heard unless advanced by non-whites (notice the absurd inclusion of a “polka-dot writer”, done to maintain the pretense race never matters, even when it’s being argued race matters). He recognizes the situation is only going to get worse. But instead of making the sane conclusion, that immigration restrictions should be enacted, he believes:
“The idea that the U.S. can wave into effect a 10-year "time out" on immigration flows is as likely as King Canute commanding the tides to recede.”
Because unlike the modest projects the WSJ supports, like creating democracy in Iraq (where democracy never existed), more immigration is “inexorable” and limiting immigration is impossible (even though it’s been done before), so give up (when it comes to immigration, the WSJ thinks conservatives should stand athwart history saying “What’s the use?”).

Henninger doesn’t limit himself to diagnosing the problem, he offers a simple remedy:
“My own model for the way forward in a 21st century American society of unavoidable ethnic multitudes is an old one, a phrase found nowhere in the Putnam study or any commentary on it: the middle class. Its assimilating virtues may be boring, but it works, if you work at getting into it.”
In other words, all that needs to be done to assimilate the “ethnic multitudes” into the middle class is for the “ethnic multitudes” to assimilate themselves into the middle class.

Henninger closes with a figure of speech I like to call the sad touché followed by cliché:
“Of course Hillary Clinton believes this can't happen here because the middle class has been "invisible" to George Bush. As with diversity, progress is always just beyond the horizon.”
QED, and so too is the land of the polka-dot people.

This is not a Whitby post

Gildercliffe hoodlums are stealing vans then using them to launch attacks on Whitby:
Reckless Ben Stanley, 18, of Gildercliffe, Scarborough, became intoxicated at a friend’s birthday bash before setting off to steal a Vauxhall van.

Despite being more than twice over the limit, Stanley – who does not have a full driving licence - then embarked on a terrifying drive all the way to Whitby, regardless of the dangers to other drivers and residents.

He smashed into two parked cars and a wall in the Bog Hall area of the town.
Not to condone Reckless Ben Stanley’s senseless mayhem, to a certain degree Whitby has it coming.

In other crime news, a three-ton meteorite has been stolen from UFO researcher Yury Lavbin’s compound in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia.

Perhaps the meteorite is a large enough object that remote viewers could locate it? They’ve certainly had no luck identifying the small curio which sits on the left corner of the shelf above my desk, despite the offer of a $1 million prize for doing so.

12 August 2007

Dispatches from the Motherland

In Cameroon urine drinking is suddenly so popular Cameroonian health minister Urbain Olanguena Awono was forced to issue a statement urging quaffers to stop, warning those promoting the practice may be prosecuted. Said a piss drinker named Emile: "I used it to treat my haemorrhoids. Everyone uses it in secret. But you need to be brave."

Though rarely mentioned in the history books, Gandhi was an aficionado of the ‘yellow wine’, and in his younger days became known for badgering unwitting guests at parties with his odd notions, diaper clad, glass of pee-pee in hand. Soon Gandhi stopped getting invited to parties. Instead of changing his ways, he became angry, and channeled his resentment into politics. I think you know how that turned out.

If you thought Nigeria had more than enough unpleasant worms already you obviously don’t think like God, because a new ‘mystery worm’ is invading Nigeria’s Sokoto State.

The worms, named Ba Susa, which means ‘no scratching’, infest the leaves of trees and bushes, causing itching and irritation when they come in contact with the skin and it's scratched. As one student, a Miss Chioma Nweze said: "The moment the worms touch any part of your body, the place instantly gets swollen as you scratch it.”

At the moment there’s no treatment, other than not scratching, which for some reason is too much to ask, so many of the afflicted have resorted to drinking urine.

In Kenya a farmer named Boniface Ndura is raising the livestock of the future:
[T]he most baffling deformed animal is a soot black bull that has four horns, three eyes that blink simultaneously and a mouth that is so deformed that when looked at from certain angles it resembled three mouths in one.

However, the animal seems to have developed a way of grazing using one corner of the mouth. Moses Longitio, who takes care of the deformed animals, has christened the endowed bull ‘Less,’ although ‘More’ would have best suited it. But whether you want to see more or less at the conservancy, there is a range of deformity pick from.

For example you will find a tri-horned goat, a five-legged sheep, a three-legged goat and a sheep that walks like a hyena because its hind legs are shorter than the front ones.

03 August 2007

You may say I'm a dreamer

A pair of homosexualists is sending John Lennon’s piano on a tour of America’s “most horrific sites of violence, death and destruction.” Places the piano has already appeared include Virginia Tech, Ford’s Theater, Columbine High School, and the site of the Oklahoma City bombing.

It’s hoped the sight of the piano can displace painful thoughts of these location's terrible events by triggering in observers memories of the ‘Imagine’ song. Personally, I’d rather contemplate an assassination or a mass murder than recollect the plodding chords and insipid lyrics of that tune. For one thing it’s more relaxing. I don’t think I’m alone in this.

This project has inspired me to send the instrument once owned by pioneering free-jazz alpehornist Fritz Entegeliebter to various places which have banned indoor smoking. Entegeliebter will accompany the instrument, and play it in the hope his frenetic sqonkings will cause any anti-smoking zealots in the vicinity to reflect upon what complete and utter shits they are.

29 July 2007

Alert the world

“Lisa Peterson, 46 years old, says the main reason she sports a robe in public is because "it alerts the world that I am in relaxation mode and that I am pampering myself because I believe I'm worth it." But the communications director for the American Kennel Club, who lives in Newtown, Conn., says it also makes her feel "a little bit naughty."”
- The Great Hotel Cover-Up, Wall Street Journal, 27 July 2007.

Miss Peterson (if it’s Mrs. condolences to your poor husband), there’s really no need to alert me you’ve gone into relaxation, or any other mode, and are pampering yourself (this is one of those rare occasions when I’m confident most of the world completely agrees with me). If anyone needs to be alerted it’s the cardboard-tube fighters, who could partially redeem themselves by giving you a solid drubbing.

The city abounds

Fantastic day, in the span of a few hours I observe a midget riding a scooter, a man with an artificial leg, and an albino.

Seeing one, two, four or more midgets is good luck. Three midgets together is bad luck. Three midgets encountered separately means something terrible is going to happen.

Seeing a person with an artificial leg is neither good nor bad luck. Seeing an artificial leg without a person attached to it portends the start of a period of increased improbability.

Seeing an albino means your packages will be arriving on time. Unless the albino is left handed, then your shipment will be delayed. Seeing an albino midget with an artificial leg would be so sad just thinking about it makes me laugh.

24 July 2007

Scheveningen again

Strange lights were observed hovering over the heavilly flooded town of Stratford-Upon-Avon. As one witness described it:
“The objects were there for about half an hour. It was very eerie because they didn't make any sound and they stayed still before moving slowly beyond the horizon. There were no stars in the sky, just them.”
Like most people, I was instantly reminded by the concurrence of inexplicable lights in the sky and a deluge of “The appearance of the Lights at Scheveningen and Flood,” an event so shrouded in mystery I've been unable to determine when exactly it took place.

23 July 2007

Swarm over, death


At a Seattle area park last Sunday a group of involuntary celibates convened to stage a cardboard tube fighting tournament:
"Two dozen fighters obeyed the tenets of cardboard-tube fighting Sunday, battling for the glory of becoming the champion.

They took to a concrete surface at Seattle's Gas Works Park, wielding their weapons: 3-foot-long cardboard tubes that look like the kind used for gift wrap.

Most fighters employed a two-handed grip; the more assured used one hand. Those who break their tubes do not advance to another round.”
Every day I find it harder and harder not to hate my own country.

One exceptionally pathetic contestant remarked:
"I knew I had to go," he said of the tournament.

"It sounded like something that was amazing and it was. This was the only thing we found to do that was entertaining all week."

Dispatches from Transnistria

Trans-Dniester has a new political party, Fair Pridnestrovie. Fair Pridnestrovie joins the Respublika party, the Renewal party, the Breakthrough party, the Pridnestrovie Communist Party (PKP), the Communist Party of Pridnestrovie (KPP-CPSU), the Patriotic Party of Pridnestrovie (PPP), the Liberal Democratic Party of Pridnestrovi, the People's Will party, and the Social Democratic Party, to bring the total number of ridiculous political parties in Pridnestrovie to ten.

Meanwhile in Chisianu, the President of Moldavia Vladimir Voronin has been running around claiming Jesus was a Communist, noting "Nowhere in the Old or New Testament you will find anything bad said about communists.”

Voronin’s remarks were scoffed at by local religious leaders. Spokesman for the Socialist Party of Moldova, the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova, the Democratic Party of Moldova, the Social Democratic Party of Moldova, the Christian-Democratic People's Party, and the Peasants' Christian Democratic Party of Moldova were unavailable for comment.

Also in Chisianu, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Anti-Pact Association is demanding an end to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (they would).

19 July 2007

Poll results

The results of the first ADC customer satisfaction survey which asked How can ADC be improved? are in.

18% want more frequent posting, meaning 82% of readers think I’m posting enough or too much.

18% want to see more travel posts. We all have dreams, I suppose.

No one wants more political posts, meaning 100% of readers agree with me democracy has failed, and discussing politics only serves to distract from time better spent stockpiling guns and ammunition.

Counting my own vote, one person wants to see more Whitby posts. Meaning no one, except me, cares the little town of Whitby was nearly smote by a tornado (that’s right, a tornado) and no one, other than myself, wants me to explain how the source of this freakish weather event is undoubtedly Whitbian diabolists trifling with storm demons the Chaldeans called shedu. Bastards.

27% want more Hegel posts. Hegel once wrote:
General gravitation must be recognised for itself as a profound thought, which constitutes an absolute basis for mechanics if it is conceived initially in the sphere of reflection, though it is so bound up with it through the quantitative determinations that it has attracted attention and credit, and its verification has been based solely on the experience analysed from the solar system down to the phenomenon of the capillary tubes. Certainly gravitation directly contradicts the law of inertia, for, by virtue of the former, matter strives to get out of itself to another. In the concept of gravity, as has been shown, there are included the two moments of being for itself and of that continuity that suspends being for itself These moments of the concept now experience the fate, as particular forces corresponding to the power of attraction and repulsion, of being conceived more precisely as the centripetal and the centrifugal forces, which are supposed, like gravity, to act on bodies, and independently of each other and contingently, to meet together in a third entity, the body. In this way whatever profundity was contained in the thought of general gravitation is destroyed again, and the concept and reason will be unable to penetrate into the theory of absolute motion, as long as the vaunted discoveries of forces prevail there.
What springs to normal minds after reading that passage is why? Why did Hegel write such things? Probably because he couldn’t help it, though it’s possible he had an extremely odd sense of humor. Let us speak no more of Hegel.

27% of ADC readers want more nudity, meaning nearly a third of you are unable to locate nudity on the internet without help. Good lord that’s sad. But I’m nothing if not helpful, so enjoy:


PAUL KLEE. Nude, Bending Backwards. 1909.

Optimism

Up till now, for two hundred years, people in England have imagined that every problem could be solved through Freedom, and could let opposites correct one another in the free interplay of argument. But what now? The great harm was begun in the last century, mainly through Rousseau, with his doctrine of the goodness of human nature. Out of this plebs and educated alike distilled the doctrine of the golden age that was to come quite infallibly, provided people were left alone. The result, as every child knows, was the complete disintegration of the idea of authority in the heads of mortals, whereupon of course, we periodically fall victims to sheer power. In the meanwhile, the idea of the natural goodness of man has turned, among the intelligent strata of Europe, into the idea of progress, i.e. undisturbed money-making and modern comforts, with philanthropy as a sop to conscience....

The only conceivable salvation would be for this insane optimism, great and small, to disappear from peoples’ brains. But then our present-day Christianity is not equal to the task it has gone in for and got mixed up with optimism for the last two hundred years. A change will and must come, but after God knows how much suffering.
- Jacob Burckhardt, letter to Von Preen. 2 July 1871. (The Letters of Jacob Burckhardt, translated by Alexander Dru, p. 147.)

See also: Stephen J. Tonsor, Jacob Burckhardt: Tradition and the Crisis of Western Culture (pdf). Modern Age, Winter 1997.

Far Eastern business news

Innovative Chinese fish farmers are growing gigantic fish able to induce food poisoning in seven times as many American consumers at half the cost.


Another sector where the Chinese are making gains is begging:
Police said on Monday that two beggars operating near MRT stations in Taipei City and Taipei County turned out to be professional beggars from China who had entered Taiwan on business visas...Liang Yiping (梁一平), 32, faked deafness and muteness when confronted by police at Yongan Market station, but his identity was later confirmed after officers found he had Chinese currency and more than NT$10,000...After running a background check, they established that he had entered the country with Guo Anquan (郭安銓), 53, on July 12. Guo was later picked up at Ximending station...Liang and Guo had been staying at a hotel near Ximending. Police said the men claimed they were collecting money to return home...They claimed that the NT$30,000 that police discovered in their bags and clothes had been collected over three days of begging.
That projects to about NT$800,000 a year, more than the median salary of Taiwanese computer programmers. Mendicants in America rarely approach returns like that, because unlike the rest of the economy they haven't adapted or improved customer service. I observe beggars on a daily basis losing transactions by being asleep, and driving clients away by glaring, smelling, even bellowing. Unlike their Chinese counterparts, few bother to feign handicaps, often because they don’t know how. Analysts agree the failure to reinvest profits in employee training has been a shortsighted strategy that has impaired the long term profit goals of the American beggary industry.

16 July 2007

Cno

A bipartisan group of senators (the worst kind) is proposing the government provide health insurance for those children who not entirely poor, but aren’t entirely middle class either. These posturing windbags think it so vitally important they are willing to tax just smokers to pay for it, by raising the already unconscionably high taxes on cigarettes by 61 cents per pack. Given how tubby American children are these days the logical solution would be to tax junk food. Such a tax would in itself bring health benefits by reducing the amount of fattening swill the little piggies ingest.

Fortunately our deranged president has promised to veto this monstrous piece of legislation (sometimes, as the old Irish saying goes, even the thickest Echidna-bird finds a hazelnut).

Dispatch from Ogygia

If it has a beak and lays eggs then by god it’s a bird.

12 July 2007

Dispatch from Mesopotamia

“We have not released giant badgers in Basra, and nor have we been collecting eggs and releasing serpents into the Shatt al-Arab river." - Major David Gell, British Army spokesman, 'British blamed for mysterious Beast of Basra'.

10 July 2007

Lycopenia

Remember all the excitement surrounding lycopenes, the tiny single celled organisms that live inside tomatoes (and whose excretions are the cause of the tomato’s redness) and were thought to protect against cancer? I sure don’t. It’s best to ignore these sorts of things, in large part because they never pan out (besides, I enjoy a cigarette now and then, so it’s pointless anyway). Now the FDA says lycopenes don’t protect against cancer, and that there is no evidence tomatoes reduce the risk of "colorectal, breast, cervical or endometrial cancer." Given how science tends to reverse itself, cancerphobes (i.e. those afraid of tobacco) should probably continue to rub tomatoes on their breasts, rectums, cervixes, and endometrials as a precaution.

Apply tomatoes to scalp

I’m suffering from some sort of branial condition. Today I was trying to remember the name of the 18th century philosopher who bred horses and prefigured Darwin in certain aspects, and after nearly half an hour of focused concentration the only name my brain could come up with was Wigsy Macbombo, immediately followed by my forgetting why I was trying to recall the chaps name in the first place. Another symptom is abuse (to put it mildly) of the parenthesis when punctuating.

08 July 2007

Previously discussed

A fascinating article in the New York Times of all places on the mapinguary (a creature previously discussed on ADC). Also mentioned is a cryptid I had never heard of known as the boto, a "type of dolphin that is said to be able to transform itself into human form, wearing a white hat to cover its air spout, and seducing and impregnating impressionable young virgins." Where a boto keeps his stylish headgear while he's in dolphin form remains unexplained. There have been no reports of boto operating outside the Amazon basin, but if you have a teenage daughter you might want to check under her boyfriend’s cap for a blowhole, just in case.

The greatly anticipated list of the New 7 Wonders of the world is out (a list previously discussed on ADC). Selected were the Roman Coliseum, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, the Mayan city of Chichen, the ruins of Petra, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, and the the Taj Mahal.

Not making the list were the Sydney opera house, the Acropolis, the Eiffel Tower, the Easter Island statues, Stonehenge, and, inexplicably, the astounding four-storey, 1000 stall public restroom in Chonguing China:
“We are spreading toilet culture. People can listen to gentle music and watch TV,” said Lu Xiaoqing, an official with the Yangrenjie, or “Foreigners Street”, tourist area where the bathroom is located. “After they use the bathroom they will be very, very happy.”

Footage aired on CCTV showed people milling about the sprawling facility and washing their hands at trough sinks. For open-aired relief, there is a cluster of stalls without a roof.

Some urinals are uniquely shaped, including ones inside open crocodile mouths and several that are topped by the bust of a woman resembling common renderings of the Virgin Mary.
Lastly, gray whales are slimming down (something not previously discussed on ADC):

A female gray whale labored up the coast, the bony ridge of a shoulder blade protruding from what should be the smooth, plump roundness of healthy blubber.

"That female looks a little skinny," said federal biologist Wayne Perryman, peering through his binoculars. "You can see her scapula sticking out. Yeah, she's a skinny girl."
Take note, fatties - if these sea gluttons can lose weight, so can you.

01 July 2007

The Secret History of Whitby

When I began the incredibly popular series of reports now known as The Whitby Sequence I had no idea where my investigations would lead. That sinister forces permeated the dying town of Whitby and were influencing events there was something I sensed early on, though I badly and dangerously underestimated the magnitude of the forces at work.

Why Whitby I could not explain, until by accident (or by dark design?) a strange chapter in Whitbian history was revealed to me...
“IN THE LATE nineteen seventies there was something of an occult convergence upon the English coastal town of Whitby. The reason for the movement of so many occultists, ex-hippies and pothead pixies, could probably be identified only by a thorough examination of the occult current of the time, along with a good analysis of the spirit of the nation. The result, however, was not only that there was a sizeable occult population in the area, but that many other occultists were in the habit of visiting the place.”

“[D]uring the summer of 1979, at a house in Cliff Street, along with a few local pubs no doubt, there occurred what has since become known as The Whitby Conclave. This three story house overlooking the harbour, which is said to be the house in which Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, was the abode of one Graham Fenn-Edwards, a ritual magician and sculptor, who had moved to Whitby the year before. As is the tradition with the likes of occult communities, visiting magi descend upon any suitable lounge floor to crash for a few days, while escaping from the rigours of a world largely unsympathetic to their various models of reality.”

“Several experimental rituals were performed, both in a temple at Cliff Street and at Boggle Hole, an outdoor setting nearby. The rituals performed used dance and physical exhaustion as a method of achieving the desired altered states of consciousness. What resulted was a magic with more feel and less thought. It was generally decided that any technique for raising power was to be considered fair game. This was experimental magic with no rules and no boundaries. It was realised that with such an unstructured approach there was a likelihood that there could be a high casualty rate, at least in the form of unexpected or imprecise results.”

18 June 2007

Temporary lull

Amorphous Portents

Since its unnerving appearance in November of 2006 there have been no further reports of the mysterious Sandsend blob, but I have learned of an earlier blob visitation at the scene of a world famous car crash:
"In the recent Channel 4 documentary The Witnesses in the Tunnel, she [Princess Diana] disappeared behind a grey blob, which obscured the body the doctors were trying to resuscitate."
We know from subsequent events the Sandsend blob was a harbinger of doom for Whitby. The presence of a blob at a gruesome accident suggests the blobs might be both an ill omen and a cause of terrible events, perhaps even feeding off human suffering in some manner.

Elsewhere: The $1,000,000 Remote Viewing Challenge.

16 June 2007

Más vibrante para ti

In a speech last Friday President Bush said, "Our nation is more vibrant because of the contributions made by Hispanic Americans in all sectors of our society."

Although he didn't go on to name any specific contributions which have increased our Gross National Vibrancy the ones that leap to my mind at least are the taco, the lowrider car, and a recently developed bit of 'spice in the melting pot' known as el bomba del gato:
"A sicko set a cat on fire in East Boston, and then used the burning, screeching animal as a live Molotov cocktail, chucking it at the window of a house, a crime that investigators believe could be connected to gang violence.

The live fireball was heaved at a first-floor window at 204 Princeton St. in the Eagle Hill section of the neighborhood, leaving the charred outline of the tortured animal in the screen of the two-family home.

"This kid threw something at the house. It was on fire. It was making noises," said construction worker Juan Martinez, who was driving by the attack. "It was terrible."

Horrified neighbors outside the scene cried yesterday, looking at the burned remains of the cat. "It's awful, awful," Santiago Cruz, 43, said. "This is not normal."

Investigators are exploring whether the incident could be related to the MS-13 gang, a notorious enterprise with strong roots in East Boston. Police sources said there is usually unexplained violence on the 13th of every month committed at the hands of young punks associated with the gang."

14 June 2007

How business is done in Dublin

“Property developer Owen O'Callaghan had a bizarre tendency to hide in broom cupboards in toilets during breaks in business meetings he was attending, fellow developer Tom Gilmartin told the Mahon Tribunal yesterday.

Mr Gilmartin recalled how on one occasion he had gone to the toilet during a tea break and had seen Mr O'Callaghan falling out of a cupboard where he had been hiding.”
- via the Irish Independent.