29 November 2009

Peculiar apparitions to the soul

In a case eerily similar to the murder of Aisia A. Johnson, three gunmen broke into an apartment near Indian School Road and 67th Avenue and began shooting, killing one of the occupants and wounding another. Two of the shooters then fled in a white van.

A white van was seen lurking near an athletic equipment shed in Lynchburg, then it was gone. 15 minutes later the athletic equipment shed burst into flames.

In Kissimmee motorists observed a white van intentionally hit a motorcycle, causing it to crash. The motorcyclist died at the scene. The homicidal white van remains at large.

A white van driven by a man named Jesus led police on a wild chase through Bloomfield Township, “smashing into several cars and construction barrels”. After crashing into an SUV on Big Beaver road, Jesus leapt from the wreckage and began throwing punches at police, who responded with Tasers. Following the zapping, Jesus became unresponsive, was taken to a hospital, and pronounced dead.

In Port St. Lucie two boys reported seeing a girl abducted into white van. Investigators soon realized the girl and the white van were figments of the boys imaginations. Tom Nichols, of the Port St. Lucie Police Department, said police took the boy’s report seriously because white vans are so often involved in terrible crimes. "If something involves suspicious activity with a white van and we feel the urge that we need to stop white vans, then by all means we're going to stop white vans," said Nichols.

A missing man was found dead in his van, in Whitby. What color was the van?

Light reading

Old issues of The Crisis (“a journal of civil rights, history, politics, and culture that “seeks to educate and challenge its readers about issues that continue to plague African Americans and other communities of color”) are now online, so I no longer have to go the library to read them. In an issue from 1995 I found an amusing interview with Barack Obama. In it he explains “it’s liberating to be in a country where black people are in the overwhelming majority”; says “integration is not a victory on our part”; and complains about his grandmother’s rational fear of  “strange black men”.

Two of the greatest publications in American history, the Weekly World News and LIFE Magazine, are also available. Both teem with incredible stories.

15 November 2009

The home of the fragrant motor-omnibus and the night-blooming Hooligan

"In 1924 Claude Friese-Greene (cinematographer and son of moving-image pioneer William) embarked on an intrepid road trip from Land's End to John O'Groats. He recorded his journey on film, using an experimental colour process. Entitled The Open Road, this remarkable travelogue was conceived as a series of 26 short episodes, to be shown weekly at the cinema."

Science & arts

Scientists have discovered a way to increase muscle mass and strength in monkeys. “Remember when you made fun of us in high school?” said one researcher, “Well who’s laughing now?”

Dr. J. Allan Hobson, A sleep researcher at at Harvard, thinks “Dreaming is a parallel state of consciousness that is continually running but normally suppressed during waking.”

What if, at certain times, the suppression is disrupted? The parallel dream state leaking into waking consciousness might be behind many accounts of Yetis, UFO’s, aliens, bull-beggars, spirits, elves, hags, fairies, satyrs, pans, faunes, sylens, tritons, centaurs, dwarfs, nymphes, Incubus, Robin good fellow, the spoom, the man in the oke, the fire-drake, the puckle, Tom Thombe, Tom tumbler boneless, and other nonsense. One thing it does not explain is the Sandsend Blob, because it was seen by a person and a dog.


“Among [Szukalski’s] most strongly held (and extensively documented) theories was the notion that a race of malevolent Yeti have been interbreeding with humans since time out of mind, and that the hybrid offspring are bringing about the end of civilization. As proof of this he pointed to the Russians.”

“Ships cannot be made subjects of sculpture.” - John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice.

10 November 2009

Carlyle on capital punishment

And so you take criminal caitiffs, murderers, and the like, and hang them on gibbets 'for an example to deter others.' Whereupon arise friends of humanity, and object. With very great reason, as I consider, if your hypothesis be correct. What right have you to hang any poor creature 'for an example'? He can turn round upon you and say, "Why make 'an example' of me, a merely ill-situated, pitiable man? Have you no more respect for misfortune? Misfortune, I have been told, is sacred. And yet you hang me, now I am fallen into your hands; choke the life out of me, for an example! Again I ask, Why make an example of me, for your own convenience alone?"—All 'revenge' being out of the question, it seems to me the caitiff is unanswerable; and he and the philanthropic platforms have the logic all on their side.

The one answer to him is: "Caitiff, we hate thee; and discern for some six thousand years now, that we are called upon by the whole Universe to do it. Not with a diabolic but with a divine hatred. God himself, we have always understood, 'hates sin,' with a most authentic, celestial, and eternal hatred. A hatred, a hostility inexorable, unappeasable, which blasts the scoundrel, and all scoundrels ultimately, into black annihilation and disappearance from the sum of things. The path of it as the path of a flaming sword: he that has eyes may see it, walking inexorable, divinely beautiful and divinely terrible, through the chaotic gulf of Human History, and everywhere burning, as with unquenchable fire, the false and death-worthy from the true and lifeworthy; making all Human History, and the Biography of every man, a God's Cosmos in place of a Devil's Chaos. So is it, in the end; even so, to every man who is a man, and not a mutinous beast, and has eyes to see. To thee, caitiff, these things were and are, quite incredible; to us they are too awfully certain,—the Eternal Law of this Universe, whether thou and others will believe it or disbelieve. We, not to be partakers in thy destructive adventure of defying God and all the Universe, dare not allow thee to continue longer among us. As a palpable deserter from the ranks where all men, at their eternal peril, are bound to be: palpable deserter, taken with the red hand fighting thus against the whole Universe and its Laws, we—send thee back into the whole Universe, solemnly expel thee from our community; and will, in the name of God, not with joy and exultation, but with sorrow stern as thy own, hang thee on Wednesday next, and so end."


'Revenge,' my friends! revenge, and the natural hatred of scoundrels, and the ineradicable tendency to revancher oneself upon them, and pay them what they have merited: this is forevermore intrinsically a correct, and even a divine feeling in the mind of every man. Only the excess of it is diabolic; the essence I say is manlike, and even godlike,—a monition sent to poor man by the Maker himself. Thou, poor reader, in spite of all this melancholy twaddle, and blotting-out of Heaven's sunlight by mountains of horsehair and ofticiality, hast still a human heart. If, in returning to thy poor peaceable dwelling-place, after an honest hard day's work, thou wert to find, for example, a brutal scoundrel who for lucre or other object of his, had slaughtered the life that was dearest to thee; thy true wife, for example, thy true old mother, swimming in her blood ; the human scoundrel, or two-legged wolf, standing over such a tragedy: I hope a man would have so much divine rage in his heart as to snatch the nearest weapon, and put a conclusion upon said human wolf, for one! A palpable messenger of Satan, that one; accredited by all the Devils, to be put an end to by all the children of God. The soul of every god-created man flames wholly into one divine blaze of sacred wrath at sight of such a Devil's messenger; authentic first-hand monition from the Eternal Maker himself as to what is next to be done. Do it, or be thyself an ally of Devil's-messengers; a sheep for two-legged human wolves, well deserving to be eaten, as thou soon wilt be!
- Thomas Carlyle, Latter-Day Pamphlets.

Bears with glasses

In our artificial age most of us view bears as heroes and entertainers. We forget bears are capable of crimes more heinous than stealing picnic baskets.

Take the bear in Florissant, Colorado, captured breaking into a car. His motive was probably theft; the possibility he wanted to steal the car and use it run over an ursine ice skating instructor can not be ruled out.

More disturbing is the case of Juan the Andean spectacled bear, resident of a nice zoo in Germany. After crossing a moat using a log for a raft, Juan climbed a wall and "went straight for [a] playground" full of children. Cut off by zookeepers, he attempted to flee on a stolen bicycle.

What Juan  planned next  I hate to even think about.

08 November 2009

Death comes for the Qaiser

We’ve grown so accustomed to bears being fat, furry entertainers who amuse us by ice skating, juggling, wrestling, and "inexplicably" murdering people, that it’s easy to forget bears can also be heroes. Heroes waging one-bear wars against terrorists:
A wild bear mauled to death two militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit in a south Kashmir forest on Monday, officials said.

A spokesman of the army said a wild bear entered the forest hideout of the separatist guerrillas and killed two of them in Kulgam district.

"The bear entered the hideout of the terrorists in Dand Nar forest area in Kulgam district today and killed two Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists identified as Saifullah and Qaiser," the spokesman said.

The spokesman said Saifullah was the district commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen for Pir Panchal area while Qaiser was a tehsil (sub-district) commander of the outfit.
 Surprisingly, the tangly jungle of the Kashmiri mountains is safer than most large American cities:
It is the first time in the over two decade-long separatist violence in Kashmir that a wild animal has killed separatist guerrillas who often use the densely forested mountains here to build safe havens.
 Sounds like another nice area to relocate some of our oldies to.

04 November 2009

Ofellas assas giganticus

Since my remarks about pumpkins many have written to ask if it’s “o.k.” to gently rub a young lady’s terres inconnues with a giant meatball. The answer is no, gently rubbing a young lady’s terres inconnues with a giant meatball is morally depraved and unhygienic. That you contemplate such perversion is cause for concern.

01 November 2009

Cucurbita pepo sensualis

For me, one of the delights of Fall is gently caressing a young lady’s bacon area with a pumpkin. Now scientists believe this erotic technique also has a medicinal benefit, as a substance in the pumpkin's skin neutralizes Candida albicans, the fungus responsible for many vaginal yeast infections.

After watching the Natural Geographic Channel

Remember Nature? She’s still out there, big and dumb, teeming with mole rats, mamba snakes, and documentary film crews. Nature thwarts most avenues of legal redress, as anyone who has attempted to subpoena a honey badger will attest. You can hardly get from A to B in Nature without being mauled by packs of gnus. Climb a tree to evade the fire ants and you incur the wrath of the sloth.

Keep the curtains closed and have dinner delivered.