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1st November 2010

8:29pm: Drunken diaper-wearing man seeking candy arrested
The Associated Press
Monday, November 1, 2010 5:34 PM EDT

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — Maryland State Police said a drunken 47-year-old Florida man wearing a diaper was arrested for shouting profanities while trick-or-treating. Police said Joseph David DiVanna of Sarasota, Fla., was arrested about 9:15 p.m. Sunday and charged with disorderly conduct.

Police said witnesses reported DiVanna cursed at adults and children in the Fox Chapel neighborhood of West Ocean City as he tried to get them to give him candy.

It was unclear if DiVanna has hired an attorney.


Information from: The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., www.delmarvanow.com/


15th October 2010

6:06pm: about how I feel lately
No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. —Thomas Hobbes

10th October 2010

12:10pm: Report: Candidate in Ohio wore German SS uniform
The Associated Press
Saturday, October 9, 2010 11:00 PM EDT

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A report says a Republican candidate for the U.S. House in Ohio dressed up in a German SS uniform to participate in Nazi reenactments.

The Atlantic magazine says Rich Iott, a tea party favorite in northwest Ohio, has taken part in the reenactments for years.

Iott is running in Ohio's 9th District against Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who was first elected in 1982.

Iott says he didn't mean to disrespect anyone who has served in the military. He says he's been involved with historical reenactments from different eras since he graduated college.

The Democrats' House campaign arm says Iott's participation in the reenactments — and the fact that Republicans embrace Iott — sends a chilling message to Americans.


13th September 2010

9:21pm: no birds

this could be heaven
shallow spreads of ordered lawns
I like the illusion
illusion of privacy
the careful trees blending so perfectly
bland planned idle luxury
a caviar of silent dignity
life in lovely allotted slots
a token nice
a nice constitution
a layered mass of subtle props
this could be heaven
mild mannered mews
well intentioned rules
to dignify a daily code
lawful order standard views
this could be heaven

—public image ltd.

15th July 2010

6:18pm: good taste in bad film
Between the arthouse and grindhouse, between vhs and bootleg dvds, these are some films you may have missed:

Dementia (1955) dir. John Parker
Avant-Noir silent film that never got treated right. Ranks right up there with Cat People, yet got a dubbed narration by Ed McMahon and cut by censors for it's theatrical stint.

The Glass Cage (1964) dir. Antonio Santean
Great psychological thriller that belongs in the company of Carnival of Souls and Repulsion, but is sadly fading into obscurity.

The Last Man on Earth (1964) dir. Ubaldo Ragona
The first iteration of I Am Legend still remains the best one. Some of Vincent Price's best acting since Laura, and a touchstone for Romero when making Night of the Living Dead.

Incubus (1965) dir. Leslie Stevens
William Shatner speaking Esperanto? Give it a chance. Has a good Twilight Zone-ish feel, and feels suprisingly less dated than most satanic panic movies. A succubus slowly falls in love with a mortal and denounces her demonhood.

Messiah of Evil (1973) dir. Willard Huyck
Better than Let's Scare Jessica to Death and an underrated domestic zombie film from the 70's. Not as playful as Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things, but definitely as rambling. The zombie attacks at the supermarket and movie theater will stick with you.

Who Can Kill a Child? (1976) dir. Narciso Ibáñez Serrador
Children of the Corn without the corn on a Spanish Island. Better than The Children, and Stephen King's assay at it, and ends on a today Spain tomorrow the world apocalyptic note.

The Slayer (1982) dir. J. S. Cardone
Before Freddy Krueger, yet just as nightmarish. Granted, it would be a better film if it ended a scene earlier, but it still works for what it is. One of the original video nasties for its pitchfork murder. Plays like a subdued The Boogeyman.

The Black Room (1984) dir. Elly Kenner
Less known than Martin, but just as strong of a fangless vampire film. Siblings with a rare blood disorder lure a couple into affairs playing off their repressed desires and mounting anger toward each other. They blackmail swingers for money and kill them for blood.

Der Todesking (1990) dir. Jörg Buttgereit
More unnerving than Ringu - which we all know borrowed heavily from The Changeling. Chain letter suicide cults, random killing sprees, and an eerie segment showing a bridge listing the people who jumped from it, all interspliced with a rotting corpse.

Afraid of the Dark (1991) dir. Mark Peploe
Midway through it, everything you took for granted from the child protagonist's eyes gets turned on its ear. Deeply disturbing. Not for people looking for say Paperhouse or children's fare.

22nd June 2010

10:13pm: Jigoku no Pikachu
Pardon me if I sound like a monologue from Linklater's Slacker for a second, but hear me out. "Pokémon" is a sort of shorthand for Hell. Think about it: a world made of nothing but semi-intelligent beasts who all repeat their own names, wandering about aimlessly just to beat the snot out of each other. It's like they made a cartoon out of Beckett's How It Is. Substitute any of the critters for a homeless guy dragging a garbage bag saying, "Floyd, Floyd, Floyd." Then have him beat up another clutching a bottle of hooch mumbling, "M-M-Murph, Murphy, Murph." How you like them Mudkips?

9th June 2010

1:30pm: been meaning to get a book by him
The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.
—Andre Malraux

6th June 2010

4:14pm: at this point, screw the Holy See
Nun Excommunicated After Saving a Mother's Life With Abortion

Church Stands by Decision to Kick Out Sister Margaret McBride After She Authorized an Emergency Abortion to Save a Woman's Life

June 1, 2010

Sister Margaret McBride was forced to make a decision between her faith and a woman's life last year, when a 27-year-old mother of four rushed into St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix only 11 weeks pregnant.

"I think [McBride] prayed and prayed and I'm sure that this weighed on her like a ton of bricks. This was not an easy decision for her," says her long-time friend Mary Jo Macdonald.

As a key member of the hospital's ethics board, McBride gathered with doctors in November of 2009 to discuss the young woman's fate.

The mother was suffering from pulmonary hypertension, an illness the doctors believed would likely kill her and, as a result, her unborn child, if she did not abort the pregnancy.

In the end, McBride chose to save the young woman's life by agreeing to authorize an emergency abortion, a decision that has now forced her out of a job and the Catholic Church.

Despite being described as "saintly," "courageous," and the "moral conscience" of the Catholic hospital, McBride was excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted for supporting the abortion.

more at the source

16th May 2010

3:49pm: AP Exclusive: Vatican details US sex abuse defense
By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican on Monday will make its most detailed argument yet for why it isn't liable for bishops who allowed priests to molest children in the U.S.

The Associated Press has learned that in a motion to dismiss a lawsuit in Kentucky on jurisdictional grounds, the Holy See is expected to argue that a key Vatican document calling for secrecy in church trials for sex abuse cases was not, as victims' lawyers say, evidence of a Vatican-orchestrated cover-up.

In addition, the Vatican's U.S. attorney, Jeffrey Lena, said Sunday he would assert that bishops aren't its employees under the key factors courts use to determine whether employers are liable for the actions of their workers.

The court's decision could affect new efforts to sue the Vatican in the U.S.


5th May 2010

4:18pm: John Berryman

22nd April 2010

10:12pm: ...
    Now giving lecture on Japanese poetry. First
giving very old Japanese poem, very classical:
    Oh willow tree,
    Why are you so sad, willow tree?
    Maybe baby?
    Now giving nineteenth-century romantic Jap-
anese poem:
    Oh bird, sitting on williow tree,
    Why are you so sad, bird?
    Maybe baby?
    Now giving up-to-the-minute twentieth-cen-
tury Japanese poem, very modern:
    Oh stream, flowing past willow tree,
    Why are you so sad, stream?

—John Cage from Lecture on Nothing

27th March 2010

1:53pm: New health insurance requirement ... was GOP idea
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press Writer – Sat Mar 27, 10:14 am ET

WASHINGTON – Republicans were for President Barack Obama's requirement that Americans get health insurance before they were against it.

The obligation in the new health care law is a Republican idea that's been around at least two decades. It was once trumpeted as an alternative to Bill and Hillary Clinton's failed health care overhaul in the 1990s. These days, Republicans call it government overreach.

Mitt Romney, weighing another run for the GOP presidential nomination, signed such a requirement into law at the state level as Massachusetts governor in 2006. At the time, Romney defended it as "a personal responsibility principle" and Massachusetts' newest GOP senator, Scott Brown, backed it. Romney now says Obama's plan is a federal takeover that bears little resemblance to what he did as governor and should be repealed.

Republicans say Obama and the Democrats co-opted their original concept, minus a mechanism they proposed for controlling costs. More than a dozen GOP attorneys general are determined to challenge the requirement in federal court as unconstitutional.

Starting in 2014, the new law will require nearly all Americans to have health insurance through an employer, a government program or by buying it directly. That year, new insurance markets will open for business, health plans will be required to accept all applicants and tax credits will start flowing to millions of people, helping them pay the premiums.

Those who continue to go without coverage will have to pay a penalty to the IRS, except in cases of financial hardship. Fines vary by income and family size. For example, a single person making $45,000 would pay an extra $1,125 in taxes when the penalty is fully phased in, in 2016.

Conservatives today say that's unacceptable. Not long ago, many of them saw a national mandate as a free-market route to guarantee coverage for all Americans — the answer to liberal ambitions for a government-run entitlement like Medicare. Most experts agree some kind of requirement is needed in a reformed system because health insurance doesn't work if people can put off joining the risk pool until they get sick.

In the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon favored a mandate that employers provide insurance. In the 1990s, the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, embraced an individual requirement. Not anymore.

"The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea," said health economist Mark Pauly of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. In 1991, he published a paper that explained how a mandate could be combined with tax credits — two ideas that are now part of Obama's law. Pauly's paper was well-received — by the George H.W. Bush administration.

"It could have been the basis for a bipartisan compromise, but it wasn't," said Pauly. "Because the Democrats were in favor, the Republicans more or less had to be against it."

[more at the source]

14th February 2010

1:33pm: a thought for singles today
There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there's only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. If you make up your mind not to be happy there's no reason why you shouldn't have a fairly good time.
—Edith Wharton (1862 - 1937), The Last Asset, 1904

7th February 2010

4:29pm: my kinda superbowl

23rd January 2010


2nd December 2009

12:36pm: Chemical Test Analyzes Old Books by Scent
By Cristen Conger | Wed Dec 02, 2009 04:33 AM ET

Perhaps you can't judge a book by its cover, but there's a wealth of information to be gleaned from its scent.

A new testing method can rapidly determine the condition of old books and documents by analyzing the bouquet of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by paper off-gassing. The technology promises to help conservators assess the condition of old works quickly, while not harming the documents.

"Paper emits more than 200 various compounds of which on the basis of our research we were able to pinpoint to 10 or 15 compounds that carry the most information about the composition of paper," said Matija Strlie, lead researcher and senior lecturer at the Center for Sustainable Heritage at the University College London.

Strlie and his team surveyed the VOC emissions from 72 paper samples in different stages of decay. From those results, the researchers developed a series of scent markers for the structural stability of documents, books and other paper materials.

The familiar odors of old books, which Strlie's study describes as "a combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla" varies depending on the chemical reactions and oxidation rates of paper ingredients, such as ash, cellulose, rosin and lignin.

The paper manufacturing era of each book can also reveals a lot about its condition.

"It's really the technology revolution after 1850 that led to what we call 'acid paper' that degrades very rapidly," Strlie told Discovery News. "Today, for books produced from 1890 to 1900, the pages are already very brittle."

With current testing technology, analyzing such fragile books and heritage documents for preservation and exhibition is often a tedious process. This new scent test, however, could save conservators time and allow them to examine the papers nondestructively.

"Today's technology is, generally speaking, very sufficient. However, the challenge in analyzing historical paper is that we are in need of non-destructive, non-invasive analytical tools," said Gerrit de Bruin, head of conservation for the National Archives of the Netherlands, who has also studied paper testing.

Book conservators have multiple testing methods at their disposal, including pH analysis, paper folding and infrared spectroscopy, but most require handling or sampling, which could potentially damage the delicate documents.

"Water stains on the paper, even when they are dried up by the conservator, and not visible directly after pH measuring, can give side effects such as so called 'tide lines' (lines caused by dirt shifting in the paper) in the near future," de Bruin said.

As Strlie continues to refine the scent testing method, he hopes to apply the technology to portable "handheld electronic noses" that conservators could easily use.

The tool could be particularly beneficial for book conservators like Vanessa Haight Smith, who works with the Smithsonian Library's collection of 1.5 million works.

Due to the myriad factors that contribute to paper degradation -- including water damage, insect droppings and environmental conditions -- and the time-consuming process of surveying older paper products, Smith says the Smithsonian usually requires a year to prepare exhibition pieces.

"[The smell test technology] would be very helpful because in our site we're limited in staff and time, and if we know the chemical breakdown or molecules to a certain level, we can treat it more directly and appropriately," Smith told Discovery News.

31st October 2009

4:23pm: Happy new year, Tiffany, and happy birthday, Kristin.

21st October 2009

5:43pm: amazon score
Just snagged a very good used copy of Dunne's An Experiment with Time for just under $30 with the s+h. I know it's totally crackpot logic, but Borges thought it was a good read and had insights into the nature of dreams.

19th October 2009

11:19pm: Labyrinth Site Synonymous with Minotaur Unearthed?
October 19, 2009

The site that inspired the ancient Greek Labyrinth, a mythical maze that supposedly housed the bull-man Minotaur, may have just been unearthed in Crete by an international team of researchers.

Oxford University geographer Nicholas Howarth and his colleagues believe a cave complex near Gortyn on the Greek island could have led to the myth. The cave system consists of a twisting and turning network of underground tunnels. Howarth describes it as "dark and dangerous."

The 2.5-mile-long underground system is even called Labyrinthos Caves by locals. Some of its paths lead to large chambers, while others result in dead ends.

As for the Minotaur part of the story, many ancient cultures, including the early Greeks, believed that bulls were sacred animals. The worship of these animals spread throughout the world, and into numerous different countries and religions. If you look at some Christian nativity scenes, you might even see a bull or an ox standing next to the infant Jesus. A few carols mention that the bull warmed the baby with its breath.

So it is no surprise that bulls inspired the mythical Minotaur, a creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man. He supposedly lived at the center of the Labyrinth.

The mind reels thinking what might have actually happened in the Gortyn cave complex, if it indeed inspired the ancient Greek Labyrinth. (Knossos is another contender.) Could rulers have stuck a bull in the caves and then challenged certain individuals to go through the maze and attempt to come back out alive? I hope additional archaeological finds in future shed more light on the matter.


6th October 2009


the intrauterine sea
      rounded like a tear

her water breaks at
      the top of the stair

3rd October 2009

10:46pm: note to self
Lexapro does not work.

2nd October 2009

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