What's News in the World

A woman in Australia paints with her breasts.

Di Peel sold her first canvas for £5. Her second went for £10. Now she's painting an order for 10 at £40 each.

"I sign every picture with my nipple."

Di, a self-described "big woman" works at her kitchen table with an easel. "I either apply the paint to my breasts and lean on to the canvas or apply the paint to the canvas and then lean into it to spread the paint.She has to take a shower every time she changes color. She describes the paintings as abstract flowers.

Let's all thank Daniel Hatadi for giving me the link for this luscious pic>

A Swiss man returned home from his holiday to find a dead body in his living room.

Johann Rauber, from Muenchenbuchsee, Switzerland, was more than a little shocked to find the as yet unidentified corpse lying on his couch."Whenever you go away for a couple of weeks, you always return home expecting to find that something has gone off, but it's usually a lump of cheese or slice of bread, not a dead body."

The Berne police have no idea who the dead man is, how the dead man got in or what the hell is going on.

Man trips and destroys priceless vases

An unidentified and very embarrassed visitor to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England, tripped on his shoelace, stumbled down a stairway and destroyed a set of three priceless 300-year-old Qing dynasty Chinese vases.

I hasten to add, if you're feeling guilty for laughing, the man was unhurt.

Steve Baxter was also there for a visit and happened to see the whole thing.

"We watched the man fall as if in slow motion. He landed in the middle of the vases and they splintered into a million pieces. He was still sitting there stunned when staff appeared. Everyone stood around in silence, as if in shock. Then the man started talking. He kept pointing to his shoelace and saying: "There it is; that's the culprit.""

'Dog sh*t' ham

Mick Woods, of Wakefield, England, by pure chance happened to find himself reading the ingredients on a package of sliced, cooked ham one afternoon. Listed in the additives: dog shit.

Says Woods, rather sagely, "Obviously I haven't eaten it. It sort of puts you off."

Woods and his partner Tracy were amused and disgusted at the same time.

"We spent 40 minutes laughing. But we haven't put any in the kids' sandwiches and we had something else for our tea."

Sliced ham manufacturer H R Hargreaves & Son said it axed an employee over the labeling prank and was trying to recall the ham.

Said a smartly dressed and very tense spokesman, "We can't have people fooling about with food products. A number of packs are affected. We're trying to find out what shops they're in."

What's So Criminal about Peace, Love and Understanding?

Cindy Sheehan arrested for wearing anti-war T-shirt at State of the Union address.

"She was asked to cover it up. She did not," said Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman. The arrest was for unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor, and it carries a maximim sentence of one year. Reports that she had also unfurled an anti-war banner are false.

Police handcuffed Sheehan and removed her from the gallery before Bush arrived.

"I'm proud that Cindy's my guest tonight," said Bay area Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey after giving Sheehan a gallery pass two hours before the event. "She has made a difference in the debate to bring our troops home from Iraq."

Did you watch the speech? Bush says, "America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world."

Total V8 moment, huh?

But where did he come up with this?

What, is Bush reading Kurt Vonnegut?

Of course, the president didn't mean it literally.


Retro Evil

You may have heard the term "mid-century*" bandied about of late.

It's accurate.

Can't fault it for that.

And it describes a design philosophy that brings images readily to mind.

Hideous images.

Rounded, pseudo-space age images, bizarre geometric doodles and sharp, jutting ranch house images.

I spent most of my childhood in just such a ranch. It held within it's walls metallic squigglies, gold-specked counter tops, smoked glass and wicker monkeys hanging in a room with red and black carpeting. Don't get me started on the murals - all the horrible murals.

These images that were brought to my mind today by the site Plan59 are definitely mid-century. And they're just plan scary. Scarier, even, than the murals that so marred my childhood.

OK. I'm off to wash my brain of this whole experience.

*also called the PostWar period (roughly 1945-1960)

This can't end well.

Stories of story-makers

I've been enjoying David J. Montgomery's site dedicated to the great myth of overnight success. Stories from Lawrence Block* to Jim Fusilli to Greg Hurwitz to Brian Wiprud. Overnight Success? shows the real years of work being hind the seeming meteoric rise of some of the best writers in the business.

And he managed to dig up a photo of the elusive, clever and thoroughly wonderful Kevin Wignall.

*The photo of Block was a little Vincent Price. I felt that if he'd had his druthers, I'd be lowered into a vat of boiling wax.


Gluttony is not a secret vice’
Orson Welles

Let's explore gluttony.

And if we're to do that properly, you have to visit SupersizeMeals.com. Fascination mixed with horror was my reaction when I saw burgers that could feed a small village for two days.

Not Proud.com gives people an anonymous place to confess to the seven deadly sins, gluttony certainly among them.

Certainly gluttony is not new to people. Was it bad enough to warrent vomitoriums? Ask Cecil.

Jim Holt, in an article for the Boston Globe, began an article on gluttony with the following head scratcher:

HERE ARE THREE propositions that sit together uneasily: 1) The United States is a deeply religious country. 2) Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. 3) Americans are the fattest people in the world.

There are those that propose a sin tax that would heavily tax all food that we crave when we are 'bad.'

And there are those that propose that gluttony goes beyond food and drink to possessions. Like, for instance, land.

I would propse that America's strong and unending desire for oil and the companies that have earned record profits because of this desire, boast the clearest form of this sin.

Can there be a true defense of gluttonous behavior? You decide.


The Terribly Misguided Youth Mullet

Or, the Very Passed Out When his Friends Grabbed Hair Dye and a Scissors Mullet.

Give a Helping Book

Web maven, anal retentive wanker and all around wonderful person Beth Tindall has asked for some help.

She needs books.

Lots of books.

The Literacy Network of Cinncinati is holding it's biggest annual fund raiser,the 16th Annual Scripps Spelling Bee for Literacy, and they are short on prizes.

And the prizes are books.

This organization helps everyone from kids to adults do what anyone reading this takes for granted: reading. If you send even one book their way, you are putting a book in the hands of someone who will suddenly have the world open to them for the first time.

From kids books, to adult books, from fiction to non-fiction, from romances, mysteries and fantasy, it all helps.

See below for all the details:

Donations of books are needed to be given away at the Spelling Bee as prizes for contestants, sponsors, audience members and volunteers. We will look for groupings of books (for example: historical mystery authors, autographed books published in 2005, a complete set of books by a particular author, etc....) that we can bundle for prizes, in addition to giving away individual books as door prizes.

Spelling Bee participants are from corporate teams (most of the local media outlets have a Bee team), as well as companies like P&G, Chiquita, General Electric, and University of Cincinnati. The Spelling Bee is one of the largest fundraisers for the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati.

The Literacy Network acts as an umbrella agency for over 60 sites in Greater Cincinnati where adults may go to improve their basic education and literacy skills. The Network provides free Adult and Children's Basic Reading Classes for people with profound reading disabilities and a Tutor Training program for volunteers interested in working with adults. Also, the Literacy Network offers the Cincinnati Reads program, which recruits and trains reading tutors to work one-on-one with K-4th grade students in the Cincinnati Public Schools.

Additional books not given away at the Spelling Bee will be used as Appreciation gifts for the volunteer tutors. Contacts are being made with local bookstores for additional book donations to be arranged year-round.

Local mystery author Jeffrey Marks and mystery author website specialist Beth Tindall of CincinnatiMedia are arranging autographed book donations from within the national mystery community. Donated books will have a label on the inside of the book which state "Book donated by the author."

Books for the Spelling Bee prizes should be sent before March 1st, 2006. Books are appreciated and welcomed other times of year, though! To donate, send books (autographed or not, fiction/nonfiction, adult/YA/juvenile, ones you've written or ones you've read!) to:


The event will be held:
Thursday, March 16, 2006 at
The Cincinnati Museum Center
Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati
16th Annual Scripps Spelling Bee for Literacy


Faster Knitting Needles, Kill, Kill, Kill

On a page created by someone not fond of spellcheck, you will find morbid, hilarious bloody knit art.

Real Femme Fatale

Juana Barraza, 48, is being held in Mexico after being arrested at the scene of the killing of 82-year-old Ana Maria Reyes on Wednesday. Police suspect she is the "Silent Lady" who is Mexico's notorious "Little Old Lady Killer."

Prosecuters in Mexico City claim fingerprint evidence links Barraza to at least ten of the murders. They had suspected the perp was a man in women's clothing. The broad-shouldered Ms Barraza resembled composite profiles of the suspect, and a wax mock-up, with a similar short reddish haircut and facial mole.

Barraza, a female wrestler, admitted to one murder but denied a murder spree that began in the late 1990's in which at least 30 women may have died. She was arrested after she fled the scene where Ana Maria Reyes had been strangled with a stethoscope. They alledly found a stethoscope, social benefits papers and a social worker's identification card in her possession.

Police had suspected the killer gained entrance into victims' homes by pretending to be a government employee who could sign them up to welfare programs.

UPDATE: It is rumored that Barraza was a member of the "Santa Muerte" – Saint Death or Holy Death church/cult in Mexico. A shrine is supposed to have been found in her house.


Friends Lift you up Where you Belong.

I'd like to thank my people for lending helping hands, ears and shoulders.

Well, I Did It.

I updated the Fuck Noir site.

One has to be inspired. I was just waiting for the right, magical moment.

So I did it.

And I feel much better now.

Was it good for you?

Discovery Re-discovered!

A here-to-fore unknown species of toothless, two-legged crocodile ancestor was discovered in New York. When alive, the 210 million-year-old beast walked upright and had a beak instead of teeth. This is a fantastic discovery... made in the basement of New York's American Museum of Natural History.

And it is not a work of fiction by Lincoln Childs and Douglas Preston.

This seemingly mythic creature lay in wait, in storage, at the museum for nearly 60 years. And it was found by accident.

Museum curator Mark Norell and graduate student Sterling Nesbitt were looking for fossils. Specific fossils. Vaguely logged and catagorized fossils. In boxes. With labels. And maybe some packing peanuts. They opened a plaster cast thought to contain Coelophysis fossils, a small, carnivorous dinosaur. Lo and behold, what did they find instead?They found an archosaur!


Norell and Nesbitt picked their jaws up from the floor and looked at each other in bewilderment. Amazement even. But they recovered quickly."Searching the storage rooms of museums often turns up treasures such as these," Norell said. "Something that people often don't realize is that after you collect, it sometimes takes thousands of hours to remove the stuff from the cast for analysis."

The six-foot-long (2 meter) fossil is an archosaur, an extinct type of animal related to dinosaurs, crocodilians and birds but not a dinosaur or a crocodilian or a bird. In a moment of inspiration and glee, Norrel and Nesbitt named the fossil Effigia okeeffeae. The name recalls both the ranch where the fossil was found and painter Georgia O'Keefe, who had an interest in the quarry.

The archosaur was originally discovered in blocks of rock from the Ghost Ranch Quarry in New Mexico, excavated in 1947 and 1948. At the time, scientists thought that all the specimens were Coelophysis, a small, carnivorous dinosaur that lived at the same time.


"It was collected in this quarry that had literally hundreds of skeletons in it," Norell said. "Museums like ours are giant libraries of stuff."

Giant libraries of stuff. Veritable shelves and boxes full of mysterious things. All in a basement in New York waiting for someone to look for a Coelophysis fossil.

Think about it.


This Just In...

...David Lee Roth is an asshat. This comes as no surprise to any that have noted the frighteningly affixed perma-grin and the maniacal lift to the right brow. And I'm not the only one with this opinion:

"This wasn’t the flamboyant Diamond Dave of his Van Halen days. What we heard (on Roth's first day as DJ) was an ego-deflated has-been rock star who came across like he was on a triple dose prescription of Lexapro."

Note that I was a huge fan of Van Halen when I was a kid.

I've grown up.

The former lead singer of the band has not. A quote from the first linked article:

"This guy [Roth] is impossible to work with. A real arrogant, self-righteous ass," says a Lowdown spy. "All the execs know they made the two biggest errors in radio history - letting Stern go to Sirius and hiring this moron Roth. He never preps for a show. He is out the door five minutes after the show, unless he is 'forced' to record a commercial or re-record ones he made errors on."

This despite Roth's open letter written after getting the job:

"You have nothing to worry about with me, and things aren't going to change at all. I may not be the King of All Media, but I am the King of Allmusic. Take a look at that website and type in "David Lee Roth"--yeah that's right, I've influenced over ten different bands."

And personally, I think the likelihood of Roth getting back with Van Halen is as likely as me pulling a gold nugget out of my ass.

"It's not easy. My siblings say they have a crazy brother."

Matias Goering was in a desperate situation. His physiotherapy clinic had gone bankrupt, he'd lost his home and his wife who had taken their son.

Desperate, Matias prayed to God. A God he never believed existed.

"I said to Him, 'if You do exist, I need help right now. Not in a few days, or weeks – right now. I don't know what to do.' It was the first time in my life that I prayed."

Goering believes God was listening.

"After a few minutes, the phone rang. It was someone I had worked for in Zurich. He said he needed help installing some physiotherapy equipment."

This led Goering to begin reading the Bible.

Two and a half years later, God spoke to hime again.

Now Goering, a distant relative of Hermann Goering (a decorated World War I pilot who was an aide to Hitler, a member Nazi Party and chairman of the Reichstag, founder the Gestapo and one of the architects of the Final Solution), wears a kippa and keeps kosher, observes Shabbat and wears an orange anti-disengagement bracelet reading 'Jews Don't Evict Jews'.

Cuteness Buffer XVIII

What could be more "pressing"?

In recent years, the Mine Safety and Health Administration pulled Clinton-era initiatives examining safety equipment and mine rescue operations off its regulatory agenda. Those initiatives included ones dealing with oxygen packs that miners carry and the ability of mine rescue teams to do their jobs.

The Bush administration cited changing priorities and resource concerns in withdrawing the items. Miners' advocates say the action prevented the creation of important safety rules.

Top Bush administration mine regulators made an early exit Monday from a U.S. Senate hearing on two West Virginia mining disasters that killed 14 people.

David Dye, the administration's top mine-safety official, left shortly after testifying and fielding questions but before critics of the administration's safety efforts were scheduled to testify. His exit drew a rebuke from the committee's Republican chairman, Arlen Specter, who threatened to subpoena Dye to force him to stay to the end of future hearings.

Dye, the assistant secretary of Labor for mine safety and health, said he had pressing business and that the hearing had "diverted" his agency from protecting miners.

"We don't think we're imposing too much to keep you here for another hour or so," the senator said before Dye left the room, accompanied by Ray McKinney, the federal administrator of coal mine safety.

Specter said he was "disappointed" that Dye left the Senate hearing because he wanted the mine-safety official to respond to later witnesses who were sharply critical of the Bush administration's mine-safety enforcement efforts.


"I'd hate to have to go around thinking of health & shit like that."

Keith Richards, 61, wears a tattered scarf around his head, and random charms -- an eagle head, a cross, a Chinese coin -- hanging from his matted quasi dreads. He says he has no idea what-all is in his hair: his kids and friends like to decorate him while he's passed out.
--Aug. 15, 2005 issue of Newsweek magazine.

"I don't regret nuthin'"

"I haven't stopped smoking...anything"

"Puff Daddy is a piece of crap."

“I never thought I was wasted, but I probably was”

"I'd hate to have to go around thinking of health & shit like that."

"I never had a problem with drugs, only with cops."

"I never turned blue in somebody else's bathroom. I consider that the height of bad manners."

"My one worry is falling over on stage.
This may sound absurd, but I actually slipped on a hamburger in Hamburg once,
and almost fell off stage."

"Because we couldn't remember their fucking names" Keith,
when asked why the new album was called Some Girls.

"If there ain't nothing left in the bar,
then you're going to seek refuge in the Mother Fist
and her five daughters...
It's a lot less trouble and there's a lot more room in the bed."

"There's a demon in me, and he's still around.
Without the dope, we have a bit more of a chat these days."

"People hate themselves anyway.
If it wasn't smack, they'd hate themselves for eating carrots.
You can bet on it."

"I must say, in fairness to the poppy, that never once have I had a bad cold."

Trick or Treat!

Suddenly Halloween sounds fun again.

My Boys Can Swim!

That is the phrase uttered, no crowed, by many men when they hear their partner is pregnant.

A week ago, you may have heard the story of a man from medieval Ireland who is thought to have genetic ties to over three million descendents.


Until you hear about Genghis Khan.

I'll give you a minute to clear the image of William Shatner growling that name into deep space before I give you the numbers.


Genghis Khan's boys swam so well that there are now 16 million people on this planet that can claim him as a descendent.

Now, that's something to crow about!

The Odd Couple

"I've never seen anything like it. Gohan sometimes even climbs onto Aochan to take a nap on his back," says zoo keeper Kazuya Yamamoto.

Gohan is a three and a half inch dwarf hamster.

Aochan is a Japanese rat snake.

When Aochan lost his appetite for frozen mice in October, Zookeepers at Tokyo's Mutsugoro Okoku zoo gave him Gohan, whose name means "meal" in Japanese, as a squirmy replacement.

Aochan messed with everybody's heads when he made friends with the little fuzz instrad of munching him. The pair have shared a cage since.

He's an Assman


They are very evil little animals, which is why they are so fascinating to work with

What is spineless, loves oysters, wears beige with purple flecks and fences with its penis?

The Sydney Morning Herald can't wait to tell you.

The Cheerful Mullet


Gunther von Hagens Gets Under People's Skin.

Gunther von Hagens knows how to keep his name in the news.

While BodyWorlds is still touring, von Hagens is also involved with a Channel 4 project that will teach viewers at home all they ever wanted to know about death without dying.

The four part series includeds anatomy for beginners and overviews autposies and pathology with Dr. John Lee. Armchair pathologists can even try their hand at cracking a case of their own.

The BBC gives a peek at the man behind the bodies.

Von Hagens is featured prominently in the Scotsman under the following headlines:

Corpse row 'professor' has fines cut

Von Hagens fights to keep medical title

Anger at body factory plan

Television autopsy cleared

Get the patient off the critical list

Professor's city hunt for corpses

The strange case of Professor Von Hagens

Check out von Hagens biography here. Here's the von Hagens Google image search. And a little site that features von Hagens and others inclined to seeing the human corpse as something beyond a buryable perishable.

She Led a Fruitful Life

Ivanka Perko, 73-years-old, survived Nazis and the brutal regime of Yugoslavian dictator Marshal Josip Tito. "She escaped Slovenia with nothing but the clothes on her back and a pocket full of black pepper to ward off the guard dogs, and for that I am most grateful," Mr Perko said.

Yet, this remarkable woman was ultimately brought down by a banana.

Perko herself, from her deathbed, said, "I can't believe after all this time it was a bloody banana that killed me."

"She had tried to open a banana and dropped it," a friend said. "The pointy end scraped down her leg and she died from complications."

Ms Perko had been ill for several months with a condition that made her skin delicate and fine.

Friends said it was seen as an appropriate end to a unique and fruitful life.


Don't Look at the Man Behind the Curtain

I am a genius. OK, that's patently false. I've successfully seen it make a good grab line on Graham Powell's CrimeSpot, a news aggregater that takes what's out there and puts it all on one happy, friendly, colorful place.

And now, a meaningless photo:

Cuteness Buffer XVIII

We Owe a Lot

How much?

As of this posting:

$8,188,949,271,241.01 which spread over the population of 298,302,598 people equals $27,451.82 per person.

This information provided by my daily depresser, the U.S. National Debt Clock.


N. Yeah. You know who it is.

The Neil.

Ya'll find him at the corner bar; y'know, the one all the underage kids go to 'cuz no one checks ID's. And the one the underage kids leave right quick 'cuz they're scared of the bartender.

They got nothin' but brown booze in filmy bottles served in glasses that ain't seen nothin' but used up dishwater and a greasy rag between trips to the lips. And all day and night there's metal cranked through speakers so old you can still hear the Star Spangled Banner oozing through in an acid flashback from hell.

Neil sits at the end of the bar, watching the riff raff drift in and out. Sometimes he lifts his hand from the sticky formica and waves people over. Most times he lifts his middle finger and sends 'em out.

But that Neil, he's a solid guy. He's got it goin' on in his cranium. And he tells a right good story when he's in the mood.

Hell, you buy him a drink, he might talk to ya for a spell. Give him quarter or two for the video golf machine, ya might even coax a smile out of him.