Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Darwin's Theory of Evolution Turns 150

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Charles Darwin's seminal theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species. First published in 1859, the theory was actually not all that "new" - Darwin had been working on it for years and another thinker was publishing very similar papers elsewhere in the world - but the book and its theory became one of the most controversial of all time, and remains so to this day.

Evangelical actor-turned... well, evangelist, Kirk Cameron, released a bizarre video on his website in which he calls Darwin a misogynist and links him to Hitler! Today, a video of Cameron being confronted by UCLA students surfaced on TMZ in which the actor-turned-evangelist stumbles all over his "theories." Cameron is releasing some version of The Origin of Species in which he presents counter-theory throughout.

Christie's auctioned-off a rare first-printing of Darwin's On the Origin of Species which was found on a family's bathroom shelf in Oxford. I do not know if the book has been sold yet, but it is expected to fetch upward of $100,000. About 1250 copies were in the first-print run.

Celebrations across the world have commemorated Darwin's 200th birthday this year. Many separate "Darwinism" from "Evolution," but zealous Christians do not.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

"They're He-eere!"

A Louisiana real estate agent was showing a stately, split-level home, half of which was perched atop a circular mound, when he came across a stack of about 100 bones in the cellar. Obviously disturbed, he contacted officials. A forensic investigator from Terrebonne Parish said the bones were so old, dirt had seeped into the marrow!

The real estate agent soon learned the previous homeowners would find errant bones about the property whenever they were mowing the lawn or raking leaves. They casually tossed them into the pile in the basement and forgot to mention it.

It is thought the circular mound beneath the home is an Indian burial ground.

Neither the former homeowners nor the real estate agent returned calls, but The OddBlog believes this could be what's wrong with the market... in Terrebonne Parish, at least.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ghost Adventures: Ohio Reformatory

Tonight, the crew faces one of the most aggressive spirits yet! The spirits at Ohio Reformatory are angry. The prison has a long history of violent attacks. There have been over 155,00 inmates to pass through the prison in the last century. Both guards and former inmates tell stories of seeing the worst elements of the human spirit.

A former inmate tells the guys about a man named Lockheart who was in the cell next to him. One day, Lockheart decided to douse himself in paint thinner and set himself on fire. By the time help arrived, he was already dead. As Lockheart was dragged out of his cell to be put out, trails of burnt skin were left behind him.

Outside the prison is a graveyard full of inmates who died inside. Since nobody claimed them, they were buried in the prison graveyard. Finding an old relative won't be easy though, since the only identification on the gravestones are the inmate's prisoner numbers. After Zak learns this, he says "I think when there's a dishonorable burial, there is a recipe for trapped souls."

Check out a sneak peek of tonight's episode!

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Peruvians Killed for Human Fat and Sold It to Cosmetics Firms

Four Peruvians have been arrested for murder in which their victims' fat was sold to European cosmetics firms, while more suspects remain at-large. One murderer is thought to have made a 30-year career of murdering for fat!

According to Peruvian police, a gang of murderers used job offers to lure victims to remote roads where they were killed. The killers then hung their bodies to extract their fat which police believe they sold, along with their tissue, to European cosmetic firms for about $15,000 a liter. Some of the suspects were said to have soft drink bottles filled with human fat on their person when they were arrested. Officials believe several others were involved, including two Italian nationals, and all remain fugitives. Police say the gang could be responsible for some 60 deaths in the region.

Many medical professionals are skeptical; they say human fat is readily available and only used under strict legal conditions. They doubt a black market for such exists and sincerely doubt it would go for the reported $15k. Police say some of the members have confessed to the crime, and produced two soda bottles of human fat they claimed to have taken from the accused.

The gang was called the Pishtacos, after a legendary gang which lured people to remote areas, killed them, and mutilated their bodies. Some versions of the legend have the Pishtacos extracting the fat from their victims. The Pishtacos is such a strong legend that it spans several facets of the Andean pop-culture (books, jokes, and more) and even made its way into mass pop-culture.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

OK Defense Lawyers

Like all cities, Oklahoma has a legal system which differs in some ways from that of the state and federal jurisdictions. Oklahoma city law is not to be taken lightly; the differences between the other areas of the legal system can be tricky. While the title is jocular, the truth is that criminal defense lawyers are the best way to go, even if you agree with the arrest and intend to plead guilty.

While the old saw about having a "fool for a client" doesn't always apply (who needs a lawyer to fight a $50 traffic ticket?), criminal law is a scary, complicated morass of contradictions. Do not risk (further) jail time, larger fines, or any other punitive measures. Some judges will overlook the letter of the law in order to "make an example" of people accused of certain crimes, and - as headlines and cases have proven time and again - prosecutors are almost always seeking to further their own careers, as opposed to seeking justice.

Don't risk it; get an attorney!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Normandy Nessie

Does a sea creature live in the Madeira Beach, Florida waters? According to a number of eyewitnesses - including a man who has photographic and motion picture evidence - something does!

78-year old Russ Sittloh has dubbed whatever it is people are seeing in the canal behind his home the "Normandy Nessie," after the name of the area. He first saw it in April of 2009 and has since captured a half-dozen pictures of the "Normandy Nessie."

While a local biologist says the video and pictures he has seen appear to be a manatee, Sittloh disagrees: "I've swam with manatees, I've swam with sharks, I've swam with sea snakes; there is no way it's a manatee."

Sittloh also says he's seen at least two of the creatures and is concerned for others' safety.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sleepkilling

A 59-year old man and his wife of 40 years were vacationing in a camper. As they were getting ready for bed, some youths began racing outside. The couple moved their van to higher ground and bedded down.

Early the next morning, an emergency operator received a phonecall from the man who said he had killed his wife "in a dream." During the phonecall, he explained that he had dreamt one of the racers had crawled across the bed and put him in a headlock. He fought the boy. When he awakened, his childhood sweetheart lay dead.

Both of the couple's grown daughters told attorneys the man had a sleeping disorder; he was known to "sleepwalk" and his behavior was sometimes strange during these episodes. At first, neither police nor prosecutor believed him, but after consulting sleep experts who observed the man as he slept, the prosecution decided to push for a "not guilty by reason of insanity" verdict. The defense is arguing for a simple "not guilty" verdict. Jurors were told they could find the man "not guilty" or "not guilty by reason of insanity."

Sleep experts said the man was asleep at the time of the murder and that he suffered "automatism" - a state during which his mind was not in control of his body. Further details are not forthcoming, as experts and officials seek to prevent copycat crimes. However, I can personally attest to such a state as I have personal experience with such. Of course, nobody asked me...

The man's emergency call was played during the trial. The man broke down in tears during both the original call and its playback in the courtroom. The content of the call also seemed to corroborate his story.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Pre-Employment Screening

The world is a different place these days. That may be a cliché, but it's a cliché because it's true! Some blame a failure of society - a moral failing in the relaxation of mores - while others blame the introduction of powerful, new drugs and a general distrust of the government and authority, in general. It's a complex discussion we haven't time to get into in this post, but this is the reason so many employers insist on pre-employment screening.

Again, it's a complex issue, with some insisting it is a violation of their rights, but I truly believe an employer, or business, has the right to know the character of whomever they are hiring. Accurate Information Systems provides criminal background checks, employment and education verification, even drug tests - and there are no contracts to sign, no software to load.

A business is obviously only as strong as its employees, so it only seems just that businesses should know who they are hiring.

Jesus, Son of God, Sentenced to Jail in Sweden

A Swedish court has sentenced a man claiming to be Jesus, the son of God, to 30 days in jail and fined him just over $350 for driving without license. The Swedish man was picked-up by police four times in four months in 2008 for the offense. He even tried to falsify his expired tags by using cardboard!

In the courtroom, the 46-year old defendant claimed he was Jesus, the son of God, and was therefore exempt from earthly law. He also claimed to rule the world. I do not know if his plea was ironic or if he was serious, but I do know he'll be in jail for 30 days because he did not abide by earthly driving laws.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rus-ka-bob

Three homeless men with previous criminal records have been arrested in Russia on suspicion of having murdered a man, eaten him, and sold pieces of him to a local kebab house! Police say parts of a body were discovered which lead to the three men's capture. That is when police found out the men had apparently sold some of the body to the local restaurateur. The victim is thought to have been a 25-year old man.

The site does not mention whether or not anyone was actually served human flesh.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Dark Orbs

I have no idea why my doctor's nurse practitioner would be reading this (nor how she would find it), so I don't guess it hurts to say: My doctor's nurse practitioner has the absolute worst case of dark circles I have ever seen!

Don't get me wrong, she has a tough, demanding job, so I'm sure she loses a lot of sleep and I am not making fun of her. Quite the opposite - I just happen to know someone who suffers from this particular problem. She's a pretty woman, but the black eyes make her look at least 10-15 years older than what she is. Because of her job, I suppose it doesn't matter much, but were she in a different line of work, I could see as how it could really affect her job. Even if that isn't the case, who wants to have big, black circles under their eyes?

There is something you can do, though I urge you to research all of your options before spending the first dime!

Late-Night Posting

Hi guys. I'm just dropping-in to tell you to expect late-night posts for the next couple days or so (at least). I'm still collecting stories as I come across them and will post on them when I can, but I've got to focus on the website itself right this minute, due to the big Halloween roll-out.

I apologize for upsetting the status quo, and promise things will get back to normal eventually, but right this second, the site takes precedent. My plan is to get it under control, then use a day or two to schedule posts so you get new material even if I am unable to be here.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ghost Adventures Tonight: Poveglia

Tonight's Ghost Adventures investigation is a dream come true for Zak, Nick, and Aaron. Poveglia Island is an infamous hotspot of paranormal activity so enshrouded in controversy that Venetian locals and tourists alike are banned from visiting! The team's experiences were so intense, they decided not to include some scenes.

At one point, Zak is overcome with anger and hatred. He believes he was taken over by a demonic spirit, but he chose not to include all that happened in the episode because it is so personally disturbing. It is the first experience to ever force the team to pause an investigation out of fear for their safety!

On Poveglia, is an insane asylum built on the ashes and bones of thousands of bubonic plague victims. Thousands of people have died on the island as a result of plaugue, war, tsunami, and murder.

Many of the locals in Venice refuse to even talk about Poveglia. Part of this dark energy is because during the plagues, those who showed signs of the illness were taken to the island against their will. They were left to die there, and their bodies were burned and buried.



© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Alli - Wonder Drug?

According to some statistics, 2/3 of the American population is overweight and half of those people are obese. While medical science is catching-up to the problem and new diet supplements are always under study, some say Alli is capable of doing the job today.

Another statistic: Americans spend $35 billion a year on weight-loss drugs! Weight-loss supplements can be very costly, but for those people who are grossly overweight, even obese, alli may help.

Being overweight can lead to the most serious medical conditions facing us today - diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and more - so do not weight for that "magic pill." Act today.

Wife Posed as Teen to Trap Husband

A British woman posed as a 14-year old girl online to trap her husband. When the wife became suspicious of the time her husband was spending online, 61-year old Cheryl Roberts logged-on to the computer in another room and, posing as a 14-year old girl, engaged her 68-year old husband, David Roberts, in a chatroom.

After her husband used a webcam to broadcast himself performing sex acts and asked his wife (whom he though was a teenage girl) to meet for sex, Mrs. Roberts called police. Mr. Roberts assumed he had been caught downloading child porn images and movies, which police found on his computer; it was only weeks later that he discovered his wife was involved.

David Roberts told authorities he had not had sex with anyone underage, but was "prepared to do so." He also did not know why he began behaving in such a manner and welcomed treatment. He was sentenced to three years probation and denied contact with any persons under the age of 18.

The couple has since split.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Hole-y...

About 3:30pm last Saturday, neighbors heard a loud bang. Enormous holes were then found in the roof of an Australian couple's home. Emergency workers remain baffled.

One theory is that a rare weather phenomenon called a "microburst" was to blame, but another expert dismissed that explanation, as there were no thunderstorms in the area at the time. However, workers noted a similar incident some years past which was thought to be caused by microbursts and left similar damage.

Another expert said the damage could have been caused by debris falling from an airplane, meteorites, or even marble-sized space debris (from satellites, et.al.). This debris could be so small that authorities will never find it. The holes were large enough that workers responding to the call could stand in them!

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Did Aliens Track Iranian Missile Launch?

Iran launched several test missiles a few months back, angering many countries in the West. Film of one test appears to show a UFO monitoring the launch! One expert says the object, whatever it is, is "not man-made." Another posits it could be an American drone, though admits the speed and maneuverability of the object surprise him.

Here is video of the incident.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Why Fight the Turkeys?

Everyone knows Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, including the stores. Of course, they make sure to stoke the fires by offering sales and specials for that one day. You probably recall all the fights that made national news back in the '80s, and several people actually died in a stampeded just a few years ago! But you really can't afford to miss some of those great specials...

Never fear. Buy.com also has great Black Friday specials - and you don't have to leave your house to get them! No fighting traffic, no tussling with grandmas, no fear of stampedes; simply logon to Buy.com and click on the Black Friday Specials - that's all there is to it! You don't even have to get dressed to do it!

So don't fight traffic and the elderly this Thanksgiving; just surf on over to Buy.com to get the best specials on electronics, computers, and more.

A Larger Power Hates Me

Hey guys, I know we've been slow lately. Part of that was the big Halloween roll-out, not to mention this sinus infection, but the other part is computer/technical problems.

Regular readers may recall my Vista computer was hit by lightning over the summer. I got it back up and running by disconnecting both the CD/DVD and modem, so even though I could get into it, I had no way of getting the data off of it. Since it was going to cost me nearly $200 just to get the data recovered, I decided I was better off just buying another computer. So I did.

When the new computer arrived, I found out it has no modem! While I plan on getting broadband anyway, we are so far out that the installation and monthly costs are simply more than I can presently afford. So, I'm in the same boat I was in last week... except also $350 poorer.

Anyway, I've been worrying with all of this on top of all my regular, stress-inducing problems, so my priorities, sleeping schedule, and everything else have simply been out-of-whack lately. I'm going to try to get some things scheduled ahead so this won't happen again (at least not in the immediate future), but I wanted to fill you in on what's going on.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pacifist Prisoner Denied Pussy

German courts have denied 46-year old Buddhist and convicted bank robber, Peter Koenig, visits from his cat, whom he claims is the reincarnation of his late mother. The prisoner demanded visitation rights on the grounds that other prisoners are allowed visits from their family members. The court found that, while it respects prisoners' religious freedoms, Koenig failed to provide sufficient evidence that the cat was actually the reincarnation of his dead mother.

The court did find that Koenig could write his puss.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Commercial Security

ADTGrowing-up, my parents owned a collectibles store. Due to the nature of the business and the area in which the store was located, we had to have an alarm. As soon as the alarm was installed, we got a call in the wee morning hours and had to race to the store! No one was there and there were no signs of entry or attempted entry. This happened three more times before we realized that a hanging display was tripping the alarm when the AC kicked-on! We moved the display and the alarm company sent a representative out to adjust the settings. The next time the alarm went off in the early morning hours, it was because someone had actually broken-in!

If you run a retail business selling products - and maybe even if you only sell services - then commercial security has to be a priority. The monthly cost is negligible when compared to the financial loss you and your business stand to suffer without one! Installation is quick and easy and there is no need to close your business while techs work. Further, if you pay insurance on your business, you may be able to get a lower rate once you install a security system! Don't put it off - a single theft could wipe-out some businesses!

Monday, November 9, 2009

'Man-Bashing' Canadian Woman May be Nuts

Police in British Columbia, Canada say they have some five or more reports of a Caucasian woman in either her teens or early-20s attacking men, seemingly at random. Her MO is the same each time: she approaches men on the street and kicks them in the nuts!

Most are reticent to report the crime, as it is embarrassing for them to admit they were "beaten-up by a girl." However, a 22-year old victim (who waited a month to make a report) felt obliged to do so when he had to undergo surgery to remove his testicle from his abdomen! Yes, the kick was so forceful that it forced the man's testicle into his abdomen. While doctors and surgeons thought they would be able to extract it, it was damaged beyond repair and had to be removed and replaced with a prosthetic. Doctors believe he will still be able to have kids one day.

I'm including the link to the original article so you can read the comments. Because of the nature of the crime and sociological mores, police do not know how many victims have been accosted.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Driver Kills Two at Intersection - Seven Years Apart

In 2000, Australian Michelle Thiele entered an intersection. Had she looked to her left, she would have seen 69-year old John Mitchell, who had the right of way, approaching. Unfortunately, Ms. Thiele's oversight resulted in Mr. Mitchell's death. Thiele was fined.

In 2007, Michelle Thiele entered the same intersection. Had she bothered to look to her left, she would have seen motorcyclist, Graham Bryant - who also had the right of way - approaching. Thiele's oversight once again led to a man's death.

The same coroner worked both cases and blamed Michelle Thiele entirely for both accidents, calling her "incompetent." He said, "Both men died in collisions at the same location in almost identical circumstances and at the hands of the same motorist. They both died when that same motorist failed to give way."

After this second wreck, Thiele was sentenced to eight months in prison, fined, and her license was revoked. However, the Supreme Court suspended her jail time and returned her license after a one month period!

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Those Little Details

My new laptop finally arrived Friday. My excitement was quickly tempered by the fact that it does not have a modem. And I do not have broadband. As silly as it sounds, I didn't even think to check and see if the laptop I wanted had a modem card, I just assumed it did. I'm not complaining; I know I have no one to blame and the entire world is moving toward high-speed Internet. The point is that I never even thought to check for a modem before I bought the computer and I'm bad about things like that.

When you stop to consider it, those fancy, new, flatscreen and plasma TVs need something to hold them up. But I am the type of person who just assumes they come with mounts, and some do - again, not the point - the point is that you better check before you get it home, tear open the box, and get halfway into the installation!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Chinese Cat-Girl

A few months ago, six-year old Li Xiaoyuan had a fuzzy, little birthmark on her back. When the small tuft of gray hair started spreading, doctors told her parents not to worry, that it was natural. But now, short, fine, gray hair covers the little girl's back - even the back of one of her elbows! Her peers have ostracized her and other children refuse to play with her. They taunt her with the nickname, "Cat-Girl."

One surgeon suspects Li may have a rare skin disorder which causes moles to "run amok." He says laser surgery might have helped early-on, but is too risky at this point. Doctors remain baffled by the unusual case.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Coffee? Tea? Prophesy Your Future?

Customers at the Coffee House in Tel Aviv can get a little extra with their cup o' joe: the service staff will divine their future from the grounds in the bottom of their cup! Marketing manager, Michael Steg, hired a Gypsy soothsayer to train the wait staff in reading the coffee grounds at the end of customers' coffee.

The service is free. Israel's coffee market is highly competitive.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Giant Snake Hoax

According to police, a man who "discovered" a 14' python actually owns the snake and made-up the story; they have charged Justin Matthews for non-emergency 911 calls and "maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe manner." Matthews, a professional trapper, said he pulled the stunt to heighten awareness of irresponsible pet ownership. Isn't that ironic? Don't ya think?

Matthews stuck his big, white python in the tight drain after purchasing it from a pet dealer. Residents reported seeing the snake over the following months. Justin Matthews called 911 and requested help, then "captured" the 14' snake, telling onlookers he was performing a "public service." The drain was a few feet away from an elementary school.

Florida has developed a serious issue with large, non-native snakes. The climate is conducive to the reptiles, and so many have been released into the region by irresponsible pet owners, that hunters are now legally allowed to trap them.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

PR Jobsearch

Like basically everything, there are benefits and drawbacks to using large, popular job search sites. The biggest drawbacks are that the sites are so large, they are hard to navigate and use; another is that there is obviously a lot of competition. In a field like Public Relations, there is already a lot of competition, so narrowing your search is the very first thing you need to do.

You can spend whole weeks narrowing your job search on one of these cumbersome sites, or you can narrow the playing field from jumpstreet by joining a site like PR Jobforce, making your PR Job Search that much easier, right off the bat! Further, because of their specialization on the PR field, they have numerous, highly-targeted listings for specialized employment opportunities.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Miserable People Think More Clearly, Communicate More Well

An Australian researcher has determined that sad and grumpy moods promote clearer thinking and better communication skills, particularly in written form. Happy moods facilitate creativity.

Professor Joe Forgas, an expert in psychology, had subjects watch movies and ponder positive and negative events in their lives - both activities designed to put them in a positive or negative mood - then perform tasks such as evaluating the veracity of urban myths and providing eyewitness accounts of events. Those in bad, sad - negative - moods outperformed the jolly types.

Professor Forgas told Australian Science Magazine pleasant moods "promote creativity, flexibility, co-operation and reliance on mental shortcuts," while disgruntled dispositions "trigger more attentive, careful thinking, paying greater attention to the external world [and] may actually promote a more concrete, accommodative and ultimately more successful communication style."

Forgas' earlier research indicated the same findings in relation to weather: gloomy days sharpened memory, while sunny days fostered, um... oh - forgetfulness.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Chinese 'Godmother' Arrested

Chinese police say 46-year old Xie Caiping ran illegal gambling dens and nightclubs as well as various protection rackets, protected drug users, and bribed corrupt police and officials to keep it all quiet. She also allegedly took some 16+ young lovers, an aspect of the case which kept the public riveted.

A recent crackdown in Xie's province of Chongqing resulted in the arrest of hundreds, including six district chiefs of police and other, high-ranking officials. One of these officials was Xie's brother-in-law and former head of the judiciary, also accused of running gambling dens, protecting drug users, unlawful imprisonment, bribery/corrupting officials, and racketeering. He is due to be sentenced for a string of crimes, including rape, money laundry and illegal lending, bribery, and others.

Xie is thought to have made nearly $300,000 through her illegal operations. She was fined about $160,000 and sentenced to 18 years in jail. Some 21 alleged associates were sentenced to between one and 13 years. Six people have been sentenced to death for blackmail and murder.

Western reporters have been allowed to cover the story. Chongqing's population is approximately 30 million.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Four More Albino Killers Set to Die

The Tanzanian province of Shinyanga found four men guilty of murdering an albino man and dismembering him, then selling his head and limbs to self-professed "witchdoctors," who ground them up and used them in the manufacturing of "magical potions" meant to bring the consumer wealth. The sentence follows that of three others, also sentenced to die, for the similar murder of an albino boy. All parties are expected to appeal.

While some feel the death sentences send the right message, thousands of albinos still live in fear throughout Tanzania and the surrounding regions. Many note a larger crime syndicate is at work and want those men to be arrested and convicted.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Halloween Updates

Obviously, we're all over the map here - the paranormal, Cyberculture, comic books - but the primary thrust of The Weirding remains the RPG content. And this Halloween, we've got a doozy for you: the long-awaited Chill @ The Weirding has been unleashed!

Technically, I got sick a week before Halloween and ran out of time - in many cases, the pages are not only incomplete, but the design elements are all effed-up. I apologize, but what can I do? I'll continue tweaking, updating, and uploading what I didn't get posted on Halloween. Still, this is the biggest release yet, and (as always) it's just a drop in the bucket; there's much, much, much more to come but you'll just have to make-do with what I managed to get published for now.

Chill is a horror RPG centering on envoys from a highly-secret, Supernatural investigation agency called the Society of the White Way. A classic horror RPG, Chill remains an underground staple amongst the cognoscenti. A third-edition was recently set to be released (from OtherWorld Creations), but unfortunately, has so far fallen-through. Fans of The OddBlog would enjoy it, so be sure to check it out!

The Weirding is an official Chill site.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

A Copper Kitchen Sink?

I love nice things. I can't afford them and I have few, but I love them. The thing about having nice things - aside from the fact that you have to upgrade your friends and acquaintances if you want to keep them and keep them in good condition - is that they pretty much dominate the room. You can decorate around nice electronics - lots of people watch big-screen TVs from their ratty couches - but when you have things like copper kitchen sinks, they are going to draw focus without necessarily being the center of attention.

I think a copper kitchen sink sounds gorgeous, but you would be limited in your choice of colors for paint. Your decoration tastes would also have to work with copper. I suppose that "country kitchen" look could work, especially with a light blue on the walls, but I despise that stuff! I would go with something bold on the walls, but I really don't know the style of accents.

I love nice things. Once I get them, I collect around them. But I rarely get nice things.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ghost Adventures LIVE LOCKDOWN TONIGHT!

Hi, you Halloweenies! Sorry I've been away, but I am hard at work on the annual Halloween roll-out over to the main site (www.theweirding.net). New content will be arriving tonight through tomorrow.

But I would be remiss not to mention tonight's Ghost Adventures LIVE LOCKDOWN at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. The seven-hour lockdown kicks-off season three over on your Travel Channel (check local listings). Zak and the crew will be introducing new scientific equipment and experts, consulting with locals and mediums, and have unprecedented access to all 21/2-miles of the Asylum's corridors, the seclusion cells where the most violent patients were shackled, and the medical center where Walter Freeman performed many of his barbaric ice pick lobotomies!

During these lobotomies, mentally-ill patients (which, at the time, largely consisted of "drug addicts and alcoholics") were given electroshock "therapy" to stun them, then Freeman used a mallet to pound an icepick into their eyesocket, where he wiggled the crude instrument, demolishing brain matter. Freeman's treatment was heralded as a medical breakthrough and he traveled the country, giving an estimated 50,000 patients ice pick lobotomies. Of course, those not housed in psychiatric hospitals were given local anesthetic.

Best of all, the investigation is completely interactive! Head over to www.travelchannel.com/ghostadventures to watch the whole thing unfold on static webcams, chat with other viewers and the team, send the crew IMs, and more!

The best moments of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Live Lockdown Event will be compiled and aired on November 6th, in a special entitled Ghost Adventures Live - Post-Mortem. Zak, Nick, and Aaron will host a round table discussion of the findings. Immediately following, the new season begins with a 90-minute special investigation of Venice's infamous Poveglia Island, said to have been formed by the ashes of the dead! This is a groundbreaking event as well - because "Italy's Darkest Haunt" is forbidden to locals and tourists alike! Then it's brand new investigations of all new locations through December 18th!

Episodes are available on-demand and you can join the Ghost Adventures' fan pages on Facebook and MySpace, and follow them on Twitter. Just check the official site to find all this and much more!

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Centuries-Old Tombstones Found in Man's Backyard

A retired construction worker was shocked to discover two 19th-Century tombstones while doing some landscaping in his Michigan backyard. One headstone bore a name, William E. Turner, but the name had worn-off the other. A family plot in the cemetery across the street belongs to the Turners and a city clerk said some kids used to tie headstones to horses and pull them down in acts of vandalism.

I include this account because it is evidence of how a little legwork can expose the mundanity of what might otherwise be a creepy, little mystery. Oh, and because a woman showed-up at the city clerk's that same day and mentioned she was a relative of an E.D. Turner. "We we were all very shocked by the coincidence," the city clerk said. Officials are hoping the woman reappears so they can question her about any historical significance.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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