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Flattery and Harrassment, and RIP: Don LaFontaine


Don laFontaine, voice of movie trailers, dies

“Don LaFontaine, the man who popularized the catch phrase “In a world where…” and lent his voice to thousands of movie trailers, has died. He was 68.”

And now to change gears COMPLETELY(!), I was Stumbling and came across an article on FinallyFeminism101 by Jennifer Kesler (of The Hathor Legacy, for those of you who follow that blog) called “Why, if you think women should be flattered by your harassment, you are stupid.” The FF101 site looks pretty cool so far, and Jennifer Kesler is always a good read, so I don’t want to infringe on their traffic by copying and pasting too much from the article, but if you’re not into clicking around you’ll miss the author’s message and approach to the topic, which I found refreshingly clear, so I’m including a short segment of the article below.

For whatever reason I’ve somehow randomly Stumbled Upon a ton of articles on feminist themes lately and more often than not they’re bogged down by so much intellectual posturing and “Hear Me Roar” name dropping that I can barely make it through the opening paragraph without yelling at my computer screen that *this* is part of why people can’t make heads or tails of New Wave feminism! It’s too bloody hard to understand what it’s about or why anyone should care!

Sorry. Little diversion there. At any rate, a few excerpts from the FF101 article (bolded emphases mine):

I recently wrote a post to explain the difference between street harassment and sincere flirtation. Unthinkingly, I wrote it to an audience of women. I guess I unconsciously assumed any man who would yell sexual remarks at strange women would not come to this site in an attempt to figure out why “that uptight bitch” glared at him, told him off or called his boss and damn near got him fired!

She may have a point there…

That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t write that version all the same, so here it is. If you’re a man who has been rebuffed more than once by women you thought you were flattering, this article is for you. (I say “more than once” because misunderstandings could account for the occasional incident.)

I appreciate that she allows for the reality that sometimes it really is just a misunderstanding, that sometimes it’s something totally out of your control that makes a situation go awry.

The first problem with thinking a woman should be flattered by your behavior and getting irritated when she’s not is that flattery is subjective. Some people are flattered by comments about how smart they are. Others want to hear how good they look. And some of us react warily whenever someone seems to be attempting to flatter us because we assume they’re buttering us up for a favor.

A-men. And now for the self-referential bloggy part:

If I really break it down for myself, I’m more likely to be flattered by positive comments about my appearance, and more likely to be empowered by positive comments about my abilities. The logical, responsible side of me will take empowerment over flattery any day. But, slippery Piscean that I am, that logical side often loses out to the side that wants nothing more than to see that black shirt with the ties in the back fit again like it did when I first bought it and anyone who says it still looks good on me is automatically bumped up to BFF status.

To make matters trickier for would-be flatterers, if you catch me in the right (wrong?) mood I’ll take compliments on my appearance as a threat and high tail it out of that conversation as quickly as I can. I don’t know what you’re after and I’m not in a state of mind to figure it out so: better to be gone than to be praised! And if I’m in the right (wrong?) mood and you say something positive about some project I’ve worked on, some job I’m done, I’m just as likely to assume you want me to do something similar for you and to doubt your sincerity since for all I know you’re just trying to buy me off with oohs and ahhs.

And it’s not that I advocate cynicism; I don’t. In the words of Peggy Noonan, “Cynicism is… unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don’t have to try.”

I’d rather feel encouraged, empowered, and proud than flattered and blushing, but in the end it doesn’t matter what external or internal quality you’ve focused on: there’s always a tinge of fear there. Does the person giving the compliment really mean what they’re saying? Are they putting me on? Are they trying to get something from me? Do they expect me to compliment them back, thereby giving them the idea I’m equally interested in them when I know that I’m not? So in my individual case, it’s pretty darn likely that any flattery directed my way is most likely not going to come across to me the way you intended.

If a woman doesn’t take what you intended as a compliment the way you expect, the correct response is to recognize you’ve had a communication problem, and it might be that she misunderstood you but it might also be that you don’t sound like you think you do. To think of her, call her, or later describe her to your friends as an “uptight bitch” is an attempt to feel superior to her – to label her as defective. Because that is the real reason you’re yelling at her – to, in some way, make yourself feel superior. If that weren’t true – if you really just found her appealing and were hoping for her phone number – you’d be anxious to correct the communication problem and, with any luck, actually get that number.

So so true.

Is it possible that the woman really was being an “uptight bitch”? Of course! Some people are just inappropriately negative and callous in otherwise benign situations and we should probably consider ourselves lucky when they don’t respond favorably to our flattery because if that’s not dodging a social bullet then I don’t know what is.

But that’s not the particular context the author of this article is connecting with at this time, nor do I think it’s neglectful to not focus on it here. This isn’t an article about how to deal with genuinely irritating people who are irritating for no reason. It’s an article about what you may really be seeing when things don’t work out the way you’d expected.

If you’re into someone and the way you express it doesn’t translate for them, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with them or with you, (unless you’re an “uptight “fill-in-the-blank” of your own), so to berate them, or yourself, in a situation like this just doesn’t follow logically. If they’re worth the initial trouble, they’re worth respecting after the fact regardless of the outcome, so a lack of respect on your part betrays your own idiocy and inability to properly judge people and situations. And if they weren’t worth the initial trouble then you have no good reason to poison the waters around them and should probably find some other way to occupy your time than flattering people who don’t interest you.

Like learning to shave in a grocery store bathroom using generic KY.

RIP: Isaac Hayes


Soul Legend Isaac Hayes dies

(CNN) — Soul singer and arranger Isaac Hayes, who won Grammy awards and an Oscar for the theme from the 1971 action film “Shaft,” has died, sheriff’s officials in Memphis, Tennessee, reported Sunday.

Relatives found Hayes, 65, unconscious in his home next to a still-running treadmill, said Steve Shular, a spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

Paramedics attempted to revive him and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m., the sheriff’s department said.

No foul play is suspected, the agency said in a written statement.”

Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac just finished filming a movie with Samuel L. Jackson called Soul Men which is currently in post. Jackson had better watch his back. If I were him I’d be shakin’ in my platforms.

Of Walruses and Bloody Ducks


Today’s Vlog:

A project that could’ve been, and a possible upcoming audition.

Should I go for it? Do the audition? I have until mid-September to decide… Help!

Well??

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I’m at home watching “Enchanted,” drinking a Wild Berry wine cooler, and eating Easy Mac.

i would rather be… um… I can’t think of any place… I know I’d rather be somehow else, if not somewhere else. :S

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Yes, she looks tired and ill, but give Madonna a break. That’s what happens when we women hit 50.

(I tested that link a few times and sometimes it just doesn’t work. No idea why. The article is by Liz Jones and is on the Daily Mail website.)

“And do you know what? This rampant ageism really hurts. I was in the hairdresser the other day (the demented, feverish need of all women past the age of 35 to have our roots retouched every 14 days is as oppressive as foot binding) when the young colourist dared to say: ‘The white regrowth is really obvious, I wonder you didn’t wear a hat!’

I would have been quite within my rights to opine: ‘Well, at least I’m not fat and wearing a ridiculous mini skirt and prone to varicose veins because I’m on my feet all day.’

I could have said all this, but I am sure if I had jaws would have dropped noiselessly around me.

When I challenged the young woman, wondering whether, as I was a paying client, she might have been a bit more tactful, she said, affronted and surprised: ‘Would you prefer it if I wasn’t honest?’

Well, yes, I would, actually, you dim cow. And I would be very grateful if designers and stylists and photographers and magazine editors would stop holding up 16-year-old children as some sort of ideal we should all aspire to.

Yes, teenage girls don’t have deep grooves running from nose to mouth, or thinning eyebrows and really stubborn white whiskers, but neither do they have wit, or conversation, or mystery, or opinions, or experience, or memories, or money.”

*grinning from ear to ear*


Got an email the other day from a fellow Spiraler with a link to a blog review by Russ Bickerstaff of “Wait Until Dark.” It came too late to help the show, but we sold well and got some awesome feedback anyway, even in spite of a weird review in the Freeman, so who the heck cares? ;D

I’m just really encouraged by the fact that the writer of this blog/review still saw the show even though it’d be too late to post anything about it before we closed. I mean– that’s pretty cool, right?

Anyway- here’s a link to the blog, and here’s a big chunk from it:

…the space at Bucketworks was reasonably accommodating for the final performance of Wait Until Dark. It was a hot night and the heat carried into the crowded space as Giffin appeared to give the curtain speech. After a brief and congenial introduction, the show started. The opening of the play faded in slowly, allowing for a cursory evaluation of the set, which was solidly constructed for a theatre company with limited funds. The space almost looked lived-in–very impressive for a show that had only been running for a couple of weekends. The story seeped-in around the edges of the set as Brian Richard and Randal T. Anderson began to set the tone in the role of a pair of ex-cons ho had broken into an apartment in Greenwich Village. Anderson was the rougher-sounding of the two, speaking in a voice that reminded me of a Brooklyn I’d never been to. Richards is a distinctively familiar face, having appeared in a number of shows between Spiral and RSVP over the course of the past few years. Here Richards is the tragic “nice guy” criminal who probably would’ve ended up in a more honest profession had things gone differently for him. Richards and Anderson have a natural rhythm for their dialogue that fits the familiarity of the characters well. It isn’t easy to construct familiarity between two actors onstage in a way that seems entirely natural, but Anderson and Richards pull it off quite nicely.

With the early elements of the plot established between Richards and Anderson, Matthew J. Patten appears onstage in the role of their employer. Patten towers over everyone else onstage as usual, but here his height really adds something–here he’s playing a savvy, sinister criminal and the height adds a physical dimension to a commanding stage presence. Patten’s mastermind outlines a job for the other two: they must find a doll filled with narcotics that one of the apartment’s residents unwittingly brought with him from a trip out of town.

Of course, the three men don’t find the doll right away and the couple who live in the apartment return home quit unaware of the three men or their interest in the apartment. The couple in question are Sam and Susy Hendrix. Sam (Nate Press) is a professional photographer. Susy (Ruth Arnell) is recovering from an accident that has left her blind. Press and Arnell have a palpable chemistry together that establishes itself early, which is good because it has to. Sam doesn’t end up in much of the play, so he has to make enough of an impression early on that we feel his effect on Susy for the rest of the play. Press does an excellent job of doing this without making his character seem too unduly charming or superhuman. In the role of the heroine, Arnell is probably onstage for longer than any other person. Arnell carries the center of the play with casual, well-executed grace. The plot that rushes over the stage seems a bit awkward and artificial, but Arnell does a breathtaking job of grounding the production in a very sympathetic emotional center.

Gloria Loeding rounds out the cast in the role of the girl from the apartment upstairs, also named Gloria. Loeding is playing a girl far younger than she is, but she’s carrying the role pretty well considering the character comes harrowingly close to being little more than a plot device. Her role in the central conflict of the story comes as little surprise, which probably has more to do with the script than the production.

The only major flaw in Spiral’s final production at Bucketworks was the title noun. The climax of the play is slowly bathed in darkness as Susy confronts the villains on her own terms. Though Hooker did an admirable job with the production’s lighting design, the space at Bucketworks spilled too much light … rendering messy, imperfect shades of darkness that felt relatively uncomfortable in the summer heat. …

Isn’t that cool?! :D

I know Brian, Randall and Gloria are in something together that opens in a couple months, and Matthew’s in something that opens around the same time. Don’t know what Doug and Nate are up to, but when I find out, and when I get the details on B, R, G and M I’ll definitely post it here so you can check these people out. They’re great. :D

And then today- or was it yesterday?- I also received an email with a link to Russ’s Year In Review pt. 2 blog post and man: I just can’t stop smiling. :D Part two starts off with: “Towards the end of last February, Spiral Theatre staged the single best romance of the year with Ruth Arnell and Ryan Dance in Butterflies Are Free…”

*grins*

Too cool, man.

And to Mr. Bickerstaff: Thanks. Really. Thank you so much. You’ve made my mom ‘n’ pop ‘n’ me smile very much this season with your reviews, and we’ve needed that. Thank you.

“Very different, very diverse…”


Item #1

How “very different, very diverse” can an album be that’s the work of an 18 year old pop tart? Especially when it premieres on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show…

Do the music world a favor and stick to whale songs, Panettiere.

Item #2

Biggest oil price drop in 17 years

Crude falls $6.45 a barrel – 2nd largest price drop in dollar terms – as Fed chief indicates inflation and high fuel prices will cut into U.S. demand for oil.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Oil prices plummeted by the second-largest margin on record Tuesday as investors feared a further decline in U.S. demand after hearing comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Light, sweet crude fell $6.44 to settle at $138.74 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. …

On Tuesday morning, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that high energy prices have helped to limit the purchasing power of U.S. households. High energy costs will remain a drag on the U.S. economy for the rest of the year, Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday. That could result in businesses pushing a greater percentage of their high fuel and commodity costs through to consumers, he warned.

Every week my dad’s roofing company gets another letter in the mail from yet another vendor saying that due to the rising price of petroleum they have to charge more to ship everything, and the cost of making a lot of the materials has increased as well, ex. asphalt shingles.

So if a year ago he charged you $20 for your roof– $11 of which went to materials, $2 to labor, $3 to taxes, $3 to insurance, and $1 to profit– you sure as heck had better believe he’s going to raise his prices when materials go up to $15, or else what does he not get to pay for anymore? His workers? His taxes? His insurance?

Oh wait, that’s right. He’s supposed to not make his profit any more so that we can force the country to become less oil dependent… and he can still be $3 short on the bills… or pay his laborers less… and still be short on the bills…

Immediately following Bernanke’s speech, prices dropped more than $9, sinking below $136 a barrel, before recovering some. … Gasoline prices in the U.S. maintained record highs at $4.109 a gallon Tuesday, according to a daily survey from motorist group AAA.

It was $4.11/gal at the Speedway by my folks’ place yesterday morning, then some time between 11 and 1 it jumped to $4.23. Then first thing this morning the area pumps were back down to between $4.11 and $4.19/gal. Let’s keep up that trend, folks…

Item #3

Pricey gas: Fewer cops, more potholes

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com)  — In what seems to be a perverse reaction to high gas prices, some cities are cutting back on public transit – at a time when their citizens need it most.

… The Montana Highway Patrol, after failing to find enough police recruits, is using $300,000 that had been set aside for more officers to pay the gas bill instead. Sheriff’s departments in Maryland and Florida have also reportedly cut patrol routes or officers.

“It’ll mean more speeding, more drunk drivers, and more fatal crashes,” [said Ronald Reucker, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.] Less lucky are city bus departments. …

“We’re planning on laying off some staff and cutting some routes that are poor performers,” said Jerry Masek, a spokesman for the Greater Cleveland Regions Transit Authority. “People will still have service, but not as much.”

…Cleveland has seen its bus fuel bill go from $5 million a year in 2003 to a projected $21 million in 2008. Out of a total budget of $230 million, that’s a lot of cash.

“You just can’t absorb that without doing something,” said Masek. He… said a combination of fare hikes could spare some neighborhoods. “[Riders] would rather pay more than lose service,” he said. “No matter how much we raise fares, it’s still cheaper than driving.”

And undoubtedly easier on your car, especially if the road repair crew is in a situation like New Jersey’s. It’s not the cost of driving those big dump trucks that’s straining the budget at the New Jersey Department of Transportation. It’s the price of paving.

What many people don’t know is that asphalt is made largely from oil. It’s the heavy oil at the bottom of a barrel that can’t be refined into gasoline, diesel, jet fuel or other lighter products. And it’s risen in price right along with gasoline. The price for the main component in asphalt has jumped nearly 90 percent since last year. …

*guh*

The threatening of Indium


WHAT?!

Stolen directly from Slashdot:

tomhudson writes:

“While we bemoan the current oil crisis, I ran across an editorial that led me to research a more immediate threat. Ramped-up production of flat-panel displays means the material to make them will be ‘extinct’ by 2017. This goes for other electronics as well. Quoting: ‘The element gallium is in very short supply and the world may well run out of it in just a few years. Indium is threatened too, says Armin Reller, a materials chemist at Germany’s University of Augsburg. He estimates that our planet’s stock of indium will last no more than another decade. All the hafnium will be gone by 2017 also, and another twenty years will see the extinction of zinc. Even copper is an endangered item, since worldwide demand for it is likely to exceed available supplies by the end of the present century.’ More links at the journal entry.”

That’s it! No more fancy copper work! Take your old screens out of storage! Stop… stockpiling gallium!

Or hurry up and develop a new, renewable way to make these things. o_O

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There’s a huge, black fly in here that’s trying to make me kill it. Shoo, fly. Don’t you see I have banana chips I need to be eating?

Anybody have a cool three mil they’d like to lay on me? ‘Cause I’ll totally take it.

Also: I cannot stand this woman. Come ON, Robert Rodriguez!! Think think think!! Mistake mistake mistake!!

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macromarco83: Hehe, that was hilarious :) Did give me a bunch of ideas though.

:D

69bonzo69: Lol, you could do with less milkshakes…

:'(

I am a big, incompetant, unprofessional boob.


I got my dad’s internet up and running at his new office! Hooray! *shakes clasped hands heartily above head before remembering “I’m not a boxer!!”*

I’ve been thinking about Jake M. a lot lately for some reason. (Jake: How are you?)

And to my friend Sarah K. who has been having eventful days right and left lately: Keep on truckin’, little lady. You’re doing beautiful things oh so beautifully.

Time to wrap this up and frantically try to learn a few more lines before rehearsal tonight. We were supposed to be off book last night. Who had their script on stage for most of her scenes anyway? That’s right: ME! *sigh* It’s getting easier now that we’re not changing the set constantly anymore (I hope). I learn lines by doing them in the context of the scene on stage with the other actors, but when I’m constantly having to re-time stuff it just– ugh. It throws me. Because I am a big, incompetent, unprofessional boob.

*pllbbbbbbbt*

HAHAHAHAHA!!

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Pollution to Protest
Posted by Laura Ling on Current.com

“China’s rapid economic growth has stunned the world, making it a global power in a short span of years. It has also produced a staggering amount of environmental damage, which the world is also beginning to note. But it has also done something else spurred ordinary Chinese citizens to start organizing, sometimes in defiance of the government. In the process, they’ve created the beginnings of a civil society that could bring greater freedom overall inside the worlds largest dictatorship.”

And in a timely bit of Stumbling… Olympic nightmare: A red tide in the Yellow Sea

It’s Thursday. We’re almost done.


“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

“You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.”
– James Thurber

“Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.”
– Thomas Jones

How I nearly lost my business after refusing to hire a Muslim hair stylist who wouldn’t show her hair

For Sarah Desrosiers, meeting Bushra Noah was not a moment in her life that she would describe as especially memorable. Not only was it brief  –  lasting little more than ten minutes  –  but it was rapidly obvious to Sarah that Bushra was not the person for the junior stylist position she was trying to fill at her hairdressing salon.

Sarah’s reasoning? Quite simply that Bushra, a Muslim who wears a headscarf for religions reasons, had made it clear she would not be removing the garment even while at work. Sarah felt that a job requirement of any hairdresser was that the stylist’s hair would provide clients with a showcase of different looks. Especially one working in a salon such as hers, which specialises in alternative cuts and colours. Yet the ten minutes during which Sarah’s world collided with Bushra’s has resulted in an extraordinary employment battle, in which  she was accused of ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ discrimination.

For a year, Sarah has been facing financial ruin, due to a compensation claim for £34,000  brought by Bushra, 19, who has maintained she is due that figure after being turned down for a job at the Wedge salon in London’s King’s Cross.

In the event, the tribunal ruled this week that while Bushra’s claim of direct discrimination failed, her claim for indirect discrimination had succeeded. Sarah has therefore been ordered to pay £4,000 compensation by way of ‘injury to feelings’. Although this is a smaller sum than she’d feared she might have to hand over, Sarah, 32, is still outraged. ‘I am a small business and the bottom line is that this is not a woman who worked for me,’ says Sarah. …

Click here for Sarah’s MySpace.

And don’t bother looking up news vids of this on YouTube. You’ll just get videos of some black-haired emo dude. :P

Mystery surrounds severed feet near Canada

(CNN) — Investigators are pursuing a variety of theories in their quest to unravel the mystery of six human feet that have washed up on the shores of the Canadian province of British Columbia in the last 11 months.

The sixth foot turned up Wednesday — a right foot in a man’s size 10 black Adidas athletic shoe, police said. As in the previous cases, however, immediate answers as to the foot’s origin eluded detectives. …

Report: Gloucester Teens Had Pact To Get Pregnant

GLOUCESTER (WBZ) There’s a stunning twist to the sudden rise in teen pregnancies at Gloucester High School. 17 students there are expecting and, according to a published report, most of them became that way on purpose.

Time Magazine is reporting that nearly half of the girls confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. None of the girls is older than 16. …

Normally, the school has about four pregnancies per school year. …

A recent graduate who had a baby during her freshman year told Time she knows why the girls wanted to get pregnant. “They’re so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally,” Amanda Ireland, 18, said. “I try to explain it’s hard to feel loved when an infant is screaming to be fed at 3 a.m.” …

“French-type” Films


Did Martin Luther King, Jr. really say “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”??

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Marilyn Monroe Sex Tape Sells for $1.5M

… Heavily redacted, declassified FBI documents from the 1960s talk about a “French-type” film starring the late actress …

Uh… “French-type”? Wha-???

Tom Cruise Concerned About Posh Spice’s Influence on Katie Holmes

… During another recent outing to Madeo, Katie and Posh shared a green salad without dressing, one piece of fish and one side of steamed spinach, Life and Style reported. They also ordered one regular Coke and two glasses of ice.

“Katie poured half the soda into each of their glasses, then filled up the rest with bottled water,” a Madeo regular told the magazine.”

What?! *Gah!* If that’s what it takes to be thin– man I’m just not so sure I want it…

100 Best First Lines from Novels

15. The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. -Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938)

46. Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex’s admonition, against Allen’s angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all argued, an awesome African army assembled and arduously advanced against an African anthill, assiduously annihilating ant after ant, and afterward, Alex astonishingly accuses Albert as also accepting Africa’s antipodal ant annexation.  -Walter Abish, Alphabetical Africa (1974)

47. There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. -C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

78. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.  -L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between (1953)

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In other news: I’m an idiot.

I’m reading George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series (it’s incredible) and I just finished the second book about an hour ago and was all set to dive right into the third book when I realized, much to my horror, that the book sitting on my shelf isn’t the third book but the fourth!

I bought books two and (apparently) four when I was in Dallas in November so that as soon as I finished book one I could move right into the next one. I’d intended to buy two through four at the time, but decided to save a few bucks and some space in my luggage on my return trip to Wisconsin, so I put book (apparently) three back on the shelf.

Whoops.

For some reason I cannot understand myself, I spent ages and ages finishing up book two. Don’t ask me how or why I did it; glutton for punishment perhaps. In the meantime I’ve been ignoring the book on my shelf because it didn’t matter yet, so I had no idea that all this time I’ve been sitting here with a book I can’t read yet!

Well it damn well matters now that I want to read book three and can’t. Doggonit…

I’m picking it up at B&N tomorrow on my way home from work, as well as putting in an order for the “Wait Until Dark” script. *sigh* How am I ever going to memorize that bloomin’ thing…

Trading Up


I have a neighbor who plays music with a hugely heavy bass line and he plays it so loudly I almost miss the mariachi music outside our windows in Canyon Country. I seriously want to close a door on his head. A couple of times.

Affidavit: Report of child brides led to raid

According to the affidavit, the teen bride reported her husband “beat and hurt her whenever he got angry — hitting her in the chest and choking her — and that while such abuse was occurring, one of the other women in the home would hold her infant child.”

On March 30, the teen called again. She told workers she was last beaten Easter Sunday. Her husband told her if she tried to leave the ranch “she would be found and locked up.”

She said church members also told her if she left the ranch “outsiders will hurt her, force her to cut her hair, to wear makeup and [different] clothes and to have sex with lots of men.”

Boo-frickin’-hoo. Sounds like a trade up to me, man.

Possibly hundreds of billions of barrels of recoverable oil in the Dakotas? Uh… yeah. Let’s do that.

Beached Homers


“A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.”
Oscar Wilde

“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
Walt Whitman

“I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only an escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.”
Mitch Hedberg

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I just don’t get Venezuela.

Venezuela Beaches Homer for the Hoff

No one pinpointed what exactly about the melodrama revolving around scantily clad lifeguards was more acceptable for impressionable children than the iconic sitcom, but the National Telecommunications Commission reported receiving viewer complaints. …

Station general manager Perez Nahim told the Venezuelan newspaper Ultimas Noticias on Friday, when the change went into effect, that the station itself never received Simpsons-related complaints, so he hoped it would continue to have a strong following once it’s rescheduled.

“We are hoping it will continue to have a good rating, because The Simpsons worked very well – so much so that it had the highest levels of viewership for that morning timetable in the history of the channel,” Nahim said.

Scientists Unveil High-Res Map of the U.S. Carbon Footprint

The work, known as The Vulcan Project, has already yielded a significant discovery: Previous CO2 estimates that used population as a proxy for emissions overestimated the Northeast’s greenhouse-gas generation, while underestimating the coal-heavy Southeast’s contribution.

Letting the crazy in


I’m watching Keep the River on Your Right, eating a hot dog, blogging, and wondering how hard it would really be to take a trip to India or Peru…

Probably harder than eating hot dogs in front of two screens. :P

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Oh my God… “So I guess the parenting lesson to learn from this is that if you spank the gay out of your kids, you might let the crazy in.”

Beyonce and Jay-Z Take Out Marriage License

High School Graduation Rates Plummet Below 50 Percent in Some U.S. Cities

Seventeen of the nation’s 50 largest cities had high school graduation rates lower than 50 percent, with the lowest graduation rates reported in Detroit, Indianapolis and Cleveland, according to a report released Tuesday.

Researchers: Asteroid Destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah

A clay tablet that has baffled scientists for 150 years has been identified as a witness’s account of the asteroid suspected of being behind the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Researchers who cracked the cuneiform symbols on the Planisphere tablet believe that it recorded an asteroid thought to have been more than half a mile across.

How a child prodigy at Oxford became a £130-an-hour prostitute

With the intellect to win a place at Oxford at the age of 13, Sufiah Yusof should, by now, be carving out a high-flying career for herself. But a decade after hitting the headlines thanks to her remarkable aptitude for mathematics – and days after her father was jailed for sexually assaulting two teenagers – Miss Yusof has been exposed as a £130-an-hour prostitute.

Teen’s Donated Organs Spread Cancer to Four Recipients, Killing Two

The family of a 15-year-old New York boy thought they were helping him to live on by donating his organs. Instead, the organs spread a rare, undiagnosed cancer to the four transplant recipients, according to a report from WCBSTV.com.

Police: Teacher Told Class to Hit Tardy Student

A Delta high school English teacher punished a student who was late for class by ordering him to do push-ups and sit-ups and letting other students hit him when he failed to complete the exercise, police said Monday.

Student Sues Wisconsin School After Getting a Zero for Religious Drawing

A Tomah High School student has filed a federal lawsuit alleging his art teacher censored his drawing because it featured a cross and a biblical reference. … The student, a senior identified in the lawsuit by the initials A.P., added a cross and the words “John 3:16 A sign of love” in his drawing. … Later that day, assistant principal Cale Jackson told the boy his religious expression infringed on other students’ rights. …

A Buddha and Hindu figurines are on display in a social studies classroom, the lawsuit claims, adding the teacher passionately teaches Hindu principles to students. …A replica of Michaelangelo’s “The Creation of Man” is displayed at the school’s entrance, a picture of a six-limbed Hindu deity is in the school’s hallway and a drawing of a robed sorcerer hangs on a hallway bulletin board. Drawings of Medusa, the Grim Reaper with a scythe and a being with a horned head and protruding tongue hang in the art room and demonic masks are displayed in the metals room…