Awesome Quotes: Paul Krugman
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
Film Review of the Week
"Even as I was watching 'Cloud Atlas' the first time, I knew I would need to see it again. Now that I've seen it the second time, I know I'd like to see it a third time — but I no longer believe repeated viewings will solve anything. To borrow Churchill's description of Russia, 'it is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.' It fascinates in the moment. It's getting from one moment to the next that is tricky."
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE OK CORRAL?
Analysis by Kieran Mulvaney
Fri Oct 26, 2012
On Oct. 26, 1881, four men met at the corner of Fifth and Allen Streets in the bustling silver mining town of Tombstone, Arizona. They walked north on Fifth, turned left on Fremont Street and headed toward a vacant lot next to the OK Corral.
Minutes later, three men would be dead, and the four men who had walked to the corral and killed them – Tombstone marshal Virgil Earp, his brothers Wyatt and Morgan, and Wyatt’s friend Doc Holliday – had unknowingly secured their places in history.
The Gunfight at the OK Corral is arguably the single most famous incident in the Old West. But what was it about? And why has it, above all the many other gunfights that took place in the era of frontier justice, achieved such infamy?
To understand the gunfight, you have to first understand the town. Tombstone in 1881 was a thriving, bustling silver mining community.
“There’s a huge misconception about Tombstone in the 1880s: that it was a violent, dangerous place,” says local author and historian Don Taylor. “It was extremely sophisticated and massively wealthy. Thirty-seven million dollars in 1880s dollars of silver was mined here; that’s $8.25 billion today. They had everything.
“They had fresh seafood every day. They would catch it in Baja California; pack it in barrels of salt, ice and seaweed at dusk; freight it by train to Benson or Contention City, immediately pack it on to wagons and bring it here by dawn every day. It was a very opulent town. But again, people don’t understand – especially if they come today – Tombstone was open 24 hours a day.
The miners worked rotating 10 hour shifts; everything had to be open when they got off, including banks. They were also pumping 2.5 million gallons of water out of the mines every day to keep them dry; so you had all the mining activity, all the milling activity, all the water rushing down Toughnut Street, and the town open 24 hours a day. It must have been noisy as hell.”
As the mines thrived, so did all manner of supporting businesses: banks, bars, restaurants, hotels – and prostitutes, many of whom worked out of small ‘cribs’ that lined Sixth Street. The riches to be, had attracted plenty of would-be entrepreneurs -- among them Wyatt, Virgil, Morgan, James and Warren Earp, and Doc Holliday.
Both Virgil and Wyatt had been lawmen; Virgil had recently been appointed deputy marshal for the part of the Arizona Territory that included Tombstone, and although some record-keeping at the time was poor, it is possible that Wyatt may have been a deputy marshal as well.
Certainly, it appears as if all the brothers were anxious to join the list of those profiting from Tombstone’s booming business: they invested in one of the mines, James tended bar, Wyatt rode as a stagecoach guard and dealt faro – the popular card game of the time – in a local saloon.
But Tombstone’s growth and growing sophistication grated with one segment of society: the ‘cowboys’, a loose confederation of ranchers and cattle rustlers. The cowboys – who were predominantly rural, southern Confederates – eyed the primarily Yankee mercantile class that was dominating Tombstone, and which the Earps typified, with suspicion. And the feeling was mutual.
It didn’t take long after the Earps’ arrival in late 1879 for tensions between them and the cowboys to develop, particularly with Virgil and Wyatt spending time in law enforcement positions. That tension reached boiling point when Wyatt helped in the identification and arrest of some cowboy members in a pair of stagecoach robberies, and the cowboys in turn asserted that Wyatt and Holliday had in fact been the ones responsible for the holdups.
On the night of Oct. 25, 1881, one of the cowboy leaders, Ike Clanton, got into a heated, drunken argument with Holliday, and the next morning he wandered drunkenly up and down Allen Street, threatening to kill him and the Earps. A series of confrontations steadily escalated until Virgil was informed that a group of armed cowboys had gathered outside Fly’s Boarding House – where Holliday was living – in a vacant lot close to the OK Corral.
Carrying guns inside city limits was a violation of a town ordinance, and it provided Virgil, who was now town marshal, with an opportunity to arrest the cowboys. But there may also have been other considerations at play.
As the self-identified Dr. Jay, who leads historical tours of Tombstone, explains: “Ike Clanton had openly threatened to kill the Earps. And why are they in that alley? Because it’s right outside Fly’s Boarding House. So if you’re Doc Holliday, you show up and here’s a bunch of guys with guns outside your house. You might want to think about, ‘Are they going to get me tomorrow if I don’t get them today?’”
Virgil deputized his brothers and Holliday and they set off for the vacant lot.
“Throw up your hands,” shouted Virgil as they reached the alleyway’s entrance. “I mean to disarm you.”
There was a pause, and the click-click of a gun – or guns – being cocked.
“Hold on, I don’t want that!” shouted Virgil, but it was too late.
There were two shots fired simultaneously – it is uncertain by whom – and then, as Wyatt later testified, “the fight then became general.”
Ironically, Ike Clanton, who had instigated the confrontation, fled the scene, grabbing Wyatt and screaming that he was unarmed.
“The fight has commenced,” snarled Earp. “Get to fighting or get away.” Clanton promptly took off, as did another cowboy, Billy Claiborne.
Within seconds, two of the cowboys – Tom McLaury and Billy Clanton – lay mortally wounded, Virgil Earp had been shot in the calf, and Morgan Earp shot through the shoulder blades. A third cowboy, Frank McLaury, shot in the stomach, staggered into Fremont Street and leveled his gun at Holliday.
“I’ve got you now,” he said, mistakenly believing Holliday was out of ammo.
“Blaze away,” taunted Holliday. “You’re a daisy if you do.”
At that point both Holliday and Morgan Earp fired almost simultaneously; bullets from one or both of their guns struck McLaury in the head, killing him.
The entire gunfight lasted approximately 30 seconds.
The following day, the headline in the 'Tombstone Epitaph' newspaper read, “Three Men Hurled into Eternity in the Duration of a Moment.” The cowboys’ supporters insisted their men had been killed in cold blood. The Earps and Holliday stood trial for murder, but were cleared.
A hundred and thirty years later, the gunfight has been the focus of numerous motion pictures, and a part of many more – and was even pivotal to an episode in the original series of Star Trek. So we ask again: why has the slaying of three men on a misdemeanor firearms violation endured through history?
Don Taylor offers one explanation. “In January 1881, (Tombstone mayor) John Clum joined the brand new Associated Press,” he explains. “So everything he wrote went to San Francisco, Chicago, New York. Everybody knew what was going on here.”
There was also, explains Tim Fattig, who works as a tourist guide at the OK Corral and has written a voluminous biography of Wyatt Earp, another factor: the fact that the gunfight did not mark the end of the Earp-cowboy feud.
On Dec. 28, 1881, Virgil Earp survived an assassination attempt, but lost the use of his left arm. The following March, Morgan was gunned down and killed while playing billiards.
In revenge, Wyatt, Warren Earp, Holliday and others set out on a “vendetta ride” for justice, in which they killed at least three cowboys, including the faction’s de facto leader, Curly Bill Brocius.
“It was the vendetta ride that truly elevated the gunfight in public perception,” Fattig says. “The idea of a brother gaining revenge for one brother’s murder and another being wounded is compelling.”
That’s one reason why Wyatt Earp dominates the history books and the mythology at his brothers’ expense: he was the one who led the ride for vengeance. There is also another reason: In 1931, two years after Earp’s death, author Stuart Lake published Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal, a hagiographic account he had produced with Earp’s collaboration. After that came the movies - My Darling Clementine, Gunfight at the OK Corral and more - and the TV series, including The Life and Times of Wyatt Earp.
Wyatt is lionized above the others, in other words, because he outlived them all, and got to tell his story. The rest, as they say, is history.
YouTube Clip of the Week 1: The Science of Lucid Dreaming
TWEET IT - http://clicktotweet.com/8kcnO
Have you ever wanted to take control of your dreams? Now you can, with the science of how to lucid dream! With these simple steps, and a little practice, you'll soon experience sleep like never before.
Written and created by Mitchell Moffit (twitter @mitchellmoffit) and Gregory Brown (twitter @whalewatchmeplz).
Music by Mitchell Moffit
Art by Gregory and Mitchell
YouTube Clip of the Week 2: Eddie Vedder - Take Me Out to the Ball Game
The greatest version ever of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" by Eddie Vedder, on July 4, 1998. Two things make this version so great:
1. Eddie is clearly drunk off his ass; and
2. In a brilliant interpretation, he covertly sneaks the subtle change of "Buy me some penis and crack" to the lyrics.
It all makes sense now: In Portuguese, Zumba means "Exercising like a prostitute."
Konformist DVD Klub:
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season Seven (2011)
Blu-ray 2-Disc Version $39.99:
DVD 2-Disc Version $29.99:
Actors: Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson, Danny DeVito
Directors: Matt Shakman, Randall Einhorn
Writers: Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, David Hornsby, Charlie Hornsby, Dave Chernin
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release Date: October 9, 2012
Run Time: 286 minutes
Join the dysfunctional gang at Paddy's Pub For another outrageously raunchy season of scheming, scamming, backstabbing, and all-around inappropriateness! Whether they're giving a hooker an image makeover, hitting the beach at the Jersey Shore, preparing For the apocalypse, or simply engaging in a little good old-fashioned cyber-stalking, the gang delivers more trash-talking, half-baked insanity than ever before. Now, get ready to get fat with Mac and indulge in Season Seven of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, stuffed with uproarious extras.
‘Baltic UFO’ may be secret Nazi sub-trap
13 July, 2012
The mysterious disc-shaped object at the bottom of the Baltic Sea could be a relic from a giant World War II device placed there by the Nazis to disrupt Soviet submarine navigation.
The object may be the concrete anchor of the device, which also had to be fitted with stainless steel mesh, Swedish naval officer and warfare history expert Anders Autellus told Swedish newspaper Expressen. It would interfere with submarine radar signals and make them crash.
The mesh itself may well have eroded away over the decades, but the images of the object made by the Ocean X team exploring it show what appear to be holes, where it was attached to the foundation, he added.
Stefan Hogeborn, a member of the team, concurs, saying their find is located just under an important shipping route. German vessels carried many goods important for the war effort during the war, and Soviet submarines sneaking from the Gulf of Finland into the Baltic Sea targeted them.
If the theory is true, the trap may be an important historical find, but there is evidence against it too. The 60-meter object studied by Ocean X is way larger than what Germans and some other warring nations deployed during the World War II. Peter Lindberg, another member of the team, says he still believes the object is a natural formation.
The “Baltic UFO” was discovered in May last year through sonar imaging technology. Its unusual shape provoked a good deal of speculation, with some people comparing it to the Millennium Falcon ship from the movie Star Wars. Skeptics say the peculiar images may have resulted from improper adjustment of the sonar and the limitations of the technology.
Ocean X, professional wreck-hunters, have returned to the site with better and more sophisticated equipment after receiving funding from an undisclosed sponsor. They hope the object may become a popular tourist attraction once unearthed.
Your move, creep: Researchers building RoboCop policeman
Researchers at Florida International University's Discovery Lab are working with a member of the U.S. Navy Reserves to build telepresence robots that could patrol while being controlled by disabled police officers and military vets. In a sense, they would be hybrid man-machine cops, like RoboCop.
Lieutenant Commander Jeremy Robins has given $20,000 to the lab and borrowed two robots valued at nearly $500,000 from the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) to realize his vision of bringing some of the thousands of disabled cops and soldiers in the U.S. back to the workforce.
7 gross wonders across America
Mütter Museum, Philadelphia
The nation's undisputed monarch of medical museums began with a donation from Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1858. In 1912, the enlarged collection was moved to its present location, where it continued to serve physicians as a pathological reference collection. Today it is a monument to 19th-century medicine. Its clubby, dark wood and brass interiors practically define the steampunk aesthetic.
Within the glass cases is a Noah's ark of medical curiosities.
Flier's alleged 50-day bender ends badly
There is a human skull collection; examples of diseased organs, either preserved in jars or cast in wax models of remarkable delicacy. Admittedly, the collection of teratological specimens (mutants) requires a strong stomach. But even the most sensitive can enjoy the Chevalier Jackson Foreign Bodies Collection, a cabinet filled with more than 2,000 swallowed objects removed by a single laryngologist. There are also examples of tanned human skin, which has no medical value, but is totally cool.
My personal favorite is the Soap Lady, a woman whose body posthumously underwent complete saponification -- which means that all the fat in her body turned into soap. That can really happen.
The museum is open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
World's Largest Fungus, Malheur National Forest, Oregon
Don't be fooled by an ordinary looking mushroom. Beneath it broods an ancient horror that has been growing quietly for thousands of years. A Malheur National Forest cluster of Armillaria ostoyae, or honey mushroom, is part of the world's largest fungus, which engulfs 3.4 square miles -- that's 2,200 acres -- of Oregon's national parkland. This massive mushroom is estimated to weigh 7,567 to 35,000 tons, which would make it the largest living organism in the world. But that doesn't sound nearly as gross as being the largest fungus.
Now for the letdown: The bulk of this behemoth resides underground in a stringy network of roots called a rhizomorph. The only visible traces are the mushrooms that sprout in the fall. They may not look like much but once you know their dark secret, you can't help but see them in a new, sinister way.
The U.S. Forest Service website has more information about the fungus and its forest home.
Necropolis by the Bay, Colma, California
In this community of 1,800 souls, the dead outnumber the living 900 to 1. Colma's demographic imbalance is the result of its unofficial role as San Francisco's necropolis. This relationship started in 1900, when land became so scarce in San Francisco that the City Council decided to remove all its dead and build on the decommissioned cemeteries.
The dispossessed dead were transferred to new digs in Colma -- for a service charge of $10 a head. Those whose next of kin couldn't come up with the cash were less ceremoniously reinterred in collective, unmarked graves. With 73% of its land zoned today for memorial parks, Colma is less a city than a network of roads connecting its many cemeteries.
(Even the number of cemeteries within city limits is debatable, although most sources place the count at 17.)
The Colma Historical Association offers cemetery tours by appointment, and members will be happy to show you the final resting places of Wyatt Earp, Joe DiMaggio, Levi Strauss and other famous Americans who now call Colma home. Perhaps this attraction is more morbid than gross, but let's not split hairs: It's a pleasant Halloween-season outing in a beautiful part of the nation.
Indiana Medical History Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana
How many medical museums are on the site of an old insane asylum? Built in 1897, the Old Pathology Building was the research wing of the Indiana State Hospital for the Insane. Physicians there studied the brains of deceased patients, trying to identify the physical causes of mental illness. Some of the more colorful diagnoses they came up with include: pathological jealousy, Mexican War excitement, religious anxiety and a little-known ailment called "husband in California."
A significant number of patients, however, suffered from general paresis, a neurological condition caused by advanced syphilis. Today, the beautifully restored museum building is a perfect replica of a turn-of-the-century pathology laboratory. You can see a sampling of gruesome medical and autopsy tools in their native environment, but, of course, the grossest highlight is the human brain collection. This consists of some 80 samples, mostly sliced in cross section and preserved in glass slides, which display various neurological injuries.
The Indiana Medical History Museum is open to the public Thursday through Saturday.
Leila's Hair Museum, Independence, Missouri
Some things seem universally gross, say, the smell of rotting flesh. Other things elicit a variety of responses. Old hair gives some people in intense case of the heebie-jeebies. Leila Cahoon is not one of them. She is the proprietor of the nation's only museum dedicated entirely to hair art.
Nearly forgotten today, hair craft was popular with Victorians, who wove jewelry and decorative lace out of human hair. Often these pieces were kept as mementos of dead or absent loved ones. Sometimes successive generations would add to the lacework to create a genealogical record, much like a family bible. The hair museum has more than 2,000 items that reach back to the 17th century. Creepy as you might find these pieces, you cannot deny their artistry.
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Berkeley Pit, Butte, Montana
This unintended artificial lake is an expanse of tranquil water four miles around and tinted an impossible shade of rich cordovan red. As luminous and vast as the Montana sky above, it is a sight of unearthly, inhuman beauty. But it is undeniably gross.
The secret to the Berkeley Pit's beauty is pollution. Lots of it. For 27 years, it was the site of intensive strip mining, which removed more than a billion tons of earth and valuable ores. When mining ceased in 1982, ground water began to rush into the pit, bringing with it an infusion of acids and toxic heavy metals. Today the Berkeley Pit is the crowning jewel in the nation's largest contiguous federal Superfund site.
How dangerous is the pit? Back in 1995, a flock of misdirected snow geese alit on its banks. The next morning, 342 were dead.
Remarkably enough, you can visit the pit. Obviously kayaking and water skiing are out of the question. But there is an observation platform where you can watch at a safe distance.
It's open from March to November. For more information, go to www.visitmt.com and search for "Berkeley Pit."
Morbid Anatomy Library, Brooklyn, New York
This library and private collection of weird art and antique medicine cum gallery and lecture space hosts occasional classes in anthropmorphic taxidermy. That's the resurrected Victorian craft of dressing dead animals in adorable little outfits and posing them in human activities.
The bunny school houses and kitten croquet parties of a more genteel era, however, have been updated to mouse burlesque dancers, skateboarders and drunken poets.
Visits can be scheduled to the library by appointment.
"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
The Oglala Sioux was an early leader in the American Indian Movement (AIM) and had been battling throat cancer for years.
In 1973 Means was one of the leaders of a 71-day uprising at Wounded Knee in South Dakota between Lakota and FBI and law enforcement agents.
Means also acted in a number of movies including the role of chief Chingachgook in The Last of the Mohicans...
Her importance to movie history may be scrubbed over time, but any honest accounting she can't be ignored. She was the original star of the Emmanuelle series, a series that did much to change the boundaries of film. Besides her obvious beauty, she was a truly talented actress, check her out as Lady Chatterly in an underrated adaption of DH Lawrence's novel, or in the movie Private Lessons.