Archive for the ‘world’ Category
(Cincinnati) Chemist/inventor Fredric J. Baur passed away last month at the age of 89. As a food storage/quality control expert for the Proctor and Gamble corporation, Baur designed the tubular packaging for Pringles, the bizarre, potato-like snack food product. Baur filed to patent the design in 1966. Apparently, Baur was pretty proud of his creation, because he requested that his family bury a portion of his ashes in a Pringles can. I guess that once you pop, you really can’t stop.
Fred Baur at ’06 World Cup Finals Read the rest of this entry »
Giving a New Meaning to the Term “Bombtrack”
In recent years, a new subculture has begun to use the medium of punk rock to share its views with like-minded music fans and the world at large. Anarchists? Well, if you paid any attention to punk rock over the last 25 years or so, you’d know that anarchists are already making ideological punk music. Luddites? Well, there is a sizeable acoustic punk scene, but they still use modern means of recording, distribution and conveyance to shows. Washed up, trashy, talentless twenty-something rehab urchins with astoundingly poor judgement? No, but good guess!
The subculture in question is (drumroll, please): “progressive Muslims” Read the rest of this entry »
Cannibalism has been viewed, in Modern civilized society, through a surreal lens. From the Donner Party, to The Buoy’s upbeat cannibal anthem “Timothy”, to Ray Liotta being fed a piece of his own cerebrum by Anthony Hopkins, people feel that the very act of consuming human flesh is outlandish, regardless of how it’s done. One man, however, was determined to make the execution of his cannibalistic attempt as outrageous and unsettling as the act itself. His name: Armin Meiwes.
Born in Essen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany on Dec. 1, 1962, Armin Meiwes (pron. My’-vuhs) was a quiet, unassuming kind, by most accounts. He was raised by a mother described as cold and domineering. So domineering was his dear mutti, that he rarely was allowed to play with his school chums or otherwise engage in most forms of social intercourse (including intercourse, it turns out–Frau Meiwes accompanied her son on dates. No aktion for little Armin.) In fact, scarcely a day went by that Meiwes didn’t see his mom. She lived with him for her whole life and even forced her way into maneuvers with his army unit during his compulsory military service. He wasn’t rid of the bitch until the day she died. And, yet, she lived on…in his mind!
So how did Meiwes deal with the stifling tough-love? The same way any level-headed schizoid would: by creating an imaginary brother, “Frank”, who would “listen” to him and developing a need to find someone to become “a part of him”.
Fast-forward a few decades to the dawn of the new millennium. While the rest of the world was fretting about their electricity cutting off or their garage doors not opening, Meiwes was beginning to succumb to the notion of making someone a part of him, a dream he’d maintained since childhood. Now, you gotta admire someone who puts it all on the line and goes after that dream, but Armin had something different in mind from finding his soulmate and getting married. The 39-year old computer technician placed an ad on a fetish website called “The Cannibal Café“, asking for a “volunteer” to allow Meiwes to kill, cook and consume him. Improbably, someone actually responded. For male prostitute/mutilation aficionado Bernd Brandes, becoming someone’s entrée sounded like a good idea.
Brandes dutifully reported to Meiwes’ home in Rotenburg (near Frankfurt in the state of Hesse) on March 9, 2001. In short order, Meiwes had cut off Brandes’ penis and attempted to prepare it in time for the two to consume it. As he waited for Brandes to die from either the massive blood loss or the livestock-sized dose of barbiturates and alcohol he’d been given, Meiwes read a Star Wars novel. After 3 hours, an apparently impatient Meiwes decided to finish off the incredibly resilient Brandes with a knife in the throat. Afterward, Armin placed the corpse on a suspended meathook and gleefully began to fillet it. How do we know all these details? Why, it’s because Meiwes had been videotaping the incident. Duh!
After divulging details about his “meal” online, authorities were notified and Meiwes was arrested. On Jan. 30, 2004, Armin Meiwes was convicted of the German equivalent of manslaughter and was sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison. Two years later, prosecutors were able to overturn his original conviction to that of murder, based on the premeditation involved in trolling for human food on a fetish site. Meiwes will serve a term of life in prison for his crime.
Fun Facts about Armin:
*At Brandes’ insistence, Meiwes attempted to bite the penis off. The proboscis proved to be too “tough” and, after several painful tries, a steak knife was ultimately used.
*German industrial metal band Rammstein wrote the song “Mein Teil” (English: “My Part”) with inspiration from the Meiwes case. The bridge includes the line “Du Bist, Was du isst” (literally, “you are what you eat”).
*Meiwes intended to sauté the penis with proper seasoning, allowing the 2 men to share it before Brandes died. Unfortunately, Meiwes burned it beyond the point of enjoyment. Way to go, Dumbass!
*The 2007 horror film Butterfly: a Grimm Love Story was loosely based on the Meiwes case. It was banned in Germany.
*As a commentary on the worldwide press response to the Meiwes case, Juggalo rapper Necro in the song “Human Consumption” wrote the line “It’s legal in Germany, believe me. Cannibals are Celebrities”.
*Over 10 months, Meiwes feasted upon nearly 50 pounds of his Victim’s flesh.
*Shortly after being locked up, Meiwes became a vegetarian!
Hypnotist Gives New Meaning to Phrase “Italian Job”
At times, checkout counters can have a hypnotic effect on us. There’s a rack of tabloid gossip rags shouting in our faces. The dissonant screams and bellows of kids that create waveforms that turn our minds inside-out. There’s the elderly lady in front of the line who’s trying to haggle the cashier over a dented soup tin and the scary revelation of just how many types of gum there are. No wonder our brains try to take us away from the horror of it all.
To wit, a customer in Italy is trying to further enhance the otherworldly checkout experience for his own fun and profit. Closed Circuit Television footage taken from a supermarket and a bank in Italy’s Marche region have shown a patron placing tellers into a suggestive hypnotic state and defrauding them of hundreds of Euros each. So effective was the trance that many of the employees didn’t realize what had happened until they were ready to count their tills at the end of their shifts. Read the rest of this entry »
Irish Pizzaria’s Libel Award Against Food Critic Overturned.
Belfast–The proprietor of an Irish restaurant who won a libel suit against a newspaper has seen his award overturned by The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland. Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr overturned the lower court’s ruling, which had become a landmark case among the UK press.
More than 7 years ago, restaurant critic Caroline Workman reviewed Goodfellas restaurant for The Irish News. Her commentary on the Goodfellas dining experience was less-than-flattering, referring to the eatery as “joyless” and “smoky”. Scathing! Some others of Workman’s assertaions: “The staff have no more time to be involved with their customers than those in a motorway cafe” and “Our main courses arrived in as much time as it took the chef in view to rip open three blue industrial-size bags of processed cheese.” Read the rest of this entry »
You have a few odd names for cities (Likwang, Hangzhou, Fuxin, Fuku), but mostly they’re stupid, boring, and hard to pronounce. You’re missing out on a huge tourist demographic: smart-assed Americans.
We Americans love making fun of China. We love cities with fucked up names. We have endless wealth. Our tourism can make or break your country. Just look what we’ve done for Bangkok! Do you think Thailand would have such an enviable industry of child sex slaves and black-market DVDs if Americans didn’t love saying ‘Bangkok’? Hell no!