“I Was a Suspected School Shooter”

•January 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Do yourself a favor and go read the recent piece in Vice Magazine.  A self-described former goth misfit chronicles her experience of being wrongly accused of plotting a “prom murder spree” in the wake of Columbine.

Gina Tron, now a professional writer, begins her essay —

By now, the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting has faded into memory for many people, a horrible event already superseded in the headlines by other horrible events. At the time it shocked me to a degree I thought I could no longer be shocked, a reaction no doubt shared by everyone who heard the news. But it also stirred up some more complicated emotions for me along with the sadness—it reminded me that when I was a teenager, the people around me thought that I was capable of what the Newtown killer did. At one point, I was more of a potential murderer than a potential murder victim.

Utah police sued for alleged deathbed intrusion

•January 9, 2013 • 1 Comment

According to the Salt Lake Tribune —

A former Vernal resident has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, police officials and two police officers who showed up at his home shortly after his wife died of an illness to count and confiscate her prescription drugs.

. . . . Ben D. Mahaffey was still by his wife’s side in their bedroom, saying goodbye and crying, while waiting for a mortician and hospice workers. When they arrived, two police officers showed up at the home at the same time.


As Mahaffey tried to help the mortician prepare his wife’s body to be taken from the home, the officers asked that he instead help them gather the prescription drugs in the home. The officers then proceeded to count the pills in the same room where Barbara Mahaffey’s body remained.

Cracking down on prescriptive-drug abuse seems like a good idea, but this is a bit much.  At least wait until the body has been removed.  Maybe I’ve watched too many Quincy episodes, but I would think you would want the medication to remain on site until after other formalities have been wrapped up.  Not to mention, it would be a lot easier just to require that everything be returned to the pharmacy for counting and disposal.

A copy of the lawsuit is at this link.

“It’s cheaper to be buried with your pets than it is to be buried in a human cemetery.”

•January 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment

200px-StephenKingPetSemataryFor most of us, Stephen King has ruined the idea of being buried in a pet cemetery alongside your favorite dead animals.  But according to AOL news,  a small and growing number of pet owners are choosing to be buried along side their pets in a pet cemetery because pet plots are a lot cheaper.

If this trend picks up look for the cemetery lobby to fight to outlaw this.


“An Oregon resident unknowingly bought more than just Halloween graveyard decorations at her local Kmart.”

•December 31, 2012 • 2 Comments

Begins a post on the Smithsonian blog.

Folded into eighth[s] and stuffed between the Styrofoam tombstones, she found a letter, written mostly in English, which said that the decorations had come from the Masanjia Labor Camp in Shenyang, China . . . .

The letter’s author described 15 hour work days, no days off and pay of around $1.61 per day. The writer said that people in the labor camp—many of them persecuted members of a banned spiritual group—often receive a sentencing of 1 to 3 years of forced labor without trial.

The note at issue was packed in a “Totally Ghoul” seventeen piece graveyard kit.  Apparently, the note fell out of the package upon opening.  Like lots of Americans, I have purchased the same kind of decorations for my home.  So, my first reaction was one of concern over my actions and the conditions in China.  Then, I remembered that I don’t believe anything I read on the internet.  Along these same lines, I have a lot of questions about the note and why this story is important now.

Perhaps the real moral of the story is that DIY decorations are always better.

Tiny tophat tip — Amy W.

Eenzame Uitvaart – The Lonely Funeral

•November 14, 2012 • 1 Comment

Via Reddit –

What happens if you die alone, Eleanor Rigby style?

Where I live, unclaimed bodies are cremated and annually committed to a mass grave with a remembrance ceremony.

As with lots of challenging social issues, the Dutch have their own unique, progressive solution to this problem.

“Since 2002, in Amsterdam and beyond those deceased, where no one else and no one else would visit their funeral, a special salute. Poets write for every solitary funeral a poem and read it at the funeral [].”

The program is run by an organization called “The Lonely Funeral.”  All of the poems are published on The Lonely Funeral’s blog.  The posts include a poem and a description of the deceased.  Perhaps, the life of man is quite not as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” as Hobbes would lead you to believe.  I wish we had a program like this here in the U.S.

If you want to find out more about the Lonely Funeral, the BBC produced a great audio documentary on it.

“[F]ictional monsters such as Dracula originally sprang from the fear of inexplicable diseases and the mysteries of death in the natural world.”

•November 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Begins a review of Matt Kaplan’s book, “Medusa’s Gaze and Vampire’s Bite: The Science of Monsters.

Source:  Reuters

“Traitorous” and “skanky ho” allegations in lawsuit over teen vampire book series

•November 5, 2012 • 1 Comment

Who betrayed whom?

A personal assistant has filed a $125,000 libel lawsuit against her former employers– P.C. and Kristin Cast, the authors of the popular House of Night series.

Erin Bates claims that she is the basis for the character Erin Bates, a high school vampire who has been used in all the House of Night novels.  Ms. Bates says she has been defamed because the latest novel suggests, falsely, that she is “shallow, materialistic, promiscuous and heartless.”   Apparently, the authors should have included litigious in their description of their character.

Maybe the most interesting part about the lawsuit is that it appears that Ms. Bates was okay with the Erin Bates vampire character as depicted in the first nine books.  It wasn’t until the character got edgy and became more flawed that Ms. Bates took issue with the use of her name in the book.

Source:  NewsOn6.com; Courthouse News

Happy Halloween!

•October 31, 2012 • 1 Comment

I thought I would bake everyone some bat cookies to celebrate.

Crystal Head Vodka

•October 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Crystal head

“Now, what to put in a bottle laden with such symbology and iconographic value?”  If the bottle isn’t reason enough to try this stuff, check out the video below.  This may be Dan Ackroyd’s finest work since “Nothing But Trouble.”

“As Big Bird experienced a wave of political importance in the past few weeks, a very skimpy women’s costume version attracted attention.”

•October 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

BuzzFeed reports that Sesame Street is trying to get the sexy version of its Big Bird costume removed from stores.  Sesame Workshop, the non-profit behind Sesame Street, sent Yandy.com a cease and desist letter.  I can’t say I blame them, it doesn’t have a single feather on it.