Archive for March, 2008

They’re coming to get you, Barbara!

Seattle Children’s Theatre has just announced their 2008-2009 season lineup. In October, they’re presenting an adaptation of…

…George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

TEH AWESOME!

(*sigh* Unfortunately, there’s no way The Boy would sit through that…)

In the dark

Another good idea.

The Doe Network: Naming the dead through crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is a buzzword in information technology circles used to describe work usually conducted by professionals that has been sourced to a general audience for completion. The phrase can cover everything from Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk (a marketplace for problem-solving), to MoveOn.org’s organizing efforts, to Netflix’s competition to redesign their recommendation system.

The Doe Network is crowdsourcing applied to a subject a little closer to the interests of our readers – the Doe Network has crowdsourced cold cases:

The unnamed dead are everywhere — buried in unmarked graves, tagged in county morgues, dumped in rivers and under bridges, interred in potter’s fields and all manner of makeshift tombs. There are more than 40,000 unnamed bodies in the U.S., according to national law enforcement reports, and about 100,000 people formally listed as missing.

The premise of the Doe Network is simple. If the correct information — dental records, DNA, police reports, photographs — is properly entered into the right databases, many of the unidentified can be matched with the missing. Law enforcement agencies and medical examiners offices simply don’t have the time or manpower. Using the Internet and other tools, volunteers can do the job.

And so, in the suburbs of Chicago, bank executive Barbara Lamacki spends her nights searching for clues that might identify toddler Johnny “Dupage” Doe, whose body was wrapped in a blue laundry bag and dumped in the woods of rural Dupage County, Ill., in 2005.

The Doe Network, in their own words:

The Doe Network is a volunteer organization devoted to assisting Law Enforcement in solving cold cases concerning Unexplained Disappearances and Unidentified Victims from North America, Australia and Europe. It is our mission to give the nameless back their names and return the missing to their families. We hope to accomplish this mission in three ways; by giving the cases exposure on our website, by having our volunteers search for clues on these cases as well as making possible matches between missing and unidentified persons and lastly through attempting to get media exposure for these cases that need and deserve it.

A good idea that deserves more publicity.

British Museum tour

Mummy 3’s director adds 3 to family

I’ve enjoyed the Mummy series. They’re more action than horror and a bit of a guilty pleasure, but I’ve thought they’ve been great fun. Universal is working on Mummy 3, but director Rob Cohen, who has taken the helm of the series, produced his own set of 3 last week:

Well, my family increased by three last Thursday night. Jasi, Zoe and Sean arrived very small (around 3 ½ pounds) but very healthy. They’re now in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where they will stay for the next month before coming home. Barbara is terrific and coming home from the hospital as I write this. It is truly the season of re-birth so happy Easter to you all.

Zombie Reagan ’08

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Republican candidate John McCain is just offering us a third George W. Bush term. The Republican Party needs a better candidate and my friend Heath has the perfect one in mind.

Africa’s lion population declining

Longtime readers know my admiration of lions, so I found this interview fascinating:

Mongabay: How did you become interested in wildlife and specifically lion conservation?

Leela Hazzah: Since I was young I have always had a desire to be outdoors, with wildlife, whether at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. or watching camels in the desert during my summer breaks in Egypt. As a young girl, I would listen to my father’s tales of all the wildlife that roamed the deserts of Egypt. It frustrated me that the wildlife he knew as a young boy no longer existed in Egypt. I couldn’t go to the deserts and hear lions roar as he did or see wolf tracks around our family’s desert home. This led me to pursue a degree in Biology and focus my studies on wildlife conservation. I specifically chose lion conservation because lions are rapidly declining due to conflict with people, but also because they are a symbol of wildness.

More on the Living With Lions conservation effort here, including the project team.

Ogof-yr-Esgyrn

In Wales, you can visit the Bone Cave, also known as Ogof-yr-Esgyrn.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBone Cave or Ogof-yr-Esgyrn is so called because 42 human skeletons have so far been discovered in its chamber.

It was this cave that first attracted cavers and archaeologists to the area.

Many of the bones date back to the Bronze Age over 3000 years ago.

Animal bones have also been found. The oldest bones are of red deer over 7000 years old.

It seems that bone cave has been a shelter or home for man during many different periods of time.

Items such as bone pins, pottery, coins, iron, bronze and silver rings have been found in the cave, as well as relics dated to the time when Roman Legions were stationed in the area.

If anyone was trying to connect to the site last night/this morning…

…my apologies. We’ll flog the hamsters harder.

(Or, I can just keep a better eye on our hosting service’s announcements page so I’ll know what’s coming down the pike…)

Friday vampire dance party

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