Archive for May, 2008

Friday vampire dance party

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Harvey Korman, RIP

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Stonehenge may have been a ‘royal’ cemetery

Reuters:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usNew radiocarbon dates of human remains excavated from the ancient stone monument in southwest England suggest it was used as a cemetery from its inception just after 3000 BC until well after the larger circle of stones went up around 2500 BC.

Previously, archaeologists had believed people were buried at Stonehenge between 2700 and 2600 B.C.

“The hypothesis we are working on is that Stonehenge represents a place of the dead,” said Mike Parker Pearson, an archaeologist at the University of Sheffield, who is leading an excavation of the site. “That seems to be very clear.”

“A further twist is that the people buried at Stonehenge may have been the elite of their society, an ancient royal British dynasty, perhaps.”

The real Indiana Jones

From the Truth is Stranger Than Fiction department comes this item from the Telegraph UK: The original Indiana Jones: Otto Rahn and the temple of doom

Like Jones, Rahn was an archaeologist, like him he fell foul of the Nazis and like him he was obsessed with finding the Holy Grail – the cup reputedly used to catch Christ’s blood when he was crucified. But whereas Jones rode the Grail-train to box-office glory, Rahn’s obsession ended up costing him his life.

However, Rahn is such a strange figure, and his story so bizarre, that simply seeing him as the unlikely progenitor of Indiana Jones is to do him a disservice. Here was a man who entered into a terrible Faustian pact: he was given every resource imaginable to realise his dream. There was just one catch: in return, he had to find something that – if it ever existed – had not been seen for almost 2,000 years.

Otto Rahn

[O]ne day in 1933 he received a mysterious telegram offering him 1,000 reichsmarks a month to write the sequel to [his book about his 1931 attempt to find the Holy Grail in caverns linked to the Cathars, called] Crusade Against the Grail. The telegram was unsigned, but he was instructed to go to an address in Berlin – 7 Prinz Albrechtstrasse.

When he arrived, he was understandably surprised to be greeted by the grinning figure of Heinrich Himmler, the head of Hitler’s SS. Not only had Himmler read Crusade Against the Grail; he’d virtually committed the thing to memory. For the first time in his life Rahn met someone even more obsessed with finding the Grail than he was. Indeed, so confident was Himmler of finding the Grail that he’d already prepared a castle – Wewelsburg in Westphalia – for its arrival. In the basement, surrounded by busts of prominent Nazis, was an empty plinth where the Grail would go.

[…]

What gives Rahn’s dilemma peculiar piquancy is that there’s evidence to suggest that he was Jewish himself – although it’s not clear if he was aware of it. He was also gay. Bravely, if naively, Rahn began to move in anti-Nazi circles. Nigel Graddon, author of a new biography of Rahn, Otto Rahn and the Quest for the Holy Grail: the Amazing Life of the Real Indiana Jones, believes that Himmler’s disenchantment with Rahn was a result of his failure to find the Grail.

Read, as they say, the whole thing.

But can they fly?

Because if they can, it’s time to head back to the lab and get working on those flying robot monkeys!

From the NYT: Monkeys Control a Robot Arm With Their Thoughts.

Sweet.

Memorial Day in West Virginia

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Army Sgt. Gene Arden Vance Jr., 38, of Morgantown.
May 19, 2002. Afghanistan.

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Air Force Staff Sgt. Anissa A. Shero, 31, of Grafton.
June 12, 2002. Afghanistan.

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Army Pfc. Richard W. Hafer, 21, of Nitro.
Nov. 15, 2003. Iraq.

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Army Staff Sgt. Roger C. Turner Jr., 37, of Parkersburg.
Feb. 1, 2004. Iraq.

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Army Pfc. Ernest Harold Sutphin, 21, of Parkersburg.
March 18, 2004. Iraq.

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Marine Cpl. Joshua S. Wilfong, 22, of Walker.
April 30, 2004. Iraq.

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Marine Lance Cpl. Juston T. Thacker, 21, of Bluefield.
June 24, 2004. Afghanistan.

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Army Spec. Danny B. Daniels II, 23, of Varney.
July 20, 2004. Iraq.

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Army Sgt. DeForest L. Talbert, 24, of Charleston.
July 27, 2004. Iraq.

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Army Sgt. Bobby E. Beasley, 36, of Inwood.
Aug. 7, 2004. Afghanistan.

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Marine Lance Cpl. John T. Byrd II, 23, of Fairview.
Oct. 30, 2004. Iraq.

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Army Sgt. 1st Class Otie J. McVey, 53, of Oak Hill.
Evacuated from Iraq Sept. 23, 2004, for a non-combat related illness and died in Beaver, W.Va. Nov. 7, 2004.

Marine Cpl. Romulo J. Jimenez II, 21, of Bellington.
Nov. 10, 2004. Iraq. (I could not find a photo of him, but there’s a story here.)

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Marine Lance Cpl. Bradley L. Parker, 19, of Rachel.
Nov. 15, 2004. Iraq.

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Army Staff Sgt. Darren D. VanKomen, 33, of Bluefield.
Dec. 21, 2004. Iraq.

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Marine Cpl. Bryan J. Richardson, 23, of Summersville.
March 25, 2005. Iraq.

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Army Pfc. Brian S. Ulbrich, 23, of Chapmanville.
June 5, 2005. Iraq.

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Marine Lance Cpl. Adam J. Crumpler, 19, of Campbells Creek.
June 18, 2005. Iraq.

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Navy Petty Officer Jeffrey S. Taylor, 30, of Midway.
June 28, 2005. Afghanistan.

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Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy A. Brown, 26, of Mabscott.
July 3, 2005. Iraq.

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Army Staff Sgt. Robert F. White, 34, of Cross Lanes.
Sept. 26, 2005. Afghanistan.

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Army Sgt. Brian C. Karim, 22, of Talcott.
Dec. 13, 2005. Iraq.

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Army Sgt. Matthew D. Hunter, 31, of Valley Grove.
Jan. 23, 2006. Iraq.

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Marine Cpl. William B. Fulks, 23, of Culloden.
May 18, 2006. Iraq.

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Army Staff Sgt. Stephen A. Seale, 25, of Grafton.
Aug. 6, 2006. Iraq.

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Sgt. Charles J. McClain, 26, of Follansbee.
Oct. 31, 2006. Afghanistan.

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Army Pvt. Michael J. Slater, 19, of Scott Depot.
April 21, 2007. Iraq.

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Army Spec. Daniel F. Mehringer, 20, of Morgantown.
April 27, 2007. Afghanistan.

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Army Staff Sgt. Stanley B. Reynolds, 37, of Rock.
Aug. 14, 2007. Iraq.

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Army Pfc. Thomas Randolph Wilson, 21, of Morgantown.
Aug. 27, 2007. Afghanistan.

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Army Cpl. Jason N. Marchand, 26, of Greenwood.
Oct. 5, 2007. Iraq.

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Army Capt. Benjamin D. Tiffner, 31, of Pigeon.
Nov. 7, 2007. Iraq.

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5 vacation tips learned from horror movies

Also don’t forget to bring sunscreen and bug spray.

Friday vampire dance party

Wilson Pickett: Midnight Hour

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Memorial Day weekend to-do list

1. Honor dead.
2. Mow lawn.
3. Wash dog.
4. Buy gas for grill.
5. Grill.
6. Weed garden.
7. Update blog roll.
8. Drink beer.
9. See a movie, maybe new Indiana Jones.
10. See No. 8.

Germans possessed by demons

This sounds a bit like mass hysteria to me. From The Times of London:

Hundreds of Germans, tortured by inner voices, are on the search for priests who can free them from what they believe to be the grip of the Devil, according to an extraordinary radio documentary that has stirred an awkward debate about exorcism in the Catholic Church.

“Over the past year alone I have received requests from around 350 people who think they are possessed by an evil spirit,” says Father Joerg Mueller, who heads a group of priests, doctors and therapists to deal with the problem. “Therapy hasn’t worked for them; they want exorcism — a prayer that can free them.”

Father Mueller, who is based in a Bavarian monastery, was talking to a team from WDR, the state radio network, which was allowed to record extracts from eight exorcisms.

A Polish exorcist, named only as Father Wiktor, suggested that this was only a fraction of the actual number seeking help.

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