Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is: you make stupid decisions.

A proposal by the US to ban cross-border trade in polar bears and their parts was defeated on Thursday at an international meeting. The result marks a victory for Canada’s indigenous Inuit people over their bigger neighbour to the south. […] The latest plan fell far short of the two-thirds needed to pass the Bangkok conference. It garnered 38 votes in favour, 42 against and 46 abstentions.

There are about 25,000 polar bears left in the world with an estimated 16,000 living in the Canadian Arctic. Canada is the only country that permits the export of polar bear parts.

{ BBC | Continue reading }

A poisoner of the ear, eye, heart, memory, will, understanding, all

The son charged with murdering and dismembering his mother’s body allegedly posed with his mother’s severed head in a photo taken on his cellphone.

{ Huffington Post | Continue reading }

All is lost now

On 5 June 1995 an adult male mallard collided with the glass façade of the Natuurmuseum Rotterdam and died. An other drake mallard raped the corpse almost continuously for 75 minutes. Then the author [of this paper] disturbed the scene and secured the dead duck. Dissection showed that the rape-victim indeed was of the male sex. It is concluded that the mallards were engaged in an ‘Attempted Rape Flight’ that resulted in the first described case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard.

{ C.W. Moeliker | PDF }

‘Everything resembles the truth, everything can happen to a man.’ –Gogol


Two generations on, the 1946-1947 Moldovan famine remains a highly contentious and emotive issue in Moldova itself. […] One aspect of the Moldovan famine that makes its memory more fraught is the gruesome suggestion that ‘the eating of corpses took place on a large scale.’ The authorities were aware of the practice— they even showed Alexei Kosygin, then a candidate politburo member and sent from Moscow to investigate, a corpse that had been prepared for eating—and sought to stamp it out. There were stories of murder-cannibalism, including one of ‘a peasant woman from the village of Tambula’, who had ‘killed two of her four children, a girl of six and a boy of five, with a view to eating them’, and ‘another peasant from the village of Cajba’ who had‘ killed his 12-year-old grandson who had come to visit and ate him’.

Cannibalism is famine’s darkest secret, a taboo topic. How common was it in the past?

{ SSRN | Continue reading }

photo { Joe Shere, Jayne Mansfield and Sophia Loren at Romanoff’s, Beverly Hills, c. 1958 }

You say that you need my love, and you’re wantin’ my body, I don’t mind


{ Sexting: Research Criteria of a Globalized Social Phenomenon }

And the last end of Anus Heresiarchus. The agony in the closet.


This study offers the first combined quantitative assessment of suicide terrorists and rampage, workplace, and school shooters who attempt suicide, to investigate where there are statistically significant differences and where they appear almost identical. Suicide terrorists have usually been assumed to be fundamentally different from rampage, workplace, and school shooters.

Many scholars have claimed that suicide terrorists are motivated purely by ideology, not personal problems, and that they are not even suicidal. This study’s focus was on attacks and attackers in the United States from 1990 to 2010 and concluded that the differences between these offenders were largely superficial. Prior to their attacks, they struggled with many of the same personal problems, including social marginalization, family problems, work or school problems, and precipitating crisis events.

{ Homicide Studies/SAGE | Continue reading }

The poor man starves while they are grassing their royal mountain stags or shooting peasants and phartridges in their purblind pomp of pelf and power


Taphophobia means “fear of graves” (taphos = tomb, and phobia = fear of), but its common use is “fear of being buried alive.” Premature burial is not an urban legend, incidents have been documented in nearly every society. […]

Many cultures built time delays into their death rites to make sure someone was truly dead. Greeks washed the dead… and some would wake up. In more difficult cases, they would cut off fingers or dunk the bodies in warm baths. The custom of the Irish wake began with the Celts watching the body for signs of life. But mistakes were made, often in times of epidemic. The hopes of preventing the spread of infection often lead to burying the dead before they were quite dead. […]

In her 1996 book, The Corpse: A History, Christine Quigley documents many instances of premature burial and near-premature burial. Skeletons were outside their coffins, sitting up in the corner of their vault after being opened years later. Others were found turned over in their caskets, with tufts of their own hair in their hands.

How might this happen? What conditions might make it look so much like you were dead that even your loved ones would let them plant you in the ground? The list is long and varied, but here are some of the more common things that can make you look dead:

Asphyxiation […]

Catalepsy […]

Coma […]


{ As Many Exceptions As Rules | Continue reading }

Each night when I return the cab to the garage, I have to clean the cum off the back seat. Some nights, I clean off the blood.


Sometime after 2 A.M. one Sunday morning in May 1987, Kenneth James Parks, then 23, left his house in a Toronto suburb and drove 23 kilometers to the apartment of his wife’s parents. He got out of the car, pulled a tire iron out of the trunk and let himself into the older couple’s home with a key they had given him. Once inside, he struggled with and choked his father-in-law, Dennis Woods, until the older man fell unconscious and then struggled with and beat his mother-in-law, Barbara Ann Woods, stabbing her to death with a knife from her kitchen.

Parks then got back into his car, drove to a nearby police station and announced to the startled officers on duty, “I think I have killed some people.” For several hours before the Toronto man left his home, however, and throughout the course of the attack, Parks was asleep and therefore not criminally responsible for his actions, according to five doctors and the defense lawyer at his 1988 trial for the murder of Barbara Ann and the attempted murder of Dennis. After deliberating for nine hours, the jury agreed and Parks was set free.

{ Scientific American | Continue reading }

The mirage of the lake of Kinnereth with blurred cattle cropping in silver haze is projected on the wall


Dr. Mark Ryan, director at the Louisiana Poison Center, called bath salts “the worst drug” he has seen in his 20 years there. “With LSD, you might see pink elephants, but with this drug, you see demons, aliens, extreme paranoia, heart attacks, and superhuman strength like Superman,” Ryan has said. “If you had a reaction, it was a bad reaction.”

Starting in late 2010, an influx of violent, irrational, self-destructive users began to congest hospital ERs throughout the States. A 19-year-old West Virginia man claimed he was high on bath salts when he stabbed his neighbor’s pygmy goat while wearing women’s underwear; a Mississippi man skinned himself alive while under the influence. Users staggered in, or were carried in, consumed by extreme panic, tachycardia, deep paranoia, and heart-attack symptoms. (Perhaps the most infamous incident tied to bath salts is Rudy Eugene’s horrific naked face-eating attack in Miami in May, although conclusive toxicology reports have yet to be released; still, the fact that this feels like the closest thing to a credible explanation for chewing a homeless man’s head for 18 minutes speaks volumes about the drug’s reputation.)

Because the chemicals most often found in bath salts — mephedrone, methylenedioxypyrovalerone, and methylone — were not outlawed initially, a nearly year-and-a-half period ensued where, to the horror of law enforcement, salts were sold legally and widely, not only in head shops, but in gas stations and convenience stores all over the U.S. In 2010, 304 calls were made to poison control centers nationwide regarding bath salts. A year later, the calls skyrocketed to 6,138. […]

DEA officials believe that the base compounds are manufactured primarily in China and India and then imported into the U.S., where traffickers cut and mix the drug in a variety of ways — just one of the reasons why even the first hit of salts can produce unpredictable results.

“Some of these manufacturers will mix these substances purposefully or not purposefully,” says Jeffrey Comparin, a senior DEA laboratory director. “There’s zero quality control. You have no idea what you’re putting in your body.”

{ Spin | Continue reading }

Mental concentration in front of a mirror


A freak attack described as drug induced “zombie face eating” has hit international headlines this week. Until the results of a toxicological analysis emerge, the drug(s) involved is unknown and open to speculation. This has not stopped the newspapers, who understandably have gone absolutely bat-shit over the story. The Daily Mail has claimed the attacker was “high on LSD”, while the Guardian initially claimed the assailant was “under the influence of a potent LSD-like drug called bath salts”, the Guardian went on to make the bizarre claim that the assailant had taken “the delirium-inducing drug, which is similar to cocaine and other forms of LSD.” […]

Far from LSD or even formerly popular legal chemicals such as mephedrone, the consensus among speculators appears to be that the “zombie face eater” in addition to likely having an undiagnosed pre-existing mental condition may have been in a state of severe drug induced psychosis and/or may have taken something more along the lines of a PCP analogue. This is obviously pure guess work, however PCP is known for its astounding ability to precipitate psychosis, bizarre behaviour and extreme violence. It has even been linked to cases of cannibalism in the past, cases such as this are of course rare and heavily publicised but the fact that people are now taking drugs blindly as a matter of course, the contents of which may contain substances they are utterly unprepared for is extremely worrying. Another key factor pointing to PCP is that it is well known that PCP users are prone to getting naked and becoming violent. Another popular guess that may be more grounded in reality is that the drug could be MDPV, a drug with a thoroughly unpleasant reputation that has been known to be marketed as bath salts in the past.

{ Neurobonkers | Continue reading }

‘In recent years, many men of science have come to realize that the scientific picture of the world is a partial one.’ –Aldous Huxley


Despite 28 years of research, there is still no vaccine that provides effective protection against HIV, and in that time around 25 million people have died of HIV-related causes. To understand why creating a vaccine is so hard, you need to understand HIV. This is no ordinary virus. […] The virus is the most diverse we know of. It mutates so rapidly that people might carry millions of different versions of it, just months after becoming infected. HIV’s constantly changing form makes it unlike any viral foe we have tried to thwart with a vaccine. […]

Vaccines train the immune system to recognise part of a virus, creating a long-term armada of antibodies that seek and destroy the invader, should it ever show its face. For HIV, the most obvious target is gp120, the surface protein that it uses to attach itself to human cells. But gp120 also constantly changes shape, making it difficult to recognise. It also comes in clusters of three that are shielded by bulky sugar molecules, hiding it from the immune system.

On top of that, HIV targets immune cells, the very agents that are meant to kill it. And it can hide for years by shoving its DNA into that of its host, creating a long-term reservoir of potential infection.

So, creating an HIV vaccine is like trying to fire a gun at millions of shielded, moving targets. Oh, and they can eat your bullets.

{ NERS/Discover | Continue reading }

photo { Nan Goldin }

If I had a gun wait I have a gun lol


Forget Hannibal Lecter. The movie portrayal of serial killers as deranged loners with unusually high IQs is dangerously wrong and can hinder investigations. According to the FBI, serial killers are much different in real life. For years, law enforcement investigators, academics, mental health experts, and the media have studied serial murder, from Jack the Ripper in the late 1800s to the sniper killings in 2002, and from the “Zodiac Killer” in California to the “BTK Killer” in Kansas. These diverse groups have long attempted to understand the complex issues related to serial killers. In 2005, the FBI hosted a symposium in San Antonio, Texas. This report contains the collective insights of a team of experts on serial murder. The symposium’s focus was actually two-fold: to bridge the gap between fact and fiction and to build up our body of knowledge to generate a more effective investigative response.

Much of the general public’s knowledge concerning serial murder is a product of Hollywood productions. […] Law enforcement professionals are subject to the same misinformation from a different source: the use of circumstantial information. Professionals, such as investigators, prosecutors, and pathologists may have limited exposure to serial murder. Their experience may be based upon a single murder series, and the factors in that case are generalized to other serial killers. As a result, stereotypes take root in the police community regarding the nature and characteristics of serial murders. […]

The majority of serial killers are not reclusive, social misfits who live alone. They are not monsters and may not appear strange. Many serial killers hide in plain sight within their communities. Serial murderers often have families and homes, are gainfully employed, and appear to be normal members of the community. […]

Contrary to popular belief, serial killers span all racial groups. The racial diversification of serial killers generally mirrors that of the overall U.S. population. […] Female serial killers do exist. […]

Serial murders are not sexually-based. There are many other motivations for serial murders including anger, thrill, financial gain, and attention seeking.

{ Crime | Continue reading }

photo { Keizo Kitajima }

Now however, in the cool air, when even all the tumult of your hearts have become still


Thriving colonies disappear overnight without leaving a trace, the bodies of the victims are never found. It’s what’s happening to fully a third of commercial beehives, over a million colonies every year. Seemingly healthy communities fly off never to return. The queen bee and mother of the hive is abandoned to starve and die.

Thousands of scientific sleuths have been on this case for the last 15 years trying to determine why our honey bees are disappearing in such alarming numbers. “This is the biggest general threat to our food supply,” according to Kevin Hackett, the national program leader for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s bee and pollination program.

Until recently, the evidence was inconclusive on the cause of the mysterious “colony collapse disorder” (CCD) that threatens the future of beekeeping worldwide. But three new studies point an accusing finger at a culprit that many have suspected all along, a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids. (…)

Their vanishing is nature’s way of telling us that conditions have deteriorated in the world around us. Bees won’t survive for long if we don’t change our commercial breeding practices and remove deadly toxins from their environment. (…)

Germany and France have already banned pesticides that have been implicated in the deaths of bees.

{ Reuters | Continue reading }

collage { Matthew Cusick }

If I played guitar I’d be Jimmy Page


{ Jay-Z, Ed Ruscha and Marilyn Minter to Design Water Tanks in New York }

previously in let’s deface new york { Jeff Koons is in talks with Friends of the High Line }

‘I left the ending ambiguous, because that is the way life is.’ –Bernardo Bertolucci


{ The New York Times’ City Room blog reports that Koons is in talks with Friends of the High Line, the conservancy group charged with managing the park, to bring one of his sculptures to the converted greenway. What sculpture would that be? A full-sized replica of a 1943 Baldwin 2900 steam locomotive. | Gawker | Thanks Tim }

When you love someone, you’ve gotta trust them. There’s no other way. You’ve got to give them the key to everything that’s yours. Otherwise, what’s the point?


This has led researchers to ask the questions: How can we get mobile users to break out of their patterns, visit less frequented areas, and collect the data we need?

Researchers can’t force mobile users to behave in a certain way, but researchers at Northwestern University have found that they may be able to nudge them in the right direction by using incentives that are already part of their regular mobile routine.

“We can rely on good luck to get the data that we need,” Bustamante said, “or we can ‘soft control’ users with gaming or social network incentives to drive them where we want them.”

{ McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science | Continue reading }

related { What Privacy Advocates Don’t Get About Data Tracking on the Web }

related { Google regularly receives requests from government agencies and courts around the world to remove content from our services and hand over user data | Who Does Facebook Think You Are Searching For? | Thanks Samantha! }

The irreparability of the past


The world’s population is burning through the planet’s resources at such a reckless rate – about 28 per cent more last year - it will eventually cause environmental havoc, said the Worldwatch Institute, a US think-tank.

In its annual State of the World 2010 report, it warned any gains from government action on climate change could be wiped out by the cult of consumption and greed unless changes in our lifestyle were made.

Consumerism had become a “powerful driver” for increasing demand for resources and consequent production of waste, with governments, including the British, too readily wanting to promoted it as necessary for job creation and economic well-being.

More than £2.8 trillion of stimulus packages had been poured into economies to pull the world out of the global recession, it found, with only a small amount into green measures.

But the think tank warned that without a “wholesale transformation” of cultural patterns the world would not be able to “prevent the collapse of human civilisation”.

The think tank found that over the past decade consumption of goods and services had risen by 28 per cent — with the world digging up the equivalent of 112 Empire State Buildings of material every day.

The average American consumes more than his or her weight in products each day.

{ Guardian | Continue reading }

‘I think the killers get far too much attention.’ –Doug Coupland


A simple mathematical model of the brain explains the pattern of murders by a serial killer, say researchers

On 20 November 1990, Andrei Chikatilo was arrested in Rostov, a Russian state bordering the Ukraine. After nine days in custody, Chikatilo confessed to the murder of 36 girls, boys and women over a 12 year period. He later confessed to a further 20 murders, making him one of the most prolific serial killers in modern history.

Today, Mikhail Simkin and Vwani Roychowdhury at the University of California, Los Angeles, release a mathematical analysis of Chikatilo’s pattern of behaviour. They say the behaviour is well characterised by a power law and that this is exactly what would be expected if Chikatilo’s behaviour is caused by a certain pattern of neuronal firing in the brain.

Their thinking is based on the fundamental behaviour of neurons. When a neuron fires, it cannot fire again until it has recharged, a time known as the refractory period.

Each neuron is connected to thousands of others. Some of these will also be ready to fire and so can be triggered by the first neuron. These in turn will be connected to more neurons and so on. So it’s easy to see how a chain reaction of firings can sweep through the brain if conditions are ripe.

But this by itself cannot explain a serial killer’s behaviour. “We cannot expect that the killer commits murder right at the moment when neural excitation reaches a certain threshold. He needs time to plan and prepare his crime,” say Simkin and Roychowdhury.

Instead, they suggest that a serial killer only commits murder after the threshold has been exceeded for a certain period of time.

They also assume that the murder has a sedative effect on the killer, causing the neuronal activity to drop below the threshold.

{ The Physics arXiv Blog | Continue reading }

photo { Lady detectives learning their trade. Mr. Kersey is showing them how to apprehend a suspect. April 1927. | Fox Photos/Getty Images }

Only three things can happen and three of them are bad


Ed was devoted to his mother, who was quite demented and thoroughly disgusted with sex. She thought it was the world’s greatest evil so she preached to her two sons that they were to keep themselves pure.

When her husband died, she had even more influence, and then Ed’s brother died, leaving him alone with this delusional woman. Mildly retarded and mentally unstable, he was completely dependent on her. When she suffered a stroke that paralyzed her, he nursed her even as she verbally abused him. Sometimes he crawled into bed with her to cuddle.

Then when Ed was 39, his mother died. He could hardly bear it. He kept to the farm and spent his time doing odd jobs and reading magazines about headhunters, human anatomy, and the Nazis. He also contemplated sex-change surgery so he could become his mother—to literally crawl into her skin.

{ TruTV | Continue reading }

Searching Ed’s house, authorities found:

▪ Four noses
▪ Whole human bones and fragments
▪ Nine masks of human skin
▪ Bowls made from human skulls
▪ Ten female heads with the tops sawn off
▪ Human skin covering several chair seats
▪ Mary Hogan’s head in a paper bag
▪ Bernice Worden’s head in a burlap sack
▪ Nine vulvae in a shoe box
▪ A belt made from female human nipples
▪ Skulls on his bedposts
▪ A pair of lips on a draw string for a window-shade
▪ A lampshade made from the skin from a human face

These artifacts were photographed at the crime lab and then were properly destroyed.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

Relaxing in the Savannah


Cannibal Holocaust is a 1980 Italian horror film directed by Ruggero Deodato.

The film tells the story of a missing documentary film crew who had gone to the Amazon to film indigenous tribes. A rescue mission, led by the New York University anthropologist Harold Monroe, recovers their lost cans of film, which an American television station wishes to broadcast. Upon viewing the reels, Monroe is appalled by the team’s actions, and after learning their fate, he objects to the station’s intent to air the documentary. Much of Cannibal Holocaust is the portrayal of the recovered film’s content, which functions similarly to a flashback and grows increasingly disturbing as the film progresses.

Cannibal Holocaust achieved notoriety because its graphic violence aroused a great deal of controversy. After its premiere in Italy, it was seized by a local magistrate, and Deodato was arrested on obscenity charges. He was charged with making a snuff film due to rumors that claimed some actors were killed on camera. Although Deodato was later cleared, the film was banned in Italy, the UK, Australia, and several other countries due to its graphic depiction of violence, sexual assault, and the actual slaughter of seven animals.

After seeing the film, director Sergio Leone wrote a letter to Deodato, which stated, [translated] “Dear Ruggero, what a movie! The second part is a masterpiece of cinematographic realism, but everything seems so real that I think you will get in trouble with all the world.”

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

Francesca Ciardi was one of four actors whom the Italian police believed had been murdered in the making of the 1980 horror film Cannibal Holocaust. So realistic was the film that shortly after it was released its director Ruggero Deodato was arrested for murder. The actors had signed contracts to stay out of the media for a year in order to fuel rumours that the film was a snuff movie. The court was only convinced that they were alive when the contracts were cancelled and the actors appeared on a television show as proof.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }