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Issue 16

Jesse's Dangerous Game
Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura's claim that he "hunted man" in Nam as a Navy SEAL. From Cursor.org

Marie Darrieussecq has the body of Lolita, the intellect of Sartre, and a mind as filthy as the Marquis de Sade's. Fame has come easy...

Who Got Fired?
Did you get caught looking at porn in work time? Showed up for work drunk? Caught stealing cash from the till? Or did you quit and burn every bridge on the way out? Tell your story, and read other people's stories of how they lost their jobs.

Sen. Trent Lott uses the term suck without bothering to form a picture in his mind. It's laziness, and a bad habit of all who rely on cliches...

"If you love wealth better than liberty ... crouch down and lick the hands which feed you."
-- Samuel Adams

Dostoevsky could "touch God" during seizures. Are our deepest religious feelings just affects of the limbic brain bubbling up into consciousness? From NewScientist

And now, this issue's "It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others."
--- Ashleigh Brilliant

Thou tottering unchin-snouted rudesby!
Thou surly pinch-spotted malignancy!
Thou lewd tickle-brained hempseed!
Thou clouted horn-mad bum-bailey!
Thou craven boil-brained codpiece!
Go to Random Elizabethan Curse Generator

In years past, spermaceti oil from the sperm whale was used as transmission oil in Rolls-Royce automobiles.

"Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come." -- Matt Groening

Selections from "Inferno", the recently published book by photojournalist James Nachtwey. And it's not pretty. Indeed, it's a guided tour of hell, or at least the past 10 years of hell as it's been played out in places like Romania, Somalia, India, Sudan, Bosnia, Rwanda, Zaire, Chechnya and Kosovo.

Edgar Allan Poe's macabre tale of Madeline Usher, placed in her tomb alive, still resonates. Is Poe's nightmare rooted in fact?

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Psychedelics and Religious Experience
by Alan Watts, originally appeared in the California Law Review, Vol. 56, No. 1, January 1968

Smashing Windows for a Better World
Peaceful protests are doomed to be ignored, and that only a dose of destruction leads to real social change. From MotherJones

"No one can ever know for sure what a deserted area looks like."
-- George Carlin

The Top Fifteen Stupidest Ways Politicians Are Wasting Our Money
If there's anything worse than being forced to fork over your money to the IRS at tax time, Libertarians say, it's thinking about all the ridiculous ways that politicians will squander it.

See Bill Gates get hit in the face with a Belgian Creme Pie.

Surely You Jest
He could be juggler, confidant, scapegoat, prophet, and councelor all in one. An interesting and enlightening study of the history of the court jester and his influence on the royalty he served. From University Chicago Press

I'd like to answer this question in two ways; first in my normal voice, and then in a silly, high-pitched whine.
--- Monty Python

Vatican Radio (VR), which broadcasts papal speeches in 40 languages, is under fire from environmentalists, who insist its high-powered transmissions contribute to a cancer cluster around the tower. VR has offered to cut the time devoted to broadcasting papal speeches in half. But it's not clear whether they would do this by cutting the number of speeches or the number of translations.

"I used to think that the worst feeling in the world was being lonely, until I remembered that sliding down a giant cheese grater naked is also pretty bad. So it hit me what would be worst of all: sliding down a giant cheese grater naked, and having no one to share it with."
-- Silas Knight (from Ruminations at topfive.com)

Noam Chomsky: Conscience of a Nation
British newspaper The Guardian offers this contemplative profile of Noam Chomsky, the renegade social critic whom the New York Times calls "arguably the most important intellectual alive today." from The Guardian

If little else, the brain is an educational toy.
--- Tom Robbins

Bop Till You Drop
On the passing of Joey Ramone From Feedmag

A new experiment suggests that comet impacts could have sowed the seeds of life on Earth billions of years ago. From NASA Science News

Levan, Utah, is "navel" spelled backwards. It was so named because it is in the middle of Utah.

Losing Ground in the Newroom
While this country grows increasingly diverse, the newspaper industry is in retreat. Today, the American Society of Newspaper Editors doesn't even mention the goals it set in 1978, much less its failure to live up to them. From TomPaine

"People look ridiculous when they're in ecstasy."
--- David Byrne

The Pentagon's people zapper
Uncle Sam's new electromagnetic weapon for crowd control

Today's English Lesson: "Polysyllabic" is. "Monosyllabic" isn't.

Hearing is Believing
Though most commonly associated with bats and dolphins, echolocation is also used by blind people. Robert Feinstein sheds light on how he learned to see with his ears by clicking and stomping. From Bent

You'd better beat it. You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff.
--- Groucho Marx

Field Guide to the FTAA Protests in Quebec City
Police and activists alike are preparing for the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, where officials from across the hemisphere plan to negotiate the Free Trade Agreement of the America's (FTAA) -- a sort of NAFTA on steroids. If you're planning to attend, this handy guide will help you speak your mind while staying out of harm's way. From SOA

Nothing goes to waste on the International Space Station - nearly everything is recycled. Plumming makes this ecologist's dream world work.

One of my less pleasant chores when I was young was to read the Bible from one end to the other. Reading the Bible straight through is at least 70 percent discipline, like learning Latin. But the good parts are, of course, simply amazing. God is an extremely uneven writer, but when He's good, nobody can touch Him.
--- John Gardner, NYT Book Review, Jan 1983

NASA scientists are learning how to grow plants in space. Such far-out crops will eventually take their place alongside people, microbes and machines in self-contained habitats for astronauts. Froam NASA Science News

The most unruly hair in the world.

"I used to think that the worst feeling in the world was being lonely, until I remembered that sliding down a giant cheese grater naked is also pretty bad. So it hit me what would be worst of all: sliding down a giant cheese grater naked, and having no one to share it with."
-- Silas Knight (from Ruminations at topfive.com)

Dumb Sports Quotes
"And here's Moses Kiptanui, the 19 year old Kenyan, who turned 20 a few weeks ago." (David Coleman)
"We now have exactly the same situation as we had at the start of the race, only exactly the opposite." (Murray Walker)
"I was in a no-win situation, so I'm glad that I won rather than lost." (Frank Bruno)
"The lead car is absolutely unique, except for the one behind it which is identical." (Murray Walker)
"I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father." (Greg Norman)
"There have been injuries and deaths in boxing, but none of them serious." (Alan Minter)
"Watch the time. It gives you an indication of how fast they are running." (Ron Pickering)
"The Queen's Park Oval, exactly as its name suggests, is absolutely round." (Tony Crozier)

Sherlock Holmes never spoke the words "Elementary, my dear Watson" in the 4 novels and 56 short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Basil Rathbone, the British actor who took on the role of Holmes in 14 films, uttered the well-known line.

Only the mediocre can always be at their best.
--- H.L. Mencken

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