Monday, March 30, 2009

Crucifix in a death hand

What follows is a translation of an article in originally published on March 30 in Tolouse's Dêpeche du Midi by Francine Depeyre and Guillaume Atchouel. It is the latest in a series that LoS will translate posthaste.


Crime in Lourdes : "Elisabeth often spoke of satanism."

She killed her mother with blows from a crucifix and then she died in the hospital. The funeral of the two women will be performed this morning. Her brother speaks.

The funeral of Thérèse D., 81, and her daughter Elisabeth F., 34, , are to be performed today at 10:30 in the church of the Sacré-Coeur in Lourdes. The first died tragically during the night last Monday, killed by blows from a crucifix from her daughter with whom she shared a small apartment in the Marial City on the rue de l’église. The second died mysteriously in her room at a psychiatric hospital in Lannemezan where she had just been interned after commiting this terrible act. An autopsy was performed at the end of last week to determine the exact circumstances of her death. For the moment the results of this exam have not been made public.

The family of the two women, natives of the department of Aube, will not all attend the funerals. For more than twenty years harmony has not reigned in this family, it would seem, and “relations were tense” say relatives. After separating from her husband, Thérèse and Élisabeth decided to install themselves in Lourdes after brief stints in Paris and the Aveyron. Even if he had not seen them for several years and despite everything, the eldest son Claude stayed in telephone contact with his mother and sister.

She was fascinated by withcraft

Regarding Élisabeth, it was common knowledge among her entire family that “she was psychologically fragile and that her life was punctuated by several psychiatric episodes.” According to Claude "She was interested for a long time in Satanism and witchcraft. It fascinated her and she often spoke about it.” Soon after killing her mother she explained to a policeman that she had seen in a dream she herself was evil and thus what she had to do. Was the murder of her mother a consequence of the her fascination for the devil on her unwell mind? The use of a crucifix to accomplish her crime leads to this conclusion even if there may no way of ever knowing for certain. There remains the fact that her worried mother recently confided to a member of the Red Cross of Lourdes that “her mental state was aggravated.” She was no less a believer than her mother and very pious. She regularly confided to a priest in Lourdes. The various religious objects cluttering their apartment attests as much to her great devotion.

The two women chose to set themselves up in Lourdes to fully live their faith and to regularly visit the Massabielle grotto to pray.

Élisabeth often repeated that she feared being unable to pay for a burial plot for her mother if she died. It is true that her mother lived with nothing but 7OO euros pension a month. However, her mother had purchased funeral insurance in order to be rid of this financial and administrative rigamarole. Did she know? Or had she hidden this fact?

United in their world they consequently pursued their emotional deadlock into death.

Here are links to earlier articles soon to be translated:

Lannemezan. La tueuse au crucifix retrouvée morte (Lannemezan. The crucifix killer found dead) 28 March

Lourdes. « Les délires mystiques, ça arrive vite » (Lourdes. "The mystical ravings come quickly") 26 March

Lourdes. Elle tue sa mère à coups de crucifix (Lourdes. She beat her mother to death with a crucifix)

Friday, March 27, 2009

All he wanted was a Pepsi

"When it was over, two people were scratched and bleeding, and the bobcat was gunned down by police in a parking lot on Main Street."

In the apparently escalating war between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom, things have taken a turn for the nastier as the animals have resorted to using biological warfare.

Take this story about a rabid bobcat who "terrorized"the town of Cottonwood, Arizona before meeting his end in a hail of bullets.

My god people, is there no shelter from this gathering storm? Even in a bar? What's next, pastors being mauled at their pulpits? Students gored as they make their way to and from classes? We shudder to think....

Humans Fight Back or The Only Unexpected Abnormal Sound

With all the reports on the recent spate of animals attacking humans, it's only fair to report on a curious case of mass chicken murder:

"Hundreds of chickens have been found dead in eastern China - and a court has ruled that the cause of death was the screaming of a four-year-old boy who in turn had been scared by a barking dog ... A villager was quoted as saying the little boy bent over the hen house window, screaming for a long time, after being scared by the dog .... A court ruled the boy's screaming was 'the only unexpected abnormal sound' and that the 443 chickens trampled each other to death in fear."

443? That's gotta be code, a secret message for the elect to interpret.

But what does 443 mean?

Previously on The Laws of Silence:

* Komodo sought in Brutal Murder
* How to End the World # 4: Killer Worms
* Snake Food

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Komodo sought in brutal murder

Keeping up with the animal-on-human violence these days could get difficult. From Indonesia comes this story about a hapless trespasser in search of sugar-apples, a fisherman who bled to death after being mauled by one or more of the beasts.

"Attacks on humans are rare, but Monday's incident is the latest in a series in which the monster lizards -- which have forked tongues and fearsome claws --have killed or injured people."

One can only imagine an earlier scene scene mentioned in the article:

"In June last year, a group of divers who were stranded on an island in the national park -- the dragons' only natural habitat -- had to fend off several attacks from the reptiles before they were rescued."

Actually it was only one Komodo but hell, the image of hapless divers encircled by the cunning beasts is much more--cinematic. Sounds like something from a bad and garishly-colored science fiction film of the early sixties, with dragons animated in clay à la Clash of the Titans.

And what the hell are sugar-apples anyway?

Pink Animals

A good question on Yahoo Answers: "What Animals are pink? Why are they pink?"

A bad answer: "some pigs are pink, because they have a fine layer of hair, so you are looking at skin. flamingos are pink, its just the color they are, something to do with a nutrient they get from shrimp they eat. Birds do come in bright colors that you dont see other animals come in. naked mole rats are pink.. they are hairless, you are looking at pink skin. Hairless dogs and cats can be pink."

Let's see if we can add a few more animals to this equation: alligators, armadillos, bats, carbuncles, doves, ducks, earth worms, elephants, frogs, hedgehogs, hippos, some humans, iguanas, kestrel, lambton worms, lobsters, mandrake, manta rays, millipedes, moths, octopus, rats, rhinos, salamanders, shrimp, snakes, spiders, squid, and trout.

What are we forgetting?

Also on the Laws of Silence:
* List of Cryptids on Wikipedia
* The Tale of the Lambton Worm

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Ballad of the Singing Loo # 3

Thus continues The Ballad of the Singing Loo:

Chapter 3

As luck would have it, I have one of the world's largest beards (I've check Guinness' World Records). At 9 it was fuller than most men's. I shaved it once: age 7, the day my dad died. By 10, they assumed I was a dwarf and I had my run of the bars.

Paradoxically, I have some of the neatest eyebrows you'll ever see on a man. Plucked daily, searching out the grays, the unruliness. It stings, and I rub my left index and middle finger on my thumb rapidly, which somehow relieves the pain.

I've been injured twice. Once while rollerskating. Didn't know how to stop but loved going fast, 10 year-old beard flapping in the breeze. Slammed into a wall and my wrists killed. Three hours later my neck tensed up. I forced it left and a taught string grew tighter and tighter and focused into a globule on the back of my head. It gave way suddenly like a deep pimple, gloppy, feeling oozy and warm inside.

Second time was on a bike, hauling through a parking lot. A cable strung waist-high split the lot in two, but gray day, gray lot, gray cable ... and too late. The right-hand shifter caught me on the hollow spot by the balls. For several years, whenever I lifted something heavy I felt all warm and woozy there and thought about my grandfather's hernia, like a grapefruit that he'd stuff back inside wincing. Eventually I just stoped lifting heavy things.

The third time was when I saw that severed hand in the toilet. You'd think it'd look like a joke, floating in the toilet.


I fuckin' flipped out, nailed my head on the stall door and nearly broke my thumb slamming out the bathroom door. But that wasn't what hurt. The flashbacks started that night.

Next day, nearly everyone laid off with the merger, I was left alone with a couple of Feds in town for the RNC, deep in the sub-stacks, shelving books, retrieving the books. "My God," I thought, "will no one help the widow's son?" and every 15 minutes like Old Faithful that toilet screamed.

Previously on The Laws of Silence:

* The Ballad of the Singing Loo #2
* The Ballad of the Singing Loo

Friday, March 20, 2009

Zombie Bugs

U.S. scientists have created a remote control flying rhinoceros beetle. "They look cool, according to the university [scientists]," who are funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, aka, the military.

They were surely building on previous Japanese work which lead to remote control cockroaches. "They look nicer," report the scientists, "when you put a little circuit on their backs and remove their wings."

Need we consider how utterly horrifying it must be to have each step controlled, click by click, by a leering group of giants who titter over plucking off your limbs? STEP! Oh god no! STEP! My god the edge of the table! STEP! AGGHHHRRR!

A clever Google Earth science project has already shown that cows can be controlled by magnets, and work has begun on monkeys.

Next step? Humans. We've been trying since Pavlov. Or did we already succeed?

Previously on Laws of Silence:
* Nazi Space Aliens Want our Senior Citizens

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This might qualify as genius

This video is a compilation of videos by these guys. And it is quite the quitey quite of coolness. The enginneering is incredible, but there's a wit and humor in these contraptions, graceful, precise. No point in describing when the video speaks for itself.

Monday, March 16, 2009

How to End the World # 4: Killer Worms

Worms are not native to Minnesota's Great Northern Woods.

They were eradicated about 10,000 years ago when the glaciers scrapped off the top soil. If nature ran her course, they would find their way back, for worms migrate 5 to 10 meter per year.

Enter the fisherman and his cast off bait.

Today, the Great Northern Woods of Minnesota are dying. Why? "Scientists slowly gravitated to the 'killer worm' theory in the mid-1990s."

And if that doesn't frighten you, check out this babysitter:

Previously on the Laws of Silence:

* The Tale of the Lambton Worm
* How to Destroy the World # 3: Existential Angst, or OK by Me
* How to Destroy the World # 2: Asteroids
* How to Destroy the World

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Ballad of the Singing Loo, Part 2

Thus continues The Ballad of the Singing Loo:

Chapter 2

I was reading Boloña’s 2666 last night, ending section 2, when I hit two datum I wanted to store: 1) the name of a book, Bouvard and Pécuchet, that sounded interesting, and 2) a curious word, Adkintuwe, which sounded like a friend, "akin to me," and which meant “sending messages by the movement of branches” (221), reminding me of the internet, collaboration, projects. And I thought about “projects,” which were, it seemed, a projection of one’s thoughts and efforts, a projection of oneself, encapsulated, a snapshot in time. I thought of a lone oak on a hill, widespread branches swaying in the breeze and wondered what it meant to communicate by collaborative projections.

“Store the data,” I thought, and I reached behind a pile of books on my nightstand and found a scrap of paper and a pen, which were exactly the kind of paper scrap and pen I keep on my nightstand for these situations. On the scrap I found a note, obviously my handwriting, though I couldn’t remember writing it:

I saw something behind the mirror today. It was like looking out a window at night, mostly reflection, but something dark and unseen was clearly out there.

I picked up the pen and wrote these words. My wife was snoring. I turned off the light. I closed my eyes and I went to sleep. I dreamed. A hand in the toilet, floating a slow circle. Left hand, male, swollen, purple. A gold band in the bursting ring finger. The toilet flushed but without a sound and the hand spun and the fingers splayed and seemed to grip the edges of the drain. It wouldn’t go down. The water slowly filled and the hand rose, bobbed. Gray hairs, black hairs curled on knuckles. Was he Greek? The toilet started its whistle and I couldn’t look at the sound so I woke, half awoke.


Previously on Laws of Silence:

* The Ballad of the Singing Loo

Friday, March 13, 2009

Quote of the day

"Bubbles were born. And in these moments, greed begets greed, and the bubble grows." --Lawrence H. Summers

That is all.

How to Destroy the World # 3: Existential Angst, or OK by Me

Oklahoma just upped the anty for cool by declaring home-grown heros "The Flaming Lips" tune "Do You Realize??" as their state rock song.

What other state has stood up and embraced a bunch of self-proclaimed "Punk Rockers ... Taking Acid"? Who else would embrace such existential angst as these tourism-inducing lyrics:

Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die

And as if that weren't cool enough, their state folk song is a number by Guthrie and their state country song is by John & Bob Wills.

The Fish is in the Mail

"Employees of a Philadelphia pet store expecting to get a shipment of tropical fish and salt water by air cargo ended up getting a human body instead ... US Airways released a statement saying the problem was caused by a 'verbal miscommunication between a delivery driver and the cargo representative' ... Arabia said he believes the fish died as a result."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How to Destroy the World # 2: Asteroids

On March 2, 2009, an asteroid "passed Earth ... 48,800 miles above Tahiti. It measured between 69 feet and 154 feet across, about as big as the one that crashed near Tunguska, Siberia, in 1908 and leveled 830 square miles of forest. That’s a 32-mile wide circle."

Meanwhile, "A second loud boom may have rattled windows in parts of Rockland County yesterday [March 9] - and its origin remains as mysterious as the explosive noise that blew through southern Westchester County over the weekend ... Officials at NASA said yesterday that they had no knowledge of the boom nor any explanations for it. They referred calls to the U.S. Air Force Space Command."

As always, watch out for the shadows...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

5 human heads discovered in ice chests in central Mexico

Story Highlights:
  • Grisly find appears to be latest sign of drug cartels in region fighting for supremacy
  • Each head was found in a separate ice chest with eyes taped shut
  • Chests contained messages such as: "Like these, I am going to finish everyone"
  • Ice chests found under ficus tree beside road leading to city of Guadalajara
CNN article here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How to Destroy the World

From the always amazing Mental Floss (via BoingBoing), here's a step-by-step guide to destroying the world with nanotechnology--the gray goo:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Human Teeth

According to the news, "A Walmart customer shopping around for a new wallet found 10 human teeth while looking through a wallet he was about to buy on Saturday night."

Why, that's worth over $30.00 on eBay!

That mysterious shopper must've felt like Cash & Kristofferson on Sunday mornin'.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

List of Cryptids on Wikipedia

Got 8 hours to kill? Consider perusing the cryptids on Wikipedia which includes such delights as:

* Ahool: "Named for its distinctive call A-hool (other sources render it ahOOOooool), it is said to live in the deepest rainforests of Java . It is described as having a monkey/ape -like head with large dark eyes, large claws on its forearms (approximately the size of an infant ), and a body covered in gray fur. Possibly the most intriguing and astounding feature is that it is said to have a wingspan of 3 m (10 ft). This is almost twice as long as the largest (known) bat in the world, the common flying fox."

* The Grinning Man: "There are bright street lights in that area, which gave the boys a good glimpse of what they called 'the strangest guy we've ever seen.' Yanchitis noticed the strange entity first. 'He was standing behind that fence', he stated later to investigators. 'I don't know how he got there. He was the biggest man I ever saw.' 'Jimmy nudged me', Marvin Munoz reported to police, 'and said, Who's that guy standing behind you? I looked around and there he was... behind that fence. Just standing there. He pivoted around and looked right at us... then he grinned a big old grin.'"

* Hellhound: "A hound which appears to people surrounded by flames as if from hell. The legend is if you see it three times you will have an untimely death." Status = "discredited"

* Loveland Frog: "A businessman is said to have seen three or four 3-foot (0.91 m)-tall frog-faced creatures squatting under a bridge near Loveland. They were described as having wrinkles instead of hair on their heads, lopsided chests, and wide mouths without lips, like frogs. One of them is said to have held up a bar device that shed sparks. A strong odor of alpalfalf and almond and was reportedly left behind."

* Pope Lick Monster: "A half-man and half-goat or half-sheep cyrptid reported to live beneath a Norfolk Southern Railway trestle over Pope Lick Creek, in the Fisherville area of Louisville, Kentucky... According to some accounts, the creature uses either hypnosis or voice mimicry to lure trespassers onto the trestle to meet their death before an oncoming train."

* Rainbow Tiger: OK. I confess. This one is not from Wikipedia, but from my son who swears he saw one at the zoo. "They have all the colors of the rainbow. What colors are in the rainbow? Not gold. Not silver. What about testicle? No, testicle is not a color. Rainbow tigers are the most beautiful animal, more than a butterfly. There are also the ice tigers. They are blue and white and gray and like to swim...."

What are some of your favorites?
See, also: Laws of Silence on the Tale of the Lambton Worm

Monday, March 2, 2009

Babar and the Cannibals

"The Travels of Babar" is a rousing adventure, with hot-air balloons, elephants on whales, tremendous steamships, firecrackers, circus escapes, elephants on skis, the Alps, and rhinos attacking.

As if the madcap adventures were not enough, the pictures are comic-book perfection, the sentences are long strung with beautiful clauses, and the true dangers are treated as such.

Sympathies abound. Barbar's wife, Celeste is genuinely frightened by her husband's rage when they are caged on a steamship and fed hay like donkeys.

But the situational horrors are not diminished by these human-scale concerns. War is presented with dread: When Babar returns to his war-savaged homelands and discovers the beautiful forests trampled, the narrator reminds us that "war is not a joke, and many elephants were injured."

There are, however, several pages that struck us as better suited for the pages of the Laws of Silence than the pages of a children's book. When Babar and Celeste's honeymoon hot-air balloon crash lands on an island, they make themselves as comfortable as possible. Until the caricatured cannibals attack, full of flesh lust.

Off course, this is nothing children and LoS fans haven't seen before.