lazypadawan: (Default)
(Warning: This post and links are NOT for the faint-hearted)

First we have the bizarre and appalling (though as a Miami native, not entirely surprising to me) cannibal attack by a guy hepped up on "bath salts" and possibly under a voodoo spell:

It’s entirely feasible that zombies could migrate their way north in time for Celebration VI. And if anyone buys “bath salts” from the local Elan Sleazebaggano, just remember, I may very well have to shoot you. I’m not letting some fanboy or worse yet, a Celebration guest, eat my face, thank you very much.

But another zombie incident took place in New Jersey shortly thereafter, where a guy cut out his intestines and tossed them at the cops:

And now there's this sick bastard who sent severed body parts to a political HQ in Canada, now on the lam for being a murder suspect involving a snuff movie that included cannibalism. His previous claim to fame was killing kittens. Seriously, this story could give you nightmares. Proceed with caution:

If you'll excuse me, I'm picking up some gas masks and artillery before I hide out in my "Doomsday Preppers" shelter.
lazypadawan: (don't panic)
Last night marked the 100th anniversary of the RMS Titanic's sinking after it struck an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Over 1500 passengers and crew either drowned or froze to death.

As with any great horrific event that captures and keeps the popular imagination, there are always subsequent stories that suggest alternate theories, curses, and conspiracies.

For the record, I don't doubt the facts surrounding the incident. The boat hit an iceberg by accident, the boat sank faster than anyone expected, even more unexpectedly it broke into two, and victims were hosed more by emergency procedures that proved insufficient than anything else.

But when have facts ever deterred anybody from finding conspiracies?

One guy wrote a book some years ago claiming White Star switched Titanic's identity with a sister ship Olympic, then planned a controlled sinking in an insurance scam. The plan went wrong when it accidentally hit a darkened rescue ship, not an iceberg. The problem is that theory goes against eyewitness accounts, markings from the wreckage, and common sense. Why would you risk the lives of thousands of people, including some of the wealthiest and most prominent people of the day, for that? It's like Cunard deciding to sink the Queen Mary 2 with Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, and Oprah Winfrey on board. Even though maritime law was different a century ago in regard to who was liable for a sinking, White Star took a HUGE black eye after its prized baby went down with members of New York society. The money wouldn't have been worth it.

But could there be a curse? Misfortune befell Titanic and its sister ships, Olympic and Britannic. Launched in 1911, HMS Olympic suffered breakdowns and several collisions in its 36 years of existence, though it did survive WWI as a troop transport and it was the only one of its sisters that never sank. The HMHS Britannic was also launched in 1911 but was never used as a civilian passenger ship. It was pressed into service during WWI and sunk by an explosion from a mine or a torpedo while patrolling Greek waters, killing 30 people.

Then there's my favorite, the Curse of the Mummy. Supposedly a famous journalist had smuggled a cursed Egyptian mummy he'd purchased aboard the Titanic and bragged about it to other passengers the night before the sinking. The journalist really was an ill-fated passenger on the ship but there's no evidence he ever owned a mummy or that he took it along with him on the trip.

Still, there are those who suggest a Titanic curse exists, which I guess exempts people named "James Cameron." Now, I don't know who would be nuts enough to take a commemorative cruise that will mark the Titanic's exact route--and I thought I was morbid--but said cruise had been hampered by bad weather and a BBC cameraman's heart attack.

Meanwhile, Robin Gibb, in a coma from severe pneumonia, co-wrote with his son a musical piece inspired by the Titanic that was recently performed for the first time. Curse or not, I wish Mr. Gibb and his family well.
lazypadawan: (Default)
I was dreaming last night and the last thing I remember about this dream was looking at some rings on my fingers when I heard a really loud noise, kind of like between an explosion and scraping metal. I snapped awake (at 4 a.m., bleah) and I half-expected to find something that woke me up: an alarm, a wreck outside, a quake, a thunderstorm, anything. Nope, it was all quiet. It couldn't have been a real noise because as loud as it was in the dream, it would have left my ears ringing in the waking world. Weird.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Haunting my local airwaves is this ad for a Nissan dealership. Obviously it's aimed at teens and folks in their 20s: faux flash mobs (not the kind where people are beaten), cheesy dance routines, and the dopiest fads since swallowing goldfish, planking and owling. Some hapless employees at this dealership actually had to plank and owl throughout the ad. But you still can't take your eyes off the ad. You just have to see it to believe it, but I warn you, "I wanna plank right now" will stick in your head like glue:

lazypadawan: (don't panic)
Just as when they thought that falling satellite was going to miss North America, it's now possible it could plop down on the U.S. of A. sometime tonight or in the wee hours of Saturday morning:

Keep watching the skies!

Update: NASA says it probably went in the drink late last night.
lazypadawan: (twisted by the Dark Side)
So at 3:40 p.m. the electricity went off at work thanks to some Homer Simpson at a power plant in Arizona. Fortunately we have some backup generators that kept some lights on and the elevator working, but the computers and air were off, so everybody started to leave once a few phone calls verified the power was out all over the place, not just in our immediate area.

The problem was several million people did the exact same thing at the exact same time. I commute about 35 miles to work and I had just over half a tank of gas. That little fact and the knowledge I couldn't possibly get more gas if power was out everywhere made me very nervous, especially with the stop-and-go traffic jams everywhere. What also made me nervous was the possibility of still being on the road after dark with very few traffic lights working. I brought a granola bar with me but no water. What the heck was I going to do?

I listened to the fog of war playing out on a local a.m. radio station, one of the few that was operational, where the first rumor to come out was power plant explosions in Coachella and Salton Sea. Uh, not quite. But at first nobody seemed to know what was going on or why. All anyone could figure out was there was no power from Laguna Niguel in Orange County to Palm Springs to El Centro to Mexicali to Tijuana, with parts of Yuma, AZ and New Mexico also out of power. L.A. still had power and so did Temecula, a large town just over the line in Riverside County.

To make a long story shorter, it took me over three hours to get home on mostly surface roads. I figured it was better to run out of gas on a residential street in a swanky neighborhood than on the freeway. Actually, aside from the experience of going through countless intersections with no working lights, it wasn't so bad traffic-wise. It helped to save gas by avoiding a lot of stop-and-go traffic and turning off the a.c., especially when I got on the coastal roads. I got home at dusk with just over a quarter tank left.

Fortunately I had a gas stove and lots of bottled water, so I could eat something without opening the fridge. I had a little old transistor t.v. that still worked and picked up analog t.v. signals from Baja California, enjoying some Mexican soaps and some news before going to bed...with the power suddenly snapping back on at 1:15 a.m.. Th'End.
lazypadawan: (omg)
What a rough week for the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast and it's only Tuesday!

A 5.8 is enough to get your attention in California but it's an unusually strong quake for the East Coast, which has its share of faults. Combine that with a different set of bedrock and shallower quakes, a lot of energy gets sent over greater distances. If you're not expecting that at all, it can be pretty scary. I thought it was funny people were fleeing from buildings and the whole transportation system got shut down. Once the 7.2 hit here in April 2010, I was surprised to find the electricity running, water running, cable and internet working, and no real damage except for some stuff thrown on the floor. Life just went on but boy howdy were those moments scary. Then I remembered that practically nothing is built to CA earthquake code in that region. Just as we're not prepared for a Category 4 hurricane, the Northeast isn't prepared for what we'd consider a blip in our day here. Later I saw on YouTube video of cars smashed by fallen bricks in Tysons Corner, just a rock's throw from my former lair. The National Cathedral sustained some damage (let's hope the Vader gargoyle is okay). A friend in Gaithersburg, MD told me stuff got thrown on the floor in his house, but is otherwise just fine. Thankfully there are no reported injuries.

Well, guys, all I can say is hang on for the aftershocks. They can strike at any time over the next several months and some of them might be pretty strong.

If that's not enough, Hurricane Irene is coming your way :O.
lazypadawan: (yourpresenceissoothing)
I just donated to the Heart of Missouri United Way (Columbia, MO), which is taking donations for tornado assistance...can't help it, I'm a Mizzou grad ;):

And if you're looking to donate to a local Red Cross, visit this link to the United Way of Kansas City:

Check with local animal shelters or Humane Societies for animal assistance:

I don't know if the Humane Society in Joplin is still standing, but it's a start. Also check with shelters in Kansas City, Lee's Summit, Independence, Springfield, St. Joseph, Branson, or any shelter serving the Ozarks. They may be helping with animal rescue.

The usual relief/charity organizations like Salvation Army, World Vision, Samaritan's Purse, etc. are either already in or will likely take donations soon.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Originally posted by [ profile] maidenjedi at Joplin, MO Relief Efforts
I have family who live near Joplin, and thankfully they weren't hurt, but there was a lot of property damage outside the twister's path. Meanwhile, the early reports say 89 were killed in the twister that hit last night, and we're hearing that it may have been an EF4/EF5. It was definitely multi-vortex (meaning more than one funnel, or a funnel that split).

If you want to help with relief efforts, Mashable put together a quick list:

I'd like to encourage you to donate blood (especially if you're O neg, but everyone should if they can!). Your local hospital or donation center works fine. There is a blood drive in Dearborn, Michigan on TUESDAY:

Heart of Missouri United Way (Columbia, MO) has stepped up and established the Joplin Tornado Relief Fund. 100% of donations will go directly to Joplin United Way, with ZERO overhead. Follow the link, call 573-443-4523, or text "Joplin" to 864833.

The Red Cross is asking that people not just go to Joplin to help, but to call ahead. Nurses and doctors please call 417-832-9500.

To make a donation to the Red Cross (to help with ALL natural disaster victims in the U.S. right now), visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC, 20013.
lazypadawan: (omg)
When you have the late Raffaele Bendandi? Almost a century ago, Bendandi predicted an earthquake will strike Italy today May 11, 2011. Italians took this prediction so seriously, many residents of Rome stayed home or jumped town, or were planning to:

Bendandi had predicted an earthquake to occur in January 1923 and was off by two days.

Rome is still earthquake-free, but one did hit today in Lorca, Spain, 800 miles away. The death toll now is 10 people. 5.4 isn't all that strong by SoCal standards but unfortunately for Lorca, it was a very shallow quake, only about 1 km deep (of course, that info could change as it often does). Lorca was built by...the ROMANS!!

*Cue X-Files theme.*

(Not to make light out of the poor people killed in this quake.)
lazypadawan: (Default)
An unbelievable 200 people are dead in Alabama alone after Wednesday's tornado rampage and scores of survivors have lost literally everything. Additional casualties and damage were reported in GA, MS, TN, and VA. Here's how to help:

You might want to check with local Humane Societies and shelters for help with animal rescue.
lazypadawan: (omg)
The South has been getting it bad this tornado season. Hope my peeps in TN, KY, and thereabouts are okay.
lazypadawan: (nightmare)
Just saw this retweeted by Kyle Newman. Watch as some Japanese hamlet is overtaken by swirling waters, where at first it's just some flooding, followed by cars and debris floating away, boats ambling down the street, then big trucks, and finally buildings. I know the Northeast has some bad flooding right now but nothing quite like this:

Still a meltdown threat in Japan, btw.
lazypadawan: (omg)
I woke early this morning to see on the news the devastating 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. The videos look like Irwin Allen's worst nightmare or a scene from the end of the world. Japan is suffering powerful aftershocks, troubles with its nuclear plants (just what it needs...Chernobyl 2.0 thrown into the mix), and widespread destruction. Entire towns are history. As of now, over 1000 people are confirmed dead and 88,000 are missing. That includes passengers on four missing bullet trains and missing boats.

The tsunami hit Japan so fast, I don't think those poor people had much of a chance. Dopes on the West Coast who just had to head to the beach despite the tsunami warnings are missing; 8 foot waves have inflicted damage at Crescent City, CA (where ROTJ's Endor scenes were shot).

Far be it from me to believe anything about the 2012 prophecies of the Mayans, Nostradamus, or the late Jeanne Dixon. As a Catholic, I've never been an Endtimer or a believer that anyone can figure out the date of the Apocalypse (some guys are saying it's going to be May 21). But something has to be happening with the gravitational pull on the Earth with all of these big quakes over the past year. Not only is it all over obvious places like the Pacific Rim, places that either aren't known for quakes or rarely have anything noticeable are suddenly getting them. Combined with all of this crazy stuff in Middle East, I'm starting to look for the Four Horsemen.

Just as long as they hold off until after all of the SW movies have been re-released in 3D.

Seriously though, prayers for those affected by this awful disaster.

Updates: Quake upgraded to 9.1, stronger than last year's 8.8 Chilean quake. That ties it with the 2004 Sumatra quake that spawned the monster tsunami as the third strongest in modern history.

There's a reported meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant but thus far it's contained within the facility.
lazypadawan: (omg)
A 6.3 struck near Christchurch, NZ just a couple of hours ago. This one is said to be much more destructive than the 7.1 that hit New Zealand in September, even though it's lower on the Richter scale and is likely an aftershock. Why? It was pretty shallow (2.5 miles), the shaking was more violent, it lasted a minute (by comparison, the 7.2 we got here a year ago lasted about 10 seconds), and it hit right in an urban area. Buildings are said to be down and sadly, people have been killed.

There was a cluster of aftershocks in SoCal/Baja on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Didn't feel any of them. There seems to be a whole lot of seismic activity going on again, with recent aftershocks in Chile, a cluster of mini quakes in Arkansas, etc..

Hope my Kiwi peeps are safe!
lazypadawan: (nightmare)
Wow, just about everywhere in America is under a million feet of snow, except for Florida and SoCal.

Locally, it was 66 degrees and sunny. Ha ha!

(P.S....To those on my f-list in the path of Cyclone Yasi, stay safe!)
lazypadawan: (nightmare)
I didn't get to post on this earlier, but I'm hoping my Kiwi peeps out there are all right after the 7.1 that hit New Zealand's South Island on Friday. That's about as strong as the Easter earthquake we got here, so I know what those folks went through. Though there wasn't an 11-foot rift, at least not around here!

OT: Eeek!

Sep. 1st, 2010 11:39 am
lazypadawan: (omg)
Category 3 Hurricane Earl will apparently be spending Labor Day weekend first at OBX, then up to Cape Cod/Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket, wreaking havoc and ruining the last big weekend for coastal businesses that could have used the money. That's a shame. Hopefully, residents and vacationers will have the good sense to leave. Katrina was a Category 3, after all.

Now, I'm seeing that a crazy man with a gun, a hostage, and possibly an explosive is running loose inside Discovery Communications' HQ in Maryland. Yes, the people who give you the Discovery Channel, Travel, Animal Planet, etc.:

WUSA News 9 in Washington, D.C. has many ongoing Tweets on the situation, including pix of the gunman and his alleged demands:

Fortunately, it appears all of the employees and the onsite daycare have been evacuated, but it's not known yet if there are any injuries or deaths.

Update: Gunman shot, hostages freed unharmed.

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