Monday, October 22, 2012

Organ Harvesting Rumors, Mob Violence (Lombok, Indonesia)

The Jakarta Globe [Indonesia]
22 October 2012

Fitri Pikong

Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. A spate of violent mob attacks left five dead in Lombok over the weekend after a rumor that local children were being kidnapped by organ harvesters spread across the island. [...]

The Jakarta Post
22 October 2012

Panca Nugraha, The Jakarta Post, Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara

Rumors of child-abduction sent randomly via text messages to residents of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) over the couple days have triggered deadly chaos, which killed five people and damaged two police stations. [...]

Sabotaged Recipes

Dear Abby
22 October 2012

DEAR ABBY: When my husband and I married, I thought I had hit the jackpot in mothers-in-law. We were becoming friends, going shopping together, etc. Boy, was I wrong. Now, five years later, I can't stand her. Just 15 minutes with her sends me over the edge. She's rude, judgmental, and gossips like a teenager about everyone.

She put together a cookbook for me filled with my husband's favorite recipes. Guess what? After trying half a dozen of them and failing at every one, I realized she had changed and added or omitted certain ingredients in every single one. When I asked about it, she told me she just wanted her son to prefer her cooking over mine. [...]

[In "Marie's Meatballs," the 19 January 1998 episode of the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, Debra's mother-in-law, prodded by her son to give Debra cooking lessons, reluctantly agrees but sabotages the results by covering over the label on a bottle of tarragon with a label identifying it as basil.]

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Woman Unwrapped by Motorcycle

Arunima Das, "Urban Legends: A Study in Guwahati," Indian Folklife 25 (January 2007), p. 20.

Once a boy and a girl were moving around the city in a motorcycle. The girl was riding on the pillion. She was wearing a T-shirt and Wrapper (a traditional dress of the tribes in the north-eastern region of India and worn on the lower part of the body.).

Later on, they stopped in front of a college for some work. In a few moments, they finished their work and were ready to resume their ride. But, what happened thereafter was really astonishing. The boy started the motorcycle thinking her to be on the pillion seat and started to move on. But to the utter disbelief of the girl, a part of her wrapper got stuck in the rear wheel of the motorcycle and her wrapping around her waist started to loosen up. The boy did not have the slightest of inkling of what was happening and he simply drove on taking the wrapping with him in the process. Now, the wrapper went off completely from her waist and she stood undressed in the middle of the road and in full view of the passers-by.

The girl stood on the very ground as if in a trance. She did not move an inch and looked around helplessly. Looking at her pitiable condition, a rickshaw puller standing nearby offered his towel to her. She quickly put the towel around her waist and went away in an auto-rickshaw.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Andre Gide vs. Francois Mauriac

Rolling Stone, 22 December 1983, p. 131.

Name One Arlene Dahl Movie and Win a Free Trip to Normandy Beach

By Jack Richardson

[The writer recalls an anecdote told to him by Gore Vidal.]

Andre Gide would try to avoid paying the young men he'd just sodomized by declaring that they should be honored to have been buggered by a master of French literature, and when then asked who he was, he would sonorously introduce himself as the Catholic writer Francois Mauriac[.]

Naim Attalah, Of a Certain Age (London: Quartet, 1992), p. 26.

There was a wonderful story about Andre Gide having buggered a little boy in Morocco. Afterwards he said to the boy, 'You have just had intimate relations with the greatest living French author', and the boy replied, 'Who? Francois Mauriac?'

[The characters in these anecdotes are the same -- Gide, his sex partners, and Gide's rival, physically absent but essentially present -- but their roles (as victim or victor) in each version couldn't be more different. -- bc]

Ordinary Water Added to Zamzam Water

Arab News [Jeddah, Saudi Arabia]
15 October 2012

MAKKAH: Chairman of the United Zamzam Office Suleiman Abu Ghelya has dismissed rumors appearing on some social networking sites about the genuineness of Zamzam water distributed to Haj pilgrims.

"The speculation about the genuineness of Zamzam water supplied by the Zamzam Office is not true and unfortunate," he said, attributing doubts to ignorance of religious knowledge, because Zamzam is a river in paradise that will never dry up.

Abu Ghelya made this denial when he was asked about the rumor circulating on social networking sites that ordinary water was added to Zamzam supplied to pilgrims. [...]

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gay Milkman

28 September 2012

MOSCOW (Reuters) - An anti-gay activist group said it will picket shops selling milk produced by PepsiCo Inc's Russian subsidiary because they believe that a rainbow on the packaging violates a local law banning homosexual "propaganda".

The milk brand is called Vesyoly Molochnik, which translates as Gay Milkman, though in Russian the word vesyoly does not suggest homosexuality. The group said that it was objecting to the rainbow, which it saw as the international symbol for the gay movement. [...]

ABC News [Australia]
14 October 2012

By Norman Hermant

A Russian anti-gay group has asked prosecutors to investigate milk cartons that it claims promote homosexuality to children.

The label of the Vesyoly Molochnik milk, owned by multinational dairy company Pepsi Co, is adorned with a jolly milkman and a rainbow in the sky. [...]

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Musician Cuts Webbing Between Fingers

David A. Jasen and Gene Jones, That American Rag (New York: Schirmer Trade Books, 2000), p. 94.

One of the Detroit piano legends was Bart Howard, a small, cigar-chomping black man who, in the teens, was considered that city's ragtime king. We know a bit about Howard because in the 1960s, the ragtime pianist/composer Tom Shea took the last opportunity there would ever be to find out about him. Shea sought out George Walls, Dewey Lee, and Don McCullough, three of Howard's admirers who long outlived him. [...]

He went to a neighborhood "doctor," who snipped the skin between his forefingers and his thumbs to give him extra reach. While recovering from this career-enhancing operation, Howard wore gloves that held marbles between his middle fingers to increase their span also. When he was ready to play again, he could reach a tenth.

Lars Bjorn and Jim Gallert, Before Motown: A History of Jazz in Detroit, 1920-1960 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2001), p. 21.

Howard was a small man who always played with a cigar
between his teeth. His hands were so small that he had
trouble reaching octaves so he had a man named Dr.
Alexander operate on them, cutting the skin between
his thumb and index finger to increase his reach.[122]

122. Tom Shea, "Bart Howard," Ragtimer 6, no. 3 (1967). On the basis of interviews with two of Howard's students Shea guesses that Howard was born around 1880 in Detroit or Toledo. He was playing in ragtime contests [...] by 1915 and played in Detroit and Windsor until his death in the mid-1930s.

[Some other pianists rumored to have had the webbing on their fingers cut are Earl Hines, Luckey Roberts, Errol Garner, Robert Schumann and Franz Liszt. Guitarists Chet Atkins, Jimi Hendrix and Steve Howe, and Indian flute player Panallal Ghosh also had the operation, according to various claims I found by Googling. --bc]

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Prosecutor's Panties

Columbus Dispatch [OH]
4 October 2012

By  Randy Ludlow

Hocking County Prosecutor Laina Fetherolf [...] did not deposit her intimate apparel before Common Pleas Court Judge John T. Wallace and proclaim, "Problem solved."

In its first-ever complaint involving a politician's underwear, the Ohio Elections Commission was asked today by Fetherolf to get to the bottom of the case of the prosecutor's panties.

The Democrat, who is seeking her second term, asked the state panel to brand her opponent, Republican lawyer Jason Sarver, as a liar for spreading tales about her courtroom conduct that have elicited snickering among the electorate.

The elections commission this morning dismissed Fetherolf's complaint, largely because it was not based on personal knowledge and was neither a public statement nor campaign literature. [...] [Logan (OH) Daily News blog]
8 October 2012

From the Editor

[...] Last May, we first caught wind of a rumor from a source who told us that Hocking County Prosecutor Laina Fetherolf had worn questionable clothing into a courtroom and threw her undergarments at Hocking County Common Pleas Court Judge John Wallace. We were skeptical, as we usually are, but as all good journalistic establishments have a duty to do, we contacted our sources inside the courthouse, including Wallace, and asked them very plainly, but matter-of-factly, “Did Laina throw her underwear at the judge?”

The answer that we got in May was the same we received last week when we revisited the matter — it was a resounding “No.” [...]