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Monday links


  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty January 9, 2017 11:48 am

    Some people really are strange… Keep an amputated foot or whatever? I don’t know why it should ever be “illegal,” but I’d probably find a different friend to visit if I saw a skeleton or large jar of preserved leg on display in the living room. And everyone should know that I’m not in the least squeamish about blood and body parts.

  2. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran January 9, 2017 11:48 am

    My brush with Scientology came in March of 1975 in San Francisco. I had just gotten out to California for my first duty assignment in the USAF and I had some days to kill before I had to report for duty, so I visited San Francisco as I heard so much about it from my dad who spent time there during WWII while in the Navy. One day I was walking on a downtown street when I was approached by a beautiful woman and she asked if I’d like to take a personality test. Being instantly smitten by her, I’d have probably jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge if she asked me to, so in we go to a nearby building and I got seated a a table and was handed the test and pencil. It turned out it was the Scientology personality test that they use to hook you with to get people to join them. I ripped through it as fast as I could because I wanted to get it done and over with so I could get back to acquainting myself with the young lady. They gave me the analysis and I could have cared less and got out of there and tracked down the young lady, who was back out on the street, trying to “fish” for more victims (the Children of God used the same tactic, using beautiful women to “fish” for male initiates). I found her and actually got her address and wrote to her a few times, trying to get a relationship going, but she stuck strictly to the business of Scientology and I couldn’t sway her otherwise.

  3. Pat
    Pat January 9, 2017 1:27 pm

    Build a tunnel and lose a 1000-year-old tree. So much for national parks! Aren’t they supposed to be for protecting Mother Nature against human destruction? (Well, no – I forgot. They’re for controlling land that isn’t theirs against us “deplorables.”)

  4. Dana
    Dana January 9, 2017 1:52 pm

    Keeping body parts is not a recent concept. But it doesn’t seem to have been a thing with either Heaven’s Gate or Scientology. Maybe it makes insecure people uncomfortable? 😉

  5. bud
    bud January 9, 2017 3:10 pm

    When I had the plate and screws removed from my arm I got them back. One of these days I’ll get a rountuit, and have them encased in acrylic with a bronze plate that says “Motorcycle Misadventures.”

    As I age I am continually reminded of my mother‘s perspecuity. One of her aphorisms, applied to me in moments of exasperation was, “You’re so dumb, you’re happy.”

  6. Claire
    Claire January 9, 2017 3:35 pm

    Dana — I’ve heard of Catholic churches keeping body parts. I’ve heard of people keeping other people’s body parts (Mary Shelley owning Percy’s heart; Napoleon’s famous penis being traded around). People keeping their own detached body parts is a new one on me.

    As to non-Catholic churches and keeping body parts, the only modern one I personally know of that does is (are?) the Rosicrucians. That museum they have in San Jose, with its shrunken heads and mummies terrified me when I was six!

    OTOH, I’ve considered asking furrydoc to remove and preserve Ava’s beautiful tail when she dies. And I was only half joking when I used to say I wanted to have Robbie’s body stuffed. He was one of the most still dogs; I figured it would be like he was still around and alive.

  7. Desertrat
    Desertrat January 9, 2017 3:59 pm

    Hey, Joel, when a hen is cackling, I wanna know is she laying or lying!

    Until a few days before her death at age 95, my mother could still drive safely to the grocery. The day before her death, she was working NYT Sunday crosswords in ink. I’m only 82, but so far, so good.

    Super villain lair? How about Jeffrey Dahmer’s house?

    The people of NPR et al are covered all over with Cleopatrata, denial of reality. We know about fake news, so somebody come up with a good phrase for fake opinion. We can hark back to, “There is no Pravda in Izvestia and no Isvestia in Pravda.”

  8. Claire
    Claire January 9, 2017 4:35 pm

    When I had the plate and screws removed from my arm I got them back. One of these days I’ll get a rountuit, and have them encased in acrylic with a bronze plate that says “Motorcycle Misadventures.”

    Now that I could totally understand. You should definitely do that. Then send me a pic to post on the blog. 🙂

  9. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran January 9, 2017 4:40 pm

    Claire, I was born and raised Catholic. When I started as an altar boy, I was in the 3rd grade and the Latin mass was still being said, so I had to learn my responses to the liturgy in Latin. Relics, the things that commemorate Jesus, saints/martyrs, thankfully were not in vogue during those days or since. At one time though, in the battle of the souls in Germany, there was a brisk business in “Catacomb Saints”. Very macabre if you ask me!

    SmithsonianMag: Meet the Fantastically Bejeweled Skeletons of Catholicism’s Forgotten Martyrs

  10. larryarnold
    larryarnold January 9, 2017 8:50 pm

    Build a tunnel and lose a 1000-year-old tree.
    The tunnel was cut early in the 1900s, back before environmental impact studies, etc. The pendulum has swung far the other way.

  11. Pat
    Pat January 10, 2017 5:37 am

    larryarnold – that’s not the point.
    Any fool should know that if you cut that big a chunk from a tree (or any entity) – especially at its foundation! – that you’ve compromised its structural integrity, if not its very life. I don’t know if John Muir had anything to do with this tunnel, but he was around when it was cut and he should have spoken up vehemently against it.

    If you’re trying to save the trees from humanity, it’s no better than current environmentalists who destroy forests to keep loggers or miners from the land – or PETA who kills excess animals rather than spend their money and time finding homes for them. The hypocrisy of the tunnel is what I object to; it’s just a way to make money and toot their own horn at the expense of what they claim to want to save. And that hypocrisy existed then, as well as now.

  12. Joel
    Joel January 10, 2017 6:15 am

    “What do I do with this living person’s severed limb” used to be a question asked fairly often, because amputations used to be much more common than they currently are. Unless you were a civil war surgeon who ended up with a pile of them after every battle, the answer was often rather ceremonial.

    Apparently one of the options in my case was to buy a burial plot, actually bury the leg in it, then (hopefully much, much later) shovel in the rest of me and plant a headstone. Nobody felt like going to that much trouble in my case, so it just got cremated and the ashes were dumped somewhere. The option of taking it home and making a lamp out of it was apparently not discussed.

    I DID briefly ponder taking my smashed motorcycle helmet home…and making a lamp out of it. Other opinions of this plan ran the whole gamut from “morbid” to “creepy,” and eventually the helmet just disappeared. Into a landfill, no doubt.

  13. Desertrat
    Desertrat January 10, 2017 7:32 am

    At the time the tunnel was cut, it was merely one among many more trees–before all the logging. To replicate it today would definitely be un-good, IMO. In the context of the time, however, it was merely an interesting event.

    Isn’t the wood from that tree usable?

  14. Comrade X
    Comrade X January 10, 2017 8:02 am

    Red wood makes for a great deck!

  15. Dana
    Dana January 10, 2017 9:14 am

    rochester_veteran: That link to the Smithsonian Article you posted is absolutely fascinating. It immediately led me to Paul Koudounaris and his book, Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs. The author is also responsible, it seems, for finally revealing the truth about cats.

    “So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.” (Ezekiel 37:10), from the account of The Valley of Dry Bones.

    Claire: Did you get to go on the “Guided Tomb Tour” at the Rosicrucian Museum? A childhood staple! Brings back memories…

  16. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran January 10, 2017 10:06 am

    Glad you enjoyed it, Dana! It is fascinating but also macabre!

  17. Dana
    Dana January 10, 2017 10:30 am

    rochester_veteran: The whole thing in a Christian context is also pretty new to me, and I didn’t realize that even pre-Vatican II when they were still doing Latin Mass it was already out of vogue. I got my first dose of this sort of thing as a child via that same Rosicrucian Museum that apparently terrified Claire, and the next time I ran into it was years later in the context of Islam, at Topkapi Palace.

  18. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran January 10, 2017 10:31 am

    BTW, my kitties are definitely not demon kitties, sometimes witchy but not demonic! 🙂

  19. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran January 10, 2017 10:36 am

    Dana, I became in altar boy in 1964, right before the Vatican II changes were in place, so Latin was still in use. A few years later, it went from Latin directly to Masses in English and music by the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary! 🙂

  20. Claire
    Claire January 10, 2017 10:47 am

    “The author is also responsible, it seems, for finally revealing the truth about cats.”

    And I believe every word of it. 100%

  21. WolfSong
    WolfSong January 10, 2017 12:25 pm

    I love the Instagram photos the woman with her skeletal foot posts!
    It’s awesome (to me, who has a. an odd sense of humour and b. a love of quirky photography) the places she puts it, just to photograph it.
    When I showed it to my Hubby last week, first thing he said was “Yup, I could see you doing that.” 😉

  22. Claire
    Claire January 10, 2017 12:58 pm

    “Claire: Did you get to go on the “Guided Tomb Tour” at the Rosicrucian Museum? A childhood staple! Brings back memories…”

    Not that I recall. I was only six and literally all I remember are shrunken heads and mummies.

    I spent the rest of my childhood begging my parents never to take me back to that creepy place.

  23. Claire
    Claire January 10, 2017 1:17 pm

    first thing he said was “Yup, I could see you doing that.”

    🙂 I actually think it’s kind of cool. I mean, if you have to have your foot amputated, might as well make the best of it.

    Reminds me of one of my aunts. She was very skinny and had tiny breasts. When one had to be removed because of breast cancer, I remember her standing in front of several female relatives, lifting her blouse, pointing at the swollen spot of the surgery, and enthusing, “Look! Look! It’s bigger than the other one now!”

  24. Unclezip
    Unclezip January 11, 2017 6:40 pm

    A friend used to pay her bar bill with a bet: I can put my footprint on the ceiling. After the initial shock, everyone would pay up.

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