You know, if your objective is to avoid public shame, maybe you shouldn’t do shameful things:
Days after 17-year-old Zeenat Rafiq eloped with a man against her family’s wishes, her relatives asked her to return home so they could throw her a proper ceremony.
“Don’t let me go, they will kill me,” her husband Hassan Khan recalled her saying, according to the Associated Press.
She was Punjabi. He was Pashtun. Her family was furious that she ran away and got married without their permission.
An uncle eventually convinced her to return. On Wednesday, Zeenat was burned alive by her mother.
Police say the mother, Parveen, tied Zeenat to a cot and poured kerosene before setting her on fire, according to the Guardian. It’s the latest of several “honor killings,” a practice that kills hundreds of girls each year in Pakistan.
Outrage by American feminists was conspicuous by its absence.
A large, flightless bird native to Australia and New Guinea killed its Florida owner when it attacked him after he fell.
The Alachua County Fire Rescue Department told the Gainesville Sun that a cassowary killed the man Friday on his property near Gainesville, likely using its long claws. The victim’s name was not released.
Cassowaries are similar to emus and stand up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall and weigh up to 130 pounds (59 kilograms). The San Diego Zoo’s website calls them the world’s most dangerous bird with a four-inch (10-centimeter), dagger-like claw on each foot that can cut open people or predators.
“You can’t drive around with a tiger in your car,” said Roger Miller. Imagine what he might have said of the cassowary.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department is putting billboards across the city to remind Oklahoma residents that where you live could affect how long you live.
“It’s a shocking statistic,” said Oklahoma City-County Health Department executive director Gary Cox.
The gap is 18 years.
It’s the number that separates the average life expectancy age from the highest average zip code in Oklahoma City to the lowest.
“So what that really means is a child that’s born in one of those zip codes … could live up to 18 years average shorter life span than a child that perhaps may be born in a suburban or another part of our county,” said Cox.
At best, this is only half a surprise:
The lowest life expectancy age, almost 64, is zip code 73145.
I didn’t even know the guy, but I have to figure, if his obituary starts off like this, it would have been worth it and then some:
Tim Schrandt (Lynyrd) made his last inappropriate comment on March 29, 2019. If you are wondering if you may have ever met him, you didn’t — because you WOULD remember. For those of you that did meet him, we apologize, as we’re sure he probably offended you. He was world renowned for not holding back and telling it like it is.
Tim was born to William (Bill) Schrandt and Mary (Schrandt) Manning on June 11, 1955 — 100 years too late. Given Tim’s demeanor he would have been the perfect weathered cowboy in the old west or rough and tough pioneer, or maybe he just should have been Amish.
Tim was the 4th of 8 kids, the bottom rung of the top tier (the big kids). Instead of taking his place on that rung, listening to the older kids and doing as he was told by his older siblings, he decided to anoint himself “king” of the 4 little kids. Tim spent his childhood and early adulthood ordering them around and in general, tormenting them. He was a great orator (not like Shakespeare, but more like Yogi Berra), as he always had something to say, and always had to get in the last word.
“Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” he said. “Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working.
“And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers, also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease,” he said.
He then joked that he has to keep working due to contractual obligations.
“Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years! So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done.”
In 2018, while being interviewed by Harvey Levin on Fox News, Trebek floated the idea of retirement, saying the odds of him leaving Jeopardy! in 2020 were 50/50 “and a little less”. He added that he might continue if he is “not making too many mistakes” but would make an “intelligent decision” as to when he should give up the emcee role. However, in October that year, he signed a new contract to continue as host through 2022.
He’d had a few health issues before, but heck, the man is 78 years old. In the meantime, I’m guessing he’ll take Thoughts and Prayers for $1000.
If I were a bettin’ man I would say this was probably my last Thanksgiving — let’s be honest. But this one had everything I could ever ask for.
And he was right, perhaps on both counts. Steve Krodman, the man who was Elisson, he who was Lost in the Cheese Aisle, has now gone forward to a place where he can tell mostly-clean jokes to enraptured angelic passers-by. He might even play catch with Lou Gehrig, who died of the same terrible disease.
I can only hope that when my time approaches, as it must, I can bear up with even a third of his equanimity.
Agnes Milowka would have been thirty-seven tomorrow.
Born in Poland in 1981, she wound up with several university degrees, although the one perhaps most pertinent was her 2007 degree in Maritime Archaeology from Flinders University in South Australia. Underwater photography was a specialty, although she might have told you that getting there is more than half the fun. National Geographic once brought her to the Bahamas, where she served as an underwater grip and as a photographer.
Here, she tackles a cave in north Florida:
James Cameron was the executive producer for Sanctum, which opened the first week of February 2011, and which contains this scene:
While exploring the entrance to the new system, Judes (Allison Cratchley) experiences a problem with her air tank hose. She loses use of her air mask forcing Frank (Richard Rosburgh) to buddy breathe. After a few exchanges, Judes panics and tries to keep the mask on, but Frank forces the mask off of her knowing he will not have enough air otherwise to make it back to the team.
I know you knew I was pregnant. It’s my fault, I just couldn’t resist those Instagram hashtags — #30weekspregnant, #babybump. And, silly me! I even clicked once or twice on the maternity-wear ads Facebook served up. What can I say, I am your ideal “engaged” user.
You surely saw my heartfelt thank-you post to all the girl friends who came to my baby shower, and the sister-in-law who flew in from Arizona for said shower tagging me in her photos. You probably saw me googling “holiday dress maternity plaid” and “babysafe crib paint.” And I bet Amazon even told you my due date, January 24th, when I created that Prime registry.
But didn’t you also see me googling “braxton hicks vs. preterm labor” and “baby not moving”? Did you not see my three days of social media silence, uncommon for a high-frequency user like me? And then the announcement post with keywords like “heartbroken” and “problem” and “stillborn” and the 200 teardrop emoticons from my friends? Is that not something you could track?
You see, there are 24,000 stillbirths in the United States every year, and millions more among your worldwide users. And let me tell you what social media is like when you finally come home from the hospital with the emptiest arms in the world, after you and your husband have spent days sobbing in bed, and you pick up your phone for a few minutes of distraction before the next wail. It’s exactly, crushingly, the same as it was when your baby was still alive. A Pea in the Pod. Motherhood Maternity. Latched Mama. Every damn Etsy tchotchke I was considering for the nursery.
An Indiana high school football player told investigators that he killed a 17-year-old schoolmate because he was angry that she waited so long to tell him she was pregnant with his child that it was too late to get an abortion, authorities said Monday.
Aaron Trejo, 16, was charged as an adult with murder in the Sunday killing of Breana Rouhselang and the fetus. He was arrested Sunday, scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday and had no attorney on record.
In a court filing supporting the charges, prosecutors say Trejo told police that he stabbed Rouhselang during a fight over her pregnancy and that he put her body in a restaurant dumpster in their hometown of Mishawaka.
Now there’s an actual example of toxic masculinity, though it’s less that Trejo had XY chromosomes and more that Trejo was a murderous asshole.
I still giggle at the memory of my sister’s midwifery training at Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town, many decades ago. At one point there was a spate of “blue babies”, infants who were not breathing, or not breathing properly, at birth. To jolt her trainee midwives into being more aware of the problem, the matron in charge of that class put up a notice in the break room. In large capital letters, it warned:
THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES OF LIFE ARE THE MOST DANGEROUS!
It didn’t take long before someone added, in equally bold print:
A long time ago, one of Reason magazine’s writers suggested that Israel could secure its borders against the more common sort of invaders and terrorists by making them radioactive, such that anyone who attempts an unauthorized entry would be fried as he did so. At the time there were practical problems that made such a project dubious of completion, but the fundamental idea — make the border automatically hostile to life — remains attractive.
Today it could be done rather easily, and at a modest cost compared to the complete militarization of the border. Indeed, it could be incorporated into President Trump’s proposed wall. Don’t bother climbing over or tunneling under it; either way you’ll get a lethal dose of neutrons. Anyone who did manage to cross would be easy to detect by his, ah, glowing personality.
On an autumn day in 1976, a French Air Force plane touched down at Le Bourget airport just outside Paris. The plane was carrying one of the world’s great statesmen, a famous war leader in need of urgent medical treatment. Ramesses II may have been dead for more than 3000 years but his mummified body was welcomed with as much ceremony as any living head of state.
He had been the most magnificent of all the pharaohs, but his mummy was in poor shape. Early on, he was roughed up by tomb robbers, prompting priests to move him to a secret location. In 1881, that too was discovered and from then on the king’s corpse was moved from place to place, partly unwrapped, even exhibited standing up, all of which took a heavy toll. Now, battered and cracked, he was under attack from bacteria, fungi and insects. Ancient Egyptians embalmed their dead to ensure the body stayed intact for eternity, otherwise the soul wouldn’t have the use of it in the afterlife. If Ramesses’s soul was to endure, his mummy needed urgent attention to stop the rot.
His occupation was listed as “King (deceased).” Which, after all, he was, as of 1213 BC.
Years ago, when I selected Organ Donor as the default on my driver’s license, my father told me not to do it. He said there would come a time, when the rich and influential would kill people just to take their organs.
I agreed to think about it, but, secretly, I laughed about his paranoia. How ridiculous! No one would ever do that.
They went so far as suggesting pulling the organs from the still-alive “donor” such that removing the organs would cause the donor’s euthanasia itself. The fresher the better. The transplant surgeons thus become both the one who sustains life for one, and the dealer of death for the other. All it takes, according to the authors, is a few simple tweaks to legislation.
The only proper response to this, I contend, is “You first.”
“Yay … not going to die any time soon!!!” Richard Cota of Bonanza appears to have written those words on his Facebook page moments before fatally colliding head-on into another driver on a rural Oregon highway early Thursday evening. Cota’s wife, Amanda, was also in the car at the time of the crash.
Now both Amanda Cota and Klamath Falls resident Frederick French are being treated for injuries at two different Southern Oregon hospitals, and Richard Cota is dead. He was 37 years old.
The crash reportedly occurred along Highway 140, near milepost 14, about 22 miles east of Medford. Oregon State troopers were dispatched to the two-vehicle crash around 5 p.m. Oct. 4. According to OSP crash investigators, the Cotas were traveling east toward Klamath Falls and their hometown of Bonanza in a Dodge Neon. Richard, the driver, was reportedly passing other eastbound vehicles at a high rate of speed while in the westbound lane — and while in a no-passing zone.
An iconic Pacific Northwest species’ declining numbers has resulted in its quiet withdrawal from its last remaining historical habitat in the United States.
According to researchers, the Selkirk herd of woodland caribou, which lingered as one of the most threatened species in the U.S. for decades, has all but disbanded. After a harsh winter that disrupted a last-ditch recovery effort, just three female caribou remain.
The last remaining herd of woodland caribou in the U.S. ranged from north-eastern portions of Colville National Forest in Washington State and lower British Columbia. The herd struggled for years, challenged by everything from habitat loss and freeway development to predators and even snowmobiles in its south.
There remain some members of the species, all north of the 49th parallel:
The mountain-dwelling woodland caribou is not extinct. But the numbers don’t look good. A few dozen more herds exist, all in Canada. They too are in rapid decline; their total number is estimated at fewer than 1,400, down from 1,900 just ten years earlier.
Overhunting, a problem last century, isn’t the issue anymore; continuing encroachment on habitat is.
Nebraska has become the first US state to use the opioid fentanyl to carry out the death penalty.
Convicted criminal Carey Dean Moore, 60, who killed two cab drivers in 1979, was executed in the state’s first lethal injection and first execution in 21 years. Amid two lawsuits from drug companies to stay the execution, Moore had told his lawyers he wanted to be executed.
Fentanyl is a powerful narcotic drug at the heart of the US opioid crisis. According to the Omaha World-Herald newspaper, the state used an untried drug cocktail of diazepam, fentanyl, cisatracurium and potassium chloride to execute Moore.
Good old diazepam. “Valium would have helped that bash,” declared Lou Reed.
It’s a hell of a combo: a tranq, a painkiller, a muscle relaxant, and KCl to stop the heart. Moore was pronounced dead after 23 minutes. Oklahoma, meanwhile, can’t seem to figure out how to work this thing.
I got some sobering news from my various Cancer doctors this morning:
My PSA number has more than doubled since my last Lab work in March, 2018, from 3.61 on March 21, to 7.33 on July 6th.
I had been trying to get the recent results for 4 days, to compare and to chart my PSA’s rate of change. And this news is indeed very disturbing.
It’s not the number itself that’s high, apparently; it’s the rate of increase.
Rather a lot of people on the old blogroll have slid into the Next Life, some of them without much warning. I hate that. Nothing much I can do about it, except appeal to the Almighty, but I’m pretty emphatic about hating it.
“There is no script or instructions. Instructions are institutional and temporary. FCA is a culture of leaders and employees that were born out of adversity and who operate without sheet music.”
— Sergio Marchionne (1952-2018), chairman and chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles through last Friday; after a high-risk treatment for sarcoma in one shoulder, he lapsed into a coma, and died yesterday. Mike Manley, who had headed FCA’s two cash cows, Jeep and Ram, took over on Saturday.
It was 6:10 this morning. I know this because the digits on the old Timex alarm clock are entirely too bright, but the sun rose around 6:24, which meant that keeping the washcloth in front of the clock face was no longer necessary. I rolled over to get within reach of it.
And kept rolling.
And kept rolling.
And finally, I found myself on the floor: as the old broad said in that infamous commercial, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
Scraping along the floor, I managed to get to the phone and summon 911. (Lucky me, the fire department is only three blocks away.) One of them remembered me from the last time I’d hit the floor this hard.
At least now I know how I die: I pitch forward (or backwards, it hardly matters) out of reach of anything, and can’t propel myself at all. It will be a day or two, or more, before anyone even notices.