Kali couldn’t hold her gaze. Her eyes rolled back into her head. She had an appointment for 3 p.m., but around noon, Traci called her husband, Joseph. “I got her in, but I don’t know if she’s going to make it that long.”
This is the story
of how Kali Hardig became the third known survivor of the naegleria fowleri
Arkansas Judge strikes down gay marriage ban.
And in a surprising move, didn't
put the order on hold so people could appeal. [more inside]
The 1998 hit "The Way" by Fastball
was based on the real-life disappearance of an elderly couple in Texas
: The song’s lyrics -- about an elderly couple who disappears from their home, finding immortality on the road -- seem sweet. That is, until "shadows" on the highway are referenced. The promises that the unnamed couple will never go home, grow old, or be hungry again seem a great deal less reassuring. Perhaps, the listener thinks, the "immortality" they found on the open road is purely allegorical.
Maya Angelou and Madhur Jaffrey share a lunch and conversation in 2005.
"Maya Angelou and Madhur Jaffrey were born worlds apart, but for both, cooking and sharing food were key to their identities. We invited them for lunch to talk about recipes, love and memory."
For most Americans, life expectancy continues to rise—but not for uneducated white women. They have lost five years, and no one knows why
"In the fall of 1970, sixteen-year-old Chesley Karr returned to Coronado High School in El Paso, Texas, after a summer spent harvesting wheat in the Midwest. During his working vacation, he had let his hair grow out over his ears and collar. Later he asserted that his long hair, which he referred to as a "freak flag," was both "a cultural statement and a practical matter." Culturally, he believed his hair identified him as a supporter of the "peace or hippie movement"; practically, haircuts had been a low priority on the wheat farm. To his surprise, the high school gym coach refused to admit him to class; the issue then ascended through the principal's office to the school board, which told Karr he could not return to school without a haircut. Rather than acquiesce, Chesley Karr took his school to court." -- Flaunting the Freak Flag: Karr v Schmidt and the Great Hair Debate in American High Schools, 1965 - 1975
or a history of uptight authority figures overreacting to trivial fashion changes, sort of relevant again now Arkansas is attempting to ban tattoos and piercings
Between July 28 and November 10, 2003, Ron Haines
canoed down the entire length of the Mississippi. Eight years later, he wrote it up as a series of blog posts with lots of interesting photos and observations: Lake Itasca to Minneapolis-St. Paul
. Minneapolis-St. Paul to St. Louis
. St. Louis to New Orleans
. He also wrote up his logistics
and some of the press coverage
he got along the way. [more inside]
The Arkansas House voted today
to override Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of the earliest abortion ban in the nation, 12 weeks of pregnancy, just weeks after voting to override a similar veto on a law banning abortions after 20 weeks. [more inside]
There was a time when we were one of the worst, if not THE worst prison systems in the country.
How we got there was simple. It was money.
“When I first drove up to the gate in the summer of 1971, my dog was with me in the car. I drove up to a little shack with a guard. The guard was wearing a pistol
and I realized he was a prisoner. The only people I saw carrying guns were convicts.” - Photographer Bruce Jackson
"At this point, his 16-year-old son Joseph Kane comes out shooting with an AK-47."
A dashcam video from a police SUV shows a teenager opening fire on two West Memphis police officers before taking off in a van with his father
. Subsequent helicopter footage reveals a third occupant
of the van escaping unharmed. The Game and Fish Officer who rammed his truck
into the van most likely saved the lives of two wounded officers. Full Text
. [more inside]
Four days after cows broke into her home
, a woman in Murfreesboro, Ark., says she's still in shock.
New WM3 Defense Letter
Imprisoned since 1993, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr.
filed new appeals in Oct. 2007 - previously
- only to have them thrown out less than a year later. But a recent article
in the Arkansas Law Review, which came on the heels of support from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Northwestern University School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Conviction, has the Arkansas Supreme Court reconsidering the appeals. Meanwhile, Terry Hobbs, stepfather of one of the victims, had his lawsuit against the Dixie Chicks tossed out
earlier this month. [more inside]
JERICHO, Ark. — It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet another traffic ticket, and Fire Chief Don Payne didn't hesitate to tell the judge what he thought of the police and their speed traps. The response from cops? They shot him. Right there in court.
Be a hero on your own time (VIDEO)
When McDonald's employee Nigel Haskett interceded to stop a man who was beating a woman in the restaurant
, the assailant went outside, retrieved a gun from his car and shot Haskett – “multiple times,” as the employee stood at the door to keep the assailant from re-entering the restaurant. $300,000 in medical bills later, McDonald's insurance says no dice: "we have denied this claim in its entirety as it is our opinion that Mr. Haskett's injuries did not arise out of or within the course and scope of his employment."
Curfew is declared in a 10 block area of a small Arkansas town
. [more inside]
30 years ago today, Frank Stanford
, a young Arkansaw poet shot himself three times in the heart with a 22-caliber pistol. He was 29. By then he had become a powerful and unique voice in the American poetry landscape, dubbed "a swamprat Rimbaud"
by Lorenzo Thomas and "one of the great voices of death"
by Franz Wright. He left behind a strong (though often hard to find and/or unrecognized) body of work, most notably his immense epic The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You
, a 15,280 line poem with no punctuation or stanzas. [more inside]
Every One That Hates Billy....”
It featured a photograph of Billy’s face superimposed over a likeness of Peter Pan, and provided this description of its purpose: “There is no reason anyone should like billy he’s a little bitch. And a homosexual that NO ONE LIKES.”
Billy, busy building a miniature house, didn’t see it coming: the boy hit him so hard in the left cheek that he briefly lost consciousness. [His mother] remembers the family dentist sewing up the inside of Billy’s cheek, and a school official refusing to call the police, saying it looked like Billy got what he deserved. [more inside]
Mayor Ken Williams of Centerton, Arkansas, recently resigned over allegations of identity theft
and other weirdness
. He claims that a truth serum injection helped him to recognize that he was formerly The Rev. Don LaRose. He runs a website telling the "amazing story" (in 11 chapters) of his abduction by satan-worshippers
three decades ago.
Through a Lens Darkly
- on September 4, 1957, when 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford tried to enter Little Rock Central High, she was blocked by the National Guard and surrounded by a screaming mob of 250: "Lynch her! Lynch her!" "No nigger bitch is going to get in our school! Get out of here!" "Go back to where you came from!" Looking for a friendly face, she turned to an old woman, who spat on her
. Dramatic news footage
. Ernest Green, another of the Little Rock 9 recalls
the first day of school. [more inside]
: A widow is fighting to open records on how tainted blood plasma
from Arkansas prisoners entered the U.K. and led to the death of her husband.
Go skateboarding Day
didn't end well for a bunch of teenagers in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Youtube Video.
Unreasonable/Excessive force by the police? You decide.
Maryland joins the ranks of states
attempting to thwart the electoral college. Maryland's General Assembly approved a bill
[PDF] to ignore the U.S. Electoral College [official website
] in presidential elections, instead awarding the state's 10 electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. [via
| previously on MeFi
| more inside]
“There’s nothing like a BIG MELON to bring everybody together in Hope.”
( video ) It takes Bright Women
to grow big melons, and old men to pick the world's largest
. A better tagline possibly: "Hope Arkansas: Home of President Bill Clinton and the World's Largest Watermelons
". Videos, as always, brought to you by the Hope MelonFest On-Deman Video Center
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Interested in obtaining diamonds but feeling troubled
by the diamond business? Head over to Arkansas
and dig your own damned diamonds.
First they came for the atheists -
Arkansas state constitution says: "Atheists disqualified from holding office or testifying as witness:- No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court" Link to pdf, pg 74 in pdf(via reddit)
"I am under censure for mentioning numbers...." "I am instructed NOT to use hard numbers when telling kids how old rocks are. I am supposed to say that these rocks are VERY VERY OLD... but I am NOT to say that these Ordovician rocks are thought to be about 300 million years old."
Essentially, they are not allowing Bob to teach a certain set of scientific data in order to protect their ability to provide students the good science curriculum they do teach. The directors... have heard from them more than enough times that teaching evolution would be "political suicide".
In Arkansas, even supporters of teaching evolution
feel they must hide, obfuscate, and water-down evolution.
Documentarian Bruce Jackson
found "a group of about two hundred 3x4" identification photographs made between 1914 and 1937... in a drawer in the Arkansas penitentiary in the summer of 1975"; this (slideshow
) is the online record of an exhibition.
It is impossible to look at these images and not think about the persons depicted there. But, save for one fact that is a given—and what we find in or infer from these images—we know nothing about those persons, and never will. The given is that they are all prisoners: for whatever reason, they have been deprived of liberty, the single piece of enduring proof of which is the image at which we presently gaze. The conclusions we draw, the feelings we have, the narratives we suppose—they are all our own. The images are mirrors, resonating with aspects of our selves we perhaps never before encountered.
Many of them are haunting; this one
has been turned by time into a work of art. (Via Ramage
Junkscience: Top Ten "Most Embarrassing Moments" of 2004
Whoops: "10. University of Arkansas researchers attacked the Atkins Diet in January with a report linking a high-carbohydrate diet with weight loss, saying it was possible to lose weight without cutting calories and without exercising. What they didn’t reveal, however, was that the study subjects who lost weight actually ate 400-600 calories per day less than those who didn’t lose weight." I don't see the big deal behind number 6.
Giant Jesus stops traffic in Ohio.
Church officials say their King of Kings statue is the largest in America, but the folks in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
might have something to say about that. Their seven-story Jesus
weighs in at over two million pounds.
From the vantage point of my office window, one might wonder: "Presedential Library, or world's largest mobile home?"
This part of the country hasn't seen modern architecture like this, Newsweek lamented....the Clinton presidential library is an architectural tour de force that introduces the Midsouth to a structure more significant than anything it's ever seen.
..but from the vantage point of the Interstate 30 bridge, to the average columnist or cross-country trucker, didn't it kind of look like a trailer?"
For Arkansas, the grand opening of the center
— which houses the Clinton Library — will be one of the biggest events in the state's history
. All former presidents and President Bush will attend.
Arkansas Governor's School
, one of over 100
"Governor's Schools," starts today. The program is going in to its 24th year despite years
of controversy over
Box of Snakes 'Linked to Death'
Little Rock, Ark. Police are investigating
a link between a mysterious box of venomous snakes
and the death of a business traveler whose body was found in a rental car last week.
The Counter Clinton Library
A tax exempt
reaction to the Clinton Library
being built in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Sticking to the gay stuff:
The ACLU is threatening legal action against a middle school in Arkansas whose administrators have gone to extraordinary lengths to punish a student for being gay, including outing him to his parents, forcing him to read passages of the Bible, calling him "abnormal" and "unnatural," and disciplining him for mentioning between classes to a female friend that he thought another boy was cute. (via CalPundit)
Arkansas court rules fetus is 'a person.'
The court's ruling addressed "a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by a man whose wife and unborn child died during birth procedures." What does this mean for the abortion battle under the current administration?
Whitewater Prosecutor Clears Clintons of Wrongdoing
"Independent counsel Robert Ray said on Wednesday that there was insufficient evidence to prove that President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton engaged in criminal conduct in the Whitewater land deal in Arkansas"
The Clinton Legacy Grows
The state of Arkansas began disbarment proceedings today. I've already blogged it
but figured everyone else would want to know.