"A blue cloud of smoke wafted over the Famous Five statue that sits just east of the Senate doors. No one seemed to be going insane or looking like they were about to personally invade the United States. There were people of all colours in the crowd, but if any of them were members of The Ring, they hid it well. The peaceful demonstrators were, however, breaking the law, smoking a banned substance that could in theory have landed any one of them in prison." Emily Murphy’s legacy lives on in more ways than most care to remember.
posted by mannequito
on Oct 1, 2012 -
The Brain on Trial.
Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order.
"We may someday find that many types of bad behavior have a basic biological explanation—as has happened with schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, and mania." [more inside]
posted by Eideteker
on Jul 15, 2011 -
Webster's defines speedup as "an employer's demand for accelerated output without increased pay," and it used to be a household word.
posted by bitmage
on Jun 20, 2011 -
"Horror vacui - 'fear of emptiness'
or empty space is a term I love. The phrase carries with it intimations of mania and compulsion —covering every surface, interweaving pattern atop pattern. Perhaps it can be as loosely interpreted as Collyer Brothers piles or the noisy and noisome claustrophobic streets of Dickensian London. Somehow, though, I relate the term to an overall sensibility. A complex density with an awareness of the whole, not an open-ended haphazardness."
A blogger explores the artistic notion of horror vacui.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn
on Jun 14, 2011 -
Aboriginal Science Fiction
was started in 1987 to rethink the look and feel of SF magazines; Charles Ryan published it in full sized magazine format, on glossy paper, with four-color interior illustrations and it sold well. Aboriginal
kept up a full schedule
through 1991, when a personal financial crisis nearly shut him down. He kept putting out the occasional issue until 2001, but the irregularity made it hard to find.
Aboriginal courted new writers, one of whom was Robert A. Metzger
, an electrical engineer and laser specialist who wrote quirky, fun hard SF stories. After Aboriginal mostly folded and he got shafted on his first book deal
, he mostly walked away from writing. He's drifted back in a bit since 2001, but fortunately at some point along the way he decided to put some of his boomerang era pieces
online. And that's how it's possible for you to read one of the most haunting, breathtaking short stories I've ever read:
In the Shadow of Bones
posted by localroger
on Mar 17, 2011 -
MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness is a multi-platform media project that explores severe mental illness in America.
The one-hour television program
zeros in on wrenching and confounding situations that are playing out every day in homes and hospital ERs, on city streets and school campuses, in courtrooms and in jails, as Americans struggle with the challenges of severe mental illness.
The distinguished panel includes U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Nobel Prize winning neurologist Eric Kandel, along with attorneys, doctors, legislators and other experts in the field. Several
of the panelists have personal
, as well as professional experience, in living with mental illness.
A Fred Friendly Seminar
posted by prefpara
on Apr 21, 2010 -
No matter their approach, the typical French physician who accepted the notion of male hysteria continued to think that its victims were in some way sexually abnormal: "Thus, despite Charcot's innovative work, the male victim of hysteria in late-nineteenth century French medical imagination was still frequently envisioned as an effeminate heterosexual, an overt homosexual, or a physical or emotional hermaphrodite." If not different sexually, male hysterics were said to be different in other ways, such as race or nationality, among whom African, African-American, south Asian, Arab, or Eastern European Jewish men predominated. Outside of France, other methods of denial appeared, such as the suggestion that male hysteria was restricted to Frenchmen. The medical literature of the time is full of evasions and denials and contradictions of the truths that Charcot had quite obviously demonstrated.
- Macho Misery
, an extensive and interesting review of Hysterical Men: The Hidden History of Male Nervous Illness
. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Apr 26, 2009 -
The End of the Wall Street Era.
“We always asked the same question,” says Eisman. “Where are the rating agencies in all of this? And I’d always get the same reaction. It was a smirk.” He called Standard & Poor’s and asked what would happen to default rates if real estate prices fell. The man at S&P couldn’t say; its model for home prices had no ability to accept a negative number.
The author of Liar's Poker
on the collapse of the subprime industry.
posted by bitmage
on Nov 11, 2008 -
On April 3, The Memphis Flyer
ran a story describing a town hall meeting in Shelby County in which citizens were instructed on the art of finding a potential terrorist. Among the 'qualifications' are having a camera and taking pictures of well known or important structures.
posted by theichibun
on May 29, 2008 -
"After inadvertently offending a strange entity that accosts him on his way to work, a 1970s businessman quickly finds himself in the midst of a bizarre predicament." 205.2 MB Quicktime available here
. [Via Neatorama.]
posted by homunculus
on Nov 21, 2007 -
became one of the most famous British illustrators of the late Victorian and Edwardian era after trying to cheer up his wife Emily by drawing portraits of their pet cat, Peter
. In addition to publishing a popular children's book about kittens
, he was a founder
of the U.K's National Cat Club
who was instrumental in promoting the Cat Fancy
movement, which encouraged Britons of all classes to view cats as lovable pets instead of household pests. Unfortunately, after Wain's wife Emily died of breast cancer, Wain gradually went mad due to psychosis
and late onset schizophrenia
, ending up in London's notorious Bethlehem Hospital
(the etymological origin for the word bedlam
). While at Bedlam, Wain continued to draw, but his cat portraits transformed into pure geometric abstraction
and psychedelic fractals
, but some see harbingers of madness in cryptically titled works, such as Early Indian Irish
and The Fire of the Mind Agitates the Atmosphere
. For more insight on Wain, check out this 1896 interview
and this short film
dramatizing the progression of Wain's schizophrenia through his art.
posted by jonp72
on Aug 12, 2007 -
Great White Sharks feeding on a whale carcass.
Ever wanted to see what a dead whale looks like? Find it here. How about multiple great white sharks feeding on said carcass? Find it here. How about a mad scientist who climbs on said carcass? And films said sharks with fricken' lazer beams feeding on stinking whale carcass?
posted by KokuRyu
on Feb 10, 2007 -
The Monks Formed in the early '60s by American G.I.s stationed in Germany
. After their discharge, the group settled in Germany to concentrate on finding a unique sound, and soon began to shave their hair into Monk's tonsures
and appear in cassocks
. One of the truely original
bands of the 60's, The Monks are now often refered to as 'proto-punk
'. The Monks experimented
fervently, developing a unqiue sound, with heavy bass, repetitive but amelodic rhythms, nursery rhyme style, yet powerful vocals
and a good helping of feedback
. They recorded only one albumn, Black Monk Time
, until their 1999 reunion
.Hear some tracks from the albumn
See and hear The Monks Live in Germany
, Also, check out Monks - The Transatlantic Feedback
, a documentary (with trailer
, though there seems to be something wrong with it). [Trivia: the song I Hate You can be heard in the background in one scene in the bowling alley in The Big Lebowski]
posted by MetaMonkey
on Apr 21, 2006 -
Smell The Brimstone
--Have you ever asked yourself, "Self, what if the folks at JibJab made another political cartoon, but before doing so were to remove their souls, morals, intellect, decency, and common sense?"
--Good as You's review
of this little flash piece, from the GodHatesFags crew (Phelps). I think it's so poorly done and insane, it's actually funny, but NSFW and offensive.
posted by amberglow
on May 7, 2005 -
Provacateur, Lunatic or Revolutionary?
(great WashPost story)
"Hello Everyone, my name's Andy. I killed a Police Officer in Red Bluff, California in a motion to bring attention to, and halt, the police-state tactics that have come to be used throughout our country. Now I'm coming forward, to explain that this killing was also an action against corporate irresponsibility."
Andrew Mickel, AKA Andrew McCrae - a student at Evergreen State College and former Army Ranger is charged with killing a police officer in Red Bluff, California.
He freeley admits that he did it. His defense? He is starting the revolution!
Mickel believes, as does the prosecution, that he isn't insane.
He is also the "CEO" of Proud and Insolent Youth Incorporated
posted by punkbitch
on Apr 4, 2005 -
"The purpose of the Fellowship Baptist Creation Science Fair
is to get kids excited about Creation and motivate them to discover the truth of our Lord on their own."
Winning exhibits this year include "My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve (Not A Monkey)", "Women Were Designed For Homemaking", and "Using Prayer To Microevolve Latent Antibiotic Resistance In Bacteria".Via
posted by Mwongozi
on Mar 24, 2005 -
The facinating story of Seti Scanlan
- After a mental meltdown, he went on a crime spree of robberies, in the process killing 2 victims. He fled from California to Oregon where he... gave himself up. Since then, he has pled guilty to all charges and waived his right to a trial. He attempted to wave his sentancing trial and accept the death penalty, but the judge would not allow it. Scanlan himself says that he just wants to stand up and face the consequences of his crimes.
posted by falconred
on May 2, 2004 -
Is Dave Sim going mad?
Speculation has been running rampant in the Interweb comic book community that Dave Sim, writer and artist of Cerebus
, arguably one of the greatest comic book series of all time, has lost his mind
. Granted, many of Sim's essays
have been misogynist
, and he has publicly challenged Bone
creator Jeff Smith to a fist fight for a somewhat trivial slight, but that is hardly evidence of insanity. Has he crossed the line from extremist to madman? Is his writing a Swiftian satire or, as one critic called it, the Mein Kampf
posted by Joey Michaels
on Aug 27, 2002 -