19 people were shot
at a New Orleans parade on Mother's Day, including 2 children. 3 are still in critical condition. David Dennis asks:
"So why am I allowed to go outside? Where's the city quarantine or FBI and Homeland Security presence for this act of 'terrorism'?" [more inside]
posted by Starmie
on May 16, 2013 -
The day would come when many West Virginians recalled the story of Jack's Powerball Christmas with a shudder at the magnitude of ruination: families asunder, precious lambs six feet under, folks undone by the lure of all that easy money.
posted by Egg Shen
on Nov 29, 2012 -
“I stole this book from the library ages ago…”Behind the Curtain (AKA OMG Marvin K. Redpost is a girl!)
“Fourth grade” I say, watching them huddled together in the mirror.
“…one of those Marvin K. Redpost books. He kisses his elbow one day and when he wakes up the next morning he's a girl.”
“I meant to make you take it back but I bet we still have it.”
“My mom's cataloging fifteen years of gender-bending in one week.” She says, rolling her eyes.... “Seriously Mom, how did you NOT know?”
She will ask me this a hundred times. I will ask myself a hundred more and still never I didn't have a good answer then and I don't now. Perhaps we simply see what we expect to see and write off anything that doesn't fit into the little boxes we put people into. Or perhaps she'd learned to mask and over-correct, to hide so well that by the time those distinctions matter, I could not see her until she tore down that wall. I wish I'd known sooner.
is one of the funnier excerpts from The Complicated Geography of Alice
, a memoir in progress.
posted by carsonb
on Nov 25, 2012 -
GQ: The Man Who Sailed His House. On the third day after the Japanese tsunami, after the waves had left their destruction, as rescue workers searched the ruins, news came of an almost surreal survival: Nine miles out at sea, a man had been found alone, riding on nothing but the roof of his house. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 13, 2011 -
Ta-nehisi Coates sparks months of debate with his contention that The Civil War Isn't Tragic
. "The Civil War is our revolution. It ended slavery, and birthed both modern America, and modern black America.
That can never be tragic to me." [more inside]
posted by Danila
on Aug 25, 2011 -
A Tragedy of Errors.
On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools
in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail
in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA
of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature
provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
posted by zarq
on Apr 10, 2011 -
Challenger . . . . go with throttle up
Twenty-five years ago today the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger exploded
73 seconds into the 25th space shuttle flight. The reports (pdf)
tell us of O-Ring failures. Today, we remember
one of the most tragic days in the history
of the U.S. manned spaceflight program. Today, January 28, 2011, we remember: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe
posted by IvoShandor
on Jan 28, 2011 -
Imagine you're living in China, trying to work your way out of the family date farming business (which garners approximately $450 annually). You do all the right things. You apply for (and receive) Communist Party membership
. You study literally to the point of collapse, and despite coming from coal-town origins, you score high on your gao kao
("high test," more-or-less the only thing that matters in getting into a Chinese university). Your already-poor family goes deep
into debt to send you to college, and you even manage to come out with a degree. Classic rise-up-by-your-own-bootstraps tale, right? However, finally, when you go to apply for a job—your state-sanctioned educational, occupational, and political records are inexplicably, awfully gone
. What has happened to that plain manila folder (!) that serves as your only legitimate, official history in Chinese society? Probably stolen and sold so a party official's child can get everything you worked so hard for
. And then, of course
, your family is detained by party officials when your parents demand to know where the hell your life went. Of course. [more inside]
posted by Keter
on Jul 27, 2009 -
In 1985, less than a week after the Palace of Justice siege
in Bogota left 11 members of the Supreme Court dead, the ice-clad
Nevada del Ruiz volcano erupted, wiping out the Colombian town of Armero
in a huge wave of mud and water
. Most links contain disturbing and NSFW images. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago
on Mar 12, 2009 -
is a genealogy site, compiling information on the historic disasters, events, and tragic accidents of Canada and the U.S. that our ancestors endured, as well as, information about their life and death. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Dec 9, 2008 -
"My first day on the job was the Amish school shooting at Nickel Mines in Lancaster County, Pa. in October of 2006.
Here is some video of what I saw that day." Raw footage from that terrible day, recently posted to YouTube. 1
, 5 [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Oct 7, 2007 -
Kinder Morgan oil pipeline ruptured near Vancouver, British Columbia
Thick, black oil dripped from lampposts, splattered across suburban lawns and crept into Burrard Inlet
after a geyser of crude spewed from a burst Kinder Morgan pipeline Tuesday. [google news]
Work crews ripped into the TransMountain pipeline
about 12:30 p.m., causing the oil to "explode," as one witness put it, from the ground and burble up from manholes, pouring down streets toward the ocean, according to witnesses.
Kinder Morgan bought the pipeline from a Canadian utility in 2005, and is known as a "poster child for pipeline problems."
More Kinder Morgan
posted by KokuRyu
on Jul 24, 2007 -
...The U.S. has probably not yet fully woken up to the appalling fact that, after a long period in which the first motto of its military was "no more Vietnams," it faces another Vietnam. There are many important differences, but the basic result is similar: The mightiest military in the world fails to achieve its strategic goals and is, in the end, politically defeated by an economically and technologically inferior adversary. Even if there are no scenes of helicopters evacuating Americans from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, there will surely be some totemic photographic image of national humiliation as the U.S. struggles to extract its troops. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have done terrible damage to the U.S. reputation for being humane; this defeat will convince more people around the world that it is not even that powerful. And Bin Laden, still alive, will claim another victory over the death-fearing weaklings of the West.Iraq hasn't even begun (more within)
posted by y2karl
on Jul 22, 2007 -
In 1299, Osman I
declared independence from the Seljuk Empire, thus beginning the rise of the Ottoman Empire
. Over the centuries, The Last Caliphate stretched from Saudi Arabia to Austria
, influencing architecture
, and possibly the most beautiful textiles
of the Middle Ages. It was not to last, however. Following a century of uprisings and war, the "Sick Man of Europe"
finally succumbed to Turkish Nationalism
and was constitutionally abolished by the emerging Turkish state on March 3, 1924. In the intervening 83 years, so much has changed. If the Empire was reinstated today, where would you find the last remaining heir to the Sultan's throne?
posted by quite unimportant
on May 8, 2007 -
...Iraq may have started as a war of choice for the Bush administration, but it has become a war of great and unintended consequences. Immense risks lurk down every strategic road. Given the fractured state of the American body politic, it is almost certainly too late to rally the country behind an all-out war effort -- think tax increases; a war Cabinet; a full mobilization of the National Guard and the Reserves; a civilian reconstruction corps; a larger Army and Marine Corps; longer combat tours for troops; mandatory combat-zone deployments for U.S. diplomats and aid officials; a return to national service; and possibly even a limited draft. Yet absent a plan that puts the nation on either an all-out wartime footing or the firm path to retreat, the United States is largely condemned to some tweaked-around-the-edges variation of the administration's current approach on Iraq of "muddle through and hand over." And America, the experts agree, is already losing that war.Endgame
posted by y2karl
on Oct 21, 2006 -
"My name is David C and I am the biggest idiot on this planet! Every girl I've ever met has done nothing except want me for what I had to offer them, the amount of cash I could throw their way and not for the person I was. One day that all changed when I meet a lady called Quonah..." Should she call him?
posted by feelinglistless
on Sep 3, 2006 -
-- such a sweet-looking kid, the smile on the face of a future suicide. Sad
-- "If she only knew then how things would turn out…" Sad
-- "I chose to kill her." Sad
-- "You could see her personality break through the coma." Life is dukkha
, said the Buddha -- a Pali term that means something like "suffering" or "the incapability of satisfaction." (Or as Mick Jagger put it, "I can't get no...") Here's the tangible evidence
posted by digaman
on May 3, 2006 -
Drama is impossible today. I don't know of any. Drama used to be the belief in guilt, and in a higher order. This absolutely cruel didactic is impossible, unacceptable for us moderns. But melodrama has kept it. You are caged. In melodrama you have human, earthly prisons rather than godly creations. Every Greek tragedy ends with the chorus — "those are strange happenings. Those are the ways of the gods". And so it always is in melodrama.
His career as a film director lasted more than 40 years, but Douglas Sirk (1900-1987)
is remembered for the melodramas he made for Universal in Hollywood between 1954 and 1959, his "divine wallow
": Magnificent Obsession (1954)
, All That Heaven Allows (1955)
, Written on the Wind (1956)
, The Tarnished Angels (1958, William Faulkner considered it the best screen adaptation of one of his novels)
, Imitation of Life (1959)
-- all considered for decades little more than a camp oddity
. Now audiences are beginning to look deeper at the films of Douglas Sirk, at how, in megafan Todd Haynes' words, they are "almost spookily accurate about the emotional truths
". Now, lucky Chicagoans can enjoy "Douglas Sirk at Universal", matinees at the Music Box
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Apr 29, 2006 -
Have you ever had one of those times
where you lose your job, then your VA benefits are cut (even though you were wounded seven times in Vietnam), then your son dies in Iraq and homophobic protesters hold up a sign at his funeral that says “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”
then just after Christmas the candle you light for your dead child burns your house down and your family (including your grandchildren) is homeless, and your wife needs surgery for gallstones?
Yeah, that’s tough when that happens.
But sometimes people come through for you.
posted by Smedleyman
on Jan 31, 2006 -