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Noise artist Aaron Dilloway is raising money for the Nepalese earthquakes with his field recordings
08:10 am

Current Events


One doesn’t have to be especially a fan of the noise underground to have heard of Wolf Eyes. The Michigan band leveled up in the mid oughts from cassette culture to Sub Pop, and the group continues today. Their classic early lineup featured the gifted sound manipulator Aaron Dilloway, who left in 2005, but remains an active solo artist based in Oberlin, OH, where he runs the store Hanson Records, which is also the name of the long-running label on which he’s released cassettes by the likes of Emeralds, Andrew WK, and of course Wolf Eyes.

According to the Detroit Metro Times, Dilloway has ties to Nepal via his wife, who did PhD fieldwork there, and he’s been raising money through the sales of his own field recordings to help the victims of the devastating recent earthquakes.

As soon as news broke of the devastating earthquake in Nepal two weeks ago, Dilloway offered his epic box set of field recordings for sale online, with all the proceeds benefiting quake relief. As of yesterday, he posted that he’s raised over $5,000 towards relief, just from sales of this one set.



The set is titled Sounds Of Nepal Volumes 1—3, and the digital download is yours for a $15 donation. Proceeds go to the America Nepal Medical Foundation, who have a direct fundraising link on their web site if you’d like to donate but “Buddhist Cremation Music” and “Cow Drinking From Public Water Tap” aren’t your bag.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Woman charged with serving milk contaminated with dead foot skin shavings
08:15 am

Current Events


This is one of those stories where the headline instantly makes you want dry-heave. Maryland woman, Sarah P. Schrock, was arrested last Wednesday for allegedly putting dead foot skin shavings in her family’s milk. She is being charged with food contamination and committing a second-degree assault on Jessica Whitney Hurry and Allison Depriest.

Schrock was alone at the home that day until Hurry and Depriest arrived at dinner time, and they were drinking the milk when Depriest began choking and coughed up what looked like dead human skin, according to court papers filed by St. Mary’s sheriff’s deputy Jaime Davis.

Hurry also gagged, court papers state, and a witness found dead skin shavings in the milk after pouring it into a strainer.

According to reports, Schrock has really dry feet due to diabetes and collects her dead foot skin shavings in trays. Doesn’t everyone?

Schrock has denied all claims against her. She was also charged with “violating a protective order issued last week requiring that she have no contact with Hurry.”

So far, there’s been no reason given as to WHY this happened. But it did (allegedly). And now I feel terrible.

via SoMdNews, Gawker

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Mysterious sleeping sickness leaves men sex-crazed in Kazakhstan’s ‘Village of the Damned’
06:52 am

Current Events


They call it “Sleepy Hollow,” the small village of Kalachi in Kazakhstan, where a strange sleeping sickness leaves inhabitants unconscious for days at a time. The mytsery illness first struck four years ago, and as of September last year, 126 people of the 600 inhabitants had succumbed to the disease. It is like a plague, some villagers say; others believe the illness is caused by radiation blown from the former uranium mines in the now deserted town of Krasnogorsk. Smoke can still be seen billowing from the abandoned mine shafts, where radiation levels at the entrance to the mines are “16 times higher than would be expected from background radiation.”

Yet, this mystery disease appears to have no consistent pathology, and affects people randomly. One might expect the ex-uranium mine workers to be the most likely to be infected, but the majority have no symptoms. Those that have suffered the sleeping sickness, like ex-miner Alexander Ratz, who collapsed after a day-out fishing, have no real explanation for it:

I cast out the fishing rod and felt shaky and dizzy. I caught a fish and started unhooking it. It felt as if I was being pulled into the river, as if evil spirits wanted to topple me. Then I caught another fish. The river started swinging in front of me. I realised something was wrong with me. I felt nauseous. I got in the car, but don’t remember driving at all. I woke up in a ward, surrounded by my mates. The five of us were taken to hospital on the same day. Three days in intensive care.

At first, doctors thought the men had suffered strokes, but as they could walk and talk, doctors were left baffled. Some doctors diagnosed the sufferers with encephalopathy, a disorder of the brain, of unclear origin. After taking scans it was revealed that many of the sufferers had an excessive accumulation of fluid in their brains—known as oedema. While others said it was narcolepsy. But this still did not answer a more troubling question about the men’s strange behavior.

After waking up, the men suffered debilitating cravings for sex.

‘The doctors laugh and the nurses blush when they see our men,’ explained one Kalachi woman.

‘Other women were saying the same. As soon as men were were recovering after waking, they needed sex right there and then, and this feeling lasted for at least a month.’

One man just out of hospital ‘still couldn’t eat properly let alone walk, but he was all over his wife,’ she revealed. ‘He really needed it.’

Some of the men swear, call women “whores” and “prostitutes,” and demand sex. Others rant and rave, shouting obscenities and call out “Heil Hitler.” And there are those who wander about as if “zombies”—in a daze, oblivious to everything around them.

Children afflicted with the disease suffer monstrous hallucinations—see demons or hideous growths sprouting from their mother’s faces. One mother was “dead scared” after being unable to rouse her ten-year-old son Almaz from sleep:

‘I thought at first that he was sick and it was better to let him rest, then I began shaking him, but he would not wake up. It’s really, really scary when your child is suddenly in a coma-like state. Also when they wake up, they behave like sickly babies, they cry without reason just bursting into tears.

‘Like my son, he wanted to get off the bed, but fell down because his legs were too weak. Another burst into tears. And another one when he needs to go to the loo, and he is too weak to make it to the toilet, so he needs to use a hospital potty - and he feels shy and embarrassed by it. How can a mother take it calmly and not be left brokenhearted over this anguish?’

Because of the terrifying after-effects of the illness, Kalachi is now called “Village of the Damned.”

Kazakhstan was once the testing ground for Soviet Russia’s nuclear weapons. Sixty-five years ago, the Soviets detonated its first nuclear weapon, nicknamed “First Lightning”, at a test site “Semipalatinsk Polygon” in northeast Kazakhstan. Over the following forty years 456 atomic explosions were detonated at the site. Many believe these weapons together with the radiation from the Krasnogorsk uranium mines are responsible for the current sickness—citing the generations of children born with defects, cancer and deformities since 1950.

Investigators from the National Nuclear Researching centre of Kazakhstan arrived in Kalachi in 2010 to test the ground and air for radiation. They claim levels are normal, and are at loss to explain what is happening. Carbon monoxide poisoning has been suggested as a factor.

However, some doctors do not believe radiation is the cause:

Kabdrashit Almagambetov, the district’s top doctor, seems genuinely puzzled about what caused this health hazard on his doorstep.

‘It all is very individual, depending on age, the patient’s health condition, what other chronic diseases they have suffered,’ he said. ‘For example, the reaction of children strongly differs from that of adults. Children’s brains have not yet formed fully. They find it harder to tolerate the disease, they have strong hallucinations. Elderly people, too, have hallucinations, because of their age. Frankly, the cause of the disease is still unknown despite the many institutions that have worked here.

‘The radioactive background is normal, all products people are eating have been checked, the water is tested, nothing is harmful there. All those who have been affected are in Kalachi village. True, several people who came from Krasnogorsk suffered from the illness - but only after they visited Kalachi. So the strange effect is noticed only in one village. I can assure you, it is not some mental disorder, it is not some hysterical epidemic, as it was supposed previously.’

He denied it was a psychological illness as some had claimed - ‘only physical’.

‘I cannot say for sure about the radon theory for now, because we need to obtain data from the scientists. I am not a specialist in this question, but I doubt this theory, because we have many closed mines and uranium mines and it is only in Kalachi we faced with such a disease. ‘

He stressed there was no evidence of artificial poisoning, as some villagers suspected.

‘I do not have any working theories, because I am a doctor. I must think how to treat these people, how to help them.’

The lack of information has led to claims that the village has been deliberately poisoned, while one resident told the Daily Mail:

‘It looks like some kind of beam went through the village. I do not know what it can be. Maybe some some special equipment, like emitter. But it all is my speculation. I just see that the location of the homes, where people fell asleep are in straight lines, as if some beam cut through them.’ He warned: ‘I’m not speaking about UFOs. I am simply trying to understand what is going on here.’

As investigations continue and crackpot theories abound, many women and children have left Kalachi to neighboring villages, fearing for their lives, and terrified of changes that have happened to their husbands and menfolk. It is reported that by January 2015, over half the villagers had left Kalachi.

As yet, no one has been able to explain the cause of this strange and terrifying illness.

After the jump, an RT report on Kazakhstan’s ‘village of the damned’

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Unemployed Shanghai ‘booth babes’ protest for the right to be sexy on top of cars
11:27 am

Current Events


Automotive culture and scantily clad women seem to go together. We’ve all been in garages where the primary form of decoration is a pinup calendar or an old Playboy centerfold. Even if you have never heard the phrase “mudflap girl” before, you could probably figure it out, even sans context. The commodity the babes on The Price Is Right probably stroke the most often is “A NEW CAR!!!!” (in the voice of Johnny Olson or Rod Roddy). Cars. Ladies. Two great tastes that go great together.  And it’s as American as apple pie for a nubile lass to pose in her short-shorts on the hood of a bitchin’ Camaro.

But—well, not only American. Turns out, in China the practice surpasses even our own salacious limits. Apparently automotive conventions there are positively teeming with the so-called “booth babes,” but the central government in Beijing considers the idea vulgar, taking a dim enough view of the practice that it recently banned it outright. To be fair, it was a bit out of control—it wouldn’t occur to Americans to present a car in the following way, where you, ah, can’t even see what the car looks like:

It’s odd because China’s move is actually supposed to be a blow in favor of gender equality, but with a repressive, heavy hand that would never be tolerated in the U.S.

The 2015 Shanghai Motor Show, which is happening right now, is the first major automotive event affected by the ban and the “booth babes” who are now out of a job have decided to use it as the perfect platform for an organized labor protest. They’re out on the streets of Shanghai masquerading as unemployed beggars and getting the word out about the injustices that have befallen them. (I guess you do a “beggar” costume the same there as here—you put a little charcoal on your cheek.)




The large sign reads “The world’s a big place, shouldn’t we be allowed to survive?”
Apparently this year’s Shanghai Motor Show is hardly bereft of beautiful women, they’ve just been re-classified as “sales representatives,” “shopping guides,” “stand attendants,” and “car cleaners,” among other titles. Reuters spoke to one of these newly-renamed woman named Dai Jun: “I’m not called a ‘model’ here because they banned models this year.”
via RocketNews24

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Own a piece of music history: Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Steven Severin is selling his amp
11:10 am

Current Events


For sale one amp, slightly used. Previous owner Steven Severin.

If you fancy owning a piece equipment once used by Siouxsie and the Banshees, then you may be interested in bidding for Steven Severin’s Fender Super Six Reverb Amplifier, which is currently up for grabs on eBay.

This is a vintage amplifier from 1974. It has a small tear on the upper left grill and a bigger one at the base. It has been repaired and buyers can be “assured that it works and sounds great, having been recently tested and repaired.”

The repairs carried out include:

Replace 13A plug
Replace speaker leads
Replace 5x resistors in output stage
Repair reverb tray lead connector
Test and bias output valves
Replace 3 speakers
Clean inside amp and all controls
Test amp
Labour: 3 hours
Parts: 5 x resistors, 1 x RA jack for reverb tray. 3 x eminence 10” speakers
Test Amp

This amp is loud and has 6 x 10” speakers, sounding like the fender twin silver face but with and additional 4 speakers.

It has the serial number: A77617, which dates it to 1974

Mr. Severin adds:


I’m finally parting ways with my trusty guitar amp. She’s been in my possession since late 1979 and made her first appearance on the track TENANT from 1980’s KALEIDOSCOPE album. She has spent most of her life in my home studio but on the odd occasion when I’ve felt the desire to thrash 6 strings as opposed to four - she’s been my weapon of choice. She got an outing on THROW THEM TO THE LIONS & I PROMISE, for example. I’m now in Edinburgh surrounded by banks of computers so it’s time to relieve the caretaker, my friend Demian of a few items that have outgrown my use and give him back some valuable space. It’s a real beauty. Happy bidding!

p.s. It’s a bit of a beast so collection only I’m afraid.


Asking price is £1,000 (around $1500) and you have a week in which to make your bid.

See photos of Severin’s amp, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘This Video Will Make You Angry’: How our ‘thought germs’ spread and infect the entire Internet
10:08 am

Current Events


As writer William S. Burroughs once said (echoed in song by Laurie Anderson): “Language is a virus from outer space.” Were he still alive in 2015, it would be fascinating to hear his observations on YouTube comments, no?

Indeed, there’s something very, very Burroughsian about this brilliant video. Both the message and the reasoning behind it. STAY with it, because you’re gonna learn something. At first it seems like it’s some sort of academic psychobabble about how our personal “thought germs” behave like “a glob of snot trying to get into your brain” and end up infecting the entire Internet, but by the time you’re finished watching it, the whole world will make perfect (depressing) sense.

As a few folks points out in the comments on reddit:

pokingnature - This should be the video that everyone has to watch before being allowed on the internet.

Coneyo - How about every time they enter the comments section? But definitely it should only be a requirement for everyone else, because I don’t need to watch it.

Tee-hee, nope, not me just the other guy…

via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Bank of Canada urges ‘Star Trek’ fans to stop ‘Spocking’ their fivers
04:31 pm

Current Events


Bank of Canada is pleading with Star Trek fans to stop “Spocking” its five dollar bills. Since Leonard Nimoy’s death, Canadian folks have been “Spocking” the hell out of the five dollar bill that features a portrait of Canada’s seventh prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

Sir Wilfrid now sports, on certain bills at least, pointy ears, the signature Vulcan haircut and eyebrows and Spock’s mantra “Live long and prosper.”

According to Bank of Canada it’s not illegal to do this but:

“...However, there are important reasons why it should not be done. Writing on a bank note may interfere with the security features and reduces its lifespan. Markings on a note may also prevent it from being accepted in a transaction. Furthermore, the Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride.”

I say Spock the hell out of ‘em if it ain’t illegal. Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s face wasn’t that interesting, anyway. In fact, let’s just make this a permanent improvement to the Canadian five dollar bill.



Keep on “Spocking.”

via Toronto Sun

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Handy chart shows what every state is #1 in
10:27 am

Current Events


Estately, which supposedly has “the most accurate index of homes for sale, straight from the MLS,” kindly put together this super-handy chart which allows us to see what our state “has more of per capita than any other.”

I’m impressed with the results! Apparently Texas has the most pet tigers, Oregon likes to sell cigarettes to children, and poor ol’ Delaware has the most registered sex offenders.

Take this map with a grain of salt though, the data comes from “hundreds of surveys and studies,” so you know it’s legit, right?

Anyway, I had a good laugh at this one. Especially with Pennsylvanians obsession with “holiday music downloads.” What’s the deal, Pennsylvania? You can’t get enough of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”?

Click here to see larger image.

via Death and Taxes

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Werewolf’ allegedly murders his vampire neighbor
09:11 am

Current Events


Here’s something you don’t hear every day: Mark Andrews, 51, of Atascadero, CA, who believes he’s a werewolf allegedly shot his neighbor Colleen Barga-Milbury, 52, twice because he was convinced that she was a vampire. 

Defense witness Carolyn Murphy, a forensic psychologist said, “(He believes) he transforms into a werewolf,” and “holds the spirit of the wolf.”

The first record of Andrews believing he was a werewolf, she said, dates to 1996, though she suspects he had that same delusion during his first psychotic episode three years earlier.

Murphy said Andrews believed the voice of God commanded him to kill Barga-Milbury, whom he believed was a vampire.

In 2009 Andrew became convinced that another one of his neighbors was a vampire:

Andrews believed a different neighbor was a vampire. Andrews left mounds of dirt and flour on that neighbor’s door and once pounded on the neighbor’s door, calling her a “bitch,” though she didn’t answer.

At his home, according to police reports, police found two lists of names, several marked “hate with death.”

As to why Andrews didn’t kill this particular vampire neighbor “God didn’t tell him to kill her” Murphy said.

Mark Andrews has believed himself to be a werewolf for the past 20 years. During the time of the murder, Andrews was apparently not taking his medication.

Via Tribune News Death and Taxes

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Republican politician fatally shoots herself in the eye adjusting her bra holster

I really loathe the idea of “Darwin Awards.” In addition to being utterly corny (and scientifically inaccurate), I usually find the idea both smug and unkind. For who among us has not pulled a total boner move that may very well have ended our life, right then and there? This is not to say I’m above laughing at an absurd, untimely death. On the contrary, some people are so awful, they inspire a fuck-youlogy, and I’ll be damned if I deny myself that pleasure. I can’t think of a more deserving candidate than Christina Bond—biker, Evangelical and Republican Precinct Delegate for Saint Joseph Charter Precinct 1 in Michigan, who fatally shot herself in the eye recently, adjusting the gun in her bra-holster.

The folks over at Raw Story noted that her Facebook page was heavy on the Bible quotes and Republican boosterism, with some choice words against Obama and the protestors at Ferguson. Her status after winning the election spoke of needing “people involved in taking our country back,” though she failed to mention if “taking our country back” would require firearms.

An excerpt from her obituary:

Christina was born in Niles at Pawating Hospital on Oct. 8, 1959, to George Blake and Inez Brock. She was a member and administrator to Road to Life Church for 15 years. Christina left the safety of home and joined the United States Navy out of high school. She served two tours and was an active MP (military police) officer. As an active member of the Christian Motorcycle Association, Christina was “on fire for the Lord.” She often served at the Berrien County jail in ministry as well as being an active member on her church’s prayer team. Christina was recently elected as a precinct delegate for St. Joseph Charter Township Precinct 1. Always physically fit, Christina took home the 2013 Miss Michigan Figure Overall Championship. She was a light to the world and will be missed.

I added the link to her church for a point of cultural reference. The late Ms. Bond adhered to a pretty old-time religion; as someone who grow up around them, I can tell you that extreme conservatism and religious zealotry are pretty par for the course with Christian bikers. In fact, I feel quite the involuntary kinship with Bond—as if it was one of my very own dumb redneck aunts who shot herself in the eye. (She is not to be confused however, with my kind and reasonable redneck aunts, all of whom are perfectly delightful).

To be perfectly honest, I thought the biggest surprise in all of this is that she lasted this long—if she was stupid enough to keep a loaded gun in her tits, she probably didn’t wear a helmet either.
Via Raw Story

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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