Archive for the ODDITIES Category


Posted in ODDITIES with tags , , on January 5, 2009 by SHOWCASE OF THE BIZARRE



Posted in ODDITIES with tags , , , , , on January 4, 2009 by SHOWCASE OF THE BIZARRE

Your thyroid is that little glandular butterfly in your neck that you’re not exactly sure what it is or why it’s there. It wasn’t even described in scientific literature until in 1656 Thomas Wharton made a distinction between it and the larynx, but for 200 more years its function (regulation of the body’s metabolism) was completely unknown. Goiters are excessive enlargements of the thyroid, which may be caused by iodine deficiency, or by an excess of thyroid stimulating hormone. Because we salt everything with iodized salt, iodine deficiency is never a problem in America, but it is elsewhere in the world.





Posted in ODDITIES with tags , on January 4, 2009 by SHOWCASE OF THE BIZARRE



Posted in ODDITIES with tags , , , , , , on January 4, 2009 by SHOWCASE OF THE BIZARRE

Michael Jackson is obviously, irrefutably, incontrovertibly insane. Several cages short of a puppy farm. Flying blind and solo into the Jungle of Bonkers. He is totally nuts, and we can prove it. The evidence is undeniable.

Now, before you reach for that “Back” button, let’s make ourselves clear:

  • It has nothing to do with the skin lightening or the endless plastic surgeries. That’s definitely vain, and probably unhealthy, but not strictly psychotic. In case after case, Jackson has denied undergoing surgery, but that’s his prerogative as well, although any half-awake moron can look at his various photographs side by side and see naturally-impossible changes in his visage and physique. Jackson appears to have decided years ago that he wanted to resemble the sarcophagus mask of Tutankhamen. That’s fine by us. Let the man chip away at his facial bones. After all, they belong to him.
  • Nor is there anything necessarily wrong with enjoying the company of young boys in one’s bed, even if you’re living under persistent accusations of being a pedophile. It’s always hard for the man in the street to understand Michael Jackson’s childhood and man-child demeanor he’s always shown; maybe there’s some rational explanation for all the stories and lawsuits. At the very least, a number of folks have gotten very personally rich by telling tales out of school (so to speak). Innocent until proven guilty, that’s what we always say.
  • And hey, you can’t blame a guy for marrying a Scientologist. Lisa Marie Presley was cute. Well, kinda. And besides, she was Elvis‘ daughter. Famous people are always attracted to other famous people. Nobody knows why. Granted that absolutely disturbing kiss he laid on her in public (on national television, for goodness sakes) was probably a little over the top, but who can resist the power of love? Besides, the Presley-Jackson matchup blew the world away and showed that yes, all those horrible bizzare rumors and stories you read in rags like the Enquirer and Weekly World News? Some of them might be true. That’s pretty priceless.
  • And lots of people do dangerous things to their infant children. Although whereas most parental fuckups are on the order of feeding honey to their baby, Jackson’s was dangling his kid over a fifth-floor balcony. Of course, he had a blanket over the baby’s head to protect its identity, you know, to keep it safe. Oh well. What do you want? People make mistakes.

No, all that aside, we can confidently declare Michael Jackson nuts because of his guest appearance in episode 7F24 of The Simpsons. He voiced the character of an obese, caucasian mental patient claiming to be Michael Jackson. He answered to Jackson’s name. He spoke, danced, sang, played music, and composed songs just like Jackson. And he was intimately familiar with the minutiae of Jackson’s life. Not only is Michael Jackson in the episode, but the story is explicitly about him. The name “Michael Jackson” is spoken eight times during the course of the show.

Despite those facts, Jackson used a pseudonym, and a pathetic one at that. He was listed in the credits as “John Jay Smith.” If Jackson entertained the notion for even a split second that anyone wouldn’t recognize his voice, then he is clinically delusional and should be restrained. To the asylum with you, Jacko!

Also bear in mind Jackson’s 3-D film for Disneyland, called Captain EO. What a piece of crap.


29 Aug 1958 Born Michael Joseph Jackson, Gary IN.
1978 Plays the Scarecrow in The Wiz.
1983 The Moonwalk first performed.
1985 Michael Jackson buys the publishing rights of over 100 Beatle songs to the tune of $47.5 million, outbidding the combined efforts of Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono. McCartney had recommeded to Jackson buying publishing rights as a wise business investment. McCartney has cursed Jackson (and probably himself) ever since.
12 Sep 1986 The film Captain EO, at a cost of $17M (one million dollars per minute), opens at Walt Disney World‘s EPCOT Center. Executive producer George Lucas, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
Jan 1988 Autobiography, titled Moonwalk, released.
Feb 1990 Wins a Grammy award for Leave Me Alone, best video, short form.
Nov 1991 Video for Black or White released, wherein the King of Pop grabs his crotch, and smashes car windows. By this point in time the irony of the songtitle escapes no one; Jackson’s skin is ghastly pallid, from skin lightening treatments.
Mar 1993 Boy Jordie Chandler “sleeping over” at Neverland on a frequent basis. Explains Jackson’s former attorney, Bert Fields: “He never had a childhood. He is having one now. His buddies are 12-year-old kids. They have pillow fights and food fights.”
1994 Civil case settled when boy Jordie Chandler is paid $20M.
26 May 1994 Married Elvis Presley‘s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.
1996 Estimated income: $55M. Forbes
1996 “It’s not just boys, and I’ve never invited just boys to come in my room. C’mon, that’s just ridiculous… I have never invited anyone into my bed, ever. Children love me. I love them. They follow me. They want to be with me. But anybody can come in my bed. A child can come in my bed if they want.” Prime Time Live.
1996 Father of boy Jordie Chandler files a civil suit for $60M claiming breach of contract, that Jackson discussed their case in public. The lawsuit is tossed in 1999.
14 Nov 1996 Married Debbie Rowe.
13 Feb 1997 Michael and Debbie’s child, “Prince” Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., born.
3 Apr 1998 Paris Michael Katherine Jackson born, Spaulding Pain Medical Clinic, Beverly Hills.
1998 Steven Hoefflin performs nasal surgery on Michael Jackson. He now advises Jackson “against any further surgery.”
Sep 2001 In a bizarre performance, Marlon Brando appears in sunglasses in a leather recliner onstage at Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Celebration in Madison Square Garden: “In any event while you’re… wondering who that old fat fart is sitting there… I wanted you to realize that in that minute there were hundreds if not thousands of children hacked to death with a machete, beaten to death by their parents, got typhus and died of a disease.” Brando examines his watch for a bit. “Hundreds of children have been hacked to death in the minute I’ve looked at my watch. Hundreds more were beaten. Don’t chat! Think about what I’m saying. It could be you.” Then the booing commences with great fervor.
6 Jul 2002 Accusing the music industry of cheating artists (a charge that is quite true), Jackson says of Tommy Mottola, head of Sony Music: “He’s mean. He’s a racist, and he’s very, very, very devilish.” On the same day, Jackson attended an anti-Sony rally in Manhattan. There, the crowd chanted “Down with Tommy Mottola”.
10 Jul 2002 “Once I started breaking sales records — I broke Elvis Presley‘s record, I broke The Beatles‘ record — once I started doing that, overnight, they called me a freak, a homosexual, a child molester. They said I bleached my skin. They did everything they could to turn the public against me. It’s a conspiracy.” (AOL)
29 Aug 2002 Michael Jackson wins MTV’s Artist of the Millennium award at the 2002 Video Music Awards. The only problem being, the award does not actually exist. His acceptance speech: “When I was a little boy in Indiana, if someone had told me that one day I’d be getting the Artist of the Millennium Award, I wouldn’t have believed it.” In reality, Britney Spears called Michael the “artist of the millennium” and handed the artist some kind of award-looking plaque thing. The confused Jackson put two and two together.
19 Nov 2002 Michael Jackson precariously dangles his child, Prince Michael Jackson II, outside a fourth-floor Adlon Hotel balcony window in Berlin. Video of this incident is seen everywhere, and nearly everyone found Jackson’s behavior horrifying. The child has unknown parentage and an unknown birthdate, but is estimated to be six months old.
4 Dec 2002 Attempting to explain his lousy business acumen, Michael Jackson testifies in open court that “God blessed me with certain talents. I hate to use an analogy, but Walt Disney was creative but not good with business. His brother Roy handled the books.”
Jan 2003 Sotheby’s sues Michael Jackson after he renegs on a $1.3M bid on two paintings.
6 Oct 2003 Nobel authorities reveal the Michael Jackson has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
16 Nov 2003 In an interview with Louis Theroux, Michael Jackson’s father Joe admits whipping the young Michael as a boy, making fine distinctions: “I whipped him with a switch and belt. I never beat him. You beat someone with a stick.” Joe also asked that people stop referring to his son as Wacko. A magician, Majestik Magnificent, controls the interview with Joe and terminates it entirely, after Joe is asked whether Michael has a “boyfriend or girlfriend.”
18 Nov 2003 Federal authorities raid Neverland over allegations made by a 12 year old boy (according to CourtTV reports.) Authorities issue arrest warrant for Jackson on multiple charges of child molestation.
19 Nov 2003 A press conference by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department gives new details: $3M bail; Jackson asked to surrender passport; three search warrants were served in Socal; negotiations ongoing with regards to Jackson’s surrender; warrants allege “criminal misconduct on the part of Michael Jackson”, namely, sexual contact with a boy under the age of 14. At the end of the conference, the DA recommends parents not allow their children to stay overnight at Neverland.
20 Nov 2003 Michael Jackson surrenders to authorities in Santa Barbara and does the perp walk. Mugshot taken, released on $3M bond. Michael returns to Las Vegas but has trouble because too many people are following him. Brother Jermaine calls episode a “modern day lynching.”



Posted in CREATURES, ODDITIES with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2009 by SHOWCASE OF THE BIZARRE

Lab 257: the Disturbing Story of the Government’s Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory

Posted on: August 30, 2007 5:14 PM, by “GrrlScientist”


After the recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the UK was shown to be the result this virus’s escape from one of two nearby research labs, I thought it was timely to review a book that investigates this same occurrence in the United States. Lab 257: the Disturbing Story of the Government’s Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory (NYC: William Morrow; 2004) by Michael Christopher Carroll, is the riveting story of an animal disease research lab located on an 840-acre island that is only two miles from Long Island, New York, and Olde Lyme, Connecticut, and a mere 85 miles from Manhattan. This book tells the frightening story about this government lab’s spotted history and also reveals that Plum Island Animal Disease Research Laboratory, which is home to many of the deadliest germs known to man, is about as safe as the average high school biology lab.




African swine fever, Rift Valley fever, anthrax, mad cow disease, foot-and-mouth disease, West Nile virus … this lab is home to all these deadly microbes and more. The reason? One of the primary targets for terrorists is to infect a nation’s livestock with dangerous microbes so they can cause widespread famine and panic. Thus, since the end of World War II, our government has been busily researching the bacteria and viruses that can be used to accomplish this goal. To that end, Plum Island’s two research labs, Lab 101 and Lab 257, were designed and established by two men: William Hagan, a veterinarian and former dean of Cornell University’s veterinary school who developed the first weapons-grade strain of anthrax known as Strain 99; and Erich Traub, a Nazi germ warfare expert who worked for Heinrich Himmler and who was allegedly smuggled into the United States in 1949 to work with the CIA, Army, Navy and the USDA.


Currently overseen by the Department of Homeland Security, Plum Island’s stated purpose was to study animal diseases that could threaten our livestock and to design vaccines against them. But the real purpose of Plum Island is to study dangerous animal diseases with the goal of weaponizing them for use against the livestock in other countries — originally the Soviet Union — while protecting our own livestock from such attacks.




Relying on interviews with current and former employees of the labs and with nearby residents, Carroll does his homework by documenting that Plum Island is an astonishingly insecure facility. The author follows the fortunes of Plum Island from its inception, explores how the labs went from the US Army’s jurisdiction to that of the USDA and then to the Department of Homeland Security, and details how many aspects of the labs’ daily maintenance was later sold to the lowest civilian bidder, thus causing the research program to decline in its standards and level of biosafety. Further, Lab 257 reveals instances of gross negligence in biosecurity and of ailing workers who were denied diagnostic assistance by their employers.



Most interesting and troubling to birdwatchers and other outdoors-y types is the author’s investigation into the unproven but nonetheless highly suspicious connections between Plum Island and the sudden appearance of Dutch duck plague (1967), Lyme disease (1975) and West Nile virus (1999) on the East Coast. All of these disease outbreaks were first documented within a few miles of the labs. Further, as if the appearance of these foreign disease organisms are not incriminating enough, the sudden and inexplicable appearance of the Lone Star Tick in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut should be, because this sedentary tick species was formerly confined to the state of Texas. Despite the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s repeated denials of their work with these organisms at Plum Island, there are documents that reveal otherwise. However, even if the government denials are true, these many coincidences are, in my opinion, just too numerous not to be viewed with great suspicion.


This readable 255-page book is carefully researched and documented, including a separate 30-page section of source notes detailing interviews, news stories and other printed source materials along with the author’s own Freedom of Information Act requests for various documents. The book also has a separate inset section containing 30 black and white images, and also embeds within the text several maps of Plum Island, the Eastern flyways followed by migratory birds, and a blueprint for the first floor of Lab 101.



I do have several criticisms. First, the book lacks a glossary and footnotes, which makes it difficult at times to identify the precise source for some of the information presented in the text. I was also disappointed that, after the big build-up at the end of the book, the author did not write more about the aftermath of Hurricane Bob and the power outage that it caused. How did Plum Island clean up the resulting mess? What was the reaction of upper management to the hurricane? Additionally, why was author denied further access to the island after he had already made six visits — he only mentioned that he was denied access by the government due to reasons of “national security”. And one last thing .. perhaps this is nit-picking on the part of a birdwatcher, but I was really annoyed that the author repeatedly referred to Canada geese as “Canadian” geese. Did he talk with any knowledgeable birders or ornithologists while writing this book? If he had, they would have immediately corrected his usage of that erroneous common name.


Nevertheless, in spite the book’s shortcomings, I think Lab 257 presents an eye-opening look into the very real and ever-present dangers of germ warfare research, of government secrecy, and into the gross arrogance and lack of responsibility enjoyed by many of our politicians and government officials. I think Carroll forms the basis for an important argument that homeland security should begin at home; it is essential that our government spend the money necessary to improve biosecurity in this nation’s research laboratories and that it carefully monitor every vial of dangerous microbes, so we can avoid dangerous epidemics of our own making.




Michael Christopher Carroll is a lawyer who spent seven years researching and writing Lab 257. A native of Long Island and an avid outdoorsman, Carroll is now general counsel of a New York-based finance company. He lives on Long Island and in New York City.






Posted in ODDITIES, SHOWCASE OF HILARITY with tags , , on January 2, 2009 by SHOWCASE OF THE BIZARRE



Posted in ODDITIES, the XXX FILES with tags , , on January 2, 2009 by SHOWCASE OF THE BIZARRE