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BOOKS! - what are you reading?
The greatest mind ever...and you'd look similar if you were lucky enough to have survived fifty years of living with ALS like he has...the poor bastard.
Fug duh kund
I guess this is the wrong time to comment on how thrilling my comic book collection is.Smiley_emoticons_slash
You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance.
(09-20-2010, 02:20 PM)Maggot Wrote: I guess this is the wrong time to comment on how thrilling my comic book collection is.Smiley_emoticons_slash

yeah, probably not, as it would put you in company with the 'dick'...
Fug duh kund
(09-20-2010, 02:09 PM)Luke Warmwater Wrote: The greatest mind ever...and you'd look similar if you were lucky enough to have survived fifty years of living with ALS like he has...the poor bastard.

I knew as I was commenting that I probably shouldn't & I did it anyway. 50

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well he does look weird, no doubt about it. I still stand in awe at his magnificent brain though. Seems like a real nice guy personailty-wise...

Fuck, almost sounds like I'm trying to set Duchess and the "Big Steve" on a blind date....hah
Fug duh kund

Big Steve, huh? Smiley_emoticons_fies
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I'm sorry..I'm sorry. Sometimes it's like I have no fuckin' control whatsoever.
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Jesus Christ
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Yes? :wheelchair:
You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance.
book banning...from GaySmiley penguins to
“To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee?? :O

from LA TIMES:
It's happened again. In 2009, "And Tango Makes Three," the heartwarming children's book about two penguin daddies and their adopted baby penguin Tango -- based on the true story of penguins in Central Park -- was one of the year's most-challenged books, according to the American Library Association. Once again, unfortunately, we're celebrating Banned Books Week.

If there is a sense in some quarters that America embraces freedom of expression, there is a sense in others that books present ideas that are dangerous or inappropriate. In 2009, there were 460 challenges reported to the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom. The top 10 most-challenged books of 2009 were:

1. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs
2. “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality
3. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide
4. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
6. “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
7. “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence
8. “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
9. “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
10. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Many of these books are being celebrated this week at libraries and bookstores. So are those that have more recently come under attack, including Sherman Alexie's National Book Award-winning "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," which was banned in Stockton, and Laurie Halse Anderson's "Speak," which includes rapes (acts of violence) that have been mischaracterized as sexually provacative pornography.

"When 'Speak' was published, there was some whispering that this was not an appropriate topic for teens. I knew from my personal experience that it was," Anderson told School Library Journal. "This notion was validated by thousands and thousands of readers who connected with me to thank me for the book. They said it made them feel less alone and gave them the strength to speak up about being sexually assaulted and other painful secrets."

This is at the core of the matter, the idea that by locking away the words that describe life experiences we might retain a kind of innocence. As if without "To Kill a Mockingbird" there might be no racism, or without "Catcher in the Rye" we might forestall the difficult questions of adolescence. This, of course, is hardly the case; these books might, just might, help teach us otherwise.

That is, if we can find them on shelves and read them.

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I'm really surprised at some of the titles that made the list. A couple of them were required reading in high school. I don't know the kind of people that would have a problem with any of those books & I think the people that do are close minded individuals, probably Republican. Smiley_emoticons_fies
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oh yes, have to get this>>>

'The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science'

by Douglas Starr

From Publishers Weekly
Starr eloquently juxtaposes the crimes of French serial killer Joseph Vacher and the achievements of famed criminologist Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne during France's belle époque. From 1894 to 1897, Vacher is thought to have raped, killed, and mutilated at least 25 people, though he would confess to only 11 murders. Lacassagne, who headed the department of legal medicine at the university in Lyon, was a pioneer in crime scene analysis, body decomposition, and early profiling, and investigated suspicious deaths, all in an era when rural autopsies were often performed on the victim's dinner table. Lacassagne's contributions to the burgeoning field of forensic science, as well as the persistence of investigating magistrate Émile Fourquet, who connected crimes while crisscrossing the French countryside, eventually brought Vacher to justice. Vacher claimed insanity, which then (as now) was a vexed legal issue. Lacassagne proved the "systematic nature" of the crimes. Starr, codirector of Boston University's Center for Science and Medical Journalism, creates tension worthy of a thriller; in Lacassagne, he portrays a man determined to understand the "how" behind some of humanity's most depraved and perhaps take us one step closer to the "why." 16 pages of photos.

Review by Drew DeSilver
Special to The Seattle Times

'The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science'

by Douglas Starr

The infamy of Joseph Vacher has faded with the passage of time, passing into the shadows of criminality along with such once-notorious names as Hawley Harvey Crippen, H.H. Holmes and Thomas Neill Cream. But in the 1890s, Vacher was known as France's version of Jack the Ripper, and details of his crime spree still are enough to make one's skin crawl.

For more than three years, until he was finally captured in 1897, Vacher roamed the backwoods and byways of rural France, slaughtering at least 11 people (most of them teens or young adults, many of them shepherds) and mutilating their bodies. Vacher's crime spree, his capture and the subsequent debate about what to do with him form the basis for Douglas Starr's gripping new book.

That Vacher could get away with his crimes for so long speaks not just to his cunning, but to the dismal state of French criminal investigation at the time. The light of belle epoque Paris, Starr writes, didn't extend very far out into the provinces, where police work often involved little more than rounding up a passel of "usual suspects" and beating them until someone confessed. There was no systematic way for the police of one town or department to communicate with those in others, enabling the vagabond Vacher to evade capture merely by hiking into the next jurisdiction.

But by the latter decades of the 19th century, the scientific spirit of the age finally reached the world of crime and its detection. Alphonse Bertillon developed a systematic way to record identifying characteristics (though not, initially, including fingerprints) and invented the mug shot, while Alexandre Lacassagne pioneered techniques of ballistics, blood-spatter analysis and body reconstruction from a cadaver that no TV cops-and-courts show could do without.

For that matter, large parts of Starr's retelling of the Vacher case read like an episode of "CSI: Rural France." The investigating magistrate's questioning of Vacher, which eventually produced his chilling confession, is a masterpiece of interrogation; it was that magistrate, Emile Fourquet, who first realized a serial killer was on the loose.

Vacher's confession wasn't the end of the matter; his trial mainly involved the question of his sanity. Here again, Starr's description of the legal, medical and even philosophical questions around Vacher's responsibility are strikingly current, as is Lacassagne's reconstruction of Vacher's mental state from the manner in which he killed.

Starr, co-director of the Center for Science and Medical Journalism at Boston University and author of "Blood: An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce," is clearly at ease with the medico-legal aspects of the Vacher case. He uses it not only to recount the development of forensic science, but also to vividly portray a part of France that in many ways had barely made it into the modern world. (He recounts one instance after another of terrified, suspicious villagers blaming Vacher's crimes on innocent men and persecuting them relentlessly, even after Vacher's confession and execution — another aspect of the story with a contemporary ring.)

My only quibble with the book, in fact, is its subtitle. The Vacher case didn't so much mark the birth of forensic science as its coming of age. As Starr writes: "Science had become part of detective work, used not only to identify the 'who,' 'when,' and 'how' of a crime but also to deduce the criminal's mental state based on crime-scene analysis ... But even the best and brightest in those fields (of science and law), as Lacassagne would admit, would wrestle with doubts about the moral rectitude of their decisions."

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[/color][/b][b][color=#FFD700]I am currently reading Nightmare by Robin Parrish. An interesting book about the paranormal.

Ghost Town is the hottest amusement park in the country, but when Maia Peters visits, she’s not expecting to be impressed. The daughter of two world-renowned “ghost hunters,” she’s grown up around the paranormal and to her most of the park is just Hollywood special effects. Until the very last attraction.

There, in a haunted house, a face appears from the mist. The face of Jordin Cole, a girl Maia knows. A girl, Maia discovers, who has gone missing.

Convinced what she saw wasn’t a hoax and desperate to find Jordin, Maia launches into a quest for answers. Joined by Jordin’s boyfriend–a pastor’s kid with very different ideas about the paranormal–the two soon find themselves in a struggle on the edge of the spirit realm as dangerous forces try to keep the truth from emerging.

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(07-27-2010, 06:36 AM)Duchess Wrote:

Because I have to read contracts & other legal documents for work, I always choose fluff for pleasure reading, usually something from the best sellers list. I just finished James Patterson's, "The 9th Judgement"...He's one of my favorite authors along with Lisa Gardner, Patricia Cornwell and a few others that pen murder mysteries.

That was an awsome book. Love love love him.
Devil Money Stealing Aunt Smiley_emoticons_fies
Read The Help. It's an awsome book. I loved it and have loaned a few people my copy and they have loved it as well.

A friend of mine recommended that I read Pillars of the Earth but I have not gotten to it yet.

Duch, if you like light reading, try Emily Giffen. Her books are very good but a quick read.

I am currently reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. It's the third in the Dragon Tatoo girl series. They are very very good.
Devil Money Stealing Aunt Smiley_emoticons_fies
I just started reading Freakonmics. Then I will probably read SuperFreakonomics. I just got a Kindle. I am in love.
I'm reading Stephen Kings Duma Key ( so far it's not his greatest book) and I just finished Anthony Bourdains Kitchen Confidential.
i've been obsessed with Lizzie since i was 19 and living in Fall River.

Boston Globe
FALL RIVER — The infamous Lizzie Borden, 83 years dead and buried at Oak Grove Cemetery, continues to fascinate the mystery-loving public as a macabre marketing tool, a sociopathic killer, or the misunderstood daughter of a misanthropic miser.

At what is now the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, where her father and stepmother were hacked to death in 1892, a shop offers ax-wielding Lizzie Borden bobblehead dolls. Souvenir golf balls urge duffers to “keep hacking away.’’ And the writing on a woman’s top tells the world, “Everything I need to know about anger management I learned from Lizzie Borden.’’

But across the city, in a grand Victorian mansion that houses the Fall River Historical Society, a different woman is ready to emerge. In a forthcoming book eight years in the making, Lizzie Borden is a colorful, caring, and three-dimensional person who bears no resemblance to the black-and-white monster of popular culture.

“The Lizzie Borden of legend was not this woman, by any means,’’ said Michael Martins, coauthor of the book and curator of the society, which is the main repository for material related to Borden’s life and trial.

The Lizzie Borden that Martins and assistant curator Dennis Binette have uncovered is a warm and compassionate woman who loved children, protected animals, and spoke affectionately of her late father. 28 YES, DADDY SHOULD HAVE HIDDEN BEHIND THE COUCH----> 2hiding

This is not the Lizzie Borden who, according to the children’s rhyme, “gave her mother 40 whacks’’ and “when she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.’’

Never mind that the 12-man jury took only an hour to acquit her. In the court of public opinion, she stands guilty of one of the most sensational crimes of 19th-century America.

“She’s a perfect example of how gossip and innuendo can ruin a life,’’ Binette said. “We’ve unearthed a woman that not only no one knows, but no one expects.’’

The new portrait took shape when the descendants of Borden’s friends and acquaintances, tracked down through global detective work by Martins and Binette, began to share private papers and artifacts related to Borden. They passed along correspondence, greeting cards, household items, gifts, and clothing that Borden had given to their families.

“The material has always been out there, but people didn’t know where to look,’’ Martins said.

The result is a picture of a woman, and a thriving turn-of-the-century city, that became far richer than the simpler book of myth and fact that the pair had intended to write, Martins said.

The book, called “Parallel Lives: The Social Life of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River,’’ is expected to be released early next year, Martins said. It focuses not on the well-chronicled crime, but rather on the city and the circumstances that surrounded Borden.

In the 1890s, Martins said, Fall River was the largest producer of cotton cloth in the United States and a place sharply divided between the wealthy and their workers. Andrew Jackson Borden, Lizzie’s father, a former carpenter and undertaker who became a successful investor, was on the fringes of upper Fall River society as he amassed an estate valued at $300,000.

That sum, worth $7 million today, did not translate into extravagance at the modest Borden household, located downtown on Second Street. The house had no running water, no electricity, and no indoor plumbing. Despite all of Borden’s wealth, the household’s waste was hauled outside in slop buckets.

Although he financed a grand tour of Europe for Lizzie, the younger of two daughters, she is believed to have become furious in 1887 when he bought a house where his second wife’s sister could live. Perhaps in Lizzie’s eyes, such purchases of real estate should have benefited his children instead.

“This was not a happy home,’’ tour guide Will Clawson said as he led a visitor around the three-floor Borden house. And Lizzie, who possibly robbed her parents of valuables, developed a reputation in Fall River as a kleptomaniac, Clawson added.

The fact that a pharmacist rebuffed her efforts to buy poison shortly before the murders only added to the suspicions. But that evidence, as well as other important circumstantial testimony, was not admitted at trial.

Afterward, Borden moved with her sister to a large home in the fashionable Highlands neighborhood, entertained actors at elegant parties, and traveled to swank hotels in Boston, New York, and Washington. Although Borden decided to remain in Fall River after the killings, those trips helped provide an escape from a city where eggs were thrown at her house, churchgoers shunned her at services, and rope-skipping children maligned her with the sing-song verses of a popular, new rhyme.

Martins and Binette declined to disclose new information from the book but said they are confident no other work has looked at Borden so comprehensively. What is striking, they said, is that their unconnected sources provided the same picture.

“They felt it was impossible that this woman could have committed such a heinous crime,’’ Martins said. “They are still protective of her memory.’’

At the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, which Lee-ann Wilber bought after a romantic Valentine’s Day stay in 2003, some staff members feel otherwise.

“Too much points toward her,’’ said Stephanie Grinvalsky, who tends the museum store. “I think she’s a liar.’’

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i just ordered this, i really like this author/historian, he is very readable~~
i ordered Cleopatra too, so here is a pic of my stack of unread books! aggghhhh!!

Simon Schama’s Rough Crossings . . . brilliantly re-creates the histories of runaway slaves in and after the American revolution. (Sunday Times (London) )

” Schama is back at his best -and historians don’t come much better than that. (Sunday Times (London) )

“A lively and accessible book.” (Newsday )

“Schama tells this complex story through a series of richly drawn, idiosyncratic individuals, from musical bureaucrats to rebellious slaves.” (San Diego Union-Tribune )

“. . .plenty of gorgeous writing from this most elegant of stylists.” (Christian Science Monitor )

“A master storyteller.” (Newsweek )

“If there’s a better living writer of history than Simon Schama, I’d sure like to know who it is.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer )
Product Description

If you were black in America at the start of the Revolutionary War, which side would you want to win?

When the last British governor of Virginia declared that any rebel-owned slave who escaped and served the king would be emancipated, tens of thousands of slaves fled from farms, plantations, and cities to try to reach the British camp. A military strategy originally designed to break the plantations of the American South had unleashed one of the great exoduses in U.S. history. With powerfully vivid storytelling, Schama details the odyssey of the escaped blacks through the fires of war and the terror of potential recapture.

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1 bullet, 2 taliban. Brainexplode

compelling photos here:

DEAD MEN RISEN by Toby Harnden
review from UK Telegraph
The arrival at the newly-established Patrol Base Shamal Storrai (Pashto for “North Star”) in late August 2009 of Serjeant Tom Potter and Rifleman Mark Osmond marked the start of an astonishing episode in the history of British Army sniping.

Within 40 days, the two marksmen from 4 Rifles, part of the Welsh Guards Battle group, had achieved 75 confirmed kills with 31 attributed to Potter and 44 to Osmond. Each kill was chalked up as a little stick man on the beam above the firing position in their camouflaged sangar beside the base gate – a stick man with no head denoting a target eliminated with a shot to the skull.

Osmond, 25, was an engaging, fast-talking enthusiast, eager to display his encyclopedic knowledge of every specification and capability of his equipment. He had stubbornly remained a rifleman because he feared that being promoted might lead to his being taken away from sniping, a job he loved and lived for. Potter, 30, was more laid back, projecting a calm professionalism and quiet confidence in the value of what he did.

Potter had notched up seven confirmed kills in Bara in 2007 and 2008 while Osmond’s total was 23. Both were members of the Green Jackets team that won the 2006 British Army Sniper Championships.

On one occasion they killed eight Taliban in two hours, ‘I wasn’t comfortable with it at first,’ said Osmond, ‘you start wondering is it really necessary?’ But the reaction of the locals soon persuaded him. ‘We had people coming up to us afterwards, not scared to talk to us. They felt they were being protected. The snipers used suppressors, reducing the sound of the muzzle blast. Although a ballistic crack could be heard, it was almost impossible to work out where the shot was coming from. With the bullet travelling at three times the speed of sound, a victim was unlikely to hear anything before he died.

Walkie-talkie messages revealed that the Taliban thought they were being hit from helicopters. The longest-range shot taken was when Potter killed an insurgent at 1,430 metres away. But the most celebrated shot of their tour was by Osmond at a range of just 196 metres.

On September 12th, a known Taliban commander appeared on the back of a motorcycle with a passenger riding pillion. There was a British patrol in the village of Gorup-e Shesh Kalay and under the rules of engagement, the walkie-talkie the Taliban pair were carrying was designated a hostile act. As they drove off, Osmond fired warning shots with his pistol and then picked up his L96, the same weapon – serial number 0166 – he had used in Iraq and on the butt of which he had written, ‘I love u 0166’.

Taking deliberate aim, he fired a single shot. The bike tumbled and both men fell onto the road and lay there motionless. When the British patrol returned, they checked the men and confirmed they were both dead, with large holes through their heads.

The 7.62 mm bullet Osmond had fired had passed through the heads of both men. He had achieved the rare feat of ‘one shot, two kills’ known in the sniping business as ‘a Quigley’. The term comes from the 1990 film Quigley Down Under in which the hero, played by Tom Selleck, uses an old Sharps rifle to devastating effect.

Potter and Osmond’s working day would begin around 7 am and end a dozen or so hours later at last light. Up to about 900 metres, they would aim at an insurgent’s head, beyond that at the chest.

Often, Potter would take one side of a compound and Osmond the other. Any insurgent moving from one side to the other was liable to be shot by the second sniper if the first had not already got him. Each used the scopes on the rifles to spot for the other man, identifying targets with nicknames to do with their appearance.

A fighter wearing light blue was dubbed ‘the Virgin Mary’ and one clad in what looked like sackcloth was referred to as ‘Hesco man’, after the colour of the base’s Hesco barriers. Both the Virgin Mary and Hesco man were killed.

Others were given a nickname because of their activities, like Hashish man, a Taliban who doubled up as a drug dealer. Occasionally, insurgents got posthumous monikers. If one target presented himself, both snipers aimed at him simultaneously in a coordinated shoot.

“Everybody you hit they drop in a different way,’ says Potter. ‘We did a co-ord shoot on to the one bloke and he just looked like he just fell through a trap door. So we called him Trapdoor Man.”

Major Mark Gidlow-Jackson, their company commander, describes Potter and Osmond as the “epitome of the thinking riflemen” that his regiment sought to produce. “They know the consequences of what they’re doing and they are very measured men. They are both highly dedicated to the art of sniping. They’re both quiet, softly spoken, utterly charming, two of the nicest men in the company, if the most dangerous.”

Serjeant Potter and Rifleman Osmond are identified by pseudonyms for security reasons.

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