April, 2004

April 6, 2004

Today's Extreme Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A pregnant woman in Mexico gave birth to a healthy baby boy after performing a caesarean section on herself with a kitchen knife. It is thought to be the first known case of a self-inflicted caesarean in which both the mother and baby survived. The unidentified 40-year-old, who lived in a rural area without electricity, running water or sanitation that was an eight-hour drive from the nearest hospital, performed the operation when she could not deliver the baby naturally. She had lost a previous baby due to labor complications. "She took three small glasses of hard liquor and, using a kitchen knife, sliced her abdomen in three attempts...and delivered a male infant that breathed immediately and cried," said Dr R.F. Valle, of the Dr Manuel Velasco Suarez Hospital in San Pablo, Mexico. Before losing consciousness the woman told one of her children to call a local nurse for help. After the nurse stitched the wound with a sewing needle and cotton thread, the mother and baby were transferred and treated by Valle and his colleagues at the nearest hospital.

Information culled from: Reuters

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Stories like this always make me reflect on how many thousands of women died in labor in the past. When they excavate old graveyards (pre-20th century) it is common to find female skeletons with full-term baby skeletons inside them. What a horrid way to die!

And those anti-choicers say that abortions are dangerous. Bah!

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From the "Too-Good-To-Be-True" Department

Oh, if only this comes to fruition, I will be on my way to London!

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/03/14/1079199093855.html?from=storyrhs

Thanks to Elizabeth for the heads-up!

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From the "Equally Too-Good-To-Be-True" Department

Apparently, Body Worlds - the amazing "plastinated" humans exhibition based in Germany that has garnered controversy wherever it has gone - is shutting down its German Exhibition and moving permanently to the U.S.

http://www.bodyworlds.com/en/pages/Pressemeldungen%20Frankfurt.asp

Yet, I'm curbing my optimism until I can get in to see the exhibit myself. Somehow, I'm thinking the Religious Wrong will find some way to ruin this fun too. Sigh...


April 12, 2004

Today's Misguided Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Thomas Sullivan of Concord died July 26, 1999, two days after copying a Pepsi One television commercial which showed a University of Maryland student "shotgunning" a can of the diet cola (a method of guzzling beverages that involves punching an extra hole in the can to allow it to drain quicker). Sullivan used a pushpin to puncture a can of Pepsi. Tragically, in Thomas's case, the pin he used to puncture the can was instantly propelled by its pressurized contents into his throat, lodging in his vocal cords. The pin somehow trigged a seizure, and Sullivan fell into a coma and suffered swelling in the brain, which ultimately killed him.

Information culled from: Boston.Com
Generously donated by: Amos Quito

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You know, it's really a great public service when people die in these embarrassing ways. Just think of all we learn from the idiocy of others! I mean, I would never try to slash a tire since I read about the guy who was killed when the tire pressure drove the knife into him, and I would never smoke around an oxygen tank because I remember the old man who burned to death when the oxygen caught fire. (Well, I'd actually never SMOKE at all... but that's another story.)

And now I can add to my memory banks: never puncture a Pepsi One can with a pushpin. This is good to know because you never know when the urge to "live a little" might strike. ;-)

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Alright, I know I've been an absolutely HORRIBLE Comtesse lately. I have been extremely derelict of my highly-important morbid responsibilities. I have no excuse other than extreme apathy and laziness, stemming from the warm temperatures and sunny skies which crash down on me like a leaden weight, plunging me into the deepest, darkest of abysses. Well, no, actually, I wish I was in an abyss - at least it would be cool and dark. This is more like being tossed into a super nova. What could possibly be more grim?

But I can feel myself beginning to slowly heal from the burns spring has inflicted, and I am determined to come back with regular newsletters that will return to the glory of old. I am currently compiling all the suggestions that you have all sent in to me over the past few months and will begin a schedule with all those great features like Recommendations, and Brushes With Morbidity, and Morbid Travelogues/Photo Galleries appearing on a regular basis.

And this time, I really think I'm serious too!

... BUT ... having said that... I am going to be in Indianapolis for the remainder of the week and will not be able to send any more facts until sometime early next week. (Yes, I am starting to travel again for work...)

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Morbid Caption Contest

Okay, it's about time we get to the finals of the Morbid Caption Contest, isn't it? (This contest is to assign a caption to the January 6, 2004 MFDJ - http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/morb0104.htm).

But first, here are the two survivors of the 6th Round:

"mutt steals family jewels" - 33%
"little nipper's nipper nicked by family pet" - 16%

So, now, it's time for the first round of the semi-finals! Please cast your vote for one of the following semi-finalists:

1) As dog is licking it's lips: "It's ok, I had subway!"

2) KNICK-NACK PADDY WACK......GIVE A DOG A BONE?!

3) Kibbles and bris, kibbles and bris, I'm gonna get me some kibbles and bris!

4) Penis: the OTHER dark meat!

5) What kind of dog was it you ask? Why, it must have been a wiener dog!

6) "Must be the Puppy Chow"

Vote below!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Our fellow Sicko Nikki contributes this one:

An ugly man walks into his local pub with a big grin on his face.

"What are you so happy about?" asks the bartender.

"Well, I'll tell you," replies the ugly man.

"You know, I live by the railway. Well, on my way home last night, I noticed a young woman tied to the tracks, like in the movies. I, of course, went and cut her free and took her back to my place. Anyway, to make a long story short, I scored big time! We made love all night, all over the house. We did everything, me on top, sometimes her on top, every position imaginable!"

"Fantastic!" exclaimed the barman.

"You lucky guy. Was she pretty?"

"Dunno... Never found the head."


April 26, 2004

Today's Oops-Inducing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The greatest ship disaster in history occurred on May 3, 1945 in Lübeck Bay in the Baltic Sea. Three German ships were involved: the Cap Arcona, the Thielbek and the Athen. "We had been told Nazi bigwigs were trying to make a run for it to continue fighting in Norway," the pilot of one RAF Typhoon fighter- bomber recalls. "It was our job to make sure they didn't." So the warplanes peeled off and dived for the floating targets in Luebeck Bay, opening fire with machine guns and rockets. However, tragically, there were no Nazi bigwigs aboard. Instead, the inhabitants included over 9,000 concentration camp survivors. The ships had been commandeered to take concentration camp prisoners on board with the intention of sinking the ships and murdering the prisoners. Most were trapped below decks and perished in agony as the burning ships foundered. Captain Bertram of the Cap Arcona left the bridge, hacking his way through the mass of prisoners with a machete, to abandon his ship. The SS men kept the prisoners below deck with their weapons. Those who leapt overboard were gunned down by the RAF warplanes - or else came under fire from Nazi SS troops on shore, who were under orders to ensure no camp inmates fell into Allied hands. The next day, British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery announced the surrender of German forces in Holland, Denmark and northern Germany. When British troops arrived hours later, they found thousands of bodies washing up on Baltic beaches, most in tattered concentration camp garb, many in Nazi SS uniforms. And they found about 400 shivering and terrified camp survivors huddled on the shores. 7,500 camp inmates were dead.

Information culled from: The Stuart Robertson Homepage

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I think if I'd been on that ship, I would rather have jumped overboard or raced towards one of the SS troops and have them shoot me than wait to burn or drown to death on the boat. Yes, these are the thoughts that keep me up at night. Can't you tell?

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Welcome to the official Return of the Comtesse. I finally have escaped from the hot, unrelenting light of depression that follows me about every spring (and settled back into my cool, damp castle). Of course, this means that I am ready to start entertaining you again. If you're the kind of sick person who finds Horrible Things entertaining, that is. And I know you are. I hope you enjoy the grim days that await you!

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Morbid Auction Du Jour!

Jem has one of his breathtakingly beautiful Autopsy Zombie Staple Babies out for auction on Ebay:

"This doll is nearly 2 feet tall; it's the largest autopsy baby so far. If you notice there's only 1 black & white photo on the auction but you can find color photos on the website. I'm hoping this auction won't get kicked, but if it does I'll continue the auction somehow. [Ebay has a history of considering his beautiful babies 'tasteless' and kicking them off. Can you *imagine*??? - Comtesse] It will include a storage box for the doll with an autopsy report on top of the box. I will also make a toe tag to go with it."

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4164521143


And if you like what you see, why not peruse Jem's website. Such fine works of art! Oh, I want one sooooooooooooooooooooooo bad!!!

http://www.autopsybabies.com

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

And for those of us who can't afford the luxury of our very own Autopsy Zombie Staple Baby, why not visit Jem's gift shop and consider purchasing one of the many delightful products:

http://www.cafeshops.com/autopsybabies

One thing I personally find quite annoying about Cafe Press is the fact that all their shirts are either white or grey. This is the reason I will never use them to sell MFDJ t-shirts, because they MUST be black. Obviously. However, I am quite partial to the clock and the posters. Excellent.

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Morbid Caption Contest!

The results of the first semi-final are in and your choice for a caption to the January 6 MFDJ (http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/morb0104.htm) is:

As dog is licking it's lips: "It's ok, I had subway!"

This NARROWLY beat out "Kibbles and bris, kibbles and bris, I'm gonna get me some kibbles and bris!" by only one vote! And you thought your vote didn't count! Bah!

So now, it's time for the second semi-final. Get ready to exercise your democratic right! (At least until I begin using Diebold Machines for the polls...)

1) "Tikes' Tender Tackle Turns Tantalizing Tidbits"

2) "...the other white meat."

3) I heard it used for homework, but this kid's explanation to future sex partners will have to be "Sorry, my dog ate it."

4) Penis and bits, Penis and bits, I'm gonna get me some Penis and bits.

5) "mutt steals family jewels"

6) "little nipper's nipper nicked by family pet"

Please take the time to vote for your favorite below. Thanks!


April 27, 2004

Today's Thought-Provoking Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Physicians were once perhaps the most important members of society, guarding it from destruction by disease. Quarantine, isolation and strict enforcement of sanitary procedures saved society, ensuring the safety of high-density urban populations. [Hmmmm, I can't decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing... - DeSpair] It is hard to imagine today how disease affected life in earlier times. The present AIDS epidemic gives us only the slightest hint. For example, in 1878, yellow fever killed 4,000 in New Orleans alone. The city was appropriately nicknamed "Necropolis of the South". In New Jersey in 1874, malaria was the prime health problem. In 1897, the New York City Commissioner of Charities reported that the Infants' Hospital's 96% mortality rate was "not as bad as it looks."

Information culled from: Harms Way by Joel-Peter Witkin

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By the way, Harms Way is a quite interesting book. It contains images of old glass plate photographs of the corpses of New York and other locales. It's not the best book containing these images, however. That would be Luc Sante's Evidence. But it does collect some interesting information about the images displayed and about the early development of police photography. And, hey, it was put together by Joel-Peter Witkin, so it's just gotta be cool!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Ireland's worst plane disaster struck today when a two-seater plane crashed
into a cemetery.

Irish rescue workers have recovered 828 bodies.

Digging continues...

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Ghastly!

Give this man a hand!

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/040426/481/mga10504262129

Contributed by Turttle Butt.

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Today we revisit an old classic that always makes for an entertaining browse - Celebrity Morgue! Yes, see post-mortem portraits of Tupac, Rasputin, Marilyn, JFK, and many other favorites and least-favorites. No, it doesn't have the recently unveiled (on CBS) Princess Diana Dying In Her Car pics, but from what I've heard she just looks like she's sleeping anyway. Oh, how dull!

http://www.celebritymorgue.com

Thanks to Patty for the suggestion.

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Morbid Award Du Jour!

Our friend Alf (http://www.corkscrew-balloon.com) has awarded The Asylum Eclectica with his own Soviet Inspired Web Award. You know, I can't even remember the last time my site was recognized by anyone for anything! So, this is quite exciting! To check out the lovely award, please visit the new (and rashly designed) Asylum updates page:

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/updates.htm


April 28, 2004

Today's Quite Painful Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Burmese student held by police officers in Mandalay in 1987 reported the following unpleasant tale: "A team came in, stripped us of all our clothes ... tied up our hands with handcuffs and hung us up to the ceiling with a rope ... They interrogated me again and asked the same questions, to which I gave the same answers. So they whipped me with a car's fan belt ... Altogether I may have been given 70 or 80 lashes ... after a while I lost consciousness completely. They 'treated' my wounds the same way they treated my friend's... they took him down, poured salt and curry powder on his back ... and then urinated on his back."

Information culled from: The History Of Torture by Brian Innes

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And to think I once cried profusely over a stubbed toe...

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Morbid Auction Du Jour!

Okay, this guy's starting bid is way too high, but isn't this a nifty photograph? I want it!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=13705&item=3287099561

Thanks to tracy for the sharp eyes!

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Pseudo-Ghastly!

Noniyen kindly pointed me in the direction of Ogrish.Com's forum to finally locate an image of the photograph of a dead or dying Diana. It's not really much to see at all - it's so grainy and in such soft focus that I hardly know what the fuss was all about - but it does have a certain somber poetic quality and it appears as if blood is running out of her eye, which adds an ultra-cool Johnny Depp vibe as well. All in all, I'd say it's a death image befitting a princess.

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/didead.jpg

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Positively-Ghastly!

Here are some images from the Fallujah gorefest that the government doesn't want you to see because, you know, it illustrates a little too vividly how the military is winning the "hearts" and "minds" (and, er, "legs" - see page 2) of the Iraqis.

http://home.wi.rr.com/davef/iraq.htm


April 29, 2004

Today's Careless Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Despite the careful wording on British cremation forms asking doctors about the possibility of pacemakers being left in situ, a recent survey found that half of crematoria workers who responded had experienced a body exploding during cremation.

Information culled from: British Medical Journal, May 2002
Generously submitted by: Elaine

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Talk about going out with a bang! <boo, hiss, groan>

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

I've been jumping about The Castle DeSpair in pure wicked giddiness for about 20 minutes now because I've just taken a gander at the forthcoming McFarlane Toys "Monsters Series" entitled "Six Faces Of Madness". As you may well know, McFarlane makes the most realistic and detailed action figures, and I've long been hoping for some genuine, historic morbidity to come out of their factory. And, finally - PRAYERS ANSWERED!! Coming in June, the greatest Action Figures EVER!

A blood-spattered Attila the Hun, standing atop the severed heads of his enemies!

Vlad the Impaler preparing to impale one of his countless trapped victims!

Rasputin - the man who would not die - hanging from hooks and surrounded by all manner of poison and torture device!

A blood-spattered and besmocked Jack the Ripper leaving the scene of his crime with a bloody bag in hand (and perhaps a hand, heart, and head in a bloody bag?)!

Billy the Kid standing beside a well-worn coffin. (The weakest one, but it's still interesting.)

And - the greatest of them all! Elizabeth Bathory - The Blood Countess - soaking in virginal blood, with the heads of her victims to keep her company! (Yes, this one is a MUST-HAVE!)

Come on, tell me honestly - you're as giddy as I am, aren't you???

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Isn't it about time we had another Dead Baby Joke? Teresa thinks so...

How do you get a dead baby into a shoebox?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Blender.

How do you get it out?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Tostitos.

In a word? BLECH!

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Correction Du Jour

I misspoke in yesterday's MFDJ when I said that the disturbing Iraq war images were from the Fallujah battle. I think I must have suffered temporary amnesia because I knew that the images were not from Fallujah, but rather from earlier in the war. Although, I suppose, the images are not too far from what is being seen in Fallujah, anyway... But thank you to Michael for pointing out my erroneous statement!

Here's the link, in case you wanted to view it again:

http://home.wi.rr.com/davef/iraq.htm


April 30, 2004

Today's Trashy Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On August 4, 2002, sheriff's deputies found the decomposing body of Charles Foreman, described by a neighbor as a "Rambo" type, in his home in Hargis, Louisiana after following up on a complaint about the family's dog. It appears Myra Foreman was going on about her normal life with her husband's body lying in their bed. The 51-year-old Hargis woman apparently was giving her 54-year-old husband's body baths and was sleeping next to his body each night. The couple did not appear to have an air conditioner in the small trailer they shared. As she talked with investigators after her husband's body was found, Mrs. Foreman rambled about aliens being in the house and near her husband's body. She was placed in the hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

Information culled from: The Town Talk
Generously submitted by: Kathleen

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Just to show you how atrociously ill my mind is, when I first read this paragraph I thought that the complaint about the family's dog was that it was carrying about a piece of the deceased husband. As it turned out, the dog was just roaming around the neighborhood and scratching cars. But... oh man! If you think this is a white trash nightmare, just read the entire article linked above. The photograph of the trailer is quite a site, and the details are comprise a virtual White Trash Encyclopedia! A hat with antlers sticking out of it! A deer stand! Camouflage and guns! Threats! Squirrel meat! Wal-Mart bags!

Life doesn't get much sadder than this!

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MFDJ Follow-Up

Beverly has something to add to yesterday's MFDJ regarding exploding pacemakers in crematoriums:

"Regarding exploding pacemakers: corpses with silicone breast implants are [also] a hazard during cremation. The silicone explodes and coats the inside of the cremation chamber creating quite a task to remove [it]. ... And yet, funeral workers are prevented from asking if the deceased has implants due to patient confidentiality issues."

I think John Ashcroft will take care of that little detail soon enough, don't you?

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Awwwww, imagine cuddling up in bed with the Black Death upon you. Now you can!

And Ebola...

and the Flu...

and many more cute lil microbes!

http://www.giantmicrobes.com/

(You knew someone had to come up with this idea sooner or later!)

Thanks to Saaxton for the link.

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Alf has put together a delightful travelogue highlighting the Corrections Museum in Bangkok. Since it may be awhile until you make it Thailand again, why not take a cyber-stroll? It's highly wince-worthy!

http://www.corkscrew-balloon.com/misc/prison/




Vulgarities...