October, 2005

October 2, 2005

Today's Miscalculated Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In what must rank as one of the greatest military miscalculations of all time, on June 24, 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte crossed the River Niemen separating the French-controlled Duchy of Warsaw from Russian-controlled Lithuania. Tchaikovsky would later dedicate his famous overture to the year. Tolstoy devoted his longest novel, War and Peace, to the shattering events. In an echo of Napoleon's tragic blunder, thousands of corpses of his footsoldiers have been discovered in a mass grave in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. Lithuanian archaeologists and French experts in forensic exhumation are poring over the remains of 2000 young men of the imperial Grand Army who died of cold, hunger, disease and Russian retribution following the collapse of Napoleon's campaign on the scorched earth of Russia. The mass grave was discovered when workers laying telephone lines stumbled upon piles of bones in a ditch. Because of the area's association with the Red Army, it was assumed that the corpses were victims of communist or Nazi persecution from the 1940s or '50s. But fragments of buttons, clothing and other artefacts soon revealed that the dead were from 190 years ago when tens of thousands of Bonapartist troops passed through Lithuania in their flight from the Russians in December 1812. The recovered remains are to be buried in a Vilnius cemetery and the French Government is to supply a memorial.

Culled from: Sydney Morning Herald
Generously donated by: Ms Rutybear

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You may have tried to access The Asylum Eclectica and found that it was not available for a couple of days at the end of September. It seems I exceeded my bandwidth for the month for the second straight month. I've increased the bandwidth so that this will hopefully not happen again. Sorry for the great pain it must have caused you! Hopefully the damage will not be irreversable...

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by Amanda Fringer

"The day after Christmas I decided to drive from Chicago to Tulsa. It is about 11 hours but up until Kankakee, IL it was uneventful. I kept playing leapfrog with this white car. The driver had long curly blonde hair which was just a few inches longer than mine. We both ended up pulling of in the same rest area and joked about leapfrog. When we got back on the highway I got off to get gas. When I got back on there were emergency vehicles and two cars in an accident. When I got closer to the accident I realized that one of the cars was the white one. On two sides were people with sheets blocking the view but because of the gaper's block I could see in between. As I was looking to see if she was ok I saw a fireman/paramedic pick up a hand full of blonde hair out of the back seat. To my horror I realized that it was the woman's head. The had being doing over 80 miles an hour, been tapped on the bumper, hit a light pole and somehow she had been decapitated. I am guessing her husband was ok, just knocked out, as they put him in the ambulance with sirens. They just put her head in the body bag with the body and rolled it away on the stretcher. After seeing that while listening to "You Can Call Me Al" by Paul Simon that song has wonderful imagery now."

Well, thank goodness that something useful came out of that ghastly song after all!

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Morbid Book Du Jour!

Speaking of ghastly, Magnoire wrote to tell me about a particularly awful book she read that nevertheless had one interesting paragraph in it:

"I started reading a truly dreadful book called 'Beware the Night' by Ralph Searchie. It's about a New York police officer who is also an exorcist. The blurb on the book 'Hell is his beat' enticed me, but it turns out that Officer Searchie believes everything from listening to heavy metal music to watching 'Buffy, the Vampire Slayer' will lead to demonic possession.
Anyway, here is a case from his police work that I found very morbid and it goes:

'Recently I was called to a house where I found a woman stoned out of her mind on drugs. That wouldn't be particularly unusual in the place I patrol, except that she was stumbling around with a newborn baby dragging between her legs - still attached to its umbilical cord - and she didn't even know she'd given birth. It turned out that this was her tenth child: Child
Protective Services had already taken all the others because of her crack addiction.'

"'Nuff said...."

Thank you for the fascinating snippet, Magnoire! For those who want to attempt to read the book, here's an Amazon link to it:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312977379/theasylumeclecti



October 4, 2005

Today's Unlucky Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In August 2002, a gourmet chef in Vietnam died after being bitten by a venomous sea snake that he was to cook as the nightly special. Le Hung Cuong, 22, died en route to hospital in the northern port city of Haiphong. Cuong picked up the half-metre sea snake from the glass aquarium it was kept in to prepare the restaurant's speciality, porridge with snake's blood. The snake lashed around and bit his left hand. Nguyen Lien, owner of the restaurant that specialised in such delicacies as stir-fried and stewed snake said, "It was bad luck for him and for our restaurant. He was careless and did not wear the plastic gloves as required." The snake dropped back down into the tank but was retrieved by another chef within a few minutes and served to the waiting customer. Cuong had only been working at the restaurant for a few days. The restaurant remained open. Snake is a delicacy in Vietnam, where many men believe it has properties as an aphrodisiac. Entire villages in northern Vietnam are dedicated to raising snakes and cooking them.

Culled from: Sydney Morning Herald
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/08/20/1029114101586.html
Generously submitted by: LV

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Bad luck, indeed! Even WORSE luck for the snake!

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Dead Baby Joke Du Jour!

Q: What's red and lies in all four corners of a room?

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A: A baby that's been playing with a chainsaw.

Thanks to nohemi for the joke.

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

I am a font freak and Spanky is too! Lucky for us, he is also quite generous and sends this link:

"As a dedicated font freak, I have a small but treasured collection of font sites - this is my "metasite", gets fonts from lots of my favourite designers. This is one of the new pages - check the horror dingbats! Also, the many pages of "horror" and "sci-fi" fonts... tasty, indeed!"

http://www.acidfonts.com/newfont2.htm


October 10, 2005

Today's Impatient Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 1970, a fifty-one-year-old construction worker named Mack Edwards walked into a Los Angeles police station and admitted to a series of child murders stretching over seventeen years. He confessed to six murders - three between 1953 and 1956, and three between 1968 and 1970. His detailed knowledge of the crimes convinced police that the confessions were genuine; they also came to believe that Edwards was responsible too for a series of child murders between 1956 and 1968, bringing the total up to twenty-two. Edwards was sentenced to death, whereupon he requested to be allowed to be the next man executed in California (where there can be no executions for several years, while certain crucial appeals are heard). "My lawyer told me there are a hundred men to die in the chair. I'm asking the judge if I can have the first man's place. He's sitting up there sweating right now. I'll take his place. I'm not sweating. I'm ready for it." Ready or not, Edwards was faced with the prospect of mandatory appeals, conscious of the fact that no California inmate had been executed since 1967. On October 30, 1971, he cut the process short, using an electric cord to hang himself in his death row cell at San Quentin.


Culled from: The Mammoth Book of the History of Murder

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Malady of the Month!

Yes, I have finally finished updating Malady of the Month/Year/Decade. This time, I took Colin's suggestion and went with Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome. This is a congenital birth defect that only effects males that is caused by the lack of an enzyme, and results in a renal problems and a variety of bizarre effects including a propensity towards self-mutilation. These kids will literally bite off their lips and fingers and gouge out their eyes if they are not properly restrained. Fascinating!

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

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Dahmerism Du Jour!

Courtesy of Richard:

Q: What is Jeffrey Dahmer's favorite song?

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A: "Bits and Pieces"



October 12, 2005

Today's Cracked-Out Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In December, 2004 a judge sentenced Ruth Wicks to eight years in prison after a jury found her guilty of felony neglect of a dependent. Her boyfriend, Randy Sparks, pled guilty to the same charge and received a six-year sentence. On Sept. 17, 2003, Wicks and Sparks left the motel room in which they were living, leaving her four-month-old baby, Ellen, in the care of her 13-year-old mentally deficient son and her 11-year-old daughter. The adults wanted to buy crack cocaine, hoping Ruth could prostitute herself to pay for it. Unsuccessful in their hunt, they sold a television, bought crack and smoked it all night. Meanwhile, at the motel, Ellen was crying and wouldn't stop. Remembering what the adults did in the past when the baby cried, the boy put several pillows on top of Ellen and pushed down, suffocating her. The boy pled guilty to battery with serious bodily injury in Juvenile Court. He was sentenced to probation and continued placement at Valle Vista treatment center. The 11-year-old girl is in foster care.

Culled from: Marion County's Prosecutor's Office
Generously suggested by: Kimba D'Michi

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More proof that there is nothing so frightening as a child without a television set to babysit them!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Chaos Elle sent me this disturbing link that describes an album recorded by a fundamentalist Christian wacko named "Lil' Markie". (With a name like that, I was expected a rap album!) If you are an enthusiast of the bizarre, then you just have to check out the MP3 of a torturous song entitled "Diary of an Unborn Child". It's supposed to be an anti-abortion song, but after listening to it, I felt like getting pregnant just so that I could abort that annoying, whiny, horrible voice! Again and again and again and again!!! If you'd like to join me in dismay, please, be my guest:

http://www.showandtellmusic.com/pages/galleries/gallery_l/lilmarkie.html

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Ghastly!

This is why you should never turn your back on a shark!

http://www.ogrish.com/archives/shark_takes_a_bite_out_of_lower_leg_Jul_21_2005.html

Thanks to Steve O for sending the link.



October 16, 2005

Today's Salvageable Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In the early 17th century, Sweden was busy building an empire around the Baltic Sea in northern Europe. A strong navy was essential. During the 1620s Sweden was at war with Poland. In 1625 the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus ordered new warships. Among them the Vasa. The Vasa was built at the Stockholm shipyard by Henrik Hybertsson - an experienced Dutch shipbuilder. His experience was much needed as the Vasa was to be the mightiest warship in the world, armed with 64 guns on two gundecks. In 1628 the ship was ready. Sunday August 10 was the day of the Vasa's maiden voyage. The beaches around Stockholm were filled with spectators, among them foreign diplomats. The maiden voyage was to be an act of propaganda for the ambitious Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus. The Vasa set sail and fired a salute. But only after a few minutes of sailing the ship began to heel over. She righted herself slightly - and heeled over again. Water started to gush in through the open gunports. And, to everyones horror and disbelief, the glorious and mighty warship suddenly sank! Of the 150 people on board, 30-50 died in the disaster. When Vasa had been salvaged in 1961, archaeologists found the remains of 25 skeletons.

Culled from: The Vasa Museum

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Yes, if you have an excellent memory, you might recall that I used this one once before, but my previous MFDJ did not make mention of the skeletons that were found in the ship's belly, which I find quite captivating. (Which brings me to a pet peeve: Where are the images of the skeletons that you just KNOW they had to find in the Titanic???) Anyway, more than anything, I wanted to mention this again as a lead-in to sharing Alf's collection of photographs of the preserved ship which can be visited in Stockholm. Looks absolutely beautiful!

http://www.corkscrew-balloon.com/00/09/3norway/0876.html

Bruce adds additional information: "An earlier ship, England's the MARY ROSE, sank (though not as spectacularly and appallingly as the VASSA) has been raised and preserved. I've been to the Mary Rose Museum and quite enjoyed it."

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Tee generously donated a series of photographs taken of the State Lunatic Asylum #2 in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1991. This is the building that originally housed the marvelous Glore Psychiatric Museum, which I visited back in April, 2001. I have added Tee's photographs to the bottom of the travelogue. Enjoy!

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/sightseer/us/mo/glore/index.html

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"My Friend, The Medical Student" by Sam

"My friend is is a medical student who was let loose on a body on her second week, to my great jealousy. However, her knowing that I have a 'morbid curiousity', I get regular descriptions of her work. I asked her if I could pass it along to you (and possibly to thousands of others), and she didn't mind... I thought you might enjoy:

"I've just finished the day 9 - 5 in the dissection room and I smell! I walked in this morning with ringing in my ears, still there from the night before. It did not bode well for a day with Jim the Cadaver. Plus it was hot. I am never hot in [insert city somewhere in Britain here], except in the dissection room... Oh well. The smell is overwhelming. The bodies are embalmed with formaldehyde so to begin with they just smelt of that but now we have been cutting them up they generally stink of dead corpses... So I get in there, we are all in our white coats with name badges on and dissecting instruments in our pockets.

"The room has about 30 dead bodies (or rather bits of dead bodies) in it. On one side there are lots of organs and sections from dead bodies enbalmed in plastic boxes. Some of the vessels have been painted, which looks a little surreal as they are actually body parts. A few of them have gone moldy, which I find disgusting. Interesting how I don't mind the bodies but mold I find repulsive... and every so often one of the boxes springs a leak, which has to be fixed pretty damn quick! On the other side of the room are large dissecting instruments, the ones which we don't actually own ourselves. There are various sizes of saws and drills. The room is completely white with a glass roof which lets in much more light.

"The skin feels like leather, although it is a little easier to cut through. The fat is like scrambled egg and the muscles are like tuna. On the bodies that have not been embalmed well enough it is like steak. On one of the bodies near me there is gangrene on the back. Not boding well for the insides which are probably liquid! Today we did the front of the thigh. It was quite interesting... but I can't wait to get digging deeper. One of the bodies had a clip which is used to clap off a blood vessel in an operation still in the leg!!! And so many people were wading through fat all day, good luck to them when they get the bottom!!!

"The second years have been at the face. When we turned it over the other day the skin came off and then a second later so did the lips! The top of the skull also fell off and rolled around the floor. You could seriously use it like a fascia (posh word for fat) bowl. The brains have been taken out, but there are some around the room. Very interesting to look at. A couple of people have fungus growing on their feet (of their cadavers, not themselves!)

"Anyway, the day starts with the guy in charge telling us what we have to do (he is an orthopedic surgeon). A nice guy but he likes the sound of his voice too much. So normally I read up on what we have to do beforehand and turn off whilst he is explaining. Then we just get down to work, basically hack away (in the most respectful way). One of the people on my table got fascia in their mouth again today...disgusting!!! The scalpel-happy girl was no where to be seen today so that was a good thing since our network of vessels are still intact!

"I don't really know what else to tell you. In the wider picture, yes it is really awful, but when I am in there I disconnect and we all have a laugh and joke about it, so it becomes more of a social thing....in the best possible way! It is definitely unlike anything I have ever experienced before and has to be experienced to be understood. There is loads more to tell you but I am tired, it has been a long day, and I have to go on a pub crawl tonight! I'll tell you more tomorrow when my brain is ticking over properly. For now I hope that satisfies your morbid curiosity."

Indeed it does! I can't get over the thought of fascia in the mouth and I think the scalpel-happy girl would make an excellent Halloween costume. Thank you for sharing, Sam.



October 17, 2005

Today's Unlucky Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On Thursday, November 13, 2003 a factory owner with money troubles climbed onto the roof of his building in central Thailand to raise a flag believed to ward off bad luck and then slipped and fell to his death. Boonchai Lotharakphong, 43, whose factory made sportswear for the U.S. company Nike, died when he slipped off the roof in Lopburi province, 115 kilometres north of Bangkok. The man's factory produced clothing for Nike for the last 10 years but faced financial problems since a regional economic crisis of 1997. To improve his fortunes, Boonchai visited a Chinese fortune-teller who gave him the flag - believed to have magical powers - and told him to fly it from the roof of the factory to act as a charm and prevent bad luck.

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley

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Hmmmmm... So a *Chinese* fortune-teller tells a Thai Nike factory owner to fly a flag for "good luck". Call me paranoid, if you must, but I suspect that fortune-teller was actually the owner of a Chinese sweatshop looking for more work!

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Dahmerism Du Jour!

Courtesy of Richard, again:

Q: What is Jeffrey Dahmer's favorite appliance?

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A: The FryDaddy

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Morbid Celluloid Du Jour!

Sherry sends a tip:

"[Men Behind the Sun] is a gore filled, Japanese torture and experiment movie [that is] worth checking out."

I haven't seen this one yet myself, but it's on my Netflix queue. Sounds very interesting!

"As World War II draws to a close, Japanese army officers are cooking up biological weapons to deploy as a last-ditch effort. They test their prototypes on Chinese and Russian war prisoners at an underground facility called Squadron 731, conducting horrific experiments. A gory Chinese polemic, considered a cult classic for its sheer shock value."

Here's the Amazon link, for those who are interested in learning more:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000AQS1H/theasylumeclecti



October 18, 2005

Today's Uninvincible Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A teenager who challenged a schoolmate to hit him in the head with a skateboard died in September 2003 after being removed from life-support. Michael Aubuchon, 15, died four days after his skull was fractured. The 14-year-old boy accused of delivering the blow was originally charged with assault but will probably face more serious charges, possibly involuntary manslaughter. "It's one of those things where kids believe they're invincible. It just got to the point where common sense took a back seat," Maryland Heights police Sgt. Joe Bova Conti said. Michael was attending a carnival Saturday at a church when he hit himself on the forehead at least twice with his skateboard, then bragged that he could take hard blows to the head. Michael handed his skateboard to another boy, encouraging the teen to hit him. The boy delivered a two-handed blow to the top of Michael's head. Michael fell unconscious, and the other boy fled. He was arrested later at his grandparent's home.

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously submitted by: Katchaya

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Ah, natural selection in action, it's a beautiful thing. Does anyone happen to have an update on this one? I'm curious what sort of sentence the other boy received. As far as I'm concerned, he should be congratulated, not punished.

Here's an update from Delirious' Journal, sent in by Kelshubert:

Delirious' Journal

29th October, 2003. 6:48 pm.

A teenager accused in the death of another teen who died of injuries from being struck in the head with a skateboard will remain in the custody of juvenile detention until further notice.

That ruling, followed a hearing Monday in St. Louis County Family Court where the Judge ruled the charges against the unidentified 14-year-old boy were justified.

Family Court officials say the 14 year old acted recklessly, causing the death of Michael Aubuchon, 15, of Maryland Heights last month. The incident occurred at the annual church carnival held on the grounds of St. Blaise Catholic Church.

Investigators say the 14-year-old Bridgeton teen left the scene of the incident after striking the victim in the head with the skateboard, but was met by police investigators at his home a short time later.

Juvenile officials say the ruling by the Family Court Monday means the 14 year old will be placed into a group home equipped with treatment facilities, since he will be living there around the clock for a minimum of one year...

Paul adds:

"The boy who hit Michael accepted a charge of involuntary manslaughter in St. Louis County Family Court and agreed to go to a treatment facility for up to a year."



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Morbid Sightseeing!

Okay, it may be cheesy, but I am still dying to go to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in London one day. And these images from Alf's website illustrate why. Lovely, isn't it? And, after all, Madame Tussaud got her start making death masks of guillotine victims during the Reign Of Terror, and how deliciously morbid is that?

http://www.corkscrew-balloon.com/03/09/3lon/26f.html

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"My Great-Grandmother's Brush With Morbidity" by TJ

"I’m writing you to let you know about something pretty morbid that happened in my family. I am named after all of my grandfathers and I was talking about it with my great-grandmother last Saturday. In the middle of the conversation I felt the urge to ask her how he died. She got this scared, just saw a ghost look on her face. She said it was a horrible death. He had battled lung cancer for a couple of years but it eventually spread to his heart. She was in the hospital with him when all of a sudden, she said, “It looked like his heart popped.” She said blood came out of his mouth, eyes, and ears. She was the only one in the hospital room at the time. That must have been brutal."

I think I'll have nightmares about this one for awhile... <shudder>


October 24, 2005

Today's Cutthroat Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A teenage boy bled to death when a shard of glass from a broken restaurant window cut his throat. Kemar Campbell, 17, and his younger brother were walking home from playing basketball on November 30, 2003 when Campbell hit or leaned against the glass. A shard from the falling glass cut his throat, and he staggered across the street, where he died despite the efforts of passers-by. "I said, 'Oh my God, I've got to turn around and help this guy,'" said Jossett Nash, a nurse who was driving past. She called 911 and ran to the teen. She and a man used a shirt to try to stop the bleeding, but Campbell died at the scene. "He's a good child. He was just playing," the boys' mother, Sheila Fraser, said, crying. "I wish it was me. He's so young."

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously submitted by: glia

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Ah, glass. What a viscous foe! <groan>

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Cemetry Gates!

From the lovely Dark Necropolis site comes this small but engaging collection of travelogues to cemeteries in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island areas:

http://www.darknecropolis.com/cemeterylistings.html

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Morbid Celluloid!

I spent last weekend attending a few hours of the Music Box Massacre - a 24-hour horror film marathon at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. I sat through four films - two of which impressed me greatly, and two of which did not.

The first impressive film was F.W. Murnau's classic 1922 vampire film Nosferatu. The movie is a creepy classic under any circumstance, but this showing was especially magnetic due to the excellent live organ accompaniment. I would strongly recommend that any of you in the Chicagoland area try to make one of the repeat showings next weekend:

Saturday, October 29 & Sunday, October 30 @ 11:30am
Music Box Theatre
3733 N. Southport Ave. Chicago, IL 773-871-6604
http://www.musicboxtheatre.com/

Here's the Amazon link to the Special Edition DVD:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000055ZB8/theasylumeclecti

The second amazing film that I saw was called Aftermath by Spanish cult director Nacho Cerda. This was the first American screening of this highly controversial film which has been banned the world over. It's easy to see why, as it's possibly the most graphic film I've seen (and I've seen a few). The 30-minute film is entirely without dialogue and it depicts in full graphic detail what just might possibly happen to your body after you've shed the mortal coil... if your coroner happens to be a pervert working alone at night. Supposedly, when it was shown in Toronto recently, some people in the audience vomited, but I didn't hear any retching in Chicago. I did hear that there were quite a few walk-outs though, but I was sitting near the front and captivated by every disturbing second, so I didn't notice anything but a lot of laughter and groaning.

I doubt that the film will be shown in your neighborhood theater anytime soon, but lucky for us, it's available on DVD!

Aftermath/Genesis

The other films that we saw were Pulse (a weak Japanese horror film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa - does anyone else think this guy is totally overrated?) and The Crazies (a George Romero flick from 1973 that I fell asleep during).

On the whole, a very good way to spend the weekend.


October 25, 2005

Today's Lethal Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Description of Lethal Injection as provided by the North Carolina Department of Corrections:

When lethal injection is used, the inmate is secured with lined ankle and wrist restraints to a gurney in the preparation room outside the chamber. Cardiac monitor leads and a stethoscope are attached. Two saline intravenous lines are started, one in each arm, and the inmate is covered with a sheet. The inmate is given the opportunity to speak and pray with the chaplain. The warden then gives the condemned an opportunity to record a final statement that will be made public. After the witnesses are in place, the inmate's gurney is taken into the chamber by correctional officers who draw the curtain and exit. Appropriately trained personnel then enter behind the curtain and connect the cardiac monitor leads, the injection devices and the stethoscope to the appropriate leads. The warden informs the witnesses that the execution is about to begin. He returns to the chamber and gives the order to proceed. The saline intravenous lines are turned off and the thiopental sodium is injected which puts the inmate into a deep sleep. A second chemical agent, procuronium bromide (the generic name for Pavulon), follows. This agent is a total muscle relaxer. The inmate stops breathing and dies soon afterward. The warden pronounces the inmate dead and a physician certifies death has occurred. The witnesses are escorted to the elevators and the body is released to the medical examiner.

Culled from: Methods of Execution
Generously suggested by: kelshubert

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Yes, I know, you've seen it all before in Dead Man Walking, but hey, it's kind of interesting to read the official policy, isn't it?

Amelia ponders: "This agent is a total muscle relaxer. I'm thinking that there must be more effects from this than just the breathing stopping - especially after them having had their last meal option - I wouldn't want to be the one to clear up afterwards!!"

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"My Brush With Death" by Melissa

"I have been a little morbid ever since my brush with death. I wonder if this happens with other people.

"I was pregnant with my 2nd child and was diagnosed with a cin4 papsmear.... cancer. I was given the choice to abort and treat or let it ride and take my chances. I took my chances, but I lost my son at about 6 months. I had a funeral for him and began treatment for cancer, which involved surgically removing the carcinoma in situ. After the surgery, I bled and did not stop bleeding but was sent home anyway. After 2 days of much blood loss the dam broke and I started bleeding out. I remember opening my eyes and things not looking right. It was about 3AM I tried to get up to go to the bathroom, but felt like my limbs were in ice. People think that bleeding to death ie slitting wrists for suicide will be peaceful.... bleeding to death is the most horribly painful thing I have ever experienced. I rember my older daughter running to get my mother and my mom totally freaking out. I now know I was white and blueish... plus I was seizing in between seconds of lucidity. The ambulance got there and being loaded into it. After that I can only remember blackness, hearing as if my head was underwater, and knowing what was around me even though I was "dead". I didn't see a white light or a tunnel, no Jesus or dead relatives. I didn't see a thing, but at least the pain ended. I did sense something odd there with me. Could have been just my messed up perception, but I still feel it sometimes. Something not quite right and a dream like quality.... prolly brain damage :)"

Thank you for sharing your story, Melissa. And we know you can't be tooooo brain damaged if you enjoy Morbid Fact Du Jour, right? ;)

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Okay, it's a little late for the summer grilling season, but next year you can impress your barbeque attendees with your Apron of Flesh. Or, it could work as a Halloween costume, in a pinch. Chainsaw not included.

http://www.bumpinthenightproductions.com/apronoflesh.html

Thanks to Shifter for the link.


October 26, 2005

Today's Preserved Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Modern American embalming can be said to have started with Dr. Thomas Holmes (1817-1900). During the Civil War, Holmes was asked by President Lincoln to devise a method of preserving the bodies of Union soldiers long enough for their transportation from the southern battlefields to their homes in the north. Holmes's method was crude and temporary: he would inject into an artery a solution of bichloride of mercury. Although it is not recorded, it is to be hoped that his technique had improved by the time he was called upon to give his services to the president himself.

Culled from: Death: A History Of Man's Obsessions and Fears

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Since I know you're wondering about it yourselves, here's how the Encyclopedia Britannica defines "bichloride of mercury":

"(also called corrosive sublimate), extremely toxic, odorless, colorless compound of mercury used as fungicide in agriculture, as topical antiseptic (in concentrations of 1 part bichloride of mercury to 2,000 parts of water) in medicine, and as catalyst in manufacture of vinyl chloride in chemical industry; also used as starting material in production of other mercury"

Now, go and impress your friends!

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Morbid Sightseeing Du Jour!

Just a reminder that there are currently two Body Worlds exhibits taking place in North America. If you haven't been to one of these yet, I heartily encourage you to consider a road trip!

Body Worlds
Philadelphia, Franklin Institute Science Museum
October 7, 2005 - April 23, 2006

Body Worlds 2
Toronto, Ontario Science Centre
September 30, 2005 - February 26, 2006

http://www.bodyworlds.com/en/pages/home.asp

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Urban Exploration (R.I.P.)!

Edgewood Hospital was one of the majestic asylums of Long Island. Sadly, it was demolished in 1989. Thankfully, this website exists to capture what we've lost.

http://www.edgewoodhospital.com/default.asp

Thanks to Big Craig for the link.





Vulgarities...