Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.

Your ABC

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There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.
Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]

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From Texas to Lincolnshire
Monday, 17 December, 2001, 03:51 GMT
He was known to many simply as "Odd Bob".
His behaviour raised concerns at one of the gun clubs he had joined,3604,681607,00.html
American living in UK accused of Texas band saw massacre
Vikram Dodd
Wednesday April 10, 2002

The Guardian
Double murder suspect dies in hospital
Extradition Fight Man Feared Being Killed in Jail, Inquest Told
By Vik Iyer, PA News
I doubt the recent newspaper claims (April 22) that the Robert Kleasen case inspired the film Texas Chainsaw Massacre (released 1974).
In October 1974, he allegedly shot two Mormons he knew, used a taxidermist's workshop bandsaw to cut up the remains & disposed of them in an animal rendering plant.
No bodies were found; no "chainsaw murder". The news of the murders may have helped publicity, but the film was made in 1973. Taxidermy was used in Psycho (1960).
Importantly, unlike Ed Gein (Wisconsin serial killer, cross-dresser, necrophile house-decorator and cannibal caught in 1957) there were no preserved body parts, no clothing or furniture made from them & no serial victims. Kleasen's whole story, however, is an extraordinary one, & worthy of many articles.

Monster in our midst
by Giles Whittell (The Times, January 28, 2002)
EVIL AMONG US - The Texas Mormon Missionary Murders (Ken Driggs, Signature Books)
[Lots of detail of the murder case. Don't know if it deals with further life.] [An INACCURATE but useful summary.]
After 27 years on the loose, 69 year old Robert Kleasen has admitted to the chainsaw murders [NO] of Gary Daley (20) and Mark Fischer (19) in Travis County, Texas. The corpses were found [NO - NEVER FOUND] in october '74, and the case is rumoured to have inspired the movie "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".[DOUBTFUL]
Another inspiration for that film, ... Ed Gein, has recently had a new movie made about his life. Steve Railsback (known for playing Charles Manson in the '74 tv movie "Helter Skelter") plays Ed.
Ed Geins life story also inspired the films Psycho ('60), Deranged ('74) and The Silence of the Lambs ('91).

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Loss in Mostar [DEAD]

Possible replacement link:

...for example, the famous bridge over Neretva river at Mostar built in 1566 is an integral part of the human psyche. When such objects of self identity are destroyed, much of human spirit goes with it. When the bridge in Mostar fell on November 9, 1993, after days of incessant shelling, the Croatian journalist Slavenka Drakulic wrote in the Observer that she had never visited the bridge, foolishly thinking that "the bridge would be there forever... When I remember what is no longer there, I feel a spasm in my stomach, a knot in my throat. I feel death lurking in the absence."

She continues: "I've heard that people in Mostar, even adults, cried when they saw that the bridge had fallen. I believe the reports, for I have seen people who are not from Mostar cry as well. An elderly journalist, a lawyer. A singer, who wept for the first time since the war started.

"Not so long ago, the newspapers published photos of a massacre in the Bosnian Muslim village of Stupni Dol. One picture showed a middle-aged woman with a long, dark knife-cut along her throat. I don't remember anyone crying over that photo or others like it. And I ask myself: Why I feel more pain looking at the image of the destroyed bridge than the image of the woman?
''Perhaps it is because I see my own mortality in the collapse of the bridge, not in the death of the woman. We expect people to die. We count on our own lives to end. The destruction of a monument to civilization is something else. The bridge, in all its beauty and grace, was built to outlive us; it was an attempt to grasp eternity. Because it was the product of both individual creativity and collective experience, it transcended our individual destiny. A dead woman is one of us--but the bridge is all of us forever."

This article does not have permission of the copyright owner, but is being offered for comment, criticism and research under the "fair use" provisions of the Federal copyright laws.

Source: by Dr. Amir Pasic via Chicago-Kent College of Law, 9 Nov 1993

Source: BOSNET October 11, 1994

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia Croatian gunners destroyed the renowned Old Bridge in the Bosnian city of Mostar on Tuesday, sending one of the most graceful examples of Ottoman architecture crashing into the Neretva River.

The four-century-old arch, described by a Muslim poet as ``a crescent moon in stone,'' was one of the most formidable metaphors for the common life that the Muslims, Croats and Serbs of the old Yugoslavia enjoyed before the country's violent breakup into separate nation-states began in mid-1991.

``It is one of the most beautiful bridges in the world,'' wrote the British author Rebecca West in her pre-World War II travelogue of Yugoslavia, ``Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.'' ``A slender arch lies between two round towers, its parapet bent in a shallow angle in the centre.''

Veso Vegar, a spokesman for the Bosnian Croats' militia, admitted Tuesday that the militia's gunners had targeted the bridge, whose foundations were laid in 1557 at the orders of the Ottoman Empire's greatest ruler, Suleiman the Magnificent.

``Since the bridge is in a place that is strategically important and the Muslim positions are very near, 70 to 100 metres, the bridge has constantly been shelled,'' Vegar said, adding that Croats fired 10 shells at the span on Monday alone.

Bosnian government radio reported Tuesday that 60 shells hit the structure, which opened in 1566 and eventually became known as the Old Bridge, or Stari Most. It gave the city its name.

The Bosnian Croat leadership has named Mostar, whose population was mixed before the war, capital of the self-declared Croatian republic they have created. Bosnian Croat troops began evicting Muslim residents from the Neretva's west bank in May, herding adult men into concentration camps and forcing women, children and elderly people across a treacherous battlefront.

For months Muslims on the west bank dodged sniper fire to cross the bridge to the Muslim-controlled east bank, where they could fill plastic containers with drinking water. The city's mostly Muslim Bosnian army contingent used it take up their positions on the battle lines on the western side of the river.

News of the Mostar bridge's downing plunged many people from all over the former Yugoslav republics into gloom.

``I enjoyed my first kiss on that bridge,'' said Borjanka Santic, a 70-year-old relative of Aleksa Santic, a Serb who was one of Mostar's most famous 19th-century poets. ``I remember even now the stars and the moon shining down. I remember how we dropped stones into the clear water. Now this has all been wiped out.''

``The bridge was the meeting place for the young people of my generation,''she said. ``The walkway's stones were rubbed so smooth by the footsteps that you had to hold on to the rails to avoid slipping even when it was dry.''

Stonemasons from the nearby city of Dubrovnik built the 200-foot-wide bridge at the narrowest part of the Neretva River canyon, joining the span's locally quarried limestone blocks with iron braces and pointing the cracks with molten lead. The bridge's designer, Hayrudin, studied under the greatest of all Ottoman architects, Sinan.

The bridge survived a flood that practically covered it in 1713, history books say, and the only time its walkway was closed came during an 1815 feud between local families.

The bridge survived dozens of wars and uprisings unscathed. Each summer in recent decades, divers held competitions to see who could make the most beautiful leap from the bridge's apex to the swirling Neretva 70 feet below.

The first war damage to the bridge came in May 1991, when Serbian artillery commanded by Miodrag Perusic, the present chief of staff of Yugoslavia's army, blasted it in two places and leveled much of the surrounding neighborhood.

The Muslims draped old tyres over the side of the bridge and erected scaffolds over its walkway in a futile attempt to deflect shells.

Over the last 18 months, Serbian and Croatian shells badly damaged the stone towers on each end of the bridge, which were used in the 19th century by the Turks to imprison Serbian rebels bent on freeing themselves from Ottoman rule.

Television pictures broadcast here tonight showed that the bridge's entire span is gone.

``It is as if one of my closest relatives has died,'' said Bogdan Bogdanovic, a Belgrade architect who designed a monument in Mostar to the World War II partisans who fought Hitler. ``The bridge was a piece of metaphysical architecture that linked cultures and peoples.''

``A person simply loses the sense of himself at times like this,'' he said. ``It was like a heavenly arch. It had nobility, a kind of elan.''

``I ask myself how the people of Mostar will live without that bridge,'' he said. ``They have now lost a part of their being. With a loss like this people, people lose their place in time.''

This article does not have permission of the copyright owner, but is being offered for comment, criticism and research under the "fair use" provisions of the Federal copyright laws.
Source: BOSNET October 11, 1994

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Changing Climate FAQ  
UPDATE: Link changed with time.

I've heard people say that 'climate change' is being used as a euphemism (an euphemism?) for 'global warming' because it's more generalised and anodyne. They say that global warming sounds scarier.

I disagree. For a start, when there's floods and blizzards and record low temperatures, you hear people say that that disproves the idea of global warming, when it may be evidence for it.

Another common problem is that people in cooler climates often think, 'hey, that'd be nice'.

It's increasing the energy put into the system:
the Highs get higher,
the Lows get lower,
the Drys get drier,
the Winds get blowier,
and whole systems that are balanced get tipped, and who knows which way they'll go?

Some other studies and links to information:
Sudden Climate Change?
"When 'climate change' is referred to in the press, it normally means greenhouse warming, which, it is predicted, will cause flooding, severe windstorms, and killer heat waves. But warming could also lead, paradoxically, to abrupt and drastic cooling:

The New Scientist
Global Environment Report: All you ever wanted to know about climate change:

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Ocean & Climate Change Institute: Abrupt Climate Change
Most of the studies and debates on potential climate change have focused on the ongoing buildup of industrial greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and a gradual increase in global temperatures. But recent and rapidly advancing evidence demonstrates that Earth’s climate repeatedly has shifted dramatically and in time spans as short as a decade. And abrupt climate change may be more likely in the future.

(This lists links to articles of interest, including a FAQ: Common Misconceptions about Abrupt Climate Change.)

PNAS* Online Special Features

PNAS is offering a series of free online special issues that highlight cutting edge research in the physical and social sciences, mathematics, and biology. The special issues feature a cluster of related Perspective articles and peer-reviewed research articles.
Rapid Climate Change - February 15, 2000
Steven M. Stanley The past climate change heats up
PNAS 2000 97: 1319. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]

Perspective articles
Richard B. Alley Ice-core evidence of abrupt climate changes
PNAS 2000 97: 1331-1334. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]

Jonathan Overpeck and Robert Webb Nonglacial rapid climate events: Past and future
PNAS 2000 97: 1335-1338. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] (and 6 more)

Rapid climate change research in the same issue
Dennis L. Hartmann, John M. Wallace, Varavut Limpasuvan, David W. J. Thompson, and James R. Holton Can ozone depletion and global warming interact to produce rapid climate change?
PNAS 2000 97: 1412-1417. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] (and 5 more)

* Proceedigs of the National Academy of Sciences (USAA) (Petition/Action site)

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Obituary: Emma Veitch  
I was stunned to read this, having done a search for my friend's name on the web. The date is my birthday last year, when I had not long left hospital & probably wasn't quite up to reading the papers through. The disease Emma died of is the same as the one I am hopefully recovering from.

Harriet was my best friend through much of Primary & part of High School, until she was taken off travelling with her family & then placed in an independent progressive-type school, when we lost touch except for occasional cards. I spent quite a while visiting the family at home (Jock was a music journalist and Ida, after they separated, worked as an English teacher), so knew her sisters as well - though I would spend much of the visit curled up on a squashy vinyl lounge by the large modern windows overlooking the trees & houses stretching down towards Quaker's Hat Bay with one of their large collection of books.

Sydney Morning Herald, 28th August, 2001

A whiz with a sword wound

Emma Veitch was born precipitately, half an hour after the doctor had told our mother that the baby wouldn't arrive for another week and left on his rounds.

So she was born at home, as our mother wanted - and on August 3, not on the August 10 birthday shared by her two big sisters, as our mother also wanted.

This showed, her sisters often felt, that she had inherited rather more than her share of the family stubbornness, but this determination helped her when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer two days before her 41st birthday.

She was told then (although she didn't tell us) that she had only a 10 per cent chance of surviving until Christmas last year, but she made it to Christmas and on until two weeks after her 42nd birthday, determined to survive as long as possible for her daughter, Rosamund.

Emma was by all accounts (except perhaps those of her big sisters) a charming child, always smiling and causing old ladies to stop in the street to pat her on the head.

She left school at 17 and our mother thought she should try nursing as a job.

She started her training at Balmain Hospital, in the days when nursing was a certificate course done in hospitals rather than universities. Her introduction to nursing was a Saturday night shift in casualty; all right, she said, until the pubs closed and people started hitting each other.
Emma was not tall, and she had a sweet face that made her look about 12 in those days, so the police tried to protect her from the worst that night ("Don't look at this one, love"), but eventually the crush of work was so much that she had to be given a job .

So she was set to stitching up a man's scalp and soon found a circle of staff around her admiring her handiwork. She was a keen embroiderer and the others were so impressed by her neat work that she ended up teaching a number of young doctors how to do cross-stitch work for practice.
Emma loved nursing and went on in her 30s to do her degree in health sciences and take a number of postgraduate certificates. She was by then working at the Blue Mountains District Hospital and became a clinical nurse specialist there.

In 1987 she married Sean Turkington, and on her first wedding anniversary took home their daughter, Rosamund Jean. She settled into a life of happily bossing patients and family members, particularly her sisters, always knowing what was best for us and making sure we went to the doctor as ordered.

Nurses, of course, always know the worst thing that can happen, and tell you about it: "If you don't go to the doctor you'll get gangrene and lose that hand."

In the family she was affectionately known as "Sister Hitler" for her refusal to listen to any excuses, but there was always room for another person at her table.

She had a wide range of interests, such as the history of nursing (she was planning to do a PhD in that) and medieval re-enactments, where she was greatly appreciated on the field because play didn't have to stop if someone was injured. She boasted of being one of the few people in NSW who had experience in treating sword wounds, and could pull back a dislocation in seconds. She was a leader in the local Girls Brigade as well.

Many people with a serious illness can talk of nothing but their treatment and condition. Emma was just the opposite. Even in her last weeks in hospital her first question was always, "What's happening in the world?"

Our father complained he couldn't get a word in edgewise to ask her how she was when he rang because she was so busy lecturing him on his asthma.

Despite all, this year she was tutoring a friend's son through his first year of nursing. A few years ago she joined the Anglican Church, and this was a great comfort to her during her illness. One of the last people she saw was her minister. She died in her sleep about two hours later, on August 17.

Harriet Veitch

Write in: Readers are invited to celebrate the life of a friend or relative in 400 words of affectionate anecdote and lively, informal stories, of the kind you might include in a personal eulogy or tell at a wake. Please include dates of birth and death and a copy of the death notice.
Send to Suzy Baldwin, GPO Box 506, Sydney 2001. Or by email (no attachments please):

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