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killer
  • 311127.1002

    The localized extremities of the Viet conflict are on full display in Pierre Schoendoerffer's 1966 documentary Le Section Anderson/The Anderson Platoon. Obsessed with his own country's colonial meltdown in the French-Indochina War, he proposed a chilling fictional film about a platoon's snaking retreat at the war's end, only to be told the film would be too tragic and was told to write it as a novel, which he did. La 317e Section (The 317th Platoon) was a bestseller, thus allowing him to film it and have it in release by 1965, as the U.S. involvement escalated. And parallels continued, in 1966, he returned to Vietnam as a documentary journalist, where he made The Anderson Platoon, a scathing and witty look at the next stage of the west's interference in the region. Apocalypse Now owes several scenes to both 317th and Anderson.

  • 311125.2305

    The code-name for the stealth copter (Comanche) meets the code-name for Bin Laden (Geronimo, an Apache).

  • 311117.1643

    These two views of the same event are precise opposites. One is spoken, one is just eloquent without words. They both come from an amazing page of videos. The flashes are the substations popping offline. A good editing teacher would assign them as a project to intercut them, although you could find perfect synch marks, assuming it was all the same tornado...

  • 311117.0900

    The Bobbettes altered their humorous assault on a hated teacher and had a 1957 hit. 

  • 311112.1805

    Mel Gibson's follow up to his Christ close encounter Passion is the kinetic Mayamyth Apocalypto. He mimics Apocalypse Now: opening shot (the tapir does a mean imitation helicopter fly-by), then compound, he loads pagan rites for the film's second act-crisis, the Post-Classic beheading ceremony (like it or not, Kurtz's collapsing Khmer temple compound was littered with heads, ending with Chef's). Though the mimicry is subtle homage, there is something very unsubtle about the film, its title, the Greek word for apocalypse. And as any student of the bible knows, Mel's certainly aware that a majority of the new testament's chapters were written in Greek initially, which gives the film away. The apocalypto is the arrival of the europeans, this is the mythology they bring, and it's the word of it in the origin language, it's not Mayan. The european cosmology speaks of an impending apocalypse, something they fear, a passage of destruction, and they unwittingly deliver it as their own myth; they project it onto this 'new world.' The Maya's apocalypse. This is the moment of the apocalypto, this arrival, and it's a clever reversal to Willard's PBR departure in Apocalypse Now.

    Now what's even more unusual about Apocalypto is the birth of the myth Gibson suggests. What happens after the film is hinted at by the entire narrative. The hero, Jaguar Paw, is the sole survivor of a group of men conquered by this unnamed city who fights an almost supernatural battle to return home. The warrior killed by the fer-de-lance even underlines the omen. He even manages to slay one of the city's key warriors and take his knife. And through the omen that releases him to 'fate,' the eclipse that frees him, he leads the final two, the surviving younger warriors, to water where they encounter the apocalypse's arrival. These two warriors will bring the men (and their faith) to the city, where the tale of the now vanished escapee will be retold as a prophecy, as a myth that signaled the beginning of the end.

     

     

  • 311110.0000

    Look closely at the tattoo: The Mr. Peanut being shot through in front of the liquor store was a real rival gang member killed then immortalized in ink (peanut is slang for rival members). The ink was later seen by a cop on a routine search through images of gang members and their tattoos.

     

  • 311107.0939

     

    Thompson, 43, said some in the mob ran away backward so they could continue to watch the action.

  • 311102.0943

    As big pharma and little pharma stop their productions of the killer barbituate sodium thiopental, states with looming death penalties scramble to find what little remains, sometimes bypassing federal import scrutiny. As addicted to death as any heroin addict needing a fix, states that promote the penalty face determined angry voters who cast pivotal ballots over this strange and archaic method of punishment. Below is a quote from a recent NY Times article in which a California prison official thanks an Arizona counterpart for secretly shipping the drug across state lines. Without any hint of paradox he thanks him for being "life savers."

    "Other documents show close cooperation among the states. A California road trip that brought sodium thiopental from Arizona to San Quentin emerged in nearly 1,000 pages of documents released by the A.C.L.U. of Northern California late last year. They showed e-mails from Scott Kernan, under secretary for operations for California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, telling aides of a “secret and important mission,” and warning that it was “very political and media sensitive.” Mr. Kernan sent a thank-you note to Charles Flanagan, the deputy director of Arizona’s Department of Corrections, that read, “You guys in AZ are life savers,” adding, “by (sp) you a beer next time I get that way.”

     

  • 31197.1744

    Above image from article Why Thieves are Photographed in the book Professional Criminals of America 1886

    George Leonidas Leslie was an architect turned robber who was known to law enforcement and the underworld as a criminal genius.

    As a young man Leslie studied architecture at the University of Cincinnati. He graduated with high honors. After graduation and the deaths of both his parents in 1867, George gave up his architecture business, closed the family brewery, and moved to New York. Searching for something more exciting and challenging, he joined the criminal underground. For 10 years he was the most successful bank robber in New York state and was perhaps one of the most notorious in U.S. history. By 1874 he was at the head of the most successful gang of bankrobbers known. However, his involvement in these robberies was not known until after his death in 1878. As members of his gang were caught, they told police who had masterminded the robberies. Until then, George Leonidas Leslie lived a life among the rich and famous of his day.

    In 1872, Leslie came to Philadelphia, and, masquerading as an IRS agent by the name of George L. Howard, stayed at the boarding house of Mary Coath while planning the heist of the South Kensington National Bank. It was there he met her 15 year-old daughter, Mary Henrietta Coath. Young Mary was a dark haired beauty, well brought up and well educated, but she fell for Leslie, and they were married after a short courtship. George and Mary moved to New York, where they lived the life of a society couple, with no hint of George's true occupation. There is debate whether Mary was fully aware of criminal activities, or if she was blissfully ignorant. One source said she became aware of his true criminal occupation around 1874, and was only too happy to share in his fortunes. Another source says she was unaware of his activities until after he died. Mary returned to Philadelphia after Leslie's death, and died in her mother's boarding house in 1890, at the age of 35.

    Leslie would spend up to three years planning a robbery. After selecting his target (usually a bank), he would obtain, if possible, the building's blueprints. His architectural background allowed him to build scale models of his intended targets. He would sometimes rent a safe-deposit box, or open accounts with a particular bank, which gave him an excuse to spend time in the building and observe its layout and operation. Othertimes he would get one of his men hired as a watchman or porter, and this spy would gain the information for him.

    Leslie had a model of almost every make and model of vault and safe used in the United States. Before a robbery would be committed, Leslie would find out what type of vault or safe his target used, and then spent months figuring out how to open it without the combination. (Gangs of New York, 188) He used a device that he called the "little joker" that, when placed inside a bank safe's lock, could record the numbers that made up the lock's combination. This required George to enter the bank at least twice prior to executing a robbery, once to place the 'joker," and a second time, to retrieve it.

    When he was certain that the robbery could be committed without being caught, Leslie would select his accomplices and explain to them how to execute the robbery. Sometimes he would set up a room to resemble the inside of the target so that his men could practice the robbery while Leslie watched.

    From 1874-1884 it is estimated that Leslie's gang was responsible for 80% of America's bank robberies. (Gangs of New York, 186) During this time he planned and executed over a hundred robberies and stole between seven and twelve million dollars.

    In his later years he became a consultant for other robbers. For a price he would travel to wherever the robbery was to take place and plan how the operation should go. This part of his life did not last very long. He had fallen for a couple of women, and by 1878 was spending more time with them than he was on his work. His gang lost faith in his abilities, and on June 4, 1878, his partially decomposed body was found at Tramp Rock, Yonkers NY. His murder was never solved, although there is speculation it was related to Leslie's involvement with the sister of one of his associates.

  • 31192.2246

    U.C. Berkeley's Physicist Muller, a longtime critic of global warming assessments, presents his new findings and admits the models he questioned appear to be accurate. Link is to LA Times.

    an op-ed wondering if humans are veering past paradox