George Lucas | SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG!

The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

 

The Star Wars Holiday Special is a 1978 American television special set in the Star Wars galaxy. It was one of the first official Star Wars spin-offs, and was directed by Steve Binder. The show was broadcast in its entirety only once, in the United States and Canada, November 17, 1978, on the U.S. television network CBS from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (EST), and on the Canadian television network CTV from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time.

In the storyline that ties the special together, Chewbacca and Han Solo visit Kashyyyk, Chewbacca’s home world, to celebrate Life Day. Along the way they are pursued by agents of the Galactic Empire, who are searching for members of the Rebel Alliance on the planet. The special introduces three members of Chewbacca’s family: his father Itchy, his wife Malla, and his son Lumpy (Later retconned to Attichitcuk, Mallatobuck, and Lumpawarrump, respectively).

During the special, scenes also take place in outer space and in spacecraft including the Millennium Falcon and an Imperial Star Destroyer. The variety-show segments and cartoon introduce a few other locales, such as a cantina on the desert planet of Tatooine and a gooey, reddish ocean planet known as Panna.

The program also features many other Star Wars characters, including Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, R2-D2, Darth Vader, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa (who sings the film’s “theme song”, set to the music of John WilliamsStar Wars theme, near the end). The program includes stock footage from Star Wars,and also features a cartoon produced by Toronto-based Nelvana that officially introduces the bounty hunter Boba Fett.

The special is notorious for its negative reception.Anthony Daniels, in a documentary promoting the worldwide tour of Star Wars: In Concert, notes with a laugh that the Star Wars universe includes “The horrible Holiday Special that nobody talks about”. George Lucas did not have significant involvement with the film’s production, and was unhappy with the results. David Acomba, a classmate of Lucas’ at USC film school, had been selected to direct the special, but he chose to leave the project, a decision supported by Lucas.

The Star Wars Holiday Special has never been re-telecast or officially released on home video. It has therefore become something of a cultural legend, due to the “underground” quality of its existence. It has been viewed and distributed in off-air recordings made from its original telecast by fans, which were later adapted to content-sharing websites via the Internet.


George Lucas himself has rarely commented on the special, or even acknowledged its existence. He is said to have nothing but the utmost contempt for it. For instance, Tom Burman, one of the costume designers for the holiday special, has said that Lucas once told him that he was very disappointed with the final product.

At one Australian fan convention, he reportedly said “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.” In an online chat with fans, he reportedly said: “The Holiday Special does not represent my vision for Star Wars.” In an interview with Maxim in May 2002, Maxim asked the question, “Any plans for a Special Edition of the Holiday Special?” In response, Lucas said, “Right. That’s one of those things that happened, and I just have to live with it.”

Later, in a May 2005 interview with StaticMultimedia.com, Lucas was asked if the film had soured him on working in television. He replied: “The special from 1978 really didn’t have much to do with us, you know. I can’t remember what network it was on, but it was a thing that they did. We kind of let them do it. It was done by… I can’t even remember who the group was, but they were variety TV guys. We let them use the characters and stuff and that probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but you learn from those experiences.”

The official Star Wars site states that the holiday special “delivered mixed results,” and states that the highlight of the special was the Boba Fett animated segment.[6] The official site also says, when referring to the fan interest in seeing the Wookiees on screen, “the 1978 Holiday Special didn’t cut it.”[7] When asked at a fan convention, “So, you don’t like it (the holiday special) either?”, Lucasfilm head of content and fan relations, Steve Sansweet replied “No. I mean, I like the ten minute introduction of Boba Fett, but that’s about it.” The official site also refers to the Boba Fett animated segment as “a cult classic”.

On February 8, 2006, Harrison Ford made an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and during the interview, Conan O’Brien brought up the special, and began asking various questions regarding it, such as inquiring whether he remembered making it. Ford said nothing, but looked away and shook his head nervously, then saying he had no memory of it whatsoever and it, therefore, “doesn’t exist.” The audience responded with laughter and applause. O’Brien then asked Ford what he would think if he played a clip of the special on the show, Ford jokingly grabbed him, then said that “[he’d] never seen it, maybe it’ll be nice.” Humorously acting anxious and distracted, Ford suffered through the clip (which featured a scene showing Ford as Han Solo telling Chewbacca and his wife that they are “like family” to him), and then muttered a gruff, sarcastic “thank you” to O’Brien, before continuing with the interview to promote his then newest film, Firewall.

On the 2010 television program Times Talk, New York Times columnist David Carr asked Carrie Fisher about the Holiday Special; she said that she made George Lucas give her a copy of the Special in exchange for recording DVD commentary for the Star Wars films. She added that she shows it at parties, “mainly at the end of the night when she wants people to leave.”

File under Comedy, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB, So Wrong!

Barack Obama Dyes

  • Within hours of the comment’s appearance, Zuckerberg’s fan page disappeared completely from the Facebook network. (Another page, not updated since December, is still online.)The security breach has some Facebook users wondering how well their personal info is being safeguarded, if even the company’s billionaire boss can’t keep his account protected.

    In a status update Tuesday, someone writing under Zuckerberg’s name declared: “Let the hacking begin: If Facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn’t Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a ‘social business’ the way Nobel Price winner Muhammad Yunus described it [sic]?”

  • Despite the yuck factor, wearing raw denim jeans for 15 months straight without washing them doesn’t pose any health risks for healthy people, according to a student-professor team that tested a pair of those jeans at the University of Alberta.
  • In the six months since it launched Exotic Taco Wednesdays, Boca Tacos y Tequila has served up python, alligator, elk, kangaroo and rattlesnake.Frog legs, turtle, duck and Rocky Mountain oysters have also made appearances.

    “We’ve done just about anything we can get our hands on,” said owner Bryan Mazon. “Every Wednesday we do something a little bit different.”

    Last week he announced on Boca’s Facebook page that the UA-area taco shop was accepting prepaid orders for African lion, to be served on Feb. 16. Orders must be placed by 3 p.m. Feb. 7.

    “I’ve gotten a lot of questions, like if it’s legal,” said Mazon, adding that a few lion tacos have been reserved so far. “We’re still a month out, too.”

    According to the Food and Drug Administration, lion and other game meat can be sold as long as the species isn’t endangered.

  • According to Mel Smith—friend of George Lucas and director of Radioland Murders—the creator of Star Wars is “buying up the film rights to dead actors.” He says that Lucas plans to resurrect them in future movies using 3D technology: George has been buying up the film rights to dead actors in the hope of using computer trickery to put them all together, so you’d have Orson Welles and Barbara Stanwyck alongside today’s stars.

  • The fish swimming through waterways around big cities could be subjected to doses of humans’ “happy hormone,” a new study suggests.Significant quantities of anti-depressants are finding their way into the water around Montreal and affecting the fishes’ tissue and brain activity, says Dr. Sebastien Sauve, the study’s lead researcher.

  • Organisms with albino mutations are pretty weird in general, but albino plants are extra weird.Ultra-rare albino redwood trees completely lack the green pigment chlorophyll, which they need to live (by photosynthesizing nutrients from light). These plants are literally vampires. They are pale (everwhite instead of evergreen), and they survive by sucking the life from other trees.

  • BOULDER, Colo. — An artistic whodunnit that involves 500-pound sculptures appearing overnight and cryptic drawings delivered by mail is delighting this university town.The mystery began last month when Donna Coughlin glanced out the window in the wee hours and thought, “What is that?”

    It was a 15-foot-tall sculpture and had been silently placed on her front lawn. The artwork consists of a steel-reinforced post set in a concrete base. At the top is a collage of rusty chains and metal objects, a padlock, a socket wrench and a solar light that illuminates it after dark.

    “Detectives can’t figure out how they got the darn thing in there without leaving any drag marks behind,” Boulder Police Cmdr. Kim Stewart told the Daily Camera newspaper.

  • The Comics Code Authority was established in 1954 in response to a public outcry over violence in comics, including Congressional hearings about the bad influence the industry had on American kids. After the creation of the CCA “seal,” major outlets wouldn’t carry a comic unless it had the Code on the front.The seal became the standard in the comics publishing industry for decades. But that changed in 2001, when Marvel Comics stopped using the CCA and implemented its own ratings system in response to one of its comics being denied approval.

    But Pellerito said Archie’s decision has nothing to do with content, and there will be no editorial change when the code leaves the front of the Archie books.

    “The code never affected us editorially the way I think it did other companies,” he said. “You know, we aren’t about to start stuffing bodies into refrigerators or anything. We have to answer to Archie fans.”

  • Scientists discover chlorophyll-producing sea slug that can carry out photosynthesis using genes swiped from plants.
  • The House Republicans’ first major technology initiative is about to be unveiled: a push to force Internet companies to keep track of what their users are doing.A House panel chaired by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin is scheduled to hold a hearing tomorrow morning to discuss forcing Internet providers, and perhaps Web companies as well, to store records of their users’ activities for later review by police.

  • A New Zealand woman was temporarily partially paralyzed by a hickey on her neck from her amorous partner, AFP reported Friday.The 44-year-old woman went to the emergency department of Middlemore Hospital in Auckland last year after experiencing loss of movement in her left arm while watching television, doctors reported in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

    Doctors concluded the woman had suffered a mild stroke but were puzzled about its cause until they found a small vertical bruise on her neck near a major artery, a hickey, she received a few days earlier.

    “Because it was a love bite there would be a lot of suction,” one of the doctors who treated her, Teddy Wu, told the Christchurch Press.

  • An Argentine woman survived after jumping from the 23rd floor of a downtown Buenos Aires hotel on Monday, landing on a taxi moments after the driver dashed to safety, the state news agency reported.The 33-year-old woman was in the intensive care ward of a Buenos Aires hospital after the suicide attempt, the Telam agency said.

    Taxi driver Miguel Cajal said he got out of his parked taxi and ran for safety when he saw a policeman looking up at the woman, who was on an upper floor of the Panamericano hotel.

    “If I hadn’t got out, I’d be dead,” Cajal, 39, told local television, which showed pictures of his mangled vehicle, its windshield and roof crushed by the impact of the woman’s fall.

  • Here are links to PDFs of various Manuals, General Orders, and Protocols of the Richmond Police Department. You can check them out for a better understanding of what the police are and are not supposed to be doing. This can help with fully understanding your rights, as well as when engaged in activities such as copwatching. It is important for citizens to know when cops are breaking their own rules so we can hold them accountable.
  • This morning, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security held a hearing on mandatory Internet data retention, once again reviving the debate over whether Congress should pass legislation to force ISPs and telecom providers to log information about how users communicate and use the Internet. The hearing, awash with rhetoric about targeting Internet crime and including an unexpected condemnation of EFF’s privacy advocacy, was purportedly an information- and fact-finding hearing to explore the issue of data retention and consider what Congress’ role should be. However, it’s already clear where the new House Judiciary Chairman, Representative Lamar Smith, stands on the issue: he introduced data retention legislation just last year and likely will do so again this year.
  • Security vendor Imperva today blogged about a hacker who claims to have access to and control over several top dot-gov, dot-mil and dot-edu Web sites. I’ve seen some of the back-end evidence of his hacks, so it doesn’t seem like he’s making this up. Perhaps out of deference to the federal government, the Imperva folks blocked out the best part of that screen shot — the actual names of the Web site domains that this hacker is selling. For example, the hacker is advertising full control and root access to cecom.army.mil, a site whose stated purpose is “to develop, acquire, provide and sustain world-class…systems and Battle Command capabilities for the joint warfighter.” It can be yours, for just $499 (sorry, no credit cards accepted; only the virtual currency Liberty Reserve).
  • I received a letter that ends, as far as I am concerned, the discussion about 3D. It doesn’t work with our brains and it never will.The notion that we are asked to pay a premium to witness an inferior and inherently brain-confusing image is outrageous. The case is closed.

  • To save a busy housewife from frequent annoyance by unwelcome callers, a doorbell that works only upon the insertion of a dime is soon to be marketed. The coin slides into an inside receptacle, where it closes an electric contact that permits the bell to be rung. If the caller proves to be a friend, the dime is returned as the guest enters; if the visitor is a stranger or one to whom entrance is refused, the money is retained. Dimes kept by the device provide a fund for charities.
  • Drew Friedman sees the freaks in all of us. Arguably the world’s greatest living caricaturist, his painstakingly-rendered, sweat-beaded, liver-spotted, and uncanny portraits have appeared in RAW, Esquire, The New Yorker, MAD, Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Observer.
  • In a far flung corner of northern Afghanistan, Aziza reaches into the dark wooden cupboard, rummages around, and pulls out a small lump of something wrapped in plastic.She unwraps it, breaking off a small chunk as if it were chocolate, and feeds it to four-year-old son, Omaidullah. It’s his breakfast — a lump of pure opium.

    “If I don’t give him opium he doesn’t sleep,” she says. “And he doesn’t let me work.”

  • In February, 2009, the US Department of Justice announced that it would no longer raid medical marijuana dispensaries that abided by state laws, sparking a boom in quasi-legal cannabis investments that I detail today in “Joint Ventures” (my feature from the January/February print magazine that’s now online). Even so, the fast-growing grey-market in ganja could be about to get pruned. The Internal Revenue Service is reportedly auditing some of California’s largest and most reputable medical pot dispensaries, examining their compliance with an obscure section of tax law aimed at drug dealers. Dispensary owners say that the provision, if strictly applied, could effectively snuff out the nation’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry.
  • Imagine being attacked by one of your own hands, which repeatedly tries to slap and punch you. Or you go into a shop and when you try to turn right, one of your legs decides it wants to go left, leaving you walking round in circles.Last summer I met 55-year-old Karen Byrne in New Jersey, who suffers from Alien Hand Syndrome.

    Her left hand, and occasionally her left leg, behaves as if it were under the control of an alien intelligence.

  • The mad scientists at Volkswagen have wheeled out a bullet-shaped diesel-electric plug-in hybrid that gets a stunning 261 mpg. VW claims it is the most fuel-efficient hybrid ever, and it shows what’s possible when you let your engineers run wild.
  • So this is why all of my vegetarian friends swear by Taco Bell. That beef they’re selling? It’s mostly not beef.That’s according to an Alabama law firm, which, on behalf of a California woman, is suing the chain for false advertising of products that contain “seasoned ground beef” or “seasoned beef.” After having the Taco Bell “meat mixture” tested, lawyers claim it contains less than 35 percent meat

  • Science has show that for every Eminem, there are approximately 598,467 white people that try to rap but can’t. This is devoted to bringing you the best of the worst.
  • Zaire Paige, 24, was hit with 107 years to life for killing Lethania Garcia and wounding four others in a brazen October 2008 Fort Greene shootout.But before getting the maximum possible sentence, Paige tried to get one last dig in at the judge, Vincent Del Giudice, telling him, “With all due respect and from the bottom of my heart, suck my d—.”

    Without missing a beat, Del Diudice fired off a comeback and then tough justice.

    “I respectfully decline your offer,” the judge dead-panned. “You are a danger to all civilized members of society.”

  • Dissatisfied when Las Vegas Exclusive Personals didn’t arrange for a refund, Blackman said he contacted Metro Police and was told he faced arrest for such conduct and was advised to contact the Better Business Bureau.Instead, after returning home he filed suit in federal court in New York, charging “An escort did an illegal sexual act on me during her paid service to me” and “I almost had gotten arrested.”

    Blackman said he now needs medical treatment for a mental condition related to the incident.

    In the suit, which he filed without an attorney, Blackman said: “I would like the court to close the business. I also would like to get my $275 payment back and a $1.8 million verdict for the tragic event that happened.”

  • Lahti’s husband, Josh Lahti, broadcast his motives when he was contacted by a reporter last week. “That’s awesome!” Josh Lahti crowed to The Associated Press. “I won’t have to pay child support.”
  • More radical regime draconian powers that Obama gives to himself as he declares detention for “pre-future” crimes that have not been committed. Obama wants to permanantly hold American citizens without trial and gave himself the power to do so. Now, the powers -to-be behind the scenes of the New World Order can read your mind and predict the future. Americas new Regime change. The change we can believe in?
  • The former undercover policeman claims that sexual relationships with activists were sanctioned for both men and women officers infiltrating anarchist, leftwing and environmental groups.Sex was a tool to help officers blend in, the officer claimed, and was widely used as a technique to glean intelligence. His comments contradict claims last week from the Association of Chief Police Officers that operatives were absolutely forbidden to sleep with activists.

  • In National Crystal Meth Hallucination League action, Rob Langer goes 20 rounds in a marathon 2-day match up against an army of fire-breathing snakes.
  • Photos of President Obama released this week are prompting a feverish round of “does he or doesn’t he” speculation about whether our commander in chief dyed his hair.The visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao has provided the nation’s pundits and politicians with plenty of serious talking points. From the potential threat posed by China’s increasingly sophisticated military to the impact that Beijing’s monetary policies have on the U.S. economy, there is no shortage of weighty issues. So it may be no surprise that, after Wednesday’s White House dinner for Hu, the question spiking interest on the Web is about … Obama’s hair.

    Recent before-and-after photos published by outlets including England’s Daily Mail online, Gawker and a number of print tabloids apparently illustrate a recent pronounced darkening of the president’s coif.

  • The Pig Farmer is a short animated cartoon by Nick Cross. A simple tale of a wayward soul, awash in an ocean of tragedy and regret.
    Thanks Billoney
  • He says, “This is my new image…You can expect the unexpected. I feel comfortable with black people lightening their skin. They want a different look. It’s tantamount to white people getting a sun tan.”Um, is it really “tantamount”, Vybz? Or is it….crazyface.
    Since Vybz also launched his own brand of soap which he credits with this reverse-suntan…I’m leaning towards the latter.

  • You will notice this is a commercial for Air Force Medevac division but watch for yourself as to what this video contains and ask yourself a couple questions. Why does it depict what appears to be an American city completely in ruins with people on a bridge that is collapsing which looks eerily similar to scenes of the film 2012? The people on the bridge are hurt and airlifted out right before the bridge collapses which would indicate a sudden and catastrophic event such as a nuclear strike, asteroid impact or perhaps a giant 10.0 earthquake. Why is this imagery used in such a way?Secondly, the end theme as always is “It’s not science fiction, it’s what we do every day”. Ok, well why when the plane fly’s away at the end are we treated to a scene straight out of transformers and CGI, I have never seen an Air Force plane capable of such transformation, so how is it NOT science fiction?

  • “I’ve always been in favor of distracted driving being regulated, based on the common sense that anyone guiding around a 3,000-pound weapon should have full attention focused while behind the wheel. But attempting to leash walkers and joggers is ridiculous and creepily intrusive,” the Standard Examiner’s Mark Shenefelt wrote in a blog post. “Clumsy or air-headed pedestrians are a danger mostly to themselves, unlike drivers of speeding autos. It’s laughable that strapped local governments anywhere would see any sanity in having their police officers spend time looking to bust scofflaw gadget pedestrians.”

  • Produced by parsing Wikipedia pages for links in the same sentence as “influence” and “inspire”, and recursing over those containing “metal” and “genre” or “band”. Start point is “Death Metal”. Edges are undirected as yet, due to the difficulty of parsing variants on “influences” and “influenced by” etc, but indicate that one node is at least related to another.
  • Players in Beautiful Escape take on the role of Verge, a lonely 20-something sadist who’s hopelessly in love with an indifferent boy called Daily. Both Verge and Daily are “Dungeoneers”–an online group whose members have strong feelings about the fine art of building a dungeon, imprisoning people inside it, and then filming their attempted escape through a gauntlet of razorblades, blowtorches, fake doors, and rape traps. They then upload their films to the Dungeoneers site.

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Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on January 26, 2011

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Second Grade Schoolroom Sexcapades

    • A former San Antonio police officer accused of raping a transsexual prostitute while on duty was ordered Tuesday to spend a year in jail.

      Attorneys for Craig Nash, 39, had asked state District Judge Lori Valenzuela for deferred adjudication probation during the brief sentencing hearing, pointing out that he otherwise had been commended for his service during his six years with the department.

      Prosecutors sought the maximum one-year sentence for the official oppression charge, which is a Class A misdemeanor.

      As part of a plea agreement, Nash waived an indictment last month and pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor. In exchange, prosecutors agreed not to pursue a felony charge of sexual assault by a police officer, which had a maximum sentence of life in prison.

    • Thanks Billoney
    • After nine years of billions of dollars in “aid,” they said, that money has gone to silence people and to create a culture of dependence among the hungry, and yet poverty is up to 42% now. The International Committee of the Red Cross says that Afghanistan is the worst it’s been in 30 years (about as long, I might add, as we’ve been helping them out). A report from 29 NGOs, they pointed out, called “Nowhere to Turn,” found that there seems to be no end in sight to the night raids and arming of militias.

      To the argument that the Taliban would be worse, they pointed out that the war is leading many to join and call themselves the Taliban in order to fight the foreigners and are thereby being radicalized. What’s not being addressed, they said, are the roots of terrorism: poverty, hate, revenge, anger, and the lack of meaningful relationships between peoples.

    • In his last months, King was organizing the most militant project of his life: the Poor People’s Campaign. He crisscrossed the country to assemble “a multiracial army of the poor” that would descend on Washington–engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience at the Capitol, if need be–until Congress enacted a poor people’s bill of rights. Reader’s Digest warned of an “insurrection.”

      King’s economic bill of rights called for massive government jobs programs to rebuild America’s cities. He saw a crying need to confront a Congress that had demonstrated its “hostility to the poor”–appropriating “military funds with alacrity and generosity,” but providing “poverty funds with miserliness.”

      How familiar that sounds today, more than a quarter-century after King’s efforts on behalf of the poor people’s mobilization were cut short by an assassin’s bullet.

    • Austrian authorities are searching for a bank robber who uses an unusual disguise: He wears a Barack Obama mask during his holdups.
    • “Sure, I could imagine a scenario where you mix rabies with a flu virus to get airborne transmission, a measles virus to get personality changes, the encephalitis virus to cook your brain with fever”—and thus increase aggression even further—”and throw in the ebola virus to cause you to bleed from your guts. Combine all these things, and you’ll [get] something like a zombie virus,” she said
    • He recalls, “George Lucas sits down and seriously proceeds to talk for around 25 minutes about how he thinks the world is gonna end in the year 2012, like, for real. He thinks it.

      “He’s going on about the tectonic plates and all the time Spielberg is, like, rolling his eyes, like, ’My nerdy friend won’t shut up, I’m sorry…’

    • “According to the allegation, the first incident involved several students who undressed, at least partially, while acting disruptively in the classroom,” the letter read, according to KRON. “The second incident concerned two students who engaged in sexually explicit behavior, also in the classroom.”

      Local media reported that in the second incident, a boy and a girl — both second-graders — performed oral sex on each other. Both incidents occurred in the same classroom, and the teacher is believed to have been present at the time, Flint said. He said the teacher is not accused of taking part in or orchestrating the incidents.

      “He’s saying he has no knowledge of the reports and we have to square these different stories and see how we can reconcile them,” Flint told KGO, the ABC station in San Francisco.

      “Our early findings don’t indicate that anyone was coerced or forced into these acts. We do think it involved curiosity,” Flint said.

    • It’s been described as Israel’s ‘big ears’. A huge facility where it’s claimed phone calls and e-mails from all across the Middle East and beyond, can be monitored for intelligence. Hidden from prying eyes for decades in the desert, it’s become a focus for investigative journalists.
    • Nowadays, this wall at Bowery and East Houston St. is one of the city’s more high-profile showcases for street art — though to purists, it’s completely commercialized. Last spring, amid much hoopla, Shepard Fairey of Obama “HOPE” poster fame, threw up a wheat-paste work at the site, only to see graffiti heads savagely mutilate it.

      But back in 1990, when Clayton Patterson created the mural at right, the wall had sat quietly, painted all white, for several years.

      “Keith Haring kind of turned it on in the early 1980’s, when he did that big orange day-glo that just lit that corner up,” Patterson recalled. There were a few other murals after Haring’s, but then the concrete was cordoned off behind a chain-link fence.

    • I bought some of the new diet Mountain Dew at the store. I was checking the label and noticed at the bottom of the ingredients list it reads PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE.

      Ok, so what does this mean? First of all phenylalanine, is sold for its reputed analgesic and antidepressant effects.

      What is an analgesic? Analgesic is another word for a painkiller.The drug effects your peripheral and central nervous system. This is the same class of drugs that contains opiates such as morphine and opium. This is heavy stuff for modern day Mountain Dew?

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    The Secret Teachings Of All Ages

    • For once, a book which really lives up to its title. Hall self-published this massive tome in 1928, consisting of about 200 legal-sized pages in 8 point type; it is literally his magnum opus. Each of the nearly 50 chapters is so dense with information that it is the equivalent of an entire short book. If you read this book in its entirety you will be in a good position to dive into subjects such as the Qabbala, Alchemy, Tarot, Ceremonial Magic, Neo-Platonic Philosophy, Mystery Religions, and the theory of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry. Although there are some questionable and controversial parts of the book, such as the outdated material on Islam, the portion on the Bacon-Shakespeare hypothesis, and Hall’s conspiracy theory of history as driven by an elite cabal of roving immortals, they are far out-weighed by the comprehensive information here on other subjects.
    • “I don’t think you’d feel very much,” says one physicist. Instant death, insists another. One suggests it would feel like 100 billion “pin pricks,” which doesn’t sound fun. How exactly would it feel to have the force of “an aircraft carrier moving at 11 knots” condensed into the size of a sub-atomic particle running through your hand? No one knows, it seems, and no one wants to find out.
    • As Arndt explains, the infrequent smokers may have been responding to thoughts of death by trying to reduce their own vulnerability. But students who were heavy smokers reacted to thoughts of death by taking even harder drags on their cigarettes. Arndt suggests they might have been sub­conscious­ly attempting to dispel a negative mood with an enjoyable activity. Although the reason is unclear, the finding suggests that the psychology involved in smoking and thinking about death is more complicated than previously assumed. Therefore, graphic warning labels on cigarettes might not have the intended effect on everyone who sees them.
    • News that George Lucas is re-releasing his Star Wars franchise in 3-D has created a schism within one of the world’s most passionate fan communities. Starting in 2012 with “Episode 1, The Phantom Menace,” Lucas will release a Star Wars film in 3D every year ending with “Return of the Jedi.” The reaction from diehards has been both swift and diverse.
    • A man died after downing a pint of vodka in four seconds, an inquest heard. Richard Davies, 29, from Thornaby, near Stockton, had been drinking with friends before the alcohol knocked him unconscious in January. Mr Davies was found not breathing in a pool of his own blood, and died hours later.
    • ‘Thanks to Reggie (that’s Obama’s personal aide), my rap palate has greatly improved. Jay-Z used to be sort of what predominated, but now I’ve got a little Nas and a little Lil Wayne and some other stuff, but I would not claim to be an expert. Malia and Sasha are now getting old enough to where they start hipping me to things. Music is still a great source of joy and occasional solace in the midst of what can be some difficult days.’
    • We always hear about celebrities checking into rehab for their various addictions, expletive-laden tirades, or episodes of “exhaustion.” Lindsay Lohan just checked in yesterday for the eighth time. Where do they disappear to while trying to get clean? Let’s look.
    • Swiftboaters beware! Truthy helps you understand how memes spread on Twitter. With our images and statistics, you can help identify political misinformation and other astroturfing.
    • Thanks Carlen Altman
    • The pair detailed how they managed it in a paper published in the International Journal of Social Robotics. Two robots — one black and one red — were taught to play hide and seek. The black, hider, robot chose from three different hiding places, and the red, seeker, robot had to find him using clues left by knocked-over colored markers positioned along the paths to the hiding places. However, unbeknownst to the poor red seeker, the black robot had a trick up its sleeve. Once it had passed the colored markers, it shifted direction and hid in an entirely different location, leaving behind it a false trail that managed to fool the red robot in 75 percent of the 20 trials that the researchers ran. The five failed trails resulted from the black robots’ difficulty in knocking over the correct markers.
    • Because sexual climax releases dopamine in the brain, the brain can become just as addicted to pornography as it can be to drugs. And like drug use, pornography addiction can intensify, with the person’s tastes becoming more and more extreme as the brain changes itself to compensate for accumulations of the protein delta FosB in neurons. As well, the neural reward networks are strengthened every time the porn addict satisfies his addiction.
    • Workaday staple and fashion favourite, blue jeans have conquered the planet. But were they born in the textile mills of New Hampshire, on France’s southern coast or the looms of north Italy? Art historians believe they have found a piece of the centuries-old puzzle in the work of a newly discovered 17th-century north Italian artist, dubbed the “Master of the Blue Jeans”, whose paintings went on show in Paris this week.
    • Outrageously, she has been appointed as a “special advisor” to design and lead the bureau, but the administration has not disclosed the exact length of her term. There will be no Senate confirmation hearings, nor will the public or the financial industry be allowed to comment on her appointment. We simply are expected to accept the appointment of an enormously powerful regulator without question, and without regard to the constitutional requirement that the Senate advise and consent with regard to her appointment. This means you, as a voter and citizen, effectively have no say whatsoever for the duration of her appointment. In the meantime, she has unprecedented new powers over private business decisions.
    • But Mr. Obama’s critics say that whether statutory authorization exists for his counterterrorism policies is just a legalistic point. The core problem with Mr. Bush’s approach, they argue, was that it trammeled individual rights. And they say Mr. Obama’s policies have not changed that. ”President Obama may mouth very different rhetoric,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. ”He may have a more complicated process with members of Congress. But in the end, there is no substantive break from the policies of the Bush administration.”
    • Forty-five per cent of Roman Catholics who participated in the study didn’t know that, according to church teaching, the bread and wine used in Holy Communion is not just a symbol, but becomes the body and blood of Christ.
    • Can too much caffeine make you insane – and mentally unstable enough to unknowingly kill someone? That’s a question a Newport, Kentucky, jury will have to answer when they eventually deliberate in the trial of a man whose lawyer is expected to claim that too much soda, caffeine-laced diet pills and the energy drink No Fear – combined with sleep deprivation – meant he had no idea what he was doing when he killed his wife.

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    Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on September 30, 2010

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