Archive for July 11th, 2007

Coney Island Arcade Photoblogging

You know, it’s a shame Fellini never discovered Coney Island…

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GAH! Suddenly I totally get why people are scared of clowns.

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Wholesome fun for the whole family! You know, the thought occurs that there is probably more than one of these things out there…

3 comments July 11th, 2007 at 11:48pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coney Island,NJ/NYC,Photoblogging

Breaking News Update!

Lyndon LaRouche is still nuts.

(h/t Rick Perlstein)

July 11th, 2007 at 07:46pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weirdness

Eli’s Obsession With The Google

My old blog is the #1 search result for alien moth spider chemical bond mystery.

I would love to know just what they were trying to find with that one…

2 comments July 11th, 2007 at 06:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Eli's Obsession With The Google

Echoes Of War

World War I is the gift that just keeps on giving…

YPRES, Belgium (AP) — The summer plowing season in Flanders Fields is a good time for Ivan Sinnaeve.

Known as ”Shrapnel Charlie,” he keeps alive memories of one of history’s bloodiest battles by melting down the World War I shells harvested by farmers and transforming them into toy soldiers which he calls ”soldiers of peace.”

The 54-year-old Belgian history buff has a huge following among war pilgrims visiting Flanders Fields, the battleground of 1914-1918.

Sinnaeve, a retired carpenter, is busier than usual this year, the 90th anniversary of the phase of fighting called the Battle of Passchendaele which saw some of the war’s worst trench warfare and its first use of mustard gas.

A half-million Britons, Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and Germans were killed or wounded, fighting among villages and farms over five miles of muddy Belgian terrain. Drawn out over five months from June to October of 1917, Passchendaele became a symbol of senseless killing.


He was commissioned by local and Scottish organizers to make the six-inch tall Scottish Black Watch Regiment figurines from shells found in fields where the regiment fought.

He said he always asks the farmers where they found the metal they bring to him, ”so I know which regiments were involved.” He thinks some of the iron may be from the shells fired at the regiments he is now commemorating as ”soldiers of peace.”


Few battlefields in the world still yield so many bombs, guns and bones — 200 tons a year around Ypres….

”You never know what my husband brings home; you can bet it’s not a bunch of flowers,” farmer Charlotte Cardoen-Descamps says, chuckling as she shows a fresh crop of shells, gas shells, grenades, and an unexploded basketball-size aerial bomb her husband Dirk plowed up.

Farmers have to use extra care, because some shells still leak toxic gases. However explosions are rare because the farmers have become experienced at handling the iron harvest.

”We got 17 pieces this plowing season, but we can expect even more later this year,” said Cardoen-Descamps. The ammunition is neatly stacked around the farmyard ready to be collected by bomb disposal experts.

”The nasty shells for us are the gas shells of course, because we can’t identify those anymore,” she said. ”The color code which gave away the content has rusted away, so if we shake it gently and we hear something slushing around — well, be careful.”


In Sinnaeve’s cramped townhouse, the living room, dining room and kitchen are littered with model soldiers, molds and tiny paint cans.

He has been making his models for 14 years, and says he earns no profit, happy just to know that ”I have soldiers all over the world.”

He got his nickname, Shrapnel Charlie, from a Canadian visitor who couldn’t pronounce his surname.

He makes nearly 2,000 soldiers a year, German and Allied, and is almost halfway to his goal of 55,000 — the number of missing on the famed Menen Gate memorial in Ypres.

Piet Chielens, head of the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, said the region is ”like the laboratory of war.”

”It was all out war, for the first time in its most absurd form,” he said. ”There was no real reason for doing this and there was no real strategy.”

Hopefully the iron harvest in Iraq won’t be as fruitful 90 years from now.

2 comments July 11th, 2007 at 11:53am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Art/Architecture,Coolness,War

Quote Of The Day

From an NYT letter writer:

As president, George W. Bush has squandered much, but nothing more foolish than the patience of the American people, nothing more precious than the blood of those he sends to carry out his folly.

Actually, you should follow the link – all three letters are very good.

July 11th, 2007 at 11:38am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Iraq,Quotes

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

Weekly World News goes all shaggy-dog on us:

CALCUTTA, India — When a drought-stricken farmer began digging for water, little did he know he’d tap into one of the most powerful forces in the universe!

“Due to a particularly severe summer, it hadn’t rained in the Jodphur District in more than seven  months,” forty-five-year-old Dhavi Rancour told Weekly World News.  “My crops were turning to dust and the livestock — well, they were more like ‘near-death’-stock.  Despite my prayers, I knew there was little chance of getting much needed water.”

That was when the desperate farmer — and father of fifteen — decided to take matters into his own hands…and those of his children.

“I had every member of the family go out with shovels, digging up our land, hoping to strike water,” he said. “I myself roamed from dawn to dusk with a divining rod, hoping the wooden stick would be drawn to water.”

After weeks of failure, the rod was suddenly seized by  an unimaginable force.

“It literally pulled me head over heels into a small gully alongside a dried-out stream,” Rancour said. “I immediately began digging. At sixteen feet, I could feel something moving just beneath the last layer of dried sediment.   With one more thrust of the shovel, I was through! I waited for a gush of cool, life-giving water.

“But that was not what I had found,” he said. “I had discovered something more — something much more.”

Abruptly, a vortex spun up from the hole — a gyrating maelstrom of pure energy that began to exert a pull on everything in the immediate vicinity.

“It began sucking objects of all shapes and sizes into the whirling abyss — sheep, withered corn stalks and barren berry bushes.  I clung to the trunk of a large tree as the strange force tore planks of wood from my barn and reduced them to splinters! The roots of the tree began to leave the Earth, and as I was drawn ever closer to the great maw I prayed once again — for salvation!”

Suddenly, the powerful vortex dislodged a boulder that was much larger than its aperture. As the granite chunk flew in, it sealed the well.  A grateful Rancour dropped to the ground and hurriedly piled additional stones atop the opening to ensure it remained closed.

“Oddly enough, the removal of the boulder had opened up an underground stream, giving us water at last,” Rancour revealed.  “Whatever that vortex was, it was an instance of an irresistible force meeting many movable objects.”

Though geologists were not immediately able to provide Weekly World News with an explanation, one suggested that Mr. Rancour may have inadvertently uncovered the black hole of Calcutta.

Heh heh heh…

July 11th, 2007 at 07:34am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News

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