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Karen Moline is a writer, author, novelist, ghostwriter, journalist, adoption reform advocate.

Getting Boggy With It

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There’s a fascinating article in the May issue of Smithsonian magazine about bog bodies–ancient humans so well-preserved you can still see the expressions on their faces as they left this world for the next. The serenity on this man’s face is astonishing.

Little is know about how they lived, as their DNA is nearly impossible to extract due to the acids that preserved their skin, but researchers can use increasingly sophisticated technology to ferret out what they can. No one knows if Tollund Man, he of the peaceful countenance, was killed in a ritual sacrifice, or what caused his death.

Will anyone care about us, two or three thousand years from now?

Read more here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/europe-bog-bodies-reveal-secrets-180962770/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=socialmedia

 

The Unicorn Lives

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Coffee used to cost fifty cents and come in blue-and-white cups from the corner deli. It tasted like crap but it got you moving.

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Now coffee costs ten times as much and comes in whatever color cups Starbucks has made to annoy so-called Christians who are fighting the (non)war on Xmas all year long.

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Enter the unicorn.

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No, not that one. This one. I guess Starbucks is looking to up the profits this quarter, as they introduced the most vile drink ever concocted–and are selling it only (and mercifully) for a very limited time. Smart marketing, for sure. The Unicorn Frappuccino has gone viral. The pink and blue sludge that changes from sweet to sour is a must-buy.

Until you taste it.

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My son got one on the way home from school yesterday. He asked me to taste it. I refused. He begged. I caved. I sipped. I gagged. Honestly, there are no words to describe the chemical awfulness of this liquid.

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I’d rather drink swamp water after all of Trump’s sycophantic suck-ups in the White House have waded through it. You have been warned.

Bye-Bye Billy

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Bill O’Reilly has been spouting lies, spin, innuendo, racism, bigotry, misogyny, and other assorted filth for 20 years. So why now? Fox brass knew about his millions of hush-money payouts yet evidently didn’t care as they signed him on for many more years of bilge-spouting for profit. What was the tipping point?

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I don’t believe for a nano-second that advertiser boycotts or social media outrage was the primary reason. Nope. I look to the sky instead. As in, Sky News. Rupert Murdoch was thwarted in this total takeover bid in 2011 when the phone-hacking scandal of his ethics-challenged rags in the UK was throttling full-steam-ahead. Now, he’s trying to buy it again. You think the UK regulators who gave him the boot the first time will look kindly upon a corporation knowingly aiding and abetting an employee who buys the silence of multiple accusers? Whose brass have always looked the other way? The execrable Bill Shine, Roger Ailes’ trusted lieutenant, is still in charge there, right?

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Imagine a world, if you will, without Murdoch slime in it.

Way, way too late to undo the damage.

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But at least one less swamp creature will be terrorizing the locals.

The Chili Defense

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Bad enough that the “Twinkie Defense” was alleged to have been used by Dan White’s legal team to defend his cold-blooded murder of San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone in 1978 in order to downplay the severity of his crime and receive a lighter sentence. (Although, I must add, it seems this is a myth, as the jury didn’t consider junk food while convicting this killer only of voluntary manslaughter.  Read more here: http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Myth-of-the-Twinkie-defense-The-verdict-in-2511152.php)

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Now, the heinous blabbermouth of InfoWars, the pathologically lying Alex Jones, is claiming the Chili Defense. Jones is fighting in court to retain custody of his three children, even though I can’t understand why any judge in this country would listen to Jones’ ranting, hateful denials of the Sandy Hook Massacre, among many other despicable statements, and deem him fit to parent his children. He shouldn’t be allowed to parent a family of cockroaches or plague-carrying rats. (Still, you have to wonder why his ex-wife didn’t get custody after their divorce in 2015.)

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Anyway, Jones’ lawyer is getting desperate. First it was claimed that Jones is but a “performance artist” and that his ranting and raving on air is merely an act–claims Jones himself refuted a few hours later. (Guess he doesn’t want to piss off the equally deranged fans who support him.) Then, when Jones couldn’t remember how old his children are, or other basic facts about them, his lawyer said it was because  “he had a big bowl of chili for lunch.”

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Figures that a vile fantasist on-air would have a vile fantasist in court, right?

Pulitzer Storm

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Am thrilled that David Farenthold won a Pulitzer for his spectacular reporting for the Washington Post, and am equally thrilled that the Storm Lake Times, of Buena Vista County, Iowa, won one, too

A family-run biweekly with a circulation hovering around 3,000, this little paper Davids the Goliaths of corrupt corporations wreaking havoc on the locals and the landscape,

“We’ve always believed that the Storm Lakes Times should be as good at covering Storm Lake as the New York Times is at covering New York,” said editor-in-chief, Art Cullen. “There’s no reason why an editorial written in Iowa shouldn’t be as good as an editorial written in Washington.”

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Go forth, Cullens!

Please, Sir, I Want S’More

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“Why not have some fun with matzah?” says Manischewitz CEO David Sugarman.

Excuse me, but two words that don’t normally go together are “matzah” and “fun.”

Thanks to foodies who don’t look at the eight days of Passover as not just a time for reflection on the Exodus but as a guaranteed diet-helper–really, there is only so much matzah a human body can tolerate–there are now more options than ever to show off your hipster skills in the kitchen.

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Battle lines must be drawn.  Nothing, not even chocolate and marshmallows,  will undo the matzahness of matzah.

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Unless it looks like this.

Tim Pigott-Smith RIP

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One of the best mini-series villains of all time was Major Ronald Merrick, played with sneering desperation by Tim Pigott-Smith in the 1984 hit, The Jewel in the Crown.

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His major, furiously driven by the knowledge that he would never measure up in the super-stratified society of the English upper-crusties in India during World War II, still had that one indelible moment of pure, aching vulnerability when Daphne Manners gently turned down his proposal of marriage. He was doomed, and he knew it. (Especially when compared to the suave heartthrob, Charles Dance.)

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Pigott-Smith was an incredibly versatile actor, and starred in 2015 as King Charles III on Broadway in the eponymous play that brought him even more acclaim in this country. He still had the aura of youthfulness, as Glenn O’Brien did (my obit yesterday), so it was a shock to see that he died suddenly at the age of 70.

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There is something about that age, I guess. (Alan Rickman nearly made it. I still miss him terribly.)

Glenn O’Brien RIP

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This was a shock, seeing that Glenn died yesterday at the age of 70. If you were any part of the art/club scene in NYC in the 1980s, Glenn was the guru of cool.

 

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Glenn was, as his obit in New York magazine put it, a “rare polymath.” He edited Interview magazine. His TV show, TV Party, shot live at 12:30 a.m. and featured a rotating cast of downtown heavyweights like Robert Mapplethorpe and Debbie Harry, rolling joints more often than not. (We dinosaurs remember the joys of public access television back in the day, when basically anyone could rent a studio for a pittance and get a show on Channel J.) He worked in advertising. He was a journalist. He wrote books. He was the Style Guy for GQ before they stupidly got rid of him for someone younger and cheaper.

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I saw him about a year ago at a screening of the film he made with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Downtown 81, which was incredibly awful and incredibly mesmerizing at the same time–let’s just say Jean-Michel could paint a lot better than he could act, but seeing him so young and vibrant, and SoHo the way it once was, when it was grungy and arty and louche, was rather unbearably poignant.

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So is his death.