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Hope Springs Eternal: The Mary Wheeler Interview

Mary and Tim Wheeler, with son Christopher.  Courtesy Mary Wheeler. Prepare yourself(s) for an amazing interview with a largely u...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Odyssud Pyramids

In Pyramids a-go-go, LoS mentions that in addition to the Masonic pyramid monument at the center of the Place de la Revolution (Blagnac), two pyramids can be found in the nearby Odyssud park. These earthworks, though, might more accurately be called mounds than pyramids; earthen heaps such as these are more conical than pyramidal, and a quick look at the Miamisburg Mound reveals a striking similarity.

That said, they are incongruous, placed as they are in the center of a French town. Set to one side of an artifical lake, they afford those who climb them a view of the environs. Not a spectacular view, but a view nonetheless.

The artificial lake here is probably the explanation. After digging up a few hundred metric tons of earth, where do you put it? You could construct berms or simply haul it away, or you could construct a couple of pyramid-like mounds.

And why not? They're fun. We can see stuff. They excite the imaginations of impressionable bloggers. And from below the little signs which explain what the visitors are seeing in the distance (or not seeing; there are proud proclamations , for example, that we are looking in the direction of Italy), well, these little signs look like a miniature Stonehenge.

So. There you go. Voila, as they say in France. A weird little bit of landscape architecture from the Illuminists of Blagnac.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Ballad of the Singing Loo # 4

Part 4: When You Piss in a Toilet

Two things are certain: I hate that toilet, and I miss Kevin. Fucking lay-offs.

A typical day now: I tell 20 people, “The bathrooms are that way.” Then I alphabetize some books.

A typical day then? Me laughing as Kevin expounds, “When you piss in a toilet, dude, it sounds like a creek. You know that babbling sound, right? Think about those monkeys typing Shakespeare. If you piss and I piss and everybody else fuckin’ pisses long enough, well tinkle, tankle, bubble, babble, and *whamo!* the vocal ambulations waver just so and a real word emerges from babbling toilet water like the burning bush. And then they lock you up for saying so. Trust me, man. Lock ups.”

When the Hinckley library burnt down we had a field day. I know that’s bad, but we both hated their RFID catalog, which worked so great they fired two librarian assistants (new-found efficiencies, etc.). But something went awry when Harry Potter # 4 started to register as Harry Potter # 3. Then Harry Potter # 2 did the same. Manual systems kept up with the errors for a bit, but the problem spread to neighboring works in the stacks, the Rowleys and the Rowlinsons, and on down the line. Soon the library was threatened with the prospect of holding nothing but Harry Potter # 3. Kevin claimed that the actual books themselves began to change, a word or two at a time, that the physical collection itself slowly morphing into Harry Potter # 3. On top of that, he said that people were getting confused and returning personal copies of Harry Potter # 3 instead of whatever actual book they checked out. It was, in short, getting to be slim pickin’s at the Hinckley library.

Well anyhow, Kevin’s theories, man, that bullshit made my day roll. An RFID virus written by the FBI? The FBI convinced a “Harry-Potter-is-a-witch” wacko to burn down the Hinckley library?

“But … why?” I puzzled.

“A couple months before 911” Kevin looking shifty-eyed, “and someone in the Hinckley library is Googling all this crazy shit about the melting points of steel, the speed and fuel size of various planes, the physics of collision. The Feds found out, somehow got access to Google queries and traced it back. They were all over that place.”

“Seriously, dude,” he drolled, “Our library director’s ass-kiss thing with the Feds? Seriously, dude? Come on. What the fuck? What’s she so scared of, man?”

Silly stuff. But what the hell? Listening to Kevin’s theories sure killed time better than smuggling guitar tuners into whistling potties. And now he’s gone and the toilet coughed up that hairy hand and the Feds are all over us, and every time that toilet whistles—Phewwy eeeee!—I feel alone.

_______________________
Previously on The Laws of Silence:
* The Ballad of the Singing Loo #3
* The Ballad of the Singing Loo #2
* The Ballad of the Singing Loo

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Struggle Continues

Recent developments in the ongoing human/animal struggle:

* A plane was pumped full of poisonous gas to kill escaped pythons.

* Humans pledged "millions" to save bees.

* 21 horses dropped dead, mysteriously, right before a polo match.

* Somalian pirates "could only lament their littleness" when thousands of dolphins rebuffed their attacks on Chinese merchants.

___________________

We "Huzzah!" a special shout out to Harper's Weekly Review, which has joined our special coverage of this ensuing event.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mexico targets Death Saint popular with criminals

You may have heard of the "Narco-Saint" Jesus Malverde and La Santísima Muerte. These unofficial "folk" saints are very popular in Mexico among the poor and apparently with drug traffickers, hitmen, other bogeymen of the Prohibition state. All, we suppose, groups of people immersed in a violent milieu and with little faith in the system. They put their faith in only one true certainty.

According to this article in the Washington Post, the Mexican government has added destroying shrines to Santa Muerte to its list of ways to fight the drug cartels.

"A skeletal figure of a cloaked woman with a scythe in her bony hand, the Santa Muerte has become more popular in Mexico even as its drug wars have become more violent. Mexican law enforcement won't say outright it is targeting Santa Muerte, but last month soldiers stood guard while government backhoes crushed more than 30 public shrines to the saint in Nuevo Laredo, across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas. In the two weeks before, several altars in Tijuana and an altar built on the highway between Reynosa and Rio Bravo were razed."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pyramids a-go-go

France, so it would seem, is fascinated with pyramids. In the Blagnac park called Odyssud there are not just one but two artifical pyramids more in the manner of the Maya than the Egyptians, with stairs leading up the side to a flat pinnacle akin to a ritual space.

Then of course there's the famous and controversial Louvre pyramid with its apocryphal 666 panes of glass.

Finally, what are we to make of this monstruous beast at the border crossing with Spain just south of Perpignan?

“Can an evil tree produce good fruit?”

We've taken a skeptical look at claims that swastika-shaped buildings pay homage to Nazis. We've detailed some the interesting Masonic features of the DC pentagram. Generally speaking, we are amused by the apparent connection of the humdrum with the arcane. But we usually eat our meals with fat grains of salt and cast dubious glances in the direction where we're told a man is gesticulating wildly in a little booth behind the curtain, rapt and nodding.  You get the picture. We're not buying into it so quickly.....

But along comes a sculpture in the middle of your new and unexpected route home, placed there as you navigate your way around the airport in order to reach the highway that will scoot you out of Dogville and back up into the fields of rape that surround your rural home.  It cannot be dismissed so easily.

Blagnac. 2009. We know it as the home of Airbus and of the airport which serves Toulouse. There you find a traffic circle by the highway called "Place de la Revolution." In the center is a sculpture which caught your eye the first go around. As if it could be otherwise. A massive silver pyramid, surrounded by a kind of armature. The light posts which ring the road are shaped oddly. There is a stylized spear-toting warrior in a Phrygian cap bearing a cockade. One side of the plaza is enclosed by a Holiday Inn.

Second time around and the armature appears to be the shape of a building. The pyramid may be a fountain. It has a hole through the middle which strikes a cord...

A hole in the pyramid....what is the missing word?

The ensemble is somehow quite....odd.

Yes, then you meet up with an old pal for lunch and he mentions a video he saw on DailyMotion. It appears this sculpture is somehow connected to the Illuminati. The pyramid has a hole like and eye within it. The pyramid is composed of thirteen layers like the one on the dollar bill, but it is finished. The stylized building pays homage to the Great Architect of the Universe. The pyramid is a fountain and under its base, the pool is a representation of the two hemispheres of the earth.

........

Laws of Silence was intrigued enough to take some photos of this Blagnac Pyramid. And this is what we turned up.


Here's a good view of the Pyramid. Including the cap you can count thirteen layers. The Pyramid is clearly within a house-like structure. The center hole is an abstract eye. Note the sidewalks radiate from the structure like rays of light.


So maybe you thought we were being paranoid when we read the sculpture as a stylized eye in the pyramid within a glory?


The plaque with the Declaration des Droits de L'Homme can be found on these larger bronze tablets engraved with planets swirling in and out of cosmic mists. From a distance the motifs and words are inscrutable, but the shape is very evocative. They bring to mind the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, or tombstones....


As above, so below. The whole Pyramid structure squats over a fountain inlaid with a mosaic representing a map of the world.

What this belvedere represents is not so clear. A sampling of neighborhood children says its a dog. The observation deck is accessible via a locked gate at the base. Directly below this deck, if our interpretation of some online articles is correct, there is a metal casing housing a light which can be projected through the eye of the pyramid. The dog, the eye and the center of the shield on the other side are all positioned at the same height and situated on the same axis. It must make for an impressive effect.
According to the architect in one of these articles, the belvedere "emits a ray of light, pure and abstract, following a North/South axis parallel to the Greenwich Meridian."

This light apparently modulates in order to light up the stelae engraved with the Rights of Man as it passes through both "The Temple of Great Wisdom" from which the water flows, and the "House" representing the nation. All of this reflected in the basin called the "Planishère."

So, there you go. Laws of Silence would like to bid a fond hello to our Illuminati overlords.

--------

Please see the following updates on this topic:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Minnehaha Creek: Part 1

This is part 1 of a tale of urban & suburban exploration: a trip down Minnehaha Creek in Minneapolis that I originally chronicled in 2005 in the now defunk Whittier Globe.

A hot and muggy morning. Cool waters lapped around my ankles, running several inches higher than the dock below my feet. The dam to my left was releasing 250 cubic feet per second, well over the 150 threshold of “dangerous.” Gray skies threatened. But it was difficult to feel tense as I gazed ahead at the creek ambling through lush wetlands, cattails topped with bobbing redwing blackbirds, barnyard swallows, and lusty dragonflies zipping about. A snapping turtle eased his massive head below the surface, disappearing with the current as a kingfisher skimmed the waters.

I lowered the canoe gently into the waters and held it steady as my brother climbed into the front. I eased my way into the back seat and pushed off. There was no turning around now. Come hell or high water, we were in it for the long haul: Minnehaha Creek from Gray’s Bay to the Knollwood Mall—mere inches on my photocopied map, but eight miles by canoe, from the placid wetlands below the dam to the roller coaster rapids past Interstate 494, through tunnels with inches of clearance and around twisty turns sidling along the backyards of St. Louis park before pulling out by Knollwood.

Minnehaha runs approximately 24 miles, from Lake Minnetonka to the falls above the Mississippi, with numerous suburbs and neighborhoods in between. Surprisingly few people, even those living right by the creek, realize how stupendously easy it is to simply drop a canoe in the water, hop in, and cruise down stream across the open marshes, under the blasting freeways, through the intimate backyards—all the way to the Mighty Mississippi.

Our adventure began in Wayzata; the parking lot was nearly full and there were several other people putting in. My brother and I took it slowly, drifting down with infrequent, languid corrective dips of the paddle to maintain our lazy course. We had plenty of time and were well stocked with rations—besides, we were forewarned of the rumbling rapids ahead. My brother had a friend—an Olympic-caliber kayaker—who had scouted this terrain earlier in the week and come back reporting that “it can be done in a canoe. It can be done, but you’d better know how to swim. Count on getting wet."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And not an egg to be found

Long-time and attentive readers of LoS (ha!) will remember our photographic slideshows of the 2008 Sanch procession in Perpigan and Collioure. If you recall, this parade is held on Good Friday as pentinent societies march in solidarity with Jesus on his way to the Cross.

A bit more diverse, CNN presents this slideshow of penitents and other passion parades from around the world.

Great photos.

Animal Suicide

We've already talked about how animals have attacked us (twice!) and we've attacked them (twice!).

Now it's time to talk about how the animals are killing themselves.

We could raise philosophical questions of intent to ponder the lemmings or to examine the cause of 1500 sheep leaping off a cliff.

But we won't.

Instead, we ask, we plead: Why (oh why?!?) have 50 dogs in 50 years leapt to their deaths off Overtoun Bridge in Scotland?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

an impression of the man police

Dear Laws of Silence:

This is a field of colza. In English it's more commonly known as rape, or rapeseed. The plant is cultivated extensively in France for its oil, which can be used for a variety of industrial and nutritional purposes. It has become much more prominent of late as an ingredient in biodiesel.

On my drive to work it covers the land to either side of the highway, acre upon acre, the yellow and green carpet visible for at least 20 minutes of the 35-minute journey.

As I look out over the rolling landscape my mind wanders back over the distances of time, and one phrase repeats itself over-and-over, endlessly: "fields of rape...."

Bucolic, brutal, beautiful.

Kind regards,

Théophile Prades
Beaupuy, France.
.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Crucifix in a death hand, pt. 3

She beat her mother to death with a crucifix
25/03/2009

Awash in mysticism and dementia this drama unfolded Monday in a little apartment on the
rue de l'église.

"I had visions in a dream. I saw that I was the devil, that I was evil and that I had to do it." So declared Élisabeth F., 34, to the police soon after killing her mother Thérèse, 81, during the night on Monday.

The drama unfolded at around 1:15 am in a little apartment the two women occupied on the first floor at 7, place de l’église, in Lourdes. The old woman was asleep in her bedroom and her daughter, like every evening, unfolded the sofa bed in the dining room where she slept. Suddenly, certainly “taken with an attack of dementia” in the words of state prosecutor Gérard Aldigé, she went into her mother’s room and lept upon her in order to do the harm her recent vision incited. She grabbed a lamp from the night table and with it landed several blows upon the face and body of her mother. In a state of extreme agitation, she next took a slat from the bed and continued to hit her mother; she began once again, this time with the crucifix which had evidently been fixed above the bed of her elderly mother. The poor woman could not survive such a flurry of violence.

Prostrate and covered in blood

Soon after, Élisabeth went back into the dining room to call the SAMU [paramedics -LoS]. She simply said: “Come, I’ve just killed my mother.” When the firemen and police arrived her mother was prostrate and covered in blood. As the body of the old woman was transported to the morgue, investigators collected their first statements and placed the young woman in custody. The incoherence of her statements quickly convinced them that she was insensate.

The examining doctor diagnosed that she was suffering from serious mental illness and would not be responsible for her actions. Monday at the end of the day she was placed in the psychiatric unit of the Lannemezan hospital.

An apartment shrine

She will again be examined by one or more psychiatrists in the coming days or weeks. “These examinations will allow us to determine if she is or isn’t capable of standing trial” explained the state prosecutor.

The two women lived here “for about 2 years” reported Émile Magendie, the owner of their apartment. Apparently they had been living in a little lodging on the rue Bartayres. They had left Champagne and the rest of their family for Paris before installing themselves in the Marial city a little more than four years ago. It seems that Thérèse was no longer in contact with her ex-husband and her seven other children. Élisabeth no longer saw them either. The family had come apart after several personal quarrels. Élisabeth, a secret to nobody, suffered from serious psychological problems (see article below).

Very pious, they chose this city because of the devotion they vowed to the Virgin and God. Their two-room flat was stuffed with religious objects, statuettes of Mary and the crucifix. “They were really very faithful, not to say mystics” confirms a neighbor, who always saw them together. Lately Thérèse went out much less. She looked tired. As for Élisabeth, her condition had worsened.

At Lourdes, everyone who crossed their path assures “that they demonstrated a great mutual attachment, they had a great and real love for each other.”

Yesterday in the corridor of their little building, a cat was meowing before their door. It was theirs. It searched in vain for its mistresses. In the afternoon the owner of the apartment took it to the SPA.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"She dreamed of giving her mother a tomb."

Jacques Barzu, departmental president of the Red Cross, knew Thérèse and Élisabeth well: “The came to pick up their care packages every week, I felt they were very close and attentive to one another. I’m devastated by this news; I didn’t think she was so disturbed or violent. Depressive, yes.” He said that for Élisabeth "The future of her mother was an obsessive preoccupation, above all, her death. She often evoked the last remains of her mother and complained of not having enough money to offer her a tomb.” In effect, with both of their small pensions, retirement for one and disability for the other, they lived with about 700 euros. “For three weeks I felt bad about them both,” continued Jacques Barzu. “I remember when they arrived at Lourdes, it was Christmas evening, they had a hard-boiled egg for the both of them. The Red Cross gave them packages of food and some things for everyday life. Thérèse suffered as well. She called me Friday night to unload and speak about the decline of her daughter. She told me that she was in a great mental suffering.”

Father Bernard Saint-Voirin also evoking their mutual love, dwelt a little on their life in Lourdes as, “two lost in life. The daughter was very depressed. She pursued long and brilliant studies but something happened which remains in a shadowy place. I didn’t feel alarmed, however, and I received them every month.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lourdes, the "fraternal city"

This affair is yet another reminder that Lourdes, called the “fraternal city", attracts the distressed from the world over.

“There are many people lost or suffering from mental problems, who sometimes come to live here” said a member of the SAMU.

The volunteers of the Red Cross and Secours Catholique know very well those who come daily for help.

Unfortunately some of these wanderers end up in dramas such as the one which occurred during Monday night.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Crucifix in a death hand, pt. 2

It may be pointless to go back and translate earlier articles, when the latest in the series pretty much covers all the major points. But so be it. They're interesting for the sense of atmosphere they give. Also the absurdity. The title of the article evokes a "tueuse au crucifix," a crucifix killer, but the article itself mentions only that the crucifix was probably used. Earlier articles give a better indication of why this is likely, and we'll get to them soon. But yeah, the headlines are definitely sensationalist.

Another interesting aspect of this case, media-wise, is that as of today, no more articles have appeared, and the autopsy reports were due out two days ago. Four articles up to this point and no follow-up on the sudden and less-than-clear death of the killer.

The rationalist will see this as an obvious case of a mentally ill and delusional young woman who killed her mother and succumbed to some logical death as a result: shock, heart attack, suicide....

And the rationalist is probably right.

Yet, until all the questions are answered, this has all the makings of a tale of true devilry.

One can only imagine the scene as the incubus stalks into the young killers' room: "B-but you promised...." "Yes" replies the Devil's minion as he licks a clawed index finger. "I did...."

Shadows leap about on the wall as with unseen psionic power the incubus simply removes the soul from the hapless girl, who signed it away years ago and spoke in jumbled remorse of witchcraft and Satan up until the day her contract came to be honored....

----


Lannemezan. The crucifix killer found dead

27/03/2009 Hélène Dubarry

After killing her mother at Lourdes, Élizabeth F. is discovered lifeless at the foot of her bed in a psychiatric hospital.

All legal action is now moot: the lifeless body of Élizabeth F. was discovered yesterday at 10:30 am next to her hospital bed.

"We can't say anything for the moment, for the good reason that we don't know anything" explained state prosecutor Gérard Aldigé yesterday afternoon as he confirmed the death of the young woman. During the night last Monday, Élizabeth, 34, killed her mother at Lourdes, in a fit of rage an uncommon violence. The 81-year-old woman succumbed to the blows of a table lamp, a plank from a bed and probably a crucifix (see previous editions). Soon after the drama, the prosecutor evoked the possibility of mental illness. At the very least very altered behavior. Élizabeth, given her psychiatric state, was admitted to the psychiatric hospital of Lannemezan in order to receive appropriate care.

According to our sources the young woman had already been put in a psychiatric hospital at least once.

Since entering Lannemezan, Élizabeth had been receiving treatment, her ususal treatment, doubtless a little modified. Yesterday morning this treatment was administered as usual and the young woman was no more agitated than usual. She was put in a single room. Two hours later, at 10:30, the hospital staff discovered Élizabeth, stretched out dead next to her bed. There were no marks on the body and nothing to give an explanation: "We don't know anything about the cause of death," continued Gérard Aldigé. "We assume nothing. This is the reason why I asked for an autopsy to be performed by Dr. Michel Disteldorf. A toxocological analyses will also be performed."

For the moment, nothing leads one to think of suicide, but nothing prevents on from thinking it, either. The death could possible have a simple organic cause, such as a heart attack. The results of the autopsy will not be known before Monday afternoon.

Mysterious Booms

We predicted it, and it came true.

On March 12, 2009, in response to The Laws of Silence "How to Destroy the World", Daurade, suggested: "Space junk."

It came to pass 17 days later: "The mysterious burst of light in the sky and loud booms witnessed Sunday night [March 29] by residents along the Mid-Atlantic coastline was likely caused by a Russian rocket booster re-entering the atmosphere, said an official at the U.S. Naval Observatory." -- CNN

Okay, so that's odd. But what about all the other unexplained, mysterious house-shaking booms over the last couple of months?

* February 5: Denton-area, Texas
* February 8: Cape Fear, North Carolina
* March 3: Southern California
* March 4: Central California coast
* March 7: Westchester, New York
* March 9: Rockland Co., New York

And what about all the similar reports date back either farther, all house-shaking, listed hear as moving back through time? We could make timelines till the cows came home, but here's just a wee sampling from 2005 - 2006 in the U.S.A.:

* February 25, 2005: Union Co., Arkansas
* March 5, 2005: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
* April 6, 2005: Los Angeles, California
* April 6, 2005: Massachusetts
* April 28, 2005: Macro Island, Florida
* December 20, 2005: Wilmington, North Carolina
* January, 2006: Alabama
* February 24, 2006: Maine
* March 13, 2006: Portland, Oregon
* April 4, 2006: San Diego Co., California
* April 6, 2006: Central California
* April 7, 2006: Jackson, Co., Mississippi

What in the hell is going on? And why is it going on in winter/spring?