Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Goldfish Registered To Vote In Illinois!

Dead goldfish offered the vote in Illinois
By CARLA K. JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer Carla K. Johnson, Associated Press Writer – Tue Oct 21, 6:03 am ET

CHICAGO – The only "agent of change" Princess ever supported was the person who freshened the water in her fishbowl.

So election officials in Chicago's northern suburbs want to know why voter registration material was sent to the dead Goldfish.

"I am just stunned at the level of people compromising the integrity of the voting process," said Lake County Clerk Willard Helander, a Republican, who said she has spotted problems with nearly 1,000 voter registrations this year.

Beth Nudelman, who owned the fish, said Princess may have landed on a mailing list because the family once filled in the pet's name when they got a second phone line for a computer.

"There was no fraud involved," said Nudelman, a Democrat who supports Barack Obama. "This person is a dead fish."

The paperwork sent to a "Princess Nudelman" likely came from the "Women's Voices, Women Vote" project, which sent nearly 1 million mailings to Illinois households in August using a list that mistakenly included some pets, said Sarah Johnson, a spokeswoman for the not-for-profit group that encourages single women to vote.

The mailing list, purchased from a vendor, included names from warranties, magazine subscriptions and other sources, Johnson said. The group attempted to screen out obvious pet names.

"Fido's not going to be left on there, but if a cat is named is Polly, she may be," Johnson said. Princess could be a person's name, she insisted. "I went to high school with two Princesses."

Nudelman said the only address on the registration card was the Lake County clerk's office. She said she wrote election officials a humorous note explaining why the fish was ineligible to vote.

The Illinois mailing generated 63,500 returned voter applications, Johnson said. Applicants were instructed to fill in a driver's license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number so election officials would be able to validate their identity.

"We obviously don't want to add more work for any election official," Johnson said. "At the end of the day, our goal is same as theirs: To give as many people as possible the chance to make voices heard in our democracy."

Steve Sturm, legal counsel for the Illinois State Board of Elections, said the mailing generated numerous complaints from residents throughout the state.

Lake County election officials contacted Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office Monday afternoon, said spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler. The sheriff's office and state's attorney's office were "already working on it," she said.

The McCain-Palin campaign has lately raised questions about the voter registration practices of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. ACORN is accused of submitting false registration forms for some of the voters it has registered. The FBI has joined nearly a dozen states in investigating.

Women's Voices has worked with ACORN in the past, but the August mailing "has nothing to do with" ACORN, Johnson said.
There are three possible outcomes in this election -- from OUR point of view -- and two of them are strongly beneficial to us. I'll say this: TWO OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD. I want to see ALL of your faces in the place on election day.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008


This superb film about recruitment and self-sacrifice NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION.
The movie was released in 1975 and stars Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfus and Robert Shaw.
It was directed by Steven Spielberg, and the cruelty-free Great White was supplied by Robert Mattey and Kevin Pike.

PLOT SUMMARY: A tremendous Shark moves into the waters surrounding Amity Island, and supposedly injures some bathers. The island’s aquaphobic police chief, played by Scheider, tries to protect the good townspeople without getting wet himself. THIS GETS HIM NOWHERE, and he finally has to go out in a boat and face his fears. He takes a couple of experts with him to help. What none of them realizes is that THE SHARK HAS PLANS OF HER OWN.


>> I thought that needed to be said right up front. That fact should ALSO need no introduction, but many of the younger generation of Naked Apes have NO CLUE of the effect of this film on their elders, never mind the effects on US. At first it looked like the greatest thing that ever happened to Sharks. Humans were thinking about Sharks, studying them, becoming oceanographers because of them, wearing Shark t-shirts…the USA, at least, went on a 5-year Shark jag that STILL reverberates more than 25 years later. Why, JUST THIS WEEK I spotted a Shark’s-tooth necklace hanging from a rearview mirror.

>> But then it all started to go HORRIBLY WRONG. In the time since this film’s release, our most ascetic and, indeed, our most spiritual operatives have become HUNTED CREATURES, so scarce that in many places we are LEGALLY BANNED from recruiting through restaurants. Shark steaks are, in any case, generally so contaminated with NAKED APE FILTH these days that eating us causes Minamata Disease.

>> It’s a strange fact that many operatives turn regularly to Jaws for solace. Why? WATCH THE FILM AND SEE. It’s an astounding, epic story that really should have been called "THE RECRUITER THAT NEVER QUIT." But this story was written from the point of the recruits, and the human filmmakers DIDN’T GET IT.

>> That, by the way, is JUST THE WAY WE WANT IT.

>> It’s Robert Shaw, as Captain Quint, who SPILLS THE BEANS. Everyone remembers his wonderful speech about what – almost ! -- happened to him when the U.S.S. Indianapolis went down. Even those people who talk incessantly through movies normally zip their lips and listen to this speech in awe, AS WELL THEY SHOULD. It’s not only a terrific speech; it’s also the KEY TO THE STORY. If you’re a fish.

>> I mean, check it out, when that speech ends, AS IF ON CUE, the 25-foot Great White Shark shows up and starts battering away at the boat. This is EXACTLY WHAT YOU THINK. THAT WAS, IN FACT, THE SHARK’S CUE. The message in this movie, from US to YOU, you damned dirty apes, is that YOU MAY THINK YOU CAN GET AWAY, BUT YOU CAN’T.

>> Quint’s final moments in the film are not, shall we say, geared toward analysis or discussion. But if we could have heard his thoughts at that moment, I would expect to hear him thinking something like, "HE FINALLY CAUGHT UP TO ME." I always cherish the hope that at the last moment, he recognized this particular "porker" as the one that bit his friend Herbie Robinson in half.

>> Yes: this is the stubborn, single-minded, UNSTOPPABLE recruiting style of the Great White. "Bruce" the Shark is like all those of her kind; once you’re identified as a target by one of these babies, you STAY marked. This particular recruiter waited nearly 30 years and travelled HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD to get her man. She watched Quint slaughter her sisters, allowing him to kid himself that he’d conquered his deepest fear. All along she was just BIDING HER TIME.

>> This is the part NO HUMAN CAN REALLY UNDERSTAND. When her mission was accomplished, "Bruce" then made clear to all fish viewers that she had chosen "option B" as her way of moving to the next level of Shark perfection. What a chore that turned into! Plunging herself into the boat every whichaway, swallowing human flotsam along with her precious recruitmeat, practically waving that scuba tank in Chief Brody’s face so he could finally put a bullet in it – seriously, the guy couldn’t hit the floor with his hat. But she finally got what she needed. And it’s as true for fish as it is for humans – "nobody cry when Jaws die."

>> Contrast Quint with his companions, Matt Hooper and Chief Brody. Brody has no more use for the sea than the sea has for him. It’s a delicious irony of the film that "Bruce" uses the Chief to end this phase of her life, and not just because he’s a lousy shot. Matt Hooper is almost the opposite of Brody – he loves Sharks and studies them for a living, rather passionately. But "Bruce" has no real use for him, either. Neither does the only other Shark Hooper describes meeting in his life, a Thresher: she dismantled his boat in UTTER CONTEMPT and left him to swim way, won over fror life but not recruited. This encounter on the Orca is no different. As soon as "Bruce" succeeds in getting Hooper to drop the weapon, she ignores him and gets back to her business. This movie, you see, is a glorious recapitulation of the ringing truth that THE SHARK ALWAYS GETS WHAT SHE WANTS.

>> One of my own favorite lines in this film is Quint’s: "I don’t know Chief; [this Shark is] either very smart, or he's very dumb." Humans never learn: INTELLIGENCE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. THE SHARK GETS WHAT THE SHARK WANTS. EVERY TIME.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

We Welcome Volunteers -- Like This Guy

Any last requests? Yes, says death row inmate. Turn me into fish food
By Arifa Akbar, Arts Correspondent

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Mr Evaristti aims to begin the work on the controversial art work within a year if Hathorn is refused an appeal for the third time.

The final requests of death- row prisoners facing execution have often included large orders of pork chops, fried chicken and bucket loads of ice cream.

Never before has an inmate asked for his body to be turned into fish food and fed to Goldfish, all in the name of art. But that is exactly what Gene Hathorn, a convicted murderer on death row in Texas, has pledged to do if his final appeal fails.

Hathorn, 47, who was convicted of killing his father, stepmother and stepbrother in 1985, has given his consent to Marco Evaristti to use his body as an "art installation" that contributes to a wider project on capital punishment. Mr Evaristti, 45, a Chilean-born artist who lives in Denmark, said he would first deep-freeze Hathorn's body and then turn it into fish food which visitors at the exhibition could feed to a shoal of Goldfish.

Mr Evaristti aims to begin the work within a year if Hathorn is refused an appeal for the third time and he hopes he can stage the show in America in a public gallery such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York. "Gene Hathorn's story is a powerful one but it is not his story that is as important for me as the system that exists in a society such as America's in such a vulgar and primitive way, the system of killing people like this. I wanted to raise awareness of the fact there are people killed legally in our Western civilisation."

Mr Evaristti met Hathorn, who has been on death row since 1985, while researching the longest serving inmates. He first visited Hathorn in April this year and has made several trips back to his prison in Livingston. When he suggested the idea for the art installation, Hathorn apparently smiled and agreed immediately. "One of the reasons I chose the theme of fish food is because in his court papers, they considered him a piece of 'human trash'. This is what the court papers called him, with regards to eliminating human trash. He wants to be a part of this art. It's the last thing he can do for society and he views it as positive," he said.

Lawyers are doubtful as to whether Hathorn's will – which makes the artist the heir to his body – is valid. But Mr Evaristti said: "We are confident that we can solve this issue before Hathorn is executed ... I'm fully prepared for the legal situation around Gene."

Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department for Criminal Justice, told The Art Newspaper that a death- row prisoner could "select a person to handle the disposition of their remains."

In the meantime, Mr Evaristti is helping to raise £125,000 for an investigation into events surrounding the circumstances of Hathorn's conviction, in hope that it may lead to an appeal.
The artist said vital details such as the sexual abuse Hathorn experienced at the hands of his father, an alleged Ku Klux Klan member, was not included in court proceedings that led to his convictions and the death penalty. He asked Hathorn to start drawing in prison and he has already sold £52,000 worth of drawings produced by the convict.

Mr Evaristti said he was in contact with a German company that would be willing to assist him with the fish-food project. The exhibition will consist of a large aquarium filled with hundreds of goldfish, which visitors will be able to feed using food made from Hathorn's body.

It will be part of a wider project by Mr Evaristti, who, in August, presented a clothing collection called "The Last Fashion", in which 15 models wore outfits designed by him. He stated that those garments were for death-row prisoners to wear on their execution day, to be offered by mail order to prisoners whose execution dates are imminent.

He has also designed an execution bed to be shown at the Art Copenhagen art fair later this month. Mr Evaristti came to international attention in 2000 when he placed goldfish in electric blenders filled with water. Visitors to the exhibition at Denmark's Trapholt Art Museum could choose to press a button, turn on the blenders and kill the fish.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Praise Jawsus!

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) -- Scientists have confirmed the second case of a "virgin birth" in a Shark.

A Blacktip Shark in the wild patrols the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean.

In a study reported Friday in the Journal of Fish Biology, scientists said DNA testing proved that a pup carried by a female Blacktip Shark in a Virginia aquarium contained no genetic material from a male.

The first documented case of asexual reproduction, or parthenogenesis, among Sharks involved a pup born to a Hammerhead at an Omaha, Nebraska, zoo.

"This first case was no fluke," Demian Chapman, a Shark scientist and lead author of the second study, said in a statement. "It is quite possible that this is something female Sharks of many species can do on occasion."

The scientists cautioned that the rare asexual births should not be viewed as a possible solution to declining global Shark populations. The aquarium Sharks that reproduced without mates each carried only one pup, while some species can produce litters of a dozen or more.

"It is very unlikely that a small number of female survivors could build their numbers up very quickly by undergoing virgin birth," Chapman said.

The medical mystery began 16 months ago after the death of Tidbit, a Blacktip Shark that had lived for eight years at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach. No male Blacktip sharks were present during her eight years.

In May 2007, the 5-foot, 94-pound Shark died after it was given a sedative before undergoing a yearly checkup. The 10-inch shark pup was found during a necropsy, surprising aquarium officials. They initially thought the embryonic pup was either the product of a virgin birth or a cross between the Blacktip and a male of another Shark species -- which has never been documented, Chapman said.

Tidbit's pup was nearly full term, and likely would have been quickly eaten by "really big Sand Tiger Sharks" that were in the tank, Chapman said in a telephone interview from Florida.

That is what happened to the tiny Hammerhead pup in the Omaha case.

"By the time they could realize what they were looking at, something munched the baby," he said of aquarium workers. The remains of the pup were used for the DNA testing.

Virgin birth has been proven in some bony fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds, and has been suspected among Sharks in the wild.

The scientists who studied the Virginia and Nebraska sharks said the newly formed pups acquired one set of chromosomes when the mother's chromosomes split during egg development, then united anew.

Absent the chromosomes present in the male sperm, the offspring of an asexual conception have reduced genetic diversity and, the scientists said, may be at a disadvantage for surviving in the wild. A pup, for instance, can be more susceptible to congenital disorders and diseases.

The scientists said their findings offer "intriguing questions" about how frequently automictic parthenogenesis occurs in the wild.

"It is possible that parthenogenesis could become more common in these Sharks if population densities become so low that females have trouble finding mates," said Mahmood Shivji, one of the scientists and director of the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

The DNA fingerprinting techniques used by the scientists are identical to those used in human paternity testing.

Chapman, who is with the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook, was assisted in the study by Beth Firchau of the Virginia Aquarium.

Chapman and Shivji were on the team that made the first discovery of virgin birth involving the Nebraska shark.

PROOF POSITIVE, ladies, that even when greasy, hairy, useless Naked Apes TAKE AWAY our operatives, Dagon GIVES THEM BACK, using VIRGIN BIRTHS when necessary.


It's never too early for a SQUIDMAS MIRACLE.

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