Tuesday, June 29, 2010

9 Hilariously Ironic Ways to Die

9 Hilarious Ironic Deaths

Posted October 29th, 2009
by Rene Volpi via Robert Evans 
According to Wikipedia, “all senses of irony revolve around the perceived notion of an incongruity between what is expressed and what is intended, or between an understanding or expectation of a reality and what actually happens.”
Basically, you say one thing and another thing happens. You expect something, and then the opposite occurs. With that in mind, let’s go on and mock the tragic deaths of other human beings because we find the circumstances around them mildly amusing.
1. Felix Powell
Who: Felix Powell, songwriter and Staff Sergeant in the Royal Army.
How He Died: He shot himself in the heart using his duty rifle while wearing his uniform.
What Made It Ironic: Powell wrote the music behind the famous marching song, “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile”. His song became world-famous and was noted as “perhaps the most optimistic song ever written”.

Smile, smile, smile all the way to hell
Powell’s suicide just goes to show that even the most upbeat people among us can be cauldrons of boiling existential angst. Decent, caring people will find that deeply depressing. Thankfully, this is the Internet, and none of those people spend any time here.
What could possibly be depressing about this?
2. Jim Fixx
Who: Fixx was a major health nut, and author of the 1977 bestseller “The Complete Book of Running.” He was a member of Mensa, wrote a book of puzzles for geniuses, and was generally the most infuriatingly perfect person in the public spotlight. When he died, stand-up comedians everywhere rejoiced at having a year’s worth of material handed to them on a silver platter.
How He Died: A heart attack, while running. It was like a gift from God.

Jim Fixx, patron saint of the easy joke
Why It’s Ironic: Fixx made a fortune convincing people that running could vastly extend the human lifespan, then he died while running. Take THAT, healthy people. Your puny exercise can’t stave off death’s sociopathic advances any better than our tactic of eating nachos in the bath tub and weeping silently.

Screw healthy living, pass me the Cheetos and a big ole bottle of Old English.

3. Michael Anderson
Who: Anderson was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by electric chair in 1983.

An artist’s representation of the condemned
How He Died: Electrocution.
Why It’s Ironic: Electrocution is just what you would expect to happen…if Anderson hadn’t had his sentence reversed shortly thereafter. He managed to convince a jury that he didn’t deserve to die for his crimes. Unfortunately for Anderson, the Gods of Irony have a finely-tuned sense of comedic synchronicity.

What a shitty way to die
One day Anderson tried to fix his television while sitting on a metal toilet. He ended up screwing the operation up so badly that he electrocuted himself to death. It’s one of those moments that proves the universe is run by omnipotent assholes with a dark sense of humor.
4. Marcus Licinius Crassus
Who: Crassus was a Roman general and statesman. He was one of the wealthiest men in the history of the human race. If Bill Gates’ daughter gay-married Oprah and they had a child who inherited all of their money after a tragic skiing accident, that kid still wouldn’t come close to being as rich as Crassus was.

The truly wealthy don’t need bling
One time, he bought an entire army and financed the invasion of a major world power all with his own funds. Hey don’t hate the guy too much, unlike Dick Cheney, this guy was badass enough to fund his wars with his own money, not the tax payers’.
How He Died: He either choked to death or burned to death. It’s not entirely clear which came first.
Why It’s Ironic: After being defeated in battle by the Parthian army, Crassus was captured and put to death by the Parthian king. Eastern potentates back then were a whimsically cruel little bastards, and Crassus was executed by having molten gold siphoned down his throat.

It’s easy to judge the Parthians for showing ridiculous sadism in their methods of punishment, but, come on, the asshole did invade their country. That’s a dick move.
5. Hans Steininger
Who: The man with history’s longest beard, measuring an astounding 4.5 feet. Steininger’s beard was, perhaps, the single most glorious expression of facial hair in human history. Artists didn’t just draw the damn thing, they immortalized it in stone.

This sculpture proves that, 1. Hans Steininger was a stone-cold badass and, 2. He always packed a blade. He knew what was up.
How He Died: One day, while fleeing a fire, Hans forgot to roll his beard up. He accidentally tripped over it, broke his neck, and died.
Why It’s Ironic: By all accounts, Hans’ beard was his life. The crowning achievement around which his pride revolved. To be fair, if you looked this hot;

ZZ Top Take Heed
You’d be a little arrogant too. Unfortunately for Hans, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and he just had too much beard.
6. Clement Vallandigham
Who: Clement was a famous lawyer in the late 1800s. He also had a beard, but it was way less badass than Steininger’s.

The proto-neckbeard! We’ve found it!
How He Died: Gun shot wound to the head.
Why It’s Ironic: In this case, circumstances are everything. Simply getting shot in the face isn’t funny, it’s just what happens sometimes when you wander into the wrong neighborhood or bring a keg to Gun Cleaning Night.

College taught us well, anything worth doing is worth doing drunk
Vallandigham’s death was a special case. He was representing a man who killed someone during a bar fight. Clement’s case relied on convincing the jury that the deceased had, in fact, shot himself while attempting to draw his weapon from his pocket. In order to convince the jury, he attempted to recreate situation that had lead to the deadly accident.
Apparently, he did it a little too well. Vallandigham accidentally shot himself. He died of his injuries but, appropriately enough, the court acquitted his client on the grounds that, yes, you can accidentally shoot yourself to death, providing you are either retarded, or an extremely dedicated lawyer.

Above: Great idea
7. Bobby Leach
Who: Bobby was a world-famous daredevil, and the second person in history to go over Niagara Falls. Astonishingly, falling off of an enormous waterfall in a metal barrel isn’t what killed him.

This here was a well-balanced man
How He Died: Complications caused by gangrene and an amputated leg. Those injuries still sound like they came from a badass daredevil stunt. He probably tried to jump an elephant in a motorcycle or something…
Why It’s Ironic: Bobby Leach injured his leg after tripping on a banana peel. Reports at the time were inconclusive, but Bugs Bunny may or may not have been sighted in the vicinity during the accident. In the end, even Bobby Leach couldn’t defeat the forces of gravity.

Niagara Falls: Less deadly than slapstick comedy
8. Jerome Moody
Who: Some 31 year old dude in New Orleans.

Protecting your children while wearing douchey sunglasses
How He Died: Drowning.
Why It’s Ironic: Jerome Moody drowned during a party for New Orleans lifeguards. Many of the people in attendance were professional lifeguards, and four guards were on duty. To make matters worse, the party was in celebration of the New Orleans Recreational Department’s first drowning-free swimming season in recorded history.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; New Orleans just can’t win.

I found Waldo
9. Jerome Rodale
Who: One of the founders of the organic food revolution. Rodale was a ‘back to the earth’ naturalist hippy who supported clean living without the use of stimulants like sugar or caffeine. He would not have approved of eating Hot Pockets shirtless while watching Animaniacs re-runs.
How He Died: Heart attack at 72, right after an interview on the Dick Cavett show.

Colonel Sanders?!
Why It’s Ironic: Rodale was a huge advocate for the life-extending benefits of a clean, organic lifestyle. Immediately before his death, during the interview, he told Cavett that, “I’m going to live to be 100, unless I’m run down by some sugar-crazed taxi driver.”


We are what we eat

Monsanto, Big Brother of The New World

Agricultural Order


Monsanto, Big Brother of the New World Agricultural Order: An Interview With Marie-Monique Robin

Sunday 27 June 2010

by: Mickey Z., t r u t h o u t | Interview

Journalist and filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin. (Photo: Razak / Ségolène Royal)

Award-winning French journalist and filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin is the author of "The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption and the Control of Our Food Supply" (The New Press) and the creator of the film by the same name.

In a review of these two projects, Leslie Thatcher writes: "What Marie-Monique Robin most effectively documents are the perverse effects - the moral, social, technological, economic and market failures - of Western society's economic organization, most specifically with respect to science and the products of science and, ultimately, with respect to the preservation of the public commons and human life on the planet."

My conversation with Marie-Monique Robin follows:

Mickey Z.: Was there an initial spark that led you to this project that took three years and investigations on four continents to complete?

Marie-Monique Robin: My "story" with Monsanto began in 2003, when I made three documentaries for the Franco-German channel ARTE (to which I pay a tribute for the quality of its programs) about the reduction of biodiversity.

MZ: Please take us through those documentaries and their connection to Monsanto.

MMR: The first, "Biopirates," told how corporations like Monsanto were holding abusive patents on living organisms which are contributing to a new drastic reduction of biodiversity. At that I time, I heard about a company called Monsanto which already held more than 600 patents on living organisms. The second documentary, called "Wheat: Chronicle of a Death Foretold," told the story of cultivation of that golden cereal, from the very beginning 10,000 years ago until today and explained how the practices of industrial agriculture that brought the "green revolution," made thousands of local landraces and varieties disappear, a dramatic evolution which will be accelerated by GMOs [genetically modified organisms]. At the same time the so-called green revolution provoked a huge contamination of the environment through the massive use of chemical pesticides, "biocides," which "entered into living organisms, passing one to another in a chain of poisoning and death," as Rachel Carson wrote in "Silent Spring." Finally, I made a documentary, called "Argentina: The Soybeans of Hunger," about the cultivation of Roundup Ready soybeans in Argentina, where I depicted the environmental, social and health disasters which the introduction of Monsanto's GMOs represent. Today, they cover 60% of the area under cultivation in the country.

MZ: What was the process like, creating these three films?

MMR: I traveled around the world for a year: Europe, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Israel and India. The ghost of Monsanto lurked everywhere, almost like the Big Brother of the new world agricultural order - the source of much anxiety. Therefore, I proposed a new investigation to ARTE about this powerful multinational, created in 1901 in St. Louis, Missouri, the world leader of GM foods (90% of genetically modified crops) which presents itself on its website home page as "an agricultural company" the purpose of which is to "help the world's farmers to produce healthier food ... while reducing the impact of agriculture on the environment." But what it doesn't say is that, before getting involved in agriculture, it was first of the largest chemical companies of the twentieth century and one of the biggest polluters in industrial history. My book, "The World According to Monsanto," tells how the firm became one of the major industrial empires on the planet and one of the most controversial companies in the industrial history.

MZ: With so much background and research, how did you ever reach the conclusion that you had gathered enough material to write this important book?

MMR: Once more, I traveled a lot - to the US, Canada, Mexico, Paraguay, India, Vietnam, Europe - and met a lot of scientists, experts, whistleblowers (from the FDA, EPA, Berkeley University), lawyers, farmers and Monsanto victims. I consulted thousands of declassified documents from the EPA (on dioxin), FDA (GMOs), judiciary affairs (PCBs), scientific studies, reports from independent organizations and then decided it was enough!

MZ: Monsanto has given the planet "gifts" like Agent Orange and Roundup Ready crops, PCBs and GMOs, yet, for most humans, it has pretty much flown under the radar. To what would you attribute the fact that the vast majority of us rail mostly at governments, instead of the far more dangerous and powerful multinational corporations?

MMR: The problem is that the corporations act behind the scene, manipulating information, studies, press and the experts of the regulatory agencies. To speak quite frankly, I had never imagined before that a company could resort to such procedures, to sell its harmful products, in complete impunity, during decades: concealing scientific data, lying, manipulating regulations, corruption, pressuring scientists and journalists, threats. The problem is also that governments do not take any legal action against companies which are repeatedly affecting the environment and the health of consumers. If Monsanto were a private person, it would be convicted as a great criminal, but current law protects the criminal companies, which are never held accountable for the damage they cause.

MZ: What role does Monsanto play in the all-important areas of food safety and food supply?

MMR: Nowadays Monsanto is the world leader in biotechnology and the first seed company. Ninety percent of the GMOs grown in the world belong to it. During the last decade, the firm bought dozens of seed companies all over the world, pushing its transgenic seeds, which are patented. A patented seed means that the farmers who grow it may not keep a part of their crops to re-sow it the next year, as farmers used to do everywhere in the world. In the US and Canada, farmers who grow transgenic crops must sign a "technology agreement" - the no-sowing requirement is clearly expressed. If they don't respect the agreement and violate the patent, they are harassed by the "gene police" and sued by Monsanto. Clearly, transgenic crops are just a tool to control the seed supply, which is the first link in the food chain, by forcing farmers to buy seeds each year.

MZ: How influential is Monsanto in the decision-making process at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other so-called protection agencies?

MMR: It was quite amazing to discover how Monsanto is using the "revolving door," in order to control the decisions and policies that affect its products. Just one example: To avoid tests on GMOs to assess their possible harm on the consumer health and on the environment, the FDA invented the concept of "substantial equivalence," which was based on no scientific data, as James Maryanski, the former chief of the Biotechnology Department, recognized in front of my camera. And who wrote the FDA's May 1992 policy? A former Monsanto attorney named Michael Taylor, who was hired by the FDA as deputy commissioner for policy, and then became Monsanto vice president! Interesting enough, Michael Taylor went back to the FDA under the Obama administration.

MZ: What does it say about industrial civilization that Monsanto has become so rich and powerful by creating and selling what you call "some of the most dangerous products of modern times"?

MMR: Consumers and citizens played a role in this dramatic story. We all use the hazardous products, which characterize "modern life." And the price we are paying is very high. In my next documentary and book, "Toxic Lies," I explain how the chemical industry is "poisoning our plate." I investigated the link between chemical exposure (pesticides, food additives, plastics, etc.) and the epidemics of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, reproductive disorders and diabetes, which can be observed in the so-called "developed countries," and especially in the US. And if you investigate how all the chemicals are assessed and regulated, you finally understand that consumers are not protected at all against these dangerous hazards.

MZ: What can be done? What can readers take away from this interview and your book that will inspire immediate direct action? What steps would you recommend being taken to challenge not only Monsanto. but also an industrial culture seemingly hell bent on wiping out life on earth?

MMR: The key is held by consumers and farmers. That means that all of us should promote organic farming by buying organic food, which is the best way to protect our health and environment. That will be the end of Monsanto and similar companies for sure. Another suggestion: order "The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption and the Control of Our Food Supply."

Marie  Monique-Robin received the 1995 Albert-Londres Prize, awarded to investigative journalists in France, and is the director and producer of over 30 documentaries and investigative reports filmed in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

Creative Commons License
This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Comments (truncated)

I am honored to live on the

Sun, 06/27/2010 - 20:37 — Goobagooba (not verified)

I am honored to live on the same planet with such a courageous and enterprising person.

At the same time, I am ashamed to be a citizen of a country that maintains an economic symbiosis with corporations, and which, while choosing to regard them legally as citizens exempts them from the accountability it asks of 'the rest of us.'

Nothing is too big to fail.

What is it about capitalism

Sun, 06/27/2010 - 20:45 — AnonymousDV (not verified)

What is it about capitalism that causes every good capitalist to think first and foremost of ways they can corner their market? Of course as soon as they do then it ceases to be either capitalism or of any benefit to mankind. The really insidious thing about Monsanto's GM seed policy is that even if the farmer never buy's any GM seed, sooner or later his crop will have the Monsanto genes and that will mean they can go after him for patent infringement! Congress needs to get involved to stop this madness but, of course, we know what they are interested in and it ain't the public good!

I am pleasantly shocked that

Sun, 06/27/2010 - 21:32 — nanaverm (not verified)

I am pleasantly shocked that Ms. Robin has not been sued or had an injunction not to make known this negative info. about Monsanto. From what I've read, farmers entangled with Monsanto have not been so lucky. Think slap-lawsuits.

This Dwarfs Global Warming.

Sun, 06/27/2010 - 22:25 — Environmental Science Major (not verified)

This Dwarfs Global Warming. AGW has plenty of qualified experts who clearly argue that it is a very premature theory (Hypothesis would be more correct) and even if it were true, that proposed measures would not address the problem, while the threats from GMO crops are a clear and present danger. They cause sterility and early death in Rats - this has been clearly demonstrated - shrunken brains, livers and testicles (not kidding here). Monsanto has people all over the FDA. What is most troubling was to learn that the pollen from GMO crops actually contaminates native plants - I learned this from a colleague who specialized in native plants.

Capitalism Good, Corporatism

Sun, 06/27/2010 - 22:27 — Bill O'Rights (not verified)

Capitalism Good, Corporatism Bad.

This connects to oil/gas-use

Sun, 06/27/2010 - 23:03 — JadeQueen (not verified)

This connects to oil/gas-use because biocides are usually made from left-overs from those industries, as are many pharmaceuticals. The seed-modification seems designed to make an addiction to biocides as well as to enslave farmers to repeat-buying of seeds. Some localities around the world are resisting and are carefully saving good, locally adapted seeds. It is a matter of careful research to find safe seeds unless you grow them yourself.

If it's true that

Mon, 06/28/2010 - 04:06 — REGGIE (not verified)

If it's true that Corporations now have the rights of individuals then their PEOPLE IN CHARGE should be held criminally culpable as individuals.

yeah, I want to buy organic

Mon, 06/28/2010 - 05:03 — Anonymous (not verified)

yeah, I want to buy organic food, but
can I trust the labeling that says "organic"?
We have to have more strict labeling laws,
we have to be ready to take the falsifiers of organic food out in back of the barn and hang 'em high!

hey there "If that's true

Mon, 06/28/2010 - 05:07 — Anonymous (not verified)

hey there "If that's true that" - poster,
they've unfortunately had that right since
the 19th Century. It's time to make it clear via
a constitutional amendment that corporations
exist to serve society , not the other way around!
Each state should pass such an amendment NOW!
Corporate behavior needs significant restrictions
in every state to prevent further decay of the
society into a nazi morass.

Of course, "If Monsanto were

Mon, 06/28/2010 - 05:42 — Aziz (not verified)

Of course, "If Monsanto were a private person, it would be convicted as a great criminal but current law protects the criminal companies, which are never held accountable for the damage they cause".

because, capitalism lives out of the money that gets from these criminal companies. You can see, the Capitalism built soldiers,polices, guards, military equipments, nuclear bombs just to be able to protect themselves from such a huge shameful and criminal records they have in humans' history! All the medias are theirs and serving themselves so not much expectation from medias at all " if you kill one, you are a criminal but if you kill 1000s you are an honorable and brave General to serve capitalism system and get medals for your braveness . I believe, we all should fight against this dangerous and cancerous tumor that exists in our community and demolish it before it kill us all.
Our governments are capitalists and capitalist serves money not humanity while we need a counselling society to serve our planet and creatures on our planet.

..but...corporations ARE

Mon, 06/28/2010 - 15:11 — Anonymous (not verified)

..but...corporations ARE people! The SCOTUS said so.

Nothing revels the naked stupidity and hypocrisy of that decision more than comparing the vast benefits awarded to powerful corporations without attendant responsibilities and penalties.

what a pathetic and stupid country we are.

2010 Rene Volpi for TruthOut

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Posted via email from "Tales from The Amazon" by René Volpi

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Camoulage Protection in the Animal World

Great Photography by  amateur photographer Giulia. This is her compilation.

Some animals have sharp teeth, some have fragile wings, some are predators, some chew on grass, but they all need to survive. Even if harder to believe, some carnivores can be extinct pretty fast, if they don’t find an “intelligent” method of hunting.
On the other hand, small animals with poor defense mechanisms need to find a smart way of surviving and hiding. Nature has found the solution: “camouflage”. The evolutionary ability of transforming or adapting to the environment to become a contained part of it. In one way of another, most of the animals have developed such a skill, and they can easily trick the eye.
From changing colors to changing body shapes, vertebrates and invertebrates appear as if… they are not there. This post will exemplify the camouflage technique, even in the underwater world. Prepare to train your eyes for spotting the animals and their amazing disguises!

Nature’s Best Camouflage-Sea Dragon

Camouflage Lizard

Hidden Shrimp

Grasshopper – Master of Camouflage Clothing


Perfect Camouflage

Nature’s Camouflage

Camouflage Brownish Frog

Camouflaged Leaf-tailed Gecko

Camouflaged Rock Grasshopper

Bark Hopper Camouflage

Camouflaged Spider, Montagne d’Ambre, Madagascar

False Leaf Katydid, BCI, Panama

Remarkable Leaf Texture Mimicry

Bark Bug, Peruvian Amazon

Bark Katydid Nymph, Camouflaged

Yellow Camouflage


Camouflage Fish



Where is it? What is it?


The Art of Camouflage

Incredible Camouflage

I Am Not Here!

Ornate Ghostpipefish

Camouflage 2

Phyllocrania Paradoxa

Idoloantis Diabolica – Devil’s Flower Mantis

Arrowhead Crab

Robust Ghost Pipefish

Sleeping Owl

Camouflage Spider


Green Spider

White Rabbit, White Snow

Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus)

Painted Frogfish

Bug in Camouflage


Dead Leaf Mantis

Green Camouflage

Grasshopper Camouflage 2

Butterfly in Disguise

Orange-Tip Butterfly

Mimicry in Action

Zizeeria Knysna

Canarian Orthoptera

Sapo, Perereca Ou Rã

Sapo, Perereca Ou Rã
That's all folks !
My Other Blog? : "Tales from Here and There"
(to read and subscribe just click on the link)
a Harper Collins Blog selection:
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