- Please send as far and wide as possible.
Editor, The Konformist
Mag Pairs Hot Chicks With Cold Stiffs
BY JAYE BELDO
MONDAY 29, 2007
LOS ANGELES (TNA) Sigmund Freud once said the world's two greatest
taboos were sex and death. Leave it to
Pin-up girl Hollie Stevens is just one of the babes who is dying to
appear in 'Girls and Corpses' magazine.
award-winning horror writer Robert Steven Rhine to bring them
Rhine, author of such works as "Satan's 3-Ring Circus of Hell"
and "My Brain Escapes Me," has now made strange bedfellows of what
else funerals and fornication.
His comedy/horror magazine Girls and Corpses features celebrity
interviews, advertising spoofs, comic book art and, of course,
photos of sumptuous babes posing suggestively with rotting
"I realized that there are an awful lot of people [men and women]
who like to look at hot girls, and a huge audience for horror,"
Rhine said. "So I thought, `Why not put the two great tastes
together in one?' Sort of like a rotting Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.
It's been a tremendous success."
The publication, which Rhine describes as Maxim meets Dawn of the
Dead, is far from the fringe. The print version is available
throughout the United States and overseas through distributors
Ingram and Diamond Comics. The Web site (www.girlsandcorpses.com)
recently topped 100 million hits.
'Girls and Corpses' creator Robert Steven Rhine
Yes, G&C readers rejoice you are no longer relegated to the seedy
back alleys behind topless bars. Hustler magazine publisher Larry
Flynt, a staunch defender of First Amendment rights, is pictured
proudly hoisting a 2007 Girls and Corpses calendar on the five-year-
old magazine's Web site. And comic actor/Internet talk show host Tom
Green considers himself a big fan.
But exposing corpses, as well as beautiful women, to the limelight
isn't without its perils. There have been widespread protests,
including one inflammatory letter from Christ The Light Cathedral in
Salt Lake City, Utah, that read: "You are completely sick. I hope
you and your corpses rot in hell."
And this is a magazine with no nudity whatsoever none that has
people cursing it for eternity.
But perhaps it's the creepy columns.
There's "Funeral Etiquette," which tells advice-seekers whether it's
acceptable to fart at a wake, or if heckling the reader of a eulogy
is equal to jeering a comedian on stage. Meanwhile, "Sex Tips" by
Dr. Necco Feelya guides hapless corpses toward a healthier post-
mortem sex life. When one deceased reader inquired about an odd
buzzing noise, the good doctor replied it was most likely flies
laying eggs in his ear canals, not high blood pressure. He suggested
treating the trouble spot with a Q-Tip doused in gasoline.
Not macabre enough? The Web site offers some truly bizarre products.
Try "Prison Soap," which features a lifelike rectum carved into a
real, 100-percent glycerine bar of soap. Rhine claims a San Diego
County assistant district attorney once purchased one.
But all anyone ever wants to talk about, it seems, are the corpses.
"We're not grave robbers," Rhine stated emphatically, though he
readily points out the lifelike (or deathlike, if you prefer)
appearance of the corpses that adorn each issue is no accident.
He claims he only uses real cadavers that he gets from South
America, Eastern China and Guam, he explains, where laws about
shipping bodies across continents are more "lenient." The cadavers
are stored in dry ice and later dusted with a preserving powder
called Cureodite, which stops the decaying process.
Next, self-described "corpse stylist" Kevin Klemm replaces the
cadaver's fat and water with synthetics through a technique
called "plastination." It's the same process used by artist Gunther
Von Hagens in his well-known Body Worlds exhibit.
"The plastination process sets the bodies in the positions we need
them in for the photo shoot and also allows
Model Sheri Moon, unidentified corpse and Rhine enjoy a peaceful
us to work with the corpses without the usual problems of decay,
stench and maggots which could be a real turnoff for our female
models and would create a biohazard under the hot lights of a photo
shoot," Rhine explained.
In reality, the cadavers are models made by a top Hollywood special
effects house, but Rhine doesn't like to mention that, feeling it
spoils "the joke."
Fortunately, these stench-free corpses aren't made to pose with run-
of-the mill, worn-out models or washed-up adult film stars. Instead,
they get bona-fide hot, living babes like Sheri Moon from Rob
Zombie's "House of a Thousand Corpses," Sid Haig, who starred
in "The Devil's Rejects," and "Clown Porn" star Hollie Stevens,
among others of equally impressive caliber and beauty.
Stevens, for one, says she loves posing with her rotted co-models.
But despite having some strong working relationships, she's not
dying to date any of them.
"I enjoy working with them," Stevens said. "Corpses usually have a
great sense of humor and always
know how to make me laugh, but they're just not my type."
While the publication may appear to some as little more than post-
mortem perversion, Rhine has a more enlivened, dare we say,
"The ultimate goal of Girls and Corpses magazine is to open your
eyes to the second most important event in your life following
birth your death," he said. "We all have an expiration date
stamped on our soul which we have little control over, but we can
control how we live our lives.
"Humor is the perfect way to allow us to look at this dark and
inevitable curtain call of life."
Hi all... apologies if you've already been directed to this
monstrosity, but Skylaire.com is up... and running slowly uphill...
let me know what you think, and have a wonderful Halloween!
"yellow journalism, elfin magic"
P.O. Box 291842
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Did GOP Operatives Expose Whistleblowers?
...This summer the House Judiciary Committee launched an effort to
collect tips from would-be whistleblowers in the Justice Department.
The U.S. attorney firings scandal had shown that much was amiss in
the Department, and with the danger of retaliation very real, the
committee had set up a form on the committee's website for people to
blow the whistle privately about abuses there. Although the panel
said it would not accept anonymous tips, it assured those who came
forward that their identity would be held in the "strictest
But in an email sent out today, the committee inadvertently sent the
email addresses of all the would-be whistleblowers to everyone who
had written in to the tipline. The committee email was sent to
tipsters who had used the website form, including presumably
whistleblowers themselves, and all of the recipients of the email
were accidentally included in the "to:" field -- instead of
concealing those addresses with a so-called blind carbon copy
Only the email addresses were exposed; none of the names or other
identifying information of the whistleblowers was revealed. The
blunder, however, was noticed by a number of people who had used the
website form and received today's email. One disgruntled recipient
replied to the entire list of whistleblowers angrily complaining
about the snafu; two others forwarded the committee email to
TPMmuckraker with similar complaints.
Compounding the mistake, the committee later sent out a second email
attempting to recall the original email; it, too, included all
recipients in the "to:" field, according to a recipient of the
A committee spokesperson emailed the following statement in response
to TPMmuckraker's questions:
The tip line was created to be a confidential method for Justice
Department employees to provide the Judiciary Committee with
information that might aid the Committee in its ongoing
investigation of politicization at the Justice Department. Because
of the confidentiality agreement, the Committee will not discuss any
emails sent on this tip line. A technological error in a recent
communication inadvertently disclosed certain email addresses. The
Committee has not begun its review of the emails, and does not know
if any of them are in fact from Justice Department employees as
opposed to private citizens expressing more general views. The
Committee apologizes for any concern this error may have caused, and
is making every effort to protect the confidentiality of those who
chose to provide information on the tip line.
It's not immediately clear whether the mistake will lead to the
exposure of those who had contacted the committee. There are more
than 150 recipient addresses revealed in the email. Some of the
email addresses appear to be transparently fake, but there's also,
much more troubling, a vice_president@... carbon copied
on the email, which is the public email address for Vice President
Dick Cheney. In other words, an email containing the email addresses
of all the whistleblowers who had written in to the committee
tipline was sent to public email address of Vice President Cheney...
Inserted from <TPM>
It matters not that only the email addresses were exposed. The
Reich is more than capable of tracing email addresses. If it was an
error at all, it was not technological. It was human. I forward
items to friends daily, and I always use the Bcc: field, with a
dummy address in the To: field. This is not rocket science folks!
The committee replying that they are making every attempt to protect
the confidentiality of those who chose to provide information on the
tip line is meaningless. The cat is already out of the bag. But
was this a blunder?
When I first saw this, I thought "What Idiots!", but the more I mull
it over, that explanation makes no sense to me. Why would a
professional in the Judiciary Committee staff not use Bcc: as
automatically as I do? And why would they Cc: Cheney? I don't
think so. I think this is a deliberate attempt by a Republican on
the Judiciary committee to derail the DOJ investigation by leaking
the identities of whistleblowers to Cheney to expose them to
intimidation and revenge.
Here is the list of suspects:
Sensenbrenner Jr. (R) Wisconsin, 5th
Coble (R) North Carolina, 6th
Gallegly (R) California, 24th
Goodlatte (R) Virginia, 6th
Chabot (R) Ohio, 1st
Lungren (R) California, 3rd
Cannon (R) Utah, 3rd
Keller (R) Florida, 8th
Issa (R) California, 49th
Pence (R) Indiana, 6th
Forbes (R) Virginia, 4th
King (R) Iowa, 5th
Feeney (R) Florida, 24th
Franks (R) Arizona, 2nd
Gohmert (R) Texas, 1st
Jordan (R) Ohio, 4th
Posted by TomCat
Labels: Ethics, GOP Hypocrites, Investigations, Oversight, Politics,
Who needs a Prius anyway?
Plenty of new fuel-efficient cars pollute less than trendy hybrids,
without draining your bank account.
By Rebecca Clarren
Oct. 29, 2007 | More than a cloth grocery bag or a Nalgene bottle,
today's accessory for any hot-blooded environmentalist is a hybrid
car. For anyone who can afford the $22,000 price tag, a Toyota Prius
and other hybrids announce to the world that you are someone who
cares about melting glaciers and the fate of polar bears. People
have always bought cars as status symbol. Where would the sports car
be without the midlife crisis?
So if you want to pay more than $20,000 to reduce your carbon
footprint, brag about your part in reducing dependence on foreign
oil, and garner esteem from friends at the natural food store, go
right ahead. Just don't be too smug. If hybrids are driving a
revolution, it's a televised road trip to marketing heaven.
Hybrids aren't necessarily the most environmentally friendly car on
the market, says Jim Kliesch of Greenercars.org. The Web site,
sponsored by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy,
rates cars based on tailpipe emissions, gas usage and factory
emissions associated with manufacturing. While the Prius and Honda's
hybrid Incite get reported averages of 40 miles per gallon, they're
far from the 60 mpg promised on the sticker for city driving. The
disconnect is due to an outdated Environmental Protection Agency
calculation for fuel economy estimates that fails to include air
conditioning, cold-weather driving and high freeway speeds. In
October, the EPA implemented its new calculation method for 2008
models. It now claims the Prius gets 45 mpg on the highway.
Part of the hybrids' green allure is that when they idle in traffic
or at a stoplight, the battery kicks in and shuts down the polluting
gas engine. Even so, several cars on the market, such as the Honda
Accord and Volkswagen's Beetle and Rabbit, emit less than hybrids.
In fact, Honda's non-hybrid Civic GX (it's natural-gas powered) tops
Greencars.org's "Greenest Vehicles of 2007."
Some hybrids don't deserve any kind of green bragging rights. The
Lexus RX SUV is designed not for fuel efficiency but for speed and
power, and gets an average 30 mpg. That's not bad for an SUV but a
host of non-hybrid cars get better gas mileage. So why do hybrid
owners deserve tax credits and access to high-occupancy lanes? Such
tax credits are window dressing that allow politicians to appear as
if they're doing something to help the environment, says Jamie
Kitman, the New York bureau chief for Automobile magazine. Congress
hasn't increased the federal mileage standard in new trucks and cars
since 1985. While the Senate has proposed requiring new automobiles
to deliver 35 mpg by 2020; the effort is being derailed not only by
Detroit's Big Three but by Prius-maker Toyota, the company that
claims to be "moving America forward."
In reality, the cheapest and simplest way to cut carbon emissions is
with small, lightweight cars that get good gas mileage. This is good
news for me. I'm a journalist. This means I can look forward to a
life of small paychecks, and for now hybrids are too expensive for
me. So I set out to find a hybrid alternative that can still get me
to the mountains, soccer games and, yes, the natural food store.
Daniel Jerzag, a Polish immigrant with a polyester shirt and a
sprayed-on salesman smile, was my appointed ambassador to the Honda
fleet of non-hybrid cars. A patient man, he took it in stride when I
hopped in the back of the Honda Fit, a model that's about a foot
shorter than my Subaru, to see if I would be able to sleep in back
if I were camping and a torrential downpour caused my tent to feel
as watertight as a colander and I needed to sleep in my car. This
has happened. It could happen again.
I folded down the back seats and if I lay horizontally, I could just
fit (get it!). This probably won't be a viable option for most
people: I am only 5 feet tall. However, when I loaded my bike, a
cruiser from the 1950s with a basket and fenders, into the back, it
fit no problem. "This, ugliest car we've got," said Daniel with his
charming broken English.
With a sales pitch like that, clearly he doesn't have to work too
hard. Honda Fits are sprinting off the lot. Dealerships report
they're mostly sold before they arrive. All sorts of people -- 20-
somethings, families, a lot of women in their mid-50s -- buy these
cars, said Daniel. While the Honda hybrid gets around 40 mpg, the
Fit, for $6,000 less, gets 37 mpg.
Like the Fit and the Civic, the Nissan Versa gets a high score from
Greenercars. A joint venture between Nissan and Renault, this
$12,000 sedan has a certain French stylish interior with tons of
space for a family of four on a road trip to the Grand Canyon. The
trunk is small, however; there's no way you'd fit a bike or
snowboard inside the car. But during the week I test-drove the
Versa, it got me to trails in the forest, my yoga class and, yes,
the natural food store, with gas mileage in town that neared 40
miles to the gallon. If I needed extra space, I could always use one
of those Kayak or Thule removable roof trunks.
Tom Dwyer, my mechanic in Portland, whose automotive business is eco-
certified, says "hybrids are a short-term step to where we need to
be, which is a full plug-in." But plans for fully electric cars,
thanks in large part to auto industry lobbying against them, and now
the popularity of hybrids, have been relegated to the back burner by
Detroit and Tokyo.
At best, hybrids remain a relatively expensive option for drivers
who want to cut their gas use and emit less pollution; at worst,
they're a way for the automotive industry to stall development of
something closer to a zero-emission vehicle. So if status isn't at
the top of your buying list for a new car, you might be better off
indulging your driving vice in a Versa.
-- By Rebecca Clarren
Sleeping pills for kids top global list of bad products
Tue Oct 30, 2007
Sleeping pills advertised for children, dangerous toys and bottled
water taken from local reservoirs are among the world's worst
products, a global consumer group said Monday.
In announcing its bad products awards for 2007, Consumers
International said the top prize went to the US subsidiary of
Japanese firm Takeda Pharmaceuticals for promoting a sleeping drug
The company ran a television advertisement in the United States
which used images of children, chalk boards and a school bus to sell
its drug Rozerem.
The "back-to-school" advertisements, which complied with US law,
promoted the sleeping pills to parents without including health
warnings for children, Consumers International said.
"This case demonstrates the lengths to which some drug companies
will go to increase sales of their products, how direct to consumer
advertising can promote irrational drug use, and how weak regulation
can foster irresponsible corporate behaviour," the group said.
Another award went to drinks giant Coca-Cola for pushing
marketing "into the realms of the ridiculous" in the United States
and South America with its Dasani bottled water which is sourced
from the same reservoirs as local tap water.
Kellogg's, best known for its cereals, was given a bad food award
for the worldwide use of cartoon characters and marketing aimed at
children despite the high levels of salt and sugar in some foods.
"Kellogg's are one of a number of international food companies that
make money by selling products high in fat, sugar and/or salt,"
Consumers International said.
"Threatened with litigation in the US, Kellogg's have agreed to
change some of their marketing practices, however we believe they
are doing too little, too late."
Toymaker Mattel was also named over the global recall of more than
19 million products made in China because of high lead levels and
Last month the US toymaker apologised to China, saying the vast
majority of recalls were due to design flaws and had nothing to do
with where the toys were manufactured.
"This is a classic case of avoiding accountability and shifting
responsibility on a global scale," Consumers International said.
"Wherever the fault lies, the safety of consumers was compromised
and this should be the full focus of Mattel's attention, not finger
pointing and not blame dodging."
Consumers International, a global federation of consumer advocate
organisations, said the awards aimed to highlight the abuse of
"These multi-billion dollar companies are global brands with a
responsibility to be honest, accountable and responsible," the
group's director general Richard Lloyd said.
"In highlighting their shortcomings, Consumers International and its
220 member organisations are holding corporations to account and
demanding businesses take social responsibility seriously."
The awards, which were announced at Consumers International's World
Congress in Sydney, were whittled down from submissions by consumer
organisations around the world.
Criteria for final selection included the size of the company, the
scale of sales and marketing, the impact on consumers, and the
potential for change by the corporation.
Elvis Is Forbes' Richest Dead Celebrity
NEW YORK (AP) Elvis Presley is still the King. Presley, who earned
an estimated $49 million in the past 12 months, has reclaimed the
No. 1 spot on Forbes.com's list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. He
last topped the list in 2005.
John Lennon ranks second with earnings of $44 million, followed by
Charles M. Schulz ($35 million), George Harrison ($22 million),
Albert Einstein ($18 million), Andy Warhol ($15 million), Theodor
Geisel (Dr. Seuss) ($13 million), Tupac Shakur ($9 million), Marilyn
Monroe ($7 million), Steve McQueen ($6 million), James Brown ($5
million), Bob Marley ($4 million) and James Dean ($3.5 million).
Presley died in 1977. His estate continues to generate millions from
music royalties, DVDs, licensing deals and tourism at Graceland, the
rocker's mansion in Memphis, Tenn.
Forbes said the celebrities on the list, posted Monday, earned a
combined $232 million in the past 12 months.
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