July 2012 - Posts
America has had its first look at the Aurora Batman shooter, James Holmes. Sporting dyed fiery hair and a blank expression, Holmes appeared before a judge today for his very first court appearance. Holmes remained silent during the appearance, with his attorneys answering for him even when the judge asked him if he understood his rights.
If you've been under a rock the past week and don't know what we're talking about, let us help you. On July 20, Holmes walked into the midnight screening of the new Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises" at the Century movie theater in Aurora, Colo. He was wearing protective gear, and set off tear gas grenades and then proceeded to shoot into the audience, killing 12 people and wounding 58 more.
Although there have been no actual numbers released, we'd be willing to be that people everywhere are rethinking their late night movie cravings, and opting to stay at home. In fact, we'd also bet our last dime that multitudes of people are staying away from movie theaters all together.
But you don't have to live in fear. If we all walked around afraid of the "what-ifs" in life, we'd be too petrified to live. Brandon Webb, a Navy SEAL, has shared some tips to help people be better prepared in the future.
• Choose seats that allow for a hasty exit.
• Don't just hide yourself, cover yourself. Hiding is just concealment, while cover hides and protects.
• Carry a flashlight with a high lumens. This can help you to blind an attacker for just a few seconds – which can be enough time for fight or flight. Webb recommends a 200+ lumens flashlight that is waterproof, LED and runs off a 3-volt lithium battery.
• Consider taking a self-defense class in your area, conducted by former military or law enforcement personnel.
• Avoid opening night and large crowds that make easy targets. You don't want to live in fear, but use common sense and don't put yourself in harm's way.
By now, unless you've been living under a rock, you've no doubt heard about the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes divorce. You've heard the stories about how she spent months secretly preparing to drop a bomb on Cruise. You've seen news reports about how he's dealing with it as best he can, and how she's finally smiling again.
At the center of the storm is Cruise's devout belief in Scientology. Holmes converted after the couple were married, which reportedly caused a myriad of rifts between the starlet and her family and friends. She was raised in a strict Catholic home.
But if you're like us, you may not know much about the whole Scientology thing, except that there are quite a few celebrities that claim it as their own. We did a little digging, and here's what we found.
The Church of Scientology was founded by sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard, in an attempt to clear people of their unhappiness. While most of us look at the organization as a Mafia-like operation, Scientologists claim it's a church. The group now has about 700 centers in 65 countries. It's very secretive, with its top officials refusing to discuss church business or beliefs.
One of the church's biggest attractions is its celebrity roster, which boasts Cruise, along with John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Mimi Rogers, Anne Archer, Sonny Bono and even the voice of Bart Simpson, Nancy Cartwright.
But what's not widely reported is that no group prompts more telephone pleas for help than Scientology. Called the most ruthless and classically terroristic of the groups that have been labeled cults, some former members have said it's a criminal organization.
Whatever your opinion, one thing is clear, if news reports are to be believed. Holmes has distanced herself from Cruise and his so-called church, and is running back to what she knows. It's almost like the 1970s again, when cult members were routinely grabbed and de-programmed. Only this time, the target for the de-programming went willingly.
We don't claim to fully understand scientology, or the reasons for the Cruise-Holmes split. But you have to admit, it does seem that Scientology is at the heart of it.
You can buy just about anything on eBay. You can buy used stuff and new stuff. You can find vintage and antique items, and the latest thing. You can find the most common things…and you can find the most unusual things.
Take for example, the item Lori N. from Albuquerque, N.M. posted for sale. She's a freelance writer who's had a little misfortune lately, and decided to sell something she thought would bring a pretty penny – her immortal soul.
The listing, which featured a starting bid of $2,000, has been removed. Apparently, eBay has a strict policy regarding human remains, although there is nothing included about souls.
No word yet whether Satan entered a bid.