Monthly Archives: June 2013


SNOWDEN'S HIDEOUTCopyright John Cole. John Cole is the editorial cartoonist for The Times-Tribune, and is syndicated nationally by Cagle Cartoons.

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Los Angeles Times

Rena Price with her son Marquette Frye, right, and stepson Ronald Frye at a hearing on the riots.


Published: June 29, 2013

  • Rena Price was in her kitchen in the Watts section of Los Angeles on Aug. 11, 1965, when a neighbor came to tell her that the police were arresting her 21-year-old son, Marquette Frye. She immediately raced to the corner of 116th Street and South Avalon Boulevard, her red-flowered dress billowing.

Her first reaction was to scold her son for driving while intoxicated, which a police sobriety test showed he was. He insisted he was sober, but Mrs. Price shrugged his arm away from her shoulder and said: “You’re not acting normal. You’re not acting right. Get away from me.”

Alongside them was a highway patrolman, Lee W. Minikus, who had stopped Mr. Frye for reckless driving and had, by his account, been joking with the young man when Mrs. Price arrived on the scene. He later said that “to all appearances” Mrs. Price’s words “appeared to incite Marquette to refuse to submit to physical arrest.”

Scuffling ensued, punches were thrown, and arrests were made as an increasingly restive crowd grew. Soon the tension boiled over into the neighborhood, setting off a contagion of mayhem that became known as the Watts riots — the biggest uprising by blacks in the United States since the slave revolts. “Burn, baby, burn!” was the cry of marauding bands, an exclamation mark on the race riots that had ripped through Harlem, Detroit, Newark and other places in the mid-1960s.

After six days of violence in Los Angeles, 34 people were dead and more than 1,000 were wounded. Property damage approached $100 million.

Mrs. Price remained in the city and died there on June 10. She was 97.

Precisely what happened at 116th Street and South Avalon Boulevard has long been debated. Versions of the episode have varied. Probably the most complete account is by Jerry Cohen and William S. Murphy, reporters whose coverage of the riots helped The Los Angeles Times win a Pulitzer Prize in 1966 and whose book that year, “Burn, Baby, Burn! The Los Angeles Race Riot, August 1965,” explored the event even further.

By their account, Mr. Frye, after his scolding, whirled from his mother and started swearing at the police, threatening to kill them. He swung at an officer trying to subdue him. As the police waited for reinforcements, an officer went to his car and got a shotgun.

Tensions escalated. Mr. Frye threw a punch at an officer, who slugged him back. A stepbrother, Ronald Frye, who had been riding in the car, also got involved in the fracas. Mrs. Price jumped on at least one officer’s back (Mr. Cohen and Mr. Murphy wrote that she had jumped on two, but accounts differ) and ripped his shirt. Meanwhile, the crowd of onlookers had grown to more than 200. They booed as Mrs. Price was handcuffed and shoved into a police car.

“Everything was going fine with the arrest until his mama got there,” Officer Minikus said in a 2005 interview with The Los Angeles Times.

Someone in the crowd spit on a police officer, and another woman was arrested. She had on the blue smock she wore as a barber, and because it was large and loose, like Mrs. Price’s dress, word spread through the crowd that two pregnant women had been roughed up and arrested. Neither, in fact, was pregnant.

Mrs. Price spent the night in jail and did not learn about the rioting until the next day.

“I was surprised,” she said in an interview with The Times in 2005. “I had never heard of a riot. There were never any riots before. I went back to my house. Where else was I going to go?”

A state commission found causes for the violence in a paucity of jobs, inadequate schools and resentment of the police. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who went to Watts immediately afterward, blamed “general despair.”

Still, as an F.B.I. manual issued six months before the riot stated, “some kind of provocation” triggers mass violence. Mrs. Price was an unlikely trigger.

She was born Rena Davis on May 13, 1916, into a farming family in Oklahoma. She completed the eighth grade before marrying C. L. Price, with whom she had four children. Marquette was the fourth. Six months after his birth, in 1944, the family moved to Hanna, Wyo., where there was a mining boom.

Shortly after arriving, she and Mr. Price divorced, and she began seeing Wallace Frye, who also had four children from a previous relationship. They married, and in 1957, after the mining boom petered out, the family moved to Los Angeles.

It was a tough adjustment, Marquette Frye said in an interview for the book “Burn, Baby, Burn!” He found being in an all-black school difficult after studying with whites in Wyoming. He was repeatedly suspended for fighting and was arrested for minor thefts and a robbery.

In the book, Mrs. Price, who found work cleaning houses, said that other children picked on Marquette from the time he arrived in Watts at 13. “His temper is short — like mine — so he don’t take no pushing around,” she said.

At the time, the whole family used the name Frye, but after the riots, most of them, including Marquette, abandoned it in favor of Price, deciding that the name Frye seemed synonymous with racial turmoil, according to Mrs. Price’s son Wendell Price, who confirmed her death.

Wallace Frye died in 1978, and Mrs. Price never remarried. Marquette Frye died of pneumonia in 1986. Besides her son Wendell, Mrs. Price is survived by another son, Charles, and 19 grandchildren. Wendell Price said he did not know how many of her stepchildren were still alive.

In August 1965, Marquette Frye pleaded guilty to drunken driving, battery and malicious injury of property. His stepbrother Ronald — who was also in the car, their mother’s 1955 Buick — pleaded guilty to interfering with a police officer. Wendell Price said Ronald was still living in the Los Angeles area. Both Marquette and Ronald were sentenced to three years’ probation.

A jury found Mrs. Price guilty of interfering with a police officer, rejecting her lawyer’s argument that she had only come to the aid of her sons. A judge fined her $250 and instructed her to pay in monthly installments of $10.

“I have a reason for this,” the judge said. “On the first of every month when you have to pay $10, you will be reminded of this case.”

Mrs. Price never reclaimed her Buick. It had been impounded, and the storage fees exceeded its value.




Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

Bobby (Blue) Bland, left, with B.B. King, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.


Published: June 24, 2013

  • Bobby (Blue) Bland, the debonair balladeer whose sophisticated, emotionally fraught performances helped modernize the blues, died on Sunday at his home in Germantown, Tenn., a suburb of Memphis. He was 83.

Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal, via Associated Press

Mr. Bland was honored at the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

Michael Ochs Archives, via Getty Images

Bobby (Blue) Bland performing in Houston, around 1964.

His death was confirmed by his son, Rodd, who played drums in his band.

Though he possessed gifts on a par with his most accomplished peers, Mr. Bland never achieved the popular acclaim enjoyed by contemporaries like Ray Charles and B. B. King. But he was nevertheless a mainstay on the rhythm-and-blues charts and club circuit for decades.

His vocals, punctuated by the occasional squalling shout, were restrained, exhibiting a crooner’s delicacy of phrasing and a kind of intimate pleading. He influenced everyone from the soul singers Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett to rock groups like the Allman Brothers and The Band. The rapper Jay-Z sampled Mr. Bland’s 1974 single “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” on his 2001 album, “The Blueprint.”

Mr. Bland’s signature mix of blues, jazz, pop, gospel and country music was a good decade in the making. His first recordings, made in the early 1950s, found him working in the lean, unvarnished style of Mr. King, even to the point of employing falsetto vocal leaps patterned after Mr. King’s. Mr. Bland’s mid-’50s singles were more accomplished; hits like “It’s My Life, Baby” and “Farther Up the Road” are now regarded as hard-blues classics, but they still featured the driving rhythms and stinging electric guitar favored by Mr. King and others. It wasn’t until 1958’s “Little Boy Blue,” a record inspired by the homiletic delivery of the Rev. C. L. Franklin, that Mr. Bland arrived at his trademark vocal technique.

“That’s where I got my squall from,” Mr. Bland said, referring to the sermons of Mr. Franklin — “Aretha’s daddy,” as he called him — in a 1979 interview with the author Peter Guralnick. “After I had that I lost the high falsetto. I had to get some other kind of gimmick, you know, to be identified with.”

The corresponding softness in Mr. Bland’s voice, a refinement matched by the elegant formal wear in which he appeared onstage, came from listening to records by pop crooners like Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett and Perry Como.

Just as crucial to the evolution of Mr. Bland’s sound was his affiliation with the trumpet player and arranger Joe Scott, for years the director of artists and repertory for Duke Records in Houston. Given to dramatic, brass-rich arrangements, Mr. Scott, who died in 1979, supplied Mr. Bland with intricate musical backdrops that set his supple baritone in vivid relief.

The two men accounted for more than 30 Top 20 rhythm-and-blues singles for Duke from 1958 to 1968, including the No. 1 hits “I Pity the Fool” and “That’s the Way Love Is.” Steeped in vulnerability and emotional candor, his performances earned him a devoted female audience.

Though only four of his singles from these years — “Turn On Your Love Light,” “Call on Me,” “That’s the Way Love Is” and “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” — crossed over to the pop Top 40, Mr. Bland’s recordings resonated with the era’s blues-leaning rock acts. The Grateful Dead made “Love Light” a staple of their live shows. The Band recorded his 1964 single “Share Your Love With Me” for their 1973 album, “Moondog Matinee.” Van Morrison included a version of “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” on his 1974 live set, “It’s Too Late to Stop Now.”

Mr. Bland himself broke through to pop audiences in the mid-’70s with “His California Album” and its more middle-of-the-road follow-up, “Dreamer.” But his greatest success always came in the rhythm-and-blues market, where he placed a total of 63 singles on the charts from 1957 to 1985. He signed with the Mississippi-based Malaco label in 1985 and made a series of well-received albums that appealed largely to fans of traditional blues and soul music.

Mr. Bland was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and received a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in 1997.

Robert Calvin Brooks was born on Jan. 27, 1930, in Millington, Tenn., just north of Memphis. His father, I. J. Brooks, abandoned the family when Bobby was very young. His mother, Mary Lee, married Leroy Bridgeforth, who also went by the name Leroy Bland, when Bobby was 6.

Mr. Bland dropped out of school in the third grade to work in the cotton fields. Though he never learned to write music or play an instrument, he cited the music of the pioneering blues guitarist T-Bone Walker as an early influence.

After moving to Memphis in 1947, Mr. Bland began working in a garage and singing spirituals in a group called the Miniatures. In 1949 he joined the Beale Streeters, a loose-knit collective whose members at various points included Johnny Ace, Rosco Gordon, Earl Forest and B. B. King, all of whom went on to become popular blues performers as solo artists.

Mr. Bland also traveled as a part of the Johnny Ace Revue and recorded for the Chess, Modern and Duke labels before being drafted into the Army in 1952. Several of these recordings were made under the supervision of the producer Sam Phillips at Sun Studios in Memphis; none sold particularly well.

After his time in the service Mr. Bland worked as a chauffeur, a valet and an opening act for the Memphis rhythm-and-blues singer Junior Parker, just as he had for Mr. King. He toured as a headliner throughout the ’60s, playing as many as 300 one-night engagements a year, a demanding schedule that exacerbated his struggles with alcohol. He performed widely, in the United States and abroad, until shortly before his death.

In addition to his son, Rodd, Mr. Bland’s survivors include his wife, Willie Mae; a daughter, Patrice Moses; and four grandchildren. Rodd Bland said his father had recently learned that the blues singer and harmonica player James Cotton was his half-brother.

Mr. Bland’s synthesis of Southern vernacular music and classy big-band arrangements made him a stylistic pioneer, but whatever he accomplished by way of formal innovation ultimately derived from his underlying faith in the emotional power of the blues.

“I’d like to be remembered as just a good old country boy that did his best to give us something to listen to and help them through a lot of sad moments, happy moments, whatever,” he said in a 2009 interview with the syndicated “House of Blues Radio Hour.”

“Whatever moments you get of happiness, use it up, you know, if you can, because it don’t come that often.”

Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.




Beatrice De Gea/Los Angeles Times, via Associated Press

Richard Matheson had a prolific imagination for the “what if?” story, and he got ideas from actual events and other stories.


Published: June 25, 2013

  • Richard Matheson, whose novels, short stories, screenplays and teleplays drew the blueprints for dozens of science fiction and horror movies and television shows, died on Sunday at his home in Calabasas, Calif. He was 87.


His death was confirmed by his son Richard Christian, known as R. C.

Mr. Matheson had a prolific imagination for the “what if?” story, and he drew his ideas from both actual events and other stories. After the unsettling experience of being tailgated by a truck driver, he wrote the short story “Duel,” about a motorist who is relentlessly stalked in a highway chase by a tractor-trailer, its driver unseen. The story became the basis for Steven Spielberg’s first feature film, starring Dennis Weaver.

An early novel, and perhaps his best-known work, “I Am Legend,” about the last surviving human in a world in which everyone else is a vampire, was published in 1954 and adapted in 1964 as “The Last Man on Earth” with Vincent Price, in 1971 as “The Omega Man” with Charlton Heston and in 2007 as “I Am Legend” with Will Smith.

Mr. Matheson was inspired to write it while watching the 1931 film version of “Dracula.”

“My mind drifted off, and I thought, ‘If one vampire is scary, what if the whole world is full of vampires?’ ” Mr. Matheson said in an interview with the Archive of American Television.

In a widely distributed statement, Stephen King, who acknowledged Mr. Matheson as an influence, said: “Matheson fired the imaginations of three generations of writers. Without his ‘I Am Legend,’ there would have been no ‘Night of the Living Dead’; without “Night of the Living Dead,’ there would have been no ‘Walking Dead,’ ‘28 Days Later’ or ‘World War Z’.”

Mr. Matheson’s 1956 novel “The Shrinking Man,” a frightening fantasy about a man whose simultaneous exposure to insecticide and radioactivity causes him to dwindle gradually in size, was adapted twice for the movies — once as a horror story, “The Incredible Shrinking Man” (1957), and once as a comedy starring Lily Tomlin, “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” (1981).

In the late 1990s two of his books, “A Stir of Echoes,” a ghost story, and “What Dreams May Come,” about a man adrift in the afterlife, were also made into feature films, starring Kevin Bacon and Robin Williams respectively.

Another novel, “Hell House” (1971), about four people investigating paranormal activity in what one character describes as “the Mount Everest of haunted houses,” became the 1973 film “The Legend of Hell House,” starring Roddy McDowall. The book showed off Mr. Matheson’s gift for creepy atmospherics.

“Edith turned and saw a body of water ahead, a gravel path curving to its left,” Mr. Matheson wrote, describing a character’s first approach to the house. “The surface of the water looked like clouded gelatin sprinkled with a thin debris of leaves and grass. A miasma of decay hovered above it, and the stones which lined its shore were green with slime.”

Mr. Matheson sometimes wrote the screenplays for the adaptations of his books, including “Duel” and “The Legend of Hell House”; he adapted Edgar Allan Poe stories for several films, including “House of Usher,” “Pit and the Pendulum” and “Tales of Terror”; and he wrote the screenplay for the 1965 film “Die! Die! My Darling!,” which starred Tallulah Bankhead as a grieving, demented mother who terrorizes the young woman she blames for her son’s death.

Mr. Matheson was also a busy television writer. He wrote for westerns like “Have Gun, Will Travel,” “Cheyenne” and “Lawman,” and for the war drama “Combat!” But he was mostly known for his work on science fiction and thriller series: “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Star Trek” and especially “The Twilight Zone,” for which he wrote more than a dozen episodes, including the classic “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” which starred William Shatner as an airplane passenger who spies a gremlin on the wing bent on crippling the plane.

Recalling the genesis of that episode, Mr. Matheson said: “I was on an airplane and I looked out and there were all these fluffy clouds and I thought, ‘Gee, what if I saw a guy skiing across that like it was snow?,’ because it looked like snow. But when I thought it over, that’s not very scary, so I turned it into a gremlin out on the wing.”

Mr. King wrote in a brief e-mail Tuesday that Mr. Matheson “was a seminal figure in the horror and fantasy genres, as important in his way as Poe or Lovecraft.”

In his statement he wrote: “He fired my imagination by placing his horrors not in European castles and Lovecraftian universes, but in American scenes I knew and could relate to. ‘I want to do that,’ I thought. ‘I must do that.’ Matheson showed the way.”

Richard Burton Matheson was born in Allendale, N.J., on Feb. 20, 1926, and grew up in Brooklyn. His parents were Norwegian immigrants; his father, Bertolf, installed tile flooring and helped operate speakeasies during Prohibition.

A voracious reader as a boy, Mr. Matheson graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School. He served in the Army in Europe during World War II, an experience that was the source of his novel “The Beardless Warriors.” He studied journalism at the University of Missouri, after which he began writing fiction in earnest. For a time he worked at Douglas Aircraft. He published his first genre story, “Born of Man and Woman,” about a young couple who give birth to a monster and keep him in the cellar, in 1950.

Mr. Matheson married Ruth Ann Woodson in 1952. She survives him. Besides his son R. C., he is also survived by another son, Christian; two daughters, Bettina Matheson Mayberry and Ali Marie Matheson; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Asked if his father, with whom he ran an entertainment company, had a motto or a saying that he lived by, R. C. Matheson said that he had kept a sign above his desk that read, “That which you think becomes your world.”


Many people unfortunately have never heard of Richard Matheson.

I first became acquainted with him when I would sit and watch the screen credits roll on my family’s TV, after a TV series ended. I first became acquainted with Mr. Matheson when I watched episodes of the classic Rod Serling series The Twilight Zone. He wrote many episodes for that ground-breaking series.

And who can forget Duel? The war between Dennis Weaver and the Unseen 18-wheeler truck driver was unforgettable.

The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Legend of Hellhouse, I Am Legend———there is so much that Mr. Richard Matheson has gave us through his creative vision.

He will be sorely missed.

Rest in peace, Mr. Matheson.

Rest in peace.



David Redfern/Redferns

Slim Whitman recorded more than 500 songs and made more than 100 albums.


Published: June 19, 2013

  • In the 1996 movie comedy “Mars Attacks!” Slim Whitman’s yodeling, high-octave rendition of “Indian Love Call” causes the heads of the invading Martians to explode, saving Planet Earth.

Remembering Slim Whitman

Mr. Whitman, the country crooner with the weather-beaten face, velvet voice and sentimental lyrics, was often the object of humor, almost always good-natured. In the early 1980s a disc jockey offered Slim Whitman makeup kits “complete with receding hairline, furry black eyebrows and a cream to make your upper lip quiver.” In 1997 Rush Limbaugh whimsically suggested that when Mr. Whitman’s songs were played backward, the Devil’s voice could be heard. (It couldn’t.)

In 2003 Jim Nayder, who hosts “The Annoying Music Show!” on NPR, announced that he was giving Mr. Whitman a lifetime achievement award. A generation of late-night television hosts joked about him.

The reason for all this jocularity about Mr. Whitman — who died at 90 on Wednesday in Orange Park, Fla. — was his ordinary-guy, squeaky-clean sincerity in writing and singing songs that were, depending on one’s taste, inspiring love ballads aimed at middle-agers or pure cornball. But the bottom line is that Mr. Whitman could laugh all the way to the proverbial bank.

He recorded more than 500 songs, made more than 100 albums and sold more than 70 million records. In the 1970s his recording of “Rose Marie” was No. 1 on the British pop charts for 11 weeks, a feat the Beatles never accomplished. Michael Jackson named Mr. Whitman one of his 10 favorite vocalists. George Harrison credited him as an early influence. Paul McCartney said Mr. Whitman gave him the idea of playing the guitar left-handed.

Elvis Presley, in his first professional appearance in Memphis in 1954, opened for Mr. Whitman. Mistakenly billed as Ellis, he was paid $50; Mr. Whitman got $500. Mr. Whitman later let Presley borrow his trademark white rhinestone jacket.

Through an eclectic repertory that included Broadway show tunes, European folk music, religious songs, cowboy songs and, of course, love songs, Mr. Whitman said he strove to reach everyday people, to bring “the big songs down to the people’s size,” as he put it.

For better or worse, he helped put a twist on how records were sold. In 1979 he blitzed daytime and late-night television for months with advertisements for a greatest-hits album, “All My Best.” Without radio airplay or record-store sales, it became a strong seller. He followed up with three more albums of old songs in the 1980s and ’90s. “Twilight on the Trail,” his first studio album in 20 years, came out in 2010.

Ottis (pronounced AH-tis) Dewey Whitman Jr. was born in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 23, 1923, and liked to listen to Jimmie Rodgers yodel on the family radio. After leaving high school he worked at a meatpacking plant, where he lost part of a finger in an accident. In 1941 he eloped with Alma Crist, who would help him overcome his severe stutter.

He joined the Navy, where he served in the South Pacific and entertained shipmates by singing, yodeling and playing the guitar, which he had learned to play upside down and left-handed.

After the war he played weekly in a supermarket and was hired to perform on local radio stations. Colonel Tom Parker, who later managed Presley, heard him and helped him get a contract with RCA Victor Records. Mr. Whitman adopted the stage name Slim and began to appear on the radio show “Louisiana Hayride,” whose performers also included Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.

In 1952 he had his first hit song, “Love Song of the Waterfall,” which 25 years later became part of the soundtrack for “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” He nonetheless kept his day job as a postman. “Indian Love Call,” which later killed fictional Martians, soon followed and also became a hit. Mr. Whitman stopped carrying mail.

In 1954 he recorded “Rose Marie,” which raced to the top of the charts. His long popularity in Britain began when a promoter arranged to have the song broadcast there from a radio station in Luxembourg. Not until 1992 was the song’s long reign at the top of the charts surpassed, by Bryan Adams’s “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You.” In 1956 Mr. Whitman became the first American country artist to play the London Palladium.

His other hits included “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You,” “Red River Valley,” “Danny Boy” and “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen.” He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

His wife of 67 years died in 2009. Mr. Whitman, who lived in Middleburg, Fla., is survived by his daughter, Sharon Beagle; his son, Byron; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His son told The Associated Press that he died of heart failure.

Mr. Whitman told The A.P. in 1991 that he wanted to be thought of as “a nice guy” and a good father. “I’d like people to remember me,” he said, “as having a good voice and a clean suit.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: June 24, 2013

An obituary on Thursday about the singer Slim Whitman referred incorrectly to his accomplishments. He was never inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.


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MONSTERS UNIVERSITYCopyright Nate Beeler. Nate Beeler is the award-winning editorial cartoonist for The Columbus Dispatch.

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ESO/M. Kornmesser

Three Habitable Planets? Maybe

June 27, 2013                                                                | Two new studies highlight the growing importance of red dwarfs in the competitive search for alien worlds — and the challenges of characterizing them. > read more

Exoplanets: The Next Frontier

June 20, 2013                                                                  | Sara Seager sits down with S&T’s Editor in Chief Robert Naeye to talk about the future of exoplanet studies and the exotic worlds we might find. > read more

PayPal Stakes Its Claim in Space Tourism

June 28, 2013                                                                | A few years from now, when you’re floating in a space hotel many miles from Earth, you might want to order some coffee. And PayPal wants to make sure you don’t have to pay in cash. > read more

Chelyabinsk Mega-meteor: Status Report

June 25, 2013                                                                | The cosmic intruder that exploded in the sky on February 15th dropped thousands of fragments onto the snow-covered plains of south-central Russia. Here’s an update on what’s been found. > read more

COROT Mission Ends

June 25, 2013                                                                | After several months of trying to reboot, mission planners for the exoplanet hunter COROT have declared the satellite’s failure official. > read more


Dogwood Ridge Observatory

Venus Buzzes the Beehive

June 28, 2013                                                                | Can you take on this twilight challenge? > read more

Tour July’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

May 26, 2013                                                                  | At dusk, you’ll find Venus low in the west, Saturn well up in the south, and a celestial scorpion rising up in the east. Near the Scorpion’s stinger is a small star cluster that’s observable by eye. > read more


Astronomy's 60 Greatest Mysteries

Sky & Telescope

Astronomy’s 60 Greatest Mysteries

June 24, 2013                                                                | The editors of Sky & Telescope announce a brand-new special publication that addresses the most pressing questions facing astronomy today. > read more

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

June 28, 2013                                                                  | One Dipper dips, the other Dipper floats. The Milky Way arches, and two planets have challenging conjunctions. > read more

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Pork-greased bullets from a new group that calls itself Jihawg.

Sausage, pork chop, or bacon greased, when will these people learn that pork unknowingly ingested by Muslims does not condemn them according to the Koran.

Anywhoo, this article was definitely good for a laugh. That anyone or any organization can build a business that coats pig fat on bullets and does not expect that to alter the composition of the bullets, is sad.

In the end, the only winners in this is the company that will get rich on people’s hate and ignorance.


2nd Company Begins Selling Bullets Coated with Pork to Fight Muslims

by Ryan Lenz on June 26, 2013

The advertising pitch says it all: “Put some Ham in MoHAMed.”

Jihawg Ammunition, based in Dalton Gardens, Idaho, has recently begun selling bullets laced with a pork coating, promising “patriot” gun owners that the bullets “will strike fear into the hearts of those bent upon hate, violence and murder.”

Consumption of pork is forbidden in Islam. The idea behind the bullets is that a Muslim hit by them would be desecrated and unable to go to heaven.

This isn’t the first time Hatewatch has heard claims of pork-coated bullets from Muslim-bashing profiteers. In May 2011, we reported on a company called Silver Bullet Gun Oil, which said it had produced for sale a gun oil laced with pork fat. In that case, the creator openly affirmed the offensiveness of his product. “It is designed as an affront to an entire belief structure,” the business owner told Hatewatch at the time.

A request to Jihawg Ammunition for comment today was not immediately answered.


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family vacation cartoonCopyright Dave Granlund. Dave Granlund’s cartoons have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek.

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Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is annually observed on June 26 to remind people that human torture is not only unacceptable – it is also a crime.

Local names

Name Language
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture English
Día Internacional en Apoyo de las Víctimas de la Tortura Spanish

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is annually observed on June 26 to remind people that human torture is not only unacceptable – it is also a crime.

UN International Day in Support of Victims of TortureThe UN’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture serves as a reminder to people that human torture is a crime.© Ryan Klos

What do people do?

Rehabilitation centers and human rights organizations around the world celebrate the UN’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26 each year. The day serves as a reminder to people that torture is a crime. This event gives everyone a chance to unite and voice their opinions against human torture.

Organizations, including the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims and Amnesty International, have played an active role in organizing events around the world to promote the day. Activities may include: photo exhibitions; the distribution of posters and other material to boost people’s awareness of issues related to human torture; and television advertisements.

Public life

The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is not a public holiday and public life is not affected.


On June 26, 1987, the Convention against Torture came into force. It was an important step in the process of globalizing human rights and acknowledging that torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment should be universally illegal. In 1997 the United Nations General Assembly decided to mark this historic date and designated June 26 each year as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The first International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was held on June 26, 1998. It was a day when the United Nations appealed to all governments and members of civil society to take action to defeat torture and torturers everywhere. That same year marked the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.


The United Nations’ logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches are a symbol for peace, and the world map represents all the people of the world. The logo appears in colors such as black on a white or light yellow background.

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Fri Jun 26 1998 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Sat Jun 26 1999 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Mon Jun 26 2000 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Tue Jun 26 2001 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Wed Jun 26 2002 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Thu Jun 26 2003 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Sat Jun 26 2004 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Sun Jun 26 2005 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Mon Jun 26 2006 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Tue Jun 26 2007 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Thu Jun 26 2008 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Fri Jun 26 2009 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Sat Jun 26 2010 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Sun Jun 26 2011 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Tue Jun 26 2012 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Wed Jun 26 2013 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Thu Jun 26 2014 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance
Fri Jun 26 2015 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture United Nations observance

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