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Scott Hixson

My heroes are predominately literary figures. Some are authors. All are dead.
I like to collect antiquated things. My prized possessions in this world are two typewriters and neither one of them has ink. You could say I like useless things, and you’d be right. Between my typewriters, vinyl, library of yellowing pages and English major I am, in essence, utterly useless.

In a past life, I was a drop of ink on page 57 of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.” I then became a sandy rock and I have not moved since.

I often like chain-smoking because I find I would rather worry about killing time than killing myself slowly.

I pretend my freckles are constellations. I’ve yet to find any discernible shapes.
My teeth are too big for my head.

I’m just like everybody else, but stretched out. This has led many to feel like they can criticize, as if skinny people are less conscious about their weight than obese people. I’ve had nicknames ranging from the relatively tame “Tree” to the more absurd, and frankly offensive, “Ethiopian dynamite.”

I got a brain tattooed on my chest to remind me to think more. It didn’t work.
I’ve noticed since I reached manhood that elderly men hit on me more than any other demographic. I can’t quite figure out why.

I like ghost stories though I don’t believe in the existence of ghosts.

I stole yard gnomes from a neighbor’s garden when I was much younger. I thought I was part of something coined the National Gnome Liberation Front. I’m pretty sure the statute is up for that so I have no qualms. Also, they were mean neighbors.

I consider the smell of old books an aphrodisiac, I think it’s the sign of a serious mental condition.

I think MDMA is a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and an Oreo on top on a rainy day.

Whisox!

Jason 'Mayhem' Miller found "dozing" naked inside ravaged OC church

The former UFC middleweight fighter was charged with burglary

 

Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller was arrested Monday on suspicion of burglary after police found him sleeping naked on a couch inside an Orange County church.

Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, 31, mixed martial arts fighter and MTV reality show host formerly associated with the UFC, was released from the Orange County Jail early Tuesday after posting $20,000 bail, records show.

According to Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino, the pastor of Mission Viejo’s Mission Hills Church alerted authorities to a break-in shortly after 9 a.m. The first floor of the church was trashed with broken pictures and books thrown across the floor and the walls covered in spray-paint. A trail of residue from a fire extinguisher led authorities to the second floor, where Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller was found, according to Amormino, naked and “dozing” on a couch.

“When they asked him his name, he kept saying, ‘Mayhem, Mayhem,’” Amormino said. “They didn’t know who he was – they thought he was being uncooperative.”

Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller was arrested without incident and taken to the hospital ward at the Orange County Jail, where he was “deemed OK for booking,” according to Amormino. He was charged with suspicion of burglary but could face vandalism charges as well, added Amormino.

It is not clear how Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller gained access to the church. Deputies believe Miller entered the building by removing boards that covered a window broken Saturday night. Police believe Saturday’s broken window was another burglary attempt and are investigating whether Miller was responsible for that attempt.

Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller has been associated with several MMA organizations, including UFC and the San Jose-based Strikeforce. The middleweight fighter said earlier this year that he would retire if C.B. Dollaway defeated him in a UFC match on May 27. Miller was defeated in that fight, prompting UFC president Dana White to say Miller was “done” with the organization.

Miller appeared on Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter as a coach. He also hosted three seasons of MTV’s Bully Beatdown.

Miller’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Jesse Jackson Jr responding well to treatment for bipolar II disorder

According to the Mayo Clinic, the congressman is responding well to treatment

 

Jesse Jackson Jr., the Democratic congressman from Illinois who has been on a medical leave of absence from Congress since June, is being treated for bipolar II disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Jesse Jackson Jr. has been on an official leave of absence from Congress since June 10, when, according to family members, he collapsed at his Washington home after being “completely debilitated by depression.”

The congressman’s office initially reported that he suffered from exhaustion, but as the summer passed more information was released, including a statement made by the Mayo Clinic on July 27 admitting Jesse Jackson Jr. was being treated for depression and gastrointestinal issues.

On Monday, the Mayo Clinic released new details regarding the congressman’s condition. Despite performing an “extensive evaluation,” the clinic failed to give a timeline for more updates on Jackson’s condition.  The congressman’s wife, Sandi Jackson, told the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this month that she hopes her husband will return to Chicago by Sept. 1.

According to a statement released by the Mayo Clinic Monday, “Congressman Jackson is responding well to the treatment and regaining his strength.”

The statement also noted that bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million people in the U.S. and “affects parts of the brain controlling emotion, thought and drive.” According to the clinic, bipolar II disorder is caused by a complicated series of genetic and environmental factors.

Bipolar II disorder is a less severe type of the disorder than the type I form, involving milder forms of mood elevation and milder episodes of hypomania that alternate with bouts of severe depression.

The statement continued to state that Jesse Jackson Jr. underwent gastric bypass surgery eight years ago and that such an operation “can change how the body absorbs food, liquids, vitamins, nutrients and medications.”

Jesse Jackson Jr. is the target of an investigation by the House Ethics Committee into possible wrongdoing involving President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat – now held by Sen. Mark Kirk. Just days before Jesse Jackson Jr. left Congress on medical leave, one of his former fundraisers, Raghuveer Nayak, was taken into custody by the FBI on charges of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to doctors.

Jackson’s spokesman, Rick Bryant, has said the congressman could resume work within weeks, adding Jackson seemed “like his old self.”

Last year, Jackson’s wife, Sandi, revealed that the congressman had engaged in an extramarital affair. Last Thursday, Sandi Jackson spoke with reporters but failed to give a timetable for the congressman’s return to Congress.

“At this point we are taking every day one day at a time,” Sandi Jackson said. “But we here on the ground are preparing for his eventual return. We don’t know when that’s going to be, but we want his constituents to know that they are very much on his mind.”

Bullied teen undergoes $40,000 worth of plastic surgery at no cost

Nadia Ilse, 14, underwent plastic surgery to correct her “elephant ears”

A Georgia teen bullied for her “elephant ears” underwent $40,000 worth of plastic surgery, including an otoplasty, reduction rhinoplasty and mentoplasty, at no cost thanks to the Little Baby Face Foundation.

The bullied teen, Nadia Ilse, begged her mother beginning at the age of 10 for plastic surgery to pin her ears back in order to ward off taunts from peers. Now 14, Ilse’s wish was recently granted by the Little Baby Face Foundation, a charity that provides free corrective surgery to children born with facial deformities.

Ilse told CNN that the taunts of her peers, including names such as “Dumbo,” drove her to become antisocial. The teen told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta that the taunting “hurt so much.”

The teen and her mother were brought from their home in Georgia to New York City by the charity. In addition to the otoplasty, pinning the ears back, the charity’s founder, Dr. Thomas Romo, III. also performed reduction rhinoplasty, reducing the size of the nose, and mentoplasty, altering the chin, an estimated cost of $40,000.

“I look beautiful, this is exactly what I wanted, I love it,” Ilse said.

The teen will begin counseling as part of her treatment to overcome the psychological distress bullying has caused her. Little Baby Face Foundation board member Don Moriarity told MailOnline that the teen’s positive outlook illustrates the charity’s mission.

“We like to say that Baby Face transforms the lives of these children and gives them newfound confidence,” Moriarity said.

Ilse was asked by Dr. Gupta what advice she would give to parents. The teen responded, “Give your children a lot of love and affection and tell them that they’re beautiful every single day.”

A before and after comparison can be found here.

McKayla Maroney sour expression lives on thanks to the Internet

The 16-year-old gymnast’s expression atop the silver medal podium earned her a meme worth smiling about

McKayla Maroney is only 16 and will walk away from the 2012 London Olympic Games with both gold and silver medals. But what lasts even longer than gold? Well, not many things, but Internet fame may be one.

McKayla Maroney has become the star of her own Internet meme, complete with her disappointed scowl atop the silver medal podium after her vaulting competition. The “McKayla Is Not Impressed” meme can be found all over the Internet nowadays, but the gymnast isn’t exactly thrilled with her Internet fame either.

McKayla Maroney appeared on Today this morning and spoke about her sour expression atop the podium.

“It wasn’t the silver that I was disappointed about. I was just disappointed in what happened and how I performed. I really wanted to be able to hit both my vaults but I ended up falling on my second one,” the gymnast said. “I was just disappointed in myself, not the silver medal. It’s amazing to even be here and be on this team and compete for [the] USA.”

It may not appear so from the picture, but McKayla Maroney has said she is impressed with her silver medal.

Maroney’s vault during the team competition was astounding and helped the U.S. women’s gymnastics team earn the gold. There was even a debate about whether her vault should have earned a perfect score, which it barely missed.

“This tumblr is kinda funny,” Maroney tweeted. “Made me laugh.”

Gu Kailai remains silent during trial

The wife of a former high-ranking Communist Party member is accused of poisoning a British businessman

Gu Kulailai, the wife of disgraced Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Bo Xilai, did not contest the charge of murder during her court appearance Thursday stemming from the poisoning of a British businessman in 2011, a court official said.

Gu Kulailai, referred to in the court’s proceedings by her official name, Bogu Kailai, along with her alleged accomplice, Zhang Xiaojun, are accused of the 2011 poisoning death of Neil Heywood in what is being called “China’s trial of the century.”

The main account of the trial issued by the court in Hefei, the provincial capital of Anhui in eastern China, was given to reporters. The translation is provided by Reuters and is as follows:

“This morning at 8:30, the first section of this court held a public trial attended by prosecutors, the accused Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun and their defense attorneys, as well as an attorney engaged by the relatives of the victim, Neil Heywood. More than 140 people were present at the hearing, including some friends and relatives of Bogu Kailai, Zhang Xiaojun and the victim Neil Heywood; British consular officials; journalists; People’s Congress delegates, People’s Political Consultative Conference members and members of the public.

“The Hefei People’s Procuratorate charged that the accused Bogu Kailai and her son Bo became involved in a dispute over economic interests with the victim, Neil Heywood. Bogu Kailai believed that Neil Heywood had threatened the personal safety of her son Bo, and decided to kill him. She then arranged for the co-accused Zhang Xiaojun – an employee of the Chongqing Municipal Party Committee office – to invite and accompany Heywood from Beijing to Chongqing.

“On the evening of November 13, 2011, Bogu Kailai went to Heywood when he was staying in Room 1605 at Building No. 16 of the Nanshan Lijing Hotel and drank alcoholic drinks and tea with him. After Heywood became intoxicated, vomited and asked for a drink of water, she poured poison into his mouth that had been prepared beforehand and that she had given to Zhang Xiaojun to bring along, causing Heywood’s death.

“The Hefei People’s Procuratorate believes that the accused Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun used brutal means to commit murder, and the facts of the crime are clear and backed by ample evidence. Their actions violated Article 232 of the Criminal Code of the People’s Republic of China, and they should be prosecuted for criminal culpability for intentional homicide. This case involved a joint offence, with Bogu Kailai as the principal offender and Zhang Xiaojun as the accessory.

….

“The accused Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun did not raise objections to the facts and the charge of intentional homicide.

“The defense lawyers for the accused Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun respectively presented their defense. Bogu Kailai’s defense believed that the victim bore some responsibility for the causes of the case; that Bogu Kailai’s capacity for control was weaker than normal people’s at the time of the offence; and that the accused had rendered major contributions by informing on the crimes of the others; and he pleaded with the court to take into account general considerations in passing judgment. The defense for Zhang Xiaojun argued that he was an accomplice, and that in passing judgment on Zhang it should give a lighter punishment according to the law.

“The attorney engaged by the relatives of the victim submitted opinions on dealing with some of the criminal matters, and stated respect for the court’s open trial.

“During the trial, Bogu Kailai was in good health and emotionally stable.”

Heywood’s death was initially recorded as a heart attack. Four months after Heywood’s murder, Bo Xilai’s right-hand man, police chief Wang Lijun, fled to a U.S. consulate and alleged that a murder had taken place along with a massive cover-up.

Bo Xilai was the head of the Communist party in Chongqing at the time of Heywood’s murder and had been seen as a strong contender for one of the highest positions within the nation’s Communist Party.  

Bo Xilai was forced from his position in March amid the murder scandal and is now under investigation for unspecified “disciplinary violations.”

Gu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun face the death penalty if convicted. According to a court official, the verdict will be announced at a later date.

Italian shipwreck believed to be 2,000-year-old trade ship

The trade ship is thought to be the best preserved shipwreck ever found

An Italian shipwreck located off the coast of Genoa is believed to be 2,000 years-old, and, if that wasn’t enough, is believed to contain hundreds of intact amphorae, or clay jugs, containing oil, grain, olives, wine and other staples of Roman life.

The Italian shipwreck was discovered between 60-70 meters under the sea off the coast of the port city of Genoa. The investigation that culminated in the ship’s discovery was sparked by reports that local fishermen were catching pottery shards and other tools in their nets.

The shipwreck was found by an underwater rover and despite its upper section being nearly destroyed, the lower portion of the wreck site appears “remarkably well-preserved,” according to a BBC report.

Only one intact amphora has been recovered, but based on what divers have seen, several hundred may remain not only intact, but sealed. Sealed amphorae would allow scientists and researchers to analyze and study the cargo that was being shipped and would provide a glimpse into Roman trade during the first century BC and the second century AD.

Genoa, located on the northwestern coast of Italy, was destroyed by Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca during the Second Punic War (218-202 BC), but by the Medieval Era was a maritime port rivaling Venice or Pisa.

The ship, a navis oneraria, or merchant vessel, is likely to have been named after a Roman god or mythical hero, though researchers have yet to determine the name it was given.

“The peculiarity of this is that the wreck could be almost intact,” Lt. Col. Francesco Schilardi of the police divers group told the BBC.

The wreck is thought to be one of the best preserved shipwrecks ever discovered.

“We believe it dates to sometime between the 1st Century BC and the 1st Century AD,” Lt. Col. Schilardi added.

“There are some broken jars around the wreck, but we believe that most of the amphorae inside the ship are still sealed and food filled,” Lt. Col. Schilardi continued.

The ship is buried under layers of mud, which is believed to have contributed to its remarkably well-preserved state. Italian authorities will let the shipwreck remain on the seafloor until they decide whether to raise it to the surface or not. Police have erected an exclusion zone around the wreck in order to protect it from vandals and other divers.

Video of the shipwreck can be found here – Credit to the International Business Times and BBC.

Randy Travis naked and combative at scene of DWI arrest

The Grammy-winning country singer wrecked his Pontiac Trans Am near his Texas home

Randy Travis was arrested Tuesday for an alcohol-related offense near his Texas home. The Grammy-winning country singer had wrecked his Pontiac Trans Am and was found at the scene naked and combative.

Randy Travis, 53, was taken into custody after refusing to give a breath or blood test for the presence of alcohol and threatening “to shoot and kill” the officers conducting the arrest.

The sheriff’s office received a 911 call at 11:18 p.m. Tuesday alerting them to a man seen lying naked in the road west of Tioga, the home of Randy Travis, approximately 60 miles north of Dallas.

The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office released both the 911 call and mug shot of Randy Travis Wednesday. In the mug shot, Randy Travis appears battered, with a black eye and dried blood on his face.

The caller reported seeing a “guy lying in the road.” The caller continued to state that the man “appears to be non-responsive” and noted “a couple of cones scattered” near the man. The caller reported seeing “two lights” near the scene and said, “I don’t know if I can verify if they are headlights or not. … They are bright.”

The 911 operator asked the caller, “Do you think possibly he could have had a wreck?”

To which the breathless caller responded, “I really am scared,” and “I want to stay in [my] vehicle.”

According to the troopers who responded to the call, Randy Travis had driven off the road and struck several barricades in a construction zone. When asked by The Associated Press how the singer suffered the abrasions to his face seen in the mug shot, Tom Vinger, a Department of Public Safety Spokesman, responded in an email, “I know the vehicle suffered significant damage to the front end during the wreck.”

Grayson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Rickey Wheeler has said that Travis faces charges of retaliation or obstruction in addition to the DWI charge.

“Travis had a strong odor of alcoholic beverages on his breath and several signs of intoxication,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said. “While Travis was being transported, Travis made threats to shoot and kill the troopers working the case.”

Randy Travis walked barefoot from the county jail in Sherman wearing scrubs and a University of Texas cap after being arraigned and released on $21,500 bond Wednesday morning.

According to District Attorney Joe Brown, who spoke with The Associated Press, the felony retaliation charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000 and will be referred to a grand jury within a month or six weeks. According to Brown, the misdemeanor DWI charge could be filed as soon as prosecutors decide whether to proceed with the charge.

Tuesday’s arrest marks the second time Randy Travis has been charged with an alcohol-related offense this year. In February, Travis was cited for public intoxication after being seen in a vehicle parked in front of a church in Sanger, approximately 20 miles from Tioga.

Brown recluse spider sightings increase with extensive drought

The record-breaking heat has forced many spiders to seek shelter inside homes

The brown recluse spider is arguably one of the most dangerous spiders to exist in America, and now with record-breaking heat and expansive patches of the U.S. experiencing the worst drought in decades sightings of the brown recluse are increasing.

The brown recluse can often be mistaken for common house spiders, however, the venom from the brown recluse is something to be avoided, causing irritation to the skin, lesions, and in rare cases typically involving children and the elderly, even death.

“All insects are cold-blooded, so in extreme heat they develop quicker, which results in more generations popping up now compared to previous summers,” according to Jim Fredericks, an entomologist and wildlife ecology expert with the National Pest Management Association.

The extreme heat sweeping across the country has not only contributed to more generations of spiders and therefore more of the creepy-crawlies, it is also forcing the brown recluse to seek shelter inside homes.

“All spiders have a venomous bite, but only a few can be medically dangerous to humans, and the brown recluse is a top concern,” Fredericks added.

“A common misconception is that spiders like to bite people,” continued Fredericks. “But they actually don’t recognize people as a food source, and will typically only bite as a defense mechanism.”

Like the name suggests, the brown recluse is reclusive, preferring to hide out in dark corners, boxes or closets. The brown recluse is approximately the size of a quarter, tan in color with a dark spot in the shape of a violin.

The bite of a brown recluse may go unnoticed at first, but within three to eight hours the bite will become swollen, red and tender to the touch. Ninety-five percent of brown recluse bites will heal after this stage and not result in serious damage to the skin tissue.

In rare cases, however, the venom of the brown recluse will break down the cells in the skin and develop into a necrotic lesion requiring immediate attention. This process takes approximately two to three weeks.

“It is rare for a brown recluse [bite] to result in death, but it can occur in children or adults who are allergic to the spider’s venom,” said Fredericks. “It [is] best to get medical attention right away if bitten, to make sure you aren’t allergic.”

The brown recluse is predominately found in the midwestern and south-central portions of the U.S.

One man in Omaha has witnessed the infestation of brown recluse spiders first hand. Dylan Baumann has so far counted 40 brown recluse spiders within his home, “in the entryway, the bedroom, under the fridge.” Despite living with such dangerous roommates, Baumann has yet to be bitten.

“They are called recluse for a reason – they can fall far back in the walls once you use poison and I’m told they can go for up to nine months without eating,” Baumann said, adding he has called his landlord “about five times.”

“People say ‘why don’t you move,’ but they could be inside my stuff, inside my couch,” Baumann added. “I’ll try to go through everything with a fine tooth comb, but you can’t catch everything.”
 

Baumann has resorted to drastic measures, such as shaking out his clothes and shoes before putting them on and moving his bed away from the wall. The end is in sight for Baumann, who remains optimistic. He has said his landlord will move him into a new unit within the building in August.

“It could be worse,” Baumann added. “There was a house in Kansas City with 2,000 brown recluse.”

Cameroon athletes disappear from Olympic Village

The seven athletes include a soccer player, a swimmer and five boxers

Cameroon has witnessed the disappearance of seven of its Olympic athletes from the Olympic Village. Five boxers, a swimmer and a soccer player are suspected of having fled the Olympic Games in order to seek asylum in England or Europe for economic reasons.

Cameroon officials have acknowledged the disappearance of the seven Olympic athletes. A statement from David Ojong, the mission head, sent to the Cameroonian sports ministry reads, “What began as a rumor has finally turned out to be true. Seven Cameroonian athletes who participated at the 2012 London Olympic Games have disappeared from the Olympic Village.”

According to Reuters, Drusille Ngako Tchimi, 25, reserve goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team, was the first to disappear. According to the report, Ngako disappeared while her teammates left for Coventry for their match against New Zealand.

Ngako’s disappearance was then followed by that of 50-meter freestyle swimmer Paul Edingue Ekane, 21, and five boxers: light flyweight Thomas Essomba, 24; light heavyweight Christian Donfack Adjoufack, 28; lightweight Yhyacinthe Mewoli Abdon, 26; super heavyweight Blaise Yepmou Mendouo, 27; and light welterweight Serge Ambomo, 26, who were all eliminated from the Games, according to the BBC.

According to the Reuters report, officials with the International Olympics Committee said Tuesday that they had heard nothing of the missing athletes. “We are unaware of it,” said IOC spokesman Mark Adams when asked of the athletes’ disappearances.

The Press Association, citing Cameroon media, has said that all seven missing athletes hold visas allowing them to remain in Britain legally until at least November.

According to Le Messager, a private newspaper in Cameroon, the athletes were supposed to fly back to Cameroon on Sunday but had vanished. The paper said the athletes took their personal effects, a nearly $5,000 bonus and sports equipment with them, according to an unnamed national Olympic official.

A sports reporter in Cameroon has said that some of the athletes hinted that they might try to stay in London before the Games began.

“They said they were very demotivated and named insufficient government attention to their complaints, inadequate financing, poor preparation and substandard infrastructure,” David Sandjo with Sweet FM radio told The Associated Press. “Some even said they would not hesitate to change their nationality if ever they had the chance.”

Britain’s Home Office, which handles the nation’s immigration, has declined to comment on whether any of the seven missing athletes have yet applied for asylum.

Mermaids: The Body Found doesn't become more real with each broadcast

The Discovery Channel’s fictional documentary has garnered loads of believers

Mermaids: The Body Found originally aired on the Discovery Network’s Animal Planet in late June and has since aired a few times, causing Google Trends to be inundated with searches and, frankly, the average citizen to wonder, “Why on Earth?”

Mermaids: The Body Found, the mockumentary aired on the Discovery Channel Monday night, is still fake no matter how many times it airs.

It’s beginning to feel like 1938 with all this mermaid hysteria. Orson Welles couldn’t have written it better himself.

In a press release from the Discovery Channel, the mockumentary “paints a wildly convincing picture of the existence of mermaids, what they may look like and why they’ve stayed hidden . . . until now.”

Wildly convincing is right.

Let’s recap – Mermaids: The Body Found is a fictional documentary and is not to be taken as fact. The hysteria over this program has been so great in recent months that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a report concluding, if you can believe it, that mermaids don’t exist.

According to NOAA, there has never been any physical evidence to support the existence of mermaids at any point in time, including the footage within Mermaids: The Body Found and the infamously-fake Fiji mermaid.

NOAA’s official statement reads:

“The belief in mermaids may have arisen at the very dawn of our species. Magical female figures first appear in cave paintings in the late Paleolithic (Stone Age) period some 30,000 years ago, when modern humans gained dominion over the land and, presumably, began to sail the seas. Half-human creatures, called chimeras, also abound in mythology – in addition to mermaids, there were centaurs, wild satyrs, and frightful minotaurs, to name but a few.

“But are mermaids real? No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found. Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That’s a question best left to historians, philosophers and anthropologists,” or, of course, TV producers.