Reagan Deified & Mummified

Reagan Pyramid Nears Completion

from The Onion

SIMI VALLEY, CA - Slave manpower was doubled this week in an effort to ensure that erection of the gigantic Reagan Pyramid remains on schedule to be completed in time for the 40th president's mummification and ascension into the Afterworld.

"Only the most gigantic tomb ever created will be worthy of the Great Communicator," former Reagan Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger said. "As his mortal subjects, it is our holy duty to provide Reagan with a burial commensurate with his stature, in order that he may enter the Realm of Death bedecked with raiments and honors so that he may take his rightful place beside the mighty Sun God, Ra."

Impatient, Reagan awaits his ascension 

According to project overseer and Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese, the 118,000-ton pyramid, which is visible from a distance of more than 40 miles and has already cost the lives of some 50,000 slaves, will serve not only as Reagan's conduit to the Empire of the Gods, but also as an earthly repository of the deified Republican's vast wealth.

"Buried with Reagan will be his finest treasures," Meese said, "including 2,500 MX intercontinental ballistic missiles, 15 stealth bombers, a golden chalice of jelly beans, and his most prized servant, former president George Bush Sr."

Bush told reporters, "It is my honor and duty to have my sinus passages ceremonially packed with sand before my still-living, pain-racked body is forever locked with my leader's within the Great Reagan's final resting place. Let us all praise Osiris."


The First X-Man Born?

German Strong Baby Called a 'Normal Boy'

from Associated Press

BERLIN - A genetic mutation made a Berlin boy extra strong, but the German doctor who has been studying the child since just after his birth nearly five years ago says he's just a regular kid.

The boy doesn't stand out among his peers on the playground, but when he puts his mind to it, he can perform feats of strength, said Dr. Markus Schuelke.

"He's a normal boy - you don't see it, you wouldn't recognize him" out of a crowd, Schuelke said. "He can just lift heavy things."

The boy can hold seven-pound weights with arms extended, something many adults cannot do.

Schuelke started studying the super-strong boy after he was brought to Berlin's Charite hospital shortly after birth because he was twitching.

That turned out to be nothing, but Schuelke, a pediatric neurologist, found that even though the boy was well within normal birth weight, he was particularly muscular.

Schuelke began conducting tests and found over the course of five years that the boy had a genetic mutation that boosts muscle growth.

It is the first human case where a mutant DNA segment was found to block production of a protein called myostatin that limits muscle growth, though researchers discovered in 1997 that they could create mega-mice by "turning off" the gene that directs cells to produce the protein.

Schuelke, who worked with researchers from the United States, wrote about the case in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, where he said the discovery could possibly help in the fight against muscle diseases, like muscular dystrophy.

The boy, whose name Schuelke has promised not to divulge, has muscles twice the size of other children his age and half their body fat.

He was born to a muscular mother, a former sprinter. Her brother and three other relatives were also very strong - one a construction worker with a talent for hefting curbstones.

Schuelke said scientists have no way to tell how common the boy's ability is, or if a legion of super-strong tykes will be discovered now that researchers have learned what to look for.

"How should we know?" Schuelke said. "We have the first case so far."


The Exorcist [30-Second Bunny Theatre]


An American Werewolf in St. Olaf

The night before the boat trip, another grisly murder is on the news...

An IM exchange with my slightly-odd, terribly-sweet, contagiously-enthusiastic, and nightmare-plagued friend Fauzhy (pronounced like "lousy" with a F - he hates it when I say that), who last year moved back to New York the morning after my birthday party (he waited so he'd be here for it - did I mention he's sweet?)...

Fauzhy: I had a really odd dream today.
Fauzhy: I had a dream with the Golden Girls.
Fauzhy: We went on a trip to the woods, and Rose and Sophia and I went on a boat ride.
Me: You're a total Dorothy.
Fauzhy: Out of nowhere, Rose turned into a werewolf and attacked Sophia.
Fauzhy: I jumped into the water to escape her, and from under the water I saw how Rose destroyed her and killed her.
Fauzhy: But that's not all.
Fauzhy: She jumped into the water and chased me but couldn't find me.
Me: But she's an old werewolf, right? How fast could she possibly swim?
Fauzhy: Well, I don't know...she was very intiminating to me...her teeth were sharp...
Fauzhy: She turned back into Rose and walked out on to the shore.
Fauzhy: Where Blanche was...
Fauzhy: She went up to Blanche while I was under the water and turned into a wolf again.
Fauzhy: She tore her up and killed her.
Fauzhy: I was underwater watching everything.
Me: Where was Dorothy?
Fauzhy: I don't know...
Fauzhy: She didn't come around.
Me: I don't blame her.


Vin Diesel Talks D & D

from SciFi Wire [May 26, 2004]

Vin Diesel, who reprises his most famous role in the upcoming SF epic film The Chronicles of Riddick, told SCI FI Wire that he personally lobbied to get Judi Dench to take a role in the movie, an unorthodox choice for her. "I flew out to London and I saw a stage performance that she did with another lovely actress named Maggie Smith," Diesel said in an interview. "And I started courting her. Just begged and pleaded and said, 'You know, this character was written for you, and you are this character. This is how we want to play.' And she was so into it."

Diesel, a fan of Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy stories, found a kindred spirit in the esteemed British actress. "In Vancouver [where Riddick was shot], we would have dinner together and, like two kids playing in this whole universe, [we'd] talk about different [things]," Diesel said. "I mean, she's just remarkable. No one would ever expect that [she] and I would have a conversation that is so fantasy-based. A conversation you might have had with a friend after watching Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings, you know what I mean? ... Really, really, really cool."

Diesel, who also acts as a producer on Riddick, said that he went so far as to make the casting of Dench as the "air elemental" Aeron a top priority. "I mean, ... I couldn't imagine anyone [else] being [cast] until Judi Dench was," he said. "I kind of made that a point. It was very, very important to me to have Judi Dench play the role of Aeron." He added, "She is a fan of [SF&F]. ... I mean, she hasn't spent her life playing Dungeons & Dragons, but you know, theater is, at the core, mythology-based. We can go through the numerous Shakespeare [plays]. ... It just goes on forever, the mythological references thematically in many of the plays and stuff that she's been doing forever."

Diesel added that his only regret was that he wasn't able to get Dench involved in a game of his beloved D&D. "Like I said, she doesn't play Dungeons & Dragons, and she doesn't necessarily play video games. But she's intrigued." Did he try to get her to play? "Almost," he said. "If it was up to me, I would have." The Chronicles of Riddick, the follow-up movie to Pitch Black, opens June 11.

from USA Weekend [June 7, 2004]

The world is full of people who spent chunks of their childhoods playing Dungeons & Dragons, but hardly any played quite as cool a version as Vin Diesel did. The son of a theatre director, Diesel grew up in a Manhattan housing development reserved for actors, dancers and others in the arts. "The way we played was very theatrical," he says. "When we had maps, the maps were pieces of art, and when the [P]layers had to do something, they performed it. I was Melkor." Diesel jumps up and announces the name in a voice so deep it could jiggle bedrock. "When an arrow flew past your head in our game, it flew past your head!"

An imagination trained on D&D is on full display next weekend in the sci-fi extravaganza The Chronicles of Riddick.

from Dark Horizons [June 8, 2004]

Diesel is that rare breed of Hollywood star, one that tries not to take himself too seriously as a star, but as an actor, well that is a horse of an entirely different colour. This is a man who was brought up on a world of fantasy, and, like a grown-up child, sparkles at the very mention of one of his primary influences: Dungeons and Dragons. Or perhaps, one questions, it was just a rumour that Dungeons has spoken to the child within for some two decades. He rolls back on his chair and merely smiles. "I never play D&D," he begins with mock seriousness. "For some reason, they thought that I played D&D for 20 years. They thought that I spent years playing Barbarians, Witchunters the Arcanum. They thought I still played D&D back in the '70s when it's just the basic D&D set. They thought I continued to play D&D when it became Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. They thought I played D&D when there were only three books - the Player's Handbook, and the DM's Guide. They thought I played D&D as it continued onto the Unearthed Arcanum, Oriental Adventures, Sea Adventures, and Wilderness Adventures. They thought I played D&D at the time when Deities and Demigods was the brand new book. They thought I played D&D when I used to get up to a place called The Complete Strategist in New York." We get the point as he smilingly mouths: I'm into D&D a lot. "It was a training ground for a lot of my adventures."



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