Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Couple married 76 years dies 16 hours apart

Maybe it's because spring is in the air but I've seen more of the touching, sweet, if-this-doesn't-make-you-tear-up-you're-a-Vulcan type storieslately, including this one, about Cleda and Rosemond "Frell" Blair, a devote couple of 76 years who died just 16 hours apart from one another. Can you imagine 76 years? Sometimes it's hard to manage 76 minutes with another person.
 Cleda died at 95 and Rosemond, 94, less than a day later. Their son said they were "inseparable," and Yahoo's Shine, where I picked the story up from, talks about the legitimacy of Broken Heart Syndrome, wherein a traumatized person can produce up to 30 times the level of stress hormones as "normal patients" would, enough to cause cardiac trauma. I wonder, too, if when you're together that much for that long it doesn't almost turn into that eerie bond that twins have, where something happens to one and the other feels it.

Interesting how our survival instinct is supposed to reign supreme but how our need to be attached to a particular person can circumvent it - and sometimes poetically. I'd imagine that though it's sad for the survivors (including two children, 12 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren) it might at least be comforting to know that, in a sense, Cleda and Rosemond still haven't separated. True romance.

Friday, March 23, 2012

If this doesn't bring a tear to your eye, your ducts are broken

French paratrooper Abel Chennouf was gunned down by Al-Qaeda militant Mohamed Merah who went on a killing spree in southwestern France this week before he was shot by police according to The AFP. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has given permission for Chennouf's very pregnant girlfriend Caroline Money to marry Abel Chennouf posthumously.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Argument ends in car wreck

It started as an argument between Valerie Ann Lacroix, 21 and her husband. The couple from Newport News had a fight and he left the house and got in his car.
     Now we all know how infuriating it can be to have someone walk away from an argument but sometimes it's the best thing - give each other time to cool off, right? Valerie must not have thought so. She got in her car and smashed into his car, causing him to hit two parked cars. The two proceeded to take their act on the road where she rammed his car again, causing him to collide with a fire hydrant and crash into a utility pole. He was taken to the hospital. She was charged with malicious wounding and attempted malicious and might be brought up on other charges later, according to this report from WTKR-TV.
     Didn't know there was such a charge as "malicious wounding." Suppose they changed some of the names of charges to things like "mental case" and "crazy broad" that people might be more likely to avoid getting arrested?

(Fabulous graphic from Velma's Retro Clip Art & Images)

"Suspected wife killer killed previous wife..."

That was part of the headline on a Newser story on Jeremiah Fogle of Lakeland, FL, who was arrested for murder and attempted murder after shooting his wife Theresa at home and then going on a homidical rampage at the  Greater Faith Christian Center Church, shooting pastor William Boss and associate pastor Carl Stewart. The other part of the headline was "....but Jeremiah Fogle only got 10 years' probation."

     Mitch Stacy of the Associated Press wrote  in a story on Fogle's arrest, "In the years before he was accused of killing his wife and wounding two pastors, Jeremiah Fogle's zigzagging lovelife spanned at least six other marriages and another violent death: A previous wife died at his hands more than two decades ago."
      Fogle had been asked to take a break from going to the church by Boss six years ago after some of the female members "complained about the way he hugged them." Fogle had started his own ministry out of his home. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said that investigators had several documents in the home that appeared to be confessions of infidelity written by Theresa Fogle and naming 25 men but it wasn't clear whether the writings were done voluntarily. Also found was a Bible opened to "a passage in Matthew, quoting Jesus as saying: "Think not that I have come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill."
      Fogle was also charged with killing his first wife, Diane in 1987. A charge of murder was reduced to manslaughter and Fogle was only sentenced to probation on the recommendation of the prosecutors but no reasons for either the reduction or recommendation were in court records. 
      Theresa Fogle's daughter Shekema Clark didn't know Fogle had been previously arrested. "If you already killed one person and got away with it why would you do it again?" Stacy quotes her as saying.
      Maybe because he got away with it. 


Friday, March 16, 2012

Crazy Little Thing Canadian Content Contest!

There are a lot of beautiful love stories going on in the world, fabulous, impervious, rom-com relationships. There are also a lot of people who are thinking about the one that got away...or the one they got away from....or the one who assaulted them and claimed a ghost did it, the one who left over 1000 messages on their voicemail, the one who threatened to stab them for using Facebook too much. There are a lot of great love stories in the world but a lot of crazy ones, too.

Yes, people do crazy things in love and for love and in my book "Crazy Little Thing: Why Love and Sex Drive Us Mad," I tell some of the craziest stories you've ever heard along with some of the neuroscience and psychology of why we do these things.

Now I want to hear YOUR crazy Canadian love stories in my Crazy Little CANADIAN CONTENT Contest! Send me your story of crazy love and win a signed copy of my book "Crazy Little Thing." The stories can be funny, silly, scary, the ending can be happy, horrid, or even pending. I just want to know the craziest thing you've ever dealt with romantically. 

The only rules are: please keep it to 300 words or so, please don't just tell me crazy sex stories (they can have sex in 'em but not just sex...I can get that online...and I probably should) and the deadline is Mach 23. If you don't want your real name revealed that's fine....you can change the names to protect the crazy.
And please be Canadian.

Why am I doing a contest limited for Canadians only? Well, I did one here in the US and now I want to do a special one to show my appreciation for my friends and neighbors way up north. I have lots of reasons to love Canada - my heritage is half Canadian, I used to be a columnist 'for the Toronto Sun  and if I ever move from Florida I'd probably go to Victoria, BC where they have totem poles on the Parliament lawn and all feels right with the world. I love it there.

Anyway, it'll be fun! So send my your crazy Canadian love stories. You can contact me on Facebook or email me at crazylittlecontest@gmail.com  - I look forward to hearing from you!

Good luck! And have some TimBits for me!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monkeys spontaneously miscarry when new males come to power

This isn't an example of crazy human behavior but of the stunning ways that nature assumes power over mating choices in animals. Since we are animals it pays us to take a look at what occurs in other species even though we like to think of our choices as being more conscious (despite what we know about, say, scent playing a potentially significant subconscious role in who we see as the love of our lives - or at least the flavor of the month).

A recent study from researchers at the University of Michigan on gelada monkeys shows that female geladas will spontaneously abort a pregnancy when a new dominant male comes into power over the group. The Bruce Effect, named after Dr. Hilda Bruce who studied this phenomenon in lab mice in the 50's, was thought to possibly be a result of lab conditions but a recent study of geladas in the wild found that it happens in nature as well. Detailed on io9's Gelada Monkeys Offer Evidence that Abortion is Part of Evolutionary Fitness by Robert T. Gonzalez, the study found that the birth rates plummeted in groups where new males had just taken power and that pregnant females were spontaneously miscarrying. The researchers hypothesized that rather than carry a pregnancy to term - only to have the offspring possibly killed by the new male leader - the females would spontaneously miscarry, thereby becoming fertile again more quickly and better able to produce offspring with the new male in power faster, offspring that would be able to survive.

Not exactly happily ever after, is it? And The Bruce Effect "almost certainly does not exist in humans," Gonzales writes but it might help us understand "pregnancy success rates across a variety of species - humans included."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams was a genius, one of the greatest and wittiest writers that ever lived and certainly one of the most endearingly curious. In addition to all the brilliant sci fi and holistic detective stories you know all about of course (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency), he wrote non-fiction just as astonishingly well, which also makes him a superb journalist. One of my favorite things he ever wrote was an interview with Straun Sutherland, a medical researcher and expert in venomous creatures, whom Adams met with en route to Komodo for the book Last Chance to See about endangered species. The interview is reprinted here on Life in the Fast Lane and though Adams didn't dwell a great deal on sex or love in any of his books, the last line of this story is one of my favorites - short and sweet and everyone has been there.
It's one of the funniest interviews ever and I'm so glad to have found it online.
Happy Birthday, Douglas!

Monday, March 5, 2012

1001 nightmares

The Houston Chronicle reported in October on the case of Toni Jo Silvey a woman who was driven so mad by a break-up with leather artist Peter Main, 62, that she called him 1001 times in 3 months - 146 times in one day, egged his home, allegedly also hacked into his email account, posting excerpts from emails between Main and another woman, broke a leaded glass window in his front door with a tire iron and another window with a 5-foot sword and blogged all about it.  The break-up had taken place in 2009 - two years before Silvey was arrested and charged with felony stalking.