Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stoner Cooking

McDonald's McRib Sandwich Recipe
Todd Wilbur

Calories: 307
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Have you been fondly missing the guilty pleasure that is the famous boneless pork creation offered only for a limited time at your local McDonald's? If you've got a food processor you'll never have to go without the unmistakably unique taste and texture of the sauced-up sparerib sandwich that's dressed with pickles and onions and served on a soft, warm sandwich roll. The food processor is essential for grinding up the meat that's been cut away from the bones of a large rack of uncooked pork spareribs. The pork in McDonald's sandwich is combined with salt, a little dextrose sugar, plus water and a few preservatives, and then it is pressed into the shape of a small rack of ribs. Your version wont have the same fake bones stamped into the patty, but after shaping the meat and freezing it, you will be able to make cloned McRibs any time you want in your own kitchen in less than 10 minutes. If you follow these steps exactly, you will be shocked at how similar your home version tastes to the real McRib McCoy. I'm a huge McRib fan, and I was blown away by this one.

16 ounces uncooked pork spareribs meat (cut off the bones from 1 rack)
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 6-inch center split white sandwich rolls (Sara Lee makes the perfect size)
1 cup Hunt's Original Barbecue Sauce
8 dill pickle slices
1/2 cup sliced yellow onion

1. Combine pork, water, sugar, and salt in a food processor and puree on high speed for 30 to 60 seconds or until completely smooth.

2. Divide pureed pork into 4 equal portions that weigh 4 ounces each. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil. Using your fingers that have been moistened with water form each portion of pork on the lined baking sheet into rectangles that measure 6 1/2 inches by 3 inches. Gently press another sheet of parchment paper or nonstick foil onto the top of the pork patties and then pop the whole pan into the freezer for a couple hours, or until the pork is frozen solid.

3. When you are ready to make your sandwiches preheat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Slice the sandwich rolls to separate the top and bottom half, then brown the faces of the top and bottom roll halves (crown and heel).

4. When the rolls are browned, use the same pan to cook the pork. Cook the pork on one side for 3 to 4 minutes or until browned in spots, then flip each pork patty over and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove all the pork patties to a platter to cool just a bit. The barbecue sauce will stick better if the pork cools down for a minute or two.

5. As pork cools pour 1 cup of barbecue sauce into a large shallow bowl. When the pork has cooled some, use tongs to dip each patty into the barbecue sauce until the pork is completely covered with sauce. Place the pork onto the heel of a sandwich roll, then arrange two pickle slices on the pork. Drop about 2 tablespoons of chopped onion on the pork, and then top off each sandwich with the crown.

6. Just before serving, zap each sandwich for 15 seconds in your microwave on the highest setting. This will warm the bread as if it had been wrapped in paper like the original.

Serves 4.


If you want a smokier flavor, add 1/4 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke to the food processor when you puree the meat.


Prepare healthier meals with these MSG-free seasoning recipes
Christy Pooschke
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Switching to a natural foods diet sometimes means saying goodbye to some of your favorite recipes because they call for store-bought ingredients (e.g., bouillon) that are full of hidden MSG and other health-depleting additives. However, if you are dedicated enough and willing to experiment a little, it is often possible to find homemade equivalents for such items that will serve your purpose just fine. For example, following are homemade versions of 4 widely-used seasoning mixes, all of which can be prepared ahead of time for added convenience.


Commercially-available taco seasoning mixes generally contain lists of ingredients like the following: "wheat flour, salt, dried garlic, maltodextrin, chili peppers, spice, dried onions, monosodium glutamate (MSG), paprika, sugar, silicon dioxide, soybean oil and malic acid."

It is simple to make your own homemade, additive-free taco seasoning using nothing more than dry seasonings and salt. This recipe is so delicious that you won't even miss the MSG! Combine the following dry spices and store the mix in a sealed container. This amount is equivalent to 1 packet of store-bought taco seasoning, and it can be used accordingly in your regular recipes.

2 tsp chili powder (see recipe below)
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp onion granules
3 1/4 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp sea salt (optional)


You may assume that chili powder is just ground up dried chili peppers, but often this is not the case. Check the ingredients list on the chili powder jar in your cupboard, and you may be in for quite a shock! Many varieties contain MSG, anti-caking agents, and other flavor enhancers and additives. The good news is that it is quick and easy to make your own. Combine the following dry spices, and store the mix in a sealed container.

6 TBSP paprika
2 TBSP turmeric
1 TBSP dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves


Dry onion soup mix adds great flavor to recipes like meatloaf and roasts. Unfortunately, commercial varieties contain MSG and other additives. Mix together the following dry spices. Use the mix immediately or store it in an air-tight container for later use. This recipe is equivalent to one packet of store-bought onion soup mix and can be substituted in all of your favorite recipes!

3 TBSP dry onion flakes
4 tsp onion granules
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic granules


Many cooks rely on bouillon to add a "kick" of flavor to gravies, soups, roasts and other recipes. Unfortunately, most of this "kick" in commercial varieties comes from the MSG they contain! This recipe requires a bit more effort than the seasoning mixes above, but it will last a long time because it yields about 42 cubes!

Combine the following ingredients in a saucepan without any liquid. Cover and cook over the lowest heat setting for 2 hours. Transfer the mixture to a blender and process until smooth. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen solid, transfer cubes to freezer bags or air-tight containers, and store them in the freezer for future use. Dilute these cubes at a rate of one cube per half cup of water.

3 cups freshly minced celery, tightly packed
3 cups freshly minced carrots, tightly packed
2 cups freshly minced onions, tightly packed (about 2 medium onions)
2 TBSP sea salt
1/2 pound ground beef (grass-fed is best)


Anglesey, D. Battling the MSG Myth: A Survival Guide and Cookbook. Kennewick: Front Porch Productions, 1997.

Blaylock, R.L. Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills. Santa Fe: Health Press, 1997

About the author

Christy Pooschke is a writer and consumer advocate who is passionate about helping people reduce their reliance on processed food. She specializes in teaching consumers how to shop for and prepare additive-free, natural foods. Check out her educational blog, natural foods cookbook, additive-free grocery guide and personalized services at

Her passion for eating REAL food was sparked in 2007 when she eliminated her Fibromyalgia symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes. Until this point, she was ingesting a Standard American Diet of boxed dinners, soda pop, candy and fast food.

Since regaining her health with an additive-free diet, Christy has been on a mission to educate others about the dangers lurking in their cabinets and to help them achieve maximum health by reducing their reliance on processed foods.

In her free time, Christy operates Completely Nourished, Inc., a non-profit organization she founded to educate folks about natural foods, natural health and natural living. Check out the resources, recipes and online community available at It's free!


Asian Pork Kebabs

Preparation time: 25 Minutes
Servings: 8

These pork kebabs are best when you have time to marinate them overnight, so plan accordingly. Serve with jasmine rice and sautéed spinach or snow peas.

Any firm fruit, like peaches, nectarines or apricots can be used in place of the pineapple.

Dipping Sauce

•2 tsp. minced garlic
•2 fresh Thai or jalapeño chilies, chopped; or 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
•2 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce or soy sauce
•2 Tbsp. lemon juice or rice wine vinegar
•2 Tbsp. honey
•2 Tbsp. sesame oil or toasted sesame seeds
•1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
•1/2 tsp. each black pepper and salt
•2 lbs. whole boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes (from the narrow end of the loin)
•2 small onions, peeled and cut into eighths
•2 cups canned or fresh pineapple wedges or mango chunks

Marinade (makes about 1 1/2 cups)

•1 cup dry sherry or dry white wine
•1/3 cup soy sauce
•1/4 cup minced fresh ginger

1.Combine marinade ingredients.
2.Add cubed pork loin and toss to coat. Refrigerate overnight.
3.Meanwhile, combine dipping sauce ingredients in a saucepan and gently heat over low for 3 to 4 minutes just to blend. Let cool, then refrigerate.
4.To serve, thread marinated meat onto kebabs as follows: onion, then pork, then pineapple, repeating in this order once more per kebab.
5.Grill or broil about 7 minutes per side, turning once with tongs, until pork is browned and cooked through.
6.Serve with dipping sauce.


Steak Sandwich

It doesn't take much more than some nice meat on some nice bread to make an out-of-this-world steak sandwich. Cut steakhouse executive chef Lee Hefter gives us his steak recipe.

A sandwich should be thoughtfully laid out, with components that add up to a complete meal, but the most important thing is that the ingredients should be of excellent quality. They should also be easy to come by: It’s a sandwich, after all. That’s why I start with steak. It’s never been easier to buy great beef. For the perfect steak sandwich, don’t be afraid to buy a nice cut of beef. The three basic cuts I use to make a sandwich without requiring the tenderization process of a marinade are rib eye, New York strip (sirloin), and filet, all available from any butcher. To season it, simply salt and pepper the meat, and that’s it. That’s all you have to do to it.

This open-faced sandwich is a bit more elegant than one you pick up; it’s like a great steak salad on toast. Again, other than salt and pepper, there’s no need for seasoning. You get all the zing you need from glazing the sautéed vegetables with a little steak sauce added right to the pan. Everything you want is already in that bottle — the tomatoes, the spices, the vinegar — and in just the right proportions. It’s a fail-safe way to add flavor; you’re going to look like a genius.


•8-oz prime strip or rib-eye steak or filet
•Coarse salt and ground black pepper
•Unsalted butter
•1/2 cup red onion, sliced into half moons
•1/2 cup pickled cherry peppers (hot and sweet), sliced
•1 cup white mushrooms, sliced thin
•2 tbsp steak sauce (like A1)
•Hoagie-style soft roll, ends trimmed, split horizontally
•Garlic mayonnaise (see below)
•4 slices Vermont white cheddar (about 4 oz)
•Arugula, cleaned and dressed with red-wine or light balsamic vinaigrette
•2-inch piece fresh horseradish root, peeled


Grill, broil, or pan-sear steak until medium rare, season with coarse salt and ground black pepper, and let rest before thinly slicing. In sauté pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter until lightly browned, and caramelize onions. Add peppers and mushrooms and cook, flipping frequently, until well mixed, about 3 minutes. Add steak sauce and simmer to glaze, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Lightly butter roll and lightly toast in skillet (buttered sides down). Spread toasted sides with garlic mayo and place on foil-covered sheet pan. Top with cheese and melt open-faced under preheated broiler. Remove and transfer to serving plate. Arrange steak atop broiled bread, overlapping slices slightly, and evenly distribute vegetable mixture, finishing with dressed arugula salad. Using small-hole side of box grater or microplane zester, shred horseradish root (as when working with raw chiles, do not touch your eyes) over sandwich and serve.

How to Make Garlic Mayo

Place peeled garlic clove on clean work surface. Using broad side of a chef’s knife, crush slightly and macerate, using circular motions, until it becomes paste. Add a pinch of kosher salt and mix. Stir paste into mayonnaise, adding ground black pepper and a pinch of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley. Use about 2 garlic cloves to 1/4 cup mayo, more or less according to your taste.

Lee Hefter is the executive chef at Wolfgang Puck’s steakhouse, Cut, in Los Angeles. His favorite sandwich besides this one is the torta de lengua (beef tongue) from his local taco truck in Los Angeles.

Checking the Fact Checkers on Herman Cain and Godfather’s Pizzas

Jay Rasking 10-14-11

Full Article:

An article printed by called Did Herman Cain turn around Godfather’s Pizza? did not check the facts. In fact, it found no facts and therefore printed opinions instead:

Pizza is Cain’s biggest selling point. He says his track record running Godfather’s Pizza, a chain that once billed itself as “the cure for the pizza emergency,” shows he has the ability to run the country. The 620-store chain was on the brink of bankruptcy when he arrived in 1986, he says, and he “turned it around with common-sense business principles.”

A PolitiFact examination of Godfather’s, based on interviews with industry analysts and company officials, shows Cain is largely correct. The chain wasn’t literally preparing paperwork for bankruptcy, but it was widely considered troubled. Cain changed that by uniting the franchisees, overhauling the chain’s advertising, and getting his team focused on its core mission: pizza.

Ms. Holan immediately catches Mr. Cain in a lie. “The chain wasn’t literally preparing paperwork for bankruptcy, but it was widely considered troubled.” There is a big difference between a company widely considered troubled and a company near bankruptcy. Almost every large company in the United States at one point or another has been widely considered troubled. It is not unusual for a company that does not meet financial expectations, to be widely considered troubled. Being widely considered troubled does not mean a company is going bankrupt or anywhere near going bankrupt. Here are the facts about Godfather’s Pizza.

The company had been among the fastest growing pizza chains in America and a great success from its start in 1973 until 1984, two years before Pillsbury appointed Cain as a manager. According to the N.Y. Times (May 19, 1985):

IN 1973, William M. Theisen’s Omaha beer parlor, Wild Willy’s, was doing a booming business with the pizza place next door: Through a passageway between the two establishments, bar patrons were able to order pizza to go with their beer – and even Mr. Theisen became hooked on the thick, rich pies. Soon, he and his neighbor joined forces to form Godfather’s Pizza – and when the 27-year-old Mr. Theisen bought out his partner shortly afterward, he was full of big plans for his favorite pizza.

Within 10 years, he turned Godfather’s into the country’s third-largest pizza operation in sales, behind pizza Hut and Domino’s. It became a chain of nearly 900 company-owned and franchised restaurants with more than $300 million in annual revenues, including $121 million from the company-owned outlets alone. Trade journals ranked it No. 1 in sales growth for fast-food chains in 1977, 1978 and 1979. It had one of the highest returns on investment in the fast-food business between 1979 and 1982. In those years, 641 restaurants were added.

On September 27, 1983, Donald M. Smith and Chart House incorporated purchased 800 Godfather Pizza Restaurants for $306 million dollars.

Two years later, Pillsbury Inc. bought the franchise for an undisclosed amount. Herman Cain was put in charge of Godfather on April 1, 1986. Thus Cain took over a company that had been worth $306 million two and a half years before. Two and half years later on Sept 20, 1988, Cain and his management group bought the company for about $30 million...

The real question that the fact checkers did not discover or investigate is how did a company worth $306 million, 30 months before Herman Cain was put in charge, come to be worth $30 million, 29 months after he was put in charge? The question is how did the company lose 90%, some $276 million, in value during this time and how much of this loss occurred while Cain was running the company? Cain naturally apportions all the blame to his predecessors and claims the company was near bankruptcy when he took over. The real question thus becomes how much Godfather’s Pizza was really worth when Cain started running it.

Until 1984, Godfather’s Pizza was one of the most profitable Pizza Chains in America. It was still making profits in 1984, Although, at that point, the new owners of Godfather’s Pizza, Diversified Foods, made some errors and the financial picture becomes complicated.

As noted, Chart House bought 800 Godfathers Pizzas in Oct 1983. Chart House which already owned 375 Burger King units among its 517 hamburger, steak, barbecue, and Mexican restaurants in 30 states became Diversified Foods Inc. after buying Godfather Pizzas.

While Godfathers did expand to 900 restaurants in 1984 and sales grew to $365 million from $340 million in 1983, profits according to Donald M. Smith, new president of Diversified Foods Inc., plummeted from 121.8 million to $18.6 million. This was due to the disastrous introduction of a pan pizza. The Los Angeles Times reported:

The company blames the earnings drop in part on the costs of product development–especially its multimillion-dollar entry into the pan pizza market, which one restaurant analyst called an “overwhelming disaster.”

Despite the setback, things were not looking that bad for Godfather’s Pizza. On September 14, 1984, the Wall Street Journal reported:

Godfather’s currently is rolling out a new deep-dish pizza that is expected to replace the current variety by next month. Management itself admits the old product, which the company hastily introduced earlier this year, was too costly to prepare, inconsistent from store to store and “too doughy, too buttery and too rich.” In tests, Godfather’s says consumers preferred its new, lighter pizza 4-to-1 over Pizza Hut’s deep-dish version, and the pie is far easier to make. Mr. Smith says advertising expenditures to promote the new pizza will rise, as the company tries to woo back customers.

If Diversifoods succeeds in overcoming its difficulties with Godfather’s, the company hopes to go after Pizza Hut and other competitors with a vengeance. To compete over the long term, Godfather’s must increase the number of markets where it has as many or more stores as its competitors, Mr. Smith says.

That potential is very attractive to some investors. Michael Culp, an analyst at Prudential-Bache, notes that while Pizza Hut currently has more than 4,000 stores in this country, Godfather’s has fewer than 1,000. “They can open a couple thousand of these restaurants over the next few years” if they can raise volume and get profit margins in line, he says. Mr. Culp thinks 75% to 80% of Godfather’s annual growth will come from physical expansion...

This is an investor’s analyst saying in the Wall Street Journal that Godfather’s Pizza could be competing with the largest Pizza company in America Pizza Hut over the next few years. This is 18 months before Cain took over. It is a month before David M. Smith offers a management buyout to stock holders, a $525 million dollar offer to buy the nearly 900 Godfather Pizzas plus 525 other restaurants held by Diversified Inc. The offer was terminated soon thereafter and the board of directors got rid of Smith on Jan 3, 1985.

Moving ahead about six months, problems continue, but the outlook for Godfather’s Pizza is still optimistic about ten months before Cain takes over. A May 19th, 1985 New York Times article describes the troubles:

Its operating earnings plunged 94 percent in 1984, to $978,000. Late that year, some franchisees, rebelling against management, started withholding royalty fees. In February 1985, Concept Development Inc., the chain’s largest franchisee with 125 restaurants, filed a $44 million suit against Diversifoods, charging that it “diminished Godfather’s name and market recognition,” causing “the chain to splinter into a noncohesive group of independents.”

Despite this, the assessment for the future is positive and there is no talk of bankruptcy. The article notes that things were getting back on track:

Despite its problems, however, Godfather’s is now trying to regain its wings as a highflier. John M. Creed, who replaced Mr. Smith as Diversifoods’ president in January, says that the chain has shelved any expansion. It has dismissed about 25 percent of Godfather’s corporate staff and is closing unprofitable stores. It is introducing new products, such as thin-crust pizza and pizza by the slice, and it is starting to offer home delivery.

Diversifoods has hired a new president for Godfather’s – its third since January – and under Henry V. Pettis, Godfather’s is now trying to foster the kind of strong ties with franchisees that Mr. Theisen used to build the company. And that seems to be working. Mr. Creed said that many franchisees were beginning to pay royalty fees again.

These actions, Mr. Creed said, should enable Godfather’s to break even by the end of the year, “with the potential to make money.”

In other words, Godfather’s Pizzas had record profits in 1983, a small profit in 1984, and according to the company president in May of 1985 would break even in 1985 “with the potential to make money”.

In August of 1985, Pillsbury bought Diversified Foods Inc., including 873 Godfather’s Pizzas plus 375 Burger Kings and some other smaller restaurant chains, for $390 million dollars. It is difficult to say how much Pillsbury paid for the Godfather’s Pizzas and how much they paid for the other restaurants. In 1983, Godfather’s had done $340 million in sales and had sold for $306 million, in 1984, it did 365 million in sales, and in 1985, it did $325 million in sales. While sales had dropped 5% from 1983 to 1985, it is hard to see why this should have caused a drastic change in the company’s value.

Most importantly Pillsbury was showing commitment to the franchises’ future According to an August 20, 1985, N.Y. Times article, “Pillsbury Keeping Godfather’s Pizza”:

Sales at Godfather’s, the nation’s third-largest pizza chain, after Pizza Hut and Domino’s, slipped badly last year as the company tried unsuccessfully to roll out a deep-dish pan pizza. A Pillsbury spokesman said: “We understand the pizza business. We have the nation’s No. 1 frozen pizza in Totino’s and we’ll bring the resources to Godfather’s to make substantial improvement there.” Godfather’s owns 209 restaurants and franchises an additional 664 restaurants.

They had cause for optimism. In official filings, Diversified Foods had done these projections for the future of Godfather’s Pizza:

For the years 1986 through 1990, the strategies developed figures for three different scenarios: an aggressive plan, a moderate one and an aggressive one without Godfather’s.

In 1986, Diversifoods would have earned about $59 million with Godfather’s and $47 million without it in cash flow. Fifty-nine million dollars yields a 15% pretax return. The $12 million difference between keeping and dumping Godfather’s expands from there.

By 1990, Diversifoods could have been grossing cash flow of $146 million under the best circumstances with Godfather’s, $116 million with Godfather’s under moderate conditions and only $116 million in the best case without Godfather’s.

In terms of cash flow, Pillsbury could make back its investment by the end of the decade.

Earnings per share make a similarly convincing case to keep Godfather’s. Based on a best-case scenario including Godfather’s, Pillsbury paid about 10.6 times next year’s earnings. But without Godfather’s, Pillsbury’s purchase price would be a far less economical 13.2 times.

But it is pretax cash flow that really matters in an acquisition. And in those terms, Pillsbury should be getting more than 20% returns on its invested capital in three years.

Not only was Godfather’s Pizza not anywhere near bankruptcy when Pillsbury Inc took it over, but they had projections showing that the company would be making profits of up to $12 million (59 – 47 million) in 1986 and expanding profits up to $30 million (146 – 116 million) in 1990.

Within five months there was more reason for optimism. Pillsbury settled the lawsuit with Concept Development Inc., the franchise owner that had sued Diversified Foods for mismanagement for $44 million dollars. Pillsbury agreed to buy 18 more Godfather’s Pizzas from Concept Development for $2 million dollars.

Godfather Pizzas was never in danger of bankruptcy, but it did have serious management problems in 1984 and 1985. However it made a small profit in 1984, probably had a small loss in 1985 and was expected to return to making good profits from 1986 to 1990. Then Herman Cain took over.

While we cannot precisely tell the value of Godfather’s Pizza at the time Cain took over, we can give a ballpark estimate based on facts presented in Rick Telberg’s Sept 15, 1985 article, How Pillsbury ‘stole’ Diversifoods for just $390 million, published in National Restaurant News. He writes:

If projections developed by Diversifoods Inc. executives prove true, then Pillsbury Co.’s $390 million payment for the Burger King franchisee and Godfather’s Pizza franchisor will look like a firesale bargain in a few years.

According to internal business plans Diversifoods furnished Pillsbury during secret negotiations, the big packaged-foods marketer acquired the ailing restaurant conglomerate for about six times next year’s gross cash flow.

The norm, if there is any in the restaurant business, is about seven times cash flow, a price established, more or less, by Denny’s Inc.’s $734 million management buyout in January.

In addition, the projections suggest that Pillsbury would have been foolish to dump Godfather’s. In each of three possible scenarios, a Godfather’s divestiture would have reduced Pillsbury’s returns on the deal.

Besides, there are few companies capable of acquiring Godfather’s that would also have the deep pockets needed to wait for a turnaround. And, if Pillsbury sold Godfather’s, the company could have armed a potential enemy, blocking its long-stated desire to enter the pizza business.

Pillsbury’s acquisition ended one of the saddest sagas in the restaurant business–the brief life and painful death of Diversifoods.

Diversifoods was formed in January 1984 through the merger of Burger King franchisee Chart House Inc. of Lafayette, La., and Godfather’s Pizza Inc. of Omaha.

But almost as soon as the ink was dry on the deal, valued at about $700 million...

If just after buying Godfather’s Pizzas for $309 million, the company was worth 700 million, Godfather’s Pizza represented 309/700 of the worth of the company, about 44%. Taking 44% of the purchase price of $390 million by Pillsbury, we get 171.6 million. However, we do have to take into account that Godfather’s Pizzas revenues dropped 5% from 1983 to 1985 and profits were marginal in 1984 and 1985. We can take away another 10% to account for that, bringing us to a value of about $155 million. We should also take into account the loss of around 100 out of 873 stores when Pillsbury settled its lawsuit with the renegade franchise owners Concept Development Inc. While this represents 12% of the franchise, we may assume they had slightly better than average units and take away another 15%. This still leaves us with a value of roughly $130 million as the value of Godfather’s Pizzas when Herman Cain took over in April 1986. The figure $130 million also seems about right for a company projected to potentially make $12 million in profits the following year, rising to $30 million five years later.

In a January 2, 1985 article in Nation’s Restaurant News we read, “Analyst Tami Preston said that Alex. Brown & Co. has valued the Burger King division of Diversifoods at $150-$155 million.” Even if we assume a huge 15% increase in value eight months later, at the time Pillsbury bought Diversified, that brings the value of the Burger Kings up to a maximum of $180 million. Substract the $180 million for the Burger Kings from the $390 million total price, we get $210 million for all the non-Burger King restaurants. Godfather’s represented over 900 of the 1100 remaining units at Diversified. Besides Godfather’s, there were 65 Luther’s barbecue restaurants, 55 Chart Houses and Moxie’s gourmet Burger restaurants. If we assume that the 900 Godfather’s were only worth half as much as the other 200 restaurants, that still gives us around $140 million for the Godfather’s and $70 million for the others...


Damn you, Bradley Cooper! We don't care what People Magazine says, Ryan Gosling is the man who stole our hearts!!!,,20315920,00.html


YouTube Movie of the Week: Lord of the Rings

Lord Of The Rings - 1978
JRR Tolkien - Animated


Kool Website: Mad Magazine Blog
The Idiotical:


Reopened: The curious case of Natalie Wood's drowning death. Officials insist her husband, actor Robert Wagner, isn't a suspect, but the captain of the yacht the death happened on "blames" him nonetheless. Cristopher Walken was also on the boat, and shortly before the death, Wagner and Wood had an argument, allegedly about an affair she was having with Walken. In any case, Wagner was the man who got Dr. Evil to invest in Starbucks, so nothing can be put past him...


Changes in MLB: It's official, the Houston Astros will move to the AL West. The postseason will also expand to five teams, with the two wild cards in each league facing each off in a one-game playoff, making winning the division more important for World Series victory:


From ESPN: The 2011 Sprint Cup Series title came down to Carl Edwards vs. Tony Stewart, and it lived up to the hype. Stewart won the race, Edwards finished second and they tied on points. The tie-breaker? Total wins, and Stewart won that -- and the championship -- five to one for the season...


Comic Book Series of the Month: IDW release Godzilla Legends, with issue 2 written by Konformist pal Jonathan Vankin:


A second experiment has resulted with reports of faster-than-light neutrinos:


SoCal scientist have created the world's lightest material, so light it can rest on a dandelion:,2817,2396633,00.asp


2012 Motor Trend Car of The Year: Volkswagen Passat:

Duke's Coach K breaks record for wins in men's college basketball with his 903rd victory:


Farewell: Regis Philbin, leaving his morning co-host job at the age of 80:

Russians & North Koreans in Iran: Collateral Damage?

As the drums for direct military intervention to derail Iran’s purported covert military nuclear weapons program beat louder in both Jerusalem and Washington, an overlooked issue is the possibility of international “collateral damage,” to use the Pentagon’s favourite euphemism for civilian casualties.

On 14 November South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo stated, "Hundreds of North Korean scientists and engineers are working at about 10 nuclear and missile facilities in Iran, including Natanz, The North Koreans are apparently rotated every six months." Russian technicians also remain at Iran’s first nuclear electrical energy facility, Bushehr. So, any aerial strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities could result in significant numbers of dead Russian and North Korean specialists as “collateral damage,” with all the diplomatic uncertainties that might ensue from Moscow and Pyongyang as the body bags start arriving home.

The website, which listed the report, describes the Chosun Ilbo website as “conservative in editorial orientation -- strongly nationalistic, anti-North Korea, and generally pro-U.S.”

For those looking for more smoking guns, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reports that among the Iranian sites the North Koreans have been involved in are three research centres carrying out simulations of how to trigger nuclear weapons.

The news complicates the situation for advocates of a “clean” surgical strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Airstrike Against Iranian Nuclear Facilities Could Kill 100s of North Koreans and Russians John Daly
Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Though CME Group Guarantees, There are No Guarantees

KINGSTON, NY, 19 November 2011 — The Trends Journal has uncovered critical information that – in light of the MF Global bankruptcy – casts doubt on the fitness of CME Group to serve as a trustworthy derivatives and commodities exchange, and on the credibility of its Executive Chairman, Terence Duffy.

Not only has the scandalous MF Global bankruptcy (the eighth-largest in US history) wreaked financial havoc on thousands of individuals, it has single-handedly destroyed faith in the commodity markets. CME’s reputation as the financial Rock of Gibraltar, upon which the commodity markets are anchored, has now been undermined. By its recent actions, CME’s claim of being committed to guaranteeing the transactions undertaken by its members has been called into question.

As recently as 2010, Terrence Duffy boasted, “No customer has ever lost a penny as a result of a clearing member default.” Moreover, in the same press conference, Duffy stated unequivocally, "Since we are the guarantor of every transaction that happens in our markets, we have to guarantee the performance of each and every one of these contracts … To do this, we hold more than $100 billion of collateral to support the transactions that are being done on our markets.”

The evidence is irrefutable:

Mr. Duffy affirms that the CME Group is “guarantor.”

CME has a $100 billion reserve to make good any possible default by a member.

The MF Global meltdown, big as it is, is not “just another” major bankruptcy – another Lehman Brothers. It provides irrefutable proof of the tactics employed by top financial players in a prelude to the unraveling of the world’s financial system.

The Trends Journal has come up with a key, perhaps THE key. It is up to the Fourth Estate to publicize and expose CME Group, Terence Duffy, and MF’s former CEO, John Corzine, for what they are: not so much canaries, but the vultures in the mine shaft.

To schedule an interview with Gerald Celente, Trends Journal publisher, please contact: Zeke West, Media Relations, 845 331.3500 ext. 1

©MMXI The Trends Research Institute®

Architect of Reactor 3 warns of massive hydrovolcanic explosion


Dear Readers,

I've been following nuclear issues for more than 40 years -- since I was about fourteen years old. I watched as Three Mile Island unfolded, and then Chernobyl, the loss of the Russian submarine Kursk, and a thousand other events. I'd guess I've testified at over 100 nuke hearings (10 more, and I get a free pizza!) and written over a thousand essays (we'll call this one #1,167, though it may not be). A phone call in the middle of the night on 3/11 from Harvey Wasserman alerted me to Fukushima. (So now I owe Harvey a pizza.)

Suffice it to say, it's not often I read a headline about nuclear dangers that scares the daylights out of me. They all distress me, but I don't lose my daylights (wherever they happen to be) very often. However, here's a headline that DOES scare the daylights out of me:

"Architect of Reactor 3 warns of massive hydrovolcanic explosion."

(Full article and links, below).

Here's my take on it (with a little history to set the scene):

In the fall of 1945 Vern Partlow was a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News.

After interviewing scientists about the atomic bombs that were used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he became so alarmed that he wrote a song about the dangers, called Old Man Atom.

The song was an enormous hit among folksingers of the time (Pete Seeger among them) but was (famously) banned during the McCarthy Era. (Even the New York Times editorialized that the song's ban was "a threat to freedom.")

The song has a line that describes "the atom" as: "...the thing that Einstein says he's scared of" then goes on to say: "And when Einstein's scared, brother, I'M SCARED!"

If Einstein were alive today, I think he'd be VERY scared.

Of Fukushima.

Professor Haruo Uehara is a former president of Saga University and the primary architect of Fukushima Dai-ichi Reactor 3. Professor Haruo is scared. So I think we should ALL be scared. Not that Professor Uehara is saying anything significantly different from what I -- and others -- have been saying we thought happened in Fukushima, or is happening, or will happen. But now it's coming from someone with very heavy credentials AND close ties to Fukushima Dai-ichi itself.

There may be nothing we can do about Fukushima, but ADDITIONAL nuclear catastrophes can be relatively easy to prevent: Shut the reactors down. Shut 'em ALL down.


Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

The author was born during atmospheric weapons testing (1956, to be exact) and is an educational software developer. He witnessed the breakup of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) into the NRC and the DOE (1974). He was working at a college news department as Three Mile Island unfolded (1979). He was a computer programmer by the time of Chernobyl (1986). His older brother died of leukemia (1994), then he had bladder cancer himself (2005). Then Fukushima started raining radioactive poisons down on us all (2011). What's next? San Onofre? Indian Point? Or any of a hundred others?
Architect of Reactor 3 warns of massive hydrovolcanic explosion:

Posted by Mochizuki on November 19th, 2011

Architect of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3, Uehara Haruo, the former president of Saga University had an interview on 11/17/2011.

In this interview, he admitted Tepco’s explanation does not make sense, and that the China syndrome is inevitable.

He stated that considering 8 months have passed since 311 without any improvement, it is inevitable that melted fuel went out of the container vessel and sank underground, which is called China syndrome.

He added, if fuel has reaches a underground water vein, it will cause contamination of underground water, soil contamination and sea contamination. Moreover, if the underground water vein keeps being heated for long time, a massive hydrovolcanic explosion will be caused.

He also warned radioactive debris is spreading in Pacific Ocean. Tons of the debris has reached the Marshall Islands as of 11/15/2011.

Original source:
Ace Hoffman
Author, The Code Killers:
An Expose of the Nuclear Industry
Free download:
Phone: (760) 720-7261
Address: PO Box 1936, Carlsbad, CA 92018
Subscribe to my free newsletter today!


Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sofia Vergara

Rose McGowan

Kendra Wilkinson

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Gwyneth Paltrow

How Well Did Herman Cain Know Lawrence King?

Herman Cain isn't the only African-American conservative who spent time in Omaha, Nebraska during the mid-eighties. From

Omaha is tornado country, so when I say it's a great big small town, I'm talking acreage versus gossipy connectivity. It's flat and spread out with few tall buildings, but everyone is a whisper away from everyone else's business. It's not so big as to be home to two up-and-coming black Republicans with strong ties with the bigwigs in the Republican Party who could never cross paths. Restaurant people of all colors make it a point to know each other. To know what secrets wandering waiters and chefs may have taken with them as they move from job to job, etc... Wealthy Republicans are an even tighter clique. Wealthy black Republican restaurateurs in Omaha Nebraska in the late '80s were more likely to have been twins than not to have social if not business ties.

Lawrence E. King was a fixture in the Omaha black community. He had seen his opportunity gathering up black folks' money in a credit union known as the Franklin Credit Union, which he'd taken over in 1970. By 1976 there where whispers about this 300-pound socialite living large. There were minor stabs at investigating him, but the police did not want to be seen as the big bad white guys picking on the little ol' great big black man.

Tales of King entertaining guests with cocaine, hookers and hustlers were pervasive, but Omaha has some strange code of silence. It had been for many years a sort of mob neutral zone. "Tony might whack Vinnie in Chicago," but in Omaha their kids and wives would peacefully shop, play and picnic together. Drawing attention is not acceptable. Bush flew to Omaha on 9/11 in a very standard emergency protocol, and not one in ten Americans ever knew. Lily Tomlin and her partner Jane Wagner were a known couple around "The Big O" long before Lily came out. Omaha had lots of stories and still does, but none of them are news.

King -- who had been recruited by the RNC to get out the black Republican vote -- in his rise through the Republican ranks, was able to be the sum of their black best friends, as it were. He sang the national anthem at the 1984 and 1988 Republican conventions. In 1986, the Franklin Federal Credit Union moved into brand-new digs that also served as headquarters for King's burgeoning catering and food-service empire. King began making donations to the Omaha Press Club, the Republican Party and even gay rights organizations (especially those funding area youth programs). Upon being told he had no style by a ten-year-old boy, he went shopping and became a clothes junkie, big-time-- thus earning the nickname "Reverend Alice." People really began talking. Franklin Federal Credit Union seemed to be all right until an audit of King's taxes revealed what appeared to be some missing funds. A phony "certificates of deposit" scheme. Initially it was thought that $400,000 had disappeared. Then $4 million. Ultimately $40 million was determined to have vanished.

The FBI raid of the credit union sparked rumors that drugs and child pornography were discovered in the lower levels of the facility. It had been whispered that King had used the basement of the credit union as a "waiter academy" to train young men (twinks and blinks) in the fine art of waiting tables for what was hopefully to become his restaurant empire. In an Omaha World Herald interview, he spoke about how he wanted his places to be real elegant; the waiters would wear white dinner jackets. But King's deeper desires were rumored to be something quite different.

There was a lot of recruiting going on for guys to come be part of King's catering business. Many teens and young men talked of being expected to "put out," and rumors of pornographic video shoots circulated in the gay and black communities. After the raid there was an investigation into what had become of the missing funds. Eventually a private investigator was hired by the state legislature to look into stories of an international child prostitution ring. He interviewed dozens of waiters and folks around Omaha who had been curious about King's lavish gifts and extravagant ways. But things seemed tempered by the fact that King hung out with presidents, and area journalists. And owned a bank, and a sushi bar and...

The investigator is said to have flown to Chicago to meet with a person who had damning photographic evidence as to what was going on in the bowels of Franklin. That investigator never made it back to Omaha. His plane mysteriously blew up on the return flight. Primary witnesses suddenly changed their stories, and those who did not were convicted of perjury. One rent boy who testified that he was farmed out to several closeted power brokers in and around Omaha died mysteriously in New Mexico.

King was convicted of bank fraud and served nearly 10 out of the 15 years to which he was sentenced, but the grand jury concluded that all of the salacious allegations were merely "a big hoax" (wtf!) These allegations included supplying children for satanic blood rituals in Spain and supplying teens to a sex party in Washington, D.C., where some of those teens claimed they saw George W. Bush in attendance.

The story is larger and dirtier than what is within the scope of a DWT guest blog, and in fact was the subject of a Discovery Channel investigative report. Alas, that program was "purchased" a week before it was to air by some anonymous party...

Full Article:

And that is WHY WE OCCUPY

Greg Palast and the Palast investigations team at Zuccotti Park Wall Street, Occupy Portland, Occupy Oakland, and Kinshasa, Congo exclusive for
Wed, 16 Nov 2011

So big deal. They evicted us. That just means we are among five million Americans evicted from their homes this year.

Our photographer, Zach Roberts, had his camera cracked and his head whacked.

Go ahead, kick us and evict us. That won't stop us. Because it's not about the real estate. Wall Street's just an address.

Time to remind The One Percent why we occupy.

We occupy for Stanlee Ann Mattingly.

Mattingly, an Osage Indian, saw a tanker truck poaching oil from the reservation stripper wells. Our investigators tracked the truck back to a man on a platform exhorting his company truckers to steal more of the Osage's oil. The man is named Charles Koch.

And that is why we occupy.

We occupy for Jason Anderson.

Anderson worked on BP's Deepwater Horizon rig. Through bribery and beatings, BP concealed this fact: two years before the Deepwater exploded, another BP well blew out in Central Asia--and BP execs withheld the info from the US Congress to get the Gulf drilling permit. If BP hadn't lied, Anderson would not have been incinerated.

The Deepwater Horizon wasn't an accident. It was a homicide.

And that is why we occupy.

We occupy for Robert Pratt.

Pratt, a United Auto Workers member in Detroit, has a mortgage payment that tripled because of a sub-prime mortgage scam by Bank of America's Countrywide unit. Countrywide's CEO got a half billion dollar bonus, Bank of America got a $10 billion bail-out from taxpayers--and Pratt, with five kids, got a foreclosure notice.

And that is why we occupy.

We occupy for Janessa Greig.

Greig, 13-years old, and her mom, Jacqueline, were burnt to death when a gas pipeline exploded under their home in San Bruno, California. Our investigation reveals that "PIGs," pipeline inspection robots, were deliberately mis-programmed to under-report dangerous pipeline cracks ...all so gas and oil companies can save a couple bucks on repairs. The Greigs died because pipeline companies lied. And now the PIG-jackers want to build a new pipeline from Canada to Houston.

And that is why we occupy.

We occupy for Vaggelis Petrakis.

For a decade, Goldman Sachs worked a scheme with Greek politicians to manipulate currency reserves to hide big deficits. The fraud netted Goldman a secret fee of over a quarter billion dollars; and netted the Greek people, when the scam blew up, a destroyed economy and a debt--to Goldman and cronies--of $14,000 per year per family. When the debts bankrupted fruit-seller Petrakis, he committed suicide.

And that is why we occupy.

We occupy for our nation and our kids and this wounded planet.

It's not about the real estate, the tents or tarps.

It's about Them, the 1%, and Us, the 99%.

THEY get homes bigger than Disneyland, WE get foreclosure notices.

THEY get private jets to private islands, WE get tar balls and lost futures, and pay their gambling debts with our pensions.

THEY get the third trophy wife and a tax break, WE get sub-primed.

THEY get two candidates on the ballot and WE are told to choose.

THEY get the gold mine, WE get the shaft.

And that is why we occupy.

These investigative findings, the evidence and the story of the cover-ups of the evidence are all contained in Vultures' Picnic, an investigation of The One Percent, Greg Palast's new book, released this week. Go to to download the first chapter.

Palast's investigation of finance vultures is featured on the front page of today's Guardian (London) and tonight on BBC Television Newsnight.
A report from Congo, Bosnia and New York.
- UK urged to prevent vulture funds preying on world's poorest countries
- Vultures feed when economies are turned into rotting carcasses

Vultures' Picnic: in Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Fraudsters.

Subscribe to Palast's Newsletter and podcasts.
Follow Palast on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cities And Pyramids On The Moon, Mars And Other Planets

YouTube Documentary of the Week
David Hatcher Childress

For more info:

China's Area 51?

These pictures were found via Google Maps in China's Kumtag Desert. To read more on these mysterious structures:

Why Is China Building These Gigantic Structures In the Middle of the Desert?
Jesus Diaz
Nov 13, 2011

Retropedia: The Peoplemover

Never mind those pesky jet packs or flying cars from The Jetsons, in the future man will travel in groups of four, roughly at the pace of a hurried snail. At least, that was the vision put forth by Disneyland’s glimpse into a futuristic tomorrow called the Peoplemover. And while this form of transportation never quite became the preferred method of travel for future generations, it managed to provide a service not to be discounted; a peaceful journey through the land of the future.

The Peoplemover opened in 1967 and offered a scenic round trip journey through every nook and cranny of Tomorrowland. Guests traveled up a moving sidewalk to the boarding area, anxious to enter their own transportation vehicle. Each vehicle held up to four adults and each “train” consisted of four vehicles linked together. Each group of vehicles were one of four colors: red, blue, yellow, or green. In 1987, the cars were repainted white with colored stripes.

As you approached your Peoplemover vehicle, the roof would raise to allow easier entry and the doors would slide open in a similar fashion to the doors on Star Trek’s “Enterprise” starship (although, sadly without the whooshing sound). You and your fellow passengers would take your seat and head at a white-knuckled two miles per hour towards the entrance to Tomorrowland before making a sharp left turn and entering the show building that housed either “Monsanto’s Adventure Through Inner Space” or the Star Wars themed, “Star Tours” depended on which era you were visiting in.

Moving forward, you would pop out over the Starcade video game arcade and (again, depending on the decade) enter another show building to catch a glimpse of Space Mountain, a thrilling roller coaster through the darkness of space. Of course, this darkness meant that you were more likely to hear the screams of Space Mountain riders, rather than actually see much of anything, other than a few stars and maybe an asteroid that looked suspiciously like a chocolate chip cookie.

From here, the Peoplemover would travel over the now-extinct Mission to Mars and head onward to a section added in 1977 that would, at least momentarily, give you the impression that you were traveling much faster than you actually were. This “Superspeed Tunnel” later became the futuristic world of Tron and provided the once in a lifetime experience of traveling through a 1980’s video game, though luckily without a Pacman trying to devour your vehicle.

Upon your survival of Tron, you would take a leisurely jaunt over the submarine lagoon and Autopia racetrack before entering the final show building to get a glimpse of the 360-degree film America the Beautiful. Then, it was back to the loading platform, having given your feet a full sixteen minutes of much needed rest.

Sadly, the Peoplemover at Disneyland closed in 1995 (the Florida version is still running), to make room for one of Disneyland’s shortest-lived attractions of all time, the ill-fated Rocket Rods. And yet, the ghostly track of the Peoplemover still winds its way through Tomorrowland, reminded every visitor of its former presence, when colorful cars meandered throughout the area and lent a never-ending kinetic motion to the area. Rumors abound that the Peoplemover may someday return to these tracks but to date, plans have moved almost as slowly as the Peoplemover cars once did.

Then again, the Peoplemover didn’t travel much slower than the rush hour traffic of present day. Maybe the Disney Imagineers weren’t so far off with the speed they chose for the ride. Two miles an hour seems to be the norm these days.

ET Junk

As powerful space telescopes seek out Earth-like planets, and SETI radio telescopes listen for transmissions from aliens, physical evidence for intelligent extraterrestrials might be right in our backyard.

I'm not talking about flying saucers or oddball ancient artifacts attributed to visits by so-called "space gods," however. Instead, I'm looking for something as mundane as the pieces of interstellar probes that could have visited our solar system on numerous occasions over geologic time.

If technological extraterrestrial civilizations are common in our galaxy, then they should have the wherewithal and curiosity to send robotic probes to other star systems. We already have five star-bound spacecraft destined to roam the galaxy forever: two Pioneer probes, a pair of Voyagers, and the New Horizons craft now speeding toward Pluto.

The aliens' motivations may be the same as ours; if we found an Earth-like world nearby, there would be an inevitable desire to send an unmanned craft to see what kinds of creatures are living there. We'd have a burning curiosity to behold how the power of biological evolution has played out among the stars.

Looking for alien "calling cards" in the solar system is not a new idea. It has been popularized in numerous science fiction stories and movies. In Arthur C. Clarke's 1951 short story The Sentinel, astronauts come upon an alien-built pyramid on the moon that remains inscrutable.

A recent paper by Jacob Haqq-Misra and Ravi Kumar Kopparapu of Pennsylvania State University takes a new look at this twist on the Fermi Paradox: "Where Are They?"

The authors propose that an alien probe may be as small as a car, but no bigger than a modest-sized house.

Certainly, for the propulsion demands of interstellar travel the less massive -- hence smaller -- the payload, the better. But finding it among our planets would be as difficult as finding a needle on a football field covered in three feet of hay, say the authors.

The researchers developed an equation that can be applied to a portion of the volume of the solar system and determine whether sufficient searching has been done to rule out any E.T. souvenirs.

They conclude: "Extraterrestrial artifacts may exist in the solar system without our knowledge simply because we have not yet searched sufficiently. The vastness of space implies that it will take some time before every nearby object can be considered devoid of (space probes)."

We are just beginning to take close-up look at other planets with enough sharpness to see small artifacts, if they are there...

A Solar System Littered With Alien Artifacts?
Ray Villard
Wed Nov 9, 2011

The Case for Parallel Universes

Why the multiverse, crazy as it sounds, is a solid scientific idea

In the August issue of Scientific American, cosmologist George Ellis describes why he's skeptical about the concept of parallel universes. Here, multiverse proponents Alexander Vilenkin? and Max Tegmark? offer counterpoints, explaining why the multiverse would account for so many features of our universe—and how it might be tested:

ScottWorld does NOT endorse Lion

Scott Rose
November 12, 2011

For those of you that subscribe to the ScottWorld Newsletter, you already know that ScottWorld does NOT endorse Mac OS X Lion, Apple’s newest operating system.

We found a wonderful article on this topic that currently has almost 100 comments from people explaining why it’s a terrible idea to upgrade to Lion.

One of our favorite comments is from somebody who calls Lion a “toy operating system”, which we couldn’t agree with more.

If you actually need to get REAL work done on your Mac, if you depend on being productive throughout your day instead of being hampered by one limitation after another, if you actually need to use your Address Book* on your Mac, if you want to save yourself thousands of dollars in upgrade fees, if you want to keep your Mac humming at a fast speed, if you want to keep your Mac bug-free… then AVOID LION AT ALL COSTS until Apple forces you to upgrade.

Unfortunately, the date when Apple will force you to upgrade to Lion is coming sooner than we’d like, because of 3 factors:

1. Apple’s discontinuation of MobileMe in June 2012.
2. Apple’s insistence that iCloud will only work with Lion.
3. The dwindling reserve of new Snow Leopard Macs available to purchase.

So the latest date that most people will be able to delay upgrading to Lion will be June 2012, which we think is truly criminal on Apple’s part.

For your ultimate happiness, follow our advice: Stick with Snow Leopard for as long as you possibly can. If you need to buy a new Mac, there are only a very small handful of iMacs, MacBook Airs, and MacBook Pros available on that are still shipping with Snow Leopard. But once those are gone, you will be hard-pressed to find any new Snow Leopard Macs for purchase. Some of the refurbished Macs on Apple’s website MIGHT ship with Snow Leopard, but Apple doesn’t reveal on their website what operating system you’ll be getting with each refurbished Mac. Your local Mac reseller might have a couple Snow Leopard Macs available, too.

*Both Address Book and iCal are absolutely terrible & completely unusable in Lion. Luckily, we have a fantastic replacement for iCal in the form of BusyCal, but there are no current replacements for Address Book.

Rainforest Fungus Makes Diesel Fuel

A fungus recently discovered in the Patagonian rainforest has shocked biologists and environmentalists: the fungus produces gas almost identical to diesel. In a paper announcing the discovery in Microbiology, scientists state that they believe the fungus, called Gliocladium roseum, could become an incredibly efficient green energy source.

"This is the only organism that has ever been shown to produce such an important combination of fuel substances," said Professor Gary Strobel from Montana State University.

Gliocladium roseum makes a variety of molecules of hydrogen and carbon like those found in diesel. The scientists have named Gliocladium roseu's fuel myco-diesel. The researchers found that when grown in a lab the fungus produced myco-diesel even closer to diesel used in cars...

Rainforest fungus generates biodiesel, may drive energy of the future
Jeremy Hance
November 4, 2008

Three-Eyed Nuclear 'Simpsons' Fish Caught

Seen here looking like about 40 fish sticks, a group of fishermen caught this three-eyed Simpsons 'blinky' fish in a lake near a nuclear power plant in Argentina...

Full Article:

The Car with 350 MPG

The race drew teams from Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes and Peugeot, but Gordon Murray Designs walked away the winner.

The T.27, an all-electric car with a lightweight composite chassis, won the Future Car Challenge sponsored by the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) by completing a 57.13 mile course between Brighton and London on less energy than its fellow competitors. Carrying two occupants, the T.27 consumed only 7 kilowatt hours of electricity, which is about equal to 350 miles per gallon, according to the company. The total energy bill came to 64 pence, or about $1.03.

Second place went to an electrified Jaguar E-Type from Germany which consumed 8.5 kilowatt hours. Tesla Roadsters, Nissan Leafs, an electrified Citroen, a Honda Insight and a few diesels also competed.

Murray, a noted race car designer whose cars won world championships at Brabham and McLaren, is on a quest to get cars to lose weight. By swapping out steel components for parts made from structurally strong plastic or composites, car manufacturers can dramatically increase mileage without impacting performance. Less weight, after all, leads directly to better fuel efficiency and/or acceleration.

A T.27, for instance, can go 100 miles on a charge, the same as a Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi i. The T.27, however, only sports a 12.5 kilowatt hour battery pack, which is about half the size of the battery in the other two cars. A smaller battery means quicker charging times and, potentially, a lower sticker price. Last year, Murray’s T.25, a T.27 with a gas engine, beat half of the electric cars in the race with an 80 miles per gallon rating.

Bright Automotive in the U.S. is mining similar concepts with a lightweight delivery truck.

Composite cars can also be cheaper to produce. Instead of steel stamping mills and painting stalls needed for applying rust-proofing, manufacturers only need to invest in software and injection molding machinery.

Murray’s company does not plan on producing cars. Instead, it will license its intellectual property. A deal with an established manufacturer may come next year...

Tiny Car Gets 350 MPG, Beats Corporate Competitors In Energy Derby
Michael Kanellos

King Tut's Curse & Aleister Crowley

Were six bizarre deaths, linked to curse of King Tut, actually the work of this notorious Satanist?
Tim Stewart
8 Nov 2011

Six mysterious London deaths attributed to the "curse of Tutankhamun" were murders by a Satanist called Aleister Crowley, a historian claims in a new book.

Throughout the Twenties and Thirties London was gripped by Tutankhamun, the Egyptian boy-king whose tomb was uncovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter.

More than 20 people linked to the opening of the pharaoh's burial chamber in Luxor in 1923 died over the following years - six of them in the capital.

Victims included Carter's personal secretary Captain Richard Bethell, who was found dead in his bed from suspected smothering at a Mayfair club.

Bethell's father Lord Westbury then plunged seven floors to his death from his St James's apartment, where he reportedly kept tomb artefacts given to him by his son.

Aubrey Herbert, half-brother of Carter's financial backer Lord Carnarvon, also died suspiciously in a Park Lane hospital shortly after visiting Luxor. Another victim was Egyptologist Sir Ernest Wallis Budge, of the British Museum, who was found dead in his Bloomsbury home.

At the time, a frenzied press blamed the "curse" and speculated on the supernatural powers of ancient Egyptians. But author Mark Beynon has now drawn on previously unpublished evidence to conclude the deaths were all ritualistic killings masterminded by Crowley, an occultist called "the wickedest man in the world".

After unique analysis of Crowley's diaries, essays and books and inquest reports, the armchair detective argues that he was a killer obsessed with Jack the Ripper's reign of terror in 1888.

Crowley, who called himself The Great Beast, apparently had his own motives to tarnish the legacy of Carter's legendary discovery.

The gods and goddesses of Crowley's own religious philosophy, Thelema, were mainly drawn from ancient Egyptian religion.

It is likely that he would have found Carter's excavation sacrilegious and wanted revenge, according to Beynon's book London's Curse: Murder, Black Magic and Tutankhamun in the 1920s West End, published this week by The History Press.

Crowley, who was born into a wealthy family in 1875, was a bisexual heroin addict who gained notoriety for advocating sexual promiscuity and prostitution. Beynon paints a picture of a dangerous schizophrenic known to have murdered his servants in India.

Outlining his theory, Beynon said: "When I researched these deaths, Crowley's name popped up again and again. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence linking him to all the deaths and his diaries and books are riddled with clues."

He added: "Everyone was obsessed with the supposed curse of Tutankhamun striking down high society victims. But until now, no one has ever realised that they may well have been murdered."


The Strange Life And Times Of James Shelby Downard
Shelby Cobras
Friday, November 11, 2011

"The United States, which has long been called a melting pot, should more descriptively be called a witches' cauldron wherein the 'Hierarchy of the Grand Architect of the Universe' arranges for ritualistic crimes and psychopolitical psychodramas to be performed in accordance with a Master plan."

In addition to his super-cool name, the mysterious hermit, conspiriologist, synchromysticist, anthroponomastic etymologist, and onomastic toponymist James Shelby Downard had quite a few things going for him before his death in 1998, including a vast knowledge of Freemasonry, language, politics, and, perhaps most importantly, alchemy. He was a man who knew no equal in the realms of conspiracy and paranoia, and, had his work not been brought to light by Feral House writer/editor Adam Parfrey in the years before his death, he would have passed almost unnoticed as such.

Downard's unique take on Americana via occult symbolism and revisionist history was firmly rooted in the basic tenets of alchemical magic, and his belief that alchemy (as practiced by Freemasons, of course) guided much of America's historical path. Downard was not a prolific man, espousing his theories in small pamphlets spread out through the years. But his most compelling ideas about Americana and alchemy can be boiled down to three major points (a "trinity" if you will--more on that later):

1) The detonation of the first atomic bomb at the Trinity site in New Mexico in 1945 represented the "destruction of primordial matter" necessary to begin magical transformation in alchemical lore.

2) The assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, TX, November 22, 1963 represented the "killing of the king" which functions as a second step in the alchemical trinity.

3) A third, unidentified event would complete this Trinity and usher in a new age of either supreme enlightenment or supreme evil. Traditionally, this alchemical "third step" consists of "MAKING MANIFEST ALL THAT IS HIDDEN".

Downard's best known work, a summation of these theories co-authored by controversial anti-Zionist conspiracy nut Robert Hoffman II, was titled King Kill 33, self-published, and distributed in small batches in 1987. It is some heavy shit.

Arguably, Downard's second greatest venture into the public eye came via Adam Gorightly's book, James Shelby Downard's Mystical War (BUY IT!), released in 2008. says this: "Mind Control, occult scenarios, conspiracy and ritual crimes… In "James Shelby Downard’s Mystical War," author Adam Gorightly chronicles the famed conspiracy researcher’s life long battles against Masonic Sorcery as an investigator and exposer of the Science of Symbolism, Onomatology (Science of Names) and Mystical Toponomy (Science of Places). "James Shelby Downard’s Mystical War" picks up where Downard left off and follows the bread crumbs down a rabbit hole where only the brave (or crazy!) dare follow."

Then again, Amazon is often full of shit. If you'd like to learn a bit more before actually purchasing Gorightly's book, check out an excellent, detailed review (which nearly doubles as a Downard bio) over at Loren Coleman's Twilight Language blog. From his write-up:

"As you begin to read this new book about Downard, you might think that you have opened a cryptocomedic LSD trip about a conspiracy-oriented Forrest Gump-like character, who amazingly finds himself in all the wrong places at the wrong times...

Gorightly escorts the reader abroad a rollercoaster ride in which Downard is a Freemason scapegoat being ritualistically abused, watching the KKK hang a person at a crossroads, seeing Alexander Graham Bell receiving homoerotic sex magik fellatio, visiting J. Edgar Hoover's office, and getting a phone call from FDR."

Ever heard of William Grimstad? Me neither, but here's an oft-quoted excerpt from William Grimstad's piece on Downard, taken from 1978's Weird America:

"Would you believe John F. Kennedy as a ceremonial king-who-must-die? I'm afraid there is a certain body of opinion, undoubtedly the farthest-out brain wave of assassinology yet, that maintains the killing was pulled off, not by the Russians, the Cubans, the CIA, or the Mafia, but by alchemists.

As I understand the hypothesis, President Kennedy was for some reason chosen as The King (remember "Camelot," "Macbird" and all that?) after the fashion of James G. Frazer and Mary Renault whose "The King Must Die" he had been given to read before his death. This killing of the king in Dallas was related somehow to the touching off of the world's first atomic bomb at the Trinity Site in New Mexico 18 years earlier. Apparently the Bomb was the "destruction of primordial matter" stage of the grand alchemical working, but these conspiracy buffs aren't much more specific on details than were the early alchemists in their recipes. Anyway, Kennedy represented the next stage of the process - the "Death of the White King" - when he was immolated on a trinity site of his own. For, aren't Dealey Plaza and the ill-famed Triple Underpass on the bank of the old Trinity River?"

Sounds feasible, right? We already know the Freemasons run the show, dangling, as it were, from puppet-strings held by the Illuminati, who are in turn controlled by a vastly secretive race of shapeshifting reptilian space aliens. Common knowledge here, really, but the weird connections that Downard pointed out in his life work will really blow your mind. I don't mean to mislead: he didn't have any reptoid/Illuminati theories per se. But the loose ends he ties together via language, numbers, and geography are multitudinous are cripplingly odd nonetheless...

Also important: Masonry and the Downardian Nightmare, by Adam Parfrey. Foreward to Part 1 of JSD's autobiography, Carnivals of Life and Death. Parfrey's pieces on Downard in the much-cited Apocalypse Culture books are absolutely essential. Downard's Carnival only covers his life from birth to age 26--he died before completion of the second volume.

But back to the names and numbers...

Consider, my friends, these concepts (taken en masse from The Sorcerer's Apprentices: James Shelby Downard and the Mysteries of Americana, by Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen), just the tip of the iceberg, really, when studying JSD's work:

- Dallas is located just south of the 33 degree of latitude. The 33rd degree is Freemasonry's highest rank.

- Kennedy's motorcade was rolling toward the "Triple Underpass" when he was slain by, according to some analysts, three gunmen. Three tramps were arrested right after the murder. Hiram Abiff, architect of Solomon's Temple and mythic progenitor of Freemasonry was murdered according to Masonic legend by three "unworthy craftsmen."

- "Dea" in Latin means goddess. "Ley" in Spanish can refer to law or rule. "Dealey Plaza" was "goddess-rule" plaza.

- Blamed for the assassination was a man named "Oz," explained by Downard as "a Hebrew term denoting strength." Divine strength is integral to the King-killing rite.

- "Oz" was killed by "Ruby," just as the ruby slippers freed Dorothy from the land of Oz in The Wizard of Oz, "which one may deride as a fairy tale but which nevertheless symbolizes the immense power of 'ruby light' otherwise known as the laser."

- Dealey Plaza is near the Trinity River, which before the introduction of flood control measures submerged the place regularly. Dealey Plaza therefore symbolizes both the trident and its bearer, the water-god Neptune. "To this trident-Neptune site," writes Downard, "came the 'Queen of Love and Beauty' and her spouse, the scapegoat, in the Killing of the King rite, the 'Ceannaideach' (Gaelic word for Ugly Head or Wounded Head). In Scotland, the Kennedy coat of arms and iconography is full of folklore. Their Plant Badge is an oak and their Crest has a dolphin on it. Now what could be more coincidental than for JFK to get shot in the head near the oak tree at Dealey Plaza. Do you call that a coincidence?" For those in our audience still too puzzled by the whole "Wizard of Oz" thing to get that last bit: the "Queen" is Jackie and "Ceannaideach" is the Gaelic form of Kennedy.

- An earlier "Trinity Site," in New Mexico, was the location of the first atomic bomb explosion. Chaos and synergy, breaking apart and joining together are the first principles of alchemy. The atomic bomb broke apart the positive and negative (male and female) elements that compose primordial matter. Physicists refer to this fiendish trickery as "nuclear fission."

- The New Mexico "Trinity" sits on the 33rd degree latitude line.

- The Kennedy assassination's true significance was concealed by the Warren Commission headed by Freemason Earl Warren with Freemason Gerald Ford as its public spokesman. The Commission drew its information from the FBI headed by Freemason J. Edgar Hoover and the CIA, which transmitted information through former director Freemason Allen Dulles who sat on the commission.

- A decade later Ford, when president himself, was the target of an attempted assassination in front of the St. Francis Hotel, located opposite Mason Street in the City of St. Francis, San Francisco. Members of the Freemasonic "Hell Fire Club," site of many a sex orgy involving such luminaries as Freemason Benjamin Franklin, called themselves "Friars of St. Francis."

- The St. Francis Hotel was also the site of sex orgies. On its premises occurred the rape- murder of Virginia Rappe by silent film comic Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Virginia Rappe's name is a variation on "virgin rape." The rape of a virgin is an important alchemical sex-magic rite.

I apologize for throwing all of this information at you in such a relatively short amount of time. Downard's writing takes lots of time to digest (to say the least). But allow me one last digression before I leave you:

Remember up top, when I alluded to the alchemical "third step" Downard predicted in almost all of his work--the act of MAKING MANIFEST ALL THAT IS HIDDEN? The historical event that would usher a New Dark Age (and/or enlightenment)? Remember?

Well, many have speculated that a very major tragedy in American history, a tragedy that the man himself didn't live to witness, served as completion of the Downardian Trinity...

James Shelby Downard was indeed a weird guy--seen by many as a genius, a guru, a wizard--but most often, as a kook. I definitely count myself among those who think he may have been on to something huge and hidden. But then again, there are those who doubt he ever existed at all.

Move over, Frank Miller

"Frank Miller is encouraging the Occupy movement to enlist ‘for the real thing’? Maybe he should show them by example then? Will Eisner did."
Gary Erskine

Picture via

Move over, Frank Miller: or why the Occupy Wall Street kids are better than #$%! Spartans
David Brin
November 13, 2011

A few days ago, the famous comic book writer and illustrator Frank Miller issued a howl of hatred toward the young people in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Well, all right, that’s a bowdlerization. After reading even one randomly-chosen paragraph, I’m sure you’ll agree that “howl” understates the red-hot fury and scatalogical spew of Miller’s lavishly expressed hate: “Occupy” is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.“

In fact, I need do nothing more — in order to reduce that individual’s public esteem — than simply point you all to his bile-drenched missive. Please. If you must choose between reading that or my detailed, cogently-argued response (below), by all means let his words suffice! I cede the floor. Let him express the maturity and thoughtfulness of his side.

Well, well. I’ve been fuming silently at Frank Miller for a years. The time’s come, so get ready for steam! Because the screech that you just read – Miller’s attack on young citizens, clumsily feeling their way ahead toward saving their country – is only the latest example of Frank’s astonishing agenda. One that really needs exposure to light.

I’ll do it by dissecting – calmly and devastatingly – his most famous and lucrative piece of modern propaganda. The comic book and movie tale about Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae.

A tale called – “300.”

== Leni Riefenstahl would be proud

Though I’m not best-known for graphic novels, I’ve done a few. I’ve been sketching out a script about one of the greatest heroes of western civilization – Themistocles – the man who actually defeated Xerxes. the Persian emperor, during his brutal invasion of Greece, after the Spartans failed so miserably at Thermopylae. In part, this would be an answer to Frank Miller’s “300?… a book and film that I find both visually stunning and morally disturbing.

For one thing, “300? gave all credit to the Spartans, extolling them as role models and peerless examples of manhood. Adorably macho defenders of freedom.

Uh, right. Freedom. Sorry, but the word bears a heavy burden of irony when shouted by Spartans, who maintained one of the worst slave-states ever, treating the vast majority of their people as cattle, routinely quenching their swords in the bodies of poor, brutalized helots… who are never mentioned, even glimpsed, in the romanticized book or movie. Indeed, the very same queen who Frank Miller portrayed as so-earthy, so-kind, was said to be quite brutal with a whip, in real life.

Miller’s Spartan warriors honestly and openly conveyed the contempt for civilians that was felt across the ages by all feudal warrior castes. An attitude in sharp contrast to American sympathies, which always used to be about Minuteman farmers and shopkeepers – citizen soldiers – the kind who bravely pick up arms to aid their country, adapting and training under fire. Alas, Frank Miller’s book and movie “300? ridiculed that kind of soldier…

…even though the first invasion by Persia, ten years earlier – under Xerxes’s father – had been defeated by just such a militia army… from Athens… made up of farmers, clerks, tradesmen, artists and mathematicians. A rabble of ill-disciplined “brawlers” who, after waiting in vain for promised help from Sparta, finally decided to handle the problem alone. On that fateful day that citizen militia leveled their spears and their thin blue line attacked a professional Persian force many times their number, slaughtering them to the last man on the legendary beach of Marathon.

== The inconvenient truth of Marathon

Think about that for a moment. Can you picture it? Damn. Please pause here and Wiki “Marathon.” Even better, watch it computer dramatized. Prepare to be amazed there were once such men. Go on… I’ll wait!

Frank Miller rails against effete, pansy-boy militias of amateur, citizen soldiers. But funny thing, none of his Spartan characters ever mentions those events, just a decade earlier! How bakers, potters and poets from Athens – after vanquishing one giant invading army, then ran 26 miles in full armor to face down a second Persian horde and sent it packing, a feat of endurance that gave its name to the modern marathon race. A feat that goes unmatched today. Especially by Spartans.

That Athenian triumph deserves a movie! And believe me, it weighed heavily on the real life Leonidas, ten years later. “300? author Frank Miller portrays the Spartans’ preening arrogance in the best possible light, as a kind of endearing tribal machismo. Miller never hints at the underlying reason for Leonidas’s rant, a deep current of smoldering shame over how Sparta sat out Marathon, leaving it to Athenian amateurs, like the playwright Aeschelus, to save all of Greece. The “shopkeepers” whom Leonidas outrageously and ungratefully despises in the film.

With that shame over Marathon fresh in memory, Leonidas was eager to prove Spartan mettle when Persia invaded a second time, even though he could find just three hundred volunteers. That much, “300? gets right. Alas, truth is rare in that book and film. Like the notion that Xerxes cared a whit about rustic Sparta in the first place. Athens was always his chief target. It was the heart of the West.

Even when it comes to the Battle of Thermopylae itself, “300? tells outright lies. For example, 1,000 Artemesians refused to leave their comrades at the end. They stayed in the pass and died next to Leonidas’s 300 Spartans. More shopkeepers. Their valor was inconvenient to Miller’s narrative, So he just wrote them out. Worse, he slandered them, depicting them running away.

Oh, remember those helots? As slavemasters, Spartans made the later Romans seem positively goody-two-shoes, by comparison. In his book and movie “300? Frank Miller never shows the two thousand helot luggage-bearers who Leonidas’s gang of bullies whipped before them into the pass at Thermopylae, carrying their masters’ gear and food and wine and shields.

Where were those slaves during the battle? Why, in the front line! Handed spears but no armor, they slowed down the Persians with their bodies, then made the ground conveniently slippery with their blood. Huh, funny how that got left out! I’m sure it was just an oversight.
== Thermopylae: what was going on in plain view

But the worst slander of all is one of glaring, outrageous omission and tunnel vision. It is what “300? might have shown happening just offstage, simply by turning the camera! Indeed, Leonidas could see it with his own eyes, in plain view throughout the fight, if only he chose to swivel his head. (Alas, Frank Miller doesn’t let him turn, in the comic and film.)

The Athenian navy, hard-pressed and outnumbered, guarding his flank in the nearby Artemisium Straits. Again, a citizen militia of fishermen, merchants, blacksmiths and philosophers, they too were at Thermopylae! A few miles out to sea, they battled odds no less desperate than Leonidas faced, without the convenient cliff and wall, against vastly superior Persian forces. Only with this one important difference.

Where Leonidas failed to hold for more that a day or so, the Athenians kept firm! They only retreated when the Spartans let them down!

The commander of that brave flotilla, Themistocles, is a hero far more in keeping with American traditions. A Washington-like commander who makes good use of volunteers – plus new technology and brains – to stave off hordes of arrogant, professional conquerors. Less interested in pompous bragging and macho preening, he cared about his men, striving to achieve both victory and survival. He despised “bold gestures.” What mattered were results. Saving his country. His civilization. His men.

Forced to give way when Leonidas failed to hold a narrow pass, the Athenians kept up a fighting retreat, survived the burning of their city, (where their courageous women handled a skillful evacuation)… till Themistocles finally drew the vast Persian navy into a trap at a little island called Salamis… glorious Salamis…

…where outnumbered Athenians utterly crushed their Persian foe, sending Xerxes fleeing for his life. THAT was what saved Greece, not futile boasting and choreographed prancing on the bluffs of Thermopylae. (And again, what a movie someone might make out of the true story!)

As for the later land battle at Platea – glorified by the book and film “300” – it was mopping-up, slaughtering a demoralized and starving Persian force that Xerxes had already abandoned. And even at Platea, there were more Athenians than Spartans!

Oh, one more thing. The very same day as Platea, Themistocles and his volunteers were also finishing off the rest of the Persian navy, at Mycale.

Do the Spartans at least get credit for commanding Greek armies ashore? A couple of years after Platea, repelled by Spartan arrogance and brutality, the Greek cities dumped Sparta from any further leadership role as they spent the next thirty years pushing Persia ever further back, expelling them entirely from Europe and liberating enslaved populations. Led by the democratic rabble from Athens.

In other words. History wasn’t at all like the book, or the movie “300.” It was much, much better!

== Artistic license? Or goddam evil-batshit lying?

Look, artists get a lot of leeway. At least in this society of freedom they do. (They sure didn’t get any slack in feudal times, dominated by warrior-caste bullies.) Miller and the makers of the 300 flick were entitled to emphasize the Spartans and their martial spirit, even though their brave “sacrifice” at Thermopylae accomplished absolutely nothing, except to make a fine tale of futile bravado. A one-day delay? We’re supposed to be impressed by a one-day delaying action?

(I’ll admit, it certainly offered a great excuse for ninety minutes of homoerotic prancing! In fact, 300 gets full marks as a lavishly choreographed dance number. And for terrific painted-on abs.)

But there comes a point when artistic emphasis turns into deliberate, malicious omission. And then omission becomes blatant, outright-evil lying propaganda. “300? not only crosses that line, it forges into territory that we haven’t seen since the propaganda machine of 1930s Germany. White is black. Black is white. Good is defined by the triumph of will.

I might have just sat and glowered, if they simply omitted the Athenians. But to sneer at them and call them effeminate cowards? After Athens’ citizen soldiers accomplished epic triumphs the Spartans never imagined and that they would never, ever come remotely close to equaling? At battles whose names still roll off our tongues today? Achieved by the same kind of “cincinnatus” militias that propelled both Republican Rome and the United States to unparalleled heights, during their time of vigor?

The kind of soldiers who make up our U.S. military today! Citizens-first, despite their vaunted professionalism.

No, this is not just artistic license. “300? idolizes the same arrogant contempt for citizenship that eventually ruined classical Greece and Republican Rome, and that might bring the same fate to America.

My own graphic novel “The Life Eaters” never sold as well as Miller’s. Heck, that’s not my expertise. With gorgeous art by Scott Hampton, “The Life Eaters” tells a vivid story of rebellion and resistance to a very Spartan-like oppression.

What I do suggest is this: use your own imagination! Picture an answer to “300,” told from the point of view of an escaped Spartan helot-slave serving aboard one of Themistocles’s ships, staring up at the frenetic death-prancing of his former masters on the cliff of Thermopylae, shaking his head over their futile, macho posturing, then turning to help the amateur fighters of Athens and Miletus and Corinth get on with the real job of saving civilization.

Doing it without boasting — or painted-on abs — but with wit, courage, comradeship, skill and the one thing that matters most. Something Leonidas never came close to achieving. The only truly indispensable accomplishment!

Something that is often best won by citizen soldiers - victory.

For further viewing:

The Battle of Marathon