11th Hour IC News November 30th, 2007

(News graphic & background designed by Nysie)









MIDTOWN -- TerraTech CEO Vander Soulridge has capitalized on the success of his popular waterfront club in Annapolis, New Eden, by expanding to Washington, DC.
The three-story McPherson Square location held a Grand Opening a week earlier than anticipated, welcoming a respectable crowd of upscale patrons from several arenas within the city. It is located on the north side of McPherson Square, about seven blocks north of the White House.

The new Art Deco-inspired club has many design similarities in theme to the Annapolis Club, but is located downtown instead of on the waterfront as it is in Maryland.

The main entrance faces McPherson square with the jauntily scripted "New Eden" name shining a steady Neon Green over the large, ornate double doors

As with the previous club, there are three levels: Eden Ascending, a VIP level themed with heavenly-inspired decor; a dual-level main restaurant for the general public with stonework floors, and Eden Descending, a smaller, more intimate basement club with a contrasting sort of "depths of hell" motif.

The atmosphere of the nightclub is surreal and unusually enticing. Everything in there just simply seems to be "more", an Aristotelian pinnacle version of itself, from the art to the tableware to the music, to the appearance of the patrons, to even the spigots in the restrooms.

On the main floor, there is a small cabaret area where there is live music. Sometimes there is an in-house lounge pianist; in the future, Soulridge hopes to showcase several local talents currently under negotiation.

VIP access passes are available by contacting the maître d'hôtel.



Carlyle House Haunted House Tour Sponsored by WBDE 93.1 FM


ALEXANDRIA, VA -- WBDE Radio's new annual tradition of giving a group Ghost Tour at a local venue of note, continued this year with a

costumed guided tour of the John Carlyle House in Alexandria.
The historic Carlyle House was completed in 1753 by Scottish merchant John Carlyle for his bride, Sarah Fairfax of Belvoir, member of one of the most prestigious families in colonial Virginia. Their home quickly became a center of social and political life in Alexandria and gained a foothold in history when British General Braddock made the mansion his headquarters in 1755. Braddock summoned five colonial governors to meet there to plan the early campaigns of the French and Indian War.
On the National Register of Historic Places, Carlyle House is architecturally unique in Alexandria as the only stone, 18th-century Palladian-style house. It is situated on North Fairfax St. between Cameron and King Streets.

A large number of well-known local faces were said to be in attendance, though being in costume it was difficult to determine identities.

Attendees were greeted in the foyer with refreshments, including apple and pumpkin snacks. Large swags of black mourning cloth were draped over the front entrance and family coat of arms outside. The central entry hall – normally used for joyous dancing and entertaining, is lined with Windsor chairs and bereavement bands, as well as the banquet tables set up with the food.

People in somber, plain Colonial attire offered period treats to the guests, and showed them brief glimpses of the special decor throughout the entrance area. In Colonial America mourning had not taken on the significance it did in the later Victorian era. There was no special clothing worn, no books which outlined mourning customs, and no elaborate meals and wakes provided. At the death of a family member the family buried them simply and without a lot of ceremony. The wearing of black, however, is a custom that has been put into practice for centuries. It dates back to the time when Death was feared by the living and wearing black was thought to make mourners as inconspicuous as possible so that Death would not claim them as its next victim.

DJ Nyx of WBDE played "John Carlyle", the host for the evening. Attendees were asked to pair up with a partner. Each team received two disposable cameras, an EMF meter, and a tape recorder for Electronic Voice Phenomena. The radio station filmed the tour live, and installed web cameras for home listeners who could view the tour on the WBDE web site.

"Mr. Carlyle" took the Tour into the Blue Room. "This room is named the Blue Room, and if you can't guess why, there is no hope for you. We begin here. The Congress of Alexandria at the time of the French and Indian Wars met in this very room. It was here, that General Braddock decided, against Washington's advice, to make that disastrous expedition to Fort Duquesne." He then took on a bit of his persona in earnest. "I had little care when I was told by a young George Washington, returning from the wilds of western Pennsylvania, that the boorish Braddock had been killed in an ambush. Shall we continue?" Several attendees had been commenting on the feeling that they were already experiencing the presence of something in the house other than what the tour was showcasing.

The group made its way towards the dining room, where "many dinner parties were held for the height of society in Colonial times. Mr. Carlyle himself was not terribly important to the Colonial or Revolutionary cause, but he was none the less influential, and rubbed elbows with the best of the best."

"Carlyle" stepped off to the side for a moment to let the people see the Casket and slave set up. "Mr. Carlyle died in 1780, and here we can see how his passing must have affected everyone, including his slaves."

"A little history on the home itself: this huge stone house was soon sold out of the family after his death, and by the mid 19th century a large wooden hotel had completely obliterated the Carlyle homestead from public view and memory. Luckily during urban renewal, over 120 years later, the stone house was rediscovered and its architectural riches and historical importance, thanks to 20 plus letters from John Carlyle to his brother, George, in England, once again making Carlyle House an address of prominence in Alexandria." The group further commented on their equipment showing invisible reactions to their presence.

Nyx continued, "The kitchen, just on the other side of that wall," as he gestures, "is probably one of the least interesting places in the entire home. From here, we ill make our way out to the gardens." He walked out into the lovely restored gardens out back, and adds, "It is said, late at night, a woman can be heard singing here. I suspect it might be Sarah Fairfax herself."

Around this time, several attendees reported being bothered by a ghostly figure, and strange sounds coming from random areas of the house. The staff escort the guests on to the Wine Cellar. By this time several of them are on edge, and there have been multiple visual and aural phenomena recorded during the tour. The Tour ended in a great deal of chaos and confusion. Whether or not the sightings were anything paranormal, the attendees were too spooked by the presentation to remain, and started to leave the building, some seeming quite frightened.

As with last year's Ghost Cruise, WBDE and the hosting venue have no comment on the events that took place.

Next year's Ghost Tour venue has not yet been announced.




The 2007 edition of the Dark Asgard Halloween Masquerade Ball took place on Halloween evening, to a crowded house, and met with great success. Not only were costumes a must, but the venue itself was also “dressed up”; stage dressings had been erected upon the walls to make the interior seem like the inside of a medieval castle.

Host Loki, was present, mingling with the guests, with regular companion Felicity Duckworth hanging from his arm. The couple had donned Bonnie and Clyde costumes, which according to inside sources, were totally vintage; the only modern accessories were the plastic water pistols, a concession to local gun replica laws.
The opening act was newcomer Ivy League, fronted by guitarist Ivy, a striking young woman that wore an outfit reminiscent of a dryad, but with modern touches. She wore a black skirt in a very heavy material, with what looks like belts crisscrossing the front of it. Panels between the belts were missing here and there so that you can see glimpses of ivy-tattoo covered legs. She also wore a stiff, black corset. Her hair was dyed a bright blue, and sticking up from her head in spikes

Her musical set started with a furious “riot grrrl” feminist punk song; while the rest of the performance featured a mixture of calm, more goth-moody pieces and a few more punk-fueled tunes, including a cover of a Jack Off Jill song.

After Ivy League's set was done, Loki climbed back up on stage to join them, to an enthusiastic reception.

Ivy and her band remained on stage, as she joined Loki in performing one of his classics, “Je Rêve De Son Touche” (“I Dream of Her Touch”), a goth ballad from his first album. The female vocals of this opus, performed that night by Ivy, were originally performed by Loki’s former lover and mentor Marianne Sers. When the couple broke up a couple years ago, fans thought they might never heard this song performed again.

When that song ended, Loki returned the favor by playing and singing his rendition of one of Ivy’s songs, a more punk offering than his usual.

However, he took well to the song, punk being a musical style that Loki used to favor in his teen years. He performed several more songs on both guitar and keyboards, including premiering two new tracks that will be part of his long-awaited return to the recording studio.

Despite the crowd's warm reception, this was not the pinnacle of the evening. Once his last song was done, Loki asked his girlfriend, Felicity, to approach the stage, and the substantial crowd hushed and murmured as he knelt, producing a small box from his pocket. He opened it,  revealing a vintage engagement ring with rubies and diamonds arranged in a flower pattern; and asked Duckworth in front of the entire audience,  “Would you marry me?" Duckworth was handed a microphone, and prompted to reply to the crowd. She accepted. Loki dramatically jumped off the stage; sliding the ring onto his fiancée’s finger. A deep kiss sealed the deal, and the crowd cheered.

The couple made their rounds through the club, receiving  congratulations, after which Duckworth retired early from the party.

Loki remained behind with a few friends, and a third, unannounced  musical act was spontaneously offered: a solo performance by an unidentified young Asian-featured man, who, now half out of costume, climbed on stage with Ivy’s guitar and Loki's blessing, played a soft Japanese ballad later identified as Hyde’s “Evergreen”.
After that point, the party seemed to wind down without incident.



Blair Promoted At Boeing

ARLINGTON, VA -- Walter F. Blair has been promoted to president of Boeing Capital Corporation, a wholly owned Boeing subsidiary that is primarily responsible for arranging, structuring and providing financing for Boeing's commercial airplane, and space and defense products.
Prior to accepting this assignment, he served as senior vice president of Finance and treasurer of The Boeing Company. He was responsible for corporate finance and banking, trust investments, global treasury operations, corporate development, risk management, financial planning and analysis, and investor relations.
Blair came to Boeing in 1999 from Lockheed Martin Corp., where he served as vice president and treasurer. He was elected to this position in March 1995 upon the merger of Lockheed Corp. and Martin Marietta Corp. and developed the new treasury organization. Blair previously served as vice president and treasurer, and vice president of Investor Relations at Lockheed, which he joined in 1990. In addition, he served from 1987 to 1990 as a part-time instructor of corporate finance and investor relations at Northeastern University Graduate School of Business Administration. Prior to joining Lockheed, he served in a number of finance positions at NSTAR Corporation.

A Phi Kappa Phi graduate, Blair earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Northeastern University in Boston. He interned with and was sponsored into the Power Systems program by the General Electric Company. He earned his master of business administration degree in corporate finance from Boston University.
Blair is a former director of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) and in 1989 served as its chairman and chief executive officer. He is a member of the Financial Executives Institute and currently serves on the board of directors of the Private Export Funding Corporation (PEFCO).
He also serves or has served on numerous charitable and cultural boards, including The Seattle Opera, both the Chicago and National Symphony Orchestras, Boston's Metropolitan Family Services, National City Christian Church's Homeless Ministry, Washington D.C.'s Boy Scouts of America, and Los Angeles' Greater YMCA.
Born Oct. 29, 1960, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Blair resides with his wife, Georgette, in Clifton, Virginia. They have two grown sons, Gregory and Nathan, who also reside in the Washington area.

Growth: 15th Largest Government Contractor 2006, 2nd Largest in 2007
Lines of business: Precision engagement and mobility systems, network and space systems, support systems
Major customers: Homeland Security Department, Defense Department, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, NASA, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps
Major contracts/projects: Boeing was tapped to begin development and deployment of the Secure Border Initiative Network, a multi-billion dollar program to secure U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico.
Four locations in Arlington, and one in Springfield, with a satellite office in the Dulles Technology Corridor.



Former pilots, officials call for UFO probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich may have been ridiculed for saying he had seen a UFO, but for some former military pilots and other observers, unidentified flying objects are no laughing matter.
An international panel of two dozen former pilots and government officials called on the U.S. government Monday to reopen its generation-old UFO investigation as a matter of safety and security given continuing reports about flying discs, glowing spheres and other strange sightings.
"Especially after the attacks of 9/11, it is no longer satisfactory to ignore radar returns ... which cannot be associated with performances of existing aircraft and helicopters," they said in a statement released at a news conference.
The panelists from seven countries, including former senior military officers, said they had each seen a UFO or conducted an official investigation into UFO phenomena.
The subject of UFOs grabbed the spotlight in the U.S. presidential race last month when Kucinich, a member of Congress from Ohio, said during a televised debate with other Democratic candidates that he had seen one.
Former presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter are both reported to have claimed UFO sightings.
Most turn out to be misidentified aircraft, satellites or meteors. A panelist who once worked for Britain's Ministry of Defense said 5 percent of incidents cannot be explained. But the sightings are often dismissed by authorities without proper investigations, UFO activists say.
"It's a question of who you going to believe: your lying eyes or the government?" remarked John Callahan, a former Federal Aviation Administration investigator, who said the CIA in 1987 tried to hush up the sighting of a huge lighted ball four times the size of a jumbo jet in Alaska.
The panel, organized by a group dedicated to winning credibility for the study of UFOs, urged Washington to resume UFO investigations through the U.S. Air Force or NASA. "It would certainly, I think, take a lot of angst out of this issue," said former Arizona Gov. Fife Symington, who said he was among hundreds who saw a delta-shaped craft with enormous lights silently traverse the sky near Phoenix in 1997.
The Air Force investigated 12,618 UFO reports from 1947 to 1969 in what was known as Project Blue Book. Investigators concluded that the incidents posed no threat and there was no evidence of space aliens or a super technology in operation. "Since the termination of Project Blue Book, nothing has occurred that would support a resumption of UFO investigations," the Air Force said on its Web site.

© Reuters. All rights reserved.








NORTHEAST -- A police report was made following an altercation between dance therapist Bell Neveu and Ivy League drummer Azazel inside a BDSM nightclub in Northeast called Bound. Neveu, a known regular at the club, was seen talking with WBDE's Midnight Dreams host DJ Nyx at a table, when Azazel approached the pair and made some conversation. He then departed.

A few minutes later, Azazel got into a confrontation with an unidentified patron who apparently roughly knocked into him. Immediately afterwards, Neveu left her table angrily and approached Azazel, berating him loudly and publically for several minutes, until bouncers escorted her outside, where several minutes later, Azazel, Nyx and others followed. No further incidents occurred outside the club.

No one was actually injured and no charges were actually filed, but a report was made of the incident.

It was a year ago this month that the city started seeing signs of the street drug "Little Death," which was known to cause a rash of violent, unexplainable behavior reported throughout the DC Metro area. There is no reason to suspect a connection at this time, but a investigation is ongoing.





SOUTHEAST -- Music venue Dark Asgard on Half Street was closed for one day, due to an incident in which a large rabid dog managed to work its way into the club and attack several patrons.

Witnesses report a mixed breed Doberman in poor condition slipped past bouncers and trotted through the club, jumping up on its hind quarters and drooling bloody saliva on the floor, then charging patrons. Someone pulled a fire alarm and club-goers fled for the exits in a panic. Marshal Ethan Redfeather responded to the 9-1-1 report and attempted to shoot the dog, but the crowd prevented a clear shot.

The dog raced after a long-haired blond man, who struggled with it after Marshal Redfeather fired several shots at it as it ran, that did not take it down. The unidentified man produced a knife, and took the dog down by cutting its throat, after which he disappeared into the crowd. Animal Control found no signs of the dog's carcass at the scene, but there was a pool of blackened blood and ashes where it was last seen.





SOUTHWEST -- Staff at a local occult bookstore in Southwest were stunned to discover, stuffed inside a large opaque Rubbermaid bin, the burned body and severed but uncharred head of a local former priest, Father Heinrich Von Hendrick, originally from (former East) Germany, last seen recently street preaching with a young woman he picked up here in the United States a few years ago. The woman, Erin Murphy, it was said he referred to as his daughter, but she is no actual relation to the priest. She was last known to be working at a local shop in Southwest.

Employees of The Final Word bookshop went out to the back loading dock a few evenings ago, when the grisly discovery was made, and police were called in. None of the shop staff are considered suspects or even persons of interest at this time.

Police have no other suspects, although the priest was said to have been excommunicated by the Catholic Church some years back for heretical preaching, which he had frequently been seen doing around the city of late, sometimes with Ms. Murphy in attendance, witnesses say.

An investigation is ongoing.





SOUTHWEST - Several homeless or mentally unstable Vietnam War Veterans who habitually are tolerated by Park Police as they sleep on the grounds of the Vietnam Memorial, lodged a complaint about a minor disturbance in the evening a few days ago.

Four college aged or 20-something men appeared to be led by one in particular who was bald or shaven headed and wearing a T-Shirt with explicit language on it.

They were seen cavorting between the Reflecting Pool all the way up to the Vietnam Memorial, where they were only noteworthy when several of them laid down at the Memorial near the Vets and snapping photographs of themselves and their surroundings, causing a bit of a ruckus. The young men were pointing at various engravings on the wall, and their supposed leader walked further up the slope to the top of the row and started snapping pictures of their antics.

After this, the leader was approached by a white male in a trench coat, who had a conversation with the leader and apparently got into an argument which ended with the second man punching him as his friends dragged him away from the fight.

Other than a handful of complaints by homeless Veterans at the site, none of the other parties involved sought police assistance or filed charges. Nobody was seriously hurt in the altercation.



Drug Thugs Mug Local Occult Shop Owner


SOUTHWEST -- Two male assailants, suspected members of local Southeast drug crew Word Up C Street, were thought to have been the attackers in the vicious mugging of a local resident several blocks from his shop over Halloween weekend. The Final Word co-owner Caleb Brown reported to police that he was parked several blocks from his Southwest curio and bookstore, when he was grabbed and pulled into an alleyway on his way to the shop.

Two men, one white, one black, in their teens or early 20's, thin-built, hit Brown in the head, stunning and incapacitating him. The pair also cracked his ribs and left him with severe cuts and bruising, and a concussion.

The men stole about $250 cash from Brown's wallet, but did not touch the ATM card or credit cards. That and their attire and description lead police to suspect possible members of the C Street crew, as cash is handy for buying weapons and drugs in ways credit cards cannot be used.

Brown's shop has been ransacked in recent years by a supposedly unrelated European-accented gentleman who was never apprehended. Additionally, while still a student at George Washington University, his dormitory was also burglarized. Police do not have a motive connecting the incidents to each other at this time, nor do they have any identified suspects. There is so far no connection between this and the body of a murdered priest found at the shop last week.

Anyone with leads can call the DCPD Anonymous Tipline.



Dragon Family Gang Tensions Mount Against MS-13


Arlington, VA -- An unnamed Asian-American male attacked several members of a local suspected gang tied to MS-13 in Arlington, VA.

Police were called to break up a brawl between several suspected members of MS-13 and according to bystanders and anonymous tips, the Dragon Family Asian gang, known for dealing in home break-in robberies and prostitution, operating in the Glebe Road corridor near Little Saigon at 7 Corners in Falls Church.

Tensions have been escalating for unexplained reasons between Hispanic and Asian gangs and crews in the last month. This is the third similar incident to be reported this month. Gang Task Force members have no leads at this time.



Mysterious Altercation at Logan Circle Park


NORTHWEST -- Several motorists phoned in reports of some odd events at Logan Circle Park, at the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue, 13th Street NW, Vermont Avenue NW, and P Street NW.

There were several reports starting at approximately 11 p.m. of 2-3 individuals standing around the statue in the center of the traffic circle, with a surveying tripod. DC Department of Transportation confirms that there was no official crews doing work that late at night at that location.

Reports also stated that at approximately 11:15 p.m., a young child of late elementary school age and indeterminate gender, rushed the men from across the park. Witnesses insist that they saw one of the gentlemen shoot blue lightning out of his arms at the crazed boy, who was struck by it but kept coming. It was reported that he eventually was run off and headed into traffic, causing several fender benders as he disappeared.

An unmarked van then pulled up and removed the tripod and one of the men, the other two walking off before police could respond.

Police have no suspects, nor any explanation for the fantastical reports except to theorize that there was a downed power line in the park or else that one of the gentlemen may have illegally possessed a stun gun and fired it at the child.

A report just a half hour later stated that vandals destroyed a power transformer box just two blocks away at the Vermont Gables apartment buildings off 13th street NW. Residents reported a brownout, and the superintendent investigated the power controls in the building, discovering the tampering and reporting it.

Anyone with leads in this case can report them to the Tipster's Hotline.





Parkinson's Sufferer's Mysterious Gift
Disease Devastates High Achiever But Awakens His Musical Talent

BOSTON, MA -- Ten years ago, 58-year-old Greg Rice was the picture of success. The father of three was on the fast-track to the top, with little time for anything but work.
"Worked 80 hours a week sometimes," he told "Primetime Live" co-anchor Chris Cuomo.
Just when Rice thought he had his life under control, it took a terrible turn. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, a debilitating neurological disorder.
Buffeted by the disease and the medications used to treat it, Rice's movements -- and even his speech -- became frighteningly uneven. "I was falling over. I couldn't even shave. My writing became terrible," he said.
Rice tried his best to hide his condition. Two years ago, he retired in order to spend more time with his young family. He lost almost everything to the disease. But in return, he got something he never could have imagined.
One day, while putting together a slideshow of family photos on his home computer, he realized it was lacking something -- a musical accompaniment.
So he sat down at a piano and wrote one, despite the fact that he had no formal musical training other than a few childhood piano lessons.
"Something just took over my hands and just played," he said. "I got at the piano and I started playing chords and scales and this tune came to me & Then about a month later I wrote another piece, and then I wrote another piece. And it just kept coming."

Musical Fulfillment
The compositions Rice produced were no simple melodies. He wrote chorales, waltzes, even a symphony.
Still, it was not an easy process. It took Rice hours at the piano to get his hands to play what he heard in his head, and then to work a keyboard and mouse to put those ideas into a computer.
"I can't write by hand anymore and I can't talk very well," Rice said at the time. "So it's the way I communicate, the way I express myself.
Rice's efforts drew the attention of Max Hobart, conductor of the Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra. "The seriousness of his music is very contagious," Hobart said.
Hobart became a mentor to Rice and eventually gave him a chance to have an orchestra play his music. It's a chance some musicians go a lifetime without.
"He knows what he wants. He didn't quite know how to do it. When he first came to me, I could see that he was talented, but untrained," Hobart said.
On June 18, 2004, Rice's compositions were performed as part of the "Concert to End Parkinson's." It raised more than $100,000 for Parkinson's research.
"It was better than I thought it was going to be," Rice said. "Any composer, amateur like me or otherwise, it's a thrill when they hear their music play."

Turning Back
In spite of the amazing musical gift the Parkinson's seems to have given Rice, he was aware that it had also taken away a lot more.
"I coach baseball. And I'll be hitting infield practice and I'll miss every third ball. I try to teach them how to run the bases, I'll fall down," he said.
He said his children had trouble coping with the disease. "It embarrasses them I guess," he said. He and his wife also separated.
Doctors told Rice his Parkinson's was getting worse, and soon medicine alone would not be able to help him. They said if he didn't have surgery, he could wind up in a wheelchair.
But if the Parkinson's was truly the source of his musical gift, doctors told Rice that surgery to reverse it could take that gift away as well.
Nevertheless, Rice decided to go forward with the surgery. In March, he underwent a radical procedure called deep brain stimulation.
The procedure involved implanting electrodes into his brain to mimic the function of dopamine, the chemical messenger that controls movement throughout the body. Parkinson's disrupts the brain's production of dopamine.

A Man at Peace
Three months after the surgery, Rice's condition is starting to improve. "I don't have to depend upon people to get me things or help me with things now," he told Cuomo. "I can do it myself."
Though his speech is still rushed and he's still unsteady on his feet, he's proud that he can now walk down a slope and not fall down like he used to.
His son's Little League games, once a source of embarrassment, are now a joy. And he's even building a treehouse for his children.
But the question remains: what happened to the music? Neurologist Alice Flaherty, who has treated Rice, says Rice's drive to create was "probably more from the medicines than from the disease, although there's an interaction."
But as Rice scales back on his drugs since the operation, the gift is as present as ever. "It's an absolute part of my life," he told Cuomo. "It's part of my fabric and it's the way I express myself."
Rice adopts a spiritual explanation to how he got this gift -- that God gave him the music to deal with the difficulties of his life. "I have subscribed to that 100 percent," he said. "One door closes and another door opens."
After all he's been through, Rice is now a man at peace. "I think my difficulty in life has been when I've been trying too hard. And I'm not going to try so hard now," he said. "I'm going to just try to relax and let God take over."


Greg grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from Lynchburg College in Virginia. He went on to receive a Law degree from American University in Washington, D.C. Greg’s 30-year professional career focused on Labor Relations and Human Resource Management with The Continental Group, PepsiCo, and Bank of Boston. Greg retired in 2002 partly due to his Parkinson’s disease, but also to devote more time to his three children and pursue his passion for community service.
Today Greg’s priority is raising his three children - Christian, Grant, and Dana. In addition, Greg serves as coach for his sons’ baseball teams, performs a variety of community service, is active in his undergraduate college and continues to create music. He believes his musical talent is “God given”, but his inspiration comes from his family. He is grateful for all of the people who have come into his life to support him and his mission. He feels truly blessed.

He currently resides in Dover, MA, and continues to pursue his music.

Copyright © ABC News Internet Ventures






Indigenous people wouldn't let 'Day of the Dead' die


by Indigo Miller
MEXICO -- More than 500 years ago, when the Spanish Conquistadors landed in what is now Mexico, they encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death. It was a ritual the indigenous people had been practicing at least 3,000 years. A ritual the Spaniards would try unsuccessfully to eradicate. A ritual known today as Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos in Spanish) is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage (and others) living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day which take place on those days. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Observance of the holiday in Mexican-American communities in the United States has become more important and widespread as the community grows numerically and economically. Mexican-style Day of the Dead festivities have spread around the world, including to Europe and New Zealand.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years, and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl (known in English as "The Lady of the Dead"). In Aztec mythology, Mictecacihuatl is the Queen of Mictlan, the underworld, ruling over the afterlife with Mictlantecuhtli, another deity who is designated as her husband. Her role is to keep watch over the bones of the dead. She presided over the ancient festivals of the dead, which evolved from Aztec traditions into the modern Day of the Dead after synthesis with Spanish cultural traditions. She is said now to preside over the contemporary festival as well. Mictecacihuatl is known as the Lady of the Dead, since it is believed that she was born, then sacrificed as an infant. Her cult is sometimes held to persist in the common Mexican worship of Santa Muerte.
The Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico can be traced back to the indigenous peoples such as the Olmec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Mexican, Aztec, Maya, P'urhépecha, and Totonac. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 2500–3000 years. In the pre-Hispanic era, it was common to keep skulls as trophies and display them during the rituals to symbolize death and rebirth.
The festival that became the modern Day of the Dead fell in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, about the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month. The festivities were dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, corresponding to the modern Catrina.
In most regions of Mexico, November 1st honors deceased children and infants where as deceased adults are honored on November 2nd. This is indicated by generally referring to November 1st mainly as "Día de los Inocentes" (Day of the Innocents) but also as "Día de los Angelitos" (Day of the Little Angels) and November 2nd as "Día de los Muertos" or "Día de los Difuntos" (Day of the Dead).
Today, people don wooden skull masks called calacas and dance in honor of their deceased relatives. The wooden skulls are also placed on altars that are dedicated to the dead. Sugar skulls, made with the names of the dead person on the forehead, are eaten by a relative or friend, according to Mary J. Adrade, who has written three books on the ritual.
The Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations kept skulls as trophies and displayed them during the ritual. The skulls were used to symbolize death and rebirth. The skulls were used to honor the dead, whom the Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations believed came back to visit during the month long ritual.
Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the natives viewed it as the continuation of life. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake. In their attempts to convert them to Catholicism, the Spaniards tried to kill the ritual. But like the old Aztec spirits, the ritual refused to die.
To make the ritual more Christian, the Spaniards moved it so it coincided with All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day (Nov. 1 and 2), which is when it is celebrated today. Previously it fell on the ninth month of the Aztec Solar Calendar, approximately the beginning of August, and was celebrated for the entire month.



Uganda church anoints US bishop

Kampala, Republic of Uganda -- Uganda's Anglican Church has appointed a bishop to serve in the US, against the wishes of the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church's US arm. It is the latest in a series of interventions by African Churches following the US decision to appoint an openly gay bishop in 2003. Correspondents say the move is expected to bring closer the fragmentation of the worldwide Anglican communion.
It ignores pleas from Anglican leaders to preserve unity. But the thriving Ugandan Church says it is defending orthodox Christianity.

Open air service
The BBC's Christopher Landau says the consecration of a new local bishop in south-western Uganda would normally pass without comment.
But the church is also appointing a white American priest, John Guernsey, to lead a new branch of the Ugandan Church in the US, serving parishes in the state of Virginia that no longer feel able to tolerate the American Church's liberal stance on homosexuality.
The ceremony took place in the open air because the local cathedral was not large enough to accommodate the thousands due to attend. It follows the consecration of two US bishops in Kenya on Thursday.
Bill Murdoch of Massachusetts and Bill Atwood of Texas will be answerable to the Kenyan Church.
Much of the Anglican Church in Africa is conservative and deeply opposed to the ordination of gay priests. In February, Anglican bishops meeting in Tanzania issued an ultimatum to the American church, demanding an end to the appointment of gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex couples.









Entertainment and Gossip

From regular columnist

Kitty Whittier 





I know what you are waiting to hear, pets. Of course I won't tell you who I was that night; that would spoil all of my fun! But gather round and I shall tell you the good dish on the Dark Asgard Masked Fête.

Sources over the course of the evening accounted for several members of Loki’s usual entourage: dance therapist Bell Nouveau as a zombie Marilyn Monroe; Loki’s Irish blonde friend and her bookish beau were teamed up as two different media interpretations of Death, though frankly her beau was limping along as if he took his role too seriously.

Some of the usual entourage were hard to identify in costume, so that will teach you naughty children to hide from Aunt Kitty. No notoriety for you! Other costumes by lesser known party-goers were a Sir Lloyd-Webberish Phantom of the Opera, a Tim Burtonesque skeleton; a red and gold angel, a snow fairy, a rather modest Playboy Bunny, some comic book characters, and an overabundance of vampires and zombies. We did see one old-fashioned "old school" US Marshal, though we suspect he was actually on duty. Apparently the Coroner was seen dressed as a vampire bite victim, with an attention to detail that only someone in her line of work could provide... and she seemed to be there with the Marshal.

There was another cadre of young men who seemed almost Clockwork Orange themed but they were in red and black. I do have a bit of dish on these boys though. Sources say that later in the evening, they were seen chatting up not only La Newvoh, but Ivy herself, even getting her to hike up her shirt and let them draw on her supposedly unremarkable breasts for phone cam pics which I'm told are now out on the internet somewhere. A special cookie for anyone who can get us proof.

The musical offerings were nothing that's liable to infect my IPod anytime soon, but probably suitable for the intended audience. The first number involved a judicious exploration of everyone's favorite Anglo-Saxon verb, the likes of which I had not seen since the Russian Mob sequence in Boondock Saints. The drummer, Azazel, was difficult to recognize, as he covered his usual distinct grunge look with a lot of Jules Verne-like contraptions and accessories. I'm told this look is called "Steam Punk", a sort of conglomeration of Victorian technology that is making a resurgence.

Ivy League joined Loki in performing one of his classics, “Je Rêve De Son Touche” (“I Dream of Her Touch”), from his first album. We wonder if Ivy is trying to replace Marianne Sers in more ways than one (as if she could), though this could be mitigated by Loki's sudden engagement, and we mean the ring kind, not the musical kind. Let's hope this performance is not One Night Only.

Seemed like a quiet ending to a great party, as the newly engaged made their rounds of the guests, and then Felicity slipped out early before she turned into a pumpkin. But for some, it wasn’t over: Loki was seen slipping off to his apartment in the company of Ivy and the snow fairy.

Trick or Treat, darlings!


In other news... Loki seemed to think he could give my eagle eyes the slip by slipping out to lunch at Tea42, a lovely and vastly underappreciated venue in Northeast. He was recently seen there with frequent cohort Miz Neveu, and sans Felicity. Again. Then his lunch date turns the tables on him, and has her repast the following week with Ivy League's drummer, who honestly cleans up very well, as he was sporting a new, much handsomer look. Competition?

Then, just to make sure our Tiny Dancer does not starve, the kindly King of the eerie airwaves, DJ Nyx, was seen masticating with her at the Four Seas Restaurant, right after Thanksgiving. Apparently she did not get stuffed enough over the holiday weekend.

Meanwhile, Loki continued to be up to his usual duplicity, sneaking up a somewhat familiar looking redhead to his apartment. In fact, scandalously, we believe it may be one of his fiancée's coworkers! She was seen a few days later downstairs partying it up with Azazel. Mix and match, indeed.

One of Loki's bevy of babes we have not seen much of lately is the Arabian looking lady of the night. Could she have not been able to tell the Prince 1001 Tales of Arabian Nights, and been secretly beheaded? And without ever telling us her name. Tsk!

Speaking of naming things, doubtless The Duchess is going to be doing so soon, as we're pretty certain she skipped Loki's party due to her impersonation of the letter B, and that our sources have said she checked into the Precious Life Birthing Center a couple of weeks ago, with a female friend, and sans hubby Eriond.

Apparently Loki, Ma Bell, Nyx and Ivy were cavorting around Crystal City on a shopping spree en masse. They drew quite a bit of a crowd, which doubtless made trying anything on, a dramatic exercise in hide and seek.







Monica Garrett


Dear Monica:

I work in a large office of about 30 women of all ages. When we are in the break room the question of age comes up all the time. Please let these insensitive clods (the ones who ask people how old they are) know how rude and embarrassing this is, especially for older women.
Am I overreacting?

-- Dixie Senior

Dear Dixie:

I'm going to assume that you find these queries rude and embarrassing because you fear some sort of workplace age discrimination if colleagues discover how old you are. In my mind, that's the most valid reason to keep your age to yourself. Otherwise, I hope you'll find a way to be proud of your lifetime seniority. You've earned it.
I agree that polite adults in the workplace shouldn't ask one another how old they are. This basic rule would also apply to older people asking a new young associate her age and then exclaiming, "23? Why, you're just a baby!"
I'm sure you're clever enough to dodge this question, but my favorite response is taking from the movie "Tootsie." "Age? Age has no effect on me. I'm a character actress."






Gunfight in Southeast; Man Shot


SOUTHEAST -- Police responded to a 9-1-1 cell call placed from the 1st block of C Street, Southeast, by none other than the Post's Editor, Laura Bauer. An unidentified gentleman placed a call from Bauer's phone to report a shooting and stabbing that happened in broad daylight just blocks from famous nightclub Dark Asgard.

Bauer was on the scene as a witness to the shooting, but the other gentleman had left the scene of the crime by the time police and medical teams arrived. She described him as a Greek or Mediterranean-looking male in his late 20's-30's or so, about 5'10", flowing hair to his shoulders, attractive. The man was apparently a passerby who stopped to assist when the fight broke out, and then left the scene suddenly.

According to Bauer's statement, she was walking towards D Street when she noticed an altercation near some abandoned cars. She approached but stayed back, and was joined by the other anonymous observer as they saw a man later identified as Ferran Sevren, arguing with 5 black gentlemen in very ghetto-styled attire. The group taunts each other for a few seconds, and then one of the men opens fire with a pistol on Sevren. Weapons were drawn and the fight erupted into a chaos of gunfire, which left four gang members dead and one missing who fled the scene, apparently naked for unexplained reasons. Sevren was brought to GW Hospital with four gunshot wounds to the chest, unconscious.

Sevren is currently recovering from the altercation. No suspects nor motive have been named.