IC News 2-01-05




Some NASCAR sponsors get a little behind on the job
By John McPoland, Gazette Staff
Of all the corporate sponsorship associated with NASCAR, the oddest seems to be Boudreaux's Butt Paste, a cream used to help babies with diaper rash. Seems the company is looking to smooth the bumps for local NASCAR Rookie Francesca Torquemada of Prince George's County, MD, who has just accepted a partial sponsorship from Boudreaux as she saddles up for another season in the big leagues. Torque said she and her crew were already planning for next Saturday's showdown at the Stater Brothers 300. It will be held at the California Speedway, just outside of Los Angeles, Calif.
This season Torque began racing as a full-time driver on the NASCAR Busch Series, a circuit considered to be a stepping stone for drivers who want to make it to the Nextel Series. She is the only woman scheduled to race the Busch Series this year, and the ninth female racer on the NASCAR circuit since 1982.
This will be the first year she will attempt to qualify in all Busch Series races, of which 34 remain. Previously she drove in five races in the Busch Series while also completing her GED. This season she will also be driving a new Global Industrial Contractors Chevrolet.



By Kristen Moore, Fairfax County Metro Staff

Ever since the late 1940’s, Roswell, New Mexico, America has had a fascination with UFO’s, from the curious to the fanatic to the skeptical.
Another rash of UFO sightings, similar to both the ones in July 2004 and the ones from 2002 (the 50th Anniversary of the National Airport incident), has turned up in the Washington area.
After the increasing reports of UFO sightings, local officials had begun to dismiss the sightings.  However, late last week a camera stationed in Arlington National Cemetery caught an image of an unidentified object flying over the George Washington Parkway. Amateur analysis and Professional sources are both at a loss for exactly what the object could be.
Prince William County 911 dispatchers were inundated with phone calls about a supposed UFO hovering over an abandoned family cemetery behind Rollins’s General Store in rural Bristow, Virginia, a sliver of a historical district outside Manassas, VA. County Sheriffs were dispatched to investigate, and while there were clear signs of disturbance in the fields surrounding the gravestones, eyewitness accounts were spotty at best. Most did consistently state some version of seeing strange lights, up and down the area between Fauquier and Prince William Counties, Virginia and the DC Beltway, which had poorer visibility due to the haze from city lights.
Local retired Bristow, VA resident Meredith Rexrode told police that she saw “a bright white light, like the star of the baby Jesus, but it don’t stay still, you know? And then I saw that there Red star everyone’s on about, but it din’t move. It lit up the whole field like the fourth of July, it did.”
Amateur photographer Keith Arrington, who personally took it upon himself to analyze the photos looking for signs of forgery, stated that, “Well, I can guarantee you 100% that this is no alien spaceship. It is nothing more than a time exposure of an aircraft and its navigation lights. I would bet that if someone were to investigate they would find that at night this web cam takes exposures of several seconds. How do I know? I have taken time exposures on aircraft on purpose while toying around with my new digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix 4300. This camera is capable of taking long exposure shots of up to 60 seconds in length in bulb mode. The camera was handheld during the exposures so the images are a bit blurry and shaky. In all the images, the steady lights of the aircraft can be seen to make a long streak while the hazard strobes create specific dots along the streaks length.
Smithsonian astronomer Percy Quarles said, “In truth.... I don't know what to make of this.... If this is a hoax, whoever did the hoax is an expert.... I've put the picture through ‘Find Edges’...in other words, it will find every edge that exists in that photo...as one can see, this craft (?) has what appears to be ‘windows’....”



LOCAL VENUES REOPENING AFTER BLACK NOVEMBER REPAIRS: The following clubs have announced that they have reopened for business, after making extensive repairs to bring their buildings back to code following the disastrous November city-wide blackout: The Foxxx's Den, Web of Night, Rabble, Capital Hill, Bound and The Black Cat.



ANOTHER LOCAL BAND GETS DEALT A DEADLY DEAL FROM THE BIG APPLE - DC MOURNS THE LOSS OF LOCAL RAP ARTISTS 1200 MURDERED BROTHERS -- New York, New York and Southeast DC: Local rapper Trixie "DJ Rickety-B" Robinson has just returned to Washington, following treatment for injuries sustained in a freak subway accident in New York City over the Christmas Holidays. Robinson and the other members of Rap band "Sultan Homicide and 1200 Murdered Brothers" were on a subway car on the A line in New York, heading to a music club to celebrate after a recording session, when their train was involved in an inexplicable accident of some kind.

Some reports have said there was a broken rail in the midtown feeder tunnel, though as has been more frequent of late, there are also such a great number of bizarre and fantastic alternate stories that it is becoming hard to ignore. Eyewitnesses on TV reports in Manhattan swear that the supposed "sea monster" that is said to be lurking in the Hudson and in the sewers and tunnels under New York City, attacked the train. The last two cars were completely torn apart. The band was in the third car, which was heavily damaged. Over 100 people were injured, including Robinson, and over 25 confirmed dead after the wreck.

Band mate Kareem "Sultan Homicide" Oakley was said to have died in the crash, but his body was never found and the coroner's office has not confirmed a death certificate for Oakley. He remains simply listed as a Missing Person.

Robinson was readmitted to DC General earlier this week for mental exhaustion following a relapse in which she became delusional, ranting incoherently to concerned friends that Oakley was dead, or alive but he's a vampire, and that other friends of hers were evil wizards, including fellow Web musician Sarah Ravenscraft formerly of VHHV, the band who died in a bus accident coming from New York City to Washington just a couple months ago.

Doctors are giving Robinson the best available care, and attribute her fanatical outbursts to PTSS stemming from watching her friends killed.


VIOLENCE AGAINST THE HOMELESS ON THE RISE ONCE MORE - TWO BODIES FOUND BURNED - NORTHEAST: DCPD forensics investigators are working to identify two badly burned bodies, found in two separate locations, a day apart. Both bodies are assumed male, but this is not yet confirmed. Thus far, investigators have no connection between the two bodies, other than the unusual means of death and the proximity of time.



GOTHIC NIGHTCLUB SUFFERS ANOTHER OUTBREAK OF VIOLENCE; AUTHORITIES THREATEN TO CLOSE FAMED MUSIC VENUE FOREVER IF IT CONTINUES - SOUTHEAST DC -- Notorious nightspot "Web of Night" in Southeast DC was cited twice this past week for incidents of violence occurring on club property, thus firmly re-cementing the Club's reputation not only for violence, but bizarre occurrences of a more occult nature. Earlier this week, a young Hispanic or Arabic woman identified as Kat Day was hospitalized after a peculiar and inexplicable incident in which she caught fire to herself in the club near the front bar. Eye witnesses do not know the cause of the fire, which gave Day second degree burns. The Web closed that bar for two days while workmen repaired superficial smoke and burn damage.

Later this past week, there was an altercation with a belligerent patron who was beating up a young black woman by his booth. Bouncers tried to pull the man off her but he hit back with such force that it took three of them to break it up and by then the woman was unconscious. She was hospitalized at DC General, still in a coma at admittance. She was later identified as Jennifer Robinson, sister of Rap singer Trixie Robinson, also admitted for observation earlier that week. The man was not apprehended, and some sources claim he dashed out of the club at impossible speeds, losing track of him almost instantly.

Club manager and co-owner MC Nomad had no comment at press time.






Time Heals Some Wounds... a good rebound snog heals others -- Seems that partner-swapping is back in vogue in Doom City, as one of our intrepid sources working the story on violence against the homeless and in public parks, caught two of our column regulars drowning in each other's sorrows behind a park bench a few nights ago. Gabby Wildwood's throwaway, former bodyguard Raine Drouven, was checking the tonsils of one of Aesik Baird's harem, former Cap Hill bartender Jane Smith, by the light of the silvery moon, it seems. While not nearly as interesting a show as the live porn in the park fest DC has experienced of late, it did raise a brow or two, though not from their Ex's.



San Francisco Population Joins Spontaneous Rave
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — An unprecedented rave took place simultaneously at nearly every location in the city last night, drawing almost every resident into its wild revels. The so-called “Avatar Trance” was sponsored by two groups, the Waydown Viktae and the Bay Area Bacchantes. Police and FBI attempts to shut down the city-wide dance party failed completely, and authorities were baffled by malfunctioning equipment and the “conversion” of officers and agents to the ecstatic vibe.



Diamonds Are Forever: Company Makes Gems From Loved Ones' Ashes
By JIM SUHR, AP Business Writer
Proving that diamonds indeed are forever, a widower got a gem of a keepsake made from his late wife's ashes this month: a 0.35-carat, round yellow diamond.

The synthetic stone, ordered by a man in his 40s shortly after his wife's death from heart disease in May, is the handiwork of LifeGems.
"It was beautiful, really pretty," funeral director Paul Baue said of the stone ordered by the widower, who requested privacy and declined to be interviewed for this story. "It's a great way to pay tribute to someone's life."
That LifeGem was the first sold in the St. Louis area, according to the suburban Chicago-based company. Three-year-old LifeGems estimates it has crafted nearly 1,000 of the diamonds — what it calls "the most unique memorial product ever invented" — for about 500 families.
To LifeGem, the synthetic diamonds offer a choice in a funeral industry that for years, by nature, offered limited choices for consumers — bury a body in a graveyard or have the body cremated, with the ashes stored in an urn or scattered in the wind.
LifeGem needs 8 ounces of human ashes to make a diamond the company prizes for its "closeness and mobility," leaving the rest of the cremains to the family. Depending on size, LifeGem prices vary from about $2,500 for a quarter carat to about $14,000 for a full carat, VandenBiesen said.
"These remains are very precious and special to people, but they don't just have an aesthetic form and look," VandenBiesen said. "People actually really enjoy these, and that's really different from what you'd expect in the funeral profession."
As part of the LifeGems process that takes a few months, carbon extracted from cremains are subjected to the extremes of heat and pressure. The resulting diamond then is cut and faceted like a normal diamond.
Not to be outdone, Georgia-based Eternal Reefs Inc. has catered to people who in life honored the environment, mixing their cremains into concrete and placing them in the water off any of several states, creating new marine habitats for fish and other sea life.
Other businesses will send cremains into space or place them in fireworks for folks who want to go out with a bang.

On the Net:

Cremation Association of North America: http://www.cremationassociation.org
National Funeral Directors Association:


Astronomers Ready for Comet Smashing Mission
Tariq Malik, Staff Writer SPACE.com


On Friday, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft successfully performed the mission's first trajectory correction maneuver, a planned firing of the spacecraft's rocket motors to aim it more precisely at Comet Tempel 1 for its encounter this July.
The Deep Impact mission will send two spacecraft on brief spaceflight to Comet Tempel 1, where an "Impactor" payload will slam into the object while its mothership, "Flyby," looks on.
The entire mission should last only a few months, but researchers are hopeful they will finally be able to break through the outer surface of a comet.
"Only the internal material of a comet is unchanged from the beginning of the solar system," said Deep Impact principal investigator Michael A'Hearn, of the University of Maryland, during a press briefing today at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. "But there are no data on the interior, and that's what we're hoping to solve with Deep Impact."
On July 4, Tempel I will crash into the impactor at a relative speed of 23,000 miles per hour, destroying it, while the flyby records the event and relays data from the impactor back to Earth.
NASA will not confirm queries as to whether it will use the mission to also study The Red Star, a mysterious new body that appeared what is thought to be several months ago, though some claim it has been spotted with high-powered observatory equipment over a couple years prior.

More information on Deep Impact is available at http://deepimpact.jpl.nasa.gov


Ghost Ship Legend Grows Off R.I. Coast
By ELIZABETH ZUCKERMAN, Associated Press Writer
Rhode Island legend tells of a spectral ship that haunts the waters off Block Island, bursting into flame and sinking into the ocean. Depending on who's spinning the tale, the islanders involved in the human drama turned out to be heroes — or monsters.
The tales hold that the ship is the ghost of one that wrecked on the island's northern point shortly after Christmas 1738. Different versions say the vessel's appearance augurs bad weather and appears on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year's.
And while there's good evidence that a British ship, the Princess Augusta, carrying a load of passengers from territory that would become Germany, ran aground on the island on Dec. 27, 1738, there's accord on little else about the incident.
According to folklorist Michael Bell, of Cranston, within the century after the incident, two versions became popular.
The on-island version told of the residents' generosity rescuing and nursing back to health the ill and starving passengers, who had been abused and exploited.
The other version was immortalized by the 19th-century poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier, whose poem "The Palatine" appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1867. In it, Block Islanders recall the wreck — and some islanders' roles in causing it by igniting false signal lights to draw the ship aground.
Livermore instead presented an account by a scholar of his day. According to it, the ship came ashore on Sandy Point, and once the tide rose, was able to be floated again, and towed into Breach Cove by the islanders. Many fell ill, died and were buried on the island's southwest side.
Today, a marker, installed in 20th century, stands at the site. It reads simply, "Palatine Graves — 1738."
It's the only major physical evidence of the disaster. Charlotte Taylor of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission said no wreckage has ever been found that could be positively linked to the ship. Martha Ball, the former first warden of Block Island and a life-long resident, said there's some evidence the ship was repaired and continued on to Philadelphia, its original destination.
While Livermore dismissed the story of the islanders' barbarity, he was less willing to write off accounts of the so-called Palatine Light.
He noted that an unexplained light was often sighted off Sandy Point by people both on Block Island and on the mainland, and included in his book an 1811 account from a doctor — whom he called a man of standing — who had witnessed a light that resembled a ship ablaze.
More than a century after that account, talk about the Palatine Light remained.

During 11th Grade History class, eight children began screaming at once, and then all went into seizures. They all began speaking in fluent Latin, reciting a portion of the biblical verse John 11:44... "And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin." All of the children were from the Milliner Family.





A small earthquake rocked the city of Venice and the surrounding area on November 30th.
The fresco on the floor of the Ca' d'Oro, a Venetian Palace built in the 15th Century, cracked. Artisans have been working night and day to repair it, and it's been closed off to tourists since then.
The crypts under the Basilica San Marco were broken into that day, also, and several tombs pillaged. Authorities are mystified.



The psychiatric ward of the prison was overcome with a rash of suicides. With 15 inmates successfully killing themselves, the suicide rate has risen to 45 percent in that prison, up 10 percent from the last year's statistic. All of the rooms of the deceased had words some written in blood. Smudges made most illegible, but authorities think that one of them was the word "Rache", followed by three vertical lines. Security has been increased, and all inmates are on suicide prevention watch now.