IC News 5-01-05





Popular dance and dinner venue The Phantasm, in Northwest DC, recently changed hands unexpectedly. Former club owner Sean Brennan has taken an open-ended hiatus, and transferred ownership of the club to regular headliners Louis Delacourt and Aki Oshii. Except that now, Monsieur Delacourt and Ms. Oshii have also no sooner reopened the club and then they too have disappeared. 

The Phantasm had been closed for a couple of weeks to undergo some minor renovations and to allow Delacourt and Oshii time to address concerns about the sudden change in management.

The club had only been reopened for two weeks when the new owners too suddenly disappeared, leaving speculation of some manner of foul play involved over ownership of the dance hall.




Embassies Decry Increasing Terrorism and Violence in Washington - Petitioning to Move Embassy Row Elsewhere -- NORTHWEST -- Several countries that occupy embassies along the Embassy Row corridor of Northwest DC have been voraciously petitioning the U. S. Government to do something about the increasing outbreaks of violence and freak occurrences within City limits. Government Iceland Residence on Wyoming Avenueofficials claim the events unfolding are of such a magnitude and frequency that they are at a loss to contain them, spurring some Embassies to demand relocation to someplace that will guarantee their safety; else, they will close their embassies and return home until it can be done.

The U.S. has tried to smooth over ruffled diplomatic feathers, while at the same time trying to explain the sheer impracticality of time, money and manpower involved in relocating over 150 consulates and embassies to locations that cannot be guaranteed to be any safer than Massachusetts Avenue is.

U.S. Officials have pointed out repeatedly that there is overwhelming evidence that such peculiar and dangerous events are breaking out with increasing frequency all over the world, and that Washington DC is not unique in its bombardment of violence and seemingly supernatural or unexplained phenomena. They have cited myriad news reports from dozens of countries and foreign media as proof this is out of their hands, and plead with the Ambassadorial community to keep some perspective here, rather than looking for a clearly innocent scapegoat in these troubled times.New Turkish Chancery

There are more than 170 foreign embassies in Washington D.C. As a rule, embassies are located in capitals, while other diplomatic facilities - consulates, trade missions, etc. - are found outside of Washington.
Each country's embassy in Washington is also usually a collection of several facilities, sometimes widely scattered in multiple locations. An embassy "residence" is the ambassador's official home, while the "chancery" is where diplomats' offices are located. Other facilities might include a separate office for military attaches, or for consular operations.

A number of countries lack embassies for diplomatic reasons, where the U.S. government doesn't recognize a government, or where intergovernmental relations are especially strained. Three countries - Cuba, Iran and Iraq - are represented through "interest sections," i.e., offices where diplomats of those countries work, attached to other countries' embassies. The Cuban Interest Section, for example, is regarded by the U.S. government as a part of the Swiss Embassy.
Countries also move embassies from time to time, most often to more prominent places such as along Massachusetts Avenue.








DCPD Officer Billups In Another Northeast Shootout Just Weeks After Killing Partner -- Northeast -- DCPD Officer Carter Billups, fresh out of the hospital and an internal inquiry into the shooting death of his partner, was on foot, en route to an undisclosed Northeast DC location to
meet a contact in conjunction with an investigation into the assault of Rap Artist Trixie Robinson's sister Jennifer at music club Web of Night a few weeks ago.
Billups was chasing up leads on this cold case, as Robinson's assailant remains unidentified and at large.
While awaiting his contact at local adult entertainment venue The Foxxx's Den, 31 year old Neal Benson entered the club and brandished a 12 gauge shotgun, assaulting new owner Andrea Cardelle and demanding access to the safe or he would shoot her. Cardelle refused to cooperate, and Benson shot at her. Benson missed, and by this time Billups was able to respond to the attack, shooting at Benson, again ostensibly to disarm, not to kill.

Benson returned fire on Billups and again missed. Billups fired again, wounding Benson badly enough that he released Cardelle. He did, however, pull the shotgun on Billups yet again, and Billups fired one more shot which killed Benson in the club. After taking Benson out of the picture, Billups was able to radio for additional police and EMT's.
Billups has been back on Administrative Leave with pay as this second killing in a month while on duty is scrutinized by the Department.
Some point to the loosening of DC's gun laws last year as ramping up the level of violence in the City, but statistics have not born this out. It remains to be seen whether there are underlying psychological issues involved, or simply a run of bad luck on his part.



Mysterious Creatures, or Movie Magic Gone Awry? Slaughter at Capital Hill Ends in Fantastic Battle -- NORTHWEST --

DCPD and Fire responded to reports of several approximately 12-foot tall "creatures", and their smaller counterparts, which were caused terror and mayhem for patrons of Capital Hill one evening last week; not the first incident that infamous venue or many other well-known watering holes in DC have suffered events that seemingly belong on a movie set rather than the streets of the Capital of the Free World.

The inexplicable, semi-humanoid beings swarmed around the building, creeping in and out of it with disturbing ease like ants on a picnic basket, killing people who ran from them in terror and burning the building from the inside out.

Witnesses claim that a white, androgynous but mostly male-looking figure appeared out of nowhere, standing on top of the flaming wreckage. As fantastic as it sounds, and certainly not more so than numerous other increasingly strange reports of happenings not only in Washington, but worldwide, said witnesses also state that the figure proceeded to create fire, lightning, phantoms or ghosts, and even appeared to be able to pull the blood out of these attacking creatures, destroying them completely in a matter of moments. Then he, too, disappeared, and has not been located or even seen since.

Interestingly, at the same time, patrons in an upscale  Chicago nightclub suffered a similar fate, as several indescribable horrors that resembled the ones sighted here,  descended on it at 9:50 local time. However, the Chicagoans received no aid from the mysterious white figure, or anyone else but Fire and Rescue Teams.

Some claim this was yet another film shoot. However, Washington, DC, while it has appeared as a setting in hundreds of films, is more restrictive than many cities with movie crews shooting on location, especially with additional measures put in place by Homeland Security after 9/11 and Black November '04. The DC Tourist Board told the Press that they issued no such filming permit to anyone for that location, and that they are quite diligent in not only tracking such events but in reporting them to the press, so that said event is not mistaken for more terrorist activity and the public needlessly frightened by media reports.




Pool Hall "Rabble" Scene of Second Arson in Three Years - SOUTHEAST -- Patrons of blue collar pool hall and beer joint "Rabble" were taken by surprise with an evening of even more violence and mayhem than the modest, unassuming establishment, just a block from the infamous Web of Night, is accustomed to.

Around 10:30 PM last Friday night, a young black woman opened the doors of the club, and someone, some witnesses believe a white male with no memorable description, rolled in a large hand dolly with a keg-sized barrel on it, ostensibly delivering beer.

A few seconds after the pair ran out of the bar, the barrel exploded, causing a fire to engulf the interior and sending patrons running out into the streets for safety as the roof soon collapsed in on itself. The damage was not dissimilar to that of another mystery fire a few years ago; however, Arson investigators have eliminated enough similarities between this and the rash of unusual fires in Southeast a few years ago, noted by the perfect circles burned into the ground, and the last of chemicals used.

When police arrived on the scene, they found a single white male remaining, who for unknown reasons was clawing at the building’s still-burning sides. Police took the man, which they suspect was high on drugs and a likely suspect in Rabble’s bombing, into custody. The man, (description of Etienne du Beausan here), later got out of his cuffs en route to Precinct 7, and jumped out of the moving patrol car, causing another accident as he hit the pavement. He is considered under the influence of drugs or mentally disturbed, as well as physically dangerous, and anyone who should encounter him is encouraged to contact the DCPD and not engage the suspect personally.

Witness reports were sketchy at best; this part of town is noted for its population being reticent to testify to police about much of anything. The sequence of events was pieced together from police, the captured witness, and 911 calls reporting the explosion. Anyone with more information on the firebombing of Rabble is asked to call DCPD's anonymous tip line.






New Fairy Shrimp Species Found in Idaho — Idaho biologists have discovered a new species of fairy shrimp. But don't be fooled by the name. This fairy shrimp species is the "biggest, baddest, thuggy-est of them all," said Dana Quinney, an Idaho National Guard biologist who announced the find yesterday.

The 3-inch (7.6-centimeter) species is among the biggest of the approximately 300 known fairy shrimp species. But size isn't everything. The shrimp's feathery-looking legs are studded with spines—even the spines have spines, Quinney says. The voracious feeder is known to clutch several smaller shrimp to its abdomen, just in case its food supply runs low.

Dry spells are perhaps the species' biggest threat. The desert lakes where the shrimp live come and go with the weather. A few weeks of mating, eating, and birthing are about all any of these creatures can expect. Buried in baked summer soil or frozen winter earth, the offspring can survive for years before hatching.


—Ted Chamberlain



Dead Squid Wash Up in California Again --

Dead giant squid first appeared on Southern California beaches last January, when this one and hundreds of others washed up.


The Associated Press - DANA POINT, Calif. - Dead jumbo squid are again mysteriously washing up along the Southern California coastline, baffling scientists who are trying to find out why.
The Ocean Institute in Dana Point has conducted some of the research, shipping specimens to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Stanford University for further study.
Scientists at the institute this week dissected a 5-foot-long, 15-pound female Humboldt squid that was filled with parasites and sand. More than a 100 squid have been spotted since Sunday between Dana Point and San Clemente.
Still, there are no answers.
"We still don't know what's killing them," said Linda Blanchard, lab director of the Ocean Institute who has dissected about a dozen squid since they first washed up ashore in January. "All we have right now are theories."
Squid normally live and hunt 3,000 feet below the water's surface.

1,500 washed up in January
"Before the squid were found dead on the beaches in the quantities that they have, we weren't studying them as hard as we are now," Blanchard said.
In January, about 1,500 Humboldt squid washed up on the Orange County coastline about a week after an oil spill from an undetermined source coated
more than 1,000 seabirds off the Southern California coast.
The squid were found on the sands of Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Crystal Cove State Park. Some were spotted in northern San Diego County, at San Onofre State Beach.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

All rights reserved.


Texas woman calls for immediate shut down of The Internet -- Amarillo,TX -- Gladis Haralski, founder of United Confederacy Against WWW (UCAWWW) announced last week of her ongoing campaign to shut down the internet.
In an interview Gladis proclaims the destructive way in which we use the internet degenerates society's standards. "The internet is nothing but filth to steal our children from God and truth", says Gladis...
Currently the UCAWWW holds 43 members, all of which reside in Texas.

When Gladis was asked by reporters how she planned to reach out to others across the country she said, "We have many ongoing projects, and soon we'll be proud to announce the grand opening of our website."






Big Ben's silence baffles engineers
John McHugh, AP
LONDON (AP) — Big Ben, the landmark London clock renowned for its accuracy and chimes, stopped ticking for 90 minutes, an engineer said Saturday.
Officials do not know why the 147-year-old clock on the banks of the River Thames stopped at 10:07 p.m. Friday. It resumed keeping time, but stalled again at 10:20 p.m. and remained still for about 90 minutes before starting up again, a spokeswoman for the House of Commons said on condition of anonymity, citing government policy.
There has been speculation a recent spell of hot weather may have been to blame. Temperatures in London reached 90 Saturday, and forecasters called it England's hottest day in June since 1953.
Big Ben, which is operated by the Palace of Westminster, survived attacks by German Luftwaffe bombers during World War II, continuing to mark the time to within 1 1/2 seconds of Greenwich Mean Time.
However, the clock has experienced occasional problems.
In 1962, snow caused the clock to ring in the New Year 10 minutes late. In 1976, the clock stopped when a piece of its machinery broke. Big Ben also stopped on April 30, 1997, and once more three weeks later.
Big Ben is actually the clock's 13-ton bell, which was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the British commissioner of works at the time the clock was built.
The official name for the Gothic tower holding Big Ben is St. Stephen's Tower. Standing 315 feet tall, it was completed in 1858 after an 1834 fire destroyed most of the Palace of Westminster

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.



Drivers Blamed for Metal Mystery -- TOKYO (Reuters) - Fears of mass sabotage on Japanese roads were quelled this week after thousands of blade-like metal shards found attached to roadside guardrails around the country were attributed to nothing more sinister than careless driving.
The government launched a nationwide inquiry this month after a boy hurt his leg on a piece of metal protruding from a guardrail in a suburb near Tokyo in May. More than 27,000 similar fragments were found lodged in roadside barriers all over the country.
The metal mystery dominated TV news programs earlier this month and speculation was rife that the fragments had been placed deliberately to cause injury, possibly by a team of pranksters.
But a Transport Ministry committee set up to look into the matter said this week the metal scraps were most likely pieces torn from vehicles that had brushed against the guardrails. "The 100 or so pieces examined so far all came from vehicles," an official at the Transport Ministry said on Wednesday. "We have not discovered any that were placed there deliberately."



'Berlusconi's Fat' Moulded to Art -- BBC World News - Switzerland -- An art work purportedly made from excess fat from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sold for $18,000 (£9,862).
Switzerland-based artist Gianni Motti claims to have bought the fat from a clinic where the leader had a liposuction operation performed. He moulded it into a bar of soap which he named Mani Pulite (Clean Hands). The work was put on display at the Art Basel fair in Switzerland and was sold to a private Swiss collector.
Motti gave it the title Clean Hands as a reference to an anti-corruption campaign of the 1990s. It reflects the artist's view of the current government. The bar of soap went on display in Switzerland. "I came up with the idea of because soap is made of pig fat, and I thought how much more appropriate it would be if people washed their hands using a piece of Berlusconi," Motti told Weltwoche magazine.
Motti's work was part of the display from the Galerie Nicola von Senger of Zurich, one of 270 worldwide galleries exhibiting contemporary works. All the works on display were for sale, with prices topping $45,000 (£24,658) as collectors hope to uncover the big names of the future.




The Gossip and Entertainment Section of the Post has been put on temporary hiatus. Ms. Whittier has taken a hard news desk assignment due to the unusual increase in strange phenomena occurring that require coverage. We regret any inconvenience this may cause our readers, and will endeavor to continue to support the Arts and Social life of Washington to the best of our ability in these trying times.