Morning Links

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
  • For your list of “horrible things I’m glad didn’t happen to me.”
  • Actually, this too.
  • Irving, Texas police shoot, kill a man investigating a possibly prowler with his BB gun. An attorney for the man’s family says they didn’t identify themselves before shooting.
  • Empty LA. Photos of Los Angeles, minus people.
  • What an 1899 Thanksgiving dinner at New York’s Plaza Hotel looked like. Turtles!

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    30 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  anonanerd | 

      Hey, Balko, your first link? Dailymail. Its bs, guy is still braindead and in a coma. Propaganda.

      Just as a general rule, dont link Dailymail.

    2. #2 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      For horrible things #1, it is Johnny Got His Gun in real life.

      Does it makes you rethink Terry Shiavo?

    3. #3 |  Thomas Paine's Goiter | 

      “horrible things I’m glad didn’t happen to me.”

      It’s not real. They are using facilitated communication which has been debunked in all circles.

    4. #4 |  Marty | 

      I’ll have to add both of these “horrible things I’m glad didn’t happen to me” to my list of things I’m really grateful for Thursday…

    5. #5 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      “I screamed, but there was no sound. No one could hear.”

      Ron Paul feels your pain, coma guy.

    6. #6 |  PeeDub | 

      For Shiavo, I believe she had *extensive* testing that showed none of the type of brain activity that Mr. Houben had.

    7. #7 |  Nando | 

      Thanksgiving Menu – I am going to imagine that those prices are in cents, not dollars. Even today, if I looked at that menu and found those prices in dollars, it would be way to expensive. I guess I’d really be thankful on Thursday if I could afford that, LOL.

      As for the coma guy who wasn’t in a coma, did I see that on House last season?

    8. #8 |  Mattocracy | 

      My girlfriend and both of my brothers are adopted. My whole body is numb. And that guy really does look like his dad.

    9. #9 |  CK | 

      @Nando: The prices are in cents. The most expensive item is Terrapin, Plaza style at $3.00. Ah to find Turkish coffee for 20¢.

    10. #10 |  Chris Berez | 

      It’s not real. They are using facilitated communication which has been debunked in all circles.

      Expanding on what #2 Thomas Paine’s Goiter said, it is indeed a hoax. My friend Ellen found this piece from James Randi and sent it to me this morning.

    11. #11 |  Bob | 

      What the hell is “Facilitated Communication”? On wait! I haz teh interwebs! Gimme a minute…

      GOOD LORD! What a cruel, cruel hoax. These so called people should be ashamed of themselves. This is HORRIBLE! Look at this video:

      The ‘facilitator’ is clearly working the hand like a stylus and entering whatever the ‘facilitator’ wants.

      I can use ‘Facilitated Communication” too. Watch how great it works! My stuffed orange dinosaur named “Agumon” is actually sentient! Now, he is full of flame retardant stuffing… so he can’t actually use the keyboard himself, but by holding him, I can type what he is trying to say:

      Agumon: “Foolish humans! When I escape from the horrific bonds of this frail but astonishingly cute form, I will kill you all!”

      Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for the guy. He may well be ‘paralyzed’ and not in a coma. But this is a TOTAL FARCE.

    12. #12 |  Highway | 

      Bob, that’s hilarious. +1 Karma doesn’t convey the depths of my appreciation for your ‘discovery’ that Agumon is a completely sentient stuffed animal.

    13. #13 |  mark robbins | 

      Need to hear what independent medical professionals think of this guys brain scan but the facilitated typing is most certainly a hoax. That guy was typing at lightning speed. My parents don’t even type that fast.

      It’s a shame that people are taking advantage of that family who are very obviously in a lot of pain and looking for anything that’ll bring some meaning to their lives. Now we have to be the assholes who tell them they’re making it all up.

    14. #14 |  Tokin42 | 

      Hate to badmouth Randi but does he not understand the difference between testing autistic kids with brains that have never worked normally and those that have an injury? Were the brain scans that showed “almost normal” activity faked? I think Randi may be a bit too cynical for his own good on this one.

    15. #15 |  MikeZ | 

      Now his brain may have shown almost normal, and he may well be locked in. But the video does seem pretty darn bogus. I’m certainly not a psychologist but looking at the speed of the typing, I would suspect that 2 fully able people trying to type a message with 3 hands trying to guide a single finger wouldn’t be able to type anything that fast. It looked like the facilitator was using the patients hand to type not the other way around.

    16. #16 |  Tyro | 

      Even “Law and Order” understood that “facilitated communication” is just a form of self-delusion. You may as well use and Ouiji board.

      More of these woo-meisters preying on the most vulnerable, unscrupulous vultures.

    17. #17 |  Celebrate Thanksgiving 1899-Style | Bitchin' in the Kitchen | 

      […] table.  Quail, grouse, duck – it’s a hunter’s dream holiday meal.  Though, as Radley notes, there’s quite a bit of turtle on the menu.  For those of you looking to replicate the menu, […]

    18. #18 |  Saint Zero | 

      Can we dream of an Empty Hollywood as well?

    19. #19 |  Wavemancali | 

      The story on the guy in the vegetative state has been picked up by AP and they claim he communicates with one finger and a touchscreen on his wheelchair. No mention of assistance.

      I am curious as to whether the assistance in the AP story has been overlooked and he is akin to the orange dinosaur or if he’s actually outside the horror of that situation now.

    20. #20 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      Wow, ask a question (taking no sides) about Terry Schiavo, and *wham* ..negative karma. Ouch.

      @PeeDub: True. The few family members and friends I have known that have been in comas never recover. One of my cowrokers just passed away after being in a coma for a year becuase his brain finally quit working. My guess is that Houben is a very, very rare exception.

    21. #21 |  twobits | 

      My impression was that there were two levels of fishiness #1. The most obvious is the facilitated communication stuff Randi (absolutely justifiably) rails against. The other is the more subtle issue is that of “voodoo correlations” in fMRI results. (Fine discussion of how a dead salmon responds to human emotional states to be found here).

    22. #22 |  BamBam | 


      What a shocker ……..

    23. #23 |  J sub D | 


      What a shocker ……..

      Some people predicted that these power giveaways to a GOP president would someday come back to haunt the same GOP that approved them. These same people predicted that when a liberty loving Democrats were in power they would fight to hold on to the powers granted their his predecessors, civil liberties be damned.

      These people who got both predictions correct generally self-identified as libertarians, the Cassandras of American politics.

    24. #24 |  Peter Ramins | 

      #22, #23 –

      Combining this portion of this thread with the Orwellian thread of a few days ago, I can see a time coming when a Libertarian getting a box of hats fixed to his head seated next to a Republican and Democrat getting the same treatment will say something like “I told you so.”

      And the Republican and Democrat will say, in unison: “You’re such a crackpot fringe lunatic, shut up.”

    25. #25 |  Peter Ramins | 

      Err… box of rats. =p

    26. #26 |  justinslot | 

      So is the Belgian case a hoax or not? The Internet is giving me contradictory information. (#1 is right though–as a rule, don’t link Dailymail.) I read the Randi thing, but Laureys does appear to be a real doctor.

    27. #27 |  Stormy Dragon | 

      Yeah, while I hate to stomp on his families new found hope, facilitated typing is about as valid as communicated with coma patients via a Oujia Board.

    28. #28 |  MikeZ | 

      “For horrible things #1, it is Johnny Got His Gun in real life.
      Does it makes you rethink Terry Shiavo?”

      Actually not in the slightest. If anything it reaffirms Terry Shiavo for me. I would much rather be dead than paralyzed and ignored for 23 years. Keeping someone who is definately brain-dead alive seems less cruel as they aren’t there feeling anything.

      This assumes its not a hoax which it appears to be.

    29. #29 |  Windy | 

      Randi is a self involved debunker, who’d debunk everything but his own intelligence if he could, including that the rest of humanity has any reasoning powers at all.

    30. #30 |  John Jenkins | 

      I like that no one ever asks the important question: is it really worth it to keep someone breathing who is living like that? I would say the answer is always no.

      If anyone ever did it to me, I would hope like hell I am wrong about the whole supernatural thing so I could come back and haunt their sorry asses when they finally let me die.