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Cooley Hurd

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 24,170

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15 years ago today. Matthew Shepard was brutally attacked...


Matthew Wayne Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998) was an American student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and murdered near Laramie, Wyoming in October 1998. He was attacked on the night of October 6–7, and died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 12 from severe head injuries.

During the trial, it was widely reported that Shepard was targeted because he was gay; a Laramie police officer testified at a pretrial hearing that the violence against Shepard was due to how the attacker " about gays", per an interview of the attacker's girlfriend who said she received that explanation. Shepard's murder brought national and international attention to hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels.

In 2009, his mother Judy Shepard authored a book The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed. In October 2009, the United States Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (commonly the "Matthew Shepard Act" or "Shepard/Byrd Act" for short), and on October 28, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law.

Shepard was born in Casper, Wyoming, the first of two sons born to Judy Peck and Dennis Shepard. His younger brother Logan was born in 1981. He attended Crest Hill Elementary School, Dean Morgan Junior High School, and Natrona County High School for his freshman through junior years. Saudi Aramco hired his father in the summer of 1994, and his parents subsequently resided at the Saudi Aramco Residential Camp in Dhahran. During that time, Shepard attended The American School In Switzerland (TASIS), from which he graduated in May 1995. Shepard then attended Catawba College in North Carolina and Casper College in Wyoming, before settling in Denver, Colorado. Shepard became a first-year political science major at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and was chosen as the student representative for the Wyoming Environmental Council.

He was described by his father as "an optimistic and accepting young man who had a special gift of relating to almost everyone. He was the type of person who was very approachable and always looked to new challenges. Matthew had a great passion for equality and always stood up for the acceptance of people's differences."

In February 1995, during a high school trip to Morocco, Shepard was beaten and raped, causing him to experience depression and panic attacks, according to his mother. One of Shepard's friends feared that his depression had driven him to become involved with drugs during his time in college.

On the night of October 6–7, 1998, Shepard met Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson at the Fireside Lounge in Laramie, Wyoming. It was decided that McKinney and Henderson would give Shepard a ride home. McKinney and Henderson subsequently drove the car to a remote, rural area and proceeded to rob, pistol-whip, and torture Shepard, tying him to a fence and leaving him to die. According to their court testimony, McKinney and Henderson also discovered his address and intended to steal from his home. Still tied to the fence, Shepard, who was still alive but in a coma, was discovered 18 hours later by Aaron Kreifels, a cyclist who initially mistook Shepard for a scarecrow.

Reggie Fluty, the first police officer on the scene, found Shepard alive but covered in blood. The medical gloves issued by the Albany County Sheriff's Department were faulty and Fluty's supply ran out. She decided to use her bare hands to clear an airway in Shepard's bloody mouth. A day later, she was informed that Shepard was HIV positive and that she had been exposed because of cuts on her hands. After taking an AZT regime for several months, she proved not to have been infected. Judy Shepard later wrote she learned of Matthew's HIV status during his stay at the hospital following the attack.

Shepard had suffered fractures to the back of his head and in front of his right ear. He experienced severe brainstem damage, which affected his body's ability to regulate heart rate, body temperature, and other vital functions. There were also about a dozen small lacerations around his head, face, and neck. His injuries were deemed too severe for doctors to operate. Shepard never regained consciousness and remained on full life support. While he lay in intensive care, and in the days following the attack, candlelight vigils were held around the world.

Shepard was pronounced dead at 12:53 a.m. on October 12, 1998, at Poudre Valley Hospital, in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was 21 years old.

Costa Concordia captain blames helmsman for crash

Source: The BBC

The captain of the Costa Concordia has blamed his Indonesian helmsman for the accident which caused the ship to sink off the coast of Italy last year.

Francesco Schettino told a court the helmsman failed to obey orders to slow down and steered the ship onto rocks.

Thirty-two people died when the cruise ship capsized in January 2012.

Mr Schettino is charged with manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship, but says he is being made a scapegoat for others' errors.

Last week the 290m-long vessel was raised upright in a major salvage operation off the coast of Giglio island.

The captain said there would have been no crash if the helmsman, who has already been convicted in a separate manslaughter trial, had heeded an order to steer away from rocks.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24210522

What an asshole! How about taking the blame for your own recklessness, you Cazzo!

Time Lapse Video of the Raising of Costa Concordia:

The Salvors should be lauded - THAT was a helluva job!!!!!!

Former Beatles collaborator Jackie Lomax Dead at 69


Guitarist, singer and songwriter John Richard “Jackie” Lomax, has passed away at the age of 69.

Lomax is best known for his single “Sour Milk Sea,” which was written by George Harrison, recorded by Lomax, Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Nicky Hopkins for release as a single on The Beatles’ label Apple Records in 1968.

Lomax first came to prominence playing bass and singing with Beatles contemporaries The Undertakers. Following that groups dissolution, Lomax started his own The Lomax Alliance, and was picked up by The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein who hooked The Lomax Alliance up with CBS records for a deal that resulted in two singles for the band, plus one additional single listing Jackie Lomax as a solo artist.

Following Epstein’s passing, Lomax moved to Apple Records, and secured George Harrison as the producer for his debut solo album, Is This What You Want? Despite the presence of members of The Beatles, Clapton and legendary studio musicians from the Wrecking Crew, the album only reached number 145 on the US Billboard 200 chart. Lomax continued to release solo albums through the mid-70s, but continued to suffer from poor sales. He also kept busy playing in an assortment of smaller bands that featuring supporting members of higher-profile groups such as Yes, the Rolling Stones and King Crimson.

Cross gently, Jackie.

Fun with Sign Generators


Reuters Breaking: U.S., Russia agree deal on Syria chemical weapons

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - The United States and Russia have agreed on a proposal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday after nearly three days of talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Kerry said that, under the pact, Syria must submit a "comprehensive listing" of its chemical weapons stockpiles within one week.

There's also a Breaking News banner on CNN: Kerry: U.S. and Russia agree on framework that, if fully implemented, could mean elimination of Syria's chemical weapons

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/14/us-syria-crisis-talks-start-idUSBRE98D03820130914

The big question is, can Syria comply (i.e. a "comprehensive" accounting of the weapons) within a week?

On edit: David Kay was just interviewed on CNN and he has his doubts that Syria can comply within that time frame.

I'd hold off on the happy dancing...

My Schnoodle hates dogs on TV... or pharmaceutical ads...

...or both.

liveblog from the Obama appearance in Auburn New York

Waiting for POTUS now...

EAA Founder Paul Poberezny dead at 91


Paul Poberezny, who founded EAA in 1953 and served as the organization's leader for many years, died on Thursday morning, EAA has announced. He was 91 and living in a retirement village in Oshkosh, Wis. The Poberezny family released a statement: "We deeply appreciate all the support shown to Paul and Audrey over the past five months. As Paul often said, he considers himself a millionaire because through aviation he made a million friends. He leaves an unmatched legacy in aviation and can be best remembered by all the people who discovered aviation through his inspiration to create EAA. We also thank you for respecting our family’s privacy during this time."

Poberezny served as a military pilot and test pilot for nearly 30 years, during both World War II and the Korean Conflict, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel. As a youngster, he built model airplanes and at age 16, taught himself to fly in a battered Waco glider he had restored himself. He logged more than 30,000 hours of flight time over more than 70 years of flying, and flew nearly 500 different types of aircraft, including more than 170 amateur-built airplanes. His memoir of his early years, titled Poberezny … The Story Begins, was published in 1996.

Cross gently, Paul and thank you for the many years of joy at Sun n Fun Oshkosh!!!

The Little Bopper has passed: Jay Richardson (son of JP Richardson) dead at 54...


Jay P. Richardson, son of rock ‘n’ roll icon The Big Bopper and frequent performer at the Surf Ballroom, died Wednesday morning in Katy, Texas, according to the Surf Ballroom staff. He was 54.

Richardson was known as Big Bopper Jr. His father, The Big Bopper, was killed in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959 in Clear Lake, along with fellow rock ‘n’ roll performers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, as well as pilot Roger Peterson.

The men’s last performances were the night before at the Surf Ballroom.

According to the Surf Ballroom, Richardson was born on April 28, 1959, in Houma, La. His birth came less than 90 days after the plane crash.

Richardson has made numerous appearances at the Surf Ballroom over the years including his last one in 2012.

“He was definitely part of our family,” said Laurie Lietz, the Surf’s executive director. “We’ve had him here a number of times and considered him family.”

His story took an odd turn in 2007:


Richardson was survived by his wife and 4-year-old daughter. His son, Jay Perry, was born two months later in April 1959. At the time of his death, Richardson had been building a recording studio in his home in Beaumont, Texas, and was also planning to invest in the of a radio station. He had written 20 new songs he planned to record himself or with other artists.

Jay Perry Richardson took up a musical career and is known professionally as "The Big Bopper, Jr.," and has performed around the world. He has toured on the "Winter Dance Party" tour with Buddy Holly impersonator John Mueller on some of the stages where his father performed.

In January 2007, Jay requested that his father's body be exhumed and an autopsy be performed to settle the rumors that a gun was fired or that Richardson initially survived the crash. The autopsy was performed by Dr. Bill Bass, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Jay was present with Dr Bass throughout the autopsy and observed as the casket was opened; both men were surprised to find the remains well enough preserved to be recognizable as those of the late rock star. "Dad still amazes me 48 years after his death, that he was in remarkable shape," Richardson told the Associated Press. "I surprised myself. I handled it better than I thought I would". Dr Bass's findings indicated there were no signs of foul play. He was quoted as saying, "There are fractures from head to toe. Massive fractures ... died immediately. He didn't crawl away. He didn't walk away from the plane".

After the autopsy, Richardson's body was placed in a new casket made by the same company as the original, then was reburied next to his wife in Beaumont's Forest Lawn Cemetery. Jay then allowed the old casket to be put on display at the Texas Musicians Museum. In December 2008, Jay Richardson announced that he would be placing the old casket up for auction on eBay, giving a share of the proceeds to the Texas Musicians Museum, but downplayed the suggestion in later interviews.

Jay Richardson died on August 21, 2013 at the age of 54.

I got the sense that he had his father exhumed for the simple reason that he wanted to see him in person.

Regardless, cross gently, Jay...
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