As a privately held company, Modern Evil is not required to publicly report on any of its operations or activities. This blog is a faint reflection of our interests and opinions. Thank you.

~ Dr. Archibald T. Staph, Ph.D, President


Fake Penis Felony

CATEGORY: Felony, Fake Penis, Drug Test

DIVISION: Modern Evil Products

NOTE: Shooting bottles in the woods or target practice on the range is OK, but take your loaded weapon into a bank and wave it around - now, you've got problems. A fake penis works the same way. Waggle it happily at a party or shoot ketchup through it in the privacy of your own home - it's all good. But use it to subvert drug tests and you'll be locked up where the waggle parties are nasty.

H.B. Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Fake Penis to Cheat Drug Tests

Reports: Robert Dennis Catalano helped sell Whizzinator, Yellow River devices, designed to thwart drug tests.


A Huntington Beach man pleaded guilty before a U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh this week to selling products such as the Whizzinator, which has a prosthetic penis to help people cheat workplace drug tests, according to published reports.

Robert Dennis Catalano, 62, of Huntington Beach; George W. Wills, 65, of San Pedro; and their company Puck Technology Inc., in Signal Hill, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to defraud the government and conspiracy to sell drug paraphernalia, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Contraptions called the Whizzinator, Yellow River and Number 1 sold by the company allowed men and women to simulate urination in order to register a false negative during testing, the Review said.

The Whizzinator attracted the attention of Congress in 2005 when a National Football League player tried to cheat a drug test. Then-Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith was detained at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with the prosthetic and a packet of dehydrated urine. A House subcommittee held a hearing but no action was ever taken, reports said.

Actor Tom Sizemore also was caught with one after he attempted to evade drug tests while on probation, reports said.

Company website, which is still online, said "The Whizzinator is an easy to conceal, easy to use urinating device with a very realistic prosthetic penis. It is designed to be comfortably worn as an undergarment for extended periods of time and has been extensively tested and proven to work under real-life conditions."

The devices were sold from October 2005 through May 2008. If convicted, Catalano and Wills could face up to eight years in prison and a fine of $500,000, reports said.

As part of the investigation, undercover purchases of the products were made on Sept. 8, 2006, and Feb. 7, 2007. The company has stopped operating, according to the paper.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 20 before U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone, reports said.


One of My Principles is to Have No Principles

CATEGORY: War Criminals, Prosecution, Law

DIVISION: Modern Evil

EDITORIAL: While one man's evil is another man's sacrament, the moderators in between can only rely on law. In that light, defending dictators, terrorists and war criminals becomes a straight forward job with the added benefit of enormous media profile. And let's face it - you'll very quickly attract the filthiest, richest bastards on the planet. With war never ending, you'll never be out of work.


"There Is No Such Thing as Absolute Evil"

He has met Mao Zedong, Pol Pot and Che Guevara. He defended 'Carlos the Jackal' and Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie. Jacques Vergès, 83, is probably the world's most notorious attorney. His latest client is Khieu Samphan, the former head of state of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, who is on trial for war crimes.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Vergès, are you attracted to evil?

Jacques Vergès: Nature is wild, unpredictable and senselessly gruesome. What distinguishes human beings from animals is the ability to speak on behalf of evil. Crime is a symbol of our freedom.

SPIEGEL: That's a cynical worldview.

Vergès: A realistic one.

SPIEGEL: You have defended some of the worst mass murderers in recent history, and you have been called the "devil's advocate." Why do you feel so drawn to clients like Carlos and Klaus Barbie?

Vergès: I believe that everyone, no matter what he may have done, has the right to a fair trial. The public is always quick to assign the label of "monster." But monsters do not exist, just as there is no such thing as absolute evil. My clients are human beings, people with two eyes, two hands, a gender and emotions. That's what makes them so sinister.

SPIEGEL: What do you mean?

Vergès: What was so shocking about Hitler the "monster" was that he loved his dog so much and kissed the hands of his secretaries -- as we know from the literature of the Third Reich and the film "Der Untergang" ("Downfall"). The interesting thing about my clients is discovering what brings them to do these horrific things. My ambition is to illuminate the path that led them to commit these acts. A good trial is like a Shakespeare play, a work of art.

SPIEGEL: You are currently on stage at the Madeleine Theater in Paris, as the main character in a one-person play you wrote.

Vergès: It's about me, of course, about the lawyer's profession and the nature of trials. In every trial, a drama unfolds in front of the public, a duel between the defense and the prosecution. Both tell stories that are not necessarily true, but possible. One is declared the victor in the end, but this doesn't necessarily have anything to do with justice.

SPIEGEL: Are there any people whose defense you would not take on out of principle?

Vergès: One of my principles is to have no principles. That's why I would not turn down anyone.

SPIEGEL: Let's say, Adolf Hitler…

>> Read Full Article

Do These Sneakers Make Me Look Neo-Nazi?

CATEGORY: Fashion, Neo-Nazi, Culture Code

DIVISION: Modern Evil

COMMENT: If clothes make the man then what are you made of? Sending signals is why we dress the way we do, so Neo-Nazis have cottoned onto the original approach of looking very chic while telegraphing their ethos. Sure this is nothing new, but we welcome the appropriation of fashion brands for nefarious purposes. Ralph Lauren could easily become the darling drapery of suicide bombers, while Taliban everywhere would be better suited in Prada.

Thor Steinar and the Changing Look of the German Far Right

By Rachel Nolan in Berlin

Shaved heads, bomber jackets, black boots with white shoelaces -- it used to be easy to spot a neo-Nazi. But young far-right extremists are wearing more stylish and more coded clothes.

Lilian Engelmann never thought she would see neo-Nazis on her block. The young art curator works in a gallery in the trendy district of Mitte, a neighborhood in central Berlin. Her neighbors include an international cinema, designer hat store, Vietnamese restaurant and -- as of last February -- a store called Tönsberg, which sells clothing popular among right-wing extremists.

"By coming here, the neo-Nazis tried to come into the center of society," Engelmann told SPIEGEL ONLINE. Once local residents and shopowners learned that Tönsberg planned to sell the clothing brand Thor Steinar, they organized against the store. The group led by Engelmann and other shopowners called itself the "Mitte Initiative Against the Far Right," and mounted regular protests.

Neo-Nazis are a fringe group in Germany, where Holocaust denial, praise of Adolf Hitler and the display of Nazi symbols are all illegal. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the government's domestic intelligence agency, estimates there are about 40,000 active members of the German far right. The agency can shut down Kameradschaften, gangs or brotherhoods which tend to be violent, but many other groups in the neo-Nazi scene often fly under the legal radar -- like rock bands with suggestive lyrics or stylish clothing companies with coded symbols. As long as they don't display swastikas or explicitly support Hitler or his party, these groups are left alone.

Do These Sneakers Make Me Look Neo-Nazi?

Thor Steinar goods were banned in 2004 because of the logo's similarity to symbols worn by SS officers. But the company has rebranded, and its new look is legal. This presents a dilemma for Engelmann's group. Symbols and speech not obviously related to Nazism are protected by German law. So instead of trying to run the store out, her group decided to educate passersby about Tönsberg.

>> Full Article Here


Monsters in Court

CATEGORY: Bullying, Monsters, Struggle

DIVISION: Modern Evil

EDITORIAL: Bullies are the common monsters of daily life, and a vital metaphor for our personal journeys. But the truth about our conquering quests, as Hollywood movies confirm time and again, is that the victories are few while the defeats are many. Casualties from monster battles litter the landscape. So what to do in defeat? Litigate, of course!

MySpace Bullying Led to Teenage Suicide, Court Hears

By The Guardian

A teenage girl hanged herself after being taunted by messages on her MySpace account, an American court has heard, in a case that could have wide-reaching ramifications for social networking websites.

Prosecutors say Megan Meier, 13, from Missouri, killed herself after receiving nasty messages that she believed had come from a teenage boy but had actually been written by Lori Drew, 49.

The trial is being billed as America's first cyber-bullying prosecution and a potential precedent for punishing online harassment.

In his opening statement to jurors in Los Angeles, the prosecutor, Thomas O'Brien, said Drew, her daughter and an employee of Drew's "hatched a plot to prey on the psyche" of a girl she knew was "vulnerable, suicidal and boy-crazy".

The court heard that Drew posed as a teenage boy named Josh Evans on MySpace and exchanged messages with Megan.

"Her purpose was to tease Megan Meier, to tease her, to humiliate her and to hurt her," O'Brien said. "One of her plans was to print out the conversations and take it to Megan's school and let people make fun of this depressed 13-year-old girl."

Megan's mother, Tina Meier, told the court that late in 2006 she found her daughter "sitting at the computer crying" after getting into an online dispute with "Josh Evans" and a couple of girls.

"She said, 'They're saying mean, horrible things about me,'" Tina Meier testified. "I told her to get off (MySpace)."

Less than an hour later she found her daughter hanged in the closet. Megan had struggled for years with depression and school bullying.

O'Brien told the court that after Megan received a message saying the world would be better off without her, she sent a response saying: "You are the kind of boy a girl would kill herself over."

Drew's defence lawyer, Dean Steward, told jurors his client did not violate the Computer Use and Fraud Act, used in the past to address computer hacking, and reminded them Drew was not facing charges dealing with the suicide.

"This is not a homicide case," he said.

Drew has pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing computers without authorisation. Each count carries a potential sentence of five years in prison.


"I Checked to See If He was a Little Bit Alive"

CATEGORY: Murder, 8-year-old, Family

DIVISION: Modern Evil

EDITORIAL: A young and very real 'Michael Myers in the making' describes matter-of-factly finding his dead dad, who he murdered, after school - and a nation is shocked. We're just surprised that he's the only elementary-aged killer out there. Maybe there could be more like him with freer access to guns earlier in the child development cycle.

8 Year Old Murder Suspect will be Released from Custody with Restrictions

By Dan Marries/KOLD News 13

The eyes of the country are focused on the small town of St. John, Arizona. Home to 3,500 people, residents remain in shock two weeks after an 8 year old boy allegedly shot and killed his dad and another man. On Wednesday, Nov. 19th under heavy security, the boy was in Apache County Superior Court where a judge granted him a two day release.

Prior to the hearing deputies used a blanket to shield the boy as he was shuffled into court. What was expected to be a half hour hearing ended up lasting more than two hours. Reporter Donna Rossi from our sister station in Phoenix was in the courtroom, "we saw him walk in and he had a long sleeve blue shirt and dark pants. He looks like a 8 year old that's the bottom line, however, something looked completely out of place, he had on leg shackles and you could hear them shuffling as he walked to the defense table."

Over the objection of prosecutors, the judge will allow the boy to be released from a juvenile detention facility for two days so he can spend Thanksgiving with his mom but there are stipulations as explained by Betty Smith Apache County Superior Court Administrator, " there's to be no cable TV, no video games were included in those limits he placed." The judge also ordered there to be no knives or guns in the house.

A lot was said about the release of the video by the Apache County Attorney's Office on November 18th in which police questioned the boy for an hour. The judge ordered no more video or audio will be given to the media. From now on it will only be transcripts released. Rossi says the boy was fidgety during today's hearing, playing with his face and putting his arm around his mom at times, "at one point, he turned to some of the people in the front row who walked into the courtroom with his mother and he smiled at them, not a huge smile and then he mouthed the words, 'love you."


How Much Peanut Butter to Cover a Dead Body

CATEGORY: Murder, Peanut Butter, Condiments

DIVISION: Modern Evil

NOTE: Corporeal condiments vary depending on whether a body is living or not. Popular live body spices include chocolate, cinnamon or cloves, while dead bodies do better with a lye-based rub [to quicken degradation]. Slathering your murder victim with peanut butter is a new one for us though - but duly noted, we will put it to the test in our labs.



Slain Long Island teacher Leah Walsh's allegedly homicidal husband slathered peanut butter on her body before dumping her in a ditch in the hope that wild animals would get rid of the evidence, sources told The Post.

The heinous revelation comes as waitress Donna Lepore, 24, admitted she had an affair with Walsh's husband, William Walsh.

When Leah's naked body was discovered Oct. 29, say Nassau County law-enforcement and medical-examiner sources, she was slathered in peanut butter.

The grisly method of disposal was only partially effective, said sources. The corpse was found by a worker from the North Hills Country Club in a wooded area about 50 feet from the westbound Long Island Expressway.

Detectives are looking into whether accused killer William had help in preparing the body for disposal and dumping it, a source said.

Cops say William, 29, confessed to strangling his wife during a 3 a.m. fight Oct. 26 over his infidelities. He dumped her body, set things up to appear like she had been abducted, and made emotional pleas for her return, investigators said.

Lepore, a steakhouse waitress, says she had an affair with William but broke things off a year ago.

"Just because I had a past with him doesn't mean I know anything," she told The Post.


Leave All Unwanted Kids in Nebraska

CATEGORY: Abandonment, Children, Nebraska

DIVISION: Modern Evil

COMMENT: There are only weeks left, maybe days, before Nebraska changes their Safe Haven Law thereby closing the loophole on legal child abandonment. If you've got an unwanted child of any age, then act now! Dump them at any hospital in Nebraska and run! Out of state drop-offs welcome.

Children Left Under Nebraska's Safe-Haven Law

By The Associated Press

Nebraska's safe-haven law, which doesn't have a specified age limit, lets parents abandon their children at a hospital without fear of prosecution.

Since it went into effect July 18, it has been used to drop off 33 children.

There have been six 17-year-olds, two 16-year-olds, six 15-year-olds, three 14-year-olds, three 13-year-olds, three 12-year-olds, five 11-year-olds, one 9-year-old, one 8-year-old, one 7-year-old, one 6-year-old and one 1-year-old. Five were from out of state.

34th Child Abandoned Under Nebraska's Safe-Haven Law

By The Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A 5-year-old boy has been dropped off at an Omaha, Neb., hospital only a day before the state Legislature begins a meeting to change the state's safe-haven law.

The state Department of Health and Human Services said Friday the boy was left at Immanuel Medical Center about 9 p.m. Thursday. He's from Sarpy County near Omaha.

Nebraska's safe-haven law was intended to protect unwanted newborns from being abandoned, but unlike similar laws in other states, Nebraska's doesn't include an age limit.

The Legislature opens a rare special session Friday afternoon to change the law and add an age limit.

As of Friday, 34 children have been abandoned under the law. Five have been from out of state.


Party Like It's the End of the World

CATEGORY: Crisis, Drill, Death, Party

DIVISION: Modern Evil

EDITORIAL: While Californians practice what to do in an earthquake to survive, we would also encourage them to practice what to do if they don't survive or know they're going to be dead soon. Going out in style is making the best of a bad situation. And in that west-coast spirit, Earthquake Parties are the next natural evolution in tragedy preparedness. Having a solid plan for your demise is just good living.

Ready, Set, Shake: California Puts on Quake Drill

LOS ANGELES — Californians dropped to the ground, covered their heads and held onto the furniture Thursday for a mock "Big One" - an earthquake drill billed as the largest in U.S. history and aimed at testing everyone from state leaders to students who donned fake blood to play victim.

At exactly 10 a.m., television news programs announced there was an earthquake disaster drill, then cut to cameras in school classrooms showing children ducking under their desks and holding onto them. After about a minute, the drill moved into aftermath mode, with people portraying quake victims.

The exercise was based on a hypothetical magnitude-7.8 temblor that ruptures the southern San Andreas Fault _ an event that scientists call the feared "Big One." Such a quake would cause 1,800 deaths and $200 billion in damage, researchers estimate.

Local governments, emergency responders, schools, hospitals, churches, businesses and residents were taking part. Organizers said some 5 million people had signed up to participate.

"We're trying to make it a communal event," U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones, who helped create the crisis scenario, said before the event.

The minimum participation calls for people to dive for safety. Firefighters and other emergency responders are staging full-scale exercises complete with search-and-rescue missions and medical triaging of people posing as casualty victims.

Shortly before the fake quake struck, students at Bishop Alemany High School in the Mission Hills area lined up to receive makeup that would turn them into simulated quake victims.


My Warhol

CATEGORY: Narcissism, Face, Self-Statues

DIVISION: Modern Evil Products

COMMENT: The repetitive image was the artistic staple that made Warhol,... well, Warhol. The Marilyns, the Elvises - if it was an icon, it got repeated. Now the narcissistic among us can combine Warhol and self-adoration in one wonderful service - With a couple of pictures of your head, you can see yourself at 20, 40, 60, or 260! Best of all is their FaceStatue - a photo-realistic 3D statue of your head. And six months from now, every self-obsessed celebrity/artist will fill galleries with signed cranial effigies of every color imaginable at $10K a pop. Damn you and your bejewelled $$$ skull Damien Hirst!

ThatsMyFace offers free online facial analysis as well as FaceStatues, which are glass or plastic statuettes custom-made from your facial profile.

How it Works : Take a frontal and profile photo of your face, upload it to our servers and within a few hours we'll generate your facial profile which includes:

  • Your face at 20, 40 and 60 years old
  • Your face as an African, Indian, Asian or Caucasian
  • Your face as man or woman
  • Your caricature
  • Identify your facial asymmetries
  • Attractiveness rating
  • Compare yourself to others and find you look-alikes
  • Buy your custom-made FaceStatue!

What's a FaceStatue?

Once you've created your own facial profile, we can recreate your face or its caricature as a true-to-life 3D replica. Using patent-pending 3D modeling techniques previously reserved to film studios and professional 3D designers, as well as cutting-edge manufacturing technologies pioneered by the car prototyping industry, ThatsMyFace can bring you life-like FaceStatues of your face to your doorstep.


Death Diamonds and Necro-Knick-Knacks

CATEGORY: Jewelry, Death, Remembrance

DIVISION: Modern Evil Products

EDITORIAL: What can't you create out of a dead body?! Really, that's the shorter list. So in the spirit of embalming, The Modern Evil Company announces an entire line of lucite-based products: Necro-Knick-Knacks. From paperweights to picture frames, Necro-Knick-Knacks are those indispensable gadgets that are handy for the home or office and do double-duty as death keepsakes. With a lifetime guarantee, you'll never forget where your loved ones are.

What is a LifeGem?

The LifeGem is a certified, high-quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life, or as a symbol of your personal and precious bond with another.

LifeGem diamonds are molecularly identical to natural diamonds found at any high-end jeweler. To qualify as diamonds, they must have the exact same brilliance, fire, and hardness (the hardest substance known) as diamonds from the earth, and of course, they do!

LifeGem diamonds are created individually from your specific carbon source in our patented process.

Whether you've lost a loved one or simply want to celebrate your love, the LifeGem diamond provides a way to embrace your loved one’s memory day by day. The LifeGem is the most unique and timeless tribute available for creating a testimony to their unique life.

Your LifeGem memorial will offer comfort and support when and where you need it, and provide a lasting memory that endures just as a diamond does.


There are Things We Won’t Do and Won’t Say

CATEGORY: Selling-Out, Morality, Popularity

DIVISION: Modern Evil

EDITORIAL: Deigning brands with human traits like morality is a must for people whose jobs depend on it. And to carry that thinking further, we know that every brand would sell their own grandmother if it meant dominating their respective industry. Market morality rules because greed is a universal, and still 'good' [thank you Mr.Gekko].

Ads for Respected Brands Hit Racy Sites

Question: Is racy content simply becoming more acceptable for marketers given its popularity, or are negligent ad nets placing messages on sites many brands would rather avoid?

By Mike Shields

It’s questionable whether Procter & Gamble intended for preroll ads for its Tide, Cover Girl and Herbal Essences brands to run just prior to a recent video clip showing Playboy playmate Kendra Wilkinson flashing a breast at onlookers on It also is highly doubtful that both HSBC and American Express deliberately ran banner ads within clicking distance of nude photos of High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens on the snarky celebrity-gossip blog What Would Tyler Durden Do? (

Yet, as celebrity slip-ups continue to serve as fodder for a slew of gossip sites and blogs, more mainstream brands are finding their way onto these sites, despite their often-racy content.

In recent weeks, ads for Days Inn and Samsung have popped up on the blog Egotastic!, known for its photos of underwear-shedding pop stars. Aside from ads for P&G brands, AOL’s considerably more PG-13 has sported banners from Wal-Mart and Verizon. Last Thursday, WWTDD, which revels in disparaging celebrities, carried promotional ads for NBC’s 30 Rock.

The big question is whether content of this variety is simply becoming more acceptable for marketers given its popularity, or whether negligent ad networks are placing messages on sites many brands would rather avoid. Both could be the case, said several media executives.

Digital buyers report that across several categories—particularly movie studios and products that target younger consumers—brands have come to terms with whatever reservations they might have once had about the content of such sites, as they simply cannot ignore the passionate following the sites have built.

“Overall, I see them as being very viable because the eyeballs have moved there and they are very powerful,” said David Goodrich, senior VP, West Coast digital director at Universal McCann. “These sites know how to border the gray area and not turn into full-fledged porn sites.”

Added Goodrich, “If I am Axe, yes. If I’m Johnson’s baby [products], I’d be hard-pressed. But if you are launching Superbad, you want to be in Perez.” He refers to Perez Hilton, the outrageous, celebrity-mocking/adoring blogger often credited with inventing the genre.

Henry Copeland, founder and CEO of BlogAds, which sells inventory on, said that because the site restricts profanity and nudity to certain sections, it has landed business from Chili’s, Samsung, even Microsoft. “You’re definitely seeing an evolution in attitudes,” he said. “Our whole society is becoming edgier.”

But some evidence suggests attitudes may be shifting. Nielsen Online reports that unique users for both and TMZ are down—by 22 and 11 percent, respectively, versus last year. Meanwhile, Yahoo!’s omg!, launched in June of last year, has roared past both those sites to take the lead in the entertainment category, attracting 13.3 million monthly unique users, nearly 4 million more than TMZ. The site credits its success to avoiding the nastier side of gossip.

“There are things we won’t do and won’t say,” said Yahoo! Entertainment general manager Sibyl Goldman, who heads omg!. “You won’t ever see starlets without their underpants. You won’t see us dig up legal documents. You can have fun and not be mean.” Goldman credits that approach with helping the site attract accounts including Nivea and Warner Bros.

While advertisers appear drawn to omg!’s softer touch, many predict brands will continue to open up to edgier celeb blogs, as long as they remain popular. “You go where pop culture is going,” said Jordan Bitterman, senior vp, media director at Digitas.

That said, Bitterman pointed to an emerging factor that could make marketers think twice about frivolous content: the economic crisis. “In this current economy,” he said, “you have to be completely mindful of what’s going on with people.”


Made-Up Holiday Confusion

CATEGORY: National Holidays, Fake, Mix Up

DIVISION: Modern Evil

NOTE: To sort out the confusion once and for all - today, Nov.6 is National Men Make Dinner Day; Saturday, Nov. 8 is National Wake Up In Your Own Vomit Day; and Sunday, Nov.9 is National Shut the Hell Up and Get Me Another Beer, Bitch Day.

What the Heck is National Men Make Dinner Day?

Whoah! Put on the brakes! Stop right there! Freeze! Ask yourself THIS QUESTION:

Are you a man who makes dinner on a regular or semi-regular basis?

If the answer is ‘YES”, do not go any further!

National Men Make Dinner Day is NOT for you!

OK, now since you’ve continued reading, we assume that you are a man who NEVER cooks. And that you fit the profile of the ‘men’ who have inspired this once-a-year occasion.

The ideal participant in ‘National Men Make Dinner Day’ is the man who:

  • helps with household chores
  • has a sense of humour and is a great all-around guy
  • loves his wife/girlfriend, kids and pets
  • BUT NEVER LEARNED HOW TO COOK, and is somewhat afraid of the idea

Officially celebrated on the FIRST THURSDAY OF EVERY NOVEMBER, "National Men Make Dinner Day" is for you!!

One guaranteed meal cooked by the man of the house one day of the year!


Something Goes Wrong - Crichton Arrives in Hell

CATEGORY: Michael Crichton, Death, Hell

DIVISION: Modern Evil

NOTE: Just like the scenarios in every one of his novels/movies/TV shows, something has gone horribly wrong in the recent passing of Michael Crichton. Our reports confirm that instead of resting in peace, Mr.Crichton has instead arrived in Hell and is desperately trying to escape. We're not sure how this one will end - but we urge him to avoid the velociraptors.

Michael Crichton, Dead at 66

Author Michael Crichton has died at age 66 after "a private battle with cancer." Crichton's career was probably one of a kind: After training as a doctor at Harvard and working as a fellow at the Jonas Salk Institute, he became a bestselling author, then a successful screenwriter, award-winning movie director and TV producer. The move "Jurassic Park," based on his book and on which he shared screenwriting credit, is the No. 10 top grossing film of all time.

Crichton first reached the bestseller lists in 1969 with his book "The Andromeda Strain." "This book recounts the five-day history of a major American scientific crisis," the acknowledgments page begins. It seems to chronicle an actual event, including "real" scientific documents and transcribed communications of a crisis of Earth's contamination by an extraterrestrial microorganism.

A man with binoculars. That is how it began: with a man standing by the side of the road, on a crest overlooking a small Arizona town, on a winter night.

Lieutenant Roger Shawn must have found the binoculars difficult. The metal would be cold, and he would be clumsy in his fur parka and heavy gloves. His breath, hissing out into the moonlit air, would have fogged the lenses. He would be forced to pause to wipe them frequently, using a stubby gloved finger.

He could not have known the futility of this action. Binoculars were worthless to see into that town and uncover its secrets. He would have been astonished to learn that the men who finally succeed used instruments a million times more powerful than binoculars.

There is something sad, foolish, and human in the image of Shawn leaning against a boulder, propping his arms on it, and holding the binoculars to his eyes. Though cumbersome, the binoculars would at least feel comfortable and familiar in his hands. It would be one of the last familiar sensations before his death.

In my 1970 Dell paperback, that's the end of Page 1. Pow! He sets the reader up, gets you right into Shawn's place in that cold night, holding binoculars and leaning on that boulder, then he kills him. All at once you want to know more: What killed him? What happened? Who's telling this story, and how does he know all this? And as he gets these questions going, he implies to the reader that they're like Shawn in another way: This book is going to feel unfamiliar. But the storytelling voice has enough confidence (the storyteller survived, and knows all) that you're reassured that you're in good hands.

Crichton liked to put his characters in a scientifically manipulated peril. He did it again in the film "Westworld," in which lifelike human robots in an amusement park run amok. In "Jurassic Park" too; there, re-vivified dinosaurs in an amusement park run amok. Then there was "Congo," in which scientists on an expedition are attacked by strange gorillas; "Prey," in which nanotechnology goes wrong; and "Next," in which genetic engineering goes wrong.

In 2004, Crichton stirred controversy by questioning global warming in his book "State of Fear" and making statements such as "I'm saying that environmental organizations are fomenting false fears in order to promote agendas and make money."

The Inexactitudes of Stoning

CATEGORY: Sharia Law, Far-Flung-Faith Tours

Modern Evil Products

FOLLOW-UP: What didn't sit right with us the first go-around was the fact that the woman stoned to death "asked to be charged and punished for the crime she committed". Under Sharia or any other law, criminals don't normally turn themselves in. Note then - the story is now corrected, so book your Far-Flung-Faith Tour to marvelous Mogadishu soon!

Stoning Victim 'Begged for Mercy'

A young woman recently stoned to death in Somalia first pleaded for her life, a witness has told the BBC.

"Don't kill me, don't kill me," she said, according to the man who wanted to remain anonymous. A few minutes later, more than 50 men threw stones.

Human rights group Amnesty International says the victim was a 13-year-old girl who had been raped.

Initial reports had said she was a 23-year-old woman who had confessed to adultery before a Sharia court.

Numerous eye-witnesses say she was forced into a hole, buried up to her neck then pelted with stones until she died in front of more than 1,000 people last week.

Meanwhile, Islamists in the capital, Mogadishu have carried out a public flogging.

Mogadishu is nominally under the control of government forces and their Ethiopian allies, who face frequent attacks by Islamist and nationalist insurgents.

The BBC's Mohammed Olad Hassan in the city says the flogging was a show of strength.

He says two men accused of helping to kill a man and torture his mother, who they accused of theft, were each given 39 lashes in the north-eastern suburb of Suqa-hola.

The man who actually killed the alleged thief was released, after agreeing to pay his family 100 camels in compensation.

Before the flogging, hundreds of Islamist fighters performed a military parade, our reporter says.

Death Threats

Cameras were banned from the stoning in Kismayo, but print and radio journalists who were allowed to attend estimated that the woman, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, was 23 years old.

However, Amnesty said it had learned she was 13, and that her father had said she was raped by three men.

When the family tried to report the rape, the girl was accused of adultery and detained, Amnesty said.

Convicting a girl of 13 for adultery would be illegal under Islamic law.

A human rights activist in the town told the BBC on condition of anonymity that he had received death threats from the Islamic militia, who accuse him of spreading false information about the incident.

He denies having anything to with Amnesty's report.


Court authorities have said the woman came to them admitting her guilt.

She was asked several times to review her confession but she stressed that she wanted Sharia law and the deserved punishment to apply, they said.

But a witness who spoke to the BBC's Today programme said she had been crying and had to be forced into a hole before the stoning, reported to have taken place in a football stadium.

"More than 1,000 people arrived there," he said.

"After two hours, the Islamic administration in Kismayo brought the lady to the place and when she came out she said: 'What do you want from me?'"

"They said: 'We will do what Allah has instructed us'. She said: 'I'm not going, I'm not going. Don't kill me, don't kill me.'

"A few minutes later more than 50 men tried to stone her."

Checked by Nurses

The witness said people crowding round to see the execution said it was "awful".

"People were saying this was not good for Sharia law, this was not good for human rights, this was not good for anything."

But no-one tried to stop the Islamist officials, who were armed, the witness said. He said one boy was shot in the confusion.

According to Amnesty International, nurses were sent to check during the stoning whether the victim was still alive. They removed her from the ground and declared that she was, before she was replaced so the stoning could continue.

The port of Kismayo was seized in August by a coalition of forces loyal to rebel leader Hassan Turki, and al-Shabab, the country's main radical Islamist insurgent organisation.

Mr. Turki is on the US list of "financers of terrorism".

It was the first reported execution by stoning in the southern port city since Islamist insurgents captured it.

The BBC had a reporter in the area, but he was shot dead in Kismayo in June.


Direct from Art Forum Berlin

There's just something wonderfully wrong with this picture.

"Chapman Brothers," 2007, by Laurina Paperina.

Art Forum Berlin 2008

Who Offended Who

CATEGORY: Anal Probe, Potato, Clergy

DIVISION: Modern Evil

COMMENT: It's human nature; we find a hole, we want to explore it. But when we get caught with our hand in the cookie jar AND THEN BLAME the cookie jar - well, that's just weak. The historic litany of priestly offenses aside, would you trust a vicar who won't be honest with himself?

Jacksie Potato


A VICAR turned up in agony at a hospital — with a potato stuck in his bottom.

The clergyman told stunned casualty nurses he fell backwards on to his kitchen table while hanging curtains.

He happened to be nude at the time of the mishap.

The embarrassed reverend, in his 50s, had to undergo a delicate operation to extract the offending vegetable.

The spud was yesterday revealed to be among a litany of objects medics in Sheffield have removed from people’s nether regions.

Others include a can of deodorant, a cucumber, a Russian doll — and a carnation.

Like most of the other patients, the red-faced vicar insisted to staff at the city’s Northern General Hospital that his predicament was NOT the result of a sex game gone wrong.

A & E nurse Trudi Watson said: “He explained to me, quite sincerely, he had been hanging curtains naked in the kitchen when he fell backwards on to the kitchen table and on to a potato.

“But it’s not for me to question his story.

“He had to undergo surgery to have it removed.”

She admitted some sex-related emergencies had made staff chuckle. But she urged anyone contemplating sticking something where the sun doesn’t shine to think again.

Ms Watson said: “My advice? Don’t do it.

“It can be very dangerous and potentially life-threatening.

“Surgery can lead to infection, nasty scarring, and it could possibly end up with the person having to use a colostomy bag as a result.”

Health staff across Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster say they are no longer surprised at the things people use to spice up fun in the bedroom.

A hospital trust spokeswoman in Sheffield said: “Like all busy hospitals we do see some unusual accidents.

“But our staff deal with them in a discreet, professional and kind way.”


Death Frosting

This was plucked off the top of a muffin this morning, and we're still not quite sure whether it's animal, vegetable or mineral.

If you are a baker or food designer of any kind and can tell us what this is - please drop us a line thru Modern Evil Public Relations and let us know if we can really eat this.

Bye Mom Bye Dad, see you soon...

Patricio Oliver is an Argentinian designer with vision and wit. And his Horror Forest is a wonderful world to play in.

We can't wait to go camping in it.