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riverwalker's Journal
riverwalker's Journal
September 16, 2013

Alexis was "an even keeled Buddhist"

according to a roommate of three years. (WTF??? )


Alexis’ former roommate said he owned a handgun and “can be tough,” but that he wasn’t a violent person. Oui Suthamtewakul said he met Alexis at a Buddhist temple and lived with him for three years in several different locations.

"We became best friends," he said. "He's like my big brother."

Alexis would help out at Suthamtewakul's Thai restaurant, Happy Bowl, on White Settlement Road in Fort Worth. He also became fluent in Thai from watching Thai dramas and talking to people. He also traveled to Thailand at one point.
September 12, 2013

Diana Nyad and the smear campaign

I don't know where to post this, but I haven't seen this addressed anywhere on DU. I'm just so mad I could spit.
You have heard of the criticism of Diana's accomplishment, that she couldn't have possibly done this without cheating. Even before she took one step on the beaches of Key West, the internet was all abuzz about how she MUST have cheated. The source of all this criticism is from The Marathon Swimmers Forum and a young man (surprise, surprise) named Evan Morrison.

His Forum, complete with ego inflating lists of all his swims since kindergarden.
I am not a swimmer, but I have read the posts on his forum, and it's disgusting how he has spread lies that are picked up by lazy media and repeated, and Tweeted all over the world, until she has to come out on Piers Morgan and have a press conference to address their allegations. They just HAD to piss in her lemonade.
She never said "she didn't eat for 7 hours". A lie. Her doctor said she "had difficulty eating for those 7 hours" not that she didn't eat.
Oceanographers have come out and defended Diana saying the gulf stream was in near perfect direction for her. That is how her speed increased, not by cheating. She did not wear a wet suit, but her jellyfish proof suit, which IS allowed. She never touched a boat, no one ever held her, she never left the water. She had 40+ people on her team to attest to this.
Yet, this whiney little jealous weasel and his blog repeats it is "impossible". Well asshole, the women I know have been doing "the impossible" for a long time. The fact that a 25 year man can not do what she did, does not make it impossible. I am just so freaking sick of this shit.

September 3, 2013

Olli Kinkkonen: Victim of Warmongers

(I've lived in Minnesota my whole life, and never heard about this before)

Kinkkonen was buried in an unmarked grave in a poor people's section of Park Hill Cemetery, just a few rows away from the graves of the three victims of the 1920 Duluth lynching. The Tyomies Society, a Finnish cultural group, placed a marker on Kinkkonen's grave in 1993. It reads, "Olli Kinkkonen, 1881 to 1918, Victim of Warmongers."


The other lynching in Duluth

In September 1918, the end of World War I was only two months away, but fighting was still fierce in Europe. The Duluth News Tribune and the Duluth Herald were filled with dispatches from the front lines, and full-page ads for war bonds, and long lists of servicemen who'd been killed. The papers were also full of tough talk about "slackers," a term for men who refused to join the military.
Toward the end of September, the tough talk turned to action. A headline in the Duluth Herald read, "Knights Of Liberty Tar And Feather Slacker." The story told of a Finnish immigrant, Olli Kinkkonen, who'd been dragged from a Duluth boarding house the night before, and not seen again. A phone call, and a letter delivered to the paper, took credit for the abduction in the name of a group calling itself the "Knights of Liberty." The letter said Kinkkonen had been tarred and feathered to serve as a warning to all slackers. Kinkkonen never showed up again at his boarding house, and his body was discovered almost two weeks later, dangling from a tree just outside of town, near Lester Park - covered with tar and feathers.
Duluth authorities declared the death a suicide. They said Kinkkonen was humiliated by the tarring, and hanged himself. Donald Wirtanen disagrees. "He was lynched," says Wirtanen, a retired businessman from Duluth, and the former honorary Finnish consul here.
Wirtanen grew up in a small Iron Range town called Markham, and moved to Duluth as a young man. He says most Finnish people in northern Minnesota in 1918 believed Olli Kinkkonen was murdered. Wirtanen was only five years old at the time, but he remembers his parents talking about it.
<more at link>
September 2, 2013

The Uncommon Beauty of Diana Nyad


the uncommon beauty of diana nyad, & the relentless corporate & media censorship of real beauty
by Karen Walrond

In case you missed it (and honestly, you could be forgiven if you did), today, sports history was made: a woman named Diana Nyad finally set foot on the Florida Keys, after swimming the entire distance from Cuba to the United States. She was the first person ever to do this without the benefit of a shark cage (this distance has only been conquered one previous time, by a 22-year-old Australian named Susie Maroney, who used the protective cage when she accomplished this feat in 1997). This means that while Diana faced sharks, storms, jellyfish, and other untold horrors, she just kept right on swimming, with nothing but the power of her arms and legs (no fins!), and a prosthetic mask to minimize jellyfish stings to her face and mouth.

Oh, also, one more thing: Diana is 64 years old.

This was Diana's fifth attempt. I have actually been following her for a couple of years; first in 2011, when her third attempt was aborted because of jellyfish and Portuguese Man-of-War stings (and dude, those things hurt); then again last year, when her fourth attempt was aborted for the same reason. This morning, when I saw an update on Twitter that she had beat Penny Palfrey's distance record (Penny had an aborted attempt in 2012, as well), I started paying close attention; when the news came that she was only 6 miles off the coast of the Florida Keys, I began looking for live news media coverage of this historic feat.

We don't have cable in our house, so ESPN and CNN weren't options, but I was surprised to discover that the main American news networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS weren't covering it either, instead continuing their regular programming. (When I returned to my computer, I learned through a general outcry on Twitter that it didn't matter that we don't have cable, ESPN and CNN weren't covering it, either.) After about an hour or so, I finally found that CNN.com was offering a live feed with no audio; then, as Diana could finally be seen from shore swimming in the distance, the audio feed was turned on -- but only shared the noise of the crowd gathered on the beach, without any official commentary at all.

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