Photo of the Day

Hunter rode the British made motorcycle BSA A65 Lightning while researching Hell’s Angels. When he lived in Big Sur in the early 1960s, he rode his Lightning so much he was known as “The Wild One of Big Sur”.

“Some May Never Live, but the Crazy Never Die”

Hunter S. Thompson

He was a gun-loving, hard-drinking ‘outlaw journalist’ with a taste for illegal substances.

Hunter S. Thompson reached the peak of his literary career in the mid-Seventies after his books, Hell’s Angels and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas were published to great success.

His writing broke from conventional reporting and straddled both fiction and non-fiction, a unique approach which turned him into a counter-culture icon and won him legions of fans. His trademark reporting style became what’s now called gonzo journalism, in which he made himself a central character in his own stories. And a character he was: his stories often centred on his panache for excessive consumption while surveying America’s political and cultural landscape in a way that no one had before.

Asked to list what they require before commencing a day’s work, most would probably list things like coffee, toast and perhaps a cigarette or two, but not Hunter S. Thompson, who needed a kaleidoscopic bevvy of cocaine, Chartreuse and hot tubs in order to get his creative juices flowing.

His daily routine was charted by E. Jean Carroll in the first chapter of her 1994 book HUNTER: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson, and remains an object of fascination, awe and horror to this day.

Thompson, who committed suicide at 67, was of course known for his heavy drinking and drug habit and they were both ingrained in his writing. He once said of them:  “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” In spite of his well-deserved reputation for substance abuse, Thompson was an assiduous worker with a writing career that spanned six decades and included 16 books and a litany of short stories and articles.

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Photo of the Day

Margaux Hemingway

Margaux Hemingway seemed to have it all, yet a drug overdose led the actress to an untimely death.

She was six feet tall in her bare feet—five foot twelve, she’d say—with such a remarkable face and such a radiant presence and such an alluring name that when she walked into a room, conversation left it. If she shook your hand, you might think your wrist was going to snap. If she knew you well enough she might call you “boopsie” and haul you off on a hike, or a trip to India; of course, with her long legs came great lungs, and you didn’t hike with her, you gasped for breath behind her. When she laughed, it came out big and childlike and innocent. Her looks were so distinctive that when she went to a club and left her purse at home, she could reassure an exasperated companion, “But I don’t need any I.D. I have my eyebrows.”

She started right at the top with the first million-dollar contract ever awarded a model. She wasn’t even out of high school. She asked for none of it. She was just a wide-eyed bronco-riding speed-skiing adventure-loving kid from Idaho who was spotted by Errol Wetson, an entrepreneur who became her first husband, who knew someone who knew people. “No one,” her father said, “could take a bad picture of her.”

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Photo of the Day

Anna Fallarino, in February 1970, at the behest of her husband, was one of the first women in Italy to undergo in a Roman clinic in a breast augmentation with silicone implants, along with a tummy tuck reductive.

Italy’s Forbidden ‘Orgy Island’

With its emerald-green waters, blue skies and a rugged empty landscape, Zannone has everything you’d expect from a near-deserted Italian island.

It also has a reputation for something rather more unexpected: Orgies. The rugged island is home to nothing but a white house and the dilapidated secret retreat of the sex-obsessed Marquis and his wife.

But in the late 60s, it was a hub of adultery, heavy drinking and orgies.  Locals knew the dark secrets of the racy goings-on at the villa in Zannone and its beaches.

“See that white colonial villa up high there?” says former fisherman Giorgio Aniello as he points a rough finger at a clifftop villa overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Zannone became a hotspot for “lavish sex parties” after “chic and sexually adventurous aristocratic couple” Marquis Casati Stampa and Anna Fallarino rented it from the state. Stampa apparently enjoyed watching his wife with other guys and they would frequently host dukes, barons, countesses, billionaires and other VIPs to partake in such activities.

Aniello is a regular visitor to Zannone, taking tourists on boat trips to the wildest atoll among the Pontine archipelago off the west coast of Italy.

The big attraction, aside from the island’s natural beauty, is its dark, sexy past, most of which centres around the Marquis and his wife Anna Fallarino, a former actress.

“He was a lewd man, a voyeur who liked to watch and photograph his starlet wife get kinky having sex with with other younger guys,” Aniello adds, enjoying spinning R-rated tales as he navigates a maze of reddish-yellow cliffs, old stone fisheries and sea stacks.

“Then one day he got fed up of the threesome, shot the two lovers and killed himself.”

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Depression – Why bother carrying on?

I can’t say I ever got to the point of seriously thinking about taking my life.  But I did get to the point of weighing up if living was still worth it.  Luckily, the answer for me was an emphatic YES.   Others that struggle with depression get to a point where they are in a much worse place.  Instead of wondering if they should kill themselves, they have a constant fight against the impulse of wanting to commit suicide.

Sinda Ruzio-Saban bares her soul in her book, the story of her journey through a life of depression and “almost constant suicidal thoughts and desires.” As a first-person account, it is heart-wrenchingly sad and even frightening. Those who have been in her position—or know someone else who has—are more likely to approach the topic openly and even take comfort from what Sinda has to say. Simply knowing what this woman has faced may help others suffering similar difficulties. Read more »


“This Country is Lost” A German writer’s last words

Susanne Kablitz was a well known German libertarian writer and the owner of the Jeweler publishing house as well as editor-in-chief of the Jewel magazine. She was the author of the book “To the last breath” and co-author of “The freedom committed”. She was also a politician and head of the “Party der Vernunft” (PDV.) If rumours are true, the 47-year-old committed suicide and the last article she wrote shortly before her death  had the headline ” This Country is Lost.”

On Saturday, February 11th, she took her life with only 47 years. The voluntary death of a human being also leaves behind a sense of hopelessness. Susanne Kablitz was a fighter, but sometimes fighters lose their strength.

Her words in the article reveal a woman who felt that no matter what she did it was all in vain; that no matter what she said nothing would change. They are the words of a woman at the end of her rope mentally and emotionally, trying to fight a battle that she has only now realised is unwinnable. In some ways, it is as much Germany’s suicide note as it is hers.

Translated from German by Google Translate:

This Country is lost

…In the meantime, I feel so much the same – no matter what you try to do, most people around the world…believe firmly in authority, in the deity of the state, in the guilt, self-denial and Are deeply rooted in their hatred of themselves.

No matter how much you point out that most people are on the way to hell, nothing changes. On the contrary. One even gets insulted, smiled and denied.

A few weeks ago, the national socialist Bernd Höcke, at an event in Dresden, told me about the culprit of the Germans. He said, among other things, “We Germans, our people, are the only people in the world who have planted a monument of disgrace in the heart of their capital” and “the Merkel government has mutated into a regime

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Mike King points out one of the many serious flaws with social media

Both Facebook and Twitter are failing to provide consistency in their business models. No matter what side of the free speech divide you are on as a customer you expect a business to enforce its rules fairly and dispassionately. Furthermore, you expect its rules to be simple and easy to understand so they are easy to enforce.Mike King has alerted Facebook to a serious issue that is still unresolved. It should not be this hard to get a suicide video removed and it reflects the worldwide problem of social media giants who are unable or unwilling to moderate their forums adequately or consistently.Ironically Facebook has a suicide prevention feature but it has failed to remove a video of an actual suicide.

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Cops set up a checkpoint to gather info on a possible murder. What’s wrong with that?

I’ve watched with interest as the left-wing goes troppo over Police actually doing their job.

Until we change the law, helping someone take their life is murder. Cops have used a creative way to gather intel.  Well within their scope.

The checkpoint was used to gain information on those they believed were importing drugs for assisted suicide.

The coroner advised police at the end of August that a death in June he was looking into involved a Class C controlled substance, and that the death had no suspicious circumstances surrounding it.

Police began an investigation into several other deaths which looked like they may involve aiding and abetting suicide, which is illegal and punishable in New Zealand by up to 14 years in prison.

Earlier this month, police stopped seven cars leaving the pro-euthanasia meeting and interviewed about nine people over the following days.

Police insist the checkpoint was not an investigation into pro-euthanasia advocates, but rather an essential part of the case investigation.

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Maori even do suicide differently

As we know, Maori lead all the wrong statistics, and there is no exception when it comes to suicide.

Te Puni Kōkiri is providing just under $2m to 28 organisations nationwide to run rangatahi suicide prevention initiatives.

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says the projects are urgently needed given the high rates of Māori suicide.

“The suicide rates for our rangatahi are two and a half times higher than for non-Māori youth, so we need solutions that are tailored for Māori in the modern age.

A requirement of projects receiving funding is that rangatahi leadership must be central to their design, implementation and delivery.

Mr Flavell says there is currently a lack of strategy to address the alarming suicide rates, and too little research into how best to prevent rangatahi suicide.

“These are matters we will address with the interagency steering group tasked with updating the current New Zealand Suicide Prevention Strategy (2006-16) and overseeing the development of a new Action Plan,” he says.

$1.95m has been allocated to the projects across Aotearoa.

An evaluation that captures the critical success factors of the funded projects is expected to be completed by 2017, and will contribute to a body of knowledge about what works best in preventing rangatahi Māori suicide.

It must be pointed out that the nation’s social support and health system is accessible to Maori as well.  So whatever is spent on Pakeha suicide, Asian suicide, etc, is clearly sufficient.   Read more »


Photo Of The Day

To get to the underwater ballroom, the guests had to walk down a damp corridor of stairs and get into a 400-foot long subway that led them to a 30-foot high glass chamber. The ballroom had an ornate tile floor, extravagant furniture, and the effect of the underwater view was not lost on most guests. When light shone through the merky green water it was a spectacular sight; guests also enjoyed watching the fish scurry by the glass pane windows. However, if one of those windows broke, it would be just five minutes before the entire dome filled with water.

To get to the underwater ballroom, the guests had to walk down a damp corridor of stairs and get into a 400-foot long subway that led them to a 30-foot high glass chamber. The ballroom had an ornate tile floor, extravagant furniture, and the effect of the underwater view was not lost on most guests. When light shone through the merky green water it was a spectacular sight; guests also enjoyed watching the fish scurry by the glass pane windows. However, if one of those windows broke, it would be just five minutes before the entire dome filled with water.

The Swindler, The Cyanide Pill and The Underwater Ballroom

The Story Behind Britain’s Most Bizarre Folly

Upon first glance, Britain’s Witley Park in Surrey is just like any other extravagant mansion, but there’s much more to this Victorian masterpiece than meets the eye. From the secret underwater ballroom to dramatic suicide deaths, the story behind the man who built the mansion is surprisingly tragic.

The story of the underwater conservatory at Witley Park begins with James Whitaker Wright (1846-1904). Wright was a former printer, Methodist minister, and a company promoter and swindler.

Wright’s family immigrated to Toronto, Canada after his father died in 1870. From there Whitaker found his way to Philadelphia, where he found a lucrative career promoting silver mines.

However in Wright deals, only the promoters appeared to be making money. Mines in Leadville, Colorado and Lake Valley, New Mexico failed to yield the promised dividends or returns to investors.

For Wright the short-term success yielded short-term pleasure. With the great gains came great losses; he was left penniless after his interest in Gunnison Iron & Coal collapsed in 1889.

Whitaker was undeterred, as performance of his American investments were simply a means to an end. His greatest desire was to make a name for himself in the vaunted English Victorian Society.

He returned to England in 1889 and continued the schemes of promoting mines, this time on the London market. To this end he formed the London and Globe Company in 1890, to float stock and bond issues for his mines in Australia and Canada. Also propped up by Wright were the British and American Corporation and the Standard Exploration Company.

Whitaker might have lacked a moral compass, but he was a consummate salesman. In 1896 he raised £250,000 ($373k) – or about £24.8M ($36.98M) in 2015 – to purchase shares of a company established to dig mines in Western Australia. Investors were lured by Wright’s sly use of the word “consol” in the name of the opportunity, thus creating the impression of a reliable investment.

[ Consol: British government security without a maturity date. The name is a shortened version of “consolidated annuities.” This form of stock originated in 1751 and was generally considered to be one of the safer investments at the time. ]

Whitaker Wright’s deception would not go unpunished. But before he would face judgement, he created Witley Park.

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Photo Of The Day

AP photo/Gary Dwight Miller, 1987. Pennsylvania State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer raises his left hand to stop people approaching him as he holds a pistol in his right hand as he prepares to commit suicide.

AP photo/Gary Dwight Miller, 1987. Pennsylvania State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer raises his left hand to stop people approaching him as he holds a pistol in his right hand as he prepares to commit suicide.

Honest Man

R. Budd Dwyer

Kenn Marshall recalls edging toward the door when he saw the enormous handgun being held aloft by State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer.

Marshall’s movements on that snowy January day 29 years ago weren’t entirely motivated by fear. He was thinking about calling his editor, which is not to say he wasn’t scared.

“To be honest, after what he had just gone through, the thought crossed my mind that he could just turn that gun on the people in the room,” said Marshall, who was then a reporter for The Patriot-News. “I certainly felt threatened.”

Instead, he and a roomful of journalists watched in horror as Dwyer put the barrel of the .357 magnum into his mouth and pulled the trigger, a public suicide that set off a firestorm of coverage and controversy.

The reporters who gathered in Dwyer’s office on Jan. 23, 1987, thought they were there simply to hear Dwyer announce his resignation from office. “My mission was to stay there until he said those words, then call in a new top for our story,” Marshall recalled.

As a row of video cameras whirred, Dwyer delivered a rambling polemic about the criminal justice system. He then handed out a final type-written page, which contained several grammatical errors and this chilling line:

“I am going to die in office in an effort to see if the shameful facts, spread out in all their shame, will not burn through our civic shamelessness and set fire to American pride.”

As reporters were just starting to skim the final statement, a frantic-looking Dwyer picked up a large manila envelope and pulled out a .357 Magnum revolver.

“I remember the gun, because it was huge,” said Eric Conrad, then a reporter for The Patriot-News and now the director of communications for the Maine Municipal Association in Augusta. “I had one of those moments where I was up in the air, looking down at myself, almost an out-of-body experience.”

Up until the gun appeared, recalled free-lance photographer Gary D. Miller, “It was just kind of a long-winded, sad event.”

Miller captured one of the signature photos of the event, with Dwyer holding the gun in his right hand while his left arm is extended toward the camera, as if warning off bystanders.

“I didn’t consider running at all, because I didn’t consider that it was real,” Miller said. “I was stunned, but I kept taking pictures. It happened very fast.”

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