Plagues and Pleasures

by Purple Wyrm on March 6, 2017

Both Pauline Hanson and Justin Beiber are in town today.  It’s a wonder the earth hasn’t opened up and swallowed the entire city.

Anyway, I have been quite sick this week with a cold. A horrible cold in the middle of summer. Nowhere near as bad as the one I had in Basel, but still not much fun. On the upside the chemists across from the office decided to trust me enough to sell me some cold tablets full of pseudoephedrine which dried up my nose quite nicely and suppressed my appetite to the point that I was plain forgetting to eat – so maybe I’ve lost a bit of weight.

(Talking of the Basel incident I noticed a distinct groove in my toenails today. Doing some quick calculations concerning the average rate of toenail growth there’s a distinct possibility that it coincides with my miserable week trying not to die in a Swiss hotel room – which suggests I was even sicker than I thought!)

If I haven’t lost weight from gulping down amphetamines I’ve probably lost some in sweat from the stupid weather the last few weeks. It’s not just hot, it’s hot and humid. It’s like living in goddam Singapore! Things are meant to cool down  a bit this week, so maybe I’ll be able to get some sleep.

Anyway I’ve been spending my time while hiding inside from the heat by pottering around the Internet and have discovered a couple of things worth sharing.

First up, this quite remarkable a cappella version of Oblivion (remember Oblivion?). The lead singer doesn’t quite live up to Susanne Sundfør’s example – but then hardly anyone could. It’s a downright amazing performance!

Ah! There’s a stink bug flying around the apartment! OH GOD PANIC!!!

OK, that’s dealt with.

So the second thing is this first hand account of how a guy solved the disappearance of a German family in Death Valley, 13 years after the event. It’s not a story with a happy ending, but it’s truly fascinating how he figured out where the tourists went and why.

While zooming around Google Earth to track down the locations in the story I ended up drifting south to the shores of the Salton Sea, a truly strange place where the American dream went to… well if not die exactly at least slip into a deep coma. Then while doing some Salton related googling I discovered that the 2004 documentary Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea is available in its entirety on YouTube! It’s only an hour long and well worth a watch if you’re fond of the odd corners of American culture.

OK, that’s it for now. Peace out all!

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