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Sobriquet 34.3: Another Reason to Avoid Spring Break

Friday, September 28, 2007
Sensationally billed as a "Brain-Eating Amoeba," Naegleria fowleri has been identified as the cause of Aaron Evans's death. According to a story appearing on KPHO-Phoenix's website, the Lake Havesu native "has become the sixth victim to die nationwide this year of a microscopic organism that attacks the body through the nasal cavity, quickly eating its way to the brain."

According to Barnett Gibbs, a doctor writing for eMedicine.com, "[e]arly diagnosis, treatment, and aggressive supportive care hold the only chance for patient survival" of primary amebic meningoencephalitis, the disease caused by N fowleri. Even so, despite having been discovered nearly fifty years ago in Australia, "[f]ew people have survived PAM, and no standard treatment regimen has been developed" for victims of the disease.

At least Jaws was visible.

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Sobriquet 34.2

Thursday, September 27, 2007
The good folks over at Operation Phoenix Records have set up an archive of old punk zines that is well worth checking out. With freely-accessible PDF files of old, out-of-print copies of Flipside, MaximumRockNRoll, HeartattaCk, and Suburban Voice, the archive proves to be a wonderful resource for those of us interested in the heyday of American DIY punk. The website also archives scores of columns and interviews with punk luminaries as well as a number of concert fliers.

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Sobriquet 34.1: The Collector

Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The Collector, by John Fowles
A thoroughly engrossing psychological novel of the highest order, The Collector presents an unsparing chronicle of two idealists (one with a conscience, one without) struggling with one another to obtain the fundamentally unobtainable. On the most superficial level, the novel traces the story of the psychopathic Clegg as he kidnaps and imprisons Miranda Grey, an attractive, bohemian art student; the varied psychological crises of the confined girl as she alternates between accepting her dismal reality and rebelling against the primal injustice of the world, as embodied by her captor; and the strained, tenuous not-quite-friendship that develops between the two. As Clegg's refusal to grant Miranda the freedom for which she longs grows increasingly insurmountable, the girl's inability to provide her tormentor with the idealized romance he seeks corrodes what little compassion binds the pair and Fowles effectively shakes the rose-colored glasses off the eyes of his characters as well as those of his readers, revealing an eviler evil, a more hopeless hopelessness, and a more horrible horror than most people would want to acknowledge as a ubiquitous element of our collective (in)humanity.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

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