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More IRL costumed crime-fighters

I can't be bothered to find the last article we had on this phenomenon. But it seems to be spreading. Amateur crimefighters are surging in the US - Times Online
The Real rules are simple. They must stand for unambiguous and unsponsored good. They must create their own Spandex and rubber costumes without infringing Marvel or DC Comics copyrights, but match them with exotic names – Green Scorpion in Arizona, Terrifica in New York, Mr Xtreme in San Diego and Mr Silent in Indianapolis. They must shun guns or knives to avoid being arrested as vigilantes, even if their nemeses may be armed. Their best weapon is not muscle but the internet – an essential tool in their war on crime is a homepage stating the message of doom for super-villains. This is more than bravado, say veterans. It may help as evidence after a Real has been arrested or even committed to a mental health hospital for evaluation. That happened to Mr Invisible’s equally short-lived predecessor, Black Owl, who last summer had to be sprung from a psychiatric ward by his teenage daughter who told doctors: “Dad forgot for a moment, when faced with police, just for a moment, that he did not have real superpowers. He could not just fly away.” “This is a more serious business than it looks,” said Citizen Prime, whose $4,000 (£2,700) costume disguises an Arizona businessman and father of a toddler who thinks his cape, mask and stun-gun are cool.

December 28, 2008

0-16

Detroit doesn't suck at everything, but it currently does suck mighty hard at football. The Associated Press: Oh, my! Lions set NFL record for futility at 0-16
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The silence in the Detroit Lions' locker room was so heavy it was practically suffocating. No laughter, no post-game jokes, certainly no congratulations for a job well done. Just the occasional sound of luggage being zipped up at the close of a hideous season historic for all the wrong reasons. And really, with derisive chants of "Oh-and-16! Oh-and-16!" still ringing in their ears, was there anything left to say? "It's over now. We're 0-16," rookie running back Kevin Smith said. "I wish it was just a dream. I wish I could wake up and it'd be over. But it's not." The Lions didn't even bother trying to put a brave face on this one. With a 31-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Detroit solidified its claim as the worst team in NFL history. Sixteen games, 16 losses.

Eartha Kitt, TV's Catwoman, dies at 81

batcdtk882a.jpg Versatile entertainer Eartha Kitt, TV's Catwoman, dies at 81 -- chicagotribune.com
Considering that she was abandoned by her mother at age 3, forced to pick cotton by age 6 and kicked out of the house at 16, Eartha Mae Kitt did not appear destined for global stardom. Yet by her 20s she had willed herself into becoming a singing sensation in Europe—the next Josephine Baker, proclaimed critics in the late 1940s and early '50s. In quick succession thereafter, Ms. Kitt seduced American audiences, singing in Broadway and Hollywood musicals in the mid-'50s and purring as Catwoman on TV's " Batman" in the '60s. Triply blessed with a pliant voice, a palpable charisma and a voracious appetite to succeed, Ms. Kitt conquered virtually every medium she took on, earning multiple Tony and Grammy Award nominations. Yet if she made her triumphs look easy, her journey was tumultuous from start and practically to finish. The singer-actor-dancer-raconteur died Thursday at age 81 in Connecticut of colon cancer.

December 27, 2008

Kwanzaa began Friday

Kwanzaa festivities light city
Kwanzaa. The African-American and Pan-African holiday is observed by more than 40 million people around the world from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. It is based on ancient harvest celebrations in Africa, called "first fruits celebrations," which were mostly held when the year ended and began. ... according to the African American Cultural Center in California, whose director, Dr. Maulana Karenga, founded the holiday in 1966: "It was created to reinforce African culture and restore it and reaffirm its importance and the importance of the bonds of its people," said Tulivu Jadi, assistant director of the center. "It also was created to introduce a body of values as the social glue that hold African-Americans together." Kwanzaa is often marked by lighting a candleholder called a kinara, gathering with friends and family, gift giving, eating and decorating a home with African cloth and art. The seven principles the holiday celebrates are each represented by one candle in the kinara and include: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.