Spiritual Surf: Jeffrey Dahmer’s cardigan, Obama passes on Karma, Plath’s son Nicholas Hughes, recession anxiety, papal shoes and soldiers, and John Malkovish

sweaterWhy you won’t wear Jeffrey Dahmer’s sweater

People, it turns out, are naturally hard-wired to be superstitious, regardless of their faith, or lack thereof. Bruce Hood, author of Supersense, tells Time magazine that superstition is born from an inherent need we have to find order in the world. That’s why you won’t walk under a ladder, break a mirror, or wear Jeffrey Dahmer’s sweater even after repeated dry-cleanings. (Well, maybe if it’s J. Crew.)

Obama passes up Karma

There’s only so many times you can make the karma/dogma gag, so we’ll just play this one straight: It seems President Obama passed up a stray named Karma to be first pooch in favor of the more chi chi Portuguese water dog, Bo. Video here.

dolphinleapingDolphins show spirit against Somali pirates

Among all the nature/nurture arguments about what motivates the Somali pirates — do they do what they do out of desperation, or are they just plain evil? — a pod of dolphins seems to have sided with the merchant sailors, inserting themselves between apparent  attackers and a cargo vessel in the Gulf of Aden, reports China Daily.

Who says animals don’t have souls?

Nicholas Hughes follows mother in suicide

In a horrific illustration of the power of the pain body, Sylvia Plath’s son, Nicholas Hughes, 47, killed himself late last month. It was just about 46 years after his mother killed herself, and 40 years exactly since his step mother, Assia Wevill, did the same.

Recession anxiety

Stress over the state of the economy is taking its toll, reports the New York Times, with people lining up for treatment. Now may be a good time for a career change — to, say, therapist.

popesredshoesDoes the Pope really wear red shoes?

Not only does the Pope really wear red shoes, they’re custom-made Stefanellis (see image at left). Did he choose Stefanellis because the devil wears Prada? In any case, Obama’s digging them too and fixing to get a Popish pair for himself.

Pope Celestine V’s bones survive earthquake

Does this count as a miracle?

Pontiff’s paladins

Friend and catholic writer Charles Coulombe — a genial southern Californian and an epic drinker (his last book was about rum and he once got us kicked out of The Dresden for singing Quebecois drinking songs too loud) — has just released his newest book, The Pope’s Legion, about the international fighting force that defended the Vatican against revolutionaries in the 19th century. Arrayed in colorful, Moroccan-style uniforms (go figure) the Legion cut a swath of guts and glory across the Italian peninsula. And you thought the Crusades ended in the Middle Ages.

Malkovich the movie mentalist

John Malkovich has read my mind again, this time in a little indie film called “The Great Buck Howard,” based on the real life mentalist and frequent Tonight Show guest, The Amazing Kreskin. Kreskin has wowed crowds for decades with his mixture of schtick and mentalist “effects” that include seemingly putting his audience in a trance and reading their minds. As Buck Howard, Malkovich brings the genre to life with an impressive performance. We give it three-and-a-half chakras. (Incidentally, author Charles Coulombe, mentioned above, once lived in a house owned by Kreskin rival, The Amazing Criswell.)

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3 Responses to “Spiritual Surf: Jeffrey Dahmer’s cardigan, Obama passes on Karma, Plath’s son Nicholas Hughes, recession anxiety, papal shoes and soldiers, and John Malkovish”

  1. I’m really disappointed that Obama couldn’t find a suitable shelter dog…what a great message that would have relayed to the American public…and worldwide as well. Now everyone will be buying themselves Portuguese Water Dog puppies…it’ll be like 101 Dalmatians all over again!

    Love the piece on dolphins vs. pirates :) I’ve always said that dolphins are not to be trusted…they can kill a shark with a well place blow to the gut…and people swim with them?? The pirates aren’t to be trusted either, but for different reasons!

  2. Christina Parker Reply 16. Apr, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I’m very happy that the Obama family has picked a dog that they like, their own choice. This family has enough pressure on them without the pressure of everyone’s projections about dogs. Let them enjoy life!

  3. Portuguese water dogs are proven diplomats. They are extremely smart, socially interactive and have an energy reserve that rivals most breeds PWDs know them as high-maintenance canines with sometimes pushy personalities.
    Sounds like Obama.

    Portuguese water dogs became prized by Portuguese fisherman for its ability to herd fish into nets, retrieve lost tackle or broken nets and to act as a water courier from ship to ship or ship to shore
    Perfect for Obama diplomatically.

    … and the bad news!

    This will draw thousands of disgusting dog breeders and puppy mills into breeding Portuguese Water Dogs which in turn will result in the deaths of thousands of unsold dogs or puppies who don’t measure up to the “standard.”

    He should have picked from the pound. That would be a trend the doggies would really appreciate.