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