Wednesday, July 21, 2010

El Huerfano

There’s lots of stuff in America that people just don’t know about. Not big enough to garner national notoriety but interesting nevertheless. As a service to my fellow Americans, when I find this stuff I’ll tell you about it here.

Driving north on I-25 in southern Colorado is mostly a boring exercise spent looking at endless rolling plains with far off mountains it the distance. However near the town of Walsenburg is a curious rock formation erupting from the grassy plains.

Named “El Huerfano”, or “The Orphan” by Spanish explorers in the late 1700s, it is a volcanic cone of large blocky gaseous basalt several hundred feet high.

The butte was used as a marker by early travelers and first appears in Spanish documents in 1818. The area was incorporated as part of Mexico in 1821 and large tracts of land were granted to favored individuals and many small settlements and ranches were established near El Huerfano. Many of the towns and landmarks around it still have Spanish names. The area became part of the United States in 1848.

This drawing, based of an 1853 photograph made by Soloman Carvalho (photographer to the Col. John C. Freemont’s 5th western expedition), shows Huerfano Butte looking pretty much the same as it does today, minus the four lane highway running past it.

There’s not much in the area so the Colorado highway dept. constructed a pulloff on the side of the interstate so you can stop and view the little orphaned mountain in the middle of nowhere.

It’s located a few hundred yards off the highway on what looks like private ranchland but there’s really no one around for miles to stop you from taking a closer look. A dirt road runs beside the rock formation that you can go down to get closer.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So you think your kids need a British nanny?

OK, this is a direct rip-off from the New York Daily news. I don’t claim any responsibility at all for writing this but how could I not share this. Unaltered and as reported on their website
A 30-year-old British woman's death, when using a sex toy while watching a porn movie, was probably caused by her state of arousal, officials said.

Nicola Paginton, a children's nanny, was found dead in bed - naked from the waist down - in October as the porn movie played on her laptop, according to the Daily Mail.

A pathologist and coroner said during an inquest that Paginton died from a sudden heart arrhythmia, likely caused by "her activity before death." the paper reported.

Police had been called to Paginton's home after her employer, Sarah Griffths, went to her house when she failed to show up for work. She and a neighbor saw Paginton lying on her bed with her cat sitting on her chest.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Car bomb pandemonium in Juárez

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder in Juárez the narcos ramp it up a notch. Yesterday someone ran a small car filled with explosives (said to be a Ford Focus by local news Chanel 44) into two pickups full of Federal police on the main thoroughfare in downtown. The explosion at the corner of Sieptembre 16th and Bolivia street killed two police officers and a medical technician. The blast also injured seven more officers (these guys ride standing up in the bed of the pickups) and two bystanders.

According to Channel 44, the attack was in retaliation for the arrest of an member of the “La Linea” drug cartel. Channel 44 reports that this individual was responsible for collecting protection & extortion money for the police (exactly what group of police wasn’t made clear). They also report that each person reporting to “35” had to bring in $16,000 pesos (about $1500) each month!

Later in the day, this “narcomanta” appeared painted on a nearby wall (messages are usually left at the scene of murders and public placement of torture victims to communicate to the rival cartel). It says; "What happened on 16 (de Septiembre avenue) will keep happening to all the authorities who keep supporting El Chapo. Sincerely - the Juarez cartel. We still have car bombs."

As if the residents of Juarez didn’t have enough crap to worry about, now they must add car bombs & IEDs to the list. I guess narcos go to see “The Hurt Locker” too.

Update 3:34 PM:
After investigating the crime scene, athuorities have determined that about 22 pounds of C4 explosive was detonated with a cel phone from nearby. Borrowing a page straight out of the Al Queida terrorism handbook, the narco dressed up a body in a stolen police uniform and called the police to report a victim first. Once the police showed up to investigate the bomb was detonated. This shows a fairly sophisticated plan of attack using techniques developed by insurgents in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. One only has to wonder how and from whom they learned these techniques.