The $5 Jackson Pollock

From the NY Times:

After retiring from truck driving in 1987, Teri Horton devoted much of her time to bargain hunting around the Los Angeles area. Sometimes the bargains were discovered on Salvation Army shelves and sometimes, she willingly admits, at the bottom of Dumpsters.

Even the most stubborn deal scrounger probably would have been satisfied with the rate of return recently offered to her for a curiosity she snagged for $5 in a San Bernardino thrift shop in the early 1990s. A buyer, said to be from Saudi Arabia, was willing to pay $9 million for it, just under an 180 million percent increase on her original investment. Ms. Horton, a sandpaper-voiced woman with a hard-shell perm who lives in a mobile home in Costa Mesa and depends on her Social Security checks, turned him down without a second thought.

(via Clusterflock)

Kristallnacht

Kristallnacht happened on this day in 1938:

Jewish homes and stores were ransacked all throughout Germany and also in Vienna, with a mixture of German citizens and Stormtroops going to destroy buildings with sledgehammers, leaving the streets covered in smashed windows of destroyed businesses the next morning (the origin of the name “Crystal Night”). Although violence against Jews had not been condoned by the authorities, there were cases of Jews being beaten or assaulted.

This pogrom damaged, and in many cases destroyed, about 1574 synagogues (constituting nearly all Germany had), many Jewish cemeteries, more than 7,000 Jewish shops, and 29 department stores. Some Jews were beaten to death while others were forced to watch. More than 30,000 Jewish males were arrested and taken to concentration camps; primarily Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen. [13] The treatment of prisoners in the camps was brutal, but most were released during the following three months on condition that they leave Germany.

The number of German Jews killed is uncertain, with estimates ranging from 36 to about 200 over two days of rioting. The number killed in the rioting is most often cited as 91. There are believed to have been hundreds of suicides in addition to this, as the slim slivers of hope that remained in some Jews disappeared completely. Counting deaths at the concentration camps, around 2,000-2,500 deaths, were directly or indirectly attributable to the Kristallnacht pogrom. A few non-Jewish Germans mistaken for Jews were also killed.

Purity Ball Preview

Fathers taking their daughters to a prom-like event to tell them when they can and can’t have sex. Why do religions insist on treating women like appliances? She’s a person goddamnit not a cuisinart. Anyway, here’s an excerpt from the daughter’s pledge:

… I make a promise this day to god, to you, to myself, my future husband, to my future children, to remain abstinent until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband.

(via The News Blog)