Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Well, dammit.

Our illustrious artistic director, and would-be director of this play, Tony Barilla, is moving to Kosovo to join his wife. So no Killing Game this year. And no more blog updates.

Maybe we can talk him into returning to H-town next year just long enough to direct this...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Some of the cast members presented their compositions last night. Walt turned his in on dvd, which I proudly present to you here:

Monday, January 8, 2007

Rehearsal cancelled tonight

Tony is terribly sick, so we're cancelling rehearsal for tonight. Be ready with your compositions tomorrow night at 7 PM though.

Avian Flu Outbreak in Austin?

Crews collecting birds are shown on a closed off stretch of Congress Avenue in downtown Austin today.

From today's Houston Chronicle:

Downtown Austin closed after dead birds found
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN — More than 10 blocks in downtown Austin leading up to the Capitol were shut down early today after officials found several dead birds in the area.

The area, from Cesar Chavez to Eleventh Street and some side streets, was expected to remain closed until about noon while the Austin Fire Department conducted "further precautionary testing of the area,'' police spokeswoman Toni Chovanetz said in a statement.

"Please advise individuals that work in this area not to come in until further notice,'' the statement read.

Chovanetz would not discuss details or speculate on what could have killed the birds. She said it was the first time she could remember a large swath of downtown being shut down because of dead birds.

At least one bird carcass (they were mostly grackles) is being tested locally for signs of poisoning or viral infections and others are being shipped to the Centers for Disease Control and Texas A&M University. It could be days or even weeks before the test results come back. Officials do not think bird flu is involved.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Whip it. Whip it good.

When a problem comes along.
You must whip it.
Before the cream sits out too long.
You must whip it.
When something's going wrong.
You must whip it.

(click for video)

People have whipped themselves throughout history for fun, sexual pleasure and/or religious reasons, but it wasn’t until the Black Death that it became really popular. The flagellant movement – a radical Christian movement that involved mortification of the flesh as a demonstration of piety - gained momentum because many believed that the plague was a punishment sent down by God. Flagellants believed that if they demonstrated their devotion to God through their pain, they might bring an end to the greater suffering of the living victims of the plague.

Groups of flagellants would spring up spontaneously in Europe, and wander from town to town for 33 1/2 days (1 day for each year Jesus was alive), never spending more than one night in any one place. Each flagellant would carry a scourge, a heavy leather thong tipped with metal spikes or studs, to whip themselves and others with. The ritual began with the reading of a letter, claimed to have been delivered by an angel and justifying the Flagellants' activities. Next the followers would fall to their knees and scourge themselves, gesturing with their free hand to indicate their sin and striking themselves rhythmically to songs, known as Geisslerlieder, until blood flowed. Sometimes women would soak up the blood in rags and treat it as a holy relic, dabbing the blood on their eyes.

The procession would usually start small, and grow as they passed through towns, gaining new members in each new place. It wasn’t uncommon for a procession to grow to 5,000 or even 10,000 people. This is despite the harsh requirements for new recruits. New entrants had to make a confession of all sins since the age of seven and then flagellate themselves for thirty-three and a half days. Each member also vowed never to bathe, shave, sleep in a bed, change their clothing or converse in any way with members of the opposite sex. They also had to pay a fee.

Sources: Catholic Encyclopedia, History Guide, Wikipedia

Friday, January 5, 2007

Frighted: 23
Plague: 68,596

Bills of mortality like this one (click image to enlarge) were started in 1592 after an outbreak of plague to warn the townspeople of the mounting death count. From 1603 on they were distributed on a weekly basis.

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Pocket-sized plague killer

Sure, your cell phone sends email, takes photos, keeps all your appointments and even calls people. But does it kill 99.99% of E-Coli, staphylococcus, salmonella, and germs that cause the flu and the common cold? Didn't think so. What you need is a Handheld Germ-Eliminating Light.

It uses the same kind of UV technology found in hospitals to sterilize surgical instruments, allowing you to disinfect workplace keyboards or telephones, as well as germ breedinggrounds such as toothbrushes and cutting boards. It disinfects surfaces in 10 seconds and even signals you when sterilization is complete. It fits easily in a shirt pocket , and looks like it would fit a standard size ipod cozy, too. Just $80 to keep the germs at bay. If only you could flood your entire house with this light.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

getting antsy...

Rehearsals start in just one week.