03 May 2006

Q: The Founding Fathers: Were they on drugs, or what?


A: After looking at the designs on the dollar bill, you might think so. Though none of them ever admitted to inhaling, rumors abound: that James Madison took opium, that George Washington smoked opium to numb the pain of his ill fitting dentures, that Benjamin Franklin got hooked on laudanum when kidney stones made him feel as if he were pissing fire. Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp, marijuana’s leafy green cousin; they claimed they used it to make rope as well as the paper on which the Declaration of Independence was drafted. Some historians even credit a grain fungus called ergot, which contains the alkaloid lysergic acid, which is similar to LSD with causing all sorts of historical craziness, from the Salem witch hunts to the French Revolution to lunatics disguising themselves as Indians and throwing tea into Boston Harbor. Even if our forefathers never got hopped up on homemade crank, they certainly were a bunch of longhaired, freethinking radicals who thumbed their noses at authority. The lusty Ben Franklin summed up the spirit of the revolution by proclaiming, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

01 May 2006

Hardest Of Hardcore

5-14 Cav Med Plt. extols the virtues of the most badass people, places, and things this side of hell. If you disagree with our selections, we’ll snap your neck.

HARDEST MOVIE
Man Bites Dog
What makes this 1992 Belgian flick so hard is that its plot revolves around a sociable psychopathic serial killer and rapist and it’s a comedy. Director Rémy Belvaux basically created a mock documentary that attempts to test the moral endurance of the viewer by serving up a killer who shows no remorse about his nonstop cruelty.

HARDEST SPECIAL FORCES
British Special Air Service
England’s SAS is arguably the best special forces unit in the world. It’s a clandestine organization, so they don’t wear any badges to distinguish themselves from the rest of the British Army. No tea drinkers, the commandos train nonstop until they become expert in survival, demolition, and counterterrorism. In 1980, when terrorists took over the Iranian Embassy in London, the SAS stormed the building and rescued all 26 hostages; the corpses of five terrorists were left behind.

HARDEST DINOSAUR
Carcharodontosaurus Saharicus
The largest land carnivore of all time roamed and died in the deserts of North Africa 100 million years ago. The 15 foot tall, 45 foot long meat eater could easily Dino-slap a T. rex. The beast had a pair of long, narrow jaws that could rip off a 150 pound chunk of flesh and swallow it whole.

HARDEST NATURAL DISASTER
Huang He River, China
In 1931 severe rainstorms destroyed dikes along the world’s most silted river (it carries about 1.6 billion tons of mud and sand each year). The result redefined disaster. More than 34,000 square miles flooded. Upwards of two million people died; another 80 million lost their homes.

HARDEST SUPERHERO
Superman vs. Wolverine
“Wolverine is hard,” says PV2 Yancy, comic expert. “He has an adamantine laced skeleton that covers his claws. It’s unbreakable.” Impressive, but not enough. Yancy says Superman is king. Kryptonite can weaken him, but “absolutely nobody can kill him, now, how hard is that?” Respect!

HARDEST BUILDING
Norad’s Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, Colorado
If any nation ever launched a first strike against the U.S., the good folks at North American Aerospace Defense Command would plot that nation’s annihilation and then sit back and relax with a cup of coffee. The complex, nearly the size of Tampa, is protected against a direct nuclear hit by a mile of solid granite and two 25 ton steel doors. Although a multiple warhead ICBM would probably crack The Mountain, it is still the only fortress on earth known to be impervious to the A-Team.

HARDEST TRAVEL DESTINATION
South Africa
Attacks on visitors are so epidemic in this country that the government runs commercials reminding the populace that for every eight tourists who come, one badly needed job is created. The advertising campaign is part of the country’s effort to shake off Johannesburg and Cape Town’s well deserved ultraviolent reputation. South Africa has the highest incidence of rape (one every 26 seconds) and second largest number of murders in the world (24,875 in 1999). As for the tourists, one in 20 was attacked, robbed, or carjacked last year. Coming in a close second is Colombia, which has a higher murder rate (more than 26,000 annually) than South Africa, although far fewer of the victims are foreigners.

HARDEST CREATURE
Cockroach
Quit yer bellyachin’! We know there are some other hard insects, like army ants, with their big pincers, and giant hornets, with their ferocious stings. But could either of those live on soap or glue, survive a deep freeze, then go more than a month without food? No chance. Those disgusting cucarachas would then still be well enough to vacation in Chernobyl.

HARDEST DESPOT
Vlad the Impaler
Bram Stoker’s bloodthirsty Prince of Darkness is believed to have been based on Vlad Dracul, the prince of Walachia, an area in present day Romania. Vlad ruled the area during the mid 1400s and became infamous for impaling his enemies. Impaling involves a long and painful death in which a large stake is inserted far enough into the anus that it can support the weight of the body. The victim is then suspended on the stake and slowly, involuntarily works his way down it. Vlad often arranged his victims in circles so they could witness each other’s agony. At one point the impaled corpses of 30,000 men, women, and children were displayed around his territory to scare off invading armies.


HARDEST LIQUOR
Everclear
Bo, Luke, and Jesse Duke would be proud: 190 proof grain alcohol, 95 percent pure.

HARDEST BOMB
Novaya Zemlya Hydrogen Bomb
On October 30, 1961, at 8:33 a.m., the Russkies let rip the most powerful nuclear bomb ever detonated, over the Novaya Zemlya area of the U.S.S.R. The 58 megaton bomb was 3,867 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima. The shock wave from the secret detonation circled the world three times in 36 hours and 27 minutes. In 1963 the commie bastards acknowledged the existence of a 100-megaton device. Wacky stuff!

HARDEST AIRCRAFT
A-10 Thunderbolt II
Designed and built to take an anti aircraft beating, the A-10 “warthog” is the toughest, meanest, and ugliest aircraft on the battlefield. Its ability to loiter at low altitudes in combat zones and deliver a wide array of ordnance, including cluster bombs, AGM-65 Maverick missiles, and 3,900 depleted uranium rounds a minute from its Gatling gun, is why the Thunderbolt is known worldwide as an unflinching tank killer.

HARDEST STING
Australian Sea Wasp
These basketball size jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) have killed at least 70 people off the coast of Australia in the past 100 years. Each one carries enough venom to kill 60 adult humans. Once stung, if there ain’t a doctor in the house, you can expect to eat your last shrimp off the barbie in less than four minutes, mate.

HARDEST SEA ANIMAL
Great White Shark vs. Killer Whale
The largest great white ever measured weighed a measly 5,000 pounds (the killer whale’s average weight is 10,000–12,000 pounds). But the great white has rows of serrated teeth that rip flesh with a force of seven tons per square inch. What’s more, it can’t be trained at Sea World to make nicey nice with humans.

HARDEST VOLCANO
Tambora, Indonesia
Tambora lost her temper on April 5, 1815, and produced a volcanic eruption that lasted five days, during which 43 cubic miles of debris was blasted into the skies and more than 600 miles of surrounding land buried in lava. Approximately 12,000 Indonesians lost their lives in the explosion, while 80,000 died of starvation and disease. The blast disrupted the weather so much that it started snowing in the U.S. in June.

HARDEST KIDS
Sicarios
Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar scored a goal against his own team in the 1994 World Cup and was promptly shot dead by teenage assassins when he returned to the land of coffee and cocaine. Brought up on a diet of economic crisis and crossfire in the city of Medellín, the 2,000 or so sicarios are preteen and teenage boys hired by drug cartels, businessmen, and even police to knock off their enemies.

HARDEST WOMAN
Aileen Wuornos vs. Julia Butterfly
A foreign rag once claimed that seven time murderer Aileen Wuornos was the hardest broad. Puh-lease. Environmentalist Julia “Butterfly” Hill is an undisputed bar of iron. On December 10, 1997, she climbed 180 feet up an ancient redwood in Humboldt County, California, to protest abusive logging practices. The tree hugging hottie endured sirens, floodlights, and menacing helicopters and didn’t come down once until a preservation agreement was reached late last year. She spent a total of 738 days dancing with bark.

HARDEST SERIAL KILLER
Pedro Alonso Lopez
Forget The Rostov Ripper, Andrei Chikatilo (52 kills), John Wayne Gacy (33), and Ted Bundy (28). By far the most deadly serial killer ever was Pedro Alonso Lopez, The Monster of the Andes. In the late ’70s he moved between Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru, killing hundreds of young girls. When he was finally captured in 1980, he led police to more than 50 graves. A low estimate put the total kills at more than 300.

HARDEST SPORTS FANS
Barras Brava
England’s notorious soccer hooligans, who have been known to launch volleys of darts at opposing teams’ supporters, are kittens compared with Argentina’s thugs. In 1994 the Boca Juniors played against River Plate in Buenos Aires. Boca’s gang, one of Argentina’s barras brava, pulled machine guns and killed two of the opposing team’s fans. Over the past seven years, 45 people have been murdered in soccer related violence in Argentina.

HARDEST BODY PART
Tooth Enamel
Nails and knuckles don’t stand a chance against a healthy set of chompers, although gums are soft. Coming in a surprise second is your hipbone, the toughest bone in the body, capable of supporting your aching thorax for 80 years.

HARDEST CAR
Aston Martin V8 Vantage Le Mans
Only 40 of these handmade beasts, the fastest Aston Martin production cars ever, will be built. The available V600 engine, illegal in the U.S., boasts 600 bHP at 6,500 rpm, blasts to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and tops out at 220 mph. But forget all that. The $367,362 Vantage’s Mad Max styling is what gives this supercar its real muscle.

HARDEST JOB
Journalist, Algeria
“Arrange armed protection” is the advice Algeria’s foreign office gives reporters intending to venture outside the capital city, Algiers. The Armed Islamic Group don’t like Westerners but particularly hate journalists and have killed nearly 100 of them since 1992. The International Press Bureau has estimated that a reporter working without an armed escort is likely to survive six and a half minutes.

HARDEST SLACKS
Just kidding
(sucker)

HARDEST ART
1,000 Years
Although the term hard art seems like an oxymoron, the disgust evoked by Damien Hirst’s “gross meditation on death” (from a museum description) deserves our attention. The piece is a seven foot tall glass crate containing a fake bloody cow’s head and real swarms of flies living off a bowl of sugar water placed precariously close to a bug zapper. That’s cool…huh-huh…

HARDEST RIDE
Superman the Escape
Why do great things only happen in America? No matter. The first roller coaster to break the 100 mph barrier now awaits you in Six Flags over Valencia, California. The ride pulls 4.5 Gs as it accelerates to its top speed in just seven seconds!

HARDEST ACTOR
Danny Trejo
Nicknamed The Mayor, Trejo is a former child drug addict and welterweight boxing champion of San Quentin prison. He was in and out of jail for armed robbery and drug offenses for 11 years before becoming a Hollywood fight trainer and actor. His repertoire includes a diverse array of murderous psychos, such as his characters in Heat, Con Air, and From Dusk Till Dawn.

HARDEST LAND ANIMAL
Hippopotamus
Don’t let the innocent yawn fool you. This aggressive barrel-shaped animal is considered one of the most dangerous in Africa. It weighs between 4,000 and 8,000 pounds and can tear a crocodile in half with one bite from its massive incisors. More than 200 people in Africa are killed by hippos every year more than by all other wild animals combined.

HARDEST HOT SAUCE
Blair’s 3AM
If you accidentally die from consuming this hot sauce, your family can forget about a wrongful death suit. That’s because retailers of Blair’s 3AM require customers to sign a waiver when they purchase it. In fact, the sauce is inedible as is: Downing a drop on a cracker will burn your esophagus for hours. A warning label on the bottom of the bottle reads avoid any and all skin contact!

HARDEST PERVERSION
Burusera Sex Shops
The Germans have their shit videos, the Swedes have their horses; but Japan’s bizarre obsession with underwear takes the perversion cheesecake. Thousands of men visit burusera (“bloomers, sailor”) shops every month to browse through hundreds of snapshots of female high schoolers holding up their skirts. A customer can then purchase a girl’s sailor style uniform and/or used panties, and sometimes her spit and urine.

HARDEST WAY TO DIE
Braided on a Wheel
This sadistic practice was used in many parts of Europe into the early 18th century. The executioner would smash the victim’s arms, legs, shoulders, and hips with a club. Afterward the shattered limbs were “braided” through the spokes of a large wagon wheel, which was then hoisted to the top of a pole. Often crows would help themselves to bits of flesh and eyes. The eventual death was a blessing.

HARDEST WWE WRESTLER
Mankind
Even though the matches are rigged, there is no doubt the pain inflicted on Mick Foley, a.k.a. Mankind, is real. The leather masked, three time WWF champion has been body-slammed onto tacks, thrown off a 16 foot high cage, and knocked unconscious with a metal folding chair. Touted as the most deranged wrestler in the Federation, he earns extra props for being married with children.

HARDEST MOUNTAIN
K2, Western Himalayas
Situated on the China/Pakistan border, K2 stands 28,267 feet tall (the second highest in the world) and kills one person for every two who conquer it. Only 100 people have overcome its avalanches and 60 degree slopes to reach the summit. Huge storms can rage for years: Between 1986 and 1991, K2 was a no go area.

HARDEST MUSIC
Black Sabbath
Dance music producer Moby had a good stab at the title with his hit “Thousand,” released as a B side in 1992. The tune goes from a pleasant house tempo to an insanely machine-gun-like 1,015 beats per minute. Metal heads Judas Priest place second, as two fans who went through the hell of listening to their opus “Stained Class” in 1990 shot themselves. Black Sabbath, however, goes to 11. It was the band of choice for the U.S. Army, which repeatedly blasted Ozzy and Company at an earsplitting decibel to extract General Manuel Noriega from his Panamanian hideout.

HARDEST DRINKERS
New Hampshire
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the average American consumes 2.18 gallons of ethanol in his drinks a year. The problem-free people in New Hampshire manage 4.08 gallons a year, drinking their closest competitors, in the District of Columbia (4.01 gallons) and Nevada (3.96 gallons), under the table. A close second 5-14 Cav Med Plt.

HARDEST SNAKE
Inland Taipan
This Australian snake’s venom is estimated to be 50 times more lethal than that of the Indian cobra. One bite contains enough poison to kill 250,000 mice. On humans its venom works fast, paralyzing muscles, disrupting the nervous system, and causing internal bleeding. An adult would last about 30 minutes.

HARDEST BEETLE
Dung Beetle
A dung beetle can lift and roll an object (like a huge ball of elephant poop) up to 50 times its own body weight. A weightlifter can only manage about three.

HARDEST DOG
American pit bull terrier vs. Japanese Tosa
The 200 pound Japanese Tosa, bred for fighting, would seem the obvious winner in a contest against the weedy 60 pound American pit bull. But the muscular pit bull is much faster, attacking the Tosa from underneath with a vicious bite to the neck. Ultimately stamina secures the pit bull’s victory.
Free Web Counter
Counters