horror stories

biblio

The Works of Jean-Loup Benét

Novels:
The Wolf Hunter. Master’s Thesis novel. Seton Hill University. 2005. Advisors Michael A. Arnzen, PhD; Timons Esaias.

Short Stories:
“Scrum Buddies” – Sweaty Sex: An Anthology of Sports and Sex. Edited by Alexandra Rowan. Ravenous Romance. 2009.
“The Hide” – Vintage Moon. Edited by Nancy Jackson. RAGE Machine Books. 2006. (reprint)
“The Hide” – Hacker’s Source. Issue #16. June 2004. (reprint)
“Ask Dr. Occult: Advice for the Disturbed” – Hacker’s Source. Issue #15-18. Feb.-May, 2004 to 2005.
“Bennie the Happy Homicidal Axe Murderer” – Hacker’s Source. Issue #15. Feb.-May, 2004.
“Ask Dr. Occult: Advice for the Disturbed” – Hacker’s Source. Issue #14. Oct.-Dec. 2003.
“The Secret Spot” – Playgirl. May 2003.
“The Christmas Massacre” – Hacker’s Source Christmas newsletter. December 2002.
“The Hide” – Transformation Stories, Art, Talk. Issue #23. Aug./Sept. 2002.
“Hell’s Bells” – Hacker’s Source. Issue #10. August 2002.

Non-fiction:
“So, You Want to be a Werewolf?” – FATE. Vol. 55, no. 6, Issue 627. July 2002.
“Lobo-Hombres of Latin America” – Fang, Claw, & Steel. Issue #13. Winter 2002.
Rugby Spring Break article – Rugby. January 28, 2001
“Silva Mind Control Method: Key to Enlightenment or New Age Cult?”
– Psychology of Religion. Edited by Dr. Dick Mann, Prof Emeritus, Univ. of Michigan- Dept of Psych. Fall 1996.

Edited Works:
The Best of Werewolf.com – Werewolf short story anthology booklet. Black Tail Press. Detroit, MI. March 2004.

Screenplays:
“The Curse of the Wendigo” – seeking placement.

Samples of my creative non-fiction writings
Manna of an Icy God
The Allure of the Written Word

Interviews
The Red Light District Fireside Chat. October 4, 2005. Transcript

Bio

The Life of J.L. Benét

In horror writing it helps to be somewhat familiar with the some variety of horror. Jean-Loup Benet’s personal introduction came in the form of the small, northern Michigan town. To be honest, it wasn’t the town that was horrific but the need to somehow experience other horizons that lead Jean-Loup to the vistas of horror. John Bellairs and Stephen King were devoured alongside Doyle, Poe, and Asimov. It was this last author who sent the young thinker out into the world.
Jean-Loup attended the University of Michigan with the desire to see Asimov’s fiction become engineering reality. Majoring in both electrical and mechanical engineering, he discovered a horror too real even to be in a novel: the life of an engineering student. After three years of drinking hyper-caffeinated bad coffee, spending 20 hours a day coding and showering far less than desirable, Jean-Loup decided to be done with engineering before he was done in by engineering. It was onto the green lawns, historic markers and protesting hippies of U of M’s Central Campus.
Changing his major to English, he discovered a natural talent for teaching and enrolled in the College of Education. While engineering had never really dampened his love of the written word, the greater immersion in literature caused it to bubble to the surface with renewed vigor. He also discovered the terrible bias of academia toward the inferior realm known as genre fiction. This was the style of writing he enjoyed most and considered many genre authors to be as great of writers if not better than those taught within the ivy-covered walls.
For this reason, Jean-Loup chose to attend Seton Hill University for his Master’s. Obtaining a degree in Writing of Popular Fiction, also finished his first novel. While this novel is still trying to find a home at a publisher, other works of his have been published in both fiction and non fiction magazines, as well as an up-coming anthology. But as many writers lament, it’s not a well paying field.
The search for employment brought Jean-Loup full circle when he found a position as a middle and high school English teacher in the next town over from where he grew up. After working for a while in the fine arts school in northern Michigan, he decided to head south to warmer climes. He and his anthropologist wife (who is also a fantastically talented seamstress) currently reside in Tampa, Florida. Jean-Loup teaches creative writing and reading at a Tampa area high school, where he also acts as faculty advisor to the creative writing club. When not playing rugby or procrastinating on the internet, he complains about the lack of time and resources available to teachers and writers alike. In his office he has gargoyles, bats, ravens, and a foam Jack-o-Lantern which he leaves out all year and his wife puts a Santa hat on at Christmas.
-Courtesy of Erica Marks

About Panama Coffee

Why is Panama coffee so good?

The most important resource that makes this Special Panamanian Coffee unique is its microclimate. The east-west setting of the Republic of Panama allows the cold air currents that flow through the Central Mountain Range to converge at more than 6,500 feet, creating a great variety of different microclimates in the regions of Boquete and Volcán, Panama. These Special Coffees are cultivated in these richly nutritious and balanced lands located in the area of the Baru volcano.

The Special Coffees of Panama are classified and numbered by micro lots that are designed in small volumes for optimal management and that permits the buyer to know all the process information and tracing. These high lands have the microclimates, soil, temperature and height adequate for the sowing, cultivating and harvesting of a great variety of Special Coffees with uncultivated flower themes, jasmine, mandarin, ripe fruit, berries, caramel, special sweet, vanilla and chocolate.

You can visit some estate’s at different elevations, different mico-climates, and plantations that use different growing and processing methods. You will taste the coffee from each estate you visit, have a chance to compare the different varieties, and bring home coffee you cannot buy anywhere else in the world.

Processing of coffee is the method converting the raw fruit (cherry) of the coffee plant into the commodity green coffee. The cherry has the fruit or pulp removed leaving the seed or bean which is then dried. While all green coffee is processed, the method that is used varies and can have a significant effect on the flavor of roasted and brewed coffee.

In the Wet Process, the fruit covering the seeds/beans is removed before they are dried. Coffee processed by the wet method is called wet processed or washed coffee. The wet method requires the use of specific equipment and substantial quantities of water. The dry process, also known as unwashed or natural coffee, is the oldest method of processing coffee. The entire cherry after harvest is first cleaned and then placed in the sun to dry on tables or in thin layers on patios.

The dry method is used for about 95% of the Arabica coffee produced in Brazil, most of the coffees produced in Ethiopia, Haiti and Paraguay, as well as for some Arabicas produced in India and Ecuador. Almost all Robustas are processed by this method.

As the green coffee bean is more stable when unroasted, the roasting process tends to take place close to where it will be consumed. This reduces the time that roasted coffee spends in distribution, helping to maximize its shelf life. At lighter roasts, the bean will exhibit more of its “origin flavor” – the flavors created in the bean by the soil and weather conditions in the location where it was grown.

Coffee beans from famous regions like Panama, Kenya, Hawaiian Kona, and Jamaican Blue Mountain are usually roasted lightly so their signature characteristics dominate the flavor. As the beans darken to a deep brown, the origin flavors of the bean are eclipsed by the flavors created by the roasting process itself.

A note on flavor: describing the tastes of different roasts is as subjective as putting a wine into words. In both cases there’s no substitute for your own personal taste. As a guide, if you can see the oil on the beans, as in the image above, you are more likely to taste the roasting flavors, than the individual characteristics of the beans. Panama produces great Specialty and Gourmet Coffee that can be found in the U.S.

See the processing and taste the coffee: the first coffee tasting tour in Panama designed after the Napa Valley wine tasting tours. Why don’t you tour some of Panama’s award winning, very private, exquisite, coffee estates. During such a tour you can visit three different estate’s, while driving through the lush cloud forest and mountain sides that have made Panama Coffee number one in the world. You will have the opportunity to purchase the hard to find, private estate coffee, at the source.

You can also learn how to identify the different coffee’s by region; what aroma and body mean to fully enjoy a cup of coffee; how to detect what flavors you are tasting such as; jasmine, chocolate, citrus, or fruit. Gain a better understanding of what to look for and how to buy the best coffee value when you return home.

Visit a high elevation Boquete mountain coffee plantation, see the beneficio (processing mill), and taste several micro-roasted estate coffee’s. This adventure is designed to travel to different regions of Boquete, Panama to taste single estate boutique coffee and takes 4 to 5 hours. Most coffee estates are closed on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday.

FDA approves a weight loss device

Last week, some doctors assembled and made threats of suing an agency that made the newly FDA approved weight loss device. The group is attempting to collect 4,000 physician signatures. According to them, AspireAssist is not safe and may only result to eating disorder. The device allows the users to pump some of the food they just consumed directly from their stomachs into the toilet.

An endocrinologist and dialectologist from Pembroke Pines, Florida named Joseph Gutman, questioned the decision of the FDA. He said “This is the first time that I look at a device that was approved by the FDA and I am absolutely, utterly, and totally appalled that it was approved.” Dr. Gutman has treated patients with obesity for more than three decades. He wants to take the said weight loss device off the market. He strongly believes that AspireAssist is the “most pathetic exhibition of ignorance on the part of our agency, the FDA. It is nothing but a bad trick. It’s like a bad joke.”

FDA based their decision on a one-year study of 111 individuals. Patients with eating disorders should not have this.

To start using the product, the patient must undergo a tube surgically implanted through his abdomen into his stomach. A port valve is used to make an opening just above the belly button. The patients can close or open it to drain the food. They have to wait about 20 to 30 minutes before they can connect the pump to the valve. The food is drained and dumped into the toilet effortlessly.

The entire process may take about 10 minutes and then a patient can remove up to 30% of the calories consumed with a meal. The port valve of the device can cause infections and the tube may leak. Some experts are worried that the device itself might trigger eating disorders. In some aspects, AspireAssist mimics bulimia. This is a disorder where a patient binge eats and then throw up. Instead of throwing up through the throat, you do it through the tube. This is somehow a “mechanized bulimia.” The device makes this kind of eating disorder all right.

But AspireAssist makers are quick to dispute such claim by saying that binge eating is impossible because people should chew their food. If they do not chew enough, the food may get stuck in the tube. The tube is no bigger than a straw.

There are success stories, but there is no enough evidence to say that patients won’t regain the weight after removing the weight loss device. Like the garcinia cambogia extract, most weight management methods require maintenance.

Since patients are required to chew their food, they will need to eat slowly and usually feel full faster. This process makes them eat less. Some got tired of chewing and opt for eating a lesser amount of food.

It is possible that after the device is taken out of your body, patients will have 98% chance to regain all the weight back. Also, AspireAssist gives the impression that a person can eat as much as he wants.

Remember that the implant procedure will last 15 minutes, does not require general anaesthesia. You will likely feel the intolerable pain for about two weeks after getting the tube. FDA released warnings that the procedure may cause risk of infection, nausea, vomiting, bleeding and sores on the interior of the stomach.

The FDA approval means that AspireAssist is considered safe, but by no means should be seen as the most amazing treatment modality. Also, their approval does not mean that this weight loss device is applicable to everyone.

The Life and Influence of George Soros

In his lifetime, George Soros has gone from surviving Nazi tyranny to mastering the global financial industry. At 83, listed as one of the world’s wealthiest persons and a leading global philanthropist, Soros also is an author and a heavy influence on modern socio-economic policies and practices.

George Soros: The Beginning of a Financier

Not much information has been made public about the early life of George Soros. He was born in Hungary on August 12, 1930. He finally left his home country in 1947, escaping both the ravages of Nazi occupation and the effects of early Communism in Hungary.

Soros settled for awhile in England, where he began studying the concept of an open society at the London School of Economics. These studies, which incorporated the analysis of science as a philosophy and an examination of the benefits of free and open societies over totalitarian regimes.

After George Soros graduated in 1952, he went to work at Singer & Friedlander’s, a London-based merchant bank. Eventually he traveled to New York and took a job at F.M. Mayer, a brokerage firm on Wall Street.

He worked for several more financial firms before establishing his own hedge fund in 1973. Six years later he got involved in philanthropy, founding the Open Society Foundations in 1984.

The foundations touch on an umbrella of causes around the world, including helping areas affected by natural disasters, supporting education, funding the arts, and promoting intellectualism in Eastern Europe.

Controversy Surrounding George Soros

George Soros has become associated with savvy, wealthy, and humanitarian social and political policy around the world. Many people credit Soros with being a leading global figure who stands for positive, progressive cultural and financial change.

However, George Soros also is known as “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England” because of his involvement in the 1992 United Kingdom currency crisis. Soros, in fact, has a documented pattern of investment in global economies facing political change that will effect the currency in those economies.

Some of Soros’ political stands also have stirred controversy, such as his support of changing the United States’ “War on Drugs” policy to reflect a decriminalization element in the policy.

Additional controversy has arisen from Soros’ statements that particular policies from both the United States and Israel are leading to sentiments of anti-Semitism around the world.

George Soros: Financier and Global Influencer

Though he is a billionaire and a vital, important figure in both the financial as well as the socio-political spheres, George Soros is not a household name. Still, Soros is a key figure in financial and cultural movements throughout the country, and around the world.

Throughout his career, Soros has combined his penchant for political activism with a passion for the right use of funds and resources. One of the best-known examples is still his manipulation of the British pound in 1992, forcing the Bank of England to de-value the national currency of the United Kingdom.

Many look at George Soros’ rise–and continued triumphs–as inspiration for successful entrepreneurship.

Overall, George Soros has been called a Renaissance man, as well as a jack-of-all-trades because of his varied social and economic interests and achievements. His career is connected to and associated with matters of progressive financial and economic practices and the right and best use of currencies.

The Saw movie

Among the different genre of films, the movies that provide the reverse attraction of sadism and violence are the horror movies. If anything succeeded to draw the audience to the multiplexes post-Scream it is the Saw series. Its gory, eerie setting revolving around captive and hapless prisoners to test their skill and patience to save them caters to the taste of the thriller lovers.

The Plot

Tobin Bell featuring as John Kramer, a lunatic murderer sets traps to kill innocent lives. The only way to escape is to follow his evil design to save them. Adam and Lawrence wake up to find themselves in a dilapidated and discarded bathroom. They are both chained except the third guy who is a corpse lying in a pool of blood. Two tapes tell them to follow some directions to escape from their ordeal. The tape instructs Lawrence to kill Adam before six o’clock if he wants to save his wife Allison and his daughter. To their utter horror they learn that the corpse belongs to another victim who committed suicide before the lethal poison could kill him. Following the signs they find a saw that is meant to cut their feet rather than their chains.

Production

Though the film was not the first of its kind, it was shot in an extremely low budget but managed to draw the attention of moviegoers, and did a box office of $103,096,345 worldwide. Initially Australian director, James Wan and screenplay writer Leigh Whannell had difficulty in finding a producer for their way ward film. Until they came across Twisted Pictures which enabled them to shoot initially with $30,000 and shot on a short schedule of 18 days.

Opinion of the Makers

Leigh Whannell in an interview mentions that the term “torture-porn” which is ascribed to the movie does not affect him much as its popularity has brought him fame. For director Wan it is not so because only a section of the feature film focuses on torture.  Due to stringent financial condition of the film, the duo got to experiment with lot of innovative ideas, like, shooting in an elevator with the help of security cameras. What both the creators unanimously agreed upon is the role of music. The score provides some extra thrill and enhances the horrifying factor of the movie. The sound track was composed by Charlie Clouser in six weeks.

The Result

Renowned actor Cary Elwes posed as Lawrence whereas Leigh Whannell himself as Adam. Together they did an outstanding job that broke all box office records in the first week of its release with a gross collection of $18.2 million.

Sequels of the Franchise

  • Saw II
  • Swa III
  • Saw IV
  • Saw V
  • Saw VI
  • Saw VII

Saw II is said to be a worthy sequel with excellent performances by Wahlberg and Bell. The sadistic game that that was the backbone of the first part remains the main attraction here too. A group of vulnerable prisoners is held captive in a discarded house. They are warned to save themselves within two hours before a poisonous gas kills them. The son of detective Matthews also inhabits the house. Jigsaw strikes a deal with him, saying that the detective can save his son if the former chats with him. The awesome performances of the duo at once remind the audience of the legendary Hannibal Lecter.

Saw III is made by the duo James Wan and Leigh Whannell. Bell manages to deliver a stunning performance as Jigsaw, who this time plays the sadistic game through his loyal protégé Amanda. The same dark sinister approach seemed to have worked wonders with the audiences.

The menacing game continues again in Saw IV. Jigsaw’s elaborated traps lead two FBI agents to hunt him down after a tape is found in Kramer’s stomach during autopsy. As per the trend Bell stunning acting remains to be one of the positive features of the movie.

The following sequel attempts the discovery of the identity of the protégé of the notorious Jigsaw. The plot revolves around the desperate attempts of five hapless people trying to solve an intricate maze to save themselves.

The last and sixth sequel of the Saw portrays Costas Mandylor as Hoffman shows the continuation of Jigsaw legacy. Director Kevin Greater features this film around a vile health insurance executive who constructs a series of traps leading to brutal deaths.

The latest in this list is the addition of the 3D version of the movie. It shows the continuation of the sadistic game of Jigsaw, which is carried forward by his loyal Costas Mandylor. The film offers various intriguing traps with a touch of a twist. The additional flavor is added by Bell through the strategy of flash back, though his presence in the screen was for a very short time.

The film won several awards like

  • Golden Trailer Awards
  • Fantasporto, etc.