August 26th, 2005



A wartime hoax.

"Word that Sgt. Dan Kennings had been killed in Iraq crushed spirits in the Daily Egyptian newsroom. The stocky, buzz-cut soldier befriended by students at the university newspaper was dead, and the sergeant's little girl--a precocious, blond-haired child they'd grown to love--was now an orphan.

They all knew that Kodee Kennings' mother had died when Kodee was about 5. The little girl's fears and frustrations about her father being in harm's way had played out on the pages of the Daily Egyptian for nearly two years, in gut-wrenching letters fraught with misspellings, innocent observations and questions about why Daddy wasn't there to chase the monsters from under her bed.

It turns out Daddy didn't exist. And neither did Kodee.

The Tribune went to southern Illinois to learn about the bond between Kodee and Dan Kennings, and the life Kodee would face without her hero.

Instead, eight days of reporting revealed elaborate fabrications and intricate lies. There is no soldier named Dan Kennings. The charming girl people came to know as Kodee Kennings is someone else entirely, a child from an out-of-state family led to believe that she was playing a part in a documentary about a soldier.

Using role players who say they were duped--including an employee of a local Christian radio station--the woman at the center of the hoax spun a remarkable wartime tale so compelling it grabbed the hearts of young journalists, university faculty members and readers, leaving them blind to the possibility it could be a ruse.

The reasons behind the lies remain unclear. There appears to have been no monetary motive, but the scope of the deception is staggering."

This makes me wonder if the woman behind the hoax has a condition similar to Munchausen by Proxy.
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    WWNO Classical
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Insect Photography

Flying insect photography. A lot of the technical info on the first 10 pages is beyond my understanding but seeing the photographer's progression with the improving quality of the photos is interesting. Skip to the 10th page for a link to lots of fascinating pictures if the methodology is not your cup of tea.
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i harth darth, family

Userpic Spectacular

I haven't been reading official bureaucracy type things very closely of late. There was a recent post in news that said something about 100 userpics but I didn't pay attention.

I just went to my userpics to add a new pic and see that I have gone from 50 to 100 userpics. Oh my! I am thinking of all the fun holiday icons I will be making for Halloween and Christmas!

(My adorable new icon is from iharthdarth. Check it out if you know even a little bit about Star Wars. It is hysterical.)
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Suggestive Request

I received $100 in bookstore gift cards for my birthday. (Yummy!) I have been working on my wish list for the big shopping trip. I have lots of books in my want-to-read notes but would like some fresh ideas.

So dear LJ friends, please suggest one fiction and one non-fiction book to me. I can't promise that I will buy all the recommendations (I can only make the $ go so far) but each and every one will be put on my master list.