Monthly Archives: June 2005

Todd Bertrang gets the death penalty?

Re: The Entrapment and Imprisonment of Todd Bertrang

I received the following letter from a close friend of Todd's that has been helping him keep his affairs in order while he's behind bars. I'd like to share it here if anyone would like to help out or even just send Todd a note letting him know he has support. I'll post again on this subject when the address is updated, but as of now the San Bernadino one is still good.

Todd got a five year sentence, but it is more like a death sentence. All the newspapers portrait him as a child genital mutilator. He might never come out a live, even though he never agree to do any genital mutilations on children. His life has already been threatened several times since he's been in custody. Todd had no choice but to plea bargain to a lot of these charges. For the charge of conspiracy he was facing five years to life.

At this point Todd is a dead man walking. All the newspaper and news media should be so very proud of themselves, they just gave Todd a dead sentence for a crime he never committed. He is in absolute terror not knowing where his going. The prosecutor hates Todd so much that even when the judge gave Todd the five year sentence, he insisted that the judge should had given Todd a longer sentence. They also made sure the media was present for his sentencing.

Robyn will be out in about two months. She has requested not to have any contact with Todd. She also requested not to be transported with him to court, or be next to each him in the holding cells during the court proceedings. That's what I call loyalty!!!

We still owe [Todd's Lawyer] $52,000. By the grace of God I've been able to sell a lot of our furniture and parts, but there is very little left. I have sold everything for pennies on the dollar. If there are any supporters out there, please ask if they could help us out with any small donations sent directly to him. Todd spends about $80.00 a month for food and personal hygiene. I'm pretty sure that you're aware of what a great business is to put people behind bars.

They can only send a money order or cashiers checks, payable to “Todd Bertrang”.

Todd Bertrang
BKG# 0407301101 AS-3
630 E. Rialto Ave
San Bernardino, Ca. 92415

Kind regards,
[Name removed]

You can send letters and cards to that address, as well as any financial support you can offer if you'd like, but nothing else can be sent there. Books and magazines can be sent, but they have to come straight from the source (ie. you can have Amazon send them there, but you can't mail a book there yourself). I'm sure Todd would really appreciate knowing he has support.

(Original forum unavailable, sorry)*

Looks worse than it tastes

I decided to make something raw to eat today (well, mostly raw, it's on a bed of noodles which are of course cooked). This core sauce for the dish on the left is a vegan walnut paté which tastes disturbingly surprisingly close to a liver paté. It's made up of a purée of walnuts, olive oil, lime, tomato, red onion, garlic, and cumin (no other spices or ingredients). In addition, when served it's garnished with fresh habanero, diced white onion, and radish.

Now the dish on the right. I had some of the purée left over so I used it as the base for a salad dressing. Just added balsamic vinegar to the paté and mixed it up. I know it looks like I just puked mud on a bunch of lettuce, but it was honestly really good.

Other than that I went out with Rafael today and put in the final order for the BMEfest shirts (and went out for lunch). They'll be ready on Monday, so assuming there's no problems, I'll post pictures of them then.

I also have two promos for IAM friends that I'd like to mention now.

First, Crumbs is writing a book on people who are immune compromised — people who've undergone splenectomies or have other conditions, either ones they're born with or ones they got later in life. One of the chapters discusses people involved in body modification and ritual like suspensions… so if you meet those criteria or know someone who does, drop him a line.

Second, Ferg is running a marathon to raise funds to raise funds for impoverished students in Angkor Wat (you may remember the pictures I posted of his trip when he was there). Visit his page for more information about that.

Anyway… back to work with me, I want to post about four thousand new pictures tomorrow — although the license plates for my car got delayed until Thursday so I won't be leaving for the road trip until end of the week anyway. But a deal with the internet's still a deal.

Important BMEfest info!

This entry will be staying at the top of my diary until Monday morning; new entries are posted below it. If you're coming to BMEfest or interested in coming, please read this entry.

Ticket sales officially end on Sunday night (June 12th, 2005). If you haven't got a ticket by then we can not guarantee you a spot at the event or a shirt (since we have to arrange that in advance. It is extremely important that you buy your ticket ASAP if you haven't already. If for some reason you can not purchase online, please make sure you make arrangements with Rachel (iam:MiL0 or via email at to pay in person.

Quick FAQ and Handy Links
More are on the ticket page and in the official forum and event page — check them!

Hotels and Information
Rebekah has a catch-all page of links here that you may find quite useful, and typealice has an overview of some of the main hotels here.

Finding people in La Paz
Outside of making arrangements in advance, Allen is running a “La Paz Communication” link where you can post where you're staying and how to get in touch with you (Update: use the people finder instead; login as 'bmefest' with the password 'bmefest'). If you still can't find anyone on a given day, just take a walk down the waterfront Malecon — with approaching a hundred people confirmed there's a real good chance you'll bump into someone you know. Say hello!

Local IAM members
RAFAEL is a piercer and scarification artist (and a very nice guy that's helped with the event) here in La Paz; if you're thinking about getting a tattoo or anything like that on vacation, he's the guy that can tell you where to go and can introduce you to other IAM members who live in the area. While I'm mentioning work, Stainless will be here as well.

Rachel and my house has a private walled compound and we're willing to let people suspend from the trees — if you want to do that, for now, make arrangements with Allen.

Discovery Channel (from Australia!) will be there filming. I told them it was just a laid-back BBQ, but I guess they got lured in by Pain Solution and The Lizardman. They know they have to get permission of anyone they film. Wear your favorite studio's t-shirt!

Other questions
Read over the forum first, and if you don't find the answer to your question there or in the links above, please feel free to post it in the forum.

"Internal" piercing

As you may have read in the current article article, c/o Dr. David Graham, Suffolk county is making the bizarre suggestion that aftercare instructions must be provided only if the piercing is “internal” in nature. I've been trying to figure out exactly what that means, and J. Coburn sent me this picture… Perhaps that answers my question?

Doing some math…

I got woken up early by Ranchero music being blasted at 5:30 AM, so while I wait for video clips to render I played with my calculator…

I was reading some numbers recently on world biofuel production levels, and got to wondering just how close we are to being able to meet our fuel needs using ethanols and biodiesels and so on. The US currently produces 5 million barrels of oil per day domestically — 290 billion liters annually — although it imports 75% of its oil for a total annual domestic consumption of 5.8 trillion liters of oil. This doesn't count oil consumed internationally (manufacturing in China for example), nor does it include other non-renewable fuel use like coal (which currently is used to generate 55% of the electric power in the US).

To put those oil numbers into a slightly different context, with a population of 300 million, that means that every American citizen from babies to those on their deathbed consumes 19,345 liters of oil every year inside the borders of the country. If oil was beer, that would be like drinking 141 beers every single day. Every two days, you could fill a standard sized bathtub with the oil consumed… and as I said, that doesn't count the fuel consumed internationally or the coal.

Now, the largest biofuel producer in the world is Brazil, which manufactures a whopping 16 billion liters of it every year. To put that into context, that's a miniscule 0.28% of the annual US consumption. The US government is considering mandating minimum levels of biofuel production inside the US (which is currently the world's number two producer thereof) — by 2012 they want to see US production reach 30 billion liters per year. This would consume a quarter of all corn production in the United States, but would only satiate 0.52% of the current oil use. Even if every current corn farm in the US dedicated its output to creating biofuel, barely 2% of the US oil demand would be met.

I'm skewing the numbers a little because I'm comparing apples and oranges; one barrel of oil produces less than half that much in gasoline, whereas ethanol fuel can be run in your car as is — so if you want to be overly optimistic, double my numbers. Unfortunately, even doing so, production of biofuel can meet at best 1/25th the current fuel consumption. Renewable electrical energy generation (solar, wind, and hydropower) is ramping up, but it will be some time before it can replace fossil fuels — if ever; wind power for example is believed to max out at about 20% of total consumption. Hydropower currently generates about 10% of US power, and wind and solar account for well under 1% each.

Barring the advent of some new miraculous method of power generation (cold fusion, zero point, whatever), it should be clear that the only way that the US can avoid a horrendous crash is to ramp down its energy consumption, and fast. ExxonMobile predicts that by 2035 the average US car will have achieved a fuel consumption rate of 35 miles per gallon. To put that into context, in 2005 the average car sold in Europe has a fuel consumption of 35 miles per gallon.

If the best America can do is taking thirty years to reach the standards of the second most gluttonous region of the world, there's going to be a problem…