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Two homeless men who were charged with felony criminal mischief after they threw a beer bottle at Denver Post photographer Brian Brainerd's truck (they also kicked the vehicle) were released from Denver County Jail last month after a Denver jury found them not guilty.
The two men, Jose Luis Olivas and Fernando Torres Hernandez, had been in jail since their arrest April 10 because they couldn't afford to post bond ("The Bum's Rush," May 7).
A self-styled "urbanist" who claimed he was trying to run undesirables out of his neighborhood, Brainerd had photographed the men sharing a quart of beer in an alley near his house. But the jury, after little more than an hour of deliberation, agreed with the men's contention that they had acted in self-defense and that Brainerd himself had provoked the incident.
Hernandez, an illegal immigrant, is currently in jail, waiting for Immigration and Naturalization Service to deport him to Mexico. Olivas, however, has his green card, and is back on the street. He's reportedly considering suing Brainerd for mental anguish resulting from his four-month incarceration.
When He Reigns, It Pours
For Neil Slade, the sky's no limit. In early July, the Denver musician/researcher/brainiac was a guest on Art Bell's syndicated radio yakathon, where he described his weather-influencing experiments and organized a "group brain focus to psychically bring rain to northeastern Florida" (Robin Chotzinoff's "Think!," July 2). Since then, Slade's been back on the Bell show several times; meanwhile, rain made a much-needed appearance in then-parched Florida.
"I started getting email from people telling me to 'turn off the spigots,' and that 10.6 inches of rain had subsequently drenched parts of northern Florida in the days following the July 7 brain focus project," Slade writes. "My frontal lobes told me this was a possibility--but how accurate my projection was caught even me by surprise. You can actually trace day by day the satellite cloud cover and Dopler radar of the area via my Web site at http://www.h2net.net/p/ nslade/weather.html.
"A project as large as this, over an area that has had a lot of negative energy in the weather department, not surprisingly took a while to help fix," he continues. "Seventy-two-hour coincidence? I don't know...this experiment bears repeating. Since this is the first time this has ever been tried on such a scale, we likely have a way to go to learn the exact process, perhaps speeding things up. I think Edison tried about 1,000 different materials before he found what worked best in light bulbs. We're all learning together in this one! After you do your visualization, LET GO. It's like shooting an arrow or throwing a baseball. Cloudbusting definitely works this way, and perhaps rainmaking works the same. You aim, then let go, and let it happen."
Since Slade took aim on Art Bell, plenty has been happening at his Web-based Brain Music & Book Store. Orders are coming in so fast and furious for such items as The Frontal Lobes Supercharge Book and Amygdala Brainbites CD that he's had to hire helpers.
Slade is a disciple of T.D. Lingo, the late brain researcher who, as "Lingo the Drifter," won a bunch of money singing folk songs on a Groucho Marx TV show, then used it to start the Dormant Brain Research Laboratory on Laughing Coyote Mountain outside Black Hawk. "Holy ganglia," says Slade. "Guess this is the brain revolution Lingo predicted, and I'm in the middle of it."
And as for now-sodden, hurricane-besieged Florida, all together: "Rain, rain, go away..."
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