Marilyn Manson
Gabriel Bouys  /  AFP - Getty Images file
No stranger to controversy, rock singer Marilyn Manson has unveiled his own brand of absinthe liquor.
By Brian Tracey Associate editor
msnbc.com
COMMENTARY

Any fan of goth-rocker Marilyn Manson knows he has a bit of an obession with all things macabre, so no one should be surprised he's come out with his own brand of absinthe liquor, an adult beverage that has been long vilified as something that when taken in excess can kill you.

According to Rolling Stone's Web site, Manson recently introduced his own brand of the controversial cocktail, called Mansinthe, after working with a Swiss distillery to develop a blend "distilled from fine herbs, naturally colored and not sugared."

One of those ingredients is wormwood, which contains a toxic chemical that in large quantities can cause kidney failure, seizures and even death. Once the favorite drink of artists and bohemians in late 19th century Europe for its alleged pyschoactive attributes, absinthe was banned in the early 1900s in many countries due to its controversial ingredient. But since the prohibitions were lifted in the European Union, the bitter liquor has recently seen a resurgence among the trendy on the Continent.

Bad news for Manson's U.S. fans: Absinthe remains banned in the United States, despite a recent study that found the drink no more dangerous to your health that any other liquor.

But that research didn't stop Manson from playing up its morbid reputation. His design for the Mansinthe label has a drawing of a deathly ill-looking man poised to sip from a glass.

And if the wormwood doesn't kill you, this just may — a $40 bottle is a hellish 66.6 percent alcohol.

Perhaps Manson is hoping for an endorsement as the official "drink of the devil."


Long distance links
Here's a golf course Tiger Woods can love: A developer plans to build the world's longest links across 750 miles of treeless Australian desert.

The unusual project received a boost on this week when the Australian government offered seed funding for the venture.

The 18-hole course will stretch along the Eyre Highway which crosses the arid Nullarbor Plain in the south of the continent, with one hole placed in each town along the way, and one at a remote sheep farm.

Indomitable duffers who tee off in the Western Australian mining town of Kalgoorlie will end their round in the South Australian south coast town of Ceduna, more than 750 miles to the east.

"The Japanese are prepared to play golf on a rooftop, that's how keen they are. Can you imagine? They'll be flocking in hordes to get over here and play this," course promoter Alf Caputo told the Australian Associated Press. He said four holes were already in play, but he hoped the full 18 holes would be operating by mid-2008.

Caputo, from the Eyre Highway Operators Association, said the golf idea had been dreamt up to promote remote-area tourism and encourage people who drive across the Nullarbor Plain to stop and see the local towns.

The Nullarbor Plain, named for its lack of trees, is the world's largest flat bedrock surface, covering about 168,000 square miles.

We're guessing your golf cart is going to need an extra-king-sized battery.

A graveyard for die-hard fans
A German soccer club is building its own cemetery to give fans eternal rooting resting place.

Hamburg SV has laid the foundation for the graveyard — Europe's first, according to the Ananova Web portal — which will feature entrance gates in the shape of a goal.

It is located just a free kick away from the Nordbank Arena where the club plays its home matches.

"We'll have room for 300 to 500 graves," said Christian Reichert, a member of Hamburg SV's managing board.

He said the club has already received 15 requests to reserve a plot before burials start next year.

The graves will be arranged in a semicircle over on three ascending levels to resemble a soccer stadium.

Hamburg SV supporter Ernst Schmidt, an 81-year-old widower, said he may reserve a plot even though he has already made arrangements to be buried next to his wife.

"I'm going to inquire whether it's possible," Schmidt was quoted as saying. "I've been a [Hamburg] fan for 57 years. My life, it's only football."

And apparently, in death as well.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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