Saturday, July 04, 2015

Uh-Oh

'James Bond: The Musical' Is Reportedly Coming Our Way

Ralph Lamb, R. I. P.

Daily Mail Online: Longtime Clark County Sheriff Ralph Lamb, a prominent figure credited with shaping Las Vegas' modern history, has died.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Gator Update

A Texas Man Was Attacked And Killed After Ignoring An Alligator Warning 

I wasn't going to post this, but since there's a clear picture of the sign in the article, I decided to go with it.  The sign plainly says NO SWIMMING ALLIGATORS.  If you're a punctuation nerd, like me, you can see why the guy might have dived in.  He might have thought he was perfectly safe.  After all, the sign does say NO SWIMMING ALLIGATORS.   They might all have been napping on the bottom or they might have been frolicking on the bank, right?  Maybe his family has grounds for a lawsuit.

10 Tales of Legendary Ghost Ships

10 Tales of Legendary Ghost Ships

Song of the Day

Willie Nelson - Living in the Promiseland - YouTube:

10 Star-Spangled Facts About the Musical '1776'

10 Star-Spangled Facts About the Musical '1776' 

Today's Vintage Ad


The Weird Week in Review

The Weird Week in Review 

PaperBack



Vic Crume, Dr. Syn -- Alias the Scarecrow, Pyramid, 1976

Vintage Photos of Patriotic July 4th Pinups

Vintage Photos of Patriotic July 4th Pinups

Why Did Yankee Doodle Call a Feather ‘Macaroni’?

Hint: Revolutionary hipsters are involved.
Why Did Yankee Doodle Call a Feather ‘Macaroni’?

Fourth of July Fireworks

Fourth of July Fireworks -- where they came from and why we like them on July 4

It's July 4!

July 4th - Holidays - HISTORY.com: Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Nicolas Cage Update

See Nicolas Cage in costume test for 'Superman Lives'  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Uh-Oh

Michael Bay to produce remake of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds 

Link via The Rap Sheet.

First It was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

. . . and now it's the Kroger brawl: Women fight outside store after car accident   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Bat Masterson

Bat Masterson: What many don’t know is Bat Masterson was also the model for Obadiah “The Sky” Masterson in Damon Runyon’s short story “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown,” and the popular Broadway musical “Guys and Dolls.”

Song of the Day

1955 HITS ARCHIVE: The Shifting Whispering Sands - Billy Vaughn & Ken Nordine (Parts 1 & 2) - YouTube:

Tour Of New York's Best Secret Libraries

Tour Of New York's Best Secret Libraries 

Today's Vintage Ad


The Ultimate Literary Guide To America

The Ultimate Literary Guide To America

PaperBack



Paula Christian, Edge of Twilight, Crest, 1959

Marilyn Monroe as you've never seen her before

Marilyn Monroe pictures: Hello Norma Jeane: The astonishing treasure trove of rare images show Marilyn Monroe as you've never seen her before 

Read a Publisher’s Rejection Letter to Gertrude Stein

Read a Publisher’s Rejection Letter to Gertrude Stein

New Archive Offers Free Access to 22,000 Literary Documents

New Archive Offers Free Access to 22,000 Literary Documents From Great British & American Writers

A Review of Interest (To Me, Anyway)

Kevin's Corner: FFB Review: "Gator Kill: A Truman Smith Mystery" by Bill Crider

More Forgotten Books

John Jakes: On Wheels  

Henry Treece: The Dark Island

FFB: The Demon Caravan -- Georges Surdez

I had high hopes for The Demon Caravan.  I'd heard good things about the work of Georges Surdez, and the book appeared to be a combination of a novel about the Foreign Legion and a lost world (or at least a hidden society).  What could possibly go wrong?  There's a long and fascinating article about Surdez here, and I'll just quote one little bit of it for you: The Demon Caravan "avoids action for a well-observed power struggle between moderate and conservative Muslims in a remote kingdom."

Okay, that doesn't sound too bad, and in fact it sounds downright contemporary.  The problem is that the "well-observed power struggle" doesn't enter into things until the final third of the novel, which is really a love story rather than an action/adventure tale or a political novel.   After an officer is wounded on a camel patrol near the Iron Mountains, the patrol's new commander, Captain Lartal, takes another patrol out to the spot and he and his sidekick capture two people who have come to spy on the camp.  One of them turns out to be a beautiful woman.  Do I have to tell you that it's love at first sight for both Lartal and the woman?  Someone should have told Lartal because it takes him forever to realize it.  At any rate he makes the decision to release both captives without gaining any information from them, something he would not ordinarily have done.

Later a mysterious message arrives at the fort, and Lartal finds himself once again at the Iron Mountains, where he's taken into the secret hiding spot of a hidden city.  And before long, he finds himself married to the beautiful woman.  This brings the aforementioned power struggle to a climax.

Surdez is great with the local color, and his descriptions of life in the Legion ring true, as do his descriptions of the life of the desert people. The writing is smooth and very readable.  The book was published originally in 1927, but it hardly seems dated at all.  

And here's a bit of trivia for you, in case you didn't know who invented the term "Russian roulette."  It was Georges Surdez, as you'll learn if you read the article at the link above.

The Demon Caravan was made into a movie called Desert Legion in 1953 with Arlene Dahl and Alan Ladd.  I haven't seen it, but I'd like to.

And finally, here's a good review of the novel by someone who liked it a bit more than I did. 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Paperback Pair



Take a guy's hat off, change a woman's undergarments, and instead of a western you have a backwoods novel.

Paris Hilton Update

Does Paris Hilton Secretly Restore Vintage Radios In Her Spare Time

Say It Ain't So!

Paris Hilton was in on plane crash stunt  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

15 More Movies Roger Ebert Really Hated

15 More Movies Roger Ebert Really Hated

Song of the Day

Curtis Lee - Beverly Jean - YouTube:

5 Outdated Things That Are Still Around For Some Reason

5 Outdated Things That Are Still Around For Some Reason

Today's Vintage Ad


World UFO Day 2015: We All Want to Believe!

World UFO Day 2015: 'I was abducted by aliens – and they put a machine in my body' 

Charles W. Runyon, R. I. P.

Jerry's House of Everything: CHARLES W. RUNYON, R.I.P.

Who You Gonna Call?

Couple call in ghostbuster and priest after claiming demonic poltergeist molests them in their sleep

PaperBack



Harry Whittington, Burden's Mission, Avon, 1968

I Miss the Old Days

Retrospace: Magazines #43: Family Circle (Nov. 5, 1985)

Your favorite rock stars when they were children

Rock starts: Your favorite rock stars when they were children   

Link via Neatorama.

Cage of Thrones

What if Nicolas Cage played all the main characters on Game of Thrones?  See it here, if you dare: Cage of Thrones 

Link via Neatorama.

An Audio Book Review of Interest (To Me, Anyway)

Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen by Bill Crider - Venture Galleries: BOOK OF THE MOMENT CLUB

Elementary Infographics Explaining the Many Cases of Sherlock Holmes

Elementary Infographics Explaining the Many Cases of Sherlock Holmes

Gator Update (Wedding Edition)

Mexico mayor weds alligator, animal first baptized