Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Uh-Oh or OK?

Pulp Hero Flash Gordon May Be Headed Back to the Big Screen: Eighty years after his creation and following multiple television and film adaptations, 20th Century Fox has reportedly scooped up the rights to bring Flash Gordon back to the big screen. Considering the pop culture property land-grab that is Hollywood tentpole filmmaking, it was inevitable that eventually the pulp comic hero would be in the running again, but Gordon’s been done before. A lot. So the inevitable question is: Will this one do it right?

Shakespeare’s Tropes: 7 Phrases and Concepts That Changed Western Culture

Flavorwire: Shakespeare’s Tropes: 7 Phrases and Concepts That Changed Western Culture

Teens Invent a Better Ketchup Cap

Relishing a challenge, teens in Project Lead the Way invent a better ketchup cap

Phone Call from Hell and Other Tales of the Damned-- Jonathan Woods

When you're in the mood to travel down some dark paths, really dark, Jonathan Woods is your man.  Not that the dark paths aren't lighted with humor.  Sure, it's dark humor, but it's there in abundance, particularly in a story like "Lucky Man."  Or in "The Other Suitcase," in which a doomed man devotes his energies to finding a lost novel by Franz Kafka.  It's a story that ends with a bang.  Literally.  Then there's "A Bad Day for Barbecue," which has put me off BBQ for a while.  The title story is about a man who gets a phone call from Charles Manson.  Charlie has a strange request.  If you got that call, would you try to carry out the request?  This guy does.  "A Handgun's Tale" is narrated by a handgun with a literary bent.  For an inanimate object, it gets around.  "Writer's Block" brings us Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene out on the town.  To say it's not a flattering portrait of either man would be to understate the case.

Jonathan Woods' work might not be to everyone's taste, but if you're looking for the offbeat, the bizarre, and the downright strange, you owe it to yourself to read these stories.

“The Mystery Gene” (by Miriam Grace Monfredo)

“The Mystery Gene” (by Miriam Grace Monfredo) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN


DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG: New research shows middle-age and older adults who take naps may be at an increased risk of dying.

Or Maybe You Do

12 Things About ‘Field Of Dreams’ You Probably Didn’t Know

Song of the Day

The Platters - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes - YouTube:

Needle Magazine: Spring 2014 issue available now

Spring 2014 issue available now | Needle: A Magazine of Noir: Needle Magazine is hardboiled, lean and mean. Crime fiction from some of the best — Heath Lowrance, Rob W. Hart, Patti Abbott, Taylor Brown, Jen Conley, Stephen D. Rogers, Court Merrigan, Sandra Seamans, Trent England, Christopher L. Irvin, William Boyle, William Dylan Powell, and Tom Joyce. Cover art by Scott Morse.

Another Sign of the Approaching Apocalypse

Peeps Candy Optioned For Movie, TV Treatment

Gator Update (Recycling Edition)

Tire Alligators 

Today's Vintage Ad

I Miss the Old Days

20 Awesome Things People Saw at the 1964 World’s Fair 


Pat Stadley, The Black Leather Barbarians, Signet, 1960

The secret to happiness? Visit a library... and avoid the gym

The secret to happiness? Visit a library... and avoid the gym: Study finds which activities most boost our contentment  

Hat tip to the well-read Jeff Meyerson.


Obese virgin accidentally smashed girlfriend's head through wall during sex   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson, who says he saw Obese Virgin open for Meat Loaf.

The Most Popular Girl Names in Each State Since 1960

The Most Popular Girl Names in Each State Since 1960 


Ever wonder what it's like to round up, milk, and skin a rattlesnake?

Charting the Unknown: Collectible Maps and Cartography

Authorized Map of the Second Byrd Expedition - Antarctica - 1934
Charting the Unknown: Collectible Maps and Cartography: Let's hear it for cartographers. Without map-makers, who knows how we'd find our way around. But they have an easier job of it today, with most of the globe explored, charted, recorded and explored again. Early map-makers struggled against many adversities - imagine traveling to far-off lands and trying to accurately record your voyage, on tiny scale, well enough for the next ship of travellers to follow your route?

It's a Date


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Wife tried to run over husband after he complained she was a bad driver: Sarai Longhenry, of Fort Campbell, is accused of trying to drive over her husband on Easter Sunday in the parking lot of a Baptist church.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Central Florida teen charged with attempted murder in stabbing over Facebook post

We Got Shakespeare's Personal Dictionary on eBay

Booksellers: We Got Shakespeare's Personal Dictionary on eBay: Now, two New York City booksellers say they have found one of those books. And it's not just any guide: This is William Shakespeare’s dictionary, owned and annotated by the man himself.

Early Bands Of Bowie, Elton And Others

Before They Went Solo: Early Bands Of Bowie, Elton And Others

I Have a Gub, er, a Spud

Suspect uses potato in attempted robberies

Or Maybe You Did

15 Movie Quotes You Never Knew Were Ad-Libbed

Song of the Day

Faron Young -- Hello Walls - YouTube:

Alternate Endings to Popular TV Finales

Alternate Endings to Popular TV Finales 

Today's Vintage Ad

25 Books That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About New York

Best New York Novels: 25 Books That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About New York

Mr. Bliss: Tolkien’s Little-Known Children’s Book

Mr. Bliss: Tolkien’s Little-Known Children’s Book for His Own Kids, Lovingly Handwritten and Illustrated by the Author Himself


Carter Brown, The Silken Nightmare, Signet, 1963

Lynn Munroe Books:Cover Art by Tom Miller

Lynn Munroe Books: Lynn Munroe's latest check list includes the works of paperback cover artist Tom Miller.  I highly recommend not only the check list but the essays "Tom Miller and Me" and "Tom Miller."  Take a look at the link.

12 Directors Who Hated Their Own Movies

12 Directors Who Hated Their Own Movies 

No Big Sleep for Raymond Chandler

No Big Sleep for Raymond Chandler

36 Life Changing Poems Everyone Should Read

36 Life Changing Poems Everyone Should Read

It's Earth Day!

Earth Day: The History of A Movement 

Overlooked Movies: Love and Death

Napoleon invades Russia, but never fear.  Woody Allen is there to provide a stout defense of his native country.  Okay, not his but his character's.  If your country is depending on Woody Allen to save it, you're doomed.

When people talk about Allen's earlier, funnier movies, this must be the one they mean.  It has some of Allen's best slapstick and best one-liners.  It's hilarious.  Also philosophical.  Characters are likely to break into philosophical discussions or monologues at any moment.  Most often even these discussions are funny, as they're meant to be, but they're also quite serious.  Allen gets into plenty of his main concerns about love and death here.  

The movie was made when Allen was still doing anarchic comedy.  It's off-the-wall, and it borrows from just about everybody.  It was made when Allen could parody Bergman and before he tried to become Bergman.  The trailer posted down below gives you some idea of things, but here's a sampler of scenes.  If you like what you see, you'll like the movie.  If not, forget it.  As for me, I love this movie. 

Love and Death Trailer

Love and Death Trailer - YouTube:

Monday, April 21, 2014

'Literary fiction' is just clever marketing

The genre debate: 'Literary fiction' is just clever marketing 

Books Every Writer Needs to Read

Books Every Writer Needs to Read 

Antiques Con -- Barbara Allan

Brandy and Vivian Borne (not to mention cover-dog Sushi) are back in action, and this time they're taking Manhattan as they go to a comics convention where they hope to sell their Superman drawing, obtained in the previous volume of this very funny and entertaining series.   

The book begins with Chapter Two, which explains why there's no Chapter One, and I think any crime writer will get a kick out of it.  I also got a kick out of their occasional comments about keeping things clean in hopes that the series will make into the nation's Walmarts.

The con's awards are shaped like pens, and it isn't long before Brandy and Vivian, ever the lucky ones, stumble onto the body of the con organizer, who's been stabbed by one of the awards.  This leads to investigation and hilarity, not to mention a bit of a coincidence, when the lead detective turns out to be the brother of Brandy's boyfriend, Tony, now in the Witness Protection Program.  He's all to familiar with Vivian's love of inserting herself into murder investigations.  

This one leads in a surprising direction when it appears that the Mob might be somehow involved, and that leads to some great scenes with Vivian confronting mobsters in a strip club and, best of all, the Big Boss in a nursing home.

You probably know that Barbara Allan is Barbara and Max Allan Collins.  I've mentioned several books in this series here on the blog, and if you haven't read it yet, it's about time you started.  The mysteries are solid, the characters are the kind you'll like to read about (you might not want to spend much time with them in person), there are lots of laughs, and the writing has pizzazz.  Check it out.

Frank R. Paul ~ Amazing Stories

The Golden Age: Frank R. Paul ~ Amazing Stories

Song of the Day

The Crickets - Love's Made A Fool Of You - YouTube:

Classic Gunfights

Battle of the Plaza: Battle of the Plaza Bat Masterson Vs Peacock & Updegraff

Today's Vintage Ad

Comic Strip of the Day

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Shakespeare and Shatner Go Head-to-Head In Five Minute Lego Film [VIDEO]: Texas-based production company AMAA Productions is the team behind Action Bill. It took them 14 days to shoot the five-minute film, which they animated using only Lego pieces. Check out behind-the-scenes photos on the company's blog, as well as a visual effects breakdown in the clip below.


Jonathan Craig, So Young, So Wicked, Gold Medal, 1957

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Road-raging Texas driver shoots 3-year-old girl on Easter: KPRC reported that the suspect fired several rounds into the air as Leah’s father passed the suspicious vehicle. When the suspect’s car caught up to the family at a red light, a person in the car shot “six or seven” more rounds into Leah’s side of the SUV.

The Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum

The Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum 

Will the Persecution Never End? (See #2)

Top 10 Unbelievable Ways to Sneak Your Way Past Security

No Wonder I'm Blissfully Happy

Study: Using the Internet can reduce depression among older adults by 33 percent

I Miss the Old Days

The '60s at 50: Monday, April 20, 1964: Picturephone

New Poem at the 5-2

The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly: David S. Pointer MARINE BARRACKS FIRST AID

San Jacinto Day!

Battle of San Jacinto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: The Battle of San Jacinto, fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day Harris County, Texas, was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. Led by General Sam Houston, the Texian Army engaged and defeated General Antonio L�pez de Santa Anna's Mexican army in a fight that lasted just 18 minutes. About 630 of the Mexican soldiers were killed and 730 captured, while only nine Texans died.[3]

The Outlaw Deputy

outldep - YouTube: