Sunday, April 20, 2014

Red Chief Strikes Again

Kidnapped boy Willie Myrick sings gospel song until abductor sets him free

A Landmark Story's Anniversary

he Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor: It was on this day in 1841 that the first "detective story" was published: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," by Edgar Allan Poe (books by this author). In the story, C. August Dupin reads about the murder of a mother and daughter in a Paris street. The police are baffled, and Dupin decides to offer up his services. He finds a hair at the crime scene that he realizes does not belong to a human, and eventually he pieces together enough evidence to solve the case: The murder was committed by an orangutan who had been held in captivity by a sailor and who murdered the first woman with a straight razor and the second by strangling her.

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, R. I. P.

chicagotribune.com: Former professional boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for murder and then was released after it was determined he did not get a fair trial, died on Sunday at the age of 76, according to reports in the Canadian media.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Or You Might

7 Facts You Might Not Know About The King Of Late Night, David Letterman

Song of the Day

Uncloudy Day (Willie Nelson) w/ lyrics - YouTube:

Ten Underrated Things About Houston (For Now)

Ten Underrated Things About Houston (For Now)  

Not quite a slideshow, but equally annoying.

Today's Vintage Ad


First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Detroit student's father accused of biting principal after child denied field trip 

PaperBack



Nathanael West, The Day of the Locust, Bantam, 1953

5 Theories About Why We Dye Eggs for Easter

5 Theories About Why We Dye Eggs for Easter

I Miss the Old Days

Fender Stratocaster turns 60  

Yes, it's a slideshow, but who can resist guitars?

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Attention to Books of Possible Interest

Amazon.com: How the West Was Written: Frontier Fiction, 1880-1906 eBook: Ron Scheer: Kindle Store: The chapters of How the West Was Written tell a story of how the western frontier fed the imagination of writers, both men and women. It illustrates how the cowboy is only one small figure in a much larger fictional landscape. There are early frontier novels in which he is the central character, while in others he’s only a two-dimensional, tobacco-chewing caricature, or just an incidental part of the scenery.

Top 10 Bizarre Easter Traditions from Around the World

Top 10 Bizarre Easter Traditions from Around the World

Happy Easter!

Easter eggs, bunnies, Peeps: Easter traditions explained

This picture is from  Easter, 1949.  I'm on the left, my brother, Bob, is in the center, and my sister, Francelle, is on the right.

Easter Parade

Easter Parade Trailer (1948) - YouTube:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

FINALISTS: 2014 Hugo Award & 1939 Retro Hugos

FINALISTS: 2014 Hugo Award & 1939 Retro Hugos [With Free Fiction Links!] - SF Signal

The Memorable Last Words of Literary Characters

The Memorable Last Words of Literary Characters 

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

7-year-old twin boys fend off Texas carjacker with fists and a rubber snake 

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Man Threatens Deli Workers With Samurai Sword   

Annoying auto-start video.

Song of the Day

Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford - I Need Your Lovin'.wmv - YouTube:

Or You Might

20 Facts You Might Not Know About ‘Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2′

Today's Vintage Ad


How Paperbacks Transformed the Way Americans Read

How Paperbacks Transformed the Way Americans Read

PaperBack



Stephen Becker, Shanghai Incident, Gold Medal, 1955

The genre debate: Science fiction travels farther than literary fiction

The genre debate: Science fiction travels farther than literary fiction   

Link via SF Signal.

Well, Duh

Ancient wrestling was fake too: Researchers have deciphered a Greek document that shows an ancient wrestling match was fixed. The document, which has a date on it that corresponds to the year A.D. 267, is a contract between two teenagers who had reached the final bout of a prestigious series of games in Egypt.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

World’s Largest Volcano Officially Named For Texas A&M

Hat tip to Bill Page.

Archaeology Update (Bad Doggie Edition)

Ancient puppy paw prints found on Roman tiles: "They are beautiful finds, as they represent a snapshot, a single moment in history," said Nick Daffern, a senior project manager with Wardell Armstrong Archaeology. "It is lovely to imagine some irate person chasing a dog or some other animal away from their freshly made tiles."

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Soccer fan arrested for dumping several kilograms of anchovies on team’s bench before a game

The 5-2 Blog Tour

I try to alert everyone when there's a new poem at Gerald So's site The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly.  It's always fun to see a new poem and  hear a new voice, so when Gerald asked me to be part of his annual blog tour and write about one of the poems, I was happy to take part.  It's not always easy to choose one to write about since I like nearly all of them, but this year one title called out to me: "The Adjunct Professor's Lament."  It's by Charles Rammelkamp, and it appeared on March 3.  You can read it here, and you should. 

I was taken with this one because as chair of a community college English department for many years, I had to hire a lot of adjunct professors.  They're the unsung heroes of academia, teaching classes for ridiculously low salaries and trying to impart a little knowledge. Sometimes the job has its hazards, and I suspect every teacher (not just adjuncts) has had a student a little like the one that Rammelkamp describes in his poem.  My own favorite memory of such a student is the one who might very well be the duplicate of the one in Rammelkamp's poem, the one who told me while ranting about her instructor and the grade she'd received, "Just because I'm mentally ill doesn't mean I'm crazy."

What's the risk of having a student like that, and what's a teacher to do?  The instructor in the poem has one answer.  I expect it's one that many others have also found.  So much for the semicolon.

WINNER: 2014 Philip K. Dick Award

WINNER: 2014 Philip K. Dick Award - SF Signal

I Sell Anything

1934 I SELL ANYTHING TRAILER PAT O'BRIEN - YouTube: