Saturday, June 16, 2007
Disguise that took the intrepid zoologist into the crocodiles' lair | the Daily Mail: "When Dr Brady Barr decided to dress up as a crocodile, the disguise needed to be good.
Otherwise he was in grave danger of being eaten by the real thing.
The zoologist adopted his bizarre outfit in the hope of getting closer to a colony of Nile crocodiles, which can grow up to 20ft.
His disguise was a prosthetic head attached to the front of a protective metal cage covered with canvas and a generous plastering of hippo dung to mask his human scent."
In a questionnaire at the end of the test, 91 per cent of the Kingston students taking the test for the first time reported that they read websites, e-mails and chat messages more than novels, magazines and newspapers outside of school. The questionnaire also asked what types of writing students do, and 92 per cent spend more time writing e-mails and chat messages than any other type of writing.
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Goldman was slain along with Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson in 1994. The Goldmans want the book's proceeds included as part of a nearly $33.5 million civil jury award they have been trying to collect for almost a decade.
The ruling 'ensures that Mr. Simpson will never see another dime from this book,' said Paul Battista, an attorney for the Goldman family."
Friday, June 15, 2007
The first six of these compact editions — Vanity Fair, David Copperfield, The Mill on the Floss, Anna Karenina, Moby Dick and Wives and Daughters — will be available in Australian bookstores in July.
They are intended for trouble-free consumption by people with far better things to do than read the whole books."
There are a couple of things we're dealing with now.
The certainty and the uncertainty.
The certainty is that Judy has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
That's the good news.
The uncertainty is worse.
What will the tests at M. D. Anderson tell us? What stage is the cancer in? What will the treatment be? How long will it last? What's the prognosis? What can we expect?
So we're riding a roller coaster between the peaks of hope and terror. thanks again to all of you for caring.
George W. Bush caught wearing Crocs - Styledash: "Love him or hate him, there's one thing we can all agree on when it comes to President Bush: he is not a fashionable man. So, now that the commander-in-chief has been caught wearing Crocs, can we officially declare these sandals as the ugliest pieces of footwear on the planet?"
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Features: Musical note sends gator into bellowing ecstasy
On the way to playing tuba for an audience of alligators, William Mickelsen felt cocky enough to talk about his musical chops.
His well-trained jaw muscles, his lips and his tongue felt up to the task. His majestic lungs felt strong and elastic. He and his tuba were ready for whatever reptilian drama lay ahead. The night before, he and his fellow artists in the Florida Orchestra had played at Ruth Eckerd Hall behind composer Marvin Hamlisch, the Oscar winner for The Way We Were. Everything had gone swimmingly.
At Gatorland, the old tourist attraction near Kissimmee, Mickelsen was going to play a deep B flat for a battle-scarred, amorous male alligator named Toxic.
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From Pulitzer to Paris
Thrity five years to the day after taking the iconic photograph of a naked Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack, AP photographer Nick Ut snaps a crying Paris Hilton. We talk with Ut about the coincidence.
|The photograph that earned Ut the Pulitzer prize|
|Paris Hilton in police car crying|
The Austin Chronicle: Screens: No Strangers to Drama: Austin couple rescues Vernon Plaza Theatre: "In Albert Brooks' zany Eighties zeitgeist film Lost in America, thirtysomethings David and Linda Howard, as portrayed by the neurotic Brooks and the fey Julie Hagerty, leave their jobs, sell all of their possessions, and set out in a Winnebago in search of their dreams. Maybe author Mark Finn and his wife Cathy Day will someday show it in the old movie house they recently bought after leaving their successful jobs in Austin.
Finn, author of the acclaimed Robert E. Howard biography Blood & Thunder, walked away from his day job as a manager at BookPeople, the largest independent bookstore in Texas. After 12 years, Day gave up her career as an elementary special-education teacher. They agreed that it was time. 'We've always wanted to do something like this, and the opportunity presented itself,' Finn says."
BBC NEWS | UK | England | Merseyside | Woman jailed for testicle attack: "A woman who ripped off her ex-boyfriend's testicle with her bare hands has been sent to prison.
Amanda Monti, 24, flew into a rage when Geoffrey Jones, 37, rejected her advances at the end of a house party, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
She pulled off his left testicle and tried to swallow it, before spitting it out. A friend handed it back to Mr Jones saying: 'That's yours.'"
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
kutv.com - UFO Sighting In Salt Lake City?: "Is it a rocket? Is it a blimp? Is it a UFO?
A strange object seen in the skies above in Salt Lake City has residents scratching their heads.
What appears to be a huge air balloon was seen floating above the valley Wednesday morning.
The silver, rocket-shaped craft was sighted about 8 a.m. and floated about for several minutes before disappearing.
Salt Lake Air Traffic Control said they didn’t pick up the object on radar and had no knowledge of the craft. "
Early in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday, June 9, a thief robbed an Austin, TX Half Price Books at 2222 of over forty rare and collectible books. Unlike many of the other Half Price locations, these books are the centerpiece of the store, complete with their own room and many locked cases.
The unscrupulous individual absconded with some of the finest items in the store's inventory. Unique titles such as
Leonard Feather's The New Encyclopedia of Jazz signed or inscribed by over twenty-seven jazz musicians, some multiple times including legends Charlie Byrd, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Nina Simone
The Bretano's edition of R. C. Sherriff's famed World War I play Journey's End signed by Sheriff, producer (and poet) Maurice Browne, and legendary director James Whale (who directed this version and would later direct the 1930 film version)
Author Eugene C. Barker's personal copy of The Life of Stephen F. Austin complete with his penciled notes on changes made to the published text.
Or rare titles such as the
Among the missing:
1875 first French edition of Karl Marx's Das Capital
signed first edition of Larry McMurtry's The Last Picture Show
first edition of Under the Volcano by Malcom Lowry
first edition of Hammet's Maltese Falcon
the first US edition of Edwin Abbot's cult novel Flatland.
signed books by Edward Gorey, Stephen King, Hunter S. Thompson, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Richard Nixonand
first editions by Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, J. D. Salinger, Cormac McCarthy, Dr. Seuss, and Maurice Sendak.
Anyone with information is asked to contact me directly either via email at email@example.com or at the store (512-451-4463).
Half Price Books Austin
Originally published in hardcover by Arbor House in 1986, 1001 Midnights by Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller, one of the finest reference texts ever published in the field of mystery fiction, quickly went out of print, but it has been in high demand in the used book market ever since."
20 Best Gibberish Lyrics: No. 20 - Spinner.com - Free MP3s, Interviews, Music News, Live Performances, Songs and Videos: "Frank Sinatra once called rock 'n' roll's lyrics 'imbecilic.' To prove him wrong, we've compiled 20 examples of rock at its most poetic -- which is when it doesn't concern itself with actual words."
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Charleston Daily Mail: "Don Herbert, who explained the wonderful world of science to young baby boomers on television in the 1950s and '60s as 'Mr Wizard' and did the same for a later generation of youngsters on the Nickelodeon cable TV channel in the 1980s, died today. He was 89.
Herbert died at his home in Bell Canyon after a long battle with multiple myeloma, said Tom Nikosey, Herbert's son-in-law.
A 1940 graduate of LaCrosse State Teachers College who served as an Army Air Forces pilot during World War II, Herbert worked as an actor and model before launching his weekly science show on NBC in 1951. Broadcast live from Chicago the first three years and then from New York, 'Watch Mr. Wizard' ran for 14 years.
The show won a Peabody Award, three Thomas Alva Edison Awards, four Ohio State University awards and two Emmy nominations."
I don't handle stress well. I slept maybe three hours last night. Maybe I'll do better when some of this sinks in on me a little more. Right now I'm still in shock, but I'm determined that Judy is going to get well. I guess I'm some kind of control freak, and it drives me nuts that I can't do something to make things right. Instantly. I feel as if that's my job.
To keep from going nuts, I'll be posting here, maybe rambling self-pitying stuff like this, but I hope more cheerful things, too.
Thanks to you all.
Monday, June 11, 2007
So, by God, I'm not going to close down the blog. The comments down below have warmed my heart, believe me, and I'm going to keep on truckin' and smiling and pretending everything is just fine. You guys are great. Maybe there won't be quite as many posts here, maybe they won't all be chipper, but I'm gonna be here.
And now for an update on Judy. We're trying to process a lot of information, but here's what I think right now. Her lymphoma is of the non-Hodgkins variety. It's also "indolent." That means it grows slowly (good news) but is incurable (definitely not good news). It can be kicked into remission, though, and we'll settle for that until the cure is found. We have a long road ahead of us, and it might take a while to get into M. D. Anderson, but we're going to come out on the other side smiling. I hope you'll all be here with us when that happens.
We were wrong.
Today we were told that she has lymphoma. That's not good news. So far, that's all we know. We don't know if it's Hodgkins or non-Hodgkins. Or anything else. She's being referred to M. D. Anderson, which is a fine cancer facility, and she'll get the best of care, I'm cure. I don't know what this means to our future, but for now I'm pretty much going to shut down the blog. If there's any good news, or bad news, I'll post it here eventually.
It's been fun, but I think the fun's over for a while. Prayers and good thoughts will be much appreciated. You guys behave yourselves.
Back when I was chair of the English Deparment at Alvin Community College and teaching in the prisons, we held classes at one unit with a number of gay inmates. Their ingenuity was astounding. As one of the instructors said, "It's a wonder what a guy can do with a little bit of color." If only they'd spent as much time on their English assignments. . . .
CoolCop™ attaches to your vehicle's A/C and directs cool, dry air behind your vest where you need it most. You stay comfortable, dry, energized, and ready to face the heat on the street."
Sunday, June 10, 2007
The creatures have apparently been spoken of, and occasionally spotted, for years, but a rise in the number of sightings over the past month has prompted authorities to look into the matter further. The bizarre sightings have reportedly been made in the Garo hills area of Meghalaya state, close to the borders with Bangladesh and Bhutan. Villagers have dubbed the mysterious creatures “Mande Burung” - or Jungle Man. “A team of wildlife officials and other experts will conduct a study to find out if there is any truth in the locals’ claims about these hairy giants,” said Samphat Kumar, a district magistrate in the West Garo Hills district. One local farmer, 40-year-old Wallen Sangma, claimed he had seen an entire family of the creatures - possibly a lowland relative of the Himalayan Yeti, or perhaps a distant cousin of the North American bigfoot known as Sasquatch, or Australia’s Yowie."
Ron Porambo, 67, Journalist Turned Robber - November 7, 2006 - The New York Sun: "Ron Porambo, who died October 22 at 67, made a fateful and most unusual career choice when, in the early 1970s, soon after publishing an impassioned book about the 1967 Newark, N.J., riots, he turned to a life of crime as a stickup artist."
CROSS PLAINS — Conan — or “the Barbarian,” as portrayed in cinema by Arnold Schwarzenegger — is the character most Americans associate with author Robert E. Howard, the Cross Plains resident whose works have put this community on the literary map.
But attention was also given many of his other literary works during this weekend’s Robert E. Howard Days that concluded Saturday night.
The annual event, co-sponsored by Cross Plains Project Pride and the Robert E. Howard United Press Association, opened Thursday and attracted Howard fans and scholars from throughout the United States. By early Saturday afternoon, almost 200 people had registered at the Robert E. Howard Museum on Highway 36, the home where Howard lived and wrote most of his manuscripts.
Hundreds more arrived in Cross Plains to attend seminars at the high school and enjoy a variety of activities for all ages downtown as part of the community’s Barbarian Festival. Arts and crafts, car shows, games and live music were part of the events Saturday.
Though most prominently known for creating the genre now known as “Sword and Sorcery,” Howard’s body of work also includes historical adventure, suspense, epic poetry, gothic horror, sea stories and Western burlesques in the vein of Mark Twain.
Over the past 75 years, Howard’s original work — including more than 800 stories, poems and novels — has gained a vast international audience. These works have been the inspiration for major motion picture franchises, TV series, comic book and graphic novel adaptations, games, toys and merchandising.
One of the seminars held Saturday focused on Howard’s personal interest in boxing, and the stories he wrote about the sport. It was moderated by Chris Gruber, editor of the book “Robert E. Howard: Boxing Stories” published by the University Nebraska Press. Gruber was joined by other Howard researchers to discuss famous boxers like Jack Dempsey and Charles “Kid” McCoy, whose personal characteristics influenced Howard’s numerous boxing stories.
Gregory Manchess of Beaverton, Ore., was the featured guest this year. He led a Friday seminar on his work in illustrating “The Conquering Sword of Conan” and was featured at Friday night’s banquet. Manchess paintings have appeared in magazines like Time, Newsweek, The Smithsonian and National Geographic. He has illustrated film posters, billboards, children’s books as well as the covers of two Major League Baseball World Series programs.
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Engineer report: Some flaws remain in outfall canal pumps | News for New Orleans, Louisiana | Local News | News for New Orleans, Louisiana | wwltv.com: "An Army Corps of Engineers report found mechanical and contracting problems with drainage pumps installed by the corps before the start of the 2006 hurricane season, prompting a Louisiana senator to call for a Justice Department investigation.
Although the pumps have been extensively overhauled, critical flaws remain a year later, according to the report, which was released Friday.
The review by three corps engineers from outside the New Orleand district office backed up findings of a May 2006 memo by a corps mechanical engineer working on the $32 million pump project. The memo warned the pumps were faulty and would not work during a hurricane."
The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas - Local men bag 13-foot alligator: "Every good hunter dreams of that one big kill, the one unforgettable story that he can tell over and over again and can be passed on for generations to come.
Palestine native David James got his catch, and his story, over Memorial Day weekend when he, with the help of his dad Dr. Barry James and brothers Jeff and Scott James killed and hauled in the biggest alligator they had ever seen."