Saturday, August 11, 2007

Brian Garfield

I'd been wondering what Brian Garfield was up to. Now I know, thanks to an interview that Steve Hockensmith did with him for AHMM. It's available for limited time here.

Flash Gordon

Because I'm at a convention, I missed out on the new version of Flash Gordon on the Sci-Fi Channel. Fortunately, however, I'm able to bring you a review by noted TV critic Walter Satterthwait.

You could've been watching the debut of FLASH GORDON on SciFi. Or, if you wanted to have even more fun, you could have been pulling out tufts of hair and pouring iodine on your head.

The idea (such as it is) sucks, the writing (such as it is) sucks, but all that is made up for by the acting (such as it is), which truly, truly sucks. At least the show is consistent: everything and everybody in it sucks.

It's easy to make Dale Arden boring. (And these guys, naturally, took the easy way out.) But Princess Aura? The wicked, passionate, tempestuous Princess Aura? In this thing, she's a Valley Girl whose strongest emotion is a snit.

She probably got that from her father, Ming The Monotonous.

As for Flash, he's played by an actor with the charisma of cottage cheese. (But without the flair.) I wanted to turn off the TV after about 10 minutes, but I hung in there for the full hour and a half of psychic root canal, so I could bring you this detailed report.

The Zombie Threat to America

John Stickney has informed me of this threat. Who knew?

The Dead Fathers Club -- Matt Haig

Okay, it's official. I just don't get it. The blurb inside the front cover says that this is, "The hilarious and touching novel narrated by an eleven-year-old boy who is visited by his father's ghost."

Actually, I do get most of that. It's the hilarious that has me scratching my head. I thought this book was dark and clever and, yes, touching. Also very sad. But hilarious? It must be that British sense of humor that's over my head.

The story is a riff on Hamlet. The boy is Philip Noble (Noble! Get it? Maybe that's hilarious). His father's ghost tells him that the father was murdered by his brother, Philip's uncle, and that it's Philip's duty to murder the uncle. There are plenty of Hamlet parallels for those who want to look for them. Some of them are subtle, some aren't. I guess that's fun. Mostly though, I was just depressed.

I'm also not sure whether this is supposed to be a book for adults or younger readers. I don't think the youngsters will get it, but I could be wrong. And I should warn you that Philip seems to have learned to write by reading Cormac McCarthy.

I have to admit it's different. I don't think anyone would disagree with that, and maybe you'd find it more congenial than I did.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's the Friendly Pepper-Upper

Dr Pepper Museum awaits millionth guest | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Texas Southwest: "Based on its visitor count, the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco expects that its millionth guest will walk through its doors on Friday, Aug. 17.

The lucky visitor will enjoy a cake, officially licensed Dr Pepper gifts and a life membership. In addition, the newly famous guest will be entitled to a free fountain Dr Pepper at each future visit.

'The 1 millionth visitor symbolically represents the success of an institution that was founded to preserve the history of the soft drink industry and inform schoolchildren of the importance of America's free enterprise system,” Executive Director Jack N. McKinney said in a statement. “The founders and supporters of this museum have worked for many years to make this building into a cultural icon for Waco.'

Opened in May 1991, the museum is housed in a 100-year-old building that was the bottling plant for the soft drink for more than 60 years. For more about the museum, go to"

Maybe I'm at the Wrong Convention this Weekend

Events: Fetish Con, if you dare: "Break out the bullwhips. Fetish Con is back in town.

Now in its fourth year in Tampa - and seventh overall - the highly successful sexual fetish expo returns to the Hyatt Regency Tampa this weekend, meaning you'll have a good chance of seeing a man walking through downtown on a leash.

The annual convention draws attendees from around the country. Outsiders are welcome. Here's a brief, safe-for-work preview of who and what you can expect to see."


Judy got the doctor's okay yesterday on her weekly visit, so we're going to Austin this morning for the Armadillocon. This will probably be our last trip for a while, since the effects of chemotherapy become more pronounced as it progresses. Judy will spend most of the time holed up in the hotel room because she's tired most of the time, and chemo's just started. I'll do my panels and hang out a little. There will be blogging, I'm sure.

Pigeon Drop

Thanks to John Stickney for the link.

Kidnappers use pigeons to collect ransoms - Telegraph: "Kidnappers attempting to evade capture in Iraq have hit on a new, risk-free method of collecting ransom payments: the homing pigeon.

Iraqi police say they have recorded repeated instances of kidnappers leaving homing pigeons on the doorsteps of their victim's homes, with instructions for the families to attach cash to the birds' legs. The pigeons then deliver the ransom to the gangs' hideouts.

Pigeon-keeping is a popular hobby in Iraq, and enthusiasts there say that some of the stronger birds can carry weights of up to 2-1/2 ounces on each leg.

One family attached $10,000 in $100 notes to the legs of five homing pigeons, which they found in a cage left on their doorstep."


I went outside last night just before it got dark and saw fireflies. I hadn't seen any in a couple of years or more, but there they were, eight or ten of them, moving away from my yard and flying over the neighbor's lawn. When I was a kid, I spent a lot of summer evenings at my grandmother's house, and it seemed to me that her yard was always full of fireflies. My sister and I would chase them. If we caught one, we'd hold it in our closed hand and peep in to look at them. Now and then we'd keep one in a mayo jar with holes punched in the lid, but that never worked out well. Seeing the fireflies last night took by surprise and took me back in time. For about a tenth of a second I could almost remember what it was like to be a kid instead of a old geezer who was outside to make sure his pickup windows were rolled up.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Croc Update (Remember Reggie! Edition)

BBC NEWS | Europe | 'Godzilla' croc hunted in Ukraine: "Emergency workers are hunting a crocodile which has escaped from a travelling circus in southern Ukraine.

It went missing in the sea at Mariupol, close to Ukraine's border with Russia.

There have been a number of sightings of the animal, including a photo in a local newspaper, but all attempts to capture it have so far failed.

The crocodile, named Godzilla, was being paraded on a beach in Mariupol on the south coast of Ukraine when it suddenly ran into the Azov Sea."

Everybody Needs This

Especially me. Watch the video, and you'll want one, too.

Thanks to Walter Satterthwait for the link.

New Issue of Cozy Times Now On-Line

It's the July-August issue, and it's right here.

Texas Redneck Games Update

Thanks to John Duke and Jeff Meyerson for the update. If you want to know more about the Redneck Games, or if you think you might want to attend, click here.

Authorities not amused by Texas Redneck Games | - Houston Chronicle: "Don't make plans quite yet to visit Athens for the next edition of the rowdy outdoor party known as the Texas Redneck Games.

Describing the four-day event that ended Sunday as a bloated bacchanal of disorder, drunkenness and debauchery, Henderson County officials say they might charge the promoter under a state crowd control law.

'There was a lot of nudity, rowdiness, intoxication, people running wild on their four-wheelers and underage drinking,' said Lt. Pat McWilliams of the county Sheriff's Department. 'There was also fights and assaults, and some serious injuries.'

Over the weekend, nearly 100 people were either arrested or cited for offenses that included speeding, underage possession of alcohol, driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana."

Fact or Fiction?

Crime author charged with murder after the police read his perfect plot - Times Online: "An author leafing through a newspaper comes across tantalising details of a murder so grisly that he becomes obsessed, and imagines the events into a novel. Or a murderer, so self-satisfied with the brilliance of his perfect crime, pens an account to pass off as fiction and enshrine it in literary history.

Where reality ends and fiction begins in the stomach-turning novel Amok is the central task before the jury in Poland’s trial of the decade. Four years after he published his bloody bestseller, Krystian Bala has found himself on trial for the same torture and murder that he detailed in his novel."

Grizzly Alert -- George Kelley Take Note

700-Pound Grizzly Escapes From Zoo, Bear Is On The Loose In Ontario, Near Lake Erie - CBS News: "AP) Police were searching Wednesday morning for a 700-pound grizzly bear that escaped from a local zoo not far from a Lake Erie beach popular with Buffalo-area residents.

Residents called police about midnight to report seeing the bear from the Zooz Nature Park, about five miles from the popular Crystal Beach in Ontario.

Darlene Crosby told CHCH television she let her dogs out and saw the bear when they started barking. Police asked Crosby and her husband to leave their home as a precaution."

Follow-up: Never fear, the bear's been caught, and it wasn't a grizzly, anyway.

Camp Ford -- Johnny D. Boggs

This book was published in hardcover by Five Star and reprinted by Leisure. It looks like a standard powder-burner, but it's not that at all. It's a historical novel told in retrospect by Winthrop McNaughton, who at age 99 is a special guest at the 1946 World Series between the Red Sox and the Cardinals. McNaughton has loved the game of baseball all his life, and once participated in a unique contest held at Camp Ford, a Confederate prison camp in East Texas. McNaughton tells the story of his early love of baseball and of his enlistment in the Union forces at age 16 after the death of his father.

And it's quite a story. McNaughton is captured after his first encounter with the enemy, in a battle that Boggs describes in horrifying detail. The prison camp isn't much safer than the battle. While the story has aspects of The Great Escape, Stalag 17, and even The Longest Yard, it's unique in its depiction of the cruel conditions of the prison camp. There's friendship, betrayal, death, even a little romance, not to mention baseball, and there are some surprises along the way.

The novel won a Spur Award, and it's worth looking for if you're looking for a solid piece of historical fiction. Just don't expect a powder-burner.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Happy Birthday, Esther Williams and Connie Stevens

I couldn't let the day pass without wishing a happy birthday to these two.

Swimming with Gators

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the link.

Don't try this yourself: Photographer swims with gators - 08/07/2007 - "The second Jose Fernandez slips into the cypress-lined Everglades pond, a resident alligator slices across green glassy water to confront him.

Pushing seven feet and clearly pugnacious, even without the clue of a chewed-off left rear leg, it stops a snout-length from a camera Fernandez holds like a shield. After a staredown, the gator circles, slow and shark-like, hissing bad intention."

Once Again, New York Leads the Way

New York Meter Maids Falsify Tickets to Go on Break: "Four New York City, New York meter maids were arrested yesterday for issuing bogus tickets to downtown motorists. Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau filed felony forgery charges against Gregory Baird, 56; Davey Griffin, 30; and Raheem King, 26. Julian Fisher, 24, faces misdemeanor official misconduct charges.

'The tickets written by Griffin, King and Fischer were all issued while the agents sat in their patrol cars,' the district attorney's statement explained. 'They never left their patrol vehicles to actually serve a ticket on any driver or leave a ticket on a car windshield.'

Baird is accused of using the same tactic while on foot. According to the complaint, the meter maids would write down license plates of cars seen in passing at the beginning of their shift. They would then relax knowing that, later, they would fulfill their quota by punching in those license plate numbers and making up an offense to record into their handheld ticketing computer. The four allegedly targeted out-of-state drivers from New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania who were unlikely to challenge the citations that were never placed on any vehicles."

Anna Nicole Smith Update

iWon News - Release of Anna Nicole Tape Blocked: "LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge has issued a temporary restraining order that prevents the release of a 1994 videotape documenting a breast augmentation surgery for Anna Nicole Smith.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff granted the order Friday at the request of Smith's former attorney and executor of her will, Howard K. Stern. The injunction prevents the sale, distribution or dissemination of the videotape."

Once Again. . .

. . . Texas leads the way.

Hat tip to Mike McGuff.

Croc Update (Landing on its Feet Edition)

Croc falls out of Russian apartment block - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): "Residents in the Russian nuclear research town of Sarov got a jaw-dropping surprise when a crocodile fell from the 12th-storey apartment of its owner, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

The one-metre caiman landed on a pavement after leaning too far out of the window of the apartment where it had lived for the last 15 years, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted an official with the local branch of the Ministry as saying.

Frightened passers-by called the emergency services and rescuers managed to lasso the stunned animal and take it to a shelter for stray pets.

It was soon returned to its owner, unharmed apart from damage to one of its teeth, the official said."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

It Will Be Too Cold at Christmas. . .

. . . so you need to get this now.

Welcome to!: "The HydroSlider is the revolutionary new way to have fun on the water. The creation of new metallurgy technology and advanced physics, the HydroSlider is the most fun to be had on the water, with or without an engine. With recorded speeds of up to 17 miles/hour, the HydroSlider is both a fun outdoor watercraft, and theoretically a mode of transportation (Think: 'Oh, my boat is docked in the water... how to get there without calling another boat?'). Propelled by your jumping and arm pumping, the HydroSlider slides along the water's surface at an average speed of 7-9 MPH under normal conditions. Think of it as a bike or scooter for the water... but instead of peddling you jump... and instead of wheels you have hydrofoils."

Lee Hazlewood, R. I. P.

Thanks to John Duke for the link. My earlier comment on Hazlewood and a link to an article about him can be found here.

Singer-songwriter Lee Hazlewood dies at 78 - MUSIC - "LAS VEGAS - Lee Hazlewood, a singer and songwriter best known for writing and producing “These Boots Are Made for Walkin”’ for Nancy Sinatra, has died. He was 78.

Barton Lee Hazlewood died at his home in Henderson of kidney cancer on Saturday evening, the Clark County coroner’s office said.

Hazlewood was most famous for his work with the daughter of Frank Sinatra, including writing and producing such hits as “Sugartown” and “Some Velvet Morning.” He also produced “Something Stupid,” a duet Nancy recorded with her father in 1967.

He also produced for Duane Eddy and Gram Parsons, and performed on a number of solo albums and with Nancy Sinatra in three “Nancy & Lee” albums.

Hazlewood was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2005 and released his final album, “Cake or Death” in 2006."

Not a Paris Hilton Post (Okay, so I'm Lying)

Thanks to John Duke for this touching link. There's a nice photo gallery, too.

Entertainment News - Hilton Mom Tells of Paris' Jail Pain - AOL News: "Hilton Mom Tells of Paris' Jail Pain
Posted: 2007-08-07 08:19:59

(Aug. 7) -- As tough as jail was for Paris Hilton, her mother Kathy Hilton wants the world to know it was excruciating for her as well."

No Comment Department

LiveJournal users fight erotic 'Harry Potter' deletions | Tech news blog - CNET
LiveJournal users who patronize sex-themed Harry Potter fan art and fiction communities--and a host of other concerned users--are revolting a second time over account suspension notices they say are unpredictable and trample on their free-expression rights.

The most recent saga over user-generated Harry Potter artwork appears to have started late last week, when at least two users, "ponderosa121" and "elaboration," reported receiving notices from a LiveJournal abuse team member who informed them that their accounts had been "permanently suspended." (One user tracking the situation says an "undetermined" number of other Harry Potter artists have also been suspended in recent weeks, but we've yet to get official confirmation on that.)

The reason for the deletions? The users' journal entries contained "drawings depicting minors in explicit sexual situations," which represented a violation of LiveJournal's policies, according to copies of the letters posted by their recipients.

In ponderosa121's case, the offending image depicted an unclothed Harry Potter of ambiguous age receiving oral sex from sometimes-villain Severus Snape. The image posted by elaboration, who describes herself on an external site as a 21-year-old Atlanta sometimes-resident with a fondness for "zombies, pie and cold pizza," showed the twin brothers of Ron Weasley, Harry's good friend, in their own intimate moment. There were no ages listed in the fantasy images, however, so they could have been meant to depict the lads when they were 18 years old.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Monday, August 06, 2007

We're from the Government, and We're Here to Help You

No One Knows Why Family's Home Torn Down - Local News Story - KSAT San Antonio: "NEW ORLEANS -- Jason Banks got his trash hauled away, obtained a building permit, gutted his Ninth Ward home and was ready to renovate.

But then, the brick house vanished, reduced to a slab in an unwanted demolition.

'I was heartbroken. I was in tears. I was furious,' he said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said orders to tear down the house came from City Hall -- but no one in City Hall is answering questions about Banks' home.

'They don't know why. It happened it wasn't on the blighted list. The last call I made yesterday, they told me FEMA did it. Then, a guy called me back from FEMA and said they're not in the business if tearing down homes,' Banks said.

Jason Banks said he kept his grass cut, paid his taxes and had the home appraised at $147,000. He was just waiting on money from Louisiana Road Home rebuilding program to make repairs to his house."

Title Changes

At Detectives beyond Borders, Peter Rozovsky asks this question: "Why do publishers change a book's title when translating or reissuing it?" And then he asks, "what title changes delighted or infuriated you?" I couldn't think of anything infuriating, but it just occurred to me that a few title changes frustrated me for years.

It all started with Ordean P. Hagen's pioneering crime fiction bibliography, Who Done It? back in 1969. I could hardly wait to get my own copy, and I was probably among the first to order it. The book has a number of well-known problems, the most notorious being the fact that E. Howard Hunt is listed as a pseudonym for somebody named Robert Dietrich. I suspect Hunt might have hand a hand in this confusion, but that's not what frustrated me.

What got me was some of the titles listed for Charles Williams, like The Concrete Flamingo, The Catfish Tangle, Operator, Stain of Suspicion, and Nude on Thin Ice. I'd been collecting Williams for years by that tme, and I was convinced I had everything. But I'd never heard of those books. Well, I'd heard of one of them, the last one, but I'll get back to that. I learned eventually, after years of searching in vain for them, that the first four were titles were given to British hardcover reprints of American paperbacks. Ah, those title changes.

Nude on Thin Ice
was another story. It's a Gil Brewer title, and I've become convinced that the confusion resulted from a dropped line in Anthony Boucher's review, in which he compared the Brewer book to Williams's work. (This in spite of the fact that some guy wrote me years ago, swearing on his mother's grave that he owned a copy of the book by Williams.)

I'm glad I thought of this because it made me get down my well-thumbed copy of Hagen's book for the first time in quite a while. I enjoyed looking over it again and seeing some of my little notations, made when I was just a youngster (well, if you consider 27 or 28 young, and I certainly do). Those were the days.

That'll Teach 'Em

Thanks to John Stickney for this link to an important new discipline technique.

Rogue cops forced to wear Hello Kitty armbands: "BANGKOK, Thailand — Thai police officers who break rules will be forced to wear hot pink armbands featuring “Hello Kitty,” the Japanese icon of cute, as a mark of shame, a senior officer said Monday.

Police officers caught littering, parking in a prohibited area, or arriving late — among other misdemeanors — will be forced to stay in the division office and wear the armband all day, said Police Col. Pongpat Chayaphan. The officers won’t wear the armband in public.

The striking armband features Hello Kitty sitting atop two hearts.

“Simple warnings no longer work. This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor,” said Pongpat, acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok.
Hello Kitty 'is a cute icon for young girls. It’s not something macho police officers want covering their biceps,” Pongpat said."

And You Thought it Was the Steroids

EXCLUSIVE: Barry Bonds' Home Run Record Tainted by Mechanical Device: "NEW YORK (Commentary) Beyond his alleged steroid use, Barry Bonds is guilty of the use of something that confers extraordinarily unfair mechanical advantage: the “armor” that he wears on his right elbow. Amid the press frenzy over Bonds’ unnatural bulk, the true role of the object on his right arm has simply gone unnoticed.

This is unfortunate, because by my estimate, Bonds’ front arm “armor” may have contributed no fewer than 75 to 100 home runs to his already steroid-questionable total."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way Metro | State: "ATHENS — Beer, pretty girls and a bunch of loud, fast machines.

Throw in miles of four-wheelin' trails, some live country music and a bunch of silly contests — from Spam-eating to wet T-shirts to bobbing in soup for animal parts — and one version of redneck heaven came to earth this weekend.

'It got wild here last night,' marveled Ray Roden, 56, of Ringgold, La., as he motored around Saturday morning at the Texas Redneck Games. 'You name it, it happened. It was worse than Mardi Gras.'

In addition to flying both the Confederate flag and a skull and crossbones, his Kubota four-wheeler had an eye-catching set of antlers strapped up front.

For the thousands of male off-road enthusiasts who journeyed to the Pool Ranch, a 3,000-acre spread outside of this Northeast Texas town, it was a chance to ogle both good-looking women and snazzy all-terrain vehicles with names like 'Grizzly,' 'Brute Force,' and 'Bombardier.'"

Scarlett Johansson Update

Pitchfork: Scarlett Johansson Works With Sitek, Yeah Yeah Yeahs: "Oh my god. As if it wasn't shocking enough that starlet Scarlett Johansson was working on an album of Tom Waits covers (read Tom's reaction here), and sang with the Jesus and Mary Chain at Coachella. Apparently, her album is being produced by David Sitek of TV on the Radio and features members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Celebration!!!

According to Lafayette, Louisiana's Daily Advertiser, the Ghost World and Lost in Translation star spent '33 days in Maurice [Louisiana] recording her debut CD at Dockside Studio.'"

Beatles Update

I can't believe I'm a week behind on this news.

Unseen Beatles footage emerges | News | NME.COM: "Exclusive never-before-seen footage of The Beatles is released today (August 1).

The material was filmed by the Fab Four's former roadie Mal Evans and has been hidden for decades.

The clips include secret concert footage as well as revealing private conversations and personal exchanges within the band. The historic footage includes live concert performances, also the Fab Four chatting as the travel down the Thames on a boat, and the band riding down London's Park Lane in a car with their friends and rivals The Beach Boys. "

Lafayette, We Are Here

Following in Lafayette’s Footsteps, or Rather, His Wake - New York Times: "ROCHEFORT, France, July 29 — Piece by piece, a graceful structure of whimsy and magic is taking shape in this old river port, fulfilling the dream of a group of seafaring Frenchmen to honor a founding father of French-American friendship.

For a decade now, historians, architects, carpenters, boat builders, craftsmen and blacksmiths have lovingly — if slowly — sought to recreate the Hermione, the 145-foot, 32-gun, three-masted frigate that in 1780 carried a young French nobleman known as the Marquis de Lafayette on a 38-day voyage to Boston."

Red Sky Lament -- Edward Wright

I've written previously (here and here) about the first two books in Edward Wright's series about John Ray Horn, former cowboy star, ex-con, and sometime private investigator. Red Sky Lament, the third (and maybe last) book in the series, is set during Hollywood's Red Scare in the late '40s. A congressman is investigating the commies, planting stories on the radio about left-leaning stars, and sowing discord as he tries to get people to inform on their friends and name names. When one of the accused reds is murdered, John Ray is asked to find out who gave his name to the commie-hunters. Before it's all over, even Woody Guthrie has shown up to pick and sing and even provide some insight into the murder.

I enjoyed this book but not quite as much as the earlier two. (I'm in the minority on this, by the way. Tell me you're surprised.) I thought it was a bit too long, that the political message (certainly one I'm sympathetic to) was overdone, and that the symbolism of the brush fires burning in the background was a tad heavy-handed. And I have a minor quibble with John Ray Horn's looking at a "photocopy." I don't think there were any of those in the late 1940s. That's just me. For all I know that might have been a common term then. It just seemed odd to encounter in in a book in which the period details seem so well handled.

In spite of my small complaints, I'd recommend not only this book but also the first two in the series. Check 'em out.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Charles Simic - Poet Laureate

Charles Simic - Poet Laureate - New York Times: "Charles Simic, a writer who juxtaposes dark imagery with ironic humor, is to be named the country’s 15th poet laureate by the Librarian of Congress today.

Mr. Simic, 69, was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and immigrated to the United States at 16. He started writing poetry in English only a few years after learning the language and has published more than 20 volumes of poetry, as well as essay collections, translations and a memoir.

A retired professor of American literature and creative writing at the University of New Hampshire, he won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1990 and held a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant from 1984 to 1989.

He succeeds Donald Hall, a fellow New Englander, who has been poet laureate for the past year."

All Right, Youngsters, Here They Are. . .

. . . the 50 greatest commercials of the 80s!

Out of Print

Over at The Bunburyist, Beth Foxwell has been blogging about some of the books on the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone List of mystery novels. Today she's posted a list of the listed books that are currently out of print. It's a long list, and it makes me wonder: does the list really matter anymore? Like Beth, I've been concerned with a general lack of knowledge (or even interest in) the history of the mystery, but maybe the H-Q list is outdated. Maybe if they were making the list today, they'd put other books on it. Maybe the books they included are irrelevant to today's readers and their concerns. Even if that's so, however, shouldn't people know about the history and care enough to read at least a few of the books that got us where we are today? It's a complicated question, and I'm too limited to answer it.

Headline of the Day: "Killer hippo poo is enemy number one"

IOL: Killer hippo poo is enemy number one: "Killer hippo poo is enemy number one
Myrtle Ryan
August 05 2007 at 03:38PM

When the carcasses of lions, zebras, white rhinos and other animals began to be discovered alongside some dams in the Kruger National Park, experts were at first puzzled.

Now hippo faeces and urine have been declared enemy number one. As a result, engineers plan to breach the walls of the Nhlanganzwane dam in the south-eastern section of the park on Monday forcing hippos, which have been concentrating there in large numbers, to take up fresh abode.

Lord Rovemort

Okay, so this is political stuff, which I usually avoid. But in this case, it's also funny. Well, I think it's funny.

Imagine Jackie Meyerson's Disappointment! - FDNY Calendar's Coverboy In 'Guys Gone Wild': "(CBS) NEW YORK A calendar featuring FDNY beefcake has seen its last edition. The fire commissioner has said, 'no more,' after the latest coverboy showed even more skin on a DVD.

The latest calendar picturing fire department hunks features Michael Biserta as coverboy, posing shirtless in front of the Statue of Liberty. But it turns out Biserta also appears in an explicit video called, 'Guys Gone Wild.'

In a film shot before Biserta joined the department two years ago, the firefighter exposes himself at the urging of female voices and then, completely nude, heads for the shower."