Saturday, September 26, 2009

I Suppose the Drivers Believe that Gorillas Wear Sneaker and Run Upright

COPS stopped a charity runner in an ape costume ... because they thought he was an escaped GORILLA | The Sun |News: "A CHARITY runner in an ape costume jogs along - after being stopped by police who thought he was an escaped GORILLA.

Drivers had alerted officers, who swooped on Rory Coleman, 45, by the A6 near Leicester during a 143-mile run for The Gorilla Organisation.

The personal trainer said: 'I told the police I'd come quietly as long as they gave me a banana.'"

I Always Wanted to be the Scarecrow

And now I am.

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: The Red Ruby Kill :: Brian Drake

The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail -- Michael Spradlin

It's 1191. A young boy named Tristan, who has been brought up in a monastery and who has no idea who his parents were, is taken on as a squire by a Templar knight, and before long he's met King Richard and made a powerful enemy, one who seems to know the secret of Tristan's birth. Tristan isn't with the Templars long. Soon he's escaping Acre with the holiest relic of them all: the grail, which he has promised to take to England.

It's a tough trip, but Tristan falls in with some entertaining companions, a skilled young archer named Robard Horde and a beautiful young Muslim assassin named Maryam. There's lots of action in this novel that's aimed at readers in about the fifth through the eighth grades. Lots of violence, too, and hair's-breadth escapes aplenty. The ending is a cliffhanger in the classic tradition.

While reading the book, I was reminded a little of a very old favorite of mine, Howard Pyle's Men of Iron. Great stuff.

I do have two complaints of the grouchy old English teacher sort. One is the hissing of the unhissable ("Hold him!" I hissed.) and the other is a sentence that the copy editor should have spotted ("After many hours in the saddle the sun moved lower in the western sky"). They certainly won't keep me from reading the second book in the series, The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate, which should be out next month.

What If It Had Been a Doughnut?

'Bagelgate' leaves businesses, police to question officers' ethics - News - Citizens Voice: "On Wednesday afternoon, witnesses say an on-duty officer in a Plymouth police sport utility vehicle held up the drive-through lane of the Curry Donuts on Route 11 waiting for a toasted bagel with a coffee he was given free. When told he had to pay for the bagel, the officer claimed he didn't have his wallet, said 'If it's not free, I don't want it' and drove off."

"The Fanged Frogs" Would be a Good Name for a Rock Band

Fanged Frog Found in Bangkok - Biology | Astronomy | Chemistry | Physics - "Among the stars in the new list is a fanged frog in eastern Thailand. Given the scientific name Limnonectes megastomias, the frog lies in wait along streams for prey including birds and insects. Scientists believe it uses its fangs during combat with other males."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Police ready to 'take on' commenters, chief says: "Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says he and some of his officers have been harassed, lied about and had their identities falsely used in online blogs and in reader comment sections on local media Internet sites.
[. . . .]
They have since researched their legal options and decided that from now on, they might launch formal investigations into such posts, Acevedo said. He said investigators might seek search warrants or subpoenas from judges to learn the identities of the authors — he thinks some could be department employees — and possibly sue them for libel or file charges if investigators think a crime was committed."

Gator Update (Man's Best Friend Edition)

Clearwater woman bitten but escapes alligator - St. Petersburg Times: "A Clearwater woman walking her dog by Sawgrass Lake Park was bitten by an 8-foot alligator before she fought back and escaped.
[. . . .]
Suddenly, the alligator surfaced and bit Blackwood, who was about three feet from the water's edge. The gator began to drag her toward the lake. Her dog took off running.

Blackwood's calf was in the gator's jaws when she reached back and stuck her thumb in its eye, Morse said. The gator released its grip and bit at her thumb, allowing her to run away."

The Cabin in the Cotton

Friday, September 25, 2009

What Would the Burj Dubai Look Like in Midtown Manhattan?

This Is What the Burj Dubai Would Look Like in Midtown Manhattan - Burj Dubai - Gizmodo: "What would the Burj Dubai, the world's tallest building, look like if it was in NYC? It would look something like this."

Photo at the link.

The Fly? Why?

DAVID CRONENBERG IN TALKS TO REBOOT THE FLY | The only movie blog by and for handsome sex machines: "directed The Fly, the heartwarming true story of how Geena Davis got impregnated by an insect-man. 23 years later, Cronenberg is in talks with Fox to possibly write and direct the reboot of his own movie."

National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims

Thousands across U.S. remember slain loved ones, plead for justice | Houston & Texas News | - Houston Chronicle: "Crime Stoppers of Houston this week highlighted five unsolved murder cold cases, including Wilson's, in recognition of the local observance."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Woman charged with theft from a corpse: "A 22-year-old woman who told police she was collecting a debt for pornography faces a charge of theft from a corpse.

Austin police say Linda Dynell Rushing with took money from the wallet of Samuel Stewart, whose body was found July 27 in his apartment on Burton Drive in East Austin, according to an affidavit filed Thursday in Travis County District Court.

Rushing told a police detective she also took coins and pornographic movies from Stewart's apartment, according to the affidavit. She said she was reclaiming pornography she had sold to Stewart for $20 but for which she had not been paid, the affidavit said."

Because This Is a Family Blog, . . .

. . . I can't link to this. Even if I could, I'd advise you not to read the article.

The Seventh Seal Has Been Opened

Not plastic: Barbie to be focus of live-action film: "Model, pilot, veterinarian, astronaut and sometime-mermaid Barbara Millicent Roberts has been a star for nearly half a century. Now the famous blonde — better known as Barbie — is ready for her big-screen close-up.

Universal Studios has acquired the rights to make a live-action movie about the iconic doll, to be produced by the Laurence Mark, the man behind 'Jerry Maguire' and 'Julie & Julia,' according to the Hollywood Reporter and The Associated Press. No word yet on casting."

Now Hear This

Top 10 Movie Sound Effects We All Recognize - Listverse

Vanish in an Instant

How to Disappear and Escape the System Without a Trace - "In these crazy times, have you ever wanted to know how to disappear, vanish or completely exit the life you've led? Well, Frank M. Ahearn is an expert on the matter. The skip tracer and privacy consultant has even written a guide on the matter: 'How to Disappear ... and Fall Off the Grid.'

'Simply put, [disappearing is] the reverse engineering of skip tracing,' says Ahearn, referring to the process by which you locate missing persons."

That's $10K More than I Paid for My First House

Stylish New Beds for Men - "After years of catering to women, manufacturers are setting their sights on men. The new macho mattresses they're introducing have 'muscle-recovery properties' and cooling technology, on the theory that men are more likely to feel too hot in bed. The bed frames feature built-in TVs, iPod docking stations, wine coolers, safes and other guy-friendly gadgetry.

Dave Shapiro, a 33-year-old real-estate investor in Philadelphia, paid $30,000 for a Hollandia International adjustable bed that offers a built-in 32-inch Sony flat-screen TV, surround-sound speakers and outlets for laptops. 'The best thing is the TV,' he says. 'You don't have to get up.'"

More Good News for the Ice Pirates

Scientists See Water Ice in Fresh Meteorite Craters on Mars | "Scientists are seeing sub-surface water ice that may be 99 percent pure halfway between the north pole and the equator on Mars, thanks to quick-turnaround observations from orbit of fresh meteorite impact craters on the planet."

Forgotten Books: The Augustus Mandrell Series

The three books about master of disguise and assassin for hire Augustus Mandrell make up one of my very favorite series.

You want clever plotting? You'll never find better than in these books, each one of which is made up of four "commissions," all of which take place around the time of WWII (The Big One). The commissions aren't published in linear order. They jump back and forth in time, and they're all interconnected. This is one series that should definitely be read in order if you want to appreciate what a great job McAuliffe did. The plotting within each story is a marvel, but when you read all of them, you'll be in awe. Okay, maybe you won't, but I am.

In fact, the plotting would be enough to recommend these books, but they're also hilariously funny. When I bought Of all the Bloody Cheek way back there in 1965, I had no idea what I was getting. It was a wonderful surprise to read the commissions and marvel and laugh aloud. I eagerly awaited other books by McAuliffe, but it was three years before Rather a Vicious Gentleman appeared, and three more years before I got to read For Murder I Charge More. And that was it. As far as I knew, there were no more Mandrell stories to read.

I was wrong, however. There's a fourth book. I've read it. Supposedly it will be published one of these days. That's been the case for years now, so I'm not counting on it. It would be great if it happened. Maybe it will, since Point Blank did reprint Of all the Bloody Cheek.

I'm not alone in my admiration for this series. Check out this website, for a more detailed overview than I've given. It's a real shame that this series is forgotten. It's one of the greats.

The Return of Dr. X

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Thought the Lattes Cost that Much Anywhere

Local News | Flashing bikini baristas in Everett accused of prostitution | Seattle Times Newspaper: "Five baristas have been charging customers to touch their breasts and buttocks at an espresso stand where servers wear bikinis to draw business, police said.

The five were charged Wednesday with prostitution. Charging money for that kind of touching falls under the city's definition of prostitution.

The Everett Herald reports the women were charging up to $80 to strip down while fixing lattes and mochas."

Hat tip to Vince Keenan, who claims he's not a coffee-drinker.

I Once Found an Arrowhead

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Staffordshire | Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found: "The UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure has been discovered buried beneath a field in Staffordshire.

Experts say the collection of 1,500 gold and silver pieces, which may date to the 7th Century, is unparalleled in size and worth 'a seven figure sum'.

It has been declared treasure by South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh, meaning it belongs to the Crown.

Terry Herbert, who found it on farmland using a metal detector, said it 'was what metal detectorists dream of'.

It may take more than a year for it to be valued."

Meet the Beatles

First it Was Drug Dealers; Now It's Chop Shops

Police find alligators at suspected chop shop in Detroit | | The Detroit News: "Police raiding a suspected chop shop operating out of a home on the city's east side also found two alligators in the home."

Cracking Down on Pick Flickers

Carlisle man cited for harassment in toothpick incident | Breaking Midstate News with The Patriot-News - - "A Carlisle, Pa., man has been cited for harassment for allegedly flicking a toothpick on the sidewalk in front of another man's home last week, police said."

Dr Pepper Update

The Associated Press: Sugar makes Dr Pepper special from Dublin, Texas: "Tens of thousands of people trek to tiny Dublin in north-central Texas each year to buy cases of the nation's third most popular soft drink from a bottling company that uses real sugar in its flagship product. No high fructose corn syrup in sight.

It's been that way since 1891, when Dublin Bottling Works became the world's first bottler of soda pop and the first to distribute the fruit- and berry-flavored carbonated drink that had debuted six years earlier at Wade Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in downtown Waco, about 80 miles to the east."

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

I've plugged Dublin Dr Pepper in the Sheriff Rhodes novels several times. You'd think they'd send me a free case, but nooooooooo.

Inherent Vice -- Thomas Pynchon

I've read three other Pynchon novels, but nothing since the publication of Gravity's Rainbow, well over 30 years ago. I don't know why. I liked V. a lot, and I also liked The Crying of Lot 49 and Rainbow. I always intended to read something else, but I just didn't. Now along comes Inherent Vice, a private-eye novel. I figured that was a sign of some kind, so I read it.

What is it with Pynchon and the letter V? I'll bet someone's already written a doctoral dissertation on the topic. Anyway, there's V. and then there's Gravity's Rainbow, which is, of course about the V-2 rocket and is therefore V-2. Then comes Vineland, which we'll call V-3. Now we get this new one, which, well, look at the initials. It's IV. I'm sure there's something in all this. But I don't know what.

Now about the book itself. The setting is around 1970. The '60s are still with us but winding down. I think that's probably the theme of the book. The times they are a-changin'. And not for the better. I wasn't too worried about historical details, but they sound right. Certainly the feel of the book is perfect. I wasn't in California at the time, but I was in Austin. Close enough.

And the book is funny, the funniest I've read in a long time. There's a laugh or two on every page, and that alone makes it worth reading. You also get the usual goofy Pynchon character names, which always make me smile. One woman is named Trillium Fortnight, which I think would have been perfect in a James Bond novel.

As for the plot, well, I can't summarize it. The word byzantine comes to mind. Doc Sportello, the stoner p.i. and center of consciousness of the story, is hired to find Mickey Wolfmann, a developer who's gone missing. Then he's hired for three or four other jobs, all of which are connected and all of which lead to the Golden Fang organization, which leads to government hitmen and conspiracies galore. Somehow Doc sorts all this out and ties it all up in the end. I think. I had to read V. twice, and I'll probably have to read this one again, too. But if it's not all clear the first time, it's still fun. I think I can safely promise you that you won't be reading another p.i. novel like this one for a long time.

Update: I forgot to mention that Pynchon should have put together a soundtrack CD for the novel. He's got more song references than you can shake a stick at. And of course he includes lyrics to his own songs as well.

Gator Update: (Bad Tattoos Edition)

Tattoos: What were they thinking? -

There are 121 of them, but you just need to see #8.

Can the Ice Pirated be Far Behind?

Water particles have been detected on the surface of the Moon ... - Yahoo! Canada News Photos: "Water particles have been detected on the surface of the Moon by three missions, including an Indian probe."

Yet Another Re-Imagining, I Suppose

BAZ BAMIGBOYE: With a little luck Keira Knightly will have sharpened up enough for My Fair Lady | Mail Online: "Keira Knightly is sharpening her vowels, having just received the latest draft of Emma Thompson’s-script for the new version of the musical My Fair Lady.

Various studio executives connected to the re-make of the classic film, which starred Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, have said that Keira, Anne Hathaway and Scarlett Johansson are the main possibilities to play Eliza Doolittle.

However, Cameron Mackintosh, one of the film’s main producers with Duncan Kenworthy, let it be known that there are two contenders and they happen to be Keira — and Scarlett."

Here's the Plot of Your Next Novel

The people living in drains below Las Vegas | The Sun |Features: "LOVEBIRDS Steven and Kathryn share a well-organised home in bustling Las Vegas.

They have a neat, if compact kitchen, a furnished living area, and a bedroom complete with double bed, wardrobe and bookshelf featuring a wide selection including a Frank Sinatra biography and Spanish phrase book.

And they make their money in some of the biggest casinos in the world.

But their life is far from the ordinary.

Because, along with hundreds of others, the couple are part of a secret community living in the dark and dirty underground flood tunnels below the famous strip."

25 Best Book to Film Adaptations

25 best book to film adaptations - Telegraph: "Twenty-five films that made it from the book shelf to the box office with credibility intact."

No Signal!

fourfour: No Signal: A Supercut: "a montage of contemporary horror and suspense cinema's go-to roadblock, non-working cell phones."

The video at the link includes 66 clips.

Cass Timberlane

The 20 Best Cartoons Of The 90's

The 20 Best Cartoons Of The 90's: "The 90's were a golden age of cartoons."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gator Update -- Paging Benny Profane

Authorities Try To Snag Alligator In Storm Drain - West Palm Beach News Story - WPBF West Palm Beach: "Authorities unsuccessfully tried to catch a 12-foot alligator spotted in a Lake Worth storm drain Tuesday night.

Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue crews and a state trapper were called to the Palm Club apartment on Second Avenue North after some children saw the gator rearing its head through the grate."

Spotted Richard Update

BBC NEWS | UK | Wales | North East Wales | Spotted Dick back on council menu: "Council chiefs have reversed a decision to rename the pudding Spotted Dick after receiving 'abusive letters' and accusations of political correctness.

Canteen staff at Flintshire council had decided it would be referred to as 'Spotted Richard' on their menu after 'immature comments' by some customers."

You've Probably Been Wondering What They'd Re-Imagine Next

Highlander ‘reimagining’ on the way - Den of Geek: "Summit Entertainment is set to deploy some of it on a new version of the film Highlander. It's being described, it seems, as a ‘re-imagination', and Summit has hired the Fast & Furious team of producer Neal H Moritz and director Justin Lin to bring the project to life."

And You'd Better Keep off His Lawn!

88-Year-Old Fights Off Thieves -- With Bare Hands! - "The hunt is on for four suspects who tried to rob a senior citizen in New Jersey.

But as CBS 2 HD found out, the feisty 88-year-old fought back and stopped the thieves from taking his property.
[. . . .]
'The guy pushed me; I gave him a sock … a good sock and he stood there and looked at me. I said you're gonna get some more if you don't drop that safe.'"

Croc Update (Mafia Edition)

Italian police seize crocodile from suspected mafia boss - Monsters and Critics: "Italian police have seized a crocodile allegedly used by a suspected mafia boss to intimidate people into paying protection money, officials said Wednesday."

He Should've Checked with the Blues Brothers

Sheriff: Suspect says God led him to Jewel's ranch: "A man accused of stalking singer-songwriter Jewel at her rural Texas ranch said he was on a mission from God, authorities said Tuesday."

Have You Bought Yours?

Dragnet rates a U.S. postal stamp - TV Squad: "How many people remember Dragnet? Or maybe I should say how many people remember actually watching Dragnet, the 'just the facts' police show starring the iconic Jack Webb? The reason I ask is because the U.S. Postal Service is immortalizing Dragnet with a postage stamp . . . ."

Hat tip to Art "Dragnet" Scott, who also provides this link.

When Roosters are Banned, . . .

. . . only outlaws will have roosters.

LA passes law limiting roosters to 1 per household: "The chickens have come home to roost for Los Angeles city dwellers who keep roosters.

The City Council on Tuesday passed an ordinance that—with few exceptions—allows only one rooster per property. It was spurred by complaints over noise and hygiene and concerns over illegal cockfighting."

The Two Mrs. Carrolls

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

John Hart, R. I. P.

John Hart dies at 91; the other 'Lone Ranger' -- "The actor took over the TV role for 52 episodes after Clayton Moore walked out in a reported pay dispute, and also played the lead in the 1947 Columbia serial 'Jack Armstrong: The All-American Boy.'"

Robert Ginty, R. I. P.

R.I.P. Robert Ginty - The Exterminator at "Sad news for action exploitation fans out there as Robert Ginty, star of The Exterminator films, died of cancer Monday in Los Angeles. He was 60 years old. He also wrote, produced and directed the films as well."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Sherlock Holmes Update

Sherlock Holmes Sequel In The Pipeline? - Contactmusic News: "Movie bosses are reportedly planning a second SHERLOCK HOLMES film - three months before the first instalment hits theatres.

Robert Downey Jr. stars as the legendary detective in Guy Ritchie's new movie, which is set for release in December (09). Brit actor Jude Law is taking on the role of Dr. Watson.
The film's epic trailer has received mixed reviews by critics - but movie chiefs are busily rounding up writers to draft a script for a follow-up to the Arthur Conan Doyle tale, according to Hollywood Reporter's RiskyBiz blog."

Smile, You're on Candid Camera

Polk undercover drug investigators play Wii during raid: "With guns drawn and flashlights cutting through darkened rooms, Polk County undercover drug investigators stormed the home of convicted drug dealer Michael Difalco near Lakeland in March.

As investigators searched the home for drugs, some drug task force members found other ways to occupy their time. Within 20 minutes of entering Difalco's house, some of the investigators found a Wii video bowling game and began bowling frame after frame.
[. . . .]
But detectives with the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the Auburndale, Lakeland and Winter Haven police departments did not know that a wireless security camera connected to a computer inside Difalco's home was recording their activity."

Archaeology Update

Archaeologists find suspected Trojan war-era couple - Yahoo! News: "Archaeologists in the ancient city of Troy in Turkey have found the remains of a man and a woman believed to have died in 1,200 B.C., the time of the legendary war chronicled by Homer, a leading German professor said on Tuesday.

Ernst Pernicka, a University of Tubingen professor of archaeometry who is leading excavations on the site in northwestern Turkey, said the bodies were found near a defense line within the city built in the late Bronze age."

Amazing Photos

Click on the picture of Saturn for the slideshow and give your sense of wonder a charge.

Fantastic Photos of our Solar System | Science & Nature | Smithsonian Magazine: "In the past decade, extraordinary space missions have discovered new features of the Sun, the planets and their moons."

This Must Have Been Fun

Collector finds mint Cadillacs in old North Vancouver garage

They've Tried Everything to Kill Air Travel . . .

. . . and this should finally do the job. Depressing photo at the link.

Packed in like sardines: New aircraft design plans to seat passengers face-to-face | Mail Online: "Air travel is being overhauled with a new aircraft design which plans to seat passengers facing each other in rows.

The controversial design is intended to save space and money and could see 50 per cent more passengers packed on to each plane."

Here's the Plot of Your Next Redneck Noir Novel

Belton man pleads not guilty in fatal shooting allegedly connected to his cross-dressing - Kansas City Star: "Michael Adams Jr. of Belton appeared at his arraignment Monday at Cass County Circuit Court wearing a baby blue jumpsuit, shoulder-length hair and makeup.

Police say he shot 36-year-old Amber Hartwig in the head July 14 before shooting himself and causing a superficial wound. Hartwig was the mother of Adams’ two children.

Relatives say Adams and Hartwig argued on the day of the killing about his cross-dressing. The couple’s 18-year-old daughter found her mother dead on the kitchen floor while her father, wearing women’s clothing, sat on the floor smoking a cigarette."

Photo of the alleged perp at the link.

House on Sorority Row

Can you spot the famous mystery writer?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Stephen King!

Stephen King - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American writer of contemporary horror fiction, science fiction, fantasy literature, and screenplays. An estimated 300–350 million copies of King's novels and short story collections have been sold, and many of his stories have been adapted for film, television, and other media. King has written a number of books using the pen name Richard Bachman, and one short story, 'The Fifth Quarter', as John Swithen."

The first book of King's I read was 'Salem's Lot. I picked it up because it was a vampire book. It's hard to believe now, but when that one came out, it wasn't easy to find a good vampire novel. It wasn't easy to find any vampire novel. So I bought it. And I was hooked. It's still one of my favorite horror novels, and certainly right up there at the top of my list of favorite vampire tales.

After that, I read everything King wrote, and I continued for a good while. Up until the time of It, in fact. He lost me with that one. It was way too long, and it wasn't all that interesting to me. I started reading the Dark Tower books, but I ran out of steam before the series did. I read an occasional novel with great pleasure (The Green Mile), and I still enjoy some of the shorter works. I think King's an important writer, and I'm glad he's still at it.

An (Electric) Bicycle Built for Two

PEDEGO Develops World's First Electric Tandem Bicycle | Reuters: "PEDEGO, an electric bicycle company creating the coolest electric bicycles outfitted with the latest in electric technology, announces the debut of the world's first electric tandem bicycle. The bike will be on display September 23-25 at Interbike International Bicycle Expo, the cycling industry's largest trade show, in Las Vegas. This two-person e-bike joins PEDEGO's growing line of electric bicycles including the Comfort Cruisers and Umbrella Folding electric bicycles."

And It Hasn't Changed

Just kidding, Scots!

Vikings 'were warned to avoid Scotland' - Telegraph: "Scotland is full of dangerous natives who speak an incomprehensible language and the is weather awful. That was the verdict of a series of 13th century Viking travel guides that warned voyagers to visit at their peril."

The Perils of Facebook

Burglar leaves his Facebook page on victim’s computer - | News, sports, jobs, community information for Martinsburg - The Journal: "The popular online social networking site Facebook helped lead to an alleged burglar's arrest after he stopped check his account on the victim's computer, but forgot to log out before leaving the home with two diamond rings."

Hat tip to Richard Prosch.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

The Associated Press: Man accused of sword attack after finding soda can: "A man who was apparently was upset after finding a soda can in his room allegedly used a sword to cut two of his roommates. Michael Angel Zamago was jailed on Friday on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon related to family violence. Bail was $25,000."


I'm a sucker for a good coming-of-age story, and Adventureland fills the bill. I hadn't read any reviews or seen any trailers, but someone mentioned that he enjoyed it. So I took a look, and I'm glad I did.

It's 1987. James (Jesse Eisenberg) graduates from college with plans to tour Europe with a friend. Instead he winds up working at Adventureland, a semi-seedy amusement park. He meets the owners and the other workers and immediately falls for Em (Kristen Stewart). Who could blame him? What he doesn't know is that Em (who has serious family issues) is having a hot affair with Connell (Ryan Reynolds) and older, married employee at the park. There are plenty of other characters for Jesse to interact with, too, including the supposedly unattainable Lisa P (Margarita Levieva), who's attracted to Jesse.

There's humor throughout, but Adventureland isn't a comedy. It's just a story. People do good things, and they do bad things. They make amends or they don't. There aren't any heroes and villains, just ordinary people. That's part of what makes the movie so enjoyable.

The performances are fine from top to bottom, and the '80s atmosphere is helped along by a great soundtrack. I have to say that any movie that uses Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love" is aces with me.

I could say a lot more, but by now you probably know if you'd be interested. If you are, give it a shot. You might be surprised at how much you like it.

The 50 Best Foods in the World

The 50 best foods in the world and where to eat them | Life and style | The Observer: "From cake, steak and tapas, to oysters, chicken and burgers, Killian Fox roamed the world to find the 50 best things to eat and the best places to eat them in."

Stay off Their Lawns

Bardot and Loren still sex goddesses at 75: "Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren stripped off and pouted with an abandon that took the prudish 50s by storm and their sex goddess image endures even as both turn 75 this week."

Tough Town

AFP: New murders break 2008 record in Mexico: "A new spate of violence has pushed the homicide rate in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez to an unprecedented 1,701 murders, breaking the record set just a year earlier in 2008.

Officials reported 14 new violent deaths over the weekend in the town, which sits across the border from Texas, pushing the homicide rate past last year's record level of 1,653 murders.

In all, 22 people were killed on Saturday night and Sunday in the two Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua, which border the US states of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas."

The Mysterians

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nessie's on Vacation in Canada

Search on for serpent-like lake creature - Weird News - "Brigette Horvath knew she saw something strange in Cameron Lake on Vancouver Island two years ago and a team of researchers say she might be right.

Was it a fish, an eel or some kind of serpent-like creature? She says she didn't know. But Horvath grabbed her camera and managed to fire off one shot before the batteries failed.

The researchers who specialize in looking for so-called crytozoological creatures - in other words, monsters - spent Saturday on the lake probing the depths with a sonar-like fish finder."

Hunt Through the Cradle of Fear

The second book in the Gabriel Hunt series was told to Charles Ardai by Hunt (as Hunt explains in an short coda), though like all the books it's published as by Gabriel Hunt himself. The idea of the series is to provide pulp adventure in a modern setting, and Through the Cradle of Fear delivers. It's pretty much non-stop action, with Hunt jumping off a cliff, zipping through the streets of New York in a harrowing cab chase, stowing away in a packing crate and winding up in the shadow of the Great Sphinx, escaping on camel back, and so on. Talk about one damned thing after another!

The villain in this one, Legor DeGroet, might be 70 years old, but you wouldn't want to get on his lawn. He's a former Olympic medalist, and he carries a sword cane. He's still a brilliant fencer, too, as Hunt knows well. He's after the secret of the Sphinx, and he pursues Hunt (and a beautiful, scholarly woman named Sheba) from Egypt to Greece to Turkey to Sri Lanka as Hunt follows the clues and unravels the mystery. Descendants of Homer. Ancient evil. Secrets passed down for thousands of years. Hired assassins. It's all here between the covers.

But wait! There's more! Ardai throws in a bonus short story, not featuring Hunt but written in the pulp tradition. "Nor Idolatry Blind the Eye" is desert adventure about a former soldier, now a drunk trying to forget the death of his wife, recruited to find the fabled Golden Calf of the Old Testament. It's a fast-moving story with a memorable ending.

You can read Dan Brown if you want to. I'll stick to Gabriel Hunt.

And to Think You Were Worried about Swine Flu

Bacteria linked to university scientist's death - 9/19/09 - Chicago News - "There was word Saturday that the death of a University of Chicago scientist may be linked to a bacteria that causes the plague."

Here's the Plot of Your Next Gory Novel - Breaking News, World & Local News, Sports & Multimedia
Richard Alden Samuel McCroskey III rapped about the thrill of murder in songs he posted on the Internet. Police believe the fantasy lyrics became a gruesome reality in a small Virginia college town.

McCroskey, 20, was being held Sunday in the killings of four people who were found at a Longwood University professor's home near campus in Farmville, which is about 50 miles west of Richmond. McCroskey, of Castro Valley, Calif., faces charges of first-degree murder, robbery and grand larceny of an automobile, said Farmville police Capt. Wade Stimpson.
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"You're not the first, just to let you know. I've killed many people and I kill them real slow. It's the best feeling, watching their last breath. Stabbing and stabbing till there's nothing left," McCroskey sings in "My Dark Side."

Die, Monster, Die!