Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: The Year of the Dragon :: Stephen D. Rogers

Top 50 Scariest Horror Movies

Top 50 scariest horror movies of all time - Halloween movies -

All comments should begin, "This is a bogus list because. . . ."

I'd finish that sentence with "The Haunting isn't on it." That's the 1963 version, of course, and still one of the scariest movies I've ever seen. Shirley Jackson's novel The Haunting of Hill House is maybe even scarier.

And Keep Off His Lawn!

Elderly bank robber strikes in San Diego County again | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times: "A man described as in his 70s robbed a U.S. Bank branch inside a Vons supermarket in the Carmel Valley neighborhood of San Diego on Friday, police said.

It was the fourth bank robbery in recent weeks in which the robber was a man of advancing years.

On Aug. 29, a robber in his 70s struck the U.S. Bank in Santee. On Sept. 11, a robber in his 70s, with an oxygen tank on his back, robbed a San Diego National Bank branch in La Jolla."

Today's Re-Imagining Announcement

CBS nabs 'Hawaii Five-O' pilot: "Surf's up for a new 'Hawaii Five-O.'

CBS has given a pilot commitment to an updated version of the classic cop series from hot feature scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and 'CSI: NY' executive producer Peter Lenkov.

There aren't many details on the trio's take on the classic procedural, which chronicled the workings of the fictional Hawaiian state police department led by Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord). The original series, created by Leonard Freeman, ran on CBS from 1968-80. It became famous for its opening music and for its staple 'Book 'em, Danno' closing line."

The Best Big-Screen Geek Girls

Cinematical Seven: The Best Big-Screen Geek Girls - Cinematical

Link via Neatorama.

Top 10 Secret Fast-Food Menu

Shhh! 10 secret fast-food menu items - TODAY Food and wine

You'll want to try the Meat Cube the next time you're at Wendy's.
Link via Pop Culture Junk Mail.

Here's the Plot of Your Next Noir Novel

'Sometimes evil does come in pretty, petite packages' :: Lake County :: Post-Tribune: "Speaking on behalf of the victim's family, Parker's sister, Tanya Parker, said the maximum eight-year sentence was far too lenient for the crime and described Grabski as evil and manipulative. After the murder, Grabski 'got high afterwards to celebrate what she did.' Grabski wiped away tears after Parker left the witness stand.

Trial supervisor Kathleen O'Halloran said Grabski played a key role in convincing her brother to participate in the crime. 'Sometimes evil does come in pretty, petite packages,' she said."

Happy Birthday, Nora Roberts!

Or J. D. Robb. Take your pick.

Happy Birthday, John Prine!

Sam Stone - John Prine

God Forgives . . . I Don't!

For those FTC spies out there, let me say right now that I watched this movie on cable TV, for which I pay a monthly fee. I happened to turn on the Encore Westerns channel just as the movie started, so I thought, what the heck, I'll watch it. It stars Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, and Frank Wolf. How bad can it be?

Answer: Pretty darned bad.

The plot, for example, is so dumb and confused that it's almost incoherent. People do things for what seems like no reason at all, either to accommodate the plot or just for the heck of it. So I won't try to describe the plot. Obviously it's an attempt to capitalize on the Man with No Name films, but putting a serape on Terence Hill and having him smoke little cigars doesn't make him Clint Eastwood.

There's some weird stuff going on throughout. Scenes that seem like nighttime scenes take place in full daylight. In some parts of the movie, it'll be night in one scene, but in the next one, supposedly taking place at the same time, the sun is shining brightly.

And then there's the ending. It's undoubtedly the goofiest final ten minutes or so that I've ever seen. I have several theories. (A) Someone edited the movie with a weed whacker. (2) The Western Channel is showing a horribly mutilated print. (3) Ed Wood directed this under an Italian pseudonym.

Here's what happens, more or less, with SPOILERS galore: Hill (called Pretty Face throughout) and Wolf (who's really not bad; he's the best reason to see the movie) are in a cantina or something, about to play a hand of cards. Then, instantaneously, they're somewhere miles away, facing off for a shootout. Before they start, Hill touches off the slowest-burning fuse in movie history. It leads to so many kegs of TNT tht I couldn't count them. Interestingly enough, there's no way in hell that anybody in this movie could have put them there or put that fuse there. But there they are. About this time, Spenser shows up, and Wolf shoots him with his belly gun. Then the final confrontation occurs. Verrrrryyyy slllooowwwlllyyy. Pretty Face knifes Wolf in one arm and shoots him in the knees. Wolf starts snaking across the sand, while Hill picks up Spencer and walks away. Wolf gets to the TNT and tries to pull the fuse out with his teeth. His hands aren't that damaged, so I'm not sure why he's using his teeth, but it makes as much sense as anything else does at this point. He's unsuccessful. Big explosion. Fade to Hill and Spencer riding off in a wagon. Where did that come from? Filled with stolen gold. How did that get there? I don't know, but there it is. And then, mercifully, the movie ends. Judy and I were laughing so hard at this point that I didn't bother to watch the credits roll. I just turned off the TV and sat there for a while. Hey, you can watch the ending for yourself if you want to.

Plenty of violence, okay score, and okay (but not spectacular) scenery. Oh, I forgot the card game near the beginning. If you think you've seen slow-moving scenes before, watch the card game. Glaciers form and melt and form again before it ends.

Geezer Noir - News From AP: "The roommate of a 100-year-old woman found strangled in her bed at a nursing home had made 'threatening' remarks to the centenarian, her son said Friday, and the slain woman's family had sought to have the women split up.

Elizabeth Barrow was found dead in her bed last month, with a plastic bag tied around her head. This week, authorities ruled the death a homicide. They have not named any suspects."

Paging Steve McQueen

Giant, Mucus-Like Sea Blobs on the Rise, Pose Danger: "Beware of the blob—this time, it's for real.

As sea temperatures have risen in recent decades, enormous sheets of a mucus-like material have begun forming more often, oozing into new regions, and lasting longer, a new Mediterranean Sea study says (sea 'mucus' blob pictures)."

They Live

Friday, October 09, 2009

Stuart Kaminsky, R. I. P.

Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind: Stuart Kaminsky, R.I.P.: "Stuart Kaminsky, a former Grandmaster of the Mystery Writers of America and author of dozens of critically acclaimed and well-regarded detective novels, passed away earlier today. He was 75."

I read and enjoyed a lot of Kaminsky's novels. He was a guest at ClueFest years ago in Dallas, in Motel Hell, and was a good sport about it all. I'm very sad to hear this news.

Stay Classy, Houston! blog: Houston gets Lingerie Football League team: "Houston might have lost the WNBA Comets franchise, but we are now picking up the Lingerie Football League expansion team."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

TV: Gas drive-off leads to multicounty chase | News for Austin, Texas | Austin News | | KVUE News |Top Stories: "A multicounty chase that lasted for more than two hours Friday ended when authorities spun a pickup truck into a rain-swollen ditch along a rural road near Corsicana.

A police dispatcher in the small north Texas town of Melissa, 35 miles north of Dallas, said the chase began Friday morning after the driver of the pickup allegedly drove off from a gas station without paying for 20 gallons of fuel."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texas firm has plan to make Gulf's salty water drinkable | Business | - Houston Chronicle: "A Texas firm plans to use power generated by the Gulf of Mexico's waves to make its salty water drinkable.

Renew Blue Inc. says its project can address two global problems — climate change and scarce drinking water — by using clean energy to turn seawater to freshwater. The company has a lease from the state of Texas to place the facility in 25 feet of water about a mile off the coast from Freeport.

It will use 18 specially designed, wave-powered pumps to send water over a wheel that will turn a small electric turbine. Power from the turbine will light the platform and run a 3,000-gallon-per-day desalination plant, said Doug Sandberg, vice president of Renew Blue's parent company, Independent Natural Resources Inc."

Ed Gorman Interviews Max Allan Collins


Gator Update (Water Hazard Edition)

Golfer Loses Arm in Alligator Attack in South Carolina - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - "A 77-year-old man has lost his lower arm after he was bitten by an alligator on a coastal South Carolina golf course.
[. . . .]
Kate Hines with the Fripp Island Property Owners Association says the man was picking up his ball when a 10-foot alligator pulled him into a nearby pond."

Top 10 TZ Episodes

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street (1960) - Top 10 Twilight Zone Episodes - TIME

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Police looking for naked dancer | | Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater: "Dallas police are looking for a man who they say repeatedly sneaks into backyards, dances around naked and then runs away.

Police believe the man has been exposing himself in the same neighborhood since 2005. The most recent incident was on Sept. 30."

Southland, R. I. P.

NBC cancels 'Southland' before its premiere--The Live Feed | THR: "NBC has canceled the well-regarded John Wells' cop drama 'Southland.'

No, the network hasn't started airing the show's second season yet. Why -- why do you ask?

Oh, that's right. Because axing a returning scripted drama right before its season debut is highly unusual.

It's sort of like shooting your racehorse in the starting gate."

Recommended Reading

Bud Webster's fine article on SF great (and a favorite of this blog) Murray Leinster. Bonus #1: Lots of pulp, digest, and paperback covers used as illustrations. Bonus #2: A really amazing bibliography. Click here.

This Is What I'd Call Multi-Tasking

California Man Blows Off Hand in Explosion at Pot Farm - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - "Police say a man blew his hand off while mixing homemade explosives in a Southern California home that doubled as a pot farm and a child care center."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Forgotten Books: FAMILY VALUES -- K. C. Constantine

First of all, for the FTC schmoes who might be reading this, although I'm a powerful and respected blogger who should be getting all kinds of compensation for his work, I bought this book with my own hard-earned cash. No one paid me a penny for this review, and I've never met K. C. Constantine. In fact, I don't believe K. C. even exists, since the name is a pseudonym for someone else I've never met and whose name I don't remember at the moment.

Now on to the comments. Booklist says that Constantine's books about Mario Balzic constitute "one of the best mystery series ever published." I have no idea if the Booklist reviewer got compensation for writing that. I'll bet he got a free book, at least. I think the FTC should look into it. But I digress. Mario Balzic was, for a number of years, the Chief of Police in the fictional town of Rocksburg, PA. By the time of this book, Balzic has retired and is having a bit of trouble adjusting. He's an irascible guy, and he's getting on his wife's nerves, to put it mildly. So he hires on as a special investigator for the state attorney general's office. The case he gets involved in is pretty complicated, involving "a history of mistrials, trials, convictions, appeals, convictions, more appeals, ad nauseam." One of the people convicted has filed for a new hearing. Balzic's going to investigate the case.

Balzic's a blue-collar guy. He's crude at times, vulgar at others. But he knows how to conduct an investigation and question people, and he's smart. Sometimes he slips up, but he's always aware of it. Injustice disgusts him, and what he finds over the course if his investigation is plenty disgusting. Constantine writes great dialog, and the book is full of it. Character revelations come when you don't expect them, and they always bear on the case at hand. If you think George V. Higgins and Elmore Leonard write good dialog, you owe it to yourself to check out Constantine. Balzic's home situation figures heavily into things, too. The dialogs Balzic has with his wife are priceless (he's a conservative guy; he doesn't like to talk about sex).

Warning: Some people don't like all the dialog, which comes replete with "uh's" and repetitions and such. You'll have to judge for yourself.

Constantine received high praise from the FTC-approved big-time reviewers during his entire career. And now he's hardly mentioned. I don't know if any of his books are even in print. How soon we forget.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

If You Go to Bouchercon and Get Tossed i n Jail, . .

. . . you can still have a good time.

Ind. court: Jail sex not a crime | | The Cincinnati Enquirer: "The Indiana Court of Appeals says six inmates at the Greene County Jail didn't commit a crime when they sneaked into each other's cells to have sex.

The 2-1 ruling upheld Greene Superior Court Judge Dena Martin's decision dismissing escape charges against three men and three women. Martin ruled the inmates didn't commit a crime because they didn't intend to leave the jail."

Did You Ever Wish You Had Athletic Skills?

49ers agree to 6-year deal with receiver Crabtree | Football news | - Houston Chronicle: "While specific terms of the deal, which was completed around 2 a.m. Wednesday, were not disclosed, Crabtree will receive nearly $17 million in guaranteed money, according to a person familiar with the contract. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the details weren't made public."

I think it's swell that Michael Crabtree is going to make $17 million. That's almost as much as my latest advance, but then I don't have the way with words that he has. For example, he said after ending his holdout, "It's a lot of relief off my shoulders." He also said that the negotiations ended when, "Everybody came to a reachable agreement and it happened." I don't know if Crabtree received his degree from Texas Tech, but I'm sure he did well in English class.


WBBM 780 - Chicago's #1 source for local news, traffic and weather - "Whatever" Reigns As Most Annoying Phrase: "If you find yourself irked when someone gives you the 'whatever' treatment, you're not alone.

According to a Marist poll, almost half of Americans - 47 percent - said there's no phrase more annoying than 'whatever.'"

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Officer Shoots Woman, Pit Bull Playing - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston: "LA MARQUE, Texas -- A police officer shot a woman and a dog that were playing when she thought the dog was attacking the woman, witnesses told KPRC Local 2."

La Marque is about 10 miles from Alvin.

The Mind Boggles

Saudis ask for aid if world cuts dependence on oil | Energy | - Houston Chronicle: "There are plenty of needy countries at the U.N. climate talks in Bangkok that make the case they need financial assistance to adapt to the impacts of global warming. Then there are the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia has led a quiet campaign during these and other negotiations — demanding behind closed doors that oil-producing nations get special financial assistance if a new climate pact calls for substantial reductions in the use of fossil fuels."

Damn Near Dead 2 Contributors Announced

You can see the list right here.

Here's the Plot of Your Next Teen Burglar Screenplay

Police suspect 'Barefoot Burglar' is stealing, crashing planes - "Who is stealing -- and crashing -- airplanes in Washington state?"

I recommend that you read the whole long article. Great stuff.

Hat tip (again) to Walter Satterthwait.

Bacon Cheese Doughnut Burger Update

Shep Smith Outraged By Bacon Cheese Doughnut Burger: 'Sign Of The Apocalypse' (VIDEO): "Fox News host Shepard Smith has a reputation for speaking his mind, and today he let his viewers know the latest source for his outrage: the bacon cheese doughnut burger. The culinary monstrosity is 1,500 calories and seems guaranteed to cause a heart attack. Smith said you could eat one, or just commit suicide. Shep sees a sign of the apocalypse:"

Hat tip to Walter Satterthwait.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Former student sues A&M over grades | Bryan/College Station, Texas - The Eagle: "A student who transferred from Texas A&M is suing her former university, saying an academic counselor recommended that she intentionally fail three classes.

The classes were taken in the fall of 2007, the first semester of her freshman year, according to the suit, and the student approached the counselor because she was having trouble understanding her professors.

The student, Jennifer Temple, wanted to Q-drop the classes, but she contends in her suit that the adviser told her that she would lose her parents' health benefits if she did. Students are given a limited number of Q-drops, which allow them to drop a class from their schedule within the first 50 days of classes."

Gig 'em!

Soon We'll Have No Freedoms Left

Judge tells 'Speedo Man:' No more thongs | | Tallahassee Democrat: "The man known around Tallahassee for regularly riding his bicycle in a thong had his day in court on Monday afternoon.

Also known as 'Speedo man,' Richard E. Irby, 55, sat in court in black jeans, shirt and trench coat as his attorney told Leon County Judge Judith Hawkins that Irby had consented to a deferred prosecution agreement. Conditions of the agreement include not wearing a thong and remaining free of legal problems for three months."

I Guess Using Steroids Would Be Out of the Question

Second Lakefront Marathon winner disqualified for iPod use - JSOnline: "Lakefront Marathon officials have disqualified a second women's winner because the runner from Lombard, Ill., tuned into her iPod in the late stages of the run to Veterans Park, Race Director Kristine Hinrichs confirmed Wednesday morning.

The unprecedented action appears to elevate Corina Canitz of Brookfield into the top spot, although two other women beat her to the finish line on Sunday.

The fastest woman, Cassie Peller, a 23-year-old student at Marquette University, was disqualified shortly after the race for accepting aid - a water bottle - from a friend outside of the official water stations. That made Jennifer Goebel, 27, the winner, but only for a couple days."

Another Geezer Alert!

Barbra Streisand tops U.S. pop chart for ninth time | Entertainment | Music | Reuters: "Barbra Streisand scored her ninth No. 1 album on the U.S. pop chart on Wednesday with a jazz release that overshadowed high-profile releases by some much-younger artists.

Streisand's 'Love Is the Answer,' her first studio recording in four years, sold 180,000 copies during the week ending October 4, according to her Columbia Records label, a unit of Sony Corp."

Dark of the Sun

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Geezer Alert Again

Chevy Chase - Chevy Chase Could Return To Fletch Role - Contactmusic News: "Comedy legend CHEVY CHASE has hinted he's set to return to the big screen in one of his most famous movie roles - playing FLETCH in a forthcoming sequel.
Chase played the womanising journalist in two movies in the 1980s, based on the books of author Gregory MCDonald."

Excellent Interview with David Laurence Wilson

Pulp Serenade: Interview with David Laurence Wilson

I Feel Really, Really Old

Elvis' grandson, Benjamin Presley, age 17, recording first album - report: "Elvis Presley's grandson is out to fill some pretty big blue-suede shoes.

The Daily Mail reports that 17-year-old Benjamin Presley, the oldest son of Elvis' only child, Lisa Marie, has been offered a $5 million deal from Universal to record up to five albums.

But don't expect any rockabilly tunes or lavish, Vegas-like productions similar to you-know-who.

'The music will be nothing like Elvis,' said Benjamin Presley, who was in England for an awards ceremony. 'Nothing like him at all.'"

That last paragraph is probably an understatement.

Anna Nicole Smith Update

Anna Nicole Smith investigated by FBI in murder plot: "Anna Nicole Smith was investigated by the FBI in a plot to murder the son of her tycoon husband following her husband’s death. Newly released FBI documents show that the organization investigated Anna Nicole Smith throughout 2000 and 2001. She was never prosecuted."

Internet Archive: Free Downloads: Film Noir

Internet Archive: Free Downloads: Film Noir: "Expressionistic crime dramas of the 40s and 50s: tough cops and private eyes, femme fatales, mean city streets and deserted backroads, bags of loot and dirty double-crossers."

42 films available. Link via Boing-Boing.

Science Fiction Gets No Respect

Why science fiction authors just can't win - SFFMedia: "“It is a truth widely acknowledged that SF is not worth consideration by sane minds. Kurt Vonnegut and J. G. Ballard have adopted Atwood’s gambit. When Vonnegut grew tired of being a guru, he returned to SF and wrote such brilliant novels as Galapagos. No reviewer spoke its name. When — possibly because of my age — I was invited on Desert Island Discs this year, I was told that SF readers were nerds who were poor and could not 'get a woman.''"

Gator Update (Henry Giblson Edition)

If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger,There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats: Stacks o' Wax #22: "As requested, here is Henry Gibson's LP Henry Gibson, a reissue of his 1962 recording The Alligator, and Other Poems By Henry Gibson designed to cash in on his newfound fame on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In."

Album cover photo at the link.

The Story with No Name

Laurie's Wild West: "Here is part 10 of The Story With No Name. This is a free form western written by some very talented writers - each week a different writer takes on the assignment to keep the story going. Part 10 is written by Paul Dellinger."

At the link there are other links to blogs with the previous nine parts of the story in case you've missed them.

See What I've Been Telling You?

Dangerous foods list includes leafy greens, eggs, tuna - Oct. 6, 2009: "Leafy greens -- including lettuce and spinach -- top the list of the 10 riskiest foods, according to a study from a nutrition advocacy group released Tuesday."

Archaeology Update

'Second Stonehenge' discovered near original | Science | "Archaeologists have discovered evidence of what they believe was a second Stonehenge located a little more than a mile away from the world-famous prehistoric monument.

The new find on the west bank of the river Avon has been called 'Bluestonehenge', after the colour of the 25 Welsh stones of which it was once made up."

No Wonder I Like Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert's Journal: My Life and Times Archives

Jack the Ripper Update

New Jack the Ripper suspect was mortuary attendant who killed two more women | Mail Online: "An historian claims to have uncovered the identity of Jack the Ripper by using modern police forensic techniques.

Mei Trow also believes that the notorious Whitechapel murderer was responsible for the deaths of an additional two women.

He has concluded that Robert Mann, a local morgue attendant, was the killer who terrorised east London in 1888 and who was officially credited with dismembering five prostitutes."

Common Law Wife

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Latest Issue of Clues

The Bunburyist: <i>Clues</i> 27.2 published: Lesbian crime fiction.: "Clues 27.2 has been published, which is a theme issue on lesbian crime fiction guest edited by Jacky Collins (Northumbria University, UK). The contributors look at works by—among others—American author Katherine V. Forrest, British author Stella Duffy, French author Maud Tabachnik, German author Thea Dorn, . . and Spanish author Isabel Franc."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Criminalizing everyone - Washington Times: "'You don't need to know. You can't know.' That's what Kathy Norris, a 60-year-old grandmother of eight, was told when she tried to ask court officials why, the day before, federal agents had subjected her home to a furious search.

The agents who spent half a day ransacking Mrs. Norris' longtime home in Spring, Texas, answered no questions while they emptied file cabinets, pulled books off shelves, rifled through drawers and closets, and threw the contents on the floor.

The six agents, wearing SWAT gear and carrying weapons, were with - get this- the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Plasma Rocket Could Travel to Mars in 39 Days: "Last Wednesday, the Ad Astra Rocket Company tested what is currently the most powerful plasma rocket in the world. As the Webster, Texas, company announced, the VASIMR VX-200 engine ran at 201 kilowatts in a vacuum chamber, passing the 200-kilowatt mark for the first time. The test also marks the first time that a small-scale prototype of the company's VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket) rocket engine has been demonstrated at full power."

Headline of the Day

Idaho woman mistakes own hearing aid for a Milk Dud | Northwest Headlines -

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.

4-7 People? I Was Thinking It Would Seve 2.

On Restaurants | A marriage of style, sushi | The Columbus Dispatch: "If you're looking for a way to 'disgust 4-7 people easily,' consider visiting Avalanche Pizza in Athens. The shop's newest pie is named Bride of Wonderboy, and at best, it will leave you wondering.

Here's the description: a crust stuffed with foot-long hot dogs, then laden with mustard, macaroni and cheese, a half-pound of mozzarella and cheddar, 'serious beef' and bacon, covered with onion, tomato and dill pickle, and topped with french fries and ketchup. Price: $18.99."

Hat tip to John Hall.

Max Allan Collins Website Update

Max Allan Collins has a revamped website, and he'll be blogging once a week or so here. Today's post is about the DVD of The Last Lullaby, and you can scroll down for other interesting stuff. Check it out.

A Case of Mistaken Robbery

My Way News - Jumpy clerks toss cash at man before he demands it: "Police said clerks at a convenience store that was robbed twice in recent months threw money at a man in a case of a mistaken robbery. The clerks at Five Star Snacks and More thought they were being robbed last Thursday when they were confronted by a rambling man who had his hand in his pocket. Police Capt. John Beckman said the clerks put money in a bag and threw it the man, who left it alone and walked out of the store.

Police said the man was drunk and the robbery suspicions were a mistake."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Archaeology Update

'Alexander the Sexy' Seen in New Portrait: Discovery News: "An unprecedented miniature portrait of a young, resolute, sexy Alexander the Great has emerged during excavations in Israel, archaeologist announced this week.

Engraved on a brilliantly red gemstone, the finely carved tiny head portrait is estimated to be 2,300 old, possibly dating to after the Macedonian king's death in 323 B.C."

Photo at the link.

The Stripper

Now We Know Why Mona Lisa's Smiling

McDonald's invades Mona Lisa's lair, will open eatery inside Louvre: "Sacre bleu!

In a move guaranteed to wipe the famous smile off Mona Lisa's mug, McDonald's is planning to open an eatery inside France's great temple of culture: the Louvre museum.

The London Telegraph reported the restaurant will open next month in the underground shopping plaza beneath I.M. Pei's glass pyramid in the museum courtyard."

Hat tip to Patrick Bowles.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Meet the 1,500-calorie 'Craz-E Burger': beef patty, bacon and cheese on Krispy Kreme donut: "The donut burger - a bacon cheeseburger with a buttered Krispy Kreme glazed donut standing in for a bun - is becoming a hit on the fair circuit and among some far-out foodies.

Amusingly, the heart-stopping sandwich was sold just outside the West Springfield agricultural fair's 'Better Living Center.'"

Artery-clogging photo at the link, which was provided by Art Scott.

Hu's on First

Hoffmania!: Hope I Made Abbott and Costello Proud

I'm Shocked

Supreme Court Strikes Down Case From Man Claiming to Be Elvis Presley's Son - Political News - "On its first day of a new term, the U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a case from a man claiming to be Elvis Presley's first-born son.

Jason Presley of West Valley City, Utah, who is suing for rights to the entire Presley family estate, had penned a petition to the high court asking for it to review his case -- full of wild accusations including an allegation that the famous singer was murdered in 1977 and did not die from a drug overdose."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Religious group sued for allegedly inciting harm through prayers - On Deadline - "A former military lawyer who served in the Reagan White House is suing a Dallas-based religious group for allegedly inciting harm upon him through prayers, The Dallas Morning News reports.

The newspaper says the suit could test the limits of free speech and prayer."

I Don't Know Much about Art, . . .

The Press Association: Heap of dust on art prize shortlist: "A whale's skull, a heap of dust made up of the remains of a jet engine and a workman's naked backside are among the artworks featuring in a display by this year's shortlisted Turner Prize artists.

Roger Hiorns, Enrico David, Lucy Skaer and Richard Wright are the artists in the running for the award, which is worth €25,000 to the prize winner and €5,000 for each of those shortlisted.

Among the exhibits at Tate Britain is a heap of metal dust from an atomised passenger jet engine by Hiorns."

Wait, You Mean Somebody's Getting Freebies and Payments?

FTC: Bloggers must disclose payments for reviews - Yahoo! Finance: "The Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products."

And They Wonder Why Newspapers are Dying

Book tells you when you should do ... everything | Life | - Houston Chronicle: "Or, as you’re holding a glass of wine, saddle up to someone new and dazzle them with this bit of trivia: Valentine’s Day is the only day of the year you can get married on top of the Empire State Building."

Italics are mine.

Happy Birthday, Monty Python's Flying Circus!

Is Monty Python's Flying Circus dead as a parrot? - Features, Comedy - The Independent: "It began with a shaggy, Ancient Mariner figure dragging himself along a seashore. Its jaunty credit sequence intertwined cartoon flowers and the photographed heads of Victorian grandees.

It introduced viewers to Arthur 'Two Sheds' Jackson and the Funniest Joke in the World – and it was the start of a five-year love affair between the British TV audience and a world of cosily surreal humour. Monty Python's Flying Circus first hit the airwaves 40 years ago, on 5 October, 1969."

Land of the (Sort of) Free

New York City to Establish Surveillance Network in Midtown - "Asked Sunday about criticism of the increased surveillance, Mr. Bloomberg said: “We live in a world where we have to have a balance. We can’t just say everybody can go everyplace and do anything they want.”"

Soon to be a Movie on the SyFy Channel

Sheriff describes raccoon "gang attack" on Lakeland woman | | Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater: "A Lakeland woman is recovering from serious injuries in the hospital after sheriff's investigators say she was 'gang attacked' by five raccoons Saturday afternoon."

Alcohol Was Certainly Involved

Alleged assault prompts charges against local man - Carlsbad Current-Argus: "A man pleaded not guilty to three charges after allegedly punching two people, crashing his car into theirs, and telling police officers they couldn't tell him what to do, a criminal complaint stated.

'____ you pig, I don't have to do what you tell me,' Jeremy Rodgers, 28, of the 300 block of Russell Street, reportedly told a police officer when asked to go talk to another officer."

Okay, Now the Recession is Getting Serious

Louisiana gator farming takes a hit as recession chokes off interest in luxury goods | New Orleans Business News - - "Louisiana alligator farmers are struggling through their worst season in 25 years as the national recession chokes off sales of luxury items."

The Naked Kiss

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Another Twilight Zone Tribute (with Sound Clips) � News � After 50 Years, ‘The Twilight Zone’ Still Knows What Scares Us: "A HALF CENTURY AGO, a young writer walked across an empty set and pitched a new idea to television advertisers.

“What you’re about to see, gentlemen, is a series called ‘The Twilight Zone’,” the young man said. “We think it’s a rather special kind of series. The thing we’re concerned with, the thing we’re aiming for, the thing we’re working toward is entertainment. This is a series for the storyteller.”"

Hat tip to Ted (The Younger) Fitzgerald.

Croc Update (Jailbird Edition)

Crocodile thrown in jail cell for loitering | Weird True Freaky | "NORTHERN Territory police were forced to arrest a grumpy crocodile and throw it in jail after it was discovered loitering in a town."

Gabriel Hunt Interview

Charles Ardai talks about discovering adventure fiction in a series of short audio clips here. Find out how Indiana Jones influenced the Gabriel Hunt series, and more.

Let the Merriment Begin

International Pickle Day!

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

(CBS) A Texas woman has a unique home defense system - hurling billiard balls at would-be robbers from the roof of her house.

Paula Ollie heard noises outside of her North Richland Hills home Wednesday afternoon and took action, reports CBS station KTVT. The 27-year-old mother collected several pool balls and placed them in her son's bicycle helmet.
[. . . .]
Ollie went out through the back door and climbed a tree to get to her roof - all while clenching the bike helmet's strap in her teeth. Once on the roof, she unleashed her unconventional defense.

"I hollered out 'Death from above!' I'm not kidding. And no sooner than I said that, I started chucking pool balls at them."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The U. S. Doesn't Lead the Way

Sweden's Internet connection speed gutsy: "Sweden ranks third in the world in average Internet connection speed, way ahead of the US.

The report by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) said the average download speed in South Korea is 20.4 megabits per second (mbps) -- four times faster than the US average of 5.1 mbps, ranked 28th.

Japan trails South Korea with an average of 15.8 mbps followed by Sweden at 12.8 mbps and the Netherlands at 11.0 mbps, the report said."

Picasso Trigger