Saturday, November 14, 2009
Why? Because she was in a YouTube video, that's why. I know how that sounds. You'll just have to read the book to see how it works out. Anyway, after her experience in the future, Debra, like Billy Pilgrim, seems to have come unstuck in time. She bounces around from the past to the future to the present, and it's no fun at all. I can't explain the physics of it, though Melton can, but things from the past are realer than things in the future. So in the future settings, Debra can dent steel by walking on it. In the past, even leaves or grass are hazardous to her.
Because changes to the past can affect the future, objects from the past are “more real” than anything from future times. When she is first taken into the future, Debra can punch through walls as if they are paper maché—but when she is sent into the past, leaves and grass hurt her feet like sharp gravel. Being in the past is hazardous to Debra—but in the future, she is hazardous to those around her. This is a refreshing change from the sort of story I mention above.
Like other Melton teens, Debra is smart and resourceful. When she figures out that she hasn't been told the whole truth of things, it's up to her to find a way to save the world. Does she? Well, sure. But I'm not telling. You'll have to read the book to find out how. Another great read from Melton.
In 7th and 8th grades we often walked home from school together since she lived on the way to my house. I had quite a crush on her in those days. She didn't reciprocate, but that was okay. I still got to walk her home.
Judy and I went to her wedding, and we've seen her and Robert, her husband, many times in the years since, primarily at class reunions and informal get-togethers that have been annual affairs for more than 15 years now.
I can't believe Mary's gone. I'm supposed to say a few words at the service. I'm not sure I can.
Friday, November 13, 2009
NASA's LCROSS probe discovered beds of water ice at the lunar south pole when it impacted the moon last month, mission scientists announced today. The findings confirm suspicions announced previously, and in a big way."
The city was also the largest in the Top 10, according to the index.
Austin-Round Rock area took the top spot among the 200 largest metro areas, followed by Killeen-Fort Hood-Temple; Salt Lake City; and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission. Rounding out the list were Durham, N.C.; Olympia, Wash.; Huntsville, Ala.; Lafayette, La.; and Raleigh-Cary, N.C."
The first 300 customers who purchase a $134 gift set will be able to meet the award-winning rapper, actress and singer and receive a complimentary photograph. No autographs will be given."
Lathern, 24, formerly of Robinson, was arrested Wednesday on theft by deception charges after authorities say she lied about her medical condition, watched as friends raised $10,000 for her at a benefit and then reportedly spent the proceeds on breast-augmentation surgery."
Hat tip to Angela Crider.
A three-metre long 'pee bale' has been installed at Wimpole Hall.
Head gardener Philip Whaites is urging his male colleagues to pee on the straw bale to activate the composting process on the estate's compost heap."
Hat tip to Fred Zackel.
All that aside, this one's a lot better than We All Killed Grandma. Carl Dixon meets a man who calls himself Vic Tremaine. Tremaine seems like a nice guy, and he and his sister treat Carl to a night on the town. Carl enjoys himself, and he's feeling romantic about the sister. Things, of course, are not what they seem, and before he knows it, Carl is in prison, convicted of murder.
It's all part of a clever plot (based on things that are certainly dated) that's eventually untangled by Carl's finacee and a cop she asks for advice. All I'm going to say is that the title is a clue. This one's a satisfying read.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
[. . . .]
La Marque police say the French-built supercar ended up in about 2 feet of saltwater. The driver, whose name was not immediately released, was not injured in the crash.
[. . . .]
The driver, who was from Lufkin, had been looking at real estate in the Galveston area when he was distracted by a low-flying pelican near Omega Bay, according to police."
Basic algebra involving fractions and decimals stumped a group of City University of New York freshmen - suggesting city schools aren't preparing them, a CUNY report shows.
'These results are shocking,' said City College Prof. Stanley Ocken, who co-wrote the report on CUNY kids' skills. 'They show that a disturbing proportion of New York City high school graduates lack basic skills.'"
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ
Grateful Dead Archivist
Deadline: Initial Review Date, 12/04/09
The University Library of the University of California, Santa Cruz, seeks an enterprising, creative, and service-oriented archivist to join the staff of Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) as Archivist for the Grateful Dead Archive. This is an academic librarian professional position."
Link via Dave Barry's Blog.
Just a decade later there was altogether better news when field studies by researchers from the Cambodian government and wildlife organizations found a number of Siamese crocodiles in the wild."
Hat tip to Tina Karelson.
David Lloyd’s first television writing gig was in 1963 for “The Tonight Show” — his last was for “Frasier” in 2001. In between, he had his hands on just about every legendary sitcom (and occassional drama) you can think of that didn’t come out of the Norman Lear factory — “Phyllis,” “Rhoda,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Lou Grant,” “Taxi,” “Cheers,” “Frasier” and more.
But it was his work on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” — and that one Chuckles episode in particular — that will be his fitting epitaph."
A nice tribute can be found here. Thanks to Todd Mason for passing this news along.
A source in the Houston Police Department confirmed 10 officers are assigned to complete training.
The source said if a driver refuses a breath test, they will get a warning about losing their license. Officers will then ask for a blood sample. If the driver again refuses, the officer will ask for a search warrant from a judge, then draw the blood, him or herself, at the police station.
However, the source said, in certain cases, the officer will be able to draw blood without a warrant."
It all started in March when $800 worth of Orbit gum was stolen from stores in Bridgeport, Fairfield and Stratford by one man, Kenneth McManus, who intended to sell it for drug money. Cops say this high-profile robbery has led to several copycat gum thefts since June.
'What the motive is, we don't know,' said New Britain State's Attorney Scott Murphy. 'But gum thefts are increasing.'"
Hat tip to Toby O'B.
Brad Olson, founder of Gottadeal.com, a Web site that markets itself as one of many 'official' Black Friday deal sites, said Wednesday that he received a copy of the discount retailer's ad."
Mr Wilson mows lawns.
[. . . .]
So that no young whipper-snapper could come and take his job off him, Mr Wilson just signed a contract to keep mowing lawns for another five years."
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
District leaders stopped the fundraiser, issuing a statement this morning indicating no extra grade credit will be issued that may have resulted from donations, and donations will be returned starting Thursday."
Doctors in the city of Cajamarca say they removed 1.5 pounds of metal from Abanto's stomach, including nails, coins, and rusted copper wire and scrap metal.
[. . . .]
Delgado said specialists are examining Abanto's mental health as he recovers.
The 26-year-old construction worker ate the metal for months, and told Peru's Channel 9 television that he may now do it in public 'as sport.'"
A fan of short stories, his soon began to appear regularly in top mystery publications, most notably Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. Even after his eventual return to newspaper work, he was a regular contributor, his stories frequently culled for hard-cover collections published by groups like Mystery Writers of America and Private Eye Writers of America.
Indeed, during last month's Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in Indianapolis, his story Panic on Portage Path was a nominee for a 2009 Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America.
Maross appeared in several movies, including 'Run Silent, Run Deep,' 'Elmer Gantry,' 'Sometimes a Great Notion' and 'Rich and Famous,' but he was best known for his work in television.
Beginning on live TV in New York in 1952, he had roles in dramatic anthology series such as 'Lux Video Theatre,' 'Studio One' and 'Armstrong Circle Theatre.'"
Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.
The 'Appleton Post-Crescent' reports that Andrew Burwitz forgot to roll down his window as he allegedly attempted a drive-by shooting."
Hat tip to Jeff Segal.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Roberson's Interminable Ramble: Tom Corbett, Space Cadet: ". . . nothing is lost forever."
Guards at the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center discovered the handgun about two hours after the youth was booked for possession of marijuana around 6 a.m. Monday."
I got 9.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Bronze weapons, a silver bracelet, an earring and hundreds of human bones found in the vast desolate wilderness of the Sahara desert have raised hopes of finally finding the lost army of Persian King Cambyses II. The 50,000 warriors were said to be buried by a cataclysmic sandstorm in 525 B.C."
Hammer said he was still amazed at the popularity of U Can't Touch This. 'To have something still be embraced after 20 years plus is very humbling.'"
Cook County prosecutors have outraged the university and the journalism community by issuing subpoenas to professor David Protess seeking his students’ grades, his syllabus and their private e-mails. Prosecutors claim since the team was made up of students, they may have been under pressure to prove the case to get a good grade."
Pete Tarslaw, the book's narrator, decides that he can write a bestseller. It seems easy enough, once you figure out the formula. So he writes a book called The Tornado Ashes Club. It has everything. Trust me. Tarslaw admits from the beginning that he does some terrible things along the way to fame. He hopes the backstory he's including will make the reader think better of him at the end. It probably doesn't, though maybe Pete isn't quite a soulless as he appeared at the beginning. You can take the climactic showdown in Marfa, Texas, two ways, I think. I tend to be cynical about it, myself, but that's just me.
I'm recommending this book to every writer I know. If there's a publishing target that Hely misses, I can't think what it is. His eye for the telling detail is dead-on, and reading his description of the Oprah show is like watching it. Throughout the book he scatters excerpts from the bestsellers on that list I linked to above. If you didn't know better, you'd think you were reading real thing.
Bonus reason why I liked the book: Hely mentions in passing a mostly forgotten writer named Vance Bourjaily. In my youth when I read really long books, I read Bourjaily's The Violated and was pretty impressed. I have a paperback copy of it on my shelves even now. Not many people even know who Bourjaily is these days, and it was a pleasant surprise to run across his name.
Spokesman Gary Morse said 38-year-old Joseph Cannistra was outside his Geddy Drive home about 12:30 am looking for his dog, when he thought he saw his pet lying underneath his car.
There was something underneath, but it wasn't his dog. Officials said an five foot alligator was waiting and when Cannistra reached underneath, it bit both of his hands."
[. . . .]
In an attempt to better understand the reptiles' habitat and life cycle, scientists at the Gharial Conservation Park in Lucknow are using small video cameras for 'bio-logging.'
The lightweight cameras are attached to gharials that are released into the wild, where they record pictures every four seconds and monitor movement and behavior."
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Media5 used the photo, which showed Hilton partying, to advertise vacant billboard space.
Hilton's manager Jamie Freed said from Los Angeles Media5 had not gained permission to use the image and could expect to hear from her lawyers."
But Dr. Rines, who died on Nov. 1 at his home in Boston at 87, may have outlived the fabled Scottish creature he pursued for more than a quarter century. He had come to suspect that the beast died during his hunt, leaving him to search for a skeleton."
Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.
Link via Neatorama.
According to her attorney, Scott Skelton, of Lufkin, Pam McLaurin believes the book of Revelation literally and that getting a fingerprint would bear her the mark of the beast and she would be 'be tormented in burning sulfur.'"
Lots more coffee masterpieces at the link.
But of course the important part of the article is the police report about the gator. You have to click the link and scroll down for that gem.
Last Friday, at the District 5-4A cross country meet, Lively won. He does that a lot. The kid in the Lake Dallas High School uniform with golden brown hair and a mask covering his mouth crosses the line before anyone else and then keels over. 'They tell you to walk,' Lively said, 'but usually I can't.'"