Saturday, April 03, 2010

New Issue of Thuglit Now On-Line

Thuglit - Writing About Wrongs

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Fetish :: Hilary Davidson

Happy Birthday, Doris Day!

Happy Birthday Doris Day! - Global Cocktail - Gay Travel Blog - Passport Magazine: "Doris Day turns 86 today. She has not made a movie since 1969, but to this day she remains the reigning female movie star in terms of box office revenue. From 1959 to 1964 she was the #1 female vocalist on records. Her TV show, which ran from 1969 to 1975, was frequently #1 and always in the top ten. Then when it was over, it was over. She walked away from Hollywood and turned her energies full time to animal rights activism."

For Your Enlightenment

10 Life Lessons Learned From Nicholas Sparks Movies - Inside Movies

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Happy Birthday, Washington Irving!

Pushkin by Marjorie Kowalski Cole | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor: "It's the birthday of the writer Washington Irving, (books by this author) born in New York City (1783). He wrote 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' and 'Rip Van Winkle.' He was the first person who referred to New York City as 'Gotham,' and he created the character of Diedrich Knickerbocker, the Dutch New Yorker. 'Knickerbocker' came to describe any New Yorkers who could trace their family to the original Dutch settlers, and that's where the New York Knicks get their name."

Wombat Update

Hi Karmann! Meet the orphaned waving wombat, rescued after his mother was run over | Mail Online: "She may only have a tiny heart - but luckily for Karmann the orphaned wombat, she was rescued by an animal lover with a large one.

The helpless little creature owes her life to a driver who rescued her from the pouch of her dying mother, who had been run over in East Gippsland, Australia in early March.

Karmann was rushed to the Warrandyte Wildlife Shelter in Melbourne, where she is to spend the next three months of her life being cared for in their state-of-the-art intensive care unit."

Photo at the link.
Hat tip to David Cranmer.

This Is the Best Kind of Research

Fried breakfast is healthiest start to day, say scientists - Telegraph: "A breakfast of bacon, sausages, eggs, and beans could be the healthiest start to the day, according to new research."

And Somewhere Someone Opened the Seventh Seal

Viagra-fueled 'Sunset Daze,' a geriatric version of 'Jersey Shore' starring Gail Leibowitz, to debut: "Move over, Snooki!

The big-haired party girl faces stiff competition from New York old-timer Gail Leibowitz - star of a naughty new series featuring Viagra-fueled seniors frolicking in hot tubs and talking about sex toys.

The petite senior, whose bright red bouffant hair style gives Snooki's trademark pouf a run for its money, grabs the spotlight in a new show called 'Sunset Daze,' a sort of geriatric 'Jersey Shore.'"

Today's Western Movie Poster

No Comment Department

Avatar fans are learning how to speak Na'vi. - By Arika Okrent - Slate Magazine: "Aspiring Pandorans, however, can introduce themselves, give opinions, make requests, and even write poems in Na'vi. This, in fact, is what they are doing at The forum there already has 153,000 posts by 4,300 people—aficionados who chat, translate, and encourage novices who have never even studied a foreign language. (Yes, there are people who didn't bother learning Spanish in high school but who are eager to learn the invented language spoken on a fictional alien planet.) Na'vi, it would seem, has been taken over by the Na'vi speakers."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Houstonian Ernie Bainbridge crowned 'Groom of the Year' - Houston Business Journal:: "Houston’s Ernie Bainbridge was named’s “Groom of the Year.”

The fourth-grade teacher at Walnut Bend Elementary School beat out Justin Clarke of Lawrence, Kan., to nab the crown."

'The Breakfast Club Musical'

'The Breakfast Club Musical', and Other John Hughes Projects - Speakeasy - WSJ: "“The Breakfast Club Musical”: “I remember watching the film in college and thinking it should’ve been a musical all along,” said Jason Geis, writer and director of the “The Breakfast Club Musical,” which is based on the 1985 film about a group of high school students serving weekend detention. The 90-minute, two-act show, which runs through April 29 at StudioBE Theater in Chicago, features original songs like “Detention” and “Clubs and Activities” that mirror the film’s plot but aren’t mired in the decade from which it originated."

Six of the Saddest Movies Ever Made

Six of the Saddest Movies Ever Made | Screen | Philadelphia Weekly

Archaeology Update

Missing link between man and apes found - Telegraph: "The new species of hominid, the evolutionary branch of primates that includes humans, is to be revealed when the two-million-year-old skeleton of a child is unveiled this week.

Scientists believe the almost-complete fossilised skeleton belonged to a previously-unknown type of early human ancestor that may have been a intermediate stage as ape-men evolved into the first species of advanced humans, Homo habilis."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

S.A. woman sees face of St. Peter in rock | | San Antonio News, Weather, Sports, Traffic, Entertainment, Video and Photos: "A San Antonio woman claims she sees the face of St. Peter in an agate stone."

Photo at the link.

Imitation of Life

Friday, April 02, 2010

I Was Hoping this was an April Fool's Joke

SFGate: Daily Dish : Michael Bay will deliver new 'Rosemary's Baby': "Cult horror 'Rosemary's Baby' is set to be reborn -- a revered film critic has confirmed Michael Bay is bringing the spooky classic back to the big screen.

It was rumored in 2008 that the 'Transformers' director would remake Roman Polanski's 1968 movie, which saw Mia Farrow play Rosemary, a young woman who is pregnant with the Devil's baby.

Now respected critic Roger Ebert has taken to his page to tells fans that the film is in the pipeline."

Link via Ed Gorman.

John Forsythe, R. I. P.

John Forsythe, ‘Dynasty’ Actor, Is Dead at 92 - Obituary (Obit) - "John Forsythe, the debonair actor whose matinee-idol looks, confident charm and mellifluous voice helped make him the star of three hit television series, including ABC’s glamour soap “Dynasty,” died on Thursday in Santa Ynez, Calif. He was 92."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Happy Birthday, Emmylou Harris!

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Man's lawsuit alleges he found rat's head in beer | Facebook | - Houston Chronicle: "After a hard day's work on his Crystal Beach beach home, Everett Johnston just wanted a cool beer.

He grabbed a Tecate Light out of his fridge and began to sip. But, Johnston said, something didn't taste quite right. He said his wife looked in the bottle and noticed a rat's head floating inside.

Johnston filed a lawsuit recently in Galveston County against FEMSA Cerveza (CCM), the Mexican maker of Tecate, and Heineken, which distributes the beer in the United States, among other defendants. He's citing the severe psychological damage he says he has sustained."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Life Imitates "Art" Again

N.M. businessman charged after body parts found at waste facility -: "A New Mexico businessman has been arrested after six heads and other body parts supposed to be cremated and returned to families were found in a truck at a waste facility in Kansas."

"Chexting" Is Mainly for Geniuses

Perils of "chexting" hit spotlight - Yahoo! News: "You might like texting, frown upon sexting, but now comes 'chexting' -- and it can lead to big trouble. Just ask Tiger Woods and Jesse James.

Golf superstar Woods and TV celebrity James, who is married to Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock, have seen their lives unravel amid revelations of cheating on their spouses, in part by arranging liaisons via text messages."

New CD from the Cornell Hurd Band

My son, Allen, engineered this CD, and he plays lead guitar on a lot of tracks. Sometimes he plays several guitar parts. On one, he plays about eight guitar parts, plays the glockenspiel, plays sax, and sings harmony. How can you resist?

25 Beautiful Butterfly Books

25 Beautiful Butterfly Books

Forgotten Books: THE WAVE HANGS DARK -- Alan Dipper

It's surprising sometimes how much of a book you read forty years ago will come back to you once you pick it up and start reading it again. I own the hardcover, and I remember exactly where I bought it, a little thrift store in Austin. I was in Austin again last weekend, saw the paperback, and picked it up. You can never have too many books.

You can see the blurbs on the cover, but the best one is from Publisher's Weekly on the back cover: "A ripsnorting nautrical swashbuckler of the kind 'they don't write any more' . . . ." If it was the kind they don't write anymore in 1969, that must be a lot more true now.

Simon Algive is an underwater demolition expert who's recruited by an old friend to recover some diamonds from a sunken ship filled with bombs. The diamonds are hidden in the bombs, which have to be disarmed. You already know that things don't go as planned. They never do. There are double crosses. Lots of people die, both above and below the water. There are those bombs. And romance. But here's the kicker, something that I'm sure James Reasoner will agree improves any thriller: quicksand. You can't go wrong with quicksand. It takes a while to get things sorted out in the end because things are much, much more complicated than they'd seemed. All of this is smoothly told in Algive's first-person narration. I was reminded much more of Alistair MacLean than of Ian Fleming (see blurb on cover). Fine stuff.

Dipper went on to write five more novels, which I haven't read. I don't know why. I should have sought them out.

Bare Knuckles

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Revenge of the Carp

Revenge of the carp: Fish hunted by woman armed with bow and arrow leaps out of the water to smack her in the face | Mail Online: "A carp hunted by a woman armed with a bow and arrow has got his own back – by delivering a well-aimed slap to the face of his pursuer.

The bizarre shot was caught on the reservoirs of the Illinois River, where the population of Asian carp, an invasive species, has exploded.

The fish, who have habit of jumping out of the water when boats approach, are regarded as a nuisance, which has led to the sport of hunting them."

Photo at link.
Hat tip to Art Scott, who would never play an April Fool's Day joke, would he?

Vote for 2010 Spinetingler Awards

2010 Spinetingler Award Nominees and Poll | Spinetingler

Derringer Award Finalists

Short Mystery Fiction Society: 2010 SMFS Derringer Award Finalists

It's Back!

Review: A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, by H.W. Fowler - The Globe and Mail

Today's Western Movie Poster

Secrets of the Psycho Shower

Secrets of the Psycho shower | Film | The Guardian: "It is one of the most notorious scenes ever filmed – yet Hitchcock and Janet Leigh didn't tell the truth about it."

Dino Update

BBC - Earth News - Agile 'roadrunner' dinosaur fossil discovered in China: "One the most agile dinosaurs so far discovered has been unearthed in China.

The tiny dinosaur, dubbed a 'roadrunner' by the scientists who found it, is also one of the smallest dinosaurs known.

Measuring just half a metre long, the fleet-footed theropod named Xixianykus zhangi was likely to have used a huge claw to dig for termites and ants.

It then used its speed to efficiently move between ant mounds and avoid the attentions of larger predators."

Will Grayson, Will Grayson -- John Green & David Levithan

I think the title of this one should be Will Grayson, will grayson because the book is told in alternating chapters by two high schoolers with the same name, one of whom doesn't use upper case letters. Maybe his clinical depression and lack of self-esteem have something to do with it.

When I was reading the book, I wondered who wrote which chapters. The first Will Grayson's chapters sound more like John Green, and I'd have picked him as the author of those except maybe that's what they want me to think. Maybe Green and Levithan switched off chapters. Or maybe they switched off on styles and Green wrote the will grayson chapters.

Not that makes any difference. No matter who wrote what, it's a very funny, touching book. One of the major characters is Tiny Cooper, the “the world’s largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world’s gayest person who is really, really large.” Tiny is Will Grayson's best friend and has been since they were in fifth grade. Through a remarkable coincidence, Tiny meets will grayson, and the two fall in lust. Things get complicated because Tiny has introduced a girl named Jane to Will Grayson, whose two rules for living are these: "1. Don't care too much. 2. Shut up." Will finds himself falling for Jane, while will and Tiny are falling for each other.

Meanwhile Tiny is preparing to produce his high school musical, which, believe me, bears absolutely no resemblance to any Disney movie named High School Musical. It's the world's gayest high school musical. It's so gay that it makes Glee look like an episode of The Wire. But it's a great musical. It's about love and friendship, just like the whole book, which concludes with a performance of the show. While the ending is highly improbable, it's also eminently satisfying.

A final comment. This book has every naughty word you can think of in it. Not to mention underage drinking. Combine that with the gay themes, explicit references to gay sex, and even a couple of necking scenes with Tiny and will, and you have a book that would have sent the parents of my hometown marching on the library with torches and pitchforks when I was in high school. Times have changed, as if you didn't know, but I have to wonder if this book won't get some of that kind of attention even now. We'll see.

Machu Picchu Update

Machu Picchu reopens to tourists: "Train service to Peru's main tourist attraction Machu Picchu, one of the world's most prized heritage sites, partially reopened yesterday after heavy rains cut off the ancient citadel earlier this year.

The formal reopening of the ancient Inca citadel will be held Thursday, with a hand from Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon, tourism office PromPeru said.

The 15th-century city perched around 2500 meters above sea level is the most visited site in South America, a pillar of the Cusco region and the source of 90 per cent of Peru's tourist revenues, according to the country's finance ministry."

April Fool's Day

This is So Unfair

Why Internet connections are fastest in South Korea - "Editor's Note: Which 17 countries have faster Internet connections than the United States? See our Internet speed map.

(CNN) -- People in the United States basically invented the Internet. So U.S. connections must be the fastest and cheapest in the world, right?

Not so much."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thomas Angove,R. I. P.

Thomas Angove, king of the cask, dead at 92 | The Australian: "AUSTRALIAN wine and brandy legend Thomas Angove, the man credited with inventing the wine cask, has died.

Mr Angove, 92, passed away in a Renmark nursing home, in South Australia's Riverland, in the early hours of yesterday."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Stephen King Update

Blockade Billy by Stephen King: "Cemetery Dance Publications is proud to announce Blockade Billy by Stephen King, an original, never-before-published novella that only the King of Horror could have dreamed up!

Even diehard baseball fans don't know the true story of William Blakely, but in just a few weeks you'll be holding this dark tale in your own two hands so you can read it for yourself."

Jaime Escalante, R. I. P.

'Stand and Deliver' teacher dies of cancer - "Jaime Escalante, the math teacher portrayed in the 1988 film 'Stand and Deliver,' died Tuesday after a battle with cancer, according to the actor who played him.

Escalante, 79, was surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren when he died at his home in Roseville, California, said Edward James Olmos.

Olmos visited Escalante's bedside Monday night, he said."

David Mills, R. I. P.

Veteran 'Wire,' 'ER' screenwriter David Mills dies | Top AP Stories | - Houston Chronicle: "David Mills, a veteran television writer who worked on the award-winning series 'ER' and 'The Wire,' has died. He was 48.

Mills died Tuesday night in New Orleans, said HBO spokesman Diego Aldana, declining to provide any other information. No cause of death was released and an autopsy is pending.

Mills had been living in New Orleans while co-writing and acting as co-executive producer of the new HBO series 'Treme.' He wrote two of the upcoming episodes, which are being shot in the city. The drama is set to premiere April 11."

Hat tip to Todd Mason.


Man breaks into North Alabama home, claims to be Jesus Christ and says he is there to have sex | "A man broke into a Franklin County home on Sunday and told the owner that he was Jesus Christ and was there to have sex with his wife and daughter, the TimesDaily in Florence reports."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Let's Send Him to Washington

Israeli MP plans 'popcorn law' for movie munchers: "An Israeli lawmaker is hoping to butter up voters and pass a law that would limit outrageous popcorn prices at the movies."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Top Ten State Fair Foods

Fair Food - Best Fried Foods from State Fairs -

Top 10 TV Alien Arrivals, Invasions & Landings

Top 10 TV Alien Arrivals, Invasions & Landings

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

Headline of the Day

Sex-change killer to wed lesbian murderess in jail | The Sun |News

What the World Needs Now

Anna Faris to star in ‘Private Benjamin’ remake (exclusive): "“Private Benjamin” is being called up to duty again.

New Line is remaking the seminal 1980 comedy, reconfiguring it for the new century as a starring vehicle for Anna Faris."

The Wicked Lady

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


PLOTS WITH GUNS #8 - Back to Work

More on Plotting vs. Pantsing

Timothy Hallinan - The Blog Cabin

Help Timothy Hallinan Name His Next Book

Timothy Hallinan: Name My Book: First 50 Who Vote Get A Free Signed Copy From HarperCollins (POLL)

2010 Thriller Awards Finalists Announced

2010 Thriller Awards Finalists - The Big Thrill

Spring Issue of Mysterical-E Now On-Line


Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texas Frightmare Weekend | The Southwest's Premier Horror Convention

Mega Piranha Update

Mega Piranhas and Tiffany and Greg Brady, oh my! | Gamma Squad: "From mockbuster studio The Asylum and the writer of Snakes on a Train (yeah, a train), comes SyFy original movie Mega Piranha. The movie airs April 10th, . . ."

Clip at the link!

Mike Hammer Update

The “Lost” Mike Hammer Novels � Friends/Family/Fans of Max Allan Collins

Croc Update (Pizza Edition)

Fast-Food Outlet is First to Sell Zebra Pizzas - Incredible Health - "Fard's zebra creation is not his first time experimenting with ingredients. He told the Lancashire Telegraph that his range of buffalo, venison, kangaroo and crocodile pizzas were a big hit with customers since they went on sale earlier this year."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Here's the Plot of Your Next Big Caper Novel

Robbers tunnel into Parisian bank | Entertainment | Reuters: "Robbers tunnelled their way into the vault of a Parisian bank at the weekend and cracked almost 200 private safes, police said.

The gangsters tied up the security guard at a Credit Lyonnais branch on Paris's Avenue de l'Opera on Saturday night, before digging through a series of cellars to reach the vault, police said late on Monday.

They spent several hours opening the safes and set the place on fire as they left. The value of the stolen goods is still being estimated, police said."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Erykah Badu gives details of her nude video shoot for 'Window Seat' (Video): "Despite the controversy that has surrounded Erykah Badu's new music video for 'Window Seat'--both because she strips naked while walking down the streets of Dallas and ends the video by getting shot at the site of the JFK assassination--Badu took to her Twitter page to give details of what it was like to shoot the expressive video.

According to Badu, she shot the video in one take with real people in the background, not actors. Badu says that pedestrians were surprised to see her stripping down."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Mayor On Ballot For 30th Time - Politics News Story - KPRC Houston: "The bedroom community of Richmond, Texas, sits in the shadow of Houston's metropolis and no one is more proud of this quiet town of 11,081 than its mayor, Hilmar G. Moore. He has held that post since 1949."

Love Hurts

Jilted Javan teen chops off his penis

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Magnets Made Me Do It

Scientists discover moral compass in the brain which can be controlled by magnets | Mail Online: "Scientists have discovered a real-life 'moral compass' in the brain that controls how we judge other people's behaviour.

The region, which lies just behind the right ear, becomes more active when we think about other people's misdemeanours or good works.

In an extraordinary experiment, researchers were able to use powerful magnets to disrupt this area of the brain and make people temporarily less moral."

Erle Stanley Gardner Update: The Case of The Disappearing Exhibit

kut : Item | The Case of The Disappearing Exhibit: "A re-creation of the study used by the creator of Perry Mason is being removed.

On the fourth floor of the Flawn Academic Center on the UT campus, there’s a room that’s gone unchanged unchanged for almost 40 years. It’s the study used by mystery writer Erle Stanley Gardner, which was moved from his home in California by the Harry Ransom Center. Now it’s being dismantled."

Photo and audio at the link. I have't listened because I probably sound like a goober.

Neal Barrett, Jr. Update

No Fear of the Future: "COCO BEACH, FLA. – Neal Barrett, Jr., author of The Hereafter Gang, named by the Washington Post as “one of the great American novels,” and Interstate Dreams, recognized as an award-winner by the Texas Institute of Letters, will be honored as Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America for the 2010 Nebula Awards Weekend in Coco Beach, Fla."

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

The Many Faces of Serial Killers

The Many Faces of Serial Killers - Photo Gallery, 30 Pictures - LIFE

Firefly Update

Firefly's Original Writers Return To The 'Verse With New Classic Tales - Joss Whedon - io9: "It's not as good as a new season of Firefly on television, but it's still cause for celebration — a new anthology will feature original tales from TV series writers Jane Espenson, Jose Molina, Brett Matthews and Ben Edlund."

Blithe Spirit

Monday, March 29, 2010

And Stay off Its Lawn!

1929 Austin found in a garage - and five decades since it was last driven it starts first time - Telegraph: "Made in 1929, a rare Austin 12/4 has been found have been languishing in a garage, unused, for five decades.

But when Roger Bulled turned the starter handle, ready to fire up the engine for first time since 1961, he was amazed to hear it turn over as if it had been driven every day."

June Havoc, R. I. P.

iWon News - June Havoc, immortalized in 'Gypsy,' dies at 97: "Actress and writer June Havoc, whose childhood in vaudeville as Baby June was immortalized in the musical 'Gypsy,' has died in Connecticut at age 97.

Havoc was the younger sister of famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and died Sunday of natural causes at her home in Stamford. Her death was confirmed Monday by her publicist and friend, Shirley Herz.

While she never reached the fame of her sister, Havoc had a varied, successful theater career that lasted from 1918 into the next century."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Archaeology Update

Ancient doorway to afterlife discovered in Egypt - Yahoo! News: "A large red granite false door from the tomb of an ancient queen's powerful vizier has been discovered in Luxor, Egypt's culture minister said on Monday.

The carved stone door -- which ancient Egyptians believed was the threshold to the afterlife -- was unearthed near the Karnak Temple in Luxor and belongs to the tomb of User, a powerful advisor to the 18th dynasty Queen Hatshepsut, Faruk Hosni said in a statement."

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

Stay off This Guy's Lawn!

Police: Father shoots daughter's boyfriend after catching them in the act |
| San Antonio News, Weather, Sports, Traffic, Entertainment, Video and Photos
: "Police arrested William Clark Moore, 71, on Saturday morning on charges that he shot his daughter's boyfriend in the left hand."

Classic mugshot at the link. Texas leads the way!

Spinetingler Relaunch Week

Crime Zine Report: Spinetingler relaunch week: "For the last month or so Spinetingler has been in the middle of a facelift and working in a live beta mode while doing so. This week is our 'official' relaunch and we would like to invite everyone to stop by; we have a lot planned. We made a decision to shift away from issue-based publications and towards a continuous publication format. At the same time we wanted to split the mystery and crime fiction content off of the parent site, BSC Review, to give it room to breathe and bring it into greater relief."

More details at the link.


My sister e-mailed to tell me that I was on NPR this morning. That's news to me, but I guess it's possible. I never know where I'll turn up.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Lyrics Update

Lightfoot changes 'Edmund Fitzgerald' lyric | Music | Entertainment | Toronto Sun: "Gordon Lightfoot says the families of some of the crewmen of the Edmund Fitzgerald are pleased he's changed the lyrics to his iconic song about the mysterious ship sinking in Lake Superior 35 years ago."

The Skull of Shirzad Mir -- Harold Lamb

If you haven't read this interview with Tom Roberts of Black Dog Books, you should take a look. It will give you a good idea of what Roberts is up to. Since I'm a sucker for a good pulp yarn, I thought I'd read one by Harold Lamb, having recently read this article about some other reprints of his work.

The Skull of Shirzad Mir isn't a novel, exactly. It's five connected stories about a Moslem warrior named Abdul Dost and an English merchant (who's quite a warrior himself), Sir Ralph Weyand. The first four stories are narrated by Abdul Dost. The final one, by far the longest, is told in third person. Dost and Weyand are unlikely allies, and Dost doesn't quite trust the Englishman, who's impetuous and daring, but Weyand keeps coming up with clever plans that Dost admires after they're successfully carried out.

The stories are colorful, full of action, well-written, and (as far as I know) fairly historically accurate. They're all set in India in the very early 17th century, and Lamb provides notes to two of the stories that indicate he either did a lot of research or was a good faker. I think the former is the case. If you're looking for old-style adventure with hair's-breadth escapes, intrigue, swordplay, horsemanship, and even a bit romance (in the latter two stories), you can't go wrong here.

Remakes and Re-imaginings

75 movie remakes and reboots currently in the works - Den of Geek: "Hollywood loves its remakes, and increasingly loves its reboots too. Here are 75 movie and TV projects that are currently in various stages of production..."

Here's the Plot of Your Next Comic Spy Thriller

Ageing spies unable to use the internet - Telegraph: "Having battled Islamic extremists, Irish Republican terrorists and Russian spies, some of the veteran intelligence officers of MI5 are encountering a foe they cannot master: information technology."

Two More Enemies in the War on Drugs

Bacon and cheesecake have an effect on the brain similar to heroin and cocaine: study: "Bacon and cheesecake can alter the brain in ways similar to heroin and cocaine, according to scientists who say they have found the most compelling proof yet that high-fat foods rewire the brain and drive the development of compulsive eating."

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.

Gator Update (Customer Service Edition) Rep: "Your Package Has Been Eaten By An Alligator" - The Consumerist: "Sometimes calling customer service just leads to theater of the absurd. Earlier today, reader Will blogged about his recent interaction with Amazon customer service. He writes that when he called up Amazon to find out the location of a missing package. The rep informed him that the package had been eaten by an alligator."

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Coffee vs. Tea: New political movement springs up in Houston |
| Local News
: "HOUSTON—A grassroots network that many consider an alternative to the Tea Party movement held a series of meetings this weekend at coffeehouses throughout Harris County.

The so-called Coffee Party was born on Facebook less than two months ago. It already boasts more than 187,000 fans."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

100 Great French Books -- Lance Donaldson-Evans

Here's one of those books I can't resist, an annotated list of books. It's the kind of thing that makes you wish you had all the time in the world and could read every book the author discusses. Luckily for me I've already read a surprising number of them (surprising to me, anyway -- 23) or at least parts of them. All in translation, of course. I was the despair of my college French teachers.

The books aren't all the kind of thing you study in literature class. There are The Little Prince; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; Simenon's Lock 14, Japrisot's Trap for Cinderella; Asterix; Camus' The Stranger. Okay, maybe you'd read that in lit class, but I didn't. And 95 more. Read one essay, and you'll keep right on reading, I'm sure. And in case 100 books for your reading list isn't enough, there's an "Afterword" that gives you 50 additional titles.

I know at least a couple of you like this kind of thing as much as I do. Check it out.

Two More Howard Hunt Covers

Today's Western Movie Poster

Howard Hunt from PQ Spring 1979 (Volume 2, Number 1)

Beneath the 12-Mile Reef