Saturday, August 28, 2010

No Comment Department

Ogling women a natural reflex - "This amounts to conclusive physiological justification for the male practice of staring at female breasts.

“It's a reflex that's built into the brain circuits,” she said in an interview. “At its core biological basis, it's unfair to criticize men for that initial unconscious circuitry.”"

Top 10 Westerns of the Decade

Booklist Online - Top 10 Westerns, by Bill Ott (FEATURE)

Archaeology Update

'Sensational' Discovery: Archeologists Find Gateway to the Viking Empire - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Gunpoint :: Fred Blosser

Fred's a frequent commenter here. Check out his story.

Happy Birthday, Billy Grammer!

The Top Ten Sci-Fi Comedies

The Top Ten Sci-Fi Comedies -

Link via SF Signal.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Searching for oil and gas in Houston's city parks? It could happen soon | | Local News: "The City of Houston is expected to sign an agreement allowing a company to search for oil and gas in three city parks."

Will Texas Lead the Way?

Little League World Series: Hawaii advances to U.S. title game - ESPN: "The Little League World Series final four is finally set after rain earlier in the week forced the schedule to be pushed back. Hawaii will play Pearland, Texas, in the U.S. championship game Saturday, while Japan and Taiwan will meet for the international crown.

The winners play Sunday for the World Series title."

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Stories Behind 8 Back-to-School Essentials

mental_floss Blog � The Stories Behind 8 Back-to-School Essentials

Ashes to . . . Vinyl?

Press your ashes into vinyl for �2000, FLAC download free with purchase -- Engadget: "We've heard a lot about the death of the record industry, but this is ridiculous! And Vinyly (get it? get it?) will press your charred remains into your very own hyper-personalized spinning analog musical platter. The starter kit comes with your own generic gravestone-style cover art, 24 minutes of audio of your choosing, and 30 copies of your final release."

Link via Neatorama.

Will the Persecution Never End?

Police: Paris Hilton arrested on cocaine charge - Yahoo! News: "Police arrested Paris Hilton on cocaine possession charges late Friday night after stopping the car she was in on a Las Vegas street, authorities said.

Hilton was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on a charge of possession of cocaine, Las Vegas police spokesman Marcus Martin said.

The 29-year-old Hilton was in a car driven by a friend that was stopped when officers noticed what they suspected to be marijuana smoke coming from it, he told The Associated Press."

I'm Everywhere!

Writers Read: Bill Crider

The Return of the Musketeers

Friday, August 27, 2010

Shirley Jackson in the Library of America

Book Review - Shirley Jackson - Novels and Stories - "The very welcome Library of America edition of Jackson’s work, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, contains, in addition to “Hill House,” 46 of her short stories, another novel — her last, “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” — and an essay on the furious reactions to the magazine publication of her peerlessly disturbing 1948 tale “The Lottery.” Although few of the narratives collected here are as terrifying as “Hill House” or as shocking as “The Lottery” (which is about an exceptionally nasty small-town ritual), there’s precious little comfort in any of them."

Back Home Again in Indiana

Alligator spotted in Portage: "Justice Scheffee almost caught more than he bargained for Friday in the creek at Imagination Glen Park.

The Monon 16-year-old hooked a 3-foot alligator on his first cast from the bank."

Hat tip to Debra Eisert.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

74-Year-Old Turns Heads In National Pageant | NBC Dallas-Fort Worth: "After winning a national pageant in New Orleans, a 74-year-old North Texas woman proves she's still got it.

Beth Weems Pirtle competed in the senior division of the American Dreams Pageant, and came away with top honors. She said there's no feeling like the crowning moment at a pageant."

Gloria Winters, R. I. P.

Gloria Winters - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Gloria Winters (November 28, 1931, Los Angeles, California – August 14, 2010, Vista, California), 78, was an actress most noted for playing the niece, Penny King, in the 1950s-1960s American television series Sky King.[1]"

Hat tip to News from Me.

Ghost Train Update

Amateur NC ghost hunter looking for 'ghost train' hit and killed - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |: "A man who was with about a dozen people who were looking for a legendary 'ghost train' in Iredell County was hit by a locomotive and killed early Friday morning."

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

A Few Hundred Covers to Illustrate a Theme

Retrospace: Vintage Themes #9: Carried

They Should Get off his Lawn!

74-year-old defies topless ban |

Photo at link. Click at your own risk.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

HISD families could get up to $1,020 if kids master math | Facebook | - Houston Chronicle: "Fifth-graders at select Houston ISD schools will get richer for passing math tests — and their parents will get paid, too — under a rare experiment to try to boost student performance with cash incentives totaling as much as $1,020 per family."

If You've Always Wanted to be a Road Warrior . . .

Screw Burning Man: This year's greatest desert festival is a three-day Mad Max reenactment!: "If you've always wanted to be a Road Warrior or watch two men enter and one man leave, then get your ass down to Southern California for Wasteland Weekend, a Mad Max-themed weekend featuring DJs, post-apocalyptic vehicles... and Bartertown."

Archaeology Update

Greeks 'discover Odysseus' palace in Ithaca, proving Homer's hero was real' - Telegraph

Today's Western Movie Poster

Priests in Literature

AbeBooks: Priests in Literature - Fascinating & Flawed Clergymen

Impress Your Friends!

Freeze! Pistol Ice Tray

Forgotten Books: DEATH OF A SOURCE -- Richard Moore

I've known Richard Moore for many years. If all has gone according to plan, he and I will both be at Armadillocon as you read this, and once again, for the hundredth time, I'll chastise him for spending the last 30 years making a living and taking care of his family when he should have been writing more books like this one from 1980.

Richard published another book with Raven House, Death in the Past, along with some distinguished stories in places like Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, but nothing has appeared in many years. He's contributed his fanzines to DAPA-Em and OWLHOOT, and he's commented on this blog, but he hasn't done much other writing that I'm aware of. And that's too bad.

Let's start with the cover of the book. As I recall, a lot of RH books got two covers, one for the book racks and one for the subscribers. I don't know which this one is, and I'm too lazy to see if I have the other one. Anyway, this one's highly appropriate because the narrator, reporter Bob Whitfield, smokes approximately 356 packs of cigarettes in the course of the book. And that's not counting what others smoke. Times have changed.

But then that's part of the charm of the novel, which takes us back to the day when newspapers mattered; when cities had two dailies, morning and afternoon; when VDTs were just coming in and newspapers were beginning to enter the computer age; when businesses had W. A. T. S. lines for long-distance calls; when the big worry of rural law enforcement was marijuana, what with meth being unheard of.

The "source" of the title is a woman who tells Whitfield that she has a big story for him. Before they can meet, she's killed. Just a robbery, people think, but since she's from a prominent family, Whitfield is assigned to write a story about her life. Sure enough, his investigation into her death leads to a sinister conspiracy, and Whitfield gets to tell us quite a bit about crime, state politics, and current affairs.

My favorite comment in the book is this one when Whitfield describes a room in his apartment: "There are bookcases on three of the four walls, holding several thousand volumes, but I refuse to call it a library. No one has a library in their home except in novels by P. G. Wodehouse and Agatha Christie, and those libraries probably wouldn't contain a single Ace Double Book."

If you see this book, grab it.

Update: Things didn't go as planned, so I'm not at the Armadillocon. But I'm chastising Richard though this post.

The Four Musketeers

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Paris Hilton Update

Paris Hilton says she wants to be a pre-school teacher | ENTERTAINMENT News: "Paris Hilton says she wants to be a pre-school teacher.
[. . . .]
She is quoted by gossip website Absolute Now as saying: 'I have basically done everything but if I wasn't in the position I am in now I would love to be a nursery school teacher because I love kids.'
[. . . .]
She added: 'I would love to be a veterinarian because I love animals. That would be a dream for me.'"

Now all she needs is that college degree. Oh, and a teaching certificate. And quite a bit more to be come a vet. She can probably knock that course work out in a couple of years, though.

Reader of this Blog Will Not be Surprised

Bouchard: Arrests at Ferndale medical marijuana facility serve as notice | | the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers and Hometown Weeklies: "“There were many commonalities to what we see in drug houses,” he said. “In one case, a loose alligator [was] protecting the product. This is Michigan, this is not a ‘Cheech and Chong’ movie.”"

Prosecute Him to the Fullest Extent of the Law!

iWon News - Man charged with trying to break into Hilton home: "Prosecutors in Los Angeles say they have charged a man arrested outside Paris Hilton's home with attempted burglary.
[. . . .]
Authorities say someone carrying two big knives banged on Hilton's window. She posted a photo of the Tuesday arrest on Twitter and described it as 'scary.'"

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Top Ten Beatles Songs of All Time

The Top Ten Beatles Songs of All Time: Get a Sneak Peek at Our New Collectors Issue of The Greatest Band's 100 Greatest Songs | Rolling Stone Music | Photos

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

And They Said I Couldn't Dance!

Bill is doing The Ugly Dance. Don't miss it!

Click on the choices at the bottom to make me look even better!

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

State Fair of Texas announces 2010 Sixth Annual Big Tex Choice fried food awards | | Dallas/Fort Worth

Fried caviar? Fried beer?
Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Top 50 Cult Movies

The Top 50 Cult Movies

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Beautiful Boxed Sets - Literature in a Box

AbeBooks: Beautiful Boxed Sets - Literature in a Box: "Having a collectible, all-inclusive set of your favorite book series is a treat. Beautifully packaged and often limited edition, the presentation is as much a treat as the literature inside. AbeBooks has an extensive selection of beautiful boxed sets available, from worldwide classics like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis to new gems to discover like the complete set of Bill Watterson's beloved comic strip Calvin & Hobbes or the elegantly packaged Khaled Hosseini box set, including exquisitely bound, limited edition copies of his two celebrated bestselling novels The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns."

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Vintage Preservation Collection #9

Retrospace: The Vintage Preservation Collection #9: Sleazy Book Covers

Buffalo Leads the Way

Galveston, New Orleans Make Top 10 Dead Cities List - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston

Forgotten Music: Ral Donner

Ral Donner is sometimes thought of as the first Elvis impersonator because his voice sounded so much like Presley's. In fact, on some of his recordings Donner sounded so much like Elvis that people thought The King had actually made them under another name. This was long before anyone ever thought about dressing like Elvis and trying to recreate his act. In the late '5os, everybody was trying to sound like Elvis. Donner didn't even have to try.

Sadly for Donner's career, just sounding like Elvis wasn't enough. Though he made quite a few recordings, some of them good ones, Donner had only one Top Ten hit. He pretty much disappeared after 1962, though he did narrate This Is Elvis in 1981, once again using that voice that sounded like Presley's. Here's one of his songs. You can decide for yourself how much he sounded like Elvis.

The Three Musketeers

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

George Weiss, R. I. P.

iWon News - 'What a Wonderful World' songwriter Weiss dies: "George David Weiss, who helped write chart-topping pop hits including 'Can't Help Falling in Love' and 'What a Wonderful World,' has died. He was 89.
[. . . .]
Among the notable compositions he wrote or co-wrote were 'Can't Help Falling in Love,' recorded by Elvis Presley; 'What a Wonderful World,' recorded by Louis Armstrong; 'Surrender,' recorded by Perry Como, and 'Oh! What It Seemed to Be' by Frank Sinatra.

Weiss had a role in creating the Tokens' hit version of 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight,' which was based on a 1939 song written by South African musician Solomon Linda. Weiss and two collaborators gave the song a reworked melody and new lyrics but kept the refrain - 'Wimoweh, wimoweh' - that was popularized in a 1950s version of the song performed by the Weavers.

The Tokens' version became a million-selling hit in 1961."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Alligator Bob

BBC News - Alligators spotted in northern US cities: "This month, a volunteer animal rescuer known only as 'Alligator Bob' pulled two of the reptiles out of the murky Chicago River, which runs through the heart of America's third largest city.

'It's physically exhausting but enjoyable,' Alligator Bob, who refuses to divulge his last name, told the Chicago Tribune newspaper on Wednesday after pulling a three-footer out of the river into his canoe."

Hat tip to Richard Prosch.

Busted Flush Press Update

Central Crime Zone: "Tyrus Books, Inc. today announced the acquisition of Busted Flush Press, LLC., in a move that brings together two of crime fiction’s most recognizable independent presses.

“We’re very excited to add the Busted Flush brand to Tyrus Books. David Thompson is a dedicated and tireless advocate of crime fiction and I look forward to seeing the Busted Flush brand continue to grow,” said Benjamin LeRoy, Publisher and President of Tyrus Books."

Anna Nicole Smith Update

BBC To Air Anna Nicole Smith – The Opera – "Auntie will broadcast the latest Royal Opera House production by the co-creator of Jerry Springer: the Opera on BBC4 early 2011. Anna Nicole will have its world premiere at Covent Garden on February 11."

Hat tip to Vince Keenan.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Canaveral Groves man accidentally shoots wife | | FLORIDA TODAY: "A 72-year-old woman was accidentally shot in the chest by her husband Sunday morning at a home in the 3600 block of Detroit Street in Canaveral Groves, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office reported.

About 10:35 a.m., Arnold Morris, 76, was practicing what to do in case of a robbery with Patricia, his wife of 54 years, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Linda Moros said."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

That Does It. No More Mr. Nice Guy.

Nobody likes a do-gooder: Study confirms selfless behaviour is 'alienating' | Mail Online: "They probably think their selfless behaviour makes them popular but the truth about 'do-gooders' is nobody really likes them, according to new research.

A series of studies found that those who volunteer to take on unwanted tasks or who hand out gifts without being prompted, quickly alienate themselves."

Today's Western Movie Poster

THE WALK in Paperback

THE WALK in Paperback - A Writer's Life

While I'm a big fan of the books in the Monk series, Judy's favorite book by Lee Goldberg is The Walk, which we both read back in its Five Star incarnation. Now the book is doing big numbers in Kindle format, so Goldberg has had it published in paperback for those who don't have a Kindle or who prefer to read a real book. You can find a plot summary at the link. Both Judy and I recommend this one.

Smile, You're on Candid Camera

Accidental Photobomb Leads to Bag Thief's Capture

Hat tip to Doc Quatermass.

Here's the Plot for Your Next Spy Thriller

Murdered British spy found stuffed into sports bag in bath of London flat - Telegraph: "A British spy who was found dead in the bath of a flat in London was stabbed several times before his body was stuffed into a sports bag where it lay decomposing for up to two weeks."

Moby Dick, with Dragons

Moby Dick Adapted, with Dragons - GalleyCat: "The upcoming film, Age of the Dragons, will adapt Herman Melville's Moby Dick in a brand new setting--a medieval kingdom full of dragons."

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.

The Three Musketeers

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

SHOCK: Woman’s Body Stolen From Long Island Cemetery � CBS New York- News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY

I'm Sticking with the Computer

Health: Teens & Text Addiction - "Teenagers are becoming addicted to texting, according to a new study. In fact experts are saying being hooked on texting can be like being addicted to drugs.

Walking, sitting, it doesn't matter where it happens, teenagers seem to need to text. Statistics show 80 percent of all 15 to 18-year-olds own a cell phone. And the rate of texting has sky rocketed 600 percent in three years. The average teen sends 3,000 texts a month."

Paris Hilton Update

Paris Hilton: Armed Man Arrested Outside My Home - Crime & Courts, Paris Hilton : "'So Scary, just got woken up to a guy trying to break into my house holding 2 big knifes. Cops are here arresting him,' Hilton Tweeted on Tuesday morning. She also posted a picture of police in a courtyard next to a handcuffed man wearing jeans, sneakers and a gray sweatshirt."

I For One Welcome Our New Robot Overlords

Aliens could operate through thinking robots, astronomer says - Telegraph: "Seth Shostak, of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Seti) Institute in California, said humans had a greater chance of picking up signals from alien-operated robots than from the biological lifeforms that had created them."

I'm Innocent!

Police - Intruder Arrested at Paris Hilton's Home - "A man has been arrested at Paris Hilton's Los Angeles home after the socialite said he tried to break into her house while holding two big knives."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

2009 World Fantasy Awards Nominees

Locus Online News � 2009 World Fantasy Awards Nominees

Stay off Her Patio!

Sheboygan woman kills rattlesnake with an ice chopper on patio of home | | Sheboygan Press: "n all of her 79 years, Margaret Street had never seen a real snake until Aug. 10, when a rattler showed up on her patio.

Street, who lives on Koning Drive on Sheboygan's north side, runs a business out of her home and is nobody's idea of frail or squeamish.

She doesn't mind pointing out which of her many planters the snake hid under, or where it was when she killed it with an ice chopper."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Check the Field at the Tour de France

FBI searching for bike bandit who robbed Harris Co. bank | Houston & Texas News | - Houston Chronicle: "An armed man robbed a bank in northwest Harris County on Monday morning, then left on a bicycle, authorities said."

What a Revoltin' Development This Is

The rise and fall of quicksand. - By Daniel Engber - Slate Magazine: "For now, quicksand has all but evaporated from American entertainment—rejected even by the genre directors who once found it indispensable. There isn't any in this summer's fantasy blockbuster Prince of Persia: Sands of Time or in last year's animated jungle romp Up. You won't find quicksand in The Last Airbender or Avatar, either. Giant scorpions emerge from the sand in Clash of the Titans, but no one gets sucked under. And what about Lost—a tropical-island adventure series replete with mud ponds and dangling vines? That show, which ended in May, spanned six seasons and roughly 85 hours of television airtime—all without a single step into quicksand."

I firmly believe that quicksand improves any adventure story. I'll bet James Reasoner agrees.

Today's Western Movie Poster

They'll Make a Fortune Selling Cheezy Poofs at the Charging Stations

CBC News - Technology & Science - Cannabis electric car to be made in Canada

Life Is So Unfair

'Jersey Shore's' Situation to earn $5 mil in 2010: "Mike Sorrentino should change his name to 'The Corporation.'

As the sophomore season of MTV's pop-culture phenomenon 'Jersey Shore' continues to gobble up the biggest ratings the network has seen in seven years -- answering the prayers of the many of its executives who spoke of a gloomy prognosis before the 'Shore' -- breakout star Sorrentino (aka the Situation) has jumped at the opportunity to capitalize on his fame. By year's end, the 29-year-old stands to earn more than $5 million, a source familiar with his finances told THR."

This is a Fine Bromance

10 Signs Your Guy Is in a Bromance

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bob Randisi Update

I just got this update from Bob Randisi. The Rat Pack series is consistently entertaining, and I'm glad to see it has a new home. Here's Bob:

I'm sending you this email to correct any misinformation that might be available about my next Rat Pack book.
After 4 books with St. Martins Press the series has moved to Severn House. I'm very pleased with the move. Since Severn is a Britain-based house, the books will be published in both the U.K. and the U.S. For this reason there are two pub. dates. In the UK it will be a September book. In the US, a Jan. 2011 book. However, it will be available for preorder, and will carry a 2010 copyright date. I've attached the cover. As you can see, the book features the Rat Pack and Ava Gardner. And, or course, Eddie G. and Jerry. I am already at work on Book #6.

Video Interview with John Rector

John Rector – video interview | Spinetingler

Edward Kean, R. I. P.

The Associated Press: 'Howdy Doody Show' writer Edward Kean dies at 85: "A family friend says 'Howdy Doody Show' writer Edward Kean has died at the age of 85.

Kean was the primary writer for the show and penned the theme song to which millions of American children sang along each week during the show's run on NBC from 1947 to 1960."

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

Oooooooh Noooooooo

The World Is Running Out of Helium - The Daily Beast: "Birthday parties will never be the same: Scientists say the world could run out of helium in 25 to 30 years, especially because a U.S. law stipulates that the country’s National Helium Reserve—by far the largest in the world—must be sold off by 2015, regardless of the market price. That same law has made helium artificially cheap, to the point where one scientist estimates that a party balloon should actually cost about $100."

Hat tip to Ivan Shreve, Jr.

Everywhere. Repeat: Everywhere

Second alligator spotted in Chicago River :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State: "The alligator -- the second one to be found in the river in about as many weeks -- isn’t likely to hurt anyone, unless they try to grab it."

Yes, They're Everywhere

Firefighter discovers 3-foot alligator crossing Brockton street - Brockton, MA - The Enterprise: "On his way to work Sunday morning, fire fighter Scott Hurst found a 3- foot alligator, a collar around its neck, crossing Clifton Avenue near Copeland Street.

Hurst, who said his new nickname among his colleagues is “Gator,” lifted the tan reptile by its collar and tail and used a bungee cord to tie it up in the back of his pickup truck."


Robert Lanza, M.D.: Does the Past Exist Yet? Evidence Suggests Your Past Isn't Set in Stone: "Is it possible we live and die in a world of illusions? Physics tells us that objects exist in a suspended state until observed, when they collapse in to just one outcome. Paradoxically, whether events happened in the past may not be determined until sometime in your future -- and may even depend on actions that you haven't taken yet."

The Wankh Awards

Only the smuttiest book title can win the battle of the Wankhs | Books | "The Wankh awards shall be named in honour of that classic of science-fiction, Jack Vance's Servants of the Wankh. The 1969 novel, the second in Vance's Tschai quartet, has had to battle a barrage of titters over the past half-century, thanks to its title. In Vance's world, the Wankh are one of four warring races who inhabit a distant planet. In the Britain of saucy postcards, Carry On movies and Benny Hill, they are a cause for such hilarity that later editions were edited to change the titular alien race to 'Wannek'."

Hat tip to SF Signal.

Paging Barbara Billingsley

Justice Department Seeks Ebonics Experts | The Smoking Gun: "The Department of Justice is seeking to hire linguists fluent in Ebonics to help monitor, translate, and transcribe the secretly recorded conversations of subjects of narcotics investigations, according to federal records."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Turn off gadgets, tune into loved ones | Religion | - Houston Chronicle: "Chris Shook is as technology-dependent as most. If she accidentally leaves the house without her cell phone, she'll turn around to get it rather than spend a few hours feeling naked without it.

She and her husband, pastor Kerry Shook, founded one of Houston's most tech-savvy congregations, Woodlands Church, where members can tweet questions during services, interact on their own social networking site and even attend worship services at its 'digital campus' online.

On Wednesday, though, they're asking the church's 17,000-plus attendees to do the unthinkable: turn off their laptops, iPods and cell phones, and take a break from technology.

They're calling it a National Facebook Fast. For a whole day, the Shooks want people to swap digital communication for face time with family and friends."

Go, Mutants -- Larry Doyle

It's been more than a year since I mentioned Larry Doyle's I Love You, Beth Cooper. Doesn't seem nearly that long. Anyway, Doyle has a new book out, and it's really an odd one. If Joe Lansdale and Howard Waldrop collaborated on a coming-of-age novel while they were heavily medicated, the result might be something like Go, Mutants.

In the alternate universe of this novel, Bobby Thompson's "shot heard 'round the world" never happened. Oh, he hit the ball, all right, but it was turned to a cinder by a blast from a flying saucer and turned into a ground-rule double. Dodgers win! And aliens land. All those movies us old guys saw in the '50s, the black and white ones about alien invasions? In this universe, they were documentaries.

Now it's 20 years later. The book's mutant protagonist, J!m (pronounced Ji' 'm, though hardly anybody bothers with that; they just call him "Jim") is in high school, and if you think adolescence is hard for humans, well, it's even tougher for mutants. J!m's best friends are Jelly, who's more or less like The Blob, and Johnny, who's a radioactive half-apeman descended from a giant ape that we all know and love.

Part screenplay, part double-feature drive-in movie, the book careens along with references and winks at just about every old monster movie you can think of, and some you probably can't. I can't really describe it. It works (for me) more often than not, and parts of it are very funny. For example this description of the high school: "The three-story brick edifice had a stone facade cast with shields, eagles, arrows and other symbols of higher learning, and a central bell tower that had remained locked ever since Dr. Terwilliker, the old music teacher, had castrated dozens of pupils up there, using the pealing bell to mask their girlish screams, in hopes of creating an unstoppable five-hundred-boy soprano army, his plans becoming vague from there." If that doesn't amuse you, this isn't your kind of book.

I recommend checking out the book's website, one of the best I've seen. Be sure to click on the jukebox so you can listen to some of the great songs. For that matter, any website that uses "Rebel Rouser" on the homepage is great in my book.

Philly Leads the Way

Philly requiring bloggers to pay $300 for a business license | Washington Examiner: "Between her blog and infrequent contributions to, over the last few years she says she’s made about $50. To [Marilyn] Bess, her website is a hobby. To the city of Philadelphia, it’s a potential moneymaker, and the city wants its cut.

In May, the city sent Bess a letter demanding that she pay $300, the price of a business privilege license."

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

And You Thought Your Commute Was Bad

Worst traffic jam ever? Gridlock spans 60 miles - World news - Asia-Pacific - China - "A traffic jam stretching more than 60 miles in China has entered its ninth day with no end in sight, state media reported."

Here's the Plot for your Next Claustrophobic Thriller

NewsDaily: Chile secures lifeline to trapped miners still alive: "In what relatives dubbed a miracle, the miners on Sunday tied a note to a perforation drill that has carved a shaft the size of a grapefruit down to the refuge they are sheltered in 2,300 ft vertically underground.

Rescue workers now plan to use the tiny bore hole to send plastic tubes containing glucose, hydration gels and food down to the miners to keep them alive while they dig a new shaft to extract them -- which could take up to four months."

Keep Off His Grass!

Drug smugglers ‘come in all shapes and sizes’: "An 85-year-old man accused of trying to bring marijuana to his grandson in jail recently was an eye opener for prison officials, but the act of smuggling drugs into facilities is nothing new."

Today's Western Movie Poster

In Case You Missed the Movie . . .

'Lake Placid 3' review: Eureka! We have a new bad Syfy movie winner! |

Nobody Here Needs This Kind of Advice, I'm Sure

How to exercise while you watch TV - "The average American watches about five hours of television a day, industry studies have shown. Instead of being a total couch potato, fitness experts say, try these moves to torch calories at the same time."

Here's the Plot for Your Next Mafia Thriller

Mafia clans use mobile texts to Italian TV show to contact jailed mobsters | World news | The Guardian: "Mafia clans have used a popular football show on Italian television to send secret messages to jailed godfathers held in isolation, a magistrate has revealed.

Imprisoned crime bosses were kept up to date on mob business through mobile phone texts sent to the show, Quelli Che il Calcio, which unwittingly scrolled them across the bottom of the screen, among innocent messages from supporters of Italian football teams."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Zombies Win!

Minneapolis will pay $165,000 to zombies |

Gators in the Sewers!

Alligator captured after it crawls out of Queens drain - "At least one alligator really does live in New York City's sewers.

Cops apprehended an 18-inch gator that crawled out of an overflowing Astoria storm drain and hunkered down beneath a parked car this afternoon, delighting onlookers and giving fresh meat to the urban myth that the carnivorous critters are living below the Big Apple.

The scaly spectacle began just after 3 p.m., when a passersby spotted the reptile on Newtown Avenue near 29th Street and yelled 'Crocodile!'

'That's the craziest thing I've ever seen,' marvelled Elizabeth Ferguson, 25, who has lived on the block for three years. 'He was really small, but mean looking.'

Cops couldn't verify onlookers' claims that the animal crawled from the sewers — a big-city myth that inspired the 1980 B-movie 'Alligator,' and others — but were baffled as to where it came from."

Vince Keenan says it's from his old neighborhood.

The Road Warrior

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Anthology News

Small Crimes: On Dangerous Ground -- Finally!!!

I Hope It Says, "Keep Off My Damn Lawn"

Woman gets third tattoo at 101 -

The Return of Edge

THE TAINTED ARCHIVE: EDGE - The eSeries is finally here: "At last the wait is over and the classic western series Edge by George G. Gilman, over eighteen million copies sold, is now back in print. The first eBook in the series went on sale from Solstice Publishing today for a bargain price of £2.01 UK - great value for the first book in the most important British western series of them all."

Happy 90th Birthday, Ray Bradbury!

Kenny Edwards R. I. P.

Kenny Edwards dies at 64; guitarist-singer played key role in Linda Ronstadt's emergence - Los Angeles Times: "Kenny Edwards, a founding member of the Stone Poneys country-rock band that launched Linda Ronstadt's career and a valued supporting guitarist and singer for Stevie Nicks, Don Henley and numerous others, died Wednesday after battling cancer and a blood disorder in recent years. He was 64."

George Kelley's Op-Ed

George Kelley is a frequent commenter on this blog, and of course has his own blog that many of you follow. He's right on the money in this little essay.

Dirty little secret of college education - The Buffalo News

Brooklyn Leads the Way

Now Available on Brooklyn Streets: Hallucinogenic Plants: "There have been a lot of wild marijuana plants spotted growing on the streets of New York this summer. Today we learn about hallucinogenic plants turning up in Brooklyn alleys. Why pay for drugs when you can pick them yourself?"

Today's Western Movie Poster

Archaeology Update

Tunnel might provide insight into culture: "'Up to now, every archaeologist who has worked in Teotihuacan has tried to find the tombs of the rulers,' Gomez said.

'There is a high possibility that in this place, in the central chamber, we can find the remains of those who ruled Teotihuacan.'"

They should have the Wrestling Women on hand just in case they release the Aztec Mummy.

So at Least There's This to Look Forward To

"Granny Pods" Keep Elderly Close, At Safe Distance : NPR: "The granny pod's real name is the MEDCottage, and it's basically a mini mobile home that rents for about $2,000 a month. You park one in the back yard, hook it up to your water and electricity, and it becomes a free-standing spare room for Grandma and Grandpa."

12 Cars for Your Bucket List

12 cars you must drive before you kick the bucket

Mad Max