Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Hallowe'en from iPulp Fiction & Black Mask

Happy Halloween!

To celebrate the start of our partnership with Black Mask Magazine, we have just published a FREE HORROR STORY for you to read and share with your friends.

CLICK HERE to start reading right now.

This story is a preview of our new Black Mask Pulp Story Reader series that begins on on November 6th. Black Mask Pulp Story Reader features a wide range of genre stories from 10 classic pulp magazines. Each story is personally selected by Black Mask's publisher, Keith Alan Deutsch, who also writes fact-filled jacket notes for each issue.

AN EXTRA BONUS: Stories include stunning original art by some of the most famous pulp artists of their time.

Our featured, free Halloween story is a vampire tale from the June 1950 issue ofFamous Fantastic Mysteries.

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Outback Gothic :: Chap O'Keefe

Mickey Spillane, Movie Star

From my hometown paper, October 6, 1954.

What Prisoners are Reading

Memoir reveals prisoners' book preferences | Books | "The memoir of a former Boston prison librarian has revealed some of the literary preferences of American inmates. And according to Avi Steinberg, aka 'Bookie' to the inmates of Suffolk County House of Correction, popular requests are The Diary of Anne Frank, Robert Greene's Machiavellian self-help manual The 48 Laws of Power, and anything by Sylvia Plath."

Creepy and Eerie Magazine Covers

Retrospace: Vintage Reads #16: Creepy and Eerie Magazine Covers

Me and Orson Welles

Here's a terrific little movie with no explosions, gunfights, or car chases. I liked it a lot anyway. Zac Efron plays a high-school kid named Richard (Zac Efron), who gets a small part in the Mercury Theater production of Julius Caesar in 1937. I could relate easily enough because when I was in school, this production was still being talked about and mentioned in textbooks. (I don't know if that's the case today.) Orson Welles was still a presence in movies and on TV, and I heard and read quite a bit about him. The movie presents him as an arrogant, egotistical, maybe unknowable man, an artist but a despicable person, but one who has a spark of genius.

Why Christopher McKay didn't win an Oscar® for his remarkable performance as Welles is a mystery to me. Efron and Claire Danes are good enough, but McKay is amazing. Oddly, though, that's a problem for the movie because Welles isn't the main character. Richard is, and his coming of age is what the movie's all about. Don't let that bother you, though. This one's a lot of fun and well worth seeing.


Peter Leslie, The Finger in the Sky Affair: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. #23), Ace, 1966.

A Hallowe'en Classic

Okay, maybe not a classic, but every year about this time I like to link to my zombie story over at Revolution SF. If you've never read it, now's your chance. And if you want to read it again (as who wouldn't), just click right here.

Lisa Blount, R. I. P.

Lisa Blount, who starred in An Officer and A Gentleman, dies, aged 53 | Mail Online: "Lisa Blount, an actress and Oscar-winning producer who starred in An Officer and a Gentleman, has died at the age of 53."

As the Table Turns

Panasonic to Stop Making Iconic Technics Turntables - Alexis Madrigal - Technology - The Atlantic: "Fans of analog music were dealt another blow when consumer electronics company Panasonic announced earlier this month that it would be discontinuing the audio products within its Technics brand, most notably the legendary line of analog turntables."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Daoma Winston

On her blog the other day, Christa Faust mentioned that she'd picked up a copy of The Woman he Wanted at Kayo Books while in San Francisco at Bouchercon. I was reminded that the author of that book, Daoma Winston, was at the first Bouchercon I attended in Washington, D. C., back in 1980. By that time Winston had become fairly well known as a writer of gothics and other novels of romantic suspense, and she wasn't too pleased when I brought out my copy of The Woman he Wanted and asked her to sign it. However, after she recovered from her surprise at seeing the book, she did sign it. I may be the only person in the country who has a signed copy, not that very many people would even want to have one. Winston wrote at least two books for Beacon, though neither is included in her bibliography at the FantasticFiction site. Maybe Winston would have preferred that they be forgotten.

The Little Professor's List of Nineteenth-Century (and a few Edwardian) Haunted House Tales

The Little Professor: The 2010 Halloween House of Horrific Haunted Happenings

The Groundstar Conspiracy

Friday, October 29, 2010

An Edtion I Didn't Know About


Jack McReady (Talmadge Powell), The Raper, Monarch, 1961.

Growing up Heroes

Photos of people in Hallowe'en costumes, 1960 - 2000. You can submit your own if you have 'em. Here's the link: Growing up Heroes

American Bandstand, 1957

A year or so ago, I posted this comment about a tape of American Bandstand I'd bought. The other day I got this e-mail: "Go to this website Create a login and then go to the tv archive, input bandstand and you'll find a good copy (320 x 240) that you can watch."

Sure enough, it's there. The episode is said to be the second national episode, but that's bound to be incorrect. Great stuff nevertheless if you're geezer like me. Also if you're a whippersnapper who'd like to see what things were like back in the Olden Days.

Could be just my computer, but about 1/3 of the picture seems to be missing. Still recommended, though.

Today's Western Movie Poster

A Seasonal Cover Mosaic

Books to Bring Back from the Dead

AbeBooks: Biblio Zombies: Books to Bring Back from the Dead

Forgotten Books:THE HARDBOILED LINEUP, edited by Harry Widmer

Harry Widmer, the editor of this anthology, was also the editor of the short-lived '50s crime digest from which the nine stories here were taken. Reading them, I recognized again that the pulps lived on in digest form. The first (and longest) of the stories is "Las Vegas Trap" by William R. Cox, and it's pure pulp. Nick Crater flees Las Vegas mobsters only to wind up in the middle of a small-town murder case. Plenty of action and a satisfactory conclusion. Ad Gordon was really Arnold Hano, and his "Justice is Blind" is an example of a story that's about 90% telling and 10% showing. And it works just fine, thanks. "Hot Snow" by Vin Packer is the only story in the book that I'd read before. It's short, it's noir, and it fooled me the first time. "Living Bait" by Fredrick Lorenz isn't noir, but it has a nicely dark ending. It's set in Florida, and it's the kind of thing that some of the other Florida writers of the time (Gil Brewer, Harry Whittington, John D. MacDonald, Charles Williams) might have done. Richard Deming's "Scented Clues" is a police procedural, nicely done, with a trick ending that you might see coming. Well, half of it, anyway. Doesn't matter. It's still a well-told tale. Speaking of Gil Brewer, as I was, "Die, Darling, Die" is also set in Florida, and it has one of those couples in it that Brewer did so well, a man and a woman so hot for each other that the pages practically steam. As often happens in such cases, things do not end well. In "The Trouble with Alibis," another noir story, John Mulhern shows us once again that the best-laid plans don't always turn out the way you'd hope. Just as they don't in "Don't Go Away Mad" by Robert Turner. Great title for this one. Dark stuff. The final story, "The Sinkhole," is by James P. Webb, and it's a good bit lighter. A little comic relief to close things out.

This little collection is fun to read if you have a taste for pulp (or digest, if you want to get overly technical) fiction. These stories would have been right at home in the pulps of the '30s and '40s.

UPDATE: Todd Mason reminds me that I forgot to mention the title of the digest from which the stories came. It was Justice.

The Blue Max

Thursday, October 28, 2010

That's Langston, Not Rhodes

The Associated Press: Inmate locks guards in cell during jail search: "An inmate locked three guards and a sheriff's deputy in a cell at the Greene County Jail while the officers were conducting a search for contraband. Sheriff Dan Langston chalked it up to a lack of training."

Hat tip to John Duke.

Anna Nicole Smith Update

Psychiatrist, lawyer convicted in Smith drug case |

10 Brutally Fun TV Deaths

10 Brutally Fun TV Deaths -

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

James MacArthur, R. I. P.

James MacArthur, Original Hawaii Five-0s Danno, Dies at 72 - omg! news on Yahoo!: "James MacArthur, best known for his role as Danno on the original Hawaii Five-0, died of natural causes in Florida on Thursday, according to The Associated Press. He was 72.

MacArthur was most recognized for his role as Detective Danny 'Danno' Williams on Hawaii Five-0, which aired from 1968 to 1980 — one of the longest-running crime shows in television history. 'Book em, Danno,' the catchphrase said by Danno's partner Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) in many episodes, became a pop culture staple."

Hat tip to Doc Quatermass.

And Keep Off Her Lawn!

88-year-old fends off intruder - State & Regional - Wire - "MAYFIELD, Ky. -- An feisty 88-year-old Kentucky woman says she must have had perfect aim when she fought off an intruder by kicking him.

Kathryn Byassee says she came upon the intruder, who was wearing a pumpkin mask, at 5 a.m. Tuesday in her kitchen. Byassee tells WPSD-TV that she asked him who he was and what he wanted and he never answered her, instead wrestling her into her bedroom and trying to smother her with a pillow.

That's when Byassee says she was 'mad enough to do almost anything,' so she kicked him. She says she thinks she 'hit a vital spot, and he left.'"

Sneezing Monkeys

BBC - The sneezing monkeys of Myanmar: "A new species of snub-nosed monkey has been discovered living in the forests of northern Burma.

Scientists working for Cambridge-based Fauna and Flora International made the discovery as part of the Myanmar Primate Conservation Program."

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

Students Across the Nation, Take Note

Bedbug prompts community college to shut north campus: "A student who showed up for class with what is believed to be a bedbug on his clothing prompted the closure today of Community College of Allegheny County's North Campus in McCandless, sending 3,500 students as well as employees home for the rest of the week."

Here's the Plot for Your Next Legal Thriller

Now I Know: The Perfect Crime Scene


Peter W. Denzer, I'm No Good (aka Find the Dreamer Guilty), Popular Library, 1956.


This Ain't Yo' Grandpa's Moby Dick!: "The Asylum is finally telling the story of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick the way it was meant to be told, with helicopters and explosions. Can you handle the intensity of “a submarine commander off the reservation with a boatload full of nukes”?

Trailer at the link.

This Is Not a Repeat of a Previous Post

The United States Of Movies: Map Assigns A Flick To Every State (PICTURE)

Time Traveler?

Time traveler caught on film in 1928? Filmmaker claims find in Charlie Chaplin's 'The Circus' DVD: "Did a time traveler get caught on camera in 1928?

The web has been pondering this question recently after an Irish filmmaker posted a video to YouTube allegedly showing the person from the future talking into what appears to be a cell phone."

Hat tip to Art Scott.
Video at the link. I'm sure you can come up with plenty of better explanations than "time traveler," but that one would make a nice little SF story.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Just in Time for Christmas

Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash Memorabilia To Be Auctioned - Contactmusic News: "A huge auction of Johnny Cash's personal belongings will take place on December 5.

Over 1,000 items which belonged to the 'Folsom Prison Blues' musician - including stage outfits, instruments and lyrics - are to be auctioned for a total estimated price of between $400,000 and $600,000.

Among the items owned by country singer Johnny - who passed away in 2003, aged 71 - included in the sale are a Martin D-28 acoustic guitar which he signed and wrote the first four lines of his track 'I Walk the Line' on, expected to sell for up to $30,000."

Forgotten Music -- For the Birds

For a while, bird names were all the rage with R&B harmony groups and doowop groups. One of the first was The Ravens, a group formed in 1945. Their 1950 hit "Count Every Star" has a nice falsetto bit by Maithe Marshall and a wordless bass vocal by Jimmy Ricks. One of the earliest doowop records, this one was used in the fairly recent movie Revolutionary Road.
The Orioles, with lead singer Sonny Till, had a big crossover hit in 1948 with "It's too Soon to Know," which was a #1 R&B song and made the top 15 in the pop charts. The Orioles are in the Rock & Roll Hall of fame.
The Penguins had only one big hit, "Earth Angel," but it was one of the definitive vocal group songs of the '50s. It's sure to show up in any oldies rotation, and it's been recorded again and again by other artists. Cleveland Duncan sang lead, and he also sings the part on Frank Zappa's "Memories of El Monte." The cover version by the Crew Cuts outsold the Penguins version, but it's the one by the Penguins that I remember.
One of the best and most popular of the "bird groups" was The Flamingos, and they're one of my favorites. Their biggest seller, and the song that most people probably associate with them is "I Only Have Eyes for You," but "Your Other Love" is the one I'll put here. It's just one of a dozen or so great songs I could have picked. Like The Orioles, The Flamingos are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
There are plenty of other bird groups: The Wrens, Crows, Jayhawks, Falcons, Cardinals, Swallows, and Larks come to mind. Maybe I'll to some of those one of these days.

Home from the Hill

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Craziest Moments in Fringe

The Craziest Moments in Fringe -

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

Stilwell Gets More Screen Time than I Do!

Chicago Politics: Now Even More Fun

‘Plaster Caster’ Mounts Mayoral Campaign � CBS Chicago – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, and the Best of Chicago: "Cynthia Plaster Caster, whose given name is Cynthia Albritton, announced Tuesday that she is planning a mayoral run. The self-described “recovering groupie” is using the “Plaster Caster” moniker on her campaign Web site and documentation."

City of Brotherly Love

Philly Accuses Their Own of Trying to Slip Laxatives to the Giants | NBC Bay Area: "The Philadelphia Daily News reports that last Friday night, Giants players Pat Burrell and Brian Wilson were out with a few teammates at a restaurant in Philadelphia called Del Frisco's.

A group of women reportedly recognized the players and tried to give their hometown Phillies a little help. You think the beards gave them away? The newspaper reports that the women tried to convince the players' waiter to slip some Ex-Lax in their food."

Paul the Octopus Update

TheSpec - Cover-up in death of psychic octopus?: "Proving that conspiracy buffs are having to look harder and harder for things to get paranoid about, a Chinese filmmaker has now claimed a stunning cover-up in the death of Paul, the psychic octopus."

My Bid Was Slightly Under the Winner's

James Bond's DB5 Sells for 2.9 Million Pounds: "An Aston Martin driven by Sean Connery in the James Bond movie 'Goldfinger' sold for 2.9 million pounds ($4.6 million) at a London auction today.

The 1964 silver DB5, also used in 'Thunderball,' is the most famous of 007's vehicles and has twin machine guns, revolving number plates, a bullet-proof shield and an ejector seat. Its sale price included 12 percent auction fees. The price was below the car's presale minimum estimate of 3.5 million pounds at hammer price. Its top estimate was $10 million. The buyer was identified by dealers as an Ohio-based collector, Harry Yeaggy."

Famous Last Words

Campus Rivalry: College Football & Basketball News, Recruiting, Game Picks, and More - "A convicted killer, originally from Oklahoma, offered a salute to the University of Oklahoma late Tuesday just before his execution in Arizona, when he said in a strong voice: 'Boomer Sooner.'

The phrase, which refers to the OU Sooners, is a frequent football fight slogan.

Jeffrey Landrigan, 50, had been on death row for two decades for a 1989 murder in Phoenix."

The Little Professor Discusses Sherlock

The Little Professor: Sherlock

The top 7 S&M covers of Lois Lane

I wasn't going to link to this, but #4 is a quicksand cover. So how could I resist?

The top 7 S&M covers of Lois Lane. Seriously. | Blastr

Link via SF Signal.

10 Halloween TV Treats

10 Halloween TV Treats -

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

Too Bad It's Not Available in Time for Hallowe'en

Original Darth Vader costume up for sale in London - Yahoo! News: "LONDON – The Force can be with you — for a price.

Christie's auction house says it is selling an original Darth Vader costume from the 'Star Wars' movie franchise.

The jet-black helmet, mask and armor worn by the intergalactic villain are expected to sell for between 160,000 pounds and 230,000 pounds ($250,000 and $365,000) at a sale of pop culture memorabilia next month."


Richard R. Werry, Where Town Begins, Signet, 1952.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Texas Doesn't Lead the Way

Smartest Cities - Galleries - The Daily Beast


Potter Retires as U.S. Postmaster General, Ends 32 Years at Postal Service - Bloomberg: "U.S. Postmaster General John Potter, who rose from mail clerk in the Bronx, New York, to lead the Postal Service, said he will retire in December after 32 years at the agency.

Potter, 55, who is seeking to raise mail rates and eliminate Saturday delivery to return the agency to profitability, announced his retirement yesterday in an e-mailed statement."

[My italics, in case you were wondering.]

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

MTV's Jersey Shore Costumes of Snooki, DJ Pauly D Top Halloween Sales - "What's the scariest part of Halloween this year?

'Jersey Shore' costumes are topping many retailers' lists as the most popular outfit of the season.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Issue of Mysterical-E Now On-Line


R. I. P., Paul The Octopus

Paul The Octopus Is Dead, Who Could Have Seen That One Coming? -

Hat tip to Angela Crider.

Bookmans Does Book Dominoes

YouTube - Bookmans Does Book Dominoes

Link via Neatorama.

The 50 Most Hated Characters in Literary History

The 50 Most Hated Characters in Literary History

Where's Seepy Benton?

Link via Neatorama.

Top 10 Scariest Movies

Top 10 Scariest Movies - MSN Movies News

Hat tip to John Duke.

Soon to Be a SyFy Movie!

Russian bears treat graveyards as 'giant refrigerators' | World news |

No Comment Department

St. Petersburg Times | | Know it now.: "Palatka police say the children range in age from 10 to 15. The children face felony charges for allegedly stealing computers, jewelry, guns and other items in nine burglaries since April.

Detective Danette Evey said Monday that the children didn't think they had done anything wrong because they hadn't hurt anyone."

A Kraft-y Robber

Cops: Salad Dressing Used By Teen In Store Hold-Up - News Story - WFTV Orlando: "DELAND, Fla. -- A DeLand High School student is facing robbery charges after allegedly holding up a convenience store armed with a bottle of salad dressing."

Just Say No

Baseball union head says players open to expanding playoffs - ESPN: "SAN FRANCISCO -- Baseball's playoffs could be expanding in two years.

The new head of the players' union says his members are open to adding more wild-card teams for 2012 and possibly extending the division series to a best-of-seven."

New Issue of Crimefactory is Now On-Line

I've read only Gary Lovisi's article on British gangster digests so far, but it looks like a fine issue all around.


A. Merritt, Dwellers in the Mirage, Avon, 1952.

Patti Abbott's Round Robin Story Challenge Continues

pattinase: La Ronde, Part 4: "'Enter the Fat Lady' can be found on Sandra Seamans blog. Right here."

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Top Ten Earning Dead Celebrities

You can see them here in an annoying slideshow. There's one on there that I didn't expect.

Gator Update (It's Alive! Edition)

Alligator Survives Fire - WNEP: "An alligator first thought to have died in an apartment house fire Saturday morning has been found alive."

Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don't Let the . . . .

As bedbugs creep out NYC, tourists crawl away: "NEW YORK -- New York City's bedbugs have climbed out of bed and marched into landmarks like the Empire State Building, Bloomingdale's and Lincoln Center, causing fresh anxiety among tourists who are canceling Big Apple vacations planned for the height of the holiday season."

EQMM Podcasts

Todd Mason asked about the EQMM podcasts. The Mystery Place website isn't the easiest in the world to navigate, at least for me, so here's the link. The two latest podcasts are by Margaret Maron and Nancy Pickard. I recorded one in San Francisco, a cold reading of a story I hadn't seen in eight or nine years, so I have no idea how it went. I'm not a fan of my own reading. If and when the story is posted, I'll let you know.

Update: In his comment below, Todd posted a link to the AHMM podcasts, which are also fun. In case you missed it, here it is.

Red Scorpion

Latest Issue of The Back Alley Webzine Now On-Line

Just wanted to let everyone know that the new issue of The Back Alley Webzine has gone active!

This is a great one, guys. We feature stories from real-life New Orleans detective and Shamus Award Winner O'Neil De Noux; Derringer Award Winner Anita Page; Ross Macdonald protege Fred Zackel; Edgar, Anthony, and (six-time!) Shamus Award nominee Wayne D. Dundee; Anthony Award Winner Simon Wood; and a special appearance by Spinetingler Award nominee and former DC Comics writer (The Flash) Mark Joseph Kiewlak! This is a lineup not to be missed!

It's all happening over at The Back Alley Webzine, the home for hardboiled and noir literature for a new century!

Check us out at

In a Lonely Place

Monday, October 25, 2010

Alexander Anderson, Jr., R. I. P.

Carmel resident who created 'Rocky and Bullwinkle' dies at 90 - Inside Bay Area: "Mr. Anderson's work included 'Crusader Rabbit,' a cartoon series sold to NBC with a 195 episodes. It was the first created specifically for television.

Another cartoon of his was 'Dudley-Do-Right,' a Canadian Mountie inspired by Nelson Eddy's performance in the film 'Rose Marie.' Most notably, Mr. Anderson is credited with creating Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his pal Bullwinkle, a moose.

In 1996, Mr. Anderson reached an out-of-court settlement with Jay Ward Productions over rights to Bullwinkle, Rocky and Dudley-Do-Right. The terms recognized Mr. Anderson as the creator of the characters. He filed the lawsuit after discovering Ward was the sole holder of the copyrights.

Patricia Anderson said the idea for Bullwinkle came to the cartoonist after he had a dream about a moose sitting in on a game of poker with him and friends. The moose adopted its name after a Berkeley car dealership with a slightly different spelling."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Ben Kenobi, Private Jedeye

Link via Neatorama.

50 States and the Movies that Define Them, Redux

Mike Dennis decided that since he didn't agree with a lot of the choices on the list I linked to, he'd do his own list. You can find it here: Personal | WE CROWN THY GOOD IN HOLLYWOOD, FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

Discount Geezer Noir

Man Arrested for Attacking Elderly Woman at Salisbury Walmart - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -: "olice said that while attempting to change checkout lines, the victim's shopping cart inadvertently bumped into the shopping cart of Crockett's wife. Police said that Crockett and his wife 'became enraged,' and shouted racial epithets at the victim. According to police, Crockett put the victim on her cart and rammed her into the conveyor belt four times before she fell from the cart and landed on the floor.

Court documents state that Crockett then bent over and flipped the victim's cart into the air so that it landed on top of her. The victim screamed and repeatedly begged anyone to 'Please call the police, call an ambulance, or call security,' according to court records. The court documents also stated that while the victim begged for help, both Crockett and his wife remained at the cash register and checked out the remainder of their groceries for approximately 15 minutes before leaving the store in their vehicle."

No Comment Department

'Hiccup Girl' charged with first-degree murder - U.S. news - Crime & courts - "A teenager who attracted national media attention after she couldn't stop hiccuping for five weeks has been charged with first-degree murder, officials said."


Judy isn't an action-movie fan, but as we were walking out of the theater after seeing Red, she said, "How could anybody not like that movie?" Lots of critics didn't, but what do they know? Explosions, laughs, and geezers kicking whippersnapper butt. What's not to like? The plot doesn't really matter because the whole thing is preposterous. All you need to know is that the C. I. A. is killing off all the people who were in Guatemala at a certain time. Four of those on the list (Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman), all now Retired but considered Extremely Dangerous, fight back to excellent effect. Brian Cox helps out, too, and Mary-Louise Parker is along to provide the love interest. Again, what's not to like?

Willis underplays the whole way, which works well with Malkovich's overplaying. Willis nearly always has a little grin, as if he knows how ridiculous the whole thing is but doesn't care because he's having fun. I had fun, too. Malkovich has a throwaway line that I laughed at, but no one else did. Maybe it was too much of an in-joke for everybody else, but I liked it. But then I liked pretty much the whole over-the-top thing. Especially the gators. Yes, there's a great gator sight-gag. No wonder I had such a good time.

[SPOILER ALERT]: Here's the Malkovich line. At one point during a gun battle with the Secret Service, he says something like this: "I seem to remember that the Secret Service used to be much tougher." I instantly flashed on In the Line of Fire, in which Clint Eastwood played the Secret Service guy who was taunted by the would-be presidential assassin played by, you guessed it, Malkovich. [END SPOILER ALERT]


In the video I posted last week, Janet Hutchings (editor of EQMM) talks about the blog that she and Linda Landrigan (editor of AHMM) do on alternate weeks. On today's blog, Janet talks about awards, short stories, and her job at the magazine. Take a look.


Ben Ames Williams, It's a Free Country, Popular Library, 1951.

Today's Western Movie Poster

The 10 Most Entertaining Celebrities on Twitter

The 10 most entertaining celebrities on Twitter | TechBlog | - Houston Chronicle

I For One Welcome Our New Winged Overlords

Bees' tiny brains beat computers, study finds | World news | The Guardian: "Bees can solve complex mathematical problems which keep computers busy for days, research has shown.

The insects learn to fly the shortest route between flowers discovered in random order, effectively solving the 'travelling salesman problem' , said scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The conundrum involves finding the shortest route that allows a travelling salesman to call at all the locations he has to visit. Computers solve the problem by comparing the length of all possible routes and choosing the one that is shortest.

Bees manage to reach the same solution using a brain the size of a grass seed."

Vampire Update

New York vampire hunter talks about bloodsuckers among us - "'You honest to God don't know if the guy driving the cab you're in is one,' he said."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

And keep off his lawn!

85-year-old pastor skydives on birthday - "AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A Texas pastor celebrated his 85th birthday by jumping out of a plane, the fifth year in a row he says he's returned to that item on his personal 'bucket list.'

Brushy Creek Baptist Church pastor John Gurley keeps going back partially to show older people 'not to die while they're still alive,' he said. 'You can still live life to the fullest.'"

They Drive By Night

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Biting Pain in the Ear

My tooth in ear agony - bizarre condition - The Star: "A SHEFFIELD man who endured decades of painful earache and infections says his suffering is finally behind him - after doctors extracted a tooth from his ear canal."

Hat tip to Angela Crider.

A Review of Interest (to Me, Anyway)

Men Reading Books: Murder in the Air by Bill Crider


When I was at Bouchercon, I didn't get a chance to attend the screening of Remaindered, a short film based on a story by Lee Goldberg, who also wrote and directed the film. I remembered reading the story and liking it, so I wanted to see the film. And now I have.

It's the story of a writer whose first book was a tremendous hit and whose second was a disastrous flop. Now he's traveling backwoods America, selling copies of his third novel (self-published), and who should stop in but his biggest fan. And that's enough about the plot.

This twenty-minute film is funny, sharply observed, and very well put together. It might be a low-budget production, but it doesn't look it. The actors are having fun, and Goldberg gets the most out of every shot. Maybe a DVD will become available. If it does, be sure to check it out.


Frank Gruber, Mood for Murder (aka The Lonesome Badger), Graphic, 1958.

I Should Enter Next Year

Snoring Ecuadorean wins Spanish siesta contest: "A 62-year-old Ecuadorean man managed to ignore the uproar of a teeming Madrid shopping center and snore loudly enough to win what was billed as Spain's first siesta championship.

Organizers on Saturday proclaimed unemployed security worker Pedro Soria Lopez the champion for sleeping 17 minutes.

They said he not only slept soundly but his snoring on Tuesday also registered 70 decibels — roughly the equivalent of the noise of someone talking loudly. That earned him extra points and enough to defeat the runner-up who had slept for 18 minutes."

Sombrero tip to Art Scott.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Arrest Made In Deadly Fight Over Food - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston: "HOUSTON -- A suspect has been charged with murder in connection with a shooting in a southwest Houston parking lot.
[. . . .]
The shooting happened after the men got into an argument over who was served first at the Wingstop in 11900 block of Wilcrest Drive, detectives said."

Today's Western Movie Poster

50 States and the Movies that Define Them

50 states, 50 movies that define them

Sign Me Up

NASA preps '100-year spaceship' program to boldly go where none have gone before | "A SENIOR NASA official has promised to deliver a spaceship that will travel between alien worlds 'within a few years'.

Speaking at a conference in San Francisco on Saturday, NASA Ames director Simon Worden said his division had started a project with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency called the 'Hundred Year Starship”."

Slaughter on the Khyber Pass