Saturday, February 12, 2011

Butt Implant Update

'Black Madam,' hip hop singer, sought by cops in butt implant case that left Claudia Aderotimi dead: "Philadelphia cops are searching for a transgender hip-hop singer who goes by 'Black Madam' in connection with a British woman's death following a botched butt-implant procedure.

Authorities believe 'Black Madam', whose real name is Padge Victoria Windslowe, 41, gave Claudia Aderotimi, 20, a back-room buttock-enhancement procedure in a Philadelphia hotel on Monday."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Luckily I Haven't Been There in a While

Is the Playboy Mansion to blame for an outbreak of a dangerous bug? - "Can the Playboy Mansion make you ill? Hugh Hefner's iconic bachelor pad is under investigation after more than 80 guests at a conference and party there became sick with a suspected strain of Legionnaires' disease."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Another Whale Update

Connecticut Man Ordered To Publicly Apologize To Whale Mascot: "Kevin O'Connell got drunk and went to the Connecticut Whale minor-league hockey game on Jan. 28. When he got there, he tackled and punched team mascot Pucky the Whale, who was greeting child fans. In court a few days later, he said he did so because of a bet."

Hat tip to Art Scott.
Photo of Pucky at the link.

Moby dick Update

BBC News - 'Moby Dick' captain's ship found: "US marine archaeologists have found the sunken whaling ship belonging to the captain who inspired Herman Melville's classic 19th Century novel, Moby Dick.

The remains of the vessel, the Two Brothers, was found in shallow waters off Hawaii.

Captain George Pollard was the skipper when the ship hit a coral reef and sank in 1823.

His previous ship, the Essex, had been rammed by a whale and also sank, providing the narrative for the book."

Today's Vintage Ad


William Lindsay Gresham, Nightmare Alley, Popular Library, 1976.

Top 10 Film Noir Posters

Top 1o film noir posters.

And More!

Everything You Wanted to Know About Dinosaur Sex

Today's Western Movie Poster

10 Best Assassination Movies

10 Best Assassination Movies

Giant Rat Update "SCIENTISTS hunting for fossils of giant rats in East Timor stumbled on unique rock carvings up to 12,000 years old.

The experts were digging in Timor's Lene Hara cave, a treasure trove of fossils and rock art, when they chanced upon a group of stylised human faces etched in the rock."

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

Happy Valentine's Day: 36 percent of Americans would rather give up sex than their remote | ZDNet: "Logitech’s new study on trends in remote control usage reveals a depressing, if not shocking, conclusion: Romance loses out to the clicker for a notable percentage of Americans.

The peripherals company has strategically leaked a few results from the report, Global Remote Control Trends Study, in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, including the finding that more than a third of Americans (36 percent, to be exact) would rather forgo sex for a month than give up their remotes. Even a fifth of French respondents answered similarly, ready to pour cold water on l’amour."

I Hope Someone Was Taking Care of His Lawn

64-Year-Old Kayaker Completes Trans-Atlantic Voyage

Road to Zanzibar

Friday, February 11, 2011

Worst Story of 1982?

Davy Crockett's Almanack of Mystery, Adventure and The Wild West: Flush Fiction: A Bullet for Bouchcon

Not really the worst story. Great stuff, if you ask me. The pictures are great, too and this was before PhotoShop! See if you recognize me in the hat with the gat.

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Line Rider :: Chuck Tyrell

Chuck Tanner, R. I. P. "Chuck Tanner, who managed the charismatic 'We Are Family' Pittsburgh Pirates to the 1979 World Series title, has died at the age of 81.

Tanner managed in the major leagues for 19 seasons, posting a record of 1,352-1,381. His only playoff appearance came with the aforementioned '79 Pirates club, which, powered by Willie Stargell, Dave Parker and John Candelaria, defeated the Baltimore Orioles in a seven-game World Series."

Voynich Manuscript Update

Experts determine age of book 'nobody can read': "University of Arizona researchers have cracked one of the puzzles surrounding what has been called 'the world's most mysterious manuscript' – the Voynich manuscript, a book filled with drawings and writings nobody has been able to make sense of to this day.

Using radiocarbon dating, a team led by Greg Hodgins in the UA's department of physics has found the manuscript's parchment pages date back to the early 15th century, making the book a century older than scholars had previously thought."

Save the Baltimore Poe House

Edward Pettit - Ed & Edgar - Save the Baltimore Poe House: "Recently, the Baltimore Poe House and Museum revealed that the City of Baltimore cut all of their funding in July 2010. They have some dollars to keep running a bit longer, maybe until June 2012, but nothing is certain except the city has no plans to continue funding the site. The city has told the Poe House they must develop a plan for becoming a self-sufficient institution. Those of you familiar with my longstanding battle with Baltimore over the literary legacy of Edgar Allan Poe may think that this is the moment when I raise my arms and shout “I win!” But I’m not. The Baltimore Poe House needs to remain open and the way in which it is funded needs to continue.

Sign the petition, but just as importantly, pass the word about it. Email your friends. Post it on Facebook. Post it on Twitter. The budget for Baltimore has not yet passed, so if we raise enough ruckus, perhaps they will change their minds and keep funding the House."

EQMM Update

EQMM is changing its method of accepting submissions. Other bloggers reading this, please feel free to cut and paste this info to help get out the word.

Writers' Guidelines

As of February 14, 2011 EQMM will be using an online submission system ( that has been designed to streamline our process and improve communication with authors. We ask that all submissions be made electronically, using this system, rather than on paper. Our online submissions form for fiction asks for your name, e-mail address, cover letter, story title, and story. Your cover letter should state the length of your story, your publishing history (briefly!), and any other relevant information. If you have not been previously published, let us know that your story should be considered for our Department of First Stories. We ask for the same information for poetry. Please fill out a separate form for each poem submitted for consideration. All stories and poems should be in standard manuscript format and submitted in .DOC format. At this time, our system does not support .DOCX, .RTF, or .TXT files. For information about standard formatting, see William Shunn's guide to Proper Manuscript Format. After you have submitted your work, a tracking number will be displayed and an automated e-mail confirmation containing this information will be sent to you. If you have not received this e-mail within twenty-four hours, please notify us by e-mail. Your tracking number will allow you to monitor the status of your submission through our website, so please don't lose it.

NOTE: occasionally treats our e-mails as spam, so please keep an eye on your spam folder.

We will continue to accept paper submissions only from established authors who do not have the technical capability to submit electronically.

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine welcomes submissions from both new and established writers. We publish every kind of mystery short story: the psychological suspense tale, the deductive puzzle, the private eye case—the gamut of crime and detection from the realistic (including the policeman's lot and stories of police procedure) to the more imaginative (including "locked rooms" and "impossible crimes"). We need hard-boiled stories as well as "cozies," but we are not interested in explicit sex or violence. We do not want true detective or crime stories. With the exception of a regular book review column and a mystery crossword, EQMM publishes only fiction. We are especially happy to review first stories by authors who have never before published fiction professionally. First-story submissions should be addressed to EQMM's Department of First Stories.

EQMM has been in continuous publication since 1941. From the beginning three general criteria have been employed in evaluating submissions: We look for strong writing, an original and exciting plot, and professional craftsmanship. We encourage writers whose work meets these general criteria to read an issue of EQMM before making a submission. EQMM's range in the mystery genre is extensive: Almost any story that involves crime or the threat of crime comes within our purview. However, like all magazines, EQMM has a distinctive tone and style and you can only get a sense of whether your work will suit us by reading an issue.

Today's Vintage Ad

Peggy Rea, R. I. P.

Peggy Rea, 'Dukes of Hazzard' actress, dead at 89 in California of congestive heart failure: "Peggy Rea, who cheerfully and memorably played dozens of TV 'character roles' where she was called by endearing nicknames like 'Angel Food Cake,' died Saturday at her home in Toluca Lake, Calif., of congestive heart failure.

She was 89 and known to a wide range of television fans from her roles as Cousin Lulu on 'The Dukes of Hazzard,' Rose Burton on 'The Waltons,' Ivy Baker on 'Step By Step,' Jean Kelly in 'Grace Under Fire' and Cousin Bertha on 'All in the Family.'"

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Top 15 Movies You Can’t Find on DVD

Top 15 Movies You Can’t Find on DVD


William Lindsay Gresham, Nightmare Alley, Signet, 1949

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

CBS Dallas / Fort Worth: "To some, jury duty is an inconvenience. To others, it’s an honor and a civic duty. But no matter how it’s viewed, Tarrant County jurors have been getting an unwelcomed surprise long after they leave the courtroom: Bounced checks.

DAPA-Em, R. I. P.

If you read the blogs of some of my friends yesterday (this one, this one, this one, and this one), you know about the demise of the world's first (and only) amateur press association devoted to the discussion of crime and mystery fiction. I joined the merry DAPA-Em crew so long ago that I can't remember the year. It was probably around 1976 or so. Ever since then, I've done an issue of Macavity, my personal zine, every two months. It consisted of reviews and comments on the zines of the other members. I sent it to Art Scott, and had it put into the mailing, complied of the zines done by other members. In the 35 years or so I was a member, I never missed contributing to a mailing.

The apa and the people in it were a big part of my life for so long that I still can't quite believe I don't have to do another zine and that there will never be another mailing. As I thumbed through the issue, I saw any number of things I wanted to respond to, but this time I won't be able to. It's a weird feeling.

I made dozens of friends through the apa, and I've been lucky enough to meet many of them in person at Bouchercons and other conventions over the years. I hope to stay in touch with them now via e-mail and this blog, but it won't be the same. Something about the medium and the message.

The apa had a great run, though, and while I'm saddened that the run has come to an end, I'm grateful that my life was enriched by it and the people involved for so many years.

Anybody Can Make a Mistake 10 News: "Police in Ohio can't take too much credit for stopping a woman they say was drinking and driving - they say she pulled herself over.

Officers in the town of Sandusky say the woman stopped because she thought she saw police lights, but it turns out the flashing lights were from a skating rink sign."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

News Radio 1200 WOAI San Antonio Texas: "State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon (D-San Antonio) has introduced a bill that would require any Texans who owns a male dog which weighs 20 pounds or more and is not neutered to have an insurance policy covering injuries or damage caused by that dog when it is off the leash or out of the dog's yard, 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Toronto Sun: "Glee star Lea Michele's controversial cover for Cosmopolitan has prompted bosses of a store in Texas to ban the magazine from their shelves.

Michele sparked outrage after appearing on the March issue of the publication wearing a dress with a plunging neckline.

The shot infuriated many readers and parents, who claim the actress should cover up because her on-screen alter ego, high school student Rachel Berry, is a role model to young viewers."

No Comment Department

Don't just eat dinner -- wear it - Yahoo! News: "If you really loved your meal at one New York restaurant, you can now walk out with the skin of the animal you ate.

Marlow & Sons, an eaterie in the city's trendy Williamsburg neighborhood, wants clients to be able to remember their meals forever by purchasing items such as bags made from the hide of cows and other animals served up from the kitchen.

'We want something people could enjoy beyond their dinner,' Kate Huling, wife of the owner, told AFP. 'They come in, they eat, they leave and usually think of something else. So the bags really preserve and honor that animal.'"

If You Didn't Buy the Bullet Pen, . . .

You can always get the Skull Pen.

AbeBooks: Limited, Numbered & Deluxe Editions

AbeBooks: Limited, Numbered & Deluxe Editions

Forgotten Books: The Naked Year -- Philip Atlee

This is the Lion Books edition of Philip Atlee's 1940 novel The Inheritors. I'm not sure if it was published originally under the Atlee name or under Atlee's real name, James Atlee Phillips. As Philip Atlee, as we all know, he went on to write the Joe Gall series for Gold Medal.

As you can tell from the cover, The Naked Year isn't a crime novel. It's a straight novel, sort of a hardboiled Gatsby, set in Fort Worth, Texas. When this book was published, Texas had just become an urban state, with more people living in cities t
han on farms. Writers many years later were still complaining about the fact that Texas writers continued to about the state as if it were rural (some of us are still doing that) instead of tackling the stories of people in the big urban environments. This book was way ahead of its time, according to A. C. Greene, who gave it a coveted spot in his 50 Best Books about Texas.

There's plenty of sensationalism if that's what you're looking for. Lots of drinking, sex (nothing overt), and abortion (sensational for the time the book was published, for sure). Excellent writing, and at least one truly disturbing scene when the thrill-seeking youth go out to the local city dump to shoot rats at night.

Anybody interested in Atlee's work in the Joe Gall books should certainly take a look at this one to see where Atlee started.

The Vigilante

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Obviously People Couldn't Wait any Longer

Bristol Palin Memoir Listing Resurfaces Online: "The rumored Bristol Palin memoir has popped up again on the Internet.

An online spreadsheet for publisher HarperCollins viewed by The Associated Press on Thursday lists an 'Untitled Bristol Palin Memoir' and shows that a planned release date of Aug. 16 has been moved up to June 21."

London Leads the Way

London museum goes wild with animal sex show: "A museum in London is throwing caution to the wind for an exhibition on sex in the animal kingdom complete with copulating chimps and randy rabbits -- just in time for Valentine's Day."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

No Comment Department

Why Is It Always the English Teacher? CB East teacher suspended for blog investigation: "'Be careful what you post on the Internet,' Natalie Munroe told her students year after year.

Maybe if she had listened to her own advice, she wouldn't be where she is right now: Suspended and at risk of losing her teaching job at Central Bucks East High School.

Munroe, who has taught English at CB East since 2006 and has a salary of $54,500 this year, wrote a blog called “Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?” for more than a year. In between blog posts about muffins, Food Network stars and her favorite movies, she posted long, profanity-peppered rants about Central Bucks administrators, her co-workers and her students.

“My students are out of control. They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners,' she wrote in one post dated Oct. 27, 2009. 'They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves entitled to whatever they desire and are just generally annoying.”"

Mystery Scene Update from Kate Stine

At the Scene, February 2011 Solving the mystery of what to give next!
In this Issue
Greetings from MS
Barbara D'Amato on The Choirboys
2011 Edgar Nominees
Romancing the Con
Murder Gras Reads
Win a Year of Mystery Scene
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Book Reviews
Mystery Scene Blog

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Barbara D'Amato on The Choirboys, 2011 Edgar Award Nominations, Mardi Gras Reads, and Finding True Love at Mystery Conventions

Hi everyone,

If the winter weather has gotten you down, our guest for "Writers on Reading" this month, Barbara D'Amato, has a suggestion: Joseph Wambaugh's The Choirboys.

And if a healthy dose of Joseph Wambaugh's outrageous black comedy doesn't cure the winter doldrums, there's a lot more going on in February:Edgar Awards buzz (read our MS reviews of all Best Novel nominees); tales of true love on the mystery convention circuit in honor of Valentine's Day; and some of our favorite Mardi Gras reads .

Oh, and how could we forget? The #118 Winter Issue of Mystery Scene, featuring Robert Crais, author of the Elvis Cole series, is just on the horizon for late February. The forthcoming issue also includes a chat with Jill Paton Walsh about her latest continuation of Dorothy L. Sayer's Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, a look at TV's most intriguing PI, Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife (CBS), a selection of crime films featuring journalists, and a look at Steven Hockensmith's Holmes on the Range adventures, andLawrence Block remembers his friendship with Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain).

Kate Stine

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Here's the Plot for Your Next Jewelry Heist Novel

Security Video Could Prove 'Snatch' Jewel Heist Was Inside Job, Prosecutors Say: "In a caper that recalls the Guy Ritchie crime film 'Snatch,' prosecutors say the owners of a jewelry store in New York City's Diamond District staged a fake robbery committed by perps wearing phony beards and black coats while disguised as Hasidic Jews, according to the New York Post.

Store owners told police the crooks got away with $7 million in precious jewels in the New Year's Eve 2008 heist.

But investigators say they've uncovered a shocking video that the store owners intended to destroy, showing the shopkeepers moving valuables out of the safe hours before the heist and replacing them with empty boxes -- so the hired thieves could leave something strewn around the store for police to find."

Another Criminal Genius

A cell phone records a fatal stabbing, becomes key evidence at a murder trial - St. Petersburg Times: "While Ronald Earl Williams was stabbing his wife to death, he unknowingly created a key piece of evidence that could only exist in a wireless age.

Williams somehow activated his cell phone, which then called his wife's cell phone while he was killing her, Assistant State Attorney Walter Manning told a jury on Tuesday.

The voice mail recorded the killing — with Williams threatening to kill his wife, and Mariama Williams screaming in terror — during the attack in their St. Petersburg home."

Hat tip to Rich Prosch.

Ah, Love!

Viagra demand surges before Valentine's Day - Health - Men's health - "Valentine’s Day is notorious for spiking sales of chocolates, roses and Hallmark cards, but new research shows that demand also rises for a surprising lovers’ secret: erectile dysfunction drugs.

In 2010, the week before Valentine’s Day saw more prescriptions written for erection-enhancing Viagra than any other week of the year, according to figures compiled by the firm Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions."

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.

Today's Vintage Ad


Cornell Woolrich, The Doomstone, Avon, 1960

Indiana Refuses to Lead the Way

Harry Baals Can't Even Win When He's Winning: "Fort Wayne, Indiana is the type of place where it's acceptable for the minor-league hockey team to spell its name 'Komets.' What's not apparently acceptable is naming a building after former Mayor Harry Baals, as some are trying to do through a public vote at

As of 8:30 p.m., 'Harry Baals Government Center' had 9,516 votes with 'The Anthony Wayne Government Center' close behind with 471. In what's supposed to be an America where every vote counts, Deputy Mayor/Communist Dictator Beth Malloy said the Baals Center was 'probably not' going to happen."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Envy Is a Terrible Thing

Browse the Artifacts of Geek History in Jay Walker's Library: "Nothing quite prepares you for the culture shock of Jay Walker's library. You exit the austere parlor of his New England home and pass through a hallway into the bibliographic equivalent of a Disney ride. Stuffed with landmark tomes and eye-grabbing historical objects—on the walls, on tables, standing on the floor—the room occupies about 3,600 square feet on three mazelike levels. Is that a Sputnik? (Yes.) Hey, those books appear to be bound in rubies. (They are.) That edition of Chaucer ... is it a Kelmscott? (Natch.) Gee, that chandelier looks like the one in the James Bond flick Die Another Day. (Because it is.) No matter where you turn in this ziggurat, another treasure beckons you—a 1665 Bills of Mortality chronicle of London (you can track plague fatalities by week), the instruction manual for the Saturn V rocket (which launched the Apollo 11 capsule to the moon), a framed napkin from 1943 on which Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined his plan to win World War II. In no time, your mind is stretched like hot taffy."

I'll Take Two

AFP: 'Thinking cap' makes brain waves in Australia: "Scientists in Australia say they are encouraged by initial results of a revolutionary 'thinking cap' that aims to promote creativity by passing low levels of electricity through the brain.
[. . . .]
'You wouldn't use this to study or to help your memory,' Snyder told AFP. 'You would use this if you wanted to look at a problem anew.

'If you wanted to look at the world, just briefly, with a child's view, if you wanted to look outside the box.'"

Whatever Happened to Suffering for Your Art?

Pain Leads Art Professor to Remove "Third Eye" Camera From Head

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

Today's Western Movie Poster

One More Reason I'd Better Say Here

The 10 States Running Out Of Smart People

Couldn't Resist Linking to This

Top 10 Reasons Why People Hate Top 10 Lists

I'll Just Have a Dr Pepper, Please

Oldest beer may surrender its recipe - "Samples of the world's oldest beer have been examined in Finland to determine its recipe, with plans to brew the historic beverage again, researchers say.

A Baltic Sea shipwreck from between 1800 and 1830 was discovered in July 2010 and yielded many bottles of champagne and five bottles of what proved to be the oldest drinkable beer yet found."

Wow, This is a Long List

IMDb: The 230 Most Underrated Actors (Great Character Actors)

A Brand New Film Noir (A Short One)


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Barry Awards Nominations

The Barry Award Nominations 2011. The nominees for the 2011 Barry Awards have just been announced. Voting is done by the readers of Deadly Pleasures magazine. The winners will be announced at Bouchercon (September, in St. Louis, MO).

Best Novel

NOWHERE TO RUN, C. J. Box (Putnam)
THE LOCK ARTIST, Steve Hamilton (Minotaur)
MOONLIGHT MILE, Dennis Lehane (Morrow)
BURY YOUR DEAD, Louise Penny (Minotaur)
SAVAGES, Don Winslow (Simon & Schuster)

Best First Novel

GUTSHOT STRAIGHT, Lou Berney (Morrow)
ROGUE ISLAND, Bruce DeSilva (Forge)
THE POACHER'S SON, Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
SHERLOCKIAN, Graham Moore (Twelve)
THE HOLY THIEF, William Ryan (Minotaur)
ONCE A SPY, Keith Thomson (Doubleday)

Best British Novel

STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG, Kate Atkinson (Doubleday)
BLOOD HARVEST, S. J. Bolton (Bantam Press)
NIGHT WHISPERS, John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton)
THE WOODCUTTER, Reginald Hill (HarperCollins)
THREE SECONDS, Roslund & Hellstrom (Quercus)
FOURTH DAY, Zoe Sharp (Allison & Busby)

Best Paperback Original

THE HANGING TREE, Bryan Gruley (Touchstone)
THE DEAD LIE DOWN, Sophie Hannah (Penguin)
EGGSECUTIVE ORDERS, Julie Hyzy (Berkley)
FEVER AT THE BONE, Val McDermid (Harper)
THE RHETORIC OF DEATH, Judith Rock (Berkley)

Best Thriller

13 HOURS, Deon Meyer (Grove Atlantic)
AMERICAN ASSASSIN, Vince Flynn (Atria)
THE BRICKLAYER, Noah Boyd (Harper)
BOLT ACTION, Charles Charters (Hodder U.K.)
ON TARGET, Mark Greaney (Jove)
THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR, Daniel Silva (Putnam)

Best Short Story

Mitch Alderman, "Requiem for Antlers" (AHMM Jan.-Feb. 2010)
Robert Barnard, "Family Values" (EQMM Feb. 2010)
Caroline Benton, "The Body in the Dunes (EQMM Jan. 2010)
Loren D. Estleman, "The List" (EQMM May 2010)
Terence Faherty, "The Seven Sorrows" (EQMM Mar.-Apr. 2010)
Ellen Larson, "When the Apricots Bloom" (AHMM July-Aug. 2010)

Hat tip to Janet Rudolph.

New York Leads the Way

Car service driver Peter Rahhaoui admits charging passenger Tony Chan's credit card $800,000 - "A car-service driver has pleaded guilty to fraud for taking a businessman on what is probably the most expensive airport cab ride in New York history.

Peter Rahhaoui, a Queens limo operator, admitted billing a Hong Kong mogul's credit card nearly $800,000 after driving him 13 miles from Teterboro Airport to Manhattan in 2008."

I think I had that driver the last time I was in NYC.
Hat tip to Art Scott.

Apathy Reigns Supreme

News - Hackney Gazette: "POLICE have yet to receive a single call from the public over the identity of the phantom defecator of Hoxton Station."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Top 40 Greatest TV Cars

Retrospace: Vintage Wheels #10: The Top 40 Greatest TV Cars

Some of you might find yourselves saying, "Wait, you mean there's a car in this picture?

A Plug

I don't always plug books by friends, but James Reasoner's Diamondback is just out on Kindle and worth your time (and money). I should know, since I wrote the introduction. Check it out.

The 100 best British Films

100 best British films: The list

Gator Update (Guitar Edition)

The $85,000 Custom Diamond & Alligator Guitar: "Rock Royalty, a new Nashville-based luxury design house that manufactures one-of-a-kind, custom guitars, is offering the ultimate in rock star decadence: an $85,000 custom alligator skin, diamond and sterling silver Fender Telecaster. The eye-popping instrument comes wrapped in exquisite natural black alligator skin from Louisiana, and features black diamond and sterling silver volume knobs, a selector switch set with rubies, and six handmade diamond tuning keys set in sterling silver."

Today's Vintage Ad

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Clash over beauty queen title turns ugly - San Antonio Express-News: "The winner of last year's Miss San Antonio pageant filed suit Monday to keep her crown after pageant organizers told her to give it back for being late to events, failing to lose weight, insubordination and other alleged conduct unbecoming a beauty queen."


Edward Anderson, Hungry Men, Pyramid, 1959

I For One Welcome Our New Robot Overlords

BBC News - Robots to get their own internet: "Robots could soon have an equivalent of the internet and Wikipedia.

European scientists have embarked on a project to let robots share and store what they discover about the world."

Hat tip to Rich Prosch.

When I Was a Kid, . .

. . . we had to set the other kids' hair on fire when we were walking to school. In the snow. Up a mile-long hill.

Ohio Teen's Hair Set on Fire on School Bus - CBS News: "Three students have been arrested following an incident Friday in which a fellow student's hair was set on fire while riding a school bus."

Great Quotes from Politicians

20 Stupidest Quotes To Come From Politicians

Yet Another List I'm Not On

The 20 Most Popular People On The Internet: "You have no idea how popular Justin Bieber is.

In the past twelve months, more people have searched for the 16-year-old wonder on Google than have searched for 'china,' 'jesus,' or 'boobs.'

Bieber also left other celebrities in the dust. The only person who came close was Lady Gaga."

No Comment Department

Catholic Church endorses app for sinning iPhone users: "A Catholic bishop has signed off on a new app designed to bring the rite of confession to iOS devices."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Top Five Christopher Lee Villains

The five greatest Christopher Lee villains

Johnny Whitaker Update

'Family Affair' Child Star Johnny Whitaker Now Drug Counselor: "Actor Johnny Whitaker is most famous for his six seasons on the popular 1960s TV series 'Family Affair,' but he considers the most important time of his life the 13 years he's been sober."

Photo at the link.

Winter Issue of Mysterical-E Now On-Line


Philly Leads the Way

Woman Dies After Botched Butt Enhancement Procedure: "Authorities are investigating the death of a British woman who apparently suffered complications after undergoing a butt-enhancement procedure in a Philadelphia hotel."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Lifetime Achievement Award: The Kingston Trio

Lifetime Achievement Award: The Kingston Trio | "Peter, Paul And Mary's Peter Yarrow on the transcendence of 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients The Kingston Trio's contributions to popular folk music"

High Society

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Is Pancho Villa's Finger for Sale in a Texas Pawn Shop? - Fox News Latino: "A pawn shop in El Paso, Texas is selling for more than $9,000 the right index finger of Pancho Villa, one of the leading figures of the 1910-1917 Mexican Revolution.

'Years ago someone offered us this finger, and though we don't know if it's the real thing or not, we thought it was interesting and decided to preserve it here in our shop,' David Delgadillo, manager de Dave's Pawn Shop in El Paso, said."

10 Best Come-On Lyrics in Country Music

Pickup Lines: 10 Best Come-On Lyrics in Country Music

Hat tip to George Kelley, who says he's never tried any of these.

Check out Stina Leicht's Big Idea on Whatever

The Big Idea: Stina Leicht Whatever

100 Greatest Baseball Players by The Sporting News : A Legendary List by Baseball Almanac

100 Greatest Baseball Players by The Sporting News : A Legendary List by Baseball Almanac: "The Sporting News is nothing short of the most respected and legendary magazine / newspaper in sports history. Their coverage of baseball has no rival and they are simply the most respected source of baseball statistics anywhere."

Beleaguered Witches Would be a Good Name for a Rock Band

My Way News - Romania may get even tougher on witches: "There's more bad news in the cards for Romania's beleaguered witches.

A month after Romanian authorities began taxing them for their trade, the country's soothsayers and fortune tellers are cursing a new bill that threatens fines or even prison if their predictions don't come true.

Superstition is a serious matter in the land of Dracula, and officials have turned to witches to help the recession-hit country collect more money and crack down on tax evasion."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Or not.

Dallas Mayor Distances Himself From “Key To The City” Given To Michael Vick: "The Mayor of Dallas says he did not sanction giving Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick a “key to the city.”"

Texas Doesn't Lead the Way

The Top Six Airline Lounges


David Axton (Dean Koontz), Prison of Ice, Fawcett, 1976

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Parents Magazine Ranks CMH #1 - The Children's Museum of Houston: "Parents magazine announced today the Children’s Museum of Houston (CMH) is the No. 1 children’s museum in the nation! The magazine revealed the exclusive findings from its 10 Best Children’s Museums survey."

Only Positive Reviews Here From Now On

Squid Ink: "Bloggers, beware. Writing a bad review of Benihana could get you sued for $18,000 -- at least if you live in Kuwait."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr., Writes about The Petrified Forest

“This is Duke Mantee, the world-famous killer…and he’s hungry!”

Top 10 Most Expensive Sales on AbeBooks for January 2011

AbeBooks: Discover the Top 10 Most Expensive Sales on AbeBooks for January 2011

Google Celebrates Jules Verne

Happy birthday from 20,000 leagues under the sea

As If We Didn't Know "IT’S what chocoholics have always dreamed of hearing. Scientists have announced that their favourite treat is actually better for them than fruit.

Not only that, but chocolate is being heralded as the latest “super food”.

So it’s goodbye to the feeling of guilt over reaching for just one more truffle or secretly nibbling away at a melt-in-the-mouth bar between meals."

Forgotten Films: Destination Moon

I've written before about how and when I became an SF fan, but it's something I've never been able to pin down exactly. I do know for sure that Destination Moon had a lot to do with it. The movie came out when I nine years old, and I'd been tremendously excited about it for a good while before it finally made it to the big screen of the Mexia Theatre about two-and-a-half months after its release.

One reason for my excitement must have been these photographs in Life. My grandmother was a subscriber to Life, and since she lived only a couple of blocks away, I visited her several times a week. One thing I always did was read the latest issue of the magazine, and the photos from Destination Moon got me all worked up. I could hardly wait for the movie to appear. When It finally did show up, I was there, and I went back to see it again before it left town.

Robert A. Heinlein contributed to the script, though I didn't know it at the time and didn't know who he was until a few years later, when I read Rocketship Galileo, a novel that has some similarities to the movie.

Even 60 years later, I have vivid memories of the movie itself and of specific scenes. An audience today would probably think it was corny (and it was), but I'd probably still love it. I guess I should order the DVD.

Destination Moon

Monday, February 07, 2011

First Snooki, and Now This

Bristol Palin Memoir Set To Hit Shelves This Summer: "Bristol Palin, daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, will soon be able to add 'author' to her resume with the release of an as-yet-untitled memoir set to hit bookshelves this summer.

As noted by Political Wire, an Amazon listing for an 'Untitled Bristol Palin Memoir' -- in hardcover no less -- has been created, announcing that the 304-page book will be available for a little over $17."

Philly Leads the Way

Pregnant Woman Dies After Fight at Traffic Court | NBC Philadelphia: "A 22-year-old pregnant woman died after a fight at Philadelphia Traffic Court Monday, sources confirmed."

A Very Crider Star Wars

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Out of the Gutter Update

Out of the Gutter 7, the "US vs. UK Issue," is finished and printed and will ship right away when you place your order. And don't forget, the more you order the cheaper the per-book shipping, so if there are any issues missing from your Out of the Gutter collection, fill them in now. When the present print runs are sold out we will be switching to the POD model, and collectors who want the original punk zine feel will be out of luck! Learn more about Issue 7 and other issues by going here.
All kinds of news on the Gutter Books front! Dig our new web site, our new covers delivered by the graphic design geniuses at Outland Grafix, and the announcement of three new titles coming this year!
We get to the very essence of pulp publishing with The Flying Saucers are Real, the world's first book-length treatise on the UFO phenomenon, published by Gold Medal Books in 1950. If you want to take a break from gangsters, violent retribution and hardboiled prose, take a journey into the unexplained with Marine aviator Donald Keyhoe, the foremost expert on UFOs during the 1950s and '60s.
If you enjoy federal inmate Seth "Soul Man" Ferranti's gritty articles that appear in every issue of Out of the Gutter, you will want to reserve your copy of Notes from the American Gulag, which features Seth's most outstanding work from Gutter and other publications, all selected and edited by Gutter editor, Matthew Louis.
First time novelist Sean Dennison breaks through this October with Deadlock. Ever wonder what would happen if an amateur MMA fighter was pitted against a psycho cop in a no-holds-barred fight to the death on the city streets? If so, you're about to find out. When John Reed finds himself the only witness to an act of unspeakable brutality by Sergeant Vincent Fallon, Reed learns what it really means to be on the wrong side of the law.
And, of course, available for order right now are Dodging Bullets, The Baddest of the Bad and On The Make. And don't forget the fashionably late March arrival of The Wrong Man, the hard-as-nails regular guy revenge tale from William Ingsley that Tony Black describes as "A first-rate, fly-through-the-pages freakshow."
Check it all out by visiting
Thanks for reading, and thanks as always for your interest and support!

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

News Radio 1200 WOAI San Antonio Texas: "A measure which would allow a judge to punish the parents of teenagers who engage in the risky practice known as 'sexting,' was introduced today in the Texas Legislature, and immediately received the support of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, 1200 WOAI news reports.

The measure, introduced by State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin), would make sexting a Class C misdemeanor requiring a court appearance for the teenaged violator, and would allow a judge to 'sentence' his or her parent to participate in an education program on sexting's long-term harmful consequences."

Brian Jacques, R. I. P.

BBC News - Redwall author Brian Jacques dies aged 71: "A former merchant sailor whose children's books sold millions worldwide has died aged 71.

Brian Jacques' Redwall series of books were translated into 29 languages and sold 20m globally.

He first wrote the series, set in an abbey populated by animals, for children at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool.

The Liverpool-born writer's weekly show, Jakestown, ran on BBC Radio Merseyside for more than 20 years.

He died after a heart attack at the weekend and leaves a wife and two grown up sons."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Illegal immigration: Influx of immigrants from India baffles border officials in Texas - "Thousands of immigrants from India have crossed into the United States illegally at the southern tip of Texas in the last year, part of a mysterious and rapidly growing human-smuggling pipeline that is backing up court dockets, filling detention centers and triggering investigations."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

DALLAS, TX – The most valuable animation cel in the world, and one of the most important Mickey Mouse collectibles in existence – The Band Concert Production Cel Animation Art, Walt Disney, 1935 – will be part of Heritage Auctions Feb. 24-25 Signature® Comics and Comic Art Auction. It is estimated at $100,000+. It is thought to be the only production setup in existence from the first Mickey cartoon that features Mickey and the entire band.

“This cel is, in many ways, the ultimate Mickey Mouse item a collector could ever hope to acquire,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations of the Comics category at Heritage. “The Band Concert was the very first theatrical Mickey Mouse cartoon in color, and has long been cherished by Disney fans worldwide.”

Lansdale on Poe

Dark Inspiration | Mulholland Books


Evans Wall, Swamp Girl (aka No Nation Girl), Pyramid, 1955

Seepy Sings!

You've read about Seepy Benton's singing in my books, but mere words can't describe it. Now you can get the full effect if you click here.

Yellow Wine Update

Bottle of 1773 French wine fetches record price - Yahoo! News: "An amateur wine group paid a record 57,000 euros ($77,000) Saturday for a 237-year-old bottle of wine from France's eastern Jura region at a local wine festival auction.

'Finally, yellow wine has hit the big leagues,' said wine festival founder Bernard Badoz of Jura's trademark beverage."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Here's the Plot for Your Next Prison Thriller

BBC News: "Prison officials in Colombia say they have caught an 11-year-old girl trying to smuggle dozens of mobile phones and a gun into a jail.

The guards became suspicious when they saw what they described as irregular shapes underneath the girl's jumper.

When they investigated they found 74 mobile phones and a revolver taped to her back."

In Case You Missed the Commercials

2011 Super Bowl Commercials | Funniest Super Bowl Ads

Brooklyn Leads the Way

Brooklyn's Evermore Pet Food creators of will eat dog food for a month to prove product's quality

Hat tip to Brooklyn's own Jeff Meyerson.

If You See Only One Mugshot Round-Up this Week, . .

. . . this should be the one.

The Squid Wrestler

Link via Neatorama.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Gary Moore, R. I. P.

Guitarist Gary Moore Dies at 58. Blues, Jazz and Rock World Mourns Loss: "It has been confirmed by Adam Parsons, manager of Thin Lizzy, that Gary Moore was found dead at the luxury Kempinski Resort Hotel in Estepona, Spain in the early hours of Sunday, February 6. He was 58.

Born April 4, 1952 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, (William) Gary Moore played some fine guitar.

During a cross-genre musical career that dates back to the 60s, he is perhaps best known for his work with Thin Lizzy, Skid Row and Colosseum II."

Valentine's Day is on the Way

3030 Winchester Bullet Pen With Copper and Gold by DorianCreations: "30-30 Winchester Bullet Pen with Acrylic Top.

This pen was handcrafted using a real 30-30 winchester brass casing and an acrylic blank. The casing was polished with very fine steel wool and the acrylic blank was sanded and polish to a high gloss. A suedette pouch is included to protect the pen.

The bullet casing may contain small scratches or nicks if any due to the varing quality by manufacturer or if casing has been fired."