Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Man and his Croc

Thanks to Karin Montin for the link. SOCIAL STUDIES
Every Sunday, Gilberto Shedden of Costa Rica dons a tattered pair of leopard-print shorts, dives into a lake and splashes about in the water with his 4 ½-metre crocodile Pocho, to gasps from a large crowd of locals and tourists. Mr. Shedden, Reuters reports, rolls the croc on his back, cavorts with him, lifts his toothy head out of the water and even kisses him tenderly on the snout. Seventeen years ago, the fisherman found the then-2-metre American crocodile lolling about in a river with a bullet in its head. He brought it home and nursed it until it was better, then took it to a lake near his house. But to his surprise, it slithered out and followed him home. "That convinced me the crocodile could be tame," he said.

The Picasso Flop -- Vince Vn Patten & Robert J. Randisi

The Picasso Flop is billed as "A Texas Hold 'Em Mystery," and while you don't have to know anything about the game to enjoy the book, knowing a little would probably add to the fun, since a number of real players appear in cameo (and even larger) roles. And since the book's setting is a big-time poker tournament, the game does figure into the story a little bit. That's where the title comes from, for example.

The story's about Jimmy Spain, out of prison and getting back into the game, along with Kat, the young woman he's tutoring in the fine art of poker. Jimmy's motives for taking her on as a pupil aren't pure, and as they become friends, he's worried about that. It's a situation that isn't resolved in the book, so we'll have to wait for the sequel to see what happens about that.

Unfortunately for Spain, the poker tournament is marred by murder. And then another one. Spain gets involved in the investigation, naturally, and this isn't good for his poker playing.

I've been a sucker for poker books ever since reading Richard Jessup's The Cincinnati Kid long, long ago. The Picasso Flop moves fast, and the setting is glitzy (the Bellagio in Las Vegas). The authors set out to entertain, and they do a fine job. Check it out.

The Cat in the Hat Turns 50

Books: 'Cat in the Hat' Explained at Last - Newsweek Books - "Here’s how to celebrate.
• To honor “The Cat in the Hat’s” 50th birthday, send him an e-mail birthday card. For every card the cat gets, Random House will donate a new book to First Book, a nonprofit organization that promotes reading in low-income communities. Since it was founded in 1992, First Book has distributed more than 40 million books to young readers in 1,300 communities around the country. To send a card, go to Cards must be received by May 1.

• Random House will also donate a new book to First Book for every copy of any Dr. Seuss book it sells before May 1. For more details, go to"

Friday, February 16, 2007

Richard S. Prather, R. I. P.

I just heard from Art Scott that Richard S. Prather has passed away. Another of the greats is gone. It's nice that he was around to see the Hard Case Crime reprint of The Peddler, but it's too bad none of his other books was in print. The Shell Scott books make up one of the most entertaining p.i. series ever written. The one pictured here is the one signed for me by Prather at the Baltimore Bouchercon in 1986. Getting to attend his session and meet him afterward was the highlight of the convention for me. We're all poorer for his passing, but he left a great legacy behind.

Unfortunately, I Wasn't Consulted

Star-Telegram | 02/16/2007 | TV show planned on hunt for Texas Bigfoot: "It was probably only a matter of time before someone came up with a Bigfoot reality-TV show.

And that time has apparently come.

Next month in the woods outside Paris, a pilot will be filmed for the proposed series Capturing Bigfoot.

'You've got a hot spot out there in your back yard, a hot spot like no other,' Bigfoot explorer Tom Biscardi, 58, said by telephone from Northern California.

Biscardi, who retired from the insurance industry to pursue Bigfoot full time, has made the creature his life's work. On his Web site he sells Bigfoot DVDs, Bigfoot mugs, Bigfoot T-shirts and pewter Bigfoot belt buckles. He also hosts a weekly Internet radio show about all things Sasquatch.

He believes a Bigfoot family is living in old World War II Army bunkers buried on an abandoned portion of Camp Maxey north of Paris, near the Oklahoma border.

'I think it's a family pod,' Biscardi said. 'What we found is baby footprints next to a mother. This is the first time that has ever happened.'

Not only is Biscardi participating in the TV pilot, but he is also inviting enthusiasts to go along.

For $375, anyone interested in finding 'America's King Kong' can join him on a 24-hour expedition as part of the team trying to capture the elusive beast."

Thank Goodness Davy Got those Reinforcements . . .

. . . Otherwise, Santa Ana might have taken the Alamo. - House Lawmakers Borrow Historic Quotes in Iraq Resolution Debate - Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum: "In perhaps the oddest use of history, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., imagined Davy Crockett, his back against the wall at the Alamo, getting a message on his Blackberry from Congress saying 'we support you' but won't be sending any reinforcements.

'I'm sure that would be really impressive to Davy Crockett,' Akin said."

Commie Swine! - Paris Hilton Flees From Autograph Signing In Austria: "Paris Hilton was in Vienna on February 15, 2007, where she attended the opera ball. Some Time before that, Paris gave a huge autograph session in a supermarket - thousands came. About halfway through the event a group of onlookers, identified by some as communists, began pelting her with cigarettes and lipstick. Paris was evacuated immediately."

Although I don't blog about Paris Hilton anymore, I felt compelled to speak out. Video at the link.

Kasey Lansdale Sings "Back of My Smile"

Last night Joe Lansdale and I did a signing at Murder by the Book. Our opening act was Kasey Lansdale, who's opening for Ray Price tonight and Saturday. She's going to be a big star one of these days. That's Bill on the bass and Danny on guitar.

Gator Update

Thanks to Todd Mason for the link.

NPR : Have You Heard About B Flat?: "During World War II, the New York Philharmonic was visiting the American Museum of Natural History. During rehearsal, somebody played a note that upset a resident live alligator named Oscar. Oscar, who'd been in the museum on 81st Street, suddenly began to bellow. Naturally, with so many scientists in residence, an experiment was quickly devised to see how to get Oscar to bellow again. Various musicians — string, percussive and brass — were brought to Oscar to play various notes. It turned out the culprit was B flat, one octave below middle C.

The experiment was described back in the 1940s.

I repeated the experiment on an ABC News broadcast in the 1990s, playing a B flat to a collection of gators in at a roadside attraction in Florida and recording their bellows.

Why B flat?

You'd have to ask an alligator."

Although Jeff Meyerson Sent Me This Link . . .

. . . I'm not going to use it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

If You Really, Really like the Beatles, this is the Book You've Been Waiting For

The Beatles' studio story told in detail | - Houston Chronicle: "Recording the Beatles is hailed as the definitive guide to the Beatles at work in the studio. Ryan and Kehew (who, incidentally, plays keyboards for the Who on tour) had unprecedented access to Abbey Road staff and facilities. Paul McCartney cooperated by allowing the authors to print never-seen photos of the Fab Four taken by his first wife, Linda.

This is a big book (540 pages) with a big price tag ($100), and it's available only at

A word of warning: This book is not for casual Beatles fans who enjoy the group's personalities, pop culture and music. If you're not curious (obsessive would help) about the technical side of making an album, Recording the Beatles will leave you in the dust, scratching your head and wondering who cares about the serial number of the compressor used on Yellow Submarine."

Willie Nelson

Judy and I went to Galveston to see Willie Nelson in concert last night. As you may be aware, he's been around for a while. Seventy-three years, in fact. He'll be 74 next month. All he has to do to get a standing ovation in Texas is walk out on the stage.

He seems to be in great physical condition, his voice is still strong, and he still has the longest braid around. He did a full two-hour show without taking a break. There's no patter, just Willie playing and singing (with that family band back-up, of course).

His playing is outstanding. His acoustic guitar looks as if it might have come over on the Mayflower, and he picks the heck out of it. He uses nylon strings, and the guitar is amped. There's some great guitar work in any Willie Nelson concert. I first saw him about 30 years ago, and the guitar appears to be the same one he was using then.

Some of the songs he did were old ones, like "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain" and "Whiskey River." Some were pop standards like "Stardust" and "Georgia on my Mind." Some seemed tossed off, and some were knockouts. He did a couple from his new Songbird CD, and three or four from a CD to be released in July or August. At the end of the show when he did "I Saw the Light," the audience was up on its feet, singing and shouting along.

Nelson obviously loves performing, and he's so good at it, so confident, that he might just go on forever. I for one hope he does.


So does this mean
that if the red light cameras in Houston catch people illegally running
the light, the people who get tickets can sue the city for stalking?

The Daily Tribune News - Cartersville, Georgia

A Bartow County couple will go before a magistrate judge today to see if they will be arrested for allegedly stalking a Kennesaw police officer by installing cameras to track neighborhood speeders.

Lee and Teresa Sipple spent $1,200 mounting three video cameras and a radar speed unit outside their home, which is at the bottom of a hill. They have said they did so in hopes of convincing neighbors to slow down to create a safe environment for their son.

The Sipples allegedly caught Kennesaw police officer Richard Perrone speeding up to 17 mph over the speed limit. Perrone alerted Bartow authorities, who in turn visited the Sipples' home to tell them Perrone intended to press charges against them for stalking.

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Anna Nicole Smith Update

ABC News: LOS ANGELES Feb 14, 2007 (AP)— Anna Nicole Smith's last movie is going direct to DVD and is scheduled to arrive in stores in May.

Smith helped bankroll the campy comedy "Illegal Aliens," in which she plays one of a trio of space aliens fighting an intergalactic terrorist.

Several theatrical screenings were canceled after she died last Thursday.

Now MTI Home Video says it will go ahead with its original plans for a May release for the film it describes as "`Charlie's Angels' goes sci-fi."

"Prior to her unfortunate death, the film was already announced and being sold to key retail accounts and a May 2007 release was slated," MTI spokesman Ed Baran said Wednesday.

The 39-year-old Smith was to have been involved in a publicity campaign and the movie was to have been dedicated to her 20-year-old son, Daniel, who died in the Bahamas in September.

Smith was a producer and her son was credited as an associate producer.

"We were working with her and her people on PR literally a week before she died," Baran told the Hollywood Reporter.

The movie, produced by Edgewood Studios, isn't just another "low-budget sci-fi comedy poking fun at Hollywood's big-budget flicks," executive producer John James said.

Smith helped creatively and added "numerous elements and rewrites of her character," he said. "Now with the passing of its star, you'll find it to be replete with metaphors of her life."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Gator Update

Pasco: Gator attacks man on golf course: "An alligator attacked a man at about 10 a.m. today at Timber Greens Golf Course in New Port Richey, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office. The victim was identified as Vernon Messier, 57, who was working at the course as an independent contractor.

Messier was attacked on his left foot and suffered non-life threatening injuries, the Sheriff's Office reported.

He was near the fifth hole and was in the water about 10 feet from shore when he was attacked, the report said. Messier apparently was retrieving golf balls and was preparing to dive into the water when he felt the alligator trying to pull him under.

Messier gouged at the alligator's eyes and tried to pry apart his grip from his leg, the Sheriff's Office said.

He refused to be transported by paramedics and said he was going to drive himself to a Tampa area hospital."

24 Update

The earlier post on this topic is here.

TV Week: "In’s exclusive Backlot Talk podcast, David Fury -- who wrote the “Day 6: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM” episode of Fox’s “24” -- today defended the show against criticism that its depictions of torture may be influencing the behavior of U.S. military personnel.

“It’s disturbing to think that members of our military learning their techniques and training are getting it from entertainment like ‘24,’” Mr. Fury said in an interview with TelevisionWeek Publisher Chuck Ross. “One would think that their training would be far more extensive in the real world and that they’d understand that this is a heightened reality.”"

I Couldn't Resist

What to Do with Your Dead Hooker

Ah, if only the characters in hundreds of noir novels and movies had only seen this educational video.

Will the Persecution Never End?

First the so-called Academy of Motion Picture Arts denies her an Oscar nomination for her fine work as a nuclear physicist in The World is not Enough, and now this.

Denise Richards 'distracting' | Entertainment: "JON Bon Jovi reportedly hates bandmate Richie Sambora's girlfriend Denise Richards, and wants to ban her from joining the group on tour.

Singer Jon is said to be fed up with the Wild Girls actress distracting the guitarist and has made it clear to Richie he prefers it when she is not around.

A source told the New York Daily News newspaper: 'Jon does not like Denise.

She's distracting. There's too much media attention when Denise is around, and Jon thinks she's really annoying and doesn't like when Richie's around her.'"

Quiz: The Best Humor of the Baby Boomer Era - Boomers

Quiz: The Best Humor of the Baby Boomer Era - Boomers At 60 -

See how many you can answer correctly. Some questions don't deal with their routines or taglines.

New Issue of Demolition Now On-line

From Bryon Quertermous: Nothing says love like murder, mayhem, and vice. Check out new fiction from Ed Lynskey, John Stickney, James McGowen, Peggy Ehrhart, and Keith Gilman. I'm also very proud to announce this is issue marks the very first fiction publications for David J. Montgomery, Rob Kramer, and Anthony Rainone.

Stark House Press Update

Here at last is the complete list of what's coming up for 2007 from Stark House Press:
JIMBO / THE EDUCATION OF UNCLE PAUL by Algernon Blackwood. New intro by Mike Ashley. Two supernatural novels set in the world of children but written for adults.
A TRIO OF GOLD MEDALS: THE VENGEANCE MAN by Dan J. Marlowe / PARK AVENUE TRAMP by Fletcher Flora / THE PRETTIEST GIRL I EVER KILLED by Charles Runyon. Three distinctive and very different novels from the the golden era of paperback publishing. Intros by Charles Kelly and Ed Gorman.
PAN'S GARDEN / INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES by Algernon Blackwood. Intros by Mike Ashley and Tim Lebbon. Previously published in separate volumes, two of Blackwood's best story collections in one volume.
THE OLD BATTLE-AX / DARK POWER by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding. Intro by Gregory Shepard. Two classic novels of suspense, the latter of which has never appeared before in paperback in its unabridged edition (and then only in a 1945 digest).
UNDERGROUND / COLLECTED STORIES by Russell James. Intro by the author. James's first novel published here in the U.S. for the first time, along with seven previously uncollected stories, one of which has never been published before.
A SHOT IN THE DARK / SHELL GAME by Richard Powell. Intro to be determined. Two slyly written mysteries from the author of The Philadelphian, recently reprinted by Plexus Publishing.
SNOWBOUND / GAMES by Bill Pronzini. Two excruciating novels of suspense, too long out of print. Intro to be determined but hopefully to include something from Bill himself.
THE KILLER / DEVIL ON TWO STICKS by Wade Miller. Two fine character-driven 50's thrillers from from Bob Wade and Bill Miller, authors of the the Max Thursday detective series.
DOGTOWN / SOULTOWN by Mercedes Lambert. Lambert in real life was Douglas Anne Munson, who died a few years ago from cancer. She left behind three excellent, cynical mysteries featuring lawyer-turned-sleuth Whitney Logan and her streetwise sidekick Lupe Ramos--these two books were the only ones to be published in her lifetime, out of print now for the past ten years.
SWEET MONEY GIRL / LIFE & DEATH OF A TOUGH GUY by Benjamin Appel. Intro by Carla Appel. Two gritty novels from the New York streets, the former being one of Appel's only two Gold Medal books.
ANATOMY OF A KILLER / A SHROUD FOR JESSO by Peter Rabe. Two more dryly written gangster novels from one of the best of the noir writers of the 50's and 60's.
A DEVIL FOR O'SHAUGNESSY / THREE-WAY SPLIT by Gil Brewer. The big news for 2007 is that Stark House will be publishing a Brewer novel that never appeared during the author's lifetime, a fast-paced noir from the early 60's. Also to be included will be 2-3 short stories to round out the package. We couldn't be more excited!
IT'S ALWAYS FOUR O'CLOCK / IRON MAN by W. R. Burnett. The first novel is a jazz story originally written as by James Updyke, the second a marvelous tale of the rise and fall of a prizefighter. Both feature Burnett's keen eye for characterization and dialog, and neither have appeared in paperback before.
And so the year goes out with a bang (assuming I keep to the schedule!). If you need isbns, I have them assigned so far through A SHOT IN THE DARK. All books will be $19.95 except for the TRIO book, which is $23.95.
I hope this information is helpful. I could probably say more about each book, but wanted to keep it brief. Don't have intros determined for each book yet. Already planning for another Harry Whittington in 2008, and hopefully more Douglas Sanderson, Vin Packer and Gil Brewer as well.
And you will notice, not everything is vintage-50's/60's this year. Variety is the spice. The Lambert, for example, is an experiment. Something on the order of "righting a wrong," if you will.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Jack Bauer: Too Tough for Our Troops?

Independent Online Edition Americas

In the hugely popular television series 24, federal agent Jack Bauer always gets his man, even if he has to play a little rough. Suffocating, electrocuting or drugging a suspect are all in a day's work. As Bauer - played by the Emmy Award winner Kiefer Sutherland - tells one baddie: " You are going to tell me what I want to know - it's just a matter of how much you want it to hurt."

But while 24 draws millions of viewers, it appears some people are becoming a little squeamish. The US military has appealed to the producers of 24 to tone down the torture scenes because of the impact they are having both on troops in the field and America's reputation abroad. Forget about Abu Ghraib, forget about Guantanamo Bay, forget even that the White House has authorised interrogation techniques that some classify as torture, that damned Jack Bauer is giving us a bad name.

The United States Military Academy at West Point yesterday confirmed that Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan recently travelled to California to meet producers of the show, broadcast on the Fox channel. He told them that promoting illegal behaviour in the series - apparently hugely popular among the US military - was having a damaging effect on young troops.

According to the New Yorker magazine, Gen Finnegan, who teaches a course on the laws of war, said of the producers: "I'd like them to stop. They should do a show where torture backfires... The kids see it and say, 'If torture is wrong, what about 24'?

"The disturbing thing is that although torture may cause Jack Bauer some angst, it is always the patriotic thing to do."

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If you Steal $6.9M . . .

. . . spend it wisely

Bookkeeper admits stealing $6.9M - Crime & Punishment - "Platt's purchases included six talking trees modeled after the 'Wizard of Oz' characters; a 20-foot-tall smoke-breathing dragon; a four-bedroom house in Rhode Island; more than 35 vehicles; and a replica of a Ford Model T customized to look like a green goblin."

So It's Come to This

Anna and the Astronaut Trigger a Week of Tabloid News | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)

The bosomy blonde’s demise consumed a staggering 50% of the cable newshole PEJ examined on February 8 and 9. Those are levels reminiscent of those pre-9/11 celebrity sagas—think Princess Di and JFK Jr.

The story lines ran from police procedural to racy, with a little bit of moralizing about celebrity culture—what killed her, who fathered her infant, and where her money would go. The February 9 headline in the New York Post, “CSI Probe in Siren Shocker,” seemed to sum it up.

Had it fallen more in the middle of the week, the Smith coverage, which made up 9% of the newshole in just two days, would have doubtless knocked news of events in Iraq out of the No. 2 spot in the news (at 10%) and come close to knocking out the debate at home over Iraq strategy as the No. 1 story of the week (it made up 12%). It was enough to overshadow what had been a good tale of sex and almost murder that preceded it —news that diaper-clad astronaut Lisa Nowak allegedly tried to kill a romantic rival. Nowak still made the Index’s top five story list (6%). Coverage of the 2008 White House race, which got a boost from Rudy Giuliani’s statement of candidacy, was the fourth biggest story at 8%.

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Oh. My. God.

Hardy Men: Cruise, Stiller take on Boys | Entertainment | Reuters: "LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller are teaming up for 'Hardy Men,' a buddy action comedy based on the fictional teen sleuths known as the Hardy Boys.

The long-in-development project sees the Hardy Boys grown up but not speaking to each other, having been estranged for many years. They are forced to overcome sibling rivalry when they reunite to solve a mystery."

The 100 Greatest Love Songs

Thanks to the ever vigilant Jeff Meyerson for the link.

New York Daily News - Home - The 100 Greatest Love Songs: "Some may find them smug, or sappy, or overplayed. But the songs here have probably made more lovers misty than any music in memory. So how did we go about compiling this list of all-time hand-holding odes? Eligible songs had to have endured at least a decade in the public consciousness, if not two or three. And they had to have been popular enough to have ranked among the top 20 pop songs in whatever year they were released.

These aren't necessarily the sexiest songs. If they had been, you'd see cuts by James Brown and Prince. But they are all classic serenades to a love achieved, the kind of songs meant to make listeners swoon."

The Stuff of Dreams

Maltese Falcon swiped from SF restaurant: "It's been nearly 80 years since Sam Spade wandered the streets of San Francisco in search of the Maltese Falcon. Now, the statue is missing again.

John Konstin, the owner of San Francisco's John's Grill on Ellis Street, said someone broke into a locked cabinet on the second floor of his establishment and took a signed reproduction of the Maltese Falcon -- one used for publicity stills for the movie -- along with several vintage and signed books by and about Maltese Falcon author Dashiell Hammett.

Konstin said the theft was noticed Saturday afternoon. He guesses the theft took place sometime late Friday night or in the early morning hours of Saturday.

The black statue was signed by actor Elisha Cook Jr., a San Franciscan who played the role of Wilmer the Gunsel in the movie. He presented it to the restaurant after Konstin and San Francisco private investigator Jack Immendorf failed in their attempt to buy the original bird that was used in the movie.

Police have been summoned to the scene of the broken cabinet on the second floor of the restaurant, and Konstin has offered a $25,000 reward for return of the statue and books."

Anna Nicole Smith Update -- Yet Another Candidate for Fatherhood?

My Way News - Anna Nicole Smith, Official Photographed: "NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) - A newspaper published two photographs on its front page Monday showing Anna Nicole Smith lying in bed fully clothed in a romantic embrace with the Bahamian immigration minister, who approved her application for permanent residency.

Immigration Minister Shane Gibson has come under criticism from the political opposition for giving the former Playboy Playmate special treatment in granting Smith residency in the Bahamas last year. Smith died Thursday in Florida.

The residency application was based on Smith's purported ownership of a waterfront mansion. But G. Ben Thompson, a South Carolina developer who once dated Smith, has said he had not given Smith the house as a gift as her lawyers have asserted. Thompson is attempting to reclaim the house."

Anna Nicole Smith Update -- The List Gets Longer

9NEWS - Entertainment - Article - Then there were 5: Bodyguard says he may be father: "LOS ANGELES (AP) – A former bodyguard who worked for Anna Nicole Smith said on Monday that it’s possible he is the father of infant Dannielynn Smith.

Alexander Denk, who had worked as a bodyguard for Smith, told the television newsmagazine 'Extra' that he had an affair with Smith, and that it's possible he is the father.

Denk's attorney, Cyrus Nownejad, did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press seeking comment. Ron Rale, a lawyer for Smith, also did not immediately return a message. "

Monday, February 12, 2007

The War with the Gizmos -- Murray Leinster

Murray Leinster was at one time known as "The Dean of Science Fiction," having started writing the stuff before there was any such thing and having continued to write it well past the middle of the 20th century. He wrote a little of everything, including what I'd call horror SF, like this novel that capitalizes on the '50s monster craze. It's a wonder that American-International didn't latch onto this book for a quick B&W cheapie with Ray Milland. It has everything: a small cast, a threat to all life on earth, and invisible monsters, which would have been a huge plus. You can't have a cheaper monster for film than an invisible one.

No doubt current readers would find the book hopelessly dated both in style and content. Leinster begins with eight or so pages of no dialogue, and when the dialogue comes, it's nearly always tagged (at least twice in the book, someone utters something zesfully). Leinster even uses passive voice. He does plenty of telling rather than showing. Some of the phrasing, maybe more than some, is pretty old-fashioned.

None of that bothers me at all, of course. I have no trouble reading books from another era and accepting their various styles. I can read Dickens with pleasure, and Shakespeare too, not that I'm claiming Leinster's in their league. (I sometimes think that when we complain something is "dated" the comment says more about us than about the material.)

As for the plot, well, it's about these sentient gases that started killing animals and are now killing humans. It's quite likely that these are the creatures that our ancestors thought of as demons, and for some reason they've suddenly started to reproduce at an incredible rapid rate. They're discovered by an oddly assorted group, and naturally no one believes them, not even when the deaths begin to multiply alarmingly. It's all fairly ridiculous, but Leinster manages to make it almost believable. I'm sure I must have read this when it first appeared back in 1958, but I didn't remember. It was fun and fast, and I'm glad I read it again. After all, how many books do you read in which smoking can save your life?

Bob Dylan Wins One for Us Old Guys

Bob Dylan wins two Grammys - Yahoo! News: "'Modern Times,' his first album since 'Love and Theft,' debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts last September. At 65, Dylan became the oldest living person to achieve this feat."

Anna Nicole Smith Update - Zsa Zsa Gabor's Husband to File Paternity Challenge Over Anna Nicole Smith's Daughter - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment: "Prince Frederic von Anhalt, the husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor, told the Associated Press he plans to file a paternity challenge in court this week to gain custody of Anna Nicole Smith's infant daughter, even if it costs him his marriage.

'I'm going to make the DNA test,' he said. 'If the court rules in my favor, I will go to the Bahamas and pick up the child.'

Von Anhalt, 59, and Gabor, 90, have been married for more than 20 years. The news of her husband's alleged affair has deeply upset Gabor, according to von Anhalt.

'She says, of course, 'If you bring a baby home then it's over,'' he said. 'If my wife wants to divorce me then it's up to her.'"

Hank Bauer, R. I. P.

Former Yankees OF Hank Bauer Dies at 84
NEW YORK - Hank Bauer, the hard-nosed ex-Marine who returned to baseball after being wounded during World War II and went on to become a cornerstone of the New York Yankees dynasty of the 1950s, died Friday. He was 84. Bauer died of cancer in Shawnee Mission, Kan., said the Baltimore Orioles. Bauer managed the 1966 Orioles to their first World Series title.

A three-time All-Star outfielder, Bauer played on Yankees teams that won nine American League pennants and seven World Series in 10 years. He set the Series record with a 17-game hitting streak, a mark that still stands.

"Hank Bauer is an emblem of a generation that helped shape the landscape of our country," Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement. "He was a natural leader and a teammate in every sense of the word, and his contributions went well beyond the baseball field. His service to the Yankees, his country, and his family shows why I have been so privileged to call him a friend."

Surrounded by sluggers such as Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra, Bauer was a major ingredient in the Yankees' success during his years in New York from 1948-59.

"I am truly heartbroken," Berra said in a statement issued by the Yankees. "Hank was a wonderful teammate and friend for so long. Nobody was more dedicated and proud to be a Yankee, he gave you everything he had."

Your Chance to Help

A Dark Planet: Magnetic ribbons won't help these guys.

So I'm sending out a call to all the people who read this blog. I want you to send books. More important, if you blog and I know most of you do, I'm asking you to post Brett's address at your place and ask your readers to send books. Paperbacks are probably best, but hardbacks are fine, too.

For those who don't know, there are some restrictions. You can't send porn (I'm looking at you, Stephen) and there's some restriction against religious evangelism that I don't think will be a problem here.

I don't ask much of this crowd. I give and give, always for your amusement and edification. Oh, sure, I urge you to buy a book every now and then, and occassionally I invite you to say something that would derail any potential political career you're considering, but other than those small sacrifices you're pretty much free to come and go as you please.

But not today. Today I'm asking you to step up. You can send your books to me and I'll forward them, or you can send them direct. And please, if you want to do something more than slap one of those three-dollar magnets on your car, pass this address along to fans, friends and family.

I know you guys won't let me down.

Here is Brett's address:

Cpt. Brett Sachse, MD
240 Med Det 28 CSH
APO AE 09348

Here is my address:

David Terrenoire
5 Chipley Ct.
Durham, NC 27703

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Anna Nicole Smith Update

Thanks again to Jeff Meyerson.

New York Daily News - Home - I can't believe it's not Methadone!: "Anna Nicole Smith was popping at least 10 different kinds of pills when she died in a Florida hotel - and had undergone at least two breast surgeries since giving birth five months ago, an explosive new report said yesterday.

The voluptuous diva became 'very tired, very weak' after the last breast surgery and may have died from interactions among the numerous medications she took to ease the pain, MSNBC's Rita Cosby reported.

Used containers of pills littered Smith's bedside table at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino & Hotel, where the 39-year-old pinup died Thursday, Cosby said."

Who Wants to Carry around a Pocket Full of These?

Presidential $1 Coin: "The United States is honoring our Nation’s presidents by issuing $1 circulating coins featuring their images in the order that they served, beginning with Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison in 2007. The United States Mint will mint and issue four Presidential $1 Coins per year, and each will have a reverse design featuring a striking rendition of the Statue of Liberty. These coins will feature larger, more dramatic artwork, as well as edge-incused inscriptions of the year of minting or issuance, 'E Pluribus Unum,' 'In God We Trust' and the mint mark. Although the size, weight and metal composition of the new Presidential $1 Coin will be identical to that of the Sacagawea Golden Dollar, there are several unique features that make this coin distinctive."

NYC's 100 Most Romantic Movies

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the link.

New York Daily News - Home - NYC's 100 most romantic movies: "February is a tough time to live in New York - unless it's around Valentine's Day, and then you start thinking about the great film romances set in the city.

The mushy movie montage everyone has in their heads includes personal favorites as well as classic images. But to compile the Daily News' 100 most romantic New York movies, we were looking for films that also felt like the city. These 100 capture a little of what it's like to live and love here."

Someone Asked Me if I was Going to Blog This


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Top 15 Trailer Remixes

TrailerSpy - Who Says You Can’t Judge a Movie By Its Trailer? » The Top 15 Trailer Remixes of All-Time

Recutting trailers is a time-honored YouTube tradition. With a little creative editing, you can completely alter the face of a movie, turning it into something totally different. We sifted through hundreds of Trailer Remixes, and compiled what we believe are the best of the best. Hope you enjoy…

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Anna Nicole Smith -- Will the Persecution Never End?

New York Daily News - Home - 'Only her Texas twang was real': "The Anna Nicole Smith who boasted a 42-26-38 figure at her most outrageous and became an object of lust and desire to legions of American men was not born - she was made.

The real Smith started out in podunk Texas as flat-chested, dark-haired, unlovely Vickie Lynn Hogan with an abusive father, a hapless mother - and zero prospects.

How Smith managed to defy both her circumstances and Mother Nature and transform herself from Texas trailer trash into an international sex symbol is the subject of a scathing unpublished biography by writer Stacy Brown with the late sexpot's half-sister, Donna Hogan.

It's appropriately entitled 'Train Wreck.'

'This is a Horatio Alger story with a dark side,' the manuscript quotes Hogan saying. 'Anna claims she has had no plastic surgery; we have the evidence that everything about her but her trademark Texas country twang is manufactured - breasts, lips, weight loss.'"

The fans still love her, however.

Monday on "It's a Mystery"

From Beth Foxwell: Monday's "It's a Mystery" will feature an interview with author Deborah Crombie, whose latest mystery featuring Scotland Yard superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Met inspector Gemma James is Water Like a Stone, where Kincaid's sister discovers the mummified corpse of an infant in a building she is renovating.

In addition, in honor of the Feb 9th birthday of author Anthony Hope, I'll be airing part 1 of a radio production of The Prisoner of Zenda starring Ronald Colman, and selections from _Chinatown_ and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in honor of the Feb 10th birthday of composer Jerry Goldsmith.

"It's a Mystery" is Webcast on Mondays at 11 AM ET on WEBR.

50 Men Who Really Understand Women

If you're a guy and you're reading this, your name isn't on the list. Neither is mine.

The 50 men who really understand women | Woman | The Observer: "The 50 men who really understand women

We asked a panel of female authors, politicians, and media and business powers to nominate the men they believed best understood women. Their choices were diverse, contradictory, surprising and controversial. And the winners are ... "