WESLEY CHAPEL - An alligator that got itself caught between two houses in the Meadow Pointe community Thursday evening had been trapped, killed and ready to be made into “alligator nuggets” by this morning, a local trapper said.
Mickey Fagan of M and D Gator Products of Dade City said he caught the gator - which tried to climb the side of a house in the Morningside neighborhood at about 7:30 p.m.
A series of photos can be found here.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
That may surprise today's moviegoers. Was Wayne really more popular than Chaplin? Or Humphrey Bogart? Or Bette Davis? Or Marilyn Monroe? Think of the great male stars of his generation and other names come to mind more readily: Clark Gable, Cary Grant, James Stewart. And yet it's Wayne who racked up the numbers: Between 1949 and 1974, Wayne made the top 10 list of box office stars 25 times. He topped that list four times.
The significance of that can't be overstated. Think of what America was like in 1949. Then think of what it was like in 1974. Think of the changes in music, styles and social mores. Think also of the changes in movies, from 'On the Town' to 'Chinatown.' And then think how, across that span, Wayne remained one of the top 10 people that other people wanted to see. That's longevity of epic proportions."
The 7-foot gator is expected to undergo a physical examination next week to make sure it is healthy, and to definitively determine the beast's gender, according to the zoo's reptile expert, Ian Recchio.
Zoo officials are also expected to decide in the coming weeks whether Reggie will be sent elsewhere or remain in Los Angeles with the zoo's six other American alligators and two Chinese gators.
'This whole situation is still so fresh and we're still trying to catch our breath,' Recchio said. 'We're just concerned about getting him comfortable right now and just dealing with the media attention.'"
Criminal Brief: The Mystery Short Story Web Log Project: "For Laura Lippman, a current best-selling novelist who’s also been known to write as many as six short-stories in a single year, the many original-anthology volumes being done by such publishers as Akashic are a great place to discover not only “terrific new voices” but also to find out “new things about writers that you thought you knew.” As a for-instance of the latter, she cites author Bill Crider: “He’s been on the scene for a long time; and … I think people would say, ‘Oh, Bill Crider, he’s this nice man from Texas, and he writes these very – nice books’; but if you read Bill’s story – I think it’s ‘Crank,’ in Damn Near Dead [Busted Flush Press, 2006] – you’d be surprised!”"
Reuters AlertNet - UN meeting wiped after U.S. reads wrong statement: "UNITED NATIONS, May 25 (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad had to reconvene the U.N. Security Council and rerun a meeting on Friday after reading the wrong statement on Sudan, effectively wiping an entire council session out of history.
At the first session, Khalilzad, current president of the council, read out a hard-hitting statement denouncing aerial bombardment in the troubled Darfur region in a clear critique of the Sudanese government.
When the session ended, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was the first to point out that the statement was not the one that the council's 15 members had agreed, participants said.
After about 10 minutes, officials managed to corral diplomats wandering off for the weekend back into the council chamber. Khalilzad opened a new meeting under the same serial number at which he read out a more anodyne statement that just urged all parties in Darfur, rebels included, to end violence."
Buried treasure: 12 pirate flicks to dig up - MOVIE OPINIONS - MSNBC.com: "In the early days of moviemaking through (roughly) the 1950s, pirate movies were reliably common — not as ubiquitous as the western, but the scurvy sea dogs held their own. Even after the genre fell out of favor, directors repeatedly tried to hoist the skull-and-crossbones flag again, but the results were usually leaky vessels and even disastrous shipwrecks like “Cutthroat Island” and “Treasure Planet.”
That’s one reason why few people expected “Pirates of the Caribbean” to be a hit, let alone the record-breaking smash that it is. But one reason that the trilogy has been successful is the way it embraces the best trappings of the genre while jettisoning the worst. The creators of the series clearly know their pirate-movie history, and it’s worth taking the time to check out some of the films that inspired them. So let’s set a course for adventure: Here are 12 pirate films worth their sea salt."
On his 100th birthday, 100 reasons to love John Wayne | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle: "WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — John Wayne was born May 26, 1907, in Winterset, Iowa, 100 years ago. Alone among his generation of movie stars, he remains an apparently permanent image of American masculinity.
You can accept his representation of manhood or you can reject it, but you can't ignore it.
Like Elvis Presley, he was a pure product of America, unthinkable in any other culture. Unlike Elvis, he never went crazy, never lost his faith in his essential rightness — in several senses of the word — never really tried to adapt to changing times. Blessedly, he never hid behind irony.
He was John Wayne, and here are 100 reasons to cherish his memory, some of them from his movies, some of them drawn from Wayne in conversation."
There was a young laddie from York
Who ate all his meals with a spork.
He then tried a spife
But soon lost his life --
Cut his throat while eating, the dork.
Thank you. Thank you very much, ladies and germs. You're a wonderful audience. I'll be here all week.
Nobody Wants To Marry Jodie Marsh - Entertainment News, Reviews, Competitions - Entertainmentwise: "When Jodie Marsh announced details of a new reality TV show, 'Who Will Marry Jodie Marsh?', no doubt she expected the men of the country to quiver in anticipation.
But it turns out that even they're not that desperate.
Today's Mirror reports that at the first auditions for the reality show just TWO people turned up, 'and one of those was horribly drunk'.
Does nobody want to marry the glamour model?"
Friday, May 25, 2007
Sometimes these bugs (please know that we're using the term as a catch-all) are just props. Other times, they carry allegorical and metaphorical baggage, as Bug — a chilling post-terrorism tale — does.
Here are 10 essential bug movies (some fun, some creepy) and some explanations (some fun, some creepy) about what great unspoken thing they might represent."
FW students protest TAKS decision | Latest News | WFAA.com: "FORT WORTH — Students who had been planning to walk across the stage at graduation ceremonies this weekend were instead walking a picket line Thursday morning.
The Trimble Tech High School seniors marched in front of Fort Worth Independent School District headquarters to protest Wednesday's decision by trustees to bar students who failed the TAKS test from commencement exercises.
About a dozen young people, carrying signs and chanting, began picketing at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. They represent the 613 Fort Worth seniors who did not pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills exam."
The Australian native bird was first spotted in the German town of Grenzach-Wyhlen near the Swiss border.
Police tried to capture the emu, but it dashed away, prompting an international operation involving both German and Swiss police.
The police gave chase in parol cars for hours but were no match for the agile fugitive, which darted down narrow alleyways and made tight turns.
Vets and staff from local zoos were called in to help, before the German police called upon their Swiss counterparts.
The emu was clocked at speeds up to 50 km/h, with police resorting to roadblocks, while the vets were unsuccessful in their attempts to sedate the bird with tranquiliser darts."
As the reptile attempted to climb the stucco wall of a house, near several electrical boxes, a woman across the street said, 'Oh my God.'
Pasco County sheriff's Deputy Todd Koenig said his agency was called to a house on Morning Mist Drive about 6:15 p.m.
Rick Skinner, onto whose property the gator crept, said it was the second one he had seen in his yard in five years. Homes on the street were built between at least two ponds.
'The other one was about a 5-footer,' Skinner said. 'It was in the middle of the night. We just left it alone, and it took care of itself.
'I would be of the mind to leave this one alone, too. If they trap it, they'll kill it, and what's the point of that? It's not hurting anybody.'"
Thursday, May 24, 2007
To celebrate the movie's 30th anniversary here are 30 facts and figures related to the film which influenced a new generation of film-makers."
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Police Raid Lingerie Shop: "LUBBOCK, TX -- An obscure law sends one local lingerie store clerk to jail. And now she may forever have to register as a sex offender.
The lingerie store, Somethin’ Sexy was raided by police last week for violating Lubbock`s sexually oriented business ordinance.
'I feel like I`m in 1690 Salem, Massachusetts and we`re looking for a witch to burn' says the store’s owner.
The witch: the owner of Somethin’ Sexy. He`s speaking out about the raid of his shop and the arrest of his employee. Now, if convicted, the clerk will have to register as a sex offender.
'I think it`s ridiculous. She`s not a sex offender, she was selling something that I had instructed them it was ok to sell, I think it`s ridiculous' he says.
Earlier this month, four officers raided the shop, confiscating several toys deemed to be illegal by the Texas penal code. The code states 'a person who possesses six or more obscene devices is presumed to possess them with intent to promote the same.' In other words, intent to sell."
The Blotter: "Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program.
That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, including an hour-long tirade on the importance of anti-Jewish violence, among other questionable pieces.
Facing tough questions before a congressional panel last week, Broadcasting Board of Governors member Joaquin Blaya admitted none of the senior news managers at the network spoke Arabic when the terrorist messages made it onto the air courtesy of U.S. taxpayer funds. Nor did Blaya himself or any of the other officials at the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the network.
'How does it happen that the terrorists take over?' asked Rep. Gary L. Ackerman, D-N.Y., at a hearing last Wednesday of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee he chairs. 'Is there no adult supervision?'
Blaya conceded that the top officials in the network's chain of command could not understand what was being said on al Hurra broadcasts."
Fla. Man Accused Of Keeping Baby Gator In Toilet - Local News Story - WKMG Orlando: "ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- A Clay County man was arrested Monday on a misdemeanor charge after sheriff's deputies acting on a Crimestoppers tip said they found a baby alligator in the toilet tank of his apartment, according to WJXT-TV.
Officials said Michael Dyer, 22, of Orange Park, gave permission to search his apartment on Arora Boulevard. Inside detectives said the also discovered a dog, a rat, a tarantula and an 8-foot python snake.
Hearing the toilet running, Clay County Animal Crime Detective Annie Henderson said she looked inside the tank and found the baby gator.
'When you see the aquarium on the table and he tells you it has been two weeks since he got rid of the gator, and it's fresh clean water, and you keep hearing the toilet running -- it stops, it runs and stops and runs. I'm thinking in my mind, 'Where would be the best place to hid an alligators that has water?' Of course, the toilet tank,' said Henderson."
My contribution is in this batch of answers.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The story centers on female mercenary who roams across the universe in a distant future, undertaking missions that require her physical fearlessness, ingenuity and sensuality. Barbarella made her debut in 1962 in a French graphic magazine written and illustrated by Jean-Claude Forest."
What was the first graphic novel? I don't have a clue. Here's one from 1950. It's a Gold Medal Book, written by Joseph Millard. There's no credit for the art. Maybe he did that, too.
I'm not sure what prompted GM to publish this. Maybe no one was sure who the audience for paperback originals was, and someone had the idea that maybe comic book readers would find the new format appealing. Anyway, what we have here is a full-color comic book with about the same number of pages as a Gold Medal novel.
Maxwell Haimes, a famous artist, happens to see Beth, who's a double for the wife he's recently murdered. Since no one knows the murder's taken place, Haimes believes that if Beth has an "accident," he can cover up the murder. So he kidnaps her and takes her to the Mansion of Evil. After that it's a race against time for Beth's fiance and the cops. Can they save her? Sure.
Along the way we're treated to a portrait of Laura (the dead wife), which of course shows the dead woman's startling resemblance to Beth. (Where do these writers get their ideas?) We see the secret room in the basement where Laura is buried. We get car wrecks and near escapes. It's not V for Vedetta, that's for sure, but it's kind of fun it its dated way. I even like the art.
After looking this one up on abebooks.com, I can't recommend that you check it out. Way too pricey.
Monday, May 21, 2007
men.msn.com: You've seen the "hottest girls on the planet" type lists before. The problem is that those lists are less about the women, and more about who has the best publicists and plastic surgeons. We're not doing that here. We understand that most women (and men) generally don't come into their own until they're at least in their 30s. And besides, there's a whole lot more that goes into being "sexy" than starving yourself or being drunk on YouTube.
Yes, raw physical beauty is taken into account here, but one must consider the whole package. As we get older, the definition evolves the same way we do. How she carries herself, her attitude, and how she conducts her life are every bit as important as how she looks. A woman with no redeeming social value might be "hot" (*cough* Paris Hilton), but she'll never be truly sexy. (For more on the topic, check out a great article on "The New Definition of Sexy.")
This list isn't perfect. It's populated primarily by actresses and other highly visible women, therefore ignoring a wealth of lesser-known, but equally sexy candidates. So we invite you to make your own suggestions on this message board, where you can also comment on (or ridicule) our choices.
Court TV's Informer: You've Got to Moove It, Moove It!: "Alvin, Texas: You know those pick-your-own strawberry and pumpkin patches? Well in this Court TV RED video, you'll see how a robbery suspect's attempted getaway almost turned a cattle ranch into a make-your-own burger joint.
Watch this amazing pick-up plowing through the pasture vid right now, right here. Ya know, when cows put the hoof to the metal they are surprisingly speedy. Is this how they make lean beef?"
Vicki sez: In an attempt to get extra publicity and favor from agents and editors, I'm trying to do a "best seller" day on amazon.com. I'm asking anyone who would like to buy my new novel, Cruel Poetry, from them to please do it on May 25, this coming Friday. I'm told that if even 20 people buy on that day, that it can push the numbers up to make me a “best seller” and get my book recommended more for special offers. Who really knows? Anyway, I'm giving it a try since it's been 5 years since my last book, and I would really like to see if I can get noticed this time, in hopes of being able to sell another book in the future. I also have the reprint of my first novel, Miami Purity, with a foreword by Ken Bruen and an afterword by Megan Abbott, available now at amazon.com. The two books together won’t get you super-saver shipping, because they only total $21, but what a bargain, eh?
Books - Writing and Writers - Christopher Buckley - Stephen King - Norman Mailer - Ann Patchett - Neal Pollack - New York Times
Books - Writing and Writers - Christopher Buckley - Stephen King - Norman Mailer - Ann Patchett - Neal Pollack - New York Times: "FOR all those who believe that “Moby Dick” would be great except for the parts about the whale, the British publisher Orion Books will publish this month a set of pared-down classics, cutting about 40 percent of what it calls “padding” from works like “Anna Karenina,” “David Copperfield” and yes, “Moby Dick.”
It’s a well-trodden path, from Reader’s Digest to CliffsNotes to “Shrink Lit,” and has sparked the inevitable tsk-tsk-ing in literary circles.
But surely, there are some books that could use some trimming. We asked seven authors, all of whom know a thing or two about the judicious use of words, what books they would put on the chopping block."
MANADO, Indonesia (Reuters) - An Indonesian fisherman has caught a coelacanth, an ancient fish once thought to have become extinct at the time of the dinosaurs, a fishery expert said on Monday.
Yustinus Lahama and his son caught the fish on Saturday in the sea off North Sulawesi province and kept it at their house for an hour, said Grevo Gerung, a professor at the fisheries faculty at the Sam Ratulangi University.
After being told by neighbours it was a rare fish he took it back to the sea and kept it in a quarantine pool for about 17 hours before it died.
"If kept outside their habitat (60 metres or 200 ft below the sea), the fish can only live for two hours. But this fish lived for about 17 hours," Gerung told Reuters.
"We will look into why it had lived that long," he said.
The fish was 131 centimetres (about four feet) long and weighed 51 kg (112 lb), Gerung said.
In 1998, fishermen a caught another coelacanth in a deep-water shark net off northern Sulawesi.
That catch came 60 years after a member of the species was rediscovered on the east coast of South Africa.
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Submissions Guidelines for Astonishing Adventures Magazine
We at AAM love the old pulps like the Shadow, the Spider, the Operator, Doc Savage, and any of the hundreds of other characters you could name. This was the main reason we started Astonishing in the first place, but we have other reasons in mind also.
We want to see what the thriving pulp community out there has to say and what they have to show us.AAM is looking for new fiction based on original pulp-styled characters. The word count can be anything under 3500, but we are open to review anything with a higher word count. Query us first before sending material.
AAM is also looking for articles, columns, and artwork related to the pulp world - just ask!
The bad news is that we aren't paying one red cent at this time. Sorry kids, we’re a small magazine with big hopes, but little pocketbooks beyond the expenses of the magazine.
The magazine will be a quarterly affair at this point with a web only distribution (in PDF form). The experimental part is that we will not be charging for the magazine.
Insane you say? Mad?
Well, we’re looking to generate income for the writers thanks to advertising eventually.
Please give us a try and we look forward to reading your ASTONISHING ADVENTURES!
PS: Send stories with monkeys! I love monkeys – evil monkeys are the best. Evil monkeys with Human brains are the E-ticket.
Editor-In-Chief (don't call me chief)
Astonishing Adventures Magazine
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Sunday, May 20, 2007
Penguins, it seems, can sing, and they all have to find their "heart song." Mumbles can't find his because he can't sing. He can only dance, which is un-penguin behavior. Eventually he gets blamed for the fish shortage and even gets banished from the penguin colony. He sets out to find the real reason for the food shortage, and does. There's a green message and a happy ending that it would be nice to believe could really happen.
The movie pokes fun at those who believe being different is wrong and at organized religion (this should have caused some trouble, but I don't know if it did; maybe I'm wrong about the fun-poking). It was a little too long, but it's great to look at even in the slow stretches. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman sing. Brittany Murphy sings, too. Maybe you won't consider that a plus, but I thought she did fine. And anytime you have penguins singing Beach Boys songs, you have a winner. Check it out.
The best book of the last 25 years was voted for by the public from a list of 100 nominations chosen by Waterstone's booksellers. The winner, announced on 16 May 2007, was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
See the complete list here.
Delighted to be able to kick off the May newsletter with some excellent news. My debut novel, Two-Way Split, has been long-listed for one of the most prestigious crime-writing awards in the UK, the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel Of The Year, the only award of its kind where the general public gets to vote for the winner.
Here’s the long-list:
Dead Place - Stephen Booth
All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses and Eye - Christopher Brookmyre
Death of a Chancellor - David Dickinson
Never Go Back - Robert Goddard
Little Face - Sophie Hannah
Ash & Bone - John Harvey
The Stranger House - Reginald Hill
The Pure in Heart - Susan Hill
Blood and Honey - Graham Hurley
The Lighthouse - PD James
The Death Ship of Dartmouth - Michael Jecks
Cold Granite - Stuart MacBride
The Train Excursion - Edward Marston
Ratcatcher - James McGee
After the Armistice Ball - Catriona McPherson
Dance With Death - Barbara Nadel
Jacquot and the Angel - Martin O'Brien
End in Tears - Ruth Rendell
Mr Clarinet - Nick Stone
Two-Way Split - Allan Guthrie
Votes can be cast at any Waterstone’s branch in Britain or online by clicking here (fortunately, the voting is much more straightforward than the recent Scottish elections).
So please vote. No pressure, but if Two-Way Split doesn’t make the shortlist, THE PUPPY DIES!
iWon News - Fats Domino Returns to New Orleans Stage
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Fats Domino took the stage before a sold-out crowd of hundreds in a New Orleans nightclub Saturday, marking the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's first public performance since Hurricane Katrina.
Dressed in a snappy white jacket, the 79-year-old New Orleans icon was crisp and energetic as he sang and played the piano. The crowd jumped and screamed when he belted out "Blueberry Hill." Domino was accompanied by his longtime friend and musical partner saxophonist Herbert Hardesty. The pair have been playing together since the mid-1940s.
Fans who for years longed to see Domino perform such hits as "Blueberry Hill,""Blue Monday,""Ain't That a Shame" and "Walkin' to New Orleans" finally got their wish.
Domino, whose real name is Antoine, lost his home, his pianos, his gold and platinum records, and much of the city he loves during Katrina. He was rescued by boat from his flooded 9th Ward home after the storm struck on Aug. 29, 2005.
Domino last performed in public on Memorial Day 2005 at a casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, said Haydee Ellis, a close friend of Domino.
The Tipitina's Foundation, which put on Saturday night's show, is working with such artists as Elton John, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, B.B. King and others to record a tribute album of Domino's songs.
Proceeds will benefit the foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing the city's public schools with musical instruments and helping artists recover from the hurricane. Roughly 25 percent of the proceeds will go toward the restoration of Domino's home, said Bill Taylor, the foundation's executive director.
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