Saturday, November 03, 2007
The student, Riley Jackson Starr, is posting fliers on campus in hopes of recruiting at least five students to Club X, which would watch and discuss sexually oriented materials."
Dealer Thomas Riccio said he reported to the FBI on Aug. 21 that a collector claimed to have belongings taken from Simpson, and that Simpson wanted to videotape the confrontation with the person peddling thousands of pieces of his memorabilia.
Riccio told AP that he raised the subject while talking with the FBI about an unrelated subject: a video of Anna Nicole Smith. But he said agents dismissed his report, telling him 'they didn't want to be involved in another weird celebrity case.'"
The government routinely runs covert tests at airports to ensure that security measures in place are sufficient to stop a terrorist from bringing something dangerous onto an airplane. Alerting screeners when the undercover officer is coming through and what the person looks like would defeat the purpose.
But that's exactly what happened on April 28, 2006, according to an e-mail from a top TSA official who oversees security operations."
Friday, November 02, 2007
Orange Circuit Judge Marc Lubet ruled that the evidence taken from Lisa Nowak's vehicle be thrown out, as well as her jailhouse conversation with an Orlando police detective.
The judge said the actions of the Orlando police detective led to his decision."
And now I just finished reading a short story collection by Joe Hill, who's King's son. I don't plan to compare the two, except to say that Hill is a much smoother writer and more literary than pulpy, even at this stage of the game. He's clearly going in his own direction, and while some of the stories in 20th Century Ghosts can be classified as horror, most of them couldn't, even by stretching the definition.
One of the horror stories is the first one, "Best New Horror." You know exactly where it's headed before you get well into it, but it's that rare kind of story that's all the better for your foreknowledge.
The best pure horror story in the book, though, and the only one that reminds me of the famous father, is "You Will Hear the Locust Sing." It's a direct descendant of E. C. Comics, '50s monster movies, and Kafka. And it has maybe the best line in the book.
"Pop Art" reminded me of a movie I haven't even seen, Lars and the Real Girl. In Hill's story, a boy's best friend is an inflatable doll named Arthur Roth. Unlike the Real Girl, Arthur's fully sentient. He can't talk, but he can write and interact with others. I had no trouble at all accepting this, and the story worked just fine for me. You might feel differently.
"The Black Phone" is a crime story, about a boy who's caught and imprisoned by a serial killer. Great claustrophobic tension, worth your time.
If someone removed one of the nine stories from J. D. Salinger's Nine Stories and put "Better than Home" in its place, I'm not sure I'd notice. That's a compliment.
"Abraham's Boys" is about a famous vampire hunter and his sons, and I liked the way it played out.
The almost title story (no s on the end) is nicely evocative of old movie houses and may be the only real ghost story in the book.
Not all the stories worked for me. "Dead Wood" didn't even seem to be a story at all, and "The Widow's Breakfast" didn't have much of a point. "In the Rundown" seemed too obvious, and "Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead" was a little too soft. I didn't care much for "The Cape," about a boy who can fly, or "Last Breath" (again, too obvious). And while I liked I liked "My Father's Mask" quite a bit because it's unsettlingly weird, I still don't have a clue as to what was happening or what it was all about.
"Voluntary Committal" is the novella that closes the book, sort of, and it was a lot like a story from some '50s SF magazine, maybe F&SF, which might explain why I liked it.
I said that the novella "sort of" closed the book because Hill puts another short story into the Afterword. It's pretty good, too.
Billionaire Family Feuds - AOL Money & Finance: "Take a billionaire clan, add generational schisms, sibling rivalry, jealousy and greed and you end up with riveting family dramas to rival that of any prime-time television show. While Anna Nicole Smith's inheritance feud with her late husband's son was all over the news, these other blue-blood battles are just as salacious, if not as well-known."
'Goat sucker' actually a hairless coyote - CNN.com: "SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) -- The results are in: The ugly, big-eared animal found during the summer in southern Texas is not the mythical, bloodsucking chupacabra. It's just a plain old coyote. art.coyote.ap.jpg Phylis Canion holds the head of what researchers determined to be a hairless coyote.
Biologists at Texas State University announced Thursday night they had identified the hairless doglike creature.
KENS-TV of San Antonio provided a tissue sample from the animal for testing. 'The DNA sequence is a virtually identical match to DNA from the coyote,' biologist Mike Forstner said in a statement. 'This is probably the answer a lot of folks thought might be the outcome. I, myself, really thought it was a domestic dog, but the Cuero Chupacabra is a Texas Coyote.'
Phylis Canion and some of her neighbors discovered the 40-pound bodies of three of the animals over four days in July outside her ranch in Cuero, 90 miles southeast of San Antonio."
Officers in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, say they had 'no other option' after capturing the crocodile late in the evening."
Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the link.
US scientists engineer 'mighty mice': "US researchers have engineered a line of 'mighty mice' whose human equivalent would have similar abilities to the bicycling champion Lance Armstrong, according to research published Thursday.
The breed of mice can run six kilometers (four miles) at a speed of 20 meters (yards) per minute for up to six hours without stopping, according to Richard Hanson, a biochemistry professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio."
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Troops unite to save soldier knifed in head - Army News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Army Times: "It felt like a nasty sucker punch. Yet when he strained his eyes to the hard right, there was something that didn’t belong: the pewter-colored contour of a knife handle jutting from his skull.
Sgt. Dan Powers, stabbed in the head by an insurgent on the streets of East Baghdad, triggered a modern miracle of military medicine, logistics, technology and air power."
How the D.B. Cooper mystery got a Minnesota twist: "Thirty-six years after Cooper disappeared into the night, America is still fascinated by the case. There are scores of websites, books, movies and songs. The country's only unsolved hijacking has become an iconic back story for everyone who has dreamed of getting away with something or getting away from everything.
'In my case, the fascination is with an unsolved crime that's stuck in my memory for all these years,' said Bill Crider, an author who also has an online pop culture magazine. 'I'm a mystery writer, so I like solutions.'"
See you later, alligator? Occasionally, Westchester residents do: "MOUNT KISCO - The toothy reptile abandoned in Mount Kisco today marks the 10th confirmed alligator discovery in Westchester County in the last 100 years, according to news reports archived by The Journal News and The New York Times."
Timesonline: J.K. Rowling has completed her first book since she finished her blockbusting series of Harry Potter novels which have sold 400 million copies world-wide.
Fans hoping to lay their hands on the latest work are, however, doomed to disappointment as only seven copies will ever be printed, and only one of those has been put up for sale.
The book - a collection of five wizarding fairy stories entitled "The Tales of Beedle the Bard” - has been handwritten and illustrated by the author herself. To add to its rarity value, the seven copies have been bound in brown morocco leather and mounted with silver and semi-precious stones.
Spillane's style hasn't changed much except maybe to become a bit leaner. Strang calls women "doll" just like Mike Hammer did 60 years ago. (Strang also says that there was a cowboy actor named Buck Jones when he was a kid. Not unless he's even older than I am, there wasn't.) Maybe the violence has been toned down a little, too, and Strang, though known as "the Shooter," doesn't knock off as many hoods as Hammer did in the course of a book.
I've been reading Spillane for 50 years, and I've never been ashamed to admit it. There's been some discussion of his work on rara-avis lately, with a lot of people saying that Spillane's for adolescent minds and so on. Probably true, but I don't care. Entertainment Weekly reviewed Dead Street and gave it an A. I liked it, too, but I certainly wouldn't expect everyone to. In fact, I expect some people will read it and wonder what all the fuss was about. As I said, it's straight out of the '50s, and times and reading tastes have changed. Okay, mine haven't, but you know what I mean.
Spillane completed only the first 8 chapters of this novel before his death. Max Allan Collins wrote the final 3 chapters working from Spillane's notes, and it's a nearly seamless transition. I had fun with all of it. Check it out.
In secret trials last week, the Army said it had made a vehicle completely disappear and predicted that an invisible tank would be ready for service by 2012.
The new technology uses cameras and projectors to beam images of the surrounding landscape onto a tank."
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Hitler wrongheadedly tried to cure himself, Perrottet says, by reasoning a mostly vegetarian diet would make his farts less offensive.
A hypochondriac, Hitler swore off meat in 1931, saying his ham tasted like “a corpse” after his niece Geli Raubel killed herself.
From then on, Hitler ate vegetables, oblivious that his diet was making him smell worse. His physician, Dr. Theo Morell, wrote that after Hitler downed his vegetables, “constipation and colossal flatulence occurred on a scale I have seldom encountered.”"
Forty years ago, I walked into a little convenience store in Austin, Texas, and pulled the book on the left off the spinner rack. (Yes, that very one. I still have it.) I opened it up and read the first paragraph:
I was never particularly keen on my job before the day I got shot and nearly lost it, along with my life. But the .38 slug of lead which made a pepper shaker out of my intestines left me with fire in my belly in more ways than one. Otherwise I should never have met Zanna Martin, and would still be held fast in the spider threads of departed joys, of no use to anyone, least of all myself.
Naturally I bought the book, then the ones preceding it, and I've read each novel since. I don't care who wrote the books. I've enjoyed every single one of them, and I plan to keep right on reading them for a while.
FOXNews.com - Elvis Presley Reclaims No. 1 Spot on Forbes' List of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment: "Elvis Presley is still the King.
Presley, who earned an estimated $49 million in the past 12 months, has reclaimed the No. 1 spot on Forbes.com's list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. He last topped the list in 2005.
John Lennon ranks second with earnings of $44 million, followed by Charles M. Schulz ($35 million), George Harrison ($22 million), Albert Einstein ($18 million), Andy Warhol ($15 million), Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) ($13 million), Tupac Shakur ($9 million), Marilyn Monroe ($7 million), Steve McQueen ($6 million), James Brown ($5 million), Bob Marley ($4 million) and James Dean ($3.5 million).
Presley died in 1977. His estate continues to generate millions from music royalties, DVDs, licensing deals and tourism at Graceland, the rocker's mansion in Memphis, Tenn.
Forbes said the celebrities on the list, posted Monday, earned a combined $232 million in the past 12 months."
Welcome to the Elvis Information Network: "CA: You know Memphis is an Elvis town and you factor into a local legend.
GOULET: When he shot the television set? He also shot 50 other people. They told me that he had about a hundred sets in the basement. And he'd shoot the damn thing out - you know he was on pills and he didn't know quite what he was doing and he'd BANG! and they'd look at each other and say, 'Get another set!' They mention me all the time. I don't know why. I remember once we sat together backstage for two hours. And he was a charming, delightful, delightful man. And at one point I said, 'That's a beautiful ring you have there.' He said 'You like it?' I said, 'It's beautiful!'
He took it off his hand and put it on mine. He gave me his ring. And years later all the jewelry I had in my house - I trust everybody. I was brought up to believe that you cannot steal, cheat or lie and I've been stolen from, cheated or lied to all of my life. And so jewelry - who needs it? But this one was something special to me and it's gone."
Bloomberg.com: Muse: "Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Goulet, the singer whose rich baritone voice and classic tall, dark, dashing good looks made him a star on stage and television, has died. He was 73.
Goulet suffered from a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive and fatal condition. He was being treated at Cedars- Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and was awaiting a lung transplant when he died yesterday, the Associated Press reported."
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Embalmed heads found in I-30 truck | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | News: Local News: "On the face of it, the truck full of human heads could have been a Halloween prank or the makings of a scary movie.
'This is in the top five of the strangest things – maybe the strangest – that I've ever encountered,' Hunt County Justice of the Peace Aaron Williams said Monday.
Judge Williams was called to the scene when a regular traffic stop Sunday morning by Royse City police turned into a grisly discovery of severed heads in the back of a tractor-trailer.
Police said the truck driver was pulled over for speeding about 2:30 a.m. on Interstate 30 at the Hunt County line. Because he was acting suspiciously, officers looked in the back and saw about two dozen embalmed human heads staring back at them from plastic bags and containers."
TechEBlog � Feature: World's Largest Shotgun (with Video Demonstration): "The world's largest shotgun aka Punt Gun measures 10-feet long and has a 2-inch barrel. Due to its size and recoil, this gun has to be mounted directly on the punts. Just a single blast could wipe out 50-100 ducks resting on the water's surface."
And what is up with Mr. Fantastic's hair? I couldn't tell from one scene to the next where the gray was going to be. Sometimes it just went away altogether.
There were a few funny lines, some of the action was okay, but a lot of the special effects were right out of the cheese factory. I can't really recommend this one, but it has one thing going for it: It's short, only about 90 minutes long. There's something to be said for that.
Monday, October 29, 2007
It says so in a 668-page report.
The project took 18 months and included the commission's small team canvassing more than 170 agencies, and public colleges and universities, checking on all the reports they are assigned to do."
iWon News - Holy Cow! 103 Hamburgers in 8 Minutes: " CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A competitive eater who has already triumphed at a famous hot dog eating contest swallowed 103 small hamburgers in 8 minutes Sunday to take home $10,000.
Joey Chestnut, 23, of San Jose, Calif., surpassed the previous record of 97 Krystal burgers - 2 1/2 inches square - held by Japan's Takeru Kobayashi, set at last year's Krystal Square Off.
'We never thought we'd see someone anywhere near, let alone past, the century mark when we started the Krystal Square Off in 2004,' said Brad Wahl, vice president of marketing for The Krystal Co.
Chestnut beat 12 other contestants. Kobayashi, who won all previous Krystal Hamburger Eating Championships, didn't compete this year because of lingering jaw pain from having a wisdom tooth extracted in June."
He was best known, perhaps, for his flashy, custom-made stage suits that cost thousands of dollars. He sometimes joked that the suits forced him to stay thin, saying he couldn't afford to replace them.
In 1960, he launched TV's syndicated Porter Wagoner Show, on a budget of less than $1,000 an episode. It predated Hee Haw and CMT. At its peak, it aired in more than 100 markets, making it the most important country-music TV property of its time.
Wagoner introduced a young Dolly Parton in 1967. They recorded many duets together, including The Last Thing on My Mind and Just Someone I Used to Know. Wagoner produced some of Parton's early solo hits (1975's The Seeker). The partnership ended acrimoniously in 1974, but Parton wrote I Will Always Love You for him as she left.
More than anything, Wagoner loved a song that told a story. He favored sentimental recitations and macabre tales of murder and insanity, like the cult favorite The Rubber Room. Between 1954 and 1980, he had 20 top 10 country hits, including Green, Green Grass of Home, The Carroll County Accident and The Cold Hard Facts of Life. He won Grammys for three gospel albums with the Blackwood Brothers. In 2002, he became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
And speaking of the end, I really liked it that there's no long, drawn-out climactic scene eating up fifty or sixty pages. When Faust does get to the end, he ends it.
I had a thoroughly good time with this one, not that that means anything.
On one side of the small card his name appears in English, and on the back is a series of Chinese characters - an important tool for the newly appointed special envoy for the U.S. Department of State."
What will you get for your money? I can't say too much about the plot without giving away the good stuff, so I'll just say the story hits the ground running and never lets up. You got your government assassins with nicknames line Bonesaw, The Surgeon, and Ana Esthesia. You got a body count that's somewhere past 75. You got your explosions. And you got Terrill Lee Lankford's apartment, which has now starred in at least two movies and this novella. Can anyone else's apartment say the same?
I guess the lucky people are the ones who haven't read The Blonde yet. They get two great stories for the price of one.