Saturday, October 18, 2008
But instead of using magic, researchers from Purdue University, Indiana are using 'nanotechnology' and 'metamaterials' along with Einstein’s theory of general relativity."
Tomlin, who has seen video footage of Jenny appearing in distress, visited the Dallas Zoo for the first time Friday to view the elephant in her habitat.
'It's heartbreaking,' Tomlin said. 'If you know anything about elephants ... you would just ache for her. We'd like her to go the sanctuary now.'"
Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the link.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Culture Ministry officials said Thursday that medieval pottery shards in the city of the dead, or necropolis, show the area may have been inhabited by the living during the Dark Ages after being used for centuries for burials during the Roman period.
It is not yet clear who was buried in the ancient cemetery, but archaeologists at the still partially excavated site believe at least some of the dead were freed slaves of Greek origin."
Buckypaper is 10 times lighter but potentially 500 times stronger than steel when sheets of it are stacked and pressed together to form a composite. Unlike conventional composite materials, though, it conducts electricity like copper or silicon and disperses heat like steel or brass.
'All those things are what a lot of people in nanotechnology have been working toward as sort of Holy Grails,' said Wade Adams, a scientist at Rice University."
The Michigan native had been in ill health since being diagnosed with cancer in 1995. A stroke and other health problems led him to stop touring in 2000."
I debated about even putting this one on the blog, but I figured I might as well.
Even after all those years, I still didn't know exactly how Quarry got started in his unusual profession. Now, thanks to Hard Case Crime, I do. Back from the war in Viet Nam, Quarry kills his wife's lover and soon finds himself hooked up with the Broker and working his first commission. He's hired to kill a college professor who's having an affair with one of his students (at the moment; he's had plenty of affairs before). Things don't go smoothly, but Quarry is a fine improviser, impressing both the reader and his client with his ability to handle unexpected complications, which include the professor's wife, a kidnapping, a private-eye, and maybe a couple I'm forgetting.
Collins can write short, nasty, and tough. Hard Case publishes short, nasty, and tough. A marriage made in heaven. I believe The First Quarry is the fourth time they've teamed up. I hope it's not the last.
Aquila artistic director Peter Meineck penned the stage adaptation of the novel. Performances will begin Nov. 14 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre Off-Broadway and will continue through Dec. 20. Opening night is Nov. 23.
Lavelle, who has appeared in The Graduate and Burleigh Grimes, will star as B-25 bombardier Yossarian, who is 'based on a small island off the coast of Italy in 1944,' according to press notes. 'He starts to question the futile and ridiculous administration of his air base and seeks a way to preserve his life when the whole world around him seems to be going mad. Like a modern-day Achilles, Yossarian protests with powerful and often hilarious results. Catch 22 tackles huge things with rich metaphors, boldly drawn characters and near-impossible situations. It is a work of great theatricality with superb language and a sense of dark surrealism. Heller dares to examine the very philosophy of war and what it does to the humans that fight them.'"
Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the tip.
My favorite essay in the collection will always be R. V. Cassill's "Fear, Purgation, and Sophoclean Light," a meditation on Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me. Wonderful stuff. But so are all the others. I don't have time to name them all, if you like tough-guy fiction and the hardboiled school, you have to read this book. Cain, Hammett, Chandler are discussed, of course, but so are plenty of others. McCoy, Gresham, the Black Mask boys, Hemingway, many more. Great stuff, and highly recommended. Plenty of copies available on abebooks. Buy one. Treat yourself.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Three Austin police officers expecting to help move a stalled car on South Mopac Boulevard (Loop 1) ended up helping a couple deliver a baby girl this morning.
Police received the call about a stalled vehicle just north of Windsor Road around 6:10 a.m. As motorcycle officers Stephen Hines, Deats Burbank and James Morgan tried to assist a stalled motorist, a male driver in a van pulled up and frantically waved the officers over, police said."
When Sgt. Dwayne Finley responded to a report of a possible explosion, he found a broken window and the office area in disarray, with items off the walls and desk, officials said."
Tony Award Winner Edie Adams Dies at 81: Theater News on TheaterMania.com: "Tony Award winner Edie Adams died in Los Angeles on October 15 from pneumonia, according to The New York Times. She was 81.
Adams appeared only twice on Broadway, originating the role of Eileen Sherwood in the musical Wonderful Town, for which she won a Theatre World Award, and playing Daisy Mae in the musical Li'l Abner, for which she won the Tony."
Daniela Rossi, a Rome archeologist, said the discovery of the monumental marble tomb of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, including a large inscription bearing his name, was 'an exceptional find'. She said it was 'the most important ancient Roman monument to come to light for twenty or thirty years'."
That's what Mencken wrote back in 1926. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess. The book is divided into four sections, and Mencken had his fun with all of society's sacred cows, from religion to law enforcement to government to stupidity in general. Though he was writing more than 80 years ago, what he says is as generally up-to-date as your latest blog post. I believe I wrote not long ago that I wished Mencken were around to write about the current political campaign. He'd have had a great time.
This new edition has a lengthy introduction and extensive notes. Check it out.
What to do, what to do? If he tried to sneak the knife through security and got caught, he'd lose the knife and probably be put through a cavity search and all kinds of indignities. The knife isn't giant-sized, but it's sharp, and it can do a lot more damage to someone than, say, a box cutter. My friend considered this. He didn't want to be sent to Gitmo and waterboarded.
But he really likes that knife, so he decided to go for it. He dumped his change in the little bowl, put his jacket, shoes, and laptop in the plastic tray and headed for the metal detector.
And waltzed right through. Nary a peep. He and his knife were together as they boarded the plane and as they got off at their destination. When he got to the hotel, he put the knife in his shaving kit, which would be in the big bag that was checked through on the return trip. He didn't want to take any chances.
Don't you feel safer now that a billion-dollar government agency is protecting you? My friend's not so sure he does.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
'You could make a movie out of this,' Capt. Paul Hosler of the Tehama County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday."
NBC won a bidding war for the story by Josh and Jonas Pate (“Moonlight,” “Surface”). The project is considered development, sources say, but there’s a penalty should NBC pass.
“Argonauts” is best known as the 1963 film that featured the stop-motion animation work of Ray Harryhausen. If produced, NBC is considering shooting the entire project on green screen, likely hoping for something that’s more “300”-cool, or at least environmentally convincing, rather than “Attack of the Clones”-cheesy."
But what escaped most viewers' notice were hints in both movies signaling the forthcoming appearance of another Marvel icon: Captain America. With 'Iron Man' out on DVD now, and 'The Incredible Hulk' hitting shelves next Tuesday, sharp-eyed fans can catch tiny glimpses of Cap if they know where to look."
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
In recent years, several studies have showed a link between pursuing activities that keep the mind engaged, such as crossword puzzles and memory games, and a lowered risk of cognitive decline later in life."
Officers now are prohibited from using the weapons against anyone “known to be under the influence of drugs,” and no more than one officer at a time should use a Taser against a person, according to the new policy.
The policy does not limit the number of times an officer can shock someone, although it requires that police stop using the weapon when someone is in custody."
'Mantyhose' are pantyhose for men, the latest in a string of men's fashion trends straight from the bizarre files. And everyone from truck drivers to cowboys are wearing them.
Self-confessed male hosiery-wearer Harisnya is so passionate about the issue he set up e-MANcipate, a website aiming to 'accelerate the acceptance of male pantyhose as a regular clothing item'.
Harisnya says the UK-based website is 'as serious as fashion can be'."
Scott intended to follow those films with 'The Forever War,' but rights complications delayed his plans for more than two decades."
Somewhere, I hope, he's still singing of Olaf, glad and big, more brave than me, more blonde than you.
Monday, October 13, 2008
The high-tech prosthesis, covered with lifelike “skin” and able to rotate at the wrist, replaces one that was covered with a golf glove and had to be rotated manually."
A laptop here, a cell phone there. Within months, he had snatched more than 100 items, authorities say."
ANTHONY AWARDS 2008
Best Novel: WHAT THE DEAD KNOW- Laura Lippman Morrow
Best First: IN THE WOODS- Tana French Viking Adult
Best Paperback Original: A THOUSAND BONES P.J. Parrish Pocket
Best Short Story: HARDLY KNEW HER Laura Lippman- from Dead Man’s Hand edited by Otto Penzler for Harcourt
Best Critical Work: ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE: A LIFE IN LETTERS by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower & Charles Foley Penguin
Special Services: Ruth and Jon Jordan
Best Web Site: Stop You’re Killing Me: Stan Ulrich and Lucinda Surber
Remember when I said this morning that there'd be no problem with checking that bag of books because we were flying Southwest? Okay, that was true. There was no problem checking the books. However, there was a problem with the books arriving in Houston. They didn't. They were in the Bouchercon bag. A very distinctive bag, right? But it's gone, flying around the country as it seeks a home. Maybe it'll make it to Alvin. Who knows? Southwest doesn't, that's for sure.
| Mail Online: "Owning a pet can reduce the chances of developing a form of cancer by nearly a third, researchers claim.
Animal lovers were much less likely to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system that affects around 9,000 Britons a year."
We just put a new book up on our Web site (www.HardCaseCrime.com): PASSPORT TO PERIL by Robert B. Parker. This is not the same Robert B. Parker as the current author who writes the best-selling Spenser detective novels -- this Robert B. Parker died in 1955 after a short but accomplished career as a journalist during World War II and (it later turned out) as an agent on behalf of the OSS, the predecessor to the CIA. PASSPORT TO PERIL is a terrific thriller set in the shadowy streets of war-torn Budapest, as an American traveling on a stolen passport hunts for the secret of his brother's death. The cover is by Greg Manchess and the opening chapter (which takes place on the Orient Express!) will keep you riveted. You can find both now at our site.
Meanwhile, our printer just delivered advance copies of our first two 2009 titles: KILLING CASTRO by Hard Case Crime favorite Lawrence Block and THE DEAD MAN'S BROTHER by the late science-fiction great Roger Zelazny. (You can find the cover art and a sample chapter for each of these on our Web site, too.) And you have a chance to get your hands on one of these advance copies, since we're giving away 10 of each to lucky readers drawn at random. To enter the drawing, just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org including your name, which of the two books you'd be more interested in receiving, and the address to which you'd like the book mailed if you're selected. All entries must be received by 5PM New York Time on October 25 (only one entry per person, please); we'll draw the names of the 20 winners that night and notify them within a day. Best of luck to all who enter.
Looking ahead, we have an exciting bit of news to share about another upcoming book: We recently learned of the existence of an unpublished novel by the great pulp writer Lester Dent (creator of classic pulp hero Doc Savage). It's called HONEY IN HIS MOUTH, it's a crime novel Dent originally wrote with the publisher Gold Medal in mind, it's one heck of a page-turner...and we'll be publishing it in 2009.
What's that? You want more? Well, no guarantees yet, but...I just got back from the annual "Bouchercon" mystery convention (where SONGS OF INNOCENCE won the Shamus Award, incidentally -- if you haven't read it yet, now you really have to!), and while we were standing on line for drinks atop the catacomb where Edgar Allan Poe is buried, Max Allan Collins and I fell to talking, and...let's just say we may not have seen the last of the hitman known as Quarry.
Which isn't the worst reason I can imagine to pick up our latest title, THE FIRST QUARRY, now available in a bookstore near you. And of course there are other reasons, too -- starting with the fact that you'll enjoy the heck out of it.
Finally, a reminder: We're just 6 weeks away from our big "50th anniversary" book, FIFTY-TO-ONE! Any fan of our books is going to want to get their hands on that one -- so if you haven't already asked your local bookseller to order or hold a copy for you, now's the time...
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Robert Martin Centennial: With the growing popularity of online, self-published and print-on-demand books, nearly anyone can become an author. Such was not the case in years past when publishing houses selected and produced books that would appeal to a wide segment of the general public.
Tiffin was home to Robert Lee Martin, a prolific writer of detective novels. Published by Dodd, Mead, some of the 22 books became national best sellers. Martin died in 1976, but his murder mysteries have retained their popularity among readers of that genre. Tiffin-Seneca Public Library is to honor the 100th birthday of Robert Lee Martin Oct. 16 with an open house, display and program.
An avid fan, Jim Felton of Tiffin, has done extensive research on Martin and has written a profile of the author for the Spring 2008 edition of the Columbian Alumni newsletter. Born in Chula, Va., Martin grew up in Tiffin with brothers Joseph and Marion and a sister, Shirley. Felton writes their father operated a grocery store on the north end of Tiffin. At Columbian High School, Robert played football, wrote for the Tiffinian and did cartoons and cover art for the student newspaper.
Dozens, maybe even hundreds, of visitors to the fair, many from out of town who had come to see the big Texas-OU showdown, had their vehicles towed after parking in what they thought were legitimate parking areas.
They told reporter Stella Chavez and I that they each paid $10 to park in various lots outside the fairgrounds. And then they had to pay $200 to a local towing company, Lone Star Auto Services, to get their cars back."
The month is dedicated to increase awareness of the amount of wasted water that results from a leaky toilet or other plumbing problems. A running toilet can waste nearly 200 gallons of water a day, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and causes homeowners' water bills to skyrocket."
The 'babies and mom are happy and healthy and resting at home,' according to a statement released Saturday."
When asked what he could bring to a character portrayed countless times on film and television, RDJ has joked: “Clearly I’m going to do it better than it’s ever been done. The more I read about it the more overwhelmed I was by the weight of it and the amount of people who will be watching to see if it’s gotten right.”"
News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News
| Texas and Neighbors | Travel | Dallas Morning News: "BEAUMONT, Texas – Hurricane Ike drove thousands away from the Gulf Coast last month, but the co-owner of Gator Country Adventure Park & Restaurant, west of Beaumont, was thinking of another threat.
'During these bad times, we don't get to hightail and run,' Gary Saurage says. He and his staff stayed behind, dealing with wind and rain, to keep the park's reptilian residents corralled.
Gator Country is home to Big Al, the largest alligator in captivity in Texas. He's 13 feet long and weighs 1,000 pounds. How did Big Al and his longtime partner, Allie, fare during the storm?"
Jeffrey Churchill was charged with assault in an altercation with a woman in a mall parking lot.
All three are now officers with the Atlanta Police Department.
More than one-third of recent Atlanta Police Academy graduates have been arrested or cited for a crime, according to a review of their job applications. The arrests ranged from minor offenses such as shoplifting to violent charges including assault. More than one-third of the officers had been rejected by other law enforcement agencies, and more than half of the recruits admitted using marijuana."