Saturday, July 25, 2009
All winners and nominees at the link.
Here's a poem from Palin:
Mayors of small towns—
They're on the front lines.
And here's one from Rumsfeld:
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
She claims the 'Paris Hilton' we all see in front of the cameras is just a character she's invented.
'In a way it's good, but I also don't want people thinking of me as this blond heiress…airhead,' she says in Paris, Not France, a new documentary about her life, premiering Tuesday on MTV. 'But that is kind of my brand. I make a lot of money by doing that.'"
'The potential for horror is enormous. If a criminal can easily find out where you are, what stores you frequent, what your daily habits are, who your friends are, and even what your personal food, entertainment, and beverage preferences are, you can be targeted with a level of ease never before possible,' said David Gewirtz, editor of Zatz Publishing, a producer of special interest online magazines.
'I worry that there is a deep and dangerous dark side to social networks. I worry about the potential victims,' he said."
Friday, July 24, 2009
A man has climbed up a BBC building using a pair of vacuum gloves he built himself, in a stunt for a new BBC One science show.
Inventor Jem Stansfield, the presenter of Bang Goes The Theory, used an everyday vacuum cleaner to construct the kit.
He scaled the 40m (120ft) high BBC White City building in west London, watched by hundreds of people."
Video at the link.
Link via Neatorama.
The group says it hopes the Wienermobile's recent visit to Hawaii will be its last."
And guess what? I'm looking for...
CRIME FICTION SUBMISSIONS
I'm looking for award-winning, unique, pulse-pounding, face-grabbing, ubercool crime fiction. Similar to Crooked, I want something with a kick or a crunch. I'm not looking for anything dark, poetic or disgusting. The guidelines are as follows..."
A study has found one in three men aged between 20 and 40 is still living with their parents. This compares with one in five women of the same age.
It also emerged that one in four men who have flown the nest has kept a fully-furnished bedroom at their parents' home, just in case."
Troopers from the Paw Paw Post in Van Buren County found a car parked on the lawn of the post at about 2:15am Thursday morning. In the car, they found Todd Olin, 40, of Comstock Park, heavily intoxicated and sick.
Police say Olin could not remember where he was coming from, but said he was heading home and thought he was close."
Charlie's last name is really Pellecchia, but he's fond of opera. He's retired from his window-washing business, and he and his wife are in Las Vegas on a trip that Charlie hopes will help them work out their problems. Instead, and in short order, his wife leaves him and he's mugged. Things only get worse from there, as he's pursued by Mafia hitmen, Asian gang hitmen, and the cops. That's not all. Charlie's falling for a woman, the woman's roomie is being chased down by her abusive ex-husband, the feds are working on a big drug bust, the Las Vegas cops are trying to keep the lid on all the violence, and more. A lot more.
There's so much going on in the book, in fact, that I was reminded of that guy on the old Ed Sullivan show, the one who spun all those plates and balanced them on poles. Stella's dealing with a lot of plates here, but he keeps them all spinning until he's ready to take them down, which he does, depositing them all in a neat stack at the end. It's an amazing trick, and it's fun to see it all worked out.
Stella writes about crime, criminals, cops, feds, ordinary guys, and opera with authority and never hits a false note. And it's funny, too. If you've missed his books, you're missing a good time.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.
In Mexico's cutthroat drug underworld, 'Barbie' shares the stage with such fearsome characters as 'Bunny Commander' and 'Smurf,' ''Taliban' and 'Monkey.'
Mexican drug traffickers' nicknames run from flashy and threatening to surreal and downright goofy. Some reflect a thug's rank in his cartel, others simply a school yard taunt that stuck. Still others denote a reputation, such as the cartel leader known as 'El Mas Loco' -- 'the Craziest One.'"
He said, 'The things [my readers] remembered, that haunted them, were not for example that a man got killed, but that in the moment of his death he was trying to pick a paper clip up off the polished surface of a desk, and it kept slipping away from him, so that there was a look of strain on his face and his mouth was half open in a kind of tormented grin, and the last thing in the world he thought about was death.'"
| Mail Online: "Ever wondered what your dog is saying when he barks?
A Japanese toy company has invented a device it claims will be able to detect your pooch's emotion from its bark and then translate this into human words.
Called Bowlingual Voice, the talking gadget can detect six senses: sadness, joy, alertness to danger, neediness, happiness and frustration.
It also has a recorded repertoire of spoken phrases such as 'play with me', 'leave me alone,' and 'I feel sad'."
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Some specialty publishers have built businesses around e-books, but OR would be the first general-interest press to try the model. The partners are betting that the new-media opportunities that all book people are rushing to exploit will let a startup thrive even in a dismal retail environment."
Link via boinboing.
In fact, these utterly realistic images are printed on plastic sheets which are stuck on garage doors - the latest craze for home owners who want to not so much keep up with, as totally freak out, the Joneses."
This year, after a four year break, VH1 is bringing back Divas Live with some unusual picks.
They have revealed Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus, Leona Lewis, and Adele as their top Diva picks for 2009."
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
At that rate, Mike Graczyk has spent about 40 hours of his life watching men -- and a few women -- die.
Graczyk, a correspondent for The Associated Press, is believed to hold a macabre record. He's almost certainly watched more executions than anyone else in the United States."
I recommend that you click the link and read the entire article. It's worth the time.
I thought it would be a long time before I ran across another literary allusion that tickled me as much as John Green's reference to Fireball Roberts in An Abundance of Katherines, but I did get a big smile out of this introduction to a section of I Love You, Beth Cooper on page 167: "A screaming came across the room."
Here's the set-up. High school valedictorian and uber-nerd Denis Cooverman decides that he'll regret it forever if he doesn't declare his love for Beth Cooper in his graduation speech. Until that moment Beth was hardly aware of his existence. Denis' declaration leads to a long night of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Also movie quotes and incredible mayhem, most of it visited on Denis by Beth's homicidal boyfriend. All of it's pretty cartoonish, no surprise, I suppose since Larry Doyle's worked on The Simpsons and other stuff. It's also downright laugh-out-loud hilarious, with plenty of wonderful lines. It would make a great movie.
Okay, I didn't even know it was already a movie until I'd read the book, but now I know, and it's already in the local theaters, getting creamed by some movie about a boy wizard and another one with lots of explosions. Who cares? Read the book instead. It's great.
Monday, July 20, 2009
After a string of thefts at the store, the owners decided to put up security cameras in hopes of catching the bandits in action. However, their curiosity turned to shock when they said they saw what appeared to be a small monkey scooping up plants, flowers and accessories and handing it to someone waiting on the other side of a fence.
The owners of Plants & Planters called Richardson police, who agreed it was a monkey in the video."
'She was delicious,' he told AFP from his room at a Muslim mental rehabilitation centre in rural Central Java. 'I love meat... all types of meat as long as it's cooked. But I don't eat people anymore. Now I eat spinach,' he added."
Roberts was spotted singing in a New York nightclub by a Warners talent scout. She went on to appear opposite Al Jolson in 'The Singing Kid' (1936), with Humphrey Bogart in 'Two Against the World' (1936) and with Pat O'Brien in 'China Clipper' (1936)."
I'm a little late on this one.
Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.
Waller died on Friday at The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, Connecticut, nursing supervisor Nity Oris confirmed Monday. The duo's Web site says Waller, who lived in Ledyard, Connecticut, went into cardiac arrest on Thursday night.
Waller and Peter Asher hit No. 1 on music charts around the world in 1964 with their debut single ``A World Without Love.'' McCartney, who at the time was dating Asher's sister, actress Jane Asher, wrote the song."
Hat tip to Scott Cupp.
A World Without Love - Peter & Gordon
According to Thomas, Hermès produces 3,000 crocodile skin bags each year, which simply is not enough to meet the increasing international demand. With a limited supply, thousands of eager fashionistas are left on what seems to be a never ending waiting list.
'It can take three to four crocodiles to make one of our bags so we are now breeding our own crocodiles on our own farms, mainly in Australia,' Thomas said in Paris."
Williamson and Travis counties soon followed with their disaster declarations.
Perry relayed those concerns to federal officials in March, saying the losses suffered by farmers and ranchers in Texas’ 254 counties “exceed state, local and private sector assistance capabilities” to handle."
The computer has the ability to analyze complex questions and form answers so well that it can compete with humans on the game show Jeopardy, IBM says, and a machine vs. human competition on the show is in the works."
WFAA.com: "FORT WORTH - A driver pulled over for speeding had a taser pulled on him, when the officer became impatient with the man's refusal to sign a ticket.
It's the latest in a series of Fort Worth taser incidents raising questions."
Stuart Urquhart, a solicitor from Bristol, was on holiday with his wife and two children in Helford, Cornwall, when he suffered three six-inch cuts to his head in a buzzard attack.
Mr Urquhart, 36, was jogging on a quiet lane near a river at around 9am, when he felt a searing pain in the back of his head before turning around to see a buzzard flying away."
Sunday, July 19, 2009
McCourt, who was recently treated for melanoma and then became gravely ill with meningitis, died at a hospice in New York City, his brother Malachy told the Associated Press.
'I'm a late bloomer,' a 66-year-old McCourt told the New York Times shortly after publication of 'Angela's Ashes' in 1996."
He should have. It's a beautifully written, heartbreaking story about a man who suffers an assault (after being caught in bed with another man's wife) and wakes up in a hospital bed suffering from a peculiar sort of brain damage that doesn't make him unable to function but does make it hard for him to form new memories or retain old ones. Stuck far from home (and struggling even to remember where home used to be), paranoid about the attentions of the police, and desperate to reconstruct his lost life, Paul Cole sets out on an extraordinary private investigation: a missing persons case in which he himself is the missing person.