Saturday, October 03, 2009
He lost count long ago, but nuisance-alligator hunter Easton DeHart estimates he’s tangled with thousands of the reptiles since he made “fooling with gators” his full-time job.
Judging by the hundreds of severed, shellacked heads grinning from shelves in his trophy room, their glass eyes gleaming and toothy mouths gaping, it’s safe to assume he isn’t exaggerating."
Friday, October 02, 2009
In 'Frozen,' Larry Johnson, a former executive at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., writes that Williams' head, which had been severed and frozen for storage, was abused at the facility. Johnson claims a technician took baseball-like swings at Williams' frozen head with a monkey wrench."
Thanks to Walter Satterthwait for the link.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP): On a Friday night in October 1959, Americans began slipping into a dimension of imagination as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. They've really never returned.
"The Twilight Zone," first submitted for the public's approval by a reluctant CBS, has resonated with viewers from generation to generation with memorable stories carrying universal messages about society's ills and the human condition.
The team have brought back hair samples and a piece of palm they hope will provide DNA evidence of the Orang Pendek - a creature sighted in the area since colonial times and reputed to be immensely powerful."
Hat tip to Fred Zackel.
When I read this book back in the middle '70s, I was taken by the narrative voice, which reminded me a bit of Joe Friday, but not quite. Maybe it's time to mention that the only other book I have by David Vowell is Dragnet: 1968. I haven't read that one, but Vowell was also the writer on a number of the much-maligned '60s revival of Dragnet on TV.
Reading The Assassinator now, I find it disturbingly homophobic, something I didn't notice thirty-odd years ago, to my shame, I guess. I was still taken in by the voice, though. Imagine a book, even one as short as this, with almost no dialog. That's what you have here. It's a tough trick to pull of, but Vowell does it, and you almost don't even notice it. The procedural part's good, too, very Dragnet, as I said. Good book if you can get past the gay-bashing, and worth a read. It sure won't take you long.
According to Richmond cops, the man telephoned his family and told a story suggesting he had been kidnapped, forced to fight, got shot in the shoulder and then was dumped in water where he was attacked by crocodiles."
However hanging around with other men has the opposite affect – reducing the levels of both substances in the body."
Thursday, October 01, 2009
[. . . .]
Perry's office wouldn't elaborate on his relationship with Wheeler, a retired social worker listed as a member of Perry's 2006 re-election campaign steering committee."
Link via Neatorama.
The key is a protein that sends signals to kickstart stem cells which can repair muscles.
Now it is hoped that a muscle-boosting drug can be developed to slow the ageing process."
The Moorabbin Glen Eira Leader reports as thousands of old-timers celebrate national Seniors Week, those who present their seniors’ discount card at some brothels and escort services can mark the occasion in an entirely different way."
But when former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's conservative group named her an 'Entrepreneur of the Year,' she was thrilled by the opportunity to accept the award in Washington and speak about ways to help small businesses.
That all changed, however, when Gingrich realized that The Lodge was a topless bar, not some other business in Virginia. He rescinded Rizos' invitation to a private dinner and returned the $5,000 donation she made to his group, American Solutions for Winning the Future."
JournalOnline: If you want to see a movie depicting the destruction of Des Plaines, you'll have to wait a while longer.
Until then, perhaps a few clips from "Gator Gal", also known as "Alligator Monster", might whet your appetite.[. . . .]
The plot---if that's what you want to call it---of "Gator Gal" calls for the DNA of an alligator somehow being injected into a voluptuous woman who is miraculously transformed into a half alligator, half woman creature.
Wasn't that the plot of Alligator People?
Pasadena police say it's a civil matter and no charges will be filed. The seven goldfish were purchased together by the couple during happier times."
Original cast album and much more about the play here.
Somehow I missed the big news about this revival when it was announced, but I was reminded of it yesterday when I received the most recent mailing of DAPA-Em (the world's only apa devoted to crime and mystery fiction).
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
They're mainly bogus, of course.
But Gov. Rick Perry, ever dedicated to helping the Texas economy, has come up with a program to allow Texans to do just that.
It's sort of a campaign version of Facebook meets Amway.
The Dallas Morning News called attention Tuesday to the program, which is described at hq.rickperry.org/about, a Perry campaign Web site.
Here is the deal.
• You sign up at the Perry Web site to obtain your own campaign Web page.
• You then get 11 of your friends, located anywhere in Texas, to commit to voting for Perry as part of your team and put their names on your page.
• You make sure your 11 friends get to the polls during the early voting period next spring. You call them, you cajole them and you drive them to the polls if necessary.
Once you do all those things, you get paid $20 for each friend you recruit."
But the city won't keep its police chief and two officers when the police department shuts down October 1.
'It's all about consolidation. What we're trying to do is run our community as efficiently as possible,' said Marfa mayor, Dan Dunlap.
According to the mayor, the city will save $90,000 a year by hiring the Presidio County Sheriff's Office to replace the local police department. The sheriff's office already patrols the rest of the rugged border city."
As you're all aware, the town of Clearview has always hired the Sheriff's Office in place of a local police department. Sheriff Rhodes is appreciative of the deal.
A Japanese woman receives an intravenous vitamin supplement at the Tenteki Caf�in Tokyo.
These intravenous vitamin 'drips' are part of the latest quick-fix, health fad catching on in Japan: the IV cafe.
Each drip pack contains saline solution and specific vitamins and minerals to target a particular health ailment or beauty concern."
Harvesting an alligator that's 20 times your size is a piece of cake, according to 5 year old Simon Hughes. 'Well, its pretty much simple,' said Simon who caught the alligator."
Photos and video at the link.
Sheriff Dan Rhodes used this method in Murder in Four Parts.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Titled 'Haven,' the project centers on a spooky town in Maine where cursed folk live normal lives in exile. When those curses start returning, FBI agent Audrey Parker is brought in to keep those supernatural forces at bay -- while trying to unravel the mysteries of Haven."
The 1950s Italian and American Sword-and Sandal Film. This course will explore"sword-and-sandal" films of the 1950s and early 1960s, focusing both on schlock Italian products such as the Steve Reeves Hercules films that enjoyed surprising economic success and the more "serious" Hollywood epics of the same period, many of which were shot in Italy. Neither the Hollywood nor the Italian versions would have been possible without the strong interpenetration of Hollywood and Italian film, practically and economically, during the 1950s. The focus will not be so much on the history of a genre as on the analysis of a significant moment in the postwar history of media and representation. The western world was, in the late 1950s, beginning to undergo the transformation in capitalism, media (with the emergence of television), and cultural signification that has now acquired the label "postmodernity." The sword-and-sandal epic in terms of both production modes and signification provides a great deal of insight into this transformation. In relation to the Italian films, we will also examine the "seriousness" of seemingly airhead cinema, exploring how mass entertainment, seemingly empty of serious intent or meaning, and intended only to reap profit can become, through its popularity and "timeliness," a bearer of major social meaning. Other issues to be discussed in relation to the sword and sandal film will be melodrama, spectacle vs. narrative, camp, and kitsch. Assignments will include group presentations, brief bi-weekly individual assignments on screenings and readings, a group Mystery Science Theatre 3000 overdub, and a 15-page final essay.
Hat tip to Jeff Segal.
Here's the deal: Self-proclaimed "shit magnet" Mike McGill is a down on his luck p.i. (is there any other kind?). Then the White House Chief of Staff shows up and pays him half a million bucks to find the Mcgugffin, which is a book that contains the real Constitution of the U. S. It's bound in the skin of an alien who pestered Ben Franklin and paid the price, and it's a document that could change the world as we know it. McGill hooks up with a young woman named Trix, and they travel to Columbus, San Antonio, Las Vegas, and finally Los Angeles in pursuit of the book.
Along the way Mike and Trix encounter enough warped characters, deviant sex, and just plain weirdness to fill a book. According to Ellis, it's all based on stuff he found in the Internet. Maybe that's true, or maybe not. One thing's for sure: There's something here to offend just about everybody. In fact, if you find Joe Lansdale too polite and restrained, maybe you should read this book. It's funny, and it moves right along, but if you're looking for a standard p.i. novel, you're looking in the wrong place.
It's Banned Books Week. The link above goes to an interactive map. You can see what titles were banned or challenged in the different locations.
Okay, that's not fair. They knew, all right. It's about sex, nudity, and violence. Lots of all three. Mix 'em together, amp 'em up (joke intended), and you get this movie.
Of course, that's not all. No, there's more. There's also the sensitive Wizard of Oz subtext that us more astute critics noticed. What? You didn't see it. Well, that's what I'm here for. Someday people will be writing dissertations on how this movie is really about a caring but indestructible man who's looking for a heart. He has to follow the Yellow Brick Road, or what passes for it in Los Angeles to find it, but the Wizard (Dwight Yoakum) is there to help. There's no wicked witch, but there are plenty of obstacles. And there's David Carradine, in a role that's become something to talk about, I suppose, since his ignominious death.
Plot? Who cares? It's all action, and if that's what you're looking for, along with humor and the aforementioned sex, nudity, and violence, you'll find plenty of everything. This is a B-movie that knows it's a B-movie, and it just wants you to have a good time.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Hat tip to Scott Cupp.
Like many truckers, Kurt Long uses a dispatching computer. “We’re supposed to pull over,” he said, “but nobody ever does.”
The trucking industry says these devices can be used safely, posing less of a distraction than BlackBerrys, iPhones and similar gadgets, and therefore should be exempted from legislation that would ban texting while driving."
He said government officials claim the security cameras did not record the minutes before the bombing because 'they had run out of tape' or 'the tape was being replaced.'
'The interesting thing is they spring back on after 9:02,' he said. 'The absence of footage from these crucial time intervals is evidence that there is something there that the FBI doesn't want anybody to see.'
A spokesman for the FBI in Oklahoma City, Gary Johnson, declined to comment and referred inquiries about the tapes to FBI officials in Washington, who were not immediately available for comment Sunday."
Police and animal control officers tried to corral the crocodile-like reptile yesterday, but it repeatedly eluded their grasp."
Crocodylus Park, which operates as a zoo and commercial crocodile farm in Darwin, needs helpers to shift about 400 saltwater crocodiles into new ponds."
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I was going to call this "The Stilwell Workout," but I thought better of it.
Will the persecution never end?