Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Issue of Gumshoe Review Now On-Line

Gumshoe November 2009

Golden Girl -- Henry Melton

I've enjoyed several of Henry Melton's novels for young adults, and Golden Girl is aimed at the same audience. Debra Barr wakes up one morning, and she's not at home anymore. She's somewhere in the far future, a post-apocalyptic world where she's told that she's the only person who can prevent that terrible future from occurring.

Why? Because she was in a YouTube video, that's why. I know how that sounds. You'll just have to read the book to see how it works out. Anyway, after her experience in the future, Debra, like Billy Pilgrim, seems to have come unstuck in time. She bounces around from the past to the future to the present, and it's no fun at all. I can't explain the physics of it, though Melton can, but things from the past are realer than things in the future. So in the future settings, Debra can dent steel by walking on it. In the past, even leaves or grass are hazardous to her.

Because changes to the past can affect the future, objects from the past are “more real” than anything from future times. When she is first taken into the future, Debra can punch through walls as if they are paper maché—but when she is sent into the past, leaves and grass hurt her feet like sharp gravel. Being in the past is hazardous to Debra—but in the future, she is hazardous to those around her. This is a refreshing change from the sort of story I mention above.

Like other Melton teens, Debra is smart and resourceful. When she figures out that she hasn't been told the whole truth of things, it's up to her to find a way to save the world. Does she? Well, sure. But I'm not telling. You'll have to read the book to find out how. Another great read from Melton.



Mary Clark Mortimer, R. I. P.

Today I'm in Mexia, Texas, my hometown, attending a memorial service for Mary Clark Mortimer. Mary and I started out in first grade at W. M. White Elementary School, and we went through all twelve grades together. In some classes, thanks to alphabetical order, we sat next to each other.

In 7th and 8th grades we often walked home from school together since she lived on the way to my house. I had quite a crush on her in those days. She didn't reciprocate, but that was okay. I still got to walk her home.

Judy and I went to her wedding, and we've seen her and Robert, her husband, many times in the years since, primarily at class reunions and informal get-togethers that have been annual affairs for more than 15 years now.

I can't believe Mary's gone. I'm supposed to say a few words at the service. I'm not sure I can.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Friday, November 13, 2009

Now We Know that the Man in the Moon Isn't Thirsty

NASA Moon Crash Found 'Significant Amount' of Water - Space | NASA | Solar System | Planets | Shuttle | Astronomy - FOXNews.com: "It's official: There's water ice on the moon, and lots of it. When melted, the water could potentially be used to drink or to extract hydrogen for rocket fuel.

NASA's LCROSS probe discovered beds of water ice at the lunar south pole when it impacted the moon last month, mission scientists announced today. The findings confirm suspicions announced previously, and in a big way."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Houston makes best-performing city list - Houston Business Journal:: "The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area moved up 11 spaces to claim the fifth spot on this year's Milken Institute/Greenstreet Real Estate Partners Best Performing Cities Index.

The city was also the largest in the Top 10, according to the index.

Austin-Round Rock area took the top spot among the 200 largest metro areas, followed by Killeen-Fort Hood-Temple; Salt Lake City; and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission. Rounding out the list were Durham, N.C.; Olympia, Wash.; Huntsville, Ala.; Lafayette, La.; and Raleigh-Cary, N.C."

I Think I'll Just Buy Some Old Spice

Queen Latifah to debut fragrance at Almeda Mall Macy’s - Houston Business Journal:: "Queen Latifah will make a guest appearance at the Almeda Mall Macy’s on Nov. 13 as part of the launch of her new fragrance, Queen.

The first 300 customers who purchase a $134 gift set will be able to meet the award-winning rapper, actress and singer and receive a complimentary photograph. No autographs will be given."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Husband files for annulment from Central Texas woman who allegedly pretended to have cancer: "Count Trista Joy Lathern’s husband and co-workers among those who now feel misled and betrayed by her alleged pretense that she had breast cancer and was undergoing the rigors of chemotherapy.

Lathern, 24, formerly of Robinson, was arrested Wednesday on theft by deception charges after authorities say she lied about her medical condition, watched as friends raised $10,000 for her at a benefit and then reportedly spent the proceeds on breast-augmentation surgery."

Hat tip to Angela Crider.

There Will Always Be an England

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Cambridgeshire | Pee to help make your garden grow: "Gardeners at a National Trust property in Cambridgeshire are urging people to relieve themselves outdoors to help gardens grow greener.

A three-metre long 'pee bale' has been installed at Wimpole Hall.

Head gardener Philip Whaites is urging his male colleagues to pee on the straw bale to activate the composting process on the estate's compost heap."

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.

It's What You've Been Waiting For!

Meridian Bridge � A Conversation With Bill Crider, Part 2

How the Internet Destroyed Everything

How the Internet Ruined Newspapers, TV, Music, Movies, Microsoft - Newsweek 2010: "The past decade is the era in which the Internet ruined everything. Just look at the industries that have been damaged by the rise of the Web: Newspapers. Magazines. Books. TV. Movies. Music. Retailers of almost any kind, from cars to real estate. Telecommunications. Airlines and hotels. Wherever companies relied on advertising to make money, wherever companies were profiting by a lack of transparency or a lack of competition, wherever friction could be polished out of the system, those industries suffered."

Forgotten Books: THE CASE OF THE DANCING SANDWICHES -- Fredric Brown

After the disappointment of last week's read, I thought I should give Fredric Brown another try. The Case of the Dancing Sandwiches isn't exactly forgotten. It's just not easy to find. It's a Dell 10-Cent book, and it's one of the more expensive in the series. The cheapest copy on Abebooks is $100. The hardcover reprint from Dennis McMillan is even more. You could probably find a copy of the Summer 1950 issue of Mystery Book Magazine, where the story first appeared, for a lot less.

All that aside, this one's a lot better than We All Killed Grandma. Carl Dixon meets a man who calls himself Vic Tremaine. Tremaine seems like a nice guy, and he and his sister treat Carl to a night on the town. Carl enjoys himself, and he's feeling romantic about the sister. Things, of course, are not what they seem, and before he knows it, Carl is in prison, convicted of murder.

It's all part of a clever plot (based on things that are certainly dated) that's eventually untangled by Carl's finacee and a cop she asks for advice. All I'm going to say is that the title is a clue. This one's a satisfying read.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Man Crashes $2M Bugatti in La Marque Lake | MyFoxHouston.com: "A rare $2 million car was nearly destroyed in La Marque when a driver accidently drove the Bugatti Veyron into a lagoon.
[. . . .]
La Marque police say the French-built supercar ended up in about 2 feet of saltwater. The driver, whose name was not immediately released, was not injured in the crash.
[. . . .]
The driver, who was from Lufkin, had been looking at real estate in the Galveston area when he was distracted by a low-flying pelican near Omega Bay, according to police."

I'm Not Shocked at All

CUNY's got math problem: Report shows many freshmen from city HS fail at basic algebra: "More city kids are graduating from high school, but that doesn't mean they can do college math.

Basic algebra involving fractions and decimals stumped a group of City University of New York freshmen - suggesting city schools aren't preparing them, a CUNY report shows.

'These results are shocking,' said City College Prof. Stanley Ocken, who co-wrote the report on CUNY kids' skills. 'They show that a disturbing proportion of New York City high school graduates lack basic skills.'"

California, Here I Come

ALA JobList - Grateful Dead Archivist: "Grateful Dead Archivist
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ

Grateful Dead Archivist
Status: Full-time
Posted: 11/09/09
Deadline: Initial Review Date, 12/04/09

The University Library of the University of California, Santa Cruz, seeks an enterprising, creative, and service-oriented archivist to join the staff of Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) as Archivist for the Grateful Dead Archive. This is an academic librarian professional position."

Link via Dave Barry's Blog.

Croc Update

Surprise DNA results boost chances of "extinct" crocodile (Feature) - Monsters and Critics: "Phnom Penh - In 1992, the Siamese crocodile was declared extinct in the wild. It was a depressing end for a creature that was once widespread across its native South-East Asian habitat.

Just a decade later there was altogether better news when field studies by researchers from the Cambodian government and wildlife organizations found a number of Siamese crocodiles in the wild."

Hat tip to Tina Karelson.

David Lloyd, R. I. P.

Matthew Greenberg - Worst Episode Ever – David Lloyd, writer for ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ – and the man who killed Chuckles the Clown – dies - True/Slant: "Tomorrow, when you read the obits about veteran television comedy writer David Lloyd, who died after a long illness, they’ll surely mention “Chuckles Bites the Dust” in the first paragraph.

David Lloyd’s first television writing gig was in 1963 for “The Tonight Show” — his last was for “Frasier” in 2001. In between, he had his hands on just about every legendary sitcom (and occassional drama) you can think of that didn’t come out of the Norman Lear factory — “Phyllis,” “Rhoda,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Lou Grant,” “Taxi,” “Cheers,” “Frasier” and more.

But it was his work on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” — and that one Chuckles episode in particular — that will be his fitting epitaph."

A nice tribute can be found here. Thanks to Todd Mason for passing this news along.

I'll Bet It Was in the Sewer and Came Out of the Toilet

Man walks into restroom, finds 6' gator | restroom, county, steve - Local News -: "Imagine walking into a public restroom and finding yourself face-to-face with a 6' alligator. That is exactly what happened to a local man on Wednesday morning in Jasper."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Police Train To Draw Suspects' Blood - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston: "After Houston police pull over suspected drunken drivers, officers will soon have a new option: drawing blood themselves.

A source in the Houston Police Department confirmed 10 officers are assigned to complete training.

The source said if a driver refuses a breath test, they will get a warning about losing their license. Officers will then ask for a blood sample. If the driver again refuses, the officer will ask for a search warrant from a judge, then draw the blood, him or herself, at the police station.

However, the source said, in certain cases, the officer will be able to draw blood without a warrant."

Las Vegas Leads the Way

'Stripper-mobile' with live dancers raises safety, decency concerns - Las Vegas Sun: "It’s akin to a small U-Haul truck but with Plexiglas surrounding the brightly lit cargo area instead of walls. In the middle is a gleaming stripper pole. Swinging around the pole is a scantily clad young woman. Two of her fellow strippers are in the back of the truck too, awaiting their turns."

Connecticut Leads the Way

Chewing-Gum Theft on the Rise in Connecticut - Asylum.com: "On the rough-and-tumble streets of Connecticut, chewing-gum robberies are on the rise, say police, who've seen a rash of gum thefts this year.

It all started in March when $800 worth of Orbit gum was stolen from stores in Bridgeport, Fairfield and Stratford by one man, Kenneth McManus, who intended to sell it for drug money. Cops say this high-profile robbery has led to several copycat gum thefts since June.

'What the motive is, we don't know,' said New Britain State's Attorney Scott Murphy. 'But gum thefts are increasing.'"

Hat tip to Toby O'B.

Black Friday Is Coming

Target's Black Friday bet:$3 appliances, deep deals on HDTVs - Nov. 11, 2009: "Target is hoping to lure this year's Black Friday shoppers with $3 toasters and coffeemakers, deep deals on high-definition televisions, and discounts of 50% on clothes and toys, according to a Web site that says it has received a leaked copy of the retailer's circular.

Brad Olson, founder of Gottadeal.com, a Web site that markets itself as one of many 'official' Black Friday deal sites, said Wednesday that he received a copy of the discount retailer's ad."

Get off My Lawn and Let This Guy Mow It

3 News > Home > Story > Get off my lawn - cause this 100-year-old's about to mow it: "Arthur Wilson 100 years old. We hope he got a telegram from the Queen, but he already has something he cherishes - his job.

Mr Wilson mows lawns.
[. . . .]
So that no young whipper-snapper could come and take his job off him, Mr Wilson just signed a contract to keep mowing lawns for another five years."

Follow that Dream

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Money for Grades Update

School pulls the plug on fundraiser that exchanged grades for money | Head of the Class - MLive.com: "A North Carolina middle school’s plan to raise test scores for students who raised money was quickly squashed today, according to an article in the News & Observer.

District leaders stopped the fundraiser, issuing a statement this morning indicating no extra grade credit will be issued that may have resulted from donations, and donations will be returned starting Thursday."

Peru Update

Peru: 1.5 lbs. of nails pulled from man's stomach: "'They call me the hardware store,' says Requelme Abanto from his hospital bed in northern Peru.

Doctors in the city of Cajamarca say they removed 1.5 pounds of metal from Abanto's stomach, including nails, coins, and rusted copper wire and scrap metal.
[. . . .]
Delgado said specialists are examining Abanto's mental health as he recovers.

The 26-year-old construction worker ate the metal for months, and told Peru's Channel 9 television that he may now do it in public 'as sport.'"

Top 10 Abandoned Bank Vaults

10 Amazing Abandoned Bank Vaults: Built to be indestructible, they often survive long after the buildings which house them. Many creative individuals have played off of our fascination with them and dreamed up new uses for these marvels of impenetrable steel

Code Talkers

Navajo Code Talkers: Of the approximately 400 Navajos who trained as code talkers, only about 50 are still alive, most of them living in the Navajo Nation that includes part of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Today, for the first time, a group of 13 code talkers will take part in the Veterans Day parade in New York City.

You should click the link and read the whole article. Yes, Nicolas Cage starred in a bad movie about the code talkers. Don't let that stop you from reading the article.

Dick Stodghill, R. I. P.

The Star Press.com: Stodghill wrote far more than all that, though. A former Pinkerton Detective Agency operative himself, he was a longtime fan of classic mystery writers, whose attributes he could discuss at length, and during an earlier, temporary retirement from his newspaper work, tried his hand at it with amazing results.

A fan of short stories, his soon began to appear regularly in top mystery publications, most notably Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. Even after his eventual return to newspaper work, he was a regular contributor, his stories frequently culled for hard-cover collections published by groups like Mystery Writers of America and Private Eye Writers of America.

Indeed, during last month's Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in Indianapolis, his story Panic on Portage Path was a nominee for a 2009 Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America.

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Selling candy didn't raise much money last year, so a Goldsboro middle school is selling grades.

A $20 donation to Rosewood Middle School will get a student 20 test points - 10 extra points on two tests of the student's choosing. That could raise a B to an A, or a failing grade to a D.

For Those Who Just Can't Get Enough . . .

Meridian Bridge � A Conversation With Bill Crider

Joe Maross, R. I. P.

PASSINGS: Joe Maross, Al Cervi, Rod Van Hook -- latimes.com: "Joe Maross, 86, a prolific character actor whose film and television career spanned the 1950s to the 1980s, died of cardiac arrest Saturday at a convalescent hospital in Glendale, said his son, Michael.

Maross appeared in several movies, including 'Run Silent, Run Deep,' 'Elmer Gantry,' 'Sometimes a Great Notion' and 'Rich and Famous,' but he was best known for his work in television.

Beginning on live TV in New York in 1952, he had roles in dramatic anthology series such as 'Lux Video Theatre,' 'Studio One' and 'Armstrong Circle Theatre.'"

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

Oops

Drive-by Shooter Forgets to Roll Down Window: "A Wisconsin man made an obvious mistake while allegedly attempting to commit a crime last week.

The 'Appleton Post-Crescent' reports that Andrew Burwitz forgot to roll down his window as he allegedly attempted a drive-by shooting."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Veterans Day

Thanks to all who serve!

Support Your Local Community College!

Daily Herald | ECC beats Yale in mock trial tournament: "Elgin Community College, the only community college to compete in Harvard's annual Crimson Classic mock trial tournament over the weekend, beat two of the four prestigious teams it was pitted against - Villanova and Yale."

Girls! Girls! Girls!

The Story With No Name: Part 15

Davy Crockett's Almanack of Mystery, Adventure and The Wild West: DEATH COMES to The Story With No Name: Part 15 by James J. Griffin

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Uh-Oh

Will Smith Signs onto Flowers for Algernon | Pajiba - Scathing Reviews for Bitchy People: "Two-time Academy Award nominee, Will Smith, may have found the project that will finally win him that elusive Oscar. According to our inside source, The Hollywood Cog, Smith is set to produce and star in Flowers for Algernon, a modern-day adaptation of the Daniel Keyes’ novel."

Tom Corbett, Space Cadet Returns

Check out this review.

Roberson's Interminable Ramble: Tom Corbett, Space Cadet: ". . . nothing is lost forever."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Loaded Gun Found in Juvenile Lockup | MyFoxHouston.com: "Harris County authorities are trying to find out how a 16-year-old was able to get a loaded handgun past officers at the juvenile detention center.

Guards at the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center discovered the handgun about two hours after the youth was booked for possession of marijuana around 6 a.m. Monday."

Berlin Wall Quiz

Special News Quiz | Berlin Wall History - The Learning Network Blog - NYTimes.com: "Answer the questions below, each of which is based on past or recent Times reporting. After you answer a question, click on the related resource to see the original or a related article."

I got 9.

I'm Yawning Right Now

Go Ahead–Yawn! - Natural Solutions Vibrant Health Balanced Living: "Afraid to risk rudeness and let out a hearty yawn? Well, here’s an excuse to give Miss Manners a hissy fit: According to neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, MD, director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania, yawning is one of the best-kept health secrets. “If you want to maintain an optimum healthy brain, it is essential that you yawn,” says Newberg. The action stimulates neural movement in certain areas of the mind and regulates brain temperature and metabolism—all of which can increase muscle control, enhance sensuality, and even ward off jet lag. Newberg suggests yawning 10 times in a row every day, along with your regular workout or wellness routine."

G. I. Blues

Monday, November 09, 2009

Archaeology Update

Vanished Persian army said found in desert - Discovery.com- msnbc.com: "The remains of a mighty Persian army said to have drowned in the sands of the western Egyptian desert 2,500 years ago might have been finally located, solving one of archaeology's biggest outstanding mysteries, according to Italian researchers.

Bronze weapons, a silver bracelet, an earring and hundreds of human bones found in the vast desolate wilderness of the Sahara desert have raised hopes of finally finding the lost army of Persian King Cambyses II. The 50,000 warriors were said to be buried by a cataclysmic sandstorm in 525 B.C."

Happy Birthday, Rolling Stone!

The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor | No Direction Home by Charles Wright: "It was on this day in 1967 that the first issue of Rolling Stone was published. It was started by 21-year-old Jann Wenner, who dropped out of Berkeley and borrowed $7,500 from family members and from people on a mailing list that he stole from a local radio station, and with that money he managed to put together a magazine. The cover of the first issue featured John Lennon, and in it, Wenner wrote, 'Rolling Stone is not just about music, but also about the things and attitudes that the music embraces.'"

Gator Update (Limoges Edition)


Tantas Treasures - Limoges Alligator

Hat tip to Tina Karelson.

It's Still Hammer Time

Hammer swings into Melbourne | Herald Sun: "'My Hammer pants right now are being made by six or seven of the world's finest designers,' he said. 'In 2009 they were some of the best selling pants in high fashion. I got the new ones, I got the Versace, I got the Christian Dior Homme Hammer pants, they are really nice.'

Hammer said he was still amazed at the popularity of U Can't Touch This. 'To have something still be embraced after 20 years plus is very humbling.'"

They'd Do Anything for an "A"

Prosecutors seek Northwestern journalism students’ grades :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State: "A Northwestern University professor and journalism students who spent three years investigating the case of a man convicted in the 1978 killing of a security guard believe they have evidence that shows prosecutors put the wrong man behind bars. But in the quest to prove his innocence, they may have to defend themselves, too.

Cook County prosecutors have outraged the university and the journalism community by issuing subpoenas to professor David Protess seeking his students’ grades, his syllabus and their private e-mails. Prosecutors claim since the team was made up of students, they may have been under pressure to prove the case to get a good grade."

How I Became a Famous Novelist -- Steve Hely

I have Vince Keenan to thank for my reading of this book. It's as funny as he said it was in his review, maybe even funnier. For me, it was worth reading for Hely's parody of the NYT bestseller list alone. I laughed so much that Judy thought something was wrong with me. (There probably is.) You can read the list at the link, and if you don't think it's funny, then you probably won't like the book, either. Mad Magazine has nothing on Hely.

Pete Tarslaw, the book's narrator, decides that he can write a bestseller. It seems easy enough, once you figure out the formula. So he writes a book called The Tornado Ashes Club. It has everything. Trust me. Tarslaw admits from the beginning that he does some terrible things along the way to fame. He hopes the backstory he's including will make the reader think better of him at the end. It probably doesn't, though maybe Pete isn't quite a soulless as he appeared at the beginning. You can take the climactic showdown in Marfa, Texas, two ways, I think. I tend to be cynical about it, myself, but that's just me.

I'm recommending this book to every writer I know. If there's a publishing target that Hely misses, I can't think what it is. His eye for the telling detail is dead-on, and reading his description of the Oprah show is like watching it. Throughout the book he scatters excerpts from the bestsellers on that list I linked to above. If you didn't know better, you'd think you were reading real thing.

Bonus reason why I liked the book: Hely mentions in passing a mostly forgotten writer named Vance Bourjaily. In my youth when I read really long books, I read Bourjaily's The Violated and was pretty impressed. I have a paperback copy of it on my shelves even now. Not many people even know who Bourjaily is these days, and it was a pleasant surprise to run across his name.

Gator Update (Lost Dog Edition)

Man reaches for dog, gets bitten by alligator | abcactionnews.com: "A man searching for his dog got quite the nasty he reached underneath his car early Sunday morning, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife.

Spokesman Gary Morse said 38-year-old Joseph Cannistra was outside his Geddy Drive home about 12:30 am looking for his dog, when he thought he saw his pet lying underneath his car.

There was something underneath, but it wasn't his dog. Officials said an five foot alligator was waiting and when Cannistra reached underneath, it bit both of his hands."

Crocs on the 'Net

Indian crocodiles video blog for survival | Lifestyle | Reuters: "Call it video blogging for reptiles: conservationists are attaching cameras to the critically endangered Indian gharial, a crocodile-like creature, to understand more about its life in a bid to save it.
[. . . .]
In an attempt to better understand the reptiles' habitat and life cycle, scientists at the Gharial Conservation Park in Lucknow are using small video cameras for 'bio-logging.'

The lightweight cameras are attached to gharials that are released into the wild, where they record pictures every four seconds and monitor movement and behavior."

King Creole

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Will the Persecution Never End?

Heiress upset at 'vacant' ad - National - NZ Herald News: "American heiress Paris Hilton is threatening legal action against a Wellington company which used her picture on a billboard with the word 'vacant' written across it.

Media5 used the photo, which showed Hilton partying, to advertise vacant billboard space.

Hilton's manager Jamie Freed said from Los Angeles Media5 had not gained permission to use the image and could expect to hear from her lawyers."

Robert Rines, R. I. P.

Robert Rines, Inventor and Monster Hunter, Dies at 87 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com: "Dollars to doughnuts, Robert H. Rines will be mainly remembered not for holding more than 800 patents, starting a law school or writing music for the stage, but for his dogged pursuit of the Loch Ness monster.

But Dr. Rines, who died on Nov. 1 at his home in Boston at 87, may have outlived the fabled Scottish creature he pursued for more than a quarter century. He had come to suspect that the beast died during his hunt, leaving him to search for a skeleton."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

New Reading and Writing Podcast Interview

016 Reading and Writing podcast interview – Meg Gardiner interview: "The sixteenth episode of the Reading and Writing podcast features an interview with Meg Gardiner, crime novelist, and author of The Memory Collector, available in bookstores now."

Tour the Victoria & Albert Museum

Victoria & Albert Museum Puts Details of One Million Objects on Website | Art Knowledge News: "The V&A announced that visitors to its website can now find online over one million records detailing objects in its collections ranging from well known treasures such as Tippoo’s 'Tiger' to less familiar paintings and ceramics. People using Search the Collections, at collections.vam.ac.uk, will find images of more than 100,000 objects with more images and details to follow as they become available. The online records vary from detailed studies written by curators to more basic inventory information which might include the maker, provenance, production technique and style. Visitors can also look up whether an object is on display and where in the Museum it can be found."

Link via Neatorama.

Wapner!

8500 minutes to Wapner! Judge Wapner Returns to The People’s Court on Friday the 13th - TV Ratings, Nielsen Ratings, Television Show Ratings | TVbytheNumbers.com: "On Friday, November 13, Judge Marilyn Milian welcomes Judge Joseph A. Wapner back to the bench of “The People’s Court” to litigate a special case in honor of his 90th birthday. Judge Wapner bangs the gavel on the Emmy-nominated court show that launched the entire court show genre and paved the way for a multitude of reality television shows. “The People’s Court was the original reality series featuring real litigants, real cases and real justice."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Polk County teacher suing state over fingerprinting - KTRE.com Lufkin and Nacogdoches |: "A Polk County teacher is suing the state for requiring her to be fingerprinted for a background check, saying it violates her religious freedom.

According to her attorney, Scott Skelton, of Lufkin, Pam McLaurin believes the book of Revelation literally and that getting a fingerprint would bear her the mark of the beast and she would be 'be tormented in burning sulfur.'"

Victor Gischler Take Note

Famous Paintings Reproduced In Coffee - Coffee art by karen eland - Gizmodo: "Sure this reproduction of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam is a lil' bit perverted by the inclusion of a coffee cup, but look closer. The entire masterpiece was painted using only coffee."

Lots more coffee masterpieces at the link.

Florida Leads the Way

Gator Chomp Prompts Prose From Cop | NBC Miami: "Last week, a former Miami-Dade police officer was sentenced for his role in an ecstasy-smuggling ring. Yesterday, a Pembroke Pines officer alleged that he was fired because a supervisor was having an affair with his wife. Today brings news of a Fort Lauderdale cop dismissed for forging a signature on court notification."

But of course the important part of the article is the police report about the gator. You have to click the link and scroll down for that gem.

Just Because I Wanted To

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Lung disease didn't change course of Lake Dallas cross country runner | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Latest News: "The crazy stares and the questions usually come at the meets. They come from people who don't quite know Taylor Lively's story.

Last Friday, at the District 5-4A cross country meet, Lively won. He does that a lot. The kid in the Lake Dallas High School uniform with golden brown hair and a mask covering his mouth crosses the line before anyone else and then keels over. 'They tell you to walk,' Lively said, 'but usually I can't.'"

50 Biggest Flops Over the Past 50 Years

Power of 50: Biggest Flops Over the Past 50 Years – AARP Bulletin Today

G-Men