Saturday, February 20, 2010
khou.com | Houston News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather
| Local News: "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is investigating a Liberty County Sheriff’s Department captain in the disappearance of approximately 500 firearms, according to court documents.
[. . . .]
About 100 of the missing guns were recovered at the Sportsman’s Outlet in Humble, but the other 400 are still missing, according to an affidavit."
Not the ones on the face of an aging, plastic-surgeried celebrity, but those that threaten the the base cities in the vintage video game Missile Command. That's because Atari, which has been increasing its efforts to mine its video game library in Hollywood, has tapped Missile Command as a property ripe for a theatrical film.
The company is in active discussions with studios to acquire the title for development, with Fox and Peter Chernin's new production company the likely venue at which the property will end up."
The songs take on a new meaning in the context their recording. And oldie like "For the Good Times," for example. Wow. I'd never thought of it as the farewell of a dying man before, but what a statement. "I Corinthians 15:55," a Cash original is right out the New Testament, and you can tell he believes every word he's singing. Sheryl Crow's "Redemption Day" never sounded like this (and never sounded better). Another oldie, "A Satisfied Mind," has been recorded by dozens of singers before, but it never resonated the way it does when Cash lays it down in his final days. "Can't Help but Wonder Where I'm Bound" and "Last Night I had the Strangest Dream" knocked me out. But then so did the other nine songs on the CD. The album closes with "Aloha Oe." Just great.
Look at the photo on the CD cover. I wonder if the smiling little kid there ever thought about what his life would be like. Could anybody ever have imagined what lay ahead of him, all the ups and downs, the fame and the falls, or what the end would be? If you can listen to this album without getting misty-eyed, you're a lot tougher than I am.
'I do a trick called bull-dogging,' he said. 'I pin his jaws between my chin and my chest. That's an old Indian technique.'"
Many researchers have hypothesized that the early humans of this time period were not capable of devising boats or navigating across open water. But the new discoveries hint that these human ancestors were capable of much more sophisticated behavior than their relatively simple stone tools would suggest."
Friday, February 19, 2010
News: Taylor Lautner Fan Letter To Universal: Your Wolfman Ripped Off Twilight | Latino Review: "The e-mail was from Kayla Patterson, a die hard Twilight/Taylor Lautner fan upset about Universal Pictures ripping off the werewolf idea from Twilight. That's right, Universal Studios, who first put werewolves in theaters, are a bunch of copycats."
NBC Chicago: "The City had removed approximately 20 graves so far to make way for a new airport runway. The court order, however, bars any further disinterment even if the city has already received permission from next of kin."
Thursday, February 18, 2010
| Reuters: "LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kathryn Grayson, a singer and movie star of the 1940s and 1950s best known for MGM musicals such as 'Kiss Me, Kate,' has died at age 88, her secretary said on Thursday.
Grayson died at home in Los Angeles on Wednesday in her sleep, said Sally Sherman, who had worked with Grayson for 31 years.
The actress was among the top movie musical performers of her day, starring opposite Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly in 1945's 'Anchors Away' and Ava Gardner and Howard Keel in 1951's 'Showboat.'
'She was a lady of class and quality, with the greatest sense of humor conceivable,' Sherman said."
Caplin Rous is a capybara. Related to the guinea pig, the capybara is the largest species of rodent. Though they're native to South America, Caplin was born in Texas and lives in the town of Buda with Melanie Typaldos, who never expected this animal to take over her life quite the way he has."
Sending text messages is more popular than calling in the US, though there is no definitive answer why. 'The simple answer is we don't really know why,' Dr. Juan Gilbert, director of Clemson's Human-Centered Computing department, told Ars. 'What we do know is that users don't want to call, but want to text.'"
EXCLUSIVE: www.iPulpFiction.com has published all 6 of Bill Crider's Bill Ferrel mysteries. The stories are Crider's lighthearted homage to the Hollywood PIs of the 1940s. Bill Ferrel's hair may be thinning on top, and perhaps he's not the most heroic guy around, but he has a steady client in Gober Studios. (Only 50¢-75¢ each)
iPulp stories can be read on any device running a modern browser including such computers, smart phones and the new iPad.
The Vatican has previously denounced rock music as the devil’s work but in a surprise change of tune on Sunday the Holy See’s official newspaper, L’ Osservatore Romano, published what it called “a semiserious guide” to the top ten rock and pop albums of all time."
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Yet today the 66-year-old retired English teacher living in the Heights is pushing herself beyond any mountain summit.
That's why she became a sky sailor of sorts, eventually flying to a place where no woman has gone before. The flight that drew worldwide attention was when she navigated her glider about 269 miles on one trip — the first woman to go that far while making three turns in a PW-5 glider."
You know you want a copy, of course. Clyde won't be signing any, but you can get one signed by yours truly from Murder by the Book in Houston. I'm sure they'll be happy to accept your advance orders.
| Reuters: "Texas and several national industry groups on Tuesday filed separate petitions in federal court challenging the government's authority to regulate U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Texas, which leads U.S. states in carbon dioxide emissions due to its heavy concentration of oil refining and other industries, will see a major impact if U.S. mandatory emissions reductions take effect."
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
According to police, officers responded to the 44-year-old’s residence, 2023 Taylor Dr. at 5:43 after receiving a report of a suspicious odor. Outside McDonald’s residence, officers could smell a strong odor or marijuana coming from the residence."
The answer is complex, and will not produce an elixir of eternal life in the foreseeable future."
Monday, February 15, 2010
Police and prosecutors said someone spit it out years ago after he broke in and then damaged several classrooms in a local school. They’ve yet to lock up anyone for the crime, and the statute of limitations has long expired.
But here’s the thing. The candy contained a man’s DNA.
So prosecutors charged that DNA."
In six weeks, we're going to publish Donald E. Westlake's unpublished novel, MEMORY.
Both Publishers Weekly and Booklist have given it starred reviews, calling it "a significant final work from a master" and "absolutely a must-read." The book hits stores at the end of March -- but if you're reading this message you have a chance to get a copy sooner than that. At the start of March we're going to be sending 12 free advance copies of the book to randomly selected people from our mailing list. Interested in throwing your hat into the ring? Well, we don't need your hat -- just send your name and the address to which you'd like the book mailed if you're chosen to firstname.lastname@example.org before 5PM (New York time) on February 28. It's as simple as that. All we ask is that if you're selected you help us tell the world about the book, either by posting a review on a site like Amazon.com or BN.com, or by wrting about it in your blog (if you have one), or in whatever other ways you can think of. Actually...we'd be grateful for anything you can do along these lines regardless of whether yours is one of the dozen names we wind up drawing. MEMORY is one of the most important books we've ever had the privilege to publish, and anything you can do to help spread the word about it is much appreciated.
Other news: We've added another forthcoming title to our Web site, QUARRY'S EX by Max Allan Collins -- you can see the cover art by Greg Manchess at www.HardCaseCrime.com. This will be our fourth novel about the enigmatic hitman and we're thrilled to bring him back.
On the "high adventure" side of the house, we're bringing two-fisted adventurer Gabriel Hunt back as well, for three more adventures, and the first of these -- HUNT BEYOND THE FROZEN FIRE, co-written by Christa Faust (author of the Edgar-nominated MONEY SHOT) -- will arrive in stores on the same day as MEMORY. In this one, Gabriel assembles a crack team to go down to Antarctica and bring back a scientist who's gone missing near the South Pole. Only what they find when they get there isn't nearly what they expect... For more info (and a glimpse at Glen Orbik's delicious cover painting), visit www.HuntForAdventure.com.
And as long as we're mixing genres, here's one more reading suggestion, and it's not even a book we published. When you're next in your favorite local bookstore, why not pick up a copy of WARRIORS, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois? It's a hefty collection featuring new novellas by 20 major authors, ranging from crime stories to epic fantasy to science fiction, all on the theme of warfare, broadly defined. The authors include Hard Case Crime's own Lawrence Block, as well as hardboiled masters Joe Lansdale and David Morrell. But my personal favorite author of the bunch is Naomi Novik, who is not only the New York Times-bestselling author of the TEMERAIRE series but also...my wife. The story she wrote for the book is a heart-stopping account of warfare on a distant planet, between a technologically advanced invading force and the desperate natives who use their connection to the biological world around them to fight back. If this premise sounds a wee bit familiar, I can only assure you that the story was written well over a year ago, before she (or I) had ever heard of AVATAR, never mind seen it. And having seen AVATAR since...I can also tell you that her story's better. (Yes, I'm biased.)
One last tidbit of news before I vanish for another month: We just bought our first title for 2011, and though I can't tell you the title yet, I can tell you this: it's by Christa Faust, it stars Angel Dare.
And if you don't know who Angel Dare is, all I can say is: Why haven't you read MONEY SHOT yet?
Editor, Hard Case Crime
Born on August 22, 1936 in Goldmine, Louisiana, Hawkins became hooked on the gospel sounds of the local black church and the bare bones country-blues that could be heard in the cottonfields surrounding the family home. After a brief stint in the Navy, he quit college to begin a career in music."
'Everybody loves the mob,' said Ciarcia, a restaurateur, radio host and actor who had a bit part in 'The Sopranos.' 'We'd like to give them a taste of history in the mob.'"
[. . . .]
Symptoms of sluggish cognitive tempo disorder include passiveness, dreaminess and sluggishness – traits that could easily be confused with laziness."
That's what I said. That's what he said. Run this blow dryer over your shiny knob of a head and watch the hair sprout.
But, wait, there's more."
Sunday, February 14, 2010
He was 57.
Fieger sang lead vocals on the 1979 hit 'My Sharona,' which held the No. 1 spot for six weeks."
Okay, there is is on the left. A Berkley paperback from 1967. Not a very good cover, but it was the blurb that grabbed me. I could never resist a blurb like that one.
I was in a little convenience store in Austin, Texas, a couple of blocks from home. I don't remember why I was there. Maybe we needed a loaf of bread. Anyway, I never pass up a spinner rack of paperbacks (or I didn't; now I never see them), so I took a look. That blurb jumped out at me.
I took the book off the rack and read the first sentence: I was never particularly keen on my job before the day I got shot and nearly lost it, along with the rest of my life. Well, that did it for me. I plunked down my 60 cents plus whatever was need for the other stuff I bought, went home, and read the book. After that, I found Francis' earlier books and read them. Since 1967, I've read each of his novels as it appeared, and I've never been disappointed. For me, he was one of the best, top of the line.
Dennis Coleman, 52, said the cut he suffered meant he could not compete for cash prizes in local tournaments."
By the end of this year, there will be no shuttle, no U.S. manned space program, no way for us to get into space. We're not talking about Mars or the moon here. We're talking about low-Earth orbit, which the United States has dominated for nearly half a century and from which it is now retiring with nary a whimper."
A storybook marriage | Lifestyle/Features | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle: "For a long time, the bond between McKenna Jordan and David Thompson was puzzling. Which is fitting. The couple met and fell in love at Murder By The Book, the mystery bookstore they now run.
They met on McKenna's first day of work, Jan. 11, 2003. David still remembers the date.
McKenna was 20, about to begin graduate school, and hired to work part-time on Saturdays. David, who'd been with the bookstore since 1987, was 31 and devoted to his job. He thought the new girl was smart. Pretty. But her attitude ...
“She initially, to me, gave off stuck-up airs,” says David, who moonlights as the publisher of Busted Flush Press."
Thankfully this one doesn't bite anymore but 'GatorBike' as it has been dubbed is still going to turn heads and set pulses racing as it eats up the highways.
The custom-made bike, crafted from the skin and skull of a real alligator that was culled by authorities to keep their numbers down, has been created to raise funds for a wildlife charity."
Francis, who wrote some 40 best-selling novels during his career, was also a champion jockey in the 1940s and 50s and the Queen Mother's jockey.
He first published his autobiography in 1957, and his first thriller, Dead Cert, followed five years later."
But a leading academic has cast doubt on how much of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo he penned. A new film will also suggest that they were largely written by an unsung assistant.
The importance of the author's 'negre' -- the French term for ghost writer -- is explained by Claude Schopp, France's leading Dumas expert, in his Dictionary of Alexandre Dumas out next month.
He claims that Auguste Jules Maquet was the real 'fourth musketeer,' the man who came up with the plot for the trilogy featuring Porthos, Athos, Aramis and d'Artagnan."
The playwright David Greig couldn’t resist tugging at one of those threads and became so intrigued that he ended up writing a sequel. His new play for the Royal Shakespeare Company speculates on the aftermath of Macbeth. The Scottish “hell-hound” is dead but is peace established?"