Saturday, August 07, 2010

Here's a Thought

The demise or Dorchester as a publisher of mass-market paperbacks means that the books scheduled for the fall won't be appearing. One of them is Quarry's Ex. So the ARC that I have has become an instant collectible.

Lisa Lutz Podcast Interview

025 Reading and Writing podcast – Lisa Lutz interview

Lawsuit of the Day

Family of man hit by train suing railroad, canoe company: "The family of a man who was hit by a train while jumping off a trestle into a river two years ago is suing the railroad and a local canoe center, according to documents filed in Clark County Common Pleas Court Thursday, Aug. 5."

Hard Case Crime Update

The Rap Sheet: Hard Case Sticks to Its Guns

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Dress To Die :: Elizabeth Zelvin

Attention South Carolina Residents

Learn to hunt alligators this morning in Georgetown - Breaking News - "The S.C. Department of Natural Resources will hold an alligator hunting seminar today at 10 a.m. on Horry-Georgetown Technical College's Georgetown campus. The seminar will cover topics including capture and handling techniques, rules and regulations, alligator hunting equipment and processing. The event is open to the public and geared toward those interested in the public alligator hunt that opens in September."

The 20 Most Intimidating Fictional Sharks of All Time

The 20 Most Intimidating Fictional Sharks of All Time |

Link via Neatorama.

Reality TV: The Bottom of the Barrel? Part 2 Part 1

Utah polygamists star in reality TV show | The Salt Lake Tribune: "“Sister Wives,” a seven-episode series on the TLC network, is the first reality show that follows a polygamous family. The show profiles Kody Brown and his three sister wives, a group of fundamentalist Mormons in Utah (the family does not want to reveal the city it live in)."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Reality TV: The Bottom of the Barrel? Part 1

Television - ‘The Great Food Truck Race’ - Griddle to the Metal - "The show is called “The Great Food Truck Race.” Seven specialty food trucks — home-style Cajun, fine-dining French, pressed sandwiches, Vietnamese banh mis, crepes, hamburgers and banana pudding — will set off on a six-week road trip from Los Angeles to New York, stopping along the way to peddle their grub. The teams who sell the most food advance to the next town; the losers pack up their fryers and head home. As the celebrity chef Tyler Florence, who hosts the show, put it recently, “It’s like ‘Cannonball Run’ with food trucks.”"

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Croc Update (Mysterious Photo Edition)

monster crocodile photograph mystery in Australia | Embrace Australia: "Do you recognise this croc? If you do then you are not alone for quite a few people claim to own this snap of the giant crocodile taken somewhere in Australia."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Salad spinner-like medical gear could save thousands of lives | News Bizarre | - Houston Chronicle

It's Only Money

Friday, August 06, 2010

Neanderthal Update

Neanderthal's cozy bedroom unearthed - Technology & science - Science - - "Anthropologists have unearthed the remains of an apparent Neanderthal cave sleeping chamber, complete with a hearth and nearby grass beds that might have once been covered with animal fur."

No Comment Department

Dorchester Drops Mass Market Publishing for E-Book/POD Model: "Mass market romance publisher Dorchester Publishing has dropped its traditional print publishing business in favor of an e-book/print-on-demand model effective with its September titles that are “shipping” now. President John Prebich said after retail sales fell by 25% in 2009, the company knew that 2010 “would be a defining year,” but rather than show improvement, “sales have been worse.” While returns are down, the company has had a difficult time getting its titles into stores as shelf space for mass market has been reduced, Prebich explained."

The Bad Seed?

He set the house on fire and pushed his grandad down stairs. But is Kieran the victim of a medical condition - or just a naughty little boy? | Mail Online

Seems to me the Fill-Up Would Be Different

Bio-Bug: Car run on human waste is launched - Telegraph: "A car that runs on methane gas produced by human waste has been launched and its makers claim drivers cannot tell the difference."

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

Hey, It Could Happen

SWAT team requested for violent midgets | "At 12:32 p.m., a caller from West McKnight Way reported steroid-using body-builders from Reno had beaten up the caller's son and might have killed him.

Midgets from Fulton Avenue had been following and trying to poison the caller. The body-builder and the lead female midget, who the caller reported as being “really violent,” allegedly had been driving the caller's truck. The caller wanted the Nevada County Sheriff's Office to activate the SWAT team."

Let 'em Eat Kindles

Camden Closing Library System: "New Jersey's most impoverished city will close all three branches of its public library at year's end unless a rescue can be pulled off,

Camden's library board says the libraries won't be able to afford to stay open past Dec. 31 because of budget cuts from the city government. The city had its subsidy from the state cut.

The library board president says the library system, which opened in 1904, is preparing to donate, sell or destroy its collections, including 187,000 books."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

KIAH-TV's plan to air anchorless news has NYC anchors wondering where bond with viewers has gone: "Word that a Houston station is considering anchorless news has folks wondering whether this is the next wave of TV news or just a stunt to draw attention by a station with low ratings.

The answer is somewhere in between, but the mere thought of ditching anchors has TV news staffs wondering if it could happen here."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Got a Sony e-Reader?

Bill Crider :: Reader Store

Literature of Betrayal - Backstabbers, Adulterers, Traitors & Double Crossers

AbeBooks: Literature of Betrayal - Backstabbers, Adulterers, Traitors & Double Crossers: "Love and trust are fine but a story becomes gripping when betrayal is introduced. Some of the greatest villains of all time have been traitors, double crossers or simply rascals who betrayed the people who trusted (and sometimes loved) them."

The Five Spiciest, Hottest Foods in the Country

Can You Handle It? The Five Spiciest, Hottest Foods in the Country - San Francisco Restaurants and Dining - SFoodie

Forgotten Books: ONE FOR HELL -- Jada Davis

This is a repeat of a "Forgotten Books" post from 2008. I'm repeating it because there's some good news. Stark House will reprint this book in October. You know you'll want a copy.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Revenge by Jack Ehrlich was in a class with Jim Thompson's work and Dan J. Marlowe's Vengeance Man. Another book that can sit proudly on the shelf with those is One For Hell by Jada Davis.

Here's what I said about it a while back on
The Rap Sheet's special issue on overlooked books: One for Hell (1952), by Jada M. Davis. “I sometimes think the only reason this book hasn’t received a lot more attention is that Fawcett published it in a Red Seal edition rather as a Gold Medal Original, probably because it’s a bit too long for the GM format. A boxcar bum named Willa Ree enters a small town with the intention of picking it clean, and in the process all kinds of secrets and corruption come to light. It’s a fine noir story with a powerful ending that Jim Thompson would have been proud to have written.”

I don't think I can improve on that description. I'll add, however, that Jada Davis was the brother of Jack Davis, with whom I collaborated on that American classic (and, I have to say, justly overlooked) The Coyote Connection.

The Wanderers

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I Thought I Had That Many in my House

Official Google Blog: You can count the number of books in the world on 25,972,976 hands: "Ever wonder just how many different books there are in the world? After some intensive analysis, we've come up with a number. Standing on the shoulders of giants—libraries and cataloging organizations—and based on our computational resources and experience of organizing millions of books through our Books Library Project and Books Partner Program since 2004, we’ve determined that number.

As of today, we estimate that there are 129,864,880 different books in the world."

Gator Update -- And the Winner Is . . .

. . . gators, in my book, but read the last paragraph of the article.

Alligators vs. Sharks -- Which Is More Deadly? - "Sharks get all the love. They have their own week on the Discovery Channel, there are scads of scary movies about them and their attributes are even applied on a human scale to members of society engaged in professions like card-playing and the law.

So, we got to wondering: Are sharks really all they're cracked up to be? Could there be an even more fearsome predator among us? How, for instance, do sharks stack up -- in terms of deadliness and danger to humans in the U.S. -- to alligators?"

Going to Armadillocon?

Carousel Lounge: Upcoming Shows: "Kasey Lansdale 7-9pm, Thursday, August 26, 2010 7:00 PM

Junk Food Update

The 'Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger' is a Summer Hit: "As junk food goes, this could be the ultimate, over-the-top, have-to-try-once, sweet-and-savory treat.

It's a burger with cheese and bacon sandwiched between a Krispy Kreme doughnut – the 'Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger.'

Some consider this the world's unhealthiest snack, but it is making the rounds and showing up at state fairs and ball paks across the country."

California Leads the Way

2 women charged in kindergarten graduation brawl - Yahoo! News: "Two women have been charged with misdemeanors for a fight that led to a brawl during a Southern California kindergarten graduation ceremony."

America in Color from 1939-1943

Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943 – Plog Photo Blog: "These images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations. The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color."

Wonderful photos, and many of them look hauntingly familiar. I grew up in a time not far removed from this.

'Nada -- Daniel Boyd

Daniel Boyd is, in reality, a mild-mannered newspaper reporter for a great . . . no, wait, that's Clark Kent. Boyd is Dan Stumpf, a regular commenter here and a guy I've known for many long years, though we've never met. So it was with some trepidation that I picked up his book to read. You never want to hate a book by someone you know.

I need not have worried. 'Nada is a good one. The setting is Mexico in 1935, where Culley's the caretaker at an abandoned silver mine. He and a man named Ray make a promise about a load of gold bars to a dying man. Ray wants to carry out the promise. Culley's not so sure. He wouldn't mind having that gold for himself.

It's a story in the rousing style of something you might have run across in Adventure when that pulp was in its heyday, a tale of gold and greed and doing the right thing. It has Mexican bandits, a harrowing desert journey, one heck of a gun battle, and a narrator named Vernon Culley, who knows how to tell a tale about greed and loyalty.

The book hits the streets on September 1. Check it out.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Archaeology Update

14,000 Year Old Domestic Dog Remains Found - Science News - redOrbit: "Fragments of a dog’s skull and teeth have been discovered in a cave in Switzerland that date back more than 14,000 years, according to researchers, saying the find could be the oldest known remains of the domestic dog.

The fossils were among archaeological finds that were unearthed in 1873 in the Kesslerloch cave in northern Switzerland, Swiss news agency ATS said on Monday."

Croc Update (Chewing Edition)

Ancient Crocodile Could Have Chewed Like You Do | Wired Science | "Chewing has always been thought of as a strictly mammalian ability. But during the reign of the dinosaurs a hundred million years ago, in the southern supercontinent of Gondwana, some crocodiles were likely doing something very close to that.

An ancient crocodile species has been discovered with molar teeth that fit together much like those of small carnivorous mammals. With lanky limbs, a lack of stiff armor on its back, and a nose ill-equipped for the water, it likely acted much more like a terrestrial cat than a fierce water predator.

“All of the things we’re finding really paint a picture of an animal that was active, agile, living up on land, moving around,” said anatomist Patrick O’Conner of Ohio University, lead author of the discovery August 4 in Nature. “When we look at the teeth compared to animals alive today, some of the closest comparisons are mammalian carnivores specialized for processing meat.”"

Nice drawing at the link.

Elvis Presley Update

iWon News - Ark. gov. race all shook up: Elvis Presley running: "Elvis Presley is running for Arkansas governor.

No, not that Elvis.

Elvis D. Presley of Star City filed papers with the secretary of state's office on Wednesday to run as a write-in candidate for governor."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


Audiences hate modern classical music because their brains cannot cope - Telegraph

UFO Update

British X-Files describe secret UFO study - Technology & science - Space - "Britain released hundreds of previously secret 'UFO files' on Thursday, including a letter saying that Winston Churchill had ordered a 50-year cover-up of a wartime encounter between an unidentified flying object and military pilot."

The Warriors

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Radioactive Boars Would be a Good Name for a Rock Band

A Quarter Century after Chernobyl: Radioactive Boar on the Rise in Germany - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International: "As Germany's wild boar population has skyrocketed in recent years, so too has the number of animals contaminated by radioactivity left over from the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. Government payments compensating hunters for lost income due to radioactive boar have quadrupled since 2007."

Hat tip to Art Scott.
And put 2011 on your calendar for the debut The Wild Hog Murders, with Sheriff Dan Rhodes on the job. I'm not making this up.

Bobby Hebb, R. I. P.

Bobby Hebb - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Robert Von Hebb (July 26, 1938, Nashville – August 3, 2010) was an African American singer and songwriter, best known for his writing and recording of 'Sunny'.

Hebb's parents, William and Ovalla Hebb, were both blind musicians.[1] Hebb and his older brother Harold performed as a song-and-dance team in Nashville, beginning when Bobby was three and Harold was nine. Hebb performed on a TV show hosted by country music record producer Owen Bradley, which earned him a place with Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff.[1] Hebb played spoons and other instruments in Acuff's band. Harold later became a member of Johnny Bragg and the Marigolds. Bobby Hebb sang backup on Bo Diddley's 'Diddley Daddy'. Hebb played 'West-coast-style' trumpet in a United States Navy jazz band, and replaced Mickey Baker in Mickey and Sylvia."

Hat tipa to Jeff Meyerson and Scott Cupp.

Tom Mankiewicz, R. I. P.

R.I.P. Tom Mankiewicz 1942 - 2010 at "Tom Mankiewicz, who helped Richard Donner make the world believe that a man could fly in 1978's Superman, has died, reports WENN. He was 68.

Though far from a household name, fans of science fiction and action films are very familiar with Mankiewicz work, which included some of the biggest films of the 1970s. His first credited screenplay, the surfer-beach-drama The Sweet Ride, failed to catch on with audiences who were already growing tired of the Beach Party genre, but James Bond producer Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli saw a playful tone in his dialogue that he wanted to bring to his flagship franchise and hired him to pen the adaptation of Diamonds Are Forever. This partnership continued with the next two Bond films, Live and Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun."

Mitch Jayne, R. I. P.

The Bluegrass Blog � Mitch Jayne passes: News at the speed of bluegrass!: "Born July 5, 1930, Mitch Jayne passed away Monday, August 2, 2010 in Columbia, MO, after being diagnosed with cancer only recently.

In the 1960′s, The Dillards were introduced to a larger American audience as the Darlin’ Family on the Andy Griffith Show. Mitch Jayne served as the band’s bass player, emcee, and author of many of the band’s songs."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

No pool, no problem: Neighbors take a dip in a water-filled Dumpster | | - News, Houston news, Texas News, Headlines: "It's slim pickings when it comes to finding a public swimming pool in Oak Cliff, so a Dumpster will have to do.

'Everybody thinks this is really weird,' conceded Marianna Griggs, who leased the king-size trash container to create a refreshing respite.
[. . . .]
It was lined with a billboard tarp after ridding it of trash, sanding down the sides and washing it down with bleach and water.

Griggs pours in half a bottle of bleach every few days to ward off bacteria. Her younger cousins don't seem to worry about what might have previously occupied the watering hole.

'This tarp is pretty tough; it's double-layered,' said Jose Barrientes."

Video at the link.

Gastonia Leads the Way

Man staples brother's chin during fight, police say | Gaston County News: "A man took a staple gun to his older brother's chin during a fight early Tuesday morning.
[. . . .]
22-year-old Kevin Lee Atkins assaulted his older brother with a staple gun, causing serious lacerations to his chin, police say.

The father, 52-year-old Hoyt David Atkins, brandished a 12-gauge shotgun and fired a warning shot to try and break up the fight."


I thought I'd say something about my reviews again. It's nothing I haven't said before, but it's worth repeating. Most of my reviews are positive, and there's a reason for that: I don't review every book I read. I'm bringing this up, in fact, because of a book I'm not reviewing. It's by a best-selling author, and I'm sure it's sold zillions of copies. I read it, but I didn't like it. It's all action, all the time, and there's nothing wrong with that, but the writing , well, . . it just didn't work for me. Obviously I'm in the minority here, however, so why should I slam a writer who no doubt worked long and hard to become a hit and who no doubt also worked long and hard to write the book? I'd rather spend my time talking about books I really liked. So that's what I'll continue to do. You can find all the bad reviews you want on Amazon if you're so inclined. Just look around.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Geeky License Plates

Wednesday Geeky Pics: More Geeky License Plates

Top 10 Most Expensive Sales on AbeBooks for July 2010

Discover the Top 10 Most Expensive Sales on AbeBooks for July 2010

Rank Has Its Privileges

Ferraris in handicapped spaces anger shoppers in Harris County | | Local News: "Visitors to the Vintage Park Shopping Center at Louetta and Highway 249 said there was no excuse for a group of Ferraris taking over all of the handicapped spaces closest to an Italian restaurant Sunday afternoon.

Members of the Houston Chapter of the Ferrari Club of America said it was all a misunderstanding."

Big Trouble in Little China

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Robert F. Boyle, R. I. P.

Robert F. Boyle, Film Designer for Hitchcock, Dies - Obituary (Obit) - "Robert F. Boyle, the eminent Hollywood production designer who created some of the most memorable scenes and images in cinematic history — Cary Grant clinging to Mount Rushmore in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest,” the bird’s-eye view of the seagull attack in “The Birds,” the colorfully ramshackle shtetl for “Fiddler on the Roof” — died on Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 100."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

These Are Great

Kanye West's Tweets Matched With New Yorker Cartoons (PICTURES)

And You Thought It Was P. K. Dick

Inception ripped off a Scrooge McDuck comic - Boing Boing

Here He Comes to Save the Day

First Superman Comic Saves Family's Home - ABC News: "A struggling family facing foreclosure has stumbled upon what is considered to be the Holy Grail of comic books in their basement – a fortuitous find that could fetch upwards of a quarter million dollars at auction.

A copy of Action Comics No. 1, the first in which Superman ever appeared, was discovered as they went about the painful task of packing up a home that had been in the family since at least the 1950s. The couple, who live in the South with their children, asked to remain anonymous."

Hat tip to John Hall.

Book Review of Interest

On the trail of Chang Apana, the real Charlie Chan : The New Yorker: "CHAN, THE MAN On the trail of the honorable detective."

So Long, Kodachrome

De Niro, Brooklyn, India on last Kodachrome roll - Yahoo! News: "What should a photographer shoot when he's entrusted with the very last roll of Kodachrome?

Steve McCurry took aim at the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Terminal and a few human icons, too. Paul Simon, the singer-songwriter synonymous with the fabled film's richly saturated colors, shied away. But Robert De Niro stood in for the world of filmmaking."

Thuglit, R. I. P.?

Thuglit - Writing About Wrongs: "To answer the flood of e-mails and Facebookings that we’ve endured since we removed the submissions link…well? We’re taking a break, gang. A loooong break. Like a ‘maybe forever’ break. Right now, we’re calling it an indefinite hiatus. One thing we’ve learned over the last five years is: Hey, you never know."

The archives will remain available. Meanwhile click the link and check out the current (and maybe final) issue.

You Don't Want to Miss This

Meritorious Mysteries: Guest Blogger - Bill Crider

Morrie Yohai, R. I. P.

Morrie Yohai, 90, inventor of the Cheez Doodle, dies: "Morrie Yohai, who died of cancer at age 90 last week, was a mystic, a World War II Marine pilot and a philanthropist. But he’ll probably be remembered most as the creator of the Cheez Doodle.

So how did he come up with the iconic snack? After World War II, Yohai took over his father’s snack-food business at the Old London Melba toast factory in the Bronx. The business already made Cheese Waffles, caramel popcorn and other snacks but wanted something new, Newsday reported.

'We were looking for another snack item,' Yohai told Newsday in a 2005 interview. 'We were fooling around and found out there was a machine that extruded cornmeal and it almost popped like popcorn.'

Yohai said they decided to chop the cornmeal product into small pieces and coat it with cheese. 'We wanted to make it as healthy as possible,' he said, 'so it was baked, not fried.'

The name Doodle occurred to him as they sat round a table sampling various kinds of cheese for snacks."

Gray Pride!

Gray pride: Model, 45, dares to bare silver hair - TODAY Fashion & Beauty - "She gives new meaning to the term “Silver Fox.”

Model Kristen McMenamy is experiencing a revitalization in her career despite two very large checks against her — she’s 45 years old and she has long, fully gray hair."

Photo at the link.

Dan Resin, R. I. P.

Rest in Peace, Dan Resin: "Actor Dan Resin, who was best known for his work in comedy series ‘Caddyshack’, has passed away at the age of 79. Reportedly, Dan Resin died of medical complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was being treated at the Oakland Care Center where he died on Friday.
[. . . .]
He has appeared in Broadway shows like ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Once Upon a Mattress’. His most memorable performance was the portrayal of Dr. Beeper in the golf comedy ‘Caddyshack’ in which he appeared along with Bill Murray, Ted Knight, and Chevy Chase.

Throughout 80s and the 90s, Resin continued appearing on small screen and did some film projects too. But after Dr. Beeper, Dan Resin is best known for his appearance as a yachtsman in TV commercials.

As Ty-D-Bol man, Resin used to examine people’s toilet bowls in TV adverts."

Mike Ripley's Latest "Getting Away With Murder"

Shots Ezine: Getting Away With Murder, The Mike Ripley Column - Get The Latest Trade News and Gossip from the Crime, Mystery and Thriller genres

Launch Day!

So buy early and often! After St. Martin's gives me the big new contract and I'm raking in the millions, I'll remember all the little people I stepped on as I clawed my way to the top. Trust me. And buy the book. Today. Let's get those numbers up there!

Why Didn't I Think of This?

Brooklyn high school teacher throws self down stairwell to avoid a negative review - "Maybe she should have just called in sick.

An untenured Brooklyn high-school teacher catapulted herself down a school stairwell in a wacky attempt to avoid a classroom observation by her supervisor, a probe obtained by The Post shows.

Staffers at the HS for Innovation in Advertising and Media told investigators that first-year teacher Ilene Feldman was so petrified about a scheduled classroom observation -- coming in the wake of a poor performance review -- that she staged a clumsy pratfall in a stairwell rather than risk getting a second negative rating."

No Comment Department

Lone Star Statements by Matthew Baldwin - The Morning News: "The following are excerpts from actual one-star reviews of books from Time’s list of the 100 best novels from 1923 to the present."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Question of the Day

What Do E-book Covers Cover? � PWxyz

Every Misuse of "Lay" and "Lie" on Madmen

Ironic Sans: Mad Men Don't Lie

Via GrammarGirl on Twitter.

20 Classic Opening Lines In Books

20 Classic Opening Lines In Books | Photo 1 of 21 |

Another Old Review I Wrote

It's from 1001 Midnights, and it's here.

Bells of Coronado

Monday, August 02, 2010

Georgia Leads the Way

We're No. 1! UGA tops party schools ranking | General Headlines | "The University of Georgia has won a national title this year — top party school.

The Princeton Review announced Monday that Georgia is ranked the country's No. 1 party school on its now infamous annual list. The Athens campus has been on the list 10 times since the ranking was created in 1992, but this is the first time the university has taken the top spot."

Mitch Miller, R. I. P.

Mitch Miller: Mitch Miller dies at 99 - "The musician and producer helped shape musical tastes in the 1950s and '60s. He nurtured the careers of Vic Damone, Patti Page and Leslie Uggams.

Mitch Miller, who helped shape musical tastes in the 1950s and early '60s as the head of the popular music division at Columbia Records and hosted the hit 'Sing Along With Mitch' TV show in the early '60s while becoming one of the era's most commercially successful recording artists, has died. He was 99."

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

Bring Me the Head of . . . Sheriff Joe?

Mexican Drug Cartel Allegedly Puts a Price on Arizona Sheriff's Head The audio message in Spanish is a bit garbled, but the text is clear.

"It's offering a million dollars for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's head and offering a thousand dollars for anyone who wants to join the Mexican cartel."

DVR Alert

Large Hungry Crocodiles (‘Lake Placid 3‘) and Heat Sucking Aliens (‘Frost Giant‘) Steam Up Syfy’s August Saturday Original Movies: "Debuting Saturday [on SyFy], August 21, at 9PM (ET/PT), Lake Placid 3 stars Colin Ferguson (Eureka) as a game warden who moves his family to Lake Placid, once the site of deadly crocodile attacks. Locals assure him the crocs are gone, but his mischievous young son finds a few baby crocs and begins feeding them. They quickly grow into very big adults and start attacking the game warden’s family and nearby town. Lake Placid 3 also stars Yancy Butler (Kick-Ass) and Michael Ironside (Terminator Salvation). A UFO production for Sony."

Tomorrow is Launch Day

I'll remind you again tomorrow, but I knew you'd want to be prepared to order early and often. As you know, my plan is for Sheriff Rhodes to take Stephanie Plum's place at St. Martin's now that Janet Evanovich has decided that $50 million isn't enough for four books. So we have to make a big push on the first day and get the new book off to a roaring start. It's on Kindle, too. Help make me richer!

Noir 13 -- Ed Gorman

This has been a good year for anybody wanting to read some fine short stories by Ed Gorman (and who doesn't?). First there was the hefty Ramble House collection, The End of it All, and now comes Noir 13 from Perfect Crime Books. Let's face it: Gorman's one of the best short-story writers around, and you can't go wrong if you buy both these collections. The current one has (you guessed it) 13 stories, some of them never before published, which makes it even more enticing. Get it now, and get The End of it All if you haven't bought it already.

Taiwan Leads the Way

Taiwanese woman catches 4 million mosquitoes: "A Taiwanese woman has taken a sizeable bite out of Taiwan's mosquito population, and won a 3,000 US dollar cash prize, by catching around 4 million of the bloodsuckers in just one month."

He's Joking, Right?

Paul the Octopus 'to record Elvis tribute album' | "‘One of the most exciting things is that he has a record deal in place for an album, called Paul The Octopus Sings Elvis,’ said Mr Davies.

‘There are books being written, a range of octopus toys are coming out this Christmas and there is even a new iPhone app.’"

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Everybody's a Critic

Police: Wendy’s robber complains about skimpy haul: "Police say a man who robbed a fast-food restaurant with a gun was so mad about the amount of loot that he called back twice to complain."

How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em . . . ?

After 378 Years, NH Family Farm Goes Up For Sale : NPR: "In 1632, John Tuttle arrived from England to a settlement near the Maine-New Hampshire border, using a small land grant from King Charles I to start a farm.

Eleven generations and 378 years later, his field-weary descendants — arthritic from picking fruits and vegetables and battered by competition from supermarkets and pick-it-yourself farms — are selling their spread, which is among the oldest continuously operated family farms in America."

The Snake Should Have Stayed off His Lawn

Man Performs Self Surgery After Copperhead Bite - Winston-Salem News Story - WXII The Triad: "An 81-year-old Wilkes County man didn't see a doctor after receiving a bite from a copperhead snake, but rather decided to remove the venom on his own.
[. . . .]
'I gripped my hand and stuck it down in,' Church said, describing how he used a knife to cut a slit between the two fang marks before sucking the venom out. He then killed the snake by stomping on it with his boot."

Where Eagles Dare

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Here's the Plot for Your Next Serial Killer Thriller

US couple held as serial killing suspects in Panama paradise | World news | The Guardian: "For American expatriates, Bocas del Toro seemed the ideal retreat: an archipelago of white sand beaches, coconut palms and guesthouses off Panama's Caribbean coast. It was relaxed, friendly and sunny. Then people started to disappear."

Photo at the link.

Random Texas Sign

Photo at the link.

Random Texas sign: "Dang good candy" - Boing Boing

The Death of the Phone Call

Clive Thompson on the Death of the Phone Call | Magazine: "This generation doesn’t make phone calls, because everyone is in constant, lightweight contact in so many other ways: texting, chatting, and social-network messaging. And we don’t just have more options than we used to. We have better ones: These new forms of communication have exposed the fact that the voice call is badly designed. It deserves to die."

Some Great Shots Here

Captured: New York City from Above – Plog Photo Blog

Link via Neatorama.


If you're looking for all action all the time, this is the movie for you. It's 100 minutes long, and it never pauses. That being said, it's also completely, wildly implausible action, so turn off your brain before you go in. You won't need your brain, anyway. I knew pretty much where this one was going about ten minutes in, and I was right all the way. I guess I've read too many books and seen too many movies.

Not that it matters. I still had a good time, and Angelina Jolie looks great. Not when she's getting shot and beaten, of course, but all the rest of the time. Even the ending, which contains the biggest plot problem in the film (and that's saying something), didn't really bother me. Well, it did, but again, so what? There's plenty of shooting, so many chase scenes I couldn't count them, a few explosions, and Jolie making James Bond look like a wimp. Isn't that what summer movies are all about?

10 Books That Would Be Geektastic Movies

10 Books That Would Be Geektastic Movies

Link via SF Signal.

Today's Western Movie Poster

But What if You're Already 65?

How to save a $1 million retirement nest egg by age 65 - Jul. 27, 2010: "How to save $1 million by 65"

Dead Sea Scrolls Mystery Solved?

Dead Sea Scrolls Mystery Solved?: "The recent decoding of a cryptic cup, the excavation of ancient Jerusalem tunnels, and other archaeological detective work may help solve one of the great biblical mysteries: Who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?

The new clues hint that the scrolls, which include some of the oldest known biblical documents, may have been the textual treasures of several groups, hidden away during wartime—and may even be 'the great treasure from the Jerusalem Temple,' which held the Ark of the Covenant, according to the Bible."

There Are a Lot of 'Em

Mug shots of the rich and infamous - South Florida

Flying Leathernecks