Saturday, November 12, 2011

Alcohol, er, Bath Salts Might Have Been Involved A Vandalia family is in shock when a man broke into their house, made himself at home and even put up Christmas decorations.

Police said the man's strange behavior may involve bath salts.

Another Nic Cage Update

Hollywood Reporter: Nicolas Cage’s nearly-pristine copy of Action Comics no. 1 featuring the first appearance of Superman—stolen from his home in 2000 and just recovered in April in a storage locker—is poised to become the most expensive comic ever sold on the open market during an online auction now being conducted by

The auction started today and ends on Nov. 30th. After just a few hours bidding has already reached $900,000. The current record is $1.5 million for a less well-preserved copy of Action Comics no. 1 sold in March 2010.

Today's Vintage Ad

Hat tip to Art Scott.

AbeBooks: Charles Dickens and the Popularity of Abject Misery

AbeBooks: Charles Dickens and the Popularity of Abject Misery: The world has seen many talented wordsmiths in literature, but few can hold a candle to the skill of Charles Dickens (1812-1870), especially when it comes to bleakness, hardship and injustice. After all, how many famous figures can boast that their name became an adjective (in this case ‘Dickensian’) meaning squalid, grim and poverty-stricken? That’s an impressive accomplishment of excellent descriptive writing (if perhaps somewhat depressing).


Edgar Box (Gore Vidal), Death Likes it Hot, Signet, 1955

The Eight Most Beautiful Churches in Houston

The Eight Most Beautiful Churches in Houston

Nicolas Cage Update The Sun reports that the Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans actor only eats meat from animals that mate in a 'dignified' way

Sure, this is an old item, but Seepy Benton thought I should blog it.

Spitfire Update

BBC News: An excavation at the site of a 1941 Spitfire crash in a bog in the Irish Republic uncovered huge, remarkably preserved chunks of plane and six Browning machine guns. After 70 years buried in peat could they be made to fire? They certainly could, writes Dan Snow.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Snow White: Not Just a Fairy Tale

Snow White: Not Just a Fairy Tale

10 Fictional Workplaces We Wish Were Real

10 Fictional Workplaces We Wish Were Real

News Flash of the Day

Testicle bite woman Maria Topp given suspended sentence

Top 10 Vintage Things We Miss About Football

Top 10 Vintage Things We Miss About Football

The 12 Strangest Celebrity Businesses

The 12 Strangest Celebrity Businesses

Airport 1975

Friday, November 11, 2011

Movie Recalled Because of Ideogical Blunder

ATLAS SHRUGGED Inadvertently Releases Collector’s Item

Is Our Children Learning?

Los Angeles Elementary School Under Fire For Inviting Porn Star Sasha Grey To Read To Children, Report Says

Update: Ms. Grey's rebuttal can be read here.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson and Art Scott.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Cops: Tennessee Woman Stabbed First Cousin During Fight Over His Bid For "Booty Call"

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Woman beats school bus driver, drops pants at officers

The 12 Most Secretive Companies in America

The 12 Most Secretive Companies in America

Today's Vintage Ad

Hat tip to Art Scott.

No Dead Cougar Jokes, Please

Cops Discover Dead Cougar In Freezer Of Florida Man, 73

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Oakmont Man Injured In Drive-By Pumpkin Attack

What's 911 for if not Such Emergencies?

Man Arrested After Calling 911 Five Times To Complain About His Broken iPhone


Robert Silverberg, Needle in a Timestack, Ballantine, 1966

15 Beautiful Women Who Played Cleopatra

15 Beautiful Women Who Played Cleopatra

Link via Neatorama.

I'll Bet Cap'n Bob Does

9 Bad Drivers Nobody Complains About

Today's Western Movie Poster

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texas scientist makes strands of ‘invisibility cloak’

10 Best Shows-Within-Shows in TV History

10 Best Shows-Within-Shows in TV History

David Cramer Makes an Offer You Can't Refuse

The Education of a Pulp Writer: Free Copies of Cash & Miles, Vol. II: Leave your e-mail address in the comments and I will send you a free Kindle version of ADVENTURES OF CASH LARAMIE AND GIDEON MILES, Vol. II. Or e-mail me at Sorry, no other formats currently available. Offer good through this Sunday at midnight.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day, is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It is coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

Forgotten Books: My Favorite Fantasy Story -- Martin Greenberg, Editor

I'm really fond of anthologies like this. You pick a group of fantasy writers and you ask each one to pick a favorite story and write a short intro explaining the choice. You can hardly fail to come up with a first-class book.

Two writers, Robert Silverberg and Gorge R. R. Martin, picked stories by Jack Vance, both from the same collection, The Dying Earth, which happens to be one of my favorite fantasy collections. And a favorite story that I still remember reading in F&SF long years ago is "That Hell-Bound Train," chosen by Rick Hautala. Terry Pratchett picked L. Sprague de Camp's "The Gnarly Man." Neil Gaiman chose one by R. A. Lafferty.

This book's over 11 years old now, and I suspect not many people remember it. It has over 400 pages of great stories, and if you don't have it on your shelves, you're missing a bet.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

The 25 Greatest Love Songs of the 1970s

The 25 Greatest Love Songs of the 1970s

Hat tip to Todd Mason.

AFM's 20 Most Outrageous Movie Posters

AFM's 20 Most Outrageous Movie Posters Gallery

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

CBS Charlotte: Upset about the lack of toilet paper that was available in his room, a man destroyed $2,090 worth of hotel property on Monday, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police report. The identity of the man remains unknown.

Croc Update (Emergency Surgery Edition)

Pregnant crocodile undergoes eight-hour operation to remove Coca-Cola can from its stomach

The Affair -- Lee Child

The Affair is a flashback to the beginning of the career of Jack Reacher, who's appeared in 15 or so earlier novels by Lee Child. Unlike most of them, this one's told in first person, but then maybe all the flashback ones are. The difference this time is that it's told as if Reacher's telling it now and reflecting on the time that the story takes place, a pre-9/11 world where things were different.

In a little Mississippi town, three women have been murdered, and Reacher's sent by the army to work undercover and see what he can find out. Why? Because there's an army base nearby and because a senator's son is also on the base. Reacher's cover is blown about five minutes after he gets to town, and he begins to investigate the murders, though that's not his job. He and the local sheriff, a very attractive woman, begin an affair. (There's a good bit of softporn sex in this book, more than in the earlier Reacher novels, as I recall.) Strange things are going on around the army base. Bad things happen. Before long, even the sheriff is a suspect.

Reacher, of course, sorts it all out in his usual fashion. Due process? Reacher laughs at due process. He takes care of things his own way.

The clock in Reacher's head, the one that's accurate to the minute, if not the second, is mentioned several times. There's a funny line where Reacher says he doesn't know anything about fruit trees. If so, it's the only thing he doesn't know about, as he spouts plenty of knowledge before the end of the novel.

The book's fast and entertaining, sure to make Reacher fans happy and to capture a few new ones.

Today's Vintage Ad

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas


Horace McCoy, I Should Have Stayed Home, Signet, 1951

The Kitten Covers

CBS News: The Kitten Covers: Albums re-imagined with cats!

The 10 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Business Names in Houston

The 10 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Business Names in Houston

Or Maybe You Do

A Few Facts You May Not Know About Some Like It Hot

The Landmark Books of Haruki Murakami

AbeBooks: The Landmark Books of Haruki Murakami: We simply haven’t showcased enough of Japan’s writing talent so let’s start with Haruki Murakami. He writes novels, he writes short stories, he writes non-fiction, he has a shelf filled with literary awards and he’s sold a lot of books.

Murakami is one of the most important figures in modern literature and is always prepared to challenge readers and critics with books that don’t conform to traditional narrative structures. Acclaimed as his fiction is, one of Murakami’s most engaging titles is about running – his 2008 book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, shows another side of his character.

Today's Western Movie Poster

I Suspect Someone's Working on at Least One of These

19 Insane Posters for Movies That May Never Exist

Sylvester Stallone designs a pen

Nancy Olson, Ink: Montegrappa is introducing the Chaos pen collection, inspired and designed by Montegrappa brand ambassador, filmmaker, writer and actor Sylvester Stallone. A long-tme collector of Montegrappa pens, Stallone will also serve as the face of Montegrappa in the company's new advertising campaign. Apparently Mr. Stallone drew inspiration for the design of the pen from his film The Expendables. He worked with Montegrappa's artisans to produce it, intending to demonstrate the juxtaposition between Renaissance art and our current technological society.

Gators and Drugs -- A Continuing Series

KETV Omaha: Authorities said a 30-year-old man was arrested after they found an alligator, a snake, a slew of turtles and an elaborate marijuana-growing operation in his home.

Classic mugshot at the link.

I Report, You Decide

Were 'Curse of Tutankhamun' deaths actually murders by arch-satanist Aleister Crowley?

Louisiana Purchase

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What a Deal!

The Dead Man: KILL THEM ALL -- 99 Cents for a Very Limited Time!!: Harry Shannon's KILL THEM ALL, the sixth book in the DEAD MAN series, is bargain priced at 99 cents for a very limited time. And if you visit the product page for the book, you'll find a terrific Q&A interview with the author.

Cynthia Myers, R. I. P.

Playboy Playmate Cynthia Myers Dies: BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS Star: Model and actress Cynthia Myers, a 1968 Playboy Playmate, died Nov. 4. She was 61. Hugh Hefner announced her death on Twitter: “I’m saddened by the news of the passing of beloved Playmate Cynthia Myers, Miss December 1968.” No details about the cause of death have been released yet.

Hat tip to Fred Blosser.

This Is on the internet, So I Know It's True

FOCUS Information Agency: Athens. It is believed that the tomb of Alexander the Great and the Ark of the Covenant have been found on the Greek Island of Thasos, announced Russian, which is information partner of the Greek Minister of Culture and Tourism.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . . A Fresno Pacific University basketball player went on a naked rampage Monday night near campus after being told that he had been kicked off the team, Fresno police said Tuesday.

Leonard Tyrell Young, 21, ran naked through a convenience store parking lot, tried to steal a police car, beat a police officer and police dog and withstood three Taser strikes before finally being subdued, police said.

Bil Keane, R. I. P.

The Associated Press: 'Family Circus' creator Bil Keane dies at 89: Bil Keane's "Family Circus" comics entertained readers with a simple but sublime mix of humor and traditional family values for more than a half century. The appeal endured, the author thought, because the American public needed the consistency.

Keane, who started drawing the one-panel cartoon featuring Billy, Jeffy, Dolly, P.J. and their parents in February 1960, died Tuesday at age 89 at his longtime home in Paradise Valley, near Phoenix. His comic strip is featured in nearly 1,500 newspapers across the country.

Margaret Field, R. I. P. Margaret Field, an actress who appeared in countless television shows in the 1950s and ’60s and who was the mother of the Academy Award winner Sally Field, died on Sunday at her home in Malibu, Calif. She was 89.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Croc Update (They're Everywhere Edition)

Crocodile shock | Orange UK: A man is facing a year in jail after police discovered a rare crocodile living in his bath.

The three-year-old Cuban crocodile - critically endangered in the wild - will one day reach nine foot long and said by experts to be the most intelligent and aggressive croc in the world.

Owner Fabio Lazelli was caught out when his neighbours dialed 999 after a bust up at their apartment block in Cremona, Italy.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

But He Didn't Make a Cage from Their Bones

BBC News: A suspected grave robber in the central Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod is said by police to have made 29 life-size dolls from mummified female corpses.

Hat tip to Karin Montin.

All the Earth Thrown to the Sky -- Joe R. Lansdale

All the Earth Thrown to the Sky is being sold as a YA novel, which is fine by me. Still, it's not that different from any other novel by Joe Lansdale except for less cussing and sex. In other words, it's funny, insightful, and all-around good reading.

Jack Catcher's a kid during the Great Depression, and he lives in the Dust Bowl. His mother's died, and his father's committed suicide. You might think that Jack would be a little depressed, but he's a strong character, and when he gets a chance to strike out on an adventure with a couple of other kids -- Jane and her little brother, Tony -- he's all for it.

So this is a road novel, with the youthful trio encountering all manner of people and adventures, from the common folk to notorious gangsters to evil lawmen.

I particularly enjoyed the Burroughs references and the humor, but there's plenty more here to like. You can't go wrong with Lansdale. Check it out.

Not Today's Vintage Ad

10 Celebs with Amazing SAT Scores

10 Celebs with Amazing SAT Scores


James M. Cain, The Butterfly, Signet, 1955

Find the Hidden Picture

Chicago Sun-Times: A smirking horned devil exists in the frescoed clouds of a Giotto work in the famed Assisi basilica, an Italian art historian said Tuesday — a tantalizing detail that apparently went unnoticed by scholars for centuries.

Reed Farrel Coleman Interview

Reed Farrel Coleman is the blog's guest today, and he agreed to be interrogated. Here's what he had to say when I stuck the bamboo splinters under his fingernails.

Q: I think I first met you at the Bouchercon in Toronto in 2004, and everybody was wearing “Save Moe” buttons. Obviously Moe was saved, and here he is again in The Hurt Machine. Tell us a little about his publishing travels.

A: After I lost my Plume/Viking contract on an Edgar nominated, Shamus, Barry, and Anthony winning novel—The James Deans—Bleak House Books was very happy to pick up the series. I published two Moe books with them—Soul Patch and Empty Ever After. Soul Patch was nominated for the Edgar and won the Shamus. EEA won the Shamus. When Ben LeRoy moved over to Tyrus Books, Moe went along with him. First for Innocent Monster and now for Hurt Machine. There are two more books planned: a prequel titled Onion Street and a final coda for the series.

Q: Moe might have been saved, but you’ve really put him through the wringer. What about the future? Anything you can tell us about what it holds for Moe?

A: Well, yes and no. Hurt Machine is a bittersweet novel because Moe is on the verge of his daughter’s wedding when he finds out some very grave news about his health. At this best and worst moment in his life, his ex-wife and former PI partner, Carmella, appears to ask him a desperate favor. He takes on the task as a hedge against his own fears.

Q: The series has won some nice awards. Do awards have any effect on sales in your experience?

A: Awards are great, but if you get a sales bump, it’s from the nominations. As Harlan Coben once said to me, “People forget who wins. They remember who gets nominated and think you won anyway.” Awards do earn you some respect among your peers, but I’ve never known how to quantify what they do for my sales. I’m just happy to have them. At Lee Child’s party in Madison, Lee came by my table and jokingly admonished me for winning so many awards at one time. He asked if I might give him an award or two. I said I’d trade them for his pin#. He half-smiled and walked away.

Q: You’re also a poet. Do you think writing poetry has had an effect on your prose style?

A: Absolutely. There is a certain rhythm to my prose. I don’t count iambs or anything, but it’s definitely a component of my work. It has also effected my process in that I edit and edit and edit constantly and how the words look on the page are very important. I also read my work aloud. This is so important, I cannot emphasize it enough. It helps eliminate clunky language and helps with the flow of the work. Poetry also taught me how to get to the reader’s heart economically.

Q: Tell us about Tower, your collaboration with Ken Bruen. What was it like to write a novel with another poet who’s also a distinctive stylist?

A: I often joke that both Ken and I benefited from having three thousand miles of ocean between us and that neither one of us owning a handgun. Seriously, though, it was the hardest work I ever did and also the most Zen-like. Ken left my half of the book to me to figure out. He gave me almost no instruction on how to do my part. It was like being the other hand in the one hand clapping allegory. It made me really get inside the characters and it forced me to excel. I guess we did okay as we sold the movie rights and word is they want to make this happen. We’ll see.

Q: Back to plugging the current stuff. Not only is there a new Moe Prager book coming out this month but Gun Church, a standalone novel, as well. Great planning? Accident of fate?

A: I wouldn’t have planned it this way, but it has given me some cross-promotional opportunities and allows me to get back to my real work after a month or two of heavily pushing the new books. David Lehman, my poetry instructor at Brooklyn College, used to advise us to use our mistakes. Here, I’m using fate and serendipity. The books are an interesting contrast in styles, sub-genres, formats, etc. It makes promoting them more fun than usual.

Q: Gun Church is coming out exclusively from rather than in print. What do you see as the advantages of this format?

A: After a set time period, I can seek a traditional and e-rights deal, but I love this format. The book is done by two narrators/voice actors. This reflects the fact that Gun Church features a book within a book conceit: one first person in American English, the other in third person Irish dialect. Audible believed in this book so much, the two actor thing was their idea, not mine. It’s sort of the difference between a movie and a book, but where my manuscript is the actual script. Very cool.

Q: I thought Gun Church was a terrific story. It has action, humor, great characters, and something to say about writing and the creative process. But you imply in your intro that it was a tough sell. Any idea why?

A: Well, it might be a tad controversial, which is good after a book is out, but makes it tougher to sell initially. Also, it was a matter of finding the right editor or the right editor finding it. Steve Feldberg at Audible worked very very hard with me to get the book into shape. The novel has so many characters, so many moving parts, that I lost control of the process at times. Steve saw the book in the manuscript my agent sent him and he stubbornly worked with me till we got it right. I think that’s part of the problem these days. I think many novels out in the world have great potential, but editors are so overworked, they don’t have the time to devote to manuscripts to make them publishable. I got lucky.

Q: Any other writers you’d recommend, aside from the usual suspects? Maybe a forgotten book or forgotten writer?

A: I am a huge fan and friend of Peter Spiegelman. I think he’s about as good and talented an writer as there is working today. He just doesn’t get the attention he should. When I look at my own work, I hold it up against Peter’s to see if I’ve done well. He’s my measuring stick. Red Cat is one of the 10 best detective novel’s I’ve ever read and should have been nominated for every award in mystery fiction. It will be a classic someday. His new novel Thick As Thieves is an amazing caper novel and a truly seamless piece of work. New writers would do well to read Peter’s work and to measure by his standard.

Q: Thanks for taking the time for this interview, Reed, and congratulations on two terrific new books in two different formats. I hope they sell a ton. And now one final question: Are you really related to Henny Youngman?

A: Thanks, I hope they sell a ton too. I am indeed related to the late Henny Youngman. He was married to my father’s Aunt Sadie, so he was my great uncle. And now you know when he used to say, “Take my wife, please,” he was saying it about my great aunt.

Thanks again, Reed, for being such a good sport!

And Keep Off Her Lawn!

Woman, 85, reels in 850lb marlin

Australia Leads the Way

Australia Issuing DC Superhero License Plates

Today's Western Movie Poster

8 Horror Movies That Inspired Real-Life Crimes

8 Horror Movies That Inspired Real-Life Crimes

Archaeology Update

Stone-cutter finds fossil whale in marble slabs

8 Sports Agents Who Changed the Field

8 Sports Agents Who Changed the Field

The 10 Best Cast Reunions of All Time

The 10 Best Cast Reunions of All Time

The Long Gray Line

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Heavy D, R. I. P.

Heavy D dead at 44: Rap legend collapsed Tuesday inside his Beverly Hills home - NY Daily News: ROTUND RAP legend Heavy D died Tuesday after collapsing in his California home. He was 44.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


CBS To Reboot Western ‘The Rifleman’ With Laeta Kalogridis, Chris Columbus And Carol Mendelsohn

Hat tip to John Hall.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Election worker bites voter's nose outside Cleveland polling place

Gator Update (They're Everywhere Edition)

Alligator captured at Michigan church - News: Police have caught a six-foot-long alligator that was spotted roaming the property of a southern Michigan church.

Nice photo at the link.

I Suppose They Were Small Bags

Wilmington, NC news and weather -: A man stopped by cops for after he had a problem with his car in Cleveland County was found with 11 bags of marijuana "in his buttocks," a Shelby Police report said.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Croc Update (Granddaddy of Them All Edition)

Discovery News: An enormous prehistoric crocodile-like creature called "Shieldcroc," so named because of a shield-like bony plate on its head, could be the last common ancestor of animals related to crocodiles and alligators.

Diving into the Wreck -- Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Kristine Kathryn Rusch is a writer I admire tremendously. She's prolific in four of five genres and has won awards in all of them. For years she edited The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and became the only person to win a Hugo for both editing and writing. Besides all that, she's been part of a small press, and she has a blog that's much more professional and ambitious than this one.

Diving into the Wreck is the first book in a new series about, well, wreck divers. Boss (that's her on the cover, I assume) is the professional wreck diver, which means that she gathers crews to salvage wrecked and long-abandoned spaceships. When she discovers a wreck far from where it should be, from a time when faster-than-light travel was impossible, she knows she has an unusual find. Little does she know. The crew she puts together finds out that the ship possesses stealth technology far beyond anything known to current science. It's the kind of tech that could shake up the whole galaxy.

Bad things happen. Boss loses crew members and leaves the wreck. She becomes a shuttle for tourists who want to dive safe, well-known wrecks and tries to forget the dangerous ship. Fat chance. A stranger comes to hire her to go back. Her estranged father is involved, and so is a lot of Boss' past that she'd rather forget.

Wreck diving is a cool concept, and Rush has a fine storyteller. If you like SF adventure, this is one you need to check out for sure.

Not Today's Vintage Ad

Unintentionally funny moments in horror cinema

Unintentionally funny moments in horror cinema

The 11 Most Innovative Online Retailers

The 11 Most Innovative Online Retailers


Paul Warren, Next Time Is for Life, Dell First Edition, 1953

DC Leads the Way

DC leads list of most shopaholic cities in America - and New York doesn't even make it into top ten

10 Horrifying Serial Killers

10 Horrifying Serial Killers

What Would This Blog Smell Like?

That's a rhetorical question, folks. Please don't attempt to answer it.

Olly: Olly takes services on the Internet and delivers their pings as smell. Whether it’s tweets, a like on Instagram, or just your train running late, Olly will be sure to let your nose know about it. The best part? The services Olly connects to can be added to by developers, making the possibilities endless.

Today's Western Movie Poster

The 10 Most Spectacular Sports Stadiums in the World

The 10 Most Spectacular Sports Stadiums in the World

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Smart criminal!

Too bad he didn't have a gub to go with his bom.

Hal Kanter, R. I. P. Hal Kanter, an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer, and a director and producer whose career included writing for Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, directing Elvis Presley and creating a landmark 1960s TV series starring Diahann Carroll, has died. He was 92.

Hard Time

BBC News: A surprise inspection in a prison in Mexico has revealed the presence of 19 prostitutes, 100 plasma televisions, two sacks of marijuana, and 100 cockerels for cock fighting.

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.

Joe Frazier, R. I. P. Joe Frazier, the former world heavyweight boxing champion, died after a battle with liver cancer. He was 67.

Frazier, whose death was confirmed Monday by his family, had been in a Philadelphia-area hospice.

Known for his famous "Thrilla in Manila" fight in 1975 against Muhammad Ali, whom he fought three times, "Smokin' Joe" Frazier is an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

In all, Frazier – at 5'11" and 205 lbs., considered small for a heavywieght – won 32 fights: 27 by knockouts, losing four times (twice to Ali and also to George Foreman). Another fight ended in a draw.

Overlooked Films -- Mr. Brooks

Here's another one of those movies that nobody seemed to like except me, but I liked it a lot.

Kevin Costner is Mr. Brooks, his town's Citizen of the Year. Little does everyone know that while his presents an outward facade of good will and friendliness, he harbors a dark side, a really dark side, represented my William Hurt as Marshall. Soon enough, the killings begin, and if you don't think Demi Moore can act, take a look at her performance as a cop in this one. Excellent work, but then Kostner and Hurt are just as good, and so is Dane Cook as a guy who would like to be Mr. Brooks. Not the good one. The other one.

Some great dialogue, some amusing moments, and an entertaining picture as a whole. It was clearly set up to be the first of a series, but like some other movies I've enjoyed, it didn't make enough money to interest anyone in a follow-up. Too bad, from my point of view.

Mr. Brooks

Monday, November 07, 2011

And Keep Off Her Lawn!

The Smoking Gun: -Convinced that her 88-year-old husband was having an affair with her hairdresser, a Missouri woman, 87, shot her spouse in the arm with his own gun, police report.

You All Saw This on TV, Right?

Octomom Nadya Suleman defeats 'Long Island Lolita' Amy Fisher in celebrity boxing match

Sid Melton, R. I. P. Sid Melton, a jug-eared character actor best known for his regular roles in the television shows “Make Room for Daddy” and “Green Acres,” and for his unflagging reliability as the comic relief in many science fiction and noir films of the 1950s, died on Wednesday in Burbank, Calif. He was 94.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Night Circus -- Erin Morgenstern

Now and then a book that might be published as a big fat fantasy without anybody quibbling about it manages to avoid that label and get published as a mainstream novel to great acclaim. That's what happened with Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, which is about two old magicians who decide to bet on which of their pupils can get the better of the other. Will it be the one who has inherited magical powers or the one who's been carefully taught?

Make no mistake here. The magic is real, though the magicians have to pretend it's just legerdemain in order not to frighten the public. With real magic, anything is possible, so we get a story of escalating marvels. And since the pupils are male and female, we get a love story, too.

The Night Circus is full of characters and incident, but Morgenstern's style is clear, and the story flows in short chapters. My friend George Kelley found this book tough going, but I found it fairly entertaining. Even at that, I'm not sure why it's getting such a big push when I find other fantasy novels (like just about any fantasy by Jack Vance) that are more compelling are shoved off into the genre ghetto. I guess that's just the way of the world.

Not Today's Vintage Ad

Reese Palmer, R. I. P.

The Washington Post: Reese Palmer, the leader of the Washington-based doo-wop group the Marquees, which in the late 1950s featured singer Marvin Gaye and accompanied Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Billy Stewart on records, died Oct. 27 at Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton. He lived in Temple Hills.

A Lot of Lists

Best Books of 2011

Link via SF Signal.


H. Vernor Dixon, Too Rich to Die, GM, 1953

Murder, He Wrote

Murder, He Wrote

The War on the Apostrophe

Fun Facts (and Fiction) about Pikes Peak: In the early days, it was called (and spelled) “Pike’s Peak.” However, in 1891, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names recommended against the use of apostrophes in geographic names, and the possessive apostrophe was removed from all official references. If that wasn't enough, the Colorado state legislature passed a law in 1978 requiring the use of “Pikes Peak.”

Today's Western Movie Poster

Scientific American Is On My Side

Why Daylight Saving Time Should Be Abolished

One of These is Wrong. Just Wrong

Bond Girls: The Best and Worst

Yet Another List I'm Not On

The Top 32 Authors to Follow on Google +

Small Town Girl

Sunday, November 06, 2011

There Will Always Be an England

Mayor and two councillors caught urinating in bushes (after approving closure of public toilets)

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

A New Rip through Time at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: A Rip through Time: Darkling in the Eternal Space :: Chad Eagleton

Texas Is #3

Study: Louisiana has worst drivers in U.S.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

16 Real Old-Timey Photographs That Will Give you Nightmares

16 Real Old-Timey Photographs That Will Give you Nightmares

Today's Vintage Ad

And Stay off Her Lawn!

Houston Chronicle: A 70-year-old Southern California woman and her son are among four people indicted in a narcotics scheme that authorities say involved buying pharmacies so they could purchase and send a powerful cough syrup from California to Texas, where it was sold for the street concoction "purple drank" or "the�lean."

13 Movie Poster Trends

Thirteen movie poster trends that are here to stay and what they say about their movies

History’s 10 Most Famous Criminal Duos

History’s 10 Most Famous Criminal Duos

10 Unusual and Unbelievable Underground Places -

10 Unusual and Unbelievable Underground Places


Morton Cooper, High School Confidential, Avon, 1958

10 More Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

10 More Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

AbeBooks' Top 10 Most Expensive Sales in October 2011

AbeBooks' Top 10 Most Expensive Sales in October 2011: Those naysayers who say the physical book is dead should take a look at October’s top 10 most expensive sales on AbeBooks. The combined value of the top 10 sales exceeds $98,000 and an $11,000 signed first edition of A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway didn’t even crack the top three.

5 Terrifying Things Movies Don't Tell You About Los Angeles

5 Terrifying Things Movies Don't Tell You About Los Angeles

Today's Western Movie Poster

Well, Sure, That's What They'd Say

White House: No E.T. visits, no UFO cover-up

Retirement Around the World

Retirement Around the World: 25 Fascinating Facts

But Where is Seepy?

15 Brilliant Math Geeks Who Outsmarted the System

10 Grassroots Protests That Changed the World

10 Grassroots Protests That Changed the World

The Unfinished Dance