Saturday, December 01, 2007

All Dressed Up and No One to Talk To

This afternoon I got all gussied up and drove over to Houston's fabulous Murder by the Book, where I planned to attend a signing by Duane Swierczynski. But Duane wasn't there.

I don't know what happened to him, but of course I was disappointed. Not as disappointed as the ten or twelve hot chicks dressed like Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, though. Several of them were weeping openly. Between sobs, one of them said she'd had a "special surprise 'Duanie-poo,'" and she was devastated that he wasn't going to be there. I took her outside and comforted her as best I could, and then we went back in side and bought copies of this book. But not signed copies.

Paris Flees from Random Pecker

John Duke made me post this link, which you can click if you want to see the video.

Top 10 Baddest Bad Guys

Thanks to Walter Satterthwait for this video link. Warning: Naughty language!

Once Again, Willie Leads the Way

Nelson Risks Jail To Promote Marijuana :: "Country music legend Willie Nelson has risked being thrown in jail by appearing on the cover of pro-marijuana magazine High Times, holding the drug.

In September last year, the 74-year-old singer was fined and given six months probation after being found guilty of possession of large amounts of marijuana.

But it has not stopped him supporting the drug and those who use it. As well as gracing the magazine's cover, Nelson has performed at a recent Texas benefit concert for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "

Juvenile Humor Alert!

More photos at the link.

Britain's rudest road signs - Independent Online Edition > Features: "Britain's rudest road signs These isles are home to some of the most delightful double-entendres ever committed to a road sign. And Rob Bailey and Ed Hurst have worked long and hard to find the best. Stop tittering at the back ..."

Is It Just Me?

Or does this look kind of creepy?

Christmas Issue of Thuglit Now On-Line

With some fine stories, as usual. Check it out.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Spiderman 3

I thought this might be pretty good, and that's all it was: pretty good. It was way too busy to suit me. Every time I thought a plot line had taken hold, wham! Here comes another one. I lost count of all the plot threads, but there were two villains (three if you count the Dark Spiderman), a love triangle, or maybe a quadrangle, a new discovery about the death of Uncle Ben, serious relationship problems, and a few other things I might be forgetting.

The action scenes were great, especially the first big fight between Spiderman and the new Goblin. The acting was okay, and Bryce Dallas Howard was stunning. There was a good bit of comedy, though I'm not sure all of it was intentional. Tobey Maguire as a rebel without a cause was hilarious. Suddenly his hair gets greasy and hangs in his face. He struts through NYC like John Travolta on steroids. Maybe some actors could make. He even dances like John Travolta on steroids. Or maybe like a spiderman (no, not like Italian Spiderman).

Overall, I'm just as glad I didn't see this one in the theater. It would've looked great up there on the big screen, but it wasn't worth the effort of getting out for. Maybe Spiderman 4 will be better.

No Country for Old Men -- Cormac McCarthy

Okay, I started to read this book a couple of years ago and stopped after the first sentence: I sent one boy to the gaschamber at Huntsville. I know stuff like that shouldn't bother me, but it does. What stuff? Well, Texas doesn't have a gas chamber (or gaschamber) and never has. Here in the Lone Star State, we send 'em into the Great Beyond via lethal injection, and before that it was Old Sparky that did the job. So that sentence stopped me cold.

Oh, yeah. The "gaschamber" bothered me, too. It's part of McCarthy's celebrated style, in which men have a "shirtpocket" or drive a "Ramcharger." But they use a "cut-off" shotgun in a "shoot-out." Or they might fix a shotgun so that it has a "pistol grip." So I'm wondering: Why not a "pistolgrip" or a "shootout?"

McCarthy doesn't like quotation marks or apostrophes, either, or he must not because he doesn't use them. He'll use a comma now and then, but you can tell it hurts him to do it. Why? Is it that he wants to write like Willam Faulkner, that he's too lazy to type them, or that he just wants to irritate me?

Anyway, I told myself that I was going to read the book, and I did. The story is set in 1980, and it's about a guy who finds a lot of money after a drug deal goes bad and everyone dies. He takes the money. A guy named Anton Chigurh comes after him. Chigurh is relentless, and he kills anybody he feels like killing. Now and then he'll flip a coin and let a potential victim call "heads" or "tails," but that's as close to mercy as he comes. So there's a lot of killing and a lot of explosions, perfect for a movie (I haven't seen the movie).

Oddly enough, the major confrontation that you think the story is building toward takes place offstage. (Or should that be "off stage"? I'm getting confused.) A deputy describes what happened in a couple of paragraphs. Either McCarthy never heard about "show, don't tell," or he has contempt for something so elementary.

There's a county sheriff who has some first person narration now and then. He is, I suppose, the book's moral center. He figures that the world is going to hell in a hand basket (or handbasket), and he's sorry for the change that's coming over his part of it.

The truth is, I think there are a lot of crime writers who have told similar stories and done it just as well if not better. But what do I know?

Degeneration Twenty

Read the rest, including writers' guidelines, at the link.

Degeneration Twenty: "Treading clumsily on the upturned faces of a hundred predecessors, a new zine launches here in January to find and highlight the best in crime, thriller and mystery fiction that differs from the bulk of the genre's mainstream. Drawing back the undergarments of obscurity to reveal the squirming genitalia of the unusual, the different and the refreshing, and hopefully having a lot of fun along the way.

DEGENERATION TWENTY will be part online, part hardcopy, and intends to be as transmittable and copiable as possible, like a bad cold or a case of typhoid."

Worst SF Covers?

I have to admit this is a worthy bunch.

Dan Brown Update

I can't wait to read about the "astonishing facts." But hasn't Nicolas Cage already made the movie? Okay, I see there aren't any Masons in the Cage movie. But there appear to be plenty of astonishing facts.

US author to unveil Washington's Masonic past - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON (AFP) - A sequel to the blockbuster thriller 'The Da Vinci Code' is set to lift the veil on mysterious Freemason symbols carved into the very fabric of the historic streets and buildings of the US capital.

Novelist Dan Brown has set the new adventures of his hero, scholar-adventurer Robert Langdon, right in the heart of Washington, which could reveal some astonishing facts for history buffs."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texas official resigns, cites creationism conflict - "AUSTIN (AP) — The state's director of science curriculum said she resigned this month under pressure from officials who felt she gave the appearance of criticizing the instruction of intelligent design.

The Texas Education Agency put Chris Comer on 30 days paid administrative leave in late October, resulting in what she described as a forced resignation.

The move came shortly after Comer forwarded an e-mail announcing a presentation being given by the author of Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse. In the book, author Barbara Forrest says creationist politics are behind the movement to get intelligent design theory taught in public schools. Comer sent the e-mail to several individuals and a few online communities."

Croc Update: The Spirit Made Him Do It

'Spirit lures Aussie boy to crocodiles' | The Daily Telegraph: "A FOUR-year-old boy has gone on an incredible five-hour adventure where he swam alone in crocodile-infested waters - and locals believe a spirit lured him away from his family."

The Demon Made Him Do It

Northpinellas: 'Demon' made him do it? Officials don't buy it: "It wasn't sadism or cruelty that caused Sgt. Thomas Mahoney to flush a toilet drain eight times until a restrained inmate urinated on himself.

No, Mahoney said, it was a demon. In the plumbing.

'I had like a fear of having my head smashed into the exposed plumbing behind the plate,' Mahoney told internal affairs investigators from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

'At one point the plumbing was exposed because it was broken, because it wasn't used, so somehow this object became a demon to me. I know it had nothing to do with that inmate. I just wanted those pipes to continue to work so I wouldn't get my face smashed,' Mahoney said."

Happy Birthday, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.!

Depending on which source you choose to believe, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., is 89 or 90 years old today. I remember him best for 77 Sunset Strip, though some people will recall him as Dandy Jim Buckley on Maverick or from the later The F. B. I. A TV icon who's often overlooked these days, he deserves remembering.

Happy Birthday, Dick Clark!

I've mentioned Dick Clark on the blog many times. (For example, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.) Maybe I should be ashamed to admit how much influence America's Oldest Teenager has had on my life, but I'm not. Here's wishing him a happy 78th birthday, and many more to come.

School for Scumbags -- Danny King

I'd never heard of Danny King when I picked up this book from Serpent's Tail, but after a few pages I was sold. I even liked the dedication: To Me."

The narrator is Wayne Banstead, and he's fifteen. He's also a thief. He likes stealing, and he can't understand why anybody wouldn't feel the same. That's why he winds up in the Gafin School for Misdirected Boys. Hogwarts, it ain't, and this is no kids' book.
I hate to spoil any surprises, but if you read the book, you'll twig pretty quickly that the school isn't exactly as advertised, and you might even figure out something further, something that takes the author about half the book to get to. When he gets there, the book takes a turn that I'm not going to talk about because that would spoil the fun.

And it's fun, all right. This is a very vulgar and funny novel. Plenty of action, too, maybe too much in the last 100 pages or so. It takes care of business.

One thing I didn't like is the ending. Too many loose ends left over for the sequel. I don't mind a little selling of the next book, but I think King goes a little overboard. You might not feel the same way, so check it out.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This Is Sweet . . .

. . . and touching.

Croc Update (Photo Edition)

Here's a great wide-angle shot of a croc. It was taken by Mary Ann Melton on her African trip. Prints are available.

Will the Persecution Never End?

All I can say is that Paris is on my "nice" list. And thanks to John Duke for the link.

Britney and Paris top Santa's naughty list: poll | Reuters: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - When Britney Spears and Paris Hilton open their stockings on Christmas Day, they shouldn't be surprised to find a lump of coal.

A poll of American children released on Wednesday found that the two high-profile celebrities should top Santa's naughty list.

By contrast Disney star Hannah Montana, played by country singer Billy Ray Cyrus's daughter Miley, was overwhelming deemed the 'nicest' celebrity among children aged 2 to 12 while actress Angelina Jolie was the choice for teenagers 13 to 17."


If you care about plagiarism, you might find this entire article of interest. It's another case of "do as I say, not as I do," and I find it a tad dishonest. But what do I know? It happens in "commercial" fiction all the time, as the article points out.

Hat tip to The Little Professor for the link.

02138 � A Million Little Writers: "In September 2004, Charles Ogletree, a professor at Harvard Law School, found himself having to admit that his latest book, All Deliberate Speed, contained six paragraphs lifted verbatim from a book by Yale professor Jack Balkin, What “Brown v. Board of Education” Should Have Said. Equally surprising was the fact that Ogletree hadn’t known about the plagiarism, which occurred in a passage about the history of desegregation efforts, until he was told of it by Balkin himself."

Agatha Christie Update (The Show Must Go On)

The Enquirer - Play will go on: "LIBERTY TWP. - Cast members of Lakota East High School's canceled play 'Ten Little Indians' plan to stage the play after all, and a majority of school board members may join those cheering the students on.

School administrators decided to scuttle the production after Gary Hines, president of the NAACP's Butler County branch, brought in parent complaints that Agatha Christie's 1939 murder mystery originally carried the title 'Ten Little N - - - - - - -.' Hines also heads a diversity training company.

While community members have been debating whether Lakota's superintendent and his administrators missed a grand opportunity for a 'teachable moment,' students say offers of off-campus stages poured in."

Jake Does Joe

But will he wear pantyhose?

ABC News: 'Broadway Joe' to Be Played by Gyllenhaal: "Joe Namath was larger than life. He was a highly-touted high school prospect who starred for Bear Bryant at Alabama, took New York City by storm and led the New York Jets of the upstart AFL to a Super Bowl victory he had brashly guaranteed.

Good enough that Universal Studios will make a movie about the Hall of Fame quarterback, with Jake Gyllenhaal playing Broadway Joe, according to reports."

The 10 Best Books of 2007?

Another list I'm not on.

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the reminder.

Italian Spiderman

As Judy often says, "it takes so little to give you a laugh." How true, and this proves it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Warning to People Who Hate Cats. . .

. . . do not click here.

Paris & the Pizza Boy

This is exactly the kind of thing that I no longer link to. But I should, since it shows what a compassionate humanitarian that Paris Hilton really is.

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the tip.

Weird Tales Is Looking for the 85 Weirdest Writers

A tip of the Crider gimme cap to Rick Klaw over at the Dark Forces Book Group for the link.

WEIRD TALES: magazine of the gothic, fantastic & bizarre � Name the 85 Weirdest!: "2008 will mark the 85th anniversary of WEIRD TALES’s founding. We’ve got a bunch of plans in the works to celebrate — and WE NEED YOUR HELP with one big project in particular. In the March/April issue of the magazine, we’ll be featuring a list of the 85 WEIRDEST STORYTELLERS OF THE PAST 85 YEARS, and we want your suggestions!

We’re NOT just talking about WEIRD TALES authors, though they’re certainly eligible; no, we’re thinking bigger than that. Who do you think has made the weirdest fiction, the weirdest movies, the weirdest plays, the weirdest narrative art, the weirdest poems and songs, since 1923? That’s the list we’re after: the greatest talespinners of the weird, unearthly, and bizarre, working in every imaginable storytelling form and medium."

Croc Update (Jigsaw Edition)

Large crocodile a-z

Product code : LJ20

Lanka Kade price : £17.50

About this product

Children will love playing with our crocodile and will learn the alphabet at the same time. Bright, fun and chunky, looks good on a shelf when not in use.

This product is made of rubber wood.

Product dimensions : Size: 540x130mm

Recommended for use by 3 years and above
Large crocodile a-z

Keep Off Her Damn Lawn!

Gun-toting grandma foils burglars - "CARTHAGE, Mo., Nov. 28 (UPI) -- A gun-toting grandmother in Missouri foiled a pair of would-be burglars.

Police, who did not release the 63-year-old woman's name, said she temporarily captured Faith Barrick of Carthage and a teenage boy, the Joplin Globe reported. The pair escaped when she went to her telephone to call police but two suspects were arrested three hours later based on the description she gave."

Spinetingler Award

The shortlist is up right here, and you can vote. James Reasoner is a legend? Isn't he too young for that?

Wonder Woman Update Update

The other day when I posted about Wonder Woman's new writer, Gomer observed that what WW really needed was a new costume. I should have known that something was up. Check it out here and here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Murdaland #2

Murdaland has had only two issues, but it's already established itself as a fine literary crime magazine. The second issue begins with Scott Philips' "The Emerson, 1950," in which a crime photographer sees many terrible things. He's also dealing with his aunt and uncle who have, well, problems. Something's gotta give. That's followed by "Roachkiller," by R. Navaez. Just when he thinks he's out, they keep pulling him back in. "Roachkiller" is a first person story narrated mostly in the third person, a pretty clever trick. Next up is Harry Hunsicker's "Vivian and Bobby." A Dallas cop goes bad, and for a reason that's about as perverse as they come. You expect some raw sex in a Vicki Hendricks story, and "Sinny and the Prince: A Fairy Tale" doesn't disappoint. Sinny thinks she can get away with murder. And maybe she does.

There's more in the issue (you can see the Table of Contents here), but that's all I've read so far, all of it really good stuff. If you're not reading
Murdaland, you're missing some great stuff. Give it a try.

Norman Mailer Update

Dead author wins bad sex award - "The conception of Adolf Hitler was never going to make for easy reading.

But late American novelist Norman Mailer's explicit rendition of the incestuous encounter between the genocidal German dictator's parents has won the writer one of the world's most dubious literary prizes. advertisement Mailer, who died of renal failure last month at 84, was one of five candidates for the annual 'Bad Sex in Fiction Award' which aims to highlight crude and tasteless descriptions of sex in modern novels."

Update: for more on the nominees, click here.

Wang Steals Panties

Penn student arrested in underwear thefts | Philadelphia Inquirer | 11/27/2007: "A student at the University of Pennsylvania was charged after allegedly stalking female students at the school and stealing pairs of their underwear.

Diexia Wang, a Penn senior, was charged with burglary, criminal trespassing, harassment and theft after he allegedly stole underwear and purses from several women."

Agatha Christie Banned in Ohio

WTOL-TV Toledo, OH: School cancels play that had racist slur as original title: "WEST CHESTER, Ohio (AP) - A widely performed school play has been canceled by officials at a suburban Cincinnati high school after complaints from a local NAACP official.

Agatha Christie's 'Ten Little Indians' was to be performed by students at Lakota East High School this weekend.

The play is based on Christie's 1939 mystery novel.

But local NAACP president Gary Hines says the play is inappropriate for a school production because the original title for Christie's novel used a racial slur."

Lost Lady of Rome

Found in a farmer's field: The 2,000-year-old skeleton of the lost lady of Rome | the Daily Mail: "In her lifetime she was a member of a wealthy family based in a bustling British outpost of the world's mightiest empire.

The imperial glory has long faded. But, almost 2,000 years on, archaeologists have discovered a corner of an English field that is forever Rome. They have unearthed a coffin containing a remarkably well-preserved skeleton in the village of Aldborough, near Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire - once the site of a major Roman town, Isurium Brigantium.

The archaeologists, conducting a two-week excavation project, were searching for Roman artefacts with a metal detector when they found the 6ft lead coffin inside a stone chamber only 12in below the surface of a barley field."

Anglo-Saxon Gold

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Tees | 'Dramatic' ancient cemetery found: "A freelance archaeologist has uncovered what is thought to be the only known Anglo-Saxon royal burial site in the north of England.

Spectacular gold jewellery, weapons and clothing were found at the 109-grave cemetery, believed to date from the middle of the 7th Century."

An American Dream -- Norman Mailer

I meant to post this a while back, when Mailer died, but my copy of the book was in storage. Now that I've retrieved it, I want to post the opening paragraph, which had stuck with me, though not verbatim, for nearly 40 years.

I met Jack Kennedy in November, 1946. We were both war heroes, and both of us had just been elected to congress. We went out one night on a double date and it turned out to be a fair evening for me. I seduced a girl who would have been bored by a diamond as big as the Ritz.

Don't you just have to read on?

Gator Update (Eat Healthy Edition)

Gator Meat Deemed 'Really Healthy Food' - Health News Story - WESH Orlando: "CHRISTMAS, Fla. -- Gators have long been hunted as part of a sport.

Now people are hunting gator meat because it's good for the heart.

Most gators that end up on restaurant menus are not hunted; they are raised on farms.

A segment on the Today show highlighted the health benefits of alligator meat, saying it's better for you than chicken.

But that's hardly a secret to guys who have raised them for decades.

Edwin Froehlich Jr. said the little fat and high protein makes gator meat 'really healthy food.'

Gator has all the protein of beef and chicken, and more protein than fish."

Wonder Woman Update

Wonder Woman - Comic Books - DC Comics - New York Times: "“I was a hairdresser until a couple of years ago,” Gail Simone said. “It took me a long time to admit that I was a professional writer.”

Ms. Simone was talking about her rise from hairstylist to online commentator to professional comic-book author. This month she added a new title. With the publication of issue No. 14 of Wonder Woman, which hit stores two weeks ago, Ms. Simone has become the regular writer of that amazing Amazon’s super-adventures, published by DC Comics. She is the first woman to serve as “ongoing writer” (to use the industry’s term) in the character’s 66-year history."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Kevin DuBrow, R. I. P.

Even an old guy like me remembers the cover of that #1 album.

Quiet Riot singer dies at 52 - "(CNN) -- Kevin DuBrow, the lead singer of the 1980s heavy metal band Quiet Riot, has died, CNN has confirmed. He was 52.

DuBrow died at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to The Clark County coroner's office was examining the body to determine the cause of death, according to TMZ.

'I'm at a loss for words. I've just lost my best friend,' Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali told CNN. 'Out of respect for both Kevin and his family, I won't comment further. There's going to be a lot of speculation out there, and I won't add to that. I love him too much.'"

Worst Movie Remakes

Here's the list. I think #16 must be a mistake, or maybe just an example of further persecution.

Hat tip to John Duke.

Into the Alternate Universe!

Evidence for a Parallel Universe? University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill physics Professor Laura Mersini-Houghton made a staggering claim. She says, “Standard cosmology cannot explain such a giant cosmic hole” and goes further with the ground-breaking hypothesis that the huge void is “… the unmistakable imprint of another universe beyond the edge of our own“.

Rick Klaw Interview with Kelly DiNardo

Featured Interview with Kelly DiNardo - Books: "A former USA Today staffer and current freelance journalist, Kelly DiNardo's first book, Gilded Lili: Lili St. Cyr and the Striptease Mystique, recounts the fascinating life of 'the queen of striptease.” DiNardo sat down to discuss her well-researched and superbly written book with Monsters & Critcs' Rick Klaw, grandson of legendary pin-up industry pioneer Irving Klaw. They talked about Lili St. Cyr, Marilyn Monroe, Irving Klaw, burlesque, heroin, and other diverting topics."

They Want Someone on Their Lawns

Older white women join Kenya's sex tourists - Yahoo! News: "MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - Bethan, 56, lives in southern England on the same street as best friend Allie, 64.

They are on their first holiday to Kenya, a country they say is 'just full of big young boys who like us older girls.'

Hard figures are difficult to come by, but local people on the coast estimate that as many as one in five single women visiting from rich countries are in search of sex."

I Wish He Were Here to Celebrate

Charles Schulz is one of my favorite writers. I regard the first fifteen or so years of "Peanuts" as works of genius.

The Writer's Almanac from American Public Media: "It's the birthday of cartoonist Charles Schulz, (books by this author) born in St. Paul (1922), who created 'Peanuts' and Charlie Brown, who never gets to kick the football, always gets his kite stuck in the tree, and never wins the love of The Little Red-Haired Girl. Schulz loved comics from an early age. His father bought six different newspapers every weekend and they would sit and read all the comics together. Schultz started drawing his own cartoons, but he got a C-plus in a correspondence art course, and his sketches were rejected by the staff of his high school yearbook. He couldn't sell any cartoons to the major magazines, and he was turned down as an animator for Disney because he had no experience. And then, he got drafted to fight in World War II when his mother was dying of cervical cancer. One of the last things she said to him was that if the family ever bought another dog, they should name it Snoopy."

6 American Noir Masters

After seeing this list, you'll want to get into an argument with the guy about the difference between noir and hardboiled, since he doesn't seem to have a clue. But let's not get into that ourselves. Thanks.

No Wonder Sylvester Always Had the Munchies

Yesterday’s news � Blog Archive � Wednesday, Nov. 26, 1969: Catnip high: "In at least one Twin Cities pet shop, it takes a note from his parents nowadays for a teen-ager to lay in any big supply of catnip.

Owners of other stores have taken to questioning their youthful customers closely about large-scale purchases.

They know the reason for the sudden popularity of catnip in the Twin Cities and nationwide – and it isn’t the one a young man gave the owner of a Hennepin Av. pet shop:

“I have,” he explained, “a GREAT, BIG cat.” The fact is, the kids are smoking the stuff, apparently in dubious pursuit of a low-budget thrill."


Mystery solved.

Who Among Us Hasn't Felt Like Doing This?

Commissioner arrested after pulling out gun - 11/26/2007 - "Miramar City Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman, who was arrested for pointing a semiautomatic gun in a Winn-Dixie, causing shoppers to scurry in fear, seemed to be in a sour mood that night because the self-checkout line wasn't open, according to a cashier.

The cashier said Salesman was apparently so peeved at having to stand in line with other Thanksgiving eve shoppers, he showed his business card to another cashier and said, ``Do you know who I am? I will shut this b**** down.''"

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cover of the Rolling Stone

Create Fake Magazine Covers with your own picture at

Conspiracy Fans, Rejoice

The Raw Story | Ex-Secret Service agent reveals Chicago JFK plot: "Abraham Bolden, a former Secret Service agent, tells CNN that he knew of a plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy in Chicago several weeks beforehand. Bolden is writing a book about the alleged plot titled 'The Echo from Dealey Plaza: The true story of the first African American on the White House Secret Service detail and his quest for justice after the assassination of JFK.'

According to CNN, the agent said that 'just before President Kennedy was to go to Chicago in early November 1963, the agency got an important tip. An employee of a boarding house had seen rifles with telescopic sites and an outline of Kennedy's motorcade route in a room rented by Cuban nationals.'"

How Much Do Publishers Pay Romance Writers?

Brenda Hiatt has the answers.

Tip of the hat to Sling Words for the link.

Tough Guys Don't Flinch

Farmer Describes Cutting Off Own Arm - Yahoo! News: "A Kershaw County, S.C. farmer has recovered enough to recount how he had to cut off his own arm to save his life.

Sampson Parker talked to WIS reporter Dan Tordjman, and explained that after he got his hand stuck in a piece of farm equipment and a fire broke out around him, he had no choice.

'If I was going to die here, I was going to put up a fight, and that's basically what I did,' says Sampson Parker."

For Some Reason this Doesn't Really Worry Me

Universe doomed because astronomers keep looking at it | The Courier-Mail: "ASTRONOMERS may have unwittingly hastened the end of the Universe by simply looking at it, according to a new theory. The novel idea is being aired by two US physicists, who attack the notion that the universe, believed to have been created in the 'Big Bang' some 13.7 billion years ago, will go on, well, forever. In fact, the poor old cosmos is in a rather delicate state, they tell New Scientist."