Saturday, May 17, 2008

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

35-year sentence for HIV-positive spitter worries some | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth | Dallas Morning News: "Prosecutors convinced a Dallas County jury this week that HIV-positive saliva should be considered a deadly weapon.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and countless doctors say no one has ever contracted the virus from spit.

And that's why several AIDS advocacy groups and many individuals contend that the 35-year sentence Willie Campbell received Wednesday for spitting into the mouth and eye of a Dallas police officer was excessive."

Dead Heat -- Dick Francis and Felix Francis

This book marks the first time Dick Francis has shared author credit on one of his novels, though it's widely known that both his wife and son aided in his research on earlier books.

I've been reading Francis's novels for 40 years or so now, and I don't think I've missed a one. I've also never failed to enjoy one, this latest is no exception. Max Moreton is a chef, but he's like all the other Francis heroes: competent, smart, brave, and in plenty of danger. When food poisoning afflicts many of the diners at a catered party Moreton gets the blame, but he knows he's not at fault. He starts looking into things, and soon he's got all kinds of trouble. And, of course, like all Francis heroes, he suffers plenty of physical hardship before arriving at all the answers.

Francis's straighforward style still reads as easily as ever, his characters are just as engaging, and the story moves along as fast as one of the horses that Francis used to ride. I recommend this one.

CSI: Croatia

Woman found after 42 years | The Daily Telegraph: "POLICE broke into a flat to check who lived there 42 years after its owner was reported missing - and found the mummified remains of the woman sitting in front of her TV.

Croatian police say Hedviga Golik, who was born in 1924, had apparently made herself a cuppa and sat down to watch her black-and-white television before she died.

Officers believe that would have been in 1966, when she was last seen by neighbours. They said one day she seemed to have just disappeared and they thought she had moved to the capital Zagreb."

Sheriff Dan Rhodes, Take Note

The Associated Press: Alabama sheriffs feed inmates on $1.75 a day: "BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Back in the day of chain gangs, Alabama passed a law that gave sheriffs $1.75 a day to feed each prisoner in their jails, and the sheriffs got to pocket anything that was left over. More than 80 years later, most Alabama counties still operate under this system, with the same $1.75-a-day allowance, and some sheriffs are actually making money on top of their salaries."

Hey, Kids, Let's Go to the Penis Museum!

Male organ on show at museum ( pics) - New Zealand's source for oddstuff - strange, weird & bizarre news on "Sigurdur Hjartarson is missing a human penis. But he's not worried: four men have promised to donate theirs to him when they die.

Hjartarson is founder and owner of the Icelandic Phallological Museum, which offers visitors from around the world a close-up look at the long and the short of the male reproductive organ."

Thanks to Doc Quatermass for the link.

Iron Man

You already know all you need to know about this one. Robert Downey is having fun. Gwyneth Paltrow is a great redhead. Stuff blows up all over the place. The Iron Man suit is cool. And you should stay past the end credits for a scene that will tell you something about the sequel. Judy and I both had a good time.

School Daze

This is your big chance to see what I looked like on my first day of school. I'm guest blogging over on the Writers Plot, and there's even a photo. Check it out.

The Killer Shrews

Thanks to Doc Quatermass for the reminder.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Fourth jewelry heist in month nets $1.4 million for armed robbers | - Houston Chronicle: "A roving band of armed jewelry thieves targeting traveling salesmen struck again Thursday, marking the fourth such violent robbery in the Houston area within the past three weeks, authorities said.

The latest heist happened about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday when three masked men followed the victim into a Waffle House restaurant on Westheimer near Hayes, officials said.

'They pistol-whipped the salesman and took his merchandise,' said Special Agent Shauna Dunlap, with the Houston FBI office."

Gator Update (Ride 'em, Gatorboy, Edition)

Deputy bitten by alligator - Tampa Bays Local News: "DELTONA, Fla. (AP) — A Volusia County sheriff's deputy is hospitalized in serious but stable condition after being bitten by an 8-foot-long alligator he was trying to subdue in a parking lot.

Authorities say Deputy Keith Baughman responded to a call late Thursday about an alligator roaming around the Deltona apartment complex. Witnesses say the deputy put a towel over the gator's head, jumped onto its back and tried to grab its snout.

One witness says the alligator “went crazy,” throwing off Baughman and biting him on the leg."

Once Again, . . . Oops.

Did a 13yo buy hookers with dad's credit card? - New Zealand's source for oddstuff - strange, weird & bizarre news on "A widely published story that a 13-year-old has been convicted of fraud after stealing his dad's credit card and ordering two prostitutes from an escort agency may be a hoax.

The original story said Ralph Hardy used the card to take his friends on a $US30,000 spending spree that ended with them playing Halo on an Xbox with prostitutes in a Texas motel, according to a report.

However police from the county where the alleged incident was supposedly took place say the story doesn't stack up."

Book Launch 2.0

Link via Dave Barry.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Garland man finds fossil of mosasaur in Duck Creek | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth | Dallas Morning News: "Charles Amyx had seen fossils in museums, but he didn't buy into the notion that dinosaurs ever existed.

'How can these be 3 million years old?' he asked, citing his belief that the world is much younger.

But the 62-year-old school bus driver has no doubt that the mosasaur bones he unearthed in the river bottom behind his Garland home are something special. Members of the Dallas Paleontological Society agree."

Oakley Hall, R. I. P.

Oakley Hall, 87, Novelist Attuned to the Old West, Is Dead - New York Times: "Oakley Hall, the author of the novels “Warlock” and “The Downhill Racers” and a literary heir to fellow California writers like Wallace Stegner, died Monday at his home in Nevada City, Calif. He was 87 and lived in Nevada City, Squaw Valley and San Francisco."

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the link.

Update: Here's a personal remembrance from David Laurence Wilson, whose name you may have seen on a few introductions in Stark House volumes:

"Oakley was a good guy, with a distinctive voice that I will hear
until the end of my own years. I knew him for almost forty years,
more than two-thirds of my life, ever since my first week of college,
when I won a lottery and was admitted into one of his writing
classes. He turned me from a Biological Sciences Major to whatever
it is that I am now. I wasn't part of the UCI Writing Program, since
I was an undergraduate, but I was editor of the newspaper at the
school, and Managing Editor for the literary magazine. In his own
undergrad days Oakley was at San Diego State, in a class with Sid
Fleischman and Bob Wade and Bill Miller, who wrote under the name
"Wade Miller". San Diego had never had it's own Private Eye
character but "Wade Miller" gave it one, followed by Sid Fleischman
and then Oakley, with his first effort, Murder City. Like a lot of
writers, Oakley was particularly known for one novel, Warlock, but he
had a lot more affection for that effort that many other novelists so
afflicted. He'll be missed by a lot of writers whose horizons were
expanded by this fine teacher."

David Laurence Wilson

The Night Remembers -- Ed Gorman

Here's a forgotten book that's not entirely forgotten. It's back in print from Ramble House.

Jack Walsh is a former cop who now manages an apartment house and does a little sleuthing. He's in his 60s and is dating a younger woman who has some serious problems of her own. The wife of his former partner keeps showing up at his office, trying to prove she can be a part of his life, maybe even become his partner in the agency. But those are the least of his problems. A prospective client shows up, Mrs. Pennyfeather, the wife of a man Walsh sent to prison when he was a cop. She wants him to prove that her husband, who's just been released, was innocent to begin with. Walsh refuses, but he finds himself drawn into a new case when a woman is murdered in the Pennyfeathers' back yard. What he uncovers is about as dark as it gets.

The Night Remembers was originally published in 1991, and it proves that Ed Gorman has been very good for a long time. But then you knew that. He gives us real people with real problems, trapped by their pasts and trying to deal with the present as best they can. Pick this one up from Ramble House if you haven't read it already. But don't read it when you're depressed.

Glen or Glenda?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Carnival of the Criminal Minds

Sandra Ruttan is hosting.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Kids' novelist Rick Riordan on the brink of something big | - Houston Chronicle: "In April, children's book publisher Scholastic, the company that brought Harry Potter to America, flew San Antonio author Rick Riordan to Bologna, Italy. There, Riordan's job was to help explain The 39 Clues — a forthcoming multiplatform series for children incorporating books, collectible cards, video games and $100,000 in prize money — to international publishing executives.

The 39 Clues is important to Scholastic since it represents the publisher's first serious attempt to replicate Harry Potter sales. Riordan (with a long 'i,' like 'fire') was hired to write The Maze of Bones, the first in the 10-book series, and to create the overall storyline."

Happy Birthday, Katherine Anne Porter

Today is the birthday of a famous Texas-born writer, Katherine Anne Porter. I've blogged about my meeting with her before. (See here, here, here, and here.) In at least one of those posts, I told the story of how Charlotte Laughlin took a photo of Miss Porter's coffin, which she kept in a closet in her apartment. I don't recall that I've published that photo, however, so here it is.

Gator Update (Immortality Edition)

Metro - Alligator immortalized: "The most famous resident of Okefenokee Swamp Park in Waycross, Ga. — an alligator that attracted the stares of tourists for decades — will soon be immortalized nearly a year after his death.

The skeleton of Oscar is being assembled and will be put on display like a museum dinosaur. The four-metre, 450-kilogram alligator had roamed the swamp from the time the park opened in 1946."

Robert McGinnis Comes to DVD

The Robert McGinnis DVD won't be available until July, but you can pre-order it here. You can also see the trailer, which is great.

Bride of the Monster

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

If I taught junior high, I might have to be drunk to go to work, too. Thanks to Doc Quatermass for the link.

"RICHARDSON, Texas (AP) -- A substitute teacher suspected of being drunk in a suburban Dallas middle school class was too intoxicated to complete a sobriety test and was arrested, authorities said.

Thomas Brownlee, 56, was in a classroom Tuesday with students and another staff member for about 20 minutes, Richardson school district spokesman Tim Clark said. Another teacher suspected Brownlee was drunk and told a police officer at Parkhill Junior High."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I, ah, I, uh, I, er, I, urrrrrg. . .

Just watch it.

And blame Rusty Burke for sending the link.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Thanks to Art Scott for the link.

Ants swarm over Houston area, fouling electronics: "In what sounds like a really low-budget horror film, voracious swarming ants that apparently arrived in Texas aboard a cargo ship are invading homes and yards across the Houston area, shorting out electrical boxes and messing up computers.

The hairy, reddish-brown creatures are known as 'crazy rasberry ants' — crazy, because they wander erratically instead of marching in regimented lines, and 'rasberry' after Tom Rasberry, an exterminator who did battle against them early on.

'They're itty-bitty things about the size of fleas, and they're just running everywhere,' said Patsy Morphew of Pearland, who is constantly sweeping them off her patio and scooping them out of her pool by the cupful. 'There's just thousands and thousands of them. If you've seen a car racing, that's how they are. They're going fast, fast, fast. They're crazy.'"

At First I Thought They'd Hurtled "Thriller" into Deep Space

The Raw Story | Jacksons Thriller among cultural treasures: "The best-selling pop album on planet Earth and a disc sent hurtling into deep space are among recordings the Library of Congress will preserve for their cultural significance.

Twenty-five selections were added to the National Recording Registry on Wednesday, part of the library's attempt to save America's aural history by archiving recordings deemed 'culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.'

The inductees range from Michael Jackson's 1982 all-time-bestseller 'Thriller' and jazz artist Herbie Hancock's 1973 fusion smash 'Headhunters' to the 1977 record of Earth sounds that flew aboard the spacecraft Voyager in the event alien life forms encountered the craft. Other recordings added to the registry include works by Roy Orbison, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Kitty Wells and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles."

Update: Todd Mason provides the registry link in a comment, but it's worth including here.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Disney to set up advertising research center in Austin | Statesman Business Blog: "The Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC and ESPN, plans to set up a research center in Austin to figure out why people choose certain television shows, and to test their reaction to practices such as the integration of products into programs and how they watch programs on cell phones."

We're from the Government, and . . .

. . . we're here to mellow you out.

Caught Without Care | Some Detainees Are Drugged For Deportation ( "The U.S. government has injected hundreds of foreigners it has deported with dangerous psychotropic drugs against their will to keep them sedated during the trip back to their home country, according to medical records, internal documents and interviews with people who have been drugged."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Thanks to James Reasoner for the link.

Man uses gun for backscratcher, shoots himself | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "A Fort Worth man trying to scratch an itch on his back used a revolver and accidentally shot himself.

Jorge Espinal, 44, was drinking beer and playing poker around 3 a.m. Sunday in his home in the 3500 block of Montague Street, when he got up from the table and walked into another room, said Fort Worth police Lt. Kenneth Dean.

“He told officers he had an itch on his back and grabbed the first thing he could get a hold of, which was a revolver,” Lt. Dean said. “The gun went off.'"

Python Update

Great photo at the link, for which thanks go out to Jeff Meyerson. - Giant Pythons Could Spread Quickly Across South - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News: "As if killer bees and kudzu weren't enough, the southern United States may soon have another invasive species to contend with — giant Burmese pythons capable of swallowing deer and alligators whole.

Approximately 30,000 of the big snakes, which can reach 30 feet and 200 pounds, already live wild in Florida's Everglades, thanks to thick-headed pet owners who've released them into the swamps when they've grown too large to keep at home."

The Giant Gila Monster

Thanks to Todd Mason for the reminder.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Got 10 Bucks You Don't Need? Surprise Yourself at The Something Store: "SomethingStore is a fun new website that operates simply: We will send you something, an item selected randomly among many things from our inventory, for $10 (free shipping) and you will find out what your something is when you receive it."

6-Minute History of Science Fiction

I Need These Stamps

Dracula sinks his teeth into Royal Mail history - Times Online: "HE may appear in the guise of the undead but Christopher Lee will make history next month by being among the first living non-royals to be portrayed on a British stamp.

The 85-year-old actor will appear as Dracula on a set of commemorative stamps next month marking the 50th anniversary of the Hammer horror and Carry On films."

Tiny stamp photos at link, for which we thank Doc Quatermass.

You Say No One Will Play Catch with You?

Then you need this.

Hat tip to Mike McGruff.

Ceramic Ray Guns

This is the Lensman DeLameter. You can see others here. Hat tip: Neatorama.

The Day the World Ended


Fedora tip to Doc Quatermass.

INDIANA JONES MR POTATO HEAD TATERS OF THE LOST ARK: "Unearth this silly spud toy from its packaging and use your imagination to create all sorts of wacky looks fashioned after the famous action hero. Complete with bullwhip and gold-colored idol in hand, this silly character can sport his jacket and fedora."

Monday, May 12, 2008

No Nudes, but . . .

. . . Playboy is auditioning on YouTube. If you want to be the 55th anniversary Playmate, now's your chance. Only 31 entries so far, and you can find a link to them here.

I Apologize in Advance . . .

. . . for linking to this.

7 Movie Comebacks that Didn't Work Out

Cinematical Seven: Comebacks That Didn't Take - Cinematical: "A good comeback is like a great third act in American lives; it's the triumphant return, the end of the story. James Cagney retired in 1961, then made a triumphant comeback in 1981 with Ragtime. But a good movie never deals with the aftermath of the comeback. Just as often as not, the comeback leads to nothing. Cagney died a few years after the hubbub. Though we all love a good comeback, the following is a list of comebacks that weren't the end of the story, and didn't provide the inspiring coda that they could have."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Woman finds mouse in her popcorn | Latest News | "DALLAS -- A North Texas woman says she was repulsed by what she found at the bottom of a bag of movie popcorn. A live mouse. She said the movie theatre has been slow to fix the situation."

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the alert.

Gator Update (Bus Stop Edition)

Deputies Find Alligator Waiting At Bus Stop On Universal Drive - News Story - WFTV Orlando: "ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- An unusual passenger was waiting at a bus stop in Orange County.

Deputies said a 6-foot alligator was waiting at the bus stop near the Residence Inn on Universal Drive just south of Sand Lake Road. Universal Drive was temporarily shut down.

The gator was captured and the Fish and Game Commission will decide what to do with it."

The Mystery of the Alvin Stradivarius

I live in the 1600 block of Hill Street, and I pass this restaurant nearly every day. It's a tiny place, and if you're wondering what a Straivarius was doing there (or in Alvin, Texas, for that matter), so am I.

The Facts: "ALVIN — Police are investigating the burglary of a Mexican food restaurant during which a $25,000 Stradivarius violin was taken from its case.

Someone broke out the bottom window pane of the front door to enter the restaurant in the 700 block of Hill Street early Sunday, Alvin police reports state. Blue tape was placed over the window before it was broken, the reports state.

An employee came in that morning to find the window broken and later discovered the 1733 Stradivarius violin missing, Alvin Police Sgt. Jaime Crabtree said.

“It was in some kind of case in the restaurant,” he said."

Mike Ripley's Latest Column Posted at Shots Magazine

And you can read it here. Great stuff, as always.

Psychobilly Monday

What does that mean? It means you should click here and make a purchase.

They're Taking away our Freedom, Bit by Bit

Man Ticketed For Wearing Speedo On Beach - Orlando News Story - WKMG Orlando: "Bob Hezzelwood said he has been visiting Bonita Beach for years and no one has bothered or complained about his bathing suit.

However, recently, a Lee County sheriff's deputy gave Hezzelwood a ticket for trespass and told him not to return to the beach.

A judge tossed out the case.

However, Hezzelwood said he plans to sue the sheriff's department, saying his civil rights were violated."

Chained Heat

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Help! I've Been Hijacked!

By Anthony Neil Smith, a certified psychobilly. Or something. Worst mullet I've ever seen. Wait, that's not a mullet. The guy has a squirrel on his head. Or possibly a ferret. Okay, it's a squirrel. He says he's going to eat it later. He says, "What's your favorite part of a squirrel?" This is not going to end well. Which reminds me of Yellow Medicine, a fine book that I've read. You should, too.

Sorry for the lapse. We stopped along the way to do some mud diving. But now we've finally arrived at the penultimate stop on our long, strange trip. But first, we must compete against Bill Crider in the Feats of Strength.
Yes, he's a legend. He spawned his own contest (we all entered out of fear of what he'd do if we didn't). Telling tales of Bill, like, "He can eat you for breakfast, but he doesn't want to get up that early." "He once shoved an entire human being into a toaster just to prove a point, but then he forgot that point, and the toaster guy forgave him anyway." It all comes down to this: Crider is as big as Texas.
We all limp and groan our way back to the Hummer-sine having been utterly embarrassed by the man. He's barely broken a sweat. Then he looks at his watch, laughs louder than a Van Halen concert, and says, "It took you long enough to get here. I missed the whole goddamned trip." All we can do is meekly apologize and say, "Surely a man of your great stature would have been offended by the likes of--"
"Bullshit!" His shout echoes like that of a bear. "And you know it, too. So let's do the whole thing over again." And so we do. We drive and drive and drive (and drink) and drive some more. We drive and party and self-destruct so hard that Bill wrests even Ray Banks into a submissive sleep. But it was worth it.
Bill's Dan Rhodes series (the latest being Of All Sad Words) is my kinda fun. Crazy people down South thinking they're just fine while doing ridiculous things. Kind of like My Name is Earl but with more people going to jail. Crider slides in the humor so that it's already slapped you a few times before you realize it. Mighty fine. And then he went and got himself an Edgar nomination for the story "Cranked" from the Damn Near Dead anthology, which is one of the finest collections I've seen in years. And, glory of glories, the man's a college English teacher, like me. He's even written about English teachers who solves crimes (Carl Burns and Sally Good). The first mystery they should've tackled is "Who's teaching (or, more like it, not teaching) our kids grammar these days?" But no. They just solve murders and other mundane things.
No, wait, Bill, I take it back! No, please! I need my legs to walk!
I meant murders and other fantastically imaginative things.
After escaping from the law through New Mexico (we lost them when Bill did donuts in the desert and stirred up a dust storm of epic proportions), Bill hands the wheel over and says, "She's all yours." And I know what he means. We've only got one more day until Psychobilly Monday, that blessed day when I hope a lot of people will go to one of those Barnes and Noble stores (or online) and order up a copy of Yellow Medicine. I mean, you don't become a legend overnight. It usually takes two or three nights. And in the meantime, you do little baby-step promotion sort of things like a egomaniacal blog road trip, or go off on signing tours with your fingers crossed. But you meet great people (like Bill and all our other road-trippers) along the way, find out that people still have a passion for books, and feel better about that year you spent crafting your little labor of love into a bunch of pages that tell that story you just had to tell.
And our next destination, our final stop, is The House that made it possible to get that story into the hands of you, our generous readers. So when I say "The Future is Bleak", it's not that I'm some Old Testament prophet. It's actually a compliment.
Driving time: Twice as long
Tune for the leg: Thanks to Victor shoving in a CD, it's "Common People" by William Shatner

Fanzines Beget Blogs

That's Roger Ebert's theory, at any rate. He says so on his blog. Link via Test Pattern.

Roger Ebert's Journal: Fanzines beget blogs: "Fanzines were mimeographed magazines that were circulated by mail among science fiction fans in the days before the internet. They still are, for all I know, although now they're generated by computer printers. I first learned about them in a 1950s issue of Amazing Stories and eagerly sent away 10 or 20 cents to Buck and Juanita Coulson in Indiana, whose Yandro was one of the best and longest-running of them all. Overnight, I was a fan, although not yet a BNF (big name fan). It was a thrill for me to have a LOC (letter of comment) published on such issues as the demise of BEMs (bug-eyed monsters), and soon I was publishing my own fanzine, named Stymie."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way - Fort Worth Donut Shop Robber Shot & Killed: "A Fort Worth businesswoman was almost robbed at her shop, but a neighbor comes to her rescue. In the end, the man suspected of the crime is shot and killed.

Chong Im Randle, who friends call Angel, described her conversation with the would-be robber. 'I say you not to shoot. Okay, you kill me I'm going to heaven. You go to jail.'

By Friday afternoon Angel appeared calm and collected as she detailed the morning's activity. 'He followed me, then grabbed me. I hit him with my elbow.'

Randal says 45-year-old Richard Lane wore a mask when he broke into Happy Donuts around 1:30 a.m., with what looked like a rifle. He stole money from the cash drawer, beat Randal up and tried to steal her car.

'I grabbed my telephone,' Randal explained. 'He said, don't call police. I say I gotta do something.'

Meanwhile her neighbor, 54-year-old Stanley Livingston, heard the commotion next door, grabbed his shotgun and ran over to help. That's when Lane allegedly pointed his gun at Livingston, who fired one shot killing the robber.

Fort Worth defense attorney Trey Loftin told CBS 11 News, 'We're a gun toting state. We have a lot of John Wayne in our blood. We're gonna shoot first and ask questions later.' Loftin says Livingston will most likely not be charged."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Some DISD students not ready for college | Latest News | "75 percent of the seniors headed to Dallas community colleges, can't read above an 8th grade level, and others can't add or subtract."

Rocket Stories

Looking at a copy of the first issue of Rocket Stories (1953) the other day, I noticed that the lead "complete novel" was by H. A. deRosso. Having liked a couple of deRosso's noirish westerns (including this one), I thought I'd give "The Quest of Quaa" a try. What a mistake. It's terrible.

The opening is the kind of thing I'm a sucker for. Cardwell is a prisoner in a Venusian jail, but he has a chance to earn his freedom. After that, it's all downhill, from the entertaining to the ridiculous. I'm sure I'd have fallen for about nine-tenths of it when I was a kid, but I think that even then I'd have found the fairy-dusted ending ridiculous. Rocket Stories didn't last long, and if this story's any example of its general quality, I can see why. I'm tempted to read a couple of the others and see. John Jakes and Milton Lesser are usually pretty reliable entertainers. But I'm almost afraid to give them a look.

Happy Mother's Day

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Thanks to Lauren Bettinger for the link.

13 Year Old Steals Dad's Credit Card to Buy Hookers: "A 13 year old from Texas who stole his Dad's credit card and ordered two hookers from an escort agency, has today been convicted of fraud and given a three year community order.

Ralph Hardy, a 13 year old from Newark, Texas confessed to ordering an extra credit card from his father's existing credit card company, and took his friends on a $30,000 spending spree, culminating in playing 'Halo' on an Xbox with a couple of hookers in a Texas motel."