Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Weekly Punch

Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore School of Villany -- Shamini Flint

I've been reading a lot of books set in Southeast Asia lately. Here's another one. The Inspector Singh of the title has had two previous cases, one in Kuala Lumpur and one in Bali.

Singh is a Sikh, whose turban is the neatest thing about him. He's overweight and he doesn't dress well. Both things upset his superiors on the force, but they can't do anything about him because of his success rate. He's the best investigator on they have. He has to undergo a monthly "you're a disgrace to the force" lecture, but he hardly pays attention.

The current case involves the murder of an expatriate, a lawyer who's one of a group of partners in a high-powered international firm. It seems pretty clear that one of the other partners killed him, but which one? Singh discovers that all of them have secrets to hide, and that the killer might even have been someone outside the firm. Certainly the man's wife and ex-wife have motives. Making things worse is the fact that a relative of Singh's wife is one of the suspect lawyers.

Good local color and entertaining characters, especially Singh and his wife, a couple with a complex and realistic relationship. There's humor, too, and a case that's even more complicated that it first appears. The poignant ending is a bonus. Check it out.

Faulkner Update

Yahoo News: A rare auction of signed William Faulkner books and personal items has drawn international interest, but few on the town square of the author's hometown were aware of the bidding set for Tuesday at Christie's in New York.
[. . . .]
"For absolute certainty in my judgment, nothing like this can come behind it," Brodsky said. "No book dealeris going to have this. There is not going to be anything else on the market."


Canadian Centennial - Definition: "The Canadian Centennial was a year long celebration held in 1967 when Canada celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Celebrations occurred throughout the year but culminated on Dominion Day, July 1st. 1967 coins were different from previous (or forthcoming) years' issues, with animals on each - the cent, for instance, had a bird on its reverse.
[. . . .]
Children born in 1967 were declared 'Centennial babies'. The first baby born on July 1, 1967, future model and actress Pamela Anderson, was the national 'Centennial baby'."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Why Can't They Just Protect Their Lawns?

AARP: 'Sexting' Catching On In The 50 Crowd - "Teenagers aren't the only ones sending racy pictures and text messages over their cell phones. Believe it or not, the AARP says 'sexting' is catching on with the 50-and-up crowd."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Man attempts to hold up gas station with caulk gun | The Blotter: "Police have issued an arrest warrant for a man accused of injuring a gas station clerk while attempting to rob him — with a caulk gun.

The suspect fled the scene in the company of a transgender prostitute he’d picked up earlier in the evening, according to an affidavit issued by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Destroy all Monsters!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ronald Neame, R. I. P.

Ronald Neame, Filmmaker, Dies at 99 - Obituary (Obit) - "Ronald Neame, who began as an assistant cameraman on Alfred Hitchcock’s first sound film before going on to photograph, produce and direct more than 70 films, among them “Tunes of Glory,” “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” and “The Poseidon Adventure,” died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 99 and lived in Beverly Hills."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

New Issue or Plots with Guns Now On-Line


I Love this Story

A wizard's words finally set free -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY

The Best-Laid Plans . . . .

Monkey Phobia Woman Savaged By Macaques - Yahoo! News UK: "A British woman who went to a Thai nature resort to conquer her fear of monkeys has been savaged by a pack of macaques.

Dee Darwell, 56, lost consciousness after the monkeys surrounded her and sank their teeth into her arms and body."

Grand Opening

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity — Blog Entry

Rhode Island Leads the Way

The Associated Press: Toy soldiers run afoul of school's weapons ban: "Christan Morales said her son just wanted to honor American troops when he wore a hat to school decorated with an American flag and small plastic Army figures.

But the school banned the hat because it ran afoul of the district's zero-tolerance weapons policy. Why? The toy soldiers were carrying tiny guns."

Hat tip to Rusty Burke.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

HPD Practices On Prisoners For Drawing Blood From Drunk Driving Suspects - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston: "Houston City Hall has nixed a plan to have HPD officers draw blood themselves from drunken drivers, and Local 2 Investigates found they practiced on state prison inmates in a psychiatric ward.

'This type of behavior on psychiatric inmates is very, very unethical,' said Houston civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen."

For You Fans of the Wild West . . .

. . . a great photo of Wyatt Earp.

Gator Update (Ohio Edition)

Dog points way to rescue of stray gator | The Columbus Dispatch: "'My sales manager was taking his dog out to go to the bathroom, and he went to bring him back in and he was on point - but not at a bird - at a gator,' Tate said."

Hat tip to Jeff "They're Everywhere!" Meyerson.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Road Trip Reads

Road Trip Reads on AbeBooks

What? No Gators?

Police: Man had 8 foxes, 50 chameleons in suitcase: "Security at Cairo's international airport on Wednesday stopped an Egyptian man trying to smuggle eight live foxes and 50 chameleons in a huge suitcase out of the country.

Police stopped the 36-year-old traveler and asked him to open his suspiciously large suitcase, revealing the squirming mass of animals confined in small plastic cages."

Forgotten Books: MALAY WOMAN -- A. S. Fleischman

Obviously I cheat a lot on these Forgotten Books, and I'm cheating again. Malay Woman might be forgotten by most people, but Greg Shepard at Stark House remembers, and so do many of us Gold Medal fans. So does David Laurence Wilson, who provides the superb introductory essay included in the new Stark House edition, which also includes Danger in Paradise. This essay, and I seem to say this about all these Stark House editions, is worth the price of admission all by itself. There's even a short introduction by Sid Fleischman, who was still going strong as the book was being prepared for print, and Wilson adds a short eulogy for Fleischman, who passed away earlier this year.

As for Malay Woman, it's another dandy adventure story from Fleischman. It begins in the airport in Singapore, where Jock Hamilton is trying to get out of the country. He has a small problem. His wife is dead, he might have killed her (he can't remember), and the cops are after him. When the cops show up at the airport, Jock makes a run for it and stows away on a boat headed for Kuala Tang and the rubber plantation of Jock's friend Gabb.

After that it gets complicated by a beautiful woman, a couple of hired killers, another beautiful woman, terrorists (Reds!) attacking rubber plantations, and another murder. The local color's so strong you'll feel the humidity yourself, and the plot never slows down.

Stark House is to be commended, as usual, for another fine package. Nab it as soon as you can.

Robert B. Radnitz, R. I. P.

Robert B. Radnitz, Producer of ‘Sounder,’ Dies at 85 - Obituary (Obit) - "Robert B. Radnitz, a producer of family moviesincluding “Sounder” and “Where the Lilies Bloom” and who was praised for not playing down to his audience or filling the screen with violence, died on June 6 at his home in Malibu, Calif. He was 85."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Tune in on June 26

Thursday, June 17, 2010

At Last

After only three days and approximately 30 phone calls, I managed to get through to Apple's "customer service." I talked to three people, none of whom could explain why my order was canceled. Which I take to mean, "somebody screwed up." At any rate, the order has supposedly been reinstated. We'll see. I'm not counting on anything until the iPad is delivered.


Jeremy London kidnapping: California man arrested - "A man has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping actor Jeremy London and forcing him to use drugs, police said Thursday.

A statement from Palm Springs police said London, who appeared on TV's '7th Heaven' and 'Party of Five,' was kidnapped while changing a flat tire on June 10."

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

No Comment Department

2010 World Cup: South African man killed by wife, kids for changing TV to Germany-Australia game - ESPN Soccernet: "Police say a South African man who wanted to watch a World Cup match instead of a religious program was beaten to death by his family in the northeastern part of the country."

Fantod Relief

Copyright info for Sand's Game.

Apple Still Sucking After Three Days

Apple should be making vacuum cleaners. They could put Orek, Hoover, and all the other guys out of business in days. This is the third day I've tried to call about my order. It's the third day I've gotten a recording that tells me Apple can't take my call.

By the way, I sent Apple's so-called "customer service" an e-mail three days ago, too. Still no reply to that, either. They can't blame AT&T for that.

An Interesting Project


Even if you're not going to contribute, you might enjoy the movie.

Lovely Lithographs – The Magic of Currier and Ives

AbeBooks: Lovely Lithographs – The Magic of Currier and Ives: "The American firm of Currier and Ives has a very secure place in art history. They could even be described as a cultural phenomenon of the Victorian era. This company produced a huge number of prints from paintings as black and white lithographs that were hand colored. From 1834 to 1907, Currier and Ives cornered the market in affordable prints and even promoted its lithographs as “colored engravings for the people.”"

When I was a kid, one of the few books in our house was a collection of Currier & Ives reproductions. Looking at these brings back a lot of memories.

Sand's Game -- Ennis Willie

You should buy this Ramble House collection of Ennis Willie's stories (and one novel) about a former gangster named Sand. Not just because I wrote the intro to one of them, as did other writers (James Reasoner, Bill Pronzini, Gary Lovisi, Wayne Dundee) to other stories. Not just because there's a fine essay on Willie's work by Lynn F. Myers, Jr. Not just because it contains a complete Ennis Willie bibliography. Not just because of Steve Mertz's dandy interview with Ennis Willie that's included. And not just because Willie was a huge influence on Max Allan Collins, who says in his intro to the collection that "Among the American writers, only one caught Mickey [Spillane's] magic -- only one managed to create a fever- dream world of sadistic gangsters, willing women and larger-than-life tough guys." (You can read more of that intro here.)

So why should you buy this book? Because of all those things, and because a single Ennis Willie novel bought from some on-line dealer will cost you a heck of a lot more than this volume, which is a huge bargain. And because it's great reading of the kind you can hardly find any more. Buy it now.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Six Flags Rejects Man with Topless Tattoo: "A North Texas man says he and his wife were denied entry at Six Flags over Texas because of his jewelry and one of his tattoos."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Heads on a plane!

Southwest Finds Shipment of Heads on a Plane | NBC Dallas-Fort Worth: "A Southwest Airlines employee called police after finding 40 to 60 human heads in a package set to be transported to a Fort Worth medical research company, the airline said."

No Comment Department

EXCLUSIVE: Hollywood Actor Jeremy London Kidnapped; Held At Gun Point, Robbed & Forced To Smoke Drugs | "Armed bandits abducted and robbed Party of Five star Jeremy London and forced him to smoke drugs during a harrowing five hour ordeal in Palm Springs, California, police have revealed to
[. . . .]
'He told officers (during the kidnapping) that he was forced to smoke dope and then purchase booze and hand it out in a gang area of Palm Springs,” Sergeant Douglas told, in an exclusive interview."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Good Thing There Was a Rag Handy

Near-sinking of Battleship Texas a 'wake-up call' | Houston & Texas News | - Houston Chronicle: "Millions of dollars and major repairs have kept the iconic Battleship Texas afloat over the years, but last weekend it was a pump and a rag that stopped it from sinking into the Houston Ship Channel.

On Thursday, an employee at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, where the Texas is moored, noticed the 96-year-old ship was sitting lower in the water than usual when he left the park.

“The next morning when he got back, it was noticeably deeper,” said Mike Cox, spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “He and other staff went below deck and found the ship was taking on water — to use nautical speak.”
A combination of a pump failure and leaks — at least one new one — had caused the ship to take on at least 105,000 gallons of water and sink nearly three feet into the channel.

By Saturday, replacement pumps and a rag stuffed into the new leak had righted the ship, and it was stabilized on Sunday, Cox said. Tours of the ship continued throughout the weekend."

Between Heaven and Hell

Gator Update (Reptilian Killing Machine Edition)

9-year-old girl who wrestles alligators | "At the age of nine, most girls are happy playing with dolls or watching their High School Musical DVDs. But, for alligator wrestler Samantha Young, nothing passes the time like grappling with a 2.4m (8ft) reptilian killing machine."

Hat tip to Jeff "Gator Bait" Meyerson.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Here's the Plot for Your Next Femme Fatale Novel

Woman Dubbed 'Military Mistress' Arrested In New Orleans - San Diego News Story - KGTV San Diego: "A woman suspected of marrying multiple military servicemen and taking their money was arrested in New Orleans Monday.

Bobbi Finley, known to authorities as the 'Military Mistress,' is accused of walking out on her $240 bill at a Bourbon Street restaurant.

Authorities said Finley drained the bank accounts of 40 military men and married nine of them -- a number of them from the San Diego area."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

11 Cities That Are Beating The Recession (PHOTOS)

Six of the them are in Texas, including #1 and #2.

A Great Day in History

Just saw this on the Kingston Trio's Facebook page: "On this date (June 16, 1957): Dave Guard, Nick Reynolds, and Bob Shane form the Kingston Trio in Palo Alto, California."

Apple Still Sucks

For the second day in a row, I can't get through to Apple's "customer service" on the phone. This time, however, I'm allowed to punch a bunch of numbers into the phone before I'm told that nobody will talk to me.

I know what you're going to say. I should blame AT&T or something, but the buck stops with Apple. Their planning is, let's face it, about on a par with BP's.

If a fiasco like this happened to Microsoft, people would be going medieval on them.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

The Dallas police official in charge of Crime Stoppers is on leave as officials investigate missing funds | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Dallas-Fort Worth Crime News | Dallas-Fort Worth News: "The Dallas police senior corporal who heads the Crime Stoppers program is on administrative leave and another woman was arrested in connection with an investigation into missing funds from the popular tips-for-cash program."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Pearland killer was on Cops as a toddler | Houston & Texas News | - Houston Chronicle: "Years before he would face a potential death sentence for the abduction and shooting death of a Pearland woman, Nicholas-Michael Edwin Jean was featured on the television show Cops as a confused toddler watching Houston police trying to settle a violent domestic dispute between his grandparents."

Baja Oklahoma -- Dan Jenkins

TCU Press has published Dan Jenkins' Baja Oklahoma in a nice new paperback edition. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite among Jenkins' books, but this would certainly be up there near the top, and closing-in-on-middle-age Juanita Jenkins, aspiring singer and songwriter, is one of my favorite Jenkins characters. Her song lyrics are great, especially if you can imagine them sung in her voice that's "one third Loretta Lynn, one third Tammy Wynette, and one third ragweed allergy." And did I mention hilarious? Well, I should have. This is one of the funniest books of the year, even if it was published nearly 30 years ago. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Whatever It Was, It Was a Mistake

German student attacks Hell's Angels with puppy - Yahoo! News: "'What motivated him to throw a puppy at the Hell's Angels is currently unclear,' said a spokesman for local police, . . ."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Raw: The making of the world's largest American flag | | - Video: "With Monday being Flag Day, a southeast Houston business celebrated the American flag with a unique tribute.

An artist began painting the world’s largest American flag Monday on the roof of the Lamons Gasket Company.

The plan calls for the painting to be 150,000 square feet and the company hopes it will be completed in time for the Fourth of July."

10 Horror Movies Everyone Should See

10 Horror Movies Everyone Should See | LikeMe Daily

You're In the Navy Now

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Apple Sucks

Yes, Apple sucks. I've never bought an Apple product before, but last weekend I ordered an iPad for my daughter as a gift. Today I got an e-mail from Apple saying that my order had been canceled. Here's what it says. "To ensure that all customers are given equal opportunity to acquire this product we have limited the amount available per customer. Therefore, this order has been cancelled."

So they're limiting me to zero. That's pretty harsh. That's one reason I think Apple sucks.

I tried to call the "customer service" number, but the system's crashed. They appear to be getting so many calls about their new iPhones that they can't handle the volume. As I might have mentioned, Apple sucks.

The 10 Funniest Movie Credits Of All Time

The 10 Funniest Movie Credits Of All Time | Content

Link via Neatorama.

A Nail Through the Heart -- Timothy Hallinan

Poke Rafferty is an American living in Bangkok. He writes travel books with an edge and lives with a former bar girl, Rose, and a former street urchin, Miaow. Both Rose and Miaow have the kind of pasts that, while common enough in Thailand, are almost impossible for someone in the U. S. to imagine. Even Poke, who loves both, can't fully comprehend them and what they've suffered. A boy named Superman, with an even worse past, comes into their circle, and Poke's life gets really complicated.

But that's not the main thrust of the plot. Poke has a sideline. He finds people. An Australian woman asks him to look for her uncle, and then another woman with a past, (yes, a terrible one, but not in the way the other pasts are terrible) asks him to find someone who stole something from her. The two cases are intertwined, as they so often are in crime novels, but not in the way you might think.

What Poke uncovers about the uncle and the woman is so bad that you might want to avert your eyes rather than read about it. It really is that horrible, so be warned. There are abuse and torture here for sure. How much love, kindness, and friendship does it take to redeem these things? That's part of what the novel's about.

Hallinan has lived in Bangkok, and he knows what he's writing about: the cops, the street kids, the sights, the smells. It's all here. The story is gripping, and the writing is fine. As good as the book is, I wouldn't recommend it to everyone because of the content. If you read only books about those nice little murders where nobody gets hurt, this one's not for you. But if you're looking for a nail through the heart, you won't find better reading. Grab it now.

PW Likes Murder in the Air

Murder in the Air: A Dan Rhodes Mystery
Bill Crider, Minotaur, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-38695-5
Sheriff Dan Rhodes faces two big non–crime-related problems in Crider's winning 18th mystery to feature the Clearview, Tex., lawman (after 2009's Murder in Four Parts). [Plot summary, blah, blah, blah.] Few will be able to resist Crider's brand of broad humor, eccentric characters, and murder.

Look for this one in August.
Hat tip to Bob Randisi.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Vintage Men’s Magazines Covers

Vintage Men’s Magazines Covers | The Art of Manliness

Gator Update (Backyard Pool Edition)

Missouri City family finds 7-foot-4-inch alligator in their backyard pool; game wardens released it back into wild in Wharton County | "A mother who walked out her back door to let the dogs out, ran into another animal -- a 7-foot gator in her pool. It happened at a home in Missouri City.

The unwelcome visitor to the Morris' pool is long gone, but the family says the 7-foot-4-inch alligator gave them quite a surprise."

Missiouri City is about 20 miles from Alvin.

Philly Leads the Way

New Report Says 90 Percent Of Young Philadelphians Are Not Fit For Military - "A nonprofit group says that up to 90 percent of young Philadelphians are ineligible for military service because of criminal records, obesity or lack of education."

And Stay off His Lawn!

Villager disrupts nude photo shoot | Quirky News | Orange UK: "A naked photo shoot in China was disrupted when an outraged local villager began attacking photographers.
[. . . .]
Then several hours into the photo shoot a local pensioner, armed with a tree branch, made his disapproval clear when he attacked the photographers.

The man, Shen Guoxian, 60, said: 'These people are here to shoot naked pictures, which is too dirty and polluting to the environment. It damaged the family bonds in the village.'"

Hat tip to Jeff "Hand Me That Tree Branch" Meyerson.

It's About Time

S.Korea cracks down on snake soup restaurants

Father Goose

Monday, June 14, 2010

Al Williamson, R. I. P.

R.I.P. Al Williamson, legendary galactic artist: "The illustrator who made his bones illustrating classic titles like Creepy and Eerie before continuing Alex Raymond's genre-defining work on Flash Gordon and bringing Star Wars to comics has died at 79, leaving a vibrant legacy."

Bigfoot Update

Bigfoot afoot? Local legend resurfaces after reported sighting near Casar | legend, sighting, late - Local News - The Star Online : The Newspaper of Cleveland County

Hat tip to Jeff "Yeti" Meyerson.

This Might Worry Me if I Had Any Idea What it Was all About

Dark Energy and Dark Matter Might Not Exist, Scientists Allege - Yahoo! News: "Dark matter and dark energy are two of the most mind-boggling ingredients in the universe. Ever since these concepts were first proposed, some astronomers have worked feverishly to figure out what each thing is, while other astronomers have tried to prove they don't exist, in hopes of restoring the universe to the more understandable place many would like it to be.

A new look at the data from one of the telescopes used to establish the existence of this strange stuff is causing some scientists to question whether they really exist at all. Yet other experts are holding firm to the idea that, whether we like it or not, the 'dark side' of the universe is here to stay."

Flag Day

Flag Day (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.[1]

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

Flag Day is not an official federal holiday, though on June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first (and only) U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday, beginning in the town of Rennerdale.[1] Title 36 of the United States Code, Subtitle I, Part A, CHAPTER 1, � 110[2] is the official statute on Flag Day; however, it is at the President's discretion to proclaim officially the observance."

The Top 10 Countries for Millionaires

The Top 10 Countries for Millionaires - DailyFinance

Today's Western Movie Poster

How Not To Promote Tourism

The Associated Press: Mexican reporters on gov't tourism trip kidnapped: "A government media tour to promote tourism in southwestern Mexico went awry when machete-wielding Indians briefly kidnapped 13 reporters on the trip, officials said Sunday. Fifteen people trying to film a beer commercial were also abducted."

If You've Ever Wondered Why People Sell Drugs, . . .

. . . take a look at these pictures.


Neal Barrett Jr. Interview

Made in S.A.: Neal Barrett Jr. | Missions Unknown

He tells about seeing Gene Autry in his underwear. Need I say more?

The Frogmen

Jimmy Dean, R. I. P.

Jimmy Dean, sausage king and country music star, dies at 81: "Goodbye, Jimmy Dean.

The country star turned sausage king has passed away at the age of 81, his wife said Sunday night.

'He was amazing,' Donna Meade Dean said of her late husband. 'He had a lot of talents.'

Dean passed away in his home in Virginia on Sunday evening, The Associated Press reports. He had been sitting down to eat dinner in front of the television when his wife went into the other room. When she returned, he was unresponsive and was later pronounced dead.

Born in 1928, Dean was raised in poverty in Plainview, Texas, and dropped out of high school after the ninth grade. He became an entertainer after getting out of the Air Force, and gained fame during the 1950s as a singer."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Will the Persecution Never End?

Snooki and Paris Hilton Are BFF's, and Other Signs of the Apocalypse: "A perfect storm of shamelessness is brewing. Snooki and J-Woww are Paris and Nicky Hilton's new best friends. At an MTV Movie Awards afterparty, 'Paris, Nicky, Snookie and J-Woww were all dancing on the banquette and fist-pumping to the music. They had a wild night downing shots and giggling. At about 2 a.m., they were so hungry they made the restaurant reopen their taco stand. They all swapped numbers, and Snookie was overheard inviting Paris to the shore this summer."

Photo at the link.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Drug Bust at the Falfurrias Checkpoint - KRGV CHANNEL 5 NEWS - The Rio Grande Valley's News Channel - Breaking News, Breaking Stories - RGV News: "Agents working at the Falfurrias checkpoint seized nearly 5,000lbs of marijuana. It happened just shortly after 7 a.m. on Saturday.

Agents say they actually needed a forklift to life the heavy load of drugs. The marijuana was mixed with broccoli, but canines still sniffed out the drugs despite the smell."

Scott Sigler's Book Trailer

Horror author Scott Sigler's an NYT bestselling writer, and he has a new book trailer for Ancestor, his latest novel. Here's a link if you want to take a look. It's a bit gory for this family blog, so be warned.

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: One Good Turn :: Ryle Smith

Today's Western Movie Poster

Back to the Future

Retailers Look to Profit From Last Century’s Styles - "For some clothing brands, the summer of 2010 looks a lot like the summer of 1910, and 1949, and 1957 — basically, any time but now."

Details at the link.

Stay off Her Grass!

Grandmother Caught Growing Pot | MyFox Memphis | Fox 13 News: "A North Memphis grandmother was arrested on drug charges after police found potted marijuana plants outside her home."

What? No Love for Undersea Kingdom?

The 11 Greatest Underwater Cities of Science Fiction

In Case You Were Wondering, . . .

Smart alec - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "According to Gerald Leonard Cohen, author of Studies in Slang Part 1 (1985), the phrase 'smart alec' arose from the exploits of Alec Hoag. A celebrated pimp, thief, and confidence man operating in New York City in the 1840s, Hoag, along with his wife Melinda and an accomplice known as 'French Jack', operated a con called the 'panel game', a method by which prostitutes and their pimps robbed customers.

The key to his activities was that they did so in close association with two police officers, who shared the loot and provided protection. Most was done by pickpocketing, with Melinda taking the victim’s pocketbook while the victim was otherwise engaged and surreptitiously handing it to Hoag or French Jack as they walked by. Hoag's downfall came because he got into financial difficulties and tried to cheat his police protectors out of their share of the loot. In one exchange, Hoag lay behind a wall in a churchyard and had Melinda drop the goods over the wall to him so that the constables could not see them."

Back Door to Hell