Saturday, July 03, 2010

Manhattan Leads the Way

Pizza In a Cone Rolls Out in Manhattan - Gothamist: "Hey old man, time to drop that flat, boring slice of pizza and get a clue: It's 2010 and the tyranny of the slice has at last come to an end in Manhattan, where K! Pizzacone opened in midtown today! Pizzacones, which reportedly taste more like a calzone, start at $4.90 each, but isn't it worth paying a little more not to look like a passé Poindexter with oil drizzling down your shirt?"

Photo at the link, which is via Neatorama.

Indiana Leads the Way

Festival Breaks World Fried Chicken Record - News Story - KTVZ Bend: "BROOKVILLE, Ind. -- Armed with deep-fryers, propane and 2,700 pounds of raw meat, fried chicken fanatics joined forces in southern Indiana to break the Guinness World Record for the largest serving of fried chicken, . . ."

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: The Path to Brighton :: David Pilling

Hard Case Crime Update from Charles Ardai


The books Max Allan Collins has written for us about the hitman known as Quarry -- THE LAST QUARRY, THE FIRST QUARRY, QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE -- have been some of our most popular. One of them was even turned into a movie, "The Last Lullaby," starring Tom Sizemore as Collins' enigmatic killer.

When October comes around, we'll be adding a new entry to the list: QUARRY'S EX. This one puts Quarry in particularly hot water when, on a job, he runs into one of the few people in the world who know his true identity: his adulterous ex-wife. If you'd like to read the first chapter, you can find it on our Web site,

Want more than a chapter? We're giving away a dozen free advance copies of the book. All you have to do is send e-mail to (including your name and the address you'd like the book mailed to if you're selected). There's just one other thing we're asking this time: if you're chosen, we ask that you post a review somewhere online of one of the OTHER Quarry books -- it can be on your own blog if you have one, it can be a site like or, it can be anywhere you like. If you've already read the first three Quarry novels, that'll be easy -- just pick your favorite and tell people about it If you haven't read any of them yet, getting one (or all three!) is easy, too: just visit your favorite local or online bookseller, or order them directly from Dorchester Publishing by calling 1-800-481-9191.

All entries must be in by 5PM New York time on July 31; only one entry per person, please. Good luck!

Oh, and while I have you: We've also finally posted the first chapter of CHOKE HOLD, Christa Faust's upcoming sequel to MONEY SHOT, on our Web site, and I think you're really going to like it. Just click on the words "CHOKE HOLD" in the list of book titles on our home page, then on "Read A Sample Chapter." We're not holding a drawing for advance copies of this one yet -- but you can still enjoy a taste of what's coming...

And speaking of what's coming: At the end of this month you'll be able to find Brett Halliday's MURDER IS MY BUSINESS, the first appearance of famous detective Mike Shayne in bookstores in a couple of decades. The cover's a brand new painting by long-time Halliday illustrator (and Hard Case Crime favorite) Robert McGinnis, and the book even features a brief introduction from Hollywood screenwriter Shane Black (creator of "Lethal Weapon" and writer/director of "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," which Shane based on two Mike Shayne novels).

If even the end of the month is too long for you to wait for some great summer reading, I can't urge you strongly enough to pick up a copy of the book we have in stores now, NOBODY'S ANGEL by Jack Clark. This is the book the Washington Post raved about recently, calling it "a gem" and "just about perfect." The Chicago Sun-Times called it "captivating...heartbreaking," saying "each page turn feels like real, authentic Chicago." And those are just two of the many raves the book has gotten. It's an amazing, amazing book, truly one of the finest we've ever published, and if you haven't read it yet, you should. Go get a copy and settle in for a great read.

Time for one more bit of Coming Attractions? This coming Friday -- July 9th -- is the premiere of Hard Case Crime's first ever TV series, "Haven" on SyFy. It airs at 10PM on Fridays in the U.S.; check your local listings for times and dates if you're in another country. The series is based on our bestselling book of all time, Stephen King's THE COLORADO KID, and I've been fortunate to get to work on it as a writer and producer. Yes, being a SyFy show it contains more supernatural elements that you'd normally associate with Hard Case Crime -- but it's also a mystery show at its core (the main characters are an FBI agent, a cop, and a criminal), and I promise we've got some great stories up our sleeves.

I'll be watching, popcorn in hand, when Friday night rolls around. Won't you join me?

Charles Ardai
Editor, Hard Case Crime

A New Blog to Look At

Western Fictioneers

Greatest Movie Predators -

Greatest Movie Predators - Movies Feature at IGN: "From Jaws to The Thing to Michael Myers, IGN lists cinema's most dangerous and unforgiving killers."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Ridin' the Range Once More -- in eBook Format

MEDICINE SHOW – A Western Tale by Bill Crider

50 Years of To Kill A Mockingbird

AbeBooks: 50 Years of To Kill A Mockingbird

Plus some other one-hit wonders.

Your Dog Wants This

In fact, your dog needs this.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Geek Speak: "If you know your 'Star Wars,' then you know the Sith take the Force to its darker extremes. Just ask Nick Sanchez, co-founder of the San Antonio-based Sith Shadow Council of Texas.

'The thing about the Sith is they look cool,' Sanchez says, 'and they have the passions.'"

See how cool they look in the photo at the link.


Paris Hilton marijuana charges dropped in SAfrica - San Jose Mercury News: "Socialite Paris Hilton took some of the spotlight from the World Cup after she was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana, then had the case dropped at a midnight court hearing."

World's Largest Flag Update

Hurricane Alex delays Staten Island artist from finishing world's largest flag painting: "A Staten Island artist is scrambling to put the finishing touches on the world's largest flag painting by the nation's birthday.

But Scott LoBaido could be singing the red, white and blues if it won't stop raining in Houston.

Hurricane-fueled rains in Texas are threatening his time line, keeping him off the factory roof that serves as his canvas."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Valdez is Coming

Friday, July 02, 2010

If You've Been Wondering about the Horse Boy. . . .

Dobbin Horsome

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Woman wins millions from Texas lottery for 4th time: "CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Once, twice, three times a Texas lottery millionaire -- now it's four.

Joan R. Ginther, a native of Bishop, Texas, made her fourth appearance Monday at lottery headquarters in Austin to collect seven figures, lottery officials said.

Ginther, 63, won $10 million, the top prize in Texas Lottery's $140,000,000 Extreme Payout scratch-off ticket she bought for $50, pushing her total wins to $20.4 million."

Will the Persecution Never End?

Paris Hilton in drug bust at World Cup | The Sun |News: "PARIS Hilton has been arrested in a drug bust at the World Cup after watching Holland beat Brazil.

The heiress was with film star pal Leonardo DiCaprio when cops seized her."

7 Questions

Check out my answers to 7 questions posed by David Cranmer. You know you want to. Resistance is futile.


Just emptied five inches of water out of the rain gauge. Emptied five inches out yesterday, too. It's still raining. This is the most rain we've had around here in a long time.


Thomas Jefferson Used ‘Subjects’ Instead of ‘Citizens’ in Early Declaration of Independence: "Library of Congress officials say Thomas Jefferson made a Freudian slip while penning a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence.

In an early draft of the document, which is kept under lock and key in one of the Library's vaults, Jefferson referred to the American population as 'subjects,' then replaced it with the word 'citizens,' a term he used frequently throughout the final draft."

Ivan G. Shreve Jr. Interview

Ivan G. Shreve Jr. – Critical Mass Movie Interviews

Ivan's a frequent commenter here and the proprietor at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear.

Don't Call Me Shirley

Don't Call Me Shirley: "Airplane! turns 30 today! In honor of the big day, we present a quiz that focuses on the word puns, word play and 'oh, my word!' moments that helped turn the film into the classic it has become.

Anyone who nails them all would surely by welcome to pilot the mentalfloss private trivia jet anytime. And, no, Shirley, we're not joking."

Beryl Bainbridge, R. I. P.

Beryl Bainbridge, Novelist, Dies at 75 - "The acclaimed British novelist Beryl Bainbridge, an acute and acerbic chronicler of human relationships, has died at the age of 75.

Ed Wilson, of her literary agency Johnson and Alcock, says Bainbridge died in a London hospital early Friday. She had been suffering from cancer.

Bainbridge was born in the port city of Liverpool in northwest England in 1934, and the city's grit informed her books, which blended humor, tragedy and the absurd.

She published more than a dozen novels, including ''A Weekend With Claud,'' ''The Bottle Factory Outing'' and ''Injury Time.''"

Hat tip to Jeff (Grim Reaper) Meyerson.

Three Stooges Museum

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

The Shamus Winners, Volumes I and II -- Robert J. Randisi, Editor

Bob Randisi founded the Private-Eye Writers of America in 1981. The organization's purpose is to promote the reading and writing of private-eye fiction. Is it just an accident that p.i. fiction had a rebirth starting at about that time? Or is it just coincidence? I report, you decide. Oh, okay, if you insist, my theory is that those of us who love p.i. fiction owe Randisi a big debt. (By way of confession, I should add here that I've been a member of the organization from the start.)

One of the ways the group set about achieving its goal was to give annual awards to the best fiction written about private eyes. Known as the Shamus Awards, they've been given out to the biggest names in the field, and now the winners of the award for the short story have been collected in two big volumes edited and introduced by Mr. Randisi, himself.

But wait. That's not all. There are bonus stories in each volume, by some of the big names in the field. And if you pre-order at Amazon right now, you'll get a list in the back of the book of all the Shamus winners in all categories during the years covered in that volume.


Croc Update (You Have the Right to Remain Silent Edition)

Croc shock for Hessian cops - The Local: "German police were called to make an unusual arrest early on Thursday, seizing a crocodile peacefully going about its business on the streets of the small Hessian town of Groß-Rohrheim."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Back to the Future

Blimps could replace aircraft in freight transport, say scientists | Environment | The Guardian: "Fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers and other foreign luxuries could be part of a global revolution by carrying cargo around the world in airships instead of planes, one of the UK's leading scientists has predicted.

The government's former chief scientific adviser, Professor Sir David King, now director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford, told a conference that massive helium balloons – or blimps – would replace aircraft as a key part of the global trade network as a way of cutting global warming emissions."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Most students fail in fitness; looser gym rules raise concern | Houston & Texas News | - Houston Chronicle: "More than two-thirds of Texas schoolchildren flunked the state's physical fitness test this year, a troubling trend that doctors worry could get worse with the Legislature loosening the requirements for high school gym class."

New E-Book Publisher

"New Pulp Publishing is dedicated to delivering blistering novella length fiction in the crime, suspense, horror, science fiction, fantasy, and western venues.

Not enough hours in your day to get through 400 pages of the latest bestseller, wish the pacing of the book you’re currently reading would pick up? New Pulp aims to deliver excitement meant to be devoured in an evening or during lunch periods.

This month we’re launching two series.

First up is Jake Cassidy, a tough guy recovery agent working the mean beaches of Miami. Jake’s never turned down a case or a beach bunny. Lean prose, spicy nights, and violence all combine to create a new fusion of the Gold Medal crime fiction of the 1960s and 1970s, only set solidly in the 21st century. Join Jake as he crosses paths with bikers, pirates, organized crime, murderers, and blackmailers, and the most dangerous adversary of all — the redhead."

Forgotten Books: THE TELL-TALE TART -- Peter Duncan

I have two books by Peter Duncan, one a Dell First Edition called Sweet Cheat, and this one. Pat Hawk's great pseudonym book tells us that Duncan's a pen name for B. M. Atkinson, Jr., whose other major credit seems to be a nonfiction book called What Dr. Spock Didn't Tell Us, though you might find the occasional story by him in Collier's. Why someone who could sell to two of the best paperback publishers of his time would do only two novels for them is a puzzle.

It's not because the books aren't good. They're both very entertaining, and this one (and Sweet Cheat, too, as I recall) contain an element of what's sometimes referred to now as the "woo-woo" factor. In the case of this book, it's a ghost.

Pete Farrell is a two-fisted magazine photographer who's sent to the private island of a rich and successful novelist (is there any other kind?) to take photos for a story to be written by the lovely Laura Ames. The novelist's secretary has recently died a mysterious death, and his new secretary, the voluptuous Cuba, complicates things for Farrell quite a bit. Besides the ghost, the secretary, and the novelist, the island is home to the writer's alcoholic aunt, a housekeeper, and a handyman. There are a lot of sexual hijinks of the 1950s Playboy variety, including a couple of pretty funny sex scenes. Duncan's touch is light, and his style is smooth. If you can get past the '50s attitudes (I can), then this one's fun to read. And it's short, too, the usual 144-page Gold Medal product. I enjoyed visiting it again.

Elliott Kastner, R. I. P.

Elliott Kastner, Producer of Literary Films, Dies at 80 - Obituary (Obit) - "Elliott Kastner, a producer whose affinity for literary writers and man’s-man movie stars resulted in films like “Harper,” “Where Eagles Dare,” “The Long Goodbye,” “The Missouri Breaks” and “Equus,” died on Wednesday in London, where he had lived and worked for many years. He was 80."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


Thursday, July 01, 2010


The First Photo of a Planet Outside Our Solar System

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

El Paso City Hall Hit With Bullets Believed Fired From Mexico: "After seven bullets believed to have been fired from the Mexican town of Juarez hit El Paso's City Hall on Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote a letter to President Barack Obama demanding 'action.'

No one in El Paso was hurt in the shootings, which Abbott blamed on Mexico's warring drug cartels. His letter was reprinted in the El Paso Times, and included the following passage:

The time for talk has passed. The time for action is now. The need is urgent. Each day that passes increases the likelihood that an American life will be lost because of the federal government's failure to secure the border."

Corpse Flower Update

Titan arum (corpse flower) blooms in Berkeley: "Roses are red, violets are blue ... and then there's Titan arum.

Liver-colored, reeking of rancid animal flesh and obscenely phallic, Titan arum - affectionately called the corpse flower - is hardly the stuff of bouquets and love poems. It's more like the Godzilla of the plant kingdom: big, stinky and likely to traumatize small children."

Hat tip to Art Scott.
And here's a book about a corpse flower.

Top 100: Great Movies Every Guy Must See (and Own)

Top 100: Great Movies Every Guy Must See (and Own) | inStash

The 10 Best Time-Travel Movies of All Time

The 10 Best Time-Travel Movies of All Time :: Blogs :: List of the Day :: Paste

Fox News Wants to Know

Illinois Budget Crisis | Are Libraries Necessary, or a Waste of Tax Money?: "They eat up millions of your hard earned tax dollars. It's money that could be used to keep your child's school running. So with the internet and e-books, do we really need millions for libraries?

Libraries are quiet havens for the community. They take us to other worlds. They even make us laugh. But should these institutions -- that date back to 1900 B.C. -- be on the way out?"

Latest I Love a Mystery Now On-Line

I Love a Mystery

Keith Rawson's Video Interview with Michael Koryta

Michael Koryta – video interview

End of an Era

Variety Fair writes final page on June 30th: "At the end of this month (on June 30th, 2010 to be exact), Variety Fair 5 & 10 will close its doors forever, ending a successful run of 61.55 years (or 22,483 days to be exact). It slips into Houston’s history (or Rice Village history to be exact) alongside its neighbors Mading’s Drugs, Finger’s Early American Furniture, Foote’s Cafeteria and Jones Apothecary."

Photos at the link.

The 100 Greatest Movie Insults of All Time

All in one 10-minute video, with lots and lots of NSFW language.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Title Change of the Week

Final Destination 5 gets a brand new title - Den of Geek: "Final Destination 5 is now known as 5Nal Destination."

Vampires Through the Years

Love Bites! Vampires Through the Years - Timeline - LIFE

What Kind of Trail Did It Leave?

CultureLab: On the trail of Tutankhamen's penis

You Can't Catch a Leprechaun

Man dressed as leprechaun makes mischief at Boulder King Soopers - Boulder Daily Camera: "Boulder police responded to a report of man dressed as a leprechaun in the parking lot of King Soopers at 30th Street and Arapahoe Avenue around 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Boulder police Sgt. Fred Gerhardt said police received a call saying there was a man dressed as a leprechaun jumping in and out from between cars. He was pretending to shoot at people with his fingers and may have made obscene gestures, as well.
[. . . .]
But officers were unable to locate anybody matching the description of the leprechaun."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Finland Leads the Way

BBC News - Finland makes broadband a 'legal right': "Finland has become the first country in the world to make broadband a legal right for every citizen."

Macumba Love

The 10 Most Disappointing Female Characters in Sci-Fi TV

The 10 most disappointing female characters in sci-fi TV - Den of Geek

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I For One Welcome Our New Shape-Shifting Robot Masters

Morphing cars and planes closer as Pentagon develops shape-shifting robot - Telegraph: "Pentagon research scientists have taken a first step towards 'Transformers'-style shape-shifting cars and aircraft, with a robot that can fold itself like origami into different forms."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Some People Will Steal Anything

Monroe County Sheriff's Office - Florida Keys: Marathon man gets stuck attempting to steal sand: "A Marathon man is under arrest after he got stuck on Coco Plum Beach Sunday night while trying to steal a truck load of sand.

Deputies David Stubblefield, Leon Bourcier and Sgt. Ken Fricke responded to Coco Plum Beach at 8:40 p.m. Sunday to calls from people about a truck full of sand stuck on the beach. When he arrived, he found the 1989 Ford F150 truck with it's rear wheels deep in the sand. The back of the truck was full of sand as well, and there was a large hole in the beach nearby where the sand had evidently been removed."

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.

Dead Language Update

Computer program deciphers a dead language that mystified linguists: "The lost language of Ugaritic was last spoken 3,500 years ago. It survives on just a few tablets, and linguists could only translate it with years of hard work and plenty of luck. A computer deciphered it in hours."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Parents Busted Over Pot For Tot - June 30, 2010: "Texas couple gave marijuana bong to their 13-month-old son"

Cleopatra Update

Poison, not snake, killed Cleopatra, scholar says - "Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, died from drinking a mixture of poisons and not from a snake bite, a German historian said Wednesday.

The theory by Christoph Schaefer, a professor of ancient history at Trier University, challenges the common, centuries-old belief that Cleopatra committed suicide with the bite of an asp."

Sea Monster Update

BBC News - 'Sea monster' whale fossil unearthed

Hat tip to Richard Prosch.

Wonder Woman Update

Wonder Woman Over the Years - ABC News

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

Dick & Dee Dee

You old guys remember them, right? They have a neat webpage, and this one has a video clip from the long ago that might make you a little misty-eyed.

Hat tip to Fred Blosser.

50 Fattiest Foods in the States

50 Fattiest Foods in the States -

Today's Western Movie Poster

75 Years of Penguin

AbeBooks: 75 Years of Penguin: "The history of Penguin is almost as interesting as the thousands of titles published by this company over the past 75 years. Step back to 1935 when Allen Lane decided that he wanted to turn book borrowers into book buyers and published the first 10 Penguin books. Each one cost just six pence at a time when hard covers were priced at seven or eight shillings. Those 10 books revolutionized publishing by making great literature very affordable, and kicked off Penguin’s long and illustrious history."

Meet Harper Lee

Don't mention the mockingbird! Meet Harper Lee the reclusive novelist who wrote the classic novel that mesmerised 40 million readers | Mail Online

The Evil

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Massachusetts Leads the Way

Mass. school district tests rife with errors: "The school superintendent in Springfield, Mass., has taken responsibility for tests given to the district's 11th- and 12th-graders that were rife with spelling, grammatical and factual errors.

Two tests given in May to about 2,600 students contained about 100 errors combined.

The mistakes included the phrases 'truning around' and 'For God's skae,' as well as a note on one test that read 'This is the end of the Test,' when there were two more pages."

NASA Face in Space

NASA Face in Space: "NASA wants to put a picture of you on one of the two remaining space shuttle missions and launch it into orbit. To launch your face into space and become a part of history, just follow these steps:

First...Select the Participate button at the bottom of this page and upload your image/name, which will be flown aboard the space shuttle. Don't have a picture to upload? No problem, just skip the image upload and we will fly your name only on your selected mission!"

Hat tip to Stan Burns.

2010 Bulwer-Lytton Winner

Seattle writer wins 2010 bad writing contest: "An unseemly sentence that compares a kiss to the union of a thirsty gerbil and a giant water bottle has won the top prize in an annual bad writing contest.

San Jose State University said Tuesday that Molly Ringle of Seattle was the grand prize winner of the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

In her entry, Ringle describes a 'lengthy, ravenous kiss' between two lovers: 'Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil.'"

Even a Caveman. . . .

AFP: Prehistoric man went to the movies, say researchers: "Prehistoric man enjoyed a primitive version of cinema, according to Austrian and British researchers, who are currently seeking to recreate these ancient visual displays.

Rock engravings from the Copper Age found all over Europe in remote, hidden locations, indicate the artwork was more than mere images, researchers from Cambridge University and Sankt Poelten's university of applied sciences (FH) in Austria believe.

'The cliff engravings... in our opinion are not just pictures but are part of an audiovisual performance,' Frederick Baker of Cambridge University's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology said in a statement Tuesday."

20 Best Superman Panels

ComicsAlliance's 20 Best Superman Panels - ComicsAlliance | Comics culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

Vampire Update

Vampire Car Crash: Colorado woman blames vampire for crashing car - KDVR: "If a Western Slope woman is to be believed, vampires may be lurking in Colorado's Grand Valley.

The woman claims she spotted a vampire in the middle of a dirt road near Fruita, Colo. Sunday night. She told Colorado State Troopers she was startled by the undead being, threw her car into reverse, and crashed into a canal.

She was not injured.

State Troopers say the woman's husband arrived at the scene and took her home. The vampire, which was not seen by anyone else, apparently let her get away."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Was Drag Race Between Husband, Wife to Blame for Death?: "Investigators say a fatal vehicle crash in southwest Harris County may be the result of two spouses challenging each other to a drag race."

You, too, Can Learn Country Hip-Hop Dancing

Link via Neatorama.

There Was a Tall Oak Tree

200-year-old tree now a memory | Ultimate Fort Bend: "As feared, at around 10 a.m. Monday, a 200-year-old live oak tree on FM 1464 in Fort Bend County that had garnered a flood of passionate discussions among readers the past few days was cut down."


BILLY MAYS MEMORIAL CAPS LOCK DAY 6.28: Links, Pics, Videos, and News

It's About Time

Terrafugia Transition 'flying car' gets go-ahead from US air authorities - Telegraph

Spiderman Update

Schoolboy makes Spiderman machine | Quirky News | Orange UK: "A Cambridge schoolboy has converted two budget vacuum cleaners into a Spiderman gadget which helps him scale walls.

Hibiki Kono, 13, a big fan of the superhero, made the incredible climbing machine using the suction from two Tesco Value vacuum cleaners."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.
Photo at the link.

Ponzi Update

Ponzi Scheme Wipes Out Oprah Book Club Author Jacquelyn Mitchard: "Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of the best-selling novel 'The Deep End of the Ocean,' says she has been virtually wiped out by a $190 million Ponzi scheme.

The author, a mother of nine children in Madison, Wisconsin, is the victim of an international Ponzi scheme masterminded by Trevor Cook, a Minneapolis trader who bilked over 1,000 investors out of millions of dollars."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Today's Western Movie Poster

10 Neat Facts About Tron

10 Neat Facts About Tron

The original, not the upcoming remake.

A Short History of The Little Rascals

The Little Rascals: "With 221 episodes filmed over more than two decades, Our Gang/Little Rascals is the most successful, longest-running film series in Hollywood history. Here’s how the Little Rascals found their way onto the silver screen."

10 Great Scenes From Horrible Movies

10 Great Scenes From Horrible Movies -

The Legend of Hell House

Conan -- the Musical!

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way - Texas Store Sells American Flag With 61 Stars: "One Texas man couldn't believe what he saw on the American flag he purchased at a Dollar Tree store in Dallas: 11 extra stars emblazoned on Old Glory."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

I'm Shocked! -- Shocked!

Airline Food Fails To Meet Health Standards - "Many Americans fear for their safety while flying, scared of the possibility of something going wrong with the plane's maintenance.

It turns out, however, the biggest safety issue you face while flying could be the food served by the airlines."

The 18 Best Batman Panels Ever

The 18 Best Batman Panels Ever - ComicsAlliance | Comics culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

Link via Neatorama.


Google Streetview 'horseboy' photo on Scottish road becomes latest mystery | Mail Online

Photo at the link.
Hat tip to David Cranmer.

Lee Goldberg Interview

Lee Goldberg Talks About Monk, Tie In Novels, and More � The Writer’s Forensics Blog

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Holed up: Suspect hides on property for decade - U.S. news - Crime & courts - "GUN BARREL CITY, Texas — The past decade has taken a toll on John Joe Gray, holed up on his rural East Texas land while waiting for a siege that's never happened.

He's been living on 47 acres behind a fence without running water and electricity but with plenty of guns, daring authorities to arrest him for a 10-year-old, third-degree felony warrant. He says he hasn't left his property since 2000, all the while allowing his distrust of a government he views as evil to fester."

Hat tip to David Cranmer.
And while Gun Barrel City is admittedly a great name for a town, it would also be a great name for a rock band.

The First Canine Movie Star

Rescued by Rover - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Rescued by Rover is a British short silent film released in 1905. It was popular on release and was directed by Cecil Hepworth.[3] It was the first film to feature the Hepworth's family dog Blair in a starring role; following the release, the dog became a household name and he is considered to be the first dog film star.

The film was an advance in filming techniques in editing, production and story telling. Four hundred prints were sold, so many that the negatives wore out twice, requiring the film to be re-shot each time."

And of course it's on YouTube.

No Comment Department

BBC News - Mexican singer El Shaka killed after denying his murder: "Mexican singer Sergio Vega has been shot dead only hours after he had denied reports he had been murdered.

The 40-year-old singer, known as El Shaka, told a website he had increased security measures after a number of Mexican musicians were killed."

Alvin Update

12-Hour SWAT Stand Off Ends: "ALVIN, Tx - A man who barricaded himself inside his Alvin home and created a standoff between himself and law enforcement for over 12 hours, surrendered around 10:00 p.m. on Friday."

I jogged by the house about 7:45 and saw two deputies talking to a guy on the porch. I didn't think much of it. Later, when Judy and I left for the convention in Houston, an area of about 6 square blocks was cordoned off. (Note to Jeff and other fans of 24: They established a perimeter!)

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Love at long last: West High School sweethearts marry 68 years later | "It’s been more than 68 years since West High School sweethearts Carl King and Dorothy Stallings started dating.

After decades apart, they got married Saturday in Waco."

Today's Western Movie Poster

A Note from Jim Doherty about a New Website

June 21 was the launch date of PLAINCLOTHES, a website dedicated to the most famous and popular of all hard-boiled detectives.

His creator, sickened by the increase of crime decided, in 1931, to create a detective who could deal with gangdom via what he called "the hot lead route."

The detective's name was Dick Tracy.

The site includes feature articles on the history of the strip, media
adaptations, etc.

Prose fiction featuring the square-jawed cop is also included.

"The Treasure of Captain Cannonsmoke," by animator Tracy Kazaleh, is set in the world of the U.P.A. animated Tracy cartoons of the early '60's, and is marked by a somewhat more humorous take on Tracy's Rogues Gallery, all together on a cruise ship in search of pirate treasure.

"Murder Is My Hobby," by some guy named Doherty, puts Tracy on the trail of a serial killer.

There's also, "Fireworks," a never-before-published comic book story written by Max Allan Collins and illustrated by Joe Staton. Originally slated for publication in a magazine called
Disney Adventures back when Beatty's Tracy movie was still hot, it was shelved for some unknown reason, but has been resurrected for this site.

The centerpiece of the site is "Major Crimes Squad," a comics story in "daily newspaper" format also illustrated by Staton and written by comic book publisher Mike Curtis.

You can find it here:

If you've been disappointed at the direction the strip has taken since Collins's departure in 1993, check out this site and see how good Dick Tracy can still be in the right hands.

Apocalypse Now

‘Twilight’ Saga Facebook Page Now Has More Fans Than ‘Iron Man’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Transformers’, ‘Toy Story’ Combined –

In Case You Missed the Movie . . .

. . . here's the review.

'Dinocroc Vs. Supergator' review: Dino-mite, croc-tastic! | "Dinocroc Vs. Supergator was impeccable Saturday-night junk entertainment. The Syfy network has really tapped into a solid niche audience for cheesy, new, low-budget sci-fi-horror movies, and this one, produced by the legendary Roger Corman and featuring the late David Carradine, was goofy fun all the way."

The Girl on a Motorcycle

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert warns of baby-making terrorists coming to US: "Al-Qaeda may have infiltrated the womb.

In a speech on the floor of the House last week Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert warned about an insidious plot by terror organizations to infiltrate the US with pregnant woman.

According to Gohmert, the plan is that women would give birth to terrorist babies who can then return to wreak havoc on the US once they come of age."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Cops issue warnings over backyard beer machine | | Texas News: "FORT WORTH, Texas�— A house on Berry Street has a reputation.

According to Fort Worth police reports, everyone in the neighborhood knows it's an after-hours beer stop, where anyone can pay a $1.50 for a beer dispensed from a backyard Pepsi machine."

The Bounty Killer -- Marvin H. Albert

Marvin H. Albert is one of those underrated paperback writers that more people ought to be reading. I've touted him before and I'm sure I've mentioned that wrote westerns, crime novels, thrillers, historical mysteries, private-eye novels, and movie novelizations under his own name as well as Al Conroy, Ian McAlister, Mike Barone, and a few others. I've found his books consistently good, and The Bounty Killer is no exception.

The title character is Luke Chilson, and while he's a bounty hunter, he's no killer. He's on the trail of a real killer named Burt Faradin and his gang, and when they take over a town, nobody sides with Chilson. They don't like bounty hunters. By the time they realize their mistake, it's almost too late.

The way Albert works out the story is interesting because before it's over [BIG TIME SPOILER], Chilson's had his arm broken and his gun-hand mangled. There are only a couple of gunfights in the book, which, believe it or not, is more character-driven than most people expect in a paperback western. Harry Whittington was good at t this kind of book. Albert is right there with him. If you like westerns and haven't read any by Albert, you're missing a good thing.

Today's Western Movie Poster

King Tut Update

King Tut died from sickle-cell disease, not malaria - News, Archaeology - The Independent: "King Tutankhamun died from sickle-cell disease, not malaria, say experts. A team from Hamburg's Bernhard Noct Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNI) claim the disease is a far likelier cause of death than the combination of bone disorders and malaria put forward by Egyptian experts earlier this year."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Apartment Residents In North Texas Neighborhood Invited To "White Trash Party" -

The Glory Stompers