Saturday, March 12, 2011

Paris Hilton Update

Contactmusic News: "Paris Hilton feels 'broody'.

The 30-year-old socialite -who has been dating nightclub mogul Cy Waits for a year - is smitten with her boyfriend, and would love to start a family in the future.

She said: 'I feel broody sometimes. I'd love kids in the future. Cy's the best boyfriend I've ever had. I'm so happy with him.'"

Hail, Atlantis

Lost city of Atlantis, swamped by tsunami, may be found | Reuters: "To solve the age-old mystery, the team used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site just north of Cadiz, Spain. There, buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, they believe that they pinpointed the ancient, multi-ringed dominion known as Atlantis."

Hugh Martin, R. I. P. "Hugh Martin, the composer-songwriter whose works included 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' and 'The Trolley Song,' died Friday. He was 96.

He died from natural causes at his home in Encinitas, Calif., said Martin's niece Suzanne Hanners."

Get a Rope!

Spring breakers arrested for taunting gator

Comic Strip of the Day

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

Best Comedy of All Time | CollegeHumor: "Forget what the American Film Institute or your film professors have to say. They're just boring old people! We asked YOU, people reading CollegeHumor, to vote on your favorite comedies and we have compiled the definitive list of The 100 Best Comedies of All Time (according to people who actually watch comedies, and not the aforementioned old people)."


Cross Road Blues -- Troy Smith

I read Cross Road Blues a while back so I could give it a blurb. Now it's available for everybody to read, and I recommend it highly. I love the setting (Nashville, 1957), and the characters are the kid that jump right off the page. As my blub says, it has "drugs, murder, a little voodoo, and the blues." How can you go wrong?


Don James, $50 a Night, Monarch, 1964

Meet the Real Spider-Man

Meet the Real Spider-Man: A Rare Spider With a Human Face: "Afraid of spiders? Maybe you'd be less squeamish about them if they looked more human -- like this 'Spider-Man' living on the RSPB nature reserve in Wareham, Dorset, England."

Photo at the link.

Another 12 Modern Bookcases

Another 12 Modern Bookcases

The 10 Most Awesomely Terrible Sci Fi/Fantasy Paperback Covers - ComicsAlliance

The 10 Most Awesomely Terrible Sci Fi/Fantasy Paperback Covers

Link via SF Signal.

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Long Arm of the Law

WFTV Orlando: "An Orange County woman was picked up on an outstanding warrant from 34 years ago. The warrant stems from a 1977 DWI charge."

Okay, Now the Tax-Cutting Is Really Going too Far "Now, Gov. Rick Scott wants to cut off the funding that helped pay for Ms. Tillman's trip. Faced with a $3.6 billion budget deficit, Mr. Scott is intent on axing what he considers frivolous spending, including a line in the state budget for 'alligator marketing.'"

All Righty, Then

Cop who fired Taser thought it didn't hurt: "A police officer tasered a north Queensland man up to 28 times because he believed the device, which emits a shock of 50,000 volts, did not cause pain, a coronial inquest has heard."

The Mugshot Tells You All You Need to Know

Cops: Man Demolishes Neighbor's Home Over $80 Debt

Scared Stiff

Friday, March 11, 2011

EQMM Forums

I haven't mentioned the EQMM forums lately, but they're something readers of this blog might be interested in. Janet Hutchings' latest post is about the connection between crime fiction and poetry. Check it out at the link below.

From the Editor's Desk: EQMM February 28, 2011 - From the Editors' Desks - Forums

Bobby Phillips, R. I. P.

Cadillacs: "Bobby Phillips, original founding member of the legendary R&B group, the Cadillacs, passed away Sunday, March 6, 2011.

Bobby Phillips began singing in Harlem in 1953 with the Carnations (Earl Carroll, Bobby Phillips, Lavern Drake and Gus Willingham). Upon signing with manager Ester Navarro, James 'Pappa' Clark was added to the group and their name was changed to the Cadillacs. The Cadillacs first record, 'Gloria,' was issued by Josie Records in 1954. The song was a reworking of a tune the Cadillacs remembered the Mills Brothers doing, but their interpretation ended up quite different. The Cadillacs' 'Gloria' became a model for street corner quartets all over the country. The Cadillacs became known not only for their outstanding harmony, but for their stage presence and choreography. With personnel changes, numerous hits followed, including 'Zoom' and 'Speedo,' a song that quickly gave Earl Carroll his nickname."

Carl Ranige, R. I. P.

Gary native was a member of famed doo-wop group -: "Parmaley “Carl” Rainge, a former member of famous Gary doo-wop group The Spaniels, died Sunday in Columbia, Tenn., after a lengthy illness. He was 74.
[. . . .]
In 1956, Mr. Rainge stepped in as a member of The Spaniels, who were with Vee-Jay Records.

While the group was already riding high with their hit “Goodnight Sweetheart,” after Mr. Rainge joined the group it went on to release hits “Everybody’s Laughing,” “You’re Gonna Cry” and “Peace of Mind.”"

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Rent Me :: Cindy Rosmus

Paging Vince Keenan

The Mets would never do that

Jean Dinning, R. I. P. Jean Dinning, who wrote the hit high school tragedy song “Teen Angel,”died here on Feb. 22. She was 86.

Her death was confirmed by her daughter Cynthia Wygal, The Orange County Register said.

Ms. Dinning’s younger brother Mark performed “Teen Angel,” which is about an untimely death. A couple’s car stalls on railroad tracks and they safely get out, but the girl runs back to get the boy’s high school class ring and a train hits the car. The song was released in October 1959 and became an instant hit.

[. . . .}

In the 1930s and ’40s, Ms. Dinning performed with her sisters as The Dinning Sisters, making records and appearing on the radio and in the movies. Their biggest hit was the song “Buttons and Bows” from the film “The Paleface,” starring Bob Hope and Jane Russell.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Comic Strip of the Day

A Contest

Tense Moments: Win a FREE signed copy of THE SCORPION TRAIL

Today's Vintage Ad


Max Allan Collins, Quarry's Ex, Hard Case Crime (ARC), 2010

Ambiguous Headline of the Day

Virgin forced to pay £300,000 for massage injuries

Lawsuit of the Day

Car Crash Victim Sues Paramedic Who Stole His Foot: "A former Florida paramedic who snatched a man's severed foot from the scene of a car crash is being sued by the victim."

"Pretty Polly" -- Duane Spurlock

This short story was originally published in an anthology titled Where Legends Ride, and now Duane Spurlock has made it available for Kindle. It's a humorous western story with the style and tone of a tall tale, and Spurlock pulls it off with verve. Check it out.

Math Prof Gone Wild

Rodent rage: Fan punches Goldy Gopher | "An annoyed fan -- a University of St. Thomas math professor and a devoted University of Minnesota booster -- socked the fuzzy-suited mascot after tiring of his antics during a men's gymnastics meet Saturday night."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Yet Another List I'm Not On

25 Best Literary Criticism Blogs

But Texas Has Two Near the Top

Magazine names Detroit angriest city in America - Yahoo! News: "The Motor City has earned itself yet another title: angriest town in America.

Of 100 cities, Men's Health magazine dubbed Detroit the 'most spitting-mad metropolis,' in a report released in January."

Criminal Geniuses of the Day

Couple Facing Charges Over Ring Photo Posted On FacebookCBS Pittsburgh: "A Pitcairn woman and her boyfriend are facing charges after she posted a photo of a stolen ring on Facebook.

Crystal Yamnitzky, 20, and 21-year-old Robert Driscoll were at a home in Trafford earlier this week when Driscoll stole a 3-carat ring as well a few others from an upstairs bedroom.

A short time later, Yamnitzky posted a photo of the $12,000 ring on Facebook with the caption, “Look what Robby gave me. I love him so much.”"

Hat tip to Doc Quatermass.

Bonus Forgotten Book Roosevelt’s One-Man Army – Illustrator Arthur Szyk: "Arthur Szyk created what is arguably the most beautiful book of all time. This Polish-born illustrator also used his art as a weapon against Fascism during World War II to such devastating effect that Eleanor Roosevelt described him as “a one-man army.”"

Forgotten Books Down There David Goodis

Goodis is hardly forgotten these days, and this is one of his better-known books, but what the heck. I'm talking about it, anyway.

The truth is, I've never been as fond of Goodis as a lot of people. I find many of his books wordy and sometimes plodding. I don't think anyone every mentioned "show, don't tell" to Goodis, and his writing style doesn't appeal to me.

But if you're looking for bleak and depressing, you've come to the right place. Eddie's a piano player in a cheap bar. Once he'd been in the big time, but his wife's suicide began his slide to the bottom. One night his brother shows up. He's in a jam, and he needs Eddie's help. No good deed goes unpunished (especially in a Goodis book), and Eddie's helping his brother leads to his killing someone. This leads to even more complications, and to the big shoot-out at the end.

I once called Goodis a naturalistic writer in the tradition of Frank Norris, who liked to show characters as pawns at the mercy of forces they can't comprehend. Or as Gloucester puts it in King Lear, "As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods,/ they kill us for their sport."

As usual in Goodis, things don't end well, certainly not in this case. I wouldn't advise reading Down There if you're feeling at all depressed. Wait until you're on a high and need something to bring you down. Down There should do the trick.

Visit to a Small Planet

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Diabolical Fungi Would Be a Good Name for a Rock Band

“Zombie” ants fall victim to mind-control fungus | The Upshot Yahoo! News: "Once the 'stalk of the newfound fungus species Ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani infects an ant, the ant gives up control over its own body. After the fungus is in control, it forces the ant to scamper toward 'a location ideal for the fungi to grow and spread their spores.' Then, it's lights out for the ant. Who knew a fungus could be so diabolical?"

Hat tip to Art Scott.

No Comment Department

NBC Bay Area: "A field trip that included a walk along the Golden Gate Bridge ended with a student jumping off the bridge Thursday morning.

The unnamed student survived and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was reportedly being treated for injuries 'including a broken tailbone and torn lung.' The boy's only complaint was soreness and some bruising.

Witnesses said surfers came to his rescue and helped him to shore.
CBS 5 reporter Joe Vazquez tweeted that the jump was not a suicide attempt, but instead was done on a dare by fellow students. Vazquez spoke to a surfer who said the classmates were cheering the boy as he jumped."

Kung Fu Factory!

The Education of a Pulp Writer: "From the far East-to-the backwoods of the American Nightmare - Crimefactory Magazine Presents: Kung Fu Factory! Crimefactory's hardest hitting pulpfest to date! Featuring new fiction and features by Christa Faust, Anthony Neil Smith, Frank Bill, Cameron Ashley, Duane Swiercynski, Chad Eagleton, Chris La Tray, Matthew McBride, Liam Jose, Jimmy Callaway, Garnett Elliot, Bryon Quertermous, the Nerd Of Noir, Michael S. Chong, and Joshua Reynolds!"

Not That There's Anything Wrong with That

WSLS 10: "Authorities said a woman entered the Amherst County courthouse this morning with a tiny monkey tucked into her bra, dressed in diapers and a white dress with pink flowers."


New York man faces five years in jail for ‘linking’ to online videos | The Raw Story: "You may want to think twice the next time you share a link to your favorite video.

In a case against a New York website owner, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is claiming that merely linking to copyrighted material is a crime."

Criminal Genius Update

Southwest Portland News: "Just two days after calling 9-1-1 on himself, the man who police say broke into a house to take a shower was rearrested Wednesday on theft, burglary and stolen property charges."

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Group of Transvestites Duke it Out at Taco Shop - "Witnesses say a group of men dressed as women began arguing over whose bodies were better.

Then, in very unladylike fashion, tables and chairs, along with wigs and high heels, started to fly."

No Wonder I Feel Safer

KPRC Houston: "It is a change that affects every single airline that operates in the United States. The federal government has ordered safety equipment be removed from 6,000 commercial passenger planes, and the Federal Aviation Administration kept the decision to do it a secret."

Heartwarming Story of the Day

Mail Online: "Blind man keeps his old guide dog after it loses its sight... and then gets a new one who now leads them both around"

Yet Another List I'm Not On

The World's Billionaires -

Today's Vintage Ad

Of Blood and Honey -- Stina Leicht

I can't remember where I first met Stina Leicht, but it was probably at an Aggiecon some years ago. Maybe she even came to a panel where I talked about writing. I hope so because if she did, I can claim I was a big influence on her. I wouldn't want to claim that, of course, if I hadn't really liked her first novel, but I liked it a lot.

This is one of those books that it's probably best to come to knowing nothing at all about the plot. That way, none of the surprises are spoiled. But since you'll probably read the dust jacket no matter what I say, I might as well add my little bit.

The setting is Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Not a happy place, and this is not a happy book. I haven't read a book in which the hero (not to mention some of the other characters) gets beaten and tortured so often. And anyone can die at any time. Don't say you weren't warned.

The plot functions on two levels. The conflict in Ireland is mirrored in the conflict between the Fey (you know who they are) and the Fallen (angels, that is), but it's the human conflict that gets the most page-time. William Kelly, known as Liam, doesn't know his true father's name, so he doesn't know that he has certain abilities. They begin to show themselves during his various prison sentences (he's innocent, but that doesn't matter in the Ireland of the time). And it turns out that he's a pawn in the other conflict, too. It's complicated, but Leicht does a fine job of making it all hang together.

The writing is smooth and assured, and the plot is thriller-oriented with plenty of action. You shouldn't think that means the characters are neglected. They aren't, and they're all vivid and well rendered. Since this is obviously the first book in a series, there's more to look forward to from Leicht, who I hope is working on the sequel.

Want to Know how Ken Jennings Felt?

You vs. the Computer: "Rock-Paper-Scissors: You vs. the Computer

Computers mimic human reasoning by building on simple rules and statistical averages. Test your strategy against the computer in this rock-paper-scissors game illustrating basic artificial intelligence. Choose from two different modes: novice, where the computer learns to play from scratch, and veteran, where the computer pits over 200,000 rounds of previous experience against you."


Stuart James, Jack the Ripper, Monarch, 1960

He Probably Doesn't Have a Lawn "The 74-year-old has bagged the Guinness world record for collecting the most airline sick bags on the planet."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

50 Famous Travel Spots Every Literary Geek Should See

50 Famous Travel Spots Every Literary Geek Should See

So If You Cheapskates Would Buy 'em, We'd All Soon Have One

One company is building a flying car for mass manufacture. - By Annie Lowrey - Slate Magazine: "The answer is: We actually have had flying cars, real flying cars, for decades. They just have never successfully made it into mass production. The problem has never been making flying cars. It's selling them."


If you subscribe to my son's YouTube channel, you'll get to see some great videos of the Cornell Hurd Band. How can you resist?

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

Troll dolls get sexy makeover | "The original trolls dolls . . . debuted in the 1960s with chubby bodies, unruly hair, and pug noses. More recently they've been updated — while they still have only four fingers on each hand, the new Trollz line created for the animated TV series by DiC Entertainment features short skirts, bare midriffs, giant eyes, and even styled hair."

'Bigfoot' Update

'Bigfoot' Sues New Hampshire: Filmmaker Jonathan Doyle Fights for Free Speech Rights: "An amateur filmmaker who donned a hairy Bigfoot costume and scared hikers on New Hampshire's Mount Monadnock is now suing the state for not allowing him back on the mountain without a permit."

Not That There's Anything Wrong with That

Cops: Rodney Kunkel Stocked Walmart Shelves With Photos of Himself in Drag

The End of Academic Freedom?

Dwarf pulling vacuum cleaner with his penis banned from Oxford University

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Rick Klaw Picks the 10 Best Alien Movies

Editors’ Choice: 10 Best Alien Movies

Cemetery Without Crosses

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

New Mexico Leads the Way

Albuquerque, New Mexico: "An Albuquerque woman claims she was kidnapped and beaten over an $80 debt.

It all started after the alleged victim arrived at an apartment complex north of San Mateo and Gibson boulevards in Southeast Albuquerque on Friday. She told police she saw 41-year-old Kari Pacheco outside. Pacheco followed her.

A short time later, a man came up to her and made her leave, then forced her into the truck of his car. Later, the victim claims the man told her to undress, then beat her up and cut off her right pinky with a pair of shears."

What Was His First Clue?

Charlie Sheen tells magazine “I’m really starting to lose my mind”

Paging Seepy Benton

Can You Walk on Fire? Swallow Swords? Eat Glass? Ripley's Launches Search for Sideshow Talent

If Anyone Ever Tells You that Arkansas is a Cultural Backwater, . .

. . . just point them to this link.

Miss Arkansas and her yodeling puppet Molly entertain state senators

Hat tip to John Duke.

10 Great Student Film Festivals For Fans and Filmmakers | Best Universities

10 Great Student Film Festivals For Fans and Filmmakers

30 Best Movies About Black History

30 Best Movies About Black History

And Stay off Her Damn Lawn!

Australian gangland matriarch convicted of murder | The Raw Story: "An Australian underworld matriarch was found guilty Wednesday of orchestrating an execution-style murder of her brother-in-law as he enjoyed his daily coffee at a busy suburban cafe.

Judy Moran, a 66-year-old grandmother, was convicted over the slaying of Des 'Tuppence' Moran who died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head in Melbourne in June 2009, in a case police described as too far-fetched for television."

Today's Vintage Ad

10 Famous People Who Were Expelled From School

10 Famous People Who Were Expelled From School


Paul W. Fairman, The World Grabbers, Monarch, 1964

A Bit of Baseball History

Designated Runner: "Charley Finley was a Major League Baseball team owner -- the Kansas City (and after he moved them, Oakland) A's, specifically -- from 1960 to 1981. An innovator with a flair for gimmicky brilliance, Finley was a driving force behind night baseball (now the norm) and employing the designated hitter. But one of his innovative ideas -- a failure, at that -- yielded an odd result: the Major League Baseball career of Herb Washington."

BEAT to a PULP: Round One Now on Kindle BEAT to a PULP: Round One eBook: Ed Gorman, Charles Ardai, Robert J. Randisi, Sophie Littlefield, James Reasoner, Hilary Davidson, Frank Bill, David Cranmer, Elaine Ash, Bill Crider: Kindle Store: "BEAT to a PULP: Round One [Kindle Edition]"

The Unkindest Cut of All?

Woman flies cross-country to seek revenge on husband: "A wife flew to Chicago and cut the crotches out of the pants of a woman who was vacationing with her Wilmette husband, police said."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Gator Update (Facebook Edition)

12-foot alligator found in Bastrop | "A Texas sized reptile, 12-feet in length, may get some Texas men in trouble after it was found dead last week and it started with photos posted on facebook.

Game Warden Frederick R. Ensinger told KXAN Austin News an anonymous tip to Operation Game Theft led him to social media sites including facebook where photos of the dead gator were posted."

Readers of this Blog Will Not Be Surprised

Los Angeles Times: "Narcotics agents raiding a Hemet pot house made a surprise finding amid dozens of plants and seedlings: A 50-pound alligator.

The 4-foot-long gator had been living inside the home, where the owner had set up a cement tub with water so the reptile could get wet."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Police: Teen Hides Pot Under Cop Car - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston: "The officer reviewed his dashcam video and it showed Davis sitting on the back of his pickup truck during the search, officials said. On the video, Davis was seen reaching into his pants, pulling out a bag of marijuana, dropping the drugs and kicking it under his pickup truck, police said. The video then showed Davis getting the drugs out from under the pickup truck with his foot and then kicking it under the patrol car, investigators said."

Here's the Plot for Your Next Jewelry Heist Thriller

World news | "French investigators have found jewels valued at £15.4m hidden in a Paris sewer.

The items were stolen during a 2008 heist from luxury jeweller Harry Winston's boutique in the capital.

Nineteen rings and three sets of earrings, including one pair valued at £14m, were dug up from a drain at a house in the working-class suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, according to police. The house belonged to one of the nine people charged over the robbery. The jewels were hidden in a plastic container set in a cement mould inside the sewer."

Shoot First and Pay You Live

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Hollywood is NOT out of Ideas

Want proof? Just click here.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Bill On Texas Secession Presented To TX Legislature: "The Texas Nationalist Movement will host a rally at the state capitol Saturday urging lawmakers to put the matter of Texas independence before the state's voters in a non-binding plebiscite.

The resolution, drawn up as a concurrent resolution of the Legislature, spells out actions by the federal government which have intruded on the sovereignty of the State of Texas and calls for the plebiscite to be included on the ballot of the next scheduled election for state constitutional amendments. That date is Nov. 8 of this year."

I Should Have Been a Charter Member

The Dull Men's Club: "They have a fascination with luggage carousels and park benches. They enjoy watching paint dry and, around this time of year, sap drip. These are the members of the Dull Men's Club, and they don't care if they bore you.

'We're not a 12-step program where we're trying to change our ways,' says club president Leland Carlson, 71, of London, where the club, known as DMC, is based. 'We're a two-step program: We admit we're dull and we're gonna keep it that way.'

The club, which Carlson founded in New York City with a few bored -- and boring -- pals in the mid-'80s, has remained true to its founder's words. It's never grown, it's never held an event and it's never had a membership drive."

The Future is Now

Library of the future opens in Bolingbrook - Chicago Breaking News: "The shiny, LED-lit future of libraries opened Monday in Bolingbrook, promising to be a technology blueprint for others as iPads, Kindles and Nooks replace dusty old paperbacks.

Crowds of curious and eager patrons visited the three-story, $39.5 million building featuring flat-screen TVs, computer terminals, self-checkout stations, an automated book sorter and a cafe.

The Fountaindale Public Library, with its state-of-the-art, Wi-Fi equipped space, is starkly different from the previous antiquated library, a nearby one-story brick structure built in 1975 that awaits the wrecking ball."

Criminal Genius of the Day

Intruder calls 911, afraid homeowner may have gun - "This time it was the intruder who called 911.

A man who broke into a house in Portland, Oregon, called police -- afraid the homeowner may have a gun.

The suspect, Timothy James Chapek, was in the bathroom taking a shower when the homeowner returned to the house Monday night, Portland police said in a statement."

Today's Vintage Ad

Trailer for Machete 2?

Charlie Sheen waves machete on rooftop: 'Free at last!'

Croc Update (House Pet Edition)

3 Pet Crocodiles (VIDEO): "Vicky Lowing has three pet crocodiles that bathe in the tub and enjoy sitting in the front seat on car rides.

Animal Planet follows Lowing as she shows off her life with these normally feared creatures. Perhaps there's a reason they are feared -- one crocodile bites Vicky's hand as she puts him in the tub... despite the fact that she repeatedly warned the creature, 'Don't bite Mommy; Don't bite Mommy.' When Lowing's hand starts to bleed, she calls for her own mother to fetch her a Band-Aid."

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

NBC Miami: "An angry customer started a fast food, food fight with Burger King employees after she didn't get her order her way.

Tara Lyons, 38, was arrested and charged with assault and battery and burglary after she climbed over the counter at an Oakland Park Burger King and started throwing breakfast sandwiches and condiments at employees."


Stuart Freidman, Nikki Revisited, Monarch, 1963

Comic Strip of the Day

The 8 Most Impressive Prison Breaks in History

The 8 Most Impressive Prison Breaks in History

No Comment Department

BURBANK, CALIF., March 8, 2011 – Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD), a market leader in video-on-demand and electronic sell-through, today announced it will begin testing an offering of selected movies for purchase or rental through Warner Bros. Entertainment’s Facebook movie Pages. Consumers will be able to use Facebook Credits to easily buy or rent a title, all while staying connected to Facebook.

Starting today, millions of fans who “Liked” Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film “The Dark Knight” can rent the title through its official Facebook Page ( Consumers simply click on the “rent” icon to apply their Facebook Credits, and within seconds they will begin enjoying the film. The cost per rental is 30 Facebook Credits or $3. This offering is presently available only to consumers in the United States. Additional titles will be made available for rental and purchase on a regular basis over the coming months.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Collecting Books about Battles of the American Civil War

AbeBooks: Collecting Books about Battles of the American Civil War

Movie Quote Generator Quiz

The power of Crider compels you.

Which movie was this quote from?

Get your own quotes:
This is a page where you can type in a word and get a movie quote using that word. Being an egomaniac, I typed in "Crider." It's also a quiz, so you can guess the name of the movie, too.

She's So Unusual

Cyndi Lauper calms angry airport passengers by breaking into song | Mail Online: "After all these years, Cyndi Lauper still knows how to have fun.

The 80s pop icon calmed a crowd of angry travellers who were stranded at the Buenos Aires Airport on Friday by leading them in a sing-along of her hit songs."

Video at the link.

Forgotten Films: The Good Humor Man

Back in 2009 I did a "Forgotten Movies" post about The Good Humor Man. That wasn't the first time I'd written about it. I first posted about it back in 2005. To save me the trouble of writing a new post, I'll just repeat part of that one:

"When I was a kid, this was one of my favorite movies. . . . Back in 1950 I saw it three times in two days (I sat through two showings back to back and returned to the theater the next day to see it again). When I saw a video of it several years ago, I nabbed it, and I've watched it several times since. It has everything a kid could want: slapstick comedy, a murder mystery, a secret club, Lola Albright, and Captain Marvel. How could I not love it? (George Reeves is in the movie, but he doesn't play Superman. Or Captain Marvel.) Others might find it a quickie, knocked out on the cheap, with a bad script (it's by Roy Huggins and Frank Tashlin) and unfunny humor. Not me. I think I'll watch it again soon."

The Good Humor Man

Monday, March 07, 2011

Free Story (and a Good One, Too)

Livia J. Washburn: FREE: "I wanted to put this story up for free on Amazon's Kindle, but that option isn't available. Trying to come up with a way around this, the only thing I can think of is to email the file to anyone interested. Just send an email requesting the story to and let me know if you want the Kindle version or Microsoft Word."

Auction Update

YouTube - Robinson "Adventure House will be offering the Frank M. Robinson Collection on our auction site, beginning in 2011. This collection includes the highest grade run of WEIRD TALES, ever assembled. This and nearly 10,000 other pulps, digests, books and artwork will all be offered this year. Check our website at for more information in the coming months."

10 True Online Dating Horror Stories

10 True Online Dating Horror Stories

Seepy Benton Knew this Already

Toronto Sun: "Long before the modern hippy discovered them, magic mushrooms -- hallucinogenic fungi -- were used by ancient humans in religious ceremonies.

Cave paintings discovered in Spain depict fungi with hallucinogenic properties in relation to religious rituals.

According to a report in New Scientist, a row of 13 small mushroom-like objects in the painting also match the known size and shape of so-called magic mushrooms, called psilocybe hispanica.

The report notes, however, that these are not the oldest representations of magic mushrooms used by people. A similar mural in Algeria dates the practice as far back as 9,000 years."

25 Books Every Cinephile Should Read

"25 Books Every Cinephile Should Read"

Today's Vintage Ad

Andy Rooney Isn't Fond of E-Books

Live Wire -- Harlan Coben

Myron Bolitar is back and Win is with him. That sentence alone is probably enough to guarantee Harlan Coben another muli-million seller. He's sold 47 million books now and is a bestseller in just about every country in the world. But what the heck. I'll take pity on him and mention his new book here, anyway.

Myron's had lots of trouble heaped on him in the past, but he gets a real load of it here. And speaking of the past, that's where it all comes from. One of Myron's clients is married to half of a famous rock duo, one of whom was, long ago, implicated in the death of a young woman. As a result, nobody's seen in years. Myron's client, Suzze T, a former tennis player needs help because she's pregnant, and someone posted "Not his" on her Facebook page. Her husband's seen the post.

Then Myron takes a glance across a crowded room and sees Kitty, his sister-in-law, who he thought was in Peru. He's been estranged from her and his brother for years because of his actions before their marriage. And after that it gets really complicated. Most of the time I knew what was going on, and Myron ties it all up in the end very neatly and satisfactorily. Win performs as Win usually does. People get hurt. People die (and maybe not the ones you'd expect). It's all fast and furious, with some of Coben's trademark humor and asides, though not as much as in Coben's earlier, funnier books.

Coben also introduces a new character, Myron's nephew, Mickey. In an afterword we learn that Mickey is the primary character in Coben's new YA series that begins later this year. I'm betting Mickey's going to have a tough life, filled with angst. And that the books will sell millions. You go, Harlan!


Dean Owen, The End of the World, Ace, 1962

eBay Update

I don't ordinarily plug eBay auctions here, but there appear to be some really good deals from Subterranean Press here. Check out Charles Ardai's Fifty-To-One for example:

subpress1 items - Get great deals on Books items on!

A New Interview with Me

It's impossible for there to be too many Bill Crider interviews on the 'net, so here's another one. Check it out.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Up! Update

howhardcanitbe - Gizmodo: "This is really nuts. The people from National Geographic have built a house inspired by the Pixar movie Up! Yes, a house tied to gas balloons that actually flies."

The Top 50 Novelist Blogs

The Tales of Tale-Tellers: The Top 50 Novelist Blogs

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

The Story | The Downtown Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In: "A guy in Austin, Texas starts buying up drive-in movie theater speakers on Ebay, teaches himself how to restore them, and opens the first ever Mini Urban Drive-In with the theory that smaller is better!

The Boutique drive-in is born by taking advantage of the main things that almost made the drive-in extinct.

Cool or Depressing? You Be the Judge

Gadget Q&A: Gear for older people

Death Rides a Horse

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Here's the Plot for Your Next Airline Heist Thriller

Passenger steals $238,000 from airplane cargo hold via toilet | Mail Online: "A airplane passenger stole $238,000 during a flight in the Caribbean by sneaking into the cargo hold that was loaded with cash through the bathroom."

Archaeology Update

Human Bones Found in Florida Yard Date Back 2,400 Years: "When a woman digging in her yard on the Florida Keys last fall turned up a jawbone and part of a human skull, detectives immediately could tell the bones had been there a while -- 'possibly as long as 75 years,' the sheriff's office said at the time.

Now the Monroe County Medical Examiner's office said the results of radiocarbon dating tests are in and the bones are much older -- about 2,400 years -- placing them in the time period of 200-440 B.C."

Croc Update (Tour Edition)

Mail Online: "The cheerily-named Cage of Death, which lowers tourists into the water to swim alongside crocodiles, is meant to be the highlight of a visit to the cove."

Today's Vintage Ad

Dissolution -- C. J. Sansom

It's the 16th century, and Henry VIII is dissolving the monasteries in England. At one of them, his emissary is murdered, and Thomas Cromwell sends Matthew Sharlake, a lawyer, to investigate. Shardlake takes along his young assistant, Mark Poer, who's a source of trouble because he's not as convinced as Shardlake about many things. Shardlake wants to believe that what he's doing is right, the Cromwell is right, that a better world will result, and Poer causes him to doubt.

Poer also falls for Alice, the only young woman in the monastery, as does Shardlake, which is another problem. Poer is young, handsome, well formed. Shardlake is older, not nearly as handsome, and a hunchback.

The monks are a sorry lot, for the most part, and they resent Shardlake's presence. They help him grudgingly, and any one of them might be a killer. The investigation takes longer than Cromwell would like, and Shardlake is likely to fall out of favor. The weather is cold, the monastery is dreary, and there aren't many light moments. But the mystery is engaging, and the details of life at the monastery and in Tudor England are fascinating. It's no wonder this novel was nominated for a number of awards.

You're probably going to be ahead of Shardlake on at least half of the solution, but the resolution is satisfactory. The title refers to more than the monasteries, as becomes obvious before you've read too far.

I don't read a lot of historical mysteries, but since George Kelley recommended this series highly, I thought I'd give it a try. I'm glad I did.

The Best Literary Sidekicks: Sancho Panza to Dr Watson

The Best Literary Sidekicks: Sancho Panza to Dr Watson


R. V. Cassill, The Buccaneer, Avon, 1958

Croc Update (Education Edition)

Herald Sun: "THE Northern Territory News launched a snappy new promotion this weekend, giving away a crocodile to a school in its area."

The 24 Greatest Conspiracy Films

The 24 Greatest Conspiracy Films

Get a Rope! "A Florida high school student was questioned by authorities for wearing a T-shirt they found threatening.

The unidentified boy at East Lee County High School in Lehigh Acres wore a T-shirt Wednesday reading, 'A friend will help you move, but a real friend will help you move a body,' a Lee County sheriff's report stated."

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Old West in Photos

The Denver Post: "Between 1887 and 1892, John C.H. Grabill sent 188 photographs to the Library of Congress for copyright protection. Grabill is known as a western photographer, documenting many aspects of frontier life – hunting, mining, western town landscapes and white settlers’ relationships with Native Americans. Most of his work is centered on Deadwood in the late 1880s and 1890s. He is most often sited for his photographs in the aftermath of the Wounded Knee Massacre on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

40th Annual: "The 40th annual One Arm Dove Hunt will be held in Olney, Texas on September 9th and 10th, 2011. What started as a joke in 1972 became a tradition and has grown as the only event of its kind on Earth. It is quite a legacy that the two Jacks and the citizens of Olney have given the disabled. If you take two one armed politicians, add a Texas tall tale and a few high flying doves, you can say you have quite a story to be told."

Gator Update (Origami Edition)

How to make an origami alligator head

Fashion Update

The post about the Alamo Gift Shop reminded me of my coonskin cap. Here's a photo of my mother wearing it as my sister looks on. This was taken in the back yard of the house we lived in on Hunt Street in Mexia, Texas, several years before the TV series aired. I was always ahead of the curve.

The Mercenary