Saturday, April 13, 2013

Frank Bank, R. I. P.

TV Series Finale: Actor Frank Bank died this morning, one day after he turned 71. Today is his friend and former co-star Tony Dow’s 68th birthday. Bank was primarily know for his role as Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford on the Leave It to Beaver sitcom in the 1950s and 60s. He reprised his role as Wally Cleaver’s friend in the Still the Beaver TV movie and the 1980s sequel series, The New Leave It to Beaver, joining most of the original sitcom’s surviving cast.

Time Machine Update

Iranian media pulls ‘time machine’ story after online mockery | The Raw Story: An Iranian press outlet pulled a story about a “time machine” after it was received with mockery after spreading online. 

Wired reported on Thursday that a Fars News Agency story promoting Ali Razeghi’s alleged invention — a device that could supposedly use readings taken from finger impressions to predict the next five to eight years of a person’s life — got on multiple news sites’ radar after being picked up by the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Attention to Books of Interest Look You On Beauty And Death eBook: Livia J. Washburn, James Reasoner: Kindle Store: Heroic fantasy short story. 

A beautiful woman who wields a blade as deadly as any man! A wizard from a far land whose sorcerous powers spell either doom or paradise, depending on his lecherous whim! The warrior Ralna, personal bodyguard to the Empress, sets out into a sun-blasted wasteland on a quest to save the life of her sister. But it may be that not everything is as it appears, and Ralna's wits may prove as valuable to her as her sword arm. 

Bestselling, award-winning authors James Reasoner and Livia J. Washburn venture into the realm of swords and sorcery in this action-packed 7000 word short story that originally appeared in the anthology NEW AMAZONS, edited by Margaret Weis. Newly revised and expanded by the authors, it's now available for the first time in an e-book edition.

Here's the Plot for Your Next Big Jailbreak Thriller

Top French gangster in spectacular jailbreak

Scribe Award Nominees Announced

Scribe Award Nominees Announced - A Writer's Life

Song of the Day

I Need Your Love Tonight - Elvis Presley - YouTube:

You Already Knew all of These

20 Literary Facts To Impress Your Friends With

Today's Vintage Ad

Happy Birthday, James Bond!

Happy Birthday, James Bond (Shhhhh!) | Bad Latitude | an blog: Six months after the brutally misguided celebration of World James Bond Day (the 50th anniversary of the movie “Dr. No” in October 1962), and six months after a an enthusiastic and sheep-like lifestyle media bought into the hoopla with a blind faith that would make cult leaders giddy with envy, we give you the real event: Secret Agent James Bond turns 60 years old today.

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

MAKING STORY: TWENTY-ONE WRITERS ON HOW THEY PLOT (TWENTY-ONE WRITERS #1) (THE TWENTY-ONE WRITERS PROJECT): Bill Crider, Meredith Cole, Jeremy Duns, Brett Battles, Cara Black, Lisa Brackmann, Rachel Brady, Rebecca Cantrell, Jeffrey Cohen, Timothy Hallinan: Kindle Store: It's often said that everyone has a book inside him or her -- but how do you plot it? In MAKING STORY, edited by the Edgar- and Macavity-nominated author Timothy Hallinan, twenty-one novelists--who have written more than 100 books among them and sold hundreds of thousands of copies--talk about how they go about turning an idea into a plot, and a plot into a book. MAKING STORY offers practical, experience-based advice from people who have repeatedly sat down to write a good book and succeeded in doing just that. The writers who will help you to create your story are Michael Stanley, Kelli Stanley, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Jeffrey Siger, Zoe Sharp, Stephen Jay Schwartz, Mike Orenduff, Debbi Mack, Wendy Hornsby, Gar Anthony Haywood, Timothy Hallinan, Leighton Gage, Jeremy Duns, Bill Crider, Meredith Cole, Jeffrey Cohen, Rebecca Cantrell, Rachel Brady, Lisa Brackmann, Cara Black, and Brett Battles. This is an indispensable book for aspiring authors and the first in a series, each focusing on a different writing challenge.


Robert Kelston, Murder's End, Graphis, 1956

The Best Punchlines in Film

The Best Punchlines in Film 

Get Your Bids In Now

America's first book, published in 1640, could fetch $30M at auction

Roger Williams Update

National Parks Traveler: Brown University Students Crack 300-Year-Old Code Attributed To Rhode Island Founder Roger Williams

Now in Paperback

BEAT to a PULP: Hardboiled 2: Robert J. Randisi, Wayne D. Dundee, Matthew C. Funk, Eric Beetner, Jedidiah Ayres, Jen Conley, Charles Boeckman, Kieran Shea, Paul S. Powers, BV Lawson, Tom Roberts, Jay Stringer, Edward A. Grainger, David Cranmer, Scott D. Parker: 9780983377542: Books: BEAT to a PULP: Hardboiled 2 follows the blood-soaked trail left behind by the 2011 award-winning collection, edited by David Cranmer and Scott D. Parker, and pumps out another thirteen knuckle-breaking, crime tales. With writers from the 1930s and 40s golden era of pulp (Paul S. Powers and Charles Boeckman) and modern hardboiled masters (Robert J. Randisi and Wayne D. Dundee), this wild bunch is set to blaze a rat-a-tat sweep across the pulp fiction landscape. Keeping the body count high are top-shelf stories from Jedidiah Ayres, Eric Beetner, Jen Conley, Matthew C. Funk, Edward A. Grainger, BV Lawson, Tom Roberts, Kieran Shea, and Jay Stringer.

15 Common Movie Poster Themes

15 Common Movie Poster Themes

Sinbad, the Sailor

Sinbad, the Sailor (1947) trailer - YouTube:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Maria Tallchief, R. I. P. Maria Tallchief, a daughter of an Oklahoma oil family who grew up on an Indian reservation, found her way to New York and became one of the most brilliant American ballerinas of the 20th century, died on Thursday in Chicago. She was 88.

The Heath Lowrance Interview

The Education of a Pulp Writer: The Heath Lowrance Interview

Meet Penguin Random House, The World’s Largest Book Publisher That Will Counter Amazon | TechCrunch

Meet Penguin Random House, The World’s Largest Book Publisher That Will Counter Amazon 

Link via The Peschel Report.

Teacher Resignation Letter From Gerald Conti Says His Profession 'No Longer Exists'

Teacher Resignation Letter From Gerald Conti Says His Profession 'No Longer Exists'

A Tribute to Bill Pronzini

Beneath the Stains of Time: Bill Pronzini: That 70s Crime Writer

I Hate Myself for Linking to This, but It Has Nic Cage

26 Of The Most Legendary Celebrity Selfies Of All Time



Jonathan Winters, R. I. P.

Jonathan Winters, Comedian, Dies at 87 - Jonathan Winters, the rubber-faced comedian whose unscripted flights of fancy inspired a generation of improvisational comics, and who kept television audiences in stitches with Main Street characters like Maude Frickert, a sweet-seeming grandmother with a barbed tongue and a roving eye, died on Thursday at his home in Montecito, Calif. He was 87.

Hat tip to Randy Johnson.

Song of the Day

Art & Dotty Todd - Chanson d'Amour (1958) - YouTube:

Mayan Calendar Update

End of the world: Mayan calendar 'pinpointed by carbon dating' 

Well, Maybe Not Your Choice

And Your Choice for the Best TV Theme Song Ever Is... 'Gilligan's Island'! 

Today's Vintage Ad

6 Weird Theories on Early Human Intelligence

6 Weird Theories on Early Human Intelligence

How to Converse Properly

How to Converse Properly: 18 Tips From Old Etiquette Books


Octavus Roy Cohen, The Intruder, Graphic, 1956

Here's the Plot for Your Next Big Hiistorical Con Man Novel

To catch a swindler: Broadside written about a con worked on a Little Rock businessman, 1887.

Popular Idioms Explained

Yobs over the moon about burying the hatchet: popular idioms explained

Or Maybe You Did

Nine Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Swear Words

The Little Leather Library

Little Leather Library 30 Volume Set of The Holy BibleAbeBooks: The Little Leather Library: From 1916 to 1923, the Little Leather Library was a hot name in American publishing. First conceived in New York City by brothers and bookshop owners Charles and Albert Boni, the firm came to reality with the help of Max Sackheim and Harry Scherman, two advertising executives the brothers approached. Scherman later went on to found the Book-of-the-Month Club in 1926. Much in the way that Victorian yellowbacks sought to put classic literature in more British hands by making them affordable, the Little Leather Library took an innovative approach to the mass-marketing of the classics in the United States.

Forgotten Books Bonus

10 Unfairly Neglected or Forgotten Books

Forgotten Books: Baron Sinister -- Joseph Hilton

I've already spoken of my affection for spy fiction back in the '60s, and another of the lower-level series that I read was one about Bart Gould, President's Agent.  The first book in the series was written by Joseph Hilton, and the rest by Joseph Milton.

A guy can find himself going down some strange rabbit holes when looking things about writers on the Internet.  Joseph Hilton, it turns out, is Joseph Hilton Smyth, who started out in the pulps and in the '50s and '60s did a number of paperback originals, including at least three for Gold Medal (including the pseudonymous [and anonymous] I, Mobster). But he's a lot more interesting than that.  Back in the late '30s, Smyth and some others bought a number of magazines, including North American Review, Current History, Living Age, and a hefty interest in The Saturday Review of Literature. 

Where did a pulp writer get the money for such a venture? Well, he was more than a pulp writer. He was involved with magazines from almost the beginning of his career.  But back to the movie. He got it from the Japanese, that's where.  He and his partners were paid a lot of dough to buy magazines and spread Japanese propaganda.  Since this was before WWII, Hilton didn't suffer a lot for it, as far as I can tell. He was later involved with The Saturday Review again.

Okay, but what about Joseph Milton?  Well, the Catalogue of Copyright Entries credits Baron Sinister to Joseph Hilton Smythe (with an e).  Other books in the series, however, were written by different authors.

Whew.  I've digressed enough.  What about the book itself? Well, I remember that the first book in the series was pretty entertaining, but this one was kind of dull.  Several workers in the American embassy, people with no secrets to divulge and who don't do any important work, have disappeared.  Gould is sent to Austria by his handler (a sort of imitation of Mac in the Matt Helm books) to find out what happened to them.  Gould is suave and sophisticated, much more Bond than Helm, but he does kill without compunction more than once.  The sinister baron wants to restore the monarchy in Austria and there's some stuff about funneling scientists to Egypt to work for Nasser. Not much happens, really, but the local color is very good.  

There's not a lot to recommend here, though things do pick up in the last 1/3.  There's even a short sword fight.  Still, not top shelf.  I should have read the first book in the series again.


Shenandoah Official Trailer #1 - James Stewart Movie (1965) HD - YouTube:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Western Fictioneers Publishing Update

Western Fictioneers: Western Fictioneers Publishing Update

12 Iconic TV and Movie Roles That Were Recast Successfully

12 Iconic TV and Movie Roles That Were Recast Successfully

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

Waterstones founder to launch Spotify for books

Telegraph: Tim Waterstone is to launch a new digital books business which aims to become the literary version of Spotify, charging readers a flat rate to access as much reading matter as they like online.

11 Book Burning Stories That Will Break Your Heart

11 Book Burning Stories That Will Break Your Heart

Dino Update

Early Dinosaur Embryos Found in China

Song of the Day

BOBBY DAY - OVER AND OVER (1958) - YouTube:

He Wants You on His Grass

Police: Busted Florida Pensioner, 81, Was Ringleader Of Narcotics Sales Operation 

The 10 Best Small Towns in Books

The 10 Best Small Towns in Books

Today's Vintage Ad

Top 10 Comedians With Surprising Pre-Fame Careers

Top 10 Comedians With Surprising Pre-Fame Careers

27 Words That Used To Mean Something Totally Different

27 Words That Used To Mean Something Totally Different


Robert O. Saber (Milton K. Ozaki), A Time for Murder, Graphic, 1956

I Miss the Old Days

11 Outfits Of The '70s With Perfectly Reasonable Explanations

The Little-Known Poetry of Mark Twain

On Loves, Lunacies, and Losses: The Little-Known Poetry of Mark Twain

7 Modern Ghost Towns That Look Like Sci-Fi Movies

7 Modern Ghost Towns That Look Like Sci-Fi Movies

20 Fascinating Nielsen Ratings Facts

20 Fascinating Nielsen Ratings Facts


Arthur C. Clarke’s CHILDHOOD’S END & Larry Niven’s RINGWORLD Being Adapted as SyFy Miniseries 

5 Tips for Punching Writer's Block In the Face

5 Tips for Punching Writer's Block In the Face 

8 Recently Discovered Medieval Vampire Burials

8 Recently Discovered Medieval Vampire Burials


Harvey Official Trailer #1 - James Stewart Movie (1950) HD - YouTube:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sounds Perfectly Believable

CHP: Man who stole semi said zombies were chasing

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Such a Deal!

Find Bigfoot, win $1 million 

I Report, You Decide

Iranian scientist claims to have invented 'time machine' - Telegraph: "My invention easily fits into the size of a personal computer case and can predict details of the next 5-8 years of the life of its users. It will not take you into the future, it will bring the future to you."

Ed Fisher, R. I. P. Ed Fisher, whose culturally savvy cartoons, featured in The New Yorker for nearly 50 years, made wry sport of modern life, frequently matching images from history or folklore with captions in an up-to-date mode, died on Wednesday in Canaan, Conn. He was 86.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . . .

Longmont woman charged in 'nipple twisting' attack on cab driver 

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

And not it's the . . .News from The Associated Press: COOKOUT MACHETE ATTACK

Song of the Day

Kingston Trio....Ballad Of The Thresher.wmv - YouTube:

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

CourseSmart E-Textbooks Track Students’ Progress for Teachers: “It’s Big Brother, sort of, but with a good intent,” said Tracy Hurley, the dean of the school of business.

Today's Vintage Ad

“A Post to Burn on the IRS Fire to Warm Mystery Writers and Those Who Plan to Be”

“A Post to Burn on the IRS Fire to Warm Mystery Writers and Those Who Plan to Be” (by Jim Weikart) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN

Why is English Spelling So Messed Up?

Why is English Spelling So Messed Up?

Roy Cox Jr., R. I. P.

Corpus Christi Caller-Times: Roy Cox Jr., the bass player in Texan psychedelic rock band Bubble Puppy, died April 2, 2013. He was 64. Cox Jr. was one of the founding members of Bubble Puppy, best remembered for their one -hit wonder, “Hot Smoke and Sassafras.”

Cursive Update

Cursive Club Tries To Keep Handwriting Alive


William Vance, Homicide Lost, Graphic, 1956

A Beginner’s Guide to Spaghetti Westerns

A Beginner’s Guide to Spaghetti Westerns

You Know You Want One

Bilbo Baggins Wig with Hobbit Ears

Trailer for RoboCroc

Take a Bite Out of the Trailer for RoboCroc: For the majority of this trailer you’ll probably find yourself thinking this film looks like a Syfy knock-off of Piranha 3DD but with a crocodile terrorizing a water park instead. Except this is no ordinary crocodile - it’s RoboCroc!

The 10 most overrated destinations

The 10 most overrated destinations 

Phoenix Press: Depression Era Pulp on AbeBooks

A Girl in Every Port by William McClellanPhoenix Press: Depression Era Pulp on AbeBooks: New York’s Phoenix Press was a publisher of mysteries, westerns, and other light fiction in the 1930s and 1940s. We were alerted to this company’s literary history by a loyal AbeBooks customer called Paul Rollinson, who encouraged us to feature Phoenix’s fantastic Depression-era pulp, if only for the amazing dust jackets. Phoenix was one of many lending-library publishers of the era, and fought to rise above the others of its ilk to make a name for itself in the tough economic climate.

Disclaimer: I know the use of "pulp" here will raise the ire of some readers of this blog.  I don't write 'em; I just link 'em.

Good Cause: A Book Bomb for Ben

Good Cause: A Book Bomb for Ben - SF Signal

Living in the Land Down Under

Images: See Kansas City's underground homeless suburb

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

'Breastaurant' trademark: Texas restaurant trademarks racy name 

The Prisoner of Zenda


Tuesday, April 09, 2013

More Totally "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

More Totally "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

Will Metropolis and Gotham Do the Same?

CBS New York: New York City Councilman Proposes Crackdown On Costumed Characters

I Could've Told Them

The 5 Big Mistakes That Led to Ron Johnson’s Ouster at JC Penney

Life Imitates Art

Feral Pigs Going Hog-Wild in US

Hat tip to Seepy Benton.

SEP Fiction Contest


Second Annual Search for America’s Next Noted Novelist to Join the Ranks of
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe and Kurt Vonnegut

Indianapolis (April 9, 2013)— F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic, The Great Gatsby, is once again celebrated in movie theaters this summer and as a contributor to The Saturday Evening PostFitzgerald penned almost 70 short stories which defined an era. Now budding fiction writers across the country have the opportunity to contribute to one of the staples of American literature. The Post has announced its “2014 Great American Fiction Contest”. The competition offers aspiring writers the opportunity to have their work appear on the same hallowed pages as famous Postcontributors John Steinback, William Faulkner, Kurt Vonnegut, Agatha Christie; Ray Bradbury, Louis L’Amour, Sinclair Lewis, Jack London; Anne Tyler; and Edgar Allan Poe.   

“Writing is a passion for many of our readers, and the incentive to be published in The Saturday Evening Post brings out people’s best work. This competition serves as a reminder that in today’s world of rapidly evolving technology, there still is a place in our society for great writing and we are proud to showcase it,” said Editorial Director and Associate Publisher Steven Slon.

Sponsored by the nonprofit the Saturday Evening Post Society, the contest is designed to promote fiction and creative writing, while uncovering some of America’s great unpublished voices.  The winning story will be published in the January/February 2014 issue of The Saturday Evening Postand on the magazine’s website. The winner will also be awarded $500, and five runners-up will receive $100 each and have their stories published online.

Entries must be character- or plot-driven stories in any genre of fiction that falls within the Post’sbroad range of interests. Entrants must be previously unpublished authors (excluding personal websites and blogs) and stories must be 1,500-5,000 words in length. All submissions should be made electronically in Microsoft Word format with the author’s name, address, telephone number and email address on the first page. The Saturday Evening Post editorial staff in consultation with the magazine’s fiction advisory board will judge the stories. There is a $10 entry fee and all entries must be postmarked by July 1, 2013.

For more information or to submit a story, please visit

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Letting off steam: Obese German woman goes on rampage in health club after other members tell her she takes up too much room in the sauna

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Longmont Times-Call: A woman was arrested and jailed on Saturday after she admitted to police that she pushed and choked her boyfriend on the 3800 block of Pike Road because he would not stop repeatedly singing Macklemore's song "Thrift Shop." Officers were called to the area on a report of a domestic disturbance.

The Six-Gun Tarot -- R. S. Belcher

Sometime when I wasn't looking, the weird western got a lot more popular, and R. S. Belcher's The Six-Gun Tarot is about as weird as they come.  How weird is it? Well, just to give you an idea, it has Lovecraftian horrors, Coyote (and his sort of human son), a sheriff who can't be killed, angels walking the earth, zombies, the blood of Lilith, Anne Bonny, Mormon theology, Christian theology, Chinese theology, and the Eye of Sauron.  Okay, I'm just kidding about that last one, but there's a jade eye of tremendous power.  And there's lots more, like the mad scientist who's a lot like Frankenstein. There are also dozens of characters (and plot lines), and every one of them has a backstory that's gone into, sometimes at length.  There are passing references to other things that have happened in the town of Golgotha, Nevada (giant rats, a giant bat), where many weird things seem to happen all the time.

So the book is really stuffed.  Even at over 350 pages, it seems too short.  Or rather, it seems as if an editor might have said, "Hey, we can lose this entire plot and nobody will ever know the difference."  There's just too much going on, but you sure can't accuse Belcher of not being ambitious.  It's as if he figured, hey, I may never write another book, so I'm going to put everything into this one.  And even at that, things are clearly set up for a sequel.

I'm not hesitant to recommend this one.  If you like this kind of thing, you're going to love it.  If you don't know much about the weird west, this might be a good introduction.  Check it out.

Song of the Day

THE CO-EDS (Edgar Allen Poe Poem) - YouTube:

10 Great Contemporary Campus Novels

10 Great Contemporary Campus Novels: Proof the Genre Is Still Kicking 

TV Writing 101: The All-Important Drive Up

Top Suspense Group: TV Writing 101: The All-Important Drive Up

Today's Vintage Ad

Ten ways self-publishing has changed the books world

Ten ways self-publishing has changed the books world

Link via SF Signal.

Malcolm Cowley on the Four Stages of Writing

Malcolm Cowley on the Four Stages of Writing

10 Very Costly Typos

10 Very Costly Typos


Al Fray, And Kill Once More, Graphic, 1955

In Praise of Rockford

In Praise of Rockford (James Garner turned 85 on April 7.)

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

The Audition Tapes That Launched Celebrity Careers

The Audition Tapes That Launched Celebrity Careers

10 Well-Known Facts That Aren't Actually True

10 Well-Known Facts That Aren't Actually True

Will the Persecution Never End?

IMDB's 10 Worst Movies Of All Time: Users Select The Most Deplorable Films Ever Made

10 Fascinating Food Facts

10 Fascinating Food Facts

The Best Free, Online Short Stories from February and March

The Best Free, Online Short Stories from February and March

15 Incredible Microscopic Photos Of Everyday Life Objects

15 Incredible Microscopic Photos Of Everyday Life Objects

Overlooked Movies: The Great Race

The Great Race hit the big screen the summer that Judy and I got married.  We moved to Denton, Texas, where I was in grad school at what was then North Texas State University, and we drove to Dallas to see this movie.  I'm not sure which theater we saw it in, but it was one of the big downtown palaces.  The Majestic, probably.  As another little historical and personal note, this is the first movie I ever recorded on a VCR.  There's another little personal and historical sidelight, too. I bought the VCR from James Reasoner's father, for whom James was working, and James delivered it to us in Brownwood, Texas.  Finally, the VCR cost $1250, which was exactly the total of my half of the advance money for The Coyote Connection, the Nick Carter novel that I wrote in collaboration with Jack Davis. I don't know what Jack did with his share of the loot.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, I still have that VHS tape.  It's the one that came with the VCR, and it was different from all the others I ever had.  It recorded only half the time as all the other tapes I ever owned.

So much for the personal nostalgia portion of our program.  What about the movie?  Well, I think it's hilarious.  Not everyone agrees with me, and I don't think it got great reviews when it was released.  It's about an around-the-world auto race that has three competitors (six, originally, but sabotage takes out three before the race begins): The Great Leslie (Tony Curtis), Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon), and Maggie Dubois (Natalie Wood).  Prof. Fate's henchman, Maximillian, is played by Peter Falk, and Wood's sidekick, Hezekiah, is Keenan Wynn.  Lots of other familiar faces in the cast, too.

The movie's a tribute to silent films, with many of the sight gags lifted from the silents.  Are they too much of a good thing?  Not for me.  Is the Prisoner of Zenda bit too much? Not for me.  Lemmon is hilarious all the way through, and so is Falk.  Natalie Wood is beautiful and funny.  Curtis seems to be having a great time.  Just thinking about this movie makes me laugh.  If you haven't seen it, give it a try.  If you aren't laughing by 15 minutes in, it's clearly not for you.  Forget it and watch The Hangover, instead.

The Great Race Trailer

The Great Race Trailer - YouTube:

Monday, April 08, 2013

For the First Time Ever

Bloomberg: An emergency medical helicopter pilot flying over Missouri was sending and receiving text messages before crashing in 2011, the first time such distractions have been implicated in a fatal commercial aviation accident.

Annette Funicello: Ultimate Beach Party Queen And Original Mouseketeer

Annette Funicello: Ultimate Beach Party Queen And Original Mouseketeer

When Spaghetti Sauce Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Spaghetti Sauce

Cops: Woman uses spaghetti sauce to rob Clinton Twp. bank

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Sara Montiel, R. I. P. Sara Montiel, the first Spanish actress to make it in Hollywood and best known for her roles in international blockbusters such as "Vera Cruz", died at home in Madrid on Monday aged 85, her family said. 

One of Spain's most loved actresses, Montiel made her on-screen debut in her mid-teens after winning a beauty contest whose prize was a film role in "Te quiero para mi". This lead to a three-decade long movie career where she featured in nearly 50 films.

Annette Funicello, R. I. P.

Annette Funicello Dead -- Mouseketeer Dies at 70 | Annette Funicello -- the undisputed queen of the "Mickey Mouse Club" -- has died, according to Disney's official fan club Twitter. She was 70.

Funicello was a triple threat -- Mouseketeer, pop singer and bigscreen star. She was huge in the 60's with movies like "Beach Party" and "Beach Blanket Bingo."

No Comment Department

There are no academic jobs and getting a Ph.D. will make you into a horrible person: A jeremiad.

Song of the Day

Ian Hunter - When the Daylight Comes - YouTube:

I Miss the Old Days

Disney Tomorrowlands Space Couple

Today's Vintage Ad

A Review of Interest (To Me, Anyway)

Kevin's Corner: Review: "The Texas Capitol Murders" by Bill Crider


Manning Stokes, Murder Can't Wait, Graphic, 1955

Here's the Outline for Your Next Big Yachting Thriller

Alleged yacht thief wanted on both coasts found in Houston area

Alvin, Texas, Not Included

10 Most Expensive Places to Live in the U.S.

Why do humans cry?

Why do humans cry? A new reading of the old sob story 

Honus Wagner Update

1909 Honus Wagner baseball card sells for $2.1 million 

Sylvia Plath's Poems for Kids

The Bed Book: Sylvia Plath's Poems for Kids, Illustrated by Quentin Blake

5 Things It Turns Out You Were Right to Hate About School

5 Things It Turns Out You Were Right to Hate About School

The Slow Death of the American Author

The Slow Death of the American Author

Margaret Thatcher, R. I. P.

Margaret Thatcher Dies After Stroke: Baroness Thatcher has died at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke, her spokesman Lord Bell has announced. Lord Bell said: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.

The Architectural Origins of the Chess Set

The Architectural Origins of the Chess Set

Link via mental_floss.

Ummmmmm. Nutella.

News from The Associated Press: Police said Monday an unknown number of culprits made off with 5 metric tons (5.5 tons) of Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread from a parked trailer in the central German town of Bad Hersfeld over the weekend.

New Poem at The 5-2

The 5-2 : Crime Poetry Weekly: William J. Anderson

Days of Wine and Roses


Sunday, April 07, 2013

Daniel Hoffman, R. I. P. Daniel Hoffman, a scholar and critic who was the nation’s poet laureate from 1973 to 1974 and whose books include a collection of sonnets, an epic poem about the founding of Pennsylvania and analytical works about Paul Bunyan and Edgar Allan Poe, died Saturday in Haverford, Pa. He was 89.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

700 pack free concealed-handgun class for teachers in Tarrant County

Song of the Day

Peter_Paul and_Mary_If I Had My Way - YouTube:

Today's Vintage Ad

Want Some Free Kids' Books for Your E-Reader?

All you have to do it go here and sign up with your e-mail address.


A. A. Marcus, Make Way for Murder, Graphic, 1955

Archaeology Update

FRANCE 24: Over four millennia ago, the fortress town of Gonur-Tepe might have been a rare advanced civilisation before it was buried for centuries under the dust of the Kara Kum desert in remote western Turkmenistan. 

After being uncovered by Soviet archaeologists in the last century, Gonur-Tepe, once home to thousands of people and the centre of a thriving region, is gradually revealing its mysteries with new artifacts being uncovered on every summer dig.

Roger Ebert's Final Cartoon Captions

Roger Ebert's Final Cartoon Captions : The New Yorker

Hitler's Food Taster

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Each meal could have been her last, but Adolf Hitler's food taster Margot Wolk lived to tell her story. Forced to test the Nazi leader's meals for more than two years, the 95-year-old tells SPIEGEL ONLINE that she lived in constant fear.

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.

Please Don't Eat The Daisies

Please Don't Eat The Daisies - Trailer - YouTube: