Saturday, December 07, 2013


Callers help officials track loose moose in Iowa

Diagnosis Murder Christmas Giveaway | Lee Goldberg

Diagnosis Murder Christmas Giveaway | Lee Goldberg: WIN a free copy of the big “Diagnosis Murder” DVD Complete Series Boxed Set

Yet Another List I'm Not On

The First 15 People Stephen King Followed On Twitter

Pimpage: An Occasional Feature in Which I call Attention to Books of Interest The Vanishing Thief (A Victorian Bookshop Mystery) eBook: Kate Parker: Kindle Store Georgia Fenchurch appears to be an unassuming antiquarian bookseller in Victorian London, but the life she leads is as exciting as any adventure novel. For Georgia is a member of the Archivist Society, a secret association of private investigators led by the mysterious Sir Broderick. 

When a frantic woman comes to Georgia claiming that her neighbor, Nicholas Drake, has been abducted by the notorious Duke of Blackford, Georgia and the Archivist Society agree to take the case. But Drake is no innocent—he is a thief who has been blackmailing many of the leading members of London society. To find Drake and discover who is behind his abduction, Georgia and her beautiful assistant, Emma, will have to leave the cozy confines of their bookshop and infiltrate the inner circles of the upper crust—with the help of the dashing but dubious Duke of Blackford himself.

But the missing thief and his abductor are not the only ones to elude Georgia Fenchurch. When she spies the man who killed her parents years ago, she vows to bring him to justice once and for all…at any cost. 

New York Calling

21 Minutes of great nostalgia: ▶ 1952 NEW YORK CALLING TRAVELOGUE - YouTube

An Interview with Kasey Lansdale

An Interview with Kasey Lansdale

Here's the Plot for Your Next Noir Thriller

COPS: YOUNG NEWLYWEDS THRILL KILLERS: They wanted to murder someone just for fun, then went to strip club, police say

Recording of the Day

▶ "Christmas Dragnet" - Stan Freberg - YouTube:

Top 10 Movies in Which London Plays Somewhere Else

Top 10 Movies in Which London Plays Somewhere Else

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Man attacked with golf club in church

Today's Vintage Ad

A Letter of Note From Elizabeth Taylor

Letters of Note: For two months in 1974, as Richard Burton filmed his part in The Klansman, he and his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, moved to California with Cassius, just one of Taylor's many beloved cats. Sadly, the trip confused Cassius somewhat and he soon went missing, never to return. Taylor wrote the following letter some time after his disappearance.

Coming to a TV Set Near You?

Adaptation Watch: SHANNARA Series by Terry Brooks


Bill Millar, The Coasters, Star Books, 1975

I Miss the Old Days

Can We Bring Back Date Night At Disneyland? 

Have You Voted Yet?

Online Fan Poll | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Oreos: The Greatest Cookie in the World

Oreos: The Greatest Cookie in the World 

Alligator Infestation WBAGNFARB The Mississippi Supreme Court has agreed to referee a dispute between a Wilkinson County couple and ExxonMobil Corporation over an alleged alligator infestation.

I Miss the Old Days

The '60s at 50: Saturday, December 7, 1963: Instant replay

In Case You Were Wondering

What's the difference between a Looney Tune and a Merrie Melody?

Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor

AP WAS THERE: Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor 

College Coach


Friday, December 06, 2013

Now They're Even Persecuting her Brother

Paris Hilton's Brother Barron -- Lindsay Lohan's Thug BEAT MY FACE IN |

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Texas woman wins $10,000 in Bryant Park gift-wrapping contest 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Colin Wilson, R. I. P.

The Orthosphere: The British writer Colin Wilson (1931 – 2013) died last night in Cornwall just before midnight, local time. Wilson, who became a celebrity at twenty-six on the publication of his first book The Outsider in 1956, was a prolific writer on a wide variety of topics from philosophy, with special attention to existentialism, to literature, history, and the occult.

Yet Another List I'm Not On

100 Notable Books of 2013 -

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time Guilt (A Noah Milano novella) eBook: Jochem Vandersteen: Kindle Store: Years ago Noah Milano was the son and bodyguard of gangster boss Robert Milano. He was forced to shoot Lisa Waxman's father, turning her into an orphan, saddling him with a lifetime of guilt.   

Now, Noah Milano has broken off all ties to his father and tries to make an honest living as a security specialist. He finds out Lisa's stepfather is accused of being one of the vilest, most sadistic serial killers of California. This is Noah's chance to find redemption. He swears to prove his innocence. It seems not everyone agrees with his quest, though. Soon not only Noah but his dearest friends are in mortal danger...

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Thanksgiving turkey basting begets brouhaha in Fort Pierce   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Ida Pollock, R. I. P.

World's oldest erotic novelist dies aged 105 - and she was still writing racy bodice-rippers up until her death   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Pimpage: An Occasional Feature in Which I call Attention to Books of Interest

The Sayers Swindle (A Book Collector Mystery): Victoria Abbott: 9780425255292: Books  Jordan Kelly is delighted to make money tracking down rare and valuable mystery novels for her employer, Vera Van Alst, an avid collector and the most difficult woman in  Harrison Falls, New York. But now her boss’s complete set of Dorothy Sayers is missing, and finding them may lead Jordan to a murder suitable for Sayers’s esteemed sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey…

When Jordan manages to locate her boss’s missing books, they are in the possession of Randolph Adams, an elderly man in a nearby town. Offering a valuable Hemingway first edition as an incentive, Jordan thinks she’s about to seal the deal—but some of Randolph’s relatives think he should hold out for more.
Then the entire family disappears—and a dead body shows up.  It’s up to Jordan to collect the clues—and make sure a killer gets booked. 

Unca Scrooge Fans Get Your Bids in Now!

In Switzerland You Can Buy an Old Bank Vault, Complete With Coins, and Fulfill Your Scrooge McDuck Dreams   

Photo at the link.

Song of the Day (On the charts twice, 1961, 1964)

▶ Showmen - IT WILL STAND - 1961 Stereo!! - YouTube:

The Art of Rube Goldberg

The Art of Rube Goldberg

Today's Vintage Ad

The Return of Radio Drama

The Unlikely Rebirth Of A Once-Dead Art Form


Leslie Charteris, The White Rider, Digit, no date

Alvin, Texas, Not Included

But our neighbor Galveston is: Destinations on the Rise - TripAdvisor

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Woman refuses to go to church, man holds pillow over her face at knifepoint

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Texas Aggies Build the World's Largest Gingerbread House

This Is Exactly Why We Have 911

Mark Eskelsen, Oregon homeless man, calls 911 from hot tub, asks for cocoa and hug 

A Review of Interest (To Me, Anyway)

Kevin's Corner: FFB Review: "Too Late To Die" by Bill Crider

Christopher Evan Welch, R. I. P. Christopher Evan Welch, an in-demand character actor who appeared in everything from Shakespeare to “The Sopranos,” including films by Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg and Charlie Kaufman, died on Monday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 48.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Somehow I Don't Feel Relaxed

Mmmm...Relaxing Snail Facial Massage

Yes, Another Forgotten Book

The Whole Northern Thing: Hrolf Kraki’s Saga by Poul Anderson

You May Have Forgotten the Book, but . . .

. . . you probably remember the movie.

The Three Godfathers: Peter B. Kyne’s novel turns 100 years old.

A Forgotten Magazine

Satellite, December 1956: A Retro-Review

A Forgotten Classic

Vintage Treasures: The Coming of the Rats by George H. Smith

Forgotten Books: 12 Great Classics of Science Fiction, Groff Conklin, Editor

Let's start by looking at the covers.  Done that?  Okay, here's what bothers me. Why would anybody write cover copy that says, "12 masterful tales of science fiction that have -- incredibly -- been lost or overlooked since their original publication" for a book that says it contains 12 "classics"?  Wouldn't classics sort of imply that they hadn't been overlooked?  And another thing.  The book was published in 1963.  One of the stories is from that very year.  Four are from 1960.  Two are from 1962.  One had been reprinted in 1962.  One is from 1961.  They sure hadn't been overlooked for very long.  And did anybody "overlook" "The Ballad of Lost C'Mell" when it was published in 1962?  I had the impression that it was acclaimed when it was published, but I could be wrong about that.  At any rate, nowhere in his introduction does Groff Conklin mention that these stories are "undiscovered."  But maybe I'm just being cranky.  

Here's the table of contents:
Groff Conklin--Introduction

Algis Budrys—Due Process
Fredric Brown—Earthmen Bearing Gifts
Zenna Henderson—Things
George Sumner Albee—The Top
Poul Anderson—My Object All Sublime

Robert Sheckley—Human Man's Burden
J. F. Bone—On the Fourth Planet

Cordwainer Smith—Ballad of Lost C'Mell
Robert F. Young—Thirty Days Had September
Bertram Chandler—The Cage
William W. Stuart—Star-Crossed Lover

J. T. McIntosh—Immortality...For Some

I've been rereading some of these, and the Smith strikes me as violating just about all the rules about showing instead of telling, but that doesn't matter at all.  Telling is often a fine thing, as it is here.  The Sheckley is hilarious and subversive.  Anderson's story is entertaining even if you know where it's going, but it's a minor work, I think.  Brown's short-short has one of those snapper endings, but it, too, has lost some of its impact.  Chandler's ending still works, but the build-up is a little bit '50s.  Besides the Smith story, the one I remember best is Young's.  Here's something you didn't know about me: As a youngster, I was afflicted with premature nostalgia.  A story like Young's had a powerful effect on me then, even more powerful than it does now that I'm an old guy.  I still like it a lot, and now I find it remarkable prescient.  

Overall, this is a swell collection.  If you want an idea of what SF was like when I was growing up, this book would be a find place to start.

Caught in the Draft

▶ cau - YouTube:

Time Out for Rhythm


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Doctor 'breaks into home of husband's mistress through doggy door, scrawls "wh***" and "homewrecker" on mirror with lipstick and litters condoms on the stairs'   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

These vagabond shoes. . .They are longing to stray. . . Right through (Bang! Blam! Bang!)

NYPD shoot at unarmed man, hit bystanders, charge man with assault for making them shoot

Nelson Mandela, R. I. P. Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president and an enduring icon of the struggle against racial oppression, died on Thursday, the government announced, leaving the nation without its moral center at a time of growing dissatisfaction with the country’s leaders.

Make It So!

Private company plans US's first controlled moon landing in 40 years

14 Holiday Gifts For Any Middle-earth Lover's Library

Must-have Tolkien Books: 14 Holiday Gifts For Any Middle-earth Lover's Library   Hat tip to George Kelley.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Fight Breaks Out At Love Park Tree Lighting

Original Ballantine book cover concept art for J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings on eBay -

Original Ballantine book cover concept art for J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings on eBay 

Hemingway on Not Writing for Free and How to Run a First-Rate Publication

Hemingway on Not Writing for Free and How to Run a First-Rate Publication: Find the best writers, pay them to write, and avoid typos at all costs.

Song of the Day (Happy Birthday, Little Richard!)

▶ Little Richard - Shake a Hand (High Quality - Remastered) - YouTube:

19 Things That Happened In 2013 That You've Already Forgotten

19 Things That Happened In 2013 That You've Already Forgotten

Today's Vintage Ad

Vast majority of Hollywood silent films lost forever

Vast majority of Hollywood silent films lost forever, study confirms: Only 14% of a total of around 11,000 movies made between 1912 and 1930 exist in their original format, with a further 11% available to view in foreign language versions, or in a lower quality format. Around 70% are completely lost. The failure of the early studios, in most cases, to maintain silent era archives has been described as an "alarming and irretrievable loss" to America's cultural record by officials.

Carl Brookins Interview

SONS OF SPADE: Q & A with Carl Brookins

Janet Hutchings on History and Mystery



Nicholas Monsarrat, The Tribe That Lost Its Head, Pan, 1959

Ditching the Good Old Stuff

Gareth L. Powell on How to Escape the Legacy of Science Fiction’s Pulp Roots 

A Field Guide to the Eccentric Creatures of Classic Children's Literature

A Field Guide to the Eccentric Creatures of Classic Children's Literature

AbeBooks: Most Expensive Sales in November 2013

AbeBooks: Most Expensive Sales in November 2013: November’s most expensive sales have us singing the blues. One of last month’s hot ticket items is a first edition copy of Lady Sings the Blues by Billie Holiday, signed by the songstress. The 1956 autobiography is infamous for its abundant inaccuracies. According to biographers, Holiday's co-writer William Dufty, a ghostwriter for celebrities, didn’t fact-check the legendary jazz artist’s tales of sexual abuse, drug addiction and fame and much of the book contradicts documented facts about Holiday’s tumultuous life and career.

I Can Quit Anytime I Want To. . . Wait, Is Today Thursday?

Giving up technology is as stressful as getting married - and Thursday is the hardest day to quit

First One's Free, Kid

New baby's bouncy seat complete with iPad holder 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Latest Getting Away with Murder Now Online


Cobra Woman


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

And Keep off His Lawn!

Man facing assault charges after allegedly threatening hunter with chainsaw

Bad Sex in Fiction 2013 Awards

Bad Sex in Fiction: Manil Suri scoops 2013 award

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

News - Home: South Carolina man stabbed repeatedly in tiff over which utensils to use, police say

Pimpage: An Occasional Feature in Which I call Attention to Books of Interest Scandal at Six (Lois Meade Mystery) eBook: Ann Purser: Kindle Store  Lois Meade has scrubbed her way through the homes in Long Farnden, and she’s not afraid of dusting cobwebs and killing a few bugs. But in her role as amateur sleuth, she’s learning that if there’s one thing to beware of, it’s a snake in the grass… 

Spring has arrived in Long Farnden and with it, a mysterious infestation. Lois Meade’s daughter has found her village store overrun by insects and reptiles. And Lois has no time to stop and smell the roses, if she’s to stay one step ahead of the creepy crawlies.

As Lois looks into the invasion, she becomes embroiled in yet another “ferretin’ case,” as her husband would say. Her investigation leads her to Robert Pettinson, a seemingly unhinged zookeeper, and his nephew. The two of them are knee-deep in illegal trade, and they don’t take kindly to Lois poking her nose into their business.

Lois enlists the help of her faithful cleaner Dot Nimmo and police inspector Hunter Cowgill to discover more about Pettinson and a suspicious death at the zoo. And death is in store for more people, if Lois doesn’t put the killer behind bars soon… 

It's Time to Start Your Christmas Shopping Christmas with the Dead: Terrill Lee Lankford, Joe R. Lansdale, William Arscott, Damian Maffei, Brad Maule, Chet Williamson, Kurt Stringer, Kasey Lansdale, Adam Coats, Clyde Williams: Movies & TV  From the creator of BUBBA HO TEP! In his quest to fulfill a promise made to his wife, Calvin sets out to right his wrongs and make it the best Christmas ever for his family. If only it wasn't June and the majority of the population, including his wife and daughter, hadn't been turned into flesh-eating snappers by a mysterious atmospheric phenomenon, he'd be in pretty good shape. Driven by guilt in a race against the apocalyptic clock, Calvin teams up with G.M., a wily ex-garbage man turned undead slayer, as together they attempt to deck the halls during the most magical time of the year. It's Christmas in June. And snappers be damned... The lights and decorations are going up. From the brilliantly twisted mind of mojo story teller Joe R. Lansdale comes CHRISTMAS WITH THE DEAD The holidays will never be the same!

Or Maybe You Did

10 Things You Didn't Know About The Apollo Moon Landings

Song of the Day (on the charts this week in 1967)

▶ Aretha Franklin - Chain Of Fools (Lyrics) - YouTube:

5 Obscure Looney Tunes Cartoons

5 Obscure Looney Tunes Cartoons

Today's Vintage Ad

Robert Silverberg Reflects on the Early Novels of P. K. Dick

Robert Silverberg's Reflections : Orion Science Fiction Gateway 

Link via SF Signal.


Charles Chilton, Journey into Space, Pan, 1958

Drones: A New Tool For Hunting The Wild Pigs Terrorizing America

Drones: A New Tool For Hunting The Wild Pigs Terrorizing America 

Edward 'Babe' Heffron, R. I. P.

World War II veteran Edward 'Babe' Heffron, immortalized in 'Band of Brothers,' dies aged 90: One of the last of Easy Company stands down: Second World veteran Edward 'Babe' Heffron dies at 90 after being immortalized in Band Of Brothers 

Heffron and his Band Of Brothers fought through some of Second World War's fiercest European battles 

He took part in the Battle Of The Bulge in Belgium and helped liberate the Kaufering concentration camp in Germany War stories featured in 1992 book Band Of Brothers, and then the HBO miniseries

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Seven Worst Shows Ever Made

The Seven Worst Shows Ever Made  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

2013 Damon Knight Grand Memorial Grand Master Award: Samuel R. Delany | SFWA

2013 Damon Knight Grand Memorial Grand Master Award: Samuel R. Delany | SFWA: 2013 Damon Knight Grand Memorial Grand Master Award: Samuel R. Delany SFWA has named Samuel R. Delany, Jr. (1942– ) as the 2013 DAMON KNIGHT GRAND MEMORIAL GRAND MASTER for his contributions to the literature of Science Fiction and Fantasy. 

Samuel R. Delany is the author of numerous books of science fiction, including Nova, Dhalgren, Stars in My Pockets Like Grains of Sand, and most recently Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. Two of his classic works of science fiction criticism, The Jewel-Hinged Jaw and Starboard Wine, have just been brought back into print by Wesleyan University Press, who will reissue a third, The American Shore, in the summer of 2014. 

After winning four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards over the course of his career, Delany was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2002. Since 2001 he has been a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia, where for three years he was Director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program. In 2010 he won the third J. Lloyd Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award in Science Fiction from the academic Eaton Science Fiction Conference at UCR Libraries. He is also a recipient of the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime’s contribution to lesbian and gay literature.

Mystery Writers of America Announces 2014 Grand Masters

Mystery Writers of America Announces 2014 Grand Masters 
Robert Crais and Carolyn Hart 
Plus 2014 Raven Award Winner

Wednesday, December 4, 2013, New York, NY – Robert Crais and Carolyn Hart have been chosen as the 2014 Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA). MWA's Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality. Mr. Crais and Ms. Hart will be presented with their awards at the Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Thursday, May 1, 2014.

When told of being named a Grand Master, Crais said, "I am happy, proud, and more than a little humbled to be chosen for this high honor by Mystery Writers of America.  The list of Grand Masters is a list of my literary heroes.  I may never accept that my name is now on this list, but I will be forever grateful for the kindness and generosity of MWA for placing me among these esteemed writers."

Robert Crais hails from a blue-collar family in Louisiana. In 1976, after years of amateur film-making and short story writing, he moved to Hollywood and found work as a screenwriter, crafting scripts for such major TV crime shows as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, and Miami Vice. In the mid-eighties he left television and began writing novels full-time. Upon the death of his father in 1985, he was inspired to create his main character Elvis Cole using elements of his own life as the basis of the story. It resulted in his breakout novel, The Monkey’s Raincoat, and was nominated for The Best First Novel Edgar Award.

Eleven books followed in the Elvis Cole series including Free Fall, L.A. Requiem, and The Watchman. Joe Pike, Elvis’ partner, and Carol Starkey, an LAPD bomb expert, are recurring characters and also have their own books. Crais is known for his thought provoking plots and his ability to weave present day issues and social commentary into his mysteries. He has been nominated for every major award in the mystery field. Crais lives in Southern California with his wife.

Carolyn Hart is a native of Oklahoma City, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Oklahoma, and began her writing career at her local newspaper. In 1964 Hart won a contest looking for a mystery novel that would appeal to adolescent girls which resulted in her first published book. She wrote a number of books for young adults over the course of the next seven years.

In 1972, she turned to writing for an adult audience and has published fifty novels, a remarkable achievement for any author.  Hart's series Death on Demand contains twenty-three novels, including:

Southern Ghost, Death Walked In and Dead Days of Summer. The most recent is Dead, White and Blue published in 2013. She writes two other series (the Henrie O mysteries and the Bailey Ruth Raeburn series), and has published a total of eleven books in both. She has written numerous stand-alone suspense novels including Letter From Home, which was awarded the Agatha for the Best Mystery Novel of 2003 and was a New York Times notable book. She has been nominated for many writing awards, and is a past president of Sisters in Crime.  

Upon learning she was named a Grand Master, Hart said, "To be named Grand Master by Mystery Writers of America is the greatest honor I could receive as a mystery writer. My thanks to the Board for this wonderful, surprising, thrilling moment."

Previous Grand Masters include Ken Follett, Margaret Maron, Martha Grimes, Sara Paretsky, James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Bill Pronzini, Stephen King, Marcia Muller, Dick Francis, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, P.D. James, Ellery Queen, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Graham Greene, and Agatha Christie.

The 2014 Raven Award will be awarded to a beloved, independent mystery bookstore.   Established in 1953, the award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Aunt Agatha's of Ann Arbor, Michigan will receive the 2014 Raven Award.  The store is located at 213 South Fourth Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.

Aunt Agatha's maintains a wide selection of both new and used mysteries, detection and true crime books.  The owners, Robin and Jamie Agnew are champions of both established and new authors, making the store a must-stop destination for author tours in the Midwest. They are among the founding members of the Kerrytown Bookfest, an event that celebrates those who create books and those who read them. The Bookfest's goal is to highlight the area’s rich heritage in the book and printing arts while showcasing local and regional individuals, businesses, and organizations.

The Agnews said, "We are absolutely thrilled and astonished to be the recipient of the Raven Award!  We feel we have been privileged for twenty-one years to share our passion for mysteries with readers and to put forward the work of writers we love.  We are really grateful to the Mystery Writers of America for this wonderful honor."

Previous Raven winners include Oline Cogdill, Molly Weston, The Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Chicago, Once Upon a Crime Bookstore in Minneapolis, Mystery Lovers Bookstore in Oakmont, PA, Kate’s Mystery Books in Cambridge, MA, and The Poe House in Baltimore, MD. 

The Edgar Awards, or "Edgars," as they are commonly known, are named after MWA's patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are presented to authors of distinguished work in various categories. MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses more than 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents. For more information on Mystery Writers of America, please visit the website:

It's About Time They Did Something Worthwhile

With Seven Workdays Left, House Committee Holds Hearing On Space Aliens

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

Top 10 musicals

10 Most Famous Crimes In The History Of Las Vegas

10 Most Famous Crimes In The History Of Las Vegas

No Wonder I'm so Creative

Lacking inspiration? Exercise found to boost creativity



Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Top Ten Cliches in Crime Fiction

Top Ten Cliches in Crime Fiction 

I Got 9 Right

Is This A Work Of Contemporary Art Or Just A Paint Swatch From Home Depot

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Texas cop shoots man after women refuse his ‘wife-swapping’ plan

Song of the Day

▶ Elvis Costello - Watching the Detectives (song & lyrics) - YouTube:

Famous Names and Nicknames

Famous Names and Nicknames 

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Crime and Safety: An 80-year-old Fort Worth woman fed up with her husband’s talk and late night outings retrieved a revolver, stuck it to his chest, and pulled the trigger Sunday, police said.

Today's Vintage Ad


South Korean Feature Film Shot on Smartphone to Hit Theaters

Waterstones counters Amazon drones with owls

Waterstones counters Amazon drones with owls: The launch video explains that Waterstones plans to bring together a fleet of "adorable" owls that will be trained to deliver book packages to customers.

Wolf Creek prepares for another eventful year

Western Fictioneers: Wolf Creek prepares for another eventful year

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Police: Lover's quarrel ends in ninja combat

Archaeology Update

Archaeologists Find Sunken Nazi Sub in Indonesia with 17 Skeletons  

Hat tip to Doc Quatermass.


Arthur C. Clarke, Earthlight, Pan, 1957

William Stevenson, R. I. P. William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, “A Man Called Intrepid” and “90 Minutes at Entebbe,” which he dashed off in a room at the Algonquin Hotel in New York, died on Nov. 26 in Toronto. He was 89.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Woman bites off Australian man's lip at Oktoberfest in Germany  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Sherlock Holmes Knew This

Be Less Stupid: Turns out, you don't actually see everything you see. Meaning, your eyes observe and take in much more information than your brain computes... So, there's stuff you see, that you don't actually see... because you're not specifically focused on it.

6 Abandoned Sites That Would Make Great Supervillain Lairs

6 Abandoned Sites That Would Make Great Supervillain Lairs 

Thanks for Nothing: The Story of Zero

Thanks for Nothing: The Story of Zero

I Miss the Old Days

Memorabilia #1: In 1967, Topps released 16 cardboard records by Motown artists for just 15 cents each.

Overlooked Movies: The Dark at the Top of the Stairs

In the dim days of long ago when I was a college student, a group of us would go to the movies at least once every weekend.  (It was a lot more fun than studying.)  We didn't much care what was showing.  We'd go to anything.  One movie we saw, and one that's stuck with me for many years, was The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.

The movie's based on a play by William Inge, and it's set in a small Oklahoma town in the 1920s.  The subject matter wouldn't be at all surprising today, but in 1960, it was downright shocking: sexual repression, adultery, religious prejudice, adolescent longings, coming of age, marital troubles all mixed up in a big melodramatic stew.  It was great.  Well, very good, anyway.  

The cast is excellent from top to bottom. Robert Preston is a salesman whose job ends because of changing times.  He wasn't getting rich to start with, but now there's a real strain on the family because of his situation.  His daughter (Shirley Knight) is dating a Jew.  His son is having growing pains.  His wife (Dorothy McGuire) is distant and troubled.  The Other Woman (Angela Lansbury) is a big temptation.  And there's also one of my personal favorites, Eve Arden, who, I thought, stole the movie.  That might not be true, but it was my youthful impression.  

This is the kind of movie that might be looked down on now (and maybe even at the time) as "middlebrow," and maybe it is.  But it was quite effective (and affecting) when I saw it as a kid, and I suspect that might be true even now.

(I'm sorry I wasn't able to locate a trailer for the movie, but at least take a look below at the still shots that are shown during the playing of the theme song.  You'll get an idea of how attractive the cast is, if nothing else.)

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (Theme and Stills)

▶ Ernie Freeman - Theme from The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs (1960) - YouTube:

Monday, December 02, 2013

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Mother of three shot and killed by fellow female fan over Alabama’s loss to Auburn

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Family of bowler pushes casket down the lane during bowling alley funeral: During an episode of TLC’s new show, Best Funeral Ever, the family of bowling-lover Judy Sunday holds her funeral at a bowling alley with a little help from the Golden Gate Funeral Home in Dallas, Texas. 

During the funeral, Sunday’s name was written on bowling pins and her family even bowled her casket down the lane.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Cops: Son, 20, Beat Father, 54, During Argument Over Macaroni And Cheese

I Wanted to Believe!

Jeff Bezos’s alleged ‘plan’ for Amazon drone deliveries is little more than a publicity stunt 

I Want to Believe!

Ancient pyramids discovered in Antarctica 

Twenty Question With Patti Abbott

One Bite at a Time: Twenty Question With Patti Abbott

James Bond Book Covers (and opening lines)

James Bond book covers (and opening lines).  

Hat tip to Doc Quatermass.

16 Vintage Tobacco Advertisements Featuring Santa Claus

16 Vintage Tobacco Advertisements Featuring Santa Claus

Song of the Day (On the Charts This Week in 1961)

▶ The G-Clefs - I Understand (Just How You Feel) (1961) - YouTube:

Six Eerily Prescient Sci-Fi Novels

Six Eerily Prescient Sci-Fi Novels  

Link via SF Signal.

The Unsolved Case of the Murderous Belle Gunness

The Unsolved Case of the Murderous Belle Gunness, "Lady Bluebeard"

Today's Vintage Ad

I Wasn't Invited to Participate

Telegraph: The reigning champion is German Johannes Mallow.On Sunday he set a new world record for the amount of numbers remembered, correctly recalling an incredible 501 digits in the right order.

Victor Hugo's original handwritten manuscript for Les Miserables

Victor Hugo's original handwritten manuscript for Les Miserables 


Madeline Duke, Top Secret Mission, Pan, 1957

I Miss the Old Days


Writers and Their Four-legged Sidekicks

Western Fictioneers: Writers and Their Four-legged Sidekicks

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Vermeer’s Secret Tool: Testing Whether The Artist Used Mirrors and Lenses to Create His Realistic Images

New Poem at The 5-2

The 5-2 | Crime Poetry Weekly, Annual Ebooks - Gerald So, Editor: Allen Stein BUT PEOPLE JUST DON'T ACT THAT WAY

Arthurian Update

King Arthur was a Scot, lived in swamp

I For One Welcome Our New Crocodylian Overlords

Tool use in crocodylians: crocodiles and alligators use sticks as lures to attract waterbirds 

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot -- The Comic Book

I wish I'd had this to use in my classes.  There are some other nice things at the site, too.  Check it out.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

The Unvited