Saturday, September 28, 2013

5 Famous Actors Who Hate Their Most Iconic Roles

5 Famous Actors Who Hate Their Most Iconic Roles

Hardboiled Dames

Vampy Mug Shots of Montreal’s Madams and Prostitutes in the 1940s

Song of the Day

▶ Brian Hyland-Lonely Teardrops - YouTube:

7 Private Islands That Cost Less Than A Flat In London

7 Private Islands That Cost Less Than A Flat In London

9 Cursed Treasures

9 Cursed Treasures

Today's Vintage Ad


I Miss the Old Days

13 Great Commercials The Likes Of Which You'll Never See Again

Kasey Lansdale Update

Surrounded by legends Kasey Lansdale stays true to her voice 

Philip Roth Update

Expatica France: France has awarded the US writer Philip Roth its highest decoration, the Legion d'honneur (Legion of Honor), with the country's foreign minister bestowing the award in New York.

PaperBack



Gene Harvey, Leg Artist, Red Circle, 1949

Alvin, Texas, Not Included

6 Places Where You Can Visit the Post-Apocalypse (Today)

I Miss the Old Days

"It's Not Unusual" -Tim Jones' Signature Song

Gator Update (See #10)

10 Terrifying Creatures Of The Amazon River

Many of You Will Find this Useful

Should You Take Your Lottery Winnings in a Lump Sum or Annual Payments?

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Man pays nearly $1 million to re-create Evel Knievel jump 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Harriet Craig

▶ 1950 HARRIET CRAIG TRAILER JOAN CRAWFORD - YouTube:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Or Maybe You Have (I Haven't)

The 20 Best Books in Translation You've Never Read

Or Any County for That Matter

Cocaine +  gators +  locked car = bad news in Martin County 

Or Maybe You Do

Explained: The punctuation you have no idea how to use

Alvin, Texas, Not Included

Social Experiment Reveals The World's Most Honest Cities  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.
Annoying slideshow alert.

Whac-A-Mole Update

The Guy Who Invented the Whac-A-Mole Accidentally Blew Up A Florida Warehouse: No humans were hurt in the explosion, but robotic limbs smoldered among the wreckage. . . .  "It was weird," Tim Roth, an office workers who rushed into the building, tells the Orlando Sentinel, which described the interior as the "Joker's Lair."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Song of the Day

▶ RODNEY CROWELL SHE'S CRAZY FOR LEAVING - YouTube:

10 Supposedly Rare Movies You Can Watch on YouTube

10 Supposedly Rare Movies You Can Watch on YouTube 

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

It's a Major Award! HISD Named Top Urban School District in America Second Year in a Row

Today's Vintage Ad


Another Day, Another Jack the Ripper Update

Mail Online: Has this locket finally unmasked Jack the Ripper? Descendant of fifth victim claims tiny photo proves serial killer was Queen Victoria's surgeon

Neener, Neener, Neener, Whippershappers

Wisdom really does come with age: Older people's knowledge and experience means they make better decisions

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Heinrich Graat, The Devil & Ben Camden, Belmont, 1970

Alvin, Texas, Not Included

20 Great American Cities for Writers

I Found a Penny Last Week

Mont Blanc climber finds 50-year-old treasure trove of emeralds, rubies and sapphires worth $332,000

30 Excellent Bookstore Windows From Around the World

30 Excellent Bookstore Windows From Around the World

It's Another Forgotten Book!

Blogging Sax Rohmer’s The Drums of Fu Manchu, Part One  And Part Two.

A Forgotten Writer

Mining the Genre Asteroid: Zenna Henderson

Link via SF Signal.

Yes, Another Forgotten Book

 Vintage Treasures: The Best of Philip K. Dick

Two More Forgotten Books

A Point of Transition: Andre Norton’s Witch World

And the there's this one: Three Against the Witch World by Andre Norton

Forgotten Books: Master of Life and Death -- Robert Silverberg



Sorry, folks, no Patricia Highsmith here today.  One reason is that I just can't leave a book in the store.  The other day I was in a thrift shop and saw the Avon reprint of Robert Silverberg's Master of Life and Death, which I read first as half of an Ace Double 'way back in the '50s.  I probably thought it was pretty cool then.  Now, it seems I've changed, and the book is a bit worrisome.  

Roy Walton is the title character, since within a few pages of the novel's opening he's become the head of Population Equalization (or Popeek) and is charged with being sure that Earth's population is equally distributed, a process that involved euthanizing children who might be disease carriers or otherwise bad for the gene pool and distributing people from heavily populated areas to places where there's more room.  He seems to have unlimited power to execute people (give them the Happy Sleep) or imprison them, and eventually he adopts the motto that "the end justifies the means," something he repeats a number of times.  The means include some pretty rough things.  Let's just say that being his brother doesn't exclude you from punishment if you stand in his way.

Things happen fast in this short novel: bang, bang, bang.  Some of the plot threads seem to go nowhere, but most of them are resolved in the end, at least a couple of them by space aliens ex machina.  Walton is ruthless, but then he claims that he has to be.  After all, the end justifies the means.

Here's something interesting.  The world of the novel is hugely overpopulated, so much so that things are falling apart and that Popeek is the only salvation.  Silverberg uses a specific figure: Seven billion.  Just out of curiosity, I looked at the current world population figure.  You can see it here.  Notice the figure?  We're well past the seven billion and climbing.

Queen Bee

▶ QUEEN BEE TRAILER - YouTube:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

. . . and not it's the Laundry Rage Attack!

Man Arrested For "Laundry Rage" Attack On Retiree

Mars Update

NASA’s Curiosity rover finds water on Mars 

Paris Hilton Update

He Said/She Said: Nick Carter Vs. Paris Hilton: After the Backstreet Boy called the heiress “the worst person in the world for me to hook up with” due to his struggles with drugs and alcohol, Paris has now responded.

The 50 Greatest Campus Novels Ever Written

The 50 Greatest Campus Novels Ever Written 

Song of the Day

▶ TONY DOUGLAS - "SHRIMPIN' "(1961) - YouTube:

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Woman snatches Juan Miranda's foul ball from distraught little girl at Houston's Minute Maid Park  

Hat tip to  Jeff Meyerson.

Robotic Donkey WBAGNFARB

The U.S. Military's New Robotic Donkey Will Be More Bulletproof  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson, who saw Robotic Donkey open for Moby Grape.

The Women Who Mapped the Universe And Still Couldn't Get Any Respect

The Women Who Mapped the Universe And Still Couldn't Get Any Respect

Flash Fiction Day

pattinase: Flash Fiction Day

Today's Vintage Ad


Happy Birthday, T.S. Eliot: The Celebrated Poet Reads “The Naming of Cats

Happy Birthday, T.S. Eliot: The Celebrated Poet Reads “The Naming of Cats,” 1947

James Bond Update

James Bond wanted a real relationship not casual sex, author claims 

Free Museum Tickets for Museum Day Live!

Museum Day Ticket | Museum Day Live! | Smithsonian Magazine: Free Ticket for Two To receive your free Museum Day Live! Ticket for two people only, please enter your information into the fields below. Your Ticket will be emailed to you after you submit your information. You must print your ticket and present it to receive your free admission.

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Robert Bloch,  More Nightmares, Belmont, 1962

I Found a Penny Last Week

9 Spectacular Hidden Treasures Found in Recent Decades

How to Write a Book

Scott Adams Blog: How to Write a Book 

These are possibly the 20 weirdest paperback covers!

These are possibly the 20 weirdest paperback covers!

Link via SF Signal.

Cursive Update

Has Technology Killed Cursive Handwriting?

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Man accused of threatening neighbor while genital-hoisting 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

New Poem at The 5-2

The 5-2 | Crime Poetry Weekly, Annual Ebooks - Gerald So, Editor: H.B. Ussach THE SALTED CORPSE

The Incredible Dinosaur Wall of Bolivia

The Incredible Dinosaur Wall of Bolivia

Link via The Persurfer.

Jane Connell, R. I. P.

NYTimes.com: Jane Connell, a character actress best known for her portrayal of Agnes Gooch, the mousy secretary to the title character in the musical “Mame,” died on Sunday in Englewood, N.J. She was 87. 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Forgotten Music: Jim Reeves

Forgotten in the U. S., maybe, but not everywhere.

Not Elvis, Sinatra, Nor Beatles: Jim Reeves Is The Biggest Western Singer In South India And Sri Lanka

Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo

▶ Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984) Trailer - YouTube:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Indie bookstores on the rise

Indie bookstores on the rise 

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Migrating Spiders Sailing Through North Texas Skies 

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

Amazon.com: DMQZ eBook: Quinn Fleming: Kindle Store: In the wake of the global pandemic known as the "little dormouse," the line between the Safe Zone and the Quarantine Zone divides New York City. The shores and waters of the East River are the "DMQZ," the uninhabited area that separates uninfected Manhattan from the slowly dying borough of Brooklyn. 


Jacob Hale is a Manhattan police officer rising in the ranks of the Safe Zone military government until a bank heist gone wrong lands him on suspension and under suspicion. On a quest to clear his good name, Hale finds himself drawn into a web of conspiracy, terrorism, and revolt - and into the orbit of a mysterious woman who may be the key to it all.

Now Available In All E-Book Formats

Amazon.com: Booked for a Hanging - A Dan Rhodes Mystery (Dan Rhodes Mysteries) eBook: Bill Crider: Kindle Store

Song of the Day

▶ Mention My Name In Sheboygan - YouTube:

Say Hello to My Little Friend


The World's Oldest Newspapers Still Being Published Today

The World's Oldest Newspapers Still Being Published Today

Today's Vintage Ad


9 Sequels Written Decades After the Original Book

9 Sequels Written Decades After the Original Book 

William Faulkner on Writing, the Purpose of Art, Working in a Brothel, and the Meaning of Life

Happy Birthday, William Faulkner: The Celebrated Author on Writing, the Purpose of Art, Working in a Brothel, and the Meaning of Life 

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John B. Thompson, Half-Caste, Beason 1959

I Would Never Have Guessed #4

6 Movies You Won't Believe Are Based on Insane True Stories

Or Maybe You Do

9 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Baby Dinosaurs

5 Writing Tips from Tana French

5 Writing Tips from Tana French

The Dog and the Novel: Loyal Companions

Lassie Come-Home by Eric KnightThe Dog and the Novel: Loyal Companions on AbeBooks: Literature has long had a love affair with dogs. Granted, we do see the occasional literary cat, such as Vicki Myron's Dewey, a tale about a library cat, or Crookshanks, Hermione's cantankerous orange companion in the Harry Potter novels, but by and large, dogs in literature must outnumber their feline counterparts 10 to one. Take John Grogan's Marley & Me for example. The book is actually a memoir, but using the family pet, a handful of a Yellow Labrador Retriever named Marley, as the key theme throughout. Marley became a top bestselling book, then a major motion picture starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. Readers and film-goers alike had their hearts touched by the pooch.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Texas woman makes bizarre 911 call after two goats run amok in her backyard  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

As many of you will recall, Sheriff Dan Rhodes has had to deal with goats  run amok several times.

And of course Goats Run Amok WBAGNFARB.

Breakin'

▶ Breakin' Official Trailer #1 - Christopher McDonald Movie (1984) HD - YouTube:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Mariano Rivera Bobblehead Night Turns Into ‘Mayhem’ At Yankee Stadium

We Really Do Live in the Best of All Possible Worlds

Jack in the Box Now Has a Cheeseburger Topped with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich 

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Local Weathermen Arrested After Fight Breaks Out Over Rain Chances for this Weekend 

Frontlist Feature: Blood Hina by Naomi Hirahara

Top Suspense Group: Frontlist Feature: Blood Hina by Naomi Hirahara

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Texas Gorilla Getting Therapy For Being Sexist

It's Only the Beginning . . . .

Wild Hogs Roam Streets, Scare People Near Atlanta 

Or Maybe You Did

10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Dazed and Confused’ 

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

UPDATE: Astros Break Another Record: A 0.0 TV Rating

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

Amazon.com: The Dark Need (Dead Man #20) eBook: Stant Litore, Lee Goldberg, William Rabkin: Kindle Store: Matt Cahill was an ordinary man leading a simple life until a shocking accident changed everything. Now he can see a nightmarish netherworld that exists within our own. Now he's on a dangerous quest for the answers to who he is and what he has become…and engaged in an epic battle to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil. 

 Matt is tracking a blood-sucking, shape-shifting killer through the icyCascade Mountains when he encounters a mysterious woman who is on the same corpse-strewn trail…but who has a terrifying secret of her own.

Croc Update (Guitar Edition)

Crocodile Guitar 

Song of the Day

▶ Orleans - Still The One (with lyrics) - YouTube:

Interview with Richard Prosch

Write Better Stories | Tom Rizzo: StoryTeller’s 7: Richard Prosch, Big Stories in Few Words

Hahahahahahahahaha!

Why We’re Happier When We’re Older 

Today's Vintage Ad


Anna Nicole Smith Update (NSFW Language)

Why "The Anna Nicole Smith Show" Was The Best Reality TV Show Ever

F. Scott Fitzgerald: Reads John Masefield’s “On Growing Old”

Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald: His Moving Reading of John Masefield’s “On Growing Old”

PaperBack



John B. Thompson & Jack Woodford, Hitch-Hike Hussy, Beacon, 1957





Bigfoot Update

Bigfoot lives out west and prefers Missouri to Kansas: All reported Sasquatch sightings since 1921 are plotted on just one map  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

This is probably a repeat of an earlier post, but you can never have too much Bigfoot news.

Fortunately This Did Not Escalate into a Melee

Man dialled 999 over corked wine  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

I Miss the Old Days

15 Fashions People Were Rocking in 1983

Who Said It?

When I Wrote It, Only God and I Knew the Meaning; Now God Alone Knows

A Guy Who Can Violate an Alligator is Nobody to Mess With

Plaquemine man pleads guilty to alligator violations 

6 Castles That Cost Less Than An Apartment In NYC

6 Castles That Cost Less Than An Apartment In NYC

Mushrooms

We finally got some rain in Alvin.  Not much, but enough to encourage some growths in the yard.

Carolyn Cassady, R. I. P.

NYTimes.com: Carolyn Cassady, a writer who entered the American consciousness in 1957 as a character in Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road,” and decades later chronicled her life as a member of the Beat Generation, died on Friday near her home in Bracknell, England. She was 90.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Overlooked Movies: Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

Here we go with Steve Martin again.  Lots of the homage/pastiche films don't work for me (Clue, Murder by Death, The Cheap Detective), but this one is okay.  Maybe that's because I like Steve Martin, and he's very good in this one as private-eye Rigby Reardon, who's hired by a beautiful woman (Rachel Ward) to solve the murder of her father, a famous cheese-maker.  In addition to her beauty, Ward is really talented at at removing bullets from wounds.

The thing that I like best about the movie isn't the plot or the goofiness (though a lot of the goofiness is pretty funny to me).  What I like is the way the movie (filmed in black and white) intercuts scenes from a lot of famous old movies so that Martin appears to be acting opposite Alan Ladd, Humphrey Bogart, Veronica Lake, Cary Grant, and a lot of others.  An affectionate parody and the writers (Carl Reiner, who directed, George Gipe, and Martin) obviously know and care about the movies they're having fun with here.  I think I'll be watching this one again Real Soon Now.

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

▶ Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid Official Trailer #1 - Steve Martin Movie (1982) HD - YouTube:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gary Brandner, R. I. P.

tainted archive: RIP Gary Brandner

11 Quotes From Authors On Censorship & Banned Books

11 Quotes From Authors On Censorship & Banned Books

You Really Can Use it for Everything

Keal Pontin's 23 Goats Were Stolen Using Duct Tape

Hemingway Update

Book News: Lost Hemingway Satire Will Finally Be Published

The Six-Word Festival on Twitter

The Six-Word Festival on Twitter | Six-Word Memoirs from SMITH Magazine

Jack the Ripper Update

Jack the Ripper mystery solved by top detective after 125 years

Song of the Day

▶ Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run - YouTube:

Cartoon of the Day


Today's Vintage Ad


PaperBack



Hodge Evens (Dudley Dean McGaughy), The Lash of Lust, Beacon, 1961

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Astros Pull In Historically Low TV Ratings

The Odd Habits and Curious Customs of Famous Writers

The Odd Habits and Curious Customs of Famous Writers

It's National Banned Books Week

7 Reasons Your Favorite Books Were Banned

The 2013 Emmy Award Winners

The 2013 Emmy Award Winners

Possessed

▶ Possessed (1947) Trailer Joan Crawford - YouTube:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Man 'bit neighbour's penis like a sandwich for daring to ask him to turn his music down'

Richard Sarafian, R. I. P.

Richard Sarafian Dead: Film Director Dies At 83: LOS ANGELES -- Richard Sarafian, an influential film director whose 1971 countercultural car-chase thriller "Vanishing Point" brought him a decades-long cult following, has died in Southern California, his son said Saturday night.

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: The Heist :: Fred Zackel

The Thicket -- Joe R. Lansdale

My bet is that this is the only book I'll see this year with a bounty-hunting dwarf and a bounty-hunting hog.  There are a couple of others in the bounty-hunting mix, too, including the narrator of this rollicking tale of murder, kidnapping, and mayhem told in the Lansdale style, which means that amdist all the aforementioned unpleasantries, there are also moments of tenderness and hilarity.

The narrator is Jack Parker, whose sister is the one who's kidnapped after the death of their parents. They're on the way to Kansas with their grandfather when they meet up with some very bad men, including the seemingly indestructible Fatty.  When they kill his grandfather and take his sister, Jack vows to get her back, and he enlists the help of a bounty hunter named Eustace, his hog named Hog, and the dwarf, Shorty.  They pick up three others along the way, including Jimmie Sue, a prostitute with whom Jack falls in love.

If you're a fan of Lansdale's work, you already own this book.  If you're not a fan, this book will make you one. Check it out.


Boss of Hampton Beach -- Jed Power

When Jed Power was a kid, one of his father's good friends was Dan J. Marlowe, and Marlowe stayed with the family for a while when he was writing The Name of the Game Is Death.  He even named a character for Power.  Now Power is returning the favor in a series of crime novels with a protagonist named Dan Marlowe.

The first book in the series is Boss of Hampton Beach, and it finds Marlowe working behind the bar at the restaurant he used to own.  His addiction to cocaine has cost him not only his restaurant but his family.  He's clean now, but he's not through with cocaine because a local crime boss is importing a big shipment.  Things go wrong, the cocaine disappears, and everyone wants it (except Marlowe).  In the mix are the crime boss, his top gun, a bent DEA agent, the feds, and the local cops.  Crosses and double crosses abound, and of course Marlowe gets pulled into the action.

Boss of Hampton Beach is a fast-moving hard-boiled story and a fine start to the Dan Marlowe series.

The 10 Best Narrators in Literature

The 10 Best Narrators in Literature

Poison-proof Rats WBAGNFARB

'Poison-proof' rats discovered in Sweden  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Song of the Day

▶ The Stampeders - Sweet City Woman - YouTube:

The 50 Essential Films About High School

The 50 Essential Films About High School

Today's Vintage Ad


PaperBack



N. R. DeMexico, Private Chauffeur, Beacon, 1960

I Must Be Really Creative and Indomitable

Chaos loosens norms and neatness tightens them.: Your Messy Desk Is Evidence of the Indomitable Creativity of Your Soul

Feeling Old Yet?

Mick Jagger to become a great-grandfather

Mac Curtis, R. I. P.

Dallas Morning News: Fort Worth-born rockabilly great Mac Curtis, an early-days inductee into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, died Monday night in a Weatherford nursing home. His ex-wife and sister say it was sudden: Curtis, born Wesley Erwin Curtis Jr. on January 16, 1939, was injured in a car accident in Weatherford last month, and over the weekend he took a turn for the worse.

Marvin Rainwater, R. I. P.

NY Daily News: Marvin Rainwater, who became one of early rock 'n' roll's one-hit wonders with his 1957 record "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird," died Tuesday in Aitken, Minn. He was 88.

Dino Update

Dinosaur Feathers Found in Ancient Amber

11 Nouns That Have Only a Plural Form

11 Nouns That Only Have a Plural Form 

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Mail Online: An upset multi-millionaire from Texas claimed that Ferrari drivers are being discriminated against and unfairly profiled by police when he appeared in a court in Aspen for a speeding ticket. 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Croc Update (Lower Jaw Edition)

Ancient Crocodiles' Lower Jaw Saved it from Being Extinct, Study Shows 

Overland Stage Raiders

▶ 1938 OVERLAND STAGE RAIDERS TRAILER JOHN WAYNE - YouTube: