Saturday, October 22, 2016

Song of the Day

Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request.mov - YouTube:

Steve Dillon, R. I. P.

NY Daily News: Popular comic book artist Steve Dillon, best-known as the co-creator of "Preacher," has died.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Croc Update (Snogging Edition)

Woman kisses CROCODILE in front of stunned audience on TV show

Song of the Day

Lou Reed - Satellite of Love - YouTube:

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot Last Week

Farmer stumbles across a brand new 'bus-sized' species of dinosaur

Today's Vintage Ad


I Miss the Old Days

The Fight to Save America From Satan's Subliminal Rock Messages: In the 1980s, many politicians were convinced there were devious, secret messages hidden inside popular records.

PaperBack



Leslie Ford (Zenith Brown), The Devil's Stronghold, Dell, 1950

Kevin Meaney, R. I. P.

NY Daily News: Standup comic and “The Tonight Show” performer Kevin Meaney has died, his agent confirmed Friday. He was 60.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Margaret Atwood on Magic, Technology, and Changing the World

Margaret Atwood on Magic, Technology, and Changing the World

EQMM 75th-Anniversary Symposium Part 2

EQMM 75th-Anniversary Symposium Part 2 - YouTube

Four Questions for...Ursula K. Le Guin

Four Questions for...Ursula K. Le Guin

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Texas restaurant starts selling a meat-free version of the barbecue favorite  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

For me? Yes.

Is It Legal to Shoot Bigfoot?

Gretchen Rubin: By the Book

Gretchen Rubin: By the Book

Friday, October 21, 2016

And Keep Off Her Lawn!

Grandmother fights off 'grim reaper rapist' by beating him unconscious with a beer stein  

Hat tip to Deb.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Nearly $90G in stolen beer found at Texas farm, 2 arrested

PimPage: An occasional feature in which I call attention books of possible interest

Amazon.com: OF NIGHT AND BEYOND: Stories eBook: L. Zackel: Kindle Store  A scrumptious buffet of monsters for grownups. Stories spooky, scary, chilly, goofy, kitschy? No two alike. Different monsters, different sizes, shapes, writing styles and different textures. Slightly more than a baker’s dozen stories, a doggerel or two, and a couple of tombstone rubbings. (Epitaphs, you know.) Some of what’s inside: “A Robot is a Savage Machine.” Wherein robots are the maddest scientists. "True Love When You See It." Baseball bats and werewolves and fireflies, oh my. “The Devil Sells Honey.” And discovers he has a grandson! Poor Lionel Collins. He used to be part of the Here and Now. “The Blonde in the Red Corvette” has a bloody handprint on the front of her yellow dress. And Possession is nine-tenths of John Law. “The Fabulous Catch” comes in a Happy Ending and, well, a more real one. A lover’s lament: “Squish You, Babe.” But this lament sounds better in French. “J' TE SERRE TRĂˆS FORT, MA POULE,” for example. “Devil’s Woods.” Sometimes the Devil doesn’t show himself. “Snow White Is Mine!” Not for the kids! A Mouse Trap. "My Angel Baby.” In more ways than one. “The Day I Snapped.” Pick your battles better, buddy. “Werewolves in the Mailbox.” And we are not alone. The Devil carries condoms? Well, of course, he does! Meanwhile Jocelyn has a Conscience. Sort of. Please enjoy your favorites.

Grave Sightings: Wyatt Earp

Grave Sightings: Wyatt Earp 

Song of the Day

James Gilreath - Little Band Of Gold (1963) - YouTube:

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot Last Week

Like a dream - fabulous treasure discovered in old lunchbox

Today's Vintage Ad


Yes. Yes, I can.

Can You Get An A In This Basic Classics Exam

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Rex Stout, Invitation to Murder (Cordially Invited to Meet Death), Avon, 1956

I Want to Believe!

Scientists think the common cold may at last be beatable

Spectacular First Editions from the 1970s

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. ThompsonSpectacular First Editions from the 1970s: The 1970s saw end of the Vietnam War, the dawn of disco, the first commercially available microwave oven, the energy crisis, and the election of Margaret Thatcher. It was a decade of contradictions and nowhere was that more evident than in the world of books. From The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison's profound 1970 debut, right through to the New Journalism of Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff in 1979, the'70s produced some of the 20th century's most compelling literature.

FFB: Counterspy Express -- A. S. Fleischman

I've had the Ace Double edition of Counterspy Express on my shelves for at least 40 years, but it took the soon-to-be released Stark House edition to get me to read it.  I don't know why I waited so long.  It's a fast-moving spy novel from the Cold War, with a couple of MacGuffins and lots of double-dealing.

Victor Welles, who's going under the name Jim Cabot, has been called in to take over for another agent who was killed in a car crash.  The agent was pursuing a Russian scientist with a head full of secrets, and now Welles has to find him before the Russians get to him. Naturally beautiful women are involved.  And menacing tough guys.  And lots of chases.  The book is very short (like most Ace Doubles), and it moves like an express train.  Not to give away too much here, but the ending has a scene of the type the improves any book (and it's not quicksand).  I think it should have been extended, and maybe it was cut a bit to fit the Ace format.

The Stark House edition also features Shanghai Flame, Fleischman's first novel for Gold Medal, but the best part is that there's a fine introduction by fellow blogger and longtime pal George Kelley.  It's worth getting the book just for that.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . . .

Bad Craigslist haircut prompts pepper spray mayhem  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Inside the New York Public Library's Last, Secret Apartments

Atlas Obscura: There are just 13 left.

Song of the Day

Chuck Berry - Maybelline (1955) - YouTube:

Who Invented the Haunted House?

Who Invented the Haunted House?: The DIY history of a Halloween tradition.

How Chuck Berry Became the Greatest Rock ’n’ Roll Artist of a Generation

How Chuck Berry Became the Greatest Rock ’n’ Roll Artist of a Generation 

Today's Vintage Ad


How Patricia Highsmith’s Mr. Ripley Rises from Genre to Myth

How Patricia Highsmith’s Mr. Ripley Rises from Genre to Myth

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Garet Rogers, Prisoner in Paradise, Perma Books, 1955

The Most Popular Halloween Candy in Each State for 2016

The Most Popular Halloween Candy in Each State for 2016 

Ursula K Le Guin: 'I wish we could all live in a big house with unlocked doors'

Ursula K Le Guin: 'I wish we could all live in a big house with unlocked doors' 

Phil Chess, R. I. P.

RIP Phil Chess, Who Gave Us Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters While Rising From a Pawn to a King: Phil Chess was one of the last of the great 1950s indie record business hustlers, men who started out to make a quick buck and ended up making some of the 20th century’s best music. In Phil Chess’s case, that included the work of Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, the Flamingos, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, the Moonglows, the second Sonny Boy Williamson and Bo Diddley. Just for starters.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Chartered Waters: Music Chart Stories

Chartered Waters: Music Chart Stories

Yes. Yes, I can.

Can You Guess The Famous Book Without It's Title Or Author

Maybe the embarrassing apostrophe error will be corrected by the time you see this.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

EQMM 75th-Anniversary Photo Gallery

EQMM 75th-ANNIVERSARY PHOTO GALLERY | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN: Last week, in my October 12 post, I promised some photos of the celebratory events surrounding EQMM’s 75th anniversary, beginning with the Ellery Queen panel at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in New Orleans and concluding with the reception following the EQMM 75th-Anniversary Symposium at Columbia University. EQMM’s senior assistant editor Jackie Sherbow has collected some of the best of the photos and arranged them here. Many of you will already know who the symposium participants are, but some information about each follows the photos.

It’s Taking Over My Brain!

It’s Taking Over My Brain!: As you may recall from your eighth-grade biology class, protozoa are single-celled creatures. Here’s something your teacher probably didn’t cover: There’s a protozoan that can alter what you think, feel, and do. It may sound like science fiction… but it’s not.

Song of the Day

Lulu-Oh Me Oh My I`m A Fool For You Baby , rare pop video - YouTube:

10 Halloween Urban Legends

10 Halloween Urban Legends (Can You Tell Which Ones Are Real?): Halloween is a time that is filled with myth and lore and there are some creepy legends surrounding the spookiest day of the year. In this list, there are some entries that are fictional stories, while others really happened. Can you figure out which ones are true and which ones are merely urban legends?

Today's Vintage Ad


This Is Far, Far Too Simple

And it's not a grammar test.  Only An Actual Grammar Genius Will Totally Ace This Quiz

PaperBack



Jean Pedrick, The Fascination, Bantam, 1949

20 Artists, from Photo to Final

20 Artists, from Photo to Final

Ted V. Mikels, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Ted V. Mikels, the producer and director of dozens of ultra-low-budget horror and exploitation films, notably the 1960s cult favorites “The Astro-Zombies” and “The Corpse Grinders,” died on Sunday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 87.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

I Miss the Old Days

15 Rita Hayworth Moments That Slay

Josh Pachter on “Pisan Zapra”

Josh Pachter on “Pisan Zapra” | Trace Evidence: Writer, editor, and translator Josh Pachter’s Mahboob Chaudri stories can be found collected in The Tree of Life. He is a regular contributor to EQMM’s Passport to Crime department as a translator, and he has been publishing fiction since 1968. Here he writes about how he came to write his story “Pisan Zapra,” which is featured in the November 2016 issue of AHMM.

Chuck Berry, 90, will release his first new album in nearly 40 years

Chuck Berry, 90, will release his first new album in nearly 40 years   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Thom Jones, R. I. P.

Thom Jones, author of 'The Pugilist at Rest,' dead at 71: NEW YORK (AP) — Thom Jones, an acclaimed short story writer who drew upon family tragedy and his own painful struggles for "The Pugilist At Rest" and other collections, has died.

A History of AOL's Free Trial CDs

You've Got Mail: A History of AOL's Free Trial CDs

Song of the Day

Phil Phillips - Sea Of Love - YouTube:

8 Skeptical Early Reactions to Revolutionary Inventions

8 Skeptical Early Reactions to Revolutionary Inventions 

Today's Vintage Ad


What School Lunch Looked Like Each Decade for the Past Century

What School Lunch Looked Like Each Decade for the Past Century

PaperBack



Brian Talbot Cleeve, The Night Winds, Ballantine, 1954

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The 10 Greatest Supernatural Stephen King Villains

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2017 Nominees

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2017 Nominees: Tupac, Journey, Depeche Mode

A full list of this year’s nominees include:

Bad Brains
Chaka Khan
Chic
Depeche Mode
Electric Light Orchestra
J. Geils Band
Jane’s Addiction
Janet Jackson
Joan Baez
Joe Tex
Journey
Kraftwerk
MC5
Pearl Jam
Steppenwolf
The Cars
The Zombies
Tupac Shakur
Yes


Croc Update (Dental Edition)

Daily Mail Online: While crocodiles are known for their menacing teeth, it appears that the animals haven't always had their distinctive grin. Researchers have discovered a strange fossil of an ancient species of crocodiles, with mammal-like teeth.

I Miss the Old Days

America's Next Great Metropolis Is Taking Shape In Texas

Overlooked TV: Police Squad

Police Squad was a 30-minute parody of cop shows (M Squad seems to have been a particular target) put together by the guys who did Airplane!  Like that movie, it's full of sight gags and rapid-fire jokes, some of which hit and some of which miss.  It lasted only 6 episodes, but it inspired the Naked Gun movies, which were pretty successful.  Leslie Nielsen was the star of both the movies and the TV series.

A lot of the bits on the TV series make me laugh: the shine boy who has all the tips (and can even explain psychology to Dr. Joyce Brothers), the guest stars who get killed off in the opening sequence each week, the really dumb stuff like a tow truck shaped like a toe, and so on.  The parody material works well, too, at least most of the time.  I doubt that you'd want to watch all 6 shows in a row, but taken one at a time they're pretty funny stuff.  If you've never seen the show, check it out.

Police Squad! Intro

Police Squad! Intro (In Color) - YouTube:

Monday, October 17, 2016

Clark Howard, R. I. P.

How We Will Miss Them Both! | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN

Nobel panel gives up knockin’ on Dylan’s door

Nobel panel gives up knockin’ on Dylan’s door  

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.

Traveling Through Transylvania With 'Dracula' as a Guide

Atlas Obscura: Is it possible to use Bram Stoker's 1897 novel to explore Romania?

Song of the Day

Paul Revere and The Raiders - Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon - YouTube:

7 Monumental Statues of the Ancient World

Still Standing Tall: 7 Monumental Statues of the Ancient World  

Link via The Presurfer.

Mongo only pawn in game of life

University student charged after police horse slapped

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . . .

Man beats bus passenger, driver with frozen bag of chicken  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Today's Vintage Ad


You Know You Want to See It

Nic Cage Hunts Bin Laden With A Samurai Sword In Army Of One

PaperBack



Gerald Kersh, The Secret Masters, Ballantine, 1953

Forgotten Hits: SWEET 16 - HEY!

Forgotten Hits: SWEET 16 - HEY!

I Miss the Old Days

20th century snapshots capture people proudly showing off their vinyl records

Shirley Jackson in Love & Death

Shirley Jackson in Love & Death by Joyce Carol Oates

The Best of Fritz Leiber

Vampires, Frozen Worlds, and Gambling With the Devil: The Best of Fritz Leiber

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The World's Most Valuable Children's Books

The World's Most Valuable Children's Books - Do You Have One?: re the books from your childhood packed away in boxes in the basement or the attic? Humble children's books from years past can be immensely valuable, but only if they are the right edition in the right condition. And condition is doubly important when considering the value of children's books. Youngsters can love a book too much, reading it again and again, which results in extreme wear and tear. Crayon or pen markings, and torn or lost dust jackets will all bring down the value of a book.

Song of the Day

Merle Haggard - Keep On The Sunny Side - YouTube:

10 Facts About Webster’s Dictionary for Dictionary Day

10 Facts About Webster’s Dictionary for Dictionary Day 

Today's Vintage Ad


Ed Gorman, R. I. P.

Many of you who read this blog knew Ed, either through reading his books or emails or telephone conversations.  Not many were lucky enough to have met him in person (I count myself among those lucky few).  You probably also know that Ed had struggled with multiple myeloma for a number of years.  That struggle ended yesterday.

No other writer did as much for me and my career as Ed did.  A long time ago, he and I had the same agent, and she recommended his books to me.  His horror novels written as "Daniel Ransom" were what inspired me to become Jack MacLane for a while.  I don't remember when I first got a phone call from Ed, but it must have been quite a few years ago, more than 25.  He was warm and funny, just the way you'd hope someone you admired would be, and he was that way every time I talked to him.

He leaves behind a great literary legacy.  I hardly know which titles to recommend to you.  Just about anything has sharp writing, empathetic characters, and a deep compassion for flawed people.  Sometimes, as in the western werewolf novel, Wolf Moon, he pulls off something you'd think nobody could.  His series of Sam McCain mysteries is a wonderful portrayal of an era of the recent American past.  If you've never read one of his books this week, honor his memory by giving one a try.  Just about anything you pick up will reward you.

I met Ed's wife, Carol, long before I met Ed.  We always said that we'd married far above ourselves and were incredibly lucky to have found women like Carol and Judy.  Carol was a guest in Beaumont at the Golden Triangle Writers Workshop back in the late 1980s, and Judy and I had the pleasure of driving her from Beaumont to Houston, where she was to visit Joan Nixon.  We had a delightful time on the drive and and a delightful lunch with Joan, her husband, Herschel, and Carol.  I'll be thinking a lot about her and her family today and for a long time because I know the kind of loss they've suffered.

Ave atque vale, Ed.  We won't see your like again.

PaperBack



Stanley Baron, All My Enemies, Ballantine, 1952

19 Beautiful Bookstores You Need To Visit In America

19 Beautiful Bookstores You Need To Visit In America

The Origins of All 30 NBA Team Names

The Origins of All 30 NBA Team Names 

Uh-Oh

The Bonfire of the Vanities TV series in the Works at Amazon