Saturday, June 01, 2013

Jean Stapleton, R. I. P.

chicagotribune.com: Jean Stapleton, who played Archie Bunker’s long-suffering wife Edith in the long-running 1970s television series “All in the Family,” died Friday at her New York City home. She was 90.

Everyone Should Have a Worthy Goal

A cross-country burger journey: The Lindners have spent the better part of three years on a cross-country quest to visit each of the “51 Great Burger Joints” listed in an October 2010 USA Today article. The list included one place for each state, plus the District of Columbia, each recommended by a local foodie.

Song of the Day

The Globetrotters - Rainy Day Bells - YouTube:

Interview: Max Allan Collins, Co-Author Of 'Complex 90'

Interview: Max Allan Collins, Co-Author Of 'Complex 90' : NPR

Dr. Dean Brooks, R. I. P.

NYTimes.com: Dr. Dean Brooks, the superintendent of the Oregon psychiatric hospital where the Oscar-winning picture “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was shot — and who had a small, well-received on-screen role as the fictional hospital’s superintendent — died on Thursday at his home in Salem, Ore. He was 96.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Today's Vintage Ad


10 Amazing But Overlooked Innovations By Walt Disney

10 Amazing But Overlooked Innovations By Walt Disney 

PaperBack



Paul Renin, Love, R. & L. Locker, 1952

The World's Most Famous Literary Pub...Almost

The World's Most Famous Literary Pub...Almost

Great Covers and Great Re-titling

Damsel of the Dune Sea 

The Princess and the Scoundrel

The Purloined Plans

WINNERS for the Third Annual (2013) Peacemaker Awards

Western Fictioneers: Western Fictioneers (WF) is pleased to announce the WINNERS for the third annual (2013) Peacemaker Awards

4 of the early 20th century's wildest, most self-destructive celebrities

4 of the early 20th century's wildest, most self-destructive celebrities

Top 5 Disney star meltdowns

Top 5 Disney star meltdowns

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Courtship of Eddie's Father

MOVIE TRAILER -- "THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER" (1963) - YouTube:

Friday, May 31, 2013

Uh-Oh or OK?

There’s Going to Be Another ‘Blade Runner,’ and They’re Going to Try to Get Harrison Ford to Do It 

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Man bit wife's butt during argument, Palm Bay police say

The Con is On!

Top Suspense Group: The Con is On!

Walter Mosley Interview

Walter Mosley - By the Book

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

8 arrested after brawl at kindergarten graduation 

Black Gate Online Fiction Presents the Complete The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells

Black Gate Online Fiction Presents the Complete The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells

Coming Later This Year and Highly Recommended!

Paperback Confidential coverSTARK HOUSE PRESS: Paperback Confidential 978-1-933586-61-8 128 profiles of the men and women who wrote the books that became the backbone of the Pulp and Paperback Era from the 1930s through the 1960s. Here you will find information on the acknowledged masters like Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain and Cornell Woolrich... the rack mainstays like Gil Brewer, Brett Halliday, Day Keene, and Charles Williams... and the unjustly forgotten like Malcolm Braly, Elisabeth Sanxay Holding, Ennis Willie and Douglas Sanderson. Scheduled for September 2013.

Song of the Day

BILLY DON'T BE A HERO- by Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods (HD Audio/set to 720P) - YouTube:

Arrrrrrrrrr!

5 Ways Pirates Were Way More Modern Than You Realize

Today's Vintage Ad


10 Classic Undercover Movies

10 Classic Undercover Movies 

7 Incredible Tunnels… Used for Crime!!

7 Incredible Tunnels… Used for Crime!! 

PaperBack



Leo August, Super-Doll, Award Books, 1969

Alligator Infestation WBAGNFARB

Miss. alligator infestation lawsuit reinstated 

Giant Pink Slugs WBAGNFARB

TreeHugger: High on the dew-dampened peak of Mount Kaputar, in New South Wales, Australia, there exists a world distinct unto itself, an alpine forest populated by organisms found nowhere else on the planet. There, in that isolated mountaintop ecosystem, only a lucky few have chanced upon its most colorful inhabitant -- this giant, fluorescent pink slug.

10 Reasons Not to Be A Writer

10 Reasons Not to Be A Writer

First It Was the The Thin Mints Melee. . . .

Off her trolley! Elderly woman throws ALL her shopping at man in hilarious street argument caught on video

State bird improvements

State bird improvements: Replace cardinals and robins with warblers and hawks. 

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

I For One Welcome Our New Avian Overlords

Scientists find PIGEONS are capable of using a touchscreen in bizarre intelligence test

Criminal: The Books Behind the Notorious, Infamous and Scandalous

After the Big House by Fred BersonCriminal: The Books Behind the Notorious, Infamous and Scandalous on AbeBooks: It is among the darker facets of human nature that we are often unable to look away from a scandal. From the more innocuous fluff of celebrity gossip, to the darker fodder of murder, assault and kidnapping, we are often riveted.

Forgotten Books: The Secret Masters -- Gerald Kersh

Since this book was published in 1953, I must have read it that year or the next.  I remembered next to nothing about it except that I thought it was great at the time.  Reading it again now, I wonder how a kid of 12 or so managed to get through it at all.  I suspect that no kid now would read more than a page.  A lot of adults might not, either.

I'm almost 100% certain that no publisher would touch it in 2013.  Why? First of all there's the writing style.  I guarantee you that there are more semicolons per page in this book than you'll find in 100 thrillers written and published in the last decade.  And dashes and, well, here's a sample sentence from page 46: The Greek laughed richly, opening a bottle of Mavrodaphne, and said that it was necessary only to sit down at such-and-such a table and take it easy; the bookkeeper would be coming down to lunch in a few minutes: a harmless old man, "but with the figures, a whiz" -- he kissed his hand in ecstasy.  

It's the kind of book where characters speak for pages without interruption, scattering literary allusions from sources ancient and modern on every page, where paragraphs take up at least half a page and sometimes more, where there's considerably more telling than showing.

The plot? Well, it's timely enough.  A bunch of super-rich men, known as the Sciocrats, plan to take over the world.  Our Heroes might be able to stop them, but can they?  Sure, but it's not easy.  The last 1/4 of the book introduces the only real action in the story, and it's enough to make you think that Ian Fleming must have read the book and thought he could do something similar himself, but in a very different style.

This probably sounds like a negative review, and I guess it is.  Still, I got a kick out of the book.  Nostalgia was part of that, but I also enjoyed the humor, much of which must have gone over my head when I was a kid, as did many of the literary allusions.  Let me leave you with one paragraph that you might enjoy, tossed in when the police arrive on the scene:

Writers of crime fiction may have led you to assume that any detective worthy of the name must look like something else: he must live in dressing gowns, be slender, have a good nose for fine tobacco and a palate for good wine, know the difference between a drypoint and a mezzotint, have eccentricities, talk superior, and be able to distinguish a Dionysian tetradrachm by touch in the dark.  If it happens to be a gluttonous orchid-fancier, a jaw-bopping three-bottle-of-rye man, a violin-playing cocaine addict, a marasmic dandy who clips his Engilsh and rolls his own cigarettes with Bull Durham which he carries loose in his waistcoat pocket -- so much the better. It is just as well if he happens to be a Belgian with funny mustaches, or a pimplish Greek with a temperamental wife, or a satanic blond man who has a superhuman capacity for bourbon and bullets and is reluctantly compelled to knock somebody's teeth down his throat in every other chapter.  He may also be afflicted with locomotor ataxis, and play with bits of string in tea shops; or he may be a priest, a stupid-looking priest with dull gray eyes, of course, and a gampish umbrella.  In peacetime, he may even be a Japanese who will clap the Nami-Juji on a felon five times his size before you could say "Jack Diamond, or a fat Chinese who quotes Confucius.  Anything quiaint, anything out of character, anything but a policeman!

Bad Blonde

1953 BARBARA PAYTON BAD GIRL NOIR TRAILER - YouTube:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Robert J. Randisi Westerns on Sale at Amazon

Bob Randisi's publisher is having a big sale on Bob's westerns.  If you're looking for some good reading, you might want to check out some of the titles. There are a lot!

Joe Lansdale Update

Michael C. Hall Joins Revenge Thriller Cold In July 

The Pride of Livermore. . .

. . . and no, it's not Art Scott (though he certainly deserves that title).

This Lightbulb Started Burning When McKinley Was President

Self-publishing has become a cult

Self-publishing has become a cult

Andrew Greeley, R. I. P.

NYTimes.com: Andrew M. Greeley, a Roman Catholic priest and a prolific writer whose outpouring of sociological research, contemporary theology, controversial novels and no-holds-barred newspaper columns regularly challenged reigning assumptions about American Catholicism, was found dead on his Thursday at his home in Chicago. He was 85.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Yet Another List I'm Not On

10 reasons why so many people are moving to Texas

Hat tip to Rich Prosch.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Homeless man bites off Florida man’s ear in sudden attack

Yet Another Reason to Like Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton cherishes role of ‘Book Lady’ to thousands of kids 

Marvin Junior, R. I. P.

EURweb - Part 1: *Word has come to EUR that Mr. Marvin Junior, the long time surviving lead singer extraordinaire of the mighty, mighty Dells went home to glory today (05-29-13). He was 77. 

Junior died from kidney failure and had a weak heart, his son Marvin Junior Jr. told Chicago’s ABC7 TV. He says his father died surrounded by family in his home in Harvey around 3:15 pm on Wednesday afternoon.

Classic Books Annotated by Famous Authors

Classic Books Annotated by Famous Authors

This Explains a Lot

The best way to win an argument? Shout louder than everyone else and people will simply assume you're right 

My Brother, the Snake Wrangler


First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Man threatens to blow up state building’s misspelled sign 

Today's Vintage Ad


35 Things To Do With All Those Books

35 Things To Do With All Those Books

Ernest Hemingway's Reading List For Young Writers

Ernest Hemingway's Reading List For Young Writers

Dead Dudes Dig Dope

NBC News: Nearly two pounds of still-green plant material found in a 2,700-year-old grave in the Gobi Desert has just been identified as the world's oldest marijuana stash, according to a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Botany.

PaperBack



Les Scott, The Girl in the Black Chemise, Beacon, 1952



Texas Doesn't Lead the Way

Rare twin giraffes born on Texas ranch; second pair in U.S. and ninth worldwide 

Jeff Meyerson Take Note

40 Signs You Grew Up In Brooklyn

13 Pinterest-Famous Celebrity Quotes That Are Totally Fake

13 Pinterest-Famous Celebrity Quotes That Are Totally Fake

The Curious Evolution of the Typewriter, in Pictures

The Curious Evolution of the Typewriter, in Pictures

Mammoth Update

The first pictures of blood from a 10,000 year old Siberian woolly mammoth

Mosaic in Morocco: Inlaid Leather Bindings

The Pardoner's Tale by Geoffrey ChaucerMosaic in Morocco: Inlaid Leather Bindings on AbeBooks: Leather has been a common and traditional material used in bookbinding for centuries and centuries. It's pliable, can be stretched and cut easily, absorbs dye, and adds to the beauty and aesthetic appeal of a volume. While not without its problems - susceptibility to extreme temperatures, moisture and humidity, light exposure and more - leather is still often the binder's choice for fine jobs, though synthetic equivalents are popular as well as various cloths.

Bigfoot Update

Was a Bigfoot shot and killed in rural Pennsylvania? Conspiracy theorists go wild with speculation after local resident's 911 call

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Forgotten Music: "The Late Great Johnny Ace"

There's a Texas connection.  You can read his story here: Music History #23: "The Late Great Johnny Ace"

The Man Who Would Die

1942 LLOYD NOLAN DETECTIVE THRILLER TRAILER - YouTube:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jack Vance

The death of Jack Vance wasn't surprising, given his age, but like anybody else who admired his books, I sort of hoped he'd just keep on going forever.

I never met Vance in person, but I've been reading his novels and stories since around 1955. The first novel of his I remember reading is Big Planet, in the Ace Double edition of 1958. I read a lot more of them after that, and I never read one I didn't like.  In the early '70s, I ran across another Ace book, The Fox Valley Murders, by John Holbrook Vance.  I knew that was Jack Vance's full name, so I grabbed the book and read it. It's about Joe Bain, a sheriff in a small county in California. I really liked it, and I don't doubt that there's something of Joe Bain in Sheriff Dan Rhodes.

A year or so ago, maybe a bit more, out of the blue, I got a phone call from Vance.  I told him how much I loved his books, and he mentioned that he liked mine, too. What a great feeling that was. He told me that he could no longer write because of his near blindness, but that he could still make music.  To prove it, he played me a number on the uke and kazoo. Fun stuff.  He called again a couple of times, and each time was as much of a thrill for me as the last. He made a old guy feel like a fanboy again.

If you've never read anything by Vance, I hardly know where you should start.  Maybe with The Dying Earth, a wonderful collection that influenced generations of fantasy writers.  Or with just about anything.  You can hardly go wrong with Vance, either for the story or the writing. What a stylist the guy was, one of the best ever.  Even though he was 96, he left way too soon.


Amelia Earhart Update

Amelia Earhart's plane found? Sonar images may have pinpointed wreckage

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Well, almost.

Texas Could End Up Leading the Country on Electronic Privacy 

Jack Vance, R. I. P.

Jack Vance Website - Home: Jack Vance passed away at home on the evening of Sunday May 26, 2013, ending a long, rich and productive life. Recognized most widely as an author, family and friends also knew a generous, large-hearted, rugged, congenial, hard-working, optimistic and unpretentious individual whose curiosity, sense of wonder and sheer love of life were an inspiration in themselves. Author, friend, father and grandfather – there will never be another like Jack Vance.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . . .

Angry Mom Fed Poisoned Burritos to Family, Police Say

Hat tip to Walter Satterthwait. 

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Attention to Books of Interest


Listen to a podcast featuring Barry here.

Streets of Blood (Dead Man #18): Barry Napier, Lee Goldberg, William Rabkin: Amazon.com: 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. 

An elderly, bed-ridden woman in a retirement home is having nightmares of a dark, devilish entity tormenting her and her childhood friends in a dreamscape that's as familiar to her as it is terrifying. She's not the only one having the dreams. Matt Cahill is, too, and when he arrives in town, he discovers a community torn apart by gruesome violence, its residents in the grip of an evil force unlike any Matt has encountered before...one that's even beyond the touch of Mr. Dark.

Solving Cold Cases at the Detectives’ Lunch Club

Solving Cold Cases at the Detectives’ Lunch Club 

Uh-Oh

The Flintstones wrestle their way back to big screen: The Hanna-Barbera favourites are set for another film adventure, courtesy of World Wrestling Entertainment

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.

Didn't Nic Cage Do This in a Movie?

Drunk attempts bank heist in underpants mask

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

It Was Handy When He Wanted to Jot Something Down

German clinic: Man had pencil in head for 15 years 

Hat tip to Art Scott, who says, "Wasn't Pencil Head a Dick Tracy villain?"

Django Unchained

Okay, so I watched this one the other day, and I thought about some of the things I'd heard about its historical inaccuracies and such, and it occurred to me that they're not inaccuracies at all because the movie takes place in a parallel universe.  

Right at the beginning we see writing on the screen that says the year is 1858 "two years before the beginning of the Civil War."  Right away we know that we're in a parallel universe, since the Civil War in this universe started in 1861, three years after the time of the movie.  

Also, Lubbock, Texas, is mentioned.  Lubbock didn't exist in this universe in 1858 or for about 20 years after that date.  So that's another clue.

And we learn that the opening scene is set somewhere in East Texas and that the closest town is 37 miles away.  A wounded guy later asks to be taken to the doctor in El Paso, which is more like 837 miles away in our world. So, parallel universe.

Check out the weapons used in the movie by just about anybody.  Did they exist in our world in 1858.  Nope.  Mandingo fighters?  Same thing.

So this was one of the big SF movies of last year.  I thought it was okay.  I especially liked one scene, the one that was obviously a direct steal from a homage to Joe Lansdale.

I Miss the Old Days

Amazing Psychedelic Vintage Norwegian Sci-Fi Book Covers

Song of the Day

JIMMY BEAUMONT-EV'RYBODY'S CRYIN'(MAY 112).wmv - YouTube:

Top 10 Crazy Cool Catacombs

Top 10 Crazy Cool Catacombs

Today's Vintage Ad


“The Wonderful, Terrible, Mysterious West”

“The Wonderful, Terrible, Mysterious West” (by Susan Salzer) 

10 Entertainment Careers Cut Short By Unsolved Mysteries

10 Entertainment Careers Cut Short By Unsolved Mysteries 

West of the Big River: The Avenging Angel by Michael Newton

Western Fictioneers: West of the Big River: The Avenging Angel by Michael Newton

PaperBack



Rod Gray (Gardner F. Fox), The Lady from L.U.S.T. #17: Easy Ride, Belmont Tower, 1974

Eddie Muller, the Czar of Noir, returns to TCM

Mystery Fanfare: Eddie Muller, the Czar of Noir, returns to TCM

Creepy Myths, Curses and Urban Legends of Hollywood

Creepy Myths, Curses and Urban Legends of Hollywood 

Those Gators Really Are Everywhere

Blogger claims creature with tail seen in NASA photo from Mars


Hat tip to Art Scott.

Walter Mosley: The Magic Of Pulp Fiction

Walter Mosley: The Magic Of Pulp Fiction

Hat tip to Michael Gonzales.

Paris Hilton Update

Aloha! Paris Hilton dons a floral girly dress as she and boyfriend River Viiperi finally arrive in Hawaii after disastrous trip back from Cannes

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Most Lucrative Song Ever

Welcome to ‘Margaritaville,’ the Most Lucrative Song Ever

Uh-Oh

First Tonto and now this:

Johnny Depp To Star in "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" Remake

10 Cultural Forces That Are Dead Or Dying

10 Cultural Forces That Are Dead Or Dying

My Bet? They'll Raze It.

Houston’s Astrodome May Be Dirty and Dated, but It Is Irreplaceable

Phantom Legion

1951 GOVERNMENT AGENTS SERIAL TRAILER - YouTube:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Didn't half the SF movies in the '50s begin like this?

Canadian scientists revive ‘Little Ice Age’ plant frozen 400 years under glacier ice

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Woman accused of attacking man with pink baseball bat 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Give This Youngster a Listen

▶ Paige Shannon: Singer/Song writer, Paige Shannon is releasing her first EP titled, "13". Don't let her age fool you. The EP consists of incredible vocals, complimented by folk-style acoustic melodies.13 - EP cover art

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

NYTimes.com: The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, punched a constituent in the face after being called the Portuguese equivalent of “excrement” in a dispute before stunned diners at a Japanese restaurant.

I Miss the Old Days

Hilarious Lingo From The 1940s

Song of the Day

Three Friends - Dedicated to the Songs I Love.wmv - YouTube:

10 Books With Far Reaching Effects

10 Books With Far Reaching Effects 

Today's Vintage Ad

Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton) 1985 - YouTube:

10 More Unfortunate Grammar And Spelling Mistakes

10 More Unfortunate Grammar And Spelling Mistakes

Kasey Lansdale Update

Restless, the new Kasey Lansdale album - YouTube:

PaperBack



Lonnie Coleman, Sam, Pyramid, 1960

The Origin of the Bigfoot Legend

The Origin of the Bigfoot Legend

The Way We Live Now

Suspicious package found on Scottsdale tennis court posed no threat: Twenty firefighters responded to the scene. 

Hazardous material technicians monitored the area and Scottsdale police had a K-9 sniff the suspicious item but nothing hazardous was found. 

Authorities determined it was an empty U.S. Postal Service box that posed no hazard or threat.

Typewriter Update

Typewriter aficionados and the rebirth of slow writing 

Archaeology Update (Hairdo Edition)

Baltimore ‘hairdo archeologist’ cracks Roman hairdressing code: Janet Stephens likes to say she has a secret identity. By day she’s a mild-mannered hairdresser in Baltimore, Maryland. But a museum trip led her to become a “hairdo archeologist,” unraveling the secrets of the elaborate braided hairstyles favored by women in ancient Rome.

Life Imitates Art

Moonshine Is Growing in the U.S., and Big Whiskey Wants a Taste 

Robert Vaughan Interview

Romancing The West with Jacquie Rogers: Robert Vaughan: When Hell Came to Texas #western

Edwardian First Editions

The Ghost Kings by H Rider Haggard (1908)AbeBooks: Edwardian First Editions: The Edwardian era began with Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 and stretched until 1910 when Edward VII died. A mere nine years hardly constitutes anything worthwhile but it was a period of immense change and memorable literature. 


First editions from this era are plentiful and easy to find. First editions, complete with dust jackets, from this era are scarce and more expensive.

Overlooked Movies -- Steamboat Round the Bend

I didn't think Steamboat Round the Bend was on DVD, but it turns out that it is, though it was made available only recently. Probably one reason it wasn't available is the last name on the poster at the left. Stepin Fetchit isn't exactly the most PC character in movies from this era, and this one's no exception.  Still, he's featured in one significant scene that makes fun of the Old South in an unexpected way (especially in 1935, the year this movie was released).

Judy and I watched Steamboat Round the Bend on Public Television many years ago, and there are parts of it that we've never forgotten.  We even quote it to each other now and then.  One reason I enjoyed it was that I'd never seen Will Rogers in a movie before, and he was still remembered and talked about by a lot of people in my family as I was growing up.  My father was a bit of an aviation buff as a boy, and a story he repeated often was about the time he met Wiley Post, the pilot of the plane in the crash that killed both him and Rogers in the same year this movie appeared.

The plot involves Rogers as a con man whose nephew is in real trouble. Rogers needs to raise some money to pay the nephew's legal fees, so he puts some wax dummies from a defunct museum in a steamboat and travels the Mississippi, pulling at small towns to exhibit his dummies and make a little money.  Each stop leads to some (usually) humorous situation, but the laughs are not generally the slapstick kind.  It's gentle humor, which is in keeping with Rogers' persona.  Some of the other players get most of the laughs, in fact.  The movie was directed by John Ford, so if you think it's going to be melodramatic and sentimental, you won't be disappointed.

Will Rogers wasn't a trained actor, or much of an actor at all, but he does just fine playing someone who's more or less himself.  I was interested to see Irwin S. Cobb, who's better known (to me, anyway) as a writer than an actor. He's just fine, and so is the rest of the supporting cast.  Most of them are better than good.

Steamboat Round the Bend is going on 80 years old now, so it's definitely old-fashioned.  I can't imagine an audience of young people sitting still for it, but for an old guy like me, it's just fine.  I love the look of the steamboats and the river, and it would be hard to get that look now, if not impossible.  If you're up for a bit of nostalgia, check this one out.

Marshall Lytle, R. I. P.

Marshall Lytle, bass player for Comets and Jodimars, dies at 79: When rock ’n’ roll pioneer Bill Haley refused to give three members of his Comets band $50-a-week raises in 1955, he opened the door for those talented musicians to walk out and create what became a Las Vegas lounge act legend — the Jodimars.

Steamboat Round the Bend

1935 WILL ROGERS TRAILER - YouTube:

Monday, May 27, 2013

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Attention to Books of Interest

Amazon.com: Get Hit, Hit Back (Fight Card) eBook: Jack Tunney, John Kenyon, Paul Bishop, Mel Odom: Kindle Store: Ottumwa, Iowa 1954 

Griffin McCann's small-town world is rocked when the bank where he works as a guard is robbed. He chases the robbers out of the bank and into a gun battle, leaving one hood dead and one on the lam. Left alone with a dead robber and a bag full of cash, McCann makes a rash decision ... 

Knowing he’s made a bad mistake, McCann wants to return the money, but life is never that simple. He needs a plan, so he turns to the one thing he knows best – boxing. Now, his moment of weakness has put him in the ring against a deadly opponent who wants to destroy him. 

But McCann remembers the most important thing Father Tim, the battling priest, taught him back at St. Vincent’s Asylum For Boys in Chicago: When you get hit, hit back ...

Morris Renek, R. I. P.

NYTimes.com: Morris Renek, a critically admired New York novelist who wrote comic tales about historical criminals and modern urban life but never achieved the commercial success many thought he deserved, died on May 10 in Manhattan. He was 88.

5 Celebrities You Won't Believe Were Badass Soldiers

Using the term soldiers loosely.

5 Celebrities You Won't Believe Were Badass Soldiers 

Australia Update

WSJ.com: A fading mining boom may be taking the gloss off Australia's resource-rich economy but the country has retained the title of happiest industrialized nation in the world.

Song of the Day

FRED DARIAN - Johnny Willow (1961) - YouTube:

Everything I Know, I Learned from Edgar Allan Poe

Everything I Know, I Learned from Edgar Allan Poe 

Today's Vintage Ad


12 Words English Got from the Aztecs

12 Words English Got from the Aztecs

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Rice ruckus lands PSL woman in sticky situation: An apparent flap over rice between sisters erupted into a battle involving an iron, a pot and a broomstick, according to statements in a recently released arrest affidavit.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Sic the Chupacabras on 'em!

Hey, Kanye! Don't Mess With The Alamo! --Signed, San Antonio

New York, New York!

‘Hot Dog Hooker’ busted after driving wiener truck to hotel encounter

And Keep Off His Lawn!

Outnumbered by the girls, he's the last man standing: With the death in Barbados on Thursday of James Emmanuel ''Doc'' Sisnett, at the age of 113 years and 90 days, Jiroemon Kimura, of Japan, has become the last man alive to have been born in the 19th century.

PaperBack



Murray Leinster, Men into Space, Berkley, 1960

Cave Art Update

Ancient cave art unearthed in Mexico: In the mountains of northeastern Mexico, archaeologists have unearthed thousands of ancient paintings on the walls of caves and ravines from a time before Spanish rule.

10 Craziest Disguises Used To Commit a Crime

10 Craziest Disguises Used To Commit a Crime

I Miss the Old Days

Paris Hilton plunders the '70s for fashion inspiration as she jets out of LAX in floppy hat and maxi dress

Hat tip to fashion maven Jeff Meyerson.

8 Movies that Changed Movies

8 Movies that Changed Movies 

So True, So True

The Advantages of an English Major

Memorial Day

Memorial Day History: Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

The.Black.Cat

The.Black.Cat.1941 - MovieTrailer - YouTube:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Here's the Plot for Your Next Con Man Thriller

Fake cop scams seniors out of nearly half a million dollars with faux ‘sting operations’ | The Raw Story: Police in Washington state are searching for a man who they say has scammed seniors out of nearly a half a million dollars by pretending to be a police officer, recruiting unsuspecting victims for faux “sting operations” involving large cash transfers. 

It begins as a phone scam, police told The Seattle Post Intelligencer. Introducing himself as either Sgt. Drumbowski or Capt. Jack Truska, the conman preys mainly on elderly women with claims of a counterfeit money investigation that he needs help with.

New Story at BEAT TO A PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: The Big Lug :: Patti Abbott

Moon Dust Update

Lost Apollo 11 moon dust found in storage 

Ed Shaughnessy, R. I. P.

'Tonight Show' Drummer Ed Shaughnessy Dies at 84 - The Hollywood Reporter: Ed Shaughnessy, a longtime drummer for The Tonight Show band, died at age 84 of a heart attack while at home Friday in Calabasas, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reports.

The jazz drummer played in Doc Severinsen's band from 1963 to 1992. Shaughnessy performed drums for artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, and Oscar Peterson, the Percussive Arts Society noted in a hall of fame profile.

Hat tip to Doc Quatermass.

Here's the Plot for Your Next Great ImposterThriller

And once again Texas leads the way.

Fort Worth police say ‘Colonel Mike’ created an elaborate ruse about a military ca...

The 6 Most Hilarious Ways People Breached Airport Security

The 6 Most Hilarious Ways People Breached Airport Security

Song of the Day

(HE'S) THE GREAT IMPOSTOR ~ The Fleetwoods 1961 - YouTube:

Top 10 Movie Monsters Designed By Ray Harryhausen

Top 10 Movie Monsters Designed By Ray Harryhausen

Today's Vintage Ad


Edgar Allan Poe Update

Edgar Allan Poe: A letter to a fan in which he tells the story of Virginia Poe's death.

20 Highbrow Books to Read on the Beach This Summer

20 Highbrow Books to Read on the Beach This Summer 

PaperBack



W. R. Burnett, The Asphalt Jungle, Pocket Books, 1961

How to Fly the American Flag

How to Fly the American Flag

Illuminated Manuscripts on AbeBooks

Seder Keriā€™ath Shema Alha-Mitah (Prayers before Retiring at Night) by Jospe ben Meyer Schmalkalden of MainzIlluminated Manuscripts on AbeBooks: The word manuscript comes from the Latin manu scriptum, which translates literally to "written with hands". It typically refers to any document produced manually, through handwriting, chiseling or other method, without the use of machines. 

An illuminated manuscript is any manuscript whose text is accompanied by decoration. It originally referred only to silver or gilt adornments, but came to be acceptable terminology for any manuscript with drawings, paintings or decorations such as ornate initials, borders, floral accoutrements and the like. Often the illuminations would depict a historical or rural/pastoral scene.

Forrest J. Ackerman and the Days of the Do-It-Yourself Anthology

Forrest J. Ackerman and the Days of the Do-It-Yourself Anthology

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Six Flags Over Texas Amusement Park: World's highest swing ride opens taking thrill-seekers 400 FEET in the air

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Billy the Kid in Santa Fe

BILLY THE KID IN SANTA FE TRAILER 1941 BOB STEELE - YouTube: