Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Lincoln Memorial Undercroft

Lincoln Memorial Undercroft: A cavernous three-story, 43,800-square-foot basement that was forgotten about for 60 years.

Song of the Day

(10) Glen Campbell & Roy Clark Play 'Ghost Riders in the Sky' - YouTube:

The Mysterious Deaths of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

The Mysterious Deaths of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: Uncovered Manuscript Says They Didn't Die in a Bolivian Gunfight

Today's Vintage Ad


10 Ridiculous Feats of Literature

10 Ridiculous Feats of Literature: Instead of judging works of literature based on their artistic merit, we’ve decided to rank them by degree of difficulty. These 10 authors may not be Shakespeare, but they sure had vaulting ambitions.

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Robert McLaughlin, The Notion of Sin, Fawcett Crest, 1960



I Miss the Old Days

The 11 Most Iconic Hairstyles and Stars of the 1960s

In Conversation with The Digest Enthusiast’s Richard Krauss

In Conversation with The Digest Enthusiast’s Richard Krauss | Trace Evidence: Richard Krauss is the editor and designer of Larque Press’s The Digest Enthusiast, which has appeared twice yearly since 2015. In today’s post, associate editor Jackie Sherbow talks with Richard about his work and the world of digest magazines

Bonus FFB on Wednesday: The Long Haul -- Anthony Johnston (writer) & Eduardo Barreto (artist)

As you may have guessed, this is a graphic novel.  And it's a nice hybrid of a western and a caper novel.  All the elements of the caper are present: the main character and his antagonist, the recruitment of the team members (each one with a special skill), the pulling of the caper, and even an epilogue that lets you know what becomes of the characters after the event.  

What's the event, you ask?  Here's the way one of the characters puts it:  "So all we have to do is break into an unbreakable [train] car, open an unopenable safe, avoid fourteen Pinkertons, then hightail it out of there within fifteen minutes?"  To make it even trickier than that sounds, the train the safe weights 2000 pounds and can't be blown open, the train it's on can't be stopped, and telegraphers report on the progress of the train every so often so that everyone knows it's on schedule.

I don't supposed that it's spoilery to say that things don't go exactly as planned, and I also don't think it's spoilery to say that in the end everything works out just as you'd probably want it to.

Author Johnston is the creator of the comic book on which the film Atomic Blonde is based, so he's probably much better known now than he was when he wrote The Long Haul.  Reading it was a lot of fun.  And so was looking at the pictures.  Artist Barreto is great at doing clear, detailed work that's perfect for the story being told.  If you're looking for a good western and a good caper story all in one, this is it.  Check it out.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Health Update

I don't like writing these things even when there's good news, so I'll keep this short.  My most recent test results at M.D. Anderson weren't good.  Those pricey pills didn't get the job done.  The upshot is that I'll be having chemo by infusion again as soon as the arrangements can be made.  This will be different from the first chemo, a cocktail of two different drugs.  What fun.  As ever, all good thoughts, prayers, and karma (not to mention cash) is appreciated.  Love to all.

Cracking the History of L'eggs Pantyhose

Cracking the History of L'eggs Pantyhose 

Song of the Day

(11) The Lovin' Spoonful - Summer In The City (1966) - YouTube:

Ernest Hemingway’s Guide to Life, In 20 Quotes

Ernest Hemingway’s Guide to Life, In 20 Quotes

Today's Vintage Ad


26 Things We're All Going To Forget About In 10 Years

26 Things We're All Going To Forget About In 10 Years

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Peggy Gaddis, Temptation, Venus Books, 1950

I Miss the Old Days

1980s San Francisco: A Cool Women Fashion Collection Taken by an American Photographer

5 World-Famous Landmarks (That Have Totally Weirdo Secrets)

5 World-Famous Landmarks (That Have Totally Weirdo Secrets)

Overlooked Movies -- Lost Horizon

Okay, I know it's not overlooked, but I wanted to write a little about it since I'd read the novel recently and since TCM obliged by showing Frank Capra's 1937 version starring Ronald Colman.  The introduction says that Capra turned in a six-hour movie.  What was he thinking?  I have no idea.  He edited it down to three hours plus, but the previews weren't encouraging.  Harry Cohn took it away from him and edited it himself. It's complicated, and I'm not sure who created the final version, which comes in at a bit over two hours.  Even part of that version has been lost, but the restoration shown on TCM covers the missing few minutes with stills from the production.  The entire soundtrack was preserved, so we do have the words that cover the missing scenes.

The plot of the movie changes that of the book considerably, and the opening action scenes are truly impressive.  So is the B&W photography throughout.  So is the acting, for the most part.  I've seen a good bit of Ronald Colman lately, and he's never been better than here.  The only questionable player is Isabell Jewell, who seemed to be to overact egregiously in the first part of the film.

While the plot has been changed from the book, the theme is the same, and some of the ideas expressed in the book are quoted almost directly in the movie.  Some of the plot changes are for the better, as they clarify points or explain some things better than the novel itself.  As for the ending, well, I suppose some people will like the ending of the movie better than the one in the book, but I'm not sure it's an improvement.  Anyway, a great movie, highly recommended.

LOST HORIZON (1937) Reissue trailer

(10) LOST HORIZON (1937) Reissue trailer - YouTube:

Monday, July 24, 2017

Endgame -- Bill Pronzini

A couple of weeks ago I found myself in the ER at M. D. Anderson for what turned out to be a kidney infection.  Since I walked in under my own power and wasn't in serious pain, the triage nurse didn't give me a very high priority.  I was put on a rolling bed, taken to the area where the rooms are, and shoved up against a desk, where I remained for the next six hours.  Luckily I'd had the foresight to take a book with me, and luckily it was a book that could hold my attention while people were constantly coming and going.  The book was Bill Pronzini's latest Nameless novel, Endgame.

The agency has two cases in this one.  Jake Runyon's handling one of them, in which a man's body is found inside a locked and barred cabin.  Clearly he died by accident, right?  That's what everybody thinks until Runyon shows up.  He thinks it's murder.

Nameless is working a case in which a woman has disappeared.  Her husband says she couldn't have left on her own because of her extreme agoraphobia.  When her body is found, he's arrested for murder, and Nameless is his only hope.

Over the years the personal lives of Nameless and his operatives have become as important to the stories as the cases the agency works, and it's good to see a good bit of that kind of thing included here.  I found the book gripping and entertaining.  It got me through an unpleasant time, and I can't think of a better recommendation than that.

10 Terrifying Facts About the Yakuza

10 Terrifying Facts About the Yakuza

Song of the Day

(8) 1959 HITS ARCHIVE: The All American Boy - Bill Parsons (Bobby Bare) - YouTube:

The Sunken World

The Sunken World Hiding Under the Water's Surface: 27 drowned places that used to be above ground.

Today's Vintage Ad


Cool Looking Castles In And Around Los Angeles

Cool Looking Castles In And Around Los Angeles: The castles of Los Angeles aren't limited to Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland (which is actually in Anaheim, not L.A.) or Hogwarts Castle at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter inside Universal Studios Hollywood.

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Wilson Tucker, To Keep or Kill, Lion Library, 1956

The Most Anthologized Short Stories of All Time

The Most Anthologized Short Stories of All Time

I Miss the Old Days

America's Malls and Department Stores Are Dying Off: Why the Death of Malls Is About More Than Shopping

Voynich manuscript update

Author of mysterious Voynich manuscript was Italian Jew, says scholar: One of the world’s most confounding literary mysteries may finally be, in part, solved: the author of the mysterious and as-yet untranslatable Voynich manuscript has been identified as a Jewish physician based in northern Italy, an expert in medieval manuscripts has claimed.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Illuminating the Secret Language of Lightning Bugs

Illuminating the Secret Language of Lightning Bugs: Lightning bug lamps can glow yellow, orange or, as is the case with the ghosts, even shades bordering on electric blue. They can appear as single blinks or long, glowing trails. Some fireflies will flicker when threatened by a predator or caught in a spiderweb. Others light up to compete with rivals or after they’ve been rejected by a suitor. Some females are completely dark, while others offer flickers to let males know they’re on the market.

Song of the Day

(10) The Statler Brothers - Turn Your Radio On - YouTube:

La, La, La, Can't Hear You

The Cautionary Tale of the Harlem Hoarders

Today's Vintage Ad


22 Facts About Ernest Hemingway

22 Facts About Ernest Hemingway 

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Edgar Walton, The Night-Club Mystery, Red Seal

AbeBooks' Most Expensive Sales of April, May & June 2017

AbeBooks' Most Expensive Sales of April, May & June 2017

Agatha Christie’s Fiery Letters

Agatha Christie’s Fiery Letters Offer New Glimpse Into the Queen of Crime

Debunking the Mechanical Turk Helped Set Edgar Allan Poe on the Path to Mystery Writing

Debunking the Mechanical Turk Helped Set Edgar Allan Poe on the Path to Mystery Writing

Saturday, July 22, 2017

John Heard, R. I. P.

ABC News: Actor John Heard, whose many roles included the father in the "Home Alone" series and a corrupt detective in "The Sopranos," has died. He was 71.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

And Also Make a Fashion Statement

Listen to Radio on the Go With This Strange 1931 Hat

Song of the Day

(8) Rosanne Cash - Tennessee Flat Top Box - YouTube:

Old Car City

Old Car City: One of the world's largest automobile junkyards is a unique landscape of metal and moss. 

Today's Vintage Ad


10 Gods of Death, Destruction, and the Underworld

10 Gods of Death, Destruction, and the Underworld

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Kermit Welles (Manning Lee Stokes), Gambler's Girl, Original Novels, 1951

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The 10 Best TV Shows on Amazon Prime

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot Last Week

9-year-old's stumble leads to million-year-old fossil discovery

Clancy Sigal, R. I. P.

The New York Times: The first time Clancy Sigal went to jail he was 5. His mother, a Socialist union organizer, had been arrested in Chattanooga, Tenn., for violating social and legal norms when she convened a meeting of black and white female textile workers. Hauled away to the jailhouse, she took Clancy with her.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

When New York City Rioted Over Hamlet Being Too British

When New York City Rioted Over Hamlet Being Too British: In the deadly Astor Place Riot, how to perform Shakespeare served as a proxy for class warfare

Friday, July 21, 2017

At 100, Andrew Wyeth Still Brushes People the Right (and Wrong) Way

At 100, Andrew Wyeth Still Brushes People the Right (and Wrong) Way

Song of the Day

(8) Rodney Crowell -- She's Crazy For Leavin' - YouTube:

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The Funniest Town Name in All 50 States

Today's Vintage Ad


I Miss the Old Days

61 Intimate Snapshots Document Everyday Life of Middle-Aged Americans in the 1960s

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Norman Bligh, Over Night (Harlot in Her Heart), Venus Books, 1952

Ten Ways to Organize Your Bookshelf

Ten Ways to Organize Your Bookshelf

The Best of Cordwainer Smith, edited by J. J. Pierce

The Best of Cordwainer Smith, edited by J. J. Pierce

FFB: Ross Macdonald's Inward Journey -- Ralph B. Sipper, Editor

Ross Macdonald isn't much read or discussed these days, and when I do see references to him by younger readers, they don't seem to be much impressed with his work.  That's quite a change from past decades, including the 1980s when Ross Macdonald's Inward Journey was published.  The book includes two previously unpublished essays by Macdonald himself and a short but quite poignant one by his wife, Margaret Millar; however in the main it's a tribute to Macdonald's life and work by other writers.  Those who don't think that Macdonald was one of the greats might want to consider what these writers have to say.  I'll give a few examples.

Robert B. Parker:  "It's not just that Ross Macdonald taught us how to write; he did something much more, he taught us how to read, and how to think about life, and maybe, in some small, but mattering way, how to live."

Thomas Berger:  "Ross Macdonald's work has consistently nourished me, at home and abroad.  I have turned to it often to hear what I should like to call the justice of its voice and to be enlightened by its imagination, and, not incidentally, superbly entertained."

Collin Wilcox: "I own Ken Millar more than I can ever repay."

Paul Nelson:  "I remember thinking we come to his novels for comfort in the disaster of our lives, knowing that he and Archer have seen us -- and worse than us -- and will dispense mercy and kindness or, if they turn us over, at least understand."

And so on.  Some of the writers were even inspired to write poems instead of essays.  I've been a fan of Macdonald's work since the first time I picked up one of his books, more than 50 years ago.  Reading Ross Macdonald's Inward Journey reminded me again of why I liked his work so much.  It might do the same for you.  And if you've never read his books, don't read this book first.  Read one of Macdonald's novels first.  The sooner, the better.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Festival: Crime Novel of the Year

Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Festival: Crime Novel of the Year

Top 10 Origins Of Popular Desserts

Top 10 Origins Of Popular Desserts

Song of the Day

(7) Paul Simon - Loves Me Like A Rock - YouTube:

70 People Were Harmed In The Making Of This Film

70 People Were Harmed In The Making Of This Film 

Today's Vintage Ad


Hunka, Hunka Burnin' Iron

Hunka, Hunka Burnin' Iron: Elvis Presley’s firearms set world records.

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E. C. Tubb, City of No Return, Scion Books, 1954

The Debuts and Early Performances of 20 Future Stars

The Debuts and Early Performances of 20 Future Stars: The most famous show business performers in history are no different than the unknowns, the obscures and the lesser knowns. Every performer has one thing in common- they all made their debut somewhere or other, whether auspicious or less so. Like they say, everyone has to start some place. Let's take a look at the show biz debuts and earliest performances of twenty stars.

I Miss the Old Days

45 Glamorous Snapshots Capture Women in Swimsuits at Beaches during the 1950s

"They say there's always magic in the air . . ."

Machete-Swinging MTA Worker Arrested After Brawling With Man Holding Trash Can on Broadway

 Annoying auto-start video.

Red West, R. I. P.

Red West, Elvis Presley's friend and film and TV actor, dies: MEMPHIS — Red West, the longtime and sometimes critical confidante and bodyguard of Elvis Presley who became a successful film and television actor after the singer's death, died Tuesday night after suffering an aortic aneurysm at Baptist Hospital. He was 81.  

Annoying auto-start video.

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot Last Week

Tomb of King Tutankhamun’s wife’s likely discovered, archaeologists say

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

American Guano: Never Put It Down

American Guano: Never Put It Down: The reason that the United States has control of so many random islands has much to do with an odd law passed just a few years before the Civil War.

Song of the Day

(7) Neil Young - Old Man - YouTube:

I Miss the Old Days

1960s Interior Decor: The Decade of Psychedelia Gave Rise to Inventive and Bold Interior Design

Today's Vintage Ad


England's Massive Chalk Horse Has Survived 3,000 Years

Against All Odds, England's Massive Chalk Horse Has Survived 3,000 Years 

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Norman Bligh, The Conquest of Margie, Cameo Books, 1951

I Didn't Remember This

Her Other Forte: Comedian Phyllis Diller Was Also a Concert Pianist 

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot Last Week

8 New Ancient Ships Found at the 'Shipwreck Capital of the World' 

FFB on Wednesday -- Jack of Eagles -- James Blish

Jack of Eagles is an origin story about a man named Danny Caiden, who has great psi powers and is learning to harness them.  Psi powers were a very big thing in the '50s SF digests that I read, especially Astounding, I believe.  It's a short book, but it's also a kitchen-sink book, with just about everything you could ask for in the way of psi powers being tossed in: Rhine cards, the Fortean Society, fortune telling, a romance, gypsies, travel into possible futures, lots of action, pseudo-scientific and mathematical explanations for psi powers, predicting the future, and probably a few other things I've forgotten. 

The action comes from the shady Brotherhood that wants to use Caiden to change the future so that they can be in control of the world.  Several of the Brotherhood also have strong psi powers, so the battles are tough ones.  The members of the Brotherhood have only one psi power each, though, and Caiden has them all.

The book is short and fast, and it was well-reviewed when it appeared.  It's dated  now, but if you're in the right frame of mind, it can be fun.  And did I mention that it was short?  Always a virtue in my mind.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Paging Sheriff Rhodes

Man shoots mammoth 820 pound wild hog in his front yard

'District 9' director uses YouTube to distribute his Steam-funded sci-fi series

'District 9' director uses YouTube to distribute his Steam-funded sci-fi series

Song of the Day

(1) You're So Fine-The Falcons-original song-1959 - YouTube:

10 Writing Rules You Can (and Should) Break

10 Writing Rules You Can (and Should) Break

Today's Vintage Ad


I Miss the Old Days

39 Awful Photos of '80s Hairstyles You Will Definitely Not Want to Try Even Once

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Seth Bailey, The Hand in the Cobbler's Safe, Bart House, 1944

On Marvel's First Female Superhero Written By A Woman

On Marvel's First Female Superhero Written By A Woman

When 1980s Satanic Panic Targeted Procter & Gamble

When 1980s Satanic Panic Targeted Procter & Gamble: The company spent decades battling false claims that it was in league with the Devil.

Overlooked Movies: Range Beyond the Blue

For some reason TCM showed a bunch of Eddie Dean westerns the other night, and Range Beyond the Blue was among them. Eddie and his trusty comic sidekick, Soapy (Roscoe Ates) happen upon a stage holdup and prevent the outlaws from taking the gold shipment. They accompany the stage into town and learn from the lovely young owner of the line, Margie Rodgers (Helen Mowery), that every time she has a gold shipment, the stage is robbed. Her uncle says that proves there’s inside info being given out and offers to buy the line (you’ll need only one guess as to who the villain is).

The town's sheriff is wounded and can’t perform his duties, so Eddie suggests that Soapy be made acting sheriff. Everyone thinks that’s a fine idea for some reason. Eddie goes undercover and finds out who the villain is, and the villain kills him. But don’t worry. Eddie’s only faking it, and it all works out in the end, where it’s revealed that Eddie and Soapy are actually federal marshals. If you’re wondering about the title, at the very end Eddie is asked if he’ll ever settle down, and he says, not until I reach the place in this song, whereupon he breaks into “Range Beyond the Blue.”  Pretty sneaky, huh?

No trailer for this one, I'm sorry to say.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Will the Persecution Never End?

Paris Hilton on being recognized as a 'ditzy dumb blonde': 'It annoys me'  

Hat tip to John Duke.

Middlegate Station – Fallon, Nevada

Middlegate Station – Fallon, Nevada: Founded in 1857 by James Simpson, the restaurant that stands today was once an active station and rest stop along the historic Pony Express Trail, serving horses and their riders alike. Due to its location between two gate-like cuts in the mountains—known as Eastgate and Westgate—this station became�known as Middlegate Station.

Song of the Day

The Capris -There's A Moon Out Tonight - YouTube:

Five famous musicians who are also science stars

Five famous musicians who are also science stars 

Today's Vintage Ad


Me, Me, Me, Me, Me!

Bill Crider 071617: For more than four decades Bill Crider has had a following of Texas readers—and for more than twenty novels Crider’s Sheriff Dan Rhodes has been holding his own with the likes of such sleuths as Stephanie Plum and Kinsey Milhone. The Alvin, Texas, “retiree” whose most recent novel came out in August talked with us via email about writing, Sheriff Dan, and what’s next, in this week’s Lone Star Listens.

PaperBack



Clyde Alliston (William Knoles), Our Man from Sadisto, Ember Library, 1065

I Miss the Old Days

The Seventies: The Decade When Male Fashion Made Men Less Masculine

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot Last Week

10 Amazing Backyard Discoveries: Everyone dreams of making an amazing discovery. Some people are lucky enough to find incredible objects hidden in their backyard. Others are even luckier and find treasure lying on their lawn. The following discoveries were made by people who had just left their back door.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

WATCH:  Tea dispensers fly, shirt comes off in viral video of fight at SA area Taco Bell  

And Texas leads the way!

Exquisite Entomology

Exquisite Entomology: Entomology is the study of insects: their life cycles, habits, characteristics, habitats, classification and more. Few topics inspire as much of a diverse emotional response as insects do. Depending on the person, you might see reactions of disgust, pity, curiosity, fear or awe. Though small, insects possess remarkable abilities and make up over two thirds of all known living organisms on Earth.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

George A. Romero, R. I. P.

George A. Romero, master of zombie film genre, dead at 77: The man who kicked off the popularization of the modern zombie genre, director George A. Romero, has died at the age of 77.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Martin Landau, R. I. P.

Actor Martin Landau dead at age 89: Landau began his acting career in the 1950s and starred in the “Mission: Impossible” series and a number of feature films including Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” and Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tucker: The Man and His Dream,” for which Landau was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Welcome to Slab City

Welcome to Slab City: Here’s a look at one of the most unusual, most unlikely, and, strangely, most beloved campgrounds in the entire United States.

Song of the Day

(4) Elvis Presley - Joshua fit the battle (1961) - YouTube:

The Lady of the Lines

The Lady of the Lines: If you've ever heard of the Nazca lines, you have this woman to thank for preserving them for posterity. And if you've ever doubted that one person can make a difference, think again…  

The picture is one I took of the lines when we visited some years ago.

Today's Vintage Ad


The Strange and Righteous History of the Equals Sign

The Strange and Righteous History of the Equals Sign

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Luke Roberts, Harlem Model, Bronze Books, 1952

The Little Old Lady Who Terrorized New York's Famed Plaza Hotel

'The Eloise from Hell': The Little Old Lady Who Terrorized New York's Famed Plaza Hotel: Still, in all the annals of rent control, Fannie Lowenstein stands a cut about the rest: For 35 years, she paid around $500 a month for a three-room suite in the Plaza Hotel overlooking Fifth Avenue and Central Park—the sort of accommodation that could cost guests more than $1,000 a night.

Have These People Never Seen a Roger Corman Movie?

Fighting Mosquitos with More Mosquitos 

Babe Parilli, R. I. P.

Babe Parilli, backup QB on Jets’ Super Bowl III team, dead at 87: Babe Parilli, who served as not only Joe Namath’s backup in Super Bowl III but also as an early inspiration to the iconic Jets quarterback, died Saturday. He was 87.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

When New York Went Totally Dark In 1977

24 WTF Pictures From When New York Went Totally Dark In 1977

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Thriller Awards 2017

Mystery Fanfare: Thriller Awards 2017

Galaxy Magazine : Free Texts

Galaxy Magazine : Free Texts : Download & Streaming : Internet Archive: Galaxy Science Fiction was an American digest-size science fiction magazine, published from 1950 to 1980. It was founded by an Italian company, World Editions, which was looking to break in to the American market. World Editions hired as editor H. L. Gold, who rapidly made Galaxy the leading science fiction (sf) magazine of its time, focusing on stories about social issues rather than technology.  

Something like 365 issues, all right there to read for free.  I've been looking through them for several days, and I'm overwhelmed by nostalgia.  I miss the old days.

Horse-Riding Librarians

Horse-Riding Librarians Were the Great Depression's Bookmobiles

Song of the Day

(2) Preston Epps - Bongo rock - YouTube:

Inside the Magic Library at the Conjuring Arts Research Center

Atlas Obscura: THERE IS AN ANONYMOUS-LOOKING OFFICE building located in Midtown Manhattan that hides a secret library for magicians. 

It sounds fantastical enough to have been created by Terry Pratchett or J.K. Rowling, but the Conjuring Arts Research Center is very much real, and one of the world’s greatest collections of books dedicated to the deceptive arts.

Today's Vintage Ad


The Waldorf Astoria’s detectives.

Inside the century-old private records of the Waldorf Astoria’s detectives.: As luxurious a home as the new Waldorf Astoria will be, however, there is one amenity from its golden early days that it almost certainly will lack. That is a set of in-house detectives. The records of those detectives, which can be seen today in the hotel’s papers at the New York Public Library, show an almost unimaginable level of kid-glove service and provide a tantalizing window into the high-end hotel life of a century ago.

PaperBack



Joan Tucker (Peggy Gaddis), At Ruby's Place, Cameo, 1952

12 Essential Facts About 'Planet of the Apes'

12 Essential Facts About 'Planet of the Apes'

When nature attacks! Pulp horror covers from the 1970s & ‘80s

When nature attacks! Pulp horror covers from the 1970s & ‘80s

The Reason Police Officers Tap Your Taillight When They Pull You Over

The Reason Police Officers Tap Your Taillight When They Pull You Over

Friday, July 14, 2017

10 Innocent Things That Wound Up Getting Censored

10 Innocent Things That Wound Up Getting Censored 

Song of the Day

Roy Hamilton - "Don't Let Go" - YouTube:

Thank Sherlock Holmes for the Phrase 'Smoking Gun'

Thank Sherlock Holmes for the Phrase 'Smoking Gun'

Today's Vintage Ad


15 Words That Aren’t As Straightforward As They Look

15 Words That Aren’t As Straightforward As They Look

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M. H. Gropper, Three Loose Ladies, Diversey, 1949

I Miss the Old Days

23 Incredible Vintage Pictures Of Summertime At Coney Island

Forgotten Hits: July 14th

Forgotten Hits: July 14th: The Recording Industry Association of America awarded gold record certification for the Association's single "Windy", only seven weeks after it premiered on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Although the Association interpreted the song's subject as a girl, composer Ruthann Friedman had a free-spirited guy in mind when she wrote the song. Bones Howe produced the Warner Bros. release, which included a recorder flute solo musical bridge.

Includes a survey.

FFB: The Impossible Virgin -- Peter O'Donnell

The Impossible Virgin is a Modesty Blaise novel, but the title doesn't refer to her.  It's a reference to a vein of gold in Africa, and that's what the bad guys are after.

There's some great stuff in this one, including Willie Garvin's [SPOILER ALERT]presumed [END OF SPOILER ALERT] death when he's tossed out of an airplane a few thousand feet in the air.  And Modesty's cage match with a giant gorilla.  Not to mention a battle with quarterstaffs against machetes.  And a great heist scene.  Along with some truly goofy villains, and the endearingly goofy Dr. Pennyfeather, who's really good at what he does, though most people think he's incompetent.  

It's all sheer fantasy, and it's all sheer entertainment.  Sometimes that's all I need, and Modesty Blaise never disappoints. 


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Strand Critics Award Winners

Mystery Fanfare: Strand Critics Award Winners

Nero Wolfe Comes to the Midwest

Staging a Mystery: Nero Wolfe Comes to the Midwest (by Linda Landrigan) | Trace Evidence

"My Name is Forrest Gump": the Forrest Gump Story

"My Name is Forrest Gump": the Forrest Gump Story: John Travolta was the studio's original choice to play the title character in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump. Travolta declined and the role was next offered to both Bill Murray and Chevy Chase, both of whom also said no. Sean Penn claims he was Paramount's second choice after Travolta; he said no, too. Paramount soon had to "settle for" Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks to take over the lead. Hanks decided to accept the role after reading the script for a hour and half, on the condition that the film be historically accurate.

Song of the Day

Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense & Peppermints 1967 - YouTube:

The Strawberry Alarm Clock Celebrate 50 Years of "Incense and Peppermints" | L.A. Weekly

The Strawberry Alarm Clock Celebrate 50 Years of "Incense and Peppermints"

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“Ten Days’ Wonder” (1948) by Ellery Queen (review by Artur Vidro)

“Ten Days’ Wonder” (1948) by Ellery Queen (review by Arthur Vidro) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN: As I mentioned when he last blogged for this site, in January of this year, in addition to being a freelance editor and a writer of short stories (two can be found on EQMM’s website and blog), Arthur Vidro is an expert on the subject of classical detective fiction, and especially on the work of Ellery Queen. In this new post he analyzes one of my own favorite novels by Ellery Queen, Ten Days’ Wonder. The book is available again in a new e-edition from Mysterious Press/Open Road and in audio format from Audible. Spoiler Alert: Readers who have never read this wonderful mystery should know that the following post discusses all aspects of the book—though it does not reveal the details of the solution. Arthur’s post will make thoughtful reading for those who already know the book, or who want a full introduction before reading it.—Janet Hutchings

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Gail Jordan (Peggy Gaddis), The Lost Virgin, Knickerbocker Books