Actor Michael Madsen came to my house to talk about his line of hot sauces. My favorite is his hot mustard. I put it on a frankfurter and devoured my "Reservoir Dog."
I didn't know that Fantagraphics posts videos of the books it publishes, but I'm glad they do. Here's one for an excellent book it just released, 50 Girls 50 and Other Stories, by Al Williamson. It's part of The EC Comics Library.
Barely old enough to drink when he joined the EC Comics stable, Al Williamson may have been the new kid on the block, but a lifetime of studying such classic adventure cartoonists as Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon) and Hal Foster (Prince Valiant) had made him a kid to reckon with — as he proved again and again in the stories he created for EC’s legendary “New Trend” comics, in particular Weird Science and Weird Fantasy.
As a result of Williamson’s focus, it’s possible to compile all of Williamson’s “New Trend” EC work into one book — which Fantagraphics is finally doing here. Sci-fi aficionados should note that although most of the stories were written by Al Feldstein, 50 Girls 50 features three of EC’s legendary Ray Bradbury adaptations, including “I, Rocket” and “A Sound of Thunder” — and a unique curiosity, a strip adapted from a short story submitted by a teenage Harlan Ellison.
Williamson ran with a gang of like-minded young Turks dubbed the “Fleagle Gang,” who would help one another out on assignments. Thus this book includes three stories upon which Williamson was joined by the legendary Frank Frazetta, and one story (“Food for Thought”) where Roy Krenkel provided his exquisite alien landscapes, to make it one of the most gorgeous EC stories ever printed.
As a supplementary bonus, 50 Girls 50 includes three stories drawn by Fleagles sans Williamson: Frazetta’s Shock SuspenStories short “Squeeze Play”; Krenkel’s meticulous “Time to Leave”; and Angelo Torres’s “An Eye for an Eye,” an EC story that famously fell prey to censorship and was not released until the 1970s. As with other Fantagraphics EC titles, 50 Girls 50 includes extensive story notes by EC experts.
Ted Balaker says: "A 30-year-old college student, husband and father of two, studying to be a paramedic says 'fuck' outside of class, and his professor gets offended. She threatens him with detention (he's 30!), the administration boots him from the class and nearly ruins his career."
"I was persecuted by my college for saying the word 'fuck' in conversation with another student after class."
In 2010, Isaac Rosenbloom was a student at Hinds Community College in Mississippi. He was disappointed to receive a grade of "74" on an exam, and after class ended he walked outside and complained to a fellow student, "This grade is going to fuck up my entire GPA."
After overhearing the comment, Rosenbloom's professor, Barbara Pyle, berated him for cursing and threatened to send him to detention. Says Rosenbloom, "I countered with, 'I'm 30 years old. This is college. There is no detention.'"
Rosenbloom didn't get detention, but the husband and father of two children received something worse: Administrators booted him from Pyle's class. The punishment jeopardized his financial aid eligibility and could have derailed Rosenbloom's plans to become a paramedic.
Then FIRE got involved.
"If it wasn't for FIRE," says Rosenbloom, "I wouldn't have a career. I would be delivering pizzas instead of saving lives."
Baxter worked as a butler for an eccentric oil baron in 1898. His father was a Krampus who emigrated from Bavaria in the 1860's and married a school teacher from Piscataway, New Jersey. Baxter grew up to be erudite and purposeful. he had a fascination with the wonders of the world particularly insects. During the warmer months on his days off he would wander through the town marveling at nature.
Ashley Parker was a ordinary woman who was also a “wild card,” immune to the emerging zombie plague, drawn unwillingly into a shadowy paramilitary organization. Having stopped the wave of the undead that swarmed their facility, the worst is yet to come, as the plague begins to manifest in key locations worldwide.
After granting Microsoft amnesty on its $1.5 billion Nevada tax dodge, state tax collectors are aggressively targeting Seattle dance clubs and night clubs over an obscure 'opportunity to dance' tax. Auditors search the Internet to find out whether people dance at specific clubs. One clubowner reports an auditor told him: 'You have the opportunity to dance, and we verified it by 8 or 10 different references on Yelp.'
"My auditor came in with an obituary of a girl who committed suicide,"says another club owner. "When I argued that we aren't primarily a dance club -- we have 'No Dancing' signs up everywhere -- she flashed this obit that said the girl liked to dance at [our club].
The Legislature gave up $100 million annually to Microsoft so it can target the city's music scene to try to make up $880,000. The Century Ballroom, a popular dance club, is holding ongoing fundraisers to offset its $250,000 in back taxes. Dancers are effectively funding Microsoft's Nevada tax dodge.
Above is Anna Pierre, singing her 1990s Creole-language tune Suk Su Bon Bon. Pierre is currently running for mayor of North Miami, Florida, but she claims that sinister forces are trying to knock her out of the race. She's found evidence of Haitian Vodou spells left on her doorstep. “I found little dolls with needles in it. They put a lot of pennies at front of my office door,” Pierre told the Miami Herald. “I’m from Haiti I know what it is… (But) I have people in Haiti, Canada, and the U.S. praying for me. I have Jesus with me.” I briefly lived in Miami and had several friends whose relatives, usually grandparents, took Santería magic and ritual very seriously. I'm sure Haitian Vodou is also more common in that region than one might think. (via The Anomalist)
In Dubai, the fuzz drive Lamborghinis. Also, BMW 5 Series, Chevy Camaros, and Dodge Chargers. (Laughing Squid)
Today's Cool Tool is about the Munchkin Snack Catcher, a container with a multi-flapped lid. You fill it with whatever your toddlers or sysadmins like to eat, snap the lid on, and hand it to them with the confidence that they aren't going to spill everything on the floor.
It turns out there are other solutions for mess-resistant snacking.
Boon Snack Ball. You don't even have to fill it with a snack. This Kubrik-like container stares down the child until he or she is frightened away.
Gyro Bowl. This is designed to challenge kids to knock the snack out of the gimbaled bowl. A simple shake defeats it!
Munchkin Click Lock Super Suction Bowl. Paging Kathie Lee.
Dan Amira writes,
An unnamed English teacher at Albany High School who wanted to "challenge" his/her students to "formulate a persuasive argument" tasked them with writing an essay about why "Jews are evil," as if they were trying to convince a Nazi official of their loyalty
Time for a teacher training day!
I love Bruce Sterling's "Design Fiction Slider-Bar of Disbelief," a list of fictions in ascending order of credibility:
9.4 New age crystals, lucky charms, protective pendants, mojo hands, voodoo dolls, magic wands
9.3 Quack devices, medical hoaxes
9.3 Fantasy “objects” in fantasy cinema and computer-games
9.2 Physically impossible sci-fi literary devices: time machines, humanoid robots
9.2 Perpetual motion machines; free-energy gizmos, other physically impossible engineering fantasies
9.0 State libels, black propaganda, military ruses; missile gaps, vengeance weapons, Star Wars SDI
8.9 “Realplay” services, “experiential futurism” encounters, military and emergency training drills, props and immersive set-design, scripted personas
8.8 Online roleplaying scenario games
8.7 Net.art interventions, diegetic performance art, provocative device-art scandals
8.6 Guerrilla street-theater; costumes, puppets, banners, songs, lynchings-in-effigy, mock trials, mass set-designed Nuremberg rallies, propaganda trains
8.5 Fake products, product forgeries, theft-of-services, con-schemes, 419 frauds
Spoiler alert: the list ends with these:
1.0 Engineering specifications, software code
0.5 Historical tech assessment of extinct technologies, the “judgement of history’
0.0 The ideal and unobtainable “objective truth” about objects and services
Update: Patrick adds, "Maine crime writer is dubious about the veracity of a great deal of that Maine 'hermit' story."
More of the story has come out about the Maine hermit that David blogged about on Wednesday. When Christopher Knight was 19, he abandoned his plans (documented in his high-school yearbook) to become a "computer technician" and moved to the Maine woods. That was 27 years ago. Since then, he's been living as a hermit in a secret camp supplied by high-end food and camp-gear he burgled from other campsites, cottages, homes, and "Pine Tree Camp, a facility for special needs people." After decades of evading locals, he has finally been arrested and is awaiting trial. One local cottage owner, Dave Proulx, says he experienced "more than a dozen break-ins," he attributes to Knight, and says Knight "was a fussy eater," who "never made off with meat that wasn't in its original packaging," and claims that he once chased Knight to a dock, only to lose Knight in a daring canoe escape.
Authorities filled two pickup trucks on Thursday as they took apart Knight's camp, later displaying what they were calling evidence for local folks to sort through to try to recover their stolen goods. There were several Nintendo Game Boys and a wristwatch, along with shovels, rakes, coolers, cooking gear, a coffee pot and toilet paper.
Authorities said Knight used logs on the ground as a makeshift commode, and at one point attached an antenna to a treetop so he could get reception on a battery-powered TV in his tarp-covered camp.