"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Friday, May 3, 2013

Weekend Link Dump, Run For the Roses Edition

Strange company is just a basket case this week.

All thanks to the cats.

Before I get on with the regular business, I have a particular request to make:  Just to show how thoroughly my mind has snapped, I'm asking readers of this blog (all three of you) to help me pick a horse in tomorrow's Kentucky Derby.  In the comments to this post, the first person who leaves any number from one to twenty will provide the number of the horse I'll bet on to win.  If there are as many as four numbers offered, I'll do a superfecta box.  If the horse comes in, I'll...well, I'll dedicate Monday's post to the lucky reader.  It's a sweet little poisoning case with a high body count and more ambiguities than you can shake a stick at. Just the sort of thing anyone would want to sponsor.

While you're thinking the matter over, and struggling to understand why I have yet to be placed in some good lunatic asylum, here's my favorite horse-related song:  The late, great John Stewart's tribute to Secretariat.

Meanwhile, on with the weekly link roundup!

If I had an extra quarter-million to kick around, would I buy this?  You'd better believe I'd buy this.

Coffin-makers Just Want to Have Fun.

Coffin-makers who were absolutely no fun whatsoever.

It's a Blood Rain Gonna Fall.

A provocative article suggesting that Poe's magnum opus, "Eureka," may contain coded messages.  I've often  thought it was likely that all of Poe's published works contain hidden meanings, but, like the author of this article, I'm not knowledgeable enough about cryptography to test this theory.  If this is ever read by someone  who does know something about the subject, for heaven's sake, give it a go.  I have the feeling the experiment would lead to some very startling results.

The infamous Dr. Foulks: "Thou Holy letcher thou religious cheat/How shall I halfe thy horrid guilt repeat."

Obviously, the good doctor was this blog's kind of guy.

The Moon Really is a Harsh Mistress:  Why Stonewall Jackson died.

Tear-Catchers; Or, Nobody Could Beautify Misery Like the Victorians.

Why John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, really should have had his mouth washed out with soap.

I'm ridiculously pleased to see that my hunch about a so-called "Poe poem" has finally been proved correct. "Lines on Ale," begone!

Oh, and here, too.  [Scroll to updates at the end of each post.]  And, yes, my smugness is nauseating even me.

Rediscovering a lost Egyptian city.

Edward Sanborn:  Businessman, philanthropist, brothel-keeper.

The death of Edmund de la Pole, the last White Rose.

If you have a hankering to read about teensy skeletons with squashed alienlike heads, boy, do I have a story for you.

A mystery photo from 1967:  Blushing bride or molting super-chicken?

This week's "So, what the hell is this?" link courtesy of Ireland's River Foyle.

Elsje Christiaens, who had the great bad luck to model for Rembrandt.

Dead kings are bustin' out all over:  The hunt for whatever may remain of Scotland's James IV.  [Editor's note:  Lots of luck on this one, guys.]

If E. L. James does not light a candle every night to the memory of Amanda McKittrick Ros, she is terribly ungrateful.  After all, it is solely thanks to Ros that James is not called The Worst Novelist in History.

Unmentioned but necessary wardrobe accessory:  The world's biggest freaking can of Raid.

A nice tribute to the smartest girl in Hollywood, Deanna Durbin.  Plus architecture!

I saw the movie "Five Million Years to Earth."  I think I know what's coming next here.

"Now there's some sad things known to man
But ain't too much sadder than
Kate Mayfield's fears of a clown
When there's no one else around..."

To end things on a bright note:  Read about this recent moment on an Australian bus.  If I ever see this guy in America, I swear to God I'd want to marry him.

That wraps it up for this week.  Have a great weekend, and may the horse be with us!


  1. Fourteen. And I can't wait to get through all those links.

    1. Oh, I like that one. Verrazano at 4-1 it is!

  2. Fantastic links as always! I love sea monsters even though I'm terrified of deep water. I think you've got a good pick in Verrazano.


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