Paul Murray's weblog, with news you may have missed and my $0.02 worth on a number of topics.

"You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it."
- Art Buchwald

I bet you don't have a friend who's an acupuncturist

E-mail me: pmurray [at]

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Sunday, July 10, 2005
Whatever happened to Spade Cooley?
Turner Classic Movies is the best channel on cable, in my opinion. Even their promos and filler are often interesting.

A while back, I was watching TCM and they played a short with a "western swing" band led by a guy named Spade Cooley. I'd never heard of him or western swing, but I like regular swing, and I thought the music was kind of catchy.

Today's LA Times has an article about him where I learned a lot more. It turns out that Spade Cooley was, in fact, the King of Western Swing, having won that title in a competition with Bob Wills and his band. He had an early television variety show that ran for eight years.

And he's thought to be the only convicted killer with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (There's a good trivia question for you.)

Dennis Quaid has written a movie about him, so you may eventually learn even more.

Monday, July 04, 2005
Space footage then and now.
My brother recalls watching, in the 1960s, a collection of photos taken from one of the NASA research probes that smashed into the moon. They were strung together in a film that effectively showed what the approach looked like from the probe itself.

Earlier today, NASA did it again, this time with a comet ... and the resulting footage is already online (QuickTime format). And here's the view from the Hubble Space Telescope in Earth orbit (QT). (via Robot Wisdom)

7/7 Update: I've just been informed that I garbled what my brother remembers (although the overall idea was accurate). It was not a collection of photos strung together on film, but a live TV telecast from Ranger 7 as it hurtled toward impact on the moon ... which occurred on July 31, 1964. I was probably too enthralled with a rattle or stuffed animal at the time to notice.

$100 a barrel oil?
Cheery thought, isn't it? That's what one Texas-based analyst is predicting for next winter. (It's about $60 now, if you haven't been paying attention.)