Have you ever tasted a drink called a “Brunette”? Here are the ingredients:
1 Part Scotch Whisky
½ Part Dry Vermouth
½ Part Port, Red
1 Dash Water
1 Whole Maraschino Berry
How to mix: Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Stir and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon and a maraschino berry. You can check out the video below to see how it’s done. Hope you enjoyed BRUNETTE WEEK! We’re return to what passes for Normal on this blog tomorrow. Thank you for your participation!
My Favorite Brunette is a wonderful screwball comedy featuring Bob Hope at his best. Both Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour recreate their Road movie chemistry in this wild and wacky action-packed spoof of private detective movies. Hope’s character is a baby photographer whose office is next to the office of a private detective (played by Alan Ladd). When the real private detective travels to Chicago and Dorothy Lamour’s character–a beautiful and mysterious brunette with a treasure map–shows up in desperation, Hope decides to impersonate the private detective to help her. Hope’s hired by the lovely brunette to protect the map and rescue her father who is being held by the Bad Guys (Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney, Jr). Hope finds out Dorothy Lamour and her father are involved with an international gang dealing in the hot McGuffin of that time period.
If you’re ready to laugh at Bob Hope’s antics as a goofy private eye, you’ll love My Favorite Brunette. GRADE: A
Erle Stanley Gardner’s 28th Perry Mason novel from 1946 features one of the more bizarre beginnings in the series. An ad in a paper offers money to attractive brunettes (age 23 to 25, height five-feet-four-and-one-half inches, weight 111 pounds, waist measurement 24 inches, bust measurement 32, wearing a dark suit and a fluffy collar). …but they must stand on an assigned corner of the city at a certain time. After Perry Mason and Della Street see six of these women waiting on street corners, Mason’s curiosity is aroused.
This begins a convoluted case of impersonation, treachery, lies, and murder. Perry Mason, with the help of Paul Drake, manages to unravel the tangled web of deceit.
“The Case of the Borrowed Brunette” showed up on the Perry Mason TV series (Season 2, Episode 13) in 1959. The episode follows the novel’s plot closely (except for the ending) and produces a startling “Reveal” at its conclusion. I enjoyed The Case of the Borrowed Brunette, both the novel and the TV episode. Are you a Perry Mason fan? GRADE: B+
Yes, there’s actually a group called The Brunettes. They’re from New Zealand. Structure & Cosmetics is their CD from 2007 and one of my favorites. The group is mostly made up Jonathan Bree and Heather Mansfield with other players added from album to album. Their sound is what most people would classify as “indy.” Take a listen to “If You Were An Alien” below. GRADE: B+
1 Brunettes Against Bubblegum Youth 4:15
2 Stereo (Mono Mono) 5:03
3 Her Hairagami Set 4:39
4 Credit Card Mail Order 4:11
5 Obligatory Road Song 4:13
6 Small Town Crew 3:52
7 If You Were Alien 4:28
8 Wall Poster Star 3:35
9 Structure And Cosmetics 4:35
Jonathan Bree – vocals, guitar, synthesizer (1998–present)
Heather Mansfield – vocals, glockenspiel, harmonica, marimba, organ, piano, etc. (1998–present)
Ryan McPhun – Drums, Percussion, Backing vocals (2004–present)
James Milne (Lawrence Arabia) – Guitar, Bass, Backing vocals, Chamberlin, Vibraphone, Percussion, etc.
Kari Hammond — Drums, Percussion (2003)
Gerald Stewart — Electric Bass Guitar, Backing vocals (2003)
Mike Hall — Bass, Flute, Harmonium, Vocals (2002)
1998: Mars Loves Venus EP
2002: Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks (Lil’ Chief Records)
2003: The Boyracer e.p. (Lil’ Chief Records)
2004: Mars Loves Venus (Lil’ Chief Records)
2005: When Ice Met Cream E.P. (Lil’ Chief Records)
2007: Structure & Cosmetics (Lil’ Chief Records, Sub Pop)
2009: Paper Dolls (Lil’ Chief Records)
2009: The Red Rollerskates E.P. (Lil’ Chief Records)
2011: Mars Loves Venus (vinyl) (Microfiche Records, MFR 003)
John Zakour’s The Doomsday Brunette features Zachary Nixon Johnson, the last private detective on Earth. The story is set in 2057 after extra-terrestrials have introduced advanced technologies. Zachary Nixon Johnson discovers the extent of the new technology with this case involving the Thompson Quads, four women created with modified DNA that makes them smarter, more sexy, and more powerful than the average human. The Quads are social icons with constant media attention (think the Kardashians times 10!). Ona Thompson calls Johnson at 3 A.M. asking for help. Johnson shows up and finds Una with her sisters Twoa and Threa…and the dead body of Fora Thompson. How could a killer murder a woman as powerful as Fora Thompson? Who would target one of the most popular women on the planet? And why?
The Doomsday Brunette blends Science Fiction tropes and mystery elements into a light, fluffy concoction just perfect for Summer Reading! You can read reviews of John Zakour’s The Plutonium Blonde here and The Radioactive Redhead here. GRADE: B
I’m a fan of Gentlemen Marry Brunettes partly because of “My Funny Valintine” (music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart), “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (music & lyrics by Thomas ‘Fats’ W. Waller, Harry Brooks, and Andy Razaf). And I love the great scenes of Paris and Monte Carlo.
Gentlemen Marry Brunettes is a 1955 technicolor romantic musical comedy starring Jane Russell and Jeanne Crain as sisters Bonnie and Connie who travel to Paris to find adventure and love. Directed by Richard Sale with a screenplay by Mary Loos and Sale, the movie is based on the novel But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes by Anita Loos. Anita Loos had titled her book But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, but the studio dropped the first word from the title for this film.
Anita Loos was also the author of the novel and play Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which was a smash hit with Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe two years earlier. Gentleman Marry Brunettes is a semi-sequel with Jane Russell returning but Jeanne Crain playing a role similar to the one Marilyn Monroe starred in but both women now playing new characters. Alan Young (later the star of TV’s Mr. Ed), Scott Brady (brother of Lawrence Tierney), and Rudy Vallee also appear in this movie as love interests. The choreography was by Jack Cole, who had also contributed to the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes film. The dance ensemble includes a young Gwen Verdon who would later go on to greatness. Gentlemen Marry Brunettes is fun. Are you a fan of Jane Russell and Jeanne Crain? GRADE: B
I first discovered Lea Michele on Glee where she played the talented Rachel Berry. I loved Lea Michele’s ability to sing the various songs the producers of Glee chose for her despite the various musical genres. In Brunette Ambition (2014), Lea Michele presents a book that’s part memoir, part recipe book, part style guide, and part self-help book. Lea Michele shares her experiences from her career and tips on beauty, fashion, inner strength, and…ambition. Lea Michele also discusses her role as a the spokesperson for L’Oreal.
In Brunette Ambition, Lea Michele shares the lessons and advice that worked for her. This is the book Lea Michele wishes she had when she struggled during her teenage years and early twenties: a practical guide to setting goals and how to achieve them no matter what obstacles Life puts in your way. I enjoyed the never-before-seen photos and clever anecdotes. I even made “Italian Comfort Soup” (p. 20) using Lea Michele’s recipe. Delicious! I hope you enjoyed BRUNETTE WEEK! GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Letter to Fans 9
Chapter 1: What Makes Me Me 11
Chapter 2: The Biz 25
Chapter 3: Self-Care 101 47
Chapter 4: For the Love of Food 63
Chapter 5: Living the Fit Life 91
Chapter 6: Everyday Style 109
Chapter 7: Red Carpet Fashion 121
Chapter 8: Hollywood Glam 135
Chapter 9: Friendship 169
Chapter 10: My Life with GLEE 187
Until the Next Time 203
Josephine Wolff is an assistant professor at Tufts University. And she’s Patrick’s friend. I decided to read Josephine’s book, You’ll See This Message When It Is Too Late (2018), because I wanted to learn more about cybersecurity–Josephine’s specialty. From page one, I found a compelling series of stories about companies and organizations affected by online attacks.
Josephine analyzes nine major data breaches from the recent past and classifies them into three different categories based on the hackers’ motivations and intentions. First, attacks for financial gain like those on TJ Maxx, the South Carolina Department of Revenue, and other ransomware shakedowns. Second, attacks for cyberespionage like DigiNotar and US OPM. Third, attacks that aim for online humiliation like Sony and Ashley Madison.
Josephine shows how these breaches were discovered, what mistakes were made in trying to deal with the breaches, and–more importantly–what could have been done to alleviate the attacks. The focus should be on “…what the perpetrators are after, which applications they primarily use to initiate access, and what infrastructural components and configurations they rely on to carry out their ultimate goals.” (p. 280).
Yes, cybersecurity continues to be a problem. It’s complex, complicated, and confusing. But Josephine Wolff understands this problem and her well-written, well-researched book provides some possible approaches to improve our defenses. If you’re looking for a clearly written, concise, and occasionally funny guide to cybersecurity, I highly recommend You’ll See This Message When It Is Too Late. GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Series Editor’s Introduction ix
I Introduction: After the Breach 1
1 Lessons from Financially Motivated Cybercrimes 17
2 Operation Get Rich or Die Tryin’: How the TJX Breach Set the Stage for a Decade of Payment Card Conflict 19
3 “What They Aren’t Telling You Is Their Rules Are Archaic”: The South Carolina Department of Revenue Breach, IRS Fraud, and Identity Theft 39
4 The Most Wanted Cybercriminal in the World: GameOver ZeuS, Cryptolocker, and the Rise of Ransomware 59
II Lessons from Cyberespionage 79
5 Certificates Gone Rogue: The DigiNotar Compromise and the Internet’s Fragile Trust Infrastructure 81
6 No Doubt to Hack You, Writed by UglyGorilla: China’s PLA Unit 67398 and Economic Espionage 101
7 “Decades in the Making”: The Office of Personnel Management Breach and Political Espionage 121
III Lessons from Online Acts of Public Humiliation 143
8 Operation Stophaus: The Spamhaus Denial-of-Service Attacks 145
9 “An Epic Nightmare”: The Sony Breach and Ex-Post Mitigation 165
10 An Imperfect Affair: Ashley Madison and the Economics of Embarrassment 185
IV Who Should Safeguard Our Data? Distributing Responsibility and Liability 205
11 “Email the Way It Should Be”: The Role of Application Designers and Software Developers 207
12 Reasonable Security: The Role of Organizations in Protecting Their Data and Networks 225
13 “Happy Talk About Good Ideas”: The Role of Policymakers in Defending Computer Systems 243
14 Conclusion: “It Will Take All of Us” 269
I don’t know what I was doing in 1989 but I have ZERO recollection of this story of an all-female crew sailing around the world in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race. Every three years, a group of crews and yachts race around the world–35,000 nautical miles! Tracy Edwards, a brash and bold woman, decided to assemble an all-female crew and enter the race.
The 1980s was a time when males harbored a very condescending opinion of woman entering arenas that were traditionally dominated by men. Twenty-four year old Tracy Edwards struggled to find funding and support for her mission. British film-maker Alex Holmes takes a chronological approach to telling the story of Maiden and her crew. He wisely starts with Tracy Edwards who was a misfit and troubled teenager. But once Tracy started sailing, her dream of competing in the Whitbread Yacht Race blossomed. Tracy mortgaged her house to buy a beat-up 58-foot aluminum racing yacht which she and her crew rehabbed.
The actual race, with footage from 1989 and 1990, presents the thrills of the race mixed with the dangers of the ocean and the grueling life aboard a small ship for nine months. Plenty of things go wrong, many obstacles need to be overcome. Ups and downs abound! Maiden inspires with the grit and determination of Tracy Edwards and her impressive crew. Highly recommended! GRADE: A
This 12th volume of The Great SF Stories series features many classics of Science Fiction: “Scanners Live In Vain,” by Cordwainer Smith, “The Little Black Bag”–one of C. M. Kornbluth’s greatest stories, “Enchanted Village”–a great story by Van Vogt, and maybe the story behind the favorite Twilight Zone episode of all time, “To Serve Man” by Damon Knight.
There are plenty of other excellent stories in Volume #12. I love Eric Frank Russell’s “Dear Devil.” I don’t know much about William Morrison, but his tale of an alien with all the answers, “The Sack,” is memorable. And Kornbluth’s dark “The Silly Season” will haunt anyone who reads it. Another top-notch anthology! GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
9 • 1950 Introduction (The Great SF Stories 12) • essay by Martin H. Greenberg
13 • Not with a Bang • (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, Winter 1950) • by Damon Knight
19 • Spectator Sport • (THRILLING WONDER STORIES, February 1950) • by John D. MacDonald
26 • There Will Come Soft Rains • [The Martian Chronicles] • (COLLIER’S, May 1950) • by Ray Bradbury
34 • Dear Devil • (OTHER WORLDS, May 1950) • by Eric Frank Russell
70 • Scanners Live in Vain • [The Instrumentality of Mankind] • (FANTASY BOOK, June 1950) • by Cordwainer Smith
105 • Born of Man and Woman • (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, Summer 1950) • by Richard Matheson
109 • The Little Black Bag • (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, July 1950) • by C. M. Kornbluth
138 • Enchanted Village • (OTHER WORLDS, July 1950) • by A. E. van Vogt
154 • Oddy and Id • (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, August 1950) • by Alfred Bester
170 • The Sack • (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, September 1950) • by William Morrison
190 • The Silly Season • (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, Fall 1950) • by C. M. Kornbluth
205 • Misbegotten Missionary • (GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION, November 1950) • by Isaac Asimov (variant of “Green Patches”)
221 • To Serve Man • (GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION, November 1950) • by Damon Knight
230 • Coming Attraction • (GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION, November 1950) • by Fritz Leiber
244 • A Subway Named Mobius • (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, December 1950) • by A. J. Deutsch
260 • Process • (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, December 1950) • by A. E. van Vogt
267 • The Mindworm • (WORLDS BEYOND, December 1950) • by C. M. Kornbluth
281 • The New Reality • (THRILLING WONDER STORIES, December 1950) • by Charles L. Harness