IN SEARCH OF THE UNKNOWN (1904) by Robert W Chambers. Previously Balladeer’s Blog examined Chambers’ underrated horror classic The King in Yellow. The work we’re looking at this time around is a collection of short stories about Gilland the Zoologist. Gilland was a forerunner of the real-life Frank “Bring ’em Back Alive” Buck and the fictional Indiana Jones.
Our daring hero worked for the Bronx Zoological Gardens and was frequently dispatched by Professor Farrago to try to bring in dangerous crypto-zoological specimens or disprove their existence if they were hoaxes. The stories in this volume:
I. THE HARBOR MASTER – Gilland is sent north to Hudson Bay where a Harbor Master has reported capturing a pair of Great Auks, flightless birds which went extinct in the mid-1800s. The two-fisted scholar finds the Great Auks are for real but the Harbor Master harbors (see what I did there) a sinister secret.
This story also features the Harbor Master’s beautiful secretary, who naturally catches Gilland’s eye, and a gilled merman (shades of Creature From The Black Lagoon), who wants to mate with the lovely lady himself. Gilland’s not having it, of course, and must do battle with the creature.
II. IN QUEST OF THE DINGUE – The Graham Glacier melts, unleashing a number of animals from species that were long thought extinct. Among the crowd of academics converging on the unexplored area are Gilland and Professor Smawl. The Professor is a sexy, strong-willed female scholar that our hero has been forced to accompany into the region.
The battle of the sexes bickering flies like shrapnel as the pair encounter Woolly Mammoths and other creatures, find a primitive bell called a dingue and run afoul of a gigantic super-powered woman who calls herself the Spirit of the North. Continue reading
CASCADE COLLEGIATE CONFERENCE
FIRST SEMIFINAL – This game pitted the 4th seeded OREGON TECH HUSTLIN’ OWLS against the 3 seeds – the COLLEGE OF IDAHO COYOTES. The Hustlin’ Owls put the Coyotes on Upset Alert by Halftime with a 34-26 advantage, then went on to consummate the deal by defeating College of Idaho by a final score of 75-69. Appropriately enough Joel Yellow Owl was the high scorer for Oregon Tech with his THIRTY-ONE points.
SECOND SEMIFINAL – The 8 seeds – the CORBAN UNIVERSITY WARRIORS – remained the big story of the Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament. In the Quarterfinals they became the first 8 seed in Conference history to defeat a 1 seed. In this Semifinal the Warriors kept their upset mojo going by toppling the 2nd seeded EASTERN OREGON UNIVERSITY MOUNTAINEERS. Corban University parlayed a 53-40 lead over EOU at the break into a Century Club-level 100-90 triumph led by AJ Monterossi’s THIRTY-TWO points. Continue reading
THE SUN CONFERENCE TOURNEY
SIX OVER THREE UPSET – The 6 seeds – the THOMAS UNIVERSITY NIGHT HAWKS – stunned the 3rd seeded SAINT THOMAS UNIVERSITY BOBCATS in this thriller. Chalk seemed to be carrying the day at Halftime as the Bobcats led the Night Hawks 35-29 but Thomas University came out of the break like men possessed, coming from behind for a 75-68 victory. For the first time in program history the Night Hawks won a Quarterfinal Game and move on to the Semifinals. Javoris Cooks led the winners with a Double Double of 15 points and 10 rebounds with teammate Katrell Myers close behind with 15 points and 9 rebounds.
KEISER WAS WISER – The 4th seeded KEISER UNIVERSITY SEAHAWKS did battle with the 5 seeds – the JOHNSON & WALES (FL) WILDCATS in this game. The Seahawks trailed the Wildcats 36-34 at the break but in the 2nd Half they assumed command. Keiser University got more and more separation from Johnson & Wales and won the contest by a score of 78-65. The Seahawks were led by Stanley Whittaker with a TRIPLE DOUBLE of 20 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. Continue reading
CHROME AND HOT LEATHER (1971) THE Marvin Gaye made his big-screen debut in this relentlessly absurd example of the bad biker films of the 1960s and 1970s.
When a Green Beret’s fiancee (played by THE Cheryl Ladd) is killed he and some of his service buddies pose as bikers to track down the motorcycle gang responsible for her death.
Words cannot describe how enjoyably awful this movie is from start to finish. Continue reading
RIVER STATES CONFERENCE
GRENADIERS ROLLING – The West’s 1 seed – the INDIANA UNIVERSITY SOUTHEAST GRENADIERS – took on the East’s 4th seeded UNIVERSITY OF RIO GRANDE (OH) RED STORM.
At Halftime the score was knotted up at 47-47 but after the break the Grenadiers pulled away from the Red Storm and won the game by a final score of 93-79. Jamie Johnson tossed in 25 points to lead Indiana University Southeast.
THREE OVER TWO UPSET – In this game the East’s 3rd seeded OHIO CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY TRAILBLAZERS did battle with the West’s 2 seed – the CINCINNATI CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY EAGLES.
The Trailblazers trailed the Eagles at the break by a count of 48-47 but in the 2nd Half Ohio Christian’s wealth of postseason experience told the tale as they came from behind for a Century Club-level 104-91 triumph. The Trailblazers were led by Marquis Jackson’s THIRTY-TWO points and 6 rebounds. Continue reading
With Boycott-mania sweeping the country what better time for this look at the fragmentary remains of this ancient Greek Comedy by Aristophanes?
Ancient Greek Merchant Ship
Balladeer’s Blog presents another examination of an ancient Greek political satire. In this case it is one of those works of Aristophanes which have survived only in very fragmentary condition.
Merchant Ships was written and publicly staged in approximately 424 B.C. to 421 B.C. according to the available data. It was another of Aristophanes’ comedies protesting the pointlessness of the Greek city-states warring among themselves instead of uniting against the encroachments of the Persian Empire.
I can’t help but view this particular comedy in light of my own country’s current plight of having the rival criminal gangs called the Democratic and Republican Parties pointlessly rob the country blind and run it into the ground while virtually ignoring external threats.
In this comedy the captains of two separate merchant ships – one from Athens and one from their foe Sparta – have grown weary of the pointless conflict and make a separate peace with each other. They and their crew members get to spend the play enjoying the food and drink from their cargoes and living out a metaphorical return to the prosperous days before the Peloponnesian War when peace reigned among the various Greek city-states.
Franchises aka Merchant Ships
For a modern-day adaptation (as opposed to a straight translation) the situation could be depicted by having a Chick Fil-A restaurant right next to a Starbucks coffee shop. The managers and employees of these stereotypically Republican (Chick Fil-A) and stereotypically Democratic (Starbucks) establishments could grow tired of the political feuding, especially since both political parties often call for boycotts of the opposing business. Continue reading
College basketball’s 2017 postseason continued last night as more Conference Tournaments got underway.
WAKEUP CALL FOR TOP SEED – The top seeded BETHEL (IN) COLLEGE PILOTS (Riverboat Pilots) got almost more than they could handle from the 8 seeds – the GRACE COLLEGE LANCERS. The Lancers’ offense matched the Pilots blow for blow in the 1st Half, making the score 54-54 headed into the locker room. After the break Bethel College gradually put some distance between themselves and Grace College for a Century Club-level 102-92 victory. Gage Ott led the Pilots with 25 points, while teammate Clay Yeo notched 21.
OVERTIME FOR NUMBER TWO – The League’s 2nd seeded INDIANA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY WILDCATS – the defending National Champions, by the way – needed OVERTIME to dispatch the 7th seeded HUNTINGTON UNIVERSITY FORESTERS. The Wildcats actually trailed the Foresters 49-40 at the Half but came back to force OT with an 88-88 tie. In the extra session IWU won it 109-100 led by Lane Mahurin’s 30 points and 8 rebounds. Continue reading