I knew it

A new study has found that bacon and other fatty foods can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine.

The study, done on rats, found that they'd eat junk food to the point of extreme obesity. They even kept eating when they were receiving electric shocks.

Researchers say fatty foods turn on "pleasure centers" in the brain, just like drugs, and overstimulation leads to compulsive consumption.

Hmmm, bacon.

Wait. What were we talking about?

Full story here.


Thrill killer

So, I was watching the Kate Beckinsale thriller "Whiteout" while sweating away on the Dreadmill, and I found myself reaching for the fast-forward button, which is never a good sign.

Why? Because filmmakers think the audience is stupid. They drag out every minor revelation so the slow students in the back of the class will have time to slap their foreheads and say, "Oh, something's hidden inside those corpses! Duh!"

Here's a fast-forward moment: U.S. Marshal Kate going from room to dark room at the Anarctica research station, flashlight and gun at the ready while searching for the killer, when it's clear the electricity still works, and there's no reason not to just flip on the lights.

Stupidest moment of all: Two cops attached to a rope to keep them from blowing away in a whiteout storm. At least one has a gun. They see the bad guy hurrying toward the research station and Kate says, "He's going to lock us out!" So they scurry faster along the rope. I am a full-grown adult, yet I found myself muttering at the screen, "Shoot him, you idiot. Just shoot him."

Now I'm going to go work on my novel, and take out all the parts that might resemble the above crap.


By any other name

I love the fact that my city has a windshield repair place called "Crackmaster."

Also, there's a giant sign over a bookstore/religious goods shop that says "Redding CHRISTIAN SUPPLY." In case you were wondering where to buy some.


Left Coast fun

Kel and I had a great time over the weekend at Left Coast Crime, a convention for mystery fans. This year's event was in downtown Los Angeles, and the weather was great.

We spent lots of time with our pal Bill Fitzhugh, who did a great job as toastmaster. I can only hope I do as well when I'm toastmaster at next year's Left Coast in Santa Fe.

Congrats to all the volunteers who worked so hard to put on the convention.


We've got a winner

Today's tip for aspiring criminals: Stealing lottery tickets is a big gamble, but it's a sure bet that you shouldn't redeem your winning ticket at the same store you robbed.

Someone should've told Alen Nguyen, 20, of Winter Haven, FL, who was arrested after he redeemed a $50 winner at the convenience store where he'd allegedly stolen $70 worth of tickets the day before. An alert clerk asked to see ID, wrote down the info and passed it along to police.

Full story here.


Anthology coming soon!

I'm excited to be included in the next Mystery Writers of America anthology, "Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side," edited by my pal Charlaine Harris.

Charlaine is a great success these days, of course. The HBO series "True Blood" was spun off her books, and she's huge among the vampire set. Thanks to her marquee appeal, the anthology already has better Amazon numbers than any book I've ever written, and it doesn't come out until April.

Featured in the anthology are stories by such big names as William Kent Krueger, Barbara D'Amato, Margaret Maron, Carolyn Hart, Max Allan Collins and the inimitable Parnell Hall.

My story, "Limbo," was among 10 picked by a committee through a blind submission process that included more than 200 stories.


You're doing it wrong

Today's tip for aspiring criminals: When pulling off a brazen jewelry robbery, it's better if you're not accompanied by a 4-year-old child.

A couple in Philadelphia forgot that lesson recently. They grabbed a tray of jewelry and fled the store, dragging the boy behind them. When the store owner caught up to them, the man slashed his neck with a knife and fled. The boy was left behind.

Needless to say, the child was a "clue." The alleged robbers are under arrest.

Full story here.