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« Gun Thread (11-17-2013) | Main | Here Is Today's Jaw-Dropping Healthcare.gov Article »
November 17, 2013

Sunday Morning Book Thread 11-17-2013: Unnatural Disasters [OregonMuse]

Obama Care Stamp.jpg

Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to the award-winning AoSHQ's prestigious Sunday Morning Book Thread.

Pay No Attention To That Iceberg Up Ahead

Having been put in a perversely enjoyable mood (yet another link to Jonah Goldberg's schadenboner piece) by the events of the last week, I did a search for "disaster" on Amazon to see if anything interesting would turn up.

Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History tells the story of an horrific catastrophe I had never heard of:

At 3:17 p.m. on March 18, 1937, a natural gas leak beneath the London Junior-Senior High School in the oil boomtown of New London, Texas, created a lethal mixture of gas and oxygen in the school’s basement. The odorless, colorless gas went undetected until the flip of an electrical switch triggered a colossal blast. The two-story school, one of the nation’s most modern, disintegrated, burying everyone under a vast pile of rubble and debris. More than 300 students and teachers were killed, and hundreds more were injured.

Ouch. This tragedy, by the way, is why they now have to put that additive in (naturally odorless) natural gas to make it stinky.

Another book takes us back to July, 1919, when Chicago couldn't catch a break:

Chicago suffered a devastating 12 days. It began with the crash of the blimp, Wingfoot Express. The blimp caught fire and crashed in the heart of Chicago killing many innocent citizens. This is followed by the search for a young missing girl who turns up murdered by a predator, a transit strike, and deadly racial riots that result in the burning of many parts of the city.

All of this is recounted in City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago, as well as the over-arching political rivalry between corrupt Chicago mayor Bill "Big Bill" Thompson and the Republican governor of Illinois, Frank Lowden, both of them trying to use these disasters for their own political advantage. The end result was Lowden's downfall as a national politician and the nomination of Warren G. Harding.

And let's not forget the Great Depression: The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, details the dust storms which devastated the midwestern states during the 1930s. This book has been mentioned in several previous book threads, and is now available on Kindle for only $2.99.

And then there's Cleveland Area Disasters, but I always thought Cleveland itself was a disaster (rimshot!).

And that book led me to this author, who is making a career out of writing bad stuff about Cleveland, for which there is apparently a crap ton of material:

The Maniac in the Bushes: More True Tales of Cleveland Crime and Disaster
They Died Crawling: And Other Tales of Cleveland Woe
The Corpse in the Cellar, and Further Tales of Cleveland Woe

And he's got others. I have to laugh out loud at some of these titles.

But getting back to the immediate subject, here is the text of the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare, in all its glory. Read it, all ye mighty morons, and despair.

"...On The Other Hand, We Were Able To Sign Up Only 6 People, So It's Not That Bad."

Words, Words, Words

Here is something that looks like fun for those of us who are fascinated by words: The Forgotten English 2014 Daily Calendar brings you a different archaic, no-longer-used word every day, along with a literary excerpt demonstrating usage, and another historical reference connected to the date.

I've always found Tolkien good for this sort of thing. It was in the LOTR books that I was first exposed to words such as "dwimmerlaik" and "trothplighted". Also "fell" used as an adjective meaning fierce or deadly.

Thanks to moron commenter artemis for this.

Books By Morons

Christopher Taylor hasn't been around for awhile, but he used to comment here quite frequently. His first book, Old Habits, has been recommended by a number of morons. Mr. Taylor has just published his second book, Snowberry's Veil, and you can get it on Kindle for a buck ninety-nine. Here's the blurb:

Serving the king as a Ranger has never been boring, but once Erkenbrand takes on the responsibility of scouting for a caravan of settlers heading to the wilderness, he faces challenges like never before.

Separated from the caravan and stripped of all his gear Erkenbrand must struggle for his life before he can see his love Thealea again. Facing the wilderness, the monsters that dwell there, and the creatures he meets, Erkanbrand is alone with only his skills and will to survive. And behind it all is a dark secret that might doom both Thealea and Erkenbrand.


Occasional commenter "Kort" e-mailed to let me know she has just published her first book. The Out of Order Detective is a series of short stories about a time-traveling detective whose clients are mostly of the supernatural variety:

Spying on cheating monsters, being kidnapped to the past and chasing after a husband she didn't want who's been abducted by aliens is all part of the job for Eliza Carlisle, PI. This collection of super short stories (under 1500 words each) gives a glimpse into her life and her clients.

Available for $2.99 on Kindle.


So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.

What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as I keep saying, life is too short to be reading lousy books.

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