Snapshots 36

Here are 7 developments of interest to fans:

(1) “Out West” is the first series hosted by a Western-heritage museum looking at the roles of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in frontier history. It consists of a gallery tour, panel discussions, lectures and performances to be rolled out in four installments over the course of 12 months.

It turns out that [stagecoach driver Old] Charlie, nee Charlotte Darkey Parkhurst, had passed much of her adult life as a man. The discovery of her true gender became a local sensation. And her story still fascinates U.S. historians, some of whom believe that she was the first woman to have voted in a presidential election, long before the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

(2) San Diego fans like meeting at Killer Pizza From Mars. I’ve got to get down there, the place looks like fun. Its website is amusing, too. Let’s begin with this deep and meaningful corporate philosophy:

Our Mission Statement is currently inbound and should arrive here within the specified time elements commonly associated with similar intellectual achievements and as quickly as our brilliant translator can acquire said documents. Thank you fellow Earthlings.

(3) Marvin the Martian is getting his own movie, reports the LA Times “Hero Complex” blog.

And the producers are talking to a number of stars. One name that’s come up is Mike Myers, no stranger to voice roles given his work on the Shrek franchise.

The plot for “Marvin” will remain what it was when it was first announced in the summer of 2008: Marvin comes to Earth to try to destroy Christmas, but his plans are foiled when he gets trapped inside a gift box.

Not a pizza carton?

(4) “Dracorex Hogwartsia R.I.P.”? Say it ain’t so!

Ever since the first dinosaur fossils were discovered, experts have had a hard time distinguishing between adults and juveniles–with the result that many supposedly “new” dinosaurs (like the pint-sized Nanotyrannus) have turned out on further examination to be juveniles of existing species (e.g., Tyrannosaurus Rex). Now, a new analysis of pachycephalosaur fossils by a joint team from The University of California, Berkeley and The Museum of the Rockies has cast doubt on two named genuses of pachycephalosaur, Dracorex and Stygimoloch.

The Wikipedia elaborates:

Dracorex is a putative dinosaur genus of the family Pachycephalosauridae, from the Late Cretaceous of North America. The type (and only) species is Dracorex hogwartsia, meaning “dragon king of Hogwarts“.

(5) ”LOL!” isn’t much of a recommendation, but this verse from Peter David’s lament about the demise of Laredo, Texas’s only bookstore (to “Streets of Laredo” of course) ought to be reason enough for you to click the link:

Laredo’s a city that’s found in Webb County
Where nearly one half of the people don’t read.
But I wasn’t worried ’cause we had one bookstore
And surely one bookstore is all that we need…

(6) Stephen and Tabitha King are donating the cost of two bus trips to bring 150 members of a Maine National Guard unit home from Camp Atterbury in Indiana for the holidays. The unit is due to depart for Afghanistan in January.

Julie Eugley, one of King’s personal assistants, told the Bangor Daily News that the Kings were approached about giving $13,000. But Stephen King thought the number 13 was a bit unlucky, so the couple pitched in $12,999 instead. Eugley chipped in $1 to make for an even $13,000.

(7) After Congress sorts out health insurance something like this will seem like a snap:

If the thought of your home being leveled by a meteor or wayward space station keeps you awake at night, you’ll be relieved (and maybe a bit surprised) to learn you’ll probably be covered.

Wilson says it’s rare for policies to specifically exclude this type of damage. It’s generally covered under the “falling objects” heading.

[Thanks for these links to David Klaus, Andrew Porter, and Santa Claus.]