Gene Lass has been a writer for more than 30 years, writing and editing numerous books including non-fiction, poetry, and fiction. His short story, “Fence Sitter” was nominated for Best of the Net 2020.
Songs That Chronicle My Life
I have a pretty good memory, I'm told. I can remember things as early as age 3, while some people I know barely remember high school. One of my wife's friends has no memories at all before age 8. Key to my memories is music, which seems to have always been part of my life.
The Spider War
In 2005 my family and I moved into half of a duplex in what's thought of as Lake Country in Wisconsin - the far western suburbs outside Milwaukee where small ponds and lakes are seemingly everywhere. And in fact there was a small pond behind the house where we would watch ducks and geese swim. We also frequently saw deer, or wild turkeys, we could hear coyotes and their pups howling when the sun went down, and one winter there were foxes. What we weren't expecting was wildlife on the inside as well, in the form of a thriving colony of spiders.
- Top Story - August 2023
Asperger's Syndrome: What it's Like Top Story - August 2023
A lot more is known about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) now than there was for those of us who grew up in the 1970s and 80s. For one, it's actually called ASD, and it's typically regarded that Asperger's Syndrome, which was itself a little-known condition back then, is at the higher-functioning end of the spectrum. Those of us at that end may not even be aware that that's what we have, we've always just been a bit quirky.
How to be Smart About Statistics
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." - Mark Twain. "You can fool all of the people some of the time; you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all the time. " Abraham Lincoln.
Great Comic Book Writers
Stan Lee This list of course begins with Stan Lee, who wasn't the first writer in comics, but he was one of the earliest, beginning his career with a small piece in "Captain America Comics" #3 in May, 1941, published before there even was a Marvel Comics. The company was called Timely Comics at the time, and Lee stayed there throughout his career, becoming Editor, Publisher, and Chairman Emeritus before his death in 2017. Lee's greatest legacy was co-creating the "Marvel Age of Comics" in the early 1960s, primarily with artist Jack Kirby, though the character who came to symbolize Marvel, Spider-Man, was co-created with artist Steve Ditko.
The Long History of Character Swiping in Comics
If you're a comics fan, or just the big and small screen adaptations, you've likely seen the preview images for the "Black Panther" sequel, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," or you've seen the film. If you have, you've seen the widely discussed and semi-controversial reveal that Namor the Sub-Mariner, one of Marvel's first characters, is in the film. For some fans, this is a moment to celebrate. Wakanda is on the screen again, and Namor will be in a film for the first time. However, other fans are cringing. Why?
Pidgin, Patois, and Prestige
In a previous article, I talked about why Americans have different accents, and how it can affect your life. Essentially, there are innate biases some regions of America have against other regions that, despite accomplishments and other indicators of ability or intelligence, tend to give a poor impression of that person. This bias is why broadcast journalists will work to neutralize their accent before trying to work outside regional stations. If you pronounce "pin" and "pen" the same way, or otherwise have a heavy drawl, that may be fine if you're working in Tulsa, but if you want to make it to Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York, your accent has to change. This is depicted well in the film "Sweet Home Alabama," in which a young woman from rural Alabama finds success as a fashion designer in New York, but only after abandoning her roots and her accent.
The Top Horror Films You Need to See: The Big Wrap-Up
In the other installments in our series we covered Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, Slasher films, Ghosts, Creatures, and Supernatural horror. In this article we'll feature the films that are still horror that may not fit into a specific type, as well as a few we forgot to include.
The Top Supernatural Films You Need to See
"Black Sunday" (1960) (Gene pick) From acclaimed director Mario Bava, this film is about a woman (Barbara Steele) executed for being a witch, who returns centuries later to exact her revenge. The execution scene is by far one of the most brutal in horror, particularly given that it's from 1960, and it goes far to explain why Barbara Steele is in her own right a horror icon. Highly recommended.
The Top Creature Films You Need to See
"Frankenstein" (1931) (Gene pick) The Frankenstein monster is one of the most recognizable characters in all of horror, subject of countless cartoons, films, comic books, and films. This was not the first movie adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel, but it is the most imitated, and most successful, and it made actor Boris Karloff an instant star.