Lazy Saturday Reads

Diner, by Kevin Mizner

Diner, by Kevin Mizner


Good Morning!!

You’ve  probably heard by now that Donna Douglas, who played Elly Mae Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, died on Thursday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She was either 81 or 82, depending on which news source you read. I wasn’t a fan of the show, but it was hard not to be aware of it; and I did see it from time to time in reruns. From the LA Times:

The show — about the down-home Clampetts who strike it rich with an Ozarks oil well and move to California — became an immediate hit when it began airing on CBS in 1962. It starred Buddy Ebsen as patriarch Jed, Irene Ryan as Granny, Max Baer Jr. as Jethro and Douglas as Elly May, a buxom tomboy character who had curly blond pigtails, wore gingham and blue jeans and loved her “critters.” ….

After winning beauty contests in her home state, Douglas headed to New York City in the mid-1950s in search of modeling jobs and wound up on television as a billboard girl on “The Steve Allen Show.” She took acting lessons and landed a few parts in other TV series before writer and producer Paul Henning asked her if she thought she’d be right for his new show, “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

“I just looked at him and grinned,” Douglas told AP Hollywood reporter Bob Thomas in 1965. “Could I handle Elly May? Why, it was just like my own life.” ….

She had to retrieve the Southern accent she had tried to lose, and she had no trouble with the dogs, skunks, mountain lion, chimpanzee and other animals Elly May adored on the series.

“I loved doing Elly May,” the actress would recall. “And, of course, ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ was a story about the American dream. No matter who tried to slicker us or take advantage of us, we always came out on top. We were never the losers. We set a good example.”

I hadn’t realized until I read it in the Times obituary, that Donna Douglas also appeared in one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes ever.


Douglas appeared for just a few minutes in the final moments of the second season episode, “The Eye of the Beholder,” written by series creator Rod Serling. The episode aired in 1960, years before “The Beverly Hillbillies” in 1962. But unlike “Hillbillies,” where her good looks were used as a punch line, here they became part of a ghoulish twist. In fact, it was one of the best, and most memorable, twist endings in the show’s history.

The episode recounted the recovery of a woman named Janet Tyler after a series of medical procedures attempting to fix a face that has apparently been completely deformed. While she deals with the doctors and nurses in the hospital, we see her head wrapped completely in bandages.

In fact, it was actress Maxine Stuart who played Tyler for these scenes. But in the episode’s final moments, the bandages are removed and Tyler’s face is revealed to be Douglas’.

“No change. No change at all,” the doctor laments. And then we see the face of the medical staff — snouted and horrific. But in this world, it’s Douglas’ face that’s the monstrosity.

This ending is regularly listed among the top “Twilight Zone” endings of all time, and the image of a horrified Douglas being restrained by the bizarre-looking doctor is one that’s made its way onto many T-shirts and posters.

Here’s that final scene. The sound is a little low, but you’ll get the idea.

Here’s the full episode:

Douglas later appeared in another Twilight Zone episode, “Cavender Is Missing,” and was a guest on many television programs, including Bachelor Father, 77 Sunset Strip, Adam 12, Night Gallery, Route 66, and Surfside 6.

Also on Thursday, instant karma struck Florida State University, its football team, and quarterback/accused rapist Jameis Winston when the team got blown out by Oregon in the Rose Bowl, thanks to Winston’s poor performance. From The Washington Post: It all implodes on Jameis Winston.

Florida State had not lost a game since November 2012, and quarterback Jameis Winston was personally undefeated since high school. That stretch included a national championship last season, plus a Heisman Trophy for Winston….

In the first-ever College Football Playoff semifinal game, the Seminoles were trailing at halftime, 18-13, but that seemed no cause for worry, as the team had staged second-half comebacks all season. Even after a pair of fumbles by FSU running back Dalvin Cook had helped Oregon take a 39-20 lead late in the third quarter, it still seemed entirely possible that Winston could lead his team back.

Down 19 points, Florida State faced a fourth-and-5 situation and decided to go for it. That’s when the previously unflappable Winston committed a mind-boggling turnover:

Whoa!! (Read twitter reactions at the WaPo link.)

On the sidelines, lip-readers picked up FSU Coach Jimbo Fisher telling Winston something that looked like, “If you don’t calm the [expletive] down, you’re going to the bench.”

Winston did not calm, um, down, at least if an interception on his second throw after that costly fumble was any indication. Eventually, Winston did go to the bench, but that was mostly because the game proceeded to get even more out of hand.

It was 59-20 when backup quarterback Sean Maguire entered the game, and that’s how it ended. Winston is widely expected to declare for the NFL draft, meaning that the Rose Bowl was almost certainly his last college game, and it certainly did not go the way he wanted.

You have to wonder if any NFL team will want to sign Winston considering the league’s current problem with domestic violence.

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

After the game, Oregon players taunted Winston by chanting “no means no” along with the crowd. Th

Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said in a statement to the Associated Press that the behavior was inappropriate.

“This is not what our program stands for, and the student-athletes will be disciplined internally,” Helfrich said.

Winston was never charged after a woman accused him of raping her in 2012.

Oregon has its own problems with sexual assaults by athletes.

Three former basketball players were suspended in June for a minimum of four years after a freshman student filed a report alleging they sexually assaulted her. Prosecutors decided there wasn’t enough evidence to charge the players, who said the sexual contact was consensual.

Winston was recently  “cleared” of wrongdoing in a joke of a hearing; Vice obtained a published the entire transcript. Read all about it at the link.

This is so sad. A 7-year-0ld girl who survived a plane crash that killed the rest of her family went in search of help.

Larry Wilkins, 71, was watching the local news at his Buckberry Trail home at around 6:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. ET) when he said he heard a knock.

 “The little girl come to my door,” Wilkins told NBC News in a telephone interview late Friday. “She was bleeding pretty bad, her legs were bleeding, her face had a bloody nose. She was barefoot, only had one sock on.”

“She told me that her mom and her dad were dead, and she was in a plane crash, and the plane was upside down,” he said. “She asked if she could stay here. I said, ‘Honey, what can I do for you?’ I got a wash cloth and cleaned her up. And of course called 911.”

Marty Gutzler, 49, and Kimberly Gutzler, 45; their daughter, 9-year-old Piper Gutzler; and Sierra Walder, 14, Piper’s cousin were killed in the crash, according to Kentucky State Police. The identity of the 7-year-old survivor was not released. The victims were from Nashville, Illinois, police said.

So heartbreaking. I hope that brave little girl has other family members who will take care of her.

Hundreds of NYPD officers turn their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio at funeral of fallen officer Rafael Ramos.

Hundreds of NYPD officers turn their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio at funeral of fallen officer Rafael Ramos.

Many NYPD officers are continuing their long-running tantrum against NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. They’re enraged because de Blasio said that he has warned his black son to be careful in any interactions with police. Because de Blasio dared to tell the truth, the police union has instigated a work slowdown; and officers have turned their backs on the mayor in at least two public appearances, including the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos. The New York Times editorialized about this disgraceful behavior twice. As the editors point out, de Blasio campaigned on ending the unconstitutional “stop and frisk” policy and reforming “policing excesses.” The editors stated that the public wants NYPD officers to

1. Don’t violate the Constitution.

2. Don’t kill unarmed people.

3. Do your jobs.

Meanwhile, according to Think Progress, some NYC residents are “benefiting from the NYPD’s work stoppage.”

As a result of what the New York Post is calling a “virtual work stoppage,” tickets and summonses for minor offenses have plummeted by 94 percent and overall arrests have fallen 66 percent. Theoretically, the practice will strain police budgets, which rely on fines from tickets to make-up for funding shortfalls. ​

Although it’s not the intended goal of the work stoppage, the decline in arrests could save New Yorkers money. The city residents who are normally hit with tickets for minor violations tend to be low income individuals who are forced to pay up a hefty portion of their paychecks.

The city began following the broken-windows style of policing in the early 1980s, a strategy championed by NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton which focuses on eliminating low-level crime to prevent more violent offenses in the city’s neighborhoods. But a report earlier this year by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan found that the NYPD’s practice of arresting more people for minor offenses since 1980 has disproportionately affected young black and Latino men.

While de Blasio and Bratton have followed through on their promise to reform the city’s stop and frisk practices and the mayor announced in November that police would stop making arrests for low-level marijuana possessions, there are still racial biases in police practices throughout the city that result in a tougher financial burden on those already struggling to make ends meet.

And New Yorkers of all income levels are also saving money on one of the most consistent ways the city can slam people with tickets— parking violations are down by 92 percent, from 14,699 to just 1,241 this year.

A few more headlines:

A rescued sea turtle is recovering after washing ashore a Wellfleet beach. (Image Credit: New England Aquarium)

A rescued sea turtle is recovering after washing ashore a Wellfleet beach. (Image Credit: New England Aquarium)

CBS Boston, Large Sea Turtle Rescued From Cape Cod Beach., Hundreds of Sea Turtles Are Washing Up on New England Shores, and Experts Don’t Know Why.

Gizmodo, Why the Flu Vaccine Doesn’t Always Work.

CNN, Scientists: Random gene mutations primary cause of cancer.

CNN World, What killed the Maya? ‘Blue Hole’ offers clues.

Nature World News, Audubon Bird Watchers Get an ‘Unusual’ Show, this New Year.

AP via USA Today, Accused plotter of U.S. embassy bombings dies in N.Y.

BBC News, UK Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey ‘in critical condition’.

The Guardian, Prince Andrew named in US lawsuit over underage sex claims.

More about this at Politico, Woman who sued convicted billionaire over sex abuse levels claims at his friends.

and The Daily Mail, Prince Andrew ‘lobbied the US government to go easy on Jeffrey Epstein’: Palace denies claims royal tried to use his influence to help billionaire paedophile during 2008 police probe 



18 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads”

  1. NW Luna says:

    Good news for saner gun legislation:

    With success of gun-check law in Washington, groups turn attention to other states

    The gun-control movement, blocked in Congress and facing mounting losses in federal elections, is tweaking its name, refining its goals and using the same-sex marriage movement as a model to take the fight to voters on the state level.

    After a victory in November on a Washington state ballot measure that will require broader background checks on gun buyers, groups that promote gun regulations are turning their attention — and their growing wallets — to other states that allow ballot measures.

    An initiative seeking stricter background checks for certain purchasers has qualified for the 2016 ballot in Nevada, where such a law was passed last year by the Legislature and then vetoed by the governor. Advocates of gun safety — the term many now use instead of “gun control” — also are seeking spots on ballots in Arizona, Maine and Oregon.

  2. NW Luna says:

    It’s nice to see the info on most cancers being due to random gene mutations get into the lay press, although it’s not really news. For example, most women with breast cancer have no risk factors. Modifiable risk factors such as smoking, lack of exercise, excessive drinking, obesity, unhealthy diet etc. add up to only approx 30%. That means 70% of women with breast cancer have done all the right things but still got it. Yet women get lambasted repeatedly in a way that implies it’s their fault for getting breast cancer. Not to mention there are several different kinds of breast cancer and their etiology, presentation, and treatments are different.

    I’d like to see more research into just what turns those random mutations into the start of invasive proliferation. Special emphasis on environmental factors, considering all the possible and known carcinogens in products we’re exposed to daily. But I’m not holding my breath – that sort of long-term research is very expensive, and there are big-money lobbyists behind the producers of BPA and other similar substances.

    • gregoryp says:

      I believe this is completely incorrect. There is a primary risk factor that not many people in this country or elsewhere for that matter want to hear and that is the ingestion of animal protein. Nobody wants to hear this and people go to great lengths to deny this but there are rat studies which prove that a low protein and no animal protein diet completely inhibits angiogenesis. As a matter of course, replication errors occur all of the time but we have mechanisms that allow the body to correct these and prevent cancer before it begins; however, once angiogenesis occurs it is very difficult for the body to stop. But of course Cancer is the gravy train that supports thousands of researchers, doctors, hospitals and big pharma so people aren’t properly informed. Strikingly, people and animals on a low protein diet fail to contract cancer even when exposed to known carcinogens.

      People always want confirmation that it isn’t our fault that as a society we have an insane prevalence of mostly preventable diseases because we live in ignorance and don’t look to other societies where nobody has traditionally gotten these diseases as role models. We are spending billions on medical cures that has a very slim chance to zero chance of ever working rather than ferreting out the root causes and systematically eliminating the risk factors. We prefer a magic bullet to changing our ways and being smart about our health. Perfect example is heart disease. We know what causes it. There is no shadow of doubt yet people eat more meat now than ever. It is a strange society we live in where everyone is basically ill and on medication and nobody wants to alter their behavior.

      • NW Luna says:

        Not clear if it’s the animal protein, or the meat, or the low protein that is your proposed remedy. The amino acids that make up proteins come from plant andanimal sources. For example, one could have a high-protein diet without eating any meat. Reduction or elimination of of meat intake does indeed help reduce cardiovascular disease. However, vegetarians, prehistoric and medieval people have indeed developed cancer.

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    I think the NYPD is proving that it’s out of control and that it’s top ranking officers have no real influence/command over the rank-in-file. They are making the very point they are trying to disprove. As sworn officers they have a moral, ethical and legal obligation to obey lawful orders from their superiors and turning their back on their boss and laying down on the job displays more than disrespect for DiBlasio, it shows disrespect for the citizens of NY and defiance of superior officers. They chose this job, with all of it’s perils and perks. It can be a dangerous job, a demanding job, but it can also be an easy job, with hours of sit around time filled by chit-chat and donut dunking. They need to remember that they’re not the Mafia. They can’t strong arm people into accepting their misbehavior but throwing hissy-fits and refusing to do the job they were HIRED and PAID to do.They are first and foremost PEACE officers sworn to protect and to serve the citizens of NY, all the citizens of NY. They need to quit defying those who seek to challenge their abuses of power, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT IS BEING CHALLENGED, and do their fucking jobs, or quit. I’m sure there would be no problem finding equally qualified people to fill their shoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As for the Union, they need to stop defending out-of-control rogue officers and spend their influence making the job and the benefits better for the good officers.

    • gregoryp says:

      Ever notice that when you see videos of the police being out of control and assaulting or killing people there are never any older police officers present? I believe AGE and EXPERIENCE are major factors as it seems that police agencies across the country have deliberately moved to a younger police force with many of these officers being veterans of our unfortunate excursions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  4. dakinikat says:

    Happy Birthday Ralph!!! Hope you get a chance to stop by and tell us what kind of partying you’re doing with those grandchildren!!!

  5. Take a look at this please.

  6. dakinikat says:

    The Louisiana Nazis Who Courted Steve Scalise
    Kenny Knight and Howie Farrell, the two men at the heart of the Steve Scalise scandal, were well known in Louisiana politics as longtime operatives of Duke’s Holocaust-denying hate machine.

    • dakinikat says:

      and from the BBC:

      According to the New Republic’s Brian Beutler, however, such comparisons don’t expose media and liberal hypocrisy, they show how party allegiances have shifted in the South over the past century.

      “White identity has always driven politics in the South, but where it once propelled Democrats to power, it now, with less outward vitriol, helps elect Republicans,” he writes.

      He says things “aren’t as bleak as they once were”, as white allegiance is now based more on ideological issues. But the fact that politicians like Mr Scalise still feel compelled to appear before white supremacists groups – knowingly or unwittingly – and assure voters that they are more electable than David Duke indicates that the break isn’t a clean one.

      The other interesting thread in all this are the fault lines once again being exposed between establishment Republicans like Speaker of the House John Boehner and grass-roots, Tea Party Republicans.

      Mr Scalise – who was elected to the House Republican leadership team after Majority Leader Eric Cantor was upset by a little known primary challenger – was supposed to be a way to bring more right-wing members of Congress into the fold.

      i.e. he was supposed to attract the racists, the homophobes, the anti-Semites, and the misogynists which the Republican Party harbors, grooms,and caters too.

      • Fannie says:

        Amen to i.e………….which the republican party harbors, grooms, and caters too – Amen. They think this is going away by next week, and it’s not. They are not going to be able to avoid it, I hope not. I hope some people wake the fuck up.

    • Oh Dak, I knew it! I remembered very well…because back when Duke ran for president in 88, Knight was big deal in his campaign I think…I remember back then always remarking, the racist assholes have a duke and a knight representing them. That it was more than just a last names, it was their titles in the Klan…

      • dakinikat says:

        I know. I can’t believe Scalise is peddling the lie that he didn’t know who is old buddy Knight was. Read that article. I mean both of us weren’t even in the neighborhood and we know!

      • Fannie says:

        Yeah, and it was more than standing on some corner handing out flyers. Somebody need to research those ballots….He was a household name in Louisiana long before 1989…….all his fucking neighbors were related to them. They both went to LSU, and their is were they cocooned from a dim light to a bright white light.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Oh. My. God. Holy shit!