Things We Like: “Assault on Precinct 13″ and Haunted Las Vegas
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Posted in Things We Like on 30 October 2010
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John Carpenter’s first “real” movie remains one of his best. Also: The ghosts of Las Vegas live in plain sight … for now.

Roadside Architecture and Mid-Century Design in “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas”
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 13 October 2010
Stats: 49,892 views and 8 Comments

The “Grand Theft Auto” series of video games is known for a lot of things, but sightseeing rarely makes the list. Until now!

Bulls on Parade
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 10 August 2010
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For a hot minute, I considered running with the bulls myself — down the main drag of Mesquite, Nevada, past stunned onlookers, into a waiting limousine.

Road Trip!
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 10 June 2010
Stats: 20,097 views and 3 Comments

On a good road trip, we’d remember to bring the directions to someone-or-other’s aunt’s lake cabin and we’d head in that general direction. The best trips would happen when we actually found it.

Scenes from the Neon Boneyard
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Posted in One Million Watts on 7 June 2010
Stats: 6,895 views and 1 Comment

It’s not right to call it a graveyard. These things were never really alive to begin with. And besides, the Neon Boneyard is soon coming back to life.

Regarding Sad Eye Joe and the Haunted Shack
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 1 April 2010
Stats: 13,498 views and 7 Comments

There have been times in my life when I’ve been happy to be fooled. Though I have a pretty good idea of how the Haunted Shack at Knott’s Berry Farm worked, I don’t know for sure. And that’s fine.

Humbug! Or, A Defense of Fraud
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 30 March 2010
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The great showman P.T. Barnum once wrote a book collecting together stories of historical lies and frauds. Barnum wouldn’t like to hear me use the word “fraud,” however — he preferred “humbug.”

Barnum on Whales: There’s One Born Every Minute
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 22 February 2010
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P.T. Barnum was not a man to be content with the small stuff. His museum exhibited large animals including lions, bears, and most remarkably, two beluga whales.

It’s a Circus Out There! Part 2
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 18 February 2010
Stats: 5,315 views and 2 Comments

It says a lot that the people of the mid-1800’s were willing to take time off from work to attend circuses. Circus fever was spreading, and with it many came many myths, legends and vernacular that are part of our world today.

It’s a Circus Out There! Part 1
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 17 February 2010
Stats: 8,487 views and 2 Comments

The same Wisconsin landscape that attracted puritans was exactly what circus folk needed as a home for their menagerie of animals. Before Wisconsin even became a state, these two groups had to find a way to co-exist.