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The wild health claims of "India's Ovaltine"

SEATTLE, Washington - I was at an Indian grocery today and noticed a concoction called Horlicks, what seems to be an Ovaltine-style add-to-milk mix that is sold in the UK but is most popular in India. I was reminded of the creepy, promise-strewn old Ovaltine radio commercials when reading the label - it claims to be the "Great Family Nourisher" and also says it will make the drinker "Taller, Stronger, Sharper".


Christina Ricci's career going in the wrong direction

SEATTLE, Washington - While some actresses, like Scarlett Johansson, are sexing up their careers as they go along, Christina Ricci seems to be going the other way. She has been miscast as Trixie is the Speed Racer movie that is coming out in May.

Hopefully, the Wachowski brothers (and couldn't they think of something better to do than a Speed Racer movie?) are tuning the part of Trixie to suit Ricci's talents. We better be getting a Pill-Popping Trixie, or a Lesbian Action With Serial Killers Trixie, or a Cozying Up to Your Kidnapper Trixie, or Manipulative Nympho Trixie, or Chained to Samuel L. Jackson's Radiator Trixie.

movie posters from Just Jared

Don't we do this with all white singers?

SEATTLE, Washington - I thought that the process of making a singer sound much better on the studio album than live was some dark art of manual manipulation of sound waves. Apparently it's a bit more old-fashioned, at least according to Henry Rollins, who said in an interview with Sun Media that Britney Spears sounds good on albums because they mix her singing with that of a "black chick":

"They have the black chick come in and sing, and Britney sings over it, and they mix them together," said Rollins, who has his own talk show on IFC.
"Britney apparently isn't actually the worst singer, she just has no feel. So they bring in this older black woman who sings the song, then Britney sings to it, and they kind of make a mix of the two voices, and that's what you hear on the records."

found via F-listed


In Praise of Melancholy

SEATTLE, Washington - The 10am Friday hour of Dennis Prager's radio show is always designated the "Happiness Hour" and happiness is discussed. Dennis is a big proponent of happiness.

This week, he let an enemy into the den, so to speak; he interviewed Eric Wilson, a professor at Wake Forest and the author of Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy.

The commercial-free mp3 is here: topics discussed include the treatment of melancholy in various Christian and Jewish traditions; Keats; Sartre; and the role of melancholy in creativity.

The landmine-infested task of predicting the future of the internet

SEATTLE, Washington - A fast-rising post on Digg today links to a 1995 article in Newsweek that discusses the over-hyped future potential of this "Internet" thing. Predicting the future is rough stuff, and anyone who does it in print has some degree of balls, but this author, Clifford Stoll, was way off.

Most people making predictions then were off in some way; I only choose to post this one because Clifford Stoll is, like me, an alumnus of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, and one of my professors back then would occasionally mention that Cliff Stoll was an alumnus, and how great it was for Stockton to have such a notable technology guy as Cliff Stoll as an alumnus.

Some bits:

Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney.


The Usenet, a worldwide bulletin board, allows anyone to post messages across the nation. Your word gets out, leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophany more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen.
..What the Internet hucksters won't tell you is that the Internet is one big ocean of unedited data, without any pretense of completeness. Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don't know what to ignore and what's worth reading.

Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly, and most (like mine) are ignored, but mechanisms have arisen to let people get only what they want, and the best of the best get picked up by many people; Paul Graham touches on this a bit in the "Amateurs" section of this essay. The fact that this article is popping up today is a demonstration of one of the mechanisms ( that is used in lieu of "editors, reviewers, or critics."

And you can't tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.

Not only can you tote your laptop (or other device, unimagined by Stoll) to the beach, but Negroponte went on to found the One Laptop Per Child project - usable at many places above and beyond the beach.

Then there's cyberbusiness. We're promised instant catalog shopping--just point and click for great deals. We'll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet--which there isn't--the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.

Actually, I think the thing many people like about internet shopping is the lack of salespeople. Guess they're not a "most essential ingredient" of capitalism.

All of this appeared in Stoll's book Silicon Snake Oil, but it's now getting its little moment of sunshine on the internet, 13 years later.


A Jacqueline sighting

SEATTLE, Washington - Every so often, in blog comments in various nooks and crannies of the internet, someone will ask "what has happened to Jacqueline Passey?" Her blog disappeared shortly after her (3rd) marriage, leading cynics to state that the blog was merely a husband-finding mechanism.

She popped up today on a post at Marginal Revolution, where Tyler Cowen cited her as the source of a link, and she subsequently made some comments.

She now says she's studying to become an accountant - her career trajectory changes more often than I change addresses, which is often.

It's fitting that she pops up in the same week that the Norwescon sci-fi convention is going on - that would make this week the four-year anniversary of her taking the opportunity of our first meeting to haul my unsuspecting ass to the convention - not exactly the evening I had in mind.

The Trophy PB&J is back - and is still the Dirtiest Playa in tha Game

SEATTLE, Washington - The long awaited return of the Trophy Cupcakes PB&J is here. It has changed a bit, but it still has muscle.

The main change I see is the frosting - it consists of a dollop of jelly-flavored frosting in the middle, surrounded by a ring of peanut butter-flavored frosting. Previously, it was a kind of swirl of the two, and I sometimes had a tough time distinguishing the jelly flavor.

At the bottom of the cupcake is a small chamber with a touch of peanut butter and a touch of jelly.


We will crush your bold design elements

SEATTLE, Washington - One of the alleged objectives of the Design Review Boards in Seattle is to "encourage better design and site planning that enhances the character of the city and ensures that new development fits sensitively into neighborhoods", but any time a developer proposes some "character" it gets the tsk-tsk treatment from the board.

The Slog previewed some review sessions this evening, one of which is a 30-unit condo building; the developer had the temerity to propose that the building be painted in a striking yellow. Whoa there, said the board:

Developer Masto Properties has proposed replacing a squat apartment building with a six-story building, containing 30 condominiums and parking for 32 vehicles below grade. One point of friction: It’s bright yellow.

“They said it might be too bold,” Steve Gawronski of Group Architect Inc. says about the design-review board’s take on the design at a previous meeting. But the color works with the building and is spectacularly refreshing. Thousands of cans of taupe paint already threw up all over pre-fab boxes around the city—we don’t need another one.

This building would look fine there (I lived so close to this location that my old residence is almost in the rendering), but frankly my opinion of the color shouldn't matter, the opinion of the "community" about the color shouldn't matter, and the opinion of the Design Review Board shouldn't matter.

Does anyone on these Design Review Boards, once in a while, just say "you know, it's none of our fucking business what color you want to paint this building. Surprise us!"


Movie Review - Romance

SEATTLE, Washington - Netflix is kind enough to stock the full-blast uncensored director's cut of the depraved Catherine Breillat's 1999 film Romance. I rented this for the same reason I rented Breillat's 2003 film Anatomy of Hell - to see the stilted dramatic acting of porn legend Rocco Siffredi.

This movie starts out like a typical Euro highbrow porn flick. Marie (Caroline Ducey) is shacked up with a guy who doesn't want to have sex with her. He won't even let her perform some friendly fellatio. Most women would consider this the perfect relationship, but not Marie, who gets sufficiently frisky that she sneaks out of bed one night and hits the town.

At the bar she promptly makes eye contact with Rocco, who floats over to her table. "Just came for a nightcap?" he asks. Soon they are getting together at night for sex.

Rocco is more polite and deferential than he is in most movies. "Shall I stick it in your ass?" he inquires, and he doesn't press the issue when she declines. Contrast this with, say, Rocco's Initiations #9, where Rocco continues to pursue the anal issue after being refused and eventually talks the girl into it.

Marie has a few more adventures in the course of the film, what Netflix calls her odyssey of "lust and degradation". Along the way, she shares her thought on sex, relationships, and life, including "I don't care who stuffs my cunt, but I can't kiss someone I don't love", "love between men and women is impossible", "You can't love a face if a cunt goes with it", and "I hate reading". By the end of the movie, of course, there's a twist or two in her relationship with her boyfriend.

Anatomy of Hell did have some really troubling stuff; this movie isn't as bad in that regard. Thankfully, this DVD does not have a bonus interview with Breillat; the Anatomy of Hell DVD does and it's one of the most tedious displays of Euro-babbling that one could ever hear.

The SPS 2008 college hoops bracket

SEATTLE, Washington -


Round 1
1 North Carolina def. 16 (play-in winner)
8 Indiana def. 9 Arkansas
5 Notre Dame def. 12 George Mason
4 Washington St. def. 13 Winthrop
6 Oklahoma def. 11 St. Joseph's
3 Louisville def. 14 Boise St.
7 Butler def. 10 South Alabama
2 Tennessee def. 15 American

Round 2
1 North Carolina def. 8 Indiana
5 Notre Dame def. 4 Washington St.
6 Oklahoma def. 3 Louisville
2 Tennessee def. 7 Bulter

Round 3
1 North Carolina def. 5 Notre Dame
2 Tennessee def. 6 Oklahoma

Round 4
1 North Carolina def. 2 Tennessee


Round 1
1 Kansas def. 16 Portland St.
8 UNLV def. 9 Kent St.
5 Clemson def. 12 Villanova
4 Vanderbilt def. 13 Siena
11 Kansas St. def. 6 USC
3 Wisconsin def. 14 Cal-Fullerton
7 Gonzaga def. 10 Davidson
2 Georgetown def. 15 UMBC

Round 2
1 Kansas def. 8 UNLV
4 Vanderbilt def. 5 Clemson
3 Wisconsin def. 11 Kansas St.
2 Georgetown def. 7 Gonzaga

Round 3
1 Kansas def. 4 Vanderbilt
3 Wisconsin def. 2 Georgetown

Round 4
3 Wisconsin def. 1 Kansas


Round 1
1 Memphis def. 16 Texas-Arlington
8 Miss. St. def. 9 Oregon
5 Michigan St. def. 12 Temple
4 Pitt def. 13 Oral Roberts
11 Kentucky def. 6 Marquette
3 Stanford def. 14 Cornell
7 Miami def. 10 Saint Mary's
2 Texas def. 15 Austin Peay

Round 2
1 Memphis def. 8 Miss. St.
4 Pitt def. 5 Michigan St.
3 Stanford def. 11 Kentucky
2 Texas def. 7 Miami

Round 3
4 Pitt def. 1 Memphis
3 Stanford def. 4 Pitt

Round 4
3 Stanford def. 4 Pitt


Round 1
1 UCLA def. 16 Miss. Valley St.
9 Texas A&M def. 8 BYU
12 Western Kentucky def. 5 Drake
4 Connecticut def. 13 San Diego
6 Purdue def. 11 Baylor
3 Xavier def. 14 Georgia
10 Arizona def. 7 West Virginia
2 Duke def. 15 Belmont

Round 2
1 UCLA def. 9 Texas A&M
4 Connecticut def. 12 Western Kentucky
3 Xavier def. 6 Purdue
10 Arizona def. 2 Duke

Round 3
1 UCLA def. 4 Connecticut
3 Xavier def. 10 Arizona

Round 4
1 UCLA def. 3 Xavier

North Carolina def. Wisconsin
Stanford def. UCLA

North Carolina def. Stanford


Minor league baseball team plans Eliot Spitzer promotion

SEATTLE, Washington - Minor league baseball teams are known for running wacky promotions to publicize their product - everything from Osama bin Laden bobblehead dolls to free popsicles in honor of the cryogenically frozen Ted Williams. The latest "innovation" is the planned "Eliot Spitzer Night" by the Macon Music, a minor league team in Georgia:

The Macon Music is capitalizing on the outgoing New York governor's prostitution-related downfall, by serving up a "Eliot Spitzer Night." The man once known as "Mr. Clean" is invited to throw out the first pitch at the June 13th game, although he hasn't RSVP'd.

A South Coast League official says anybody named Eliot, Spitzer or Kristen, the alleged call girl, will get $1 off admission.
And since Spitzer was described as "Client No. 9" in FBI documents, the ninth fan will get a prize. So will the 871st fan to buy a ticket, because that's supposed to have been Spitzer's Mayflower Hotel room number.

heard on The Jim Rome Show


Two celebrity booby-blogs clashing over "ethics"

SEATTLE, Washington - It seems that there is no sphere of life that does not have some tension - even the world of T&A bloggers is having issues. In what are probably the first two posts on such blogs that don't have a celebrity or swimsuit angle, accusations of plagiarism and unethical behavior are boiling.

This started with a post on Hollywood Tuna, one of my favorites in the genre. If you read many of these blogs you see that there is a generous amount of linking to other blogs and a certain amount of duplicative posts. Still, the Tuna thinks that a competitor blog has gone too far with blatant copying of material:

Not that you guys care but when you finally come across something post worthy and then see it on another site 30 minutes later, you realize that they are ripping you off and that can piss you off. You let it slide, then you realize that day after day, that same site is still using all of your material and eventually the time comes where you have to take action...
So today I decided to take action (which is not the first time) and call this person out by sending him an email.
Most websites conduct themselves ethically and I pride myself on working with websites that are doing their own thing and expressing their own voice on their own content. I felt that the time has come where I need to cut ties with the negativity and move forward accordingly...

The Tuna sent an email to the offending blog, Egotastic!, and the author of Egotastic! posted a response:

I don't usually respond to childish, passive aggressive behaviour, and I don't like fanning the flames of inane online bitch wars, but this time, I'm not going to sit with my thumbs up my ass, no matter how good it might feel.
Do we have similar content? Yes. Does every other babe-centric gossip blog have similar content? Yes. I won't apologize for posting content that I think my readers will enjoy. And I sure as heck (I wanted to use a harsher word, but the kids are watching) won't let any other site claim that I am "using all of [their] material."
The funniest part of what was written, though, is that he puportedly conducts himself "ethically." I won't go into details about how far that is from the truth, because frankly, it's none of your business, and you don't really care, but I have never known Hollywood Tuna to act ethically.

I, for one, would like more details on the hinted-at lack of ethics on the part of Hollywood Tuna.


Trophy Cupcakes can send the consulting check to my Swiss account

SEATTLE, Washington - I went to Trophy Cupcakes this weekend to check the status of the soon-to-return Peanut Butter & Jelly cupcake. A small sign said that the cupcake was returning "on Fridays" starting March 21.

When I asked if this was the only day that the cupcake was going to be available, I was told that the cupcake would not be "special" if it was offered too often. That's exactly what I told them when they first started offering the PB&J four days a week. They blew off my warning last time, but now my warning has become official company policy.

They (and by they, I mean someone there, who may or may not be the person that commented on the post linked above) said the PB&J will be offered on a second, yet-to-be-determined day in addition to Fridays.


Mary Carter Paint has hidden its tracks

SEATTLE, Washington - I said in a previous post that I wanted to take a look at a 1976 Rolling Stone article that discussed the Mary Carter Paint company, to see if it had any new information or better-documented sources compared to what I have already read on the topic. Not only did the article contain some factual errors that I easily spotted, but the portion of the article that I cared about was retracted by Rolling Stone in 1977.

I was hoping for detailed source documentation, but instead I just got references to "CIA sources" when discussing the evolution of Mary Carter Paint:

Mary Carter Paint, according to CIA sources, was a CIA front group. It had been set up by Thomas Dewey and Allen Dulles. In 1958 Dewey and some friends bought controlling interest in the Crosby Miller Corporation with $2 million in CIA money from Dulles, who was still CIA director. A year later the Crosby Miller Corporation merged with the paint company. During the Bay of Pigs operation in 1960 and 1961, according to CIA sources, Mary Carter laundered CIA payments to the Cuban exile army.

I'm always skeptical when a relatively low-level detail like this (setting up a front company) is credited to the top guys in an organization. It reeks of name-dropping - like Bill Cooper's writings on the alien-government alliance in Behold a Pale Horse.

The article goes on to discuss how the CIA morphed Mary Carter Paint into Resorts International and it became a "conduit for hiding money it sends to counterinsurgency groups in Central in South America."

After suffering through reading this at the library on microfiche (in negative, of course), I find out that Rolling Stone retracted this portion of their story in 1977 after being sued by Resorts International:

Rolling Stone in 1977, after being legally challenged by Resorts, retracted a story that CIA Director Allen Dulles was majorly involved in the buyout. Quoting CIA sources, Kohn wrote that in 1958 Dulles gave Dewey and Thomas $2 million in CIA money to set up a front company. With it they supposedly bought Crosby-Miller Corp, which merged with Mary Carter a year later. In its retraction, Rolling Stone noted that while it respected Kohn as a researcher, Resorts International had shown the magazine persuasive evidence that Kohn had been wrong or been misled by his sources.
During the early 70s, Resort International/Mary Carter's activities were occasionally cited in the left-wing press as evidence that it had been carrying out CIA business. When similar allegations appeared in a Las Vegas newspaper, Resorts --- as in the case of Rolling Stone --- threatened suit and won a full retraction. (source)

In addition to this retraction, I saw some very simple factual errors regarding Howard Hughes that anyone who has read 9 books about Hughes would spot immediately. The photo-reconnaissance plane Hughes was developing during WWII for the government (and in a prototype of which Hughes had his disastrous 1946 crash) was the XF-11, not the F-11 as the article states. The article calls Hughes's medical charity the "Hughes Medical Foundation"; its correct name is the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, that's what it was called when it was formed in 1953 and it still exists and it's still called the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Perhaps Rolling Stone retracted these things too, but I don't want to pore over microfiche to find out.

While I'm on the topic of microfiche - perhaps the library, instead of shelling out for misused flat-screen TVs, should find some technology that lets the user view a negative microfiche in positive form. Viewing a negative is only useful when looking at pictures of the Shroud of Turin.


I'll say it again - Fabio is a great trash-talker

SEATTLE, Washington - Fabio keeps an eagle eye out for media coverage of The Fabio, and straightens out anyone who gets their facts wrong. He tracked down the Details interview of him that I discussed in January and had a few choice words for the editor of Details, Daniel Peres. This is the entire letter:

Dear Mr. Peres:

I know they say any publicity is good publicity, but I must admin that I was disappointed by the tone of your article. For the record: My teeth are not capped, my eyes are not green and the 1980's are not a blur to me. By the looks of it, I would say that the interview must have been a blur to your writer.



We assure you, the closure has nothing to do with Jesus Christ

SEATTLE, Washington -

Can you put on the Clemson-Maryland game? Why not?

SEATTLE, Washington - The Central Library in Seattle has some sweet flat-screen monitors, but apparently they're not used for sports. Instead, you get such handy information as the number of "Dewey Items" that are checked out, vs. the number of "Non-Dewey" checkouts.

Just because it's not sports doesn't mean you can't bet on it. I hear Non-Dewey is favored by 125 for Monday - if the line goes any higher, then take Dewey and the points, but if it stays there or goes lower then lay the wood.


I knew Christina Ricci was short, but holy crap

SEATTLE, Washington - All men who follow Christina Ricci know that she is spinner-sized, but a picture in this gallery at Just Jared emphasizes the fact. Even in tall heels, her neck is right about at the bottom of the window-line of a Lincoln Navigator. I walked by a Navigator last night for reference, so I have a sense of scale the next time I'm having a Christina Ricci fantasy.


Comments on various Howard Hughes books

SEATTLE, Washington - My obsessiveness in reading Howard Hughes books closely parallels the obsessions of the old man himself. Below are some notes and comments, not really reviews, of the Hughes books that I've read, in the order that I first read them. I've read most of them several times.

Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness by Donald Barlett & James Steele

I have the 1979 edition of this book, when it was called Empire. (Hughes died in 1976.) The authors are Philadelphia newspaper reporters, and the book materially and stylistically reflects this - it is fairly light on the tits and ass, and long on the business dealings. The authors are quite critical of the Mormon Mafia and are not in love with Bob Maheu either. Hughes is portrayed as almost completely incompetent in his last year or two. Written so soon after Hughes's death, certain details are missing (e.g. later developments in the estate battle, and some of the Watergate revelations.)

Best/unique things about this book: Most detailed coverage of various legal battles, including TWA, Air West, and the 1947 Senate hearings; probably the best coverage of the Glomar Explorer affair; detailed coverage of the 1975 Mell Stewart enema showdown.


Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos, and Letters by Richard Hack

Hack is a celebrity biographer, and that's the nature of the book - heavy on the ladies, light on the litigation. Probably as breezy a read and as good of an introduction to Hughes as any of the books. Some saucy stuff, but nothing outlandish. Heavy coverage of the mid-to-late 1930s, Hughes's most active time with women, and almost no coverage of 1961-1966, when Hughes was living in Bel Air and consumed with TWA litigation. Does not fawn over Maheu even though Hack co-authored Maheu's memoir (discussed below).

Best/unique things about this book: Contains the full, nine-part, 3-page single spaced Hughes memo on how to open a can of fruit.


Howard Hughes: The Untold Story by Peter Harry Brown and Pat Broeske

Another tits-and-ass effort by two entertainment writers. In terms of sheer volume of women discussed, this is the top book by far. The authors had access to Hughes's "security chief" (actually, more like Director of Surveilling Women) Jeff Chouinard (who, mysteriously, is not mentioned in any other book as far as I can recall,) and he provided piles of details on the chick scene from the late 1940s onward. The authors are fairly critical of Bill Gay and the Mormon Mafia. This book attributes Hughes's erratic late-life behavior to undiagnosed neurosyphilis.

Best/unique things about this book: Most detail on Hughes's marriage to Ella Rice in the 1920s; best coverage of how Hughes worked on the mothers of the young women he was pursuing.


The Passions of Howard Hughes by Terry Moore & Jerry Rivers

Hughes staged a bogus wedding in international waters with the young starlet Moore in 1949 to get her into bed. It worked. Moore later claimed to be married to Hughes for 8 years, which is interesting because she married another guy in 1951, divorced him, and married yet another guy in 1956. This book consists of vignettes (with lots of dialogue cobbled up by Moore) on various business and sexual escapades. Much of it reads like Hustler Forum letters. But, in books like this, it's the spirit that counts, not the narrow correctness of the dialogue, and Jane Russell said that this is the only book she ever read that captures the essence of the real Hughes.

Best/unique things about this book: Attributes the following dialogue to entertainment legends:

  • Billie Dove: "Get the champagne and pour it over my feet and up my legs and onto my pussy... now be a good boy, Howard, and lick it all up."
  • Marilyn Monroe: "I dyed my pussy just for you, Howard."
  • Bette Davis: "Or were you dreaming about my tummy and how smooth it would be, and how it would feel when you ran your hand over my stomach down to my pussy and how silky the hair would feel?" - "I'm going to show you what it's like to fuck a real woman." - "Can Katie Hepburn offer you this?" - "I'm going to show you what the word 'fuck' really means."


Citizen Hughes: The Power, the Money and the Madness by Michael Drosnin

This book covers a narrow time period, the Vegas years (1966-1970) and the immediate aftermath, and is based largely on memos stolen from Hughes's Romaine Street headquarters (pic of the HQ that I snapped here) in 1974. Drosnin also wrote The Bible Code, that's not a good sign, but still, this book is valuable for direct, extensive quoting of Hughes memos from the relevant time frame. Many of the memos are between Hughes and Bob Maheu (see Maheu review below.) Drosnin is pretty hard on the Mormons.

Best/unique things about this book: Most detailed coverage of Watergate issues; entire chapter on Hughes's dislike of blacks; excellent coverage of Hughes's dithering regarding the party to open the Landmark casino in 1969.


Next to Hughes by Robert Maheu and Richard Hack

Maheu first started working with Hughes in the 1950s and served as his Vegas top dog and alter-ego in the late 1960s, all without ever meeting the big guy. Maheu mixes discussion of his work with Hughes with the stuff he was doing on the side, like arranging to have his mob pals murder Fidel Castro. Maheu blasts Bill Gay, who orchestrated the ouster of Maheu from the Hughes empire in 1970-71, as being the greedy bad guy in all of this (which some claim Maheu was) and essentially "killing" Hughes through drugs and isolation. Kirkus reviews called this book the "self-servingly selective reminiscences of a world-class hustler" and "a graceless, narcissistic, score-settling apologia."

Best/unique things about this book: Actually, considering who wrote this book, it is rather light on details. The best parts are the parts only tangentially related to Hughes (like the Castro business.) Maybe this really is "selective reminiscences." I learned more about the Hughes-Maheu relationship from the Drosnin book than from the Maheu book.


Howard Hughes: The Secret Life by Charles Higham

Prolific celebrity author Higham makes the most controversial claims of all - that Hughes was a prolific, practicing bisexual and died of AIDS or an AIDS-like disease. In addition to extensive, sordid coverage of Hughes's heterosexual action, Higham alleges homosexual action between Hughes and (among others) Jack Buetel, Tyrone Power, Randolph Scott, and Cary Grant (the last two pictured here). This book is nonjudgmental, almost to the point of apologetic, about the role of Bill Gay and the Mormons in Hughes's late life isolation and physical decline. The Hughes in this book is colder and more uncaring than in any other portrayal.

Best/unique things about this book: Best coverage of Stewart Granger's idea to murder Hughes, and the actual physical attacks Hughes suffered at the hands of Glen Davis and Oleg Cassini.


The Asylum of Howard Hughes by Jack Real & Bill Yenne

Jack Real worked with Hughes for years when he was an executive with Lockheed, and eventually started working for Hughes himself in the last years of Hughes's life. He was the only "friend" Hughes had in his last years, the only man who regularly saw Hughes who was not a part of the Mormon Mafia. Real is vicious in his portrayal of Bill Gay and most of the Mormon aides. Interestingly, he portrays Chester Davis in a somewhat warmer light than Gay, where most writers portray Gay and Davis as being birds of a feather. Most of the book covers the post-Vegas years (1971 to 1976) and thus has almost no coverage of Hughes's sexual adventures.

Best/unique things about this book: Has coverage of some Hughes business dealings that are not covered in any other book; extensive detail on Hughes's last few piloting experiences in England in 1973; a somewhat rose-tinted view of Anastasio Somoza; details Hughes's attempt to communicate a bribe offer to Del Webb via ESP.


The Mysterious Howard Hughes Revealed by Verl Frehner and Chuck Waldron

Chuck Waldron started working for the Hughes organization in 1957 and joined the inner inner circle of Hughes aides, controlled by Bill Gay, in 1971. He's not the aide Jack Real identified as the "good" one. Verl Frehner is just some guy, not an author, who became Waldron's neighbor in Las Vegas after Hughes's death, got to talking with Waldron about the Hughes years, and has written this book. Waldron is listed as the co-author but he's always referred to in the third person in the book. This is a strange, published-on-demand book that is written in an aw-shucks style and clearly has not been professionally edited. Gay and his Mormon troops are portrayed in the cheeriest possible light, dutifully carrying out Hughes's wishes. Hughes is portrayed as being a busy bee, wheeling and dealing up until about a month before he died, while all other authors portray a Hughes greatly slowed down in his last few years.

Best/unique things about this book: Detailed coverage of Hughes's "escape" from the Bahamas in 1972, and in general, the most detail on Hughes's moves from residence to residence in the 1970s.