I finished the Virginia Rounding book--can't remember if I mentioned that--and have moved on to Jim Steinmeyer's A Glorious Deception. I knew I wanted to read this after I read a description of the subject's death, which might have actually been in the Houdini bio I read last Christmas, but I liked Steinmeyer's Hiding the Elephant, so a Chung Ling Soo bio by Steinmeyer recommended itself. Here's basically what happened (and how the book begins): Chung Ling Soo was one of the greatest magicians of the early twentieth century. He performed amazing feats of magic (with his wife as his assistant) and, not knowing English, never spoke, leaving his assistants to speak for him. One night, he was performing the bullet catch, which was rarely mentioned on the program; no audience ever knew in advance if he was going to include it or not. But this time, he did perform it, and this time, something went wrong. Instead of "catching" the bullet in a china plate, he was wounded in the chest. And as he fell, the first row of the audience distinctly heard Chung Ling Soo cry out, "Oh my God! Something's gone wrong!"
I pretty much had to read more about him after that.
So, a couple of things:
The reason LJ broke late Thursday night/early Friday morning: Britney Spears refused to give up children, was taken away in ambulance, is being held for evaluation; ohnotheydidnt (which dubbed it "Hostage Brituation '08") started producing a new page of comments every thirty seconds
What's worse than plagiarizing someone's fanfiction? Plagiarizing their journal. And their comments to other people. After they've passed away. And then claiming that the deceased told you to do so. The online reaction is a good example of what I like to call "social consequence": when there's nothing the authorities can do (LJ says they can't do anything unless Thamiris's family files a report, and it was her wish that her family not know about her fannish activities), there's nothing like a good old-fashioned shunnin'.