Archive | August 2014

Green and Yellow

The Classic TV History Blog

Oliver2

Along with dubious social skills, there’s one thing that unites nearly every classic television buff I’ve ever encountered: a crush on Susan Oliver, the beautiful, sad-eyed blonde remains best remembered for a one-off role as a scantily-clad, belly-dancing, green-hued alien in the 1965 pilot for Star Trek.  Almost everyone I know who has seen a bunch of the hundreds of television episodes Oliver guest starred in between the fifties and the eighties has fallen half in love with her.

The crotch-vote factor among pop culture enthusiasts is perilous territory.  Denying it is a kind of intellectual dishonesty.  But for every writer, like Pauline Kael or Manohla Dargis, who can articulate a carnal response to art within the context of serious criticism, there are a dozen essays or interviews or conversations where it just comes out sounding icky.  (As one reader recently pointed out, this recent Paul Mavis review of

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NYT’s Upshot blog breaks down 007 by the numbers

The Spy Command

Ian Fleming Ian Fleming

The New York Times, IN AN ENTRY IN ITS UPSHOT BLOG, performs a bit of numerical analysis on James Bond.

The Upshot used this week’s 50th anniversary of the death of 007 creator Ian Fleming to examine Bond. The Upshot stresses data-based reporting. The newspaper started the blog after Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN purchased the FiveThirtyEight blog, which used to appear on the NYT’s website, from journalist-statistician Nate Silver, who now works for ESPN and its sister company ABC News. Silver gained fame for using data to project the winners of political races.

The Upshot describes itself as providing “news, analysis and graphics about politics, policy and everyday life.” (For more information, you can CLICK HERE.)

The Bond post by Alan Flippen includes graphics about which authors wrote how many 007 novels (Fleming being in a tie with John Gardner at 14 each) and how many…

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Mobilisation – The War Diaries Begin

Operation War Diary

100 years ago, in the summer of 1914, the British Regular Army of just under 250,000 men was scattered around the Empire, with nearly half deployed overseas. On 4th August 1914, Great Britain declared war on Germany after its rejection of the British ultimatum over the neutrality of Belgium. Mobilisation orders were issued and the war diaries were officially started. Day 1 of mobilisation was 5th August.

Some Units made an even earlier start on their war diary. The 1st Battalion the Royal Warwickshire Regiment’s starts on 29 July, for example, with the entry “Precautionary Period. Det left for Sheerness, 10.45 pm, 9 officers, 340 R&F” (rank and file). Part of the plan for this precautionary period was for some units to be sent to key coastal areas in case of immediate invasion and this move was probably part of that plan. In succeeding days the battalion diary entries include…

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