Sunday, 24 September 2017

Definitive proof that Tom Cruise wasn't the first really tiny US secret agent...

...and I believe that Cruiser is slightly taller (by about 4ft 10in) than the hero of the 1959 science fiction/spy series World of Giants (which was also known by the acronym W-O-G - no, honestly). You can see the opening sequence of the series right at the start of this compilation:
In case you're wondering what a six inch spy looks like...

M-Squad, The Human Jungle, Highway Patrol, Peter Gunn - the wonderful world of old TV crime series title sequences...

Your starter for 10 - name the 1980s television series whose intro was a parody of the (slightly out-of-sync) title sequence from one of my boyhood favourites - M Squad, starring the great Lee Marvin:

Got it? Well, here's the answer..

Scotland Yard is showing on Talking Pictures TV - and I'm relishing every minute of every episode

I'm particularly enjoying the splendidly boastful sequence and presenter Edgar Lustgarden's borderline-salacious, lip-smacking, dead-eyed intros:

The 39 episodes of Scotland Yard were shot between 1953 and 1961 as programme-filler for...

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Book Report Part 10: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Damn! It was all going so well. Having set myself the goal of reading 25 novels I really should have read, between March 2017 and the end of February 2018 (it all started here), I'd read nineteen of the books on my original list, when I made the mistake of trying - for the fifth time - to read a Thomas Hardy novel. I reached page 60 of Tess of the D'Urbevilles three weeks ago before shouting out something obscene and sending it sailing across the bedroom (fortunately, it was a paperback rather than a Kindle edition). I know several Hardy-lovers -  I admire his poetry, and there's nothing particularly difficult about his prose - but I loathe the atmosphere of his novels (and the plots and the characters). Rather than give up for the second time this year (I would rather read The Collected Speeches of Jeremy Corbyn than pick up The Wings of the Dove again) I've set serious fiction aside until the end of the month, when I will - yet again - go mano a mano with the Wessex chucklemeister. Maybe I should have read it...

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Monday, 18 September 2017

What is your "right" weight? The NHS thinks I should look like a famine victim.

I went for my annual diabetic check-up a few weeks ago. The good news (for me, at least) is that my Type II diabetes is under control. The bad news is that I'm between five and six stone overweight (that's 70 - 85lb. for American readers, and roughly 35-42Kgs for Remainers). I stand just under 6'5" tall, and, while I'm not built like a second-row forward, I'm no beanpole with disproportionately long, matchstick legs - finding trousers long enough is never a problem, but finding shirts that stick in my waistband for more than two minutes at a time definitely is. So I'm naturally a large man. When the nurse told me that, in effect, I was morbidly obese, I was so convinced that she'd made a mistake, I insisted on her showing me the NHS's "ideal weight" figures on the computer screen she was gazing at. No mistake. I informed her that...

Even if you hate sport, Rod Liddle's article about the uselessness of England footballers will make you laugh out loud (h/t: SDG)

Rod Liddle's article in last week's Spectator - "Why English footballer's are so useless"- addressed the question that those of us who gave up expecting anything from the England football team around the start of the new Millennium have been asking ourselves for years. No, the question hasn't anything to do with those specific issues that have seen zillions of man-hours squandered in discussions in pubs, TV studios, websites and newspaper sports sections, i.e. is 4:4:2 the best formation for the lads, or could Stevie G. and Lamps play effectively together, or whether Wayne Rooney was a real striker, or why did the so-called "golden generation" fail to come close to winning anything, or whether the team was staying in the wrong hotel. or wearing the wrong strip, or whether an English manager might rouse the team into a patriotic frenzy which would help it fulfil its destiny by winning the World Cup after a 50-year hiatus? The main reason for the England team's lack of success isn't the formation,  or the manager, or the incompatibility of certain "key" players, or whether they're being made to play in a different position from the one they're used at club level, or whether their World Cup hotel was a bit noisy - it's that the players, compared to foreign footballers, just aren't good enough. And if they're not useless when they burst onto the scene...

Respect! (H/t: Mrs. G)