The first James Bond on film is a forgettable character, from a time when the US wasn't so sure about Ian Fleming's first story, Casino Royale, and US publishers went to so far as to re-title the story to try and increase sales. In fact, the 1954 hour-long live teleplay was largely forgotten, lost until the 1970s when it was re-discovered at a flea market. "Card Sense" Jimmy Bond was portrayed as an American, played by Barry Nelson, who didn't know much about the character. The rights for the story was picked up inexpensively, produced as one of many stories in the Climax! anthology program. You can watch it online, and compare this 1954 production against the two other film versions of Casino Royale, the 1967 spy-spoof that came out just before the fifth serious Bond spy film, and the 2006 "canonical" version from EON Productions, the makers of the Official Bond movies.
Here's a song I didn't know existed until summer 2007, when Lemon Jelly's Fred Deakin released an impeccably curated three-CD mix (full 4 hours on Mixcloud). Halfway through the first disc, the music slipped into an easy, loping groove, sunburned and hungover, and a regretful voice offered Otis Blackwell's lonesome lyric: "You know I can be found/ Sitting home all alone …" [Billy Swan's version of "Don't Be Cruel" is] a beautiful record, though, and utterly different from Elvis's 1956 recording. And it opens a fantastic collection of country funk songs, collected and remastered by Zach Cowie of Light in the Attic Records. More sounds below the break. [more inside]
The point being, an angry song about a political prisoner in South Africa, held captive for 21 years (at the time of writing), and written and performed by a bunch of chippy former pop stars who appeared hellbent on throwing their success back in the faces of their fans, has no business being this happy, this celebratory, and this powerful.
Street Skiing in Nelson, BC. Gorgeous cinematography of skiing down the snowy climbs and alleyways in city of Nelson BC. Watch the sparks fly. [Vimeo]
How many arms have held you, and hated to let you go, how many, how many, I wonder, but I really don't want to know.
Many people here in the U.S. have heard Willie Nelson's Christmas song, Pretty Paper (first made famous by Roy Orbison). But few know that it was based on a disabled man who sold pencils and paper in front of Leonard's Department Store (the one with its own subway). Or was it a blind couple? His name has been lost to history even as he is immortalized in song.
Hidden World of Girls: Girls and the Women they Become is NPR's collaborative year-long, ongoing series between The Kitchen Sisters, NPR and listener submissions. The series explores "stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secet identities—of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide." [more inside]
Geoff Hunt has been painting cover art for Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series of historical novels since 1988. [more inside]
Science & technology funding has an enormous long term impact on the economy, a fact that has not escaped China. Yet, Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have proposed cutting all National Science Foundation and Department of Energy Office of Science funding from the Senate American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, along with almost all other proposed funding of the sciences and technological development, as a part of a $77.9B reduction effort. Why? Well, you'll notice that Nebraska & Maine don't contribute much to science & technology in the United States, nor win many grants, and hence no bacon for Nelson and Collins. [more inside]
"I’ll get right to the good stuff: for the entire month of February, 2009, I, Michael J. Nelson will eat nothing but bacon. Nothing, my friends, but bacon." [prev. mefi+bacon]
Don Nelson, the second-winningest coach in NBA history, is back to coach the Golden State Warriors again. Excecutive VP, Chris Mullen who played under Nelson at Golden State re-hired him after parting ways with former Stanford coach, Mike Montgomery who was their ninth coach in the past 12 seasons since Nelson's departure.
Reinventing Ricky. It's been twenty years now since Rick Nelson died in a plane crash en route to a 1985 New Year's Eve gig in Dallas, but his record label now wants to make him presentable to a new generation "using the same techniques Procter & Gamble uses to sell pet food."
"Never mind manoeuvres, always go straight at 'em!" Such was the Advice of Lord Nelson to Jack Aubrey. Today seems a good day to suggest the works of Patrick O'Brian before the Russell Crowe film potentially soils his good name. Aubrey is a captain of the Royal Navy and "the particular friend" of Stephen Maturin, naturalist, surgeon, spy. Those starting the 20 volume series may need a dictionary. Given the day, I should mention the duo did sail under a Letter of Marque when times were tough. More Inside