Blog Archives

Going after old BBC favorites…

On nights when nothing I am interested in is on television, I have been going on line and revisiting favorite BBC channel  series from the previous decade.

I’m halfway through the three year series (six episodes each year) of the great Canadian series Slings & Arrows, the story of a Shakespearian theatre festival in Ontario, covering a different play each season (they opened with Hamlet and, in the second season, I am immersed in the Scottish Play.)

As many of you theatrefolk know, it is bad luck to say the name of the Scottish Play when you are discussing it… you can say the main character’s only in context of the lines in the performance. In the third season we will be getting into King Lear.

I love Slings & Arrows and could watch it many times over (You Tube has each episode in 7.25 minute units, but no commercials.)

Once I’m through these I’m going into two related series that were, at the time, my overall favorite of their seasons: Life On Mars (2 seasons) followed by Ashes To Ashes (3 seasons). These are about English police detectives who get into major accidents in the first episodes of each and wake up in the past (Life On Life on Mars (TV series)Mars in the 1970’s and Ashes To Ashes in the 1980’s. Each time the detective wakes up in Manchester where they are active in the existing Detective unit, but can’t figure out how they got there,

There was an American version of Life On Mars tried some years after the British, but it didn’t last a full season… the British was so much better.

If you’ve never seen these shows, I recommend them highly.

Do cell phones cause brain cancer?

Here we go again. This time the question of whether mobile phones can give users brain cancer has come up once again from a group of international researchers that examined dozens of studies. They say the answer is maybe. From

Should you text rather than call?

A statement issued Tuesday from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) says that mobile phones are “possibly carcinogenic,” and although the link between cell phones and cancer is “not clearly established” it also cannot be ruled out. Mobiles may be linked to a type of brain cancer called glioma, according to the research conducted by a group of 31 experts that have been meeting in Lyon, France, to review human evidence coming from epidemiological studies.

It’s worth noting that the WHO’s cancer researchers could have given mobile phones one of five scientific labels: carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, possibly carcinogenic, not classifiable, or not carcinogenic, reports the BBC. Other “possibly carcinogenic” items, based on previous IARC research, include gasoline engine exhaust, lead, coffee, and dry cleaning.

For your evening’s entertainment: A Musical Request To Have Stephen Fry’s Baby

This is neat… and you know how much we like Stephen Fry:

Have a nice weekend (and remember that Monday is Valentine’s Day.)

Mubarak steps down while Bill at Doctor…

I was at the Neurologist when Mubarak stepped down and I didn’t hear about it until after I got home.

This from HuffPo

Egypt‘s Hosni Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military on Friday, bowing down after a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands. “The people ousted the president,” chanted a crowd of tens of thousands outside his presidential palace in Cairo.

So the military is in control. This from the BBC:

“Around Cairo, drivers are honking their horns in celebration and guns are being fired into the air. The huge crowds are rejoicing. However, the army takeover looks very much like a coup. The constitution has been breached. Officially, the speaker of parliament should be taking over. Instead it is the army leadership. Egypt moves into a very uncertain future.”

It took 18 days of protest…but there it is.

What does Simon Cowell daydream about…

… as he watches Idol contestants perform in front of him?

Just part of your Sunday entertainment (thanks to the BBC and YouTube).

A Quote for the Morning…

The BBC has announced that Sir Paul McCartney is writing a ballet. This is something he’s never done before, but, as he says:

“That offer came up and I love writing music, the two went together and I said, ‘Yeah,’ so I just accept things before I even know what I’m doing.”

I am so happy that the world still has creative ideas in it.

Some “Ashes To Ashes” Fun

I’ve been tooling around BBC sites to get a sense of how Season 3 of Ashes To Ashes went (especially since we’re still getting Season 2 here in the USA)… it just ended in England the other night and from what I’ve read on line it is a strange end to the series which involves leftover info from Life On Mars (my favorite and this series’ 16 episode preface) and a resounding summation of the whole future for dead cops.

Anyway, BBC One has blacked out the episode videos for us over here, thinking we won’t watch it on BBC America when they decide to put it on. Damn fools, those Limeys.

Anyway, I found this promo that you 80s Rock Fans will get a kick out of… with Alex, Gene, Ray and Chris, too.

This is why I’d like to keep Religion out of Politics

The BBC reporting on Vice President Biden yesterday apparently are unaware of Ash Wednesday… It is too bad they have to be aware of it.

At the end of this video clip the unfortunate reporter realizes her mistake.

This from .Maggie at the BBC:

clipped from

What next for Google in China?

Tomorrow the search giant Google is expected to take the wraps off a healthy set of quarterly figures at its California HQ. But the numbers themselves will no doubt be overshadowed by events being played out on the other side of the world.

Google sing in ChinaWhile analysts and the money men smile over the expected sharp jump in fourth quarter earnings, it will be interesting to note their comments and questions over the company’s decision to consider pulling out of China.

Google said the move was prompted by a “highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property.

While attacks on companies like Google are routine, industry experts have in the last few days said the scope of this one was fairly unprecedented in recent years.

Industry sources say this attack to spy on human rights activists is the one that broke the proverbial camel’s back and has now resulted in the present brinkmanship.

  blog it
Who’d’a thunk it? China? Stealing Data?
As if Google really worried about other folks’ intellectual property.

I hope you go into the BBC site and read more of this article.

The Power of Nightmares — Part 4

So… now we get up to the Clinton administration and the terrorism of Bin Laden.

More later.

This from the BBC:

It’s hard getting accurate information out of Iran today. The BBC has squeezed this out… this is a sample, go in and read the whole article.
clipped from

Iran’s Mousavi defies crackdown

Iran protest leader Mir Hossein Mousavi says he holds those behind alleged “rigged” elections responsible for bloodshed during recent protests.

In a defiant statement on his website, he called for future protests to be in a way which would not “create tension.”

He complained of “complete” restrictions on his access to people and a crackdown on his media group.

A BBC correspondent in Tehran says the statement is a direct challenge to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

“I won’t refrain from securing the rights of the Iranian people… because of personal interests and the fear of threats,” Mr Mousavi said on the website of his newspaper, Kalameh.

Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated on Wednesday that he would “not yield” over the election result.

Severe reporting restrictions imposed on foreign media in Iran mean the BBC cannot verify the reports.

  blog it

This from the BBC in Tehran this morning:

Jon Leyne
Reporting from Tehran

I hear from the Guardian Council that they are ready to recount those ballot boxes queried by the opposition.

My understanding of that would be that the opposition can then just query every single ballot box, in effect launching a complete recount.

I haven’t seen the details of their statement yet, but they did say earlier that the election result was only provisional.

They are the body that adjudicates on appeals against the election, and they seem – from what we have heard so far – to have launched a massive U-turn over this election result.