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 The Tumbleweed Suite

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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: The Tumbleweed Suite   Sun 27 Aug 2017, 16:01

With Sincerely Thine and Cate Blanchett it's a case of "I do not like thee Dr Fell, the reason why I cannot tell".  Sometimes one just can't take to a person even if there is not a logical reason for it.   Like Temperance, I appreciated Genvieve Bujold as Anne Boleyn.  There was a film in Latin in the late 1970s "Sebastiane" - don't think it had much commercial success though https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastiane  

Damian Lewis is pretty solid in anything - I have only seen excerpts from the 2002 adaptation of the Forsyte Chronicles but if I had one little quibble is would be that he is a bit too handsome to play Soames.  I like Gina McKee but she didn't fit my mental idea of Irene.  Eric Porter and Nyree Dawn Porter will always be the ill-matched pair to me.

I guess the most important factor is if the thespian concerned turns in a good performance.  I liked the Peter Brooks (somewhat condensed - though even then it was 6 hours or so long) version of the Mahabharata that I saw on TV circa the late 1980/early 1990s and there were very few actors from the Indian subcontinent or of such descent in that production and I still liked it.  (Draupati [sp?] was played by an actress of an ethnicity true to the source material I think).

I can't promise that I will never again be thrown by a dodgy accent in my life; how one reacts instinctively is well...instinctive.

"I do hope no-one is suggesting that Shakespeare's Macbeth can only ever be played by a Scotsman, or Hamlet by a Dane, or Othello by someone from the Magreb? Or Julius Caesar by an Italian fluent in 1st century BC Latin?"  MM makes a fair point.   It's true that in British productions of translations of works by playwrights such as de Lorca and Anouilh the actors don't adopt stage Spanish or stage French accents (just as well).  It may be that Margot Robbie will be wonderful as Elizabeth I - she's reputed to be a good actress, but it's just I haven't seen her in anything.  However, if I'm honest my first instinctive thought was "What, couldn't they find an English actress?" but perhaps I was a tad unfair and should reserve judgement until when (and if) I see her in action. Also, I think the showrunners (in London at least) of "Les Mis" and "Miss Saigon" are the same parties and they have sometimes whisked some of the cast from "Miss Saigon"   As a Filipina, Rachelle Ann Go doesn't look much like book Fantine but she can certainly hit the right notes when holding a song.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Sun 27 Aug 2017, 17:02

Lawrence Oliver blacked up to play Othello was really embarrassing: he played it like a Black-and White Minstrel, complete with funny walk and rolling eyes.

The whole performance was so over-the-top it made his Richard III look subtle and underplayed. How Maggie Smith stopped herself from laughing I do not know.



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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Sun 27 Aug 2017, 18:41

Temperance wrote:
Lawrence Oliver blacked up to play Othello was really embarrassing: he played it like a Black-and White Minstrel, complete with funny walk and rolling eyes.

.... but of course at the end of the day that's just his (and the director's) interpretation. It may now appear dated, racist, provocative, offensive, satirical, or whatever,  ... but it is just how it was presented at the time.

In the early 1990s I saw a production of Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar', set in the 1980s (so around the time of Greenham Common), with an all female cast, and more than a slight lesbian twist ... but the words were still Shakespeare's. It was superb. The venue was a tiny upstairs room in a pub and, since the audience barely outnumbered the cast, we were all from time to time co-opted into the performance. At one point the audience was made to be the Roman Senate, with actors addressing individual members of the audience directly, one to one, to discuss whether we should empeach the Dictator. To my surprise I was suddenly made to read out-loud a 'charge sheet' of Cesaer's crimes (the words were still all Shakespeare's). At another point one side of the audience were encouraged to hunker down behind a machine-gun emplacement while we fought the the other side of the audience in the Roman civil war. As I say it was a very small-scale production, but I loved it  ... and what a way to introduce Shakespeare, or indeed any drama, to a young audience?
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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Sun 27 Aug 2017, 20:58

Meles meles wrote:
Hamlet by a Dane

By coincidence and as we speak, being made is indeed a film of Hamlet which will introduce to an international audience the relatively unknown Danish actor Mikkel Folsgaard in the lead role. The (English language) production will also feature more internationally famous Danish actors Mads Mikkelsen and Connie Nielsen. Also starring will be Gabriel Byrne and Sir Ian McKellan (but not as Uther Pendragon and Gandalf respectively, otherwise that would make for a very confusing storyline).

Talking of Gandalf (or rather Aragorn), one of Denmark's most famous actors Viggo Mortensen was once asked in an interview whether he had ever played Hamlet. He replied somewhat mournfully that when he first went to New York he had always imagined that he might one day receive a call to be in a production either on stage or on television or on film but never actually did. Neither will he be in this production.

I have to say I'm looking forward to this film but it will have some tough acts to follow. Of the various big screen depictions of The Dane, my favourite wasn’t by a Huguenot Englishman, or by an Irish American Australian or by a Berkshire Ulsterman. In fact it wasn’t even delivered in 17th century English (or in 12th century Danish) but was spoken in the Russian language and starred Siberian-born actor Innokenty Smoktunovsky in the brilliant 1964 version directed by Grigori Kozintsev.

The Pushkins (i.e. Black Russians) are on the bar for anyone who fancies a vodka and coffee liqueur as an alternative to dandelion and burdock.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Sun 27 Aug 2017, 23:37

Are you from Denmark, Vizzer? I had not realised that. I became interested in the "Game of Thrones" TV show which currently features two Danish actors, Nicolaj Coster-Waldau and Pilou Asbaek (the latter of whom was in "Borgen" of course). Birgitte Hjort Sorensen was in one episode of GoT a couple of years ago and she also featured in "Borgen" and thinking of "Borgen" one can't overlook Sidse Babett Knudsen. The only film I've ever seen Mads Mikkelsen in was the 2004 version of King Arthur where he played Lancelot. I didn't like that film much but that wasn't MM's fault; I was more annoyed by the fact that the film was written as if a theory somebody put forward (that Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table were Sarmatians) was fact rather than it being a theory (well we don't really know if Arthur was real or not, of course).

Temperance, when I was in 6th form and "Othello" was one of the plays we studied, my class went to see the Olivier film of the play. I didn't think much about Olivier being "blacked up" at the time; to be fair there were less black actors (at least in the UK) then. With the "black and white" minstrels, I liked the singing but I thought it was somewhat incongruous that the men wore black make-up and the women didn't; I couldn't really see the point. Back in the day, Lawrence Olivier, was considered theatrical royalty was he not? He was eclectic if nothing else. Off the top of my head I recall him playing a Nazi doing nasty things to Dustin Hoffman's character in "Marathon Man" and Mr De Winter in Hitchcock's version of "Rebecca". I don't think he dialled up the ham-o-meter in everything he appeared in.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 28 Aug 2017, 00:11

This should really have a thread of its own.  There was a version of The Merchant of Venice in Maori which was highly praised when it came out in 2002.  The Maori Merchant of Venice it was called or Te Tangata Whai Rawa o Weniti.  
"No sex, action or violence here, Te Tangata Whai Rawa o Wēniti makes a refreshing change to the usual menu on offer to the movie going public. Chivalry, camaraderie, romance, justice, honour, cruelty, aristocracy and poverty all in te reo Māori, it's very palatable even exquisite depending on your taste. [...] Rurutao (Shakespeare) himself would have wept at its poetic brilliance."[9]
Since then there has also been a Maori version of Troilus and Cressida.  The trouble with going down the road of complete authenticity is that then you get the situation of only allowing gay people to play gays and objecting when men write about women and vice versa (I have read where Jane Austen never had a scene where there were just men in the room as she didn't know how they spoke when there was just men).  It can get a bit PC and just silly. 

Having said that NZers do find it amusing/unacceptable when overseas actors get our accent wrong - Sir Anthony Hopkins playing Burt Munro was the main example.  Having such a brilliant actor coming and playing what was essentially a local role was quite a coup for the film-makers and he made a fair go at the accent, but NZers pick up on any hint of an Australian accent when it is meant to be a NZ one. 
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 28 Aug 2017, 10:12

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 28 Aug 2017, 11:25

Lady in retirement,

"Are you from Denmark, Vizzer? I had not realised that."

Lady, I don't want to answer for Vizzer, but have you to be from Denmark to be interested in Danish films? I was once interested in Swedish films as from Ingmar Bergman and saw for instance "Wild strawberries"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingmar_Bergman
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Strawberries_(film)


From what I know Vizzer is also interested in Russian films. He made even a thread about it on this forum. I am interested in those films too, while I studied some Russian (in fact three years in evening school) but I am not yet able to understand films in Russian, even reading Russian is very difficult, all because one needs practice...its the only way...
I saw once in Ostend, yes in Ostend, a Russian film in "cinemascope", of course as usual overhere with Dutch and French subtitles...
In Dutch: "Vlammende jaren" (flaming years?) from Dovchenko, a remake from the thirties, unbelievable poetic and very well made.
I did research for it in Russian and even wrote to the agency of the filmcompany here in Belgium, in that time still from the Soviet Union. But didn't receive an answer.
And btw, our Nielsen is from Denmark.

Kind regards from Paul.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 28 Aug 2017, 14:17

When any form of drama is in English - or dubbed therein, the villain,devil, witch, wizard -or bounder, has a posh upper class voice - or are there exceptions? It is currently probably the best choice in a PC world. I have been known to introduce myself as the Wicked Witch of the East Coast; this settles disquiet at my voice, enunciation and that I sound many words with their last letter.

Speaking of which, I had great - and concealed joy at a liguistic tangle I encountered this week. Discussing tattoos - as one does-these days when the weather is constant - these were spoken back as 'me ta-ooos' and then there was a tongue tied mess when the person who did them was called a 'ta-oo-oo-is.' Any one for 't'?
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 28 Aug 2017, 18:13

Anent your theory about all baddies being posh, I'm not convinced. Ray Winstone and Peter Mullan come to mind immediately and they're anything but. In full and unsubtitled flood though they might be largely incomprehensible to an international audience and perhaps don't quite convey the degree of menace that, say, Ian Richardson, did with an immaculate RP accent. Do upper class villains suggest they have access to power and influence beyond raw muscle and physical intimidation that their working class equivalents can't match?

Coming from the city of the glottal stop rampant, I can deal with missing 't's and 'g's with ease  but the one that drives me berserk is hearing one of our elected representatives talking about their consti-uents. Does that make me a bad person?
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 28 Aug 2017, 20:10

While I grieve with you, Ferval, for your missing constonants, perhaps they've all just migrated darn sarf. Where I used to live in Epsom, South-West of London, they had an annoying tendency to drop the consonants from the beginning of a word but then add completely meaningless consonants at the end. A thin piece of ham, typically became a fing piece of 'am, while somthing else became somefingk else. And don't start me on the aspirated 'aitch' ... as in, "me name's Caffrin or Caff for short, spell'd, see-ay-tee-haitch".


Last edited by Meles meles on Sat 23 Sep 2017, 18:35; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : oops and then I wrote "constonants"!)
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 28 Aug 2017, 20:42

Priscilla,

now probing a hearing aid, (both ears Wink ) and by each visit to the audiologue I say I don't understand the people better.
But during the tests it is a computer to pronounce words in hard metallic official Dutch. But in my inner circle they all pronounce the dialect Dutch as in English (they always said to me in my little hamlet, to pronounce English you have to take a hot potato in your mouth).
For instance the sentence (I can't write it in phonetic script):
attegga-al noardecwoffoergewast/e
Hebt U gij al naar de coiffeur geweest
Have you already been to the hairdresser?

In Dutch: Ben je al naar de coiffeur (kapper) geweest

Kind regards from your friend Paul.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 28 Aug 2017, 20:57

Did I make it sound as if one could only appreciate plays/films from one's own language?  If so, I didn't explain things very well. I've liked some of the "Nordic Noir" thrillers that have been on TV in recent years - the Swedish series based on the Mysterioso novels by Arne Dahl is just one that comes to mind and I liked the French series "Engrenages".  I haven't seen that many Ingmar Bergman films but I have seen "Virgin Spring".  Thinking about final consonants mine can vary (unconsciously).  Normally, I say "singing" or "ringing" in a neutral sort of way but I can sometimes say them in a very Midlands kind of way "singing" or "ringing".

Paul R, good luck with the hearing tests.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 28 Aug 2017, 23:11

Paul, if anyone questioned whether or not I had just been to the hair dresser - in any dialect - might get one in the eye. This is not a good phrase for trying out another language... or mother tongue, either; its the sort of thing she might well have said when I was in my teens. One in the eye at that time would have been a baleful glare, slammed door, loud music behind it and a grand sulk. Oh the good old days of tantrum!
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Tue 29 Aug 2017, 13:46

Here's our new bridge:



Three bridges in a row on the Forth. One from the 19th Century, one from the 20th Century and now one from the 21st Century.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Wed 30 Aug 2017, 04:45

It looks like the bridge will be needed.  Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Thu 31 Aug 2017, 16:08

Brilliant!!! ID.

Three new councillors in West Sussex:

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Sun 03 Sep 2017, 08:54

And now as the holiday period comes to an end, the new school year starts, and life here becomes a bit calmer .... the blasted pigs are back!



Doddy-Dog, curled up on the doorstep just 3 metres away, slept through the whole thing, or so he says.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Sun 03 Sep 2017, 14:57

Roast pork?
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Sun 03 Sep 2017, 20:24

Well yes it shouldn't be long before the hunters start up again, and then in November or December they usually come round and give me a good piece of piggy, though you have to be prepared to butcher it yourself:

  

PS : And talking about greedy piggies with their snouts in the trough, I see that David Cameron is currently scooping $1,200/hour with his sold-out speaking tour of the US. But why ever do people around the world pay good money to hear David Cameron speak? It can't be to hear him say anything sensible or useful to know, surely? He doesn't have much or any influence on British politics or the world stage these days, and he doesn't strike me as even particularly charismatic or interesting when he speaks. Or maybe people just come out of morbid curiosity to see a con merchant and a failure who has wrecked his own country by putting himself and his party first.


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 21 Sep 2017, 16:04; edited 3 times in total
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 04 Sep 2017, 16:01

Yes the same happened with one of our idiots, George Papandreou. He that bought the loathed IMF and bailouts to Greece took up a lovely (invited) posting as a lecturer at Harvard after fleeing the country with his tail between his legs. He also spent quite some time doing the speaking tours around the country whilst he was there. Why in hell would anyone hire a failed politician or pay good money to hear their endless justifications for failure? Bizarre.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 04 Sep 2017, 22:06

Citing what Priscilla said upthread, "When any form of drama is in English - or dubbed therein, the villain,devil, witch, wizard -or bounder, has a posh upper class voice - or are there exceptions? It is currently probably the best choice in a PC world." I have noticed that in American films or series they sometimes like an English baddy - James Purefroy in "The Following" a few years ago for example. Perhaps that is why David Cameron (I keep wanting to type Cammyknicks) has found a slot on the American speaking tour circuit.

Both my laptops (which admittedly I haven't used for a while) appear to be toast. I've tried the usual things - take out the battery and try to switch it on without battery in, blah de blah de blah. They were both secondhand and have had both quite a while so it might be as simple to get a new one - or a new (to me) secondhand one.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Tue 05 Sep 2017, 08:12

We English tend to get a much easier time of it from Hollywood compared to others. Just imagine what it must like to be a Russian or a German or an Arab when it comes to the on-screen depiction of villains.

That said - and talking about English megalomaniacs - apparently William Windsor thinks that there are not enough of his own genes in this already overcrowded world but instead reckons that he needs not just an heir and a spare but now an heir and a spare and a spare spare again.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Wed 06 Sep 2017, 22:13

Sorry people, "feast" given for my nurses and doctors of the kidney dialysis today and not time enough to sent comments. Among others some research about Priscilla's slogans.

Kind regards from Paul.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Sat 09 Sep 2017, 13:04

I'm wondering whether to watch the (I think) most recent film version of "Far From the Madding Crowd" which I think is still available for a few days on BBC iplayer. This version was made this decade anyway - not sure if I'm sold on Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba but I haven't seen the film yet so it's not fair to judge. The 1968 ('67) film version threw me by castng a blonde actress (albeit a good actress) as Bathsheba. My smaller laptop is sort of working but it takes a long time to boot up and the screen is "toast". I might be able to fix a new screen but I think I need a new laptop really.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Sat 09 Sep 2017, 18:46

We saw it the other week and it's actually not bad. But neither is it great. For example there seemed to be a lack of chemistry between Bathsheba and any of the 3 male leads. Although (strangely) I think that was also the case with the 1967 version. 

Mrs Vizzer and I spent much of the film trying to guess where the actor playing Farmer Oak was from. Our guesses varied from Germany to Ireland, America to Denmark and Australia to France. We were wrong on all counts and only discovered afterwards that Matthias Schoenaerts is actually Belgian as was subsequently mentioned by Paul and yourself upthread.   
 
It's certainly watchable though. The cinematography is super and the locations are gorgeous. It just goes to show that there are parts of England which can still look timeless even in the 2010s.

P.S. Hope your television / laptop problem gets sorted.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Sun 10 Sep 2017, 20:35

Dirk,

while I see that you are overhere, can I offer you the controversy about the Massilia story.
I have yet another controversy that I discussed on the forum Passion Histoire:

Gamelin knowing by his secret service that the Germans would push through the Ardennes. The French secret service had a German in the high ranks, who passed all topsecrets to the French "deuxième bureau, le quai d'Orsay"...

Kind regards from your friend Paul.

PS: I asked it to you on the Case yellow/red thread
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 11 Sep 2017, 13:11

"Do they float?"

Don't watch if you suffer from coulrophobia:

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Dirk Marinus
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 11 Sep 2017, 15:36

Hi Paul,




About your question about who was passing on German plans and secrets to the French Deuxième Bureau .



An interesting question indeed and bear in mind that we are now in 2017 thus we have the benefit of hindsight.



Also we have to accept the fact that Gamelin was no longer a young man and seems to have been reluctant to accept military intelligence passed on to him ,in other words still thought about World War 1 tactics.



And he was not the only military officer thinking so as proved by the Polish cavalry who charged German tanks, the Netherlands army having canons and rifles from the late 1800’s.



Very few European countries in the 1930’s took notice of warnings about Germany’s modernising its armed forces.




Anyway back to your question.



The French military intelligence had agents on the ground a few years before the WW2 outbreak and one of them was Hans Thilo Schmidt who worked as a German cipher clerk at the German Defence Ministry Cipher office.



Actually he was recruited during a holiday somewhere in Belgium.



All his messages were passed on to French intelligent agent Raymond Arthur Schull who operated in Switzerland under the name of Robert Salembiek ( code name “Mutt”) who had a prolific paper shop in Geneva selling cards, postage stamps etc



Do you recognise or have you come across the codename Mutt before?



 



And Paul, another well known name who in the 1930’s was recruited by the French intelligence was Josephine Baker ( born as Freda Josephine Mc Donald in St Louis ,Missouri.



An entertainer , oriental dancer ( like Mata Hari) and therefore known as “Black Pearl” , “ The Bronze Venus “ , “Creole Goddess”



She did travel around Germany quite a bit and was often seen in restaurants with high ranking German military.



 



 



Dirk Marinus
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Tue 12 Sep 2017, 21:13

Dirk,

no I didn't know about Salembiek (Mutt) and not about Josephine Baker. I will all check it Wink  ...
Btw; I am preparing an answer to you about the German push through the Ardennes known by the French via Hans Thilo Schmidt. Also via Hans the Enigma machine...
Already one and a half hour seeking for more information about the above question.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Tue 12 Sep 2017, 22:46

Triceratops wrote:
coulrophobia

Now that the autumn evenings are drawing in here's a book that should help:



Mind you, Angie Walters is an anagram for 'wee angst liar', but let's hope that's just an unfortunate co-incidence.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Wed 13 Sep 2017, 07:27

A couple of years, or so, a trend or fashion spread in this country where someone dressed and made up as an evil clown would go out in the public room, and act threatening, most often with no real intent of actually doing bad things.

This went on for a couple of months and then it seemed to stop.

One of the reasons it stopped may have been, that when an elderly lady was almost assaulted a couple of times she was then met by her grandson who saw the clown and gave him a 'talking to'.

As the grandson err, 'let his fingers do the talking', and he was a 20+ year old fisherman this speech left some visible marks on the clown, who felt obliged to leave the small town where he lived.

When this news spread, and other took up this act as a 'counter trend', the original one eventually stopped.


Edited because of spelling errors


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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Wed 13 Sep 2017, 10:31

Not an image of a clown. But.....................

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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Wed 13 Sep 2017, 11:30

Oh dear, that does unfortunately make her look rather like one of the infamous 'black and white minstels':


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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:27

As the Cassini space probe drops out of Saturn's obit today, here are some spectacular photos taken by it in the years since 2004. The Cassini mission was principally to explore Saturn and its moons but I particularly like this one ... the distant pale blue dot is Earth. For all the failings of Earth's human inhabitants, it is still impressive that as a species we can get a camera to the rings of Saturn and take a selfie. Just think what we could do with just a few percent of the amount spent globally on arms?

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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Fri 15 Sep 2017, 11:05

I was going to put Cassini into the RIP thread when it finally makes its final descent. Although I have been criticised by you-know-who before for anthropomorphisising space probes before, when referring to Voyager 1 leaving the Solar System,  heading out into deep space and somehow empathising with its sheer isolation and remoteness, I also think of these probes as being ambassadors for all that is admirable about our carbon-based life form - the effort, the intelligence, the courage and the dreams of many people, to do something out of boundless ambition and curiosity without any immediate reward beyond intellectual satisfaction.
I am looking forward though to the final pictures and info.

There has been a series of programmes on telly over the past few weeks looking at the possibility of our becoming a truly space-faring civilisation, either 'locally' on Mars or further afield on Proxima Centauri B. It annoys the hell out of me that I won't be around to find out if these things ever come to pass.

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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Fri 15 Sep 2017, 11:34

Personally, I like a nice bit of anthropomorphising now and again.

I think the lonely and isolated image is haunting and appropriate - poor old Voyager set adrift to find its solitary way in an indifferent universe. And now Cassini. A poetic farewell, as tweeted by someone, is surely acceptable?


Farewell Cassini!
How far you’ve come.
On this eve, in fiery death,
Saturn & you are one.

VIP (Vaporize In Peace).
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Fri 15 Sep 2017, 11:53

About twenty years ago, so about the time of Cassini's launch, I wrote a short article for a caving club magazine speculating on the speleological possibilities around the solar system. On Earth the vast majority of caves are formed in limestone which crucially is slightly soluble in water, and so given enough time and enough rain caves will form. But liquid water isn't common other than on Earth, (although it now seems it did once exist in quite large amounts on Mars). But I did speculate whether you could get pseudo-karstic landscapes, including caves, occurring with other liquids such as methane, ethane, ammonia, or even molten sulphur (on Io). Furthermore caves can form in volcanic lava flows when the molten rock solidifies on the surface and the still liquid mass underneath runs out, leaving a hollow tube (such as exist on Hawaii), and these could, in principle at least, exist on Martian volcanoes (such as Mons Olympus). But all this was then largely just speculation.

It is thus immensely gratifying that in only those twenty years since, some of that speculation has been replaced by knowledge: rivers, lakes and oceans of liquid methane/ethane have now been mapped on Titan:



and there really are spectacular open shafts on Mars:



Like you, Ferval, I'm just miffed that I won't live to see all the future discoveries ... provided we don't all get blown up, hit by an asteroid, either starved by global warming or wiped out by an animal virus jumping species, etc.


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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Fri 15 Sep 2017, 12:30

MM, do you participate in any of the Zooniverse projects? I have passed quite a few hours searching for exo-planets, gravitational lenses, Martian fans (no, not the flirtatious kind) and such like.

It doesn't just cover space and other science stuff, there's transcriptions of Tudor documents and other old records, counting penguins, decophering chimps' gestures and all sorts to while away a cold winter's night and all have a genuine purpose in furthering study.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Fri 15 Sep 2017, 14:14

Well, Cassini's gone but just to lower the tone - among the photos it took was the moon Prometheus. Wouldn't a better name have been Priapus?


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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Sat 16 Sep 2017, 12:06

We've certainly come a long way since "The Sky at Night" programme which I watched as a kid.  (It actually went on much longer - just that I didn't watch it).  Considering how long ago it was launched Cassini certainly 'did a turn' didn't it?

Nielsen, the clown who frightened the old lady probably got what he deserved - in England we'd say that the grandson 'let his fists do the talking' rather than his 'fingers' but we all know what you mean.

To more mundane things, I've started watching the Carey Mulligan "Far From the Madding Crowd" - she's certainly closer to book Bathsheba than Julie Christie ever was, although I liked Julie Christie in other things and think she is (she's still alive but I don't know if she acts anymore) a good actress.  Why couldn't they have just stuck a dark wig on her (Ms Christie)?  I think Carey Mulligan must have darkened (or had darkened) her hair for the film because I've seen pictures of her with fair hair. Farmer Oaks' non-English accent didn't stick out like a sore thumb as much as I feared it might but I'm not fully through watching the film so it may waver later.  I was tired last night so stopped the iplayer.  The film is only on iplayer till Tuesday so I'll have to make sure I catch the rest within the next 2 days.


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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Mon 18 Sep 2017, 11:57

Last weeks' Twitter battle between the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum:

Museum Wars
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Tue 19 Sep 2017, 12:45

The French Far Right getting a bit worked up over a visit to a North African  restaurant;

Twitter CouscousGate

Telegraph CouscousGate
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Wed 20 Sep 2017, 10:01

In Russia, 2 hour parking restrictions are vigorously enforced:



seriously, a Russian helicopter gunship accidentally fires on spectators during the current military exercises Zapad 2017
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Wed 20 Sep 2017, 13:09

Received an e-mail from the BBC.

The message says that the BBC are changing their privacy policy from the 28th September. All non active accounts will be deleted. Because I haven't signed in for a while, if I don't sign in by the 27th my account will be deleted.
I never use it anyway, so they can delete it if they like. Since they shut down the messageboards, there is no longer a reason to sign in. Though it would mean no access to I-player and other such things.

Has anyone else received this?
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Wed 20 Sep 2017, 13:21

Yes I received it too. But since the message boards are mostly defunct, I-player doesn't work for me as I'm forrin, and generally their websites are now so dire, I haven't looked at anything BBC Online for years ... accordingly I ignored it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Wed 20 Sep 2017, 13:35

I think I'll ignore it as well.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Wed 20 Sep 2017, 14:30

Yes me too, both in the receiving of the Beeb email and in the ignoring for the same reasons MM has given. I threw their missive in the garbage bin and promptly forgot all about it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Wed 20 Sep 2017, 14:52

I had to create a new account so I could use iplayer and the radio version on my tablet. I often download stuff if I'm going away. My old account is still active and on auto log-in but the wean had commandeered it a while ago and changed the age bit to hers to watch CBBC so that limited what I could do.

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PostSubject: Re: The Tumbleweed Suite   Wed 20 Sep 2017, 15:06

This week's kitchen gadget review in the Guardian is for a radish shaper. Now, admit it, you all thought Good god, isn't rhaphanidosis bad enough without the radish being specially shaped? And anyway, isn't testing torture or S&M equipment a bit radical, even for the Guardian?

But no, it's a daft device to turn your radish into a mushroom.

Mushroom Shaper
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