Cold War Pointer - Bagley's Spy Wars Book

The Yale University Press Podcast has a great interview with the  Tennent H. Bagley the author of Spy Wars - Moles, Mysteries, and Deadly Games.

If you are interested in 1960's CIA vs. KGB stories and insight then you should enjoy the podcast.  The book sounds very interesting and is going on my someday maybe list.

Amount other roles at the CIA, Tennent H. "Pete" Bagley was the case officer for Yuri Nosenko.


Theatre Review "In This Corner" About Joe Louis & Max Schmeling

Unfortunately, this review is coming after "In This Corner" written by Steven Drukman has finished playing at the San Diego's The Old Globe theater.  But it is such a very good play, that I believe it will produced in other locations, so if you get a chance to see it, you should.

The play was extremely well done, and production was in the Cassius Carter Centre Stage (aka theater-in-the-round) so it was very interactive.

The story is about boxers Joe Louis played by Dion Graham and Max Schmeling played by Rufus Collins.  Both actor's are extremely talented and give outstanding performances.  The time frame for the story is from 1930 - 1970, and the boxing ring stage is supported by several great roles: Announcer, Trainer, Reporter, Nurse, and other Boxers.

As someone who knew very little details about Joe Lewis and Max Schmeling it was great to learn more via the engaging theater experience. 

So, if this show comes to your area or back to San Diego, I highly recommend you attend.


Some New Cold War History Recommendations

I am a big history buff. I am particularly interested in stories about World War II and The Cold War. 

I came across a bunch of recently released Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) docs at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS.org):

  • "The Secret War in Korea, June 1950 to June 1952," March 1964 [pdf]
  • "Record of Paramilitary Action Against the Castro Government of Cuba, 17 March 1960 - May 1961," May 1961 [pdf]
  • "The Evolution of Ground Paramilitary Activities at the Staff Level, October 1949-September 1955," November 1968 [pdf]
  • "The Berlin Tunnel Operation, 1952-1956," 24 June 1968 [pdf]

They all have some pretty interesting information in them.  I am fascinated by considering what the redacted parts contain.

The Cold War has many different angles and perspectives. One of the other resources that is really interesting is from Tony Kahn over at WGBH's Morning Stories podcast.  Tony produced the following series called "BlackListed" (RSS):

In October 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee opened its hearing into Communist influence in the movie business and promptly denounced 19 prominent directors, producers, screenwriters, and actors as enemies of the state. One of them was Hollywood screenwriter Gordon Kahn, whose films include All Quiet on the Western Front and The African Queen.
    
In this six-part personal history of the Hollywood Blacklist, Gordon Kahn's son, Morning Stories producer Tony Kahn, tells the story of his father's 15 years of persecution and the fear that followed him, his family, and thousands of other Americans for being accused of having the wrong political ideas.

I have currently listened to three of six podcasts, and I am really enjoying this very well produced audio program.  No matter what your political views this is is a podcast that should not be missed.


Book Reviews: Dead Sea Scrolls, Google, Freemasonry

I finished reading several potentially interesting books during our recent family vacation trip to Vashon Island, WA:

I really have to recommend the Fields book on the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It is very well documented and historically interesting - plus it has some great pictures.  Part of the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display in San Diego (through December 2007) which is the main reason I picked up the book.

The Google book is also recommended for those interested in technology, Internet history, and business & organizational ideas.  I personally only had a minor understanding of the history, technologies, and personalities related to Google so I found this book very interesting.

The Freemasonry book was entertaining but nothing spectacular.  I enjoyed it because my father and his father were Masons, and I learned a lot about what they probably went through.  The background history was interesting and I enjoyed the humor of the author.

 


QuadPolar #002 - Hacking, Vinyl, Artwork, & Food

QuadPolar #002 ... links for you and me:

  1. Crosley Radio Specials: radio and turntables with support for CDs and tapes. {Crosley@Amazon}
  2. Military artwork by Charles Waterhouse
  3. Hack-A-Day notes that Metasploit is now running on the Linksys WRTSL54GS.
  4. 'Tech' Food Conference (25Jun06 via Wired)

Why?

  1. I'm looking to move some vinyl to digital format, and I'd also like to listen to some vinyl directly from time to time, especially Frankie Valli and The 4 Seasons plus I still have a pretty good size catalog of 80's music on vinyl and tape.
  2. This is interesting for a yet-to-be-announced new project.
  3. Just plain technically cool.
  4. Food and technology are independently interesting to me, together they seem even more interesting.

Survived the DC Trip - Theodore Roosevelt Island, Beer Recommendation, & W.E.B. Griffin

I managed to survive and still have a good time on my recent business trip to Washington DC (the way back was DCA to Dallas to SAN). 

One of the main reasons I had a good time, was that I managed to sneak in three great runs in the Rossyln area of Virgina. One of the better ones included an exploration of Theodore Roosevelt Island which is part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway that is operated by the Virgina Turkey Run Park.

I'm also going to have to recommend the following beers:

Lastly, I have to admit I'm becoming a fan of "reading fiction books" while in transit, vice pulling out the work Tablet PC or the personal iBook or a tech journal.  Right now, I am busy quickly turning pages of W.E.B. Griffen's By Order Of The President.  This is my first Griffen book (definitely not my last Griffen book). I had heard his name before, but never got introduced until I listened to his recent podcast at Pritzker Military Library.


Summary of Our New York City Trip

Thursday (4/6):

Friday (4/7):

Saturday (4/8):

  • Rainy day in NYC :-(
  • Some shopping in Midtown
  • Meeting up with Christy's high-school friend Judy:
    • Dinner in SoHo at Ino (excellent food & wine!)
    • Drinks in SoHo at The Room with (spotted Mike Myers drinking a hefeweizen - no picture though because he is paparazzi-savvy and he expertly dodged our 'staged' tourist picture attempt)

Sunday (4/9):

Monday (4/10):

Tuesday (4/11):

Wednesday (4/12):

Thursday (4/13):

  • Last minute gift purchasing
  • Fly from LGA to DEN to SAN (ran into a co-worker at LGA's security screening who was in NYC with her daughter for Spring Break)

Sidetrack - Actor to DVD Ratio Kinda Interesting

We got the latest Movies Unlimited catalog in the mail yesterday.  It was interesting to me (and probably no one else?!?) how they organize DVDs available by actors, directors, and actressess.  And the shear number that some people have associated with them is definitely a tribute to their career. 

Here is a run down of some of the "leaders" from the prespective of how many DVDs were highlighted for them by the catalog (definitely not scientific, and not all exclusive to everything they have done)*:

  • 57 = John Wayne
  • 41 = Clint Eastwood
  • 29 = Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock & Elvis Presley
  • 20 = Burt Lancaster
  • 19 = James "Jimmy" Stewart
  • 18 = Bob Hope & Humphrey Bogart
  • 17 = Mel Gibson, Gregory Peck, & Paul Newman
  • 16 = Steven Spielberg
  • 15 = Steve McQueen, William Holden, Henry Fonda, & Harrison Ford
  • 14 = Marilyn Monroe & Katharine Hepburn
  • 12 = Goldie Hawn & Bette Davis
  • 11 = Audrey Hepburn
  • 10 = Elizabeth Taylor & Judy Garland

* Note: I stopped listing "men" who didn't have 15 DVDs associated with them. Some were very close and included names like: Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charles Bronson,Sean Connery, Tom Hanks, Woody Allen, Burt Reynolds, Jerry Lewis, Frank Carpa, Michael Douglas, Tom Cruise, Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Depp, Dennis Quaid, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Michael Caine, Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Mitchum, Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, Stephen King, Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, and Fred Astaire.