Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died on this date in 1930. He is best known for creating that master of private consulting detectives Sherlock Holmes, whose adventures can be read online -links to the stories are here. The Hound of the Baskervilles is on the list of 100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century as selected by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association's online members. Jeremy Brett is my all-time favorite of the actors who've portrayed the detective. Here's the intro to the episodes of that series:

Here are some clips from Brett's series:

Here's an interview with Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke:

Doyle wrote historical fiction and science fiction as well.

My favorite of his historical fiction is The White Company, which can be read online here.

The Poison Belt, a science fiction tale, was never dramatized that I can find. His The Lost World can be read online here and was made into a movie in 1925:

I watched it a while back. Other movies, radio plays and a TV series have also been based on the tale.

Tales of Terror and Mystery can be read online or listened to compliments of Librivox. has more links, including links to some one-act radio plays.

And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believed in fairies. I can say no ill of someone who believes in fairies.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Louis Armstrong

Today is the anniversary of the death in 1971 of Louis Armstrong. There are tribute pages all over the web, including at RedHotJazz, the National Portrait Gallery,, PBS' Ken Burns series, the PBS American Masters site, Smithsonian Jazz and NPR. The Louis Armstrong House Museum is in Queens in New York. There is a Facebook fan page.

West End Blues (1928):

This song is on the list of 500 Songs that shaped Rock and Roll from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Holy Now

Peter Mayer is a folk singer/songwriter.

This is Holy Now, from his Million Year Mind CD:

lyrics are from his site:
When I was a boy, each week
On Sunday, we would go to church
And pay attention to the priest
He would read the holy word
And consecrate the holy bread
And everyone would kneel and bow
Today the only difference is
Everything is holy now
Everything, everything
Everything is holy now

When I was in Sunday school
We would learn about the time
Moses split the sea in two
Jesus made the water wine
And I remember feeling sad
That miracles don’t happen still
But now I can’t keep track
‘Cause everything’s a miracle
Everything, Everything
Everything’s a miracle

Wine from water is not so small
But an even better magic trick
Is that anything is here at all
So the challenging thing becomes
Not to look for miracles
But finding where there isn’t one

When holy water was rare at best
It barely wet my fingertips
But now I have to hold my breath
Like I’m swimming in a sea of it
It used to be a world half there
Heaven’s second rate hand-me-down
But I walk it with a reverent air
‘Cause everything is holy now
Everything, everything
Everything is holy now

Read a questioning child’s face
And say it’s not a testament
That’d be very hard to say
See another new morning come
And say it’s not a sacrament
I tell you that it can’t be done

This morning, outside I stood
And saw a little red-winged bird
Shining like a burning bush
Singing like a scripture verse
It made me want to bow my head
I remember when church let out
How things have changed since then
Everything is holy now
It used to be a world half-there
Heaven’s second rate hand-me-down
But I walk it with a reverent air
‘Cause everything is holy now

HT: Monkey Mind

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th!

Our usual practice is to go out to the in-laws' house for cook-out and fireworks, but we couldn't stay for the fireworks because of the late start time last night and weren't offered the option of coming to the cook-out if we couldn't stay for the late-night event. So we stayed home this year and had supper and videos in. It was a fine way to spend the evening. And it was completely stress-free.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Robert Mitchum

Today is the anniversary of the death in 1997 of Robert Mitchum, a long-time favorite of mine.

Here are the films I have posts on:

Aerial Gunner (1943)
Border Patrol (1943)
The Locket (1946)
Out of the Past (1947)
Where Danger Lives (1950)
Angel Face (1952)
What a Way to Go! (1964) closes by saying, "Although filmgoers have enjoyed this late bloomer's laconic presence for years, the critical and popular consensus has finally caught up with Mitchum's greatness as a screen star." says, "Somehow he managed to be both cool and reckless, heroic and vaguely sinister, laconic to the point of inertia, yet still a man of action. And above all, he was tough." TCM and AMCTV have short biographies.

The photo at the top of the post is from Wikipedia.