With the new month Starhub Cable has reorganized its service packages and added some new channels ... only one of which interests me, BBC Prime. This is an entertainment channel, as opposed to the news-and-documentary BBC World. For their startup they put on a slate of programs, none of which I'd ever heard of, except for The Weakest Link with Anne Robinson, whom I'd thought had gone back to being the transporter accident-created fusion of Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine. It's a fun enough show, but it is the British edition, meaning the questions include soccer trivia and there's always a contestant named `Morag.'
The first show I've heard of -- though not seen -- on the schedule according to the cable box is Yes, Minister, starting tomorrow; I have heard rather good things about it. I caught tonight the first part of Sounds of the Sixties, which is a blessedly commentary-free compilation of 1960s musical acts from the remaining BBC archives. This is good for me, since I haven't really understood popular music since they stopped using sitars, but stuff before I understand well. Some of them are just obscure bands; some are cute novelty things (like ``Pinky and Perky,'' a pair of pig puppets). They went ten minutes before using a Beatles clip, but the commercials have all been The Kinks.
Absolutely thrilling me, though -- yes, I know how pathetic this sounds, but I love this sort of thing, and I know some of you reading this do too -- is during the Sounds of the Sixties show they connect pieces using 1960s BBC logo cards. Put an obsolete radio or TV logo on something and I'm a very happy camper.
And in hurricane news, Singapore has broken through the United States's thick anti-foreign aid defensive barriers. The evening news noted with pride that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is directing some of the Singapore Armed Forces to assist disaster relief. (Much of the Singapore military trains in the United States. Every time I think of this I imagine a squad of neatly-dressed, polite, slightly quiet Chinese and Malaysian folks wandering into King of the Hill.) Specifically, three Chinook helicopters and their 38 crew and support personnel attached to the Texas Army National Guard are being despatched (an appealing word I get few chances to employ). It's not clear to me whether this is done with the US's approval, or if Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew simply decided that's what would be, and explained that to President George W Bush, rattling him so badly that he couldn't complete a sentence in that little chat in the Rose Garden before heading off to frown at hurricane wreckage and governors.
Trivia: New Jersey's oldest city is Jersey City; its municipal government was founded as Bergen in what is now Bergen Square in 1661. Source: This is New Jersey, John T Cunningham.
Currently Reading: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, Barbara W Tuchman.