Tag Archives: West Wing

A Very Different Whitehouse

Hat tip to the Flickr Blog for highlighting the White House Photostream, which does seem to show a pretty candid behind the scenes view of the Obama White House.

I’m quite sure all the pictures have been suitably cleared, but it does seem that the photostream gives you a lot of behind the scenes views, so you get to see Obama picking his Oval Office chair, the new family dog being shown around, Obama watching his daughter play basketball, Obama and Biden practising putting, and even Obama watching the Super Bowl along with some of the more classic working in the Oval office type shots.

You also get to take a look at some of the iconic locations that are so well known, like the situation room, scenes on Air Force One reminiscent of the West Wing, the Roosevelt Room and the Cabinet Room.

There are numerous great shots – currently getting on for three hundred, just from the first one hundred days in office. Rather than list any more, I’ll just let them speak for themselves with the slideshow.

Life Imitating Art?

If you’re a West Wing fan you might have noticed some similarities between the presidential election campaign where Matthew Santos, a young inexperienced congressman from an ethnic minority is a candidate, and a certain Barack Obama. Hat tip to Ewan Spence for linking to an interesting article in the Guardian last week that reveals that the similarity between the two is anything but accidental. What is uncanny though is quite how much the rest of the scenario is lining up like the TV show…

Thank Heavens It’s Friday

Well at least it is the weekend tomorrow. As you can probably gather from my post from lunchtime, today was anything if not frustrating. After establishing that there was probably something installed on my development machine that was causing the problem, hence why the laptop was loading up the control I set about un-installing anything that wasn’t necessary. Unfortunately after an afternoon of removing one thing after another, and testing the project again, all with no success, by the end of the afternoon I was ready to drop-kick the whole PC out of the window. Hopefully Monday will shine a new light on the problem, either that or I’ll try and code around it.

Anyway, onto less frustrating things. I had a nice surprise when I got home, my copy of Shaggy Blog Stories, the book of UK blog postings put together by Mike Atkinson. For an internet published book, with effectively word-of-mouth advertising it’s doing pretty well. Apparently it sold over 250 copies in the first 40 hours, and the running tally on Mike’s site puts the current total at 410 copies, raising a fantastic £1821.22 for Comic Relief. If you haven’t ordered a copy, I can heartily recommend getting hold of a copy. Some of the names you’ll know, others you won’t, but there are certainly a lot of laughs. Incidentally, did you know that candles only burn if they are facing east? Neither did I – see, the book is educational too!

On a related point, this is the first book I’ve ordered from Lulu.com, the print-on-demand publishing service. Essentially it allows budding authors to publish their own work, and since each copy is printed when it is ordered, and the service handles all the production and shipping, it is a pretty straightforward way to get your book published. Certainly looking at my copy of Shaggy Blog Stories compared to a ‘normal’ book, aside from the missing barcode and ISBN number, it is pretty well indistinguishable, certainly in terms of the quality of manufacture. Having seen the finished article, it definitely seems like a good way to publish in small numbers, perhaps for books at the Church or something like that.

Since we’ve had a busy couple of weeks – I’ve had meetings, rehearsals, lent courses and all sorts meaning I’ve been out pretty well every night for the past few weeks – we had a catch-up session with programmes we have recorded tonight. We got through one episode of Heroes, two episodes of West Wing, and got up to date with this weeks episodes of EastEnders. I’ve mentioned West Wing loads of times before, and even linked in to clips, however I don’t think I’ve mentioned Heroes up to now.

The premise of Heroes has definite roots in the comic book genre with a large ensemble of apparently disconnected characters around the world starting to discover that they have strange powers. So we have a Texas Cheerleader who discovers that she is able to spontaneously regenerate, even at one point coming back to life in the middle of her own autopsy. There is also a Japanese programmer who discovers that he can manipulate the space/time continuum, tele-porting himself around the world and through time. There are also characters who are telepathic, characters who can fly and characters who can walk through walls. The show has been hailed as ‘the next Lost‘, in whose footsteps it certainly seems to have followed in terms of popular reception. It also seems to have followed along in terms of having a large ensemble cast, and in which the story is the main thing – so there is always the possibility that popular and apparently central characters will not survive. It is also similar in that there are many details to spot that may be missed by the casual viewer. Ironically, as Lost seems to be getting somewhat lost itself in it’s third season – certainly lacking the plot twists that kept you gripped before, Heroes seems to be taking it’s place in terms of complex and surprising plot twists. Certainly it’s got us hooked.

Anyway, thank heavens it’s Friday. We’ve not got much on this weekend, so it’s a good chance to sit back, read Shaggy Blog Stories, and watch the countdown to the new Doctor Who. 😀

West Wing – President Bartlett takes on Dr Jacobs

We’ve been enjoying our regular Sunday night dose of the West Wing as Channel 4 re-runs the entire series from the beginning. This week, we had the third episode of the second season, covering the Mid-terms. It also contains one of the classic oft remembered moments from the series, with a great performance from Martin Sheen.

President Bartlett has been obsessing over the first opponent he beat in an election, who looks likely to win an election to a local school board, with Toby asking him how he beat his opponent, and Bartlett being unsure. There is also a reception for talk radio hosts going on in the White House. In a break from awaiting the mid-term results, the President goes to speak to the talk radio reception, but to the concern of his staff goes off topic in spectacular style when the behaviour of one of the guests does not follow protocol.



Sometimes coincidence throws up some interesting combinations. Take yesterday as an example. The big news of the day was the verdict in the trial of Saddam Hussein, and more specifically the sentence of execution. More4 has recently started showing the excellent West Wing from the beginning, and last night they got to Take This Sabbath Day which focuses on President Bartlet, a devout Roman Catholic, as he struggles to decide the fate of a man convicted of two murders. Throughout the episode you get many of the major characters in the programme stating their position, and there is a very moving final scene with President Bartlet talking with his priest, who he has been trying to contact since the beginning of the episode.

Certainly on an occasion when opinions on the death penalty are being discussed in the media, especially as a result of the reaction of many in Europeincluding our own Prime Minister – and the Church to the sentence, it serves as a good reminder of the issues, and also how Christians deal with them.