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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Eurovision 2010



The Germans and their flags, eh? Lena, Lena over all!


Another (not very classic) Eurovison is over and has produced, shock, a German winner. It had always been thought that the days of anyone winning from the "big four" (those countries that fund most of the competition and get automatic entry to the final) of France, Germany, Spain and the UK) was long over, as block voting by Central and Eastern Europeans made this unlikely. Certainly this has been the UK's reasoning and defence for our terrible showing in the contest in the last decade. In fact, Britain has been dead last now three times since 2003. Our entry this year was written by Pete Waterman and Mike Stock and sounded exactly like a poor B side from one of their dreadful singles from the eighties. Britain has alway sneered about the fact that European music was hopelessly old fashioned but this year we had the dreadful old fashioned dance song and the Germans had a contemporary sounding pop song. In fact, poor Josh Dubovie, our singer, had the embarrassment of his song being called the UK's worst ever entry (and that is saying something) and his chances of winning were rated by the bookies as being the same as David Beckham marring Cheryl Cole or ex Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq being elected Mayor of London. But now Germany has won, our excuse has gone.

In a way, it indicates a rehabilitation of Germany in Europe, as the Second World War fades into history, with today's youngsters not carrying the baggage of the past. Agent Triple P would have thought that there would still be a lot of countries in Europe who still aren't sure about Germany and wouldn't vote for them; but we were wrong, as they got douze points after douze points (nine out of the 39 available) from many countries they had steamrollered seventy years ago. In fact, Norway gave Germany 12 points despite it being exactly 70 years since the Germans rolled across Norway (April-June 1940). It was noticeable, however, that the Germans didn't get a single point from Israel; joining a small group consisting or Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Romania who didn't vote for them.

Oddly, Belarus who languished on null points for much of the competition, and only picked up four votes altogether, leapfrogged out of last position and kicked the UK down there instead because the UK gave them douze points. What? Why? The only other countries who voted for Belarus were Bulgaria, Romania and Russia and none of them gave them more than trois points.

Armenia's lovely Eva Rivas (or Valeriya Reshetnikova-Tsaturian, to giver her her correct name)

The block voting, despite the new system, was still there and there were the usaul spats between old enemies. The very patriotic (nationalistic?) Armenian entry was taken by the Turks to refer to the massacre of Armenians by Turkey during World War 1 and has caused a right ruckus between the two. We don't care about this but give the Armenian singer, Eva Rivas, the Triple P award for most desirable performer (not that there was a lot of competition this year).

Musically, it was fairly dire as usual but we were surprised by Ireland's poor showing: they had a good singer (Niamh Kavanagh) and a good song but maybe the fact that she had won before counted against her. Still she got 150% more points than the UK (and was still third from last). The Irish, who are usually generous markers of the UK entry did give us our highest points: four. Way down on the eights, tens and twelves we usually expect.


Mordor entered Mount Doom this year

Iceland had a good entry but paid the price, we suspect, for wrecking everyone's travel plans during the spring. Indeed their singer, Hera Björk Thórhallsdóttir, looked rather frighteningly like a volcano herself.

One great disappointment this year was the singular lack of underdressed Eastern European dollies gyrating around. Perhaps in post credit-crunch Europe such things are seen as too frivolous (although we notice that Latvia (who didn't make the final) has started a blondes parade to cheer up the country as their economy dives faster than a Stuka).

So, who are Britian's friends in Europe? On the basis of Eurovision, other than Ireland, its the motley collection of Albania, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Perhaps they are all looking forward to the days when they can join the EU, come to Britain and claim benefits while still living at home. No gratitude from the Poles, however! The Turks gave Germany dix points! Next time you get invaded you're on your own, mateys!

Bad girl, take your punshiment...



Right from the era depicted in Mad Men comes this (real) advertisement for Chase and Sanborn coffee. Chase and Sanborn were founded in 1862 and were the first company to ship coffee in sealed tins. An advertisement like this almost beggars belief today, especially as it was aimed at women! I suppose what the advertisers may have ignored, in devising this striking piece, is the fact that it would have been totally ineffective on those women who actually looked forward to a good spanking from their husbands. Maybe they would deliberately go out and choose the wrong coffee so they could get a bit of firm chastisement (why does V spring to mind here?).


These days it would more likely be the woman doing the spanking...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Girls in the news


Nicole wins the glittering prize


Many of this blog's fixations have been in the news in the last 24 hours or so so its time for a news round up!


Nicole demonstrates why Lewis Hamilton was so keen to get back together with her

Firstly, uber-Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger won Dancing with the Stars, the American version of Strictly Come Dancing, one of Agent Triple P's guilty pleasures. How can this be fair? The woman spends most of her life dancing on stage! How can she go on a show which is supposed to be for people who can't dance? Nonsense! I'd be right miffed if I was the runner-up! Also, it seems, the rest of the Pussycat Dolls having recently quit or been pushed Nicole has reappeared with an entirely new line-up. Will anyone notice the difference? Er, no. Four girls, carefully chosen to look exactly like the departing posse gave their first "performance" last Friday night.

It's a brand new band, honest

Some of Nicole's fans (yes, there are such people) have been asking why she doesn't just go solo instead of fronting another bunch of disposable, non-singing backing dancers. The answer is, of course, that the only reason anyone is vaguely interested in the PCD (as they like to be known- it sounds like a hallucinogenic) is precisely because there are a bunch of half-dressed, slutty-looking women writhing about in the background. No backing dancers, no interest in Nicole on her own.

Now, on to someone who can sing (allegedly), busty Welsh warbler Katherine Jenkins was "performing" in Argentina this week in a most peculiar dress that made her look rather like a badly stuffed black pudding.



Now, as we appreciate hourglass shaped women we will not be making any comment on her profile here, but what is going on underneath her dress? What is that peculiar ridge line that goes around her waist? It looks like her top half has been slotted into her bottom half like an egg into an egg cup. Is she a life sized Barbie after all? Or could it be she is wearing girdle?


Fancy a Flake?

On to another "singer", X-Factor reject Diana Vickers, whose voice resembles a hyena gargling with frogs, who has a new single out and is shown posing about in some new pictures looking all rather Cadbury's Flake advert-like. Actually, we have to say, she looks rather appealing. As long as we don't have to listen to her.


Diana practices her Flake technique



The lovely Kelly looking lovely as usual


Finally, the lovely Kelly Brook was launching the Sky Ride charity cycle rides in London today outside that lop-sided pickled onion that is the Mayor of London's office. She looked very fetching in her summer dress but looking at her shoes we suspect she is not a regular cyclist. Why is Kelly not our current National Treasure instead of Cheryl Cole who, at last, announced she is divorcing Ashley today? She has said she doesn't want any money from him but maybe that is because she now is worth more than him. Maybe he won't be so magnanimous, after all, he could argue that she wouldn't have been anything like as famous if she hadn't been such a high profile WAG.


Cheryl attending the red carpet premiere of a film in Cannes recently. She didn't actually watch the film but just went to another party but does seem to have mastered the Royal wave

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Caviar vending machine


Yes, exactly what it says on the tin! The Russians now have access to caviar vending machines! This, of course, would be an ideal addition to our local village shop in "Surrey's capital of bling", which already sells a dozen or so prestige Champagne cuvees. All we would need is some quails eggs and we would be well set up for a TV snack! Sadly, of course, it only dispenses salmon caviar not the proper stuff but I'm sure it would work with the real thing in "Britain's most expensive village" TM. Oscietra for Triple P, please!

Co-incidentally, Agent Triple P has been with people from Russia today, one of whom was a particulary delightful example of Russian femininity in a barely there summer dress. She would be ideal to share some caviar with, although her top was so low-cut a long handled spoon might be useful to have on hand.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Waist not, want not?

Christina: curvy


The hourglass figure, as exemplified by Christina Hendricks of Mad Men (and most of the classic starlets of the forties, fifties and sixties)has just been voted as the feminine ideal, out of a choice of seven body shapes, by both mean and women in a survey conducted by lingerie maker, Triumph. This just confirms research done by the University of Texas three years ago who analysed 350,000 works of literature looking for comments on women's shape. The study, led by nothing else to do obviously researcher, Dr Devendra Singh, also looked at ancient Chinese and Indian litereature and concluded that a slim waist was regularly indicated as desirable.


Raquel Welch: now that is a waist/hip ratio!


Of course, it is not a slim waist per se, but a slim waist in proportion to hips that counts. Waist to hip ratios are expressed as a a figure taken by measuring the waist and dividing it by the hip measurement. So a woman with a 24" waist and a 34" hip measurement would have a ratio of 0.70. Such a ratio, indicative of the classic hourglass shape, has been shown to be associated with higher fertility and lower chronic disease as well as being popular with men throughout history. Playboy Playmates have an average ratio of approximately 0.68. Interestingly, recent research has shown that women who work, or are the lone parent in a family, are more likely to have a ratio of 0.80. This is not just based on food intake but, it seems is a side effect of busy and stressful lives. Professor Cashad of the University of Utah did a study a few years ago that found that the busier a woman was the more of the hormone androgen she produced. Whilst this gives women greater strength, stamina and competitiveness it allso increased fat deposits around the waist.




Heather Ryan: Playboy's Miss July 1967 36-20-35: a ratio of 0.57!

However, it is not just stress that is meaning that just as the hourglass figure becomes desirable again it is less and less common: it's eating too much. A study in North Carolina showed that just 8% of the female population (from a a sample of 6,000) had the classic hourglass figure with a waist/hip ratio of 0.70 or less. In Britain (where we are still not as fat as Americans - although sadly catching up) the average woman's vital statistics have gone from 37/27/39 in 1950 (a hip/waist ratio of 0.69) to 39/34/41 today (a ratio of 0.83). So British womens' waists have increased by a staggering seven inches in sixty years yet bust and hips have only increased by two inches.

Its perhaps no wonder that women with more straight up and down figures are held out by the fashion industry as desirable given that the proportions of the target market are similar (if larger). Not that today's models are fat but they demonstrate much more androgynous figures than models in the fifties. Oddly, this is often deliberately disguised by photographers who shoot from clever angles to make straight up and down girls look curvier for swimsuit pictures aimed at men rather than fashion photographs aimed at women. They recognise that curvy is still the ideal for most men. Of course, as is the case with world's highest paid model Giselle Bundchen, a bust job helps fool people into thinking you're curvy too.


Giselle Bundchen. Her swimsuit and lingerie photos are rarely as revealing of her straight up and down figure as this catwalk photo is.
Triple P prefers his girls to be shaped like women: so hooray for Christina Hendricks, Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson and at least we won't need digital retouchers in magazines (such as this month's ironically named Healthy) to add weight to them so they look normal rather than starved to death.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

FHM 100 Sexiest Woman v Maxim Hot 100 - 2010

Cheryl: top in FHM nowhere in Maxim


So take two very similar magazines with very similar readerships and ask them to vote for the most attractive women on the planet and you would expect some sort of consensus, right? Wrong. The FHM sexiest list and the Maxim Hot 100 have both appeared this month and they look very different.


The FHM top 10 looks like this (Maxim ranking in brackets):


1 Cheryl Cole (-)
2 Megan Fox (5)
3 Marisa Miller (10)
4 Frankie Sandford (-)
5 Keeley Hazell (90)
6 Kristen Stewart (-)
7 Kelly Brook (89)
8 Adriana Lima (-)
9 Jessica Alba (34)
10 Abbey Clancy (-)



Katy Perry. More a sort of OK looking shopgirl than the sexiest woman on the planet, surely?



The Maxim top 10 looks like this (FHM figures in brackets):



1 Katy Perry (37)
2 Brooklyn Decker (-)
3 Zoe Saldana (24)
4 Blake Lively (76)
5 Megan Fox (2)
6 Rihanna (43)
7 Elisabetta Canalis (-)
8 Olivia Munn (-)
9 Kim Kardashian (-)
10 Marisa Miller (3)


So, the only girls in common are actress Megan Fox and model Marisa Miller (is she really that famous?). Megan Fox is the only one in the top five of both. In the top 20 they share only five girls. In the whole 100 they only share 26. Cheryl Cole doesn't feature at all on the Maxim top 100 list. Katy Perry, number 1 on the Maxim list is 37th on the FHM list. In each top ten four or five girls don't appear at all in the other's top 100!


This is all very curious and makes us wonder whether the lists are really the subject of public voting or are just weighted in favour of which women the magazines have arranged features on going forward. Now, Agent Triple P keeps a weather eye on babes of the moment but he has not heard of six of the Maxim top 20 at all and eight of the FHM top 20. He hasn't heard of 31 of the FHM top 100 and an amazing 62 of the Maxim list. By not heard of we mean absolutely no idea who they are - haven't even heard their name in passing. If the votes aren't fixed it sounds like tactical internet voting by cabals of fans. FHM also doesn't have what the Americans would call "a woman of colour" in their top twenty wheras Maxim has two in their top ten.


So who would Triple P vote for in 2010? Easy. Christina Hendricks of Mad Men, who is 78 on the FHM list and nowhere on the Maxim list. To be voted one of the sexiest women you have to appear to be sexy not just look good in a swimsuit.


Christina Hendricks. Properly sexy.

Most Searched Item: April 2010

The lovely Cheryl Cole



1 (4) Cheryl Cole. A first time at number one for "the Sexiest Woman in the World" and object of a recent Triple P dream. Fortunately her horrible tattos didn't feature.
2 (2) Margaret Nolan. Second month at number two.
3 (3) Emily Blunt. Necond month at number three.
4 (6) Tori Praver. Highest ranking ever for Tory Prawn.
5 (19) Brande Roderick. Right up again for grape crushing Playmate.
6 (11) Jarah Mariano. Up again for swimsuit babe
7 (5) Pirate girls. Avast behind! Drops a spot.
8 (11) Linda Lusardi. Doing well but not as well as at Venus Observations.
9 (15) Cindy Morgan. Big leap for cute Eighties actress.
10 (1) Katrina Hodge. Big drop for army babe.
11 (12) Ekaterina Ivanova. Up yet again for unattractive Russian bimbo.
12 (-) Jade Ewen. Into the top 20 again for leggy Sugababe.
13 (-) Holly Willoughby. Re-entering too for busty presenter.
14 (17) Hawaiian girls. Pacific babes bounce up again.
15 (18) Jessica White. Sports Illustrated babe hops up a few places.
16 (7) Luci Victoria. Down but not out for rare British playmate.
17 (13) Sophie Howard. Another consistently popular busty Brit.
18 (16) Patricia Velasquez. Model/actress hangs in there.
19 (-) Gabrielle Drake. Welcome re-entry for classy actress.
20 (10) Irena Shayk. A drop but still in for Russian model.

Bigggest climber this month was the grapelicious Brande Roderick. Highest re-entry was Jade Ewen. Irena Shayk was the biggest faller.

Looking at the top non girlie searches we have:

1 The Adventures of Triple P.
2 Norman bel Geddes.
3 Errol Flynn.
4 Hotel Babylon.
5 Pubic Wars.
6 Fontainebleau Hotel.
7 When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.
8 Jerome Moross.
9 How to Murder your Wife soundtrack.
10 Crisp packet colours.


Monday, May 10, 2010

An erotic dream about Cheryl Cole



Nothing wrong with her top at all!


It is actually quite unusual for Agent Triple P to have erotic dreams (at least ones we remember)but we had a corker last night about our former neighbour Cheryl Cole.



In this very vivid example we were a student at Oxford, but it was a very bizarre Oxford where our room was a split level Habitat style Seventies effort. All white blocky furniture, orange rugs and built in bookshelves (quite unlike our eighteenth century rooms from our first year). Our dream opened with Cheryl in bed with Triple P who was trying to remove her top. This despite the fact that Cheryl was born two years after we finished at Oxford! Cheryl was wearing a rather fetching patterened top of the type known as, a few years ago, a handkerchief top. Cheryl was most insistent that we could not remove it due to her scars (shades of Chardonnay from Footballers Wives, perhaps?). Anyway she had no such worries about her skirt and knickers and very soon Triple P was being most orally attentive. Miss Cole, however, was very conscious of the fact that she was a celebrity and Triple P was a very lucky non entity and constantly berated him on his oral technique. "Lick across it not up and down!" she said in her not very dulcet Geordie tones. Agent Triple P well knows this. He needs no instruction in this area! Bossy bitch!


It's your legs you should worry about, dear!



Anyway, in one of those sort of sudden jumps you get in such dreams, he was transported to a train leaving Oxford but didn't realise this until he was five stations down the line. He jumped off the train only to discover that he was only dressed in a white towelling dressing gown. He found himself at a bus station in a very seventies looking modernist town (not unlike the ugly bits of Ayelsbury) worried about being mugged by Jamaicans and unable to find where the bus back to Oxford left from. He telephoned Cheryl who, after an inordinate amount of time, came to collect him in her white convertible Ford Cortina. She created something of a stir at the bus station as she was just wearing a very small, black, lacy nightie.




Well, what did all this mean? A classic anxiety dream, our friend B opined. "As you get older you worry that your sexual performance is diminishing". Thanks B. We will see about that this coming weekend in Geneva! Still, an erotic dream with the lady who has just, for the second year running, been voted the sexiest woman in the world can't be all bad. If only she didn't talk all the time. Suddenly we have a window into the reality of life for Ashley Cole. Poor chap!

1962 Chevrolet Impala



We love this wonderful piece of black and white rendering by Detroit based graphic artist Harry Borgman. Borgman worked on both Ford and Chevrolet accounts in the early sixties and produced some classic illustrations.


The Impala started life as a special edition of the Bel Air coupe in 1958, becoming a seperate model the following year. Right hand drive cars were made at General Motors's Oshawa plant in Canada and were shipped overseas in kit form for assembly in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Agent Triple P knows a particularly elegant and beautiful girl, who now works for the Canadian government, who started her working life as a production line assembly girl in Oshawa.


The six tail lights were an Impala characteristic


The 62 Impala is one of those cars that particularly appeals to the sort of American who likes to fiddle around with cars' suspension in order to try to attract the sort of slutty women who think that such things are appealing.






The 62 Impala was available in both an eco friendly 5.4 litre and couldn't give a damn 6.7 litre version.





More Harry Borgman wondefulness. He used to collect and draw backdrops on his travels in case he could use them for his illustrations.







Black and White Babe of the Week: 22 Halle Berry


The gorgeous Halle is, in Agent Triple P's opinion, one of the most desirable women on the planet. We actually saw her once, in a restaurant in Santa Monica, where she exuded an almost palpable physical presence. We have to ignore the fact that she is, in reality, as nutty as a fruitcake, and just concentrate on that gorgeous face (yes, we know that she has had a nose job) and extraordinary figure. Her tummy button actually makes our index finger twitch!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pussycat Dolls break up



Well, not exactly earth shattering news this week and does anyone really care anyway? The concept of taking a bunch of strippers and turing them into a musical group who can dress and dance around like a bunch of strippers is not exactly imaginative but that is what eminence gris Robin Antin did and he made a very good living out of it. The girls, we suspect, didn't do so well out of the deal. Everyone knew that of the six (and then five) of them only Nicole Scherzinger could sing anyway and when she left, to spend more time with dimunitive petrol head Lewis Hamilton, their number was almost up.





Agent Triple P doesn't think that their is anything wrong with underdressed women writhing about on stage whilst pretending to perform rather unpleasant music. Its just that most of them looked like a bunch of past it ratbags (Nicole excepted, to be fair). Nevertheless the Malaysian government fined the organisers of their 2006 Kula Lumpur concert a not very punitive $3,000 for "sexually explicit dancing". Who did they think they were getting, The Nolans?




Anyway I am sure the powers behind the group are already casting another (hopefully younger and more attractive and, no doubt, cheaper) team as I write this, whilst all the time still claiming that the group is about female empowerment. Even Agent Triple P wouldn't be brazen enough to try to claim that!




Pussycat Dolls tour management save money by failing to provide underwear again

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Christina Hendricks



Agent DVD kindly gave Triple P a copy of Season 1 of Mad Men on Blu-ray for his birthday (we think- it could have been Christmas). Agent DVD (perhaps we should change his name to Agent Blu-ray) has, on several occasions remarked on the fact that I would enjoy it and how right he is! We have to give special mention to one of the greatest TV show title sequences ever which deservedly won an Emmy for best main title design.

Agent Triple P thinks that it is the most consistently enjoyable US drama series he has seen since The West Wing. Indeed, Elizabeth Moss, who played Zoe Bartlett in the latter series has a prominent role in this one. To say it has won a lot of awards is an understatement; around forty so far. We enjoyed it so much that we have already watched the second and third series as well. HMS, it seems did not enjoy it, believing that it was a "soap-opera". In fact, as the show evolved I did actually see what he meant. This tied in with an increasing irritation with the character of Betty, the "hero", Don Draper's wife. It is a tribute to the completely lovely January Jones that she can build a character out of a varied collection of pouts, frowns and scowls. But she is such an annoying character that we actually enjoy her being miserable!





This is an unusual period for a retro-set show. Usually when producers go back to the Sixties it is to the mini-skirted Swinging Sixties or the late sixties of the hippies not the first few years of the decade. These were, in many ways, almost like a few extra years of the fifties before the decade developed its own character later.




Apart from the drama itself, Agent Triple P is very much enjoying the cars, the interiors and clothing (especially the lingerie) of this period, which have been beautifully realised by the, rightly, award winning art, hair and costume departments. Its not entirely perfect. Some of the fonts used are anachronistic (yes, there are websites devoted to looking at the use of fonts in film and TV!) as are the typewriters (from rather later than 1960) and some of the magazines and books the characters read look fifty years old. Nevertheless, its a great achievement for a TV show.





The music is equally distinctive being a mixture of period pieces (largely avoiding the usual rock and roll for a jazzier sound) and very good pastiche "lounge" music by David Carbonara. A musical highlight for Triple P was Gordon Jenkins' haunting version of Juan Tizol's Caravan (from Jenkins' not very imaginatively titled 196o album Gordon Jenkins presents Marshall Royal), featuring Marshall Royal on alto saxaphone, played over the end titles of the opening episode.




However, the finest thing in the show is Christina Hendricks as bitchy uber-secretary Joan. We hate to say it but there was a woman just like her in Agent Triple P's previous office. New secretaries coming into the office who didn't meet with her approval usually left in despair a few weeks later after a smilingly delivered barrage of the most surgical of cutting comments. Triple P liked her a great deal!


Christina Hendricks in the much missed Firefly


Miss Hendricks, sadly, is not a real red-head (otherwise she would have appeared on red-head of the week on Venus Observations) but rather a natural blonde. Born in Tennessee but raised in Idaho she was thirty-five on Monday! She has appeared in many TV shows but Triple P remembers her from a recurring role in, the sadly terminated after one season, Science Fiction show, Firefly where she played arch con-artist Saffron. We suspect that her appearance in Mad Men (for which she has won several awards) will make her a bigger star but, hopefully, not so big that she isn't in series four of which starts being shown in the US in July.




In her role as Joan she gives one of the most physically studied performances Triple P has seen since Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. From her head to her feet each movement is presented rather than just happening. We also have to say that her ability to sashay away from the camera is unmatched on modern TV or film. Monica Bellucci in the second Matrix film, Joan Chen in The Last Emperor or Ornella Muti in Flash Gordon are the only ones who are in the same league. Partly, she claims, this is because of the fact that the producers of the show make the female cast wear authentic period style lingerie while on set.




Last month Christina was voted the sexiest woman alive by the readers of Esquire Magazine joining an illustrious series of A-list stars who have held the title previously. Interestingly 30% of women contributing to their annual woman's attitudes survey also voted her the most attractive clebrity.




There has been much discussion of her awesome bust with suggestions that she is a 38DDD. In fact, she is a more believable but still impressive 38D, it seems. Nevertheless, photographers at Hollywood events flock to her like moths to two flames and she does not seem particularly shy about her assets.




Rather the opposite, in fact!