A new career opportunity awaits!

SIS logoFrom the “tripped over this while looking for something else” department:

Her Majesty’s Secret Service is looking for new hires, in the capacity of Operations Officer. (We’re pretty sure that means “secret agent.”) We don’t know if this is how it was done in the old days — the Cold War years, let’s say — by taking out an ad in the UK Times Online seems slightly unromantic. Efficient and democratic, perhaps, but whatever happened to the ol’ “tap on the shoulder” of legend?

Interested parties can read the advert and begin the application process
RIGHT HERE. Best of luck!

The Bumps and Bruises of the Bond Business

The Times Online has a nice little piece on the Powell family, who for the past two generations have done stunt work for the James Bond movies.

The Powell family is among the best-kept secrets in film, having performed Bond’s stunts for more than 40 years. In 20 films, Fred “Nosher” Powell, 80, and Dennis “Dinny” Powell, 76, or Nosher’s sons Greg, 54, and Gary, 45, have helped successive Bonds from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig do the dirty business of making Bond look good.

If that sounds like fun gig, bear in mind that the elder Powells now have badly impaired hearing (after all the gun use), and a history of broken bones. Still, how many people can say, as Gary can, that they’ve personally trashed seven Aston Martin DBSs within two consecutive weeks?

The Family Who Do Stunts for James Bond is a fascinating look-behind-the-scenes story of the evolution of cinema stunt work, and another chapter in the ongoing history of the James Bond films. It’s worth your attention.

Top 10 real-life spy gadgets

SIS badgeThe Times Online has an interesting, and entertaining, column by Free Agent spy novelist Jeremy Duns, counting down his ten favorite real espionage inventions.

Ranging from the standard KGB crudities (poison-tipped umbrellas), to clever Q-Branch wizardry (magnetized trouser buttons that could be converted into a compass), to the wackily bizarre (exploding rats!), the list is bound to fire your imagination, and maybe even learn you a thing or two.

Top 10 Real-Life Spy Gadgets can be found in the “Books” section of the Times. Most of the devices listed to have links to earlier articles, so you can have quite a bit of fun rooting around in that venerable organ’s attic.