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Picture: NAVY INVESTIGATORS: Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) on NCIS.

Getting forensic with Mark Harmon


Last updated 05:00 05/10/2014 You’re the star of a hit series, NCIS, so what is the motivation to become an executive producer on another, the spinoff NCIS: New Orleans?

This business, from the beginning, has always been such a joy. From the first time I was ever on a set to now. I had really good mentors, early on, or at least people that I met, and had the opportunity to work with, who became mentors. It’s funny to me because when I first came to NCIS, on this show, I came as an actor/director, that was the original plan. And I have not directed any [episodes]. To me, it’s about filling your quiver with more arrows than you had yesterday. And the idea of learning from that. That’s why I still enjoy so much what I do.

In the recent history of NCIS at least one other spinoff was considered, NCIS: Red, which did not proceed. Why do you think the particular assembly of either actors or elements in NCIS: New Orleans fits?

What attracted me and this cast to what we’re doing was characters. Because there were characters that each of us wanted to play. And these characters had humour. That was there from the beginning. That’s also the footprint that we’re trying to extend to New Orleans. This show was always presented as New Orleans, the city, being as much a part of it, as much of a character, as any character in the piece. And I’m happy we’re shooting it there and the cast is embracing that. Now they have to make it theirs. We’re in the process of doing that now.

It seems to have become one of the tropes of procedural spinoffs that the city sits front and centre, NCIS already has a Los Angeles spinoff, CSI went to Miami and New York. Why do you think that is the case?

I think what makes it unusual is what makes it potentially work. When we first talked about it, this was a very small New Orleans office, basically three people, who had been there for a long time, doing incredible work. Then you have New Orleans the city, right in the middle, which has its own environment, for hundreds of years. Its own sound, its own feel, certainly its own smell, taste, all that. So our job, in talking about all of this, was saying this is potentially a hugely rich opportunity to footprint a show, and at the same time, do something a little bit different.

You haven’t directed any episodes of NCIS but you did direct on Boston Public and Chicago Hope. Do you have any ambition to direct episodes of NCIS: New Orleans?

I don’t know where I would find the time to do that. It’s hard enough just trying to figure out the acting schedule that I have on NCIS. And when we shot the pilot [of New Orleans], for example, we continued shooting in Los Angeles. So it’s really a scheduling problem, more than anything. When you direct you have one episode of prep, you have a shooting episode and you have post. That’s basically three episodes you’re having to be re-scheduled in or written lightly. I’ve thought from the beginning I’m not willing to jeopardise three episodes of this show just because I want to direct. So I’ve never done it.      

If we trace the lineage of NCIS we go all the way back to the navy drama JAG. Do you think there is still a distant echo of that show on NCIS: New Orleans?

When we did the JAG we didn’t spin off, NCIS came to investigate a murder. So it was the four of us who are still there - David McCallum, Pauley Perette, Michael Weatherly and myself - brought into this environment, investigating a murder. New Orleans was a planned spinoff, which is a harder load. For a writer, that’s about servicing the existing characters, writing characters and creating characters within that environment, that are strong enough to bring the kind of actors you need to try and do a series. And at the same time, keep everyone else balanced. It’s a really tough load. And that’s a huge credit to [executive producer] Gary Glasberg. Do we like what we’re seeing? Yeah. Will the public yes or no that? Absolutely. Is it good? Growth is good. Is it going to work? I don’t know. But we’re certainly trying to give it every opportunity.

NCIS: New Orleans airs at 8.30pm Fridays on Prime

- Sunday Star Times


have you guys heard the news about Monster High getting an anime series in Japan? it’s supposed to start in late october. According to Madoka Yonezawa’s tweet, she will be playing Frankie! I’ll be interested to see what changes they make to it :)

Following a run of streaming dubbed shorts, an animated adaptation of Mattel’s horror teen doll line Monster High will be hitting Japanese TV on October 22nd. In addition to a blog announcement and news from the line’s Japanese Twitter account, singer/voice actress Madoka Yonezawa chimed in to report her involvement.

source: crunchyroll


So this woman from my country decided to adopt a dog for her son, but her husband didn’t know about it. Once they came home with the dog, he didn’t agree with keep it, so he went ahead and took it back to the shelter. Sounds like a boring story, right? EXCEPT IT’S NOT. Later the same day she went back to the shelter with her son, jumped the fence, grabbed a dog, broke the chain on the gate, AND RAN AWAY WITH THE DOG. 

It wasn’t even a tiny dog. The dog was almost as tall as her. This woman is my new hero.



Originally posted by idontfindyouthatinteresting

Malaysia Airlines  flight MH370 carrying 239 passengers fell off radar screens less than an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur from Beijing early Saturday morning. The plane still hasn’t been found and things are not looking good at all.

We’re all still hoping and praying that everything’ll be alright but there seems to be a very slim chance of it turning out that way.
Still praying and hoping for the best though. Bless the souls of their families :( 


Freaky Fusion Freak Peek

Something this spooktacular can’t stay locked in the coffin! The first lurk at Frankie’s Freaky Fusion adventure has finally materialized, ghouls.

MHC in the 70’s: Gayness, Pregnancy, and Heresy

What have I been up to in school?  Reading ads for abortion clinics, of course.  My Wasserstein seminar is dramaturging the MHC theatre department’s production of Uncommon Women and Others this semester.  As part of our research, we’ve been poring through the Wendy Wasserstein papers in the MHC archives in search of helpful and intriguing historical documents.  I’m particularly fascinated by the old issues of the Mount Holyoke News.  I read through the 1970-71 and 1971-72 academic years—there were some wild headlines and advertisements in the paper that revealed so much about what was going on at the time.  Everything we’re researching supports the notion of the early 70’s as a huge transitional period for the college (and the other Seven Sisters), during which it moved from the white gloves “marry your Ivy League man” era of the 50’s and 60’s into its radical modern incarnation.  Paradoxically:


Besides the MH News, I’ve been reading many of Wendy’s notebooks, which range from her kindergarten writing and art projects to her graduate school papers.  I now have intimate knowledge of her elementary school illustrated report on Mesopotamia.  The book reviewer in me would call it an intriguing testament to her life-long creativity…but let’s be real: I basically had a fan-girl freak-out over her adorable drawings and loopy writing on the cover.


Why I think we could see Monster Hunter Stories in the West

As a long time fan of the series it’s amazing watching the popularity of Monster Hunter gain more and more momentum, MH4U has recently sold over 1 million units in about two months of it’s launch, that’s crazy! Seeing one of my favourite game franchises become a widely known thing is amazing.

But even putting aside how well it’s doing, I can see this being a western title too because of how the new game is going to play. It seems this will be much more RPG based, stepping in a familiar direction seems like a good move to appeal to more people and gather a much stronger fanbase. The franchise after all, is not known for being easy to newcomers, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite had a mountain of a learning curve and I’ll be honest, it nearly drove me away. MH4U has done a fantastic job of getting new players comfortable and introducing them to the hunt.

Monster Hunter Stories was a huge surprise, for fans and newcomers alike, it’s completely different from any other game in the series and even more interesting, this game has been in development for 5 years! It seems like a push to make Monster Hunter something more than just the hunting game we all know and love and to truly turn it into a franchise that can be marketed outside of Japan.

The title also gives it away. Stories sounds like it’s going to have a strong narrative unlike past Monster Hunter games (With the exception of MH4U), which again, will help attract a wider audience. The trailer has me asking all sorts of questions and I for one, can’t wait to get more news.

During the run up to MH3U’s launch back in 2013, in an interview with Ryozo Tsujimoto, he stated: 

“We’re well aware of the complaints from the fans about the time difference of releases,” Tsujimoto said. “We have been trying our best to try to reduce it.”

"So this time, with great help from Nintendo, we’ve managed to greatly shorten the delay in release and at the same time we’re releasing it for both platforms, which is an achievement in a sense. So hopefully we can implement a more systematic way of doing this in the future.”

and this showed with MH4U, the localization time was incredibly quick, especially for such a text heavy game. The localization blogs that led up to the launch of MH4U, proved that these teams were working closely to deliver this game as quickly as possible.

Nintendo themselves understand more than ever what an asset to the 3DS Monster Hunter is, with the New 3DS doing very well for itself after two special edition consoles on launch day. What better way to boost sales after such a good turn out for MH4U? Introduce a fun looking, interesting take on an open world(?) RPG that is accessible for nearly everyone. In my opinion it’s a logical step for Nintendo to release this outside of Japan.

Of course it won’t be released until 2016 so we have plenty of time to hear more, I’ll be keeping a close eye on this title and update with news as soon as I hear more!

Happy hunting!

I'm Famous!

A multitude of high fives go to Morgan Rosenberg ‘15, who basically gave me some free publicity this week in the Mount Holyoke News. Now, I’m famous!

Glad that the $7.25 tip was appreciated and hopefully this article will encourage more students to have input on this blog. I love reporting, but what’s more: I love you all for reading. So if there is anything you want to investigate, problem-solve, or transform in Blanchard, holla at me and I would be happy to help - and then later write about it here. Tell friends! One more mushy comment: I am just really thankful for you guys.

The only thing better than writing this blog is having the secret identity to go with it. Leading a double life is the coolest. Hannah Montana was so right.


The Blanchaholic

Could ED Mean Diabetes?

Can’t get it up? A disappointed partner could be the least of your worries. Erectile dysfunction (ED) may be linked with diabetes, finds a new report in Clinical Research in Cardiology.

In the study, young men with ED (under 40) had higher systolic blood pressure, insulin resistance, and cholesterol, and an accelerated hardening of the arteries compared to same-age guys without erectile issues.

Researchers say it all starts with the insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes over time. Diabetes adversely affects your arteries and puts you at risk for high blood pressure, which ultimately ups your odds for cardiovascular disease. And—you guessed it—poor cardiovascular health is arguably the number one reason men get ED, says Mark Moyad, M.D., of the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Luckily, it’s easy to stop insulin resistance in its tracks (and as a result, stop from going soft). The two-step solution: Hit the gym and maintain a healthy diet. Recent research from the Diabetes Prevention Program found that a 7-percent weight loss—roughly 14 pounds for a 200-pound man—paired with walking for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week reduces your risk of diabetes by 58 percent.