Bond's Pre-COVID Ship Medical Exam

3-u Oranje Nassau

When James Bond traveled from the Bahamas to Haiti in 1929 for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia,  he needed a medical clearance from the Oranje Nassau's doctor.

The doctor found that the ornithologist "has not any loathsome, or dangerous, or contagious. or infectious disease and is apparently in good health."

Maybe today's cruise ships should do more of the same....

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Monday: Free Zoom Talk for Science Cafe

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My next free Real James Bond  Zoom talk is this Monday (June 14) from 5 to 6 p.m.

Tyson pileatedI'll be speaking at the MDI Science Cafe about Bond, his uncle (the famous painter Carroll Tyson)  and their long history with the birds of Mount Desert Island -- from Tyson's renowned fine-arts prints to their unique field guide the island's birds.

Tyson's prints sell for thousands of dollars and are highly sought-after. One of my favorites is the Pileated Woodpecker print.  (Saw one -- the print and the bird -- on MDI just last week!)

The Science Cafe is sponsored by the MDI Biological Laboratory, a rapidly growing, independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution.

The laboratory's mission is to improve human health and well-being through basic research, education, and development ventures that transform discoveries into cures.

You can learn more about the talk and register here.


Today Is Ian Fleming's Birthday!

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Ian Fleming, who wrote the first 12 007 novels and two 007 short-story collections, was born on May 28, 1908.

He wrote his first 007 novel and "lifted" ( his word) the name of Philadelphia ornithologist James Bond for his secret agent in early 1952.

The two men for the first and only time at Goldeneye in Jamaica in February 1964.

Above is the only known photo of the two men, taken by Mary Wickham Bond, James Bond's wife.  Photo courtesy of the Rare Book Department, Free Library of Philadelphia.


Nifty Article on My Three Maine Talks

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Today's Maine Sunday Telegram has an article on my book, birds, James Bond, and my three upcoming talks on Mount Desert Island.

Staff writer Deirdre Fleming did a great job.

You can read the article.here.

Here's the newspaper's info on the three talks:

WRIGHT, JIM WRIGHT

If you can never get enough of James Bond trivia – or birding in Maine, join author Jim Wright’s talks:

• Northeast Harbor Library on June 2. Call 207-276-3333.

• Acadia Birding Festival on June 6, Go to acadiabirdingfestival.com

• The MDI Science Cafe on June 14. Go to mdibl.org

 


Save the Date: Acadia Birding Festival

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If you're headed to Maine in early June, don't miss the Acadia Birding Festival Screen Shot 2021-05-06 at 9.26.51 PMAcadia Birding Festival on Mount Desert Island, from June 3 to June 6.

I'll be giving a talk on Sunday, June 6, at 1 p.m. at the terrific Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor.

The topic:  Carroll Tyson, James Bond and Mount Desert Island. Tyson's fine-arts prints of the birds of Mount Desert Island are on display there.

I'll also be helping with two guided walks on the real James Bond's old stomping grounds of Pretty Marsh and Long Pond.

The festival's website is here. (I even wrote about the festival in my book.)

 

 


A Bond Spy Mystery Anniversary

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The Real James Bond typically traveled by mail ship when he went to the Caribbean to do his research for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered he sailed on the luxurious S.S. America to the West Indies  on May 5, 1941 --80 years ago today.

What was he doing on this high-end cruise ship? Did it involve Nazi spies?

I guess you should read my book. (This photo was likely taken early in the ship's career).

By the time Bond sailed on her, her sides had huge U.S. flags painted, along with AMERICA and UNITED STATES LINES in huge letters on her sides to deter U-boats.

Shortly after the cruise, the luxury liner was converted into a troopship and renamed the U.S.S. West Point.


My 10,000 Birds Post: A Parrot on the Brink

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The wonderful birding blog 10,000 Birds just posted my short article about the St. Vincent Parrot, a magnificent bird now threatened with extinction -- something that the real James Bond feared way back in 1928.

You can read the article here.

You can read more on the latest news about the parrot and the volcano-ravaged island of St. Vincent -- and how you can help save the parrot -- here.

 


Book Signing in Worcester, Mass.

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I will appear at the Tidepool Bookshop in Worcester, Mass., on Wednesday, April 28, to talk with customers and sign books from noon to 1 p.m. It's being billed as "an actual IN-STORE event!!!" Screen Shot 2021-04-20 at 1.04.25 PM

(That's the store's wording and lettering. Clearly, it'll be a red-letter day!)

I also love the little teaser they did -- above.

You can visit and buy the book in-store or order online.

The appearance is a follow-up to a Zoom event I did for the bookshop late last month.

The Tidepool Bookshop is located at 372 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA 01602, The website is: www.tidepoolbookshop.com

We need to support our independent bookshops!

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Help Save the St. Vincent Parrot!

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In case you hadn't heard, the La Soufriere Volcano eruptions on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent earlier this month threaten the existence of the St. Vincent Parrot, described by the real James Bond as "a gaudily plumaged parrot."

This bird needs our help. You can learn more from BirdsCaribbean here.

In his 1928 paper "On the Birds of Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Barbados, B. W. I.,"  for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Bond wrote that "there is still a good deal of illicit gunning going on on these islands, which, if not stopped, will ultimately result in the extermination of the parrots. St. Vincent is not a large island, with an area of only one hundred and thirty-three square miles, less than half that of Dominica, yet containing a population considerably greater. It would seem, therefore, that A. guildingi is in most danger of extinction."

Bond didn't mention the volcano, but I'm sure he'd still want you to help save this rare and beautiful parrot.

(Photo by Nandani Bridglal, courtesy of BirdsCaribbean.)


Remembering Jim Steinman

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A long time ago, I was the film critic for The Record in northern New Jersey. One of the perks was to interview people in the entertainment field who fascinated me.

When the movie "A Small Circle of Friends" came out in 1980, I was fortunate to interview Jim Steinman, a terrific guy who was forthright and easygoing despite his fame at the time.

When I heard today that he died, I went back and dug out the clipping of that interview. I know it's not exactly James Bond, but I thought it was worth posting.

Here it is, for Steinman fans.

Continue reading "Remembering Jim Steinman" »