Our mission, and we choose to accept it

Published December 4, 2006

The movies have been all about blowing stuff up and shooting Tom Cruise's teeth at scary angles. But the TV series Mission: Impossible, which premiered 40 years ago, was brainy and ultracool, an exercise in cerebral teamwork. On Tuesday, the first season comes out on DVD, with Martin Landau, Greg Morris, Barbara Bain and the rest in all their deadpan glory.

Maybe they should just send e-mail

The Great Australian Bikini March in Melbourne, coming up Saturday, was conceived as a protest against a Muslim sheik in Sydney who recently said immodestly dressed women provoked rape, describing them as "uncovered meat." But white supremacist groups have jumped on the bandwagon, leaving Aussie authorities worried about violence the march route ends at a mosque.

A final fanfare for 'Flamingo Rising'

At 2 p.m. Sunday, the Pinellas Public Libraries wrap up the fifth annual Read Around Pinellas project with live Florida folk music and a reception for Larry Baker at the Largo Library. He's the author of this year's book, The Flamingo Rising, a wacky coming-of-age tale about a feud between the owners of an oceanfront funeral home and the world's biggest drive-in theater, and the star-crossed romance of their children. For more events with Baker, go to www.pplc.us/newsletter.

Look out for the first attack ads

It really has started already: the 2008 presidential campaign. On Sunday, Sen. Barack Obama is scheduled for one of his rock-star appearances at a shindig celebrating the Democratic victory in Concord, N.H. That's right, New Hampshire, first state to hold its presidential primaries. In about 13 months. And Obama is far from being the first candidate on the trail. Pass the aspirin, please.

Let them sing 'Happy Birthday'

Three of the most distinctive voices in entertainment cut the cake this week. On Tuesday, original rock 'n' roll screamer Little Richard turns 71. On Thursday, ultimate jazz-blues growler Tom Waits will be 57. And on Saturday, actor John Malkovich, of the silken-sinister hiss, turns 53.

By Colette Bancroft, Times staff writer, (727) 893-8435 or bancroft@sptimes.com