Waiting for ‘Mad Men:’ Jared Harris can tell us nothing

At this point, halfway through production, any contact with reporters probably has to happen with a “Mad Men” producer holding a gun to his head to ensure he doesn’t let anything slip.

As I wait for the new season of “Mad Men” to begin, I’ll share a few of the more interesting links I’ve found. Read past entries in this series here.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Speakeasy blog recently checked in with Jared Harris, who plays Lane Pryce, and asked him how Season 5 is working out.

Naturally, he didn’t drop any hints on plot developments and kept a safe distance from anything specific. At this point, halfway through production, any contact with reporters probably has to happen with a “Mad Men” producer holding a gun to his head to ensure he doesn’t let anything slip. But it’s good to hear from him nonetheless.

“I think as excited as everyone is to see the season,” he said, “we are just as excited when we are waiting for the next script. Whether any of us are in the episode or not, everyone is invited to the read through and we all look forward to seeing what’s happened next.”

Read Alexandra Cheney’s interview here.

(Photo from the soundtrack album)

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Allende’s suicide / Babymaking time / Cartels’ radio systems / Lazy in-laws / Fall of Berlin

Most of these great items come from my Twitter feed or Facebook news feed. Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for more fascinating videos, articles, essays and criticism. Read past recommendations from this series here.

1. Chile closes Allende case after confirming suicide
Associated Press | Dec. 29
“An international panel of experts convened by Judge Mario Carroza determined that Allende took his own life with an AK-47 while defending the presidential palace in Chile’s 1973 coup.”

2. It’s High Time for Conception: Studies Show Peak Times, Weather for Sex
By Anneli Rufus | The Daily Beast | Dec. 27
“Studies show the holiday season is prime time for baby making. Anneli Rufus reports on which day, at what time, and in what weather you stand the best chance of having sex.”

3. How to function after a sleepless night
By Ed Vanstone | Men’s Health | December 2011
“No sleep? No problem — if you follow our advice”

4. Gentleman’s Goal: Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
By Patrick Wittwer | The Primer | September 2011
“After graduating college it’s easy to get caught in a rut. If you don’t make an active attempt at getting out of your comfort zone you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities.”

5. Mexico’s cartels build own national radio system
By Michael Weissenstein | Associated Press | Dec. 26
“The Mexican army and marines have begun attacking the system, seizing hundreds of pieces of communications equipment in at least three operations since September that offer a firsthand look at a surprisingly far-ranging and sophisticated infrastructure.”

6. Volcanic Cooling
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | July 2009
“Could an increase in volcanic eruptions counter global warming with the resulting dust, smoke and debris?”

7. Revolutionary Daughters
By Kate Taunton | Activate :: Al Jazeera | October 2011
“How two activists are challenging Indian society and transforming trafficked girls into the leaders of tomorrow.”

8. This Drone Will Self-Destruct in Five Seconds
By Brian Palmer | Explainer :: Slate | Dec. 7
“Can unmanned spy planes be destroyed from afar?”

9. At the end of my tether with lazy, selfish, controlling in-laws
Troubleshooter :: The Yomiuri Shimbun | Dec. 16
“I get frustrated with both of them, but can’t live independently from my father-in-law for financial reasons. I wish I could give them a piece of my mind and make them shut up once and for all.”

10. The fall of Berlin
Witness :: BBC News | May 16
“The Red Army took control of the German capital Berlin, in May 1945. The Soviet soldiers had a terrifying reputation and civilians in their path feared looting and violence.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

How to pack / Voyager 1 / 9/11 myths / Iowa’s ad wars / Thatcher’s 1981 crisis

Most of these great items come from my Twitter feed or Facebook news feed. Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for more fascinating videos, articles, essays and criticism. Read past recommendations from this series here.

1. Guapura 101: How to pack for a long trip
By Sara Ines Calderon | NewsTaco | Dec. 26
“Many of us are either currently on a vacation, or will be taking one soon, and so I thought it would be a good opportunity to share a tip that I learned a few years ago that has made packing much easier.”

2. Iowa ad war: late starting but nasty
By Beth Fouhy | Associated Press | Dec. 29
“At least $12.5 million and counting has blanketed the airwaves ahead of next Tuesday’s Republican presidential caucuses, with hard-hitting commercials awash in ghoulish images and startling claims. Most are coming from a proliferation of new independent groups aligned with the candidates.”

3. Newly released files detail Thatcher’s 1981 crisis
By David Stringer | Associated Press | Dec. 29
“Official records for 1981 released by the National Archives depict a prime minister grappling with violent dissent, rising tensions in Northern Ireland and sharp criticism from her own allies. The papers were being made public just five days before the London premiere of ‘The Iron Lady,’ the film about Thatcher’s career starring Meryl Streep.”

4. Voyager 1 Speeds Toward The Brink Of Interstellar Space
By Bill Chappell | The Two-Way :: NPR | Dec. 28
“The craft is currently in what NASA calls, not undramatically, ‘the boundary between the solar wind from the Sun and the interstellar wind from death-explosions of other stars,’ an area that astrophysicists also call, less dramatically, a stagnation layer.”

5. Baby Bird Alert
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | July 2009
“When you find a baby bird on the ground, what should you do to rescue it?”

6. How to Stop a Multinational
By Rodrigo Vazquez | Activate :: Al Jazeera | October 2011
“Three Argentinians put themselves in harm’s way as they try to stop a gold mining company destroying their environment.”

7. DWI Versus DW-High
By Brian Palmer | Explainer :: Slate | Nov. 30
“Is it more dangerous to drive drunk or stoned?”

8. Five myths about 9/11
By Brian Michael Jenkins | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | Sept. 2
“We all remember where we were on Sept. 11, 2001, when al-Qaeda launched its horrific attacks on the United States. In the decade since, no number of commissions, books, films and reports has been able to end the misconceptions about what 9/11 meant, America’s response to it and the nature of the ongoing threat.”

9. Civil War women: Olivia Clemens
Civil War Women Blog | Nov. 14
“Olivia Langdon Clemens was the wife of the famous American author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, and was a major influence on his writing.”

10. Italian Bombing of Libya – 1911
Witness :: BBC News | May 10
“A young Italian flyer describes in a letter home how he mounted the world’s first ever aerial bombing run during an attack on Ottoman forces in Libya, in 1911.”