an exercise in miscellany

Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Office of Strategic Services

In history, words & phrases on September 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II.

It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The agency was formed in order to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for the branches of the United States military.

Prior to the formation of the OSS (the American version of the British Secret Intelligence Service and Special Operations Executive), American intelligence had been conducted on an ad-hoc basis by the various departments of the executive branch, including the State, Treasury, Navy, and War Departments.

via Office of Strategic Services


Get Down to Brass Tacks

In history, words & phrases on September 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm

The figurative expression ‘getting down to brass tacks’ isn’t particularly old as phrases go. Its first appearance in print that I can find, from the USA in January 1863, was in the Texas newspaper The Tri-Weekly Telegraph:

“When you come down to ‘brass tacks’ – if we may be allowed the expression – everybody is governed by selfishness.”

All of the other known early citations either originate in, or refer to, Texas. It is reasonable to assume that the phrase was coined there, in or about the 1860s.


Soda Popinski

In people, wild card on September 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Soda Popinski , originally known as Vodka Drunkenski, is a fictional boxer from Nintendo‘s Punch-Out!! series. Soda Popinski first appeared in the Arcade game Super Punch-Out!!, featuring the above mentioned Vodka Drunkenski name. He was designed by Makoto Wada for the NES video game Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! in 1987, and by Eddie Viser for the Wii video game Punch-Out!! in 2009, his most recent appearance. Ihor Mota portrays him in the 2009 Punch-Out!! release.

Nintendo changed his name from Vodka Drunkenski to Soda Popinski in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! in order to avoid controversy, replacing his affinity for vodka with soda

via Soda Popinski