Pop Culture Roundup Oct. 24, 2006

The U.S. National Security Agency thinks "Lost" and "CSI" viewers may have the right stuff.

Fans overwhelmingly responded to NSA help-wanted ads aired in the Washington-Baltimore market during the two shows this fall, the Baltimore Sun reports. NSA Human Resources Director John Taflan told the newspaper in a written statement the ads brought thousands of hits to its Web site.

It's obvious why the NSA targeted viewers of 'CSI,' the CBS franchise about forensic science, but the choice of ABC's 'Lost,' about a disparate group of plane crash survivors marooned on a mysterious island, is not as clear.

Longtime CIA officer Ron Marks told the Sun 'Lost' is a good choice because it reaches an 'audience that's interested in problem-solving and thinking differently.'


Hugo Pratt's acclaimed "Corto Maltese" comics tales will be available to U.S. readers again soon.

Heavy Metal..is releasing the initial volume in the Corto Maltese saga, Ballad of the Salt Sea ($14.95), this December. Heavily influenced by the adventure comic strips of Milton Caniff and the tough guy-with-the heart-of-gold heroes of the American cinema (think Bogart in Casablanca), Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese graphic novels chronicle the adventures of a laconic sea captain who gets involved in a fascinating series of globe-spanning yarns set in the early twentieth century.

Previous English editions of Pratt's works are selling for big bucks on Amazon and elsewhere, so this is good news to fans.


Late BBC DJ John Peel left his legendary 250,000-record collection to his wife, Sheila.