Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today I met a llama

Didnt think I would be seeing one of those today! lol

I've got a new job whilst waiting for the Indians, or the Home Office, or whoever the fuck is making my life difficult. I got a phonecall from a producer of a programme for BBC Learning Zone all about Literacy. They are making a programme with a series of readings of famous poems, both in a period and modern setting; as well as sketches that demonstrate failures to communicate in funny ways, and various other bits and pieces all designed to make learning a damn site for interesting than when I was at school. All in all, a very worthy bit of filmmaking.

I have been contracted to do 3 days scouting now, then a weeks shoot in December (Mmmm, nice and toasty time to be stood outside all day!). So all is good, at least for the next few days lol

So I found myself in Newby Hall and Gardens again, a place we filmed at during the previous Bollywood film so I know it quite well. Whilst wandering around the gardens taking photos, the resident llama came running up to us to say hello! lol And what a beautiful creature he is, although is apparently a nuisance and gets everywhere he shouldn't. But he's lovely, and followed us for a while as I wandered around. Didn't think I'd be meeting a llama today. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Childhood fears (part 1)

Over the next couple of weeks I will post all 16 of these photos I found online (thanks Simon). A photographer has done a series of photos called Childhood Fears.

“My images are not photoshop collages.I use photoshop to finesse details and to adjust color and contrast for printing.I use friends and family members as actors and crew.Everyone works for free. We do it for fun.” says Joshua Hoffine whose eye catching artworks may remind us of our very own childhood fears!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Woman arrested for killing virtual husband

This weeks edition of Strange World is from our friends in Japan.

A Japanese woman has been arrested after she allegedly killed her virtual husband in an online game.

The 43 year old was apparently furious at finding herself suddenly divorced in the game Maplestory, reports the BBC.

Police say she illegally accessed login details of the man playing her virtual husband, and killed off his character.

The woman, a piano teacher, is in jail in Sapporo waiting to learn if she faces charges of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating data.

She was taken to Sapporo - where her "husband", a 33-year-old office worker lives - from her home in Miyazaki 620 miles away.

If charged with the offences, and convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

A Sapporo police official said the woman had used the man's ID and password to log into the game last May to carry out the virtual murder.

"I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry," she was quoted by the official as telling investigators.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Watchmen cometh

Watchmen, the new comic book movie is gearing up now. As I have already mentioned in an earlier post, Watchmen aka The Greatest Comic Book Ever (TM) aka The Citizen Kane of Comic Books (TM) is causing a level of anticipation by fans of a level rarely seen.

Personally, if it is half as good as they say it could be then I will be very happy indeed. The Action/Fantasy genre is a favourite of mine, and when done right (The Dark Knight, X Men, Spiderman 2, LOTR) then it is the grandest of Hollywood spectacles.

So roll on Watchmen. Please be half as good as they say you are!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ladybird childrens books updated for the 21st century

The Home Office doesn't like Indians

Quick update on my current Bollywood gig.

The Home Office have allowed 7 visas and refused 6, including the director. So I am on hold for a week and counting now until all the visas are allowed. Then finally I can get going (as I have lined up airports, courtrooms, and prisons for them), and I might also get fully paid as well!

Woe is me, maybe! Will keep you posted!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


It was my very good friend Barrys stag do yesterday.

We started off with paint balling in Wakefield. That was an absolute scream, and all of us, me especially, are sporting large and attractive bruises all over our bodies. Paint balls hurt!! lol Barry got shot in the next a point blank range and has the nastiest big bruise (that looks like the love bit from hell), and was NOT a happy camper for a while lol. But then (with a pair of stag antlers on his head), did a sudden death run at the end where we all just shot him as many times as we could! lol. Good times :)

It was a great day also because virtually EVERYONE was there, including both Lois and Craig at the same event, which to those who know them and their history, is plain amazing! A sure sign that everyone is growing up now lol

I've known Barry for 10 years ever since we worked together at the infamous La Bergerie in Harrogate, and even dragged him to Egypt in 2000 for a holiday that he still has never forgotten lol ;) And now he's getting married! Bloody hell! lol

In the evening we went for a meal in Leeds, at a restaurant in Millennium Square and found that the Ladyboys of Thailand were putting on a show outside lol. We then went to The Birdcage in Leeds, a tranny club that puts on cabaret. Nothing to do with me, honest! lol. Someone got free tickets and I just tagged along. Much drunken dancing to 80's classics occurred.

Then back to Simon and Lois for many more drinks. Which ended with the last 6 of us drunken singing in their kitchen at 4 in the morning to American Pie! Honestly, what a fantastic night with my friends! :)

Next the wedding on the 7th November. Can't imagine that it'll be a quiet one ;) hehehe

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Enceladus from Cassini

What a cracking photo! After Europa, Enceladus is my next bet for life in this solar system. Water, water, everywhere.........

"What telling impurities taint the ice plumes of Enceladus? To help answer this question, the robotic Cassini spacecraft dove last week to within 30 kilometers of Saturn's ice-plume emitting moon. At this closest-ever approach, Cassini attempted to sniff and obtain chemical data on particles ejected from Enceladus' regular surface, while at other times Cassini flew right through -- and sampled -- ice geysers directly. Searches in the data for impurity clues in the water-ice dominated plumes and surface ejecta are progressing. Although the main purpose of this flyby was particle analysis, several interesting images are emerging. Visible in the above image, for example, is an unusual gray sheen running vertically up the image center that might be water vapor escaping from surface canyons. Other notable features visible above include vast plains of craterless icy grooves, the day-night terminator across the image left, and an area near the top comparatively rich in craters."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sleepwalk - Say 'No' to 42 Days!

The video that I worked on for Amnesty International has been released to the world. And a mighty fine piece of filmmaking it is too.

"Protesters against the government's planned 42-day detention limit for terror suspects are to walk through Leeds in a "mass sleepwalk".

Amnesty International campaigners will march through the city on Monday night wearing dressing gowns and slippers, and clutching pillows and blankets.

The move symbolises the organisation's belief that the UK is "sleepwalking into an assault on our human rights".

A film about its campaign against the limit extension has also been made.

Ministers argue that the new maximum detention period - an extension from the current 28 days - is vital to allow the security services to deal with increasingly complex terror plots.

The proposal was passed by just nine votes after a rebellion by 36 Labour MPs in the House of Commons in June and now faces tough opposition in the House of Lords before it can become law.

Peers began debating the Bill's detailed committee stage last week and are due to vote on the 42-day plans later.

Amnesty International said it had chosen Leeds to launch its campaign because it was targeting MPs who voted for a 42-day limit in June, but who voted against Tony Blair's earlier plan for a 90-day limit.

It said Yorkshire had a high proportion of MPs who fell into this category.

This film is Amnesty's wake up call - we have got to stand up for our basic freedoms
Amnesty's UK director Kate Allen

Currently police can question terror suspects for up to 28 days before charge.

The protest is due to start at 1915 BST at City Square, Leeds followed by a screening of the film "Sleepwalk" at the Hi Fi Club in Central Road at 1945 BST and then speeches from Amnesty's UK director Kate Allen and 7/7 bombing survivor Rachel North.

Ms Allen said: "There's a real danger that people in Britain are sleepwalking into an assault on our human rights.

"This film is Amnesty's wake up call - we have got to stand up for our basic freedoms.

"We can't rely on Westminster rumours that 42 days won't become law - this is too important, hard-won liberties are at stake.

"Plans to extend detention without charge should be abandoned once and for all."

Amnesty's has also set up a new online petition urging MPs to oppose the 42-day proposal."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Moon Rays, Milky Ways, and Prominences

On September 7th, the first quarter Moon and passing clouds contributed to a dramatic night sky over the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory. This panoramic view begins at the left looking toward the eastern horizon and the rising stars of the constellation Perseus. Sweeping your gaze to the right (south), you'll find the large observatory dome, housing a 2.6 meter diameter telescope, backlit by lights from nearby Yerevan, capital city of Armenia. Fittingly poised above the observatory dome is the bright, giant star Enif in the high-flying constellation Pegasus. Farther to the right, the brightest celestial beacon just above the clouds is our Solar System's ruling gas giant Jupiter. At the far right, the Moon is nearly hidden by an approaching cloudbank, but the clouds themselves actually cast shadows in the bright moonlight, creating the effect of Moon rays across the evening sky.

Is there any place in the world you could see a real sight like this? Yes. Pictured above is single exposure image spectacular near, far, and in between. Diving into the Earth far in the distance is part of the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, taken with a long duration exposure. Much closer, the planet Jupiter is visible as the bright point just to band's left. Closer still are picturesque buttes and mesas of the Canyonlands National Park in Utah, USA, lit by a crescent moon. In the foreground is a cave housing a stone circle of unknown origin named False Kiva. The cave was briefly lit by flashlight during the long exposure. Astrophotographer Wally Pacholka reports that getting to the cave to take this image was no easy trek. Also, mountain lions were a concern while waiting alone in the dark for just the right exposure

On September 29, this magnificent eruptive solar prominence lifted away from the Sun's surface, unfurling into space over the course of several hours. Suspended in twisted magnetic fields, the hot plasma structure is many times the size of planet Earth and was captured in this view by the Sun-watching STEREO (Ahead) spacecraft. The image was recorded in extreme ultraviolet light emitted by ionized Helium, an element originally identified in the solar spectrum. Seen against the brilliant solar surface in visible light, such prominences appear as dark filaments because they are relatively cool. But they are bright themselves when viewed against the blackness of space, arcing above the Sun's edge.