Thursday, January 29, 2009

Up's a comin'

Its official. Pixar are my favourite movie makers at the moment. I can't think of another film* other than Up (perhaps James Camerons Avatar in 3D!!) that I am looking forward to more. This new poster has a dog in it. Apparently its a marvel in animation as well as comedy. Bring on the dog, and apparently the squirrel, I say!

* Peter Jackson's the Hobbit doesnt count as it is 3 years away :(

"Hey folks, Harry here... Ok, this isn't a film about a squirrel... as far as you know... but those of us that were at BUTT-NUMB-A-THON X... we feel differently. It is all about the squirrel. Not that we saw one. Not yet. But this will be one of the best films you see this year. Well, at the very least one of the best first halves of a film you see this year. Haven't seen the second half yet, but I bet it is amazing. This latest poster introduces us to a new character. A dog. That dog is AMAZING. So amazing because they allow the dog to still be a dog, while also being amazingly communicative."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dear Mr Branson

A real letter of complaint sent to Virgin owner Richard Branson.

Dear Mr Branson

REF: Mumbai to Heathrow 7th December 2008

I love the Virgin brand, I really do which is why I continue to use it despite a series of unfortunate incidents over the last few years. This latest incident takes the biscuit.

Ironically, by the end of the flight I would have gladly paid over a thousand rupees for a single biscuit following the culinary journey of hell I was subjected to at thehands of your corporation.

Look at this Richard. Just look at it:

I imagine the same questions are racing through your brilliant mind as were racing through mine on that fateful day. What is this? Why have I been given it? What have I done to deserve this? And, which one is the starter, which one is the desert?

You don’t get to a position like yours Richard with anything less than a generous sprinkling of observational power so I KNOW you will have spotted the tomato next to the two yellow shafts of sponge on the left. Yes, it’s next to the sponge shaft without the green paste. That’s got to be the clue hasn’t it. No sane person would serve a desert with a tomato would they. Well answer me this Richard, what sort of animal would serve a desert with peas in.

I know it looks like a baaji but it’s in custard Richard, custard. It must be the pudding. Well you’ll be fascinated to hear that it wasn't custard. It was a sour gel with a clear oil on top. It’s only redeeming feature was that it managed to be so alien to my palette that it took away the taste of the curry emanating from our miscellaneous central cuboid of beige matter. Perhaps the meal on the left might be the desert after all.

Anyway, this is all irrelevant at the moment. I was raised strictly but neatly by my parents and if they knew I had started desert before the main course, a sponge shaft would be the least of my worries. So lets peel back the tin-foil on the main dish and see what’s on offer.

I’ll try and explain how this felt. Imagine being a twelve year old boy Richard. Now imagine it’s Christmas morning and you’re sat their with your final present to open. It’s a big one, and you know what it is. It’s that Goodmans stereo you picked out the catalogue and wrote to Santa about.

Only you open the present and it’s not in there. It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing. That’s how I felt when I peeled back the foil and saw this.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s more of that Baaji custard. I admit I thought the same too, but no. It’s mustard Richard. MUSTARD. More mustard than any man could consume in a month. On the left we have a piece of broccoli and some peppers in a brown glue-like oil and on the right the chef had prepared some mashed potato. The potato masher had obviously broken and so it was decided the next best thing would be to pass the potatoes through the digestive tract of a bird.

Once it was regurgitated it was clearly then blended and mixed with a bit of mustard. Everybody likes a bit of mustard Richard.

By now I was actually starting to feel a little hypoglycaemic. I needed a sugar hit. Luckily there was a small cookie provided. It had caught my eye earlier due to it’s baffling presentation.

It appears to be in an evidence bag from the scene of a crime. A CRIME AGAINST BLOODY COOKING. Either that or some sort of back-street underground cookie, purchased off a gun-toting maniac high on his own supply of yeast. You certainly wouldn’t want to be caught carrying one of these through customs. Imagine biting into a piece of brass Richard. That would be softer on the teeth than the specimen above.

I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was relax but obviously I had to sit with that mess in front of me for half an hour. I swear the sponge shafts moved at one point.

Once cleared, I decided to relax with a bit of your world-famous onboard entertainment. I switched it on.

I apologise for the quality of the photo, it’s just it was incredibly hard to capture Boris Johnson’s face through the flickering white lines running up and down the screen. Perhaps it would be better on another channel: [see image 6, above].

Is that Ray Liotta? A question I found myself asking over and over again throughout the gruelling half-hour I attempted to watch the film like this. After that I switched off. I’d had enough. I was the hungriest I’d been in my adult life and I had a splitting headache from squinting at a crackling screen.

My only option was to simply stare at the seat in front and wait for either food, or sleep. Neither came for an incredibly long time. But when it did it surpassed my wildest expectations.

Yes! It’s another crime-scene cookie. Only this time you dunk it in the white stuff.

Richard…. What is that white stuff? It looked like it was going to be yoghurt. It finally dawned on me what it was after staring at it. It was a mixture between the Baaji custard and the Mustard sauce. It reminded me of my first week at university. I had overheard that you could make a drink by mixing vodka and refreshers. I lied to my new friends and told them I’d done it loads of times. When I attempted to make the drink in a big bowl it formed a cheese Richard, a cheese. That cheese looked a lot like your baaji-mustard.

So that was that Richard. I didn’t eat a bloody thing. My only question is: How can you live like this? I can’t imagine what dinner round your house is like, it must be like something out of a nature documentary.

As I said at the start I love your brand, I really do. It’s just a shame such a simple thing could bring it crashing to it’s knees and begging for sustenance.

Yours Sincererly


Monday, January 26, 2009

Today I got my car stuck in a muddy field and had to be towed out by a farmer in his tractor

Its my own bloody fault! I wanted to get to the other side of a big field in deepest, darkest Cumbria to find the perfect angle to photograph a viaduct, but didn't fancy the walk! lol

There was a tractor track running down the side of the field, so I thought it would be easy to just follow it to the other side. But the tracks were so deep that the underside of my car was grating against the ground. Then a big puddle came up and I panicked slightly so pulled out of the track and onto the field its self. Where I promptly sank!

I should have maybe figured all that rain might have made the ground a teensy bit soggy, but no :( After a few minutes of wheel spinning futility I had a brainwave. Remembering my Top Gear training I realised the wheels needed traction, so improvising I used the car mats from inside my car and out them under the wheels to give the tyres grip. Fat lot of good that did. The spinning wheels just drove the mats into the mud!

So I had no choice but to go find the farmer, admit I had gone driving in his field without permission, and could I please please have a tow out, G'vnr?

Actually, he just laughed and said "Whats in it for me?" So I chucked him £20 and arranged for the crew to come next week lol. So it all worked out in the end :) And the moral of the story? Get out and walk, you lazy bastard!!

PS. Cumbria is a nice part of the world :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The West Coast Mainline

I've got a new job on a corporate video for Railtrak. It is a documentary on the history of the West Coast mainline. My brief is to find 5 or 6 of the most beautiful locations on the line, find the perfect camera position, and get permission. lol

So I will be spending the next couple of days visiting gorges, tunnels, and viaducts from Rugby to Carlisle. Its a tough job but someone's got to do it! ;)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The standard of grace and an occasion for admiration

"Hi my dear!!! At you very attractive appearance. The standard of grace and an occasion for admiration. And what you about me think? The Magnificent beauty! To pleasantly eye! Perhaps, we can find common language? You very nice. Write to me as there will be time... My e-mail I shall wait very much for your letter. Dima!!"

Received by email! I feel so lucky lol. So much nicer than the usual spam I get. I always wanted a Russian bride too ;)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Resident Evil 5

I am not a big gamer, but I am seriously looking forward to this. Even if it means I have to buy a new console. Such is the march of technology! ;)

When threads go wrong

Please, please, please - click to enlarge! lol

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wide boy

THE WIDE BOYS at Philips have really pushed the boat out, introducing the first extra, extra wide cinema-proportioned LCD television.

The new Cinema 21:9 sports a whopping 56" screen in the 21:9 aspect ratio, allowing movies in the 2.39:1 format to completely fill the screen, rather than lopping bits off or distorting the image.

Philip's big screen also comes with Ambilight Spectra tech around the borders and the firm reckons its technology can convert even regular 16:9 content from TV broadcasts and games consoles to a format for the super wide screen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Toys for the Disturbed

I wouldnt mind the shark and the rabbit! lol

Monday, January 12, 2009

Flashmob - Destination Leeds

Hey all, I've decided I want to do a flashmob

Webster's New Millennium Dictionary of English defines flash mob as “a group of people who organize on the Internet and then quickly assemble in a public place, do something bizarre, and disperse

We want to get one organised for Leeds sometime soon. And as such have created a group on Facebook! lol

It would be great if any of my local friends fancy joining. We aim to do it in Leeds on 6.2.09. See you there!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunset on Mars

And the cool thing about Mars? The sky is red at midday and blue at sunrise and sunset. Opposite of Earth :)

Monthly Moon Round-up: Ganymede

"Ganymede, one of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter, is the largest moon in the Solar System. With a diameter of 5,260 kilometers it is even larger than planets Mercury and Pluto and just over three quarters the size of Mars. Ganymede is locked in synchronous rotation with Jupiter. This detailed mosaic of images from the Galileo spacecraft shows the trailing hemisphere of this planet-sized moon. Speckled with bright young craters, Ganymede's surface shows a mixture of old, dark, cratered terrain and lighter regions laced with grooves and ridges. Ganymede's true colors tend toward subtle browns and grays, but this mosaic's colors have been enhanced to increase surface contrasts. The violet shades extending from the top and bottom are likely due to frost particles in Ganymede's polar regions."

"How hazy is Jupiter's upper atmosphere? To help find out, astronomers deployed the Hubble Space Telescope to watch Jupiter eclipse its moon Ganymede. Although Ganymede circles Jupiter once a week, a particularly useful occultation occurs more rarely. Such an occultation was captured in great visual detail in April 2007. When near Jupiter's limb, Ganymede reflects sunlight though Jupiter's upper atmosphere, allowing astronomers to search for haze by noting a slight dimming at different colors. One result of this investigation was the above spectacular image, where bands of clouds that circle Jupiter are clearly visible, as well as magnificent swirling storm systems such as the Great Red Spot. Ganymede, at the image bottom, also shows noticeable detail on its dark icy surface."

Saturday, January 03, 2009

2009: The Year of Astronomy

Astronomers all over planet Earth invite you to experience the night sky as part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. This year was picked by the International Astronomical Union and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization because it occurs 400 years after Galileo turned one of the first telescopes toward the heavens. Peering through that small window, Galileo discovered that the Moon has craters, Venus has phases, Jupiter has moons, and Saturn has rings.

The Crab Pulsar, a city-sized, magnetized neutron star spinning 30 times a second, lies at the center of this remarkable image from the orbiting Chandra Observatory. The deep x-ray image gives the first clear view of the convoluted boundaries of the Crab's pulsar wind nebula. Like a cosmic dynamo the pulsar powers the x-ray emission. The pulsar's energy accelerates charged particles, producing eerie, glowing x-ray jets directed away from the poles and an intense wind in the equatorial direction. Intriguing edges are created as the charged particles stream away, eventually losing energy as they interact with the pulsar's strong magnetic field. With more mass than the Sun and the density of an atomic nucleus, the spinning pulsar itself is the collapsed core of a massive star. The stellar core collapse resulted in a supernova explosion that was witnessed in the year 1054. This Chandra image spans just under 9 light-years at the Crab's estimated distance of 6,000 light-years

There's no place like home

túrána hott kurdís by hasta la otra méxico! from Till Credner on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009

A happy new year to you all. Here's hoping 2009 brings us all that we want!