Creme Eggs

I have adored Cadbury’s Creme Eggs since childhood. Thus my astonishment at this video is mingled with sadness at the terrible fate inflicted on this egg.

Published in: on 27 March, 2009 at 6:00  Leave a Comment  

Better than Extraordinary

I went with colleagues from work to see The Watchmen at the Imax screen in our local cinema. This was the first time I have seen a proper movie in Imax and it certainly enhanced the experience. The quality of the picture was noticeably better than on a traditional screen and at times you really felt the sound.

Despite the 165 minutes of running time, I did not feel that the film was overlong. Having borrowed and read the original graphic novel last week, I can appreciate how carefully it follows the plot, even recreating on screen many of the images from the novel’s frames. The performances were generally solid, especially from the actor playing Rorschach. The film does change the final act in nature but not intent.


Unsurprisingly, whilst following the plot, the film loses much of the intricacies of the original. Moore and Gibbons write something that relied on and fully exploited  the structure of a comic book and loss is inevitable. Still, after twenty years of attempts to get this story into a movie, it is definitely worth seeing and is far better than a previous attempt to film Alan Moore’s work; The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Published in: on 24 March, 2009 at 6:23  Leave a Comment  

Rice violence

I have always thought that grains of rice were small enough not to need cutting up. A local Chinese restaurant disagrees. They have a sign saying that they sever brown rice, cutting being insufficiently forceful I presume

Published in: on 23 March, 2009 at 16:01  Leave a Comment  

Banning the Paparazzi

Why does a local burger restaurant feel the need to have a sign on the door forbidding photography and the use of video cameras? Is taking photographs in Burger King so prevalent and so intrusive that it needs to be explicitly banned?

Published in: on 22 March, 2009 at 6:38  Leave a Comment  


As per my previous post, I watched the final Battlestar Galactica episode on Friday. A two hour special wrapped up a four year series that has redefined what SF TV can do. Going into this finale there were un-answered questions and a fear that the writers would seek a cheerful end to a show whose grimness has always make it stand in stark contrast to Star Trek.

I was astonished to find sufficient light shone on the questions that I was satisfied with the explanations. The ending provided little in the way of cheer, keeping true with four years of dark mood. The insight that the episode offered was that God is not on anyone’s side; a lesson that several countries in the world should learn (Iran, Israel, USA for starters)

The finale was brave, satisfying, and confirmation that BSG is one of the greatest pieces of TV ever made.

Published in: on 21 March, 2009 at 23:05  Leave a Comment  

So Say We All

Tonight I am having a BSG Finale party. I having people over to watch the last episode of Battlestar Galactica; well to be honest one person is coming over to watch with me whilst his wife and another friend are coming over to eat, drink, and chat. This is a major advantage of not having the TV in the main room; we can enjoy the last two hours of this series without imposing Adama et al on the non-geeks.

The last two hour episode has a lot of questions to answer and loose ends to tie-up. I am hoping that this is all done in a satisfactory manner; if it is not at least the company and the drink will be good

I'll Drinkk to that

Published in: on 20 March, 2009 at 6:53  Comments (2)  

St Patrick’s Day

Monday was St Patrick’s Day, which is widely marked here in the US and not just by people of Irish origin. I was admonished for not wearing green to work. I think this cartoon from Indexed, sums up my ambivalent at best attitude to this day of celebration.


Published in: on 20 March, 2009 at 6:00  Leave a Comment  

Friday the Thirteenth

I am not a superstitious person, but I do feel uncomfortable with Friday the Thirteenth. We have already two this year and the second one brought bad luck to one of my colleagues.

He was driving me and couple of other work colleagues to lunch last Friday. He had left the freeway, where the posted speed limit is 65 and people routinely drive at 70-75, and was now on a highway whose speed limit is 55. Unfortunately, he saw the cop with the speed  gun just as he started to slow. He was waved over, where the patrolman’s colleague issued a ticket for driving 65 in a 55.

In the UK the speeding ticket would result in a points on your license. This also happens in the US, with your insurance rising as well, but in California and some other states there is an alternative; traffic school. You attend either a set of weekend or night-time classes or study online. Completion of the course will expunge the ticket from your record, preventing points on your license or an increase in insurance premium.

Published in: on 19 March, 2009 at 6:17  Leave a Comment  

Willis Tower

I posted yesterday on the use of corporate names for sports stadiums and how it feels wrong. It seems just as wrong when a building named for a corporation has a new company’s name applied. The Sears Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the US, is to be renamed the Willis Tower.


The 110 floor building was completed in 1974 as the headquarters for the retail company Sears Roebuck. They moved out in 1982 and sold the building in 2004. Despite their lack of involvement, this iconic building retained the Sears name. Now a UK insurance company, the building’s largest tenants will get to apply their name to the building. I suspect that it will continue to be called Sears Tower by most of the city’s residents.

Having visited Chicago on a few occasions I can testify to the stunning views from the observation deck at the top of the building, but the dining on the 95th floor of the shorter Hancock tower is a more interesting experience.

Chicago Breaking News

Published in: on 17 March, 2009 at 6:47  Comments (1)  

Bailout Park

It is a sad fact of modern life both here and in the US that sports stadiums are increasingly named after corporate sponsors rather than have real names. In the UK Arsenal play at The Emirates Stadium and Bolton at The Reebok. In the US, the New York Mets, a baseball team, played their last season at The Shea Stadium. This was named after William A Shea, who was responsible for bringing National League baseball back to New York after the Dodgers and the Giants had moved cross country to California.

The famous stadium is now demolished to make parking space for the new home of the Mets, Citi Field. This is named for its sponsor Citigroup, one of the financial institutions that needed government money to survive; making this sponsorship and naming even more controversial. If you are travelling on the subway to the stadium, you will not see any signs that say Citi Field, as the authority that run the subway have refused to pay to change the signs to advertise the corporate brand, so it will say Mets/Willets Point.

New York’s other baseball team, the much hated Yankees is also going to play in a new stadium this year after 85 years in Yankee Stadium. Their new ballpark is called New Yankee Stadium; a name pleasingly bereft of corporate sponsorship.

Published in: on 16 March, 2009 at 6:54  Leave a Comment