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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Wildly Inaccurate Sign Top Reviewer (on a free)
As I have kids I don't get out to the cinema too often. When I do go it's usually to see Harry Potter or some such rubbish (except the 3rd one obviously which was excellent). As I'm not very cultured, I rarely go and watch a play.
As I don't really like walking that much I tend to drive whenever possible.
Luckily I know a maniac who has no kids, enjoys the theatre and hates cars so I've signed him up to be the official Wildly Inaccurate 'Films, Theatre and Outdoor Pursuits Reviewer'. Oh and Cricket, but not music as I have far superior taste,
and not football as he knows nothing about football, but food - because he eats out a lot and really anything else he fancies unless I don't agree with him in which case I'll veto it unless he puts a very forceful case, in which case, I'd have to let him.
He can also give stars out of five ooh! four and a half out of five! like I used to in my book rating - oh yeah, he'll probably review books too.
Welcome Magnus Hook!

Magnus Hook at the Movies - Alien vs Predator
Well, following a gushing introduction (cheers angelo), though on a slightly somber note following the untimely death of the late great John Peel, for my first guest appearance I present (drum roll please)... a review of the awe(ful/some?) Alien vs Predator. First, a brief plot summary (including spoilers I guess)...

rich old guy has company with satellites, discovers pyramid buried beneath the antarctic, assembles crack team, enters pyramid, face huggers appear, aliens appear, predators fight aliens, aliens fight predators, blah, blah... the end (though not before setting up the sequel of course).

What did I think... to be honest, I was a bit disappointed. I thought there was far too much plot development early on at the expense of good fight scenes later on in the film. The predators seemed a bit of an easy kill for the Aliens - speaking of which, where did all those aliens come from? I thought the idea was they burst out of a human's chest so maximum one per human, right?

Nice touches? Lance Henriksen plays the old guy and does the cool thing with a pen between his fingers - just like me in school! The aliens are still the best looking bad guy on the block (H.R. Geiger is a genius). The pyramid it was all set in looked very cool. The fights scenes are great fun - just wish there were more of them!

Overall, if you've got a few hours to burn and you like a good bit of mindless fluff, it's definitely worth a look in. ooh! three out of five!



John Peel
There's not much I can add that hasn't already been said about the sad death of John Peel. He seemed a genuinely decent chap and it'll be strange without him.
In one of my previous incarnations, I was a failed rock star and one of the highlights of our career was when John Peel played our single on his Radio 1 show.
We really felt then that we were part of some kind of (admittedly, not very exclusive) club. The fact that he had listened to it and decided to play it really meant a lot to us. Even though we knew that at times he played all sorts of rubbish, it was his of seal of approval and we felt that if it was good enough for John Peel it was good enough for anyone.
Cheers John.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Kings of the King's Road
Ossie, 'Chopper' Harris and HudsonOk, so there is one redeeming feature to working in Canary Wharf - Books etc have some good signings. Yesterday three of my childhood heroes were signing copies of a book about Chelsea Football Club in the 1970's, 'Kings of the King's Road'.
So I got to meet and shake hands with Peter Osgood, Ron 'Chopper' Harris and Alan Hudson. Well, I say meet, I fact I mumbled at them and grinned stupidly at Ossie without being about to talk. They signed my book. It was especially good to see Alan Hudson looking fit and well considering the terrible injuries he suffered a few years back after being hit by a car.

These were great players - they're partly responsible for my love of football. When they won the F.A.Cup Final (replay) in 1970, (actually Hudson was injured and couldn't play) I had to watch at our neighbours, the Murray's, because my brother and sister supported Leeds (for unknown reasons) and the first game had caused too many arguments in our house.

Mickey Murray had made me to support Chelsea some months earlier, partly as he wore a Chelsea shirt with Mickey Mouse on the front, while we played football on the road. He was very cool (still is actually).
I bought the book and demonstrated my ability to name any of the players photographed to amazed and admiring colleagues (I'm certain they must have been impressed) - I probably couldn't name all the current squad.
I played 5-a-side last night and inspired by my heroes I played brilliantly. Brilliantly that is apart for one comedy goal I let in that was more Gary Sprake than Peter 'The Cat' Bonetti.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Pants That Can Save Your Life.
Great story from The Register about underwear that monitors your heart-rate. "The garment will automatically call emergency services when necessary, for example if the wearer suffers a cardiac arrest.
The device uses sensors woven into the fabric of the underwear. These detect electrical fluctuations on the skin, which are used to tell how rapidly and with what force the heart is beating.
However, an obstacle for the developers is the need for software to distinguish between increased heart rates due to stress or physical activity".

I'm just a little concerned that the Emergency Services are going to get called out every time I get a hard-on.
It could put untold stress on an already over-burdened ambulance service.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Tony Ray-Jones
I don't know much about photography so I'd never heard of Tony Ray-Jones. These photos look great though. 'A Gentle Madness: the photographs of Tony Ray-Jones' can be seen at the National Museum of Photography in Bradford from 15 October until 9 January 2005.
Talking of photographers, I was quite keen to buy this Stephen Shore book of photos from amazon.co.uk - but they're not really selling it very well with their reproduction of the cover - couldn't they just copy the American version?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Met Office Still Rubbish Shocker
Metcheck.com, who correctly forecast the deluges that hit Britain in the summer have told us to prepare for one of the coldest winters on record.
They predict regular cold snaps until Christmas and prolonged bleak spells in January.
"The cold snap next week is nature giving us a taste of what is to come in the next few months".
They also predict, "bitterly cold winds in the south and snowfall in the north and there would then be a very cold spell between 22-27 November".
So what do the Met Office say? "it is very difficult to forecast so far in advance." Yup, but that's your job, isn't it?
"We are expecting the weather to turn cool, but further than that it's hard to say." ...er ok.
When asked what the Met Office forecast could be for winter, they said: "We expect temperatures to drop in winter".
Fantastic! So it'll get colder in the winter. How about, "It'll be wetter when it rains" or "it'll get darker at night-time".
They say, "We prefer to offer quality rather than quantity," I can do that, according to my thru the window observation - "it's currently cloudy in Central London, it'll get colder as the temperature falls".

Beckham Still Thick Shocker
So Becks claims he deliberately got himself booked in the England game against Wales at the weekend as he knew he would miss the next game through injury and the booking would mean he would be suspended while injured - smart eh?
Yeah but not smart to tell everyone, not smart at all.
Surely he's 'bringing the game into disrepute'. So why did he tell everyone? Because he was sick of everyone telling him he was stupid to get booked for a meaningless tackle, especially after scoring such a fantastic goal.
Like committing the perfect crime and then wanting to take the credit for it. Bit of a Catch-22 there David, sometimes you just can't win, can you?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Reeve Leaves
The banner headline on the early editions of the London Evening Standard yesterday read, "Superman is Dead".This made me chuckle - a fantastic cartoon headline, I bet they were pleased with it.
They must have realised that it failed to show much respect for a guy that a lot of people had a lot of time for though as they later changed it to,"Superman: a true hero" which didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know.
Cheers Christopher.

Monday, October 11, 2004

MP3 Player Shuffle Taste Factor
I had to drive 400 miles on Sunday. I compiled a single CD full of MP3's - probably 140 songs - a big cross-section of stuff I thought might be fun listening for the whole family as we struggled through Southern England.
The MP3 player was set to shuffle/random and I stopped the car probably 10 times which re-set the player from scratch.
So how come "Cortez the Killer" by Neil Young came up 4 times whereas Robbie's "Feel" didn't appear at all?
I had 6 Fountains of Wayne songs of which only 2 played once each, while my single Leonard Cohen choice, "Who by Fire" came up 3 times.
Why did it choose these songs? What does it have against Robbie Williams? And why is it so keen on Anastacia?

Friday, October 08, 2004

Wildly Inaccurate Best Online Interweb Buying & Delivery Experience Award 2004 (WIBOIB&DEA2004)
x-zylo (mad)Goes to firebox.com. I ordered this strange flying object, X-zyLo, from them at about 3pm yesterday. It arrived this morning, beautifully packaged, at 7.45am. I received 3 emails from them telling me that they had received my order, they had processed my order and that they had dispatched my order.
Online shopping should always be like this.
Sadly, if you have ever had the misfortune to order anything from Next, you will know from bitter experience that this is not always the case.
Next will not be able to tell you when they will deliver, they may well deliver to your previous address, they will send stuff to your local shop when you have asked from it to go to your home address and vice versa.
They will be out of stock of the item you want most, having previously told you that they have plenty. The item they send you will then be rubbish and you'll have to return it.
I fucking hate fucking Next.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Sack Everyone
Tim SmitTim Smit, creator of the Eden Project and restorer of the fantastic garden at Heligan should be Prime Minister.


Interviewed in The Guardian.