Friday, September 29, 2006

Todays evil robot is...




GORT
from The Day the Earth Stood Still

Technically speaking this fella isn't evil as he was merely the robot bodyguard of space traveller Klaatu who, in 1951, came to Earth in the kind of shiny, shiny flying saucer that bugs rednecks in the 'Deep South', flees the scene of cattle mutilations and drags unsuspecting American idiots inside it's shiny, shiny interior to be anally probed. He'd come with one mission, to warn us against continuing on the path we'd chosen as a species. We were savage, we were warlike and aggresive, we were destroying our very planet and we refused to wear Baco-foil jumpsuits and colanders on our heads. Most of which is particularly apposite at the moment.
Now Klaatu, being a dude from outer space an' all, clearly hadn't been watching much Earth TV 'cos when he stepped out of his saucer and announced to the US Army gathered around that he came in peace, he got shot the silly spaceman.
Anyhow, back to the awsome GORT. He never said anything he just stood there behind Klaatu like a giant armoured sentinel looking all cool and immovable - which he was, until that is, Klaatu got shot. Then he got all vaporisey on their collective arses and lasered all the soldiers' guns. He didn't kill any of them, he just destroyed the weapons. Even the tanks. Brilliant. A pacifist destructo-bot.
I always loved the way his visor opened revealing a slit that pulsed brighter and brighter until 'whummmm...phzzzz'. Everything gets vaporised. Awesome. Go GORT!

"Klaatu barada nikto"

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fantastic Maximillian clip.

Refering back to my earlier 'Evil Robot' post about Maximillian from The Black Hole, I've found this brilliant clip of the tin-plated badass doing his drilly-death thing on Anthony Perkins.
Enjoy.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Todays evil robot is...



The Cylons from Battlestar Galactica

These evil, malicious and ruthless beauties graced our screens back in the late '70s & early '80s. As the backbone of the Cylon Alliance they battled humanity and pursued the Galactica (and it's rag-tag fleet of ships) across space with nothing but destruction on their tin-plated minds. As a kid these bad-boys were just the absolute best and I would've given anything to be one. (I had very simple ambitions as a child, I just wanted to be an awesome robot and kick ass.) They were brilliant in their super-shiny armour with their one red eye sweeping from side to side like K.I.T.T. in Knight Rider and their jarring, metallic, monotone voices were plain scary. They flew the second best enemy spaceships (after the Tie-Fighter of course) and they were lead by some kind of bobbly headed monster thing who sat on a huge chair in a massive, featureless vault. Brilliant.

Nowadys in the new Battlestar Galactica they're VERY different. Now they've been adapted to look and act like us so they can infiltrate the Galactica crew. This poses a very difficult problem. On the one hand the old Cylons were just amazing in everyway and by rights every red-blooded male fan of the original show should be spitting feathers at the mere idea of changing 'em. Trouble is, they now look like this.



Do you see the dilemma?


"By your command."

Friday, September 22, 2006

Todays evil robot is...



Box from Logan's Run.

For those of you out there that haven't seen Logan's Run it's essentially a film about mankind's future where we live enclosed in vast, domed cities. No-one is older than thirty (thanks to an accepted cull disguised as a spiritual ceremony of re-birth), but some seek to escape to the outside world and the mythical place known as 'Sanctuary' and these 'runners' are pursued by the Sandmen who police the city. Logan 5 (an ex-sandman) and Jessica 6 (Jenny Aguter) escape and run into Box in an ice cavern where food is frozen and stored for the city. Box is the robot who runs the 'freezer' and appears kindly at first. It soon becomes apparent however, that Box has malfunctioned and has been killing runners who come this way, he also wants to freeze Logan and Jenny into a permanent ice-sculpture for his collection. A fight ensues and Box is left trapped. Poor Box.

Richard's on the mend

BBC News. I hope he goes on improving. As co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson said, "He's lucky, he'll live." Thoughts to his wife & kids.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Woke up this morning

to some very sad news. BBC News. Richard Hammond, pint-sized presenter of BBC's Top Gear and perssonal favourite of the misses, is critically ill (but stable) in hospital after crashing in a rocket-car whilst filming for the show. A ROCKET CAR - Go Hammond! I sincerely hope he's okay.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Todays evil robot is...



Maximillian

To me the star of Disney's brilliant kids sci-fi film 'The Black Hole'. The silent, deadly killer loitered menacingly in the background of the mysterious space vessel the Cygnus until called upon by Dr. Hans Reinhardt to despatch Anthony Perkins with his spinning razor-claws. I'll never forget the way Perkins tries desperately to defend himself by holding his journals in front of him only for Maximillian to advance unhindered and drill through them, scattering shredded paper until Perkins screams and drops to the floor. Brilliant. The image of Reinhardt 'entombed' within the body of Maximillian standing in-front of a Hell-like, firey background is one of my favourite scenes from a sci-fi film.

Puzzling shops

There's a shop near me where I buy my milk, Saturday papers and, every-so-often, a Fry's Turkish Delight and it has a very unusual name. It's called 'Buy to Win'.



Now I've been going there on and off for six years and I've no idea what you have to buy to win or even what you would win. Beth keeps telling me I should ask but I kinda don't want to. I like the mystery. I hate it when the papers are full of new evidence that solves an old riddle like Jack the Ripper or The Loch Ness Monster and this, to me, is one of my life's great unsolved mysteries and, curious as I am, I don't want to know the answer.

Also, as a little partner to the 'Buy to Win' shop picture here's a piccie of the finest name you will ever see for a model shop.



'If Only.'

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

TESCO does it again.

Anyone that knows me will know of my dislike of Tesco and this story got me chuckling t'other day. BBC News.
I guess North Wales is 'local' to those living in South Wales in much the same way as Sheffield is local to me here in Brighton. I must remember to point this out to my mate Neil when he next has to drive for hours and hours to see his folks in Sheffield.

This in particular caught my eye.
"The store told the ASA that 10% of consumers surveyed were Welsh and most of them interpreted "local" to refer to their country or region." How silly they are. Don't they know that in the eyes of Tesco local means 'the same country'?

Country of residence

One of the things that makes me feel extraordinarily lucky that I live here in the U.K. (apart from political freedom, freedom of speech, our varied but rarely dangerous weather, rampant availability of food, our magnificent puddings and the sheer abundance of greenery) is the fact that we're always going to be toward the bottom of those country selector drop-down things you often get in online application forms. Sometimes they start with the U.S. & the U.K. at the top along with a few other countries but mostly they're alphabeticised so we're way down the bottom along with the Ukraine & Venezuela. Suits me fine, I can just move the little cursor all the way to the bottom and just switch off while it scrolls through all the countries without the worry that I'll overshoot and have to backtrack. Imagine how many times people in Peru have had to do that. It's kind of like the form filling equivalent of living at the end of a trainline (much as I do now). No matter how drunk you get or how soundly you sleep you'll never miss your stop. Unless no-one wakes you to tell you that you've arrived at the end of the line and that some kids have just made off with your trainers and, by the way, do you know you have dribble on your shoulder?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tea is scarse

One of the troublesome elements of freelancing is the distinct lack of tea. Sure if I'm working at home the tea flows like tea flavoured water with milk, which come to think of it, is exactly what a cup of tea is. With sugar. But, and it's a pretty fat butt, when I go trundling off, all springy stepped and eyes alight, to go work at some company or other I'm often shocked by the woefull absence of tea. How do these people function? Do they not know the sweet life-giving loveliness of a brew? How am I supposed to work without it? How does anyone work without it? The British Empire was built on it, we Brits are fuelled by it, people swim in it and wars have been fought, lost, won and run away from over it. (actually I've no idea if those last two are true I was just running out of steam a bit there.)
Sure they'll act all nice and welcoming and be all 'Hi Ben, here's your desk, can you plug your laptop in? You get yourself settled and I'll talk you through the job. Do you want some tea? Milk? Sugar?" in the beginning, but then the tea mysteriously disappears after that as if it were some kind of incentive to work hard. "You've had you tea? Good. Enjoy it did you? Good. NOW WORK YOU SNIVELLING LITTLE BANKRUPT AND I MIGHT JUST DEIGN TO MAKE YOU ANOTHER!".
I mean everyone's entitled to tea at work aren't they? In the words of Grandad in 'Only Fools & Horses', "Everyone's entitled to a cup a' tea Rodney. I mean, it's in the Magna Carta or sumfin." Never was a truer word spoken.

Separated at birth



Kevin McCloud (C4 presenter of 'Grand Designs') & actor Hugh Fraser (Captain Hastings from Poirot)

Here's a sanp of him with David Suchet.

Staying on a 'spacey' theme...

... for a moment, astronomers (who are clearly enjoying their time in the media spotlight at the moment) have discovered a new 'puffy' planet. BBC News. HAT-P-1 orbits a pair of stars 450 light-years away in the constellation Lacerta and, though it's radius is about 1.4 times that of Jupiter, is apparently only half the density of Jupiter making it just one-qaurter the density of water. It'd float if you could find a big enough bath.

Here she is.



(floaty floaty)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Eris

Pretty apt name don't you think. BBC News.

There's been a surprising amount of interest in this story and I for one and very interested in changes to our understanding of our Solar system. Regardless of whether you think it's an outrage, a necessary alteration or you frankly couldn't give a monkey's nuts on a hairdryer, you can't deny the fact that it's sparked people's interest and created a debate and that's always good.
You see the discovery of Eris and her moon Dysnomia (named after the Greek Goddess of discord and her daughter the spirit of lawlessness) and their positioning further away from the Sun than Pluto, has meant that the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has had to reasess it's method of classification. Eris is larger than Pluto by anything between 70 - 700km and so a new classification of 'dwarf planets' has been introduced with includes Eris, Pluto and Ceres the largest asteroid in our Solar System in orbit between Mars & Jupiter.
Here's a handy diagram.



Exciting huh?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

After the stupidity

of people yesterday with their moronic revenge attacks on stingrays comes a news story that actually makes sense and might just be a step in the right direction. BBC News.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I hope this isn't true.

Dear God this has to be a joke. BBC News. If it isn't (which it isn't) then these people really are the worst kind of human. It's sad that Irwin died but for this to happen is just plain dum and shows just how stupid people can be.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Honda Zoomer and the man with the robot leg

Outside the Real Patisserie just now was one of those brilliant Honda Zoomer things. Whilst coveting said bike a smiley be-helmeted chap wandered out of a shop and clambered aboard. It was pretty busy immediately outside the Patisserie and the bloke was drawing a few looks from the milling folk. I smiled at him and asked the obvious question, “Where did you get that mate?” and pointed toward the bike. As I looked down however I realised to my horror that I was actually pointing at his robot leg. He had a robot leg, seriously. The left leg of his military-style trousers were tied around a thin steel Terminator-esque false leg, it was nuts. Anyhow, the bloke obviously realised I wasn’t very, very forward in my nosiness and rightly assumed I was enquiring after the Zoomer. “I got it direct from Honda.” He said with a smile as he rode off. If you don’t know what a Zoomer is here’s a picture of the girl from ‘PopWorld’ on T4 with one.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My favourite films

A while back over on my daily blog I compiled a list of my 22 favourite albums, 22 ‘cos I simply couldn’t keep it down to 20 let alone 10, you can see it here. And now I’ve knocked up a list of my 20 favourite films. Here they are in no particular order and please don’t judge me.

Rear Window (The way Al explains our hero’s predicament in the first 30 seconds is brilliant.)
Alien (One of the first truly scary films I ever saw.)
The Big Lebowski (I got hooked on White Russians because of this film)
Shaun of the Dead (The finest of RomZomCom.)
Sexy Beast (‘cos of Ray’s opening soliloquy and Ghandi being truly abhorrent.)
Monty Python & the Holy Grail (“I fart in your general direction silly Arthur King.”)
The Ipcress file (Caine at his best & better than Bond.)
Brazil (Bobby DeNiro as a renegade plumber – inspired.)
Taxi (Crazy ass French film with a pimped up taxi.)
Batman Begins (Exactly how the previous films should’ve been.)
The Time Machine (George Pal’s outstanding ‘60s version not the ropey Hollywoodised Guy Pearce & Smantha Mumba one.)
Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (The best storyline, it had snow and introduced the AT-AT.)
Ravenous (Hardly anyone has seen this but I assure you it’s worth tracking down. Basically it’s about cannibalism and an American outpost around the time of the civil war and it stars Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle and the bloke who was Ed Rooney in Ferris Beuler.)
The Exorcist (When I saw the infamous ‘spider-walk’ scene in the unedited version I very nearly cried it was so damn scary.)
Akira (For it’s all round graphical beauty and inexplicable plot.)
Withnail & I (“How can it be so cold in here? It’s like Greenland in here.” “Monty you terrible cunt!” “I feel like a pg has shat in my head.” Etc. Etc. Ad nauseam.
As Good as it Gets (A girly love film that I don’t feel even slightly girly watching.)
Get Carter (Caine being even better than in The Ipcress File.)
North by Northwest (If there’s finer drunk acting than Mr. Grant does in this film elsewhere on celluloid then I’ll eat my hat.)
The Italian Job (Caine being better than in The Ipcress File but not as good as in Get Carter. Oh and “This car belongs to the Pakistani ambassador.”)
Transformers The Movie (Wait a minute. They’re cars you say and they turn into robots you say. And it's got an '80s rock soundtrack? This I gotta see!)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Test the livingroom

On Saturday Beth I planned to make pizzas but it ended up going a bit pear-shaped as, for some reason I can't quite work out, the dough didn't rise. To make matters worse I'd invited all and sundry round to sample my glorious wares. Thankfully only Sophie took me up on the offer so it wasn't quite such a disaster. We ordered some in and settled down to watch trash TV, something I pretty much never do but Beth was ecstatic as she never gets a chance to. (Am I a cruel uncaring boyfriend? Should I let my lovely watch Sharron bleedin' Osbourne and Simon Cowell being shit to shit people on national TV?). Anyhow, once the eye-popping, brain-mulching, soul-destroying embarrasment that is 'X-Factor' was over we found ourselves glued to Anne Robinson (scary huh?) and BBC's 'Test the Nation'. It was brilliant! Imagine my surprise when I racked up an IQ of 115and I wasn't all that surprised that Beth beat me and got 117, she's a smart lass. Sophie whuped both our asses though with an impressive 122. What made things all the better was that Brighton beat London with the Brighton average coming in at 113. Cool huh?