Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Wikileaks pops a massive Stoma bag

Wikileaks have dropped a crap load of US diplomatic messages, the site itself is down due to a DNS attack but there's already a bucket loads of slurry sloshing about:

Putin and Berlusconi have a special relationship probably involving their wallets,

While Alan Duncan and William Hague's relationship was purely flatmate/chums,

Everyone wants a piece of Iran

Oh yeah the US is spying on the UN

and Afghanistan's VP was caught carrying 52 million in cash in the UAE

there's loads spilling out now so I should of probably waited a bit before writing this but anyways Wikileak's giant commitment to amusing us proles isn't the only news in town. It was definitely astute timing to have our humiliating "let's introduce a grocer/hoax Taliban commander to Karzai jape" aired just before the Assange evacuation but maybe the FBI have taken the same tack with an amusing onanistic tale of the Feds taking the glory for nicking a terrorist they themselves have been grooming, supporting etc in undercover ops.

Lazy List of Lists post

Tartle, the Scots word for the name-forgetting hesitation while introducing someone, makes this interesting list of "untranslatable" words.

10 Peculiar consequences of our evolution

Some fine examples of mass hysteria and some odd historical beliefs & practices.

100 Movie Spaceships and 10 crappy Mad Max ripoffs.

An array of animal superpowers.

Samurai Jack tops a list of 16 of the best Scifi Toons.

20 Utopian novels & 10 SciFi novels that have faced the banhammer at some point or another.

Some cheery stats about the mess the Yanks are in - seems pretty similar to our own crapshack.

1o Dystopian predictions that are now reality.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Laughter in the Time of The CamClegg

Another amusing week in British politics with Lords Young and Flight stumbling into shitstorms - the former for suggesting everything is jolly lovely and the latter for er some classy remarks with the faintest whiff of eugenics.

It also appears that the Government are a little scared of the forthcoming Wikileaks infodump and according to Guido they've gone and got themselves a couple of D-Notices (DA-Notice 01: Military Operations, Plans & Capabilities and DA-Notice 05: United Kingdom Security & Intelligence Special Services ie all the good stuff. I'm so feeling our democracy right now but I'm sure the blessed internet will fill in the gaps.

The Police decide a recent protest is the right time for the horses to get some exercise?

Hahaha some dude conned our razor-sharp Intelligence Services into believing he was a Taliban Commander.

Youtubers I know

First up is a purveyor of fine wines crunching his collar bone

Some geetar from from my friend in Madrid

My new workmate's comedy happens to feature the dvd rental shop I used to run

Monday, 22 November 2010

Curtis' Critique Continues

The Trap: What Happened to our Dream of Freedom is yet another excellent Curtis documentary series charting the theories dominating our notions of liberty. Over the three parts he digs into game theory & the rise of the DSM, Labour's statistical reductionist obsessions and Dawkins' Selfish Genes and finally concluding his theory of state/market psychological manipulation with discussion of Isaiah Berlin's +/- liberty and the unfortunate consequences that have been meted out to us all due to Bliar & co's experiments. Though Curtis occasionally gets distracted in his longer series this 3-parter is tight and quite focused and as usual it's all expertly enmeshed with audio snippets, film stock, archive footage etc a filmy trademark he pretty much owns now surely. I will try to stop banging on about Curtis soon - I've only got one series left - but if you want further evidence of his worthiness he'd just posted an excellent piece about B.F. Skinner, Camo & a systematised future.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Home Made Genius

Thanks to Reddit, Boing Boing & Dangerous Minds

Old School Mutant & a Pair of Drongos

Hatchet is a shlocky horror b-movie with a paper thin plot and even thinner characters. Set in New Orleans a couple of frat boys join a swamp tour and end up battling a tetchy, seemingly invincible mutant. Despite it's obvious shortcomings it's still quite entertaining with plenty of grisly slaughtering and a few laughs along the way. Not terrible with a few beers and an emptied mind.Needle has a bit more plot than Hatchet but it's a lot less fun. Some Oztralian college kid inherits a strange gothic voodoo machine thingy and when it goes missing his chums start dying. It's ok but the acting is sub par and it becomes tiresomely predictable towards the end. I wouldn't waste your time. The Reef is yet another Oz-horror and sadly yet another mishmash of mediocrity. This time some holidaymakers sail off for a dive, end up crashing the boat and decide to swim for an over the horizon island only to attract the attention of a peckish shark. Derivative and badly acted it does have the decency to muster a little tension but it's all too soon dissipated by the poor scripting/acting and low end productions values. I dunno I'm giving up on horror for a while.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

3 More Free Films

Marines & Campers

This Is War is a video diary documentary filmed by US Marine Mike Scott on his journey into Iraq. It's ok I guess as a personal testimony but it adds little to our understanding of our latest militaristic folly and for the most part is just footage unthinking jocks reveling in the weaponry to the terrible cost of the local citizens.

Well I've finally seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show and for a musical it was quite entertaining but still a musical. It's hardly worth discussing the plot as it's little more than stitching to hold together some mildly amusing songs belted out cartoon characters in some mad sleazy supercamp stylee. It's certainly got brio though and the cast seem to be having a blast.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

My Bindle Smells of Science

First planet from another galaxy found orbiting aging red Sun. Io9.

Tiny water bottle designed to trap a single water molecule. Reddit.

Looking at gravitational lensing in Black Holes might provide proof of other extra dimensions. Physorg.

CERN labcoats have succeeded in briefly trapping anti-hydrogen atoms in electromagnetic fields. Huffpo.

Luminary Sir Roger Penrose thinks he's got evidence of the universe that existed before the Big Bang. Io9

Our coalition Government apologises for secretly performing autopsies on nuclear workers corpses during the past 40 years. Impactlab.

Baffling idea about creating a fibre optic "cloak" that could hide events from space-time. BoingBoing, longer article at Nature.

Hartley 2 was caught throwing off snowballs the size of basketballs as the Deep Impact probe whizzed by. Wired.

China's Chang'E 2 probe orbiting the Moon. BadAstronomy.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Marionette's First March

Alfred Hitchcock Presents, despite being over fifty years old, is still fantastic entertainment & well worth watching and it certainly makes you think about where TV went wrong with our screens currently packed with reality/talent show garbage. Each episode famously begins with Hitchcock himself providing an introduction usually with dollops of sarcasm and a gentle dig at his sponsors) and the plays themselves cover a wide spectrum of genres, time periods, tones etc. They're all beautifully shot, well scripted and sport talented casts including Claude Rains, Charles Bronson, Lorne Greene & Peter Lawford.

Some of my favourites from the 39 ep first series include Breakdown - about a man paralysed during a car accident, A Bullet for Baldwin - an office worker kills his boss only to find him back at work the next day, Whodunit - a mystery writer is allowed to relive his last day so he can uncover his murderer and And So Died Riabouchinska about a troubled ventriloquist. I've embedded The Cheney Vase for your perusal below, sorry can't find any others.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Three Free Films For Friday Fritterers

Jackie Chan's directorial debut The Young Master is one of his best.

Dennis Hopper stars in Tracks, may as well watch here as it's unavailable on DVD.

Slipstream starring Mark Hamill is a forgotten slice of cheese but it's not all bad.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Goodbye Dino

Sad news about the death of super producer Dino De Laurentis. Here's a little clickable gallery of some of my favourite Dino produced films.

Wonky Westminster

Some Tory shitheel called on the nice Dateline London Muslim lady to be stoned to death on Twitter has now apologised. Update - he was arrested last night.

Students seemed to have had some fun yesterday at the Conservative HQ but Guido's put a grand up as a reward for naming the kid who threw the fire extinguisher. Whoever it was obviously needs a slap but there's no need for the wanted poster.

Another Tory Councillor is in a spot of tech-trouble after more than 1000 images of porn were found on his council laptop - "it wasn't me" is his defence.

While touting his written-in-crayon book has Dubya left himself open to being tried on war crimes? I do hope so.

TalkTalk and BT have forced a judicial review of the Digital Economy Act - the hasty, poorly thought through bill that was aimed at illegal filesharing.

PoliticsHome have cheered me up by polling politicos who they'd think would be Tory leader once Cameron has had enough. The result? Boris Johnson or George Osborne - hohoho what a choice - the creepy Baron or the pretends-to-be-dim Lothario. Surely anyone left of center could beat either of those two in a GE.

Blair is going to debate religion with an ailing Christopher Hitchens. Please Hitch just punch him in the cake hole a lot then ask for his forgiveness.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Space Probings

Double bubble of gamma rays at our galactic center. Via io9

Hubble snaps a disc galaxy edge on. Via APOD

Stunning Nile image taken on board the ISS. Via Bad Astronomy.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Pilgrim Vs Creepy Kid

Scott Pilgrim is a furiously paced action/comedy mash saturated in video game culture. Despite it's facile romcom plot - Pilgrim must fight his new love's ex boyfriends - it's gimmicky gaming overlays and some rank tunes it's a reasonably entertaining watch. I'm not a huge fan of Cera but it's a decent ensemble and they've got a funny, sharp script to work with so it all thunders along keeping you from noticing how paper thin it is. MTV bubblegum but still fun.

Case 39 is fairly unoriginal creepy-kid horror starring Ian McShane and Renee Zellweger. The latter appears as a social worker drawn to a troubled girl, after saving her life then adopting her she realises that the brat is a touch demonic, doh, stupid tight face Renee. There's nothing outstanding or memorable about the film whatsoever, it barely musters a thrill let alone a scare, the acting is perfunctory and the deaths unexciting. Makes the Orphan seem like a classic.

Oddballs encircled by Murdoch's excretions

Lord Blackheath repeats his bumblings about the generous Foundation X on Sky. Mmm feel the quality of Newscorp journalism.

Jesse Ventura, former wrestler, Governor, actor, has his own conspiracy TV show. Here's his latest episode on Wall Street. It's only a matter of time before Chuck gets a quiz show.

Questions about Hasib Hussein and Tavistock Square.

Someone fired a missile off the California coast but noone's fessing up.

Batshit lady prattles on about Obama, Nibiru and all sorts of crazy.

Icke is banging on about some Scottish Peedo ring, makes a change from Royal Lizards.

According to Murdoch's Sun, Scarborough is the new hangout for UFO's.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Flipping B3TA Board/Bored

Charlie Brooker & David Mitchell doing a current affairs show - promo here.

Christopher Walken cooks Chicken with Pears over here.

Fun with Buckets & Balls.

Box of Delights

Pandora's Box is an early documentary series by Adam Curtis. First aired in 1992 it's a typically idiosyncratic overview of the social engineering theories that dominated so many lives in the 20th Century all wonderfully mashed together with archive footage and talking head interviews. Over the six episodes Curtis discusses Soviet machinations, American game theory, British Economic jiggerypokery, DDT and the science/industry interface, Ghanaian industrial dreams crushed and nuclear power, phew. Though it's dated a bit since it's airing and he's covered some of the material in following programmes this is still a fascinating series that should be lapped up by documentary lovers. And check out his blog.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Pure Mental

Mike Jay is co-curating what sounds like a fascinating exhibition about our history with drugs at the Wellcome Collection, London. Must make effort. Will probably end up just buying the book.

American Air Force want to get themselves some neuroweapons. Wired.

Outbreak of Koro panic on an Indian worksite.

Some fine English boffins have discovered zapping your noggin might just improve your maths ability.

The cojoined Hogan twins seem to share sensory information and thoughts? Gizmodo.

Damn another nice new book, Portraits of the Mind, has some stunning images of our noodlebox contents.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Quizzing it with Dali, Zappa & Malcolm X

Film Fluff

John Carpenter's next project is some Twilight-looking comic book called Darkchylde

Michel Faber's excellent Under The Skin novel is heading for cinemas with Scarlett Johanssen taking the lead and Sexy Beast's Director Jonathan Glazer in the chair.

Tolkein nixed a Beatles version of the Lord of The Rings.

Tom Hardy has bagged a role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Caine and Winstone are rumoured to be starring in Henry5 a scifi version of Shakespeare's classic.

Snyder says General Zod not in his Superman reboot. Nolan's started casting for the next Batman.

Emmerich purveyor of dumb blockbusters has a low budget alien invasion pic in development.