Author Archives: ward

Hong Kong. What’s it like?

Hong Kong

I was born in Hong Kong and lived there until I was 21. It is a superlative place. It is like living about 10 years in the future. Hong Kong is like Blade Runner mixed with Minority Report/5th Element/Coruscant. We are actually thinking about moving back there in a couple of years.

People often ask, ‘What is Hong Kong like?’ They just imagine hordes of people shuffling between glass skyscrapers. Which is actually pretty accurate in the business part of town but it has so much more. I could go on and provide a breathtaking description of the contrasting juxtapositions of colonial and modern, of steel towers and palm trees, of ultra modern living and street markets. But I can’t be bothered. So here is a short video that shows all that instead. It is really worth a watch and brought a nostalgic lump to my throat.

So Long, My Hong Kong from Gregory Kane on Vimeo.

 

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Trying the WordPress app

Forgive this unusual post for not being as astoundingly brilliant or as modestly genius as my usual posts. I am trying an experiment. Now that I have a Galaxy Note 2, with a colossal screen, it is considerably easier to write ‘on the go’. By ‘on the go’ I mean ‘in the park/cafe/pub’.

So essentially, the result of this test could change my life. Possibly for the worst but change is good so screw it.

If you can read this, it worked. If you can see this then my camera posting works.

image

That was a photo I just took in my flat. I thought it safer to write this first post at home. That way I can check if this works on my laptop. Also my couch is comfy. Sorry about the mess.

Here is a picture I took from the interweb.

image

So here goes. Going to try and publish this. Thanks for your patience!

 

***Well that seemed to work. The only thing to check is how to make the image from the internet bigger. Otherwise it is pub ahoy! I can’t seem to find the funny image again but it was something about the helmets and sunglasses impeding accuracy. It was hilarious!

By way of apology here is a funnier one. It is even apt with my new phone and everything!

Picard never made a bad decision.

 

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Joss Whedon endorses Romney for the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse

Rombie for Zombie Apocalypse!

I could make jokes and hedge my position but bollocks to that – I hope Obama wins. Mitt is too weird a name. On top of that, I just don’t like what he seems to be into. But what do I know? I’m a Brit with a website and a mild zombie obsession.

So I will hand it over to a man I hugely respect and admire. Joss Whedon. (I would actually vote for Joss because he might force TV execs to bring back Firefly but that is another issue.) I debated putting this on www.scifiward.com but realized that this is about politics. And the apocalypse. Both of which are real and important and imminent.

So I give you the genius that is Joss Whedon.
http://youtu.be/6TiXUF9xbTo

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iPhone to Android, the big leap.

After 4 years of owning and loving an iPhone, I finally made the big leap to Android. This has caused a weird reaction with some people but some people are idiots.

When I first bought the iPhone 3G it was a shiny thing of wondrous joy. There was nothing close to it on the market and I knew I’d never be bored again. It could do so much! I could text more easily, write emails, listen to music, watch TV, read the news in a field, look at porn on a bus, play games on the tube, and, and stuff. I could even make phone calls with it if I really had to, although I increasingly despise the phone as a means of verbal communication.

My iPhone died slowly

Cut to 5 months ago. My iPhone started behaving weirdly. It would turn off whenever I tried to access the internet or play a game. The battery seemed to be sucked dry in literally 20 seconds or less. Being Apple of course, I couldn’t open it up to chuck in a new battery because Apple innards are practically hallowed ground. Should I get an iPhone 4S? It was still the best, most reliable phone around and it even talked to you in a sexy voice.

But on the internet rumours were being whispered about the iPhone 5. It was going to be amazing. Some said it would have liquid metal, or could replace your credit card, or see in the dark, or give you x-ray vision with an ‘attractive lady only’ setting. It might even let you watch 3D porn on a bus! It was going to be astounding.

I decided to wait it out. It would be worth it. iPhone. 3D porn. Bus.

iPhone 6. This joke was old in about an hour, so sorry...

So I waited for the iPhone and… it was a bit longer… and a bit quicker… and er… it has new earphones… er… Quite frankly it was the same. Even the advertising is struggling to think of a positive. Remember iPhone ads a couple of years ago? It was amazing what you could do with the round cornered rectangle of joy that was the iPhone 4. Now? A guy showing how the phone is the perfect size for his hand is the main advert. Really? A five foot tall woman or 6’4 man might have different sized digits. Perhaps a few choice of handset sizes would sort that problem out but no. Apple knows best. Your hand is the one at fault you midget/giant you.

Androids are smarter

Consequently I now have an Android. It is bigger than an iPhone which is great because I am 6’1 and slightly bigger hands than the average human. It also is easier to write emails and texts and check the news and watch or read things. I have to say it has been quite a liberating experience. I can just chuck films and music on my phone with having to have an Apple program ‘syncing’ it for me. I can take the back off and replace the battery or insert an SD card with 64gig memory. Life just feels freer than it did under Apple’s strict rules.

I mentioned this switch to people and some were happy because “iDrone’s are shit”. Others were shocked: “Sorry but iPhones are best, androids don’t last.” Reactions have been surprisingly polar.

I don’t really care. There are pluses and minuses with both. I was just a bit shocked by the vehemence with which some people defend a brand. There are just gadgets. At present the best tablet is the iPad and the best phone is the Samsung Galaxy 3/Note 2. I’m just going by things like functionality, speed, cost, memory, battery, user friendliness, ability to watch porn on buses, and so forth. A bigger screen is better for what people spend most of their time doing these days which is using their phone as a mini computer. It is more important than thumb length. If you want to own a smaller phone that makes phone calls buy an old one – the batteries last 5 days and they are robust and cheap.

So if you’re a huge fan of Apple or Android, I don’t care. All that matters is that my new phone fucking rocks. It is an Android. My next phone might be anything. Balls to brand loyalty.

Here is a great clip from Futurama in case you just got bored. It also explains where I first thought of watching porn on a bus. It happens to looks better on a big screen if you’re viewing this on your phone. Just saying. Enjoy!
http://youtu.be/EaHUpWuqNHY

 

 

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Thai Modern Art arrives in London

London is one of the world’s great art centres. Lots of art fans are currently descending on the city from all over the globe to take part in or see the colossal Frieze art fair. This is a great event but visitors should know that there is a lot more to see. Most of London’s established art scene is in the West, North or middle of the city but huge amounts of exciting new stuff is coming out of the East. An area of hip and trendy struggling artists, writers, musicians and unemployed.

In the depths of East London there is a mini hub for all this emerging art called Vyner street. The first Thursday of every month there is a bit of a party with the collection of galleries that line the street opening late to admit lots of excited and slightly inebriated art fans. It’s good fun and cultural to boot.

Of particular interest is an exhibition of Thai modern art called Origin-Originality at Forty7 Gallery, 47 Mowlem Street (Off Vyner St). You don’t get much Thai modern art in the West, so this is an ideal opportunity to see some and buy some. It will be worth millions soon. One of the artists has already featured in a Christie’s Auction, so you’d better get in quick as Southeastern Asian art is very ‘in’ right now. This exhibition looks great, the art is intriguing and the whole thing is on from the 4th-14th October. It is curated by the superb Nim Niyomsin. If you are here for the Frieze art fair or just like art generally, you should check the area out. It’s where it’s at.

Here is a link that will tell you all you need to know about the background to the exhibition, the artists involved, and where all the excitement will be happening. http://www.origin-originality.blogspot.co.uk/ There is also info at the bottom of this page.

Here is some of the art:

Maitree Siriboon

Peerawayt Krasaesom

Tatiya Udomsawat

Here are some details:

Public Opening: Thursday 4th October 2012 (First Thursday), 6-10pm
Exhibition Runs: 4th -14th October 2012
Opening Hours: Mon-Tue: By appointment, Wed-Sun: 11am-6pm
More information please contact:
Nim Niyomsin
[+44] 07999 064254

Forty7 Gallery
47 Mowlem Street (Off Vyner St) London E2 9HE,http://www.forty7gallery.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

About First Thursdays and the area including Gallery Forty7:

http://www.firstthursdays.co.uk/galleries/forty7-gallery-7coco

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Flight of the Conchords charity video

I love Flight of the Conchords. My wife stumbled on their TV show one night and then persuaded me to watch an episode and I was hooked. If you don’t know it, you definitely should. They are a couple of New Zealanders that started by doing comedy songs – a genre that is usually pretty bollocks but not in this case. The Flight of the Conchords began as a comedy radio show on the BBC and then the genius that is HBO turned that into a TV show in America. The music is brilliant and the sitcom was hilarious. Sadly they have not been on our screens for ages.

Until now! … You probably saw that coming. They have released a new clip and a new song for red nose day and it is as good as ever. If you don’t like this, you are without a soul. Come back Flight of the Conchords!

Oh yes, and support red nose day if you live in a country generous enough to have one. Or at least one that can spare the cash.

In case you want more Flight of the Conchords stuff, or are curious about them, here you go. Man, I’m nice. Here is them on stage at some American show.

Here is their homage to Bowie. Alright man!
http://youtu.be/g8f_XCH3zmM
 

 

Jupiter saves Earth again

Object hits Jupiter

I’m sorry if you find this boring but I find it incredible and it is my website. I love space related stuff as it is all so damned epic. Things are ridiculously huge or far or heavy. Jupiter, for example, is absolutely fucking massive. It has twice the mass of all the other planets combined. It is this mass that has saved the Earth about a million times (just a personal estimate based on nothing).

Well, as the above picture shows, that figure is now roughly one million and one. The other day an amateur astronomer was filming Jupiter for some reason. He happened to catch the above explosion as it twatted into the huge gas giant. If that had hit the Earth you would be reading this in the afterlife (they must have internet in Heaven but there will be a lot more blocked sites than Hell).

This is the Earth compared to Jupiter:

Earth and Jupiter compared

So we would be doomed. So I just wanted to say, thank you Jupiter.

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Mars Curiosity Descent Video

This is astounding. I seem to be posting a lot of videos recently but I can’t help it as people making awe inspiring clips. And this is one of the best ones. This video is made by a lot of very clever people who are advancing our civilisation and should be applauded from every rooftop.

I hope deep down that the more the Mars rover explores, the more humanity’s collective brain will look out to the stars and will focus less inwardly on all the petty squabbles, greed, politics, conspiracy theories and all the other shite that makes mankind a less impressive species. This video is of the Mars Curiosity landing on Mars and looking around for the first time. The final bit is a picture that someone made up of a composite of reflections of the Rover’s face. So you can see what it looked like. For some reason I was reminded a bit of Wall-E crossed with Short Circuit’s Number 5.

Imagine parachuting onto the surface of Mars. Now press play…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Esj5juUzhpU&feature=player_embedded

 

 

Bond versus Bond

As I am currently going through a Bond theme right now, I thought I might as well include this clip. It’s pretty cool. I’m impressed that Sky is launching a Bond channel although after the first week what are they going to play? Is it just going to be a permanent loop of all the Bonds? Actually that would be good. Bond rules. Enjoy.
http://youtu.be/m2FAWb5Lch8
 

Skyfall – the new trailer

Bond is back! I got excited just typing that. Skyfall is the latest Daniel Craig outing, and it looks damned awesome. I love a good Bond film and am thoroughly enjoying this new ‘reimagining’ of him as a character.

If you are a regular reader it may not come as a surprise that I enjoy films that are chock full of hot women, exotic travel, gadgets, guns and explosions as these feature highly in my everyday life. Apart from the explosions and guns sadly, as they are frowned upon in ‘politically-correct-gone-mad’ London. I have fired a few guns though – we shot a lot of them at school and a few years ago I fired a huge selection in the jungles of Vietnam (as a tourist, not a ex-vet on a flashback). I also enjoy a fireworks display. Plus, when I was a teenager some mates and I put some cans of deoderant in the school bonfire which then exploded and my Tshirt caught fire. So I’m pretty close to Bond’s lifestyle.

Anyway, enough of my exciting life. Here’s Mr Bond:
http://youtu.be/1G-ZPhcELUk

 

The Mars Rover

A photo from Mars.

This is a picture of Mars. Mars! How awesome is that? This was taken by the Mars Rover – a 10 foot nuclear powered robot that is wandering around the red planet doing scientific analysis with the aid of lasers that shoot from its eyes. The picture was beamed across the vast vacuum of space back to NASA who then put it on their website which I then accessed at home on my shiny laptop through the genius of the internet and a wireless network.

There are times when humanity makes me despair (see buying magic on eBay). But there are times when we rule. Like now. I feel so proud of my fellow humans.

I really hate people who think it is all a waste of money. These small minded bores think that the money should be spent on hospitals to make everyone live longer on this already crowded planet. They believe that we should risk having humanity wiped out by a disaster because funds could go elsewhere. Basically these collections of human-shaped yawns are of the opinion that we shouldn’t reach for the stars and dream big planetary spanning dreams. We should just stay here, use up all the resources and die out. Of course the people who think we shouldn’t expand into space won’t be around when the remnants of humanity struggle Mad Max-style over a piece of boiled rat and some car fuel. It will be their kiddywink’s kiddywinks.

Essentially, if you don’t want to go to space you want your children’s children to suffer a slow and agonizing death. You are dooming your ancestors. You’re obviously a wanker and probably don’t have any friends.

Conversely, if you want to go into space and expand humanity then you are awesome and probably fun to be around. Hooray for you!

Ok, sorry, went a bit off topic there. I basically just wanted to share this photo because it is incredible and inspiring. As you can probably tell, I hope you share this sense of wonder. Go humans!

Even cooler: 360 degrees of Mars.

 

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Buying magic on eBay

There are times when I despair.

I once knew a guy in Thailand who sold ‘erectile dysfunction’ pills on the internet. They were just salt pills. He offered a money back guarantee and always honoured it. It just rarely happened that someone would contact him and ask for their money back as it was both a pittance and embarassing. Frequently the opposite happened – people wrote to him and thanked him for returning their ‘mojo’. Clearly it was all placebo but placebos, as any scientist will tell you, are fascinatingly effective. (Honestly, they work really well and no one knows why.) Was that morally wrong of him? People got to have sex after all. He now lives in a huge house by the beach with millions in the bank. Prick.

Buy me a beer or the bunny gets it.

Then there was the guy who threatened to kill a bunny if he didn’t get a certain amount of cash. Ok, it all turned out to be a joke but the site got loads of hits and probably generated cash. And the bunny lived! (For a bit. Probably.)

In fact there are a million ways people are making money off the internet in slightly dubious ways. African nobility want to hide millions in your account! You have won some prize or other but you need to pay a processing fee! A major social media website is going public and having an IPO that will make you rich if you buy shares! And so on.

I despair because I can never think of these ideas. I guess I’m not devious enough. Consequently I’m at work right now earning millions of pounds a year less than I should. Like a sucker.

The latest money spinner that passed me by is selling magic spells, hoaxes, wishes, and pointy hats on eBay. I just saw this on Boing Boing and there is only two weeks left until this magical bonanza ends.

I’m serious by the way. People are selling magic on eBay. I’m not knocking white magic or Wiccans or the Dark Side as such, I just don’t believe you can buy magic on eBay. Gandalf must be turning in his grave. Here are some examples (thanks Boing Boing):

How can these not work? Just look at the pictures!

On the British eBay I found a money spell described as:

‘Powerful £ MONEY SPELL £ for Success Prosperity Luck Good Fortune Wealth

UKs No.1 Powerful Money/Lucky Spell – Guaranteed’

Yes. Guaranteed. Although if I was cynical I might want to enquire as to how much it will cost to get back your hard earned £2.99.

I even found a book of all the spells from the Necronomicon. A book mentioned in lots of horror films but actually originated in the FICTIONAL tales of H.P. Lovecraft.

Sadly this bizarre earner is coming to an end. eBay has cried ‘Expeliamus!’ to the whole lot. This is from CNN:

‘Beginning in September, the site is banning the sale of “advice, spells, curses, hexing, conjuring, magic, prayers, blessing services, magic potions, [and] healing sessions,” according to a policy update.

The company is also eliminating its category listings for psychic readings and tarot card sessions.

Has anyone actually been buying magic on eBay? It seems so: The site’s “spells and potions” category currently has more than 6,000 active listings and happy feedback from quite a few satisfied buyers.

“Best spell caster on Ebay,” one customer wrote after a recent purchase.

“Wonderful post-spells communication!” another raved. “We bought 4 spells! Highly Recommend!”‘

 

I repeat, I despair.

On an unrelated note, this website might go public and sell shares. Although it is yours for a million pounds if you want to buy it now. Let me know. I have Paypal and Western Union accounts. Thanks.

 

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The Olympics are here

The Olympics are currently in full swing here in London town. Lots of Londoners, myself included, were originally against them. We weren’t asked if we wanted the games but we were expected to pay for them. It felt a bit like being mugged but without getting the chance to run for it or telling the culprit to piss off. Not only that, but getting around our own city to do (admittedly pointless stupid) things like work, was predicted to be a nightmare. Then there were the security problems, the missiles on roofs, anger over Olympic lanes, and sponsors behaving mean and spiteful to pretty much everyone.

Fickle bastard that I am, I’m alright with it all now. If you didn’t enjoy Danny Boyle’s superb opening ceremony you must be a pretty joyless individual. Sure some bits were better than others (the weird music text story for example wasn’t my thing), but generally speaking it was all fun, rousing stuff. Quirky is probably the word. It had Bond, Bean, and the Queen. Surely you must like one of them.

I’m not normally into sport, but the brief glimpses I’ve had of the games (between pointless work and epic train trips) have been great. The joy of the Olympics is that alongside main sports like tennis and football, you might find yourself inexplicably absorbed by something random – women’s archery or  women’s pole vaulting or women’s beach volleyball or something. (They were just random examples you understand.) I’m sure these sports are on at other times but because it is the Olympics, it now has some kind of meaning or purpose to it all. If you live in London you are frequently bumping into events and can have a quick cheer. It makes life here about 10% more exciting.

It would be nice if the sponsors chilled out a bit though. Stop patrolling the streets looking for anyone heinously supporting the games with five round objects suspiciously overlapping, and just let people have fun. I’m a bit nervous just talking about them, they might burn down my website.

Transport has been a bit worse but it is so awful usually, most Londoners are coping quite well. The trains have all worked at the weekends which actually makes for an improvement.

I guess we shall see if the Olympics actually does make a profit. The organisers (or possibly the government, I wasn’t paying attention) reckon we might make a profit of £2 billion. Hopefully this will mean the mascots knocking on doors and giving everyone in London a couple of hundred quid each. Or at least a 6 pack. Most of us are easily bribed.

So go Olympics! We’ve paid and sufferend already, so we might as well enjoy it. To celebrate this, here is a funny sketch about the Olympics. It’s funny, quirky, a bit weird, and British. Go Monty Python!
http://youtu.be/dmyz_f8Sx14

 

Britain spent more on bank bailouts last year than they have spent on Science since Jesus.

Yes you read that unnecessarily long headline correctly. How depressing is that? There is something deeply amiss with the world today, although to be fair it has always been pretty fucked. World Wars, the plague, horned helmeted hordes and so on.  These days, most of us are not immediately under threat and we have better means of seeing the world and all its flaws. And seeing how bollocks a lot of it is. We can do all this thanks to science.

Some people – morons or poorly educated mostly – seem to think of science as some kind of elite white jacketed group with their own agenda. Like a political party or all organized religions for example. This is not the case. Anyone can be a scientist and they all disagree, question and compete with each other. You are allowed to question and the consequences won’t be being kicked out of your politcal party or burnt at the stake. Science is simply the quest for knowledge. If you are interested in something you can do a test yourself and then write about it. You. At home right now. If your study is convincing more scientists and interested laymen will try and pick holes in your work. If it’s still sound they might conduct different experiments to see if your theory still holds true.

The only reason why science can be hard to get into is that it usually helps if you know a bit about your topic. A lot of science builds on what went before. It also helps if you learn scientific method so you can conduct a decent experiment. Other than that anyone can go for it and it is a noble pursuit. Read a science magazine they are great.

To be fair the scientific method wasn’t really in action around the time of Jesus. The first 1000 years was a struggle to survive against invasions and famines (although there was a bit of experimenting with farming and fun with fertilizers). Then religion pretty much kept everyone in check and in poverty for half a millennium. Then, thankfully, the renaissance happened and people were allowed to start looking at things that might make life better. I’m just talking the UK here. We started the industrial revolution and invented trains and TVs and computers and the Worldwide Web, for example. Other countries were also inventing things like cars and flying machines. Most of this on very little funding. In Britain the average person’s life and their life expectancy has improved decade after decade and it is nearly all down to science.

So let’s hear it for science. Imagine what we could achieve with a bit more cash. It would be nice if we could invade a few less countries, start a few less government campaigns that haven’t been fully thought through and perhaps persuade bankers that if they donated 10% of their bonuses to the betterment of mankind they may be more popular, and maybe mankind will progress a bit quicker.

Just a thought.

In case you are wondering where I heard the headline first, it was uttered by the always awesome Professor Brian Cox. Thanks to science, you can see it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=164OOKmx_rE&feature=colike

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Max Payne 3 review

Max Payne 3

Max Payne is back and he’s as mental as ever. I loved the first two although they feel like distant memories now. I do still remember certain scenes from them though and that’s impressive given that the second one came out nine years ago and I have already forgotten most of last week. It’s possible that is because I played them both twice as they were so brilliant.

Here’s the plot:

Max Payne is now retired and is drinking all the time in New Jersey. This seems like an admirable way to spend retirement to me but apparently it isn’t good. Max is then persuaded to move to Sao Paolo in Brazil to work as a bodyguard to a rich family. He thinks it will be a breeze – wet nursing some rich types at cocktail parties. Unfortunately for Max (but not for us the player – his godlike controllers), he is massively wrong. Thanks to corruption and dastardly plots and so forth, it turns into a regular killfest. Actually it isn’t that regular, it is a mega ultra uber killefest.

As a huge fan of the franchise, I was worried that they might change things too much. Not that worried though, this is Rockstar we are talking about, those guys and (probably) gals are legends. But gone are the comic book cut-scenes, which is a bit sad as they were quite cool. Also Max is a bit older and chubbier and is now in a sunny, colorful place as opposed to the slightly monochrome world of New York in winter. Consequently it doesn’t feel quite as noir as previous incarnations.

However, James McCaffrey is back as the voice of Payne and he is as cynical and gritty as ever. Although there are no comic book bits, there are some awesome cut scenes. Visually, there are a lot of movie edit effects as used by Tony Scott. Unlike Tony Scott’s more recent output (Domino for example), it isn’t massively overused to the point where you feel dizzy. Just enough to look cool.

Bullet time baby! (Thanks www.gamersbliss.com)

One thing that hasn’t changed thankfully, is bullet-time. This was one of the prime things that set the original apart and remains brilliant. If anything, it is even better. Although it was never always the greatest tactic to simply leap through a door, whack on the bullet-time and blow the shit out of everyone, it still remains one of the most fun things to do in any video game.

The gameplay is awesome. Max is easy to control and the adventure and sets are great. It is a very linear game but as a pay-off, some of the set pieces are awesome with sequences better than a lot of movies.

The multiplayer seems fun and has been hailed by some as ‘a game changer’, although people hail things with that epithet way too often for my liking. You can form gangs and even use bullet-time which is pretty mental. I only played a few games of team deathmatch and unlike a lot of other online shooters, I was matched against beginners. Whom I suspect hadn’t just finished the campaign because they were awful. It’s possible I was brilliant but going by early online forays in other games, that seems unlikely.

There are various other modes for replayability such as harder settings and ‘New York Minute’. This latter option was available on the older games as well and is essentially a race against time with bonus points for headshots and general coolness like: hitting bullet-time, leaping off a balcony and killing everyone before you hit the ground.

To conclude: I was a massive Max Payne fan and I still am. The mood may have shifted slightly to a bastard offspring of gritty noir and Tony Scott, but it still works. Above all, it’s fun. The first time you find yourself leaping into the fray, shifting into bullet-time with rounds tracing through the air, you will find yourself grinning. Especially as the final shot in a battle always follows the bullet to its bloody destination. In slow motion. That’s just class.

Two videos for this one because you’ve all been good. First up here is a gameplay trailer which shows you some bullet-time in case you have wasted your life and haven’t played the first two games.
http://youtu.be/rqjOXR9QnMo

And to conclude, the trailer:
http://youtu.be/WIzyXYmxbH4

 

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Gary Oldman campaigns against athletes acting

Someone posted this on Facebook and it made me laugh. In case you haven’t seen it you should, because it’s damned funny. Enjoy.

 

Comedy films become horror

As editing movies becomes easier there are an increasing number of re-cut films, sequences, and trailers out there on the interweb. Generally this is really annoying. You try and find a trailer for a movie or game on youtube and some pointless dink has make a fake one from old film footage. I assume they are spending hours of their time to satisfy a weird fetish of being hated and disliked on the internet. Maybe it’s cool, maybe they are twats. (I’m trying to sound balanced here, but it is totally the latter.)

So it is refreshing when someone does something clever. According to the blurb, a student decided to do a re-cut of Mrs Doubtfire to turn it into a horror flick for a film project. The result is genius and convincing. I don’t know if the student was the first but there are a lot on youtube now for all sorts of movies. If you fancy an utter waste of time enjoying these, you are in for a treat. Just so you know what I am talking about, here is the trailer:
http://youtu.be/U71P5FKFqfg

Going with the comedy to horror theme, here is another good one – Dumb and Dumber:
http://youtu.be/zLDx-BPgxxA

Willy Wonka had some genuinely scary moments anyway but check this out:
http://youtu.be/o9Cby33ZR98

There are others on youtube if you fancy. There are other mix-ups which are mildly funny at first but then peter out: Mary Poppins as a drug dealer, The Shining as a Seinfeld comedy, and so forth. It all depends on how much free time you have I guess. I wish I had more time for my ‘Dancing alien chicks of Star Wars and Star Trek’ video project but lamentably I don’t. Feel free students.
 

NASA videos Transit Of Venus and it’s astounding

This is great. NASA has released footage from its satellite the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). If you think money spent on space is a waste of time, please go elsewhere. Enjoy.

I turned 40 and have fled to Prague

Yikes! A few days ago, the 31st to be precise, I turned forty. That would officially make me middle aged if it wasn’t for the fact that life expectancy in the West is now over 82 and will be higher by the time I get up to my octogenarian milestone. So I have a couple of years. There’s also the fact that I have known deep down that I will live to 400 at least (I can’t reveal how at this moment but it’s going to happen).

Consequently I’m not too depressed. It did seem a good excuse to flee to the Czech Republic and revel in an orgy of beer for a week however. Or pivo as it’s quaintly known as here. I’ve been to Prague a ton of times over the last 15 years and love it. Not just for some of the best beer in the world either, although that is a plus.

Rybka Cafe

Prague is just so gloriously bohemian and the prefect place to write in. I’m not just saying that as a pretentious prick either – it is actually in Bohemia. It’s ideal for drinking coffee all morning in a cozy cool cafe while scribing, then in the afternoon you can switch to beer. Often in the same place. The beer is legendary, cheap, and so fresh and organic that you can drink buckets of it and if you drink some water before you go to bed you don’t even get a hangover. Unless you match it with an absinthe shot, in which case you may wish for death the next day.

 

The coffee is good too and the cool coffeeshops nearly always have free wifi. Plus you can smoke (although I am quitting at the end of this holiday). The Czechs do pretty well when it comes to famous writers – not as good as the English or Americans obviously – but Havel, Kundera, Kafka and others are an impressive intellectual group. Like the French and English creative types of yore, they used to enjoy being creative in cafes/bars. The cafes here are superb to write in and have been used by writers for decades. I miss that in England. Since the smoking ban, cafes in London are full of mothers who let their kids run riot while smiling proudly. It’s not good for writing in unless you are writing about a crèche or being irritable. The smoky cafe where intellectuals and students drank coffee and alcohol while discussing Kafka have sadly gone from the Uk.

Anyway, I will stop whinging about Britain. I’m happy. I’m writing and drinking beer in a place called the Rybka cafe and loving it. I’m surrounded scruffy unshaven types drinking wine and ale and chatting about literature and art or tapping on laptops or (in my case) my iPad. The walls are lined with books, art and, a little bit bizarrely, typewriters. Soon we will move to somewhere similar but different.

This is the sort of lifestyle I intend to lead for the next decade. One full of booze, writing, coffee and culture. Also, if this blog entry is anything to go by, a hugely pretentious and up my own ass decade. Prague seems a good place for it.

Or possibly Berlin.

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Skyfall trailer

Bond! James Bond! The new trailer for the much delayed Skyfall is finally with us. I love Bond films and I think that the new batch are great. This one feels like it will be the final part of the Bond trilogy for some reason, even though it shouldn’t be. Bond is immortal after all, he just changes his looks occasionally. Like a mega violent womanizing Doctor Who without the time travel.

Anyway, enough blather. Here’s the Skyfall trailer:
http://youtu.be/24mTIE4D9JM