new Who campfire trailer

it's got great imagery except... it's got me worried. Because of stuff that's been leaked about the finale (well what you expect when you're filming in the streets of Cardiff? You're bound to attract some attention.) Anyhooo Donna sat around a campfire telling a story (and oh, reminding me of last season's Martha playing her apostle bit to the Doctor's Doddy the House-elf messiah) and the last line - "He'll come back to save us and this time I'll be ready - and just like that - pouff - we'll be gone." Why does that sound like a lead in to yet another 'reset button'? Or is that just me projecting?

Justin - Time - timelord?

Just flicking through channels to catch a Justin Trousersnake concert - and what's he wearing? Only a tight suit and tie worn with white sneakers - er hello, nick ideas much?

DR Book Club: Daydream Believers | Danger Room from

DR Book Club: Daydream Believers | Danger Room from

Top 10 Evil Human Experiments

Top 10 Evil Human Experiments - The List Universe: "Human experimentation and research ethics evolved over time. On occasion, the subjects of human experimentation have been prisoners, slaves, or even family members. In some notable cases, doctors have performed experiments on themselves when they have been unwilling to risk the lives of others. This is known as self-experimentation. This is a list of the 10 most evil and unethical experiments carried out on humans."

Will and CGI

So I'm sat there watching 'I am Legend' and thinking 'oh this is isn't too bad' and I went up thinking that right up to the point when the CGI vampire/zombies came in. *Sigh* I know CGI has come a long way these past few years - but they're still nowhere near convincing enough yet. If the film makers had been really smart they'd have kept all the monsters in the dark where we could never see them properly - it would have been a lot, lot more realistic and a lot more scary that way. The very first scene where we (hardly) see them in the dark was really good. If they had kept it like that throughout the rest of the film... But oooooh no, they had to let the effects department show off what they could do. So it's zombies running and racing and even crawling up walls, and flying through the air - an alpha male's close-up who has a mouth that can open much, much too wide without dislocating his jaw... and it all looks too much like one of Will Smith's last films - 'I, Robot' - another film where I thought the CGI was totally unconvincing - and they were supposed to be robots. It's Will Smith vs a not-too-distant relative of Mario for crying out loud.

Computer animation never works for me because there's obviously no gravity, no weight, no resistance, everything moves in an unnaturally smooth, far too perfect way, there's no muscles or skeletons involved. In fact the only places I think CGI excels is in depicting architecture, space ships - where there's no gravity and so you can expect a weird smoothness of motion, and out and out hyper-realistic cartoon style animation that the likes of Pixar do best. At least there you can easily forgive it's shortcomings because it's not ever trying to be anything other than what it is - it's honest to it's materials.

Which reminds me - as I was watching it and thinking 'what is it with Will Smith and CGI - he's done so many films with it now; the aforementioned 'I, Robot' (that was rubbish), the MIB films (amusing enough), 'Independence Day' (awful), and then they came to the scene where he mouths along with Donkey out of Shriek. As if to rub the CGI point home just for my benefit.

So it turns out - I still prefer 'proper monsters' that is -real actors or animatronics covered in latex, and paint and dripping goo - even now they're still the most convincing and frightening. CGI is just a cheap cop-out and Hollywood has come to rely on it far too heavily these days.

lost in ashes of torchwood

I hate it that there are so many people out in the interwebs who are better at writing about tv than me.

But any hoooo...

I'm still liking 'Ashes to Ashes' - but wish there was a bit more going on somehow. I notice there's an awful lot of red in the costumes and set design. I guess that's the blood from her having been shot in the real world. (But also the red and black combo was very big in the 80s for some reason) and apparently there's to be another series - it's going to be really depressing if she just dies at the end of all this.

By and large I've been feeling very let down by a lot of the episodes of Torchwood - but I liked the last one quite a bit with all the characters getting back stories at long last. I particularly liked the 1920s Torchwood and the female agents (although they come across as just a bit too 20th century 'girl power'-ish. I'd have liked them to have been more stiff-upper lip, prim and proper and starchy.) In fact I want to see them explore this further - a steampunk Torchwood battling Victorian/Georgian era space aliens would entertain me no end. But then I really liked 'the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' the books and the film.

Lost... oh hum. That's been so patchy -again. Can't say I cared much for the 'Meet Kevin Johnson' episode - I'm guessing they've laying it on thick for the Michael character only to allow him to redeem himself further down the line... and what's the odds that he have to sacrifice his life in order to do that? He'll probably tell one of the 'Oceanic 6' to "tell Walt I love/d him" before - I dunno blowing something up or dying in a hail of bullets - or something so they can escape. Although what would be much cooler would be for Michael not to die - remain on the island and then have (older taller) Walt going back to the Island to rescue (or to be with) his dad.

Oh, and as for killing off Rousseau - they'd better not have done that. Because that would be a very stupid thing for the writers to have done. even the dreary dullards Paolo and Nikki got a whole flashback episode to themselves before they were unceremoniously killed off in that tedious filler episode. But then again - the more they've shown of a character - usually the less I've liked them... oh dear, what does that tell you about the show? It also tells you I must have a masochistic streak to be still putting myself through this.


Spoilt children 'disrupt schools'

BBC NEWS | Education | Spoilt children 'disrupt schools':

"If you are in a situation where you have got to work, you can't be with your child and you can't be giving it the sort of values that the older generation did."

Teachers 'find drugs and weapons'.

WTF is going on here? Are we all going to hell in a hand basket or what?

Oooooh Donna


Am I bothered?
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balcony view

I'm slightly obsessed with this sea front building... ever since I realised it had appeared in an episode of 'Men Behaving Badly'. It was odd watching an old repeat of this sitcom in my new flat - knowing that only yards away was the very building that was in the show.

Now after the relative success of the new Warnes Building next door - developers have been given the go ahead to 'convert'* this building into (yet more) luxury apartments. Country councils up and down the UK have been doing this - allowing property developers to build nice looking apartments and housing estates for well, millionaires. Except none of these councils seem to be able to grasp the plain and simple fact that just aren't enough millionaires in this country that can afford those places... so all these buildings end up standing empty. (There was a very similar phenomenon that took place in the Eighties - where because of the boom years - developers went mad building lots and lots of office space - and totally forgot all about building houses for people to live in. Of course boom turned to bust - and oh so many brand new office buildings stood empty for want of any new businesses to move into them.) Of course we're now on the brink of a massive credit crunch and those cheap mortgage deals that have feed the housing price rises and rises and rises of the past decade or so - are no longer to be had. I've got a feeling that once these apartments have been finished - there's a good chance they're going to be standing empty for a long while.

2006 article in the Argus.

*I say convert - because I think the whole interior is being totally gutted and rebuilt from scratch with only the facade remaining in place but radically cleaned and tidied up - that's if it doesn't accidentally collapse meantime.

Has market fundamentalism had its day?

Johann Hari: Has market fundamentalism had its day? -
"From the trauma of the Great Depression to 1973, there was a broad consensus across the democratic world that markets were absolutely essential to generate wealth, but they will also cause all sorts of problems if they are left unregulated. Economists like JM Keynes and JK Galbraith taught us that if you abolish markets, you get starvation; but if you abolish all the democratic checks and balances on markets, you get a system that eats itself. Unregulated businesses will cause unsustainable levels of pollution and inequality, and ultimately start pursuing unhinged business models that cause the whole system to collapse."

The cult of Holga: The sixties' camera makes a comeback

The cult of Holga: The sixties' camera makes a comeback - Features, Art & Architecture -

Lost Remaining Mysteries

I keep meaning to compile my own list - featuring such mysteries as 'why is Miles such a dick?' 'why is Charles Widmore such a dick' 'why can't anyone give a plain straight answer to anything?' but until I get around to it - here's someone else's list...

Lost Remaining Mysteries | Lost Showguide |

Lost vs the Prisoner

With ITV2 having recently started a re-run of 'The Prisoner' - I've had these thoughts running around my head: Here's a comparison chart...

(which for the life of me I can't get to play nice in blogger. You'd tink it'd be eeeeasy. But I so suck at html. Actually for no readily apparent reason blogger has decided to whang in about a thousand 'break' tags before the table starts... bizarre. Here's what it should look like: link.)




The protagonists wake up to find
themselves in mysterious location totally cut off from the outside

The protagonist wakes up to find
himself in mysterious location totally cut off from the outside world.

Locals 'The Others' that seem
brainwashed and either can't or won't ever tell the truth or answer
direct questions.

Mind games ahoy. Who's good? Who's bad? Who's being

manipulated? Who's on who's side?
Locals 'The Villagers' that seem
brainwashed and either can't or won't ever tell the truth or answer
direct questions.

Mind games ahoy. Who's good? Who's bad? Who's being manipulated? Who's
on who's side?
Mysterious unseen leader: Jacob

Mysterious unseen leader: Number One.

Strange other-worldly supernatural
creature – once described as a security device. 'Smokey'

Strange other-worldly security
devices I.E. the giant white balloons – affectionally called

Complicated scientific high
technology laboratories conducting various strange experiments.

Complicated scientific high
technology laboratories conducting various strange experiments.

Heightened paranoia – no
one knows who they can trust or believe.

Heightened paranoia – no
one knows who they can trust or believe.

Dharma brand logo on everything.

Penny-farthing brand on everything.

Surveillance cctv. A bit aged now
– but still functional.

Surveillance cctv.

Comfy suburbia for the others at

Comfy suburbia with a sinister twist.

Korg Turns Your DS Into a Music Machine

OOOhh interestin'

Korg Turns Your DS Into a Music Machine

GateWorld - Tapping talks Sanctuary, Atlantis

Mmmmm. Looking at the preview it looks a bit like an Americanised version of Torchwood vs the weevils or something.

[PS - talking of Torchwood have I mentioned how rubbish I think this current series has been?]

GateWorld - Tapping talks Sanctuary, Atlantis

Yi Yeon

(NB: this little rant won't make any sense until you've watched the episode first.)


I had thought that with the cut-down shortened seasons we'd seen the last of 'Lost' churning out their pointless filler episodes - that we were going to get more meat than potatoes up until to the end of the show's run. But oh no... big filler episode here and more annoyingily - one that self-consciously and most self-congratulatory plays with it's own format. I can see them now in the writer's staff room:

A: Hey, you know how for the first three seasons we had a flashback every episode to establish and explore each character's background?

B: Well d'uh. Yeah.

A: Then last season we went all 'flash forwards' with Jack - the first time playing it like it was a flash back.

B: Hell yeah, we were so completely pleased with ourselves we went on a whole weekend champagne and coke bender.

A: Well this time how about having (tee hee, tee hee) ...both. In the same episode and playing it so everyone watching will think it's all in the same time frame. 'Cause - y'know, we're all about playing with timelines and that now... us having got that copy of 'Dummy's Guide to Stephen Hawking' and found a few wikipedia articles on all that stuff.

B: Yeah - that'll be great and everyone will acknowledge our genius and we'll get even more awards and ...hey, I'll get the champagne shall I...


Not that the payoff wasn't quite touching - but they could have achieved the same ends without Jin's flashback at all - that was completely and utterly pointless - a silly piece of rubbish screwball comedy just to deliver the 'I've only been married two months' line. All they were missing at that point was a "whaaa-whaaa-whaaa" on the soundtrack.

And as for Michael on the Freighter - oh wow, didn't see that one coming. Oh no. Not with Harold's name in the opening credits in every episode. They needed a quick 'Whaaa-whaaa-whaaaa' on that one too.

Felt Good - a photoset on Flickr

I remember having a fuzzy felt farm

Felt Good - a photoset on Flickr

it's my tern

[I'm so narked that I took a few movies with my new camera at 'Living Coasts' only to later find that the sound was turned off by default. The fantastic noise a lot of them were making was one of the main reasons I wanted to film them in the first place. *sigh* The aztec terns were particularly chatty.]

when is it going to be?

when is it going to be?
Originally uploaded by groc
Dammit - it's hard enough waiting as it is....

Dear ISP, I am not a target market

Dear ISP, I am not a target market.

mmmm - a 'choice' between having any old commercial thrown at me - or especially targeted ads? Mmmmm - think I'd chose none of the above.

Republican Ideology Has Broken the Economy

Hale "Bonddad" Stewart: Republican Ideology Has Broken the Economy
"Unchecked capitalism is a bad idea. That's what we've had. And it has failed."