Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Movie / Film Review - Lions for Lambs

Went to the cinema the other night to finally see the Bourne Ultimatum, an excellent film. Whilst I was waiting for the film to come on there was a trailer for the latest Tom Cruise turd, "Lions for Lambs" - can you see which direction this is going?
I think that the last thing the world needs at the moment is anymore American films about Iraq or Afghanistan. No matter how good the intentions of the film maker are (in this case Robert Redford - pretty well known for being an outspoken Democrat) I think that the only films that can really begin to approach this topic are going to be real films about real situations shot in a realistic way that takes a balanced approach to the views of the middle east and the western world. There certainly seems to be an extreme shortage of such films when they are needed this most.
Ok, it's maybe a bit harsh to call this a review of Lions for Lambs when i've only seen the trailer but I must admit i've got a very good instinct for spotting a steaming hot turd of a film from a mile off and this has a vapour trail a mile long.

I've said it before and i'll say it again, Cruise needs to break free from the mould if he really wants to get his paws on an oscar. Lions for Lambs just isn't the kind of films that's going to do it. From his recent film choices it would seem that he's just not really interested in it anymore. Cruise needs to get to grips with playing a homosexual role or a down right bad guy, or even better a down right nasty homosexual that dies at the end of the film. Now that would get him an oscar. It certainly won't be playing some Tom Cruise plays a senator playing Tom Cruise roll??
So, i'll certainly eat my words if Lions for Lambs turns out to be the greatest film ever but I think that anyone who catches even the trailer will agree, it just looks terrible....

Thursday, September 13, 2007

World Politics, Naomi Klein, Consumerism, Anti-Capitalist Movement, Man Good or Evil

What a blog topic if ever there was one! It may be a heafty topic for a Thursday afternoon but I was reading an article on the Beeb regarding a lady called Naomi Klein. It seems she wrote a book called "no-logo" and she's a pretty big advocate of the anti-capitalist movement. I'm not so much moved to talk about her, more that reading about Naomi Klein has made me think just for a moment about the whole big picture.

Growing up as a kid in the 80's was a bit depressing I must admit. There was the obvious unemployment, boys from the blackstuff / bread mentality but beyond that was a child's constant fear of nuclear war. We had things like Raymond Briggs "When the Wind Blows" to contend with and although there was the optimism that it would never really happen, it was always something at the back of your mind growing up. I think the main political theme that I was aware of as a teenager was the battle between east and west, democracy and communism, freedom and oppression. I also guess that in a funny way - probably similar to those growing up in the first or second world wars - I thought that if freedom and democracy won this battle, there would be a bright great future and there would be an end to conflict completely. A bit like the Iraq war, what happens when the battle is won more important than winning the battle at all.

Probably the most important lesson to learn from all of this is not so much that democracy is far from perfect, more that everything cannot be neatly divided into black and white like many people would have us believe. Bush would have us believe that the war on terror is a case of good vs. evil but it's not. No more than the struggle between the IRA and the UK was a struggle of good vs. evil. If that were the case, McGuiness and Adams being in government means that evil has won, yet there's currently peace in NI?

It's maybe true that history's winners get to write history itself (I guess you just need a few select mates at Wikipedia these days and you've done it!) but leading back to Naomi Klein I think it's quite easy to see capitalism as the big evil of our time. I feel though that the problem isn't the neo-conservatives taking advantage of poorer countries and peoples, it's more that mankind quite simply isn't as nice as we'd like to think it is!
People on the whole think that they are alright, nice people who keep themselves to themselves and do little harm to anyone. We watch Tribe and Planet Earth and think that it's a shame that societies and animal environments are dying out. The truth is though that we're all responsible for what is happening in the world, we are better off because someone else is worse off and it's something that some people seem to have a hard time acknowledging.

For those who have a difficulty in "accepting the matrix" as it were, there are little tricks and techniques to help you get over it. These include, innocent smoothies, going on peace and environmental marches and maybe even books by people like Naomi Klein (which I haven't actually read to be fair but I will do to give her views a chance!).

It's a cold, hard, fact but man will most likely multiply and consume the resources of this planet till we either kill each other, move on or die out completely. Let's try not to full ourselves that we are special, or gods children or good at all. Like I said though, it's not all black and white, we do some cool things too, every once in a while...

The War on Fundamentalism - Latest Bin Laden Video

Bin Laden - "It has now become clear to you and the entire world the impotence of the democratic system and how it plays with the interest of the peoples and their blood by sacrificing soldiers and populations to achieve the interests of the major corporations".

Now, I hate to say it but if you stop for a second, forget "the war on terrorism" and have a look at what this guy's saying it's a bit scary actually. He actually has a valid point. Now I don't want my freedom of speech taken away and I quite like the fact that my girlfriend and I are on an equal footing and she doesn't have to walk ten paces behind me all the time. Head scarfs and face masks are also just a bit of a fashion faux pas that although novel, would be rather scary if it were the norm. Despite all of this though, he has got a bit of a point. We are a bit sheep-like in the way that we let corporations run all over everyone else in the name of democracy. It's a tough one, i'll grant you that.

As Jim Morrison said, "they've got the guns but, we've got the numbers!" only thing is that we've got the guns and they happen to have the numbers. Regardless of Osama's plans, this world is going to become a muslim world eventually. The christians aren't multiplying like they used to, aetheists have no voice in society and by their very nature will never unite against any other culture, so it kind of leaves us with Islamic law whether we like it or not. If not tomorrow then certainly in a few hundred years or so.

Looking at both sides from a bit of a neutral point of view, we don't really need a war on terrorism, we need a war on fundamentalism both Islamic and Christian. The main problem though (and this is why fundamentalism will win) is that no one will ever stand against both of these and democrats and liberals tend to avoid confrontation all together. It's a tricky one and something worth having a think about...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Plastic Paddys

God, I can't stand plastic paddys! Ok, i'm from the West of Scotland and I was born a catholic and ok i even support Celtic but I just can't stand this plastic paddy crap, i've had enough of it! Obviously i've got nothing against Ireland or the Irish but you know the type of person I mean. They claim they're Irish when they're bloody well not. Were you born in Ireland? No! Are your parents Irish? No! Well how the fuck are you Irish then, tell me that??? You're as bad the bloody Americans that claim they're part "Scotch". Arrrrgghhh, rant over...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Excrement, shit, loo roll, bog roll on train tracks!

It's something that's bugged me for years but i've never really heard anyone else talking about it. Next time you're in a major railway station perhaps waiting on a train, take a look down at the tracks and the chances are you will see what looks like evident of someone having snuck onto the tracks, done a shite, wiped their arse and then kindly left the bog roll to rot over a long period of time.

I had an arguement with my girlfriend about the source of these railway skid marks and I think the only reason why she argued against my explanation was because she didn't really want to believe the fact that in this day in age we were still dumping shit onto the tracks. Unfortunately it is true - why else would they ask you not to go in the stations?

I remember years ago being on some French and Italian trains that simply had a flap, so when you flushed you saw the tracks going by. However, everyone I know seems to be under the impression that we would never do such a thing in the UK. Wrong - we seem to do it all the time but pretend that we don't. I went looking for some evidence and it seems that having to view the evidence in my local train station was nothing compared to what some railtrack workers have had to endure. On many occassions they have been known to get sprayed by trains on the way past.

If you link take a look at the link to the bbc story above you'll see the great response from GNER....

"There is no risk to the health of passengers..... and track workers have been given health advice!"

Wonder what that advice was? Duck? Find a new job that doesn't subject you to getting human shite sprayed on your face on a regular basis?

Datarock - Gigs - Datarock Gig Review

Been meaning to put a post up about these guys for some time now. In fact, pretty lazy of me not to have mentioned Datarock up until now as I reckon Datarock is one of the best bands i've heard in many a year! I'd certainly say that it's worth catching a datarock gig if you get the chance.

Here's a quick blast of "Fa Fa Fa"...

I think the first time I was at a Datarock gig was 5th October 2006 at the Arches in Glasgow. It was part of the New Wave NME Tour and they were on with the Klaxons (me and my girlfriend left early that night so missed most of the Klaxons, whoops!). The Datarock guys pretty much blew us away that night with the tracksuits, small casio keyboards and a right mix of styles. On listening to "I Used to Dance with my Daddy" and "Computer Camp Love" we were hooked! Anyway, the next time my girlfriend and I managed to catch up with them was in Glasgow's King Tuts which was another fantastic night from the guys as they passed round the mic for a good old Karaoke blast at "Fa Fa Fa".

Datarock's self titled album is great and it's the first time in a long time i've pretty much loved every song on an album. Keep up the good work guys and make sure you're back in Glasgow soon!


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Limmy.com Videos - the Edinburgh Fringe Show & New Glasgow Shows!

When I was at the Edinburgh Fringe last week my girlfriend and I went to see Limmy again. We'd been to see him at his Blackfriars show a few months ago and that was a pretty good night. This time he failed to dissapoint again with new videos, characters and short plays from his world or strange slants and recording daytime tv...

I read Limmy's blog on a regular basis but I'd totally forgotten to check out the Limmy.com video section in a while so here are a couple of videos from there. First up is Limmy's take on "An American Werewolf in London", enjoy....

Not bad! Here's another of Limmy's videos. If you want to have a gander through the rest of Limmy's short films click here for his youtube shorts!

Oh yeh, if you want to see him in Glasgow he's doing a show on 20th September in Blackfriars, as part of the Merchant City Festival. One at 8pm and one at 10pm!

Depressed? - Marrakesh Express - Crosby, Stills & Nash

How could this foot tapping wonder tune fail to cheer you up if you were feeling a bit down and under the weather! Yup, Marrakesh Express by Crosby, Stills and Nash (no Young!) is an uber-classic guaranteed to cheer anyone up if they've got a touch of the Owen Wilsons. Get well soon Owen!

Now a common mistake might be to rush out and get the "best of" based on this recommendation but just be warned that for every artificial high, there's a low lurking round the corner. A prime example is the haunting "
Helplessly Hoping".

It's a bit of a roller coaster for the heart that even the hardest souls won't be able to listen to it without thinking of some missed love in primary school. So Owen, be warned and get a good friend to just download Marrakesh Express from itunes or some dodgy russian site and not the whole album, even if the ruskies are offering it for 10 cents!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Interesting Fact of the Day! No. 16 - Drifter Chocolate Bars

I'm not a big fan of offering free advertising to multinational organisations that suck the life out of new born babies in third world countries just for fun, or use small labrador puppies flung into the air for target practice, but I have to give a big mention to the Nestle Drifter bar! It really is the unsung hero of the chocolate bar world.

It's never had the popular appeal of the Twix or the Kitkat but it just offers so much more than either of these in terms of it's bite. I remember when I was a student and money was tight, I had to buy the bar that was going to give me the most fill for my money. It had to be the drifter every time. It was a few pence cheaper than the rest and by god it tasted great.

So in tribute to this fine snack, here are a few facts for you:

  • The Drifter was launched in 1980 by Rowntree.
  • It takes an hour from start to finish to make a Drifter bar.
  • More than 90 million are sold each year.
  • It currently outsells both the Timeout and the Picnic

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Lai Massacre - Oliver Stone Movie

I was reading the other day there about Bruce Willis signing up for the new Oliver Stone movie which is based on the real life My Lai Massacre that took place in Vietnam in 1968. After hearing about this, I thought i'd go off and find out a bit more about the My Lai Massacre.

In short, it doesn't make nice reading or viewing for that matter. In total between 350 and 500 civilians, mostly women and children were cut down by US soldiers. Eye witness reports from the time said that as locals bowed to welcome their guests they were beaten with rifle butts, women were raped and children were shot as they huddled for shelter. To read more by all means have a look through this further information on the My Lai Massacre...

It's a pretty horrifying story if you take the time to read through it but for me I think the main lesson is that when we think of massacres in this day in age, we tend to think of Darfur, Rwanda or Cambodia's killing fields. Although it wasn't on the same scale, reading this breaks the myth that these acts were only carried out by rougue communist states, right wing fascists or groups intent on acts of ethnic cleansing. Unfortunately if any man is placed in a particular set of circumstances they seem to be capable of these kind of attrocities whether they are christian, jew, muslim, communist or democrat. All too often we in the western world think that we are above this kind of behaviour and for man to move forward I think we have to accept that we are all the same animal.

Anyway, have a read, let me know what you think...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Simon Amstell Review - Fringe 2007

Went to see Simon Amstell at the Edinburgh Fringe on Monday night. It was his last night and in fact the last night of the Fringe itself. He was playing in pleasance one that holds a few hundred people. My girlfriend and I got there a bit early so we thought we'd just join the queue that only had a few people in it when we got there. As they started letting us into the theatre, the stewards herded everyone down to the front row and we ended up dead centre, second row in. Must admit, there's always something that makes me nervous about sitting down the front row at any comedy gig (i'd had previously had a rather experience in Benidorm in my younger days when there was only one seat left down the front for some scouse comedian and he'd ripped the piss out of me for half the act!). We'd been to see Micky Flanagan a few nights before and hats off to the guy he'd encouraged people to not be afraid of the front row as he wasn't "one of those kind of comedians". Anyway, Simon Amstell came onto the stage and to tell you the truth it was quite a comfortable, informal experience. I'd only really known him from Buzzcocks and a couple of glances at pop world and to tell you the truth I thought he'd be quite funny but a bit of a prick. Contrary to my preconceptions though, he seems like quite a genuine and funny guy.

The show was called "No Self" and I think the idea was a "i'm 27 and everyone thinks i'm a bit of a prick sometimes but everyone else is just pretending that they're not selfish, i'm just being honest!". He put his case down quite well and although he was funny it was also quite an interesting and honest chat. He had a bit of banter with a few people in the front row, particularly some goatee bearded twat who deserved to have the piss taken out of him (why do these people always turn up to these things by themselves and sit in the front row??). After a while he was chatting about relationships and said "are there any couples here", I looked round at my girlfriend and he homed right in on us, "well you just looked at each other so obviously you are a couple!" I must confess that my heart was racing at this point (I was having Benidorm flashbacks!). Anyway, my girlfriend and I kept our mouths shut and like wasp buzzing round someone doing the standing still trick, he buzzed off pretty quickly.

All in all though, it was a good show so i'd recommend it if Simon Amstell is in your area in the future!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Interesting Fact of the Day! No. 15 - Deus ex Machina!

"Deus ex Machina" is a latin term which basically means "God from the machine". Have you ever watched a film or play that takes you down a complicated route and then suddenly when you think that your hero is doomed, some unexplicable and highly unlikely event happens that neatly ties all of the plot together?

A bit like it was the author or playwright's afterthough to get them out of a jam, "Deus ex Machina" is often used as a get out of jail card for the writer.

Arguably a classic example of this is Han Solo turning up to save Luke at the end of Star Wars. A fine moment in cinema history but in reality a bit of a tag on ending.

Like any literary tool, it can be used to great effect. One example is in Woody Allen's 1995 comedy Mighty Aphrodite. The heroine finally meets the man of her dreams when his helicopter is forced to land on the road in front of her car. Allen wryly remarks to the camera, "Talk about a Deus Ex Machina!"

Monday, August 27, 2007

Support your local blog!!

If you have a local blog, I reckon you should support it. Must admit it wasn't something i'd thought about much before but I registered on a rather interesting site called www.scottishblogs.co.uk. Now I was rather selfish at first as I was just registering in hope that a few people might trip over this site as a consequence but as I started reading on there are some pretty interesting sites in there.

I think i mentioned it before but there's this one site where the guy's explaining what it's like to be in a Scottish prison, he only kept at it for a few posts but it's all gripping stuff.

There are a couple of good local blogs for my local area (G41, leyton.org and Southside Happenings). Must admit, I stay next to Queens Park in Glasgow and I was a bit ashamed the other day there when I read that the latest update meeting by the park representatives was attended by just three of the local residents.

Hmm, sign of the times I guess. We kind of like of a nice community but when it comes to really getting involved we realise that we're all recluses at heart! Anyway, even if you don't feel like dragging yourself along to a neighbourhood watch meeting just get out there and find a local blog.....!!

Italian Football on Channel 5

I've decided that seen as the Premiership's over for this year (and it's only the 27th August!) that i'm going to give the Italian football a right good go this season. What with the return of "the old lady" from serie B and the old favourite Napoli I think it's a good time to put last year's fiasco behind us and have a good old watch of Italy's finest.

So I sat down on Sunday to watch the Inter game. Now I was prepared for channel 5 coverage but it wasn't till I settled down to the dull nasal speech impediment of Mark Chapman that my bubble kind of burst a bit. OK, so they've drafted in some Italian eye candy in the form of Laura Esposto but as nice as she is, it just makes Mark look uglier and sound more like the man with the perma-cold!

For Italian football you just couldn't beat James Richardson sitting in some Piazza with an espresso and that smug "I've got the best job in the world" look on his face. Once you overcame the smugness he was actually a pretty nice guy and you always respected his ability to read La Gazzetta dello Sport and let us know what was happening in prole speak.

I'll carry on with watching channel 5's coverage (don't get me started on John Barnes commentary) but they might as well have drafted in the prick who killed John Lennon because anything would be better than this shite!

Oh yeh, someone should also tell them that the wall would probably be a nice place to put the map of Italy rather than the bloody floor!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rockness 2008 Lineup

Dunno if you managed to catch Rockness 2007 but it was pretty much fantastic. At first glance I must admit the lineup had stars but lacked a bit of backup from the 2nd tier bands but a sterling performance from the Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk and Groove Armada meant that there was just no way that you could regret going. It also led me and many others to take the gamble of booking Rockness 2008 tickets regardless of the lineup.

As a festival I think it really matured this year. I've read a few reviews that critised the dance led lineup but I think it seemed to keep the crowd good last year, there was certainly a jolly ned free atmosphere and quite a lot of families and older revellers mixing with the hard core ravers.

Ok so the Rockness 2008 lineup's going to have go a long way to beat the holy trinity of last year. I think we can live without the Manics next year as the rather small crowd at the main stage and the near bursting point of the tent proved when Daft Punk took to the stage. In fact it was probably this miscalculation on the promoters front that prooved the only blip in a great festival.

It's pretty difficult to have a stab at the Rockness 2008 lineup but I think that Calvin Harris has to be there. As far as the big guns go it will be a bit difficult. I'd certainly like to see one of the big three return again this year, with probably Groove Armada the most likely to turn up as they seem to love any excuse to come up to Scotland. I wouldn't rule out a return by Fat Boy Slim and I reckon that would probably bolster up what will be a critical year for the festival.

As a couple of outsiders i'd maybe go for the predictable Prodigy (it's the first band everyone seems to be touting for the Rockness 2008 lineup) but I really don't think their later material stands up well enough and what was once one of the finest sounds in the business now seems a bit too harsh and heavy to grace the shores of Loch Ness. My second outsider is Air, who I think would make a good addition to the Rockness lineup for 2008.

Finally I reckon LCD soundsystem would provide a great balance if their talents could be secured. I'd certainly be quite interested to see what other people's thoughts on the Rockness 2008 lineup would be??

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Apparently the world's first underwater restaurant! We're going out for dinner love, i'll just fetch my speedos!!

This innovative restaurant is the first of its kind in the world, and is part of a US $5 million re-build of Rangalifinolhu Island, one of the twin islands that make up Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa. To tell you the truth though, I don't reckon it'll be long before MacDonalds join in, it'll probably be as close as a fillet of fish actually get to having been in the sea... read more | digg story

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Who Killed More People in the Bible? God or Satan?

Quite interesting that someone's actually thought of doing this in the first place. I certainly don't fancy the job of trailing through the bible to chalk this one up!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ten Pin Bowlers are now using steroids!

Yes, it's now spread to sports that you didn't even think of as sports!

After a record number of perfect 300 games, Michigan officials got suspicious and decided to run some tests. HALF of the 50 bowlers they tested were positive for steroids. Maybe it's time to bite the bullet and have a steroid Olympics...?

You know you want to find out how fast a man can really run!! Hey, 2012 could be one to never forget. Besides the sale of drugs might help fund London's Olympics!!

I have to admit that even after all these years, Ben Johnson's Olympic run was the best Olympic performance i've ever seen.

read more | digg story

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The 20 Worst Lyrics In History

Here's a link to someone's take on the 20 worst lyrics of all time. Now I must admit there are some pretty bad ones in there but i'm pretty sure there are some significantly worse ones hanging around. I'll be putting my mind to this over the next few days and you'll be the first to know as soon as I think of anything. In the meantime, here's a starter for 10...

Yes, it's good old Cat Stevens (er, sorry I meant Yusuf Islam...)

" I love my dog as much as I love you
But you may fade, my dog will always come through"

I think that's pretty poor as far as lyrics go. I can just see him running this one past his wife. It's also like he left something off the second line. What is this dog coming through with? Slippers, the paper? Or maybe just with a hug because his poor wife has faded...?

Anyway, if you can think of some piss poor lyrics just let me know your thoughts!

read more | digg story

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Celery and Football don't mix!

Apparently Chelsea have banned three fans after they were caught throwing celery at the recent FA cup game against Spurs...

Two were caught on the day of the match and another was identified to the club.

I believe there's some Chelsea song about celery and women's bottoms but i'm still a bit in the dark about this. All I know is that you'd have to be pretty unlucky to get grassed up for being a celery chucker!

Oh yeh, as an extra fact of the day...

Did you know that liquefied, celery juice can be taken for joint and urinary tract inflammations, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cystitis, or urethritis, for weak conditions, and for nervous exhaustion.

Celery leaves were also found in Tutankhamun's tomb but as yet no charges have been brought against the boy king...

CIA's Farewell disinformation campaign - Cold War, Espionage, KGB Spies and Other Interesting Things!

I've been reading quite a lot about spies at the moment. In particular the Cambridge spy ring which reads as good as any fictional spy novel ever could.

Maybe it's just because the political climate has changed so much in recent years but I'm starting to look back at the Cold War with considerable nostalgia? Although it can be viewed as a giant stalemate that in fact actually created stability throughout the world (quite interesting to look at game theory if you get the chance), there were still a wide range of indirect conflicts such as Vietnam and Korea that cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Cold War pawns.

Anyway, I'd like to draw your attention to the story of the CIA's "Farewell disinformation campaign". Again, like much in the Cold War it reads like something that would require little treatment to be adapted for the big screen (I think I'm still reeling a bit from the disappointment of the Good Shepherd). Anyway, if you fancy a humerous tail that sheds a bit more light on some of the USSR's main problems in the eighties, have a gander at this great article I found on www.damninteresting.com!


Monday, March 26, 2007

Ribena and the missing vitamin C...

Well, it should serve as an example to young scientists everywhere. Don't accept something just because someone tells you that it's the case...

As these two young girls found out when they carried out some simple experiments on the kid's favourite, Ribena!

Movie Reviews - 300

300 is an amazing film. Quite violent, as you would expect from a Frank Miller adaptation but the look and style of the film just make it a joy to watch.

Hats off to
Gerard Butler. Although the Spartans can look like a bunch of Chipendales at some points, Butler's King Leonidas much like Crowe's Gladiator is a super hero that you believe in. Not everyone can pull this off (Brad Pitt in Troy..).

Anyway, get to the cinema and see it!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

More Pay for Councillors!!

This poor councillor has had to resort to selling his partner to make ends meet! Obviously they're not getting paid enough and I think we should start a charitable fund for underpaid councillors now before it's too late...

Btw, he doesn't even look like the shady sort, does he?

There is the classic line from the story though...

In mitigation, Andrew Fisher said she had consented to the work and that it was to help them out of financial difficulties.

"He thought both of them could put themselves forward to earn money on the site (an online prostitution notice board!), but to nobody's surprise there was little interest in him."

Friday, March 16, 2007

Zimbabwe, Mugabe and the bloody disgrace that we should all be ashamed of!!

We should be ashamed of ourselves! We "care" for the security of democracy by spending billions on a new Trident system that'll do nothing more than antagonise everyone on the planet with the exception of the US.

We also "care" about the environment by introducing stealth taxes for people who just want to go on the odd holiday or see friends and family.

The bottom line is that we pretend to care, we don't really give a shit about anyone on this planet except ourselves. The bold few who are prepared to say are cut down by the sheep who like to live in some strange "Matrix" style world that allows them to sleep at night.

People are dying every day of the most basic and preventable things, people don't have medicine or electricity but we keep on preventing them from even helping themselves. We get rid of Saddam cos he's apparently bad but we let Mugabe do this to the only opposition. Why's there no dodgy dossier kicking around here??

We love security and we love the environment but we clearly don't give a shit about people and it makes me sick.

This morning I watched a ten minute segment on the bbc talking about David Cameron's parting changing sides. Is this news? We pay for this! It's sick, it's criminal and there are plenty more issues that should be debated and explored!


Plato's Film Quote of the Day No. 4 - Planet of the Apes

“Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!” Taylor

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Interesting Fact of the Day! No. 14 - Atlantis Myth

Atlantis means "Island of Atlas", the first known reference to Atlantis was by Plato around 400BC. He claimed that Atlantis had sank into the ocean "in a single day and night of misfortune" around 9000 years previous (around 9400BC). Generally, Atlantis is seen as a myth created by Plato to illustrate some of his political theories.

Many believe that he based his Atlantis myth on a collection of other stories such as those of the Trojan War or the eruption of Thera which partially destroyed Santorini and m
ost likely decimated Crete and the minoan civilisation around 1600BC.

As far as many can see, every other account of Atlantis relies on Plato's account in way or another. In 1882 Ignatius L. Donnelly published "Atlantis: the Antediluvian World". This, again based on Plato's account tried to prove the existence of Atlantis and further more, that all know civilisation had descended from Atlantis. This lead to a revival of the legend in the late 19th century which was combined with stories of other lost continents such as Mu and Lemuria. This account also introduced the modern view of Atlantis sitting as a large island in the Atlantic ocean off the African coast...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Limmy.com Live @ Blackfriars - Review

Well, what can I say? Many had waited a long time to see this and I doubt that any were disappointed!

"Limmy's World of Glasgow" came to er... Glasgow last night. It was a slightly nervous atmosphere as everyone piled into the downstairs bar in Blackfriars, I think it's been about ten years since i've been down there as well. But there was no need for nerves. As Limmy stepped up to the plate he was given a pretty warm welcome. After all, he wasn't playing to any old people just pulled off the street. He was playing to his band of devotees, the crowd who had one thing in common... him!

For anyone who has no idea who i'm talking about, Limmy is a flash/web developer turned film maker/commedian. Many people's first introduction to Limmy would probably have been the rather offensive xylophone (see here for a demo) that he put together some years ago. It pretty much sums up the guy's approach; creative, different... bamn!

His videos such as "Requiem" and "Yes or No" have become the stuff of legend but it was really when Limmy and his girlfriend Lynn went on a round the world tour that everyone got to know him a bit better through his blog. When they got home, Limmy then decided to create his own podcast called "Limmy's World of Glasgow" and since then it's been t.v., newspapers, itunes rankings up there with Gervais and now a stand up show!

Anyway, I won't go into too much detail as I know there's another show on the 24th March (which is sold out but keep an eye on his blog for tickets) but the show is a mixture of some new movies, some new stuff from his world of glasgow characters and some new one man plays. Everything was spot on and the hour long show went far too quick. I've also left out the detail because it's that kind of humour that leaves you looking like a dick if you try and explain it to someone else (as i've found out already this morning...).

There's no doubt that Limmy's going places and that's a great thing. His characters might be dismissed by a silly few as Glasgow stereotypes but if you listen to them they're light years beyond Rab C Nesbitt, Pavillion Panto style comedy that in the past were the sum total of Scotland's TV and Radio offering.

Having watched the gig last night, you can quite easily see a show format for channel 4 or BBC3. It's only a matter of time, so you best see him on the small stage while you still can!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Plato's Film Quote of the Day No. 3 - Rocky III

"No, I don't hate Balboa. I pity the fool" -Clubber Lang

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Crap Reuters Adverts? Or Crap Reuters Adverts?

Am I the only one that is annoyed by these stupid adverts on a daily basis?

How do I see it? A waste of a good lunch!

It's not cool, it's not hip, it doesn't encourage debate, it's crap and that's all I have to say on the matter...

Oh yeh and those AOL "Discuss" adverts are a pain in the arse as well!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Rock Ness, Loch Ness 2007 lineup announced...

Well, looks like Rock Ness is over two days this year and they've certainly bumped up the number of acts; over 60 this year apparently.

Last year it was a great gig, headlined by Fatboy Slim. I for one was there and it was a great day, I recall there being a wee bit of rain but on the whole a great experience. The only down side was the local transport links which were practically non existent last year and culminated in me and my lovely other half having to walk a fatboy 12 miles back to Inverness after the gig.

I've done some "lets walk home after clubbing" stints in my time but that one took the biscuit. I arrived back in Inverness much like Shackleton might have arrived at the whaling station, bloody exhausted! So, fingers crossed it's all sorted this year (though i'll be amazed if it is..).

The lineup looks pretty good with the Chemical Brothers and Groove Armada on Saturday 9th June and Daft Punk and The Automatic on Sunday 10th June.

Also featuring
2 many djs, Alabama 3, Soulwax Nite Versions, The Cuban Brothers, Erol Alkan, Dub Pistols, Rob da Bank, Caged Baby, The Whip, Drive by Argument and Nathan Detroit...

From a Scottish perspective, the good weather is usually kicking about in June so it's a reasonable bet that it should be ok.

So if you fancy it, tickets go on sale 3rd March, click here for more details...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Banged Up Blogger - Free Abdel Kareem Soliman!

Feel pretty bad for this guy. There you are just expressing your opinions online like we all do and then you're banged up for it!

Insulting the president and Islam? They're pricks, the both of them!

Free Abdel Kareem Soliman! Got to hand it to the guy, he's even managed to break a smile from behind bars...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Well, it was bound to happen at some point....!

It was only a question of time before something like this happened. To tell you the truth i'm surprised it isn't a common occurrence?

Click here to find out more...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Plato's Places to Go No.3 - The Drovers Inn, Loch Lomond, Review

What can I say, if the Drovers Inn is good enough for Terry Nutkins and Rob Roy then it's good enough for anyone...

Sitting at Ardlui at the very top of Loch Lomond, i've never heard a bad word said about the Drovers Inn. The Drovers Inn is certainly dusty, it's old and the rooms could do with some upgrading but I wouldn't change the place for the world.

On a cold winters evening when you're sitting in the Drovers Inn bar next to an open fire and you then have to sneek past a variety of stuffed animals to get to your bed, there's just nothing like it in the world!

Waking up (usually with a bit of a hangover) to the sound of the Drovers Inn geese being fed outside your window is an experience to say the least. A traditional Scottish fry up breakfast later and you can walk up to the Falls of Falloch which is where the Falloch river pours into Loch Lomond. The Falls of Falloch is one of the best places to get pictures in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs national park but it's obviously up against some pretty stiff competition!

Be warned though, the Drovers Inn is a popular place in the summer and you'll be hard pushed to get a room at the weekend without booking well in advance. Even if you don't get a chance to stay there, make sure you pop in for a pint if you get the chance.

Doubles en suite are about £70 a night and there are even modern Jacuzzi rooms across the road from the original Drovers building.

This place is a must, so make sure you go. For more details simply follow this link to the Drovers Inn website

Monday, February 19, 2007

Seen Negs Urban Sports Yet? Big Stranger Rodeo!!

Have you caught Negs Urban Sports on Balls of Steel Yet?

Check out the Negs Urban Sports video for Big Stranger Rodeo below....

For more Balls of Steel videos and Negs Urban Sports events just click on the links!

Plato's Film Quote of the Day No. 2 - Return of the Jedi

"When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good you will not. Hmm?" -Return of the Jedi

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Greater Glasgow Neds go Deer Hunting!!

I must admit that this is one of the most strange and disturbing news stories that i've heard in a while!

Maybe it's time to turn the tables and start the sport of ferral ned hunting. All this talk of the a deer cull certainly makes me think that maybe the cull should be aimed at something else...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Interesting Fact of the Day! No. 13 - Freefall Records

Well, you've most likely seen skydiver Michael Holmes' brush with death. If not, have a gander at the movie below...


Although Michael fell 12,000ft with a half open parachute, the all time free fall survival record is held by a Serbian woman called Vesna Vuloviç.

In 1972 she was an air stewardess on board a JAT DC-9 travelling from Copenhagen to Zagreb that was blown up by Croatian nationalists over the Czech Republic.

She fell over 33,000ft and landed still strapped to her chair, nestled in the tail cone of the wrecked plane.

Despite having a
fractured skull, brain hemorrhaging, two broken legs, three broken vertebrae, being in a coma for four days and being paralysed from the waist down, she managed to make a considerable recovery and walk again.

Click here to read a full interview with the remarkable lady...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Plato's Film Quote of the Day No. 1 - Annie Hall

“Don't knock masturbation, it's sex with someone I love”. –Annie Hall

Interesting Fact of the Day! No. 12 - Valentines Day!!

Happy Valentines Day!

Here are a few Valentines facts for your day...
  1. 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day.
  2. Since AD 496 the feast of St Valentines has been celebrated, some believe to suppress an older pagan fertility festival held on the 15th of February. But the feast was more of a Christian celebration rather than the romantic day we now it as now. The association with romance dates from the middle ages, where most of the legends surrounding St. Valentine were written.
  3. Since the seventeenth century in the UK & France, St. Valentines day has been celebrated in it's more current romantic form. The exchange of small gifts and love notes was widespread. By the end of the eighteenth century printed valentines cards were being produced. It wasn't until 1840 in America that valentines cards were first mass produced by Esther Howland.
  4. Long before St. Valentine lived, February 14th had strong links with fertility. The date traditionally is known for when birds choose their mates.
  5. In Medieval times, girls ate bizarre foods on St Valentine's Day to make them dream of their future spouse.
  6. The first Valentine gift was sent by Duke of Orleans to his wife, after he was captured in 1415.
  7. 73% of Valentine Day flowers are bought by men, whereas women buy only 23% of Valentine flowers.
  8. Around 3% of pet owners prefer to give Valentine gifts to their pets, as they are more grateful than humans!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Top ten wealthiest football clubs by revenue!!

Here are the ten wealthiest football clubs by revenue!

The figures below take into account income from ticket sales, merchandising and broadcasting contracts but do not include transfer revenues and does not calculate profitability.

1)Real Madrid: £202m
2)Barcelona: £179.1m
3)Juventus: £173.7m
4)Man Utd: £167.8m
5)AC Milan: £165m
6)Chelsea: £152.8m
7)Inter Milan: £142.8m
8)Bayern Munich: £141.5m
9)Arsenal: £133m
10)Liverpool: £121.7m
Source: Deloitte: 2005/6

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

songtapper.com - more like songcrapper!


Right, the tag line is "It's fun, it's easy, it's helpful"!

In short, IT'S NOT! And why is that woman holding the keyboard in the palm of her hand?? Who does that???

The guys in my office have been trying for a while now and so far songcrapper has only managed to recognise the Star Spangled Banner...

Give the old songtapper a blast and by all means let me know how you get on...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Plato's Places to Go No.2 - Dunure Village and Castle

If you're ever in Ayrshire in Scotland, make sure you have a stop of at the village of Dunure. It's a great little place just a ten to fifteen minute drive south of Ayr.

I must confess that there's not really much to it. Dunure is a traditional fishing village and it's current form dates back to the early 1800s. It has a small, stone walled harbour (with three swans in residence who aren't afraid to have a swim out to sea), a few little streets, some houses (as you would expect) and a nice little Inn called.... the Dunure Inn of course!

It may be small but it's perfectly formed and it even has a castle, called.... wait for it..... Dunure Castle! The castle is now a ruin but you're perfectly free to pick through the interesting shell at your own leisure. I always think that places like Dunure Castle have a more historic feel than their Edinburgh or Stirling counterparts as you become quickly aware on visiting the big two that a lot of the sites were rebuilt in recent times. When you're standing in the ruins of Dunure Castle, watching the sun slide down the side of Ailsa Craig and into the water beyond, you get a nice warm feeling despite the rather fresh sea breeze. It's just an experience that Stirling & Edinburgh can't offer.

Dunure Castle itself, stands on the edge of a cliff and dates back to before the 13th century. It was originally the seat of the Kennedys of Carrick who were eventually bestowed with the Earldom of Cassillis. The 4th Earl entertained Mary, Queen of Scots in the castle between the 4th and 7th of August 1563.

In 1570 the 4th Earl also took it upon himself to roast the Commendator of Crossraguel Abbey until he transferred some of the Abbey's lands across to him. The poor bloke reportedly took two turns of the spit before yielding. Not to worry though, the Commendator lived to a ripe old age regardless and the 4th Earl died a few years later when his horse fell on him.

So, the short and tall of it is to get Dunure if you get the chance...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Interesting Fact of the Day! No. 11 - Some facts about being left-handed

Here are some facts about being left-handed....

1. Being left handed seems to be a bit of a dodgy thing in Japan. Researchers have found that less than 2% of people in Japan admit to being left handed, when the world average is 10%. Traditionally a man could reject his prospective wife on the grounds of her being left handed. It was said that left handers wouldn't be able to master japanese script! 2. A study by NARTH (this is, wait for it.... the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality!) in Canada found that 31% of male homosexuals are more likely to be left handed than heterosexuals, while lesbians are 91% more likely to be left handed as heterosexual women.

3. Using a standard keyboard, and typing with both hands, the number of words in English that are typed solely with the left hand is 1,447. Only 187 words are typed solely with the right hand. Apparently the longest English word written only with the left hand is "stewardesses".

4. If you're a left hander, you're more likely to excel at tennis, baseball, swimming and fencing!

5. One in four Apollo astronaughts were left handed. This is 250% more than normal level.
6. Here's a list of some famous left handers from all walks of life:

Billy the Kid Jack the Ripper Napoleon Alexander the Great Julius Caesar Nelson Winston Churchill Bill Clinton George Bush (senior) John F Kennedy Fidel Castro Joan of Arc
Paul McCartney
Jimi Hendrix
Leonardo da Vinci
Bill Gates
Henry Ford
Gary Oldman
Bruce Willis
Robert Redford...

7. Ciotóg is an Irish
word used to describe left-handed people, which also means 'strange person'

It is argued that Napoleon's left-handedness contributed to traffic flowing on the right side of the road in post-revolutionary France. The reasoning behind this evolution stems from Napoleon having to fight in wars with his sword in his left hand and that he reportedly converted his army to fight the same way. This would have entailed the French cavalry of the day to approach opponents from their right.

A profound Arab stigma against left-handedness dates to a pre-industrial period when paper was extremely rare and (in desert regions) water was too precious to be used for hand-washing. Because it was necessary to use one hand for wiping oneself after defecation, and because it was impossible to cleanse this hand thoroughly, the hand used for this task (traditionally, the left hand) was deemed unfit to be used for any other activity, especially as most Arabs of that time lacked eating utensils, and so they ate with their fingers (of the right hand) from communal dishes, while keeping the left hand entirely concealed at mealtime. To this day, it is widely regarded as taboo in Arab culture to handle food with the left hand. Offering one's left hand for a handshake greeting, or even waving it in greeting without touching, would be considered a serious personal insult in Arab society. Somewhat left-handers are also persecuted in the Arab World due to this taboo.

10. In the UK around 11% of men and women aged 15-24 are now left-handed, compared to just 3% in the 55-64 age group!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Plato's Places to Go No.1 - Portmeirion

In short, this place in amazing.

In the 1960's TV series "The Prisoner" the protaginist is basically knocked out and dumped in this strange place. If it happened to you and you woke up there on a sunny day, you probably swear blind that you were in Spain. Well until you spoke to anyone who worked there anyway, then you'd realise that you were in Wales I guess.... Anyway, it's got stunning architecture and it's situated at the mouth of the river Dwyryd. When the tide goes out it reveals a lovely sand bank that you can go walking on (just be sure to check the tide time!).

Its a bit pricey to stay there (from around £170 per night) but it's one of these experiences that you have to have a blast of if you get the chance. The main villiage is open to the public during the day and the accomodation is dotted around the villiage and there is also a main hotel down by the water. About 5 at night, the villiage closes and it's guests only so you can have a wander about the place till your heart's content.

If it's a nice day you can swim in their outdoor pool or run around in the pools of water left in the estuary. I must admit the main body of visitors are made up of senior citizens but it kind of adds to the slow pace of the place and you get a nice nod of the head as you walk by anyone.

Five minutes up from the
Portmeirion hotel is Castell Deudraeth which has some additional rooms and a lovely restaurant that's housed in a nice conservatory on the back of the building. Looking out onto nice gardens it's a perfect spot to have a drink before you're asked to go to your table where your starters await. A meal and wine comes to about £70-80 at Castell Deudraeth. It's certainly an experience that you can't afford every weekend and yes you could go on a weeks holiday in Spain for the cost of a weekend in Portmerion but at the end of the day you probably wouldn't tell your kids, grandkids and anyone else you ever met about the time you went to Spain. Portmerion's not cheap but can you put a price on a lovely peaceful, romantic weekend? Go for it!