Friday, 31 December 2010

The New Year’s Eve Teaser

Yoicks … !

Would you believe it, I’m actually going into hospital, today … ?

And, much as I’d like to go into dram queen mode … ?

I’m not actually going to.

I’m basically just have a cyst removed from me neck.

Under local anæsthetic.



But at least it’d look slightly less unsightly.

Let’s get moving on, shall we … ?

Yes, lets … !


Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Trevor and Mr Strict putting in their answers: with Mr S bagging 5 out of 6, and Trevor getting 6, it also saw Mr S showing us the classic Eraserhead poster, and Trevor quoting Tracey Ullman.

Lets see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we … ?

Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video

Q1) 31st December, 1964, saw who break the World Water Speed Record … ?

Q2) More to the point, what was the name of the boat … ?

Q3) 31st December, 1862, saw President Lincoln sign legislation that admitted which breakaway state to the USA?

Q4) 31st December, 1994, saw the death of which Australian-born, London-based, club promoter … ?

Q5) 31st December, 1992, saw the formal dissolving of Czechoslovakia: name either of the two successor states.

Q6) And finally … 31st December, 2004, saw the opening, in Taiwan, of what — at the time — was the world’s tallest building: what was its name?
Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 30th December, 1922, saw the establishment of which communist country … ?
A1) The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: or USSR.

Q2) 30th December, 1927, saw the opening of the first underground railway in Asia: but in which city was this … ?
Q2) Tokyo.

Q3) More to the point, what was that tube line’s name … ?
A3) The Ginza line.

Q4) 30th December, 1946, saw the birth of American singer/songwriter, Patti Smith: what was her biggest solo UK hit … ?
A4) Because The Night.

Q5) 30th December, 1916, saw the coronation of the last king of which East European country … ?
A5) Hungary.

Q6) 30th December, 1996, saw the death of actor, Jack Nance: in which film did he play vacationing printer, Henry Spencer?
A6) Eraserhead.
And here — covered by the usual License and starting with some questions about 2010 — is the 60-question-set …

Q1) The 2010 BBC Sports personality of the Year award went to A. P. McCoy: is he a jockey, wrestler, or rugby player?
A1) Jockey.

Q2) The United Nations officially designated 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity, and the International Year of … what … ?
Q2) Youth.

Q3) 2010 was also the year in which the UK came last at the Eurovision Song Contest: who wrote that song … ?
A3) Pete Waterman and Mike Stock.

Q4) Two British TV shows ended in August of 2010: name either.
A4) Last of the Summer Wine and The Bill.

Q5) Who won the 2010 Football World Cup … ?
A5) Spain.

Q6) 2010 saw one of the world’s largest oil-spills take place: in which gulf … ?
A6) The Gulf of Mexico.

Q7) 2010 saw Stella English win which tv show … ?
A7) The Apprentice.

Q8) 2010 saw which member’s of the royal family announce their wedding for next year … ?
A8) Prince William to his long term fiancee, Kate Middleton, and Zara Phillips — Princess Anne’s only daughter — to rugby player, Mike Tindall.

Q9) As a result of the UK’s 2010 General Election, who was named as Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister … ?
A9) Lib-Dem leader, Nick Clegg.

Q10) As a final 2010 question: an episode of which show was the most downloaded TV programme, this year, on the BBC’s iPlayer … ?
A10) Dr Who


Q11) What does a twitcher look for?
A11) Birds.

Q12) Which game features Reverend Green, Mrs White, & Miss Plum?
A12) Cluedo.

Q13) What’s the name of the Japanese art of paper folding?
A13) Origami.

Q14) How many pieces does each player start with a game of draughts?
A14) 12.

Q15) What type of dancing, originally only performed by men, is done all in white, with bells & garlands of flowers?
A15) Morris.

Q16) If you’re practising Calligraphy, what are you doing an artistic version of?
A16) Handwriting.

Q17) Similarly, if you’re firing, throwing and glazing, what are you doing?
A17) Pottery.

Q18) Which board game has Cards & wedges?
A18) Trivial Pursuit.

Q19) The Turkey Trot and Bunny Hug are forms of which type of dancing?
A19) Ballroom Dancing.

Q20) How many people can you normally fit in a Go-Kart?
A20) One.


Q21) Who was British monarch during World War 2?
A21) George 6th.

Q22) Which US president was assassinated whilst on a trip to his local theatre?
A22) Abraham Lincoln.

Q23) Which Roman leader was murdered in Rome, in 44BC?
A23) Julius Cæsar.

Q24) More to the point, what was his first name?
A24) Gaius.

Q25) Who was Queen Elizabeth 1st’s husband.
A25) No-one. She never married.

Q26) Who led the British forces at the Battle of Waterloo?
A26) The Duke of Wellington.

Q27) What was the name of The Nine Day Queen?
A27) Lady Jane Grey.

Q28) What monarch was forced to sign the Magna Carta?
A28) King John.

Q29) Which teenager led French forces against the English, during the 15th century?
A29) Joan of Arc. (Accept Jean D’Arc.)

Q30) Who was the first Tsar of all the Russias?
A30) Ivan the Terrible.


Q31) During the 80’s, which Clive chaired Who’s line is It, Anyway?
A31) Clive Anderson.

Q32) Which 80’s drama centred on the life of Yosser Hughes?
A32) Boys from the Black Stuff.

Q33) In Neighbours, Erinsborough is a suburb of which Australian city?
A33) Melbourne.

Q34) David Walliams and Matt Lucas are the two stars or which sketch show?
A34) Little Britain.

Q35) Which actress played Alexis Carrington, in Dynasty?
A35) Joan Collins.

Q36) Which BBC reporter gained prestige for her coverage of Tianamen Square, in China?
A36) Kate Adie.

Q37) Which show is the TV version of Radio 4’s News Quiz?
A37) Have I Got News For You.

Q38) Which TV war reporter became MP for Tatton, in 1997?
A38) Martin Bell. (‘The Man In The White Suit’.)

Q39) The drama series, Bleak House, was based on a book by which author?
A39) Charles Dickens.

Q40) According to the title of the Melvin Bragg series, how many books have changed the world?
A40) Twelve. (12.)


Q41) Whose engagement to Jude Law was an on–again, off–again affair during 2005?
A41) Sienna Miller.

Q42) Which super–model was Pete Doherty involved with, during that same year?
A42) Kate Moss.

Q43) What’s Ulrika Jonsson’s native language?
A43) Swedish.

Q44) Who’s the daughter of veteran broadcaster, Clive Roslin?
A44) Gaby Roslin.

Q45) Prince Albert, Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie, are from which small principality?
A45) Monaco.

Q46) How is Katie Price better known?
A46) Jordan.

Q47) Which Britt married Peter Sellers?
A47) Britt Eklund.

Q48) Faria Alam’s Unfair Dismissal case involved which Association’s HQ?
A48) The Football Association.

Q49) Which footballer married Sheryl Failes?
A49) Paul Gascoigne. (Accept Gazza.)

Q50) Which Ellen became the UK’s youngest ever Dame, 2005?
A50) Ellen McArthur.


Q51) Who’s the captain of the Trinidad & Tobago football team, at this year’s World Cup?
A51) Dwight Yorke.

Q52) During WW2, the Andates (an-DAR-tez) were which European countries resistance?
A52) Greece.

Q53) Who was the first Black artist to have a video played on MTV?
A53) Herbie Hancock.

Q54) How many square feet in a square yard?
A54) Nine.

Q55) What word can go after ‘Free’ and before ‘Corporal’?
A55) Lance.

Q56) In 1974, parts of Yorkshire, and Lincolnshire were turned into which county?
A56) Humberside.

Q57) He is the chemical symbol for which gas?
A57) Helium.

Q58) Who wrote the novel, Dead Cert?
A58) Dick Francis.

Q59) Moving clockwise on a dartboard, what number is next to 15?
A59) 2.

Q60) Which cosmetics company had ad’s featuring a distinctive doorbell?
A60) Avon.
Enjoy those, everyone.

And before I forget … ?

Happy New Year. Remember, don’t overdo the Burns …

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Salt: blood, guts, spies and Angelina in a wet T-shirt

You know, it really is a shame tha Kevin D and Tootles couldn’t join Movie Night Adrian and I, tonight.

Because I think — just think — that they’d’ve enjoyed tonight’s film.

I could be wrong, mind.

The movie in question … ?

Was the 2010, Phillip Noyce directed, Angelina Jolie thriller, Salt.


31st December, 2010.

Salt sees Jolie playing CIA agent, Evelyn Salt: who, at the start of the film, has been returned to the US as part of a spy exchange with North Korea.

All because her fiance and soon to be husband — arachnologist, Mike Krause, played by August Diehl — caused something of a scene, according to her boss Agent Ted Winters, played by Liev Schreiber.

After recovering, and on the date of her second anniversary, Salt and Winters are preparing to clock off duty, when asked to debrief a Russian defector.

One who has a nasty surprise for Salt and Winters.

There’s a cadre of highly trained sleeper agents in the USA.

One of whom is soon to kill the Russian President.

And who goes by the name …

Of Evelyn Salt


You know, it’s tempting to throw in the phrase, “With hilarious results” at this point, but I’ll try and avoid it …

At any rate, the rest of the film … ?

Sees Salt going on the run to try and prove her innocence.

And at one point … ?

Forced to kill her husband, by her KGB controller: by either drowning or shooting, depending on whether you’re watching the theatrical, extended or director’s cut*.

As you can imagine …


Now, I’ve got to admit, Salt managed to create a little bit of debate, it really did.

And I think — only think, mind — that me and Adrian have managed to come come up with some sort of vaguely way of rating a film.

Into the following …

  • GO GET NOW: If you’ve missed ’em, more fool you.★★★★
  • Keepers: films worth watching, highly watchable and keeping a copy of: at least, certainly worth a second look★★★☆
  • Watchers: entertainingly watchable, and worth watching, possibly even thought provoking, but not necessary worth keeping★★☆☆
  • Nice to have seen: but mostly forgettable★☆☆☆
  • And finally …
  • ForGET it☆☆☆☆

  • And I think I can give you a title or two, there, as well: Things to Do In Denver When You’re Dead is/was definitely a Go Get. Inception, on the other hand, was one we both felt fell off the end of the list: way down below ForGET◊.

    Which is possibly where me and Adrian will disagree: I’m thinking Salt is possibly a Keeper, Adrian putting it somewhere in the Watcher category.

    So …

    This is where I’ll leave things.

    I’m going to ask you …

    Go see Salt.

    Leave me a comment.

    And let me — and Adrian — know what you think of it … !

    * There’s an old joke of Lenny Henry’s, from back in the 1980s that I always dig out for this sort of situation: Lenny goes into a record shop, back in the day, and asks for a record. The chap on the counter says “Do you want the UK 7 inch, the US 7 inch, the album version, the 12 inch, the 12 inch Dance mix, the US 12 inch dance mix, the Funky Groove remix, the MC Apocalypse, DJ Crash Bandicoot or extended DJ Mixmaster version?” Lenny’s rather arch reply?

    “Can I have the one where they got it right … ?”

    Although I’m very well aware that Kevin D will disagree, there: he felt Inception should be given another go around.

    Belated Pressie … 

    You know, now I come to think of these things, it seems that sometimes stuff get’s …

    Overshadowed …

    Meeting my nephew — especially as I don’t have children of my own — was rather powerful.

    I’m getting mildly broody, I’ll be honest.

    So the fact that I actually got a few pressies, this Christmas … ?

    And was thinking about raving about them … ?

    Looks a touch less important than it did.


    None-the-less, having already thanked the relevant gift-givers … ?

    I did at least want to mention the fact that my Mum, along with Anna — the eldest of me two kid sisters — and Ruth — the youngest, and Jude’s mother — had clubbed together to get me an LaCie external hard drive.

    A 1 Terabyte, LaCie one, that’s slowly becoming home to the piles of backed-up movies, tv shows and other extraneous bit’s and bobs that I’ve built up, over the years.

    And one that comes equipped with USB 2.0, eSATA, FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 interfaces.

    Given the age and model of my Mac Mini … ?

    I’ve hooked them up via FireWire 400.

    Daisy-chained through my exterior optical drive, also hooked up via FireWire 400*.

    And I’ll happily confess, the actual copying is going at an impressive rate of knots!

    I’ve just copied 124.7 gigabytes of data from my old Maxtor USB external drive over to the LaCie — and I can’t help but think of it as HAL — in just under an hour.

    It’s looking like the other 150 gigs is going to take about the same amount of time!

    Like I say, I’m impressed … !

    If ever I need to store disc images and need to burn them to disc … ?

    Looks like I know where I’ll be keeping them …


    Something else I know I’ve been given … ?

    Is a copy of Terry Pratchett’s latest novel, I Shall Wear Midnight

    Now, I know that I wasn’t totally stunned with Unseen Academicals.

    And frankly … ?

    Was fearing the worst for Tiffany Aching.

    Now, I’m only half-way through I Shall Wear Midnight.

    I’m loving it … !

    I tell you what.

    I’ll put up more, when I’ve finished it … !

    * If I’ve understood thing’s correctly, part of the speed difference between USB 2 and FireWire 400/800 is the fact that FireWire doesn’t chew up as much CPU capacity. Again, from what I understand, Macs have always used it in preference to USB 2 to help deal with the amount of video work many film studios choose to use them for. How the introduction of USB 3 will affect, I don’t know but for me … ? Well …

    The Daily Teaser …

    You know, you can tell it’s getting near that time of year, can’t you … ?

    Bless ’em, the BBC have just run an article …

    I think I personally … ?

    Am resolved to be more something, and lose a touch of something else.

    I don’t actually think it matter’s what, does it?

    It’s the fact we make a resolution to do something that’s important.

    That that I think it matters.

    Apparently, something like 90% of us give them up, after a week …

    Let’s move on, shall we … ?

    Yes, lets … !


    Yesterday’s Teaser saw Tim*, Kaiju and Trevor all putting in their answers. It saw Trevor bagging 5 out of 5, Kaiju bagging 3, and Tim scoring 2. On top of that, it also saw Trevor quoting both Andrew Johnson and Charles Goodyear, and Kaiju telling us some of the more … ahh … lurid stories about that drugs bust! (Chaps, remind me to dig up Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.)

    Let’s see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we … ? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video

    Q1) 30th December, 1922, saw the establishment of which communist country … ?

    Q2) 30th December, 1927, saw the opening of the first underground railway in Asia: but in which city was this … ?

    Q3) More to the point, what was that tube line’s name … ?

    Q4) 30th December, 1946, saw the birth of American singer/songwriter, Patti Smith: what was her biggest solo UK hit … ?

    Q5) 30th December, 1916, saw the coronation of the last king of which East European country … ?

    Q6) 30th December, 1996, saw the death of actor, Jack Nance: in which film did he play vacationing printer, Henry Spencer?
    And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
    Q1) 29th December, 2000, saw Britain grind to a halt, after being covered by … what … ?
    A1) Snow. (Again … )

    Q2) 29th December, 19984, saw who win a landslide majority in the Indian General Election … ?
    Q2) Rajiv Gandhi.

    Q3) 29th December, 2003, saw the death of the last speaker of which Sami language … ?
    A3) Akkala Sami. (Marja Sergina was the last known native speaker … )

    Q4) 29th December, 1947, saw the birth of noted rock drummer, Cozy Powell: who played bass guitar on his one big solo hit, Dance with the Devil … ?
    A4) Suzi Quartro.

    Q5) And finally … 29th December, 1946, saw the birth of singer and actress, Marianne Faithfull: along with a rug, what else was she allegedly found with, during that notorious drugs bust …
    A5) A Mars bar …
    Enjoy those, everyone, I’ll catch you later …

    *Welcome back, Tim: you’re up against a couple of the more formidable players … ! Oh, and about the Mars Bars … ? Faithfull says she was nowhere near it …