Monday, 31 May 2010

The Daily Teaser …

Hmmm …

You know, I’ve got to confess, I’m in the middle of brewing up me second cuppa of the morning.

Mostly where I’m still in the process of waking up.

And getting distracted by McSebi’s Pac the Man X, unfortunately … !!

°°°°°

And reading up on the (by now former) Lib-Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Laws, resignation.

What gets me, there, is the amount of his colleagues describing it as a ‘personal tragedy’.

I’d like to know how that works. I mean, he basically admitted to having his hand in the till.

You can tell I’m a disgruntled Liberal voter, can’t you … ?

°°°°°

At any rate, let’s move on, shall we … ?

Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Trevor and Kaiju putting in answers. And, while Trevor bagged 6 out of 6, but I’m not sure whether to score Kaiju at 6, or 5 and a half, points.

It all hinges around yesterday’s q6: the exact rank of Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp, whilst he was a Korvettenkapitän in the Austro-Hungarian navy: technically equivalent to a Lieutenant Commander, anywhere else …

Hmmmm …

Let me know what you think, there, everyone …

°°°°°

At any rate, let’s get moving, shall we … ?

And see how everyone does with today’s questions, shall we … ? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’ and License

Q1) 31st May, 1678, saw marches in honour of whom? start going through Coventry?

Q2) 31st May, 1930, saw the birth of actor/director — and former politician — Clint Eastwood. How many Oscars has he won?

Q3) More to the point, what small Californian town was he mayor of?

Q4) 31st May 1872, saw the birth of which cartoonist … ?

Q5) 31st May, 1957, saw who found guilty of Comtempt of Congress?

Q6) And finally … 31st May, 1859, saw the Clock Tower of the House of Parliament, start keeping time. At which end of the Houses is Big Ben, north or south … ?

And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …

Q1) 30th May, 70 AD, saw Roman legions breach the Second Wall around which city … ?
A1) Jerusalem.

Q2) More to the point, those legions were led by the man who — nine years later — was to become Roman Emperor: what was his name … ?
A2) Titus Flavius Vespasianus, commonly known as Titus.

Q3) 30th May, 1972, saw members of which group go on trial in the UK for 25 different bombings?
A3) The Angry Brigade.

Q4) 30th May, 1642, saw the English Parliament annul all honours granted by who … ?
A4) Charles 1st.

Q5) 30th May, 1947, saw the death of George-Ludwig, Ritter von Trapp: which musical is loosely based on his life … ?
A5) The Sound Of Music.

Q6) As today’s final question … which rank did George-Ludwig reach in the Austro-Hungarian Navy … ?
A6) Korvettenkapitän: roughly equivalent to a Lieutenant Commander, in the Royal Navy.

Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you later …




Sunday, 30 May 2010

The Daily Teaser …

Isn’t it embarrassing when you mix up questions … ?

It is, isn’t it … ?

I’ve got to confess, yesterday’s teaser saw me get a couple of questions — q4 and q5 — in the wrong order.

D’oh!

°°°°°

Hang on, let me just boil the kettle …

Ooooh, that’s better …

°°°°°

But at any rate, I’m quietly thankful I’ve got an audience who happily twig and twig, fast … !

Yesterday’s teaser saw DjAlfy*, back for her regular dose of stumpness, and Trevor and Kaiju both bag 6 out of 6. But if it’s any consolation, Angela, you did manage to bag the official First-In-Clap … !

At any rate, let’s see how everyone does with today’s questions, shall we … ? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’ and License

Q1) 30th May, 70 AD, saw Roman legions breach the Second Wall around which city … ?

Q2) More to the point, those legions were led by the man who — nine years later — was to become Roman Emperor: what was his name … ?

Q3) 30th May, 1972, saw members of which group go on trial in the UK for 25 different bombings?

Q4) 30th May, 1642, saw the English Parliament annul all honours granted by who … ?

Q5) 30th May, 1947, saw the death of George-Ludwig, Ritter von Trapp: which musical is loosely based on his life … ?

Q6) As today’s final question … which rank did George-Ludwig reach in the Austro-Hungarian Navy … ?

And here’s yesterday’s questions and answer, in the order I should’ve put ’em … !

Q1) 29th May, 1453, saw the fall of which imperial city?
A1) Constantinople: or Byzantium, as it was also known.

Q2) 29th May, 1953, saw the first pair of climbers reach the summit of Mount Everest: name either of them.
A2) Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing Norgay.

Q3) 29th May, 1953, saw the birth of film composer, Danny Elfman: but what’s the name of his band?
A3) Oingo Boingo.

Q4) 29th May, 1985 saw 39 fans die during riot, after a wall collapsed at a football stadium in Brussels: what was the name of the stadium?
A4) Heysel.

Q5) Name either of the teams who were playing.
A5) Liverpool FC or Juventus FC.

Q6) 29th May, 1983, saw who make a visit to the Archbishop of Canterbury?
A6) Pope John-Paul 2nd.

There we go!

Enjoy those, everyone, I’ll catch you later … !













* Angela, I could happily tell you they are easy: but, then, I’ve got the answers sitting in front of me …


Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll … !


Do you remember, back in January, I told you about the rite de passage movie that was The Boat That Rocked?



The Richard Curtis penned filmed, loosely based on the story of Radio Caroline, was and is a wonderfully up-beat film that had those of us watching it, that night, laughing outright.

Tonight’s film didn’t …

Tonight’s film — the independently produced and funded biopic of Ian Dury, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll — was an altogether different kettle of musical fish.

Very different, actually.

Because, for a start, it’s a very decent attempt* to tell the story of the life of Blockhead’s frontman, disability campaignerº, actor and poet, Ian Dury.


Very decent: after all, how on earth are you supposed to sum up the life of one of Britain’s most fluent songwriters and performers … ?

Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll does it by getting Dury himself to tell it, from a stage.

You notice I said ‘Dury’?

When I could well have said Andy Serkis, as Ian Dury … ?

I think that’s possibly the correct way to do it.

Now, I personally think that Andy Serkis should have got at least an Oscar nomination for his work as Gollum, in Peter Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, as — given the way the films were made — it would have been impossible to show Gollum without his contribution.

And I’m thinking it would be a shame if Serkis doesn’t get one for his convincing portrayal of one of British music’s most inspiring figures.

•••••

Now, I could tell you all about the plot for Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.

I could.

I’m not.

In part, because, as you well know by now, other people do that a lot better than I.

But mostly … ?

Mostly because I think you should see this film.

If nothing else, for Serkis’ frighteningly good stage performances as the late great Ian Dury.

So good that — according to one comment on IMDb, about the film — he’s been asked to tour … with The Blockheads, themselves … !

How the hell do you argue with that … ?









* I’m going on the fact that I read Dury biography — also called Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll — many years ago. Fascinating stuff.

º The film also features, in various flashback forms, various events from Dury’s life in of the schools for the disabled that were run during the 1950s: and a nightmare performance of Spasticus Autisticus

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Squeaky Bun Time





*SPOILERS*

You know, I’ve got to admit, I’ve just started this post towards the climax of tonight’s episode of Dr Who, called Cold Blood.

I’m impressed!

No, seriously, I am … !

Cold Blood is the concluding half of the Hungry Earth/Cold Blood two parter, written by Chris Chibnall.

And it’s an episode that sees World War Three triggered over the death of Silurian warrior, Alea, played by Neve Campbell …

Who also played her sister, and commanding officer, Rastick.

Actually, I’ve got to admit, this is a beautifully cast pair of episodes: from Meera Syal as Nesreen Choudary, to former Hitchhiker star, Stephen Moore, as Eldane, the Homo Reptilia leader.

And a pair of episodes that are …

Actually, vaguely familier …

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve seen the original Jon Pertwee story that first featured the Silurians, but — from what I can remember — the plots seem broadly similar: both see the Silurians being awakened from their eons-long sleep by drilling, internal conflicts between factions, what have you.

But there is differences, definitely … !

I don’t think the original saw one of the Silurians killed, but don’t quote me on that.

And I don’t think the original was part of an season with a central story arc.

Cold Blood and Hungry Earth are.

And, as part of the climax of tonight’s episode … ?

We see Matt Smith’s eleventh Dr reach his hand inside the Crack — on a cave wall in the Silurian city — and retrieve … something … a touch portentous.

We see a nice bit of opening and closing narration from Stephen Moore, dropping some nasty hints.

And we see the kind of seriously emotional scene we’ve not seen since Tennent’s regeneration.

Or the death of Adric, in the Peter Davison era Earthshock.

Which should be telling you something …

•••••

Can I make a confession, here … ?

I’ve got to admit that what I thought would happen, is happening.

I’m definitely warming to Matt Smith’s more intellectual version of the Doctor.

I think the combination of writing on Cold Blood — and a coupler of the other episodes of this season — and Smith’s presentation of the character, makes for a very different Doctor, lightening to Tennent’s fire, Ecclestone’s dark broodiness, Davison’s naivete and idealism: I’m thinking there’s traces of both Bakers alienness, of Pertwee — and Hartnell’s — intellect.

And definite traces of a certain Mr Troughton …

To sum it up … ?

I’m thinking the shakedown is over.

I’m thinking the Smith and Moffat era is shaping up …

The Revamped …

This is just going to be a quick post, folks.

I’ve just had a very quick look at the revamping job the BBC has done on their much vaunted iPlayer.

Which seems to have a problem, or two …

Possibly …

It does seem to not be able to properly sync the sound and video track — based on the few minutes usage I’ve had of it — nor does it offer the option of the in-broswer pop-up window that earlier versions did.

Which is bloody handy, when you’re re-watching a show you’re posting about.

On a potential upside, though, Aunty Beeb has added the ability to sync an all new and shiny BBC iPlayer accounts: in this case I’ve added my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

It also seemed to have flagged up Terminator: The 1984 James Cameron movie.

Which I’m assuming means they’ve negotiated rights to some movies for their catch-up service.

This could be good.

Once they’ve ironed out the bugs …

The Daily Teaser …

I’ve got to confess, I couldn’t resist it …

Just to be different, I’ve put the poster on the other side of the page, today.

Hang on, be right back …

Right, got the second cuppa of the day sorted … anyone got any sugar … ?

°°°°°

Hmmm …

Just as a thought, the BBC News channel has just had a piece on Chief Treasury Secretary, David Laws: looks like he’s had the expenses scandal bit him in the bum

°°°°°

At any rate, let’s move on, shall we … ?

Yes, let’s …

Yesterday’s teaser saw Trevor managing to bag 7 out of 7, and put in some rather good quotes from Neville Chamberlain. Including the notorious one about ‘peace in our time’.

Always surprises me that politicians can get it wrong …

At any rate, let’s see how everyone does with today’s questions, shall we … ? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’ and License

Q1) 29th May, 1453, saw the fall of which imperial city?

Q2) 29th May, 1953, saw the first pair of climbers reach the summit of Mount Everest: name either of them.

Q3) 29th May, 1953, saw the birth of film composer, Danny Elfman: but what’s the name of his band?

Q4) Name either of the teams who were playing.

Q5) 29th May, 1985 saw 39 fans die during riot, after a wall collapsed at a football stadium in Brussels: what was the name of the stadium?

Q6) 29th May, 1983, saw who make a visit to the Archbishop of Canterbury?

And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …

Q1) 28th May, 1910, saw the birth of one of the pioneer’s of the electric guitar: what was his name … ?
A1) T-Bone Walker.

Q2) Which 1947 song was his most famous hit … ?
A2) Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad).

Q3) 2 years earlier, 28th May, 1908 saw the birth of which English spy novelist … ?
A3) Ian Fleming.

Q4) What’s the only childrens book that novelist wrote … ?
A4) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Q5) 28th May, 1967, get home from his round-the-world trip: what was the name of his boat … ?
A5) The Gypsy Moth 4

Q6) 28th May, 1937, saw President Franklin D. Roosevelt formally open which bridge … ?
A6) The Golden Gate Bridge.

Q7) And finally …28th May, 1937, saw who named as British PM?
A7) Neville Chamberlain.

Enjoy those, everyone. And if you were at the head of the queue, yesterday … ?

You Jammy Sod!