Saturday, 31 December 2011

Planning … AGAIN … !

Oh, BOY … !

THAT’S what the proposed building’s going to look like … ?

I hope not, actually.

As you probably do — or don’t, maybe — know, my street’s fairly new: to the point where the last block of flat’s is going up at the other end of it, as I write.

But I’ve also objected to building work at the other end of Saint James Road, next to the small block of flats, called Brunel House.

On the basis that I’ve always felt that more development — AND the associated parking — will seriously delay any emergency vehicle access to our street.

I still do.

So, as you can imagine, finding out that the developers that owned that patch of land still wanted to build the proposed multi-use block pictured above … ?

Had me writing in to the local council’s planning officer, as you can imagine.

Here’s what I wrote.
Dear Sir,

I’m writing to object to the proposed development next to Brunel House, in Brentwood: your ref 11/01195/FUL.

Some time ago, I — as many residents of the area — objected to some proposed flats on the same ground.

I felt — as I said at the relevant meeting of the planning committee — that the parking associated with the flats would be hazardous to the area, as it would further impede emergency vehicle access to the Saint James Road/Rollason Way/Wharf Road area..

I still believe this to be the case.

I also feel that this proposed development adds more retail and office space to an area that has — just around the corner — at least 4 unused retail lots, AND quite a lot of untenanted office space.

This is in addition to 1, Saint James Road, the three-storey office block, directly opposite the site. A three storey office block that is still untenanted, ever since it was built.

««•»»

As I said at the start of this email: I’ve objected to further development to the site in the past.

And am still objecting.

Yours
Annoyed … ?

Gosh, I hope it sounded like it!

But for those of my neighbours reading this … ?

We have until the 26th January, 2012 to object to these plans. Any emails have to be sent toplanning@brentwood.gov.uk, with mail going to:
Planning Officer,
Planning Services,
Town Hall,
Ingrave Road,
Brentwood,
Essex.
CM15 8AY
Feel free to copy and paste, folks.

Here’s hoping Brentwood Council pay attention!







The New Year’s Eve Teaser — 31-12-2011

Oh, now that’s nice … !

You realise, of course, that today is New Year’s Eve?

Of course you do.

And that, in the UK, at least, means gong time.

In other words, it’s the day when Her Majesty hands out all sorts of honours, gongs, knighthoods and other bits to assorted worthies.

And along with assorted showbiz types — I’m thinking my more international readers will recognise Helena Bonham Carter, but, bless him, veteran Ronnie Corbett’s in there, too — was one that put a smile on my face: rabid Mac boy that I am.

Bless ’im, Jonathon Ives, Apple’s designer in chief — and the man who designer so much of their kit, including the original iMac — has managed to bag a KBE: or Knight Commander of the British Empire.

Good for him!

Now …

Let’s get moving on, shall we … ?

««•»»

Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Mr Strict and Debbi putting in their answers: with both scoring 5 out of 5, it also saw Debbi mentioning she was fond of a certain Paranoid Android, and Mr S coming up with one of the worst puns in the English language*.

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) In which city is the 2011, Gary Marshall film, New Year’s Eve, set … ?

Q2) What’s the Scottish term for New Year’s Eve … ?

Q3) Cap d’Any is the phrase “Happy New Year” in the Catalan dialect of which language … ?

Q4) What name is given to the New Year celebrations in Buddhist parts or South East Asia … ?

Q5) As a final one: which Robbie Burns song is traditionally sung on New Years Eve, in many parts of the world … ?

Q6) 31st December, 1983, saw the US government break up what … ?

Q7) Sixty years earlier, 31st December, 1923, saw what heard on the BBC for the first time … ?

Q8) 31st December, 1909, saw the opening of the Manhattan Bridge: what river does that bridge cross?

Q9) 31st December, 1937 saw the birth of Welsh actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins: who preceded him in the role of Hannibal Lecter?

Q10) And finally … 31st December, 1991, saw the dissolution of which country … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 30th December, 1922, saw the formation of which country … ?
A1) The USSR: or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Q2) Two years later, 30th December, 1024, saw Edwin Hubble announce the existence of what … ?
A2) Galaxies other than our own.

Q3) 30th December, 1948, saw the opening of which Cole Porter musical?
A3) Kiss Me, Kate.

Q4) 30th December, 1916, saw King Charles 4th crowned as the last king of where … ?
A4) Hungary.

Q5) And finally … 30th December, 1971, saw 60, 000 Iranians expelled from which country … ?
A5) Iraq.
Enjoy those, everyone. I’ll leave you with Mr Burns best known tune …







* Mr S, where WOULD we be, without … ? :D

Friday, 30 December 2011

The Daily Teaser and Friday Question Set — 30-12-2011

Good lord …

I’ve got to admit, I’ve got Radio 4 on, at the moment.

And one bit of news caught me eye.

Or ear, I should say.

It seems that — according to papers released by the government — that the former PM, Margaret Thatcher, gave serious thought to arming the police, during the riots of the early 1980s.

And what’s more … ?

Were looking at sending in the army, as well … !

Thank the LORD it didn’t come to that!

Then, and now …

Let’s get moving on, shall we … ?

Yes, let’s …

««•»»

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi putting in her answers: and, along with telling me not to worry about tidying up*, also managed to bag 6 out of 6.

Let’s see how she — 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 formation of which country … ?

Q2) Two years later, 30th December, 1024, saw Edwin Hubble announce the existence of what … ?

Q3) 30th December, 1948, saw the opening of which Cole Porter musical?

Q4) 30th December, 1916, saw King Charles 4th crowned as the last king of where … ?

Q5) And finally … 30th December, 1971, saw 60, 000 Iranians expelled from which country … ?
Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) In an effort to stop a virulent strain of ’Flu, 29th December, 1997, saw Hong Kong start a cull of which bird?
A1) The domestic chicken.

Q2) 29th December, 1975, saw the UK introduce legislation to end what: sexual discrimination, racial discrimination or homophobic discrimination?
A2) Sexual discrimination.

Q3) 29th December, 1845, saw what admitted as the 28th US State … ?
A3) Texas.

Q4) What had that state been, until then … ?
A4) The independent Republic of Texas. (Apparently, noted Texas Boogie specialists, ZZ Top, still get snotty about it …)

Q5) 29th December, 1986, saw the death of former British PM, Harold MacMillan: what was his nickname … ?
A5) Super Mac.

Q6) And finally … 29th December, 1940, was the date of the air-raid on London dubbed the Second Great Fire Of London: in which year was the first … ?
A6) 1666.
And here — as it’s Friday — is the 60 question set for struggling pub quiz-masters: covered as ever, by the usual License
Online 133: Copied from Hutton 196
ROUND ONE. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE.

Q1) What do Australians refer to as a ‘dunny’?
A1) The toilet

Q2) Who, in 1997, became the youngest golfer to win the US Masters?
Q2) Tiger Woods

Q3) In which children’s show was the Soup Dragon a character?
A3) The Clangers.

Q4) In text messaging, what do the initials FWIW stand for?
A4) For What It’s Worth.

Q5) Who wrote the Whitney Houston hit, I Will Always Love You?
A5) Dolly Parton.

Q6) Which oil tanker hit a reef in the Prince William Sound, in 1988?
A6) The Exxon Valdez.

Q7) What town in Guyana was the site of the deaths of 913 members of the People’s Temple, in 1978?
A7) Jonestown.

Q8) True or false: Oxygen is the largest component of the Earth’s atmosphere.
A8) False. It’s actually Nitrogen.

Q9) By what name was the US Air force’s B52 better known?
A9) The Superfortress.

Q10) Who was the Brown Bomber?
A10) Boxer Joe Louis.



ROUND TWO. MUSICAL MAYHEM.

Q11) Berlin’s Take My Breathe Away became a hit, after featuring in which Tom Cruise action film?
A11) Top Gun.

Q12) Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes’ one hit, Up Where We Belong, was the theme tune to which Richard Gere film?
A12) An Officer & A Gentleman.

Q13) Which suspender–clad musical heroine sings the line “When I go, I’m Going Like Elsie”? (Bonus point for the musical movie.)
A13) Sally Bowles. (Cabaret, in the musical, Cabaret)

Q14) The Cell Block Tango is a song from which musical?
A14) Chicago.

Q15) Baz Lurhman’s directorial debut was with which movie about Australian dancers?
A15) Strictly Ballroom.

Q16) In Baz Lurman’s version of Romeo & Juliet, a very stoned Mercutio breaks into a rendition of which disco classic?
A16) Young Hearts Run Free.

Q17) Which song provides the soundtrack to Patrick Swayze, & Jennifer Gray’s triumphant last dance, in Dirty Dancing?
A17) Time of My Life.

Q18) In the 2002 version of Chicago, who played Mama Morten?
A18) Queen Latifah.

Q19) “It’s Just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right.” What dance have I just told you, partially, how to do?
A19) The Timewarp (From The Rocky Horror Picture Show.)

Q20) Which gangster actor tap danced up walls, in his role as George Cohen, in the 1942 film, Yankee Doodle Dandy?
A20) James Cagney.



ROUND THREE. PRAISE BE.

Q21) The priests of which Indian religion are known as Brahmans?
A21) Hinduism.

Q22) The Adi Granth is the holy book of which Indian religion?
A22) Sikhism.

Q23) Which Swiss city was the centre of 16th century Calvinism?
A23) Geneva.

Q24) The Tripitaka are the scriptures of which religion, Buddhism, Hinduism or Jainism?
A24) Buddhism.

Q25) Followers of which world religion are required to pray five times a day?
A25) Islam.

Q26) Kislev, Tammuz and Iyyar, are months in which calendar: Jewish, Islamic, or Buddhist?
A26) Jewish.

Q27) Which Seattle based band took its name from the Buddhist equivalent to Heaven? (Bonus point for naming the lead singer.)
A27) Nirvana. (Kurt Cobain.)

Q28) In 1649, Alexander Ross produced the first English translation of which holy book?
A28) The Qu’ran.

Q29) Parsees are followers of which religions, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism?
A29) Zoroastrianism.

Q30) The New Christian Mission, founded by William Booth, in 1865, is now known as what?
A30) The Salvation Army.



ROUND FOUR. SPORTING CHANCES.

Q31) In which sport would you use a niblick?
A31) Golf. (It’s an old Scottish term for a golf club.)

Q32) Who enjoyed Olympic success on Goodwill?
A32) Princess Anne.

Q33) Dennis Compton advertised Brylcreem, on TV: name either of the sports he played. (Two points for both.)
A33) Cricket ad Football.

Q34) Who, in 1955, scored the first 147 break, in snooker?
A34) Joe Davis.

Q35) Which Olympic gymnast got a perfect score, in 1976?
A35) Nadia Comeneci.

Q36) In which year of the 90’s were there no Grand National winners?
A36) 1993.

Q37) How many Formula One World Championships did Stirling Moss win?
A37) None.

Q38) What’s the maximum score in Ten Pin Bowling?
A38) 300.

Q39) How long does an American Football match last for?
A39) An hour.

Q40) In which sport would you perform an Eskimo Roll?
A40) Canoeing. (Accept Kayaking. But not Eskimo Shoving: there’s no such sport. Besides, REAL eskimo’s prefer being called Inuit.)



ROUND FIVE. BLINDED WITH SCIENCE.

Q41) What’s the only planet in the Solar System not named after a classical god?
A41) The Earth.

Q42) What alloy is produced by combining copper & tin?
A42) Bronze.

Q43) What was the name of the Lunar module that Neil Armstrong made his first steps on the moon?
A43) The Eagle.

Q44) Which English scientist discovered Oxygen?
A44) Joseph Priestley.

Q45) Standard analogue television pictures are made up of dots in three colours. One is blue: name either of the others. (Two points for both.)
A45) Red and green.

Q46) Which video format was launched in the 1970’s, and was eventually eclipsed by VHS?
A46) Betamax.

Q47) In the nuclear industry, water made with deuterium oxide is known as what?
A47) Heavy Water. (Deuterium is version of hydrogen with an extra neutron. Anything made with it, rather than the ‘normal’ version will, likewise, be heavier than normal.)

Q48) What did Hiram Stevens Maxim invent, in 1883?
A48) The machine gun.

Q49) True or False: Krypton is a real element.
A49) True.

Q50) US Patent number 174, 465, registered in February, 1876, is is considered to be the most valuable ever registered. What communications does it relate to?
A50) The telephone.



ROUND SIX. GENERAL IGNORANCE.

Q51) Which hymn provided a hit for both Judy Garland, & the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards?
A51) Amazing Grace.

Q52) In which novel does Nick Garraway act as narrator?
A52) The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Q53) True or false: Giraffes cannot cough.
A53) True.

Q54) What’s the collective name for a group of porpoises?
A54) A school.

Q55) What song provided Elvis Presley with his first UK number 1?
A55) All Shook Up.

Q56) Which racehorse won the Grand National, in 1977?
A56) Red Rum.

Q57) Who joined Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo as part of the Three Tenors?
A57) José Carreras.

Q58) Who succeeded Sir Thomas Fairfax, as head of the New Model Army, in 1650?
A58) Oliver Cromwell.

Q59) Graphology is the study of what?
A59) Handwriting.

Q60) What name is given to a chicken fillet envelope filled with garlic butter?
A60) Chicken Kiev.
Enjoy those, everyone. I’ll leave you with Marvin, I Love Youº. After all, it’s only been floating around my head, all morning …







* Trust me, Debbi, I’m going to have to: one bolt of lightening across the top of my oven and things start evolving … !

º Strange, but true, I always get a bit choked up by that one, LORD knows why …

Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Daily Teaser - 29-12-2011

Now, THAT

Is something I couldn’t resist putting up, I really couldn’t!

Bless, Mum, and Ruth and Anna — my two sisters, so you know — and Jude had a visit, yesterday, from my Mum’s brother and his wife, yesterday. Complete, of course, with a belated couple of birthday presents for Jude.

Which, as it turned out … ?

Didn’t hold his attention as much as the cardboard box they were in … …

‹‹·››

Let’s move on, shall we … ?

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi — all on her ownsome — putting her answers: and, along with letting know about some proposed travel plans she’s thinking about*, ALSO bagging 4 out of 5.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they, along with the ‘How To’, License and video
Q1) In an effort to stop a virulent strain of ’Flu, 29th December, 1997, saw Hong Kong start a cull of which bird?

Q2) 29th December, 1975, saw the UK introduce legislation to end what: sexual discrimination, racial discrimination or homophobic discrimination?

Q3) 29th December, 1845, saw what admitted as the 28th US State … ?

Q4) What had that state been, until then … ?

Q5) 29th December, 1986, saw the death of former British PM, Harold MacMillan: what was his nickname … ?

Q6) And finally … 29th December, 1940, was the date of the air-raid on London dubbed the Second Great Fire Of London: in which year was the first … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 28th December sees the Anglican, Catholic and Lutheran churches commemorate what … ?

Q2) 28th December, 1832, saw US Vice-President John C. Calhoun resign over States Rights: what did the C stand for … ?
A2) Caldwell.

Q3) 28th December, 1957, saw an English abattoir closed down, after an outbreak of what … ?
A3) Foot and Mouth disease. (Or Hoof and Mouth, for those of us of an American persuasion … )

Q4) 28th December, 1065, saw the formal consecration of Westminster Abbey: what’s Westminster Abbey full name?
A4) Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster.

Q5) And finally … 28th December, 1879, saw the notorious collapse of the Tay Bridge: that bridge was between Wormit and which other Scottish city … ?
A5) Dundee.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll leave you with a few words from birthday boy, Bernard Cribbinsº …




* I’ll start looking forward to that, Debbi! (And mopping the floor. And cleaning the oven.)

º Right Said Fred, in case it doesn’t show up, Debbi …

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Daily Teaser - 28-12-2011

*Yawning, frantically, Paul sat down at the keyboard and started typing … *

Hmm …

Yeah, that’s possibly about as descriptive as I’m going to get, I’m thinking!

But does manage to give you an idea about how I’ve been coping with a rather bad night.

To be frank … ?

I was up and down — either coughing, because of a cold, or heading for the bathroom — like a yoyo.

Or honeymooning couple.

Or elevator.

Feel free to pick a metaphor.

Any metaphor. Here’s the important bit: DON’T tell me which metaphor you picked. Now … You picked that one, didn’t you … ?

Yeah …

Let’s get moving on, shall we … ?

‹‹·››

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi putting in her answers: and — along with telling a little more of her late friend, Bill, and putting in this rather beautiful post — ALSO managing to bag 7 out of 7.*ª

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video
Q1) 28th December sees the Anglican, Catholic and Lutheran churches commemorate what … ?

Q2) 28th December, 1832, saw US Vice-President John C. Calhoun resign over States Rights: what did the C stand for … ?

Q3) 28th December, 1957, saw an English abattoir closed down, after an outbreak of what … ?

Q4) 28th December, 1065, saw the formal consecration of Westminster Abbey: what’s Westminster Abbey full name?

Q5) And finally … 28th December, 1879, saw the notorious collapse of the Tay Bridge: that bridge was between Wormit and which other Scottish city … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 27th December, 1977, saw the UK premiere of Star Wars: what do the film’s makers now call it … ?
A1) Star Wars Episode Four: A New Hope.

Q2) More to the point, who played Obi-wan Kenobi, in the recent prequels … ?
A2) Ewan McGregor.

Q3) Even more to the point, which Akira Kurosawa film does director George Lucas cite as a major influence on Star Wars?
A3) The Hidden Fortress: or 隠し砦の三悪人 (Kakushi toride no san akunin) in Japanese.

Q4) Moving on … 27th December, 2004, saw who’s party win the famously re-run Ukrainian General Election … ?
A4) Opposition leader, Viktor Yushchenko.

Q5) 27th December, 1949, saw which country granted independence by the Netherlands?
A5) Indonesia.

Q6) 27th December, 537 AD, saw the completion of which church?
A6) The Haghia Sophia, in Istanbul.

Q7) And finally … 27th December is Constitution Day in which Asian country … ?
A7) North Korea.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you later…






* Blimey, genealogy … ? Now there’s a subject …

ª Actually, about Star Wars, Debbi: granted, Lucas might have picked up one or two ideas from Lord of the Rings: but I can’t help but think there’s more than a hint of a nod to Frank Herbert’s Dune, in there. Concern’s Herbert raised in the introduction to his short story collection, Eye. But here’s the man himself …


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Rise Of The Planet of The Apes: Oook … And More Oook … !

Hmmm …

You know, I’ve said this before: and I’ll no doubt say it again.

But I’ve just had a quiet night in with a box of chocolates, and a movie.

And a reasonably impressive film, at that.

Although I’ll warn you to pay attention: I’ll be adding qualifications, later …

You see, the film I managed to catch, as a result of some Xmas gift money … ?

Was the 2011 film, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, with veteran motion-capture actor and performer, Andy Serkis, in the key role of super-intelligent chimp, Cæsar.

‹‹·››

Rise Of The Planet of The Apes sees James Franco as geneticist Dr Will Rodman, a man working on a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease: and using experimental gene therapies on chimps to find what they can.

Of course, one day … ?

One, of course, things go wrong: and one chimp — called Bright Eyes — is killed, going berserk, after being altered with the experimental treatment.

It’s only after she’s killed that Rodman, along with the chimps handler find that Bright Eyes was defending baby.

A baby chimp that Rodman — in the wake of his project being cancelled — decides to smuggle put of the lab, take home …

And adopt …

Called Cæsar — and played by Andy Serkis — the ensuing years … see that baby chimp grow, and become increasingly intelligent.

Until one day, a neighbour of Rodman’s has an angry exchange with Rodman’s father, Charles, something that causes the watching Cæsar to defend ‘his’ family.

The resultant rehoming of the intelligent ape at a local ape sanctuary … ?

Is only the START of things …

‹‹•››

Now …

What did I think of Rise Of The Planet of The Apes … ?

Well, I’m going to be frank, here, and tell you I’ll be giving it ★★½☆☆ on my usual scale.

As much I enjoyed it — and I’m also aware that Kevin D, bless him has seen it, and sounds like he’s of a similar opinion — I’m also thinking that there was possibly room for improvement.

Maybe that’s the wrong phrase.

You see, I’m very that the original 1968 film is not only one of the best loved bits of science fiction around, it, much like 2001: A Space Odyssey, are films have a certain measure of depth to them.

A depth that possible prequels, sequels and reboots would find had to match.

I’m also thinking that — as good as he is in Rise Of The Planet of The Apes — Andy Serkis isn’t exactly stretching himself for the part of Cæsar.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think anyone else could have done it.

I just happen to thing he gave a far superior performance in both Lord of the Rings and as Ian Dury in Sex ’n’ Drugs ’n’ Rock ’n’ Roll.

‹‹·››

Now … ?

That possibly sounds like I’m damning Rise Of The Planet of The Apes with very faint praise.

Possibly true.

But while I may well be doing that … ?

I’m also aware that it’s not a total write off: it is, after all, a very well done film, with a lot more oomph to it than some, along with some fantastically well crafted action*.

Can you do me a favour, if you get the chance … ?

If your do see Rise Of The Planet of The Apes

Let me know what you think …


Rise Of The Planet of The Apes
★★½☆☆










* As Kevin D was just reminding me, the battle scenes around the Golden Gate Bridge are great set-pieces.

The Planners Are Back … 

Hmmm …

You know, it’s been a while since I’ve written about Brentwood.

More to the point, it’s been a while since I’ve written about things going on in the immediate area of Brentwood that I live in.

But just to give you a quick summary?

My road — Rollason Way — is a recently built part of town.

So recent, bits of the other end of it are still going up.

And on top of that … ?

There’s on-going issues with the patch of greenery, just around the corner from me, in Saint James Road.

Something I know that I’ve written about before now.

(Just in case you haven’t the time? Many local residents complained about the proposed flats that were going to be put there, but now aren’t. A key objector who spoke out against it … was yours truly!)

But the situation looks like it’s STILL on-going.

As Brentwood Council has recently put up some more planning applications.

Have a look, here, at Proposal Ref: 11/01195/FUL.

Yep, someone wants to turn a patch of ground into MORE shops and offices.

Like we need them* … !














* Oh, no, wait … ! They want to add a CRECHE: so that makes it alright …