Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I Don't believe in Coincidence

I smiled when I saw the title of this youtube film and then smiled a lot more when I got to see the whole thing:

So that was fine, and I nearly moved on to other pointless things, when i saw this cartoon in my inbox:

Which made me think that there was a sign out there for me to share it with you all.



Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year, 2015

Well it is finally here, 2015 has touched down, so as we always do, lets look back to see what happened in the past on 1st January...

[Cue swirly background and hippy music from the '60s. Then realise that 1985 was but 30 years ago and realise just how old you are...]

January 1st 1892, the immigration station on Ellis Island in New York Harbor opened. The gateway to the United States for so many millions of hopeful immigrants, this would be the first landfall for the immigrants from wars in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

January 1st 1985, the UK's first phone call from a mobile phone.

Michael Harrison, the son of Vodafone's first chairmen Ernest, nipped out from a New Year's Eve party to make the historic call, using the mother of all bricks: the Transportable Vodafone VT1.

Vodafone Transportable VT1

January 1st 2003, Joe Foss, the leading fighter ace of the US Marine Corps in WWII passed away. 

Mr Foss was a 1943 recipient of the Medal of Honor, recognizing his role in the air combat during the Guadalcanal Campaign. 

In October 1942, VMF-121 pilots and aircraft were sent to Guadalcanal as part of Operation Watchtower to relieve VMF-223, which had been fighting for control of the air over the island since mid-August.

On October 9, Foss and his group were catapult launched off the USS Copahee escort carrier and flew 350 miles north to reach Guadalcanal.

The air group, code named "Cactus", based at Henderson Field became known as the Cactus Air Force, and their presence played a pivotal role in the Battle of Guadalcanal.
Foss soon gained a reputation for aggressive close-in fighter tactics and uncanny gunnery skills. 

Foss shot down a Japanese Zero on his first combat mission on October 13, but his own F4F Wildcat was shot up as well, and with a dead engine and three more Zeros on his tail, he landed at full speed, with no flaps and minimal control on the American-held runway at Guadalcanal, barely missing a grove of palm trees.
On 7 November his Wildcat was again hit, and he survived a ditching in the sea off the island of Malaita. 

Joe Foss DM-SD-03-09574.JPG

In postwar years, he achieved fame as a General in the Air National Guard, the 20th Governor of South Dakota, President of the National Rifle Association, and the first commissioner of the American Football League, as well as a television broadcaster.

What I find truly amazing about Mr Foss, is that he was a decorated fighter pilot who shot down 26 enemy aircraft. His name became folklore in wartime USA and still, all of his decorations when put together come to this;

So whenever you see someone strutting around your local mall or high street wearing much, much more than this, be aware that there is the faintest possibility that they are fakers - stolen valor merchants.



Thursday, December 4, 2014

New Star Wars Film - Teaser Trailer Part 2

You think I'm crazy? Its a trailer for crying out loud! How many minutes in our lives can be dedicated to the new Star Wars Film trailer?

Oh my Padwan, have so much to learn, you do:

Stephen Colbert

This Star Wars fan has already inked one of the new characters onto their leg, forever

And then there is of course, the reaction to the new lightsabre:

kthanxbai! Jumblerant

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gangnam Style Breaks YouTube

You may have noticed that I have been a tad heavy on the posting of videos recently, and no, that is not going to change in the near future! In fact, as I was scrolling through my Google+ account today I stumbled across something that I found very interesting.

Gangnam Style by PSY has the highest number of views of any YouTube video. Ever.

So many views, in fact, that Google had to rewrite the code for the YouTube counter!

Whilst they rewrote the code they also put in a fun little 'doohickey' that spins the number like a one-armed bandit.

So Gangnam Style now has..... wait for it.... 2,151,949,101 views. 

Yes. 2 BILLION views and counting. 

That is literally phone number numbers where I come from.

Here is the video in case you want to go and check it out yourself;



Saturday, November 29, 2014

New Star Wars Film - Teaser Trailer

Those of us  born in the late 60's and early 70's will no doubt remember the 'original' star wars series of 3 films with Mark Hamill, Sir Alec Guinness and that little known actor, Harrison Ford.

After many 'interesting' versions of what went before such as the sadly unforgettable Jaja Binks or the exceptionally appalling acting by Hayden Christenson as Darth Vader, we are apparently into a new generation AFTER Star Wars IV - VI.

Here is the UK trailer;

So here are some comments from friends of mine on Facebook, regarding the trailer:

LP: Just watched the new Star Wars trailer. Got a little over excited and wet myself.

AS: IT'S HERE!!!!!!!!!


It's nice to have a major film launch that isn't out to sell itself, but let's the audience do that to itself!

If you want a break down of the trailer and what we can assume or learn from it, look at what Empire magazine has written about the teaser trailer or what call A Shot for Shot Dissection

Here is the Lego stop motion option, with added, humourous subtitles:

Let me be the first to state categorically that I am sure there will be people sleeping outside cinemas soon for the release of the film itself, in December.




Monday, November 24, 2014

Longmire Lives!

Longmire, the modern-day cowboy film that was A&E's second most popular show last year (after Duck Dynasty), is going to have a new lease of life under the most auspicious of hosts, Netflix.

I doubt very much that anything I wrote had anything to do with it, but hey, I can dream!

Netflix, by the way, now have at least one new customer - moi - who will be paying a lot of attention to whatever adverts Netflix puts my way.

According to

"the show's demographic is much older than most A&E shows, but Longmire had the highest viewership of any scripted series on the channel. If you aren't familiar, the plot centers around rural Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire and his crime-fighting chronicles based on the novels of Craig Johnson -- including a series-spanning search for his wife's killer. The set of new episodes will air in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand when they stream next year."

So I'm getting old I guess...



Sunday, November 23, 2014

Man Kills His Girlfriend

Its the age old story; boy meets girl, girl likes boy, they start going out against their parents wishes, girl jilts boy, boy savagely murders the girl and hides the corpse.

So whats the story here? Why do we care? Quite simply, because it just doesn't add up.

From those amazing chaps at NPR who brought us This American Life, we have a new show, a weekly updated serial, called Serial, that instead of being a self contained hour of interesting stuff, continues from week to week.

In my mind, this is in the finest traditions of story-telling, going back to Chaucer's tales which flowed into one and another, or to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, where there was one chapter a month in a magazine. Books could, and did, go on for years!

In 'Serial' Sarah Koenig reports on different aspects of the murder, the way the case was handled, the things that were missing from the trial and tries to jog peoples' memories, 15 years after the fact.

It truly is an interesting series and one that I cannot recommend highly enough.

As always there are those who would try to take away from the hard work, and they are quite funny too! Why not make up your own mind by downloading the series so far here and listening to it on your non-brand MP3 player?

You can also see maps, letters and photos of the story so far - here.



Post publish prose: Further reading about the Serial serial can be found here on Mentalfloss and on Mashable

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Life-changing Technology

Just looking around my desk at work I have my iPhone charging, my laptop charging whilst running on 3 screens, my Pebble smart watch charging and of course, my cappuccino which is recharging me!

Where is technology taking us? Nobody knows. Some claim to know but even they can be exceptionally wrong so here is a variety of people's uses of modern technology. FOr what they want to use it for;

Google Glass everyday use:

The amazing new uses for GoPro cameras:

And of course - my last blog post, below, about how plastic technology is slowly choking the planet to death - you know, to keep this light and fun...



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Go - OK Go - Go!

Technology and it's impact on us, as a human race, has been the basis for my last few posts, both in how it is improving our lives (below), and how it might be killing us off too, but here is technology used for no other purpose than make an epic (and I use that word advisedly) music video.

OK Go is a pop group that I have been following since their first video way back when. Now they have not only used cutting edge technology in their video, in this case with Honda branded self stabilising unicycles, but they have used a drone to do the filming!

The artistry and imagination needed by so many people to not only make it work, but work so well, shows us all that not only is OK Go a band to follow, but restores my faith in the music industry!

Go - OK Go - Go!

Oh, and after 1 day of going online, they have over 4,452,000 views. That is pretty amazing in anyone's books.



Monday, October 27, 2014

If You Can't See It, It Doesn't Exist

There is an online news agency called Vice that I have new found respect for. I’ve heard of it before, even watched a few of their bulletins, but the name put me off. 

Now let’s get things straight, I watch the news, I live and work on the internet, get immediate SMS to my phone in time of war or terror, and I even get a newspaper delivered to my door every day. 

The clip below is something that I feel is very important. It’s not new, it’s not sexy, and in fact it’s downright "un-sexy". It is something that is important to our lives, and will affect us, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it will somehow have an impact on each of our lives.

Let’s stay informed:

As the Captain says so poignantly in part 2, below, "there is no answer book – we’re writing the answers".

The saddest part? This was made in 2012 and its only getting airtime, in my head at least, now.