Friday, April 25, 2008

We will remember them

Its ANZAC day here in New Zealand, and for those of you out there who don't know what its about, its the day we remember all the Australian and New Zealand armed forces who have fought for our countries. The ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) troops fought in Gallipoli, Turkey during World War 1, and is remembered for being one of the worst planned attacks by British and Commonwealth forces in history. Both sides lost over 140,000 men over during the period 25 April 1915 to 9 January 1916. The picture to the left is ANZAC Cove in Turkey where we gather every year to honour those on both sides who made the supreme sacrifice.

Personally, I don't condone war as an answer to anything. But I also don't judge those in our history who chose to fight for what they deemed was right. There were thousands of men and women who, in our small nations history, have at some time or another taken up arms in defense of the British Commonwealth, to serve the United Nations in peace keeping duties, or serve as peacekeepers in the South Pacific. These men and women deserve our respect and gratitude for having the guts to stand up when it counted.

The ANZAC website says it best I think :

Although Anzac Day, the anniversary of the first day of conflict, does not mark a military triumph, it does remind us of a very important episode in New Zealand's history. Great suffering was caused to a small country by the loss of so many of its young men. But the Gallipoli campaign showcased attitudes and attributes - bravery, tenacity, practicality, ingenuity, loyalty to King and comrades - that helped New Zealand define itself as a nation, even as it fought unquestioningly on the other side of the world in the name of the British Empire.

After Gallipoli, New Zealand had a greater confidence in its distinct identity, and a greater pride in the international contribution it could make. And the mutual respect earned during the fighting formed the basis of the close ties with Australia that continue today.

My Great Grandfather served in the New Zealand army at Paschendale in WWI, my Grandfather served in the Merchant Marines in WWII, my great uncle was in the SAS in Malaysia, and my father-in-law was did two tours in Vietnam. They all deserve to be honoured for the sacrifices they made for their country and we use this day to do that.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Movie Review : Goal ; aka Shite ; aka David Beckham cant act for peanuts

Director : Danny Cameron (whoever he is)
Stars : bunch of footballers and some shite actors
Synopsis : Who gives a shit really.
Rating : Isnt it obvious?

Well, not much to be said for this film really. It starts out with the standard sob story - poor kid crosses border from Mexico with family searching for a better life, is good at football but his father (stereotypical domineering "you'll never amount to anything", tall poppy syndrome bastard) discourages him from playing as it interferes with his ability to bring in the dough.
Travelling ex-footballer sees him playing, convinces him to go and try out for Newcastle, convinces club manager to see him, is generally the fucking king of convincing everyone in the movie to do shit, and lands him a short contract. Blah blah blah blah -if it was any more formulaic, you'd be taught it in Organic Chemistry. "Ok children, heres the formula for the chemical MakeAShitMovieThatMakesPeopleSick."
Has all the standard plot endings, and I mean ALL of them :
boy gets the girl
boy scores the goal to win the game
boy gets girl to watch football and enjoy it (suspension of disbelief went into overdrive with that one)
boy reforms other bad boy who also scores goal in final game
boy gives old father figure type reason to get back into football at management level
boy's father watches him play (on the telly albeit) and finally respects sons ability to kick ball
boys father dies giving boy motivation to play big game (not quiet sure how that works)
boy finds out about father watching game on telly allowing him to make peace with father...apart from the fact that he's dead of course.
boy meets David Beckham, Zidane, and a whole lot of other famous football players, and plays with Alan Shearer.

What a load of tripe. And they made a sequel as well. I had got my grubby paws on both but now I'm not even going to bother with the 2nd one. What garbage.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The I.T. Crowd - Deleted Scenes and Outtakes

For those out there that are fans of the comedy show The I.T. Crowd here is a clip from the show. It was cut from the show and shows how real nerds and geeks play football. Funny stuff. More after the jump

Here are some outtakes from season 1

And here is season 2

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

No Mr Fluffy, I expect you to die!

As mentioned in my earlier post, we need a cat gun to keep the critters off my damn lawn, so I don't have to dodge catshit landmines when I'm taking out the rubbish or mowing the lawns. Well, ask and ye shall receive. New and purchaseable on the interweb is the Mega Sonic Scatter Cat.

Yes, now those pesky animals will fear your lawn, and if I customise it to go continuously in non-predictable patterns sweeping my whole lawn, I can create a no-go zone for felines and other small furry things. Combine that with the paint ball sentry gun then you have an effective anti-cat area, ensuring crap free lawn mowing, and totally avoids that awful squishy feeling between the toes when taking out the trash.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fan Made Predator V's Batman Film

I came across this today which i though was pretty well done. Its a Predator V's Batman fan-film. I would not usually mention this sort of stuff but I thought that this looked pretty good. Despite the fact that this is fan made I reckon that the costumes look very good and the direction is not bad either.

A couple of things that are not so good were the grey suit that they have Batman in and the way certain characters move (namely when Batman jumps down or the Alien jumps). On the whole i though that this was well done, I liked the shot of batman as he stands up after he has jumped down from the rooftop. The lighting was nice and dark with flashes of light in the rain, nice work. And the Alien looked pretty damn good.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ancient Russian Technology

It looks like the crew of the Soyuz that just landed had a wee bit of a bumpy ride. According to the returning ISS crew hit 10gees on re-entry into the atmosphere and landed more than 250 miles away from the target landing zone. Everyone is well but I bet they were shitting themselves when they were on their way down.... Jeez. also reported that they landed short of the target due to a possible ballistic re-entry which is "a steeper than normal descent that can subject the crew to higher gravitational forces". I hate to hear about this sort of thing and it sucks that the manned space missions have to rely on this kind of technology. Fortunately NASA have been involved with upgrading these spacecraft over the last few years which has added to the safety, control and comfort.
Well done to the crew for getting back safely and I hope that this does not deter them from going back.