Friday, May 2, 2008

American National Day of who gives a crap.

Looks like the fundies are out in force in the good ole USA today - its apparently the National Day of Prayer. A day when everyone stops working towards the greater good, and starts sitting down muttering to themselves. Cause thats going to do some good apparently. Yes, instead of feeding the hungry, clothing the poor and helping the weak, they are going to pray for their sad asses.

I was walking to work today and got bugged by the sight of the Salvation Army out collecting...again. They always seem to be standing around with their hand out, and as a religious organisation, begging for my money seems a bit hypocritical. Don't they collect enough from their parishioners every Sunday? Either way, I will never give money to a religious organisation, especially one that reckons everyone should follow their wacky rules, or believes some mystical figure created everything.

I think PZ Myers has a pretty good understanding of this supposed National Day for Americans - fuck the National Day of Prayer.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Henry Rollins : Air Raid Vehicle at the Theatre

After making a concious decision to get a bit of culture in 2008, I was striding purposefully through the streets of Wellington, wondering exactly how I was going to accomplish this. Inspiration in the form of having to wait at a corner for the lights to change struck me. Well, it was more the coincidence of having Low Self Opinion blasting through my headphones, and seeing a poster for Mr Rollins on the lamp post in front of me. Aha! I thought - just the ticket. So I spoke to my bro, and we booked some tickets to see the angry Black Flag front man doing his spoken word tour through Australasia.

He was the front man for the punk band Black Flag, from 1981 to 1986, and after that disbanded he formed his own band and record label 2.13.61 (his birthdate). He also began doing spoken word tours, based on times when the mic was free during gigs and they needed someone to fill the gaps. As he said himself, it wasn't long until he was doing all the talking with some musical interludes, with the bands he had been supporting, now doing support for him.

Having turned 47 recently, Henry says he feels like an old bastard. But that hasn't changed his outlook on life or his enjoyment of new experiences. He frequently tours some rather odd places around the world, introducing everyone to Henry's brand of investigative tourism. He usually hears of a place that everyone says he shouldn't go to, and immediately books a ticket. After going to these far flung, and often dangerous areas of the planet, meeting the local citizens and makin new friends, he returns to the States and tells everyone about it. Its "my way of fucking with the man!"

We spent an enjoyable 3 hours and change listening to Henry Rollins explain his world, and many of his life experiences. It was fascinating, funny, poignant, hilarious, worrying and ultimately an excellent night out. But thanks to the Paramount theatre in Wellington, it also took a physical toll. I'm not a massive guy, but my legs are obviously long enough that I'm outside the average leg length for someone in 1812, which is when the stupid bloody seats were put in. My knees are still giving me gyp days later, and I swear my butt lost all circulation for at least 24 hours after the show.

But it was worth it - he's a great person to listen to, and as stream of conciousness goes he's the fucking master. He spoke for the 3 and some odd hours it seemed without taking a breath or a sip of water. I reckon if you get the chance, go see him and listen - amazing guy, loves the mic and good orator. He's doing the Edinburgh festival according to his website, 18 Aug - 25 Aug, so if your over there get along and check him out.

Otherwise, check out some of Henry's other stuff - he has released numerous spoken word albums, appeared on many TV shows, and also filmed a TV Series called the Henry Rollins Show for ITV last year.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Indy 4 TV Spot

Here we go with another Indy 4 TV Spot. A lot of the footage is stuff we have seen before but there are a few new shots of Indy back handing some dude, and Indy and Mut on a motorbike. Needless to say I am very excited about this and I am waiting for the full length trailer due sometime soon. Links to the Quicktime files follows. Have a look.

Quicktime download links:
Youtube vid.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Chronic masturbators solve world energy crisis

Yes, wanking for the common good will soon be in vogue once piezoelectric clothing takes off. Seen here on textually via Gizmodo a new fashion article called a Piezing Dress where the wearer generates a charge as they move that is stored in a small battery. The applications are endless as far as I'm concerned.

But seriously folks, if every affluent country of the world used this clothing for even 30% of its populous, we could save so much energy being generated at our fossil fueled powered generation plants. I forsee a future where air polluting energy generation is replaced by people taking long walks to power the telly, a quick jaunt on the exercycle to charge the water heater, or flicking one off the wrist to keep the monitor going on the PC.

Yes, even the spotty nerds currently sucking up the worlds power on their 15 monitors, 10 PC's, wireless devices, endless chargers and MP3 players could turn the energy crisis tide by simply wearing this clothing whilst having a tap. We would have an energy surplus. People walking to work, going for a run, walking the dog - hell lets coat the pets! Lets get those bloody cats to return something for once!

Trust me - its going to be an energy revolution my friends!

Movie Review : The Painted Veil

Starring : Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Leiv Schreiber, Toby Jones, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang
Directed by : John Curran
Synopsis : A young scientist and his reluctant wife move to the interior of China during a Cholera outbreak in the 1920's, and amidst Nationalist revolts against British intervention in the country.
My Rating - 4/5

Right about now you are wandering if I should be checked in for a psych evaluation. Well, sod off is all I can say. I was admittedly a bit hesitant to go to this movie, what with it being a drama, distinct lack of explosions and no snappy repartee during gunplay. But since it was a relaxing Sunday morning with She Who Must Be Obeyed, I thought it would be nice to spend a bit of "quality time".
I saw the review by Kate Rogers on TV3 and I must admit, I generally agree with most of what she says about a large number of movies, so the fact that she enjoyed it meant I went into it with a positive frame of mind.
Edward Norton is a brilliant actor, and while I don't always agree with the roles he plays, he has the talent to be able to pick the roles he wants to do. I didn't really like the Spike Lee film The 25th Hour, except for one scene where Ed does a monologue at the mirror - that one scene blew me away and made that whole movie worth watching.
It will be interesting to see how the new Hulk movie goes later this year.
Naiomi Watts I have never really liked to be honest, but this is one movie I can say she blew me away in. She captures the emotions and motivations of the character incredibly, and projects them so well you'd have to be blind to miss them. Superbly cast, both Naiomi and Edward made this movie entertaining and I got an emotional connection I don't normally get with this sort of movie.
Leiv Schreiber, Toby Jones, and Anthony Wong Chau-Sang also do an excellent job of capturing their roles and help flesh out this movie into a masterpiece.

Overdoing it much? Who gives a shit - enjoyed the movie, recommend you see it, but I don't care if you don't like it - I reckon its excellent.

Cats are evil - I knew it!

Yes its now official - cats are the spawn of all that is unholy. Not only do they defecate frequently on innocent home owners lawns, eat food and provide nothing in return that a robot can't do, but now they make us mental too. Its all their fault.

Clinton Pays for Good Science - Saves Arecibo

Hilary Clinton has stepped into the fray over the funding of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico by proposing a bill that will secure dollars for the facility. Currently it is funded by the National Science Foundation and they have announced that the will cut most of its budget by 2011. A spokesperson at NSF said that the observatory does “good and unique science”, surely this alone would be grounds to continue with the funding. People in favour of the facility have noted that the Bush administration are looking at doubling the NSF’s budget within the next 10 years. Amazing.

I know that the decision by Clinton is more than likely a political driven stunt due to the ongoing Democratic Presidential bid but I welcome the news and hope that the telescope at Arecibo has along and fruitful life. You never know, it may still receive a reply to the message that was beamed from there in 1974 (more below).

Facts about Arecibo:
1968, the discovery of the periodicity of the Crab Pulsar
1974 Hulse and Taylor discovered the first binary pulsar PSR B1913+16, for which they were later awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
1982, the first millisecond pulsar, PSR J1937+21, was discovered by Don Backer, Shri Kulkarni and others
1989, the observatory directly imaged an asteroid for the first time in history: asteroid 4769 Castalia
1990, the first extra-solar planets ever discovered.
2008, detection of prebiotic molecules methanimine and hydrogen cyanide in the distant starburst galaxy

The telescope also had military intelligence uses, for example locating Soviet radar installations by detecting their signals bouncing back off the Moon. Arecibo is also the source of data for the SETI@home project

In 1974, the Arecibo message, an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life, was transmitted from the radio telescope toward the globular cluster M13, about 25,000 light-years away. The 1,679 bit pattern of 1s and 0s defined a 23 by 73 pixel bitmap image that included numbers, stick figures, chemical formulas, and a crude image of the telescope itself.

It has also featured in the James Bond film Goldeneye as the Villains hideout and it played itself in the film Contact about a message from outer space.

The desire to expand the knowledge of the universe needs places like Arecibo to continue the work now and in the future.