Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Zen Bound

It's not always easy to predict what will happen in a day... This morning I was talking to an old friend in Fiji, as you do. He mentions a game you can download for your iPhone called Zen Bound. I download said game. I get hooked.

It's a rather bizarre little game. As the link to the website, above, will tell you, it is "a calm and meditative game of wrapping rope around wooden sculptures". I said it was bizarre. But strangely compelling.

The sham continues...

Those pesky pranksters at NASA have even got Google under their spell. You can now explore the moon's surface on Google Earth. The clip below has a man pretending that he went to the moon in 1972 (he's very convincing) and inviting us to tour the moon "as I did" in Apollo 17 (yeah, right).

You can even view human artifacts left on the surface of the moon from each of the missions. Or rather you can view 3D models of them because... er, they're not really there and NASA made the whole thing up! They should just come clean and admit it was all one big joke that got out of hand. I mean, it was the 60's. One guy probably just gazed skywards and said, "hey, wouldn't it be cool to walk on the moon!" and next thing you know they're being given millions of dollars to knock up plans for a lunar landing craft.

Still, fair play to them. They know how to keep a secret.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

A freelance what?

"So, I hear you're leaving us?" Sam half stated, half asked.
"I am indeed", I replied.
"Where are you going to?"
"Um, I don't know! I haven't got another job, if that's what you mean."
"Hey, that's... brave!"
"Yeah, I'm getting a lot of people telling me I'm brave. Either that or foolhardy!"
"Yes, some would say foolhardy."

When he said he thought I was brave, did he really mean to say I was foolhardy?

When people ask me what I'm going to do when I leave Hope, I tend to respond by saying I'm not sure. I'm trying to get into the habit of saying I'm going to be 'freelance'. "A freelance what?" usually comes the reply. It's a fair question. By way of an answer to this I feel like the woodwork student who is asked by his teacher what it is he is making:

"I'm making a portable", replies the student.
"A portable what?", asks the teacher.
"I don't know yet... I've only made the handles!"

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Not moonwalking

And why is 'moonwalking' called 'moonwalking'? Since when did walking backwards in such a way to make it look like you're walking forwards replicate what Neil and Buzz (but not Michael) did on the lunar surface?

Over the last few days I've seen the clips from the lunar landings (faked or otherwise) a number of times and at no point have I seen the astronauts walking backwards but eerily looking as though they should be moving forwards. Or have I missed those clips?

Perhaps with Michael Jackson's death, the moonwalk can now be reclaimed by NASA? Assuming of course that Michael Jackson's death hasn't been faked as well...

Monday, 20 July 2009

Not walking on the moon

40 years ago today the first men walked on the moon. Or did they? The conspiracy theorists will tell you it was all a hoax, and that Capricorn One was so close to the mark that they had to change the premise of the film from a faked mission to the moon to a faked mission to Mars.

Personally I feel sorry for the guy who had to stay in the command module, so never got to walk on the moon. So let's celebrate the 40th anniverary of Michael Collins' great sacrifice.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Slow down, you move too fast

We were up early this morning so we watched the Disney-Pixar movie Cars on DVD. Freya lost interest after the first 10 minutes or so, but Rachel and I found ourselves watching it all the way to the end even though we'd seen it before. It's such a good film!

Behind the amazing animation is a story about the importance of having to slow down once in a while. Life isn't all about winning.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Monday, 6 July 2009

Saturday, 4 July 2009

One small step

Watched Capricorn One last night (another birthday DVD from Rachel). I've seen it so many times and is possibly one of my favourite films of all time!

The film centres around what is supposed to be the first manned mission to Mars. But it quickly emerges that due to technical and political reasons the mission needs to be abandoned. Or rather, the mission goes ahead, it's just that the astronauts are removed from the rocket before it launches. What follows is an attempt to fake the Mars landing, and in my opinion it makes for a great thriller even though it is now over 30 years old!

Seems all the more appropriate due to the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landings, given the movie was inspired by the claims that the moon landings were faked.

IMDB seems to suggest that a remake of teh film is due out next year.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

I can't decide

I'm currently enjoying reading Dave Gorman's latest book, America Unchained (another birthday present from Rachel!). It chronicles his attempt to drive across the USA avoiding all the big Chains. This means he doesn't allow himself to stay in any of the Chain motels and, more of a challenge, he's not allowed to fill up his car at any of the Chain gas stations.

The trip was inspired by an earlier stint in the States in which Gorman had lamented how the big Chains had taken over America at the cost of independent owners of motels, gas stations, and so on.

As I say, I'm really enjoying the book but was distracted from its pages the other evening when I heard Dave Gorman's voice coming from the TV. He was providing the voiceover for an ad for Sainsbury's Homebase, a large chain of DIY stores in the UK.

I couldn't decide whether that was a little ironic or a tad hypocritical...?