Monthly Archives: January 2010

Proof that Capricans can’t spell for toffee

Two episodes into Battlestar Galactica prequel series Caprica and I’m quite enjoying it, especially Esai Morales’s performance as Joseph Adama (magnetic and growly and totally convincing, rather like Edward James Olmos as his son William in the original show – great casting!).

However, the second episode contained these two spelling howlers:

As a pedantic sub-editor and grammar Nazi, I think I understand now why the Cylons decided to nuke the planet.



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What’s with the horns, Horner?

I finally got to see Avatar today (I clearly fail at being a film journalist because I waited for so many weeks. Please don’t tell anybody).

I wasn’t quite as impressed as I thought I would be; obviously the FX are impressive and it’s utterly beautiful in places, and I loved the Na’vi very much. But there wasn’t a single surprise in the entire film – I’d seen everything before, whether in a fantasy novel, a computer game or a less well-budgeted movie. It was derivative and bland, but somehow those three hours still sped by and I enjoyed myself, so I’ll forgive it its sins. And I suppose what I should remember is that there are generations of younger people who won’t have seen any of it before, so I should just pretend it’s fresh and go away and feel old all by myself.

And anyway, I heard a Wilhelm Scream at one point. It gets points for that.

One thing that seriously annoyed me, however, was James Horner’s score. While the vast majority of it was as competent and evocative as you’d expect from a man who’s been composing music for some of Hollywood’s greatest films for four decades, every now and then I’d hear a refrain from Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, coupled with a frighteningly similar piece of music from Aliens, or, indeed, any number of the many, many films Horner’s soundtracked which contain bits he’s plagiarised from himself.

Please, James, hear this plea: you’re great, you really are, BUT PLEASE STOP USING THOSE BLOODY HORNS PLAYING THOSE SAME BLOODY NOTES.  We’re onto you. Just write something new, okay?


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And The Daily Mail does it again!

I have no idea who this Liz Jones woman is but she wrote a wonderful column today in which she claims:

But to be honest I don’t think the majority of women, once they are past the teenage crush period, even think about sex that much.

They put up with it, with the repetitiveness, the ridiculousness, the inconvenience and the inevitable disappointment, because it gets them to where they want to be: married, with children and someone to help shoulder the bills and dig the garden.

Thank you, Liz Jones, for telling the world that women only want a man to provide for them, that they will never enjoy sex and that having children and a nice garden is all they can ever aspire to.

And by way of reply can I just point out that when you have your very first orgasm – because you’ve clearly never had one – I hope you look back on this and think, “Oh. Perhaps I was wrong.”

(I think there’s another point she’s trying to make here about how women shouldn’t dare to date men who are younger and prettier than they are, but someone else can fight that battle for me. I’m too busy fuming about the ‘sex’ thing.)


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Ice, ice, baby

I’ve been working from home this week and so I haven’t been affected by the Snowpocalypse (TM) currently affecting the UK, if you excuse giggling at all those news reporters on TV who’ve spent the last few days standing in a blizzard and reporting back to the studio, “Yes, it’s still snowing here!” as though we couldn’t figure it out for ourselves from just looking at them.

I did pop out to get some bread earlier today, however, and it really is amazingly icy out there – and considering I live in Richmond, which is a rich enough borough to have massive stockpiles of rock salt and top-class vehicles to spread it, that’s quite worrying. I feel sorry for all those folks whose councils ran out of salt ten minutes before it was needed…

Before the Snowpocalypse (TM) hit I spent a lovely day out and about in London with my friend James, who has now made it a yearly tradition to fly over from Los Angeles to see me every January (and possibly his family and all his other friends too, who knows?). We visited the Landscape Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the National Theatre (which was not only free but also warm) as well as our regular haunt, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the Natural History Museum. I have to say, this year was possibly the most disappointing year I’ve ever seen – not because the photos weren’t uniformly good, because they were, but because no image leapt out and smacked me round the face like they had in previous years. Which is sad.

Still, here are my three favourites…

Eyes in the Oasis:



That cat’s called Ryska, by the way, and she’s Russian.


At the end of the day James and I found ourselves in Trafalgar Square, where, for the first time I can remember in my seven years of life in London, the fountains had frozen over. I’m talking thick ice, too, two inches thick and possibly even strong enough to walk on.

Just after taking this shot, James and I said goodbye for another year, and the moment I got home it started snowing. Thankfully he made it back to LA despite the weather, too. The Snowpocalypse (TM) was kind to us – I hope it’s been kind to you, too!


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There’s nothing magical about THIS…

Happy New Decade, everybody! Here’s hoping you all had a lovely Christmas and a great start to 2010!

I want to show off one of my Christmas presents. It’s a Merlin calendar, based on the BBC’s joyous, family-friendly kids’ show. I always get silly calendars for Christmas from my friend Biddy and, seeing as we’re both fans of the show, this was a lovely treat.

Well, I thought it was until I opened it. Look what awaits the unsuspecting owner in February:

Yes, a bloody great spider. Thanks for that, Merlin calendar. Considering that the vast majority of people in the UK are arachnophobes, sticking a giant hairy spider on the page for them to stare at for an entire month was a GREAT idea.

But that’s not all! Look what awaits us in July!

Isn’t that something you’d love to hang on your wall during the sunniest summer month? Of course it is! We all love slimy monsters, don’t we?

And if that’s not enough, check out November:


And finally, let’s just take a look at May…

Beetles. For the love of God, BEETLES.

I mean, what the hell were they thinking? There’s so much lovely photography out there and yet these poor calendar designers were obviously only given high-res pictures of hideous monsters and random insects. For every shot of Merlin or Arthur or Gwen or Morgana (and the latter two ladies are beautiful, so how they managed to find bad photos of them is a mystery to me) there’s a crappy CGI thing you don’t want to look at for five minutes, let alone 30 days. Ludicrous!

No offence to Biddy (who also bought me lots of other, better, presents, including the film Moon on DVD), but I went out and bought another calendar today.

Fie on you, Merlin! *shakes fist*


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