Tuesday, 31 July 2012

the pillars of creation

An old photograph, but well worth another viewing.  'The Pillars of Creation', part of the Eagle Nebula, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. This is light and dust approx 7,000 light years away from Earth, creating new stars. These are huge things brothers and sisters, the left hand part being 4 light years long.   Amazing.  Look upon them and weep you mere mortals.

Below is another image, taken in 2011 by the Herschel Space Observatory, in far-infrared.  There is a lot more information and photographs  here and here.  Once again, amazing.

toodle pip

plane spotting at myrtle avenue

I know l am a pretty sad git, and l could in fact spend a short amount of time watching planes land and take off, but l wouldn't be seen dead spending the day at somewhere like Myrtle Avenue, a prime location for the spotters (let's just call them blokes, as they always are) to check out the arrivals and departures from Heathrow.  Toilet facilities (at a garage) are nearby, and l bet they are in constant use, as most of these middle aged sados will have weak bladders.  GET A BLEEDING LIFE  (as if l can talk).

toodle pip

Monday, 30 July 2012

sunday bloody sunday (1971) - john schlesinger

I mainly watched Sunday Bloody Sunday because it was directed by John Schlesinger, who's other early films l have enjoyed a lot, especially 'Midnight Cowboy' (I'm walking here!).  This though, l thought was pretty crap.  The performances are all good, albeit very 'early 1970's', and there was (yet another) love triangle, only this time with a bisexual sculptor as the fulcrum, but the story and characters didn't captivate me at all.  Basically, l couldn't have cared less if they had all been run over instead of the dog, despite Peter Finch (who in 1976 became the first Australian and posthumous Oscar winner), giving the best performance of all, as the gay doctor.  It was ground breaking at the time as it showed him to be well adjusted and successful, and he was the only character that l had empathy for, but l still didn't care that much if it worked out or not (and his parties were rubbish).  It could have been done a lot better, and l expected a lot more (says the stern Victorian dad).

toodle pip

the country girl (1954) - george seaton

There is a trio of huge stars in 'The Country Girl'.  Bing Crosby plays Frank Elgin, a drunkard ex singer who blames his wife for controlling him, but who has decided to try out for a new play.  This is being directed by Bernie Dodd (William Holden), a recent bitter divorcee, who wants Elgin for the role, despite objections from the producer.  Grace Kelly plays Georgie, Elgins (supposedly) domineering and manipulating wife, which rubs Dodd up the wrong way.  A lot of the story could be guessed in advance.  Elgin goes off the wagon, Dodd is  angry and harsh with Georgie (but softens), and a love triangle ensues.  Crosby however, is the real star in this, and produces a terrific performance that stands out above the others, despite Grace Kelly receiving an Oscar for her role in 1955, the year a bitter Judy Garland thought she should have won for 'A Star Is Born'.  There are some catchy songs as well, and some lines from this were used in the Mika song 'Grace Kelly', so it was a pleasant morning on the sofa for yours truly.

toodle pip

Sunday, 29 July 2012

mexico 1970 panini book

Amongst the many items of crap that l have, there are old football related pictures, 3D cards, books (and flick books), newspapers and programmes.  I don't however, have any Panini sticker albums, although l did used to collect them when l was a nipper. I saw this one for sale today.  It's from the 1970 World cup in Mexico (the first one l can remember), and is a complete original.  Nice .  Yours for a mere £1,999,99 (or near offer).  Not even l am mad enough to pay that kind of money, even if l was a multi millionaire.  I'd like the original, but reproduction copies (obviously in mint condition) can be yours for the less than costly sum of  £10.  I'm also still pissed off that the programme isn't worth much (less than £10), as l have one of those (somewhere).  Ah well, back to the comics (sad git that l am).

The programme

 The reproduction, plus stickers

toodle pip

Saturday, 28 July 2012

paul mccartney (geoffrey hughes) is dead

Remember back in 1969 when there were rumours that Paul McCartney was dead, and had been replaced by a lookalike?  Well now Paul has died, albeit in cartoon form, as Geoffrey Hughes, the actor that voiced him in the Beatles film 'Yellow Submarine', passed away on 27th July from Prostate Cancer.  Hughes is know (in the UK at least) for lots of other roles, but mainly as Eddie Yates in Coronation Street.  He was in numerous series as l was growing up, and was pretty much a constant face on the old goggle box.  He was also educated at Norris Green, a stone throw away from where l was born, so he's OK in my book.  Another loveable rogue of a (nearly) scouser (born in Wallasey) bites the dust.  There's not many of us left (so it's a good job l'm indestructible).

toodle pip  

the queen at the olympic opening ceremony

It was good of the Queen to appear with James Bond as part of the Olympic opening ceremony last night (God bless her etc), but it was terrible the way she responded to the actual event.  Looking pretty bored and disinterested throughout, with an opening speech that was thankfully short but also short on any kind of joy or emotion, the nadir was when the Great Britain team went past, full of the joys of spring, happy and celebratory.  Let's hope they didn't look up at her majesty, as she was busy examining her nails and looking pissed off that she was being kept up.  The commentator afterwards sprouting on about how proud she must be was a load of old sycophantic nonsense as well.  He should have had the guts to state what everyone had just witnessed, an old lady who was bored and just fulfilling her duties.  Don't give me any crap about her being 86 either.  Her (stupidly well paid) job is to attend functions and represent the country.  If she is not up to it, she should step down.  Saying that, as l always say, just get rid of the sponging bastards.  They couldn't look down their high falutin noses at the people with any more contempt if they tried.
By the way, the ceremony itself was great (and highlighted left wing causes).  Even Boris Johnson today said he enjoyed it, and if he isn't a blue blooded Tory toff, then l'll kiss our piss stained old cat full on the lips.

toodle pip

spider-man #328 artwork by todd mcfarlane (1990)

I still haven't finished collecting all of the original Spider-man comics yet, and to get high grade versions of some of the old ones is a pretty expensive business.  I don't bother collecting the artwork (I'm too poor), but if l did, this would have been a nice piece for the collection.  It's by Todd McFarlane and is number 328 from 1990.  Todd revolutionised the format, did some great artwork (including hiding spiders in the art), and introduced Venom into the equation.  The only trouble is, this piece was sold (probably to Jonathan Ross) on Thursday for $657,250.  That's why l don't collect the artwork (but l do have the comic, below).

toodle pip

the hole in mars

It has just been discovered that there is an unexplained hole in Mars.  Why there is a circular crater surrounding it is a mystery, and the hole looks to be about 35 meters across.  Maybe it's a large chimney and there are loads of little Martians living underneath the surface.  More information is here.

toodle pip

Friday, 27 July 2012

the new york lord of the rings sky

I'd have loved to have been in New York this week and seen this storm brewing.  The above are real photographs that have not been photo shopped, and they are all by Ryan Brenizier.  They are available to buy from his site here (without the writing on).  Very cool indeed, although l bet some people were thinking it was 'the end of days' or something..

Some other random photographs from the storm are below.

toodle pip

Thursday, 26 July 2012

hot air balloon

Something l don't normally see on the way home.  This appeared this evening from nowhere and put the willies up our idiot rabbit.  The cats too deaf and half blind, so didn't even notice.

toodle pip

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

the piss taking rich and the long suffering poor

One of the many things that annoy me about the present government, is how they are targeting the poor and disabled, more or less calling them a bunch of scroungers who are on the fiddle, unless they themselves can prove otherwise, because 'we are in a recession' and the government are  'trying to rectify Labour's mistakes and rash spending'.   Then they reduce the tax for the rich.  Non of this surprises me, as this new report about the rich avoiding taxes and using off shore tax havens also fails to do.  Apparently, avoiding taxes to the tune of 13 trillion pounds.

Want to know what a trillion looks like?  Check out this diagram, because although it is dollars, it is still astonishing.

Bunch of bastards, all of them.

I've said it before, and l'll say it again, it's time for a revolution brothers and sisters.

toodle pip

wayne rooney loot it poster

A great subversion of the England Wayne Rooney advert by Bill Posters.  Just loot it indeed.

toodle pip

the amazing spider-man (2012) - marc webb

So, myself and the FPO finally got around to seeing The Amazing Spider-Man in 3D at Teeside Park (as it had stopped showing in Richmond).  I was never that keen on the last lot of films, as l didn't like Toby Maguire or Kirsten Dunst in their roles as Spidey and Mary Jane Watson, so l was looking forward to checking out Andrew Garfield as the new re-incarnation of the franchise.  The word in advance of the film, was that they were going to stick to the story in the comic books, which l have wanted them to do from the start, being a big nerdy fan of the originals (up to 400).  I don't expect every little thing to be included in the film, but l did expect the story to be the same.  Unfortunately for me, it drove me mad watching some of the scenes, as l was tempted to shout out crazy stuff like "Peter Parker doesn't tell Gwen Stacy that he is Spider-man", and Gwen's dad (Captain George Stacy, the chief of police) dies when Spidey is fighting Dr Octopus, not The Lizard.  There is no mention of the next door neighbours 'The Watsons' (and girlfriend to be Mary Jane Watson), which could have been mentioned in a throwaway kind of 'you should meet Mary Jane from next door' way, as that is how it is done in the comics, until Peter finally sees her properly, and she tells him he has hit the jackpot (issue #42 for fellow nerds out there).  I've no problem with it being updated, and the use of mobile phones, skateboards etc, but the storyline in the comics is what made it such a success in the first place, so why keep pratting about and changing it, or presenting things in the wrong order?   As for the film overall, the 3D effects were good in places (and fantastic at the end), Garfield was better as Peter, Rhys Ifans was good as The Lizard, and  Emma Stone was fine as Gwen, but it still left me with an empty and annoyed feeling, especially when Spidey kept taking his mask off, and even Aunt May seemed to suspect he was Spider-man, which also bugged me.   Maybe l should give these kind of films a miss, and lie down in a darkened room instead.  No wonder my heart keeps stopping.

toodle pip

the clash doing tom egan

I was watching a French documentary about photographers (especially Pennie Smith), and it featured some footage of The Clash.  What song was it?  According to the documentary, it was 'Tom Egan'.   As far as myself, The Clash, and the rest of the right thinking (and English speaking) world is concerned, it will always be known as 'Tommy Gun', as that is what it's called (from the LP 'Give 'Em Enough Rope'.

toodle pip

morrissey with a cat on his head

Here's something you don't see everyday. Morrissey with a cat on his head (for PETA).

toodle pip

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

behind the scenes at batman 1966

Behind the scenes shots from the original Batman series in 1966.

toodle pip