Rob Schneider Or Roy Scheider?
Oct12

Rob Schneider Or Roy Scheider?

Do you ever find yourself wondering whether it’s Rob Schneider or Roy Scheider? I know I do. And that’s why I’ve compiled a helpful guide to whether it’s Rob or Roy. But not Rob Roy. That would be stupid. Rob Schneider or Roy Scheider? Which is the one who needs a bigger boat? That’s Roy Scheider! Roy is a product of the American capitalist system. He will always need a bigger boat thanks to media conditioning. Rob Schneider or Roy Scheider? Which is the one who “thinks” there’s a link between vaccines and autism? That’s Rob Schneider! Rob has studied the effects of vaccines on children for several decades, receiving a number of degrees and doctorates along the way. Many of Rob Schneider’s studies and double blind trials have been submitted for peer review and published earning him international plaudits among the scientific community. Despite all this he still thinks there’s a link between vaccines and autism because a friend of someone’s sister who knows someone he once shared a coffee with said that someone she knows thought she heard that a doctor might have said that someone else’s child was on the autistic spectrum and that child had recently not died because it had been vaccinated against smallpox. Rob Schneider or Roy Scheider? Which is the one who got to snuggle up with a Russian cosmonaut as they performed an aerocapture manoeuvre in Jupiter’s atmosphere? That’s Roy Scheider! Lucky, lucky bastard. Obviously, it wasn’t just Roy and a Russian who got to perform the aerocapture; they simply don’t have the heat shielding for that sort of thing. The pair of them were aboard the Alexei Leonov in the 1984 movie 2010. Having read 2001, 2010, 2061, and 3001 I can only be thankful that thus far neither of the last two have been turned into movies. Good grief, that last one especially was tripe. Rob Schneider or Roy Scheider? Which is the one who starred in that movie you like but which comic book snobs seem to hate for some reason? That’s Rob Schneider! I know! Rob Schneider appearing in a film I like! What are the odds of that? The film in question is Judge Dredd and whenever I’ve asked people what they think of the film they’ve almost universally hated it. “I didn’t like Stallone.” “It wasn’t very true to the comic book.” “Someone in front of me kept getting up to use the toilet.” Whine, whine, whine. Moan, moan, moan. You’re all wrong. It was a fun movie from the eighties that captured a lot of elements from a lot of different storylines from the...

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The Art Of The Self Shot
Mar11

The Art Of The Self Shot

Browse the web long enough – about six minutes should do the job – and you’ll stumble upon a self-photograph taken by a partially-dressed, young girl in a room in her house. Well, you do if you browse the sites I browse. I don’t know why young girls feel the need to strip naked or as near-nude as makes no difference but it’s clear that there’s either peer pressure or herd instinct at play here. As somewhat of a keen photographer I find the pictorial style represented by these undressed girls fascinating on many levels. Do they obey the rule of thirds or do they flaunt it? Are level shots the norm or is a jaunty angle considered de rigeur when snapping oneself in the nip? Actually, none of these questions can be answered as intense investigation has determined that there is only one rule when taking a self shot: include the counterpoint of interest. Self shots need a counterpoint of interest; something which draws the eye from the girl and then to the counterpoint, then back to the girl with a puzzled look on the face, back to the counterpoint, then to the girl in shock. It’s this interactive element that makes the self shot so absorbing and the photographic style such an engrossing art form. In very short order I’ve become something of a expert in the style. Let’s take a look at some examples: A brunette girl with an enigmatic smile stands in a bathroom, framed by towels. It couldn’t be a more normal scene played out in many bathrooms the world over. But then you see the sock. Why is there just one? Where is the other sock? There’s wonderful symbolism of loss here, something we’ve all experienced as we hunt through the tumble dryer and then run a hand around the still-damp inside of the washing machine drum wondering where it is. A wall covering hides a piece of conventional artwork in the background making certain that we’re not distracted from the art filling up the rest of the volume. So we can let our eyes fall on the scene: a girl with blonde hair and white knickers stands serenely in the middle of chaos. This is the eye of the storm and a clear reference to the camera with its picture-taking eye that casually freezes moments of continual motion every day in a way that should seem like magic to us but yet we take for granted. Beautifully-crafted. Another shot of a girl in chaotic surroundings but this is decidedly different. Here we see a short-haired girl trapped by the mess; it’s a...

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Professor Brian Cox, Drunk in Borneo
Jan27

Professor Brian Cox, Drunk in Borneo

Professor Brian Cox‘s latest programme for the BBC starts tonight. Wonders of Life follows the programme formula showcased in Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe taking Brian across the globe in a bid to explain the complexity, simplicity, and beauty of the evolutionary process and the way in which life came into being on the planet. It will be shown in HD so for those couple of people recently searching to see if Brian Cox wears a wig that will be your best chance to get close to the screen and make your own mind up (hint: would he really choose one that looks like that?) I caught up with Brian during a break in filming in Borneo and talked to him about the wonders of life. As we were (and still are) both men it was necessary for us to get out the alcohol in order to discuss a matter this emotive. Brian: Vodka means ‘little water’. Did you know that? Did you?! You need water for life. I think. So… vodka! Me: Vodka! Brian: Vodka! Wait! Water for life… water of life! Think about it chum! Me: Isn’t that whiskey? Brian: Oh, you’re only fucking right! You’re right you are! You know what? You are right! Let’s make some whiskey! Me: Whiskey! Do we have the ingredients for whiskey? Brian: Whiskey has taken millions and millions and billions of years to form… What did you say? Me: Are we making whiskey or what? Brian: Vodka! Me: What? Brian: Vodka and tea and me! I can distill whiskey. Don’t look at me like that! I’m a theoretical physician… physical… scientist! Watch! Me: Well, you are a bloody wonder. Brian: I see what you did there ya cheeky monkey! Me: Heh! Now I’ve seen everything. What sort of whiskey is it? Brian: It’s quite peaty. I was eating soil earlier. Me: Right. Why? Brian: There’s life in soil. Me: You’re weird. Has anyone ever told you you’re weird? Brian: No. Nope. Yes. My wife. And you. That’s two! Me: I’ll drink to that! Champagne! Brian: Down the hatch! Me: Skol! Brian: Do they still make Skol? I have not had Skol in years. Me: Do you want some Skol? I think you can probably get some because you’re a famous physicist… Brian: That’s the word I was looking for! Me: … but Borneo may not be a great market for weak beer. Might have to helicopter some in. Brian: I don’t want any Skol but I do like helicopters. Me: What are we talking about? Brian: Hey! There’s some WKD Blue behind the counter! Me:...

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Being Polite
Jul24

Being Polite

I still haven’t given up on my dream of becoming an hilarious web-based comic strip writer! Behold! The Cyclops Toast and Jonathan Livingston Flashunit in “Being Polite!” Okay, now I’ve given up on my dream of becoming an hilarious web-based comic strip...

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American Motels
Jul05

American Motels

Not only would I like to live forever, I’d like to have lived forever. I want to see everything that ever was, is, and will be. Sadly, stupid mortality will get in the way and my experience of the universe will be incredibly limited. I’ve seen some impressive things (and a lot of crap too) but not enough for my liking, and every time I look back at historical photos or writings or consider the various scientific conclusions of evolutionary progress on this planet I get a welling up of a sense of, well, not quite nostalgia – since I never saw or lived through these things in the first place – but something akin to it. A temporal wanderlust, perhaps. For instance, take the following postcards of American motels from the glorious era of American motels (whenever that was) uploaded by Jordan Smith: I’m not American, I wasn’t alive in the forties, fifties, or sixties, and I can’t help but imagine that a lot of these places would have been just unbelievably terrible places to stay in. But don’t they look fantastic anyway? There’s a wonderful style there that’s gone now. But it’s only just gone. In the grand scale of things I missed out on seeing these with my own eyes by a tad less than a smidge of a fraction. In a word: buggerations! Below I’ve selected a handful of my favourite motels from the postcard collection. Check out the entire set (linked in the paragraph above) and subscribe to Jordan’s In The Heart Of Downtown site to be kept up-to-date with every new American motel discovery too. Alexandria Bay in New York is the location of Captain Thomson’s Motor Lodge, featuring air conditioning and private balconies over the water. Of course, wood panelling is present too. You have to have wood panelling. What’s slightly more interesting about the motel room pictured is the size of the beds. Two beds, I understand. Two double beds… has implications. This motor lodge may have catered for large people. Alternatively – and I’m favouring this thought – it may have been popular with swingers. Look at that couple by the window. They’re looking out for beautiful people in polyester suits and flowery dresses to join them for an afternoon romp. You know they are. This is the Colonial Statler Hilton Inn, just twenty minutes from downtown Boston, and it’s not hard to love this place instantly. A swimming pool in a dome; if that doesn’t scream The Future to you then you’re not seeing the world through my eyes. What’s even better than a motel with a Future Pool?...

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Portsmouth Skeptics In The Pub
Apr16

Portsmouth Skeptics In The Pub

At the risk of treading on the toes of Strong Island which does a sterling job of talking about and promoting local endeavours in and around Portsmouth, and at the risk of talking about and promoting local endeavours in and around Portsmouth (something really quite alien to these particular interweb shores), and at the risk of linking the upcoming royal wedding with critical thinking and pubs I thought I’d just promote a local endeavour in and around Portsmouth whilst also linking the upcoming royal wedding with critical thinking and pubs in a manner that just may hook any oddball on the net who decides to combine those subjects in a search term. Have you heard about Skeptics In The Pub? No? Oh, but you should! Even though they spell skeptics with a ‘k’. But you never talk about that. First rule of Skeptics Club and all that rot. So, Skeptics In The Pub is the name given to a regular social event at various venues in various countries on various planets in various solar systems careering through various galaxies speeding away from other various galaxies and occasionally merging with other various galaxies whilst spreading out in various universes in various multiverses in various supermultiverses in the one all-encompassing great big suede wallet of supermultiverses carried around by God in his back pocket. The purpose of the pub meetings is to discuss or listen to topics on sceptical subjects such as: religion, lol homeopathy, pmsl can Intelligent Design explain Ray Comfort? how did we not know George Michael was gay? is crystal energy the only genuine alternative to bowel surgery? is there a conspiracy to spread negative press about use of probes in alien abductions? The pub meetings take place in a pub. We’ve thought about having them take place in a cemetery in order to throw off the government agencies who monitor our activities for subversive plots against William and Kate (more on them soon) but we’re all scared of ghosts. So they take place in a pub. This means we’re able to drink which has two benefits: alcohol allows us to think more clearly (or, at least, think we’re thinking more clearly, which is half – if not three-fifths – of the battle), and alcohol also clouds brain emanations which means meetings can take place without the need for silly tinfoil hats. Let’s see the UK secret service – screw you MFI! – steal our thoughts now! I know what you’re thinking (behold my Uri Geller levels of unearthly powers!); you’re thinking: gee mister, that sounds swell as a ripe peach! Can I come along? I’m sorry but...

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