Category Archives: Blog

General thoughts on life, the universe and everything. Stuff that doesn’t fit in the other categories!

Wallace, Gromit and Me

Rather than just provide a link to the news that Nick Park’s “Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit” won an Oscar, I thought I’d also point you to an interview:

NETRIBUTION – OSCAR WINNER NICK PARK — Wallace, Gromit and Me

The care and attention that goes into these films is, no doubt, exactly why they’re as good as they are.

On the other hand I have no idea why “Crash” did so well. It wasn’t a bad movie by any means but I thought it lacked the cleverness and brilliance that characterised most reviews I saw of it.

iPhoto 6 Cards

As you may have seen, I was generally quite impressed with the photo books that the previous version of iPhoto was able to generate. I was therefore quite keen to try the new cards that you can buy using iPhoto 6, the version included with the recently released iLife ’06. (Am I the only person that thinks that “iLife” is a really naff name? First that, then “MacBook Pro” rather than “Powerbook.” What next?!)

The first real opportunity was Valentines Day. I picked a picture of the two of us and poked around trying some of the various options. There are about twenty themes, ranging from very plain to unusably gushy (to my eyes). You can then customise the theme, modifying the way the picture is displayed (full page, drop-shadow, etc.) and adding text to the front and inside. It’s a nice, polished interface. Easy to use and just like the photo book process.

When ordering a single card, as I did, postage is more than the actual card! On the expensive side, I’d say, but well within the bounds of acceptability.

So what’s the verdict? What’s it like?

The short answer is that I still don’t know. I clicked the order button a full week before the 14th and now, a week after Valentines Day, it has still not arrived.

I don’t think I’m being unreasonable in expecting a card to take less than two weeks to print and be delivered. I realise that a card is more complicated than a few prints, but I have had my snaps delivered the next day a number of times after ordering through PhotoBox (no affiliation, I am just a satisfied customer!). Apple really need to improve their service in this area if they are to avoid alienating their customer base.

March of the Penguins

You’ve already seen once my disdain for Christian extremists. This week I found one more reason when we went to see “La Marche de l’empereur (2005),” or “March of the Penguins” if you, like me, can only read English.

As you may be aware, the Christian Right have adopted this movie as an example of both monogamy and Intelligent Design. If you’ve seen the film you’ll realise that it’s neither.

The idea that a creature most comfortable in the water walking over seventy miles several times a year is proof of intelligent design is, frankly, laughable. And the monogamy bit is only slightly more convincing. Yes, they do have a single partner but only for one mating season. Next year, should they survive, they’ll find someone new.

Fortunately none of this distracts from the film. It isn’t especially deep or meaningful and it doesn’t go into detail as much as, say, an Attenborough series on the BBC would. It’s beautifully shot. The commentary is generally interesting, although it does lapse into easy anthropomorphism rather too frequently.

Enjoyable and worth seeing, just not necessarily for the reasons that some people tell you…

Dante’s Inferno Test

The Dante’s Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell – The City of Dis!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

LevelScore
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 – Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 – The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 – Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante’s Inferno Hell Test

Weirdest Movies Reviews in the World — Ever

This is incredible. And I don’t use the word lightly.

The site in question is the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Reports. Here you can find hundreds of “reviews” of movies and ratings of how well they conform to one interpretation of good Christian values. They claim that it’s objective but there are a number of opinions about the faith that would not be shared by all.

I think pretty much all of my favourite films do very badly on their scale. I have not checked through all of them yet but two of the best ones so far are for The Incredibles and The Passion of the Christ. They both score roughly the same, yet the former, a typical Pixar movie with all those hallmarks that Disney films used to have, has “…behavioral, moral and value implantation dangers” while the latter, despite depicting a man being nailed to a cross, “…is [only] a movie.”