Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Daily Teaser — 31-3-2013: Get an Eiffel of This … 

It s official.

Britain is now on British Summer Time.

Basically, that means everyone puts their clocks one hour forward.

Personally … ?   I’ve got to admit, I still don’t know why it’s done: I grew up being told it’s generally helpful to farmers.

With nobody, even in a town that’s surrounded by farmland, any the wiser as to how.

If I ever find out … ?   I’ll let you know … !

Let’s move on, shall we … ?

~~≈≈~~

Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Debbi and Mr Strict putting in their answers: with Mr S getting his answers in first*, and Debbi letting us know she’ll be watching last night’s episode of Dr Whoº, later, it saw Mr S bagging 4 out of 6, and Debbi 6 out of 6.

Let‘s see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we … ?

Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video … 

Q1) 31st March saw the inauguration of the Eiffel Tower: in which year of the 1880s … ?
Q2) In which Parisienne park is the Eiffel Tower … ?
Q3) 1925 saw conman, Victor Lustig, sell the Eiffel Tower how may times … ?
Q4) 1957 saw what added to the top of the Tower … ?
Q5) And finally … 1987 saw A. J Hackett make one of his first whats from the Eiffel Tower … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers … 
Q1) 30th March, 1856, saw the signing of the Treaty of Paris: which war did the Treaty of Paris mark the end of … ?
A1) The Crimean War.
Q2) That Treaty was signed by the Russian Empire, and the four powers that opposed it: name one of them.
A2) The Ottoman Empire, British Empire, Second French Empire and Kingdom of Sardinia.
Q3) 30th March, 1981, saw the attempted assassination of President Reagan, by John Hinckley, junior.   Which film star was Hinckley famously obsessed with … ?
A3) Jodie Forster.
Q4) 30th March 1909, saw the opening of the Queensboro Bridge, in New York: name either of the New York boroughs it connects … ?
A4) Queens and Manhattan.
Q5) 30th March, 2002, saw the death of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.   What had her title been, before her husband inherited the throne … ?
A5) The Duchess of York.
Q6) And finally … 30th March, 1867, saw US Secretary of State, William H. Seward purchase what … ?
A6) Alaska.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Carl Rae Jepsen …
“I just saw someone get proposed to right as I passed by the Eiffel Tower! I felt like I was watching a romantic movie!”
Carly Rae Jepsen
And with this song from the strangely named The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower … 


Gosh, they’re noisy.

Happy Easter … !











*        And thus — as I’m in that sort of mood — earning the Official Clap: the round of applause due to the person getting their answers in first … 

º        Oh, Debbi, feel free to have a look at my post about it: there’s spoilers, though … !

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Dr Who: Series 7 Part 2 — Episode 6 The Bells Of Saint John

Trapped
The Bells Of Saint John
 *Spoilers*

Oh … 

So that’s what the title means … !

I have to admit, I’ve just been watching today’s episode of Dr Who — episode 6 of the seventh series, The Bells Of Saint John — and I’m reaching for my Thesaurus for a synonym for impressed.

Although maybe that’s not quite the right word word, there.

Actually, neither’s embossed, one of the other options my thesaurus is offering … but that’s possibly a whole other post.

At any rate, I’ve just seen The Bells Of Saint John: and I liked it … !

~~≈≈~~

But let me try to summarize what I’ve seen, tonight.

The Bells Of Saint John picks up some time after the events of The Snowmen and Asylum of the Daleks: and shows us an eleventh Doctor who’s quietly gone into retreat in a thirteenth century Cumbrian monastery: where he’s been nickname ‘the mad monk’ by his fellows.

Until one day … ?

His brother monks alert him to to the fact that the bells of the title are ringing.   The bell in question … ?   Being the ringer of the otherwise nonfunctional phone in the door of the TARDIS*.

The woman phoning … ?

Is the modern world version of the women the Doctor’s been grieving for: Clara Oswald.

Clara’s having trouble with her wi-fi connectionº.   As are quite a few other people in London.

Seemingly, and as we’re told by an unnamed trapped member of the public in the pre-title teaser, people’s souls are being kidnapped, over the Wifi signal that pervades the UK.

~~≈≈~~

Now … ?

Was I impressed … ?

You know, I have no idea: I do know my thesaurus — at least the rather fine one that comes with Snow Leopard — isn’t given me any help.

At any rate … ?   I’ve got to admit to having thoroughly enjoyed The Bells Of Saint John.   OK, granted, it wasn’t perfect.

But I think tha Steven Moffat, as head writer and show-runner has finally hit his stride: not only has he and the crew given us a perfect bit of rebooting to this half of season seven — certainly on a par with Partners In Crime, the season four opener, and another nice romp of an entertaining episode — it’s ALSO given us a surprise — possibly — re-appearance of the Great Intelligence: voiced this time by Richard E. Grant and the villain behind the piece.

I’m just hoping that’ll be a theme for the rest of the season.

The Woman Twice Dead
 ≈≈~~≈≈

The Woman Twice Dead … Again
There Is No Spoon … 
The Doctor And Clara
 Moving on, slightly, here … ?

And more of a PS to the main post … ?

The BBC have officially announced that both David Tennant and Billie Piper are to reprise their roles — as the Tenth Doctor and Rose, respectively — for the fiftieth anniversary special, later this year.

Quite how that’ll turn out, I’m not sure: although I must admit to a touch of disappointment.

After all, multiple doctor stories have been done before … 

Still … Here’s hoping … !













*        The MacKenzie Trench designed Metropolitan Police boxes that the TARDIS prop is modelled on have a Saint Johns Ambulance logo on them: I’m not sure, but I believe that means the first aid box in the thing were supplied by — or met the standards of — the Saint John Ambulance brigade.   You can see how a monk could get confused … 

º        Couldn’t you just STRANGLED BT … … ?

The Daily Teaser — 30-3-2013

Right … 

NOW, we’re cooking on gas … !

Well, strictly, I’m cooking on electric, but you’ll forgive the expression: especially when you consider that Dr Who’s back on, tonight.

You’ve possibly already worked out I’m a fan: and one who’s looking forward to that … !

Yeah … 

I’ll have the post up, later … 

But I’ll also show you the trailer for tonight.


Let’s move on, shall we … ?   Before I bore the non-fans … 

~~~~~

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi* putting in her answers: along with commiserating that some never learn, she ALSO bagged six out of eight.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s Teaser, shall we … ?

Here it is, along with the ‘How To’, license and video … 


Q1) 30th March, 1856, saw the signing of the Treaty of Paris: which war did the Treaty of Paris mark the end of … ?
Q2) That Treaty was signed by the Russian Empire, and the four powers that opposed it: name one of them.
Q3) 30th March, 1981, saw the attempted assassination of President Reagan, by John Hinckley, junior.   Which film star was Hinckley famously obsessed with … ?
Q4) 30th March 1909, saw the opening of the Queensboro Bridge, in New York: name either of the New York boroughs it connects … ?
Q5) 30th March, 2002, saw the death of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.   What had her title been, before her husband inherited the throne … ?
Q6) And finally … 30th March, 1867, saw US Secretary of State, William H. Seward purchase what … ?

And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …

Q1) 29th March, 1886, saw Dr John Pemberton brew up the first batch of Coca Cola: in which Georgia city … ?
A1) Atlanta.
Q2) Pemberton originally sold the drink as Pemberton’swhat … ?
A2) French Wine Cola.
Q3) Pemberton’s original recipe called for thirty pounds — or fourteen kilograms — of what: sugar, salt or pepper … ?
A3) Sugar.
Q4) Some US retailers managed to create demand for Coca Cola made with cane sugar.   This version is usually exported from which Central American country … ?
A4) Mexico.
Q5) In which year was Coca Cola declared Kosher … ?
A5) 1935.
Q6) Two halal alternatives to Coca Cola have been made in Europe: in France and England.   Name either.
A6) Qibla-Cola and Mecca-Cola.
Q7) In which year of the 1980s was New Coke introduced … ?
A7) 1985.
Q8) And finally … In which year did Coke’s advertisers introduce the “It’s the Real Thing” slogan … ?
A8) 1969.

I’ll leave you with this thought from renowned Jewish philosopher, Maimonides …
“Accept the truth from whatever source it comes.”
Maimonides, 30th March 1135 to December 12, 1204
And with this song from Norah Jones … 


Enjoy your day … 












*        Very true, Debbi, very true … Now … I’m going to set my dvd’s timer for 6.15: I’ll have a post up, later, Debbi, just in case … ! :D

Friday, 29 March 2013

About A Door … 


You know, back at the start of March, I put up a post about the front door to my building.

Oh, not to my flat — I do try to be care about the place  — but about the front door of the building that my flat’s in.

Just to reiterate, one of the neighbours seems to like a drink or three, and seemingly gets heavy handed as a result.

With the net result — as you can see — that they managed to smash the lower pane in Damon House’s main entrance.

Now, I managed to get in touch with Corinne: who’s our landlord, Circle Anglia’s*, new Housing officer for the area.

Now, the last time I got in touch with her, she told me the repair had been ‘marked for completion by the 27th of March’.

Wednesday, in other words.

As you can see from today’s photos, that’s not been done.

Now, I’m the first to admit I’ve not been a stunning tenant, having had my share of rent difficulties in the past.

Burt I’m ALSO of the opinion that — just as a tenant has a responsibility to his landlord — a landlord ALSO has a duty to his tenants.

One of those … ?

Is to get repairs done: what’s more, done when they have told someone they’ll get done.

Anything else … ?

Is just not on.














*        Also known as South Anglia, I should add: the group has different divisions, with different names, in different parts of the country.   I always manage to get the two mixed up.

The Friday Question Set — 29-3-2013

It’s OFFICIAL!

It’s Good Friday … !

And to be frank, the chance to — once more — stuff myself silly with Hot Cross Buns is one I’m … 

Well … 

Really not bothered about, actually.

It’s only a bun, after all!

≈≈~~≈≈

But one that is — much like some that regularly crops up, here — around on a Friday.

Yes … You’re right.

That WAS a bad link for the Friday Question Set, wasn’t … ?

At ANY rate, here’s THIS week’s Friday Question set: covered, as ever, by the usual License*.

Online 196   
ROUND ONE.   GENERAL KNOWLEDGE.  

Q1) The largest Greek population, outside Greece, is, apparently in which New York Borough: Queens, Manhattan or the Bronx?   
A1) Queens.

Q2) What word can go after ‘bottle’ and before ‘manager’?   
Q2) ‘Bank’.

Q3) In which British institution did Karl Marx write Das Capital?   
A3) The British Museum.

Q4) What was the name of the family, in The Beverly Hillbillies?   
A4) Clampett.

Q5) Where on the body might a cataract appear?   
A5) An eye.

Q6) Who did Bianca de Macias marry, in 1971?   
A6) Mick Jagger

Q7) What word describes linking computers together?   
A7) Networking.

Q8) In printing and editing, what do the initials UC stand for?   
A8) Upper Case.

Q9) Cob is the name given to the young of which bird?   
A9) The Swan.

Q10) Trumpets and cornets belong to which group of musical instruments?   
A10) Brass.

ROUND TWO.   SPORTING CHANCES.  

Q11) Græme Le Saux was born in which Islands?   
A11) The Channel Islands.

Q12) Which London based sporting event did Dionico Ceron win for 3 years in a row?   
A12) The London Marathon.

Q13) At which US sports event did Janet Jackson famously suffer a wardrobe malfunction?   
A13) The Superbowl.

Q14) In which sport do participants wear sheepskin nosebands?   
A14) Horse–Racing.

Q15) How many league goals did Bobby Charlton score for Manchester United?   
A15) 199.

Q16) Which football club plays at the Riverside Stadium?   
A16) Middlesbrough.

Q17) With which sport do you associate TV commentator, Julian Wilson?   
A17) Horse–racing.

Q18) Steve Bloomer is associated with which sport?   
A18) Football.

Q19) On what surface is curling played?   
A19) Ice.

Q20) After which horny animal is the Leeds Rugby Super League team named?   
A20) Rhinos.

ROUND THREE.   AT THE MOVIES.  

Q21) Who played the title role in Spartacus?   
A21) Kirk Douglas.

Q22) David Lean’s film was about a passage to which country?   
A22) India.

Q23) Who, in The Jungle Book, who is the king of the swingers?   
A23) King Louie.

Q24) Which James Bond Theme did Tina Turner sing?   
A24) Goldeneye.

Q25) Which actress appears both in The Beloved, and The Colour Purple?   
A25) Oprah Winfrey.

Q26) Who was the first black male actor to win an Oscar?   
A26) Sidney Poitier.

Q27) Thomas Mapother 4th is the real name of which film star?   
A27) Tom Cruise.

Q28) Which Ancient Greek theatre gives its name to a chain of cinemas?   
A28) Odeon.

Q29) Which Matrix character is played by Carrie Anne Moss … ?   
A29) Trinity.

Q30) Who were Mack Sennett’s most famous comic creations?   
A30) The Keystone Cops.

ROUND FOUR.   BLINDED WITH SCIENCE.  

Q31) Bluetooth is named after a king of which country?   
A31) Denmark: he was Harald the 1st of Denmark: unified it with Sweden and Norway, which is why the makers of Bluetooth used it as a name.

Q32) Which organic chemical was first used as an anæsthetic in 1846: ether or alcohol?   
A32) Ether

Q33) 12.5% can also be expressed as which fraction: 1/6th, 1/8th or 1/10th?   
A33) 1/8th.

Q34) Ores are minerals that contain what?   
A34) Metals.

Q35) Planetoid, Sedna: it’s named after a goddess from which North American tribe?   
A35) The Inuit.

Q36) Deoxyribonucleic acid is more commonly known by what initials?   
A36) DNA.

Q37) Which body part has an enamel coating?   
A37) The teeth.

Q38) William Tainton was the 1st person on what?   
A38) TV.  (J. L. Baird used him as his 1st human guinea pig.)

Q39) At what temperature Celsius does Hydrogen Hydroxide freeze?    
A39) 0˚ Degrees Celsius.  (It’s the other name for water.)

Q40) What’s the main ingredient of glass: sand, putty or cheese?   
A40) Sand.

ROUND FIVE.   GREEN AND SCALY.  

Q41) How many horns did the triceratops have?   
A41) Three.

Q42) What kind of animals were the first vertebrates: crabs, fish, or worms?   
A42) Fish.

Q43) What is the study of fossils called … ?   
A43) Palæontology.

Q44) Which dinosaur had a name that meant Great King lizard?   
A44) Tyrannosaurus Rex

Q45) What was the huge, now extinct tiger noted for its teeth?   
A45) Sabre toothed tiger.

Q46) The Diplodocus had the longest … what?   
A46) It had the longest tail.

Q47) What sort of creature was the cœlacanth?   
A47) A fish.

Q48) Kieselguhr is fossilised plankton: is it used for polishing or making of dynamite?   
A48) Both.

Q49) What was the prehistoric equivalent of today’s elephant?   
A49) Mammoth or mastodon.

Q50) The Brachiosaurus was what: the world’s heaviest or lightest dinosaur?   
A50) Heaviest.

ROUND SIX.   GENERAL IGNORANCE.  

Q51) Who became PM, without being elected: Harold McMillan, James Callahan or John Major?   
A51) All three of them.

Q52) What’s the UK’s fastest currently active steam loco?   
A52) The Mallard.

Q53) Which group of agents does ABTA represent?   
A53) Travel Agents.

Q54) What is the name of the world’s second-highest mountain?   
A54) K2.

Q55) Who had a sword called Excalibur?   
A55) King Arthur.

Q56) Which international pressure group has as its symbol a candle wrapped in barbed wire?   
A56) Amnesty International.

Q57) Which British politician became known as ‘…the Quiet Man’?   
A57) lain Duncan Smith.

Q58) David Morgan of Burford has the world’s largest collection of traffic cones; how many different cones does he have: 117, 127 0r 137?   
A58) 137.

Q59) What kind of building is a campanile?   
A59) A bell-tower.

Q60) In which long-running series are David, Ruth and Eddie central characters?   
A60) The Archers.

Enjoy that, folks: have a Happy Easter … 









*        All that means is you’re free to copy, use, alter and build on each of my quizzes, including the Teasers and the Friday Question Set.   All I ask in return is that you give me an original author’s credit on your event’s flyers or posters, or on the night.

The Daily Teaser — 29-3-2013: It’s Not Good Friday, It’s The Real Thing … !



Hmmm … 

It’s officially Good Friday.

Which means … well, several things, actually.

For ONE thing, pigging out on hot cross buns is near enough obligatory: unless, of course, you’re on a diet, you can’t afford them or — like me — you really can’t be bothered.

The other … ?   Is that the Reverend Justin Welby*, the new Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, has just delivered the Thought For The Day on Radio 4: and committed the major faux pas — as far as the Today programme presenters were concerned — of admitting he never usually listens to it.

Hmmm … 

Let’s save his blushes, and move on, shall we … ?

Yes, let’s … !

≈≈~~≈≈

Yesterday’s Meltdown Teaser saw Debbiº putting in her answers: along with reminding all of us it’s better to be safe, she also managed to score 5 out of 5.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s Real Thing questions, shall we?

Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video … 

Q1) 29th March, 1886, saw Dr John Pemberton brew up the first batch of Coca Cola: in which Georgia city … ?
Q2) Pemberton originally sold the drink as Pemberton’swhat … ?
Q3) Pemberton’s original recipe called for thirty pounds — or fourteen kilograms — of what: sugar, salt or pepper … ?
Q4) Some US retailers managed to create demand for Coca Cola made with cane sugar.   This version is usually exported from which Central American country … ?
Q5) In which year was Coca Cola declared Kosher … ?
Q6) Two halal alternatives to Coca Cola have been made in Europe: in France and England.   Name either.
Q7) In which year of the 1980s was New Coke introduced … ?
Q8) And finally … In which year did Coke’s advertisers introduce the “It’s the Real Thing” slogan … ?
Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 28th March saw the start of the meltdown at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant.   In which year of the 1970s … ?
A1) 1979.
Q2) In which state is Three Mile Island … ?
A2) Pennsylvania.
Q3) What was the name of the 1979 film about a nuclear meltdown … ?
A3) The China Syndrome.
Q4) 1986 saw a similar accident take place at a reactor: at which Ukrainian power plant … ?
A4) Chernobyl, near the town of Pripyat.
Q5) And finally … the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred after a tsunami and earthquake: in which country … ?
A5) Japan.
I’ll leave you with this thought from Jay Leno …
“There are now more obese people in the United States than there are overweight people. I think it's safe to say that after all these years, Diet Coke is a complete failure.”
Jay Leno.
This rather well known advert … 


And this song: that took its cue from the advert … 


Enjoy your day … 













*        Who — it has to be said — looks like my old comprehensive school physics teacher.

º        Bit of a story for you, Debbi: one of my neighbours complained to me — once — about how he’d received an email from his bank, and ended up with a virus.   I asked him where he’d found the email: in which folder the thing had been in, in other words.   He then had to confess he’d found it in his email Spam folder.   I have to admit, I got a touch harsh with him: and explained the REASON it had ended up there was because it was a hoax email, and he shouldn’t have gone near it.   There’s no helping some people, is there … ?

Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Daily Teaser — 28-3-2013: All Out Meltdown … !

You know, I have a documentary on, from last night: Terry Pratchett’s Facing Extinction, about the Orang Utans of Borneo.

Something he’d checked out some 18 years ago: as a result of writing about the Discworld’s Librarian character.

I have to admit, my respect for the man has just gone up: Sir Terry’s got a form of Alzheimer’s that mean he’s still fairly sharp, but get’s visually disoriented easily.   And he’s in a jungle, doing a documentary on an endangered species … !

Phew … !

Let’s get moving on, shall we?

Yes, let’s … 

≤≤•≥≥

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi* putting in her answers: along with admitting she hates passwords, she ALSO managed to bag six out of six.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s Three Mile Island questions, shall we … ?   Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video … 

Q1) 28th March saw the start of the meltdown at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant.   In which year of the 1970s … ?
Q2) In which state is Three Mile Island … ?
Q3) What was the name of the 1979 film about a nuclear meltdown … ?
Q4) 1986 saw a similar accident take place at a reactor: at which Ukrainian power plant … ?
Q5) And finally … the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred after a tsunami and earthquake: in which country … ?
Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 27 March, 2004, saw the sinking of the decommissioned HMS Scylla: so she could be used as an artificial … what … ?
A1) Reef.
Q2) 27th March, 1958, saw Nikita Khrushchev named as leader of Soviet Russia.   Who did he denounce in a secret speech in 1956 … ?
A2) Joseph Stalin.
Q3) 27th March, 1963, saw the birth of director, Quentin Tarantino.   Which 1990s film provided him with his first commercial success … ?
A3) Reservoir Dogs.
Q4) 27th March saw Geronimo surrender to the US Army.   In  which year of the 1880s … ?
A4) 1886.
Q5) More to the point, the Apache version of his name translates as ‘One Who … ’ what … ?
A5) Yawns.
Q6) And finally … 27th March, 1989, saw which country hold a general election … ?
A6) The USSR.
I’ll leave you with this appropriate quote from Terry Pratchett …
“I once absent-mindedly ordered Three Mile Island dressing in a restaurant and, with great presence of mind, they brought Thousand Island Dressing and a bottle of chili sauce”
Terry Pratchettº.
And an equally appropriate tune from AC/DC …


Enjoy the day … 







*        I can go with that, Debbi!   It’s a shame, in a way, that they’re necessary: and a pain when you forget them … !   But if it means getting one’s bits safe online … 

º        Appropriate in the sense of a) the subject matter and b) the person making the quote.   Terry Pratchett’s documentary is still on: he also used to be press officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board region covering Sellafield.   Joining up, just after the Three Mile Island incident … 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Primer: Genius … ?

26th March, 2013.

You know, I have to confess, I think — think — that title’s quite possibly right.

You see, I’ve just rented the little science-fiction film, Primer, from the iTunes store.

As you might just have guessed from the poster.

And I’m thinking, here, that it’s possibly a work of genius: because I’m — frankly — wondering what else to call it … 

Hmmm … let me sleep on that, folks … !

~≈§≈~

27th March, 2013.

Busy, busy, busy … !

But I think I can say I’ve slept on Primer*.

And … ?

Well … 

Primer tells the story of a pair of engineering students — Aaron and Abe, played by Shane Carruth and David Sullivan — who, along with friends Robert and Phillip, meet regularly to brainstorm new ideas that they can patent.


And, in the finest tradition of garage engineers, everywhere, making a fortune on the lines of Wozniak and Jobs, or Hewlett and Packard.

That’s not quite the way things goes, though.

Abe and Aaron initially start working on a box-like machine for reducing an object’s mass.

Which turns out not to reduce mass.

No … 

It turns out what they’ve accidentally invented is a time-machine: something the pair use to milk the stock market.

Much as it’s tempting to say “With Hysterical Results” … it’s really not.

Not when the pair realise they’ve got tangled up in their complicated time-loop … 

~≈§≈~

Now, I’m actually going to be perfectly frank, here, if I may … ?

I really couldn’t tell you whether Primer is a work of genius.   Or otherwise, frankly.

But I am pretty sure the film is something of a gem: that I, for one, feel is worth you spending some time with.

With a 77 minute run time, this is a film that, had I the money, I would want to buy.   Primer is an intellectually dense film that I’m — as I write — watching again on my iPod.   Given that it’s a film one needs to pay attention to, buying it would allow me to watch it as many times as possible: it’s complicated, as well as watchable.

Given that … ?

I think I have to give Primer a four star rating …
Primer
★★★★










*        I should add, at this point, I managed to work out how to turn on my iPod’s closed caption switch.   For those of us watching a closed captioned film the same way — via and iPod Touch running iOS 6.x or higher — you’ll need to go to Settings>Video and set the Closed Caption switch to ‘On’.   I hope that helps.