Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Daily Teaser — 31-12-2013: About A Year … 

You know, today is the last day of 2013AD on Earth.

After this … ?   No more 2013: we’ll be saying ‘Hello’ to 2014.

Frankly … ?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I always get a bit … well … thoughtful, about this time of year.

I think that’s inevitable, really.

As to where those thoughts end up going … ?

Well … 

I think trying to analyse that in any kind of depth, is like trying to say — accurately, and in advance — what’s going to happen in 2014.

And who on Earth knows that …?

Hmmm … 

Let’s move on, shall we?

~≈Â≈~

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi* putting in her answers: along with letting me know she approved of my reading list, ALSO bagged six out of six.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with todays ‘Review of the Year’ set, shall we?

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

Q1) January, 2013, saw thirty-nine international workers die in a hostage crisis: in which North African country … ?
Q2) February 28th, 2013, saw who famously resign from his post … ?
Q3) March saw the European Union give a €10 million bailout to which island … ?
Q4) April 2013 saw Chechen born, US resident, Islamist terrorists blow up explosives at a marathon in which US city … ?
Q5) May of 2013 saw $1, 000, 000 worth of jewelry stolen from a French hotel: the jewelry had been intended for celebrities attending which event … ?
Q6) US and UK government secrets were exposed in early June of this year: by which ex CIA employee … ?
Q7) 22nd July of this, saw the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son: Prince who … ?
Q8) 19th August, 2013, saw which South African athlete charged with murdering his girlfriend?
Q9) September of 2013, saw the video for a Miley Cyrus song, set the record for most views in a single day.   WHICH Miley Cyrus song … ?
Q10) 18th October, 2013, saw which country become the first to reject a seat on the UN Security Council … ?
Q11) November of 2013, saw which cricketer begin his last ever test match … ?
Q12) Finally … 5th December of this year saw the death of which former South African leader … ?
Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers … 
Q1) 30th December saw the formal foundation — and declaration of — the USSR.   In which year of the 1920s?
A1) 1922.
Q2) What does USSR stand for … ?
Q3) The revolutionaries that set up the USSR — and led by Vladimir Lenin — were whom: the Mensheviks, Bolsheviks or Milosheviks … ?
A3) The Bolsheviks.   (The word means — roughly — ‘majority’, with the group tracing its roots to the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.)
Q4) Following the death of Vladimir Lenin, in 1924, three men assumed power in the newly founded USSR.   Which of those men, in one of his last letters, did Lenin warn the Soviet government about … ?
Q5) What — from 1924 onwards — was the highest law-making body of the USSR: the Presidium, the Council of Ministers or Supreme Soviet … ?
A5) The Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
Q6) Which Moscow landmark housed the USSR’s government for many years … ?
A6) The Moscow Kremlin.
Q7) Finally … In which year of the 1990s did the USSR formally dissolve … ?
A7) 1991.   (Funnily enough, on Christmas Day.)
I’ll leave you with this thought from tennis player, Andy Murray …
“Winning Wimbledon, I can’t get my head around that. I still can’t believe it’s happened.”
Andy Murray, on winning Wimbledon in 2013.
And with Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines: as it turns out, it was the UK’s biggest selling song of 2013 … 


Happy New Year.













*        Got to confess, Debbi, I didn’t realise there there were quite so many of them!   OK, he’s not as prolific as Terry Pratchett.   But there’s a lot more Riverworld novels than I thought … !

Monday, 30 December 2013

Pacific Rim: Entertaining … !

28th December, 2013.
Blimey, THAT was entertaining … !

Really … !

No, really … !

Hmmm … 

I’d better slow down … and tell you why I seem to have proliferating ellipsis … 

~≈Ê≈~

You see, I’ve been over old friend, Kevin D’s, tonight: we both fancied company, and Kevin had something of a treat in store.

The 2013, Guillermo Del Toro directed, monster — and I do mean monster — movie that is Pacific Rim.

And it HAS to be said, it’s a film I found both spectacular … and entertaining … 

~≈É≈~
30th December, 2013.
AND something it’s taken me a long time in getting back to … !

I’ll be frank, since Saturday night, when myself and Kevin actually saw Pacific Rim, it’s been a touch busy: not least because on Sunday — yesterday, in other words — I was helping with my nephew, Jude’s birthday party.

You possibly wouldn’t believe — unless you’re a parent —exactly how mentally exhausting watching a bunch of three year olds can be … !

At ANY rate … ?

At any rate, I’m now happily back to the action.

Well, ok: back to the post … !

And to my point: of telling you about the film Kevin and I caught, Saturday night: the 2013, Guillermo del Toro directed, Pacific Rim.

Set in the late 2020s, the film tells us of the war being fought between the people of Earth and the Kaiju*: hideous — and huge — creatures who are invading Earth from an inter-dimensional portal, at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

And being fought by a UN military body that uses Jægers: huge fight mecha†, driven by two pilots, whose brains are linked together to spread the otherwise damaging mental load.

The trigger point for the film … ?

Is the fact that the organisation who controls the Rangers, the military unit that consists of the jægers and their pilots, is to be closed, and replaced by a BIG wall.

A big wall that fails to protect several cities, when especially large kaijus start attacking.

Leaving the unit’s commander, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) to call up the retired Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), along with several other pilots, in a last ditch Attempt to make sure the Kaijus — AND their portal — go out with a bang!

~≈É≈~

Now, where, I hear you ask, does that leave Kevin and myself, in regards to the film … ?

Well, mildly disagreeing.   I think we both saw it as entertaining, Kevin was somewhat underwhelmed, feeling it not to have lived up to the advertising, with me finding it — if not seriously high art — than certainly worth the money.

Hmmm … 

Either way, I think my best bet is to leave you seeing stars, isn’t it … ?
Pacific Rim
Paul ★★★☆
Kevin ★★☆☆
Average ★★½☆☆















*        The word, Kaiju is Japanese, and roughly translates as ‘strange creature’: in the past five decades or so, it’s been applied to the type of monster that appear in Japanese monster movies.   Things like Godzilla, in other words.

†         Mecha is another word of Japanese origins: and one that usually refers to giant humanoid, powered suits that, in the associated manga and films, are driven by humans, and used for all sorts of purposes.   The Jægers are one: the mecha in BattleTech are another, as are the loaders we see Ripley using in Aliens.

The Daily Teaser — 30-12-2013: Back In The USSR

Bloody HELL, I’m glad I don’t have to do that, to often … !

You’re going to ask, aren’t you … ?

Well … I was at my nephew, Jude’s, third birthday party, yesterday: over at a local farm shop, called Ashlyn’s, which runs it’s Playbarn!

Basically, it’s quite a posh cafe: with a VERY big play area for children, that also hires itself out for children’s parties.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I was exhausted, following Jude around.

After all, that play area … ?

Is HUGE … !

~≈Â≈~

But let’s move on, shall we?

Yesterday’s teaser saw Debbi* putting in her answers: along with letting us know show’s got a huge reading list, ALSO scored six out of six.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s Soviet-ish questions, shall we?

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

Q1) 30th December saw the formal foundation — and declaration of — the USSR.   In which year of the 1920s?
Q2) What does USSR stand for … ?
Q3) The revolutionaries that set up the USSR — and led by Vladimir Lenin — were whom: the Mensheviks, Bolsheviks or Milosheviks … ?
Q4) Following the death of Vladimir Lenin, in 1924, three men assumed power in the newly founded USSR.   Which of those men, in one of his last letters, did Lenin warn the Soviet government about … ?
Q5) What — from 1924 onwards — was the highest law-making body of the USSR: the Presidium, the Council of Ministers or Supreme Soviet … ?
Q6) Which Moscow landmark housed the USSR’s government for many years … ?
Q7) Finally … In which year of the 1990s did the USSR formally dissolve … ?
Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 29th December, 1914, saw serialization start — in The Egoist — of A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man.   Who wrote A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man … ?
Q2) More to the point, in which Irish city was that writer born … ?
A2) Dublin.
Q3) 29th December, 1911, saw Sun Yat-sen become the provisional president of where … ?
Q4) 29th December, 2006, saw the UK repay its Anglo-American Loan: originally run up in the wake of which war … ?
Q5) 29th December, 1986, saw the death of former British Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan.   What title did he hold, on his death … ?
Q6) Finally … 29th December, 1860, saw the launch of Britain’s first seagoing ironclad, the HMS Warrior.   What does HMS stand for?
A6) Depending on whether there’s a king or queen in charge, either Her (or His) Majesty’s Ship.
I’ll leave you with this version of the Internationale, used by the USSR as it’s national anthem, in its early years … 


And this thought from V. I. Lenin …
“Complete equality of rights for all nations; the right of nations to self-determination; the unity of the workers of all nations—such is the national program that Marxism, the experience of the whole world, and the experience of Russia, teach the workers.”
V. I. Lenin.
Have a good day … 
















*        I know exactly what you mean, Debbi.   Did I tell  you I’ve been going through P. J. Farmer’s  Riverworld saga … ?   Quite something to read … 

Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Daily Teaser — 29-12-2013

Argh … !

Or, at least, ‘Argh’ … I think … 

I have to admit to being a touch nervous: I’m due to help out with my nephew’s birthday party, today.


Lord know’s how I’m going to do with that!

I’ll be frank … I’m feeling just a touch of stage fright … !   But Jude NOT having his favourite uncle there … ?

Well, that just wouldn’t be on, now would it … ?

Hmm … 

Let’s move on, shall we?   Before I get overwhelmed … 

~≈Ê≈~

Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Kaiju and Debbi putting in their answers: with Kaiju telling us x-rays are cool, and Debbi telling us she’s going to be checking out some more Terry Pratchett, the day saw Kaiju* scoring six out of six, and Debbi† scoring five.

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) 29th December, 1914, saw serialization start — in The Egoist — of A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man.   Who wrote A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man … ?
Q2) More to the point, in which Irish city was that writer born … ?
Q3) 29th December, 1911, saw Sun Yat-sen become the provisional president of where … ?
Q4) 29th December, 2006, saw the UK repay its Anglo-American Loan: originally run up in the wake of which war … ?
Q5) 29th December, 1986, saw the death of former British Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan.   What title did he hold, on his death … ?
Q6) Finally … 29th December, 1860, saw the launch of Britain’s first seagoing ironclad, the HMS Warrior.   What does HMS stand for?
Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 28th December, 1941, saw the start of Operation Anthropoid: the plot to kill which Nazi leader … ?
Q2) That leader was in charge of what was then called the ‘Protectorate Of Bohemia and Moravia’: which is now in which European country … ?
A2) The Czech Republic.
Q3) 28th December, 1993, saw British Customs officials seize £70 million worth of cocaine.   Cocaine they felt was linked to whom: the Mafia, the Yakuza or the Cripps … ?
A3) The Mafia.
Q4) 28th December, 1944, saw Maurice Richard become the first professional player to score eight points: in which US sport … ?
A4) NHL Ice Hockey.
Q5) 28th December, 1973, saw the Endangered Species Act signed into US law: by which US President … ?
A5) Tricky Dicky, himself: Richard M. Nixon.
Q6) Finally … 28th December, 1895, saw Wilhelm Röntgen publish the paper describing his discovery of what kind of radiation … ?
A6) X-rays.   (Which have frequencies from 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz.   Apparently.)
I’ll leave you with this thought …
“After us, the deluge. I care not what happens when I am dead and gone.”
Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, Madame de Pompadour, 29 December 1721 – 15 April 1764.
And — given it’s Marianne Faithfull’s birthday — this tune … 


Have a good day … !














*        Hang on, Kaiju, I thought it bow ties that were cool … ?

†        I know what you mean, Debbi: I’ve still got The Magic Labyrinth to get through … !

Saturday, 28 December 2013

The Daily Teaser — 28-12-2013

You know, I like a good documentary, I really do.

One thing I am thankful for, over the Christmas period … ?   Has been the fact that there’s been one or two interesting ones: including the one I’ve got playing in the background at the moment, part 2 of Ben and James vs The Arabian Desert.

Which shows us Ben Fogle and James Cracknel’s attempt to cross not Sahara: just the nastiest part of it.

The Rub’ al-Khali.   The Empty Quarter.   The part of the world we think of as ‘desert’, when we’re introduced to the concept, and the one that’s literally miles — some 50000 square miles — of sand dune.

Quite possibly the most testing part of the planet, both in terms of the environment, and the effect it’s having on the two presenters.

It’s something to watch, I know that … 

~≈≈~

Moving on … yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi* putting in her answers: along with letting us know which Terry Pratchett novel a family member had been given, ALSO scoring ten out of ten.

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

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

Q1) 28th December, 1941, saw the start of Operation Anthropoid: the plot to kill which Nazi leader … ?
Q2) That leader was in charge of what was then called the ‘Protectorate Of Bohemia and Moravia’: which is now in which European country … ?
Q3) 28th December, 1993, saw British Customs officials seize £70 million worth of cocaine.   Cocaine they felt was linked to whom: the Mafia, the Yakuza or the Cripps … ?
Q4) 28th December, 1944, saw Maurice Richard become the first professional player to score eight points: in which US sport … ?
Q5) 28th December, 1973, saw the Endangered Species Act signed into US law: by which US President … ?
Q6) Finally … 28th December, 1895, saw Wilhelm Röntgen publish the paper describing his discovery of what kind of radiation … ?
Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 27th December, 1977. saw the original UK release of the first Star Wars film: what was it called … ?
A1) Originally, just Stars Wars.
Q2) What is it now called … ?
Q3) Mark Hamill played the film’s hero: who was that hero?
Q4) The hero and his companions end up rescuing Princess … who … ?
Q5) One of those companions — Ben ‘Obi Wan’ Kenobi — was what kind of knight … ?
A5) A Jedi knight.
Q6) Who played that knight, in that original movie … ?
A6) Real world knight, Sir Alec Guinness, CH, CBE.
Q7) The film had two main villains: Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin.   Who played Grand Moff Tarkin … ?
A7) Peter Cushing.   (Apparently, Cushing found the boots given to him by the wardrobe department, very uncomfortable: and managed to persuade George Lucas to film him from the waist up, as much as possible, so he could wear a comfy pair of slippers.)
Q8) Darth Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones: and (physically) played by who … ?
Q9) Name either of the two main robot characters in the film.
A9) R2-D2 and C3-PO.
Q10) Finally … what’s the name of the space-going battle-station destroyed at the end of the film … ?
A10) The Death Star.   (The White House response to a petition to build a Death Star is still a highlight of my year …)
I’ll leave you with THIS though from a certain well known comic book publisher …
“Face front, true believer!”
Stan Lee, born 28th December, 1922.
And with this song … 


Have a good day.









*        Carpet People, Debbi … ?   Blimey, I haven’t read Carpet People in years!   (I know it was originally released in 1971, then revised and re-released in 1992.   I might have to dig it up again: after I finished everything else … !)

Friday, 27 December 2013

The Daily Teaser — 27-12-2013: A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far, Away … 

I have to say, I think Jude — my nephew — had a thoroughly fun time, yesterday … !

Did I tell you it was his birthday … ?

I didn’t … ?

It was his birthday, yesterday!

And the sheer amount of cars he ended up getting was … unsurprising, now I come to think of it … !

He’s a bit of a car nut, that nephew of mine … !

video

~≈†≈~

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

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


Q1) 27th December, 1977. saw the original UK release of the first Star Wars film: what was it called … ?
Q2) What is it now called … ?
Q3) Mark Hamill played the film’s hero: who was that hero?
Q4) The hero and his companions end up rescuing Princess … who … ?
Q5) One of those companions — Ben ‘Obi Wan’ Kenobi — was what kind of knight … ?
Q6) Who played that knight, in that original movie … ?
Q7) The film had two main villains: Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin.   Who played Grand Moff Tarkin … ?
Q8) Darth Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones: and (physically) played by who … ?
Q9) Name either of the two main robot characters in the film.
Q10) Finally … what’s the name of the space-going battle-station destroyed at the end of the film … ?
Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 26th December is Boxing Day: it’s ALSO St Stephen’s Day.   Which king — according to the old carol — looked out on the Feast of Stephen … ?
Q2) That king was ACTUALLY a Duke of which European region: Transylvania, Bohemia or Moldova … ?
A2) Bohemia.
Q3) In which country of the British Isles is Saint Stephen’s Day ALSO known as the ‘Day of the Wren’ … ?
Q4) In horse racing, the King George 6th Chase is held on Boxing Day, at Kempton Park.   In which English county is Kempton Park: Surrey, Sussex or Kent … ?
A4) Surrey.
Q5) Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia all have Saint Stephen as their patron saint.   Which Communist country were they once all a part of … ?
Q6) Two Spanish regions also have Saint Stephen as a Patron saint: name either … 
A6) Catalonia and the Balearic Islands: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera, in other words.
Q7) Which one hit wonders had a hit with ‘BoxerBeat’ … ?
A7) JoBoxers.
Q8) In which English county would you find the village of Box … ?
A8) Wiltshire.   (The Brunel designed Box tunnel is very well known)
Q9) What nickname is given to the flight — or data — recorder on planes and other form of transport … ?
A9) A black box.
Q10) Finally … a humidor is a box designed to contained what … ?
A10) Cigars.
I’ll leave you with a very well known tag-line …
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...”
And the one tune I could leave you with, given the question set … 


After all that … ?

Have a good day … !















*        Any idea which one, Debbi … ?   (I know Anna, my other sister, managed to get me Suggs’ autobiography, and Mum picked up Raising Steam)

Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Daily Teaser — 26-12-2013: Boxing Day

Phew … !

It’s now — officially — not Christmas Day.

You knew that, didn’t you … ?

At ANY rate, I know I, and my family, have managed to give each other as many gifts as we could: I know I’m appreciating the new keyboard and mouse*.

At ANY rate … ?   Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a fairly good night’s sleep: especially after writing about last’s Dr Who Christmas special, The Time Of The Doctor.

But still feel tired … !   Hopefully, I’ll be able to get over that, given another really strong cuppa.

For ONE thing, my mother’s now got a new iPad mini she wants me to set up.   For another … ?   it’s my nephew, Jude’s, birthday, today.

The other-excitement’s going to give someone a heart attack … !

With THAT all said … ?   Let’s get a move on … !

~≈Í≈~

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

Q1) 26th December is Boxing Day: it’s ALSO St Stephen’s Day.   Which king — according to the old carol — looked out on the Feast of Stephen … ?
Q2) That king was ACTUALLY a Duke of which European region: Transylvania, Bohemia or Moldova … ?
Q3) In which country of the British Isles is Saint Stephen’s Day ALSO known as the ‘Day of the Wren’ … ?
Q4) In horse racing, the King George 6th Chase is held on Boxing Day, at Kempton Park.   In which English county is Kempton Park: Surrey, Sussex or Kent … ?
Q5) Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia all have Saint Stephen as their patron saint.   Which Communist country were they once all a part of … ?
Q6) Two Spanish regions also have Saint Stephen as a Patron saint: name either …
Q7) Which one hit wonders had a hit with ‘BoxerBeat’ … ?
Q8) In which English county would you find the village of Box … ?
Q9) What nickname is given to the flight — or data — recorder on planes and other form of transport … ?
Q10) Finally … a humidor is a box designed to contained what … ?
Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) Today is Christmas Day: obviously!   Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the central figure in which religion … ?
Q2) The first recorded use of the word ‘Christmas’ — the Old English word ‘Crīstesmæsse’ — was in which year: 1037, 1038 or 1039?
A2) 1038.
Q3) The Ancient Roman festival that corresponds to Christmas Day was the Dies Sol Invictus: which translates as the Day Of The Victoriouswhat … ?
A3) Sun.
Q4) Traditionally, Christmas pudding is made a few days in advance of Christmas Day: on Stir Upwhen … ?
A4) Stir Up Sunday.
Q5) Which obligate hemi-parasitic plant are you allowed to kiss under, on Christmas Day … ?
A5) Mistletoe.
Q6) Christmas song, Jingle Bells was originally written to celebrate which US holiday … ?
Q7) The original Christmas Cards were commissioned by Sir Henry Cole: in which year of the 1840s … ?
A7) 1843.
Q8) Christmas Jones appears in which James Bond film … ?
Q9) Noted judge and barrister, Christmas Humphreys, QC, was one of Britain’s best known converts to which religion … ?
A9) Buddhism.
Q10) The ‘x’ in Xmas actually represents which Greek letter: sigma, omega or chi … ?
A10) Chi.
I’ll leave you with this thought from Snopes …
“Gifts among equals were exchanged on or before Christmas Day, but beneficences to those less fortunate were bestowed the day after.”
From the Snopes Entry about Boxing Day.
And with a piece of 1980s frippery … 


Enjoy your day.













*        One of the Apple Magic Mice: takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s not bad … !   Actually … ?   It’s something of a joy to use … !

†        Likewise, Debbi! And I hope the day went well for you and Rick … !   (Actually, did I tell you … ?   Ruth and Jude got me a Gallifrey University: Prydonian Chapter t-shirt.   Families, hey … ? :D )

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Time Of The Doctor: How To Tie Off Story Lines without seeming to … !


Jude watches Dr Who.
You know, it’s Christmas Day.   You’d worked that out, hadn’t you: just by the date … ?

And, yes: I’ve already spent most of the day at my family’s place.

I’ll be back again, tomorrow: there’s a certain young man who’s had quite a LOT of presents, today.   And who’s due to get more, tomorrow.

Well, Boxing Day’s Jude’s birthday: he’s either going to be sick of toy cars, or SWAMPED in them … !

~≈Ï≈~

At ANY rate, today is Christmas Day.   Presents have been exchanged — my nephew, Jude, has had quite a lot of cars, trucks and tractors* — and everybody’s managed to get themselves well and truly stuffed.

So to speak.

I’ve also managed to get myself home: with the gifts I’ve been given.   Including, I should add, a new mouse and keyboard.

Oh, and a t-shirt that says ‘Gallifrey University: Prydonian Chapter’.

You can’t be TO geeky, can you … ?

~≈Ï≈~

No, you can’t, can you … ?

Certainly not if you’re like me: a Dr Who fan, and one who’s home in time for tonight’s Dr Who Christmas special.

Matt Smith’s last episode.   Peter Capaldi’s first.

The Fall of the Eleventh, itself.


And I have to say, I was impressed with that … !

~≈Ï≈~

Set an undisclosed time after The Name Of The Doctor, The Time Of The Doctor tells us of an initially unnamed planed that’s broadcasting a signal: a signal that none of the inhabitants of the orbiting spaceships can understand, and that the Doctor is told — by the disconnected Cyberman head he nicknames ‘Handles’ — is Gallifrey.

The Doctor, of course, knows damn well that it isn’t.

Which is confirmed by two things: by the words of Tasha Lem, Mother Superior of the Church of the Papal Mainframe, who tells the Doctor that the planet is Trenzalore.

And by the fact that — in a wall of the main tower of a Trenzalorean town called Christmas — there’s a very familiar looking crack … 

~≈Ï≈~

Now … impressive … ?

Oh, lordy, yes … !

I know some fans have heap a touch of ire onto Stephen Moffat, for coming up with something of a confusing morass of plotlines.

Personally … ?   Personally I can understand a certain amount of dissatisfaction: although not the sort of behaviour I’d heard had been flung at him.

I ALSO feel that that dissatisfaction may well be a case of maybe not concentrating enough.

However, I think those fans may well have little to complain about.

If they’ve sat down, today, and watched The Time Of The Doctor, I think they — like me — would have found would have found it — and The Name Of The Doctor and The Day Of The Doctor, which form a rough trilogy with The Time Of The Doctor — I think they’d’ve found an episode that neatly ties up the loose threads, and some nice writing, wonderful acting from the cast.

Jenna Coleman, I believe, is going to go down as a classic companion: she’s certainly put in the work and given a stunner of a performance.

As has Matt Smith: who’s given something of a stonker of a performance, over the past few years.

Perfect … ?

No, The Time Of The Doctor isn’t perfect.

It IS, however, everything that we come to expect in a regeneration story: emotional, touching, demanding, and giving us both endings to stories we’ve invested time in.

AND the promise of a fresh start.

What else CAN one ask … ?
















*        And had fun with both them: AND the assorted boxes they came in.   I think I’ve got a nephew fascinated by the idea of putting things in things … 

The Daily Teaser — 25-12-2013: Christmas Day

It’s now today: no, really!

But you knew that, didn’t you … ?

It’s now officially Christmas Day.

Which means, of course, that there’s going to be a heck of a lot of gift-giving at the family home.

Personally … ?

Well, personally, I’m glad Brentwood’s got it’s own branch of Poundland.

From where I’m sitting, that meant I could pick up something, even if it wasn’t much.

Although, it HAS to be said … a certain little boy going to get a lot of toy cars off his uncle.

I’m sort of looking forward to that: after all, half the fun of gift-giving is seeing the effect your present has, when it’s unwrapped … 

You never know your luck, I might even post photos … 

~≈Ï≈~

Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Debbi, and original Big Beast, Kaiju†, putting in their answers: with Debbi* double-checking her card had got through, the day saw both players scoring seven out of seven.

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) Today is Christmas Day: obviously!   Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the central figure in which religion … ?
Q2) The first recorded use of the word ‘Christmas’ — the Old English word ‘Crīstesmæsse’ — was in which year: 1037, 1038 or 1039?
Q3) The Ancient Roman festival that corresponds to Christmas Day was the Dies Sol Invictus: which translates as the Day Of The Victoriouswhat … ?
Q4) Traditionally, Christmas pudding is made a few days in advance of Christmas Day: on Stir Upwhen … ?
Q5) Which obligate hemi-parasitic plant are you allowed to kiss under, on Christmas Day … ?
Q6) Christmas song, Jingle Bells was originally written to celebrate which US holiday … ?
Q7) The original Christmas Cards were commissioned by Sir Henry Cole: in which year of the 1840s … ?
Q8) Christmas Jones appears in which James Bond film … ?
Q9) Noted judge and barrister, Christmas Humphreys, QC, was one of Britain’s best known converts to which religion … ?
Q10) The ‘x’ in Xmas actually represents which Greek letter: sigma, omega or chi … ?
Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 24th December sees the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast by the BBC.   From which Cambridge College: Christ’s, King’s or Queen’s … ?
A1) King’s.
Q2) On Christmas Eve, many Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries have a Midnight Mass called Misa de Gallo: or Mass of the … what … ?
Q3) Christmas Eve is on the 24th December: All Hallow’s Eve is on which date … ?
A3) 31st October: it’s Halloween.
Q4) Eve Harrington is a character in which 1950 film … ?
Q5) More to the point, Evey Hammond turns up in which 2005 film … ?
Q6) Living between 140000 and 200000 years ago, what name is given to humanity’s most ancient common female ancestor … ?
Q7) Finally … in which book of the Bible does Eve appear … ?
A7) The Book Of Genesis.
Enjoy those.

I’ll leave you with this thought from Dave Barry … 
“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!’”
Dave Barry, in Christmas Shopping: A Survivors Guide.
And with this song‡ … 


Have a Happy Christmas.












*        It got through, Debbi, and sitting on my window sill, as we speak: I’m just sorry I couldn’t get one in return.   Either way, Happy Christmas to you and Rick … !

†        Happy Christmas, Kaiju … !

‡        An alternative version, doing the rounds when I was young, started with an different first verse: 
“We Three Kings Of Orient Are,
One In a taxi, One in a car
One on a scooter, bibbing his hooter,
following yonder star”.
GOSH, how we laughed …

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser: Christmas!

It’s officially official: Christmas — Or Xmas, if that’s the bag you’re into — is here early.

OK, no: maybe not.

But what HAS arrived early … ?

Is both the Brentwood Gazette: and — funnily — the associated Christmas Teaser.

Here — covered by the usual Creative Commons License* — is this week’s questions and answers … 
Q1) Which King of England was crowned, on Christmas Day, 1066?
Q2) Which Roman nativity festival took place on 25th December?
Q3) In which of the New testament books of the Bible is the Baby Jesus visited by the Three Magi … ?
Q4) More to the point, what are the traditional names of those three Magi … ?
Q5) The earliest reference to the birth of Jesus being on the 25th of December is in a calendar for which year: 354AD, 356AD or 357AD?
Q6) Who made the headlines in 1906 by refusing Christmas dinner?
Q7) In the Gregorian calendar, 25th December, is on the 25th December.   Obviously.   When is the December 25th, in the Julian calendar, used by many Eastern Orthodox churches?
Q8) Christmas Day is the traditional date of Jesus’ birth.   In which year was this … ?
Q9) More to the point, Jesus’ birth was supposed to be during the reign of which Jewish king … ?
Q10) Name either of the Gospels that give accounts of Jesus’ birth.
And here’s last weeks questions and answers …
Questions.
Q1) 18th December, 1912, saw the announcement of the alleged discovery of Piltdown Man.   The man who announced the hoax was called Charles what: Dawson, Higson or Dixon … ?
Q2) The fake human ancestor was discovered in Piltdown.   Which was a small village in what was then which county: East Sussex, West Sussex or Mid-Sussex?
Q3) The hoax skull consisted of the upped part of a modern human, and the lower jawbone from which great ape: a gorilla, chimp or orangutan … ?
Q4) Piltdown Man was described as the missing … what … ?
Q5) Piltdown Man was finally exposed as a hoax in which year of the 1950s … ?
Q6) Which detective author was felt — by some — to be the man responsible for the hoax: Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Dorothy L. Sayers … ?
Q7) Mike Oldfield famously pretended to be Piltdown Man on which of his albums … ?
Q8) While we talking of hoaxes, the fake automatic chess player, famous in the 18th Century, was known as the Mechanical … what … ?
Q9) P. T. Barnum, the original Prince Of Humbug, famously exhibited the Feejee what: Mammoth, Mermaid or Monkey … ?
Q10) Finally … which Christian church’s holy book is felt by many to by a hoax, invented by its founder, Joseph Smith … ?
Answers.
A1) Charles Dawson.
A2) East Sussex.   (Mid-Sussex was merged into West Sussex in 1974.)
A3) An orangutan. (Pongo pygmaeus and Pongo abelii)
A4) Missing link.
A5) 1953.
A6) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
A7) ‘Tubular Bells’.   (The Piltdown Man section starts at  11 minutes, 57 in, on Side Two.   Just in case your interested … )
A8) The Mechanical Turk.
A9) Mermaid.
A10) The Mormons, or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Enjoy those: and Happy Christmas, if we don’t speak before-hand.









*        Regulars will know already, but for newcomers … all it means is that you’re free to copy, use, alter and build on each of my quizzes: including the Teasers, Gazette Teasers and the Friday Question Sets.   All I ask in return is that you give me an original authors credit on your event’s flyers or posters, or on the night: and, if you republish them, give me an original authors credit AND republish under the same license.   A link back to the site — and to the Gazette’s, if that’s where you’ve found these — would be appreciated.