Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bathtub IV

Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I periodically post videos hosted on the site Vimeo. Here is another brilliant little film created by a guy called Keith Loutit.


Went with Wosog to see the film "Duplicity" with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. The latter is quite "flavour of the month" just now, and we also recently enjoyed his film "The International". I've always thought Julia Roberts was a pretty good actor with one of those faces that looks beautiful one minute then not so the next.

Generally, with films like this, I have to rely on Wosog to keep me up to speed with the plot, but I think I followed most of it. All in all it was an entertaining little film that is worth a visit.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Taking the Biscuit

The current global financial crisis has thrown up so many examples of how morally bankrupt, if not financially bankrupt, our financial institutions have become. I have referred previously to the outrage in the UK about bailed-out banks continuing to pay staff bonuses and the ongoing "disquiet" about Fred Goodwin's pension. I think in the USA public unhappiness about the bail-outs is all the more palpable because it seems such an "un-American" thing to do.

It is perhaps ironic, then, that probably the worst example of a rescued financial institution, to use the vernacular, "taking the piss" is in the United States. According to this article in the New York Times, the insurance company AIG, which is already under fire from Congress over executive bonuses, is quietly suing the American Government for the return of $306 million in tax payments! This is the same AIG in which the government has an 80 percent stake and into which it has poured nearly $200 billion in an attempt to avert its collapse. Even more incredibly, it appears that AIG is spending taxpayers' money to pursue its case, something it is legally entitled to do!

Words fail me...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Weird but Wonderful 2

The second story that caught my eye in the Sunday Times' Weird but wonderful section concerned attempts to breed Cherry, the last remaining female blue duck in Britain, with either Ben or Jerry, the last remaining UK male blue ducks.

It seems that Ben and Jerry are much less interested in Cherry than they are in each other! According to Paul Stevens, the warden,

"They stay together all the time, parading up and down their enclosure and whistling to each other as a male might do with a female he wants to mate with."
One wonders if a civil partnership is in the offing?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weird but Wonderful 1

The Sunday Times' "Weird but wonderful" section has again provided me with howls of laughter this week. Their first story concerned a Shetland pony called Mayflower in the Southampton area.

Apparently, ramblers in the area have been putting in repeated calls to the local fire brigade in the mistaken belief that Mayflower has been stuck in the mud on the banks of the River Test. However, as soon as the fire engines and specialist lifting equipment arrives, the pony calmly walks off! What the ramblers don't seem to appreciate is that Mayflower, like other members of her breed, has SHORT LEGS!

The owner has considered putting up a sign to warn the ignorant walkers of their foolishness, but has avoided doing so in case one day Mayflower actually DOES get stuck in the mud.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

George Carlin - Saving the Planet

I really like stand-up comedy. I've already seen Jack Dee and Omid Djalili live. Later this month Wosog and I are going to see Ed Byrne in concert, and later this year the hilarious Eddie Izzard.

We don't tend to see many American stand-up comedians on the TV in the UK, so I'm not so familiar with them. However I have come across numerous quotations from George Carlin, who, sadly, died last year. The video above I think shows Carlin's intelligence and his ability to "cut through the crap" that we encounter in our day to day life and especially in our exposure to the media. You may not like the way George says things, but you will find it hard to argue against him! Unfortunately, as I say, George died in 2008: I would love to have heard his comments on the global financial crisis!

Here are a few more words from the great man:

"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.'"

"Just when I discovered the meaning of life, they changed it."

"By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth."

Well said, George, well said...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Not Funny

There is generally not a lot of laughter about these days, but according to an article in the Sunday Times today, a motorist has been stopped by the Police for excessive laughing at the wheel of his car! Gary Sanders was chuckling at a joke while talking on a hands-free phone when flagged down in Liverpool. He was then questioned for 35 minutes.

According to the officer involved, "Laughing while driving a car can be an offence." Sanders couldn't believe the situation and reported "The officer accused me of throwing my head back in a dangerous way."

Never mind, if the economy continues to go down the tubes at the current rate the chance of anybody laughing excessively, while driving or doing anything else, will be reduced drastically!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

World Builder

World Builder from Bruce Branit on Vimeo.

Another superb video hosted on Vimeo. A strange man builds a world using holographic tools for the woman he loves. This award winning short was created by film maker Bruce Branit. It was shot in a single day followed by about 2 years of post production. Branit is the owner of Branit VFX based in Kansas City.