Wednesday 28 March 2007

Do more with less

In the week that it was revealed an employee of Barclays earned £22m last year, I offer this simply told tale, forwarded on to me by a quite extraordinary friend.
The industrialist was horrified to find the fisherman lying beside his boat, smoking a pipe.
"Why aren't you fishing?" said the industrialist.
"Because I have caught enough fish for the day," the fisherman replied.
"Why don't you catch some more?"
"What would I do with them?"
"Earn more money. Then you could have a motor fixed to your boat and go into deeper waters and catch more fish. That would bring you money to buy nylon nets, so more fish, more money. Soon you would have enough to buy two boats, even a fleet of boats. Then you could be rich like me."
"What would I do then?"
"Then you could sit back and enjoy life."
"What do you think I'm doing now?"

Monday 5 March 2007

By Gorge!

This morning, a local radio station announced that George Michael will be playing a gig at a local sports ground in the summer. And that station - let's call it Radio Bland - then offered listeners the chance to win tickets: all they had to do to be in with a chance was text the word "George" to the station. So far, so simple... except that two songs later, the inane breakfast DJ had to spell out that George is spelt G-E-O-R-G-E as they had been swamped by listeners texting in "Gorge"... Oh how I wish I was making this up.

Sunday 4 March 2007

Top, top gear...

I hope you saw Top Gear tonight - Billie Piper was the "star in a reasonably priced car". Now I haven't seen her interviewed before, so I was more than pleasantly surprised. Not only did she come across beautifully (so well spoken, and so far removed from the vowel-mangling character she portrayed in Doctor Who), she seemed intelligent, funny and engaging. Top gear? Top girl!

Blood moon and enlightenment

Lunar eclipse - how, © BBC
Lunar eclipse - wowDid anyone else see the lunar eclipse last night? Please say it wasn't just me standing outside freezing my proverbials off to watch the Moon turn red. In case you're wondering what causes this phenomenon, the picture to the left kind of explains it - the Moon falls into the Earth's shadow, and is only lit by the frequencies of light that can skip through the edge of the Earth's atmosphere. Those frequencies are at the red end of the spectrum, so the Moon takes on a reddish-orange hue, as can be seen in the photo to the right. Well I think that's right - it sounds plausible anyway. It might not have quite the wow factor of a solar eclipse but it was pretty impressive nonetheless, and certainly worth standing out in the cold for. Some of the people I was stood watching with remarked that you could quite understand why people in days gone by worshipped moons and stars, and how they would view this as a sign of an angry god. How they chuckled at this, and patted themselves on the back for being so enlightened. Sure, worshipping celestial bodies is patently ridiculous... but no-one thought to ask why it is any more ridiculous than worshipping an omnipotent, omnipresent being who apparently created the world and everything in it in six days? Who's enlightened now?

Friday 2 March 2007

More on Saturn 3...

Just a couple of days ago, I rambled for a bit about the relative merits of Saturn 3, a British science fiction film made in 1980, starring Kirk Douglas, Farrah Fawcett and Harvey Keitel. I even went so far as to speculate that if it were remade with modern effects and a more appropriate cast it would be a huge hit, rather than the flop it turned out to be all those years ago.

Imagine my surprise, then, to learn that a remake actually is being discussed, with director James Cameron at the helm. There's even talk of the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, providing the voice of Hector, the robot with more than a few screws loose. This is all quite promising - I enjoyed Cameron's Aliens (though I preferred the Ridley Scott-directed original) and I like all three Terminator films for wildly different reasons (before you write in, I know Cameron only directed the first two). I worry though that the dark themes at the heart of the original Saturn 3 - insecure and unrequited love, getting old, mental illness, loss and isolation - will not be preserved. All the more reason to seek out the original before it gets buried beneath the Hollywood behemoth - you can find it here.