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Archive for May, 2009

Snatch Wars… (It's not what you think, dirty boy!)

May 19th, 2009 No comments

I’m not a fan of Guy Richie’s films much, I have sat and watched them and I have (I must confess) laughed at a number of the scenes… However none of his films come close to this video I found on YouTube (be warned it contains nothing but absurdly strong language):

Have fun…

Categories: Adult, Funny, YouTube Tags:

Star Trek

May 19th, 2009 No comments

Hmmm, where to start? The quick and easy answer is I liked it… However (and there is always an ‘however’ as you will soon come to realise) I came out of the cinema feeling, I suppose the word is cheated. Something just didn’t sit right. Before I explore my issue(s) with the film (and in accordance with the well understood management tactic of ‘praise – criticise – praise’) I will point out its many amiable qualities.

Would he be choked up..?

Would he be choked up..?

The casting was very well done – Kirk, Spock and Bones were very convincing. Zachary Quinto’s Spock was very well done indeed. Sulu and Uhura didn’t quite feel right, however I am sure that they will grow on me over the next instalments (of which I’m sure there will be many*). Chekov was the least convincing of the crew/cast, all I can say is he that he sounded Russian. Scotty, played by Simon Pegg looked and sounded the part, but I have a terrible feeling they will use this character as comic relief from now on, he even has a Disney-esque buddy sidekick (who I’m sure will get up to some hilarious antics!).

The set design was fantastic, with Vulcan being my favourite (I loved the stalactite/stalagmite design with the buildings almost dripping from the stone edifices). The Enterprise was also very well done, maintaining the original identifiable shape but with a few sleek add-ons. My only concern with the Enterprise was the over use of silo storage tanks and huge ‘tubes’ for engineering, giving it a 1940’s battleship feel, it also looked cheap (shining swirling lights on the end of a stainless steel tank is, quite frankly, naff!).

Now for the nasty bit! The plot and its execution was (in the vernacular ‘piss’) poor, this I suspect was because of the underlying direction in which I believe the production team wished to push it. When using ‘time travel’ as a core plot device in a film (or any story for that matter) you have to be very careful with how you handle the ‘time-line’ or ‘time-lines’. The Star Trek franchise has made use of time travel a number of times, it being a central theme in the fourth film ‘The Voyage Home’ (the one with the whales), and in all their travels through time it has always been assumed that time is linear, i.e. you can move back and forward along this time-line but it is always the same line (no splits!). This new film changes all that…

It is the use of a split in the Star Trek history line that I feel is unneeded and unwelcome. This film drives a wedge into the Star Trek universe and splits it in two; one slice being every other film and TV episode ever made, and the other slice being this film (and all future films). It is this disregard to the ‘history’ (both past and present) of the Star Trek universe that I dislike the most. The production team is basically saying: “Forget everything that happened, we have changed it!”.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why they have done it, it gives them a clean sheet with which they can create whole new adventures. It may even work, and its not as if I’ll be boycotting future film releases. Part of me (probably the anti-trekkie bit) agrees with their decision to do it. However I still think it was unnecessary. There is unlimited scope in the original Star Trek universe to play out future stories. With careful writing you could even build in elements from the original TV series.

Another of the plus points were the occasional nods and winks the films made. Such as the old ‘if you’re in red and heading down to the planet, you’re not coming back’… Or the long forgotten love interest, no not that one, the other one!

All in all I’d give it a 3 out of 5, and I would recommend it to others. A good effort, but could do better next time…

Categories: Culture, Films Tags:

String.IsNullOrEmpty

May 15th, 2009 No comments

Having a .NET background I frequently used the String.IsNullOrEmpty() method. However after starting with ActionScript I have noticed that this (and a few other) functionalities are missing. So here is my version:

public static function IsNullOrEmpty(value:String):Boolean
{
    // Check if string is 'empty'
    if (value == "")
    {
        return true;
    }

    // Check if string is 'null'
    if (value == null)
    {
        return true;
    }
 
    // Not 'empty' or 'null', it must be ok!
    return false;
}

The national DNA database…

May 14th, 2009 3 comments

01-coll-dna-knoll-lThe British government has indicated a change in its decision to permanently keep the DNA records of innocent individuals on its database. This move comes after the European court ruled it was illegal. The DNA data of innocent people will still be retained for six years and in cases of violent or sexual assault twelve years.

The justification for keeping DNA data for these periods came from the Home Office minister Vernon Coaker. He told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that research showed half of those who re-offend after arrest do so within six years, and two-thirds within twelve.

An obvious question instantly springs to mind: “How can someone who is ‘innocent’ re-offend, since they have never offended in the first place?”

It is sloppy reasoning like this which confuses and complicates the whole debate. If someone is convicted of a crime that warrants the collection and retention of DNA materials useful for identification in possible future crimes then I am sure the general consensus will be in agreement. There is, granted, a statistical and predictable trend for re-offending.

Perhaps I am being too liberal in my reasoning, perhaps I haven’t been the victim of a crime which (if we had had a large scale DNA database) could have been solved quickly and simply. It is an area with strong arguments on both sides, and I can see the usefulness of such a database. However (and I think this is where I have my doubts) we are volunteering our personal information, quite literally a bit of ourselves over to a collection of organisations who have demonstrated on several occasions that they are unable to securely handle public data.

We can also see a very slow and gradual erosion of personal liberties and freedoms. Every time a new law is passed, or a new bit of legislation is enacted, which we are assured is for our personal safety and well-being we lose the ability to stop it or refuse cooperation.

Lets take a pause for thought…

Categories: Politics, Rants & Raves Tags:

MPs' expenses…

May 14th, 2009 1 comment
English money

Money...?

Can everyone please calm down about the whole MP expense claim issue. I mean honestly, what did you expect, they are only human after all. And if there is one thing I have learned in my 30+ years it is that people will always try to bend the rules and gain the upper hand. We are greedy and selfish… Oh, sorry I didn’t mean you (heaven forfend), you are not selfish or greedy at all, its just everyone else who is.

Perhaps I should be angry and annoyed… But (and this is the big but) were we not the people who elected them in the first place? What did we expect? We all know what MPs’ are like, we have read and heard enough history to figure it out by now…

There is the issue of fairness… And of course we should demand the money back for excessive claims, after all, that money should be being spent on the ID Card scheme or the Email Database… How else are we to sleep peacefuly otherwise?

Categories: Politics, Rants & Raves Tags:

Now is as good a time as ever…

May 7th, 2009 No comments

When trying to think of an opening blog post I must admit to a small amount of writers block. The domain is setup, database created and WordPress installed, I even created 20+ categories, but can I think of a single thing to write? No!

Nevermind, I’ll skip the thinking part and go right to the typing bit, just see what happens. Exciting. So have I made any headway? Maybe… I’ll let you know when I get around to writing my next post.

Categories: Musings Tags: