Monday, June 26, 2006

This looks like fun

Thanks to Bloggerheads and Wibbler for introducing me to Street Wars, a new game coming to London soon.

If you have ever fancied living the lifestyle of an international assassin, but without the blood and gore, check out the site

Sack the speech writer

...or at least her advisers.

I only caught the last 20 minutes or so of the Queen's Birthday bash at the Palace yesterday on BBC, having been more interested in the Football. From what I saw it looked like it had been an interesting and entertaining show, right up until the climax when the Queen came on stage and did her speech.

What on earth were her advisers/speech writers / pr gurus etc thinking? With an audience of thousands of young children in person plus who knows how many via TV, apart from one sentence at the start, her choice of language and manner of presentation left me thinking more of an address to a particularly dull session of parliament than a kids party.

Reed the text of her speech and I have no doubt a significant percentage of the words used would be challenging for a teenager to understand or spell, never mind some of the adults in the audience.

If one of the reasons behind the event was to "humanise" the Queen more and make her more accessible to the younger generation, then I think it failed miserably.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Fond memories

In the UK, the Sci Fi Channel has just started re-running The original Star Trek series (ST:TOS) from the late 60's. This time the series has been digitally re-mastered and the quality is great (apart from the ever present Sci Fi logo).

What is annoying though is that whoever is scheduling the episodes has not bothered to check the original transmission schedule as they are not in sequence.

However, it's great to see this classic series again, like lots of kids it inspired me to read lots of science fiction and was ground-breaking television. It's amazing the things you forget, like how bad the dodgy sets really were and the "aliens" I have just watched an episode "The Man Trap" and in one scene a plant reacts aggressively to a creature masquerading as a Star Fleet crewman. Well I say plant, it's quite clear from the shot that it is somebody's hand in a fancy glove pretending to be a plant - wonderful stuff.

The episode also featured Yeoman Janice Rand, who I now remember was one of the first women I ever took a keen interest in. Not in the original '67 when it was first broadcast (I was only 3), but in the late 70's when I discovered Star Trek as a hormonal teenager.

She actually appeared in the later films too, the last one being Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, when she was communications officer on Captain Sulu's ship, the Excelsior.

I also found it interesting, watching the early episodes how underdeveloped the characters were, especially Spock. In another episode, "Charlie X", there is a scene in the precursor to ST:TNG's Ten Forward, "Recreation Room 6" Spock is sitting playing some sort of Vulcan guitar and is clearly seen smiling as Lt. Uhuru makes up a song and sings along. Spock smiling?? Surely there is some mistake, not the logical, unemotional Vulcan.

I can't wait to see the rest of the series...