Sam’s Rant – Bags For Life

31 08 2011

WH Smith

Do you remember when Supermarkets were a service? You did not have to do anything, you just turned up and did your shopping and then the shop gave you bags to put your shopping in, and then you took your shopping home. Nowadays the Supermarket no longer provides this service and expects you to bring in your own shopping bags. It’s like being at school “you are expected to bring in your own shopping bags or you are going to the General Manager’s office”.

I like using Plastic Bags, they are better than those American Paper Bags with no handles. The Plastic Bag has handles on it allowing us to walk home with our shopping in case we don’t have a car, imagine carrying heavy paper bags home.

More than likely it’s down to all the STUPID HIPPIES who have ruined this world to a point where we can’t just throw stuff into one bin we now have to sort our rubbish out into different bins, I would prefer to throw it all into one bin. Now we have to bring in our own bags.

Every month I go shopping in WH Smith for a couple of Magazines and I would like to use a bag to carry them but when I ask them they tell me that they want 1p for a shopping bag. Every time they tell me that they want 1p I tell them it is Stupid – Every Time. I will stop telling them it is stupid when they stop asking for 1p. Why do they need this 1p so badly anyway. With all the millions they make a year they could probably give you a bag for free. There is nothing wrong with the products they sell but where is the service?

Not all shops ask you to bring your own bags or are cheapskates asking for a penny and those are good shops which provide a service and for that reason have my customer satisfaction. Shops like HMV, Waterstones, GAME, Game Station and Corner Shops to which I would like to say Thank you for providing a service.

Shops like Supermarkets are a service to supply us with food, drink and essentials which they do brilliantly (nothing wrong with that) however they think that we, the customer, should do something for them. They are getting lots of money from us so why not give us Plastic Bags for Free and stop telling us to bring in our own bags, The Customer Is Always Right – Not The Shop.

Give us (the Customer) Plastic Bags like you (the Shop) are supposed to and stop expecting us to bring our own in and stop charging us for them.


Lucky Dragon 5

24 08 2011

For many years after the Japanese surrender in World War 2 the United States of America Tested Nuclear Weapons in the pacific in an area known as the Marshall Islands. In total the Americans tested 67 Nuclear Weapons. On March 1 1954 the Americans set off the Largest Nuclear Explosion to date – code named Castle Bravo (the Hydrogen Bomb). The explosion would be the first in a chain reaction of events that would change the world.

When the explosion occurred there was a Fishing Vessel called the Daigo Fukuryū Maru or Lucky Dragon 5 which was outside the exclusion zone. The crew saw a bright light and then a few hours later a snow storm fell on them. A few hours later some of the crew became sick and then a few days later some of their faces turned strangely dark. The ship’s captain did not understand what was going on so returned the ship to port in Yaizu. When the ship arrived in Yaizu many of the crew members were suffering from symptoms related to Radiation Poisoning. On September 23 1954 (six months later) Aikichi Kuboyama died of Leukemia. According to newspaper reports his last words were “Please make sure that I am the last victim of the Nuclear Bomb”. Five other crew members later died from diseases that were believed to be bomb related. The incident gripped Japan when it was discovered that the cargo (tuna) the ship was carrying was also infected and was on the market.

At first the Americans tried to cover up the incident, they later admitted that the ash (snow) was from the Bomb but claimed that the boat was on a spying mission. The Americans then sent the widow a check for 2.5 million yen ($2500) as a “token of sympathy” in an attempt to put the matter to rest. Many years later the USA admitted that the operation was the most powerful Nuclear bomb ever detonated and caused the single worst fallout incident in the H-Bomb atmospheric testing program. The incident caused many citizens of Japan and Thousands of scientists around the world to call for a halt to Nuclear Weapons testing. The Nuclear powers of the world agreed to the limitations of Nuclear testing with the common goal of “an end to the contamination of man’s environment by radioactive substances”.

Even though the incident brought an end to Nuclear Testing the incident did something else as well. In Japan the incident caused great fear for the Japanese people, it was still a time when nobody knew much about Nuclear Power and was a topic of great concern. Film director Tomoyuki Tanaka used the incident as inspiration for a film. The film was about a giant monster that was woken up by Nuclear Testing and would go on to trample Tokyo. The film was called Godzilla and it became a huge hit in Japan.

The fishing vessel is now on display in Tokyo at the Tokyo Metropolitan Daigo Fukuryū Maru Exhibition Hall.



The Lucky Dragon Incident by Lauren White

Godzilla: King of the Monsters – BBC Documentary


Japan’s Favourite Mon-Star The Unauthorized Biography of “The Big G” by Steve Ryfle

Pretty Good For 5 Minutes – The Case

17 08 2011

Have you watched Super 8 yet? Well if you have not there is (SPOILER ALERT) an extra film in the credits. In Super 8 the children in the main roles make a film for a Film Festival. Well in the films credits you can see the finished film. The film stars the children from Super 8 and was made by them so I am not going to bother mentioning their names.

The film involves a detective who is investigating the murder. He goes to the building of a company and meets the president (of the company). He then goes to check out one of the building’s and gets attacked by a zombie. After defeating the zombie he tries to get his wife to leave the area. While talking to each other at a train station a passing train de-rails and explodes. They both manage to survive the train incident and are then attacked by a zombie the next day. He finds out from an army man that an air force officer has killed himself and he apparently worked for a scientist. He goes to talk with the scientist who turns out to be the one who created the virus to turn people into zombies, the scientist has created a cure but only has enough for one zombie; he is then attacked by a zombie, then he becomes a zombie and is then killed by the detective. When the detective returns home he is attacked by his wife who has turned into a zombie. He uses the cure on her and she returns to normal. The film ends with the film’s director talking about the production of the film before he is attacked by a zombie.

For a short 5 minute film it is very enjoyable. The film has got some really spectacular special effects and it is a great wind down after you have watched the film that came before it (Super 8).


It Came From The Train – Super 8

10 08 2011

How long have you waited for a film to come out? I have waited years for films to be released and I am still waiting for some: District 10, Cloverfield 2, Batman 3 and even though it is going to be 2014 when it is released I am still waiting for the next Japanese Godzilla Film. Well I have also been waiting for a very long time for Super 8 to be released. I first heard about it when I was trying to find out information for Cloverfield 2 and this trailer was talked about which I immediately looked at (this was either late 2009 or early 2010, so I have known about this film for a very long time) and it did have a Cloverfield look about it but apparently it was not related. I liked the look of the trailer and I have been excited about the film for a long time.

The film was created by the intriguing mind of J. J. Abrams who is one of the biggest geniuses of both film and television who has created some of the most extraordinary (and confusing) television shows like Alias, Fringe and Lost. More recently he has been making lots of amazing films like the recent Star Trek film, Cloverfield and now Super 8. The film was produced by Steven Spielberg who does not need an introduction but I am going to make one in case there are still some people who have not heard about him. Steven Spielberg is one of the most successful directors in the world of cinema with many popular films like Jurassic Park and Jaws. With Super 8 there is a bit of an E.T. feel about it which is probably one of the reasons why Spielberg decided to do it. Spielberg has also been the producer for several recent films including the Transformers Films. J. J. Abrams is now tipped to be Spielberg’s successor so you need to wonder, if Super 8 is Abrams E.T. then what are his Jaws and Jurassic Park going to be?

Super 8 starts out with a scene after a funeral where a boy’s mother has died and he (is called Joe) is on the swings, as usual in these kind of scenes the father does not really notice the son. Four months later he is with his friends trying to make a movie and they get a girl involved called Alice. When filming the scene at a train station a train de-rails and the children run for cover. They search the wreckage while a camera the boys have films the whole event. Joe sees a door fly off the train as if somebody was inside. They find lots of plastic Rubik’s Cubes and Joe takes one. Then a man who was driving the truck which caused the train to de-rail threatens the children to keep quiet about it. They run away as the army arrive.

The children talk more about the film they are making and only Joe wants to talk about the crash. A bit of a relationship begins to grow between Joe and Alice. Meanwhile several odd events begin to happen including dogs running away, car engines being stolen and people disappearing. While all this is going on the army is removing stuff from the crashed train and putting it in boxes, the local police deputy (Joe’s Father) tries to find out what’s going on while trying to look after his son.

Alice’s drunk father then gets really mad at her and she runs away, he chases after her and crashes, he then notices a creature kidnap Alice. The army lock the deputy away when he starts asking questions and plan an operation to get rid of the evidence by starting a forest fire nearby and evacuating the town. Joe finds out that the creature took Alice so he and his friends go back into the town to get information from a science teacher who was the one who crashed the train. He formerly worked for the army as a biologist who was working with a department when a UFO crashed on the planet. The creature only wanted to rebuild his ship but the Americans (once again) wanted to use the technology for other purposes and said no and kept the creature prisoner. The scientist made a telepathic bond with the creature and found out it wanted to go home. So he crashes the train to release the creature.

The army then find the children and take them to the evacuation zone. The Deputy escapes from the army and then finds Alice’s dad and they go searching for their children. On the way to the evacuation zone the bus carrying the boys is attacked by the creature and the boys manage to escape. They then go into town when problems happen all over the place when military equipment starts going off for no apparent reason. Joe and one of his friends find the creature underground and Alice, they also discover that the creature eats people. Joe’s friend distracts the creature while Joe rescues Alice. They try to escape but the creature catches them and grabs Joe. At that moment Joe talks to the creature and the creature understands him and Joe understand the creature. The creature lets them go and returns to finish his spaceship. Joe and Alice see metallic objects begin to attach to the Water tower. The Deputy and Alice’s Father find their children and hug them. They then watch as the Water Tower becomes the spaceship and then flies off into the night as Joe and Alice watch.

Super 8 is hard to describe in easy form because there are many different ways to explain it. It is a combination of Alien film, Disaster, Action, Love and Monster movie. The effects were very good with many things looking both odd and amazing. The train crash scene is amazing with bits flying all over the place and huge explosions, think of it like if it was Unstoppable but the train crashed.

The creature is one really clever piece of effects. The idea is that you see the creature but not very clearly. So it does not spoil the creature early on, it’s not until the last few scenes you actually see the creature clearly. There are also good effects from something I call dark lighting. Lighting which is so dark it’s hard to see anything and this helps the night scenes but also when you see something behind the characters but it is so blurry you still can’t clearly see it and it brings mystery to it and guess-work at wondering what the creature looks like, I like that. Not to spoil the story or anything but I do think the creature does have a Cloverfield look about it, it looks like the Cloverfield monster in a way but it’s hard to see a good clear image of the monster in Cloverfield so you may have trouble with that.

It was good to see it in 2D; there was no need for 3D with this film because you felt the fear and terror the film was portraying (I remember I was shivering at one point). 3D probably would not have helped in anyway; a 4D film might with shaking chairs and stuff (there is a 4D cinema at Blackpool Pleasure Beach) but watch it in 2D because it is amazing to see in 2D and is also cheaper to watch as well. Is there a 3D version of Super 8 at all?

With an excellent range of characters and a Mysterious Creature Super 8 is an incredibly enjoyable film. If you are a fan of Sci-Fi you will enjoy this but more than likely anyone who wants to watch an enjoyable film will enjoy Super 8. Super 8 has an E.T. feel about it but has other cinema experiences to it than E.T. does (like train crashes and Monsters). Super 8 is a good film to add to J. J. Abrams catalogue and is one of my favourite films this year. It currently stands at joint second with THOR. Super 8 is an amazing piece of story and imagination and is not only one of the Summers Best Films but one of the Best films in 2011.

Next week there is a bonus film review relating to Super 8. So it is probably a good idea to watch Super 8 if you have not seen it already.


Top 5 Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavours

4 08 2011

I like Ice cream, it is Lovely and Fun.  I also like Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream; they add fun to their Ice Cream by having Experimental and Fun Flavours in their Ice Cream. If they made normal flavours it would not be as good. Another part of the Fun is the Fun names for their Ice Cream like Chunky Monkey and Baked Alaska.

But what is the Best Flavours well I have chosen my top 5 and I am going to share them with you.

5. Chocolate Fudge Brownie (Frozen Yogurt): Low Fat Frozen Yogurt with Chocolate Brownie Pieces – Chocolate Fudge Brownie is lovely by itself but I like the Frozen Yogurt version more. When my Mum buys Ben and Jerry’s from the Shops I prefer to have the Frozen Yogurt, unless she buys any of the Top 4 Flavours.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Frozen Yogurt

4. Mint Chocolate Chunk: Mint Ice Cream with Fudge Chunks – At the VUE Cinema in Lancaster they sell Ben and Jerry Milkshakes. They are called a Two Twisted (even though when you ask for a Two Twisted the staff has no idea what you are talking about). You choose 2 flavours and they mix them together to make a milkshake. Well Mint Chocolate Chunk by itself is a brilliant Ice Cream but when you mix it with another flavour it is amazing with that flavour. When I buy a Two Twisted I always (well most times) have Mint Chocolate Chunk. There is only one problem; you cannot buy them in tubs in Great Britain.

Mint Chocolate Chunk

3. Baked Alaska: Vanilla Ice Cream with Marshmallow swirls and White Chocolatey Polar Bears – One of the most fun Ice Creams from Ben and Jerry’s. I like it when there are pieces shaped to look like things (Phish Food) and Polar Bears are a lot of fun. Baked Alaska also has a lovely taste.  

Baked Alaska

2. Fossil Fuel: Sweet Cream Ice Cream with Chocolate Cookie Pieces, Chocolatey Peace Signs and a Chocolate Fudge Swirl – Fossil Fuel was one of the Best. Before Mint Chocolate Chunk Fossil Fuel was one of the flavours I used to pick at the Cinema. Fossil Fuel was an amazing flavour and tasted brilliantly. Then it disappeared for a while. Then a few weeks ago it returned. I was so happy and still am. It has changed a bit and the pictures on the front have changed but it is still one of the best flavours around.

Fossil Fuel

1. Caramel Chew Chew: Swirls of Caramel and Chocolate Covered Caramel Chunks swimming  in a sea of Caramel Ice Cream – When I have gone out to the shops with my Mum or Dad and we buy Ben and Jerry’s, Caramel Chew Chew is the one I look out for and want to get. Ok I do vary between Ice Creams from time to time but Caramel Chew Chew is my favourite. The chocolate pieces are a nice touch to a really tasty Ice Cream flavour. Caramel Chew Chew is the Best Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream flavour.

Caramel Chew Chew

What is your favourite Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream flavour?


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