1 Minute Challenge

30 09 2011

This week I thought I would challenge myself. I have come up with a game where I have 1 Minute (I used an online stopwatch) to write down as many things as possible in a certain subject. Then I do it again to see if I can break my previous record. Now this game may sound easy but when you are under pressure it can become quite difficult, it is also quite difficult when your hand starts to hurt from lots of writing. 4 out of 5 times I was able to beat my previous record. However on the 5th subject I got one less the second time round.

Well here is how I did and I will link every word so you can see I did not make them up.


Subject 1 – Dinosaurs











 Lamborghini Logo

Subject 2 – Car Manufacturers














Rolls Royce


Godzilla, Millenium 4th Generation, Toho Co., Ltd. (Toho Kingdom)

Subject 3 – Monsters that have appeared in Godzilla Films


King Ghidorah












Subject 4 – Skyscrapers

Tower 42


Willis Tower

One Canada Square

Burj Khalifa

Petronas Towers

Shanghai World Financial Centre

Empire State Building

Subject 5 – Characters in the X-Men

















Well that was fun. If you think you can beat me or want to challenge me at a different subject leave a comment along with your answers or your chosen subject and let’s see who is better.


Four Depressed Astronauts – Dark Star

21 09 2011

Dark Star (John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon - 1974)

The idea of going into space is an idea that has been around for many years. In the 1960’s People started to fly into space and even land on the moon. The idea behind it has always been exciting and now with companies like Virgin Galactic offering rides into space for any civilian who wants to the idea of living on other planets is coming closer and closer to it actually happening. However if you watch Dark Star you might change your opinion on space travel.

Dark Star is a film about a group of Astronauts (Lieutenant Doolittle, Sergeant Pinback, Boiler and Talby) on a ship called Dark Star who have to bomb unstable planets so that other planets in the system can be colonised. The film was Directed by John Carpenter and co-written by Carpenter and Dan O’Bannon (who also plays Pinback).

The Astronauts have been in space for 20 years. The ships former captain; Commander Powell is in Cryogenic Suspension so he can still give advice to the crew. The ship has constant system malfunctions (such as the destruction of the ships entire stock of toilet paper) and a bored crew who try to keep themselves distracted (such as boiler who enjoys target practice with the ships laser rifle). After flying through an electrical storm things get worse for the crew as a communication laser keeps telling a smart bomb to prepare to detonate. Sergeant Pinback has to deal with an alien which looks like a beach ball and when a smart bomb decides to detonate without disconnecting from the ship, lieutenant Doolittle starts to talk to it in a philosophical way, but after being successful the bomb starts to speak like it is God and blows the ship up when it says “let there be light”. Only Doolittle and Talby survive the explosion because they were in space and some distance away from the ship. Talby flies away with a group of asteroids and Doolittle (who likes surfing) uses a piece of metal from the ship and surfs down into the atmosphere of a planet they were going to blow up.

The film’s dark setting is helped along by scary and slightly tense music which also feels a bit dark. However the film’s main tune is a nice lift up and is something nice to listen to in a film where it is mostly dark. 

Dark Star is supposed to be a Comedy Film but it is quite hard to see some of the funny situations. However the role of Pinback brings out the comedy scenes such as some of the scenes with the Alien Beach Ball and a scene in a lift. But apart from these scenes with Pinback the film does not contain much in the way of Comedy. It is a hard film to get into and is sometimes hard to understand but does have a sense of enjoyment about it and can be quite fun. Science Fiction fans will probably get more out of Dark Star than Non-Sci-Fi fans. However that does not mean Non-Sci-Fi fans won’t like it. Dark Star is an enjoyable film but it can be hard to understand and so you may want to watch it a few times to get the story but don’t let that put you off from watching it.


Dinosaurs Return To Television

14 09 2011

Tonight sees the television return of Dinosaurs. Back in 1999 Walking with Dinosaurs arrived on Television bringing extinct creatures back to life in one of the greatest TV documentaries of all time. The show used State of the Art Computer-Generated Imagery to bring these Ancient Giants back to life and with it came many more advances in Computer-Generated Imagery.

The show was made by Impossible Pictures and after the success of Walking with Dinosaurs they created many more TV series with the Walking with title including (The Fantastic) Walking with Beasts and Walking with Monsters. They then went on to do Primeval on ITV (ITV’s challenger to the re-launch of Doctor Who). Even though Primeval has dinosaurs in it Walking with Dinosaurs is still a lot better than Primeval.

It has now been almost 12 years since Walking with Dinosaurs first aired and tonight on BBC One the Ancient Giants return in Planet Dinosaur. This time however Impossible Pictures are not providing the Special Effects. Visual Effects studio Jellyfish PIctures have been commissioned to create the series. There have been several trailers shown on the BBC and it looks amazing, but how will it compare to Walking with Dinosaurs. I am already very excited about this new show and I don’t have long to wait.

Watch Planet Dinosaur 8:30pm on BBC One and BBC One HD (if you have access to BBC One HD).


Fairground Questions – Waltzers

8 09 2011

This past weekend the Fun Fair returned to Ryelands Park in Lancaster. This is one of my favourite events of the year and has been for almost 20 years now. Every year Taylor’s Amusements provides many brilliant and wonderful rides. This year there was not much variety in the rides and some of my all-time favourites like Thriller Express and Twister did not make an appearance (even though there was a version of a twister but not as good as the proper twister). It was also a very wet weekend and not many people came out resulting in the fair closing down at an earlier time. However the rides that I went on were fun nonetheless.

Twister (The Proper One)

It was when I was on the Waltzer ride and stroking my beard that a question popped into my head. Who was the first person to think “Those cars are not spinning as fast as they could be going, I am going to stand on the ride and spin them round really fast making the ride more exciting”. Now before I talk about that in detail some of you may be unsure of what a Waltzer ride is so here is a quick explanation:

A Waltzer is a fairground ride that consists of a number of cars which are free to spin individually while rotating around a central point like a carousel. The floor of the ride is not flat and the cars rise and fall gently as the ride spins, the weight of the riders causing each car to rotate.

The Waltzer is a fun ride and I usually only ride it once because it is quite intense and so one time is usually enough however this past year I went on it twice. Anyway back to the question. Who was the first person to get on a Waltzer and spin the cars round? Now I am not talking about the teenagers who hang around the Waltzer and don’t ride it I am talking about the people who are walking around the ride and making the cars spin. Was it part of the rides design that potential people could walk around it and spin the cars to make the ride more exciting or are they robots designed to be a part of the ride?

Maybe the people who work on Waltzers are just regular people who work for the fair and do it for a job (I wonder how well paid a job on a Waltzer is). Maybe you have to be fully qualified at Waltzer spinning to pass a University degree in Fun Fair Management.

The Waltzer is a fun ride and the people who make them spin are doing a brilliant job at making the ride more exciting. Who knows who the first person was to get on a Waltzer and spin the cars more but it is a good thing they did because without these people it may not be as exciting.


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