Roll up, roll up!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Soviet Censorship For Comics!

"Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb."

Garfield Minus Garfield

Meanwhile, In Some Dark Corner Of The Internet...

"The particles named tachyons are, as we reminded readers when we first came across this particular form of fruitloopery (9 July 2005), entirely hypothetical and have never been shown to exist."

New Scientist, 30 July 2008

Tachyon Water: £15.95

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Better Man Than I

The Orwell Diaries

Each entry from Orwell's domestic and political diaries will be published on this blog, exactly seventy years after it was written, allowing you to follow Orwell’s recuperation in Morocco, his return to the UK, and his opinions on the descent of Europe into war, in real time.

Starts 9th August 2008.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Useful Things You Need To Know

How long could you survive in the vacuum of space?

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Wiki For Everyone (No Life Permitting)

Sound Man

Ben Burtt (born July 12, 1948) earned a college degree in Physics from Allegheny College.

For his work on the special effects film Genesis, he won a scholarship to the University of Southern California, where he earned a Master's Degree in Film Production.

Burtt has pioneered modern sound design, especially in the science fiction and fantasy genres. Before his work, science fiction movies tended to use electronic-sounding effects for futuristic devices. Burtt sought a more natural sound, blending in "found sounds" to create the effects. The lightsaber hum he designed for the Star Wars movies, for instance, was derived from a film projector idling, combined with feedback from a broken television set, and the blaster effect (also from Star Wars), started with the sound acquired from hitting a guy wire on a radio tower with a wrench.

Burtt's memorable work has also included creating the "voice" of robot R2-D2, the heavy breathing sound of Darth Vader (by recording his own breathing in an old scuba regulator), and the speederbike chase sounds from Return of the Jedi. He has also worked on the sound effects for many other movies, including the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, as well as all of the Indiana Jones films, including the most recent: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Burtt has also created the sound effects, and most of the robot "voices" (including that of the title character), for the 2008 Pixar film WALL-E.

Burtt has a reputation for including a sound effect dubbed "The Wilhelm scream" into many of the movies that he's worked on. Taken from a character named "Wilhelm" in the film The Charge at Feather River, the sound can be heard in countless films: for instance, in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope when a stormtrooper falls into a chasm, and in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, when a Nazi soldier falls from a moving car.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Money Box

It is estimated that there's a total of £14 million in loose change, currently lost in UK cars.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

You Forget So Easy

According to the RAC's 2008 Report On Motoring, in real terms, the cost of motoring has fallen significantly across 20 years. So although costs (buying a car, running a car and the cost of fuel) have risen, after inflation has been taken into account, it is still:

* 18% cheaper to buy and run a car, including fuel costs, in 2008 than 1988
* 28% cheaper to buy and run a car, excluding fuel costs, in 2008 than 1988.
* Over the period the Retail Price Index - inflation - increased by 102%

The RAC analysis also looked at buying a car, running a car and the cost of fuel in turn, and found that, in real terms, compared with 1988:

* It is 24% cheaper to buy a car
* It is 57% cheaper to run a car
* But it costs more than twice as much to fill it up