Sound and Fury

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Archive for the ‘tv’ Category

Successful day. For me. Not for Mark Selby.

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I have now officially applied for my PhD at LSE. That’s rather exciting. I’m sure my research proposal thing could have been better, but I need to concentrate on getting my essays finished and the application had been a distraction. So that’s a weight off my mind. My essays are going well too. And I got my iPod working properly. AND I managed to get a birthday present for the ladyfriend. All in all, one super successful day. But it’s now twenty to six and already I can’t be arsed doing any more work. Sigh. I’ve run out of relevant stuff to read for the part of the essay I’ve been working on today and I don’t want to start the next thing now. (That’s a lie. There is another article I should read. But it’s crap…) I really should work more…

In other news, it’s a shame to see Mark Selby out of the Masters already… Other big names out in the first round: Graeme Dott, Steve Davis, Stephen Lee, Matthew Stevens. I wish I could watch more of the snooker this year. But I don’t have a TV. I wonder if I can catch the highlights on BBC’s iPlayer thingy… I have been using that quite a bit recently. I wonder if I should be using it. I mean, I couldn’t see anything in the conditions about it only being available to people with TV licenses…

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Written by Seamus

April 23, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Posted in me me me, snooker, tv

TVlicensing say I’m a criminal, and why I don’t give money to greenpeace

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I object to the accusatory letter the TV licensing authority people send me. My room is too small to comfortably house a television, and I really don’t need more distractions anyway. I’d be more than happy to pay a significantly reduced license for my use of BBC radio and the BBC website, but that isn’t on offer. And the fact that TVlicensing think I’m a criminal means I’m less inclined to even that reasonable idea… Today I got a “Things you need to know in case of prosecution” notice. It starts:

According to our database, your address remains unlicensed for you to use TV receiving equipment there, despite several requests for payment of your TV license fee.

Nowhere does it suggest that anyone has even considered the possibility I do not have a television. The only conditional statements are things like “if you are committing an offence…” or “if you are found to be breaking the law…” Nothing like “if you don’t have a TV, please disregard this notice, we apologise for the inconvenience and the insult caused by suggesting you are a criminal”

Actually, upon closer scrutiny there is some small print on the back that says if I don’t have a TV, I don’t need a TV license.

I wonder if Roger Scruton submits papers he reads to scrutony scrutiny. Heh. Oh dear… On an equally frivolous but philosophical note, this blog seems promising.

And another thing that annoys me more, the more I think about it. There are people trying to get me to give money to greenpeace. If I were going to give money to charity, greenpeace wouldn’t be the one I’d choose. First, green issues and ethical issues are in the news so much that it steals a lot of greenpeace’s thunder. Everyone is pretty much aware of the problem now. So I don’t feel obliged to give money to greenpeace so that they can “raise public awareness.” Second, I don’t want my money being spent on stupid things like sabotaging Japan’s whaling fleet. That’s not to say that I condone Japan’s actions, I simply don’t want to fund criminal activity, no matter how well meaning. Incidentally I think there are better ways to get Japan to stop whaling; encouraging Japan to fund more conservation efforts, encouraging less invasive “science” methods (let’s not forget Japan claims their whaling is for scientific purposes), publicising the extent of the whaling and its damage to the environment and so on. The Arctic Sunrise‘s actions are petty and unhelpful in this arena.

So I’d rather give money to charities distributing leprosy treatments in poor countries or even to some research charity like cancer research UK or something.

Oh, and happy Pi Day!

I cannot spell the word license. Every time I typed it I had to look to see whether I’d got it right. I’ve been spelling it “lisence” loads. I wonder why that is. I have trouble with “exercise” too. I blame French.

Oh and one final thing, Donald Knuth’s Surreal Numbers should have been mentioned when I was talking about dialogues.

Written by Seamus

March 14, 2008 at 8:16 pm

The return of the casting agent!

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I just found out that the BBC did indeed make a TV miniseries of Titus Groan and Gormenghast and that Christopher Lee did indeed play the part of Flay. Richard Griffiths was Swelter. Cora Groan was played by Zoe Wannamaker. Stephen Fry was also in it, but playing a part I haven’t come across and wikipedia has nothing to say on the subject.

The Edward whose name I couldn’t remember is Edward Furlong.

Of course, it’s not just books you can do this to. But books are good because you don’t have a visual image of your character imposed upon you. So it is easier to find actors who fit. With cartoons or videogames or whatever, you are constrained by the person looking at least a bit like the character… Remaking films with new actors is another good source of idle speculation. “If I were remaking Bridge on the River Kwai, who would I have play Saito?” for example. (Beat Takeshi, obviously.)

Written by Seamus

February 28, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Posted in film, tv

Epic man-flu battles the robot scientists…

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I have spent the last few days being kicked repeatedly in the nuts by a really bad cold. Figuratively. I’ve missed a few lectures which will take some catching up on… And my plan to have one of my essays pretty much written up has been put on the back burner. But today thanks to Beechams (which I think is made out of magic) or my partial convalescence, I managed to plan out my essay about Robot Scientists. It’s going to be awesome. I hope I can write something in the next week and get some feedback. I also have to catch up on a lot of reading and whatnot.

Fun fact: seventeen of the twenty-nine delegates at the fifth Solvay conference were, or later became Nobel prize winners… Yikes.

I managed to get as far as Boots to buy some paracetamol and ibuprofen and (for reasons unrelated to my illness) mouthwash and shower gel. On the way past Borders I popped in and snapped up two seasons of Red Dwarf for £7 each! So this week I have spent most of my time coughing my lungs up, feeling sorry for myself and watching Red Dwarf on DVD. But now I don’t have any more episodes to watch. Thankfully I have also got over the worst of my cold as well.

I watched Run Fat Boy Run, which is quite funny. Cheesy in the extreme, but just about silly enough that it doesn’t turn into a soppy chick-flick. It did kind of make me want to go and watch Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, though. In fact I might watch Hot Fuzz this evening… I do like Stephen Merchant’s cameos. In RFBR, in HF and in Green Wing. He went to Warwick, don’t you know…

Written by Seamus

February 27, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Unless printing off a ton of SEP articles counts as work, I’ve done nothing today…

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I went to a sign language society meeting today. It was really interesting. I missed the first week, but I managed to catch up with the fingerspelling relatively quickly. We moved on to learning colours and a couple of other things. It was really cool. My favourite sign so far is the one for “philosophy.” You sort of wiggle your fingers by the side of your head.

I should, at some stage read that paper for maths on thursday. To be is to be the value of a variable. If you say so Mr. Boolos.

I’m working my way through Rome season 2. I’m enjoying it. Yes the acting is shaky, yes the dialogue is sometimes awful, yes it is quite often unnecessarily graphic in depicting sex or violence, but despite all that I think it’s fun, well made and it feels authentic. I do kind of like the characters and I do care what happens to them. That’s the important thing for me. That’s what I never had with Lost. I spent so much time going “WHAAT?” I never really warmed to any of the characters. I watched up to halfway through series two just because I want to know what was going to happen next and if it would explain anything. But I didn’t really care much about any of the characters. Locke was a hero though. I like him. I might look up Lost on wikipedia when they’ve finished it so that I know the story, but I don’t want to have to watch the dozens of hours of TV it would take to find out the whole story through watching it…

Written by Seamus

October 23, 2007 at 10:03 pm

Posted in me me me, philosophy, tv

Cinema etc?

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We went to the Sneak Preview tonight, where they show a film that isn’t out yet, but don’t tell you what it is going to be. I thought it might be Harry Potter, Transformers or The Simpsons Movie. All of which would have been acceptable. Instead it was Interview. I was a little disappointed at first (I was looking forward to some optimus action) but it turned out to be a pretty good film, so that was ok.

Nathan Barley is funny.

Written by Seamus

July 5, 2007 at 11:04 pm

Posted in film, tv

A few of my favourite things

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Haiku Circus is
My new favourite website
It makes me chuckle

Peep Show and Have I Got News For You were both funny. But not in that order. Peep Show was on after HIGNFY was. Anyway. I might be out tomorrow and miss all the campy goodness of Eurovision. That would be a crying shame. I’ll have to trawl YouTube for the highlights.

I found a googlewhack today. I think it was “groupoidification periphery” Although by writing about it here it will probably cease to be a Googlewhack. Still, groupoidification is my favourite word today. It will probably be word of the week…

Another “favourite” of mine is today’s favourite fact; Tony Blair dated Mary Harron who went on to direct American Psycho. Now that is a pretty awesome fact.

Here are a couple more pointless holiday ideas!

  • Only reply to direct questions day
  • Respond in a different medium to the one you were addressed in day (So ring up to answer emails, write down the answer to verbally asked questions etc…)
  • Finish every sentence with the word “underpants” day underpants
  • Blink as little as possible day
  • Wink at strangers day
  • Speak only in internet memes day (So basically all you can do is ask for cheeseburgers, inform people as to the state of their base, what you’re doing to their dudes and tell people how it is in Soviet Russia)
  • Walk like an Egyptian day

OK, that’s enough.

Written by Seamus

May 12, 2007 at 12:21 am