Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Me and My Girl

Monday, October 14, 2013

The future is bright...

Just sent this to Orange - hope I get a reply soon!

Dear sir/madam,

I'd like to know what is going on with my order/upgrade dated 1/10/2013
My mobile number is 07*********
Account no.: ********

You have taken the money, and the phone service is stating my next upgrade is due on 1/10/2015 - so the order must have gone through - but when I rang 150 from my mobile device to check on my order I had the following problems;

* The first time, I requested an email confirmation of my order, but was told that there is no process for this. I was told that I could receive a text confirmation, but only after my new handset had arrived (even though the handset would be confirmation enough, surely! I wanted confirmation before that!)
* I was then passed on to another assistant who did not seem to be able to find my upgrade order! She then found something saying I had upgraded to an iPhone 4S, but that was 2 years ago on my last upgrade. I said I had ordered an iPhone 5S and she said that was only available on EE, despite that not being mentioned at all during my order, and the orange website displaying iPhone 5S plans. Needless to say, I was starting to get worried, confused and dissatisfied. As an orange customer of almost a decade, I'm not feeling that my custom is being respected.
* I was then passed on to a member of EE customer services who couldn't find my information, so wrote down my name with a PENCIL to try and find my order. He had my mobile, and - I thought - my account details but still didn't seem to have any record. We we're cut off, and I had no call back. Rather than go through all that again, with the waiting and constant verification of who I am, I hoped I might get a clearer answer via email.
Also, I am aware it may take up to 30 days to receive my phone.

I would like;
* confirmation, as soon as possible, of my order either vie email, via text or via mail.
* if possible an update on my order
* my order reference numbers, if they are not attached to the order confirmation
* the ability to check the status of my order online, so as not to waste your customer service agents time anymore

One more thing - as a former customer service agent for a major international company (Office Depot UK) I am fully aware of what should be expected from large, successful companies like yours who rely on customer retention. I don't think, in my experience, enough is being done to serve your customers. I'm not saying I want a courier to bring my phone today, or any free stuff, I just want simple questions answered and to feel like I am respected as a paying, long time customer.

Kind regards,
Benjamin L. Harris

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bad Science in Star Trek Into Darkness

I’m sure this isn’t the only bad science, and bad science doesn’t necessarily mean a bad movie, but I had to get this off my chest;

The Co-ordinates that Khan gives to Kirk lead Scotty to Jupiter. Here’s the problem - co-ordinates refer to a fixed point in space. The Federation is not an intergalactic organisation, so these co-ordinates must use EITHER the centre of the galaxy as a reference point, or possible the solar system (they are an interstellar organisation after all, so must organise based on Stars, not planets). Now, it takes Jupiter a hella long time to orbit the sun (over a hundred years, right?) and moves very fast - it covers an extraordinary area. My issue is this - how could Federation coordinates possible track a moving Jupiter? Jupiter - in the scheme of things - is ridiculously tiny.

Admittedly, Khan could calculate for Jupiter’s changing location within our solar system (itself moving around our stellar neighbourhood, itself moving around the galaxy) - its only maths after all - but he could only do that if he knew precisely when Kirk was going to visit… Which he didn’t.


Also, The Enterprise warps away from Quo’nos (not Kronos) and is eventually shot out of Warp by The Vengeance. They end up about a quarter million kilometres from Earth. That’s within the orbit of the Moon! They went from an alien world to almost earth in a matter of minutes? How close is Quo’nos?! Lets look at the (very basic) Maths. The nearest star to ours is Proxima Centauri, in the Alpha Centauri System. Four light years away. It takes light (a starships speed at Warp One) four years to get there. Quo’nos is significantly farther than our nearest star - otherwise, they’d be in Federation space right? So then it would take tens, hundreds, thousands of years, more, for light to get from there to here. The Enterprise makes it in a few minutes (okay, so they’re travelling from the Neutral zone and not Quo’nos but the point still remains). This means they’re going significantly faster than the speed of light. Hundreds of thousands of times faster. More?

Light takes about nine minutes to get from the Sun to Earth - about four seconds to get from the Moon to Earth. If they’re going thousands of times the speed of light, divide that four seconds by respective thousands. If they had been shot out of warp a THOUSANDTH OF A SECOND LATER they would have overshot the Earth. Sulu wasn’t even reaching for the ‘throttle’ of the Enterprise!!! Imagine the quickest he could reach up and pull back was two seconds - they’d have overshot the solar system completely!

WHAT IS GOING ON? WHY THE SPEED?! It makes more sense in Spaceballs when the go to Ludicrous Speed!

Finally, Kirk dies for, like, minutes without being frozen (not even sure cryogenics would preserve brain function). Even magic Tribble Saving Khan Blood - IF it could bring back the dead (is Khan immortal?) - could not restore a brains function, especially if memory and consciousness are electrical impulses as they are theorized to be. Kirk would be brought back as a vegetable or a giant newborn baby.


- Regards,

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Avengers UK Commentary

God Damn You, Disney! And God Damn You Tesco!

It seems that the UK release of The Avengers (I'm not calling it by that shitty other title) on DVD and Blu-Ray don't have the Joss Whedon commentary track. Apparently it was recorded too late to include on our discs. So why does Tesco have it down as including the track? Because they're useless c*nts. They got it wrong, and no one there apparently has the ability to EDIT A WEB PAGE!!!

And big companies wonder why people illegally download. Okay, it's usually greed and criminality, but in some cases its to get a sense of fairness. Well, I shall be attempting to get hold of the commentary without paying extra for it, and I hope I do not have to resort to illegal means.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Seal Clubbing

A picture of Seal Clubbing.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My 2011 Oscar Predictions!

I'm leaving it pretty late this year, but here are my picks for the Oscars this year. By the time anyone reads this, they'll be over and done with, but that ain't gonna stop me!

So, here are my predictions - join me in a few days to see if I was right;

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King's Speech” - Gotta be the Firth. He was pipped to the post this year, so this year he'll Dench it. 
James Franco in “127 Hours”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter” - It should be Geoffrey Rush, but it feels like Bale's year.
John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” - Natalie Portman. She's pretty damned good in this... and she's pregnant.
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit” - I don't think Steinfeld will win, but she should. She's amazing. Melissa Leo (never heard of her) has some buzz behind her, and kudos to HBC for not gothing about all year and actually doing some acting.
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Animated Feature Film
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich - If you've seen it, you know why.

Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” 
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan - Too close to call, but I'm going for Potter because... well, it's always looked amazing.
Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
“The King's Speech”
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
“True Grit”
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

“Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
“Inception” Wally Pfister - If there's any justice in the world, this film will win everything it's up for. True Grit and Black Swan are (in my humble opinion) contenders, but Inception did what the Matrix did - it changed the grammar of cinema.
“The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” Roger Deakins

Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres - Gotta be this film. Watching Rooster is his long johns, you genuinely believe that Jeff Bridges wore them for a straight year. How much the ming is a testament to the skill of Zophres.

“Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” David O. Russell
“The King's Speech” Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” David Fincher - With neither Inception nor 127 Hours in the running, I've got to go for Fincher. Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac... all amazing. But to turn "The Facebook Movie" into a must see event is nothing short of miraculous.
“True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Documentary (Feature)
“Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz - The Only one I've seen, but bloody good.
“Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name” Jed Rothstein - I like the idea of someone called 'Jed' winning an oscar.
“Poster Girl” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block
“Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

Film Editing
“Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” Pamela Martin
“The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” Jon Harris - Again, fairness doesn't seem to be a part of the Oscars, but this IS the Best Edited Film of the Year (Social Network is the closest contender, Black Swan a fairly distant third). Again, how to take a guy trapped in one place and make it that exciting is a mark of genius.
“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful” Mexico - Plain guess.
“Dogtooth” Greece
“In a Better World” Denmark
“Incendies” Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria

“Barney's Version” Adrien Morot
“The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng - SAOIRSE RONAN'S FEET!!!
“The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
“Inception” Hans Zimmer - Amazing. No regrets choosing this film. No regrets at all.
“The King's Speech” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman - I'm gonna go for this rather than A. R. Rahman, just because of the Toy Story Name. I think this will be another Dench.

Best Picture
“Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
“The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers - 10 Wonderful films, a really strong year for this category. I'll be happy whoever wins, but I really want either this or Inception. I'm going for 127 Hours because Inception wasn't nominated for the Editing gong.
“The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ce├ín Chaffin, Producers
“Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night” Teddy Newton - Because, Pixar. Come on! 
“The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let's Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois

Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession” Tanel Toom
“The Crush” Michael Creagh
“God of Love” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt - Guess work.
“Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Sound Editing
“Inception” Richard King - All strong contenders, but I think Inception uses sound in a much more integral way than the rest, and it works.
“Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger

Sound Mixing
“Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick - See above.
“The King's Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Visual Effects
“Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojansky and Joe Farrell
“Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb - Potter might pip it (the Multi-Potter scene is good) but Inception is both slick and imaginative. The Mirrors on the bridge, the folding city, the Sand-scrapers... it's breathtaking.
“Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy - I'm gonna go with this given how impressively they take a very uncinematic concept and write a realt treatise to self-realization and facing ones own mortality. Plus, y'know, Danny Boyle is one of the greatest filmmakers around.
“The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter's Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;
Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan - Must be Inception. Must be, must be, must be.
“The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King's Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler