The Spicy Pick

You have to choose one flavor that your sense of taste will no longer be able to distinguish. Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami, spicy (not a taste per se, but we’re generous): which one do you choose to lose?

Hmmm, I’m torn between sour taste which I hate and spicy – especially if it is too spicy – which can be a problem. So if I lose this flavour will I also not be affected by it? Like say if I lose the ability of tasting the spiciness of any food will the over spicy stuff affect me in any way? Like say I eat an extremely spicy dish like a chicken or beef curry – I’m talking over spicy eyes watering, burning hot going in and burning hot coming out the next day – and I can eat it without having to be affected by it? Hell yeah then sign me up!

Becase if I can still taste the dish without the spicy killing my taste buds then I might still enjoy the dish right? In that case I’ll keep the sour flavour and give up the spicy thing. Cause then I can really eat some dishes that could kill normal people. I definitely do not want to lose out the sweet, bitter or salty flavours.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

The Magdalene Sisters

From writer / director Peter Mullan comes a 2002 movie called The Magdalene Sisters about 4 young women who are sent to Magdalene Asylums, also known as ‘Magdalene Laundries’, homes for women who were labelled as “fallen” by their families or society. The homes were maintained by individual religious orders in the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. The four girls are portrayed by Anne-Marie Duff, Nora Jane Noone, Dorothy Duffy & Eileen Walsh.

The movie starts with showing the circumstances through which 3 of the girls came to be sent to the Magdalene Asylum. Margaret is raped by her cousin at a wedding is thought to bring shame to her family; Bernadette who is an orphan is seen flirting with boys at a playground (even if there is a iron fence between them) & though she is a virgin; and Rose who has a child out of wedlock and the boy is taken away to be given for adoption. It is heartbreaking to see Rose pleading to her mother & father to just look at her new baby boy atleast once before sending him away. The 3 girls meet at the asylum where mentally challenged Crispina who has had a son outta wedlock is already a resident. The asylum is run by the greedy & malicious Sister Bridget who dishes out punishment via canning and forcefully cutting of the hair of girls who earn her wrath. The other nuns also seem to take merriment in physically & verbally torturing and abusing the girls. The asylum runs a large & profitable laundry service in which the girls are made to work during the day and are not allowed to speak during that time.

Rose is told that she will be called Patricia from now on as they already have a Rose as an inmate. She suffers pain when milk backs up in her breasts but is denied lactating them as Bridget feels that she must suffer through the anguish. An inmate named Una escapes and runs away to her home but is brought back by her father who has renounced her. Although Sister Bridget speaks tenderly to her that night, the next day she cuts all of Una’s long brunette locks off. Crispina and Bernadette are also reprimanded for speaking aloud in the laundry rooms, resulting in several blows to the back of the thighs with Sister Bridget’s switch. Bernadette seduces a laundry delivery man named Brendan and offers to marry him and elope at midnight if he helps her escape from the asylum. She is caught when Brendan, who has a key to the outdoor entrance, loses his nerve and Bernadette is forcefully and violently sheared of her dark hair which leaves her with various bloody cuts. Later in a scene that will stick with you, the girls are all forced to strip naked and parade their bodies for a couple of the nuns who then mock them and compare the breasts, buttocks and pubic hair of the girls.

Crispina, who’s sister brings her young son to see her once in while, is driven to try to kill herself by soaking herself in cold water and sleeping in it to catch a flu loses her precious St Christopher medal and tries to hang herself. The other 3 girls stop her just in time but Bernadette, who has the medal all along, decides against giving it back to Crispina. While out in the woods next to the asylum Margaret sees Crispina being forced to perform fellatio on Father Fitzroy, the resident priest just before mass. She tells Crispina not to consider him a man of god and fights with Bernadette when the medal is discovered under her pillow. Margaret decides to punish the priest by tossing in an itchy plant along with his clothes in the washing machine. The next day father Fitzroy break out in a livid rash and violently strips off his clothes during an open-air mass, causing much embarrassment. When Crispina realises she has the same rash between her legs and that Sister Bridget will not help her, she obsessively screams “You’re not a man of God!” at Fitzroy for 10 minutes. That night, Crispina is forcibly taken to Mt. Vernon, a hospital for the mentally ill, so she cannot reveal any more about Fitzroy’s sexual abuse of her.

After four years at the asylum Margaret’s younger brother, who is grown up now, gets her released from the asylum on Christmas day. As Margaret is leaving she blocks Sister Bridget’s way and refuses to give way, choosing to kneel down and pray so the visiting bishop has the sister move along. Soon after that Katy, the laundry overseer falls ill and dies alone in her room as the nuns refuse to even visit her. Bernadette, who hated Katy for alerting the nuns about her doomed escape, however relents and kisses Katy on the forehead as a goodbye. When she goes to inform sister Bernadette about Katy’s death, she finds the nun viciously beating for telling Crispina’s sister that she had been imprisoned in the mental hospital. That night, she tells Patricia that they have to leave. They break into Sister Bridget’s office, and after a confrontation with Bridget and other nuns, escape the asylum. With the help of Bernadette’s aunt, who lives in a nearby town, they are able to start anew.

At the end of the movie we learn that Patricia going by Rose again, married and had two daughters before finding the son that was taken from her in 1964. Bernadette became a hairstylist like her aunt and moved to Scotland but is never able to have stable, happy relationships. She married and divorced three times and is currently living alone. Margaret became a school deputy headmistress but never married. Crispina was found by her sister in Mt. Vernon but, her mental health having deteriorated, she died there of anorexia in 1971. he film’s epilogue states that an estimated 30,000 women were held at Magdalene asylums throughout Ireland, and the last laundry closed in 1996.

Stunning brutal & sad movie to watch. Peter Mullan has remarked that the film was initially made because victims of Magdalene Asylums had no closure. They had not received any recognition, compensation, or apology, and many remained lifelong devout Catholics. Former Magdalen Asylum inmate, Mary-Jo McDonagh, told director and writer Peter Mullan that the reality of the Magdalene Asylums was much worse than depicted in the film. 8 outta 10!

Overdose Of Corny & Stupid Religious Cheese!

CSI Miami episode :

An 8 month pregnant woman, victim of a brutal attack, is in hospital recovering from her injuries but the status is still critical considering her baby. She awakens and sees a lady cop sitting next to her who tells her where she is and what happened to her. The doctors check and inform them that the baby is still at risk as they had to stop the contractions as she, the pregnant woman, was seriously inured.

She asks the cop sitting next to her bed “Do you pray? I stopped praying when I was 12 but I’d like to pray now”. So lady cop tells her a corny, silly prayer that her grandmother taught her (angels, watching over you, god loving from above blah, blah, blah). This is a sign that the episode is heading down the path of being a Christian show! Oh brother!

Later the woman goes into labour and the doctors are unsure as to if the baby is gonna survive. Things are very hectic and dramatic when lady cop watching from behind glass walls, recites the same prayer and voila – we hear a baby crying and everything is alright!
With shows like CSI Miami – which is supposed to be about catching thieves & criminals using the latest technological stuff is doing these kinda episodes what chance do us atheists have!

Wherever I May Blog

Where do you produce your best writing — at your desk, on your phone, at a noisy café? Tell us how the environment affects your creativity.

The best is always at my desk in my bedroom at home. Playing some music on the mp3 player (preferably instrumentals as I tend to pay too much attention to the lyrics), dressed in my undershirt and a lungi with the fan on full and the wind blowing in through the open windows.

But I have also had a great time blogging from a cafe with some delicious frappes and sandwiches to eat and fuel my as I wrack my grey cells to come up with a blog post content or two. I love blogging on my laptop from the cafes or even using my BlackBerry to blog using the amazing WordPress app. I think it depends more on you as a person noticing things and getting inspired to blog about what you have seen or if that gets you to think about something that sparks the creative juices. I’ve blogged from a bus, from a train, at the office and while sitting at a hospital. Anytime anywhere inspiration can hit.

Heck I’ve even blogged while sitting on the throne in the loo! Inspiration can strike you anytime!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Super-Earth & Candidate For Best Habitable Planet Found

Nearby super-Earth, Gliese 832c, might be the best habitable planet candidate so far, astronomers say. The newly found super-Earth has a mass at least five times that of Earth’s and the astronomers estimate it receives about the same average energy as Earth does from the Sun. On a clear night, you might be able to spot the red dwarf star Gliese 832 through a backyard telescope, as it is just 16 light years away. Today, astronomers announced the discovery of super-Earth planet orbiting this nearby star and say it might be the best candidate yet for habitable world.

Gliese 832c was spotted by an international team of astronomers, led by Robert A. Wittenmyer from UNSW Australia. They used high-precision radial-velocity data from HARPS-TERRA, the Planet Finder Spectrograph and the UCLES echelle spectrograph. This star is already known to have one additional planet, a cold Jupiter-like planet, Gliese 832 b, discovered in 2009. Since red dwarf stars shine dimly, the habitable zones around these stars would be very close in. Gliese 832c complies with an orbital period of 36 days (it’s orbital companion Gliese 832 b orbits the star in 9.4 years.)

The newly found super-Earth has a mass at least five times that of Earth’s and the astronomers estimate it receives about the same average energy as Earth does from the Sun. “The planet might have Earth-like temperatures, albeit with large seasonal shifts, given a similar terrestrial atmosphere,” says a press release from the Planetary Habitability Laboratory. “A denser atmosphere, something expected for Super-Earths, could easily make this planet too hot for life and a ‘Super-Venus’ instead.” “This makes Gliese 832c one of the top three most Earth-like planets according to the ESI (i.e. with respect to Earth’s stellar flux and mass) and the closest one to Earth of all three, a prime object for follow-up observations. However, other unknowns such as the bulk composition and atmosphere of the planet could make this world quite different to Earth and non-habitable.”

In their paper, Wittenmyer and his colleagues noted that while Solar Systems like our own appear — so far — to be rare, the Gliese 832 system is like a scaled-down version of our own Solar System, with an inner potentially Earth-like planet and an outer Jupiter-like giant planet. They added that the giant outer planet may have played a similar dynamical role in the Gliese 832 system to that played by Jupiter in our Solar System. Certainly, astronomers will be attempting to observe this system further to see if any additional planets can be found.

From Universe Today.

2014 World Cup – End Of Group Stage

So that’s your round of 16 lineups and it starts off tonight. The group stage matches concluded last night and we have the final 16 teams of the tournament. A couple of surprises here and there. Let’s take a look at the line ups:

Brazil vs Chile : Despite a roadblock in the form of Mexico Brazil finished strongly with an impressive 4-1 win over Cameroon to finish top of their group with 7 points. Chile progress with 6 points and second in their group after losing 0-2 to the Dutch.

Uruguay vs Columbia : Uruguay beat Italy 1-0 to finish second in their group and thereby eliminating the Italians from the World Cup. But they must progress without star striker Luis Suarez who is suspended for 9 matches after he bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder. Columbia topped their group with a 4-1 win over Japan and will have their hopes up to reach the quaterfinals and more.

Netherlands vs Mexico : The strong Dutch team finished with maximum points in their group after they beat Chile 2-0. They look like strong favourites along with Brazil if only they maintain discipline and avoid rash challenges. Mexico’s party continues after they finished second behind Brazil with a 3-1 win over Croatia in their 3rd game and eliminated the Croats from the competition.

Costa Rica vs Greece : The surprise side of the world cup so far are the positive & exciting Costa Ricans who have topped their group with a 0-0 draw against England which eliminated the English. At times the English didn’t even look like they were trying and they need to really think about changes to the squad. Greece is another surprise as the finished second to Columbia after they defeated Ivory Coast 2-1 in their final group stage match.

France vs Nigeria : France looked a bit listless in their final game of the group stage and drew 0-0 against Ecuador to finish on top of their group with 7 points. But they better shape up as their opponents Nigeria seem to have improved as the tournament went on and they finished runners-up in their group to Argentina with a 2-3 loss to them. However as Bosnia & Herzogovina defeated Iran 3-1 that eliminated the Iranians from progressing to the knock out stages.

Germany vs Algeria : Germany seem to have slipped up a bit from the heady performance of their opening match against Portugal and just about managed to defeat the USA with a solitary goal from Thomas Muller. They need to shore up their defense and also create more chances up front. Algeria is the other surprise although they came from a weaker group but did show strong play throughout to impress me and finished second to Belgium by drawing the final game with the Russians. Look for them to bring their A game against the Germans.

Argentina vs Switzerland : Argentina looked shaky against the ever improving Nigerians but managed to win 3-1 with a strong brace from Leo Messi. Will they peak at the right time and go far in this tournament now that Sergio Aguero is out injured? Switzerland peaked just in time to win 3-0 against Honduras and finish second in the group to France thanks to a hattrick from Xherdhan Shaqiri. Can they break the Argentinians?

Belgium vs USA : And finally Belgium looked like a strong dark horse quietly winning all 3 of their group stage matches with a solitary goal win over Korea. They now face the improving USA who lost their final game to Germany 1-0 but finish second with 4 points over the Portuguese as they have a better goal difference. This could go either way.

So there you have it. Let the round of 16 begin!

Stigmata

Stigmata is a 1999 movie that I tend to forget about when listing horror flicks that I have seen over the years although I do recall being a bit scared or getting a couple of jumps in the theatre. This time around not so much and it’s more of a religious corruption movie rather than horror on the second viewing. Anyways, the movie is directed by by Rupert Wainwright and stars Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Johnathan Pryce, Enrico Collantoni, Nia Long & Portia de Rossie. Patrick Muldoon has a couple of minor scenes in it as well.

The film starts with father Andrew, who is a scientist as well as a Jesuit priest, investigating the reports of blood tears coming from a statue of Mary Magdalene in a Brazilian church at the funeral of father Paulo Almeida. A boy steals a rosary from the priest’s body and sells it to an American tourist who sends it along with other trinkets to her daughter Frankie Page, an atheist hairdresser living in Philadelphia. Soon after she touches the rosary Frankie is attacked by an unseen force while she is bathing and receives two deep wounds on her wrists. The doctors can’t find the cause of the puncture wounds which goes all the way through. While riding the subway back home with her friend she approaches a priest who is sitting opposite two nuns and asks if he is father Andrew. The priest replies that he is father Derning and the lights starts to flicker, the subway shakes and Frankie is whipped by the unseen force on her back as she stands in a Christ like pose.

Derning sends the security footage the Vatican and they send Andrew to investigate. When Frankie tells him that she is an atheist Andrew ells her that stigmatics are universally spiritual people and that stigmata is the deeply devoted being struck with the five wounds that Jesus Christ received during the crucifixion, so Frankie has been impaled through the wrists and whipped. A little upset Frankie tries to investigate a medical answer on her own but is haunted by a vision of herself dropping a baby on the road. At night while at a club her beings to bleed as the 3rd stigmata of crown of thorns affects her. She ends up in alley followed by Andrew where she scratched weird symbols on a car and speaks to Andrew in Aramaic and in a male voice. Andrew takes her to Derning’s church and plays a recording of what Frankie spoke to Vatican linguist Brother Delmonico who tells him that it is Aramaic. Frankie goes home and, the next morning, Andrew returns to her apartment to find her writing in marker on the wall, now covered in Aramaic. When questioned, Frankie responds in a male voice speaking Italian but then collapses on the bed. Frankie goes out and walks the streets with Andrew, when she collapses as wounds appear in her feet, the fourth wound of stigmata.

Father Dario intercepts the emails that Aramaic sent to Delmonico of the writings and he shows it to Cardinal Houseman, who had sent Andrew on the assignment. The Cardinal along with Dario and a few others come to Philadelphia while Delmonico tells Marion Petricelli about the writings. Later a seemingly possessed Frankie tries to seduce Andrew and when he rejects her she yells and attacks him before levitating off the bed crying tears of blood. Houseman and Dario arrive at the apartment with Derning and take Frankie to another church, sending Andrew to Derning’s. Here Andrew is met by Marion who tells him thee words Frankie has been writing are part of a document found outside Jerusalem that they believed to be a gospel in the exact words of Jesus. Petrocelli, Delmonico and Alameida were assigned to translate it, but Houseman ordered them to stop. Alameida refused and stole the document to continue translating it alone, having been excommunicated by Houseman. The document was Jesus telling his disciples that the Kingdom of God is in all of us and all around us and not confined to churches, a revelation that could ruin the Catholic Church. Petrocelli also tells Andrew that Alameida suffered from stigmata.

Andrew rushes to the church in time to stop Houseman from strangling Frankie after failing to exorcise her. the fireplaces in the room erupt and set the room on fire. Now believing Frankie is possessed by Alameida’s spirit, Andrew offers to be Alameida’s messenger instead. He walks unharmed through the fire to retrieve Frankie, bidding Alameida’s spirit to depart in peace. Some time later, Andrew returns to Belo Quinto and finds the original documents for the lost gospel under the floorboards of Alameida’s church. The film ends with a screen of text describing the discovery of the Gospel of Thomas, believed, according to the film, to be the closest thing to the actual words of Jesus while alive: the film states the Catholic Church refuses to recognize the document as a gospel and considers it heresy.

Religious horror hmmm. I remember it as being a lot scarier back when I watched it at the theatres back in 1999 when the movie came out. This time around it isn’t effective at all. The movie was mostly panned but I’ll give it a grudging 7 outta 10!

Arsenal Player Transfer Rumours

As we reach the end of the group stage of the 2014 World Cup, I’ve also been trying to keep up with the latest transfer rumours concerning my favourite club Arsenal and here are the top ones:

  • AC Milan may lower their £27m asking price for Mario Balotelli if Arsenal are willing to send Costa Rica’s Joel Campbell in the opposite direction.
  • Arsene Wenger will move for Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic if the deal to sign Balotelli falls through.
  • Arsenal have joined Liverpool, Manchester United and Juventus in the race for Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez.
  • Yann M’Vila is set to deal a transfer blow to Arsenal and Liverpool by rejecting the Premier League pair in favour of a switch to Inter Milan.
  • Mexico star Guillermo Ochoa claims he is open to a Premier League switch as Arsenal and Liverpool prepare offers after watching him star at World Cup.
  • Arsenal fans have threatened to riot if Wenger signs Tom Cleverley.

I wonder if any of these will take fruit. Balotelli looks like the most likely but then the Julian Daxler thing which seemed like a done deal seems to have hit a road block when the player stated that he wants to stay back in Germany (as per a report I read). Also Karim Benzema is rumoured to be on Arsenal’s sights as Wenger is a big admirer of him. Also Germany & Borrussia Dortmund midfielder Lars Bender, Javi Martinez of Bayern Munich & James Milner of Manchester City also look like likely targets. But I want Wenger to sign 20 year old Dutch winger Memphis Depay who has shined in his two appearances as a sub in the Netherland’s last two matches. Sign him Wenger!

Meanwhile Arsenal can confirm that 11 players will be leaving the club when their contracts officially expire on June 30. Nicklas Bendtner and Ju Young Park come to the end of their contracts, while Kim Kallstrom and Emiliano Viviano’s loan spells are set to conclude. As already communicated, Bacary Sagna, Lukasz Fabianski and Zak Ansah have completed permanent moves to Manchester City, Swansea City and Charlton Athletic respectively. Academy players Chuks Aneke, Daniel Boateng, Zach Fagan and Leander Siemann also depart having reached the end of their current agreements.

Metal Hurlant Chronicles – Season 1

Metal Hurlant Chronicles is an English language Franco-Belgian produced science fiction anthology tv series. Shot mostly in Romania takes its title, and its stories, from the legendary French comics magazine that originally ran from 1974 to 1987. In Metal Hurlant Chronicles, the episodes are joined by a “screaming metal” asteroid, “the last fragment of a once-living planet” that was “blasted into dust by the madness of its inhabitants.” Passing over many different worlds, the asteroid seems to affect the events on each planet as it passes near them. A number of notable British, French, American and Dutch actors have participated in the various episodes, including Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, James Marsters, Michelle Ryan, David Belle, Dominique Pinon, Kelly Brook, Joe Flanigan and Rutger Hauer among others.

The first episode is called King’s Crown in which the able bodied musclemen of a village on a distant planet (everyone looks human by the way) compete in a series of duels held in public. The competition is to determine a new king to replace the dying king who has lived a life of luxury & indulges in debauchery as he lords over the subjects using his robots, who treat the villagers like cattle, while living it in up in a floating castles that hovers over the village. The winner, a younger & well built warrior, is chosen and he goes to the palace to get crowned and is about to revel in his new status as king when BAM – a robot places a device that replaces his mind with that of the old king who will now enjoy life in the new body! Rocking eh? The second episode, Shelter Me, takes place on earth (around current day) is about a young girl who wakes up in the bomb shelter of her older male neighbour. She sees a tv in the corner that plays static and then meets the man who tells her what happened – 4 hours ago the warnings came that the world is about to be bombarded with nuclear weapons in an all out war. He hit the girl Jen on the head and dragged her to the safety of his bunker just in time. As long as they keep the door shut, no radiation will get in, and they’ll be safe.

Davis the man tells her that for a while there were radio reports which stopped soon and there’s no tv channels. Although Jen holds out for hope of people still being alive, Davis isn’t so sure and begins making dinner. He has enough food saved up in cans and stuff to last a very long time. They bond as Davis tells her about his wife who died and tells her that the bunker was her idea. Davis admits that he was caught staring at her by her father and they end up kissing as Davis comforts Jen about the possiblity of every else having died and then end up having sex. However the next day, looking to cook something, Jen finds a bunch of photos of her that Davis took – even in various stages of undressing! Shocked she lashes out at him, accusing him of lying to her and refusing to let him say anything, and attacks him with a glass bowl. Leaving him bloodied and dying on the floor she opens the bunker’s door and leaves —- to find that Davis was not lying about the nuclear war and that everything & everybody has been destroyed and the landscape is a mess of nuclear waste! This is the best episode in the series.

The 3rd episode Red Light / Cold Hard Facts in which a man imprisoned in a cell where he can only see red light in & around the prison. He tells of a war that took place on the planet, and how the colonists who came tricked his people because they gave weapons to both sides. He knows he is eventually going to die, but wants to see the outside one more time. He manages to unscrew a pipe and attacks his cyborg guard and comes out into the open to see sunlight – it is then that we find out that the prisoner is not exactly human: He’s red with yellow eyes. But before he can start to enjoy it, the guards come out and shoot him multiple times. They walk over and remove their helmets … and we discover that they are human. We are then taken to earth circa 2312 where there are 37 billion humans struggling to live in mega cities all across the globe. One day, scientists come across frozen capsules that held people in them. Most were destroyed or damaged as time went by but one survived intact and as the Métal Hurlant asteroid passes by and seems to breathe life into the body. The old man is taken to recover but the authorities see no reason to keep him alive as he serves no purpose and will find it hard to adapt to a cruel world. They decide to kill him, leaving behind his ‘worthless drawings’ in the small room he stayed in for a few days. As they lead him away to be killed we see the drawings of Mickey Mouse – yep the old man was Walt Disney! Bizzare and yet awesome twist ending!

The 4th episode Three On A Match starts out on a military space ship which has an asteroid crash into it as the female captain is having rough sex with a senior officer. Stanley, an engineer, manages to get himself to an escape pod which is more like a space shuttle and finds two pilots in it who then take off just in time as the rest of the spaceship is destroyed killing the rest of the crew. However it’s discovered that the pod is suffering from a punctured hole because of the spaceship’s debris and the pilots toss out poor Stanley into space. Luckily they’ve given him his spacesuit, which will give him at least an hour of oxygen. We hear Stanley screaming to get their attention but the pilots laugh and leave in their pod. However they soon find out that it won’t be enough; there isn’t enough oxygen to get both of them to the nearest base and so the two pilots start fighting and one pilot kills the other but he succumbs to oxygen deprivation just before a rescue ship can reach the pod. The pod docks onto the rescue ship, where the bodies are brought on board. The captain and crew of the ship speculate how the two men died when suddenly Stanley shows up! They are surprised to see him and ask how in the world he survived. He tells them that the two men actually saved his life when they threw him out of the pod. You see, he found what had punctured the hole in the first place: the oxygen tank.

Episode 5 entitled Master Of Destiny starts off with two bounty hunter fighting space whales and destroying them but one of the humans is fatally injured. Before he dies, he asks his partner Hondo to give his money to his family and regrets that he never went to the planet of the Turtle sapiens who can predict the time of each being’s death. Hondo survives an attempt at robbery as he gets paid and after giving his partner’s & his own share of the money to his partner’s widow, he goes to the planet and find out when he himself will die. He arrives there and sees a female pilot, Skarr, who is attacked by intergalactic policemen. Hondo helps Skarr kill them and they both seem to fall in lust with each other. The turtle sapiens tells them that they both will die in 6 years at the same time. After hearing this romantic news, Hondo and Skarr decide to just live out those years they have left together as passionately as possible. Together, the two attack convoys, steal treasure, and buy a planet for themselves. However the honeymoon does not last and one morning, 6 years later, the Métal Hurlant asteroid passes by their window, and suddenly they realize they don’t really love each other anymore. Thinking each is out to betray the other, they end up fulfilling the prophecy and kill each other with a single shot from their laser guns. Just as it was predicted!

The 6th episode is called The Pledge of Anya and is set on an alien planet on which a high priest summons a warrior from among his people. The task: to kill what will become one of most destructive and evil persons to ever walk the face of the planet earth. The warrior is taken through some rituals to make him ready and is once again informed about the urgency of this mission as the portal that leads from their planet to earth only opens once in a while. Joshua the warrior ends up in a cave on earth and heads to his mission and heads to a town in what looks like mid-20th century earth in Europe. He crosses the snow covered land on foot and asks the sword to help him find the enemy he’s been sent to kill. The sword leads him to a house and a bedroom on the top floor and Joshua evades the soldiers on the streets and enters the room to kill this great evil – only to find a young boy in his bed! Unable to bring himself to kill the young boy he is seen by some soldiers who shoot at him. Joshua is hit and tries to make it back to the hill and asks to be brought back but the priest says that he cannot be brought back as he failed his duty. Joshua dies and we see the mother of the boy going to comfort her son – who it turns out is a young Adold Hitler! Oh if only Joshua could have killed that little shit!

So there you go, 6 30 minute episodes make up the first season. Overall I’d give the show a 6.5 outta 10 as the acting is lacking in some places and special effects could have been better. My fav episode is 2 and I think the least favourite is # 3. Some of the stuff won’t make sense as the anthology format leaves a lot to be desired in terms of back story but I think the plots are good.

Power Cuts – Scheduled & Unscheduled

For those of you who don’t know for us over here we have Scheduled Power Cuts – every years just before the monsoon starts the Kerala State Electricity Board runs short of power due to (a) overuse (b) mismanagement (c) unpredicted consumption (d) water levels lower than expected and usually (e) rains not filling the reservoirs enough. Take your pick it’s usually a combination of 2 or 3 of the five. So this year as well we started running short of power and hence they announced that we’d have power cuts again. I think we started in May and we had a scheduled power cut of 30 minutes in the evening every alternate day to conserve power. That seemed fine and they announced that they would stop it after 2 weeks. Ok, but then it was brought back again but instead of 30 minutes every alternate day KSEB says it has to be every day for all over Kerala. Ok and then a week or so later they increased it to 45 minutes every evening. They would changed the timings for you so that you don’t lose power at the same time every week.

And then the rains came and although initially it was plentiful it started trickling off in a few days and it was just a few hours during the week. But June 12 the World Cup started and ofcourse the government listened to the cries of the people and ensured that KSEB wouldn’t schedule the power cuts post 9:30 pm (usually it’s between 6pm to 11pm) and they complied. So that’s about scheduled power cuts, this week we have the scheduled time of 6:30 pm to 7:15 pm while last week it was 8pm to 8;45 pm. But KSEB in all these crooked bumbling fucking idiotness fucks things up for us. Rather than stick to the scheduled power cuts they have random unscheduled power cuts. And that can happen at any time of the day! Last week we had power failures for an hour at 2:30 am on two consecutive days. For no reason! And then it goes out in the day. Today we lost power at 3;30 pm and it came back only by 4:45 pm – and you’d think that they could skip our area for the 45 minutes scheduled power outage right? Oh no, KSEB with their collective fucking cocks in their hands have to stick to their schedule but guess what ? Instead of 45 minutes it was one whole FUCKING HOUR again!Motherfuckers!

Fuck you KSEB, you lying sonsofbitches! Stick your cocks into a live socket and die!

Sleepy Time Rituals

More and more of us go to bed too late because of sleep procrastination. What are the nighttime rituals that keep you up before finally dozing off?

Due to the wold cup the sleep pattern is kinda topsy-turvy and so I’ll mention that separately but usually I follow a simple pattern.

I usually am online at my computer / laptop until 10pm on most nights and will chose either a movie or tv series episodes to watch for the night by that time. I will lay down in bed after I take off my clothes – all of them, I prefer to sleep in the nude – and put the sheets upto my chest and watch said movie or tv series episodes that is playing on my laptop. Around 12:30 am or 1 am I usually feel tired enough to fall asleep and I will switch the laptop off and the lights off and put my spectacles on the table and then drift off into dreamland.

However with the world cup in Brazil and the matches taking place at late night for us in India (9:30 pm, 12:30 am, 3:30 am) my sleep is in smaller doses and that means more red eyes and tiredness.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

2014 World Cup – Second Round Of Matches

The results of the second round of matches in the group stage:

Group A : Brazil 0 Mexico 0; Croatia 4 Cameroon 0

Brazil were restricted to a goalless draw by a resilient Mexican side spurred on by the heroic saves of their goalie Guillerimo Oacha who played himself into the hearts of Mexican and neutral fans hearts. The star performer has also been noticed by several clubs looking to get a goalkeeper. Croatia meanwhile hammered Cameroon with 4 unanswered goals as Mario Mandzukic scored twice and Ivica Olic and Ivan Perisic once each. Cameroon were eliminated as a result.

Group B : Netherlands 3 Australia 2; Chile 2 Spain 0

In an exciting match Australia took the game to the much fancied Dutch side who were perhaps guilty of taking their opponents a little too lightly prior to the second half. In a space of slightly more than 1 minute the score was 1-1 after Arjen Robben set the stadium of fire with his individual goal which was replied by a screamer from Tim Cahill. The Aussies took the lead in the second half and looked to win it before Robin Van Persie equalized and later substitute Memphis Depay scored the winner. Holders Spain became the 5th holders to crash out in the opening round as they lost to Chile 2-0 and ended the golden age of Spanish football. The end of an era was not pretty and it looked like a huge overhaul is needed to get them back to winning ways.

Group C : Columbia 2 Cote ‘Ivore 1; Japan 0 Greece 0

Colombia scored twice in six minutes in a lively second half to beat Ivory Coast 2-1 at the World Cup on Thursday and move to the brink of the knockout stage. Japan and Greece played out a draw that left them both with a lot to do if they wanted to get through to the knock out stages.

Group D : Uruguay 2 England 1; Costa Rica 1 Italy 0

England were knocked out of the competition as still unfit yet good enough to score Luiz Suarez scored a brace to give Uruguay a 2-1 win over them. Wayne Rooney had finally scored in a world cup to equalize but it wasn’t enough to get the English to avoid defeat. Also shocking was veteran Steve Gerrard who was outplayed and even made mistakes in the match. His time with the national side looks to come to an end. However England were beaten by the better team in both their matches so far and should hold their heads high and go out with a good game versus Costa Rica. Speaking of whom, the wonder boys took the game to a lacklustre and disinterested looking Italian side and defeated them by a solitary goal. Italy should be ashamed of themselves for playing they way they did.

Group E : France 5 Switzerland 2; Ecuador 2 Honduras 1

France seem to a candidate to win the cup as they ran away with a 4 – 0 lead against a sorry looking Swiss side. Scoring 2 goals within 2 minutes, the French side had 5 different scorers, including Giroud & Benzema (who also missed a penalty) and almost overwhelmed their opponents.  Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka gave the Swiss consolation goals in the final 10 minutes of the match. Ecuador come back from a goal down to beat Honduras, with two goals from Enner Valencia moving them to second place in Group E. They fell behind to a goal from Carlo Costly but Valencia, who has three goals in the tournament, ensured Ecuador only need a draw in their final game against France to progress.

Group F : Argentina 1 Iran 0; Nigeria 1 Bosnia & Herzegovina 0

For most of the match it looked like Iran would hold the Argentines goalless as they barricade their goal and protected their goalie by placing 9 players in their own half and keeping just their lone striker up front. Argentina were getting frustrated and getting booed by the Brazilians in the crowd. Until Leo Messi scored a beauty of a goal in the dying minutes of the match to shut the doors on Iran; rightly so! We don’t need such negative play. Nigeria ran out with a similar lone goal victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Group G : Germany 2 Ghana 2; USA 2 Portugal 2

In what was perhaps the best second half I have seen in a long time, Ghana took the match to much fancied Germany and gave us an exciting finish. After Germany had gone ahead by a Gotze headed, the Ghanians went ahead with goals by André Ayew & Asamoah Gyan. They looked good enough to win it as well and had a clear opportunity to goal 3-1 ahead. But veteran Miroslave Klose came on as a substitute and scored a typical poachers goal for his 15th goal across four World Cups, tying the record for most career goals at the tournament, held by former Brazil star Ronaldo. That’s the way the game ended at 2-2. The USA & Portugal match also ended in a 2-2 draw; Nani put Portugal ahead early in the first half, before a Jermaine Jones wonder strike levelled the game. Clint Dempsey thought he had won the game for his team when he restored the USA’s lead late on, but a moment of Cristiano Ronaldo brilliance allowed Varela to head in a last-minute equaliser.

Group H : Belgium 1 Russia 0; Korean Republic 2 Algeria 4

Finally group H and the most boring game I have watched so far with even the expert panel & commentators groaning in agony. Russia played out a defensive dull game with Belgium and deservedly the more exciting team finally win in the final minutes of the game with a lone goal. Algeria, a strong surprising side for this World Cup, defeated the Koreans by 4 goals to 2. The Algerian men ran riot in the opening 45 minutes as the South Korea defence was found wanting time and again. I do hope they qualify for the second round along with Belgium.

Here, Horsie

One day, your favorite piece of art — a famous painting or sculpture, the graffiti next door — comes to life. What happens next?

I have this 5 inch thick glass horse that I like a lot, which is on a glass shelf displayed in the living room. We’ve had that for many years, I think over 20 and I think it was a gift from a family friend.  It’s nicely designed and even though it’s glass I don’t think it will break that easily as it is rather thick.

Anyways, I sometimes wish that the horse would come to life and grow in size so that I can ride him or her  (it isn’t detailed that well ) away to a magical place that is filled with wonder & amazement. Kinda like in The NeverEnding Story and ride amongst all the other beautiful animals and forest creatures and race down to a meadow and relax next to a babbling brook. We’ll ride wherever we like and chase the birds and the deer and the antelopes.

Oh yeah, ofcourse I’d have my dog Shawny with me – in all my fantasy dreams, she is still alive and with me – and she will be running next to us and join in all the merriment and adventures.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Devil’s Pass

I got this suggestion from a horror group on Facebook (always a good place to get good options for suggestions on movies to watch) and on watching it liked it a lot. Devil’s Pass is a 2013 Russian film directed by Renny Harlin & written by Vikram Weet and starring Holly Goss, Matt Stokoe, Luke Albright, Ryan Hawley, and Gemma Atkinson as Americans who investigate the Dyatlov Pass incident. It is shot in the style of found footage.

Holly & her friend Jenson get a grant to go to Russia and shoot a documentary about a story that has fascinated Holly for a long time – the mysterious death of 9 Russian climbers who were crossing the Dyatlov Pass (now named that after the leader of the expedition) in the Ural mountains. The answers about their death having been unanswered for over 50 years – their tents had been frantically torn open from the inside, their bodies had suffered massive internal trauma, and their clothing contained high levels of radiation. Conspiracy theoriests have toss various stuff like military coverup and alien visitation as possible explanations. Holly manages to get two expert climbers from their university, JP & Andy and rope in Denise as the sound engineer. The 5 of them go to Russia and try to speak to one of the skiers who was supposed to be part of the original expedition back in 1959 but are denied access and find the now old man showing up a sign that tells them to turn back. At a bar they meet Sergei who introduces them to his aunt Ilya who was part of the rescue team back in 59 and she tells them that they found a small machine and 11 dead bodies, not 9 as was widely reported and that 2 of the bodies had something wrong with them. This mystery intrigues the group even more and they go on the expedition.

Once they reach the area they hear howling and find large bare footprints in the snow when they wake up the next morning which suddenly stop in the snow and they cannot explain what it is. The next day this happens again and when they find a weather tower and investigate, they find a severed human tongue. Denise wants to leave but the others convince her to stay and continue on. At night by the fire, Holly & Jenson fail to see two white figures who appear and disappear in the hills. The next day they reach Dyatlov’s Pass earlier than it says on the map. Andy & JP are further spooked when their equipments start malfunction and GPS is not working. While alone in the evening Holly & Jenson use a Geiger counter that leads them to a bunker in a cave that locks from the outside – meaning to keep whatever is inside from getting out. Early in the morning they hear rumblings and explosions that cause a massive avalanche and Denise is killed while Andy suffers a bad fracture. As soon as daylight arrives they shoot a flare and are approached by two Russian soldiers and suspicious of their sudden arrival, Andy makes the other 3 run away. Andy is killed by them and JP is shot but Holly & Jenson manage to drag him into the bunker and close the door.

Leaving JP in a corner the other two explore the bunker and find a dead soldier with his tongue missing. They also find a pile of dead bodies including two dead mutants on a medical table and also something they can’t explain – they find a handheld camera, the same model as the one they have with them now and it shows the exact same footage they have shot! Stunned they look for answers but the battery of that camera dies out. Notes in Russian show the profiles of the 9 Russians skiers who were killed in 1959 along with photos of the Philadelphia experiment which leads Jenson to deduce that the incidents here are tied to that teleportation conspiracy. Soon they are attacked by teleporting mutants who kill JP and chase Holly & Jenson into a sealed room behind which is a natural cave that leads into a wormhole. Unwilling to starve to death or face the mutants, Jensen and Holly choose to step into the wormhole, which sends them back in time. Since there are no controls, Jensen suggests that they visualize a nearby destination. Holly suggests the bunker entrance, and they enter the wormhole. In the next scene, the Russian military in 1959 discover two bodies, recover a camcorder, turn away Sergei’s aunt Alya, and hang the bodies on meat hooks inside the bunker, which is fully operational and manned. In the final shot, the bodies are revealed to be Holly and Jensen, transformed into mutants (and the dead mutant bodies they found on metal tables).

Good ending, the movie is slow to pick up pace but never gets boring at all and the story is decent with an able cast. Really interesting and way better than most found footage movies. The movie explains that the Russian military classified the data but it was hacked and shared around the world via the internet. 7.5 outta 10!