33:Graveyards

It may sound very depressing or morbid to but I have never felt that way about them. Even as a youngster I enjoyed walking around them and I have no memory of ever finding them depressing or scary. Spooky sometimes but my overall feelings are of repose, serenity and calming, thought provoking even. I guess I should say this is in reference to older cemeteries, a few or more generations ago, who’s oldest relatives are long since dead themselves. Perhaps this takes the depression away from it , the fact it is no longer a place of mourning but rather a of remembrance.

I walk along reading the epitaphs as I pass. It is nice to read what has been written about these people, how old they were and how they have been remembered by their family and friends, and I wonder are these people any different to how we are today. I do pause when I come across a young person or child, I suppose that in truth is depressing, how couldn’t it be, but for the very most part its long full lives be it for the time. They lived they loved and they were remembered.  Sometimes I feel like I am visiting them in a way, as strange as that may sound. Their own families having moved on or died long ago themselves so many years ago, it is now only the stranger who walks by and reads those few lines about them, that, in some small way keeps the memory of who they were alive, if only for a few fleeing moments.

I suppose it is quite reflection that I get from graveyards, a peaceful place that seems to permeate my heart with a silent composure. Some may say that being surrounded by death will evoke a thankfulness of life. I see it differently, graveyards are full of live, lives lived long ago, lives remembered in memory and in stone and by that stranger who passes by.

Dark Horse – Megan Davies and Jaclyn Davies

Megan Davies is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This is an amazing acoustic cover has a brilliant folk indie spin on the Katy Perry pop original. The sisters voices are beautiful, accompanied only by the guitar they produce a wonderful harmony.  I find it incredible how songs can be broken down to their base elements like this and made better for the simplification. It even feels totally different when listening, the change of mood and meaning behind it to me is much more powerful.

Cover Artist: Megan Davies and Jaclyn Davies
Original Artist:
  Katy Perry
Song: Dark Horse
Album: Prisim (Katy Perry)
Released: December 17, 2013
Cover 
Released: April 20, 2010
 

A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson

A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson” is a short story written in 1917 by  H. P. Lovecraft. It was first published in the September 1917 when Lovecraft was 27 and is unlike any of his earlier works. The story begins by our narrator Littlewit stating that he is a much older man than people belive and then  instantaly begins name-dropping.  We as the reader are made aware of all the famous English writers Littlewit has been acquainted with over the years.

I will admit I never really got this one, maybe I was tired or maybe I was not aware of the fact it’s a parody but I just didn’t get it. However saying that I still did enjoy the flow of the language used, I have always loved how beautiful crafted Lovecraft’s sentences are and even though I was not familiar with many of the writers that are eluded to in this story which I guess would make the jokes more meaningful I was able to enjoy the eloquence of the narration.

Jupiter: King of Planets

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System,  Jupiter is named after the Roman god of sky and thunder in fact Jupiter was the “King of the Gods” the equivalent of the Greek God Zeus.  Jupiter is the fourth brightest object in our solar system is visible to the naked eye and was first recorded by the ancient Babylonians in around the 7th or 8th century’s BC.  It couldn’t be more accurately named because Jupiter is massive, I mean really massive.  In fact if Jupiter got any more massive, it would actually shrink due to the gravitational effects causing it to pull in on itself. Jupiter mass is incredibly two and a half times that of the combined mass of all other planets in the entire solar system.  Jupiter is almost like its own mini solar system.  It has four main large moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, however Jupiter has 67 confirmed moons which are in turn split into three categories, Inner, Galilean and Outer.  It even has a faint ring system around it.  I will come back to these moons and ring system at another time to discuss in more detail.

A Jovian day takes just under 10 Earth Hours making it the fastest rotating body in our Solar System. However it will take 12 Earth Years for Jupiter to complete one orbit around the sun! This means Jupiter has only made two complete revaluations of the sun in my lifetime!  Jupiter is more than five times farther than the sun than Earth. That’s 484 million miles (778 million kilometres) or 5.2 Astronomical Units.  However its presence is felt throughout the solar system acting like a cosmic shield that eats up or sling shots away any would be comets or asteroid’s that would collide with earth.  Jupiter’s gravity of is only  2 and a half times what it is on Earth, due to it being made up of gases.  Jupiter is the first of the gas giants that live in the outer solar system composed 89.8 percent molecular hydrogen, 10.2 percent helium, minor amounts of methane, ammonia and water.  Unlike the planets Mercury, Venus Earth and Mars it does not have a solid core the gaseous material it is made from simply gets denser with depth. The colourful cloud belts of Jupiter are arranged in dark and light zones created by strong east-west winds in the planet’s upper atmosphere which are made of ammonia crystals and sulphur traveling at speeds more than 400 miles an hour (640 kilometres per hour).   The huge “Red Spot” that appears in the cloud belt is an enormous storm that has been raging for over 300 years. This storm is big that three Earth’s would fit inside of it.

There have been a lot of missions to Jupiter beginning with NASA’s Pioneer 10 spacecraft in December 1973 followed by then Pioneer 11 in December 1974. Voyager 1 and 2 in 1979 where the last until Ulysses arrived in February 1992. Cassini made a flyby in 2000, on its way to Saturn. And finally, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its flyby in 2007.   Below are a few links to the sites I gathered my information on but I would like to advise you to check out www.astronomycast.com and www.universetoday.com Photo Credit:  Reto Stöckli, Nazmi El Saleous, and Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, NASA GSFC.

Thanks To: theplanets.orgsolarsystem.nasa.gov, science.nationalgeographic.com,  universetoday.com,  space-facts.com,  astronomycast.com,  astronomyonline.org,  planetfacts.org

Kung Fury

Sometime in the early 1980s, Miami-Dade Police Department detective Kung Fury (David Sandberg) and his partner Dragon (Steven Chew) apprehend a mysterious red ninja, however Dragon is killed by the ninja while at the same time Kung Fury is struck by lightning and bitten by a cobra, bestowing him with extraordinary “Kung Fu” powers. Years later Adolf Hitler, a.k.a. “Kung Führer”(Jorma Taccone), enters the timeline and remotely guns down the police chief  and attacks the precinct through a mobile phone.  Kung Fury seeking to avenge his comrades has computer whiz Hackerman (Leopold Nilsson) send him back in time to kill Hitler in Nazi Germany.

The halfwit that I am didn’t realise that this was a spoof movie, slapstic and not to be taken serious.    I actually kept skipping past it on Netflix as I thought it was some serious 80’s movie, not that I dislike that but more so that I got to be in the mood for it.   The movie is a Kickstarter project started by Swedish filmmaker David Sandberg who was able to get around $630,000 for the movie which he then released free and then subsequently was picked up by Netflix. Due to the limited budget most of the movie was shot using green screen, also Sandberg could only afford one police uniform, he filmed the police precinct scene by shooting each extra separately and compositing them in the scene, which added to its charm and over-all epicenes.

Why did I choose this movie?  It was an afternoon movie with junk food chosen by my friend who said it sounded awesome.  I am really glad that I actually watched this, its only 30 min long but it really is something special. The film has an ’80s feel with the visual effects artists softening the film quality with added video cassette wear effects as if the viewer was watching an old VHS copy of it on a VCR. I loved it!  Its on Netflix so really worth a watch if you have a subscriber! It is the perfect homage to all that 80’s.

My Rating: B
Format: Netflix
I Would Buy This Movie

56: Sandwiches

There is something about the perfectly crafted sandwich that makes it so much more than a meal or a snack. It is more than something to eat it is an art form.  It begins with the choice of bread, the canvas that your masterpiece will be built upon thick cut to granary or even a wholemeal bap the choice here is what sets the scene. This being said sometimes what you desire to be in the sandwich will dictate what it will be served between.

So many good combinations of salad cheese and meat can be combined into the creation of the perfect bready treat and with the addition of mustards, chutneys, mayo and other assorted sauces you have a kaleidoscope of possibility’s all as beautiful and tasty as each other. It pays to think it through, the right bread the proper cheese the right chutney, mayo and meat.  All of these small decisions are each a stroke of the brush, a piece or he puzzle, nothings to be rushed it has to be crafted with love and patience.

Some of my Favourite Sandwiches

  • Ham hock with extra mature cheese served on a bed of crisp lettuce and a splash of onion between multi seed bread.
  • Egg and Bacon on toasted wholemeal bread.
  • Honey roasted ham with mature cheese, mayo, crispy lettuce and a few slices of cucumber between wholemeal bread.
  • Thick sliced chicken breast on white bread with sliced boiled egg and spring onion lettuce and mayo.

RoboCop (1987)

In the near future the city of Detroit, is on the verge of collapse due to financial ruin and unchecked crime. The mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP) enters into a contract with the city to run the police force. Thing is OCP doesn’t give a shit about the city and plan to replace it with the utopia of “Delta City”, and the cops with a robotic replacement ED-209. Sadly, but awesomely, there is little glitch and the ED-209 goes fucking berserk and on a murderous rampage during its demonstration. Back to the drawing board! Veteran cop Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) with partner Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) chase down criminal boss Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) and in the process Murphy is brutally murdered in one of the most awesomely brutal and vicious death sequences ever seen. Murphy is pronounced dead and OCP takes his body and utilizes parts of the remains in the construction of the first RoboCop. From there on out, the movie revolves around RoboCop taking out the scum of Old Detroit, remembering who he is and then sacking the evil employees of OCP.

The mix of science-fiction, action and social satire Robocop is all action with minimal plot or character development. It is a movie that hints at a lot more than what is there, lacking substance and any real peril. The computer graphics are not great granted but they are amazng when you realize that  all special-effects were generated with an Commodore Amiga computer. Still it is enjoyable for what it is, action and murder with the bad guys having the most fun! Its not the best thing I have ever watched but you know that before you sit down to it, in fact I think I like it more because of that.  RoboCop has inspired people some years later to beginning a Kickstarter campaign to create and erect a 12 foot statue of RoboCop to be placed in Detroit.  This is now in production.

Why did I choose this movie? Why indeed, have you ever just been in the mood for some old time silly SiFi action?  I loved the remake RoboCop and as it kept flashing up on Netflixs  I decided to just jump back into the 80’s and watch the orignal.  One of the bast things about watching old movies is seeing where the actors are now, Peter Weller has been in Dexter, Kurtwood Smith is from That 70’s Show and Paul McCrane was in ER.  I learned a lot from this movie, I learned that a giant robot built for law enforcement will have a “squealing pig” sound installed in it’s system files in case it falls down the stairs. I learned that USB ports will be obsolete in the future, we will use lethal spikes for computer interfacing. Most importantly I learned to stay out of trouble, because dead or Alive your coming with him!

My Rating: C-
Format: Netflix DVD
I Would Not Buy This Movie
Artwork by: Adam Sidwell