Saturday, February 28, 2009

best scene ever

As Mr Robert Llewellyn is currently filming Red Dwarf specials and twittering us snip its of news, it sparked my appetite for more dwarf!

Hope you like this classic clip

for further news check out this link


Friday, February 27, 2009

All quiet on the western front

Not much I can say just now, simply that I'm working hard to put together a project; that may change the world as we know it (now you're interested)!

Anyway that's all I will say for now - but do keep checking back as I will post updates and maybe even previews as it progresses.

Got a message from China's mom, it seems Easter is off the cards I'm being told now November; carrot and stick anyone!??!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I think this says it all


Saturday, February 21, 2009

The future for pirates, land ahoy??

As I write this, there is currently a trail going on against the runners of PIRATEBAY; a peer to peer sharing site.
Claiming that they willfully and knowingly distribute pirate material.

I recall when the BBS's were around and it happened then - the fact is now its quicker, easier and there is far more access to the material that the people want.

Should you buy it or pay for it - YES! But thats only one option. The fact that SO many people pirate and we are talking about kids to sweet little old ladies all around the world, means the demand is there.

There is many arguments against of course, but consider if you will the fact that people want readily available access to material - whether it be music / films / games or data.
So why not give it to them in a manner that can be controlled better.
iTunes has attempted to do this, others could follow suit.
I have bought MANY films and a lot music - but to be honest feel cheated that everytime a new format is developed that I have to invest the full price yet again, even though I shown the loyalty and gave them the means of which to afford to develop the future media to screw me over again.

As a child for music I bought records, tapes, then cd's and as for movies I bought VHS cassettes, DVD's and now you expect us to buy Blueray's. again you could argue that we have a choice but to be honest we dont! You simply stop producing the material in all available formats, ergo forcing the consumer to upgrade! (BETAMAX and HD are just two formats that were scrapped with no concern for the consumer) To be honest WE should be holding the film companies and distributors accountable, as they promised with the DVD format would come, multi-language and multi-angle films - REALLY, name 10, I bet you cant!
The companies LIED and CHEATED US, so if they have no loyality to the consumer, why should we?

We want MP3's, we want Xvid's so give us it - afterall 'you' have developed the technology to play it all, so why hold us responsible for using it??
The likes of TiVo was never made available to everyone (but the idea was sound), when films are released and music it should release it globally, if nothing else it will minize the need for pirating as it offers an excuse.
And finally and maybe MOST importantly stop taking the p*$$ out of the consumers - give them the choice, make the media available in the formats they want and charge accordingly and reasonably, and you will see a change.
If not, piracy will continue, get stronger and simply go underground.

For those of us who recall Suprnova, know just how easy it is for 'the man' to kill the site - but to be honest I hope PIRATEBAY survives this witch-hunt.
PS the advertising for them through this case has only helped them gain users and supporters, so well done on that score :)

This is really a test case for the companies to see how they can move forward with stopping piracy - we should wish them luck (the companies that is)!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another day, another dollar/euro/pound

So after a long break from Gredos (for me anyway) I returned. Hoping that a new year would bring a fresh start, and knowing that changes were in place I was prepared for them.
Sadly the changes are in no-ones best interest.
The spa facility cost now needs to be met by the clients - which given the current situation I think is crazy. It's typical that when it was free and available hardly anyone used it, but now you have to pay people are upset and complain about not having access to it.
In my opinion the hotel have made a mistake with this change.

Sadly the food has not improved at all and several dishes were below par - it amazes me that given Spain's gastronomic claims that a hotel cannot get good chefs. The problem with most of the hotels we have used is the food?!? Sort it out people.
If you a dessert fan my suggestion would be opt for Salamanca ;)

The Spaniards in general did an excellent job in trying to learn such a difficult language as English - and this point was raised through some wonderful presentations throughout the week.
Personally I felt the Masters didn't push themselves too hard, which was a shame; you only get out what you put in.

All in all it was a usually fun, varied and interesting group and activities which of course you can see for yourself by clicking the photo album below.

Vaughan Town - Gredos - Program 140

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stuff the white rabbit

This weekend a wonderful 3 day event is taking place in Blackpool - a MAGIC convention.

Basically this is an opportunity for magicians from all over the world to get together to witness their peers perform and share secrets; which is unusual because as you know the Magic Circle is a very secretive organisation.

Usually when I attend these gatherings there is around 3,000+ members and about 100+ stalls selling all kinds of magic; from actual tricks, props, costumes to memorabilia.

They also have some wonderful workshops where top professionals share their ideas or even their tricks with fellow magicians. (This is also where I fell out with Joe Pasquale over an offhand remark he made to me - but we made up and he's forgiven).

This year performing at the convention is:
Eugene Burger
Michael Ammar
Etienne Pradier
Jeff McBride
along with many, many others.

For me it is always a pleasure to perform magic and to watch other performing too, especially the high calibre of magicians they have at this convention. I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing performers and individuals at these events.
My magic highlight would be watching Derren Brown perform twice (not at Blackpool) and later meeting up with him for a chat, which was nice.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Right or wrong!?

Right now, there was a huge piece of controversial news in the UK about a 13 year old father.
Yes that's right 13 YEARS OLD! I have to ask myself is this right???
Now, I'm no angel, but kids should NOT be giving birth to kids, it's simply not right!
At 13 your mind should be on so many other things, computer games, football, whatever; rather than trying to bring up a baby when you've barely grown yourself.

According to reports there has actually been several 13 year old fathers - the thing is, had this been a 13 year old mother, I'm sure the UK police would have prosecuted!
Added to this is the very sad fact that fathers actually have very few rights as it is, let alone at 13 having any. The issue of a stable home environment - afterall, some adults cannot cope with a baby, and finally the fact that yet again society is going to have to foot the bill for this.

There is of course the issue as to who's to blame? The kids, society, the parents, the schools!???
WTF!!! I'm sorry one 'person' - the parents!
The claim that all the sex on TV and moral decay is to blame - yes, it's a factor, but not wholly responsible - you can monitor what your child see's or has access to (at least in the home).
The schools are being attacked by MP's for telling them too much about sex!? WHAT!?
Sex education SHOULD be there to prevent this, saying don't tell them and all will be OK is ridiculous - perhaps this is the stance they took with the economy and look where that got them!
The kids, yes they are responsible too of course, but you have to accept that they were ALLOWED to have sex in the house with the parents knowledge!!
The parents role: to be wholly responsible for caring for and looking after the child, giving them moral and boundaries, not simply letting them do as they please - this is the problem we face today!

One of the really sad facts about this story is now it seems due to the publicity the 13 year old got from this story, that other kids are claiming the baby is theirs! What a circus!
I only hope the one who doesn't suffer in all this is the baby.
It's strange to think that by the time the 13 years old enters college his baby will be starting school!!!

There are literally far too many horror stories surrounding parents with babies and what action wasn't taken soon enough to avoid a tradegy - should the authorities really step in on this one?

So what's your opinion??

Monday, February 09, 2009

Return to Salamanca

So another week in Salamanca. I must say that having seen the hotel again for a second time, I'm sure it's too small for our needs. Even though this was a small group, the people constantly seemed to be on top of each other and the meals again proved to be an issue for several reasons.
These are the usual teething problems which need to be ironed out, although little headway on that as yet.

Aswell this week, we had LOTS of Anglo's with LOTS of freetime, thankfully the weather held out so they could at least explore Salamanca fully.

The entertainment section was well recieved and enjoyed by all, (in fact I was thanked for rekindling Tomkin's interest in drama) so a success there!
We had an old friend on the program, Manuel (a previous manager of Gredos, and old as in relation not age), it was nice for him to see what we actually do, even though this time he was a Spaniard improving his English, he did a marvellous job; just as long as he didn't have a pen in his hand ;)
Manuel is also looking into starting his own business which can be found HERE.

The karaoke night was again a success, however, sadly for the party my computer decided to play up and stopped working around 1am so the party ended earlier than expected, luckily (perhaps) the town was in festival spirit, so the folks carried on there instead.
Dam 'Murphy' or perhaps not, as spookily it had just turned Friday the 13th!!!!

The economic crunch is certainly taking hold globally - which makes for a lot of unrest in all fields, the future may not be so bright and it's certainly not Orange.

As it was Valentines weekend, I was joined by my beautiful girlfriend Sandra and Ariadna at the venue as the group was leaving. We stayed in Salamanca for a day then travelled to Avila ready for my next weeks work. It was wonderful to spend the weekend together with them, and gave me some much needed energy.

Vaughan Town - Salamanca - Program 139

Friday, February 06, 2009

Being a Twit

If you dont use or even know what TWITTER is where have you been?
It is one of the fastest growing social network tools on the internet, and it's growing at blinding speed. There are also so many tools you can use alongside Twitter to enable it to work with Facebook, Firefox, Google maps etc.

Twitter has received several mentions on TV shows in both UK and USA which has led to the growing trend of celebrities opening up an account, and you being able to keep up-to-date with their lives and movements.

So who is on the thing you say - well you can start to fill your account with the likes of these folks:

Celebrity Twits

Alan Carr -- @AlanCarr – Comedian
Andi Peters -- @xxandip – British TV personality
Arnold Schwarzenegger -- @schwarzenegger – Actor/politician
Brea Grant -- @breagrant – Speedster in Heroes
Brent Spiner -- @BrentSpiner – Data from Star Trek
Borat -- @Borat – Well its Borat
Cesar Millan -- @cesarmillan – Dog Whisperer
Chris Moyles -- @chrismoylesshow – Radio personality
David Mitchell -- @RealDMitchell – British comedy actor
David Hewlett -- @ dhewlett – Actor on Stargate Atlantis
David Lawrence -- @dhlawrencexvii – Eric Doyle in Heroes
Elijah Wood -- @elijahwood -- Hollywood actor
Ewan McGregor -- @EwanMcGregor -- Hollywood actor
Felicia Day -- @feliciaday -- American actress, Web video maven
George Lucas -- @George_Lucas – Hollywood Director
Graham Linehan -- @glinner -- TV director (Father Ted, IT Crowd etc)
Greg Grunberg -- @greggrunberg -- Matt in Heroes
James Kyson Lee -- @jameskysonlee -- Korean American actor, Heroes
Jamie Oliver -- @Jamie_Oliver – Celebrity chef
Jimmy Carr -- @jimmycarr – Comedian
Jimmy Fallon -- @jimmyfallon – American comedian, actor etc, SNL
John Cleese -- @johncleese – Python, Fawlty Towers etc
John Hodgman -- @hodgman – Actor etc; PC in TV ads
Jonathon Ross -- @wossy – Broadcaster
Kate Hewlett -- @katehewlett – Actress in Stargate Atlantis.
Kevin Smith -- @ThatKevinSmith – Movie maker etc
LeVar Burton -- @levarburton – Star Trek actor
Luke Wilson -- @LukeWilson – American actor
Maria Kochetkova -- @balletsuperstar – Russian ballet dancer
Neil Gaiman -- @neilhimself – English author
Penn Jillette -- @pennjillette – Magician, TV Celebrity
Paul Daniels -- @ThePaulDaniels - Magician, TV Personality
Peter Serafinowicz -- @serafinowicz – British actor, etc
Phillip Schofield -- @Schofe – British TV personality
Richard Branson -- @richardbranson – Virgin founder
Rob Brydon -- @RealRobBrydon – Comedian
Robert Llewellyn -- @bobbyllew – Red Dwarf etc
Seth MacFarlane -- @SethMacFarlane – Family Guy creator
Stephen Fry -- @stephenfry – British actor, Comedian and geek
The Joker -- @the_J0KER – Batman’s Nemesis
Wil Wheaton -- @wilw – Writer, Star Trek actor etc
James Gunn -- @james_gunn – Writer, director, actor, musician
William Shatner -- @WilliamShatner – Actor
Yoko Ono -- @yokoono – Japanese artist

Music Twits

Britney Spears -- @britneyspears – Pop singer
Dave Rowntree -- @davefromlondon – Drummer from Blur, etc
MC Hammer -- @MCHammer – Rapper
Sara Bareilles -- @SaraBareilles – Pop singer
Snoop Dogg -- @snoopdogg – Rapper etc
Jamie Cullum -- @jamiecullum – Singer, Writer
Bjork -- @bjork – Singer
Coldplay -- @coldplay -- Band
Oasis -- @oasisofficial -- Band
Nine Inch Nails -- @ninofficial -- Band

Sport Twits

Andy Murray -- @andy_murray – Tennis player
Eli Manning -- @elimanning – NFL quarterback
Lance Armstrong -- @lancearmstrong – cyclist
Michael Phelps -- @Michael_Phelps – Swimmer
Natalie Gulbis -- @natalie_gulbis – Golfer
Shaquille O'Neal -- @THE_REAL_SHAQ – basketball player
Shaun White -- @Shaun_White – Snowboarder
Will Carling -- @willcarling – Rugby player

Political Twits (and I mean that one)

Andy Reed -- @andyreedmp
Boris Johnson -- @MayorOfLondon
David Lammy -- @DavidLammyMP
George Foulkes -- @GeorgeFoulkes
Grant Shapps -- @grantshapps
Jo Swinson -- @joswinson
Lynne Featherstone -- @lfeatherstone
Tom Harris -- @tomharris1964
Tom Watson -- @tom_watson
10 Downing Street -- @DowningStreet
Al Gore -- @algore
Barack Obama -- @barackobama
Joe Biden -- @joebiden
Joe Trippi -- @JoeTrippi
Karl Rove -- @KarlRoveChannel
Hillary Clinton -- @ ClintonNews
John McCain -- @JohnMcCain

So who's on your list??

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Evolution of marketing

For a while now I have been looking out for smarter ways to market products and engage with people. One of the most successful recently was 'the dream job' here is T-Mobiles attempt; which I must admit I really like it - kinda evolution of dance meets improv everywhere, good for you guys!

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