Thursday, November 29, 2007


I've seen the future of animation and the future is 3D motion capture. Beowulf is a movie you simply have to see in a cinema screen showing it in 3D. Even as a live action or a simple animation this would have been an entertaining night out. I like the way they expand on the Beowulf legend. The idea that the story passed down through history is the public version of the truth and the people involved try to maintain the image is a nice way of taking a well known story and adding to it without destroying the core of the original.

But throw in the 3D animation and it becomes a dead cert for the animated Oscar. I'd even hope they give a nomination to Brendan Gleeson for best supporting actor. That would be a first, an animated character getting an Oscar but the motion capture on his character is nearly perfect especially his last scene which shows just how powerful the technology can be. In a few years they will be able to create animated characters that look more lifelike than some of the current set of A list actors.

Strangely it is the animation of Beowulf and the Queen, two of the main characters, that is lacking sometimes. Their faces tend to be a bit plastic and lifeless, especially the Queens. Also the crowd scenes are a little Shrekish at times, who would have thought Shrek could be used as an example of poor animation. Still this was one of the most entertaining movies I've seen in ages and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they do next with this technology. I'm only sorry the DVD version probably wont be 3D.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Toy Show

The Late Late Toy Show is on this Friday :-)

It's the only Late Late I ever watch and have done since I was a kid. Pat Kenny is not a patch on Gay Byrne and spends most of the show looking scared/confused by the children invading his studio so it's always good for a laugh.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Road to Nowhere

Is anyone in a position of authority or power in this country competent? Carlow County Council almost managed to build a 1.5 kilometer road ahead of schedule and on a budget of 5.5 million. However when the builders got to the last 35 meters they discovered that the council did not own the land and the construction had to stop. Now the builders are suing the council, damages could run to 12 million and the new road goes nowhere unless you are walking in which case you should be able to cover the disputed plot of land in about 34 seconds.

Friday, November 23, 2007

HSE Phones

The Health Service Executive are currently contacting 97 women who are being called back for further checks after being given the all clear on breast cancer following ultrasounds. From what I could gather on the radio and TV they had 2 people calling the 97 women today. Meanwhile they have 7 calling the 364 other women who are in the clear. If those numbers are true wouldn't common sense tell them to have the whole 9 ring the 97 women who need to find out today and get the media to announce that everyone else is in the clear and will be contacted over the next few days?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Drama on RTE

Anyone seen the adverts on RTE for its drama programs from the USA?

Prison Break


Ugly Betty

Ugly Betty falls under the category of drama?

Is Santa Sexist?

Is Santa a sexist pig? Looks like the friendly old man is really a foul mouthed sexist pig. There he is, all smug and happy with himself, standing on streets or sitting in shopping malls shouting insults at women walking by and everyone lets him. But thankfully a recruitment firm in Sydney is coming to the rescue of the female residents of that lovely city.

Santas in Australia's largest city have been told not to use Father Christmas's traditional 'ho, ho, ho' greeting because it may be offensive to women.

Sydney's Santa Clauses have instead been instructed to say 'ha, ha, ha'.

Turns out 'ho' is too close to 'ho', a US slang term for prostitute. Now all those bonza sheilas can walk the streets of Sydney in safety listening to some fairdinkum downunder Chrissie music on their MP3 players.

Rental Investment

I saw this post on entitled "Landlords subsidising tenants by up to 36-43%: Central Bank". The idea is that rental income is no longer covering the cost of mortgage repayments in the Irish rental market. The state of rental incomes in Ireland seem to go up or down everytime the media changes the ink in their printing presses but that aside I think the idea that landlords are "subsidising" tenants is a ridiculous the glass is half empty view of the rental property market. In reality tenants are subsidising the landlords desire to invest in property and eventually sell that property at a profit.

If a people are really buying property expecting to make all their profit from rental income than they wouldn't object if the government introduced legislation giving tenants ownership rights on the property based on the percentage they have paid of it's value in rent. After all it's all about profits from rents isn't it? Yeah, right.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Daniel and Nicole?

Just saw an advert for The Golden Compass on tv and realised that Daniel Craig is in it with Nicole Kidman. Thats his second movie this year and both with Kidman. They must get on well. I wonder if she'd be interested in being a future Bond girl?

New IPod

On my way back from Canada I dropped my Toshiba Gigabeat down the side of my plane, nothing serious and certainly nothing as bad as dozens of other knocks it got. Unfortunately when I finally retrieved it (have you ever tried to get something from under your seat on a full plane of sleeping people?) the player was stuck on pause. A restart failed to fix it and a full power down resulted in a "Return to Manufacturer" error message. Final straw for a device that could have been really good but had too many little flaws.

In the end I finally buckled and joined the fashionable masses with a purchase of a set of white headphones, oh and their MP3 accessory. The new 160GB IPod classic was very appealing with it's huge storage and my ever growing list of podcasts and movies. I have to say I like it, the interface is so simple and intuitive, even coverflow is not as bad as I thought once I downloaded all the album art I could find. Good battery life to and the ITunes sync is pretty handy running in the background when I plug in. The only thing I'm missing is a radio but I have one on my phone which I'd been using anyway. Maybe Apple are not as superficial as I believed.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Dying equally

As the Health Service in Ireland seems to get worse with every passing day and every passing billion I was still surprised today to hear that Mary Harney was warned by a consultant surgeon that cancer services in Portlaoise Hospital were being provided "by people who have no expertise in this area" and that "Women are having unnecessary surgery because of a total lack of decision-making." In response Mary, the Minister for Health, "referred the surgeon's concerns to the HSE".

I wonder, if the Minister for Health was a man would the radio be full of leading female journalists and commentators demanding he resign because of a lack of concern for female cancer patients. It seems clear in this case Mary doesn't discriminate based on gender, everyone will die equally in Irish hospitals.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Life on the Luas

I started a new job and I've been taking the Luas to work each morning and home again in the evening. After just a week I've already come to the conclusion that the service is almost unusable at rush hour. In the mornings by the time it leaves the Dundrum stop it's full to capacity, thats just 5 stops into a 13 stop line. Coming home in the evenings it's worse because EVERYONE gets on at the one stop, St Stephens Green.

Basically the Luas is a pipe from point A to point B. We should have built circle lines around the city center not straight ones into it. That would have to spread the load around several stations. God help us commuters when the line extends out to Cherrywood, no one past Sandyford will be able to use the Luas between 8am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

First Santa of the Season

I was up in Dundrum and saw a sign saying Santa will arrive in the center on Wednesday 7th. Seeing how it's still November I presume that's the first Santa of the season? If kids want to be taken to visit Santa on November 7th then the parents should explain to them that Santa is old and his memory is not what it used to be. He might forget their presents if they ask too soon.