Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The FHM Sexiest 100

The current issue of FHM is their 100 Sexiest Women In The World issue. Lets go through and see some of those in it...

99 - Marion Cotillard - that's what an Oscar win does for you. At least that's what an Oscar win does for you if you're halfway attractive.

94 - Billie Piper - Secret Diary of A Call Girl was a bit pants and I gave up on it a few episodes in, though strangely enough, I've recently thought I might like to revisit it. Billie's attractive enough, though am I the only person who think she's got a slightly over-sized mouth?

90 - Amber Heard - never heard of her, which is ironic.

89 - Kristen Bell - now this is more like it. Reminds me that she pops up in this season of Heroes and that I need to catch up with the second season of Veronica Mars. I bet that other pint-sized Heroes blonde Hayden Panettiere pops up further on in the list.

88 - Odette Yustman - never mind the (admittedly awesome) CGI, Odette was the still most visually appealing thing in Cloverfield.

86 - Ellen Page - she looks pretty good in photos, but doesn't seem quite so attractive when you see her moving about. A bit like Notts County.

84 - Katie Holmes - I had a Katie-crush for quite a while, but marriage to Tom Cruise has changed her. The sexiness she brought to films like Pieces Of April and Go disappeared and she became, frankly, a bit boring. Her film career seems to have died as well, with the only film she's made since 2005 being the lamentable Mad Money. She's looking worryingly thin too. Thin's fine, but there's healthy thin and there's sick thin.

82 - Michelle Ryan - Bionic Woman was quite a coup for our Michelle, shame then that it didn't work out. I think I got to episode four before I couldn't take it anymore. The show didn't seem to know what it wanted to be. I think they were aiming for Alias meets Battlestar Galactica, but both shows were far superior. Still, that's no reflection on Ryan and did the best she could. Good news is we get her back.

77 - Denise Richards - it's a wonder she's still in the Hot 100. Since The World Is Not Enough in 1999 she's had a string of largely forgettable and often completely overlooked roles. Don't mention her to Tish Potter.

76 - Chelsy Davy - possibly a future royal, being the girlfriend of Prince Harry. I'm sure she's lovely, but does she have Kate Middleton's class?

73 - Tricia Helfer - Helfer's Six is the very embodiment of the new Battlestar Galactica and she recently played a dominatrix in thriller Walk All Over Me. Absolutely a fanboy's wet dream.

67 - Milla Jovovich - aka Queen Alice of Raccoon City, Resident Evil's equivalent of Sigourney Weaver is down to earth and never afraid to get her hands dirty on set, doing most of her own stunts. A kickass cult heroine, even if she is engaged to Paul W.S. Anderson.

64 - Ali Larter - received very unfair reviews for her split-personaility performance in the first season of Heroes, In truth, she was one of the best things about it, effortlessly switching between homicidal psychopath and desperate soccer-mom in the blink of an eye.

61 - Holly Valance - seems to be trying hard to make it big in the US. High point has been an occasional role in Prison Break. Has had a few roles in minor films but the US hasn't quite opened up for her yet. Fingers crossed it will though.

57 - Jennifer Garner - My fourth-favourite actress on the entire planet, largely thanks to Alias, a series which I watched back-to-back in it's entirety on DVD. Since then she's done some great work but has never got the critical recognition she deserves, despite never putting in a bad performance, no matter how poor the film. Showed a flair for comedy for 13 Going On 30 and was superlative in Juno, a pitch performance as a woman transitioning from uptight control-freak to vulnerable adoptive mother-to-be. That nobody gave her even a nomination for the performance was nothing less than criminal.

56 - Mischa Barton - hmm, OK. Rachel Bilson's hotter.

54 - Evangeline Lilly - you know that feeling you get just before you eat a really unhealthy slice of chocolate cake? That's the feeling I get when I look at Evangeline. She's just mmmmmm, ya know? As evidenced by a recent appearance on The Late Show, she's also incredibly charming. Bad luck Dominic!

49 - Nicole Scherzinger - hottest of the Pussycat Dolls, but she should stay away from cheap TV like The X Factor. Played herself in Cane and hinted that maybe she does have some acting skills. One to watch.

47 - Monica Bellucci - oldest entry in the chart at 43. High point for me was that latex couture dress in The Matrix Reloaded but she hasn't lived up to it since. Hopefully, Shoot 'Em Up was her nadir.

45 - Katherine Heigl - another actress who totally charmed Letterman, America and me, but her face is a bit shiny and round. Her Grey's Anatomy character-arc has been interminably tedious.

41 - Lindsay Lohan - saw Mean Girls last year and thought she was terrific. Went off the rails a bit, but she'll be back. She's a damn good actress, whatever Rupert Grint says.

37 - Avril Lavigne - read this.

34 - Kelly Brook - Kelly seems to have been around for years, but she doesn't look any older. In truth, she's 28. A successful model of course, her acting career hasn't had any real success, but the fact she's drop dead gorgeous alone means she'll be gracing FHM's chart for years to come.

31 - Britney Spears - what's left to say about Britney? Well, nothing. Her travails are well documented. Less well documented is the fact her album Blackout, which appeared at the height of her troubles, is completely poptastic. Baby's coming back!

28 - Charlize Theron - it's a testament to the skill of make-up artists that such a beautiful woman can be made to look really, really ugly, as happened to Charlize in Monster. Recently appeared on The Late Show looking so stunning that for 14 seconds, time literally stood still. That's a fact folks!

19 - Jennifer Love Hewitt - never mind the pisspoor Ghost Whisperer, get your hands on a copy of Heartbreakers. Skirts so short they would make Mary Quant cry.

16 - Rachel Bilson - hah, take that, Barton!

15 - Alessandra Ambrosio - my current second most popular desktop girl is a gloriously beautiful Brazilian even if she does, from some angles, look a little bit like Cristiano Ronaldo.

12 - Kate Beckinsale - her role as the latex-clad vampire Selene in Underworld and Underworld: Evolution brought her attention to a legion of male fans who don't get out much, like me. Wittier than your average actress and down to earth as well, she's the ultimate girl next door. On a serious note, her father the late and much missed Richard Beckinsale would be very proud.

11 - Rihanna - g-d I love her hairstyles.

10 - Keira Knightley - needs to atone for Atonement. She was great in it, but the film overall was pretty pants. Currently filming The Duchess, in which she plays the Duchess of Devonshire. Cue anecdote. When I was very small i went on a day trip to Chatsworth House with my mum. I wandered off at one point and went and sat with an old (to me) couple. Turns out they were the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and I had founf my way to their private rooms. The Duke reunited me with my mum, much to her embarassment :D

9 - Angelina Jolie - scroll down for the Wanted poster. Says it all, really. A superlative woman.

6 - Scarlett Johansson - can I just say that I dont find her that attractive. I mean, if she came round to my house at 4am on the flimsy premise that she wanted to borrow a bowl of sugar and started enganing in barely veiled sexual flirtation, I would play along. Would be rude not to and I've been brought up to be polite and all that that. But really, I can name at least 500 women I would rather play naked Twister with.

5 - Hayden Panettiere - so far, the best things about this season of Heroes. Actually, she the best thing about the last season of Heroes too. Tiny, but perfectly formed nevertheless.

The rest you'll have to find out for yourself. They don't interest me all that much and to be honest, I don't want to get into trouble with Felix Dennis. After all, he's never killed anybody. Wouldn't want him to start now.

One last thought - where are Amanda Peet, Hilary Swank, Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison and Kate Middleton?! Shocking omissions!

Watched yesterday

Heroes: Lizards - noticeably better than episode 2.1, though the stuff with Hiro in Japan really is crap. The Bennett's are, at present, the show's strongest characters - 4/5


As a sponsor of the Old Vic, I get a few nice perks. Priority booking (without fee), access to an allocation of house seats for sold-out shows, back stage tours and so on. Arguably, the most desireable of these are invites to press night, which for the uninitiated is like the premiere of a play.

I received such an invite today for the forthcoming production of Pygmalion. These invites are nice to receive, but I must confess to being a bit conflicted. On the one hand, I would love to attend press night because you get to go to the after-show party and mingle with the cast and any dignataries who found themselves on the invite list. It's a little bit of welcome glamour. On the other hand, I'm really picky about where I sit in the theatre. I like to sit as close to the front as possible and the tickets that sponsors at my level get are back at Row T, where I would never dream of buying a seat unless in a real theatrical emergency.

Last time round (Speed-The-Plow), there was an easy solution in that I gave the tickets to a friend and she went along with her husband. On this occasion, I can't do that because the aforementioned friend, Patricia Potter, is herself starring in a play that clashes with Pygmalion's press night, An Eligible Man at the New End Theatre, Hampstead (opens tonight). So, I've called the Old Vic and told them I won't be attending. At least it frees up the tickets for two other people, so that's no bad thing. Share the love and all that. If I lived in London I would have just gone to the after-show party, but as is, that's a bit impractical.

I won't be missing the play though because I've already booked to see the matinee on 21st May, followed by An Eligible Man that same evening (an unfortunate clash with the Champions League final!). I might even try and fit in some lunchtime theatre as well.


1. Zoe Williams has written a good article (wittily titled Storm In A Teen Cup) on the whole Miley Cyrus thing in her Guardian column today. The same paper's G2 section also covers the story here and here. Incidentally, if you buy the print copy G2 carries the photo full page.

2. Zara Phillips looking really rather beautiful on the cover of GQ Sport.

3. Quote of the day, from Time Out a few weeks back, Werner Herzog...

"Most people drink coffee, but I think it's some sort of beverage of the cowards."

4. I see that Friends Reunited is now free of charge. I guess they didn't have much alternative. The stubborn haging on to their charges has seen their visitors bleed away and the rise of social networking sites like Facebook has rendered FR somewhat redundant. When was the last time you bothered to look at it? They're trying to reposition as a social networking site themselves, but the boat's already sailed.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Watched yesterday

ER: ...As The Day She Was Born - Neela-centric episode, which is no bad thing because as all people of taste know, Parminder Nagra's the hottest actress to regularly star in ER since, well, Leslie Bibb. BTW, Angela Bassett has joined the cast for next season (which will be the last) - 4/5

Decision Time 2008 - final London mayoral debate, staged by Sky News and hosted by Adam Boulton. Boulton was a bit shambolic, but endearingly so, just like Jon Snow. The staging was shambolic too, and there are no excuses for that. Brian Paddick could become intensely irritating, so thankfully he has no chance of winning. He reminds me of the classroom snitch, which seems appropriate considering he used to be a police officer. Ken was Ken and Boris was toned-down Boris, though he did get a couple of lines in. When asked by Ken why he didn't vote for term limits, he replied that he didn't think Ken would be foolish enough to run for a third term. So who do I give my non-existant vote to? Ken's flawed for sure, his flirtations with dubious clerics is a worry, but he's done good things. Boris hasn't really run anything of consequence in his life and has few noteworthy policies, but has undoubted entertainment value. Unfortunately, entertainment value isn't enough. Sorry, but Ken gets my vote - 4/5

Entourage: The Dream Team - as reliable as ever - 4/5

Heroes: Four Months Later... - first episode of the second season. Mixed bag, really. The most interesting storylines so far are those of Claire and her father, the latter adding some welcome humour to proceedings as well. Hiro bimbling about feudal Japan with the guy who used to be in Alias is quite tedious and apparently it goes on for several episodes, which doesn't bode well. Suresh is still babbling on without consequence. I missed evil Niki - 3/5


1. Tasteful photo of the day - actor Kris Marshall face down in the street, being treated by paramedics shortly after his accident at the weekend.

2. The curious tale of Ronaldo and the transgendered prostitutes. The curious case of the chair-sniffing politician.

3. Mel Gibson picks up his first real acting job in six years.

4. Batman returns, again. The Dark Knight posters have landed.

5. Lots of really rather good reviews of Iron Man are coming out, which is good because I'm hoping to go see it this weekend. I'm not actually going to see Iron Man because it's Iron Man, but rather because it stars Leslie Bibb, hands down the hottest actress on the planet. OK, so she only has a small role, but still. It's Leslie frickin' Bibb for g-d's sake...

Miley Cyrus

Annie Leibovitz has apologised for the topless photo you she took of 15-year old actress/singer Miley Cyrus. Or rather, she's apologised for the photo being misinterpreted. This follows on from Cyrus' own apology yesterday.

Neither of these apologies are warranted. Leibovitz is an exceptional phototographer and the Miley Cyrus photo that caused all the controversy maintains the high standard of her art. If you listened to some of the bloggers out there you would think Leibovitz was producing child abuse images. G-d help them if they ever see Sally Mann's family portraits, their heads might explode!

Cyrus' own apology was misplaced. She had nothing to apologise for in the first place, but when she did, she apologised to her fans...

"I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed. I never intended for this to happen and I apologise to my fans. The pictures of me on the Internet were silly, inappropriate shots. I appreciate all the support of my fans and hope they understand that along the way I am going to make mistakes and I am not perfect. I never intended for any of this to happen and I am truly sorry if I have disappointed anyone. Most of all I have let myself down. I will learn from my mistakes and trust my support team. My family and my faith will guide me through my life's journey."

Miley, I really doubt your fans could give a flying fuck about the photos. If anything, I think they would rather like them. Your contemporaries are far more sophisticated than you seem to think. The only thing that's let you down is this apology.

Actually, maybe I'm being a little unfair. I think her apology is in truth an indirect but calculated apology to Cyrus' paymasters, the Walt Disney Corporation, conceived by her 'support team'.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Unlikely couple of the day

Salman Rushdie and Olivia Wilde? Surely not?

Those Heather Locklear headlines in full...

"Still fabulous at 46, Heather Locklear looks stunning in a tiny..."

Daily Mail, 25th April 2008

"Bare-faced Heather Locklear shows age is catching up with her"

Daily Mail, 28th April 2008

Boy, that's going downhill fast!

The last word is missing from the first quote because in an attempt to cover their tracks, the Daily Mail have replaced the old article with the new one, rather than just post the new article. The old headline is still on Google, however, just with the last word missing.

Resident Evil: Extinction

Watched this last night on Sky Box Office. If you liked the first two Resident Evil films, then you're going to like this one. They're all basically the same, though I will say I enjoyed this one slightly more than the others. As is typical, Paul W.S. Anderson's plotting is poor, but it moves along quickly and is well-directed by Russell Mulcahy (best known for Highlander). The Resident Evil films aren't really that good, but they provide mindless entertainment for zombie and Milla Jovovich lovers - 3/5


1. Went to visit my gran at her care home in Codnor this morning. On the bus there I saw a schoolgirl who was the absolute spitting image of Meryl Streep, then on the way back I saw a guy who looked exactly like James Cameron.

2. Reading the story about the Austrian man who kept and abused his daughter in a cellar for 24 years, I couldn't help but see the parallels with the Australian film Bad Boy Bubby. In the film, a woman keeps her son locked away for decades, right from birth, and abuses him.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

The BBC and public service broadcasting

A tangential reply to an article about Channel 4 on the Guardian's Organ Grinder blog. Got some praise there, so I'm reproducing it here.

"The BBC would have us believe that everything they do is PSB, not because the individual programmes serve the public themselves, but because the existence of those programmes supposedly compels the commercial broadcasters to increase the standard of their programming. In other words, the BBC sees PSB as increasing the quality of TV overall, rather than producing specific kinds of programmes to meet public service needs.

There is some validity to that argument, but I think it's taking the notion of PSB far beyond what most people would feel it should be. PSB should really be about producing specific programmes that inform and/or educate. We're talking news, documentaries, some children's TV, parliamentary broadcasting and so on. The licence fee should be ring-fenced for this kind of programming and *all* broadcasters should be allowed to bid for a share. Other programming, such as pure entertainment like Doctor Who, 'Maria' etc should be commercially funded, be that via advertising or subscription.

This model would create a competitive and level playing field for all broadcasters (inc Channel 4) and ensure the continued survival (and perhaps even growth) of PSB in an increasingly commercial, increasingly entertainment and ratings-driven broadcasting landscape."

Not forgetting the mighty Shire...

In all the excitement over Nott's County's survival, I entirely forgot to mention that my other footballing love, the mighty East Stirlingshire, scored and 3-1 home win against third-placed Montrose. Not only are such wins rare, but this one has particular significance for two reasons.

Firstly, it marks the last ever match to be played at the club's legendary Firs Park ground. A fitting tribute indeed. After many years under the Sword of Damocles, it's finally been sold to property developers. Next season (and for at least five seasons), the Shire will be ground-sharing with Stenhousemuir at Ochilview.

Secondly, for the first time since the 2001/2 season, they've avoided Scottish football's wooden spoon, finishing up ninth. The future's bright, the future's Shire!


I'm pleased to report that Notts County are safe and will once again grace League Two with their commitment to total football in the 2008/9 season. A 1-0 home win to Wycombe combined with Mansfield losing by the same score at home to Rotherham secured County's safety and, happily, condemned Mansfield to the Blue Square Premier. Good work lads!


Here's a stylish new poster for the upcoming Wanted, starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman. Due for release in the UK on 27th June.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

The humble Bic biro

You can buy Bic biros on Amazon, but before you do, be sure to check out the reviews.

Columbo goes nuts

Cat prin!

"A cat is gorgeous and wild Leopard which disguises itself! Dress a cat only with shawl. Shawl achieves the duty of a foppish muffler. Back cloth is a tartan check handle and a hat and shawl look dear. Moreover, since it can equip with both on a piece of Velcro, attachment and detachment are easy!"

It's an internet classic!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Christmas Doctor Who

According to the Daily Mail, the Doctor Who special this christmas is a period piece featuring the Cybermen. Sigh. I do find the whole period thing a but tiresome and the Cybermen aren't especially thrilling villains. I want Daleks, dammit!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008


1. Priest straps himself to 1,000 balloons, floats away and disappears.

2. I received a spam email this morning with the subject line 'free craps'. Well, Charley Blackburn (if that's your real name), thanks for the offer but I grow my own.

3. The Guardian ran a leader column this morning 'In praise of... cash'. Contained within was the interesting and counter-intuitive statistic from the British Retail Consortium that cash was used for 60% of transactions in 2007, as opposed to 54% in 2006. It seems cash is growing in popularity. The BRC suggests this is down to people being reluctant to spend money that don't have in their hands because of the credit squeeze, but I have an additional idea.

I remember growing up, when card popularity was increasing, that we were always being told that credit (and latterly, debit cards) would be a faster way to pay for everything. The truth is, however, that it takes about four times longer to pay for anything with a card. There are few things in life more dispiriting than standing behind someone in a queue who decides they want to pay by card. When I pay by card, I feel the eyes of those behind me boring into the back of my head with barely repressed rage. Also, with the proliferation of cards, it's becoming an increasing pain in the ass to remember all the PIN numbers. It's no wonder that people are choosing to take cash with them more often. Sometimes, technology just isn't the answer.

The Big Orange

Elizabeth Hurley is looking fantastic in new photos for the Sunday Times Magazine. OK, so I know they're airbrushed, but still...

The luscious Liz isn't the reason for this post though. Scroll to the bottom of the page and see the photo of her with her husband, Arun Nayar. The guy is quite literally orange!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Moon Bloodgood

This is Moon Bloodgood and she's the lead in the new Terminator film, the ridiculously titled Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins.

I have to say, she doesn't really do it for me as yet, but then again none of the Terminator female leads really have (at least not the humans). She's attractive enough, but she's no Kristanna Loken or Summer Glau.

Anyway, she's 32 and largely unknown. She was a regular in TV series Day Break and Journeyman and has had a few small roles in films including Win A Date With Tad Hamilton and A Lot Like Love. Her ancestry is Korean, Irish, Dutch and Native American. All very exotic, I'm sure.

Sunday, 20 April 2008


1. I won £10 on the Lotto last night. Drinks are on me, provided you're me. I've won £30 in the past few weeks. Which is nice.

2. I'm pretty sure the big dancing woman on last night's Britain's Got Talent said 'fucked'.

3. Fox have reportedly renewed Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles for another season. This is great news as it means more hot ballet-dancing homicidal robot chick action for me!

4. Tish Potter (formerly in Holby City) is starring in a new play called An Eligible Man at the New End Theatre in London from 30th April. Here's the first publicity photo...

5. The Office of National Statistics is looking to visit over half a million people a year and ask them to complete a 2,000 question survey on their sex lives and other personal matters. Privacy issues aside, who on earth has the time to complete a 2,000 question survey? Someone without much of a sex life, I guess!

Government seeks to amend Act of Settlement

The government is looking to amend the 1701 Act of Settlement to remove male-preference primogeniture, i.e. the idea that male heirs to the throne take precedence over female ones. This is a good idea and the timing is right. The succession of Prince Charles and then Prince William is secured and would be unaffected by such a move, but it should be done before Prince William and (presumably) Kate Middleton have any children.

They government also intends on removing the ban on members of the royal family marrying Roman Catholics. Technically, it's not exactly a ban, but any royal who marries a Catholic cannot take the throne, so removes themselves from the line of succession. Again, this isn't a problem now, but it might become one should Prince William's children decide that they wished to marry a Catholic.

This one's a trickier issue than the primogeniture question because there's always the possibility that the Catholic parent of a future heir to the throne may insist on their children being brought up as Catholics, which would cause a potentially catastrophic break in the order or succession as they wouldn't be able to take the throne.

Of course, were the government minded to, they could disestablish the Church of England which would make the faith of the heir to throne irrelevant - this is only really a problem because the monarch is also the head of the CoE. But would the English countenance a Catholic monarch? Probably, yes. But would they accept a Jewish or Muslim one? Very unlikely.

However, on balance, yes, the marriage bar should be lifted. One assumes that the calm heads of seasoned Palace officials would counsel against a future monarch ever entering a relationship with someone whose faith could prompt a constitutional crisis.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Guardian notes

A few thoughts inspired by things in the Guardian this week.

1. My uncle looks like Mark E. Smith of The Fall.

2. Glastonbury hasn't sold out this year, possibly because the headline act is Jay-Z, a hip-hop artist. Cue lots of moaning from the likes of Noel Gallagher about how Glastonbury should be for guitar bands and blah blah blah. Complete nonsense. Glastonbury has a long tradition of showcasing all kinds of music from free jazz to Shirley Bassey. However, Jay-Z isn't a particular imaginative choice. As Zoe Williams wrote in the Guardian:

"There is nothing counter-cultural about Jay-Z: he embodies mainstream culture; he owns most of it."

Sadly, this does seem in keeping with the increasing commercialisation of the event, particularly since Mean Fiddler took over, built their giant fence around the place and required potential festival-goers to pre-register online for tickets. Next thing you know, they'll be opening a Starbucks.

But commerce and credibility can go hand in hand at Glastonbury. Radiohead have never been a charity. Paul McCartney is signed to the aforementioned Starbucks. Jay-Z used to have that credibility, but over the years he's just become little more than a brand, the granddaddy of bling. He's the wrong choice for Glastonbury. It's a missed opportunity because there is one hip-hop artist who could bring in the crowds and the money, yet do so with impeccable musical credentials. His name? Kanye West.

3. You know you're getting old when you start reaching the age of goverment ministers. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm only four years off the new spanish defence minister, the alluring Carme Chacon. Interesting to see that over half of the Spanish cabinet is now female.

4. Yesterday we learned that 112 building firms have been systematically colluding for years to rig bidding on public sector contracts worth hundreds of millions. It's indicative of the state of governance in this country that this has been allowed to go on without anyone noticing. Could you imagine this kind of thing getting past a company like Tesco?

5. Message to Rupert Grint - Lindsay Lohan is a perfectly fine actress. You, on the other hand...

6. Nice to see Polly Toynbee making a cock-up in her Guardian column today...

"Now Angela Smith has resigned as parliamentary private secretary to Yvette Cooper..."

Whoops! Angela Smith didn't actually resign. Poor Polly must have thought it was such a bang-on certainty that she assumed it was going to happen, and you know what happens when you assume, you make an ass out of.... oh, never mind. The line has miraculously disappeared from the online version anyway!

ITV spam

Received a spam fom ITV this morning with the following subject line:

"Watch Britain's Got Talent - the bits you didn't see on TV"

Hey ITV, how about you do the same for Pushing Daisies, i.e. show us episode 2?

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Jodie Marsh

Always at the cutting edge of journalism, the Daily Mail today poses this incisive question...

"Are Jodie Marsh's 32GGs the most ludicrous breasts in Britain?"

Click here to view.

Well yes, they possibly are. However I happen to be a fan of ludicrous breasts, so this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Most men are, even those who claim to prefer real breasts. Sure, they believe they believe themselves when they say they prefer the natural look, but when faced with the in-person reality of Jordanesque breasts, it's a different story. Long live Jodie!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008


How ironic, there's a fault with BT's online fault reporting service.

Dan Brusca, BSc (Hons) (Open)

...well, not just yet. Ask me again in 2015.

Perhaps somewhat randomly, I've decided to do a degree. Specifically, it's an Open degree with the Open University. The idea behind it is that rather study a set subject, you build your own degree from whatever courses take your fancy. The beauty of it is that you can choose which courses to do as you go along, which gives you the flexibility to change the direction of your degree at any time.

Each course carries between 10 and 60 points. Accrue 300 points and you get the degree, accrue 360 and you get honours. If most of the points are from arts and humanities courses you get a BA. If they're from the sciences you get a BSc. There are three levels of courses. Level 1 are the easiest, level 3 are advanced. You have to do at least 60 points at level 1 and at least 240 points above level 1, including at least 120 at level 3.

The OU recommend you do 60 points a year, which gives you the degree in six years based on roughly 16 hours a week of study. However, if you can demonstrate that you have the time, they let you do up to 120 points a year. In my case, I'm in no rush. My degreee isn't aimed at future career development, just broadening my knowledge, so six years is fine.

So, what have I chosen to do? Well I'm looking to the stars...

Level 1 - 2008/9
Open mathematics - 30 pts
Introductory astronomy - 10
Planets: an introduction - 10
How the universe works - 10

Level 1 - 2009/10
Using mathematics - 30

Level 2
Astronomy - 30
Planetary science and the search for life - 30
Exploring mathematics - 30

Level 3
Space, time and cosmology - 30
The energetic universe - 30

Of course, this is an incomplete list. For one, it's only 240 points and there's no definitive timeframe, but it is a skeleton outline of what I'm looking to do in the coming years. There's no point nailing everything down now because courses change and what's available may change radically by the time I get to level 2 and level 3.

I have over a year to decide on what I would like to do alongside these courses and there are a few things that interest me, including philosophy, religious studies and quantum physics. You could say I'm looking at doing a degree in the stuff of life...

I've set things in motion by enrolling and my place on the Open Mathematics course is reserved, beginning 27th September. I did maths to Irish Leaving Certificate level (grade A), which should be enough to skip me past Open Mathematics and go straight into Using Mathematics, but answering the sample questions on the OU website it's quite clear my maths skills have gone pretty rusty over the last fifteen years, so I may as well brush them up. Like I said, I'm in no rush.

Monday, 14 April 2008


Is it just me, or is this the longest prolonged spell of cinematic drought in years? I've only seen three films at the cinema since There Will Be Blood opened in February, namely The Bank Job (average), The Orphanage (excellent) and, yesterday, 21. I can usually find something worth going to see every week, but I've been struggling recently.

Anyway, Leatherheads held no appeal so I went to see 21. I had low expectations though and sadly, I wasn't disappointed. I love Kevin Spacey, but this was just dreary. There's more life in 10 minutes of the TV show Las Vegas than in this entire film. It only ever holds your attention when Spacey and, especially, Laurence Fishburne are on screen. Jim Sturgess' central character aside, the rest are mere sketches, though admittedly Kate Bosworth is a most attractive one (even if she's clearly stealing her look off Leslie Bibb in Popular). None of them are particularly likeable and the whole thing is entirely predictable.

Pushing Daisies

I watched the first episode of Pushing Daisies on ITV1 on Saturday. Not a bad show. Very much reminiscent of Amelie or a Tim Burton film. Likeable cast. There's enough in it to warrant my watching episode two.

But wait! I can't! In their infinite wisdom, ITV have decided that because the first season of Pushing Daisies is nine episodes long and they only have eight weeks in that slot until the first match of Euro2008 - Switzerland v Czech Republic, that'll bring in the viewers! - they're not actually going to show episode two. At all. Nada. They could have shown the first two episodes back-to-back on Saturday night, but no, they put American Pie on instead, a film which has probably been seen twice already by everybody in the english-speaking world.

To be honest, I shouldn't expect any better from ITV, a channel with form for treating their viewers like crap. Take Dexter. A drama about a serial killer. Being a drama about a serial killer, you would expect that it's audience would be prepared for a bit of blood and gore, especially at 11pm or whenever ITV chose to show it. ITV on the other hand thought otherwise and proceeded to censor out the more splattery elements (let's not forget Dexter himself works as a blood-splatter analyst) lest the viewers somehow take affront and proceed to gouge out their eyes, such would be the extent of their psychological distress.

Oh well. At least I saw it first on F/X, where they treat people like adults.

But back to Pushing Daisies. All is not lost. Forget ITV and their pisspoor scheduling. The DVD is out on 23rd June.