Monthly Archives: July, 2012

The Olympics

The Olympics. Big topic. Where to start is pretty hard. Being able to start in a way that’s not boring is much harder. So I guess I’d better start big.

The opening ceremony. Even I was a bit dubious by all the “This will beat the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony” talk that was going around. I saw an annotated image of how the stadium would look during the ceremony. The biggest things it had to boast were sheep, a giant tree, mosh pits, ducks in a pond, artificial clouds and grass. It said it was supposed to represent England in its rural form.

That’s it? That’s all Danny Boyle set up in answer to China’s extravaganza? (Although it did heavily rely on CGI and lip syncing.) I was a bit shocked. I know people out there with heavily creative minds would dig deep into that picture and see oodles of creative genius from the Oscar-winning film director. I did a little, but I was still a little put off.

Then I saw it. And I loved it.

I love a bit of history, and the way it was conveyed at the start. And there’s nothing more I like than a bit of Jerusalem being sung. When Brunel came in, and the countryside was stripped, and the drumming music started, every thought of how the ceremony would be a load of tosh was eradicated. But it just kept getting better.

Happy and Glorious in particular. James Bond in Buckingham Palace? Bond escorting Queenie? QUEENIE PARACHUTING? You can’t get any more flabbergasting than that!

The arrival of Mr. Bean brought a smile to my face. Even though it has been confirmed that will never be another Mr Bean episode or film in the future, it was good that he came back for just five minutes. And since those five minutes were during the Olympic Ceremony, NICE! Mr Bean re-enacting the famous Chariots of Fire beach scene was particularly interesting!

Then came the monsters. And the Child Catcher. AND A GINORMOUS LORD VOLDEMORT! And Mike Oldfield — an excellent musician who I quite like. THEN CAME THE OLYMPIC CAULDRON. What are those copper kettles for? Where’s the cauldron? What’s that flower they’re just lighting? Why are the flames spreading? Why are the kettles bunching together? What is — OH! MY! GOD!

I haven’t seen much of the Olympics yet. I’ve only heard about it through news updates (such as the unfortunate event of Tom Daley and his partner coming 4th). I saw a bit of Gymnastics a few days ago, where I saw the Chinese and Russians and Americans somersault over a vault and do a triple drill roll through the air at 45 degrees before landing perfectly on their feet. I also saw gymnasts hanging from bars swing round it in circles, temporarily gripping the bar with one hand, or letting go of it to do a double spin in the air, or just swinging from it like a super monkey.

There’s so much more to come: Usain Bolt in the 100m sprint, the rowing (or have I missed it?), the closing ceremony and more. The only off-putting things about the Olympics are the choices of events to watch when you have other things to do, and the fact that the events go on for hours every day. Ignore all the insults and accusations and stories in the news about the inadequate planning.

The London 2012 Olympics is going strong.

Favourite Songs of the Week! (Queen Special Edition)

I can describe Queen in just four words: The Kings of Pop! The band behind the nation’s favourite single are truly amazing, and I did not discover this until I unearthed a tape of their Greatest Hits, where I found nine of these singles (Radio Gaga was the only one missing). It’s IMPOSSIBLE to select five; it just doesn’t do the five I don’t choose justice. All ten of these tracks are amazing. I can’t miss any of them out. But the ones I would choose if I have to are the first five.

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  2. Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
  3. Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
  4. Killer Queen – Queen
  5. We Are The Champions – Queen
  6. Flash – Queen
  7. Radio Gaga – Queen
  8. You’re My Best Friend – Queen
  9. We Will Rock You – Queen
  10. Somebody to Love – Queen

The 80s

In case you hadn’t noticed from My Favourite Songs of the Week posts, I LOVE 80s (and 70s) music!

The Human League. Visage. Queen. Soft Cell. The Jam. Tom Tom Club. Abba. Spandau Ballet. Kraftwerk. These bands from the 70s and 80s are just some of the bands that make me so happy.

But why? Why do these bands bring a smile to my face? It’s because of their lyrics. It’s because of their music that either makes my feet tingle with dancing pins and needles, or makes my mind think I’m in heaven. It’s because of the fact that they are unique, crafted like sculptures in their lyrics and in its music.

Abba in particular is brilliant in both lyrics and music. Anybody who doesn’t want to dance to an Abba track when it’s playing at a disco has feet of clay. These bands, without fail, have produced music that’s head-bobbingly, toe-tappingly, shoulder-shakingly catchy. (I’m listening to Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust as I write this, and trust me, my head is bobbing back and forth like a pigeon here!) Once these tunes enter my ears, once they’ve reached the brain, they lock up the thought controller in a cupboard and invade the controls, playing the tunes on broken records.

The jukebox in my brain is my most valued possession (if it exists). One moment it can be playing Abba, the next it can be playing the Big Bang Theory theme tune, the next it can be playing The Legend of Zelda Theme Tune!

If the lyrics are genius, I’m happy. If the beat’s contagious, I’m overjoyed. If the music is top notch (what what) I’m on Cloud Nine!

I adore music sometimes. I’m just slightly disappointed as to what it’s become now: the same old tune played on a huge range of songs; the same old artists with meaningless lyrics; the same old music that’s clearly for discos and clubs. Seems a little harsh I know, but my knowledge of pop music is a little on the sparse side over the past few years. When they mentioned the line up for the T4 on the Beach Concert, I had only heard of Rizzle Kicks.

But I don’t care. I don’t particularly like music now. I like music then. The 90s changed music for the worst. I know many people would dispute this, but that’s just my opinion. There are some 90s bands I don’t mind though. Some are nostalgic for me; as a child, I loved these bands: Steps, Britney Spears, Fast Food Rockers, Girls Aloud, Sugababes, S Club 7. But nowadays, I would only listen to these for nostalgic reasons. I would also listen to Chico for nostalgic reasons…

Different music seems to do different things to different people. 80s pop music, all electronic on synthesisers and keyboards, singing about waitresses in cocktails bars and the Trans-Europe Express makes my head bob and my lips smile, as does 70s music, with their songs about dancing queens and asking Scaramouche to do the Fandango.What about you? What puts a smile on your face? What makes you bob your head and sing along? What music seizes hold of your brain and plays on broken records in your jukebox?

Spotify Play Button: ABBA

I’m ECSTATIC about this! Spotify has just released the Spotify Play Button, which can allow people to listen to music on other people’s blogs! I’m going to have a test run on this now by posting the album ‘ABBA Gold’; Abba is an AMAZING band for me! I have also gone back on ALL my Favourite Songs of the Week posts and added a Spotify Play Button to each and every one of them, so you can listen to those tracks on this blog! Click on ‘Music’ on the column down the right hand side of this page (under ‘Categories’) and you will find all the Favourite Songs of the Week posts. Enjoy!

If you have got Spotify, and you want to use this new feature on your blog, log on, then click on the following hyperlink and follow the instructions:

https://developer.spotify.com/technologies/spotify-play-button/

Live long and prosper! 😀

P.S: Oops. Turns out you need to have a Spotify account in order to use this. But if you don’t have one, there’s always YouTube (and Muzu), so it’s not too bad.

Big Bang Theory Quote of the Week!

Almost forgot to do this as well! Sorry everyone. Sorry again about the short notice; I though I had scheduled a BBT Quote post for today. Turns out I hadn’t. So this might be a bit rushed. Sorry. Anyway, this is from a particularly interesting BBT episode…

Leonard/Green Lantern:(to Sheldon) What are you doing?

Sheldon/Flash: (pacing up and down the room) We’re going to be late! I’m pacing nervously.

Leonard: You’re jogging.

Sheldon: This is how the Flash paces.

Leonard: Just chill out, Sheldon.

Sheldon: (stopping) I’m not Sheldon! I’m the Flash! And now I’m going to the Grand Canyon to scream in frustration. (steps to his left, then back) I’m back.

*Howard/Batman jumps into the room, hands hips.*

Howard/Batman: (gruffly) I’m Batman.

Sheldon: (unamused) Oh, I hardly think so! The real caped crusader calls his crime-fighting cohorts when he’s running late.

Howard: (normal voice) Sorry, I had to walk. I couldn’t get Raj on the back of my scooter.

*Raj/Aquaman plods in. His suit is of Aquaman riding a pink sea horse. It’s impossible for him to sit down whilst wearing the suit.*

Raj/Aquaman: (grumpily) I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Aquaman sucks.

Zack/Superman: Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! (jumps into the rooms, hands on hips. Then his face goes blank) I forget the rest.

Penny/Wonderwoman: (stepping into the room wearing a suit that causes the audience to “woo!”) All right. Let’s get this thing over with.

Sheldon: (annoyed) I’m sorry. But in what universe is Wonder Woman blonde?

Howard: (grinning) Relax. No one’s going to be looking at her hair!

*Penny deservedly punches Howard in the arm.*

Howard: Ow! I mean, (in gruff voice) ow.

Zack: Hold on. The costume came with a black wig. Where is it, babe?

Penny: No. I’m not wearing it. It looks stupid.

Zack: Come on. We’re trying to win a contest here.

Penny: Forget it! I’m not wearing the wig.

Zack: Penny, there’s no I in Justice League!

*The gang look at each confusedly.*

Howard: Well, actually —

Sheldon: Don’t. He’s making our case.

Zack: Okay, babe. Uh, kind of embarrassing me in front of my friends.

Penny: Okay. You know what? I changed my mind. I’m not going.

*Penny goes back to her apartment and slams the door.*

Raj: (striding into the centre of the room, beaming) Looks like someone else is going to have to be Wonder Woman!

This episode has many superb moments in it, and the jokes come on thick and fast. Like the Flash. The Justice League Recombination is a must-see Big Bang Theory episode, if only to see Sheldon going mad as the Flash (as well as the after effects…).

Note that this quote is a bit last minute, so there is a high chance that I mis-quoted something here…

Live long and prosper! 😀

The Hunger Games Final Verdict (WARNING: Contains Spoilers!)

Suzanne Collins deserves the Nobel Prize for Literature.

She has made the impossibility of getting teenagers to read a 1500 page trilogy possible. And even better, the teenagers have happily read the books without having to get pestered by their parents, without periodically having a ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude, and without discovering that somebody has smeared glue onto the pages and now they can’t put it down.

It’s so hard to believe that these books about war, love and drama were first thought up by Collins whilst she was temporarily a couch potato, flicking through the channels, and switching between a war documentary and a live celebrity show caused the neurones in her brain to suddenly click together and come up with The Hunger Games.

The first — The Hunger Games — was the best, in my opinion. Every chapter ending throughout was utterly compelling stuff. The introduction was simple yet not too boring, meaning that the reader plunged miles down into chaos when Katniss makes her first life-changing decision. Or, to put it in a less cliche manner, when she takes her first steps into becoming a true war hero, and not a bumbling seventeen-year-old girl living in poverty. There are some truly sweet moments between Katniss and Peeta, Gale is instantly likeable, and Haymitch’s entrance is certainly…unusual. Katniss as a narrator is open and a joy to see events from the eyes of. She’s loveable and innocent, right until the Hunger Games: the moment I realise just how genius Collins is as a writer. It’s a real struggle describing the brilliance of this series without revealing huge spoilers! I’ll put it this way: reading the Hunger Games in about two sittings is as possible as fitting a pomegranate pip in your mouth.

Sequels hardly ever turn out well, but Catching Fire was an exception. The Hunger Games ended on a not too urgent cliffhanger, which was a shame. But when I finished the first, I was confused as to how Collins could continue with the series when The Hunger Games had finished for the year. But I was wrong to be confused; the plot for the sequel was well worth reading. But Collins’ plot for the sequel was risky nonetheless. Katniss is no longer a quintessential, bumbly, socially awkward seventeen-year-old girl. Gale is no longer the Katniss’ loyal friend. Peeta is no longer the poor baker’s boy with a secret crush. The Hunger Games has made Katniss mature uncontrollably. She’s scarred for life, both mentally and physically. Her injuries are severe. Her memories are intoxicated with nightmares. Her thoughts are erratic. Collins did a good job of changing the narrator’s perspectives and thoughts in her views, and making sure her narration did not deteriorate in quality at every turn of events. However, her chapter cliffhangers did change in quality; some were gripping, but some were ‘meh’. The ending was EPIC though!

I was up until midnight last night finishing off the last 100 pages of Mockingjay. The ending did not bring a tear to my eye, nor did it leave me with a bored yawn. I was a tad on the disappointed side though; the chapter cliffhangers were not of atomic-bomb-standard until the final part — The Assassin –and it took a while for the death of the ‘important character’ to hit me. Then again, maybe the fact that it took a while for the death to hit me is the sign of a good writer; the feeling should grow inside me like nettles instead of growing instantly before fading away. In Mockingjay, there were moments of expertly written suspense, particularly in the final part. But when these were over, and my emotions flurrying inside my head died down (another sign of a good writer: emotions blaze through the reader as they read, feeling involvement and terror at the same time), Collins let me down with boring descriptions and overly slow action. The ending tied up all the loose ends with reef knots and bowties, however, and near the end, there came the mother of all cliffhanger endings, which made me sit bolt upright and howl, “Why the hell did you do that?”

The beginning was amazing. The ending was amazing. The content was (mostly) amazing. The Hunger Games IS amazing. Don’t let all my criticism put you off. It’s easy to be a critic, but it’s hard to do the work a critic looks at. Collins has done a fine job, and I commend her for it. Forget J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. Suzanne Collins is the real queen of series writers. Her work is outstanding.

The Hunger Games film is out on DVD in the near future. How near in the future, you ask? On 3rd September: a special day. Why is it a special day, I hear you ask? Cos it’s my birthday. Yes. The Hunger Games is out on my birthday. AS IS BIG BANG THEORY SEASON 5. And Charlie Sheen’s birthday…

I will leave you with a particular line from The Hunger Games Trilogy. The line in particular is from Mockingjay. How many of you know why this is a special quote?

“It was never intended for all of us to go forward. You just had the misfortune to be with me.”

“Well, that’s a moot point. We’re with you now.”

LOL! And live long and prosper! 😀

Big Bang Theory Quiz!

I’ve made it a bit harder this time…

  1. While on a driving simulator, name a place Sheldon ends up by accident.
  2. In the same episode, what’s the name of the road both Howard and Penny take Sheldon down, much to his discomfort, because of the speed bumps?
  3. What comic character does Leonard compare Sheldon to when Sheldon practices his smile, just before entering Raj’s office?
  4. During his first ‘date’ with Penny, what does Leonard drop under the table after using it to display centripetal force, causing him to bash his head under the table?
  5. Why does Penny’s new red armchair end up on the street in a Season 5 episode?
  6. In the same episode, who discovers the armchair and carries it into the flat, unaware of the reasons as to why it was there?
  7. What does Sheldon suggest Priya does during her one day in California, during the “go north…you are in a forest” episode?
  8. What evidence does Sheldon give Amy, showing that he’s good at biology?
  9. What Biblical character does Sheldon compare Leonard to after he rebels against Sheldon’s roommate agreement?
  10. What mathematical number can you link a ball pit to via The Big Bang Theory?
  11. What does Bernadette hope her parents mistake the Klingon on the back of her wedding invitations for?
  12. What instrument does Sheldon sometimes use in a cinema to find the ‘acoustic sweet spot’ (apart from his voice)?
  13. And what instrument does Sheldon play to interfere with the creation of Leonard’s differential equation solver app?
  14. What should Sheldon never do walking down the stairs?
  15. And in that same episode, when Penny shouts “I don’t care if Richard Feynman was a purple leprechaun,” what does she forget to use?
  16. What does SHELDON stand for?
  17. What new policy does Penny introduce on the spot at the Cheesecake Factory, preventing Sheldon from getting his meal?
  18. When trying to find a grasshopper, what happens to Sheldon when he goes down the elevator shaft?
  19. What liquid is responsible for the destruction of the elevator?
  20. What two events do the gang add lasers to when performing them?
  21. What do the cleaning ladies find one night on a table in the university cafeteria?
  22. What historical inconsistency did Sheldon show Leonard on a photo in the car while he’s a ‘robot’?
  23. How does Sheldon order his cereals?
  24. What temporal anomaly does Star Trek Sheldon discover at the Renaissance Fair?
  25. When we first see Leonard’s mother, what is she looking at?

Same as before: comment your answers, I’ll tell you your score, then I’ll post the answers ASAP. Please don’t cheat. Just delve through your brain, and you’ll find the answers. Live long and prosper! 😀

NEW Big Bang Theory Quiz Answers

I’m so, so sorry! I should’ve posted these last weekend! Here are the answers to the last Big Bang Theory Quiz. There will be another one in the next couple of days.

  1. Any two from: Raj, Howard’s Mother, Stephen Hawking
  2. “Little” Lalita Gupta
  3. (Peppermint) Schnapps
  4. The Muppets!
  5. Slim Jims
  6. Angelo (it has ‘angel’ and ‘jell-o’ in it)
  7. The Manhattan Project (except for Zazzles, who was named that “cos he’s so…ZAZZY!”)
  8. Dennis Kim
  9. Two of Hearts
  10. By pointing out that Raj is drinking non-alcoholic beer.
  11. A video of a Stephen Hawking lecture while he was at MIT (before he became a creepy computer voice)
  12. The lamb kebab
  13. Penny
  14. Kripke put helium in his office (then played the interview to the university cafeteria)
  15. Sheldon
  16. A huge painting/portrait of the two of them (where Penny looks like a transvestite)
  17. Super Mario Bros. Theme Tune and spaghetti with little hot dogs cut up in it.
  18. Playing doctor…Star Trek style
  19. (In a shed) during a paintball match
  20. Vegas, baby!
  21. He’s locked out of his apartment (he left his keys in the bowl and Penny left her spare key in their apartment)
  22. A laser
  23. Liquid nitrogen (and a hammer)
  24. Loop quantum gravity
  25. Dumbass (accept ‘dummy’)

Favourite Songs of the Week! (Summer Special Edition)

These songs either have a theme of happiness or relaxation, perfect for when you’re on a grainy yellow beach with the shushing of waves in the background, or for when you’re dancing wildly (or just shaking about) in your room going absolutely berserk. Enjoy!

  1. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
  2. Avalon – Roxy Music
  3. Dancing Queen – Abba
  4. Put Your Records On – Corinne Bailey Rae
  5. Tainted Love – Soft Cell

Have a long and prosperous summer! 😀

We’re All Going on a Summer Holiday!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the summer hols! Cue the advert where businessmen come streaming out of their offices and dive-bomb into a swimming pool. Cue six-and-a-half weeks of fun, holidays…and homework. Cue choruses of schoolchildren bellowing out Alice Cooper so that the whole country can hear:

SCHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL’S OUT! FOR…SUMMER!!

SCHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL’S OUT! FOR…EVER!!!!

It sure is, kids. It sure is!

When I’m not doing homework projects over the summer hols, I will try to post lots of stuff on here. Yes, I will try to include my own Big Bang Theory script featuring Leslie Winkle (I will also try to make it old-style, with no background events or stories taking place – just simple Big Bang Theory). Yes, I will try to post stories on the new page that I have created. Yes, I will (hopefully) continue to add weekly entries to my ‘Favourite Songs of the Week’ and ‘Big Bang Theory Quote of the Week’ posts. I’ve also got a couple of ideas for new posts, but I won’t reveal anything yet.

Have a long and prosperous summer, everyone! 😀

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