Limitless gets Pixelmator’d…

Another graphics test – a B&W photo of an iMac screen which is playing the film ‘Limitless’ (Bradley Cooper), taken into Pixelmator with about 5 effects added + opaque circles of varying colours.

I tried to focus on the overlapping multiple shades of concentric purples, contrasting with the B*W background image.

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Prometheus: the review…

AWESOME X AWESOME : )

Just got out of the cinema having just seen Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien world, after a break of 33 years. A huge film set on a massive scale – the opposite of the film which created the Alien universe.

A mixture of high tech and raw savageness propels the characters through a series of electric encounters. There was enough human element to anchor the technology side of the film and the Alien influence crept through each scene.

The special effects were top notch and the acting maybe 7.5 / 10. The story had a good depth and enough to base the next incarnation on…

Overall score: 8 / 10 and a strong modern incarnation which easily beats Alien 3 and 4.

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Film – ‘Food Matters’…

We just watched this film last night about food and nutrition and I really wanted to share it with people. A truly remarkable film and a big eye-opener. I’ve seen a few films along these lines now but this certainly introduced more detail and over a wider range of subjects.

James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch, Directed and Produced the film, along with Enzo Tedeschi.

* I could only find the version of this with Spanish subtitles!

One of the most interesting parts of the film for me was the use of mega-doses of vitamins to cure diseases. The main example was using huge doses of Vitamin C to treat cancer, along with many other more common diseases, such as cold and flu. The film went into a lot of detail on the myth of vitamin supplements causing illness, which was totally rebuffed as a concept. Very very useful information there and i’ll be doing more research into this, as I had been told that supplements cause cancer! How wrong I was!

Lots of nutrition information and health tips. I’ve read a fair bit about this subject but there was lots in there which was new to me and which has certainly inspired me to look again at previously held views.

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Film: The Boat That Rocked…

We’ve just watched a great film called The Boat That Rocked.

Great film, great soundtrack and I would recommend it to anyone into music, particularly 1960’s classic rock music!

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Film – ‘Food, inc.’

Another good film we’ve recently watched from Love Film was Food, inc. It’s basically a documentary about America’s food industry and more widely about food production in relation to large corporations.

There are a number of interesting themes in this and it is amazing how some of the types of food are produced. The methods of production, the business behind the production and the control of the world food supply are all hugely important ideas which most people just don’t consider.

One of the first concepts is the idea that the range of modern foods is somehow linked to what many people would recognise as a traditional ‘farm’. The documentary looks at the packaging associated, in particular, with meats, showing barns, grass, fields, sunshine etc. Then they show what really happens! Most animals never see a field. It’s mostly factory techniques applied to farming to produce the cheapest food, in the quickest time.

You might already have some idea about the way modern food is produced, but it’s worth seeing this film as an inspiration to change the way you perceive food and to maybe change what types of food are eaten.

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Wall-E Jamie 2…

Since watching Wall-E for the first time last week, Jamie has really got into the theme!

He used my collection of badges and pinned them onto his lego PJs, pretending to be Wall-E. He’s started talking like him and has a little bowl with his collection of interesting objects.

Claire and I have both made Wall-E related lego models and he loved the one Claire made!

I also showed Jac how to play Downfall. He was getting slightly frustrated at first but then picked how to turn the wheels and line up the adjacent holes really well. He sees to like detailed technical activities.

Also a super-hill train track!

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Wall-E Jamie…

We just watched the Disney/Pixar film Wall-E the other day for the first time. Great film but I thought it was a pretty bleak start! Then I remembered that Disney only distributed it. Pixar created and produced it.

Anyway, Jamie seemed inspired by it and made a Lego Wall-E with Claire!

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Film: ‘No Impact Man’…

Last night we also watched ‘No Impact Man’, by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein.

What an inspiring documentary! A consumer-driven New York couple and their young daughter went on a year long mission to reduce their impact and produce no NET environmental impact.

You have to see this film. There were some hard decisions to be made but they dealt with them all really well and at the end, they were stronger, more resilient and their impact on the planet was far less. They were also stronger as a family and had to rely on each other and their community more, rather than letting technology do the work for them. Their health improved, as they were walking, cycling etc more and they learnt loads about how things work and what you have to do to solve problems presented by day to day issues.

This has led to us thinking more about what else we can do to change our own lifestyle.

We’ve already done things like installing solar panels on the roof and insulating render to the outside walls, insulated the inside walls & floors, taken out the gas central heating and just use gas for water heating, bought only the most efficient appliances, use a wood-burner for space heating the main living space, got rid of the car & walk to work, become vegetarian, don’t use planes and buy absolute minimum air freight goods + have started an allotment to grow more of our own fruit and veg.

What we could do…

– Get rid of our old B-rated electric oven. At the moment, the grid is fairly carbon-heavy, due to all the coal, oil and gas power stations, so getting off the grid is good. Our solar panels are the best option but they only work when the sun is out, so cooking an evening meal in the oven uses the grid, not the panels.

– Switching off more lights in the evening and using candles. Not a massive one but could make a difference.

There’s probably loads more stuff we could do and the film was really inspiring.

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Film: ‘Into Eternity’…

A human made structure capable of lasting 100,000 years, designed to store nuclear waste. The Onkalo nuclear waste repository.

This is the subject of the documentary film Into Eternity, directed by Danish director Michael Madsen. We just watched this last night and it was an amazing film. It explores the psychological, political and philosophical issues behind the very long-term storage of nuclear waste.

One of the lasting images was the ‘landscape of thorns’; one of the potential methods of depicting to future generations what is stored there. One of the major concerns was if at some distant (or not so distant) point in the future, human society had broken down to a level where the knowledge of the facility had been lost, but also our modern communication methods and languages had also changed. What if humans tried to uncover the facility and could not understand the markers left behind by our generation?

The main conclusion was that we cannot predict what the distant future will hold and what the fate of Onkalo will be. The scientists and engineers interviewed basically said they had to deal with the theories and information that exist as at this time and the necessity to deal with the nuclear waste legacy of the previous generations (as well as our own) was too big a responsibility to just ignore. They had to take action and after considering all the issues, this was their conclusion.

There will have to be many more Onkalo facilities in other countries, but the issue of reprocessing waste still needs to be very carefully considered, if we are to reduce the waste stock and try and get as much use out of the limited resources. Thorium also needs to be considered as an alternative to plutonium, given it only stays radioactive for roughly 100 years!

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