We’re just back from seeing The Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. It was a mildly amusing movie, little else.
I’m fairly old-school when it comes to HHGTTG. I didn’t catch the original airing, but did hear it when it was broadcast before the second series. Good old Radio 4 Long Wave, 200kHz or so. I saw the TV series. I read the books. I have the scripts book. I even had the towel; my brother got me a membership of ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha for a year (I didn’t renew; a bathtowel is a hard act to follow). In summary, I remember it as Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings, but know it’s really Paul Neil Milne Johnstone.
So basically, I have an image of how it should be. Yes, the radio series was quite different from the TV series, which was again different from the books. But to me the differences are its strength. It’s clear that Douglas Adams had an immense comic talent, and the spontaneity of a show that was written only minutes before (and sometimes, during) broadcast is dazzling. It was the genius of the contrived plot and deus ex machina saves that made it so fresh.
So a movie carrying the Hitchhiker’s brand is out, and a lot of people find it funny. That’s good; I’m a big fan of anything that improves the gross national happiness. But while it was funny, it wasn’t inspired. There were no producers tearing their hair out over the writer’s legendary inability to meet deadlines. Everything was safe, corporate. With a legend, when you retell it, you have to add something. This retelling added nothing; it was a mish-mash of bits from the cutting room floor.
Don’t get me wrong, the actors did their part well. It was a good spectacle. I even laughed at parts. But I can only agree with my friend David Inglis, an even longer-time Hitchhiker’s fan than I. After seeing it on preview, he summed up the whole film in one word: unnecessary.
Update April 2007: I’ve created a Google My Maps page for these locations: Wind Turbines from Space.
Messing about with Google Maps, I went looking for wind turbines. And yup, you can see ‘em:
Update, 3rd May: following my posting to awea-windnet, I got three more:
Thanks to David Wright for the California location, and Joe Duddy of RES (my old employer!) for the two from England. I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the latter two windfarms.
Update, 6 May: Found a couple more windfarms from space on googleglobetrotting.com:
Update, 20 June: Google now has worldwide coverage.
Update, 29 June:
- McBride Lake, Alberta — image taken while in construction. You can see the tower sections and the blades laid out. You can even make out the crane installing one of the northern turbines. This is a Vision Quest Windelectric project.
Day-old TimBits have no right to be as tasty as they actually are.
Eels‘ new album is in the house. Two platters of wonderfulness. Best yet, and it has Tom Waits on it.
A wrecker’s in Oakville brought waves of 70s nostalgia. Amidst the other junk, I caught a glimpse of a Jensen Interceptor, the car that — when I was five — was quite the acme of motoring. Wide grille, double headlights. Absurdly long bonnet hiding a vast engine from the US, sweet rounded rear window. Slung low, fast; but refined — an Oxbridge sprinter toff on wheels. You drove this car, you were Ian Ogilvy; you knew he was slumming it in The Saint‘s P1800.
This Interceptor looked, well, intercepted. Its signature rear glass was broken. Its huge heart infarcted, rusted up like Flint. Sad, but like the other dinosaurs, time moved away from it.
Glad you made it so long; what the hell were you thinking, anyway?
They’ll be hunchin’ in heaven tonite.
Annoying bug in the iRiver 1.65U firmware for the H120; if you have Gap Delete enabled and play a short track with a few seconds of silence at the end, you lose a short section of the audio. It really ruins Ivor Cutler’s 1974 album Dandruff, where Vein Girl and The Painful League get the ends snipped off. Without Gap Delete, they play fine.
Dang, but did my Of Montreal recording from last night come out clipped. I blame it on:
- naïve user
- no level meters on the iRiver H120
- no ability to change the recording level in mid record with the iRiver H120
- my oldish Sony ECM-909′s odd habits
What I really need is a Reactive Sounds Boost Box; pricey, but nice. I wonder if Church Audio can do me anything cheaper?
But anyway, for now, here’s The Lollipop People‘s Fort Jesus [MP3].
Someone’s been moving the Wkipedia article I created for Scots Tablet, ‘cos they claim the One True Name is Swiss Milk Tablet — a name I’d never heard.
“Swiss Milk” is an unusual name for an American invention, condensed milk.
I’m just back from hearing Of Montreal play at Sneaky Dee’s. My, that was a fine show.
The support was, uh, interesting. The first, The Lollipop People. They’re your usual art-rock chamber ensemble; fun enough if Grade-A Canadian Beefheart is your thing. If the second support band’s name Better Than Everyone is true, everyone is in real trouble. They had their troublesome cheapo electronic equipment turned up (and stuck at) suck.
So, Of Montreal; beautiful, melodic, loud pop with just a hint of disco. They pretty much ran through their current album The Sunlandic Twins, but it was a stellar performance. It’s still too soon — and I’m still too deaf — to be articulate on this show. The floor at Sneaky’s was jumping, everyone grooving.
More later. It’s early.
And I nominate the late b. p. helium as 2005′s Carnaby Street Scarecrow.
I bought a teapot today; a proper brown betty. I had to go to the Sri Lankan supermarket to get loose tea. But tea from leaves, in a warmed pot, is the business.
I joined ivor-list during the week. In this short time, I’ve met on the list:
Pepys’ Diary, as a blog. Yes, I’m the second last person to discover it. The RSS feed seems a little out of date …
We just watched Stage Beauty. Hugh Bonneville’s portrayal of Pepys never reminded me more of certain bloggers I know.
Yep, it’s Earth Day again. In Canada, nothing continued to happen …
I walk past a pleasant green space every day from Burlington Station. I’ve seen deer, groundhogs, Canada geese and even snow geese on this land. It’s pretty.
But Wal-Mart Canada wants to build a huge ugly store on it. The area is zoned for properties up to 5600m2, but this store is more than twice that, at 12000m2 — and yet city staff are recommending approval.
This is craziness, especially since the project will have a parking lot of at least the same size as the store. Who is going to manage the water runoff from that? There will be extra sets of traffic lights, making Brant Street even more stop-go. This is supposed to be a mixed-use development, yet a single behemoth store doesn’t make for much mixing.
The Burlington Downtown Business Association opposes the Wal-Mart proposal, as do many other locals. Burlington has a fine downtown, and it doesn’t deserve a wage-lowering, opposition-closing cheapo crap emporium in its midst.
There will be a a public meeting on May 17, 2005 commencing at 4:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Level 2, City Hall, 426 Brant Street to discuss the proposal. Be there, or be stuck with a big grey box.
Here’s the council letter about the Burlington Wal-Mart proposal. It includes diagrams. Full text of it is in the ‘read more’ section.
Someone shot and very nearly killed the son of a friend of mine. Only after extremely complex surgery at St Mike’s does it look like he’ll pull through. Get well soon, Andrew; you’ll be parkouring again before long. His family’s requesting donations to the anti-arms-trade Project Ploughshares.
It’s strange, but in Glasgow — a city with an exceptionally violent reputation — anyone who carries a gun is seen as either a coward or mental. Gun violence in North America isn’t doing anything to change my mind.
Uhoh, timewasting ahead: Google Catalog Search