Friday, 9 October 2009


5x18 Here Kitty
5x19 Locked In
First, a cat that can predict when people are going to die; second, House remakes The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (but with a happy ending). The writers are certainly experimenting a lot more this season, perhaps a bit tired of identikit Case of the Week episodes -- even if the majority seem to involve dialysis, brain surgery or both. not to mention the constant quitting and rehiring of team members. Whatever the reasons -- and in spite of these similarities -- it's paying off: this season has contained several of the show's best-ever instalments.

Never Mind the Buzzcocks
23x02 (8/10/09 edition)
Rhod Gilbert takes the chair this week, proving himself to be a different but adept host. Not a bad choice if they want a permanent replacement next series, then.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


Dean Koontz's Frankenstein - Book Three: Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz
Chapters 47 - 50


Defying Gravity Press Pack
(from BBC Press Office)
"Defying Gravity was inspired by the BBC drama-documentary series Space Odyssey: Voyage To The Planets broadcast on BBC One in 2004."
I loved Space Odyssey and always thought it would work brilliantly as an extended series, so I'm very much looking forward to this. It's not revealed in the press pack, but the BBC's Programme Information confirms it starts on Wednesday 21st October, with a double bill, on BBC Two and BBC HD.

Hacker refused extradition appeal

from BBC News.

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon has been refused permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court against his extradition to the US. The High Court ruled the case was not of "general public importance" to go to the UK's highest court.

Mr McKinnon is accused of breaking into the US's military computer system. Mr McKinnon, who has Asperger's syndrome, insists he was just seeking evidence of UFOs... Mr McKinnon faces 60 years in prison if convicted in the US. His lawyers have said they may now take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. They argue that extradition of their client would have "disastrous consequences" for his health, including possible psychosis and suicide.

Mr McKinnon had challenged the refusal of Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, to put him on trial in the UK on charges of computer misuse - which would have allowed him to avoid extradition. Giving the court's decision on Friday, Lord Justice Stanley Burnton, who heard Mr McKinnon's latest appeal earlier this year, said extradition was "a lawful and proportionate response" to his alleged offending...

Reacting after the latest ruling, his mother Janis Sharp said no other country would offer its citizens to the US so readily "as sacrificial lambs" just to safeguard the special political relationship. She said: "To use my desperately vulnerable son in this way is despicable, immoral and devoid of humanity."

Mr McKinnon's solicitor, Karen Todner, said... "Why is our government so inhumane as to allow this to happen to someone, particularly someone with Aspergers, a form of autism? This is the wholesale destruction and bullying of a small individual by the United States and now our own government. Our extradition treaty with the US is unfair and prejudicial to UK citizens and should be repealed or amended immediately."

Sabina Frediani, campaigns co-ordinator for Liberty, which supported Mr McKinnon's case, said: "Never were justice and the law so out of sync as in the case of Britain's rotten extradition arrangements."

The Tories also criticised the UK's extradition arrangements with the US. Backbench MP David Davis said: "The reason this decision has been arrived at is because the British government created a set of laws and agreements which, masquerading as anti-terror laws, actually disadvantaged a whole range of British citizens. This is why the courts find themselves having to dispatch this young man to America, when he should face a proper trial in British courts. It is long past time that this travesty of justice was put right."

Read the full article here.

Poem of the Week: A Good Poem

by Roger McGough

You may have noticed (though, probably not) that the once-regular Poem of the Week has disappeared for the past couple of months. This is primarily due to my general disillusionment with poetry following a Creative Writing Masters degree -- whatever they might try to teach or tell you, it seems the 'poetry establishment' (if there is such a thing) is just as elitist and pretentious as it appears from the outside. I had no aspirations to 'break in' to poetry, but I was prepared to enjoy reading and writing it for my own entertainment. Both of these activities have been damaged, rather than encouraged, by my course.

As such, Poem of the Week is no more. But here's one final entry; one that captures some of my feelings about poetry, not only in its content but also with its light, readable style. There's a reason poets like McGough are well-known and well-loved beyond just the world of poetry itself, and perhaps some of the people stuck in that world would do well to remember it.

I like a good poem
one with lots of fighting
in it. Blood, and the
clanging of armour. Poems

against Scotland are good,
and poems that defeat
the French with crossbows.
I don't like poems that

aren't about anything.
Sonnets are wet and
a waste of time.
Also poems that don't

know how to rhyme.
If I was a poem
I'd play football and
get picked for England.


new post at 100 Films

Alien vs Predator - Part 3
And that’s it. Except not for long, because Robert Rodriguez is working on a Predator continuation/reboot, not to mention the much-discussed Ridley Scott reboot/remake/prequel of Alien.

Read the full post at 100 Films.