Monthly Archives: October 2016

Great Rescuers

I grew up on Thunderbirds. And for reasons that aren’t exactly clear to me at the moment I have been thinking about it again recently. This was a great series and having seen something of the knew CGI series I think that, on balance, the puppets were better.

As an early sign that writing was the thing for me I played Thunderbirds too. Except it wasn’t called International Rescue it was called Great Rescuers. Essentially it was the same story only with my Duplo.

One idea I do remember was that the people, I don’t think I got as far as character names, didn’t have quite such a specific idea of who’s craft was who’s. Everyone was expected to be proficient in the operation of every craft so, in cases of illness, a rescue operation would still be possible.

A work friend of my dad’s presented this general idea to their boss. Apparently he, the boss, didn’t quite see the merit in making sure all staff were proficient in all areas. Dad’s friend wondered why I, remember we’re talking when I was 5, was able to understand this concept but the boss was not.

Maybe I have a narcissist personality but making changes to existent things has always been something I have done. Back then I watched Thunderbirds and invented my own rescuers. Today, when watching a TV show or film, there is always a little voice saying how I might have shot a scene differently or played them in a different order.

This doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of watching something it just adds an extra dimension.

The original Thunderbirds still stands up pretty well. The puppets look a little silly but the model work is excellent. And of course it has the classic 60s imagination of future technology which was so cool and completely missed the invention of digital recordings. So yes it’s goofy but I like it.

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I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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More Reliable Than a Garden Strimmer

I like lists. I like them for stories and I like them for life. I read somewhere that Charles Dickens liked lists too. It is a useful way to quickly describe something. In one story I have a  character with lots of hats and just a list is enough. I like them to go over a sentence of two – its a strange thing.

In life I have a to-do list. I have used several apps for this and keep changing which I’m using. I feel I have to have everything, including writing this which may qualify as meta, written down. Otherwise I might forget something important. The kitchen would be ruled my fruit flies.

The funny thing is that in doing these lists I come up against the classic problem. That of spending too much time on, what is essentially, a timetable for my life. I was thinking of this in relation to Arnold Rimmer, hence the title, where he spent all his time making a timetable and didn’t have time to revise before the final exam.

For me there is no final exam. Unless you think there is one before death. I want to balance the things I must do with the things I want to do. I am still clinging on to the misguided belief that life is like a game. The Prophets might believe that but that’s another matter – yes I’m looking for the flagpole and the fanfare but I think my Princess is in another castle.

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I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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Seven Things: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in the series. It took me a stupid long time to read it (8th July – 23rd September) but that is no reflection on how good it is just a refection on how slow I am.

So without any further delay. Let’s begin.

One

‘Why doesn’t anyone just go to the police?’ (Blink: Doctor Who)

I’m going to start us off with something fairly minor. At the start of the novel Harry’s scar hurts and he considers contacting Dumbledore but dismisses the idea. This seems a little short sighted. Harry knows by this point that the scar can be an omen of things. It is  indicative of a problem shown in so many films. People never do the logical thing. Even if it is nothing to worry about Dumbledore has always taken Harry seriously. What would be the worst that would happen if Harry did contact him?

Two

Stamps

It continues to amaze me how little the Wizarding world understands our world. This is shown near the beginning of the novel when Harry receives a letter from Mrs Weasley. The letter is ‘…covered in stamps except for a square inch on the front…’ It’s funny but does it really make sense? Stamps have existed for nearly two centuries. I find it hard to believe that it has never come up before. If nothing else wouldn’t Mrs Weasley have had to have gone to a post office? Books of stamps come in 12s – surely that should be a clue that not that many are needed.

Three

Classified Information and Magical Contracts

I am lumping these two together because they are tangentalily related. The Triwizard Tournament is described as being classified and none of the main characters know about it until they reach Hogwarts when Dumbledore announces it. There is just one problem with this: What about the other schools? They knew and had to travel to Hogwarts, select which of their number were going to go, and so on. Yet somehow in the host school it is a secret. Wouldn’t this be considered a highly important event?

Then we have the issue of a ‘binding magical contract’ this is something that is never explained and is a problem because it drives the plot. Harry has to compete because of this and, as explained in the above video, we are not given an explanation as to why this can’t be overturned. In real life when we sign a contract it doesn’t bind us in a literal sense. We are still free to do the exact opposite. If we do there will be a fine or possible imprisonment depending on the severity of the breach.

If I was Harry Potter, well I would have died in the first book but never mind, I would have refused to compete. What would have happened if he had?

Four

Universal Translator

I never said that these were to be in anyway an in depth analysis. So this is a rather minor point but I shall make it anyway. When we meet the Bulgarian minister we are told he ‘…didn’t seem to understand a word of English.’ I accept that but find it hard to accept that there isn’t a spell for that. Surely with the possibilities we are presented with when it comes to magic a translation spell would be easy. Instead it seems that the approach to foreigners in the magical world is the same as the approach employed by many in our own world. Speak your own language loudly and the foreigner is bound to understand you.

Five

Tracking Hedwig

Owls are clearly magical in the Harry Potter universe. They are able to find anyone, I don’t believe their range is ever stated, but they can certainly travel a great distance. In this book Hedwig is able to find Sirius despite his being in hiding. So my question is this: If Hedwig is able to find him why can’t the ministry?

There isn’t really much else to say on this subject. It just interests me how limitless and limited magic seems to be in almost equal measure.

Six

The Cup

At the end of the novel Harry is brought to the graveyard by the cup. The cup was a port key. However if any object can be a port key then why go to the rigmarole of the tournament, this is also mentioned in the Cinema sins video, why couldn’t they have just made something else into a port key – one of his text books for instance.

To be fair this is a common problem with fantasy and science fiction story telling. When characters are in their world they don’t talk about it. Any more than we would feel the need to explain the phrase ‘I don’t have any bars.’ in relation to a mobile phone.

Seven

S.P.E.W

The Wizerding world seems to be behind us in a lot of ways. The technological issue is explained in this book but what about the cultural issue?

The House Elves are slaves. This seems to be accepted by everyone, except Hermione obviously, and it makes me wonder why.

I find it had to believe that an organisation like S.P.E.W doesn’t already exist. I also find it had to believe that Hermione didn’t notice how obviously silly, and open to misinterpretation, the name is.

S.P.E.W however is a nice subplot to the novel and adds nice layers to the novel.

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I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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