Tuesday 29 January 2008

Six degrees of separation #22

OK, so we have two one link solutions to #21, both from Dossing Times contributors eager to shame CK and his poor run at the six degrees ;-)

Tuathal gets partial credit only, however and admitted to feeling unclean after the second move of his solution. Angelina Jolie to Jude Law in Sky Capt, World of Tomorrow and Law to Paul Newman in Road to Perdition.

Simon followed up with Angelina Jolie to Daniel Craig in Tomb Raider and Craig to Paul Newman in Road to Perdition.

Robin Wright (formally Penn) to Orlando Bloom

Monday 28 January 2008

Obama's top ten campaign promises

You may have seen Hillary Clinton's top ten campaign promises on Letterman last year. Obama has now contributed his top ten. Good way to keep the momentum up!

Sunday 27 January 2008

Charlie Wilson's War

I am just back from my first trip to cinema in longer than I care to remember and it was almost worth the wait. I knew relatively little about Charlie Wilson's War other than that it had something to do with Afghanistan and the Soviet Union, and that it boasted the stellar cast of Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and the criminally under-rated (until Capote at least) Philip Seymour Hoffman.This movie is fun and witty, irreverent at times and still succeeds in delivering it's message without preaching. The Aaron Sorkin script had more than a touch of the West Wing about it which was a big plus for me.
That aside it was entertaining and I enjoyed seeing Hanks in a rare comic role. Worth seeing!

Thursday 24 January 2008

Giuliani fighting for his life

Rudy Giuliani looks to be ruing his decision to wait till Florida to kick-start his campaign. He now trails both Romney and McCain there. More here from CNN.
Just to put it in perspective. Up to the week before Christmas Giuliani was averaging over 30% of the Florida vote. That number was still in the mid twenties into the second week of January. Now it's 17%! Which leaves him trailing both Romney and McCain by ten points in the state that was to springboard him into Super Tuesday.
A poor performance on Tuesday and he may be a lame duck the week after. Ominous looking graph here.

Eerie coincidence

In the wake of Heath Ledger's death one comment on the NY Times web-site compared his death to that of Brandon Lee, who also died aged 28 when filming a movie where he played a dark character with bizarre make-up.

Lee in The Crow and Ledger in The Dark Knight

Tuesday 22 January 2008

Heath Ledger found dead

Breaking news in the last 15 minutes that actor Heath Ledger has been found dead in his Manhattan flat. Ledger was just 28 and became the second young actor to die in quick succession following Brad Renfro's death last week. Initial stories from the BBC and the New York Times.
Ledger was one of Hollywood's brightest young stars and was filming the new Batman movie in the role of the Joker. Sad news and a huge loss as a talented actor and as a father.

Ledger below as Joker (left) and out of costume.

Who misses the West Wing?

Last night I went back to the beginning of the West Wing. I was a late-comer to the show and watched it all one box-set at a time. Ultimately I think it is one of the greatest shows ever made.
CK @ Dossing Times posted a couple of my favourite clips previously, including the Big Block of Cheese day 'Map' scene. Below is a clip which I had forgotten about until I started watching episode one again and I thought it worth sharing. Enjoy!

Sunday 20 January 2008

Six degrees of separation #21

Good work by Simon of the revamped Dossing Times on #20. His three move solution went, 1. Stuart Townsend to Sean Connery in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 2. Connery to Nic Cage in The Rock, and 3. Cage to Sam Rockwell in Matchstick Men.
Not too many other places to go with Townsend really!
Angelina Jolie to Paul Newman.

Monday 14 January 2008

Bang out of order, Hicks!

Owner-manager relations at Anfield are at risk of deteriorating again after Tom Hicks admitted he and George Gillett had spoken to Jurgen Klinsman about becoming Liverpool boss. It is appalling that they cannot keep these matters in-house, where they belong.

I'd hate to see Rafa go and fear that perhaps they are trying to draw Rafa into a verbal slagging match - looking for a final excuse to sack him. Unfortunately I fear Rafa's position may be untenable anyway, given what's gone before.

The state of their finances should be a much bigger concern to them with DIC waiting in the wings of they fail to re-finance their loans in the next six weeks. Rafa might be there a lot longer than the two of them!
Carra provided the voice of reason today, echoing what a lot of fans think when he said: "The sooner we are out of the press the better because it's not the
Liverpool way. The quicker that happens the better."

Wednesday 9 January 2008

Newcastle: Joke of a club!

What are the powers that be at St. James' Park thinking. I've lost count of the number of short term managers through the doors there in the past five years.
They really are kidding themselves if they think another managerial change will be a quick fix to their problems. Sam was right estimating it to be a 3-5 year job. The fans need to take a lot of the blame too.
That old definition of stupidity comes to mind: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Clowns!
Anyway, here is the BBC report if you haven't seen it:

Comeback Clinton (part 2)

The New Hampshire primaries last night have set up a royal battle as we edge closer to Super Tuesday. John McCain has blown the Republican race wide open, dealing a serious blow to Mitt Romney's ambitions in the process.
The big story of the night was again the Democratic ballot which saw Clinton recover from her third place in Iowa and a supposed double digit deficit, to win the state with 39% of the vote. We may also be seeing the shift to a two-horse race in the Democratic camp as Clinton and Obama both out-performed john Edwards by better than 2 to 1.
Even Arnie Arnesen was lost for an explanation for this remarkable turn around:
Obama scored well also and will not be too disappointed with his 36% result. Below is a clip from his speech in Nashua, where despite looking tired, he spoke passionately. This is the side of Obama that makes him a viable contender in November

Tuesday 8 January 2008

Is there anything better...

...than walking into a bank, seeing there isn't a queue, walking straight up to a cashier and being out the door within 3 minutes? Ok, there are lots, but it felt pretty good. It's quite the anomaly in a London bank!

Six degrees of separation #20

New year, new six degrees. I only did about two or three in the last 6 weeks of 2007, but I'm going to get back into my weekly offerings.

Solution to #19: Jamie Foxx to Jeremy Piven in The Kingdom; Piven to Luke Wilson in Old School; Wilson to Raquel Welch in Legally Blonde.

#20: Stuart Townsend to Sam Rockwell

Monday 7 January 2008

Iowa caucus not giving much away

I have been a bit surprised that the results of the Iowa caucus have been greeted with such, well ... surprise, in the press. On the Democrat side, Obama has been polling well there for weeks and Hillary was always going to be stronger in New Hampshire. Talk that her campaign has hit the rails is utter nonsense as national polls still give her, on average, a 20 point lead. Obama needs the momentum all the way to Super Tuesday.
Huckabee's win was more of a surprise but not by much. A baptist minister rallying heartland conservatives. Who ever saw it coming - tongue firmly in cheek. Romney will hit back in New Hampshire and while McCain is polling well there, I wonder will his age (71) come into play as the primaries continue.
Rudy Giuliani seems to be re-thinking his policy of ignoring the early voting states with a last minute push in NH. That's no surprise as the GOP nomination is turning into quite the dog fight. National poll averages put the top five candidates with ten points of each other.
I think the ability to win nationally is a huge factor and one which is not always to the fore in the early primaries. I read an interelisting piece about the Israel factor in Dossing Times. Click here for the blog post and link to the website which matches up the candidates on Jewish-friendliness.
Issues like these can differ from those discussed at primary level. On the republican side Guiliani has the pedigree it seems. Huckabee is likely to be a divisive candidate and Romney as the former Governor of a firmly blue state, may be able to bring liberal states into play, but may not be conservative enough for some of the red states.
On the Democratic side both Hillary and Obama can mount serious challenges against any opponent. The first black president/ first woman president factor may be the X factor in November.

Thursday 3 January 2008

Happy New Year

2008 is here! Now I'm not one for resolutions but I do feel compelled to improve the deplorable level of blogging I sunk to towards the end of '07. I'm also getting married this year so you may see some related posts. Happy new year everyone.