Saturday, 30 June 2012

Colorado Bushfires

For those who aren't yet aware, Colorado has been struck by a bunch of pretty hardcore bushfires over the past week or two. Centered on Colorado Springs, estimates so far say over 350 homes and something like 100,000 acres of bush have been destroyed. Over 32,000 people have been evacuated, but sadly, five people have also been killed. President Obama issued an emergency declaration yesterday, and flew out to Colorado Springs to survey the disaster zone.

Google Crisis Map


This is a fascinating time-lapse video of five days of the fire. It's got some amazing footage, and you have to think the smoke alone would be enough to evacuate over.

 

For anyone interested in sending Colorado some cash, try the American Red Cross or www.helpcoloradonow.org

Bowing out of the conversation

Last weekend I was enjoying a bit of bodice-ripping drama in the form of a re-discovered DVD of the BBC production ‘Charles II’. Amongst the betrayals, the beheading and the superfluousness of sex I noticed one thing in particular.

It was in one conversation that really brought it home to me. History buffs may know that King Charles was married to the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza. Unfortunately, despite siring dozens of children with his harem of mistresses, their marriage remained childless.

Charles and Catherine, played by Rufus Sewell and Shirley Henderson.


Happy Saturday!


Friday, 29 June 2012

Five for Friday no.25

Three of this week's five are fashionable collections:

Catherine Martin's art deco designer rug collection. I love it! I can't afford it!

Hermes collaborates with Japanese polaroid artist on a series of scarves.



Preview of a new Mimco collection - Pablo meets Coco.

Great literary spoilers. Sort of a guessing game - do you know what book they refer to? Warning! Here be spoilers!

In tribute to legendary writer and screenwriter Nora Ephron, who passed away this week, 5 things When Harry Met Sally taught us about relationships.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The walk of shame

I spotted this photo on Modern Hepburn and it instantly made me think of walks of shame. Though it is a beautiful photo, to me it is kind of a walk-of-sham nightmare. Waking up somewhere and either having to bolt as quickly as possible or else having lost your clothes into the night and so wrapping a sheet around yourself and going out into the world before too many people can wake up and see you.


We’ve all done a walk of shame or two, correct? If you haven’t, you’ve missed out. As far as I am concerned, the walk of shame isn’t shameful at all. In my experience, it is the final step in a spectacular night out. 

Brisbane Festival 2012

Last night was the launch of the 2012 Brisbane Festival. In attendance were festival sponsors, politicians, key players in the Brisbane arts scene, partner organisations, the beautiful people and … me.

The Brisbane Festival is inarguably the centre-stage show piece on the Brisbane arts and cultural calendar. First held back in the 60s, the Festival became an annual event in 2009 and since 2010 has been under the guidance of Artistic Director Noel Staunton. Along with incredible local and international acts such as Circa and the Paris Opera Ballet, Brisbane Fest serves up small, professional up-and-coming work in the Under the Radar program hosted with Metro Arts and more risqué late-night fare in the sexy Speigeltent, this year to be based at South Bank.

The crowd waits for the launch to start.

The launch was held in the newly re-furbished Grey Street section of the Brisbane Convention Centre. On arrival I was informed that I had to have one of the cocktails – a royale. A Brisbane Festival Royale, to be precise. I have no idea what was in it but it went down quick and there was a flamingo, so it was good for me.

A Brisbane Festival Royale, complete with flamingo. 
Apologies for photo quality – taken on my phone.

Hot pink is the new theme for the festival this year and it looks to be a very appropriate colour judging from the line-up: sexy, fun, outrageous, stand-out and in-your-face.

Looking at my beautiful catalogue – seriously, well done BrisFest folks, it looks awesome! - my must-sees include;
Yes, I do want to see most of the program. 

Soap - The Show. Photo courtesy of the Brisbane Festival website.

You can go online right now to the Brisbane Festival website and check it out for yourself. Some of the shows, I'm thinking 'S' in particular, are sure to sell out quickly. Also check them out on Twitter and Facebook.



Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Book review: The Disappearing Spoon

I confess: I spent all of senior chemistry sitting in the back row talking about Sex and the City and other important topics rather then learning about calcium and sodium and why you shouldn't play with a Bunsen burner. However, despite my concentration-issues, I still think science is incredibly interesting and a topic on which I would like to know more. Which is why I picked myself up a copy of The Disappearing Spoon: and other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world from the Periodic Table of the Elements.

The Disappearing Spoon is about the periodic table of the elements and the human passions and follies that lead to the discovery of the elements and the construction of this oh-so-familiar map of our world. 

Author Sam Kean spent years researching and collecting the stories behind the construction of the periodic table, from the discovery of elements by both great and almost unknown scientists, to the arrangement of the table – attributed first and foremost to Dmitri Mendeleev (never heard of him) – and the future of the table, those unknown potential elements that are slowly being 'discovered' as scientists find ways to manufacture elements.

This is a wonderfully engaging book. Kean has a wonderful humour and humanism in his writing. His pages are riddled with stories of betrayal, poisoning, jealousies and pettiness and above all, obsession. The single-minded obsession of generations of scientists to unlock out understanding of the very building blocks of our universe. 
 
In school we restricted ourselves to some 10 or 15 most obvious or common elements. The rest of the table was, to me at least, a nonsensical mess of initials like Cm, Sg and W (that’s curium, seaborgium and tungsten, by the way). The Disappearing Spoon opens up the table, exposing the noble gases, poisons and big-money-elements and is proof, if ever proof was needed, that history is genuinely fascinating, not matter how dull you might think the subject is. For instance, I didn’t know that the Japanese bombed Godzilla with Cadmium, or that the rare element ruthenium tipped the Parker 51 pen – commonly perceived by pen-connoisseurs as the-pen-of-pens – or that here is an element you can ingest that will permanently turn your skin blue. If my chem teacher had taught me that stuff I might have been less interested in discussing Carrie's latest failed relationship. 


The Disappearing Spoon is the perfect book for someone like myself, who has an interest in science and the human stories behind our chemical world but does not want to get bogged down in too much actual chemistry or physics. Once Kean starts talking about fundamental constants or measuring time in wavelengths my eyes glazed over a bit and I had to put the book down for a time when my mind was fresh and able to cope. Not that I’m not interested in learning, it’s just that the nature of physics and chemistry, the shells of atoms and so on does my head in. 

However, such lapses into eye-crossing science are rare. For the most part, Keane sticks to the stories of the scientists, their lives and their discoveries while imparting just enough science for comprehension and to broaden the mind a little. 

I suspect a genuine chemist or physicist would loathe this book for the simplifications that make it so readable for the rest of us. However, if you are at all interested in science I would heartily recommend The Disappearing Spoon. Not only is it an excellent read, it is an enjoyable way to learn a little more about the way our world works.

Marie Curie. Extraordinary scientist who was recognised for her contribution with the ultimate prize - an element named after her on the periodic table, curium (Cm, 96).


Friday, 22 June 2012

Get Some




I didn't really know what I was getting into when I bought Generation Kill. It was on sale for cheap, I'd heard good things, I'd seen some production stills. It sat on my shelves for ages, before I finally got around to watching the first episode. And even then it didn't grab me; I watched the first episode, then left it there for a while.

Eventually, I tried again, because the rumours persisted and I kept reading stuff about how good it was. I figured it was something I should watch, even though I'm not really a fan of war movies at all.

Once I got a few episodes in, I was hooked. The series is based on a book written by a Rolling Stone reporter who was embedded for two months with First Recon Marines during the first wave of the American-led assault on Baghdad in 2003. It first screened in 2008, with seven 70-minute-long episodes showing a warts-and-all depiction of military life in an active war zone.

This show, seriously. I've watched it through about three times. The superior production values, the dialogue, the action. The cast is amazing, and the show features great performances from Lee Tergensen, James Ransone (I'm actively looking for other stuff he's been in, now, he was that good), Alexander Skarsgaard, Stark Sands and Jon Huertas.

"You know what happens when you get out of the
Marine Corps? You get your brains back." - Person
Tergensen plays the Reporter, embedded in the lead vehicle of Bravo Platoon with Brad Colbert (Skarsgaard) and Ray Person (Ransone). Colbert is the infamous Iceman, the platoon's point man, and Person is his amphetamine-fuelled, motor-mouthed driver. Sands (who's in the Green Day show on Broadway these days) plays Nate Fick, the platoon's lieutenant (the head of the platoon). He's a Marine dedicated to protecting the lives and living conditions of his men, often butting heads with his superiors to do so. (The real Nate Fick wrote his own book, which I've heard is an excellent read.) Huertas is Antony 'Poke' Espera, Colbert's 2IC and leader of the second vehicle, a former ghetto car repo man with a very interesting perspective on war and his role in it. There's also a multitude of other characters, from enlisted Marines to military command, all well-cast, all excellently played. Overall, the series gives a very clear picture of how many personalities and egos make up a platoon, the different ways they clash, and the ways different men are affected by conflict and death.

One of the very first things I noticed about it was the production values. (Well, no, that's a lie. The first thing I noticed was the amazing dialogue and foul language. But more on that later.) As far as I can tell, every single person working on this show was unbelievably committed to making the sets, props, effects, everything, as realistic as possible. I'll admit, I've never been in a war or to Iraq, so maybe I'm easily fooled, but wow. This series has an almost documentary feel to it.

Being an HBO series, Generation Kill doesn't flinch from the brutal details when depicting the complexities of the Iraq war zone. While, overall, the Marines encounter perhaps less actual fighting that I had expected, there are still graphic scenes of blood and bodies, including the aftermath of American bombs on civilian areas and the bodies left by the side of the road by either retreating Iraqi forces or invading American ones. The Marines aren't constantly under attack or attacking, but every scene reminds the viewer where they are and what they're doing, and, occasionally, how impossible it would be for them to keep their hands clean even if they wanted to. For example, in one scene Colbert's vehicle is leading the platoon through an area that's seen recent fighting and they come upon a severed head in the middle of the road. He instructs Person not to run it over, but in avoiding the head Person accidentally runs over the body it used to be attached to. Accidental civilian deaths are also an ongoing problem for the Marines, and the rate these occur seems fairly accurate from what I've heard of the US invasion.

"People been fighting over this bitch since ancient times, Dog.
How many graves we standing on? Think about all the wisdom
 and science and money and civilization it took to build these
machines, and the courage of all the men who came here, and
 the love of their wives and children that was in their hearts.
And all that hate, Dog. All the hate it took to blow these
motherfuckers away. It's destiny, Dog.  White man's
gotta rule the world." - Espera
In fact, a key theme running through this series is the actual, unglamorous consequences of the war. More than any other war-related show or text I've ever encountered, there's a stark lack of romanticism to the way war is depicted here. There are no sentimental scenes of waving flags or liberation, and the Marines themselves aren't even sentimental about what they're doing, or overly patriotic. Most of them don't seem to care too much why they're there. They're doing their jobs and they're keen to kill because it's what they trained for. It's an interesting contrast to the stereotypical 'dying for our freedom' armed forces rhetoric that seems to come out of the US.

And while there's a lot going on in terms of the overarching invasion, from battle strategy to clashing commands, it's balanced by an extremely close-up and personal view of how these soldiers live. Sure, they complete tactical maneuvers, they shoot people, they do recon so air support can bomb out the Iraqi military. They're invading a country. But they also talk about their families, they get bored, they bitch about supplies, they behave like frat-boy morons. And every Marine in the platoon seems to sing on long drives, it's kind of fascinating.

Now, the other thing that caught my attention was the language. Oh, the language. Another aspect of HBO's unflinching attitude towards the US TV censors is their appreciation for dirty words. Just like the infamous use of the c-word in Deadwood, Generation Kill is scripted so these Marines talk exactly like Marines would talk - swear words aplenty, racism, homophobia, and a complete lack of interest in political correctness or sensitivity. They've also got a whole lexicon of their own, in the nicknames they give each other, and descriptors and phrases that only fellow Marines would understand. (Luckily, someone's gone through the series and the book, and laid out a glossary of Generation Kill-specific terms.) The show is practically worth watching for the dialogue alone.

The book the series is based on, Generation Kill by Evan Wright, was released in 2004, and is a damn interesting read. I read it because I enjoyed the series so much, and while the series is a really excellent adaptation, the book did provide extra background and a more complete picture of the people involved. The war itself was also better described in the book; while the viewer receives about the same amount of military intel that the soldiers seem to receive, the book provides a more complex picture of the military strategies the soldiers are participating in. I'm not sure if this was a deliberate choice on the part of the filmmakers, but if so, it's effective in conveying the relative big-picture blindness the marines are operating under. A key piece of context provided in the book, though,  is that First Recon, as Recon Marines, are actually trained to parachute or swim behind enemy lines for tactical reasons; driving in humvees through enemy lines as an assault force is outside their usual operation. They are elite even within the marines, an already elite force within the navy. These things are alluded to in the show, but not made completely explicit.

Even so, the overall verdict from me is that even if you don't like war shows, if you like good TV you'll like Generation Kill. It has fantastic production, great casting, great dialogue, and a fascinating story.

Five for Friday no. 24

Paramount Pictures' epic 100th anniversary photo as featured in Vanity Fair.


This post in A Pair and a Spare makes me feel better about my long-term secret desire to own sequined shorts.

Photo courtesy of A Pair and a Spare.



Thursday, 21 June 2012

Curious meerkats

I didn't get into any of the Meerkat Manor or similar television shows that were all the rage a few years ago, but I do love this clip from BBC Planet Earth. It's a sort of behind the scenes look at the meerkats interacting with the cameramen as they become comfortable with their continued presence.

They try and stay as out-of-the-picture as possible so as not to interfere with the meerkats' natural behaviour but I think they're just too curious.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Texts From Last Night

What's your favourite TV show? Supernatural? Doctor Who? Are you a Star Trek fan?

The reason I'm asking is that, chances are, some enterprising fans have already started mashing up your favourite show with Texts From Last Night.

For background, in case you didn't know, Texts From Last Night is a site where people can post their or their friends' drunken text messages. Yes, a lot of them seem too hilarious to be real, but it's the internet, the object is entertainment, not veracity. (Some of it's a bit Not Safe For Work, too, so don't let it get you fired.)

So, what your friends on the internet do is match pictures from your favourite show up with texts from the website, often with fairly hilarious (and sometimes very subtext-y) results.

http://textsfromwmhs.tumblr.com

http://textsfrombakerstreet.tumblr.com
http://textsfromtheimpala.tumblr.com
http://textsfromthetardis.tumblr.com
Ahh, the internet. So many blogs, so little time...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A sexy, sequinned and sensual Saturday night.

Saturday night just gone I along with Chuck got dressed up and went along to be tantalised and teased at the Australian Burlesque Festival, on at the Judith Wright Centre for one and one night only.

We got to the theatre shockingly early but it turned out to be a happy accident. People who enjoy burlesque also enjoy getting dressed up, and the patrons flooding into the JWCOCA foyer on Friday were dressed up to the nines. Corsets, Kitten d’Amour, waistcoats, slashes of red lipstick, even one gorgeous women in a long formal gown were part of the pre-show entertainment.

Burlesque is not stripping, per say. Clothes are removed but that’s not really why you go along. Historically, a burlesque show included individual singing, dancing and other acts as well as stripteases but in recent decades the strip has rather hijacked the term so now a burlesque show is striptease, but the classiest form of strip you can imagine. A burlesque act is a real show, with costuming, music, dancing and a story or theme. The women are performers who put time and money into the development of their acts, which they can then tour the world.
 
Lola the Vamp, photo taken from the ABF website.

In direct comparison to strip clubs, burlesque is actually, genuinely sexy. These women are beautiful, graceful, stylishly dressed. There is a naughtiness and seduction in burlesque that has a cross-gender appeal.

I for one found it all tremendously sexy. 

At the Brisbane show of the Australian Burlesque Festival, 15 women put on 16 acts with sequins, tassels, dragons, flamingoes, ballet, tigers and a lot of feathers.
 
Lena Marlene, photo taken from the ABF website.

My runaway favourite was a Loulou D'vil from Finland who was just stunning and moved around the stage with a supreme confidence and grace. She also had one of the more intricate, old-fashioned costumes inspired by 1930's or 50's burlesque dancers with many layers including gloves, gown and corset that had to be removed so the anticipation was drawn out.

Loulou D'vil, photo courtesy of the ABF website. 

Other marvellous acts included Rosy Rabbit, who danced to Teach Me Tiger and had a really clever costume that played a real role in her act. Lila Luxx was one of the few local girls in the line-up an I loved her act because it was a little different. The first to come out in boudoir-style dressing gown and underwear, she had clearly been a ballet dancer, gliding around the stage to Lana Del Ray’s Video Games and making excellent use of a chair prop.

I asked Chuck to come with me because, well, I figured he’d enjoy it. As a heterosexual male there was not a lot to object to about the show. His favourite was a showgirl from New York, Peekaboo Pointe who was the only performer to appear twice. Introduced by the MC as seducing the world one tassel-performance at a time her first performance was magnificent. She came on in a floor length beaded-net gown, paraded around the stage then shimmied the gown off with the most incredible flow of rustle and sparkle before showing off her infamous tassel-skills.

Other magnificent performances came from Anna Fur Laxis (2011 Miss World Exotic 1st runner up) and her good girl/bad girl act and Lena Marlane as the sexiest Mrs Slocombe you’ve ever seen (“What about my pussy?”) whose act included beautiful aerial silks. 


The final show of the night was a performance by the current reigning Queen of Burlesque, who had just been inducted into the Burlesque Hall of Fame. Imogen Kelly is the first Aussie girl to have won this prestigious title and with the routine she put on was truly spectacular.

Imogen Kelly, reigning Miss World Exotic 2012.

Burlesque is experiencing something of a hey-day at the moment was you can go to classes with groups like the Scoundrelles and Brisbane Burlesque.

There is one proper burlesque club I know about in Brisbane The Velvet Cigar, in Paddington. A place I keep promising I will visit. I think after Saturday night I will have to go and take afew people along to enjoy the show.

The Tivoli is up for sale!

Anyone got the capital? I'd be up for making a move from IT to the music industry...

Pic from NovaFM.
Ah, the Tiv. Unassuming on the outside, full of memories on the inside. Well, for me, anyway. There's something about the weird decor, shabby carpets, and sweaty people that just makes me all fond and nostalgic. It must be all the awesome bands I saw there, you know, before they got too big to fit in such an intimate venue.

And aside from my personal history, the place has a huge music history of it's own. If you've ever been, I hope you've checked the framed gig posters decorating the bar areas; they're a record of all the fantastic music the place has seen. Now it's up for sale, and while the owner says it'll probably stay a venue, you never know...

From my personal collection of ticket stubs, here are some Tivoli highlights:

Smashing Pumpkins, 2010. Seeing the Smashing Pumpkins in a venue like this was a lifelong dream for me (yes, the tattoo commemorates it, shut up) but aside from that, it was a great gig, great sound, great setlist. Billy Corgan's a bit weird these days, but I don't even care.
The Black Keys, 2008. Their sound is so dense that I've always been astounded that this band is two skinny white guys, and the Tiv was always a fantastic venue to see them in. I've seen them more than once - 2005? 2006? 2010? - can't remember exactly when. But it was super every time.
Henry Rollins, 2008. This was my first experience of Uncle Henry's spoken word, and let me tell you, I was hooked. The dude talked for almost 3 hours, and my attention did not wander once.
Alexisonfire, 2010. Nothing like standing on the balcony at the Tiv and watching the mosh pit go completely nuts below you.
Tegan and Sara, 2007. It's good to see a mellow one every so often. And these ladies put on an excellent, laid-back show. From memory they covered Rihanna's Umbrella, too, which was pretty rad.
Ben Folds Five, 2007(ish?)This kid plays a mean piano, and loves directing huge crowd singalongs. He got hilariously megalomaniacal about controlling the crowd, and also played all the favourites. 
Cobra Starship, 2010. They're a guilty pleasure, but man, they put on a fantastic live show.

Anyway, fingers crossed that whoever buys the Tivoli keeps it a venue. Brisvegas doesn't have enough awesome venues to lose one as important as this one. On a more personal note, I will be extremely disappointed that I don't get to go there again. I'll miss that balcony.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Dear Monday,

 Dear Monday,

Why aren't I here?


Or at least here?


You suck, Monday.

Sincerely,

B

Friday, 15 June 2012

Five for Friday no. 23

Life lessons: 20 things I should have known at 20.

A bubble-popping calendar.

Marilyn Munroe tumblr. You aren't prepared for this much sex appeal. 


Down that Little Lane. A new alternative to Made It and Etsy. So pastel-coloured and heart warming, you should drink tea when you look through the website.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Dear man in a jumpsuit,

Dear man in a jumpsuit,

You're so manly. With your beard and big hair and safari-style onesie.

I would like to meet you some time. I suspect you have amazing chat-up lines.

Sincerely,

B

;-)




Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Dear Jane,

Dear Jane,

Thou art a gleeking folly-fallen pignut.

Sincerely,

B



Monday, 11 June 2012

The modern love letter

It struck me the other day that text messages are the modern day equivalent of love letters. In decades past you waited by the mailbox for a letter. Then it was the phone call. I spent a significant amount of time in my late high school years willing the phone to ring. Now it’s the text message that we eagerly await to send us sweet, flirty messages that make us melt.

We all know that feeling, when you’ve just met someone you like and are waiting to be asked out. You try to pretend you’re not doing it, but you carry your phone with you, waiting for the *beep. Or those first few weeks of a romance when you can’t stop grinning uncontrollably and the object of your fancy seems to be living inside your mind. You wait for those text messages and when they arrive, your heart thumps, your stomach contracts and as you read the flirty words a smile stretches right across your face ‘til your cheeks hurt. 

It’s WONDERFUL!


Those text conversations that are flirty and make you fizz all over have become and integral part of modern relationships. When you’re too scared to call someone or you’re just thinking about them and want to share, you text. Occasionally you call. In fact, I think when you’re asking someone out for the first time, you really should do it in person or in a proper phone call, at least. After that first call though, it tends to be the text messagesthat fire in rapid succession between you.  

Some people will think this is strange I know, but I take the time to write out my favourite text messages onto a doc, print it and save it somewhere.  I’m also one of those people who actually gets photos Printed and in an album. So I’m clearly old fashioned. 


The thing is, reading back over text messages reminds me of the first time I received it and how it made me feel. Scrolling through a conversation I remember not just the warm fuzzies but the boy and the time we spent together, sometimes years ago. It has the same effect as if I could pull a letter out of a drawer and read what was written to me by the boy I loved when I was 18.


"Sooo.. Did you actually start to miss me??..to be honest.. I did..:-) :-* it felt VERY good to have you near!! Hugs and KISSES!!" 
-Holiday romance 


What is that if not a love letter for a digital age?

I think we all of us keep messages on our phones – our favourite messages that we can’t delete. Writing them out, I’m going that one step further to preserving the memories. 

When you change phones or SIM cards, your messages disappear. It doesn’t matter that you kept them for years – they are all of a sudden GONE and they’re not coming back. So I write them out from time to time so that when I can no longer scroll through them, I can dig them out of my box of letters and cards and relive the magic all over again.

So I say that texts are the modern equivalent of love letters. Letter-writing is apparently making a come back, as are many old-fashioned ways in the current backlash against our overly digital world. For most of us though, we’re not going to go out and buy nice paper and envelopes and dedicate our feelings in a loving epistle. We will however make someone’s day with 50 characters and ‘send’:

‘Thinking about you all day. Can’t wait to see you.’



Friday, 8 June 2012

Five for Friday no. 22

First off, a few Queen-themed links.

Jimmy Choo have released a Jubilee capsule collection. Your can see it all on the Jimmy Choo website. Not everything is covered in Union Jacks.




A couple of Vogue style files on Queen Elizabeth. I know a few people mock her hats but she is from a different era and I think the lady has style.

 The Queen in May at the Royal Academy of Arts in Vivienne Westwood.


High speed liquid flowers. These are just incredible.

The first Google image for every word in the dictionary. A Googletionary.

The difference between 29 and 31.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

mmMule – a new way to get a spatzlehobel


Get anything you want from anywhere in the world by rewarding a traveller for delivering it. 

That’s the mmMule tagline. 

mmMule is a social network for travellers, connecting locals with people in interesting locations who are able to lay their hands on something you want. 

 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A quick film review: Dhoom 2

You've never heard of Dhoom 2, but it was a big hit back in 2006. It's a Bollywood film, born out of the crazy world of the world's largest film industry (seriously – so much bigger than Hollywood) and it encapsulates everything that is wonderful about Bollywood.

I described Dhoom 2 to a work colleague as The Italian Job meets Fast and the Furious but with dance numbers. It's so much better/worse than that.

The plot is very simple. Master thief defies police until know-it-all Mumbai Assistant Commissioner gets on the case and there ensues a typical cat-and-mouse chase with hot women thrown in.


What most people object to about Bollywood is the sheer ridiculousness of most movies. It's true, you can't watch a typical Bolly film without a sense of humour and a willingness to just go along for the ride. Questions of continuity or plausibility cannot be allowed to enter your mind. The opening sequence of Dhoom 2 has the master thief attempting to steal the crown of England from an incredibly unattractive 'Queen' (Queen Elizabeth II, not articulated) on a beat-up looking train going through the desert of Namibia. And that's not even where implausible starts. However, it is followed up by one of the best titles sequences ever full of sweaty writhing bodies in an amazing dance sequence. Who the hell cares about Lizzie's jewels after that?


The dance numbers are a problem for a lot of potential movie-goers. Let me explain; Bollywood films are not allowed to show direct physical contact such as kissing on screen. Material that may be offensive is not allowed to be shown, including sex and violence. So where in your typical western movie there would be a love scene, in Bollywood there is a song and dance number in which the leads express their love through song. In dance they can also touch each other and get right up close – but no kissing, never any kissing. Interestingly, Dhoom 2 does contain a kiss and shooting and mild violence. They were charged with indecency for the kiss but it passed the censors eventually and was included in the international release.

So Dhoom 2 is a great terrible movie you will really like provided you can overlook certain issues like believability and instead just enjoy the spectacle, the shirtless men / bikini-clad women and the shear fun of it all.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Website that I have a love / hate relationship with




Tom Waits, David Bowie and Bette Midler. 
Courtesy of Awesome People Hanging Out Together.

AwesomePeople Hanging Out Together. I love this tumblr for I’m not sure what reason. It’s so simple and nifty. Why I hate it is because I will NEVER BE ON THIS TUMBLR! I will never be awesome enough and that makes me sad.

Boo for me.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Five for Friday no. 21

On May 25, it was International Towel Day. A day to honour Douglas Adams, author or The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and other pieces of marvellousness. In honour of their hero, Douglas Adams fans organise events all around the world and carry a towel with them for the day. Here are a list of 10 cult literary traditions.

Towel Day in Innsbruck, Austria.

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