Stones Rocks On...
might indeed have been different, had the then teen Mick Jagger not
done exactly what he did on that special day in 1960 he ran into his
old childhood acquaintance, Keith Richards. Four years after that
meeting, the world saw the beginning of what some say is the greatest
rock band in history, The Rolling Stones.
the two separated on their ways, with Jagger going off to the London
School of Economics (yes, LSE) and Richards to Sideup Art College,
they travelled their music scene together. Both played in a band called,
Little Boys Blue and Blue Boys for a short while, before meeting Brian
Jones at an Alexis Kroner Blues Incorporated show.
any other time, Jones might not have 'clicked' with Jagger and Richards
he was a blues guitarist, favouring the more traditional blues of
slide guitarist, Elmore James, and was already fathering two illegitimate
children at 16 but, the stars and planets had temporarily messed up
their planetary positions and it resulted with Jagger and Richards
jamming with Jones.
to the trio's love for American blues, they started practicing their
own. A short while, after moving into a tiny, about-to-collapse apartment
in Edith Grove, Chelsea, they decided to form their own band along
with Ian Stewarts, a boogie-woogie pianist and Tony Chapman, the band's
drummer. Because, the band was heavily influenced by 'Muddy Waters'
and 'Howlin' Wolf' and the fact that they couldn't think of anything
else, they accepted Brian Jones' suggestion of naming themselves 'Rolling
Stone's, after the 'Rollin' Stone Blues' of Muddy Waters.
first demo tape was rejected by EMI, but since then they have recorded
a staggering t-w-e-n-t-y s-I-x Gold Discs and 9 silver. The band saw
a number of change in lineup, which only added to their diversity
with a reluctant Watts being coerced in after Chapman left, and Bill
Wyman made his place by owning an amp. It was during their very successful
run at Crawdaddy Club, that they met Andrew Oldham, a 19 year old
publicist and manager, who later started the now infamous campaign,
'Would You Let Your Daughter Marry A Rolling Stone?"
previous plan for becoming rich included kidnapping a wealthy heiress,
keeping her drugged up in an apartment in Monte Carlo and selling
the story to the tabloid press. Unfortunately, the family of the heiress
he chose had friends in Government and managed to ban any and all
mentions of their daughter in the press.
was also in Crawdaddy Club, sometime in Feb 1963, that the Rolling
Stones enthralled an audience consisting of Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton,
Pete Townshend and even the Beatles, who had come into the limelight
during that time. From then on Rolling Stones invasion in the music
scene continued, with a series of ups and downs and some of the greatest
songs ever, that included the likes of Brown Sugar, Start Me up, Don't
Stop, Not Fade Away and countless others.
their bad-boy get up has led to the suspension of 11 boys at Coventry
School for imitating their hair cuts, and several worldwide shocks
due to Richard and Jagger's quotable quotes, countless arrests for
drug possession, what people remember is still their music that has
enthralled audiences for over four decades.
is a movie loaded with references to other movies. It's a lot like
Shrek except all the reference has been taken from Godfather, The
Sopranos, Casablanca and other mostly old gangster movies. Made mainly
for kids it makes you wonder just how many will have seen such old
movies to get the inside jokes. But then again Godfather has been
portrayed in so many movies its characters and dialogue have probably
passed into common knowledge.
The plot: It is
a fish out of water type of movie in the truest sense of the phrase.
The setting's an ocean reef made over to look like New York complete
with a red-and-white "Coral Cola" billboard.
The story's hero
is Oscar (Will Smith), a lowly employee at a whale-wash where they
basically wash whales like in a car wash. He is a schemer who dreams
of making it rich all the while not noticing that fellow employee
Angie (Renee Zellweger) is in love with him.
whale wash is run by a puffer fish with huge eyebrows named Sykes
(filmmaker Martin Scorsese,). The place is a mob front overseen by
mob boss Don Lino (Robert De Niro). Oscar bets a wad on a seahorse
race and loses ending up with the gangsters wanting to break his legs......er,
fins. Sykes assigns a couple of Rastafarian enforcers (Ziggy Marley
and Doug E. Doug) to take Oscar on a trip and teach him a lesson he
will never forget.
Don Lino by his own standards is a ruthless but a fair shark. He has
two sons. There is tough-guy Frankie (Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos)
who has grown up to be a shark any dad can be proud of. Then there
is wimpy Lenny (Jack Black) who is a vegetarian shark and believes
that cruelty against animals by predators is , well, cruel.
Don Lino is fed
up with Lenny and orders Frankie to take the lad on a swim about and
teach him the life lessons of sharkhood. As luck would have it, they
cross paths with Oscar and the Rastafarian enforcers. As luck would
have it, a ship's falling anchor kills Frankie making Oscar a hero
because the reef lives in terror of the sharks. As a shark slayer,
he earns the attentions of gold digger finne fatale, Lola (Angelina
Jolie). All through Oscar is abetted in this deception by Lenny, who
has decided to go dolphin incognito.
The movie then
revolves around whether Oscar will fall for the right girl (or fish)
and whether he can hide Lenny from his family and the rest of the
fish population. And what happens when he meets more sharks?
share physical attributes with the actors voicing them. There is De
Niro's mole, Scorsese's eyebrows and the weirdly weird Missy Elliott.
Even Christina Aguilera comes in as a singing fish during the end
credits looking like her previous slim self.
movie is a standard Hollywood product. However, it still entertains
with reasonably funny jokes. It is likely to appeal to movie buffs
more than to typical family audiences.
There are a lot
of funny moments in "Shark Tale," like an early scene with
the famous scary theme music from Jaws that is like a national anthem
to sharks. But the problem remains that the movie script is borrowed
too much form other movies. There comes a point when you wish the
filmmakers would drop the in-jokes and the subtle Hollywood references
and just get on with it. It's not really a movie for kids but more
for movie buffs who like to catch the next line that was taken from
game walks that odd line by being both a genuinely great game while
also crossing over to the non-hardcore gamer market. This, like the
original Rollercoaster Tycoon, takes the concept of Bullfrog's groundbreaking
Theme Park and just runs with it. You have money. You have a park
full of rides and other glad-making machines. By spending the money
to make the park more glorious, guests will arrive and give you more
money on making your park more magnificent. Compared to Theme Park,
Rollercoaster Tycoon had a stroke of pure inspiration: you were actually
able to design your rollercoasters in a manner which rests half-way
between art and science.
coasters are a blast. They're fun to ride and they're fun to watch.
It must be pretty nice for these real theme park owners to be able
to sit back and watch people have fun in their park and empty their
pockets while doing so. The new 3D engine allows for a lot of improvements
including easier construction and being able to ride the coasters.
New features like VIPs, an improved career mode, and sandbox mode
also help make the game more than it was.
out your park with coasters, rides, buildings, decorations, and other
attractions is the core of the gameplay itself, and it works much
the same way as before. The building portion of Rollercoaster Tycoon
was never broken and Frontier wisely chose not to "fix"
it. In addition to your usual burger kiosks and drink stands, you
have ATM machines, medical stations and more, and they all play a
part in the park's economic progress, as well as the happiness of
your guests. You also have a healthy number of thematic buildings
and decorations, and the corresponding foliage to match. Don't like
the offerings built into the game? That's fine: just use the built-in
editor to create and manage your own structures, choosing from different
colours and textures to suit your needs.
side first. And stating the obvious: Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 is as
gorgeous as I've ever seen a management game. Crowds of thousands
mill around your carefully constructed pathways. On night levels,
illumination is only cast by lanterns with your cursor surrounded
by a pale nimbus of light.
you can now climb aboard any of your rides and experience it in glorious
first-person-o-vision. Now, we've seen similar modes before perhaps
first in Theme Park World but it's only now with this generation of
graphics which it really works. For this virtual-rider, there's a
genuine rush as you're around the track, corkscrewing before plummeting
down a steep slope. On the slower rides, it's a supremely relaxing
way to admire your park.
most impressive of the aesthetic additions also crosses over into
the more functional sides: the firework displays. Here, you're able
to arrange joyous pyrotechnics with a control system akin to a music
sequence. That is, you have a number of tracks, each of which can
have a different firework releasing at any one time. It's an amusing
and beautiful distraction and a fine way to turn bored crowds into
a giggling mob.
now we mention it, a few brief words on the coaster design still a
fascinating skill, forcing you to balance the need to excite the riders
without causing so much physical stress on their forms their body
snaps in two. For newcomers, expect your first few rides to be physically
unbearable, until you start to master ideas like banking turns to
reduce Gs, breaks to control the momentum and corkscrewing all the
way around. It's a little easier to get hang of than the last game,
due to an improved track-laying system and a "Join End"
option which tries to connect your two ends of tracks together, ideal
for checking whether there is an actual solution to the mess you've
created. You can even import your old rides from the previous game
in, which will clearly be a boon for its considerable community.
has a few bugs, but despite them, it just scrapes the nine, if only
for the simple reason there hasn't been high-level management game
with this level of wit, style and vision since the dear departed Mucky
Foot's Startopia. This is as good as its genre gets, and deserves
that everything cannot be detailed within review. firstname.lastname@example.org
for game related questions.
The Vision of Escaflowne
26 Part TV series
MY first taste of Escaflowne came from clips from
the first episode a friend showed me four years ago, about how this
anime he'd just seen had rad animation and artwork and the like. While
I had to concur with him on that, my first impression was that this
was a pretentious piece of work, and I didn't particularly love the
big-eyed look at the time.
The years passed, and someone on a forum persuaded
me to take a look at it. And I can truthfully say I'm glad I did,
because this is one fantastic journey of an animated story.
A bit of synopsis is probably due. Hitomi Kanzaki's
a high school girl who's in love with her track team captain, who's
leaving the country. So one fine day, when she's out trying to impress
him, a brilliant white light opens on the track and a strange looking
fellow (Van) appears. Things being as they are, as the light comes
again to take Van back, Hitomi gets carried away to a strange world
called Gaea where the Earth is called the Mystic Moon. Caught in a
war fought using giant robot mecha called Guymelefs, Hitomi must find
a way back home...
The world of Gaea is imaginatively created, with races
and people who would fit seamlessly into a Tolkien piece. The artwork
is given over completely to the fantasy style seen elsewhere in the
likes of the Lodoss series and in the west with Dungeons and Dragons,
which is perfectly appropriate given the setting of the story. Spectacularly
smooth even by today's standard, Escaflowne is beautifully animated.
It's not drawn like some happy fairy tale, because that's not what
this is; from picturesque to grittily dark, every single frame is
done in painstaking detail.
The plot and pacing is the best I've ever seen in
a production of this length. There is hardly a moment's lull in the
story telling, and the way the plot unfolds to become so much more
than girl-in-other-world-has-magical-powers is something to be cherished.
The characters are believable, and there's a LOT of
them. You want knights in shining armour? princes? princesses? cats?
And you end up loving them all; Hitomi, despite her whining, is rather
endearing, and Van Fanel is as much a king and knight as he is a hurt
younger brother. Allen Schezar, when he makes an appearance, is enough
of the smooth cool type to set anyone to shame; even the villains,
by the end, are people you empathise with.
The music is another highlight. Yoko Kanno, of Cowboy
Bebop and Macross Plus fame, sets up this series to perfection; there
is not a single instant where the music felt out of place, and for
every track on a fantasy OST to be even half as good as this is no
mean feat. The opening theme is by Maya Sakamoto (of Hemisphere fame)
who also plays Hitomi in the show, and while some people complain
that the track feels reptitive, I found it very good indeed.
In fact, the sole flaw I felt in the series was Hitomi
herself. At her inner-self-contemplating worst, I found her a bit
annoying. But the pacing is so good even SHE can't hurt this anime.
Even if you don't like the genre of anime, or fantasy
for that matter, you should most definitely watch this. It's good
enough to make anyone a convert, and for living up to the ambitious
standards of fantastic story that it tells easily becomes a gem in
got a hold of the new Eminem album, and let me just say this: IT IS
AWESOME. PURE RAPPING HOTNESS. I doubt anything else is going to play
on my Winamp for about a month. I already erased everything else off
my playlist and have this on an endless loop.
I don't recommend anything that I
don't personally do or believe in, and if you are a rap fan at all,
get this album. It is truly great. I don't care what anyone says,
that man is one of the greatest artists of my lifetime. Here are the
lyrics, if you want to check them out: tinyurl.com/3vy8f. But get
the album first! Disclaimer: not for children.
I also came across a handy site named
tinyurl.com. This site's extremely useful as it shortens the way-too-long
URLs and makes it easier to pass them to others. Finally I'll be able
to recommend sites with long links to you.
Ever wonder what the US elections
would be like if a Bollywood director was in charge?
Just an extremely funny parody about the US election, created by some
really cool Indian dude. Cast: John F. Sorry, Bush the bewildered,
Amitabh Bacchchan, Ali G, and the Terminator. Pochafies Indian Movies,
Bush, Amitahb Bacchchan, Bush, Kerry, Bush, Schwarzenegger, Bush,
Ali G, Bush, Dick Cheny, Bush and some other people. Oh yeah, and
Bush too. (Thanks to the Girl Next Door for the link.)
The human species would not exist without it...no matter how sophisticated
we try to make it, the basic rituals of war has remained the same.
Here's how it works.
Man tries to convert lions
to Jesus, gets bitten
46-year-old leaps into den at Taipei Zoo, calls beasts to Christianity
Pity, the lions were probably not interested about Jesus. This is
a news item, and it's quite funny!
Real time Earth statistics.
Pretty scary sometimes.
6,443,227,536 was the world's approximate population when I wrote
this. 45,267,759 people died this year and 110,089,358
were born. 25,794,738,144 hours were spend downloading stuff this
year. 9,642,910 hectors of forest were lost this year. There are 273,750,000
hungry people right now, 9,375,103 children under the age of 5 died
this year. Scary.
Bonsai: Worlds Within Worlds
It's not often that things found in nature are classified as fine
art, but bonsai trees aren't your run-of-the-mill shrubs. If your
knowledge of the little trees begins and ends with the "Karate
Kid," do yourself a favour and take a walk through this site's
luscious gardens. Can you feel the Zen? Photographs of the various
types of bonsai serve as models for "Westerners aspiring toward
bonsai art excellence." These beautiful photos certainly indicate
an intense pride in craftsmanship and attention to detail. Even if
you have no intention of growing and caring for your own bonsai, Worlds
Within Worlds makes for a calming diversion during a hectic day.
If you bother about some quality
Cars, good ones and lots of them
Hundreds of the hottest Ferraris and Vipers arranged in rows after
rows. Can you take it?
How to fold a shirt, properly!
The ancient Japanese origami technique...
With the Eid at our doorstep, I guess most of us will have to do quite
a bit of packaging luggage. This site has a little video of someone
perfectly folding up a T-shirt within seconds! Awesome skill and easy
to learn too. Hot stuff for his Eid.
That's all for this week. Happy Eid,
or in other words, Eid Mubarak. If you need to contact me for anything,
mail me at email@example.com