Archive for November, 2016

Wednesday 30th November 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on November 30, 2016 by bishshat

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Tuesday 29th November 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on November 29, 2016 by bishshat

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Monday 28th November 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on November 28, 2016 by bishshat

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Arrival

I did enjoy it although it was a bit slow. Once again the themes were all too predictable but the big reveal of what the aliens offered was a little bit of a surprise but not a big Surprise.

I enjoyed the actual visuals and sounds and the way the two main characters tried to work out the symbols or the rings that the aliens used as communication. The film begins with a sequence of linguist Louise Banks with her daughter, who dies during childhood from a rare type of cancer.

Twelve extraterrestrial spacecraft appear across the Earth. Louise is asked by US Army Colonel Weber to join a team to find out why they have come. Accompanied by theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly, Louise makes contact with two seven-limbed cephalopod-like aliens, which they call “heptapods”, and Ian nicknames them Abbott and Costello. Louise discovers that the aliens use a written language of complicated circular symbols. They begin to learn the symbols that correspond to a basic vocabulary. As Louise becomes more proficient in the language, she starts to see images of herself with her daughter.

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When Louise is able to ask what the aliens want, they answer: “offer weapon”. Similar translations (“use weapon”) are deduced at other sites, leading other nations to close down communications, and some to scramble their military believing the message indicates a threat. However, Louise thinks that “weapon” might have an alternative translation such as “tool.” Rogue soldiers plant explosives in the spacecraft. Unaware, Louise and Ian go back inside, where the aliens display an image of hundreds of smaller symbols. Costello leaves just before the device explodes, but Abbott stays and pushes Louise and Ian out of the chamber. They both wake up in the base camp with a concussion, as the spacecraft moves higher into the sky. Ian works out that the pattern of symbols relates to the concept of time, and that it was one twelfth of the whole “gift”; hence nations must co-operate to get all of the information.

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Meanwhile, the Chinese prepare to attack their spacecraft. Louise rushes back to the spacecraft in Montana, which sends down a shuttle to take her inside. She meets Costello, who communicates that Abbott is dying. Louise asks about her visions, and Costello explains that she is seeing the future: this reveals that her ‘visions’ are not flashbacks but flash-forwards. Costello communicates that they have come to “help humanity” by sharing their language, which changes the perception of time, and is the “weapon” or “tool” they offer. The aliens also foresee that in 3000 years time they will need humanity’s help. Louise returns as the camp is being evacuated, and has a new vision of being at a United Nations party to commemorate the alien visit. She sees herself being thanked by Chinese General Shang for convincing him to suspend his attack. Shang explains that she had called his private mobile number, which he then shows her. He says he feels it is important to show her his number, but he doesn’t understand why. Back in the present, Louise steals a satellite phone and calls Shang, but realizes that, although she speaks Mandarin, she doesn’t know what to say. Her future vision continues with Shang explaining that she had convinced him by repeating his wife’s last words, which he tells to Louise. After the Chinese attack is called off, the other nations resume contact with each other, and the twelve spacecraft leave the Earth.

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When packing to leave, Ian admits his love for Louise. The film closes as they discuss life choices and whether they should change if you could see the future. Louise sees a vision of Ian as the father of her daughter. Her vision continues with Ian asking her, further into the future, if she wants to make a baby. Louise sees herself replying “Yes,” wanting to share a short time with her future child rather than prevent her ever from existing.

Sunday 27th November 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on November 28, 2016 by bishshat

Tampa Bay 14 Seahawks 5

Seattle’s 14-5 loss at Raymond James Stadium doesn’t undo what the Seahawks have done this season; it doesn’t change the fact that they were coming off a three-game winning streak, all against teams with winning records, nor did it change their status atop the NFC West. It was just another example of how hard it can be to win on any given day in the NFL, especially when facing a team that put forth the kind of defensive effort the Buccaneers did on Sunday.
“I thought that was a really good showing by Tampa Bay,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “They outplayed us and they beat us up front and did a fine job of getting themselves a win today. We had a chance to get back a number of times, but they just didn’t open up the door for us, we couldn’t make it happen. We did not play like we play, it didn’t feel like it. That starts right with me. If everybody kind of plays a little bit off, then that’s me. So I’ve got to do my part, they’ve got to do their part, and we’ve got to get our game back and get rolling again.

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“I’m just disappointed we came all this way and played like that. We didn’t play anywhere near like we thought we would.”
If the way that game played out seemed foreign, that’s because it was. Seattle was still in the game late thanks to its defense finishing strong after allowing two first quarter touchdowns, but unlike both of Seattle’s losses this season, this one didn’t come down to the final possession. When Russell Wilson’s second interception of the game gave Tampa Bay the ball back with a nine-point lead and less than two minutes on the clock, it didn’t just allow the Buccaneers to clinch victory, it was also the end of a remarkable streak that speaks to the Seahawks’ consistency and competitiveness in recent years. Prior to this game, the Seahawks had either held a fourth-quarter lead or been within one score of the lead in the fourth quarter in every game since their Week 2 loss to Pittsburgh in 2011, a streak of 98 games including the postseason.
“We’ve got to get back to work,” Carroll said. “We’ve got a big finish coming up in this season. The main thing was just to admit that this was not the way we want to play, then let’s turn our focus. On the way home, we’ll be talking about getting ready for next week.”
While the Seahawks came into the game beat up — they played without center Justin Britt, defensive end Michael Bennett, safety Earl Thomas and cornerback DeShawn Shead, among others — they weren’t going to use that as an excuse.
“That’s no excuse,” Wilson said. “We’ve still got to find a way to win.”

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Seattle’s defense didn’t get off to a good start, allowing two touchdowns on Tampa Bay’s first two possessions, but that group came up big after that, stopping the Buccaneers on nine straight possessions, including two forced turnovers, to keep the Seahawks in the game. The offense, however, couldn’t find its way, in large part because of a Buccaneers pass rush that recorded six sacks and 11 quarterback hits.
“They rushed the heck out of us,” Carroll said. “It wasn’t any one situation at all. They did a really nice job, and we didn’t protect like we needed to. They had a big day, they had six sacks, that’s just crazy. We haven’t been doing that at all, we’ve been really on the other end of that. That’s an oddity for us, so we’ve got to get back to work and fix that. They got six sacks, but they moved him a lot. Russell was running all over the place back there… We were just out of sync. It wasn’t like we want to be.”
Seattle’s offense, which had turned the ball over just once in its past seven games, had three giveaways Sunday, including two Wilson interceptions, doubling his season total.
“That’s the story of the game; it always is,” Carroll said of the turnovers. “When we give up three, we’re going to be in trouble, it’s going to be hard.”

But despite a tough outing across the board by the offense, the Seahawks remain positive about what lies ahead, in part because they’ve responded well from rough patches in the past.

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“We’ve just got to play better, and we’re looking forward to the next opportunity,” said Wilson, who on a more positive note rushed for a season-high 80 yards on eight carries. “It’s pretty simple, we’ve just got to find ways to make plays, and we will. We have before. We struggled a little bit tonight, obviously, and we’re looking forward to getting back to it. You’ve got to give credit to Tampa Bay, they played a great football team.
“To be a championship team, you have to fight, you have to keep swinging, you can’t play with any fear. That’s what we did tonight, but unfortunately we didn’t win. The great thing is we’ll get back to work next week … they made their plays, we didn’t. It’s pretty simple, sometimes you make your jump shots, sometimes you don’t, and unfortunately today, we didn’t hit ours, but we will next time.”
The Seahawks posted season highs in yardage, yards per play, rushing yards and yards per carry only a week earlier against a good Philadelphia Eagles defense, so rather than panic, they’ll tip their hats to the Buccaneers for outplaying them on this day, get back to work and try to clean up the mistakes that cost them in this game.
“We’ve been doing great,” running back Thomas Rawls said. “It was just one of those games where we just didn’t have a rhythm, we didn’t pick it up. We got ourselves in a hole and tried to crawl back out, but overall it’s nothing we’re too worried about. It’s in the past now and we’ll move onto next week.
“It was just one of those games. They played a good game, and hat’s off to them. We’ve just got to pick it up. Overall, I’m not going to say we really needed it, but it’ll keep us humble, keep us locked in and detailed and working hard. It’s fine, we’ll come back next week and show what we can do.”

Saturday 26th November 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on November 26, 2016 by bishshat

Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy

Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Captain Fantastic raised and regimented, hardly a hero
Just someone his mother might know
Very clearly a case for corn flakes and classics
“Two teas both with sugar please”
In the back of an alley

While little Dirt Cowboys turned brown in their saddles
Sweet chocolate biscuits and red rosy apples in summer
For it’s hay make and “Hey mom, do the papers say anything good.
Are there chances in life for little Dirt Cowboys
Should I make my way out of my home in the woods”

Brown Dirt Cowboy, still green and growing
City slick Captain
Fantastic the feedback
The honey the hive could be holding
For there’s weak winged young sparrows that starve in the winter
Broken young children on the wheels of the winners
And the sixty-eight summer festival wallflowers are thinning

For cheap easy meals and hardly a home on the range
Too hot for the band with a desperate desire for change
We’ve thrown in the towel too many times
Out for the count and when we’re down
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
From the end of the world to your town

And all this talk of Jesus coming back to see us
Couldn’t fool us
For we were spinning out our lines walking on the wire
Hand in hand went music and the rhyme
The Captain and the Kid stepping in the ring
From here on sonny sonny sonny, it’s a long and lonely climb

1) Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy was released on vinyl LP, cassette and 8-track in the United States on May 19, 1975 (May 23rd in the UK) at a list price of $6.98. This meant most customers could expect to part with $5.99 at the cash register…or less if they were at a large-volume store like Sam Goody or Tower Records in Los Angeles.

2) On the week ending June 7, Captain Fantastic entered the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart at #1. This is something no other album (by any artist) had done before and was a testament to the incredible popularity Elton enjoyed, especially in the United States. It had in fact shipped gold, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certification for 500,000 units sold, based on retailer pre-orders alone.

The album stayed at #1 on Billboard for six weeks and then remained in the Top 5 before returning to the peak position once more in September. It remained in the Top 200 for over nine months. Eventually it would be certified triple platinum (for over 3 million sold) by the RIAA in 1993. In the UK it peaked at #2, staying on the album charts for 24 weeks, and is certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry.

3) The album’s autobiographical lyrics were written by Bernie between May and July 1974. Elton wrote the music in three different locations: England, the Caribou Ranch recording studio in Colorado and aboard the SS France ocean liner during a six-day voyage that Elton and most of his band took beginning on July 19 in Southampton, England. Later that fall British Vogue published “’My Day’ by Elton John,” which offered a rare glimpse into the journey to New York City:

“July 22, 1974…At 12:00 I go to the music room to write some new songs. I have only booked it for two hours and to my embarrassment have to eject the ship’s classical pianist. She, however, makes her way to another room directly above and commences battle. I decide to write an up-tempo number as most of the songs so far are slowsy. By 1 pm Meal Ticket is complete – very pleased with it. Play it to the band and they nod their approval.”

4) The album was recorded and mixed in running order at Caribou Ranch in August 1974 during a rare break in Elton and the band’s hectic tour schedule. Producer Gus Dudgeon later said that laying down the album in sequence was, “Probably the only time that’s ever been done. Good fun doing it that way – it helped us to judge the next track by the track we’d just worked on and it gave it a sort of natural momentum.” This summer session also was the first time that Elton used a new piece of technology on his piano. Dudgeon: “[The piano sound on] Bitter Fingers was a combination of an [Eventide] Harmonizer (we used that for the first time on that album – it was a new device that had just been brought in) and putting the piano through a Lesley cabinet…what you normally would feed a B-3 organ through.”

5) For the first time since 1971’s Friends, only one single was issued from an Elton album: Someone Saved My Life Tonight. This was because of the immense success of his past two non-album 45s, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and Philadelphia Freedom. Both were recorded during the Captain Fantastic sessions and each reached #1 in America.

Rolling Stone reviewer Jon Landau pointed out in his review of the album on July 17 that, “As long as Elton John can bring forth one performance per album on the order of “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” the chance remains that he will become something more than the great entertainer he already is and go on to make a lasting contribution to rock.” At 6 minutes and 45 seconds, Someone Saved… remains Elton’s longest single to date. With the non-album track House Of Cards as its b-side and sporting a custom label based on the album art, it entered the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart at #51 on July 5. It peaked at #4 in early September, just a week before Elton’s next single, Island Girl (from his pending Rock Of The Westies album) was released.

6) Although listed as two different tracks on the album, We All Fall In Love Sometimes and Curtains were recorded together. “The two songs were recorded as one complete piece all the way through,” Dudgeon explained in 1993. “But it was done in two takes. I remember that Neil Sedaka walked into the control room just as we began the second take. The band actually had just started the song as he walked in. And I thought, ‘Now, this is going to be interesting, to see what his reaction is.’ Because it’s nearly 11 minutes long. So it got to about nine minutes, and he came over to me and whispered, ‘My God, are they doing this all in one go or are they dubbing on?’ And I said [whispering], ‘No, it’s all in one go.’ He went, ‘Jesus, they’ve been going on for hours!’

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7) The album cover art by Alan Aldridge features images of Elton, Bernie and the band (animated elements of the artwork were used in a 30-second television commercial celebrating the release of the album). The front panel shows Elton breaking out of a dangerously dreary cityscape astride his piano while the back of the cover shows Bernie writing in a somewhat protected pastoral bubble. Keen-eyed fans can also identify Elton’s first music publisher Dick James and Bernie’s then-wife Maxine in the intricate illustration. Even more subtle is a visual reference to the This Record Company, one of Elton’s early record labels, which constructed their unofficial slogan, “Turning shit into hits…” out of anagrams of the word “this.”

8) The elaborate album packaging also included a pair of booklets, one called “Lyrics” and the other “Scraps,” that contained a plethora of items from Elton and Bernie’s personal collections as well as the lyric to a song not included on the album called Dogs In The Kitchen. Bernie was very involved in the booklets’ concepts and the collection of memorabilia, even going so far as to provide the cardboard suitcase which he had used on his journeys between staying with Elton near London and his home in Lincolnshire, for use in the “Scraps”center spread photo.

9) Captain Fantastic was a landmark Elton album for everyone involved in its creation. As Gus Dudgeon put it, “Unquestionably, musically, the band were absolutely at their peak and they’d never played that well across a whole album. The songs were great anyway, but the performances are so ‘on the money.’” And guitarist Davey Johnstone explains, in an exclusive interview with EltonJohn.com*, “It was really cool. I knew there was something special. This was going to be an autobiographical album, it was going to be the story of what happened, and we weren’t concerned at all about ‘commerciality.’ It was a really fun album to make.”

10) In a 2013 interview with Cameron Crowe for Rolling Stone, Elton said, “Every lyric on Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy was about Bernie and me, about our experiences of being able to make songs and make it big. … In a way, years later, I ended up being Captain Fantastic and he ended up the Brown Dirt Cowboy: Here, I’m living my fabulous lifestyle, collecting paintings, and Bernie is interested in horses and bull riding and shit like that. We became those characters. Who was to know?”

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Saint Peters 

The earliest record of the Church of England parish church of Saint Peter is from 1154, but only the Norman font survives from this time. The north and south doorways are 13th century, the east window of the south aisle are late 13th century, and all are Early English Gothic. In the first half of the 14th century St. Peter’s was almost entirely rebuilt in a Transitional style between Early English and Decorated Gothic, and north and south aisles and the Decorated Gothic bell tower were added. The arcades linking the aisles with the nave have capitals decorated with carved figures and the chancel has a frieze of carved people and monsters. Both sets of carvings were made in about 1340 and are the work of a school of masons whose work can be seen also in the parish churches of Adderbury, Bloxham and Drayton. Around 1400 a Perpendicular Gothic clerestory was added to the nave. In the Tudor era new side windows were inserted in the north aisle.

Monuments in St. Peter’s include a 14th-century effigy of a woman in the south aisle and effigies of Sir Anthony Cope, 1st Baronet (died 1614) and his wife in the chancel. In 1776 the floor of the chancel was raised to accommodate a burial vault for the Cope family, but in the 19th century the floor was restored to its former level

In 1671 Sir Anthony Cope, 4th Baronet had a turret clock made for St. Peter’s by the noted clockmaker George Harris of Fritwell. It is at the west end of the nave below the bell tower. The bell tower has a ring of six bells. John Briant of Hertford cast the second, third, fourth and fifth bells in 1789 and the tenor bell in 1791. In 2008 White’s of Appleton re-hung the bells and added a sixth bell, the Beecroft Bell which Whitechapel Bell Foundry had cast that year.

Sir Anthony Cope, 1st Baronet (1550–1615) was a puritan, and in 1584 the Church of England excommunicated his choice of curate at Hanwell, Jonas Wheler for refusing to hold church services on Fridays and Saturdays. Instead therefore Sir Anthony presented John Dod, another puritan, who was accepted. Dod was a friend of the puritan divine Thomas Cartwight, who at Dod’s invitation preached at Hanwell. Sir Anthony was MP for the Banbury constituency for most of the period 1571–1601. In 1587 he was jailed for introducing to the House of Commons a puritan prayer book and a bill for abrogating ecclesiastical law. John Dod was a hardworking and popular preacher who served as Hanwell for 20 years, but by 1607 the Church of England had deprived Dod of his living and Sir Anthony appointed Robert Harris to take over the curacy. During the English Civil War Royalist troops had expelled Harris from Hanwell by the end of 1642. In 1648 he was made a Doctor of Divinity and President of Trinity College, Oxford. Puritan influence at Hanwell was ended in 1658 with the appointment of a Royalist curate, George Ashwell, who was as pious, hardworking and scholarly as his predecessors.

St Peter’s is now a Grade I listed building. Its parish is now one of eight in the Ironstone Benefice.

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Chelsea 2 Spurs 1

A brilliant first half but the equaliser on 45 was a bitter blow. Looking to respond to our midweek loss to Monaco in the Champions League, we produced a fantastic first-half display at Stamford Bridge, capped by Eriksen’s first domestic goal of the season – a rasping, opportunistic strike from just outside the box shortly after Harry Kane saw his close-range effort chalked off for off-side.

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But the quality of the Danish international’s shot was matched by Pedro shortly before the interval, the Chelsea man’s precise curler evading the fingertips of the airborne Hugo Lloris and creeping inside the far post despite our dominance of the opening 45 minutes.
The Blues struck again six minutes after the restart through Victor Moses, who had been left with too much space down Chelsea’s right as we tried to contain Diego Costa at the near post.
From there, we couldn’t quite get the wind back in our sails and the hosts saw out the game to go back to the top of the table.

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Friday 25th November 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on November 25, 2016 by bishshat

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Pete’s Dragon

In 1977, Pete, a five-year-old boy, is on a road trip with his parents when their car flips off the road trying to avoid a deer. Pete’s parents are killed instantly, but Pete survives and is chased into the forest by a pack of wolves, only to be rescued by a dragon with green fur, yellow eyes, and huge wings. Pete names the dragon “Elliot” after his favorite book about a puppy of the same name with its family, and takes to him as a father figure.

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Six years later, Pete, now 11, spots a lumberjack crew chopping down trees near his home. Natalie, the daughter of the site foreman, spots and chases him. When Natalie accidentally falls from a tree, her screams attract her father, Jack, and his girlfriend, park ranger Grace Meacham. Pete tries to run away, but Gavin, Jack’s brother, accidentally knocks him unconscious. After realizing that Pete has vanished, Elliot stumbles around looking for him and ends up knocking over a tree near the lumber camp, leading Gavin to organize a hunting party to find him. Meanwhile, Pete wakes up to find himself in a local hospital, which he escapes in an effort to return to the forest. Before the police can catch him, Grace finds Pete and convinces him to come live with her by promising to take him to the forest the next day. After receiving a drawing of Elliot from him, Grace takes it to her father, who claims to have discovered the same dragon as a young man. He advises her to trust Pete, and to find Elliot.

Gavin and his men locate Elliot’s treehouse, but when they try to search it, Elliot reveals himself and scares them away. He then follows them back to town in an effort to find Pete. When he does, however, and finds Pete settling in with Grace’s family, he leaves.

The next day, Pete, Grace, Natalie, and Mr. Meacham travel to the forest to meet Elliot. A group of hunters led by Gavin surprise Elliot and tranquilize him, locking him up in Jack’s warehouse. Before the authorities can inspect Elliot, Pete and Natalie free him from his chains and escape on a lumber truck with Mr. Meacham.

Angered, Gavin sets up a roadblock at the bridge to stop them. A failed attempt by a still groggy Elliot to fly damages the truck’s brakes, causing the truck to plow through the barricade and come to a stop at the other side. Confused and frightened, Elliot perches himself atop the bridge and starts breathing fire at the police. The bridge begins to collapse under the intense heat, causing Grace and Jack’s truck to fall through. Gavin then ignores going after Elliot, and tries to save them before they fall to their deaths. Elliot tries to prop them up, but the bridge suddenly gives way and they all fall into the ravine. At the last second, Elliot emerges with Grace and Jack on his back. With a military helicopter approaching, Pete decides to flee with Elliot back to the woods.

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Pete pleads with Elliot to stay with him so he can protect him from his attackers. However, Elliot concludes that as long as they stay close together, Pete will always be in danger. He points out Pete’s book to try and convince him to go back to Grace and Jack. After a tearful hug, Elliot returns to the mountains, while Pete goes to live with Grace and Jack as his new family.

In the years that follow, Grace and Jack marry and adopt Pete as their son, Gavin moves on from the experience, and Elliot slowly fades from the town’s memory. Nevertheless, Pete and his family find him while on vacation, having found that Elliot has finally reunited with his fellow dragons.

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Thursday 24th November 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on November 25, 2016 by bishshat

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Gudgeon is the common name for a number of small freshwater fish.
Most gudgeons are elongate, bottom-dwelling fish, many of which live in rapids and other fast moving water.

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