Archive for December, 2016

Friday 30th December 2016

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


Thursday 29th December 2016

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



A sexy, dramatic thriller about interconnected romantic life in the 21st century. 360 starts in Vienna, weaving stories set in Paris, London, Bratislava, Rio, Denver and Phoenix into a single, mesmerizing narrative. A businessman tempted to be unfaithful to his wife, sets into motion a series of events which ripple around the globe with dramatic consequences. From the director of City of God and The Constant Gardener, and featuring a terrific ensemble cast, led by Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Ben Foster.


360 centers on the stories of a group of people from different social backgrounds through their intertwining relationships.
Anna (Gabriela Marcinková) accompanies her sister to a photo-shoot, where her older sister Mirka (Lucia Siposová) is photographed nude by Rocco (Johannes Krisch), for an escort services website. Anna is hesitant about what Mirka is doing but goes along with it. There is a voiceover talking about how choices bring one to their current place in life. Rocco persuades Mirka to change her name into a more professional one, to which she chooses Blanca. While taking photos, Rocco tells Mirka how one of the girls got rich just the other day when she found out a client had lots of money with him and called Rocco. Rocco came and took the money, killing the client and splitting the cash with the girl. Mirka asks Rocco when her picture will be up on the site and he tells her there are lots of girls and that it could happen sooner. Mirka looks at Anna and tells her to wait downstairs. Unhappily, Anna complies. Later, Mirka comes down and they silently walk to the bus terminal. They return home on a bus to Bratislava where Anna comments on how Mirka should work more on her English. Rocco calls Mirka and tells her she will meet a client named Michael Daly (Jude Law) in Vienna the next day. She goes to Vienna, in the company of Anna and enters the restaurant of a hotel to meet her client. However, one of Michael’s business associates looks on his phone to find out if she is a prostitute and start debating loudly whether she has been stood up by her client. Michael pretends to not know her and leaves. He goes to a small restaurant and calls his wife, leaving her multiple affectionate voice messages. Back in his hotel room, he receives a call from his business associate, who informs him that he talked to Blanca, and found out about Michael having ordered her, and blackmails him into accepting a business deal.

An Algerian man (Jamel Debbouze) spies on a woman wearing a red beret since leaving her home and on her way to the airport. It is clear that he has feelings for the mysterious woman but can’t express how he feels. The next scene shows him talking to an imam about his feelings for the woman, and he further pursues her despite knowing that she is already married. He then goes to his mosque and also to a therapist and asks for advice on what to do about his life.
Rose (Rachel Weisz) strolls around the streets, unaware that a seemingly distraught woman is taking pictures of her. It turns out that Rose is headed to a hotel and meets up with a man named Rui (Juliano Cazarre) she is having an affair with. Although she tells him they must end the affair, Rose is still affected by his charm and they end up having sex. After the encounter, they part ways. Rui goes home to find his girlfriend Laura (Maria Flor), but he is rocked when he finds out she has left him. He opens the computer and watches a video she made for him; it turns out the woman who took pictures of Rose earlier is his girlfriend. Meanwhile, at Rose’s house, we learn that she is married to Michael Daly, who had planned the liaison in Vienna. He’s come home, and both of them then head out to their daughter’s school play that night and tend to her after she forgets her lines. Later in bed, Rose then recalls Michael’s voice messages the previous night, saying that he misses her and that he wished she could be there with him. He tells her that his next trip will probably be to Berlin. Rose exclaims that she has never been to Berlin and would love to go.

Sex offender Tyler (Ben Foster) is being released after being imprisoned for six years, and is afraid he’s not ready to face life in the outside world due to his temptations. Meanwhile, Laura boards a flight back to Brazil and gets to know an elderly man sitting next to her named John (Anthony Hopkins) who is searching for his missing daughter who ran away many years ago. They are both stranded in Denver due to bad weather. Meanwhile, Tyler speaks on the phone with the social worker about his stressful situation outside and how he could not control himself from his attraction. He and Laura bump into each other when Laura inadvertently sits at his table in a restaurant at the airport. However, they start a conversation when the drinks she has ordered for her and John are served. Laura seems attracted to Tyler and ends up offering him to stay with her in her hotel room. The intoxicated Laura then makes sexual advances toward him and asks him to kiss her. Instead Tyler controls himself and rebuffs her, locking himself in the bathroom.
The next day, John finds Laura who is about to board her connecting flight. They both tell how it was a pleasure meeting one another. Laura hugs John in a daughterly manner, which affects him. John arrives in Phoenix to examine in the morgue the unidentified remains which could be his daughter, but it turns out to be someone else. John later says in an AA meeting how he can finally accept his daughter’s fate, whatever that might have been, and is willing to move on and let go. Next, a foreign woman named Valentina (Dinara Drukarova), just visiting Phoenix, shares her own story, where we learn that she was the same woman the Algerian man spied on back in Paris (unbeknownst to her). She speaks about her husband, Sergei, who is too consumed with his job working for a crooked Russian businessman, to love her anymore. She says that she will plan to divorce him. She has feelings for another, her boss, and she is secretly in love with.

Back in Paris
Valentina goes back home to her career-driven Russian husband named Sergei (Vladimir Vdovichenkov) where she informs him she wants a divorce and how she is interested in someone else, but Sergei ignores her complaint and leaves. He drives away towards Vienna while Valentina prepares herself to look attractive, then goes to work in a dental clinic. Her boss, the Algerian man, is the dentist. He is quite nervous around her, making clumsy mistakes and errors. It’s clear they both have feelings for each other, but they repress them. He then talks to her privately and, without telling her why, he suggests it would be better if she looked for another job. Valentina is confused and sad, but leaves nonetheless and is seen walking away, without the red beret this time, her boss watching her from the window.

Back in Vienna
Sergei fetches his boss from the airport and is treated harshly by him. His boss reprimands him when he learns he is learning English and states that it’s irrelevant. Mirka and Anna are also riding a bus going to Vienna for another client of Mirka. Sergei stops Mirka on the street in front of the hotel and tells her she is here for his boss. He searches her and then tells her to go to the boss’ hotel room. While lingering outside, Anna comes across Sergei, and they chat a bit. When it starts to rain he lets her into his boss’s car. They start to develop a friendly relationship from their mutual love for books and learning English. Anna then persuades the ill-treated Sergei to drive around the city.
Back at the hotel, Mirka lets the boss know his time is up. She offers to stay for more money and he shows her a briefcase full of cash. Remembering Rocco’s story from the photo shoot, Mirka texts Rocco while ordering from room service. While having Mirka perform fellatio, Sergei’s boss reads Mirka’s phone and discovers she has texted someone. Realizing she is involved in robbing him, he knocks Mirka unconscious and calls Sergei. When Sergei picks up his call, his boss tells him to come protect him in the hotel. Rocco and Sergei are in the elevator together and Sergei holds back watching Rocco go to his boss’ door. The boss calls Sergei and Sergei tricks his boss into thinking he’s at the door when in fact it’s Rocco. The boss opens the door and a fight ensues. Sergei then leaves the hotel and picks Anna up and they drive away together, she reading to him. At no time is she aware Sergei was acting as ‘enforcer’ for his boss. Mirka regains consciousness after the attack, sees both the boss and Rocco on the floor, empties the briefcase of the money, and leaves the hotel. In voiceover, you hear Anna reading a goodbye letter to her sister using the same phrasing as at the beginning of the film.

Wednesday 28th December 2016

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



Astroneer is a sandbox game. There is no set storyline or necessary goal to achieve, and the player is free to explore and play as they wish. However, there is still a survival element; as the player has basic needs that must be met. The player’s oxygen levels drop overtime, and must be replenished. A lack of this will kill the player.


The game has no enemies or dangerous creatures, but there are still dangerous occurrences that will set the player back by killing them or damaging their possessions. Some of the obstacles the player will have to face are dangerous flora, dust storms and falling from high locations. The game additionally lacks player versus player combat, which means that players do not have the ability to fight and kill one another (except via use of the terrain editing tool to bury or make another player fall)

While there is no mandatory goal or mission to achieve, the main idea of the game is to colonize celestial bodies and harvest resources. There are different types of minerals the player can harvest; which allow players to improve their ship, their colony, their machines, or any of their other possessions. The player can construct machines, pods, habitats and other structures to aid in the process of mining and colonization.


Another important point in Astroneer is exploration and salvaging. The player has the ability to terraform the land to their liking, which can be used at the player’s discretion. On many planets, wrecks of spacecraft and former colonies can be found littering the surface, usually somewhat submerged in the terrain. The player can uncover these wrecks and salvage resources from them to be used. The player can also terraform to his or her will, allowing access to certain hard-to-reach locations. Every player is equipped with a deforming tool at the time of their spawn, and this tool is always available to use.


The player has both power and oxygen bars, which will deplete in different ways. The player will slowly but constantly deplete their oxygen supply as they move around. The oxygen depletes faster depending on how fast or how much the player is moving. Oxygen will not regenerate unless the player is tethered to their spaceship or a vehicle either directly or via a chain of tethers. Power does not deplete unless the player uses certain objects, such as the deforming tool. When the player runs out of power, the flashlight on the spacesuit will automatically power off and nothing requiring power can be used. Power will regenerate slowly when unconnected to a ship, but when the player is connected to a base or vehicle, directly or via a chain of tethers, power can be transferred to them. The player will die without oxygen, but a lack of power will simply hinder their actions. Players can use objects like tanks (for oxygen) or batteries (for energy) to extend the length of time before total depletion.


The player creates tools and objects using an in-game 3D printer. The player’s backpack is equipped with a small printer; however, the player must acquire a full-size printer in order to create larger objects. The player can also create land vehicles, such as rovers, to travel across surfaces with ease. Tethers and extensions can be created, which connect the player to their spaceship, regenerating power and oxygen. Tether extensions allow players to reach farther distances and increase the size of their base.

The game features online multiplayer. Additionally, local co-op is also planned for the game. However, it is not yet implemented.



A few dangerous plants, and an abundance of Laterite, Titanium, and Lithium deposits are scattered about their dry, windy surface. Arid planets also boast a unique weather pattern where large, spiked balls fly around intermittently.


Star Wars I … The Phantom Menace

Supreme Chancellor Valorum, leader of the Galactic Republic, dispatches Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, to negotiate with the Trade Federation leadership to end a blockade of battleships around the planet Naboo. Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord and the Trade Federation’s secret adviser, orders Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray to kill the Jedi and invade Naboo with an army of battle droids. The Jedi escape and flee to Naboo, where Qui-Gon saves a Gungan outcast, Jar Jar Binks, from being run over and killed by a droid tank during the invasion. Indebted to the Jedi, Jar Jar leads them to an underwater Gungan city. The Jedi unsuccessfully try to persuade the Gungan leader, Boss Nass, into helping the people of Naboo, though they are able to obtain transportation to Theed, the capital city on the surface. They rescue Queen Amidala, the ruler of the Naboo people, and escape the planet on her royal starship, which is damaged as they pass the Federation blockade.

Amidala’s ship is unable to sustain its hyperdrive and lands for repairs on the desert planet Tatooine. Qui-Gon, Jar Jar, astromech droid R2-D2, and Amidala (in disguise as Padmé, her handmaiden) visit the settlement of Mos Espa to buy new parts at a junk shop. They meet the shop’s owner Watto and his nine-year-old slave, Anakin Skywalker, who is a gifted pilot and engineer and has created a protocol droid called C-3PO. Qui-Gon senses a strong presence of the Force within Anakin and is convinced that he is the “chosen one” of Jedi prophecy who will bring balance to the Force. Qui-Gon wagers Anakin’s freedom with Watto in a Podrace, which Anakin wins. Anakin joins the group to be trained as a Jedi, leaving his mother, Shmi, behind. En route to their starship, Qui-Gon briefly duels with Darth Maul, Darth Sidious’s apprentice, who was sent to capture Amidala.

The Jedi escort Amidala to the Republic capital planet, Coruscant, so she can plead her people’s case to Chancellor Valorum and the Galactic Senate. Qui-Gon asks the Jedi Council for permission to train Anakin as a Jedi, but the Council refuses, concerned that Anakin is vulnerable to the dark side. Undaunted, Qui-Gon vows to train Anakin anyway. Meanwhile, Naboo’s Senator Palpatine persuades Amidala to make a vote of no confidence in Valorum to elect a more capable chancellor to resolve the crisis on Naboo. Though she pushes for the vote, Amidala grows frustrated with the corruption in the Senate and decides to return to Naboo with the Jedi.

On Naboo, Padmé reveals herself to the Gungans as Queen Amidala and persuades them into an alliance against the Trade Federation. Jar Jar leads his people in a battle against the droid army while Padmé leads the hunt for Gunray in Theed. In a starship hangar, Anakin enters a vacant starfighter and inadvertently triggers its autopilot, joining the battle against the Federation droid control ship in space. Anakin ventures into the ship and destroys it from within, deactivating the droid army. Meanwhile, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan battle Darth Maul, who mortally wounds Qui-Gon before being bisected by Obi-Wan. As he dies, Qui-Gon asks Obi-Wan to train Anakin. Subsequently, Palpatine is elected as the new Supreme Chancellor and Gunray is arrested. The Jedi Council promotes Obi-Wan to the rank of Jedi Knight and reluctantly accepts Anakin as Obi-Wan’s apprentice. At a festive ceremony, Padmé presents a gift of appreciation and friendship to the Gungans.


Star Wars II … Attack of The Clones

Ten years after the Trade Federation’s invasion of Naboo, the Galactic Republic is threatened by a Separatist movement organized by former Jedi Master Count Dooku. Senator Padmé Amidala comes to Coruscant to vote on a motion to create an army to assist the Jedi against this threat. Narrowly avoiding an assassination attempt upon arrival, she is placed under the protection of Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. The two Jedi thwart a second attempt on her life and subdue the assassin, Zam Wesell, a shape-shifter who is soon killed by her bounty hunter client before she can reveal his identity. The Jedi Council assigns Obi-Wan to identify and capture the bounty hunter, while Anakin is assigned to escort Padmé back to Naboo, where the two fall in love.

Obi-Wan’s investigation leads him to the remote ocean planet Kamino, where he discovers an army of clones is being produced for the Republic, with bounty hunter Jango Fett serving as their genetic template. Obi-Wan deduces Jango to be the bounty hunter he is seeking, and follows him and his clone son, Boba, to the desert planet Geonosis via a homing beacon placed on their ship, the Slave I. Meanwhile, Anakin becomes troubled by premonitions of his mother, Shmi, in pain, and travels to Tatooine with Padmé to save her. They meet Owen Lars, Anakin’s stepbrother and the son of Shmi’s new husband, Cliegg Lars. Cliegg tells Anakin that Shmi was abducted by Tusken Raiders weeks earlier and is likely dead. Determined to find her, Anakin ventures out and, finding the Tusken campsite, locates Shmi, dying from torture at the hands of the Tuskens. She dies in Anakin’s arms. Anakin, enraged, massacres the Tuskens and returns to the Lars homestead with Shmi’s body. After revealing his deed to Padmé, Anakin says that he wants to prevent death.

On Geonosis, Obi-Wan discovers a Separatist gathering led by Count Dooku, whom Obi-Wan learns had authorized Padmé’s assassination and is developing a battle droid army with Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray. Obi-Wan transmits his findings to Anakin to relay to the Jedi Council, but is captured mid-transmission. With knowledge of the droid army, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is voted emergency powers to send the clones into battle. Anakin and Padmé journey to Geonosis to rescue Obi-Wan, but are also captured. The three are sentenced to death, but are eventually saved by a battalion of Jedi and clone troopers led by Mace Windu and Yoda; Jango Fett is killed by Mace during the rescue. As the clone and droid armies battle, Obi-Wan and Anakin intercept Dooku, and the three engage in a lightsaber battle. Dooku overpowers Obi-Wan and cuts off Anakin’s arm. Yoda arrives and engages the Count in a duel. Finding he is unable to defeat Yoda, Dooku flees. Arriving at Coruscant, he delivers blueprints for a superweapon, the Death Star, to his Sith master, Darth Sidious, who confirms that everything is going as planned. As the Jedi gravely acknowledge the beginning of the Clone Wars, Anakin is fitted with a robotic arm and secretly marries Padmé on Naboo, with C-3PO and R2-D2 as their witnesses.


Star Wars III … Revenge of The Sith

During a space battle over the planet Coruscant, Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker lead a mission to rescue the kidnapped Supreme Chancellor Palpatine from Separatist commander General Grievous. After infiltrating Grievous’s flagship, the Jedi battle the Sith Lord Count Dooku. Anakin subdues Dooku and, on Palpatine’s urging, kills him. Grievous flees the battle-torn cruiser, which the Jedi crash-land on Coruscant. There, Anakin reunites with his wife, Padmé Amidala, who reveals she is pregnant. While initially excited, Anakin begins to have prophetic visions of Padmé dying in childbirth, and his worry steadily grows.

Palpatine appoints Anakin to the Jedi Council as his representative, but the Council refuses to grant Anakin the rank of Jedi Master and orders him to spy on Palpatine, which diminishes Anakin’s faith in the Jedi. Palpatine tantalizes Anakin with secret knowledge of the dark side of the Force, including the power to save his loved ones from dying. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan is dispatched to the planet Utapau to deal with General Grievous, and Yoda is dispatched to Kashyyyk to defend the planet from invasion.

Tempting Anakin, Palpatine eventually reveals that he is the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, saying that only he has the knowledge to save Padmé from dying. Anakin reports Palpatine’s treachery to Mace Windu, who confronts and subdues the Sith Lord. Fearing that he will lose Padmé, Anakin intervenes on Palpatine’s behalf, allowing Palpatine to kill Windu. Anakin pledges himself to Palpatine, who dubs him Darth Vader.

Palpatine issues an order for the clone troopers to kill their Jedi commanders and dispatches Vader and a legion of clones to kill everyone in the Jedi Temple. Vader massacres the remaining Separatist leaders hiding on the volcanic planet Mustafar, while Palpatine addresses the Senate, transforming the Republic into the Galactic Empire and declaring himself Emperor. Having survived the attack, Obi-Wan and Yoda return to Coruscant and uncover Anakin’s treachery.

Unable to convince Padmé about Anakin’s turn to the dark side, Obi-Wan stows aboard her ship. Padmé travels to Mustafar and begs Vader to leave the dark side. Vader refuses, and when he witnesses Obi-Wan, he chokes Padmé into unconsciousness. Obi-Wan duels and defeats Vader, leaving him for dead on the bank of a lava flow. On Coruscant, Yoda fights Palpatine; their duel reaches a stalemate and Yoda flees. Palpatine, sensing that his apprentice is in danger, travels to Mustafar.

On the asteroid Polis Massa, Obi-Wan regroups with Yoda and Padmé gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia, as she dies. A funeral is held for Padmé on Naboo. On Mustafar, Palpatine finds Vader badly burnt but alive. After returning to Coruscant, he rebuilds Vader’s mutilated body and outfits him in a black armored suit. Palpatine tells Vader that he killed Padmé in his anger. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan and Yoda decide to hide the twins from the Sith, as they were the only hope to the galaxy for freedom. Yoda exiles himself to the planet Dagobah, while Vader and the Emperor oversee the construction of a massive space station, the Death Star. Bail Organa adopts Leia as his own daughter and takes her to Alderaan, while Obi-Wan delivers Luke to his step-family Owen and Beru Lars on Tatooine, where Obi-Wan intends to watch over Luke until the time is right to challenge the Empire.

Southampton 1 Spurs 4

Spurs came from a goal down to secure a 4-1 win and ensure that they kept pace with their top four rivalsMauricio Pochettino’s men passed that acid test in real style with a hugely impressive victory to keep Tottenham hot on the heels of the Premier League elite.

It has been a difficult season so far, out of the Champions League, behind in the title race and their top four rivals all won over Christmas so there was no margin for error on a potentially tricky away trip. But despite falling behind to Virgil van Dijk’s opener after just 69 seconds, Tottenham simply never allowed their heads to drop and they overwhelmed and outclassed Southampton. Dele Alli was outstanding, marking yet another all-action man-of-the-match display with two goals as he looks to be finishing 2016 with a return to his best form.
Harry Kane scored but also skied a penalty over the crossbar while Tottenham substitute Heung-Min Son was also on target as the visitors ran riot in the closing stages.


Southampton played most of the second half with ten men after Nathan Redmond was sent off after 56 minutes but that was no excuse as they were already behind. Claude Puel’s men started well but faded badly and you could pick fault at keeper Fraser Forster on Kane’s header while van Dijk looked anything but a £50m defender as he went AWOL on set pieces. Tottenham are now just one point behind North London rivals Arsenal in fourth place but it did feel like it was a defining victory, a performance which oozed class and belief.
Now if Tottenham can seize this opportunity and use it as a platform then they can still have a say in the title race because they are unstoppable in this mood.

In truth, it did not start well for Victor Wanyama on his return to St Mary’s as it was his clumsy challenge on Ryan Bertrand which conceded a free kick in a dangerous area on the right edge of the Tottenham penalty box. Saints midfielder James Ward-Prowse whipped a teasing free kick and, rising above the Tottenham defence, was van Dijk whose towering header into the far corner gave the home side a dream start after just 69 seconds.

Southampton clearly rattled Tottenham and Mousa Dembele lost his head briefly, getting a yellow card for a foul on Redmond and then blowing his top at referee Mike Dean.
However, Tottenham regrouped and responded well. Dembele began the move which led to Tottenham’s 19th minute equaliser, spreading the ball wide to Moussa Sissoko on the left. Sissoko put over a cross, the ball deflected off Redmond and Alli rose above van Dijk before steering a header goalwards as it went in off the far post with Southampton keeper Forster left rooted to the spot.


That completely changed the momentum of the game and Tottenham’s second goal was always coming.Christian Eriksen’s 52nd minute corner from the right caused chaos in the Southampton box. Van Dijk and Jose Fonte went to sleep and Kane ghosted in at the near post to head home his first goal for 344 minutes. Forster got a hand to the ball and should have done better. The go-ahead goal was Kane’s first for 344 minutes and it got worse for Southampton four minutes later. Alli raced clear, Redmond pulled him back, the Spurs midfielder fired wide but referee Dean brought the play back to award a penalty.

Redmond was sent off but Kane then fired over after slipping in his run-up. But Southampton were left to see the game out with ten men.
It was a thankless task as Tottenham moved into cruise control with two more goals in the last five minutes. Tottenham substitute Son coolly slotted into the far corner after latching onto Eriksen’s pass while Alli rounded off another terrific display with a carbon copy finish.

Monday 26th December 2016

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


The Ridgeway is a ridgeway or ancient trackway described as Britain’s oldest road. The section clearly identified as an ancient trackway extends from Wiltshire along the chalk ridge of the Berkshire Downs to the River Thames at the Goring Gap, part of the Icknield Way which ran, not always on the ridge, from Salisbury Plain to East Anglia. The route was adapted and extended as a National Trail, created in 1972. The Ridgeway National Trail follows the ancient Ridgeway from Overton Hill, near Avebury, to Streatley, then follows footpaths and parts of the ancient Icknield Way through the Chiltern Hills to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. The National Trail is 87 miles (140 km) long.

For at least 5,000 years travellers have used the Ridgeway.
The Ridgeway provided a reliable trading route to the Dorset coast and to the Wash in Norfolk. The high dry ground made travel easy and provided a measure of protection by giving traders a commanding view, warning against potential attacks.

The Bronze Age saw the development of Uffington White Horse and the stone circle at Avebury. During the Iron Age, inhabitants took advantage of the high ground by building hill forts along the Ridgeway to help defend the trading route. Following the collapse of Roman authority in Western Europe, invading Saxon and Viking armies used it. In medieval times and later, the Ridgeway found use by drovers, moving their livestock from the West Country and Wales to markets in the Home Counties and London. Before the Enclosure Acts of 1750, the Ridgeway existed as an informal series of tracks across the chalk downs, chosen by travellers based on path conditions. Once enclosures started, the current path developed through the building of earth banks and the planting of hedges.

The idea for a long-distance path along the line of the Wessex Downs and Chilterns goes back to the Hobhouse Committee of 1947. The present route was designated by the Government in 1972, and opened as a National Trail in 1973.


One of fifteen long-distance National Trails in England and Wales, the Ridgeway travels for 87 miles (140 km) northeast from Overton Hill within the Avebury World Heritage Site to Ivinghoe Beacon near Tring, where it meets the Icknield Way Path. The Ridgeway meets the more recent (1997) Thames Path National Trail at the Goring Gap, where the trails use opposite banks of the River Thames between Goring-on-Thames and Mongewell; the Thames Path follows the western bank and the Ridgeway the eastern.

The Ridgeway is one of four long-distance footpaths that combine to run from Lyme Regis to Hunstanton, collectively referred to as the Greater Ridgeway or Greater Icknield Way.

The Ridgeway passes near many Neolithic, Iron Age and Bronze Age sites including Avebury Stone Circle; Barbury Castle, Liddington Castle, Uffington Castle, Segsbury Castle, Pulpit Hill and Ivinghoe Beacon Hill, all Iron Age and Bronze Age hill forts; Wayland’s Smithy, a Neolithic chieftain burial tomb; the Uffington White Horse, an ancient 400-foot (120 m) chalk horse carved into the hillside near Uffington Castle; and Grim’s Ditch, a 5-mile (8 km) section of earthwork near Mongewell created by Iron Age peoples as a possible demarcation line. Other points of interest include the Blowing Stone and Victory Drive, the private drive of Chequers (the British Prime Minister’s country retreat).


Wayland’s Smithy is a Neolithic long barrow and chamber tomb site located near the Uffington White Horse and Uffington Castle, at Ashbury in the English county of Oxfordshire. It is very near to The Ridgeway, an ancient road running along the Berkshire Downs.

Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long barrow building that was widespread across Neolithic Europe, Wayland’s Smithy belongs to a localised regional variant of barrows produced in the south-west of Britain, now known as the Severn-Cotswold group. Of these, it is in one of the best surviving conditions.

The later mound was 185 feet (56 m) long and 43 feet (13 m) wide at the south end. Its present appearance is the result of restoration following excavations undertaken by Stuart Piggott and Richard Atkinson in 1962–63. They demonstrated that the site had been built in two different phases, a timber-chambered oval barrow built around 3590 and 3550 BC and a later stone-chambered long barrow in around 3460 to 3400 BC.


In 1738, Francis Wise recorded a belief held about the site in local folklore.
Like several other early commentators, Wise referred to the site not as “Wayland’s Smithy”, but only as “Wayland Smith”. Wise related that:

All the account which the country people are able to give of it is ‘At this place lived formerly an invisible Smith, and if a traveller’s Horse had lost a Shoe upon the road, he had no more to do than to bring the Horse to this place with a piece of money, and leaving both there for some little time, he might come again and find the money gone, but the Horse new shod.
The deposition of coins at the site has taken place since at least the 1960s, with visitors lodging the coins into cracks in the site’s stones.

The Early Neolithic was a revolutionary period of British history. Between 4500 and 3800 BCE, it saw a widespread change in lifestyle as the communities living in the British Isles adopted agriculture as their primary form of subsistence, abandoning the hunter-gatherer lifestyle that had characterised the preceding Mesolithic period.
This came about through contact with continental societies, although it is unclear to what extent this can be attributed to an influx of migrants or to indigenous Mesolithic Britons adopting agricultural technologies from the continent.

The wooden mortuary house mainly consisted of a paved stone floor with two large posts at either end. A single crouched burial had been placed at one end and the mostly disarticulated remains of a further 14 individuals were scattered in front of it. Analysis of these remains indicated that they had been subjected to excarnation before burial and deposited in possibly four different phases. Postholes at one end have been interpreted as supporting a timber facade. The whole monument was covered by an earth barrow with material excavated from two flanking ditches and measured around 20m in length.


The later stone tomb consists of two opposing transept chambers and terminal chamber; along with the longer entrance chamber, this gives the burial area a cruciform appearance in plan. At the entrance four large sarsen stones stand (originally six, but two are lost), having been returned to their upright locations following the 1962 excavations. It is classified by archaeologists as one of the Severn-Cotswold tombs. The large trapezoidal earth barrow erected over it was revetted with a stone kerb and its material was again excavated from two large flanking ditches. Excavation in 1919 revealed the jumbled remains of seven adults and one child.

The site is important as it illustrates a transition from a timber-chambered barrow to stone-chamber tomb over a period that may have been as short as 50 years. Carbon dating of the burials in the second tomb suggest it was a late use of this style of burial, being similar to West Kennet Long Barrow, which had been in use 200 years before.

Wayland’s Smithy is one of many prehistoric sites associated with Wayland or Wolund, a Germanic smith-god. The name was seemingly applied to the site by the Saxons who settled in the area some four thousand years after Wayland’s Smithy was built. The first documented use of the name was in 955 AD, in a Saxon charter of King Eadred.


Sunday 25th December 2016

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


Saturday 24th December 2016

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


Seahawks 31 Cardinals 34

After 15 games, the only certainty about the Seattle Seahawks is to expect inconsistency.

Even coach Pete Carroll can’t be sure of what kind of performance he’s going to get from a team that’s bound for the playoffs for the fifth straight year.

“I don’t know. I keep thinking we’re going to do right, we’re going to do well,” Carroll said.The latest example of Seattle’s maddening unpredictability came Saturday in a 34-31 loss to the Arizona Cardinals that severely damaged the Seahawks’ hopes of landing the No. 2 seed in the NFC and a bye in the playoffs. With the chance at keeping control of the No. 2 seed and the fourth perfect home record in franchise history, the Seahawks played so poorly in the first half that a second-half offensive eruption couldn’t make up for the early mistakes. Seattle (9-5-1) fell behind 14-0 and trailed 31-18 late in the fourth quarter.


There were mistakes all around, from the offensive line being unable to protect Russell Wilson, to the secondary giving up an 80-yard touchdown, to two blocked kicks and a missed extra point. They were all flaws the Seahawks nearly overcame thanks to four touchdown passes by Wilson in the second half, including two in the final three minutes as Seattle pulled even at 31. But they are glaring issues for a team many thought would be the biggest threat to Dallas in the NFC.

“It just sucks that we lost in that manner,” Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril said. Arizona (6-8-1) was able to take enjoyment out of damaging Seattle’s playoff plans and finally coming out on top in a close game. The Cardinals had five losses of seven points or less, along with their 6-6 tie against Seattle earlier in the season. Saturday was just Arizona’s second win by less than eight points.


“I don’t know. It’s just one of those weeks where we felt like we were going to win,” Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer said. Even on a team with a losing record, David Johnson strengthened his case for postseason awards. Johnson finished with 136 yards from scrimmage, his 15th straight game with at least 100 scrimmage yards, the longest streak to start a season in league history. He had three short TD runs, giving him 20 total touchdowns for the season, the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 with 20 TDs and 1,000 yards rushing. And yet his two biggest plays came as a receiver. Johnson had two receptions for 42 yards on Arizona’s final drive that was capped by Chandler Catanzaro’s 43-yard field goal on the final play.

“You run out of superlatives to describe him,” Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “He does something special every single game we play. … The guy continues to carry the load every week.”


Friday 23rd December 2016

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


Mornington Crescent

Gameplay on I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue

The objective was to give the appearance of a game of skill and strategy, with complex and long-winded rules and strategies, to parody games in which similarly circuitous systems have evolved. In general, Humphrey Lyttelton would describe special rules to apply to that session, such as “Trumpington’s Variations” or “Tudor Court Rules”, so that almost every episode featuring Mornington Crescent introduced a variant.

There have been many variations. In one of them, first introduced in North Yorkshire, a player whose movement is blocked is considered to be “in Nidd” and is forced to remain in place for the next three moves. This tends to block the other players, putting them into Nidd as well and causing a roadblock. In one episode, every player ended up in Nidd and the supposed rule had to be suspended so that the round could continue.

Over time, the destinations named by the panellists expanded beyond the Underground. ISIHAC is recorded around the United Kingdom, and the game is occasionally modified accordingly. There have been versions in Slough and Leeds, as well as one in Scotland, played during the Edinburgh Fringe arts festival (where the name was changed to “Morningside Crescent”). In one episode, recorded in Luton, panellists named locations as far afield as the Place de l’Étoile in Paris, Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg, and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. However, a move to Luton High Street was ruled invalid for being too remote. In other episodes, an attempt was supposedly made to expand the territory to Manhattan (via Heathrow and JFK) but there was some disagreement as to whether or not the New York City Subway system was suited to the game. References have been made in various episodes of ISIHAC to international versions of the game, including “Mornington Croissant”, supposedly based on the Paris Metro, and “Mornington Peninsula”, the Australian variant. At least one full game of Mornington Croissant was played on air.

Lyttelton joked that the game predated the London Underground. “Tudor Court Rules” were described as “A version of the game formally adopted by Henry VIII and played by Shakespeare. At this time, the underground was far smaller than at present, and so the playing area also was more restricted, primarily due to plague.”

Those who asked for the rules were told “NF Stovold’s Mornington Crescent: Rules and Origins” was out of print. They were also advised that “your local bookshop might have a copy of The Little Book of Mornington Crescent by Tim, Graeme, Barry and Humph.”


A regular feature that introduces Mornington Crescent, is a fictional letters section which begins with the chairman’s comments (“I notice from the sheer weight of this week’s postbag, we’ve received a little over no letters” and “I see from the number of letters raining down on us this week that the Scrabble factory has exploded again”). The single letter each week is from “A Mrs Trellis of North Wales”, whose incoherent letters usually mistake the chairman for another Radio 4 presenter or media personality. “Dear Libby” (she writes), “why oh why … very nearly spells YOYO”, or “Dear Mr Titchmarsh, never let them tell you that size isn’t important. My aunt told me that, but then all my new wallpaper fell off.”

Further popularity

Finchley Central and Mornington Crescent became popular in the United Kingdom as a play-by-mail pastime, and in the 1980s were played by post in a number of play-by-mail magazines. One format involved a series of elimination rounds, with everyone except the winner of the current round going forward onto the next. Mornington Crescent is now played widely online, in the spirit of the radio series. Games are played by fans on Usenet, in diverse web forums, and on the London Underground itself. A Facebook application has also been produced.

When Mornington Crescent tube station was reopened in 1998 after six years of closure for lift repairs, London Transport invited the Clue team to perform an opening ceremony. A memorial plaque to the late Willie Rushton, one of the show’s longest-serving panelists, was installed at the station in 2002.


Star Wars Rogue One

Research scientist Galen Erso is in hiding on the planet Lah’mu when Imperial weapons developer Orson Krennic arrives to take him to complete the unfinished Death Star, a space station-based superweapon capable of destroying an entire planet. Erso’s wife Lyra is killed in the confrontation, but their daughter Jyn escapes and is taken to safety by Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera.

Fifteen years later, cargo pilot Bodhi Rook defects from the Empire, smuggling a holographic message from Galen to Gerrera on the desert moon of Jedha. After learning about Rook’s defection, Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor frees Jyn from Imperial captivity and brings her to the Rebels, who plan to use her to extract Galen and learn more about the Death Star. Unbeknownst to Jyn, however, Cassian is covertly ordered to kill Galen rather than extract him.


Jyn, Cassian, and reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO travel to Jedha, where the Empire is mining kyber crystals to power the Death Star while Gerrera and his partisans are engaged in an armed insurgency against them. With the aid of blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Îmwe and his mercenary friend Baze Malbus, Jyn makes contact with Gerrera, who has been holding Rook captive. Gerrera shows her the message, in which Galen reveals he has secretly built a vulnerability into the Death Star and directs them to retrieve the schematics from a high-security Imperial data bank on the planet Scarif.

On the Death Star, Krennic orders a low-powered shot from the superlaser to destroy Jedha’s capital, causing Jyn and her group to take Rook and flee the planet, but Gerrera chooses to remain and die. Grand Moff Tarkin congratulates Krennic before using Rook’s defection and security leak as a pretext to take control of the project.

Rook leads the group to Galen’s Imperial research facility on the planet Eadu, where Cassian chooses not to kill Galen. When Krennic directs that Galen’s main team be killed for causing the security leak, Galen confesses that he is responsible. Jyn makes her presence known moments before Rebel bombers attack the facility, resulting in Galen being wounded. Jyn reunites with her father, only to have him die in her arms, before she escapes with her group onboard a stolen Imperial cargo shuttle. Krennic visits Darth Vader, seeking support with granting an audience with the Emperor, but Vader dismisses his appeal for recognition.


Jyn proposes a plan to steal the Death Star schematics using the Rebel fleet but fails to get approval from the Alliance Council. Frustrated at their inaction, Jyn’s group is supported by a small squad of Rebels intent on raiding the databank themselves. Arriving at Scarif via the stolen Imperial ship, which Rook dubs “Rogue One”, a disguised Jyn and Cassian enter the base with K-2SO while volunteers attack the resident Imperial garrison as a distraction. The Rebel fleet learns about the raid from intercepted Imperial communications and deploy in support. Rook is killed by a grenade just after informing the Rebel fleet that it must deactivate the shield surrounding the planet to allow Jyn and Cassian to transmit them the schematics. K-2SO sacrifices himself so Jyn and Cassian can retrieve the data. Jyn and Cassian seize the schematics, but they are ambushed by Krennic, who shoots Cassian.


Îmwe is killed after activating the master switch to allow communication with the Rebel fleet, while Malbus is killed shortly after. Krennic corners Jyn, declaring the Empire’s victory, but Cassian, who has survived, shoots and wounds Krennic. Jyn transmits the schematics to the Rebel command ship. The Death Star enters Scarif’s orbit, where Tarkin uses the weapon to destroy the Empire’s base. Krennic dies in the resulting explosion, while Jyn and Cassian embrace on a beach before dying in the ensuing shockwave.

The Rebel fleet prepares to jump to hyperspace only to be attacked by Vader’s flagship, exiting hyperspace. Vader boards the command ship and kills several soldiers in his pursuit of the schematics, but a small starship escapes with them onboard. Aboard the fleeing ship, Princess Leia declares that the schematics will provide hope for the Rebellion.


Thursday 22nd December 2016

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


Fourth Plinth: David Shrigley’s giant thumbs up ‘Really Good’ unveiled in London’s Trafalgar Square
The 11th Fourth Plinth artwork has been unveiled in London’s Trafalgar Square by mayor Sadiq Khan.

Macclesfield-born artist David Shrigley’s “Really Good” is a 7m-high elongated thumbs-up, described as the “tallest and most positive yet” and made in bronze to match the historical sculptures in the square.

Mr Shrigley, 48, was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2013 and is acclaimed for his bold and opinionated drawings, animations and sculptures that explore the absurdity of 21st-century society. He currently lives and works in Brighton.

“I guess this is a work about making the world a better place or it purports to actually make the world a better place,” he said at the event on Thursday morning. “Obviously, this is a ridiculous proposition, but I think it’s a good proposition. Artworks on their own are inanimate objects so they can’t make the world a better place. It is us, so I guess we have to ask ourselves how we can do this.”

David Shrigley has shrugged off the disappointment of missing out on the Turner Prize, as his giant “thumbs up” sculpture was named as a winning entry for one of the prize art commissions in London. The comic artist’s 10 foot bronze sculpture of a thumb, called “Really Good”, was the second of two winning commissions for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Shrigley’s work, which will be put up in 2016, was the popular choice for the site among the more than 40,000 members of the public who visited the shortlist exhibition many of whom submitted their views to the selection committee.

This comes two months after he missed out on the Turner Prize to Laure Prouvost. “I wasn’t that disappointed not to win the Turner Prize as I didn’t expect to win,” he said. “But I did really want to win this. It definitely makes up for the Turner.”

The artist said he was “chuffed” that he won, adding: “It’s an opportunity to make something. Unlike winning a prize – or not – you’re not just given the money, you’re given the opportunity to make something on a scale that you couldn’t possibly imagine yourself.” The positive gesture made by the sculpture could be a “self-fulfilling prophesy” with the economy, weather and society all benefitting from a positive attitude, Shrigley said.

He continued: “As an artist you have to believe your art makes the world a better place. Having said that, I’ve made a statement with this work that is quite flip. It’s satirical and sincere at the same time.”


The Beano Annual is the current name of the book that has been published every year since 1939, to tie in with the children’s comic The Beano. As of 2016 there have been 78 editions. The annuals are traditionally published in July or August, in time for Christmas, and since 1965 they have had the date of the following year on the cover. Before then no date was given.

From 1942 to 1949 the annual was called “The Magic-Beano Book”, which referred to the short-lived Magic Comic that had ceased publication in 1941 due to the Second World War’s paper rationing. The name reverted to the original title of “The Beano Book” in 1950 and continued, the year changing for each subsequent annual, until the release of the 2003 book in 2002 when it was renamed “The Beano Annual”. The 2011 Beano Annual is taller and wider than previous annuals.

After paper rationing had ended, The Magic Comic was never revived, but some of the characters who had originally appeared in the pre-war Magic Comic remained as regular strips in the post-1950 Beano Comic (such as Koko the Pup).

Because of his popularity, Dennis the Menace has appeared on the front cover of every annual since the release of the 1979 book in 1978.

Beano office at 185 Fleet Street, London, United Kingdom, EC4A 2HS


Cornhill is a road in the heart of the City of London, known for its bustling offices and designer boutiques. Located a stone’s throw from the Bank of England, the name Cornhill comes from it being one of the city’s three hills Tower Hill and Ludgate Hill.

In a world before cars, travelling around on a horse and carriage was the way to get around. Just like today the city is dotted with petrol stations to refuel, in Georgian and Victorian times there were wells, troughs and water pumps to water the horses and refresh the people. With an extensive underground sewer network and piped water supply, thankfully these days we don’t need to grab a bucket and head to the nearest pump for some water.

While demand for public wells has ceased over the past 100 years, the staggering history and aesthetics of the City’s old street furniture means many of these pumps can still be seen today. Earlier this autumn, one such pump caught my eye. Located outside the Gucci store in the Royal Exchange, it looks very different to other stone and black ones I’ve seen on the streets. Painted in the City of London’s light blue colour, just like the Old Police Telephone posts, it stands out amongst the bins, post boxes and street lighting. While to some, it looks like a tired piece of old London, the pump actually has a significant tie to the history of London and distances from the old capital. A minute’s walk up to the junction of Cornhill and Leadenhall Street is the location of ‘The Standard’ – the first mechanically-pumped water supply in London. As well as being a source for water, the pump became a meeting place and also the mark from which distances from London were judged (until the marker later became Charing Cross – see Civil war, centre of London and a memorial to a queen: The story behind Charing Cross).

Although The Standard pump was discontinued in 1603, back down the hill outside Gucci (of course it wasn’t Gucci then!), the current pump was erected nearly 200 years later. Two of the City’s big players of the time, the East India Company and the Bank of England, together with the local fire stations and local bankers and traders who worked in the area, jointly funded the cast iron pump with an adjoining granite trough.

Designed by architect Nathaniel Wright (who built St Botolph Aldersgate in Postman’s Park), the inscription on the road-facing side, it reads: ‘On this spot a well was first made and a House of Correction built thereon by Henry Wallis Mayor of London in the year 1282.’ It continues on the Royal Exchange-facing side: ‘The well was discovered much enlarged and this pump erected in the year 1799 by the contributions of the Bank of England, the East India Company, the neighbouring fire offices, together with the bankers and traders of the Ward of Cornhill.’ As well as the inscriptions, the Grade II-listed pump has fire insurance emblems on each side – Royal Exchange, Sun, Phoenix and County.


The City of London is not renowned for its abundance of trees, but right in the heart of the City, just a stones throw from St Paul’s cathedral on the corner of Cheapside and Wood Street is a reasonably resplendent Plane tree, threatening to usurp the row of tiny shops beneath it.
It feels almost like the tiny little square was made specifically for the tree, but in fact, it was previously the site of a medieval church, St Peter Cheap, which was one of the 87 churches that burnt down during the Great Fire of London, 1666. However, it was also not one of the 51 rebuilt after the fire by Christopher Wren. Cheapside incidentally, is a medieval word for market, hence why a number of the streets leading off it, relate to produce that would have been bought and sold in the area; Bread Street, Milk Street and Poultry … for instance.

The area where the Plane tree stands, was instead preserved as a tiny grave yard and public space and that very same tree features in a poem by William Wordsworth, called ‘The Reverie of Poor Susan’, inspired (allegedly) after hearing a thrush singing in its branches. If you happen to pass by, the verse in question has been handily painted on to a board for your perusal.


The poem records the memories awakened in a country girl in London on hearing a thrush sing in the early morning.

Poor Susan

William Wordsworth 1797

At the corner of Wood-Street, when day-light appears,
There’s a Thrush that sings loud, it has sung for three years.
Poor Susan has pass’d by the spot and has heard
In the silence of morning the song of the bird.

‘Tis a note of enchantment; what ails her? She sees
A mountain ascending, a vision of trees;
Bright volumes of vapour through Lothbury glide,
And a river flows on through the vale of Cheapside.

Green pastures she views in the midst of the dale,
Down which she so often has tripp’d with her pail,
And a single small cottage, a nest like a dove’s,
The only one dwelling on earth that she loves.

She looks, and her heart is in Heaven, but they fade,
The mist and the river, the hill and the shade;
The stream will not flow, and the hill will not rise,
And the colours have all pass’d away from her eyes.

Poor Outcast! return—to receive thee once more
The house of thy Father will open its door,
And thou once again, in thy plain russet gown,
Mayst hear the thrush sing from a tree of its own.



Wednesday 21st December 2016

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


Tuesday 20th December 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 20, 2016 by bishshat


People Have The Power

Patti Smith

I was dreamin’ in my dreamin’
Of an aspect bright and fair
And my sleepin’ it was broken
But my dream it lingered near

In the form of shinin’ valleys
Where the pure air recognized
Oh, and my senses newly opened
And I awakened to the cry

And the people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
From the meek the graces shower
It’s decreed the people rule

People have the power

Vengeful aspects became suspect
And bending low as if to hear
Well, and the armies ceased advancin’
Because the people had their ear

And the shepherds [?] the soldiers
And they laid among the stars
Exchanging visions, layin’ arms
To waste in the dust

In the form of shinin’ valleys
Where the pure air recognized
And my senses newly opened
And I awakened to the cry

People have the power

Where there were deserts, I saw fountains
Like cream the waters rise
And we strolled there together
With none to laugh or criticize

There is no leopard and the lamb
And lay together truly bound
Well I was hopin’ in my hopin’
To recall what I had found

Well I was dreamin’ in my dreamin’
God knows a pure view
As I lay down into my sleepin’
And I commit my dream with you

People have the power

The power to dream, to rule
To wrestle the earth from fools
But it’s decreed the people rule
But it’s decreed the people rule

Listen, I believe everythin’ we dream
Can come to pass through our union
We can turn the world around
We can turn the earth’s revolution

We have the power
People have the power

The power to dream, to rule
To wrestle the earth from fools
But it’s decreed the people rule
But it’s decreed the people rule

We have the power
We have the power
People have the power
We have the power