Archive for March, 2018

Saturday 31st March 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on March 31, 2018 by bishshat

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Harvey

Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart) is a middle-aged, amiable though somewhat eccentric man whose best friend is an invisible 6′ 3½” tall rabbit named Harvey. As described by Dowd, Harvey is a pooka, a benign but mischievous creature from Celtic mythology who is especially fond of social outcasts (like Elwood). Elwood has driven his sister and niece (who live with him and crave normality and a place in society) to distraction by introducing everyone he meets to his friend, Harvey. His family seems to be unsure whether Dowd’s obsession with Harvey is a product of his (admitted) propensity to drink or perhaps mental illness.

Elwood spends most of his time in the local bar, and throughout the film invites new acquaintances to join him for a drink (or to his house for dinner). The barman and regulars accept the existence of Harvey, and the barman asks how they both are and unflinchingly accepts an order from Elwood for two martinis.

Elwood’s sister, Veta Louise Simmons (Hull), tries to have him committed to a sanatorium. In exasperation, she admits to the attending psychiatrist Dr. Lyman Sanderson (Charles Drake) that, after so many years of putting up with the invisible rabbit, she sees Harvey every once in a while herself. This causes Dr. Sanderson to let Elwood out and lock Veta up. After sorting out the mistake, Dr. Chumley (Cecil Kellaway), head of the sanatorium, decides that to save the reputation of the sanatorium he must bring Elwood back. At one point, when her daughter asks how someone possibly could imagine a rabbit, Veta says to her “Myrtle Mae, you have a lot to learn and I hope you never learn it.”

When tracked down, Elwood goes through several ordeals, although he remains largely oblivious to the plans put in place for him by Dr. Chumley, Judge Gaffney (William Lynn), and Veta Louise. In a scene where Dr. Sanderson and his nurse Miss Kelly (Peggy Dow) follow Elwood into an alley at the back of his and Harvey’s favorite bar, Charlie’s, Elwood tells the incredible story of how he came to meet Harvey, and explains the way in which people react when they meet them. In a later scene, he gives Dr. Chumley an insight into his philosophy of life:

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Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
Elwood also explains that Harvey has the power to stop time: “Did I tell you he could stop clocks? Well, you’ve heard the expression ‘His face would stop a clock’? Well, Harvey can look at your clock and stop it. And you can go anywhere you like, with anyone you like, and stay as long as you like. And when you get back, not one minute will have ticked by. You see, science has overcome time and space. Well, Harvey has overcome not only time and space, but any objections.”

In the final scene of the film, Elwood (along with everybody else) arrives back at the hospital. By this point, Dr. Chumley is not only convinced of Harvey’s existence, but has begun spending time with him on his own, with a mixture of admiration and fear.

Dr. Sanderson convinces Elwood to come into his office where he will receive a serum called Formula 977 that will stop Dowd from “seeing the rabbit”. As they are preparing for the injection, Elwood’s sister is told by their cab driver about all the other people he has driven to the sanatorium to receive the same medicine, warning her that Elwood will become “just a normal human being. And you know what stinkers they are.” Upset by the very thought of this, Veta halts the injection by banging on the examining room door, at which point Elwood comforts her and explains her tears to others with, “Veta’s all tired out, she’s done a lot today.”

As Elwood is leaving, Dr. Chumley asks Elwood for Harvey’s help, and Elwood, being the obliging fellow he is, makes no objection. Dr. Chumley, arm in arm with an invisible companion, asks “Have you ever been to Akron?”

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After the gates to Chumley’s Residence are closed, and Elwood is leaving, he stops, turns around and has a conversation with an invisible Harvey, who is already back from his trip to Akron and reaffirms their friendship. Harvey opens the gate, and Elwood and his invisible companion saunter off towards the bus stop, following Veta and Myrtle Mae, towards the planned last stop of Charlie’s Bar and another drink.

Through the film, Elwood looks up at Harvey. Stewart, at 6’4″, decided that Harvey should be 6’8″ for the film, but the script lines stating that Harvey was 6′ 3.5″ were unchanged from the play.

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White Rabbit

Jefferson Airplane 

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small

When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low
Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head
Feed your head

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Easter Bunny

The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.

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Easter Trail Feedback

A big group of my family went yesterday, the children had a great time, helping both the rabbit and the carrot out, as well as finding the clues for the Easter Egg hunt. Well done Compton Verney another great day out!
Great trail and well worth the £3! Thank you
A brilliant trail, the rabbit and carrot were hilarious. The children loved it, thanks 😊
Loved the trail – missed seeing the rabbit as we came today (didn’t expect to see it though). Had a brilliant morning. Thanks.
Isn’t it a bit dangerous putting the rabbit so close to the carrot?
Brilliant time today thank you
Brilliant fun today!! Nothing like a giant rabbit and a crazy carrot to cheer us all up on a wet day

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Just got home. 2 tired girls after running around looking for eggs hanging in trees , and a giant Rabbit and Carrot. Fantastic Easter trail best we have been on for a few years.
Lovely walk on the Easter trail, we had a fantastic time would highly recommend. All the staff were very helpful and friendly
We had a fab day thank you
Wonderful day, thank you!

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It was such a lovely experience and so well thought out. All of your volunteers were brilliant and the bunny and carrot were fab. We all had a wonderful time and they loved the challenge and the prize!
Had a lovely day there yesterday, thoroughly enjoyed, thank you
Thank you for a fab day yesterday – the giant bunny and carrot were fantastic and my daughter loved it!
Carrot absolutely made our day!! She was just brilliant!! So many laughs passing her and the Easter bunny chasing each other just brilliant!! Thank you for a great day!!

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“I don’t know where the eggs come from, and I have no idea why I feel a compulsion to hide them.”

Freud-the-Rabbit

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Friday 30th March 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on March 30, 2018 by bishshat

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Thursday 29th March 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on March 29, 2018 by bishshat

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Monday 26th March 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on March 26, 2018 by bishshat

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Woodtock

Joni Mitchell

I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him where are you going
And this he told me
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm *
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m going to try an’ get my soul free

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it’s the time of man
I don’t know who I am
But you know life is for learning

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden

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Sunday 25th March 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on March 25, 2018 by bishshat

Spring…SPRING! really..what about the beast for Easter? one hour later than it should be?

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When The Wind Blows

James and Hilda Bloggs are a retired couple living in a tidy isolated cottage in rural Sussex in southeast England. James frequently travels to London to read the newspapers and keep abreast of the deteriorating international situation regarding the Soviet-Afghan War; while frequently misunderstanding some specifics of the conflict, he is fully aware of the growing risk of an all-out nuclear war with the Soviet Union. James is horrified at a radio news report stating that a war may be only three days away, and sets about preparing for the worst as instructed by his government-issued Protect and Survive pamphlets. As Hilda continues her daily routine, and their son Ron, who is implied to have fallen into fatalistic despair, dismisses such preparations as pointless (referencing the song “We’ll All Go Together When We Go” by Tom Lehrer), James builds a lean-to shelter out of several doors inside their home (which he consistently calls the “inner core or refuge” per the pamphlets) and prepares a stock of supplies. He also follows through seemingly strange instructions such as painting his windows with white paint and readying sacks to lie down in when a nuclear strike hits. Despite James’ concerns, he and Hilda are confident they can survive the war, as they did World War II in their childhoods, and that a Soviet defeat will ensue.

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Hearing a warning on the radio of an imminent ICBM strike, James rushes himself and Hilda into their shelter, just escaping injury as distant shock waves rack their home. They remain in the shelter a couple of nights, and when they emerge they find all their utilities, services and communications have been destroyed by the blast. Over the following days, they gradually grow sick from exposure to radiation poisoning. Ron and his wife Beryl are not heard from again, though their deaths are heavily implied.

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In spite of all this, James and Hilda stoically attempt to carry on, preparing tea and dinners on a camping stove, noting numerous errands they will have to run once the crisis passes, and trying to renew their evaporated water stock with (contaminated) rainwater. James keeps faith that a rescue operation will be launched to help civilians. Apparently oblivious to the dead animals, destroyed buildings and scorched, dead vegetation outside their cottage (apart from their own garden), they initially remain optimistic. However, as they take in the debris of their home, prolonged absence of other human company, lack of food and water, growing radiation sickness, and confusion about the events that have taken place, the couple begins to despair.

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After a few days, the Bloggs are practically bedridden, and Hilda is despondent when her hair begins to fall out, after vomiting, developing painful sores and lesions and experiencing bleeding gums. Either in denial about the extent of the nuclear holocaust, unable to comprehend it, or trying to comfort Hilda, James is still confident that emergency services will eventually arrive, but they never do, as they were also presumably destroyed in the attack. The film ends with the dying James and Hilda getting into paper sacks, crawling back into the shelter, and praying. Jim begins with the Lord’s Prayer, but then switches to the first lines of “The Charge of the Light Brigade”, whose militaristic and ironic undertones distress the dying Hilda, who weakly begs him not to continue. Finally, Jim’s voice mumbles away into silence.

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Outside the shelter, the smoke and ash-filled sky begins to clear, revealing the sun rising through the gloom. At once, the skies clear fully as the fallout fades away, revealing a beautiful blue sky with clean white clouds drifting by. At the very end of the credits, a Morse code signal taps out “MAD”, mutual assured destruction.

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Russians

Sting

In Europe and America there’s a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets
Mister Khrushchev said, ‘We will bury you’
I don’t subscribe to this point of view
It’d be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too

How can I save my little boy
From Oppenheimer’s deadly toy?
There is no monopoly on common sense
On either side of the political fence
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

There is no historical precedent to put
The words in the mouth of the president
There’s no such thing as a winnable war
It’s a lie we don’t believe anymore
Mister Reagan says ‘We will protect you’
I don’t subscribe to this point of view
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me and you
Is if the Russians love their children too

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Saturday 24th March 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on March 24, 2018 by bishshat

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

In the town of Ebbing, Missouri, Mildred Hayes is grieving the rape and murder of her teenage daughter, Angela, seven months earlier. Angry over the lack of progress in the investigation, Mildred rents three abandoned billboards near her home, and posts on them: “Raped While Dying”, “Still No Arrests?”, and “How Come, Chief Willoughby?” The billboards upset the townspeople, including Chief Bill Willoughby and Officer Jason Dixon, the latter being a racist and a violent alcoholic. The open secret that Willoughby suffers from terminal pancreatic cancer adds to everyone’s disapproval. Mildred and her son Robbie are harassed and threatened, but to Robbie’s chagrin, she stays firm about keeping the billboards up.

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While Willoughby is sympathetic to Mildred’s frustration, he finds the billboards an unfair attack on his character. Angered by Mildred’s lack of respect for his authority, Dixon threatens businessman Red Welby, who rented Mildred the billboards, and he arrests her friend and coworker, Denise, on trivial marijuana possession charges. Mildred is also visited by her abusive ex-husband Charlie, who blames her for their daughter’s death.

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Willoughby brings Mildred in for questioning after she injures her dentist in an altercation in the dental clinic. During the interview, Willoughby coughs up blood. He leaves the hospital against medical advice and spends an idyllic day with his wife Anne and their two daughters, then commits suicide. He leaves suicide notes for several people, including Mildred, in which he explains that she was not a factor in his suicide and that he secretly paid to keep the billboards up for another month, amused at the trouble this will bring her and hope that they will keep attention on the murder. Mildred is threatened by a crop-haired stranger in her store. Dixon reacts to the news of Willoughby’s death by assaulting Welby and throwing him out of a window. This is witnessed by Willoughby’s replacement, Abercrombie, who fires Dixon.

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The billboards are destroyed by arson. Mildred retaliates by tossing Molotov cocktails at the police station, which she believes is unoccupied for the night. However, Dixon is there to read a letter left for him by Willoughby, which advises him to let go of hate and learn to love, as the only way to realize his wish to become a detective. Dixon escapes with Angela’s case file but suffers severe burns. Mildred’s acquaintance James witnesses the incident and provides Mildred with an alibi, claiming they were on a date. Dixon is treated for his burns, and he is temporarily confined in the same hospital room as Welby, to whom he apologizes.

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Discharged from the hospital, Dixon overhears the man who threatened Mildred bragging in a bar of an incident similar to Angela’s murder. He notes the Idaho license plate number of the man’s vehicle, then provokes a fight by scratching the man’s face. At home later, he removes a sample of the man’s DNA from under his fingernails. Meanwhile, Mildred goes on a date with James to thank him for the alibi. Charlie enters with his 19-year-old girlfriend Penelope and admits to burning the billboards in anger. Mildred tells Charlie to treat Penelope well, and she leaves.

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Abercrombie informs Dixon that the DNA sample does not match DNA found on Angela’s body and that the man was overseas on military duty at the time of the murder. Dixon stays confused and does not connect the clues. Still his instinct tells him the guy is guilty. Mildred and Dixon conclude that the man must be guilty of some other rape, and set out for Idaho to kill him. On the way, Mildred confesses to Dixon that she set the police station fire. He indicates that he knew already. They express reservations about their mission but agree to decide what to do along the way.

Friday 23rd March 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on March 23, 2018 by bishshat

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