Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Rogue One - I was Thrilled as the Plot Unfolded with the Reappearance of a Digitally Enhanced Peter Cushing.


This is the best of the Star Wars stories so far in my opinion. I liked the Battle of the Clones story best, before seeing this title for the first time. I thought it was very entertaining and enjoyed every moment of it. Splendid stuff and I would recommend it to any sci-fi fan. I got the download on Amazon prime and went for the Bonus footage. This was also enjoyable because it took me behind the scenes and how the whole movie come about.


I was thrilled as the plot unfolded with the reappearance of Peter Cushing (obviously digitally enhanced.) The story takes place just prior to the first ever Star Wars story (A New Hope) I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan, but this movie was breathtaking with lots of action and a very good plot.






    

Swallows and Amazons 2016 Movie is a Fun Film.

I was flicking through my Amazon Prime on the TV the other day looking at some of the new download movies. I always like British orientated movies. Being a Brit, I'm a little biased on that front. However, that does not mean that I don't enjoy other nation's movies. I do.

On this day, I was looking for something retro and British. Something from the good old days. Then to my delight Swallows and Amazons came up. It is a famous old retro Brit story, but I had never got around to reading or watching the older presentations of this story on TV before. So with great aplomb, I decided it was time to strike this story off of my bucket list.

It is set in 1935 when a group of four children are about to go on their summer vacation to the Lake District of England's Cumbria county. There are four children all brothers and sisters and two of each. (Boys and Girls)

Their father is a naval officer and is away at sea and that is all we know of the children's Dad. Their Mother, who is in charge of the holiday venture, is Scottish and from the Highlands. She has some understanding of what a wonderful place the Lake district can be for the children.

The story becomes exciting straight away when the children witness a daring encounter between two groups of secret agent spies. A chase and an outrageous getaway upon the moving steam train going to the Lake District.

Once established in the idyllic Lake District, the children get their boat called Swallows and head for an island in the middle of the lake. In their imagination, they are pirates with treasure and the island in the lake is their secret hideout.

However, there is another group of pirate fantasising children called Amazons. From here on the former secret agents from the train mix the real adult world up with their childish pirate world and a grand adventure begins. Splendid stuff and loved the 1930s feel of the entire movie. Very enjoyable and well worth watching.



HMS Thunder Child Charging the Martian Fighting Machines.

HMS Thunder Child Charging the Martian Fighting Machines.



I found this wonderful artistic image of HMS Thunder Child engaging the dreaded Martian tripods. It is the fabulous creation of an artist named Rado Javor and I think it is absolutely breathtaking.

I always find it so interesting to get other people's vision of the Battle of the Blackwater from H.G. Wells imaginary story of War of the Worlds. I always wanted to know why Thunder Child engaged the three alien fighting machine - the dreaded tripods that roamed Britain and the rest of the world to destroy mankind.

I wondered about HMS Thunder Child's story so much that I decided to invent a pastiche story concerning the ironclad. Every time I see a wonderful image like this one by Rado Javor, I wonder some more.

What awe inspiring stuff and what a glorious piece of art from a retro Victorian science fiction adventure.  


    

Monday, 10 April 2017

Goldfinches Nesting in my Garden




I was sitting in the garden on Saturday, talking with my wife. It was a sunny day and I had just returned from Chatteris. We were on the decking soaking up the sun while all around the flowers were beginning to bloom. Our magnolia tree had all is fine pinkish flowers and many of the petals were beginning to drop to the lawn.

As the various birds were chirping my wife told me that was the sound of Goldfinches. She is always good at the various distinct sounds. Sure enough, she was right. Two of them. One male, one female and in the magnolia tree. 

Then to our delight, the female flew towards the top branches and there amid the little branch stems in the top of the tree was a snug little bird nest that she had built. It was swaying to and fro in the breeze.

Carole informed me that she had not realised they were nesting in the tree despite being aware of their presence for some days. We thought they might be nesting close by and using our garden for foraging purposes. After all, the Goldfinch is generally regarded as a garden bird and we always have the bird table full of seeds and other things to attract the various birds. Also, the duck house with the food trays attracts blackbirds and sparrows etc.

I managed to get my camera and tried to take some photo shots, but was also careful not to scare them off.











    

On My Way Home from Chatteris in the Fenland



The weather has been very sunny and warm with clear blue skies. I've been working in the village of Chatteris, Fenland. It's a small sleepy little hamlet nestled in the middle of farmlands. In every direction, there is nothing but beautiful fields. In some ways, I feel as though I have stepped back into a retro 1960s England. Many of the hamlets have that old English feel to them. Also, many people seem to have a joyous spring in their step knowing we are to leave the EU. People far and wide talk about it with huge smiles on their faces. I believe the little village got a visit from Ian Duncan Smith during the EU referendum campaign. He was a Brexit politician and I would imagine he received a very warm welcome from most people in Chatteris.

I do my bin emptying rounds about the town centre every morning and everyone says, "Good Morning," as they go about their business. I did the same thing this morning and was on my way back to the Council yard in March, Fenland. The town where I live. As I took the road towards Doddington, I saw a couple of old Romany caravans and could not help stopping to grab a snapshot on the mobile phone camera. We have a lot of Romany and other Travellers that live about the Fenland.





    



Thursday, 6 April 2017

Treebeard's Little Brother was not in The Lord of the Rings

Today was a beautiful day. Hopefully a taste of what is to come as we work our way through the spring towards summer. I was working in the historic Fenland town of Chatteris and after a few hours, I decided to stop for a cup of tea and a cheese roll.

I picked a spot on the outskirts of town close to a bypass that heads towards Ely. I was enjoying the sunny weather and sipping my tea. Well, I'm sure many of you would sometimes drift and think about things. You might see something and it flicks a little memory and off you go on a little trip.

As I was surveying the field before me, there was this single young tree in the middle of the meadow. It was a very odd shaped tree indeed and I could not help but imagine it was walking towards me. Perhaps to steal my cheese roll. I grinned as I indulged the silly thought. 

Then I was reminded of The Lord of the Rings story. I had read it many years ago and it blew my mind. I've also seen the movie adaptations since reading the wonderful story.

The little lone tree in the meadow made me think of the Ent creatures of the forest. In the story, two of the Hobbit characters meet a giant tree man called Treebeard. This gigantic walking tree man tells the little Hobbits that he is an Ent. A tree that can walk.

This little tree in the meadow looked as though it was walking, but it was rather small for an Ent. Perhaps it was Treebeard's much young brother and had not grown up yet.

    


Monday, 3 April 2017

Nanotechnology Awards - NANOSMAT Conference Paris 2017



There is a special award called the NANOSMAT Award. It is a special prize for achievements in the scientific study and progress for development in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Professor Ferrari made valuable and outstanding strides in the field study of nanoscience and nanotechnology. This involved groundbreaking work with graphene and carbon nanotubes. 
The NANOSMAT Award committee seem to have been very impressed and excited by the exploration of various scientific knowledgeable boundaries concerning materials science, engineering in this field and physics surrounding it. 
The awards committee was very impressed by his ability to carry out research with novel and stimulating results, exploiting different frontiers stretching from materials science to microengineering and physics on this relatively new realm of scientific endeavour.
There is also the KROTO Award that goes along similar lines of recognition. This committee as also watched over young scientists of outstanding merit who are new encouraging fledgelings, confidently moving into the exciting realm of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Perhaps tomorrow's grand experts in the making?
One doctor is developing nanotech parts to be mixed into computer desktop-scale applications. This means computers can become even more efficient and complex in the task performances with ever more competent programmes.
The two scientists, who will receive these awards, must go to the twelfth NANOSMAT conference in Paris where each prize winner will deliver a lecture to their audience.  

Claire Catches A Carp At the Lake by Her Home.



My son, Lloyd caught a fine carp in a previous blog at the lake close to their home. This wonderful lake is on their doorstep and both Lloyd and his wife Claire love carp fishing. Also, their five children enjoy the lake too. The eldest son Floyd is getting into the habit of carp fishing and is enjoying the lake immensely. 

Last night, Claire decided to give the lake ago for carp and she managed to land this fine specimen. It is a beautiful Common Carp with a dark top running along the spine and fading towards the golden scales lower down the fine fish's scales.

It looks as though Claire's fishing is going very well at the moment and she has managed to get herself in a couple of the national fishing magazines on several occasions over the last year.



Sunday, 2 April 2017

Why Do So Many of Us Enjoy Steampunk?

There is so much more to steampunk than dressing up in Victorian style clothing. It is developing in various fields of interest and carving out a signature in music, movies and literature. It can cross a multitude of topics and the boundaries are constantly expanding. Because these boundaries are always being pushed and explored, steampunk is becoming more diverse and varies in a number of fan's imaginations.
One might enjoy the fashion or clothing. Another might enjoy fantasy stories set in Victorian style realms or futuristic alternative Gothic/steampunk worlds. There are also various steampunk style ornaments. I've even seen a lavish looking bathroom complete with toilet and tiling in the wonderful steampunk style.
Steampunk of today appears to be an alliance of Victorian age coupled with science fiction. It seems to have a ruled structure yet an invitation to meddle and redesign while maintaining that old world vision of clothing, steel and rivets. 
Although steampunk has a signature of an old Victorian world, there remains a twisted and alternative futuristic feel as well. Each person looks unique in their attire and each vehicle or contraption seems unique too. Nothing is uniform except the old Victorian world concept somehow reinvented. It seems and feels as though we are looking back in time to the Victorian era while flirting with a wished for, science fiction and futuristic look and feel.






    

Lloyd is Showing off A Big One.


My eldest son, Lloyd stayed out late at the lake close to his home. He loves the lake and so does his wife Claire. They are always sneaking off over the lake to pursue their joy of fishing. All of their kids are jumping on the band waggon too. They can often be seen with them. 

Last night Lloyd decided to stay for an hour or two longer when dusk came. He was rewarded for his patience with this Common Carp. With the other fish caught during the daylight hours, Lloyd's little venture out to the lake proved to be a very eventful day's fishing.