Saturday, October 31, 2015

WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer

This week a report by WHO's IARC hit the headlines because it appraised the evidence it collected over a number of years and classified processed meat as carcinogenic to humans. It was slightly less cure about red meat in general, with red meat it is only likely to be carcinogenic. Apparently there is no detail in the report about the level of risk for different types of processed meat, although it doesn't include processed poultry meat according to one source I read. Thing is, a lot of processed meat is in people's diets. Knowing that it causes cancer is not enough. We need to know how much does a person have to eat before their risk is significantly increased. We need to know what types of processed meat are worse than others. In relative terms, how does having a hotdog compare to eating a chocolate bar or smoking a cigarette or crossing a busy road? Lots of unanswered questions really. So, most people have heard this all before. Why is it news now? I think it is good to eat less processed meat but it won't stop me enjoying the occasional hotdog or pepperoni pizza or whatever it happens to be.

Friday, October 30, 2015

F1 2015 World Champion: Lewis Hamilton

Last weekend there was the USA Grand Prix and the race winner was Lewis Hamilton, perhaps down to a mistake by previous race leader Nico Rosberg. One race doesn't make a world champion though, so he deserves the title. I don't think I'd like him though, his personality isn't his greatest asset.


I went to see this film today. It stars Daniel Craig as James Bond. I thought Skyfall was a very good film. I enjoyed Spectre but not as much as Skyfall. I think it was more of a return to the other Daniel Craig films in the series. It alluded to characters in other films Daniel has been the star. There was a lot of locations and a lot of action. Classic Bond really.

Halloween (almost)

I have been saving this bottle of beer for a couple of weeks but I'm afraid I just couldn't quite wait until Halloween. I feel quite like it's Halloween tonight. So I opened the beer tonight and it was a good beer. I remember a Hobgoblin ale pub opening in Aylesbury a good few years ago. That was before you could buy their beer in the supermarkets.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


I'm trying to get through the film Solaris that stars George Clooney. I have seen the original Russian version of the film with subtitles and to be honest, it was more interesting. George plays the shrink in a way that I find quite dull. He doesn't come across as the type of person who would be a shrink. Once I finish the film I might be more inclined to like it. I didn't feel it held my attention well enough, so last week I turned it off and fell asleep. Sleep seemed much more attractive. That might say it all, really.

Chip butty

Here it is. The good old chip butty. I do enjoy one now and again. Especially with tomato sauce. In this case I bought some Daddies Sauce. I thought it would be okay because I've had Daddies sauce in my life before and it was half the price of Heinz Ketchup. However, Heinz Ketchup is still the best in my opinion. I might have to try another variety of ketchup, perhaps from Aldi and see how that compares in price and flavour.
The best thing with a chip butty is a good hot cup of tea. I make sure it is Yorkshire Tea.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

New PC

This morning I have ordered a new family PC for us. I don't know what prompted to do it this weekend. We have wanted a new PC for a while now. Our old PC, a HP Pavilion Elite HPE-150UK is having a few issues but is still a good PC. It just doesn't cope with watching films and working on other things at the same time anymore. I don't know if it is a RAM issue or a heat issue. It also just shuts itself down unexpectedly. Sometimes the screen doesn't work either. So in the bundle I selected we also buy a new screen, slightly larger at 23" than our current one (19"). It has been 5 years or thereabouts when we bought our last computer. So hopefully this will last another 5. I hope so anyway.


I watched the 2004 film Taxi this week. I bought it from a charity shop a few weeks ago and didn't look too closely at it before buying it, which was a big mistake. I had heard good things about a film called Taxi but it was the French version I had heard about. This US remake is not good. It has some good actors in it but they are just not used well. The script is pretty dire. It is about a male policeman who is a terrible driver and a female who knows the city (New York I think) inside and out - due to previously being a postal delivery worker. The stunts are good but it is so obvious that the actors don't perform them. I mean, Queen Latifa is a beautiful woman don't get me wrong, but there is no way she is as athletic as some of the stunts require. No, this is not a film you should waste time watching. If you feel like watching a silly movie and simple pleasures are your thing then maybe it is for you. It would be fine to watch it with children.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Martian

I went to see the new Matt Damon film called The Martian on Wednesday evening this week. It's the story of a Mars exploration team who set up a habitat base on Mars. Unfortunately a severe storm forces them to leave abruptly but Matt Damon's character gets injured in the storm while they are departing and his crew believe him to be dead because the electronics in his suit tell them he is. The storm reduces visibility so much that they cannot even find his body to take with them. They leave Mars and set off on their journey back to Earth. Matt Damon's character survives the storm however. A lot of the film is him talking to a Go Pro camera (product placement!) explaining the science of how he survives. He rescues an old probe and reboots it to set up communications with Earth. It starts out with hexadecimal code and a camera but eventually they work out together the way to use the communications equipment in the rover vehicle to email each other.
I won't spoil the plot by going further. I enjoyed this film, the director was Ridley Scott and it's the first film of his I've seen since Prometheus I believe. It's a good film. It reminded me a lot of Apollo 13, when the engineers on Earth have to work out a way to make the Oxygen and power last. A combination of that and Gravity where Sandra Bulloch is left alone to survive. All 3 great films.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

The Tripods

A few weeks ago I purchased a box set of an old BBC TV series called The Tripods. I didn't watch it when it was originally broadcast in the 1980s. It was adapted for television but was originally a series of books.
The series features robotic tripods and non-humanoid aliens. It seems to be set in a state that is kept artificially primitive. The people are subjugated and when they reach 15 are given a "cap" by the Tripods, which is a triangular "chip" burned into their head. This inhibits their creativity and curiosity and keeps them under control.
It is worth watching as a TV series but it doesn't really compare to todays science fiction series.