An update, and a new home

November 3, 2009

Folks, the reason this blog is looking so threadbare is that I’m blogging on more work-related themes over at unscrambled.wordpress.com

You can also follow me on @tomoppad

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Honda lets it shine

April 28, 2009

Seen the ad for the Honda’s new hybrid car?

Produced and shot near Cape Town, it features the world’s biggest LED screen, made up of headlights.

Honda Insight – Let It Shine from Honda on Vimeo.

And here’s how they made it:

Honda Insight – The Making of “Let it Shine” from Honda on Vimeo.

BBC bollocks

April 15, 2009

Utterly shite piece on South Africa on the BBC news this evening.

Couched as a pre-election piece, on what we were told was the most important election since the collapse of Apartheid (didn’t they say that last time?).

But instead of trying to explain anything at all to do with the elections, our man in Cape Town, clearly a frustrated war correspondent, opted to head into Cape Flats and do a story on gangs, because hey, gangsters probably also vote don’t they? Who cares! Our boy had some footage of actual lawbreaking to capture!

So we were treated to shots of him being driven into Grassy Park as a voiceover intoned phrases like “spiralling crime rate” and “one of the most dangerous cities on earth”

The rest of the piece was taken up with Pulitzer prize-winning footage of our man on an upturned paint tin surrounded by men in dark glasses smoking tik and talking bollocks.

He wittered on with searching questions like “how many people have you stabbed with that knife” and (this really is my personal favourite) “How is the recession affecting gangsters?”

Fucking genius.

Maybe tomorrow we’ll get a story about an adopted lioncub that lives in a home in Bryanston, or maybe we’ll find out how the recession is affecting the number of wives that a president can afford.

Most unfortunate lookalike ever?

March 10, 2009

Copyright stv.tv

Yikes. It might only be from one angle, in a certain light, but having just seen Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth on a TV report, I have to admit that he bears a striking resemblance to someone else who was in charge of armed forces around the 1940s…

You’d think a media officer would have a quiet word: when you’re armed forces minister you might want to steer clear of moustaches and side partings, Bob.

Gaza short from Waltz with Bashir animator

March 5, 2009

Nice short animated film from one of the collaborators on the Israeli movie Waltz with Bashir, illustrating life in Gaza under the Israeli blockade.

Spotted in Russell Square this morning

March 5, 2009

You get used to tripping over bizarre objects when you walk through London parks. Back in the day, when my commute used to involve a brisk walk across Shepherds’ Bush Green, it sometimes felt that wellington boots were the only footwear up to the task.

Anyway, I now work in the West End (Bloomsbury, if you please), and this morning I have realised that the area attracts a higher class of nocturnal activities. As witnessed by this bizarre find on a park bench in Russell Square: a used can of whipping cream. Classy.

whipping_cream2

Sardine Run on Nature’s Great Events

March 4, 2009

Absolutely incredible wildlife doccie on BBC this evening on the sardine run off the South African coast – part of the “Nature’s Great Events” series.

The beeb really take wildlife filming to amother level – blinding shots of sardine shoals mile long, massed dolphin school and sharks ‘herding’ the shoals towards the surface to feed, gannets swimming to a depth of 20m.

Awesome

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

February 9, 2009

Get quote from Jeremy Paxman in an interview on the Guardian today: “What gets me out of bed in the morning is finding things out”

Which sums it up for me quite nicely too, thanks Paxo.

Snow joke

February 2, 2009

It happens every year, so we shouldn’t be surprised should we?

Every year it will snow. Not a lot, just an inch or two, enough for a modest snowman, or a small crop of snowballs, no more.

And every year the city grinds to a halt. We shouldn’t be surprised.

But then again, it happens every year. So you’d think the council would do their homework and have a few gritters ready, perhaps a snowshovel or two. But no.

This was the scene we woke to this morning. 

dsc00173

It’s beautiful, but you lose sight of that when you discover that every single bus in London has been cancelled, and the underground is running with all the strength of a leaking tap.

But my favourite is the train services. Reams and reams of trains were cancelled today, huge swathes if the country were cut off. People were boiling their toilet water to drink and eating their pets just to stay alive.

And why were so many trains cancelled? Because the drivers couldn’t come to work.

And why couldn’t the drivers come to work? Because the trains and buses weren’t running.

Welcome to Kafka for beginners, the Transport for London dramatisation.

Little wonder that those of us that did make it into work in Central London staggered out of Goodge St Tube station to see this piece of improv street art:

go-home

More pics here

Know your audience

January 29, 2009

Huge plaudits to the Royal Opera House for making me laugh out loud at my desk this morning, thanks to their simply superb online registration form.

It starts out like your average sign-up form, you know the sort: Name, Surname, Email address blah blah blah.

But take a look at the Title drop down.

Where any other site would offer you the choice of Mr and Mrs, perhaps stretching to Dr at the most, the Royal Opera House offers you the full range (and I mean full in the most overblown sense of the word) of the vast and intricate English social spectrum.

So yes, you can be a Mr or a Miss, but spread your wings and pop down that dropdown, you can be Duke for day! An Earl or a Viscount.

Boring? Well then why not be a Dowager Marchioness or an HTH The Princess, or, if your first name is Biggles, just skip right the way down to the 133rd option on the list: Wing Commander.

There’s even Queen, because we all know that when she’s not walking the corgis her Maj loves nothing more than to book her opera tickets online.

Me, I’m going to book me some tickets for the Sultan and Viscontessa Gray.

roh-reg-box

See the full list here:
https://www.roh.org.uk/myroyaloperahouse/register.aspx