Heroes : Professor Brian Cox

In which the universe is huge.

The radiant cheekboned one is back soon on the BBC with a show in which Professor Brian Cox explains Why are we here? How did the universe make us? Are we alone? And what is our future? And why the answers to all these questions need to be explained from the top of a mountain.

This follows on from “Wonders of Life” where he tells us that biology is basically a subset of chemistry which is of course a branch of physics, “Wonders of the Universe” where everything is massive and brilliant and huge and physics, and “Wonders of the Solar System” where everything is slightly less massive and slightly less brilliant and slightly less huge but still physics.

I imagine the answer to many of those questions will be physics.

Professor Brian Cox, speaking at the Royal Ins...
Isn’t pointing brilliant?!

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Turn off reality television

In which I watch people who are famous because people once watched them.

I hate reality TV, for one it is totally misleading. It depicts nothing of reality at all, unless of course everyone else lives in a house of Heat-magazine wannabees, on a desert island, cooking and dancing for judges. Perhaps I live in the crazy world?

Reality TV is ‘rule by the mob’, it reinforces the trope that ‘mean is best’ and being nice is a weakness. It’s a study in nastiness, a modern version of the coliseum but this time we throw the idiots to the lions (who are bordering on idiots themselves).

A reality TV show is the domain of the attractive, “you’re a crazed racist? Oh it doesn’t matter you’ve got big breasts we forgive you”. Woe betide the ugly person though who happens to mention they once sneezed without covering their mouth…that is a crime punishable by tabloid hanging.

So here is my suggestion for a reality show…ladies and gentlemen I present: “I’m a nice person dancing on a desert island let me cook for you.”
I'm a nice person dancing o na desert island let me cook for you

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4 things that took the nuclear option

In which I may have leant on the red button.

Nuclear power was once meant to be the fuel of the future (which as anyone who is in the know will now tell you is quite obviously LPG – how long does the brainwashing last?) In the early days scientists and marketeers alike told us of the many amazing applications the mighty could have.

Rightly or wrongly, nuclear power has now got a bad reputation. Incidents such as Chernobyl and the recent events at the Fukishima plant have highlighted that when a nuclear power plant tends to get into trouble it generally causes quite a few problems.

Many people have imagined a post-nuclear apocalyptic world, so that sounds like a great excuse for a list.

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Keeping up with the neighbours

In which I get to test drive some fantastic fantastical vehicles.

Ever since I was a kid I’ve dreamt of driving imaginary vehicles, at school I was the pilot of the Golden Condor from Mysterious Cities of Gold, and this has continued to adulthood. The chance to control some of the greatest machines of sci-fi is just so alluring.

Being able to own any vehicle is a very tricky exercise, after all with such a myriad to choose from how do you decide. You know what this sounds like? List time!

So, in order of me thinking about them, the five fictional craft I want to own:

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Stop blaming others for spoilers

In which I can see dead people like Keyser Soze.

This weekend I have managed to enjoy television afresh, normally I am unable to watch event TV at the same time as the masses so have to live in fear of the internet and spoilers. In the age of the internet spoilers seem inevitable, so what should be the etiquette around them? Is the burden of silence on those in the know or those avoiding the news? When is it acceptable to talk about something without fear of ruining the surprise?

Gone are the days where it was easy to avoid spoilers, before the internet all you had to do was look away from the screen when instructed or steer clear of magazines announcing the latest news about your favourite TV show. Then came fan sites which had ‘exclusive’ information on the future plans for a series, I remember avidly pouring over Buffy the Vampire Slayer sites in the hope of finding out what will happen to the Scoobies and whether Spike would be making a guest appearance.

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Welcome to our evil overlords

In which fictional leaders show their real world equivalents how not to do it.

The interesting part about democracy is that there are relatively few leaders who are elected that are totally evil. History has thrown up a few bad eggs, but mostly we avoid putting nefarious individuals in a position of responsibility. Instead of malevolent rulers we are more likely to place incompetence at the head of government.

We should consider ourselves lucky in real life that we don’t have as many nasty and vindictive leaders as appear in pop culture. It’s such a regular occurrence it has it’s own trope.

Here is a list of my favourite bad fictional rulers who show how terrible leaders can get.

(Warning there may be spoilers ahead)
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Childhood: Television

In which I tune in to my childhood television.

Baby G is starting to hit the age where she can be parented by the television. The combination of noise and flashing colours is enough to hold her attention whilst I am busy doing other jobs. I could provide a great education by switching on TLC but instead she can sit in front of Sky Sports.

When I was a lil’ ‘un we weren’t so lucky as to have a bajillion channels, and children’s TV was scheduled for the hour long slot after we got home from school (to give our parents enough time to cook). With the multitude of channels at our disposal we have 24 hours of kiddy programming. Most of which is tripe.

To be a child again would be great, if I could be six years old again I’d sit in front of the television and rewatch all my favourite shows. Although if it was the 1980’s again I could only do this for a few hours a day, because there was a lack of Netflix.

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The greatest devils

In which I rank the lord of lies based on his most entertaining portrayals.

I don’t believe in the devil, he always seems a convenient excuse for human weakness. Blaming anything bad on some demonic being is akin to blaming that broken vase when you were younger on your imaginary friend screaming “But Beelzebub made me do it”.

Ignoring the theological problems of a high priest of evil being allowed to exist, there is something about how Lucifer is depicted on fiction that just makes him…well…pretty awesome.

Who were you rooting for in Devils Advocate? Keanu Reeves or Al Pacino? In fact I think its list time again…hey don’t blame me! Satan made me. So in no “power of Christ compels me” order my 6(66) favourite selections of the Devil.

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Having a crush on a TV character

In which some cartoons caused my first stirrings.

One of the complaints about modern TV and film is that characters are needlessly sexed up. Just take a look at some people’s reactions to the modern My Little pony, you would think we now have stripper ponies whereas the 80’s version was much homelier.

Even though my childhood was during a time of big hair and a zero Photoshop there were still plenty of pop culture icons to have a crush on.

The interesting thing about this list will be that it is the first time I have ever mentioned them, so there may be an awkward conversation tonight with Mrs G (especially as she has noticed my fervent typing). So, as with all my lists, in no particular order:

My childhood crushes (Crushii?)

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Heroes : Ron Swanson

In which I want all the bacon and all the eggs.

For the past few weeks I have been able to watch one of the great philosophers of our time. A man of our times for our times, and who I wish was a personal mentor of mine. Not that Mrs G shares this feeling, for she is worried that I may end up being like the great Ron Swanson.

This has all come about because we have been binge watching “Parks and Recreation” so I’ve been immersed in the goings on of the Pawnee government for the past two weeks. As a result the sayings and teachings of Ron Swanson have become an unofficial mantra for me. The man is like a real-life Teddy Roosevelt.

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