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paka might get a giggle out of this short, "Tom and His Pals" that mycroftb found, on one guy and his D&D group. Not entirely worksafe. =:D

Here's an insight from a culinary perspective on what makes Ratatouille such a good movie. (One not-quite-spoiler within) "Last weekend Chef Pardus called me to say if I didn’t take my kids that very weekend to Ratatouille, I was a loser. This from the same guy who called me a wuss because I didn’t want to drive 30 miles through a blizzard to make a bechamel sauce."

Peter Davison's apparently set to take over the role of King Arthur in the West End production of Spamalot. ^_^ "It was written by former Python Eric Idle, who recently unveiled his next project - Not The Messiah (He's A Very Naughty Boy) at Toronto's Luminato festival."

Via metaquotes, Ten Quintessentially British Things the Rest of the World Will Never Understand. "You're allowed to drink legally in the UK at the age of 18 which means that most people are seasoned drinkers by the time they hit 16. However, due to immature taste buds and the need for near-constant sugary input, beer is rarely the beverage of choice. So it usually goes one of two ways - Lambrini for girls, White Lightning for boys. They're pretty interchangeable really, with both just tasting like a combination of Capri Sun and gasoline, but teenage boys can't be seen to drink something as feminine as Lambrini (which I believe is Italian for 'teen pregnancy ahoy'), so they stick with the cider."

Fearsomely pointless invention for the day: sliced bread. Not into slices, but to remove the crusts. It was inevitable, though, given the Anglophone world's obsession with fresh, crunchy breads, leading to over 700 dental accidents in 2005 alone.

Ghibli's latest, Tales from Earthsea, isn't one to hurry out for - but I'll note I'm not one for medieval fantasy. After forty minutes, I gave up on it, to resume some other day - as beautiful as any Ghibli production, very good score, but a wretchedly trite story with all the usual generic elements. Whether this is the fault of the original, or a poor adaptation, I can't say, not knowing the originals; I'd be disappointed either way, frankly. Anime News Network has a lengthier review here, which I'd essentially agree with.

A rather different film was Ga-ga Chwala Bohaterom ("Ga-ga: Glory to the Heroes"), a Polish tale of a future in which everyone's too contented to bother with aspiring to be astronauts, so prisoners are sent off to distant planets instead. Our hero arrives, but finds things are.. a little odd. Squalid, certainly, but it's the welcoming gifts the enthusiastic official gives him, including a garotte, automatic machine gun, and a bomb. ("Leave it on a bus, during rush hour. Always very popular!") Think of Mad Max and the dregs of Robocop, crafted with the sharp and bleak humor of Brazil.

Baccano! looks like it could be fun - action/adventure in a Prohibition-style gangland setting. With vampires. ^_^ Looks like it might make up for the loss of Darker than Black from the fansub scene.

Here's quite a neat thread on opening the iPhone, noting the progress that's being made. One easter egg of sorts: dial *3001#12345#* and call. It'll launch the FieldTest application, displaying all the cell towers it's seeing, and whose network they're affiliated to.

Time for some Thai, I thought. Not in the least authentic, but you get the drift. Boiling water, four finely sliced bird's eye peppers, a good dose of garlic granules, some basil, a sachet of chicken & mushroom instant soup, about eight thickly sliced mushrooms, three ground up anchovies, some smoked hot paprika, and two cubed pork chops with the fat trimmed off, all left to simmer gently for an hour or two. Then, once everything seemed to have made its peace with each other, the vegetables - plenty of baby corn, some mangetout, and some green beans, plus a small packet of large prawns, left to steam away at itself until the vegetables remained crunchy but the prawns didn't.

Most satisfactory. Not "burns twice", but more "heated seating option".

Tonight, though, I went in a simpler direction, with two parts to it all - vegetables, and meat. First, some baby corn, mangetout, and sweet pepper into the microwave to get steamed up, then into the wok with three teaspoons of a very pleasant sauce from the supermarket: cranberry, Seville orange, and port, tossed around with a little water to form something of a glaze. Out onto the plate, to make way for the teaspoon of chili oil, sprinking of garlic granules, and a bird's eye pepper, sliced finely. After that had had a chance to cook through, in with a nice pile of left-over chicken & stuffing, cubed up. Tosstosstosstosssoysaucetosstosswatertosstosstoss (and again). And then out to join the vegetables on the other side of the plate.

Definitely worthwhile. I could've maybe used two or three peppers, given they've been in the fridge for a fortnight, so they're not as potent as when fresh, but that well-rounded heat played very well with the stuffing, which in turn went along with the delicately sweetened corn and mangetout.

And as a bonus, the fumes ensured I was left alone in the kitchen. =:D

According to a quick wc LJ*, I've written about 115,600 words in this journal. Still some way to go until I top a million.. well, no time like the present. =:)
Ghibli's latest, Tales from Earthsea, isn't one to hurry out for - but I'll note I'm not one for medieval fantasy.

The US release won't happen before 2009 due to rights conflicts with the live-action version that aired on the SciFi Channel.

Nuts, and I was hoping for something a bit more positive from two fairly big influences of mine put together.
2009? Egad. I recalled there was such a dispute, but I hadn't realised the problem was so protracted. (Wonder if Canada's also included in that (dis)agreement?)

Still, you ought to give it a try - it's not really a story genre that I tend to warm to very easily. I'd be interested to see what someone who is well acquainted with the Earthsea books thinks of it. AIUI, LeGuin said something along the lines of "you've made a very good movie, but it's not my story".

Ten Quintessentially British Things the Rest of the World Will Never Understand.

Definitely an interesting list, and I do have to agree with him on his comments about the food. I haven't had much of a chance to compare, but even I think that American chocolate is unbelievably lacking. As for the tiny roads, though, I don't think they'd be much of a problem for me. At least the one he pictured doesn't have a sharp dropoff on either side, like a lot of the ones around here do.
I'm still amazed how famous Hershey is. The basic bar's acceptable, but not much more than that, going down from there to the depths of Mr Goodbar, composed of floor sweepings from the other production lines, making one reminiscent for the taste of cocoa. How is it Cadbury's not just swallowed them up? (Size, I'm guessing - quality is usually no inhibitor of financial success)

Ooh, you should post some more photos in your LJ. ^_^ Even aside from official attempts to cull the population like that, it does sound as if there's much to enjoy about your locale, ne? Even if more as a result of nature than human activity, but so it goes.

I'm still amazed how famous Hershey is.

Oh, me too. Cost might have something to do with it, too, though as far as I know the Cadbury's stuff that I occasionally find isn't that much more expensive. Or maybe it's just that so many people in this country have no taste.

Ooh, you should post some more photos in your LJ.

I know. I keep meaning to, now that we have a digital camera to play with, and I can upload things fairly easily from that. And yes, now that it's summer, there's lots of nice places around that would make for good photographs. Maybe I'll work on that some, before the summer is over.
That list of British quirks made me howl with laughter.
It's a cliché, but it holds up: it's funny because it's true. =:) For whatever reason, the UK leads the world in potato wizardry, though the US is now making some attempt to catch up. On the other paw, the UK has yet to discover barbecued meat (not just grilled on one, but gently cooked in one for hours on end). Perhaps a cuisine exchange could be arranged, maybe under the auspices of the UN.

Wonder if the UN ever holds potluck dinners.. now that would be a cultural celebration to surpass all others. ^_^

the UK leads the world in potato wizardry

Which is strange, when one considers that the native Americans have had a lot more time to come up with interesting things to do with the potato than we have. :D
That was me, by the way.
Peter Davison probably does have a very suitable voice for Spamalot, judging from seeing him on telly in The Last Detective. It's just about camp enough. :)
TLD? I'll have to sniff that out. I don't actually have a TV (well, I do, but it's a few thousand miles away, so it's really awkward to watch. Should've gone for a bigger screen), so everything comes via DSL. Remarkably good reception, too.

I was thinking just that - PD's surely quite a good match for Graham Chapman, even if surely not as intrinsically silly. ^_^

Whom we see was also known, apparently, as:

"Graham Spam Spam Spam Chapman / Graham Whicker Chapman / Graham C. Chapmanberg / Graham C. Chapmansberg / Montypython Flyingcircus / Monty Python / Hamrag Rachman / The Usual Lot"

I notice Dennis Hopper's lined up for a role in S30 of Doctor Who.. wonder if there's any chance of, say, Iggy Pop or David Bowie as their nemesis? ^_^