World's Largest Reel-to-Reel

While zooming around my old home town of Gladstone, QLD through Google Map’s much improved interface, I came across this from above.

<a title=“Google Maps - Gladstone Reel to Reel” href=“http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=gladstone&ie=UTF8&t=k&om=1&ll=-23.870386,151.264862&spn=0.00388,0.005397">The World’s largest reel-to-reel.

It’s gotta be in the Guinness World record books somewhere. I have my crack team of researchers standing by to find it.

Why Fred Basset is the "Dumbest Comic Strip Ever".

Update: 2007-06-02 I don’t care if you like Fred Basset. If you were thinking of commenting read this instead and then go away!

Update 2: 2012-05-20 I still can’t figure out why people are still commenting on this post. I’m closing comments. Read why here.

Many of you already know that Fred Basset is close to, if not the dumbest comic strip of all time. I know for a fact that there are whole religions based on pondering the worthlessness that is “Fred Basset”. For those that do not know, Fred Basset is a comic strip featuring a basset-hound that does ordinary dog things, and comments about them as though they are remarkably funny. They aren’t.

Now there never was much debate about it being a good comic, but in case there were any remaining basset-hound loving comic-readers with the sense of humour of a toasted marshmallow that thought Fred Basset was an amusing slice of suburban doggy life - I present the following.

Reader Beware! Before you click, you must know your immortal soul will be in jeopardy as you read it. It will cry out as though stuck by the very pitchfork of Satan himself. Hold on, and pray to whatever gods you must. I take no responsibility for it’s hideousness.

Fred Basset bringing pain to
millions

Fred Basset bringing pain to millions

Dear reader. I apologise for that, but I feel it is my duty to inform the world that Fred Basset is the worst… comic… ever…

If you need something to ease the pain, I will provide you with an example of the greatest comic of all time:

Calvin and
Hobbes

A better cartoon

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest or "How to wow and annoy an audience all at once"

Went to see above-mentioned film on the weekend. First off let me take the opportunity to say, “Shove over d#@-head!“. The session I went to was the biggest of the 30 screens on offer, but it was still overcrowded. Which wouldn’t make me annoyed (well not in the same self-righteous sort of way) except that each group of people decided that everyone that didn’t belong to their little group was smelly or evil and left one seat between them and the next group of xenophobes.

So my friend and I were forced to split up and sit either side of one fat guy with a B.O. problem… no, I’m fibbing - we had to sit in the second row.

Thus begins the discussion of “Pirates of the Caribbean”, starring Orlando Bloom’s Nostrils, Johnny Depp’s Mascara, and Keira Knightley’s… pores. Don’t get me wrong - they’re beautiful pores (actually I will say this for the film - when you’re looking up at the pores of a real person and a CG character and they’re equally as detailed - it’s good CG), but no one should be forced to critically analyse an actor’s skin because of another person’s ignorance.

So on to the movie.

Seriously. Rant over.

What a ride! It was intense. I cannot tell how much of the dizziness I experienced was intentional on the part of Gore Verbinski and how much was my terrible seating (OK, enough now), but it was a fair spectacle. With stunning computer created creatures, and some terrific characters. I had heard that Johnny Depp was particularly good in this (and especially in the second half) - I don’t know. Johnny Depp does some marvellous work, but I just couldn’t like Jack Sparrow. In the first movie I remember liking him a lot, but in this he grated on me - which made the ending (and you’ll understand when you see it) particularly hard for me to believe.

The story is sprawling. I wasn’t aware going in that this is the second in what will be a trilogy, which gives the writers a lot of room to create multiple stories. And at three hours for this movie alone, they jam pack it full of stories. They go this way, they go that way, and there’s sword fighting, comical chases, and Depp doing that girly running. It’s all very good fun, but looking back it’s all a bit much.

And knowing that it is a two-parter might help some people deal with what I saw as the most annoying part of the whole film. After hours of crazy running and complicated plot twists, and a cast of characters that could sink a ship (get it?) instead of wrapping up, the film ends. NOTHING IS RESOLVED. As my mate put it - this is the longest teaser trailer for a movie ever made (Barring LOTR: FOTR and TT - which at least wrapped up the occasional sub-plot). It p##d me off that now I’ve invested three hours in this movie I’m forced to see the last one. How did I miss that it was split in two? I don’t know.

My mate thoroughly enjoyed himself. That’s a good endorsement to me. He enjoyed it ‘cause it followed so well from the original - bringing back favourite characters, and developing ideas that didn’t get fully explored. Oh, but read up on your pirate myths before you go. The stories of Davy Jones et al are kind of explained throughout, but with everything going on you might want to have a better understanding of how all the stories fit together… My exposure to the story of the Flying Dutchman is limited to episodes of Spongebob. And watch part one just before. I didn’t (can you tell) and I couldn’t remember what the hell anyone was talking about.

Pluses:

  • Very fun

  • Pirates (this may well be enough)

  • Sword-fighting

  • Returning characters

  • Keira Knightley

  • Johnny Depp (if you’re so inclined)

  • Fantastic CG

Minuses

  • Long

  • Part two of three

  • Pirates (yes this is a minus for some… they aren’t nice people)

  • Keira Knightley’s massive chin (it’s only in one scene, so it’s not terrible)

So all up, I give it 24 ’s for being fun. And if you REALLY enjoyed the first one add another 10’s, but I’m adding 10 -’s away for not making it really obvious that it was gonna stop half way thr…

Hercules Returns: PLEASE!

I was reading about some stupid but fun movies on DVD Verdict, and thought I’d get their opinion on a movie released in 1993 that was one of the silliest, and most quotable movies of all time - Hercules Returns.

It turns out they haven’t reviewed it. Neither has Rotten Tomatoes. “What is wrong with the world”, think I.

Searching IMDB finds it, but sadness sets in as I realise that it can only be bought legally on VHS from the UK (and if memory serves the quality wasn’t great to begin with).

To my international reader - Hercules Returns was a movie made by a few of our comedians by re-dubbing an old 1960’s Hercules movie with new dialogue. It’s some of the funniest stuff to ever be made in Australia, and is one of those films that gets mentioned in passing in a social situation, and dominates the rest of the evening being quoted over and over until someone says they haven’t seen it, and you all troop to the nearest (or furthest if necessary) video shop to hire it immediately because they MUST SEE IT NOW.

“I’ll fight you on one condition… that you lower your nipples.”

Seriously, this is a must see for any Aussie. Sadly, it is becoming increasingly difficult to induct friends into the Hercules Returns club because it’s just so difficult to find now.

So I researched. You can buy it on eBay, but as there has never been a DVD release it makes it tough for me to believe that these ‘extremely rare’ copies are anything but bootleg forgeries. And it’s a real shame - a proper DVD transfer of this would be marvellously popular - judging by the gushing comments on IMDB, and the number of (ahem) copies available online.

Eventually I found the email address of the sales contact for the film, and sent them this email:

To whom it may concern,

I would simply like to enquire as to the possibilities of Hercules Returns, a wonderful Australian film, being released on DVD here in Australia. I have found it available on VHS in the UK, and on (presumably bootleg) DVD from eBay an other sellers, but would love to own a properly converted (and fully legal) copy of my own on DVD.

You may get requests like this all the time, and I may not even have the correct email address (as found on the Australian Film Commission website), but if you could let me know if this might be in the works (sometime in the next twenty years even?), or who I might have to bribe to make this happen I (and a thousand other fans) would be eternally grateful.

Thanks for your time in this matter, and I will attempt to contact you by phone or mail to confirm this address if I have not heard in a few weeks.

Sincerely,


Josh Nunn

As I said, I’ll contact them again in a few weeks, and post the progress here. When I have it in my hands I will force everyone I know to buy it and watch it. Once they’ve seen it they’ll thank me.

Update 2006-07-03After actually getting comments about this I tried again. After just a couple of weeks I got this email from Tim from the company I contacted: > Josh > > I am Tim \[name withheld\] - I look after our home entertainment > properties and also our\ > DVD label. I will look into Hercules and get back to you. > > It may well be possible... > > Tim Hooray! This is the best news ever. I eagerly await his contact, and I'll keep you posted.
Update 2006-07-30 I've contacted Tim again to ask if there is anything that we as Fans might do to help the process along. I will update if he responds.
UPDATE 2006-08-01 This might have been a good place to start - Des Mangan (the main male voice in Hercules Returns) created Hercules Returns as part of his two person group Double Take. Sally Patience seems to have moved on, but Double take is back and you can find details of shows (they were originally a live show) and upcoming projects at [www.doubletake.com.au](http://www.doubletake.com.au "Double Take - Live theatre meets cinema"). On their 'Future projects' page they answer this important question: > **Why hasn't Hercules Returns been released yet on DVD?**\ > Simple fact is we are still looking for the right distribution company > to release the film in all its glory! Don't fret. The DVD of Hercules > Returns should be released some time this year with special features > and audio commentary. Any DVD versions of Hercules Returns you > currently see on Ebay etc are pirated off the VHS and are illegal. > Just warning you. So there you go - IT IS COMING PEOPLE!\ Rejoice!

Update 2006-12-25 It’s here! Check out my latest post on this subject for an explanation and review!

Lost: Season Two

I’m loving this.

In Australia we’re about - I dunno, somewhere past halfway through the season. Hurley has just had his ‘crazy’ episode, and things seem to be getting nowhere for anyone.

I was thinking about where everyone in this episode is at the moment - how it seems like all the things we started to learn about them last season were meant to build them up in our minds - only to tear them down again with newer revelations. On a writing level it’s brilliant. Other dramas do it to their characters - but in Lost it feels like the Island is doing it to them.

Hurley was always a lovable guy - still is - but now we wonder if he isn’t a little bit broken by being stuck on the Island.

Sawyer was always bad, but we were beginning to like him (as were the Islanders). Now we cheer when he gets pummelled by Hurley. Rat bastard.
When we found out that Kate was the one in handcuffs on the plane we figured someone that cute couldn’t have done anything wrong. Yeah well - murdering your dad… for being your dad - that’s pretty bad.

Sun’s affair.

We still like these characters - don’t get me wrong, but they started out in season one as clean slates and we started forming opinions of them (Jin for example was a mobster and killer) as soon as we could. By the end of the season most of them had won us over, by doing the ‘right’ thing when it mattered. Now their other sides are coming out - and some of them aren’t easy to like at all.

Locke seemed so in-control, but we’re seeing that he’s actually just as scared and lost as any of them, prone to irrational decisions and fits of rage - full of as much doubt as faith. And when he hit the hobbit - he kinda lost some cred.

As for Charlie - his indiscretions seem minor in comparison to some, but because of them he’s been outcast into Sawyer’s little world. I can’t not like Charlie though - he’ll always be a bit hobbitish to me (And Dominic has my respect, to go from a fantastic movie like Lord of the Rings to a TV show seems like a step down for lot of actors - but he’s done a great job of it. And unlike some nameless people (*cough Sean Astin - There and Back Again - this guy whines almost as much as me - but I haven’t made a bunch of great movies *cough) he doesn’t give the impression that he thinks the world owes him for being such a great actor.)). So Charlie isn’t so bad.

Whatever your opinion about any of these character flaws in real people, you have to admit that the Islanders aren’t coming out of season two as rosily as the first. They’re being broken and damaged - and none of them for the first time. It’s great TV - even if you do want them to all just get along.

Confusion and head-trauma

Just a quick update. I’ve wanted to write for a while because I have a lot of questions spinning around in my head. The problems are - I have no time to think, and the thoughts are so large and complex that I cannot hold them together for a long enough time to write them down.

So this is just to document that I’m still thinking over all the questions I have. I’m still hoping for a message from God. I’ve been following discussion at the Dilbert Blog - or at least the parts that pertain to my questions, and Scott Adams puts into words some of the same questions that have shaken my faith. At the same time, I have talked with people of faith and been to the funeral of my wife’s grandmother - stirring the old feelings of belonging and satisfaction I had being a part of the church.

You might think the answer is obvious, and from day to day I flop from feeling either that religion is silly, or that I wish to return to it. My confusion is great, and I don’t see an answer in sight.

Why you want a Mac

This post was my response to a question asked by Ronnie Swafford on Newsvine: Why was he, a Windows Programmer with no obvious need for a Mac so drawn to get an Apple computer?

I answered (and am yet to see if he responds), but noticed what a huge comment I’d written and thought it could be a blog entry in itself. So here is why you want a Mac.

You want a Mac because Apple seems to have a philosophy that says, “do what must be done to make this a positive, well rounded experience”.

It’s an interesting idea, and it got people (myself included) to realise that PC’s are holding advances in tech back. Consider this, Apple ditched numerous PC staples that people relied on, and are only now realising they don’t need:

  1. Out dated peripheral ports (parallel, serial, ps2) choosing USB and Firewire alone to connect peripherals - and how much simpler is that?

  2. Ditched floppies too. I would rather tech support a Mac than a PC for this reason alone…

  3. Said goodbye to System 9. They supported it for a reasonable time, but made it clear all along that their system would not be bogged down trying to make everyone happy

  4. Have sort of shown that they will use stable, or new and emerging technologies (with their own spin on it) instead of insisting that people keep using ‘updated’ (feature-tacked-on) versions of their old proprietary technology. Again - System 9 was ditched in favour of a nix backbone. They include apache and php with the OS. Compare Microsoft who keep loading pile after pile of re-worked re-hashed proprietary stuff on the public, locking more and more people into ‘their’ system.

Sure these things annoyed some people, but it’s clear that Mac’s are ‘moving forward’ while PC’s are stuck catering to people stuck in the past.

All in all, I feel like I’m taking charge when I buy a Mac - no one will tell me what to I have to use. Of course this isn’t always true and I prefer Firefox because Apple decided I couldn’t use the latest version of Safari without purchasing Tiger. But more often than not, if I see it coming to a PC in the future, Apple is already doing it.

If Apple pioneers something new (this is hypothetical) I can imagine that they will use existing standards to make it work securely and easily, and start to phase out whatever it replaces. If Microsoft or Dell were to make this hypothetical Doohicky™ it would use their own proprietary software/hardware combo, communicate in a completely new and patentable way, be full of bugs, and contain a bunch of bits and bobs that make it (theoretically) usable with technology I hated ten years ago when it was in it’s prime, and now isn’t used by anyone but my Gran.

You want a Mac because it speaks to you of future world that doesn’t need endless configuration, doesn’t rely on and adhere to old tech, and will move and change easily with the advances of our field.

Hey look at me! May 12th - CFS/ME (FMS) Awareness day.

Check this out! I have blue hair:
I have blue
hair!

There’s no easy way to say this - it’s a real tongue twister… here goes:

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Syndrome.
ME and CFS are roughly the same thing, while FMS has different systems - you’d never know if someone had it unless they told you. You might guess something was wrong with them, but you may not notice anything is up with them at all.

Well my wife has CFS and FMS. Chronic fatigue leaves her tired, un-energetic and sick, while Fibro now leaves her in constant pain. She’s described it to me (using Gini’s - notcrazy forum friend - description) like this:

Feels to me like I am just coming out of anaesthetic and while under somebody dropped me, forgot it was me down there on the floor and tried to use me for a mop.

There is heaps of information about these syndromes online because tons of people have them, but out in the big world there’s a stunning amount of misunderstanding about them as well. See, the problem is that for years it was easy to dismiss these people as lazy or ‘putting it on’, because they have to lie around a lot, and often can’t continue working like they were. People think that it’d be awesome to not have to go to work, but people with CFS and Fibro do a lot of boring nothing, because they’re often to sore or tired to even talk on the phone, let alone go out or have company. Mil and I often spend nights watching crappy TV instead of hanging out with friends - this is not a desirable illness to have. The May 12th Awareness Day is a chance to tell people that it is a terrible problem and that lots of people with CFS, FMS or any other ‘invisible illness’ need support, care and understanding.

Which brings me to my blue hair. This is my ‘Myspace-style’ photo:

joshnunn's 'myspace'
photo

Blue is the designated color for the CFS awareness day, and I wanted Mil to know that she’s not living with this alone. And I hope people at my schools will ask why I did it, and I can tell them.

You can find out more information about these illnesses all around the web (and some misinformation too). A great place to start (not for misinformation you twit) is notdoneliving.net. Ricki’s Open Letter to those without CFS/Fibro is a great place to start if you know someone with either illness or want to understand what it is like to have an invisible illness. (Lifehacker recently gave Ricky an honorable mention in their workspace bonanza for her in-bed computer setup. I mentioned that someone with CFS was on Lifehacker and Mil says ‘yeah, that’d be Ricky’.)

Finally, Mil’s second family are the people at notcrazy.net, a website and forum based around the book I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just A Little Unwell by Leigh Hatcher, an Australian journalist with CFS. It has plenty of info about CFS, but Mil visits for the forum. She’s made a lot of great friends who are all helping each other through what can be for some a life-long problem. If you have CFS of Fibro or anything like them, notcrazy and places like it can be life-savers.

So that’s why my hair is blue. I’ll leave you with a photo of Mil’s sister Miranda and her sons who got into the spirit of May 12th too.
Mil's family got into Chronic Fatigue Awareness day
too

Most needed entertainment technology

What you need is a way to give instant feedback on TV and radio. The Internet is a wonderful thing, where you can switch off things that annoy you, and turn away from sites that don’t do it for you.

Radio and TV don’t give you that luxury. This is not about intrusive advertising, or even programming that doesn’t work for you (Big Brother? - turning it over to another channel isn’t enough). This is about entertainment that we care about being in our control.

Imagine turning on the radio and enjoying your favourite station. Then imagine that it gets hijacked by some irritating presenter that makes pointless small-talk for ten minutes between each song with boring callers. And not just your ordinary radio banter, but grating train-of-thought, deep-voiced “You’re a bit of a pickle-head now aren’t you, ho-ho?” stupidity. Wouldn’t the world be a nicer place if switching the radio off in disgust would give someone somewhere immediate feedback - maybe a mild electrical shock?

Edit: ARGH! He’s doing TV commercials now! Will the madness never cease?

Update from Me (or 'Why I haven't written in a while')

To my 3 loyal readers, sorry I haven’t written in a while. To be honest, I keep up with you regularly anyway, and you know all my news. And frankly, anything I think I’d like to share with the world gets covered in other blogs very quickly by a lot of people before I can anyway.

So on to my update:

  • I have a new job working in a school. I already worked in a school, but this time I get to make the big decisions.

  • I have a new Mac - my dad’s mini, which is very cool, but in vital need of a stick of RAM.

  • I’m at my parent’s-in-law’s place - a very nice house between two little towns outside Adelaide, where Mil and I have been trying to recharge. While my Internet credit has suffered (my father-in-law doesn’t use it as much as I), we are appreciating the chance to stretch out in a house three or for times the size of our flat (and we aren’t even using a third of the house!)

  • I purchased the 1949 movie serial ‘Batman and Robin’ and have finished watching all 15 episodes. It’s really fun, and I’m gonna take the time to write something on it soon. Until then, here is a little taste of how marvellous it is.

Robin Leaps to
Action

  • I’ve got a few extra plans for my site (or my ‘NunnOne Network’ as I’ve facetiously called it). One is to create a wiki, where (in a genius moment of sheer egotism) Josh Nunn’s (and only Josh Nunn’s) from all over the web can write about themselves. Hehe.
    Edit: It’s done… kinda… When I’m ready to tell other Josh’s I’ll make an official post, but check it at Josh Nunn Wiki

  • One amazing discovery I’ve made is that setting a text editor to default to Unicode line breaks and then forgetting can make a whole bunch of web-site files stop working when you upload them. I’ve set it to Unix line endings - now my .htaccess files might work properly…

  • I’ve got my bookmarks to follow me around now, so no matter where I am, I can find that site quickly. You can check out my setup at http://bm.nunnone.com(site no longer active) - but you’ll only see my public bookmarks.

  • By the way, does anyone want to give me money? I’ll take it… I’ve been eyeing off the new Intel Macs you see…

  • Nothing else. There is no third thing… (my text based ‘Spanish Inquisition’ impression needs work I know)

tags
rex-havoc fun technology use-case debate direction future jones google voice-in-the-dark friend time-diversion tip extensions movie twitter internet awesome bots official-help users final-flight-of-xarnash interface iphone music wordpress christmas create gadgets ortrix support the-professor voice-in-the-flesh anrianna blogging new-feature problem cute family guide past search stupid application embed first-look gina-trapani god humour java