Monthly archives: June 2006

Profile in Blue

Last year Alan and I set a challenge. If he did a piece of music that sounded like a 70’s US cop show theme then I’d find some footage online and make a video that looked like a titles sequence. I got the video about 95% finished before forgetting about it amidst the house move. We were talking about it last night and decided it was time to release it for public consumption, so-

If you can’t see the embedded video, click through to it on Revver.

Most of the footage came from Profile in Blue, a promo piece for the Nassau County Police Department. The Police car charging down mountain roads is from Joy Ride – an Auto Theft a public safety style piece about the dangers of stealing some dude’s cool ride.

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Heavensent 6.9

“One of the prisoners heard a guard mention a troop train?”


Rey translated the question into Overall for Umat.

“Before sundown. That is all he knows. They would head for the siding south of here to let it pass.”

“We should move out.” Mov suggested.

“We should. But…..” Lensman surveyed the flat, featureless landscape. “If they decide to dismount and follow us, how far would we get before they caught us?”

“An ambush?”

Lensman turned back to Umat. “We have spare weaponry, and what came from the guards. How many of your men will fight.”

The question was only half translated when Umat answered, “All!”

Heavensent 6.10
Heavensent 6.8
Heavensent 1.1

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Whither the Wicker Man

They’ve remade The Wicker Man! It probably won’t be a bad film in itself. Nic Cage is usually quite watchable and it’ll be slick enough. But it’s still a pointless exercise. Most importantly, it seems it’s destined to be a PG-13 (12A?) so the lusty pagans will all remain clothed.

View the trailer.

Buy the original.

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More dumb football supporters- Tennis is not football

Andy Murray is a Scottish tennis player, why should he care about the English football team? After joking that he hoped “anyone except England” won the World Cup he’s been receiving hate mail, specifically comments on his weblog and had to issue a CYA statement saying he “supports English sportsmen and does not mind whether England win or lose”.

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Red China

I’m a big fan of technothrillers, despite the dodgy USA uber alles political stance of most of them. I’m currently reading Plan of Attack by Dale Brown and pondering a spoof/ satire where America loses. A story for someone else to consider is an alternate ’60’s tale involving China invading Hong Kong and a nuclear response.

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Energy efficient bulbs to save the world

Well, not quite, but a review has estimated that a global switch to efficient lighting systems would cut the world’s electricity bill by up to 10%.

“Lighting is a major source of electricity consumption,” said Paul Waide, a senior policy analyst with the IEA and one of the report’s authors.

“19% of global electricity generation is taken for lighting – that’s more than is produced by hydro or nuclear stations, and about the same that’s produced from natural gas,” he told the BBC News website.

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Biodiesel from Algae

Biodiesel and ethanol could be vital parts of the switch from oil dependency, but some of the current means of producing them are too energy intensive and damaging in their own right. PetroSun Drilling Inc. has created a subsidiary- Algae BioFuels Inc.- to research and develop algae cultivation as an energy source in the production of biodiesel. Studies have demonstrated that algae is capable of producing 30 times more oil per acre than the crops currently grown for biofuel production and the resulting fuel is low sulphur, non-toxic and biodegradable.

If they can find a way to break down waste products to provide nutrients, that would be even better.

via Treehugger

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Action Sports Environmental Coalition

This is as well suited to How to Save the World for Free as here. The Action Sports Environmental Coalition “serves the action-sports community as the platform to educate and empower individuals, companies, and organizations regarding ecological sustainability and responsibility.”

We strive to bring this community the power to implement creative, forward-thinking environmental and social strategies. As this community grows, ASEC utilizes its collective assets to broaden the horizons of conscious consumption–paving the way for skateboarders, surfers, snowboarders, BMX bikers, and those passionately involved in the sports to achieve lasting sustainable benefits for individuals and community institutions. Like these sports, ecological sustainability is not just a trend–it is your chance to get involved and take action in a movement, and to leave behind those companies that only take from you, unconcerned about your needs, your body, your mind, and the fact that you do have a choice.

This is your chance to lead, follow or be left behind.

via Treehugger

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As it seems the planning laws will change to make it as easy to mount a windmill on your house as a satellite dish, I thought I’d have a look around for suitable resources.

I didn’t need to go far. Greenphase has a page listing suppliers of domestic wind turbines. In fact they have information about everything Green. They are now bookmarked and I’m on their mailing list.

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Heavensent 6.8

Save for the arrhythmic clanging of hammers on metal spikes, the railroad crew worked in silence. They didn’t sing as they worked. A propaganda film crew had shot some footage of them once, but the musical number had been performed by traitors dressed up for the day. Now the Southern cities knew just how happy and well fed were the prisoners of war who toiled in the sun of the conquered plains.

Umat paused for a moment, closed his eyes and relished the shade of the boxcar. The guard would be along soon to prod him with the rifle barrel and insult him. It didn’t matter, he could feel the rain on his face. It fell in big warm drops. He smeared the liquid over his brow, then opened his eyes and stared at his fingers. They were red.

On the boxcar roof, both autogunners were slumped over their weapons, ragged exit wounds in their uniforms. There was a commotion on the other side of the railroad truck, the sound of gunfire. The guard who had escorted Umat back from the work detail was confused, looking around for someone to give him an order and stumbling closer to his prisoner.

Umat had been sent for more spikes to drive into the railroad sleepers. There was a bucket full of them in front of him. He dipped down, grabbed one and whirled on the guard. The spike buried deep in the Southerner’s chest. Umat watched the surprised expression with satisfaction before letting the soldier collapse.

An armed man, in a uniform Umat didn’t recognise, rounded the boxcar. Another came round the steam engine at the front of the service train. Umat raised his hands to show that he was unarmed and chained. The soldiers advanced on him. The one who had come around the boxcar lowered his gun and dug a small book out of a pocket. “We are here to free you.” He pronounced slowly.

“My thanks.”

The soldier flipped back a few pages, read something and smiled. “I speak Overall.” Umat announced. The soldier nodded, he understood the traders’ language. “Do you?”

“Not with brilliance. But enough.”

Heavensent 6.9
Heavensent 6.7
Heavensent 1.1

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Middle age beckons

I find myself broadly agreeing with Daily Mail readers. Hit and run drivers should suffer harsher penalties. I’m not subscribing to the “lock them up and throw away the key” school but I’d be happy to see a lifetime driving ban for the worst offenders. Though if they’ve got to the point where they could get such a ban they’d probably ignore it.

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MPs' green press releases

Only the one this week-


Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test, said that offshore wind energy would produce enough energy to power Hampshire ten times over.

Speaking in an adjournment debate on Friday, Dr Whitehead argued the case for an extension of the use of wind energy as not only a non-carbon emitting source but a source that can contribute a substantial amount of power to the energy mix – the question is how we move to maximise this contribution by making it a viable option.

The Energy Act of 2004 allowed for a three phase roll out of off wind energy. So far only the first two phases have seen any development: wind farms in inshore waters close to the coast, and larger wind farms slightly further out to sea such as the Wash, Morecombe Bay and the Thames estuary. Dr Whitehead is therefore keen to see the next and third phase rolled out which would allow for the wind farms to be built in deeper and further waters, essentially up to the boundaries of the energy allocation zone for gas and oil.

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Heavensent 6.7

Note Now with navigation.

One of the monoplanes had buzzed upstream earlier, low and full throttle. They had a long time to ponder the meaning of its transit whilst waiting for the next plane.

The big biplane sailed upriver at a much more leisurely pace. It couldn’t really travel any other way. Again the crew waved to the occupants of the small paddle boat as they passed.

“Do you think the other two are coming?” Marra asked.

“No.” Dack looked downstream. There was just the hint of smoke blowing into the gorge. “It will be dark soon.”

Marra piloted the boat through the rest of the minefield. When they were certain they had cleared it, Morn took a lighter from his pile of gifts and set fire to the map. He flapped it to disperse the ashes.

The smoke was thicker now. The sun disappeared behind hills and it was dark enough to move. Morn and Dack had oars at each side of the boat and Marra another at the rear. They let the current drive them, intervening with the oars if necessary.

They emerged from the gorge into a valley lit by fires. Ahead on the eastern bank the forest burned uncontrolled whilst figures rushed around the fires on the western bank. The corrals of logs had been smashed by some impact and fragments of wood were being caught by the current and drawn downstream.

The boat navigated into the stream of flotsam. No-one on shore was paying the river the slightest attention, so they rested at their posts and viewed the devastation as it passed them by.

Heavensent 6.8
Heavensent 6.6
Heavensent 1.1

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