Monthly archives: April 2008


Moggy, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

I think they need to relaunch the Morris Minor for the 21st century. It’s not as iconic as the Beetle, Mini or 500 but it is as loveable.

City Centre property crash?

With all the flats (sorry “apartments”) going up in the centre of Manchester over the last few years I’ve been predicting a price crash for a while now. It may now be happening, with a 15-20% drop in values in the last year, according to one property firm. I still don’t have enough money to buy one of the newly cheapened properties, so I’m not going to investigate any further than the MEN story about it. But I know a man who might, and I’ll see if he wants to give deeper analysis.

Say goodbye to May

Yes, I just got Grand Theft Auto IV on its first day! For now I’m sitting in Oklahoma cafe resisting the urge to go home and play it.

First impressions- the supplied map is very big, and the instruction book hints that the game is full of the twisted satirical humour of its forebears.

The game’s only been available since midnight and already there are sites dedicated to cheats and walkthroughs. But then, they’ve got GTA IV guidebooks sat on the shelves by the game as well.

Right, I’m going to get some script writing done whilst the game’s still in its box and can’t distract me.

Give Cleator Moor a big hand

pod191203, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

Leaving Manchester for a moment, here’s a Cumbrian addition to the Discontinuous Infill map.

Dracula AD 1972/ Lust for a Vampire

I’ve had a mini Hammer fest this week.

Dracula AD 1972 opens in 1872, with the final battle, atop a speeding carriage, between Lawrence Van Helsing and Dracula, which ends with Van Helsing dead and Dracula spiked and dusty. Enter a creepy smirking man who bottles some vampire dust and buries it in an unconsecrated corner of the graveyard where VH rests in Final Peace.

Cut forward a hundred years and creepy, smirking Johnny Alucard is hanging out with a bored group of pseudo hippies who include Van Helsing’s great great granddaughter. You just Know no good is going to come of it when he persuades them to hold a black mass in the recently deconsecrated church where her forebear is buried. Cue bright red, gloopy blood, Christopher Lee and heaving bosoms. With her gang being mutilated or turned miss Helsing has to rely upon the wiles of her grandfather to save the day.

Although it’s always interesting to watch a period piece like DAD 1972 I did feel there were a few things missing from it. Those things were naked breasts, bisexual vampire babes and a nineteenth century finishing school in the mountains of made up Styria. Luckily, Lust for a Vampire had all of these things.

It’s 1830 and vampire dynasty the Karnsteins are due to walk the Earth again. The locals are wise to this, but it doesn’t matter because a dotty old English woman has set up a finishing school just across the field from the castle ruins and enrolled lots of luscious young ladies who like to flounce around in light gowns and brush one anothers hair whilst topless. Enter from one direction Richard Le Strange- noble author of works that are unsuitable for young ladies- and, from the other, Mircalla- an alluring blonde capable of making men and women fall hopelessly in love with her.

Everyone who goes to the lake or castle for an assignation with Mircalla disappears, usually ending up at the bottom of a dried up well. Except Le Strange, who appears to be the only mortal capable of seducing her. But their love is not to be, because the villagers are breaking out the pitchforks and flaming torches and the father of one of Mircalla’s conquests has arrived from Vienna seeking answers. All quite predictable, but that’s not the point, and definitely not a problem when the film managed to reduce me to a thirteen year old, shouting at the screen, “Boobies! Show me the vampire boobies!”

Now to go away and add more Hammer films to my dvd rental list.

Next generation wind power

Scifi blog io9 looks at a couple of wind power options for domestic use. The micro turbine borders on a joke, but the Phillipe Starck designed transparent turbine is pretty. I’m still not convinced by wind power in suburbia because at least one study has shown that the small windmills erected by house owners don’t go high enough to get away from the blocking effects of nearby structures. They might be effective atop taller buildings though.

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