Four wheels good (no, really)

Firstly, do not adjust your browser, someone other than Ian is actually posting for a change. I felt this one sat better with Spinneyhead than my own seldom updated site.

My current car is about to hit 3 years old and I’m thinking of getting a new one so today I test drove a Toyota Prius. Overall impressions were good. It felt like a normal car with two execptions that frankly aren’t a bad thing. First, unless you accelerate hard (and I do mean pressing to the floor) it’s spookily quiet and smooth to the point that you can’t use the engine sound to judge your speed you have to check the speedo. Secondly, the big touch screen display for the onboard computer is a little distracting as I kept wondering what that car was doing. The switch between electric, combined, petrol only, recharge from petrol and regenerative breaking is utterly seamless and without looking at the screen you can’t tell. Acceleration from 0 to 30 and 40 is quick and 40 to 70 (ok, maybe 75ish) was a bit slower than my current car when I rev it hard but certainly quick enough. Depending the trade-in and finance I get offered I may be buying one.

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Burn baby, burn

Whilst walking down Market Street on Saturday I saw something odd, a man with a barbecue strapped to him selling sausages. It turns out that is a German invention called a Grillwalker. It doesn’t look like the most comfortable way to sell hot meat products. In fact the next thing I noticed was a woman following him with a trolley of supplies and a large first aid kit. The customers may be shielded from hot fat but the poor vendor isn’t and it’s not like he could take a step back from the grill as it’s strapped to him.

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It was for the best

Enterprise has been cancelled. It was an act of mercy as the show had been terminally ill for some time. Manny Coto, who was hired to try to mend the show (or act as fall guy for the creators), has failed to dig it out of the hole that Rick Berman and Brannon Braga left it in. Within hours sites had sprung up fruitlessly campaigning to save the show. Unfortunately Berman and Braga have been working on a new addition to the Trek franchise that is supposedly set at starfleet academy. I suspect that we’ll need a new word to express now much this show will suck.

Holy questionable merchandise Batman!

Warren Ellis has a picture of a Batman squirt gun from a more innocent age. Whilst it’s technically work safe I wouldn’t recommend clicking in the office. Ten minutes after seeing it I still can’t look at the image without cracking up. Favorite comment: “Funny, I always pictured Bats as being more of a top.”

Use the force Silent Bob

Rumors are rife that Kevin Smith (yes, that Kevin Smith) is being hired to run the new Star Wars TV show (due on air in ’06). Supposedly Lucas wants to step back from the day to day running of the show and wants an independent film maker with writing and directing experience and a connection the fan base to take creative control of the show. Apparently the new show will be set after Return of the Jedi (and occasionally feature Mark Hamill) but earlier parts of the saga will be featured through flashbacks. As a fan-boy in his thirties I think that having a fan-boy in his thirties running the show is a good idea. The only worry is the inevitable appearance of Jason Mews (aka Jay) in the show. Darth Bong?

Diminishing returns?

By all rights Tony Hawk Underground 2 should be crap. It’s the sixth Tony Hawk skating game from Neversoft. It should be an unoriginal attempt to get a licensed product on the shelves for Christmas. But it’s not. This time you’re a noob skater following Tony and Bam on the World Destruction Tour, an illegal stake/prank contest. It basically plays like Jackass: The Video Game with more a skate bias. They also added a classic mode that lets you play all the levels in the old THPS3 style. The sound track is up to the usual standards (Holy Calamity, the hip hop track from the tank rampage in Buffalo Soldiers, is current my fav). Neversoft must have sold their souls in order to pull off a sixth game and not fall into the pattern of tired annual re-treads (insert your own list of EA titles as examples here).

These aren't the DVD's you're looking for

It seems the guys at Penny Arcade were more worried than me about potential changes to Star Wars but in the end all George did was clean up some of the more hokey looking effect shots from the Special Editions and redub Fett and the Emperor with the actors who voiced them in earlier/later episodes. But Hayden Christian has replaced the old dude as Anakin in the Jedi ghost shot at the end.

"No Luke, I am your father"

“It could be worse. At least you’re not making the sequel trilogy.”

“Oh, sorry, I changed my mind about that.”


“And a TV series.”

**leaps to his death**

Mark Hamill has spilled the beans on Lucas’s original plans for movies 7,8 & 9 at a Q&A promoting the new DVDs. According to Hamill we’re close to the time that he originally planed to make them. Lucas did an interview on Thursday night where he said that he was finished with Star Wars. The same day Lucasfilm confirmed that there will be a Star Wars TV show. It seems George is just done with directing the stuff, his company far from done with making them.

Set phasers to litigate

Many Trek fans are unhappy with Enterprise and the general state of the Star Trek franchise but Activision are going one better and suing Paramount over it. They say that Paramount’s neglect of Star Trek means they can’t sell games under the (rather expensive) exclusive licence they bought back in ’98 when DS9 and Voyager were still running.