Bird impersonator

Neil Armstrong (no, not that Neil Armstrong) reviewing Secret Pigeon Service: Operation Columba, Resistance and the Struggle to Liberate Europe by Gordon Corers in the latest edition of Literary Review:

Among others, we meet Viscount Tredegar, an occultist and friend of Aleister Crowley. He was for a time in charge of the section of the army that supplied MI14(d) with birds but was eventually court-martialled for gossiping about Columba’s work. His defence cited his unhappy childhood and the fact that his mentally ill mother had built herself a large bird’s nest in the living room and sat in it wearing a beak.

Pitch battle

It’s often said, if you’re a would-be movie-maker, you need an elevator pitch ready for deployment, just in case, in the classic eponymous example, you happen to find yourself sharing an elevator with a big-time movie producer. The idea is, you should be able to pitch the concept of your movie to your captive audience before the elevator doors open.

It’s claimed the elevator pitch for Aardman Films’ Chicken Run was ‘The Great Escape with chickens’. Sold!

I suppose the elevator pitch for Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan would have been something along the lines of ‘A submarine movie in space’. And Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World’s elevator pitch would have been something like ‘A submarine movie on sailing ships’. And Duel’s elevator pitch would have been ‘A submarine movie with a lorry and a car’. (It’s an established fact that there is no such thing as a bad submarine movie.)

Jen and I watched Thor Ragnarok last weekend. I’m not a fan of the previous Thor films, but this one was entertaining enough, and didn’t totally disappear up its own mythology.

Then I got to thinking, how would I have pitched Thor Ranarok to a big-time movie mogul? What’s the one thing that would make anyone want to go and see the film?

And then I realised the answer was a total no-brainier…

Cate Blanchett with antlers

Thor Ragnarok: ‘Cate Blanchett with antlers!’

What’s not to like?

New facts don’t emerge

I just asked Siri to ‘Play the album New Facts Emerge by the Fall’.

According to the on-screen text, she understood my instructions perfectly. But, instead of playing the album New Facts Emerge by the Fall, Siri played the album Buddhist Liturgy of Tibet by the Monks of Namgyal Monastery.

For album artwork, she displayed the cover of ALIVE 1997 by Daft Punk.

The concept of an imminent Technological Singularity frankly terrifies me.

Talking of Daft Punk, here’s some LCD Soundsystem: