Daily Archives: Monday, 17th Jan 2011

Another Bank Collapses!

A river bank, that is. I read about this at the weekend, and after failing to persuade myself to go out yesterday, I remembered to have a look at lunchtime. What’s happened is that a section of the riverside walk on the Gateshead side of the Tyne has collapsed into the river. Fortunately, this happened in the evening, when there weren’t a lot of people using the path, so nobody was injured. This is what it looks like:

Pathway 1

Pathway 1

What? You want more detail? Well, here’s a closer view, where you can see the path and the twisted railings more clearly.

Pathway 2

Pathway 2

Fortunately, there’s another path a bit further back, so people can get past the affected area. No doubt there will be a full investigation, and the rest of the path will be checked carefully.

Weight and Stuff Report – 17 January 2011

I seem to have made a quick recovery from the weekend’s minor bloatage, and indeed made some progress. As of today, I’m six pounds (2.7kg) down since the start of the year.

I walked to work again, pausing at much the same point that I did on Saturday to have a major coughing session. Maybe my lungs don’t like Windmill Hills?

Not content with that, I went for a walk with the Canon 5D Mk II at lunchtime. I was on a mission to get some pictures of something particular, which I’ll reveal in another post, but on my way back into town from that, I saw this nicely strange sticker:

Prime Suspect

Prime Suspect

And then I walked past the Centre for Life, where I did some more serious coughing. Fun.

Doctor Who – The Seeds of Doom

Yes, it’s time to catch up on the classic Doctor Who DVDs. This one’s been sitting on my desk waiting for me to mutter about it since, oooooh, some time last year[1], and with more coming soon, it’s well past time I talked about it.

This one stars Tom Baker as the Doctor and Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith – one of the best teams in the long history of Doctor Who. It was first shown between January and March 1976, and is a six-parter with a lot going on. First of all, a couple of strange seed pods are found in the Antarctic, which leads the Doctor and Sarah Jane to investigate (for reasons that aren’t altogether clear, they take a plane rather than the TARDIS, which would have been a bit quicker, but never mind). One of the pods opens, infects a scientist and makes him transform into a rather nasty vegetation monster.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, a completely bonkers botanist sends some thugs to collect the other pod, and allows it to infect someone else. The Doctor has recognised the plant thingy as a Krynoid, a carnivorous plant that likes to take over entire planets, wiping out all animal life in the process. The bonkers botanist, Harrison Chase, shows that he’s really bonkers, as he’s quite keen on this idea.

Lots of fun follows, with the Doctor acting as if he’s secretly in an episode of The Avengers (introducing Sarah as his “best friend”, thumping people more than normal, dropping through windows, that kind of thing), and the traditional comedy bit at the end, where the TARDIS “accidentally” takes the Doctor and Sarah to a slightly unexpected destination.

This was a story I remembered moderately well from its original showing (and possibly a repeat on UK Gold, but even that would have been in the 90s…), and it still stands up as nicely entertaining.

In addition to the usual commentary, production subtitles, photo galleries, trailers, PDF bits from the Radio Times, there’s a nice set of extras:

  • Podshock – the usual cast and crew reminiscence thingy
  • Now and then – a look at the locations used, and how they’ve changed
  • Playing in the Green Cathedral – Geoffrey Burgon, the composer of this story’s music, talks about his work
  • So what do you do exactly? Graeme Harper, now a much-respected director, talks about being a production assistant on this story
  • Stripped for Action – the Fourth Doctor – another in the ongoing series about the Doctor Who comic strips.

[1] I don’t have a sufficiently accurate dust level to time calculating device

I’m sure it’s just a fad anyway….

I remain deeply unconvinced by all this 3D stuff that requires the viewer to wear special glasses. Eventually, glasses-free 3D of some sort will emerge, and may even be useful or at least entertaining for some things, but for now, I really can’t be bothered…

It looks like xkcd has reservations, too:

click for more

click for more

You know the drill, click thumbnail, see whole comic, enjoy the hover text and feel your geek rating rise.