Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Awareness Test

A little lame to talk about British TV twice in a row, but this may be the best advertisement I've ever seen.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Passion

The BBC has put together a 4 part mini-series on The Passion of Christ. I've watched the first three and they are very, very well done. All 4 episodes are available online (the fourth not until Easter Sunday) and the whole series lasts about 3 hours. It's definitely worth your time this Easter.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Here and Now - How I came to live in the Time Square of England.

Being in England I like to do things that I otherwise couldn't do in the states. For example, today I went into Borders bookshop for some Starbucks coffee.

On my way though Borders, I was distracted by a new version of the classic board game Monopoly. It was called the Monopoly "Here and Now" edition and the entire game is updated. You can no longer buy any cheep purple property for $60, but £600,000. There is no top hat or iron, but a cell phone (mobile) and a laptop computer, and the train stations have been updated for the more popular and important airports.

The most interesting aspect of the Here and Now edition is that all the properties have been renamed using an online democratic system. Apparently over 1,000,000 votes were cast in the UK to determine what cities and landmarks a person would need to hold a true Monopoly on the UK. I would have assumed that London, being the capital of England, the capital of the entire United Kingdom of Great Britain, and the largest city by about 9,000,000 people would take the top square. But it did not. So then maybe the new Boardwalk would be a land mark like Stone Henge, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, one of the Museums, or even the confusing tourist attraction that is the London Eye. But no. They did not. After millions of votes were counted, the top square and pinnacle to a monopoly in the UK is the town of St. Albans.

Where? St. Albans. Formerly Veraluamium, and the small town where I live. This makes me think that I've been over looking my town. I mean, we have a Nandos and everything, but in about a day you can see all there is to see in St. Albans. It is a nice town, a really nice town, but more important than London? or Glasgow? or Edinburgh? or Leeds? Birmingham? Nottingham? Bath? Bristol? Cardiff? Dover? Manchester? For God's sake, even Liverpool had the Beatles!

But the people have spoken, and St. Albans is #1! People in the US chose Time Square as the new top, so I guess I live in the Time Square of England (although most people would consider that to be Piccadilly Circus).

This makes me wonder how skewed the new edition is from the old favourite. I wonder if Monopoly Here and Now still makes it possible for your big sister to cheat you as the banker, or for the game to carry on for hours beyond when anyone is still interested, and my personal favourite - the hidden ability Monopoly has to ruin friendships.

If it is Scottish . . . it's crrrap, too!!!

Being in England I like to do things that I otherwise couldn't do in the states. For example, today I was up north in Manchester, and I came across a drink that I'd never seen before. It was called IRN-BRU. IRN-BRU is a 100-year-old Scottish "fizzy drink" (soda or pop depending on your region of the US) which tastes like Red Bull if Red Bull was brewed in hell and poured through a bull dogs arse before canning. IRN-BRU contains 38% of your daily sugar intake in only 330ml, but don't let that fool you - it tastes far sweeter than that. After two sips of IRN-BRU I had a massive sugar headache, and after the can I was in some type of Scottish sugar zombie state.
I finished the can because, well, I'm American. And as an American I have a duty to eat or drink anything and everything in front of me to live up to our obese stereotype. Needless to say, I won't be drinking IRN-BRU again . . . at least not without vodka.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Save Ferris

I just watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off for the first time in many, many years, and I realized a few things. Ten things to be exact:

1. Ferris planned an excellent day out in Chicago.
I'm not sure if you could actually live Ferris's day off, but I'd like to think so. Assuming you had a Ferrari to get around in and a fiver to tip every door man, I think I could make it happen.

2. I waste most of my days off.
'nuf said.

3. Everyone thinks that they could be Ferris Bueller . . .
And to a lesser extent everyone thinks that they are Ferris Bueller regardless of the fact that they've never sang Twist and Shout in a parade celebrating German heritage in Chicago.

4. I am actually closer to Cameron as a character than I am a Ferris Bueller.
And if I'm honest with myself, I'm probably closer to Rooney than anyone else.

5. Nobody puts baby in the corner.
This was Jennifer Grey's first big movie, and I'm not sure how it made her a star. On second thought, I'm not sure many people who are not me still consider Jennifer Grey a star, but most people don't take Dirty Dancing as seriously as I do.

6. Cameron looks just like my friend Eric's younger brother Kevman (who also looks a little bit like Dave Collier when in a Red Wings Jersey).

7. If Ferris Bueller was real and he skipped a day of school, he probably would have spent more time making out with his girlfriend.
I work with high schoolers. This is how it goes.

8. There are not enough movies and TV shows where the main character speaks directly to the camera/audience.
Zach Morris and Ferris Bueller are the first two that pop into my head, and while publicly everyone says something like, "Talking into the camera is a cheep way to move the plot along and cover up for poor acting." Internally everyone thinks, "I like that."

9. Mathew Broderick's sarcophagus should be enshrined in the Smithsonian.
I know he's not dead yet - actually, I'm just assuming he's not dead yet - but he is Ferris Bueller. I mean come on! That should be enough . . . Election wasn't bad either.

10. "Ferris Bueller, you're my hero."
Leopard print just doesn't look as good on anyone else. And apparently Nike has made a shoe called the Ferris Bueller. If anyone wants to know what to get me for my birthday, I wouldn't hate these.