Thursday, 31 January 2013

Top 4 ideas for Valentines Day

Ok so Valentines day is coming and assuming your in a relationship or hoping to be in one enough to be doing something special for someone then here as some top ideas for things to do.

Some of them may be a lot simpler than others but then the path to true love is a difficult one and you may need a big gesture to seal the deal.

1. Treasure hunt

People love working for things and this is a great way to really get your special someone excited about whatever gift you have got them. I'd suggest the scale of this is proportionate to the present you have at the end, so if your stretching to a box of chocolates maybe a treasure hunt round the house or garden, or local park would be ok. Leave 7 clues to let them work out and maybe make some of the clues relevant to your relationship e.g. "the first song we cuddled to" which leads them to the CD cabinet or iPod with the next clue. If you have a larger scales plan with perhaps a 3 course meal and proposal at the end of it then you can afford to have them work a little harder. Maybe give them some money for taxis and have your clues left with shopkeepers or barmen in different places you lead them around. Whatever scale you do it on there is always fun to be had and it brings out the inner pirate in all of us!

2. Make a love heart and their initials out of sweets

This is a simple, cheap and effective gesture. Make a large love heart with their initials out of their favourite sweetie. The bed is a great place to do this but remember if they like sugar coated sweeties put a blanket down first as you don't want sugar granules in your bed if you get lucky!

3. Get a signed photo from one of their favourite celebs.

Your thinking wow that sounds expensive, but it needn't be with a bit of planning. Find addresses of your chosen celebs (probably best to get at least 5 different ones) and send them self addressed envelope with a letter explaining how much your partner loves them. You will then get an autograph back, some of them will be reprints but, hell its the thought that counts and its not like your trying to sell them on eBay, its a gift of love. Some celebs will even send you one from an email and imagine the delight on your partners face if they get an envelope addressed to them from their favourite star, shows that you listen and your secure in your relationship.

4. Get a T-shirt printed

Wear a t-shirt proclaiming your love or a more personal idea printed on it to show them how much you care. Matching T-shirts are a cool way to show your a couple and if the design is personal to you then it can mean so much more. Whilst not breaking the bank this can provide a present and gesture that shows thought and care.

In essence, the price doesn't matter much and if it does then you need to get single quick, the gesture needs to demonstrate you listen and actually know them. Take a few minutes to figure out what they would like and you will see its not that difficult and that card or chocs you were going to get from the petrol station, don't bother. Google

Top 4 reasons people do not like driving in the snow?

Having had a recent band of bad weather there was a lot of snow and this caused major chaos all across the roads in the UK. So was wondering to myself why is it that people dont like to drive in the snow?

Well here is the top 5 reasons I could come up with.

1. Snow makes the car skid

We have all had that gut churning moment when your wheels go under the car even just for a moment and you panic. But the thing about snow is generally side roads (your street, driveway etc) aren't cleared and you have to start your car slowly to ensure no wheel spinning and then drive very carefully until your onto a cleared road. I know that skidding can be scary but aslong as the snow hasn't fallen on a sheet of ice you will generally be perfectly able to drive along the road onto a main cleared road. Alternatively you could just do all your neighbours a favour and get the shovel out to clear the road and put down some salt but I have found most people aren't that nice.

2. A mix of fast and slow drivers is bad

Once you get onto a cleared stretch of motorway you will discover a bizarre lesson in human psychology. There is three types of drivers on the road, the first is a slow careful driver who drives to a reasonable speed but with due consideration for the conditions. Then you have the "oh my god, oh my god" brigade who drive dangerously slowly and are visible terrified that they are in charge of this heavy car in such terrible conditions. Finally you are left to witness the "oh its been snowing who cares my car has breaks" that drive like they are on a police chase and if you are in their way they sit about 3 feet from your bumper looking like you have just shat in their kettle!

3. You may get stuck

Everyone has heard of the stories about people sleeping in their cars overnight because they get snowed in, or worse still you make it to work but can't get home and have to sleep on a chair with wheels! The best thing to do is to check the weather before you leave to make sure it has stopped and won't get any worse. It may be really necessary to get to your destination but if you do go when its forecast to continue to worsen then pack some food and drink in your car just incase and charge your mobile phone.

4. People are lazy

Everyone wants something for nothing and lets be honest you could get to work if you had to, but whats the point when you can get paid to sit and watch TV all day. This means that whilst people do moan about snow and the disruption usually there is a large number of school kids and workers who actively enjoy snow as they get a free day off. If your not lucky enough to work for an employer who pays your wages when you can't make it in then I suggest you invest in some snow chains for your car.

The over ridding issue with snow is that because so many people avoid driving in it the problem worsens quicker, with less cars on the road to clear the snow it causes more disruption. Everyone should agree to just get on with it, clear the road in front of your house and those neighbours who aren't able to do it themselves and drive with care. You can be sure that when the day comes that you need an ambulance and the road ain't clear it could just make the difference between life and death. Think about it. Google

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Top 3 ideas for movies in Scotland

So like most people i enjoy thinking about what film I would make if I was some rich and talented director or if I suddenly won the Euromillions. Here is my top 5 at the moment. Let me know your thoughts and any ideas of your own.

1. The Battle for Independence

As the date of the independence referendum approaches tensions between Holyrood and Westminster deteriorates a small band of Celtic warriors arms themselves and marches on London. Without any home guard this small band of men manage to work their way southward and an epic battle scene on tower bridge between London riot cops and this small army take place. The twist being a small high tech band of cyber warriors hack into trident with disasterous consequences leading to total extinction of the UK.

Main Star: Robert Carlyle

2. Loch Ness: The lost souls

A group of American teenagers set out backpacking across europe. They camp on the banks of Loch Ness the home to the infamous Loch Ness Monster. As they party the night away strange things begin to happen. With ghostly figures appearing in the distant fog and large roars heard rumbling in the starry night the group decide to launch a nearby row boat and head into the Loch to find the origin of these noises. What they discover is a gateway just beneat the surface. This gateway leads straight into a hell like dimension with large soul eating monsters and an army of tortured creatures that hunt the group down and skin them alive. As they cross into this gateway they unleash a soul eater into a local town with only one man able to stop this, Rev. McTavish. A drunk and lonely preacher from the local town with a dwindling congregation. He knows of this evil but waits for the soul catcher to clense his town of non believers before returning it to the pits of hell and trapping forever the group of American Teenagers....with one final look into their scared and terrified eyes he smiles and says "Yolo"

Main Star: Liam Neeson

3. Clearance

Across the globe people begin to die from immunity to antibiotics due to over prescription and a super virus immune to the drug. As the world population plummets only small pockets of survivors are safe from the looting and virus. One of the pockets is a small village North of Aberdeen. The village begins to assign tasks and become self sufficient successfully putting in place a hierarchy to ensure order and compliance with the new rules. As the contact with others begin to become less frequent and the last reports of attacks from rabid humans are heard the village decide to begin manufacture of weapons from these invaders. These walking dead begin to attack in waves drawn by the energy generated from the village working power station. The villagers become a well honed army of zombie hunters and decide to venture out to source better weapons and machinery. This leads them on a merry adventure across well known landmarks in Europe as they become a real working army.

Main Star: Summer Glau


Monday, 21 January 2013

Top 5 things to do during Zombie apocalypse

As the threat of a zombie infestation grows as the world becomes overpopulated and the popularity of this phenomena increases there is a few key survival tips you may need. To ensure your survival then you should prepare the basics and make sure that those who you wish to survive with you also take heed.

1. Find weapons

Guns would be your first choice due to their easy to use nature and maximum destruction capability but not all countries have an abundance of weapons lying around. In the UK for instance a farm would be your best bet of finding this type of weapon as many farmers use them to cull rabbits and other farm pests. The drawback with guns is the constant requirement for ammo, you would be better to use a poker or bat of some sort, for instance cricket bat, baseball bat or a nice wedged golf club. In a group scenario this would not work but then if you find yourself surrounded by a group of zombies your best weapon is your very very fast.

2. Find people

If you discover the apocalypse happened whilst you were asleep then you may find it tricky to find others who are alive but the risk will be worth it as the apocalypse will be no fun alone. Also make sure the numbers in your group are even, you don't want a group of men as then it may all get a bit rambo and also you don't want a group of women as it may turn out they end up killing each other. If you do discover any old or young survivors then remember you must protect them it is not ok to use them as live bait.

3. Get a secure place to hold up

Create a base, whether it be the rooftop of a shopping mall or a loft in a house make sure it is secure from all sides and allows you to get some sleep. Running around all day looting and killing zombies can be terribly tiring work and you will want a safe place to rest your head, a look out is all fine and well but lets be honest you can't trust anyone to stay awake. A lockable one entrance base that you know well and preferably a ceiling entrance as zombies don't do ladders so your sure not to find millions huddled around the entrance waiting for tommorrow.

4. Gather food and water

Remember having not known what caused this make sure you only drink bottled drinks, water ideally to ensure it gives you maximum hydration, setting up rain catchers on the roof is a good idea and if you have a few bags of soil for growing some vegetables aswell. Remember tinned food loses a lot of its natural vitamins so unless you looted a health food store for some vitamins you gonna need to eat something fresh.

5. Make sure you are the leader

Again trust is difficult so you want to make sure you stamp your authority all over your chosen group of survival buddies, use the tried and tested 'prison big boy' routine of finding the most scary looking person in the group and either verbally humiliate them or just simply batter them. You might think this is harsh and unneccessary or you may be a pascifist (by which your probably not going to last 28 days) but it will be beneficial because then you can ensure the plan is executed.

Finally remember this isn't a test of endurance this is about creating a new life, everyone else is gone and you should assume you are essentially the new adam or eve. Make the plan sustainable, enjoyable and safe.

Good luck and see you on the other side


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Top 3 Twitter rows Winners and Loser

Twitter has somehow come to be known as the place where normally respectful quiet people get into arguments. It is highly amusing seeing two rich and famous people slate each other in public for all to see, the virtual equiavalent to celebrity death match except these people aren't made of plastercine. So lets look at the best ones and in my opinion who won.

1. Frankie Boyle vs James Arthur

Frankie is a controversial comedian, bit like marmite you either love him or you hate him but are very curious as to why others like him so continue to watch behind closed fingers. James Arthur is apparently the most credible winner of the Xfactor, not sure that sentence works, credible and Xfactor doesn't fit. Frankie has long run a nice social commentary on his twitter to practice material and engage with his fans and James Arthurs rise to fame means he is the new kid on the celebrity twitter block. James took issue at some of Frankie's tweets and what ensuede was a great little battle of the wits. Some extracts include

James to Frankie
"Stop using my name to try to rekindle your career" "your about as funny as aids"

Bit ironic to say such a thing to a man who has just had a sell out UK comedy tour and a DVD that was top ten in the xmas comedy charts, considering James had yet to make a penny from his music career.

Frankie to James
"You snaggletoothed grammar holocaust" "inked up like a schooldesk in a remedial class"

Some great one liners that seemed to cause a rise in tension for James.

Verdict - Frankie Boyle Wins.
There was only ever going to be one winner and it was the man that makes a living from destroying people in front of a paying audience. It felt like Frankie had touched a raw nerve in questioning the TV talent show and James probably sick of the grief inadvisadely decided to hit back at the wrong person. Still Great tweeting guys!

2. Chris Brown vs Jenny Johnson

Chris Brown is a multi record selling music artist who is most famous for apparently violence against his then and now partner Rihanna. Jenny Johnson is a comedian apparently but not much is available about her other than this argument so lets assume she is a minor celebrity who doesnt like domestic violence.

Chris to Jenny
"I should fart while your giving me top"

Jenny to Chris
"Your mum must be so proud"

Verdict - Jenny Johnson wins
She is the winner because firstly Chris Brown deleted his twitter account and secondly because he is a complete idiot who is such a bad role model for his underage fans he should be removed from duty and given a restraining order from all recording equipment in the universe to ensure he never again reaches my eardrums.

3. Cher Lloyd vs Cheryl Cole

Cher Lloyd was not the winner of Xfactor but is now a small scale musician making a few records which got some radio play. Cheryl Cole is an unapologetic Pop star who also was a judge on Xfactor and she is seen as a style icon in the UK with endorsements for a number of fashion and beauty products. The interesting thing about this argument is that it was typical female arguing with hidden digs and nasty undertones, but the irony of the situation is that Cher Lloyd was actually only ever made famous because of Cheryl mentoring her. Like a bad fantasy movie the apprentice grows up and strikes down there teacher with a savage blow.

Cher to Cheryl
‘Maybe, if she sings live with me… [it’s] always [a challenge] nowadays when you haven’t got the nifty little button to press.’

Cheryl to Cher
‘Be Careful who you kick on your way up… They kick you twice as hard on your way back down.. #unappreciationisugly.’

Verdict - Cheryl wins
Because she is more graceful and obviously more successful but mainly just because it struck me as being pretty ungrateful to slate someone who had helped you in the past, even if it was just for ratings.

Top 5 blokes you don't mind your mrs fancying

So normally your wife/girlfriend says "oh he's hot" and you have to smile thinking no he's some stupid idiot. But every once in a while there is that bloke where you say, fair enough i can totally see why you fancy him he is so cool! Here is the top 5 actors in films where you don't mind your partner saying "wow what a hotty"

1. Ryan Gosling in Drive

Ryan Gosling is the most fancied actor on the planet at the moment thanks to the Notebook women think he is lovely and sensitive, he is also incredibly good looking and has the shape of a Ken Doll. But in this film it is just such a great film you can happily sit through the cooing of your wife because he is an awesomely talented actor that takes a part which such little dialogue and pulls off one of the best performances I have ever seen.

2. Brad Pitt in Fight Club

Brad Pitt has been around for a long time but one of his greatest films was Fight Club. This is such a bloke film with violence at its core but most women will happily watch it for the numerous topless scenes from this hunk. It is amazing to think this guy is now old enough to be dad to a 30 year old!

3. Jensen Ackles in Supernatural

Ok I am aware this is not a film but a TV show however it is a great show that you must watch. Jensen plays Dean who is a ladies man that is hilariously funny and women would say cute. But thats ok this guy is way to cool to hate just sit back enjoy and accept your wife will be thinking how he would be the perfect date.

4. Meatloaf in Rocky Horror Picture show

That was a bit left field, but it is true meatloaf is fanciable and in this he plays the dangerous motorcycled driving Eddy. The reason you dont mind them fancying Meatloaf is that you dont feel threatened i mean come on the guy is old and he plays Bob with boobs in the above mentioned fight club.

5. James McAvoy in the last kind of Scotland

James McAvoy plays the Scottish dr in this (losely based on a true story) film. He is cool, funny and eventually ends up scared and pathetic. Talented and clever with some great wit and cheeky smile you can't help but thinking he is cool so don't get annoyed when you discover your other half has a secret crush. Google

Top 5 Hottest Chav actors

Steven Hill
In the UK we have several terms for those types of women that come from traditionally poor backgrounds, act antisocially and often get involved with crime, drugs or teenage pregnancy; Chavette, Ned, Townies, Scally, etc. This has led to many TV shows depicting these type of women even invading our national treasure the Soaps (coronation street and eastenders).

So I thought it appropriate to bring 5 of the hottest ones to your attention.

1. Rebecca Ryan - Playing Debbie Gallagher in Shameless (22yr Old)

For those who have not watched Shameless and I dont mean the US remake I mean the original then you have missed what was one of the funniest and most entertaining social commentaries on the UK that has been on our TV screens. Set in the fictional estate of Chatsworth in Manchester it follows the residents struggle to survive on an ever dwindling amount of money having to resort to crime to pay the way, often with tragic consequences.

Rebecca Ryan is by far one of the hottest stars around in UK acting appearing on Emmerdale, Waterloo Road and Casualty (3 times). Currently (Jan 2013) is appearing on Stage in Edinburgh.

Hotness Rating - 5
Chav rating - 4

2. Antonia Thomas playing Alisha Daniels in Misfits (27 yr old)

Misfits is a UK Sci fi show where young offenders gain a super power, Alisha has the super power that everyone she touches uncontrollably lusts after her. Not that it takes a super power as she is one of the hottest actresses on UK TV and with the large hoop earings plays a chav very well.

Hotness rating - 4
Chav rating - 3

3. Joanna Higson playing Maxine Donnelly in Shameless (30 yrs old)

Joanna Plays Maxine who is a character in Shameless and provides often raunchy scenes. Whilst not on the show for long she was one of the best characters and portrayed a confident but also caring young woman. Now pursuing a career in Photography you may not be seeing much more of her on your TV screen.

Hotness rating - 3
Chav rating - 3

4. Paula Lane as Kylie Turner on Coronation Street (27 yrs old)

Kylie Turner is the streets biggest Chav, the loudmouth hooped earing wearing young mum burst onto the screen and soon became cheating wife to David Platt. Currently still on the show Paula Lane plays this fiery tempered chavette extremely well.

Hotness rating - 2
Chav rating - 4

5. Lacey Turner as Stacey Branning on Eastenders (28 yrs old)

Whilst Stacey left Eastenders in 2010 after a staggering 730 episodes she is still the queen of all Chavs on TV. She slept with her husbands dad and often got drunk and wild. But her character matured and grew on screen showing the transition from a wild Chav to a nice lassie.

Hotness Rating - 4
Chav rating - 2

Steven Hill

Top 5 Sci Fi TV Shows

For most Sci Fi fans finding a good quality TV show in this genre isn't easy. Firstly TV is all about money these days and the budget for a reality show series can be as cheap as one episode of a Sci Fi series, therefore it makes more commercial sense to pump money into reality shows. Wrong. Look at the recent success of well produced, directed and edited Sci Fi shows, not the viewing figures but the money that comes from merchandising and DVD/Blu Ray sales. The problem most networks have with Sci Fi shows is the audience aren't the type to sit around and wait a week for the show to be on again, having to watch adverts every 15 minutes, they are future savvy technological advanced viewers, they want to buy a box set or download it (both legally and otherwise). Below is my top 5 shows with a little about why they are so great, in the hope there is one you haven't watched and can therefore discover something new.

1. Misfit (UK Version)

The first two series of this show was an epic demonstration of not only the UK's ability to produce quality but also brought awareness to some fine young British actors. Unfortunately this show suffered due to cast becoming famous and leaving for different projects and therefore a complete turnover of the main characters by series 3. But for those first two series this is worth a watch.

The show is based around a group of young offenders on community service who are all affected by a lightining storm. Each one slowly discovers they have super powers, some great and some terrible. But before long the super powers begin to start showing up in other people leading the unlikely gang into some interesting situations. The show uses realistic language (not over the top swearing but in keeping with the characters) and also features some sexual content (nothing major but again in keeping with the context). The other most enjoyable element is the humour, with many sci fi programmes humour is often left to one character and can be very predictable, with this show there is an undercurrent of humour that seems fitting for the irony of young offenders trying to save the world.

Watch out for
The amazing Lauren Socha who plays this character with such humour and believability.

2. Stargate Atlantis

Stargate was a film that had mixed box office success but was followed up later by a TV show that was hugely popular across the world. The original TV series then produced a spin off called Atlantis and some of the original cast moved to this new world and there was plenty of cross over episodes. Atlantis unfortunately was a victim of hollywood politics. With the Stargate brand going strong and the release of Battlestar Gallactica there was a move to bigger budget TV shows with film actors and the maker decided to launch a Stargate version called universe, but as a deal breaker to ensure the reportedly £1m per episode needed they had to stop production of Atlantis. They did and within 1 series the new Stargate Universe was canned and now the TV viewing public are left with no Stargate to enjoy. A sad example of how cut throat execuitves are and how the big budgets in Sci Fi make it difficult to keep series going. Atlantis for me was the pick of the bunch due to its darker nature to the original and a very good cast. This show has one of the best Sci Fi baddies in any show the Wraith a vampire type race of alien that use Humans as feeding cattle.

As this was a spin off there is not a huge quantity of time spent explaining the back story which means you don't have to sit through endless explanations of why there is an Egyptian style stone ring that you can dial to get you to other points in the galaxy. This is set in a lost city of Atlantis which is in fact a space ship capable of moving to different planets but long since abandoned by the incumbent Humans. The teams slowly explore this strange new universe and discovered many different races. Interestingly not everyone is as honest as they seem and it soon becomes clear there is an evil here that has left all the residents terrified and cutthroat.

Watch out for!
Conan the barbarian star Jason Momoa (also in Game of Thrones) playing a very similar character to his other main credits.

3. Jericho
This show doesn't feature aliens or any supernatural but it is about a post apocalyptic world set in a small town in Kansas. With the main character played by Skeet Ulrich who is accompanied by Lennie James who plays his part with epic intensity, this show has at its foundation some quality acting without a hugely expensive budget this played more on the human effects of such a situation and didnt rely on big budget effects for its quality.

A nuclear bomb goes off in the distance and from your small town all commmunication begins to go down. Your left in an isolated town with only small nuggets of information filtering in about what has happened. Slowly realising your town is alone and needs to begin to try and retain some order. Struggling to survive in a world cut off and with everyone wanting more than their fair share provides great story lines. This really does have a feel of the walking dead without zombies.

Watch out for
Interestingly this series might have been a lot shorter with tighter US gun controls, the world becomes very dangerous post apocalypse if everyone is armed.

4. Hitch Hikers guide to the galaxy
If you haven't read the books or seen the hollywood film made a few years ago then you haven't lived yet and I suggest you begin before something happens and its too late. Douglas Adams is simply the best sci fi writer that every lived and sadly died young. This TV series is old, i will warn you before you hunt it down expecting CGI effects and some fancy camera work. It is low budget and cheesy but the main story remains and the acting is great. This story has had normal people carrying a towel and saying 42 to every question for decades.

Arthur Dent is a human, Ford Prefect is not. Ford is a writer for the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy which is a useful book telling you everything about everything and has a nice message printed on its cover saying Don't Panic. This series tells of their adventure through the galaxy after Earth is destroyed by the vogons to makeway for a bypass.

Watch out for
The answer to the life the universe and everything.

5. Battlestar Gallactica
As a general rule of thumb i would say avoid any remake because it is never better than the original with the exception of Lord of the rings which was much better than the original cartoon version and this. This made big budget, moody, effect laden Sci Fi popular on TV again and started a new wave of Sci Fi coming onto our screens after its release in 2004. With Some amazing affects this show stands out as not only a great adventure but also complicated enough that there wasn't a need for any filler episodes.

The cylons return and destroy the seven colonies planets with some survivors escaping on an aged battlestar class ship called the galactica. This is a story of survival and the struggle between a strict Army battalion and its non military companions. With a fight for survival that leads you an a journey of discovery to where it all began.

Watch out for
The best acting performance from Edward Olmos who plays Admiral Adama