Space Princess

Sketched for 9-year-old student. Name and planet of origin selected by her.



down t’pub

Sketched at an evening down the pub (Bratislavský Meštiansky Pívovar; they do quite a good dark beer, the “Bubák”; but this time I asked for a rezané, a beer carefully poured to have a layer of dark beer atop a layer of light beer, and it was not carefully poured, but simply mixed). An American:


The Significant Other (her head is not that oversized in real life; it’s an error of the artist):


The American decided to try his hand at sketching. The results are better kept secret (I think he hadn’t tried to draw anything since school), but I sketched him while he was drawing the Significant Other.


household objects

A coffee percolator, which has given good service:


A wooden pig-shaped object with a hole in the middle and balls to roll on. When I bought it (from, I believe, the Würzburg market) I believed it to be a toy. It has recently been pointed out to me, and demonstrated, that it is in fact a massage device: the hole is for holding, the balls roll over someone’s back and achieve massage effects. Curious.



Elberry in Manchester:


Beer: Runaway smoked porter was forgettable. Beavertown Smog Rocket smoked porter was a good heavy stout. Flying Dog Easy IPA was great (according to my opinion and that of the Significant Other.)

Parents in the Castle Inn, Bramber:


Beer: Bramber Ale (an american amber ale) was fantastic. Harvey’s Best Bitter was pretty good. The Dray Bells winter ale was good though keeping it as a seasonal special is probably for the best – the sort of beer that’s nice for a change but you wouldn’t want to drink it too often.

Watched Tomorrowland with the Significant Other. An OK-ish film. I’m planning to do slightly more proper blogging (mostly reviews) this year, but – as here – with a “read more” cut so it doesn’t clutter up the front page of the blog.

  • Overall theme: could be seen as pessimism vs. optimism, but also as a movie about lighting a single candle vs. cursing the darkness, which I approve of (with a regrettable but tolerable amount of Hollywoord optimism thrown in).
  • Tomorrowland starts as a project of smart sciencey people trying to build a better world. By the end of the movie they’ve switched to recruiting optimistic dreamers to build a better world. Not sure the latter is better than the former but at least they’re trying something new and ditching ideas that don’t work.
  • The plot twist about the machine that sees the future really determining the future is nonsensical. I like a movie about our tools turning on us and the destruction of mankind by hubris as much as the next fellow but it has to make sense.
  • Male lead is very smart, a genius, and thus invents stuff. Female lead is a supergenius, scoring so high on the scale of genius that male lead doesn’t believe her score. She invents nothing and behaves like a bit of an idiot. However, she is capable of blowing things up and destroying things.
    • Kids! The moral of the story is that peeps who wreck stuff and blow stuff up are actually superior and smarter than the boring people who invent and build stuff (and when the latter complain it’s just ‘cos they’re jealous).
      • I expect the intended moral of the story was something like “girls can be supergenii too” but they screwed up.
  • Tomorrowland itself is beautiful. Amazing special effects, well used.
    • What’s the population of the place though? Evil Hugh Laurie can’t be the only inhabitant, and isn’t, early on. Where are they later in the movie? Have his smiling killer robots (they were great) bumped everyone off? What kind of government does the place have? Why is a scientific utopia equipped with smiling killer robots? (If I was a utopian dictator I’d quite like a squad of smiling killer robots, but I’m not a very utopian person.)
      • How come Tomorrowland is light-years ahead of Earth, technology-wise, but can’t just invade and force everyone to act a little more sensibly? Or come back to Earth with solutions for resource conflicts, global warming, ebola, not enough water, etc.? Or just send an ambassador to Earth to give people good advice on primetime TV?
      • Hugh Laurie’s objections to letting the entire population of Africa and the Middle East Earth into Western Europe Tomorrowland are that they’ll only bring their problems with them. (I expect the phrase “magic dirt” was removed on the cutting floor.) However, George Clooney & Supergenius Arsenist do not, at the end, go the open-borders-let-’em-all-in route, but instead go for an education/foreign-aid approach – train and send out aid workers to bring Africa Earth up to speed and make it less dysfunctional.
        • Did the phrase “white man’s burden” cross anyone’s minds during the making of this film?
  • Overall: great idea, insufficiently explored; beautiful FX; nonsense plot.