We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.
MADELEINE McCann: Anorak’s look at the missing child in the news media…
She’s front-page news:
The Sun leads with a prosaic picture of woman holding two spades. Hovering over the photo of the missing child, the inference is clear. The police are not looking for a living person.
As the Mail reports:
‘They understandably have to remain positive and assume Madeleine is alive, but the dig raises the possibility of finding evidence that she is not’, a source close to the couple said.
THE phrase “Where’s my jetpack?” has become something of a collective outcry in recent years. Since the 1950s, we’ve been indoctrinated with visions of the future full of spaceships, time travel, instant food, laser guns, and best of all, dazzling sci-fi duds.
Instead, here we are in 2014 and things haven’t shaped up to that Utopian model at all. Sure, communication technologies have exceeded our expectations, but the “Jetsons” lifestyle still hasn’t arrived. Thanks to pop culture’s broken promises of delivering robot maids and whooshing Star Trek doors in a timely manner, we are all a little disappointed.
Here’s a list of sci-fi TV shows and movies and the dates they were supposed to take place. Some are reasonable… some way, way off the mark.
1. LAND OF THE GIANTS
Land of the Giants is set in 1983. This is one of the more blatant errors in calculation. Fancy tourist spaceships are still nowhere in sight, and we’re 31 years past the show’s setting.
The TV series UFO. was actually set in 1980. As you will recall, the SHADO facility was one of the grooviest places on earth. Everything was painted mod colors with babes in mini-skirts or unitards strolling the hallways… and there was Moonbase. Well, it’s 34 years past due, and still no purple haired Moonmaidens.
Anyone who watched Space:1999 knows the show should’ve been called Space:1976. Evidently, earth-toned velour track suits were in vogue on Moonbase Alpha.
4. LOGAN’S RUN
Logan’s Run is set in 2274. Even though it features teleportation devices, I guess it’s far enough away in time that I can go along with it.
5. BLADE RUNNER
Blade Runner is set in 2019. We officially have five years to go before we have to start worrying about those pesky replicants.
6. TOTAL RECALL
The year is 2084 in Total Recall. I was kind of hoping that virtual reality thing would come around a bit sooner. Although, the three-breasted mutant women and cars driven by Howdy Doody robots can wait.
7. FORBIDDEN PLANET
Forbidden Planet is set in the early 2200s. Can we reasonably expect interplanetary travel and Robbie the Robot in a couple hundred years? The “plastic educator”, a device capable of measuring and enhancing intellectual capacity, seems doable.
8. THE JETSONS
The original Jetsons was supposed to take place in 2062. If I could pick any science fiction universe to live in, it would be The Jetsons, without hesitation. Sure, you still had to work and deal with overbearing bosses (Mr. Spacely was a dick!), but it was more than compensated by the Utopian awesomeness of it all.
9. PLANET OF THE APES
The crew in Planet of the Apes left earth in 2006 in their spaceship traveling at near light speed. Spoiler alert: They crash landed on Earth in the year 3978.
10. ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
The tag line for Escape from New York:
The year is 1997. The Big Apple is the world’s largest penitentiary. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking IN is INSANE.
The 1927 film Metropolis is set in 2026.
12. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
2001: A Space Odyssey was right on the money for a lot of things, but it overshot its wad on artificial intelligence and suspended animation.
Alien is set in 2122. Again, filmmakers have a tendency to underestimate the time it will take to develop this suspended animation thing. It’s the only feasible way to have interstellar space travel, so I understand their motives.
14. BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY
The Buck Rogers TV series is set in 2491. This show was overflowing with sci-fi tropes: lasers, spaceships, groovy fashions, and wisecracking robots. Since it’s still 477 years away, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
15. BACK TO THE FUTURE II
Back to the Future II is set in 2015. Only one more year until the hoverboard!
16. STAR TREK
The best method to avoid having your film or TV show woefully outdated may be to set it far beyond the present date like Dune, which is set thousands of years ahead. Or, opt for the Star Wars plan and have it set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. But the best plan of all may have been Star Trek which used “Star Dates”, which kept the timeline purposefully ambiguous.
Sadly, that was all ruined by Star Trek: The Next Generation which was set in 2364, which allows us to extrapolate that the original series was about 100 years prior. This really blows the mystique and pisses me off…. what say you, Dr. Bones?
THE Daily Mail has a “shocking” story on experiments conducted on kittens and British Universities, The top comment from readers asks:
Where has our moral compass gone?
The story runs:
“Kittens’ skulls cracked open and electrodes inserted into their brains in shocking series of experiments at 9 UK universities including Cambridge
Kittens have been paralysed, had their skulls broken and had electrodes stuck onto their brains, ribs and spine as part of a series of shocking experiments at 10 of the country’s most prestigious universities.
The cruel procedures on the helpless subjects have been performed so scientists can improve their understanding of the human body.
MADELEINE McCann is front-page news in the Daily Star:
Police are digging on wasteland. They are looking for… Well, it must be a body, right?
Says the Star:
‘Come and dig up my garden’ says mother of cleared Maddie suspect – A MUM whose son was cleared as a suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance welcomed the new police search.
AT age 32, Leonardo da Vinci wanted to work for the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza. Leonardo wrote his CV.
My Most Illustrious Lord,
Having now sufficiently seen and considered the achievements of all those who count themselves masters and artificers of instruments of war, and having noted that the invention and performance of the said instruments is in no way different from that in common usage, I shall endeavour, while intending no discredit to anyone else, to make myself understood to Your Excellency for the purpose of unfolding to you my secrets, and thereafter offering them at your complete disposal, and when the time is right bringing into effective operation all those things which are in part briefly listed below:
1. I have plans for very light, strong and easily portable bridges with which to pursue and, on some occasions, flee the enemy, and others, sturdy and indestructible either by fire or in battle, easy and convenient to lift and place in position. Also means of burning and destroying those of the enemy.
THIS sounds like a very odd theory, that it’s actually a virus that is turning us all into fat lardbuckets. But while it’s an odd theory there’s enough evidence out there that we should at least consider it seriously. Not to the point that we just assume that it’s correct of course: but to the point where we investigate more to see if it might be true.
Coughs, sneezes and a runny nose are not the worst a bad cold can do to you – it might also make you fat.
Scientists believe a virus behind the common cold could have fuelled the obesity epidemic that has swept the developed world. The culprit? A contagious bug called adenovirus 36.
Experts told the European Congress on Obesity in Sofia that eating and exercise habits haven’t changed enough to explain why people worldwide started piling on weight at around the same time.
There’s two serious points behind this.
COMPARE and contrast these Daily Express stories on Daily Express columnists Richard And Judy:
MAY 12, 2014: Richard and Judy;s “suicide pact”:
A QUICK update on the Sun’s scoop that Cristiano Ronaldo dedicates his goal to his dearly departed dad. While this story was easy to disprove, the footballer himself wanted everyone to know what the story was utter ball, tweeting:
Today, the Sun publishes an interview with me that I never gave. So its content is pure fiction.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) May 29, 2014
Over to you, Sun scoopers…
WITH the play-offs and European finals out of the way, it’s full-on World Cup season in the media.
The BBC has hit the ground running, with its toy-pundit trails, and is now screening the official FIFA World Cup Films – from 1930, when the refs wore suits, to the modern era when they became more famous than some of the players. See them here…
In their day, these were the best available record of the tournaments. They were filmed using state-of- the-art cinema cameras and even given theatrical releases.
TRANSFER balls: The Daily Mirror calls itself “the intelligent tabloid”. Knowing that, readers will admire the intelligence behind today’s “EXCLUSIVE” that Ricky Lambert could be leaving Southampton for Liverpool.
More intelligent readers may recalls a similar story on the Guardian website on May 29, posted at 8pm:
Liverpool offer Southampton £4m plus add-ons for Rickie Lambert
BACK in January, we covered The Top Ten Lyrical Low Points of the 1980s. Well, it’s time to tackle another decade – the 1970s. While there were certainly a lot of good songs with good lyrics recorded during this period, there was a metric f**k-ton of bad ones as well. But despite the enormity of the task, we’ve waded through it and plucked out the worst of reasonably well-known songs, and here they are…
TRANSFER Balls: a look at rumour and speculation passing for news in the sports media. Today, we have news of Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata:
The Daily Express says the striker is an Arsenal player:
Arsenal will beat Tottenham and Manchester United to the signing of Alvaro Morata after agreeing a buy-back clause in a deal with Real Madrid.
THAT you’re able to think up and found one of the web’s hotter properties does show that you’ve got some smarts. You’re good at doing something at least. But that’s not to say that having done that that you’re smart, as Mahbod Moghadam of Rap Genius has just proven. For he’s gone off and done something so dickheaded that he’s had to immediately resign from the company that he himself founded. He took the manifesto of the UCSB psycho shooter who killed all those people last week and loaded it up onto his own site. Fair enough, that’s what it’s for, you put a document up on Rap Genius and then people can add their annotations to it. But then he started to make his own annotations. Which were not cool, not cool at all:
Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam has been fired from the annotation service after posting appalling comments on the memoir of mass murderer Elliot Rodger, who killed six people in a shooting spree earlier this week.
In now-removed annotations on the site on the sick 141-page manifesto, Moghadam added a tasteless series of comments, including “beautifully written” and also “MY GUESS: his sister is smokin hot.”
THERE’S intriguing evidence that last year’s run up of the price of Bitcoin on MtGox was simply a pump and dump operation by the owners of the site. For there was a result buyer, every few minutes, of ever more of the cryptocurrency. And no one can really say where that money has gone. It seems to be a phantasmal account, one that existed only on the site, in order to increase demand for the currency and thus push its price up. In the finance world this is known as a pump and dump scheme. Keep buying small amounts of something and watch the price creep up. Then dump the whole holding back into the market before anyone cottons on to what you’re doing. Done right this can be very profitable.
WILLIAM Friedkin’s The Exorcist — based on the best-selling novel by William Peter Blatty — quickly became one of the first genre blockbusters of the seventies, and a generational touchstone to boot.
The Exorcist also represented a new brand of horror film, in a sense, because it lacked a familiar “monster” like Dracula, the Wolf Man or The Frankenstein Monster, and it didn’t depend on well-known genre personalities, like Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, or Peter Cushing, either.
ALEX Salmond is the latest politician to succumb to the temptation to pose in public with a football, and, with the sad inevitability of England conceding an injury-time winner, he is the latest to be reminded that the effects are rarely edifying.
The SNP leader was not in fact smacked in the face by a stray shot. He was playing head tennis with Scotland under-21 midfielder Kenny McLean.
IT’S at least an interesting entry for that accolade at least, the worst drug smugglers in the world.
So, two Brits decide to try their luck smuggling a tonne and a half of hashish from Morocco into the Algarve. Sounds like a plan: Morocco’s not that far away, the Rif and such places are hotbeds of cannabis production (they’re not just the right sort of climate, they’re also pretty lawless even today). As such the drug is cheap as chips there.
SPURS have secured the services of international nude model Mauricio Pochettino from Southampton.
Paul Jiggins tells his Sun readers how unimpressed he is with the appointment. And Jiggins knows Spurs. This is the man, after all, who write in the summer of 2013:
GARETH BALE looks set to stay at Spurs for the coming season — after Real Madrid conceded defeat in the battle to sign him.
After Bale’s mega-money move to Real, an undaunted Jiggins now tells Sun readers:
Levy tells Pochettino: Turn Spurs into Saints (What, get ‘em to finish eighth, Daniel?)
Bit sarcastic, no? He then attacks the Spurs announcement:
They are hardly going to write: “We’ve brought in a manager nobody had ever heard of until 18 months ago from a club that was in League One a few years ago.”
IT’S RARE for a product’s logo or package design to stay constant over the years. More often than not, they get a makeover every few years to keep up with the tastes of the times.
Comparing soda cans from decades past to the present, it’s immediately apparent that we no longer prefer simple elegant designs… that we prefer busy, hastily thrown together crap designs instead.
RECENTLY, women’s rights have been shoved to the forefront of the debate, thanks to a number of dreadful events. It has been difficult for some men to read the #YesToWomen hashtag, which has shown just how unsettling life can be for women.
While most men aren’t to blame for all that befalls women, most things that befall our female buddies is at the hands of men.
And so, to Japan, where two members of hugely popular Japanese pop group AKB48 were left hospitalised after a fan attacked them with a saw.
HUNTER S Thompson’s daily routine: