Friday, 22 August 2014

Lego Pi Life

Life sometimes imitates art .....

Most of us are aware of a book and movie called 'Life of Pi' .... in which an Indian boy from Pondicherry, Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker (as both a deceased tiger hunter and the Bengal tiger).

A Bengal Tiger On A Boat Isn't Philosophical At All

So there was a strange symmetry, when I saw a small sub story in the papers ... under the heading.

'Roar Meat'

'A fisherman was killed when a tiger dragged him from his boat into the Sunderbans jungle, East India.'

Tiger probably not read the book ..... or even seen the Lego version.

Lego Pi Life

The victim was apparently illegally fishing in a restricted area when the attack took place, and his sons tried to beat the tiger into letting go of the man. The Sunderbans are historically home to Bengal tigers and tiger attacks are a common occurrence.

By Jingo - Its A RusBurger

Do you remember 'Freedom Fries' or 'American Fries'?

Freedom Fries - Jingoism At Its Finest

It was that bit of US jingoism which erupted in 2003 when the then Republican Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, Bob Ney, renamed the menu item in three Congressional cafeterias in response to France's opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq ... an act followed by several other national restaurant chains. My how clever that looks now!! Boy who was right, and who was wrong .... needless to say that the bit of the Anglo-Saxon hubris that 'Freedom Fries' represented was very quietly dropped later, and now its "French Fries" again.

So you would think that the Russians would have learnt something from this episode .... but apparently not, if the antics in the Crimea are anything to go by. In April McDonald's closed its three fast-food outlets in the Crimea, citing 'problems with sourcing ingredients' ... yeah right! Anyway, the abandoned franchise stood empty and then rumours circulated that Burger King would take over the restaurant in Sevastopol (after the CEO of the chain's Russian operation suggested that they could step in), but this didn't happen after the US Parent stepped in.

So, the shop was taken over by a local concern, probably at war-time prices aka a steal. Now at the moment, Russian nationalism is at full tide ... so no chance the venue would retain any American feel in the name. They got their heads together and no doubt many names went through their minds 'Putin Pullets'? ..... No, too political. 'Rah Rah Raspullets'? What to serve, maybe 'Veal Orloff', Chicken Kiev? ..... or maybe Sturgeon fillets with Tartar Sauce? 

The list seemed endless but back came the Russian PR companies advice .... and up went the signs.

Paid A Pretty Rouble For This Name

RusBurger says it only uses Russian produce, such as veal, vegetables and cheese, and so won't have the ingredient problems its US rival faced .... err OK.

In the rest of Russia, Putin's supporters in the consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, have turned on the remaining McDonalds chain with the decision to temporarily shut McDonald's four restaurants in Moscow along with Russian MPs also calling for checks on other US fast-food brands, including Burger King and KFC. The actions come amid continuing rising tensions and sanctions between Russia and the West, over the crisis in Ukraine.

What's the betting that in a few years, the name RusBurger will have been dropped for something like 'Tex Burger' .... its all a storm in a McFlurry.

Impressions Of Edinburgh Fringe - 2014

As part of the Edinburgh Festival experience I also post up a few picture impressions ..... So without further ado, here's a few that sum up the annual jolly from PC Towers.

The View From Waverley Steps - Princes Street

View Of Grass Market

Near Underbelly

Udderbelly Looms On Horizon

High Street Monsters Abound

.... Joined By Dinosaurs Walking Amongst Us

.... Some Of Them Human.

After All That Walking .... It Always Ends Up Here.

Best Of The Fringe - 2014

Well we at PC towers are back from our August sojourn to Edinburgh ..... and although slowly recovering from the vast amount of alcohol and walking .... so as usual, here are the personal *ratings / the 'Best Of Our Fest' from the shows we personally saw:

Austentatious: (5 Star)
Improvised Jane Austen style playlet (but with largely professional and well practised cast) - Truly excellent and well performed - and worth every penny ... great reviews and you can see why.

On the Box: (5 Star)
Comedy musicians 'Bowjangles' in a TV station parody. Well performed, inventive and slickly written, its truly excellent and worth your time in even the most crowded schedule.

Henning Wehn 'Eins, Zwei, DIY': (4 Star)
Does what it says on the tin and makes you laugh. He is now a consummate comedy performer and far funnier than when on TV.

One Man Star Wars: (4 Star)
Mime, Mouth, Hands and Hans Solo. Very similar to his 'Lord of the Rings' to which he makes some allusion but still very good.

Frisky and Mannish: (4 Star)
Still very good, but compared to earlier versions of their shows there was a little bit of flatness, especially in the middle, where a 'dream sequence' seemed designed to fill a lack of material.

Winter Is Coming: (3 Star)
Australian comedy group but don't let that put you off .... however you need to watch 'Game of Thrones' to truly get all the references, and the gratuitous use of the 'C word' for no purpose, mean rating not higher.

Casual Violence: (2 Star).
Much the same as when we saw them a couple of years ago. Could do with a professional writer to harness some undoubted talent. Won't see them again.

Bears In Space: (2 Star).
Puppetry, comic skills and music. We were unimpressed, but many in the audience seemed enchanted by it. So we accepted that we 'just didn't get it' and give them 2 stars because it isn't always about us.

Neil Hamburger: (0 Star).
Apparently a Cult Icon - actually a turgid little act, obsessed with bodily fluids and foul imagery of ancient pop and film stars being forced to ingest them. When were Gene Simmons or Marilyn Manson ever 'legendary' in the last 30 years? The worst we have seen since Terry Clement: Din Times 8, for whom we once very generously gave a 1 star, but this one was so terrible, it just stinks the whole hour out and leaves you wanting a shower.

The reviews expressed on this post represent the 'personal opinion' of this blogger or those who expressed an opinion about shows to this blog only, and do not necessarily agree with other reviewers opinions. Similarly, the review stars are based on the criteria described below.

*The personal ratings system on this page are:
5 star - Exceptional
4 star - Very Good
3 star - Good or Better
2 star - Average to Good
1 star - Poor
0 star - Shouldn't be at Festival 


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A middle aged orange male ... So 'un' PC it's not true....