100 Jobs Blog

One of the wittest blog’s I’ve read recently is Oliver Davies’ 100 Jobs Blog. Based in Middlesbrough, Cleveland, Oliver has been applying for jobs that he has no right applying for but which he applies for anyway…

As highlighted on digitalspy, Oliver first introduces his blog by saying that, (quote below);

Ok, so I’ve had all sorts of job related problems. Got made redundant in March and, despite applying for loads of jobs I’m qualified for, I’ve failed to even secure interviews (it appears freelance work loses you massive amounts of respect in the job market!)…

I then branched out into applying for other things I was sort of qualified to do (i.e. data processing, copywriting, etc.) but had equally poor success with these…

So, after a bout of depression about the whole thing I’ve come out the other side and decided to do something vaguely juvenile to cheer myself up.

Since I can’t get a job I’m qualified for, I’m going to start applying for 100 jobs I’m patently NOT qualified for/have any experience in – things that are strange or financially rewarding or stupid, etc. – and then writing up what happens in my blog. Maybe it will change my luck, maybe it will open up a new opportunity. Maybe it will just stop me from going totally mad!

I’m going to try and apply for a different job every day and if you’d like to know how I’m getting on, feel free to check out my blog…

Oliver has applied for tons of jobs, including “Head of Culture of Buckinghamshire County Council”, “Chief Executive of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts”, “Floating Supernumerary Manager”, “Lap/Pole Dancer”, and “Male Escort”

Oliver’s blog has already been picked up by the Guardian, BBC Radio 5 as well as other radio shows.

The whole concept definitely has the makings of a good book, in the Danny Wallace/Dave Gorman mould.

Link:

Blog Talk Radio: Podcasting evolved?

Although I’m not a fan of podcasting (I get incredibily bored after 20 mins of listening to the same guy… maybe there is a lack of jingles?)… blog talk radio is certainly very interesting.

“Blog talk radio lets you host your own talk show online. Receive live callers, interview guests, and broadcast to an unlimited number of listeners. All you need is any type of phone, an internet connection, and something to say. All your listeners need is streaming audio or any type of phone should they choose to call in.”

It’s like having your own online podcasting talk radio show. Streamed live or recorded, it gives podcasters a different take on their usually pre-recorded shows, and some of the talk radio shows seem very interesting.

Link:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/

Police Story (1985) – Review

Eye-popping bus stunt

Following on from the bitter disappointment of yet another failed attempt at breaking Hollywood with the movie “The Protector”; Jackie Chan’s Police Story (or Ging chaat goo si) is widely considered to be the best action movie that Chan ever made.

Although heavily dated, the movie is a tour de force and I personally believe it to be the defining part in both Hong Kong and Hollywood action for many reasons.

Jackie plays Kevin Chan, a Hong Kong police man. In almost bungled police drug sting operation, Chan captures a notorious drug lord almost single-handely with the hand of a double-decker bus and an eye-popping stunt that surely must have killed at least two of the stuntmen.

Afterwords, Chan is assigned to protect the secretary to an evil drugs lord who is to act as a witness to the prosecution. But is she being co-operative, or still in league with the gang?

The drug lord’s personal bodyguard frame’s the murder of another bent police cop using Chan’s gun and Chan must fight off attempts on his life while hanging on to his girlfriend and second-guessing bent fellow officers.

During a key scene in the Magistrates court, the drug lord gets off on Chan’s lack of evidence.

Down on his luck, and running from the police, Chan attempts an audicious plot to re-capture the drug lord and acquire evidence of the drug lord’s organised crime links as well as his records of payments to police officers…. this leads to an action packed ending inside a shopping mall.

Unlike his later movies, this one combines drama, excellent action and good story in one. A testament to this movies originality and style is the fact that it was lifted wholesale by many films, including Sylvester Stallone in Tango and Cash, Bad Boys 2 and a Brandon Lee movie (which I can’t remember).

I would definitely recommend this movie, just make sure you get the widescreen version with subtitles, otherwise you’ll miss the magic of what I believe is the best action movie that Chan ever made.

Overall: 9/10

Link:
Police Story (IMDB)

Is ‘War on Terror’:The Board Game in bad taste?

war on terror boardgame

Recently released, “War on Terror – The Board Game” has met some fierce backlash from terrorist victims as well as the general media. But is it really in bad taste, or is it something more?

Andy Tompkins and Andrew Sheerin, both from Cambridge are the people behind the boardgame based on global terrorism and have already run into storms of protest over their idea.

The Cambridge duo got an early taste of the possible backlash when they were thrown out of one toy fair, and banned from a further two.

The game comes with an “Evil Balaclava” and players can collect “suicide bomber cards” bearing the slogan: “Like a boomerang, but more dangerous. And he doesn’t come back.”

But the venture has sparked fury among the gaming community.

One post on boardgamegeek.com message board says the game is: “Offensive no matter which side of the war you are on.”

The writer adds: “Even if you don’t favour the war, why would you want to play a game that allowed you to be a suicide bomber? Deplorable.”

Garry Clarke posts: “I’m all for political debate, and even satire, but I’m not sure if a board game is the correct platform, adding, “I really think that it actually cheapens and degrades our society.”

The makers claim they aren’t doing anything wrong and that the venture is “satire” and that the game isn’t “insensitive”, but rather fun for “all the family”.

Mr Sheerin said: “We hope people will pick up on the satire and that they’ll have fun playing it, because we think it is a good game.

“But also that it will help underline the various things that we feel strongly about like the hypocrisy and the double-standards.”

He added: “I would hope that the victims of terrorism would welcome this game in that it is an attempt to open an honest debate.”

Strangley, I believe that this game is in bad taste and doesn’t help the discourse for those who oppose the war on terror, for whatever reason, and yet I can’t go as far as some people who say that this game should be banned, or that the co-creaters should be locked up for incitement to terrorism.

Indeed, I do understand what they are trying to do. Some people have argued that games like Risk (world conquest), and even Monopoly (greed) are just as bad. Even Monopoly had it’s “Ghettopoly” and Risk, it seems, has it’s own “Ghettopoly” in the shape of this board game.

I won’t be buying the game, but I would be interested in seeing what happens to the game in a year or so’s time. Will it fall under, like it’s Ghettopoly counterpart? Will it actually help debate on the issue? And is all the media fuss over this board game out of context?

Only time will tell.

Link:
War on Terror – The board game (Board Game Geek)

18 Bronzemen Review

18 Bronzemen

As a young orphan, Shao Lung was raised in a Shaolin Temple after his grandmother abandons him there, fearing that an evil General will kill him after killing Lung’s father.

Lung spends countless years perfecting his kung fu in order to gain revenge against the cruel General. As he reaches adulthood, Shao Lung decides he must leave the temple to discover the truth about his past and get revenge.

But in order to do this he must he must pass the Shaolin monks most sternest test; the 18 Bronzemen.

The 18 bronze men is a collection of fighters, some of them wearing super thick armour which make them look like robots, others painted in Bronze/Gold paint and fight in different styles within a multi-chambered labyrinth filled with a mixture of deadly traps and deadly fighters.

Once Shao Lung passes the tests (with Carter Wong in exceptional form), the film becomes less entertaining and incredibly boring.

Whilst Tin Peng (Shao Lung) is cast as the leading man, it’s clear that Carter Wong is the main man and out-acts, outperforms and outfights Tin Peng at every turn. Indeed, Wong is enjoyable as the star pupil of the Shaolin monastery, barking insults and pushing students to their limit and beyond.

After Shao Lung and Tai Chung are out in the real world there’s no more bronze action – instead we have the discovery that Shao Lung is in fact the son of a Ming general who was slaughtered by Fei-Lung’s evil Ching General (realised in a blistering swordplay flashback).

There’s also a poorly developed love interest in the pretty form of Polly Shang Kwan. Polly gets to do some kung fu, and seems to be blessed with an amazing leaping ability.

In addition to this, there is a good sub-plot of a mole within the Shaolin monastery; who feeds the Evil Ching general with information – especially the styles of kung fu that the 18 bronze men use as well a super secret kung fu found by Shao Lung in a book.

When the mole is uncovered to be Lung’s childhood best friend, he is aghast and demands to know why his best friend betrayed him — then comes the most convoluted twist of the movie; the best friend explains that he is the child of a high-ranking Ching soldier and gave an oath to his father, and presumably the Ching empire, that he would kill the child who showed the most zeal for destroying the Ching empire (ie: Lung).

Adding to the twist, Carter Wong explains that he was raised by a bodyguard who saved Lung’s father and Wong, like the mole, gave an oath to protect Lung until he got revenge.

This plot twist I found to be confusing, it seemed like Lung’s destiny was to remove the General from power; sorta like Luke Skywalker. But it did seem a bit strange that Lung was predestined to do all this, and all the people surrounding him were predestined to help Lung achieve his goal. Maybe the scriptwriters wanted to portray Lung as a Prodigal Son — it didn’t really work out.

The end has an excellent, climatic four-way showdown with the Evil Ching General (and, for some reason, his many clones); who has learnt the skills of the Shaolin monks and constantly changes his style until Carter sacrifices himself, leaving the General open to be killed.

The 18 Bronzemen has impressive production values and looks pretty expensive in places, and although the outcome is never in much doubt, the climatic four-way showdown is well-staged by Kuo.

My issue with this movie is that that 18 bronze men do not offer any real threat to the heroes in this movie. They should have been the personal bodyguards of the Ching General, or at least try to kill the heroes; too many times you hear a voice boom “PASS!” as the Bronzemen stop fighting and let the heroes move to the next room.

Although a reasonable fun film, this 70’s kung fu movie lacks real danger and wasn’t the classic all-out kung fu movie I was lead to believe.

Overall: 4/10