29.4.07

Next

Next is something of a puzzler. Cris Johnson (Nicholas Cage) was born with the ability to see into the future. It's only by two minutes, and he can only see things that are going to directly effect him, but he can do it, and he's using it to eke a meager living as a stage magician in Las Vegas, and also a quite handsome living cheating at blackjack. We meet Cris as he's obsessing over the one time he was able to see further, which was a vision of a mystery woman who turns out to be smokin' hot Liz (Jessica Biel), months before they meet.

Enter Special Agent Callie Fields (Julianne Moore) who wants his help finding a nuke that the Ruskies lost. Now, quite what the FBI think they are going to do with two minutes warning that a nuke is about to go off is anyone's guess, but she wants him to help. What follows is a fairly straightforward story about one of the most difficult concepts to grasp. Seeing the future and then changing it. If you changed it, won't you now have then seen the new changed future that is actually happening, as opposed to the future that you changed which was going to be happening?

Cue some interesting effects, some funny Groundhog Day style "trial and error" scenes, a scene which is totally unnecessary for those members of the audience not in possession of a penis (Biel, fresh from the shower, clad only in a towel), and some seriously cool scenes where we get an inkling of exactly how useful it would be to be able to see even a little way into the future.

All in all, this film is not great. I've seen the whole "future sight" thing handled much more expertly. But this film is good entertainment, fuel for discussions for the technically minded, and fun filled eye candy.

Not too shabby.

Doombreed Rating: * * * *

And It Comes Again

Tuesday is another day off, and as such I will once again fail to paint my heavy weapon squad. I intend to not finish my veteran squad, and run out of time before finishing the highlights on my Ratlings.

If procrastination allows, I'll also fail to start painting my second infantry platoon.

28.4.07

Friday Rodent Blogging

Oh, yeah... Now that's definitely a 4+ cover save...

Selene goes all Imperial Guard sniper on you.

26.4.07

SG:1 on YouTube

Skimming recently, I discovered this hilarious gem:

25.4.07

World Cup Winner Dies

Alan Ball, the youngest member of England's 1966 World Cup squad - our one and only World Cup victory - died today aged 61.

Ball, who won man of the match in the '66 final, suffered a heart attack outside his home after tackling a bonfire that had gone out of control.

He's now the second member of England's greatest ever squad to die, after Bobby Moore died in 1993.

England players will be wearing black armbands as a mark of respect in their first game at the new Wembley Stadium against Brazil on June 1st.

To Boldly Go..

Hilarious..

Outtakes from ST:TNG, ST:DS9, ST:VOY, and ST:ENT:



And From St:TOS:

23.4.07

Happy..


..St George's Day, everyone!

22.4.07

Vacancy

Vacancy is a run-of-the-mill movie, with nothing much to get excited about. The storyline's laughably simple. Married - but Soon To Be Divorced™ - couple Amy (Kate Beckinsale) and David (Luke Wilson) are on their way home from a "keeping up appearances" visit to Amy's parents, when David decides to take A Shortcut™, and their car experiences A Mechanical Problem™, forcing them to spend the night at A Remote Motel™ run by A Creepy Bloke™. The motel is Not What It Seems™, and the creepy manager, aided and abetted by two Locals™ is actually murdering people in their rooms, whilst filming it.

Yes, that's right. This movie should have been called "Slasher Flick Clich├ęs By The Tonne."

We even get a visit from A Large Number Of Rats™, The Sporadically Working Flashlight™, The Recently Deceased Offspring™, and Fat Sheriff Who Is Going To Die After Giving Our Hero And Heroine A Brief Period Of Hope™.

If you're a fan of Kate Beckinsale, go see it. She's as hot as ever. But on almost all other points, this movie falls flat.

Quite why it rated an "R17" is beyond me. Maybe it's the brief shot of a murdered woman's breasts that did it, as Americans are very prudish about these things. Certainly there's not enough graphic violence, blood nor gore to justify it, especially considering that Canada only rated it 13+.

Humdrum stuff. Not going to make anyone's top 10 list. Not terrible, just not great.

Doombreed Rating: * 1/2

21.4.07

ATHFCMFFT

Mrs Doombreed and I Went to see Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters last Sunday and I cannot believe I forgot to write a review.

For those wondering whether to go, forget it. If, upon hearing that there was going to be a ATHF movie, you didn't immediately decide then and there that you would cut off at least one limb if it meant you could see it, you won't like it.

ATHFCMFFT is an hour and thirty minute-long episode of ATHF. It contains the exact same effects, same animation, same humour, same Carl..

It is, in short, number one in the hood, G.

And it is good. It is good.

For those who have reviewed it and pronounced it somehow lacking, I must ask:

Have you seen the show? Even one episode?

It's about a giant floating carton of french fries that can shoot lightning from his eyes, a giant milkshake and a large blob of ground beef.

Plot subtleties and character development will not feature highly in this movie. Silly jokes will.

Doombreed Rating: * * * * *

These Are Our Allies?

One thing that is really getting on my wick is the way that the media over here are treating the 15 Britons just released by Iran.

This whole story must have been quite the dilemma for the rabid right-wingers, especially those at FAUX News and their spiritual brethren.

See, the right-wing mainstream media over here has been very vocal in its support of the Bush administration and, especially, for their efforts to legalise the use of torture - sorry, that's "aggressive interrogation techniques" - by US troops and intelligence personnel. Of course, this means that FOX couldn't exactly condemn Iran for using similar techniques, even when it was concerning illegally detained members of a closely allied power, and especially when the techniques used weren't as bad as those described by some in the media as "frat hazing."

FOX and their ilk have also taken great pains to play up the effectiveness of torture. Phrases like "a weapon in the war on terror" are often trotted out. This all means that they couldn't very well point out that the British troops resisted their captors quite effectively, and, true to their training, provided minimum cooperation whilst doing everything shy of sending up parachute flares to signal that they were appearing in videos and pictures only under duress.

So, the right can't condemn Iran, nor can it support the troops. What's a girl to do?

Well, it seems that The Powers That Be sent down an order from on high: Impugn the troops!

British troops are cowards who crumble as soon as you give them a hard look.

That's the thanks we get for nearly 150 dead and six years of support for Bush's little profit-making scheme.

But it's catching on outside of the conservative-dominated mainstream media.

Top-ranking (and publicity-hungry) US military officers have arrogantly and repeatedly stated that US soldiers would have offered more resistance, that they wouldn't have given up without a fight.

FreeRepublic, the deranged right-wing fucktard's deranged right-wing fucktards, has multiple threads where the Fightin' Keyboarders, safe in mommy's basement, tell us about how the soldiers should have acted, and how they would act if they were captured (and had the balls to join up in the first place).

Hell, even AMERICAblog - one of the more progressive, liberal blogs out there - fires a shot o'er our bows on this issue, erroneously describing Iran as "the enemy."

Yes, it's unfortunate, but the gung-ho, Rambo, Dirty Harry, John Wayne culture in America is so ingrained that some just can't hear for the roar of the testosterone. Stupidity and thoughtless violence is becoming a virtue. Luckily, it's mainly the media and a few wankers with computers, because most people I've spoken to face-to-face understand what really happened and join me in just being thankful that the guys made it home.

Americans in the media (and a minority I've spoken to) stand aghast that the fifteen Brits didn't whip off their shirts, tie on a headband, grab an M-60 and slaughter the entire Iranian Navy before invading Tehran, disposing of the Revolutionary Guard, planning, staging and executing a coup, planning, staging and executing free democratic elections, posing for statues commemorating their bravery and then swimming back to England, making it in time to give 'er indoors a good seein' to, and all in time for the 10 O'Clock News.

Sadly, there are those amongst my countrymen who feel the same way.

Here is the pertinent fact in this case:

The United Kingdom Of Great Britain and Northern Ireland does not, at this time, exist in a state of war, neither declared nor undeclared, with The Islamic Republic Of Iran.

Geddit?

This means that the 15 Brits weren't POWs, they were accused criminals.

They weren't captured by the enemy, they were arrested for a crime.

The Geneva Conventions do not apply.

Name, Rank and Number is bullshit.

The Brits weren't cooperating with the enemy, they were doing what they had to in order to survive.

And for all the armchair warriors who believe that there was something dishonourable about the way the Brits surrendered, here's something that I guess would never occur:

Royal Marine Captain Chris Air was in charge of fourteen people; seven Royal Marines and seven Royal Navy sailors, on a mission from HMS Cornwall to board and inspect a vessel suspected of smuggling. These fourteen people were lightly armed and traveling in two "Gemini" rigid raiders. The were confronted by forces from the Iranian Navy and accused of violating Iranian waters. Captain Air knew from his GPS that he was still, at that point, within Iraqi waters, but he also knew that his small crew didn't stand a chance of resisting the Iranians even for as long as it would have taken the Cornwall to arrive. But, more importantly, he was also aware of the fact related above; that Britain and Iran weren't at war.

Capt Air had a choice. Open fire or surrender. Certain of our allies would have you believe that the latter was dishonourable and he should have done the former, even if it cost his life and the lives of his subordinates.

Here is the choice:

Either:

Open fire and "go down fighting", thus sacrificing the fourteen lives under your command, and instigating armed conflict with someone you are not at war with, creating a massive international incident and quite probably sending Britain into a war at a time we can scarcely afford it, with a country with which we have always maintained diplomatic relations and are hoping to have diplomatic relations with in the future, in a region where our activities and the activities of our allies are being viewed with considerable hatred and are already breeding the very terrorism we're supposed to be fighting.

Or:

Swallow your pride, surrender, and let the diplomats sort it all out.

British soldiers are sworn to defend Crown and country, even if the cost is high. Laying down one's life for one's country is a great sacrifice. Capt Air did something much harder, something a lot of Americans - and some Brits - are having a hard time understanding. Most of us wouldn't have had the courage to do it. Most of us would have taken the easy way out and called it "honourable."

Capt Air laid down his ego and his weapon, and in doing so, defended his country.

Bravo.

Friday Rodent Blogging

Selene's house has been redecorated. New blue bedding, a new edible food bowl that's shaped like a volcano (just visible behind the wrecked car) and a brand new wheel to replace the one chewed into oblivion.

None of which prevented her from giving me that look.

19.4.07

Battlewagon Bits

Thanks to TSOALR, I have discovered This World's Greatest Retail Website. It's called Battlewagon Bits, and is worth a look.

As the name suggests, they sell GW bitz, so if you're looking for that one, special bit to finish off that luxurious conversion, or just something to glue to the side of your latest tank to make it look that little bit more spiffy, BWBits is for you. Their prices are outstanding too, as is their "Bits trade-in" scheme, whereby you can send them your discarded crap and earn credit to use in the store.

Whilst we're on the subject, I must give a quick bundle of kudos to the guys at TSOALR for their touching tribute to the fallen at Virginia Tech. Simple, yet beautiful.

17.4.07

God Is Love

I'm a great believer in freedom of speech. I believe that it is one of the most fundamentally important rights that any person can claim. I also believe in freedom of religion. People should be free to practice their religion (or lack thereof) without interference, especially from the government.

Having said all that, some people really need to learn when to shut the fuck up and fuck the fuck off.

(Via AMERICAblog)

University Shooting Kills 33

Today, I watched, dumbfounded, as events at Virginia Tech unfolded. The number started at 21 and kept climbing. The current total is 33 dead, including the perpetrator. That's 32 innocent lives ended. 33 families sundered. The concept is staggering, almost impossible to comprehend.

As the enormity of what we were seeing began to permeate, people in the break room at work were hardly speaking above a whisper. Our thoughts turned to the families. Anyone with kids at Virginia Tech must have been waiting by the phone, hoping it would ring but at the same time dreading it. Police urged students to phone their families. 32 families never received a call, at least not the one they wanted. It's enough to make anyone pause and ponder the fragility of life, how easily it's ended. Such a situation demands pause and reflection, requires dignity and consideration.

Unless you're CNN.

The coverage I saw came from CNN's "Situation Room", with host Wolf Blitzer. CNN had secured some footage, shot by a student, in which gunshots - a lot of gunshots - could be heard.

CNN showed that footage - and this is not a joke, trust me - with a counter ticking off the shots. A counter. A cheerful little graphic with numbers changing as merrily as Sesame Street's resident bloodsucker counting cupcakes. 27 shots. 27 bullets. How many dead were being ticked off by that counter?

But that's not the worst. Blitzer introduced the segment by saying something to the tune of "watch, and count along with us."

I'll leave you with your speechlessness.

16.4.07

Paint Day - The Aftermath


This is the end result of a long weekend's painting. Top is my hardened veterans unit, who need basing and are, as yet, lacking a veteran sergeant. I have a Praetorian lieutenant model, with a chainsword that has been filed down to make a power sword.

Bottom is my newly expanded Ratling sniper squad and, judging by the pic, I need to go back and lighten the highlights on the five new guys' skin.

Still to come, my two heavy weapons squads. Both were undercoated this weekend.

14.4.07

Driving Rules For Lexington, Kentucky

One of Mrs Doombreed's colleagues recently forwarded this message.

Enjoy:

Driving Rules For Lexington, Kentucky

1. First of all, if you are going to find yourself driving around outside the city limits, you must learn to properly pronounce the name of the surrounding towns. Yes, we all know that the famous city in France is pronounced “Ver-sigh”, but around here Versailles is known as “Vurr-sails. Also, that famous town in Greece, you know.. Athens? Well, around here, its pronounced “A-thins’....much like the old redneck favorite.. the A-Team. And that other famous city in France? Well you might think that Paris, Kentucky, would be pronounced locally as fairly normal. Well NO, here it resembles more of the golf term “par”...instead of “pair-is”, we have “par’s”. I am so proud...

2. As for driving in Lexington, forget the traffic rules that you might have learned elsewhere. Lexington has its own version of traffic rules: at any 4-way stop sign, the vehicle with the loudest sound system goes first, then the one with the loudest exhaust goes next. The truck with the biggest tires goes after that.

Note: UK students, especially incoming freshmen, driving anything. have the right of way at anytime, (or at least they all drive like they do - be forewarned!)

3. To locate any street address in Lexington, it is first required that you know where “Keeneland” or “Rupp Arena” is; they are the Alpha and Omega of everything. Simply the beginning and the end of everything. From there. it would be a wise thing to study up on “thoroughbred racing history”....everything here is named after a dead horse.

4. There is no such street in Lexington as “SLIMESTONE’. It’s South Limestone, the street signs just look like that. Same goes for the one seemingly named after the evening meal. There’s no SUPPER - just South Upper.

5. Lexington is small; we don’t have a “rush hour”. We have a “mess everyone for two hours”. The main road here is Nicholasville Road. From 7-9 in the morning and 4-6 in the afternoon... .the lanes literally switch. The only way to tell is the lighted markers every quarter mile or so. If you are an out-of-towner, you are about to become the most hated person on earth and possibly a victim of an accident. The turning lane (usually reserved for the middle of the 5-7 lanes) has switched based on where the bulk of the traffic is going. If you understand that last sentence, you have lived here and don’t count. If you don’t you are dead. Just writing it confused me and I live here. Basically it means your normal turning lane is now a lane for us locals going 70 trying to get to work on time. Horns are fun in the morning.

6. A special note of caution about "red lights". If you actually do stop at a yellow light, please be assured: you will most likely be rear ended; you will definitely be cussed out and/or “flipped off’, and very possibly you will be shot. You only stop after the light has been red for a good 5 seconds or a when truck is aiming at your front end.

7. You must know that “East Main Street”, “Richmond Road”, State Highway 25, and Athens-Boonesboro Road are all one and the same. There are a lot of other place names like that too~ Street names, by law, must change every six blocks, or every six months, whichever comes first. When searching for a cross street, remember to look to the left and the right. as they will most likely have different names!

8. Thanks to an unusually able city council and equally able road planning department, construction is considered a permanent fixture in Lexington. Completion of any project is not to be contemplated; it just never ends. You might think that it does, but the traffic barrels are just moved around in the middle of the night just to make the next day’s driving a little bit more exciting for y’all. There is actually a vote coming in the November elections to nominate the “Orange Barrel” as our official city flower.

9. Please watch out at all times for road hazards such as deer, skunks, dogs, cats, traffic barrels (i.e. city flower), traffic cones, cows, horses (and horse manure.. especially downtown), pot holes, (lots of pot holes), pieces of other cars, truck tires. Possums, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and random articles of clothing with the crows or turkey vultures feeding on any of the above mentioned animal parts.

10. If you should happen to witness someone’s car with their turn signal on as a courtesy to others, you should assume he or she is from out of town. Immediately wave the offending driver over to the shoulder to let them know that this safety device has been “accidentally activated”. Some of our locals think if they use it too long, the air bags will deploy.

11. If you are in the left hand lane on any major roadway, and are only going 70 in a 55 mph zone... you are legally considered a road hazard; headlights will be flashed, car horns will be blown, and you will be “flipped off’ accordingly. Get the hell out of the way or ride a bike.

12. The minimum acceptable speed on “Man 0’ War” Parkway is 85 mph. Anything less than that is considered “just downright sissy”. (Please note: Man 0’ War is Lexington’s version of NASCAR.)

13. We are not the only city in the world that has a loop that surrounds the city making it easier to get from one side of town to another. We are the only inbred people who would put stop lights on half of it. It is half highway, half nightmare.... we are geniuses here in central KY my friends.... Where education pays...

13.4.07

Friday Rodent Blogging


Selene is trying to decide if she likes Mexican food or not. This could go either way.

12.4.07

Paint Day.. ish

Paint day didn't go quite according to plan. Still, I went and bought a pack of five Ratlings to boost my sniper squad, plus a Mordian heavy bolter which, when combined with the two heavy bolters I already have makes another support squad.

I have three days left. More will be done.

11.4.07

New Fraud

This would be more disturbing if it wasn't so typical. I received this email the other day:

This email confirms that you have paid Amazon Inc. $270.00 USD using PayPal.

This credit card transaction will appear on your bill as "PAYPAL Amazon*".


PayPal Shopping Cart Contents
Item Name: Canon HV10 HV-10 HDV Camcorder w/2-Lens
Quantity: 1
Total: $270.00 USD

Cart Subtotal: $250.00 USD
Shipping Charge: $20.00 USD
Cart Total: $270.00 USD


Shipping Information

Shipping Info: william n ouellette
10 ensign lane ,
massapequa , ny 11758
United States
Address Status: Unconfirmed

If you haven't authorized this charge, click the link below to cancel the payment and get a full refund.
Dispute Transaction

Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team


I am not the named person, that's not my details and I never made that purchase so I was, apparently, supposed to click the link in a panic over my account being charged $270, and then, as requested, log in and thus give some arsehole my Paypal account details. Theft would follow.

Oh, but I'm smarter than the average bear, so I simply went direct to Paypal and checked my account. No $270 is pending. Rat smelled. I sent them the message and my suspicions were confirmed.

Nice try, though. The email even had all the Paypal graphics at the top and everything.

Paint Day Cometh.. Again

I have tomorrow off, so paint day is here again. I intend to finish off my Hardened Veterans squad, plus my all lascannon heavy weapon squad.

I also have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off, so there could be real headway made this week.

Maybe.

It's a what with a who, now?

A visitor just found my blog by searching blogcatalog for "hot indian girls," believe it or not.

Seriously. Check it out. I'm on page 814. It's my review of Ghost Rider, which contains the word "hot", but neither "indian" nor "girls" appears anywhere.

Weird..

10.4.07

Scientists "perfect" bacon butty

No, really.

Scientists have created a mathematical formula of how to make the perfect bacon butty.

Experts at Leeds University discovered the secret to the ideal sandwich lay in how crispy and crunchy rashers were.

They found that two or three back bacon rashers should be cooked under a preheated oven grill for seven minutes at about 240C (475F).

The bacon should then be placed between two slices of farmhouse bread, 1cm to 2cm thick.



The bacon butty didn't need perfecting. The bacon butty is already perfect.

Here's a recipe:

Doombreed's perfect bacon butty:

Two slices of bread (any type, at least moderately fresh)
Some bacon (number to taste, but the more the merrier), cooked to taste.
HP brown sauce or Heinz tomato ketchup.

Put cooked bacon on once slice of bread. Add sauce. Put the other slice on top. Eat.


A bacon butty - any bacon butty - is so perfect that even a crap bacon butty is still better than almost any food on the planet.

And don't even get me started on the magnificence that is the chip butty.

Silly scientists pursuing impossible goals..

8.4.07

There Is Nothing I can Add To This...

Cast of "Spamalot" hoping to break "world's largest coconut orchestra" record.

There is a world beyond awestruck. I am there.

They Never Cease To Surprise Me

In his Easter address, Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop Of Canterbury, will "call for reconciliation around the world."

In his sermon, Dr Williams will say Christianity's most important festival - marking the resurrection of Jesus three days after his death by crucifixion - shows how reconciliation can be achieved in the present day.

He will say that its account of devastation followed by joy shows how if those engaged in conflict can admit their own faults, they can escape the deadlock of mutual hatred and suspicion.


Okay, I'm getting a familiar vibe here..

"Give up the struggle to be innocent and the hope that God will proclaim that you were right and everyone else wrong. Simply ask for whatever healing it is that you need, whatever grace and hope you need to be free, then step towards your neighbour.

"Easter reveals a God who is ready to give you that grace and to walk with you."

He will add: "When in our world we are faced with the terrible deadlocks of mutual hatred and suspicion, with rival stories of suffering and atrocity, we have to pray for this resurrection message to be heard."


Hey, dumbass, the majority of the world's population doesn't believe in your god. To them, your little Easter tale is nothing more than a fairy tale. It is not instructional, it doesn't point the way to anything, it reveals nothing. It was a story invented to take Eostermonath away from the Pagans. It means nothing to most of the people on the planet.

Happy Eostermonath, everyone. Hope the fertility Goddess blesses you and yours.

7.4.07

Friday Rodent Blogging


Selene appears to be changing colour again. Her muzzle is getting darker, as is her forehead.

She's also perfected that seriously evil look..

5.4.07

Catching Up

For one reason or another, I haven't blogged for a few days, so we'll call this a catchup post and hope nobody notices (or cares).

Adam Finley over at TV Squad linked to my entry about the ATHFCMFFT shown on [adult swim] the other night. Over two hundred people clicked through and visited. This means that I'd had more visitors by the 3rd than I average in most months, so everyone can take the next few weeks off. Also linking was Seth at Mostly Muppet Dot Com, so cheers, guys.

For more on ATHFCMFFT, check out KingColon.com, the official site for the movie. It not only has the trailers, but also the aptly named "worst game ever", and the opportunity to send a personalised message from one of the ATHF characters to your friends (HINT: Pick Carl, and type in a hobby rather than picking one from the list. It's hilarious.). Best of all is the music video, which has Meatwad performing The Planet's Best Guitar Solo Ever In The History Of Everything, Ever, I'm Not Kidding, Seriously, Trust Me On This.

And, finally, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters comes out on the 13th.

Go.

See.

It.

P.s. You can preorder the soundtrack album, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters Colon The Soundtrack (ATHFCMFFTCTS) at Amazon right now. Or just click the "soundtrack" link on KingColon.com and listen to a bangin' sample.

2.4.07

ATHFCMFFT World Premiere

ATHFCMFFT (Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters - the acronym might be a jibe at the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie which is, everywhere, simply being listed as TMNT) is Adult Swim's first full length movie. So why would they show it on TV two weeks before it was due for release in theaters?

The commercials said it was because they are "****ing insane". The date for this premiere? 1st April 2007.

Oh, yeah. Uh-huh. Hah. April Fool.

Nope.

ATHFCMFFT did show last night. In its entirety.

It's just that there was no soundtrack and the screen, on my telly, was about an inch wide, and it was down in the bottom left corner whilst Adult Swim's usual programming went on as normal.

****king funny, I call it.

If you don't know about Aqua Teen Hunger Force, suffice it to say that it is one of the funniest shows ever made. Find it, watch it, enjoy is, go see ATHFCMFFT when it comes out. Such genius deserves rewarding.

1.4.07

"Human" Rights?

A court in Austria is hearing a case which will decide if Hiasl, a chimpanzee, is entitled to be protected in the same way as a human child would. The animal sanctuary where Haisl lives is about to close, and rather than see him shuttled off to a zoo or lab, Paula Stibbe is applying to become his legal guardian. Unfortunately, the whole business of appointing a guardian only applies to cases where a human, who requires legal representation, is incapable of making informed decisions on their own.

So the case, allegedly, boils down to the question of whether Hiasl is human or not.

People are getting way bent out of shape over this. Comments like "what next? He gets to vote?" are commonplace where this is being discussed.

But this case isn't about whether Hiasl is human. It's not about granting human rights to chimps. It's about whether this one chimp deserves protection because the animal sanctuary he lives at is going bankrupt and the new owners have indicated they don't care.

Also, Hiasl has received donations from benefactors but, legally, cannot spend them himself, nor have them spent on his behalf unless a guardian is appointed by the court.

Of course, the fundies are getting out of their prams on this. They were mad when science said apes were intelligent, for The LORD Your God only gave humans intelligence. They were mad when science said we were related to apes, for The LORD Your God did make us in His image. They were mad when science said that, not only were we related to chimps, but that we share over 99% of the same DNA, for The LORD Your God said that DNA.. well.. to be truthful, The LORD Your God didn't say anything about DNA because when The Bible was written, nobody knew what it was. But you can bet that, had they known about it, The LORD Your God would have bloody well made sure that ours was 100% unique.

Quite what the fundies think The LORD Your God said about an animal being granted, even in the most limited and restricted way, rights more often reserved for humans is anyone's guess. But they are upset. And they are trying to find a way to claim it is wrong.

Look. In the specific, limited context of this one, single case involving this one, single ape, and in no way condoning any weird, baseless fantasies about apes voting, standing for office, being given driving licences and passports, or extending human rights to dogs, cats, rats, spiders, stick insects, bananas or bacteria, I support Hiasl's side in this. If this is what it takes to protect this one, single animal, then sure, why not?

Human rights are an artificial construct. In the wild, rights are nonexistent. In human society, the only rights you have - proclamations of universal human rights notwithstanding - are those either granted by the society in which you live or those that you can physically claim and defend by yourself. Drop a human into a pride of hungry lions and his right to life will mean precisely nothing. Rights are granted by society. So why can't certain rights for animals be granted in the same way? Is it really going to hurt you?

The situation in Spain, where one party is going to put forth a law that would, if passed, recognise apes as having basic human rights. If the law passes, and those who voted for it retain their jobs at the next election (thus signifying that the Spanish electorate approves of the law), what's it got to do with anyone outside Spain?

But - just a thought - leave the fantasising to the moviemakers and authors. This isn't going to bring about The Planet Of The Apes.

More Fool Who?

Well, it's April 1st tomorrow (okay, today), so we can expect the usual round of lame practical jokes followed by shrieks of "April Fool!" from those with the sense of humour of a placemat and the sophistication of a comatose puppy.

Real April Fool's jokes require subtlety and skill.

The all-time greatest has to go to the BBC who, in 1957, fooled thousands into believing that spaghetti grew on trees and, in 1976, beloved BBC astronomer Sir Patrick Moore had people jumping up into the air because a unique alignment of the planets would temporarily decrease the Earth's gravity. Scarier is that hundreds called into his show to say that the experiment worked and they had, indeed, gently floated back to the ground.

Then, in 1980, they reported that St Stephen's Tower (the big clock tower on the side of the Houses Of Parliament in London, often erroneously called "Big Ben" which is actually the name of the giant bell with the off-key note) was going to be upgraded with a digital face. Thousands - from all over the world - contacted the BBC to protest.

In 1999 Auntie Beeb announced that the British National Anthem - God Save The Queen - was to be replaced by a "Euro anthem" and, what's worse, it was sung in German. Apparently, even Prince Charles' office was taken in by that one.

And way back in 1965, the Beeb conducted an experiment into "smell-o-vision", which many, again, reported was successful, claiming they actually could smell the odours from their TV sets.

Oh, but one can never forget The Great Grandstand Dust Up. In 1989, whilst Des Lynam was presenting, a heated discussion between two men was going on behind him. The discussion escalated and a full-scale fight broke out, whilst Des, apparently oblivious, continued to read his script. The whole thing was staged, but the clip often turns up on "bloopers" shows that believe it was real. I saw it myself on a show over here just last year.

Somehow, in comparison, filling the sugar bowl with salt in the work canteen just seems.. pathetic.

Still, have a happy Intelligent Design Day. And watch out for the fools..