Vincent Schiavelli 1948 – 2005

Vincent Schiavelli, who died of cancer at his home in Sicily on December 26 aged 57, was a popular character actor noted for his roles in films such as Ghost and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Schiavelli’s somewhat hangdog countenance appeared in more than 120 film and television shows; he excelled at parts which required an eccentric presentation, and in 1997 the magazine Vanity Fair declared him one of the best character actors in America.


One last thing…

Last-minute Christmas drinks in the Lord Edward tonight at 8pm for anyone who’s interested.


Christmas Funnery

We’re almost finished in the office for the Christmas break. I’ve still got 15 days holidays to take this year. Except there’s only 3 working days left. See the problem here?

Every year, we spend forever deciding who takes the consoles home for the Christmas break. Since the “BAGSY THE DREAMCAST, DOUBLE STAMPSIES, NO REVERSIES” method isn’t particularly fair, and the stakes were particularly high this year, we held a Burnout 3 championship to see who would take the Xbox 360 home.

Well, I won.

To be very honest, I’m not interested in the Xbox 360. My TV isn’t nearly up to the task of making games like “Condemned” look pretty. But the title of “Burnout 3 Champion”? Oh boy. What a great Christmas present.

(Today, I also got crowned Mario Kart DS champion – sweet.)


Mel Gibson Has Officially Lost It.

The trailer for Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto” has emerged from the ether with Kottke and others are pointing out how awful-looking it is. And true, at this early stage it’s like a heavy-handed mix of Terrence Malick and Baraka (but without any of the nice things such a mix would suggest).

He’s got a bit of reputation as a ‘prankster’ director (on one of the making-of featurettes on the Braveheart DVD, you can see Gibson reading “Directing an Epic for Dummies”). But I’m going to say that this is just a ruse. Gibson has officially Lost It and is now certifiably batshit insane. As evidence for this, I present this image which you will find as a single frame cut into an intense part of the trailer. You’ll have to go through the trailer frame-by-frame to find it yourself.

Southpark may have been closer to the truth than we know. Kaablaa!


Christmas Wishlists

Amazon wishlists have never really worked me. Too cumbersome to suit my way of doing things and too limited to suit the things I want a wishlist for. So last year, I began using the “wishlist” tag. If I saw something I wanted, it would get tagged under wishlist+$itemDescription, e.g. wishlist+dvds, wishlist+clothes and so on.

This means that I’m able to keep things out of my head while still keeping them in a central place, one I use every day. But more importantly, it gives me a quick list of everything my heart desires that I can access from any computer on the internet. On my recent, exciting trip to San Francisco, I was able to go into an internet cafe and print out entire shopping lists based on my wishlist tag, Unfortunately, this meant I came back with an armful of DVDs.

But around Christmas, this system really starts to show its strength because it has the advantage of giving people a quick overview of everything I’ve had my eye on. It paid off. My Livejournal Secret Santa bought me a book from the list – The Mafia Cookbook (Thanks Karena!).

Incidentally, here’s my wishlist. In case you were… y’know… curious

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JCB Song made it to Number 1

You know, it might be a bit hokey, but I’m so glad that the JCB song from Nizlopi is number one in the UK charts the weekend before Christmas. It really shows the power of viral marketing – so many people have sent me the link to the video over the past few months – and now it’s finally made it to the top of the charts. I don’t know if it was the well-deserved success, the amazingly touching song or the fact that I’m a complete pussy, or some combination of these, but I genuinely got teary when I saw them on Top of the Pops.

And it’s keeping the Crazy Frog off the top, so that’s another reason to celebrate.