Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas.....

.....and a Happy New Year!! I'll be back to blogging here in a week or so. In the meantime, why not take a look at my other posts in this blog - there's bound to be lots more stuff of interest to you. And don't forget to check out my group of free fun and games sites, such as the Mario and Sonic games site, the Disney and Pixar games site and the Shrek and DreamWorks games site. All the sites also feature large collections of wallpaper pictures and other great freebies in addition to all the free games. Have fun!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Possible future Dan Dare comics

Following the completion of the 7-part Dan Dare series that was produced by Virgin Comics from November 2007 to July this year, and the subsequent demise of Virgin Comics in September, it seemed unlikely that there would be any further new Dan Dare adventures for the forseeable future.

However, as reported by Newsarama.com yesterday, it seems that there will be more to come from the veteran spaceman in the near future:

(Quote)
Dan Dare will fly again.

Virgin Comics acquired the rights to produce a new Dan Dare comic last year, written by Garth Ennis. When the company dissolved earlier this year, the possibility of new Dan Dare in comics seemed remote at best. Dynamite Entertainment announced that it will collect the issues of the Virgin Comics series in February, and until now has remained mum on the possibility of future projects. The publisher has confirmed for Newsarama that they have landed the rights to publish future comics projects starring Dan Dare.

"I am delighted to be working with Nicky [Barrucci, Dynamite President] and his team, on the collection of one of my favorite series in years, and very happy indeed that Dan Dare has found a great home in Dynamite,” Ennis said.

Barrucci said that Ennis championed Dynamite to Colin Frewin, the CWO of the Dan Dare Company, which allowed the publisher to get its foot in the door with the company, and ultimately come to terms on the agreement.

Frewin: “It is exciting news that Dan Dare is joining Dynamite Entertainment alongside fellow classis strips like Battlestar Galactica and Lone Ranger. Dynamite is exactly what Dan Dare needs for global distribution.”

Dynamite Associate Editor Joe Rybandt commented: “Each and every month, I’d hit my local comics shop and pick up the new issue of Dan Dare -- this is Garth firing passionately on all cylinders and to be a part of “rescuing” this work and presenting it in a new form is a great thing for me and all the fans like me...”

The upcoming collection of the Dan Dare series that was originally published by Virgin will contain all seven issues of that series (corrected for the new publication), and a cover gallery. No publication date for new Dan Dare was given.
(End quote)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Watch free Pixar mini-cartoons and movie trailers

Just click on the links below, and off you go..... enjoy!

Watch a collection of Pixar's "WALL-E" mini-cartoons
(also sometimes known as "WALL-E meets..." cartoons, as in "WALL-E meets a camera", "WALL-E meets a vacuum cleaner", etc.)

Watch a collection of Pixar and other CG movie trailers

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thailand Travel Advice for December 2nd, 2008

My advice to you if you are planning a trip to Thailand any time soon is plain and simple: Don't come here at the moment, wait until the current political crisis is over. If you do come here now you might not be able to get back home again on the date you planned.

If you are already here and are stuck because of the anti-government protesters' despicable blockading of Bangkok's two airports, then you have my deepest sympathies. Unbelievably in this day and age, there aren't many alternative ways out of Thailand that are anything like convenient from Bangkok. Not surprisingly, the current main escape route, Pattaya's U-Tapao "airport" (about 150km south-east of Bangkok), is now completely overrun and will be a nightmare to get to and use.

Another way to escape from Thailand, at least for December 2nd anyway, might be to get a taxi to Hua Hin (about 200km south-west of Bangkok, around 2,000 Baht taxi fare), then fly from there to Koh Samui, and from Samui to either Singapore or Hong Kong - you should be able to get to your home country easily enough from either of them.

See the Bangkok Airways website HERE for more information about the Hua Hin to Samui flights available on December 2nd. I hope that helps!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

England's financial self-destruct, Thailand's political self-destruct

Oh dear, it's all going horribly wrong. England is now apparently technically bankrupt due to it's monstrous and seemingly unmanageable national debt brought on by years of unchecked over-borrowing. I say technically bankrupt, because if any of us normal people ran our finances in the same way, we would surely be declared personally bankrupt. My thanks to Gordon Brown, the current UK Prime Minister and former Chancellor of the Exchequer, for that!

And now Thailand seems to be on the brink of another military coup d'etat, following (and largely the result of) the last one in 2006 when the then Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, was ousted. If there is a coup, I don't think it will be anything like the previous one, which was almost entirely peaceful. It seems very likely that this time there will be serious fighting if tanks come onto the streets of Bangkok.

Things really are quite bad here in Thailand now, I'm very sorry to say - in addition to both of Bangkok's airports being completely shut down by anti-government protesters such that Bangkok is now cut off from the rest of the world by air (imagine the same thing happening to London or New York, and you'll get a feel of the chaos that is causing), earlier today an anti-government protester in Chiang Mai was dragged from his car by pro-government supporters and killed. That normally very placid Thai people can become so violently angry is both shocking and disquieting. Suddenly Thailand doesn't seem quite such a lovely place to live. How depressing.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Play Disney's Bolt online games

One of the posters for the 2008 movie "Bolt"

Today sees the release of Disney's new computer animated movie "Bolt". It is Disney's 48th animated feature, and because it has been co-produced by Pixar founding member John Lasseter (who is now the boss of all Disney/Pixar animation) it could also be considered as being, at least in part, a Pixar movie. I'll certainly be making the effort to go and see it because it looks really good judging by the official Bolt movie trailer.

For the sheer fun of it I've collected together some great free Bolt Flash online games for you to play:

  Bolt: Pinball

  Run Bolt Run

  Bolt: Mittens' Hot Dog Hideaway

  Bolt: Rhino's Rollerball

  Bolt: Rescue Mission

  Bolt: Rhino's Breakout

  Bolt to the Rescue

The games also include some Bolt desktop wallpaper pictures for you to use on your computer if you wish. You can find all the games and wallpapers, plus over 100 more great Disney and Pixar games (and wallpapers), at my Free Disney and Pixar Online Games site.

Enjoy! :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My YouTube Pixar video channel

I spent most of yesterday and today sorting out my YouTube Pixar and sci-fi video channel, uploading new cartoons and movie trailers, re-organising it, linking things together, and so on. You can view the finished results here:

The Pixar and Sci-Fi Channel

Additionally, you can play loads of free games related to all my YouTube videos at my group of websites which you can access through my WebRing here:

The Computer-Generated Cartoons WebRing

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Going a bit too far with online entertainment

I thought this was a joke when I first read it, but it's actually true. This is from a report published last week by Sky News:

(Quote)
A woman is divorcing her husband after she caught him cheating on her in a 3D virtual world.

Amy Taylor, 28, cited unreasonable behaviour in the court papers, describing how their three-year marriage came to an end when she twice walked in on her husband pretending to have sex in an online game.

Her estranged husband is now engaged to one of the women he had an 'affair' with on Second Life - even though they have never actually met in real life.

Amy told Sky News Online how she thought she had found the love of her life when she met David Pollard in an internet chatroom in May 2003.

They swapped photos online, and after six months of emails and phone calls, she moved from London into his seaside flat in Cornwall.

The couple spent hours having fun together in Second Life - her avatar, or alter ego, in the 3D virtual world was Laura Skye, and his Dave Barmy.

But her dreams were shattered three months later when she went for an afternoon nap and woke to find the jobless 40-year-old having sex with an escort girl in the game.

"I went mad - I was so hurt. I just couldn't believe what he'd done," Amy said.

"I looked at the computer screen and could see his character having sex with a female character. It's cheating as far as I'm concerned.

"But he didn't see it as a problem, and couldn't see why I was so upset. He said I was just making a big fuss, and tried to make out it was my fault for not giving him enough attention."

She added: "We then made it up and he promised he would never do anything to hurt me again, and would never cheat on me again."

The couple got hitched at a registry office in St. Austell in July 2005 - and even marked the occasion by holding a virtual wedding in Second Life.

They moved to a flat in Newquay, and carried on their virtual lives in the online world, but Amy knew something was wrong.

"I still had my suspicions, but couldn't put my finger on it," she said. "He never did anything in real life, but I had my suspicions about what he was doing in Second Life."

And then the bombshell came in April this year, when she found him in a compromising position with his avatar.

"I caught him cuddling a woman on a sofa in the game. It looked really affectionate," she said. "He turned off the computer monitor, and I turned it back on and demanded to look at his chat history.

"But he turned off the computer so the history was all deleted - and I ended up going off to his Mum and Dad's in floods of tears."

She added: "He confessed he'd been talking to this woman player in America for one or two weeks, and said our marriage was over and he didn't love me anymore, and we should never have got married."

The next day Amy went to a solicitor to file for a divorce, which is due to be finalised next week.

"The solicitor wasn't at all surprised - she said it was her second divorce case involving Second Life that week," she added.

Amy says she was down in the dumps for a while - but now has a new man in her life, who she met while playing the internet fantasy role-playing game World Of Warcraft.
(End quote)

Good grief, how very very sad. You couldn't make it up and be taken seriously, could you? Whatever next - young men standing trial for car theft and gun crime because they play Grand Theft Auto? And why on earth does anyone "play" this Second Life rubbish anyway? Wouldn't it be better for everyone concerned if they put all that time and effort into their First Lives? Oh dear.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Play Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa online games

One of the posters for the 2008 movie "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa"

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, the sequel to the 2005 computer generated cartoon movie Madagascar from DreamWorks Animation, was released yesterday. It follows hot on the heels of the studio's previous CG movie this year, Kung Fu Panda. DreamWorks Animation are perhaps best know for their hugely popular and successful Shrek CG movie series.

I really enjoyed the first Madagascar film and I will definitely go and see this sequel, because it looks great going by the trailer for it. It is rumoured that there will also be a third Madagascar film at some point in the future, to complete what will then be a trilogy of stories.

Here are some free Madagascar 2 online games for you to play:

  Madagascar: Feeding Time

  Madagascar: Melman's Pain in the Neck

  Madagascar: Penguin Pop

  Madagascar: Marty's Coconut Shootout

  Madagascar Soundboard

  Madagascar 2: Video Game Demo

The games also include Madagascar 2 wallpaper pictures for you to use as your computer background if you wish. All these goodies are in my Free Shrek and Other CG Movie Online Games site, along with over 100 more great cartoon and movie games.

Enjoy! :-)

Friday, November 07, 2008

"Naruto" online games and "Ben 10" online games

Roll up! Roll up! Play them while they're hot!! Play free Naruto, Ben 10 and Ben 10: Alien Force Flash online games right here (and every player gets free Naruto, Ben 10, Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien wallpaper pictures too):

  Naruto: Star Students

  Naruto: Star Students 2 - Ninja Survival

  Naruto: Battle for Leaf Village

  Naruto: Shadow Clone Battle

  Ben 10: Cannonbolt Pinball

  Ben 10: Alien Force - Humungousaur Force

  Ben 10: Alien Force - Forever Defense

  Ben 10: Power Splash

  Ben 10: Spore Attack

  Ben 10: Critical Impact

  Ben 10: Krakken Attack

  Ben 10: Underworld

Sorry about the cheesy intro, hope you like the games. Check out my Cartoons, Movies and TV Fun and Games Page 1 and Cartoons, Movies and TV Fun and Games Page 2 for even more free top-quality cartoon games and wallpapers.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

It's a good job John McCain didn't win yesterday.....

.....because it has been widely reported in the news today that (according to Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron) Sarah Palin, McCain's Vice Presidential candidate, thought that "Africa was a continent and not a country", thought that "South Africa was just part of the country as opposed to a country in the continent", and perhaps worst of all "was unable to name the countries involved in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was a major campaign issue". Oh dear.

Actually, perhaps it is a shame that she and McCain didn't win, because I for one will miss George Dubya's frequent "Bushisms" (see my post yesterday about them), and I feel certain there won't be any noteworthy "Obamaisms" or "Bidenisms". Regular "Palinisms" would have kept the White House fun rolling along for another 4 years, and they might well have been very plentiful going by the quotes attributed to her above. :-)

Oh well, we'll just have to make do with a boringly competent President and Vice President then, won't we? (Hopefully!)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

George W. Bush - funniest US President ever?

Very well done to President-elect Barack Obama, what a great result! Now please really do change the world for the better, just as you promised.

So, it's almost time to say goodbye to good old George "Dubya". It was fun George! Well, your frequent "Bushisms" were fun, anyway. Here, in reverse order, and thanks to Yahoo!, are 20 of outgoing President George W. Bush's daftest quotes:

20. "Those who enter the country illegally violate the law." - Nov. 28, 2005

19. "We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans." - Sept. 6, 2000

18. "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." - Dec. 19, 2000

17. "Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness." - Aug. 30, 2000

16. "I think we agree, the past is over." - May 10, 2000

15. "I understand small business growth. I was one." - Feb. 19, 2000

14. "This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating." - April 23, 2002

13. "I want everybody to hear loud and clear that I'm going to be the president of everybody." - Jan. 18, 2001

12. "One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures." - Jan. 3, 2000

11. "I was proud the other day when both Republicans and Democrats stood with me in the Rose Garden to announce their support for a clear statement of purpose: you disarm, or we will." - Oct. 5, 2002

10. "I just want you to know that when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace." - June 18, 2002

9. "I'm honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein." - May 25, 2004

8. "I firmly believe the death tax is good for people from all walks of life all throughout our society." - Aug. 13, 2002

7. "There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again." - Sept. 17, 2002

6. "The truth of that matter is, if you listen carefully, Saddam would still be in power if he were the president of the United States, and the world would be a lot better off." - Oct. 8, 2004

5. "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." - Sept. 29, 2000

4. "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." - Aug. 5, 2004

3. "Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?" - Jan. 11, 2000

2. "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family." - Jan. 27, 2000

1. "They misunderestimated me." - Nov. 6, 2000

You can take a look at a comprehensive list of "Bushisms" from the past eight years over on the About.com Political Humour site.

Oh, and have a great Guy Fawkes Night back there in the UK everyone - please be careful with all that fire and gunpowder!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

More new free movie and cartoon games

Here are the latest new online games in my Disney and Pixar Flash Games site, including games based on Pirates of the Caribbean, Lilo and Stitch, the Lion King and (my favourite) Ratatouille:

  Pirates of the Caribbean: Jumping Jack

  Lilo & Stitch: Peanut Butter Express

  Stitch: Experiments on the Loose

  Lilo & Stitch: Stitch Tiki Bowl

  Timon and Pumbaa's Bug Blaster

  Ratatouille: Choppity Chop!

There are also some new games in my Shrek and Other CG Movie Games site. Have fun!

Monday, November 03, 2008

How many planets are there in our solar system?

It's a simple enough question, right? The answer is 9, surely? Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Well that's what I thought, anyway, based on what I learnt at school back in the 1970s, and have read ever since in science books and the like. But apparently, back in 2006 (and I only just found out about it, so please forgive my ignorance if you already knew) it was decided by "the powers that be" that Pluto is no longer a proper planet, but is in fact a "dwarf planet", so there are now only 8 major planets in our solar system, not 9.

If this sounds crazy, confusing, or even perhaps makes you a bit angry to hear that Pluto is no longer officially considered to be a true planet, please bear with me for a few minutes and read on...

Pluto's reclassification was decided by the International Astronomical Union (IAU for short; the world "governing body" of all things astronomical) after very protracted deliberations during the IAU's 2006 General Assembly, and if you click on this Wikipedia "dwarf planet" link, you can see what happened and why.

In short, quite a few new "heavenly bodies" were discovered outside the orbit of Neptune between 2000 and 2005 (called trans-Neptunian objects, most of which were found by teams led by a brilliant Caltech astronomy professor named Mike Brown), all of which are planetoid in form, and one of which - named Eris, discovered in 2005 - is actually larger than Pluto.

At the time of its very surprising discovery, Eris was nominally classified as our solar system's 10th planet due to it being bigger than Pluto. But this led to some heated debate within the global astronomical community, because really Eris is only similar to Pluto and is quite different to the other 8 major planets, and also because Pluto itself is only really similar to Eris and not the other 8 planets (Pluto has always been a bit of an "oddball", with its very small size compared to the other 8 planets, and its non-standard highly eccentric and highly inclined orbit), and this is what eventually led to Pluto's reclassification.

It is still a controversial topic in some quarters, in the public domain as well as between some astronomers and a few other scientific groups. Again, please read the relevant Wikipedia article. It is all explained in great and excellent detail there, it all makes perfectly logical sense, and there is no point in my trying to reproduce it all in further detail here. Please read it, digest it and learn something new and really cool! :-)

So, to answer my original headline question, and in summary, the new (almost) universally scientifically accepted definition of our solar system, as of September this year, is as follows:

There are 8 major planets orbiting our sun: the 4 rocky inner-planets Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, and the 4 gas giant outer-planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (which are separated from the inner planets by the asteroid belt);

and... wait for it...

There are also 5 dwarf planets orbiting our sun: surprising little Ceres, which is in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, good old Pluto, and the lovely new trio of Haumea, Makemake and Eris.

Additionally, there are also a number of other trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) that don't currently fit into the dwarf planet category (such as Sedna, for example), plus a huge number of asteroids and comets, all also orbiting our sun.

It is fully expected that many more dwarf planets/TNOs will be discovered in time, as our technological ability to detect them improves, and so it is quite clear that we live in a far more dynamic solar system than the classic and rather static old "9 planets and 1 asteroid belt" model that was pretty much the standard until relatively recently. Currently the new definition looks a bit like this (click on the picture to see a larger version of it):



Personally, I love the new definition of our solar system. If you really think about it, Pluto is still considered to be a type of planet, just a new special type that is distinctly different to the major group that it formerly belonged to. I really like the fact that, if you (perhaps over-)simplify the new definition a little, there are currently 13 known "planets" in our solar system, with likely many more still to be discovered/classified in the future. Wow!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Jonathan Ross - Does anyone actually like him?

With reference to the current big fuss in the British media about Jonathan Ross following his and Russell Brand's offensive telephone prank calls on Brand's Radio 2 show on October 18 (see these two Yahoo! articles for more information: Ross is suspended and Ross may not return to the BBC), all I've got to say is this:

Good! I don't like him at all, and I hope he is finished as a public media figure. How on earth did such a rude, arrogant pig like him ever get to be such a grossly-overpaid "star" anyway? And what on earth were the BBC doing paying him millions of pounds of licence payers' (i.e. taxpayers') money every year? An absolute outrage and an utter disgrace!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More "Nice-but-Dim" Beckham fun

(With reference to my Beckham-related post yesterday)

Here is a short but entertaining article that appeared in Yahoo! earlier today:

(Quote)
Beckham: Young players are spoiled
Eurosport - Thu, 30 Oct 15:32:00 2008

David Beckham has said that young players are being spoiled because there is too much money in the game.

The LA Galaxy star, who is worth an estimated £125 million, revealed that he believes players lack the hunger of former stars when they break into the first team of their clubs.

"It used to be that when you got into the first team then the rewards would come, whereas young kids these days are earning so much money at such a young age," he said.

"You want that hunger there, you want the hunger to be rewarded. Unfortunately, that's not the case these days. They can all afford to buy their own cars. That's the bad part - to have that at such a young age."

Serie A giants Milan have confirmed that talks regarding a proposed loan deal for Beckham are set to begin - and that the former England captain could sign as early as next week.
(End quote)

He's having a laugh, isn't he?! When he was a teenager, long before he became a mega-rich superstar, he got paid a small fortune by various sponsors (McDonalds being one of the biggest, of all things - no worries about "hunger" there then!) because he was, at that time, being promoted all over the place by the FA as their "England star of the future". Actually, he's got a point hasn't he, because look at what all that money did to his career! Oh dear.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

All men are the same, we can't help it! (But most of us aren't this obvious about it)

This series of snaps from back in August of David "Nice-but-Dim" Beckham doing what any man would do in the same situation keeps making me laugh every time I look at them (because only he would be so obvious about it, surely?), so I thought I'd put them here in case you haven't already seen them:



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I am sick and tired of the greed and profiteering of big corporations!

BP (British Petroleum) today announced that they have made record profits of US $10 billion (GB £6.4 billion) for the last trading quarter, a rise of 148% on the same period last year! (See this article in Yahoo! for details.)

What a bunch of greedy fatcat @*#%s! (Please excuse my bad language there, but I am livid about this outrage!) All the BP directors should be thrown into jail for crimes against humanity!! They have made unbelievably excessive profits out of the oil crisis earlier this year, a crisis which caused, and continues to cause, huge financial suffering to millions of UK people (and which is now growing even more serious with the current global financial crisis and looming recession).

As far as I am concerned, every single penny of all that fatcat profit should be taxed away from BP and then shared out equally among all the people currently alive in the UK. Given a UK population of around 60 million, that works out at around £167 for every man, woman and child, which should help recompense them all a little bit for how much they have obviously been ripped off by the likes of BP over the cost of petrol and diesel this year.

Good grief, when will the greed and madness endlessly sweeping the world ever end? Perhaps we need a "Day the Earth Stood Still" event to sort things out...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Best ever year for Disney movies? (In terms of success, if not always quality)

Walt Disney Studios have had an up and down year this year - almost entirely up in terms of both the quality and success of their movie releases, but with one particularly notable down (in terms of quality, anyway).

They started the year brightly with the US box office number 1 movie, the daft-but-fun "National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets" (which was released and first went to number 1 at the end of 2007). They then released the fairly enjoyable "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert" movie in February, which also went to number 1 at the US box office. That was followed by yet another US number 1 in May, the well made but slightly disappointing Narnia sequel movie "Prince Caspian".

Then came the utterly enchanting "WALL-E" from Disney's Pixar Animation Studios, one of the loveliest cartoon movies ever. In June it too became a US box office number 1 movie. Lovely! But then Disney completely spoilt their "year-to-date quality record" by releasing the appalling "Beverly Hills Chihuahua", which somehow managed to be the US number 1 movie for two weeks running earlier this month. Good grief! Must have been something to do with the ongoing Global Financial Crisis, lol!

Currently Disney have yet another US number 1 movie (their 2nd this month and 6th - count 'em: six number 1's! - this year) with the reasonably enjoyable "High School Musical 3: Senior Year". That will be followed on November 21st by the promising-looking CG cartoon movie "Bolt".

Given that Pixar's John Lasseter has been overseeing the development of Bolt, and that John Travolta provides the voice of the eponymous star character (with Miley Cyrus also providing voice talent in the movie), it seems likely that this will also be a US box office number 1 upon its release. If that does turn out to be the case, it will be Disney's 7th number 1 movie of 2008 (and Miley Cyrus's 2nd - she's only 15, and will be 16 two days after the release of Bolt, bless her). But even if it doesn't make it to the number 1 spot, Disney have already had a mighty fine time of it this year. I can't find any definitive information to confirm the fact, but I feel sure it must be their best ever year, in terms of the number of number 1 movies, if nothing else. :-)

I have to say that I love Disney and Pixar - they bring a lot of joy into an ever-increasingly tumultuous world. Okay, so a lot of the purely Disney stuff is really cheesy, but it is always fun (Beverly Hills Chihuahua aside). And everything from Pixar has so far been pure magic.

Interestingly, after trawling around all over the web for current and historical information about Disney and Pixar movies, I discovered from a number of news articles that appeared on September 24th (don't know how I missed them at the time) that Pixar's "Cars 2" movie will now be released in 2011 and not the originally intended 2012 (having bumped 2011's planned "Newt" back to 2012 instead - see my post from June about the original release schedule here). Make of that what you will, but it seems to me that there is perhaps a hint of this having been money-motivated, given the massive merchandise sales that resulted from the first "Cars" movie. I really hope that's not the case though. Still, for now things seem to be fine, and next year's Pixar offering "Up" sounds like it will continue where "WALL-E" left off in the quality stakes.

To help keep your mind on happy fantasy things and away from unhappy real-world financial crisis-type things, here are some quality Flash games based on Disney's better movies of the year (each game includes desktop wallpapers plus links to even more games based on their respective movies):

  National Treasure 2: The Platform

  Prince Caspian - Target Practice

  WALL-E: Space Race and Space Ball

  High School Musical 3: Pinball

  Run Bolt Run

As always, you can find these and dozens more great Disney and Pixar games at my (cleverly named) "Disney and Pixar Games" site. Enjoy! :-)

P.S. Okay, so there must be some of you out there that actually liked Beverly Hills Chihuahua, otherwise it wouldn't have been the US number 1 movie for two weeks running at the beginning of this month, would it? For those of you who are fans of this very silly movie, here is a very decent Flash game based on it:

  Beverly Hills Chihuahua: Follow That Smell

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More about the Global Financial and Economic Crisis

(This is with reference to my previous post on the subject, which you can read here: England, Thailand and the Global Financial Crisis)

I have long been a fan of GlobalIssues.org, it is a long-standing, reputable and often shocking site (in terms of explaining the truth about what is really going on in the world), yet one which also gives hope that there can be a better future. Go and read the latest headlines there for yourself right now, and you'll see exactly what I mean.

In particular, read this brilliant article about the Global Financial Crisis that is still in catastrophic progress even as I write this post (stock markets crashing again everywhere - and here's a great site for getting up-to-date values of all the world's stock exchanges).

I think it is the most excellent and insightful article I have yet read about this entire disaster, and consequently I feel there isn't much more I can say on the matter. I just hope that this madness stops quickly and that the greedy people who caused it all in the first place are made to pay for it through the most severe punishments possible.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Free online platform game recommendations

If you're bored, or depressed about the ongoing Global Financial Crisis perhaps, and want something fun to cheer you up and pass some time away, try these two excellent free Flash platform games based on Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie series:

  Pirates of the Caribbean: Cursed Cave

  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dutchman Depths

You can find them both, together with loads more fun and cheerful Disney games, at my Disney and Pixar Games site (which also links through to all my other online game sites too, for an extra bit of boredom-relief).

Friday, October 10, 2008

England, Thailand and the Global Financial Crisis

What a disastrous end to an epic week! October 10th, 2008 - henceforth to be known as "10/10", no doubt. The day the world finally had to wake up to the fact that having a global economy means that when there is a problem in one economy, it will quickly become a problem in all other economies due to their implicit global inter-connectivity, regardless of the claims of some rather foolish national leaders who until very recently were denying that their particular countries would be affected by the "Anglo-Saxon Problem" (are you feeling it now Germany? Japan? Arab Nations?).

An unprecedented global financial crisis such as this needs rapid, radical, globally co-ordinated responses to resolve it - and so far it has received none of real worth other than a rather paltry (though unique in history) round of worldwide interest rate cuts on Wednesday. The consequence of this virtual inaction at the highest levels is that (quite predictably) the entire global economy has now imploded, with stock markets all around the world suffering from massive drops of 20% or more over the course of the week. It's a good job the weekend has arrived to put a brake on things, although quite what will happen on Monday morning when business resumes is anyone's guess. Even if the belated G7 and Group of 20 meetings that are taking place over the weekend come up with any really good plans of action, I think it will not really help much in the short term now, and that things will get worse for a while yet before they can start improving. Oh dear. Life in England and Thailand may never be quite the same again.

One thing that has been puzzling me more than anything through all of this, given my dual English and Thai life, is the GB Pound to Thai Baht exchange rate. Today the rate is around 58 Baht to the Pound, which is really low compared to recent years - earlier this year for example it was 68 Baht. Although the UK economy is under severe downward pressure at the moment, history shows that Thailand (with its export-driven economy) is traditionally the weaker of the two economies in times of economic woe such as now. That the Baht is so strong against the Pound therefore seems to me to be rather at odds with general long-term reality. Weird.

Like pretty much everyone everywhere, I am now suffering some financial difficulties, although thankfully I have no loans and no credit to worry about, so I will get off much more lightly than most people during this crisis I suppose. I am truly sorry to see that so many hard-working people will lose so much now through no real fault of their own. That this all seems to have been initially caused by the unbridled greed and stupidity of a relatively small number of fatcat bankers and financial traders in the US and UK (and replicated at least in part in other countries too - again, you know who you are!) is what really cuts the most here. These people must be made accountable for what they have caused, and must be severely punished (including having personal bankruptcy forced on them all in my opinion) in order to set an example so that it will not happen again.

I was heartened to see that the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, said he wanted to see the perpetrators punished, though I doubt any such punishments will be anywhere near severe enough if and when they are meted out. These few tens of thousands of greedy, selfish, stupid people have almost destroyed the entire world economy for goodness sake! They are global financial terrorists! They have done far more damage than anything Osama Bin Laden has ever done!! Make no mistake - many people will die as a direct result of this disaster, either through despair-driven suicide, stress-induced illness, increased violent crime, or a sudden lack of medical funds and facilities in poorer countries. And millions upon millions of people everywhere now face severe financial hardship for many years to come. So the greedy fatcats that have caused this must be made to pay a very heavy price, as swiftly as possible - no excuses!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

WebRing.com - a great place to find what you're looking for

If you're looking for a different way to find interesting websites than using the same old search engines over and over again, try using WebRing.com for a change.

I've been using it for over 10 years and it has always been an excellent resource for finding really cool sites. It consists of tens of thousands of sites connected together into groups (rings) organised around popular themes such as "Disney", "Cartoons", "Games", "Super Mario" and so on.

I manage the very popular and long-standing Lilo and Stitch WebRing, and I recently created a brand new ring that I hope also proves to be popular: The Computer-Generated Cartoons WebRing.

Monday, September 29, 2008

SpongeBob SquarePants online fun and games

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you already know that I love cartoons and video games. SpongeBob SquarePants is one of my many favourite cartoons, even though I am much too old for it according to convention! :-) I especially loved the big movie a few years back, it was very surreal and really funny.

There are some great free SpongeBob online video games on the web, and here are some links to the best of what's out there for you to try for yourself:

SpongeBob SquarePants online games and wallpapers in my Dan-Dare.org site

SpongeBob SquarePants games at SpongeBobOnlineGame.com

The SpongeBob Online Games Blog

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Free games featuring Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, Ice Age and more

I have created another new section in my ever-expanding group of fun and games websites, this one being for games related to computer-generated cartoon movies such as Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, Ice Age, Horton, Open Season and so on (i.e. "non-Pixar" movies):

Shrek and Other CG Movie Games

I designed it to compliment these and other existing site sections:

Disney and Pixar Games

Sonic and Mario Games - Page 1

Sonic and Mario Games - Page 2

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wedding Photos

A bit late I suppose given that I got married two months ago now (see here), but never mind - a few photos of my wife Su and myself in traditional Thai wedding costume can now be found here, if you're interested in seeing them. :-)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Virgin Comics buyout and renaming

Virgin Comics, which published the recent adventure of Dan Dare that ran from November last year until July this year, was the subject of a management buyout on the 24th of this month and has been renamed to "Liquid Comics".

It is unclear at this time what will happen with regards to any possible further Dan Dare stories.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A bit of an eco-rant!

I don't normally (if ever) get political in this blog, but perhaps I should make it a regular feature. After all, politics is one of my favourite subjects, at least in so far as I'm interested in issues like: why do the citizens of the UK and the US seem to believe they live in free democracies when clearly they do not? (fraudulent presidential elections, tricked-and-lied-to electorates, lobbied-and-paid-off politicians, unelected prime ministers, CCTVs everywhere even in school toilets, etc., etc.), and why do people everywhere seem to think that just saying they are green and that they care about the environment is the same thing as actually being and doing those things in truly meaningful ways? You get my drift, I think...

Anyway, this article just caught my attention in Yahoo: Nature's Budget Has Run Out For This Year. Take a look at it and have a good read of it, hopefully you'll find that it makes sense just as I much as I do, and hopefully you'll also know that there isn't a darned thing can be done about it..... except try and live your life by consuming and wasting as little as you possibly can! Every day, all year, every year! Simple really.

I mean, it's really simple. Stop buying things you don't need (this week's fashionable clothes items and/or accessories, the newest must-have techno toys, tiny-bit-better mobile phones, trinkets, baubles, bangles, pretty shiny things, any other kinds of useless junk), and stop eating and drinking junk packaged in tons of plastic too. You, me (I do it all already), everyone can save the planet that way. Don't wait for everyone else to do it first before you do it, start for yourself and be a trend-setting go-getting green planet-saver!

Oh, and if you can, please try not to fall into the "it's okay, I recycle" trap. Really, think about it. Isn't that a lot like not really caring what you're doing? You may recycle, but are you sure what you send for recycling actually gets recycled, and if so in environmentally sound ways? And even then, wouldn't it just be a whole lot better to stop using up so much stuff in the first place, and save all the effort of making the junk and then recycling it later. Less is more: less junk used and discarded is more resources saved = planet saved, surely.

Here is another tale of ecological woe in today's news, as if more were needed really: Methane Escaping From Arctic Sea Bed.

A final thought from me on all this for now: It seems to me that the vast majority of adults in the world are parents (of children, obviously), so how is it that the world is getting into such a huge environmental mess? Surely even the big bosses of the businesses that are helping to create the big mess (i.e. all consumerism-related businesses, i.e. most businesses), with their neverending drives for more profits from more sales from more advertising from more production, are parents too in most cases? How then are they, and every other parent, going to explain to future generations what it is that is going on right now? Don't they care, these parent types? They seriously should, don't you think?! ;-)

(Oh, and by the way, I've no children and don't want any, I don't own and don't drive a car because I use public transport and my legs instead, I don't buy endless consumer items either on credit or for cash, I replace things only when they are truly worn out and broken, I don't buy more food than I can eat, I buy virtually no pre-packaged food, I live in small but comfortable shared accommodation, and consequently from all that I have a really low eco-footprint plus low living costs and not many worries, just in case you are wondering. I have no glass houses so I can throw stones! Truth be told, I don't really need to care what everyone else does to the planet, given that I choose not to be a parent. Except I do care. Very much.)