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:

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, 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 - 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 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.