Monthly Archives: March 2018

When Will We Get This Time Thing Right?

Clock 2 Well, we’re doing it again! Why do we do this every year when we know how harmful it is to us? Probably for the same reason people smoke. We are once again faced with this idiotic Daylight Saving Time debacle, and just like I used to do every year on my radio show, I am speaking out against it.

Some people claim this is “anchored in history”. Let me set you straight on that. Near the time of the French Revolution, France faced a shortage of wax, and candles were the primary source of light for most of the population. Candle makers and the aristocrasy got together and decided that one way to save on wax would be to adjust clocks so there would be daylight at a later time, and the idea became popular.

When our resident crackpot, Benjamin Franklin, was ambassador to France, he saw the idea in practice and got an idea. Much of America’s economy centered on the cotton industry, so he tendered the idea that America also adopt the French policy. Since we were at the time so Friendly with the French, and the idea was popular with cotton producers, who could get extra, literally, slave-driving for their workers, the project went through.

Clock 7 Many tears later, DST once again gained favour from the military standpoint when there was fear our factories would be targeted by foreign bombing raids if the lights were turned on earlier, so DST was used to allow factory workers to have longer amounts of daylight. History buffs will recall how many factories of the time had, in fact, glass ceilings.

The last big push came during the Nixon administration, when the President was forever trying to please the “little people” and required the country to go to “year-round” DST. Fortunately, sanity regained its ground and that idea was negated. Chief Jack has lobbied to have DST voided for over 50 years, but so far only Hawai’i, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S.Virgin Islands have followed his advice. There are rumours that at least seven states are considering opting out of this useless waste of time. All I can say is—you want to enjoy an extra hour of sunlight at night? Get up an hour earlier in the morning.

It has also been proven scientifically that altering the natural timing of daylight as we do is medically offensive. It affects our biological clocks, leading to accidents, higher blood pressure, loss of sleep and attention span, and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Take it from me—strokes are NOT fun…….

 

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Annihilation Confusing, Disturbing

Annihilation poster The critics and I vastly disagree on this film. Most of them praise this film highly, whereas I think it’s much like a bunch of writers threw their scripts in a blender to see what would come out. Unfortunately, it’s this. Basically, this movie falls in the “let’s remake something with an all-female cast”, which, as 47 Metres Down and the recent Ghostbusters rehash pointed out, rarely works.

The first scene shows us a meteorite breaching our atmosphere and crashing into a lighthouse. For some reason, the lighthouse is NOT totally destroyed by the strike. From there we switch to a school where former soldier Lena (Natalie Portman) is teaching biology. We are forced to endure meaningless dialogue that reveals her husband is MIA during an assignment for the government at Area X, which is being affected by something called The Shimmer, and is where the meteorite crashed. Lena is as surprised as we are when her husband reappears. He becomes violently ill and gets whisked away by an ambulance.

Annihilation 3 This is where things start to unravel alarmingly. The ambulance gets stopped by military troops and Lena is drugged, eventually waking up at Area X and meeting Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who is in charge of an upcoming mission to The Shimmer with an all-female crew because previous all-male crews never made it back, except for Lena’s husband Kane (Oscar Issaac). Lena wants answers so she joins the mission too.

Annihilation 2 The Shimmer seems to be, or at least looks like, a 1960s drug-induced psychedelic nightmare, where everything is made up of similar matter that is not quite plant life, yet not quite animal. The ladies encounter a huge alligator, then some nebulous carnivore that winds up being able to use the voice of the woman it killed before being itself dispatched. Along the way, the women find a videotape from Kane’s expedition that shows a gruesome operation. The women decide to reach the lighthouse, but only Lena makes it there. As the confusing story unfolds we get bits of Lena’s post-mission debriefing mixed with shots of her mission as well as unnecessary asides into Lena’s affair with one of her fellow teachers.

Annihilation 1 When Lena finally reaches the coast, a lot of the scenery is crystallised (why, we are never told). and inside the lighthouse she finds a body that turns out to be her husband, along with a video camera that reveals how he died. Voices lead her to a tunnel below the lighthouse where she runs into an alien that takes the form of the dead Dr. Ventress. Lena shoots the alien, but when she makes it out of the tunnel she is met by yet another alien, whom she dispatches with an explosive similar to what her husband used on himself.

In the end, Lena is told her husband recovered when the lighthouse was destroyed and they embrace as she asks “you’re not really Kane, are you?”, and this stirs the pot one final time. What purpose did all this serve? Could it be the prelude to an alien invasion, or just a reaffirmance that women can screw up a sci-fi plot just as well as men? The answers are NOT forthcoming, and I don’t think this movie will last more than two weeks in theatres—it’s THAT bad.

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