The best movie question to ask yourself today

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pizza pieces margerita

This is what you should eat on fridays

 

It’s Friday which on this blog means a double helping of best things, but for some people, on some weekends, Friday is also movie day.

That might be going to a new release at the cinema, but it equally might just mean pizza, lounge wear and a movie that is probably terrible but actually you’ve watched all the ones you want and now you’re desperate.

I could hit you with recommendations today and tell you exactly what you should see, but I ‘m not going to do that. Part of the fun is the element of risk  – and I’m definitely not here to steal your fun.

But what I am here to do is ask you a question – the best question actually (about movies, today).

Here it is:

What is the best movie that you’ve never seen a second time?

I’ve seen loads of films multiple times – Good Will Hunting, Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, and Inception are some of the good ones.

But I’ve also had repeat viewings of things I didn’t even like that much.

I’ve seen The Proposal 4 times (Oh great, a romantic comedy that’s not terrible – let’s watch it at every social occasion until everybody in the world has seen it).

I’ve seen Hot Fuzz at least three times – it’s funny the first time but not nearly one of my favourites.

And for a time in my life, people could not stop watching No Country for Old Men. It’s pretty good but by the second viewing the complete lack of a soundtrack started to get real boring.

But there are some movies that I really did enjoy, but never quite got round to watching again. And these are really interesting to me.

Especially when you think about what got in your way.

Maybe none of your friends want to see it anymore, maybe you’re waiting to borrow it, maybe you’re embarrassed to watch it again – hey, maybe you just can’t remember the title and you live in the 90s without internet.

The answer to today’s best question reveals a lot about your life, as well as your movie choices. It’s asking what do you regret? What stops you from doing the things you like?

My answer, I think, is Skyfall.

I saw that movie close to opening night and I really enjoyed it. It was exciting, it was funny, it had Scotland in it… why haven’t I seen it again?

Well, I think I’m waiting for the perfect occasion – holding it in my armoury ready to slay the boredom of a night in. I know that sometimes I do have a run of nights in and I eventually run out of recorded TV. It’s comforting to know that Skyfall is there in the background, waiting for the right moment.

I just hope that run of nights in will happen sooner rather than later… it seems like a distant dream at the minute.

 

bond and q

I miss you guys

 

So what’s your answer to the best movie question today?

 

And Happy double post Friday by the way. I leave you with news that Steve just cancelled playing squash again – he’s scared I think. He knows how powerful I am.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best way to get your friends to take you bowling

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bowling

I have a confession to make: I enjoy bowling.

I’ve been holding it in for long enough and I feel this is the appropriate forum to express my true feelings towards bowling. It’s been a tough road, full of obstacles but I realise now I just had to get it out.

When you’re 10 your friends have bowling parties often followed by pizza, when you’re 14 your friends have bowling parties often followed by pool and video games, when you’re 18 your friends have drinking parties followed by sleeping. There comes a point when you’re just too old for bowling. It dies along with your youth.

So being a 24 year old who still likes to hit the lanes and throw a massive ball at some wood can be tricky, largely because no-one else ever wants to go, they’re off busy doing other things. I’m stuck in the 10 year old phase. I like bowling and I like pizza.

09-glow-bowlling-ftsofan-fl

I am 100% not into this. Clearly trying to inject fun into a serious game. What?!

I think I can understand why people don’t enjoy bowling: it can be utterly demoralising, there’s nothing sadder than getting a gutter ball, and it is often filled with 14 year olds glow-bowling with pumping tunes. Bowling alleys also always have this sickly sweet smell and sticky floors.

It’s not a great environment, I get it.

So when I can get my long suffering friends to finally take me to a bowling alley I get mega excited. They’ve filled their quota for a while and they don’t need to feel bad rejecting my bowling ideas for a good long stretch.

But the key question is: how did I do it? Are you like me, always searching for your next bowling fix?

Well, unfortunately, there’s no sure fire way of getting your friends bowling (unless you trick them every time and pay for them) but one way which works mighty well is to use an occasion which comes but once a year: your birthday.

BIRTHDAYBOYCAKE

“I wish my friends understood…I wish they would take me bowling…I wish, I wish, I wish”

Throw down the emotional gauntlet and they’ll have to say yes. If you can’t get them bowling for your birthday then are they really friends?!

If once a year isn’t quite enough then pull it out for any occasion; passing your driving test, success in exams or finally removing that splinter which has been troubling you (I once had a splinter for about a week and you cannot imagine the joy I got when it came out – I told everyone who didn’t care in my vicinity).

Basically, you need it to be an event.

I’ve been blessed with friends who know that I need to feed the addiction and they help me with it. For that, all I can say is thank you…

The best ice cream moment

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There is no picture on the internet which shows what I'm about to describe

There is no picture on the internet which shows what I’m about to describe

 

A best thing happened to me on Tuesday night. It wasn’t on purpose, but it was incredible. It was an ice cream moment of the best kind.

Much better than that time my Granddad sneezed in the ice cream tub. That was not a best thing at all.

But on Tuesday, when we had a bunch of people round for dinner, I made the foolish decision of trying to scoop ice cream with quite a small spoon.

Our proper scoop broke a while ago and a new one seems like a boring thing to spend money on.

As many of you know, small spoon scooping (SSS) can go very wrong because you are going against the natural function of the utensil. You shouldn’t scoop with a small spoon in the same way that you shouldn’t peel carrots with a potato masher.

But on this occasion, everything went very right for me.

I went for the scoop but was met with some quite ferocious resistance from the ice cream. It had only just come out of the freezer but I dug my spoon in anyway and pulled with all my might.

Then it happened.

The pressure I’d built up suddenly dropped as my spoon catapulted the ice cream into the air. We looked around for the inevitable mess and realised that something beautiful had happened. The sizable ice cream fragment had landed in my friends bowl – the one he was holding in his hand.

It had travelled a good three feet at considerable velocity, but everything was fine. I’d served my friend some ice cream… like a pro.

 

Sometimes the best things just find you, and when they do you better hope you have a blog to write about them in.

Or you could always borrow ours… 

 

 

The best ‘shell with shoes on’

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A few years ago I was introduced to a friendly character. His name was Marcel.

He may not look like your average shell, after all he’s got an eye and is wearing some shoes, but that adds to his appeal. He’s a friendly guy and would like to share some of his thoughts with you. If you haven’t seen this Youtube video (and let’s be honest, even if you have) then you definitely need to watch it:

This is the first outing of Marcel, giving us some of his vital views on his world.

But he’s more than just a one-video wonder, here he is again in 2011 spreading his joy once more:

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is the stop-motion baby of director Dean Fleischer-Camp and actor Jenny Slate, who both wrote the short. The original, and the first video I posted was made in 2010 and has over 23.6 million views on Youtube. It’s a bit of a big deal. No wonder, it’s flippin’ hilarious.

So why am I only bringing this up now? It’s a bit of old news to be telling you about something which happened in 2010.

Well, they’ve only just gone and put out a whole new video of Marcel!

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for for 3 years. I was getting severe withdrawal symptoms and my nightmares were filled with people telling me that Marcel was never coming back. How wrong those imaginary people were.

Here he is in all his glory:

These videos are delightfully weird and bizarrely funny. I wholeheartedly recommend them to you.

I never knew that about shrimps either…

The best way to admit that you are, and always will be, weak

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smart-trash-can

This doesn’t look like a best thing

Whenever I think about making a statement, my first idea is always to write it on a t-shirt. Like if I’m hungry, sleepy or angry I would ideally have a t-shirt that said so.

So if you want to get a t-shirt that says “I am and always will be weak” on it… I’m not going to stop you. I’m just asking that you listen to my alternative suggestion first and then decide.

Because this Japanese engineer called Minoru Kurata has invented a trash can that moves to catch the trash you throw at it.

 

moving trash can

Here it is in action

I think this is just the perfect way to admit not just that you aren’t good enough right now, but also that you never will be.

Instead of learning to aim better, why not spend lots of money on a robotic bin?

A sensor on the wall detects the paper while it’s in the air. The computer works out where it’s going to land and sends that information to the bin – which then rushes to catch your trash. Perfect.

I actually think this is pretty fun though.

I like the way it moves – like a dog playing fetch. I also like how setting up this device is actually way harder than just walking to your bin and dropping the rubbish into it. That all adds to the joy.

But I’ve spoken before about my passion for throwing stuff at other stuff and in light of that, I can’t help but see it as a sign of weakness.

Sometimes though, I just get worn out by the day. Maybe I get some bad feedback, maybe Steve beats me at some sporting contest, or maybe some giant bird poops on my car… like an ostrich or something. At these times it would be nice to just admit defeat and say…

Hey little bin, will you run around and catch the trash I throw at you for a while? I just need a quick win and I thought maybe you wouldn’t mind…

It sure is a super fun way to admit that you are weak – and everybody needs that once in a while.

Here’s the full video of the smart trash can. At about 1.15 the bin actually drops the trash and goes a bit mental for a while.

 

P.S. Guest blogger Hazel follows us through our facebook page and she plays this excellent game where she tries to work out what the post is about purely from the title and the header image… Would you have guessed it today?

Yesterday, she thought it was ‘Guard cat’ which is an excellent idea. Unfortunately, that concept only really exists as a side note in the 9th paragraph of this weird news article… not quite a best thing.

 

The best security method

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laser security

This is actually an incredibly misleading picture for this blog but it looks way cooler than a key…

This may sound stupid but have you ever thought about keys?

It’s a question you should probably consider because it’s kind of interesting. What would you do without them? How could you own a house or a car?

The only two solutions I have for keeping your home safe without keys are: 1) make sure someone is always home or 2) assume you are stronger than everyone else and roll a really big stone in front of your doorway.

I suppose another option would be to create a series of elaborate traps which only you and your nearest know how to avoid or disarm. Apart from those sensible ideas, I’m absolutely stumped.

Mousetrap

A trap! For all those tiny robbers

So what do keys do? They mean that everything we own is safe (mostly) because they’re behind doors which are difficult to open unless you own a tiny piece of sculpted metal.

Think about how small and inconsequential a key is and how useless an unknown key is. In my life I’ve come across plenty of keys whose primary purpose is never uncovered, they just collect dust because we assume they may unlock the doors to our deepest desires one day.

We know that keys are important, that’s why we create such a fuss when we lose them, but we often take them for granted. Our solution to security and privacy is small enough to be swallowed by a cat. That’s pretty cool.

Cat

“Nanananana, I just ate your keeeeeeeeeeeeeys!”

I’m not sure what I really expect you to do with these key reflections. I don’t want you to create a key shrine or to look admirably at your keys with a new found love, but maybe, next time you open your front door, whisper a quiet “thank-you” to your small metal friend.

As the saying goes “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”, or, in my case, “you don’t know what you’ve got until you’re already late for a job interview and you’re rushing around the house like crazy, asking everyone if they know where your keys are and they eventually turn up down the side of the sofa along with that pound coin you lost and a half eaten chocolate bar so you have to wash your keys off before you can lock your door on the way out.”

Cherish your keys.

The best skyline

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City skylines are pretty cool. They look good at night and during the day. They’re instantly recognisable.

I’m a big fan of the London skyline and all of the skyscrapers which are going up. They’re all localised and haven’t overcrowded the city too much, so you still have lovely views of St. Paul’s, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.

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Paris is also cool but largely involves one big tower and one big arch. They’re iconic but it’s not much of a skyline. Paris

Fun fact about Paris: along the same road as the Eiffel Tower and the Arch de Triomphe is the Arch de Defense which is a massive hollowed out cube. My family and I saw it on a postcard once and made it our business to get there. It was good.

Arch de defense

Then New York. New York is just tall tall tall with a bit more tall involved. If you build anything below 20 stories in New York you’re basically laughed out of the city. There’s a big statue out a bit from the city as well.

New york

But the best is the Tokyo skyline.

Tokyo 2

Why is it great? Well, the skyscrapers are plentiful and interesting, but the real gem is the whopping great mountain in the background.

Did you miss it?

Tokyo 3

WOW!

Here’s a photo taken during the day to hammer it home:

Tokyo

You’ve got all these busy city types busying themselves in a busy city being looked down on by nature. It’s as if the mountain is saying: “you think that’s good, get a load of this!” You can be a big shot but still pale into insignificance when struck by the sheer size of Mt. Fuji.

No matter how hard we try, we can’t make a Mountain.

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