March of the Penguins

March of the penguins trailer View the trailer by clicking the photo above.

Last week Priscilla and I went to see March of the Penguins at the movies. It is a documentry about the life cycle of the emperor penguin, paying particular focus to their mating habits.

It is a beautifully shot movie – the pictures of Antarctica with it’s blue-white ice are amazing, and the occasional shot of the penguins in the water are very impressive. Would you like to jump into freezing/frozen water and film penguins underwater in the middle of the polar winter? Me either.

A fair bit of controversy has surrounded this film. It won the 2006 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and was more successful at the box office than any of the films that were nominated for the Best Picture award.

Conservatives in the USA have praised the film for promoting family values, which is not really backed up by the facts – the penguins are monogamous on an annual basis, then they all swap partners for the next years breeding. Also the footage of the penguins has brought up the arguments for and against intelligent design.

We found the movie engrossing – Priscilla couldn’t bear to watch at times – and thoroughly entertaining. It’s only 85 minutes long, so if you don’t catch it at the movies, make sure you spend the couple of dollars when it comes out on DVD.

More links:

The 20 Most Important Tools

The Knife Duct Tape Rose

Spotted via this article on Forbes.

The 20 Most Important Tools Ever is a very interesting read. There are some associated articles talking about what isn’t included, but as a guide, the only post-industrial invention that makes the list is the lathe.

One of the intriguing things is how the simplest tools often turn into other tools, in incredibly different areas. There’s also an amusing aside about the other greatest tool ever, Duct tape.

View the slide show of numbers 20-4.

Scharers Little Brewery

Last week I had the good fortune to be able to stop off in Picton on my way down the South Coast. I had wanted to go there for a while to visit the historic George IV Inn.

King George IV logo George IV hotel

Tacked onto the back of this old (established in 1839) hotel — in what was once the stable — is Scharers Little Brewery. The hotel only has accommodations for 14 people now, but most people come for the beer. I should also mention the excellent pub grub that’s available — from traditional german sausage plates to gourmet seafood via steaks, all tastes should be satisfied.

At the brewery, they make 3 beers: Scharers Lager, Burragorang Bock, and D’Lite.

Scharers Burragorang Bock label

D’Lite is a a low alcohol beer only available on tap at the George IV. Burragorang Bock is a traditional German bock — kind of like an old or porter, but made with a lager yeast at cold temperatures. Scharers Lager is the famous one, however. Continue reading “Scharers Little Brewery”

Sin City

Sin City

I’ll admit it upfront: I’m a big Robert Rodriguez fan. Everything from the “El Mariachi” to “Spy Kids” via “From Dusk ’til dawn”. He brings a freshness and enthusiasm to his films, and his kids movies aren’t dumbed down like Disney movies.

Compare Rodriguez’s films with those of say, Micheal Bay or Tony Scott. Enough said. Anyway, onto the film.

This film is an adaption of the graphic novels written by Frank Miller. Continue reading “Sin City”

AGP over for another year

A pretty exciting Australian Grand Prix was held today. Queanbeyan’s Mark Webber managed to hold on to 5th place, despite looking capable of more. The race was won by Giancarlo Fisichella of Italy, who was in a fast car (a Renault) and got very lucky with the weather yesterday. Michael Schumacher crashed into Nick Heidfeld through frustration, and perennial “almost�? drivers Rubens Barrichello and Fernando Alonso drove excellent races to come in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

On a related note the telecast went well, and Dad should be back from Melbourne in the next couple of days.