Glyphs used in Fringe TV series

Just came across an article by Julian Sanchez that explains what the glyphs mean that are used in the TV series Fringe just before adverts. The below picto was created by, it illustrates the glyphs used and already looks superb.


As expected, with JJ Abrams, who hooked me with Alias, the concept is brilliant, engaging, and could prove to be just as interesting as his series Fringe.

The Lion Cub from Harrods

Below is a multipart documentary about John Rendall and Anthony ‘Ace’ Bourke who purchased a lion cub from Harrods in 1969. They brought the cub up in Chelsea, London near Kings Road. Following a chance encounter with Virginia McKenna of the 1971 hit film ‘Born Free’ they were able to envisage taking the then young lion back to Kenya to release him to the wild.
It is a moving and true story that is well worth watching. The story has become a web phenomenon with the video having been viewed on YouTube by an estimated 50 million viewers worldwide!

Part 1

Part 2a

Part 2b

Part 3a

Part 3b

Part 4

The last video from above was the video that became viral on the Internet in 2008 (added is the encounter between the student that put it on YouTube and consequently met John Rendall and Ace Bourke).

Here is the extract from the book that was then published to relate in further details this extraordinary story about the two men and their lion cub:


In 2008 an extraordinary two-minute film clip appeared on YouTube and immediately became an international phenomenon. It captures the moving reunion of two young men and their pet lion Christian, after they had left him in Africa with Born Free’s George Adamson to introduce him into his rightful home in the wild.
A Lion Called Christian tells the remarkable story of how Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall, visitors to London from Australia in 1969, bought the boisterous lion cub in the pet department of Harrods. For several months, the three of them shared a flat above a furniture shop on London’s King’s Road, where the charismatic and intelligent Christian quickly became a local celebrity, cruising the streets in the back of a Bentley, popping in for lunch at a local restaurant, even posing for a fashion advertisement. But the lion cub was growing up–fast–and soon even the walled church garden where he went for exercise wasn’t large enough for him. How could Ace and John avoid having to send Christian to a zoo for the rest of his life? A coincidental meeting with English actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, stars of the hit film Born Free, led to Christian being flown to Kenya and placed under the expert care of “the father of lions” George Adamson. Incredibly, when Ace and John returned to Kenya to see Christian a year later, they received a loving welcome from their lion, who was by then fully integrated into Africa and a life with other lions.

Originally published in 1971, and now fully revised and updated with more than 50 photographs of Christian from cuddly cub in London to magnificent lion in Africa, A Lion Called Christian is a touching and uplifting true story of an indelible human-animal bond. It is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.

Watch TV from the US in Europe

If you have ever thought about hiding your identity in order to view sites in the US that just display a message saying you aren’t allowed to see it this may be for you. There are technically complicated ways of doing it that are not for the faint of heart and there are solutions like HotSpot Shield that is nicely explained on the below video:

So open the doors to TV sites in the states, that allow you to see the last episode of your favourite series and whether you are from France, Germany, Spain , Italy, UK etc., Enjoy !

Which Movie Online ?

TV Series and the Internet are getting on fine wouldn’t you say ? The music industry has been cornered into the position of accepting that systems like iTunes are actually working and working well. So why would the movie industry continue to dig its heals in about distributing films over the Internet ? You may think that the whole music industry versus the Internet fiasco was a lesson in itself but no it seems not !
A good article over at discusses the illogical behaviour of the movie industry and how hard companies like Apple and Amazon are working on changing this, bringing out boxes that will allow people to view downloaded films on their TVs…

It seems in the same way that book publishers are creating barriers in the online publishing industry to make traditional channels of distribution happy, the movie industry is similarly motivated to create barriers… When will they learn ?

Kidnapped, previewed via NetFlix

The new series called Kidnapped is being shipped on DVD to Netflix customers nearly six weeks prior to its launch date on NBC. Certain Netflix customers received yesterday a DVD with the first episodes of NBC’s Studio 60 and Kidnapped. The target audience of Netflix is without doubt an interesting audience to tap, “demographic rich” audience.
This is a trend setter of course, a bold and interesting move from NBC as well as being an interesting venture for Netflix.
In this article at MSNBC there is very insightful remark, NOT! :

This is either genius (will create buzz!) or stupid (who will watch on the actual premiere night?).

When you’re talking about trends it seems a good idea to give your opinion rather than stating the obvious and sounding like a football commentator. The idea is to create buzz. What the journalist doesn’t really seem to get here is that the buzz is about a tv show with a whole season of episodes. There is also a substantial gap between the availability of the DVD and the show’s premiere ! This is something that may play against them since people seeing a preview might have gotten tired of waiting. It is common for people to see pilot episodes and vote for them in the US while it is pretty uncommon in Europe. However I remember having seen the pilot of the series ‘Bones’ well before the show started running and it wet my appetite for the then upcoming series.

I just watched Kidnapped and if the pilot is anything to go by then the show will be fantastic. While watching it I realised that more and more TV shows are playing on the whole sequel system that has been around in Films for a while. This pilot of Kidnapped was fast paced, with some great actors, nicely written script that gets you on the edge of your seat (or settee). I certainly can’t wait to see the series when it starts near the end of September. To answer the journalist I’ll be talking about it with friends and telling them how they should tune in and watch it on September 20th but I doubt I’ll be watching the pilot again; result NBC has got me, free of charge, to do some PR work for them. I suppose it’s you scratch my back…

The Hacking NetFlix blog has an interesting post on this subject :

“We’re trying to create a viral community of evangelist fans for the shows so that they can create word of mouth,” says John Miller, chief marketing officer of NBC Universal’s TV group. “We took the shows that we thought were the most film- and theatrical-oriented.”

The move may well be to stop iTunes from getting 82% of downloading videos. NBC is trying to build buzz by exploiting the trend of people watching TV shows on DVD !

An Ex-Marine is set to host on Al Jazira International

Josh Rushing : Still from the Control Room FilmAn article from Fast Company tells the story of Josh Rushing an ex-Marine who has resigned his commission within the US army to become a host on Al Jazeera International (AJI). This would be a new channel in English aimed at reaching a larger population, set to launch in Spring AJI has already poached staff from the BBC and CNN. Right wing channels like Fox have declared war on Rushing with photos of him labelled with “traitor” having been aired…
Rushing can be seen here in a film called ‘Control Room’ that discusses none other than Al Jazira recently shown at the Sundance Film Festival. Moorish Girl does a great review of the film that can still be read in the blog archives.

Yet another example of how I feel I’m sometimes living in a different world :

Bloggers have suggested that a special-ops team “take him out.”.

The article continues to explain how Rushing made a few unusual decisions and was fed up of being told by the US Army that he couldn’t comment on anything to journalists. So the army seems to have pushed him into a job at Al Jazeera International in trying to keep him quiet. Al Jazira that is obviously behind the launch of Al Jazira International has previously shown the world that channels like Fox are showing the US only part of the story but is this is a reason to have fanatic bloggers to start preaching death and suggesting a fatwa on him !!??

I also suspect that the Al Jazira International project has similar goals to Jacques Chirac’s French international news channel project : a French CNN to provide another view on what is happening around us. So when can we expect a global Chinese equivalent to CNN ?

Give me the whole plot of the film in your review, no thanks !

Hands up, if you like being told what is going to happen during or at the end of a film, tv series, book etc. ??
I just started reading an article on the Guardian about the new Basic Instinct film with Sharon Stone. I’m not even going to link to the article because in about three paragraphs the journalist gives details of the inital plot and carries on to outline where the film goes from there… ???

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