Monday, 17 November 2014

Rochester & Strood By-Election

Living near the borders of  the Rochester & Strood constituency, so near that we've had a few errant phone canvassers ringing us up, it has been interesting to watch the by-election unfold. It is clear that the old two party politics of a centralised government system is no longer appropriate for local issues. 
Difficult and expensive road infrastructure making it hard to reach a hospital in special measures, delays in regeneration of the waterfront, the threat of airport expansion and loss of green spaces, concerns over primary education and special needs provision, a constituency split by a river and hemmed in by motorways and part of the much larger urban conurbation of the Medway Towns... 

This by-election has seen the emergence of many candidates, UKIP may have thought they'd be smiling all the way to another seat but it is more likely that the major parties will lose votes to a host of smaller parties. It is not so much a litmus test for next year's election but an example of how the political goodwill of a community has been worn thin by the relentless pressure on living standards and a lack of understanding of local issues. 

List of candidates ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29616021


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochester_and_Strood_by-election,_2014

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Movie Review ~ Interstellar

Interstellar 12A

Director: Christopher Nolan

A long and detailed look at one man's mission to save a future Earth and his family from slow starvation by travelling through a worm hole to a new galaxy where life-supporting planets have been identified by an earlier mission, well, that's Plan A anyway... This beautifully languid piece of science fiction feels like some of the 70's classics of the genre, I'd place the mood somewhere between Solaris and 2001: A Space Oddity which probably isn't too bad a place to be. The real drawback is the soundtrack, presumably meant to be lofty, soaring and infinite but, in a cavernous cinema with only thirty people in it, became deafeningly intrusive and dialogue obscuring. (It's a shame cinemas can't adjust the sound for the right amount of noise absorbing bodies.)
For me, I'd have liked the movie to explore the 'gravity equation' and Plan B a bit more and seen a glimpse of the future humans that created the inter-dimensional trap inside a black hole and placed a wormhole near Saturn (why not Earth?) but I'm guessing I'm in the minority when I say the movie could have been longer... The film is saved from space fatigue by Matthew McConaughey in fine form, supported by Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine and Jessica Chastain.

Four out of five massive plasma spheres, so big they are held together by their own gravity.

*****