Saturday, July 08, 2017

Doctored Lists

We've only just finished with series ten of Doctor Who - you might have noticed dear blog reader - but fans are already looking ahead to the Christmas special, yer actual Peter Capaldi's final episode in the role. We now know that The Doctor will be accompanied by his first incarnation (played by the very excellent David Bradley in place of the late William Hartnell, who was unavailable). But radio presenter Steve Wright (remember him?) has caused something a flap among the more glakisk end of Doctor Who fandom by, seemingly, announcing another surprise guest for the Christmas episode. 'Fans will have to wait until the Christmas special to see Peter Capaldi's time as The Doctor come to an end,' Wrighty told listeners of his BBC Radio 2 show. 'But, today it has been announced that former companion Clara Oswald, played by Jenna Coleman, will be making a guest appearance as The Doctor regenerates.' In fact, no official announcement of the kind had come from the BBC or the Doctor Who production office or anything even remotely like it. Wright's claim appears to have been based on a report in the ever-reliable tabloid the Daily Mirra, based on unnamed - and, therefore, quite possibly fictitious - alleged 'sources'. Unless of course, they got the story from hacking people's phones. But, they can't have because they don't do that sort of thing any more, do they? Mind you, they once furiously denied that they had ever done so and kept on denying it until they eventually coughed up to the truth. So, who knows? Anyway, an, alleged, 'insider' allegedly told the Mirra: 'Jenna Coleman has agreed to film something new as Clara. It's become a tradition now for the companions to reappear as The Doctor regenerates and Jenna isn't letting the side down. It'll help to give Peter the send-off he deserves after three years.' And, he or she - if they exist, which they probably don't - said all this in exactly that sort of hateful tabloid 'nobody really talks like that' way. Of course, one would not be surprised if it did turn out to be true, or partially true - especially as Jenna was, reportedly, spotted in Cardiff recently - but, until the BBC actually confirms it, this story remains what most Daily Mirra stories are, a load of second-hand codswallop. Both Billie Piper and Karen Gillan did return to the long-running family SF drama to see off their respected Doctors, yer actual David Tennant and Matt Smith his very self in 2010 and 2013. Whether Pearl Mackie will return for the Christmas episode remains to be seen, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) recently said that her character lives on, traversing the universe with her watery lesbian partner, Heather. The alleged 'source' allegedly indicated that Bill, along with Matt Lucas's Nardole, 'could' appear in flashbacks 'of some description. '
Meanwhile, as we continue to be rocked and/or rolled by the events of the series finale, new (and, reallt rather sweet) on-set pictures have emerged of Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie saying farewell to each other during filming of The Doctor Falls.
Saturday night's episode of Doctor Who was full of drama as the current series came to an end with four regular or semi-regular characters being written out and yer actual Peter Capaldi's forthcoming exit also being set up. On top of all that, it was also the last regular episode to be under the control of The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) so most fans would have been glued to all the action. Except for some unlucky Scottish viewers, who had the audio for the episode's final scene temporarily evaporate. Viewers watching on BBC HD Scotland heard - or, rather, didn't hear - the sound cut out near the episode's close, at the moment where Bill was walking out of the TARDIS just before The Doctor had a dramatic reunion with an aspect of his past. The blunder led the BBC to grovellingly apologise to viewers on Twitter issuing the following statement: 'Many apologies to anyone who experienced problems with the sound on The Doctor Falls. We're looking into what went wrong.' If it was human error, they promised, the human who erred will be fed to the production office's pet Cyberman. Which seems fair enough, really.
According to the Radio Times, 'the Doctor Who series finale had many shocking moments, from brutal battles to old faces returning. But it could have been so, so much more melodramatic,' if The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) and Russell Davies had had their way. 'The wicked idea began when Moffat contacted his old boss to tell him that John Simm's version of The Master would be returning,' the magazine claimed. 'I wrote to Russell and said "look I'm going to bring back one of your characters,"' Moff revealed. '"Do you want the spoiler or not?" He said "Okay, tell me." I said "it's John Simm's Master."' Big Rusty was, apparently, jolly pleased with the idea. 'He's going "oh my God, the dialogue! How brilliant. They're ... going to, aren't they?"' Thankfully, the magazine notes, The Moff 'demurred on the dirty stuff, but the discussion sparked the idea for a silly, possibly show-ending prank.' According to Steven: 'I said Russell it's a children's show, it's not Cucumber, we can't do that. But we concocted this whole scheme that I'd cliffhanger out of my era on Doctor Who – handing over to Chris [Chibnall] – with Missy telling The Master and The Doctor that she's pregnant.' As opposed to The Master, quite literally, shooting him/her-self in the back, which is what The Moff actually had planned. 'Over to you Chibs, sort that one out!' Of course, the magazine concluded, 'this never made the final draft, with Moffat describing it as "only e-mail lunacy." In fact he doubts whether even The Master is vain enough to become his/her own parents. "I think the Master and Missy, I'm not sure about their flirtation, whether it's just showing off."'
Just in case you were still hoping that Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge will be the next Doctor, dear blog reader, she definitely isn't going to be. Unless she and her representatives are lying, of course. Which is a possibility but, for the moment we should probably accept the veracity of their comments until they are proved to be otherwise. Phoebe's latest denial came after a crassly stupid Newsnight segment pondered - with little or no supporting evidence - if Phoebe had 'accidentally spilled the beans' that she was to be the next Doctor. Even if she didn't actually say anything of the sort in the interview in question. This led to her becoming a favourite with Ladbrokes after 'Newsnight's slip up.' And, of course, bookmakers always go out of their way to alert punters to a racing certainty, don't they? That's why there are so many bookmakers on the poverty line. Does anyone else remember when Newsnight used to be produced by grown-ups?
In a move seemingly designed to stop people from spending their hard-earned money on backing a loser, Phoebe's theatre company DryWrite – which Phoebe runs with Fleabag stage director Vicky Jones – has taken to Twitter to deny the latest round of rumours. 'We can confirm that Phoebe is not the next Doctor Who,' the said. Which is good because, if she was, she would presumably be aware that the character is called The Doctor, the programme is called Doctor Who. it's a question, see? The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) even spent an entire scene in the recent episode World Enough & Time clarifying this. Sort of. Anyway, 'Pls [sic] save the betting people their money!' DryWrite wrote. Phoebe denied that she was the new Doctor back in May when she spoke to the media at the BAFTA TV awards, where she won Female Performance in a Comedy Programme. 'I am not going to be the first female Doctor, not that I know of,' she explained. Some Doctor Who fans got all hot and excited that there might be the female Doctor during series ten's finale, thanks to an exchange between John Simm's Master and Peter Capaldi's Doctor. 'Is the future going to be all girl?,' The Master asked, to which The Doctor replied: 'We can only hope.'
Apparently, dear bog reader, on Friday of this week it was The Law that every single solitary member of Doctor Who fandom had to list his and/or her favourite television Doctor Who story for each Doctor in chronological order on Facebook. This being 'List Your Favourite Television Doctor Who Story By Each Doctor In Chronological Order On Facebook Day', as declared by Diamond Joe Quimby, presumably. (In actual fact, all of this malarkey started when one fan - who shall remain nameless, won't he, John? - posted his own list and then watched, properly aghast, as everybody else copied him and it spread, like a particularly virulent virus, right across the Interweb. Even The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) got in on the act.) Still, whom is yer actual Keith Telly Topping to argue with The Law? Not I, judge. This blogger is not sure exactly what the judicial punishment for non-compliance of this prime directive from high a'top The Thing was, but he's fairly certainly, this being fandom, that it would be positively Medieval. Thus, therefore -
1. The Aztecs
2. The Mind Robber
3. Inferno
4. The Talons Of Weng-Chiang
5. Castrovalva
6. Revelation Of The Daleks (if this blogger's arm was to be forced up his back. Choosing a favourite Colin Baker story, for this blogger, is a bit like trying to chose which one of your least favourite dozen football teams one would pick to watch if ones life depended on it)
7. The Curse Of Fenric
8. The 1996 TV Movie
War. The Day Of The Doctor
9. The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
10. The Girl In The Fireplace
11. The Doctor's Wife
12. Heaven Sent
Feel free, dear blog reader, to waste masses of bandwidth which could be put to good use helping to find a cure for cancer or something posting your own lists or agreeing and/or disagreeing with this one. It's what The Interweb is for, apparently. Proving that we all have mild Asperger's Syndrome. And, one is sure the fact that numbers 'war' to ten and twelve are all The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) scripts will draw a predictably sneering response from a few of The Special People. Like a broken clock, they're nothing if not regular.
Still, that's The Special People for you. Always such a happy bunch.
Have a banana.
Next ...
Want to know what's appertaining in the forthcoming seventh series of Game Of Thrones, dear blog reader? If you don't mind spoilers, there check all this out. (If you do care about spoilers then, you know, don't. Obviously.)
The BBC's Agatha Christie adaptations have become something of a Christmas staple in recent years and this year will be no different. Ordeal by Innocence's cast will be led by Bill Nighy, alongside Poldark's Eleanor Tomlinson. The rest of the cast include Alice Eve, Ed Westwick, Crystal Clarke, Matthew Goode, Catherine Keener, Luke Treadaway, Anthony Boyle and Ella Purnell. The original novel was published in 1958 and focuses on the psychology than the whodunnit aspects of a case. It's now regarded as one of Christie's classics.

The BBC has pledged to show a more diverse range of programmes than its rivals and to 'do a better job' of reflecting the UK's different nations as it seeks to reinvent itself to better compete with Netflix and Amazon. The broadcaster's first annual plan said that it would broadcast 'a demonstrably broader range of genres in peak time than any comparable channel,' including more news during peak times than its rivals. The document added that Radio 1 will play 'a more distinctive mix of music' – and promised that the BBC will 'rise to the challenge of better reflecting and representing a changing UK' with larger investments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Sir David Clementi, the chairman of the BBC, said that the annual plan, produced for Ofcom, outlines how the organisation will 'strengthen the core values of public service broadcasting for all audiences.' The broadcaster has been criticised in the past - albeit, not by anyone that didn't have a sick right-wing agenda smeared all over its ugly, disgusting collective mush - for chasing ratings rather than focusing on its duties as a public service broadcaster and not investing enough outside London. Albeit, it should be remembered that those 'public service' duties do not mean 'showing programmes that no one wants to watch' but, rather showing programmes that 'educate, inform and entertain.' It's remarkable how many gobshite rent-a-quote Tory MPs, Daily Scum Mail columnists and Middle Class hippy Communists at the Gruniad Morning Star conveniently forget that. And, given that BBC management have the collective backbone of a jellyfish, are allowed to forget that. The BBC is publishing the document as part of its new eleven-year royal charter, which involves the organisation being regulated by an external regulator, Ofcom, for the first time. Ofcom, of course, being a politically-appointed quango, elected by no one. Under the new charter the BBC is 'obliged' to outline to Ofcom its plans for the year ahead and how it will meet its public service obligations. The media regulator has already set the BBC a series of targets. The plan includes an already announced commitment to the biggest investment in homegrown children's content in a generation to keep up with the shift to online viewing, a year of science and technology programmes under the Tomorrow's World brand and confirmation of a major new series called Civilisations, which will track the course of human history. Tony Hall, the Director General of the BBC, said that the organisation's biggest priority is to 'reinvent itself for a new generation,' with more and more people watching television and radio programmes through on-demand or streaming services. 'Every part of the BBC will need to contribute to meeting this challenge,' he said. 'The new funding we've announced today for our children's services – the biggest investment for a generation – will help us ensure we can maintain our reputation for world-class programmes across our linear channels but also increasingly offer a personalised online offering for our younger viewers.' The BBC said that it would be 'stepping up investment' in personalisation, with users of the iPlayer now having to provide their details before watching a show. The document also confirms plans to expand the BBC's monitoring of 'fake news' through its Reality Check service – which will refute popular stories on social media if they are false – and more programmes to showcase Hull as the UK city of culture for 2017. More broadly, the BBC commits 'to rise to the challenge of better reflecting and representing a changing UK' with larger investments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Industry analysts say that the BBC will have to 'find a balance' between attracting new, younger viewers and protecting its heritage to compete with streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. Josh Krichefski, the chief executive of media agency MediaCom, said: 'The BBC's investment in video, live online programming, vlogs, podcasts, games and apps indicates that it will place online at the very core of everything it does. In a digital world, this is a positive step in the right direction, but the key will be to attract younger audiences whilst also ensuring existing BBC viewers don't feel alienated and that BBC heritage in high quality content is maintained. The likes of Netflix, Now TV and Amazon have spent many years building their offering and they have the subscribers and industry power to show for it. But even they suffer if viewers don't respond well to content quality and storytelling.'
As noted, therefore, the BBC has pledged the biggest investment in homegrown children's content in a generation to keep up with the shift to online viewing and fight the influence of shows backed by US rivals. Spending on British-made children's programming by UK broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV and Channel Four has plummeted in the past fifteen years. The BBC, which in March was asked by Ofcom to produce more UK-commissioned programming for children, is to announce a thirty four million quid budget increase over the next three years. 'Investment in British content, particularly for the young, is vital – unless we want more of our culture shaped and defined by the rise of west coast American companies,' an alleged BBC 'source' allegedly said. Hall and Clementi announced the new children's strategy on Tuesday with a much greater focus on online content. The broadcaster's annual children's budget will rise from one hundred and ten million knickers to one hundred and twenty rfour million by 2020, with a commitment to spend about a quarter of that online. The aim is to 'keep pace' with the dramatic shift in viewing, especially by younger audiences, to digital devices. 'Tony Hall has set a clear challenge: to reinvent the BBC for a new generation,' the alleged - though suspiciously anonymous and, therefore, probably fictitious - BBC 'source' allegedly told the Grunad Morning Star. 'The way children and young people are watching and consuming programmes and other content is changing fast and the BBC needs to respond. We are exploring how new technologies can enhance how children and adults can access services and discover new content.' Money will be invested in creating an 'enhanced online offering' with new forms of content and interactivity. The corporation said that 'multimedia content' would include video, live online programme extensions as well as clips, pictures, blogs, podcasts, quizzes, guides games and apps. The new digital content will sit alongside the existing children's TV channels, CBBC and CBeebies. Last year the corporation scrapped the youth-focused BBC3 TV channel in favour of an online-only offering, which saved thirty million quid annually. Hall also said that the BBC must 'embrace' new and developing technologies such as virtual reality, voice activation and artificial intelligence to remain at the cutting edge and relevant to viewers. 'We are exploring how new technologies can enhance how children and adults can access services and discover new content,' the alleged BBC 'source' allegedly said. According to Ofcom, seventy seven million smackers was spent on first-run UK-originated children's programming in 2015, down from one hundred and forty million notes in 2005. Between 1998 and 2015, ITV's original children's programming fell from four hundred and twenty four hours a year to just forty two; Channel Five's fell from three hundred and fifty three hours to a mere thirty. Channel Four's production of children's television has fallen from forty nine hours to zero. The BBC is responsible for ninety seven per cent of original UK-produced children's programming. In March, Ofcom - a politically-appointed quango, elected by no one - said that it would 'require' CBBC to broadcast at least four hundred hours, and CBeebies at least one hundred hours, of new UK-commissioned programming each year. And, that if they did not, Ofcom would send the boys round to break someones fingers. Probably.
The Great British Bake Off will not offer advertisers the chance to pay for product placement in the show, a decision which, Channel Four claim, was taken to maintain the 'integrity' of the series for the judges, bakers and viewers. Albeit, given that the programme's producers Greed Productions, have already shift the popular baking programme from the BBC for Channel Four for vast oodles of wonga, one might suggest that the 'ontegrity' ship has already said. Channel Four is currently said to be 'in negotiations' with advertisers to, as it were, cook up at least twenty five million knicker a year from 'a range of commercial deals' to cover the massive cost of poaching the biggest show on British TV from the BBC. While Channel Four needs to recoup at least seventy five million quid over three years to make its deal pay off, the Gruniad Morning Star claims that Channel Four is 'understood' to have decided to give up highly lucrative product placement deals in order to keep the show commercially 'clean.' Such deals could have been worth millions of pounds, the Gruniad state. 'The choices made by the bakers and the judgements given by the judges are at the core of the show and need to be free from outside influence,' an alleged - though, once again, anonymous and, therefore, probably fictitious - 'source' allegedly close to Greed Productions, allegedly told the - alleged - newspaper. 'The integrity of Bake Off is sacrosanct. Bake Off has always been made with documentary sensibilities, so the notion of product placement is not a natural one.' Channel Four may have been forced into a major overhaul of the show – of the judges, only Paul Hollywood signed up for the move and Sandi Toksvig and That Bloody Weirdo Noel Fielding complete the new presenting line-up – but there are ingredients to Bake Off's previous success which won't be tampered with. 'The Bake Off tent will look exactly as it always has when it airs on Channel Four for the first time later this year,' said Jonathan Lewis, head of digital partnership innovation at Channel Four. Product placement deals are not critical to Channel Four making Bake Off a commercial success – the British market is estimated to be worth only about thirty million quid – but eschewing the cash does make it that bit harder, the Gruniad sneer. In April, the broadcaster held an event with more than three hundred and fifty advertising executives and some of Britain's biggest-selling brands 'to drum up a bidding war,' hoping to get an eight million smackers-plus deal for its headline sponsorship. An alleged 'source' allegedly 'close' to Channel Four allegedly claimed that the broadcast is 'close' to 'nailing down' its sponsorship deal in the coming weeks. 'Advertisers think Bake Off is a really, really good property but very few of them have that big chunk of cash to commit, especially in this market,' said one - again, suspiciously anonymous - senior media industry executive. 'This is interesting for Channel Four, this scale deal is new for them, but this is what ITV experience all the time. Outside the market, people think it is always a bunfight because properties like Coronation Street, Emmerdale and The X Factor are amazing opportunities. They are, but they are such big commitments that there might only be two or three realistic bidders.' Unfortunately for Channel Four, it is also pitching as economic conditions force companies to tighten their belts, with advertising spend often the first expense cut or withheld.
And, speaking of odious Middle Class hippy Communists at the Gruniad Morning Star, that brings us very nicely to that risible sneering cocksplash Stuart Heritage and his latest effort, in which he uses a low (very low, admittedly) audience figure for an afternoon repeat of an episode of Blue Peter as the basis for an article suggesting that the show should be cancelled. This blogger particularly likes this bit: 'Obviously, there is the argument that Barb boxes are no way to measure success any more, and that's the line the BBC is taking. Yesterday it tweeted that, while nobody watched the repeat, the episode has been watched by nearly three hundred thousand people across other broadcasts and iPlayer streams. It added that the Blue Peter website is moderately popular, that over one hundred and sixty thousand children currently have Blue Peter badges and that audience correspondence has more than tripled since 2011. Plus, it's probably worth pointing out that judging a kids' show by the ratings it gets for a repeat that airs during schooltime isn't necessarily that helpful.' And yet that's exactly what you're doing with this plankish article you waste-of-space bell-end. Jesus, has everyone taken The Stupid Pill this week, or is it just Heritage?
The Kia Cee'd used on Top Gear's Star In A Reasonably-Priced Car segment between 2010 and 2013 - ie. when it used to be good - has been listed on AutoTrader for four and a half thousand smackers. Having been driven around the Top Gear track by more than forty celebrities during its time on the programme, it's not the kind of car that one would ordinarily recommend buying. Its former drivers include Rowan Atkinson, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Grint, Matt Smith, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Peta (Twenty Three) from Essex, Damian Lewis, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, not to mention The Stig himself. Plus Matt Le Blanc. Whatever happened to him? The 'Cee-apostrophe-D' has seven thousand two hundred miles on the clock, around four thousand of which have been since it left the Top Gear track and went into private ownership. Safety modifications include a full roll cage (which prevents the rear seats from being used) and racing harnesses, as well as Corbeau bucket seats. Underneath, it's still a 1.6-litre petrol Kia with eight months MOT. One imagines, aside from the mostly a-list collection of movie stars, rock and/or rollers and ... John Prescott who've driven it, a number of potential owners might be Doctor Who fangirls who fancy parking themselves where Smudger's bum once sat.
Coronation Street is being extremely investigated for showing child grooming scenes before the watershed. Broadcast regulator Ofcom - a politically-appointed quango, elected by no one - received a whopping five whinges (from, one imagines, people with nothing better to do with their time) after the scenes were shown in a Saturday morning omnibus of the soap on 3 June on ITV2. They showed three men paying for sex and then following teenager Bethany Platt (played by Lucy Fallon) into a bedroom. Another character, Shona Ramsey, was also seen being beaten and stamped on by a group of men in a separate scene. An Ofcom spokesman said: 'We are investigating whether this Saturday morning omnibus episode contained scenes that were unsuitable for broadcast at that time.' The episodes had been shown earlier that week on ITV, but in evening slots. The long-running (and, much-acclaimed) storyline has seen Bethany being groomed by her much older boyfriend, Nathan Curtis (played by Chris Harper). Ofcom also assessed - but decided not to investigate - twenty four whinges made about the grooming storyline shown in separate episodes in June, broadcast in the evening on ITV. There were also seventy three whinges about a drug-taking scene, when the character Daniel Osbourne took cocaine and GHB, that the regulator also decided not to investigate. 'We assessed complaints about storylines in this soap, which featured drug use and grooming,' said an Ofcom spokesman. 'We concluded that both storylines were clearly signposted and were the culmination of long-running plots that were likely to have been within the audience's expectations. The drug use was not shown in a positive light and we took into account Coronation Street's history of exploring distressing social issues.'
Nigella Lawson her very self received criticism from fans - albeit, not from anyone that you've actually heard of or should, particularly, value their opinions - after sharing a recipe for a dish some claimed was 'just tomatoes and salad cream.' The celebrity chef - she has her knockers - shared instructions for her 'Old Fashioned Tomato Salad' on social media on Tuesday. However, the dish, which includes cherry tomatoes, chives and dressing, did not go down well with some whingers who love the sound of their own voice. One Facebook user - whom the media outlets reporting all this nonsense could not even be bothered to name - wrote: 'I really hope this is a joke!? This is a dish of cherry tomatoes cut in half, with a squirt of salad cream. Get over yourself for goodness sake.' Another - anonymous and, therefore, probably fictiious - commenter added : 'Your [sic] giving your mind a treat here. Some chopped up tomatoes with some dressing? You need to up your game love you can do much better than that and you know it.' Another glake of no consequence wrote on Twitter: 'Tomato and salad cream. It's tomatoes and salad cream. Lost for words.' Although, there clearly were not 'lost for words' or anything even remotely like it since they managed to for three - short - sentences using words. And, all of this shite constitutes 'news' apparently. Because, of course, as we all know, according to the Gruniad Morning Star Twitter is now The Sole Arbiter Of The Worth Of All Things. Still, if nothing else, it does allow this blogger the opportunity to repost that picture of Nigella poking around in her own pantry. So, that's all right then.
Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips - remember her? - is 'arranging a special dance gala' to raise funds for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. As if those poor people haven't suffered enough already. 'Stars' (by which one presumes they mean 'some people') from Strictly Come Dancing, The Royal Ballet and Sir Matthew Bourne's New Adventures company will take part in Gala for Grenfell on 30 July. Phillips said that the disaster had made her 'wonder if there was a way I could help [and] maybe make a small difference.' Tickets for the event at the Adelphi Theatre in London go on sale on 7 July. Akram Khan, Adam Garcia and The Mariinsky Ballet are among other members of the dance community who have been lined-up to appear. All proceeds will go to The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation, the independent charity running the Grenfell Tower Fund and, clearly, a very worthy cause which all people with a conscience should support.
South Park is to make fewer jokes about Donald Trump, its co-creator has said. Trey Parker told the Los Angeles Times that the show had 'fallen into the trap' of mocking the US president in its episodes every week. 'We're becoming: "Tune-in to see what we're going to say about Trump." Matt [Stone] and I hated it but we got stuck in it somehow,' Parker said. He added that he and Stone want the show, which has been running for twenty years, to 'return to its roots.' He said that the series should 'stick to the bread and butter' of 'kids being kids and being ridiculous and outrageous.' Recently, the popular animated series has seen teacher Mister Garrison campaign for President on the basis he would build a wall to keep out Canadians - an obvious reference to the wall Trump campaigning on a promise to build on the Mexican border. Parker said: 'We probably could put up billboards - "Look what we're going to do to Trump next week!" - and get crazy ratings. But I just don't care. We fell into the same trap that Saturday Night Live fell into, where it was like, "Dude, we're just becoming CNN now."' Parker also said the US president - and hairdo - is 'using the tools' of a comedian to drive his support. 'The things that we do - being outrageous and taking things to the extreme to get a reaction out of people - he's using those tools. At his rallies he gets people laughing and whooping,' Parker said. 'I don't think he's very good at it. But it obviously sells - it made him president.'
The producer of Hawaii Five-0 has spoken out about the departure of two cast members following reports that the pair asked to be paid the same as their white co-stars. Peter Lenkov said that Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park were offered 'unprecedented raises' but 'chose to move on. It's heartbreaking, but this happens on long-running shows,' he wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. Kim and Park - two actors this blogger rather admires - have appeared in the detective drama since its revival in 2010. According to Variety, the pair had been seeking the same salaries as stars Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan but were being offered between ten and fifteen percent less. In his statement, Lenkov said that CBS - the studio behind the reboot of the 1970s TV show - had been 'extremely generous and proactive in their renegotiation talks. In the end, everyone tried their best to keep the ohana intact.' Lenkov went on to stress that Hawaii Five-0 'has - and will - continue to showcase one of the most diverse casts on TV.' Production begins next week on the eight season of the drama, which will have its premiere on CBS on 29 September. Kim confirmed his departure earlier this week on Facebook, saying that he had 'made the difficult choice not to continue' after 'failing to reach an agreement' with CBS. 'The path to equality is rarely easy,' he wrote in a lengthy post in which he encouraged his fans 'to look beyond the disappointment of this moment to the bigger picture.' Park has yet to comment on leaving her role as Kono Kalakaua. 'Daniel and Grace have been important and valued members of Hawaii Five-0 for seven seasons,' said CBS earlier this week. 'We did not want to lose them and tried very hard to keep them with offers for large and significant salary increases.' Rumours that the series will now be renamed Hawaii 2.5-0 cannot, at this time, be confirmed or denied.
An Oklahoma City man was reportedly arrested last Saturday after police responded to a 'domestic disturbance' involving two men arguing over whether Star Wars or Star Trek was better. Well, it's important to some people, all right. The alleged victim, Bradley Warren Burk, said that he and his attacker, were 'not friends, merely acquaintances' who both live at 'a transitional living programme and emergency shelter for homeless young men.' Burk reportedly told his neighbour, twenty three-year-old Jerome Dewayne Whyte, that Whyte was 'just a trick.' This - for some reason - angered Whyte, who shouted back at Burk, 'you wanna replay that?' as he shoved Burk to the ground. And then all kicked-off, big-style. Whyte began choking Burk, which resulted in Burk 'falling in and out of consciousness.' In the ensuing scuffle, Burk reached for a nearby pocket knife to 'defend himself.' Whyte tried to grab the knife and managed to cut himself, at which point he retreated. Whyte was charged with assault, battery and possession of marijuana and was taken to the county jail. Before the altercation broke out, the two men had been playing a Batman game on Xbox, Burk said. He had asked Whyte how he did a particular 'trick' on the game which, he claimed, was the context for his later comment which caused all the bother. Eventually, some other friends of Whyte's arrived. The group began debating the two science fiction series. Burk, who preferred Star Wars, was 'arguing my side,' he claimed. 'He was saying Spock was The Shit and I was saying Yoda was The Shit,' Burk said. After Burk passed his 'trick' comment, Whyte took offence, apparently feeling that he had been 'disrespected' in front of his friends. 'After that everything went to hell,' Burk added concerning the, ahem, disturbance in The Force.
Glasgow Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha grovellingly apologised to the club's fans for his side's Europa League embarrassment by Luxembourg's Progres Niederkorn. The Ibrox side lost two-one on aggregate to crash out in the first qualifying round. Their part-time opponents, who are ranked four hundred and fortieth by UEFA, secured their first win in European competition. 'We need to apologise to our fans because they gave us support and loyalty, they don't deserve this,' Caixinha told Rangers TV. 'I assume all the responsibility.' Kenny Miller's winner in the first leg in Glasgow had put Rangers ahead going into the match in Luxembourg. And up until Tuesday night, Progres - who finished fourth in Luxembourg's top flight last season twenty one points behind champions F91 Dudelange - had not won any of their thirteen games in Europe. They are the side who are only two places below Prestatyn Town of The League of Wales in UEFA rankings - and from a town with a population of just three thousand. Yet, they - if you will - progressed to the second qualifying round. Progres had chances before Emmanuel Francoise netted at the near post in the second half, scoring only his side's second ever goal in European competition. Their second in the tie came from a Sebastian Thill free-kick which evaded everyone in the box and curled in at the far post. At nil-nil, Rangers had hit the bar through Niko Kranjcar's header and at two-nil Josh Windass and Kenny Miller both saw efforts come back off the bar. The defeat goes down as one of the worst results in Rangers' history. 'We could not do what we were here to do - win the game,' Caixinha added. 'It's something that happens once in a lifetime - it happens to us today. For the second goal we knew we could not commit unnecessary fouls and we did, but as I said, I assume all the responsibility and the disappointment.' The Portuguese manager, who has overseen a significant summer rebuild added: 'I'm always a positive guy, I never give up. It's a strong moment that we are living and we need to face it, we need all our character, personality and strength. I believe in this process, I believe in the players and the work we are going to do. It's a strong lesson that we need to learn from now on and we need to focus on the positives regarding the future. We need to keep working harder and looking forward.' For Progres, this was the greatest result in their history. Head coach Paolo Amodio told BBC Scotland: 'It's a great event, amazing. I cannot believe that we won against Rangers. It's not possible. We made history. It's incredible.' Funny too.
Researchers have unlocked the chemistry of Roman concrete which has resisted the elements for thousands of years. Ancient sea walls built by the Romans used a concrete made from lime and volcanic ash to bind with rocks. Now scientists have discovered that elements within the volcanic material reacted with sea water to strengthen the construction. They believe the discovery could lead to more environmentally friendly building materials. Unlike the modern concrete mixture which erodes over time, the Roman substance has long puzzled researchers. Rather than eroding, particularly in the presence of sea water, the material seems to gain strength from the exposure. In previous tests with samples from ancient Roman sea walls and harbours, researchers learned that the concrete contained a rare mineral called aluminium tobermorite. They believe that this strengthening substance crystallised in the lime as the Roman mixture generated heat when exposed to sea water. Researchers have now carried out a more detailed examination of the harbour samples using an electron microscope to map the distribution of elements. They also used two other techniques, X-ray micro-diffraction and Raman spectroscopy, to gain a deeper understanding of the chemistry at play. This new study says the scientists found significant amounts of tobermorite growing through the fabric of the concrete, with a related, porous mineral called phillipsite. The researchers say that the long-term exposure to sea water helped these crystals to keep on growing over time, reinforcing the concrete and preventing cracks from developing. 'Contrary to the principles of modern cement-based concrete,' said lead author Marie Jackson from the University of Utah, 'the Romans created a rock-like concrete that thrives in open chemical exchange with seawater. It's a very rare occurrence in the Earth.' The ancient mixture differs greatly from the current approach. Modern buildings are constructed with concrete based on Portland cement. This involves heating and crushing a mixture of several ingredients including limestone, sandstone, ash, chalk, iron and clay. The fine material is then mixed with aggregates, such as rocks or sand, to build concrete structures. The process of making cement has a heavy environmental penalty, being responsible for around five per cent of global emissions of CO2. So, could the greater understanding of the ancient Roman mixture lead to greener building materials? Professor Jackson is testing new materials using sea water and volcanic rock from the western United States. Speaking to the BBC earlier this year, she argued that the planned Swansea tidal lagoon should be built using the ancient Roman knowledge of concrete. 'Their technique was based on building very massive structures that are really quite environmentally sustainable and very long-lasting,' she said. 'I think Roman concrete or a type of it would be a very good choice [for Swansea]. That project is going to require one hundred and twenty years of service life to amortise the investment. We know that Portland cement concretes contain steel reinforcements. Those will surely corrode in at least half of that service lifetime.' There are a number of limiting factors that make the revival of the Roman approach very challenging. One is the lack of suitable volcanic rocks. The Romans, the scientists say, were fortunate that the right materials were on their doorstep. Another drawback is the lack of the precise mixture that the Romans followed. It might take years of experimenting to discover the full formula. The research has been published in the journal American Mineralogist.
A Kenyan lawyer has petitioned the International Court of Justice in The Hague to declare that the trial of Jesus - and his subsequent crucifixion - went 'against the principles of a fair trial.' As part of the action, Dola Indidis - who as well as being a lawyer used to be the spokesperson for the Kenyan judiciary and is, obviously not mental nor nothing - is attempting to sue Tiberius (Emperor of Rome 42BC to 37AD), Pontius Pilate, a selection of Jewish elders, King Herod Antipas, the Republic of Italy and the State of Israel. So, just to repeat, definitely not mental, then. Indidis argues that the key figures involved in Jesus' crucifixion 'erred in law,' while the modern states of Italy and Israel have, apparently, been named in the action because of their 'incorporation of aspects of the laws of the Roman Empire' which were in force in Palastine at the time of Jesus' death. Indidis told the Nairobian: 'I filed the case because it is my duty to uphold the dignity of Jesus and I have gone to the ICJ to seek justice for the man from Nazareth. His selective and malicious prosecution violated his human rights through judicial misconduct, abuse of office bias and prejudice.' The case was first filed in the High Court in Nairobi, where it was rejected. Indidis then applied to have it heard at the ICJ, which, according to Kenyan news website SDE, has constituted a pre-trial panel to consider the case. 'The court has communicated to me. I am now waiting for the date of hearing,' Indidis is reported as having said. However, when the Legal Cheek website contacted the ICJ it denied that it was considering the case or anything even remotely like it. A spokesperson said: 'The ICJ has no jurisdiction for such a case. The ICJ settles disputes between states. It is not even theoretically possible for us to consider this case.'
Early on Friday morning a man was taken to hospital in Jacksonville, Florida after being shot. Thirty eight-year-old Cedrick Jelks reportedly shot himself 'by accident' after sitting on a gun which was placed on the drivers seat of his Nissan Altima. Jelks was taken to Memorial Hospital by Shanekia Roberts who lived in nearby Freedom Crossing Trail. She told police that Jelks entered her home 'in a distressed state' and 'immediately went into the bathroom.' After following him, the twenty five-year-old saw the extent of his injuries, which had resulted in a wound to his penis. Jelks then 'confessed' to Roberts that he was alone in the vehicle when the gun 'went off' underneath him. To add insult to injury, investigators learned that Jelks had been convicted in 2004 for cocaine possession. He could, therefore, face charges for allegedly possessing a firearm.
A penis-shaped rock formation in Norway that was apparently knocked down by vandals last month has been restored to its anatomical glory. Scaffolding was used to hoist up the protuberance, which is reported to weigh about twelve tonnes. The restoration operation was funded by a crowdfunding campaign which raised about two hundred and twenty thousand Kroner. But, tourists will have to wait a week before they can see the formation in order to allow it to fasten properly. Cement, glue and metal fastenings were used to re-attach the Trollpikken, or 'The Troll's Penis' to the cliff. Police last month said that indentations in the rock suggested 'vandalism was responsible' for the demise of the stone. They say a suspect has been questioned over the incident. And told to knock it off. Course, if he hadn't knocked it off in the first place, they wouldn't have had to speak to him.
A woman who shared a video of herself urinating on an American flag has asked that people 'stop targeting her family,' saying they do not support her actions. Emily Lance received online threats of murder and rape after posting the video during Independence Day celebrations earlier this week. Her account is no longer on Facebook but she previously posted that her father and his workplace had also been 'targeted', reports suggest. Desecrating a US flag is not illegal in the US due to strong freedom of speech laws as protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution. On the other hand, threatening to do violence to, murder and/or rape someone all are crimes freedom of speech or not. And yet, curiously, many media outlets covering this story are choosing to focus their rage on the person who, very definitely, did nothing criminal. What a very strange country America is, dear blog reader. I mea, look sat their President. In the video, Naughty Emily is seen standing over a toilet on which a US flag is draped and urinating on it with the aid of a device which allows women to, you know, do it standing up. She captioned it with: 'Fuck your nationalism. Fuck your country. Fuck your stupid fucking flag.' Very articulate rant, young lady, this blogger wholeheartedly approves. Later, she made a plea for her opponents not to 'take your anger out on the wrong people,' saying no one in her family 'agrees with my shenanigans. They've got nothing to do with my decisions,' she continued. She did not explain how her father and his workplace had been 'targeted' or by whom. 'What don't you people understand? You're celebrating freedom while damning me for doing the same. You can't have it both ways,' she said. As previously covered in a round of Qi, some Americans have an almost pathological reverence for the stars and stripes and want to make laws which criminalise activities such as burning one. This is what happens when you get rid of royalty, guys, you have to imbue undue significance on inanimate objects.
Morrissey said on Wednesday that he had been 'terrorised' by a police officer in Rome who held him at gunpoint for half-an-hour on a busy street. I say. This blogger knows that some people really didn't like The Smiths back in the day, but that's taking things a bit far, surely? The singer, a long-time fan and sometime resident of Rome who had returned to the Italian capital to record a CD, claimed that the officer unlocked his gun and 'screamed into my face' as a crowd of more than one hundred people watched. Morrissey's nephew, Sam Esty Rayner, a photographer who often takes footage of the singer, posted a picture of the officer and wrote his motorbike's licence plate number on Facebook. 'The Police Officer pictured below terrorized [sic] Morrissey for thirty five minutes demanding "papers." Morrissey had no papers,' Rayner wrote. Morrissey himself in a statement accused the officer of a 'deliberate act of terror' and said that he had not broken any laws. 'I believe he recognised me and wanted to frighten me. I did not back down even though I believed he was about to shoot me,' Morrissey said. 'I urge people to beware of this dangerously aggressive officer. He might kill you,' he added. Morrissey has frequently criticised the police both in his music and off-stage. In 2015, he said he was 'sexually assaulted' by an officer at San Francisco International Airport who 'touched' him during a security check.
Oral sex is 'producing dangerous gonorrhoea' and 'a decline in condom use' is 'helping it to spread,' the World Health Organisation has warned. To be honest, that sounds like the sort of thing your parents used to tell you to warn you against doing such things but, they're supposed to be expects so we should probably hear them out. The WHO warns that if someone contracts gonorrhoea, it is 'now much harder to treat' and, in some cases, impossible. The sexually transmitted infection is rapidly developing resistance to antibiotics. Experts said that the situation was 'fairly grim' with few new drugs on the horizon. About seventy eight million people pick up the STI each year and it can cause infertility. The World Health Organisation analysed data from seventy seven countries which showed gonorrhoea's resistance to antibiotics was widespread. Doctor Teodora Wi - no, really - from the WHO, said that there had even been three cases - in Japan, France and Spain - where the infection was 'completely untreatable.' She said: 'Gonorrhoea is a very smart bug, every time you introduce a new class of antibiotics to treat gonorrhoea, the bug becomes resistant.' Worryingly, the vast majority of gonorrhoea infections are in poor countries where resistance is harder to detect. 'These cases may just be the tip of the iceberg,' she added. Gonorrhoea can infect the genitals, rectum and throat, but it is the last that is most concerning health officials. Doctor Wi - honestly, this blogger is not making this up - said that antibiotics 'could' lead to bacteria in the back of the throat, including relatives of gonorrhoea, 'developing resistance.' She added: 'When you use antibiotics to treat infections like a normal sore throat, this mixes with the Neisseria species in your throat and this results in resistance.' Thrusting gonorrhoea bacteria into this environment through oral sex can lead to 'super-gonorrhoea. In the US, resistance [to an antibiotic] came from men having sex with men because of pharyngeal infection,' she said. A decline in condom use, which had soared because of fears of HIV/Aids, is thought to help the infection spread. The World Health Organisation is calling on countries to monitor the spread of resistant gonorrhoea and to invest in new drugs.
She reportedly wanted a bottom that was 'bigger and plump,' according to federal authorities, but what she got instead was a medical nightmare. A woman, who was identified only as IT in a federal affidavit filed on Friday, told authorities that her troubles began when she employed the services of Ana Bertha Diaz Hernandez - a Los Angeles beautician who promised to make the woman's callipygian dreams come bootifully true with a series of lamb's fat injections into her rump. Diaz Hernandez told the woman that the cell-infused injections were 'guaranteed safe and will stay in place until she dies,' federal authorities said. But, after getting the injections at Diaz Hernandez's home in 2015, the woman soon noticed that the so-called 'nature product' had moved into her back, hips and legs. She later underwent a major surgery to reconstruct her buttocks. Last week, authorities extremely arrested Diaz Hernandez on federal felony charges alleging receipt of an adulterated and misbranded medical device, smuggling of merchandise and misbranding of prescription drugs, according to the US attorney's office in Los Angeles. Federal authorities said that Diaz Hernandez is not licensed to perform medical treatments or cosmetic procedures in California. Her arraignment is scheduled for next month. Meanwhile, Diaz Hernandez, remains in custody in lieu of one hundred thousand dollar bail, according to Thom Mrozek, an attorney's office spokesman. The buttock-enhancing injections were performed at a private residence, according to an affidavit rather than in a professional medical office. The woman told authorities that she 'heard about' Diaz Hernandez 'through an acquaintance' who had received similar injections and had 'no side effects.' She contacted Diaz Hernandez, who said that she could inject 'cells' into the woman's buttocks, according to the affidavit. At Diaz Hernandez's home, the woman told authorities, that she was 'led into the living room and noticed certificates on the wall.' To reassure the woman, Diaz Hernandez pulled out a cellphone and showed her photographs of other patients and the procedures she had performed. She told the woman that she had trained with a doctor in Mexico, where she also picked up the substance, the affidavit said. Diaz Hernandez described the substance as 'cellulas de borrego,' which is the Spanish translation for lamb's cells. From there, the woman was led into a treatment room, which was a detached building in Diaz Hernandez's backyard. Clad in a white lab coat and latex gloves, Diaz Hernandez 'examined the woman's buttocks.' Well, you know, everybody needs a hobby. With a black marker, she then pinpointed several areas of the woman's buttock and began injecting the 'clear and firm' liquid with a large syringe. During the procedure, Diaz Hernandez removed the 'oily and unscented' product from an armoire. According to FDA officials, the clear and oily liquid is consistent with silicone. Diaz Hernandez reportedly told the woman 'the product is so popular that she had to leave the country to buy some more.' She recommended that the woman get fifteen injections in each buttock to see results as well as 'amino acid' shots to remove stretch marks. After the first visit, the woman returned four more times to receive injections, spending five to six thousand bucks for the treatment.
A British tourist who stole a boat was reportedly arrested after being rescued at sea by twenty five Mallorca emergency rescue crew. The man was very detained after stealing a Zodiac dinghy near Port d'Andratx on Tuesday evening. Rescue crews were scrambled after Cala Llamp residents heard the man 'crying for help' at sea. He was finally found thirty metres from shore under a cliff.
A Zhejiang man arrived at a hospital late one night last week with his swollen penis stuck inside a wrench, leaving both doctors and firefighters at a loss for what to do next. Fortunately, dentists knew just the thing to free his trapped manhood. The thirty seven-year-old man was brought into the hospital in Linhai city with his penis rapidly turning purple after being 'trapped' inside the wrench for over fifteen hours, China Youth Network reports. There's obviously a perfectly logical explanation as to how it became trapped there/ Presumably, he ... accidentally feel on it whilst it was in an open position. And he was naked for some reason that we really don't need to go into right now. Immediately, the hospital convened an emergency meeting among specialists to figure out a suitable plan of action. Doctors decided that in order to release the wrench, they would have to cut off blood flow to his genitals through surgery. In order to carry out the operation, doctors needed the permission of the man's family. They made multiple calls to the man's parents, who said that they would come in to sign over their consent, but never showed up. So doctors went on to plan B and reached out to the local firefighting squad, who are typically adept at dealing with this sort of malarkey. However, after closely 'inspecting the situation,' the firefighters were also at a loss as to how to remove the wrench without seriously injuring the man. Luckily, it was at this point that one doctor suggested that they call in some dentists, explaining that earlier that afternoon she had listened to a lecture regarding a similar case. Two dentists soon arrived and went to work with a drill which spins extremely fast, but uses water to keep itself cool, preventing the man's genitals from being burned. Following a delicate thirty-minute operation, the dentists successfully cut through the wrench and freed the chap's ding-dong after it had been trapped for some seventeen eye-wateringly painful hours in total. Media reports fail to state how exactly the wrench got on there in the first place, though it is mentioned that the man is a bachelor.
Two teenagers were extremely arrested after they posted Snapchat stories documenting a break-in at a South Carolina water park, the Daily Scum Mail reports. Logan Brooke Larrimore and Farren Marie Lane - both eighteen and both, clearly, about as bright as a nine watt bulb - were charged with third-degree burglary and first degree 'being bloody stupid' after they admitted to jumping the fence at Myrtle Beach Waves Water Park around 4am on Saturday, according to police records. In the videos, Larrimore said they 'went down all the slides', and the two ate eight dollars worth of Italian ices, police said. he two teens were identified through their Snapchat usernames DMV records.
A man, allegedly 'upset' because a woman wasn't making his steaks fast enough, is accused of trying to strangle her, state police in Pennsylvannia say. Only in America, dear blog reader. Richard Earl Stimer, of Tyrone, was charged with 'strangulation, reckless endangerment, harassment and aggravated and simple assault' in the 4 July incident in Snyder Township, Blair County. Stimer is accused of pushing the woman to the floor, grabbing her around the neck and stopping her from breathing and punching her in the face when she attempted to defend herself. Stimer, who 'ran away' after the victim was able to flee the scene, was extremely arrested on Wednesday at his home.
It won't be easy for Althea Reyes to drag another person up a'fore a judge. The one-time beauty queen has been declared 'a vexatious litigant' for repeatedly abusing Ontario courts with a series of frivolous lawsuits. The rare designation means that she cannot continue or begin any new cases in any level of court in Ontario without first getting permission from a judge. Reyes is reported to be appealing the 31 May order by Justice Paul Perell restricting her access to the courts. Ontario's attorney general had requested Reyes be declared vexatious, saying in a court application that her 'barrage of lawsuits' and court motions are 'a frivolous abuse of the court's process and a waste of judicial and public resources.' A 2016 investigation by the Star newspaper found that Reyes has sued at least thirty people, companies and organisations since 2011 in Toronto. She has, the newspaper claimed, 'targeted successful men she had relationships with,' a school board, bank employees, a pawnshop, a dry cleaning business, lawyers who have opposed her in the courtroom, and 'a complete stranger.' Reyes, who attended law school but is not licensed to practice law, has used her legal knowledge to 'drag out proceedings' and 'aggravate the people' she has pulled into court, the Star alleged. She has a long history of defending herself - often successfully - against criminal charges, including fraudulent impersonation. That charge was withdrawn in January after Reyes agreed to a peace bond and not to use, in any way, the name Allison Reyes.
Naples, Florida police arrested Summer Adamson, after a routine traffic stop, when officers noticed that she had heroin syringes on her vehicles floor and 'other illegal substances' in her possession.After arresting Adamson and taking her to the jail for booking on the minor drug charges, 'things got weird' according to media reports once Adamson was advised that she would have to complete a strip search before entering her cell. While officers were administering the search Adamson pulled a plastic bag out of her anus and began to eat the bag and its contents. Police were able to stop her and discovered that the bag contained meth. Hang on, 'eat the evidence'? That's a Young Ones plot, isn't it?
Whether Adamson's defence will be similar to Rik's - 'it was not me, it was the other three' - is not, at this time, known. But, it's unlikely.

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