Monday, 30 August 2010


Watch out Cambridge, here I come! I can't believe how behind I've got with this blog... I got my results the Thursday before last. 3 A*s (History, Maths, English Lit), A in General Studies and AS Ancient History. I got 118/120 in my final exam for History! I never imagined I'd do that well, I figured I'd be able to get the A* I needed for Cambridge in Maths, but never seriously thought I'd be able to get A* in all three of my main subjects. So chuffed :). And got home from getting my results and found two letters, one from Christ's College, one from UCAS. Naturally I opened the one from Christ's College first, they told me they were giving me a place, said congratulations, then there was an epic reading list (two and a half pages, although it did say I'm not expected to read them all) and a thing to say I need to pick what modules I want to do. Well, the modules I've chosen are: British Political and Constitutional History 1450-1750, British Social and Economic History 1500-1750, Utopian Writing 1516-1789, European History since 1890, Expansion of Europe from the Fifteenth Century to the First World War, and The West and the 'Third World' from the First World War to the present day. Can't wait!


I've just realised that I never typed this up. I went to Sunderland International Air Show on July 25th and wrote a 'blog' post immediately afterwards in my notebook. So, here it is:

Where can I possibly start? Okay: my favorites were: Breitling display team (a pair of biplanes, doing aerobatics around each other, whilst an acrobatic wing walker did a routine of handstands etc in a special harness on the top wing), the Harrier (gotta be the most awesome aircraft ever invented. It bowed!!! And hovered and then slid slowly sideways off the 'stage' area, which was incredibly spectacular to watch, I thought it was gonna fall out the sky), and of course, the Red Arrows. Wow! The Victory Roll formation was incredible, the aircraft got into a formation to look like a Spitfire, and then the whole formation rolled together, and then the spectacular breaks with coloured smoke and they looked at times like they were going to hit each other. Also, the Typhoon was fantastic. Rocket impersonater or what! And its agility too, it was incredible. The Spitfires were also fantastic to see (although I'm not entirely sure which was which mark, it was a bit too noisy to hear the commentator properly). The Dakota was also impressive--especially as the version I've built has the exact same markings. Was also rather impressed by the 8 engined bomber, and the warship sat out on the edge which launched its Merlin. Speaking of helicopters, the Black Cat display helicopter was absolutely stunning in its agility. If teh Harrier was flown like a helicopter, this Lynx was flown practically like a jet, swooping and twizzling all over hte place. The Avro Tutor displayed absolutely stunning acrobatics, particularly the stall turns. The F16 from the Netherlands as ace too. Oh! The pair of aircraft that opened. Very impressive. And a live demonstration (complete with some poor soul chucked in the water) of air sea rescue. Can you tell I was impressed? I would've liked to have seen a few WWI era aircraft (or at least, replicas of WWI era aircraft) and a Lancaster would've been nice. But I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed my first ever air show. And oh! How could I forget? The Falcons parachute display team was very impressive indeed, though it was a shame I couldn't actually see the beach where they landed.

Toy Story 3

Well, it does certainly look like there are two must-see films this summer. I have to be honest, I thought Inception was the better film purely because of its originality. That said, Toy Story 3 is hilariously brilliant and brings the Toy Story trilogy to a great conclusion. With some of the original characters missing (including Bo Peep, and the soldiers who go AWOL at the very beginning of the story), it leaves room for new characters to be developed. Including the hilarious Ken. And it allows other characters to be developed too, particularly Barbie and Buzz and Woody.

I was told it'd make me cry, but have to confess the only reason I had tears in my eyes was from laughing so much. And everyone in the cinema was laughing too.

Great Escape style action escaping from Sunnyside, one rather terrifying scene set in a rubbish dump, and a very satisfying ending, the film holds your attention throughout. My only real criticism is that it was pointless seeing it in 3D. Very little of the action came out the screen. In fact, there was more 3D from the trailers shown before than from the film itself, so to be perfectly honest, you're better off saving your money and watching it in 2D.

In short: a funny and enjoyable film.

Sunday, 15 August 2010


The best film I have ever seen. Yes, I mean it. I've seen some excellent films and this doesn't detract from them, but Inception truly is the best film I have ever seen. It's original, it's engrossing, it makes you think rather than simply giving you a ride along on a feel good movie, the acting is superb. But it's the idea behind it all, the brilliant, fascinating, well thought through idea that permeates the film that makes this better than any other film I have ever watched and enjoyed. And I've enjoyed a fair few films.

'I specialise in a very special type of security. Sub conscious security'. The concept is simple. Put someone into a shared dream, they'll fill it with their secrets, you can get in and steal them. Cobb's been doing this for a living after being forced to leave his children. But now he's been given a new challenge. And if he succeeds, it's a way back home. The concept is simple. Instead of stealing an idea, he has to plant one. Carrying it out is another matter altogether. But not only is the concept interesting in itself, it's also been given detail, life, and plausibility. Architects to build dream worlds, paradoxes such as never-ending staircases to keep the subject within the boundaries of the dream you want them in, dream time that gives you longer for each real minute the deeper into a dream you go. Unstable dreams, rampant subconscious characters determined to wipe out invaders...

Not only that, but an engrossing and intriguing cast of characters, particularly Cobb and his wife Mal. A romantic element that doesn't follow your typical guy meets girl and falls madly in love but this is rather awkward because he's meant to be saving the world/doing a job/in love with someone else or whatever. And an ending that leaves you begging for more and desperate to watch it all over again.

For those of you who've watched it: I reckon dream. Those of you that haven't: watch it and find out what I mean. It truly is the best film I have ever watched.