Horror has become big business these days and you can hardly have failed to notice the waves of the undead shuffling, flying or bounding across screens big and small. With a plethora of assorted suckers, rippers and biters, horror fans are spoiled for choice when it comes to grisly supernatural thrills.
There are a ton of psychological theories about why we love to scare ourselves silly with these films. But whatever the truth, many of us just can’t help but subject ourselves to what one might call a safe scare. All the adrenalin and terror without any real danger (despite what some cunning marketing people would have us believe).
We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” – Stephen King
What would the creators of Nosferatu or Dracula make of all this ghoulish entertainment? Would Mary Shelly find our modern day monsters a little OTT? Could George Romero have ever imagined we’d become so addicted to the brain-munchers? Continue reading →
“I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now..”
So sang Freddie Mercury in the Queen hit “I want it all”. And from what I heard, he probably got a lot more than most of us.
Of course we all want stuff. Some of us want fancy stuff – our own pyramid, a gold yacht or a helicopter made of chocolate.
Some of us want simpler and more meaningful stuff – good relationships, inner peace and a sense of purpose (or, for confused dolphins, a sense of porpoise?).
And of course some of us just want another bag of popcorn and the return of Game of Thrones / The Walking Dead.
I imagine if you were a criminal in a chain-gang on the run, the thing you’d want most would be some good solid bolt-cutters and a place to lie low. But few of us will experience that situation – although, incredibly, chain-gangs have been reintroduced into some US prisons recently. Most of us have some degree of freedom to go where we please, and make our own choices, within reason. Continue reading →
Sport is pretty dull isn’t it? Don’t you just yearn for some new ideas and fresh approaches to those tired old games? Here, for your consideration, is the Olympics re-imagined.
This exciting revamp of the pole vault would be quite spectacular, although perhaps somewhat difficult to train for. Contestants are flung from a powerful catapult having first been set ablaze. (They have on fireproof suits naturally) They must clear a bar one hundred metres high, then deploy a parachute to land safely in a tank of water. Continue reading →
The agonising wait is over at last! Here are the winners in the very first ever halfbananas awards.
There are so many amazing blogs out there, it’s hard to keep up. I hope you enjoy discovering some great new ones, and if you’ve won a coveted halfbananas award, congratulations!
The dedicated awards committee have tried to recognise the best examples in various categories, but inevitably there will be lots of other fabulous blogs that missed out this time around. But never fear, there will be more awards, accolades and virtual pats-on-backs coming soon. Let’s spread the love people!
I look forward to seeing all the lucky winners and honourable mentions, at the lavish Hollywood party I will be hosting, assuming awards condition #3 is met (see below). Continue reading →
I think we can all agree this week had more than its fair share of tragedy, farce and gloom. Clearly the whole Pokemon Go craze suggests people need a break from the relentless bad news and the hard-working halfbananas team are only too happy to get on board with providing some light relief. But first, some fruity facts..
Banana facts of the day
Bananas are one of the world’s most popular fruits, with over 100 trillion of them consumed every second. They are named after famed explorer and inventor count Otto Von Banana, who brought them back from an expedition to south America in the 1600s. His other major claims to fame are inventing the walrus moustache and a hat that doubles as a canoe.
Genetically we are very similar – there is only a small variation among humans and the concept of different races is largely a social construct, not a biological one. We’re also not so different from our nearest relatives the apes – Chimpanzees share over 98% of our DNA.
We are related to all life on Earth in all its staggering diversity. Even bananas, which share 50-60% of our DNA, are distant relatives. I suspect this is why some people bruise more easily than others, and some quickly turn brown, or peel after sunbathing. They are a bit more bananas than the rest of us. (I’ve certainly encountered a few 100% bananas individuals online..)
One might think that the appreciation of all the wondrous diversity of life among our global kin would be hardwired. That Homo Sapiens would celebrate and embrace all the many forms life takes. Yet the history of our species is a bloody tale of intolerance, hatred and exploitation of our fellow man, and of the other species with which we share the planet.
It was almost a year to the day since Peter Pike – AKA Procrastination Man – had last donned his ill-fitting spandex outfit and battled the forces of evil. But Peter had not been idle, far from it. In that time he had thoroughly reorganised his cutlery drawer, joined a gym (although not actually visited it) and made detailed plans to re-decorate the lounge and repair the kitchen window. There had even been a few half-hearted attempts to start writing his autobiography.
He had also, much to his surprise, found a partner, Melanie Grant, with whom he had made some exciting and probably completely impractical plans. An attractive, if slightly geeky young science graduate, she had been inspired by the press coverage of his earlier adventures and had responded to his online quest for a partner:
WANTED: SMART, KICK-ARSE PARTNER FOR A UNIQUE CRIME-FIGHTING OPPORTUNITY! NO TIME-WASTERS PLEASE.
Their first meeting at TheBlack Crow pub hadn’t gone quite as well as they’d hoped. A nervous Peter had arrived late as usual, and then managed to spill his pint of beer all over their table. Melanie had ended up trapped in the women’s toilet cubicle, a faulty lock requiring intervention from the local fire brigade. But they had been able to laugh about it afterwards, and their disastrous evening had eventually ended on a unexpected high note.
As they had slowly gotten to know each other in the months that followed, the future suddenly seemed to be full of promise and adventure.
After a long planning phase, they were determined not to let any more grass grow under their feet. It was time for action, just as soon as they’d saved up enough cash to advertise their services in the papers, and whipped themselves into shape at the gym. And paid off the credit card bills. Yes, quite soon they would be ready to unleash the force of THE PROACTIVATORS upon an unsuspecting criminal world.
We instinctively recoil from people in authority who are publicly exposed as liars, feeling cheated and seeing them as tarnished individuals. Yet whether we like to admit it or not, we all have an intimate relationship with lies, fibs and tall tales.
According to a 2002 study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, 60% of adults can’t have a ten minute conversation without lying at least once.
I personally never lie, as I was telling Bill Gatesand his wife Melinda the other night at dinner, on George Clooney‘s new super-yacht.
There seem to be a fair few awards flying around of late and I have been nominated a few times myself. (The best of breed at Crufts dog show was certainly a surprise)
I always feel chuffed to get nominated, until I remember that some blogging awards require one to nominate up to fifteen other blogs, in the form of a sort of chain letter (or pyramid scheme?) deal. Of course unlike a pyramid scheme, nobody is scamming people to get rich and the intentions are honourable, as far as I know.
This leaves one torn between the nice ego boost of a nomination and the realisation one has to actually find that many other blogs to nominate and contact them all, as well as answering a series of searching personal questions (Favourite Italian biscuit? Most used Klingon curse word?)