Tuesday, November 23, 2010


So as a self confessed Harry Potter addict this was a big weekend for me. My friend Katrine couldn’t go to see the film until Sunday, and although my inner nerd wanted to be at the midnight showing my grown up persona was able to take control and book tickets for Sunday at 7:30pm.

To be honest it was the books I fell in love with. The films are fantastic and visually wondrous, and you can tell that the splitting of the last film was more a desire to get it right than a money grab, but the books are where it started and ended for me. J K Rowling was the reason I wanted to write, she was the reason I wanted to read, for the 12th and 13th years of my life she helped me realize the power of words, the transformability of sentencing. She showed me that even though I couldn’t craft, or draw, or make a bloody money box in tech. I could still be wonderfully creative. She taught me that I could paint with people’s imaginations instead of with a paintbrush.

That being said, the movie was great. I think we take for granted how much of a film is taken up by establishing characters and that in this, the 7th film in a series, they don’t even have to devote the first few minutes to who these people are or what they are up to. They haven’t had to draw an audience in, or pander to those not in the know. They whole heartedly exclude those who haven’t seen the previous films or read the books simply because they are far and few between. Their theatre seats are filled with fans ready to both adore and abhor the material. They are about to be judged on every aspect of the translation from book to film, their work will be reveled for its similarities but scolded for its change, no matter how integral it may be to telling the story via a different medium.

All in all their seats are filled with people who feel connected to this story, who like myself have invested themselves in Harry Potter since they were also 11 years old. The successes of the films aren’t simply due to the huge fan following of the books, the success of the films are in the films themselves. J K Rowling wrote intelligent, plot driven, exquisitely told tales of three young people facing a world of danger and so it is no surprise that the films become magical, mystical blockbuster sellers. Nothing J.K.Rowling wrote was fluff, nothing had no purpose, so much so that in order to do her final book justice the movie moguls had to split this one two ways.

They were right; the first one encompasses everything it needs to. Better yet it does the book justice by pausing on the banality of trying to fulfill a mission when you have no idea where to start. Even when I read the book I felt the frustration of trying to embark on a huge mission when you don’t know what to do, and rather than run from one huge battle scene to the next, the movie makers (now given the luxury of two films) were able to rest on how helpless and useless the unlikely heroes must have felt.

I was surprised at my sadness at loosing characters, that even the knowledge of what was about to occur couldn’t stop me feeling some sort of loss as these characters give their lives for one another. Rowling was never afraid of loosing a character, because by the end they were all so three dimensional and important. You felt the hurt and the pain but you were also able to watch these characters survive the losses and move on. I once heard JK Rowling say in an interview, it is so easy to kill of a character because everything for them is done and it is over, that it is so much harder to suffer their loss and continue your life. That rebuilding one’s life takes more courage than ending it. She, as always, was right.

To bring the sycophantic rant to an end, go watch the film, or better yet go re-read the book. It is worth the money, it is worth the time, and it’s sure as hell is worth the effort.

Love to you all

Meryl xx

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sci- Finally

So people always say that necessity is the mother of invention, which is very true, but if necessity is the mother of invention then imagination has got to be its maternal aunt or at very least its second cousin.

The coolest thing about being around in the present (as opposed to living in the past) is that all the crazy sci fi inventions that people dreamed up in fiction are being brought into actuality.

I have composed a list of a few that just seem mindbogglingly cool.

The Invisibility Cloak. - Harry Potter managed to get his hands on one of these bad boys, in fact he had in his possession the only real invisibility cloak in the world, well perhaps until now.

‘Scientists in the UK have demonstrated a flexible film that represents a big step toward the "invisibility cloak" made famous by Harry Potter.The film contains tiny structures that together form a "metamaterial", which can, among other tricks, manipulate light to render objects invisible.’

Self Tying Shoelaces – Marty Mcfly was mostly concerned about getting himself back to the future before he paradoxically was never born, but he was able to stop long enough to try on the Doc’s self tying, auto adjusting Nike Trainers and now Nike are patenting a pair that do exactly that.

Teleportation – So ok you might now believe me on this one, and we aren’t exactly close to beaming up Scottie but teleportation does exist.

‘The leaps in teleportation technology lie in the transfer of quantum information: where information is transferred (or teleported) from one quantum system to another. For example, take a pair of photons that have identical spin, and separate them. If you adjust the spin of one, the other, through the teleportation of quantum information, will simultaneously adopt the adjustment. The maximum teleportation distance achieved so far is 16km’

Hologram messaging – ‘Help me OB-Wan’ It worked for princess Leia and in the not to distant future it will work for you too, hopefully you won’t need a slightly retro beeping garbage-can robot to deliver it for you.

‘At its heart is a new plastic screen material that will record 3D holographic images time and time again, every two seconds. In the set up described in Nature, 16 cameras recorded 2D images of objects and people from multiple angles That information was then sent to another location using a computer connection.
At the remote site, a laser was used to "print" the visual information on to the new photosensitive polymer. The 3D image composed of the 16 perspectives decays naturally, but the laser can write the next "frame" before it completely disappears.’

I find it all very cool, but to be fair I am both a Sci-Fi fan and a techno-geek. It’s amazing how anyone can just dream something up and someone out there will figure out a way to make it work. There is just no way of knowing how amazingly cool the future is going to look. It’s very exciting

Hope you are all well

Much Love Meryl x

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Striking News

They have replaced Paul the octopus - with Paul the octopus II (that's right, the second).

Here is the article my mum sent me

Cheeky right, replace old Paul with a younger and to be fair cuter looking octo-baby.

Is nothing sacred?


So yesterday I wrote about toast, which at first seems silly but at a second glance, well I guess at a second glance seems pretty silly too.

I am trying to get as much material up here as possible but I am finding myself delightfully busy writing for some other projects that are hopefully up and coming soon. I did also watch the entire box set of the boosh, so as you can imagine a hectic week.

Seeing as November is upon us, the inevitable ‘where did the year go’ talks have begun, and to be honest I find myself a little overwhelmed with it all. Can you even believe 2011 looms, it sounds positively space age. 

2011 is going to be a fun year because there are actually a tonne of predictions that it’s when the world will end. Of course the Hollywood film suggested 2012 was the dreaded due date, but all the bible pushers are dead set that it is going to be next year.

I love the apocalyptic predictions because they always manage to find some excuse for why the world hasn’t crumbled, but really how many times can you claim you calculated it wrong. It would be like trying to add 3 butterflies to 4 oranges, there just isn’t a definitive answer.

I still am not sure why people need to claim that the world is going to end abruptly, we are doing such an excellent job of destroying it slowly through pollution and apathy. You would think that in fact we would suggest there was going to be some sort of smog-age where everyone has to walk around with gas masks trying to run from their self inflicted mess, but this apparently isn’t box office enough so we still believe the earth will crack in half and engulf people, or more evangelistically the skies will rain down with blood.

Either way I’m looking forward to it, to the next year that is, not the arrival of the four horsemen. Or more importantly I’m looking forward to the rest of 2010. November does sound like the end of the year, but in the 58 days we have left, a whole bunch of stuff can happen, look at lost, the had discovered the hatch by that point.

Alright love you all chicas will try and blog something of interest next time

Meryl x

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Toast is the equalizer of all breads.

A sentiment I have actually always believed (and apparantly thought about) since I was very young.
Bread in itself tastes good -mostly, but people will happily debate the pro's and cons, the white vs brown of bread till the cows come home.

I personally like flax bread, it is the equivalent of crunchy peanut butter in a bread-like format, it's got a nice soft white bready texture with the added bonus of tiny little nuts reminding you are almost being healthy.

When it comes down to it white bread is the best. I should stress this is not an opinion even though most people would suggest it is subjective, white bread tastes the best but it unquestionably the worst type for the human body to try and digest

Then comes flax bread - ok fine this is an opinion, most people are partial to a pumpernickle and I would happily tip my hat to them, pumpernickle bread is a fine choice for a second.

The rest end up being equal - multi-grain, five grain, tomato infused, and plan old brown, somebody could steal my sandwhich from my hand and replace the bread with any of these kinds and I would be none the wiser.

The only other bread worth any mention is raisin bread - which I am discounting because it is two steps up from nornmal bread but only one step down from cake. It belongs in it's own breadish cake hybrid catagory, and like dogs judged at crufts it can't really be considered a purebread stream of either cake or bread along with the others.

(I should point out my two seperate uses of the word bread in that last paragraph was purely accidental, proving only that even I am unable to keep up with my own extravagent use of vocabulary)

All in all, there is a definite bread hierachy that seems rather universal. (feel free to disagree, I can't hear you anyway) People definitely have a preference, but chuck any type of bread under a grill and they loose any bread-like definition and become simply 'toast'.

It's a good metaphor for life, like comparing individual personality traits to the over-arching fact that we are all human. If all type of bread end up being just toast, then all type of people end up just being human kind.

You may have surmised that I ate some toast today, I just can't imagine what gave it away and yes I did hold it up into the sky to phisically demonstrate that I believe it is representative of an ideology, that's just the kind of person I am.

Of course i really should branch out and talk about bagels, or wraps, or even french bread but if I think anymore about toast I may find myself standing over the over like a all seeing bread god judging when each slice of uncrisped bread can officially be given it's title of toast, and that may finally be the proof that I'm insane.

Instead I will wish you good night and ask you to stop, just for a moment next time you are about to slide those slices into the toaster and realize what a big moment for it, it really will  be

Over and Out Meryl

Monday, November 1, 2010


There are certain advantages to now living in North America and forefront of those is Halloween. People go crazy for it here; they even close off the street and just let people parade themselves up and down in their extravagant costumes.

This year four of the group dressed as sugar skulls, one of us went as autumn and then Brandy was quite literally ‘hot pink’. I shouldn’t say it, as it’s vain, but we looked awesome. Not one of us looked like we hadn’t gone all out, I was proud of us as a troupe and we got the appropriate reaction when walking into the various parties we stopped in on.

Of course we then got completely trashed, which to be fair has become a real Halloween tradition of mine. I am not sure what it is about Halloween but I swear the same amount of alcohol as you normally drink will make you go berserk. It is my belief that with all the costumes around you added with the reaction you are getting to your own costume, you actually feel drunk before you have had your first drink, hence that first drink feels like the fifth, and the fifth drink feels like the twenty fifth.

In an equation it would look like this

Halloween Drunk = Drink x 5

So the fifth drink would be

Halloween = Drink (5) x 5
Halloween Drunk = 15 Drinks

It’s all very mathematical.

Church Street on Sunday night was so much fun. Some on my favorite costumes included.

Gargamel – complete with a net full of surfs

Double Rainbow – If you don’t know you should

Phillip and Terrance
– Who before I came to Canada made me wonder if Canadians really did have big slits in their mouths.

Beetle Juice – A really good one.

The Entire Disney Troupe – Mickey was there, little mermaid, buzz light-year, Pinocchio. Pinocchio was the best!

The whole thing filled me with Halloween style Christmas spirit, and just for a moment it was nice to be part of a larger group of people all dressing up and being nice to each other and sharing an experience. All felt right with the world…. and then it snowed.

The snow certainly gave it the Christmassy edge, I just still can’t believe how subject to change Canadian weather is. It may rain all the time in England but at least there is little chance the temperature will change 20 degrees in one evening.  It was one of those Halloween nights where you wished you had opted for the full body furry dog suit, just so you could be huddled up nice and warm and still go to the party.

All in all, this year I’m giving Halloween a full thumbs up! Even my parents got into the spirit and went as Dexter and his latest victim, they sent me a picture, and they definitely looked cool!

I hope you all had a great night, and weren’t one of the slew of girls wearing teeny tiny costumes in the minus degree weather!

Boo to all of you!

Meryl x