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Archive for September, 2008

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Pigeon Street

Posted by Big Boo on September 19th, 2008

Pigeon Street first aired in 1981 and was a jolly kids show following the lives of the residents of the aforementioned road.  It was initially shown on the BBC as one of its early afternoon shows for toddlers, each episode being around 10 minutes in length.

Pigeon Street itself was aptly named since there were always plenty of pigeons about watching what was going on or even getting involved in the stories themselves.

The show was animated using a very simple animation style which consisted of moving cut outs of the characters arms, legs, bodies and heads about to make them move.  This meant many of the characters leapt around in a gleeful manner, simply because their arms and legs didn’t bend.  This restriction meant that the various body parts were often coloured in a much more intricate way giving a more rounded, three dimensional look to the characters that most cartoons using flat colour rarely have.

Most of the characters had their own signature songs, some more memorable than others.  For this reason I still remember truck driver Long Distance Clara, with her country and western style tune, and Mr. Macadoo, the pet shop owner, as his song had some many “oo” rhymes it was unbelievable.  I’ve probably got it completely wrong but you had rhymes like “if you want a cockatoo, call on Mackadoo, he’s the man for you.

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Paul Daniels’ Magic Tricks

Posted by Big Boo on September 18th, 2008

paul-daniels-magic-tricksAs a kid I really enjoyed performing magic tricks for my family and friends. I was never really that good at it, but I had fun and was fascinated by how confused people could be when you performed some apparently magical act in front of their very eyes.

Most people in the UK will probably be familiar with Paul Daniels, the TV magician (he’s currently on an advert for Tesco’s insurance comparison website). During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s he had a very popular television magic show, sadly not the sort of thing you see on TV these days. Mr. Daniels was one of my childhood heroes, and I was a big fan of his show.

I was particularly excited therefore when I first came across his range of magic tricks in a toy shop. The tricks were all packaged in little curvy shaped cardboard boxes with a little cellophane window on the front allowing you to look inside at the magical props it contained. The colour of the packaging dictated the difficulty level of the trick, from blue being easy, through purple and red to black, the latter being dubbed for “Master Magicians”.

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Short Circuit 2

Posted by Big Boo on September 17th, 2008

Short Circuit 2 was made in 1988 and is an interesting sequel to the original 1986 movie.  I remembered it as being not as good as the original, like most sequels, but having watched it again the other day I must admit it was much better than I thought it was.

The film provides further adventures for Number 5, now called Johnny 5, the self aware robot.  Whilst the two main human characters, Stephanie and Newton do not return for this film, the hilarious Ben Jahrvi does return.  At this point I should say it is probably a little wrong of me to enjoy Ben so much, seeing as he is an Indian character played by a made up white actor, but Fisher Stevens delivery of Ben’s mixed up attempt at the English language is rather funny.

The film opens with Ben trying to make a living for himself by building toy versions of Number 5, which he tries to sell on a street corner, with little success.  One of the toys escapes his stall, and ends up in the hands of Sandy Banatoni, a toy buyer for a department store.  She asks Ben if he can deliver 1000 of the toy robots to her for the Christmas market, a task which Ben will find impossible on his own.  However, Fred, the hawker of fake Rolex watches stood next to him gets involved, seeing the opportunity to make a quick buck.

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cLuMsY’s TV Theme Medley Now Live!

Posted by Big Boo on September 15th, 2008

cLuMsY's TV Theme Mega Medley Ad

I reported a few weeks ago about the band cLuMsY’s forthcoming TV Theme Medley, and at the time I was really looking forward to the release of the full mix. Well, I’m pleased to say it’s now available online for FREE and pretty damn good it is too. It contains 46 different TV show themes ranging from kids shows such as Bod, Pigeon Street and Superted through to The A Team and Red Dwarf.

All the songs have been put together very well indeed, and I’m most pleased that cLuMsY’s renditions have a unique feel of their own yet are still entirely faithful to the originals. I think my favourite at the moment is the The Flumps, although the Rainbow theme song is also very good as it retains the great drum section that always got faded out just too soon on the TV show titles.

Congratulations lads, you’ve done yourself proud!

If you want to listen to it yourself click the image above where you can choose to listen to the entire medley or if you have a particular favourite can click over the characters from that show on the awesome painted montage representing all the featured themes. Enjoy!

Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Child of the 2008’s

Posted by Big Boo on September 8th, 2008

OK, this post is way off topic but I make no apologies for it!  I would like to announce the arrival of Baby Boo, or Kara Lauren, to the world!  My daughter was born on Friday 5th September and weighed in at a very healthy 7lb 11oz (or 3.504kg if you insist on using metric).  She’s made me and my wife the happiest parents in the world (although I do understand all parents say that – it’s the law!)

Anyway, what I will apologise for is that new posts might be a little thin on the ground for the next week or so as I get to grips with being a Dad for the first time, but once things have settled down a bit we should resume service as normal!  In the meantime, please enjoy the picture of my little girl giving all our readers a big wave…

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The Best Type of Penny Sweet

Posted by Big Boo on September 6th, 2008

Good old penny sweets.  Nothing beats that little white paper bag chock full of little sweets of various kinds.  I’ve written about many of these before – here are a selection to remind yourself with!

The only problem these days is finding a shop that still sells them in the old fashioned way, letting you pick and choose.  Mind you, that does give you an excuse to over indulge I suppose!  Try visiting A Quarter Of to find loads of sweets you had probably forgotten all about!

Anyway, to this weeks survey.  Just as agonising as deciding how to spend your ten pence – which penny sweet type was your favourite?  There are obviously far too many to list so instead I’ve gone with a good representative of each category.

What type of penny sweet do you like most?
View Results
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Compact Discs

Posted by Big Boo on September 5th, 2008

The Compact Disc.  What an invention!  It’s amazing really how a small round piece of plastic and some metallic foil has revolutionised the way we listen to music, play video games and watch movies.  It it wasn’t for the invention of this shiny media format we might still be using lengths of magnetic tape to do all of the above.

In 1979 electronics companies Philips and Sony got together to come up with a new way of storing audio in a digital form.  Prior to this music had come on pressed Vinyl Discs, a format that had been around for decades but was prone to damage and was a bit on the large side.

The biggest difference though between vinyl and compact discs was the way in which the music information was stored.  On Vinyl the musical data was stored in an analogue form, which means at any point on the disc the depth of the groove could be made at any depth to produce the varying volumes of a piece of music.

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Guess Who?

Posted by Big Boo on September 4th, 2008

guess who boardgameGuess Who? is a wonderfully simple yet incredibly enjoyable boardgame that was first launched by Milton Bradley in the UK in 1979.  It went on to become one of the decades most popular games, and was eventually launched in the US in 1982.

Each player has a game board containing images of 24 named charicatures which are on little plastic flippers.  A random card with a picture of one of the characters is drawn by each player, and put in a little slot at the front of their playing board.  Players now take turns asking questions to try and discover which character their opponents card shows.

Questions can only be asked that have a yes or no answer, so you had to say “Does your person have black hair?” instead of “What colour hair do they have?”.  By being clever about the questions you asked you could then eliminate certain characters by flipping down their image if their attributes didn’t match the answer to your question.  The trick was to try and ask questions that no matter which answer was provided, eliminated a decent proportion of the remaining characters.

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