Sunday, 31 January 2010

Lost - Do We Have Unreliable Narrators?

Recently I watched (or rather, I listened) the Lost Season 5 Boxset audio commentaries. The one that concerns me is Episode 1 - "Because You Left", written and narrated by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.

Damon, left, Carlton, right.

This commentary had a good flavour of the three sides of the D&C personality:

- humour (discussing Pierre Chang moving off-island and founding a chain of restaurants)
- informative (that the episode is actually a flashback and flashforward, as it is Chang/Mile's past, yet Faraday's future, relative to the "core" story - an idea I had never pondered)
- reality (that the episode had to be written in such a way to both wind-down from Season 4 and begin the ending of Season 5 all at one time)

(well, I suppose both of the last two are informative, so perhaps call the first one "Entertainment Information" and the latter "Real Life Information" - I don't know, now is not the time for syntax!)

Now, I have heard many hours of D&C - podcasts, interviews, commentaries, etc - and they always help inject humour and reality into Lost, taking away from the seriousness of the hardcore theories. But beneath this veneer of the helpful adults, guiding us children through the puberty of the seasons, I can't help shake the feeling that D&C are unreliable narrators.

As much as we like to believe there is an almighty attention paid to the details in Lost, I have to wonder - do D&C (&JJ Abrams) actually have ALL the answers? Heck, do they even have more than we do?

I can buy that they had the main plot points in mind when they began this adventure, but so much has come to pass that undermines their credibility that I find it hard to even believe them now - the fact that Ben was originally written as such a small role, their persistent promise that Lost would not become a sci-fi show/that there would be no time-travel (throws up the question - can we believe them when they say "They aren't all in purgatory"? Always good to stoke those flames ;) ).

And what of Penny. Was she seriously written with such mystery, simply to be killed off. The many, many promises of Penny, Walt, etc coming back and finishing their arcs. There is so much unanswered, and that will probably remain unanswered, that D&C frankly don't seem to care for answering - I have to wonder, are we all watching the same show?

Anyway, these aren't particularly new topics of discussion. I'm sure you have asked these questions a hundred times yourself - and you'll find no answers here folks, just something to chew on and keep in mind going into Season 6.

(Also, listen to the commentaries - good entertainment :) )

((A couple of specific points - I received my first Season 6 SPOILER!!! (I will explain it at the END of the post - it isn't dramatically huge) in this commentary. Also, D&C go into a lot of detail about things we should all be aware of - a lot of the "rules" of Lost have never been explained or shown to us by the writers, simply theorised by the characters - ie a lot of the things we take as fact, especially a lot of Faraday's musings (Desmond being a wildcard, Whatever Happened, Happened, detonating the atomic bomb being a GOOD thing) shouldn't be taken as fact, it is merely another human's theory, no more fact than our own theories. Keep that in mind as we try to digest and dissect Season 6 together))

(((Season 6 SPOILER!!! - Jack will take a much more active role in Season 6 - D&C: "We decided to let our main character (Jack) take a break in this Season, considering what is going to happen in Season 6" - I'm paraphrasing, but that is what I got from the commentary)))

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Friday Fight Night - Glasgow Snippets

Unfortunately, I missed the majority of this week's Friday Fight Night - Live In Bellahouston, Glasgow (my hometown).

I did manage to catch the final 3 rounds of the 10-round Scottish SuperBantamweight championship bout between 23yr old David Savage (now 10(2)-0-0) and 31yr old Gavin Reid (finishing the night at 6(3)-5(1)-1). From what I saw, both fighters put in tremendous effort and workrate, but the grabbing was very sloppy (I kept anticipating either of the two to exit the ring via the ropes at any moment). Savage in particular was disappointing in this aspect.

However, I think the Sky Sports commentator put it well when he described Reid as a man clutching for lottery tickets - he was throwing far more punches towards the end, hoping for a lucky shot, while Savage was picking his shots and making them count.

The post-fight statistics showed Savage threw more, landed more and had a higher punch connection percentage, so there can be no arguing with the referee's judgement in awarding him the title. I scored the final 3 rounds 29-28 to Savage, identical to the Sky Sports unofficial judgecard.

I also caught the 20-second "highlights" reel from Lee McAllister (27yr 31(7)-2(1)-0)'s Commonwealth Lightweight defense against Samual Amoako (6(1)-1(0)-0). From what I saw, and heard post-fight, the most interesting thing about this fight was McAllister's fashion style (a bright red triple-mohawk, bright red tribal tattoo and matching shorts) as opposed to his boxing style. Hopefully he shakes this off and continues on his match to European dominance. Scotland could do with an easily identifiable, but more importantly a good, boxer in this age of Khan and Haye.

Weekly Image - Street Fighter Tattoo

I love Street Fighter, I love tattoos, I love this picture.

Source: unknown (If this image is owned by you and you wish it removed, please email me at

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Weekly Song - Babyshambles "La Belle Et La Bete"

"I'll tell you a story but you won't listen, it's about a nightmare steeped in tradition."

Babyshambles - "La Belle Et La Bete"

Let's see - a charismatic young musician with a gift for words and a talent for songwriting, ripped up and torn out by drugs to become a mere shadow of his former self? Certainly sounds like a nightmare steeped in tradition to me.

Putting Pete Doherty's life to the side for a moment, people really don't take the time to listen to his stories more often. Take a chance to listen today.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Weekly Website - DarkUFO


Where to begin with DarkUFO?

Arguably the catalyst to the explosion of the Lost-fandom, and certainly the blogging scene, Dark has consistently provided a collection of the broad spectrum of Lost-fandom - from video podcasts, to blogs, to the latest spoilers.

It is in this area that DarkUFO sprung to infamy when a person by the name of "Lostfan108" approached the webite with intricate details of the ending of Season 3. DarkUFO, after consulting his readership, decided to print these spoilers, causing the "radio silence" of the up-until-that-point-minor-spoiler-happy Lost creative team. It is of no suprise to learn that Dark also runs

Mild controversy aside, Dark's service to the Lost fandom is incredible, having regularly provided a base for any Lost fan to begin their travels amongst the various blogs, sites and collectives on the web. Regularly updated, and very well populated with regular contributors and fans, this is a major stop along the internet roadmap of Lost fan sites.

(DarkUFO is also a part of my Lost Blogging Collective - please click for more info.)

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Friday Fight Night - Essex Review - Ian Napa vs Jamie McDonnel

Tonight's action comes courtesy of Frank Maloney's promotions.

The main event starred Maloney lynchpin Ian "Dappa" Napa vs Jamie McDonnel, fighting for Napa's British Bantamweight (112-118lb) title, as well as the vacant Commonwealth Bantamweight crown.

This was supposed to be a mere stepping stone in Napa's career as he finally made his way back up to European and then World rankings, however a sub-par performance led to one of the closest and most controversial calls I have seen in a long time.

To sum it up briefly - for the first half of the fight, Napa relied purely on ducking, dodging and weaving, however McDonnel kept plugging away, landing a few good, accurate shots. But it was clearly Napa who was delivering the scoring goods - landing counterpunches and generally avoiding McDonnnel's jab.

A lot has been said of Napa's lack of explosive punch power, and certainly I got the feeling that if he were a more offensively powerful fighter, he could have stolen the show in the middle rounds of this bout.

As it stood, towards the final few rounds Napa seemed to be in a fairly comfortable, if boring, lead, when McDonnel suddenly woke up and dominated the tenth and eleventh round easily, with Napa showing some final resistance in the twelfth.

At this point, I felt I was being generous to McDonnel for his work ethic (Napa seemed to be phoning it in more, in my opinion), but even with that biased slant I still had Napa scoring with one point ahead. Then the judge's scorecards were announced, and the shock-bomb dropped.

- Judge 1 scores it 115-114 to Napa. (Fair enough call, and probably the consensus decision.)
- Judge 2 scores it 115-114 to McDonnel. (Again, a close decision and you could understand, even if you disagreed with, this scoring.)
- Judge 3, Dave Parris, scores it 117-112 to.... McDonnel!! You could have heard the crowd's jaws hitting the floor, if it weren't for the deafening sound of booing and jeering filling the room.

Fair play to McDonnel for the win - Napa definitely was not on his peak performance that night. But the real focus of this result has to be on judge Dave Parris. I challenge anyone to explain his rationale. What was he thinking? I don't believe anyone else could have watched this fight and scored it to McDonnel with such a wide margin, and some serious questions need to be asked.

But that is a discussion for another night. Kudos must certainly go to the unnamed Boxing News journalist, who accurately predicted in the magazine's 22nd January issue that Ian Napa, concentrating on his promise of a March European title fight, would become shortsighted in this fight.

Maloney has always had Napa in line as a future World champion and, with that European fight already on the horizon, Napa clearly did not take this domestic fight as seriously as he should have done, and it may have lead to his downfall.

McDonnel, on the other hand, had been priding himself on becoming British champion and had declared himself as such for weeks leading up to the fight. Although his performance was also not the greatest ever seen, he was clearly proud and had achieved a personal milestone in his boxing career. Ian Napa, now 19(1)-8(1)-0 and 31 years of age, needs to take a serious look at his career and make the right moves and stay honest in every future fight to reclaim any of his past glory at European levels. In the post-fight interview, a clearly very stunned Napa struggled to grasp the fact that the European title had now slipped from his grasp yet again.

With Jamie McDonnel, now 13(5)-2(0)-1 and only 23 years of age, being too injured to take up Napa's March fight with Jerome Arnould for the European title, it may be a while until he gets his shot. Whether the willing McDonnel or the more deserving Napa is the eventual victor on the European/World stages remains to be seen, but for now we are left with a relatively uneventful Bantamweight battle, and a judge that needs a serious looking at.

Ashley Sexton - the new Amir Khan?

Thankfully for us all, the night was saved by 3 electrifying fights in the undercard. Undeniable highlight of the night was seeing Ashley Sexton (22yr, 9(5)-0-0) utterly demolish Usman Ahmed (28yr, 6(0)-3(1)-1) to claim the vacant English Flyweight (112lb) title.

In a weight division that normally favours speed over power, these two competitors were trading vicious punches from the very first ring of the bell. Literally as I was musing how evenly skilled this pair are, and pondering just how the fight would end being scored at the final bell, Sexton woke up the crowd by delivering one of the finest punches I have ever seen.

Throwing a right hook, Sexton saw Ahmed drop his guard ever so slightly and, with almost superhuman skill and precision, Sexton adjusted himself mid-swing, putting all his limited weight and dynamite power into that sole punch, sending Ahmed's head snapping first over his right shoulder (his nose practically touching his shoulder blade), then immediately whipping back over his left, before crashing out face flat on the mat.

Sexton, a consummate professional, held off celebrating until Ahmed had recovered. Thankfully, Ahmed was on his feet a few minutes later, looking dazed but otherwise undamaged, and Sexton let loose and able to celebrate a raw and incredible victory.

In the post-fight interview, Sexton was clear about what had happened. "I have dynamite in my gloves" I believe he was quoted as exclaiming during the initial interview on Sky Sports. This is a man that knows exactly what his strengths are and what he needs to produce to win.

Check out the highlights here -

It is my personal opinion that Sexton could grow up to be one of the most entertaining and dynamic British boxing personalities in the future. Although his weight class doesn't tend to garner much in the way of publicity, this man is as charismatic and explosive as Amir Khan, only a lot more personable on camera and has already proven he can take a punch. Hopefully some good opponents and title shots find their way to Sextons doorstep in the near future. Definitely one to watch.

Up next we had a chance to see another young unbeaten British boxer in action in the shape of Super Middleweight George Groves taking on Bulgarian Grigor Sarohanian. Groves (21yr, 7(5)-0(0)-0, pre-fight) is a man touted for big things in the future, and he certainly has a lot of movement for a man of his size. This fight featured some great punching and, certainly in the early stages, Sarohanian (23yr, 2(0)-2(0)-0, pre-fight) seemed to be giving Groves a lot of trouble. However, by the third, Groves finally hit his stride and put an end to the fight with a terrific and powerful bodyshot. With Adam Booth (most famous for training current WBA Heavyweight Champion, and fellow Brit, David Haye) in his corner, George Groves may indeed be destined for great things in the future - he certainly has the mobility and power for it.

Finally, in a fight that felt more like watching two bears hunt each other than two fellow men box, British Heavyweights Scott Belshaw (currently 10(7)-4(3)-0, 24yr) and Larry Olubamiwo (now 7(6)-1(0)-0, 31yr) faced off against each other.

It took Olubamiwo a mere 25 seconds, and around 4 punches, to floor Belshaw. 45 seconds later, he managed to knock Belshaw to the ground once again, after catching him with an uppercut. 5 seconds later, Olubamiwo caught him with a jab square in the face and sent him to the mat for the third time, and I honestly felt that the referee should have stopped the bout there. Although Belshaw didn't seem too damaged, he was clearly not in this fight. Olubamiwo continued to dominate, knocking Belshaw back to the canvas a further 35 seconds later. 2 minutes in and already Belshaw had experienced 4 knockdowns!

Despite being back on his feet, seemingly coherent and telling the referee that he wished to continue, the ref waved Belshaw off and called a halt to this sluggish, one-sided affair. Nothing particularly exciting, but still a thrilling end to a thrilling night.

If Frank Maloney can continue to put out fairly big named British boxers in title fights, and support them with these well matched undercards, I think he can rightfully lay claim to being the supremo British boxing promoter of 2010.

Weekly Image - Tetris Tattoo

I have nothing but admiration and respect for "silly" tattoos.

There is a lot to be said for permanent marks on your body, the longevity of a joke and the sanctity of tradition amongst tattoos, but I say, throw caution into the wind - it takes a lot of bravery to be as cool as this guy.

Source: unknown (If you know the source, email me at please. Credit where credit's due - I sure as heck didn't get this tattoo!)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Book Review - Over The Edge Of The World

Today, I finally completed "Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe" by Laurence Bergreen.

This book took me an exceptionally long time to finish reading (6 weeks total, around 3 of those solid reading), a length of time I normally reserve for the likes of Ayn Rand or J.R.R. Tolkien, however I am glad I invested in it.

Laurence Bergreen has done a terrific job compiling a vast variety of sources to create an insightful and full account of the Armada de Molucca (Magellan's attempt to find a strait through Brazil, helping Spain establish an oceanic trade route to the Spice Islands, the Mollucas). Primarily utilising the poetic, fanatic and very ahead-of-its-time diary of Antonia Pigafetta, the author deviates away from the main story at various points to delve into the rich history of all the supporting characters - foreign tribes, Chinese empires, and the finer details of the era's papacy, to name but a few of the diversions.

This is both the book's strongest and weakest point, for, while these detours serve to greatly enrich the tome, painting a vivid and detailed picture of the state of the world at that time, they sometimes serve as unnecessary distractions from the main crux of the story. Occasionally, I found myself reading on auto-pilot through these sidenotes, trying to rush back to the main story.

However, each time I always snapped out of my daze and re-read ever paragraph in earnest. This book is simply too rich and fascinating to deserve anything less.

To surmise on the story - Ferdinand Magellan, a Portugese sailor, attempts many times to convince the King of Portugal to finance an expedition to locate a rumoured strait thought to exist in the south of Brazil. A victim of various contrasting political issues, Magellan finds himself at the head of a 5 ship expedition in the name of the King of Spain, charged with locating the strait, the Spice Islands, the spices held within, and establishing without any doubt that the Islands lie in the realm of Spain. Various tragedies and tribulations strike the Armada, and while some are the direct fault of Magellan's ego and blinding faith in his own abilities, you cannot help but feel drawn to this charismatic and exciting character. I do not wish to spoil the story any further, as I feel this is a great read and implore you to explore its contents for yourself.

I warn you now that the rest of this post will be less about the book and more about my thoughts on various matters - and I will be drawing on some SPOILERS!! to make my points, so be warned -read on at your own peril.

Still here?

What struck me most about this story was the horrible conditions of the world at that time. While I, somewhat naturally, felt myself drawn into the stories and wishing I could have been a part of the expedition, the harsh reality is that many of these men suffered great misfortune. The years covering this expedition are 1519 to 1522, and while both of this decade's high-seas adventure movies are set in later times, (I am of course referring to Pirates Of The Caribbean (~1740) and Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World (~1800)) they paint a far too pretty picture of life on the open sea. Bergreen's book does no such thing.

Of the 230+ members of the original crew, only 18 make the trip around the world successfully, Magellan not numbered among them. Having survived mutiny attempts, a desertion, scurvy and other such disasters, Magellan finally met his end at the hands of a tribe he had scorned. While the story of Magellan vs Lupa Lupa makes for a great and proud note in the history of the Philippines, at the time it created a huge vacuum in the power hierarchy of the Armada. Through many more fatal trials, one ship made it back to Spain with 18 crew members and a large cargo of cloves.

In a selfish move to save their own pride and avoid a life in jail, the survivors painted a modest picture of Magellan, branding him a traitor, a fool and a general discredit to Spain and the King. Coupled with the testimony of the previous arrival of a boatload of deserters, Magellan's legacy, at the time at least, was left in ruins. Only Pigafetta, a detailed logger of events and admirer of Magellan, and Magellan's cousin, who had been left abandoned in a Spanish jail cell since the arrival of the deserters, who had taken him hostage, were left as eye-witness testimonies of Magellan's brilliance and loyalty, for, despite all his faults, Magellan did remain loyal to Spain, the King, his duty as leader of the Armada, and without his courage, confidence and navigational, and leadership, skills, the Armada would have never made it around the world. This much proved true as the King of Spain attempt no fewer than 5 further expeditions to navigate the Brazilian strait and obtain more spices from the Islands. All of them failed early in the course of their travels.

What angered me the most about these turn of events was the mistreatment of these survivors, as well as Magellan's legacy. Although Pigafetta was granted the freedom to present his record of events to the Kings of Spain, Portugal, France and Italy (an amazing achievement at the time, considering the political turmoil), eventually granted permission to print and distribute his book when he returned to his home of Venice, Magellan's surviving family and legacy was left in ruins. All of the crew who returned to Spain were sent to prison for sentences of several years on average. Although many were pardoned, they were hardly offered the rewards befitting such a glorious achievement. In fact, it would appear that those who benefited the most from the expedition were the cowardly deserters who abandoned Magellan at the Brazilian strait to return home and lie to their King, as even the King of Spain ended up near bankrupt, and the Islands were eventually proven to lie in Portugese territory.

All that remains of their various legacies is a plaque detailing the names and roles of the 18 survivors, Pigafetta's published journal and the name of the Brazilian strait, to this day still know as the Strait of Magellan. Perhaps the reason I am touting this book so strongly, besides it being a thoroughly well-written piece of entertainment and an engaging history lesson, is that I feel a great injustice has been served to these men and their families, who by all rights should have been bestowed many riches and honours.

Alas, history seems forever written by the winners, or at least the inherently powerful. When you think of explorers, the mind immediately conjures images of the likes of Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo and Sir Francis Drake. I feel that Ferdinand Magellan should be spoken amongst them, as arguably his achievements surpass, or at least equal, the above. Indeed, Sir Francis Drake certainly owes a great debt to Magellan's precise navigational instructions, and Magellan succeeded where Columbus failed, in finding a water route to the Spice Islands.

I implore you to seek out the above book and learn more about the man and the mission of Ferdinand Magellan, and certainly praise must be heaped upon Laurence Bergreen's writing style, in allowing the man in Magellan to come to life and overshadow Bergreen's own talents in writing.

(On a more light-hearted sidenote, this book, in allowing me to experience the harsh realities of living life on the open sea, without the proper diet and skills, especially in attempting to travel to the extreme South or North of the Americas, has made me think twice about my "zombie survival plan" (don't pretend that you don't have one either!) of simply commandeering a vessel and surviving a leisurely sail around the world. The world that Bergreen describes is not a pleasant one in the slightest.)

Weekly Song - Rancid "Ruby Soho"

Everyone, give a little listen to:

Rancid - "Ruby Soho"

One of my favourite punk songs ever, because it is, purely, just so damn catchy.

I also thought it would be a fitting start to this blog - "Destination: Unknown, Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby Soho".

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Musings - Grit, 'Old' Music and Accidental Art

Leaving work early today to catch an earlier bus than my usual, I figured I could take advantage of the thawing weather and jog down to the stop in plenty of time. (For those non-Glaswegians out there, it has been hard enough simply walking around lately due to the ice/snow/slush, never mind entertaining such an insane idea as jogging!).

After my first few yards I felt my feet losing grip and threatening to conspire with gravity and send me tumbling to the ground. There was definitely no ice around, so what was the problem?

Then I heard that familiar, awful, crunching sound. Grit.

That's right, for weeks we have suffered through ice and snow and nary a sight of the brown-orange salt that supposedly keeps us safe, yet now, with the ground clearing up, it's everywhere!

This slight set-back caused me to miss my bus, by a mere 10 seconds no less (damn you traffic lights! You're supposed to exist to help pedestrians, not hold us back while our buses flow freely through your green lights of doom!!).

Still, at least I knew I had plenty of time to walk to the next stop. And the one after that. And the one after that. 15 minutes later, my bus came and, feeling slightly fitter but certainly less happy, I plugged in my mp3 player.

Now, back to Sunday where I found myself with a rare spare few minutes of peace. I dug out my old external hard-drive, full to the brim of my vast CD collection which I had plenty of time to rip to mp3 during my care-free teenage years (yes, I was always a geek!). Time to update the new mp3 player with some old familiar songs, I thought. And boy did I need that sense of old fashioned comfort now.

There are a few things I noticed about my playlist as I sat staring out the condensation dripping down the windows. First, dzk is truly a phenomenal rapper. He was never one to seek fame or record deals, preferring instead to keep full creative control over his output, and what a wealth of output he has. His music, to me, is timeless. It may not be the nicest subject matter (mostly falling back on those age-old rap cliches of women, drugs and notoriety) but his execution and flow are flawless. Consider him, simply put, a much better, and faster, Eminem.

The next thing I noticed, as I listened to the entirety of Enter Shikari's "Take To The Skies" album, is that sometimes production is a bad thing. A very bad thing. Compared to dzk's "do it yourself" production, which was smooth but never overpowering, Enter Shikari's more polished work almost drowns out the soul of the songs.

I was a huge fan of Enter Shikari from the moment I saw their video for "Sorry, You're Not A Winner" and loved their down-to-earth style and rabid enthusiasm. As such, I heard songs such as "Mothership" long before they finalised their debut album and, I must admit, I find myself going back time and again to these demos, where the core brilliance of the song screams out at you, rather than the muted, tamed beast of the final album.

Perhaps it is simply my ears refusing to accept change after listening to one version of a song for months, but I personally hate it when a band releases an epic, free-roaming beast of a demo, only to follow it up with a final version that sounds like the same epic beast, only trapped in the middle of the ocean, trying its best not to drown in a sea of production.

See also: yourcodenameis:milo - All That Was Missing, from the album "They Came From The Sun" - life-changing demo, so-so final product.

Coming out of this musical daydream, I noticed that I had been unconsciously staring at a sole window, noticing a pattern someone's sleeve had left in the condensation. Now, it is very rare that a piece of "real" art causes me to pause and consider life in general, however, these random impressions had formed a pattern so profound it acted as a gateway into my subconscious, a personal canvas on which to place all my thoughts and feelings of the day into a spectral formation that allowed for processing.

Has this ever happened to you?

(For reference, the pattern I saw looked kind of like the metallic alien Chozo statues from Super Metroid, mixed with the Firefox logo, holding the head of a Gibson Flying V electric guitar!)

Super Metroid - a game you should all play.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Weekly Website - Not Doppler

One of my favourite websites, NotDoppler collects some of the best flash games on the internet and provides them in one convenient location. For the regular, but casual, gamer - perhaps someone who hasn't got a lot of time to search and play many games to find the best manually - this website is an absolute treat.

Updated promptly once per week for almost 5 years, NotDoppler provides a regular dose of, on average, 6 games to play, and they are generally the very best games around, covering all genres and levels of skill.

NotDoppler is the best website for the casual gamer, without a doubt.

Lost Theory - LA X (or LA VV (or LA IIIIIIIIII))

I have been intentionally trying to avoid all SPOILERS!! related to Lost Season 6. Last year, I felt robbed at having seen a snippet of Jack in a Dharma suit and piecing together that (don't read if you haven't yet seen Season 5) the survivors would be thrown back in time to live among the Dharma folks, and that this would result in them creating their own past - the Incident, Ben joining the Others, etc.

I may not claim to have prophesied all the pieces, but in that one single snapshot, I sure saw how the game of Season 5 was going to play out.

Now, again, with Season 6 (and I warn there are slight SPOILERS!! ahead), I believe I have a fair idea of the gist of the game. Again. :(

It should be no surprise to you to know that "Destiny Calls" this year, and that many of the promos for Season 6 show almost every character posing together - Charlie (who I heard a long time ago would at least be making a cameo appearance this year, yay!), Mr Eko, Boone, Shannon, etc:

Everywhere I look, in magazines and newspapers that normally don't care in the slightest about Lost trivia and fandom, I see lines like "Returning Characters" and "The Secrets Of Season 6 Revealed!" I am trying my hardest to ignore all SPOILERS!! but even I know that the first episode will be called "LA X." So, obviously, putting 2 + 2 together, we get 4 = the series will reboot, and our Oceanic Flight 815 will land safe and sound in LAX. But wait, LAX... LA X.... LAX LA X.... there's something slightly out of place here.

Again, despite my best intentions, I have already seen people reach the same conclusion I have - that Los Angeles International Airport is specifically shortened to LAX, not LA X, as the title of of the episode so clearly is. So, what does that mean? Should we be reading this as LA TEN, or rather, The L.A. Ten?

That's how my fanatical, over-worked brain is reading it, and I wonder if you are too?

Now, what, or who, are these ten? My personal guess, and this (you will thankful to know) is a complete guess - all of the above is ALL that I know about Season 6.

My personal guess is that the flight will land at Los Angeles with all those on board who are alive as of the end of Season 5. I.e. no Jack, no Kate, no Sawyer, no Sayid. Everyone onboard who either died in the initial crash, or as a result of the events of Season 1 through 5, with the exception of the following ten, will have no memories of anything, no feeling of deja vu, nothing weird. They will simply land, perhaps notice there are a few people missing from the flight, but generally life will go on as normal. (The first wildcard in this theory is the Marshal escorting Kate, but I will get back to him).

Now, the following ten are special. These ten will land in L.A. will full memories, up to the point of their death. Whether they become Desmond-like psychics, or are simply aware of their past lives, is up for grabs. These ten have affected the Island in some way, either encountering the smoker monster, the Others, or otherwise impacting on events in at least a minor way. These ten include:

- The Pilot (death-by-smoke-monster).
- Charlie (where to start? Well, he killed Ethan, that's a good start).
- Locke (see above).
- Boone (or Paulo, there are many arguments to be made over both their involvement in the main storyline).
- Shannon (or Nikki).
- Mr Eko (again, death-by-Smokie).
- Ana-Lucia (general influence on events).
- Libby (stopped Hurley killing himself, Hurley is very important, thus Libby is by association).
- Michael (love him or hate him, he had a major role in events).
- ????

Now, there are a lot of room for variance here - for starters, many may feel Nikki and Paulo had nothing to do with Island events. Others may feel the same with regards to the Pilot. Should the Marshall be included? Other incidental characters, like Frogurt, had little to no impact on events so will land in L.A. unscathed, but what about Dr Arzt? (my argument is he did nothing to impact events, Jack and crew would have transported the dynamite to the hatch fine without him). Finally, there is the issue over Claire. I'm pooling for her being dead and my tenth (or, Mrs ????? if you will).

Basically, what I am trying to say is that this is a highly unrealistic, subjective, crazy crazy crazy idea - but you know what, it is my theory, and I like it for all its holes :) feel free to stab at it via the comments, just remember - no SPOILERS!!

At any rate, I recognise how out-there this theory is, and have prepared a back-up - the L.A. Ten are not people arriving in L.A., but rather people departing/based in L.A.. I'm about none less than the "they" that Jacob referenced are "coming". What do you think?

(By the by, for a magical, mythological, moving, secret island, there sure seems to be a lot of coming and going - Hostiles, Others, Dharma, Military, Mercenary, Not Penny's Boat, Penny's Boat, Desmond's Boat, Oceanic 6, Benry Gale, Juliet, them, they, etc etc!! They should start charging admission!!)

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Friday Fight Night - Chesire Review - Rob Norton vs David Dolan

This week's Friday night entertainment was supplied by Ricky Hatton's "Hatton Promotions".

The main event of this evening saw British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight (200lb) champion Rob Norton (32(19)-4(1)-1) face off against David Dolan (13(5)-2(0)-0). In terms of age, Norton will be 38 years old in as little as five days time, whereas Dolan comes in to the fight at a comparatively sprightly 30 years of age.

This fight is a rematch from when the two paired off a year earlier, in a sloppy-yet-thrilling affair that saw a few knockdowns but nothing particularly strong or decisive. The same could be said of tonight's battle, although there were no official knockdowns awarded (a couple of pull-downs and shoves aside).

Norton seemed easily in control of the fight in the early round, using every tactic under the sun, from hugging to taunting, to keep the tempo in check and Dolan at bay. Although he was landing few punches himself, Norton simply waited on Dolan to charge recklessly forward, then picked him off with some good counterpunches before clinching yet again. This was the general pace of the first half of the fight, although there was one solitary entertaining departure in Round 3, when Norton simply backed himself into a neutral corner and allowed Dolan to throw punch after punch, proving he could take all his opponent could dish out.

Fast-forward to Round 8, and just when it seemed Norton would execute his own version of Ali's infamous rope-a-dope technique, Dolan suddenly came alive, throwing combinations and jabs, and proving that it was indeed the older Norton who had run out of steam. The champion did, however, manage to hold his own until the end, fighting back against the onslaught of punches. However, by the final bell the champ did seem to be on his last legs. Had it been a 15 round affair, I feel Dolan may have won comfortably.

As it stood, with a strong-but-messy first half display, the champion retained, the judges scoring the fight 116-113 Norton, 115-114 Dolan, and 114-114 DRAW, making the official judgement a draw and Norton retaining his titles. Both fighters were courteous in their post-fight interview, each sharing the view that the fight was close but that they each felt they had done enough to prove themselves the winner. Norton in particular retained his sense of confidence, flashing his brilliant smile and asking "is that it?" of the reporter.

In British rankings, Norton remains at 3rd for the division, Dolan a close 4th.

Norton, the champ.

On the undercard, another rematch took place between Middleweights (160lb) 24yr old Cello Renda (18(11)-8(5)-0) and 36yr old Paul Samuels (20(12)-7(4)-2). Last time these two faced off, it was an exciting bout featuring a very rare boxing occurrence - a double knockdown. This time around, things were less fantastic but certainly thrilling. Renda suffered early, Samuels causing him severe nose damage (possibly broken), leaving the younger man to deal with a lot of bleeding throughout the fight, as well as suffering an early knockdown. However, Renda recovered remarkably around Round 4 of this 8 rounder.

With Samuels visibly running out of steam and power, Renda managed to catch him with a fantastic hook that sent the elder man to the floor. Both boxers gave their all in the final 4 rounds, with the referee awarding the fight to Samuels without hesitation. I personally found it a lot harder to score, and feel I would have gave it to Renda on the night.

Hopefully we will see these two fight at least one more time, as their styles certainly seem perfectly matched to each other.

All in all, this was a decent night of entertainment showcased from Hatton Promotions, a great start to the domestic year. There weren't a lot of fights on offer, no "big" names, but what we there were some great quality fights with rich history behind them. There was also an opportunity for Ricky Hatton to present his reasoning behind his announcement to "come back" for at least one more fight and, although it may seem ludicrous on paper, his reasons for wanting to return to the ring were actually rather sound. Here's hoping he has a successful training session and, providing he is showing all the right moves and making the right weights, I wish him all the luck in the world for his next fight.

I'm putting out my prediction here - June 5th, Ricky Hatton vs Timothy Bradley for the WBO Jr Welterweight (140lb) title, in Manchester. Let's see if I'm right come summer.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Lost Season 6 Super Survey

Found a cool, and long, questionnaire created by a Lost fan to gauge what others (see what I did there?) hopes and dreams are going into Season 6.

It's a good way to waste a few minutes and get back into Lost thinking mode (although, I feel a few of the questions are missing some vital answer choices - but what can you do?) It is a huge survey, and a job fairly well done - I'm sure I would have missed a few myself if I had wrote it up!

Enjoy ;)

Weekly Image - Don't Divide By Zero

I'm sure there is a very rational explanation for all this, and certainly from what I can remember this is probably a piece of very clever art, but I like to pretend that the aliens landed, placed a spiky symbol of their power over us all, and we simply continue on our daily lives unaware of this nemesis of physics and common sense towering above us.

Source: unknown (And if it is your image, please email me so I can credit you properly -

Lost Season 6 Competition

Got a great link that I had to share with all you Lost fans:

Simply answer 3 questions about the end of Lost for your chance to win:

- Which major character will die?
- Who will Kate end up with romantically speaking?
- Which major twist etc will occur in the final episode to support your theory about how Lost will end?

From what I can gather, the Lost fanbase will be used to select who answers as close to the real deal as possible, so try not to be too vague or precise in your answers!

Now, lacklustre as the competition may be, the prize more than makes up for it - your chance to own 10 plots of very real land, on the very real island where Lost is filmed.

(The first catch is, these are small plots of land (land does cost a lot of money after all!) but, from what I can gather, they will form a larger, commemorative garden, which you will own part of.)

(The second catch is, you must enter via YouTube or Facebook. Not a great problem for most people, but just be aware you may need to sign up to either of these websites if you have not previously.)

And it is for that second reason that I haven't joined it - call me a dinosaur, but I haven't got a regularly managed YouTube account (although I am sure I do have one) and I have never, and probably will never, had a Facebook account (pick your jaws back up from the floor now please).

But, this competition does sound awesome so I felt I had to share!

Good luck to all.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

My Manifesto

Hi gang.

Originally, I had planned on blogging a range of subjects, each having their own dedicated blog - Scottish Tattoo Studios, Glaswegian Rock Bands, the TV show Lost (and the mysteries within), the latest news and gossip about all things geek (comics, shows, movies), extensive movie reviews, 5 word everything reviews, comic book reviews and general musings on life.

However, as any serious blogger will know (and is probably muttering to themselves right now) - the GOLDEN rule is simple - do NOT stretch yourself too far. When I began blogging, this seemed like a sincere, achievable goal. However, as soon as life began catching up to me, the blogs had to go. One. By. One.

Until there were none.

Last night, an idea struck me. Catching the bug of Lost Season 6 hype, I began remembering, began theorising, and began getting the urge to blog again. But this is a new blog, a singular blog. A phoenix from the ashes. This, is a Stream Of Consciousness blog. I will cover all the topics I had previously set out to cover, however I will cover them as and when I feel like it. One day, I may wish to blog about comics, so I will blog about comics. One day, it may be Lost theories, so you will get Lost theories. Some days, I may blog about several things. Some days, none.

Previously, I had tried to create a professional, awesome, epic, perfect blog. Now, I am creating a more personal, rough-around-the-edges, fun blog. And that, my friends, is the way it should be done.

I hope you all find something to enjoy here. There will certainly be a lot to choose from.

- Chris
aka lostquestions23