Best friends with Optimus Prime. Sucks to be you, Starscream fan....

Real meanings of 5 U2 lyrics






The Real Meaning of 5 U2 Song Lyrics



To my mind, a really good song is one which has hidden depths - and those depths can usually be found in the lyrics. A classic rock song, can say anything and mean everything. Look at Oasis's Wonderwall lyrics for example. It's basically a love song but without really actually meaning anything - Here's 5 U2 song lyrics that have some real meaning, and with perhaps some devilish bite to them.

God Part II

People often wonder why this song is called Pt II as they've never heard of a U2 song called God before. It's actually intended as a sequel to John Lennon's song called God. John Lennon's song refers to things he didn't believe in such as Hitler - Bono's version also refers to things that he also doesn't believe in but also goes on to refer to how pissed he was at the author Albert Goldman who wrote an unflattering biography of Lennon (and also a bio of Elvis, and given U2's love of Elvis, I'm not surprised Bono made the reference).

Sunday Bloody Sunday 

This one is a pretty obvious song, but newer U2 fans may not realise the real meaning of this song. It's an exploration of the conflict that can exist between the State, it's people and when religion gets thrown into the mix. Inspired by two terrible occasions where soldiers shot civilians in Northen Ireland - the lyrics capture these moments crisply by invoking the cross fire that occurred between Ireland's conflicting religions and the military acttion that was taken - an by extension the State's role in the massacres.

Walk On

This is one of those songs that stray into the say anything, mean anything territory but U2 have but some real context around it to to ensure that it's lyrics are not misunderstood. Dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi, this song is a freedom song, dedicated to the exponent of democracy and freedom in Mynamar. Poignantly during the 360 degree tour, U2 played this song at every concert and had supporters of Amnesty International come out on to the stage to show their support for Aung San Suu Kyi and U2's support for the people of Mynammar and their efforts to become a truly democratic society.

Spanish Eyes

Despite stealing lyrics from "She's a rainbow" by the Rolling Stones, Spanish Eyes is a love song to Bono's wife Ali - and she is actually Irish thus confusing the heck out of many U2 fans. This b-side from The Joshua Tree era kind of complements The Sweetest Thing in the sense that it was also a b-side and also a love letter to Ali.

Zooropa

Zooropa is a really crazy song that opens the album of the same name. Some fans have been confused by the lyrics of the song - they seem so mumble jumbled and make no sense. The real meaning of the song can be determined when you realise the lyrics are a hodge podge of slogans from famous brands. Zooropa's lyrics have a running theme of irony, tying in the "media overload" themes of the Zoo TV Tour into the context of a post-Berlin Wall Europe.

The song's lyrics touch on how modern technology can unite people as well as separates  them from each other.

Want more? check out U2 lyrics that explore Jesus, Yahweh and The Good Book.

Star Wars Prequel facts


16 things you might want to learn about the Star War's prequel films. You really might...

vader fights kenobi revenge of the sith

Star Wars Prequel facts and triva that any fan needs to know


There's a lot to love about the Star Wars prequels but there's no point trying to convince the naysayeers so let's just get on with the trivia.

Instead, for those of you who love George Lucas' Star Wars backstory, here's 16 cool facts and bits of trivia that you might want to learn about the prequels!

  1. E.T. creatures made a cameo appearance in The Phantom Menace
  2. The Millennium Falcon is spied landing on Coruscant in Revenge of the Sith. This was prior to Lando or Han Solo owning it!
  3. Darth Maul has ten horns on his red head. While Ray Park is famous as playing the Sith Lord, Peter Serafinowicz actually voiced the character. Benicio Del Toro was originally cast to play Darth Maul but he abandoned the role after George Lucas decided to trim Darth Maul's screen time in the film. Benicio del Toro was originally cast but dropped out due to being a pussy. Actually, we take that back as del Toro is up for a role in Star Wars VIII.
  4. Hayden Christiansen played Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith as opposed to David Prowse who previously did the role. Hayden apparently begged Lucas to let him play him. The suit had to be designed to accommodate his smaller stature than Prowse's.
  5. The sound of the hovering battle tanks used by the battle droids in The Phantom Menace was created by running an electric razor around a metal salad bowl and then digitally lowering the pitch.
  6. In Attack of the Clones, Jar Jar Binks stands in for Senator Amidala and puts forth the motion that gives Palpatine supreme powers. This means that Jar Jar, one of the most universally hated characters in the Star Wars films is unwittingly responsible for the fall of the Old Republic and the downfall of the Jedi. 
  7. Revenge of the Sith featured hands being cut off in the film. Anakin loses one to Obi Wan, Mace Windu loses one to Anakin, and Obi-Wan cuts two of General Grievous' hands off and Dooku looses two to Anakin. 
    concept art of gungun army phantom menace
  8. The sound effect when Obi-Wan Kenobi's lightsaber is kicked down the reactor shaft in the climatic battle with Darth Maul, is the same sound effect heard when Luke Skywalker throws his lightsaber away in Return of the Jedi . You know, when he tells the Emperor that he is a Jedi, like his father before him!
  9. George Lucas made his first and only Star Wars cameo in Revenge of the Sith. He dressed as a Pantoran senator, Baron Papanoida. You might not have recognised him as he all dressed up in blue body paint! His daughter also cameoed with him at the same time.
  10. When Anakin is slaughtering the Tusken Raider in Attack of the Clones, Qui-Gon's voice can be heard in the background. This is no accident as Qui-Gon Jinn's Force-Ghost was trying to stop Anakin's rage, but clearly failed.
  11. Every clone trooper in Revenge of the Sith is a creation of CGI. No clone costumes or helmets were manufactured for filming.
  12. The shipping title of Phantom Menace was "The Doll House", Clones was "Cue Ball" and Sith, "The Bridge".
  13. Phantom Menace was the first Star Wars film to be released on DVD.
  14. When Jango Fett gets into his ship after his fight with Obi-Wan in Attack of the Clones, he bangs his head on the open door. This was intentional, and is a reference to a famous goof from the orginal movie where a cloned storm trooper accidentally bangs his head on a door (the clone being the descendant of Jango Fett and having inherited this character trait).
  15. "Phantom Menace" was the name of a villain in the "Flash Gordon" comics. Which shouldn't surprise too many people as George Lucas has often cited Flash Gordon as one of his inspirations for making the original Star Wars.
  16. Revenge of the Sith is the only film thus far that does not feature R2D2 in the final shot.
Extra for Experts:

Who is The Last Knight?



So we have a trailer for the 5th Transformers movie helmed by Mr Transformers Michael Bay. The trailer gives little about the plot but hints that another secret about earth and why the Transformers continue to return to Earth.

 



The key moment is the end shot where Optimus Prime takes down an attacking Bumblebee at which point he then asks for forgiveness as he stabs a blade from his arm into his friend. Is this a fake out or a key plot point?

We expect The Last Knight to be more of the same - giant robots beating the shit out of each other and we expect nothing else.

We're kind of hanging out to see Hot Rod (he better be as cool as he was in the cartoon movie) and also to find out what happened to Prime when he flew off into space at the end of Transformers 4. And of course, solve the incomprehensible mystery of why King Arthur appears to be in a Transformers movie.

Ten Animal Myths that seem real


cute kitten with two ducks
Sssh dude, don't talk to him, his meow echoes!

Top Ten Myths about Animals that seem real


So like according to the Pink Floyd's songKeep Talking, "For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals, 'Then something happenend which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk'. 

And then what happened?

Having been like animals, we then hunted them, domesticated them, ate them and occasionally we were eaten by them. We petted them, chained them, put the biggest beasts in Zoos and wore their fur. 

And all the while, we talked about these animals and thus the legends and myths about them grew. Uneducated housewives told gullible daughters and ignorant fathers dressed up stories for wide-eyes boys and so it spread.

Until the internet was invented we believed whatever our friends said but now you just need to google for the animals facts, like you did. 

Congrats on being a little cynical about that story your mate in the army who just told you about giant camel spiders....

Here's Animals Eating Animals' Top Ten Myths About Animals

1. Myth: A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why

OMG, who makes up this drivel and who believes it? A duck quack is a sound. An actual force, pushing though the air, subject to the laws of physics.

Maybe some one heard a very quiet duck quack decided it didn't echo and then put it on the internet. 

This is as dumb as the oft asked question about the tree falling in the woods, no one hearing it so does it make a sound? 

Give.Me.Strength.

Let's get this straight, duck quacks, pigeon coos, rooster crows and owl hoots all echo.

Unless you have a magical duck, then all bets are off. Those magical ducks are well known to have quacks that don't echo. If you get one of them, I'll swap you this blog, my GI Joe collection and a piece of gum I found on my shoe. 

My left shoe actually. The one that allows me to walk on water.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
2. Myth: Penquins fall over backwards when watching aeroplanes flying over head.

As cute as this myth story is, it doesn’t happen. Penguins are happy on their feet and don’t land on their backs when gazing at planes in the sky.

The phenomenon was supposedly first reported by Royal Air Force pilots who flew over the Falklands during the 1982 war with Argentina (I guess the war can’t have been that intense!)

They myth went further than the above – stories apparently During the war in the Falkland Islands (UK against Argentina) someone was employed to pick up penguins that fell over onto their backs.  

The reason was that the penguins were not used to seeing planes and when they flew over they all followed the planes with their eyes and if they flew overhead the penguins would follow them right up and over and tip onto their backs.  

Apparently once they'd fallen onto their backs they couldn't right themselves and the colony would starve to death if humans didn't intervene.

The reality is that Penguins dislike the sound made by an airplane’s engine and have be observed to scatter whenever one draws near – either landing on an Antarctic ice shelf or flying overhead.  

The sadder truth is that penguins are more likely to be eaten by sneaky sharks and hungry polar beers.

Many reports have been dispatched from people in the Antarctic who have watched penguins and planes and all have reported Penguins do not fall over when planes approach. 

leeming in the ice
Can I borrow your razor blade please?
3. Myth: Lemmings periodically commit suicide by marching over cliffs and into the sea:

I loved the 90's computer game as much as anyone. When stuck, I loved to watch the lemmings blow up all Armegheddon style as per the idea the leemings liked to commit suicide. 

Lemmings have become a part of popular culture because of the myth that they tend to commit mass suicide when they migrate.  Let’s be clear, there have been no real life observations of lemming suicide.

The myth of lemming "mass suicide" or “hari-kari” has been made popular by number of factors. In 1955, Disney Studio illustrator Carl Barks drew an Uncle Scrooge adventure comic with the title "The Lemming with the Locket". 

This comic, which was inspired by a 1954 American Mercury article, showed massive numbers of lemmings jumping over Norwegian cliffs.

Even more influential was the 1958 Disney film White Wilderness  in which staged footage was shown with lemmings jumping to their death after faked scenes of mass migration. 

This event was actually shown to be staged and the leemings were manipulated to jump to a watery grave.

We've been conned by Walt Disney!

In more recent times, the video game series known as Lemmings has further explored the myth as they game player must stop the lemmings from mindlessly marching over cliffs or into traps.

So in short, Leemings are cute critters that like to play in the snow and that’s about it.

Got any cheese, mate?
4. Myth: Elephants are afraid of mice

Mice, per say do not bother or scare elephants. Mice are a very natural part of an elephant's environment  - they've been living happily together for years, in the jungles and in the zoos. 

A mouse walking by an elephant is not a problem, nor is it for any of the larger kinds animals. Heck, this leopard made friends with one. 

What does scare elephants is anything that startles them such as an unexpected movement or noise. These things elicit a response which could be characterized as an elephant being scared. 

One thing is for sure, certain panda are afraid of other Panda sneezing. My point is an elephant could react in the same way!

I live in your living room. I am the cobweb king! But I'm not poisonous
5. Myth: Daddy longlegs spiders are the most "world's most poisonous animals"

Wow, this is one I thought was true!? I even could follow up with  'but they were not poisonous to humans because their teeth were too small and weak to puncture a person's skin'. 

It seems legit right? 

Well to a 10 year, but thanks to the good people of the Mythbusters TV show have provided some pretty tight evidence as to why this is a myth:

"A Daddy long-legs was able to bite through the skin of Adam's arm. He reported nothing more than a very mild, short-lived burning sensation. Analysis of the venom proves it does not approach the potency of the Black widow spider."

In summary, my childhood knowledge shattered as I discover daddy long legs are not even close to being poisonous. Or venomous for that matter. There's a distinction in those words.... hey wanna see a spider eat a bird?

tortoise mating doggy style
Leap Frog: a game for the whole family!
True: A Giant Tortoise can  live for over one hundred years

Well actually this one's true! Tortoise and Turtles have been known to live longer than humans. 

The Giant Tortoise regularly hits the 100 years of age mark. Sadly, there's not too many of these beautiful creatures around these days as they appeared to have been eaten by humans over the years.

Adwaita, was a giant tortoise who famously turned out to be 255 years old when his shell was carbon dated after his death. 

This made Adwaita one of the oldest creatures of modern times, beating  fellow tortoise Harriet by 80 years, and Tu'i Malila by 67 years.

Camel Spiders eat camels and camel coloured soldiers for breakfast
6. Myth : There are Spiders that eat Camels

There are also Men Who Stare At Goats too but but that's really quite a different story. Camel Spiders. The largest, most bad ass spiders that have ever been discovered. 

Known for their dangerous bite which can render an adult camel unconcious in 20 minutes and dead in 45. Then they swarm like angry locusts and eat the camel over a period of a few days. 

During the various US war campaigns in Iraq and Kuwait, an unlucky 13 U.S. soldiers have died as a result of camel spiders. And ironically, they had all failed goat staring class. 

Well, those are the myths about camel spiders any way. 

As we are learning througout this most awesome list, the truth is rather different from the myths. 

A number of urban legends have gleefully spread across the internet that exaggerate the size and speed of camel spiders, and their potential danger to camels, humans and soldiers in Iraq. 

That's right, their talents and size are all myth.

The reality is that camel spiders are commonly known as wind scorpions or sun spiders may grow to a length of 7 cm (2.8 in) which is nothing like the legendary stories people are wont to tell. 

That picture above?

It's an illusion of perspective.

Fact: It once took a Tuatara 111 years to first mate. 

This is a bit of a cheat in terms of myth busting but it did happen - a tuatara was a hundred and eleven years old before popping his cherry and giving up his v-card. Tuatara are a rare reptile species with a slow sex drive though I guess it's even harder to get it out of the way when you are help captive by your soviet masters... 
It aint easy being green 
7. Myth: You can boil a frog in water and it won't jump out. 
This once happened to Kermit the Frog apparently and they had to recast him on the Muppets and luckily no one noticed. 

I tell ya, it aint easy being green. 

It also aint easy to believe this myth!
The boiling frog story is a popular myth describing a frog slowly being boiled alive. 

The premise is that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will quickly jump out due to the obvious heat, but if the same frog is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the imminent danger and will be cooked to death.

Such a story is often used as a metaphor for the inability of people to react to significant changes that occur gradually. 

And it seems to work as a metaphor simply because people believe the horse shit that's being feed to them. Usually by some high paid life coach.

 Like for those of us lucky to only need to take depressants for kicks and don't need life coaches, we can read the internet for some wise thinking. Though I'm loathe to site Wikipedia on such a contentious, life changing issue, here's the truth about boiling frogs and their perkiness:

"In 1995, Professor Douglas Melton, of the Harvard University Biology department, said, "If you put a frog in boiling water, it won't jump out. It will die. If you put it in cold water, it will jump before it gets hot; they don't sit still for you."

You just can't argue with sane reasoning like that can you? Take that all you Miss Piggy Fans!

saint bernard with whisky drum

8. Myth: Every St Bernard is given whiskey at birth so it can find people in the snow

In Switzerland people love to ski and sometimes they get lost. But their friends are too lazy to look for them so they just sent out the local St Bernard rescue dog with a bottle of whiskey to give to the lost person. 

Sounds like the idyll life for a dog eh? 

Truth is St Bernard dogs are sometimes used in rescue missions as trackers but the whiskey is all myth - why would you give alcohol to someone with hypothermia

paris hilton making out with a dog
Good Tinkerbell, suck the asthma right out of me!! xxxooo
9. Myth: Chihuahuas can cure asthma

Sure, and monkeys cure diabetes. Celebrities however will believe anything, just look at Tom Cruise and Scientology. Paris Hilton, a noted drug user asthmatic, heard about this cure and bought two chihuahua!

Let's get real here!

 Asthma is a physical condition where the bronchial tubes in the lungs suffer from poor performance. Medicine can relieve symptoms and also act as a preventative but the underlying issues often remain. 

The association with dogs curing asthma possibly comes from the timing. Children may often 'grow out' of their asthma. This could be about the same time an animal is introduced to the family circle such as a Chihuahua and hence a simple coincidence has occured. Chihuahua are dogs, not doctors and can't cure anything. 

It is true however, unlike ducks, that chihuahua barks do not echo. Weird huh?

bill murray ground hog day
You do the pedals Bill, I'll drive.
10. Groundhogs Can Predict the Arrival of Spring

Groundhog Day is a tradition dating back hundreds of years ago. Supposedly, if a groundhog sees his shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of cold winter.

Celebrated on February the 2nd every year, the good folks of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, USA use the ground hog day ceremony to determine how long till winter is over. According to the myth, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter will soon end.

If on the other hand, it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly "see its shadow" and retreat back into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks.

In Punxsutawney, their current ground hog, Punxsutawney Phil was made famous in the Bill Murray comedy, Groundhog Day.

In reality, the true timing of the arrival of spring is indicated by blooming of plants (daffodils are well known as spring plants) and increased activity of animals.

The origins of the myth are possibly related to the appearance of hibernating animals which generally signifies the end of winter.

Well, dear reader, you made it through to the end of the Top Ten Myths about Animals and some that might be true! What was your favourite myth or do you have one to share. Leave a note in the comments!

If you're a Star Wars fan, here's 5 myths about the movies!

Do you remember Commander Keen?




Do you remember Commander Keen ?


Gears of Halo has been talking about Mass Effect lately but before there was the Normandy, before Eden Prime and the Geth, before Miranda Lawson and before the Reapers, and before there was Commander Sheppard there was the ultimate Commander, Commander Keen.

Billy Blaze would jump around on a pogo stick avoiding green aliens and shooting robots with his laser gun and it was the coolest thing around at the time for my thirteen / 15 year old year old self.

Except maybe Lemmings....

Commander Keen taught me about looking for hints and tricks in games. A secret message there, a subtle joke there.

It was very original in many facets of its workings.

tom hall commander keen
Classic Tom Hall pose
A bit of of history of the game's birth tells that three men made it possible.

Tom Hall, John Romero and John Carmack banded together in their 'off time' at a company called Softdisk but they eventually left to form the company ID.

I recall the first episode was shareware which was a pretty cool idea back in the day.

Indeed the 3DRealms site says "The entire first episode of Keen was released to the world as shareware. The idea was that you got a good sense of what it looks like and feels like, and if you liked it, you paid for it - and obtained the remaining parts of the game"

The game was released in December 1990 "Gamers who wanted the next two levels had to pay for them - and pay they did. In January, the ID guys got their first royalty check, for approximately $10,000." They didn't look back after that.

commander keen billy blaze cosplay
Billy Blaze cosplay
John and Tom went on to become involved in Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake.

Those three games became genuine gaming phenomenons in their own right.

I think a lot of modern games such as Halo and the like have a wee duty of debt to such games.

I see that Commander Keen is available for download on the Steam service - I'd buy the game if there was an ipad version!

Can someone make that happen?