Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Insomniac Cricket Fans Rejoice

As it's over a week since my last post, the title 'well, that was short' wasn't meant to reflect the longevity of the blog itself, but the Haye/Harrison fight.

Thankfully, though, the next big sporting clash will take up to twenty-five days. Let's hope it's not a draw, eh?

In fact, scratch that, I wouldn't mind a draw, as we can still retain the Ashes that way. Like the Ryder Cup, you've got to actually win the thing.

As bad as the Aussies have been of late, everything points to them upping their game against England - simply because they have to. At no point will any Australian side, in any sport, simply roll over and let a better England team (which we finally are at the moment) beat them. The fact the series is going to be played in Australia only increases that desire further.

Andrew Strauss' England are desperately trying to down-play the Aussie's current form and England's current test match ranking superiority over them, as there's nothing more Ponting's boys would like to do than overturn the situation and rub our collective arrogant noses in it.

A well-balanced Australian, as the saying goes, has a chip on both shoulders. I can deal with that, as long as we don't have to watch scenes of Ricky Ponting lifting that little urn in triumph. It'll be another good one to watch, assuming we're awake. If it goes like last time, with a 5-0 whitewash of a crappy England performance, then we'll be able to pretend it didn't happen because none of us were really watching.

If it goes like the 2003 Rugby World Cup, though, then we''ll all be setting the alarms for five am, just to make sure we were 'there' when we finally beat them down under.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Well, that was short

A round of wafting air at each other, a round of Haye tickling Harrison, then a round of utter destruction.

Every time Haye even thought about throwing the faintest jab, Harrison flinched. When he finally landed a good punch - with Harrison yet to even throw one in anger - Harrison's legs wobbled immediately.

There was no way Audley would have got this fight against any other World Champion. Only because of the history between Haye and Harrison, as well as their shared nationality, was this fight even considered.

Harrison had a puncher's chance, they all said. Bruno, Lewis, etc, all said that Audley had a chance if he could land his supposedly-devastating left hand. The only problem was he never threw that hand, not a single hook or cross. Haye simply demolished him, barely even a warm-up for fighting one of the Klitschkos.

So, in summary, a complete mismatch which should be Harrison's last professional fight, and nothing more than a simple payday for Haye before he enters contract negotiations for a shot at one of the real targets.

Next time, Audley (if there even is a next time) try hitting the other guy once or twice. That's sorta the point in Boxing.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Why we love the iPlayer

Because, via the wonders of the internet, I can watch stuff like Blade Runner, online and for free.

A seminal 80s Sci-Fi film, which has influenced so many films, games and all sorts of other media since.

It's easy to see where the PC games of my youth like Syndicate and Beneath A Steel Sky - which were both excellent -  got their inspiration from. There's no gritty and realistic neo-noir future quite like (Sir) Ridley Scott's masterpiece, which is as old as I am.

Watched with today's eyes, though, it is certainly a slow-paced film. You have to stick with it in order for it to draw you in, but once you're in, the story of Deckard hunting the Replicants wraps you up in itself, and then you realise you're hooked on it.

I figure that (or rather follow the theory that) Deckard is, like Rachael, an unaware replicant himself - the Unicorn theme that runs through the film with his own dream, Gaff's origami figure and the contents of Sebastian's house - which makes the question "what makes a human?" a very interesting one indeed.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Why we love irony

For fear of making this sound like a Little Britain opening line, I won't open with 'Britain, Britain, Britain'. But it will be little. Anyway:

To celebrate the fact our Monarch and elected representatives weren't blown up 405 years ago today by some disaffected Catholics, we, er... well, we...

We blow things up.

To rejoice in that our entire system of government wasn't incinerated, we set fire to a load of wood.  As well, of course, as an effigy of the guy who got caught as he was about to do it. How completely insane is that, when you think about it?

It would be like Americans commemorating 9/11 by playing giant-size Jenga.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament

This oughta be a good one.

Audley Harrison was someone we were all cheering for a decade ago as the lanky southpaw cleaned up in the Superheavyweight category of the Sydney Olympics, winning the Gold medal. A bright career was in prospect, but after beating a bunch of nobodies, he then started losing in America to a different bunch of nobodies.

David Haye, who's mouth is probably only slightly larger than his ability to hit things very hard, has given up being the monster hitter of the Cruiserweight division, and is now a tiny Heavyweight, somehow managing to beat the crap out of Ogres, Trolls and all manner of foul things.

The fact the two fighters used to be friends, way back when, makes the usual pre-fight hype a little more tetchy than usual. Nothing quite along the lines of Haye's taunting of Valuev, yet, but there's still 10 days to go before the fight in Manchester.

Having seen the way that Haye so very nearly put Valuev on his backside - one of those wobbly moments where a single well-aimed punch would have sent him falling all of his 7'2" down to the canvas - it's hard to bet against him, fighting a man who is slightly smaller and appeared, throughout his career, to hit with the force of a duvet full of kittens. "A-Force", indeed.

They're both arrogant, of course, and wouldn't be where they are today if they weren't. Audley Harrison seems to believe he's the good guy because he won Britain a gold medal, while David Haye switches between face and heel so fast it would make even a WWE booker's head spin. When he's not fighting, or when he's just won, he tries to be the golden boy of boxing. When he's building up to a fight, it's like he's actively trying to get people to dislike him.

At least, however, it's a fight happening in England, so there's no need to stay up to 3am on November the 13th just to try and listen to John Rawlins' awesome radio commentary. I'm predicting the Hayemaker to put Audrey on his backside, and finally put an end to Harrison's promotional train wreck.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The theme is ITV are Crap

Rejoice, pagans, for the evil spirits stay away for another year, and there's no need to protect yourselves by mutilating squashes and root vegetables, or dressing up like a twat and asking strangers for sweets.

Saturday night was definitely one to sit in front of the TV as finally BBC and ITV bosses have realised that the X-Factor will always win the ratings battle if it is in the same time slot as Strictly Come Dancing. Now we're able to shout blanket criticisms at the TV for both singing and dancing, all from the comfort of our sofas, without needing to reach for the remote to channel-hop.

Being the Halloween weekend, of course, both programs went all-out to theme their shows around the various spooky and scary shenanigans that come with it.

For Strictly, this meant a pumpkin logo, pumpkin designs on the judge's scorecards, pumpkins and cobwebs all over the set, Halloween themed jokes and Halloween themed costumes (even for the band conductor), music and dance routines for everyone. Hilarity ensued on multiple occasions.

For X-Factor, this meant playing 'Thriller' a couple of times, some cheap 'lightning' flashes, and links to Halloween in the songs so tedious that they'd even make Radio 1's 'Comedy Dave' blush. The set design, dance routines in the background and even the slight touches to Halloween-esque outfits all looked like they were homemade. In keeping with X-Factor's other themes of the week (Heroes, Number Ones & Guilty Pleasures) it was completely pointless. So entertaining, in fact, I went and did the washing up.