Perfectly Rice.

Food Here's Tasty explaining how to cook perfect rice. In the past year we've stopped using frozen or vacuum packed in favour of dried rice in a steamer and it's been extraordinarily, at least when I haven't over or undercooked it. I'll be trying these instructions next time.

"Beat you, cock!"

TV Having been in bed with manflu for a couple of days, I haven't had a chance to comment on the news that Shada has indeed been animated and will be released on shiny-disc at the beginning of next month.

Here's the press release.

Reaction on social media has been pretty mixed, mostly because for a story which wasn't completed first time around, between the various releases since, including Douglas including a version in the Dirk Gentley novels, it doesn't feel like we're completely missing a new version. That the resources could have been more handily spent animating a few more of the missing episodes.

Which I do have sympathy with, I do.  Like everyone else I have fond memories of the Baker narrated VHS release, put out in dvd not that long ago even if it becomes entirely futile as the stories goes on and the story simply runs out of shot material and its most Tom explaining what happened.  Plus the McGann audio version is superb as is the novel by Gareth Roberts (for the most part).

But for all that, I'm really excited about this project because it's a chance to sit and watch the story in full, with the scripted elements in place read mostly by the original cast and on blu-ray with the original film sequences, all of those lovely shots of Cambridge, in high definition.  Plus they're editing from scratch not simply inserting the new material into the old VHS version.

This will also be the fifth version featuring Lalla Ward.

(1)  The unfinished TV version
(2)  Big Finish
(3)  Audiobook version
(4)  Whatever it was Ian Levine was trying to do
(5)  The new thing

I can't wait to hear what she's done with it this time.

Plus now that Tom Baker's been working on the audios for a while across various companies, he's really found the Fourth Doctor's voice again, so his contribution will have an authenticity it might not a few years ago.  He's so obviously enjoying playing the part again - although it'll be interesting to see how much he's stuck to the script or made his usual suggestions.

Motion Flow is the new Panned and Scanned.

Film Director James Gunn and allies are banding together to start a campaign to ask tv manufactures not to put motion flow on by default. From Gizmodo:
"If you’re not entirely sure what these folks are going on about, motion smoothing is a feature on most modern TVs that intended to correct hi-def screens’ tendency to make objects in motion appear to be blurry. In order to do this, the TV processes one frame, then the next, and makes a guess on what a new frame that goes between them should look like. This can be very helpful if you’re watching a football game, for example, and you’re attempting to keep track of the ball in a wide landscape shot. It gives everything a crisp edge. The feature can also be good for upping video game frame rates, but it’ll get you killed because it introduces extra lag."
After reading this article years ago on how TV ruins movies. I turned the setting on my screen to cinema mode and then turned everything else off. Motion Flow, auto blackness setting, natural colour, noise correction everything. After all that, the picture now tends to look fantastic. 

Films will never look the same as they did in theatres on television, but have to do all we can to help them along.  Although even in theatres, they're not always projected in the way the filmmakers, too dimly perhaps due to the cinema not switching out the 3D projector lense during 2D showings.

All Hands On Deck (Big Finish Audio Short Trips)

Audio One of two Short Trips dealing with how the Eighth Doctor interacted with some of his old companions during the Time War, this examines how it affected his granddaughter.  Set just after To The Death, we discover how Susan rebuilt her life in the wake of all that tragedy and like so many of the former time travellers she's become involved and a valuable asset to the local populace, defending the Earth were needed.  Which is lucky because numerous befuddlements, pitched in the region of the kinds of things which might have menaced the Attic team in The Sarah Jane Adventures are causing a certain amount of worry, some mayhem.  But I think I'll stop the synopsis here because with its slender listening time, its best heard with the surprises intact, especially the unforgettable barnstormer of a conclusion.  Needless to say it's another Eddie Robson story which balances the epic with the personal and Eighth's participation is perfectly judged and entirely in character if you know the history of the character.  Thanks to the post-2005 subliminal references to Susan's fate, a melancholy hangs over this story which Robson takes full advantage of.  Told in the first person, Carole Ann Ford  captures this mature Susan thoughtfully as she poignantly reflects back on her youth and where her loyalties lie and how that informs her choices going forward.  Placement: Pretty early in the Time War for reasons.

Drunk in Charge of an Autonomous Vehicle.

Technology Ars Technica asks, "Should drunk drivers be charged with DUI in fully autonomous cars?"
"Though it may seem obvious that a drunk person should be allowed to be taxied home by a fully autonomous car, the question is less clear if you have to determine just how autonomous an autonomous vehicle needs to be for a drunk person to operate it. The government should want drunk people to engage a high-level autonomous driving system if the alternative is driving themselves home, but if they’ll be penalized for being drunk while they’re “in control” of an autonomous vehicle, uptake of self-driving systems may be slow."
The answer within the article suggests that a felony is only committed when a drunk person manually takes the wheel of the automated car and therefore driving it.  But as someone who doesn't trust technology to break down, because technology always breaks down, I think that it's imperative that law doesn't change on drink driving whether someone is in an autocar or not.

I'd argue that someone who's been drinking still shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the vehicle in case it malfunctions in a dangerous situation and they're forced to take control.  I'd be afraid to let someone without a driving license, like me, to have an automated car or be able to travel in an automated car for this reason.  The idea of driverless taxis also scare the bejesus out of me.