Limara

Remember it? No… not the product… THE advert of all time!

Limara body spray or shampoo or something, whatever it was, was totally eclipsed by the advertising which was pretty spectacular.

OK, I was a pubescent schoolboy at the time, and this was the early 1980s, but I swear just about every red blooded rock loving kid I knew was in love… with the cartoon character they used in the ad!

She had it all – and she emerged from a pond/waterfall, still wet, to a pounding rock song (‘Remember My Name’) and she walked purposefully (nay, sexually) to a distant castle where her obviously pretty lucky lover was apparently awaiting… phew… even thinking about it now sends me back to a time when spots ran amok!

Well, I can’t find the advert itself (oh please tell me you’ve got a copy somewhere…) but I did happen across the song…

Stevie Vann Lange website

Remember My Name, indeed – could hardly bloomin’ forget it! And here I am nearly a quarter of a century later still pining over a cartoon girl – talk about the ultimate fantasy chick!

Is there a future to it?

Here I am, at home on a Friday, wondering what the future might hold.

Nothing unusual about that, of course, except today there was a meeting with the immediate line manager for the workplace, who tried very hard to convince me that he wasn’t here to shut us down.

Trouble is, it sounded just like when Tony Blair gives a message of support to a cabinet colleague, who promptly loses their job a week later.

Gulp. let’s hope it isn’t so…

HTML and Cascading Stylesheets

OK – I’m a beginner. I have done a few bits and pieces, and even made a couple of web sites (some still exist) but I am not ready to become a full-time webmaster just yet.

The thing is that I don’t do web work regularly enough to make it worth my while to learn about it all in depth, but just lately I saw a good article about using cascading stylesheets, and wanted to share it.

CSS is pretty useful – if I want to change the entire look and feel of a site by editing just one file, then I can – as long as that file has all of the bits and pieces in it that are necessary. So I did a bit of reading about what bits and pieces are necessary, and ended up here. Wow.

And which bit was the interesting bit?

I’ll tell you – I was looking at how to cut down the ‘weight’ of code used to make a page, and part of that meant cutting down on the number of images. Problem is, we like images, and they can be used to great effect in many ways. I then stumbled across how to make fairly complex shapes out of blocks (or ‘divs’ as we ‘pseudo professional webmasters’ tend to call them). You can colour your divs – you can make them into different rectangular shapes, and you can ‘float’ them left and right, etc. But the really, really cool thing is that each div can have a border, and each border (top, right, bottom, left) can have a different colour… and width. The borders have a nice ‘mitre’ to them so that they join together and it is this one single fact that allows you to create shapes from just the borders.

What you do is define a box that has really fat borders, and NO space inside it for text. If you colour two borders the same (typically right and bottom, and top and left) then they form a pair of triangles. You can set different border widths on different sides of the box as well, so you can get all kinds of different triangles to form. You can even place boxes next to each other and use the borders that are adjacent to make diamonds, or pyramids, etc.

There are some limitations, of course. Not every type of triangle can be created (mostly variations on right-angled ones) and a triangle has to have one of it’s edges vertical or horizontal (since it is an edge to a rectangular box), but nevertheless it’s a pretty cool way to define blocks of colour to use instead of gifs for backgrounds, etc. Other restrictions are apparent when you look at how IE uses this ‘box model’ compared to how other browsers do it, and there are some workarounds to making it look the same (ish).

The incutio.com site has a wealth of great info and links to other CSS sites and discussions about CSS – I’m beginning to wonder how I ever survived without CSS, and why on earth I ever used tables for page layout at all!

Open Water

Well, after all the hype, I went to see Open Water. Rated as a 15 and advertised as ‘Blair Witch meets Jaws’ I was expecting a fairly harrowing (within the boundaries of a ’15’) sea adventure… after all, there’s nothing like a good film on a Sunday.

And this was nothing like a good film, regardless of what day of the week it is.

Having read the web site and seen trailers I was thinking this film was far more than it turned out to be. I should have guessed it when I saw the critics write ‘Blair Witch’ in their descriptions – that was a pile of rubbish as well, IMO! As for hanging on the edge of your seat, gripped with terror and all that nonsense, I have no idea what film those folks were watching, but it certainly wasn’t ‘Open Water’, surely.

What gets me about this ‘based on a true story’ film, is that both of the characters die. So the basis of the story then is that a dive boat left two folks at sea… I assume that from that point on everything is pure conjecture. Were they eaten by sharks? did they make it to some island and live in complete harmony with nature (choosing to forego their otherwise hectic lives)? Were they picked up by a white slave trader and sold off to the middle east? Did they get picked up by a passing cruiser and get embroiled in making porn movies (and now ashamed to confront their families)? Who knows.

As far as the story of the film goes it is of no substance whatsoever. Based on a true story? Well… let’s see what we can make of the fact there might have been sharks in that area… and boy, let’s see if we can make people believe they were eaten by them too. How far removed it is from Jaws – it isn’t even close to the horror, tension, characterisation and sheer fear that gripped people after watching it. In fact, there is NO characterisation, the lighting is poor, the bulkhead of boat that the camera shots are taken from is in the shots (top right corner throughout most parts of the sea sequences), the sharks (whilst real) are not at all terrifying, the male lead dies after having a really small bite (what did he die of? Hypothermia? Shock?) and this section is so unbelieveably sudden it is laughable – there is no build up to it at all. At the very end the female lead dies too – she removes her dive gear and basically ducks underwater… so did she choose to drown before the sharks got her, or are we supposed to believe that she removed her gear so as to make her end swift?

I guess I am not alone in my feelings for this film. At the end of the showing, the other fifteen people in the theatre (Cineworld in Bishop’s Stortford) actually laughed, snorted in derision and basically felt cheated by the whole thing (“… how much did we pay to watch that ****?”). I expect the same was true when Blair Witch was screened, but I confess to not going to the cinema to see that. Still, what can you expect with two actors, a boat, one hand held dv cam and a $300,000 budget.

Well, I expect a lot more, actually.

Think I’ll go and see ‘The Terminal’ next – at least Tom Hanks should bring a shine to the proceedings.