Top Five: TV Shows of the Decade

31 12 2009

I like television, so here are my favourite shows of the decade. In order to make the list the shows must have started broadcast in this decade, rather than a continuation from previous decades, meaning The West Wing misses out by just over three months.

1. Band of Brothers

This 2001 mini-series marked the first HBO-BBC co-production, and was both the most expensive mini-series ever made and most expensive TV show per episode ever at $12 million for each of the ten parts. The expense did not go to waste, by focussing on just one group of soldiers (E “Easy” Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division) the show is stunningly accurate (trust me, I’m an historian). American reviewers have often slated it for apparently having no stand out characters, but that was really the point, you’re looking at a group of men as a whole, not the sum of its individuals. So, yeah, I like it a lot.

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Top Five: Things About Christmas I Actually Like

25 12 2009

I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas, in fact I hate it. Yeah I know, bah humbug. Anyway, I can think of five things (just) that I actually like about the damned day.

1. Eating a Stupid Amount of Food is Encouraged

Like most people, I find eating to be one of life’s little pleasures, and during this time of year you’re encouraged to eat much more than usual, and I’m fine with that. Roast dinners, cheese, snacks aplenty, overly indulgent desserts, roast dinner leftovers, love it!

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Top Five: Free Web Services

28 07 2009

Yesterday (27/08/09) Mozilla released some mock ups for the Windows version of Firefox 4.0 and as a FF user (on OS X), I began to think of other free things I like on the web. WordPress isn’t on the list, because I obviously like it.

1. Gmail

After five years, it’s no longer beta, and it’s still better than any other webmail service I’ve used. Turns out all I’d ever wanted from email was a lack of spam, a simple layout, unobtrusive advertising, and an email address that wasn’t embarrassing (yes, like many a geek I am an email snob).

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Top Five: Top Gear Cheap Car Challenges

26 07 2009

Originally I was going to have an F1 list, but in light of Massa’s accident I’ve decided to go for some other Sunday fare; Top Gear. Today they’re having another cheap car challenge (£3000 pre-1982 cars), so I’m going to lay out my top five thus far.

1. Vietnam Special – 15 million đồng bikes

Right, well number one doesn’t involve cheap cars, but that’s just because they couldn’t afford them as it turns out 15 million đồng is only about £600. So, much to Clarkson’s chagrin, bikes were selected, or in Clarkson’s case, a scooter. What ensued was a mess of idiotic helmets, stupid presents, graffiti, excellent tailoring, a bike licence test, poor train selection, interesting cuisine, bike-boat conversions, and the constant threat of Bruce Springsteen.

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