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Contagion on the long-haul flight to Houston

I feelsorry for the guy sitting next to me on the plane to Houston, with me blowingmy nose every five minutes. Still, right after take-off he falls asleep, andstays sound asleep for five hours. How does he do that? I’ve readthe paper, done some Chinese homework and then watched a couple of films. Thesecond one […]

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OIL MOVIE: Black Gold with Antonio Banderas

Thecinema’s fascination with oil continues with the imminent release of “BlackGold,” a drama about the Middle Eastern oil boom, starring Antonio Banderas. The filmis in the vein of “Lawrence of Arabia,” according to some reviews, which alsopoint to the “horror of Antonio Banderas’ miscasting as an Emir. The plotis about two Arabian chieftains who have […]

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Borgen meets petrochemicals

What isthe obvious link between the hit Danish TV series “Borgen” and petrochemicals?Luckily this was not a question in the ICIS Christmas Quiz, which closedyesterday and is still shrouded in mystery. Yes itwas the year of the EPL in Copenhagen. In a year when everyone has gone crazyfor all things Danish – Borgen, The Killing, […]

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Sherlock’s Periodic Table

Was the Blog the only one to spot the periodic table on Sherlock Holmes’s bedroom wall, in the brilliant new 21st-century Sherlock on BBC TV? The dashing Sherlock, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, shows he is not only a man of science, but a man of chemistry, in the first two episodes of the second series, […]

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BOOKS: Zombies at Grangemouth – “World War Z”

The Blog had never ever read a zombie book or watched a zombie film (unless we count Sean of the Dead), and was quite happy to keep things that way until the news broke that Brad Pitt was at the INEOS Grangemouth chemicals site making a film of the zombie book “World War Z.”   […]

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MOVIES: Monte Carlo

If you still hanker after EPCA in Monte Carlo, this silly chick flick is worth seeing for the shots of Monte, mostly the Hotel de Paris, the coastal road and one scene on the beach by the Beach Plaza.   Otherwise “Monte Carlo” (the movie) is all implausible plot, clichéd characters, Texas goes to Paris, […]

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BOOKS: The Fear Index

It is not high art, but Robert Harris’s most recent book, The Fear Index, is well-written and the plot rattles along at a brisk pace. It is just the thing for a long flight if you are interested in trading, markets, algorithms, finance and risk, with a bit of murder, Darwinism and Swiss tourism thrown […]

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On late night flights

Heathrow T5 at 9.40 pm is a ghost town. There are five people in the giant BA lounge, and all the food is being cleared away. I have never flown out so late before, and the whole airport is strangely empty. I am on the third-to-last flight of the night; the last one is at […]

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The Guard – and a good cinema

Contains very strong language, strong violence, sex references and drug use, said the warning on the cinema website. I didn’t think that sounded like my kind of film, but “The Guard” is very funny and even quite touching. It is a story about an Irish village cop and a straight-laced FBI agent, and their fight […]

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Brad Pitt filming at Grangemouth petchem plant

Brad Pitt is filming at the Grangemouth petrochemical plant in Scotland, the Blog reads with disbelief in today’s Scotsman.   After bringing Glasgow to a halt last week, the film crew for the zombie film “World War Z” moved on 22 August to the industrial landscape of Grangemouth on the east coast of Scotland, on […]

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