brian's soapbox




As always, the opinions expressed in these pages are purely and personally those of myself, Brian; they are not the official views of Queen, or of any other organisation or individual.

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**Tue 15 Feb 11**

My adventures in Hollywood's 3-D Land !

I will explain later ... (and in 3-D)


Brian at Pixar Studios February 2011
Bran at Pixar Studios, San Francisco

Bob Whitehall and Woody
Bob Whitehall and Woody

Brian and Lee Unkrich
Toy Story 3's, Lee Unkrich, and Brian

James Cameron
Bran and Director, James Cameron

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**Sat 12 Feb 11**

Is it time to question farming itself?

Perhaps we should ask the Question : - can Britain now afford to pay the very price of farming animals?

It seems that the world has really gone mad ... or at least perhaps farmers have. We have seen it all now. The farmers want to kill all the badgers because they think (wrongly) that it will rid their poor enslaved cows of disease. They want to kill the foxes because they have audacity to want to eat some of the animals they are lining up to be killed for profit. And now ... beleive it or not ... they want to kill Starlings because they steal the feed for the sheep ? Madness. Is it really beyond the wit of Man to design a feeding post that birds cannot get in?

I am begining to seriously wonder if we can live with the terrible price the farmers want us to pay for them to continue to make money off the land. The price is cruelty ... endless destruction of everything that gets in their way. What do we want for our kids? A Britain in which all the wildlife has been exterminated by the greed and ignorance of a few blindfolded exploiters of our fellow creatures?

I know that not every farmer is afflicted with this sad mentality ... but the time may come when we have to figuratively take up arms against the whole animal farming community. And the figurative weapons at our disposal are very powerful. I wonder if they realise what is in store for them. Because there is a huge amount of evidence that consuming food generated by these methods is very bad for our health. We have our hands on that evidence. And we have the power to make it very visible out there.

Are we standing by?


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**Fri 11 Feb 11**

It seems almost too obvious to comment on.

But this piece of across-the-board proposed slackening of restraints on antisocial behaviour seems to sum up perfectly how childishly over-simplified is the Coalition's view of the Law of the Land.

Basically every law that has been put in place by process of British democracy is there for a reason - to save someone from hurt, from harm, from degradation, to protect animals, to ensure that our country is a safe place to walk around in - a decent place for our children to grow up in.

Yet Nick Clegg, in a stance to which he is adhering to even when the world is collapsing around him, is saying, effectively, that Freedom is more important than Justice, and Law and Order. He wants to tear down all the hard work done by people who have cared about our welfare over the last few years. Read this sad piece of nonsense, and see what you think. And these are the people who are running our country! How awful.

Well, let's see what the 'Hard-Won British Liberties" are, that he is so fond of ... the liberty to go out and torture animals in the name of sport? Well that one has already been scotched by the European Parliament. They ruled in 2009 that it was NOT anyone's civil liberty to go fox-hunting - even if it was a 'tradition' where they live.

What other great 'liberties' will be restored, we wonder ... ? Smoking in restaurants, maybe ..? Bear Baiting? Wife Beating? Molesting children?

I fear for our safety and our sanity under this immature and dangerous government. I will be praying that their reign is short, and will be over before we are hurled completely back into the Dark Ages.


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**Mon 07 Feb 11**

At Astrofest, I introduced Garik Israelian - he did a presentation of the Starmus event in Tenerife this Summer ... and there was a lot of interest, it seems.

I also did a couple of hours signing of Bang! books etc, with Sir Patrick. I always enjoy the event. This year we also spent time with Brian Cox, and he delivered a truly brilliant lecture on the LHC - the huge particle accelerator under Geneva, known as the Large Hadron Collider. It was very stimulating for an audience who are mostly used to much more conventional astronomy lectures ... and by the end of the talk we all understood much better the relevance of the LHC experiments in simulating the first moments of our Universe in the Big Bang. Brian makes it sound so easy and inviting - as if it were just within our grasp. But it was a very deep lecture, much of which stretched my understanding to the limit. He's truly a great communicator, and I get the impression he's only just begun ...


Owl Poster
Poster for Astrofest

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**Sun 06 Feb 11**

Surely not ...

This seems completely unreal. I'm shocked to hear tonight that Gary Moore has died.

What a wonderful player he was. It does not seem possible this is in the past. Well, his recordings will testify forever. But ... live ... he was a demon.

I know, because we toured with Thin Lizzy all around the States, many years ago. Gary was awesome every night ... and the nicest guy you could imagine.

I have many memories - of visiting him in the studio, meeting him backstage, being staggered by his virtuosity in his solo gigs.

Well, lost for words. Bless ya Gary, wherever you're bound. To Rock Heaven, I hope. 58? You were just a boy. Unbelievable. This is too sad.

RIP Gary Moore.


(See Copyright Note

**Sun 06 Feb 11**

Here is a taste of what is to come. I was privileged to be a part of the 700th edition of "The Sky at Night" ... recorded last Thursday.

To be transmitted ... soon!

In addition to the usual brilliant team, you'll see that Brian Cox joined in the discussion ... and I have to say it was a joy to meet him for the first time. Brian has to be the best thing that has happened to the communication of British Astronomy since the Daddy of them all - Patrick Moore. So it was very special to see the two of them interacting. Brian, like me, cites a Patrick Moore book as his first inspiration to be an astronomer. You will see!

Here many of the participants in the 700th are pictured on the set of the show ... at Sir Patrick's house in Selsey.

The Sky at Night 700th Edition
Photo: courtesy of The Sky at Night


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**Fri 04 Feb 11**

[Referring to article in The Sun 3 February 2011, "We Will Block You"]

It's a little far-fetched of this lady to imagine that all that money can be refunded on just one person's (rather misguided) opinion !

People's jobs and careers depend on productions like these. I imagine she would have to go about proving that our show was able to damage children. It's nonsense, really, of course. The average South Park episode contains a hundred times more 'unsuitable' material than a family musical ever could. Perhaps this lady needs to ask herself if she wants her TV license refunded ! I think she's embarrassing herself. It's a pity she can't find something worth-while protesting against ... like animal cruelty. Or cruelty to children.


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**Thu 03 Feb 11**

[Referring to BBC News - Alien invaders: American mink removed from Scotland]

This makes me see red.

This carnage is everywhere ... what are they going to do next? ... start annihilating African-English people in Brixton??? Just because they weren't there 100 years ago? It's exactly the same principle.

It's insane. Can you people not understand this is WRONG? Two wrongs do NOT make a right.

Call yourselves conservationists? You are not conservationists. You are interfering blunderers, trying to restore a situation which has already disappeared. You do not care for any animal - so do not pretend that you do. All you care about is some fanciful conceit in which you, the heroes, are playing God ... trying to re-create what you regard as a desirable world. For who ?


ALL of this is our fault ... it needs us to find proper humane solutions - and every animal matters.

It is not the minks' fault they are there. This is sheer brutality.

And must be stopped - YOU must be stopped - you stupid, stupid, insensitive, ignorant pseudo-scientific people.


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**Tue 01 Feb 11**

[Referring to FARMERS WEEKLY - TB cases show sharp decline in Wales and FARMERS GUARDIAN - Welsh TB figures show decline]

The painfully, tragically stubborn, Elin Jones is still after the blood of badgers - even now it is clear that levels of TB in cattle are going down. I wonder just how much evidence it would take before she would admit she is wrong to pursue the slaughter?

This woman needs to go. We can only pray. And keep up the fight for what is right.


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