Category Archives: movies

Bloomberg cake time

I got a nice surprise yesterday. Bloomberg handed it with the article (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2022-09-11/amazon-will-spend-15-billion-on-programming-this-year), there we learn ‘Amazon is the Least Understood Company in Hollywood’. It was interesting because I do not know anything about tinseltown (Hollywood) and I put all these creators, streamers or not on one pile. It seems that there are differences and the article brings out a few sides I never considered. So when I read “Amazon has been making original series for as long as Netflix with far less to show for it. But there are signs its strategy is starting to pay off” my mind started procedure ‘Wake up’ and I took notice. You see, I created plays as stories, mini series, even a movie, but with nothing more in mind than a story. I put some of it in my blogs and that is the end of it (or so I expect) and as a storyteller. 3 series, 2 mini stories and a movie is not a bad result, especially as it is not my field, I am in technology. I am a call centre operator, a customer care person and I am happy there, even though I also miss technical support. So as we see the three things we need to be mindful “Six Gulf States told Netflix to remove videos that violate “Islamic values.”” My movie ‘How to assassinate a politician’ was specifically designed for these states. Then we get “The world’s second largest movie theater chain declared bankruptcy” yes this is sad, but it is also a sign of the times. Hollywood did not help here, they are all about creating more and too little about creating higher quality, that is definitely part of the equation and I am NOT looking at Marvel movies. Their endgame was magnificent, I still watch it at least twice a year and I might upgrade that one to a 4K edition when possible (I still do not have a 4K TV, so no rush). Then we get “Mark Bergen’s YouTube book is now for sale”, I merely wonder why that is a factor? Let’s be clear, it might be an optional work like  the Social network, you know, that movie with Mark Zuckerman’s lookalike Jesse Eisenberg. But that is optionally one movie, perhaps the book has more than I reckon, but I haven’t read it yet. So when we get to “Netflix has spent more than Amazon over the last decade, and produced a much higher volume of shows. But Amazon Studios chief Jen Salke has a $10 billion budget. If you include sports, Amazon is projected to spend $15 billion on programming this year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. That’s comparable to what Netflix (and many others) will spend”, we see the first element I foresaw ‘produced a much higher volume of shows’, it is about more, not better. And there is the rub. Lets be clear, Netflix has created high quality work (the Sandman) no one denies this, but Hollywood produced in 2019 (pre Covid) 792 movies, that is almost 2 movies a day just to see it all, now we get that they cater to a niche and every movie house has a niche. Yet in 2000 they only produced 371 movies, that is quite the jump in less than 20 years, and as we are aware that the number of writers did not exponentially increase they either tailored to less quality or upped the pressure on writers giving that very same result, yes that is a personal view on the matter.  As we get to “Yet we know that Amazon is a very successful company that generated $470 billion in sales and $33 billion in net income last year. We also know that its advertising business is booming” we can speculate that they are doing something right, or they have additional data none of the others have. So when this is supported by “This is Amazon’s greatest strength, but also its greatest weakness. The company has seemingly unlimited resources — and no real need to win, at least not right away. While Netflix and Disney stress over whether shows attract new customers or prevent people from canceling (or churning), churn at Amazon is almost nonexistent” We optionally see a second part that is not mentioned and merely hinted at. It is not the resources, even though that helps. They can cater to THEIR population, which implies that churning is reduced to zero, and they keep focus on the projects and so far that is paying off. There is a benefit when you OWN the bank, but I reckon that they have a stage where they cater to a plan that holds 100% of their customers. Reality makes me rephrase that into ‘that holds 95% of their customers’, a stage both Netflix and to a lesser degree Disney cannot adjust for. Not unless they spend a whole lot more and that is the danger, they do not own the bank and the first insight that involves ‘Islamic values’ is actually a lot more important. Instead of creating an offspring with the focus on the gulf states, the ego of Hollywood thinks it can do it all and there is the trap that sinks 1000 titanic’s. To be honest, I would love to see the data that Amazon relies on but I reckon that only a few (at Amazon) ever get to see that whole picture. A simple lieutenant does not get the image the generals have and these generals have to make the hard calls, the tough calls and so far it seems that them at Amazon re making the right call. I personally speculate that they are playing the long game whilst the others are limited to quarterly pushes, until the next stockholders meeting. That is why in the end Amazon will overcome nearly all hurdles and most others are sunk as they were unable to see three hurdles ahead. The article holds more and Lucas Shaw did a really good job here, he showed me a few sides I never knew (why would I), and it brought information and delight all at the same time, so you should definitely read that article, it is worth your time.

Now I need to focus on fortune cookie marketeers, hopefully more in several hours.

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Dopey to some

Yes, Dopey, a name I cloak myself in frequently, that loveable dwarf not right in the mind and that is me to a fault. I just saw Matrix resurrections. I did not really like it, that is not the fault of the actors, they all played their hearts out and you can see that. The story was clever, really clever but the WOW factor was missing. I saw the first three as a complete story and I was fine with it. There was nothing missing. It had the elements of a Greek Tragedy, it had action (a lot of that) and several other sides. I was happy. So when the 4th movie came out, I was not really on par with my thoughts, and it had been close to 2 decades. I still remember the trailer that I saw in Chicago, it blew me away, I saw the movie 8 weeks later in Europe and I saw it more than once. Then the DVD came. I reckon that plenty of people got a DVD player just for this movie and that is saying something. There was a WOW factor that numbers 2 and 3 continued. It was missing here, but it made it not a bad movie, it merely made me less interested and I was not alone in this, but it does not matter. The storyteller in me woke up. I had my own movie considerations. It is called ‘How to assassinate a politician’ and the story was made for the Arab world (Egypt, UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan) in this I personally believe it would be a hit, but that I my view. Then my mind created ‘Another Furlong’ after the whole 9 yards with Matthew Perry. Just now I saw the Hulu Trailer of Hellraiser, it might be a hit. Especially if they resurrect the Nightbreed franchise as well, in the comics there have been several interaction between these two and there would be enough materials for either movies of mini series. The mind does not sit still, so as I was contemplating ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’, more important the other books. Not sure if Tim Burton is considering to make the others into movies, but if he is not any of the streamers should consider it. There are so many options, but we get to see (for the most) a newly resurrected version of Death Wish, Robocop, Firestarter or Flatliners. I have nothing against any of these movies. Yet where is thee good stuff? Where is the original stuff? Now, lets be clear Matrix resurrections is original, based on a franchise, but an original story. Yet where are the titans? Another Lord or the Rings? OK, this is the prequel, the rings of power. I grant you that, but we are so about seeing more of the same that we merely endure repetition, this was one of the reasons why I came up with ‘How to assassinate a politician’, not the most important reason, but a reason none the less. I wonder what more I could make. I started to pencil season two on the grandson of Hades (still no title come to mind), I made one on the stage of the past with Kenos Diastima and Residuam Vitam. And past that a few small parts that require evolution. Perhaps it is a dopey thought, but is this what most of us have resorted to? Repetition? I am uncertain but overall I see less awesome movies. I reckon that Maverick is the most overwhelming movie I have seen this year and that is not a good thing. Consider, how many truly good movies have You seen in the last 6 month? If you need more than a minute to name 5, you will be able to see my point of view. With Netflix, Hulu, Disney we see so many more works, but the overall quality is falling down, that is not a good thing. You might have another idea regarding this and that I fine, but I worry what we will get in 2023, 2024 and 2025. That might just be me though.

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The option in the open

There is always an option, there is always a way. Those are the words we hear, those are the advice we are given. But one mans option is another man’s abyss, or another man’s vacant lot of nothingness. Options are what WE see, not directly the options another person observes or recognises. I got into that frame, not be looking at my IP, but at watching a movie. I was watching the bluray of Death on the Nile, the 2022 remake by Kenneth Branagh. I watched the first movie which I personally did not like as the previous Murder on the Orient Express (1974) with Albert Finney. Still, I was curious and I was blown away. This version was much more overwhelming than the previous version with Peter Ustinov. Now this is not about the actors, they are all top notch. There are two reasons, the first is the curse all the Agatha Christie books have. Any whodunnit remade will lead to the same guilty party. It is not her fault. She never banked on people remaking the same book again and again. The second part is that the music is overwhelming in the remake. It is magnificent and gives the movie added life. Kenneth Branagh really outdid himself and lets be fair, does anyone mind watching Gal Gadot as much as possible (for as long as we can)? No, I really loved this second remake. 

This got me thinking, there are so many great or underestimated movies. I have no idea how players like Netflix overlooked them. In 1989 we were given The Salute of the Jugger. It was an awesome film. I liked the story, I liked the setting. If there is one complaint, than it is the fact that we all got it in 104 minutes, the US cut it back to 90 minutes. But this dystopian movie starring Rutger Hauer, Joan Chen, and Vincent D’Onofrio gave us an interesting story, one that would much better fit a mini series of 1 hour over 4-6 episodes, and lets be clear Netflix could use a few more mini series. We need more embossed storylines, a story that better represents the books they came from. I could not find the reference to any book, yet the setting of 9 cities. The reference to the sport, the dog skulls and the interactions of rural and cities beckons a much larger story and therefor a much larger stage. Possibly even 6-8 one hour stories, perhaps even more. Yet that would be up to whomever writes the remake. You see, in those years we all listened to critics and whatever THEY didn’t like too many others would not like either. That needs to stop and perhaps it is a great legacy for an actor like Rutger Hauer to make, to leave us a treasure overlooked in 1989. I just hope we can leave his impression, like the painting of a ruler of of one of the nine cities, accidentally looking a lot like a youthful Rutger Hauer. 

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When one door closes

Yes, that is the stage I find myself in. However I could say when one door closes someone gets to open the window. Yet, even as I am eager to give you that story now, I will await the outcome of Twitter (who blocked my account) and the outcome there will support the article. Which is nice because it makes for an entertaining story. It did however make me wonder on a few parts. You see AI does not exist. It is machine learning and deeper learning and that is an issue for the following reasons.

Deep learning requires large amounts of data. Furthermore, the more powerful and accurate models will need more parameters, which, in turn, require more data. Once trained, deep learning models become inflexible and cannot handle multitasking.

This leads to: 

Massive Data Requirement. As deep learning systems learn gradually, massive volumes of data are necessary to train them. This gives us a rather large setting, as people are more complex, it will require more data to train them and the educational result is as many say an inflexible setting. I personally blame the absence of shallow circuits, but what do I know? There is also the larger issue of paraphrasing. There is an old joke. The joke goes “Why can a program like SAP never succeed?” “Because it is about a stupid person with stress, anxiety and pain” until someone teaches that system that SAP is also a medical term for Stress, Anxiety and Pain” and until we understand that ‘sap’ in the urban dictionary as a stupid person, or a foolish and gullible person the joke falls flat. 

And that gets me to my setting (I could not wait that long). The actor John Barrowman hinted that he will be in the new Game of Thrones series (House of the Dragon), he did this by showing an image of the flag of House Stark. 

I could not resist and asked him whether we will see his head on a pike and THAT got thrown from Twitter (or taken from the throne of Twitter). Yet ANYONE who followed Game of Thrones will know that Sean Bean’s head was placed on a pike at the end of season 1, as such I thought it was funny and when you think if it, it is. But that got me banned. So was this John Barrowman who felt threatened? I doubt that, but I cannot tell because the reason of why this tweet caused the block is currently unknown. If it is machine learning and deeper learning we see its failure. Putting ones head on a pike could be threatening behaviour, but it came from a previous tweet and the investigator didn’t get it, the system didn’t get it or the actor didn’t do his homework. I leave it up to you to figure it out. Optionally my sense of humour sucks, that to is an option. But if you see the emoji’s after the text you could figure it out. 

High Processing Power. Another issue with deep learning is that it demands a lot of computational power. This is another side. With each iteration of data the demand increases. If you did statistics in the 90’s you would know that CLUSTER analyses had a few setbacks, the memory needs being one of them, it resulted in the creation of QUICKCLUSTER something that could manage a lot more data. So why use the cluster example?

Cluster analyses is a way of grouping cases of data based on the similarity of responses to several variables. There are two types of measure: similarity coefficients and dissimilarity coefficients. And especially in the old days, memory was hard to get and it needs to be done in memory. And here we see the first issue. ‘the similarity of responses to several variables’ and here we determine the variables of response. But in the SAP example, the response is depending on someone with medical knowledge and one with urban knowledge of English, and if these are two different people, the joke quickly falls flat, especially when these two elements do not exchange information. In my example of John Barrowman WE ALL assume that he does his homework (he has done this in so many instances, so why not now), so we are willing to blame the algorithm, but did that algorithm see the image John Barrowman gave us all, does the algorithm know the ins and outs of Game of Thrones? All elements and I would jest (yes, I cannot stop) that these are all elements of dissimilarity, as such 50% of the cluster fails right of the bat and that gets us to…

Struggles With Real-Life Data. Yes, deeper learning struggles with real life data because it is given in the width of the field of observation. For example, if we were to ask a plumber, a butcher and a veterinarian to describe the uterus of any animal we get three very different answers and there is every chance that the three people do not understand the explanation of the other two. A real life example of real life settings and that is before paraphrasing comes into play, it merely makes the water a lot more muddy.

Black Box Problems. And here the plot thickens. You see at the most basic level, “black box” just means that, for deep neural networks, we don’t know how all the individual neurons work together to arrive at the final output. A lot of times it isn’t even clear what any particular neuron is doing on its own. Now I tend to call this: “A precise form of fuzzy logic” and I could be wrong on many counts, but that is how I see it. You see why did deeper learning learn it like this? It is an answer we will not ever get. It becomes too complex and now consider “a black box exists due to bizarre decisions made by intermediate neurons on the way to making the network’s final decision. It’s not just complex, high-dimensional non-linear mathematics; the black box is intrinsically due to non-intuitive intermediate decisions.” There is no right, no wrong. It is how it is and that is how I see what I now face, the person or system just doesn’t get it for whatever reason and a real AI could have seen a few more angles and as it grows it will see all the angles and get the right conclusion faster and faster. A system on machine learning or deeper learning will never get it, it will get more and more wrong because it is adjusted by a person and if that person misses the point the system will miss the point too, like a place like Gamespot, all flawed because a conclusion came based on flawed information. This is why we have no AI, because the elements of shallow circuits and quantum computing are still in their infancy. But salespeople do not care, the term AI sells and they need sales. This is why things go wrong, no one will muzzle the salespeople.

In the end shit happens, that is the setting but the truth of the matter is that too many people embrace AI, a technology that does not exist, they call it AI, but it is a fraction of AI and as such it is flawed, but that s a side they do not want to hear. It is a technology in development. This is what you get when the ‘fake it until you make it’ is in charge. A flaw that evolves into a larger flaw until that system buckles.

But it gave me something to write about, so it is not all a loss, merely that my Twitter peeps will have to do without me for a little while. 

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Is it really that simple?

There was an article on BBC (about 7 minutes ago). It gives us ‘Cineworld confirms it is considering bankruptcy’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/business-62629932) there we see “Cineworld had hoped blockbusters such as the latest Bond film, Top Gun: Maverick and Thor: Love And Thunder would draw audiences back in after lockdown restrictions eased. But it recently said post-Covid customers levels were still lower than expected and blamed “limited” film releases.” I have an issue with that statement. I only saw one of the three (the Thor movie). The issue I have is with “customers levels were still lower than expected and blamed “limited” film releases” I do not think that is the case, and whomever makes that claim is massively shortsighted. Groceries and the cost of living is up EVERYWHERE. Meat alone is for me 25%-30% more expensive several other options are also more expensive, because the home brands are not available, setting us back around 10% per item. Electricity and fuel are up by a lot. These elements are central in the option to NOT go see a movie and there is another setting. It is seen in “Cineworld currently has a market value of around $69m but is carrying close to $5bn of debt.” Can anyone explain how a firm gets to have a debt 7200% of its value? There might be a real answer and this shows that I know next to nothing on cinema’s, but to have a debt 72 times the total value of a company comes across as slightly weird. In addition we see “But at just over 4 pence, the share price is still a long way off from where it was at the start of 2020 (220 pence) before the pandemic struck.” Implying that the company is now at a mere 1.8% of its original value and we see the blame on “limited film release” I think that business reporter Noor Nanji owes us a more (or better) explanation than we are seeing now. The issue all over the field makes little to no sense. It could be that there is a perfectly valid reason, but I can’t see it and that is because I am not in the cinema realm. But I reckon that Noor Nanji can give us a more perfect setting on what is going on. Because a firm in such a situation is not considering bankruptcy, it was utterly broke and broken months ago. 

I am not taking pleasure here. I love cinema’s, but there is a larger sense of weirdness when we look at these facts and a lot more questions should be out in the open. 

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The niche to the left

This is a nice change of steps. Someone decided to take matters into their on hands and create. It is always nice to see this. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/aug/13/tinder-for-booklovers-the-new-app-matching-like-minded-readers) gives us ‘Tinder for booklovers: the new app matching like-minded readers’, on one side I want to say this seems lat to the party, but better late than never. And to be honest, if someone comes up with any app that connects rural people together, than it is a good thing. In this case we see “Klerb is ideal for finding companions who share your taste in books, its developer says” and whether this becomes a best seller is beside the point. A good idea is a good idea. So even as we are given ““It was about 20 books on Nazi Germany and 10 Andy McNab novels,” says O’Donnell, an author. “I could feel my vulva constructing its own chastity belt.”” The idea that lass known writer fans can unite and share ideas and share thoughts is never a bad idea. I have a few reservations on “a new app in development is aiming to remove the uncertainty about literary tastes when meeting new people. Klerb has already been dubbed Tinder for bookworms because it matches you with people in your area according to your shared interests in books.” It is not a bad idea, but it seems a little too shallow. I love the books of James A. Carey, but I got to them AFTER I got introduced to The Expanse, I got into The Boys BEFORE I ever saw a comic it was based on, there is an interesting interaction between movies and books. There is every chance I get to see Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, before I have ever seen his comic books. But that is beside the point. There will be all kind of readers and fans to see more people and be connected to more Stephen King fans, and these are only the top of mind writers, there are thousands more and as such for them too a place like Klerb might be the voice box to grow their population of fans. No matter how I see it, no matter how it grows, there is an app that thought of a niche of people and it is a good idea. It will allow the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to connect to the Forbidden planet population of London and I cannot see that as a bad thing (beside the fact that the London people will enjoy better food). 

And we do get some more news. As we are given ““It’s not a hook-up app,” insists Abe Winter, the New Yorker who is developing Klerb, which is still being tested. “Or a dating app of any kind. But Tinder, which is not without its problems, delivers real value to communities by connecting strangers in geographical proximity. I’m trying to bring that model to reading.” We see that the maker (Abe Winter) is thinking things through, and there is the obvious fact that readers can be separated by tectonic plates (and in California several). But an app like this seems to open the doors to the bookworms in us, I personally believe that this is a good thing.

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Two sides of tinseltown

Tinseltown has many sides. Today and yesterday I was confronted with two of them. The first is the sad one. 

Yesterday the legendary Nichelle Nichols has left us at the age of 89. Legendary as Nyota Uhura in the original Star Trek series and 6 movies. Now, people leave us all the time. This stands out that no matter where I looked Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK, America, Australia, Canada, you name it they have it in the news, and no negativity anywhere. Twitter flowed over with messages of sorrow, love and in some cases heartbreak. Actors, producers, directors from all walks of life and cinema. It was overwhelming the impact she has had on people. She had it on me as well, but I always saw myself as a nerdy sci-fi outcast. She touched the hearts of millions and they are all speaking out words of hope, words of sorrow, words of love and words of admiration. To be honest, I have not seen such a positive wave ever before, that realisation gives us that even as she leaves us, she leaves us with a gift. We are all connected to one another through the actions of Nyota Uhura. That is not a bad legacy to have, not at all. We salute you Nichelle, and perhaps we will all say hello again on the other side when we get there. Until then be with the stars until we meet again. 

The other side
The other side is one that is another side of the media. The one I do not like that much, but in this case it is the Dutch NOS who (at https://nos.nl/l/2439005) claims that Taylor Swift is the biggest famous polluter. Is that so? Well it is according to a British Marketing firm. Can we have the name of those wankers please? You see, we might howl at some, but these wanking idiots (as I personally see them) are debatable in their view. “Between January and July, the singer’s plane took off 170 times, which amounts to 15.9 full days of flying. The emissions of the device thus amounted to about 8,000 tons of CO2, more than a thousand times the emissions of an average citizen per year.” So how exactly was that calculated? 

You see Dassault Aviation (the people behind the Falcon 7X) give us “Falcons have fuel consumption levels that are 30 to 50% lower than competing aircraft and the lowest CO2 emissions in the market.” Then we see the stage “Between January and July, the singer’s plane took off 170 times, which amounts to 15.9 full days of flying”, so can we see the list of these 170 times? Dates, hours flown you get it, the list will give us more and I believe that a marketing firm has certain needs, needs to hide other stuff, or illuminate other stuff and usually illumination comes with exaggerated inaccuracies. So were all the flights set to the planes actual numbers? And the idea that Floyd Mayweather and Jay-Z are the numbers two and three might be right, might not be. You see, we are given “According to them, Swift regularly lends the aircraft and is therefore not personally responsible for all 170 flight movements and the associated emissions.” This might be true, but that is not the case. These people are forced into different modes of transportation because the fucking media wont give them a break, harassing these people EVERY moment they can for the digital clicks (one of a few reasons). It angers me as we seem to hold places like Celebrity Jets like gospel all whilst the data is never clearly vetted and I get the impression that the news is even worse. So whilst Taylor Swift has one plane, Donald Trump has the Trump Force One which is a Boeing 757, and he never made the list? I reckon that the Boeing 757 gives off a lot more pollution than the Falcon 7x. And the quick reference towards the British department of Transport? Do they keep lists of all the planes? Is Trump Force One there too? All questions that come to mind and all questions that have impact. How do you hold Taylor Swift accountable whilst you do nothing on the harassing media 24:7. As I see it, she might not have a choice and whilst we are at it. When we consider Rolling Stone magazine, was that vetted? If so what dit Taylor Swift actually use? All questions no answered. It makes me wonder what that marketing whatever was doing? This was about something else. Just like Matt McGrath (BBC) and his plane issues, all whilst 50% of all pollution damage comes from 1% of the facilities. 147 in total and they still haven’t closely looked at that. They were very intent of ignoring that EEA report, why is that? So a little message for the media. Do your job properly or become an uber driver. 

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Where the colossus is no more

Part 4

He arrived a little past 20:30 at de Gaulle, he went straight to the counter to get a ticket to Rhodes. There was one in an hour, it was Italian airways via Milan, he took it and went pst boarding to the gate. It was all a repetition  of something he had done dozens of times. The airport was almost new, he had been in this airport once as he had to change flights, he never went through the departure lounge though. There was nothing significant here. And there was nothing really interesting at the gate. He got on board and sat down. His mind started to wander as they took off. 

The map showed Rhodes, but nothing stood out there. The documents and the drawings were different, the drawing was what seemed like an old oil lamp, the text was in French and referred to the sight of Helios. Yet how the lamp fitted into this was unknown to him. The writing gave that there was a shrine, a shrine to Helios. The lamp of illumination would shine on the places it reached and it could reach more if the items were united. That part did make even less sense to him. Jacques III Thuret came 2 millennia after ancient Greece and likely the same time when the shrine of Helios was lost to the world. There was a cult to Helios, but he knew nothing of it. As such he would be going in blind, but what was more important, someone knew a lot more and that was never a good thing. Even as he knew that his ancestors had created some items or relics, the ones that survived are a lot more powerful now, then they were in those days. As such when he arrived on Rhodes 6 hours later he would be considering his options. He took a taxi from the International airport to Rhodes and asked the driver to take him to the Rodos Park Suites hotel. He got there 15 minutes later, paid and tipped the taxi and booked a room. His credit card could take that hit because it did not look cheap. He got a nice suite a double room, it was not large but looked comfortable. The bed felt nice and the TV was clear. He switched the TV off and as he walked into Rhodes he looked his Olympian sight it was almost dark, almost, there was a small spot that was seemingly illuminated. He walked in that direction. It took almost half an hour to get there. He looked again, the place looked a lot more illuminated, when he switched back to his normal sight, he saw that no one would notice it, but that might not be for much longer.

There was something at play here. He looked around, he was at the Platia Rimini. The hotel mentioned this place, they called it the “Sound and Light Garden”, it was beautiful, nicely arranged and quite peaceful. But it made no sense, he was now close to the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, which was somewhere in the 7th century. He needed answers and none were coming forth. He walked into the garden and looked. The garden were alight in Olympic views and normally nicely lit in normal view. He tried to focus but the light was way too illuminating for that. So he sat down on the bench that stretched the sides of the path in the park and suddenly he saw it, it was as small as a flicker, but it was there. So he walked to the well in the middle, it was dry but there it was, a little out of the middle, the circle of discolouration. He looked around. Too many people here now. He looked deeper and closed his eyes as fast as he could. Whatever was there was bright, really really bright. He had closed his eyes. As fast as he could, but he was seeing blurbs of white all over and he saw them everywhere he looked. He closed his eyes for a minute whilst sitting on the bench again. Most had dissipated, but there was still a few spots, they would subside soon enough. He was thinking of the vault he had. So what happened if he created another portal? With a hole that led to the hole under the well? The problem was that he did not control it as well as he wanted to, so he might have to resort to brute strength. He hated that because he would leave a mark, but he saw no other way, he did not know where the others were and how soon they would be here. So he walked across the street to the Dromos Street Food where he had the Satay Chicken and nachos with Greek Salsa, both were really nice, and the coffee was good, nothing to write home about but still good. He sat at his table with his back to the wall and his view on the park entrance. He looked at the people, but the two in Paris were not showing up and the people seemed uninterested it specifics of the park. For a moment he thought there was a catch, but it seemed that the couple there were remembering the park and what they did there. They were still in love and softly speaking in each other ear on what they did there. He smiled, to be young and still this much in desire for one another, these two had no idea how lucky they were. It was almost dark when he finished the Papara Beef which made him more hungry. Odd, but that was the result of a really nice beef, better than anything he had had in London. He ordered another coffee and paid, he took the coffee with him as he scoped out the area. There were no people in the direct area. He got rid of the coffee and walked into the park again, but now keeping a close eye on the entrances and who was around, he stepped into the empty well and stood as far away from the lighted spot, there was no one so he summoned his bident and focussed he tabbed the well once and pushed hard, harder then anything he pushed before and slowly the ground and the well gave way. There was not much sound, but too much to his liking, the hole was large enough, he jumped in and ended in a well lit room. He quickly put some shades to protect his eyes, but it was not needed. This light was strong, almost a strong as a LED torch, but not too strong as long as he did not look into the flame. The oil lamp was on top of a golden hand, he got the lamp, blew out the flame and looked around, it was an empty room, there was a path going north and down, he saw that the corridor had collapsed a little further down. He got out of the well and he got away as fast as he could. At the wall of the park he summoned the vault and placed the lamp, closed the vault and walked off. He left the golden hand, it would add to the puzzle and it would leave him unexposed. He went back to the hotel, enjoyed a nice hot shower and he went to sleep. The next morning he had his breakfast and he bought some clothes and a nice duffel-bag. He made a point of of buying postcards and posted them with names he remembered from London. He kept them around for most of the day as he walked the streets of Rhodes, it was late in the afternoon when he noticed the orthodox priest, he asked for the postbox, the priest pointed down the road and he went there to mail the cards. He returned to the Dromos Street Food, he had another Papara Beef with a coffee and smiled at the woman who helped him the day before. He was happy that he got the pink shades, it did put the woman on the wrong food, alas, the waiter liked them a whole lot better. He asked if I asked pink and my solemn response was “υπήρχε μόνο αυτό”, he sighed and walked away, something she really liked. She started the conversation “Have you heard?” I shook my head, “heard what?” The well in the park collapsed there was a golden hand under the well. I tried to look shocked “Really?” Yes she responded, the hand was large it took several man to get it out, the police have closed the police have closed the Sound and Light Garden for now. There were reporters, so he backed off, he did not want to give the wrong people a shine on him. He looked at the commotion, and noticed that all the camera’s were pointing at the park. He nodded to the woman and paid for the coffee and sandwich. He was about to walk off when she handed him another coffee in a takeaway cup with the smiling “for the walk”, he nodded and smiled. He gave here the customary ‘Antio’ and walked away from the scene in the general direction of the hotel, walking and shopping most of the day. When he got back he made a point of keeping eye on the people going in and out of the hotel for at least 10 minutes. His Olympian sight saw that there was nothing watching the place or him, yet he had the feeling that someone was staring at him, he had that feeling in Paris but not as strong. He saw nothing, so he went to his room and packed the bag, he signed out and knowing that he could get the 22:45 from Rhodes to Gatwick with Easy-jet was his sign to leave Rhodes and the parts they were looking for were not on him, more important, they were in a place where no one could ever find them, so the relics were safe, but he was really curious on what was going on. 

End of episode. 

This was part two and the parts over the last day would be the two parts of a three parter. The third will not be tomorrow, because I have a few more parts to figure out, but consider I had all this in under an hour, what more could I get done? I reckon that I might be one of the never published 30,000 wannabe’s in Hollywood, but it is not about selling this, it is about the story and you will get more soon enough. 

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The other side we do not look at

My introduction to Jack the Ripper started as far as I remember in 1979, I was 17 and a few months at the most. It was the movie Murder by Decree with Christopher Plummer and James Mason. I thought it was good fun and I enjoyed the movie. The second introduction (as far as I remember) was Jack the Ripper, the mini series with Michael Caine as Abberline. His sidekick Lewis Collins (Bodie, the professionals) was his sidekick and the heartthrob Jane Seymour was there as well. This was the first introduction to the serial killer in a more serious way. And I took notice. I personally did not like From Hell, but it still matters. You see with all the less favourable stuff on TV, there is a side people forget. Michael Caine might have given it a spin, but the life of Frederick Abberline should have been made into a (mini) series long ago. 

His life has all the stuff a decent series needs and Abberline was nothing short of a police titan. We might overlook the last line as “Chief Inspector Abberline retired from the police on 8 February 1892, having received 84 commendations and awards.” Yet in today’s world people see a policeman as special when he gets a mere 10% of that (not dissing the police here). And the setting to make the series revolve not around chapters but awards and commendations has never been done before. The setting (still unverified) where we are given “was hired by the Pinkerton Detective Agency in 1904. Initially, he worked in casinos in Monte Carlo to find customers who were cheating. He then returned to England and continued working for the agency, until another retirement in 1904. He then bought a home, “Estcourt”, 195 Holdenhurst Road, Springbourne, Bournemouth.“ Should not be overlooked. It gives the series a final episode and a larger international interest. 

And in all these years Hulu, Netflix, and Apple+ never saw this staring in their faces? How come? 

A sideline not to be avoided could be that Abberline’s sidekick George Godley had his own successes over time. Two interesting characters of the London Metropolitan police and the only thing people look at was a mass murderer. But I give you this, find me any policeman who got 84 commendations and awards and you might just have a sequel in play.

When we see the series and the less interesting sides of Hulu, Netflix, Apple+ and every other stream provider none of them gave it a seemingly serious thought to look at London and its metropolitan police force in one of the most stirring time settings that London had in the 19th century. And in years of 35000 script submissions no one seemingly had the idea to look at the other side of the Atlantic river (at least that is what I think they didn’t do).

So what is/was stopping them?

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Realisation

This happens, at times we realise something AFTER the fact and for some reason not before. The BBC gives us (at https://www.bbc.com/news/business-62158936) ‘Netflix and Microsoft team up for cheaper plan with adverts’, apart from the setting that they decided to trust Microsoft on this, the setting of movies or TV series with advertisements is called TV, The Dutch have channels one, two and three. The Brits have the same but they call it BBC One, Two and oh, four is ITV. And so every nation has its own version of TV, so why would we want Netflix when we can get the others for free? It comes with “It lost 200,000 subscribers between January and March, compared to the 2.5 million analysts had been expecting the firm to add in the period. Netflix also now expects to lose a further two million subscribers between April and June.” And this is a surprise? How? The covid era ended, people are expected to be back in the offices and do actual work. And those who decided to quit their jobs to be at home for whatever reason will soon be in a space where they CANNOT afford Netflix. Instead of offering an 8 hour segment (when they aren’t working) for less, and as such create 3-6 timezones to capture the bandwidth pressures, they decided to compete with local TV stations at a price, whilst local TV is free. I reckon (and that I merely my view) that the people will stop subscription TV, especially as some favourite series are spread over several providers. And these people will return to Channel 7, Channel 9, ITV, RTL+, Sjuan, TMC, TFX and the list goes on for a while. I reckon that they will not be too happy with Netflix and they will demand local based sanctions against Netflix. In addition, some will demand that the bandwidth usage of Netflix users will be capped or even surcharged to avoid congestion on several levels. It is not whether it happens, it will soon be on WHEN it happens. Especially when the Amazon and Google group could stick it to Microsoft, they will be enthusiastically motivated to do just that. 

Do I care?
Not really, I sometimes get a month subscription to load up on missed things and I have to as we all have budgets. I reckon that the UK is facing a much harder time. When they get to decide on two of the items (Food, Rent and heating) Netflix will be the first to go, and after that cheaper internet deals. The cost of living bites everywhere and Netflix should have seen this coming. I think they did not, because in all my dealings with Americans, they always avoided any discussion on market saturation, it was always the fault of the bad salesperson. This time around there is no escaping it, and I saw this setting in 2020 when I was clear about saturation, and they were all in the stage of ‘We never heard that’ but the stage was clear and Covid ended as such the good times were gone and now Netflix with their desperate act decided to rely on Microsoft. Whether these two are in bed because of the Netflix game streaming is unknown to me, but it would not surprise me. And that too will backfire on them when Tencent comes out to play. Tencent could muscle in on both Amazon Luna and Google Stadia as well if these two did not adjust their way of thinking. 

These players are all realising that there is one population and they can no longer afford EVERYTHING. These people have to make choices, some of them hard and depending on what TV brings instead of Netflix comes with $10 a month savings, for a lot of people it will be a simple choice. It is this realisation that governs the global population. If EU inflation is up by 8.6% (last month), how long until people have to select what food they can afford? This is not out of consideration at present, the UK seems to be going back to the daily fish and chips. In the Netherlands some vegetables went up between 29% and 34%, that is HUGE! It is in this setting that Netflix makes a move the way they did and at some point people will realise that they get the same by watching TV, which does not cost them $10 a month, and that was the only reason keeping them on Netflix. Realisation is a dangerous and ugly thing. Yes, we can continue to watch Netflix, but how long until those prices go up? Which will drive a lot of people towards their normal local TV stations again, some already did. 

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