Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

September 2008

GeneralWednesday, September 3rd, 2008, (10:45 pm)

In a land where everyone dreams of stardom, and though every door lies the chance of discovery, one mans final breath hails the beginning of his greatest journey to a place where time has no meaning and from where nobody has ever returned. Don LaFontaine, the movie voice-over guy enters The Afterlife.

I couldn’t let 68 year old Don LaFontaine’s death pass without saying something, in a deep husky voice, of course. His famous baritone voice has featured on several thousand movie trailers, TV and radio commercials and made him arguably one of the most famous voices in the world, even if people couldn’t actually name the person it belonged to.

LaFontaine’s wrote or co-wrote most of the movie voice-overs he did and his style became something of a template for movie trailers. Many a time my friends and I have mimicked that style while goofing around. That’s probably just ‘a guy thing’ to do, but it’s given us a few laughs over time. A while back my friend Anthony and I attempted to narrate our daily lives in LaFontaine’s style. Giving mundane tasks a deep voice over provided us with some foolish amusement until I got a sore throat. If I had kept it up I might just have ended up sounding like LaFontaine forever, though given his tremendous success as a voice-over artist, maybe that wouldn’t have been such a bad thing.

LA Times : Don LaFontaine dies at 68
LaFontaine appearing in a Hollywood Video TV ad

GeneralMonday, September 1st, 2008, (7:52 pm)

With all the problems of the world like the climate crisis, cancer, aids, and the such, you’ll be releaved to know that scientists in America have just published the findings of an extensive study into the most effective way to swat a fly.

Publishing their findings in the journal Current Biology, scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) reveal that the best way of swatting a fly is to creep up slowly and aim ahead of its location. They also revealed that the reason why flies are adept at dodging a swat is down to quick-fire intelligence and good planning. In layman’s terms this kind of announcement is called “stating the bleeding obvious.”

The scientists used high speed and high resolution video to film a series of experiments with fruit flies and a looming swatter. The researchers discovered that long before the fly leaps it calculates the location of the threat and comes up with an escape plan putting their bodies into pre-flight mode within 100 milliseconds of spotting the swatter.

According to Caltech’s Professor Michael Dickinson this illustrates the speed and complexity of the fly’s brain, though it’s hard to say what it illustrates about the brains of scientists.

Personally the most effective method I have found in my fly swatting experience is to take two rolled up newspapers, one in each hand, then bash the crap out of the little bugger by bringing them both down on the flies location simultaneously.

Fly’s brain ‘senses swat threat’
Flies get a jump on swatters
Bugs life

Photograph by Airbrontosaurus

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