Fukushima Radiation Fallout: the New Big Bad

Fukushima Radiation Fallout: the New Big Bad

Looking on internet news sites it sounds like the end of the world as we know it; Fukushima radiation fallout has become the new “big bad.” The Japanese nuclear reactor meltdown has spawned a number of Chicken Littles who are saying that the sky may not be falling yet, but, it soon will. Furthermore these pieces of sky will have a half-life of practically forever. So far, however, mainstream sites are not reporting on this new menace.


Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts: It’s All In the Eyes

Firstly I have to thank the lovely young lady in Waterstones at Norwich. When she found out that I was a Michael Grant fan and was looking for the second of his books dealing with the FAYZ, she was delighted. A  fan of the series as well, she asked me if I’d read Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts. I had to admit that I had not. She highly recommended the book and helpfully pointed out that it was part of their ‘buy one, get one, half price’ deal. I quickly took advantage of their deal.

Thank you young lady, you didn’t lie. The book is scary and creepy. It is also very, very good.

In Jeyn Roberts’ book we follow the trials and tribulations of four teenagers who are affected by the events of the book. Their world has been rocked by earthquakes and school bombings. Some people are going crazy and killing each other. The world is in the grip of an ancient evil that has been released by the earthquakes.

The Apocalypse has started. Or as another character says, “It’s the End of Days.”

Mason’s mother has been in a car accident and while he’s at the hospital waiting to see how she’s doing, he sees that the school he’d been called from just a short time before has been obliterated by bombs. All his friends are dead and his mother is about to join them.

Aries (I’m Aries but I’m a Gemini) is on a public transport bus with two school friends when a massive earthquake causes the bus to crash and kill a lot of the passengers. Luckily for her she meets Daniel, a mysterious boy who seems to know why all this is happening. He helps Aries find one of her friends and helps her to escape the growing mayhem after the quake.

Clementine is in the town hall with her parents. They are attending a town meeting where the elders are saying that volunteers are needed to help assist in the quake stricken areas. Just as the meeting is getting under way two towns people enter cradling guns in their arms. Clementine’s parents tell her to leave the town hall. Now. Going outside, she finds the the place surrounded by armed people and she barely escapes them.

Michael and Joe are riding in Joe’s truck when a motorcycle and a car in front of them start ‘dueling‘ not surprisingly the motorcycle loses the duel and the rider is killed. His body and crashed motorbike cause a pile up on the highway. Michael and Joe crash the truck into a ditch to avoid being hit by a tanker. The police arrive in force and after telling all the drivers to get back into their cars start shooting them if they don’t act quickly enough. Michael and Joe are given a lift by another driver as their truck won’t start.

Roberts does a brilliant job of jumping from each of these four teenagers experiences and the paths they are having to take. At times the four cross paths and temporarily join forces. The people that have become affected by the quakes are known as ‘baggers’ a hunting reference. As in “they are going to ‘bag’ a deer.” People now equate the term bagger with killer. There are several different types of Baggers and the teens and the people they temporarily team up with must avoid them if they want to live.

Baggers suffer from bloodshot eyes, but, instead of their eyes being threaded with red veins, their veins are black.

The young lady who recommended this book to me said she read it at night. She was so ‘freaked’ by the book that she woke her sleeping boyfriend up and checked his eyes.

Just in case.

I had the luxury of reading in the daytime, in the park. I was surrounded by people, but Roberts yanked me out of that park just as effectively as if she’d physically grabbed me. The settings of the book, the main and secondary characters and actions of everyone felt real and scary and pretty freaking awesome.

The ending leaves you with the feeling that this is just the first of what could be a long running series. I hope so. I am dying to find out what the post apocalyptic world has in store for Mason, Aries, Clementine, Michael and that mysterious lad Daniel.

Either way, Jeyn Roberts has become another author that I will keep an eye on. Great stuff, Ms Roberts. Please, may we have some more?

Jeyn Roberts, courtesy of Google Search

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) A Shining Example of Why Sex Tapes are Bad

Like many other folks, I saw  Paranormal Activity and liked it. Granted I did not see it at the cinema, I waited until it was on sale for five pounds. Because of the price, I mean a fiver is not a lot for a film, I was surprised to find that I did like it. Then they came out with Paranormal Activity 2 which in my humble opinion was even better than the first one. I also thought that was the end of the films.


Of course PA3 as with all the subsequent PA films was directed by a different person. Oren Peli, who wrote and directed the first in the trilogy, is back on board as a co-writer. Paranormal Activity 3 was directed by no less than two people, Henry JoostAriel Schulman, and they negate the old saying of too many cooks. This latest offering in the Paranormal series kicks ass.

Time for another Reader’s Digest version of the plot. At the beginning of the film we see a box of video tapes being delivered by Katie (the soon to be deceased protagonist from Paranormal Activity) to her pregnant sister Kristi (soon to be deceased protagonist from PA2) the box of tapes is put in the basement. A bit later in the film the tapes go missing after a “break-in.”

The tapes are from 1988. In that year Katie and Kristi are living with their mother Julie and her boyfriend Dennis. Dennis has his own business, he uses the ‘new’ videotape craze to his advantage by taping weddings and other special events. One such event, Dennis decides, should be a sex tape with him and girl friend Julie. While they begin to tape their “sex-capade” an earthquake strikes. They immediately stop to check on the girls. With the video recorder still running, we see  a place where the dust falling from the ceiling causes a shape to appear.

When Dennis reviews the tape the next day, he shows Julie. All Julie notices it how fat she looks in the video. After the girls moved in with Mom Julie,  Kristi started talking to an invisible friend  called Toby. Toby starts getting more active as time goes by and does a few disturbing things. Dennis decides to start filming around the house to try and catch whoever is doing these things. He enlists the help of his assistant Randy. As events begin to escalate the doubtful Julie (who has never really believed in Toby or the things he has been supposedly doing) realizes that something is going on and to Grandmother’s house they go.

The film delivers some first class chills, thrills, and jumpy scares. Towards the beginning of the film, I almost had a heart attack, in a scene that featured Julie, Dennis and a fright mask. It had nothing to do with the ‘paranormal activity’ but the film had me so cranked up it still scared me. Later in the film when things are escalating and  are starting to get a bit dangerous, there is a scene with the babysitter that again scared the crap out of me.

This is a worthy addition to the previous two films and has done so well in terms of profits that the studio has announced that they are working on a Paranormal Activity 4. I hope they realize that going to the well too often can result in a dry bucket. Still they will have to stop sometime. Before video tapes it was 8 mil and 16 mil and before that, well you catch my drift.

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