Avatar: a microreview

Avatar seems to be publicised as much for its innovative 3D CGI as for its storyline. That seems about right. Although there are some pointers to ‘issues’ like ‘fighting terror with terror’, exploitation and ecology, its the punch ups, sonic reverberations and grizzly end of the baddie that provide the real enjoyment of this film. The 3D effects are impressive, especially of the holographic computer displays that are used. Characters are stock baddies and powerless goodies-with-consciences that eventually win out. The film does seem to echo previous movies including Chris Marker’s 1962 La Jettee where a test subject is sent into the past and future by scientists through being put to sleep in a laboratory, the Matrix and of course Star Wars.

Smoking is safe!

Thanks to my dear friend (and technology guru) Geoff, I have discovered a source of Camel cigarettes (my favourites) which are not only much cheaper than those I usually buy but are entirely health-risk-free. Look!


Not a health warning in sight. These cigs don’t harm your baby, damage your sperm, give you throat cancer or lung cancer or have any association with heart disease or arterial problems. And they also cost about one pound a pack. (They are from Dubai where they are obviously enlightened.)

I’d like to know though, how risky those cigarettes I used to smoke really are – I mean were. Stats often talk about the ‘increased risk of being a smoker’ but they never say how they define a smoker. I think the WHO defines a smoker as anyone who has smoked 100 cigarettes (or was it 10?) But I wonder about the relative risk of smoking 8-10 a week as I do compared to 8 – 10 every day. Maybe health promotion bodies don’t want to get into this kind of detail as it might distract from the message that smoking is BAD.