24 Day 8: 8pm – 9pm

Not much security related in this episode but still lots of ridiculousness and illogical situations.

The Russian mobster’s son is dying of radiation sickness but he refuses to allows his other son to take him to the doctor. Really not much a doctor could do anyway as there is no cure a doctor can only alleviate the symptoms with anaesthetics (to relieve the pain) and antibiotics (to prevent infections due to the compromised immune system). If he is dying why not put him out of his misery?

Of course number one son ignores his father’s sage advice and not only takes his brother to a doctor but then tells the doctor it’s due to weapons grade uranium. I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure that it is not medically relevant to know what isotope it was that caused the radiation sickness.

I love Jack’s hypocrisy, Renee is no more unstable and brutal than he’s ever been. Even her death wish is not that far removed from some of his behaviour in previous seasons.

The subplot regarding Dana’s mysterious past stands out so far as the most stupid element of this season so far. Would CTU agents be allowed unsecured cell phones at work? Apparently her past involves being an ex-con, as an accessory to murder! Then her ex-boyfriend seems to be succeeding in his plan to blackmail her into violating CTU security to give him classified documents that he can sell. I think that for any sane person that the risk of being caught and tried as a traitor would be a far worse scenario than merely losing one’s job.

How did the nuclear material get smuggled into the US and how do they propose to smuggle it out again? Since 9/11 there have been great strides in outfitting US and borders with radiation detection equipment and under the Container Security Initiative foreign ports that are shipping containers into the US, so this would appear to be a nigh on impossible proposition in the real world. Ironically the CSI according to Misha Glenny in his book McMafia has created a situation where it is now easier to smuggle goods into the US because foreign officials can be bribed to overlook what a container might have in it as long as it does not have nuclear material.

Passwords in House M.D.

In Episode 17 (Season 5): “The Social Contract” of House M.D. there is a throwaway line about how Wilson never password protects his patient files.

The context is that House has sent Taub to discover what Wilson is up to behind his back instead of going to the Monster Truck Rally with him. Taub brings back a bunch of print outs of deleted emails including one exchange between Wilson and a fellow oncologist from another hospital which included a patient file that couldn’t be printed out because it was password protected.

I’d be very worried if doctors were not routinely encrypting files let alone merely password protecting them if they are sending them via email.

Why hasn’t Gotham Central been adapted into a TV series?

Marc Bernardin of the io9 blog asks Where’s My Goddamn Gotham Central TV Show?.

I have to agree. Not only is Gotham Central one of the best written comic book series of the last ten years but it is ideally suited to be adapted into a television series.

Gotham Central is a police procedural whose story focused not on Batman but instead on the Gotham City Police Department and the difficulties of its officers living and working in Gotham City replete with supervillains and also having to deal with less fantastical stuff such as corruption within in their own department.

There were rumours at the time of its publication that it might be adapted into a television series but following the failure of Birds of Prey it was decided by Warner Bros. Television not to pursue the project.

But that was before the success of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. They could and should capitalise on the renewed interest in Batman and Gotham City and as police procedurals are a staple of US television I believe it is not all that much of a gamble.

The F word final

Gordon Ramsay chose his winner of the Best Local Restaurant 2010 and it is Lasan, due entirely to their brilliant if a little arrogant chef Aktar Islam. I would not be at all surprised to see him go on to open up his own restaurant at some point down the line.

I’m a little disappointed for Jay Scimshaw and The Pheasant but on the night perhaps he was a little too adventurous with the food he prepared and so the diners preferred the food of Lasan.

I think off the back of this competition that both chefs will go far and should be winning Michelin stars of their very own in the not too distant future.

The F word semi-finals

The F Word has been looking for Britain’s best local restaurant and this week we are down to the semi-finalists, the final will be broadcast tomorrow.

I think that if the competition really is about finding the best restaurant then Gordon Ramsay made the wrong decision in the first of the semi-finals. He chose Lasan over Santa Maria because he believes that Aktar Islam the chef of Lasan has a ton of potential, however if the decision was being based upon the restaurant as a whole then given the evidence presented in the show Santa Maria as a whole worked better.

True Santa Maria have a narrower repertoire but if your restaurant produces the best steaks in the country then what more do you need?

The second semi-final was more clear cut because The Pheasant won out in all areas and in Jay Scrimshaw they have a chef that is willing to push the boundaries of his food and create dishes truly worthy of Ramsay’s three star restaurant.

Based on the evidence so far I think that The Pheasant should win it because despite the genius of Aktar Islam of Lasan the service is not quite at the same level as that at The Pheasant.

Merry Christmas from the Monarch with the help of Henchman 21 and the Moppets, Kevin & Tim-Tom

I might have to locate the Venture Bros. Christmas special on my hard drive for a festive bit of entertainment tonight as the TV schedule ain’t looking too hot after today’s Doctor Who.

To keep me entertained in the meantime I’m listening to the annual Venture Bros. Christmas single.

“Wonderful Christmastime” by Henchmen 21 & 24 is particularly poignant.

Lucie Jones shock exit from the X-Factor

A lot of people are shocked by the result of this week’s show and are angry at Simon Cowell’s decision to keep John and Edward despite his harsh criticism of them for the past couple of months.

I’m shocked that Lucie was even in the bottom two as she is clearly the best girl in the competition and I think in the top 3 of all the contestants. However I wasn’t surprised with Cowell’s vote once she was in the bottom two because in spite of what people think this is a popularity contest not a talent contest.

Cowell knows this and this is why in situation like this he always votes to cause a deadlock so that it comes down to the public vote. He’s in the business of selling records and the person that sells the most isn’t necessarily the most talented person in the competition it is the most popular.

I don’t think that it really as simple as that though as previous years have shown that the winner will not be consistently

Finally I think Simon Cowell has his eyes on John and Edward releasing a massive selling novelty Christmas record.

Lost Re-View: Season 1 episode 5 – Jack’s hero complex

We start to examine Jack’s need to be a hero and his strained relationship with his father, his father believes that Jack rushes into situations beyond his control and doesn’t have the character to cope with failure.

Jack again glimpses his father once more and in rushing after him into the jungle he almost dies when he careens over a cliff to then be pulled to safety by Locke. We now know that Jack’s father Christian Shepherd (and there has to be some significance to that name surely) is really on the Island after a fashion. Whether he has been resurrected (like we now know Locke really hasn’t been) or is a ghost or some other supernatural creature is unknown, but we do know that whatever he is he does identify himself as being Jack’s father unlike say the manifestation that appears to Eko as his brother but states he is not. I’m still not certain which side Christian is on, is he an aspect of Jacob?

Locke asks “How are they? The others.” Different context to how the phrase The Others will be used later but again it is setting up a dualism the idea of them and us. There is a lot of conflict over the course of the series both between different factions and within factions.

As Jacob’s nemesis puts it “They come. Fight. They destroy, they corrupt. Always ends the same.”

Jacob’s response is “Only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

Whatever progress Jacob means it doesn’t seem to be an end to conflict as that seemingly has been going on right up to the present day.

Lost Re-View: Season 1 episode 4 – Locke’s wheelchair

Rose is of course correct about Bernard and the tail section but Jack et al are disbelieving. As Boone will pick up Bernard’s message via the walkie talkie only a few episodes from now it seems that the producers had intended all along for Rose to be reunited with her husband.

In the first major indicator that there is something supernatural about the Island Jack glimpses his father.

Locke has an encounter face to face with the monster and then lies about it.

Then with one of the most shocking revelations about a main character of the entire series we learn that Locke had been in a wheelchair just prior to crashing on the Island. There really is something supernatural about this place.