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Monday, July 31, 2006

Back after these messages from our sponsors

American and Canadian TV is unwatchable.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing intrinsically bad about the shows that I saw whilst in North America (or at least it isn't any worse than British TV). I just mean that you can't watch it. There are ad breaks every few minutes, literally.

One evening sticks particularly in my mind. I had gone to bed early, ready for an early morning flight, but had gotten sucked in to a series of documentaries on the The Learnng Channel. Ironically they were documentaries that were previously aired in the UK on Channel 5, but which I had missed. I was watching one and I suddenly realised I was watching an advert (there is often no warning given and adverts will even cut in mid-sentence). Since the ad was tailored to the show, I was 30 seconds into it before it clicked that it wasn't just a strange switch in style by the director. The ad break lasted about 3 minutes, before the programme resumed exactly where it had left off. Less than 4 minutes later (there was an alarm clock built into the Hotel TV) I suddenly realised that I was watching another ad break. Again, yet another 3 minutes! Thus, out of 10 minutes of this show, 6 were adverts!

I already knew that things were pretty bad. I started watching Star Trek TNG in the late 1980s. BBC2 (non-commercial of course) allocated about 50 minutes per "hour long" episode. By the late nineties, ST:DS9 was down to 45 minutes, with plenty of filler either side of the show. By the early 2000s, An episode of ST:Voy could be broadcast in less than 45 minutes with at least 2 minutes trailers eitherside for upcoming BBC shows. That means that about 0ne third of US airtime is given over to commercials.

The commercials are also very different. I notice now that US car manufacturers are starting to advertise the fuel economy of their cars (amazing how a little jump in the oil prices focuses the mind, eh) although the advert for Hummer steered clear of any potentially embarrassing admissions, preferring instead to focus on the Humvee as the perfect way to deliver the kids to school (I kid you not). Most strange though, is that unlike in the UK, manufacturers can advertise prescription medications direct to the punters. This has resulted in the big names in pharmaceuticals staging hokey looking ads with "Grateful patients" and the instruction to "badger your physician today!". Of course, it isn't a complete free-for-all - they have to verbally list the side-effects, and this entails them reading out at triple speed the list of contraindications on the back of the box. I'm amazed anyone buys them! It's no wonder homeopaths, who aren't regulated and can tell you any bullshit they want, are doing so well - I'll bet they don't list the side-effects (chief among them being IT DOESN'T WORK!).

I suppose this all makes me a little more gratefull for the BBC. Not only is the BBC output nominally commercial free (at least they don't interupt their programmes), it also keeps the opposition on a tight leash. I suspect that commercial broadcasters are acutely aware of just how bad commercials seem when they are confronted by the BBC's output. I suspect that we would be well along the American's route of giving over 1/3 of our airtime and interupting programmes willynilly, if it wasn't for the stark contrast of the BBC. I found myself longing for the BBC - I suspect that if ITV et al tried to emulate America and Canada, they would simply lose viewers to the BBC.

For that reason, I have happily paid my TV licence ever since I went to Uni 11 years ago and wouldn't contemplate not paying it. As a Greek flatmate once told me "never let them commercialise the BBC - you don't know what you have until you see the rest of the world". Quite.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Morgan Spurlock wasn't exagerating

When it comes to portion sizes, the US really does live up to it's "Super Size" reputation.

Most people looking at me will probably conclude "there's a man who doesn't like to leave food on his plate" - and they'd probably be right. But of the 10 or so meals I enjoyed in the USA, I didn't finish a single one. Seriously, I admitted defeat with every single meal and couldn't bear to look at the dessert menu once. The US is a "doggy bag" culture. After giving up the fight halfway through my main course each time, I was invariably presented with the option to take the unfinished portion with me in a doggy bag, presumably to reheat incorrectly and risk food poisoning at home (a rather dangerous attitude in the litigation capital of the world, I would think). Obviously that wasn't an option for me, since I was staying in hotel rooms.

What a shame.

You see, when I'm abroad, I like to try as many different things as possible. I'd like a starter, a main course perhaps with a side order I've never tried before, and maybe a dessert. Yet the starters were invariably a full meal in themselves. Cost wasn't an issue - the US' reputation for cheap food is certainly well deserved - it was the guilt factor. I just could not bring myself to order enough food for a family of four and leave them to bin 2 1/2 people's worth (I did try my best!). It is as if the US caters for the greediest by default. Why? Surely, if you eat enough for 3 people at one sitting, you should pay for 3 meals rather than expecting everyone else to have 3 meals worth of food dumped in front of them, which they will either waste or risk their health trying to eat? Why not restrict portion sizes, charge less and let the chubsters order 3 side dishes? Is it any wonder that the US is the most consumptive country on earth? Just think of the energy wasted in the creation and preparation of all that food. And if that doesn't quite fit with the hospitality that the American's are so rightfully proud of, why not make those extra-size portions a free upgrade available on request? In otherwords, give us some choice!

Another stereotype was also true - that of the disgustingly fat American. I use this term after careful consideration of it's offensiveness, but truly feel it is warranted. We in the UK have more than our fair share of obese people, no question. And a fair few morbidly obese folks too. But even walking through a busy town centre daily, I only see the the mega-obese (35 stone up) on rare occassions. In NY and in the Midwest I saw a dozen or more over about a week.

On the NY underground, I saw two of the fattest people I have ever seen outside of a Channel 5 freakshow documentary. Two black women in their 20s or 30s who each took up a full bench (usually wide enough for three average sized adults to sit comfortably). They had grown to such a size that they no longer resembled a human being in anything but caricature. They were basically spheres with arms and legs the thickness of my waist sticking out. Their torsos had effectively collapsed upon themselves, such that there was no telling where their breasts ended and their bellies began. Both carried 2 litre sized plastic squeezy bottles with straws, filled with a dark liquid such as coke, or Dr Pepper or similar, which they guzzled as they talked.

I know that there are few poor souls that suffer from diseases such as Prader Willi Syndrome and when it comes to criticising folks for a few extra kilos around the gut I have no right to point fingers, but lets get one thing clear. When you have a substantial proportion of the population who can actually weigh themselves in fractions of a tonne, it isn't genetics, it isn't "Metabolic Syndrome" and it isn't "hormonal imbalance" - it is the inevitable result of a society that gives you three time the food you need and doesn't educate you that 3 litres of Coca-Cola contains 300 to 350 grammes of sugar and 1300Kcals of energy and that the more of the stuff you drink, the more you need to drink because you're pissing it out like a horse.

It really was a shame, and was perhaps the only criticism I had of the US food-wise. The food I did enjoy was well made and tasty and even in the fairly provincial small town I visited in the Midwest, there were dishes to tempt even the most adventurous pallette. There was just so fucking much of it....

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Going Underground

In the middle of my trip around North America, I was able to spend a weekend sightseeing. Top of the list was of course, the Big Apple. Only a short train journey away from where I was staying, I spent a full saturday doing all of the usual - the Empire State Building, the American Natural History Museum (not nearly as good as the London NHM, I hasten to add) finishing up with a couple of very pleasant hours in the spectacular Central Park.

The best way to get around NYC, as any native will tell you, is of course the subway. For the princely sum of $7 I bought an all day "fun pass", which gave me complete access to one of the world's busiest underground systems.

It's a lot different to the London underground for sure.

First, it isn't as intuitive as the London underground system. The map that I had integrated overground landmarks with the rail system - a good thing - but had very little in the way of explanatory notes. Most importantly, no mention that certain lines are "Express" lines that don't stop at every stop on weekends. Thus, my first foray on to the system resulted in me overshooting my intended designation by 15 blocks. The kind help of a friendly local soon got me back on track however, and I got to the NHM only 20 minutes later than planned.

The second niggle is that the stations aren't very well signposted. Unlike the London Underground, with its iconic circular signs, NY tends to have non-descript regular signposts that blend seamlessly into the visual cacophony of busy NewYork streets. This caused me particular problems when it was time to go home. I found myself looking for the massive underground station on 34th Pennsylvania, which combines both the subway and Amtrack stations. I stood on the corner and simply could not see it. Eventually I asked a hotdog seller, who pointed to Madison Square Gardens across the road. Sure enough, when I walked over, the sign for Penn station was hidden behind a large bush about a foot off the sidewalk (see, I've got the lingo down - that's 30cm above the pavement to the less well-travelled of you), entirely overshadowed by the Madison Sq Garden sign.

Of course, no good underground (or indeed Tube or Metro) tale is complete without at least one encounter with a nutter. And NYC currently holds the record for the most scary/amusing/weird nutter to date.

As I waited for my train at 42nd street (near the Empire State Building), I noticed a young man of about twenty. He was dressed in full basketball gear plus bandana, classic "gang" uniform if American cop shows are to be believed. Being a typical Brit, my first thought was "I wonder how he's getting a mobile phone signal so far underground" since he was animatedly talking away on what I assumed was a handsfree kit. As we both got into our carriage, I realised that there was no handsfree kit. Rather he was involved in a deep discussion with his imaginery friend. I didn't want to eavesdrop, in case the conversation was private, but he was talking rather loudly. I soon realised my mistake. He was talking to an imaginary group of friends. And it would seem that there had been an unfortunate incident. One of the friends (I didn't catch his name) had dissed his Mum and because of that he was a motherfucka. At some point his bitch had also become involved and that just wasn't right. I wasn't clear who's bitch it was. Nevertheless, there seemed to be a general lack of love and respec'. Anyways, the conversation continued for sometime with lots of Motherfucka's and Ho's until finally, it seems that the guilty party apologised. This seemed to placate the young man, who called him his bro, offered him respec' and shook hands with him before bumping shoulders. That's an interesting sight to be sure.

Well, he jumped off at the next stop. As he vacated his seat I noticed the sign on the seat "Reserved for Disabled Passengers".
I turned to the man who had helped me with my map
"Well he seemed to have a disability, I'd say".
"Yeah, it's called crack".

Sunday, July 23, 2006

SaneScientist in the Hood!

So there I am, in a city in the American Mid-West, in the middle of a heatwave. 105F and 70% humidity. So what is a Brit abroad to do? Why, go for a walk of course!

I had a few hours to kill after giving a talk and before being wined and dined again, so I decided to go and buy an international calling card before Mum and Dad went to bed and find a newspaper. I went down to the reception desk of the Institute where I was staying and explained what I wanted.
"You could drive uptown, there is a 7-11 about 2 miles from here"
I expained that I didn't have a car.
"Hmmm. Then why don't you walk down to the plaza downtown. There's a strip mall, that'll probably have what you want".
So off I went.

Fuck me, it was hot! Apparently, there is a relation of the Windchill factor called the Heat Index, that takes the actual temperature and factors in humidity etc to arrive at a relative temperature. Today it was between 110 and 115F (43 t0 46 in real money). Pretty warm for a pasty Brit with half a litre of water and no sunglasses.

Anyway, I swim downtown. About half a mile downhill. I am aware that means half a mile uphill on the way back.

Now the funny thing about being in a foreign country - even one that feels as familiar as the US - is that your "RADAR" is wonky. As I reach the strip mall, with its mixture of familiar signs (McDs, KFC etc) and unfamiliar shops, I start to feel like a fish out of water. I slowly become aware of the fact that I am the only white person visible. Not only that, there appear to be large numbers of young men standing on the street corners. Selling stuff. Let's just say that the entrepeneurial spirit was in full swing, practised by businessmen unfettered by the tyranny of the IRS or the FDA. Spotting a supermarket, I duck inside. Here, despite my wonky RADAR it becomes apparent that I am in the local equivalent of Nettos or Scumerfield, rather than Waitrose. Grabbing some root beer and a calling card, I decide to forgo the newspaper and get the hell out of Dodge. As I leave I am watched with great interest by the "street vendors".

Walking back up the hill, I start to question the wisdom of my decision. I'm sweating like an 8 year old in a Nike factory. About halfway back I have to stop and dig out the Root beer. Here I insert a cautionary note to all visitors to the US - Root beer is NOT ginger beer - and it is absolutely foul. Positively undrinkable unless it's over 100 degrees and you are losing water by the kilo. As I rested by the road, a police cruiser came past and slowed.

I couldn't believe it - in 29 years I have never been stopped by the Police (I was once told to "fuck off" by a police officer, but that's a different story). As he drove past, the cop and I made eye contact - he shook his head in disbelief and drove on.

Finally I make it back. Entering the Institute, I am aware that I look like I've been swimming. The (different) security guard looks up from his newspaper.
"Jeez boy, where in the hell you been?"
"The Plaza"
He went a sort of pale colour
"Jesus Christ! We don't send visitors down there, they'll be shot!"
It seems that only the heatwave saved me. Apparently, even crack dealers can't be arsed to shoot a foolish whiteboy in the midday heat.
"I'm going to have a word with the person that sent you that way - there's a news stand in the opposite direction that's closer and used by the students from the University dorms. And that cop should have known better than to leave you by the roadside there. He should have given you a lift".

Oh well, live and learn eh?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Back in Blighty, Nighty Nighty!

I'm baaaack! According to my watch, it's Thursday. According to the clock on my laptop it's Friday. I have absolutely no idea which is correct. I've obviously put one forward and one back. I am so tired I can't work it out, I'm going to have to look it up on ceefax. I'll do a proper blog later when I've actually slept for more than 4 hours. One of the downsides of this trip has been the sheer lack of sleep. After missing the first flight out, I've taken no chances, arriving at the airport in time for first boarding. Since all my flights have been early morning, on several occassions I have been wined and dined by my interviewer until midnight before catching a taxi at 4am the next morning. The novelty of take off and landing (normally my favourite part of flying) has long since gone and on several occassions I fell asleep before take-off and had to be woken by a steward after landing.

Anyway, until my next post here are a few statistics from the last 10(?) days.

Labs visited 4
Aeroplanes boarded 10
Different airports 8
KM flown ~15,000
Timezones experienced 3
Taxis 21
Free meals 9
Weight gained Let's not go there!
Photos taken 185
Thunder storms 4
Hottest temperature experienced 105F/40C + 70% humidity.
Shirts and ties worn 8
Conversations with random strangers.... too many to count.

Offers of employment......... pending!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Just checking in

Well, touch wood it seems that the trip is going well after a shaky start. Canadian Affair have agreed to delay my return to the UK by 24 hours allowing me to stay over and have the interview I missed on Monday. I'm still going to write a letter of complaint because I want to try and claw back some of the 2 nights Hotel bookings that I missed. If I have to swallow the costs so be it, but I'm going to try my best.

The trip has been great both from a job-hunting perspective and a sight-seeing point of view. I took over 100 photos in New York alone! I've made a pre-emptive strike on the whole dodgy reference thing and it seems that all of my interviewers have their own hellish post-doc stories, and were pretty sympathetic and encouraging. My talk has gone down well, with several of the audience eager to hear more. I've even emailed a chapter of my PhD thesis to one person.

I've plenty of stories to share over the next few posts. As a little tease, here are a few upcoming posts:

"SaneScientist in the Hood!"
"Going Underground"
"Morgan Spurlock wasn't exaggerating!"
"Canada, eh?"

"Back after these messages from our sponsors"

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Canadian Affair and Thomas Cook are fucking bastards!

Total, utter, cunting bastards!

They have "Over-booked" the flight I was supposed to be catching. Despite my pleas that I have a job interview tomorrow morning they refused to transfer me to another airline or fly me to NY for example and let me fly up in the morning. I spoke to head office, threw my toys (politely) out of the pram and threatened legal action. No good, the bastards wouldn't budge.

I nearly ripped the buggers head off when he said
"Unfortunately, you did only just make check-in".
No I fucking didn't! I was present over an hour before check-in, they just made us stand around with our thumbs up our arses for 45 minutes before they started taking our bags. Unfortunately, my queue then got held up by some twat who couldn't work out where his passport was. The young lady behind me who jumped into the faster moving queue next to us, was last on the flight.

So now I have to try and reorganise my schedule. I am hoping to at least meet my interviewer for an evening meal tomorrow, then perhaps pop in for a quick tour of the university during my 5 hour lay over before I catch my flight home next week. Can anything else go wrong?

At least I have gotten some small measure of revenge. They offered to put me up up in an airport hotel. I was sorely tempted, just on principle. But then I figured, they probably have a special deal with the local hotels and I'd rather sleep in my own bed. Besides - I live a fair distance and the fare is quite expensive. So when I got in and the driver asked "which route would you like me to take" I replied "Take the scenic one mate - and don't forget a generous tip, the airline is playing".

Bon Voyage

That's about the limit of my French, so in 24 hours I shall be looking desperately for an Anglophone Canadian Taxi driver...

Well, I'm almost packed and ready. I've noticed something strange - my wheeled suitcase is definately shrinking. Tonight I ironed 8 shirts and placed them neatly in a spare suit carrier. They are now folded three times to fit in my shinking case. And let's not even start on the fun I had fitting my actual suit in! The case looked HUGE when I bought it a few years ago - now it seems that I could take it as carry on.

It looks as if the curse of my dodgy reference is even worse than I suspected. One particular employer emailed me to say that he wanted to speak to me on the phone before deciding if I should visit. Good timing - what with me having just put over £1,000 of flights on my credit card and booking a hotel HE RECOMMENDED near to his University! So I phoned him and he gave me a few hints at what was wrong with the reference, concluding that it had probably screwed all my chances of getting funding in the future. Thanks a bunch boss! Fortunately, another supervisor has agreed to write any future references so I will try and find out who is writing the bad one and ditch them. Anyway, when I explained that there were a number of factors behind the bad reference - and that I was coming anyway because I had connecting flights - he agreed to meet me. So, fingers crossed!

So, I have almost finished. I just need to print a few more maps and workout a few more bus routes (thank god for Google maps and Wikipedia!) and I am pretty much ready to go. Of course it hasn't all been plain sailing. I lost £20 on cancellation charges when I inadvertantly booked a hotel West of the airport rather than East (the direction of the University I am visiting that day). Fortunately, I noticed my error when I went to print a map out - so I am now only 15 minutes from the University rather than 45. Doh! Those long American streets with 10,000+ houses are a little confusing when you are trying to locate them on a 800x600 pixel map...

Anyways, blogging may be a little light for the next two weeks. Some of the hotels might have internet access that I can plug my laptop into - in others I may just have to rely on the charity of whatever lab I'm visiting to let me access my hotmail. I won't be using blogger on any body elses PC - I have no desire to be outed in the midst of a job interview! I plan to access my email daily - not least because one of the labs I am visiting later in the week has yet to email my itinery, accomodation details or the name of the person meeting me at the airport... useful things to know, I am sure you will agree!

So farewell, and I'll post soon.

PS I doubt I'll have time to do a Tuesday Twat when I am away. Nevertheless, I am confident that my belief that human beings are the same the world over will be proven right in the form of a bumper crop of North American Tuesday Twats that will appear upon my return.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Don't bother getting foreign currency from the Post Office.

In future, I don't think I'll bother getting foreign currency from the Post Office.

I figure I need a total of £200 in US Dollars and £100 in Canadian Dollars for out of pocket expenses on this upcoming trip. Anything else I will use my card. Since I live near a PO branch, I popped in to order it there on the way to work. First thing "Come back with ID". Sigh. Another day wasted.

So today, clutching my passport, I went back. I duly filled in a form. The PO is commission free, but VISA like their cut, so I took my cheque book.
"We don't take cheques. Do you have cash?"
I didn't because I can't draw out that much cash in one go. Ever since a friend got "double dipped" by muggers I have had a deliberately low withdrawal limit - they grabbed him at 1130pm, made him draw out his daily allowance then kept him in a car at knifepoint until 1230am then made him do it again. Result: £500. Since then, I have had a withdrawal limit of £100. I've never had any problems until now.
Resigned to paying 1.5%, I handed over my debit card.
Card Declined.
"It's because you only have a cash withdrawal limit of £100".
I handed over my Credit Card.
"The Post Office only accepts it's own credit cards".

With no other choice, I went to the nearest cashpoint planning to draw out the money on 3 different cards.
"Out of order" it proclaimed after wasting 60 seconds of my life as I entered my PIN and waited for it to process. Why don't they tell you this before you waste your time queuing and waiting for the machine to process your request?

I trudged a quarter of a mile up the road in 30 degree heat to the next cashpoint, making a mental note to find my sun glasses and take the lead bricks out of my bag.

I put the card in "Card declined". Great, now the card is blocked.
I replaced it with my little-used BarclayCard. "That service is unavailable at this time" What the fuck does that mean?
Now with no hope of getting £300 out on my remaining credit card, I jumped on the bus and went to my nearest bank.
Fortunately, I had my passport on me so I was able to withdraw £300 in twenties and get my card unblocked then back on the bus, with an uncomfortably large wad of notes burning a hole in my pocket.

Back at the PO, it was Giro day so I queued for a further twenty minutes, the stifling heat making the smell of Special Brew and cheap cider seem even more heady than usual. Finally, my turn again. I handed him the wad and filled the paperwork in whilst he called the office. After repeating himself three times and confirming that "Yes he wants both American and Canadian dollars" he looked at me apologetically.
"You've missed the deadline by 10 minutes - you can't pick them up until Friday afternoon".

Oooh, I really hope they haven't fucked up my order now or I am going to be in deep shit.

Fulfilling the stereotype...

Apparently, there is a nasty stereotype that people with lighter coloured hair might be a little dim on occassion.

I know, I was shocked to hear that as well!

Well anyways by strange coincidence one of my colleagues at the Sportcentre is of the blonde persuasion. And perhaps, just maybe, she might lend credence to this scandalous slur.

The first thing I did when getting in was join the hunt for a brown envelope, stuffed with 10 pound notes that she had misplaced about 15 seconds after being paid for several weeks badminton coaching. Panic ensued until it finally turned up - on the shelf in the store room. The same store room that she swore blind she hadn't entered today. Of course, we suspected that she might be mistaken when she emptied her handbag over the desk and I innocently enquired why she had the store room key in there if she hadn't entered it today...

A little later on, she appeared looking frazzled and embarrassed.
"Um, you haven't seen my car keys have you?"
"Would they by chance be the ones found on court 6 immeditely after your lesson?"

But she saved the best to last.
She had an hour-long wait between lessons. I entered the office to find her playing cards with the duty manager. He was obviously explaining, with little success, the rules of a card game. I wasn't really listening, as I was hunting for a file so I had no idea what game he was teaching her.
"OK, well lets just start playing and see if you can pick it up"
"Is the aim to end up with all of the cards or none of the cards?"
"All of the cards"
For a few moments there was the quiet slap of cards being played out onto the table. Followed by a triumphant shout from the DM


I'm not making this shit up, I swear!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Tuesday Twat(s)

No. 70. Film Distributers

This is a personal gripe that has really come into focus again with the delayed release of Superman Returns over here.

Years ago, there was almost always a long lag between a film being released in the US and its release on these shores. Various excuses were given, such as the different holiday traditions between the two countries - the July 4th weekend is traditionally a big one in the US for example. Another, less acceptable excuse, is the fact that it is cheaper to re-use the same rolls of film on both sides of the Atlantic. This is why, despite paying roughly the same, even on opening night it is not uncommon for the picture to be scratched and dirty. The universal adoption of digital is still some time away, so film is still going to degrade with use.

The reason that this annoys me so, is not just impatience - we've been waiting for a new Superman film since 1987, I can wait a little longer. It is a combination of both jealousy and the fact that I often quite like to be surprised by the ending of a film! I visit a number of websites and bulletin boards, many of which often have an "open gossip" forum where people can talk about anything that interests them, including films. Unfortunately, these boards are often filled with Americans who simply cannot grasp the fact that not everyone in the world sees a film at the same time. Think Homer Simpson turning to Marge outside a screening of The Empire Strikes Back announcing in a loud voice in front of the queue to go in "I can't believe that Darth Vader turned out to be Luke's father!". You get the idea. I confess that I tore a new arsehole for the prick who post a topic entitled "Snap Poll: Was it right to kill Data at the end of ST: Nemesis?" - 6 weeks before it came out in the UK. For fuck's sake...

But then along came broadband internet. Suddenly, it became possible for Joe Public to download low-quality copies of films within hours of them being released. Thank God, I say! Even though I have never downloaded a pirate film, nor do I intend to (I genuinely enjoy the cinema experience and have a rather low tolerance for poor quality pictures), Internet piracy has been one of the best things to happen in recent years. Why? Because it finally forced distributers to simultaneously release major pictures across the globe. Everything from X-Men 3 to Star Wars Episode III were released at exactly the same time, since it was guaranteed that copies of those films would be on peer-to-peer networks within hours of the film being shown.

But now, they've changed their minds again, claiming that simultaneous release allows people to film copies in UK cinemas. Um yeah, so what? Why does it matter where the film is copied - surely it's more important to reduce demand for illegal copies?

So now Superman Returns will be released 3 weeks late in the UK (and 2 months late in some territories). The only way it makes sense is if somebody in WB has shares in Bittorrent..




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