OH HAI, I CAN HAS TURING-COMPLETE?

Twisted, Genius, and Cute, all in one language.

LOLCODE. A programming language for lolcats.

Some examples follow.

First… Well, what else could possibly be first?


HAI
CAN HAS STDIO?
VISIBLE "HAI WORLD!"
KTHXBYE

And here’s an if/then construct with some I/O action:


HAI
CAN HAS STDIO?
I HAS A VAR
GIMMEH VAR
IZ VAR BIGGER THAN 10?
YARLY
BTW this is true
VISIBLE "BIG NUMBER!
NOWAI
BTW this is false
VISIBLE "LITTLE NUMBER!"
KTHX
KTHXBYE

There is a current spec available here. And, may the Sweet Lord Jesus help us all, there are even implementations.

And yes. It’s turing-complete. Which means that any program you can write in any programming language – such as spreadsheets, word-processing programs, games, or a program to provide firing solutions for nuclear missiles – can be written in LOLCODE.

Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

The correct answer is: "A threesome."

If you and a couple of female friends ever get drunk together, and you get to talking about sex, and they ask you what your favourite sexual fantasy is, the correct answer is “A threesome.”

This is because to a certain extent, they have the power to help you out in this quest.

And the thing that turns you on most in the world is to have your sex al fresco, or tied up, or in public, or while someone is pissing on you, that’s all well and good, but that is not the correct answer, even if it is.

The correct answer is a threesome.

Because it will be interesting, and you’ll probably enjoy it, and you’ll certainly learn something about yourself. And they probably won’t be interested in helping you out with this fantasy but you just never know your luck, they might.

So.

When someone working in the television industry asks you what programmes on British TV you’d really like to work on, the correct answer is not Torchwood.

Even if it is.

Canadian?

I know that a couple of you read this blog. Stay with me. This is important.

The CIA factbook on Canada tells us it has a population of about 33 million. A little over half the population of the UK.

They have a reasonably-sized film and television industry. Like the UK it’s supported in part by the government.

Unlike the UK, several of its channels carry US programming. Not just day-and-date, but day-and-date-and-hour. This means that Canada has some additional problems with its own TV industry that we don’t have – their shows are up directly against one of the largest TV markets in the world.

Who given very little encouragement would drive right over any Canadian shows. So producers can get some money towards specifically Canadian shows from the public funds, if they meet certain criteria.

I don’t think this is a bad thing.

Something new is going down. Specifically, a proposal to allow some of the public money to be available for productions with non-Canadians.

Denis McGrath tells you why you should care about this new proposal and what you can do about it.

Please visit and read. And if you agree with Denis’s point of view: write to the CRTC.

It won’t take long, and might help save your indigenous TV industry.

You gotta keep the devil way down in the hole…

It’s possible that I may have raved about The Wire to you already. And urged you to buy the DVD not tomorrow but right now.

Course, you might be too poor to afford that twenty quid. Fair enough.

Well, there’s no excuse to not watch any more. Because The Guardian is going to be streaming the episodes from their website.

Should be live from this URL by tomorrow.

Off you go.

And as to the terrestrial networks that failed to acquire this series, allowing a newspaper to beat them to one of the finest pieces of television ever made: You, sirs and madams, are fools.

Hammer Time

It was only a few years ago that I found out the truth about Hammer Films.

As a youngster, I used to watch their movies as they came on the television late at night. Sex, death, blood, toplessness, and lesbianism.

Obviously as a young teen these concepts had no effect on me at all.

Hammer died.

It wasn’t moving with the times. In the US Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist redefined horror. Hammer retaliated with Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter. Unless you’re a horror afficionado, you won’t have heard of this. Which tells you all you need to know.

So when a few years ago Taste The Blood of Dracula came on the telly, my friend Nick and I settled in for a night of amusement at the creaky old vampire film.

(Minor spoilage follows. Turn away from the computer screen now if you don’t wish to know the result.)

Peter Sallis has resurrected Dracula, who’s put the bite on his young daughter. Big D and the daughter turn up at the local church, and Peter Sallis begs for his life. Big D refuses to show mercy, and Peter Sallis’s daughter heads towards him with a stake.

And she puts the stake to his heart.

And she plunges it in.

And he screams and screams and screams but she just will not stop and there’s blood everywhere and he screams and screams and screams but she just will not stop.

And then it’s finally, finally over.

And that’s when I realised that the versions I’d originally seen had been quite heavily censored.

So you see, Hammer has a reputation for cosy Horror. But that’s really not the case. Back in the day, they really were leaders in their field.

Hammer died.

It was many years ago. All that was left was the brand name and some remake rights tangled up in all sorts of IP nastiness.

Every few years the brand would get bought again, and someone would promise that there would be new Hammer films Real Soon Now.

Never happened.

But there’s a new owner in town. And this time it feels like we really might get some new films under the Hammer insignia.

Behind the revived Hammer are John de Mol and Simon Oakes. At the recent Screenwriters’ Festival, Simon talked for a little bit about his plans for the studio.

There are two strings to this bow. A low budget division which will make 4 or 5 films a year in the $2-4 million range, and the high-budget division which will aim for (eventually) two or three releases a year in the $15-20 million range.

It’s a great business plan. Low-budget horror has a good track record selling onto DVD, and we have the possibility of breakout hits later. The Hammer brand still has a great deal of equity behind it and some nice IP rights ripe and ready for exploitation.

And: For the UK industry, these are quite serious figures, even for the lower price range. Really very serious money indeed.

Things are looking good for Hammer.

And with a bit of luck, we’ll find that we can scream and scream and scream and this time they just will not stop.

EDIT: The first version of this post incorrectly claimed Bray Studios had shut up shop. They are in fact alive and well and living on the banks of the Thames.

Ah well.

Just received news from the beeb; I’ve not made it through to the final round of the Drama Writers’ Academy.

Which is a shame.

Never mind. Onward!

EDIT: Paul Campbell has though. Send some good wishes his way.

Radio Silence

Am at the Screenwiters’ Festival for the rest of the week.

It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s just that I don’t have a stable Internet connection.

Normal service will be resumed some time next week.

In the meantime, why don’t you turn off this computer and tell someone that you love them?