Sheepdogs are trained to obey their master's every word. So when farmer David Kennard decided one of those words would be "Spring", his dogs did not hesitate.
They rounded up the flock on the hills of Mr Kennard's north Devon farm and, with a little help from their master, created a picture that reminds us that, whatever the weather, this is officially the first weekend of Spring.
The scene did call for a careful scattering of feed to make the sheep form themselves in the shapes of the six letters.
However, it was down to the team of Collies – who everyone knows border on the brilliant – to have the last word. They circled the 200-strong flock and kept them from wandering off-message.
Three of David's five working dogs – Mist, Fern and Jake – were employed to help create the perfect lettering, which took three hours to achieve.
Said David yesterday: "I'm proud of my dogs. They couldn't have done it without my spreading the feed across the hillside, of course – but I couldn't have done it without them, either."
But then David's Border Collies are very much of the performing breed. They have appeared on DVDs and on TV in films made by the 41-year-old farmer.
He originally started making videos of his hard-working hands ten years ago to supplement earnings at his 400-acre farm near Woolacombe. He then wrote a top-ten best-selling book, A Shepherd's Watch.
That led to a TV film which followed the progress of one particular dog, Mist, from puppyhood to full-grown sheepdog. Other starring roles were taken by Mist's mother Gail, grandparents Greg and Swift and fellow four-legged family members Ernie, Fern and Jake.
The film proved so successful that Mist's adventures were turned into a channel Five children's TV series with the voices of Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed and Sandra Dickinson.
"It all started when I noticed people leaning over the walls of my fields to watch my sheepdogs at work," David said. "I realised my dogs were my greatest asset and that if One Man and His Dog was so popular, I ought to give it a go."
David placed his first video on local farmers' market stalls – but it ended up selling 80,000 copies worldwide. His TV series, Mist: Sheepdog Tales, returns with a new series on Five next month (April 12), along with a newly-released DVD (April 14) of the entire first series.
As well as going above the call of duty to earn their keep, David's dogs are very much part of the family, sharing kitchen space with his wife Debbie and their three children.
But when it came to getting sheep to put a spring in their step, they proved they could conjure up a bright spell, whatever the Easter weather.
John Singleton is directing the June 12, 2009 release
According to www.zap2it.com, it doesn't have a cast, but John Singleton's update of The A-Team has a release date.
According to Variety, 20th Century Fox has settled on a June 12, 2009 premiere date for the updated action-adventure.
Scripted by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (Wanted), The A-Team is expected to somewhat update the formula of the classic NBC series, which ran from 1983 through 1987.
As the show's opening narration explained, the original A-Team focused on a crack commando unit that was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. Stop us if you've heard this part, but those men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade. Where did they go from there? Why into the Los Angeles Underground. And where are they now? Well, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
All together now: If you have a problem, if no one else can help and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.
The original series starred George Peppard, Dwight Schultz, Dirk Benedict and Mr. T.
It's expected that the version will update the show's main characters from Vietnam vets to veterans of one of the Iraq ways.
Ice Cube has long been rumored as the leading candidate to play B.A. Baracus, but no casting has been formalized.
There are rumors going around about Clint Eastwood's new film Gran Torino being a geriatric take on Dirty Harry. The wonderful site
www.hollywood-elsewhere.com reports being contacted by a source in North Hollywood claiming to have the inside scoop about Eastwood's next film, a Warner Bros. December '08 release that's yet to be shot.
The Hollywood Elsewhere source stated he recently advertised 1974 Ford Grand Torino classic original for sale. Within 24 hours someone from Village Roadshow Pictures had contacted him about the car, but ultimately passed for numerous reasons, probably the modifications. The Village Roadshow rep did tell the source they were looking for the right car for a new Clint Eastwood movie.
Accrording to Hollywood Elsewhere’s source, "He [the VR rep] said it was a thriller about a killer that drives a 1972 Ford Gran Torino, and that this is the only thing the police have on him. The story is about a retired police lieutenant, one Harry Callahan, making it his mission to track down the culprit [after] two young police officers, one of them being Callahan’s grandson, are shot and killed by the guy."
In other words, if the source can be trusted, it's going be a little bit like Eastwood's Blood Work ('02), in which he played another old lawman (a retired FBI guy) on the hunt for a killer.
As Hollywood Elsewhere states: "If it’s real, the aging Harry Callahan idea is a hoot. Except the implied force and ferocity of the Callahan persona would be a moot point for a guy in his mid '70s. Would the former San Francisco detective still pack a .357 Magnum? That seems silly. He'd have to be quieter, mellower, gentler. It's a workable idea, but it also seems oddly self-mocking. Almost the basis for a black comedy."
Written by Peter Johnson and Zev Barow; Art by Jeremy Haun and Phil Noto; Cover by Phil Noto The hit NBC television series comes to comics as Chuck Bartowski and his friends are about to take the world by storm—literally!
From series co-executive producer Peter Johnson (Supernatural: Rising Son) and series writer Zev Borow joined with artists Jeremy Haun (The Leading Man) and Phil Noto (Jonah Hex) comes an adventure too big for television!In this globe-trotting, action-packed adventure, Chuck will see many exotic locales, dodge numerous bullets, and be tortured by the world's greatest...tickler?
The geekiest engagement ring ever! Jennifer Flume designed this USB Flash Drive Swarovski Crystal Engagement Ring. The idea is that two people can exchange information by connecting the rings (photos, messages, or other data). You can then transfer data to a PC with the aid of a USB necklace that accompanies the set. It’s a design concept not yet on the market.
Book Obsessed, a mini-documentary series traveling the length and breadth of the USA to meet folks whose love for books knows no bounds! From New York to LA, from Texas to Wisconsin, the intrepid crew tracks down obsessed readers and spends time with them, revealing a fascinating glimpse into their world and the books they love. Each week, you’ll meet a new bibliophile who is truly Book Obsessed.
If you never read about cars, you’ll want to make an exception for this one. Jeremy Clarkson (whose reviews are always worth reading) was supposed to write a review of the Renault Laguna Sport Tourer Dynamique. He didn’t much like the car, so he wrote a wonderful piece about why people wash their cars. Or don’t.
What a meaningless way of passing the time. You don’t wash your vacuum cleaner or your television set, you have a machine to wash the dishes and you employ a man to clean your windows. So how much do you have to hate the sight of your wife and children before you think, "I’d rather go outside into the cold and spend a couple of hours burnishing my wheel nuts"?
You’re looking at the 1986 Ferrari Testarossa … go-kart! The toy car is powered by a 5 HP Briggs & Stratton motor with 2 speed automatic transmission. It comes with working retractable headlights and turn signals, horn, CD stereo system, independent suspension and even a hydraulically operated rear disc brakes (well, the car can go 30 mph, so you’ll need it).
The Ferrari Testarossa go-kart will set you back $25,000 - the price of a real car! - but what’s money if it makes junior happy?
Freshome has a collection of 16 of the Most Extreme & Modern Beds You’ll Ever See. Some are space-saving ideas, some convert into other furniture, some are powered to do things, and some are just beautiful designs. All have product links. The bookcase bed shown here lies against the wall until you need it, when you can assemble it on the floor as a twin or double bed.
"The most complicated thing that humans have ever built" describes the Large Hadron Collider ready to begin operations next month. Built underground, it runs 17 miles across the borders of two countries (Switzerland and France). The world’s largest particle accelerator will smash protons together to create conditions similar to the "Big Bang" and maybe warp the space-time continuum. Statistics on the size and possibilities of the collider’s work, as well as pictures to give you an idea of its size, can be found at:
Jill Scott, Anika Noni Rose, Lucian Msamati, David Oyelowo, Colin Salmon and Desmond Dube lead an all-star cast in the late Anthony Minghella's and Richard Curtis' charming adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith's, The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. MORE ON NO.1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY!
The first BBC drama to be filmed entirely on location in Botswana, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is a charming story chronicling the adventures of Mma Ramotswe.
When Precious Ramotswe was young, she spent her days with Obed, her father, in the wilds of Botswana learning the secrets of nature, and with that the joys of a natural inquisitiveness and intuition.
When Obed dies, he leaves Precious the first 'step-up' into her new career - one hundred and eighty cows. With this investment she decides to become her country's first ever female detective.
With a bad marriage to jazz musician Note Makoti behind her, the sassily independent Precious Ramotswe embarks on a radical and exciting new chapter in her life.
Precious is not deterred by town gossips and despite few assets, a tiny white van, two desks, two chairs, two decrepit typewriters, a teapot and three teacups, she sets up her detective agency with a powerful sense of vocation.
The most troubling of her cases however, involves an evil form of witchcraft and the riddle surrounding a kidnapping...
"Filming The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana was an amazing adventure" said Minghella. "The people were marvellous and the landscape, especially in the northern areas of the country, is extraordinary."
"Particularly fascinating to me was working and filming in an African country where old and new are currently co-existing, where traditional values have not yet been eroded by the demands and efficiencies and neuroses of the modern. It was a privilege to be working on a film which celebrates what we can learn from Africa and not what we think we can teach it."
BBC Controller of Fiction, Jane Tranter says, "I'm delighted that such a well loved and unique story as The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is being produced by such an exceptional team.
"To have both voices and the visual eye of Richard Curtis and Anthony Minghella combined with the stunningly beautiful and striking setting of Botswana is a real privilege for BBC Drama and for the BBC One audience. I'm convinced that viewers will be rewarded with a very special piece of truly epic proportions."
* The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency was directed by Anthony Minghella who died suddenly this past Tuesday at age 54. Minghella was the Oscar winning director of The English Patient. His last movie was Breaking and Entering. His other credits include: Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr Ripley, and Truly Madly Deeply.
Legendary British science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke has died at the age of 90 in his adopted home of Sri Lanka. During his long life, he wrote more than 100 books, many considered visionary standards by his peers. However, he is best known to the general public for his short story The Sentinel, which was expanded into a novel and later adapted for Stanley Kubrick's revered film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Clarke, who had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome since the 1960s and sometimes used a wheelchair, died at 1:30am after suffering breathing problems.
He was nominated for a Nobel Prize after predicting the existence of communication satellites in 1945, decades before they became a reality.
Clarke was the last surviving member of what was sometimes known as the Big Three of science fiction, alongside Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov.
ESPN's Bill Simon has written a pretty good lament about sports movies having shifted from "rewatchably good" to "predictably good."
"Sports movies fill a void created by the real sports world. So many times we are disappointed by a game, a player, a team, a playoffs. But with rewatchably good sports movies, we're always in control. Louden Swain is always going to pin Shute. The Good Nazi will always stand up after Pele nails that bicycle kick. Carl Spackler's 'Cinderella story' will always be funny.
PENGUIN AND MYSPACE ANNOUNCE WINNER OF JAMES BOND SOUNDTRACK COMPETITION!
Cardiff band SAL voted in by the MySpace community
London - 17th March 2008: Cardiff-based band, SAL have today received the exciting news that their track will be given pride of place on the audio book for Devil May Care, the eagerly awaited new James Bond novel by Sebastian Faulks. SAL’s track will be exposed to a potential audience of millions, securing them a place in 007’s history.
More than 500 musicians submitted original work through the book’s MySpace profile (http://uk.myspace.com/devilmaycarebook) in the hope their track would be chosen as the official theme tune to Devil May Care. The book is due to be published on 28th May 2008 to mark the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth.
After careful deliberation by a panel of expert judges, SAL’s track was selected for the shortlist alongside four other artists and then put to a public vote. Within the MySpace community SAL emerged as a clear winner after the tracks were put to a public vote within the MySpace community.
SAL is a four-piece punk/rock outfit who are made up of Catrin Wyn Southall, Lee Lavis, Chris Saunders and Denley Calais Slade. SAL’s debut album ‘Dysfunctional’ was produced by Greg Haver of Manic Street Preachers and Catatonia fame and released in 2005. SAL are currently working on their second album and regularly perform at gigs across the UK.
The high-profile judging panel which chose SAL’s track for the shortlist included the book’s author Sebastian Faulks and respected figures from the world of literature and music, including cult music producer Jazzie B and Matthew Fleming, great nephew of original Bond author Ian Fleming. Dom Cook, Head of Music for MySpace UK and Alex Clarke, editor of Devil May Care were also judges.
Dom Cook, Head of Music for MySpace UK, comments: “A big congratulations to SAL! The result of this competition really demonstrates the creativity and talent which can be found within the MySpace community, as well as the importance of fans being able to engage with, and support artists in this way.”
Alex Clarke, Penguin Editor of Devil May Care commented, “We were incredibly excited to see which track the public would vote for. They voted for SAL and we couldn’t be happier. SAL’s ‘Devil May Care’ oozes the excitement and glamour of Bond and is a fitting theme tune to the book. A well deserved win - I can’t wait to hear it on the audio book in May.”
Cat Wyn Southall, frontwoman of SAL, says: “It feels great to know that there’s so many people out there who liked our song enough to vote for us. We feel very proud to have a SAL song as the theme for Devil May Care!”
SAL’s track, Devil May Care, is the first theme tune to accompany a James Bond book and will be featured on the Devil May Care audiobook, published 28 May 2008. It will later be made available as a free digital download via Penguin (penguin.co.uk) and iTunes.
MySpace users can listen to the winning track by visiting: http://uk.myspace.com/devilmaycarebook