CRRRaSh! 368 The End is Nighish

https://archive.org/download/captain-roys-rocket-radio-show/2021-01-18-captain-roys-rocket-radio-show.mp3

CRRRaSh! 368 The End is Nighish
Roy Mathur 2021-01-18 23:00:00–23:37:17

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Hello
Hello! Thanks for tuning in. You are listening to Captain Roy’s Rocket Radio Show (CRRRaSh!): The UK Podcast for the Culture Geek, Technology Nerd, and Creative Wizard, episode NUMBER, recorded on DATE, at TIME.

Preshow

The State of the Pod
I pointlessly moved some furniture around the studio today hoping to create more space. All it is was make less space and screw with my feng shui.
You’ll see kittens on my website, because I’ve used them as place holder images while I continue experimenting with an image thumbnail list for blog entries. It’s still a bit rough, get I’m getting there. There’s about a 1000 blog entries to sort out, so there formatting is important. My static site is so much faster than the old PHP and MySQL WordPress site it’s based on.
Studio mic preamp save time from all the bloody post processing I have to do to still only sound average.
NB/ In this epsiode I said I would start doing these again, but I only intend doing them regularly for the rewatch episodes, not these ramblesodes. Yes, I just made that word up and no, you cannot use it without paying me, despite the socialist/angry poor person/professional jealously rant you will hear me embark on later in this episode.

Weather
Even more noise than ever tonight. It sounds like a storm outside. Man, it is pelting down. There’s an extra 10 dB of noise—sorry about that, but the window’s right behind me, and I can’t get rid of it in post without destroying the audio.

The Great Brexit Rip Off is No Surprise
This is the preshow section, so let’s go completely off-piste.
With Brexit, online ordering is going to be more expensive and that affects geeks like me, but the fishermen, whose livelihoods are at stake, and who, I’m not being unfair here, mostly voted for Brexit, seem a little perturbed that they’ve been sold down the river by the same chancer who lied about the extra NHS funding.
I sympathise with them, but they believed the Britain’s version of MAGA-like lies about sovereignty, when almost 50% of us remainers did not. We knew that all Brexit would do is bow to the baser and deep-seated sentiments of xenophobia and post-imperial resentment of Brexiteers and destroy our economy and rights.
Whoever you are, whatever trade you are in, if you voted for Brexit, don’t whine about it now. Either live with the mess you made or come over to our side.
If you voted remain, pressure all the parties to reverse it, because none of the three major English political parties—Conservative, Labour, or even the Liberal Democrats or Greens—want that right now.
See also: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-55177496

Trump Out
The racist orange man has left the building. Let’s hope it is the beginning of the end for others of his ilk, including the Boris the lying chancer.
I think golf sucks unless it’s PGA Tour Golf on the Mega Drive, but it also delighted me that the organisers of the PGA broke with whatever contract the had with Trump to use his courses.
I love that they did this, even though, compared to Facebook and Twitter, they fly under the radar as far as having a dodgy relationship with the moron. I’m also impressed that they decided to risk legal and/or financial repercussions to do this.

Show

Culture (science fiction, fantasy, and horror; books, comics, movies, TV, games, toys, art, music; themes, script, creature design, sets, props, FX, diversity, reception, trivia)

Record Collecting Update
My new hobby is on hold until I complete my CD collection and lossless rips (and actually buy a Hi-Fi).
What records would I buy? I would replace some records I used to own and some I always wanted. There’s a story behind each selection and they all mean something deeply personal to me. They include, though are not limited to Nirvana’s In Utero, a best of Chuck Berry compilation, Mozart’s Requiem Mass, The Light at the End of the Tunnel by The Damned with the Peter Frame liner notes, Iron Maiden’s Somewhere in Time and The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring; the Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic in 1958, the sound track from Star Wars (a replacement for a cassette tape my mother bought me) and the list goes ever on.

Technology

The End is Nighish
The end of the universe’s date in a tweet from me and featured in pod 366 is based on one theory for the end.
If you find that disturbing, don’t worry, because another theory says it could be much later, as in the “big rip scenario 22 billion years in the future”. Phew.
Or, sorry about this, much sooner, “2.8 billion years from now”, according to yet another theory. Damnit.
Sources: National Geographic and New Scientist

Police National Computer Cock-Up
Good old UK plod have lost a huge amount of evidence stashed in the PNC. Apparently, this could invalidate many court cases.
The BBC reported:
“The deletion of the records has been blamed on a coding error.
This resulted in records that had been flagged for deletion being lost from the database before checks had been carried out to determine whether they could be lawfully held or not.”
The data purged included fingerprint, DNA, and arrest records.
Every time I hear how secure a system is, I know that it isn’t. When you think something is secure, you are being complacent. Even if it’s secure from deliberate outside intrusions, it’s never going to be secure from sheer staff stupidity. If it’s not the inevitable “fat-finger error”, it’s whatever berk has admin rights to your database. Years ago I worked for the government, and then for many years I worked in IT, so let’s sum up the situation constructively: bloody muggles at the Home Office.

Vanced and Redpipe
Vanced and Redpipe are third party YouTube front-ends. The first was recommended top me by a friend because of my complaints about Roku’s crap YouTube app which crops the picture, buffers like crazy—even though I have a fast connection—and slams me with advertising. Given that that my primary use of Roku is to watch YouTube, that sucks.
Installing the Vanced Android app on my phone, then streaming to the Roku YouTube app solves the cropping and buffering, but the advertising issue remains.
I found that Redpipe won’t stream to the Roku YouTube app at all.
I’m finished with TVs and streaming sticks. My next TV will be a big monitor.

Creative

Paywalls
In 366 I went off on one about other podcasters erecting paywalls. This stance is admittedly hypocritical of me because, as I writer, I do this all the time.
My problem isn’t so much with accepting payment for work. I firmly believe creators should be paid.
My problem is why should people with no need for extra money be rewarded with even more money?
Paying creators and wealth inequality are two separate issues and for muddling them I apologise.
Tangent: it’s funny how no one believes in socialism until they are strapped.
I’m annoyed because it feels as if some creators are sucking the well dry, but that’s celebrity for you.
Oh, and if I meet any of you IRL, when this hell is over, please don’t use my own words against me. Man, I hate it when that happens, and it happens a lot. I heard it said that it is a compliment when your own arguments are parroted back by someone else as if it were their own. Pah!

Keeping Suspicious Emails
Ever have a stalker? I did. More than once. What can I say, I’m apparently irresistible. (Or a nut magnet). Every now and then I get a mail from them and I keep it. The evidence might be important one day.

Aftershow

Shopping
It’s the weekly shopping slog tomorrow. I’m not looking forward to it. With 2000 people dead in the UK in one day, popping down the shops feels even more like Russian Roulette than ever.

About
The show is produced, presented, and edited by me, Roy Mathur, a writer. “Mathur” is spelt M-A-T-H-U-R. You can find more about me or get in touch at RoyMathur.com.

Help
If you want to help, please review and rate the show on whatever platform you listen, recommend it to a friend or enemy, or click on the contact or support link on the website.

Goodbye
You were listening to Captain Roy’s Rocket Radio Show (CRRRaSh!): The UK Podcast for the Culture Geek, Technology Nerd, and Creative Wizard, episode NUMBER, recorded on DATE, and the time at the end of the show is TIME. Thanks for listening and bye bye for now. Bye!

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CRRRaSh! 367 Doctor Who: The Masque of Mandragora (1976)

https://archive.org/download/captain-roys-rocket-radio-show/2021-01-18-captain-roys-rocket-radio-show.mp3

CRRRaSh! 367 Doctor Who: The Masque of Mandragora (1976)
By Roy Mathur 2021-01-18 23:09:01–23:47:01

Theme

Hello! Thanks for tuning in. You are listening to Captain Roy’s Rocket Radio Show (CRRRaSh!): The UK Podcast for the Culture Geek, Technology Nerd, and Creative Wizard, episode NUMBER, recorded on DATE, at TIME.

Preshow

Back from a Short Break
We’re back from the Christmas break to bring you another classic revisit!
Remember I said previously that I definitely remember seeing this before? Now that I’ve seen it, it turns out I can’t remember seeing it the first time around.
It’s not the first time I’ve made this specific mistake either. I keep confusing this story with the very different City of Death, because the dust jacket of the hardback novelisation of The Masque of Mandragora, which I owned and was written by none other than Philip Hinchcliffe, featured the Doctor surrounded by cultic masks (artist Mike Little). And masks are what I associate with the villain from City of Death.
That confusion from a, not even a tenuous link, is just a weird problem with my internal fluid link. I think the Eye of Harmony, stored in my annexe, needs a tune up.
Oh, and while we’re here, probably no more On this Day segment, because it’s driving me mad. I say, “probably” because we have a long way to go until the end, so I’m not burning any bridges and saying it won’t come back.
On the other hand, the State of the Rewatch will come back, only I won’t call it that. It’s just whatever I say in the Preshow segment. Hint to self: say something!
And on that matter, yes, I am glad to be back, but I am intimidated with how much further I have to go until the end.
For an inkling of what I plan to do after Doctor Who, visit the podcast page and click on the revisit link.

Note
Ignore what I just said. Both the State of the Rewatch and the On this Day segments are coming back. Taking them out is a stupid idea, but I have stupid ideas sometimes because I don’t like feeling constrained or being told what to do, even by myself. What a berk!

Show

Culture (science fiction, fantasy, and horror; books, comics, movies, TV, games, toys, art, music; themes, script, creature design, sets, props, FX, diversity, reception, trivia)

Notes
Fourth Doctor: Tom Baker
Companion: Sarah Jane Smith: Elisabeth Sladen
Director: Rodney Bennett
Writer: Louis Marks
Producer: Philip Hinchcliffe
Locations: Additional on-location filming at Portmeirion, Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd, Wales (the beautiful, iconic, and weird location for The Prisoner)
First story of season 14, following The Seeds of Doom (covered in 351), 4 x 25 minute episodes, first broadcast from 4 to 25 September 1976.

Audio Clip

What Happens
While wandering around the TARDIS the Doctor and Sarah enter the mostly unused secondary control room. On the screen, the Doctor sees a violent and powerful energy vortex called the Mandragora Helix.
The TARDIS is dragged in and then arrives in 15th century Italy, where the Doctor sees a ball of burning light that causes some fires and deaths—Mandragora energy—and surmises it must have hitched a ride in the TARDIS. The energy ball enters the underground lair of the evil cult, the Brotherhood of Demnos, and produces a beam of blinding light. An ominous voice declares to the cult leader, the court astrologer Hieronymous, to prepare for the Mandragora.
The Doctor and Sarah find themselves entangled in the political intrigue between the cruel Count Frederico, plotting to take the dukedom from his nephew Giuliano; the son of the recently poisoned old duke. With a deft flick of his scarf, the Doctor escapes execution by beheading and rescues Sarah, who is kidnapped by the Brotherhood, and saves her from a sacrificial ritual.
The Mandragora energy helix promises Hieronymous power over the Earth. The Doctor tells Giuliano that is malevolent Mandragora must be stopped because it is using the Brotherhood to halt the Renaissance and continue the Dark Ages.
Fully possessed by the Mandragora, and now a being of pure incandescence, Hieronymous clashes with the Doctor in the underground lair. Fortunately, the Doctor is wearing a hidden breastplate which resists the bolts.
After a murderous rampage by the black robed Brotherhood, at a masque (an elaborate masked ball) scheduled for the young duke to establish his claim to the dukedom, the remaining prisoners are led down to the lair for sacrifice. The leader sends the influence of the Mandragora away at the last moment and reveals himself as the Doctor in disguise. He has wired up the altar with a Heath Robinson device that temporarily drains the Mandragora, though the risk will return, he says, in five hundred years.

What I Thought
I don’t like the historical costume dramas, which is ridiculous as it is a show about time travel, but I did love that little look around the TARDIS at the beginning of the first episode. We saw the incongruously named large 18th century French boudoir used as a “boot room” (extravagant git), and the cosy little secondary control with stain glass windows occasionally used by preceding Doctors.
Hammer Films-like cultists, garbed in black and keen to sacrifice beautiful women; it’s all a little Dennis Wheatley. Cast your mind back to The Daemons (1971) covered in pod 50 with the Master camping up the deviltry. (Tangent: and spare a fond memory for Bok the prancing gargoyle, played by actor Stanley Mason).
I liked the young Duke. He’s modern, humane, and science enthusiast. He is the very embodiment of the Renaissance man, appropriate as this is set 15th century Italy; the time and the heart of the Renaissance.
Hypnosis, yet again is featured, as it so often is on the show. The Doctor is a master of it, shown in his control of the royal beast in The Curse of Peladon (covered in pod 271). The Master often uses it to enslave others, that’s why he calls himself the Master. And now we see it again as the court astrologer Hieronymous hypnotises Sarah to kill the Doctor with a poison needle.
The cult’s high priest reports to the leader, “The town is empty great one. Not a living creature larger than a cat remains within the walls.” The actor’s delivery of the line had me giggling because it was very Blackadder.

Trivia
The title is a pun referring to the Demnos cult masks and the masque held in the Duke’s honour.
Prolific British actor Tim Pigott-Smith plays the Duke’s stalwart and likeable friend Marco.
Peter Tuddenham, Alpha Centauri from (pod 271), and Orac, Zen, and Slave from Blake’s 7, plays the voice of the Mandragora.
This story reminded me of Roger Corman’s Masque of the Red Death (1964), Terence Fisher’s Hammer film The Devil Rides Out (1968), and Bernard Borderie’s Angelique et le Roy (Angelique and the King) (1966). The last of which, many years ago, amused my French cousins when they saw prim little English me goggle-eyed at the casual continental nudity. The possession of the cultic leader reminded me slightly of the possession scene in Karl Edward Wagner’s Dark Crusade, which also featured a murderous priesthood, as did the Satanists from The Devil’s Rain (1975), starring William Shatner. One last reference. The energy shooting forth from the robed Hieronymous’s fingers is exactly the same way Emperor Palpatine does exactly the same thing a few years later. Hmmm… I think, stroking my beard of geek. But look, Renaissance masques and robed Satanists are all tropes used in so many other IPs that I could continue this thread forever. These were just a few (possibly too many) references from media that immediately sprang to mind.

Technology

Creative

Aftershow

About
The show is produced, presented, and edited by me, Roy Mathur, a writer. “Mathur” is spelt M-A-T-H-U-R. You can find more about me or get in touch at RoyMathur.com

Help
If you want to help, please review and rate the show on whatever platform you listen, recommend it to a friend or enemy, or click on the contact or support link on the website.

Goodbye
You were listening to Captain Roy’s Rocket Radio Show (CRRRaSh!): The UK Podcast for the Culture Geek, Technology Nerd, and Creative Wizard, episode NUMBER, recorded on DATE, and the time at the end of the show is TIME. Thanks for listening and bye bye for now. Bye!

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Podcast to YouTube: ffmpeg One Liner Scripts

Here are some examples of how to convert audio podcasts in mp3 format to YouTube videos in mp4 format adding nice black and white wave form visualisations. They require the ffmpeg command-line tool, and are one-liners that must be run from the Windows command prompt.

NB/ I used these one-liner scripts to convert Roy’s Rocket Radio to YouTube-able vids. That was the easy part. The agonizingly slow part was uploading to YouTube.

One File

ffmpeg -i YOURFILE.mp3 -filter_complex "[0:a]showwaves=s=640x480:mode=line:rate=25,format=yuv420p[v]" -map "[v]" -map 0:a YOURFILE.mp4

Replace YOURFILE with the file you want to convert.

All Files in a Directory

FOR /F "tokens=*" %G IN ('dir /b *.mp3') DO ffmpeg -i "%G" -filter_complex "[0:a]showwaves=s=640x480:mode=line:rate=25,format=yuv420p[v]" -map "[v]" -map 0:a "%~nG.mp4"

Sources and More Examples

http://video.stackexchange.com/questions/9644/how-do-i-turn-audio-into-video-that-is-show-the-waveforms-in-a-video
https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/354099-Batch-combining-jpg-with-audio#post2225351

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