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"Chickens go in, pies come owt" A great movie opened today in the US, though maybe not quite as great as Wallace & Gromit. Chicken Run is a kind of "Stalag 17"/"Great Escape" for plastecine models. The action is based around a group of chickens, whose fate at the hands of the evil Mrs Tweedy, is to end up as pies in a machine somewhat reminiscent of the Sheep Shearing Machine in "A Close Shave". It was good to hear Northern England humor and accents in a Hollywood film, though the "yanks" I saw it with in New York failed to appreciate mentions of "a load of tripe", though I'm sure they connected with Rocky the Rhode Island Rooster (the nominal Yank in the film - voice by Mel Gibson) coming to save the day. The spectacular finale is well worth the waiting for, something only Nick Park and Peter Lord could have dreamed up! See how the film was made at their special website.
Update (26June2000): Chicken Run grossed $17.5M in its first weekend, displacing "Shaft" and coming second to "Me, Myself and Irene".
Money by Email Now here's a really good idea. When you want to make a payment you just send an email with the amount and that's transferred to the payee. Simple, too simple? Well that's the idea behind PayPal.com. PayPal acts almost like a bank. You sign up with them, supplying either bank or credit card details and then you can email money to anyone you like. The person receiving the email then has to sign up and they can then either leave the money at PayPal and use it to pay others (and that's how PayPal makes its money, the interest earned by you leaving it there), or you can transfer it to your bank. You can even make money from getting people to sign up with PayPal. The downside... as usual you have to live in the USA to take advantage of all this. Unfortunately the domain name "paypal.co.uk" has been carpet-bagged by cybersquatters, so they may have to fight to get in the UK market and maintain their brand.
Andrew Stringer, © Pendle.Net Ltd, 2000
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