Saturday, 28 February 2009

Linkables 28/2/9

Interesting article about human colour perception.

The Irish police always get their man.

Great collection of single and multiplayer flash games.

I linked to one of his posts last time, but I think the Bad Science blog by Dr Ben Goldacre deserves another mention, it really is an excellent analysis of science issues in the media.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Overheard

A gentleman on a pushbike nearly collides with a woman crossing Wimbledon Hill Road in the early evening. He doesn't stop, but they conduct a short and increasingly loud exchange as he accelerates away.

Man: Watch it, darling!
Woman: (annoyed) The light was red!
Man: (shouting over his shoulder) Suck ... my ... dick!
Woman: (screaming after him) Shut the fuck up you foul-mouthed prick!

Marvellous.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

All Shirts Will Continue To Go To Hell

As a follow-up entry to this post...

I received an email from T-Shirt Hell on their advertised final day of business with a link to this message. If you don't want to read it all, here's the gist of it: T-Shirt Hell is not closing down. They never were. My thoughts:

- Whilst I'm glad that T-Shirt Hell will continue to operate (allegedly "bigger, better and more fucked up than before"), I still can't help but feel that if Megatron had called it a day now that the site and its merchandise would have gone out on a high with a legacy of quality and uncompromised ideals.

- As a customer who bought two of the almost 100,000 shirts bought during T-Shirt Hell's "final weeks", am I annoyed that I was "tricked" into doing so? Not really. There was part of me that bought the shirts because I believed that this was to be my last opportunity to do so, but ultimately I've got two shirts that I like, that I will wear, and that even if the whole "closing down" thing hadn't happened I was quite likely to have bought at some point anyway. As the message states: "Sometimes you need to kick your loved ones in the assholes to get them to satisfy their need for awesome t-shirts".

- If anything, I'm slightly disappointed in myself for not guessing, or at least seeing the possibility, that the "closing down" thing was a hoax. It just goes to reemphasise how shameless Sunshine Megatron is when it comes to his commitment to T-Shirt Hell. And I can't argue with his statement that faking the closure of the site has saved jobs at the company during the global recession. And if you want more proof of Megatron's commitment to T-Shirt Hell's ideals, take into account that he has had an attempt on his life in the past over the shirts he creates, and then click here.

So, welcome back T-Shirt Hell (athough you, er, never actually left). I look forward to browsing your shirts for years to come, and hope that the next shirt I buy will not need a fake closing down sale to push me towards making the purchase.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Venting

To even take up time and a blog entry on this seems to be to give it more attention than it actually deserves, but I need a place to put this down as it's bugging me, and I've started writing now, so I'll try to make it brief.

Jade Goody is an awful human being. She always has been, and the fact that she now has life-threatening cancer does not change that fact one iota. I find it incredibly shameless, undignified and disgusting that she is making sure that every last moment of what is left of her life will be documented by the media. I find it sickening that she is using her sons' futures as an excuse for doing this - she is a millionaire already, so I'm pretty sure they'd cope.

The woman has earned fame for doing precisely nothing and showed her true repulsive colours in 2007. The fact that she has managed to claw her way back into the public eye through prostituting the fact that she now suffers from a serious disease says as much about the general public as it does about her.

I can think of not one redeeming feature about Goody. I would not wish her circumstances upon anyone, but it does not mean that I have to like her in any way, nor does it mean that I should accept the final moments of her sordid life being thrust into my face. She truly is an awful human being.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Disagree with me

I save a lot of links that I want to talk about on here, but end up without really enough time to put down exactly how I feel about them. Hence, I might try occasionally doing this kind of post, where I briefly put down some thoughts about something, hoping to provoke discussion with anyone reading who disagrees (or agrees, obviously).

So, this time around, lets try Should computer games which simulate criminal acts be allowed to exist? Personally, I'm very much against censoring art (and games definitely fall under the umbrella of art), and so would say yes they should. However, once you get into the extremes of the genre (if you can call it that), it gets more difficult to back up your position. But can a line be sensibly drawn? I'd say that even in these extreme cases, such art should be allowed to exist. What do you think?

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Un-Valentine's Day

Well as much as it pains me to blog about this, I will.

I'm bored, there is no point in trying to see if anyone else wants to do anything as they'll be busy and I refuse to acknowledge this day when and if I get myself a girlfriend, the western world and it's crappy culture can officially piss off! No doubt though, we will be forced to partake in this mother of all non holidays (scrubs quote, not sure if it was about Valentine's waste of space day) as everyone else will be doing something and thus we will have nothing else to do but spend it together, but enough talking about non-existent relationships.

My main point is do couple really need an excuse to be romantic or go out for a meal or just come up with some soppy way of saying "I wuv you", just get on with it and stop being so unoriginal. Have "Valentine's day" on the 8th June or celebrate the anniversary of when you met, the first time you argued the last time you farted and laughed together or something as equally mundane but also brilliant. It annoys me that it requires a day (which was originally a pagan festival that was renamed after a couple of Christian Martyrs and associated with "romantic love" in the high middle ages, thank you wikipedia) for couples to show their love and romanticness to each other and that it can actually be seen as romantic to go to a restaurant surrounded by other couple who have equally reacted to the hype created by advertising and other such brainwashing.

Now this all may seem like the mad ramblings of a lonely single person, feeling sorry for himself on Valentine's day, who just wants to have a rant about the injustice of it all in a vain attempt to make himself feel better about it all, but it's not (no seriously). I'm truly bored and like to rant about stuff that annoys me every now and then, see my previous works for proof. I'm mostly happy being single, I'd like to have a girlfriend, but as it happens, right now I don't and there's not much I can or would do about it, so while I can I'll spend my money how I want, play my 360 as much as I want and not have to factor in the needs and desires of another human being.

So yeah, a day devoted to discrimination against single people, I'm calling Amnesty International.

Friday, 13 February 2009

In which an analogy is thinly veiled

Him: [thick Indian accent] Good evening, 3 mobile local milk delivery services, my name is Chandra, how can I help you?

Me: Hi, I'm a customer of yours and I'd like to cancel my phone contract milk round please.

Him: Ok, sir. Can I just check your name and address for my records?

Me: I'm Mr Bingle Bongle and my address is 33 Binglebong Road, Bingleton, Bongleshire.

Him: Thank you very much sir, please give me a minute while I bring up your records.

[HOLD MUSIC: "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse]

Him: Hello Mr Bongle, I've brought up your records now, and I see you've been with us for a fair amount of time now, can I ask you why you want to cancel your milk round?

Me: I've experienced poor service, and I've found a better deal elsewhere.

Him: Ok, I'm just going to have a look at the service level in your area, could you hold for a moment.

[HOLD MUSIC: Unidentifiable tinny dance music]

Him: Hello Mr Bongle? Yes, I've had a look at your address on the system and it seems like the milk service in your area is good.

Me: Well I've had a number of problems with it, and I'd like to cancel my milk round please.

Him: You know we've recently joined up with other local and national milk suppliers to give you an even better service, so the service in your area should really be excellent.

Me: Well, as I say, I've had a number of problems, and sometimes not recieved any milk at all, so I've signed on with someone else, and I'd just like to cancel my contract with you.

Him: Can I ask you what kind of deal you're getting from your new milk supplier?

Me: I'm getting 2 pints of skimmed, 2 pints of semi skimmed and six eggs every week. Also a bottle of lemonade.

Him: And how much are you paying for that?

Me: £x

Him: Please can I just ask you to hold for a minute, sir?

[HOLD MUSIC: "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse]

[HOLD MUSIC: Unidentifiable tinny dance music]

[HOLD MUSIC: "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse]

Him: Hello Mr Bongle? Yes, sorry for making you wait so long. I was just checking with a collegue, and we can offer you 2 pints of skimmed milk, 2 pints of semi skimmed milk and six eggs every week all of which can be used in a variety of cakes and desserts as well as numerous other dishes. And we don't have lemonade, but have you heard of cream soda? We can offer you cream soda. It's very comparable. And we can offer you that for £x too.

Me: I'm really not interested in getting a new deal from you - I've had problems with the service, as I say-

Him: The service in your area is very good.

Me: Well, I've had some problems with-

Him: You know we've recently joined up with other local and national milk suppliers to give you an even better service, so the service in your area should really be excellent.

Me: Anyway, I've already signed on with this new milk round now, so I'd just like to cancel the one I have with you.

Him: You know there is a two-week cooling off period, so even if you've already agreed to a contract with this other milk supplier, you can still cancel it and take up this deal that we are offering you.

Me: I'm genuinely not interested in your offer - please can I just cancel my milk round?

Him: Please hold for a second, sir.

[HOLD MUSIC: Unidentifiable tinny dance music]

Him: Ok, I've consulted with my collegue, and we can offer you the same deal but with 12 eggs a week rather than six, so you can see that this is now a better deal.

Me: I'm really not interested in-

Him: But why are you not interested, sir? We are offering you more eggs. You get twelve eggs every week, rather than six, and they can be used for cakes, desserts, a large variety of dishes. And we have offered you cream soda as well which is very similar to lemonade. So you can see that this is really an excellent deal. I'm able to offer you this contract because you have been a loyal customer and accumulated a lot of loyalty points. Why would you want to throw all those points away, sir?

Me: I don't think I can use twelve eggs a week. Even six will be a struggle. And I don't want any cream soda. Please can I just cancel my milk round?

Him: I am offering you a better deal sir. Why can you not see that?

Me: Please can I cancel my milk round?

Him: But why?

Me: Please can I just cancel my milk round?

Him: Please hold sir.

[HOLD MUSIC: "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse]

[HOLD MUSIC: Unidentifiable tinny dance music]

Him: Your milk round is canceled, sir.

Me: Thank you.

Him: Have a good day. Goodbye. *click*

The impossible becomes possible if you're AWESOME

In conclusion you should all go and see Bolt.

Especially if you get the chance to see it in 3-D as it is very well done, not (literally) in your face, but instead just making the foreground seem closer and background further away.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Linkables 10/2/9

I know I know I know. Links post != real update. I'm busy and tired and have way too little inspiration and far too much mis-applied perspiration.

Ryan North explores the dramatic possibilities of AI language-based games.

Plant trees using your iPhone. (iPhone required to participate)

You know all those photos of ridiculously over-the-top food from around the world (*ahem* America *ahem*)? Now there's a blog for them.

There should be something preventing the BBC putting videos this terrifying on their site. Don't fuck around with level crossings.

I was going to talk about the media coverage of the snow, but David Mitchell got there first and said everything I would have. Bastard.

And, on a darker note, a really interesting read (but not for the faint of heart): how not to commit suicide. Followed up with a tall glass of real suicide notes.

Finally Dr Ben Goldacre on scientific statistics used in news items.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Barack Obama is tired of your motherfucking shit

This is most amusing.

I can't help but feeling Obama's writing rather too many books at the moment to make a good President. But I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for a while longer...

They're BACK!!!!!

Julian and Tarquin are back and this time it's profiterole.

Well actually it isn't, but it's still funny.

Awesome Photoshoppage

I found this tutorial and think it's pretty awesome.

The general effect is pretty cool to begin with, but when you go through the tutorial (I just clicked through to see what was involved) it's just incredible how much work went into it and pretty much all done with a wacom tablet and drawing details.

Incidentally, the face on the desk looks like Johnny Vegas, but it's not.

The theory I have now concocted is that Johnny Vegas used to look like the person who's used in the tutorial, but ended up drinking way too much and putting on a lot of extra weight.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Pointless information, but pretty cool...

...well I though so anyway.

From wikipedia

In Japanese, harakiri is a colloquialism, seppuku being the more formal term. Samurai would use seppuku, whereas ordinary Japanese (who in feudal times as well as today looked askance at the practice) would use harakiri. Harakiri is the more common term in English, where it is often mistakenly rendered "hari kari".


I found this kinda interesting. I was looking up the spelling of Seppuku, don't bother asking why, it's not really interesting, and though I'd read a bit about it. Saw the word Harakiri and thought "hey that's kinda like the phrase harry karry" (I even spell things wrong when I think) and lo and behold it's where the phrase is derived from.

As is typical though, the meaning has been altered a bit, as it's usually used to mean causing chaos or something like that, where as it's proper usage would be for if someone was causing themselves to be disembowelled, something that doesn't often happen, thus making the phrase all but redundant.

Elbow's are cool...

...and so is this one.

Cryptic? perhaps. Awesome? definitely.

If you like northern indy type rock, then you really should watch this excellent performance by Elbow, a brilliant band, performing a brilliant album, in a brilliant way, with a brilliant orchestral arrangement and brilliantly true to the album but with it's own brilliant uniqueness. Brilliant!

It's only available for one more day (whether that means it'll be gone saturday or the end of I don't know) so go see it quick, before it's gone forever (or until BBC decide to put it up again). It works quite well as background music while you do something else on the internet or your computer, I currently have it in a small browser on the right so I can blog and watch at the same time.

Despite my inability to come up with any other adverbs (if brilliant is indeed an adverb) to describe them and this, it's well worth it. It's an hour and appears to go through the album (Seldom Seen Kid) in track order (I'm watching it now and so far that's what they've been doing *). This is one of my favourite albums and from a really good band who have a knack for crafting truly captivating music which is raw, yet refined (that's my overly wordy description of them).

Well anyway, I hope you enjoy it if you decide to listen/watch it, and if you don't, you're missing out.

*It's strange that after you listen to an album enough you know instinctively what track comes next and with this album in particular the anticipation of the next track is something that adds to the experience.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

More linking to my blog - updated 2

I posted a list of films which I own on my blog, which gave me something to do for an hour or so.

The plan is to get suggestions of films I might like to fill the gaps (you'll understand more when you go there), so head on over and lend me a hand, or a foot, or an ear, or a mouth, or anything really, I don't care.

Update - I've now posted a list of music which I have. I intend to try and keep them upto date aswell, not sure why, just fun I guess.

Update 2 - Now with added Games!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Equal Ops

This is going to be just a quick note and sort of without context. I saved a link a while ago to an item of news on the University of Nottingham's website, concerning the internal investigation into one of their union officers. The officer was taking part in a group exercise in which members of the group were holding up signs displaying controversial topics of debate. The officer in question, Craig Cox, held up a sign on which was written 'Bring Back Slavery'. After an investigation, Craig was found to be in breach of the university's equal opportunities policy.

From the website:

"whilst the NUS acknowledges that he did not write the sign or deliberately hold it up, the ruling has been upheld and the Students’ Union stands by this."
There's clearly no way that we can say anything about this case in particular without knowing more details, but the sentence quoted above just makes no sense to me. How can anyone be censured for doing something they did not intend to do, where the action represented a view that they do not hold?

I've got nowhere else to go with this train of thought, but when I read that sentence a while back it seemed illogical and bizarre, and I was wondering if others felt the same, or whether I'm missing something.

Review Round-Up 5

I haven't done one of these round-ups for a while (in fact a bit longer than I thought) for a variety of reasons, possibly the most important of those being that I haven't seen many films recently that I felt strongly enough about to drive me to write a paragraph about them. However, with such a wide array of films in the cinema either now or very soon that I really want to see (and all of which I inevitably won't get to see), such as Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, Revolutionary Road, Valkyrie and The Wrestler, as well as a few I'm sure I've forgotten, hopefully this won't be a problem for the foreseeable future.

That said, here are a few reviews of stuff I've watched recently.

Mamma Mia!
Whilst I accept that this is intended as a lighthearted and fun film, it grated on me as twee, vacuous and poorly written. It didn't help that I'm in no way a fan of ABBA, so the film had a lot of ground to make up before it started. With such a star-studded cast, many of whom have proven themselves as talented heavyweights of cinema, the acting was decidedly average. The only person who mildly impressed me was Meryl Streep, who was also the only one of the big names who was able to sing. Pierce Brosnan, for example, sounded like a mediocre David Bowie impersonator with a head cold. The story was ludicrous, which in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, but never really entertained me. Some of the ABBA songs felt like they'd been forced in despite not really having a lot to do with what was happening in the story. I could go on for ages picking this one apart, but I won't. Essentially, the only redeeming feature for me is that the film never takes itself seriously for a second, and the entire cast give it everything they have all the way through, but in the end Mamma Mia! just wasn't for me in any way.
3/10

Hairspray
A film I wasn't expecting to enjoy, but ended up being entertained by all the way through. On the surface this is merely a bright and cheery musical with overly simple characters and situations, and at times that's all you get. But there's more to this film, with underlying themes of racism, prejudice and social change. They're never explored in extreme depth, but they are key to the film's plot. The cast is strong throughout, with Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken and John Travolta (in both drag and a fat suit) adding credence to the film, and the younger members of the cast also giving impressive turns - Zac Efron and Nikki Blonsky stood out for me. Overall, thoroughly enjoyable and well made, if a little too simplistic and "girly" at times.
6/10

Son Of Rambow
A polished and skilfully made film. A large amount of child actors, none of whom annoyed me at any point. Bill Milner and Will Poulter as the two main characters William and Lee respectively were particularly impressive. The film is set in the early '80s, and whilst it uses pop culture of the time to add authenticity, the film never relies on nostalgia to gain kudos. A story both funny and emotional in generous and well-balanced measures, and which ranges from schoolboy humour to sinister without feeling contrived at any point. Finely crafted and thoroughly enjoyable, Son Of Rambow is simply an excellent film.
8/10

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Link me up before you go go, oh bollocks I went for an aweful cheesey pun.

Have sporadically remembered about this, I shall post it upon you and let you bask in it's ineffable glory... or something like that.

The Chin Review

I love this kinda thing, reminds me of Red Dwarf, and may rip it off mightily at some point in the near future.

I also advice you to have a look at some of there other films as there is some pretty good, if not obscure, stuff there.

Other than that I'm a dried up useless hung of snow (topical) so that's it.

Linkables 3/2/9

I'm back from 'merica! Miraculously arrived a day or two before snow destroyed all transportation in London, so transport was as painless as could be expected when you have to sit in one position for seven hours and are woken up to eat something plastic every time you drop off to sleep. Still, not as bad as this guy had...

'Proper' updates to come this week I hope, but for now I'm easing myself back in with a cathartic links post. Oh, and in case you were wondering why I failed to review some of my favourite films from last year, Joe Loves Crappy Movies (a comic I have been remiss in not linking to before) explains it better than I ever could.

The brilliantly ranty Fuck You Penguin, and, as an antidote, some cute birds (awwww!):

(video via little.red.boat)

Monday, 2 February 2009

When feminism goes bad

There is almost nothing about this article that doesn't piss the tits right off me.

If you thought all feminists were man-hating lesbians, then you might just have found the ultimate one. Arg. I know feminism is diverse by its very nature and hey, all of us sisters don't agree on everything all the time. But I especially don't agree with almost all of this. In fact, I'm too enraged (also tired) to write a proper dissection of it. But just read it and say arg quietly to yourself a few times. And you know, then go commit some domestic violence like the brutish, Nazi-style oppressors of fragile womanhood that you truly are. Yes, male-things, I'm talking about you. With your penises and your oppression and your all-heterosexual-sex-is-basically-rape style of foreplay and intercourse.

Srsly, it's things like this that make me ashamed to be a lesbian.