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Saturday, March 12th, 2011
10:16 pm - It's alive
But not posted for ages. In lieu of anything interesting to type, here's a combination of:

- Stadium Rock
- Shouty Punk vocals
- Kazoos

Don't think those three could possibly go together? Then hit "play".

(Hurt me?)

Saturday, January 15th, 2011
7:15 pm - Irrational dislikes
Theferrett posted a little while back about his arachnophobia being a "learned" thing, learned in his case from his mother when he was a young child.

I'd like to say I don't have any real phobias. Nothing that sends chills down my spine or makes me break out in a cold sweat for no logical reason. But I do have a couple things I have an irrational dislike of.

One of these is, as with theferrett, spiders. I believe this was also learned form one of my parents - oddly my dad, who is terribly arachnophobic. I say "oddly" because with the exception of eight-legged beasties, I can't think of anything I've known him to be afraid of, or even mildly worried about.

Over the years I taught myself that they aren't going to hurt me and now have a "leave them alone" policy rather than "kill on sight". I'll even pick them up to remove them from other people's houses (or rooms and chalets at old jobs) if someone else is bothered by them.

The other one, though, I haven't been able to get over. And it's one my sisters find even more amusing than my dad's phobia of spiders.

It's clowns.

And it's all my fault. I was never keen on them to begin with, and then I watched the TV movie adaptation of Stephen King's "It" when I was 9. Suffice to say when watching episodes of "Bones", I totally understand Booth's desire to shoot them on sight.

(1 sadistic freak | Hurt me?)

Monday, January 10th, 2011
6:32 pm - And yet another remake
on it's way: Total Recall. And the actor to take Arnie's spot? Colin Farrell.

So, another one ont worth watching then.

(Hurt me?)

Thursday, January 6th, 2011
6:57 am - Cricket and a big fucking baby.
On this day in 871 AD England's King Alfred defeated the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown, on this day in 2011 AD England's King Strauss put the Australians to the sword in the Walkover of Sydney.

Admittedly, the series isn't *quite* over yet, but it's in the bag. First time in 24 years England have won an Ashes series in Australia and about 20-odd cricketing records have been broken in the 5-match series. A hell of a performance.


And my older sister finally gave birth to her 3rd son, 8 days overdue. Weighing in at a hefty 8lb 5oz. Big, especially considering both his parents are smaller than I am, and I'm a short bugger!

(Hurt me?)

Saturday, January 1st, 2011
8:52 pm - So it's the New Year
I'm not going to do a "2010 review". Instead I'll just make one tiny prediction for this year:

This is going to be the game of the year, winning every gaming award going and providing months of entertainment. As long as they don't fuck it up by catering too much to console gamers and using a crappy "enemies level with you" system like the did TESIV. If they can avoid those two pitfalls, it may even surpass TESIII as my favourite computer RPG ever.

Not due until 11/11/11 though.

(Hurt me?)

Friday, December 31st, 2010
9:42 pm - Nooooooooooo!
Not only are they remaking "They Live" (I really really dislike the way Hollywood keeps remaking classic films, usually ruining them in the process), but they're going to Ditch the sunglasses?.

(Hurt me?)

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
5:44 pm - How very peculiar
Yahoo loves popping up links when I'm checking my mail. I have a tendancy to read them all out of boredom, after all they're generally only a couple minute's worth of reading and some of them are hilarious. Most aren't. This one in particular was pretty dull, but one thing about it did jump out at me. It essentially a list of things that you "should" or "shouldn't" consider as "acceptable" in a partner's past. but here's the bit that caught my eye:

"All their exes are very attractive:
You know this because you went online to have a snoop and you wish you hadn’t because it’s made you feel too fat/thin/pale/short/lanky (delete as appropriate)."

Is it just me or does anyone else spot what's wrong with that sentence.

Got it yet?

"Too fat or too thin, compared to their exes".
"Too short or too tall, compared to their exes".
"Too pale compared to their exes."

But it's apparently impossible to be "too dark".

A genuine oversight? Or an example of people being so afraid of being labelled as "racist" for no damn reason that they can't even insinuate that some of us might actually prefer pale skin aesthetically without necessarily being nazis.

Relatedly, OK Cupid's data tells a story of it's own. The whole of OKTrends in fact is worth a look, I'm not a user of OKCupid itself for anything other than silly personality tests but the amount of data they have, and the analysis of it, is quite interesting reading despite it's various flaws.

Postscript: In the interest of "full disclosure": I do visually prefer paler skin, as it happens. I also visually prefer a curvy hourglass shape on women and a muscular build on men. However, that doesn't mean I outright hate rake-thin models or highly obese people, not does it mean I hate people just because of their skin colour. It's all just aesthetics and that's no reason to hate anyone ;).

(Hurt me?)

12:28 pm - Gotta love ol' Blighty
Sign you're living in England #3485: The Lumibright on the hands and hour markings of your new watch never work, as they're never exposed to enough sunlight to react to.

(Hurt me?)

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010
11:28 pm - That's true sexism
Why do the women I work with refuse to lift anything over 10 kilos (22lb)? They say it's "too heavy". They say they "can't manage". That it's "a man's job" (all three are direct quotes). They're convinced that heavy lifting is man's work, not theirs.

Whilst I agree that men clearly have greater natural upper body strength than women, and when it comes to truly heavy lifting (picking tumble dryers up and putting them on a high shelf, for example) men are the obvious choice, the idea that anything that requires even a minimal amount of strength to do is automatically man's work rather thn womens doesn't make any kind of sense.

Ignoring the whole feminism debate, I just have a few questions I'd dearly love to ask these women (but I'm already in enough trouble at work without getting accused of sexism).

"Do you have any children?", I'd like to ask, knowing full well that the women in question are in fact parents. "How much did they weigh when they were toddlers?", Knowing full well the average weight of a toddler is over 10 kilos.

I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. A toddler weighs more than these objects they claim are too heavy, and older child weighs twice as much and more. And yet women around the world have no problems routinely picking their children up, often whilst they're struggling to get away.

The job requires lifting. It's mostly low weight but there are heavy objects from time to time. You know this when you apply for the job.

Why the fuck do people apply for a job they then refuse to do, citing the most ridiculous of sexist arguments as a reason to get out of doing it?

I, as a man, can't crack jokes about a women's place in the modern workplace because that'd be "sexist" behaviour and I'd be sacked quicker than if I knocked out my boss. But women can unilaterally decide exactly what tasks are and aren't men's work without so much as a second thought. The lifting arguement is just one example of blatant sexism in the workplace, but its the easiest one to point out just how ludicrous the double-standard is.

Just to add a postscript: I know not all women behave like this all the time, I could name a few at my current job (in other departments, not mine) that do pitch in with the truly heavy stuff. But they are the exceptional minority, not the norm.

(3 sadistic freaks | Hurt me?)

6:20 am - Now that is shiny!
I want one. Granted, I'm not blind *yet* but my paternal grandmother did suffer from retinitis pigmentosa so there's the slimmest of chances I have that awaiting me.

(Hurt me?)

Monday, December 20th, 2010
12:56 pm - ego boost
Chatting to a co-worker about old jobs I had, I mention one that was about 10 years ago, a job you must be minimum of 18 to do. The co-worker looked shocked and asked "how old are you then?". Apparently she thought I was at least 5 years younger than I am.

It's the shaved head, the difference between "completely shaved" and "bald on top" is -5 years compared to +10 years.

(2 sadistic freaks | Hurt me?)

Saturday, December 18th, 2010
9:11 am - I'd just like to share
Two videos that never fail to put a smile on my face.

(Hurt me?)

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
5:25 pm - That's odd
Amazon.co.uk seem to have lost/deleted my account. I tried signing in with my e-mail address and password, same one I've been using for years, and it wasn't recognised. Had to sign up again, I used the same old e-mail address so I know the old account must've been deleted.

(Hurt me?)

Friday, December 10th, 2010
5:59 pm - What a bargain
There's a special offer on various gift products, "buy any 3 items for £10". But some of those products only cost £3.

I wonder if anyone but me even noticed.

(Hurt me?)

Thursday, December 9th, 2010
5:47 pm - A complaint
On-line banking. I've always loved it, because I'm lazy and doing it this way means I don't have to go out of the house.

However: There way too much security.

I have a 10-digit "customer number", a 4-digit online PIN, and a 11-digit password chosen by myself. The odds of someone getting any of these right is pretty low. The odds of someone getting hold of all 3 of them, short of hacking the bank itself, is astronomical.

And yet the bank says that's not enough.

To make a transfer directly into another person account (instead of paying via debit card for example), I also need a little widget they send me, a card reader. I have to put my card into this, enter my card's PIN (different to the online PIN, naturally), enter an 8-digit authorisation code the website gives me to get a 7-digit response code from the machine to put into the website.

That's a total of 44 various letters and numbers, just to make a money transfer.

And it doesn't end there: Even when using my debit/credit card without logging into the bank's website, I have the 4-digit card pin and the 11-digit password, but in addition, I can only make one payment to a new payee. Because every fucking online transaction is treated as "suspicious" and the payee is barred from reciving any more payments until I phone up the bank and confirm that yes, it ws actually me trying to buy something and no, it wasn't fraud.

And all this hassle is for what reason? Because of fucking idiots falling for "phishing" e-mails.

Personally, I say just let them lose the money. Call it a life lesson. The type of people that fall for that crap ar the same ones that keep a piece of paper in their wallet with all the appropriate PINs and passwords anyway[1], so it's not like the bank can actually keep them safe.

The only goal they achieve is "looking good" in the eyes of the same muppets that believe there's a paedophile lurking behind every bush and semen/dogshit/baby rats inside every fast food burger.

[1] True story: A relative of mine used to write her PIN on the signature strip of her debit card. Another used to be constantly losing her house keys, so she attached a tag to them with "If found, please return to [address]". You read that right. Housekeys with the house address attached to them. No amount of security measures can protect these people.

(Hurt me?)

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
12:06 am - Heh
So while Juilian Assange is getting hounded to the ends of the earth for being in charge of a website leaking things that *other* people have said, Ken Livingstone (politician, former mayor of London) goes on BBC and outright states that the Saudi Royal Family are a "ghastly bunch of bastards" who he'd like ot see "swinging from the rafters", and that American diplomats are a bunch of crooks that encourage other diplomats to act just as bad, mentioning also that diplomats get away with rape and other crimes and all that happens is they get sent home.

(1 sadistic freak | Hurt me?)

Monday, December 6th, 2010
6:29 pm - Lunacy
I can't believe people came in at a minute past midnight, in sub-zero temps, just to buy the latest Twilight and Shrek DVDs.

It's not as if there's any danger of them running out. I bet when I go in tonight, there'll still be a fuckton of them on the various displays.

(Hurt me?)

Sunday, December 5th, 2010
11:20 am - So I realise time has moved on
And all the cool kids use facebook instead of LJ.

And everyone and their cat has a twitter account.

And everyone uses Second Life instead of IRC now.

But that last one is a damn shame. I *like* multiplayer notepad!

And I really dislike SL. It's possibly the most terribly resource hogging piece of shit programme in existance, well, apart from Windows Vista that is, considering how primitive the programme itself is. The lag is insane for such a low number of people in any given area, or even the entire population at once across all servers.

And the graphics! Original Everquest, released over a decade ago had better graphics. And yet the objects and textures have longer load times than the truly beautiful Lord of the Rings online, or the passable Dungeons and Dragons online, or even the overly cartoonish Warhammer Online (all of which are free to play BTW).

I know, I know, it's not an MMO. Which is good, because if it was an MMO? They'd lose money hand over fist. Compared to actual MMOs, SL is vastly inferior in every conceivable way. I've tried to work it out, but I just can't see the draw.

I understand it's a "virtual world" but really, that means what? You can design your own house, and you can go shopping. What's the draw after those 2 days?

Creating 3D objects of your very own? You can do that faster, and easier, and with better-looking results, with a standard 3D modelling programme.

Meeting new people all over the world? It's the internet, there's no shortage of ways to do that.

Going virtual dancing? Well you're not really *dancing*, you're just running a pre-made animation, generally one created by someone else. And if you want to make your own animations to represent your actual dance moves? You still need to use an independant 3D modelling/human animation programme.

Playing games in-world? Seriously, there are better MMORPGs out there (as in: all of them are better). Same goes with FPSs. I understand there are ways to play bingo, poker, chess, and those sorts of games. And again, there are other sites that are much better for that too.

I'm hunting for the draw. But I just can't see it.

(2 sadistic freaks | Hurt me?)

Friday, December 3rd, 2010
12:22 pm - Maybe it's just me
After many people recommended it as a good film, I watched "Låt den rätte komma" ("Let the Right One In"), A Swedish vampire film. A lot has been said about it, including (and I quote somone else here): "Låt den rätte komma in is a very special, very different movie. It's not your usual kind of horror - in fact, it's only partly a horror movie. It is also a romance, a movie about friendship, loyalty, growing up, the terrors of it, a study about dysfunctional families and people, childhood, being a teenager... and death and need.

It's not a bad film, very slow to start but then most European films are. However, I took a completely different view of the film.

Whaat *I* see, is a 200 year old vampire who's Renfield is gtting old and sloppy. Leaving kills lying around, failing to bring home the blood, and ultimately even getting caught. Said vampire then stalks, bonds with, and convinces to run away with her, a 12 year old outcast/loner. It's more a commentary on predatory natures and how easily children are mislead than anything more poignant.

Here's the thing: People reviewing the film don't make any mention of the manipultive aspect to what the vampire does, because the vamp looks like a 12 year old girl and approaches the boy in a seemingly clumsy fashion. I do have to wonder what these same reviewers would say if, for example, the vampire looked like a 40-something man instead of a 12-year old girl. I think the phrase "grooming" would come up a lot more.

It's nicely balanced by showing the predatory nature of humans as well as the vampire in question though, through the medium of the ever-escalating bullying the boy faces first at school, then outside of school, culminating in what is effectively a murder attempt, foiled by the vamp.

Still, I certainly wouldn't call it "a romance, a movie about friendship, loyalty, growing up, the terrors of it, a study about dysfunctional families and people" and so on.

(2 sadistic freaks | Hurt me?)

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
10:52 pm - Brand recognition
It struck me again the other day: I am far too memorable.

I rarely think about my impact upon other people. I tend to assume that once I've left the immediate area, people forget all about me. A few years after I last spoke to them, surely they won't even remember who I am? But time and time again I'm proved wrong.

Old co-workers from jobs I quit years ago.
A moderator on a forum that I spoke to all of once and spent 99.9% of my time on the forum lurking on.
Innumerable random people that I never actually spoke to, but who have read some piece of drivel or other I spouted out on a forum/e-mail list.

I'm pretty much the oppoiste. My memory's fucking terrible and I'm constantly forgetting conversations I had just yesterday, let alone a discussion I had with people years ago. I walk straight past people I've worked with on a daily basis. I forget eveyone's names and can't even remember my own birthday, let anyone someone else's.

And I keep foolishly assuming everyone else does the same. And then some random person comes up and says "Hi, long time no see" and I'm left remembering that either s) I'm actually rather memorable, apparently, or b) That everyone else has memories that function a shitload better than mine. Or possibly a mixture of both.

(1 sadistic freak | Hurt me?)

1:19 am - My favourite lymeric
There once was an X from place B,
Who satisfied predicate P,
The X did thing A,
In a specified way,
Resulting in circumstance C.

(1 sadistic freak | Hurt me?)

Monday, November 29th, 2010
3:17 am
"It's the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girls dies in a tragic blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day." "Goodyear?" "No, the worst..."

Leslie Nielsen dead? Shirley they can't be serious.

(Hurt me?)

Sunday, November 28th, 2010
12:12 am - since I'm injured and taking the night off
Digging in for the 4th day of the 1st match in the ashes Test series.

England went all out for 260 runs in the first innings, Aussies reached a hefty 481 all out in theirs. Really need England to bat all day today and until drinks tomorrow, setting a nice 4-500 score for the Aussies to chase.

It's unlikely, but just about feasible. Definite potential for playing it out for a draw, although very unlikely we'll see an England win giving their terrible performance batting in the 1st innings. Still, it's a batsman's pitch and on paper the English batting line-up is superior to the Aussies, just got out for such a low score due to some horrendous mistakes.

England at 30 runs for no wickets thus far, so here's hoping.

(Hurt me?)

Friday, November 26th, 2010
3:41 pm - And one more for luck
3 posts in one day!

Bill Bailey has a new DVD out - "Dandelion Mind". Two words: Fucking hilarious. But then, it's Bill Bailey, so we already knew it would be. Definitely worth watching though.

A short clip, not the funniest moment but one showcasing the madness that is Bailey, if you've never heard of him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYF0eE-hyRU&feature=related

(1 sadistic freak | Hurt me?)

1:30 pm - Also
Zero punctuation usually makes me giggle. The review of CoD: Black Ops however got a full-on belly laugh.

(Hurt me?)

12:48 pm - I should stop talking to people
I mentioned to soeone just yesterday that I often injure my left hand and arm, which is unusual as normal people tend to injure their dominant hand/arm rather than non-dominant and I'm right-handed.

And then this morning I manage to fuck up my left ring finger. I think it's just a sprain so I've got it buddy-taped to the little finger. Not the first time I've done this and tbh, I'd rather have a clean break than this.

(5 sadistic freaks | Hurt me?)

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
10:31 am - fucking hell
That is twitch gaming: http://www.kongregate.com/games/ArmorGames/obey-the-game

(Hurt me?)

Thursday, November 18th, 2010
3:42 pm - This is....
The definition of irony: Setting up a mental disorder website and forum, with a specific subforum for sociopaths, AKA those with "anti-social personality disorder" as they call it these days. And then banning every actual sociopath that posts there for...anti-social behaviour.

Seriously. What the fuck was the webmaster thinking would happen there?

(1 sadistic freak | Hurt me?)

11:57 am - Another of the things I find odd
So as part of the application for my current job, there was a morals/ethics/social responsibility type questionairre. I've had about a half-dozen of these in various job applications over the years and it always amuses me to see companies include them as they are utterly useless.

If you've nver seen one, they're often along the lines of this one: http://glennrowe.net/BaronCohen/EmpathyQuotient/EmpathyQuotient.aspx

Multiple choice/sliding scale, althoughthey often have more ethical questions that pure empathic ones.

The thing is, taking that test honestly, I score a disastrously low 4. Taking is as if it was a job application related test, I get a much more friendly 63. These tests are esily cheated.

But the thing is - surely the people that compile the results of these things for companies know how easy they are to cheat? No-one's that niave after all, especially if your job involves dealing with other people on a regular basis.

So why bother with them at all?

(1 sadistic freak | Hurt me?)

Thursday, November 11th, 2010
3:39 am - So I'm employed again
After spending the summer lazing around doing fuck all, I find I need to get some money coming in. However, being totally disinterested in anything that involves getting qualifications, or long hours, or much thought, my job choices are generally limited to security, bartending, or shop work. I tend to rotate between them, and this time I've landed a night shift at the largest supermarket in the area.

The great thing about night shifts is the punters. About half of them are fairly normal people, however the other half are fun. Drunks, stoners, the mentally unstable, they all come shopping in the wee hours and provide me with plenty of entertainment as I focus on shirking work. Most of them aren't really the type I'd mock but occasionally you do get those that are none of the above and yet still manage to be complete imbeciles without actually being drunk or having an altered mind state, they're just that bloody stupid and/or lazy.

Case in point:

A group of 4 girls - none of which looked old enough to legally drive but that's not the issue - come wandering over to me, brandishing a bottle of 10w40 engine oil. Admittedly I am a man, and I was standing vaguely near the car accessory section. But those two facts really don't add up to "psychic ability to guess your car's exact make, model, and engine type" and "encyclopaedic knowledge of which engine oil goes in every engine for every car in the world".

So no matter how many times you ask me, I can't possibly know whether that's the right oil type for your car. And no, I don't get any more psychic no matter how many times you repeat the question. "It's a Fiesta" doesn't help either. I did my best to politely point out that all the facts you will need are in your car's manual (three times in fact), and that putting the wrong type in could damage the engine. And yes, I know "viscosity" is quite a big word but you asked me the difference between different oil types and that's the correct answer, so don't look at me like I'm suddenly speaking in Swahili.

All you need to do is walk out to your car, get the manual, and look in it. Alternatively just bring me the manual and I'll look it up for you and select the correct oil.

Oh, you're going to just buy that random oil anyway for no reason other than it's the first one you saw? Fine, as I said to you at the time: "It probably won't do too much damage". But I hope it does.

(Hurt me?)

Monday, August 30th, 2010
10:20 pm - Mad dogs and Englishmen....
Further proof of the sheer insanity of the English (and our colonial cousins)

(8 sadistic freaks | Hurt me?)

Sunday, August 29th, 2010
8:39 am - Silliness
Why do people choose such silly names for their children? In my own family,examples exist csuch as my 2nd cousin - HMS Warrior (google it), and continued with one of my nephews, initialed BMW, now carried on by my younger sister who's determined to call her daughter Lola.

(Hurt me?)

Friday, August 20th, 2010
10:41 am - A short anecdote
Reading a friend's blog entry about their attitude towards video games made me think of my own.

The particular anecdote comes from my last job. I was working the graveyard shift at a holiday resort. The job was boring but simple, gave me a lot of time when I didn't actually have to do anything and would sit and read, or watch trashy late-night/early-morning TV.

Most of the staff there actually lived on-site. The dancers and some of the barstaff would hang around long after the guests had all gone to bed, playing pool, sitting and drinking, chatting, and so forth. I'd mostly ignore them after doing the bare minimum of social engagement. As long as they didn't break anything or create any mess I didn't see a reason to force them to go back to thier (horrible) accomodation.

But a couple of them started bringing games consoles to hook up to the massive flatscreen TVs we have on various walls. I'd normally turn down invites to play games but on a few occasions I was bored enough to have a go. These were all competative games rather than co-operative of course.

And I beat them all. About a dozen or so staff, on a variety of games I'd never played before (never even seen before generally), on consoles I don't game on. They were naturally surprised at this and asked me how I was beating them if I'm "not a gamer".

I looked around and said "I'm not a console gamer, true.....but I've been playing computer games since before most of you were born. The graphics are a lot better these days, but the actual games themselves haven't changed much in the last 20 years". I don't need a Windows Live GamerScore or equivalent to know I'm good at computer games. I don't need to beat people and bask in the glory of my pwnage.

But it is fun to occasionally fire up an FPS or drop into a PvP zone in an MMO and show teenagers that no, you didn't miraculously invent the ability to play computer games at a decent level and yes, 1st generation gamers who remember the original NES and the Sega Megadrive and the Commodore C64 and all those old Arcade machines are, in fact, better than you.

We played games back when they were actually *hard*.

Modern games are often so mind-numbingly easy that drunken housewives with the reflexes and hand-eye co-ordination of a sloth having an athsmatic fit can complete them. Youthful reflexes are an advantage for any sort of gaming, but years of playing them also count.

A couple decades of playing them, in fact, automatically makes me better at them than most gamers. Yet all they see is a bald, aging bloke who doesn't parade his accomplishments with his GamerTag. Until they actually go 1-vs-1 of course :).

(1 sadistic freak | Hurt me?)

Sunday, August 1st, 2010
7:31 pm - It's been a while
But I've been reading the comments on the various vids I uploaded to youtube ages ago, they're excerpts from a no longer available Cold Steel vid demo'ing some of their fine cutlery.

Some of them are just hilarious. Some make me wonder if these people should really be allowed to roam free with the rest of us.

(Hurt me?)

Monday, July 19th, 2010
5:01 pm - Finally did it...
Swapped my OS from good old XP to Windows 7 (Ultimate).

And damn, it is good. It's everything Vista should have been but wasn't. Sleek, slick, compact, fast, loaded with useful tools rather than just gadgets for the sake of gadgets.

(Hurt me?)

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
7:32 pm
I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

(Hurt me?)

Saturday, July 10th, 2010
3:40 am - Damn, that is compelling
So it turns out that (intelligent) UFOs likely do exist - they're just generally not in the visible spectrum.

You all know me, I'm an incredibly sceptical person, but this is pretty much unarguable.

Be forewarned: It is 3 hours long, in 2 parts, and is presented by a physicist with a shoe-string budget so it's very very dry and has a fair bit of "boring" math, but the NASA footage and the accompanying explanations are without a shadow of a doubt the most fascinating UFO-related TV I've ever seen. Apparently made in 2001, I can't fathom how I've never seen this before.


(Hurt me?)

Friday, July 9th, 2010
12:58 am - This should be amusing
One of my guilty pleasures is watching "ghost hunters", "most haunted", and similar programs. Idiots fucking about in allegedly haunted places (some of which have been publically admitted to have been made up purely for the purpose of the getting the TV show to come there), acting as if there was anything actually likely to happen.

Here's the latest one I've recently learned about:

"In Extreme Paranormal Shaun, Nathan, and Jason our irreverent paranormal explorers investigate chilling local legends, attempting to seek the truth by provoking spirits. Unlike other paranormal investigators, they put themselves directly in harm's way; taunting ghosts, summoning the dead and daring the demonic to attack. The team has developed a bring-it-on mentality when it comes to their explorations."

Just about to start watching the 1st ep now - the entry text includes "portions of the rituals used in this episode have been ommited for your protection. Do NOT try this at home".

This should be hilarious.

(Hurt me?)

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
9:52 pm
Posted more for my sake (having the links easily available) than anyone else, but if you happen across this you might find it interesting. Prehistoric Humans: Neanderthals&Cro-Magnons Neanderthal DNA definitely present in some modern humans. Completely unrelated, but even more fascinating: Twisted Physics, a few really interesting titbits. Can't find the article I was looking at a few days ago about quantum entanglement, but they've managed to used it to transmit data at a distance of 16km so far.

And most amusingly: I know a fair number of people in the past have claimed that a "fat gene" makes them overwieght through no fault of thier own, and therefore overweight people shouldn't be hassled due to something they can't change. Well, That's cool - us smokers can now claim the same thing. Can we push through laws to alter the fact that we're the last minority it's socially accpetable to constantly berate and discriminate against now?

(Hurt me?)

Monday, June 21st, 2010
12:20 am - Catching up on reading, too
I've been a fan of Derren Brown for a while, quite possibly the best mentalist/hypnotist/conjurer/cold-reader the world's ever seen (Although, that bloke who called himself Jesus was pretty impressive by all accounts).

But I only recently started reading the rest of his books - I'd read "Tricks of the Mind" shortly after it was published and immediately everything else he'd written went on to the "will get around to some day" list. Here's a short excerpt of his writing style, which will certainly explain why I enjoy reading his work:

After a delightful afternoon's constituational down that winding side-path, let us return to our theme. The reader, if he was so eccentric as to have read the introduction, will be aware that this effect is perhaps my very favourite. It has an element of drama that I enjoy, and it is technically easy to perform, allowing one to concentrate on the more important matter of comunicating it effectively. Let us review the effect.

A deck of cards, familiar to cognoscenti but to the majority of the laity a shocking and perhaps ominous novelty, is spread across the table, with the request that the chosen spectator burn the image of one of them into his or her mind or minds. She obliges, and thusly a card is commited to her memory.

As if this were not in itself enough, the performer then makes it clear that he will divine the name of that card, if the spectator would be enough of a blesspoppet to clear her mind and concentrate on the card of her choice. Th deck is reassembled and left on the table, with a promise from the magician that he will not touch them again., The magus lights a cigarette and relaxes in his seat with an ar of authority and Grand Guignol that sends a shiver of tension throughout the room.

slowly does he indeed name that card. (Let us imagine that this card is the Three of Clubs). The audience reacts with extreme delight. "But let me tell you, my friends," he continues, "that there is more to this than meets the eye. For I can tell you now that there never was a Three of Clubs in that deck. None of this really happened. I need not remind you that I have not touched those cards."

the spectator who chose the card defiantly insists that the card was indeed there. No, you assure her, blowing a smoke ring, it was not there at all, and this is a good moment to correct any grammatical errors on her part. There will be a trmendous anticipation to now see the deck, so you spread it once again to show that the card has indeed vanished. Immediately you begin coughing and hawking most unpleasantly, and all eyes return to you. The cigarette that you were smoking can be seen to have changed. You remove it and to enormous applause unroll a smoking, charred, Three of Clubs.

And everything's like that, just beautifully written. I won't bother explaining how he does the trick though (and even if you know how, it takes a hell of a lot of practice to pull it off), but it is seriously impressive when you see him perform it.

Oh, if you've never heard of him, his various TV shows (and a couple stage ones) are avaiable online for free (for people in the UK at least, no idea about elshwere) on Youtube and alo likely are streamable/DL'able from other sites. Always worth watching, specifically:

"Messiah": The #2 reason I'm so skeptic about any alleged psychic phenomena is that a performer as accomplished as Derren Brown can not only replicated 99.9% of it, but do it *better* than most self-proclaimed psychics. This TV special is proof of that.

"The Heist": My favorite of his TV specials, but has no magic and no mntalism, just pure hypnosis/suggestion/programming. I don't want to ruin it for you but esentially turning upstanding, ordinary, middle-managers with no criminal record into armed robbers!

But for the best blend of all his skills, any of his stage shows are better than the TV specials.

(2 sadistic freaks | Hurt me?)

Saturday, June 19th, 2010
10:31 am - Gobsmacked
Yes, gobsmacked is indeed the word. Got a parcel today. From Hong Kong. It was only posted 4 days ago, and yet managed to make it all the way across the world to my doorstep.

How the hell is it that a simple letter can take 3-4 days to go from one part of England to another, but a bloody great package can go across the world in the same timeframe?

And more importantly:

Why is it that customs *never* check any parcels incoming from China or Isreal? Seriously, *legal* items, that are absolutely harmless, will "disappear" in the post if coming from a lot of countries. Borderline, or flat out illegal ones, get siezed by customs every time. But not if they originate from either of those countries. Certainly makes me wonder why.

(Hurt me?)

Friday, June 18th, 2010
7:14 pm - Bad 'shopping abounds
I don't generally read the Daily Mail, but this is pretty damn hilarious.

In case you can't read between the lines, the reason they've removed Churcill's cigar from this one poster but left all other tobacco-related items on display is because this is a massive poster facing the street.

They aren't likely to get the anti-smoking nazis bitching about period-appropriate items inside the museum, but "advertising" smoking in such a fashion - even when being "advertised" by one of our nation's finest leaders - on the main street would have given them literally thousands of complaints within an hour or so of the poster going up, those fuckers are organised. The reason the museum can honestly state that they've had no communication from anti-smoking lobby is because they did this pre-emptively.

And in other news: I always say I refuse to vote for any politician because they're all just as bad as each other. "It doesn't matter who you vote for, it's always the government that gets in", as the saying goes. This is just another example of the truth of that statement.

(Hurt me?)

Thursday, April 29th, 2010
8:56 pm - Damn
So I lent my guitars and my amp out someone. I didn't mind, I haven't even picked up any of my guitars for years. Got my gear back now and plugged it in. The guitar's out of tune, my technique is crap, my timing is sloppy, with no nails on my RH I need to use a plectrum instead of playing fingerstyle and with no callouses on my LH my hammer-ons are utter shit.

'Tis fun to hammer out various random rock&blues numbers though :).

(Hurt me?)

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
6:02 pm - So to make up for it...
...a non-youtube related post.

My father has recently become very interested in the family tree. In fact, for the last month or so he has devoted pretty much every spare moment in researching both our and his girlfriend's family trees.

Two thing which I found interesting:

One of my ancesters was born in the 16th century. And lived to be 102. One hundred and fucking two! In the 16th/17thC. That's insane. It's over three times a person's average life expectancy back then, it'd be like me living to be 250 or so. And it's verified too - lots of documentation, to be expected naturally with such an unusually long-lived personage - he would have been a hell of a celebrity in his home town back then.

Secondly, we have representatives of pretty much every occupation. I always said I descended from "Soldiers, Sailors, Farmers, and Thieves". And it's pretty accurate too. But there are odd ones too. A molecatcher. Weelwrights. Nurses, Dentists, and other medical-related ones. Various interesting occupations. But amongst *all* these hundredss of ancestors spanning 400-odd years, there wasn't a single Policeman. Which I find highly amusing, as did my dad when I pointed that out to him.

(3 sadistic freaks | Hurt me?)

5:34 pm - Of course...
..I'm well aware that this LJ has become nothing more or less than a collection of youtube links, but what the hell. Here's another of my favourites, by one of my favourite comedian/musicians:

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Sunday, April 25th, 2010
9:22 pm - A rare personal entry
Yet again, despite my many attempts to kick the habit, I find myself having finished a bottle of JD, having run a nice hot bath, and idly playing with an extremely sharp knife.

Only two things run through my mind:

Firstly; Is this just a foolish game I play with myself? Or am I really so selfish, knowing full well that the person most likely to discover my cooled body would be the one I least want to burden with it.

~8 seconds is all it'd take. One good, deep slice, and likely a much shallower one with an injured arm. Thinned blood, heat to dilate the blood vessels more fully. It's not the least painful way to go, but not the most either (especially with a decently high alcohol level). And certainly appropriate.

Secondly; I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, come to a lot of wrong decisions. I'm beginning to seriously wonder if this is truly what I want, or if it's just that - whatever it is - that convinced me to make all those wrong decisions is the same impulse that spurs that one.

(2 sadistic freaks | Hurt me?)

Sunday, April 18th, 2010
11:16 am - Well, it would be interesting...
...but I highly doubt the European court will allow the warrant for the pope's arrest (technically since he's not a head of state he shouldn't be granted immunity but I'm sure they'll find some loophole to block his arrest and subsequent trial). Would be quite interesting to see the Supreme Pontiff in court for crimes against humanity though.

(1 sadistic freak | Hurt me?)

Sunday, April 11th, 2010
8:30 pm - A good cover of a bad song
I'm not a fan of Lady Gaga's original, but this version I like.

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Monday, April 5th, 2010
8:11 pm - OMFG!
Sylvester Stallone.
Bruce Willis
Jet Li.
Jason Statham.
Mickey Rourke.
Dolph Lundgren.
Randy Couture.
STONE COLD! Steve Austin.

All this film needs is Clint Eastwood and Jean-Cluade Van Damme - but even without them, it should be the best action film to have come out for years.

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Sunday, March 21st, 2010
8:47 pm - Not that I often watch TV...
...but I was channel hopping out of boredom and this episode of Frasier was on. The character's monologue about smoking at ~5:35 is absolutely brilliant.

(Hurt me?)

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