Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Little bit on the side:


Go on. Read another blog, you dirty scoundrel. You know you want to read an amusing anecdote about airports from my (I should point out, extremely british-sounding and greek by blood) friend.


Saturday, 12 February 2011

Never bored: Now in HD

Isn't it amazing what worldly wonders we sit and contemplate at the end of a very windy, stupid day?
Why is my laptop running hot?
Why is PROPER Schnapps off the continent so much tastier than the regurgitated syrupy discharge known as 'Archers'?
How can I be so bored I'm writing yet another blog in the space of a few weeks?

Chief among my deep existential concerns this evening is why VLC is so temperamental. For those uneducated in the Way of the Computer®, VLC is an oftentimes reliable media player which yaps at your feet like a loveable little puppy, only occasionally deciding to take a massive shit on your floor before curling up and dying. So whilst I sit here in an ever fouler mood because I can't watch Battlestar Gallactica I contemplate bigger things, such as the changing way we watch films and vids.

3D Cinema. Brought to you by the year  1953
In this digital renaissance we're forever bombarded with ways to immerse our senses in fictional High Definition glory: whether it be the balls-tighteningly overpriced eyeball assault that is IMax 3D at your nearest Odeon; or the less-annoying but more illegal piracy option, it seems we're in a position now where almost any program we fancy is well within our greasy grasp.

Although bear in mind what I just wrote is sort of rubbish. It's true, but I can't possibly speak in that preachy manner of someone who's ever known any differently. I'm 21 and I can barely remember what happened last year, much less a time before all-access media when I actually would've cared. I'm pretty sure when I was 5 years old and the internet was still a foetus it didn't bother me nearly as much whether I'd seen a particular episode of Thomas the Tank Engine once before. Now my only link to this backward time of steam-powered stone-age VHS is recording them onto DVDs (if my parents are reading this, you ARE allowed to do some yourself you know). Anyway we're living in the digital revolution and I for one think it's bloody brilliant (if slightly scary).

A stone-age video cassette from the Natural History Museum

For one thing you're never more than 20 seconds away from realising you're wrong about something. QI has helped this, but now that every fact in the known Universe is available online you can very quickly find out if you were right to say Jimmy Carr is secretly a Hindu, because one of your friends is bound to have a smartphone and free internet so they can smugly touch-screen their way to an article and tell you how much of a retard you are, before you decide to drown them in a urinal.

A smug person I'd like to drown in a urinal. 
Anyway I'm generally all for technology and it has now been a few days before I started writing this, so like an amnesiac on a motorway, I've kind of forgotten where I was meant to be going.

Rather than leap boldly to a new topic (like a howler monkey jumping across trees) I shall opt to cut this short (like a howler monkey coming down from his tree via a sensible ladder instead of jumping around. Seriously- they might get hurt) and endeavour to maintain my new-found pace of postings in subsequent weeks.

Oh yeh, and this is where I'd usually put a punchline.

"And on that bombshell......"


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Happy Blogday

...to me. Yes folks it's been two years since I started this jaunty little blog and in that time I've acquired LITERALLY a few followers. Which is always nice. I shall justify my recent post-vacuum (except for last week's bizarre pictorial interlude) by reminding my readers that I'm only just recovering from a recent bout of explosive exams.

I've had a recent suggestion to try and write slightly more positively about things. This is an odd piece of advice since my cynical approach adopted thus-far seems to have been largely well received (bar one or two vociferous critics). I also think I've realised why this is true. It's simple: People like reading things that aren't inherently happy.

"WHAT?" I hear (over the internet) a good few of you scream: "I'm always positive and I like reading positive things!"

I challenge you to name me them. Name ONE piece of purely positive literature. Outside of vague areas like cookery books or maths textbooks I reckon no such thing exists. Because it would be boring. Everything we read has something negative in it, from kid's books to newspaper columns. Can you imagine what life would be like if there was literature with no peril, or danger, or conflict, or anything negative of any kind? "Mrs Happy Fwuffy Bunnykins Buys Some Jam", in which the protagonist goes to a shop, buys some conserve, and never once has any sort of encounter or challenging thought. Come on- you wouldn't read that. "Mrs Happy Fwuffy Bunnykins Buys Some Jam And Gets Hit By A Truck" on the other hand is a sure-fire winner. Did she survive?? What will happen to the kids? Does this society of sentient woodland mammals include free healthcare? These are the questions! These are the points of interest arising from a tasty squeeze of negative-juice on our otherwise bland story.

Biographies (good ones) follow this rule too. No-one cares about some poncey rich bastard who was born rich, had money all through their childhood, grew up rich, inherited their father's multi-trillion pound business empire and then died happy. Screw that. That's designed to make us throw up in our mouths, not entertain us. But what if the star of the book was born in a ditch, in Croydon, to a mother who died in labour and a father who quickly stole the last bread and ran away? Imagine the gripping true-story of how they learned to survive by eating from bins; how their only possession was a piece of cardboard and a woodlouse called Trevor; how they fought tooth and nail to survive and through sheer determination, ended up being the 2nd richest person in the Universe. You see how negative things are needed?

"Silence fool!" I hear once more: "But this is surely taking it to extremes! Why not just add a bit more positivity to your bloggings?"

Well... if I change the tone of these, I'll almost definitely have to change what I'm writing about. Unless you really want an uplifting tail of how, say, the catering at our University is actually pretty good. Again: more dull than The Archers.

Have you ever read the typical blogger's blog? They illustrate exactly why, WAY back in my second ever article, I said how wary I was of starting this. There are blogs and blogs and blogs on fascinating topics like 'how quick my baby's growing up' or 'my favourite food' or 'pictures of my dog'. You know. Bollocks. The kind of pathetic crap no-one but a few relatives and your stalker care about. For nearly everyone who I don't know personally, I really don't care what comes out of your womb, what goes into your mouth, or what your stupid wooly rat-ball looks like. I also don't care what you think about the weather, why you love a certain item of clothing, what your ideas on philosophy are, or that the neighbour's foxes like peanut butter (I wish I'd made that last one up). To anyone but yourself and personally involved parties, your life is pretty dull unless something monumentally catastrophically disastrous happens to you. You don't make the news because your life is going great- you make it because your Nan just trod on a landmine on the same day your house burned down and your Mum ran away to be with another woman.

And you know what? My life's not that bad. So I'll do the next best thing and share some rants with you, until people stop reading...

...Or a relative steps on a landmine. Because I'm pretty sure blogging will be the last thing on my mind.