Saturday, July 29, 2006

Quitting AOL

Is so very hard to do.

Also, this is cute.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

faux feminism

I don't know whether this is the case in anywhere other than the UK, but here there is a bizzare kind of faux feminism in some adverts I find very irritating. This basically emerges in adverts for washing up liquid or washing powder. Basically, men are always utter, utter bufoons who seem to have never glanced at a washing machine in their life. The message appears to be "oh women, the menfolk can't handle all this household stuff like YOU do. Laugh at their olly antics." This might even be broadly true, but I wonder if it's the most positive message in the world- "men are clueless- why don't YOU do the work."

This is especially poignant to me because a tactic I used while younger (and on occasion still do), where I act even more incompetently than usual, hoping to elicit the excalmation "oh give it here!" While this can be rather effective, it's probably not a habit to be encouraged, partially because it inspires laziness, and also because after a while you come out to be a simpleton who apparently cannot handle any task at all. I suppose in that case you could be like the character in those films who appears to be really stupid and turns out to be a secret agent. Or something similar anyway.....

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dance like a monkey

Check it out, and look out for his noodly appendages too....

Please oh Please

Won't Bush or Blair actually goddamn properly condemn what Isreal is doing in the Lebanon. Have we just completely given up on the idea that other nations should be respected at all?

Friday, July 21, 2006


As you know, I am currently learning to drive a car. One of the principle difficulties of learning to drive is dealing with the clutch and gear changes. In fact, without those I suspect driving would become a bit of a doddle- while there are still mistakes to be made, there is much less to be dealing with- simply accelerating and steering, something I suspect most of us can easily do with a bit of practice.

So why don't we all have automatics? I know that in the US it is far more common to have automatic cars, but here in Europe most cars have a clutch, and are much harder to drive. It certainly makes sense to learn on such a car here, because pretty much everyone you will encounter will have that. But why? There are advantages to stick driving- better mileage,theoretically better speed, but they depend on you going much faster than you would normally for speed, and being very cautious when driving and watching your revs for mileage, as this website argues.

I suspect we vie away from automatics here in Europe for simple matters of inertia, and perhaps prejudice against a system that seems suspiciously easy. Oh well, it's not like I'm going to switch to automatics any time soon, it is just a tad frustrating.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Couple of entertaining remixes of films- first a new trailer for the shining, and the Big Lebowski with only the swear words.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Back in the UK

After the reprimand in the comments, I felt compelled to post. Well not that compelled, because I managed to wait another eight hours before writing anything. Still, here I am, after a fantastic week in sunny Majorca, now in sunny England, proving to be just as warm as continental Europe, but without the private swimming pool. Oh well, at least we have some fans here to cool us down, because otherwise I think I would probably die.

I think I'd briefly like to complain about men. Specifically "lads". I may well have complained about this in the past, but lacking any easy way to search my blog (google fails me on this front, alas), I shall assume I have not. I HATE lad culture. Really, really hate it. This excess of machoism, which, at it's worst excess, reduces everything down to base urges, to fighting and leering at women.

I rather think something should be done about it. People talk a lot about cutting crime, but rarely focus on one very important thing. Men are, generally, more violent than women. I don't believe this is sexist either, I suspect statistics will back up this observation.... unfortunately, of course, a google search gives me a bunch of mens rights websites claiming that studies show women are more violent than men, and domestic violence against men is more of a problem than that against women. This could be correct, of course, although it flies in the face of everything I've heard, and thus warrants examination of the figures (sigh, and here I was, ready in rant mode!)

Ah, screw it, a list of conflicting statistics here, certainly men are PROSECUTED more, and women are killed more.... so what the hell, I'm far too lazy to go through all these studies.

Rant cancelled, due to lack of effort on my part. I still think men are more violent than women- they are certainly responsible for more crime.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Celebrate. Am heading off to the sunny land of Majorca on saturday, so I shall not be posting anything for a little while. Depressing, I know, but you shall have to try to struggle on. If you can.... if you can.

Excel Saga in WWE

For those of you who enjoy Excel Saga, you should enjoy this, made by Ben

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I think if I had a choice of minor super powers, the sort that could only be used in a very convient manner, and not really as a weapon (you know, from a mior sort of genie- he comes from an inkwell instead of a lamp), I'd pick the ability for my fingers to turn into knives. Not like wolverine style knives, as that could be useful for fighting crime, but sharp enough to do every day cutting. Think how socially useful that would be! Your friend buys a new cd- you cut through the cellofane- cork trapped in a bottle, you could.....

OK, cancel that, I want swiss army hands. Yes, it would look a little weird when I started picking my teeth in public, and I'm not entirely sure how I would turn my hand around enough for the corkscrew to work, but I'm pretty sure it would be awesome. In a minor super power sort of way.

On a tangent, did you ever use those early learning centre scissors? I'm not entirely sure what the point of claiming them to be scissors was, as they couldn't really cut through paper- you'd have more joy just tearing things. Why do they exist? Do children desperately feel the need to pretend they have scissors? I suppose they might manage to break through a crayon with enough applied force, and they might be able to get through cake, if you ignore the hygeine issues, but ultimately they have to be some of the most pointless inventions ever. Still, I suppose most of the things you give children lack much functions. Although, then again, it's always nice to be reassured that the cow does, indeed, go moo. I like the fact that in different languages animal sounds are slightly different, leading to the idea of going through different borders and getting cats with french accents (which is odd, because I was heading into Germany). Sadly, this, and Disney films, appear to have lied to me here, as I have never met an animal with a different accent. Or rather a group of animals I should perhaps say....

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

draw the pirate


Monday, July 03, 2006

all time 100

Empire have been running a feature which has recently finished, in which a writer compiled his top 100 films.

Along with this came conditions. You had to have 10 films in each of 10 genres, which I shall enumerate later, you had to have certain directors, you had to have certain nations too.

Well, I'm here to set this challenge too. I've missed out the director and international requirements, because I think some of them are silly (he asks for Chaplin but not hitchcock).

However, ground rules
- stick to the genres, you can alter them slightly- if you can't do war, perhaps do war/action and split two categories in two, or add a new one
-try and make your films distinct- if you have a naked gun, don't have an Airplane, you want to try and represent various different styles within a particular genre for true success
-be considerate when adding very new films- are you sure you will like them in years to come.

Heres my list-


Spinal Tap
Monty Python's Life of Brian
The Jerk
The Big Lebowski
Some Like it Hot
Dr Strangelove


Rear Window
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Usual Suspects
Infernal Affairs
Marathon Man
Run Lola Run
LA Confidential

Sci Fi and Fantasy

Star Wars
X-men 2
Back to the Future
The Princess Bride
Galaxy Quest
Star Trek the Next Generation: First Contact
The Matrix
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon


Citizen Kane
Life is Beautiful
Raging Bull
Boogie Nights
American Splendour
Shawshank Redemption
American Beauty
One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest


Shaun of the Dead
Dawn of the Dead (the original)
Terminator 2
Battle Royale
Jurassic Park
The Fly
The Shining
American Werewolf in Paris


Die Hard
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
True Lies
Kill Bill Vol 1
Ghost in the Shell
Rush Hour
Sin City
The Fugitive
The Mask of Zorro


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The Outlaw called Josey Wales
The Godfather
Blazing Saddles
City of God
Bugsy Malone
Donnie Brasco
Resevoir Dogs
Little Bigman


Annie Hall
Groundhog Day
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Little Shop of Horrors
West Side Story
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
High Fidelity
South Park the Musical
Blues Brothers


Full Metal Jacket
The Deer Hunter
The Great Escape
Shindler's List
Hotel Rwanda
The Pianist
Saving Private Ryan
Fellowship of the Ring

Childrens films/animation

The Incredibles
Spirited Away
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Wererabbit
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (new)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Gay Marriage

This clip is a great little Daily Show Snippet on gay marriage. I'm actually not going to focus on the content that much, rather on the homophobic campaigner's pointing out that some gay campaigners are coming off like the Nazi's.

This is not a rare argument, unfortunately, in fact Godwin's law specifically deals with this, saying "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one". The problem with this comparison, is, even though it may even be accurate, it is meaningless.

The Nazis where, in most cases, pretty bad pieces of work, who commited many disgusting acts along the way to power. However, just because the Nazis did it does not make it wrong. An act that is disgusting or heinous will in of itself be like that, regardless of whether the Nazis did it or not. While a comparison to the Nazis can make us draw breath, it does not necessarily mean that we are in the wrong.

Hitler, for example, was a great orator- skilled at working the masses into a frenzy of support. Does that make all great orators bad? On a lower level, Nazis walked and talked, breathed, ate, drank, made love. None of these things are in any way inherently bad, although they were done by bad people.

This is a rather huge logical fallacy, and it actually does link into a gay marriage argument used in the US that legalising gay marriage will "force" people to legalise polygamy. So? If you do not have a reason to dislike gay marriage other than seeing it as equivalent to something you DO dislike, perhaps you need to examine your dislike of the other thing. The point here is that if you consider those things equal, then you should be able to say the thing you dislike about polygamy in respect to gay marriage- if you cannot, they are not equivalent, and your analogy fails.

EDIT-Update. Wikipedia has an article on this very topic.

I'm not entirely sure what is wrong with polygamy, other than legalising it without legalisng polyandry would be clearly wrong, but that is of course, another issue- it's not something I need to argue about, if you apply logic carefully enough. Unfortunately logic is something that's lacking from a LOT of debates, usually because people are unable to come out and say what they MEAN, so they have to argue from perhaps a slightly disgenous position, leading to them making these flagrant logical fallacies along the way.