Thursday, 31 December 2009

xkcd sucks

OK, before people reading this are all "FFS Chris, another xkcd rant? Find something new to bitch about!" this isn't a rant. It's something that I've just found that's a bit weird and it's the most fitting and attention grabbing post title I could think of.

I was browsing through Google Analytics this morning, because I jizz over that sort of shit (see yesterday's post) and also because I was pretty bored, and was flicking through the referral sites to this blog. Basically, where people who view this blog have come from, assuming they've clicked a link somewhere. Most of these I can place pretty easily. The majority are from networkedblogs.com, which makes sense because that's the referral site for anyone who clicks the posts on my Facebook feeds, which I assume is how most people read this. There are also a fair few from Tetrisconcept, which makes sense because it's in my sig there, and also just Facebook, which is presumably people clicking my profile link. All pretty boring and explainable, except for two visits referred from snortsandsniffs.blogspot.com, which I couldn't explain.

So I figure that either it's a blog of someone I know linking to me, which is relevant because I'd like to follow the blog if it's by someone I know, or it's someone I don't know linking to me, which would be pretty cool. I check it out, and it doesn't seem to be by anyone I know, and it also doesn't seem to link to my blog whatsoever. I can't figure out why it's a referral site for this blog. There's not even been any activity on it since August 2009, so months before this thing even existed. The only explanation I've been able to come up with is that there are some phdcomics images on that site (he also has the same issue I get where it cuts the image off), and while looking through a few yesterday via Google images which happened to be on that blog, I've then come to here just through the address bar, and it's counted it as a referral. Which is like the lamest, most depressing possible explanation.

What did really amuse me though (and made the whole discovery that a cool new referral to this blog was just me browsing the web worthwhile) was the last post on that blog being about xkcdsucks.blogspot.com which is quite hilariously relevant to discussions I've had with people during the last week or two.

I actually knew of xkcdsucks a while back, I just forgot about it. As of today I'm following it though. The guy might be a little bit nitpicky and overly critical about it, and he seems to hate it a lot more than I do, but his opinions and thoughts on the webcomic are basically the same as mine. Especially the "We're quirky... and so is our relationship!" points, because those strips are the ones that piss me off the most, and the fact that just making a reference to something nerdy is not humour in itself (oh shit blog title). Overall he just does what I would do if I had the time and cared enough to do it, and for the most part it's pretty good.

So yeah, I'm done with xkcd bashing now because that guy just does it more passionately and thoroughly anyway. People who also dislike xkcd should read it, people who like xkcd should read it even more to educate themselves a little.

On other things, I'll be going to France for a week soon, so I'll have to break my chain of daily posts onto this. Or maybe I won't, because I can schedule posts on Blogger and write the week's posts all up beforehand. Except writing seven posts in one go would be a bit of a bitch, and I'm going to end up breaking the combo anyway when Uni work starts, rowing starts, the new anime series and therefore fansubbing work starts, and I suddenly have no time for anything.

I couldn't be bothered finding a relevant comic or anything for this post, so here's just a Nicovideo of a kitty playing with a tube:



It appears that this doesn't work if you view this through the networkedblogs window thing because scripts are disabled, so click the link in the top right of the window and view it on the proper page. Or click the Japanese text above if you've got a Nicovideo account, which most of you won't. For those not familiar with moontube vids, you can disable comments with the button in the bottom right.

PS: There was also someone who had found my site searching 'sauce for great justice' on Google. Crazy bastard.

New Year's Resolutions

I've always viewed making resolutions for the next year as being a bit like communism or voice recognition software - one of those things that seems great in principle but doesn't turn out that way in reality. I'm pretty sure I make them almost every year, but I'm also pretty sure that I then ignore and forget about them by the time we get to around the 5th of January. I made four Tetris resolutions at the start of 2009. I've done a grand total of... err... none of them.




They were a bit ambitious perhaps, but the fact is I wasn't playing Tetris specifically to try and complete goals I made at the start of the year. I don't really have that attitude for life either. I'm mostly playing things as they come, rather than working my entire life and the choices I make around pre-determined goals. I prefer versatility in my life, to cross my bridges as I get to them and when I want to, and to let my ambitions and goals change over time. But hey, in the spirit of things lets make a few anyway, just so I can look back in 12 months and see how many I completely and utterly failed to fulfil:

  • Get a 2.1 or higher in the end of year exams
  • Focus my time a little better, spend more of it doing what I'm actually meant to be doing
  • Get back into talking to people who I've drifted out of touch with
  • Get me one of those woman things. Preferably a non-crazy one. 
  • Get TAP Master M and Death Gm. Which shouldn't be that fucking hard considering I could do either this week with a lucky run.
  • Actually go to sleep when I intend to, rather than staying up on MSN, IRC and Facebook for another two hours
  • Over Lent and May bumps, average out bumping more often than being bumped - not totally under my control but something to work towards anyway.
  • Get the Riichi Mahjong Society properly registered (preferably before the 2010 freshers' fair) and established as a real society.
  • Learn how to hold my tongue sometimes when people are being idiotic, and be a bit less abrasive.
None of these are particularly stunning resolutions, but I think I'll strive to mediocrity. I would like to look back on 2010 this time next year as a year where I met expectations and didn't fuck up, rather than being depressed at how I didn't over-achieve as I hoped I would. Plus I'm fucking shit at meeting ambitious targets. If I know they're ambitious I feel no pressure to actually fulfil them, and when you couple that with the fact that meeting ambitious targets is difficult and needs a fair bit of effort, it means I usually don't. I planned to re-do all 23 examples papers from last term over the Christmas break.  So far we've got about four or five days left and I've done 2. I've not even finished all of the ones I really need to do because they're ones I've not done before, rather than just revision.

So I'm going for best out of nine with those resolutions. In 12 months I want to have done 5 or more, which really shouldn't be too difficult. I'll actually be pretty pissed off with myself if I've not, so I guess I'm setting myself up for failure just much as I'm aiming to not set myself up for disappointment.

We shall see. They are here, they are in writing, and who knows, I might actually check back on them sometime between now and 31st December 2010.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Away From The Numbers... Or Not

I set up a Google Analytics account for this blog, just out of interest really. Also doing stuff like that makes me feel like I'm doing something worthwhile even when I'm not, so makes me feel less guilty about the fact that my time could be better spent doing examples papers. I don't quite know why, but I have something of a love for the detailed statistics of it. It could be a sciencey person thing, it could just be narcissism of the details for my own blog. Either way, the depth and detail Google provide is slightly insane.



You get the sort of expected stuff. How many pageviews the site got, how many people visited, et cetera. You also get less expected stuff, like the average time each person spent on the site, how many of the visits were from new people. Then stuff just gets pretty crazy.

Lets take the stats for December 28th...

I had 73 pageviews from 35 visits. These 35 visits were from 24 unique people. They spent an average of 1mins58 on the site each.
Of the 35 visits:
  • 54% used Firefox as their browser, 29% used Chrome
  • 22 were from the UK, 8 were from the USA, 2 from Netherlands, 1 each from Canada, Sweden and Belgium
  • 63% were people who had visited the site before
  • 37% were visiting the site for the first time, 23% for the second, 3% for the third, 18% for the 9-14th time
  • 11% of the people had last visited the site the day before, 9% two days ago, 43% earlier that day
  • 69% of visits were of a single page, 11% were of two pages, 11% of three, one visit was 17 pageviews long (presumably me doing something)
  • 94% were using Windows. Mac and Linux had 3% each (this thing also detects iPhones and stuff).
  • 94% were using 32-bit colour
  • 31% were using a screen resolution of 1280x800, 23% were using 1440x900, 17% were using 1366x768
  • 40% were using flash version 10.0 r32, 37% were using 10.0 r42
  • 86% have Java support
Now these aren't all the stats, just a few I've pulled up. And I have no idea what the fuck I'd use them for. I mean, I could see some of the technical ones actually genuinely being useful if you've got a site with plenty of media content on it - you don't want to create a site that a significant number of visitors can't view properly, but really I'm amazed that the Google script is even able to pull that shit up. I mean, my screen resolution, it can seriously find that out?

Even though this shit is completely useless to me, I still like the graphs and the numbers and the crazy shit it pulls up. I'm not going to spend all day looking at it, but it's pretty cool to have, and it's again an example of something I use that's pretty awesome and made by Google (I'm going to get into that another time).

Still, it makes me want to keep writing this blog and keep people visiting and stuff, if for no reason other than it gives me more stats to look at. You guys are all just numbers for my entertainment :)

As an aside, I've figured out how to add Nicovideo vids to this site, (thanks muf) and YouTube is already pretty easy to embed, so I should start sticking a bit more media into this thing aside from the basic webcomics and amusing images.


Tuesday, 29 December 2009

CUAMS Michaelmas 2009 - Review

My review of the series shown by CUAMS last term. Seeing as a review is only really useful to people who haven't seen the series, this post won't contain any spoilers for the actual plot of the shows (except for maybe first-episode stuff).

So, starting with the Thursday slots:

Higashi no Eden (Eden Of The East)

In my opinion, this is the best all-round series that was shown last term. It wasn't necessarily the one I enjoyed the most, but it's the one I would most recommend to people, because I thought it was excellently done. The story starts with a Japanese girl coming across a completely naked guy outside the White House while on holiday. This guy has no memories of who he is, or why he's there. Thus the plot begins to find out who he is, and how he ended up losing all of his memories.

Unlike a lot of shows of this type, I think they got the pacing absolutely spot on. The story is constantly raising new questions about what is going on, and who is behind everything, but at the same time they're also constantly feeding you answers. You're not left in suspense for the entire series with everything revealed at the end, but constantly finding out things which lead you on. The actual plot itself is really good, and I thought it was very well written.

The animation is pretty well-done, the characters are both believable and likeable, and despite it being a very plot-driven series, there's a fair bit of humour thrown in there as well. I thought it was a great series, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the film. Would recommend it to anyone.


Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends)

Natsume is quite a slow series, but it's reasonably enjoyable. I guess the word I would most use to describe it would be "pleasant" or "nice". The story is about a boy, Natsume Takashi, who can see mysterious spirits that nobody else can see. He also happens to closely resemble his deceased grandmother, who shared the same ability. His grandmother created the book of friends, which contains these demon's names, and holds the ability to control them. The story revolves around Natsume giving the demon's their names back and releasing them from the book's control, while also fending off demons who want to use the book themselves.

The story is pretty gentle and slow paced. It's the sort of thing I'd advise watching before going to sleep, not because it's boring, but just because that's it's nature. It's not action packed, and I wouldn't say it was particularly hilarious either, but I still found it pretty pleasant to watch.


Maria†Holic

This show split opinion a fair bit in the society. Some people found it a bit offensive, or didn't like the humour, so it's hard for me to really give an unbiased opinion. Personally I was one of those who absolutely loved it. I thought it was crazy, hilarious, and SHAFT doing what they do best. There's no real plot to it, and it's basically a harem comedy. The only difference being that the lead character isn't a boy, but a lesbian girl. There's other stuff too that's utterly mental (cross-dressing, a dorm keeper who has dog ears, etc), and it really has to be watched with something of an open mind.

Being set in a Catholic Girls' School, the show parodies Maria-Sama ga Miteru a fair bit. In fact, it parodies a whole crapload of stuff. It's not something I'd really recommend to someone who was new to anime or Japan in general, because aside from the fact that it's insane and a little bit risque, it derives a fair chunk of humour from various other shows and series. There are also references to all manner of things, from the Virtual Boy to obscure branches of seafood and mythology, so it's not all wrapped up inside the world of anime.

Typically SHAFT, with insane OP and ED sequences (which they screw around with a bit for good measure) and good animation, flicking between a regular style, chibi style and massively exaggerated style for humour. The dorm keeper, God, is possibly my favourite character in anything. To anyone who has seen a fair share of anime though (particularly Marimite), it's definitely worth watching. As long as you're not easily offended. If you're the sort of person who will find it funny, you'll find it hilarious, if not then there's not going to be anything else in there for you, so don't bother.


 Sunday slots:

Tower of Druaga - Aegis of Uruk

This was a show that I wasn't really looking forward to, figuring that it was a dungeons and dragons sort of thing, which I'm generally not really fond of for series. The first episode is absolutely awesome, completely parodying most of that genre, and cinema in general. The second episode is then the first seriously, but the show still has a pretty light-hearted feel (reflected in the OP sequence).

I can't be bothered going into the plot too much - it's your standard sort of magical medieval quest sort of deal. It's based on an old arcade game of the same name, which it references to at a few points quite well. There's a lot of comedy in the series for it's nature, which is probably why I enjoyed it. It's not really that plot driven, mostly they're just trying to get to the top of the tower and fight Druaga. The plot starts kicking up a bit near the end of the series, but for the most part it's pretty light-hearted and fun.

Not up there as one of my favourite series, but it's definitely one of the better ones I've seen, and I found it pretty enjoyable and funny, and certainly a lot better than I was expecting it to be.


Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

The general plot to this is that a girl, Mirai, and her younger brother Yuuki are out visiting a robot convention when Tokyo gets hit by a massive earthquake, of magnitude 8.0 on the Richter scale. The entire plot then follows their journey back home to find their parents, assisted by a young woman, Mari, who is also trying to get back home to find her little girl.

Personally, I thought this was the weakest series shown last term. It picked up in the middle of the series, but I found Mirai to be really irritating at the start of the series. I guess it's part of a coming-of-age aspect of the series, but I really feel they overplayed the sulky, spoiled little brat girl a little bit too much at the start of the series, because I found it pretty irritating. I frankly didn't like the end of the series that much either. I won't say why, because it'd spoil it, but I thought it was pretty cheesy. Not quite Death Note catastrophically bad, but I definitely wouldn't say it was a good way for them to finish the series.

If there is one redeeming thing about TM8, I'd say it is the animation. The broken, smouldering Tokyo after the earthquake is really well drawn, and it looked good. I also thought the series did a pretty good job of putting the viewer in the sort of scenario of if an earthquake of that size took place. I wasn't a fan of the plot, or the characters all that much, but I thought the setting itself was very well done.
A series maybe worth checking out, though personally I wouldn't suggest it to anyone.


Bakemonogatari (Ghost Story)

Another SHAFT show, and another series I really enjoyed. Again, pretty much standard SHAFT in terms of the animation and them screwing around with the credits. To be honest, it's hard for me to really pinpoint why I liked the series so much. There's not much in the way of action or plot, and a lot of the series is just talking and dialogue. It is good though, and it's quite an amusing series. It's not an all-out comedy, there is some plot and deep character development in there. There's also quite a nice romance thing between the two main characters.



I really have not much else to say. It's the witty banter and the SHAFT that makes this show good for me. It's got some cool supernatural elements of people being infected or possessed by demons, and I'd really recommend that people watch it. It can seem a bit slow if you're not into the humour given the amount of conversation, but I really enjoyed it. Plus the ending theme is an awesome Supercell song.


Usavich

I almost forgot about this one, because it was used as fillers on the Sunday meets. It's basically about two rabbits in prison, one of which is an absolute psychopath, the other is a bit of a wuss. No really, that's it. The episodes are only a couple of minutes long, and there's no speech - just weird music and sound effects. I found some of the episodes to be pretty funny, some not. It doesn't really hurt to check it out, but it is seriously crazy stuff.


So yeah, my personal opinions on the shows of the Cambridge University Anime & Manga Society last term. Easier than a blog entry because not much really happened in my life in the last 24 hours. I might do a preview for next term's shows, but really I'm looking forward to Clannad After Story because I liked the first series, One Outs because it's by the same guy who writes the epic Liar Game manga series, and Saki because how the fuck can I not look forward to a show that combines Mahjong and moe.

Monday, 28 December 2009

All The Small Things

One thing I always find with products is that usually it's the small things that make the biggest difference. Little features that I miss when I'm using something else that doesn't have it. Or little things that really piss me off during the course of use. Usually things that the designer might not have properly considered.


 (Text is more readable if you click for the full-size image)

That said, Facebook tends to break this idiom a little bit. Now Facebook is a great site, and it has improved massively since it was first popular, but it's always been full of some really irritating little things. Comments used to be restricted to a few hundred characters. Generally not a big deal, but it was annoying when you ran into it. I don't like how it strips line breaks out of certain things, like when you post links to stuff or status updates. Above all it pisses me off how I can't edit my own comments. I really don't understand why they've not put that sort of functionality into it yet. It's a small thing, but it'd make a big difference. Why the fuck can't I have more than six bookmarked application icons on the bar at the bottom, when there's a shitload of space? And I won't even start on the things wrong with Facebook chat.

These aren't things that I feel the people behind the site can be forgiven for overlooking. Maybe there's a reason they're deliberately leaving it out, but if they're not it's fucking annoying to not be able to edit comments. As long as you don't have some stupid system like Skype where people can edit the comments of anyone who joins the convo after they do as well as their own, then it'd be a massively useful feature. Because I make typos a lot and I only ever fucking notice the moment I click post/send.

YouTube however have fixed something that just annoyed me for ages. On my main page I have the box for subscription updates. I subscribe to stuff, and it's the only way I'd really follow most things I follow. What's really annoying though is when I don't want to bother watching a subscribed video. There's no way to remove it from the list except by clicking on it and watching a few seconds, which isn't a huge deal, but it's a bit annoying. What was even more irritating is that YouTube would for some reason add videos I'd already watched back onto the list. However, I now don't care because they've finally added in a little button to delete videos from the unwatched subscribed videos dealie. I don't know when they added it, because it's one of those shitty buttons that doesn't appear until you hover the mouse over it (like on Facebook, but at least their buttons aren't like 15x15 pixels in size). I'm certain it hasn't always been there though.

It doesn't seem like a big problem, or a big deal now it's fixed, and it's not. It's not going to drastically improve my quality of life. But it was something that was a bit of a pain, and it's nice to not have to put up with it any more.
Maybe one day I'll also be able to get a laptop that can turn on first time when the temperature is below 20°C.

Often though things that really annoy me are features that a product doesn't have when other products do. I can't use any browser other than Firefox 3 or above because I've come to rely massively on using the awesomebar. I can't use Bing instead of Google because I've come to rely on the search engine actually finding what I'm fucking looking for. I don't think I could really go back to using Livejournal now because I'm too accustomed already to the extra features on Blogspot. I hate using any forum software that isn't SMF because none of them have a "read unread replies to your post" button, which is for a lot of  SMF forums the only one I actually use. I get annoyed using iTunes or Windows Media Player because they don't have the same user interface functionality that Winamp has (or Foobar if you fuck around setting it up).

Usually they're really not features people would class as a big deal, but when you rely quite heavily on them, it can be quite irritating to have to work without them.

I've written today's entry early today, because I'm going out for a bit of a pub crawl later and probably won't bother writing anything when I get back. Looking forward to it, and it should be fun. Can't get too stupidly drunk though, because I need to at least be recovered from any hangover in time to go to an optician's appointment tomorrow afternoon.

Also, I'm currently looking for a banner for the top of this blog. If anyone has any suggestions and/or is interested in making one, then leave a comment or facebook PM me or something.

Arson Fail, Harry Potter, God Is An Astronaut

This is slightly old news, seeing as I saw it on Philip DeFranco's show on like Thursday, but I found it was funny, and I couldn't really fit it in over Christmas. This being the story of a man who tried to firebomb his ex-girlfriend's home, but got the wrong house. Which is a pretty spectacular fuck up as they go.



I mean, if you've been going out with a girl long enough, and you're so attached to her that you're going to try and burn her house down when she breaks up with you, then you'd think you'd at least know her address properly. Shame he got the wrong house, because nothing says "we should get back together" like burning their home down. I imagine the guy was drunk, crazy or very stupid or, more likely, a combination of the three.


Tonight we had the grandparents over for Sunday dinner, which was absolutely fantastic I must say, and then we watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Which was interesting for me, because I've read the book and therefore knew roughly what was going to happen, but at the same time I read it years ago and I couldn't remember properly, so the film still had twists for me. That said, I think it was still a pretty boring film. I guess there are certain things that just don't translate well from a text to the screen, and a book that's mostly building to the final part, and is therefore mostly aside plot development and conversation without much action, isn't going to be the greatest film ever.

Plus I've sort of grown tired with the Harry Potter series. I eagerly awaited every single book, except for Deathly Harrows, which I read like six months after it came out. I don't really know why I suddenly stopped really caring about the series, whether I grew out of it or whether I just felt that the ending was never really going to match the expectations that it had built up. That said, Harry Potter at least deserved the hype and the fandom that it got more than Twilight does. JK Rowling does at least know how to write in proper English better than your average 14 year old.

I've been listening to God Is An Astronaut a lot recently (click here for Last.fm and full track streams). While their music is instrumental, I think it's really good. The songs are both melodic and powerful, and I like the way that the energy ebbs and flows throughout the songs. I can't really say whether people would like them or not, and I'd say any fan of rock music who isn't offended by a lack of vocals should definitely check them out. They're pleasant, and nothing weird unlike bands such as 65daysofstatic. If nothing else, it's exceptionally good ambient music for while I'm doing work (which I even did a few hours of today!).

Thinking about going to see them in London on Feb 17th. Tickets are £10 (ie cheap) and if anyone is interested in joining me then say and I'll get us tickets. It's also probably worth noting that they usually have custom videos to fit the music projected onto a screen behind them, so for the size of the band and the type of music, it's usually a pretty good show.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Christmas

So Christmas and Boxing Day have now been and gone. And I have to say, I enjoyed them. Perhaps not in the same amounts as I was hoping I might, but I had a fairly decent time.




Christmas swag:

- Money (duh)
- Family Guy t-shirt
- Books (The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins, Bad Science by some guy I can't remember, and a Liverpool-related one)
- A Tetris Cube, which I swear is like fucking impossible without a walkthrough video on YouTube
- Calendar
- Booze
- Chocolate
- Toiletries stuff
- Fancy ball-point pen and mechanical pencil set

There are also apparently a couple of things still waiting in the mail (my guess is one is Yotsuba&! Vol. 6 and the other I don't have a clue). Overall not the most exciting haul I've ever got, but I didn't ask for anything exciting so I'm not disappointed or anything. I did get a fair bit of money, so can't complain at all.

Christmas Day was pretty standard, with a really nice dinner at my Auntie and Uncle's place. It had smoked salmon and caviar, so nuff said really. Definitely wasn't expecting anything remotely that fancy but it was really welcome. Plus most of my family had never had caviar before (technically I haven't either, but I'd had salmon roe which is basically the same) and were a bit reluctant to try it, so all the more for me. I'd say I handled the drinking pretty well. I had a lot of champagne and four cans of Strongbow over the course of the evening, so was pretty merry without being stupidly drunk or feeling any after-effects this morning.

Went to the Liverpool v Wolves match today. Decent seats in the Anfield Road end, atmosphere was shite as usual and we didn't play that well. We did win 2-0 though, and Aquilani had a pretty good game, and Danny Pacheco (sp) looked especially promising for the last quarter of an hour or so that he came on. The three points are what really matter, and we got them.

Plus people saying their red card was "lucky" on our part are fucking retarded. Same for those saying our players shouldn't have crowded the referee when he booked the wrong player. I understand people calling for cards to be shown or penalties and crowding the ref is bad and frowned upon, but when the referee makes a clear, undeniable mistake like he did today, and the players crowd around him to point this out, then I don't think there's an issue. Fact is that the players weren't crowding round for a yellow to be given. It might have been a soft yellow, but our players weren't pushing for that. The referee and his linesman had decided between them already that it was a bookable offence, and the Liverpool players were just complaining that the wrong player had been booked. Second yellow, sending off, no real argument.

It's raining right now, and thank god. I'm sick of this damn compacted snow/ice shit that's covering the pavements. It's literally like walking on an ice rink to try and get anywhere now, unless you just choose to walk in the road. Bit of rain should melt the ice a bit more quickly than the slightly-above-zero air temperature.

So Christmas 2009 is over now, bring on the New Year's festivities. In the meantime I've got a shitload of work to do, because I've currently done nothing as far as examples papers go. I've done the wiki for the Mahjong society, and I've done a few other little side-jobs. I've also done some work setting up this blog and faffing with the layout (which now has two sets of Google ads, though I've put them in places I consider to be pretty out of the way so they're not intrusive), but I've yet to do any proper hard Engineering work since I got back. Need to step it up this week or it's going to get a bit ridiculous what with the Biarritz camp and stuff.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Debates On Religion...

I'd like to dedicate the award for wasting the greatest amount of my time this week to Alex O'Leary, and his suggestion that I should check out the Creation Science Evangelism Facebook group and show them what's what. You bastard, I could have done useful stuff this week, and instead I spent most of it showing morons why they're being moronic. Look, I even resorted to fouling my blog with xkcd...



I feel dirty for using it, but to be honest, that image sums me up absolutely perfectly. Fuck knows how many stupidly late nights I've had purely because I've been up debating shit with people. I wouldn't say it's an addiction, because I hardly go out looking for this stuff, but people seem quite inclined to drag it in front of me. It's a bit mean really. It's like offering a fat person some cake when they're not even really that hungry.

Most people say religious arguments are a complete waste of time, because one side is never going to get the other to see things their way. I'd say they're probably right for the last part, but with the first part they're completely misunderstanding why we argue, and why we debate things. If I'm arguing with someone I'm not trying to necessarily win them over to my point of view. Sure, that'd be the best outcome from my perspective, but I don't expect it to happen. You don't play the lottery expecting to win the top prize; you're just happy if you can come away with something from it, and that's a far more achievable goal.

Most of the time I'm just arguing to prove why whatever they've said is wrong. I don't expect them to believe me, or admit they were wrong or anything, but when people post arguments for things like Creationism which are fundamentally flawed and/or based on things that aren't true, I don't like the idea that people might read it and believe it. I'm not trying to reduce the ignorance out there, I'm just trying to stop it getting any worse.

I also find I learn things about myself when I debate things. I don't think you can truly realise and appreciate your own point of view until you've explained it to someone else. I've learned a lot of things about myself which I never really knew before, just by arguing with people online. Things I didn't think I had an opinion on, until someone asked me what my opinion on it was. Debating things, especially things which are more conceptual or philosophical, is extremely mentally engaging. It forces me to think, to understand why I think the things that I do, and to confirm to myself the own reasons I have for thinking that way.

The main thing I've learned about myself in my various debates on religion is that I am an Atheistic Fundamentalist. I seriously don't think there's much that I could be shown that I wouldn't attempt to rationally dismiss. Even a second coming of Christ would probably, in my mind, just be religion tacked onto some sort of Darren Brown or David Blaine figure. I'll have an immense power to be sceptical about pretty much anything that would go against my current beliefs.
I guess in a way this is a pretty bad thing, and it makes me no better than half the tools I'm arguing against, but I guess it's just the way I am. I at least have the benefit of not having to be tested and demonstrate my fundamentalist nature, which is more than can be said for a lot of Religious Fundamentalists.

Another thing I've learned is that I do look down on people who are Religious. Now, I've gotten a lot of shit from people in the past for the style in which I argue, in that I come across as being under the impression that everyone else is a complete retard and that my opinion is the only one that can possibly be correct. Usually this isn't the case, I'm just presenting my own side of the argument with as much conviction as possible, and I believe you can't really argue something properly unless you're fully certain of your own correctness. I'm not saying you need to go into it with narrow-mindedness and never doubt yourself, but I mean that when you're saying stuff, at the time that you're saying it you need to fully believe it.

The difference I think comes with religious arguments, where I generally do actually hold the position that the people I'm arguing with are maybe not complete retards, but at least under-educated, ignorant or easily-led. Fact is, the more religious someone is, the more I'm likely to be inherently prejudiced against them, and frankly I think this just comes from life experience as much as anything else. They can be nice people and all that, but I've yet to come across someone who was a proper creationist and yet had decent understanding of evolutionary biology and most of the things they were actually arguing about. Their beliefs are founded on ignorance, and very little more than that, and it's hard for me to not mentally link the two together. People who are just standard Christians, I don't think too much of, but the moment people start delving into the "Jesus loves us" realm, then my opinion of their intelligence and how in touch they are with the real world drops pretty quickly.



The notion of religion feeding off of ignorance to affirm it's beliefs has been strengthened by some recent news. It's been revealed in this festive and largely religious time of year, that the Church of England has devised a new tactic to try and get more people to go to church. This tactic being to preach to children as young as two, which frankly just seems a little bit desperate. I'm also really not a fan of the idea of religion pushing itself onto kids before they're even really aware of the world.





Frankly, I believe kids should just be left to develop their own views on the world. My Dad is something of an Agnostic or slight Atheist (I've never really talked to him on the subject), but I was hardly raised as an Atheist. I went to a CofE school, and I'd say if anything I was raised to be casually Christian. I had a reasonable interest in religion when I was younger. I'd pray (usually, as I'd expect is true for all children, with fairly selfish requests), and I'd say I generally tried to live as close as I could to the Christian guidelines. Not that it's really possible to sin all that much when you're an 8 year old.

The thing is though, most kids when they're of the ages of about 12 and below don't really know much about anything as far as the world goes. When I was that age, I cared about cartoons, video games and that was pretty much about it. I didn't give that much thought to religion, politics and all that crap. I mean, who did? The only people who seemed to have any real impression of religion were the ones who had had it massively imposed upon them by their parents.

Which is wrong, frankly. I understand that a parent wouldn't want their child to burn in hell, but at the same time it's not a good thing for parents to be imposing their views upon their kids. Half the fucking social issues in the world would probably be long since solved by now if it wasn't for kids being institutionalised and corrupted from birth. Would separation of race had continued for so long if white kids weren't explicitly taught not to mix with black kids? Frankly, I find it hard to see why religion would continue for so long if it wasn't for people being brought up that way.

The problem the church has is that the youth in the UK isn't interested in the church any more. But the solution to that issue is not for the church to just force it upon the kids from an earlier age and with even more pressure. All they're doing there is needlessly imposing religion on kids before they're even old enough to really understand it.
What the church needs to do, if anything, is establish why the kids of today aren't going to church, because it isn't that they've never heard of Jesus. The fucking Christian Soc in Cambridge puts posters up all over the damn place preaching us of religion, and it's fucking stupid. I don't look at those posters and think "Oh wow, I've never heard of this Jesus dude before, I think I'll check it out.", but instead I take a view more akin to Peter Saunders of "man, there'd be a nice view out of that window if someone hadn't stuck a poster over it".

Maybe the church should inspect itself a little more closely. Maybe it'd realise that the main reason people aren't going to church is that they're not buying into religion any more. If it wasn't for people fearing for their own mortality and the church providing quite a nice solution to avoiding death, I doubt many people would buy into it. Fact is that there are too many things recently that have given the church a bad press. All the homophobia stemming from the church in America and sects in the UK don't fit in with modern society. Most of the Bible doesn't fit in with modern society. It's all outdated and mostly replaced with other comforts in life, or modern science.

I don't really understand how the church can justify this as anything more than brainwashing people into Christianity. If you're forcing them to learn about God before they even start learning how to add and subtract, then what else are you trying to do? I believed in a ton of rubbish when I was a kid. I believed in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy, in witches (specifically Roald Dahl's) and various other monsters and all that sort of crap. Maybe not when I was quite as young as two, but I was reasonably gullible for that sort of stuff, as are all children really. If they'll believe that there's a big fat dude who goes around the world once a year and gives everyone presents, then most of Christianity doesn't sound that absurd...


Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Christmas Shopping & Schumacher Comeback

On account of my parents having jobs and nobody in my household really wanting to do any shopping on Christmas Eve, I was given the task of doing all the Christmas shopping today. It was complete shit.




Now, I'll be honest, I'm not shopping's biggest fan at the best of times. It's not so bad if I've got some music to listen to, but I still find it dull and I find it an absolute pain in the arse at University to have to do it. Shopping for electronics is about the only aspect that I enjoy. Food shopping in particular I despise. I worked at a supermarket for six months, and it was bad enough having to spend time in them when I was being paid for it. Everyone is so fucking slow and clueless. People should make a list, get said stuff on the list quickly and efficiently, and leave. Not spend all fucking day wandering around the store aimlessly holding up everyone.

All the shopping I had to do today was food, and the supermarket was completely fucking rammed. Slow people, old people everywhere. Some fucking old fart in front of me who was using the hand-baskets only aisle when he had a trolley full of stuff. In fairness, I had an overflowing basket of stuff and probably should have had a trolley, but at least it was in a hand-basket. I was conforming to the rules of the aisle. It's not like I was just using two hand-baskets, because I do think that might be pushing it a little bit.

What made shopping today extra shit was all the snow everywhere. It already would have been a pain in the arse to lug about as much food as I could carry back home, but it was even worse when the pavements were absolutely covered with hard snow and ice. It needs to rain or something to soften it all up, because walking back was hellish. I managed to get home without falling over, but I was slipping all over the place, and it's fucking hard to balance when you've got a few kilos of groceries in each hand. It also took me forever to get back, because I was having to walk at about half my normal pace. Took me over an hour and a half just to buy all the crap for Christmas Dinner tomorrow.

*   *   *

The biggest piece of news for me today was the announcement of Michael Schumacher returning to F1 with Mercedes. Love him or hate him (personally, as a Ferrari driver, I went with the latter), he holds more world titles in the sport than any other driver. Regardless of various safety improvements that older champions didn't have the luxury of, that's still not a record you can hold without having some significant talent. It remains to be seen if he's "still got it", but I'm very much looking forward to seeing him on the grid again.

It's just under three months (or 80 days, or 11 weeks) until the start of the new Formula 1 season, and while the cars are still a complete mystery in terms of performance, the team line ups look impressive. I'm especially anticipating the battle between the all-British McLaren team and the all-German Mercedes team. It'll be an exciting battle, and with Red Bull still keeping last year's line-up (I think Sebastian Vettel is one of the best drivers on the grid), it could be an extremely exciting three-way battle between the teams if their cars are all up to standard. Obviously I'll be rooting for Jensen and Lewis with McLaren, but I'm very much looking forward to the competition.

Plus there's a larger grid, which should result in more action, and the points system looks a little better this year for providing balance to the people who are continually on the podium, rather than just continually in the points. Instead of 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 for the top 8 drivers, it's now 25, 20, 15, 10, 8, 6, 5, 3, 2, 1 for the top 10. I'm not sure why the 5 is a 5, and not a 4, because that would make more sense to the spacing of the points, but that's what the BBC says it is. Anyway, it brings it closer to the sort of points system that most other motorsports have, and it puts a lot of emphasis on winning regularly, rather than merely finishing high up, without Bernie Ecclestone's retarded suggestion for a medal system.

I'm sure the media will be saying it as they do every year, but I think it could be one of the closest title races in a while, with quite a few drivers in the hunt at the end of the season. Hopefully the excitement will carry through onto the track a little bit more as well.

Winter 2010 Anime Season

Coming up to the back end of December now, and the current series have pretty much all finished (Frostii's Kimi ni Todoke hasn't because we're being fucking slow =P ), so time for a proper look ahead to the next season's stuff.



To be honest, the season isn't looking all that great. There are a couple of shows of note, but the vast majority of the shows are series which should be pretty poor. Obviously with none of them having aired a single episode, it's hard to say anything concrete about the quality, but I'll speculate anyway...

Durarara!! -  This is written by the same guy who did Baccano! (and who seems to be a fan of exclamation marks), so I'd guess it'll probably be a pretty decent plot at least. It sort of remains to be seen whether it will actually meet the same sort of quality of Baccano, but I'd like to hope that it does.

Vampire Bund, Hidamari Sketch - These are both by SHAFT, so usually I'd be slavering all over them and proclaiming them to be the most awesome shows ever. However, SHAFT have done two shows in one season before, and it's never really fared that well for them. I quite like the Hidamari Sketch manga from what I've read, but I've yet to see any of the anime. As for Vampire Bund, I've seen the trailer for it and don't really know what to make of it. The animation seems to be classic SHAFT, but I'm not so sure about the loli vampires. It does seem pretty fucking violent though. We'll see.

Hanamaru Kindergarten - By far the show I'm looking forward to the most. What I've read of the manga is really funny, and it should be really good comedy. Sure, it seems to have a paedotastic Kodomo no Jikan-esque storyline to it, but the animation style seems far too in line with Potemayo for it to feel dirty. Sure, it's about a five year old girl trying to seduce her kindergarten teacher, but it's presented in a way that is far more comical than sordid and perverse. There's talks in IRC trying to get enough Frostii staff on board to sub it as an extra series, and I'd definitely want in on that.


Nodame Cantabile S3 - Worth a mention, probably will be decent, but I've not seen the first two series so I can't really give much of an opinion on it. I'll probably watch it at some point in a backlog along with the first two series (the first is on my to-watch list anyway), but I won't be following it as it airs.


Hellsing Ultimate VII - Released today, and it'll be absolutely awesome. The Ultimate series has shown how the TV series should have been done.  It's excellent so far and I love every part of it, and I see no reason why the climactic finale that is the seventh episode should be any different to the first six. Decent fansubs are probably going to take a while though, given Funimation have scared most major groups out of doing it.


Ookamikakushi and Boku Otaryman - I'm working on both of these series with Frostii (Ookami depends on CrunchyRoll not taking it), and hoping they're both going to be pretty good. Otaryman looks like it should be funny, though it's a single OVA anyway, so hardly going to be a chore if it isn't. Ookami looks very much like it's going to be along the lines of Higurashi from the synopsis, so fingers crossed it should be decent.


Weiß Survive R and Chu-Bra - I'm fully expecting these to both be utterly shit. However, Weiß Survive R has vague nudity on the promo pic, which means it'll probably be worth checking out just for lulz, and the synopsis for Chu-Bra sounded so hilariously shallow, awful and fanservice-y that I'm expecting it to be so bad it's good. Or maybe just really bad, but I'll still check out the first episode or two.

Out of the rest of the series, none of them have struck me as being worthy of looking into that much. I doubt I'll bother paying any attention to any of them unless someone specifically recommends one to me.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Spirit Of Christmas

I think it was AOL who first said it, and it was something I'd not realised applied to me until he did. I'm at that age now where presents really aren't what I care about any more about Christmas. I mean, they're nice and all, but the little kid inside me who would be massively excited about the new stuff he was about the receive is now pretty much gone. I think he was gone a year or two actually. Right now I sort of have a "oh, it's Christmas on Friday" attitude, when a few years ago I'd have been more along the lines of "OH YES ONLY THREE MORE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS".

Not that I'm not looking forward to all the festivities in a few days. Christmas dinner should be good, the presents I do get should be decent, I'm going to see Liverpool v Wolverhampton on Boxing Day (man I'll be pissed if we don't win) and I think this whole weekend should be pretty good fun. But it's the whole festive experience that I'm now looking forward to, not just the stuff I'm getting on Christmas morning. The meal and going round to visit various relatives in the evening and Boxing Day are now things I'm looking forward to, rather than time I'd spend massively frustrated at not being able to play with all the stuff I'd just gotten.

That said, I'll probably regret thinking this after people have had a couple of drinks and the standard family arguing starts. I'll wonder why the fuck I ever bothered looking forward to my nan repeatedly spouting garbage about the current world, my auntie and sisters arguing over stuff that happened in their childhoods, my granddad making the occasional racist comment on tourists or foreign workers...

Yeah, I think I'm actually looking forward to the presents most after all.

Sword Of The Stranger



This was shown at the CUAMS squash at the start of last year, along with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. I watched TGWLTT at the squash, but I had other stuff I wanted to do that evening, so I didn't bother staying for Sword Of The Stranger. If I'm honest, I think I made the wrong choice, because it is an extremely good film.

To not give away any spoilers, it's your standard action/samurai sort of film, not massively different from the likes of Hero. An ex-warrior samurai, who happens to be one of the greatest warriors ever, befriends some young boy who is being hunted by a group of expert Chinese fighters who want to capture him.



The film starts off a little slow, but it builds quite well and the last 40 minutes or so are extremely good. The visuals are excellent, as is generally expected with this sort of feature film, considering they've got a proper animation studio working on it (BONES). The story is compelling and well written, and the character development through the film is good.

I'd say it's the best anime film of it's genre that I've seen, and absolutely worth checking out if people haven't seen it.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Mindfields

Thinking more about the RATM #1 Single this week, I've realised that it actually says less about music than it does about the power of the internet. The fact is that this was initially nothing but a Facebook group and associated movement. Sure, the media gave it some publicity, but at that point it was already leading the chart battle.

Really, above all, the victory on Sunday was not for music, but for the idea of people being able to unite for a cause and take a stand against the system. There was no money behind the campaign, there was no large corporation running and advertising it. It was made by some guy and his wife, and it spread through the internet and through social circles and, importantly, it won. It showed that with a decent cause, a way to make your voice heard, and a bit of belief, it is really possible to achieve something.

I wasn't expecting it. If I'm honest, I was extremely sceptical. I saw the group initially and I figured it was a nice idea, but that it'd never succeed. I thought that the number of people who would join it would pale in comparison to the number of mindless idiots who would buy the X Factor single. If I'm honest, maybe if there'd been a better X Factor single, or if people hadn't started just jumping on the RATM/anti-Simon Cowell bandwagon, then the campaign would have failed. Still, I'm glad there were some people who weren't as sceptical as me and who put the money in to buy the single in the early stages, when things were completely unknown.

I had £2 on Amazon in mp3 vouchers, so I actually bought the single three times, but that was only late into the week, when it was already leading in the chart sales, and it seemed like it was a very realistic possibility that it would get to #1. So thanks for all the people who I originally thought were naïve fools. Thanks for those people who actually got the ball rolling instead of being sceptical, you guys are the ones who deserve the real credit.

It does annoy me a little that Killing in the Name was the song though. It's really some sour irony given how people have bought it basically just to be going with the crowd and to be on the bandwagon, just as it annoys me that so many people like the song just because of the "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me" part, which goes against it's principles somewhat.

Thinking about the whole week though, this really does demonstrate the power of Facebook, and the power of the internet as a whole. This wouldn't have been possible ten, five, maybe even just one or two years ago. The spread of information now is so powerful, so rapid, that we basically managed to rig the UK Singles chart. Which is pretty cool.

It'd be nice if a similar thing could happen next year. Maybe a different song, maybe not. It'd be a nice tradition if we just had Killing in the Name as the Christmas #1 single every year. Heck, I think it'd be really cool if we could agree for Rage to give all the proceeds to charity, and have Killing in the Name as the #1 single every week. Just get a few hundred thousand people to agree to give £1 to charity every week by buying the single and we'd be there. It'd raise lots of money, and it'd be a cool stranglehold on the UK music industry.


In my life, today was the day I caught up on webcomics. Ten weeks of various webcomics that I'd not bothered keeping up with while I was at Uni. It was a pretty good day.
I also had a dentist appointment, which went about as well as it possible could. My teeth were fine, and I got put into an NHS slot instead of a private one, so it only cost me £16 for the check-up instead of £40.

Alex has just given me the beta link for Plain Sight. I'll give it some playtime and report back here.

For anyone else who is interested, it's here: http://gamma.plainsightgame.com/

Voice Of The Voiceless

Rage Against The Machine currently #1 in the UK Singles Chart. It's actually for the first time (their previous best being 8th with Bulls On Parade), which I guess doesn't surprise me because they're hardly mainstream in the UK.

I could just add my comments on this and repeat what most media outlets and people have already said, but I won't. It's pretty obvious that this is a great victory by fans of real music against the current status quo in the music industry, but really in the grand scale of thing it's meaningless. We've won the battle, but the war is still well and truly in the hands of Simon Cowell and co. If the X Factor single isn't #1 next week I'll be extremely surprised. Still, it'd be nice if this could happen every year, and if nothing else it's raised a good amount of money for charity.

Plus Rage have promised and confirmed a free thank-you show for fans in the UK, which is absolutely awesome news. Aside from announcing multiple shows, the only better news would be that they're reforming for good and working on a new album.


This weekend got off to a massively shitty start with Liverpool losing to Portsmouth. I was seriously pissed after that. We were awful aside from the first 20 minutes, and once Mascherano was sent off we just looked like we'd already decided the world was against us and didn't care any more. There just didn't seem to be belief in the squad.

However, I got my Azumanga Daioh omnibus this week, so reading a bit of that cheered me up and I stopped caring. Then Man Utd lost 3-0 anyway, so all was good.

Azumanga Daioh really is a fantastic manga. I loved the TV series, but it just seems so much funnier in the 4-panels. It's also way more convenient. As proven on Saturday, even if I'm in one of the darkest moods ever, I can just pick it up, read it for ten minutes, and then suddenly I'm cheered up again. It's fantastic medicine for the soul.

Saturday was also interesting for the announcement of a new fan-made multiplayer Tetris game. It's buggy as hell right now, but from the direction in which development has gone thus far, and the responses from the creator, it seems like it could really be an excellent game once it's finished. Because to be honest the Tetris world still lacks a proper online VS game, excluding Blockbox which is good aside from some lag issues and being browser-based.

Finally, Saturday saw massacre's bash quote on the front page of Reddit.com, which was pretty awesome. Sparked some amusing IRC chat and it was nice for about four different people to comment that they'd just found a quote including me on Reddit. For anyone who cares, the full quote is here.

Today (Sunday, even though it's technically 1:22am Monday) has been pretty uneventful. My internet died for the afternoon and I was just getting a BT "service unavailable" page, so spent most of the afternoon just watching Kanon and Legend of the Galactic Heroes, which was good I guess. I like Kanon, and I see why it's paralleled with Clannad, but at the same time I feel the enjoyment comes from two different areas. Kanon is funnier and (way) more moe (Uguuu~), but the story so far seems to have far less depth than Clannad. Clannad at times brought me on the verge of tears, which really increased my opinion of it, while I can't see Kanon involving me or having storyline to that sort of level yet.

This evening I went round to the grandparents for dinner, which was nice except my gran decided to make some sort of weird tomato bolognese sauce instead of gravy, which IMO didn't go very well considering we were having lamb. I'll take meat-based sauce over vegetable/fruit-based any day of the week. She said she did it because it was healthier and had less calories, which is probably exactly why I wasn't that much of a fan. More calories almost always means tastier which always means better.

Friday, 18 December 2009

European Cup Draws

So this morning was the draw for the first knock-out stages of the Champions League. The 16 most talented football teams awaited their fate, to find which other titan they would be facing, in a selection of ties that would surely create history.
Oh yeah, and there was a draw for some other competition too. The UEFA League Cup or something, I can't really remember the name. But it seems most people didn't really give a shit about it.

Well I did. I understand now what it must be like to support a team outside the "big four". To have a team where there isn't media coverage of every single important aspect. I was eagerly awaiting live coverage of the Europa League draw only to find that all of the media would rather just discuss the Champions League draw than provide some breaking news.

And I was pissed. Not so much because they didn't bother showing it, because although I think that's a bit shit of them, it doesn't really surprise me. I was more annoyed that I'd bothered to sit through the entire fucking Champions League draw to see it, and then it wasn't shown.

Because jesus fucking christ do UEFA love to drag these fucking things out. It's ridiculous. You have 16 teams, which makes 8 fixtures. Sure, teams from the same countries can't play each other, and it adds a bit of complication to the process, but the fact is that all you're doing is drawing 16 balls out of pots at random, and it shouldn't be so fucking painstakingly slow. There doesn't need to be a fucking huge preamble before the draw itself.

Fair enough, a lot of people from the clubs involved had probably flown out to Switzerland to be at the draw, so UEFA were making it worthwhile for them, but they should have just given them a buffet or something. Even in the first round draw when Liverpool were in it, and things are a bit more complex, I still thought it went on way too fucking long. And they kept breaking it up and giving awards and shit in between each group of seedings.

Please UEFA, put all the extra shit you do into a separate thing to the draw and give people the ability to tune in for just the draw. Or, when you say the draw starts at 11am, make it so the actual draw itself starts then, not the whole ceremony and other bollocks. BBC have the decency to make it clear that while F1 coverage starts from 12:05 or whatever, the race itself starts at 1pm. You could have the decency to let people know that while all the pre-draw faff starts at 11am, the draw itself doesn't start until 11:35 and I could actually have done other things. Plus if you sped the whole fucking thing up a bit, maybe Sky Sports News wouldn't mind showing both the Champions League and Europa draws, because they wouldn't have to devote such a huge amount of time out of their schedule to show them both.

So as it is, Liverpool have Unirea Urziceni, a side I had to Google to find out how to spell. I'd honestly know nothing about them if it wasn't the fact that they gave Rangers a hard time in the Champions League groups stage. Fact is though, that it shouldn't really matter. Our squad should be good enough to challenge for the Champions League trophy, and really I don't think any of the teams in the Europa league should really be concerning us, with the exception maybe of Juventus. It's not a glamorous trophy, and if we were fighting for the title I think most fans would rather see us drop out and not have the extra fixtures (not that this plan worked out well for Aston Villa last season), but fact is that we're not really fighting for the league title any more, and aside from the FA Cup this is our only solid chance to get silverware this season, so it'd be nice to see us do well.

Hello World

Oh hay gais, look at my new blog!

Yeah, the title of the blog is a bit dumb, but I like referencing things, and what better than to name a new project that I'm most likely going forget about after an old project which I forgot about? I'm totally open to new name suggestions by the way, if anyone has any. Also apologies for the rather generic theme, but I can't really be bothered tweaking it too much more than I already have, and I think it looks reasonably nice.

This is basically here because I can't be bothered with my LiveJournal any more, and haven't bothered with it for about six months for that matter. There are aspects of LJ that I just find a little irksome, and blogspot seems like a better site. I gave up with my LJ because I found it to be a little bit of a bother to update, but mostly because I felt that only a handful of people were reading it anyway. Since then I've spoken to a few people who said that they used to read (and even enjoy) it, and I guess if I'd known that I would have made a bit more effort to fill it with content.

Really I'm just a bit of a narcissist. If people are paying attention to what I do, then I'll keep doing it. I guess I could spin that and say that I take pleasure out of knowing people enjoy what I write, but I'm not sure that's entirely truthful (though I do). Really the difference between this and LJ is that I think it's easier for people to actually keep track of when I'm posting things through various blog feed tools, and also more people have accounts with Google than with LJ, so hopefully I'll see more feedback on the blog itself. Plus I can make tiny amounts of money from Google ads at the bottom of the page.

It's been suggested by a few people that I start a blog, so I have. I don't quite know exactly what I'm going to fill this with. Probably just stuff I see around the interwebs, a bit of opinion, and maybe just some stuff that's going on in my life. We'll see what sort of stuff ends up being on here, because it'll all depend on what I feel inspired to write about, and what I think is worth people's time reading it. I don't really understand people who just have blogs as essentially online diaries, filling it with the general crap that goes on in their everyday lives, because most of it is pretty boring drivel (it doesn't help it's usually poorly written as well), and I don't get why anyone would care to read it.

So yeah, hey there to anyone reading this, and if you like what I write then subscribe or whatever and comment. I sound like a shitty attention whore from YouTube for saying that, but the fact is that it'll keep me interested with this and I'll be far more eager to keep writing content.