Monday, 31 May 2010

Day 1: Post-Mortem

My mind feels pretty much blank now. I have been up since 8am, which must be the earliest I've gotten up since my work experience finished last August, not counting getting up for flights because I then slept a fair bit during the day. I even got a decent 8-9 hours sleep, I just still feel utterly merked.

Paper 1, Mechanics went pretty poorly. I just thought the paper was fucking difficult (as did everyone else, seemingly). None of the questions were that straightforward at all, except for maybe question 2, except I didn't feel that hot on the energy stuff or whatever it was, so didn't bother doing it. Then Paper 2, Structures, was meant to be my best exam, to redeem the marks I'd lost in the morning, but again it was an awkward bastard of a paper. I breezed through question 1, which was a fairly standard-but-time-consuming indeterminant truss thing, and I should hopefully have gotten nearly full marks on that question. Hopefully I scored a fair few marks on question 3 as well but I wasted a good 15 minutes of the 2 hour exam just being a complete retard on one part of that question, which I really could have done with avoiding. My final answers also looked a bit dodge. Question 4 I felt I did OK on, and I had the right method for 5 but I fucked up fairly simple bending moment calculations for that because I was rushing like hell, so hopefully I've at least picked up a fair chunk of marks.

I went through the papers afterwards (I know some people hate that, but I'm not one of those people) and reckon I got around 55% for Mechs and around 67% for Structures. If those retrospective estimates are accurate then I won't be too unhappy, because it'll mean I'm still more than on course for a 2:1 including coursework.

The outing in the evening was pretty shit as well. Concentration in the boat didn't seem great and we didn't have a coach, but I can't really complain because I definitely wasn't in the zone either, and there were aspects from me that could have been described as "dodgy" at best. Misjudging an overtake on one of the Jesus boats and causing them to have to easy to avoid use crashing into a boat coming the other way definitely wasn't stellar. They could have moved over a little more, as could the boat going the other way, but was still definitely my bad. Was more annoyed because it's been quite a while since I've done anything stupid like that on the water, and really I just got impatient and fucked up because my mind wasn't quite concentrated on the job. Two exams in a day just sort of turns your thought processes to mush afterwards.

Anyway, Materials tomorrow morning, which I'm about to start a bit of last-minute final revision for and should hopefully be a mark in the 65-85% range, and then Thermofluids which could either be decent, or damage limitation depending on how the questions go. I seem to either know what I'm doing or to be completely in the dark for Thermo.

At least once tomorrow is over I'm half-done in terms of papers and definitely over the hump. Papers 5 and 7 should go OK unless they're also randomly hard papers. Paper 6 could definitely just be damage limitation and trying to scrape out as many marks as possible. Either way, I still feel like I should definitely get a decent result overall. It's definitely not going to be brilliant at this rate, but even with two exams where the general consensus seemed to be they were a lot harder than usual, the percentages are looking like I should avoid slipping into the 2:2 margin, even without scores (hopefully) being adjusted upwards because the papers were difficult.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

When The Levee Breaks

Something snapped today. I don't quite think it was The Fear™, but there was a period late this afternoon when I realised I only had four and a bit days until the first exam, and stress kicked in. I've been two papers (about 6-8 hours work) behind schedule for fucking ages, and this evening I worked (hard) for five hours solid and I've cut that down to just a single paper behind. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow I'll be back up to speed.

It's really just a continuous battle between being slightly nervous about exams and complete apathy. There are points where I actually just don't care. I'd happily sit them tomorrow and get a poor mark because I'm not quite ready, because then at least they'd be over. It's not even the exams that are getting to me so much as the revision, or the feeling that I should be revising.

Also the feeling that perhaps my revision so far hasn't been that great. I don't know. It's probably because I've slipped back into the A-Level aiming-for-100% mindset, or because I've just not quite made the finishing touches to my revision (actually, I'm pretty sure it's this), but trying to go through papers without cribs is proving fairly difficult. I feel reasonably confident until I actually sit down with a paper in front of me.

I've also had the realisation that if things don't go well on Monday, then it's going to be a horrific week. Given that I have all eight of my exams in five consecutive days, I've basically got no time to correct things if it turns out I've not done enough revision. I've done the same amount of preparation (near enough) for each paper, so if I've not done enough for Paper 1, then I've not done enough for the other seven, and I'll have basically no time to change that. It's not a case of a poor Paper 1 scaring me into working hard for Paper 2, because Paper 2 is only a couple of hours later. I won't get a proper gap until Papers 5 and 6.

This blog entry probably makes me sound like I'm bricking it, and expecting to fail, but I'm not really. I think I just overestimate the difficulty behind getting a 2:1. I'm pretty sure I was at exactly the same sort of point last year, and I ended up being not far off a 1st, so really I should be expecting a similar result this year. Heck, if the questions are nice, the rest of the revision goes well and I'm switched on in the exam, I don't think a 1st is impossible.

Still, I won't know until I've taken the papers, and that just can't come soon enough. I'm not quite ready yet, but I'm just sick of waiting for them. I just want them over and done with, and then I can have three or four months where I don't have course work hanging over me, and I can just relax a little bit. In the mean time, maybe these points of going a little bit crazy aren't so bad, because it means I actually get some proper productive work done and bang out a few papers, rather than slowly dragging myself through them.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Improve Your Life!

This is going to sound along the lines of a spam email, or a virused MSN or Myspace account. I'm just plugging a few things I think more people should get onto.

First is to anyone at Downing who has found their internet has been shit lately, and that's OpenDNS. If you've found that you frequently can't connect to web pages, it's because whatever DNS server the college use is hugely unreliable and seems to break pretty often. It's usually fairly obvious that it's the DNS because you can't access anything on the web, yet things like MSN all stay connected without a problem.
Easiest way to fix this is just to switch to using a more reliable DNS server instead of the college one. It's fairly straightforward - you register and follow their fairly clear instructions on how to change your internet settings to use their server. You don't need to download anything, it doesn't take very long, and once it's done webpages should load fairly reliably again.

Second is to anyone on the CUDN at Cambridge, and that is the CamDC client. Screw torrents or other ways to obtain files, this is way better. It's much faster, less likely to have legal ramifications, and it also doesn't count for external bandwidth so you're free to download and upload as much data as you like. Maybe not something that should be discovered right before exams, given that rewatching every episode of Scrubs isn't good for revision, but anyone who isn't massively against filesharing should definitely have it.

Thirdly is open to anyone living in a country it supports (or possibly outside if you lie), and that is Valued Opinions. The general gist is that you sign up, fill in a few online forms so they get an idea of who you are (you don't have to do this, but you'll barely get anything if you skip it), and then they send you surveys. You complete the surveys online, and then they give you money in the form of vouchers for a pretty nice range of stores. It includes and Tesco, so I find it to be pretty nice given I already buy stuff from them anyway.
I've been on it for a few months now (realistically since late Feb) and I've gotten £20 in Amazon vouchers, and it's not a huge amount of effort. They'll generally send you anything from a survey a day to one every two weeks, so it's not a particularly constant flow, and you tend not to qualify for every one you send them (as in you're not the sort of person they're looking to survey), but they're usually worth from 50p to £3 each, sometimes more, and I find it's a pretty easy and not too taxing way to get some free money.

So yeah, a few plugs for things I feel more people should have if they can. Hopefully at least a handful of people who read this can get some benefit.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


When you string words together a few times it becomes hard to make out what it is...

Exams are less than two weeks away. Currently two papers behind my revision schedule, which isn't too big a deal, because I can easily make that up later this week with a bit of effort. I'm surprised I've still to get The Fear™, because I still feel strangely relaxed, even though lectures finish today. It's quite possibly because the people around me still feel quite laid back about exams, and also probably because I've done this all before now.

It's sort of funny to see the first years fretting about exams and remembering where I was last year. The first year is so fucking terrifying because you're not used to tripos standard exams. We're all smart, we all breezed through A-Levels, and the transition is a bit of a shock to the system. You cruise through high school and then suddenly you how to learn how to actually revise for stuff, because merely remembering from the lessons apparently doesn't work any more.

I'm not boasting, or exaggerating, and I guess for people at Cambridge things are pretty similar anyway, but I basically went into A-Level exams having done a few hours revision at most beforehand, and I'd rock up and get over 90% with very little effort. We'd done a ton of past papers in lessons, we knew the sort of questions to expect, things were pretty easy. And now suddenly Tripos papers totally fuck that sort of attitude up. Not only do the exams require far more work and far more revision, but the percentage boundaries are shifted so much. At GCSE or A-Level, scoring 65% on an exam would be an utter failure. I don't know how I'd have reacted if I'd got a mark that low, but given I was expecting mid-80's at a minimum and mostly hoping for 95% or higher, I'd probably have cried. Here though, 65% is actually a pretty solid mark. It's a mid to high 2.1, and is perfectly acceptable.

It takes a while to adjust to that. I remember doing my first past paper under self-imposed exam conditions while revising last year. I thought I'd done horribly. I didn't even finish all the questions. And I got 62% or something when I actually marked it, which as it stood was a good mark. It just takes an adjustment to realise that you're not going to be able to do every part of every question, and you're possibly not going to finish the paper in time. It's a bit of a paradigm shift, but it's actually fine if you can't do everything. You're not expected to do. Unlike GCSE and A-Level, where you only drop marks through mistakes and particularly awkward questions, now you drop marks by not knowing stuff, and that's still fine for the vast majority of people.

So yeah, first years, don't sweat it so much. When people say they're doing 14 hours a day, they're either bullshitting and spend most of those 14 hours on Facebook, or they're doing too much revision. Unless you're doing Maths or Phys Natsci you'll probably be fine with 4-6 hours a day. Other people might disagree (and are welcome to post their own opinions), but just go through every single past paper in the last five or six years and make sure you understand how to do every question, and you'll be fine. Summary notes for lectures look pretty and are probably helpful, but they're definitely not necessary, so don't sweat if you've not done anything like that. Don't bother too much about how much the people around you are doing either. Use them for help, but if they seem to be doing twice the work then don't worry about it. Just tick them off in your mind as either a liar, a ridiculous try-hard overachiever, or a moron who needs to do that much work to get a good mark. It doesn't have to be true, but if you're confident you've done enough work, then you probably have.

I can't remember, but I don't think per day I'm revising as hard as I did last year, but last year I only had two weeks of revision, and this year I've taken four weeks, so I'm expecting it to still work out fine. Paper 6 is going to utterly annihilate me, and I'd be surprised if I got anything higher than a 3rd or a 2.2 mark on that paper, but aside from section A on Paper 5 everything else doesn't seem too bad, and I'm currently fairly confident I can come out with a strong 2.1. That said, I've not got The Fear yet, so we'll see if I'm still confident the day before exams.

In other life, rowing seems to be going fairly well with WII, currently enjoying playing baseball on the paddock fairly often (and probably will sometime today if people are keen to join in, though we have limited gloves). All I need is to start winning some games at the Mahjong society and things will be going pretty nicely. Speaking of Mahjong, I had this result a couple of days ago:
Probably needs to be click-enlarged to read the writing, but was very pleased to win that game, and even more pleased I managed to beat the guy down into last place as well.

Also joined the Daa! Daa! Daa! project for Frostii, which is attempting to finish off as a joint what AonE started and never finished. Though currently it's on episode 63 out of 78, and I've only watched the first episode, so got a fair number of episodes to blast through if I want to be useful and not spoiler things for myself. Doubt it'll move too quickly though, so I should have time to do it once exams are over.

13 days until exams start, 18 days until exams finish (and then back home for the weekend for my Nan's birthday). Bring on May Bumps and May Week, because no matter how much of a chore the revision becomes, and how scary the exams are, the two weeks or so afterwards more than make up for it.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Yotsuba & Portal!

Fairly busy with exam revision, so a fairly light-hearted and quick blog entry, because I can't be bothered discussing politics and other things right now.

Sylf linked on IRC to quite an interesting post on Insert Disc yesterday, of a guy who had introduced his mother's 4th grade class to the Yotsuba&! manga and then given them a questionnaire on their opinions (yesterday also coincided with my copy of Volume 8 arriving through the post from Amazon). The results are mildly interesting, even if they're not that surprising.

Thing is, they demonstrate more for me why Yotsuba&! is such a fantastic manga. Personally I'd say it's my favourite manga (though I've not read that many series, so that's a bit of a limited pool), which is probably not a huge surprise to a lot of people, given I use Yotsuba for my avatar on pretty much every website I'm on, including this blog among other things. Yotsuba&! is fantastic for its ability to completely transcend all age boundaries. There's something pure about its humour that is appealing to both adults and kids. Because, despite its appearance, and Yen Press's shitty synopsis on the back of the volume, it is serialised in a seinen magazine. "Seinen", for people who aren't up to speed with anime/manga terminology (ie. most people) means its target demographic is a male, adult audience (and no, not adult in that way). It's for 18-30 year olds, yet unlikely the likes of Hellsing and Akira is also completely suitable and enjoyable for kids who are only 9 or 10, and possibly younger.

I really don't think there are many people who could read Yotsuba&! and not find it to be fairly funny, unless it just tickles me in some weird way that most people don't get. That said, I've never found anyone who has read it and not really enjoyed it. It's also rare for me to read something and laugh as much as I did, and still do, while reading Yotsuba&!, and I thank muf infinitely for introducing me to it. Its humour is based around the innocence, imagination and excitability of youth, about being at an age when even the simple things can provide immense amusement. Rediscovering the world through the eyes of a hyperactive, overenthusiastic 5-year old girl. Along with Azumanga Daioh, also by Kiyohiko Azuma, it's extremely funny as well, in a way that's not that easy to describe. I think the core of it is how likeable the characters are, and how despite being a little bit over the top, especially in the way their reactions are drawn (example), they're extremely realistic and down to earth.

I think you'd either have to be the most macho of macho men to not like it, or to have had some sort of horrifically warped and deprived childhood. It crosses gender and age without trouble, it's that good.
Also, excerpts (read right to left, not left to right). Not necessarily a greatest moments, just what I happen to already have in my photobucket account:

So yeah, something people should definitely check out, whether they read manga or not (Liar Game being the other thing I can't recommend enough to people). It can be read online here, amongst other places, or people are free to borrow the paperback volumes off me if they want to, given I've got them with me at Uni. Very funny, clean, universal humour. Even 9 year olds can tell that.

Also, one thing definitely worth mentioning is that to presumably increase the number of people on Macs who get the new Mac-compatible version of Steam (and also the new Windows version), Valve are offering Portal for free. The offer is available until May 24th, so not much time to get it, but everyone should if they don't already own a copy of the game. It's not a particularly long game, and it never cost that much to start with, but it's a very interesting and original first-person puzzle game. Its reputation as one of the best games ever made is backed up by the fact that it won an absolute shitload of awards.
It requires you to download and install Steam, which isn't a particularly intrusive or annoying program (plus Steam is an extremely good way to buy a lot of games), and the effort of registering is definitely worth free Portal.
Even if your computer isn't good enough to run it properly, it's still worth getting so that when you get a decent computer, you'll have it in your Steam account.

For those who already have Portal and paid money for it, a consolation image, courtesy of Greg on IRC this afternoon (and not Meroigo, who reposted it because he's lame :|):

 Download and play Portal for free to get the joke!

Friday, 7 May 2010

The Election

I stayed up until about 4:20am this morning watching the election results come in. It was a bit shit, because when I went to bed the result was still completely uncertain as to whether it'd be a hung party or a Conservative majority. Basically I spent 5 hours watching to not even know the result at the end of it. And even now, with the results in, the final result still is far from clear. It's a hung parliament, but the various coalitions between parties are still completely up in the air, if they even happen at all.

Most of the early headlines revolved not around the election results, because they were still to come in, but the fact that people had been shut out of polling stations at 10pm while still queueing. Personally, I think it's a bit shit that people who genuinely wanted to vote have been denied the right to do so, but at the same time I question how many of those people who missed out on voting only had themselves to blame. Fact is, you had fifteen hours to vote. Pretty much an entire waking day. If you arrive at the polling station at 9pm and have to queue for so long that you don't get in by 10pm, then fair enough. You've given yourself adequate time and still can't vote. But if you only bothered to go ten minutes before the polling station shut, then frankly you've not really got a huge amount of room to complain.

If I buy a train ticket, I've paid money, I'm entitled to a seat on the train, but I get stuck in traffic on my way to the station, or I only get there one minute before the train leaves and end up missing my train stuck behind slow people and queueing to get through the ticket barriers, then I don't really have much right to ring up National Rail and give them an earful on how I missed a train I'd paid for because they didn't wait for me. Polling closes at 10pm, not at a random time in the evening. You have fifteen hours, use them. I'm pretty sure that the number of people who couldn't get to the polling station at some point in the day before 9:45pm is pretty small. I'm a student, I'm fairly familiar with leaving things to the last possible minute, but the fact is that if you really cared about your vote you'd get there with some time to spare.

Probably the most revealing result in the election is that the Lib Dems got nearly a quarter of the votes, but only a tenth of the seats. It's hard not to see why they want a change to the system when it seems to give such a poor representation in the House of Commons of public opinion across the UK. At the time of writing this, the Tories have 35,000 votes per seat, Labour have 33,300 votes and the Lib Dems have a slightly staggering 119,400 votes per seat in comparison. The Tories will complain if Labour and Lib Dem form a "coalition of losers" but the fact is that between them they'd have easily more than 50% of the national votes.

There were two things that really alarmed me about the election. Firstly is the total lack of security over votes. Fact is, I could quite easily have stolen someone else's vote yesterday. You don't need to show ID, or answer any personal questions. Legally, you don't even need to show your face. You hand in a voting card, they assume you are who the card says you are, you vote in that person's name. I could have stolen a shitload of voting cards from the Porters' Lodge and used as many as the memories of the people working in the polling station would have allowed. Sure, individual votes don't count for much, and it'd be pretty hard to properly rig an election this way without people noticing something was up, but I'd like at least some sort of ID system. I've been to collect tickets and things like that and they've asked for ID or the credit card that made the online transaction. I don't see why there isn't a similar thing for the elections.

The other thing is that even though they took no seats, the BNP was still picking up a smattering of votes in each constituency. In total there are seemingly 550,000 people who are either politically brain-dead or racist, and as a result voted for the BNP yesterday. As a percentage it's not huge (though under a public representation system it'd be enough for a few seats), but really, it's pretty hideous that they get any notable number of votes at all. They have more votes than proper parties like the Green Party for crying out loud.

So yeah, things are far from over. Just fingers crossed that the end result isn't going to screw people over for the next four years.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Random Stuff

I couldn't be arsed doing anything proper for my birthday, because it's exam term and I'm fairly busy, as is everyone else. I've been invited by Sophie (<3) to formal on Wednesday, and given that it's my birthday on Wednesday, I reckon it's not too bad to hijack it somewhat for people to come as a birthday celebration. But I'm still being lazy about it.

I've invited a few people who I've spoken to in the last 12 hours or so personally, and like three people by email. To maybe add a bit of interest: anyone else, if you're reading this blog and want to come (and you are at Downing obviously), then you're welcome. You have until 1:30pm Tuesday to book tickets at the P'Lodge, so about 12 hours. ;)

If not, eh, there's Pimms & Punting on Saturday, which should be more than enough of a celebration. Either way I'm really looking forward to it. I enjoyed it hugely last year and I barely even knew anybody else there because I'd just started coxing. Given that I'll actually know pretty much everyone this year it should be a really fun evening.

Revision is going OK, and I'm still sort of sticking to my bad-ass revision schedule (which can be seen on my Google calendar), though I'm drifting in and out of sync with it, and most of the time I'm a couple of questions behind for a day or so, and then catch up.

Random image time, because walls of text are bad:

I've been given WII for Mays, which I'm pretty happy with. It's also surprisingly enjoyable to just have my seat set. I don't have to worry about what boat I'll be coxing, if any. I don't have to fuck about coxing various multiple crews and trying to fit everything in. I can just concentrate and focus on working with what should hopefully be a pretty fast WII crew. The results from the Head of the Cam on Saturday weren't amazing, but it was a pretty scratchy crew and I don't think we fared too badly. Room for improvement, but we're certainly not starting off in a difficult position. A fairly big worry is Clare II behind us on Day 1 though, because on Saturday they were a fucking quick crew and were faster by a fairly big margin. The first day of bumps is always extremely influential on the rest of the campaign, so it's important we improve enough to hold them off on the first day and hopefully at least hit the crew in front before they hit us. Fingers crossed there's enough time for us to close the gap and hopefully end up faster than them on the day. Or that Murray Edwards I will be shite and we'll hit them before Clare II get a sniff of us.

It was May Day bank holiday today, and it's sort of funny, because I'm pretty sure all Cambridge students hate bank holidays. At school or at work a bank holiday means that you've got a day off, which is something to enjoy and be happy about. Here, you don't have a day off. Life in the bubble continues as if it was a normal Monday. Except there's no post, and the shops aren't open the full day, and The Butterfield didn't open at lunch. So basically all of the downsides of a Sunday without any of the upsides.

Also, because this blog seems to get hit by a lot of Google searches for this sort of stuff, I shall say three things:
Frostii are subbing Boku, Otaryman
Frostii are subbing Musashi
Frostii are subbing King of Eden (the first Eden of the East Movie)
Frostii are subbing all of the projects listed on their projects page, because yeah, that's what the page is there for. Oh, except for Katanagatari (lol). We're dropping that; we just haven't updated the projects page or announced it yet.

We're doing all of them. We're just doing them really fucking slowly. So read this and cease Googling and asking if we're still doing them in comments on the Frostii website. But still keep visiting this blog. Please. I need the stats on Google analytics to feed my ego :(

Got an appointment tomorrow to get my ears syringed, which will (probably not) be fun. What's annoying is that I don't even reckon it'll solve the issue. My right ear has basically been popping, like you get with pressure changes on an aeroplane, but then not un-popping no matter what I do. So I've been softening my earwax by pouring oil into my ears for the last few days so it can all be cleaned out tomorrow, when actually I reckon the problem is actually with my Eustachian tube, so this is something of a waste of time and I'm going to need meds anyway. That said, I probably shouldn't think myself to be more of a medical expert than a professional doctor just because I can read shit up on the internet. It generally irritates me when people do that (or just blatantly ignore advice/instruction from professionals because they apparently know better), so we'll see whether it's fixed tomorrow or not.

So yeah, hopefully an interesting next seven days. I should be able to write up a proper long-ass post on Wednesday because I've set that day aside for not doing any work given it's my birthday. Depends if I stick to my schedule or not, because it could be I've got catching up to do. Then there'll probably be a boring blog on the election results or something (yay hung parliament). We'll see.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Urban Myths I Thought Were True

Up to date with revision, but not helped by the fact that I spent a fair bit of time this evening procrastinating on While on there, I came across a few myths that are entirely false, but I'd previously thought were true. Also vice-versa.

Anyway, here's a selection of five:

1. Coca-Cola Ads Are Why Santa Wears Red
This is actually one I'd believed for a while, mostly because I'd heard it from so many difference sources, and it seemed so plausible. The idea being that Father Christmas actually wore green and white until Coca-Cola started using him for their festive adverts, and changed him to wear red and white to fit their brand colours. Apparently this is not true, and Santa's red attire was long established before Coke started using it.

2. We Only Use 10% Of Our Brains
Again, a really old and widely stated "fact". And again, completely false. Which, really, when you think about it with any real detail makes complete sense. We wouldn't have evolved to have brains that are 900% larger than they need to be.

3. Tapping A Shaken Drinks Can Will Stop It Exploding
It's true, the John Dorian three-tap method doesn't work. Or at least, any minimal benefit that it'll give will be massively overshadowed by the benefit of just waiting ten or twenty seconds before opening it.

4. "Good Luck, Mr Gorsky!"
Words apparently uttered by Neil Armstrong on the first lunar mission, in reference to his neighbour, Mr Gorsky, whose wife he overheard saying would give him a blowjob when "the Armstrong kid next door walks on the moon". Again, an urban myth where any sort of  proper thought would lead you to think it's probably not true, but I swear I've read this story told in proper books and stuff, and I thought it was true.

5. Battleship Tells Lighthouse To Change Course
Another one that isn't true under sceptical thought and scrutiny, but again I've heard it told by so many people at so many different times that I just sort of figured it was something that actually happened sometime. I've even heard that story at a church service (I guess not everything you hear at church is true...).

The final one is that you don't swallow X spiders per week/month/year/lifetime, which I'd already figured probably wasn't true, mostly because experimental evidence for that would be pretty difficult. What I didn't know however was that it was a deliberately made to be spread around the internet, basically to see how many gullible people believed it. Apparently a lot, because I've heard the spider-swallowing statistic in various forms from a fuckload of people.

So yeah, a blog post I figured people would maybe find interesting, and now you can all be smarmy and make comments about how you knew all along that these things weren't true and I'm clearly just a gullible fuckface.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Mountains & Molehills

There are a lot of key issues of importance and value in the upcoming General Election, one of which apparently being that Gordon Brown referred to a member of the public as a "sort of bigoted woman". Now I sort of understand that given there's only a week to the election, public opinion and PR is all-important and really fuck-ups like this shouldn't be happening. What I really don't get though is why there was so much media faff over it. It's really nothing of note.

I mean, fact is, he was just expressing negative opinion about someone in a private conversation. He was a bit annoyed that he'd been put in front of someone who had asked him awkward questions instead of the positive PR spin he was expecting. I mean, have none of us ever bitched about someone behind their back? It wasn't even like he got into the car and was all "My god she was a fucking bitch!" or anything along those lines. He said it was a disaster, was asked why, and his response was that she was "just a sort of... bigoted woman.", which frankly isn't a particularly scathing or angry comment. I know I've personally said far worse things about people, and I'm sure pretty much everyone else has too.

The fact is, Brown is entitled to make negative comments about people in the privacy of his own car, and really it's the fact that it got recorded that's more of the issue. Most of the media coverage was correctly closer to the "olol" lines of thinking, but there was enough Tory and anti-Labour press that tried to make this out as a huge reason not to vote for Labour. Which is retarded. There's huge political issues and policy differences on the line, and we're apparently stupid to vote for a PM who makes bad comments about people behind their backs like any other human being in the world?

Personally, I don't quite know who I'll vote for. It's going to be Labour or Lib Dem, purely because I'll vote for whatever is most likely to not put the Conservative Party into power. Thing is, I've missed the postal vote registry window for West Lancashire, and Cambridge is so securely Lib Dem that my vote isn't really going to make a huge difference anyway.

Fact is, I just don't have faith that the Tories will do anything other than bring us back to the days under Thatcher, and widen the gap between the lower and middle classes, and the strengthen the divide between the North and South of the country. Plus I just flat out dislike Cameron's attempt to play himself off as an average joe when he's clearly a privately educated toff.

More mountains from molehills would be fansub drama. Jesus christ there seems to be a ridiculous amount of it. Frostii still don't currently have their standard .com domain (it's currently, and Swan has left and christ drama. Also arsmanga has now left Drrr (though not really with drama). See you around ars, and if you happen to be the new TL for Ecliptic-BSS then I admire the irony given the drama a couple of months ago with Durarara.
It's sort of expected when you've got people working together that some people aren't going to get on, and you'll get tensions and blah blah blah, but christ there's a lot of crap. It makes Orbital and Gamerhold drama look trivial. 

I think I had another particular story I wanted to talk about, but I've completely forgotten it in lieu of reading an article about a 72 year old woman having a baby with her grandson. Because, to be honest, I can't get more WHAT THE FUCKING HELL than that. It's wrong on so many fucking levels. And for a 72-year old, she's a fucking ming as well.

EDIT: I remembered. It's the fact that the guy who hacked Sarah Palin's email account before the US election has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, which is a bit fucking harsh in my opinion, especially given he was a student at the time. He's going to be middle-aged before he gets out of prison unless he's released early, which just seems so fucking OTT for something like that.

Also, while cycling to mahjong this evening I saw Jimmy Carr walking to the Corn Exchange, which was cool. He was just rocking up to the gig listening to an iPod. Nick saw him too.