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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Y is for Yoda

Y is for Yoda

So Disney is planning to release stand alone movies as well as the next Star Wars trilogy.

I do generally think this would be a great idea, my only concern is there is such an expanded universe now with books of the final trilogy etc that I am concerned the films will mess up what is already regarded as wider canon, even if technically speaking it should not be.


I am personally looking forward to a Yoda back story and maybe a Boba Fett one too. I think maybe more obscure characters like Plo Koon and IG-88 would be brilliant too.


X is for Xenon

X is for Xenon

Is it just me or does nearly any word beginning with an 'X' make a fantastic alien name?

In reality a Xenon is actually a colourless gaseous element!

On a completly unrelated note too there is a Kangeroo loose in Lancashire... how does that even happen?


Saturday, 27 April 2013

W is for What Next?

W is for What Next?


This post is about Ironman 3 if you have not seen the film and intend to do not carry on reading.

I just today went to see Ironman 3 and I think over all I was disappointed. The film was brilliant, don't get me wrong, but some the irritating aspects outweighed the good parts.

In regards to good parts I think the comedy aspect of the film was fantastic, it was set up well as we have seen in other Ironman films.

I also really enjoyed the fact that Tony Stark suffered from anxiety attacks. This is a very real problem that many people face in varying degrees, I myself suffer from anxiety attacks although not in the same was as Stark. It shows that Stark has not just been brushing off the events in his life, they have deeply affected him and this is great.

One of the finals parts of the film with all the different armors coming to his rescue was also good, although too short, we did not really get a proper look at the armors and some of their significances were not revealed.

First thing that annoyed me was that all of these armors got destroyed. What I cannot tell is if this is a way of them trying to close the series, I think if they were going to do that then more exposure on the suits was needed. For example one of the suits is hinted by many fans to be the Hulkbuster armor, revealing a possibility of a World War Hulk type senario, but now that suit has been destroyed, so it is disappointing that this is unlikely to now be an option. (although the revelation that he has been narrating to Bruce Banner the whole time does maybe again assist with this.)

My second issue is with Killian. His motiviation is not clearly explained in the film, why he is behind all of these attacks and seems to despise the President so much. According to other sources it is simply to hide the fact that the Extremis virus is unstable but frankly the film suggests something far more personal and this just does not show. I think this entire aspect of the film could have been done better, there needed to be a bigger reason for it.

Another point here is the use of the Extremis virus, I'm not sure it fits with the Marvel Cinematic universe, I saw an interview saying how they wanted to keep the cinematic universe on the more realistic side of sci-fi (as realistic as you can anyway) and the fire breathing/ glowing of the extemis virus frankly just bugged me. Even with the Hulk and aliens from previous films it was not as... daft as these lambent stuff. This is particularly annoying as they decided the Ten Rings of the Mandarian would be too unrealistic for the film?

I especially did not like the whole ending with Pepper Potts being infected and defeating Killian as one of these glowy people. Especially to then just be conviently cured at the end by Tony.

Another issue (I know this is a long list) is the fact that Tony's issue with the shrapnel gets resolved at the end. Now this is true to the comics but there is no explaination or even attempt to explain why they couldn't have just done this in Ironman 1.

And finally my biggest issue was with the Mandarin. The Mandarin is one of Ironman's most dreaded villians with untold power, and in this film he is reduced to simply being a laughing stock.

Now that all the Ironman armors are destroyed and Ironman does not NEED the suit to survive, plus the rumors of Hulk, and Ironman possibly being in Guardians of the Galaxy have been debunked... what next?

Ironman is 'likely' to be in Avengers and there is still a chance for more films apparently but I just feel they have a lot of explaining to do if they use him again and it has to be done well!


Friday, 26 April 2013

V is for Violent Femmes

V is for Violent Femmes

I did not realise this was an actual band. I remember them making a cameo on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and thinking they were a made u band for the show, I have been thinking this for years and then the other day I see a news article about them!

What is really weird is I find it hard to find any reference to them ever being on the show.

I also did not know when watching the show that the character Drell was played by Penn from Penn and Teller, not also then clocking Teller's guest appearance as a mute wizard.

It was again only years later when seeing Penn and Teller on TV that I recognised them and eventually made the connection!


Thursday, 25 April 2013

U is for Uranium

U is for Uranium

I have been following the recent troubles with North Korea, but I notice all the news has so far died down, and hopefully this can only be a good thing. I do get annoyed however that there seems to be one crises after another in the world.

I know logically that even North Korea should not be crazy enough to actually launch a nuke but if the idea of having a super deterrent weapon actually a good one?


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

T is for Truth

T is for Truth

It is generally accepted that the 'morally' correct thing to do is tell the truth. Kant for example has telling the truth as one of his categorical imperatives, even being as rigid as stating that no matter what the circumstances you must tell the truth.

I take a little bit of a different approach. Lying to protect a life (eg if a murder asked you where his potential victim went) is always a higher priority than telling the truth. Alternatively I believe it is okay to lie to spare someone's feelings long term. It is important to stress here that I simply mean things that are not important.

So if you and your other half are spending the day inside and her hair is a mess, asks if it is alright, then what would the point be in telling her it isn't? All that would happen is she would get upset with no benefit because if she went and fixed her hair then no-one else would see it anyway and all you're left with is the upset of her being hurt.

It would be a different story if you were going to be seeing other people, then you must tell the truth to prevent further harm from embarrassment. I weigh up the potential upset or pain, and if the benefits of white lies outweigh the harm then it is okay. I must admit though I cannot think of many examples where white lies cause less upset than telling the truth.

There is a reason why there is a saying about the truth hurts, it does, but only because it is a confirmation. If something hurts me when someone is being truthful it is usually only because I already knew it deep down and did not want to admit it. If you are afraid of telling the truth from fear of someone getting upset with you then remember that the upset is not necessarily with you.

Obvious exceptions to this spring to mind straight away. Cheating, for example, when you tell the truth there of course the other person is going to be mad at you, and not necessarily because of some 'inner acceptance' of the fact.

This just presents to me more that the truth is a very subjective area and you cannot introduce absolute laws for how to manage it. So "You must always tell the truth" doesn't work and nor does "Lying is always bad". It works simply on a situation by situation basis.

It is also very important to note that by 'harm' to a person this does include yourself. So a victim of that horrendous evil known as domestic abuse might interpret what I'm saying here as "Me telling the police will harm the abuser, I have to reduce harm as much as possible, so I should not call the police". Harm to a person includes yourself!

Should we then have a guideline saying that telling the truth is generally better? I'd still argue no. I'd say we should not be having the truth itself as the subject for a guideline. I think harm to another should be the preset. "Does this harm someone? If so, all things (immediate and future) considered is it better to lie or tell the truth?"

Again there are problems with this model as you can never fully predict the consequences of actions, but that's life so you can only work with what you have. There is little point in factoring in every possible outcome because you'll spend all day doing it so assume the most like few options and if something completely unexpected happens then you still judged it as best you could with the information at hand.

Going back to the distinction of who is being harmed, the case of domestic abuse is in some ways an easy one, as you are being seriously harmed and you need protection, but it does present more complicated cases where someone is trying to prevent themselves from being arrested or something such because you need to protect yourself before others. This is where my model falls down as I have not quite worked out a way around this.

Frankly people know that this is not what I mean. Humans do enjoy looking for any loophole they can to get out of trouble they know they are responsible for. I suppose the word 'victim' is important here, if you are a victim you should prioritize your wellbeing. If you are a criminal simply trying to get away with what you have done... not so much


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

S is for Silence

S is for Silence

As a Philosopher I find the idea of Silence quite interesting.

Is silence a concept in and of itself or is it merely an absence of sound. Is it even possible to have an absence of sound, just because there are no waves in the air does not mean the potential for sound is any less. A similar idea can be added to evil, is evil merely an absence of good, is dark an absence of light?

Is the absence of something a thing in itself.

Oh how the mind boggles


R is for Rage

R is for Rage

I have never been a particularly angry person and I find the idea of blind rage very difficult to comprehend.

Even in the times where I have been angry I have always been in complete control, the idea of losing control is one I find terrifying. Is just anyone capable of getting into a blind rage, or do you have to have a natural tendency towards it in the first place?


Q is for Quinn

Q is for Quinn

Has anyone here seen the old sci fi series 'Sliders'

The main character was a guy called Quinn Mallory who created a way of sliding between dimensions.

I really like the serious although my favorite character Arturo (Played by the guy who played Gimli) is about to depart and I feel the series will go down from there.

It is similar in some ways to Quantum leap in the characters face a conundrum that they must resolve before their time runs out and they have to slide again.

There is also a habit of taking things from lots of different sci fi shows.

Worth a watch


Friday, 19 April 2013

P is for Please No

P is for Please No

I've seen the shocking news today that Rolf Harris has been named as one of those being questioned over sex offenses.

Now lets be clear here, he has not yet been charged, police have stated he is being interviewed over allegations but I know from my experience with news teams that the fact he has now actually been named is a very bad sign.

News organizations are not allowed to publicize names of suspects until the police officially press release that information, and even the police are not then allowed to do that without good reason.

I really hope that these allegations and those against Fred the weatherman turn out to be false, it would be so horrific if either of them turned out to be guilty of these offenses.


Thursday, 18 April 2013

O is for Opium

O is for Opium

I recently learned that there is a massive drugs problem in Afghanistan. This country which has been a war boun country for over ten years now is also one of the biggest producers of opiates. What I did not realize is they are also one of the biggest consumers since they can find it really cheap.

Groups of people will spend all day huddles together taking drugs and some mothers use it as pain relief when having children because there is poor medical care. This results in many children being addicted too!

This is a terrible problem which I hope some charities will try and help with soon


N is for Negotiation

N is for Negotiation

With all of the tense words with North Korea at the moment Negotiation has never been more crucial.

In our daily lives we are constantly negotiating in order to get through the day with a minimal of fuss and I tend to notice three types of people as a result.

The first are my kind of people, those who will often end up worse off after negotiations simply because we want to avoid trouble. This could be seen that it is simply a case that keeping strong relationships or getting through the day peacefully is more important than winning individual fights but sometimes I do wish I could be different as I often give up what I want simply for the sake of avoiding conflict.

The second types are the ones that I wish I was. They have the perfect balance of keeping the peace by being firm but fair, if they want something they will fight for it but are adaptable and listen to reason. Generally if you put forward a decent case as to why things should be different they will agree and negotiation has been successful.

The worst are the stubborn ones. Stubbornness is one of the few things that really makes my blood boil. I have found a lot recently when entering debates or arguments with people that there are groups of people who won't even pay attention to what it is you are putting forward. Usually (as has happened recently in an argument about Margaret Thatcher) they have already decided very strongly on a side and as soon as you put something that they interpet as being opposite to their position they will beat you down to a pulp, even if it is not directly in opposition. I struggle when faced with this because of my tendency to just want peace. My kind are just as bad as our polar opposites when it comes to negotiation.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

M is for Music

It is very rare to come across someone with no interest in music at all. Most people have a passion or at least an interest in music and your history with music can be as complex as most other parts of your life.

It is definatly true that your taste in music becomes a large part of your overall identity. For example, most sub cultures (particularly in the west) are based on specific genres. So emos and goths have their particular musical areas that are extra strong in their identity, and same with rappers. (of course none of these things are ever set in stone, but as general patterns).

As any who have read my blog before will know, my sub culture is being a Folkie. Now with folkies there is actually a reverse problem, rather than there being a whole set of traits you can set, we are all completly different and are shared purely our particular musical genre. There are a couple of other generalisations but as a rule it is the music.

I have only been a folkie for about three years now, which is disappointing as we are currently on the tail end of the second folk revival and I have missed most of it.

My musical history however is very bizzare. I never used to bother with music until my early teens where it was actually 60's music I got into, my first ever CDs were a box set of 60's greatest hits. Through school my biggest social influences were the Goth/Punk/Geek groups and from that I picked up rock and metal. Now on the exception of Nightwish (whom I love even now) I simply could not get into it, rock on the other hand I did quite enjoy, particularly bands such as Guns ' n' Roses.

In sixform however my musical taste went through a complete shift. It was at this point I started getting into irish music such as the Pogues and the Dubliners, but I was not a full devotee at this stage.

My music taste at this point centred around a core group of bands. The Fratellis, the Black Eyed Peas, Basshunter and then a whole chorus of indivudal songs rather than whole bands.

It wa sonly in university that I unlocked the mysteries of Folk and found a whole world and culture at my finger tips that I wanted to explore.

I think even though there is no set tradition for Folk now, a fair few of us like traditional folk and with that the original celtic folk cultures.

I apprechiate all music types, but there simply is not enough time in the world to focus on them all, so I think it is nice to find one particular kind that speaks deeper to you than the others. provided you don't close your ears to anything new!


Monday, 15 April 2013

L is for Love (again)

L is for Love (again)

I am specifically not going to look at last year’s post on Love because I want to see later if my thoughts have changed.

I vaguely remember putting about different kinds of love, such as love for family, friends, pets, humanity/life in general and romantic as all being different, and I still adhere to that.

What I’m not as sure about anymore is that these kinds of love are actually as umbrella like as I first thought.

I regarded love as going like this:

|                                 |                                         |                                       |                                        | 
Friends                 Family                             Life                                    Romantic                          Pets

Type thing, when really now I have two possible models.

The first being a spectrum type love with Hatred at one end and then romantic love at the other, then loving humanity, friends, family etc all come on different points on the spectrum, and this could explain messed up versions of these feelings such as paedophilia, Bestiality and Incest.

I also thought of the possibility of love being a pyramid rather than a scale. So here we would have love for all life forms at the bottom, then just above that love for specific life forms such as pets, then love for friends, then love for family and finally romantic love.

This model also allowed for the sick twisting of love and for a kind of inverted model for hate.

This model also makes it slightly easier to see how each one builds up, as in my experience you have to love already on the previous step before you can really love on the next tier.

The problem with all of this of course is how do you define love, can you actually set such rigid parameters on love. A second objection would probably be on my inclusion of taboo areas, are they love?

I suppose again that depends on the definition. If love is simply a chemical reaction in your brain that leads to a sensation or the ‘emotion’ then I suppose they would count, but thankfully society has declared these kinds of love as wrong and perverted.

I do think that love is probably more than just one single emotion though, it is probably a whole host of different emotions working in unison (or possibly more likely, in conflict).

I find it hard to pin point this particular feeling down to descriptive words, they never seem adequate enough, does that suggest there is still more to it?


J is for Jalapenos

J is for Jalapenos

I guess these are going to be more questions than statements!

1. What is it about spicy food that some humans like? Interesting to note that like all food some like it, and some don’t

2. Why do men seem to find it macho to eat lots of really hot foods, is it a pain threshold idea?

3. Should we actually be eating things like Jalapenos. I have always thought of such things as having some kind of chemical reaction that causes the feeling of ‘heat’ and the pain type sensation. This makes me think that such a thing is a defence mechanism for a plant and is not actually supposed to be pleasant, it is my guess that actually this should be very unpleasant, and yet your average chilli or spice is not poisonous or dangerous.

Have we simply evolved to cope and even enjoy these sensations so that we can have more of a variety in our diet?


Friday, 12 April 2013

K is for Karma

I've never really believed in this, I have never seen evidence of Karma. I know indivduals who have spent their lives earning good karma and only getting bad things in return, it is not a concept I take seriously.

Karma does seem to fall into familiar pattern of justice that human beings have, this craving almost to have a natural force for justice. I'm not convinced any more, all my religious perceptions have shown actually that there is no universal justice, no natural justice that keeps the universe in check.

People will argue justice in the animal kingdom, and in the rare cases a strong point can be put forward for this I'd argue this still is not natural justice, an animal deciding to do something just or act in justice simply suggests to me that we are closer to animals than some would give us credit, I consider us animals and we have a concept of justice but that does not mean that nature as a whole does.

So, does this mean we should abandon home made justice, or does it make our unnatural perceptions of justice even more important?


J is for Jingle

This is more a posed question.

As a person trying to get into the radio industry I am asked time and time again to do demo radio jingles.

But what do the general public actually want from a jingle? What jingles annoy you, what do you enjoy, and which do you actually keep the information from?

Let me know!


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

I is for Inspiration

We all get inspiration from different places.

To me that is difficult because with inspiration comes pressure!

I find if I choose an idol I have to live up to that. In particular it has been with two groups of my people lately. The first being my other half, I want her to see nothing but the best parts of me and inevitably that is not possible and usually by trying to force the best parts she gets glimpses of the worst!

Alternatively I idolise the folk musicans I have come to love. This sounds weird, but I do not mean this in a 'One Direction' type stalker. One thing I really like about folkies is the fact they are average people. Bellowhead, Black Beard's Tea Party, Seas of Mirth are all bands full of people I wish I was, they live a life I wish I was living and have talent I wish I had.

However. I expect as always with these things that the grass is greener and actually if I lived such a life I would find flaws, as I'm sure they do. It's funny how we can view a life and see only the strengths,



View my friend!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

H is for Hell

Did you know that Italian Archaeologists have found a site in Turkey that they believe to be the 'gate of hell'?

This site is supposed to be the entrance to the Greek Hell run by Hades and his wife and what is interesting is legends said that anyone who entered would die and anyone near would have hallucinations. The Italians noticed birds near by did seem to die, but both of these things have been put down to poisonous gases in the cave.

I always find discoveries like this fascinating as I am curious as to why the Greeks put this area down as the gate of hell, is it simply because of the poisonous gases?


G is for Gratitude

First of all, Thankyou for the kind responses I had on my last post, I really do appreciate the words of encouragement!

It does bring me to the interesting idea of Gratitude.

I don't know about you, but sometimes when someone does something kind for me, or really goes out of their way for me then I never take it for granted.

What I do find though is sometimes expressing gratitude can be quite difficult.

Sometimes a simple 'Thankyou!' just doesn't feel enough, but, what else is there?

There are times when a simple word is not enough, but everything else is almost too much. If someone does you a really decent favor then you may way to express how much you appreciate it but it would be too extreme to buy a present or something similar.

I tend to edge on under expressing rather than risk over expressing. My simple reason for this is in my own experience you can tell when someone is grateful for what you have done, so I assume that others will know how much it means.

Does anyone take a different approach?


Saturday, 6 April 2013

F is for Failed

F is for Failed

As you all see I posted these three ones together, hence why they are so short.

I really did think that this year I would do better than last year, just shows that I have so much going on in life that I rarely get time to just sit down and write unless I’m on a more realistic deadline. Writing for Bright Young Folk (and soon to be another website too, but more about that later) has the perfect balance between the kind of deadline you need to actually get something done and it not being a too strenuous deadline.

Hopefully now I’ll be able to keep up better!

I also feel I have failed a lot with my final project for KCC Live going wrong, there are few things I consider myself to be particularly good at and every time it I am in a situation where I have to offically prove it I fail. When I did fencing I always fluffed up at competitions, at University I was straight set for a 1st class until things knocked me in my final couple of months, and now with this, just when I need to show how good a Radio Presenter I can be it all goes wrong and could delay my entire career.

Bad times.


E is for Endorphins

E is for Endorphins.

I find the idea of happiness simply being a chemical in our minds really interesting. To me emotions and consciousness has always been the little hope I hold onto about there being some kind of universal truth to the Universe.

To then have emotions explained as a chemical reaction is very intriguing, can chemicals explain consciousness, it seems like such a unique thing to me.

It also makes me wonder if the only moral code should be a Hedonistic one, as surely the release of these chemicals would be all that is important?