Its early Saturday morning, I am at work and I have just brought myself a drink of warm brown stuff from the machine that lives in our waiting area. As I slurp down foamy fluid my mind is desperately trying to work out what it is and whether or not I have even been given what I asked for. It could be tea but I am not entirely sure. It could be coffee, or possible the sedimentary suspension gathered from the bottom of a septic tank (with milk); how would I ever know? It occurs to me that if I understood more about the mysterious device from whence it came I might be able to discern more accurately what it has spat into my cup.
Knows more than it lets on….
I really do not trust this machine… I do not trust how much stuff the this cream-coloured obelisk of disappointment apparently contains. There at least ten drinks listed on the front, (probably more but after that I run out of fingers) all of which I am assured are actually varying beverages, and not just brown paint mixed with sugar in random ratios. After careful deduction and spectral analysing of these ten I have concluded that there six basic elements; tea, coffee, chocolate, milk, water and sugar (they are on the periodic table, just under the bit where the sheet ends). All of these must be contained in a device the size of the average fridge, which does not sound that unusual until you realise that there must also be space enough for the paper cups, the money thing and accommodation for the 57 science fairies that make it all run.
This is pretty much the extent of my understanding of the universe.
Also there has to be an infinite supply of everything. I have sat watching for days on end and never once seen anyone come to top it up or transplant any of its contents. There are no pipes entering or leaving it, so where is the water coming from? Are the Hydrogen Gnomes in a constant state of mass conjugation with the Oxygen Gnomes? (A-level Chemistry ftw!) On one occasion a cup failed to dispense and for a brief moment I believed I had finally discovered the machines limit. Sadly however on my second attempt one did appear, with no explanation as to whether this was the second cup or simply the first cup running late.
How does one store even store such a vast quantity of such things safely? Does the it involve protons or something? Should I be worried about the Spacial Reduction Field tainting the caffeine? What about radiation levels? I swear one time it started humming I briefly went blind. It can not have just been me blinking, as I have given that up (that’s when they get you). The answer might be simply that everything is highly pressured and piercing the machines case with a pin will cause it to rocket off over the horizon like a O2 cylinder into the face of a Bond villain. Maybe its just a gateway to a hellish chaos dimension consisting of brown runny stuff.
All of this analysis leaves me with two possibilities; that machine is either a liar or has some how mastered Alchemy.
Yeah that looks exactly like what is in my cup.
Either way drinking its excrement is probably not a safe idea, especially now that The Machine know I am onto it. But what choice do I really have? Not drinking tea? That’s the most insane idea of them all. I am destined to continue this dance of death until one of us is gone or start bringing my own tea bags. When my body is finally found I can only hope the evaluation of my stomach contents will in some small help mankind in its war against coffee machines. Good luck to you all.
At the time of writing I am currently stuck on a train somewhere between the real world and Birmingham New Street. I have only phone and Nintedo DS with a dead battery to sustain me. After an hour of sitting here my mind is desperately trying to think of a way to recharge a battery using only my hair and a handful of fluff I found at the bottom of my bag. I cant survive on Angry Birds for much longer…
I’ve been playing for so long all I can think about are piglets weeping over little round coffins…. war is hell.
For reasons beyond my understanding the trains conductor seems to have taken a wrong turn somewhere back by the Five Ways round-about and has driven us all down an abandoned mine shaft. I can only guess that this is fact the approach to New Street Station. The horror builds in the pit of my stomach. For those of you who have never visited this joyous little cavernous abyss, just picture Thomas the Tank Engine meets The Descent.
So why am I heading there? At this stage I really can’t remember. I’ve been stuck here so long I think my eyes are healing over. My spine is degenerating into a hardened exoskeleton and soon my arms will have withered down to nothing. Above me it could be either midday or midnight. I hope its midday, as midnight in Birmingham usually involves getting covered vomit sooner or later.
The conductor has just told us that the ‘slight delay’ has been caused by congestion at the station. This question has probably been addressed before, but just how do you manage to get a congested train station? They’re on tracks. I’ve seen those massive model railways they have down in Cornwall. Hundreds of little engines scurrying about little cardboard hills and comedy nudist beaches. That’s all controlled by just one man with a dial, and they do alright. Why can’t full size trains just work in the same way? When I was three I had a Duplo train set that was more effectively managed, that’s even after I had eaten the wheels.
Terrified Lego citizens flee their plastic town as it is devoured by an unstoppable 3 year old.
My thinking is that we need to copy Japan. Last year, only one in sixty-four million of their trains was late, as is my understanding. We (that is the people England-land) designed the steam engine, and now they get to lord it over us with their reliable, clean, wide-gauge railways? That’s not fair. Although as a side note I do have a suspicion that maybe their network is not as comfortable as they make it out be. I’ve seen that video, with the men in white gloves stuffing people onboard like they’re trying to put away a Pac-a-Mac. I want to see the video from the next stop, when the doors open and everyone sprays out like a bizarre Mentos-Coke Fountain of Japanese commuters.
I am not an expert, (although this is the internet so screw it, I’ll say I’m High Professor of Trains if that makes people listen to me) but why not an extra carriage, Japan? Yes I know people will say ‘but then it will be too long for the platform’. But screw the platform. If you are prepared to cram onto a packed train and come out flatter then the Coyote at the end of a particularly unsuccessful Roadrunner episode, then surly you will be prepared to stand in the mud? Anyway, I should not be so quick to criticise other countries transport systems when in writing the last three paragraphs I’ve only moved about three feet and that was only to throw my hair-fluff power source out the window before it went into melt down.
Picture: Legitimate Transportation Alternative
So what is the solution then? Other than killing myself with the cord from my underpants? I would like to go on record as having been the first to suggest an endless train. One that just keeps going around and back on itself like an escalator. It could be done. Just mind the gap as you leap on and remember to tuck and roll when you dive off again.
Someone, I can’t remember who, suggested paving over the train lines and using them as extra motorways. Okay, I can see that. Filling Birmingham New Street with concrete is an interesting idea. I have a list of other buildings we could bury while we are at it. But are you not just as likely to get stuck on a motorway as you are on a train? On a train you may not be guaranteed a seat, but at least you don’t have to be constantly worrying about the truck driver on his mobile. Unless he’s on the seat next to you, playing Hip-Hop at a volume that would overpower a shuttle launch. Nor do you have to worry about the million other little metal murder boxes sharing the road with you; cutting across lanes and generally shuffling around you like a high-speed Rubix cube of death.
Car or train, basically, we’re boned. Save up for a hovercraft. (Or dig up all major cities and move them closer move together.) Maybe I’m being too hard on the British Transport Network… No wait. No I’m not. The sodding train’s just moved thirty centimetres and stopped again. Maybe there’s a leaf on the line in the tunnel. If so, maybe they would like me to go and pick it up for them.
Now I grow weary and my eyes are dimming… if this rambling rant makes it to the internet, it means I somehow survived. Possibly by eating the chewing gum I found had been used to stick a ticket to the window. If not, someone call for International Rescue.
For a while now I have wanted to write a review of something and as The Hunger Games seems to be the internets new addiction (after cats and gynecology), I figured I would add my own opinions to the mix. To ensure this is done in a fair and unbiased way, I am writing this review before I see the movie (or read the book or buy the lunch box), as I feel doing so would directly influence my judgement of it.
To start with the movie clearly has nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes, which I found to be an odd and alienating decision on the part of the writers. Instead the plot focuses mainly on a group of teenagers sitting, occasionally walking, in wood which could very well be revealed as a forest later sequels. I personally find this a welcome continuation of pace for the whole teenagers standing around in woodland genre, however the death-sport sub-plot was somewhat distracting and I could not help but feel the film would have benefited from its removal. Fortunately the director wisely decided to downplay this entire aspect by removing all the death scenes/references and replaced them with a CGI talking Ford Fiesta in a similar way to Pixars later rewrite of Cars 2: Murder Wheels.
The cast do a brilliant job of bringing the story of murder and trees to life, the most notable of which is a CGI talking Micheal Keaton; who can been seen in the films trailer playing that mother from Brazil, ruler of District 12 (*Insert District 9 alien joke*) and commander of an army of Space Balls. The hawk who stars in the logo however is less impressive, apparently unable to decide if its head is looking straight ahead in profile, or forward in a sort of down and right-a-bit angle. Those who will also be unimpressed are the fans of the book, to which this film is entirely unrelated after birzarry substituting text for moving pictures as a means of conveying the plot.
Overall I would highly recommend this film, although I must point out the cinema will charge extra for bringing in outside Battle Royale jokes.
I have no idea what point this image was made to represent, but I’m sure its relevant to whatever.
For a more ‘traditional’ less ‘dangerously radical thinker’ (as my food teacher would describe) type review, stay tuned until after Tuesday when I see The Hunger Games for-reals.
I’m at that funny sort of age now when I am finally starting to recognise that I’m not a kid any more. I’ve battled honourably to resist it, but the the bonds of time are finally starting to take their toll and I know that soon will go to join the world of mortgages, illogical weight-gain and being concerned about gas rates.
There are certain things that it seems only adults say or do and more and more frequently I find it is me who is saying them and doing them.
The other day I told a colleague I just needed to step out and move my car. I instantly felt disgusted with myself. Moving ones car might seem like a perfectly harmless thing to do, but lets analysis what it means a bit more…
Firstly the fact that I have a ‘colleague’ is sort of scary. Young people have ‘co-workers’ or ‘that guy I work with’. Adults use ‘colleague’. It implies that they have in a place long enough to understand that using a politically correct term is the only way they will continue to advance their career. Its a way of safely describing someone who you spend most of your time with but may not essentially like, and when you know you could well have much more time with them left to come… but this is all stuff for another day.
Back to the car. Firstly, the sentence ‘I’m just going to move my car’ shows that you are in fact old enough to drive a car (the horror). That means you are probably not still playing with your toy soldiers (unless you a general) or watching Saturday morning cartoons (which you would not do anyway because Saturday morning cartoons suck these days). But that’s okay right? You could still be young enough to be to be wild and free right? Nope.
I should clarify that I needed to move my car because I was in a 30 minute zone, and had been there for 40. Now I don’t want to make a crude generalisation but on the whole young people are reckless and crazy. They are happy to wildly park for 40 minutes in a 30 minutes zone, because they are reckless and crazy enough to take that risk. Its a Saturday, so the parking man probably is not even on. Young people still have that sense of optimism that allows them to drink vodka and dish soap with out fear of consequence.
But when you are an adult, you know that world is dark and depressing. You know that with your luck the parking man is working today, and probably just as annoyed about working on a Saturday as you are. He will slap you with a parking fine simply because he hates you, your car and everything you stand for. He also hates your dog.
So when I say ‘I’m just going to move my car’ its not a simple matter of avoiding a fine, its a sign that all light and hope in your has been crushed. Thats when you really start feeling like a grown up.
An old person apparently.
So now that I have finally joined the internet, or ‘net as I believe the young people are calling it, I thought it would be a good idea to look back over everything the web has given us and assign each aspect a numerical position based on how highly I choose to rank it.
Heres some things I like and don’t like about some stuff.
Thank you internet for giving me:
5. Online multiplayer: Like most gamers, I like me some mulitplayer. While I don’t believe modern gaming is quite everything I hoped it would be when I was 12 (see future post), one of the things this new age has brought us is the ability to fight out our differences over a long distance. Its all of the fun/abuse of playing with friends, but with strangers! All those who complain about said abuse are a load of nOObs and Nazi’s who fail to realise that the exchange of hatred is the core of a good failed life. Playing over the global network also removes the need for all that difficult socialising… Not that socialising is a bad thing, its just a lot easier to get friends together when you are 12 then when you are 24 and in full time employment for the next 45 years…
4. The unification of our world: Its a simple one, but king of a biggie. The internet allows us to talk to people anywhere in the world… Okay, most parts of the world. Certainly people in the more developed nations. The good developed nations who don’t use it as a form of repression (please don’t kill me). For every foul mouthed teenage wanting to make your online experience a living hell (see online multiplayer) there is at least one good person who its worth getting to know, the type of person you could happily discuss the the state of public transport with in a railway waiting room. The internet allows us to get to know our furthest neighbours, and makes us realise that no matter what our beliefs or skin colour, we all hate railway waiting rooms.
3. The answer to every question ever: What’s the fastest route out of Birmingham? How much does Uranus weigh? Where can I buy a grenade launcher? Why does that Velociraptor keep throwing bananas at me while I’m trying to study? Why is my *body part* gushing/ozzing *fluid*? Just what is wrong with me? All these questions have answers, and the internet knows them all. It just has a habit of presenting the wrong answer to the even more wrong question. But what does the odd factual inaccurate matter when you can access the entirety of humanities wisdom at the click of a mouse? Its not like everyone uses Wikipedia for writing their thesis or anything… not more than once anyway.
2. Youtube: Youtube grants us access to every kind of video mankind has every created (At least it would if it got rid of all those pesky ‘suitable content’ policies) Chances are good that you have been on Youtube at least once already today. If it did not exist, where else could we go to see babies laughing at lolcats or grown men inflating condoms by hanging them out of car windows? Nowhere that does not require standing up or moving around. On a more serious point, its on of the best archives of information future generations could hope for. Also this:
1. My girlfriend: Awwwwwww <3 Yes indeed, imaginary voice I hear when I read, you are right to aww. What I forgot to mention in my unification of the globe bit was that not only do you get to meet new and interesting people on the internet, occasionally you get to kiss them too. Me and my girlfriend would never have had the chance to meet up if it had not been for the internet, and we certainly would not have been able to maintain our relationship for so long if it had not been for the good people at Skype (she lives waaaaaay beyond shouting distance). So if getting it together with a wonderful girl (a physical one) is not the best thing about the internet, then I don’t know what is.
So too summarise the best bits of the internet: Girls and shouting at strangers from thousands of miles away. Now some stuff I do not like.
I would not like to thank the internet for:
5. Justine Beiber: Not just for Justine Beiber. Okay mostly for Justine Beiber. Originally I felt it was not fair to start hating a child I barely knew just because it was fashionable, but seriously now that I’ve seen videos of him, I just want to punch him in his smug child face. On his own, he would not be such a problem, except he seems to formed his own personal army of equally punchable tweenagers who insist on ruining every good anti-bieber thread with their pro-bieber insanity. If this tide of insipid squealing continues growing I have seriously concerns about the Earth future survival.
4. eBay: The freedom to buy anything you can think of at a reasonable price? Why would I dislike that? In principal I don’t, I love eBay. Thats part of the problem, its like cyber candy. You try desperately to resist but you just have to put a bid on that one thing you have really wanted for the last 5 seconds; but just can not help yourself. And then someone puts on a higher bid and all hell breaks loose. The whole purchasing of an item because a war, with military precision timing and terms like ‘sniping’. Loosing results in the grim despair of defeat, victory results in an empty wallet and letter box full of crisp shaped like Ringo Starr. (By the way, where that grenade launcher?)
3. Stealing all my free time: This blog has entry has taken me nearly 3 hours to write. Not including time spent on YouTube, Googling myself (giggity) or watching that Japanese Fanta commercial. From slow connection speeds to Captcha tests, everything on the internet steals my time like some giant time stealing thing. I had some other point to make but I want to watch that commercial another five or six times before bed.
2. The ‘cloud’: This is something I have been hearing a lot about recently… But just what is a cloud really and why is it so important that all my stuff gets kept on it? Maybe I like my stuff kept where it is thank you. Where I know it will not all disappear if the operating company goes bust or gets hacked by North Korea. Maybe its just my nature as a hoarder, or some ancient squirrel like nature that has yet to be evolved out of me, but I feel much more comfortable knowing all my digital nuts are stored safely on a hard disk or dvd. Personal files can, at least for the moment, can still be backed up in these more traditional ways but soon movies (possible games too) are likely to exist only in the ether and will only be ‘streamed’ down to you… Thats like if Ikea kept all their furniture in store and just sent it out each time you wanted to go to bed or sit on it. What if the delivery truck breaks down in transit? You would have to sleep on the floor like a common animal. Thats what your making us do, cloud!
Actually that’s a pretty big sword… you know what? Keep my stuff.
1. Invading my personal space: The creation of the internet has been the biggest invasion of privacy since some perverted (probably) architect started putting windows in bathrooms (why would I want to be able to see myself all naked in anything other than complete darkness?). Now it seems that everything you every do on the internet is being monitored, and this is not something new. People will say its not a problem as long as you are not doing anything wrong… but what if its a corrupt government who decides right and wrong for you? What if Hitler could monitor your internet usage? All those spoof bunker videos do not seem so funny now do they? And this does not even taking into account internet advertising, which arguably even worse then Hitler. (A Super-Hitler?) The most worrying part is how readily the we surrender are personal lives to the internets inviting candy-house. Remember all those pictures from that party? Everyone and their friends can see those on Facebook if they really try hard enough. My point is things leaked onto the internet are very hard to forget about, and big brother is always watching. Especially that which you Googled last night… no matter how hard you scrub your history. In fact, if we imagine the natural progression of things, your webcam is probably already watching you right now….