Here's a scan of me being featured in a local newspaper. It's very old, I believe it was taken in 2004. I thought it might be somewhat amusing to some.
I'm the one dressed as an elephant.
I recently found the file of an old film trailer I had to make in my first year of A Level Media Studies. Most of it was filmed in the wilderness of Corsham. The people acting in it are: Rachel Dinsdale, Sam Dodd, Davey Hamlen, Doug Hamlen, George Moore, Christian Watkins and, of course, me. Enjoy.
My hometown, Corsham, has some really rather interesting features (aside from just generally looking pretty). There's some vast woodland, an abandoned army base, an old haunted bridge and, as well as all that, it also happens to be in Wiltshire: one of the biggest UFO hotspots of the entire world (perhaps this has something to do with the large numbers of army bases around here?).
At one particular spot in Corsham, you can see quite some distance into other areas of Wiltshire. One thing you can see, on particularly bright days is one of the mysterious white horses which have been made on many hillsides in England. Here's a link to a picture of one. These white horses are linked to ancient religions, sky deities and the end of times. Plus, as an added bonus, if you ever visit one, it's quite likely that you may see a crop circle from that high point (I've seen on there).
As such, it's quite understandable that some people might be a little startled if, while taking a walk during the night, there are strange bright lights which hover in the air above the point where you can see the horse. The lights appear above the hill with the horse (you won't be able to see the hill or horse at night though, it's hard to even see it during the day!) pulsate for a while and then disappear. So you might look at these pulsating balls of light and think in a panic "H.G. Wells told us! We're darned fools!" and expect that the Earth invasion is looming, or that you'll soon be whisked off into space by the aliens. However, to reach an anti-climax, there is a rational explanation for all of this. Behind that hill is an army training ground, as such, these lights are most likely flares fired during practise manoeuvres. So it seems the strange lights in the sky may not be so strange after all, a disappointment to some I'm sure. I like to believe there's a rational explanation to all of the fantastical and supernatural things in the world, but that is a bit boring isn't it?
This comic collection is set in a steampunk alternate history in which numerous fictional characters coexist and have adventures together. That alone is a good reason to buy the first volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but there are more reasons too. Having said that, if you are not familiar with any characters from 19th century literature (there are characters from other periods too in the later volumes, but this one mainly features characters from the 19th century) then you may not enjoy this story very much. A basic knowledge of the storyline of Dracula, The Invisible Man, Jekyll and Hyde, and the Sherlock Holmes stories are the main things you should have before reading this.
Anywho, the general storyline is okay: a general mystery really and you can try and figure it out as you go alone. Throughout the comic too, are hidden little references to other novels and such, which is a nice touch. Kevin O'Neill is the illustrator of this graphic novel, and his art style is really very good. O'Neill creates some really nice Victorian scenery some times, and at other times he creates some amazingly eerie and creepy scenes. On the downside though, there are some scenes which are needlessly sexually explicit, which is somewhat annoying. Once the excitement of all these characters being together wares off, you may begin to get a little bored of the story because I think it is slightly bland.
Nonetheless, regardless of any downsides, this is a good start to the series: 7/10
(buy it here)
One thing I have a big problem with is the idea of Heaven and Hell (of Christian theology in particular, I don't know enough about other religions). How an 'all loving' God could burn somebody forever is quite beyond me. I was told once that, rather than being a God who loves everyone, I should look at this way: that God isn't 'all loving' but rather that he (or she, or it) is concerned with administering perfect justice to the universe. I can understand that, worshipping an all-powerful judge who will ensure perfect justice sounds perfectly reasonable (two side points though: I'm not going to go into arguments for or against God in this entry, and also Plato's Republic shows the 'perfect' society and that was arrived at via ideas of 'perfect justice' and that society would be pretty darn horrifying in real life!).
Anyway, I think the ideas of Heaven and Hell are very far from perfect justice; a mockery of justice really. Imagine a real-life judge: if the person being trailed tells the judge that he really loves him, regardless of the crime, he is let off and, not only is he let off, he's given a reward! That reward being endless pleasure in paradise. However, if the people don't tell him they love him, he sentences them to be tortured forever. Even if they didn't know they could just tell him they loved him, they still get the torture. I imagine lots of them would really despise him for sending people off to be tortured too. How is that perfect justice?
Bringing it back to the main point, nobody will ever deserve to be punished forever, because they can't have done any bad which lasts forever. Meanwhile, you could also say that nobody deserves happiness forever, because everybody does some bad, although, this sounds quite mean to me, if I could give everyone utter happiness forever, I would do it right away.
Now, I'm going to explain how I imagine an afterlife which was truly based on perfect justice would be (and it is a little similar to some ideas of reincarnation really). When you die, all of a sudden you're a foetus again (or maybe even a sperm) and you're actually about to live your life all over again! You get to re-live your childhood! Meet all your old friends! Be reunited with dead family members! etc.! Except, every bad thing that happens to you, and every good things that happens to you, are directly caused by what happened in your previous life. If you were really mean, then in your next run through of life, lots of things will go badly for you. It would go on and on until a 'perfect' person came about, somebody who never did any wrong (and no, consensual sexual explicitries are not immoral) this person would then live there life again, but this time in a perfect world... Heaven basically. But they wouldn't stay there forever, if they're 'perfect' again, there next life will be there too, but if, this time, they acted quite jerkish, then their next life would be a little worse. Like I said, it’s quite like ideas of reincarnation, but without the horrible nightmare of being separated from all your loved ones and having your memory erased so that you forget them entirely!
Feel free to comment if you disagree with me, or you have different ideas! I'm interested in other thoughts.
Technically, the title for this entry should be "The Trusty Water Blog at The End of the World" but I wanted to make the reference to Douglas Adams a little clearer. Anywho, I'm going to tell you about a dream I had which involved this blog.
So there I was one night, happily typing away on my laptop, when, all of a sudden, outside there was a nuclear war. Obviously a nuclear war is a very devastating thing and, as far as I can tell, I was the only survivor. Even Corsham, the quaint countryside town that I live in, was transformed into a desert wasteland. However, it wasn't all destroyed, my house managed to survive the nuclear holocaust, but it was reduced to little more than a small wooden shack in the process. So anyway, the days, and years, went by and I was unable to find any survivors. Somehow unfazed by the death of all the people I loved, I carried on with my life. Well, kind of. Basically, after the untimely end of the world, I started to update my blog daily (rather than three times a week) but continued just writing the regular things I do. That's about all I can remember of the dream, but I guess that means that, in the reality of the dream, the last piece of writing every produced by humanity would have been about how water bottles are cool or something. Just thought I'd share that with you.
This novel, unlike the majority of Stephen King's work, is primarily a fantasy novel, rather than a horror one. But I can assure you that Stephen King is actually very good indeed at the fantasy genre and this book should definitely be given a try.
The storyline follows the evil scheme of Randall Flagg (a recurring villain in King's novels) to destroy the kingdom of Delain. In the kingdom there's an easily misguided king, a good queen, and two sons: Peter and Thomas. Flagg tries to nurture Thomas to bring him around to his way of thinking and rule the kingdom through him, while Peter tries to stop all of this. This is an excellent standalone fantasy novel with a story which anybody can easily read and understand. The problem I think some people have is that they're daunted by fantasy series which have about fifty novels in them, but that is a problem that this book avoids!
All the characters in this novel are very strong and likeable too, so you aren't likely to feel alienated by the fantastical setting. On the whole, it's a good story and one which is easy to read through. It is actually moderately long, which, in some cases, is a problem, but I don't think the length was an issue, the story was interesting enough to warrant it being so long.
So, I heavily recommend this book: 9/10
(buy it here)
Have you ever wondered about the minds of other people? You don't actually know that every other person you've met is actually a living sentient creature. For all you know, yours is the only mind in existence.
Sure, you can talk to people and they can assure you that they do think and are a fully sentient creature just as you are. But still, you could programme a robot to say that as well, but it wouldn't make that true. I'm not too sure I've explained my point very well, but I'm basically saying that you have no way of knowing that there is any other intelligent life in the universe other than yourself. Things can appear to have life, when really they don't at all, and they could just be the case for everybody but you.
There's no way for human beings to share their thoughts other than to talk, you can never experience another’s consciousness. So perhaps, really, yours is the only one. You think you have close friends, but secretly, they're just mindless things which appear to be the same as you. You'll always be alone, even when you're not.
Not to be pessimistic of course! :) I don't believe this is true. But, nonetheless, it is a philosophical possibility!
Here's a link to my the excellent blog of my intelligent friend David Tubb, he doesn't write long posts about stuff, rather, they all seem to be very cool little bursts of knowledge. I hope you'll like it!
This may be very short, but I've had a busy day today! Sorry!
New to this Site?
Click here for all the best posts.
I'm currently in the process of completely overhauling the archive system to make it more easy to use. Bear with me, it may look messy for a bit.
Funny & Silly Entries
Give me them here.