A new finger puppet show! Starring: Paul the Penguin, Gary the Giraffe and Frankenstein. In this one, I did a little bit of an experiment and used computer technology in order to give the illusion that multiple puppets are interacting when, in fact, I can only photograph one at a time. Enjoy!
NOTE: All finger puppets can be bought here.
Ulysses is a rather long book (732 pages in my edition) which covers a single day in Dublin from the points of view of various characters. It often finds itself on large 'read these before you die' lists and is called the greatest novel of the twentieth century.
However, I disagree. I love reading, I really do, not to boast, but I've read lots of books from many different eras and enjoyed all of them quite a lot. Ulysses is the first book I've which I would call boring, or not particularly good. Throughout the book, Joyce writes in a very unique writing style and, while I do like writers to have their own style, I find Joyce's one is just irritating. He tries to blend stream of consciousness into regular third person narration and so you'll often be distracted from what's happening in a scene by some strange uninteresting tangent. This makes it really hard to follow at times, and I must admit that, a few times, while reading, I literally had no idea what was going on. Plus, there are odd changes too, one chapter is a script, another is a set of questions and answers and I struggled to see the point of it (though it does at least provide a little variation).
Furthermore, the book seems to be filled with random literary allusions all the way through. In the middle of reading, you'll randomly find a small piece about The Bible, or Dante, or Aristotle, or Shakespeare... While it may sometimes be enjoyable when you suddenly ‘get’ a very subtle reference, it just makes you wonder why it was even put there. It seems he was just fitting in all of these references for the sake of it. Having said that, there is one bit where the characters discuss Shakespeare which I actually enjoyed a little bit.
There are other good bits too: there's a long monologue by a character named Molly at the end and it's probably the best part. He also invented the word 'Sherlock Holmesing' for when you try and induce things about people based on things you can see on them, and there are just other odd lines and paragraphs which are pretty enjoyable too.
On the whole though, there's not much to be enjoyed. Which a real shame, because I like to look at every novel as a really beautiful, high quality thing, but, in my eyes, this is not the case for Ulysses. Perhaps this is the exception that proves the rule (though I don't have high hopes for Finnegan's Wake). I'd also like to mention the book is very explicit, it involves: sexual intercourse, menustration, masturbation, urination, excretion, detailed descriptions of naked body parts... I could go on, it can get very gross.
I'd rate it at 4.3/10. Sorry James.
(buy it here)
NOTE: just thought I'd add, I'm not denying the book's literary significance, I just didn't think it was 'good'.
I've made this entry to clear up a few misconceptions about myself; as you may have gathered from other posts on here, there are a lot of things I choose not to take part in/do. Let me just list a few:
- Alcohol (and other recreational legal drugs)
- Eating meat
- Illegal recreational drugs
- Sexually explicit activities
Now the reason I don't do these things is because I don't want to. If you're a carnivorous Christian who likes to smoke weed, while drinking alcohol at a swinger's party, it doesn't bother me. Just because I don't DO the things on this list, it does not mean I don't APPROVE. Let me go through each point individually.
Firstly, alcohol. There are several things I don't like about alcohol: the taste, its effect on people and, well, no, that's about it. In the past I've been around drunken people a lot and it looks like one of the most embarrassing things in the world, to have yourself suddenly become so strange and erratic. I would much rather a drink a Trusty Water Bottle full of delicious water and remain perfectly level headed. As such, I choose not to drink any alcohol. Now, you might say "well you've never tried it, you don't know!" but I have tried it twice actually, and it wasn't very fun :(. Now, that's my reasoning behind not drinking alcohol, clearly it is all subjective, so why would I object to other people drinking it? I wouldn't. It would be wrong of me to disapprove of people drinking alcohol, because it is their free choice to do so and I would think it immoral to try and stop them. The same, as you can guess, is true of my view of illegal drugs. It would be wrong to stop people and prevent their free will. It may be against the law, but drug usage is perfectly fine in my eyes, so long as nobody other than the user is harmed.
Secondly, eating meat. Since I was a child, I have been a vegetarian; it was the choice of my mother. Since then, I have decided to stay a vegetarian for two reasons: the taste of meat makes me physically ill, and I do believe it is moral not to eat meat. But that's my decision based on studying the facts about it, other people may study the same thing and come to a different conclusion. When I see a friend of mine eat meat, I don't see them as morally inferior; I just see that they have decided differently to me. It would be wrong for me to eat meat, because I believe it is morally wrong to, but it would be fine for somebody else since, by their own moral code, it is fine.
Thirdly, religion. My view on the universe is this: there could indeed be some fantastical thing (perhaps God-like) behind all of the universe, but I don't believe that any of the world's religions (that I know of) are the correct answer and that science is the most likely route to the answer. After looking at all of the evidence, reading up on many different religions and philosophies from around the world and judging based on my own experience, I have decided this view is the one most likely to be correct. Other people have done the exact same thing as me, but to them it looks as if Christianity is the correct answer, or that Islam is the correct answer etc. I have no objections at all to people who follow religions and worship accordingly. Again, it would be against liberty for me to object to these views. However, having said that, I do object quite strongly to people who are taught blatantly false and offensive things through religion (e.g. anti-homosexual beliefs).
Fourthly, sexually explicit activities. I have no desire to take part in these, so I do not. Anybody else, I believe, should feel free to take part in these and do anything and everything they like with any consenting partner (so long as nobody is hurt by them). That's pretty self-explanatory really.
Finally, swearing. I get asked a lot by people if their swearing bothers me, and the answer is always no. Swear words are just words, and I take no offense at hearing them. I choose not to swear, because I try to make myself as inoffensive as possible and wouldn't like to offend anyone (I similarly do not blaspheme). How silly is it to object to people for just saying a word?
I hope this clears up so misconceptions it seems that some people have about me. It also may be good to bear in mind that not doing and not approving are different things when talking to somebody with a different point of view than you. (Not to sound arrogant of course, I’m sure that point’s obvious).
Just thought I'd use a spin on the title of the popular contemporary erotica novel in order to get your attention. Unfortunately for those of you who were hoping for some kind of parody or homage to that novel, I actually know nothing about it and this entry will actually be about my colour blindness (something I don't believe I have mentioned on here before).
My favourite colour is beige and, since 2008, every pair of socks I have bought has been beige. As such, when I needed to buy some new socks in the winter of 2011, the ones I decided to get were coloured beige. I bought two packs, each of them had three pairs in, and so overall I had six pairs of socks (I don't want to impair my mathematically challenged readers). They weren't all coloured Standard Beige though, in fact, there was a kind of spectrum for each pack: one pair Light Beige, one pair Standard Beige, one pair Dark Beige. As such, I had two pairs in each colour.
That sounds simple enough right? Well maybe it is for all of you Colour Non-Blinds, but for me, that's a real challenge. Sometimes, I'll have six of the socks with me, but amongst them I won't be able to find one pair. This is pretty strange considering the fact that there HAS to be a pair there. But no, it often looks to me that every single sock is a different shade of beige. I have to stare really, really closely at two pairs, and eventually it'll be clear that they are the same, but oftentimes I'll get it wrong and end up wearing odd pairs. What's particularly strange is how some days I'll see them all as different colours (and hence see more colours than are there, despite being colour-blind) but then other days they'll pretty much all look the same... I think that that is quite interesting philosophically, at least when it comes to differing perceptions of reality.
But, anyway, I'm feeling guilty about the misleading title; there are only twelve shades of beige at most, which is nowhere near fifty. Here's a red hot erotic story to make up for it: a couple of people (you choose the gender for each of them) meet. They slowly become closer and closer. In the end these best friends fall in love, start a partnership and consolidate it with a hug. Aww.
Here's a new little finger puppet story for you! This one stars Buster the Boy.
NOTE: Finger puppets can be bought here, but this particular one seems to have been discontinued.
A good friend of mine has recently started writing a new blog called General Mumblings of a Student. So far there are only two entries, but I suggest you start checking it regularly because there are bound to be some very interesting posts in future (based on the high quality of other blogs by the same person). Like the Trusty Water Blog, it doesn't actually have a 'theme' and will just be comprised of whatever pops into the author's head. So take a look, I hope you'll enjoy it!
The Time Machine is a short novel set in the distant future. It basically explores ideas of future evolutionary stages of humanity through an exciting nineteenth century style adventure! The main character is a mysterious man known only as The Time Traveller and it's written as if somebody had met him and heard him tell all of these fantastical stories.
I can't really fault the story, it's basically a nicely exciting ripping yarn and anybody who likes a good old fashion adventure story will like this. However, there is one small problem I have with how the story is written which stems from how it was originally published: this story was not a novel at first, rather it was serialised in a magazine. This meant that a new chapter would have been published each month (or however regularly new editions came out) and so each chapter starts with a brief recap of the last. This might be good for anybody who takes considerable pauses between readings, but it does get a little annoying if you plan to read more than one chapter at a time.
What is good though, are the philosophical ideas used in Wells' idea of the future. While there have been countless pieces of fiction which are set within the future of humanity, I'm not aware of any which deal with the possibilities of future human evolution. The idea behind the way in which the humans evolve in the novel is based on Wells views on issues from the time, but this isn't something which distracts from this excellent story.
Furthermore, one thing that makes even the less interesting parts of the story just as exciting is that Wells has a particularly nice writing style. Everything he writes is just so eloquent and it makes him seem the archetype of an Edwardian gentleman. This isn't just something that applies to this novel either, Wells writing voice always sounds amazing.
So, on the whole, while the transition between chapters might get annoying, this is still an excellent story and written superbly too! 9/10
(buy it here. The edition linked is not the same edition as the one I own (as it usually is), as the one I own is a rather obscure version.)
Just a small conversation from the lives of Simon the Skeleton and Graham the Ghost.
Just thought I'd better put a little disclaimer at the bottom: I'm not trying to make fun of people who do believe in God and/or ghosts, and I'm not trying to make fun of people who don't believe them either. It is simply a joke.
NOTE: All finger puppets can be bought here.
When a friend of mine was feeling unhappy, I made this for them to try and cheer them up, after that I decided it was good enough to post here. So, should you be feeling at all unhappy, and I hope you're not, but if you are, here is a little message from Colin the Cow to cheer you up a little.
I'll most probably make more of these in the future.
NOTE: All finger puppets can be bought here.
Some people already know that they've done well for this year's worth of work, and other's will be finding out soon. Now, I imagine a lot of you will want to shake off all of the metaphorical dust which has gathered all over you during your long periods of study and, as such, I've decided to write you a little guide for how to have a really shackle shakingly fun time on Results Day.
1. Go to Sainsbury's.
This popular supermarket should be pretty easy for you to find and, indeed, even if you can't find it any alternative should do. Now, a visit to Sainsbury’s is a fun filled exciting day all on its own, but this is just going to be a small part of your celebratory day.
2. Buy an Angel Delight
This shouldn't be hard to find, they'll be either in the home baking section or the dried milk section. Alternatively, you can follow my link above and buy it from Amazon. However, Amazon purchases are more expensive AND they negate the fun trip to Sainsbury's so it clearly is the less desirable option.
3. Plan a time to eat the Angel Delight
Whenever you're free will do. It might be nice to watch a film during this time too because then you have an extra sensory stimulus, rather than just the taste.
4. Do Not Invite Your Friends
I mean, let's face it, you have a small circle of friends and you don't want to be suffering the pain of rejection on a celebration day do you?
5. Make The Angel Delight.
Follow instruction on the bag for details.
6. Eat the Angel Delight
I hope you will have enjoyed my results day celebration procedure.
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