I'm sure that anybody who studies at a university and/or college will know that, at certain times of the day, free computers will be a scarcity. Plus, I am also quite sure that most people will have their own 'favourite' spot in the various libraries and computer rooms out there. So, readers, I would like to tell you that I have a method that will ensure (with a 99% probability) that you will get the computer you want, at any time of the day.
Here's the trick: one time, you will have to arrive at the computer room either extra early, or extra late. Once in, sit yourself down at your favourite spot. Open up a word document and create your own 'out of order' sign. Then, before you go, put it onto your computer without anybody else seeing. In fact, even if somebody does see you, make it look like you're putting it there because the computer doesn't work, rather than for your own evil intentions. From now on, your computer will pretty much always be free! When you come in to use it, take it off and when you've finished your work for the day, put it back! Nobody wants to use a broken computer do they?
There is, however, one snag with this plan. Sometimes you'll come in, only to find a computer technician sitting at your computer trying to figure out what's wrong with it. When this does happen, lay low with the sign for a while. Wait a week or two. But other than this, you will have no real problems. I used this little trick all the time while I was in The Corsham School Sixth Form, so I can guarantee that it works! Plus, if you feel particularly anti-social, you can put it on the computers beside you, to stop anybody sitting near you (not that I ever did this one!) Happy studying.
This Friday, I visited the Rondo theatre in Bath along with a very good friend of mine and saw the Dark Age Deeds of the Celtic Saints; a two hour performance by Anthony Nanson and David Metcalfe. The evening consisted of a mixture of storytelling and singing, with Anthony doing the story telling, and David doing the singing.
The first half of the evening was, in my opinion, probably the better half, since it contained a really fantastic tale of monks sailing across the ocean which I'd never heard before. The story alone was amazing, but when combined with Anthony's superb storytelling skills, it became a real standout performance. There were even a couple of moments of slight humour in these tales and, intentional or not, they added to my overall enjoyment. FIrst, there was a scene when three late coming monks run up to the departing boat, and the leader is unsure of them because one of them looks "shifty", another looks "downright crazy" but the third looks "easy going" which seems to be an odd reason to distrust somebody, I guess this is an example of the changes between dark age and modern day values! Second, at one point a huge crystalline pillar raises out of the ocean and points towards the sky, "What's that?" one of them asks, and the reply was "That is a thing!... made by God", the pause giving it good comedic value! Even if unintentional, I hardly consider this a bad thing.
All of the stories were accompanied by David playing atmospheric music on his drum or guitar. Sometimes this musical addition seemed to compliment a scene perfectly, but at others it didn't add much more than an extra sound to hear. David, on the whole, did not seem to have as much to do as Anthony, while he did sing all of the songs; the storytelling took up much more of the time. David did also do some of the story telling, but unfortunately for him, he tended only to read the less interesting things, such as the links between stories. But, despite seemingly being a little underused, when David did sing, he gave only excellent performances. He seemed to be very well suited to singing folk music.
The second half, as I said above, did not seem quite as enjoyable as the first, though it was by no means bad. My favourite story from this half was one which featured a Druid, a Christian and the Loch Ness Monster. This story was especially good, I thought, because while all of the others were very Christianity oriented, this one gave a lot of respect to the Druid perspective. I don't see that there's anything at all wrong with Christianity being the main orientation of the stories, but it's nice to see other viewpoints. The ending was also particularly very good, as it linked these Dark Age adventures to the present day and really reinforced the interconnected nature of things (which I really like).
On the whole, an excellent show, performed by two people who were clearly very enthusiastic about their work. Should the show be done again, I heartily suggest you go and see it!
You may remember an entry called Puzzle that I made a short while ago. Well, now the anonymous person who sends emails with puzzles has his/her own website! Click here, to head over right away and start trying to solve either of the two puzzles that have been posted there. It's quite a unique little site, and I definitely suggest that you at least take a small look. If you like what you see, you can subscribe to be notified whenever a new puzzle is created. While there currently are only two, but it's just getting started! Please do take a look, and have fun!
I tend to like to review the original versions of games before I review their remakes, but, as I'm sure you can tell from the title, this game is actually a remake. I'm writing this review because I don't think it's likely that I'll ever get a chance to play the original. Therefore, this, in my head, is the definitive version.
Anyway, this game, made by Rockstar, is about a troublesome boy named Jimmy Hopkins who has been taken to a boarding school (Bullworth Academy). At first everybody pretty much hates Jimmy, but you do various tasks and favours for people and earn the respect of different groups. These tasks vary from things such delivering items, to fighting Christmas elves. The story is all quite fun and light-hearted, and it all seems to be a big parody of the way in which school life tends to be perceived.
You play the game by walking around a big map (the town of Bullworth) and talking to different people who need your help. Jimmy can walk around until 2am (in-game time) at which time he will just fall on the ground and sleep. You're supposed to get Jimmy to bed before he sleeps in the middle of the streets (which will get you mugged) and throughout the game you earn various houses where you can spend the night. The world is very nice too, there's a carnival, a beach, a country path and various other cool places to explore. Even if you don't want to progress in the story, you can have lots of fun walking around the map and finding all of the little secrets hidden everywhere.
You're given pretty much complete freedom too. Jimmy, as a school boy, obviously has lessons which he needs to go to, but you can choose simply never to attend them. Lessons if you do go to them, are fun little mini-game (e.g. an anagram mini game for English lessons), and if you don't attend, things go on as normal, except prefects are looking for you. You don't even need to follow the law, you can make graffiti on the wall or beat up random people in the street. Bear in mind though, you're a teenage boy, so, you're no match for the police. You can also do nice things too, such as getting a job mowing lawn, or helping random strangers with problems.
I enjoyed this game very much, so I will give it a 9.4/10. I should also add that, while I haven't played it, the Xbox 360 version may be very slightly better than the Wii one, since it has improved graphics, but I'll still give the same score to each,
(I do not own the copyright of the screenshot.)
This book tells the story of Andrea (or Andy) and what she goes through after her parents get divorced and move in with different people. The whole thing is written in the first person, from Andy's perspective, and she tells you all the little things which secretly bother her, tells lots of small kind of in-jokes and lots of other things which make this a very enjoyable read.
This book is aimed at children, and, the main character is a child, but I think the appeal of this book spans all ages. There are some universal human feelings at the centre of this book and I believe that anybody will be able to relate to it in some way or another. Throughout the story, Andy looks back nostalgically at the time when she and her parents lived together at Mulberry Cottage, and really dislikes the fact that her current life is greatly inferior to it. I think everybody will know this feeling, I'm sure we all spend a little too much time every now and then, looking back at some time in the past and missing the bygone golden years. But sometimes we fail to realise that another golden age may be just around the corner, and this is what this book is about.
Also, what's interesting to note is that, while the story is told through the eyes of a child, it certainly does not take place in a kiddified version of the real world. There are these occasional references to things which make it quite clear that the world Andrea lives in is, indeed, our own... Even if she does like to occasionally escape into little fantasies with her toy rabbit Radish (which are lovely by the way).
But, anyway, I have nothing bad to say about this book. I quite happily give it a 10/10 (this is a score I have given to only one other book).
Buy it here.
To be honest, I didn't get around to photographing a new finger puppet show for today. This picture is just something I drew while I was in a Writing for Young People seminar a few weeks ago, I decided to keep it just in case I ever needed a back up, and today I needed a back up! The illustrated Colin will probably appear again at some point (I have some plans).
I was playing around on Photoshop for the first time the other day, and I made this. It's a bit silly, but I like it, so I thought I'd share it.
Bonfire Night is an event I always look forward to, you really get a nice wintry feeling when you stand out in the dark, drink mulled wine and watch the fireworks launch. However, while I do like it very much, I do rather dislike its link to history. I'm sure you all know that the event is a celebration of the fact that Guy Fawkes (and the rest of the people involved in the Gunpowder Plot) was stopped before he could blow up the House of Lords and kill King James I. But does it not seem rather immoral to celebrate somebody's capture and execution every single year? I mean, of course, planning to blow up a building to kill people is a bad thing, and I do consider him a bad person, but it's not like he was being purely evil by doing this, he was only defending his religion. I think it's bad to celebrate the death of anybody; every death is a tragedy, even if a person is bad. Burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes to me feels downright barbaric. Why can't we just launch fireworks because it's a fun thing to do? Rather than to celebrate the death of somebody who died four hundred and six years ago? I realise this isn't consciously in the heads of most people, but I do think this aspect of the day should be done away with.
Anyway, here are some photos I took at the Neston Firework display. They didn't come out that well, but I wanted to share them anyway!
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