Vote For Pedro

Voter apathy seems to get worse every election. So many people feel that either all the parties are practically the same, or that their vote makes little or no difference. The thing is, it does make a difference. Even if you live in an area considered a 'safe seat', if everyone who said "what's the point in voting because XXX is going to get in anyway", the safe party may not be unseated, but they would be forced to sit up and work harder. Plus, it could encourage other parties to field candidates. Less Read more [...]

The story of Thanksgiving for non-Americans

It is Thanksgiving in the USA today. Regarding my thoughts following, I want to quote Moonaum James, the organiser of the National Day Of Mourning ceremony in Plymouth,  and say that like him I am "not against Thanksgiving, but rather want to correct the history of the holiday that suggests that the Pilgrims and Native Americans coexisted peacefully. We’re not there to condemn, and not there to do anything other than point out some truths.” Most people get the next two days off work, and it Read more [...]

A Tale of Two States Pt 1: Tennessee

On October 2013, I got invited to visit my longtime friend, Brandie, in Tennessee. I accepted, and contacted my cousin Martin, who lives in Texas, about whether I could add on a trip to see him too. He said yes, so I bought air tickets. This was a solo trip, as Mr Madnad not only detests flying, but also doesn't know Brandie. He doesn't really know my cousin much either, as Martin has been living in Houston for a good while now. My dearest friend offered a room in her home, and my cousin said I could Read more [...]

The Vikings Are Coming!

I have an abiding interest in Vikings that actually started long ago, thanks - in a weird way - to Ray Harryhausen. When I was young, my father took me to the cinema to see Clash Of The Titans. I was blown away. Not just by the special effects, or Harry Hamlin's hair, but by the stories and characters that feature in this epic fantasy. This little movie birthed an interest in mythology and ancient pantheons that has stayed with me. Back then, I managed to get my hands on a few books on Greek Read more [...]

It’s Not Your Penis

There is a lot of media attention at the moment on the topic of circumcision. This is largely due to protests in the States recently from 'intactivists' as they call themselves, looking for legislation to ban the practice of circumcision. I am not entirely comfortable with legislation governing medical procedures on either view point, but I am against circumcision as a routine and unnecessary procedure. Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking all those things that you have been taught Read more [...]

Will Daryl Dixon survive series 4 of The Walking Dead?

*WARNING* If you are not up to date with this series 4 of the TV series, this post contains MASSIVE spoilers. Those that know me well, know that one of my favourite TV series running at the moment is The Walking Dead. I remember when I saw the trailer prior to the first series, I knew I would love it, and I do. I have heard one or two people claim it is boring, but I don't find it so at all. I wonder if these people are even watching the same show as me. They obviously just don't get it.  The Read more [...]

Skyrim: The Movie

Back at the end of 2012, I picked up the next instalment in the Elderscrolls series of video games from Bethesda, called Skyrim. The main selling point for me, along with the great reputation set by the previous games in this series, was that you could become a werewolf. I can tell you now, there is no greater joy than being able to fight a dragon as a werewolf. I prefer my RPGs in a fantasy faux-medieval setting, and Skyrim is probably the most beautiful game I have ever seen. When I first played Read more [...]

The Magic of Gravity

I find that for me, there are few bonuses working in Computer Science. Today however, was one of those rare occasions. I attended a talk this afternoon from two University of Nottingham alumni (one was from Computer Science!) who work for a company called Framestore, a special effects company who notably worked on Alfonso Cuaron's amazing block buster, Gravity. Richard Graham (Visual Effects Producer on Gravity) and Mark Hills (Framestore's Head of System Development) gave a unique and fascinating Read more [...]
brace yourself

Bah Humbug

It's November. The nights are longer and people's spirits are dropping quicker than the temperatures. What do we do to cheer ourselves up? We cover everything in gaudy tinsel and retina-blowing lights, every shop speaker vibrates to the strains of some inanely repetitive  song, and the already financially strapped populace falls for the marketing campaigns and buries themselves in even more debt by going on a conscience salving shopping spree. Don't get me wrong, there are aspects of Christmas Read more [...]

Stop pissing on my parade

I used to be fairly active on Twitter but have found I have taken a bit of a step back recently. I realise the thought of Twitter may make some people shudder in horror, but I used to think it was like hanging with a bunch of mates in a bar. You get to listen to all the different conversations going on, partake in some, ignore others - just like it is when you are in a bar with a large crowd. Of late, it has lost some of its attraction, and for two main reasons. The first reason is that there Read more [...]
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