29/09/2006

Ice Hockey

I'm not a big fan of sports, I never liked playing them as a kid and I still don't. Football is like a religion here in Europe. Cricket is like a Religion in south Asia and I really can get a grip in either. They bore me, nothing about them can hold my attention. But I am excited but the 2012 Olympics as they'll be held here in out fair city and I might even get to watch them in the flesh. The Olympics are something different, you get people of all shapes and sizes able to do the most amazing things. So why am I suddenly yapping about sports, cos there is one that I Love, Ice Hockey and next week the regular season starts again (for the NHL).

Why Ice Hockey? Well when my sister and I were kids we watched an awful Rob Lowe movie called 'Young Blood' and some how along the way I was hooked. We got sky a few months later and thus NHL weekly became a permanent feature in my Saturday morning. Two years later we heard a rumour, there was an ice hockey team movie all about kids! Yes you know where this is going 'The Mighty ducks'. You have to keep in mind they do play ice hockey in Britain but it isn't great and the London teams are awful (trust me I've seen them play). So all we had were movies and the weekly digest on NBC. My sister supported the Chicago Blackhawks and I took the Detroit Red Wings. At the time (1992) the Wings hadn't won a Stanley Cup since 1955. My sister thought it was funny that a picked a team that seemed like losers, while the Blackhawks looked likely to win the league that year. 3 years later in 1995 my faith was justified and the Wings made it to the final, they didn't win but they proved how brilliant a team they were. I've been a loyal fan ever since. My husband (who supports the New Jersey Devils) took me to see my first live Hockey game on my 21st birthday, I'll never forget it. Even though I'm sad the Steve Yzerman has retired and Sergei Fedorov is not longer there, I'm hoping one day I'll see the Wings play for real but till then RED WINGS RULE!!!!

On a totally separate note I just have to say this sounds scary

28/09/2006

And you said it was useless...

I read that people in the UK have spent Billions of pounds on time saving gadgets they never use. How is this news, Surely its a given? I mean open the 1000page Argos catalogue and there you have evidence of the sheer number of slightly useful but oh so desirable products. Apparently juice maker and coffee maker are top of the list for things we buy and never use due to current health trends and coffee shop living. A prime example of this is my mother, I love her but I've never known anyone more addicted to gadgets they don't use. She not only has a massive kitchen (at one point we have a sofa in there) but the shed as well, all full to the brim with special pots and pans ans magic devices. Before I buy and device I always check and see if my mum has one and if that fails I check with my sister (who is just as bad but with less money). So why do we do it? What is it in our brain that goes 'go on get the hand held badger gun, you know you want to'.

27/09/2006

On this day

It seems today is a day of days...

September 27:
* 1821 - Mexico gains its independence from Spain.
* 1822 - Jean-Fran├žois Champollion announces that he has deciphered the Rosetta stone.
* 1825 - Locomotion No. 1 hauled the first train on opening day of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the first railway to use steam locomotives and carry passengers.
* 1905 - Albert Einstein published the article "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?", introducing the equation E=mc².
* 1998 - Google is established

After seeing this list I was tempted to stay in bed, seeing as all the really important stuff had already happened. So I got up and came to work anyway but I'm not expecting anything interesting to happen. Thus my imagination went into over time, just imagine how different the world would have been if just one of these even didn't happen...

25/09/2006

There and back again


When I was a kid my dad used to read to me and my sister before bed. Mostly he'd read Roald Dahl, The Worst Witch, The Water Babies, Narnia and many other children's classics. I have a vague memory of him reading us the Hobbit and when we (my sister and I) asked for more about hobbits he read us an abridged version of Lord of the Rings (he made up himself). When I was about 8 and my sister 12 I got my own bedroom. My sister thought she was too old to be read to at this point and I was already reading books meant for teenagers. So that was it, no more bedtime stories. At the time I didn't think too much about it but now I think how great it was that my parents really tried.

When I was 11 in my first year of High School (in England High School or Secondary School runs from the age of 11-16), I only had a few friends and thus spent most of my time reading loads and loads. It was then I came across my Dad's copy of 'Lord of the Rings' I think I read the whole thing morning, noon and night for a week. It was totally different to the way I'd remembered it but it was genius. I've never in my life, been more engrossed in a book. I have read it ever year since then, always starting in September (As the book starts and ends in September) and each time I spot things I'd never noticed before. I still read that battered copy of my Dad's, with the pages tapes back in and the corners folding up, its now faded to a deep creamy yellow colour and I look forward to it every year. I do have it in hardback but any other version wouldn't be the same. I have read hundreds of books since, some I love, some I hate, many were awful, a few were funny but nothing else comes close to this. When I open that copy I actually feel like I'm one of the characters getting ready to set out on the journey...and if I don't keep my feet there is no telling where I'll be swept off to.

bad booty

How cute is this little Panther cub?

I was looking for something to get me over my Monday blues so normally I read Fark or some other funny news site to cheer me up. This morning I had the pleasure of coming across this

'BURGLARS opted for a speedy getaway after they found eight severed human heads...'

It's not as awful as it sounds but rather funny. Yes I have a rather dark sense of humour but it got me thinking, people have all sorts of weird weird collections, like those strange people who keep their toenails, stuffed animals etc. So I wonder what else burglars might have found on their travels, because people are by nature odd, this really can't be a rare phenomenon. Thus I've given it a name 'Bad Booty'. Any other suggestions?Cases of Bad Booty ? Answers on the back of a postcard...

22/09/2006

nice work, how do I get it?

It would appear that my plans for world domination may take a little longer then expected but until that day I'll just have to carry on like normal. So it finally Friday in what was possibly the longest week known to man, but of course the weekend will go by at hyper speed.

I was thinking this morning about work, I mean the concept of work in general and I have to admit even if I had a million pounds I'd still need to be doing something. Of course I'd waste my time writing cringe worthy novels and painting. Even when I get a week off work to just chill out I can't sit still, for the first two days I relax and calm down, then I have to spend a day cleaning in the vain attempt to prove I'm doing something but this points its only Tuesday, so I devise tasks and events to fill the rest of the week. Even though I don't want to go back to the office on Monday in a way it lets me value the weekend all the more. I deserve to rest and waste time if I've been working, but feel guilty if I haven't. The worst part of this is over time, yes you don't have to do but really you do and then if try and claim it people act as if they are doing you a favor by letting you work here and how dare you ask for pay...What I need is a change in attitude as disillusionment isn't working.

But there are people out there who can do nothing and not feel guilty, they don't go stir crazy and get the urge to hyper organise no they are quite happy watching TV or whatever it is they do. This fascinates and annoys me…Then there is the other side, people like my father. My dad will be 60 next year and I suggest he retire before 70, he didn't like that at all. He looked me right in the eye and said 'Why would I retire?' and meant it. Of course I can't wait to retire and I'm only 24! My dad, if he lived to 100 would happily work till then and beyond. Just because he can imagine life without work and he's an accountant it not like the job it that interesting.

So I want to know if I can't do nothing, how do I get the motivation to keep doing something that bores me?

21/09/2006

Pyjamas


When I take over the world I want to enforce a new law "All people can wear Pyjamas as often as possible in their daily lives, especially to work". I mean what clothing does anyone own that is as comfortable as pyjamas? Especially red flannel, checked ones... ahh and when you are a kid, the ones with feet!

So imagine my surprise when I read this article I mean just cos some of the residents of Shanghai openly wear their PJ's is no reason for their neighbours to get upset. This is blatantly the work of anti-pyjamarist and it will not be taken lightly!

Viva the Pyjama Revolution!

20/09/2006

two heads are better?

How can it only be Wednesday?

I was tempted not to post anything to day from shear lack of will. The fact is today has been a extremely long never ending abyss of misery. Ok I'm exaggerating a bit but it really has sucked. I would explain but it would just bore you as much as it bores me. So instead I offer you something from the world of weird..

Yes its real, it was found in on 27th September 2005 in Havana

Just when you thought you'd seen it all.

19/09/2006

Time

Tuesday is here and I can't believe how slowly this week is passing, at least I finally got the Boomtown Rats out of my head. I was thinking this morning about Time (as I do when left to my own devices), for example last week I was super busy and the week flew by before I could even blink. There just wasn't enough time, not this week, no I'm equally busy but time seems to be crawling. It is not just me I often find on days or weeks when I am thinking "time is moving quickly" other people (to whom I've said nothing) also point out that time has sped up for them as well. But of course your watch will tell you the same thing today as it did yesterday, 60 seconds = 1 min, 60 mins= 1 hour and so forth. The universe might be in 'chaos' on the sub-atomic level but even here in someways time keeps order.

"But most people are not aware that "time" also has geometry. In school we are taught that time is linear and that it moves from past to future. This is only partly true.

Time is only half of a frequency. We only see the forward moving part of the frequency. In reality, time moves a half step forward and then a half step backward. This is why subatomic particles are observed to have "half spin". We see the effect of the Aether spinning a ring of one dimensional mass forward in time, but we can't see the ring of mass spinning backward in time." (http://www.16pi2.com/physics_of_time.htm)

Time is a constant, but is there a formula that accounts for time interacting with consciousness. Can people change the perception of time? Can we change it more if their are more of us willing it to speed up or slow down? Like the physics dude says we only perceive time going forward because our atoms and molecules are moving forward (in time) but this isn't the whole 'truth', it is just that we can't perceive time going backwards.

On another note about Time "according to Einstein, whenever you do something to space, you also affect time. Twisting space causes time to be twisted, meaning you could theoretically walk through time as you walk through space." (http://www.physorg.com/news63371210.html). So then i have to ask if thought is powerful enough to affect space ergo time?

But that's a whole other blog...

18/09/2006

Monday Monday...

It's Monday and like my hero Garfield I hate Mondays.

I did write this whole post about how boring work was etc but I go bored writing it, so I can only imagine how boring it would be for someone else to read.

Instead I'm leaving you with something funny in the hope that today gets better…
(Right click and select "View Image" to read)


15/09/2006

Big Brother?

E has a subscription to New Scientist, which makes me very happy as I get to read it for free. So was I was reading this article on MySpace and the whole networking revolution thingy and you know what the whole thing scares me. How can it not freak people out that you can log on to their page and find out some of the most intimate details about their lives. It is a stalkers paradise, they don't even need to leave the house.

To be honest people scare me loads, but what gets me more is that whole watched and tracked society (after reading too much sci-fi). The idea that IF you had the right software and access you could find out all someones personal information: shopping habits, where they live, who they are with, where they work, what they look like, who they are related to, where they went to school, their exam results their salary the list goes on. Then you could track their movements with their mobile and CCTV.

It is a whole bunch of if's, at the moment this is a paranoia but the fact is, however unlikely, its possible, we have the technology. All it would take is a few steps in a certain direction...

What does a scanner see? Into the head? Down into the heart? Does it see into me? Into us? Clearly or darkly? - Philip K Dick

14/09/2006

Mirror Mirror...

I was reading an article yesterday that Madrid's Fashion Week has banned models that are too skinny from taking part. To read it see here

Now I feel sorry for the poor girls who thought they'd be modelling at the fashion event, it their careers. I do however think the fashion industry has a bit to own up to. No they don't force young girls and boys to think that skinny is better they just imply it with every single publication, catwalk show and advert. Everywhere you go the false idea that you must be thin to be happy and perfect is posted everywhere, on TV, in magazines, on the side of a bus or tube. Pick up a glossy magazine, the very same issue will tell you how to be thinner whilst doing and expose on eating disorders next to an advert of some thin waif. Mixed messages don't you think? You can't avoid it. There is a billion dollar diet industry because people feel unhappy with themselves. I mean how many people do you know that are happy with how they look (I'm no exception).

I don't think models shouldn't be skinny, its their choice, but I do think that fashion should use some models who aren't super thin. Healthy it seems isn't good enough to cut it. The average women in the UK is a size 12, it not over weight or under weight, but models are either a size 6 or 8 which doesn't reflect the market. This extends beyond fashion it the whole of mass media.

This doesn't apply to just women or exclusively to adults. I was horrified talking to a cousin of mine who was only 12 at the time who turned around and told me no longer ate pizza, I asked him why and his reply was 'I don't want to get fat'. I know kids as young as 9 not eating for the very same reason. Obesity might be on the rise in children, as is type 2 diabetes but this is also an issue and one that is probably going unnoticed by lots of parents cos there aren't any outward signs. There are worse things in the world then being too fat or too thin we need the media to start reflecting real people so that we can all move on.

13/09/2006

You friendly neighbourhood spider

Jo here at work, has a massive Orb-web Spider (European garden spider) outside her window making a home, she's dubbed him Oscar. His abomen is the size of my finger nail, a tad frightful, so I'm very glad that there are no harmful spiders in the UK. We also just found a Cellar-Spider living under our sofa, he seems a little shy but I bet we can thank him for the absence of flies in our flat. Spiders are fascinating creatures, even the plain old common garden or house spider has a whole world in mystery. Some can leap and lay traps (Trap-door spider), other use poison and have fangs (Red Back spider), some burrow like mammals (Tarantula) , some build incredible webs, they are so varied and bizzare how can you not be a little curious...

I have to admit, I was terrifyed when we were shown a Sydney Funnel-Web Spider one of the most dangerous Spiders in the world, as the zoo keeper had it in a cup with the lid off. Of course the funnel-web is a rather primative and incapable of climbing a smooth surface or jumping, so there is no way it could of harmed us but I felt better with it a little further away from my person. Now I can understand being freaked out by something poisonus and large but I really don't get people who scream and stamp on poor little harmless spiders. They are a fascinating and completly misunderstood.

12/09/2006

I remember, I think...

Sitting on the bus every morning strange thoughts go through my head, memory for one, is a strange thing and can play real tricks on you. Especially childhood memories, which could be complete fantasies with no bearing on reality. Of course you don't actually realise this until you much older.

I recently watched Tuck Everlasting, now I remember reading the book and loving it as a child but watching the movie was a bizarre experience as it turned out that I barely recalled anything that happened. Even stranger was watching The Dark Crystal last night. I used to be terrified of Labyrinth and in awe of Dark Crystal my sister and I would spend whole afternoons watching both back to back. I've seen Labyrinth a few time since then and the only thing that terrifies me is David Bowie's tights (I mean he is pretty scary just look at him!) but watching Dark Crystal was like something completely new. How could I have forgotten the whole thing and made up a totally different movie in my head?

I'm guessing it is like all those other films that you see years later and start getting all the jokes your older sibling laughed at. (The first time I watched Grease as a teenager I couldn't believe how much I'd been oblivious too). I makes me wonder how much of what I recall from my earliest memories is real and how much I substituted with of own imagination.

11/09/2006

Cyclops!

On Saturday I met up with my friend Etedal for a nice stroll along the South Bank. I love walks along the Thames, its not the prettiest river but on a sunny day it just so alive and calm at the same time. You can buy a book, see some art, watch the skater kids perform tricks, get some good food and take in the fresh air (well sort of) all whilst having a nice walk. So after some ice cream, loads of coffee (much of it being spilled) and some well-deserved cake, we went off to see Cyclops! (Over in the Scoop by the London Assembly building). The production was only 50mins but well worth it, both funny and true to Euripides play, the whole crowd loved it. I have to say their impression of a teen boy band had me in hysterics and the Cyclops itself was fantastic if a little scary. It's free its fun and a really good way of enjoying the sunshine while it lasts, plus you get a fantastic view of tower bridge and if you go early you can pop in to Borough Market.

We also headed over to the Oyster and Seafood Festival, with steel pans, a live band and pirate ship. Alas after all that cake I didn't have space for those tasty treats but next year I'm not eating for a week before we go.

11th September

08/09/2006

Animal Addicts

I was Reading this article in New Scientist the other day and I have to point out my love for animals. Apes and monkeys really are impressive aren't they? Yes I'm addicted, as soon I hear, "we now know this about dolphins" or any other animal, I have to know what it is. I can't help but watch Animal Park with sheer delight and yes every time The Discovery Channel shows another documentary on sharks I'm the one watching.

So I'm going to take a second to blog about my most favorite little animal the Red Panda. These little creatures are absolutely amazing (red more by clicking the wiki link), there is a colony of them in Whipsnade Wild Animal Park who are adorable. Unfortunately like many other amazing creatures they are endangered due to deforestation and illegal hunting.

What I fail to understand is this, most people I know love animals, but we continue to destroy their native habitats, which lead to thier extinction. Hopefully one day the environment will come before capital gain and we'll learn to stop striping the earth before there is nothing left. Until then I'm hoping creatures like the Red Panda survive.

07/09/2006

Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon

The last few week of August were cold and wet but lo and behold September is here and warming us up a little before the horrid winter freeze. My parents have a lovely garden and as a kid I'd climb trees and stuff all day everyday then I moved out and haven't had that private little bit of greenery since.

I used to be able to go out on the roof here at work and enjoy the quiet contentment of sitting in the sun and reading my book on my lunch break. After doing this for more then a year the people at health and safety decided that this was a dangerous habit and I have thus been banned and must trapes out to Shepherds Bush Green if I want to leave to office. Now I have traffic and have to be on guard least anyone gets too close for comfort.

Though I have to grateful London really is a rather green city, we are lucky to have such lovely parks and little squares. You get daffodils in spring all over the place and blossoms trees, not to mention the vast number of weeping willows and oaks just hanging around. My only problem is, all the people... I love that feeling of the sun on your face and the wind her your hair and the soft whisper of a breeze but its so much nicer without strangers coming up and sitting right by you.
It is like people can't handle being on their own, this extends beyond the park. When we were in Australia last, Eoin and I were on this totally empty cove, it was so beautiful just the clear water and unspoiled sand and then after a while these people show up with their kids and even though they have miles of empty beach to choose from they set up camp right next to us...drives me mad...

06/09/2006

Holes

I love reading, in fact I could read all day. The up side being, I get through books pretty quickly the bad part is I spend all my money on them (and comics). Which means my flat it packed to the brim and moving is a nightmare, as my helpful friends will testify. So you end up with loads of those books that sit on your bookcase for ages before you finally think you in the mood for it. So on Monday I read Holes by Louis Sachar. Which was excellent, I think this is a really big book in the states but its not massive here so I knew nothing about it.

From the first few pages I was hocked and I can see why it had so much appeal, not just to kids but adults as well. After about 10pages not only to you really like the protagonist Stanley Yelnats and his humours bad luck but want to know where on earth it going. The bad part is that I read it all in one go so I had to pick a new book on Tuesday. I hate picking a new book after reading a really good one cos chances are its going to be a let down.

Anyway after reading the book so fast I had to see the movie and shockingly the movie is just as good as the book. Now you can't tell me that is normal, the whole good books to film adaptation ratio is appalling. Hollywood has run out of ideas which is why are the tapping the book and comic market so heavily.

05/09/2006

Office Politics

Have you ever seen the move Office Space? Sometimes I would love to wake up and decided (about work) that I'm just not going to go anymore and see what happens. Then of course my logic kicks in and I know, no work means no money and no money will lead to eviction but it is still nice to think about what I'd do with myself if I could do anything.

Anyway the reason I mention to movie is because I think almost all offices have the same stock characters. The tyrannical boss who thinks s/he is the centre of the universe. The annoying person who is the perfect arse kisser, the idiot who is always messing things up but will never be fired, the list goes on. Luckily the tyrant whom I like the call Frau Farbissina regularly has a hissy fit at her staff, (thank goodness my boss is a nice and a decent person).

Most of the time I just ignore her even when she's spying on me, as I know there is nothing Frau can do to me, but I do feel bad for the others. Recently she has been clashing with one of the manager (they used to work together and it wasn't pretty) in the office down the hall and they regularly air their annoyance with one another in the early morning when I'm the only one present. I have to bite my lip to not laugh. This morning it was "did you know so and so left early cos you let so and so go early" to which the other points out "how I manage my staff is none of your concern" etc. They both spend the rest of the time being civil with clinched teeth until the next early morning spat, last week it was about parking spaces. Its soooo petty but I can't help but find it funny.

04/09/2006

Faraway, So Close!

Years and years ago I watched a bizarre German movie called Wings of Desire it turned out to be one of the most depressing things I'd ever seen (please don't get this confused with the Hollywood remake City of Angels which is really very different), so of course I like it. I finally got around to watching the sequel Faraway, So Close!. It is totally off the wall, it begins in the same dark introspective vein as Wings but then suddenly jumps into colour and becomes its own movie, both funny and sad. It is about another Angel who drops to earth and becomes human, but he doesn't adjust so well and time is ticking by as well as interfering. Did I mention that Peter Falk (Columbo) gives a excellent cameo in both. I don't know why I liked it but it did and it got me thinking and the whole nature of the universe. I would jot down some of those thoughts but for now you can read my mind.

01/09/2006

1st September

Its 1st September, I feel like I should be running out to Woolworth or WHSmiths and buying loads of stationary, for some reason I feel I need a new pencil case. This it the first September when I won't be a student. (I finished my Masters last October) So that means after 19 years I'm finally and firmly stuck in the real world. I've been fighting it since I got my degree and started working full time (kept telling myself technically a post grad is still a student, just an even poorer one). But now September is here, the years beginning (in my head) and I have to accept work is life...did I mention how boring my job is?

Anyway I've been caffeine free for a whole year now and on day like today, when I'm super tired and need the artificial energy, it really sucks, thank goodness for decaf. But we do have free biscuits unlike Bristol City council who found that they could save £25,000 by cutting biscuits from their spending! What will the use this new found cash for? Stopping rampant Seagulls...

I kid you not.

Normally I'd find this insane, but after encountering the savage seagulls in Sydney I'm hoping more get eaten by sharks.