Quote of the 'Week'

"Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all."
Voltaire
Discovering that someone has commented on one of my blogs is such a joyous feeling. Hint, bloody hint!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Why do birds suddenly appear, every time I wear my birdseed overcoat?

Why do birds suddenly appear, every time I wear my birdseed overcoat?

Answer here

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Tumblr

Ladies and gentlemen, the unthinkable has happened.

I have become drawn to another blogging website. Tumblr.
Now, don't start packing up all your belongings, burning all identification documents and heading for the border just yet, because things aren't as fatal as I just made it sound.

I do indeed have a new blog. And it is indeed awesome. And I do indeed love Tumblr for being awesome. But I am not going to abandon this blog. Well, no more than I do already. Ahem.
I am going to post more personal, introspective blog posts on my Tumblr blog (think 'dear diary'). The more entertaining, reader-oriented blog posts will be put onto here.
I will post onto Tumblr for my own benefit, while posting onto Blogger for yours.

Here's a rundown, just in case you're an idiot (it's possible - you're reading my blog, after all)

BLOGGER

  • Humorous stuff
  • Internet finds
  • Cartoons (both mine and other people's)


TUMBLR

  • Personal blog posts
  • Artwork
  • Project updates
Chin up. It'll be awesome.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Sometimes I do worthwhile things

This is a piece of English Language coursework by Corrie Smith and me, teaching about the arrival of the Anglo Saxons to Britain and their subsequent impact on the English language. All very edu-ma-cational. Lap it up.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Me and my issues, eh?

Rejoice, Planet Earth! Look to the skies, and praise the Heavens! For it was Mr Ross Milnes' 18th birthday on Monday! So happy birthday to Mr Ross Milnes for back then.
It's the subsequent birthday party tonight, which should be fun. Sightings of me at any social gathering are rare, and anyone who has seen me outside of school should appreciate how unusual that is. I am a bit of an introvert, admittedly; I enjoy spending my free time by myself, drawing, animating, watching TV, having one of my many Wikipedia sessions (did you know that Lee Mack's real surname is McKillop?) or just sleeping off the many insanely early mornings I have to endure on a school week. All that considered, I think I've developed surprisingly well as a human being - I don't suffer from low social comfortability, like being unable to hold a conversation with someone I don't know very well, and I enjoy the parties and days out that I do attend - but despite this stroke of luck regarding my relative adaptability, I still seem to place my alone time on a higher pedestal than my time with others, and I don't know why.
Well, I have a theory.

Human beings are strangely drawn to patterns. As an English Language student currently studying child language acquisition, this aspect of human nature is something I find rather interesting, as patterns help our brains to make complex information more palatable. Take rhymes, for instance. Children's books are full of rhymes, and it's easy to see why. If one word rhymes with another, the brain doesn't have to remember both words separately; it can remember the whole of one word, and just the different part of the other word. This understanding of similarities between certain things means that our young minds, absorbing information at a frightening rate, can compress all this new-found knowledge so that it doesn't get jumbled up and confused in our brains. Naturally, the more routines the child has in its life, the more organised its mind will be in later life.

Growing up, I lacked consistency. Now, before you picture me as some sort of liquid-y mess in a bowl, with two eyes floating on the surface, I mean 'consistency' in the other sense. I mean 'consistency' in terms of routine; in terms of my life having patterns, repetition, a recognisable sequence of events that I could grasp hold and make use of. I lived in the sleepy village of Scampton for a while, before moving to live with my mum above a noisy pub in Lincoln, after which I returned back to Scampton, to live with my dad again. Then, I moved back into Lincoln, to live with my mum on Burton Road, and then there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between Scampton and Lincoln for a couple of years, before I ended up at Scampton.
Now, this must have been playing havoc with my young mind. For a while, I wasn't sure where my definitive home was; it fluctuated so frequently, it baffled me. I had a bedroom at my godfather's house, also on Burton Road, that served as a sort of half-way house in slightly more organisationally-convoluted scenarios, so I was right royally bewildered. And I'm sure it's taken a toll on my mind - I'm terrible at organising data in my head.
But perhaps this is why I am so 'intelligent', as people hasten to call me. Never, in my younger formative years, did I develop this natural knack for sorting out, and prioritising, information. I can tell you how they get turkeys to go indoors when it rains in America, but ask me where I left my house keys and I will have to stop and mull it over for a moment.

Now, I feel that as a result of all that inconsistency, I fear change. I'm a bit obsessive-compulsive in that I crave routine - I sit in the same seat on the school bus every morning; I eat more or less the same lunch every day; the list goes on. Strangest of all, I have to have the volume on the television at seven, a multiple of seven, or a number three less than seven or a multiple of seven, so it has to be one of the numbers 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 32, 35, etcetera. Is that normal?
So when everyone else hit adolescence and started rebelling, the thought of change concerned me slightly, and as a result I never really rebelled. I don't shout at my parents, I rarely swear, and I do well at school. These are the good points. A bad point, perhaps, is that when faced with an invitation to a party or some other sort of social gathering, I panic. "It's going to destroy my routine," I think to myself. "I'll be lost and bewildered, and my carefully-laid plans, mostly involving sleeping, will be scuppered!"

As a result, with Ross' party in a few hours, I've been incredibly neurotic today. What if something bad happens? What if I dress too casually, or not casually enough? What if? What if?

Deep down, I know I'm going to have a great time, and that I'll come back from it smiling broadly and cherishing the memories. But God knows where I'm going to fit in that cancelled Wikipedia session on Sunday...

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Look, I never lay claim to amazing poetic prowess, okay?

 If you're reading this on Facebook as a note, please read it on the blog. I've played around with word sizes and everything, and only on my blog will you be able to see it.


He sits beneath his worries
And lingers, ever lingers
And he drums his bony fingers
On the crooked coffee table
As the hours become the days
And the days become the weeks
He seeks, within his clouded mind
A way to solve his problem mind
And he wishes he could find
Some sort of remedy to what he calls
His 'troubles'.

He's read the latest books
And he knows the terms within
Like they'd been written down by him
But not a single complex word
Can put out the raging fire
And as his eyes turn scarlet red
And his face a chalky white
To spite the darkness of his eyes
There is a war behind his eyes
A civil war between his mind
For to acquire an end to what
He tends to call
His 'troubles'.

Piss off, you grumpy killjoy!
You're ruining my fun!
You're self-deluded moanings
Mean nought to anyone!
But yet you seek to make DAMN SURE
That your debilitating issues
MEAN MORE
TO THE REST OF MY SUBCONSCIOUS
THAN ALL THE HAPPY THINGS
I HAVE THOUGHT, OR BROUGHT TO THE WORLD
OR WITNESS, HAVE PREVIOUSLY WITNESSED
AND EXPECT TO WITNESS
PUT TO-fucking-GETHER!

He gets angry at his 'troubles' -
When he is, he's almost able
To do away with all the worries
But he lingers, ever lingers
As he sits beneath his worries
And he drums his bony fingers
On the crooked coffee table.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Extra! Extra!

Here! Have some blog news.
The Milnesy & Wivell Blog: The Official Blog Of The Show, the official blog of the Milnesy & Wivell show, has been blocked by my school's wireless internet network. This makes me laugh; this is not a general blog-blocking procedure that my school employs, but a specific ban on that blog in particular. I know this because my blog hasn't been blocked (hence this - I'm at school right now).
So what has caused my school to block the M&W blog? I have a theory. Mr Ross Milnes, author of the rant-tastic Mind Of Milnesy blog, also contributes to the Milnesy & Wivell blog (hence its name - duh), and in a moment of passionate fury posted a furious and somewhat sweary rant, directed at Big Brother. By all means check that out - it's so hate-filled, it's funny. My theory is that the school network picked up on the blue language and blocked the blog (Ross' blog is also blocked, so this is highly likely).

This makes me laugh. You see? Politeness pays.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Twitface

It's funny how we sometimes do things without thinking. Occasionally, the lack of conscious thought proves to be a disadvantage, like when someone crosses the road without thinking and becomes another road safety statistic. More often, however, we do things without thinking simply because the reasoning behind it goes without saying; the mentality of the decision is so seemingly straightforward that the brain bypasses 'ponder' mode and just gets on with the job.

Usually, such decisions come and go. Some, though, do not; the decisions where we opted not to do something, where the option to change our minds lingers, does not always disappear into obscurity as quickly as others. On the occasions when such decisions, made without thinking, are suddenly brought forward, once again, to the centre stage of our minds, it is interesting to explore the thought processes that initially occurred when the decision was first made. Sometimes we learn why we didn't dwell on it.

I say this because such an occasion recently happened to me, and I discovered that the reason I decided what I decided, without thinking about it, was because thinking it over would just get me unnecessarily angry and worked up. And lyrical. Hence this. Sorry about that.

The other day, someone asked me "Why don't you connect your Twitter account with Facebook so that your tweets will appear on your Facebook profile?" This threw me for a moment, as the concept, as constantly evident to me as it was and has been for ages, hadn't really jostled through, and to the front of, my hypothetical to-do list and announced itself as a practical and logical idea at any point; it sort of hung about, in the areas of my mind that teetered on peripheral, close to plummeting into the abyss of discarded ponderings, and never really drew attention to itself. Basically, what I mean is that without ever dwelling on my reasoning, I never considered connecting Twitter to Facebook as a good idea.

So I was taken aback slightly when this person - a real-life human being, with opposable thumbs and a digestive tract - suggested the idea to me again. This idea, something that I had always known about but had ignored because common sense told me to, was being dragged through the crowd of thoughts, into the spotlight of my conscious mind, by someone who showed no hint of irony or sarcasm in their facial expression or tone of voice. This person was being serious. And it caused me, for the first time, to take a long hard look at my decision and try to understand the subconscious reasoning behind it.

Twitter and Facebook are not the same thing. Not by a long shot. Sure, they 'borrow' ideas and gimmicks off one another, and some people (trying, no doubt, to be hilarious) say that it's getting harder to tell the difference between the two websites. Take a look at Twitter and Facebook; compare them for yourself and you can clearly see the differences.

Facebook, for a start, is MASSIVE. Not just in an 'everyone's got it' kind of a way, but also in the sense that there is so much to do on Facebook. You can not only post updates, you can play games, get in touch with long-lost acquaintances and... well, the list goes on. It goes on for a long time. So we'll leave it there.

Twitter, on the other hand, really only has one function: sharing. Whether it be sharing links, gossip, news, personal information (in a 'how has your day been?' kind of way, before you start thinking like that) or a funny joke, Twitter handles it exquisitely well, employing the brilliant 'retweet' and 'hashtag' functions. Sharing such things on Facebook, on the other hand, can result in a few 'wacky' friends commenting underneath with some barely-comprehensible attempt to be funny and no consideration for you, the poster. As the notifications go up, the aura of outward integrity of the thing you posted goes down. Tut, tut, tut. Best tweet it, then.

When you're on Facebook, you feel like you're in a kind of social bubble; no matter how eventful your time on Facebook may be, what happens in the bubble stays in the bubble, and outsiders are likely to never know it ever happened. Of course, with the amount of friends the average Facebooker has, and the amount of other friends those friends have, the closed-endedness of it all isn't as noticeable. But it is there. It's like being in the internet equivalent of a large village in Norfolk. That witty retort you posted, no matter how brilliant, will, if you're very lucky, be read by a friend of someone who 'like'd or commented on it, but ninety-nine percent of the time it will end there, if not much sooner. And your desperate attempt to be noticed grinds, as inevitably as ever, to a halt.


Thanks to the aforementioned 'retweet' function on Twitter, your brilliance can be seen by loads of people, people that neither you nor your friends have ever heard of, and thus the bubble of closed-endedness is popped. I once asked David Mitchell a question on Twitter, and he answered it! That would never have happened on Facebook, because if you're famous and on Facebook, the amount of notifications you are likely to get will probably cause your computer to explode. Well, probably not. I'm not a computer technician.

So in conclusion, I will not let Twitter post my updates on Facebook; I like my ability to post something on one website and not the other. Some things I come up with suit Twitter more than Facebook, and vice versa. There is no grey area, as far as I can see; they're unique and different to each other. And taking two bright splashes of creative and distinctly original brilliance and mixing them up into some sort of muddy, bastardised 'Twitface' seems a little unfair.
I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

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