The Six O’Clock News: Smart Videos #2

Doing this on a superduper tight time limit so let’s just watch and enjoy – or not – these gems.

Thank you to Jacki for showing me this – it’s definitely made me think about public perception and domestic violence. I think it’s called the Kitty Genovese effect when nobody in a group helps an individual because they think someone else in the group should? I’m half-remembering Watchmen and last year’s psychology lessons, seriously, let me know if I’ve butchered science!

I haven’t heard the next one properly yet so if it’s bullshit and not just because of UKIP I do apologise, please let me know.

 

This isn’t news but I just saw it so let’s pretend it’s still Oscar season! Lupita for president of the world!

It’s kind of funny/depressing that white people in the UK are giving themselves cancer on sunbeds for a tan while tanned people are actually bleaching their skin. Citizens of the universe: the media is full of crap so ignore it and please wear sunscreen. Love, Francesca xxx

Spoon Keyboards and Snakes Being Freaky

I am typing this on my new computer and using an ergonomic keyboard which is curved like an upside-down spoon. It has lots of short cut buttons that I’m eagerly anticipating using in my quest to become a Serious Writer Person… new computer, new start and all of that. Except I don’t have Microsoft Office or Photoshop and I spent about 75% of today asleep… also the spoon-keyboard is a little bit daunting. But I have a cup of tea, which is a necessity if one is to become a well-respected artiste, so all I need now is something to talk about…

Okay so first of all, my friend Hollie who hangs out here sometimes has started a blog of her very own. She only has one post so far but it shows promise of greatness. If you could all leave a comment and say hi it would be great, not only for her as a person but also because, as I understand it, female gamers are seriously under-represented and Pixel Scum is evening the playing field!

Right now down to business. Did you guys see this news story? Holy bats. I mean, the snake basically looks like the average human just after New Year…

Found BBC.co.uk
Found BBC.co.uk

… but snakes get to unlock their jaws.

Found BBC.co.uk
Found BBC.co.uk

Argh it’s been a week since I saw that and I’m still freaking out that Nagini will slither round the corner and eat my face.

In the interest of grossing you out further, a few years ago a Python tried to eat an alligator and exploded.

(I solemnly swear to never complain again when Fred or Donnie yawn in my face. Dog breath is bad but snake breath sounds like it should be toxic.)

Internet Stuff and Stuff

What is this ‘school day’?

I wish it would just go away.

Like Christmas has.

And Sherlock will.

Though Christmas will be back first.

With less death.

 Probably.

A few weeks ago I took part in a virtual panel discussion, aka an email, which has recently been published here. Some of my answers got cut, which is good because the published one has less sarcasm but bad because the sarcasm made the pretentious nature of interview slightly more bearable. Basically if you want my whole answers, let me know and I’ll post them.

In the mean time, the Shorty Awards are open for free-and-Twitter-based nomination. There are a variety of awards which are very fun to read through but one cannot nominate one’s own work, so I’m letting you know because an interview wasn’t enough to make me feel super duper about my very important life and work.

Haha, work.

The Eleven O’Clock News: TV Reviews Are Funny (and so is the fact that this took ten hours to make)

This is so not-at-six-o’clock because every time I went near anything Sherlock-based online I either tried to lift everything from Sherlockology for The Webways or sat watching Benedict Cumberbatch interviews.

Hardest name I’ve ever had to type.

Very interesting in interview.

Anyway, I had so much fun reading reviews that I decided to highlight them instead of just a round-up. Television reviews are a weird and wacky type of writing… the hyperbole and metaphors are like how I imagine Fifty Shades to be.

The Guardian

Guardian1

Guardian2

Den of Geek

I had never previously heard of Dan of Geek but I might go back to see if all the language is as… bright.

DanOfGeek1

DanOfGeek2

DanOfGeek3

The Daily Mail

Here we go.

Mail1

Mail2

Mail3

Mail4

You’re welcome. Now I’m completely excited for Sunday night (best man speech!) and dreading Monday (school! With a day spent  not homeworking but on a fansite or watching the shitty Percy Jackson film! Not you, pre-Charlie Logan. The screenplay. If actual Annabeth could see film Annabeth she’d launch into some moves with her knife. Ugh).

I would also like someone to give Mark Gatiss an award for publically complaining about Les Mis. Holy shit I thought I was one of maybe five people who can’t cope with the child death and utter lack of hope. Or not if you’re a theist/character, but whatever. Happy Friday.

The Six O’Clock News: a Report on Reports on Kiddie Fidling

Since I’m seeing MSI play roughly at time of publication, I thought I’d do a post on paedophiles.

No. Wait. (Don’t sue, there’s a link if you keep reading!)

We Asked Lostprophets Fans How They Feel About Ian Watkins’ Confession

Vice asked some Lostprophets fans if they were still Lostprophets fans and the general consensus seems to be that the rest of the band doesn’t deserve to be dismissed, and maybe neither does the music, but separating Lostprophets from Ian Watkins is easier typed than done.

Peaches Geldof’s Ian Watkins tweet could be investigated

According to the BBC, Peaches Geldof did a Tweet naming the women who were involved with Watkinsgate (that’s a nicer term than the one in my head), and could now be prosecuted. You would think the context of the Tweet would suggest that there’s been more than enough Internet-based sharing, wouldn’t you?

Vigilante jailed for killing man he mistakenly thought was paedophile

  The Guardian has dedicated a nice long article to discussing the fact that some people got a man arrested on suspicion of being a paedophile, then one of them murdered him when he was released because, get this, he wasn’t a paedophile. There is now some talk going on about how the victim, who moved to the UK from Iran in hope of a better life (he was disabled), was trying to document antisocial behaviour on his estate when residents assumed that the photos he was taking were for reasons other than law enforcement. So if you think about it, one bloke tried to stop antisocial/illegal behaviour and another also tried to stop it, but because the first bloke was slightly different from the second, the first bloke got killed horribly.

What is wrong with people integrating and discussing and not making assumptions?!

This Post Contains the Best Thing I’ve Ever Made.

Working on the Indifferent Ignorance Awards because 2014 is horribly close (I always hate the imminent year, like it’s bullying the current one or something) and I’m not sure what the ‘novelty’ categories should be. I mean, I’m thinking that I should get either the best friend ever award, or best card ever award, but I think in the spirit of democracy you guys should nominate me.

Via Chloe
The Outside
The Inside
The Inside

From Chloe’s Tumblr. This is probably a good time to mention that I also have a Tumblr. I’m mostly telling you because if anyone stumbles across it and is all “Francesca y u no tell”, you’ll know my answer – you use phrases like “y u no tell”. Plus it’s a good way of keeping track of artists I like and is a nice forum to test-drive possible future work (as well as being somewhere for me to vomit my love for various things, which I will continue to do here but with more emphasis on making sense). I’m not abandoning you, little blog. I just sometimes need somewhere to express my inner book-based feelings. Oh sod it.

This song is beautiful and perfect.

This song is if Rick Riordan gave certain people a glimpse of happiness.

This lady’s art will one day kill me. Look at it. Look.

 

The Six O’Clock News: Dogs Are As Smart As Humans (but that’s not saying much)

Wag the dog

It’s been scientifically proven that dogs are smarter than they look. Again. According to The Economist, Italian scientists have discovered that not only do dogs “wag their tails to the right when they see something pleasant…and to the left when they see something unpleasant” but that a video or silhouette of dog with “a left-wagging tail… induced… an anxiety response” in subject dogs, while the right-wagging one didn’t. Basically, they can both tell humans how they feel and impact how other dogs feel – with their tails.

I want to take a video camera out with me when we go for a walk, and record everything, especially when Fred and Don meet their dog friends. We could analyse who likes whom and whatnot. (Video camera necessary for playback because those tails go fast, man).

Clerics rule besieged Damascus residents may eat dogs

The end of Eid is traditionally cause for c e l e b r a t i o n in Muslim cultures, but there are Syrians starving to death because humanitarian aid can’t reach their areas – so clerics have issues a fatwa, a ruling, that people are allowed to eat dogs, cats and donkeys. The BBC says that “similar religious edicts were announced in Homs and Aleppo when the fighting in those cities was at its fiercest”.

I’m not sure how I feel about military action in Syria (Iraq versus Rwanda, Iraq verses Rwanda) but for God’s sake, UN, find a way to get food and water to these people. Better still, get them out. Okay so the Mediterranean-refugee issue is suggesting that people who are leaving aren’t finding help, per se, but if you can’t end the war please try to make the whole fiasco as painless as possible for civilians. Ahh. Go here to give money if you’d like.

How do you safely match stray dogs to new owners?

It was simultaneously heartbreaking and anger-inducing hearing about Lexi Branson’s death this week. Her family’s bulldog Mulan mauled her to death and in a bid to help her daughter, Lexi’s mother stabbed the dog to death with a kitchen knife. They had owned Mulan for two months. It’s opened up another debate about whether we should be adding to the Dangerous Dogs List (don’t think it’s actually called that) or whether or not people should rehome strays.

My thinking is that instead of blaming the dogs when they bite a human, we should be blaming the humans. Not the little girl, of course, nor her family – but the thing is that Mulan had been a stray for an unknown time before being rescued. Very little was known about her history or the treatment she had in her previous home(s). You could blame the rehoming centre for giving a potentially dangerous animal to a family with a small child – but every single dog is a potentially dangerous animal.

They all have teeth, yes, and claws, and really strong jaws. Even Chihuahuas can do some damage if they really want to. I love Adonis with all my heart but I will never, ever, take his food away from him while he’s eating it because he would take my hand off. He’s lived on the streets and has had to fight for survival – manners don’t matter when you’re hungry, and despite the whole wagging-tail thing, dogs are far less able to think critically than humans. They see a person getting in their space, they growl. The person keeps provoking them and they’ll bite. If they’ve been mistreated, they could lose their temper and attack. Even your cutsey Labrador that you bought from a breeder off the Internet who’s real good with kiddies because all Labs are good with kiddies will bite your kiddies if they poke him in the eye, or hit him with a toy, or torment him by taking away his food. The breed of dog is almost irrelevant – yes, Mastiffs or pit bulls are “dangerous”. They are physically big and strong so are naturally able to do more damage than, say, a Boarder Collie. But that’s what they were bred for. Dobermanns were “invented” by a tax collector named Mr Dobermann who wanted a dog that was intimidating enough that people wouldn’t give him shit while he did his job. Go figure.

Humans are the ones in charge of the dogs, not the other way round. It’s up to us to make sure that our dogs are raised in a safe and stable environment so that they in turn are part of a safe and stable environment. The BBC is nicer about saying this than I am.

Do you have a dog? Have you had one? Let’s share pictures. (I will upload some of Fred and Don when I can get Fred to sit still.)

The Tentative Return of Rambling Posts

I must say, I’ve quite missed Sunday blogging. There’s nothing like sitting amongst Saturday’s mess with a mug of coffee and half-hatched weekend plans, writing nonsense and posting it on the Internet for your friends to read. Although it’s been a while since I’ve sat amongst Wednesday’s mess and written to you all, actually, or Monday’s mess, or Friday’s… I’m not even sure when to start a new paragraph, if I’m honest.

Let’s do it now and start another straight away for kicks.

It’s been a while since I’ve been properly focussed on Indifferent Ignorance, and she’s starting to feel like the spare room in our house that my brother just moved out of in favour of better lights and warmer radiators. Not that her lights were faulty – and I like to think she’s always been cosy – but she’s feeling as though she has that unique spare-room quality of dusty door frames, dead flies on the windowsills and stuff that never quite got sorted out. It’s probably my own fault; partway through what was proving to be a crap year I thought “let’s give her a facial and buy some customisation tools from WP”, not realising that I was fast losing my money, my time and my will to do anything except play with Fred and Donnie. So as I lost motivation, she lost her once-frequent updates and here we are four months later with my first post in a fortnight and a serious need to open an Internet window.

Now, though, things are slowing down. I only have two pieces of homework to do (and a shitload of extra-curricular and/or exam-based admin, but we’ll take that slowly) and when we go out later to celebrate Ellen’s birthday I won’t be stewing over my Psychology coursework in a corner, because that was last weekend at a different birthday celebration. By the last academic year’s standards, I’m basically on holiday. Which I actually will be soon!

I’ve been concentrating on a lot of different things lately, from school to physiotherapy to my lack of post-school plans to trying to find some sort of job that doesn’t involve retail or administration (hint: there are none) because it was sitting and typing and pressing cash machine-like screens that made me need physio in the first place… I’ve been getting so frantic that writing that sentence actually made my heart rate increase. And if I’ve learnt one thing this year it’s that short-term stress is good but long-term stress is bad. I’ve also learnt that Islamic fundamentalism was started by an Egyptian teacher who went to the US and basically pulled a Holden Caulfield, but I think that’s an anti-racism rant for another day.

I just went downstairs to take a photograph of Sprout for this post, but he’s looking very much like my mum got a bit overenthusiastic when she was watering the plants so I think it’ll wait until he is restored to his former glory. I should also make a start on clearing Saturday’s mess, which is nearing the ‘health and safety issue’ end of the untidy spectrum. So, hopefully there will not be another two weeks between posts – I’ve had two or three in my head or in draft form for a while that I just need to write, goddamn it – but the weather’s been so pretty that they might have to wait for me to get bored of sunshine.

In which case nothing I do on the Internet has any hope of being worked upon.