The Eleven O’Clock News: Eurovision Explained

So, The Economist analysed Eurovision, which makes it news (as if this wasn’t already).

Actually I just searched for more news and it turns out this is the best I can find… That’s Chloe’s Tumblr, by the way, please leave a message saying hi. The thing is, on Monday everyone will pretend that Eurovision doesn’t exist – except the country that wins, which has 365 days to find a room suitable for 8000 cans of hairspray, 10000 drunk dudes and some flags – so I’ve run out of things to say, so here is a handy guide for everybody who doesn’t understand Eurovision.

Eurovision Explained 

  • Established 1956 (yep, it’s almost as old as the EU. I wonder which is more effective at uniting Europe and making UKIP uncomfortable?)
  • It’s basically the Olympics meets a montage of every musical you’ve ever heard meets queer pride meets The X Factor
  • “Nil points” means “no points” which is what the UK tends to get because the UK is like Loki but with worse hair (fun for a bit but nobody wants to play with us for long based on historical events and distinct lack of overall idealogical cohesion)
  • For one half of the competition Europeans express feelings that are either “YEAHHH THIS COUNTRY THAT I’VE NEVER HEARD OF HAS THE BEST SENSE OF HUMOUR/COSTUMES/LEVEL OF SCHIZOPHRENIC DANCING AYYY I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!” or “Well I don’t think that’s appropriate what is society coming to?” For the other half we go “YEAHHH WE GOT POINTS FROM A COUNTRY WE ONCE WENT TO WAR WITH!!! WAIT THAT COUNTRY WE WERE ONCE ALLIED WITH GAVE US FEWER POINTS THAN WE DESERVE! WE VOTED FOR THEM, DAMNIT!”
  • There is an unspoken agreement that Eurovision is the one global forum in which the USA cannot dominate; both because it is geographically forbidden and even if it wasn’t, no one would put up with its hard power shitick. Eurovision is all about the sparkles and faintly embarrassing music, not who is ‘the best’

If you have any other questions, just look on social media tomorrow evening.

The Eleven O’Clock News: How to Check the Apocalypse is Happening

So this is the last news ever posted while not everyone can get married in England and Wales. Unless the government turns turns to India for legislation advice anyway. Just in case that UKIP guy was right and tomorrow we’re all flooded out of house and home, leaving nothing but our Internet footprint as a sign of pre-equal marriage existence, here is a fun game of things to look out for during the apocalypse:

Ah damnit I wanted to make an actual game that people could tick off to check the world was ending. Sorry. Next week I will endeavour to write a post that serves the wider community.

The Eleven O’Clock News: I Forgot to Title This But It’s Real Good for Learning Stuff.

I’m tapping this out on my iPad partially because I want to watch Sport Relief and partially because Sport Relief is basically what I always wanted PE to be as well as everything I’m studying in Politics at the moment… Minus the debates about the benefits of nuclear proliferation.

So far, anyway.

Everything on TV pertaining to non-UK issues has so far has some sort of relevance as a case study exemplifying the bullshit that is rich people wanting to get richer and exploiting everyone else. The UK-based issues are no less relevant since we face them everyday… which calls into question why they are still even issues that require fundraising. Ugh. I can’t even find an appropriate GIF to express the disgust everyone should feel when they remember the shit that happens. Trust me, I just saw things no non-fangirl should ever see when Googling Sherlock.

Since this is the news and not just me getting angry here is some evidence of the bullshit from broadcasters with a modicum of credibility. Mostly. Hopefully you will find it interesting and helpful for Geography/Politics/quizzes/sounding smarter than the tabloid-reading misogynist you’ve been seated next to at a dinner party:

  • CIA World Factbook. It’s a bit tricky to navigate at first but you can pick a country and read about it in a pleasantly organised fashion, or compare states’ places on a list of, say, literary rates.
  • BBC country profiles. They’re a bit more wordy than the Factbook, with straightforward explanations of states’ histories and things that are quite useful, like phone extensions and Internet domains.
  • Historically-Political blog. I only saw this today but it was recommended by a teacher which makes it legit. It has examples of Politics and History essay questions which are horrible good at giving you the lowdown on Important Subjects. There’s also informed discussion about politics-y stuff, like here but with better grades.
  • YouTube. Amongst the baby cats and Tim Minchin videos (someone buy me a CD so I get offline when I’m working) there are documentaries and clips originally from TV shows or films. Take with a bucketful of salt, especially if you’re bootlegging a Hollywood film where they decided to impose a hero figure onto a story with almost no fucking hope (hi Blood Diamond! S’okay Leo I forgive you have a wee Oscar) and do your own research. “Be a sponge not a filter, Charlie.” Blood Diamond is a good watch for the record… I have a pair of bling-y earrings that I really, really don’t want to check went through the Kimberly Process.

The iPad is doing my head in – I also missed the ten o’clock mark because I was laughing at Beckham in Peckham and eating chocolate, mentally calculating how many children I could save if I emptied my bank account for Sport Relief…

It’s not a lot, but I guess it doesn’t have to be?

The Eleven O’Clock News: Mixed Messages

Instead of spending an evening threading a post together I went out for dinner, so I had to spend some time making myself look less like a homeless student and more like someone who can use a menu, then actually spend time in public, so this is a total cop-out. I’m also using an iPad, laptop and mobile simultaneously which is actually quite appropriate.

Man travels 1,000 miles to claim bogus prize

Okay so we’ve all had PPI-claim texts and Optical Express and SP Energy and talkmobile and Ladbrokes and Barclays and pension freezes and debt payment ads and yes I went through the phone I’ve had for eighteen months to find all the types of bullshit. But this takes the cake, ice cream, cheese board and coffee and little mints.

In Politics we’ve looked at poverty recently and if I remember correctly, more people have access to a mobile phone than they do a toilet. This is crap (pun fully intended) in itself and is being exacerbated by scammers taking advantage of people who literally don’t know any better.  Mr Malbisoi probably isn’t the only non-Western person who’s been a victim of phishing but how is the west going to educate the rest of the world about the dangers of scams when there are entire TV shows dedicated to getting British scam victims their money back?

I dunno, man, and I need an early night. What’s the stupidest/funniest mobile scam you’ve come across? Have you experienced scams yourself? Yep, there is actually an element of Q&A to all of this!

That includes you, Jay.

The Eleven O’Clock News: Dog Snuggles Help Students.

Recently I’ve been the sort of busy that makes me think of people in the City clutching Starbucks at six am with their clacking heels and superduper handbags and eighteen hour days. I don’t have the clacking heels and I’m working on finding the perfect handbag but eighteen hour days are becoming quite normal. Which is okay, because it means that Life Stuff is happening. You know, writing essays and making plans and trying to find the ideal washing machine/tumble drier time system.

Don’t overload the washing machine; your jeans will take two days to drip dry because tumble driers aren’t actually a gift from God.

Anyway, that’s all good. I can go to bed with a sense of achievement, you know, because I’ve revised so well that my grey cells are dancing and I’m organising my homework properly and I can sleep knowing that this is life, ladies and gentlemen, and I am living it to the full with every one of those eighteen hours used to their maximum potential…

Except they’re not because a) I can’t sleep properly, which means that b) between the hours of ten and twelve and four and seven I am basically a zombie, which means that c) I’m consuming twice as much caffeine and sugar as usual to work properly, which means that d) I can’t sleep properly. I’m also starting to worry about my arteries.

Oh and it’s affecting my concentration. During the making of this post I have so far taken two BBC quizzes, made my bed, checked Tumblr and Googled handbags. It’s getting to the point where sitting still, quietly, isn’t an option – I’ve had Sherlock on in the background while I work for the last week (all live TV has adverts, which means I’ll switch over, which means I’ll get even more distracted). So is it that if I learnt to concentrate or made myself work fewer hours I’d find it easier to concentrate and therefore work fewer hours?

You know what, these handbags are cutsie.

Right, right, the news.

Well, some universities have provided opportunities for students to cuddle animals as a way to combat stress. I know for a fact that dog snuggles are an excellent method for coping with anything, except maybe fleas, so well done universities for cottoning on. I did a few searches about meditation, which I do because Emma Watson suggested an app on Twitter that is actually incredibly helpful (except I keep forgetting to do it) and there seems to be a general consensus that mindfulness is good. Plus nobody has any, possibly because we’re all watching Sherlock while filing papers and triple-checking our iPads for work-related emails. Apparently stress-related illness is now such a big thing that companies have decided it’s in their interest to promote healthy living – some are even investing in gadgets that measure employees’ stress levels.

Hmm.

You know, I’m not quite sure what I’m trying to say here, because busy people struggling with being busy isn’t exactly up there with the Syrian refugee crisis or potential CAR genocide. It’s marginally more interesting than, say, Bieber getting arrested… but a large part of me knows that if I turned off all my electrics, tidied up the trail of crap I’ve left around the house and went for a run (don’t look at me like that, Tim says it’s a good idea), things would be better. Less existential angst, less chance of contracting a cold and more productivity for my time. Possibly with more time spent sleeping, or giving Sherlock my undivided attention.

Remind me that I have a really great header for a blog post that involves Benedict Cumberbatch’s film career. I was going to use it in a six degrees of separation post about King Lear.

Okay, I’d better turn off all my electrics and pencil in time for a run. Thoughts about how to be busy and well and sleep occasionally?

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.