Saturday, 30 October 2010

Radioactive

Kings of Leon have to be one of my favourite bands at the moment. There aren't many songs that I instantly like (by instantly I mean after listening to for 10 seconds), but it happened with Notion, and now Radioactive. So, naturally I had to have a play for myself. This is the result:



If you want to hear the original, much better version, click here. Embedding has been disabled by request apparently.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

What's so wrong with Comic Sans?

That's the title of this intriguing article, which pointed me on to this more intruiging website. I never knew that so many people shared my loathing of the terrifying font (although if Blogger let you use Comic Sans, I would definitely be applying it here because I can't resist a good heaped spoonful of irony).

You can buy mugs and t-shirts with the "ban Comic Sans" slogan, and they're even making an anti-Comic Sans documentary. Wow. Now heed this warning:

Friday, 15 October 2010

Medal of Dishonor

A while ago I blogged about the release of controversial game Call of Duty; Modern Warfare 2 (see here and here). Now there's more controversy over a very similar game - Medal of Honor - which is set in Afghanistan in 2002. In fact, this game offers the player the chance to play as the Taliban as they fight against the invading coalition forces. Following early complaints, the developers chose to change the name of the Taliban in the game to "The Opposition".












Quoting from a BBC article:
In August, Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox called for the game to be banned after it emerged that users could fight as The Taliban. Dr Fox described the game as "un-British" and said it was "shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban against British soldiers".

Note that he does not say it's unacceptable to recreate the acts of British soldiers against the Taliban. I wonder what games Afghanistan would be producing if it had an industry...

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Blogger & the ampersand



















I haven't really questioned it so far, but every time a blogger I follow uses the '&' symbol in a post title (for example, "Humility & how I excel in it") it appears in my list as "Humility & how I excel in it".*

I always wondered where the 'amp' comes from, until I learned that the name for the symbol is an Ampersand. You can read about the etymology of the name here (it's not a wikipedialink). But that doesn't explain why Blogger insists on displaying it wrongly. I'm curious, does this happen to anyone else?

*[Update: this bit makes no sense, because when I typed what appears instead of '&', Blogger changes is to '&'. Which is what it should do in the post titles I guess. It actually comes out as &_amp_; without the underscores. Sorry for confusion]

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The ethics of ad blocking

A while ago someone persuaded me to switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox, a decision which I haven't regretted, although I do wonder how some people get so crazy evangelistic about a program that essentially does exactly the same thing in a slightly better way.

Anyway, one of the biggest draws is the ability to add on add-ons to enhance your browsing experience. Last week I installed Adblock Plus, a nifty piece of programming that stops pretty much all adverts from appearing on websites you visit. So instead of this...




















you get this...


















which is much better. But there's an ethical question here. The income that supports websites and keeps them in existence comes from the advertising space that they sell off. Companies pay good money so that net surfers see their ads. So if all web users installed Adblock Plus then the companies would stop advertising and the websites would go bust.

So if I want to use a website, should I just expect to see adverts as a kind of payment for the service I'm receiving? Not that anyone's going to make much money from advertising dating for the elderley to a married 22-year-old anyway.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

I'm back!

I would love to start this post with a very drawn out "well", but that would have to be spelled "weeeeeeeell" and you'd think it sounded like a very drawn out "wheel" instead. Actually, now I've told you that I can probably do it...

Weeeeeeeell then, I have been away from my blog for a while. That's not to say I haven't been reading yours though! Yes, that's right, I read all about that. Anyway, while I've been cruising around the blogosphere periphery I've been doing all sorts of other things, so much, in fact, that I will have to spill the beans in quite a reduced form. More like drop the beans in a very orderly fashion.

I got married. Wedding was amazing. Wife is beautiful.

We went on honeymoon. Italy was amazing. Food fantastic. Thunderstorm in Venice.

School started again. School for me is work - playing games with kids in drama studios, presenting assemblies in front of kids in school halls, talking about Jesus to teenagers.

Bought a Shure SM58 mic. Started recording songs.

And got internet at home now, which involved quite a bit of phoning, waiting, paying, drilling, screwing, unscrewing and moving computers around.

It was all very necessary.

Also, I've launched a new blog! There's not much there yet but feel free to check it out:
Baggleswich Parish Council

You'll want to live there, seriously.