Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Pseudonyms

So. I'm watching Indian School on BBC 4. It's quite interesting actually - this episode is about the boom in the Indian IT industry and how that's affecting schools and kids. A lot of it is good stuff although there's also cases of children and teenagers already becoming addicted to computer games. Nice one.

I already knew about the huge IT industry there, but one little fact did stop me in my tracks. An Indian guy who works in a call centre was being interviewed at work and answered the phone as 'Derek'. He then explained that they get a lot of American callers so it's been decided that workers there should be given pseudonyms like David and Derek to make it easier for their names to be understood. I do get the logic of this - I can't pretend that I wouldn't find David easier to pronounce - but to actually be given a fake name to use at work? A little harsh, methinks.

On a side note, the narrator has just informed me that 200 new motorcycle licenses are issued in Pune every day. Blimey.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Stereotyping?

Is it too much of a stereotype to assume that the reason the club I went to last night seemed to have a different, more chavvy (yes, I know, very un-PC of me, tut tut...) atmosphere was because there had been the Liverpool football match on and loads of people had come straight from watching it? I guess so, but my friend and I couldn't help wondering. the funny thing was that the music seemed to change to reflect it - less of the usual cheese/indie/alternative and more unrecognisable stuff that only facilitates dancing like a very repetitive drunk robot. Which, you know, I'm clearly not. But there you go.

I was mostly dropping by here to express my excitement about going to see the third Pirates of the Caribbean film tonight! I really didn't like the second as much as the first, but I still have high hopes. Though I hadn't realised that it's nearly 3 hours long, so I won't be leaving the cinema til after midnight, which'll be a bit weird.

I'll try to sit down and say a few words afterwards though...

* Update: It turns out that the Student Union nights are mostly not happening at the moment because of exams, which explains why the entire student population was trying to fit into the same one or two clubs last night. Which explains the music and the impression we got of the clientele - the union nights by and large subscribe to the idea that everyone present is hideously drunk and therefore won't notice the rubbish music that they're playing.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Off you go, kids

Something about Lord of the Flies going live for reality TV weirds me out. I studied the book during my GCSEs, as many people did, and I have mixed feelings towards it. I think it is a very impressive and powerful book, but it really does have a dark side. And I always found that dark side to be quite believeable, to be honest. You can imagine how things could just go crazy.

Now I know that it's going to be filmed and all that, and I can't find out whether there's going to be any level of intervention if anything goes wrong. But really, 40 kids aged 8 to 15, abandoned in a ghost town for 40 days? Maybe I just got taken in by the original book, but the idea scares me. A lot. Who knows what could happen?!

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Put your red dress on

So, what, to get women to take up the opportunity of health screenings it is necessary to entice them with the chance to see pretty dresses? Apparently so.

Riiight.

But on a different note, the Fratellis album is good. I do love a good bit of indie. And kudos goes to Amazon as the CD arrived 4 days after I ordered it, which is unprecedented to my mind, especially considering our mediocre postal service in halls. Nice one.

On another random note - man, I need to work on my coherence! - I watched The Queen last night and was really impressed. I don't know that I would've understood all of the context and background stuff without one of my housemates commentating, but I guess inserting any more info into the actual film would've made it too documentary-like. I thought it portrayed Blair very well, and it got me thinking that 10 years is a very long time to keep working hard at that job. It was quite sad at points, though we were all debating the hype from the public over Diana's death. It's a hard one because she clearly did have a huge impact on the British people, but behind all her stoicism the Queen rightly pointed out that they were grieving for someone they didn't know, not someone that was the mother of their grandchildren. Some interesting points were raised, and I'd like to watch it again!

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Told you so

It made me smile in a rather big-headed fashion that over at the f-word they've also talked about Patrick Moore's comments about the BBC.

Though this feeling of gratification is marred somewhat by the embarrassing experience of finding out that I really should have known who he is. Ah well. From the sound of it, he wouldn't like me anyway.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

So...it's OUR fault?

You have got to be kidding me.

Reuters seems happy to report Patrick Moore's opinions on TV today: "The trouble is that the BBC now is run by women and it shows: soap operas, cooking, quizzes, kitchen-sink plays. You wouldn't have had that in the golden days." He adds that "I used to watch Doctor Who and Star Trek, but they went PC -- making women commanders, that kind of thing. I stopped watching."

I've got to admit that I don't know who he is. But, to be honest, I don't think I want to. Who comes out with stuff like that these days?! I agree that there is a fair amount of rubbish around on TV, but I hardly believe that that is the fault of women. And there are more educational and intelligent programmes around, because of the increase in sheer number of channels and all that. I say we start a revolution in better TV by getting rid of him and his incredibly sexist views.

Pfffft.

Headlines

Arts students 'less keen on work': Thanks for that. Apparently we're less "pro-active". I grant you that at the moment I don't know what exactly I want to do after uni. But what is supposed to be surprising about "The UK Graduate Careers Survey [...] found a much more confident, work-focused, approach from students on work-related courses." Apart from the argument that all degrees are 'work-related', people on supposedly more work-related courses are blatantly going to be more work-focused. I mean, one of my friends studies Optometry. Except for the private vs. NHS decision, her focus is pretty much sorted - she's gonna be an optician. That's the reason why you study the course. And yes of course arts students expect to end up in low-paid jobs. We spend 3 years drinking cofee and reading news headlines about how unmotivated we are. What were you expecting?

Germans stay home for eco-holiday: Not much to say - good on the Germans, sounds cool that many people there are becoming more aware of the environment and the impact of holidays. What made me laugh about the article was this description... "Giggling by the sea - and lying topless in the sun - are Martina and her three environmentally friendly colleague [...] "I think it's better for the climate to stay here in Germany," Martina told me, once she'd put her bikini back on." Did you even need to ask whether the writer of that article was a man or a woman? Thought not.

Nurse sexually assaulted at work: Obviously nothing fun about the assault - bit horribly, really. I only wanted to question the news that detectives are looking simply for a "white man with a London accent." That, er, won't be difficult then.

Of course, one could consider the linguistic side of the article, in that the headline uses the unmarked term 'nurse' to refer to a woman, knowing full well that you will assume the nurse/woman link without thinking. But perhaps that's a consideration I should keep confined to my language seminars! Sadly I can no longer read the news and stuff without thinking of the theories from my course. D'oh.

Well, I better be off to do some work. Wouldn't want to not be hard-working and confident now, would I?

* * * * *

Listening to: Hot Fuss - The Killers
Drinking: The special selection Caf├ędirect coffee. Bliss.
Reading: An email from my dad, aww.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Holiday reads?

Very excitingly, I actually got round to starting a new book last night! It's The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif. I bought it ages ago when I had some Waterstones vouchers - it's one of the Bloomsbury 21 Great Reads. Haven't got far into yet as I was only reading a few chapters to take my mind off coursework before I went to sleep. It seems good though! The introduction talks of it being many things; it's a love story about crossing the cultural boundary between England and Egypt, but also covers history and the boundaries of past and present, and east and west. Seems good so far, anyway.

It amused me that the back cover of the book has the usual reviews, including one from the Daily Telegraph. They claim that the book is "A page-turning holiday read." Fair enough, it is a love story and everything, but I feel that they're missing a vital fact. Namely that the book is about 2 inches thick. That doesn't really strike me as a 'lazing around on your sunlounger' sort of dimension.

But I'm making assumptions. I read Anna Karenina on a balcony in Italy, so I'm all for tackling these books on holiday. Funnily enough, Soueif herself lists that as one of her favourite classics. So there you go.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Zzyzx

There is something way too beautiful about the song Zzyzx Rd by Stone Sour. Google it...you won't look back.

And that is all I have to say for today. It's been a long one and I'm ready for a new week.

Friday, 4 May 2007

I still don't get it

This story just came back around, which I mentioned before. The one about the teenager who shot a 22 yr old man and later claimed that he didn't know that the gun was real? Well he got a life sentence, to be fair, as the court said that it was deliberate, rather than adequately provoked.

But what I still don't get is this idea that he didn't know that the gun was real. I mean, he acquired it by whatever means, carried it around with him, and then aimed it at someone and pulled the trigger. At one point would you think "oh, it's ok, this gun couldn't possibly be real?" I don't understand at all.

But there you go. End of rant. I'm feeling fairly happy other than that as I just participated in a psychology experiment. Was really interesting as I studied it at A level and always wanted to see what it was like to be in an actual study. I had sensors on me and everything! After 2 years of laughing at people that do stupid things in studies, I thought it was about time! Lots of my own work to get on with now though...sigh...

* * * * *

Listening to: Grown - Kendall Payne
Feeling: Mellow
Happy because: I've just been given a box of maltesers

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Very important lesson

If you should happen to be living somewhere which doesn't offer decent lighting in the bathroom for putting makeup on, I have some crucial advice. If you have a double sided mirror which has a magnified side, remember your science lessons from school. The magnified side can and will reflect the suns rays and magnify them on a small point, should the sun be in a suitable position. And as it turns out, laptop keyboards are not particularly appreciative of sun being magnified onto them.

Yes, you guessed it. Picture the scene: it's about half 7 last night and I'm getting ready to go out. I'm sat at my desk with my mirror propped on my laptop, straightening my hair and doing my makeup. A great arrangement because it gives me natural light and I can distract myself with social networking sites as I sit there. And I can also admire the sun gradually going down.

I did realise that the sun was being reflected onto my keyboard, and moved the mirror, but didn't think any more of it. I was in a rush so when I was done I really quickly removed the mirror and shut my laptop lid. It was only just now that I looked at my keyboard and thought "hmm". I feel very very stupid and also kind of upset - the keys still work but I've sort of defaced my laptop a bit, and I love the thing. That and I can't afford a new one, really. Look:


:(