Monday, 30 April 2012

Germs

Lately there has been some sort of sickness bug going around. I'm hyper aware of everyone around me sneezing and coughing, spreading their illnesses to unsuspecting bystanders. Basic hygiene is ignored. If there's something I can't stand it's people coughing and sneezing without covering their mouths. They know how horrible it is to be sick but have no regard for those around them, choosing to put us all at risk of whatever they're suffering with because they can't be bothered to bring a tissue.
Do you know how many germs are sprayed into the air with every sneeze? Millions and millions. They're travelling at 100 mph in around 40,000 infectious droplets. They cover surfaces, which are then touched by other people as much of this is invisible to the naked eye. Children touching bus railings, grannies opening doors and students resting their heads on Mc Donalds' tables at 4am are all picking up the germs careless people have left behind.
The thing is you can't make up for someone else's bad hygiene by being more stringent about your own. Hand sanitisers people carry around have shown to weaken the immune system because your body is used to having to fight a certain amount of nasties. Take them away and, basically, it gets lazy. I suppose you could try to even this out by only sterilising one hand.
Basically, I'd be much happier if everyone listened to their mums and covered their God damn mouths.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Useless Technology

1) The E-reader. It costs around £80 before you even put a book on it. You know what doesn't cost extra to put a book on it? A book. It's all inclusive. I don't see why anyone would buy something so insanely pointless. It's just calling out for trouble. Suddenly the annoyance of leaving your book on a train is a huge financial loss (when compared to the £4.99 paperback). It's another thing for someone to steal; when was the last time someone had their book stolen? People argue "but you can store thousands of books on it!". Oh, so you read thousands of books at any given time? You read three pages of Shakespeare, two of Oscar Wilde and seven of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones? All in one sitting? No, I didn't think so. And if you do, you're reading wrong.

2) The iPad. So, everyone knows the story here. The latest in Apple's attempt to rob you blind. A machine that has all the functions of an iPhone, without the most useful calling/texting functions, combined with the size of a big netbook. Which sort of excludes it from the benefits associated with it being small and lightweight, because at the end of the day you still need a bag to carry it around in. Sure, it's lighter than a laptop...because it's less useful. All those useful thing being left out, that what makes it so light. But two cameras I hear you say? Oh, yeah, because we need two cameras. Yeah, they're useful for video chatting but honestly how often have you done that since the buzz of owning an iPad wore off? Face it, an iPad is just somewhere to play Angry Birds on a big screen.

3) Home Blu-Ray players. Before you quality obsessed geeks flail off into an argument about how Blu-Ray is the best thing ever just hang on. Hang on. Keep calm and hang on. This is my point; these things cost about ten times the amount of a DVD player, every film you buy will cost more and with the quality of most people's TVs and modern films there isn't much difference. Of course there are exceptions, some things look amazing in Blu-Ray. But when put against the extra money, unless you're a total geek in it for the commentary and 2 minute deleted scenes, it's just not worth it. In fact some people look better in 'normal' quality. I'm too good a blogger to name who.
No, seriously.

4. 3D TV that uses glasses. Remember when 3D TV first came out and you had to wear glasses to be able to see the 3D effect? And all the TVs only came with two pairs of glasses so customers were forced to buy extra pairs each costing at least £50? Then the Nintendo 3DS came out and the TV companies came out with TVs that didn't require glasses? So, er, the whole 'glasses' thing was a completely redundant money making scheme exploiting those who wanted to have 3D TV and leaving them looking like arseholes watching their TV at home with glasses on. Thing is, if this was just a general move in technology it wouldn't have been so bad, but it was just so obvious that someone at the top said "let's make people pay extortionate amounts of money for something that makes them look really stupid" then the Nintendo company, like an annoying little brother, went and ratted them out to the public while simultaneously making themselves look clever and forward thinking.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Should they Allow Cameras in Courtrooms?

Changes to British Law are expected to allow criminals being sentenced in court to be filmed. Personally I think this is acceptable. There are CCTV cameras all over Britain capturing your trip to the local shop, your bus journey to work and the pub crawl you did last weekend. As a nation we are being watched by 'big brother' day and night. And I for one am fine with it. Yes, it can be a bit unnerving thinking that whatever I do will be caught on film, but I don't actually do much. And I seeing as I'm not planning to commit any crimes I don't really mind if someone were to film my daily antics. Really if someone were to lead such a sad life that they wanted to watch me go to and from college five days a week then I say let them.
So if we, the general law abiding public, are to be filmed in our daily activities I think it's only fair a criminal being sentenced could be. I know my weekly pilgrimage to Asda isn't shown on TV at night, but who'd really want to see that?
It could help improve public safety. After all, we live in a country where we can live next to someone for years and not know their name. What if your new neighbour was a rapist? A murder? A child molester? Simply knowing the right information can be half the battle.
In conclusion, I will welcome this change. I think it's a sign that Britain is moving with the times and making full use of the technology we are so lucky to have at our disposal.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Exam Season and Bad Tips for Studying

Argh! No sooner have one set of exams ended do another begin! A Levels are like constantly running away from an angry lion. They're always right at your heels and you're scared, well, yanno *that word*.
A Levels ruin every holiday you get from college. You get two weeks at Christmas and Easter and when are your exams? Right after Christmas and Easter! Great, now I have two whole weeks with nothing to do but study and worry about studying. It's not like I wanted to, you know, relax and rest after six weeks of gruelling mental work.

Now for some bad study tips:
1) Worry about everything. Every little thing. It all has the power to make you fail.
2) Believe you're going to fail because, after all, you're going to fail.
3) Stay up all night the day before your exam. You can just Starbuck your way through the exhaustion.
4) Sleep with your textbook under your pillow and the knowledge will be absorbed while you sleep.
5) Get sick the week before your exam, if you get something really bad you could become delusional which will ease your stress levels.
6) Spend an hour straightening your hair the morning of the exam, even if you're a boy.
7) Offer the examiner oral sex.
8) Bring a blue pen instead of a black one. The person who marks the paper will be impressed by your rebellion against society and will surely mark you higher.
9) Skip all revision classes to go to the pub, then use your notes as a drink coaster.
10) Eat your notes and be amazed when knowledge is assimilated directly into your bloodstream.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The 'Man' Cop Out

Ever complain to one of your friends about something your boyfriend/ boy (just a) friend/father/brother did and have them reply with "it's because he's a man"? I have, and nothing infuriates me more! It enforces negative stereotypes. After all, could I get away with twirling my hair and saying "because I'm a girl" if a teacher asked me why I failed a test?
A certain man, whom I will not name, and I have different views on almost everything. He's happy as long as he can vaguely make out the floor. I like things tidy. While complaining about this to my mother she said "he's just a man, that's what they're like". Well I refuse to believe it, I don't believe a penis makes you a slob and neither do I believe a vagina makes you a clean queen. Otherwise men and women would never be able to get on, we'd spend the whole time arguing and babies would never get made. It'd be the end of the human race.
It really gets on my nerves because as long as we let lads get away from the washing up for having testicles we'll never have gender equality. Women are still expected to be the ones raising the children, They're still paid less than a man for the same job. We still face prejudices every day because of ridiculous stereotypes. So yes, it's a small thing, but if you let a lot of small things slide they can add up to a big problem. So pass the lads the hoover, it's their turn to clean up tonight!

Don't Blame the Schools

This morning I was watching the news; they had a piece about how more needs to be done at school to teach young children how to be decent people. This all relates back to the riots we had in August last year and the argument about whom the blame lies with.
I'm sorry, but there are people leaving school who haven't grasped basic reading and writing skills. How can you expect the schools to find time to teach them what they should be learning from parents? As a parent it is your responsibility to teach your child right from wrong, how to behave in public, how to treat people and all other moral lessons. If we turf that responsibility over to the school the, already low, standard of education would fall. And where would it end? Would we expect the school to teach children how to behave at the dinner table? Would we demand them to stamp out swearing? And if a teenager becomes pregnant, would we blame the school for that too?
If a child does not receive proper parenting you cannot expect it to behave properly. If you made a cake without using flour would you be surprised when it didn't turn out well? Of course not. The same rule applies to children, if you do not teach them properly they will not turn out to be well functioning members of society.
The schools  are there to teach academic subjects, and one could argue they can't even do that well. They are not there to raise people's children for them. Of course a basic moral code is enforced; sharing, including others, not talking back but that is only during school hours. That's why teachers don't run around the streets on an evening, forcing children to let the scrawny kid join in their game of football. It's not their job.
So, my advice? People should learn that becoming a parent is easy, being a parent is hard. It's easy to argue that the government should be providing parenting classes, that people don't know what to do but that's a cop out. People have been raising children since the dawn of the human race. If we can't manage it, we're pretty much doomed. And seeing as there are still large numbers of well functioning adults out there obviously people do  know how to do it. Some people just need to get off their arse.