Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The three blog parties

Despite what I said about having May a separate month to March and April for the Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party, it seems that they will all be one post after all. I'll have the "super party" as tomorrow's blog post.

Monday, 30 May 2016

"What's the Matter" - Milo Greene

Here is a more unusual song that I'd like to share; well, maybe the song itself isn't unusual so much as how I came across it:

It's "What's the Matter" by Milo Greene, a Californian band. I discovered the song in late 2014 when my grandfather and I were watching Supernatural - the episode "Bitten" from the eighth season. I took note of some of the lyrics and was sure to Google them later. "What's the Matter" is quite a sad and soft song - it brings back memories of a different time of my life.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

The final half-term

I am back in Northamptonshire today for the third and final half-term break of my course. I'll be back in Nottingham next weekend for when the last part of my sixth and final term at college begins.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Champagne from the Spondon Flyer...

...apparently doesn't exist. See the back of this bus:

It's in brackets under the "fly first class" banner. The Spondon Flyer is a TrentBarton bus in Derby, which services the the Spondon area of the city. I am board another bus in this picture - I wasn't standing in the middle of the bus station's bays! I haven't travelled on the Spondon Flyer yet but I'd like to at some point.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Extra Psychology

By chance, I discovered that my Psychology teacher, who also covers Study Skills, was putting on a session for a couple of people in my class to finish some Study Skills work. While I'm up to date on that particular topic, the classroom in which the session was being held was the one with computers. As such, a handful of my classmates and I attended this bonus session to complete our current Psychology work rather than wait for the college library to open, which was closed because of exams.

My Psychology teacher was fine with us doing this; she completed what she needed to do with those who needed the Study Skills help and then she helped those of us who were working on Psychology. I'm glad I attended the session - I was behind on the assignment and was able to catch up thanks to it being held, as my teacher putting on and running the session meant we could ask her directly for advice.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Liveland History: 26th May 2013

Three years ago, my brother photographed a terrapin living in a local pond:

The terrapins still inhabit that pond, as far as I'm aware. My brother has occasionally gone back to check and he's seen activity of them. The red-eared sliders sure are a beautiful species of reptile.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The canteen feedback form

After the incident with my laptop last Friday, I was grateful for the staff in the canteen spotting it and handing it in to reception. In addition to saying thank you, I wanted to find some other way of returning the favour.

Fortunately, one of my classmates pointed out that there was a feedback form for staff and students to provide the staff there with input. As I have genuinely received excellent service from the canteen staff and have consistently had a good selection of food from the counters there, I was sure to place high ratings in all categories.

I will say, however, that I didn't give high ratings just because of my laptop - I genuinely think that the canteen staff are lovely and that the food has been good. I said in my review that they've been great in the two years I've been at college.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Here's to five years

While searching through my blog's history to find something to revist for today's post, I re-discovered that today is my blog's birthday and that I've been blogging now for five years. Wow - five years. It's hard to believe it's been that long since I started but what has surprised me is that I've managed to post every day since then. On some occasions the posts have contained sparse amounts of information but they've still been present every day so far.

My initial post can be found here. On to the next five years!

Monday, 23 May 2016

One month until the referendum

In exactly one month, the United Kingdom will be voting whether or not to remain a part of the European Union. To cut a long story short, this election has been called in response to support for and pressure from the United Kingdom Independence Party. Arguments for Britain leaving including it "taking back" its sovereignty and no longer having to pay the EU membership fee whereas arguments for staying including the UK being safer with a nearby cluster of nations and having the benefits of strong human and worker rights laws.

Opinion polling on the referendum is divided, as shown by swings back and forth this year. However, I expect that the United Kingdom will vote to remain part of the EU, much as Scotland voted to remain part of the UK back in 2014.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

"Goin' Crazy" - Natalie

While thinking of what to write about today, this song popped into my mind:

It's "Goin' Crazy" by Natalie, from her self-titled debut album; the song was a moderate-to-high hit in 2005 but is her most popular song and subsequent singles were far off the same level of success. According to Natalie's Wikipedia article, the sourced information there says that she has retired from singing and has moved on to other projects.

A thought I had while listening to this song is that the time between its release and now (over 11 years) is longer than the time between the release of "Finally" by CeCe Peniston (1991) and when Dad bought a compilation album that contained that particular track (late 2001).

Saturday, 21 May 2016

New shoes 2016

Last summer, I bought a new pair of shoes, as my old pair at the time were falling apart. Less than a year later, this new pair have also started falling apart: due to the way I walk, I've worn down the heels but not only that, the front of one of them has split and continued use will split the shoe further.

As such, I invited a friend to come shoe shopping with me today. The first stores we looked around either sold "trendy" shoes or shoes that were way too small for my feet. After over half an hour, we checked out a store that sold outdoor products. The shop assistant in there was as first unsure if they carried shoes in my size but when he looked in the back of the place, he found two pairs in there.

The first pair were well-built but slightly pricey, so I held out for the second; however, they turned out to be even more expensive and far outside my price range. As such, since the first pair were otherwise suitable, I purchased them. It possible that my friend and I could have found a slightly cheaper equivalent pair elsewhere but I'm happy with my purchase: these shoes are tougher than my previous two sets.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Laptop close call

My negligence inflicted panic on me this afternoon at college. I brought my laptop for use in Psychology, which is my last lesson on Fridays; however, before the first lesson of day I had been sat in the canteen and left my laptop and its bag by accident there. It would be three hours later, during my second lesson, when I would realise that my laptop bag was missing.

When I had remarked to the class that I couldn't find it, two of my friends/classmates sprung into action to help me. We went to classroom of our previous lesson, which meant disrupting a nurse group who were in there, and then to the staffroom; after no luck there, we went to the canteen, which was where I last recalled having my laptop but I was starting to worry I'd actually left it on the bus.

We then went to reception and one of my friends asked if a missing laptop/laptop bag had been dropped off there. A receptionist asked about the appearance of the bag and laptop and I described them; she went into the room behind reception and came out with my bag. My worry subsided immediately and then I thanked her; she said it was the canteen staff who spotted it and brought it to reception. As such, I went to the canteen and thanked the ladies there (both the receptionist group and the canteen staff are familiar with me). I later apologised to the nurses, who were relieved I'd found the laptop, and I thanked the teacher in the staffroom who had helped; I was also sure to thank the friends who jumped up to help. I was both grateful and massively lucky.

Usually, whenever I'm carrying my laptop I'm extremely protective of it; in this case, I slipped. The irony is that in Psychology, we stayed in a room with computers, which negated the use of my laptop.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

(How Much Is) That Snail in the Window?

Thanks to the rain, the slugs and the snails are out in force. What I didn't expect was to see a snail on the window:

I don't recall ever seeing a snail's underside before. Usually snails are low to the ground on a non-transparent surface but this one decided it would go climbing!

As for this post's title, it's a play on the name of this song.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Some interesting blog statistics

For the first time in a while, I looked at which pages on my blog have been viewed the most:

My "Who's on Heart?" posts dominate the board, as it is a popular segment whenever Heart radio plays it and it attracts tens of thousands of searches, at a minimum. I don't see the rankings here changing much for the time being; I'll post an updated screenshot of this in about a year.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Sadiq Khan's vote count

On 5th May 2016, London held a new election for its mayorship, alongisde the national local elections held the same day. The leading and winning candidate for the mayor was Sadiq Khan, a member of the Labour Party. In this election, he received 1,310,143 votes, which set the new record for the most amount of votes an individual British politician has received.

Khan is the third person to hold the position of being the Mayor of London. The position has only existed since 2000.

Monday, 16 May 2016

"How Star Wars Revenge Of The Sith Should Have Ended"

Another channel I follow on YouTube is How It Should Have Ended, which creates parody endings to popular films. Now, I do enjoy Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and I think it's a great movie but I love this ending for it:

All of the Star Wars endings are funny on this channel, as are most of the other endings I've watched on it. This is my favourite, though.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Berating someone

When I caught my bus this afternoon, two people were at the stop waiting for it. Neither seemed in a bad mood when the bus appeared, one of them went ballistic at the driver for being late (the driver had apologised on arrival. The person demanded to know that "excuse" the driver had; the driver said he didn't have one and that a marathon in a nearby town had disrupted traffic and prevented the bus from arriving sooner. When the passenger departed, the driver laughed and wished the man a good day, so I'm hoping the man apologised.

Berating the bus driver achieved nothing. He was already upset from being late due to circumstances beyond his control. The other man showed poor judgment from yelling at someone.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

When it turns out nice

The weather for today had been predicted to be cold, with rain being a possibility but below-middle temperatures a certainty; however, it was expected to be warmer than tomorrow and so I planned to spend the day out.

To everyone's surprise, the cold weather was mostly absent and the Sun was out for much of the day. I enjoyed a great late morning, afternoon and early evening out in beautiful weather as I travelled the region. When I returned home, my grandmother expressed her surprise and delight at how lovely the weather had been.

Friday, 13 May 2016

"Never Forget You" - Noisettes

At least twice now while walking through the Broadmarsh, I've heard this song playing through the building's music system:

It's "Never Forget You" by Noisettes, which is the third single from the band's second album, Wild Young Hearts. I'd never heard of Noisettes but when I heard the song again recently, I noted a few of the lyrics and was brought to the band. It astounds me that "Never Forget You" was released in 2009 - it sounds as though it's older than that.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

The rep certificate

For my services as a class rep during this academic year, I received a certificate in the mail from my college yesterday, which thanked me for my contributions. I had not expected to receive a certificate for my work until after my course had ended but I am grateful to have received it now and I thanked the organiser of the class reps.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Mocking a non-native speaker

I posted this to Facebook earlier:

"It is inappropriate and unfair to be angry with or mock someone who doesn't speak English as their first language and thus, occasionally makes an error or has to research a word or two or more while communicating. Such a person has taken the time to learn the language; the correct course of action is to help them if they desire help rather than moan at them for not being able to speak it properly. They want to learn! Can't ask for more than that."

I followed it up by saying that I was in no position to be a critic of a non-native speaker of English given that I only know a small amount of another language and all that knowledge comes from a computer game.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Kasich eats!

One of the more bizarre parts of the 2016 presidential election in the United States (well, "bizarre" by this election's standards) was the recorded eating habits of Ohio Governor John Kasich:

The video is narrated by speeches from Donald Trump about Kasich's insatiable appetite but the commentary actually fits in that it turns the eating clips into a comedy; Trump almost sounds like an unfiltered Jay Leno performing a roast. Kasich eating during a large portion (pun intended) of his media appearances was strange, to say the least; on the other hand, perhaps it was a hidden sign that he would have been a tame president - he'd have spent much of his presidency eating his way around the world!

And as an aside, I think "Kasich eat!" falls into my list of my "oddest and most unlikely blog titles".

Monday, 9 May 2016

March and April blog parties

I haven't had much time recently to sort through my pictures; as such, I haven't posted March's blog party nor I have posted many pictures here at all lately. What I shall be doing is merging March's and April's blog parties into one post; if necessary, I'll merge them with May's, too, but I'd prefer this month being separate.

Sorry for the delay.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Asch (1951)

The conformity study that Solomon Asch conducted in 1951 is something I have learned about in Psychology:

It's about an individual conceding to social pressure from a group, with a reason for doing so being acceptance and another and individual thinking the group is privy to knowledge that they aren't. It's my favourite Psychology study and I do suggest watching the above short clip.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

The man in the rain

While I was riding the Indigo bus line through Toton this afternoon, a massive rainstorm had materialised. To be fair, thunderstorms had been forecast for the weekend but the rain was a paradigm shift from the sunny weather that had occurred in the morning.

Through the rain, however, I saw a man acting as human billboard for a pizza chain. There he was, standing in the wet weather, promoting reduced prices on pizza. I do hope he receives a bonus; standing out in the rain wearing a billboard can't be that fun. Then again, considering it had been hot before, perhaps the rain cooled him somewhat.

Friday, 6 May 2016

The nonsense name

I am a supporter of the right to vote, don't misunderstand me here; however, I was pleased to see this happen:

I think the RRS Sir David Attenborough is a far more fitting title than that joke name that somehow won that poll. I think people demonstrated poor judgment by voting in such an immature manner.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Contrails and sunset

Yesterday evening, I photographed this beautiful view of the sunset and the contrails:

My phone is capable of quality pictures, such as this one. I'm happy with how this image developed.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Post-Indiana 2016

I posted this to Facebook a few hours ago:

"Non-partisan (and a bit lengthy) thoughts on the post-Indiana state of the 2016 US presidential election: The surrenders of Cruz and Kasich ensure that Donald Trump is the Republican nominee. The party establishment was unwise to dismiss him as a joke and laugh him off - Trump has been successful at keeping himself relevant for years, so underestimating him was a bizarre mistake.

On the Democratic side, the establishment there has been making the same mistake of underestimating Bernie Sanders. An insurgent candidate pulling off surprise wins at this point in the race is, to my knowledge, unprecedented. Insulting/dismissing him and his supporters would be as unwise as underestimating Trump so far has been.

This is a fascinating election; Obama-Romney 2012 is increasingly looking like a sleep-a-thon by comparison."

When Donald Trump announced his campaign last year, I didn't think he was running as a joke - I thought he should be taken seriously and I was right. The Republicans who are despairing at him having defeated all of his opponents so far ought to have done more to stop him, if they were that concerned.

As for the Democrats, Bernie Sanders continues to poll well and rack up wins; in fact, many of the upcoming states are favorable to him - perhaps more so now that Trump essentially has the Republican nomination, as some people who voted Trump to keep out Ted Cruz might switch to support Sanders in primaries. Regardless, it is a mistake for anyone on the Democratic side to discredit Sanders and his supporters; if he doesn't win the nomination, it won't be helpful for the Democrats for his voters to keep out of the presidential race.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

More to learn about Harry Potter

I saw this article from the Heart radio network appear on my Facebook feed this evening:

We're still learning about Harry Potter, even after nine years since the final book was released. New books are on the way, of course, so we'll continue to learn more about the Potter universe for the foreseeable future.

Monday, 2 May 2016

A bright Hucknall in early May

By the early evening in Hucknall today, the weather was bright and sunny, even with all these clouds:

Yep, this is one of the many reasons why I enjoy visiting Hucknall.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

On wasted votes

Never let anyone convince you that you "wasted" your vote in an election. Whether you voted for the winner, somebody who came in last or wrote in your own name, as long as you consider it a worthy vote, it shall remain so. It's not anyone else's place to judge your vote for you.