Tuesday, 31 January 2017

That's not how you debate

I wrote this on Facebook earlier:

 "I was taught that debate goes like this:
1. Person or Group A makes an evidence-backed claim.
2. Person or Group B disagrees but support it with their own evidence.
1. Repeat step one.
2. Person or Group B disagrees and either yells at A to find evidence to support B's argument or demands that A find evidence for the claim A has already given evidence for.
3. B engages in insults if A points out the absurdity of this.
The latter seems to be increasing in popularity..."

I was inspired to write the post because in the past couple of days, on a discussion I noticed a bunch of people criticising some statistics but they offered no evidence to support their claims, although the statistics had a source themselves. When I politely asked for sources to be provided, the response was the people insulting me and demanding that I provide evidence to support the statistics that they were criticising. I ended up blocking a bunch of them because while for the most part I shrug off online insults, even my patience has limits when it comes to dealing with trolls.

Monday, 30 January 2017

The new bus pass redux

When my first term at university began, I bought myself a bus pass, which cost me £229:

As of the 28th of January, if I'd still been using cash I'd have spent £229.50 on Nottingham City Transport bus trips; I've travelled on the bus on both days since and so every time I use my bus pass now, I'm making a saving. Back when I bought the pass I was almost certain that it would be a good financial decision and I have been proved correct.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Free ride Sunday (2)

Last weekend, I decided to accept Trentbarton's free ride Sunday offer hour to travel to my grandparents' town, from which I then walked back to Nottingham. I travelled again to their town but rather than walking to Nottingham, I carried on back to Clifton; however, I was about a third of the way to Clifton while in West Bridgford before I caught South Notts 1 for the remainder of the journey.

This wasn't because I was lazy or tired, oh no. I had arranged to see Mum and my brother at a certain time and if I'd continued walking rather than ridden back, I'd have been late.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

The shopping librarian

A familiar face crossed my path in Morrisons this evening. I was busy shopping there when I spotted a former librarian from Central shopping in there; he acknowledged me with a wink but he and I later conversed outside when we both ended up finishing our shopping near-simultaneously.

This particular librarian showed us around Central's library on my very first day there back in September 2014 and he left last year to work elsewhere. He popped in to visit later on in the academic year to see how his former colleagues were doing.

Friday, 27 January 2017

The module choice

To follow up on what I said the other day about which of two options I was considering for one of my Media modules, I went ahead and chose the practical work. It will be something new for me, a new challenge, and it gives me more options in the future, both at university and beyond.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Now almost been a week...

"It's been almost a week into a certain unspeakable's time in office and at this point it's safe to say that not only is he not qualified for the role but he's completely unsuitable and, to be blunt, downright dangerous. It's almost impossible to keep track of every terrible thing he does and it's becoming worse by the day.

People aren't protesting this president because they are "bad losers" but instead because they are genuinely frightened of him - and for good reason. American presidents are not supposed to be figures of fear; when one is, that president has failed America - its people, its constituton and everything the country represents."

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Back to Central, January 2017

I visited Central for about two hours this afternoon. My primary purpose there was to deliver some Christmas cards I hadn't been able to give at the end of last year but I was also visiting to catch a little with some of the people there whom I know. This was mostly the receptionists and library staff, but also my teachers and the canteen workers.

The library staff said they'd been talking about me that morning, as they had been discussing some pictures of mine. Last year, I had given them some of my Poland image for use in the Holocaust memorial they would setting up this year.

It was only a short visit back to Central but I was able to fit a lot into that two hours - far more than I expected - and it was a worthwhile use of time; it was good to see former familiar faces again.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017


So the winner of the 2016 presidential election in the United States has now approved the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, both of which President Obama cancelled:

This, alongside an overall war that he seems to be waging against the EPA and the environment in general. The United States is being run by someone who believes in conspiracy theories, one such conspiracy theory being that the belief that climate change is, in itself, a conspiracy theory. How long is this going to go on for?

Monday, 23 January 2017

New term, new changes (2)

Back when the new term began, I mentioned that one of my two Media modules would be changing. It was revealed two weeks ago that one of two choices available for what path we wanted to take on the module was a research project; today, the other option was discussed in the lecture.

This other option? A practice piece, in which students work in groups to produce a 1-3 minute long and poem-inspired clip. It does involve working with various forms of recording equipment and editing software, as well as creating a portfolio of the created work.

Prior to today's lecture, I had decided on the research piece but now I am leaning towards the practice option. Producing a media clip is something I haven't done before and it would be more interesting to do that than another written assignment. Also, the practice option allows access to practical work in the second and third years, which I would likely be barred from if I were to go along with the research choice.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Free ride Sunday

For every Sunday this month, Trentbarton has been offering a free ride hour between 10:00 and 11:00am on any of their routes, minus some that are joint-operated with another company, such as Pronto. They opened this offer last year but as I possessed a college-provided bus pass back then, the offer wasn't of any use to me. This year, however, I decided to use it.

I travelled on the Rushcliffe Mainline to my grandparents' town and then walked back to Nottingham. Prior to today, it had been ages since I lasted walked my old bus route and it seemed like a good opportunity to do so. The bus driver was one I recall seeing when I was a regular on the Rushcliffe Mainline/Villager and it was good to see her again.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

A day of buses

As I hadn't done it for a while, I decided to spend the day riding buses. I went on my old route of Nottingham-->Mansfield-->Derby-->Nottingham-->Derby-->Nottingham and afterwards rode to my old village and back. After the recent class test and assignment, I thought a break like this would do me some good and it did.

Also, I wanted to try out a bus upgrade. The Nines route from Mansfield to Derby has had its fleet replaced with new buses. They have a larger capacity and also support USB charging and contain access to the Internet. The old Nines buses were small and contained none of those advanced features. An already-highly enjoyable route is now even more fun than it used to be!

Friday, 20 January 2017

That day has arrived...

And it's happened, Hillary Clinton's election opponent has been sworn in as President of the United States. No, I did not watch the inauguration nor do I want to see any footage from it. Somebody who should never have been president is now president - and we now have to hope that his damage will be limited in scope as much as possible.

President Obama is a far more graceful man than anyone takes him for. For every year Obama was president, the person who resides in the Oval Office now spent that time spouting birther nonsense and other garbage. During the 2012 election as the early results came through and Obama won despite appearing to lose the popular vote, the shouldn't-be-Commander-in-Chief whined about the Electoral College - and the Electoral College ended up being how he won! How President Obama was able to keep a calm front during that transition, no one will ever know.

Clinton was slammed for being "corrupt" and "a liar". The new president has proved several times over to be both and yet his supporters don't seem to care. This is a sad day for America and, indeed, for the world.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

A presidency's end

I wrote this elsewhere earlier:

"While President Obama's second term ends in under 24 hours, his victory over 8 eight ago remains one of the happiest days of my life, as I was both relieved at his win and because I believed in the message of "Hope and Change". After everything, I still do; while President Obama has not been perfect and at times has carried out policies I've disagreed with, I have never given up on him and I have always believed that he is, at heart, a kind and caring person. I hope that in his post-presidential life, he will follow in the footsteps of President Jimmy Carter and go on to promote and defend causes that are beneficial to humanity, as well as remain a strong voice of positivity.

And somewhere around, I still have my Obama t-shirt; after election day 2008, Dad bought one for each of us."

I'm going miss President Obama being in the White House. He brought a rare type of respectability to the Office of President, which won't be seen there again any time soon. Thanks for everything positive you did, President Obama, and I genuinely mean that.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

"Freak Like Me" - Adina Howard

On the same day, in the same store I heard Angie Stone's "Wish I Didn't Miss You", I heard this song on the store radio:

The song is called "Freak Like Me", was released in 1995 and is by Adina Howard; it is her debut single and is from her debut album, Do You Wanna Ride? (1995). Prior to hearing "Freak Like Me" in the store, the last time I think I might have heard it would have been on Heart radio; however, the first I heard it would have been on American radio, most likely in a segment on KIFS (107.5 Kiss FM) called the "Back in the Day Cafe".

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

First test at university

Yesterday afternoon, I underwent the first official test of my course, which occurred in one of my Media modules. The test was a 75-minute session that consisted of reading in advance a chapter of a book about television, summarising in the test a section of said chapter and writing about how a television show I (and others) had seen fit in with what the section discussed.

I won't comment on how well I think I did; all I can say is that I studied for the rest, went in, answered the question to the best of my ability in the given time and was able to write a conclusion, albeit a few seconds before the test ended. I'll find out my result in the coming weeks.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Liveland History: 16th January 2014

Hard to believe that this was three years ago now:

Dad really liked that then-new bumper for his phone, even if it did add to the bulk of the device. He loved the kickstand and being able to watch videos in the kitchen without having to prop the phone up with another object. I wrote again about the case here and a picture of a similar (but not exact) case can be found here.

After his death, Mum retired the case and has ever since used its original bumper.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Not so many pictures, as of late

Since late September, I've barely posted any photographs here - 23, to be exact. Back in the day, photgraphic posts were common on Air Nice-to-Livelands but now they're as rare as hen's teeth. There are three main causes for this:

1. Starting university is the obvious one. I have less time to sort through photographs.

2. I photograph less than I used to. In both Northamptonshire and here in Nottinghamshire I'd photographed so much that my pictures were becoming repetitive.

3. The WiFi in my accommodation can be slow and thus, uploading pictures can take a while.

This doesn't mean pictures posts won't be seen here again (I still have a big blog party post to unveil) - it just means they're nowhere near as common as they used to be. For now, frequent picture posts are not a priority.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

"Return to Innocence" - Enigma

Here's a worthy song to discuss:

It's "Return to Innocence" by Enigma, a German New Age band, and is from their album The Cross of Changes (1993). Enigma have been known to me for well over a decade, possibly longer, because they are a part of my parents' music collection; however, I'd never seen the video for this track until the past hour, which is as beautiful as the song, with all its scenery.

Unlike the album version, the music video track does not fade into "The Eyes of Truth". I also watched "The Eyes of Truth"'s music video for the first time ever this hour.

Friday, 13 January 2017

"...but Hillary!" (2)

I wasn't quite expecting to write about this so soon but this happened:

The president-elect is, once again, attacking Hillary Clinton. How his voters can still support him is simply...mind numbing. Even if one were to discount all the awful things he said and did during the election, and to discount his appalling cabinet choices, this behavior alone should be disqualifying.

If this were a movie or television, it might be funny but in less than a week this individual will be President of the United States.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Groceries in Clifton (2)

To expand upon my "Groceries in Clifton" post from a few days ago, I neglected to mention three other grocery stores. Down two of the roads close to my university, there is a general store located on each; one of them is situated next to a major nearby pub. I've never been to either so I can't comment on what they are like.

The other is a second Co-op, which is located near to the end (or the beginning) of the bus route for the 48. Usually I'm travelling back at night and haven't noticed it and when I've travelled in the day I haven't been looking in the direction of the Co-op. Again, I haven't been inside but I suspect it will feature a similar layout to every other Co-op I've been to.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

"...but Hillary!"

The United States presidential election has been finished for over two months. Since her defeat, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has effectively disappeared from the news, save from the occasional mention. This is consistent with previous major-party losing candidates.

Despite this, her former opponent's supporters - and even her opponent himself - frequently bring up her name, almost always to deflect criticism from the president-elect. In nearly every online discussion I've seen that involves criticising the president-elect, the only defense of his actions by his supporters is to mention Clinton's faults, or the "...but Hillary!" defense.

To me, this is the opposite of when these people constantly brought up President Obama's "57 states" comment. Whereas in that case, they kept bringing it up because they didn't have anything significant to criticize Obama for, here they keep resorting to "...but Hillary!" because they don't have any good reason to defend the president-elect and have no choice but to deflect. They know their candidate is terrible but aren't at the point yet to abandon him.

As recently as the past 24-48 hours, the president-elect briefly attacked Clinton in his disastrous press conference. Could you imagine if President Obama spent eight and four years, respectively, making snide comments about Senator John McCain and former Governor Mitt Romney? At the very least, he would have been slammed for unprofessionalism.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

A former president of Iran, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has died:

While he was involved with the 1979 revolution, Rafsanjani frequently railed against the hardliners in his country and was president from 1989 to 1997. Prior to his presidency, he helped bring an end to the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq War by encouraging his country to accept the US resolution that ended the war; Rafsanjani had, in that war, been appointed by the Ayatollah to be the commander-in-chief of the military. He ran for a third term as president in 2005 but Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defeated him. Rafsanjani backed Hassan Rouhani in 2013 and was a strong ally of his.

As president, he was known for being a moderate and strongly pursued moderate causes, hence his support for the aforementioned Rouhani. Let's hope his death emboldens rather than demotivates Iran's moderates and progressives; Iran doesn't need to return to the old ways of the hardliners.

Monday, 9 January 2017

New term, new changes

The second term began today and while it picked up from where the last term ended, there was a difference in the scheduled classes: In the place of the usual Media seminar I have on Monday mornings it was a short tutorial to have a chat with the lecturer about the "class test" we have to do next week. Two others from my seminar group and I were there early and were finished before the official time began, which gave us a full hour to do something else.

This particular Media subject will be changing in the coming weeks, as people taking it will either be able to choose a research project, as was revealed today, or continue the module in another manner, which will be revealed next Monday after the test. Obviously, I don't have enough information to choose at this time.

All my other sessions progressed as usual. It's good to be back but, as I told friends, I haven't really been away, as I've been living on the campus without leaving.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Onto the next university term

It can safely be declared that the winter break is now over. Tomorrow, classes will resume at their usual times. I have an assignment to hand in for the 19th while on the 16th, there is a "class test" for one of my media modules. Out of the two, I'm currently more optimistic about the test than the assignment but all that might change after tomorrow's tutorial and subsequent lecture with regards to the test!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

The two course choices

In the days before Dad's death two years ago, my mother and I had been communicating by email about which Access course I would be taking at Central for my then-next academic year. I had made up my mind between two but was heavily leaning towards the one I ultimately chose; a few hours before Dad died, Mum emailed me links to these two courses, not knowing that they were the two I was considering.

This is a mostly-forgotten occurrence from that day, as it was obviously overshadowed by Dad's death. I only remembered because I read my emails from that time and saw that Mum and I had been talking about my next course.

And the choices? Social sciences with humanities or a law course. Mum reckoned I be interested in both of them because of the writing involved. She was correct and I ended up going with Social Science and Humanities, as featured History and Sociology. Law didn't interest me anywhere near as much; I later found out that the Law class was less than half the size of Social Science and Humanities. Having a bigger class was preferable, in this circumstance.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Gone for two years

Dad has been dead for two years, as of today. I went over to visit Mum and James yesterday rather than today, whereas this afternoon I worked a little on my upcoming projects for the next university term. This is what I said about Dad elsewhere:

"Exactly two years have now passed since Dad's sudden death. While there's so much to tell him if it were possible, many a times it's small things that I want to talk about. The other day, I was watching a cartoon that he, my brother and I have all seen loads of times (ReBoot); in it, I observed a tiny detail that I hadn't noticed before. If he'd still been here, I would have told him about it, he'd likely have been fascinated and we'd have watched a relevant clip so that he'd spot it, too. 

Alas, the days of these particular tiny pleasures are no longer. Still, new ones can be formed while the old ones with Dad can be remembered fondly.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Groceries in Clifton

Clifton has five grocery stores (at least five that I've seen, anyway): A Tesco, a Co-op, a Morrisons, an Iceland and an independent outlet called Mace. While I have shopped at all three of these stores, I primarily purchase my groceries from the Morrisons, followed by a Tesco in the Victoria Centre in the city centre, which in turn is followed by the Tesco here. The Tesco here is a small one at a fuel station whereas the one in the Victoria Centre is the size of a usual large supermarket.

While the Co-op was the first store I went to when I first visited Clifton in September 2015, I rarely go there, as the Co-op tends to have higher prices than the others (although not quite so high as Sainsbury's). I've been to Iceland twice and the Mace store once; Iceland's prices vary whereas the Mace store is located on a side street that I rarely walk down.

By contrast, in the town in Northamptonshire that we used to live in, it had three Co-ops: A large one, a medium-sized and a small. I tended to use all three on a mostly equal basis. There was a general store of sorts but I never went there.

As for my mother, she doesn't shop at any of these outlets: She receives weekly home deliveries from Tesco, which is practical for her and my brother.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Liveland History: 4th January 2013

Wow...it's been three years since this:

While I wasn't overweight, I was concerned about my weight back then and my propensity to rapidly consume foods such as chocolate. Nowadays, I still am concerned about my doing such a thing: During Access, thanks to eating too many sweet items and not exercising enough, I ended up reversing all of the weight losses I'd made from 2013 to late-2015. Since the summer of 2016, however, I've been reversing that trend, as I have been walking regularly again.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Post-break university re-opening 2017

Nottingham Trent University officially re-open today, after being closed since mid/late-December. This means that services such as the library are open again and the tutors have returned to the campus. Security, on the other hand, maintained an active presence, as there are students still on campus, such as myself.

One of my friends and classmates informed me of another book we have to read before the holidays finish and so I will find that book in the library once I've finished the current book I'm reading, which is The French Lieutenant's Woman, for my main English module.

Monday, 2 January 2017

"Tired of Being Sorry" - Enrique Iglesias and "Wish I Didn't Miss You" - Angie Stone

This is an unusual music post in that I am highlighting a different song each by two completely separate artists. Now, these two songs are:

"Tired of Being Sorry" by Enrique Iglesias (2007) and...

..."Wish I Didn't Miss You" by Angie Stone (2002). For the most part, neither of these songs has anything in common; however, I recently heard both while in a store. I typed up some of the lyrics on my phone to then research when I returned to my accommodation. These tracks are certainly a couple of gems!

Unlike Julian Velard and Aly & AJ, however, the existence of Iglesias and Stone was already known to me long before I heard their respective songs in stores.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

New Year's Day 2017

I've just come back from my mother's and brother's house, as I spent the day down at theirs to celebrate the new year. I hope you had fun NYE celebrations and I wish you all a happy new year. Good luck for 2017 and beyond.