Well, I'm back in the UK. Don't know where to start this post. Flights were all delayed, but the Qatar-London flight was amazing. Seats were like first class, choice of movies was brilliant, food I swear to god tasted like something you'd get in an expensive restaurant, even the lighting impressed me. It took half an hour longer than scheduled, but the flight went so well I didnt even feel it. Scene: London. Time: perfect. Weather: Cloudless Altitude: 1000 feet. Sensation: breathtaking. Tower Bridge, Highbury, London Eye, Hyde Park, even that building that looks like a Gherkin. I dunno why we got a tour of London from the air, but we did, and it was absolutely FANTABULOUS! It was really something which I cant describe, and damn is it big. London is absolutely massive, it just stretches out for miles and miles. jeez...something special. Story of the day: I was in town doing some apple shopping (buying apples, my main diet, along with tuna fish sandwiches and Quatro Staggioni Orange Carrot and Lemon Juice). Ok so I was in town, and this lady stops us. Shes wearing a shirt that says something on it, I dont remember what, identifying her as a representative of some childrens charity. So she says hello, and my friend Omar says 'sorry, we're in a bit of a hurry'. She speaks with a bit of an accent, an accent I'm very familiar with: Greek. No doubt a student. So she completely ignores him and asks us 'are you english?' He says yes, and she asks me are you english as well? For some absolutely mad reason, I say "me no english" and pretend I dont understand her. I've never done anything so dumb before, but my friends response was even worse. In a perfect english accent (he lived here his whole life, hes white and looks as english as it gets) he says "no, we're not english, we're greek". At this point I burst out laughing at the sheer stupidity of the situation, catch myself, and say "hahaha, no I meant I'm not english. Hes greek, I'm american." (was hoping my accent would convince her). Apparently it did, because she lit up, and shes like "Oh Americans! But wow so far from home! What are you doing here!"And I say something only someones whos never even HEARD of England can say; the first thing that comes to mind I swear I wasnt trying to be funny: "Oh we're just here to enjoy the weather!"
Posted by illogicist at 11:33 AM
Hurricanes Dolphins and Terrorists, Oh My!
Just another weird and wonderful to story to emerge from the tale that is Katrina - dolphins trained by the US government to seek out terrorists in teh Gulf Of Mexico."Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing."http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1577753,00.html The weird, the wonderful. Its a beautiful world.
Posted by illogicist at 2:39 AM
The Baby With Two Heads
NP - Dream Theater - Misunderstood I was watching TV today (*sigh*) and I saw an ad for the next episode of Oprah. Amongst other topics, there was this thing about this baby with 2 heads. The pictures, the video...it was disturbing. It was like a baby joined at the head to...another head, with some sort of blog thing attached to it. Like a body, not fully formed. I've seen similar stuff, but the other head, my God! The other head was moving and crying and argh! Oh, heres something else on TV. 'The Insider' about Princess Diana's secret lover? Prince Harry's father? Normally I couldn't care less about the lives of celebrities, but after all the fuss about Diana a few years back...its interesting. However, none of those are actually interesting enough for me to try to catch either Oprah or The Insider. Does anyone have any info about either of these things that would give me a bigger picture? Thanks in advance.
Posted by illogicist at 12:44 PM
NP - Sigur Ros - Se Lest Well, I did my last round of goodbyes today (I think its the last round anyway). Went to Jeans Grill for breakfast, as per tradition, with a couple of the guys, had a good meal. There was beef-bacon, the pancakes were good, the lentil soup was better than its been for a while, and the pineapple juice was good as usual. I love Jeans Grill - its a good place, and its got good prices. The tradition I mentioned is that, during my school years, we used to go every thursday, when we could, for breakfast. Last year I was at uni, and so we would go when I was around. We went a few times this summer, but it seems we've drifted apart, and we're always busy. That happens with friendships - you get close, have some good times together, and gradually drift apart. Its sad, but it happens in virtually every aspect of life, and you just need to accept it. After that went to Darcy's Kitchen and met up with a friend whos much closer to me than the other guys. We spent about an hour there, just catching up and talking about the future and stuff, you know, the usual. I've never been to Darcy's Kitchen before, and its actually a pleasant suprise. The layout and atmosphere and that reminds me more of the European cafes than the stuff you get here. All very casual, you dont feel awkward sitting there or anything. And the prices are good too. Had a chocolate milkshake, it was good. The only thing is those menus are like bricks. I dont know why they decided to make the menus ridiculously heavy and uninviting, but there you go. Oh well. I leave on monday, and I dont really plan to leave the house to meet anyone from now until then. There was supposed to be a Sabla meet, but theres no chance of me going now. I was hoping it would be tonight, but its too late for that. Oh well, no big deal. There are certain things about being anonymous which I quite like :p
Posted by illogicist at 2:36 AM
Just Another Post
Np - Nevermore - Born I've wanted to post something for a couple of days now, but everytime something comes to mind, it...well, I dunno. I guess I'm not in a blogging mood. So I suppose I'm just going to ramble about about whatever comes into mind. I'm leaving Oman on the 26th - thats exactly 3 months of summer spent in Oman, since I arrived on teh 26th of June. I can't say its been a bad holiday - not at all. Despite the fact that I was a little reluctant to come back to Oman, since I didn't think I'd have any friends here and I was having such a good time in the UK, its been a really, really great summer. I didn't make the most of it - I didnt get the job like I wanted to, I didnt continue scuba diving, etc. It wasn't a total waste of time. But there were a number of spectacular failures :p which I won't go into. Still, it was suprisingly good...I suspect I'll post another post about this as the day comes closer. What else. Is it just me or is there a silly amount of Frasier on TV these days? Its like, 2 double bills a day sometimes. And as far as I know, most people don't really like Frasier (I love it, its so snobbish, and the older seasons were hilarious). Not that I'm complaining, its just weird. I kicked the TV addiction years ago, but the last couple of days...well, I've been watching crap like Still Standing or whatever that show is called and actually enjoying it, even though its one of those shows I call 'generic rubbish'. I've started following The Sopranos, and I'm really digging House Swap. And I couldn't have picked a worse time - I don't plan on having a TV in the UK. TV is the annihilator of creativity...TV and the internet :s
Posted by illogicist at 8:14 PM
NP - Gordian Knot - Grace (live) This is taken from Oscar Wilde's "The Picture Of Dorian Gray". Interesting words, even if I don't agree with them. "My dear boy, no woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly. Women represent the triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals." Its the last sentence which I find so interesting. Even though its an absolute generalisation, and a hideous one at that, its something that can be applied even today (one might say especially today). What do you think?
Posted by illogicist at 11:22 PM
NP - System of A Down - Sat Statue For some reason there was no lunch at home today, and everyone went back to sleep before lunchtime. So I had to go out and buy some horrible junk food. But I noticed my deo was running low, so I decided to take a long-cut and go to Al-Fair MQ and buy some, and pick up some milk and bread while there. And what do I see there but this: (that pic was taken at home, not at the shop, for the record) Basically its a non-plastic bag, which you can use again and again for your shopping and anything else. Interesting move from ESO, and one that I like very much. Lets hope it catches on. Check out the back, it seems someone is a System Of A Down fan :p Bring Your Own Bag. So guys, go out and buy your ESO bags, say no to plastic. Why? Well, read this, from http://www.cleanup.com.au/ - Plastic is a recyclable resource. - Plastic bags are manufactured from non-renewable resources - oil and gas. - Just 8.7 checkout bags contain enough embodied petroleum energy to drive a car 1 km (2) - If plastic is not recycled, this embodied energy is lost from the resource chain. Anyway, Im not sure where you can get these bags, apart from Al-Fair MQ. But I'm sure theyre around. Heres the website of the Environmental Society of Oman, in english and arabic www.environment.org.om www.environment.org.om/arabic P.S. the food, as expected, was terrible. I swear someone should open a quality healthfood place here. Oh, if there already is one, please let me know.
Posted by illogicist at 4:33 AM
I Hate Blogger
I had this super long post typed out, all about the Motorshow, Cinderella Man, and the shortcomings of the blogger comments system, and blogger decided to just wipe it clean, just like that. No edit, undo, no NOTHING. I swear there must be some conspiracy. The bloody Blogger imps are reading everything we type as we type it, and are censoring anything that is insulting to them. Curse you Blogger, if I could be bothered I'd sue. For now, you'll have to be content with my damnation and endless curses. May the flees of a thousand leperous camels infest your unclean genitalia, and may your arms be too short to scratch them.
*very very angry*
Oh look, it wont even let me make this post italic. thats petty, Blogger, very petty.
Posted by illogicist at 2:07 AM
Np - Kingston Wall - Welcome To The Mirrorland From 'The Deptford Trilogy', a book I just finished. Thought this was interesting. "It's a man's thing," said I; "and I think we have seen the last of it for a while on this earth. It can't live in a world of liberted women, and perhaps the liberation of women is worth the price it is certain to cost. But chivalry won't die easily or unnoticed; banish chivalry from the world and you snap the mainspring of many lives."
"You're both wrong," said Magnus. "I don't think chivalry belongs to the past"..."He was the rare creature [of an old friend], a Man of One Woman. He loved Milady young and he loved her old and much of her greatness was the creation of love. To hear people talk and to look at the stuff they read and see in the theatre and films, you'd think the true man was the man of many women, and the more women, the more masculine the man. Don Juan is the ideal." ... "But the Man of One Woman is very rare. He needs resources of spirit and psychological virtuosity beyond the common, and he needs luck too, because the Man of One Woman must find a woman of extraordinary quality."
Posted by illogicist at 12:04 PM
The Darwin Award Winners
NP - Trivium - Declaration These are probably pretty old, and a lot of you have probably seen them, but I figured I'd put them here anyway, just as a mental record I guess, and for those that haven't. 1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California, would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked..... 2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and, after a little hopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence, sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved. 3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his Vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her. 4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days. 5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit. 6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer...$15. (If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?) 7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape. 8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from." 9. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at 5 a.m., flashed a gun,demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast . The man, frustrated, walked away. 10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had. Some more of the same: Police in Wichita, Kansas, arrested a 22-year-old man at an airport hotel after he tried to pass two counterfeit $16 bills. When two service station attendants in Ionia, Michigan, refused to hand over the cash to an intoxicated robber, the man threatened to call the police. They still wouldn't give him the money, so the robber called the police -- and was arrested. A guy wearing pantyhose on his face tried to rob a store in a mall. When the security came, he quickly grabbed a shopping bag and pretended to be shopping, forgetting that he was still wearing the pantyhose. He was captured, and his loot was returned to the store. Police in Radnor, Pennsylvania, interrogated a suspect by placing a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy machine. They placed the message "HE'S LYING" in the copier, and pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn't telling the truth. Believing the "lie detector" was working, the suspect confessed to the police. A Los Angeles man who later said he was "tired of walking" stole a steamroller and led police on a 5mph chase, until an officer stepped aboard and brought the vehicle to a stop. AVweb, a weekly aviation news letter, reported that a bungling burglar broke into a Mooney aircraft at the Knox County, Ohio airport and removed its avionics system, including the Emergency Locating Transmitter or ELT. This device sends homing signals if the aircraft crashes. You can guess what happened next. The ham-handed crook jarred the ELT enough to activate it, and authorities had no trouble tracking the perpetrator to his lair.
Posted by illogicist at 3:11 AM
I saw an episode of this show today. It looked like it was going to be rubbish but...well I actually enjoyed it. It was funny. Weird - I usually dont enjoy this kind of show, but it reminded me a lot of Scrubs, a show I actually enjoy. So I watched the whole episode...lots of stuff going on. In an attempt to fix their family name, the Bluths hire a publicist who tells them to do this and that, none of which seems to go right. http://www.fox.com/arresteddev/Help...I might start enjoying TV.... :s
Posted by illogicist at 9:04 AM
The Names Of The Devil
NP - The Project Hate - Symphony of the DeceivedOnwards with this mini-interest in the devil, I found a website that lists all the names of the Devil used in the Bible and elsewhere...Boy. Theres a lot. I'm going to list them, but heres the link to the website, in case any of you are actually interested :phttp://www.embassyofheaven.com/catalog/comeout/comeoutk3d.htmThis website is actually scary. Anybody who dares to call themselves "God's Government On Earth" must be extreme bigots and not to be trusted. Anyway:Abaddon (Revelation 9:11). Accuser of our brethren (Revelation 12:10). Adversary (1 Peter 5:8). Angel of Light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Angel of the bottomless pit (Revelation 9:11). Antichrist (1 John 4:3). Apollyon (Revelation 9:11). Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24). Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15). Crooked serpent (Isaiah 27:1). Devil (Matthew 4:1). Dragon (Isaiah 27:1; Revelation 12:3; 20:2). Enemy (Matthew 13:39). Father of lies (John 8:44). God of this World (2 Corinthians 4:4). Leviathan (Isaiah 27:1). Liar (John 8:44). Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12). Lying spirit (1 Kings 22:22). Murderer (John 8:44). Old serpent (Revelation 12:9; 20:2). Piercing serpent (Isaiah 27:1). Power of darkness (Colossians 1:13). Prince of the devils (Matthew 12:24). Prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). Prince of this world (John 14:30). Roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). Ruler of this world (John 12:31; 16:11). Satan (1 Chronicles 21:1; Job 1:6; John 13:27; Acts 5:3; 26:18; Romans 16:20). Serpent (Genesis 3:4, 14; 2 Corinthians 11:3). Son of the Morning (Isaiah 14:12). Spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2). Swine (Matthew 7:6). Tempter (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5). Unclean spirit (Matthew 12:43). Wicked one (Matthew 13:19, 38).
And don't forget, theres other names, not mentioned in the Bible, but in other literature which we've come to accept as names for Satan, such as Mephistopheles.
Posted by illogicist at 8:58 AM
NP - John Petrucci - Jaws Of Life Looking back at my first year of university, I realise that a great amount of time was wasted either waiting for, or missing, buses. Perhaps wasted isn't the right word - I struck up many a friendship at the bus stop. When its cold, dark and wet, and you're waiting for the bus, the last thing you really want to do is talk to a stranger. Its exactly in this situation that your mind conjurs up unpleasant situations. But I was on campus. If the others at the bus stop weren't students, they were lecturers. If they were in fact students, then chances are they were in the same situation. It's remarkable how a casual conversation can make you forget the cold, and make the minutes pass faster. And it goes a long way - even if nothing 'serious' ever comes of it, its still something. I've just lost whatever motivation I had to write the rest of this post. =/
Posted by illogicist at 8:46 AM
The Romantic Projection And Personification Of The Devil
NP - Opeth - The Grand Conjuration I was thinking about this. The Devil, and modern society. How do we see 'The Devil', do we still believe in him as anything more than a metaphor for our own personal evil? I'm not talking religiously here or anything of the sort. Anyway, often the Devil isn't depicted as some big evil monster, dripping acid from his terrible fangs. No, the devil is much more subtle. Theres no hate in the devil, or if there is, its well concealed behind his facade of sophistication and false, mocking modesty. Many of us see, unfortunately, when faced with the word 'Vampire', think of the Buffy type...rotting or horribly disfigured corpses without minds. I take personal offence to this. In my view, vampires are a perfect personification of the Devil of the Middle-Ages. Picture this: an old castle - unapproachable to the local population, the village farmers and blacksmiths and bakers (thats us). Nobody really knows what happens in there - but its big, its daunting, and its threatening - covertly so. Its threatening in its scale, its grandeur, and perhaps also its emptiness. And obviously its mystery. On to our vampire. He is the definition of sophisticaton. Absolutely cool, cold. Not a hint of temper whatsoever - a vampire never loses his temper, because he knows it serves no purpose. His sense of humour is ironic, and you always feel shabby and stupid in front of him, because he projects and air of absolute intelligence, but hes not the brainiac. He wont drown you in useless facts - he's content to let you know hes better than you. This cool arrogance isn't accidental, its intentional, and its attractive. It's attractive to us, because its what we wish we had. The power in our hands, the utter contentment that we could do whatever we wanted to do, but have no need to exercise it. Our vampire is also absolutely irresistable - every move is graceful, every hair is in place, he is an absolute charmer. There is the hint of great lust and sexual exploration and deviation - absolute adventures of the flesh take place in this, his castle, at his hands. But it's all shrouded in mystery - inviting you in. Thats what we see as the Devil, or at least what I see is the modern interpretation of him. He's become something to aspire to, something to be desired. In our increasingly orderly lives, he is one who doesn't conform, who has all the power in the world, and is delighting in it. Theres always the hint, the invitation, that you could be the same. We know its pure evil, but oh how we want it. A line I read in a book today, "the devil isn't an imperialist, he's a seducer". Meaning he doesn't force you, against your will, to do evil, he turns it around, subtly removes good and evil from the equation, and shows you what you stand to gain (and not what you're bound to lose). After all, the image of the devil as a massive, rabid hound is kind of easy to counter. It's easy to say 'God will protect me from the devil' when thats the image you have of him. But when hes everything you aspire to be - can you resist...?
Posted by illogicist at 4:15 AM
The Best Actors
NP - Evergrey - The Great Deceiver I was reading Sam's blog, and she reminded me of something which I've had in mind for a while, and wanted to discuss it, but never got around to. Three actors I think are just completely above anyone else in Hollywood - Johnny Depp, Kevin Spacey, and Edward Norton. They just blow everyone else out of the water. What do you think?
Posted by illogicist at 2:01 PM
Np - Pink Floyd - Comfortably NumbGirls...girls girls girls ;) Everyone's thinking "ooooh, heres an interesting post, finally! I wonder what Mr. Z will reveal today!"Sorry people, nothing juicy here :p Just a few observations.1) Firstly, I feel sorry for girls. I really do. In relationships, us guys may have the burden of asking the girl out, but the girl has the burden of rejecting! Yep, it can't be easy, rejecting a guy, but in a nice way, so as not to hurt his feelings and make him feel like utter crap. I for one could never do it - I would just be like 'no, bugger off!' and undoubtedly get a reputation as being stuck-up. Which leads me to another thing, it must be impossible for those teenage girls to preserve their reputations. If you accept guys' offers, you're a 'slut', and if you reject em, you're 'stuck up'. God help you girls. 2) Why are guys more evil than girls? Both of us are capable of cheating on our partners...capable and willing, you might say. But guys get all the blame. Well, here's why I think it is. A guy can cheat on a girl, knowing full well that it will destroy her, and not give a damn. In fact, he may enjoy it. Guys have the ability to be mercilessly cold. As sexist as this may sound, I don't think girls can do that (generally speaking of course). Yes, girls can be the kin of the devil at times, but guys are worse. A girl will cheat, not because she wants to hurt you, or she doesnt give a damn about you, but because she's completely forgotten about you. Yup, girls are so caught up in their little universes where they are a Princess (not Queen, mind you - Queens are old, girls are forever young) that they forget your existence. Guys, they dont mean to hurt you, they just forget about you. Thats just how it is. Don't blame em, its their nature. Just avoid em!NP - John Petrucci - Here Without You3) I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday, and she made this marvelously astute observation:"most of us are just waiting for ANY guy to love us and treat us right"
You might not agree, but if you think about it, its true. We're so caught up in this illusion of 'love', that when someone falls for you, unless they're an absolute savage, you image of them is somewhat improved. Even if you don't reciprocate the feeling, you still think better of em. And chances are, if they persist, you (girls) might fall for em. Its not too different with guys either, except generally we are the 'agressors' (:p). Which is why I believe that having a 'shopping list' of requirements our partner must have will rarely stand the acid test...
NP - Klimt 1918 - They Were Wed By The Sea
4) Girls seem to follow trends - about guys. Maybe. This is a recent observation. I remember a friend of mine telling me how 'cute' this guy was. Now, Im no homosexual, but I have a fair idea of what a cute guy looks like. The guy in question seemed very average - even somewhat overweight. Slighty. Anyway, I saw him today, and mentioned him to a friend of mine, who said the exactly the same thing I heard - 'all the girls think he's cute, but I dont see it'. Hmm. The question - is he REALLY cute, or is he just 'fashionable'?
Posted by illogicist at 1:23 PM