Saturday, July 25, 2009

No more mobiles!

One of the sillier ideas the Conservative Party have announced recently is their idea to include removing Mobile Phones from offenders who have been issued with (amongst other things) an ASBO.
Not a very sensible idea, methinks. For a start all someone would need to do was to buy a new 'pay-as-you-go' phone. They're not very expensive after all and how would the Police enforce the rule? With great difficulty i would imagine.
However, in theory it's not a bad idea. I despise mobile phones with a passion. They are fantastic for what they are designed for i.e. in an emergency. They continue to be one of the worst blights of the 21st century (so far).
I would go a lot further than the Tories idea. As far as i am concerned the use of mobile phones in public places should be banned.
There are many very good reasons for this. Nuisance and public safety are just two.
Just imagine if i was to walk down Royal Avenue tomorrow shouting at the top of my voice? I'd probably be arrested. Seems ok when you've got a mobile stuck to your ear?
If you swear at a Police Officer now it is a chargeable offence under the Public Order Act. However, if you use public transport you can shout and swear as much as you like as long as you're on the phone.
Imagine if i crossed the road tomorrow with my head down, not, obviously looking where i was going. Stupid, yes? An offence, also yes? Likely to cause an accident, possibly? How many times have you spotted some twat doing just this whilst sending a vitally important (obviously) text message.
The whole worlds seeming fascination with these devices beggars belief.
And just don't get me started on fu*king text speak!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Short Video game Review

All Flash games are rubbish...right?
I've just finished this one called Ultimate Tactics.

It's fairly short, easy fantasy strategy game, free and written with Flash.
It shares some similarities with the likes of Final Fantasy Tactics. A turn based game i found it very enjoyable. It's pretty easy (especially when you get the Archer) and short but not a bad effort all the same.
There is a little bit of 'grinding' to be done on the early levels in order to build up your experience for the later levels but that's the only disappointing think about it.
Graphics are bright and colourful and it's viewed in 2.5D.
Definitely worth a try.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Short Book Review

'You'll not put your feet on me, you bloody bastard'. Those immortal words spoken by the dashing Fletcher Christian to the tyrannical Captain Blyth in the Marlon Brando/Trevor Howard movie version of the tale left a great impression on me as a young man.
Utter nonsense, off course. However, there are, i think historical events and characters that hold the public imagination in ways that will last forever. The infamous Mutiny on the Bounty is one such event.
I've read a few books on the subject and therefore approached this one with a certain amount of caution.
Firstly, the title. 'The True Story of The Mutiny on the Bounty'. This is the first major 'untruth'.
This isn't the author's fault. The fact is that nobody actually knows the whole truth surrounding the events. The only surviving mutineer, John Adams, changed his story so many times when he was discovered on Pitcairn Island that the truth is simply not known.
There are also two main viewpoints. Those who support Fletcher Christian and those who support Captain Blyth. The author is firmly in the latter camp. An opinion that i share. However, she finds no fault at all with the good Captain and this is something that i can't agree with.
The Captain Blyth portrayed in the movies is nothing like the man actually was (although the Mel Gibson/Anthony Hopkins version of the mutiny comes close). He was not a tyrannical bully. In fact as most ship Captains of the time went he was actually quite lenient. The mutiny took place simply because Christian fell in love on Tahiti and didn't want to go home. Understandable enough i suppose for a young man of his age and experience. The minority of the crew followed him for other simple reasons. They were common seamen. If you had the choice of living on a tropical paradise or starving on the streets of Bristol which would you have chosen? Blyth's mistake was giving the crew too much freedom whilst off shore and then leaving it much too late in his attempts to reinstate discipline once back at sea. He did not and does not, however, deserve the reputation he carries to this day.
The author has very little, if anything, good to say about any of the mutineers. This is again an opinion i share as they to a man tried to lie and cheat their way out of accepting any blame for the events that occurred.
The book is reasonably well written but i found it a bit 'dry'. It is meticiously researched, with the passages relating to the Court Martials particularly well done.
In the end, though, it is just one in a series of books about the Mutiny that offers very little new information.
I would still recommend for anyone who has an interest in the subject.