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helen666

helen666

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since 03/04/2005

27

Jokes 30/05/2007

Bad jokes and good jokes

Jokes One day, a cat dies and goes to heaven where he meets God. The Lord says to the cat, "You lived a good life, and if there is any way I can make your stay in heaven more comfortable, please let me know." The cat thinks for a moment and says, "Lord, all my life I have lived with a poor family and had to sleep on a hard wooden floor." The Lord stops the cat and says, "Say no more," and a wonderful, fluffy pillow appears. A few days later, some mice are killed, and all of them go to heaven. Again, the Lord is there to greet them with the same offer. The mice answer, "All our lives we have been chased. We have had to run from cats, dogs, and even women with brooms. Running, running, running; we're tired of running. Do you think we could have roller skates so that we don't have to run anymore?" So God says, "Say no more" and fits each mouse with beautiful new roller skates. About a week later, the Lord stops by to see the cat and finds him snoozing on the pillow. The Lord gently wakes the cat and asks him, "How are things since you got here?" The cat stretches and yawns, then replies, "It is wonderful here. Better than I could have ever expected. And those Meals On Wheels you've been sending by are the best!" A priest in a small rural town was very fond of his 10 chickens and 1 handsome cock he kept in a hen house behind the rectory. One Saturday night the priest discovered that the rooster was missing. At the same time the priest heard rumors of cock-fights being ...

Member Advice on Uni life in general 23/05/2007

How To Survive University!

Member Advice on Uni life in general Hello... I'm a second-year Law student at Exeter University, I have lived in catered halls and in a flat in self-catered halls, and I will be moving into a rented house next year (my final year). I have had an absolutely fantastic time so far and I don't regret going to university at all, but uni life has got a few "downs" as well as the much-publicised "ups". So here we go... Your choice of accommodation has a huge effect on how much you enjoy (or not) your university life. As a general rule: old halls with "standard" rooms (a bed, a sink, a table, etc... no fancy stuff like en-suite bathroom) have the best social life. The fact they're old means that traditions have built up over the years, such as songs and chants, special events such as balls and formal dinners, sports teams, and rivalries with other halls. The fact that you've got to share a bathroom with other people means that everyone will venture out of their bedroom at least once a day to use it, so you've got more of a chance of bumping into people in the corridors than if you all have en-suite and never need to leave your rooms. Also, older halls often have longer corridors therefore more people per corridor, and if you have a few bathrooms shared between lots of people instead of everyone having their own bathroom it means you can fit more bedrooms in the building. Some new halls have locking doors that separate corridors and blocks from one another, making it difficult to meet people from other parts of ...

Bang Bang Rock & Roll - Art Brut 22/08/2006

*sings* Wrote a review, I wrote a review...

Bang Bang Rock & Roll - Art Brut The first time I heard an Art Brut (meaning "outsider art") song, "Formed A Band", I didn't really "get" it and just dismissed it as a silly little singalong. Then, after friends and websites recommended their album lots of times, I started thinking about checking them out again. By coincidence, I happened to be studying at a summer school in London when they appeared at a free mini-festival just round the corner from the school (Tin Pan Alley Festival 2005), so I (slightly guiltily) decided to pause my exam revision to go to the gig - and I didn't end up regretting it at all! The energy displayed live also becomes apparent on "Bang Bang Rock 'n' Roll", their debut album - not just in the lack of slow songs, but also through their anarchic manifesto and sense of humour. It's quirky and cheeky, with choruses built for singing along to. The apparent silliness and simplicity of songs such as the Blur-esque "Formed a Band" hide scenester in-jokes lurking just below the surface. First track "Formed A Band" opens with its simple, singalong chorus - "Formed a band, we formed a band, look at us, we formed a band!" - while the verses show disdain for certain multiplatinum bland bands ("Stop buying your albums from the supermarket/ They only stock records that have charted") and big rock stars' talk about "the kids" who buy their records ("And YES, this IS my singing voice, it's NOT irony, it's NOT rock and roll, we're just talking... to the kids!"). There's not really much need ...

Violent Dazzling (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Johnny Panic 11/05/2006

prepare to be dazzled...

Violent Dazzling (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Johnny Panic Little-known cult band Johnny Panic are one of those Bands That Should Be A Bit Bigger Than They Actually Are. Despite having a style like Green Day with a touch of the Manic Street Preachers, they have been largely ignored by magazines such as Kerrang!, which is surprising as you'd expect them to feature this kind of band all the time. Debut LP "The Violent Dazzling" is not perfect but it is still an excellent album, and it is better than certain over-hyped albums that have been massively successful recently (cough... "X&Y"... cough...). Twelve tracks stuffed with power-pop harmonies but also enough riffery to please the rockers, topped off with choruses to lift the lids off stadiums, catchy hooks and a radio-friendly melodic rock sheen, and it's surprising they're not massive yet. Opener "Minority Of One" (I think the title was inspired from the Mahatma Ghandi quote inside the artwork booklet: "Even in a minority of one, the truth is still the truth") is a good rock track based around a simple riff with catchy "oh-oh-oh-oh" bits in the chorus. "Free Winona" has a more aggressive-sounding start (although it soon becomes more laid-back) and a more distinctive riff than "Minority of One". More on the rock side (guitar solos etc) and less on the punk side. "Warn You" has melodramatic-sounding guitar-playing and vocals, sounds like a 1990s Manic Street Preachers single (there's even a talky bit in the middle), with the catchiest chorus of the album so far (It's ...

Greatest Lovesongs, Vol. 666 - H.I.M. 28/01/2006

in 666 ways I love this album...

Greatest Lovesongs, Vol. 666 - H.I.M. HIM's debut album "Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666" sounds quite different to latest studio album "LoveMetal", despite having the same producer. Here, Linde Laser's guitar riffs buzz and occasionally crunch; now, they chug along. HIM were apparently very influenced by Type O Negative when they did this album, although I've never listened to TON so I can't really comment. Opening track "Your Sweet Six Six Six" - a different version to the one on "Razorblade Romance" - is rawer than the slick pop-metal anthem it later became. This song has evolved over the years and now, when they play it live, the quiet (near-silent) bit in the middle often turns into an instrumental break... which one is the best version depends on personal opinion, but this song always rocks. "Wicked Game" - a cover version of Chris Isaak's hit single - is now a crunchin', heavy-riffin' rawk song, a live favourite, with a good hook and - from my own jammin' experience - really fun to play! "The Heartless" starts off sounding rather light compared with the previous 2 monster mosh songs, sounding like a flower-picking romantic skip through the meadows in comparison... but that doesn't last for long: after a quiet bit between about 2:20 and 2:50, dominated by keyboards, but with a barely-audible beat and Ville Valo whispering in the background, a sudden, metal guitar solo bursts in, and then, just as suddenly, it's back to the song again as before. Like much of this album, the lack of diversity between ...

10 Most Annoying Sayings 14/01/2006

Dial-A-Cliche (or two)

10 Most Annoying Sayings Honorable mentions: "Yeah?" / "Right?" at the end of every sentence. "Sorted" (What do you call a chav in a filing cabinet? Sorted.) "You've pulled babe." (Pulled what? A muscle? A pint?) "No offence, but..." followed by something that causes offence. "I have nothing against... but..." (ditto). "Well fit / buff." (Is it supposed to be some sort of compliment?) People saying "lol", "noob", etc. in real life (not on the internet). and now it's on with the show... 10. Random Nothing wrong with this word in its correct useage, but lately it has been overused by young people. A lot of teens use it in a way that seems synonymous with "loser" or "weirdo". They make it sound like an insult: "You're so random!" It is often used when someone does something slightly out of the ordinary, like changing the subject or revealing they have an eclectic or unexpected taste in music, food, clothes, books, etc. I've got a friend who really overuses it, both in real life and in MSN Messenger "conversations" (always guaranteed to have phrases like "lol random" or "lol so random" in there somwhere). Some people who overuse "random" also have a tendency to say internet phrases like "lol" in real life. Examples: "I'm bored just sitting around like this, let's go out somewhere." "What? You're so random!" "I listen to Radiohead and Pink Floyd a lot, but I admit that I also have a soft spot for Abba and Steps..." "You like prog-rock AND cheese? That's just ...

Options Hot Chocolate 31/10/2005

as the ads say: it's nice to have options!

Options Hot Chocolate I'm afraid to say that I've only tried 2 flavours of Options - Belgian Choc and Mint Madness - as these are the only ones I've been able to find. They came in little one-serving sachets which is the main reason why I bought them - for convenience! (The other reason was money - they're cheaper than the other hot chocolate sachets they had at the local garage - usually around 44p per sachet). They're also "just add hot water", which is also convenient. These dinky little sachets also open quite easily, just tear them open - no need for scissors, teeth, etc. It's like this product was designed for convenience! Both flavours are quite nice, especially Mint Madness (mint chocolate, although the mint seems stronger than the chocolate). They're not perfect but they are less "watery" and have more flavour than a lot of other just-add-water instant hot chocolate drinks: I tend to find some brands of instant hot drinks don't dissolve well - they seem to just form cups of hot water with lumps of powder floating in them - but i don't have this problem with Options. They're just the right level of sweetness for me - I find some hot chocolate drinks are either too sweet (lots of added sugar!) or you need to add a bit of sugar to give any flavour. Considering the price, Options taste really good! They are, quite famously, only 40 calories per drink. I think it's because they contain sweeteners instead of sugars, and also the fact that it contains a decent amount of cocoa (18% - not a ...

A-Z for Members Challenges 11/09/2005

The ABC of me... from AC/DC to Zzz...

A-Z for Members Challenges An alphabet of everything to do with me and my life... A AC/DC - big loud dumb rock'n'roll fun, once one of my favourite bands, AC/DC is one of the bands that brought me and many of my schoolfriends together a few years ago, uniting us with mutual favourite songs like "Highway To Hell", "Back In Black", "Who Made Who", "Thunderstruck" and "Hell's Bells". Alcohol - that legendary social lubricant that becomes a central part of all parties from the age of 18. Seemingly the only thing that can make Southerners talk to each other (or even smile) for once in their lives. Alcohol has been known to make people (like, er, me) do things like dance really badly, sing even worse (I can't control my voice at all when I'm really really p*ssed), get stuck inside someone's giant rabbit hutch, nick a skateboard and ride down the road on it (could have been dangerous but I was sobering up at that point so I was slightly awake enough to stop myself getting hurt), join in a stupid spitting contest with the boys (I was impressed by one of my mates who appeared to be spitting huge amounts of spit long distances over a balcony... I later found out that he was actually projectile vomiting!!) and dance around 2 of your best mates who are on that balcony while hitting them with flowers and trying to make them dance with everyone else. Apparently. As the great philosopher Homer Simpson once said, "Alcohol: the cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems." B Babysitting - ...

Meat Is Murder - Smiths (The) 17/08/2005

Rusholme ruffians go funky...

Meat Is Murder - Smiths (The) "Meat Is Murder" is an experimental, eclectic album, with songs that dip The Smiths' toes into various genres but are all united by the common theme of man's inhumanity to man and beast alike (the cover even features a picture of a soldier from the anti-Vietnam War film "In The Year Of The Pig", with the album's title scrawled on his helmet.) Things kickstart into action with the punchy "The Headmaster Ritual", opening with an infectious guitary intro and the surely unique line "Beligerent ghouls run Manchester schools". It features lyrics based on singer Morrissey's brutal schooldays (this was before the cane was banned, of course), multilayered guitars and yodelling vocals in the heart of a catchy and slightly Beatles-esque pop-rock track. A great way to start an album, instantly grabbing your attention. "Rusholme Ruffians" is an Elvis-esque, shuffling, skiffley rockabilly trot through a Rusholme fairground, audially setting the scene (even ending with the sound of the fair being shut up at the end of the night) while Moz sings about a night of violence and romance with said ruffians. It goes on a bit but is still a really good song. Live, the band often gave a little nod to the song's influences by performing it in a medley with Elvis Presley's "(Marie's The Name Of) His Latest Flame". "I Want The One I Can't Have" is typical Smiths; a bit of lonesome longing here, a dash of innuendo there, some wistful romance (including an (unlikely) liason with "A tough kid ...

Top Ten Websites 06/08/2005

Top Ten Websites

Top Ten Websites Ten top websites, not in order of preference, just the order that I typed them in! 1. Ciao (www.ciao.co.uk) - well of course we all know about this site! The place for comparing prices between online shops, researching products, reading and writing reviews on just about anything... and earning money! 2. eBay (www.ebay.co.uk) - another place to earn (or lose) money, the world-famous auction site includes most things you'd ever want to buy, from ordinary stuff like clothes, CDs, DVDs, videos, books, toys, cars and accessories to rather more bizarre sales including: advertising space on people's bodies, a naked man for hire, family photos (who would want a complete stranger's family photos?), drug-smoking accessories, actress Sienna Miller's diet Coke can (empty), Britney Spears's chewing gum (chewed), Iraq's Most Wanted playing cards (I bought 2 packs of these) and a stolen wooden road sign from Pennine Way. Great place to find bargains and rare/collectible stuff or stuff that you just can't find anywhere else (...plus it's fun!). 3. Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk) - while I'm on the subject of online shopping, Amazon is another great place to shop - reliable, good prices, mostly new stuff although you can now buy second-hand stuff there too, and there's users' reviews there too, which helps. They have the Amazon marketplace too now, so you can buy from other people via Amazon as well as buying from Amazon. This is quite handy if you need to buy something from an ...

Is compensation culture out of control? 05/08/2005

Is "compensation culture" REALLY a problem?

Is compensation culture out of control? Lately the media has been giving us scare stories about "compensation culture" - the idea of a culture where people receive compensation for any little injury (physical or psychiatric), no matter how it was caused, and this will apparently lead to a "nanny state" (another stick to beat the government with!). Look beyond the headlines and it's a different story. First, a brief history and explanation of this thing. There are 2 big branches of law in England and Wales: civil (or private) law, and criminal law. There are many branches within these, and the two big ones in civil law are the law of contract and the law of torts. "Compensation culture" is to do with the law of tort: an area of law that enforces people's "duty of care" towards each other, for example food manufacturers have a duty of care to their customers by making sure the food they make is safe to eat (it must be made in clean conditions etc.). The earliest case of this was Donoghue v. Stevenson, in the 19th century: two friends went to a cafe one day and one of them bought a dessert called a "ginger beer float" (which was popular at the time, made of ginger beer and ice cream, although I wouldn't eat it myself...) for both of them. It was served with some ginger beer already poured on the ice creams, and they were given the remainder of the opaque bottle of ginger beer to pour themselves if they wanted some more. Donoghue, the woman who had not bought the desserts, had eaten some of her ginger beer ...

Covent Garden, London 08/07/2005

Covent Garden, London

Covent Garden, London I've been to Covent Garden a couple of times, once a few years ago and once a few days ago, and I am still yet to have explored all of it! Not only is there the huge marketplace but it is also surrounded by lots of other shops too. The famous market area is covered with a roof and home to lots and lots of stalls selling cheap clothes, jewellery, accessories etc. - lots of very low prices, especially considering this is bang in the middle of London, one of the priciest cities in Britain. Although, sometimes the prices are cheap because the products are cheap... but look carefully and you may find stuff that's actually worth buying and comes at a bargain price. When I was 13 or 14 I was on a school trip to London and we spent a few hours in Covent Garden, and we thought it was great, frittering away our pocket money on cheap hair grips and little things at these stalls. As well as the stalls, the market is home to shops including high-street big-name stores like Monsoon (at least 2 or 3 branches here... they seem to be taking over the place!), but there's also a selection of small, independent shops - one to note is England Rocks, which sells all kinds of memorabilia (shirts and T-shirts, signed stuff, fridge magnets, beer mats, badges, everything...) to do with classic Brit bands like The Rolling Stones, The Clash, the Beatles, the Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC (little-known fact: people often call them Australian, but 3 of them were actually born in Scotland and ...

Morrissey - Who Put The 'M' In Manchester (DVD) 21/06/2005

Moz puts the M in Manchester... MMM! :-)

Morrissey - Who Put The 'M' In Manchester (DVD) After a 12-year waiting list to book the venue, Morrissey finally got to play last year (2004) on his 45th birthday - but age has not bluntened the sharpness of his lyrics (or spoken words of wit). Rather than becoming a middle-aged crooner type, he still rocks in his own way, driving the audience into all kinds of wild stage-diving, crowd-surfing antics! The setlist is dominated by tracks from the rather good new album "You Are The Quarry" including the anthems "First Of The Gang To Die", "Irish Blood, English Heart", "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?" and "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores", the ballad "I'm Not Sorry" and the really sweet "Let Me Kiss You". (A lot of "...Quarry" songs tend to sound better live I think). Oddly, there's also a lot of B-sides - the rock-riffing fun new track "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice", older B-sides like the stirring, creepy and strangely anthemic "Jack The Ripper", and the beloved "Rubber Ring" from his days with The Smiths - but they are well chosen, often better than a lot of rivals' A-sides. There's also his classic anthem "Everyday Is Like Sunday" (a great singalong track that has recently been appearing on a lot of "various artists" indie compilation CDs), plus a couple of Smiths album tracks that were strong enough to be singles: "The Headmaster Ritual" and "A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours", and a climatic finish with The Smiths' classic songs "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" and "There Is A Light That ...

Lost 1973 Album - John Dummer 12/06/2005

Dance your legs down to the knees...

Lost 1973 Album - John Dummer Although not the strongest Smiths album, "Strangeways, Here We Come" is still worth listening to. Opener "A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours" is a classic, I love the way Morrissey's voice starts out sounding spooky, far-off and unearthly as he sings "Hellooooo... I am the ghost of troubled Joe..." and slowly starts to sound normal as they launch into the song. The sound effect gives the impression of the ghost coming back to our world ("I travelled to a mystical time zone, but I missed my bed so I soon came home..."). The song then continues with a slightly more conventional sound and some more romantic lyrics (well what do you expect from a great romantic like Moz?). It also manages to rock despite an apparent lack of guitar on it (could this have been the inspiration for Keane?) "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" is a swingy, poppy, guitar-y Smiths track in the style of older songs like "Still ill", "Ask", "Shakespeare's Sister" and "What Difference Does It Make?" (useless trivia: If you listen carefully at the end, you can hear Moz asking the producer, "OK Stephen... do that again?") A rollicking, pop-rock song. "Death Of A Disco Dancer" is more experimental (it's also been covered by experimental punk mavericks Yourcodenameis:milo on a tribute album), with a few weird, scratchy sounds, especially at the start (no idea what made them), some big instrumental bits like a guitar solo (of sorts... it's a solo but it's not of the ...

Does violence on the screen create violence in society? 09/06/2005

Does screen violence create violence in society?

Does violence on the screen create violence in society? The debate over whether violence on screen (movies, TV, videogames etc.) auses violence in society has raged for years and involved some dodgy "proof" that it does. While I don't agree with some violent scenes in various forms of media, I'm still not convinced that it causes real violence in society. I had to do a presentation on this topic in my psychology class at school and found some interesting arguments and "proofs" for both sides of the debate. One study often quoted as proof that violence on TV makes kids violent is "the Bobo doll studies" by Bandura, a psychologist who is famous for his Social Learning Theory (basically this is the theory that behaviour is learned from watching the behaviour of others - vicarious learning. If the person being watched is seen to be rewarded for their behaviour in some way, it is "vicarious reinforcement" for the person watching - the behaviour is reinforced in them too, making them even more likely to copy it. So for example, according to this theory, a child may learn to throw tantrums from watching another child throw a tantrum, and if the other child is seen to get some sort of reward for the tantrum, like getting what he/she wants, it makes it even more likely that the child observing this is going to mimic this behaviour in future.) The BBC programme "Child Of Our Time" used an experiment similar to the Bobo doll studies and later presenter Robert Winston used it as evidence of TV making kids violent in an opinion column in ...
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