30 May 2015

Toy Story: Some things I realised

I've just realised some things about Toy Story. (SPOLIERS)

TS2 foreshadows TS3:
In the scene of Woody's nightmare, Woody is dropped by his owner Andy and he falls into the trash can, where the trash anthropomorphically grabs him and stops him from escaping. (Note that all the toys are essentially anthropomorphic too) In TS3, all the toys end up at the recycling centre, and nearly get incinerated because they get pushed into the trash bins.

Also, each movie has a theme, which all centre around fear - a fear that is relevant to the life of a toy. Ultimately, children and adults have these fears too.

TS1: Replacement. Woody fears being replaced as the alpha toy and becomes envious of the new and more popular Buzz Lightyear. (Queen Bee in Mean Girls, anyone? Also, the fact they are called 'plastics'?)
Also, fear of being cannibalised and destroyed by Sid (another foreshadowing to TS3 with Sid as the bin man)
Also, fear of being lost & not being able to go home.

TS2: Purposelessness/Being forgotten. Woody accidentally ends up being put up for sale amongst forgotten toys, and is stolen by the greedy collector Al, where he meets Jesse & others, who were also forgotten about and abandoned by Emily. Al was counting on the toys being remembered about forever and so regaining purpose.

TS3: Suffering (through separation, imprisonment and destruction). As Andy is now going to college, the toys are split into staying with Andy, loft storage or donations. The toys that go to the day care centre aren't treated with respect, imprisoned by Lotso, and are abused by the children. They are then nearly permanently destroyed by incineration, before being donated by Andy to the next generation of children.
Also, Baby, the clown and Lotso are originally separated from their owner, only to be replaced by the same toys. This shows the evil path of transforming personal suffering into the suffering of others.

So which fear will they have in TS4?

28 May 2015

UK: New online data terror powers proposed - This is extremely very not good


The Tories, spearheaded by Theresa May, are soon going to propose legislation that will mean that all internet activity will be logged by ISPs (e.g. BT, Virgin, Sky) in a fashion similar to the pervasive mass surveillance in Orwell's 1984. This would be even worse than the restrictions currently in China.

If this comes to fruition, this means everything you do online will be open for the government to scrutinise. Your entire internet history, all messages, calls, will be recorded on every website you visit - Google, Facebook, Gmail, PayPal, banks, cloud backups - everything.

I implore you contact your representative constituency MP (they all have Twitter accounts, email addresses and postal addresses) to BLOCK this bill from even approaching the House of Commons and make it DOA.

It's not just the fact that means the government wants to basically have unrestricted access to your entire internet, it's also that this is a massive technological feat that would likely surpass the total disk storage available on Earth - it's Big Data, but in this case, it's gigantic.

In addition:

  • The massive security risk of ISPs keeping private/personal and business data
  • The performance overhead and costs with storing an exponential volume of information (I assume both TCP and UDP)
  • The simple method of bypassing direct connections by using international VPNs
  • A huge hit on the transition to IPv6
  • The large number of ISPs available and variability on conformity
  • The sheer fact that every letter you type and every selfie you take is being watched

17 May 2015

Most popular acts on Britain's Got Talent 2015

Based on number of YouTube views - BGT YouTube Channel
Updated: 25/05/2015 23:00

Entries that are striked through did not get through to the next round.
  1. Old Men Grooving 15.6m
  2. Roller skaters 14.4m 
  3. Talking dog 14.3m 
  4. Golden Buzzer (Simon Cowell) - Calum Scott 14.2m 
  5. Karate girl 12.3m 
  6. Jamie - Magician 9.3m 
  7. UDI dance group 8.4m
  8. Golden Buzzer (Ant & Dec) - Boyband dance group 6.5m 
  9. Male strippers 6.3m 
  10. Maia Gough 4.0m 
  11. Golden Buzzer (Amanda Holden) - Revelation Avenue 3.5m 
  12. Isaac - singer and pianist 3.4m 
  13. Henry - young singer 2.9m 
  14. Becky 2.1m 
  15. Hypnodog 2.0m
  16. The Neales 2.2m
  17. Matt McCreary parkour 2.0m
  18. Jade Scott 1.3m
  19. Misstasia 1.4m 
  20. Thigh slappers 1.5m 
  21. Aaron rock singer 1.1m
  22. Magdalena contortionist 1.1m
  23. Golden Buzzer (David Walliams) - Lorraine Bowen 1.6m
  24. Golden Buzzer (Alesha Dixon) - Entity Allstars 1.1m
  25. IMD Legion 0.8m
  26. Lisa - hula hoops 0.8m
  27. Welsh choir 0.7m 

13 May 2015

Fictional examples of a world without recycling

Is our world destined to become like these if we don't change our attitudes to recycling?

  • The Simpsons episode Trash of the Titans, where Homer's concept of burying all the waste under Springfield causes an eruption of waste all over town, and they have to move 5 miles away.
  • The Futurama episode A Big Piece of Garbage where New York sends it waste out into space, but it returns
    • Also notable is the issue of global warming in episode Crimes of the Hot, where they basically drop a very large ice block at the North Pole on a regular basis.
  • WALL-E - The Buy N Large corporation owns all businesses, government and utilities, leading to mass consumerism and a disregard for proper waste management, resulting in the entire population of Earth taking spaceships to live in space, permanently. Summarised nicely in this behind the scenes video.
  • The Lorax - The Onceler starts off as an innocent wannabe musician, but ends up levelling and polluting an entire ecosystem, with money making him blind to the damage, creating a world where everything is plastic - even the trees. Summed up really well in the musical number, How Bad Can I Possibly Be?

Also an interesting topic is some crazy ideas in science fiction for recycling methods.

8 May 2015

UK politics is like a war

It is certainly a tribal thing, which really, it isn't even the place for it. All the parties follow a paint-by-numbers fashion and appeal to the public to win voters anyway, when there is no real guarantee of policies coming into fruition.

This is the exact reason I do not like representative democracy - because a partisan government detracts from the real issues, creating a literal belief system and popularity contest, which has more regular media coverage than something as essential as science. It compares with religion, football or even “Apple faith”.

It’s logical to me to have a direct democracy instead, which is how Ancient Greece managed politics, and many countries today aspire to or are emulating. Unfortunately, power is more important to people than accurate representation, which, in my opinion, creates a false democracy.

In my opinion, as well, a direct democracy would also increase the overall intelligence of the country too, because voting directly for policies literally demands that you learn about the advantages and disadvantages of policies before casting a vote. In our system however, you can vote based purely on your favourite primary colour. 

7 May 2015

General Election 2015

If you don't know who to vote for, use a website to help you decide (iSideWith, Vote For Policies, Vote Match - Google will help you). Don't choose a party or personality because of what your friend or the media say. Make your own informed opinion, don't join a bandwagon.

If you are still undecided, or believe none of the MPs are fit to run the country, write 'none' or 'no confidence' diagonally over the selection side of the ballot (don't leave it blank).

If you are missing your ballot, don't worry, as long as you are registered, you can still vote, just take ID.

If you don't have the time, remember you can vote between 7am and 10pm (last time for queue entry).

If you are unsure if you are registered, check using Noodle.co.uk to see if you are (and get a free credit report).

If you don't have the effort or are apathetic, remember that many countries don't have the freedom of choice, and our country historically hasn't always been equal for voting rights. It is a privilege.

Make your vote and make it count. As a qualified citizen and member of the UK, this is one easy step to making a difference to the future of your country, and ultimately, your life too.

2 May 2015

Representative Government

Unfortunately as we have a representative government, there can be no silver bullet party, therefore defending such parties with such passion is an overhead. 
We should be debating policies and not  deciding which party is better, because none of them are inherently fit to decide for an entire country. It’s like trying to put a jigsaw together, but it’s missing all the edge pieces. 
Working in government is like group projects at university. None of you want to be there, someone always gets lumbered with the bulk of the crappy work, and the others just sit around doing nothing or making excuses and arguing.
No small group of people will ever get it right all of the time, when there is an entire subculture of its own providing such a high layer of abstraction, over-simplifying important decisions into paint-by-numbers parties reduced to symbolicism of primary colours. It is the weakest example of a simulacra I know. There are many comedians out there that I would agree, understand the people of this country much better than many politicians. 
However, all of the parties hold merit, including the Green Party. For example, their environment, austerity and transport policies seem highly reasonable to me, e.g. introducing a nationalised Oyster-card-like system, and investing in renewable energy, will really bring our country up to date and in true competition with the rest of the world, than just with Europe. We shouldn’t be a country that scrabbles for the cheapest solution, we need to pioneer a future for our children and adapt. 
I personally believe we are already in a dystopia. Regurgitating continued abuse without qualifying one’s claims is no better than the Daily Mail headlines and does cause me dissatisfaction and concern.