Saturday, July 26, 2003
"One issue with real life is that it gives you very little specific feedback on character advancement. To give a couple of examples, a highly proficient player might receive a sudden pay raise or might become a champion boxer, but there's no clear way to tell exactly how smart or how strong you really are. Cleverly, there are in-game ways of at least getting a sense of these and other key attributes. You may attempt to lift weights to roughly determine how your strength compares with that of other characters. Various tests are available to gauge your overall intellect and expertise and knowledge in a variety of fields, though annoyingly, you need to pay a considerable fee to take some of these--and if you fail, often you aren't allowed to retake the exam for a while, or sometimes at all.
--there are so many different options and viable decisions for a character to make that it's just about impossible for any one character to see everything and visit all the colorful and sometimes dangerous locations. Unlike in other MMORPGs, combat actually isn't a major factor for most players in real life, though players are bound to engage in a few skirmishes early in their lives. Interestingly, though, real life does offer an amazingly intricate combat system, featuring complex hand-to-hand and ranged combat options that a character may learn and even specialize in.
Player death is a serious issue in real life, and cause for continued debate among players, who often direct unanswerable questions on the subject to the game's developers, who are apparently (and understandably) so busy that they generally keep silent. In short, players who die--at the hands of other players, by the occasional environmental hazard, or when their account expires--are essentially removed from the gameworld and apparently cannot return at all. This further discourages players from engaging in PVP combat, but it does help real life's rapidly growing player population from getting too out of hand (though eventually there will be a need for additional servers). "
Oh, and an amusingly caught out journo too
The current scheme is a mail token, offering some free coke if you "vote" for your favourite variety. At the bottom, it allegedly states that by participating, you waive your "no call" privileges. Wonder if it's true...
Friday, July 25, 2003
And if you don't care about that, consider playing the Wall Street 80s kitsch drinking game:
"Look out for:
Charlie Sheen’s variety of vertical hairstyles
The huge housebrick of a mobile phone that Gekko talks into
Davidoff cigars are not “hard to get”, assuming that Gekko might possibly pass through the odd non-US airport in his globetrotting career.
Terence Stamp laying the ground for his performance in “The Limey” by saying “arse” a lot.
While we’re at it, why is Larry Wildman calling himself “Sir” if as Gekko notes, “he’s taken American citizenship”?
Probably the nastiest garment in history; Bud Fox’s red Fred Perry cardigan worn to have dinner with Darryl Hannah.
The “Changing Rooms” scene where they just nailgun up some ready-made cornicing; since Darryl Hannah’s character was meant to be a high-flying interior designer charging $300K, this is probably the single worst act of fraud in the whole picture.
The romantic meal of pasta and sushi. Fair enough, this is basically an excuse to show off the yuppie electric kitchenware, but they’re eating like two grams of fish per massive lump of starch. The effect on the digestion must have been hideous.
Why does Bud sit around in his underpants trading Deutschemark futures? He’s only barely qualified as a retail equities broker."
"23 PM | The Philosophical Cowboy | edit ]
Tania - sloan, daddy's girl. Irritating londoner. Says "chow". Willing to bet will look terrible when make-up runs out....
Yes, pretty much right - v. irritating
Right, all covered, nothing else to worry about. No need to watch again...And few people did
[ Fri May 23, 08:22:32 PM | The Philosophical Cowboy | edit ]
Next up, Steph from Midlands. Used to work in a prison. Should suit it all. Married, apparently divorced (can't really tell), wears foul clothes. Half the house won't understand anything she says...
[ Fri May 23, 08:15:01 PM | The Philosophical Cowboy | edit ]
What are the bloody odds - two girls called Anouska (or similar). But one's called Nush. This has to say they're not exactly picking a random sample of the UK... Everyone seems to live at home too. Loves animals, bit of a trustafarian bint.... Can't drive, will bet went to Cheltenham Ladies College.
Dead connection, darn.
I like Ray - he had a litre of vodka confiscated. But of eau de vie would have been cooler. Fairly stereotypical Dubliner, it seems. Play to the favourites, I guess. Betting smuggled the booze in internally instead...
Scott's from Liverpool. Appears to have failed to steal a coat on the way in. But predictably had footage of him with a football.Feels that there "must be" something he's good at, but doesn't know what it is. May I suggest providing Heat magazine with filler....
Sissy from Manchester. Northern Glam. Likely to breakup with lovey-dovey bloke. Sounds very scouse. Loves her mum. Like the rest of the buggers. Will get disco withdrawl, and start dancing to sound of the chickens.
Thank god they chucked her out, though her starting to lose it amused me
[ Fri May 23, 07:58:15 PM | The Philosophical Cowboy | edit ]
Justine from Leeds is apparently the sales exec. My mistake. She's also a twin. A "mirror twin" - apparently they feel what the other feels. Would argue should be thrown out of show for communication with outside. Has just bought house - suspect has entered the house to avoid decorating. Sells toys. Apparently, not an Anne Summers approach. Psycho hose beast who thinks it'd be ideal to find a bloke in there as "you get to spend every day with them". Just after you met. On TV.
Forgot she existed
[ Fri May 23, 07:54:02 PM | The Philosophical Cowboy | edit ]
Jon, our next one, is apparently an identical twin. So we won't be able to tell if he's escaped. Alledgely gave up a £70k job to go in, a little scary. Evidence he's a twat. Has T-shirt saying "Tickle. Chosen by God. 1. Loved by women". I'll be the one to kill him. Though reminds me of lots of folk I know. Think he's a sales consultant.
The house didn't like him either - how was I to know he was one of the only reasons to consider watching?
[ Fri May 23, 07:51:39 PM | The Philosophical Cowboy | edit ]
BTW - this calls out for someone to make a quick run to the bathrooms to chuck up...
[ Fri May 23, 07:51:34 PM | The Philosophical Cowboy | edit ]
Gos. The fat one. And with a beard. I identify. Will be the one with the knife attacking Freddy. Will also live in a slovenly fashion given his "we treat it like a hotel" attitude to the family home, where he still lives.
[ Fri May 23, 07:49:06 PM | The Philosophical Cowboy | edit ]
So, a pretty boy of Italian descent. Formerly a model. Works as a waiter. But with a Glaswegian accent. Federico. Prediction - locked up with his own handcuffs and has ear cut off...
Would have been had someone known he'd cost them all that food money
[ Fri May 23, 07:40:32 PM | The Philosophical Cowboy | edit ]
Cameron from Orkney. So we have our softly spoken Celt. Shock. Mother appears heavily weather beaten. Irritatingly sing-song voice. Prediction - he loses his faith...
Damn, wouldn't even sleep around on his trip overseas
[ Fri May 23, 07:37:08 PM | The Philosophical Cowboy | edit ]
Oops - Anouska, and she's 20. But doing AS levels. Wierd
[ Fri May 23, 07:36:33 PM | The Philosophical Cowboy | edit ]
Anushka from Derbyshire. Sat an AS level last week. So 17/18. Kids. Foolish. Moderately pretty. Has a bloke. Likely to split up and date a member of S Club Juniors.
Should have said "romp with Aussies"
[ Fri May 23, 07:34:19 PM | The Philosophical Cowboy | edit ]
Big Brother begins. First things to note - no "boys and girls" bedrooms - they can now sleep where they like, and there's one double bed. And there are now no locks anywhere. So. Publicity based attempt to get them screwing..."
what a waste of effort - our lot are dull...
Thursday, July 24, 2003
"Andrew Parkes, editor of the Kentish News Shopper freesheet, informs his readers that the Eye has dubbed him Britain's angriest hack - "and all because I said a few lowlife scum didn't deserve to share this planet with decent folk".
What Parkes actually proposed in his original editorial was that youths who were caught stealing cars - or indeed anything else - should be executed by Brazilian-style death squads. "Just for the record," he writes in his latest editorial, "I didn't call for the introduction of South American death squads, what I suggested was that we consider setting up our own. But, to be honest, I'm not really bothered how such scumbags are removed, as lond as they are." And, since his appearance in the Eye, "a number of the great and the good have contacted me to offer their wholehearted support"."
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
"In recent days the Archers have dished up more concentrated poison than you’d find in a thousand of Lucrezia Borgia’s dinner parties and shown all the sober judgment of an ayatollah on crack."
Must try to use that phrase
Monday, July 21, 2003
"What do our cities need most? Well-designed, affordable housing has to be high on the list. Ditto schools, clinics, hospitals. And, perhaps, new street markets, parks, libraries, independent shops, and the best designed and publicly owned transport provision money can buy. What do our cities need least? More banal office and shopping developments. What are we promised over the next few years? A marginal increase in the former; an explosion of the latter."
"The centres of Birmingham and Manchester have been rebuilt radically in the past few years. Both have relied heavily on global-style commercial developments very much at odds with the big-spirited Victorian civic buildings - museums, galleries, city halls - they now dominate. Public design is increasingly on the retreat, as in New York and Birmingham, as in the capital"
This strikes me as wrong on the facts. Birmingham's redevelopment has included oodles of public stuff. The main features of the redevelopment have been:
Broad Street and Brindley Place (shops, night-life, office, etc, but with lots of open space in Brindley Place, and the ability to stroll cleaned up canals, etc)
The International Convention Centre and Symphony Hall, fronted by Centenary Square (semi-grand public space)
The Mail-box (shops and nightlife in an old Post Office area - opens onto regenerated canal areas)
Victoria Square and the floozie in the jacuzzi (might be terrible, but the council's idea)
The National Sea Life Centre (must count as a museum)
The National Indoor Arena (that's a civic building)
Think Tank (a new civic museum thingie)
The New Bull Ring (redevelopment of old shopping)
Now, to my mind, that's a lot of new civic buildings. Of course, going back a decade or so, they'd added the Pallisades and the Pavillions, both reasonably small shopping centres not really taking up "new" space. It's hard to argue that the centre of Birmingham hasn't been vastly improved by both the shops and nightlife (except at 1am on a Friday or Saturday night). Better examples, please....
"We now "enjoy" the following rates of tax:
# Upper rate for National Insurance (NI) 1%
# Taper rate for family element of Child Tax Credit 6.67%
# Class 4 rate of NI 8%
# Contracted out employee rate of Class 1 NI 9.4%
# Starting rate of income tax 10%
# Not contracted out employee rate of Class 1 NI 11%
# Savings rate of income tax 20%
# Basic rate of income tax 22%
# Higher rate on dividends 32.5%
# Taper rate for all other tax credits 37%
# Higher rate of income tax 40%
# Capital gains tax rates from 0% to 64%
# Rates applicable to trusts 25% and 34%
With so many different rates, how can anyone calculate their
tax liability without a computer? Relying on the Revenue to do
the work isn't wise, as it often gets it wrong - resulting in
advisers spending time putting tax office figures right. Few
ever recover this extra cost from their clients.
The CIOT has called on the government to act: It says: "With
this number of different rates (in many cases acting on
different measures of income!) how is the honest taxpayer to
know if he is paying the right proportion of his income to the
Exchequer?" We need fewer rates and more common sense. This
madness should be consigned to the dustbin as soon as possible."
Sunday, July 20, 2003
Lambeth Council Tax booklet I recently received: marks out of four for services:
Social care - Children 2/4
Social care - Adults 2/4
Libraries and leisure 1/4
Use of resources 2/4
Net spending by component 2002/3 vs 2003/4 in £'000
[Update Table cut because it doesn't work properly for some reason - inserted brief version below]
Total spending 339,461 vs 364,747
Spending on things I use 62,973 vs 69,065
Percentage 19% vs 19%
Things I use defined as : Highways; Planning and economic Development; Recreation and tourism; Environmental health; Refuse collection and disposal; GLC
Now, I take that to be a pretty generous comment on what I use. I don't really make a pro-rata contribution to rubbish, etc (shops will do that), I don't use Recreation and tourism, etc. But I could.
Whereas there's essentially no chance I'll ever use Lambeth's housing or benefits budgets (if I need them, I'd be elsewhere in the country at the time). And I certainly won't need education stuff for 7 years from now.
Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean I shouldn't be contributing, but the apparent fact that only 19% of the budget is in stuff I potentially use is shocking (note I've allowed the whole GLC contribution). And given how poor the services are, it's even worse.
Loathe as I am to argue for central provision of services, the level of contribution I should be making to other people's kids education, etc, shouldn't really be dependent on where I live. So the amount I pay in council tax is a joke
I need my google-rank boosting - would anyone care to link to me please....