Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Manic Street Preachers 'Rewind the Film' Bingo

I've been noticing the same topics popping up every time I read a review of the new Manic Street Preachers' album 'Rewind the Film', or an interview with one of 'em.

So I compiled them into a bingo card so everyone can play!

(Top left topic inspired by Marc Burrows)

Click to enlarge.

Should've also included "Getting excited that they're talking about a Manics film every time 'Rewind the Film' is mentioned", but that could be just me...

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Space Battleships

Gearing up to try out the latest version of Battleships my friend designed over a year ago, I am horrified to discover I never shared it with my dedicated readership.

Without further ado...SPACE BATTLESHIPS. It's like Battleships, but in space, yeah?

(Prease press pray)

LINK for download

The rules, for thems what cannot click:

  • Before placing your fleet place your 5 Black Holes on your opponent's grid. Before commencing play both announce where your holes are. If your opponent has docked a ship over a black hole it is instantly obliterated. They must announce this & the co-ordinates it occupied. Any special squares that are sucked in are also lost forever. Boohoo.

  • Along with your fleet mark the location of the Nostromo. Should your fire hit this the Alien Queen makes straight for you; you spend your next 3 shots faffing around with flamethrowers before you can get away from her (you bitch). Thus your opponent makes 4 consecutive shots and then announces the co-ordinates where you toasted alien ass. If the Nostromo hits a black hole consider it lost. Until the sequel.

  • One of your smallest ships must carry your pet Tribbles. As your opponent sinks this the little furry fuckers infect their closest ship, of which they must announce co-ordinates. This ship is considered out of action unless they locate the Bill Shatner square. He'll feed them some poisoned grain or something. They can then move it to a new, as yet unfired on, location.

  • Somewhere, lolloping in a field, three bunnies search for their tails

  • Hello pretty pretty. The pink square is Tau Ceti, hit this and your opponent gets 4 consecutive shots while you have a little love in with Ms B, the Angel & the Tyrant. Enjoy.

  • Orange represents a Solar Flare. Hit this and the pesky energy release ruins your weapons telemetry, immediately fire one shot at your largest remaining ship and announce the co-ordinate.

  • Crappy space telescope, give me sight beyond sight. Find the Hubble space telescope and poke your beady eye around space before it runs out of budget. You notice an obscenely coloured tye-dye ship and sensors detect a faint aroma of patchouli. Your opponent must give one co-ordinate for their Hippy Ship. 10-4 old buddies. Destroy; kill all hippies.

  • Should you stumble across the Asteroid with one of your shots consider it your lucky day. A friendly Bruce Willis is riding it blind but has some control over the steering. Buy him a twinkie and he'll direct it across one entire row or column for you, destroying (and activating) anything in the way. Yippee Ki-Yay Motherfucker.

  • The last thing you want to do, ever, is hit the Quaver. This denotes your opponent's right to commence psychological warfare. For the next solid 60 minute period of play you must listen to a song or video of their chosing, on loop, loud. No exceptions, no breaks. No cheating. Beware. Mahna Mahna.

  • The snack that will make you crack

  • Finally we have reports of Vigilante Space Pirates in the quadrant. These nogoodniks wander the galaxy inflicting their own brand of karmic space justice. If at any point in play you consecutively hit two separate ships without a miss they will come and sink your largest remaining ship immediately. Because they think that's just not cricket.

Friday, 6 September 2013

A Womb of One's Own

Last night I read this article by Lucy Mangan for Stylist.

(I'm aware by the way I do bang on about Stylist a lot. That's because it's free and I like things that are free).

The article reports facts and figures which are concerning in 2013:

"Recent analysis of various figures by the House of Commons Library has revealed that up to 50,000 of the 340,000 women a year who exercise their (absolute, legal) right to a year’s maternity leave are denied the most crucial part of that right – not to have their jobs taken away or rendered unrecognisable as the same one while they are otherwise (and, I say once again, fully legitimately) engaged."

It reminded me of a rather bizarre, and in retrospect disgusting, interview I attended at a large training provider back when I lived in Kent. This incident would've taken place around 2008.

I was interviewed by a rather mousey woman with bulging eyes, and a voice I had to strain to hear. I was interviewed in one of the training rooms, so surrounded on all sides by an unnerving combination of those protruding peepers, and blank, silently judging monitors.

Alarm bells started ringing after I was asked, despite showing paperwork of my IT/ECDL qualifications which also outlined my having used it in offices:

"Do you put your fingers in the correct place when you type?"

Many years ago I completed online DIY courses in touch-typing which did indeed show you how to "put your fingers in the right places" and of course built up my speed a heck of a lot chatting to mates on MSN Messenger. I hovered my hands over one of the keyboards and stared at my digits...

"Err, yes?"

I was thinking "What the fuck does that matter?" but it is a training company and they want everything 'just so', so fair enough, I must set a good example.

We somehow moved on from qualifications and experience and finger-placement to my personal life.

She asked how old I was, I believe, as I had stopped including it on my CV in order to reduce the effects of age discrimination. Foolish of me to put it on there to start with.

Then she dropped the clanger.

You're not planning on running off and having a baby any time soon, are you?"

"Umm, no...!" I managed to splutter.

She continued, oblivious of the consequences this could have for the reputation of the company even having the audacity to ask that question, "It's just we train these girls up and it's such a shame when they run off and don't come back."

She then proceeded to prattle on about all the extra learning I would be expected to do outside of work hours, a subject I don't believe was mentioned in the job description, but I'd already switched off, realising my mistake entering the building, already thinking about my dinner and day-dreaming about miraculous publishing or editorial jobs on my doorstep coming up in the back of the Cuntish...sorry, 'Kentish' Gazette.

She wrapped up the interview by asking if I would be able to take the "piercing thingamy" out of my ear if successful. I had one of these at the time:


I recall staring in disbelief at her two dangling earrings.

"We are a professional company, you see..."

"And what about all the ex-students that come in looking for actual useful office skills who would recognise in me a kindred spirit, someone on the same wavelength?" But I kept that one to myself, of course.

I was unsuccessful, of course, but I didn't lose any sleep over it. Months later, I still felt uncomfortable when I thought back to it, so I brought it up with their Higher Uppers. How very DARE they ask about my intentions to spawn?!

I never had a reply.