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Advice for the young at heart
34 years old
Essex, UK
Born Mar-16-1983
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17 Jun 2012
Over the past *cough* years that I've been using the internet, I've kept a few online diaries and had a few little websites here and there. All eventually fell by the wayside when other things stole my time away (or I just became bored with them). I keep thinking about keeping a diary again; something I've done on-and-off since I was about 10, but haven't decided on the format yet.

An online friend of mine also has had various websites over the years, most of which have been closed down due to time restrictions and having other commitments. However, more recently she has decided to keep a blog. Hers is part diary, part cookbook, part photoblog, and partly to keep track of her interests. No specific topic I guess is what I am saying.

Inspired by her dedication, I decided to start a blog too...

...And ended up with three wink.gif

A Pet Shop Boy
At work, there are so many amusing/stupid moments with customers that we always have said we should write them down. So I decided to keep a little record of any that happen, or any that I remember from the past 8 or 9 years I've been working in a pet shop.

Aurally Yours
I'm no great music critique, but I enjoy my relationship with music. More specifically, my relationship with individual songs. So this is just a self-indulgent exploration at the songs I enjoy, or memories to do with music.

Animals From Slightly Below
And this kinda came from nowhere. I took a photograph of a Guinea Pig a little while ago (this one) and, for some reason, it amused me because of the angle. On a whim, I decided to then keep taking photographs of 'animals from slightly below'. So far I've managed to keep it updated every day since May 19th. Today is the first day I don't have anything scheduled, so I should really go take a photo quick smile.gif It is silly, somewhat random, and some of the search engine keywords that have arrived at the blog are worrying. But still. It's fun to have something creative to do.

I would be interested to know if any other forumites keep a blog? I manually check The Matazone Blog every now and again (because, for some reason, I always forget to just use RSS features), but would like to read other people's creative moments too.

Incidentally, my friend's blog is called Reverberations and is definitely worth a read. Her 'about me' reads: "I'm a web developer who likes to pretend I'm a baker/photographer/blogger/world traveler. I aspire to improve my German skills. Best buddies with a white mini schnauzer." Her schnauzer is very cute smile.gif
6 Nov 2011
I've mentioned this to a few friends recently, and Mata's FaceBook post about the Kindle made me think about it again...

I'm a book-lover. And I mean both reading books, and having books. Libraries are wonderful, bookshops are glorious, and having my shelves full of books makes me feel better smile.gif And that's mainly why I've not invested in a Kindle (or another e-reader). The physical properties of the traditional book are difficult to give up and, whilst I acknowledge how useful and convenient a Kindle is, I still can't bring myself to embrace it just yet. Similarly, music. Although I do own - and regularly use - an iPod, the majority of the music on it also happens to be on my shelves in CD form. Some of it is downloaded, but mainly when it doesn't actually exist in physical form. I have iTunes, Amazon MP3, etc. at my fingertips, but I still rather like having a CD, with a cover, and inlay, etc. And again, with movies. I never had THAT may videos (VHS), so the move to DVD wasn't particularly painful. But I don't own any download-only films. It's all on DVDs.

PC Games, however, I predominantly get via Steam now. Partly because many shops are just not stocking PC titles anymore, partly because only the newest releases seem to be available in stores, and partly because Steam has had some good deals over the last year. So whilst I still have some games on CD and DVD, I don't buy them in that format anymore.

Aside from clearly being materialistic, smile.gif , the point I'm leading to is...

I think it's fair to say that there will soon be a generation that rarely uses physical-format media. Those formats might continue to exist, but the decline in their use is inevitable (and has already begun).

So what's my question, my burning issue to discuss? Is it whether we should mourn the loss of the physical-formats? Is it whether this will have an effect upon retail and our high streets? Is it whether it will create greater levels of piracy and digital crime?

No. My question is:

What the **** are people gonna put in their homes?! I mean, seriously. Nobody is going to need shelving because they won't have anything to put on it. Everyone is gonna have so much wallspace.

24 Mar 2011
F*** you!

Whilst ensuring you do not break forum rules (i.e. probably best not to list your favourite obscenities), I would be interested to hear your opinions on swearing/cussing/cursing.

I wouldn't say that I swear a lot. I'm not the kind of person to stick the f-word several times into one sentence, but I'd happily admit to swearing. I am always careful not to do so in front of people that do not like it, and I always ensure that there's nobody in ear-shot that would also be unhappy about it. I'm not out to cause offence...

But that's where my query really lies. Can a single word actually BE offensive? My opinion is that people can be offended by a word, but it isn't the fault of the word itself. The person has chosen (or been conditioned) to be offended. Randomly generate four letters and, eventually, you might get the F-word. What suddenly makes this combination of letters offensive? It is just a word.

Personally, if I try to remember moments when I have been offended by what a person has said to me, it never has anything to do with them 'effing and blinding'. Call me arrogant, or obnoxious, or ignorant, etc. and I am likely to feel the negative effects. But telling me to f*** off doesn't, for me, cause any more offence than telling me to get lost.

A few friends of mine will happily use any profanity they can think of... except the c-word. And, indeed, one in particular hates the word, and is extremely unhappy to hear it in any situation. I find this interesting: every single word is fine, every combination of letters is fine, except one. Gather up four innocent letters in a particular way and suddenly they become "harmful".

Should people be offended by language? Is it right to be? Is it petty, or archaic?

The rules of this forum promote correct use of the English language, and I whole-heartedly support that (I am not disputing the rules here, I am just using them as a point of reference). We are encouraged to write proper sentences to the best of our abilities - I think this is marvellous - and we are encouraged to avoid using "offensive" language because of the varying visitors to the site. A fair load of profanities have been censored in the past, and a handful have been allowed due to the situation/circumstances of the post. It all makes sense. But I do find the concept of 'bad language' (beyond the confines of this forum) to be interesting.

Here's another point...

As Mata writes in the forum rules: "Anyway, it's far more fun to be creative with your swearing, 'arsebuckets' is a favorite of mine". The word 'arse'/'ass' has joined the likes of 'damn', 'crap', 'bloody' and 'shag' (and, to a slightly lesser extent, 'bugger') as being pretty acceptable. Sure, they won't be found within children's television, but they all can be found in some pre-watershed programming (UK examples would be various soaps, some sit-coms, etc.). But twenty-years ago, this wasn't the case. The Harry Potter films - undeniably made to appeal to kids of many age groups - has 'bloody' and 'bugger' in them. So some swearing has become okay?

Except, obviously, the words themselves haven't evolved to become acceptable. Just social opinion of them. The "strongest" language (c-word, f-word) can be seen and heard fairly regularly in media now (the latter more than the former, admittedly), as long as there are sufficient warnings and ratings. But there was a time when neither would ever have been heard on television.

I have censored myself in this post when mentioning the words that are considered to be higher up the scale of profanity. And SOME of the media does the same. Interestingly, I read a comment from one broadcaster earlier today that mentioned cases where bleeping an obscenity had caused more complaints than they'd have predicted had they let it be heard. Everybody KNOWS what was said, covering up the word has never stopped an intelligent person from being entirely aware what it was originally, so why is that actually okay? Hearing it vs. knowing it? Hmm. But the point the broadcaster was making, was that the complaints were actually along the lines of: "Why are you treating us like fools? Don't pretend we are stupid by censoring this material. Don't assume what we will or won't find offensive."

In general, I think Radio 4 listeners have a high tolerance for swearing. We had 20 or so complaints in this case. But we attract just as many when we bleep or edit out swearing. Listeners argue we are insulting their intelligence and censoring when we do it. - Peter Rippon, BBC

Will there come a point when the REALLY BAD WORDS are no longer censored, but just provide us (as they already do) with a negative extreme in our language.? Will 'damn' edge its way into Peppa Pig and The Tellytubbies, and the f-word into Eastenders? Probably, to some extent at least. It is fair to say that each generation is more liberal with language use, so perhaps eventually there will be nobody left who finds the words offensive. And we don't really seem to have made any new swear words to take the place of those we don't care about anymore.

So... thoughts, please smile.gif

Some interesting reading (I guess all NSFW due to language; containing words that you MAY find 'offensive'):

BBC Editorial Guidelines - Language
The XXX Factor: An uncensored history of swearing on TV
BBC Blog: To swear or not to swear
14 Feb 2011
I can claim the benefits of education, partake in my own eagerness to learn independently about 'stuff', and have a seemingly-endless wealth of knowledge at my keyboard-tapping finger-tips...


there are still some things that, despite a full (or at least, reasonably substantial) understanding of, continue to amaze me in a rather childish way; almost like I am still assuming magic must be involved as opposed to, say, physics.

For me, these things include:

~ Aeroplanes. Yes yes yes... I know how they manage to lift off into the sky, but when I'm walking along the street and look up to the clouds to see the winged tonnage soaring amongst them, the six-year-old within me expresses his disbelief: "They are HUGE! They don't seem to be flying THAT fast! Surely the only thing keeping it in the sky is sheer willpower?!"

~ Magnets. These things can move. They can MOVE without being actually TOUCHED. If that isn't magic, I don't know what is. And yep, even now, as I quickly approach my 28th ... 27th and 12 months ... next birthday, I can still occasionally be found running a magnet underneath a thin tabletop in order to make its partner appear to move on the surface: As.If.By.Thought.Alone! Or manipulating iron filings! Or seeing how strong a magnet is by creating strings of attracted paper clips to dangle from it. Or running a magnet over a CRT screen to make pretty colours, and then getting in a panic when the effect suddenly seems to have become permanent (and then remember the degauss button to make it all alright again).

~ Bubbles. Blah blah. Surface Tension. Blah blah. Surfactants. Blah blah. Elasticity. Pft, whatever. They are bubbbbbbles!! Having a niece means having an excuse to buy/make mixture and spend a summer's day blowing bubbles, catching them, attaching them to one another, enlarging them, popping them, getting mixture in your eye and blinding yourself briefly. Bubbles are great smile.gif

So. What do you still marvel at, even though you really should know better?
30 Nov 2010
Well, tomorrow is the 1st of December and, what with the amount of snow the UK has been receiving the last few days, I don't think it is too awful to mention Christmas. Plus, I've had a few wintery songs entering my ears today so (right now, at least) I am feeling rather festive.

I think Christmas, for most people, tends to have two opposing feelings about it. Assuming you aren't totally pre-ghosts-Scrooge-esque, and thus hate it, or for religious/personal reasons you do not take part in the holiday, there is a certain amount of excitement that begins to brew up as the 25th approaches.

However, I think there's often some sadness at Christmas, too. Being one of the major events in the year, it is usually when friends and family get together, so it is undoubtedly a time when we recall the people we have lost in our lives.

But I don't want to depress people...


I find Christmas terribly nostalgic, and so it'd be nice to focus on some lovely yuletide thoughts.

What I would like you lovely people to do is post some jolly memories about Christmas. They can be from your childhood (those of you that aren't still in it wink.gif), from a few years ago, or just last year. And they can feature yourself, or your friends and family, or people that are no longer with us... or your dog, etc.

But... they must be stories that are a source of happiness for you smile.gif

And if you don't celebrate Christmas, but a different event during this holiday season, then share appropriately smile.gif
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