Opinions. Everybody Has 'Em.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Emily Says:

Death By Cucumber. Or Birdbath.

With the recent linking of cucumbers - a vegetable so apparently unlikely to inspire fear and loathing - to an outbreak of a virulent strain of E.coli in Germany, it now seems to be official ...

Everything in the world is OUT TO GET US.

Humans, a puny species subject to being preyed upon by all manner of evil and nasty things, are consequently at war daily with pretty much each and every object and substance that we might come into even the most fleeting contact with. To judge by the daily reports of doom in the media ( and who does not believe in what the media tells us? ) we are taking one hell of a beating in this war. Think you'll be safe if you don't eat cucumbers? Think again. The cucumbers may have infected your lettuce. And your tomatoes. That summer salad isn't looking quite so 'healthy' now, is it? Don't imagine that you'll be cheating death by indulging in a steady diet of cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets either ... you do not even want to know how many sad unfortunates go to a purple-faced demise every day choking on their nuggets. And don't be so quick to reach for that calming glass of red wine just yet, not until you've absorbed that no one in the medical profession can come to a consensus of opinion on whether it will prolong your life, or just give you killer migraines. Do you REALLY want to take the risk?

If you should doubt any of this everyday danger by which we are faced, take a look at the annual Accident & Emergency reports compiled from NHS Trusts around the UK ( I daresay other countries have their versions of the same ). The figures published in these ( often unintentionally hilarious if you have a sense of humor anything like mine ) reports clearly illustrate how people are being constantly assailed and benighted by the contents of their own households, coming to grief on everything from birdbaths and ironing boards to tin openers and even their underwear. Every night we go to bed in peril of being strangled in our sleep by a legion of evilly-intended duvets. If you are lucky enough to actually wake up in the morning, all manner of hazards await you from the moment you set foot out of bed in the form of lurking slippers, sneaky soap dishes, treacherous toilet paper, and chairs that are anything but easy to get along with. Don't let your guard down if succeed in making it to the office either because therein awaits the terrifying gauntlet of pens, pencils, rubber bands, and the sharp edges of countless manila folders.

So be warned. That innocuous-seeming box of cornflakes on the kitchen counter? It could be plotting your demise right now.

Yes, it may look like an ordinary, innocent birdbath ... but do you really know what it's thinking?

Sunday, 22 May 2011

This Just In ... Facebook Creates Zombies!

A source more or less close to something or other has revealed to me that Facebook has been making secret preparations for the Zombie Apocalypse predicted by the CDC. From Friday 27th May, Facebook will be sneaking into your home whilst you are asleep to take samples of your brain for tastiness testing. The reason they are doing this is because Facebook has been breeding and training its own army of guard zombies to protect it during the Apocalypse. Apparently these guard zombies have, however, become dissatisfied with the genetically-modified freeze-dried re-hydrogenated faux-brains that their social network masters have been feeding them, and so Facebook needs real brains to keep their pets satisfied. Anyone whose brain sample passes the tastiness test will be subsequently abducted by the race of giant-lizard aliens who are secretly assisting Facebook in its dastardly plan, and taken to an underground complex somewhere so secret that even the aliens piloting the abduction crafts don't know where it is because they are required to wear blindfolds and fly by an autopilot system installed using a Facebook app. Once there, the abductees will have their tasty brains extracted to be fed to the guard zombies. What becomes of their bodies is at this time unknown. And it's probably best not to think about it anyway.

In order to avoid this grisly fate it is recommended that you lock all your doors and windows at night. Because they are just aliens after all, not Vegas magicians, they can't walk through bloody walls. You might also want to reconsider that alarm system you bought five years ago and never learned how to arm.

This information was passed to me via a dirty, crumpled handwritten note in a 'Understanding Your Psychosis 101' night class, by a friend - well, more of an acquaintance really - who got it from his ex-girlfriend's sister's boyfriend's third cousin, who was given it by a defrocked priest, who was told all of it by a parishioner during confession. Presumably before he was defrocked. Although I can't in all honesty vouch for that. It may not be the most reliable information, is what I'm saying. But I wouldn't recommend that you risk totally disregarding it either. Not where Facebook is concerned.

Big-ass lizardy-thing assisting Facebook.

Sadly, there'll be no Erica Evans to save our asses.

Another defrocked priest. Ours probably wasn't as chiselledly handsome as this guy.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Dear Facebook ...

It strikes me that as far as making friends via social networks goes today, you may be in need of some updating.

Since the movie of your life came out even those of us who previously didn't care a jot about these things now know that you started out on your road to world domination as a rather more modest method for college students and other clique-prone sorts to keep tabs on their peeps, and hence users in those days tended to 'friend' people they were already personally acquainted with. But that was then and this is now. And what you need to know now, FB, is that the 500 million users of which you boast ( by the way, congrats on achieving that world domination ) have evolved their usage way beyond simply keeping tabs on their classmates' love lives. The activity of social networking is now conducted on a global scale, with many people who are otherwise unknown to each other daily interacting via cyberspace. And that, all told, is a good thing, knowledge being power and all that.

I want you to think a moment about a statistic, FB. The average number of people that the average person can know on a personal level is 150 ( 'personal' here meaning someone with whom you interact regularly in meat-space and whose birthday you can remember without a prompt down the side of the page ) and interestingly enough it continues to be 150 despite global social networking. However, the same average person has many, many more 'friends' than 150 in cyber-space. You, FB, allow your users to have 5000 such 'friends', and yet you expect them to know these 5000 personally. You cannot be serious? In fact, given that you have 500 million users, it wouldn't be unreasonable to suggest that this limit is on the miserly side. A word, too, about your 'friending warnings'. They beggar belief. Let's just think for a moment, FB, that a good deal of these friendings will have been made at suggestions you have put forward to users. Bit of an own goal there, eh?

" People may feel harrassed, threatened, or otherwise unsafe" you self-righteously pronounce on behalf of your entire 500 million users, at being subjected to something as ungodly petrifying as a friend request made in cyber-space.

Well, gee willickers, FB, I wonder how the human race has survived thousands of years of social interaction, made on a daily basis, with strangers, face-to-face, without you being around to police it for us? We have the option to 'unfriend' and even to block persons we do not desire to have in our cyber-lives, that's safe enough for most of us. We don't need the extra nannying from you, FB. Chill out.

Face it, FB. It's time to get with the modern social networking program, to realize what it means to be the global phenomenon that you are, and to try considering that your closest rivals, Twitter and MySpace, don't limit the amount of friends or followers a user can have, and guess what? The world hasn't ended because of it.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Garcia Says:

It's Alright JJ's Comin' Back ... And Prentiss May Well Be, Too!

There is no doubt that Season 6 of CBS's hit show 'Criminal Minds' found itself jumping a whole school of sharks, and it has been an irony - apparently not missed by the network - that the only episodes pleasing to fans and critics alike has been those concerned with the exit arcs of the two inexplicably and unforgivably fired actresses, AJ Cook and Paget Brewster. The latter's final fling, 'Lauren', although seen by US audiences nearly two months ago, only aired last week on UK TV, an otherwise ungodly annoying situation good only for having taken the sting out of the blow. By the time we saw Emily's did-she-die-or-didn't-she-die? finale, we already knew that no, she didn't. We also know that AJ Cook is returning full-time for Seasons 7 & 8, and that Brewster's pilot show 'My Life As An Experiment' has not been picked up to go to series, thus increasing her chances of returning to her own rightful place in the BAU. Co-star Joe Mantegna said he is "optimistic" about Brewster's return in an interview with TVLine.com Well, can I get a "Hell yeah!" on that?
On the whole Paget Brewster got a more deserving send-off than did poor AJ Cook but there were things nonetheless bothered me about 'Lauren'. Not least that Ashley Seaver got to play such a large role. Considering her unpopularity with we fans, it felt a bit like rubbing salt into an already very raw and aching wound. Personally, despite trying to find some means of at least tolerating her, ever since this character joined the show I have only been able to find her the human equivalent of Jar Jar Binks. I have watched her alternately clumsy and insipid delivery of teeth-grindingly inappropriate utterings with something approaching manic irritation ( No, Ashley, there is no chance in hell that a 10 yr-old autistic child is your Unsub ... go back to the Academy RIGHT NOW for even thinking that! ) but having to endure her declaring in the middle of 'Lauren' that she thinks dating a few narcissists makes her an expert on those, well, it made me want to throw something at the TV. And I love my TV. A great deal.
Putting Ashley aside for the moment ( Please, CBS, put her aside someplace ... anywhere that isn't the BAU ), what's done is done with regard to Prentiss, but the good news is it ain't anything can't be undone. Hurrah! All we need now is for the network to hire some new dedicated-to-canon writers who will make it their mission to find a suitable cliff to push Ashley over, and then we can all get on with forgetting that this horrible season ever happened. Me, I'm more than ready to make like Bobby Ewing waking up from a bad dream in the shower.

Yes, we will.