The Patch

February 17, 2007

Saturday 17th February: Will You Share Your Life With Me For the Next Ten Minutes?

Filed under: Miscellany,Music & Film — Ames @ 3:35 pm

I hadn’t listened to music properly for quite a long time until recently. By this I don’t mean that I put in ear plugs every time I went to a club, or even that I haven’t opened up iTunes for a while; both of these are things I do on a regular basis. Yet when I do this, while I hear the music, I don’t actually listen to it. Not properly. (more…)

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February 16, 2007

Friday 16th February

Filed under: Music & Film — Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 10:22 pm

Good Lord, it’s been quiet on The Patch this week.  Fear not however, for I have over 2500 words concerning the intriguing alternative culture that is Straight Edge for you to gaze upon this Friday.  Enjoy! 

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February 13, 2007

Monday the belated 12th

Filed under: Miscellany — alice86 @ 12:32 pm

Hell is other people. Specifically, hell is when you realise you’ve just made a terrible mistake, landing you with a seemingly impossible housemate for a year or more. Hell is also when you’ve previously vouched in favour of the aforementioned housemate, thus realising you

a) have landed a completely innocent person in this delightfully grim predicament and

b) will be spending the next 12 months desperately trying to avoid alcoholism, narcotics addictions,:anything that could make sharing your abode with the most spoilt upper-middle-class brat imaginable bareable.

Age is no excuse. University is supposed to mature people, not impose a regression into a verbose, intellectually superior toddler whose copious useage of the word “actually” should be a legal justification for homicide.

But when mother and father dearest have handed you everything on a silver platter as “university is for learning, not for working” (a statement not as profound as you first might think; it means they will pay for everything); when the darling child is complaining about her ridiculous mountains of work and how she cannot possibly be expected to “do all of the legwork”, as, you know, working full time, 40 hours a week is a breeze, a cinch, could be done backwards standing on one hand by someone with such a fantastic intellectual capacity as hers; it means, in short, someone who always gets her own way, is entirely ignorant and incapable of compromising and has loud, loud sex with her parrot audience. It’s only sex, after all.

This is shaping up to be a fate worse than Halls. Halls in which people regularly steal your food, break your crockery, cannot tidy up after themselves and have extremely loud Venus-Williams-esque sex with their emo boyfriend who then wanders out to the bathroom, clad in boxers so we can all view and envy his manly physique and obvious sexual prowess. An intimate act of love becomes a who has the loudest bedsprings competition. It’s only sex, after all. And, all defensive like, it’s perfectly natural for some people to sound like tennis players during intercourse. It’s not faking. Not at all.

So the house-hunting chore can be summarised thus: large rooms (I am NOT having a tiny hole for a bedroom), pets allowed (I can’t live without my parrot. Seriously, what student can afford a parrot on their meagre income?), a washing machine is a must, a phoneline (you can’t live without one! And I pay my bills)…”I am easy to please” (connoting: we’re obviously not).

And the necessary one: a mile, minimum between us and her. Or failing that, an attic with a lock and key, a garage, fake birth control pills so she’s forced to drop out and go on the scummy dole as mother and father dearest are disgusted with being grandparents…

…a get out clause would be nice. So would a culling song, a la Chuck Palahniuk. Or a mere miracle. Please, oh  please, oh please let us get what we want.

Tuesday 13th February 2007.

Filed under: UK News — Claire @ 12:14 am

Euthanasia. To kill or not to kill? It’s a dilemma that’s faced so many people. Put someone you love, who you know you’re going to lose, out of their misery despite it being illegal in the UK, or let them suffer? Help them to end their suffering because they’re not strong enough to commit suicide alone, or just watch them painfully die?

It’s a subject that’s hit the UK news again this week, with a Bristol woman, Kelly Taylor, taking to court her argument that doctors should use morphine to sedate her, which she knows will increase the likelihood of her death. Doctors argue that doing this would be tantamount to euthanasia, and that they can only use morphine to provide adequate pain relief.

The saddest part? She can’t even kill herself. She tried to overdose on paracetamol and has also attempted to starve herself in her desperation to end her own life. This is a woman that wants to die, but can’t. She just has to wait until ‘her time’. But why shouldn’t she be allowed to choose when that is?
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February 11, 2007

Sunday 11th February 2007

Filed under: Celebrity/TV — denesha @ 1:55 pm

On Thursday, Anna Nicole Smith, former Playmate and Guess model was found unconscious in her room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida. She was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital but she later died. She was only 39 and she is survived by her 5 month old daughter, Dannielynn and her boyfriend/lawyer, Howard K Stern.

I can’t even begin to understand the events surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith. So much has happened that I’m overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of scandal involved. Her life, and indeed, her sad death were like a bad foreign soap opera that doesn’t make any sense to me.

The Death

Footage of her death was bought for $500 000 and the video shows an unconscious Anna Nicole Smith being wheeled out of the hospital and transported into an ambulance. Even till the very end, her life was played out for the cameras. An autopsy was carried out on Friday morning and a press conference was held by police investigating the circumstances of her death. Apparently, there is no evidence pointing towards her death being the result of a crime, while a medical examiner said there were no drugs found in her stomach. The medical examiner also went on to say that there was no evidence of long term drug abuse. Despite the autopsy, there is still no conclusive reason for her death and this can only be determined after further tests and ‘medical questions’ are answered. Her body will be preserved until the results of the paternity test of her daughter are received.
The inconclusive nature of the autopsy has only fuelled speculation over the cause of her death. Some claim Howard K Stern was behind the death of both Anna Nicole and her son, Daniel. Others suggest it may have been a suicide caused by depression over her son’s death in September and the impending legal battle with ex boyfriend, Larry Birkhead. The more disgusting conspiracy theories say that her dead son was also the father of her newborn baby.

The Legal Battle and Her Daughter

The paternity battle over her daughter remains unsolved. Both Larry Birkhead and Howard K Stern claim to be the father of the 5 month old baby and whoever is found to be the father, will gain custody over the child and her rumoured fortune. Howard K Stern is named as the father on the birth certificate but Birkhead has launched a legal fight to force Stern to submit the child to DNA testing. On Friday, the whole thing became even more bizarre with Prince Frederic von Anhalt, (also known as Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband), said that he could be the father of the baby. Even if Dannielynn is handed over to either Stern or Birkhead, von Anhalt will launch a further legal battle for custody. I’d click on the link for this story…it gets a little bit more gross when you read the part about von Anhalt attempting to adopt Anna Nicole to make her, his princess and his daughter.

Moving on from the Anna Nicole Smith related drama, which will no doubt dominate all entertainment news outlets in the coming months….Here is my review of Party Animals on BBC 2, 9pm on Wednesdays. (more…)

February 10, 2007

Saturday 10th February: Snow Away

Filed under: Miscellany — Ames @ 2:31 pm

So after a period of extreme cold, the snow we were promised finally came. In the morning the world was still, everything covered by a thick blanket of powdery white. A few hours later, children rejoiced as school was cancelled, flocking to the park to make snowmen and have snowball fights, and for the first time in about two years the sledges were dusted down and hauled to the nearest hill that people could find. Any pictures taken were sure to make the most amateur photographer look like they have professional potential, and even the ugliest buildings could feel like princesses when given a powdery-white make-over. And when the cold finally set in, people retired to be in front of their log fires, clutching hot chocolate, with a backdrop of the magical, picturesque snow scenes.

At the same time, traffic was at a standstill. Buses into town and to university were cancelled, leaving people to traipse miles in the snow to get anywhere. Five minutes outside ensured that you would be cold and wet for the remainder of the day. Call me a grouch, a bore or old before my time, but I really don’t understand the fascination with snow. It’s cold, it makes you cold, and due to Britain’s complete inability to cope with adverse weather conditions (I was going to use the adjective ‘extreme’, but a few inches of snow is hardly deserving of that description, is it?!) everything shuts down, making going anywhere much more hassle and causing much more inconveniences than is fair after only being able to enjoy a few hours of ‘good’ snow.

Ultimately the fantasy and idea of snow is infinitely greater than the reality. The same could be said for most types of weather; every summer I look forward to getting out the woolies, and wrapping up in my thickest scarves and coats. After about two days of having to do this, I’m beginning to pray, once again, for summer and being able to wear as little as possible within the realms of decency. Of course, as soon as that becomes reality I’ll be complaining that my skin constantly resembles of a tomato, and that it’s too hot to revise for exams or to do anything, really. There’s a reason that we say that us Brits are never happy with the weather- none of us can cope with anything more extreme than ‘mild’.

Which is why, this weekend, I’m going to cage myself in the flat with my hot chocolate, films and some good books. There’s definitely something romantic and fun about the snow. It’s just a hell of a lot nicer when witnessed from the comfort of indoors!

February 9, 2007

Friday 9th February

Filed under: Music & Film — Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 3:49 pm

The Brit Awards 2007: A Patch Work

In less than a week, the glitz, glamour and all round gaudiness of the back slapathon that is the Brit Awards 2007 shall be upon us, and with Russel brand hosting and Red Hot Chili Peppers set to perform, it’s looking likely that it shall be an even more unholy affair than usual. With such cynicism in mind, I have taken it upon myself to give my own take on this spectacle, in the hope of gleaming some sense of worth out of it all. In the words of that great philosopher, Kel, “Aw, here it goes.”

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Thursday 8th February – An Apology x2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Phil @ 12:17 am

I’m sorry about last week, I was not well.
I am sorry about this week, I have tried writing a coherent article but the antibiotics are currently making me all bloated and I cannot come up with the quality you deserve.

I promise I shall give you something very special soon to make up for this. I have not been schooling or working either, so I’m not just treating this as low-priority. I have all the time in the world, right now, I just can’t concentrate enough to do anything with it.

I’m sorry again.

February 6, 2007

Even A Broken Tory…

Filed under: Politics — freshlysqueezedcynic @ 12:48 am

…is right once every 177 years or so.

I knew that the “pretend to be vaguely socially responsible like what New Labour does” was gaining popularity amongst the Conservative elite, following it right down to the “make pointless but flashy gestures and soundbites whilst actually saying fuck all” tactic that served dear Mr Blair so well (I know, I know, this far away from an election it is unfair to attack someone for not fleshing out policies, etc, etc, but just remember we all said that about Labour in 94, whose 1997 manifesto was so light and airy it just floated away, mostly into the rubbish bin of whoever read it), and then they go and spoil over a century of tradition by actually putting out a minor idea that is smart, socially aware, and mildly progressive. I know, I’m shocked and all.

I am talking about the intimation by senior Tories that a Conservative Government might ban employers from putting clauses in contracts which forbid people from talking about their salaries and conditions with fellow employees. This would be to help address the pay gap that still exists between males and females in the workplace, which is partially because of the number of women who take low-paying part time jobs, but can’t all be explained by that particular quirk of the labour market.

Whilst part of me wants to snark at the fact that the Tories are considering state intervention for social purposes, (“Don’t they know that the market will sort itself out without this unecessary burden of red tape?” screams the inner Daily Mail in all of us) however minor the actual intervention might be, the unfortunately reasonable side of me has to admit it’s a fairly good idea. Why shouldn’t people talk about their wages or find out what they’re earning relative to other people, especially if they discover some structural inequality in the pay scale between people doing similar jobs, with no reasonable explanation? If a company is worried because there might be reason to be angry about its’ pay structure, then that is a problem of the company, and not the regulatory regime. We don’t tolerate governments forcibly silencing us on any issue we wiish to speak about, so why should we allow businesses be any different? It’s a step in the right direction to addressing the pay gap, if a small and overly symbolic one.

Still wouldn’t vote for the fuckers, though.

Tuesday 6th February 2007.

Filed under: UK News — Claire @ 12:03 am

Bird Flu is here. Yes, the virus that’s been worrying all and sundry for over a year has finally made it’s mark on British poultry. And as sod’s law would have it, it’s birds from one of the UK’s most famous turkey purveyors that are infected. Bernard Matthews is no doubt looking back wistfully at the days when Jamie Oliver was their only problem.

It’s big news, obviously. In a world obsessed with health, a new threat is always going to be of interest, hence worried reports from the major news channels and newspapers, and indeed The Patch. Of course, we don’t scaremonger here. We only suggest you acquire your surgical masks before they run out, stock up on antiseptic spray and lock yourself in a cupboard for a few months.
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