The Patch

August 28, 2007

Things that make me laugh…

Filed under: Celebrity/TV,International News,Miscellany,Music & Film — denesha @ 2:49 pm

Natalie Imbruglia at the Secret Policeman’s Ball.

Stick with it. It is mildly amusing.

His Girl Friday

If your area is anything like mine, your local Blockbusters is now a cheap mall called ‘Kwality Goods.’ Presumably, they don’t sell a spell checker in the mall. As a result, I have to find movies that I want to watch online. I figured that if they are not pirated new movies, I’m in the clear. Also, Cary Grant is lovely and everyone should have access to him, regardless of what their Blockbusters was replaced with.  

Alberto Gonzales resigns and hopefully recalls this memory on Monday morning.

Yay.

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August 14, 2007

The 40 different times a virgin

Filed under: Miscellany — freshlysqueezedcynic @ 11:13 am

 So, coming from Crooked Timber, who’re having a nice barney about whether or not it is a statistical impossibility that men and women report, on average, different numbers of sexual partners (Answer: Probably not, and it seems this is just another case of the press being sloppy when it comes to statistics, although of course this is fairly innocuous compared to previous statistical fuckups, such as the cool response over the Lancet papers, as Tim Lambert of Deltoid has wearingly noted over the past few years), I was working my way through links about the above study when I came across this blog, whereby somebody mentions in a comment, offhand, snarkily, “secondary virginity”.

I’ve heard the term before, but as a connoisseur of the human capacity for denial of reality and vicarious self-loathing (it tastes like sweet, sweet, strawberries), I did what I normally do, and started trawling google for links to a little known but mildly irritating subculture.

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July 22, 2007

Sunday 21st July- Jetlagged musings on travelling.

Filed under: International News,Miscellany,Uncategorized — denesha @ 8:00 pm

I would like to start this short and somewhat rushed post with an apology. I am sorry for skipping the last two weeks. I did plan a replacement but he seems to have disappeared. I was actually in sunny Canada for the past two and a half weeks. Whilst England was waiting for summer to start, a glorious heat wave hit the BC area. I was in heaven. I probably owe you all another apology for rubbing my wonderful good fortune in your faces. It was truly a good holiday despite spending way too much time on Facebook when I was struck by BC boredom. It really is the worst kind of boredom. (more…)

July 10, 2007

Tuesday 10th July 2007.

Filed under: Miscellany — Claire @ 7:40 pm

If I happened to spell benefit ‘bennefit’, or people ‘peeple’, would you cringe? Would you bemoan my horrible grasp of the English language? Or would you maybe agree with the Simplified Spelling Society, who have spent the past century campaigning for these alternative spellings to be adopted as the correct ones?

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July 1, 2007

Sunday 1st July- Students of the world, REVOLT!

Filed under: International News,Miscellany,UK News — denesha @ 12:34 pm

I return to the Patch after being forced to divulge everything I know on History, English Literature and Chemistry in an exam hall on a booklet of paper under timed conditions. For you see, my little Patchers, I just completed my A levels. These little tests that most 18 year olds across the country sit, are designed to gauge how clever we are in certain subjects, after studying the subject intensively for two years. On the days leading up to the 16th August, these 18 year olds will read about how ‘easy’ A Levels are and pundits lamenting about how ‘back in the day’ (which day are these journalists referring to? Maybe it’s 23rd June 1980? Is that the day?!), they had it much harder. These pundits should be shot. Presumably, ‘back in the day’ (23rd June 1980), they didn’t have to pay top up frees, be thrown into a job market that believes it is saturated with graduates or live in an economy that makes first time buying near impossible. (more…)

June 2, 2007

Saturday 2nd June- My Guilty Pleasure

Filed under: Miscellany — Ames @ 10:18 am

When you think of an English student what do you expect? For some reason I’d always imagined an artistic type who sat around in dusty, wooden-floored coffee shops discussing Keats, Shelley and, more importantly, the lesser known, ‘misunderstood’ poets. Occasionally there’d even be poetry recitals in slow drawls, those around looking on in awe and admiration, berets firmly on heads and pipes (which may or may not contain illegal substances) dangling from the males’ mouths.It’s a good thing I didn’t want to become such a person by embarking on an English degree. I’m actually not quite sure where I got such a ‘vision’ from; the people I described are more like pseudo-intellectual hippies than any undergraduate I know. The only poetry I’ve ever heard someone recite out of lectures are dirty limericks (most likely copped from Bridget Jones’s Diary anyway), and the smoking illegal substances is something which is common for many students, it certainly doesn’t make them sound more thoughtful or intelligent afterwards.

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May 29, 2007

Folks you should read.

Filed under: Miscellany — freshlysqueezedcynic @ 6:44 pm

Hi kids, it’s definitely been a while. But I’ve been busy doing that thing where they make you sit in a room for three hours and force you to remember everything you’ve learned in the past year or so. (But a rant about exams and their actual effects will come another day.)

To date, my political education, especially of the nuances and underlying problems of American politics, has been helped immeasurably by American blogs, some of which you definitely should read at any cost, because for reasoned commentary, awareness, and simple not-sucking, unlike the plethora of mainstream “wisdom” you tend to get in American op-ed pages, there are none better.

Glenn Greenwald – Starting his blog on October 2005 as a mere blogspot blog, which can still be found here, Glenn is an attorney who has consistently hammered the Bush administration on its’ attack upon basic civil liberties. The guy rose meteorically from humble beginnings in the blogosphere (dear God, I hate that word) – from that blogspot blog; he got credit from the Washington Post for breaking a story about the Bush administration’s illegal wiretapping program,got quoted on the floor of the Senate by Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, wrote a bestselling bookabout Bush’s abuse of power, and is now a blog columnist for the online magazine Salon (which is pretty good in itself, despite carrying the profoundly stupid Camille Paglia. But again, another rant, another day). His latest post is a takedown of Tony Blair’s whinging, crybaby “Why do they hate us so much?” editorial in The Times. And it is goooooood. So good I feel rather redundant in sneering at it myself.

Digby – Digby and his/her co-blogger Tristero are awesome. Consistently, wonderfully awesome at digging into what makes the conservative movement in America a) exceptionally scary and b) exceptionally incompetent. Unfortunately, nobody outside the blogosphere (there’s that damn word again) has picked up on our dearest Digby, whilst completely poisonous morons like Ann Coulter still get major columnist and speaking gigs.

Ezra Klein – A self confessed “policy wonk”, Ezra also writesfor the American Prospect and occasionally op-eds for some of the more progressive papers in the US. Ezra’s big focus is health care in America – why it sucks, how it sucks, and what can be done to change it. His “Health of Nations” series (scroll down to the bottom), comparing and contrasting 5 countries with universal health care and America is more or less required reading if you want a basic induction into health care policy. Also he likes Captain Planet.

Daily Kos – The Big Dog of the Blogosphere (seriously, can we get a better name?), a mass-blog of epic proportions containing every single possible subject you could possibly think of from virtually any person from all walks of life. As such, it’s pretty variable, but kos himself, as well as the other “front-pagers” do a pretty good job, although kos is a bit more focused upon electoral politics than the others (not a bad thing per se; but it tends to focus on the more arcane regional issues, due to the regional way American politics works).

Crooked Timber – I know I said I was focusing upon American blogs, but I lied. Crooked Timber is mostly Anglo, but loosely connected to the large and bloated American “Left Blogistan”, and contains a range of opinion (left-leaning, of course) on matters economic and social from all over the place by some seriously intelligent folks mostly from around academia, as well as more fun matters such as why dsquared is intensely wrong about Budweiser.

Deltoid and Pharyngula – the two science blogs I frequent, Deltoid focuses on statistical matters, with a frequent focus upon the faulty methodology and reasoning of deniers of anthropocentric global warming (or in layman’s terms, the fact that it’s our fault the world’s getting so hot so quickly), and smart defenses of the controversial Lancet studies, who are only controversial because we don’t want to admit we might be responsible for the deaths of over half a million Iraqis, whilst the awesome PZ Meyers of Pharyngula focuses on evolutionary biology, specifically upon why it is fundamentally the right way to interpret the data we have about the world around us and why the people who try to pick holes in it are the worst kind of dribbling morons (my apologies to readers who do believe in Intelligent Design or even Young-Earth Creationism for the crude terms in which I describe you, but you are. Deal with it.)

Orcinus– Journalist Dave Neiwert’s main focus is the darker side of the right wing conservative movement. “What d’you mean, darker?” I hear you say. “It’s pretty damn dark as it is.” Well, true enough, but it gets worse. Dave’s been reporting on right-wing extremists, racists and neo-Nazis for a hell of a long time now, and he’s also continually noted the links between the extreme right, the conservative media machine and punditry, and the Republican party. He also looks at right-wing domestic terrorism, and how it gets ignored by the US government over the “Islamist threat”. It’s his argument that right-wing commentators like the aforementioned Coulter or Rush Limbaugh take basic tropes of the extreme right wing and “transmits” those tropes into the mainstream until they’re in the public view, and also notes extensively some of the more fascist impulses of that extreme right wing. Not for the faint-hearted.

Sadly, No! , Jesus’ General and Jon Swift – For those severely dispirited by the state of American politics mentioned above, some more light-hearted fare comes in these blogs. Sadly, No! takes the piss out of the more… insane members of the right-wing blogosphere (Gaaah!) and does it with aplomb, panache, and numerous dick jokes. Occasionally there is a rant by the peerlessly angry HTML Mencken, which are also hilarious, if only for the sad tale of American imperialism we all know and love. Jon Swift and Jesus’ General are simply the finest parodies of the right wing possible, and after reading bone-headed opinions for an hour, it’s good to see that satire truly isn’t dead.

Go, read. I’ll be trying to add these to our blogroll. And failing, natch.

May 13, 2007

Sunday 13th May- The Bumper Eurovision Round Up

Filed under: Celebrity/TV,Miscellany,Music & Film — Ames @ 11:22 am

Get out the glittery lycra, bring on the vodka and find yourself a comfortable position infront of the television. Yes folks, it’s that time of year again, and like every other blog worth its bandwidth, The Patch has its very own lowdown to the 2007 Eurovision Song contest. Predictions for this year? Well the BBC says that the Ukraine should win, and common sense says that we’ll once again find ourselves towards the bottom of the league table. Infact, as good old Terry has pointed out, the contest is pretty much dominated by the Eastern bloc this year, which means anyone else is definitely going to be on the right hand side of that leaderboard tonight. We shall see, maybe the year has changed countries. I’ll be seriously disappointed if so, mind.
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May 5, 2007

Saturday 5th May 2007- She’s in Fashion?

Filed under: Miscellany — Ames @ 12:41 am

In no way am I a fashion connoisseur. Not being the owner of a body made for following trends, my train of thought when purchasing an item tends to be along the lines of ‘does it look nice -> is price within my tiny budget? -> does it suit me’. The rarity of getting a positive answer for all three criteria means that I have little regard for whether the item is currently fashionable or not, the euphoria of finding such an amazing item meaning that I rush to the cashpoint, my debit card over the till before I have time to reconsider my purchase.  However, I cannot deny reading Glamour, nor lusting over certain items that hit the runway, fantasies surrounding such pieces are somewhat like imagining what it would be like to sleep with Johnny Depp: you know it’s never going to happen, but it doesn’t stop you imagining what it would look like in your wardrobe/ bed (I’ll leave you to figure out which way round they go). Yet however much I read the Times’ Style section, or countless other fashion magazines, I feel as though I’m stepping into another world. And what a strange world it is…

First there was the Madonna for H&M range. For this read: cream tracksuits. Watch me as I contain my excitement. Then there were the people queuing outside Sainsbury’s at 7am to grab one of Anna Hindmarch’s ‘I’m not a plastic bag’ bags. Sold by a company that contributes hugely to destruction of the environment, samples of the bags, in support of ‘ethical fashion’ were, according to Empire magazine, sent to editors using silver jiffys. Plastic ones. Moreover, at this time, the £5 cotton bag, supposed to encourage people to use it for their groceries, is going for £42 on eBay with 4 days left to go; they have been known to go for £150. The description in the current listing? ‘Fast becoming the must have trendy fashion accessory of 2007. Everybody wants one’. Oh, and ‘Not sure you will want to use it to put your shopping in, more like your sunglasses’. Clearly the ethical message got accross there…

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May 1, 2007

The Last Day of April 2007

Filed under: Miscellany — alice86 @ 7:18 pm

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, right? Countless womanly magazines have informed me otherwise. In fact, vibrators are, allegedly. I’m all for sexual liberation, but some of the items are frankly terrifying. Take the rampant rabbit; firstly, whoever thought that rabbits were sexually attractive is a bit bizarre, secondly the name is obviously there for alliterative means because the thing looks nothing like a rabbit. Not even if I squint. It’s a terrifying, transparent pulsating penis with a disturbing shaped growth. Or many growths if you’re looking at that thriller one, which I currently am.
 Maybe that’s what made Michael Jackson sing so high. http://www.annsummers.com/single.asp?gid=7&cat=2&pid=3890

   The majority of these pleasurers are seriously ugly. Making them in bright colours won’t make them look any more appealing, surely? Well, compared to the “natural-looking” ones, hell yes it does! Now they might be based on the versions deemed best by Mother Nature, but I wouldn’t want a cucumber or corn on the cob rammed up me…similarly, the veiny, shiny, apparently flesh-coloured monstrosities look even worse! I guess that’s why we hide them so, guffaw. But seriously, u.g.l.y. At least http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/product.cfm?p=2071 one looks more streamlined and aerodynamic even if it potentially won’t add as much extra pleasure.  However, for beautiful designs (or as close as you can get to beautiful when you’re looking at a clitoral stimulator, then www.coco-de-mer.co.uk is your pal. Pricey though, and I can’t ever contemplate spending that amount on a vaginal work of art, but evidently some folk do. I’d just hope it gives many fantastic orgasms for that cost.

            No-one can ever state we’re trapped for choice though. There are finger ones, quiet ones, “clit-kits” and rubber ducks and for the seriously hard-core women, ones that plug into the mains. No more Duracell for you, though your electricity bills may rocket during a particularly horny month. At least they could (potentially) pass for one of these Glade air-fresheners though, or some other innocuous household object such as a torch or salt and pepper set. Camouflage is a handy way of minimising those embarrassing moments when unexpected guests pop in.

            And, along a similar path, some vibrators even make use of your household objects. Mobile phones, electric toothbrushes (yes, things you could theoretically have used in the past for a quick diddle) now have vibrator models to partner: it’s something to do with the vibrator’s motor being triggered by the signals so nowhere is safe! Nowhere. Women on the bus who’re quietly smiling to themselves haven’t just received a sweet text message from their lovers…they’re using jiggle balls, or those knickers that have a vibrator incorporated within, just watch out for their fingers. (And don’t shake hands with anyone.)

            Yes, they may be our new best friends; masturbation may be the snack between meals but let’s not get too carried away girls, eh?

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