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Teacher in Aberdeen. New beginnings happening very soon. Watch this space.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

QI : Learning at its best

Hi everyone,

How are you all? Hope you are fabulous and are enjoying the well deserved spring break (those of you lucky enough to have a few weeks off). I had such a nice day yesterday. Firstly, I woke up to the sun beaming through my bedroom window. Secondly, I went downstairs to be handed a traditional irish breakfast with massive mug of tea and thirdly, I spent the day in town shopping with my mum. This may sound like your average, not so special day to a lot of people, but once you hit university (if you happen to move away) the little things help make you smile from ear to ear.

Once I got back from town, I made some coffee, accompanied with some lemon cake and lazed on the sofa for the rest of the evening. As I was browsing through the channels, I came across a repeat episode of QI : Quite Interesting. The episodes of QI, no matter how many times you've viewed them never get boring. Seriously. I only started watching QI at the beginning of last year and I wondered why the hell I hadn't started watching it when it was first aired on tv in 2003. I loved it and I still do. Basically this blog is about QI... believe it or not. My aim?... to tell you lot just how awesome this programme is and hopefully convert you non-QI viewers into QI fanatics! Stephen Fry's voice is just like a lullaby ; relaxing and soothing. I could listen to him all day and night.

Okay, so there a few things you need to know before I rant on ; Mount Everest is not the tallest mountain on Earth, Kilts are NOT Scottish and QI is not a quiz show. In fact, it is an anti-quiz show which entails asking impossible questions, where points are only awarded for the most 'interesting' answers. Get it? Trust me, this is a great idea for show and is entertainment and learning at its best. QI is hosted by the absolutely fantastic Stephen Fry. It is a perfect blend of intellect and comedy. What more could you ask for? Oh yes... Alan Davies of course. (best recognised from the series 'Jonathan Creek'). Alan is on the panel in every episode and brings an immense amount of humour to the show... particularly because he doesn't mind getting the piss completely taken out of him every 2 minutes! Other guest to appear on the show are Bill Bailey, Jo Brand, Jimmy Carr, Phill Jupitus, Sean Lock and many, many more.

So, you think you know your stuff? We'll just wait and see. I guarantee you will learn something new... if you read on.

Contrary to what people believe, females DO have adam's apples. I don't remember learning that in biology class. Do you? They are a lot smaller and less noticeable than the adam's apples guys possess, simply because of the high levels of testosterone males have. I know a lot of people will be aware of this fact, but you would be surprised just how many people still believe it's abnormal for a woman to have one. Instead, they believe it's a tumour... Silly people.

Anyone been to visit the Eiffel Tower in their lives? If yes, then I take it you noticed the 72 names engraved on the sides of the Eiffel Tower just beneath the 1st balcony... Right? No? Me either. Unless you know the names are there in the first place then you will not notice the names. Gustav Eiffel incorporated these names onto his infamous sculpture, which honour French engineers, scientists and astronomers that many people have never heard of. Look out for these the next time!

Now some interesting facts on animals and insects ; Enjoy!

A centipede (horrible looking thing) has between 30 and 382 legs. Nobody has ever found a 100-legged centipede. Anyone think they should rename this creature?

An African animal which kills more humans than any other is the hippopotamus, other than other humans. A hippo's skin weighs a ton, is an inch-and-a-half thick and is bulletproof. The whole hippo weighs 4 tons. (Holy crap)

Bees are smart little things (even though I'm not their biggest fan). They have the ability to recognise human faces. Now this is quite something, when taking into consideration that humans struggle with this once they reach a certain age. Also, bees have a brain the size of a pinhead so this is more than impressive.

Now onto catfish. These badboys are literally like swimming tongues (not the nicest thought, I know). The reason for this is beacuse they have more taste buds than any other creature on the planet. Their entire bodies are covered with the things. A six-inch catfish has over a quarter of a million taste buds, found on the mouth, gills, whiskers, fins, back, belly, sides and tail. A channel catfish is even more awesome. It has the best sense of taste of any vertebrate and can detect less than a hundredth of a teaspoonful of a particular substance in an olympic sized swimming pool of water.

Did you know that a rat can swim for 72 hours, non-stop? I sure as hell didn't. Well there's a lot of things I didn't know about these sewer creatures. They can jump down 50 feet without injuring themselves, they can squeeze through a half-inch gap, walk along ropes and climb vertical surfaces. Rats can survive longer than camels without water and they eat edible and non-edible things such a soft concrete, aluminium, bricks and wood.

When a flea jumps, its rate of acceleration is twenty times that of a space shuttle during launch.


The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle.

The well known expression "paying though the nose" comes from an Irish tradition in the 9th century AD of cutting open the noses of people who failed to pay their taxes... Lovely :/ I'm glad times have changed.

During the year 1994, almost 35,000 Americans insured themselves against... wait for it... alien abduction. *rolls eyes*

Ever been in the predicament of composing a poem and thinking "Crap, nothing rhymes with purple." Well I have. But what some don't know is that purple rhymes with 'hirple' and 'curple'. Yes, they are real words. Hirple means to hobble along ; a mix between a walk and a crawl. A curple if a strap that is placed under the tail of a horse, which is attached to the saddle to stop riders from slipping foward.

Soldier ants were used as stitches after operation in Ancient India.

In Thailand, red ants are poured into open wounds because they secrete an acid which acts as a painkiller and an antiseptic. (Don't get injured in Thailand...)

Not once in the Bible does it mention what fruit was eaten in the Garden of Eden. It was merely assumed to be an apple.

The largest living thing on the Earth is the honey mushroom (not the Blue whale as many people believe).

The first man to make the claim that the Earth revolves around the sun was Aristarchus, not Copernicus.

The telephone was invented by Antonio Meucci, not Alexander Graham Bell. Bell actually only patented the telephone.

(I couldn't find a decent picture of Meucci with the telephone, so Bell will have to do).

Anyway, there are soooooooo many more 'quite interesting' facts out there. I suggest you watch QI. I've only told you some things I've learned. QI is comedy genious. You won't be disappointed. There are still many more series of QI to come, so watch out and embrace your learning, in a new and different way.

Now I have one final question ; Did you learn something new?

From the gang of QI and myself, I bid you farewell. Until next time :)


Friday, 26 March 2010

Don't be shy...

Hey there lovely people!

I'm officially on my Easter holidays now. Yay! Now I'm home to indulge in the home comforts and I cannot be more grateful. It's so lovely sitting in front of the fire, watching television and eating yummy, scrummy food. I'm finding it quite difficult to type because my cat ceases to give up lying on my lap and miaowing for me to rub her neck. Just thought I'd let you know... Ha.

This is just going to be a very, very, VERY brief blog tonight I'm afraid. I'm quite tired after the travelling so I'm being lazy Lisa.

I was re-reading my past blogs and I just thought how nice it would be for people to comment on my opinions and views and ask me questions on the specific content. Also, even more importantly, if you have any blog topics that you'd like me to talk about then by all means, let me know and I'll rant away! The more ideas, the better. It can sometimes be difficult to continually update this blog with things people are genuinely interested in, so put your thinking caps on guys :)

Anyway, this is the end of my blog for tonight. ( I told you it was going to be short). I'm off to have some hot chocolate and be lazy on the couch.


Lisa xx

P.s - The picture is awesome, right!?... and ridiculously cute.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Hi all,

Wow, it's been a while since I posted an entry! I've been busy, what with exams and settling into the new semester and you know, generally living life. I guess I also just lacked inspiration for the last couple of months. Admittedly, I regained my inspiration due to a certain someone, after he suggested a very random (and lovely, I might add) midnight walk on the beach. He may kill me for posting this, but what the hell, thanks Ben, you hopeless romantic.

So, this blog aims to focus primarily on gaming. I'll tell you about games I've played growing up (not them all or you'd be reading for a week) and tell you a little bit about them. I may go off on a tangent now and again, but that's what I do.

A lot of people, mainly those of the male species, assume that the only games a girl would have in her room are those of the fairytale, pink and fluffy kind. Not me. Give me weapons, explosions, blood and gore any day. My influence? Having no sisters and growing up with 3 brothers. So yeah, they are to blame... or thank rather. Growing up I would watch them playing all sorts of games such as Goldeneye, Mortal Kombat and Tomb Raider.
Seriously, if I had to name a favourite past time, this would be in the top 5. In 2010, this love of gaming hasn't changed. Well, maybe it has a little, but with no fault on my part. I have no game consoles at uni therefore the only time I can really indulge in this hobby is when I go home, or when I play the odd game of halo with Ben and co, which brings me on nicely to the game Halo itself, focusing on the 3rd instalment of the game.

Well, I first started playing Halo 3 only about a year ago, year and a half tops. I didn't really know much about the actual story line to the game, nor did I care. I came across it one day, among the mountains of alphabetically organised games in my brothers room and thought I'd give it a shot to see what all the jazz was about. At first I wasn't so sure. For me personally, I like to play characters that take on a more human form, e.g, Lara Croft, Gordon Freeman, rather than playing someone who looks like Robocop. But anyway, I decided to look past that and wise up! (Ha). I really got into the game. I wasn't exactly the best at it and I'm still rather crap at it today, but oh well. Xbox live was the next step for me. I signed up for my free one month account (wooo!!) which has since long-expired :(. Putting on a headset, playing a game you aren't exactly good at and playing with people who practice this game day in, day out, to get a kill was to say the least, a very daunting experience for me. God, I sucked at team slayer. I mean, I got the odd kill here and there but then afterwards I'd look at my 'statistics' and see my score was something like -6000 (a bit of an exaggeration - I wasn't that bad). I still don't understand those silly statistics. There is something in halo that I'm good at... that being 'octagon'. For those of you who don't know, this is where you fight one-on-one or against a whole load of lunatics in one room – no map, just a single room with nowhere to run. (Well, feel free to try, but you won't get very far before someone puts a bullet in your head). I've almost been on a par with the number of kills my boyfriend has got. (haha – he'll hate on me) I feel I deserve a medal... Yes? No? YES! Overall, I really do like this game. This game wouldn't be my favourite, I have to say. I generally like to play games without being shouted at and made fun of how bad I'm doing, especially when it's from some stranger from Sevastopol! Some people are so harsh. You know who you are!! I know I suck at it, but hey, at least I give it a go :D

Also, if you're playing with people in the same room, make sure you wear ear plugs... You'll thank me. Why? Well, because you'll hear things like, “Where the fuck are you going with that skull?!” “The hill has moved woman!” “HEADSHOT!” My ears have grown accustomed to these now. Ahh, the joys of adaption.

Hmm, the most recent game I've played on the Xbox is 'Condemned : Criminal Origins'. Now, this is definitely my idea of an awesome game. Basically it's a psychological horror game, where the aim of the game is to survive, by kicking the shit out of god forsaken maniacs. The developers of the game got their inspiration from such films as 'The Silence of the Lambs and 'Se7en'. (what a great combo). So, your role as an investigator (Ethan Thomas) is to solve puzzles, search for fingerprints and gather evidence in scary ass locations. Ethan is on the trail of a murderer named, 'The Match-maker.' Let me warn you, if you play this game, DO NOT PLAY IT ALONE! In the game itself you'll be lucky to find a few rooms lit up. So yeah, it can sometimes be a strain to see exactly who is hitting you over the head with a pipe or in which direction your next near death experience will come from. You do get some bad ass weapons to use though : axes, large pipes, shovels, subway signs, small pipes, planks with nails sticking out of them, revolvers, shotguns and a hell of a lot more. It's best to use the melee weapons rather than the guns. You can unlock more achievements this way. You will not be disappointed by this game. If you don't like this game then there is really something wrong with you... not really, but still. Important : Only play this game in the dark and with people. Don't waste the opportunity of being physically and mentally scared. Enjoy it! Scaredy cats :)

I've also heard from 'reliable sources' that 'Condemned 2 : Bloodshot' is very good. I can't say much about it because I've never played it, but give it a go. If it's anything like the 1st then yay for all! :)

Now onto a game that I've played a lot : Silent Hill. First of all, it's better than the film. I don't care what anyone says. The film was enjoyable, but if you've played Silent Hill, you'll understand my point of there being no comparison. The games give you a 'full-bodied' sense of being constantly on edge. Isn't that the whole point of scary games? Of course. It's another horror, survival game about a young chap, Harry Mason searching for Cheryl, his daughter. She goes missing just after they've been in the unfortunate event of a car accident, which leaves Harry unconscious. The place deemed with most priority for Harry, is, surprise surprise, Silent Hill. Silent Hill : Abandoned, shrouded in a thick fog, snowing with ash... Oh and the numerous horrific monsters looming in every corner. (Sounds like a hoot!) Let's not forget the cult ritual undertaken to bring a God to Earth (those silly beings, with weird hair). Listen out for the siren, players. That siren. What that siren is informing you to do, is to FUCKING HIDE AND BE QUICK ABOUT IT. You have been warned.

I hope you enjoy the hellish 'otherworld' and look out for Pyramid Head (the scariest character in my opinion ever) and his 'Great Knife'. ;)

Pyramid Head for President!

Now onto a game, a little more light-hearted : the infamous Tomb Raider. Ahh, the beautiful Lara Croft, with her extremely sharp and pointy boobs. (I think that was the only part of the game I didn't like. I mean, come on. It just looked wrong. I'm sure they could have made more of an effort). Everyone has played this game. If not, then why have you been living under a rock all your life? This was probably the first game I really got into as a child and I still adore it. Playstation 1 : Old Skool Baby! I was awesome at this game, even if I say so myself. I loved playing the character of Lara Croft, seeing as it was nearly always guys who got to play dirty and kill whoever got in their way. Lots of lovely levels in this game to keep you occupied for a while, or angry, when spikes, boulders or the underwater fans would destroy you, over and over again. All the Tomb Raider games are excellent. I was particularly happy when the 2nd one was released. I looked at the front cover, and wooo, Lara had normal looking boobs!... The game was good too, of course. I recommend that you play all of the Tomb Raiders available. I've played them on PS1, PS2, Xbox and the PC and they've all been 5*s, hands down. They all offer something different and it's just a fun game to play. If you like guns (lots of them) and bad guys, with the odd bitch thrown in, then play it!

... It still puzzles me today how Lara manages to fit dual uzis, a desert eagle, a revolver, a harpoon gun (gun list much bigger!) medi-packs, sunglasses, a music player and other 'special items' in that little back pack of hers. Every girl needs one of those badboys!

Now, onto COD or Call of Duty for those people who think I'm referring to fish. There are a series of COD games, however, I've only played the 3rd. Basically, it's a World War II game. So a little bit about it. In single player mode, you are given your duties after the Normandy breakout, where Resistance forces (British, American, Polish, French and Canadian) are pushed into the village of Chambois in France. Your aim is to basically resist opposing forces and try your best not to get blown up... (Look out for the grenade marker indicating that you're about to be blown into a million pieces). A character can be positioned in 3 different stances ; standing, kneeling or prone. Remember to take into consideration that this with affect the rate of stealth, accuracy and movement of the character. If you get hit, or experience slight damage, the edges of the screen glow red and you can hear the character's heartbeat increasing. (I get so agitated when I see the red – I just think, “Yup, I'm a goner”). Just hide as fast as you can, or crouch, if possible. This game was awesome. It's filled with action and a few surprise one-to-one fights with the enemy. Throughout, you do get a great sense of 'belonging' in the game. You feel as if you are in the body of your character. Strange? Not really. A good game will allow you to experience this. Oh, and by the way. I like war games, and anything related to war, but not war itself. Just to make that perfectly clear. Every time you die in the game a quote will appear from a famous someone or other to remind you that war sucks. (putting it light-heartedly).

Well, this is a very, I repeat VERY short list of games I've played over the years. Other games, which I will not go into detail about, but have loved and still do, are Goldeneye, Mario Kart, Mario, Monkey Ball, Lylat Wars, Wave Race, Eternal Darkness, Tekken and a heap load more. Gaming is for me, just complete fun ; playing different characters and following different plots.

So people, pick up your controllers and be prepared to scream with terror, get competitive or just have a laugh with your friends. It's something all people should experience. Really.

Happy gaming.

Lisa xx