SMART Goals 2: Finding Time: TDSOTM #SMART #SMARTGoals #PinkFloyd

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As you might know, I’m struggling to fit an ever-busier life into the 24 hours that this selfish Tory government has deemed fit to give us. Things can’t go on as they are: I’m barely keeping up, and I am spread thinner and thinner over more and more toast. I need to develop SMART Goals to sort myself out.

If I don’t pull my finger out? Then the following brilliant song’s words will be my epitaph. I’m talking about Time by Pink Floyd from their classic 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. I keep listening to the song right now to try and spark me into success.

Time

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry, bar the lyrics and video

featured image from http://coolwallpapersforfree.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Pink-Floyd-Dark-Side-of-the-Moon-HD-Wallpaper-1024×576.jpg

text of lyrics courtesy of http://www.pink-floyd-lyrics.com/html/time-dark-lyrics.html 

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Film Review: Arrival #100WordReview @ArrivalMovie @TheFilmReview @KermodeMovie #AmyAdams #ericheisserer #DenisVilleneuve

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Arrival sees a linguist tasked with making first contact with extraterrestrials. Based on an award-winning short story, the film can only be described as this generation’s Contact or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Same epic feel, familiar dark featureless monoliths (spacecraft). Yet it’s no rip-off.

Truly alien aliens, a tension and uneasy terror that surely would acccompany first contact, a disturbing sense of realism. All achieved without wobbly camcorder shtick.

Just like its illustrious spiritual forebears, Arrival is beautifully understated, deceptively straightforward plot-wise, and handles deep themes without pretension or pomp.

The anti-Independence Day. Found Contact snooze-inducing? Miss it. I say: instant classic.

4/5

(see the full-length review here)

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.space.com/34783-stephen-wolfram-arrival-interview.html

Film Review: Arrival @ARRIVALMOVIE @THEFILMREVIEW @KERMODEMOVIE #AMYADAMS #ERICHEISSERER #DENISVILLENEUVE

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Arrival, based on Ted Chiang’s 1998 Nebula award-winning novella  Story of Your Life, can only be described as this generation’s Contact or 2001: A Space Odyssey. There are even shades of 1998’s Sphere. It’s not derivative of those great works, but has the same epic feel — and by “epic”, I don’t mean bloated and poorly plotted, which is what so often passes for epic nowadays (see Superman v Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, and a 300 page book being turned into a three film, eight hour monstrosity, The Hobbit).

Aliens have landed, but they keep quiet, safely ensconced in their ships. What’s their intention: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or more War of the Worlds? The film sees linguist Dr Louise Banks, so well-played by Amy Adams that I forgot I was watching a well-known A-lister, tasked with deciphering the alien’s language and making first contact. Her job cannot be underestimated: these aliens are no humans-with-rubber-ears.

Truly alien aliens, a sense of tension and uneasy terror that surely would acccompany first contact, a disturbing sense of realism. And it achieves this without wobbly camcorder shtick. With a nod to 2001 and Sphere, it even has its own monoliths — gigantic, featureless, silent, dark spaceships which float mere feet from the ground.

And just like its illustrious spiritual forebears, Arrival is beautifully understated, deceptively straightforward in its plot, and deals with deep themes with no hint of pretension or pomp. It even raised a few laughs from the audience. Perfectly pitched mind-candy. The only minor criticism is that the film might have benefited from upping the personal and global peril in places.

It really is the anti-Independence Day. If you are one of those people who described Contact as snooze-inducing where nothing happens and “in the end it turns out her dad was an alien” (quote from South Park, not actually what happens!), then give Arrival a miss. However for me, as a fully qualified linguist, I hope this is the start of a glut of films where knowledge of valency changing operations and morphosyntactic alignment in obscure New Guinea languages saves the world. Grammar has never been this exciting, or important. An instant classic.

4/5

(see the 100 word review here)

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.space.com/34783-stephen-wolfram-arrival-interview.html

Fatty Parry 14: Reboot of Reboot 2 @ww_uk @weightwatchers

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My last (proper) Fatty Parry update was in August. I had just joined the gym. And due to having my wisdom teeth out, I couldn’t eat solids for several weeks. Things were moving in the right direction. My vital stats were:

  • 15st 12lb (222lb)
  • 45″ chest
  • 44″ belly around the navel
  • (FYI: I’m 6’2″, 32 years of age, male)

Unfortunately, since then, what with work, holidays, studies, and so on and so forth…

  • !! I haven’t even started going to the gym yet!
  • !! I’ve been binging on food, probably due to associated stresses!
  • Am now feeling every bit of my 16st 13lb (237lb).

Worst thing is that three weeks ago, I was actually up to 17st 4lb!!!! (242lb)

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Me: 17st 4lb

That was the fattest I’ve ever been. Like, ever. But let’s not get obsessed with numbers, as numbers don’t really matter. The point is: it was the fattest I’ve ever felt. Aches, pains, mental wellbeing suffering, skin bad, brain and thoughts hazy.

As you know from my previous posts, I know enough about nutrition and exercise to do myself proud. It’s just a matter of discipline, will power, and getting into the habit.

Well, that 17st 4lb was a real wake up call. In the last three weeks I have lost 5 lbs, which is a healthy weight loss. I’ve mainly done this by being mindful of snacks, and sometimes passing them up. Swapping out crisps or choccies for homemade popcorn in my late night study sessions.

My last update was meant to be jocular. But it was basically true. Our bodies burn a huge amount of energy and fat… when we’re just sitting on our bums doing nothing! I know how it feels, but if you’re getting fat, your body wants to help you lose that weight. So let’s help our body help us. I’ll let you know how I get on.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://hansimann.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/sisyphus_by_o__v-d66ox90.png

small image from featured image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/jspad/69769787 copyright 2005 Jenny Spadafora

The Electoral College #NotMyPresident

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So Donald Trump is the new President of the United States of America. I am not happy at all. Don’t get me wrong! I didn’t support Hilary Clinton either. What a choice(!) One Twitter user likened it to having to choose between which STD you want.

I’m actually British. But I’ve followed every US election since I was 16 years old (the 2000 election). Something weird is going on, though, and I know I’m not the only one who this has been happening to…

HOW I WOULD HAVE VOTED
2016

Clinton vs. Trump. I choose… neither!

But my favourite candidate in the primaries was RAND PAUL, REPUBLICAN, even though I had some misgivings. I would have voted for him over Clinton. HOWEVER, my second favourite candidate from the primaries: BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRAT. I would’ve voted for him over Trump or Clinton.

So, I’m a Republican, or a Democrat, but 100% would vote for neither Clinton or Trump. WTH?

2012
Obama vs. Romney. 100% OBAMA. I’m not actually a big fan of his, even though he’s dreamy and hawt. Romney was simply a sociopathic scumbag zealot. For example, I’ll never forget when a man in a wheelchair asked Romney why medical marijuana should be illegal even though it literally was the only thing making his life bearable, and Romney’s facial expressions and dismissiveness just spoke a 1000 words to his character.

But my favourite candidate in the primaries was, once again, a REPUBLICAN, RON PAUL.

2008
Obama vs. McCain (and Palin). I mean, WTF? Remember McCain and Palin and how we thought that was a parody? Wow. So yeah, OBAMA all the way for me!

But again, weirdly, for the third election on the trot, my favourite candidate overall was a REPUBLICAN, RON PAUL.

2004
Bush vs. Kerry. Not a fan of Kerry, but this was definitely lesser of two evils. 100% KERRY!

SO…. WOULD I BE A DEMOCRAT OR A REPUBLICAN IF I WAS AMERICAN?
Well, in the four elections that I could have voted in if I was an American, out of the two candidates we ended up with, I would have voted:

Democrats 3 – 0 Republicans (1 spoiled ballot)

Yet if you could vote for any of the candidates in the primaries, I would have voted:

Democrats 1 – 3 Republicans

So…. that makes me a Republocrat? How effed up is that??

REPUBLOCRATS
I always use the term “Republocrats” to disparagingly describe the American System. Bluntly, if I was a yank, I would always vote Libertarian if I had the option. Which isn’t a surprise considering my favourite candidates have been Ron Paul 2008 (former Libertarian presidential candidate), erm, Ron Paul 2012 model, and, errrrr, Rand Paul 2016 (son of Ron Paul, former Libertarian presidential candidate).

REFORM?
Considering the Prez can’t get anything done unless the houses agree. And considering the presidential race is totally absurd: I mean, depending on which way we slice it, I’m either a Republican or a Democrat! I’m not the only one. Why not just have the President, and the President alone, elected by nationwide popular vote?

Upsides to this idea:

  1. It would encourage people to vote the way they really want, knowing their vote will count, instead of voting tactically to contract the clap instead of the pox.
  2. It would allow “third party” candidates and independents to stand a real chance and to help shape the national debate.
  3. It would encourage people who didn’t get their party’s nomination, but who are massively popular, to stand as independents.
  4. Al Gore would have won in 2000! And that argument alone clinches it, I think. [Clinton would also have beat Trump on this basis]

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_(United_States)#/media/File:ElectoralCollege2016.svg By Gage – 2012 Electoral College map, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35172210

Random Images 27: Sweet Anger #Random #RandomImages @9Gag #9Gag

Ah, precious anger, feed my pen!

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Text © 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.Me27a5a2dc8c2bdd0599f2dc4614e802eo0&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300

Donald Bigly Trump

Donald Trump

Today Trump said: Hillary wants to raise taxes big league.

Trump needs to stop saying blah blah blah BIG LEAGUE. Because I keep hearing it as “BIGLY”. Which is weird. And I thought the phrase was “Major League”, anyway, like Dubya’s “Major League Asshole“. Luckily, after tomorrow I won’t need to hear it ever again. Unless… :-O That’s what’s really at stake in this election. Oh yeah, and Trump’s weird hand gestures, and Clinton’s incessant smiling, head bobble, and pointing and waving. The issues that really count.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://i.huffpost.com/gen/3176536/images/o-DONALD-TRUMP-facebook.jpg

EU Referendum: You Can NEVER Leave Us! (Summary) @THATGINAMILLER #RESPECTTHERESULT #BREXIT

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Just in case my article-cum-essay was too much to read, here is the long and short of it.

  • The High Court says we cannot leave the EU without a vote in Parliament.
  • The overwhelming majority of MPs are against us leaving the EU.
  • Therefore, they will block, delay, or water down the terms of our leaving, e.g., we will have to keep open borders “freedom of movement” and paying our dues.
  • The result: either we won’t leave at all, or will leave in name only but not in effect.

And so, like I said in my article just days after the EU referendum, we will never meaningfully leave the EU!

So yes, we’ve been had again folks. The EU and its supporters simply will not let you quit. And just as voodoo pharmacology has it, once you’ve taken a hit of that sweet, sweet EU pipe, it’s hard to want to quit it anyway; that’s why the people will find it hard to summon the will to vote for freedom in the case of a second referendum

Let me sign off with this quote from Jean-Claude Juncker, EC President, on the 2005 French vote on the EU Constitution:

If it’s a Yes, we will say ‘On we go’, and if it’s a No, we will say, ‘We Continue’

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/styles/article_large/public/thumbnails

EU Referendum: You Can NEVER Leave Us! @thatginamiller #RespectTheResult #Brexit

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Just like a victim of vampirism, once bitten by the seductive bloodsucker that is the European Union, it seems you are left forever changed, unable to leave the sanguivorous circle and enter daylight again. I am of course referring to the ruling by the British High Court that the British Government cannot just go ahead, trigger Article 50, and make the UK leave the EU. Rather, the justices have decided that Parliament must vote. This is despite the fact that the British people have already voted to leave the EU! This decision therefore leaves Brexit very much hanging in the balance.

The motley crew who brought this case before the High Court have said that the referendum was only “advisory”, whereas others in the past have been binding. Therefore, their argument was that it is unconstitutional for the Government to simply have us leave the EU without a vote in Parliament. However, this view is complete tosh. Due to the famed Parliamentary Sovereignty that self-professedly underpins the campaigners’ case, erm, Parliament is sovereign. Therefore, all popular votes are advisory, not just this one. That includes General Elections: the parliamentarian who thinks they have the best ability to form a government, which is generally the leader of the party winning the most seats in the Commons, seeks an audience with the Monarch and asks to form a government. The Queen is merely advised; she doesn’t have to accept any of it.

Now you might scoff and say I’m being a bit far-fetched. But I’m not at all. The principle is exactly the same. Any and all votes are “advisory”. Trying to paint only this referendum as merely advisory is dishonest and misses the point. But the real point is that the people made their decision with the understanding that it would be “respected”, that is implemented, and therefore it’s not fair to try and slip out of it with this legal trickery. Thus, to make the will of the people come into effect, the Government desires to use the Royal Prerogative to force it through (as MPs are overwhelmingly against Brexit and so may block it and because the people have authorised the Government to do this); much like an “executive order” in the United States. Thereby giving effect to the will of the people by using executive powers ultimately derived from the crown (aka Her Maj)– the theoretical source of all sovereignty in our system. Y’see, “Parliament” isn’t the same as “The House of Commons”. The Commons voted for the referendum, presumably to delegate its responsibilities in this regard directly to the people; after all, the MPs in the Commons are only there because we delegated day-to-day running of the nation to them. The power of MPs derives from our consent.

But you know what, that is only my interpretation. I’m not a lawyer.   The High Court judges are more expert than me. And perhaps they’ll be proven right. The Government is appealing to the Supreme Court, which may of course back the High Court. It may equally overturn the High Court’s decision. So we shall we see whether lay political activists like me are right, or whether it is the top legal minds of the High Court. But bear in mind that the High Court in Northern Ireland only last week backed the Government’s position!

Yet all this bleating about the “unconstitutionality” of the Government taking us out of the EU, in accordance with the wishes of the British people as expressed in the 23rd of June referendum, really makes me laugh. After all, when since was any of the EU project constitutional? For example, how was the Maastricht Treaty (1993) constitutional when it made me the citizen of a foreign state, the EU!? Imagine if it had made us citizens of Russia, China, or even a sensible country like Canada; everyone would see how unconstitutional that is. I mean, it violates one of the most fundamental parts of our constitution, which MPs and the Monarch are sworn to uphold, The Bill of Rights (1688), by giving us, yes, all the privileges and rights of EU citizenship, but all the responsibilities, current and future, as well. Indeed, one could argue that the whole edifice of the EU violates the constitution, particularly given that we never consented to any of it. Oh wait, “I” consented in 1975… when my Mum was 17 years old and I was minus nine. Yeah… But more on this in an upcoming post.

And I doe declare That noe Forreigne Prince Person Prelate, State or Potentate hath or ought to have any Jurisdiction Power Superiority Preeminence or Authoritie Ecclesiasticall or Spirituall within this Realme Soe helpe me God.

The Bill of Rights (1688)

But anyway, NONE OF THIS SORRY SITUATION IS A SURPRISE TO ME. Just after the referendum, I said that the MO of the European Union is to ignore the wishes of the people. I said that I think Brexit will never happen. By hook or crook, the political elites try and make nations go along with it. They’ve done it again and again and again and again.

Either Parliament will water down Brexit so as to be fairly meaningless, e.g., still signed up to the freedom of movement, paying into the EU, and so on. This of course leaves the door open to easily becoming “full” members again in a decade or so.

Or Parliament will delay and delay until the momentum and political will fizzles out. And so neither “soft” nor “hard” Brexit occur.

And/or there will be a second vote, if need be. And second votes are always won by the EU (and there have been quite a few; check it out!). Why?

  1. The people who never usually vote, the silent majority who come out and say “NO MORE!” to the EU, tend to go back to being even more disillusioned than ever and not voting second time round.
  2. Those who do normally vote are so demoralised that many don’t vote in the second vote, and most of the others who do vote have no campaigning zeal left, so disheartened are they.
  3. The momentum is with the EU, and the anti-EU side is on the ropes.
  4. Increased time, money, and propaganda helps sway a few more people.

Indeed, polls are already beginning to suggest that “Brexit” might narrowly lose a second referendum.

We don’t know how this will pan out. But I’ll just leave you with this quote from Jean-Claude Juncker, EC President, on the 2005 French vote on the EU Constitution:

If it’s a Yes, we will say ‘On we go’, and if it’s a No, we will say, ‘We Continue’

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

Text of the 1688 Bill of Rights: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/WillandMarSess2/1/2/introduction

featured image from https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/styles/article_large/public/thumbnails 

The SECRET to AMAZING Weight Loss (Fatty Parry 13) @ww_uk @weightwatchers

Move more, eat less.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry