G.R.R Martin makes me angry.

So, I just happened upon a chapter in ‘A Storm of Swords’ today that I’d not been looking forward to reading. I’d had this particular event spoiled for me quite early on so I knew it was coming. Worry not those who wish to avoid spoilers, this will be as vague as it possibly could be. As a heads up, its the Red……

Knowing what was going to happen before it happened was worse than if it had been a surprise. This way, I spent every other sentence for about three chapters thinking ‘No, don’t do that, get out of there, don’t let them do that, get that thing back, turn around, fly you fools’.

Not even a cup of tea and a scone made the bitter pill any sweeter….

I don’t even particularly like the characters involved. I mean, one of the Houses sure, but not really the characters. It’s the way it happens. Just plain wrong. There is something which is broken; and to me, something like that should never be broken. Gives me goosebumps.

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General Ramblings on my A Level Results

For my A Levels, I took Law, History, Use of Mathematics and (for AS) Business Studies. History, followed swiftly by Law, being my favourite with Use of Mathematics rather further behind (I enjoy maths, I’m just poor at it). I ended up with B’s in Law, History and General Studies and C’s in Use of Mathematics and AS Business Studies. I was about 2 marks off an A in Law and about 4 off a B in UoM.

Now, not to make excuses or anything, but that Law grade isn’t my fault; my Year 12 teacher mucked up dreadfully but I’m still bitter about that and don’t really want to rant about it. I thoroughly enjoyed my Year 13 Law class even though about 4 of the 6 students in the class didn’t really understand, or want to understand, the work – the teacher made concessions and worked for the best of everyone – the slowest and the quickest learners. History was also excellent; The Tudors, Vietnam, British Raj and the rise of Totalitarian Regimes (1900-35-ish) are all fascinating topics to cover and with the help of engaging teachers it made the classes immensely fun to go to. Use of Mathematics was another small class but equally with a passionate teacher who helped out a lot; I just wish I’d managed that extra few marks to get a B. I just never really ‘got’ Business Studies.

Anyhow, sometimes I look at my results and wonder what they could have been had I not spent the majority of the time playing Countdown and Risk on a SMART board in between card games….Then I realise the Countdown number rounds were probably more useful for developing numeracy skills than Use of Mathematics. After all, I can’t really remember how to differentiate or integrate, but I can remember how to add, takeaway, multiply and divide (and that was more than a slight dig at the British Comprehensive Education System).

I suppose what I want to say is that A Levels are not the end of the world. I was quite disappointed with my results I’m not going to lie. And I feel like they aren’t just impacting badly on myself from a personal point of view, but Law firms also use them to ‘cut the wheat from the chaff’ so to speak, and I lie on the edge. And that worries me. But, remember A Level students. you can always resit. You can always retake a year; you’ll have plenty more for working, one more won’t hurt. Make sure you get them right. 

Unless you’re a law student. In which case, please just give up. Competition’s hard enough as it is.

My sincerest apologies

Dear readers,

For a start, thanks for reading this. If you’ve checked this blog out a few times over the last year you’ll probably be surprised to see this! I can but apologize for my absence. Last year I started the first year of a University Law degree and this blog got left by the wayside. I hope now to re-start writing regularly (hopefully I’ll be posting things every few days or weekly at least).

If it’s any consolation, at least I wasn’t wasting my time when doing University work instead of updating here: I received a 1st and I was only 3% behind the chap who got the best marks in the year so, considering its Law, I’m rather pleased with it. And from the looks of the stats, the blogs done better with me not posting than it ever did when I was! I’d be lucky if I’d get a view a week last year, now we have daily views which is lovely to see.

I have a ‘A brief history of…’ ready to post later today so I am prepared!

Your humble writer
The Consulting Gallifreyan

Reintroducing the bear and wolf to Britain: valuable for our ecosystem or too dangerous to be attempted?

This morning while watching the news, it was mentioned that across Europe (although particularly in the Eastern countries) we are seeing a variety of long lost animal’s being reintroduced into their old habitats. This has revived somewhat the debate in Britain as to if animals once at the top of the food chain here, such as the brown bear or wolves, should be reintroduced.

Now, I remember reading up on the topic a few years ago when it was (I think) last brought up at a National Level (rather than for just the Scottish highlands) and I was stringently against the idea for reasons I’ll come on to, and this recent debate hasn’t changed my mind.

brown_bear_ru
The Brown Bear was last seen in Britain probably around 1000 years ago. Despite their occasionally cuddly appearance  there should be no doubts as to how immensely powerful they are in the flesh.

I mean the effort to introduce animals such as the beaver and lynx as well as those such as the bear and the wolf will undoubtedly have positive effects on our natural eco-systems. I was reading research done by Nature England which stated that beavers could reduce the risk of flooding which would be excellent, and also we have a rather large deer problem in Britain which would be helped a lot by introducing creatures such as the Lynx and Wolf who would begin to hunt them (preventing the need to cull herds). On the other hand, the modern landscape of Britain must be taken into account on such an issue; and the general consensus among experts is that we do not have a sustainable environment for these creatures to live in without significant risk to either people or their livelihoods. As much as people may say that highland farming is not important or ‘too small’ to be significant clearly don’t understand that for their new eco-system to work it’s got to build upon what we have now and not what they want to have.

European Gray Wolf
The Wolf; last seen in Britain around the beginning of the 18th Century. Powerful beasts with a pack mentality, close control would need to be kept to avoid groups of them demolishing herds or even people who venture into the lovely British countryside.

Organisations such as humansandwolves.org argue that these species have considerably more positive than negative effects on our society, our economy, and indeed, on our eco-systems. However, I don’t think the extra £300 (rising from £500 to £800) in income for deer estates has as much influence on anything meaningful to the majority of people as the supporters are suggesting.

I have read a few different articles on the topic, and I find most commentators saying that such animals pose a threat to humans in argument against the supporters of the reintroduction who state that properly educated humans will have no fear from the animals in their natural habitat. However, and I think this is something to be stressed, what about when the animals venture out of their natural habitat? Let’s take an example of the common fox; over the last couple of decades we have seen an explosion in the levels of ‘urbanised’ foxes moving out of their natural homes in the countryside and setting up shop in cities, towns and urban areas. Not only this, but the competition for food has meant foxes being in the news for breaking into houses, stealing food, terrorising people and even attacking humans; most shockingly, the young. Now, I don’t have any expert opinions backing up the idea that given 20 years wolves or even bears may have lost their fear of the urban environment, however in the modern environment with suitable habitats shrinking it means its ever more likely that these creatures could very well move ‘out of the wild and into civilisation’. It may not even be cities, but towns or villages. Situated much closer to their habitats in the countryside and with a much less imposing human presence, as the animals become ever more confident attacks will, I would say, rise dramatically.
An-urban-fox-in-London-20-006

The urban fox has developed into just as much a menace to city-goers as to country bumpkins (such as myself!) 

Don’t get me wrong, I most certainly don’t want to see any of these species go extinct, or anything like that, but I most certainly don’t want to see them suffer by being forced into an area too insufficient for them to the point where they are forced into conflict with humans. Because if that does happen, it’s not a fight that’s going to turn out well for the creatures, the supporters of reintroduction or the attitudes of the public towards sustainability and creation/cultivation of clean eco-systems.

Post Script; All images courtesy of Google.

21 Tips For People Who Don’t Drink

A really very good set of advice for those who don’t drink or those who have met new people who don’t drink.

I don’t and never have drank. Even though I have clear reasons in my mind, it is still a very daunting thing to have to go to university as I am and try and hold back the whole drinking ‘scene’.

Thought Catalog

1. It’s okay to drink.

2. It’s okay not to drink.

3. Know why you’re saying no. My sophomore year, I had an existential alcohol crisis. I was invited to a New Year’s party with good friends (who were also seasoned drinkers) and for the first time in my life I seriously considered drinking. Not just drinking, though. I arranged a pre-drinking drinking training with my best friend from home. She would obtain the drinks, I would drink them, and then I would wait. For what? Who knows? But I would drink and then I would be ready. (I may have been a novice drinker but I was an advanced-level over-thinker.) Somewhere in the middle of the planning, my best friend began asking me questions, specifically Why? Why now? Why not before? That was when I sat down and started contemplating the answer to these questions. In the end, I…

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Moving Out/In Day

So the day has finally arrived in which I am moving out of my home of 18 years and almost 4 months and into my University Accommodation.

It feels quite weird to be packing up all of ones worldly possessions to either go into the loft or move with me.

As such, posts on here will probably become spread a little thin over the next couple of weeks as I settle into the Law Course, but I have a few reviews and brief histories ready in preparation.

Its a good thing I’m not superstitious; moving out on Friday the 13th may be a scary thing!

From Colonial America to The Syrian Conflict; A New CountryBall Comic!

CountryBall cartoon: Attempt 4 – The opinions of four of the key players considering Syria in the United Nations.
Despite being an abysmal artist, I decided I’d have a go and make another cartoon myself.

If I had had the time and the artistic skill, this would have been a huge cartoon in which I would have combined the opinions of a few more of the Countries and their opinions on Syria following the G20 meeting the other day.

Unfortunately, you have to deal with this

Syria Negotiations