Rants, Raves And Reviews

Browsing Posts published in February, 2015

With the united kingdom national elections coming soon I wanted to get my rant out about some of the policies that the government have been enacting lately, as well as covering issues and promises which have been made by the various parties in the past claiming them to be thier own policies, such as how kind and generous the government were to be offering a base wage increase over the next five years, and how every party were offering differing but very insignificant increases to the minimum wage over those five years when it is an EU mandate that the UK must increase liveable wage from how it is to a liveable standard before then. I also point out how the increases mentioned don’t live up to that standard because baseline inflation is essentially the same as the increases promised and as such not enough is being done to provide a liveable income for those on the minimum wage.

“Social Justice” is a term used by the government in means of cutting off benefits to people who haven’t been able to find work in the past 3-4 years (or even less in some area’s as housing benefits are a devolved issue down to a local level, not just nationally, so your local government office has full control over that) despite living in area’s noted as being very difficult to find work, and in the gender/age range where employers will actively choose other people, and youth unemployment being 2.5 times higher than national unemployment it is immensely difficult to find work despite trying you still get penalised, and lose your home out on the streets to essentially be socially excluded and as a result not a statistic for “unemployment” which is only based on jobseekers claims as opposed to those actually unemployed, as can be seen by the large gap between employment figures and unemployment figures which basically matches the socially excluded statistics.

Another major problem with the EU’s own findings is that not only are we a poverty stricken country, at larger risk of social exclusion than some other major member states, but we have basically the same level of employment (using the employment statistics not “unemployment”) however while other member states such as france and germany (both equally employed or better than the uk) get a rebate from the EU the UK is ordered to pay £1.7 billion to the EU because “the economy is thriving” compared to others, this goes against thier own statistics in every sense, clearly germany and france aren’t listed as poverty stricken and at risk of social exclusion while the UK are, there is no significant factor marking us as better than them in any way to have to pay this rebate, perhaps austerity and cutting off every benefit under the sun killing off the poor is having a saving factor on the defecit, and the economy has been noted to have improved for the wealthy, those who perhaps pay mp’s to influence things in thier factor, and who’s tax hasn’t been adjusted and often have the best reliefs and definately on the grand scale of %age tax vs income pay next to nothing in comparison to the poor, yet they’re happy to be gaining all the reliefs under the sun.

After making this video stated on question time “mp’s do not earn enough” and should “recieve a 10% pay rise to prevent them doing dodgy things” as an encouragement to stop our MP’s doing illegal things, to stop them claiming for second homes and every dodgy tax benefit, selling thier souls and political positions and abusing the government and how easy it is to do whatever scummy behaviour they want with no recourse because they’re in the power and influence? This all sounds very dodgy and someone claiming to be national press shouldn’t be stating such, and with MP’s earning £67,000+ per year on average do you really think that’s not enough to live off, and that MP’s should have second jobs, taking up thier time, preventing them doing thier public duty where they have been voted in to ensure they represent thier community and not thier own agenda’s? Do you really think its fair that they cut off benefits of around £5k per year all in the name of saving money to reduce the defecit and increase austerity while increasing the gap between the rich and the poor, and all that time taking even more money and demanding wage increases far beyond what they claim to have saved in the most savage and inhumane way possible, not only jobseekers, it has been noted over the recent years severely disabled people have been cut off, there are severe increases in youth suicide (another video incoming when I have statistics from national rail) and severe increases in youth having to live at home on sofa’s or at friends and ex’s on sofa’s increases in “escorting” drug dealing and other illicit means of making enough money to just live on the bread line as a youth because the youth “don’t vote” and as such MP’s don’t particularly care about issues that revolve around them.

Another recent “incentive to vote” was the introduction of pensions being able to be cashed out immediately in full rather than doled out over the entire term of your pension, initially I thought this was a silly idea especially while they were attenpting to save money to reduce the defecit, however it is noted that by cashing out early you run the risk of not getting the full ammount, as a shortfall in pension funds means that only 90% up to £30k per annum is guaranteed, and quite frankly I’m okay with that because it means it’s another illicit means of saving money rather than just incentivising the elderly to vote in thier favour and being given everything while the young and poor suffer immensely, and lets face it if you can’t live off £30k*35 years paid off in one lump sum (essentially one million pounds) then there is something severely wrong. I do think those with pensions much lower should get a 100% top up though, and those richer should suffer or take it on a slower basis rather than screw the entire country over in the name of greed, as if you can’t live off such large figures in retirement there is something wrong.

Youth unemployment is noted as being 2.5 times higher than the national unemployment average, and this is even harder for male youth’s with females occupying almost double the number of jobs than males, whilst the next level up in management males have dominance because society deems ladies to be a pretty exterior to encourage people to come in to spend rather than having any actual skill, this is so wrong on every level, because not only are males fully capable of doing shop floor work, operating tills, waiting, etc and being skilled enough and pretty enough to encourage customers in, but ladies are also equally capable of management and supervisory roles where there are less ladies employed. The EU mandates that “better childcare” should be supplied to get ladies in to work, but this isn’t really the issue considering most ladies aren’t mothers and do choose to work but there is just a social stigma and social imbalance in the views of society where they’re chosen as sex symbols to represent front and center and draw people in to spend and tip while the males remain in charge, until both of these statistic balance and there is equal opportunities of employment on all fronts there is a severe imbalance in society that needs addressing, often seeing jobs being advertised as “ladies only” for regular work, and being told “not enough experience” for management roles despite having supervisory and team leading experience, it just isn’t recent enough or several years worth to be able to apply for such roles in todays competitive market.

Increases in “zero hour contracts” and those signing out of the working time directive and the national working week resulting in people working anything from 0 hours to 80+ in a single week is another major problem in the employment market of today, because it grants employers greater flexibility to never have to supply a single hour or enough to cover the basic essential costs while still having the employee on thier teather and not able to claim benefits or search for work elsewhere as working hours could be anywhere any length and at such short notice that you couldn’t work two jobs in case of clashes, as well as the prevelance of 5-8 hour long working weeks which is never enough to live off. There are fixes to this issue such as removing the ability for regular employees to sign out of the working week, and being bound by the 48 hour working week, or even reducing the working week down to 35 hours in line with continental hours. By only allowing employees in management and ownership positions to sign out of the working time directive, and reducing the working week you would not only increase the number of jobs available significantly, you would reduce the number of burnt out people with no free time, but also increase spending on leisure activities and the like, which in turn creates a greater need for employment and stimulates and boosts business on a level far beyond the pathetic austerity measures of cutting off benefits. Also by creating further employment slots from the increased working hours available through cutting back there will be more work, and as a result less people claiming benefits, more tax from those incomes rather than them being a drain on taxes, savings and increase tax income something the government doesn’t want? Spending and stimulating the economy sounds too stupid for the government? Having a fairer and balanced society not one of thier aims and mandates?

Don’t forget that although you get to vote at the elections, your selection is often limited to those who have been nominated for those positions from within thier own offices, so often its the same good ole boys which you’re voting in who have been scumming the system for years, and a great deal has been made about how conservatives have been “turncoats” changing to ukip in the area’s where they were no longer guaranteed, so rather than supporting ukip they’re simply changing to whichever ship still gets them into the mp’s chair and thier income and position to be able to scum the system and earn extra corricular incomes influencing things for big businesses and the wealthy who are able to pay them extortionate fee’s. However they take advantage of the fact that many people are not willing to vote as a result of this, however the only way you can ever really prevent it is to go out and vote on election day, go vote for someone other than these old boys, vote independants, vote green, vote whatever way you feel just as long as you go out and vote. Minor seats do make a difference, every corrupt politician you prevent from getting a seat is a victory, even if you don’t get the entire office for whichever party you choose you’re getting devolved influence in your area so it makes a bigger deal especially in modern times than you would think. Keep a local MP you can trust, this article doesn’t say all big party politicians can’t be trusted because Jack Dromey MP for erdington is often supporting the poor and underprivelidged and he is a main party mp, its voices like this you want in office, and in positions to influence thier party to stop austerity measures designed to take advantage of and kill off the poor rather than those in a position to pay who get greater tax haven’s.

Don’t believe every social media smear campaign you see, do your own research and look into things yourself, and only believe things with a trackable proof trail, not bullshit muttered behind the bike sheds. “Don’t be a social media zombie” as life is strange would say.

Don’t forget to vote, how can your voice be heard if you don’t open your mouth and speak up?

PDF’s listed within the following page is the main source

Other sources
Sunday Politics (bbc) BBC Question time (bbc) Central News (ITV) National newspapers and commonly known public knowledge.

Life is strange is an episodic story driven game split into five episodes each being released six weeks apart so as to allow time for the player to play through at thier own pace and replay and change any consequences they weren’t entirely happy with before the next episode. This may sound rather simple at first, until you consider that you also have the ability to rewind time.

This might seem rather straight forward at first, test out the consequences rewind and choose the one that seems to fit best, however its not quite that simple as any objects and information you gain are retained as you exist outside of the rewind facility entirely. So while you can gain information to use in conversations and obtain a better outcome there is the possibility that you may learn things you wish you didn’t know and not be able to forget.

It is fairly easy to miss things on your first playthrough, especially as time goes on wherever you exist in the environment so chances are things are happening off screen and you have no idea. Episode one itself is very focused on setting up the moods and interactions with the main characters for future episodes, for example do you rush through life not talking to anyone or do you piss people off rather than be kind to them? Do you focus more on gaining evidence rather than socially interacting? All seem to have future consequences even down to the small things such as wether you watered your plant, which will undoubtedly have an influence on your emotional state which also seems to have an important standing in the plot of the game.

There is a licenced soundtrack, which unfortunately I could never show you due to third content ID claims by merlin despite having permission to show content of the game it is better to be safe than sorry, even if the music creators wished to be seen and heard by far reaching audiences through the game sometimes record labels have other idea’s. The music itself does seem to play an important part of the story as it is focused that you have to play the music, perhaps as a prelude hinting how it effects emotional states which could become important, especially with the nature of the game revolving around the social interactions and moods of all of the students of blackwell academy.

Stating that though the game revolves around several themes, much as quoted “a dream within a dream” the game has the main plot of max and her reunion with chloe and how you choose to interact with her after such a seperation, but also the sub plot of rachel amber’s dissappearance, and the superceding plot of time travel and the mysterious threat of the tornado.

There are a number of easter eggs within the episode, such as max’s tshirt, the posters and scribbles on the walls and other things I couldn’t possibly state without spoiling things entirely, but if you keep your eye open there is much more than just the main game and the pretty hand drawn artwork and textures of the game to keep you entertained.

Any issues that were initially present such as stutters in cutscenes, and mysterious tye-died textures appearing have been since resolved so were you to purchase the game and play through yourself you would not experience these and for future episodes these should not be present upon release.

All in all episode one has been a great teaser of things to come with a cliffhanger at the end showing things are definately not as they seem, depending on how much you read into things you could draw a number of consequences.

Either way I suggest you buy the game and play through for yourself, wether you buy episode one for £4 or the full season for £16 you won’t regret the purchase with a playtime of 1-3 hours for a single playthrough depending on wether you rush past all human interaction or take your time to explore and converse with the characters, and I can presume at least 2 hours play per episode for those yet to be released with the more complex puzzles and interactions which will undoubtedly be coming forward.

Check out life is strange for yourself, it is avilable to purchase now on steam and a recommended purchase from me.

The Jackbox Party Pack is a selection of party games suitable for fun in a variety of situations, wether for a family gathering at christmas after dinner, or down to simple weekend gatherings with friends for a little extra entertainment there are games suitable for all.

To play along you simply need only one copy of the game for all players no matter where they are based in the world, and they join in by entering a room code at, from there they are given the appropriate tool for the game wether it be the choices or a drawpad. With this working on google chrome you can turn any mobile device, laptop, pc or pad into a platform for joining in, wether in the same room or on the other side of the world.

Although the games are suitable for all family members there can be more adult humour based upon the answers and mindsets of the contestants playing, with obvious blanks for inuendo’s in fibbage xl that could be answered very innocently but this will often not be the case. This game is perfect for playing over streams also because there is no timing element involved and filling in blanks and choosing the correct answer from those proposed is a fairly easy going way of playing with audience members or other youtubers, and with up to 8 players the answers you have to choose from could truly be anything.

The five games included in the pack include a highly polished multimedia quiz experience that contains 50 episodes which last anything from 15 to 20 minutes long each and can be played from one to four players. The quiz itself however has a twist where often the questions are concealed in some way wether it be a hidden question within a question or a pupper and old man who speak in such a manner that the question is very distinctly obscured. Points are awarded based upon how fast you answer, and also taken away if you get it incorrect in equally measured scales so often if you don’t know jack the best option is to sit back and wait for your opponents to answer.

Wordspud is the most adaptive game where you can set your own rules as points are awarded by the players themselves, and you can set themes and punishments of your own devising or just cheat and award nobody any points and hope not to get noticed depending on how mean you’re playing.

Drawful tends to be everyone’s favourite game of the pack where you’re given something to draw and then one by one your pictures are put up for other players to place titles they think other players will choose in order to steal the points, bear in mind that the game will deliberately mask answers sometimes with typo’s or really obscure answers so it won’t always be the simple and easiest answer provided.

Lie swatter is the final game in the pack, where the question is sent to all players and with up to 100 players is the most stream friendly game for audience interaction, however you will most likely lose everytime to an audience which always seem to know more than the streamer in every instance, especially when you have a lot of viewers taking part the chances become ever slimmer that you’d succeed in being number one. The challenge has been set.

Although there is no DLC at present this game could easily adapt the quiz standard expansions such as themed question packs following common tropes like movies, sci-fi and even video games (ironic) This would be easily transferred into most of the games in the pack and perhaps give some people with a less broad knowledge a better chance of success, especially with you don’t know jack which often the challenge is simply completing the game with a positive score.

I even have the idea that any future games developed by jackbox games could potentially be added to the pack as dlc for convenience and one idea I had that would be rather difficult to code would be a version of family fortunes/family fued where the viewing audience fill the blank for the answer pool and the main players on teams could then pick the answers to win from those, this would make it immensely difficult especially if you have a viewer audience of trolls or there are common themes and tropes in your audience like “dongers” “fred durst” or other commonly used tropes.

Without any expansion though this game still has enough to last you for pretty much your whole partying life, even if you are a hardcore gamer and hold many parties in the pack you’d never get through the entire content to have to worry about duplication too much, the only issue would be if you’ve played on someone elses pack but that has been addressed with an episode select feature so you can skip past the questions that your guests may have already played elsewhere and have everyone on an equal footing for playing along.

I’ve had a lot of fun with the game and for a price of £18.99 I think its well worth the investment, because it can become a good escuse to hold more social gatherings and spend time with friends and family.

With birmingham council’s continued ineptitude (which may be deliberate noting some politicians recent appearance on bbc news stating how harsh and strong walfare cuts in the area are deliberate) I decided to send my third application for housing last year via recorded delivery to prove that they recieved it and to exponge thier excuses that they haven’t recieved it.

Despite having tracking proof stating they have collected the application from thier po box they still deny any reciept of the application, this is after they did this whole song and dance in the first place losing wage slips and bank statement proofs when they origonally requested it illegally witholding my housing benefits, and also witholding for 6 months beyond accepting the proofs stating I should be in reciept of my full benefits.

Wether this is a case of the council deliberately avoiding applications and paying out benefits to those who are not only entitled to them but require them as a necessity until they are able to find employment which can pay for rent and basic bills or wether they are truly inept is for you to decide, but couple this with the fact that they are deliberately cutting welfare in order to cut the defecit, the people who will be hit hardest while they improve the economy for the richer who have more room to lose income and not be effected is for you to decide.

Birmingham in particular is one of the hardest hit area’s because not only are there people who have been living there long term but also the fact that it has become london’s sinkhole to dump those who it deems undesirable such as benefits claimants, immigrants and the homeless all being moved to the area discreetly, but not so discreet that it hasn’t been noted in the news in the past and on channel 4 documentories.

They expect people to sit back and take it or die in the streets, but I call for people to stand up for your rights, because those in power certainly wont and will do everything in thier power to hide the truth and distract you elsewhere.

So if you’re in a similar situation or have your own gripes with the council and the government now is the time to stand up and ensure your voice gets heard, if you don’t speak out against acts of terrorism against your personal human rights nobody else will.

Of course if you take on the media and the establishment you’re likely to be targetted and labelled as crazy, especially if you do something viral or entertaining to get your message spread such as how randy quaid decided to put a mask of rupert murdoch on his wife and pretend to have anal sex with her. They cut the part where he pretends to and simulates “fucking him up the arse as he got fucked up the arse by murdoch” missing out on doing the “up yours” quote from independance day; By cutting this it seems like he would actually be doing it rather than simulating it for the comedy and viral factor to get his message accross, and seemingly anyone being wronged speaking out in a public medium because the media won’t spread thier message gets deemed as “a crazy persons rant” these days, perhaps getting fucked over and losing your home does that to someone and makes them “mad” as in angry, aggitated, irate. Not “mad” crazy, dulally, insane.

What that video possibly doesn’t show is the leadup and possibly months or years of arguing and trying to get the situation sorted and his meassage heard through the murdoch owned presses, and as a last resort turning to social media to get his message heard and perhaps investigated, as taking down a larger institution which in these days can do whatever the hell they like and essentially own the law is a practically impossible factor, but as always underground unions unite when the hard working man is downtrodden and thrown aside unable to work or have a home and basic rights.

I will always stand up for human rights and the rights of the downtrodden, and I urge everyone to speak up and be heard, not in the future where empty promises never appear, but now and make things happen.