Sunday, 27 July 2014

How To Write A Helpful Book Review

The Key Point That All Good Reviewers Are Aware Of

"...slow acoustic piano rubbish. 5/5"  A helpful review.
In the music press, when someone writes a negative review which proves unpopular with fans of the band, the reviewer will often defend their review by claiming that a review is just one person's opinion.

On the face of it, this seems fair enough, but what all reviewers need to realise is that no-one actually cares whether the reviewer enjoyed the book, movie or album, etc.  When I read a review all I care about is 'will I enjoy this book?'

To give an example, I remember a few years ago a favourite artist of mine released a new single which I hadn't yet heard, and I therefore asked my mate for his opinion on the song.  His reply was something along the lines of, "It's that slow acoustic piano rubbish...  You'll love it!"

It probably sounds as if he was being quite cheeky, but that wasn't his intention at all.  He simply understood the concept of a good review.  I wasn't interested in whether or not my mate enjoyed the song.  I just wanted to know whether I'd enjoy it.  And so my mate reviewed the song with that in mind and explained that it was that 'slow acoustic piano rubbish' which I happen to love.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Bang Out Of Order!

The other day I discovered some graffiti on my car...

Bang out of order!
iPhone 4 version (640x960)
It's been a few months since I last designed an iPhone wallpaper, and as my last one was uncharacteristically serious and sensible, this time I decided to return to my usual daft self and feature a more typically stupid wallpaper.

It's based on a daft joke which is a play on words, and as usual it's available in two sizes; 640x1136 for the iPhone5 and 640x960 for the iPhone4.

Just to clarify the joke, the punchline has a double meaning because of course spray painting someone's car is extremely out of order, but also the letters 'abng' are 'bang' out of order.

And as a further clarification, of course in reality no-one had spray painted any letters on the car (it's not even my car!) and it's just a photoshopped photo.  I might be weird, but I'm not so weird that if someone painted graffiti on my car my reaction would be, "Great, I'll take a photo and make a wallpaper out of it!"

As I say it's not even my car (it's way out of my price range) and it's actually my cousin's former car, so thanks to my cousin for providing the prop.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Five Stupid Sayings

English expressions which may seem a little strange to foreign speakers...

Sshhh!!  Don't wake the baby.
Previously on this blog I've highlighted some of the sayings and expressions in other languages (such as Swedish and Korean) which may seem a little weird to English speakers, but once you analyse them they make perfect sense.

This week I'm going to take a look at a few English sayings, but unlike the logical Swedish and Korean expressions, the following English expressions don't really make much sense at all...

1) "I slept like a baby."

Rather bizarrely, this expression is used to indicate that you had a relaxing night's sleep.  However, from most of the parents I've spoken to, 'sleeping like a baby' would more accurately suggest that you woke up every couple of hours crying your eyes out for no apparent reason.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

10 More Funny Quiz Show Answers (Part 2)

More silly quiz answers from contestants who spoke before switching on their brain...

It's been a few months since I featured a selection of funny quiz show answers on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog (including one from a contestant who reckoned the 'Six Day War' lasted for fourteen days), so here's another batch of silly quiz show answers from contestants who failed to engage their brain in gear before opening their mouths.

A car with two wheels...
(more commonly known as a motorbike).
Once again, all of the following are genuine answers from contestants who appeared on TV and radio shows over the years, and this next batch of geniuses includes experts at spelling, biology and basic arithmetic, as well as someone you definitely wouldn't want to share a lift with...

1) Presenter:  Name an occupation beginning with T.
Contestant:  Doctor.
Presenter:  No, it's T.  T for Tommy.  T for tango.
Contestant:  Oh.  (Pause).  Doctor?

2) Name something your car can have two of.
Answer:  Wheels

Sunday, 29 June 2014

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It

When technology becomes indistinguishable from magic.

"The only limitation is your imagination."
A few weeks ago I featured a few t-shirts featuring cool quotes, and one of the t-shirts included this cool quote from Walt Disney...

"If you can dream it, you can do it."

However, not everyone follows the above philosophy, and even scientific geniuses have occasionally got it wrong due to an inability to dream big.

So here are a few examples of scientific doubters (some of them geniuses) who suffered from 'That's impossible!' syndrome, only to ultimately be made to look a bit foolish when science proved them wrong...

Sunday, 22 June 2014

What I've Recently Been Reading (Part 7)

Another batch of book reviews.

It's time for another round up of some of the books and short stories which I've recently been reading...

Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl by Herself - 4.8 / 5.0

If you've ever felt fed up with some trivial part of your life then read this book and it'll help to put things back into perspective, and make you realise how lucky we are to live with the freedoms we take for granted.  At times it was heart-breaking to read about the inhumane horrors that went on, and the evils and blind hypocrisy of society in centuries gone by, but this is also a story of hope, and as well as describing the evil of slavery it also recounts Harriet Jacobs' quest for freedom (written using the pen-name Linda Brent).  I'm not usually a fan of historical books, but it was a very humbling experience to read Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl, and this is a book which stays on your mind long after you finish reading it.  As it's out of copyright you can download it for free from Amazon for Kindle, so there's nothing to lose by giving it a try.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Pranks On Facebook and Twitter

A few examples of how to prank people on social media...

As I've mentioned before on my blog I'm a big fan of pranks, but the prank has to be good natured otherwise it ceases to be a funny prank and instead becomes a sly trick.  So with that in mind, here's another 'funny prank or sly trick' post, but this time featuring pranks and tricks with a facebook and twitter theme...

1) My breath smells of farts!

Like this photo if you have camel breath.
This first example is a funny trick you can play on facebook which will make your friends feel a bit embarrassed.  First of all post a status which is happy news or a positive comment or basically something which is likely to get as many likes as possible from your friends.

Then once a load of friends have liked your status, edit your status to say something completely different, such as:

"Like this status if your breath smells of farts!"

So then it will appear as if all the friends who liked your original comment have clicked 'like' to indicate that their breath smells of farts.

If you don't want to post something childish like this on your own facebook page then you can also do the same trick by replying to someone else's status with a comment which is designed to get lots of likes, and then later editing your comment to something embarrassing.

Funny prank or sly trick?