Recently I was gifted (via a friend on Steam) Age of Empires II: HD Edition for my birthday. Despite little knowledge of the game (having only spent a day on it) I agreed to join he who bought me the game and another friend in an online game in which we stood against three (AI controlled) enemies. I didn’t know what I was about to get myself into.
It began like any other game of Age of Empires would; we chose our civilisations. I selected the Japanese due to their Samurai units, and my friends chose the Byzantines and the Mongols.
When the game began I found myself in the far mid-east of the map, my Byzantine allies north of me and finally our Mongolian friends to the far north west of the map. We began as we would in any other game and started gathering resources; lumber, food, gold and stone whilst recruiting more and more villagers and beginning to build up a small town with houses. Once we had moved onto the feudal age things started to become a little tense, however. More and more enemy scouts from the west were passing by and the on multiple occasions I was forced to round up my men-at-arms from the recently built barracks to hold the ‘Ivy Gates’ (a swamped crossing on the river between the east and the west, there were two Ivy Gates, one in the south that was just west of my town and one in the North, just west of the Mongols) from yellow invaders. Generally these small skirmishes were of little importance; the enemies would fall down quickly as our units were more advanced, however they were proving an annoyance and occasionally we would lose a valuable soldier. Soon I resorted to building a watchtower to attack enemy invaders, however, this is when things began to go south.
Those who know me should be well aware that my favourite movie is There Will Be Blood, therefore I deemed it suitable to kick off my latest bloggy posts, On Movies, something I made up just then as an excuse to talk about one of my favourite subjects.
Over the course of the next few weeks, depending on how busy I am or how much effort I can put in, I will be continuing this series of commentaries on my favourite movies. Sort of like reviews minus any kind of structural continuity, there’ll be no rating at the end but I will be giving my honest opinion and I will be considering various factors such as acting and directing quality among others. Now, without further ado, There Will Be Blood!
A wise man once said, ‘Font is everything.’
That wise man was me, although admittedly just then was the first time I’ve ever said it, the message still stands. The font you use defines who you are as a person. I myself most commonly use the font Bookman Old Style.
Why, you ask? It strikes a perfect balance between sophistication and ease of reading. The letters are perfectly spaced apart and easily visible at any size above 5. The curves are bold yet somehow delicate, the tails perfectly shaped to be attractive without diverting your attention. It keeps its posture, remaining upright. Aware of expectations, Bookman Old Style shows you what you wish to read in the height of class and charm. It is the gentleman of typefaces, aiding those who desire respect and credibility whilst adhering those who desire something readable. Bookman Old Style is not the sort of font to stride across your page with its nose in the air, remaining calm and composed, it settles itself before you, inviting you in, ready for you to finally quench that innermost thirst for a font that you can trust to display words the way they should be displayed.
The Bacon Cheeseburger. Like a burger, but with bacon.
It’s a well known fact among human carnivores that burgers are phenomenal. They taste nice. That’s a fact. If you disagree, that’s probably because it isn’t fact, it’s an opinion, but we’ll overlook that because there’s a 99% chance you love burgers. That is also not a fact either, that is a made-up statistic.
Onto more pressing matters, the addition of bacon to a burger is arguably one of the most intelligent ideas since I rattled my Muller Corner to entice my cat into the house the other night, although that happened after bacon cheeseburgers were invented, but we’ll overlook that because overlooking inequalities is something you should be very used to by now. I love bacon cheeseburgers more than I love red coats. Actually… No, no I do. They’re delicious, the XL Bacon Double Cheeseburger from Burger King often graces my taste buds (but as you’ll discover later, they cannot always be trusted), and for the brief stint in which they were available I purchased a bacon cheeseburger from McDonald’s at least once every fortnight. I like fast food, what can I say?
To those of you who know me well enough, you might know I’m a big fan of the British Military Red Coat. It’s formal, beautiful, generally excellently designed, and… Did I mention sexy? Anyway, so as I was looking at various google results on the subject of Red Coats, I discovered a wonderful post in the forum, ARRSE (lovely acronym) concerning the reasoning behind the colour of the coat.
A lovely bit of poetry to end the day I think. I haven’t posted on here in a while and feel bad for my huge fanbase so I thought I’d fill the gap with some lovely words from W.B. Yeats, a charming Irish chap. Unfortunately, I must confess that the first time I read this poem was during a GCSE English lesson, and I likely analysed it more so than any other poem in the anthology given to us, mainly because it was so beautiful (without trying to sound like a pretentious twerp).
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.
The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water,
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
I won’t comment on the poem itself in too much detail in fear that I should state the obvious or complete falsities, or in case I sound like someone recounting what they did at GCSE, which a large amount of my knowledge of the poem comes from, but that shouldn’t hold one back from enjoying it.
And by BGS I mean Beverley Grammar School, and by students I mean a 6th Former, and by Rise I mean get a bit miffed. That’s right, A 6th former of BGS gets a bit miffed. Obviously not the most important news, but this article will hopefully conclude with some kind of important revelation.
To the left you can see my crudely designed logo for the fictional Vox Discipulus (Latin: The Voice of the Students), with the clever Shakespearean tagline, ‘Cry havoc and let slip the students of BGS’, the reason behind this is that the tyrannical (read: fairly normal) headteacher has declared that ‘vertical tutoring’ shall be introduced next year (I’ll get to that in a second). The quote is used in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar as Mark Antony realises that war has become inevitable. Now obviously war isn’t inevitable this is a high school. However, there will likely be some form of retaliation, and a certain student has decided to make this more direct by coming up with the idea to form a “student union”.
Vox Discipulus is an hypothetical extreme that I joked about in reference to the student’s union not being taken seriously and needing to adopt more violent methods, and therefore is a comical reference, rather than an official branch. Sinn Féin’s fictional IRA if you will. The idea for the union itself (which may or may not actually be formed) came about mainly because the vertical tutoring was not put forward to the school’s ‘Student Voice’, as most ideas such as this are supposed to as they directly influence the students. The Student Voice act as a way of pupils influencing the school’s decisions, putting a word in on concerns and ideas. It isn’t always that the Student Voice’s requests and opinions are followed through, however generally they are listened to at the very least. Sometimes the Student Voice do produce some results; a path has been built recently across the school field, and various sporting occasions (not particularly popular among those who prefer to read and write such as myself) have been organised. However, when it was announced that this Vertical Tutoring was to be introduced, many questioned whether the Student Voice had even been told. They had not.
“Many UK secondary schools have created smaller tutor groups populated by pupils of all ages, rather than by groups of the same age. One of the intended consequences is to improve relations between different year groups and reduce bullying. However, the main intentions of schools reported in Barnard’s book on Vertical Tutoring, is to improve learning relationships and raise standards. Vertical Tutoring requires a change to house systems as the main organisational culture of the school rather than Year Systems.”
Now if you think this doesn’t so bad… You’re right. It really isn’t. However, it isn’t a perfect system either. There are a lot of reasons why this isn’t perfect, yes students of a higher year can be good influences, but they can also be bad influences. I know too many people who were in my year last year (thank-you 6th Form) who would have turned half of year 7 into stoners in weeks. Also, I’ll reiterate the fact that this wasn’t put through the school’s Student Voice, which was formed precisely for this sort of thing.
So really, the idea of a student union does make sense. If it catches the big people’s attention. Now obviously this plan isn’t perfect either. Neither sides are really particularly well-thought out. But at least there’s somebody has decided to stand up and say, “Hang on, why weren’t we asked about this?” As students, we are the ones who’ll be affected by this change, so shouldn’t we have a say? Yes of course we should. So when the organisation created to give us a voice what do we do? Form Vox Discipulas and burn things. Not really, this isn’t Soviet Russia.
I’ll post how things turn out. It’s likely that nothing will come of this student union. The idea will fade away and next year we’ll all be putting up with 11 year olds who play Yu-Gi-Oh. I suppose it’ll be a change from 17 year olds who play Yu-Gi-Oh.