all the world's a stage...

I'm a Computer Science undergraduate in my final year studying at Reading University. I like music, movies, photography, reading and if I can ever get around to it, writing. Also a fan of horror, sci-fi and fantasy so there's plenty of re/blogging on those areas.

I write gig/event reviews at From The Pit

Elsewhere on the web:

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Many tweaks to this and web presence in general in the pipeline... when I get around to it.

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So, I’ve been listening to Within Temptation a lot lately. And when “Fire and Ice” came on, I immediately thought of George RR Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”. I wondered if anyone had already picked up on this and made a video* for “A Song of Fire and Ice”. Of course, this being the Internet, if a possibility comes to mind then it’s quite possible that someone has actually done it already.

There’s other examples I’m sure, but this one was the first I came across. I like it :)

From my very vague awareness of the themes in A Song of Ice and Fire, I can imagine there being a lot suitable material for a Fire and Ice vid.

Having been a bit tied down with other things, I’ve yet to investigate any of Martin’s works or even seen any of the TV show. All this time I’ve also managed to avoid any and all spoilers. This has been easier given that my memory is such that it usually takes effort to commit anything to memory.

I’ll have a Game of Thrones binge eventually and catch up.

* Vidding is something I’m really interested in doing. Over time I’ve been collating songs with themes and TV/film that I might use… Vidding features in at least a couple of my To-Do lists- mental and online. I’m in the process of compiling it all into a single list on Day Zero Project. I feel that it’s more optimistic than a BucketList, with certainty that things will actually get done being higher.

So, I think I’ve whittled 39 entries down to a dozen favourites. This is a continuation of my original post.

Thumbs up to:

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Eurovision spawns listening parties, yearly rituals and full blown pilgrimages.

As for myself, I freely admit to not being the biggest Eurovision fan but I do try to stay in the loop with what happens, in passing anyway. For this year’s, I randomly picked a track from the Eurovision 2013 Grand Final playlist to listen to. It was Italy’s Marco Mengoni with his entry L’essenziale.

Well, for an Eurovision entry, it was better than I expected. So thanks to Italy’s entry, this year I’ve paid a lot more attention to Eurovision than I have in years.

I realise the following is a rather subjective question but… is it just me or has the standard of entries actually been particularly good this year? Or has it in fact been like this in the years before?

I was actually originally going to include a list of “Thumbs Up” in this post containing any good things I might have to say about particular ESC entries. I stopped myself when I realised I had more Thumbs Up to give than than I possessed fingers. And possibly toes as well. If you’re interested, it’s in its own post.

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Imagine Dragons - Radioactive (by ImagineDragonsVEVO)

Here by way of the Lindsey Stirling cover.

Hahaha… I just find this catchier and I like the grungy(?) element. Imagine Dragons wins this Cover Comparison.

To my compromised cognitive state at this hour, this video is making me think of some dark cross between Pokémon and Avenue Q…

That sounds like one freaky anime. (O_o)

Oh, and I think Darth Vader called, he wants his NOOOOO! back :p

Problem: Experiencing a period of increased distractibility. Attention drifting to distant, or “exterior” sounds, like people talking downstairs.

Workaround: Institute a louder, closer source of sound that I can control. Got music playing and volume turned up.

Note: It seems rather hit and miss how various conditions are diagnosed because there’s so much overlap in diagnostic criteria of various neurodiverse states. It’s a wonder that anyone actually gets the right support they need. A very similar (or even identical) set of symptoms diagnosed one way warrants medication but diagnosed another way, the advice is to work on self-management.

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Compared to us here in the UK, over in the US they’ve really got a knack for doing certain things bigger and larger scale. Halloween is one good example. Check out these amazing installations synchronised to music:

[Or watch the whole playlist here]

  1. Thriller (Michael Jackson) - KJ92508  
    The way the pumpkins light up to mark the path taken by the footsteps at the start of the song, it’s a nice touch hinting at the choreography to come.

    If you’re a fan of LMFAO then chances are you’ve probably already seen this guy’s work. Kevin Judd of Riverside, California is pretty prolific when it comes to amazing light shows on the front of houses. So impressed were LMFAO with his light show, synchronised to Party Rock Anthem, that they approached him and had him do their lights for last year’s American Music Awards.
  2. Supermassive Black Hole (Muse)soilhead13 
    For Rocky Horror fans there’s also one for The Time Warp by this user. It was tough to choose which one to feature.

  3. This is Halloween (Marilyn Manson) - KJ92508 
    Wasn’t kidding when I described this guy as prolific- another one from KJ92508 that I really like. His channel features probably the best examples of creative lighting on YouTube. I love this one featuring Marilyn Manson’s cover of “This is Halloween”. 

    Hope to continue to see more videos of his light shows. Apparently there was an issue with the HOA (Home Owners’ Association?) and he had to stop putting up light shows on his house.
  4. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen) - OdessaWest 
    By the way, the numbering is actually rather arbitrary: if the numbering actually meant anything there’d be two or three tied first place with the rest tied second place. I really do think that the ones featured here are the best of the bunch. This one is good enough to be ranked joint first place.

  5. Monster Mash - jennstarr722
    Nice song, nice colours… 

Come Christmas time I’ll probably look at “Awesome Christmas Light Shows” because it was actually a YouTube video of amazing Christmas lights that led me to explore Halloween lights…

Spark* Logo

So, a while back I promised you (or whoever reads my blog anyway) and myself that in an effort to keep my blog regularly updated, I’d put up articles and things that I write for Spark*, the student newspaper at my university The University of Reading. So this is me making a start on that. We used to have a “In Other News” column but I decided to re-purpose it into an Editorial. I feel it adds a personal touch to the section.

I also happen to be the Web Editor too so I heartily encourage you to go have a look at the website at, and if you want to read the latest issue, then that’s just gone up on Issuu - check out the Issuu page on the website or go straight to Issuu.

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When a viral hit or meme reaches a certain critical mass, anyone who wasn’t paying attention… well, you just gotta.

As is often the case when it comes to music viral hits from genres outside my usual mix, the first thing I usually look at is parody. Then any tributes/covers or remixes and then finally I’ll look at the original. I find it a good deconstruction of the meme and it helps me appreciate the original more: I come to understand it’s appeal and have some fun while I’m doing it.

In my top 3: North Korea’s Kim Jong-un tells it like it is in Key of Awesome #63, a pair of town guards from Skyrim show off their Gangnam Style and then a look at what might’ve happened if Psy was Klingon.

  1. Key of Awesome #63: PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) PARODY! KIM JONG STYLE!
    This one was the first one I saw. I love Key of Awesome's parody videos. This is one of those that's “funny because it's true”. The truth itself isn't funny but the showing up of a less than ideal state of affairs is.

  2. Skyrim : Gangnam Style Dance by abexomotron1

    This one I class as a tribute. And it may be my favourite of the ones I’ve seen. The song itself is unchanged but it’s an innovative use of a couple of guards from Skyrim. I should get around to playing that game at some point. Maybe when they release a GOTY edition that bundles DLC/expansions.
  3. KLINGON STYLE (Star Trek Parody of PSY - GANGNAM STYLE)

    Finally, what is probably the best Gangnam Style inspired video I’ve seen on YouTube. This is amazing. You’ll just have to watch it yourself. There are lyrics in actual Klingon. Several popular characters from Star Trek make an appearance too.

Afterthought: It occurred to me that Psy/Gangnam Style is sort of this year’s LMFAO/Party Rock Anthem. Is everyone still shufflin’ or are they doing it Gangnam Style?

So, I’ve been incredibly busy with various stuff so I’ve not been on Tumblr in ages. Is it bad that having felt an urge to blog something, after completing the post I then have to queue for the end of next month because it’s a bit premature to talk about it right now?

Will get round to finishing this game when I have the time but in the meantime I’ve got the soundtrack on repeat, especially this track, and now I’m out of plays on Spotify. To Grooveshark!