An Introverted Reflection

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Stephen Hawking put it a bit like this: Silent People have the Loudest Minds. That’s a great quote. It’s been a while since I last wrote an introvert piece. But someone posted a great link today on social media that was a really great article to help people understand introverts a little bit better. So I thought I’d share it. The article was called “10 Ways Introverts Interact Differently With The World”, originally by the Huffington Post… Continue reading

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The LEGO Walking Dead

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My wife and I really got into The Walking Dead. I mean it may not be to everyone’s taste. I’m not a fan of horror – but this TV show had me hooked from the outset. So after the recent cliff-hanger in the season finale this year, we are once again playing the seemingly endless waiting game for the new season at the end of the year. To fill the gap, I have got hold of the comics, which I’m loving. We’re also anxiously awaiting the spin-off series this Summer. But every time we see something even remotely related to a Walking Dead reference, we will immediately smile at each other with one of those knowing looks and either quote, act out or think back to a scene from the show.

Perhaps that’s why – when out walking the dog the other day – when we stumbled across an abandoned facility, our minds immediately went to Walking Dead scenes. The environment wasn’t taped off or off-limits. There, in plain site was one of the most beautiful ruined landscapes ever. It was like a scene straight from the TV show. So obviously we returned later that day, complete with LEGO minifigures and cameras, to make the most of this stunning set. You’ll have to stay tuned to my wife’s photo blog for pictures without little LEGO figures in them. But as for me, well, you should know by now that at least 50% of my photography is LEGO orientated!!

Click here to see the photos… Continue reading

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Elected. Post General Election 2015.

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The count is in and the results have been finalised. It’s five years of a conservative government with Prime Minister David Cameron in the driving seat (supposedly). A pat on the back to the Conservative party. I didn’t vote for them, but I’m sure they are really happy wit the result. Happy to see what they can achieve i the next five years. On a less positive and more local note for me – the sad news for Brighton drivers, employed people, tourists and people not living in trees: the Green party will be around for another five years too.

results-2015-electionThe overall majority of government was taken by the Conservatives which became apparent in the early hours of the morning as the Election Coverage played on my television. Perhaps the majority was a bit of a surprise but I think everyone can admit, Labour’s defeat was always on the cards with Ed at the helm. Really nice guy, but just not PM material. Every non-staunch Labour supporter knew it (and even some of the dedicated Labour members too…). The electoral system failed the UKIP party as they did brilliantly in votes but only managed to get one seat. Unfortunately not Nigel’s constituency, resulting in his resignation alongside Ed’s and of course Clegg’s. Clegg resigned after making a percentage loss of the overall vote similar to that of UKIP’s increase. Meanwhile the Green’s were in a field counting daisies.

So now that the dust has settled, it’s time to honour the fallen. Clearly the main shame about this election is that we have to say goodbye to some party leaders who have made this debate so much more amusing. Let’s remember these guys in the order they will be missed, starting from those we will likely forget by next weekend:

  • The pimple on Labour’s campaign: Ed Miliband
  • Labour’s Shadow Chancellor with the best name ever: Ed Balls
  • The first level-head MP of the Libral Democrats: Nick Clegg
  • And the only candidate to ever tell the BBC (and their audience) they suck on live TV: UKIP leader, Nigel Farage

So, as their legacy quickly fades into forgotten moments of hilarity, let us remember the excellent remix overdubs that have been made of them over the last year. Thanks for all the laughs. Cameron, keep them coming.

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Underdogs 1: Apple’s Mastermind

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Following my recent introduction to a series of blog posts that tell the story of Underdogs that have inspired my life, this is the first story. I know this will no-doubt frustrate some people. While this particular underdog has a large fanbase, it also has a very vocal hate-group. But like it or not, this story is undeniably inspiring. It’s one of my personal favourite underdogs since it surrounds a field that I’m very familiar with, technology. The main turn-around took place in my lifetime and affected technology surrounded me as I grew up. It is, as you’re seen from the title, the story of Apple – and more specifically, it’s co-creator and eventual mastermind – Steve Jobs.

wired-pray-apple-1997-article-front-cover.pngThis week I read a recent Internet post that showcases a magazine article from 1997, titled “Pray” (Read the the original Internet Post here: All the things Wired got hilariously wrong in its legendary 1997 story on how to ‘save’ Apple).

The original magazine article features 101 suggestions on how to ‘save’ Apple. It’s not all bad, but a lot of the article’s suggestions are indeed hilariously miles-off the strategy that would eventually lead Apple to become one of the top 2 technology companies in the world (in 2014, beaten only by Samsung due to their larger appliance developments).

The majority of Apple’s success can undoubtedly be accredited to the face of Apple (until his passing in 2011): Steve Jobs. His story runs parallel to much of Apple’s underdog-to-topdog story. Without going into numerous dates and a detailed history (which can be found here: A Brief History of Apple); it’s safe to say that Apple had it’s fair share of ups and downs. One of which resulting in Steve Jobs’ being stripped of all contribution towards the technologies and eventually his resignation in 1985. At the hands of other members of the company at the time, they made many decisions to conform to the status-quo as an attempt to compete with other thriving technology companies of the day. This course of events would send Apple into a spiralling mess and by 1997, it seemed as though it could never recover from what it had become: a less-successful, more expensive computer company… Continue reading

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Prove Your Critics Wrong. An Underdogs Prologue.

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I think anyone who knows me will tell you that my character has a tad of an awkward streak. Some might call it rebellious or traits of a rogue. It sounds cooler than it is. More often than not, it puts me in a bit of an isolated position in social scenarios. This stems more for my inability to keep my thoughts to myself, admittedly. But safe to say I like to stand up for what I believe in – however unpopular it can make me. Since being responsible for a wife and now a daughter I’ve had to learn to bite my tongue a bit more. That’s not a bad thing, and it certainly makes my incredibly patient wife’s life a lot easier!

I do have to say this, though. Today’s society is full of encouragement to conform to a set way of doing things. It needs people who are willing to have their own thoughts and beliefs. I’m not saying we need to be people who aren’t teachable, that would be wrong. But instead, society needs people who know don’t cave to manipulation and general consensus. People who aren’t shaken by the critics or uncertain odds but stick to what they know is true for them… Continue reading

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General Election 2015 – What I’ve Learned So Far…

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This morning saw the first chance to physically cast your vote in the UK General Election 2015. After all the debates, promotion, criticising, dancing around, begging, pleading and advertising – the various political parties can do precious little now but wait. And wait they will. And although the speedy counting will begin once the polling stations close at 10pm with a likely final result becoming apparent in the early hours of Friday – it’s pretty safe to say that the conclusion will result in another co-alition, hang or minority government. Perhaps an over generalisation on my part, but I think it’s a fair one.

I’ve cast my vote and now it’s get-on-as-usual until the BBC commentary begins this evening. With all the sleepless nights over the last few weeks, I have used my time to watch just about every televised debate, followed many campaign trails and read hundreds of articles about this General Election. I’ve even watched a documentary about the animations of televised General Elections. And safe to say, I’m still no wiser as to what half of them are talking about.

So, really, what have we learnt from this season of campaigning? Well I can’t speak for everyone – but I can say what I have learnt from this experience. And I thought I’d write a little something to my future self, when I come to vote in the NEXT General Election in 2020… So, future sholdstock, here’s five things to keep in mind… Continue reading

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