Welcome to theopinionatedinternet.blogspot.com, a whirling hotpot of political opinion, poetry, prose, philosophy, reviewing, and other assorted wild ramblings! Here you will find: PWN, Grand Reviewer and assistant thinker; JAFHR, head of Philosophy, Literature, and Ambassador for France; JHWW, critic/comic materialist; and iTech, computer technician, pilot-in-the-making and co-politician. Fare Thee Well!

Pour les Francophones

Cher Lecteur/lectrice,
Nous vous souhaitons la bienvenue A notre blog, L'Internet Dogmatique. Vous trouverez ici tout votre bonheur- Literature, Philosophie, Politique, Revues, Technologie... Par dessus tout, vous trouverez des opinions. Ne manquez pas a publiez le votre!
Pour rendre tout cet Anglais lisible, traduisez simplement cette page en utilisant le gadget que vous trouverez sur votre droite, un peu en bas. Nous regrettons que cette traduction est rarement exacte; il serait peut-etre plus sage d'utiliser ce blog pour pratiquer votre Anglais.
Bien le Bonjour, Messires et Demoiselles,
JAFHR, le Fou Francophone.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Gilbert and Sullivan, and the Peak District

Inside the Opera House

In the summer of every year in the town of Buxton in the Peak district, the Gilbert and Sullivan festival runs from the end of July to the middle of August.  It is set in the recently restored (and very beautiful) Buxton Opera House, in the heart of a town the history of which dates back to the Romans.  Now, with the recent trend on this blog towards useful articles, those of you opposed to classical music (proper music, but that's another discussion altogether!) will wonder in what way this is helpful.  If you don't care about comedy, opera or acting whatsoever - it isn't.   Returning to the topic in hand, Gilbert and Sullivan wrote highly amusing and (even over 100 years on) in some ways politically cutting comic opera (light opera, operetta, whatever you wish to call it) which is often referred to in all walks of culture.  For example, Tom Lehrer's "The Elements" (doubtless on Youtube) is set to the tune of "I am the very model of a Modern Major General" (probably also on YouTube) which is from the Pirates of Penzance.  In short, in matters vegetable, animal and mineral, G&S pervades culture to this day.  What's more, if you do go to the G&S Buxton Festival you will also find many attractions in the town.  Part of the opera house is a small greenhouse, which I think is Victorian.  This contains a few interesting specimins.  There are the Pavilion Gardens opposite and a small bandstand.  In Roman times, the town was famous for its thermal baths.  While there are no baths currently open at the moment, plans are, I believe afoot to build some.  A very short stroll down the road from the Opera House is St Ann's Spring, which is the source for Buxton Mineral Water, sold across the country.  It is free to drink
from and fill bottles from.
St Ann's Spring
Also the town is nestled in the Peak District National Park, a beautiful area for walking.  If you prefer cycling, however, prepare for some hills!  Or you could visit the town of Bakewell, the home of Bakewell Tarts.  From my visit there are about four or five shops all of which claim to have the "original" recipe.  Frankly, it shows how varied recipes can be.  The Peaks are a beautiful place to spend a week or even a weekend/long weekend, and while there it is a perfect oppurtunity to soak up some culture in the form of light opera.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Perfect Translator

Greetings once more from JAFHR.
Today I shall help you, avid reader, to do your French homework. I shall put to test four major translators: Babel fish, Google Translator, SDL and Bing Microsoft translator. The test shall be conducted as follows:

  • A famous and long extract shall be taken from Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens (If you must know, it is the passage leading to the "I want some more" incident, the link to which can be found below.) I chose this because it is very good and yet simple English vocabulary, yet modern enough to have obvious equivalents in other languages.
  • Being French, I shall translate the extract into French myself, and then, to be sure I have not committed mistakes, I shall have my mother (a French author in her day) check my translation for errors.
  • The aforementioned extract shall be copied and pasted into each of the mentioned Translators, and translated into French. I shall compare my translation to the outcome, and decide which is most trustworthy.
  • First impression: Seems very simple, easy to use, interesting 'Highlight' idea.
  • Total Languages Spoken: 64 (including two Chinese.)
  • Translation into French: Very easy to understand, though sometimes words are skipped out. Mixes up syntax, but never fails to provide adequate wording. Mistakes are of the kind that I would expect a thirteen year old boy with a sound vocabulary to make. Easy to understand; teacher may be satisfied that no computer was involved. Translation took three seconds.
  • First Impression: Seems complicated, took a while to work out how to operate the languages- seems more a scholar's repertoire of knowledge than a schoolboy's homework-doer; possible to get passage translated by human within a week, however costs £0.07/Word.
  • Total Languages Spoken: 34 (including 3 Spanish and 2 Portuguese)
  • Translation into French: Not a bad syntax, which makes SDL understandable- however gender is often disastrous, eg. saying that the word 'women' is masculine. Mistakes are perhaps quite mature, passable as human mistakes.Translation took five seconds.
  • First Impression: Quite simple, easy to use, though word limit may prove a problem if you are given a long essay to translate into French. Much of page occupied by advertising.
  • Total Languages Spoken: 13(including 2 Chinese) though the Choice menu offers a curious way to fill up empty space.
  • Translation into French: Not passable as human errors at all. Knows such fruity words as "alimentation", and "effectuer", yet fails to find meaning in the word "mealtimes". Here also, there is a problem in gender, as it says that women is a masculine singular word. Translation took ten seconds.
  • First impression: Simple as Google Translator, easy to use.
  • Total Languages Spoken: 37 (including two Chinese)
  • Translation into French: Good syntax, and errors passable as human errors, though the 'women are masculine' argument still persists. Easy to understand; teacher may be satisfied that no computer was involved. Translation took four seconds.
In conclusion, I should say that Bing and Google are neck and neck. Google has the slight advantage of its Highlighting idea, which makes it easier to work with; however...
None of these translators passed the test to a satisfactory level, so, unless your homework is drastically simple (no subjunctives, existentials and so on are involved) always refer to a human rather than a computer. I happen to be able to do your homework- at a reasonable price, of course.
Hoping this helps,
Your friend,

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Favourite Poem

Hi, readers, as JAFHR posted one of his poems, I am here to show you my favourite poem:

"The Moon is just a big potato floating in the sky;
and little men from outer space are often passing by
sometimes when they're hungry they may eat a bit for dinner;
that's why the moon is sometimes fat and other times it's thinner."

by: Kjartan Poskitt

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is Life an Illusion?

“The world is a stage and its men and women are merely its actors” William Shakespeare.

PWN - I believe that the world is in fact a video game, kinda like the Matrix.

JAFHR- What proof have you to state that the world is fake?

PWN - Ahm, well let’s not get bogged down in details here.

JAFHR- The French philosopher Descartes wrote that we cannot be sure of anything- “what if some evil genie was making me believe my hand is where it is?” He then realised that, in this world or another, two plus two will always equal four. Thus he set up the Cartesian School- a school of thinking which looks at things from a mathematical point of view. We can look at a circle, and be sure that it exists because it is possible to work out that it is a circle. We can now see that the world cannot be fake, for it is made up of maths.

PWN - Maths was built around the world, not the other way around.

JAFHR- Really? When you study circles, does the teacher bother about demonstrating that a perfect circle exists? As you said, let’s not get bogged down to details; a circle exists in theory, and a philosopher would argue that the world is a theory.

PWN - Could we get back to the point please?

JAFHR- Is this not the point?

PWN - Not really, can’t we just discuss the practical points of this before the philosophical implications?

JAFHR- What is this practical point, then?

PWN - Like... whether it would be possible to make a ‘dream world’. If you think of the improvements in video game graphics and immersion over the past ten years, is it not feasible, or even likely that in the future we will develop some kind of completely immersive game where we think the game is real. If that is the case, then it seems highly likely that we are already in the game. I’d like to point out now that I did not like the Matrix, but it is a good example of this.

JAFHR- Many theologians would say that the world is indeed a computer game, and the ‘Grand Engineer’ (in the words of Voltaire) is God.
PWN - That’s a very good point. If our world has been engineered, then does it matter?
JAFHR- It does not, however you would need to prove His existence.
PWN - Which is pretty much impossible. But if God is not necessarily perfect, then why doesn’t He blow stuff up and such, rather than act rather passively. Doesn’t He get bored? Or is that part of the human condition?
JAFHR- I think Christian, Jewish and Muslim theologies all agree that god is perfect, and, if you trust that he exists, you trust that he is perfect. In my memory, only one religion believes in a bad single god; a secretive tribe in an island off Mexico, the name of which escapes me. These people believed this because the conditions of the island were so dreadful; to them, he did indeed ‘blow stuff up’. This is possibly comparable to the game “Pocket God”, available on the Apple App store.
In most mythologies, there are many gods- they are like the many admins of this blog; there are some “good Gods” (me) and some “bad” gods (JHWW) who try to destroy what the good gods have made.In this scenario the bad gods are like enemy players in a Multi-player, or possibly the baddies in any respectable game. I personally believe that the gods are players just the same as we are, but that is another story. Whether we have a unique god or multiplayers, it is clear that, if the world is a computer game, it is clear that a certain someone has taken a great deal of care to make it so that we, the WoW players, could enjoy it in the fullest. If life is a computer game, does that make it any less real, then?
PWN - No,but onto a more practical point -  why would anyone want to convince us that we are in the real world when in fact we’re not? In the Matrix it’s because the real world is ruled by machines and they don’t want any humans messing up their stuff so they create this ‘Matrix’ thing, which is essentially a simulation of the year 2000 (the film is set in 2200 or something). Would they be exploiting us for money, or keeping us out of the way? Why not just drug or kill us?
JAFHR- If the 'Machines' you are talking about can be called gods-which by definition they are- then see my previous response to see why the gods do not "blow things up".I have just argued extensively that the world cannot be false - perhaps there is a bigger world out there,like at the end of every MIB film, but certainly nothing which we need to be aware of.
PWN - I suppose you are right. The bigger world is somewhat irrelevant if nothing we can do can allow us to experience it. On that note, I think we should end this discussion. Please leave your own opinion in the comments below.
JAFHR- Yes, indeed, good day.


An Old Sailor's Rhyme

Good day. Well I told you I'd publish a poem: here goes...

Come hither,lad,and hark to what I say;
A sailor proud you say you'd wish to be?
On fisher's boats you've sailed many a day,
and know the wind,the fish,the boat,the sea-
Or think you do-for,lad,the fickle sea
is changing as the seasons or the moon;
she casts down those who would her master be,
to those who fear she grants her precious boon.

Are you one of those high men who would say
that she is nought but brine and wind and rain?
If so,my lad,you'd spend many a day
with not a breath of wind or a fish slain;
the sun would beat upon your weary face,
and at your great expense the fish would laugh;
you'd come back ruined from the sorry place
you thought to tame- 'twas she who quelled your heart.

But is she truly fairer to us men
who know and fear her fickle changing moods?
A thousand winds and rainstorms she has sent
our way,and ever we do hear the cackle crude
that is the wind-a wind that blesses us
or curses on a whim,while fish may ne'er
be caught within our traps,unless She trusts
that we deserve,and grants them to our snare?

Lad,you have ne'er been caught within her storms
of anger, you have ne'er been subject to
her fits of cackling laughter,cold and warm,
pondered your fate,without a hint or clue.
You've ne'er looked out across obsidian seas
and seen but grey,the land obscured by mist,
while overhead the darker clouds soared free,
like great black ships firing their hail, and whisk'd
aloft by howling swirling winds that ripp'd
at cloth,and sail,and rope,and hands,and soul.
Your little coracle has never tripp'd
through waves thrice greater than the foremast whole;
those tow'ring waves that toss your structure frail
about,as though it was a toy to use,
have ne'er crashed down their mass 'neath thrashing sail,
or caus'd even your mind to shatter loose.
A sailor must not fear the shade of death,
for,when the wind is stronger than the mast
and when the bucking boat threatens to sink,
a sailor must be wary 'till the last,
and never for an instant fear to think
that he may die at sea,far from his world.
A sailor is resolved that ev'ry trip
from home may be the last thing in this world
he ever does,and that the sea could rip
his breath away and take him for her own.

So, lad, be you of stout resolve to sail
that liquid temptress,'neath a mourning sky?
If so, you have my blessing,and my frail boat,
and,if one stormy night you were to die,
you have my warning- now be free and float!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Television Review: Sherlock Season 2

WARNING: This review contains spoilers

Episode 1: A Scandal in Belgravia

I'm not trying to be the clever person here, so I'll admit that I prefer the new Sherlock series to many of the books. While it may not be fair to compare the two mediums, in my opinion the television program is wittier and more imaginative. That's not to say I didn't like the books, I loved them, but after a few years of popularity they slowly started to decrease in quality. Thank God I don't have to say the same thing about this show. I saw the first season back in 2011 on DVD and instantly loved it, spending hours watching it while I should have been doing homework, so it would have been almost as great a disappointment for this to be inadequate as if Batman Begins had been bad (I saw The Dark Knight first).

Irene Adler proved a suitable villain/antihero/love interest, although it threw Watson into the shadows somewhat. Fortunately he is often able to break up Sherlock and Irene with hilarious quips, making this the funniest Sherlock episode so far. There's not much more to say about it, except that it was amazing.

Episode 2: The Hounds of Baskerville

Reviews of this episode have been positive. Why? For goodness' sake, this was by far the worst Sherlock episode of the season, even the worst episode ever. That's right, I said it. What was Mark Gatiss thinking? Was he too busy acting Mycroft to write something decent? Quite possibly. More likely is that he used up all his good ideas on Doctor Who, but that doesn't make sense because Doctor Who is terrible too.

Anyway, maybe I'm being a little harsh on the episode. What exactly was wrong with it? Well it was just too slow, too obvious and not at all Sherlock-y. I generally turn off my brain while watching Sherlock, not because it's too simple, but because I would get so confused if I tried to work out what was going on that I would have to smash my TV screen. This time, however, even I figured out what the end was going to be halfway through. Mark wrote The Great Game (Episode 3 of Season 1) and that was brilliant, but the characterization of the minor villains was non-existent. Maybe this wasn't such a bad thing, but doing it in The Hounds of Baskerville doesn't work. I mean the villain must have had about five minutes of screen time, and his motivations were never explained. And the plot is not original. Firstly it was based very heavily on the book, and secondly, everything else is stolen from somewhere else. A Chemical weapons factory, a secret government project, a homicidal scientist in a gas mask, hallucinating worst fears...

Alright, I may be focusing on the bad stuff. I guess I did like the way it was shot, the acting was excellent (as usual) and the first twenty minutes lacked the problems of the rest of the episode. Also, the plot did allow for some expansion on the relationship between Holmes and Watson, but it wasn't quite funny enough. There were only two witty moments in the script. But I don't want to go back into that rant, so I'll just conclude. If I were to put a number (out of ten) on this it would a seven, which isn't bad, but the standard of writing is normally so much better I was thoroughly disappointed. It just felt like a typical detective show, not the best live-action television series I have ever seen.

Episode 3: The Reichenbach Fall

Good grief. It's good. It's very good. You liked the last finale, you'll love this. The rooftop scene, the graveyard scene, the heist scene... every scene was memorable. And the bit where (if you didn't read the earlier warning about spoilers, read it now) Moriarty shoots himself. I don't have to talk for long about this, because everything was almost perfect, I'll just do some nitpicking. My only real problem with the episode was that I never really believed that Sherlock might not be everything he said he was, and I also never really believed that he was dead (well... maybe for a second or two). I would have liked it if it had actually made these possibilities a bit more believable, but it was so packed with emotion that I didn't really mind. It's just a shame that that was it...

Fortunately the writers have said that 'hopefully before the year's out', Season 2 will air on BBC 1. That means I have something epic everything six months, with The Dark Knight Rises coming out in the summer. I can't wait to review that.

My Weird World of Fashion

I know barely anything about fashion. In fact, I don't even know what the word means. Here's some definition from the Google dictionary:  'A popular trend, esp. in styles of dress, ornament, or behavior.' You have noticed that I rather like trilby hats. The only reason for this is that I saw one in a charity shop for £3. I don't buy any of my clothes first-hand. In fact, half my clothes are from my cousin. The one thing I know about fashion I know from my grandmother, and this is this: 'Green bathtubs are out'. That's it. Really.

So then, what am I going to fill this page with? That is a good question. I'm not really sure. Perhaps I do, unconsciously know more about style than I think. However, I ought to distance style and fashion at this point. Style is (almost) constant, there are many things which are stylish, some of which I own (iPad 2, Skullcandy headphones), but that is not the same as fashion. Style is understated and elegant, fashion is all about being as outlandish as possible because everything sensible that can be done has been done. That's just the way I see, if you want to rage at me in the comments then go ahead.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Greetings from JHWW

Hey all readers, JHWW speaking (If you must now my real name, well you can't have it). Despite what JAFHR said about us being deities, this is not true, just see us as the co-creators of this blog, and enjoy our posts. You will find me not deranged, unlike JAFHR, not like PWN and write annoyingly long, boring blogposts, and not like iTech, who won't let me reveal his real name (well actually I didn't give you mine earlier, but you'll see my name at the bottom of this post). You'll find me as the one with the urge to disagree with what is said on this blog, especially ideas surrounding philosophy. If you want to know about myself, my hobbies include collecting beerbottletops, and playing Little Big Planet on PS3. I have a fear of rollercoasters and when I was younger, pelicans. I am allergic to bananas, and some types of cat, and have a double joint in my ankle. Enjoy reading this bog, and as one last message,
I like cheese

Life of Pie


Yes, I've taken to naming my introductions after 21st novels. I guess I ought to explain a little about myself before starting to write proper content. Why 'Life of Pie'? I don't know, I like pie. So here's all I'm saying about myself, it's a kinda pie of information. No, no, I'm sorry. That was a terrible simile. Anyway, here it is the 'pie':

1) My initials are PWN. I'll let you guess my middle name.

2) I am a real person.

3) I go to some kind of school.

4) My favorite animal is the elephant.

5) My favorite colour* is beige.

6) *Yes, I'm English.

7) My favorite films are 'The Dark Knight' and 'Inception'.

8) My favorite game used to be Minecraft but now it's Supreme Commander (this will change every month or so).

9) On Youtube, I like watching the Yogscast, Nostalgia Critic and Totalbiscuit.

10) I will never release such boring information again.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Our Pantheon

This is merely to clarify what I said in my last entry-I said something about'deities'.This might be the cause of some confusion.
When PWN,JHWW and I were setting up the idea for this blog,I had the idea to set this up as a pantheon-a group of gods.In many different cultures,there has been the idea of three main gods;we have decided to do things similarly. The three of us shall consist the 'Triad',or the three main gods;we shall also publish the views of a series of 'minor gods',or less frequent authors(We do not mean the phrase 'minor gods' as an insult, or in any way downgrading; some minor gods, such as the Greek goddess Hecate, turned out to be more important than the main gods).
Hoping you find this interesting,


Greetings to all!
Throughout this blog you will know me as JAFHR, and of the three main deities of this blog (JHWW, PWN, and myself) you will find me the most deranged- my many hobbies include philosophy, researching mythology, and arguing- thus I am the patron of the many oddities featured herein. My entries shall include philosophical discussions, demonstrations of my archaic and arcane knowledge, poems and creative writing, and general weird sayings and ideas which I make it my aim to propagate.
Until next time, brave visitor of websites far remote...

A Sense of a Beginning

Alright, I've been thinking. And I've realized that the majority of good  reviews content is biased in some way, that is, based on opinion and making no attempt to provide anything a level playing field. Is this necessarily a bad thing? No, after all, the web is all about expressing opinions freely and in theory one needs only one unbiased reviews website to serve the entire internet. But the trouble with that is, if it shows any kind of bias then it gets yelled off the web. So don't say that this is biased, because that's the idea.

Now then, there are three problems with the name of my blog. The first is with the word 'the'. 'The' is what's called the definite article, implying that this is the only place on the entire internet which is opinionated, while obviously it is not. Secondly, 'opinionated' isn't really the best way to describe this blog, as sometimes I will attempt to be unbiased. Thirdly, and most pedantically, the word 'internet' should not be used to describe the web because they are not the same thing ('internet' means the hardware (all the wires and such), while 'web' refers to the information stored and transferred on it - I'm sure there are better definitions but that's my understanding). Therefore, a much better title would be: 'A Biased Web', but that sounds ghastly so I 

Now some people who will not enjoy this blog:

1) Idiots (you won't understand what I'm saying).

2) People without internet connections (now that I've ruled out the first category, need I explain it?).

3) Geniuses (you'll find me patronizing and annoying).

After all, something showing bias cannot be for everyone by definition. I ought to explain what I'll be writing, so here are some of the titles you might see in capitals in front of posts:

INTRODUCTION - I might post some more introductions to explain some other details about the blog and all.

ANNOUNCEMENT - If something interesting happens, such as a new author joining the blog, then I'll post one of these.

OPINION - Probably making up the bulk of posts, opinion posts consist of my (or another author's) opinion on a certain subject.

REVIEW - Speaks for itself really, although if you looking for balanced, fair reviews you might want to look elsewhere

INTERVIEW - If we manage to get someone famous or noteworthy to agree, we might interview them and post it onto the blog, but this will be quite rare.

ARGUMENT - A transcript of an argument between me or one of the other authors with someone else about a subject on which they disagree.

INFORMATION - A rather stale and dull look at some piece of information, such as a list of admins, authors

And some you'll only see in front of my posts:

iFAQ - inFrequently Asked Questions, because let's be honest, the majority of 'frequently asked questions' never get asked.

Also note that every article I will post a different picture of a trilby hat, in the same way that JAFHR will post a picture of a god from ancient mythology.

I may add to this introduction later, or post further ones with additional information.