What Does It Look Like When Your House Fills With Water

January 30, 2010

Not good! – in short.

As you may know, my university house recently flooded due to a burst pipe, don’t worry, I wasn’t in there. But a lot of stuff was and the house is now pretty much ruined. Over the past week, myself and my housemates have been salvaging the remains and as of today, we’ve finished.

So as a tribute I thought I’d take some pics of the mess and put them on here, so I give you… My ruined house!

The kitchen, which absolutely stinks!!!

Coffee table in the front room, still wet - almost four weeks on!

The hallway, now desolate and damp!

Bit's of the ceiling lie all over the floor!

Luckily my room escaped fairly unscathed, but look at the condensation on the window!

Quite alot of mould has turned up!

Loads of the wallpaper fallen, feeling the toll of the water from above!

And yet more of the ceiling falling to pieces.

So yet more conclusive proof that water IS the most destructive element on earth. It’s really hard to convey in pictures just how bad the house is, but luckily I’m no longer there and at a new address… that’s dry!

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Sometimes Things Just Don’t Come Together!

January 28, 2010

After an afternoon of catching buses, today I’ve had to accept the above, sometimes things just don’t come together.

So I should explain a little! I was making a newsday piece for my University (to be broadcast tomorrow) about proposed closures of bus routes in Stoke-On-Trent.

I thought it would be nice to go on one of these bus routes and chat to people about how losing the bus would affect them. Unfortunately, despite getting some great on board footage of the bus, there was hardly anyone using the service, meaning my great story idea turned into chatting to one lovely lady about how she would miss the bus. Not really substantial enough for a news report…

But still, hope remains as tomorrow morning, some of my loyal colleagues should be returning to the bus station to complete the report (we’ve been told many more people use the buses in the morning), so there may be hope for it yet!

If they do make it, be sure to read StaffsLive to see the article and also many other exciting newsday stories tomorrow!


Apple iPad – Is This The Next Generation?

January 27, 2010

Despite losing out to Microsoft in the home computer market, Apple has always been at the forefront of innovative computing. Be it mp3 players, download stores or even mobile phones, whenever Apple enter the market, they seem to be on to a winner.

So you can imagine the excitement today when Apple were set to launch an all new product. And here it is, announced at exactly 6.00PM GMT, the Apple iPad.

Steve Jobs (nice to see him again!) proudly showcases the iPad

The iPad is Apple’s first venture into the world of tablet computers. The device itself is the size of an A4 piece of paper and is entirely a giant touchscreen. It is in effect a giant iPhone, but with more powerful features.

As you can imagine, Apple have done it all properly, with linkage to iTunes and apps from the iPhone store all working seamlessly with the new device. There’s also an accelerometer inside, allowing you to tilt the pad and the display changing automatically.

The iPad will allow you to go online through wifi and 3G networks.

Perhaps the newest feature is the ability to download books from (you guessed it) the iBook application. This will make the iPad a worthy challenger to Sony and Amazon’s book reading devices that are already on the market.

The iPad comes in 16GB-64GB varieties

In fact the iPad really does look like another fantastic piece of technology from Apple, but there is one question still unanswered, what is the purpose of the iPad?

Maybe there’s a reason why previous tablet computers have failed to catch the public imagination. We have laptops and we have smartphones, do we need something in between the two. It’s too big to beat the portability of an iPhone, but not as substantial as a MacBook.

I’m not denying that it will be cool to surf the web with your fingertips on a screen of that size and watching video/pictures on it will be a breeze. But typing looks a little ‘forced’ and the size really does seem too big to be a truly portable device.

Time will tell if Apple have succeeded again where others have failed, but for now I’m not entirely sold on the iPad. the device will start at $499 (£308) and will ship internationally within 60 days!


Back Up To Stoke

January 22, 2010

Tomorrow sees the end of my rather extended break here in my home town of Stowmarket as I head back up to Stoke-On-Trent to continue my uni course.

Ah, come on, it’s not as bad as it looks!

Although maybe it is. I still don’t know exactly where I’m living when I return tomorrow. Over the winter period, my previous house in  Stoke flooded due to a burst water pipe in the ceiling. As no-one was there to sort it out, the house is now pretty much… ruined!

So over the past two weeks I’ve been struggling along with my two housemates, to find accommodation for the final (and most important) semester of my life. The good news is I do now have a house *insert cheer here* and will be moving in tomorrow. But I’m still unsure entirely what to expect.

I’ve been assured by my flatmates that it’s great, but I guess only time will tell.

Now all that has to be done is sort out the Gas/Electric/Water bills and reconnect the internet (a task which has been much more difficult than expected thanks to Virgin Media). Oh joy.

See you all again soon, when my internet is flowing smoothly again!


2010: The Year The NTA’s Sold Out

January 21, 2010

I tuned into the NTA’s (National Television Awards) last night expecting to write a few comments on the people who won awards and what I thought of the publics choices. However it seems the whole ‘awards’ part of the night has taken a backseat to a new mishmash of X-Factor style entertainment.

I always remember the NTA’s as being a nice celebration of TV held in the Royal Albert Hall under the watchful eye of Sir Trevor McDonald. Last nights couldn’t be further from that original idea. From the start we were pelted with lights, blasted with sounds and distracted by Dermot ‘O Leary’s mad arm gestures. Rather than hear about the TV programmes of the year, we were tortured by Joe McElderry’s mediocre rendition of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ and Jedward performing their ‘new’ single (Under Pressure) with Vanilla Ice.

There were points where I thought I was watching an entirely different programme, like The X-Factor had returned early. The amount of times we focused on Cowell and Cole you might have believed they were going to give comments on how well the winners had performed their acceptance speech.

And then another thing confused me. ITV spent over 10 minutes advertising Coronation Street for no reason at all. First we had a very dull and drawn out speech from Ken Barlow (with some other dude looking completely bemused next to him). And then that was followed by a 5 minute preview of upcoming episodes. Now, I’m not a Corrie fan so this bored me, but if I was, I’d be equally annoyed if I did like it as it seemed to ruin every plot line coming up. It was just a poor excuse for ITV to plug one of the only shows they don’t need to. What a waste of time.

For me, I just thought the whole ceremony was dreadful. There was no need for the OTT presentation, there was no need for Simon Cowell’s karaoke acts, there was no need to have such a large venue as the o2, there was certainly no need to get rid of Sir Trev. It just seems to me that this is another programme that Simon Cowell has now got in his pocket and before-long all ITV’s shows will be like this, destroying any integrity they had left.

But enough about that, onto the awards themselves (not that they were much better). The Drama performances were completely unsurprising (but then with the other nominations, probably desevered) for David Tennant and Doctor Who.

I was less than impressed with the amount of Soap awards that now exist.

It bemuses me how Ant and Dec are still winning awards, they’re obviously doing something right, but I can’t see it. 

The factual section was a joke; The Apprentice, Loose Women, Top Gear and Come Dine With Me, which one is exactly factual??? And the biggest surprise, Loose Women won (hmmm, another ITV show).

In my opinion, the only truly deserved award of the night was Stephen Fry’s ‘Special Recognition Award’ (although why people like Jamie Oliver, Robson Green and Simon Cowell got one before him I don’t know…). It was a very moving moment for everyone, especially Stephen himself who opened his speech with ‘OMFG!’

So that was the NTA’s 2010, the year when any ounce of actually supporting great TV left the show in favour of tacky (not-known-until-the-end-of-last-year) ‘talent’ took over. These are meant to be the people’s awards, but I’m sorry, this year it was just a big promo for a certain Mr. Cowell…

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New Year, New Blog!

January 17, 2010

OK, so we are 17 days into the glorious year of 2010, but nows the time for the announcement!

From now on, the blog will be changing ever so slightly. Don’t worry, it’ll still look pretty much the same, but the content is the main difference.

Until now, I’ve always focused on features and although these are good, they are time consuming, require a lot of thought

and I’ve sometimes been lazy…

and can therefore result in the site not getting updated much.

That’s why from now on, I’ll be concentrating in much shorter snaps for my blog post, giving you my opinions and news in a much shorter and concise way. This should make the whole site a lot easier to digest and produce a lot more content and thus hopefully become more entertaining! Don’t worry, the longer posts will still exist, they’ll just be less frequent

I’m also planning to expand the reach to everything in my life (I can hear your excitement already!) but I’m hoping this approach will make the site more personal whilst retaining it’s professional edge.

Also before I go, there’s some BIG NEWS! I am now the Interactive Editor of StaffsLive, my university’s news website. You can read about it on this lovely new page or visit the site itself! I’m hoping my work at StaffsLive will help to improve ‘The Rich, Harsh Poet’ also.

Well thats all for, thanks for continuing to visit the blog and I hope to ‘entertain’ you again in the future!


RHP Supports Right2Link

January 17, 2010

There’s a rather big online debate going on at the moment about what websites are allowed to link to.

News aggregator sites such as NewsNow collect headlines from several news sites around the web and puts them on their website, creating an easy hub to the worlds news as it happens. NewsNow don’t provide (or even pretend to produce) any of the content themselves. All the headlines will link to the website where that news article was found, allowing the original creator of the article to receive traffic to their website.

It’s effectively free advertising for news website, however many newspapers have taken this the wrong way. The Times started the argument in May and have recently asked NewsNow to pull all reference to their site off the news aggregator. Since then others have followed suit including The Sun and News Of the World. Other papers are also planning to remove themselves from the service.

The reason? These companies claim that by “accessing their website from a link, or quoting a headline in a link, you could be infringing their copyright.”

As far as I’m concerned, this is a ridiculous point with no real backup. Yes news aggregators do take headlines from newspaper websites, but they do this to send traffic back to those sites and give us all an easier way of accessing articles. It’s just another option of accessing news which the powers that be want to take away from us.

What’s next? Stopping people linking to articles on social networks like Twitter? It all seems completely absurd.

That’s why as of today, my blog, The Rich, Harsh Poet is officially supporting the Right2Link campaign, to save the public amenity of linking to other websites.

If you too are in favour, then you can help the campaign here.

Also please feel free to let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!