Month: September 2016

Social media explained: the revised edition

There’s a meme explaining how social media works, mostly with donuts. Let’s try expanding this simple analogy. I feel as though I should include a social media post; because even though this has absolutely nothing to do with fiction or writing, we are all in some way defined by our online presence.

Youtube – I got internet famous by doing a donut challenge.

Whisper – I have a fetish for donuts in the bedroom.

Instagram – Here is a picture of my tequila doused platinum coated donut.

Snapchat – Here is a krispy kreme sponsored lens.

Facebook – This donut is delicious and I feel great about eating it. I like donuts.

Twitter – @KrispyKreme I’m not happy with my donut.

Pinterest – here are some inspirational donut recipes I pinned

Reddit – what’s the weirdest thing you have ever done with a donut?

Vine – Haha, look at this clip of a guy with a donut stuck to his face!

WordPress – This is my blog about donuts

Tumblr – I believe in social justice for demigender, asexual, black donuts trapped in white bodies who are Pagan. I also think the government is lying to us.

LinkedIn – My work experience is being a cashier at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Tinder – I’m a skinny latte, you’re a donut. We’re a great match, we complement each other.

Foursquare – This is where I buy my donuts from

Google+ – I’m in a community where everyone talks about donuts.

if you think there’s a platform I have missed, just comment below.

The Arts &Humanities appreciation post

EQ matters just as much as IQ

Employers and universities are starting to understand how emotional and Social intelligence are just as important as intellectual intelligence. Physical strength has been attributed with spots and performing arts, but not EQ. A recent study showed that Arts and Humanities students had higher empathy, more creativity and self awareness. We all know the typical STEM nerd archetype; super brainy but too logical and callous, whereas the poet speaks from the heart and engages with feelings in words.

Drama clubs help Autistic adults

Many disabled adults benefit from a special theatre society. Young people on the Autism spectrum attend a drama class to learn social skills. The situations in plays simulate real life scenarios. It could benefit teenagers as well, giving them a useful way to act out their thoughts.

Information means nothing if you can’t express it

Googlilion existed at the age of Google. Sorry Mathematics students, but this number just did not exist before. We need the arts because they hold up a mirror of reality (or sometimes fantasy) to the world. How many people are willing to admit most of the science they love and learned was from Doctor Who or Star Trek? Most geeks swear by them as gospel.

Without Archaeology and History, we would know nothing about the past

Everything has a history, and we learn everything from history. Unfortunately not all forms of history are 100% reliable, because there were less secure ways of preserving facts (which would explain why the sciences are not so keen on history). However, because historians are becoming much better at correlating facts, we can find out more about what really happened.

Linguistics and Psychology are kind of grey areas

Linguistics because it involves language, human geography, environmental factors and cultural differences. Psychology because of human behaviour and psychoanalysis. It’s true that subjects overlap between disciplines, and the STEM and Arts are not as black and white as most people assume.

What if I told you, science isn’t part of everything?

Religion is one, which is why all the nerds will never like the Quran or Bible. Literature is another (an exception for science fiction could be made here though). Art doesn’t really involve science, even if physiology can help with sculptures and drawing. You don’t need much knowledge of physics to enjoy The Big Bang Theory, just a sense of humour.

Are there any Arts and Humanities people out there who think I have missed any points? Share your thoughts below.

Science fiction is not science fact

Keyboard warrior rant: Round Two

People often believe that gamma rays, hover cars and alien life forms are possible. Then there is the grey area of time travel, telekinetic communication and the human zombie virus. State, however, that dragons, gods and magic are just as plausible as aliens and the “hardcore science” fans glare at you (before returning to watch The Big Bang Theory whilst chatting with their virtual/Facebook girlfriend). Nobody has, to date, suggested that dragons may well be aliens. The people who believe that science fiction is truly educational probably also believe that the world is about to end.

1. Brainiac: teaching kids that dangerous chemistry is fun

I am not sure how the BBC managed to air myth busters for kids with science, but it happened. Maybe it’s that the Brainiac cast used goggles, or that some of their explosions had to be enhanced – most notably, the alkali metals experiment.

Admittedly, not all of the experiments were dangerous, and the crew (probably) knew what they were doing. But, nearly every stunt performer says “don’t try this at home”, and it’s never been said on the show. Let’s not mention the scantily clad attractive women on the show – Remember Thalia Zucchi from “How Hard Is Your Thing?”? What about John Tickle’s busty nurse? If you’ve never seen the show, or don’t remember, here is a brief montage:

 

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brainiac-girls1

 

howhard1

Anyway, Brainiac was 1/3rd boobs, 1/3rd explosions and 1/3rd actual science. For this reason, it may as well be science fiction.

2. Doctor Who

Don’t  get me wrong, I LOVED this show (especially with David Tenant as the Doctor). And, considering the large number of crappy science fiction out there, there’s definitely been worse. But there are some concepts in the show that are just plain ridiculous. The sonic screwdriver has a few flaws, namely being that it can open any door…..except a traditional one with a doorknob. Also, the TARDIS defies the laws of physics in just about every way – the reason scientists believe that you can only travel forwards in time is because of the speed of light, and there are no wormholes in space to take you back to the past (which is the only hypothetical way you could get there).

3. Star Wars

I’m probably going to get hate mail for this, but here we go. I honestly believe the mass appeal from Star Wars comes from two things: physics students’ geeky desires to build a light saber and spacecraft, and mass marketing. In the original films, I had a bit of a problem with Han Solo’s attitude towards Leia. As for the more modern films, the main thing wrong with them is their over-dramatic plotlines. So Anakin Skywalker was actually once a good guy and became evil, so what? Othello and Hamlet both do the same damn thing. Then we have Kylo Ren, who is not actually evil but instead is living a narcissistic fantasy after idolising his granddad.

4. Jurassic Park

Ever since this film was made, the planet went nuts for re-creating dinosaurs from amber tree sap. So, dinosaurs are fascinating because they’re extinct. But absolutely nothing is scientific in the movie whatsoever – if  it was, we would’ve already done it. Sometimes I think that movie was only created so someone could make an actual theme park.

5. The Draenei in World of Warcraft

Yes, because satyrs and fauns are actually aliens from outer space – not dissimilar from Scientology logic about divine deities. I’ll admit that the WoW franchise is less sci-fi and more fantasy, but the Draeni are not their strongest race. I’m going to classify the Draeni as sci-fi because they’re alien beings with advanced technology. Why I don’t like them? They’re more original than the other races, but their design as extraterrestrial fauns bugs me.

6. Digimon

So, this is virtual pet; a Tamagotchi combined with Pokemon evolution. How original, just combine two Japanese franchise from competing businesses and merge them into a single toy. Admittedly, Digimon wasn’t anywhere near as popular Tamagotchi or Pokemon, because there’s nothing original about them. So, why is Digimon classed as sci-fi? Apart from the apparent use of gadgets and digital world (just like in The Matrix and Spy Kids) in the anime, I really have no idea.

7. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 

I’ve heard far too often that dolphins are sending warning messages by cackling, and it’s all thanks to Douglas Adams. Infamous for coining the answer to life, Everything and the Universe as 42 (from a mathematical point of view). Adams was only joking, but scientists have insisted on proving the phrase to be true. In all fairness, i don’t think Adams was trying to make his book sound like actual science fiction, but the readers have taken it far too seriously.

So, what do you think of all of this: is my pronounced judgement too farfetched, or does this post have a point? Share your thoughts below.

 

 

 

Ten things English graduates hear when finding a job 

So after the success and support of my last post, I’m here to do a limited special edition post on the job market! Thank you all very much for your positive support on my last post and I don’t normally moan about my life. So, today’s article is about life after university: the harsh, cruel world of getting a job (or not).

The stereotypes: jobs people think you should do:

Dear Teesside University, if you ever read this, you gave the most cliche careers talk I have ever heard.

1. English teacher

PGCE needed for every level, as an extra qualification.

2. Librarian

Librarianships are needed to be a librarian. But it’s hardly an aspirational career.

3. TEFL teacher

Again, ESOL qualification over here, it’s not a job you can go into.

4. Art director

Probably got a Liberal Arts degree.

5. Author

You don’t  even need any qualifications, you just need talent and connections.

6. Copywriter

Spoiler alert: most copywriters either have a copywriting course or freelance experience. Either that or a degree in journalism.

7. Marketing

Once again,  there’s a degree in Marketing involved.

8. Proofreader/editor

And if you say, “you made a typo”, I will actually cut your head off.

9. Journalist

Sorry, but Journalist graduates are way ahead here.

10. Lexicographer (yes, really)

I’m sorry but my dad wasn’t a posh tosser from Oxford who can get me this job.
Here are some more realistic ideas instead:

1. Researcher (in business)

With experience, you can climb up to the top from being a junior to project manager. You need to be able to read books and have good grammar for this job. It may sound obscure but these roles are actually quite popular

2. Admin

It needs to be on here, it’s better than a cashier at McDonald’s. At least you can spell letters, e-mails and type up reports.

3. Customer advisor

Once again, I don’t think anyone would enjoy this job. But if you have ever written a play, use your scripting talents for the horrific, annoying customer role play you can look forward to.

4. Tattoo artist?

Yeah I know, pretty obscure choice. But if you have a creative mind, well who knows what might come out of your talent? Besides, after seeing far too many misspelt tattoos, I’m sure having good English will help somewhere.

5. Audio typist

Surprisingly, these jobs are very popular in hospitals. All you really need are good typing skills and attention to detail.

Ten things I wish people would stop saying to me:

1. “But arts and humanities are hobbies. Maths, IT/Technology and Science are far more important subjects!”

Says you, with an NVQ Hair and Beauty  level 2, who doesn’t have 5 GCSEs.

2. “Oh, unemployment rates are really high for arts students”

Yeah, I got that. Thanks for telling me.

3. [at an employment agency ] some young woman  with buddy holly glasses is sat at a desk in the middle of a busy office  “Why are you even here? You can write a CV really well, you’re well dressed and you got a degree!” “Because I want a job, can you help me get a placement?” “No, we’re used to dealing with CHAVS, bums and lazy students. So we only help you job search and tell you what to wear for an interview,”

4. “I don’t really want to be a desk receptionist or customer advisor. McDonald’s and data entry are dull, I want a job which uses my skills and talents” “You’re such a cheeky bitch you are, think you’re too good for most places but you only need a job for money. Don’t be such a snob”

Okay okay, forget I ever existed. But considering I live in a small-minded town in the North   of England, working as a receptionist in a posh hotel is the ultimate goal. If people do go to uni, it’s pretty rare that they return.

5. “Why don’t you be a secondary school teacher?”

Because I hate teenagers, and I cannot do maths.

6. “What is your degree actually useful for? We have spellcheckers!”

But spellcheckers can’t understand grammar or punctuation. Plus, what about slang and regional informal words?

7. “What are your hobbies and interests?” “I read, write fiction, blog, play Pokemon go and exercise at the gym” “those are very unsocial hobbies and will not help you find work”

Not all computer programmers go to hackathons, and not all drama goers are actors. I do what I like for fun, not business. Do you think the medical secretary who does data entry all day spends her free time on Excel? Do you think the fireman saves people as a hobby? Do you think a lawyer is part of a law society for fun? No, of course not. I don’t go to a book club but I don’t need to.

8. “What is your biggest achievement?” “I self published a book when I was 19” “What happened?” “It made no money”

True story.

9. “Why don’t you just become an author and live in Tahiti?”

Because I need some security.

10. “What are your main strengths?” “I’m hardworking, a creative problem solver, I have the ability to see things from others views and a good communicator” “Yes, but you lack social skills, the ability to work in a team and your verbal communication is appalling. Those skills are far more useful.”

You know, it must really suck knowing the only job you can do is be a careers advisor. You must feel so jealous of others, telling them what’s right but not doing it yourself.

I have made it through university on all my own merits; I have no rich connections, no outstanding talent or an IQ of 130. If you think there’s anything missing from this list, please comment below!

Ten things I’m tired of telling people and hearing as an Autistic person

This doesn’t have anything to do with fiction, I know. I don’t ever discuss my personal life on here, but today is different. Today I went to go and see an employment agency named Remploy. Over the last 15 months, I have spoken to more agencies than I can count: 

-Connexions 

-Shaw Trust 

-Teesside uni careers 

-Job Centre Plus 

-Darlington Association on Disability 

-Safe in Tees Valley 

Yep, I’m a bit of a penniless author over here. All of these charities and careers services have told me I’m too smart, too nice, too well educated and too advanced to be there. They also want to tell me about their friends and family with autism. Why on earth do you think I should care? You’re not asking me for advice and you don’t seem interested in me at all. 

1. I don’t care about your brother who can build robots! 

Okay, this is definitely the thing I hate most. IDGAF if your cousin can build computers, if they how like a wolf on a balcony or if your son cannot speak and uses sign language. 

2. I don’t want to tell you I have crippling anxiety 

This is why I cancelled our meeting today, some days I don’t want to leave the house due to stress. 

3. I don’t like being told I don’t fit in on Facebook 

You guys are fake anyway, who on earth posts a sappy breakup post and gets love hearts in their inbox?! 

4. I don’t want to be an author savant 

I write because I enjoy it. I don’t blog because I have an obsession about books. I blog because I want to make a change in  how  people think. 

5. I’m actually not undateable

I am single by choice and proud. Men are attracted to me, but I have the power of choice. I can casually date and not feel the need to make babies. 

6. No, I CANNOT sing like SuBo! 

I have no special talents, I am not a unique snowflake. In fact, even this blog is not special. There’s no news article about me, no ebooks, no awards. It’s a hobby, and people read my opinions once every 3 months (because I rarely upload on here). 

7. And no, I won’t date your crazy Aspie friend!! 

GO AWAY, you are not a match maker! What, do you think you are POF in real life?  I want someone who I choose thank you very much. I want a well adjusted individual; don’t palm your friend off to me because he’s the consolation prize. 

8. I don’t need help making friends 

I have friends, and they like me for me. I have nights out, I go shopping, I go to the gym sometimes. PEOPLE ENJOY THEMSELVES AROUND ME. In fact, my friends bitch to me about how annoying their friend who is more disabled than me is. 

9. I don’t want to be told “wow, you’re so normal!” 

I know you probably didn’t know I had autism, it’s not visible like a wheelchair. Thanks for noticing me. I didn’t realise I needed a special award for basic stuff. Nobody will give me a Grammy for tying my shoelaces, you know. Get over it. 

10. “But autistic people find English hard and maths easy because they are too logical and can’t understand metaphors or how to communicate” 

BOI, STFU before I stick my pen in your eye! I cannot do maths, language is my forte. Yes I defy doctors but I don’t care. 

People know me as many things: writer, blogger, fashionista, Buddhist, great cook, goth girl, bookworm. But I don’t let anyone see me as disabled; my condition doesn’t define me. We should all try and challenge a stereotype every  single day. 

Do you have a similar condition and can relate to any of this? Please write in and share this post. 

A New Thing

Hi all,

I have some rather exciting news to share: I have set up a second blog on WordPress. I’m an entrepreneur now, and have created a blog for my business, Amethyst Insight. The blog is also called Amethyst Insight, and it will feature extra content as well as teachings on the main webpage.

If you have enjoyed reading my content so far, you’ll probably like what’s on Amethyst Insight. Follow it now at https://amethystinsight.wordpress.com

P.S. More content on The Art of Writing Fiction is coming soon, I’m currently working on some posts about popular culture/commercials and fiction. So don’t go away! 😀