Minecraft, or indeed as it has become known in my household – minecrack, is at it’s heart a creative sandbox building game. On your first playing you awaken to find yourself in a never-ending world (literally, it’s created as you explore) consisting of blocks. The game offers no direction, the player is simply left to explore, mine and build at their own leisure.
At this early stage most people set themselves up with a simple wooden hut and a modest farm. Then as time goes on and they discover the more complex aspects of the game; the redstone circuitry, railway systems and of course pistons capable of changing the very landscape itself. Before you know it that simple wooden hut has become a three storey mansion with gold statues spewing lava and the modest farm a multi-layered, redstone powered industrial farm. Not to mention the deep hatred the player will develop for the games mobs.
Zombies, skeletal warriors, giant spiders. These all seem terrifying until the player discovers the creeper. This little fellow is known for appearing out of seemingly nowhere and exploding, destroying everything you have worked for and slaughtering your character in the process. Yes the creator of this highly addictive game (Notch) felt it necessary to include hostile exploding mobs.
All this terror is without even entering the games other worlds. There is the Nether, an update introduced Halloween 2010, with giant floating ghasts, blazes, zombie pig-men and giant magma cubes, all of which spend most of their time trying to implement your demise with fireballs and rage. Although in all fairness the zombie pig-men are neutral until provoked. On top of all this any beds placed in the nether catch fire and explode when you try to sleep in them, so there is no saving. Plus lava EVERYWHERE.
The other world, more recently introduced is the End. Found by entering through a portal in a stronghold (one of the many ‘naturally’ occurring structures in the game) the player finds themselves in a mostly empty world with only one mob. A dragon. Killing said dragon triggers the games final credits, which are frankly trippy as fuck.
Pretty much the only criticism everyone seems to make about minecraft is the graphics, but frankly this is a moot point as the game is about as moddable as you can get with thousands of dedicated modders messing around with everything from adding new blocks to re-writing the very code itself.
I could go on about the immense gameplay but I will simply say this. If you have a full time job don’t play this game. If you want to see your loved ones ever again don’t play this game. If you have an addictive personality don’t play this game. If you have anger issues don’t play this game. If you have any responsibilities at all don’t play this game. Don’t play this game. Now if you’ll excuse me I have giant floating glass biospheres to finish.
I just wanted to add my two cents to the lack of human experience present over there at PayPal [read more: http://www.regretsy.com/2011/12/05/cats-1-kids-0/ ]. Regretsy hosted a charity for poor kids so they could have a Christmas, but in an appalling demonstration of greed and sociopathy, PayPal attempted to shut it down, devising a plot to collect 4 times as much in fees and killing the possibility of any monetary gift to the families. They then proceeded to make it impossible to make things right, choosing to be evasive, cryptic and uncaring.
Special thanks to those who work at PayPal, and Merry Christmas.
I hope you all crash into a bridge abutment and die of AIDS.
So it’s been nearly a year since our little –pub was founded. To honor this special occasion, I’d like to propose a toast.
To all of the friendships that have grown and flourished thanks to this channel. I can honestly say that some of my closest friends reside in this little corner of the internet, and, without –pub, I may not be nearly as close to some of you as I am now.
To Walther, for being our kicking bitch.
To Corynne, for making sure that our Barkeep knows all of the best porn.
To shifuimam, for setting up the pub stats for us.
To InTheBlue, for setting up our wiki, and for helping to keep Stürike alive.
To terran, for encouraging drunken stupidity as often as possible since the very beginning.
To Himerius, for gracing us with his delicious, buttery voice, and for giving us our official –pub radio program, Stürike. I consider Stürike to be a large part of the –pub, and we just wouldn’t be the same without it.
To stump, for… well, for everything. For taking the time to set up a channel, for making sure even our pub had a barkeep, for hosting our own website, for giving us a place to be silly drunk bastards whenever we want. Without you, none of this would be possible, and I thank you.
To the –Pub. May you never stay sober for long. Cheers.
Hello again! First off, a confession: I’m having slight problems with narrative structure (which is totally important in a blog). These posts are being put up on the Friday, but I’m writing them throughout the week, so I’m not sure whether to put them in the past tense, or simply write them as things happen and not worry about tense. Ah well, you’re smart people so I’ll just let you know approximately when it’s being written and hope that you read them in order.
As you can probably guess from the amount of time I’ve had to think about unimportant things (see above), I haven’t had a massive amount of work to do. (Still haven’t had to make anyone a cup of tea though. In fact, I’m being offered a cuppa on an alarmingly regular basis, which I am eternally grateful for as it’s the only thing keeping me awake. There’s also a tin of biscuits in the corner, and I’m currently seeing how many I can take before someone calls me on it or I noticeably gain weight.) My main job so far has been taking a couple of lists, collating them into one list and checking who was on what list originally; seemingly because someone decided departments were no longer called “departments” and are instead now “directorates”*. Still, this is a recession and I’m glad someone is taking the time to create work. I’m going to have to spend an hour or so tomorrow trying to fill in the gaps in the list by searching for people on the directory, which will be fun since one list contains their official name, and the other their preferred name (which I thought was rather unusual for the Civil Service. I would suggest trying to find yourself and seeing if your name is as expected/the same as the name in your email address.)
I have also gone through the online security briefing/test, which means I am now acutely aware of how not to loose my Smartcard. And if I do, all my colleagues will use my computer to do terrible things, or something. In all seriousness, it was useful for some things, and it’s always good to show awareness of information security policies on my CV (and improving my CV is why I’m working here for free.) So hopefully I won’t go leaving bags and USB sticks full of personal data on trains anytime soon, and if I do the department can point out that they did tell me not to.
I’ve been informed that I will probably be spending a week with another team, I believe the people responsible for graduate training (may as well get my foot in the door), so you’ll get some news about another department some time in the future. In the meantime I’ll be learning about action plans and exciting sounding things like that, as well as looking at the stationary ordering process and boring sounding things like that.
- “Contact” became “Name”.
- “BU” became “Area” (as an outsider who has no idea what a “BU” is, and would take a guess at “Business Unit”, I appreciate this change.)
- “Area” became “location” (thanks to the above change.)
- “Role” was added (why wasn’t this there before?)
THE FOLLOWING IS BY KAZAD.
It’s day 2, and my first glimpse into the world of the civil service. (Don’t expect these posts to be daily by the way, there’s just lots of interesting stuff happening in the first few days.) I was given the job of going through a couple of presentations about changes to the DWP and other parts of the civil service, and deciding if they contradict. (I was actually given this job at the end of day 1, but for the purposes of narrative let’s pretend it was given to me on day 2.)
So currently there are some changes going on across the service to combine departments; for example there’ll be some massive Diversity and Equality team to manage that sort of thing across all the civil service. As well as this, the DWP had some kind of internal review and decided on some changes; I was tasked with going through their two presentations and decide if any of the “design principles” conflicted. It was during this process I got my first introduction to the sheer number of acronyms you guys use, and there’s a lot of them. (Not to mention the amount of business speak. Seriously, one of the slides said “We will rationalise our operating models.” Now, assuming that all the words in that sentence have been used correctly, may this humble work experience boy make a suggestion: if your operating models are irrational, that you not wait till a massive review before changing them?) Amusingly, there were actually two presentations from different dates regarding the cross civil service review, both of which had a few identical slides, one of which contained the point “We will eradicate duplication.”
Sorry, I’m getting sidetracked; we’re meant to be talking about acronyms. There were some points in these presentations that would have spanned multiple slides if you wrote out all the acronyms, and I didn’t understand a single one. And it’s very difficult to compare points in presentations to see if they disagree when you don’t actually understand what they’re saying. But the lovely lady on the desk next to me patiently answered my questions, despite the alarming frequency with which I had to ask her what something was. And even when I knew what the letters stood for, I had to turn around again and ask “yeah, but what actually is that?” But I got through it in the end, and it turns out there’s no major contradictions (except in their basic use of language. You cannot “centralise into 7 hubs”.)
You’ll no doubt be pleased to know that I’m now able to get on a computer (no idea of the answer to the question I posed in my previous blog though, I may have to simply ask someone.) And I tell you what: I really haven’t missed Windows XP. I’m not a massive Mac fan or anything, and the computers are fast enough, but my heart sunk when that damn paper clip popped up to ask if I wanted any help. You know they actually removed the office assistant in 2007? Anyway, I’ve changed him into a cat just in case he pops up again, so hopefully I won’t be fired for punching a hole in the screen anytime soon.
That’s it for another post. I wasn’t given any interesting jobs, and “Lean” was mentioned in a meeting so I now have to read up on it. At first I tried to use the DWP page about it, but then I was handed “Lean for Dummies”, which will probably be infinitely more useful. I’ll let you know what I find out.
THE FOLLOWING IS BY KAZAD
So the HR department I’m working with for my work experience placement have asked me to do a blog, and the unedited version will appear here for y’all to enjoy. So enjoy.
Today I started my work experience placement at the Human Resources Strategic Services department of the Department for Work & Pensions in Sheffield. Basically, there are so many HR departments, they need their own HR department to cover them. Anyway, being one of those hip young people, I was asked to write a blog about my time here. Also, since I don’t have a secretary, they can trust that I am actually writing it myself.
So why am I here? Well, as part of the Government’s “New Deal” (or “Fresh Start”, “Plan B”, “A New Hope 3: Rise of the Lycans”; whatever it’s called this time around), young people are being put on work experience opportunities to fill gaps in their CVs. 3000 of these placements are in various offices of the DWP, including the one I have in HR for HR at Porterbrook House. That’s right: over the next few months three thousand people will be working for free doing various jobs around the departments, and your boss still can’t afford half decent stationary. If it weren’t for kids like us, you’d all have to develop photographic memories.
Anyway, today I arrived at 9am, (which, as you know if you’ve ever been/had a son, basically killed me) but coffee in hand I entered the building. My first task was to not fall asleep as I met my line manager/host/mentor (or whatever she’s referred to as in the literature): Lesley. I rapidly realised that I was causing more work than I could ever actually do, as after sorting all my security checks she still has to get me on the system and give me a smartcard so I can actually use a computer. Incidentally, this still hasn’t been accomplished, since it means dealing with two separate departments: one to get a logon number, and one to get a smartcard. Who said bureaucracy was dead? (Side note: that is actually how you spell bureaucracy. How weird does that word look?)
So after being given the tour (“This is the cafeteria. It isn’t subsidised and, most importantly, chocolate is actually more expensive.”) getting introduced to everyone (I’ll be honest, all I heard was “this is ____, that’s ____, over there is ____ and here’s ____, ____ and ______”) and listening to the emergency measures (“Just follow everyone else if there’s an alarm.”), it was time for me to go to my first meeting, and it was about the HR for HR intranet site.
It seems we’re in the process of redesigning the site to make it sleeker and easier to use. I suggested redesigning the logo to something like “HR4HR” with a lightning bolt and a ninja or something, but this was deemed “not appropriate”. After making several more suggestions that ranged from “less appropriate than before” to “the ramblings of an over-caffeinated child” I was finally given two actual tasks:
1) Write this blog.
2) Look at the current site and fresh eyes and try to find out information about HR.
What with not having a login, I started on task 1 with a good old fashioned pen and paper. However, I have decided on the first thing I want to find out: what is the difference between Strategic Services and Strategic Resourcing, and what do they do? (Got anything else you’ve always wanted to know about HR? Leave a comment.)
And that’s my first day. For those of you thinking that’s not very much, I’m only working 20 hours a week. Since Lesley works from home one day a week, we’ve decided it makes sense for me to work 4 days a week, 5 hours a day. Tune in next time for excitement, thrills and ALL OF THE ACRONYMS.
How many times has this happened to you? Your classy lip-sweater has landed you a mountain of sopping bitches, but you’ve run out of condoms, you’re too potent for birth control or you’re too Christian to hold back the natural forces of reproduction. What do!?!!1 First of all, let’s go over some facts: Condoms never work, birth control causes cancer and God will smite you for considering “plan b”. Never fear! With stumpy’s guide to contraception, you’ll never leave a fatherless developing embryo in your wake again. Yes, these 3 simple rules to live by will protect your sanity and your wallet (LOL!) for the rest of your efficacious years. And best of all, these are all sanctioned by the Vatican.
- A swift punch in the ovaries – After intercourse, enjoy a good punch in the ol’ egg-factory together. You’ll laugh, she’ll cry, but most importantly you’ll keep the little cash-eaters at bay.
- A loving shove down the stairs – Sometimes the ovary-bashing doesn’t take, so additional measures must be taken. Your significant other will appreciate the sentiment behind an unexpected slinky-ride! So go the extra mile and make sure you take all necessary precautions to ensure that parasite doesn’t take root.
- Cut your losses – If the egg-maker haymaker and the slinky-ride still fail to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t give up hope, however. Plan D is sure to absolve you of all legal-liability associated with that bastard. It’ll be like it never even happened! This step does involve going to court. However, thanks to precedence in this area of law, simply state with confidence that you can’t possibly be held accountable for the child as you weren’t on top.
I urge one and all to keep this guide in the bedroom ready for all situations. Women love a man with a plan, and you’ll surely secure a place in heaven by avoiding unwanted pregnancy without playing god, yet still enjoy all the casual free-wheeling sex your animal ancestors wanted you to have all thanks to stump.
Go play in traffic.
Point the first. Learn to fucking queue. You’re British. Start to act like it. If you’re not British well then bully for you. Queue.
Point the second. Don’t lean over my bar and wave money at me unless it’s a) a tip, or b) you want to be punched in the face.
Point the third. I don’t find you attractive. Srs. No, for reals. Also I’m not trying to look down your top. If you didn’t want that much cleavage on show then you should have dressed better.
Point the fourth. Look at the bar. How crowded is it? You still want that cocktail? Cause it’s gonna have spit in it. (Clarification. Two deep – we cool. Three deep – keep it simple. Four or five deep? Come on…)
Point the fifth. The bar has no sides for you the punter. Don’t stand there. You would not believe how in the way you are.
Point the sixth. I don’t care how rich your student loan makes you feel. Don’t spend £6 on a shot of premium spirits. It makes you look like a dick.
Point the seventh. What’s cheap? Well how about looking at the flyers, of which this room has over 200. I know because I put them out.
Point the eigth. I don’t give a shit that the doorman told you you would get a free bottle of champagne with that wristband. I wasn’t told.
Point the ninth. This job is hard. For reals. I am honestly trying to keep track of how long you’ve been waiting but at the end of the day I am just going to work up and down. Sorry.
Point the tenth. See this metal tube? It’s called a jigger. It measures out your drink accurately. I take it quite personally when you tell me I’ve under-poured.
I get it. You’re drunk and happy and I am being payed to supply a service for you. But if you keep me happy I can keep you happier.