Did you watch the first episode of Game of Thrones last night? Apparently it was already available on Saturday afternoon, along with episodes two, three and four. That’ll teach HBO to send advance copies to reviewers. According to TorrentFreak the first episode was downloaded over a million times during the first eighteen hours. So much for trying to keep anything secret in the digital age.
In 2012 Metro Trains in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia released a public service announcement in the form of a little animated video and song, titled Dumb Ways To Die. The video went viral on social media (in two years it has had over one hundred million views on YouTube), spawned a mobile game, and even yours truly have used it in a piece of short fiction.
The video has also inspired numerous parodies, the latest one featuring Game of Thrones which is, frankly, filled with dumb (or at least gruesome) ways to die. They have kept the words of the original, but the video depicts all of the most memorable deaths of the series thus far.
Spoiler alert: Don’t watch this if you haven’t yet watched season four/read A Feast for Crows. (And for goodness sake, stay away from the comments!)
My country is messed up. Our rivers run bright green with sewage (I would know – I live next to one), you can seriously damage your car if you hit a patch of asphalt between all the potholes in the road, we have a president that makes Nixon look like a boy scout but keeps getting away with it, and a few weeks ago we managed to break democracy when half the opposition was thrown out and the other half walked out during the State of the Nation address.
But at the same time we have an amazing country with amazing people.
No, I’ve not developed a sudden appreciation for Milton. To tell the truth, I’ve only read a couple of his poems, that one included, and did not quite get it. Like most poets his work warrants more in-depth study if one truly wants to appreciate it, and I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Today I went for my bi-annual eye test. I am blessed with severe short-sightedness from both sides of the gene pool and have been a proud member of the four-eyes club since the age of eleven. But even twenty-two years later I still find eye tests a harrowing ordeal.
At one point last year I started volunteering in the WordPress.com support forums. It started out as a way to procrastinate on my writing and studies, but I soon became hooked. Partly it was the great bunch of established volunteers who welcomed me into their midst and taught me (and are still teaching me) the ropes.
But the true reward is that rush of endorphins every time I successfully help someone solve a problem with their site. That, and the fact that my knowledge of WordPress.com has grown with leaps and bounds as I really dug into the support pages looking for solutions to other people’s problems. In fact, I’ve already incorporated some of the things I discovered thanks to the forums into this blog.
It’s not all fun and games, though. People come to the forums because they have a problem, and unsolved problems lead to frustration. Frustrated people can become…not nice. Some people take their blogs VERY seriously.
But then you also get people who take things in their stride, like the user whose ENTER-key started misbehaving in the post editor. His final reply to the thread really made me smile, and I thought I’d share it with you:
I refreshed Firefox and that fixed the problem. Kind of like electro-shock therapy — not sure exactly what it did, but it made a big difference. The ENTER key behaves as expected now. Who knows for sure what happened to trigger the weirdness, but several possibilities occur to me:
a) I leaned my elbow on the keyboard when reaching for Kleenex and hit a strange key combo that a malicious coder set up when she was passed over for promotion at Mozilla
b) The cat walked on the keyboard and did some sort of feline reconfig
c) An angry God looked down and said, “Let’s fuck with him for awhile”.
d) None of the above
Anyway. Thanks for your help and suggestions.
Onward toward the abyss!