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  •   Latest Posts:  ::The Rantastic :: I am a geek, in many ways…::The Rantastic :: It’s been a year.::The Rantastic :: Get Ready for an Election::The Rantastic :: Mr. Rant’s Christmas Message 2014::The Rantastic :: Scotland Decides… NO.::The Rantastic :: Guess what… It’s raining…::The Rantastic :: A Christmas Message for 2013::The Rantastic :: Birmingham Central Library Vs. Library of Birmingham::The Rantastic :: Five years, and we’re still here….::The Rantastic :: It just gets earlier every year…. 

    Mr. Rant’s Christmas Message 2014

     Posted in Our Past & Thoughts on Things... at 9:37 on Thursday, December 25th, 2014 by Mr. Rant

    Good morning,

    As 2014 comes to a close and we celebrate whatever we celebrate it’s a good time to remember those who are not with us this Christmas, those people who made us the way we are, and those who work to keep us that way. ¬†While you eat your turkey dinner, there are people all over the UK working to keep us safe, keep us in power, help us get well when we are sick, these people work over the festive period and they work hard to ensure that we carry on. ¬†Let’s spare a thought for them.

    2014 has been a difficult year, the terrorism continues, the hatred toward each other grows, and the world takes a turn for the worse. ¬†It’s clear watching the news that we aren’t all getting along happily and that we never will, it’s frustrating that people are so bent on killing each other to step back and see that we’re all the same. ¬†None of us are any different, in all honesty we’re just carbon, floating on a rock, in endless infinite space. ¬†Everyone should take a moment to reflect on that fact once in a while.

    I hope that 2014 has brought you all you wished for at the start and I hope that 2015 is even better, raise a glass, stop and think and remember that, those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

    Merry Christmas,

    Mr. Rant.


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      Written By Mr. Rant.

    Scotland Decides… NO.

     Posted in Thoughts on Things... at 0:57 on Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Mr. Rant

    So if you’ve been living under a rock for the past week you won’t know that a referendum was held questioning if Scotland should go independent from the rest of the UK.

    Scotland Decides

    Scotland Decides

    The campaign trail had been going for almost three years and on 18th September 2014, Scotland voted, and decided that they should remain in the UK.

    I must admit I am pleased, not that Scotland rejected independence but because there is now less risk to the economy of the UK. ¬†Scotland already has moderately devolved powers from Westminster, but now they ‘should’ get even more or at least that’s the promise that the UK Government has made. ¬†We will see if they are given those powers. ¬†I expect that Wales, Northern Ireland and the England will want better balance of powers, I hope we get them.


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    A Christmas Message for 2013

     Posted in Thoughts on Things... at 22:20 on Monday, December 30th, 2013 by Mr. Rant

    Now the snow is gone (not that we had any) and the Christmas season has come to end, and to be honest I’m glad. ¬†This year the “season of goodwill” (appropriately in inverted commas ‚ÄĒ as it really isn’t) started even earlier than in other years, and lets be honest I was sick of it by a week in.

    It has seemed like a none christmas this year, and in fact it seems to have been even more commercial, not that I am one to propagate the season’s real meaning, being an atheist and all that kind of makes that a none starter.

    I would however like to see some kind of goodwill to all men.

    The world is in turmoil, as is evident or will be to you if you take five minutes to invest your mind in some informational gathering from a news outlet. ¬†I suggest we look at what sort of aid we should be offering to those in need, ¬†and think very hard in fact, as to be honest, lavishly splashing around money isn’t going to sort the issue and each situation will inevitably end up at its own starting point. ¬†Thus beginning the cycle and starting the whole process again, and the worry is, that those in need will have to come cap in hand for another injection of cash to move things forward.

    These are of course, the things that keep me awake at night*.  I do however have genuine concern at the turn the human race is taking over, lets say in the past forty years.  We are a selfish society, each day we are out for our own aims, be they monetary, goal driven or simply to get one over on someone.

    Let me state, unequivocally that, I do not have a problem with anyone bettering themselves or working hard to reach a goal that they want to achieve, this in itself is human nature and is a helpful thing to society, after all we would not have; electricity, the motor care, anything to do with America** if it weren’t for those simple humans striving to do something more with their lives.

    We could however take a note from their books that on the whole most of those people who invented/discovered something amazing** didn’t take their discovery for granted and actively used their new found knowledge for the betterment of society. ¬†This isn’t often the case these days, and most ‘inventors’ are after a patent so that they can reap the rewards for the discovery in monetary value.

    I hope that we can ebb the flow of negative tendencies in humanity and hope that we can one day live in harmony, but alas that isn’t going to happen is it?

    Throughout history we have fought each other (this is beginning to sound like a novel), we have attacked one another, over land, resources, or even skin colour so that we can raise a flag and say that we are the best.  Worrying, but alas, each one of us is just a small cog in a much larger, much more aggressive and potentially deadly machine.

    So maybe in 2014, you should just make a small gesture just to improve the life of the man/woman/child next to you, and make their life just that bit better.

    *They don’t keep me awake at night.

    **Tongue in check, not entirely true, often not true at all.


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      Written By Mr. Rant.

    Birmingham Central Library Vs. Library of Birmingham

     Posted in Regeneration & Thoughts on Things... at 16:03 on Sunday, June 30th, 2013 by Mr. Rant

    In a couple of months times the new Library of Birmingham will open and we (the people of Birmingham) will beckon in a new generation of absurdly designed supposedly fit for purpose crazy looking buildings, sounds familiar doesn’t it? The planners in Birmingham have a history of approving slightly bizarre looking things, to name but a few; The Selfridges end of the Bullring, The Rotunda, and lets not forget the original Central Library,¬†a much oft blogged about thing here at The Rantastic.

    As we move into the new Library of Birmingham one would hope that maybe Birmingham Library services finally has a place to store it’s treasures for the future seeing at the Old Central Library did nothing to help their preservation and by several accounts have systematically shortened their life spans, but lets not think about that now, lets instead focus on moving forward into a new dimension of librarial goodness, but alas we cannot.

    For now there is a battle brewing, one that has been brewing for a while since the new library was announced, one that seems to heat up each time the dreaded demolition is spoken. ¬†Yes, people want to keep the Central Library. I can understand their logic, I love architecture and I understand the attraction of a brutalist design, just have a look at Auchinleck House on Broad Street, Birmingham, that’s a classic 60’s design and to be honest it’s hideous but I like it, and I’d like to see it stay but times move on and buildings have their day and sometimes, when they’re not fit for the purpose for which they were built it’s time for them to go. ¬†Hence, it’s time for the Central Library to bow it’s head to the executioners axe and have it’s remains laid to rest.

    So can we please, please, get on to enjoying our new Library and start to forget about the old one?

     


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      Written By Mr. Rant.

    Crucifixion: Gunther Von Hagens

     Posted in The Religion Police & Thoughts on Things... at 23:32 on Monday, April 9th, 2012 by Mr. Rant

    Picture the scene. ¬†It’s Easter Sunday and tucked away deep in the depths of television scheduling sits a programme aptly named Crucifixion. ¬†Apt, you might think, after all it’s Easter Sunday and we’ve come to expect a programme or two about Jesus’ demise; but this was no ordinary foray into mono-theistic doctrine, this was Gunther Von Hagens.

    If you haven’t heard of or seen Von Hangens’s work, let me briefly explain what it entails and what you should expect. ¬†Von Hagens created a technique called ‘Plastination’; this technique allows him to remove and replace with plastic, dead organic tissue. ¬†Yes, dead and organic does mean; human, animal or indeed vegetable. ¬†Gunther found fame in the early 21st century when he ‘Plastinated’ the remains of human body donors and embarked on an exhibition called “Bodyworlds” or in his native German “Korperwelten”.

    Macabre, you might think, and some would agree but for me it’s fascinating and educational, it allows us to see inside ourselves as never before and allows us to understand what we’re made of. ¬†There’s something incredible about seeing the course a blood vessel takes as it meanders and courses through your body in a fantastic evolutionary path. ¬†Von Hagens has over the past ten years or so has ‘Plastinated’ hundreds or specimens, charting our evolution in a style which has become a form of art. ¬†He has also applied his technique to animals such as; gorillas, elephants and even a giraffe, as you can imagine it’s become as much entertainment as it has art, but personally, the biological aspect is one I’m keen to keep.

    In recent times, with his work becoming art as much as a look into ourselves and other organisms, Gunther has faced and created much¬†criticism; it seems sometimes he is out to shock rather than provoke debate or provide a look at ourselves, it seems that ‘Crucifixion’ his latest work was more about creating a storm rather than¬†¬†allowing us a scientific view of life.

    The brief for the project was to create a realistic crucified image, but here’s the kicker; using real ‘Plastinated’ human remains, now on paper that sounds great to an atheist like me, but in reality it was also going to cause a huge amount of anger and criticism focussed on Gunther, especially from those who believe in God and the story of Jesus. ¬†I have no issue whatsoever with Gunther’s project, it was interesting to watch him create something that was shockingly beautiful and ultimately something that showed the struggle between life and death.

    However, my first thoughts on the programme and Gunther’s idea was that he was¬†intentionally¬†trying to piss the church and it’s followers off. ¬†Careful now. ¬†I have no issue with pissing off the church, I’ve done it enough with this very blog in the past, I do have issue with setting out with the intention to piss them off. ¬†Oftentimes, especially here, it’s easy to get caught in the moment when you write so that your words can become harmful to a certain group of people, we however, don’t hold the moral high ground and certainly don’t intentionally set out to piss you off.

    It’s easy to see that Gunther – a confirmed atheist like myself – wanted to do something which he’d wanted to do for a long time, whether this is making a protest or fulfilling some form of ego boost that he may get from controversy, but also a portrait of a man who knows his own mortality and is dying. ¬†We discovered that Gunther is dying. ¬†He has Parkinsons disease and is rapidly deteriorating, it was upsetting to see him struggle to walk, talk and use his dexterity which he is so famed for. ¬†There is too much we can say about Gunther, and I don’t wish to turn this into an obituary before it’s time.

    I think however, we must pose a single question. ¬†Would he have done this project if he wasn’t dying? ¬†I think so. ¬†I believe that Gunther would have always created his own Jesus, one day sooner or later, I do feel that the reason it was done is because it was his last wish, his last stand and his very own creation story.

     


    Update Status: Modified at: 23:01, on April 11th, 2012.

      Written By Mr. Rant.

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

     Posted in Anger Level 3 & Thoughts on Things... at 11:53 on Monday, December 12th, 2011 by Mr. Rant

    It’s that time of year again when the silly season starts and we all get into the Christmas spirit. ¬†Don’t get me wrong I don’t dislike Christmas, I like the lights, the music and I love the food. ¬†The food is arguably the best part. ¬†The only real problem that I have with Christmas is that it seems to be lasting longer and longer. ¬†The Christmas season kicks off at the start of November and doesn’t end until well after the day itself.

    Now, I should clarify that I do like getting into the Christmas spirit, I enjoy that I can look at the lights, and I enjoy that I have an excuse to eat a whole box of mince pies and get away with it, but where is that special feeling you get knowing that it’s just one day, it’s no longer the case.

    If you wanted to, you could celebrate Christmas from September onwards.  Should we doing that?

    I think not. ¬†I don’t have an issue with celebrating Christmas during December, that’s expected, however, I don’t think we should be celebrating the season months in advance. ¬†This year the adverts on tv and online started in September, it’s a bit previous if you get my drift.

    I think it’s time we start celebrating later, and enjoying the special time that Christmas brings, it’s once a year for two weeks (if that) rather than three months of bunting and tinsel.

    Last year here at Rant Towers, we didn’t change the blog for the christmas season but this year we will be, sometimes you’re just Christmassed out.


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      Written By Mr. Rant.