Research scientist, author & artist based in Manchester, UK. Strident feminist, SJW, proudly working-class.
5 Tips For Surviving Fallout Shelter Survival Mode
Fallout Shelter is one of the best desktop mini-games available. It’s fun, challenging and infinitely replayable. Plus there’s no pressure to actually spend any money on it. No, all this game will take from you is precious, precious time. And time is money, so… this game will probably make you poorer anyway. But it’s so much fun – so are you really worse off for wasting your life on it?
Game Review—Fallout: Shelter
In 2077, nuclear bombs rained down on America, destroying cities and making the earth uninhabitable. The only safe place was underground, inside the vaults constructed by Vault-Tec. But safety proved to be relative, with the vaults posing their own unique dangers, including the sinister experiments carried out by the Vault-Tec corporation. No-one knew they were signing up for that, but it’s a better fate than dying of radiation sickness outside, or slowly turning into a feral ghoul.
Game Review—‘Kingdom: Two Crowns’
It’s time. Kingdom: Two Crowns is here (well, it’s been here for a while and I’m a little late to the party) and I’ve been playing it for many, many days (weeks, and months). It’s still highly recommended, even after the novelty has worn off (but did it ever, really?), so read on for my thoughts.
Game Review—‘Kingdom: New Lands’
Last time I did a game review, I played Kingdom: Classic for hours on end just to be sure I’d adequately researched my review of it. Now I’ve moved on to Kingdom: New Lands to stay loyal to the franchise and to ensure that I continue to avoid work and household chores. For just like the original, Kingdom: New Lands will consume your whole life. A lot has stayed the same moving from one version to the other, but a lot has also changed—including some cool new additions that add just enough variety to keep you hooked on beating all the monsters and completing the game. (It is possible, although it might not feel like it when you get started!). You will likely need more than one sitting, though, as there’s way more game to get through. Yes, this new game has many extra levels instead of just one nightmarish plain for you to survive in!
Game Review – 'Kingdom: Classic'
As part of my research for this review, I have been playing Kingdom non-stop for approximately two weeks. I’ve barely eaten, slept, or even thought of things that aren’t Kingdom during this time. My family are concerned that I’ve abandoned them and I’m concerned I may have developed a wasting disease, rickets and multiple RSIs. It was totally worth it.
Top Ten Superhumans
In comics and movies, human superpowers are limited by only our imagination. But in real life, there are some talented individuals with skills beyond the reach of ordinary mortals. Myths and legends abound of people with abilities ranging from the supernatural to superhuman, but these 10 people have had their unique powers verified by science. Behold, the top ten real-life X-men!
Top Ten LGBT+ Animals
Have you ever heard someone say that being gay isn’t “natural?” Well, I have some bad news for them: nature is gay AF. Our world has numerous examples of animals that change gender, engage in same-sex activity, and throw gender norms out completely. Here’s my top ten animals from across the LGBT+ spectrum.
Crossing the Threshold
It’s not agoraphobia, whatever it is. I have no fear of open spaces, or of crowds. There’s nothing fearful about actually being outside—it’s the process of getting there that I struggle with. I can’t tell you exactly what it is, but it’s some form of invisible barrier keeping me indoors, or keeping me in my bed.
Love Wins Together Manchester
It’s one year since the Manchester Arena bombing, and like last year, I attended a vigil in Albert Square. The first vigil was hurriedly arranged, with speakers and volunteers phoned up with a few hours notice to attend. I can’t imagine how many favours must have been called in on that night. Still, everyone pitched in to provide a necessary outlet for our collective loss and disbelief. This time, there was more room to prepare.
Good Girls, Bad Boys, and Relationship Power Dynamics
I left an abusive relationship almost 10 years ago, and I’ve been through counseling, therapy, a domestic abuse recovery program, and I’m still not completely over what happened to me. The process has helped me understand what went on, learn more about myself, and to rebuild my life. Having had the chance to learn about the structure of abuse, and to examine my own feelings about myself and about relationships, I’ve figured a lot of shit out. This knowledge has given me more confidence, and with confidence I’m less inclined to tolerate other people’s crap. So instead of getting caught up in destructive thought patterns about whether or not I’m good enough, or if I should be trying to please someone else, I’ve allowed myself the space to reflect and identify patterns that I don’t want to repeat.
When we talk about domestic abuse, we miss one of the most important factors—love. We frame the argument in more rational terms, e.g. when we believe the victim only stays for practical reasons. We feel it must be because of lack of resources, or isolation, or logistics. At worst, they might remain through fear, compliance, or learned helplessness. But that’s only part of the problem. All of these reasons are valid ones, but by concentrating only on the practical, we’re only seeing part of the picture, and we’re letting survivors down.
The State of the Welfare State
The UK welfare system has a lot of problems at the moment. The reasons behind those problems differ depending on one’s political outlook, but there are issues that need addressing whatever your views. It’s worth looking back at the history of welfare in the UK, in order to understand how we have arrived at this point. First, we need to define “the welfare state.” In general terms it is: