Mike Congreve's blog http://blog.mikecongreve.com a man with thoughts and opinions about things Sat, 14 May 2016 07:30:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 Galactic Empire Elections: who should you vote for? http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/05/galactic-empire-elections-who-should-you-vote-for/ http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/05/galactic-empire-elections-who-should-you-vote-for/#comments Sat, 14 May 2016 07:30:25 +0000 http://blog.mikecongreve.com/?p=258 It’s time for the first election of the New Republic’s Supreme Chancellor. Each of the major parties will decide their candidates. Here they are

The Galactic Freedom Party

billy-dee-williams_sc_768x1024Lando Calrissian

A veteran of the Rebellion and pilot of the Millennium Falcon when it destroyed the second Death Star, Lando Calrissian once ran a promising mining factory on the planet Bespin. He is pro-business, pro-free trade and pro-small government, and promises to run the New Republic in a way which favours the small businessman.

PRO:  Shrewd businessman. Blew up Death Star.
CON: No political experience; Scoundrel.


Alan Binks

Son of former Naboo senator Jar Jar Binks, and former King of Naboo, Alan Binks has a proven track record in strong leadership and bringing about increased wealth and managing to prevent any trade disputes. Despite helping to foster equality between the humans and the Gunguns on the planet Naboo, Binks is stanchly anti-Ewok, blaming the increasing unemployment in his sector on their increased immigration.

PRO: Strong leadership
CON: Awful racist. Fascist.

Independent Freedom Party


Ponda Baba

Ponda Baba doesn’t like you. However, with his PHds in Galactic Politics & Economics, and history of avoiding the Galactic Empire, the former independant Aqualish businessman has a lot of experience to offer. Even though he has a chin that looks like a bum, Ponda is guaranteed to be straight-talking and stand up for minority rights.

Ponda wants a return to small government and promises to keep the number of Jedi to an absolute minimum.

While for a long time holding a personal animosity against Luke Skywalker for losing his arm, the two have since reconciled after bumping into eachother at an Arms fair. Despite this camaraderie, the two were fierce rivals politically until Skywalker’s mysterious disappearance.

PRO: Strong economic experience.
CON: Doesn’t like you. His friend doesn’t like you either. You should watch yourself.

image_da9047ccScott D. Crumb

The descendent of great Hutt-pet Salacious B Crumb, Scott D. Crumb promises to shrink the government in order to increase the power of the Huttese government. The Hutts, Crumb claims, have run the outer systems well, bring peace, prosperity and podracing to the formerly warring tribes in places such as Tatooine and the Dave System.

PRO: Strong, Pro-business stance
CON: Lifespan of only 6 years; may die suddenly of rabies.

The Liberal Democrats

Nick CleggNick Clegg

Nick Clegg grew up in Buckinghamshire with his two brothers and sister. His mother is Dutch and his father is half Russian, which influenced Nick’s internationalist outlook and linguistic ability – he speaks French, German, Spanish and Dutch.

Nick was elected leader of the Liberal Democrats in December 2007. Following the election in 2010, Nick took the party into government as part of the first Coalition in the UK since the Second World War, where he put Liberal Democrat policies into practice for the first time – the £800 income tax cut, the £2.5b pupil premium, legislating for gay marriage, introducing shared parental leave, the list goes on and on.

PRO: Political experience and accumen
CON: Liberal Democrat

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Lego Animation: In which Dooku shows off. Digitally Remastered. http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/04/lego-animation-in-which-dooku-shows-off-digitally-remastered/ http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/04/lego-animation-in-which-dooku-shows-off-digitally-remastered/#comments Sat, 23 Apr 2016 13:29:13 +0000 http://blog.mikecongreve.com/?p=296

I found this animation I made in about 2005 on my hard disk; now in LARGE SIZE pic.twitter.com/gDl6LVOf49

— Mike Congreve (@amazingmikeyc) April 23, 2016

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Unsure whether or not to Brexit or Brnot? This useful and handy guide is for you. http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/04/unsure-whether-or-not-to-brexit-or-brnot-this-useful-and-handy-guide-is-for-you/ http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/04/unsure-whether-or-not-to-brexit-or-brnot-this-useful-and-handy-guide-is-for-you/#comments Fri, 22 Apr 2016 12:43:38 +0000 http://blog.mikecongreve.com/?p=293  

Here is a handy guide to enable you to make wise and informed decisions.


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World’s Craziest Buildings – Don’t stop until you’ve read at least 2! http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/03/worlds-craziest-buildings-dont-stop-until-youve-read-at-least-2/ http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/03/worlds-craziest-buildings-dont-stop-until-youve-read-at-least-2/#comments Tue, 22 Mar 2016 21:44:20 +0000 http://blog.mikecongreve.com/?p=275  1. The President’s House, USA

To the casual observer The President’s House looks very much like the famous Mount Rushmore – but that’s because they are one and the same! When the President of the USA, or any other President, wishes to have some peace and quiet this is where they go and hang out.

Built in 1951 by a President, the President’s House contains 17 rooms and a pool table! Rumour has it that originally the face of each President would speak and sing songs of their time in office, but this was cancelled by Nixon as “annoying”, Whatever the truth of those tales, it certainly is a building shaped of faces.

2. The Moon, Space

moonSince time immemorial man has wanted to visit the moon, but it is too far away to visit and so it will probably never happen. But that’s how the owner of the moon, Dennis Moon, probably likes it! He build the moon in 1919 to avoid the invention of the trouser press which he irrationally feared would cause a shortage of silicon. This was a fairly common worry at the time.

Moon built the moon using 700,000 tonnes of space rock which he mined out of what is now the sea. He managed to get the moon in orbit by sheer force of will by forcing congress to extend the height of Alaska. Dennis died soon after from being in space but his dream – the moon – lives on.

3. This birdhouse, Canada


Whoa! Is that a tiny house on a pole with a bird going in?? Yes it is! Unbelievably this “bird house” was built by Canadian poker player Priven Mehetmahide in his back garden! Mehetmahide originally intended this house for his children, who were aged 19 and 32 at the time, but the pole proved too high and so he converted it into a little house for passing birds! Inside is a working toaster, bathtub and swingball set! This sure is a great home for little birds.

4. The Cow, Dubai

Cow_female_black_whiteDubai is no stranger to odd buildings – the oil-rich Emirate is home to the Sarlacc, the Battle Pole and the Spiderman 3 to name but a few – but none are so strange as The Cow.

Designed to look and smell very much like an actual cow, The Cow is actually an enormous shopping complex with as much floor space as 6 big Asdas. The grass all around was shipped in from Norway and must be watered with 700,000 gallons of mineral water each day.

It is unknown who built The Cow, but it is said that should it leave, or run out of milk, Dubai will return to the sands from whence it came.

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New Radiohead Album Preview Track-by-Track with Thom Yorke All True No Lies OK http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/03/new-radiohead-album-preview-track-by-track-with-thom-yorke-all-true-no-lies-ok/ http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/03/new-radiohead-album-preview-track-by-track-with-thom-yorke-all-true-no-lies-ok/#comments Fri, 18 Mar 2016 23:20:33 +0000 http://blog.mikecongreve.com/?p=272 Hi I’m Thom Yorke and secretly we have made a new Radiohead album. I say secretly; it is kind of our job and it’s a bit like saying Carphone Warehouse have secretly been selling phones. BUT ANYWAY being famous is hard.

1. [ X ]

“This is a song about the last election.”

2. Connect Alienation (The Leviathan)

“Jonny and me always used to listen to Miles Davis and he used to do this thing with his trumpet that made it sound like a purple bassoon; that’s the kind of thing we tried to do on here, only with more electronic equipment. Lyrically, it’s about capitalism”

2. The Spandex Revels

“Phil has one of those shakey instruments – maracas? That’s the one. He shakes them sometimes when we’re doing songs that don’t need drumming or computers. Anyway, when we were touring in South Korea in the late 90s he came across these electronic maracas that we used in OK Computer, to do the robot voice bit on Fitter Happier. Anyway, 15 years later, we were in South Wales looking for a Greggs and this song kind of popped into my head like I guess they did for Florian Schneider. Anyway, it’s mainly about a new ice age.”

3. Track 2

“Jonny’s always had this idea about doing an album that’s mainly made of track 2′s – except track 1, obviously – hence why there’s 2 track 2s and track 3 is called track 2. There’s a kind of ghost echo which I guess represents capitalism and Nigel reversed the whole thing and made it Spanish so it’s also about Obama.”

4. Slash/Slash/Slash

“As a band we used to embrace computers, what with me and Stanley using them to write emails to eachother, and also I had one of those blue iMacs. But in the past few years with streaming and also pitchfork the music industry is collapsing into a  farting death spiral, brought about mainly due to record companies being run by idiots. So we wrote a song about it. The main refrain, ‘you stamp on us, you stamp on us, you stamp on us’ is taken from a text the owners of EMI sent to us before they went bust. Also, my iMac broke and at the Apple store they said I’d voided the warranty because I tried to use it in the sea”

5. Crunchy Wi-Fi Interlude

“This is a kind of sequel to Fitter Happier that I wrote when chatting to Jonny about Rasputin – the man, not the song. He was an interesting guy but not really someone you’d want hanging around. That got me thinking about Putin, and of course the Eurozone.”

6. Lesbos

“Oh the refugee crisis has been pretty awful. I’d been learning the accordian and it just fitted the subject. Phil was really into his kittens so it all came together in about half an hour.”

7. Fffffffffffffffff

“This is the last track and most of the second side. It’s a song that came about because of anger, really. Mostly anger at the left’s inability to do anything useful, and also because of the right, and the middle. Our kids are growing up to be instagram demagogues and stuff. It’s all really messed up. Anyway this song is mostly about Colin, because he’s the bassist.”

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Novels Of The Year SO FAR http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/02/novels-of-the-year/ http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/02/novels-of-the-year/#comments Fri, 19 Feb 2016 22:00:07 +0000 http://blog.mikecongreve.com/?p=247 Here are the best novels of 2016, as read by men and women. More coming soon!

Come Quickly Tramline – Corrensey O’Danielson (Guavo)

In this, O’Danielson’s 4th novel in the “Chronicles of The Dark Saga” series, Tramline O’Donahue has reached his mid-teens and Dublin is changing all around him. Revolution is in the air, and the children of Glahar are in bloom. All in all, things are going well. But a dark cloud looms over the horizon.

In a departure from the previous entries in the series, this novel ignores hard grit and dark realism and focuses instead on Tramline’s quest to become the greatest starfighter Dublin has ever known.

I’ve always been a fan of Chronicles of The Dark Saga Series books and this episode, though a departure from what we’ve seen before, represents a new start for O’Danielson. I give it 87%. – Will Self,  book reader and writer.

Woe betide, my sweet nightwatchman – Caltech N’guyun (ClaspDeHanso/Mopress)

From the dark streets of Calcutta, New Mexico to the familier skyline of Alfred Nobel, Caltech N’guyun’s new novel takes the reader on an epic journey of emotion, understanding and travel.

Like her previous work, Lufthansa By Proxy, Woe Betide... is more a thinkpiece than a novel; more a treatise than a story. And yet it is all these things and more.

Have you ever read a book, and then not been sure if you’re read it, and so read it again? It’s a bit like that, only in a good way. – Phillip Schofield, puppeteer.

Diaspora Christofferson – Vimto del Naja (Asparagus)

The Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace: The Expanded Visual Dictionary gives you everything you want to know about the story. This expanded edition has a fresh new design throughout and includes 32 brand new pages with more photos, more details and more amazing facts. Find out all about the creatures, weapons, and equipment from Episode I. From podracers to Gungan battle equipment and droidekas. Come face-to-face with key characters from Anakin and Queen Amidala, to Chancellor Valorum and the comical Jar Jar Binks.

Great book – my 6 year old son just loves it, especially as it has a picture of Darth Maul on the front and my Son is obsessed with Darth Maul :-) – David Attenborough, human



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4 Reasons Why Bernie Sanders http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/02/4-reasons-why-bernie-sanders/ http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2016/02/4-reasons-why-bernie-sanders/#comments Fri, 19 Feb 2016 20:19:49 +0000 http://blog.mikecongreve.com/?p=260 1) Bernie Sanders


2) Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

3) Bernie Sanders


4) NOT Bernie Sanders


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Unanswered Questions In Star Wars: The Force Awakens http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2015/12/unanswered-questions-in-star-wars-the-force-awakens/ http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2015/12/unanswered-questions-in-star-wars-the-force-awakens/#comments Mon, 21 Dec 2015 22:38:51 +0000 http://blog.mikecongreve.com/?p=253 You’ve had well over 3 days to watch the new film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the 7th in the epic series of films about Jedi who do fights in space. The film, directed by JJ Abrams, is wildly heralded as a return to form for the series which has been much maligned since George Lucas’ misadvised Ewoks: Caravan of Courage.

But great though the new film is – 93% – there are still many unanswered questions about the film. Some of those may well be answered in the upcoming Episode VIII, but some might remain mysteries.

1) Who is Han Solo’s father?

Lineage is so important in the way the force manifests itself in the Star Wars galaxy. We know who Luke and Leia’s father is – Darth Vader. We know who Boba Fett’s father is – Jango, We even know who Wedge Antilles’ father is – Alan de Bottain. But one of the great unanswered mysteries of the whole saga is the nature of Han Solo’s father.

2) Who is Admiral Ackbar’s father?

Veteran of the great battle of Endor, Admiral Alan “It’s a Trap” Ackbar’s ancestry is not touched on at all in The Force Awakens. Was his father a Jedi? A pilot? Or maybe a librarian? Perhaps he always dreamed of being a dancer, or maybe he disguised himself as a woman to see his estranged family. It’s never touched upon. Ackbar remains a fishy enigma.

3) Who is Luke Skywalker’s father?

I just realised after I’d started writing this one that it was explained the the Empire Strikes Back and I’d forgotten until I wrote the paragraph for number 1.

4) Who is Princess Leia’s father?

Yeah sorry done this one

5) What’s the deal with that bit where Han goes to live with the Amish people?

That made no sense.

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4 Christmas Mistakes You Are Making http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2015/12/4-christmas-mistakes-you-are-making/ http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2015/12/4-christmas-mistakes-you-are-making/#comments Mon, 14 Dec 2015 21:46:54 +0000 http://blog.mikecongreve.com/?p=250 1) Opening your presents early with a lion

While it’s exciting that Christmas is coming, opening your presents early with a lion spoils it for everyone.  Christmas is a special time for families and part of the tradition of that is opening presents together, away from a lion. Lions do not appreciate Christmas as many of them are Jewish.

2) Forgetting To Fully Defrost The Turkey With A Lion

Uh-oh! Forgetting to defrost the turkey is a common error at Christmas. After all, most meat we buy will defrost quite quickly, but a massive turkey requires quite a long time to fully thaw out. If it’s not fully defrosted, it may not cook properly and nobody wants food poisoning at Christmas! Also remember the turkey must be kosher, for the lion.

3) Buying terrible presents for everyone; getting them mauled by a lion

Some people are gifted with a supernatural instinct for gift buying. They scour the shops for that perfect gift, and then find it. The rest of us often end up buying those boxes with shower gel and deodorant or whatever from Boots.  But getting the wrong brand can cause real problems with children, for whom the right gift is vital. What if they ask for a Playstation and you buy them a pair of sandles – easily done in today’s world. Also, there is a lion.

4) Watching the Queen’s Speech with a lion

Lions are staunch republicans. They will heckle the Queen and eat your legs.


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Top 6 Presentation Mistakes You Might Be Making Now http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2015/12/top-6-presentation-mistakes-you-might-be-making-now/ http://blog.mikecongreve.com/2015/12/top-6-presentation-mistakes-you-might-be-making-now/#comments Wed, 02 Dec 2015 21:44:32 +0000 http://blog.mikecongreve.com/?p=240 Giving presentations in front of your colleagues and clients is an important skill for anyone in business from cleaner to CEO, but not all of us are instinctively skilled at it. For example, a recent survey from Company Magazine blamed 78% of work absences and 19% of heart attacks as a result of poor work presentations. Heed these tips – the tips that Obama, Jobs and even Space Hitler used to rise to the top.


1) Not using someone’s name

People love the personal touch. Remembering people’s names makes them feel important. When giving a work presentation, remember to look everyone in the eye and say their full name 3 times before moving onto the next person. A recent study for TeenCorporation Magazine stated that not mentioning everyone’s name makes 37% of people uncontrollably angry and 5% violently sick.

2) Do not use Pie charts

What do you think this is? The 1980s? Nobody even eats pies any more, let lone makes pie charts. The best way to show proportions of a total in diagrammatical form is using a puppet show or interpretive dance.


3) Nudity

Nudity is inappropriate in most non-nude business situations.

4) Morrissey

Despite being beloved by Smiths fans, and producing many classic  hits throughout the following 2 decades,  Morrissey is  not experienced at business presentations and will insist on using pie charts and being racist

Presentations -3 c

5) Going on and on about your shiny pants

Nobody cares! Get to the business figures, man!

6) Going back to the original Greek.

Not everyone needs to know the original Greek to fully understand the New Testament passage you are expounding. In fact, you’re kind of second-guessing the scholars who have done the translating and are probably better at it than you. By all means, have other translations to hand to get a great angle on it, but you don’t need to bore your colleagues with it.

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