The Humanity Party: a manifesto

The Humanity Party: a manifesto

The European elections are around the corner, in just two days. Like many others, I am tired of all the major political parties. It’s a race to the right, with every party spouting the same anti-immigration, anti-poor rhetoric. So I put together a mini-manifesto for a political party I could believe in. Who else would vote for the Humanity Party? The Humanity Party Every person in this country, regardless of who they are or where they come from, is a human being and entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. Every person is entitled to all human rights laid out in international law. The Humanity Party believes that human rights supersede all other laws. A Humanity government would never introduce or vote in favour of legislation that contravenes or...

What I now know about warts

What I now know about warts

Warts. We’ve all heard of them; we’ve all seen them; but how many of us know what they’re all about? I realized I didn’t have a clue until I found myself the not-so-proud owner of one. In December 2011 I discovered one on my thumb. I finally shook it exactly 2 years later in December 2013, and I’d like to tell you what I learnt during that time. Warts are caused by the HPV virus. In fact, the P in HPV stands for papilloma, the medical name for warts. You may have heard of HPV as a sexually transmitted infection that’s linked to cervical cancer and throat cancer. Seems pretty terrifying? But here’s something that wasn’t clear from the outset: there’s not just one kind of HPV virus. Different kinds of HPV infect...

Ebooks for materialists

Ebooks for materialists

You probably won’t be surprised to know that I love music. I have bought over 650 albums over the last 15 or so years and my collection is still growing fast. Almost every one of those albums I have bought on CD. And yet, the first thing I do when I get a new CD is rip it so that I can listen to it in digital format on my iPod. I’ve often thought about why it is that I hold on so tightly to the physical medium, even though music is readily available and easier to acquire as digital downloads. I think it’s because I’m a massive materialist. An album doesn’t really feel like an album unless I can touch it. I like being able to flick through the album artwork and liner notes. I like the craft involved in packaging. And I like displaying...

My coming out blog post: I am polyamorous

My coming out blog post: I am polyamorous

This has been something of an open secret for some time but it’s time I came out properly. I am polyamorous, and I believe I have been all my adult life: it just took me until 3 years ago to realize it. If you’ll bear with me I’ll try to be as brief as I can but this is a subject that takes a fair bit of explaining, so this is still going to be long. Sorry! Being polyamorous basically means I don’t experience relationships as exclusive. That I sometimes have more than one relationship at the same time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. And my partner(s) also have relationships with other people with my knowledge and consent. Sometimes people say this looks like I’m afraid of commitment, but it’s really just a different kind of commitment. The...

I want to talk about immigration

Yes, this is my first blog post in a very long time. I’ve been focusing primarily on Leeds Beer Quest, which is going brilliantly and has recently hit 100 reviews! It may be my imagination, but I feel like I am hearing more and more anti-immigration rhetoric all the time. And the policies of the current government are getting more and more anti-immigration all the time. High-profile incidents recently include the “Go Home campaign” and immigration officers on the Tube randomly stopping people who look or sound foreign to ask for papers. These are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recent changes in the way the government is handling immigration to this country. What is the basis of this crackdown? Why are people becoming more hostile...

Leeds Tube map updated

Leeds Tube map updated

Update: you can now buy the Leeds Tube map as a poster for your wall! Hello visitors! See this update for v3 of the map! My Leeds Tube map was an unexpected hit on Twitter, and I even ended up being in the Yorkshire Evening Post! I also received some feedback from people who would like to see my fantasy tube support more of the population centres in Leeds. Some of the feedback was very constructive so I’ve taken the time to update it with two new lines, the East Circle, connecting settlements in East Leeds, and the West Line that connects Armley and Bramley with the rail network. I also updated the Google Map to show the real1 locations of these stations. View Leeds Tube in a larger map As before, this is released under an attribution-noncommercial licence,...

Leeds Tube map

Leeds Tube map

Update: you can now buy the Leeds Tube map as a poster for your wall! Hello visitors! See this update! Leeds is an amazing city: my favourite place I’ve ever lived. But one thing it does really badly is public transport. We have one massive railway station in the centre of town and then (with a few exceptions) the rest of the city is accessible by unreliable, expensive and unpleasant First buses. As I have got to know the city better, one thing has kept coming back to me: wouldn’t it be amazing if Leeds had a metro system? So I imagined an alternate reality where the city I love has an amazing and reliable underground railway called Leeds Tube. Leeds Tube has several lines that connect the major population centres and attractions, including the...