scribbles tagged ‘news’

heat wave level 3

Friday, July 19th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

The UK ‘Met office’ has announced that we’re having  a ‘Level 3’ heat wave, with associated Health warnings. Roads are melting and railway tracks are buckling. The next warning level is a national emergency. Gosh. Whatever the temperature, Britain is quite a humid place, 88 today. It reminds me of my trip to North Carolina in June 2006 when I was advised to only fuel the car in the evening and not to ‘paint’ anything.

I’m indulging in lashings of ginger beer. Yummy.

The Blue Nile capture the mood beautifully

heat wave level 3
1 vote rating 5

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BBC’s ambiguous title outbreak

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

New York baby delivered after car crash kills parents – precocoius new-born commits patricide!

Shark kills number 100 million annually. That’s one murderous shark!

Keep them coming BBC – they work to make me read the full news article.

BBC’s ambiguous title outbreak
1 vote rating 5

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cant be bovvered

Monday, November 19th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

4 pony-tails(superciliousness warning)

I’m one of the minority that voted in the Police commissioner elections. The Guardian reports the elections as having the worst turnout ever. It’s hardly surprising. Prior to normal local elections candidates will canvas voters, promote their positions  and encourage people to engage with the system.

In advance of this election I received an election card through the post. It didn’t contain any information about how to find out more about the candidates. What? I have to actually do my own research?!

Just providing the right type of information isn’t enough. A capitalistic society sells ideas, products, to its consumers. The candidates were not sold to the voters. This is totally counter to the expectations of the electorate.  How could anyone expect this system to work within a developed capitalist system? It’s hardly surprising there was such a low turn-out. It shouldn’t be news.

I’m very grateful for my ability, right, to vote. I will show my appreciation for this right by using it wisely. I did my research and found a succinct central information source that pointed to candidates own web pages, twitter feeds and provided a summary personal statement for each candidate. Really easy to find local candidates by entering my post-code. Excellent service. Research was easy and left me feeling adequately equipped to make an informed decision.

The low election turnout suggests that my belief in my social responsibility (to put thought and effort into exercising my vote) is not a common belief.

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3rd time unlucky for the big town

Thursday, March 15th, 2012 | tags: , ,  |

Mother ReadingOnce again, for the 3rd time, Reading town’s bid to become a city has failed. Reading town suffers from city appraisal anxiety

I rather like living in such a well-endowed town, though many  townsfolk seem to have a chip on their shoulder about Reading repeatedly not being made a city. Big town even sounds good like ‘Big heart’ or ‘Big ted

According to the BBC’s description of the recent bid Reading town was a bookies favourite to win city status. Our local ‘civic leaders’ believe that attaning city status will provide Reading town with ” huge economic, cultural and social benefits to the area, as well as a jobs boost.”

I wonder what has changed for the people in the towns that were promoted to cities for the Millenium and in 2002?  Have Brighton and Hove, Wolverhampton, Inverness, Preston and Newport all experienced HUGE cultural, social and economic growth since achieving city status?

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fashionable femininity is abusive

Sunday, January 15th, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

Attempting to conform to current femininity fashions such as displaying large breasts is both

  • expensive – financially and emotionally
  • dangerous for your health – mentally and physically

The UK for-profit organisation that supplied most of the PIP breast enlargement implants (made from industrial grade silicon) does not have the resources to rectify it’s mistake by removing the 14,000 implants and ‘reconstructing’ the deformed breasts. The NHS will not remove implants until after they have malfunctioned. That means that they will wait until the woman is injured before they will take safety surgery – they will not repair, they will just remove the leaking implant.

The mainstream media covers this from a ‘faulty goods’ supplied perspective, acknowledging that the recipients of PIP implants are experiencing distress and pain and that PIP was naughty for breaking the law and not using medical grade silicon. None of the mainstream media I’ve found has dared to comment on the socio-cultural environment that first drove these women to choose the physical pain and risk of major surgery to change thier bodies. This is a critical causal precursor for the existence of an industry that makes money out of mutilating women, a critical part of the story. Removing this industry would remove the possibility of faulty goods in the first place  – remove the pain and the risk.

Meanwhile, the internet provides alternative news style stories, for example, The London Feminist refers to the illegal practices of the Harley Medical group and how they explicitly leverage (illegal) advertising to promote their for-profit services. It’s good to find intelligent, well researched, alternative news stories but sad that feminist perspectives rarely seep into mainstream media storylines

Today this tragedy, one of many perpetuated against women, leaves me feeling:

  • Sadness for, and anger on behalf of, the many women around the world who were given PIP implants in their attempt to conform with current fashion.
  • Relief that I chose to accept the lesser risk of ongoing abuse for not aspiring to conform to femininity fashions
  • Guilt that I am surviving without the fashion trappings of femininity when others are suffering more than I….


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Magazines provide legitimisation for rapist’s excuses

Saturday, December 31st, 2011 | tags: ,  |

 The text of British ‘lads mags’ is more derogatory to women than descriptions of women produced by convicted rapists

The research study has been reported in many British tabloid newspapers. I’ve picked three sources as good overviews of the actual research:

  • Jezebel “Can You Tell The Difference Between A Men’s Magazine And A Rapist?” –  feminist reporting that actually includes some of the descriptive statements that were used in the research, which do you think are from rapists or popular British magazines?
  • University of Surrey press – “Are sex offenders and lads’ mags using the same language?” – Press release by the University employing the researchers who conducted the research
  • British Psychological Society“lads mags may echo hostile sexist attitudes” – Research summary for the qualified psychologist audience

Distressing. Not suprising. The magazine text both reflects existing and help to form the attitudes of both men and women towards women. The results resonate with my eperience of discourses in pubs, shops, on trains and at work

What can we do to break this cycle of attitudes and behaviours that legitimise the treatment of women as sexual objects, slaves? Dr. Hegary’s proposed solution of ‘Education’  is a vague. I don’t know the solution, I hope that those people who see the problem can speak out in public forums with convincing arguments and humour that empower all of us to have healthy relationships and treat each other with respect as equals. In my view of the world everyone has a moral responsibility to speak out against the mal-treatment of others.

The objectification of women is nothing less than an international humanitarian disaster


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to boldly go

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011 | tags: ,  |

Every now an then I like to poke my not-insubstantial nose into places it’s not used to going. On Thursday in a Sheffield bar I thumbed through a copy of a popular UK tabloid newspaper – The Daily Mail. Thursday is the ‘Femail’ edition, pressumably to appeal to a female audience.

The focus is on womens’ looks, insecurities, and illegal beviours.

Women - fraudsters and invisble at 46For example, on this one page we see women descirbed as:

1) achieving by looking younger or f***king football team managers

2) fraudsters

3) invisible when older than 46

This page is just one example. The paper was replete with items like how Lady Diana would look if she were still alive, how belly-button piercings look on celebrity women, how women wimbledon tennis players look below par.

I was flaberghasted with every page. Not just because of this kind of singular, viciously derogatory, storyline is actually published. There will always be people who hate women and use this type of story line to express it.

The really saddening bit is

  • how many people will read (4,705,000) and perhaps believe this
  • the shere volume of articles published in one edition that are simplistic variations on one theme
  • the hate exuding text is actually aimed directly at a female readership

The realisiation of quite how soundly installed overt mysongeny is, even amongst women, is sickening.  I’m lucky enough to mix with people who at least believe they are not mysogenistic.

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opium fields of Didcot

Thursday, June 16th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

Every summer I marvel at the beauty of the Oxfordshire poppy fields. I drive through them on my work commute. Not stopping to wonder why farmers are growing poppys. Not until today.

The Daily Mail tells how the poppies are supplying the NHS with the morphine to overcome the shortage caused by the Afghanistan war. Afghanistan was a major poppy producer. NHS Morphine grown in the UK is now used for soldiers injured in Afghanistan. Now these fields remind me of Dorothy falling asleep in the flower fields before the Emerald city, Kansas, the USA.

There are some ornamental poppy’s in the wendy house garden. I had been pondering on how to use them beyond ornamentation. Poppyseed bread perhaps? Some athlete’s who failed drug tests due to trace levels of morphine have blamed poppyseed bread for the drug’s presence.

While searching for ways to use my poppys I was suprised to find very detailed instructions with photographs describing how to harvest and refine opium.  I wont be piloting these instructions. Honest, really, no really….

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can you improve cemetery junction?

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

A4 going east approaching Cemetery JunctionCan you improve Cemetery Junction?

Is it so gorgeous that any changes are more likely to ruin its existing gorgeousity?

Is it so icky that people have given up hope of being able to improve it without first obliterating it?

The question raises all sorts of emotionally charged, creative, cynical, optimistic, pragmatic and other reactions from people who live near, or pass through, the infamous local junction of the A4 (London Road) and A329 (Kings/Wokingham Road).

A local councilor, Rob White, is working with local action groups to improve the Cemetery Junction area. At the moment he’s consulting with locals. The co-op has a big cardboard suggestions box decorated with a collage of magazine pictures of pretty things. Excellent stuff. It made me feel like being back at school where having a go was important, encouraged and easy.

I’m loving the humour and creativity evident in this summary of suggestions to improve cemetery junction made on a ‘Get Reading’ news article:

  • i’m thinking giant dinosaurs
  • how about a cinema or a roller disco?
  • Napalm
  • Make it a spooky theme park
  • How about a monorail?
  • A small tactical thermo-nuclear device
  • Bit of paint and a clean should do it….or if you really wanna prettify it, hanging baskets
  • An underpass
  • make a big roundabout where resturant is
  • Nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure
  • re-install the gallows that used to stand on the site now occupied by The Granby? It might act as a deterrent to the hoodies and wannbie gangsters in that area
  • What about an H Bomb?
  • Prevent shop keepers and traders from parking cars and vans on the pavements
  • The overhanging bushes on the London Rd side need trimming… …new paving and signage
  • can’t be improved – its a dead loss
  • A Tesco supermarket each side of the road, with a couple of Tesco Expresses sprinkled around Liverpool and Cholmeley Roads
  • big ornamental archway would brighten up the area considerably
  • Give me some explosives and a bulldozer and Ill give you instant results. Guaranteed
  • Zombie Apocalypse
can you improve cemetery junction?
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play me, I’m yours

Saturday, April 30th, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

IY 1Jac Malloy posted this picture in my flickr group ‘Piano’s place in public

This is one of 16 placed around the city of Austin (Texas) as part Luke Jerram’s Street Piano’s project and Austin’s Art Week. The Street piano’s project has placed over 400 pianos with the simple instruction ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ in cities around the world.

The piano’s are decorated by local artists, anyone can play them for as long as they want. On this blog post a young family plays on a bridge for kayakers and joggers. The pianos in public give people smiles, strangers talk to each other, people dance, people pull-out thier isolating headphones and listen to the people nearby. So very beautiful.

A statesman article reports:

Each piano’s location was strategically chosen, Walker said, so that one piano is often within earshot of another. He said he hopes people playing will be able to respond to one another, a sort of call-and-return musical duet traveling above the hubbub of an increasingly growing city. A professional tuner is assigned to each instrument to make sure all remain in working condition for the duration of the exhibit.

But the exhibit goes further than simply adding a little flavor to downtown street corners. It is mostly designed to change the way people relate to their urban environments and to instigate a sense of ownership within local residents about where they live.

People grow used to how their cities and local environments look and feel, Walker said. “Play Me, I’m Yours,” draws people’s attention so that they can no longer ignore their surroundings, he said. The point of the exhibit is to disrupt that familiarity with both music and the curious presence of an instrument typically seen in people’s homes

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bulllying is a leadership quality

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

The UK’s National Bullying Helpline (Charity) cited  number 10 Downing Street as being a place where  the bullying of 4 staff members happened.   Who did it?   The main assumption appears to have been that the Prime Minister is a bully.  

The reaction of members of the labour party to the accusation of bullying at 10 downing street probably demonstrates something of British attitudes toward bullying.     I’m not impressed.    These are the  responses I’ve heard so far.

  • Not me.   Gordon Brown is my friend, he’s never bullied me.   The most common response from Labour party members.
  • Not Witnessed.     I’ve never seen or even thought of  Gordon bullying anyone.    For example, the BBC  reports Alan Johnson as saying “ in 17 years he had “never” heard Mr Brown raise his voice”.   The Telegraph  cites Ed Balls as saying “I’ve known Gordon Brown for 20 years and at no point has it ever occurred to me that Gordon Brown is or would ever be a bully”
  • Honest behaviour.   I’d rather be lead by a real person who has weaknesses and shows them than by someone calmly insincere. For example, part of this argument is illustrated by the Telegraph  citing Gordon’s wife Sarah as saying “‘What you see is what you get”   While this is not the dominant discourse it has been expressed by several individuals and news papers.
  • Expected behaviour. Gordon’s got a tough job, tensions run high, he cares about what he does, people should expect that he’s going to loose his temper and shout sometimes.
  • Desired behaviour. Bully’s have the qualities to be exceptional leaders you don’t want a wuss leading the country.   For example, the Telegraph  cites Ed Balls as saying “constituent…     …would say he gets things done, he is tough, he is a leader, and that’s what we need.’
  • Desired behaviour. Supporters actually demonstrating that bullying behaviour is acceptable. For example, in the Telegraph:   ”I think this attack on him by this prat of a woman down in – where’s she from, Swindon? – I think that’s backfiring on her”

The BBC is one of the few sources that mentions Downing Street’s processes for dealing with bullying, calling it “rigorous” but providing no evidence of the process or rigor.  

I’ve set up an anti-bullying hotline for the fluffballs but they still persist, Sampo ambushes Matrix on her way to the food bowl and Matrix pushes Sampo out of all the best sleepy spots.   My rigorous processes have failed to ameliorate the problem.

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kitty litter cover-up

Monday, January 11th, 2010 | tags: , , , , ,  |

There is a national shortage of kitty litter.

The National press are conspiring to supress this story.  Some regional press are sneaking out reports. The Burton press managed  this excerpt:

Tesco, on St Peter’s Bridge, sold out of cat litter on Thursday as customers grabbed supplies to use as a handy and effective substitute for gritting salt. Sales have rocketed by 70 per cent in a week.

The East anglia times noted panic purchase of pussy essentials

Customers at Tesco stores in Kesgrave and Martlesham are reporting a shortage of eggs, bread and milk, while there was also word of rapidly emptying shelves at Sainsbury’s in Warren Heath.   Anti-freeze products, boots and thermal underwear have also proved popular, alongside a surprise best-seller – cat litter.

Local councils are running out of grit for the roads so private citizens are stepping-up to fill the void left by the hording and abusing of  the litter of the cat.   This reduces supplies for normal cat toilet abilities.   There could be unanticipated consequences.

Your eyewitness, on the spot, roving reporter  [ME!]  is out and about interviewing the kitties that matter, those  suffering from this very shortage.

In this revealing interview footage we listen to

  • a vey frustrated, unlittered cat
  • icicles melting
  • the police sirens as they chase people deliberately over-purchasing kitty litter for elicit purposes

sinkingMatrix has difficulty walking on the snow and fails to find an acceptable toilet.     Her experience is similar to that of many of the UKs mainly outdoor kitties.

What will happen next?

How can I improvise when my stocks run out and my indoor kitties refuse to conduct their ablutions in the snow. OH!

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car neige

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , , , , ,  |

3pm. Somewhere near Didcot. 21st December

How sensible am I,   starting my journey back to Reading?
Unbeknownst to me, Reading had already come to a standstill
The Reading Chronical had already published the standstill*

6pm. Pangbourne. 21st December

Gridlock in PangbourneThis is where I encountered the full car neige,   the tail end of the traffic trying to get into Reading.   The traffic standing still,   sliding sideways, not yet abandoned.   Local radio traffic news talked  50 yards taking 2 hours to cover.   Urrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhh……

Across the next hour I called and consulted with multiple friends. The phone network was often too busy to connect my calls.   Despite the presense  of many car drivers I felt very alone.    My calm sensible friends and I agreed that I needed to get off the road quickly and get shelter for the night.

Elephant Hotel Bar, Pangbournewendy: do you have any spare rooms for the night?

receptionist: stranded?

wendy: yes, well, um, yes

receptionist: we have one room left,   would you like a toothbrush with that?

wendy: OH! (signifying relief at getting a room and supportive receptionist) Yes please, thank you, I was turned away from the hotel down the road, a toothbrush!   how thoughtful

Handsome Other Guest (HOG): we’re stranded too,   I’ve only got a hammer and some ski poles in the boot of my car,   maybe we can do a deal over the toothbrush?

wendy: I’ve got a blanket in my car, we could build something like a tent with the poles and hammer.   Not sure where the toothbrush comes in

HOG: (Huge smile then turns to receptionist) table for 6 please

receptionist: we’re waiting for the chef to get in before we finalise the menu,   we’ll try and feed everyone

HOG: Table for 6?   Can you put me on the waiting list

Butcombe beerClearly the snow car chaos called for some serious parking-up and a pint of Butcombe.   My party for one joined a few other party’s for one and we all shared stories of family, cars, hills, walking, the IT industry  and other topical faerie tales.

*  the exceptional Number 17 bus was still on the move, albeit erratically.

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Elephant in the news item

Friday, November 13th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

The red arrows jet display team  have selected a  female pilot,   for the first time,   in 2010.   This is NEWS.    

Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, in 1928,   she was
the second person to fly solo across the Atlantic, in 1932, and the first person  to fly solo from Hawaii to California, in 1935.

Why do we think women were excluded from the Red arrows before 2010?  There is an elephant in the news item.

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glis glis invasion

Friday, September 4th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

When the wind blows the slates on the Wendy House roof rattle,   or could it be something else?

On a hot day the Wendy House roof timbers creak, or could it be something else?

Picture of a Glis Glis hosted on the Daily Mail website

Picture of a Glis Glis hosted on the Daily Mail website

According to an article in the Mail,   edible doormice are invading the home counties,   first introduced to Tring by the 2nd Baron Rothschild.

Luckily the Wendy House is out of the current glis glis play grounds and if they do come here I wont be spending a fortune on pest control services to remove them,   I’ll just put the fluff balls in the attic for a wee bit of fun every now and then.

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no intended disrespect

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

after putting on the kettle for my morning cup of tea,   much as I always do, I turned the TV on to the BBC Breakfast news,   much as I always  do.   The words below are approximate   just the gist because I don’t remember the details:

  • someone on TV:     This will be moment that you will remember vividly for a long time
  • someone-else on TV   Like the day Lady Diana died

My attention is grabbed,   Indeed Lady Diana’s death was memorable for me:

8am Sunday morning,   tent taken down and packed in the boot of the car,  tired and sad,   I started driving from the Yorkshire Dales to Portsmouth via London  with only a radio for company.   All the BBC radio channels played a short loop of music and provided no other news than a regular announcement of Lady Diana’s death.   After a couple of hours, hoping the loop would stop, I turned the radio off and drove through the mist and rain accompanied only by the noise of my own sad thoughts.     The BBC TV followed a similar format:

With no intended disrespect,   I suspect that I’ll forget all the uniqueness of the moment that I head Michael Jackson had died.

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mail news server in multinational corporation

Thursday, April 9th, 2009 | tags: ,  |

Workplace provided reading material
This fully trained corporate server IT specialist spends her spare time decorating newdspaper pages purchased for the coffee room of a forward thinking,   diversity aware,   equal-opportunity-implementing  corporate office.  

Well done that IT specialist for making your spare time work for you by selling views on your hardware that conforms to current male tastes in buffer stacks.   With your good IT job you can probably even afford to sculp your hardware to keep up with evolving fashions in male tastes.     How clever you are.  

I wish I knew how to manage the deployment and maintainance of  multiple mail servers.

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unforseen in Reading

Saturday, November 29th, 2008 | tags: ,  |

unforseen The Reading Chronical reports that the astrology section could not be published due to unforseen circumstances.   The Reading chronical clearly has a very highly developed sense of humour,   excellent!

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impulsive Waites

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

The Observer,   also known as The Gaurdian, reports that:

Reading is ‘worse than Beirut’, claims Terry Waite

Former hostage Terry Waite stunned Women’s Institute members in Reading by telling them that dealing with their town’s traffic was worse than being held captive for almost five years, after being delayed on his way to speak to them.

Do I think  Terry is  exaggerating a bit at the detriment of our glorious town’s already overly maligned reputation?  

RUSH hour traffic in ReadingOH YES!  

The town traffic may indeed be a bit slower than the executive’s posh car, or Fiat Panda,  can travel.    It is, however,  a reasonable, leisurely, pace for the good and even-tempered people of the town to go about their honest toil.  

Even the BBC doesn’t cite Reading’s roads as  main UK traffic  black spots.   No wonder those members of the Women’s Institute were stunned to hear such ill considered twaddle uttered from a professional public speaker and humanitarian.  


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News: people hate girls

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

Just incase there is any residual doubt amongst my readers that generally women are not considered praiseworthy,  or  enabled to take-on prasieworthy roles beyond  those condoned by patriarchal values,  the BBC reported an analysis that confirms that celebrity females are more likely to be HATED and less likely to be LOVED than celebrity males:

In a nutshell, despite years of equal opportunities, the media – and the people who watch and read – prefer the stay-at-home mother over a woman who lives her life in public, particularly one who is overtly ambitious or successful in making money. There is great satisfaction among many people in seeing them humbled

I do hope no one is terribly suprised or shocked by this result.

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justified force

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

Excerpt from BBC article:

A woman who was seen being punched by a police officer in CCTV footage has said she is disappointed after it was confirmed he will not face charges.

Punching a female suspect (guilt undetermined) five times  while the suspect  is on the floor after having fallen down a flight of  stairs,  while colleagues watch,  is legally acceptable according to the ‘Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)’ who stated that the police officer being investigated used

“justified and proportionate force”    

Watch the BBC  video  footage  which includes a brief explanation of legitimate subdue techniques that include punching.   I had naively believed that the Police are trained to act  in concert to  restrain suspects using a range of effective techniques prior to resorting to  punching.    

The BBC article is at pains to state that the victim boes not think she has been racially abused.   Unsuprisingly, whether this is an act of hate against females is not raised.

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news: wendy is a fake woman (crash*)

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

Sunday Times and   online Times article ‘Sex and the Sixities’    by India Knight includes the following rousing calls to womanhood:

the essence of modern womanhood, the one hard-to-define component that makes us all want to cheer the loudest…”   is   “…possibility that we may, at 62, perhaps look like Helen Mirren in a bikini

a 62-year-old woman looking hot, properly hot, not hot for her age or hot as in fanciable, even though you know you shouldn’t is a thing that simply can’t be celebrated enough.”

‘Mirren in her red bikini says more, more succinctly, about what women want and can achieve than any amount of turgid feminist preaching ever could’

Gosh,  I don’t think I know people  who think spending time and skill to dress for the occasion is shallow,   but India thinks  that view might be held by some Times readers  because she considerately quashes it “if you think that’s shallow, I would humbly posit that you understand nothing at all about real women’s hopes and ambitions.”   Trying to following India’s  humble  reasoning,   leads to the suspicion that if I don’t want to look like Helen Mirren in a Bikini then  I may not be  a real woman,   Ooops!   I think I may have fallen over.

Apparently the social construction of ‘woman’ once meant “no longer being a girl, which translated into bad clothes, bad hair, bad make-up and, if you were especially unfortunate, a bad figure.”   and “Worse, having reproduced meant that in the eyes of society you no longer existed as a sexual being“.  It seems that  India believes promoting yourself as a ‘sexual being’  , sexbot, should be an aspirational goal  for real women and it is equated to looking young. If you don’t look sexy you look old.   Whhhooooops!   I definitely fell over this time.

India’s view also implies that, normal,  aspiring real women have no financial or legal obstacles to not looking youthful and sexy because ‘deregulated’‘  ‘minor surgical procedures’  are ‘nothing that is outside most people’ league’ .   It is all part of the groundwork for achieving ‘a triumphant assertion of easy, carefree femininity’.    While fake women should embrace the freedom and “life-changing power of hair dye“.    As a self-identified, terminally-fake, woman I  “might know better if they [I] made an attempt at living in the real world“.   Maybe downtown Reading is actually a figment of my nasty, demented, Ivory-tower, imagination?    Deary me,   I   must get out more and take my zimmer-frame.

If ‘looking good’ is primarily equated to looking youthful and sexy I have no intention of developing an interest.  or skill,  in it.   When  looking good is constructed to promote  wrinkles and twisty silver hairs  ideally with a dash,   or spring, of surrealist creativity,   then I’ll be swinging my funky-stuff with the melting clocks  but not with the  people who aspire to portray themselves as sexbots.

For now,    if I place myself in India’s analytical framework I find that  I am:

  • Preaching (turgid?) feminism.
  • intelligent, a  blue stocking.
  • a frump because  I don’t pride myself in being fashionable.
  • Living in an ivory tower (in Reading).
  • not recognising the equivalence of the value of having a face-lift with the right to paid maternity leave.

At least India has clearly given me the escape route to achieve real-woman status that luckily I can choose not to aspire to,   I must

  • maintain my already abundant confidence.
  • promote my sexual potential.
  • develop and interest in whatever the current fashion defines as looking good.
  • have minor surgical procedures so that I can look good in a bikini.
  • Die my hair.

Unlike Alan’s outstanding advice I wont be aligning the value-set outlined in India’s article.

* the sound of me and my zimmer-frame colliding with the ground when dropping out of our Ivory tower.

news: wendy is a fake woman (crash*)
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excusable violence

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

According to get Reading:

She then fled downstairs and tried to call 999, but he grabbed the phone off her and punched her twice in the face.   She began screaming so he put his arms around her neck so she couldn’t breath”   she was “in fear of her life” and “honestly believed she might die”,

This behaviour is reported as ‘out of his normal character’ and he says

“He is dreadfully upset about what has happened,”

Whether ‘in’ or ‘out’ of character he chose to stop her seeking social support (calling the police),   punch her in the face  two times  and throttle her when she tries to get support locally by screaming.   He could have chosen  to ignore her or do a silly dance.    It was his choice and he did choose extreme violence.    Evidently he ‘lost it’ (self-control?).   Lost it  appears to be part of  a socially acceptable storyline to excuse violence.   Psychologists label loss of control as a psychological  disorder  and use it to explain the curiously termed  domestic violence.    

perpetrators of domestic violence  rarely receive adequate psychological treatment, because they are viewed as criminals, rather than individuals with psychological problems.

In the above case the offender got a suspended sentence and fined the cost of a good night out,   60 quid.   No requirement for a psychological assessment or treatment with the fine hardly touching the actual expense of the social services his behaviour  drew upon (e.g. Police, NHS).  

How safe do I feel in a society where the legal system thinks I can be justifiably (for 60 quid) be repeatedly punched in the face and throttled when I try to call for assistance if the agressor claims its not habitual and they regret it?      

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UK government loses parents identities

Sunday, November 25th, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

OOOOPS!   the BBC reports that the UK govenment  has  mislaid the indentity information of people who claim child-support benefit.    Everyone with a child under 16 is entitled to this benefit.  

Alistair Darling does have a fabulous name,   at school in the 1970’s my teachers referred to boy-pupils by their family name,   can you imagine referring to him as Darling in class.   Character building all around I’d say!

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News Alert. Girls like pink

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

Actually,   this  Telegraph article is used to present Professor Anya’s    personal opinion that   girls are genetically predisposed to liking pink in the context of reporting a comparative study, mislabelled as an experiment, comparing young adult male and female reported colour preferences.   The study discovered,   and hold onto your hats because you’ll be shocked by this,   that girls preferred pinker colours.       As reported, this study reveals nothing  about the genetic vs socio-cultural determinants of this disposition.   The news article does not detail the implications of the research for any practical application,   there is no clear value proposition.  

What can we conclude?

People that want to play to the visual experiences  of young adult girls  should consider wearing more pink.   Use  this knowledge  wisely.

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Rovers’s gone

Monday, May 9th, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

The MG Rover group (Rover) crawls to it’s death in April 2005. It represented the remnants of the UK’s home grown mass production car industry.

The short story is that it was gradually asset stripped by BMW and the ‘Phoenix 4’ for over a decade with questions about management competency and organisational culture.

The Long(bridge) story reads more like a Greek (Hollywood?) Epic. It moves from the UK car industry as a cottage industry through mergers to Nationalization and beyond! It covers political turmoil with the demise of Unions, evolution of ‘New Labour’ and differing government involvements in this industry. The SWP (extreme) socialists blame the ineffectiveness of Unions and Labour government for Rovers demise. There are international players (Honda) and big money wheeling and dealing buy-outs (BMW), sell-outs (BMW) and government inquiry’s. Throw in somequestionable accounting practices and an infamous controversial home-grown team “Phoenix 4” who bought the company for £10 from BMW in 2000. Add an impending pension scandal for the estimated 6,000 employees at the company, impacting even more dealerships. The impending pension scandal ensures the story will stay live for years to come. Where-as the Warkwickshire county cricket team will probably have to return their cars gained from a sponsorship deal in the near future.

The BBC reports: “An estimated 15,000-20,000 jobs in the area are supported by business from Longbridge.” Apparently there is little left of value. Even the name “Rover” was licensed from the German company BMW.

There are lots of potential hero’s and bad guys, often the same guys… …while the Local Longbridge employees are undoubtedly the worst impacted victims.

Jeremy Clarkson, provides his epitaph, uniquely in all the summaries, based on the quality of the recently produced cars.


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Birds immitate mobile phone ring-tones

Sunday, May 1st, 2005 | tags: , , ,  |

Today is International Dawn Chorus Day.

The Gaurdian newspaper reported that songbirds imitate mobile phone ring-tone back in 2003. Excerpt:

Starlings have begun to imitate the ring tones of mobile phones. Researchers at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), and in Denmark, had noticed over the past year that the birds are adapting their mating calls.

Starlings, well known as mimics, are members of the same family as the mynah bird. But until now they have limited their mimicry to that of other bird songs or, in some cases, shepherds whistling at sheep dogs. “The birds incorporate the sounds because it is believed that the richer the sound, the variety of tones it has, makes the male more attractive to the female,” says a spokesperson for the RSPB.

The phenomena was reported in Australia in 2001: Wierd news

Nature imitates technology, technology then imitates nature. As ringtone providers include Birdsongs in their repetoire.

Wendy loves-a-story-that-spirals

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Newspaper Stands

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

Charlotte, NC #2

In American cities they have brightly coloured plastic or metal newspaper dispensers. These dispensers can hold anything from free ‘events’ and ‘housing’ papers through to expensive National or international newspapers.

The photograph below shows a row of them on South Tyron St. in downtown Charlotte.

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