Key Posts Category

Human babies have lizard body parts

Lizard babies

Hey, eyeball lickers. News is that babies in the womb are possessed of extra lizard-like muscles in their hands. “Most” babies lose the lizard part before they’re born. (Where do they go?) Others take up residence in Buckingham Palace.

The journal Development says the lizard muscles are a hangover from when reptiles transitioned to mammals. Dr Rui Diogo, from the Howard University, who wrote the research, says:

“We have a lot of muscles going to the thumb, very precise thumb movements, but we lost a lot of muscles that are going to the other digits. In our evolution, we do not need them so much. Why are they there? Probably, we cannot just say in evolution, ‘Look, I will delete from scratch, from day zero, the muscle going to digits two, three, four, five and I will just keep the one going to the thumb.’ Probably it is not so easy. Probably you have to form this layer of this muscle and then it disappears on the other digits but persists on the thumbs…

“The important question for me now is, ‘What else are we missing? What will we find when all the human body is inspected at this detail during its development?”

The next King of England?

Posted: 1st, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Jews missing from union’s tribute to Holocaust Memorial Day

People walk through the concrete steles of the the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. The memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in Europe under the Nazis was created by U.S. architect Peter Eisenman and consists of an undulating field of 2,711 steles through which visitors can wander. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

You can remembers the Holocaust at the University and College Union. They are? “The University and College Union (UCU) represents over 120,000 academics, lecturers, trainers, instructors, researchers, managers, administrators, computer staff, librarians and postgraduates in universities, colleges, prisons, adult education and training organisations across the UK.”

It’s “theme” for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 is ‘Stand Together’. you might suppose the Holocaust didn’t need any theming. It’s about mass murder. But the UCU was to explore “how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups, and how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing together with their neighbours, and speaking out against oppression.” It is a “vision”.

But the vision is a little monocular. See if you can spot which people are notable by their absence from an email sent by the union:

Transscipt:

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 is ‘Stand Together’. It explores how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups, and how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing together with their neighbours, and speaking out against oppression.

On Holocaust Memorial Day 2020, will mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation by the Red Army of Auschwitz-Birkenau [sic], the largest Nazi concentration and death camp. 2020 also marks 25th anniversary of the Bosnian genocide (1998-1995).

Trade unions, including social democrats and communists, were amongst many groups who were persecuted by the Nazi following Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. Other groups persecuted included:

Europe’s Roma and Sinti people
‘asocials’ which included beggars, alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes and pacifists
black people
disabled people – those with physical as well as mental illness
freemasons
gay and lesbian people
Jehovah’s Witnesses
non-Jewish Poles and Slavic POWs.

‘Non-Jewish people’ – and not to mention’ Jewish’ people. The union website site does mention that 6 million Jews were murdered. But its very odd – more than a little remiss – to fail to mention them in the list of victims, which appears on the website thus:

Never forget. Please try not to.

Image: People walk through the concrete steles of the the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. The memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in Europe under the Nazis was created by U.S. architect Peter Eisenman and consists of an undulating field of 2,711 steles through which visitors can wander. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

Posted: 1st, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Set the language police on our MPs

boris johnson

Have you called the language police on Boris Johnson? You might need to wait a while because a few others could be getting the knock first. Johnson has been upbraided for saying the best way to honour Jo Cox, the MP murdered by a man who yelled “Britain first” as he killed her with a gun and a knife, is “to get Brexit done“. He will not stop using the words “surrender bill” to explain the act MPs pushed through to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Labour MP Paula Sheriff demanded Johnson “moderate” his language and stop using the words “Surrender Act”. Referring to Jo Cox, she said: “Many of us in this place are subject to death threats and abuse every single day. Let me tell the prime minister that they often quote his words – surrender act, betrayal, traitor – and I, for one, am sick of it.” Johnson replied: “Mr Speaker, I have never heard such humbug in all my life.”

He’s pressing buttons. And many opponents are answering the call.

“The prime minister’s language and demeanour yesterday was nothing short of disgraceful,” opined Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “Three years ago our colleague Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right activist shouting: ‘Britain First. This is for Britain. The language that politicians use matters – it has real consequences. To dismiss concerns from honourable members about the death threats they receive, and to dismiss concerns that the language used by the prime minister is being repeated in those death threats, is reprehensible.”

You readers may recall Corbyn using language to case British Jews as something foreign and lacking in British decency, and calling a group who want all Jews dead his “friends“.

Corbyn’s fellow Labour MPs are also hot on language. “The use of language yesterday and over the past few weeks, such as the surrender bill,” says Jess Philips, “such as invoking the war, such as betrayal and treachery, it has clearly been tested, and workshopped and worked up and entirely designed to inflame hatred and division. I get it, it works, it is working. It is not sincere, it is totally planned, it is completely and utterly a strategy designed by somebody to harm and cause hatred in our country.”

Previously:

And here’s the Shadow Chancellor:

And another of Corbyn’s colleagues:

And to ensure all things are even, here’s Ed Davey, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats:

Can we agree that at least some of the outrage at Johnson’s language is based on political expediency.

Posted: 30th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Portland hails the end of the urinal

Portland urinals

Good news for men who like to sit down to take a wazz. The City of Portland has done away with urinals at its Portland Building. “The City of Portland banned urinals in the remodeled Portland Building,” says local station KGW. In an email to employees last February, Portland Chief Administrative Officer Tom Rinehart wrote about the gender-neutral bathrooms:

“We will continue to have gender-specific (male and female) multi-stall restrooms that are readily available to any employee that prefers to use one. But, there will be no urinals in any restroom in the building. This will give us the flexibility we need for any future changes in signage. I am convinced that this is the right way to ensure success as your employer, remove arbitrary barriers in our community, and provide leadership that is reflective of our shared values.”

Will the men up their toilet game – flush the chain; you only need a book if you run out of toilet paper; no aiming at the wall and floor- or will women be reduced – not bothering to flush and wash their hands in case whatshisface wants to chat at the sink?

Posted: 30th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Watch an octopus dream in colour

octopus dreaming

An octopus changes colours while sleeping. The US show Octopus: Making Contact opines that the captive octopus is dreaming of hunting. Bit of a guess, no? Maybe it’s dreaming of escape or an ancestral home? Dr. David Scheel enlarges:

So here she’s asleep, she sees a crab and her color starts to change a little bit. Then she turns all dark. Octopuses will do that when they leave the bottom. This is a camouflage, like she’s just subdued a crab and now she’s going to sit there and eat it and she doesn’t want anyone to notice her. …This really is fascinating. But yeah, if she’s dreaming that’s the dream.

Spotter: Laughing Squid

Posted: 29th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Captain Morgan bars Muslims from its US website?

Captain Morgan Muslim

Sorry, Muslims, no rum, sodomy and the lash for you. At least that’s the way it appeared. Last week Captain Morgan rum ran a verification check on its US website. It asked customers to tick the box to declare: “Yes, I am a non-Muslim and aged 21 years and above.”

Sir Henry Morgan (1635 – 25 August 1688), after whom the sickly sweet booze is named, was a Welsh-born privateer who encapsulated the raw energy of the birth of Jamaica. On his first official trip to the Caribbean island, he shipped with “hectors and knights of the plague, lewd person and thieves”. It’s not known if any of the lads were Muslim. But Morgan was just twenty on that trip to storm the Spanish in Jamaica – so no rum for him.

Alerted to the oddity, a spokesperson for Captain Morgan went on the record: “Over the weekend, a misconfiguration on our age-gating files for our US Captain Morgan website meant that people were shown our United Arab Emirates age gate window in error. In the United Arab Emirates it is commonplace for alcohol brands to request verification of this kind, in addition to age-gating, in line with UAE alcohol licensing requirements. We corrected this as quickly as possible.”

Captain Morgan and his shipmates would have lasted two minutes in such a dry state. But the UAE is not alone in censoring its booze. Visitors to the UK site are met with an age verification form:

“Live like a Captain,” says Captain Morgan tagline. “Unleash your inner captain.” But do so responsibly. It’s what genteel Morgan and his band of marauding cut-throats would have wanted.

Posted: 29th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Man has sex with plastic cleaning cone at Wigan train station

Phwoar!

Is nothing safe? To Wigan train station, where a man has been caught shagging a cleaning cone. He was observed abusing the facilities by a worker for Virgin Trains, natch.

The Metro reports on Trevor Smith, 38, who was “found in a lift with his trousers and undies around his ankles while thrusting his hips at the cone”. At first Mr Smith was observed with the cone upside down on his lap. He later “mounted” the cone.

Says one witness: “I have not seen anything like that in all my time working on the railway.” It’s unlikely he’s ever been to Motherwell station.

Smith, who has committed other public sex acts in the past, will be sentenced at Bolton Crown Court on Thursday, October 24.

Cleaners at the court would be well-advised to lock their tools in a safe place until after sentencing.

Posted: 29th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Stoned tuna: chef arrested for cannabis-infused fish

cannabis tuna

The Italian newspaper La Sicilia reports on a local chef arrested on suspicion of drugs dealing. The chef claimed he was testing out “new flavours”, and the two large marijuana plants and 1kg (35oz) of Indian hemp in his pantry were part of his dabbling in cannabis-infused wine, olives, coffee and tuna – all items also seized from his home near Catania.

The 50-year-old is a self-billed “agro-food consultant for third millennium cuisine”.

Meanwhile, you know ‘weed’ you bought from the guy who works in the kitchens, well, it’s oregano – probably.

Posted: 29th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Vaping marijuana – don’t panic

vaping

A conspiracy can start any number of ways. But let’s consider the Daily Mail’s news on vapes and cannabis and death. The headline is a burp of worry words: “Black market cannabis vapes are found to contain hydrogen CYANIDE amid health panic after 13 die from mysterious illness linked to e-cigs.” This one nearly has the lot: drugs, crime, a health panic and mystery. But what are the facts?

The story is based on a report by America’s NBC. Researchers bought 18 vaping cartridges containing THC, the main psychoactive compound found in marijuana. The three purchased at legal dispensaries were fine. But 13 of 15 bought from unlicensed dealers contained Vitamin E, which causes lung damage when inhaled and myclobutanil, “a pesticide that, when burned, can turn into hydrogen cyanide, a chemical that causes oxygen levels to fall and leads to death within minutes.”

The Mail links that shocker – criminals cheat! – with news that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recorded the deaths of 13 Americans with “vaping-related illnesses”.

“You certainly don’t want to be smoking cyanide,” says Antonio Frazier, the vice president of operations at CannaSafe, the company that tested the products. I don’t think anyone would buy a cart that was labeled hydrogen cyanide on it.”

Don’t be so presumptuous. People will buy anything it it’ll give them a buzz. But before we go, what is Cannasafe? “CannaSafe Analytics is committed to defining consumer safety and quality assurance standards for the cannabis industry.” It’s private concern that will test what’s in weed products – looking for such things as: excreta, hairs, aflatoxinB2, lead, pesticides and bacteria. It will also test how potent your harvest is. There is no kite mark for cannabis, but there could be. So here’s news that the people from the Cannasafe lab found that uncertified products might be harmful.

What might be causing vapers to die is unclear. Patterns are emerging – the same brands of black-market THC cropping up in reports. The black-market THC cartridges could be to blame. Which makes this story not one about am ambitious company or the perils of vaping but the sad state of the war on drugs. But instead of a debate on that debacle, we’re getting more not fewer bans. President Trump announced a Food and Drug Administration ban on flavoured e-cigarettes. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has banned the sale of vaping products at retail outlets. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes on an “emergency” basis. “Vaping is dangerous, period,” he guffed.

Well, of course it is. But it’s still less dangers than smoking cigarettes. And as for people smoking illegal, unchecked, imported Chinese cartridges of THC to get stoned – well if marijuana was legal nationwide, would that still be a sensible consumer choice?

Posted: 27th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


The best print shop on the web

George Mayerle's Eye Test charts

Delighted to say that Flashbak has new print store. It promises to the be the best print shop on the web. The print shop is edited by me, Rob Baker and Stephen Ellcock.

We’re going to be adding lots more images to it in the coming week – including great prints, calendars and cards.

Shipping worldwide from the fine art printers in London carries no extra fee – so whether you’re in New York, Nairobi or Newcastle, postage is the same price.

Image: George Mayerle’s Eye Test charts. Buy it here.

Flashbakshop.com – The best print shop on the web

Posted: 25th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Class War Death Race: Labour summon Grim Reaper for Corbyn and the Queen

Queen Donald Trump: The Don becomes Her Majesty and Vice Versa in these unsettling pictures

The Sunday Times leads with news that Jeremy Corbyn’s senior aide Andrew Fisher has resigned. Who? Fisher, we learn, was head of policy and author of the party’s last election manifesto. He’s now reportedly of the mind that Labour “will not win” a general election.

A memo apparently has him telling colleagues: “I no longer have faith we will succeed.” He says Corbyn’s team is compsite blend of a “lack of professionalism, competence and human decency”. He can no longer stomach their “blizzard of lies and excuses”. The paper also notes:

He also claimed “class war” has gripped the upper echelons of the party — a dig at Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s senior aide, who was educated at Winchester and Oxford.

The Guardianon the other hand, looks over Fisher’s CV, writing:

The 40-year-old has been a controversial figure within the Labour movement. He was suspended from Labour in 2015 for apparently supporting a Class War candidate against Emily Benn, Tony Benn’s granddaughter, in the general election, and Benn called for him to be expelled. He also appeared in a video saying he had “very violent, bloody nightmares” about hitting former Labour cabinet minister James Purnell.

Confused?

The Mirror is taking names?

Sources say only seven people had obtained the bombshell memo before it was leaked to the Sunday Times.

And spinning:

Multiple Labour sources confirmed Mr Fisher’s resignation, saying he still remained loyal to Mr Corbyn personally.

Nothing screams loyalty more than a resignation. But he did it to be loyal – honest:

A more anodyne statement was later circulated in Mr Fisher’s name saying he would resign by the end of the year to spend more time with his young family.

The Sun tells its readers:

“It comes amid rumours that the Labour boss himself, who is now 70, could quit because he’s under “incredible pressure”.

And the Times notes:

Sources say Milne and Karie Murphy, Corbyn’s gatekeeper, are also concerned Corbyn might be forced to stand down after the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigation into whether Labour is institutionally anti-semitic.

The EHRC has emails that, it is claimed, will cause resignations among Corbyn’s closest aides.

“You’d be rationally frightened of a 70-year-old man dropping down dead,” said an ally. “But the more rational fear is that only those people know what the EHRC has. When that report comes out they are all finished. It’s about planning for what happens if they get decapitated.”

Blame the Jews, then. And ditch Queen, say Labour members in YouGov poll

Form an orderly queue at the guillotines – the Sunday Times also reports: “Ditch Queen, say Labour members in YouGov poll.”

Posted: 22nd, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Royal Family | Comment


‘My sex with Prince Andrew’: Virginia Giuffre says Epstein trafficked her to the Duke

Virginia Giuffre

The story of Jeffrey Epstein’s relationship with Prince Andrew did not die when the convicted paedophile took his own life. The Sun and Mirror lead with the words of Virginia Giuffre (formerly Victoria Roberts) and her claims of sex with the Duke of York when she was 17 years old. She’s gone on the record with NBC News. She claims Epstein “trafficked” her to the duke. Prince Andrew denies “any form of sexual contact or relationship” with Ms Giuffre.

Why Epstein would have done such a thing is left limply hanging like a tired Prince Albert. Did Epstein like to rub away his minted mates’ money, titles and gongs to see the flawed, bestial human beneath – to prove in some way that they were just like him and that he belonged in their company?

Virginia Giuffre

Giuffre claims Ghislaine Maxwell, a friend of Epstein, told her: “I want you to do for him what you do for Epstein.” Ms Maxwell has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Guiffre alleges that following the directive she had sex with Andrew in the toilet at Epstein’s pad and then in the bedroom. Afterwards she says he straightened his top hat and tails and said ‘thank you’.

Giuffre says she claims she could not believe a royal could behave in such a manner. Does she expect flowers, too, from men of hereditary distinction? Cue eye rolling…

Meanwhile:

 Woman Accuses Epstein of Repeated Rapes and Assaults in New Lawsuit. “A woman at the center of sex-trafficking charges against Jeffrey Epstein filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the former financier’s estate, describing in graphic detail for the first time her alleged recruitment at age 14 to perform sex acts for him. Since Mr. Epstein’s suicide in August, at least six women have filed lawsuits seeking compensation for what they allege are damages sustained from years of sexual abuse. The suit filed in federal court in Manhattan by “Jane Doe” appears to be the first brought by one of the three unidentified minor victims featured in the criminal indictment charging Mr. Epstein in July.”

Such are the facts…

Posted: 21st, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Ben Stokes : the tabloids, murder and the right to be forgotten

the sun ben stokes

Fallout from the Sun’s story on Ben Stokes “secret family tragedy” was loud and vociferous. The cricketer and a personal hero of mine, was the subject of a story about a horrific crime that cost the lives of two of his close relatives three years before his birth.

One Twitter #DontBuyTheSun was trending. Twitter was on the side of Stokes, who used the platform to issue a reaction:

Hacked Off – “Campaigning for a free and accountable press which works for all of us” – wanted a slice of the action:

Clearly, the story was not to everyone’s taste. But to argue the story of a brutal crime is not of interest to the public is bunkum. We don’t need a gatekeeper to tell us what we are fit to know.

The Mirror and the Daily Star, both owned by Reach, picked up on the Sun’s old news. But following the blowback they deleted their online stories. The Mirror then published a story on Stokes’ “furious” comments about the Sun.

The Sun didn’t lie. It reported facts. It chose a moment when Stokes was newsworthy and a household name to publish a story 3 years told. Scoop? Not a bit of it. Sensation? Lots.

What of the Right To Forget, which ‘enables claimants to request the removal of links to irrelevant or outdated online information about them’? Was the crime so old it need not be repeated? I once received one from a convicted paedophile who wanted their name expunged from website I was editing. The argument was that they’d served their time and their name being on the web was causing them great upset. Another time, a victim of a crime asked for their name to be ‘forgotten’. Which name, if either, would you have edited from existence?

Google says:

When you make your request, we will balance the privacy rights of the individual concerned with the interest of the general public in having access to the information, as well as the right of others to distribute the information. For example, we may decline to remove certain information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.

Does the crime leading to the Ben Stokes story deserve to be forgotten? Is it unethical to repeat the case? The Sun argues:

“The Sun has the utmost sympathy for Ben Stokes and his mother but it is only right to point out the story was told with the co-operation of a family member who supplied details, provided photographs and posed for pictures. The tragedy is also a matter of public record and was the subject of extensive front page publicity in New Zealand at the time. The Sun has huge admiration for Ben Stokes and we were delighted to celebrate his sporting heroics this summer. He was contacted prior to publication and at no stage did he or his representatives ask us not to publish the story.”

Such are the facts…

Posted: 20th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


David Cameron: the cannabis years

Cameron cannabis marijuana

In 2007, it was reported that David Cameron had smoked cannabis in 1982, when the future Prime Minister and then leader of the Conservative Party was a 15 years old pupil at Eton College. The incident led to the expulsion of seven of Cameron’s peers. He was merely gated.

When asked if he’d taken illegal drugs whilst at Oxford University, Cameron told the Observer: “I had a normal university experience.” Prodded he added: “‘There were things I did as a student that I don’t think I should talk about now that I am a politician.”

That’s not to say they are irrelevant. In 2007, Cameron told media: “If it can be proved that there are real benefits, medicinal benefits and scientific evidence for it, I would be relaxed about that. My decision would be to licence it if it could be proved to have benefits.”

Fast forward to this week and Cameron is plugging his memoirs. When he went to boarding school his mum coped by “taking large dose of Valium”.

A few friends had started getting hold of cannabis. In those days it was mostly in the form of hash, typically dark brown and crumbly, although occasionally some “Red Leb”, supposedly from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, would show up. Instead of popping behind the school theatre for a fag, we started going for a joint.

Not everyone is a fortunate as Cameron. If your caught with cannabis you can get a formal (recorded) warning and a police caution. You may also be referred to the police Youth Diversion Scheme. And Cameron believes firmly in upholding the law, stating when eh was PM:

This is criminality pure and simple and it has to be confronted and defeated…If you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishment”

Unless you’re connected…

Posted: 19th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Politicians | Comment


Someone is leaving cannabis biscuits and cakes in England’s parks

marijuana art swing park

Who is baking hash cakes and dropping them on the grass? Sarah Kenny says she was walking her Jack Russell cross Max in St Helens, Merseyside, when he scampered into a bush. Later back at home he fell ill. Sarah says she smelt his vomit. “I could tell that it was chocolate which immediately raised alarm but then I smelt this really distinctive smell and I knew it was cannabis. I hadn’t seen what he’d eaten in the bush before but when he was sick we knew straight away it must have been a lot of cake.”

Meanwhile, over in Leyland, Lancashire, Sarah Eccles is taking Billy, a cavachon (King Charles cavalier and bichon frise cross) round the park. The Metro says Billy “stumbled upon a pile of discarded cookies”. The Indy says the “pile” was “two chocolate cookies lying in the grass at her local park”. Both sources see Billy on a video posted on Facebook looking very unwell. Oddly, the Daily Record delivers its story under the headline: “Mum reveals shock video of ‘stoned’ dog who almost died after eating cannabis cookie.” Not the dog’s mum, obviously, which makes her billing irrelevant. Or are mums more worried about cannabis in the bushes than other women?

The good news is Billy is ok. The bigger news is that the Indy reports “there was no indication it [the cookie] had been tested to confirm its ingredients”. But Sarah says she knew it was cannabis by the smell and “picked up one en route to the vets and returned later that night to dispose of the other”.

The identity of felons dropping space cakes in parks around the north-west of England has yet to be established.

Posted: 18th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Punching low down : The Guardian attacks David Cameron over the loss of his child

politicians with man bun putin obama bush cameron

The Guardian’s view on David Cameron’s memoirs was widely read for all the wrong reasons. For those of you who missed the toxicity, this is the cut that spread like a virus over the web. The background to the editorial sniping at Cameron’s “privileged pain” is that the former Prime Minister’s son, Ivan, died in 2009 at the age of six.

David Cameron privileged pain Guardian

Revolting stuff.

Anoosh Chakelian assesses the nastiness for the New Statesman, the Left wing political magazine that once gave full throat to “a Kosher Conspiracy” and then like many Labour Party supporters wonders how anti-Semitism went mainstream. The NS apologised for that bigotry. And the Guardian has apologised for its:

“The original version of an editorial posted online yesterday fell far short of our standards,” a spokesperson for the paper has commented. “It was changed significantly within two hours, and we apologise completely.”

Says Chakelian:

Punching up has turned into punching anyone you disagree with, and it’s everywhere – normalising online poison that is bound to spill over into mainstream formats like the Guardian’s editorial pages.

In an extract of his memoirs published in the Sunday Times, Cameron notes: “Nothing, absolutely nothing, can prepare you for the reality of losing your darling boy in this way. It was as if the world stopped turning.”

His wife Samantha told the Times in 2017 her son’s death “overshadowed everything” and rendered the outside world “meaningless”. “Like anyone else in my situation, I just kept going. You have to deal with it, because you have no choice.”


Posted: 17th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


How they created the cover of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’

Nevermind

Kirk Weddle descibes how he took that photograph for the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind album:

4-month-old baby was cast and I conducted the shoot with just his parents and a lifeguard present. I placed a camera with a motor drive , in an underwater housing, mounted on a tripod at the bottom of a pool. Since kids are always an unknown at shoots, I did several prelight and prefocus passes with a doll. Once I felt I had the framing, light, and exposure dialed in; the parents slipped the child into the water. I took seven frames on the first pass and four frames on the second. As expected, the baby started to cry, this had been the babies first time underwater, and we wrapped the shoot. The dollar bill and the fishhook were stripped in in post.

Spencer Elden was that baby. 

Spotter: life is so beautiful , Flashba

Posted: 16th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Music | Comment


Major Wank investigates severed penis

Major WAnk penis crime

To Eastern Carolina, where Victoria Frabutt, of Newport, has been charged with malicious castration. She is accused of using pair of rose pruners to separate James Frabutt from “his favorite part of himself”.

Having mentioned fornication as possible trigger for the purning, Mrs Frabutt was asked by 911 if there was much blood. “Oh no,”she replied. “Like I said, I couldn’t even get enough blood to make the sign of the cross, or write sinner, or anything like that.”

The bellend was located and put on ice. It may yet be reunited with the victim.

But the choicest cut from this story is not found in the icebox, rather in the name of the investigating officer. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Major Jason Wank.

major jason wank penis

Major Wank.

Posted: 13th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Donald Trump turns Congress blue giving three f***s at City Airport

Donal tRump buttplug

Members of US Congress used swear words such as “asshole” , “fuck”, “shit” and “bitch” 1,900 times on Twitter in 2019. That’s a tenfold rise on 2016 – before Trump’s election, the number was 193.

Can we blame Donald “grab ’em by the pussy” Trump for the coarsening of debate? What about airport bookshops?

Nick Gibb, the schools minister, is upset that “three of the top 10 ‘Airport Exclusive’ books at London City WH Smith have ‘fuck’ in the title.”

Lamentable stuff – today’s politicians are just so unimaginative:

Posted: 13th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


A doctor writes on the joy of treating the old

Dr Sayed A Tabatabai tweets as @TheRealDoctorT. At work as a nephrologist in San Antonio, Texas, a student asked him: “Don’t you wanna see young patients? Isn’t it rough seeing old people, on so many meds with so many medical problems, all the time?” His reply is worth repeating:

“For old people,” wrote Ursula K. Le Guin, “beauty doesn’t come free with the hormones, the way it does for the young… It has to do with who the person is.”

Image: Barbara Hepworth’s Hospital Drawings (1947 – 1949)

Posted: 12th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


From Leicester to Galashiels and North Pickenham, cannabis is the drug of choice

cannabis oil

Would you hide a 1kg brick of cannabis in a place where it could go up in smoke in one huge hit? Two people in Leicester have bene arrested for allegedly hiding the stash in a barbecue.

In Scotland, a man has been found living with 700 cannabis plants in a former bookmakers in Galashiels town centre. He too has been arrested.

In North Pickenham, Norfolk, police arrested a man who claims the 693 cannabis plants growing in his garden shed were to ease his chronic pain.

In Sixmilecross, Northern Ireland, police found a “cannabis factory”. A local policeman tells media: “We will continue to do everything possible to prevent the supply of drugs and identify those involved while at the same time, make people aware of the real danger posed to their health and their lives by illegal drugs.”

But not all cannabis is illegal. It’s only illegal if the State doesn’t agree that you should have it. Patients can be prescribed medicinal cannabis by specialist doctors.

With moves to legalise the drug afoot across the UK, how long before police stop arresting people for growing the drug and there’s an amnesty for anyone who has been?

Posted: 12th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Public Library receipt shows how much cheaper it is to borrow than buy books

Public Library receipt shows  how much cheaper it is to  borrow than buy books

Save the libraries. They’re one of the few place you can go and sit without needing to buying anything. And you can read the books, too. But not everyone appreciates the library until the burghers say it no longer pays and it’s gone. Staff at the Wichita Public Library understand. They’ve come up with a great way to out a price on library services and show us their monetary value.

They write:


“Every time materials are borrowed from the Wichita Public Library (WPL) customers receive a receipt showing how much they have saved in that visit, the year to date, and their lifetime savings. The information is displayed on the receipt similar to the ways that retail stores show savings to club members or coupon users…


“So far this year, the highest dollar amount saved by a customer’s account is $64,734.12. And the highest dollar amount saved by a customer’s account since this feature was implemented is $196,076.21.”

Keep your local library up by using it.

Spotter: Flashbak, Open Culture 

Posted: 11th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Money, News | Comment


Raising a penguin without ‘assigned gender roles’

penguin gender roles

Did you know you a human being can raise a penguin living in the UK without “assigned gender roles? This is not a parody (I think):

Meanwhile…on the Island of Dr Moreau

Posted: 11th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Nine things American women were banned from doing in 1971

feminism

We’ve come a long way, baby. On Twitter @WPCelebratio compiled a list of nine everyday things American women were banned from doing in 1971 (via):

Readers’ responses are illuminating:

The Telegraph looked at what women in the UK could not do in 1918:

Applying for a credit card or loan in their own name

Working in the legal profession and civil service

Inheriting and bequeathing property on the same terms as men

Claiming equal pay for doing the same work as men

Prosecuting a spouse for rape

no images were found

Posted: 11th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Dentist promises sedation – GPs doll out uppers

Dentist promises sedation

Where America leads, the UK follows. Look out, then,. for a dentist advertising sedation. Rob Beschizza saw a sign of the times:

Driving near Pittsburgh, PA, my wife Heather noticed this excellent billboard featuring a woman saying “Scared of the dentist? No, I called and got SEDATED!”.

The chemical cosh is wielded with abandon. A Public Health England review at the end of March 2018 found that half of people prescribed strong painkillers, antidepressants and sleeping tablets had been on them for at least 12 months.

Drugs UK

The numbers of people being fed these drugs are huge:

Nearly 12 million people took drugs such as antidepressants, sleeping pills and painkillers between 2017 and last year,

Worrying stuff.

Posted: 10th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


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