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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


Surely only cheats pay for plagiarism detection tools

Do you like to cheat? Students are paying essay writers to write their essays – or just rehash an old one. But how do institutions know the essay is not a rip-off?

Essay-writing firms claim that they use a service offered by Turnitin, a plagiarism detection tool used by universities, to provide their customers with reassurance that the work they purchase will not be flagged as suspicious.

Turnitin bills itself as a way to safeguard academic brands:

Identify unoriginal content with the world’s most effective plagiarism detection solution. Manage potential academic misconduct by highlighting similarities to the world’s largest collection of internet, academic, and student paper content…

Data driven insights help determine whether students are doing their own work, enabling you to uphold your institution’s commitment to educational excellence.

Sign up to the anti-plagiarism tool to see if your plagiarised essay – or the one you’ve sold or about to sell – has been detected.

The research adds:

When a student or staff member at a subscribing institution runs a Turnitin check using that institution’s subscription, the article that they are assessing is often added to the Turnitin “student database” so that future submissions can be checked for plagiarism against its content. However, when an individual uses the WriteCheck service, essays are not added to the main database.

WriteCheck is “Plagiarism checker software by Turnitin to check for plagiarism and grammar mistakes”.

Access to the WriteCheck service costs $7.95 (£6.40) for one paper, $19.95 for three papers or $29.95 for five papers. HE registered with the service and had one article checked. At no point in the process were we required to verify our identity or say why we were using the service.

So who is paying to have their work checked – institutions, the essay-writing companies or a student at an institution whose making a few quid from banging out essays?

.

Posted: 19th, September 2019 | In: News | 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


Global Climate Strike – digital goes dark

global Cimate strike

This week it’s the Global Climate Strike. The non-action action occurs this Friday, September 20. Greta Thunberg and disciples (too strong?) want us to stop ding anything else other than demand big business and government act to cut pollution.

Once again our voices are being heard on the streets, but it is not just up to us.

We feel a lot of adults haven’t quite understood that we young people won’t hold off the climate crisis ourselves. Sorry, if this is inconvenient for you. But this is not a single-generation job. It’s humanity’s job. We young people can contribute to a larger fight and that can make a huge difference.

So this is our invitation to you. Starting on Friday 20 September we will kick start a week of climate action with worldwide strikes for the climate. We’re asking you to step up alongside us. There are many different plans underway in different parts of the world for adults to join together and step up and out of your comfort zone for our climate. Let’s all join together; with our neighbours, co-workers, friends, family and go out on to the streets to make our voices heard and make this a turning point in our history.

More here. Less everywhere else…

Meanwhile: two earlier school strikes were a lot of fun:

Great Photos of the Liverpool School Strike of 1985

Pictures of London’s School Strike of 1972

Posted: 17th, September 2019 | In: News | 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


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


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):

  • A woman couldn’t get a credit card in her own name. They often needed a man to co-sign for a card. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act put a stop to this discrimination in 1974.
  • Until the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, women could be fired for getting pregnant (or not hired if they were pregnant). Despite the act, pregnancy discrimination continues today.
  • Fight on the front lines – admitted into military academies in 1976, it wasn’t until 2013 that the military ban on women in combat was lifted.
  • Women couldn’t attend certain Ivy League schools. Harvard did not fully admit women into its undergraduate program until 1977, Dartmouth took until 1972, and Columbia waited until 1983.
  • In some states, women couldn’t say “no” to sex with their husbands. In 1993, the last two states (Oklahoma and North Carolina) withdrew their marital rape exemptions. But even today, several states treat marital rape as a lesser offense with smaller penalties compared to non-marital rape.
  • Until a 1972 Supreme Court case, unmarried women in some states were prohibited from purchasing birth control pills.

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


Exhibiting nature: artist plants 300 trees on a football pitch

For Forest — The Unending Attraction of Nature

Klauss Littman planted 300 trees on the pitch at Klagenfurt, Austria as part of his For Forest — The Unending Attraction of Nature.

Using 300 trees, some of which weigh up to six tonnes, landscape architect Enzo Enea will cover the entire playing field with a mixed forest characteristic of Central Europe.

From the grandstands, visitors can admire the spectacle of the trees day and night (from 10am until 10pm). Admission is free. A sight that is as unfamiliar as it is fascinating and bound to stir up a range of emotions and reactions! Depending on the time of day (or night), the trees will constitute a constantly changing landscape that is shaped by the weather as well as the autumnal turning of the leaves. The installation is a clever play on our emotions when faced with what should be a familiar sight, placed in an entirely different context. With this monumental work of art, Littmann challenges our perception of nature and sharpens our awareness of the future relation between nature and humankind.

The project also sees itself as a warning: One day, we might have to admire the remnants of nature in specially assigned spaces, as is already the case with zoo animals.

Looks out for Wolves.

Littmann shaped his project on a 1970 drawing by Austrian architect and painter Max Peintner:

For Forest 02

What if nature becomes an exhibit?

Spotter: Flashbak, Kottke

Posted: 11th, September 2019 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


Islington bans sale of fur – Hackney furriers rejoice

Islington fur advert

Islington Council has banned the sale of fur products – jackets, coats, merkins. Leather remains on sale – as do animals as food. The council says the fur industry is “cruel and awful”. Hard to argue with that.

Councillor Asima Shaikh tells us: “We also understand that it can be hard for consumers to be sure about the origins and production methods used in clothes and goods containing real fur.”

Can you have ethical real fur?

When Wearing Fur Was De Rigueur in London (1900 – 1950)

Posted: 10th, September 2019 | In: News, The Consumer | 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


The Pregnant Body in Japanese Woodcuts – 1800s

Ukiyo-e, or “pictures of floating worlds”

This Ukiyo-e, or “pictures of floating worlds”, takes inside a pregnant woman in mid-19th century Japan. There’s a lot going on in there.

Spotter: Illustrated Internal Bodily Functions in Japanese Woodcuts – 1800s

Posted: 9th, September 2019 | In: News | Comment


Legalised cannabis will give police less excuse to target black people

marijuana

When cannabis is legalised in the UK, it will be, says one writer, “dominated by white men in suits”. Why would big co. marijuana be different from every other industry? UK citizens will get to smoke weed legally when those in power decide it’s worth the effort.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained why recreational cannabis is legal in Canada: “To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalise, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.”

The Canadian Government isn’t about freedom of choice. It simply wants to control the industry and the money that comes with it.

UK crime figures for 2017/18 tells us that black people were over 3 times as likely to be arrested as white people. Police recorded 35 arrests for every 1,000 Black people, and 11 arrests for every 1,000 white people. Black people had the highest arrest rates per 1,000 people in every police force area for which there was data. Why? “Black Caribbean people were 9.6 times as likely to stopped and searched as White British people.” Overall, 87.7 of conviction were for drugs.

Release, the ‘national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law’, tells us in a report: “Across London black people are charged for possession of cannabis at 5 times the rate of white people.”

While tens of thousands of people are being criminalised every year for low level possession offences, it is those from the black community who are a greater risk of criminalisation and harsher sanctions.

An LSE blog post explains the money:

The amount spent by Canadians on cannabis in 2017 was estimated by Statistics Canada to be around C$5.5 billion, with the black market in recreational use estimated to be around 90 per cent of that, or around C$5 billion (the remainder being legal purchases for medicinal use. This compares with spending of around C$23 billion and C$17 billion on alcohol and tobacco respectively. Statistics Canada estimates that legal consumer spending for cannabis will range between C$0.816 billion and C$1.018 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 (C$3.85 billion-C$4.8 billion annualised), with around 25 per cent of the market remaining illegal.

Smoking tobacco is bad for you. Smoking weed may have some health benefits. The cool kids have heard the message. Estimates suggest the global legal cannabis industry will grow to $66.3bn by 2023.

A poll in the Times found 47 per cent of people living in Scotland support the legalisation of cannabis – 37 per cent were opposed and 17 per cent unsure.

The rewards for whoever controls the marijuana industry are huge. The losers will be many,

Posted: 9th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Watch Sinead O’Connor perform ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ On Irish TV

Watch Sinead O'Connor perform 'Nothing Compares 2 U' On Irish TV

This week, Sinead O’Connor performed Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ on Irish TV. She was spellbinding:

As a bonus, here’s the original version of Nothing Compares 2 U Prince wrote for The Family in 1985:

Posted: 7th, September 2019 | In: Music, News | Comment


Brexit madness: Labour and SNP unite to keep ‘tin-pot dictator’ in Number 10

boris johnson leave

So much for Boris Johnson’s being a “tin-pot dictator“, as Nicola Sturgeon First minister of Scotland, labelled him. The SNP, the party she leads in Scotland, has rejected his call for a General Election. The SNP, Labour, the Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru will unite against the government or abstain in Monday’s vote on whether to hold a snap poll.

Just when you think you’re getting some movement – finally – on the Brexit referendum, the MPs block it.

Boris the tyrant wants a vote
Boris ‘the tyrant’ says can we have a free and legal public vote?

Ways to ‘defend democracy”:

  1. Shut ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ to anyone who vote leave (see LibDems)
  2. Call for another referendum to decide things ‘once and for all’
  3. Ignore the vote

Posted: 6th, September 2019 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Designer makes pigeon shoes to attract birds

pigeon shoes japan

Japanese designer Kyoto Ohata attracts birds with her pigeon shoes. Ohata transforms her plain black pumps into wearable felt pigeons. She hopes birds will approach her to check out her pigeon feet as she strolls throughTokyo’s Ueno Park. As she says:

(translated) I like high heels as pigeons and I want to become popular with a group of pigeons.

pigeon shoes Japan
pigeon shoes Japan
pigeon shoes Japan
pigeon shoes Japan

Spotter: Neatorama

Posted: 6th, September 2019 | In: Fashion, News, The Consumer | Comment


Discovering John Locke: ‘Reasons for tolerateing Papists equally with others’

 John Locke

A newly discovered manuscript by John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) -“Reasons for tolerateing Papists equally with others” (1667-8) – sheds more light on the great English liberal and advocate of constitutional liberty.  JC Walmsley spotted the document and has published it online. The work deals mainly with the toleration of Catholics prior to the Epistola de tolerantia.

Frank Furedi provide context:

Today, religious freedom and tolerance of competing beliefs are seen as foundational values of Western societies. However, in historical terms, tolerance is a very recent cultural and moral ideal. Until the 17th century, the toleration of different religions, opinions and beliefs was even interpreted as a form of moral cowardice, if not a symptom of heresy. As late as 1691, the French theologian Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet insisted that Catholicism was the least tolerant of all religions. He declared that: ‘I have the right to persecute you because I am right and you are wrong.’

Locke’s words continue to resonate. Knowledge is about questioning. As he writes in An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding:

All Ideas come from Sensation or Reflection. Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas: — How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store which the busy and boundless fancy of man has painted on it with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from experience. In that all our knowledge is founded; and from that it ultimately derives itself. Our observation employed either, about external sensible objects, or about the internal operations of our minds perceived and reflected on by ourselves, is that which supplies our understandings with all the materials of thinking. These two are the fountains of knowledge, from whence all the ideas we have, or can naturally have, do spring.

Spotter: JOHN LOCKE AND THE TOLERATION OF CATHOLICS: A NEW MANUSCRIPT

Posted: 5th, September 2019 | In: News | Comment


John Glenn, Ham the Monkey and The Mercury 6 Story

The famous hand shake welcome. Ham the Chimpanzee is greeted by recovery ship Commander after his flight on the Mercury Redstone rocket, January 31, 1961
The famous hand shake welcome. Ham the Chimpanzee is greeted by recovery ship Commander after his flight on the Mercury Redstone rocket, January 31, 1961


John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth when he sat in a small pod atop a huge rocket and blasted into space. On Flashbak, you can see the story of how he got up there in photos. And why a monkey call Ham got there first – and one named Goliath didn’t…

Via: The Mercury 6 Flight Story In Photos

Posted: 4th, September 2019 | In: News, Photojournalism, Technology | Comment


Banned: Dairylea ad is too dangerous for kids

Like most of you, I’ve got Tango-induced tinnitus. But I won’t be getting DailyLea eye because the advert in which a woman is hit in the face by the cheese has been banned. The BBC says: ‘Parents of children with dairy allergies said it was “dangerous”, “disgraceful” and “insensitive”.’

On parent is Rina Cheema. Her son Karanbir “died after cheese was thrown at him at school in London in June 2017”.

A food fight can result in a fight for life. Why didn’t anyone tell the milkshakers? “Milkshaking’s power lies in the sheer ridiculousness of the situation,” said Vice, which featured instruction on how to make a milkshake to throw at someone with whom you disagree. “Someone’s thrown a milkshake at you! A milkshake! That’s silly as hell!”

DairyFree, naturally…

Posted: 4th, September 2019 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


The teen who did not go blind from eating crisps, chips and sausages

blinded by chips and sausages

Hear about the boy “blinded by chips and sausages”? Or as the BBC’s headline puts it, a little more accurately: “Teenager ‘blind’ from living off crisps and chips.”

blinded by chips and sausages
blinded by chips and sausages

The tabloid’s headline conjures all kinds of images (see above). But the story is less bizarre. The 17-year-old has long-standing eating issues for which he sought help. And for that we can only feel sympathy. Things got so bad that the lack of nutrients affected his vision. His diet is a composite mix of: French fries, Pringles, white bread, the occasional slice of ham or a sausage.

Truth is that the sausage might well be the heartiest thing he ate. Sausage did not make the teenager blind.

The boy’s visit to the Bristol Eye Hospital is recorded in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Dr Denize Atan, who treated him at the hospital, notes: “His diet was essentially a portion of chips from the local fish and chip shop every day. He also used to snack on crisps – Pringles – and sometimes slices of white bread and occasional slices of ham, and not really any fruit and vegetables. He explained this as an aversion to certain textures of food that he really could not tolerate, and so chips and crisps were really the only types of food that he wanted and felt that he could eat. He had blind spots right in the middle of his vision. That means he can’t drive and would find it really difficult to read, watch TV or discern faces. He can walk around on his own though because he has got peripheral vision.”

Sausages are innocent. Mental health should not be mocked.

Posted: 3rd, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, Tabloids | Comment