Being mentally ill: the new normal?

One of the consequences of the widespread promotion of mental-health catastrophism is that being mentally ill is fast becoming the new normal. This is especially true among mental-health proponents’ main target: the young. Indeed, over the past couple of decades there has been a constant stream of reports and publications claiming that children and young people have never been as anxious, depressed and insecure as they are today. Hence among the media and policymakers, the narrative of a ‘generation in crisis’ has firmly taken hold.  Of course, a sense of alienation and existential insecurity has long characterised being young, from the Romantics to the Beats. What has changed, however, is that youthful angst and insecurity has both been medicalised and, increasingly, inflated. 

Read On Spiked

100-Year-Old Colour Portraits Of New York Immigrants

Here are just a handful of the 12 million men, women, and children who arrived at Ellis Island, New York, between 1892 and 1954 to start a new life in the USA, often dressed in their finest clothes...
The photographs were taken between 1906 and 1914 by amateur photographer Augustus Francis Sherman, the chief registry clerk at Ellis Island, then the country’s busiest immigration station...
Photo colourisation specialists at Dynamichrome have put painstaking work into bringing these photos to vivid life by adding colour, using historical references to help pinpoint the exact colours, including postcards from the era, and colour photographers from a later date.

Via Buzzfeed

The Islamophobic attacks you don't hear about

Incidents of ‘Islamophobia’ are really getting out of hand in Britain. In fact there has been such a wave of attacks that it’s amazing that politicians and commentators across the political spectrum, (not to mention all those supposed ‘anti-fascist’ groups) aren’t grand-standing like crazy. Perhaps their problem is that this wave of attacks does not consist of people writing nasty and mean things on Twitter, but of Muslims killing other Muslims and still other Muslims extolling such killings.

Read the rest at The Spectator


Female MPs, please stop playing the sexism card

Thornberry provided us with the car-crash interview of the weekend when she was questioned by Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News about the Labour Party’s position on Brexit. In response to Murnaghan asking her if she knew the name of the French foreign minister, Thornberry said, ‘Don’t start pub quizzing me, Dermot’. When the question was repeated, Thornberry said: ‘No, and I’m not going to start answering your questions on this.’

The interview reached its cringe-worthy peak when Thornberry failed to provide the name or gender of the president of South Korea. She then launched into several angry rants, before accusing Murnaghan of sexism. ‘I certainly think sometimes, when it comes to sexism, some Sky presenters need to look at themselves, too’, she said.

Picture shows how Christmas favourite Quality Street have shrunk since 1998 

The image, which shows four of the iconic purple tubs side by side, has sparked outrage on social media after it was posted on the Quality Street Facebook page by customer Charlotte Stacey Hook.

In her post, Ms Hook claims that the oldest tin, pictured on the far left, was bought in 1998. However, some chocolate fans have argued that it was the design used in the 1980s.

A Nestle spokesman said it was difficult to tell when exactly each tin was made, but that the newest tub appeared to be from 2014/2015; the ones in the middle from the 2000s; and the one on the far left from the late 1990s or early 2000s. 

Danger! Men On Trains

Jeremy Corbyn has said he might consider creating women only carriages on trains. Apart from the fact that the man has no chance of ever being in a position to implement such a policy and that fact that it's a regressive step back to the time when "ladies" needed to be shielded fro the real world it addresses a problem that, despite the hysterical, overwrought ramblings of some commentators, is insignificant in any case. 

Here are the FACTS, you know, those awkward things that get in the way of people's silly prejudices and misrepresentations:
There were 1,399 reported cases of sexual assaults (that includes inappropriate speech etc) on the UK public transport system last year. There were well over a billion journeys last year on the London underground system alone. If all the reports were limited to the underground that would represent just 0.0001399% of journeys. But, of course, we have to add the 1.16 billion train journeys and 4.7 billion bus journeys (of which 2.28 billion were in London).

The total number of journeys in excess of 7,300,000,000. 

The total number of journeys on public transport per annum is in excess of 7,300,000,000. Even if you add all the crimes reported on public transport, including robbery, racial harassment etc it still comes to under 0.00015%. Hardly an epidemic. Hardly evidence of hoardes of violent, sexist, racist men rampaging on buses and trains, is it?

PS: Rod Liddle is very concerned about it. 

Good old Blog, we knew him well...

Eulogy for a Blog.  A must read over at Copyblogger

Blog’s life was tragically cut short at a very young age. I’m saddened to say, he never really hit his stride or had the chance to grow up to enjoy what might have been his prime.  When Blog was born he was full of hope and vigour. He dreamed of being an educator. He loved having an audience, though our friend Blog had to settle for a very small one...


If this, then that.

"If this, then that"  shortens to ifttt, and that's all you need to remember because this amazingly simple yet powerful service can automate just about anything else, from backing up your photos on Facebook to sending you text message reminders of upcoming appointments. 

Use ifttt to create "recipes" of automation—no code or scripting required—and kiss your worries goodbye...It's a free website and service that lets you automate simple tasks in your digital life...

The most amazing thing about ifttt is how simple it is to use. You might assume that these commands... would require some programming know-how—but they don't.

Logging On!


It turns out that thousands of years of chopping wood was a waste of time. The amazing Spruce Stove burns an entire tree, a little bit at a time, to keep your home warm. It’s brilliant design allows you to slide a tree slowly into the stove cylinder and close a circular door around the log keeping the flames in and the burning controlled. As as each section of the log burns, you push a little more in the fire.

You'd need a BIG house and a few burly guys for this log fire. I'll stick to my gas central heating.  


Great design. Shame about the lighting.

How many people does it take to change a light bulb in the roof inside Heathrow airport's Terminal 5? Nobody really knows because it has never been done. The departures concourse of the £4.3 billion terminal, which was designed by British architect Lord Richard Rogers, has become increasingly dark since it opened in 2008 as 60 per cent of the down lights fitted to the ceiling have blown.

But none have been replaced yet because of an incredible oversight meaning there is no safe and easy way to get up to change the bulbs

Read the rest here

Warren Zevon - Gone 10 years

Great piece in the Guardian about one of my musical heroes.  

Warren Zevon, who died a decade ago this September at the far-too-premature age of 56, was a singer, a songwriter and one of the great under-appreciated talents in modern America. But he could also be, as his friends, family and lovers will quickly tell you, a pain in the ass. He was at times intimidating, self-destructive, aloof. “He had tonnes of charisma, but when he didn’t want people coming up to him, he had charisma in reverse,” his ex-wife Crystal Zevon remembers.

As a father, he was largely absent until his son and daughter were adults: “He had no language for dealing with children. As a teenager, I was angry that he wasn’t there for me as a kid, angry at him for mistreating my mom,” says his and Crystal’s daughter, Ariel. And when he was drinking, he was almost unbearable: erratic, violent, emotionally absent, impossible.

The rotten side of the NHS

In an interview on BBC radio, Care QualityCommission chairman David Prior described the allegation that his organisation covered up failings as "shocking".
But perhaps the truly most shocking element of all this is that we are not really that surprised.
The findings laid bare by consultants Grant Thornton on Wednesday confirms something that is becoming clearer and clearer as the months go by: that the in the early part of the 21st century a rotten culture developed in the NHS that put the self-interest ahead of patients.
In short, the NHS stopped caring.
Peter Walsh, of the patient group Action Against Medical Accidents, says while it is pleasing the NHS is admitting it has a problem, he is still not sure the systems being put in place are "robust or proactive" enough to deal with problems when they happen.
"I am not confident we have the right systems in place, the regulatory system is still not simple enough."

It's not about having the right systems, it's about having the right PEOPLE. As has been shown time and time again. 

Families condemn 'rotten' NHS cover-up over 16 baby deaths at Morecambe Bay as data protection stops culprits being named. Daily Mail


Most borrowed book in Parliament

It offers tips on how to ‘doughnut’ - or surround a speaker in Parliament in order to create the impression on television that the session is well-attended - and how to prevent a political career from derailing a marriage.

Chapter titles include “How to convince voters that the MP never stops working”, “How to dilute boredom”, “How to Climb the Greasy Pole” and “How to write an Abusive Letter”.


It says of IPSA, the expenses watchdog loathed by many Members: "It should be humanely put down, buried under a slab of concrete never to rise again from its dishonoured grave. But until that happens, you'll just have to live with it."

A chapter towards the end of the book gives advice on “How to be Ennobled.”

In the foreword Speaker John Bercow “thoroughly recommends” the book.

Source: Daily Telegraph