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Weekly Reflections 04
31st July - 6th August
Headlines that caught my attention
Week 31st July - 6th August
Ex minister Lord Digby Jones had a dig at presenter Alex Scott’s accent. He stated that she had spoiled the coverage of the Tokyo games because of her “inability to pronounce her g’s”. He went onto suggest that she needed elocution lessons.
In response, Scott, said “I’m from a working class family in East London, Poplar, Tower Hamlets and I am PROUD. Proud of the young girl who overcame obstacles, and proud of my accent! It’s me, it’s my journey, my grit.”
She added: “A quick one to any young kids who may not have a certain kind of privilege in life. Never allow judgments on your class, accent, or appearance hold you back. Use your history to write your story. Keep striving, keep shining and don’t change for anyone”
Good on her!
The social media backlash on Lord Digby Jones included a response from Stephen Fry, someone whose obvious command of language and eloquence is respected
“You are everything linguists and true lovers of language despise. Also, since we’re being picky, you are not “Lord Digby Jones”, you are Digby, Lord Jones. There’s a world of difference. But however you’re titled, you disgrace the upper house with your misplaced snobbery” tweeted Fry.
Source : Independent and Twitter
Are we asking the right questions?
Social Media does have a lot to answer for, especially when we read stories like this one
A schoolboy was found dead after watching “depressing” TikToks and reading song lyrics about suicide, an inquest heard today.
Tragic Ethan Bourne, 12, was found hanged in his bedroom at his family’s home in Waltham Forest, East London, just day after celebrating his birthday.
The hearing heard that he was a “happy” boy and there was no evidence to suggest he intended to take his own life.
Reported in The Scottish Sun
So what’s going on here?
Surely it must be more complicated than being exposed to depressing material and listening to songs about suicide. Of course, these things will have an impact on thoughts, feelings and behaviours but, surely there must be other factors.
Reports suggest there were no warning signs in this instance, however that it is often the case. There’s no simple explanation as to why individuals take their own life, there are so many factors at play. This creates a real problem for anyone who is seeking to find a single reason for such an act. There is a need to explain and find cause especially for those families who are bereaved.
Of course Social Media must take some responsibility when it comes to on-line bullying and abuse. We, as users of social media also need to take some responsibility for reporting malicious content.
But, when it comes to issues such as this, I’m not sure if we’re asking the right questions.
I wonder if we need to explore not only access to social media for the young, but also working towards supporting individuals to deal with the deeper psychological issues, like isolation and loneliness.
Who’s that creeping around in the early hours?
A milkman was arrested on suspicion of being a burglar despite showing police pints of milk and empties in the back of his van, his employer said.
The delivery man was held by officers in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham in the early hours of Wednesday, even after they witnessed him leaving milk on a customer’s doorstep, according to his boss.
Wow, a milkman leaving milk on the doorstep clear criminal intent.
The Police said that Officers were investigating an incident at the Greenfield Convenience Store and were looking for a man in a van.
They got a man in a van but not the man in the van. I will admit however, that as a ger-a-way vehicle a milk van is a super disguise.
Reported in the Evening Standard
COP26 Faux Pas?
BBC News reported that..
UK authorities are considering whether to allow drilling at the huge Cambo oil field to the west of Scotland.
But Sir Keir said this would "give off completely the wrong signal" in the year Scotland is also set to host the COP26 climate conference.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told BBC Scotland that he was not aware of the development.
When pressed on the matter on Thursday, he said that contracts should not be "ripped up" - but said "we need to transition as fast as we reasonably can" to renewable energy sources.
Is a new oil field climate change hypocrisy?
The Cambo field is situated about 125km (75 miles) to the west of Shetland, and contains more than 800m barrels of oil.
An exploration licence was granted in 2001, but the Oil and Gas Authority is still considering whether to give approval for extraction.
AND there’s more
Boris Johnson has been urged to apologise for "offensive" comments about Margaret Thatcher helping the environment by closing coal mines.
The PM said the closures gave the UK "a big early start" in the fight against climate change.
He was speaking on a visit to an offshore wind farm in the Moray Firth.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the remarks were "crass and deeply insensitive" to mining communities.
She tweeted: "Lives and communities in Scotland were utterly devastated by Thatcher's destruction of the coal industry (which had zero to do with any concern she had for the planet)."
I somehow think that Clinate Change was not at the forefront of Mrs Thatchers thinking during the full of the mining industry.
The Sun and The Mail piced up on this story.
Climatev tsar Alok Sharma faced fury last night over claims he dodged quarantine after flying to red list countries on government business.
The minister, 53, has flown to at least 30 countries in the last seven months in his role as President of the COP26 climate summit, to be held in Scotland this autumn.
It is believed travel to and from all the countries on Mr Sharma’s list is around 200,000 miles.
A COP26 spokesman yesterday declined to say how many flights Mr Sharma had taken in total.
But a government spokesman has defended Mr Sharma, saying in person meetings are "key".
"Helping the world tackle the climate emergency is an international priority for the Government," a No10 spokesman said.
Ok, so whilst hensy not have Quarantined, he apparently did take daily tests. However, surely the issue as about air miles and carbon footprints?
We can agree, perhaps, there is something special about face to face meetings BUT if we are serious about reducing use of fossil fuels we may need to rethink our attitudes to international meetings.
Inflated price for an inflated snack
Doritos has appatently offered a 13-year-old girl $20,000 as a reward for discovering a rare 'puffy' chip and listing it on eBay
A 13-year-old from Queensland, Australia, is set to receive $20,000 after finding a peculiar Doritos chip.
Source: Business Insider (india)
A friendly virus
A Norfolk village is honoured in name of potentially lifesaving viruus Colneyvirus:
Viruses have a menacing reputation for causing disease but some that target bacteria could actually benefit human health.
These are called bacteriophages, and a group of them named after the Norfolk village of Colney could help combat C. difficile infections.
Clostridioides difficile, also known as C. diff, is a species of bacteria that infects the human gut. It can become a major problem when our normal gut microbes are impaired, most commonly during a course of antibiotics. This leads to an overgrowth of C. difficile, with toxins it produces causing diarrhoea and severe inflammation.
Treatment involves further courses of antibiotics, but relapse and recurrent infections are common. The strains are becoming more resistant to antibiotics and more capable of causing severe disease so there is a clear need for other treatments.
This drove researchers in Norwich to look for the bacteria’s natural enemy, bacteriophages.
They screened 27 different C. diff strains for any bacteriophages, finding one, which they called ΦCD27 (phiCD27).
Genome sequencing confirmed this phage had not been discovered before. In fact, the members of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) decided it was genetically distinct enough to form a new group, or genus of phages.
The ICTV decided to name the new genus Colneyvirus, after the address on Colney Lane of the Institute of Food Research (IFR) on the Norwich Research Park,
Reported by Quadram Institute 4th August
A side-effect of Covid
People recovering from Covid may have ‘substantial’ drop in intelligence was a headline in The Metro.
Between January and December last year, scientists conducted the Great British Intelligence Test that examined the IQ of 81,337 people.
Among that number were 13,000 who had been infected with the virus.
Once the scientists had factored out things like age, sex, language and education level, they found people recovering from Covid saw the biggest decline.
Tasks requiring problem solving, planning and reasoning were harder for them than for people who hadn’t had the virus.
In the worst cases, when people had been on a ventilator to beat the disease, the researchers recorded a seven-point drop in intelligence.
That’s it for this week