Posts Tagged ‘random’

This will make for an interesting court case.

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From other socially responsible people who shall remain valued.


Return Racism

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7 lessons from geese




When I’ve not posted for a while It’s usually because I’ve been curled up with pain or wallowing in fatigue, BUT this time I’ve been on holiday in Norfolk with my partner. It is easy to drift apart and holidays are the perfect way to reconnect.

I am inspired to write about the lessons we can learn from geese! Draw your own conclusions.
Animals Waterfowl_Wild Formation

Sharing a commonality:  As each goose flaps its wings it creates “uplift”, an aerodynamic orientation that reduces air friction, for the birds that follow. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock achieves a 70% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Notice what’s happening: Flying in a V-formation increases the visibility as every goose can see what’s happening in front of them.

Rely on each other: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the friction of flying alone. It then quickly adjusts its mistake and moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

Empower each other: When the lead goose in the front gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and allows another goose to take the lead position.

Constant encouragement: The geese honk to recognize each other and encourage those up front to keep up.

Offering support: When a goose gets sick or wounded, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.

Staying committed: The geese migration routes never vary. They use the same route year after year. Even when the flock members change, the young learn the route from their parents. In the spring they will go back to the spot where they were born.

Nothing doing, Wu Wei.

Wu Wei is active inactivity  (not just a theme on the wordpress site)


For me it is the action of “relinquishing self expectation” (thanks Sue) or the practice of doing nothing. It’s also taking (present tense as it’s a learning curve) a long time to accept.

Soooo, what’s wrong with reading a book during the day? Nothing right? you probably do it yourself.

Well actually I mean all day.every day, sometimes interspersed with TV, radio or sleep!

Great you say, bring it on.

However, I’ve been doing this since I was diagnosed with M.E. -4 years now – but not with any commitment to myself or the real Taoist principle , just because that’s what the illness does to me. Most of the time I do want to go out, do stuff and have a life!(Or rather my life back)

A virus for 3 weeks over the holidays, follow by a heavy cold at present, meant I not only couldn’t do anything but didn’t give myself a hard time for it.

So back to my reading then. Care to join me?

Sheffield Peregrines

Good News, Sad News and a resolution 

There is much to celebrate as we move into 2014: a new, stronger nest platform with improved design is in place, a second webcam is on the cards to provide a panoramic view of the site, and the birds are back despite the cranes and considerable construction activity on the adjacent Jessop East site.

It is sad to report that the young male that was taken into care back in the summer was found dead to the east of Sheffield earlier in the winter, apparently of natural causes.  Mortality rates in young Peregrines are high, with somewhere between 50% and 70% of birds failing to make it through their first year.  About half of those that die in their first year are thought to succumb to disease or parasitism, and it may well be that the young male suffered from this from an early age, perhaps accounting for his grounding in July, when no injuries were apparent.

Given the many challenges facing the species, we are determined to continue to support the recolonisation of the Sheffield area, although the move of birds into urban settings is a relatively recent phenomenon.  The team that built the original platform that proved so successful over the last couple of years tweaked the design to make it even better and had it ready to be put in place by the end of November.  Jim Lonsdale gave me a call to come and see it for myself.


Great work by Jim and the small works team in the Department of Estates!  The main changes are in the quality of the materials, which are built to last (the previous platform was to test whether or not the site would prove attractive), and a notably deeper lip at the front edge to reduce the risk of young birds dropping out.  It’s a very substantial piece of work that should last a decade or more.

To minimise disruption to the site, the old platform was replaced by the new one all on the same day – no mean feat given the weight involved and restricted access up the tower – and all was in place before Christmas.  The webcam was retained and was soon showing images of the birds occasionally visiting the platform, although the stream was not ready for public view.  There are some tweaks to be had with the camera to give a better view when the birds are on the front of the box, or even the perching pole.  As things stand, the view can be tantalising…


On 22 January a flurry of activity over lunchtime saw first the female and then the male on the platform in quick succession, with both busily scraping the gravel.  To watch something like this is a rare privilege: the technique is to huddle down and scrape the gravel back with the talons, creating a hollow under the body.


The female also spent some time picking individual pieces of gravel and placing them in just the right spot.


Both birds look to be the adults that have bred successfully for the last two years, the male’s ring just about visible on its left leg in the image below.  The quality of this screen grab isn’t up to much, but if anyone manages to read the lettering on the ring we’ll be able to discover his origins.


Reports of three birds over Norwood allotments, including two birds talon grappling, sounds like territorial behaviour and a possible attempt to establish a new pair around Sheffield.  Definitely one to watch!

The webcam will be viewable via and a second, with a view across the ledge to the platform, should soon be up and running too.  Much to look forward to in the weeks ahead.  Fingers firmly crossed for another season of breeding success.

And the Resolution?  To try to keep regular updates on the blog through the breeding season.  Easier said than done, but isn’t that what resolutions are all about?! reblogged from Sheffield 

The University of Sheffield’s peregrine webcam cam be found here.

G4 and ATOS – pay your taxes!

Please take a moment to send this message …

from:  kicking the cat

DWP actively supports adult industry

The DWP are subsidising wages in the sex industry by almost 60% and allowing Jobcentre Plus and private sector work programme providers to force young people to apply for them.  Young people who refuse to act as receptionists in massage parlours or operate porn webcams could find their benefits stopped.

Employers are paid £2,275 if they take on a young person aged 18-24 to work at least 30 hours a week for a minimum of 26 weeks.  A smaller subsidy of £1,137.50 can be claimed where the job is for 16 to 29 hours a week.

The minimum wage for 18-20 year olds is just £5.03 an hour, meaning that employers can get almost 60% of the workers wage paid by the state.

The guidance makes it clear that direct sexual services cannot be provided under the incentive scheme.  However, web-cam operators, film camera operators for pornographic films, bar staff, door staff, receptionists and cleaners for massage parlours, saunas, strip clubs, and lap and pole dancing clubs are all permitted.

The degree to which young people in such establishments may be subject to sexual harassment or pressure to provide other services does not appear to be a concern for the DWP.  Nor does the potentially hazardous nature of cleaning in an establishment where bodily fluids may routinely be deposited.

It is also questionable whether employment as a receptionist in a massage parlour will ever be a useful addition to a CV for someone whose ambitions do not lie in the sexual services industry.

It is possible for people who are mandated to apply for such jobs to object on conscientious grounds.  But the young person has to be aware that this is even a potential option, has to have the confidence to put forward their objection and has to be prepared for the possibility that their benefit will be stopped if their objection is not accepted by a DWP decision maker.

It seems a bizarre and perverse situation that a government department led by a committed Christian should be so keen to force young people to work in an industry devoted solely to satisfying carnal lusts.  But then, the belief that the claimant count must be reduced by any means possible, regardless of morality or the suffering involved, seems to be the only article of faith now left at the DWP.

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