Thursday, 18 June 2009

Bad hair dye

Paula Pratt, 38, decided to dye her grey hair a nice chocolate brown. She used a Clairol Nice ‘n Easy kit that she had bought for £5. Her sister helped her dye her hair and before they started they read the instructions and did the allergy test, everything seemed fine. The next day she went to work as usual.

In the evening things took an unexpected turn as her head, face and neck began swelling. The swelling was so severe that her eyes closed and is caused breathing problems. Paula said: ”The swelling started travelling down my throat and it was hard to breathe. I went straight to see my GP.” Paula’s GP sent her straight to A&E where the doctors treated her with steroids and antihistamine tablets.

Paula has recovered and has stated she will not seek compensation from Clairol but she does want to warn people about the possible reactions when using hair dye. Clairol also reacted on the unfortunate incident of Paula Pratt. A Clairol spokeswoman said: "Allergic reactions are very rare. However, we recommend all consumers conduct a 48-hour test before each use of our colourant products."

What a bizarre story! I myself dye my hair every once in a while and am fortunate enough to have never experienced something like that. What surprises me is that the woman in question does not seek compensation from Clairol. It is common that if something happens to you and is also picked up by the media that people want to make some money out of it. On the other hand she probably did not have any legal ground to stand on as Clairol warns about the possibility of an allergic reaction in the instructions.

Here is the weather ... for July 2080

The Met Office has started the first national study on how climate change might affect Britain in the future. The forecasters expect that temperatures will rise by 3C to 4C by 2080. This increase of temperature will make it possible to have vineyards in the West Country and thus compete with the French Vineyards.

The prospects for London are less fruitful. London is already known as an urban heat-island, the heat in summer can not escape as a result temperatures rise to 31C. This urban heat-island effect in combination with global warming will push the summer temperatures in London up to 41C in 2080.

East Anglia is also dealing with a disheartening prospect. The annual temperatures could rise by 4C and the rainfall in summer will decrease up to 60%. This could lead to East Anglia Losing its position as agricultural county of England.
Full results of the studies of the Met Office will be published in June. The research will help the government to plan for long-term climate change.

Global warming is a hot topic and it seems that all the evidence that has already been shown is not enough. Multiple research has shown that the temperature in the world has been rising and it is time that the world reacts and undertakes some action. This research shows that Britain is concerned and that they take global warming seriously. Although 2080 is not in the near future people do have to think about the effects that the rise of temperature will have on the world and everything living on it.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The real-life Mr Darcy who broke Jane Austen's heart during a summer romance was a clergyman

Literary historian, Dr Andrew Norman claims he has identified Jane Austen’s mysterious lover. This man is also alleged to be the reason of the sisters fall out. The two sister had a close relationships but correspondence documents have proven that the sisters relationship cooled off. Dr Norman has the documents to prove it, the proof consist of letters between the two sisters. There is a gap in the correspondence of a few years and this is evidence of the tiff between the Austen sisters. He also refers to Jane Austen’s novel The Watsons telling a tale of sisterly betrayal.

The reason for this rift between the sisters was presumably a young man named Dr Samuel Blackall. He was a theology student and fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Stipulations are that Jane’s sister Cassandra did not approve of her sisters suitor and this caused the fall out of the two sisters.

Jane Austen is one of my all time favourite writers. Her stories are timeless because of the everyday themes she uses. All the stories she has written are about love and the difficulties one encounters when falling in love. She also shows lives from different points of view. The main characters in Austen’s books are always strong, independent women who speak their mind. While reading this article I must say that I am not surprised she had an eventful life, filled with drama. This is probably where she got her inspiration from.

Tom Cruise and a trial that could drive Scientology out of France

Movement accused of 'organized fraud' against two female members persuaded to part with €20,000

Scientology has been accused of cheating two former members by “systematic use of personality tests of no scientific value ... with the sole aim of selling services and products".
As a consequence the organization is on trial for organized financial fraud and if found guilty there is a possibility the cult has to close their doors in France.
This is not the first time that Scientology is prosecuted in France, but it is the first time that the whole organization is prosecuted. Individual Scientologists have been prosecuted and convicted in France before, including the cult’s founder, L Ron Hubbard.
Hubbard is a former science fiction writer and he founded Scientology in 1952. The base of their believe is that all humans are immortal beings who have strayed from their true nature. The human soul can be reincarnated, therefore the member has to be “audited” and in return for donations they will get “purification” courses.

Scientology is just one big riddle to me. The acclaiming party sees Scientology strictly as a money making machine thriving on profits. After reading a short description of the believes and methods that are followed and used in Scientology, it seems as if money plays a very important role. Only higher up in the hierarchy will the complete teachings of Scientology be revealed. As a would-be member you have to make donations and pay fees to be “purified“. Imaging how much money they can earn just by “purifying“ a member for several years!

McDonald's tests eggs from outside the battery cage

McDonald’s US restaurants are slowly introducing cage-free eggs. The burger empire is experimenting with eggs that are not from battery cages. This is a big difference compared to the McDonald’s restaurants in Britain. In Britain animal rights are taken into concern and so the restaurants there use almost only cage-free eggs. They have even promised to use 100% cage-free eggs by 2010. It is remarkable that the McDonald’s restaurant in Britain and The United States have a different policy concerning the use of eggs. Since McDonalds is the embodiment of uniformity when one looks at their products.

It is terrible that such a huge profit organization is not setting an example or adjusting to this period of time. The Burger King, another burger empire does use cage-free eggs. The fact that McDonalds claim they want to run a two year trial first to see if it will work out is preposterous. They already use cage-free eggs in most of Europe, and they will be able to find enough suppliers.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

'Work for us or we will say you are a terrorist'

The British secret service, MI5, has been accused of harassment and blackmail. Five Muslim community workers have made official complaints to the police. Initially MI5 approached the men because they wanted to use them as informants. If the men would not comply to the request, MI5 took certain measures to change their minds. One of the man, Mahdi Hashi, tells about his experience with MI5 after declining the offer to become an informant. At one point he is traveling to Somalia and on the airport he is approached by a man who identifies himself as an MI5 agent. He warns Mahdi not to take the plane. Mahdi leaves anyway and the moment he arrives at the airport in Somalia he is held in a room for 16 hours and then send back to Heathrow. There he was detained as well and the MI5 agent told him how he was a terrorist suspect.

It is terrible the way MI5 abuses its power to force people into a position they do not want to be in. The people that MI5 approached did not choose to work for the agency. The men described in the article all work with disadvantaged youths, and help them reach their potential. I do not know what made them stand out, that MI5 was interested in them and thought they could provide useful information.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Internet generation 'ill-prepared for adult life’

Nowadays, children are living in virtual environments instead of the real world. Children make friends online they form their social network on ‘the net and they play online games’. All this living online will prevent children to develop properly .
According to John Gibson, chairman of the Independent Schools Association, outdoor play was a ‘primitive preparation’ for adult life. While playing outdoors children were confronted with peers and situations in which they could develop and discover skills. Gibson is not the only one with concerns. Child psychiatrist also stated that there are “potentially severe consequences" for their education and social opportunities if children spent up to 16 hours on the computer.
Gibson points out the importance of playing outdoors and the fact that parents are to protective to let their children play by themselves outside of the house and garden. Studies have shown that a quarter of eight to ten year olds had never played outside without adult supervision. The so called ‘stranger danger’ is what is preventing outdoor play.


Sometimes I do get the feeling that children are overly protected. Not only protected but pampered and spoiled as well. John Gibson is definitely on the right track and keeping children indoors at all times is not preferable for their development. It is also easy to put a child in front of a computer or television screen. The downside to this is that the child will not be exposed to other children and will not develop social skills. They will develop online social skills but it is easier to connect with a person online than it is in real-life. Parents should make their children go outside to play and discover the world, you can not protect your child every minute of every day.