David Cameron and the hoodies

Interesting article on the BBC about a 17 year old hoodie wearer who was snapped making gestures behind David Cameron. The young man said the gesture was just “messing about”. “He says he’s coming round to stop the crime and that, but what’s he doing? He’s not stopping us, is he?,” he said.

David Cameron’s spokesman said “this picture illustrates precisely the sort of problems of anti-social behaviour and the need for positive role models that David was talking about.”
Will be interesting to see where this goes?

Body image

BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat and 1xtra’s TXU asked 25,000 people, mostly aged 17 to 34, how they felt about their bodies. They were some worrying trends:

Women

  • The survey found two thirds of those who are size 14 also thought they were overweight or fat, and a third of size 12s think they’re overweight or fat.
  • Despite all the debate about skinny models, less than one per cent of those surveyed said they were a size zero, UK size four.
  • Almost half of all girls say they’ve skipped a meal to try to lose a few pounds, while 8% had made themselves sick.
  • More than half of females said they’d consider plastic surgery, breast implants were most popular with women and liposuction’s popular with both sexes.
  • Half of women said they want to change a lot about their looks, while more than 10% “hated” what they looked like.
  • More than half of girls aged 12 to 16 felt that their body image either stops them from getting a boyfriend or from relaxing in a relationship.

Men

  • About 20% of those in their early 20s said that they have taken protein supplements in a bid to help themselves bulk up, compared with 11% of over 35s.
  • Far fewer men than women said they were on a diet right now: one in five guys in their early 20s said they’d done it, but less than one in 10 men are on a diet at the moment.
  • When asked to rate photos of differently shaped male bodies, almost 80% of men and 65% of women favoured a very muscular physique.

Hepburn’s dress builds educational centres in India

Heard on the news on the radio how the sale of Audrey Hepburn’s iconic black dress from the classic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s is to fund 15 new educational centres in India. It was auctioned at Christie’s in December for just under £500,000 and proceeds from the sale have gone to Calcutta-based charity City of Joy Aid. What a great concept – and it was quite unexpected as they thought they would only raise c. £70,000.

The life of a celebrity: Britney Spears

Britney Spears really seems to be struggling at the moment. The most recent incident is the shaving off of all her hair (which is now being auctioned of for $1 million – making someone a tidy profit!). She has never been far from the limelight but since filing for divorce in November she seems to have gone off the rails. Britney went on a period of partying with other young celebrities. During this period she was heavily criticside for photographs which seemed to show her without underwear, and she reportedly collapsed at a New Year’s party in Las Vegas.

The BBC have Professor Cary Cooper, a psychology professor at Lancaster University, saying that Spears’ recent behaviour is a “call for help”. “She’s saying: ‘I’m very confused, I’m not in control of myself at the moment, I need a fresh start, I need help.'”

In many ways she sounds like she is struggling with her identity and her role in the same way that many of the young people I work with do. Let’s just hope that she gets the right support around her, and manages to keep out of the press for a while.

Supermarket asks man, 87, for ID

The BBC is reporting how an 87 year old man was asked to prove he was over 21 when he tried to buy a bottle of sherry in a York supermarket. The former Lord Mayor of York, Jack Archer, said he was shocked – but flattered – when asked the question by staff at Morrisons in Acomb. Seems like a case of the rules regarding selling alcohol being taken too far – obviously he doesn’t need to be asked.

Map-reading postman finds address

Sometimes we forget how good the Royal Mail can be. This story on BBC News highlights the lengths they sometimes go to to get post delivered:

“A map on the envelope had a dot drawn in north Cornwall and an arrow saying “Somewhere Here”. Postal workers in Bude, north Cornwall managed to pinpoint the right address and deliver the letter. The letter to Peter O’Leary, was from a long-lost work colleague who failed to enclose his own address so Mr O’Leary cannot write back. Bude’s delivery office manager Andrew Lake said post workers worked out from the map the intended address was in Bude and then asked each other if anyone recognised the name Peter O’Leary. Postman Eric Seymour realised Mr O’Leary lived on his round and said the customer was astounded when he handed over the letter.”

How silly that the colleague didn’t bother to put his own address in the letter for Mr O’Leary.

More haircut news

This guy certainly had the idea about saving money by not going to the hair dressers. For some bizarre reason his mum didn’t argue with his fear of getting his hair cut and so it was allowed to grow to a massive 68 cm in length. He’s decided to get it cut into a ‘Beckham cut’, oh dear, but at least he is using the hair to raise money for chaity. Here’s a couple of photos:

What does the execution of Saddam Hussein achieve?

Maybe I am being controversial here, but I’m not sure that the execution of Saddam Hussein achieves all that so many people are saying it will. I know that it is important that we in the West encourage Iraq to develop and uphold its judicial system, and that a key part of that is in making Saddam Hussein and his supporters face up to what they did, but should life be repayed with life. In other situations we appeal against the death penalty as being unnecessary and inhumane yet we haven’t heard that much this time. Instead it has been heralded as the big step required for Iraq to continue its independence – personally I can see that but I can’t see it stopping his followers carrying on the violent attacks. Who knows.