Archive for August, 2016

Sunday 21st August 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on August 21, 2016 by bishshat

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Telegraph Road

Dire Straits

A long time ago came a man on a track
Walking thirty miles with a pack on his back
And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
Made a home in the wilderness
He built a cabin and a winter store
And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
And the other travellers came riding down the track
And they never went further, no, they never went back
Then came the churches then came the schools
Then came the lawyers then came the rules
Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
And the dirty old track was the telegraph road

Then came the mines – then came the ore
Then there was the hard times then there was a war
Telegraph sang a song about the world outside
Telegraph road got so deep and so wide
Like a rolling river. . .

And my radio says tonight it’s gonna freeze
People driving home from the factories
There’s six lanes of traffic
Three lanes moving slow. . .

I used to like to go to work but they shut it down
I got a right to go to work but there’s no work here to be found
Yes and they say we’re gonna have to pay what’s owed
We’re gonna have to reap from some seed that’s been sowed
And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles
They can always fly away from this rain and this cold
You can hear them singing out their telegraph code
All the way down the telegraph road

You know I’d sooner forget but I remember those nights
When life was just a bet on a race between the lights
You had your head on my shoulder you had your hand in my hair
Now you act a little colder like you don’t seem to care
But believe in me baby and I’ll take you away
From out of this darkness and into the day
From these rivers of headlights these rivers of rain
From the anger that lives on the streets with these names
‘cos I’ve run every red light on memory lane
I’ve seen desperation explode into flames
And I don’t want to see it again. . .

From all of these signs saying sorry but we’re closed
All the way down the telegraph road

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Great Britain have finished second in the medal table at the 2016 Olympics – above sporting powerhouse China.

One of the event’s dominant nations, China have won more than 200 golds since returning to the Games in 1984.Britain ended the Rio Games with 27 golds from 15 sports, one ahead of China.Super-heavyweight boxer Joe Joyce won GB’s final medal, a silver, as they finished with a total of 67 from 19 sports, beating the 65 at London 2012.

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Great Britain 27 Gold 23 Silver 17 Bronze  67 Total

Since the modern Olympic era began in 1896, no country has increased its medal tally at the summer Games immediately following one it hosted. GB have also smashed their pre-Games target of at least 48 medals, which was set by UK Sport.

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That means Rio 2016 is the nation’s most successful ‘away’ Games in history.

China, with a population of 1.357bn to Britain’s 64.1m, have amassed more medals (70) than Team GB in Brazil, achieving notable success in table tennis, diving and weightlifting.However, GB are ahead on golds, which is what the rankings are based on.

Asked if the achievements in Rio were better than London 2012, Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, told BBC Sport: “Absolutely.

“It is more of a thrill because although we knew we had medal potential, we were not as sure about the environment in which we were competing.

“Those of us involved know that there is still a huge amount that can be improved. As we look beyond Rio and on to Tokyo, it is looking really exciting.”

UK Sport performance director Simon Timpson insisted the success was “not happening by chance”, adding: “This is success by design.”No nation has ever increased its medal haul in the Games following its host event but Great Britain has done just that

Even seven days ago, it seemed like ridiculous optimism to suggest that the magical number 65 – the British Olympic medal haul from London 2012 – might be matched in Rio.

The Team GB director of performance Simon Timson looked us in the eye, from his seat in the little office they’ve set up a stone’s throw from the Olympic Park, and told us not to get carried away. Bettering the 48 in Beijing eight years ago – our previous best haul from an overseas Olympics – dared to be contemplated. “We’re somewhat ahead,” Timson said, with typical British reserve. But mid 50s? Maybe 60 medals? “No, we can’t take anything for granted.”

Timson’s circumspection was prudent but it looks conservative now. Britain have now bettered its record haul from London – an extraordinary achievement considering the huge benefits that home advantage always infers. An even more extraordinary achievement if that tally brings ascendency over China, whose 1.3bn population generates an obvious competitive advantage. We have never before eclipsed China at an Olympic Games. As CNN put it this week: “The Brits are killing it in Rio.”

There is categorically no doubt that National Lottery money, funnelled into a ruthlessly efficient sports funding programme, has delivered this success. “We don’t come first, second or third by chance,” Adrian Christy, chief executive of Badminton England told The Independent on Friday night. At the time he was watching another medal ceremony which underlined British ascendancy over the Chinese in the table – Chris Langbridge and Marcus Ellis’ triumph over Biao Chai and Hong Wei in the badminton men’s doubles. “There is much evidence to show that success has flowed from the National Lottery starting to invest,” Christy said. “Every penny we get from them we put back in, to get more people playing and more people getting better.”

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Though some may sneer at the clinical idea of buying success, the £275m doled out across all Olympic sports during the four-year cycle leading up to Rio is not a gratuitously vast sum. It hardly equates to a sheikh throwing cash at a football club, though it does buy the coaches, sports science, warm weather training and multitude of benefits which mean Britain can compete.

It’s more complicated than investing money, too, because those who have flourished in Rio do include sports whose funding was cut after failure in London.

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The Jungle Book

Mowgli is a “man cub” raised by the Indian wolf Raksha and her pack, led by Akela, in a jungle of India, ever since he was brought to them as a baby by the black panther Bagheera. Bagheera trains Mowgli to learn the ways of the wolves, but the boy faces certain challenges and falls behind his wolf siblings, and Akela disapproves of him using human tricks like building tools instead of learning the ways of the pack.

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One day, during the dry season, the jungle animals gather to drink the water that remains as part of a truce during a drought that enables the jungle’s wildlife to drink without fear of being eaten by their predators. The truce is disrupted, however, when a scarred Bengal tiger, Shere Khan, arrives, detecting Mowgli’s scent in the crowd. Resentful against man for scarring him, he issues a warning that he will kill Mowgli at the end of the drought. As the wolves debate whether they should keep Mowgli or not, Mowgli decides to leave the jungle for the safety of his pack. Bagheera agrees with the decision and volunteers to guide him to the nearby man village.

En route, Shere Khan ambushes them and injures Bagheera, but Mowgli manages to escape. Later, Mowgli meets an enormous python named Kaa, who hypnotizes him. While under Kaa’s influence, Mowgli sees a vision of his father being mauled while protecting him from Shere Khan. The vision also warns of the destructive power of the “red flower” (fire). Kaa attempts to devour Mowgli, but he is rescued by a sloth bear named Baloo. Baloo and Mowgli bond while retrieving some difficult-to-access honey for Baloo, and Mowgli agrees to stay with Baloo until the winter season arrives. Shere Khan meanwhile, upon learning that Mowgli has left the jungle, kills Akela and threatens the pack to lure Mowgli out.

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Bagheera eventually finds Mowgli and Baloo and is angered that Mowgli has not joined the humans as agreed, but Baloo calms him down and persuades both of them to sleep on it. During the night, Mowgli finds a herd of elephants gathered around a ditch, and uses his vines to save a baby elephant from the ditch. Although Baloo and Bagheera are both impressed, Baloo realizes that he cannot guarantee Mowgli’s safety after learning that he is being hunted by Shere Khan. Baloo agrees to push Mowgli away to get him to continue onward to the man village.

Mowgli is kidnapped by the Bandar-log (monkeys) who present him to their leader, a giant ape named King Louie. Assuming that all humans can make fire, King Louie offers Mowgli protection from Shere Khan in exchange for it. Baloo distracts Louie while Bagheera tries to sneak him out but their plan is discovered. As Louie chases Mowgli through his temple, he informs Mowgli of Akela’s death. Louie’s rampage eventually causes his temple to collapse on top of him. Furious that Baloo and Baghee.

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Mowgli steals a lit torch at the village to use as a weapon and heads back to the jungle, accidentally starting a wildfire in the process. He confronts Shere Khan, who argues that Mowgli has made himself the enemy of the jungle by causing the wildfire. Mowgli throws the torch into the water, giving Shere Khan the advantage. Baloo, Bagheera, and the wolf pack intervene and hold Shere Khan off, giving Mowgli enough time to set a trap. He lures Shere Khan up a dead tree and onto a branch, which breaks under the tiger’s weight, and Shere Khan falls into the inferno. Mowgli then directs the elephants to divert the river and put out the fire.

In the aftermath, Raksha becomes the new leader of the wolf pack. Mowgli decides to utilize his equipment and tricks for his own use, having found his true home and calling with his wolf family, Baloo, and Bagheera.

Saturday 20th August 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on August 20, 2016 by bishshat

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Spurs 1 Palace 0

Victor Wanyama’s first goal for Tottenham gave them all three points against Crystal Palace.The Kenyan midfielder headed home from a corner with eight minutes to go.Spurs had the better of the chances in a tight game with Vincent Janssen shooting wide after being played through by sub Dele Alli.

Palace’s best chance fell to Yohan Cabaye but the Frenchman blasted over from 12 yards. Alan Pardew’s side have now lost their opening two games.The Eagles announced the £27m signing of Liverpool striker Christian Benteke before the match but he signed too late to feature at White Hart Lane.

Although he should have capped it with a goal, Spurs striker Vincent Janssen can be pleased with his contribution in his first start for the club.The 22-year-old Dutchman earned his start after an impressive substitute appearance in the draw at Everton last week and continued where he had left off at Goodison Park with an industrious performance.

The £17m striker came close to opening his account for his new side but Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey did well to stop his shot on the rebound after Janssen had parried Harry Kane’s initial attempt.Janssen was playing at the head of the Tottenham attack with Kane playing behind, and the two showed a few glimpses that the partnership could work.

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The mobile Janssen gave experienced Palace skipper Scott Dann a very difficult afternoon and twice drew applause from the crowd for strong challenges when tracking back.

However, he will be disappointed not to have scored his first goal for the club after miscuing badly when Alli had played him in on goal.He took seven games to score his first goal for AZ Alkmaar last season – on this showing he will not have to wait that long this campaign.Palace have now scored just three times in their last eight Premier League games making it clear to see why they have smashed their club record transfer to sign Benteke.The 25-year-old Belgian might have endured a difficult season at Liverpool but has proven Premier League credentials, with 51 goals in 118 appearances.

Victor Wanyama was the match-winner on his White Hart Lane debut as he headed home a late goal to settle a tight and testing match against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.

It was no more than we deserved though as we dominated possession and shots, eventually making that pay with our Kenyan midfielder’s 83rd minute goal.

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Palace were indebted to goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey for a number of good saves to keep us out in the first half including a trio of stops on one occasion, while we continued to have the upper hand after the interval.
Harry Kane, Vincent Janssen and substitute Dele Alli all had chances to open the scoring, Janssen having the best when through on goal but putting his effort wide, while Yohan Cabaye had Palace’s best opportunity but he blazed over from 12 yards.
It looked like we were heading for a second successive draw when Wanyama popped up with the winner to give us our first three points of the season and we held on for the remaining minutes.

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Friday 19th August 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on August 19, 2016 by bishshat

Love Supreme

Robbie Williams

Oh it seemed forever stopped today
All the lonely hearts in London
Caught a plane and flew away
And all the best women are married
All the handsome men are gay
You feel deprived

Yeah are you questioning your size?
Is there a tumour in your humour,
Are there bags under your eyes?
Do you leave dents where you sit,
Are you getting on a bit?
Will you survive
You must survive

When there’s no love in town
This new century keeps bringing you down
All the places you have been
Trying to find a love supreme
A love supreme

Oh what are you really looking for?
Another partner in your life to
abuse and to adore?
Is it lovey dovey stuff,
Do you need a bit of rough?
Get on your knees

Yeah turn down the love songs that you hear
‘Cause you can’t avoid the sentiment
That echoes in your ear
Saying love will stop the pain
Saying love will kill the fear
Do you believe
You must believe
When there’s no love in town
This new century keeps bringing you down
All the places you have been
Trying to find a love supreme
A love supreme

I spy with my little eye
Something beginning with (ah)
Got my back up
And now she’s screaming
So I’ve got to turn the track up
Sit back and watch the royalties stack up
I know this girl she likes to switch teams
And I’m a fiend but I’m living for a love supreme

When there’s no love in town
This new century keeps bringing you down
All the places you have been
Trying to find a love supreme
A love supreme

Come and live a love supreme
Don’t let it get you down
Everybody lives for love

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Treating carpal tunnel syndrome

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) depends on the severity of the condition and how long you have had it.
In some cases, CTS will improve after a few months without treatment. Moving your hand or shaking your wrist can often help relieve the symptoms.
You should try avoid any activites that make your symptoms worse.
If your work involves using a computer keyboard, there is little evidence that modifications at your workplace are likely to be of any help in relieving your symptoms.
If symptoms persist, there are a range of non-surgical and surgical treatments available that aim to relieve the pressure on the median nerve.
If CTS is caused by an underlying health condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, treating the condition should improve your symptoms.
The various treatments for CTS are outlined below. You can also read a summary of the pros and cons of the treatments for CTS, allowing you to compare your treatment options.
Non-surgical treatments
Unless there is thought to be an immediate need for surgery, treatments such as wrist splints and corticosteroid injections are often recommended initially.
There is a lack of evidence to support the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for treating CTS, or for diuretics to help relieve fluid retention.

Wrist splints

A wrist splint is worn to support the wrist and keep it in a neutral position. It should not apply direct pressure over the carpal tunnel.
The splint prevents the wrist from bending, which can place pressure on the median nerve and aggravate your symptoms.
You should begin to notice an improvement in your symptoms within four weeks of wearing the wrist splint. Wrist splints are usually available from larger pharmacies, or your GP may be able to recommend a suitable supplier. They can also be ordered online.
Corticosteroids
Corticosteroids are a type of steroid medication. Steroids are hormones that are naturally produced in the body. They are powerful chemicals that can help reduce inflammation.
If a wrist splint does not work, corticosteroids may be recommended.
Corticosteroids can be taken as tablets, although for CTS it is likely that you will have a corticosteroid injection directly into your wrist.
One injection is usually recommended to begin with. If the condition responds well to one injection but then recurs, the treatment may be repeated.
Carpal tunnel release surgery
Surgery is usually recommended for cases of CTS, when other treatments have failed to relieve symptoms.
Surgery for CTS is known as carpal tunnel decompression or carpal tunnel release surgery and is performed on an outpatient basis, which means you will not have to stay in hospital overnight.
During surgery the roof of the carpal tunnel, known as the carpal ligament, is cut to reduce pressure on the median nerve in the wrist.
A local anaesthetic is used to numb your hand and wrist, but you will remain awake throughout the operation.
The surgery can be performed as open surgery, which involves making a single cut in the wrist, and is the traditional type of operation.
Some surgeons use keyhole surgery, where special instruments and a long tube with a light at one end and an eyepiece at the other are inserted through small cuts in your wrist, and sometimes your palm. This allows the surgeon to see the carpal ligament on a monitor throughout the operation.
There are no long-term differences in the outcomes of the two approaches.
Your surgeon will be able to discuss the most appropriate method of surgery with you.

Things to consider

A number of things may affect your decision to have surgery. These include:
possible complications after surgery (see below)
the recovery time
how successful non-surgical treatments have been
In most cases, carpal tunnel release surgery provides a complete and permanent cure. However, as with any form of surgery there is always a small risk of complications.

Reported complications of CTS include:

infection
failure during surgery to fully separate the roof of the carpal tunnel, usually resulting in persistent CTS symptoms
bleeding after the operation
nerve injury
scarring
persistent wrist pain, which may be different to the original symptoms
in rare cases, the return of CTS symptoms long after apparently successful surgery
complex regional pain syndrome – a rare but chronic (long-term) condition that causes a burning pain in one of the limbs

After surgery

Following carpal tunnel release surgery, your hand will remain in a bandage for a couple of days and you may need to wear a sling. You should keep your hand raised for 48 hours to help reduce any swelling and stiffness in your fingers.
To help prevent stiffness, gently exercise your fingers, shoulder and elbow. You may be able to start these gentle exercises on the day of your operation.
After having surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), you can use your hand to do light activities that do not cause excessive pain or discomfort. Try to avoid using your hand for more demanding activities until it has completely recovered, which may take several weeks.
The recovery time for open release surgery is usually slightly longer than the recovery time for keyhole surgery. Studies have also shown that there is less pain during the first three months after keyhole surgery compared with open release surgery. However, both methods have proven to be equally effective in treating CTS.

A group of Portuguese researchers from IBMC and FMUP at the University of Porto has found the reason why patients with chronic pain often suffer from impaired short -term memory. The study, to be published in the Journal of Neuroscience, shows how persistent pain disrupts the flow of information between two brain regions crucial to retain temporary memories.

Chronic pain suffers often complain of short term memory’s problems. The neural mechanisms why this occurs are however not understood. Recent studies in animals showed that pain can disturb several cognitive processes as well as change the brain pathways for how we think and feel. Of the many cognitive disturbances observed the most important include problems in spatial memory, recognition memory, attention and even emotional and non-emotional decisions.

In the new  article the team of researchers from the University of Porto led by Vasco Gallardo describes in a rat model of neuropathic pain how a neuronal circuit crucial for the processing of short-term memory is affected by pain. The circuit, established between the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, is essential for encoding and retaining temporary memories on spatial information. The researchers used multi-electrodes implanted in the brain to record neuronal activity during a behaviour dependent of spatial memory – the animals were trained in a maze where they had to choose between two alternative paths and then asked to recall their chosen path.

The results show that after a painful injury there is a significant reduction in the amount of information that passes through the circuit. This could mean a loss of ability to process information on spatial localization memory, or that those regions critical to memory are now “overwhelmed” by the painful stimuli disrupting the flow of information for memory.

According to Vasco Gallardo, the team ” has  already demonstrated that peripheral nerve injury induces an instability in the spatial coding capacity of hippocampus neurons “, where is seen “a clear reduction in their capacity to encode information on the location of the animal.”

So to the author “this new work contributes to the demonstration that chronic pain induces alterations in the function of brain circuits that are not directly connected to tactile or painful processes”.  So as a result of chronic pain it is seen that “are also affected neuronal circuits linked to the processing of memories and emotions, what might mean a need for larger and more integrative strategies in the treatment of painful pathologies”, says the researcher.

GB women win historic hockey gold in Rio

The Netherlands were considered the rulers of world hockey and GB’s win came entirely against the run of play. The defending Olympic champions had dominated but a goal in the final 10 minutes from Britain’s Nicola White levelled the scores at 3-3 and took it to penalty shuffles.

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It was Hollie Webb, one of the youngest members of the team at 25, who scored the winning goal. “I watched it go into the net and then I can’t remember anything else since then,” she said. “We practise them so many times and I just tried to imagine I was training at Bisham Abbey. I knew what I was going to do against their keeper, so I just stared her in the eye.”‘To win an Olympic medal with your wife standing next to you is so special’ The first four shuffles had gone begging before the Dutch keeper Joyce Sombroek was ruled to have deliberately fouled Sophie Bray, and Helen Richardson-Walsh stepped up to score from the consequent penalty stroke.

There were two more misses – including Margot van Geffen’s shot hitting the post – before Webb stepped up to the 23-yard line to take Britain’s first potshot at gold. The ball clanged into the back of the goal like Calamity Jane shooting a tin can off the head of a drunk. It was a nerveless finish for a team who had said repeatedly throughout this tournament that nothing but gold would do. Eight of the players had been forced to settle for an Olympic bronze at London 2012 after a heartbreaking semi-final defeat. They included captain Kate Richardson-Walsh and her wife Helen, who came into this match with 657 caps between them.

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They are the first married couple to win gold for Britain since Cyril and Dorothy Wright, who took the 7m sailing class in Antwerp in 1920. To be fair, there were so few yachts competing in that Games only one team went home without a medal. The Richardson-Walshes and the rest of the GB team have bossed this Olympics, defeating all eight sides they faced. The main grandstand was full of Dutch fans. Some wore inflatable crowns while one man had a giant slice of Edam on his head. A tiny pocket of British fans sat right in the middle of the orange mass and made considerably more noise.

Britain scored first nine minutes into the game after Bray took on three Dutch players to shoot from the edge of the D and the rebound was tucked away by White. The Netherlands equalised immediately after the first break, when Lidewij Welten stole the ball in midfield. She and Kitty van Male stepped on the accelerator, catching Britain on the break and allowing Van Male to run around Maddie Hinch entirely unhindered. She finished with a flick into the top right corner. For much of the match the Netherlands had set up camp in Britain’s half so comfortably they may have considered lighting fires and sending a few players off for provisions. A penalty corner reached Maartje Pauman 10 minutes into the second quarter and the Dutch captain, who was looking for her third consecutive Olympic title, sent it skimming past Hinch’s outstretched leg.

There were army tanks parked forbiddingly on the road leading to the arena. Hinch did much the same job protecting Britain’s goal. A series of brilliant saves kept her team in the game from as early as the 12th minute when Sam Quek fouled Laurien Leurink and conceded a penalty stroke. Paumen’s shot came high and straight at Hinch’s head but she deflected it wide. There were plenty more where that came from, including a brilliant double save against Naomi van As.

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A long ball that was deflected past a hapless Caia van Maasakker landed in prime scoring position for Crista Cullen who scored to keep Britain in the hunt. But after three penalty corners in as many minutes the Dutch went ahead again, Van Male scoring her second goal. Going into the final quarter, the Dutch had won 10 penalty corners, their opponents none. Britain’s first and second came with nine minutes to go, both ungainly scrambles in the goalmouth. Sombroek saved the first but the second drew her a foot further out of her ground, leaving a gap for White to slot home Alex Danson’s rebound.

For Danny Kerry, Britain’s coach, the gold medal had seemed almost preordained. “I know this will sound corny but some days you know you’re going to win,” he said, “and even though we didn’t play very well in the first three quarters of the match I thought we were going to tough it out.

“We have probably the best goalie in the world when it comes to shootouts. As soon as it went there, I knew.

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Thursday 18th August 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on August 18, 2016 by bishshat

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The primrose was known as the “favourite flower” of Benjamin Disraeli, and so became associated with him. Queen Victoria sent a wreath of primroses to his funeral on 26 April 1881 with the handwritten message: “His favourite flowers: from Osborne: a tribute of affectionate regard from Queen Victoria”.
On the day of the unveiling of Disraeli’s statue all Conservative members of the House of Commons were decorated with the primrose.

A small group had for some time discussed the means for obtaining the support of the people for Conservative principles. Sir Henry Drummond Wolff said to Lord Randolph Churchill, “Let us found a primrose league”.

A meeting was held at the Carlton Club shortly afterwards, consisting of Churchill, Wolff, Sir John Gorst, Percy Mitford, Colonel Fred Burnaby and some others, to whom were subsequently added Satchell Hopkins, J. B. Stone, Rowlands and some Birmingham supporters of Burnaby, who also wished to return Lord Randolph Churchill as a Conservative member for that city. These founding members assisted in remodelling the original statutes, first drawn up by Wolff. Wolff had for some years perceived the influence exercised in benefit societies by badges and titular appellations, and he endeavoured to devise some quaint phraseology that would be attractive to the working classes. The title of “Knight Harbinger” was taken from an office no longer existing in the Royal Household, and a regular gradation was instituted for the honorific titles and decorations assigned to members. This idea, though at first ridiculed, was greatly developed since the foundation of the order; and new distinctions and decorations were founded, also contributing to the attractions of the league.

I declare on my honour and faith that I will devote my best ability to the maintenance of religion, of the estates of the realm, and of the imperial ascendancy of the British Empire; and that, consistently with my allegiance to the sovereign of these realms, I will promote with discretion and fidelity the above objects, being those of the Primrose League.

The motto was Imperium et libertas; the seal, three primroses; and the badge, a monogram containing the letters PL, surrounded by primroses. Many other badges and various articles of jewellery were designed later, with this flower as an emblem.

A small office was first taken on a second floor in Essex Street, The Strand; but this had soon to be abandoned, as the dimensions of the League rapidly increased.
The league had two types of members who paid different annual subscriptions: full members (knights and dames) who were usually charged half a crown, and associate members who paid a few pence.

Ladies were generally included in the first organisation of the League, but subsequently a separate Ladies Branch and Grand Council were formed. The founder of the Ladies Grand Council was Lady Borthwick (afterwards Lady Glenesk), and the first meeting of the committee took place at her house in Piccadilly in March 1885. “The Primrose League was the first political organisation to give women the same status and responsibilities as men”. When the league had become a success it was joined by Lord Salisbury and Sir Stafford Northcote, who were elected Grand Masters. Between its inauguration and 1910 its numbers gradual increased as may be see by the table to the right:

Sir Winston Churchill, in his book on his father, Lord Randolph Churchill published in 1906, stated that, the Primrose League had one million paid up members “determined to promote the cause of Toryism”.

Membership of the League was “well over a million by the early 1890s” and at that time enjoyed more support than the British trade union movement.
6,000 people were members of the League in Bolton in 1900, as large as the national membership of the Independent Labour Party during the same time. However, by 1912 the League’s membership had fallen to just over 650,000 as other leagues emerged, such as the Tariff Reform League and the Budget Protest League.

With the granting of universal suffrage after the First World War, the Conservative Party leadership decided “A mass membership now seemed a necessary object if the Conservatives were to be on an equal footing with the mass battalions of the trade unions”,and so with the scaling up of party membership the need for ancillary support from organisations such as the Primrose League diminished, particularly as a conduit of female support who had now gained the vote and could be full members of the Conservative Party.

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Wednesday 17th August 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on August 18, 2016 by bishshat

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Cycling duo Laura Trott and her fiancee Jason Kenny stormed the Rio 2016 Olympics last night – winning the omnium and keirin to bring the GB riders’ medal tally at these Games to 12 in total, six of them gold.

The couple’s cumulative haul alone – with 10 golds between them over three Olympics – would sit 14th on the medal table so far, drawing with New Zealand and ranking above Brazil, Kenya and Jamaica.

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Laura-Early years: Born in Essex on April 24, 1991 – one month early. She had a collapsed lung and was later diagnosed with asthma

Junior cycling: Trott started cycling recreationally aged 8, and “got the bug” when she started winning. She won the Junior World Championship title in the Omnium, and began to dominate National titles in track, road and Time Trial.

Family: Engaged to fellow Olympic Gold Champion Jason Kenny. The pair live in Cheshire

Inspiration: Writing for the Telegraph in 2012, Trott credited Victoria Pendleton for her success: “One of the reasons I got into this sport in a serious way is that I found a role model – and that was Vicky. I loved the way she rode her bike. And she has always been so tough when it comes to race situations.”

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Jason – Early years: Born on March 23, 1988 in Bolton, Kenny has praised his PE teachers at Mount St Joseph School for encouraging his passion

Junior Cycling: After being talent spotted at his local Go-Ride club, Kenny won three Golds at the Junior World Championships, and just two years later, won his first Olympic Gold Medal in Beijing, aged 20.

Family: Kenny is engaged to fellow Olympic Champion Laura Trott and the couple live in Cheshire.

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Tuesday 16th August 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on August 16, 2016 by bishshat

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Monday 15th August 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on August 15, 2016 by bishshat

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Went to doctors at 7pm injection in right wrist for pins and needles. Wow it hurts.

Sunday 14th August 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on August 14, 2016 by bishshat

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All Is Bright

The wry tone of “All Is Bright,” a sardonic, smart screwball comedy that teams Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd as professional thieves trying to “go straight” by selling Christmas trees in New York City, is defined by its droll soundtrack of holiday favorites. Familiar carols are reduced to bouncy instrumental elevator music with a hint of jazz and a smirk on its face.

Dennis (Mr. Giamatti), recently released from prison after serving four years for robbery, and his partner, Rene (Mr. Rudd), a safecracker, live in rural Quebec. Rene didn’t show up for their last escapade, abandoning Dennis, who was arrested at the scene. While Dennis was incarcerated, Rene hooked up with his wife, Therese (Amy Landecker), who told their 7-year-old daughter, Michi (Tatyana Richaud), that her father had died of cancer. Rene is still married to another woman but has promised to wed Therese as soon as his wife agrees to a divorce.

How can Dennis bear to work with the man who left him holding the bag, then stole the woman for whom he still pines? As they say, beggars can’t be choosers. The two are also longtime buddies, and Dennis, who is penniless, unemployed and on the brink of homelessness, is desperate. Laying a guilt trip on Rene, Dennis pressures him to take him on in the Christmas tree business. Even though Dennis is not allowed to leave the area while on parole, they load up a truck with trees and drive to New York.

These oddballs couldn’t be more dissimilar. Dennis, a splenetic sad sack with a hangdog expression and a temper that could explode at any second, is very smart. The maddeningly goofy Rene is a compulsive talker with a streak of the ham actor in him. When their tree-selling enterprise gets off to a slow start, he affects the accent and rustic airs of Quebecois woodsman to charm potential buyers. Just when their business seems about to go bust, the last-minute rush for trees delivers a horde of customers.

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“All Is Bright” is the first movie in eight years directed by Phil Morrison, who made a splash with his 2005 debut, “Junebug,” a bittersweet family drama set in his home state, North Carolina. On the surface, the new film has little in common with “Junebug” except for its attention to psychological detail and its fondness for offbeat characters and respect for actors.

With its affection for downscale characters who dart in and out of the men’s lives, “All Is Bright” has an openheartedness reminiscent of a Preston Sturges film. The screenplay, by Melissa James Gibson, a playwright who is a story editor of the TV series “The Americans,” is devoid of laugh-out-loud jokes, but it has a continuing thread of bittersweet humor as Dennis and Rene interact with people in the neighborhood, many of whom are struggling.

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The most endearing character, Olga (Sally Hawkins, in a scene-stealing role), is the tough-tender Russian maid and house sitter for a pair of well-to-do dentists who are out of town. Olga befriends Dennis after she becomes his first customer, and he delivers and helps her install her tree. She doesn’t seem to mind that his casual, compulsive thievery leads him to pocket expensive items from the dentists’ well-appointed apartment.

Olga plays the piano, as does Dennis’s daughter. Dennis’s decision to steal a piano for Michi is the story’s paradoxical moral fulcrum. His reversion to criminality enables a genuinely selfless act.

Stephen Holdenoct 

Saturday 13th August 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on August 13, 2016 by bishshat

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Regarding KIC 8462852

Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.

ALf says that we have just not been looking hard enough or for that matter in the right place. Besides that 50 Earth years is but a trifle in the pink rabbit shaped blancmange that is space time. ALf as we know is 3.5 million Earth years old and he is the youngest of his planets generations. He says his great Uncle Gannss is 356 million Earth years old and still plays shurrump like a 10 million year old. That is Earth years of course.

Shurrump

Shurrump is a game played at night which lasts 10 Earth years on their home planet Sitem Ax12 and is played very fast with two bent drinking straw type bats (Grurrs) one being 30 meters long and the other being 20 Cm long. The game has been known to last the full 10 years and the players are only allowed to use one leg to stand on. The ball (Yaaj) which is made of vaporous Loss floss enzymes is hit from one quadrant to the next quadrant with the larger bat and balanced on the smaller bat. There is a 5 thousand strong set of solo players and whoever get to the pinnacle of Mount Kiis which is at least 79.000 meters high and balances the Ball for two Earth years on the smaller bat without having it knocked from them is deemed the winner.

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Everton boss Ronald Koeman was indebted to two fine late saves from debutant Marten Stekelenburg after Spurs fought back as Erik Lamela equalised.

Ross Barkley’s curling right-foot free-kick deceived everyone and beat Hugo Lloris to break the deadlock in the fifth minute.

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Tottenham rarely looked like equalising in a disappointing first half as they also lost keeper and captain Lloris with a hamstring injury.

But Spurs, who finished third last term failing to win in their last four matches, showed character in the second half to fight back after being sparked by the introduction of sub Vincent Janssen.

Neither Harry Kane and Dele Alli, who both struggled at the Euros with England, looked back to their best but Erik Lamela beat Mason Holgate to head in a 59minute equaliser.

The visitors might have snatched it late on but Stekelenburg made a magnificent reaction stop from Janssen before tipping over Lamela’s deflected cross.

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I love Laura Trott she is one super cool chick…Trott, Joanna Rowsell-Shand, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald followed in the footsteps of Bradley Wiggins and the boys by scooping another winners’ medal to go with their gongs from London 2012. The GB riders set a world record in qualifying by pinching USA’s record and they rubbed salt in the wounds by again getting the better of the Yanks in the final with a time of 4:10:236. And it meant that Trott moved past Rebecca Adlington and Dame Kelly Holmes’ tally of two Olympic golds.

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BFG

Sophie, a poor orphaned young girl, lives in a London orphanage. She stays awake reading through the nights due to her insomnia. At 3:00 AM, or what she calls the “witching hour”, she sees an elderly giant outside of her window. The giant captures her and takes her into Giant Country. There, he explains that he named himself the “Big Friendly Giant” or the “BFG” for short and that Sophie must stay with him for the rest of her life because she saw him and must not be allowed to reveal the existence of giants. After learning that she has insomnia and that she doesn’t believe he can control dreams, he manages to read her to sleep and gives her a nightmare about failing to escape and being eaten by another giant.

When Sophie awakes the fearsome leader of the man-eating giants called the Fleshlumpeater enters the BFG’s home and smells a human. Sophie hides in a gruesome vegetable called a snozzcumber, which the BFG unknowingly encourages him to eat. On remembering that he never eats vegetables or drinks water due to Fleshlumpeater’s group not liking either one, he throws the snozzcumber down and leaves.

The BFG gives Sophie some replacement clothes as hers are ruined from the snozzcumber, and has a strange reaction to her finding a red jacket. He puts Sophie in a treehouse and says he is leaving to capture dreams. She eventually convinces the BFG to take her to Dream Country – but as they leave, they accidentally wake up the man-eating giants. They throw the BFG around and have him placed on a garbage truck while Gizzardgulper skis down the opposite hill on two cars, one of which that Sophie hides in. Sophie steers the car that she is in so Gizzardgulper ends up being hit in the crotch area. As the pair escape during a thunderstorm where the man-eating giants dislike getting wet, Sophie tells the BFG that he should not allow the other giants to bully him. Meanwhile, the Fleshlumpeater and the Bloodbottler find Sophie’s blanket (which she had dropped before) and set out to look for her.

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The pair arrive in Dream Country and catch a dream each: a good dream about Sophie and a nightmare about committing unforgivable crimes. The two then head to London to spread good dreams to sleeping children. As they do so, Sophie realizes that she has lost her blanket. The BFG realizes that the other man-eating giants know about her, and she wakes up outside the orphanage. He explains that the last human child he took and raised was discovered and eaten by the other giants. She foolishly throws herself out of her window in the hope he will appear again to catch her, and he does. When they return to the BFG’s home, the other giants barge in and upend the place looking for Sophie, destroying much of the BFG’s hard work. Sophie evades detection and the enraged BFG finally stands up to them and drives them off with a hot fire iron.

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While hidden, Sophie finds the home of the last human to live with the BFG. She leaves his jacket on his bed and finds a portrait of Queen Victoria amongst his belongings. From this she devises a plan to forge a nightmare and give it to Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom. The nightmare consists of giants eating the children of England, the British Army fighting the giants, and Sophie appearing on her windowsill. They head to Buckingham Palace where upon waking from her nightmare, the Queen finds Sophie on the windowsill, as in the nightmare and the BFG outside in the palace grounds. Prior to the Queen spotting Sophie, her servant Mary, on hearing about the nightmare the Queen has just had, shows her a newspaper detailing a story about unexplained disappearances of a number of children. Sophie and the BFG inform the Queen and her servants Mary and Mr. Tibbs that the child-eating beasts in her dream are indeed real and must be stopped at all costs before they cause any more harm to her subjects. After a large breakfast they all enjoy, The Queen soon dispatches soldiers to Giant Country.

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The BFG plans to give the man-eating giants the nightmare Sophie caught the night before, so they will be more compliant once caught. They are almost all immediately consumed by guilt, but the Fleshlumpeater awakens and intercepts the dream before it can affect him. He tries to attack Sophie, but is stopped by an army helicopter and lifted away. The giants are all trapped on an isolated uncharted island where numerous crates of snozzcumber seeds are left with them much to their fury.

In the aftermath, Sophie begins living in the Queen’s palace upon Mary adopting her while the BFG returns to Giant Country where he begins growing a wide variety of vegetables inspired by his time in England. He still delivers dreams. The film ends with her narrating that whenever she feels lonely, which is less often than before, she talks to him; he can still hear her. Leaning out of her window, she whispers, “Good Morning, BFG”. At his writing desk, the giant hears her words and smiles.

Friday 12th August 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on August 12, 2016 by bishshat

Autumn Almanac

The Kinks

From the dew-soaked hedge creeps a crawly caterpillar,
When the dawn begins to crack.
It’s all part of my autumn almanac.
Breeze blows leaves of a musty-coloured yellow,
So I sweep them in my sack.
Yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac.

Friday evenings, people get together,
Hiding from the weather.
Tea and toasted, buttered currant buns
Can’t compensate for lack of sun,
Because the summer’s all gone.

La-la-la-la…
Oh, my poor rheumatic back
Yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac.
La-la-la-la…
Oh, my autumn almanac
Yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac.

I like my football on a Saturday,
Roast beef on Sundays, all right.
I go to Blackpool for my holidays,
Sit in the open sunlight.

This is my street, and I’m never gonna to leave it,
And I’m always gonna to stay here
If I live to be ninety-nine,
‘Cause all the people I meet
Seem to come from my street
And I can’t get away,
Because it’s calling me, (come on home)
Hear it calling me, (come on home)

La-la-la-la…
Oh, my autumn Armagnac
Yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac.
La-la-la-la…
Oh, my autumn almanac
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Bop-bop-bopm-bop-bop, whoa!

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Cyclist Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win eight Olympic medals with victory in the team pursuit in a new world record time.

Wiggins, 36, has five golds, one silver and two bronzes to surpass fellow cyclist Sir Chris Hoy’s tally of seven.

He combined with Ed Clancy, Owain Doull and Steven Burke to complete the 4km race in three minutes 50.265 seconds to beat Australia by almost a second.

“It was gold or nothing. I’ll be hungover tomorrow,” said Wiggins.”I’m trying to soak it all up. It was a horrible race to be in. It’s over in a flash.

“It’s a relief. Eighteen months ago there were doubts about whether I could come back and do this.” GB’s second track gold of the Games, following the men’s team sprint victory, came in thrilling fashion, as world champions Australia led by 0.7 seconds at the halfway mark, before GB reeled them in and then pulled away in the final 500m to win by 0.83 seconds. It cemented Britain’s recent dominance in this event at the Olympics, having won gold at the past three Games. Wiggins was part of the 2008 success, but focused on the road to take time-trial gold at London 2012.

Clancy and Burke were part of the team that set a new world record at London 2012 and, along with Doull and Wiggins, sent that mark tumbling twice in Rio – in the semi-final victory over New Zealand and then again in the final.

Australia came into the contest on the back of a victory over Britain at the World Championships in March, but Wiggins said at the time he would “put my house” on his team claiming gold in Rio – and he was proven right.

Denmark won the bronze medal-race against New Zealand while, earlier in the session, Britain’s defending individual sprint champion Jason Kenny progressed to the second round, where he will be joined by team-mate Callum Skinner.

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