Semi-comprehensible soundtracks on modern movies

Is it just me, but do other people understand what actors are saying in modern movies? When I was younger I did a lot of amateur acting.  We performed in the massive great barn of a place called the Wimbledon Theatre in London.  Our director was great, but a bit of a tyrant.  She used …

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Liberty and licence: a moral and ethical question.

The  posting below about Big Soda trying to persuade the government that consuming excessive sugar is fine as long as you take plenty of exercise raises the issue of Liberty. The Obama Administration was taken to task for what some regarded as too many regulations protecting consumers, the environment etc.  The current Administration is scrapping swathes …

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“Stress” interviews: hiring by humiliation

Job interviews are rarely a pleasant experience but the one Olivia Bland recently endured appears to have been particularly hideous. The 22-year-old graduate says she was left in tears at the bus stop after a two-hour grilling by Craig Dean, the boss of a tech company in Oldham where she had hoped to become a …

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Young people – how they might live

In the old days there was almost full employment for the majority of ones working life, a final salary pension, health benefits, sick leave, and a paid holiday entitlement. These benefits have evaporated, and in their place has emerged the short-term contract, which offers no security and few benefits, and large education debts that are hard to …

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Why is modern culture so awful?

In the contemporary era, with our record levels of wealth, technological advancement and scientific understanding, it follows that our culture should be as groundbreaking as everything else. We should be composing the best ever music, building the best ever buildings, and painting the best ever art. Yet in most ways, the culture of the past …

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Fitness and insomnia

Insomniacs have one less thing to worry about: harmful as their condition can be, it probably won’t shorten their lives, according to the latest research. A team at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, reviewed 17 previous studies involving 37 million people, and found that while sleeplessness may be associated with diabetes, depression and dementia, it …

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Social media sours the soul

“There’s no such thing as the season of goodwill when it comes to political debate on social media. It’s all about fury and outrage. Even when tweets are funny, you can taste the “anger inside the sugar coating of smug satire”. Rage is contagious – it spreads like an infection across online forums, which have …

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Are American men in crisis?

According to some commentators, American men are in crisis. For Democrats declining workforce participation rates, rising suicide rates and increasing drug use are symptomatic of an economy that is too weak and rigid to offer men the opportunity they need to thrive. Republicans prefer to focus on social causes of men’s woes: the rise of …

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The traditional dinner party, part 1

It seems that the formal dinner is on life support. No one is setting out different wine glasses or (horror!) seating interesting strangers next to one another if they have special things in common. Entertaining is now informal, from a buffet to a casual get-together. Here are the modern do’s and don’ts for dinner party …

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Children returning home? Bad news for parents!

A quarter of young British adults now live with their parents, more than at any time since records began in 1966. According to a new study by the London School of Economics, adult children who return to the family home after a period away – often at university – cause a significant decline in their …

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Genuine complaints received by from customers by Thomas Cook Vacations

1. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.” 2. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.” 3. “We went on holiday to Spain and had …

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Seneca on achievement and ambition

Seneca is particularly skeptical of the double-edged sword of achievement and ambition — which causes us to steep in our cesspool of insecurity, dissatisfaction, and clinging:. “It is inevitable that life will be not just very short but very miserable for those who acquire by great toil what they must keep by greater toil. They …

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Thought for the day: making advances

To The Times In your report “Ex-director goes on sex offender register for making pass at friend”, you write that the judge told the defendant: “You do not make advances towards women who don’t want you to.” In other words, a woman must first indicate that an advance is welcome before a man can make …

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