The allure of handwriting

“We are more than ever obsessed with individual identity, our personal brand, putting our stamp on the world. But we bow to the plain text of the smartphone, bland and unblotted. A WhatsApp message will never have the personality of a sibling’s spider-scribble. Digital communication can never match the intimacy of a handwritten letter. If …

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Good news – A quick scan for prostate cancer

A new non-invasive MRI scan for prostate cancer could “revolutionise” diagnosis of the disease, scientists have claimed. Men in the UK aren’t screened for prostate cancer because the existing blood test – which looks for raised levels of the protein PSA – is unreliable. Most men with raised PSA levels don’t have cancer, but must …

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Environmental concerns begin with population

Letter to The Guardian: “Your article on “zero heroes” ( e.g zero emission champions) was worthy but it tiptoed around the main factor causing increased global pollution: increasing human numbers.  Progressives often parade their environmental concerns loudly, but are strangely silent on the question of population growth.  How can we get on top of warming …

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Big company mismanagement: don’t fly British Airways!

We were on our way home from Catania airport, Sicily, on a British Airways flight.  It turned out that BA had transported 18 disabled people from Gatwick airport – in wheelchairs –  to Sicily, and that these same people were on our return flight.  ( I hope they enjoyed themselves) Now you would think that …

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The war against antibiotic resistance: Part 2, the good news

The threat posed by antibiotic resistance has finally got through to governments.  98 new formulations are being tested in animals, and nearly two-thirds attack bacteria differently from older drugs, increasing their chance of success. In May this year, the UK government will  pay two companies to bring new anti-microbial drugs to market. The price of …

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138 surgeries close their doors

GPs have blamed under-resourcing and recruitment difficulties as surgery closures across the UK reach an all- time high, affecting an estimated half a million patients last year. According to research by the medical website Pulse, 138 surgeries shut their doors in 2018, compared with just 18 in 2013. Data released under freedom of information by …

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The NRA is now an extreme political party

Earlier this year, the National Rifle Association opposed a bill that would prevent convicted stalkers and abusive boyfriends from possessing guns. “Why? Because any gun purchase increases profits for gun manufacturers, and any regulation – even common-sense measures – is to be opposed.” Having brought the group to this indecent and immoral policy the NRA …

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The end of days for the family farm

Publicity for Blue Apron, a company selling pasture-raised, slow-growth, heirloom chickens direct to consumers as meal-kits, weekly if you want them, is a welcome development that  points up the disaster that is now ubiquitous factory farming, In the Midwest, rural towns are being (have been) destroyed by huge corporations buying up land and building vast …

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Something to make you smile

This notice can now be found in all French churches: En entrant dans cette église, il est possible que vous entendiez l’appel de Dieu. Par contre, il n’est pas susceptible de vous contacter par téléphone. Merci d’avoir éteint votre téléphone. Si vous souhaitez parler à Dieu, entrez, choisissez un endroit tranquille et parle lui. Si vous souhaitez le voir, envoyez-lui un SMS en conduisant. Translation: It is possible that on entering …

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To see British politicians as others see them

 Bloomberg reports this comment from Germany’s deputy foreign minister: “The U.K. government consists mostly of clueless boarding-school graduates. “Brexit is a big shitshow, I say that now very undiplomatically,” Michael Roth said at an event of his Social Democratic Party in Berlin on Saturday. He accused “90 percent” of the British cabinet of having “no …

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