News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty


January 24, 2016


HBO isn’t starting season 6 of Game of Thrones until April 24, so there is still a lot of time until the houses come back together and the likely massacres begin. HBO has recently revealed a series of promos that not only are house-specific, but could have honestly revealed and spoiled a number of things about the upcoming season. Even HBO doesn’t want to hold back on the possible resurrection/return of Jon Snow.

Please note that this article contains likely SPOILERS for the upcoming season 6 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. If you don’t want to know what may possibly happen, then stop reading now.

The official Twitter account for Game of Thrones has started something really awesome. Followers can declare their allegiance to Stark, Lannister, or Targaryen by using a specific hashtag and then getting rewarded with a promo for that house.

rest of article at The Inquisitr

As of Saturday night, House Stark is winning while hashtags for Raven are also being counted in the overall tally. House Martell, House Greyjoy, and House Tyrell are not being calculated into the overall count at this time.

The thing is, these promos are incredibly revealing and really do tell a lot about season 6 of Game of Thrones. One of the most noticeable things is the situation with Jon Snow and exactly what is going to happen with him this season.










UK Could Take Refugee Children From Europe

The Government is looking at “whether we can do more” for lone Syrian child refugees in Europe, Justine Greening tells Sky News.

Syrian and Afghan refugee children line up for a photograph in Victoria Square, where hundreds of migrants and refugees sleep rough, in central Athens

David Cameron is considering taking thousands of unaccompanied Syrian refugee children from migrant camps in Europe.

The Prime Minister will decide in the “coming days and weeks” how children who have fled to Europe but been separated from parents can be helped, the International Development Secretary told Sky News.

If Mr Cameron agrees to take refugee children from Europe it would represent a softening of the Government position.

Britain has already agreed to take 20,000 Syrian refugees but had insisted it would only take them from the refugee camps in the Syrian region – and not draw from the camps in Europe.

full story at Sky News

Average wages for 90 per cent of British workers are less than half what you’ve been told

Thanks go to a Vox Political reader for passing on the link to this article.The Equality Trust and High Pay Centre has average pay for UK workers calculated as £26,500. However, average pay conceals the reality for millions.

For instance, the top 0.1% are earning a few pounds over £1 million a year and the top 1% are earning an average £271,888. What this figure hides is the fact that the top FTSE chief executives are earning an average of £4.3 million and it takes them just 2.5 days to earn the average annual workers pay. These statistics do not include other successful groups such as self employed entrepreneurs.

The top 10% of UK workers earn £79,196. But the truth here is that this also includes the earnings of the top 1%, meaning the next 9% don’t really earn that figure.

What is grotesque is the next number that should shock everyone. The average pay of the next 90%, (by stripping out all earnings of the top 10%, including the 1% and 0.1% groups) leaves an annual income of just £12,969. Yes, you read that right. Stripping out the top 10% of average pay, leaves just £12,969 average pay for the remaining 90% of the population.

What is interesting about the figures collated by the Inequality Trust is that the data is about two years old (not their fault – it’s what is available), so things will actually be slightly worse as all analysts agree that inequality is getting worse, not better.

read full story Vox Political







Source: Mother who faced bedroom tax eviction after son’s suicide found hanged with note to David Cameron

An inquest has heard that Frances McCormack, a 53-year-old school cook, had been hounded for bedroom tax payments since the tragic suicide of her 16-year-old son Jack Allen in 2013. A handwritten note, dated 10 days before her death, was found in her bedroom, part of which was addressed to David Cameron, outlining the hardships that the Bedroom Tax was causing.

Ms McCormack’s body was discovered by her close friend Natalie Richardson at her home in Maltby, near Rotherham.

An eviction notice was served on Ms McCormack the day before her body was discovered, the court heard.

Frances McCormack had been helping Rotherham Council with its suicide prevention work following the suicides of a number of young people.

Her ex-husband Jimmy Allen said after the inquest: “She was a strong-willed woman and a good, loving mother. This was a totally unseen body blow to the family.”

Close friend Natalie Richardson told the Doncaster inquest: “Frances had spoken to me previously about the property.

“She wanted to buy into it, it was where the three boys were raised and where Jack took his last breaths, ate his last meal and spoke his last words.

“She was a very strong woman, very strong minded. I felt she was getting a lot better with herself. She had decided to go out a bit more, she had started going to the gym, she was very focused and always had something to do.

“She never gave me any kind of inkling and was strong for me when my partner passed away. She was my rock.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “Our sympathies are with the family of Ms McCormack. This is a tragic and complex issue and it would be misleading to link it to one cause.”

Recent research by Iain Duncan Smith’s own department showed 78% of bedroom tax victims were penniless by the month’s end and at least half had to turn down their heating.

more over at Kitty S Jones


Ship’s Galley in a Thomas Phillip print of a first rate ship of the line from the 1690s. Note the ship’s cook with a knife in his right hand wearing an apron and possessing a wooden leg. Image printed in Brian Lavery’s “The Arming and Fitting of English Ships of War, 1600-1815” on page 196.

Prologue: Due to the amount of content on this subject, this article is broken into two parts. The second part will be published several weeks from now.  Special thanks to Jeff Pavlik for his consultations regarding period ship’s biscuits.

“Englishmen, and more especially seamen, love their bellies above anything else.”[1]  This classic quote from Samuel Pepys summarized well the significance of food to sailors during the Age of Sail.  Mariners could endure hard work and ragged clothing, but had little patience for short rations or rotten provisions.  Pepys recognized this when he work for the English Royal Navy, and that, “any abatement from them in the quantity or agreeableness of the victuals,” could turn sailors against serving the Navy.[2]  The stereotype for the diet of sailors during the Age of Sail included ship’s biscuit, salt pork, and rum.  Many people at sea in that era ate or drank all the items in this cliché menu, but also consumed many other foods and drinks.  Since food played a significant role in the lives of sailors, exploring the specifics of their diets can provide more insights into their experiences at sea.

Examining food for common-rank Anglo-America sailors in the various maritime services requires answering a variety of questions:

  • What foods did sailors receive in their rations?
  • How did the food issued in European waters differ from those in other places such as the Caribbean?
  • Did Navy provisions differ from those of pirates, merchant sailors, or other maritime services?
  • How did French, Spanish, or Dutch provisions differ from those on British vessels?
  • What dishes did sea cooks prepare?
  • When did mariners eat?
  • What tableware and utensils did they use at mealtimes?
  • What did sailors eat or drink onshore after a voyage?
  • How did the sailors’ diet compare to that of the lower class ashore?

Attempting to answer these questions, specifically for sailors who sailed between 1680 and 1740, offers a glimpse into a somewhat neglected period of maritime history and provides context to future food choices for mariners in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras.

full story with fascinating insights go here Colonies,Ships and Pirates








SNP demand end to UK arms sales helping Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen

THE SNP has demanded a halt to the sale of UK weapons to Saudi Arabia amid growing concern they are killing thousands of civilians in the war-torn gulf state of Yemen.

Westminster leader Angus Robertson last night called on David Cameron to block sales after claims the UK Government is breaking national, EU and international law by supplying weapons to a Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen.

In a letter to Cameron, Robertson requested an urgent meeting to discuss the situation.

Last month a legal opinion commissioned by Amnesty International and the Saferworld NGO concluded the UK was breaching its obligations under the UK’s Consolidated Criteria on arms exports, the EU Common Position on Arms Exports and the Arms Trade Treaty by supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia capable of use in Yemen.

full story at heraldscotland









When Panic Attacks Take Over Your Life

Steph, now 23, started having panic attacks when she was 11 years old. “It was around the time I started secondary school, and no one knew what they were”, she says. Although she went to her GP at the time, they had no inkling that the attacks were to do with an underlying mental health problem. “If I’d been diagnosed at 10 or 11 properly, my life would have been so different. My teenage years were absolute hell. It was all-consuming.”

Panic attacks are characterised by a sudden feeling of anxiety – one so strong that you become overwhelmed. They fill you with fear and dread. They can make you sick, they can make you tremble, and they can make you sweat. Lasting from around five to 20 minutes – sometimes longer – they can be utterly terrifying.

While having a panic attack is horrible, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have an underlying mental health problem. Panic disorder, however, which is when the sufferer has recurring and regular panic attacks, is the condition that is formally classified by doctors as an anxiety disorder. And this is a disorder which you’re 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with if you’re a woman than a man.

Laura Whitehurst from Anxiety UK, the nationwide charity that helps people with anxiety, explains. “Women in general are more predisposed to anxiety, which is why they’re more likely to develop panic disorder. A recent study, for instance, showed that 22% of women feel anxious all or a lot of the time, compared to only 15% of men. Other explanations are to do with the differences in brain chemistry between men and women.”

full story at  Refinery29

Lord Kerslake to say housing bill will force councils to sell off more than 100,000 homes to subsidise right-to-buy discounts

Social housing in Bristol
Opposition and crossbench peers are to join forces against key aspects of the government’s housing and planning bill. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

The former head of the civil service will accuse government ministers this week of trying to phase out social housing altogether in favour of a new generation of “starter” homes that will be unaffordable for people on low incomes.

The intervention from Lord Kerslake, who was the most senior Whitehall mandarin until July 2014, will come as opposition and crossbench peers join forces against key aspects of the government’s controversial housing and planning bill when it reaches the Lords on Tuesday.

In a further indication that the bill could receive a rough ride, Lord Bassam, Labour’s chief whip in the Lords will abandon the normal convention that holders of his office do not enter legislative debates, when he delivers a highly personal speech invoking his childhood experience of being brought up on a council estate in Essex.

The bill, which the Commons passed earlier this month, extends the right to buy to housing associations as part of a voluntary deal with the sector, ends indefinite tenancies in council-owned properties and prioritises the construction of so-called starter homes for first-time buyers. Ministers say it will increase home ownership and house building.

read more at the The Guardian

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