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News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty

Month

April 2016

Fingal’s Cave

Queen Victoria, Matthew Barney, Jules Verne, and Pink Floyd are not names you usually hear in the same sentence, but then the place that they all share is itself quite uncommon. Known as Fingal’s Cave, it bears a history and geology unlike any other cave in the world.

At 72 feet tall and 270 feet deep, what makes this sea cave so visually astoundingly is the hexagonal columns of basalt, shaped in neat six-sided pillars, that make up its interior walls.

The cave was a well-known wonder of the ancient Irish and Scottish Celtic people and was an important site in the legends. Known to the Celts as Uamh-Binn or “The Cave of Melody,” one Irish legend in particular explained the existence of the cave as well as that of the similar Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. As both are made of the same neat basalt columns, the legend holds that they were the end pieces of a bridge built by the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (a.k.a. Finn McCool), so he could make it to Scotland where he was to fight Benandonner, his gigantic rival.

The legend, which connects the two structures, is in effect geologically correct. Both the Giant’s Causeway and Fingal’s Cave were indeed created by the same ancient lava flow, which may have, at one time formed a “bridge” between the two sites. Of course, this happened some 60 million years ago, long before people would have been around to see it. Nonetheless, the deductive reasoning of the ancient peoples formed the connection and base of the legend that the two places must be related.

full story at : Atlas Obscura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

protest songs

Protest songs

‘Humiliated, isolated’: Over 1.25mn destitute in 21st century Britain

© Andrew Winning

In a climate of unyielding austerity, more than a million people across the UK are so impoverished they don’t have enough food, clothes, heating, shelter and toiletries, Britain’s first study into destitution has revealed.

The report, which was commissioned by UK charity the Joseph Rowntree Trust (JRT), used a new method to measure the scale of extreme poverty in Britain.

At present, there are no official government estimates of the level of destitution across the UK. But amid growing concern that extreme poverty is on the rise, the JRF commissioned a special report to investigate the matter.

The study was conducted by academics at Herriot-Watt University, a range of other experts and a number of key UK service providers. It took two years to complete, and was published on Wednesday.

It found that a startling 1.25 million people were destitute during 2015, 312,000 of whom were children. Some 80 percent of these were born in Britain.

While young, single citizens – especially men – were found to be more likely to suffer from extreme poverty, considerable numbers of families were also found to have suffered destitution.

Most severe form of poverty

Destitution is defined as the “most severe form of poverty in the UK,” which leaves people in such financial jeopardy they are unable to afford vital essentials such as food, toiletries and heating.

In order to discern whether an impoverished person can be defined as destitute, the report’s authors said they must lack two or more essentials deemed vital for basic living over a four-week period.

People who fell into this category included: those who had been forced to sleep rough; had no meal or just one per day over a period of 48 hours or longer; were unable to heat or light their home adequately for five or more days, and lacked weather-proof clothes or had to go without basic toiletries.

No central cause for destitution was uncovered. However, the majority who fell into this category had been impoverished for some time and had arrived at a tipping point that plunged them deeper into financial woe. Key drivers in this respect were spiraling financial costs of ill health, soaring rental and property prices, joblessness, and financial shocks such a delays or sanctions to benefit payments.

Areas rife with destitution

High rates of destitution were uncovered in ex-industrial areas across the northwest and northeast of England, Scotland, South Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as in inner-city London.
Unemployment was rife in these regions, while rates of long-term sickness and disability were also found to be above average.

In-depth interviews with 80 destitute citizens revealed that 30 percent had had their benefits sanctioned. Over 50 percent of this group made a direct link between being stripped of welfare payments and failing to meet the cost of basic living essentials.

Director of the Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Environment and Real Estate (I-SPHERE) at Heriot-Watt University, Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, who was a key author of the report, said destitution severely impacts peoples’ physical and mental health.

“The people we spoke to told us they felt humiliated that they couldn’t afford basic essentials without help. Many said that this affected their relationships and left them socially isolated,” she said.

“This report has shown that destitution is intrinsically linked to long-term poverty, with many people forced into destitution by high costs, unaffordable bills or a financial shock such as a benefit sanction or delay. More co-ordinated debt-collection practices, particularly from DWP, local councils and utility companies, could help to avoid small debts tipping people in to destitution.”

Chief Executive of the JRT Julia Unwin said the number of people living in destitution across the UK is shocking.

“It is simply unacceptable to see such levels of severe poverty in our country in the 21st Century,” she said.

“Governments of all stripes have failed to protect people at the bottom of the income scale from the effects of severe poverty, leaving many unable to feed, clothe or house themselves and their families.”

Unwin said that tackling many of the root causes of destitution would be difficult.

“Many people affected are living on a very low income before they are no longer able to make their incomes stretch, or a financial shock like a benefit delay or family breakdown pushes them over the edge into destitution. We have to tackle these root causes,” she said.

“Government, businesses and communities need to work together to provide better emergency support, make basic essentials more affordable and create better jobs if we are to end destitution in the UK.”

Calls for reform

The report’s authors identified those who were destitute by surveying people who relied on charitable crisis services such as foodbanks, debt advice groups, homelessness groups, and key services for migrants. Samples were taken from nine areas across the UK over a seven-day period in 2015.

This did not factor in those who only received help from councils or state programs, or those who found themselves in deep financial crisis, but did not seek assistance. As a result, the report estimates the true number of people living in destitution in Britain is likely “significantly higher” that 1.25 million.

JRF is calling on Britain’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) to start officially monitoring the number of destitute people across the nation. The group argues government policy, the UK’s business sector, and local communities must work in unison to offer better support to people in the throes of acute financial crisis.

In particular, it is calling for the government to address Britain’s housing problem and the biggest rise of precarious, low-paying work seen since 2010.

Source RT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 Shocking Illustrations Reveal How Animals Feel By Switching Them With Humans

nose

Truthfully, some of these are downright gut wrenching. You’ve been warned. Compiled by Bored Pandathis series of illustrations was designed to get us to think differently about the way humans treat animals by having us trade places with them, creating a horrific parallel universe where humans are caged, tortured, and slaughtered.

It’s a terrifying premise, but sadly, also represents the reality for hundreds of millions of animals each day.

These images have the potential to open up so many discussion topics which perhaps people are already thinking about but have never dared explore out loud. These are the uncomfortable truths that hide just beneath the surface of world. We use animals for our entertainment, we eat them, we wear them, we experiment on them, and we use them to curb our own loneliness.

People can argue for and against animals rights ’till the cows come home, but that doesn’t change the fact that we as a species see animals as ‘less than’ or as inferior to us. There is plenty more I could say on this issue, but for now, let’s just have a look at these images and take some time to reflect on how they make us feel. If you are uncomfortable, it may because they hit closer to home than you’d like.

satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-27-571a251f908ba__700

satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-16-571a250517577__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-14-571a250163579__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-12-571a24fd82055__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-5-571a24ee56c00__700satirical-animal-right-comics-parallel-universe-37-571a2b258e498__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-13-571a24ff865a5__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-42satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-20-571a251089372__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-2-571a24e68141d__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-35-571a252e3a1e8__700satirical-animal-right-comics-parallel-universe-39-571a286c81a52__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-32-571a2527d2550__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-29-571a25232f633__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-21-571a2512c07ee__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-34-571a252bb8d3c__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-24-571a25195058c__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-9-571a24f680f6f__700satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-3-571a24e8b8872__700satirical-animal-right-comics-parallel-universe-27satirical-animal-rights-illustrations-parallel-universe-37-571a2531e1b7f__700

Source  CE

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Brief Compendium of “Are You Seriously Going to Eat That?” by MessyNessy

crabcake

Crab cakes anyone? They should have a museum out of misfortunate mid-century menus. Seriously, what were they thinking? Food styling has come a long, long way. I dare you to make one for your Friday night dinner guests. It’s April Fool’s after all…

nesbitt

Shrimp Cocktail Tree, found on Pinterest.

 

eggtreats

Stanley Kubrick Egg Treats, found on Flickr.

 

5658325000_f8ae99e9bf_o

You’re going to need a bigger drink. World of Scandinavian Food, found on Flickr.

 

hams

The Prettiest Hams On The Block From the Book Of Buffets, 1968 found on Flickr

 

mosaicmouuse

Mosaic Shrimp and Salmon Mousse, found on Flickr.

 

4347233931_045c9b3710_o

Did they have no decency? Found on Flickr.

atora1

Atora is an existing British brand of shredded suet, which is clarified beef fat, primarily used in the production of pastry and dumplings. Found on Flickr.

 

seafoam

Sea-foam Cantaloupe Pie, BH&G Cookbook, Pies And Cakes, 1966, find the recipe here.

 

pineapple

Liver Sausage Pineapple from a 1953 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

One pound of liver sausage with lemon juice, worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise shaped like a pineapple. The lovely yellow coating on the outside is made out of unflavored gelatin and mayonnaise. You “frost it” with the jello mayo, score it, and stick little olive slices all over it.” The recipe says to top “with a real pineapple top for fun!” They also helpfully mention that you should serve hot coffee with this whole spread.

Found on Turkey Sandwich.

 

almondshaystack

Almonds in a Haystack Appetizer, an advertisement for Miracle Whip, found on Pinterest.

Tuna-MackerelPicnicLoaf

Tuna ‘n Mackerel Picnic Loaf, found on Flickr.

 

sanwich

Horrible Cream Cheese Sandwich Thing masquerading as a cake. Found on Flickr.

 

limecheesesalad

Lime Cheese Salad, mmmm. Found on Kitschy Living.

 

4312668571_024ed6f872_o

Give them credit for the Art Deco effort. Found on Flickr.

 

mayonnaisecake

Oh Mrs. Filbert. Found on Flickr.

 

vegetables

Could be a small plate of vegetable mousse, could be that the owner has a very large dog.

Found on the Gallery of Regrettable Food.

more regretable errrrrrr nostalgic food pics MessyNessy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone is mocking this unfortunate ad for ‘Young Banker of the Year’ (IMAGES)

Everyone is mocking this unfortunate ad for ‘Young Banker of the Year’ (IMAGES)

An unfortunately ill-considered advert for the City of London’s ‘Young Banker of the Year’ award has accidentally managed to sum up everything wrong with the heart of our financial services industry – and social media users are all over it.

The Chartered Banker advert has been plastered all over the London tube network, and features a giant banker sort of…squatting over the capital.

It didn’t take long for commuters to notice the underlying message in the advert, so they decided to gatecrash the #cbriseabovetherest hashtag (intended to praise and promote the event) and share their thoughts on the ad instead.

Let’s face it, the design team accidentally summed up the reality behind the myth of the trickle down effect. Something is trickling down alright, but it doesn’t smell like wealth.

Four decades of neoliberal economic policy removed the redistributive measures that spread the benefits of wealth, and the vast majority of income gains since have been confined to the already wealthy. In short, the rich are getting richer at an astonishing rate, and the poor are not.

Here’s what has happened in the United States since 1979:

incomegains
This graph by the US Congressional Budget Office sums up the findings of a June 2010 report. Between 1979 and 2007 the net income of the richest 1% of Americans rose by 281%, whilst that of the poorest fifth rose by 16%.

The same has happened here in Britain.

Danny Dorling, professor of human geography at Sheffield University, tracked the share of national income going to the richest 1% from the end of the first world war in 1918, to 2012. He made the unsurprising discovery that after falling for more than a century before the Thatcher government, their share then began rising – and has done so ever since. Things are now just as unequal as they were in 1918.

_57919089_share_income464x332

 

The evidence is plain for all to see. The current economic and political system is making our country, and our world, a more unequal place. It is making it harder, not easier, for people to make the very most of themselves. For several generations, parents were able to say to their children: ‘your lot have it so much better than we did.’ But that simply is not true today. Young adults completing their GCSEs today have got it harder than any generation in decades – and the spectre of a young banker taking a dump on their dreams could not sum it up better.

source: The Canary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People switching from tax credits to Universal Credit could be hit with new debts due to the move, the Department for Work and Pensions has admitted.

Source: Revealed: How Universal Credit could land households with freshly made debt

Many homeless in England have no right to real help from state – study

© Dylan Martinez

Many homeless people in England are not entitled to vital help under UK law even if they are sleeping on the streets, a damning report shows.

A coalition of social justice campaigners and lawyers fighting homelessness in Britain is calling for councils across England to intervene sooner to prevent people from ending up on the street.

They made the demand in a review of homelessness legislation, published on Monday. The report, which was written by representatives from Crisis, Shelter, councils across England, and the Chartered Institute of Housing and the National Housing Federation, demands prompt legal reforms.

The study argues local authorities could and should intervene in crisis situations, and rehouse citizens deemed to be in jeopardy of losing their home.

Figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government in February 2016 revealed that the number of England’s rough sleepers soared by 30 percent with a 12-month period. In a climate of rising inequality and accusations of social cleansing, ministers are considering a policy change. Critics say it should have been implemented long ago.

As it currently stands, adults without children who are judged to be healthy, single and not particularly vulnerable are not categorized as high-priority cases by local authorities. As a result, the most councils can do is give them advice if they are threatened with homelessness.

In many instances, campaigners warn these individuals are just handed leaflets and abandoned by the authorities.

The review of homelessness legislation, published Monday, argues English law should be amended to take on dimensions of the Welsh system.

The study says local authorities should have a more robust duty to stop people from becoming homeless. It also suggests councils should have to act within 56 days of someone facing homelessness, and should be compelled to find accommodation for those who have local connections.

While these proposals differ slightly to policies currently seen in Wales, campaigners say they could be helpful in tackling England’s homelessness crisis.

Since December 2012, councils in Scotland have been legally obliged to secure settled accommodation for all eligible applicants that find themselves unintentionally homeless.
Britain’s Local Government Association (LGA) said it is vital that the government honor its commitment to replace high-value homes sold on to fund Westminster’s extended Right to Buy scheme.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said that ministers had promised £139 million to homelessness programs and a further £100 million for housing in the budget.

“This report makes interesting reading and we will continue work with homelessness organizations and across government to explore options,” the spokesman told the BBC, adding that legislation “to prevent more people from facing a homelessness”would be factored in.

 Source RT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Invade Next ( 2016 )

Where to Invade Next: To learn what the USA can learn from other nations, Michael Moore playfully “invades” them to see what they have to offer.

I am not a great fan of his documentaries but this one is pretty good,with a sense of humor.

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