Monday, 27 January 2014

Week: 2

Welcome to the second instalment of “The Week” and what a week it’s been. [To be read in the voice of a cheesy TV presenter.] As Syrian peace talks and Ukrainian protests are ongoing, the country which provided two of my favourite stories of this week was South Africa. First of all, township DJ Mandla Maseko is going to be the first black African to head into space. In an interview he said that, after the sub-orbital trip, he would like to go the moon to plant the South African flag there. Another planted symbol has caused controversy this week as a small bronze rabbit has been found in the ear of the statue of Mandela, which was unveiled last month. A rabbit. In Mandela’s ear. Disrespectful or utter genius? You decide.

Much has been in the news this week about mental health as well, with Monday seeing Nick Clegg launch an attack against the way the NHS deals with mental health patients and stating that mental health issues are treated as the “poor cousin” to physical health. This was on the same day as a BBC survey came out, suggesting that around half of Britain’s adults suffer from loneliness and the same week that the issue of detaining hundreds of children in prison cells under the Mental Health Act.  

NOT MY PHOTO - Groovy GM Tomato 

And mental health’s... “better-off cousin” (?) has had no shortage of attention either, with two sleep-related studies showing that sleeping well could protect men from prostate cancer, whereas the night shift can increase risk of type-2 diabetes, heart attack, and cancer. And if you’re seeking new foods to help improve your diet, why not try the new purple GM tomato?! Its deep(ly puzzling) purple colour is the result of a gene transfer from a snapdragon.  It won’t help your card-playing or your fire-breathing skills, but it will give you the same health benefits as super-fruit blueberries.



Snapdragon! (NOT MY PHOTO)

Finally, some pieces of news I like to term “general goodness”. First of all was the news that plus-size mannequins are hitting the shops, with shops such as Debenhams stocking mannequins up to a size-16 (the UK woman’s average dress size apparently). Secondly, “Revenge Porn King” (also known as “The Most Hated Man on the Internet”) has been arrested – HURRAH! Normally I’m not so prone to displays of such Schadenfreude, but this guy really is a piece of work. For those of you that don’t know – revenge porn is a site where angry people (usually ex-partners) can post nude photos of women on whom they wish to exact revenge. That was bad enough, until it became known that dear Mr Moore was not only hosting user-supplied content BUT had also paid a specialist to hack into women’s email accounts and steal nude photos THEY NEVER EVEN SENT. So... a real charmer. To end on a positive note, however, this week showed that UK pay is rising in real terms with all but the richest 10% seeing at least a 2.5% increase on take-home wages after tax. Wonderful.

Anyway, that’s me for this week – please leave comments below if you want to engage in lively debate or express any opinions whatsoever. See you next time!

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