Works in local gov, policy/comms, is member of Young Fabians, would like to be a superhero / guitar god, ok at karaoke. Tweets in a personal capacity...
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Google Now has your back for Voter Registration Day, too

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Google surely has a lot of tricks in store for the Now app: one of the latest to surface, for instance, reminds American voters to register for November's general elections. Residents in Michigan, Pennsylvania and likely other states recently...
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vmrampulla
2579 days ago
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Why can't Google do this in the UK?
London
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The Evolution Of Justin Timberlake's Hair As Told By Gollum

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J.Timberlake is precious — but not all his hair styles were.

1998

1998

Warner Bros. Pictures

2000

2000

Warner Bros. Pictures

2001

2001

Warner Bros. Pictures

2002

2002


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vmrampulla
2906 days ago
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For some unknown reason I really like this... *must get haircut*
London
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Graphic novel legend Neil Gaiman releases ‘The Sandman: Overture’

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'The Sandman: Overture'

Before Hollywood turned his books ‘Coraline’ and ‘Stardust’ into hit films, UK born, US based fantasy writer Neil Gaiman was most famous for graphic novel ‘The Sandman’. One of only a handful of comics to hit the New York Times bestseller list, the first issue was dated January 1989 and it continued running until 1996.

It’s a unique, dark take on the sandman myth, which charted the adventures of Lord Morpheus, the mysterious king of the world of dreams. Gaiman’s central character – who has a mass of dark floppy hair, much like the writer himself – is a mixture of brooding angst and surprising compassion. 

It’s been ten years since Gaiman last visited the Sandman, but today he’s released the first issue of a prequel – ‘The Sandman: Overture’. The two versions of the cover are by Gaiman’s longtime collaborator Dave McKean and ‘Batwoman’ artist JH Williams III. Williams III does the rest and, judging by the artwork, it looks as vivid, poetic and otherworldly as ever.

Find out more at vertigocomics.com

'The Sandman: Overture'

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vmrampulla
2917 days ago
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Actually quite excited by this. If you grew up on the Sandman comics then this is the stuff of dreams!
London
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Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet

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Word on the street - Overheard in London - Time Out London

Every week you share the weird things you’ve overheard in London. Above,  a few perplexing snippets from the past seven days – don’t forget to tweet us your own!



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vmrampulla
2980 days ago
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Love this...commuters say the funniest thing *strains to hear couple in front*
London
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Should the Public Affairs Act 1975 be repealed?

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9 per cent of Brits say the Public Affairs Act 1975 should be repealed, and 9 per cent say it shouldn’t, according to a new poll by YouGov. If you’re wondering ‘What on Earth is the Public Affairs Act 1975?’, that’s probably because it doesn’t exist. And yet 18 per cent were willing to offer an opinion on it (interestingly, men were twice as likely to do so than women).

This is a recreation of an experiment conducted by researchers at the University of Cincinnati in the eighties, which also found that ‘a substantial number of people will offer opinions on fictitious topics in the context of a survey interview’.

YouGov used the controversial (or, rather, non-existent) Act to test how attaching a party’s position would alter people’s opinions on it. The first group were simply asked whether it should be repealed or not. The second were told that ‘Some Conservative politicians have called for the Act to be repealed’, and the third were told the same about Labour politicians. And the results?

UK Public Affairs Act

UK Public Affairs Act

Looking at the breakdowns between supporters of different parties involves small sample sizes — and therefore big margins of error — but some clear, and expected, patterns seem to emerge. For instance, Labour voters were evenly-split between supporting (12 per cent) and opposing (11 per cent) repeal. appeal. But when Conservative support for repeal appeal was attached, opposition among Labour voters shot up (to 24 per cent, with 10 per cent in support). And those Labour voters who were told that their party supported repeal were much more likely to follow suit, with 19 per cent of them support, 4 per cent against. You can see a similar pattern among Tory voters.

YouGov recently conducted a very similar survey in the US, with similar results. But the partisan effect is much more pronounced in the States: 39 per cent of Republicans were opposed to repeal when told Barack Obama was in favour of it. (Although they were given more concrete figures to sway their opinions — Obama and congressional Republicans, rather than generic Tory or Labour politicians.)

US Public Affairs Act

US Public Affairs Act So the partisan mindset (‘If my party’s for it, so am I.’/'If the other guys are for it, I’m against it.’) seems to be stronger in the US than the UK, but it exists here too. That might not be surprising, but it’s worth bearing in mind when you see poll numbers on various policies. Are voters backing a policy because they like the policy, or because they like the party proposing it?

The post Should the Public Affairs Act 1975 be repealed? appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

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vmrampulla
3112 days ago
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Gives you a reminder that you need to approach polls carefully...
London
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A band of brothers

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Suicide is the second most common cause of death among men under 35. This must change.

When you look at the data about the lives of men in comparision with women, the statistics paint a clear picture. Starting at the most extreme end, of the 6,045 people in the UK that took their own life in 2011, 4,552 of them were men. This works out at over 12 men per day. More men under 35 died from suicide in the UK than road accidents, murder and HIV/Aids combined.

In education, there is a well-documented gap between boys and girls; both in performance and aspiration. In 2011 the gap between the proportion of girls gaining A* or A grades at GCSE and that of boys hit a record 6.7 per cent, up from just 1.5 per cent in 1989. Just 30 per cent of male school-leavers applied to university in 2012, compared with 40 per cent of their female counterparts. Boys are "permanently excluded" from school at a rate four times higher than for girls.

As for crime, men are perpetrators of over 90 per cent of violent crime in the UK. If you believe, as abandofbrothers do, that "hurt people, hurt people" and that violence is a manifestation of prior psychological woundings on the part of the perpetrator rather than the expression of an inherent evil, then this too points to the disadvantage of men and boys.

As a society, can we ignore these statistics? We face huge challenges in the world on almost every level – economic, ecological and social. If male and female are indeed the two wings of humanity, can we afford to keep flying round in circles? Can we continue to ignore the cost of damaged men? This cost is felt in economic terms (if men were to commit crime at the same levels as women we would save £42bn a year based on Home Office figures) and also in a unmeasured and immensurable social cost.

"If the young men are not initiated into the tribe, they will burn down the village just to feel a little heat." – Ancient African Proverb.

Arguably, where masculinity is most in crisis is amongst young men at the bottom of the socio-economic pile. Abandofbrothers would argue that this is a failing on the part of society. The "job" of giving young men a sense of purpose and meaning, so that they feel connected to (rather than resentful of) those around them is crucial, and one that cannot be done solely by employees of the state.

At abandofbrothers, our mission is to offer young men a rites of passage experience and mentoring to help them make the difficult transition into healthy adulthood. We give them a place to heal, to explore and be encouraged not just to "become a man" but to become their own man. We do this by creating empathic communities of older men who will give themselves in service to mentoring and supporting young men who need it.

To create these communities, we connect potential mentors to their hearts, enable them to find a resolution to their own emotional traumas so that they can better attend to the needs of their communities, and especially, the young. It is time consuming and emotionally difficult. It’s also the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life.

My own first son is due to make an appearance in the world in the next few weeks. When he asks me what I was doing in the early part of the 21st century, when it became apparent that we faced huge challenges in creating a sustainable future, I will be proud to say I was one of the few, the lucky few, who were engaged in trying to create connected, resilient and joyful communities that were better equipped to weather the storms ahead.

For more information on abandofbrothers, please see www.abandofbrothers.org.uk

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vmrampulla
3116 days ago
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Worth reading...suicide amongst young men is a serious problem & needs serious attention
London
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