Something to end the week on - Friday 30th October

Just a few snippets from the past week, which have tickled my fancy, to see you into another long-awaited weekend.

Goodbye summer

Well, I start the week with a hangover from the clocks going back. That's the end of summer. BST is now GMT.

It find it very irritating when folk claim we'll all get an extra hour in bed when the clocks go back. Either they don't have young kids or are too old to remember what having young kids is like.

Have you ever tried to reason with a 2 year old and persuade them to go back to sleep when they wake up an hour early? Pretty it ain't. All I can say is roll on the day when the youngest of my brood is a teenager and needs 18 hours' sleep.

 

Britain's first "million pound towns"

Virginia Water and Cobham, in Surrey, have been named as the first towns in Britain where average house prices are more than £1m, according to data provided by the Land Registry.

Prices in Virginia Water were reported to average £1.169m for the first half of 2015, so Sir Cliff Richard and Sir Bruce Forsyth have made nice little returns on their investments.

The local Wentworth golf course was in the news recently as they had hiked the joining fees up to an eye watering £125,000. What strikes me is why anybody would want to pay £125,000 to play a sport as dull as golf.

And I would rather pay £1.169m to not live near Sir Bruce Forsyth. Knighted for his Queen Mother-esque tenacity, no doubt, he spent so much time on the telly that it was like actually having him in your living room.

If only I had £1.169m in the first place. This time next year, Rodders...

 

Getting to the bottom of cancer

So the World Health Organisation has announced that processed meats cause cancer. Its report said that 50g of processed meat a day increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%. One assumes that this is in relation to not eating any processed meat at all.

I can't say I'm one for weighing my meat, but 50g equates to about 2 slices of bacon or a sausage. I have to say I love sausage and bacon - they're the major components of our traditional breakfast - but I can't imagine eating 50g of it every day. OK, maybe I can, but its not something I will do because I like to vary my diet like the good little boy I am.

However, if somebody chooses to cram their body with sausage and bacon it's probably going to be a heart attack or cancer that gets them. Ultimately, it's their choice - until the government levies a tax on processed meats, that is...

 

Cameron's blind equality initiative

A speech form Prime Minster David Cameron cited research (from the CIPD) showing that people with white-sounding names are nearly twice as likely to get job call-backs than people with ethnic-sounding names - maybe this is why so many organisations are reporting such difficulty in sourcing the right people for the jobs? If you ignore a large tranche of the population available to you then you only have yourself to blame, surely?

Anyway, following the PM's announcement, a number of private and public-sector employers have signed up to recruit graduates on a name-blind basis, which can only be a good thing and should be applauded.

However, is it really going to work in practice? Can you really conduct the interview process and completely eliminate any potential for bias? I get that leaving the name off the CV will force the employer to select candidates for interview purely on merit, but how does one fulfil the rest of the process in the same spirit? You have to meet that employee and talk to them at some point - and that just might give the recruiter a clue to their ethnicity.

Nice try, Dave, but it seems to be just more hot air.

 

Sex or tea?

Let's end the note on a note that manages to be both serious and comical. Thames Valley Police have released an animated video about consensual sex and have used the analogy of the good old British pastime of drinking a cup of tea. The video makes the concept very simple to understand but its true beauty is that it is a funny video. Intentional or otherwise, it works.

Have a great weekend everybody and happy Hallowe'en.


Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK