# Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recently the news has been full of details about the case of Baby P who died after sustaining shocking injuries inflicted upon him by his parents over a long period of time. In the case of this child, he was seen by social workers more than 60 times and also examined by a doctor just days before he died and no one picked up the extent of his injuries or felt that the child should be taken into care. A postmortem examination showed he had a broken back, eight fractured ribs, missing fingernails and toenails, multiple bruises and an injury to the inside of his mouth. He had also swallowed one of his own teeth. This is clearly a shocking case and one where social services have failed to protect a vulnerable child. I do think, however, that shocking as the case is that cases of extreme child abuse such as this are in the minority and that this should be taken into account.

The majority of parents would not consider causing harm to their child and are perfectly capable of raising happy well adjusted children. Whilst I can understand the strength of public feeling regarding this case, I do feel that the backlash from this case will mean that the majority of good parents will now be under more intense and often unnecessary scrutiny. These cases often lead to unnecessary measures such as the call to ban smacking which apparently "infringes children's rights to dignity". There have already been cases of parents being taken to court for simply smacking their children. Smacking, however, is not child abuse and should not be compared in the same light, after all children are children not adults, they do need discipline but within reason and only when necessary.

I can't help thinking that the many inquiries that follow this case will not help to protect the minority of children that are really at risk but will simply lead to more cases where parents have their children taken into care simply because the authorities have unsubstantiated suspicions. In my opinion the inquiries into the case of Baby P should concentrate upon the failings directly related to this case, such as why his injuries went unnoticed for so long and why social workers did not notice the physical signs of abuse. Perhaps the focus should be on better training for those who have to determine whether a child is at risk and not introducing new rules and regulations that could penalise the majority of good parents.

posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 8:15:21 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Like many other people I have often thought about satisfying it would be to spend time tracking down spammers and killing them but have also wondered how much effect it would actually have. This article gave me new hope. According to the article after one company was closed down email spam dropped by 75%. The company McColo.com is believed to host some of the largest spam operations and has been turning a blind eye to a number of criminal organisation. Two major internet providers cut off internet access to the company last week in what has been called an unprecedented move. It is estimated that spam rates fell by up to 75% shortly after the company's servers were disconnected. Unfortunately the levels of spam have since picked up again as other spammers fill the void. This goes to show that my plan to track down spammers and kill them, could in theory be effective, now where can I buy a ninja outfit?

posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 10:43:16 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

PDSA-Veterinary-Nu_1115322c This is Tinks and he could be Britain's fattest cat. Along with seven dogs he will be competing to win the title of the UK's biggest animal slimmer. Tinks weighs over 11kg and as a result suffers from heart problems and spends most of his time sleeping. This is one seriously fat pet that really needs to go on a diet and exercise program to lose some of that extra fat. Lets hope the 100 day fitness program will help him to do this. He makes my cats look thin in comparison.

posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 1:49:57 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This is interesting, it suggests that Microsoft dismissed an employee over a photo he took of Apple Macs being delivered to the Microsoft loading dock. The photo which was taken at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond a shipment of G5's arriving at the Microsoft loading bay. It was accompanied by the headline "Even Microsoft wants G5s". Microsoft maintains that the employee was sacked because he had committed a security violation but some people think its simply because they were shown to be receiving Apple computers although I'm not sure why that would a be an issue, Microsoft do produce a lot of software for use on Macs, they must have to test it on something.

posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 9:19:26 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, November 17, 2008

The Royal Society of Chemistry has issued a recipe for the perfect Yorkshire pudding. Apparently the puddings should be at least 10cm high and based on the following formula carbohydrate + H2O + protein + NaCl + lipids. The full recipe is below

The Royal Society of Chemistry Yorkshire Pudding

Ingredients

Tablespoon and a half of plain flour.
1 egg.
Half milk, half water to make a thin batter.
Half a teaspoon of salt.

Method

Put flour in a bowl, make a well in the middle, add the egg, stir until the two are combined then start gradually adding the milk and water combining as you go.

Add the liquid until the batter is a smooth and thin consistency.

Stir in half teaspoon of salt and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

Put beef dripping into Yorkshire pudding tins or into one large tin but don't use too much fat.

Put into hot oven until the fat starts to smoke.

Give the batter a final stir and pour into the tin or tins.

Place in hot oven until well risen - should take 10 to 15 minutes.

posted on Monday, November 17, 2008 10:25:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, November 16, 2008

This article suggests that sleeping for less than seven and a half hours a night can raise the risk of heart disease by up to fours time. On average people in Britain get about seven hours of hours by a third of people in Britain only have five hours of sleep or less. Scientists have blamed the trend towards shorter nights' sleep for increasing the risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. The research was based upon studying 1,255 patients with high blood pressure over a period of 23 months. 1,007 people slept for more than 7.5 hours a night and 248 slept for less time. Getting less sleep was associated with a 27% increase in the risk of heart attacks or strokes. Based on this, I think I need more sleep.

posted on Sunday, November 16, 2008 10:30:02 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, November 15, 2008

This is an interesting idea from Lancashire police. They are distributing cat bells for elderly people to attach to valuable items. The idea is that when someone tries to steal a handbag or purse that has bells attached, it will ring as an alarm alerting the owner. The use of cat bells in this way has already proved to be a success in other areas.

posted on Saturday, November 15, 2008 11:51:20 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, November 14, 2008

This is quite interesting, its a new scheme being offered by Sainsbury's that will allow staff to gain a qualification through on the job training. They will offer a qualification in shelf stacking and stock taking and a GCSE in literacy and numeracy. They will also give staff on the job training which will count towards an NVQ. The company currently has around 150,000 employees and hopes that about 25% of its work force will get one of the qualifications in the next five years. Investing in your staff can only be a good idea.

posted on Friday, November 14, 2008 12:49:47 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If your cat has been giving you evil looks recently, then it might be planning to kill you. This useful checklist will help you find out whether your cat is plotting your demise. It includes useful tips such as when the cat pummels you with its paws, it is not a sign of affection, they are actually checking your internal organs for signs of weakness and digging in the litter box is practice for burying bodies.

posted on Friday, November 14, 2008 12:46:55 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, November 13, 2008

You don't see much odd shaped veg in the the supermarket but that could be about to change. Current EU regulations mean that there are strict guidelines as to what fruit and veg can be actually be sold. Cucumbers for example cannot be sold is they are crooked or if they have blemishes and apples under 50mm in diameter cannot be sold. The regulations are now due to be relaxed because every year tonnes of perfectly edible produce is discarded because it does not meet the guidelines. Personally I am not too bothered whether my carrots are a little bit crooked or potatoes misshapen, as long as the veg tastes good I am happy to buy it.

posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 12:07:55 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback