After the mid-term elections

November 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Bloodthirsty computer games may make teenagers LESS aggressive: “Gory computer games and video nasties do not make teenagers more aggressive – and may even turn them off violence. Films such as Clockwork Orange, games including Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, and even rock music has been blamed for fuelling youth violence. But a new study has found no link between being exposed to such violent media and real-world violent acts. Researchers studied the history of violent films released between 1920 and 2005 and compared this to murder rates. They also looked at the number of teenagers playing popular 18-rated computer games on their consoles, and teenage violence rates from 1996 to 2011. The film study used independent raters to evaluate the frequency, and how graphic, the violence was in popular movies. These were then compared to murder rates. The researchers found that, overall, movie violence and homicide rates were not correlated. However, during the mid-20th century, movie violence and homicide rates did appear to correlate slightly, which may have led some to believe a larger trend was at play. But this was reversed after 1990 so that movie violence became correlated with fewer homicides. Prior to the 1940s, movie violence was similarly related to fewer homicides, not more.

Britain’s Parliament building is crumbling: “The Houses of Parliament are crumbling, shocking new pictures of the 160-year-old building reveal. Roofs are leaking, paintwork is peeling and lifts are creaking to the point that MPs have become trapped, missing key votes in the Commons. A huge £1billion project to overhaul the entire site is needed to preserve the Royal palace, with officials warning that it is has burned down once before and urgent action is needed to prevent a ‘crisis’. The historic building on the banks of the River Thames is so dilapidated that major repairs are needed or irreversible damage may be done and ‘part of our nation’s most valued heritage will be lost forever’, a cross-party report has warned. Officials admit that there has been ‘significant under-investment’ since the 1940s, when the Commons was bombed by the Nazis. Many of the 3,00 windows will not close, iron roofs have rusted and leak, toilets regularly flood.

Millions of ladybirds invade British homes: “A sudden cold snap, after the humid summer, has caused millions of ladybirds to invade homes seeking warmth. Experts had warned of an influx of a foreign species – harlequin ladybirds – which are said to pose a major threat to native ‘English’ ladybirds. But some homes nationwide have been overwhelmed with ladybirds of all species seeking sanctuary from the cold. Joan Webley currently has over 100 ladybirds in her home in Gloucester. ‘They don’t do me any harm. They just come in and wander around for a bit, before huddling up and going to sleep. ‘They tend to stay all winter, starting to leave in February but they are all gone by March. ‘The funny thing is, I hadn’t seen any all summer in my garden and now they have all appeared.’ Ladybird expert Katie Murray, of the University of Stirling, said: ‘The cold conditions at this time of year mean ladybirds huddle together in leaf litter or other sheltered places like houses, sheds, garages, or other outbuildings.’

Thrifty oldster denied a cellphone: “As a business owner who has never been in debt, Kirstie Allsopp’s mother-in-law should have found buying a new mobile phone to be a simple procedure. But 85-year-old Gretchen Andersen was turned down for a contract – because she does not have a credit rating. Mrs Andersen – who is mother to Miss Allsopp’s partner of ten years, Ben, 55 – employs three people in her antiques shop in Kensington, West London, and has had a bank account for 60 years. But because she has never borrowed money and appears to have chosen not to pay her utility bills by direct debit, she does not have a credit history and was told by Carphone Warehouse that she could not purchase a phone and contract with O2. Financial experts warned that her situation – which Miss Allsopp, 43, revealed on Twitter – reflects a wider problem that affects thousands of thrifty elderly people who handle their money in a similar way. ‘There is still a significant part of the elderly community who like to go to the post office and pay their bills.

Sexy judge: “When it comes to making a good impression at a new job, posting a revealing bikini shot online for your bosses to see is probably not the best move. Newly-appointed Moldovan judge Maria Cozma, 27, was rebuked by her peers after posting a busty shot on social media of herself wearing skimpy swimwear. But despite offending her new collegaues she will keep her job, thanks to the fact that her grandfather Michael Poalelungi, is president of the country’s Supreme Justice Court. A spokesman for the society of judges said: ‘We are supposed to be a respected and serious body, not titillation for criminals and the Twitterrati. ‘Unfortunately, because of who her family is, there’s not much we can do. But I strongly urge other female judges to not follow her example.’ Women’s groups have also taken issue with Miss Cozma’s photograph, posted shortly after she was appointed to the capital’s main criminal court, the Centru Court. Not everyone in Moldova sees the picture as a bad thing, however. Garage mechanic Vladimir Sirbu, 54, told a local TV station: ‘If that’s the last thing someone sees before going down at least it will be a happy sight.’

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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