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Dame Helen Mirren has recently shared her thoughts on America's First Lady Melania Trump.

The First Lady has kept a relatively low profile of late, passing on many of the traditional hosting and policy duties to First Daughter Ivanka Trump.

In an interview with Allure magazine, Mirren had this to say about 'old Mel'

You look at old Mel there, and she is one of the most powerful women in the world because she could take him down

Allure write Michelle Lee says Mirren continued, mischievously:

She almost did that with the hand. [She puts on a Disney Evil Stepmother voice and mimics the hand brush-off seen round the world.] ‘Don’t touch me.’

Mirren was referring to footage released in May that appeared to show Melania slapping away the President's hand.


 


More: Melania Trump slapping Donald's hand away has become a glorious meme

Helen Mirren made an incredibly astute point about Melania Trump


A recent reddit post claimed that Donald Trump is on pace to tell 52 times as many Politifact "Pants on Fire!" Lies as Obama did by the end of his Presidency.

This is incorrect, strictly speaking. Donald Trump has amassed 67 "Pants on Fire!" claims on the Pulitzer-Prize winning factchecker's website.

However, only five of these have occurred since the start of his Presidency - so it's misleading to say he'll tell 52 times as many overt lies in his Presidency.

Obama told a total of seven in his presidency (out of nine on the website), with five occurring in his first term.

 

So, Donald Trump's still outpacing him.

At his current rate he'll tell 7 times as many lies in his first term, compared to Obama's. If he serves two full terms, he'll have outpaced him tenfold.

He's on pace to finish his first term having told 35 (to Obama's five), and his second term with 70 (to Obama's nine).

Here's a rough projection of his current rate.

 

So there you are - Donald Trump is, according to Politifact, only ten times the liar Obama was.

Of course, Politifact are human fact checkers with only so much time to record every utterance. We should also note that some will dismiss their analysis as partisan and fake news, because it criticises Donald Trump's serial lies frequently.

Which bodes well.


More: 7 things Donald Trump condemned faster than white supremacism

We looked at the numbers and Trump is telling ten ...


Dame Helen Mirren is a national treasure; like a cup of tea, tutting politely, or that woman with the crown that Dame Helen Mirren played that one time in a movie.

She's an outspoken feminist, a superb human rights advocate and will always tell it like it is - a quality that she's exhibited from the very beginning of her career.

This ability to speak candidly was perfectly on show during a recent interview with Allure magazine. 

The subject she spoke on; the women closest to President Donald Trump - namely Ivanka and Melania.

Speaking to Allure magazine, Mirren said of Ivanka Trump: 

[Ivanka] talks a good game, but there’s no substance. Her book is so ignorant about how the majority of women live, talking about ‘Make time for yourself to have a massage.’ Puh-lease.

The book is question is Ivanka's latest title: Women Who Work: Redefining the Rules for Success, which was on the receiving end of some deliciously scathing reviews. Particularly as its release coincided with her becoming a White House advisor and receiving her own West Wing office space.

Dame Mirren also shared her thoughts on the First Lady Melania Trump, referring to her as "old Mel"

You look at old Mel there, and she is one of the most powerful women in the world because she could take him down.

Then, writes Michelle Lee, this happened.

She almost did that with the hand. [She puts on a Disney Evil Stepmother voice and mimics the hand brush-off seen round the world.] ‘Don’t touch me.’

We all know which moment she's talking about.


 

I have one piece of advice for Ivanka and 'old Mel' if they wish to respond to Dame Mirren's analysis. 

If you come for the Queen, you best not miss.



More: Everyone loves this video of Helen Mirren shutting down a 'sexist' interview with Michael Parkinson

 

Helen Mirren said what no female celebrity will about Ivanka ...



Stephen Amell, the Canadian actor and star of The CW's super hero series Arrowattended Vancouver LGBT Pride this year, and posted a series of photos from the event on his Facebook. But it didn't go down too well with some of his followers. 

The actor who plays Green Arrow and who identifies as straight, is shown in one picture wearing a bunch of balloons arranged to look like a colourful peacock. 

Because Pride is great.

 

Another photo shows him posing on a rainbow-painted pavement with his wife.

 

Most of the comments underneath the posts were nice, as you’d expect. But as always, there’s always a troll or two that has to ruin things for everyone else.

 

 

Some made fruitless comments about the cost of Pride. And definitely got the maths very wrong:

 

Amell responded in a later post, to say that he had been “taken aback” by some of the comments he'd read.

He wrote:

I had a fantastic weekend in Vancouver with my wife and friends, met some terrific people and more than anything just tried to soak in all the positive energy from people living their best lives. If I'm in Vancouver next year I won't just go back, I'll walk in the parade. So for everyone in their negative pants: Go be on the wrong side of history on somebody else's Facebook page.

 

That's not all, Amell also reposted the photos from Pride with some messages for the trolls themselves.

 

That should do it. 



More: This woman silenced body-shaming trolls - in four amazing photos

TV star beautifully shut down homophobes on his Facebook page


On Wednesday, a lorry containing frozen pizzas shut down a busy Arkansas highway for over four hours while the delicious spill was cleared away.

Picture: Associated Press

 

According to the Associated Press, the crash occurred on Interstate 30, south of the Arkansas capital Little Rock.

No injuries have been reported from the incident.

An 18 wheeler was reportedly sliced open during the incident after it caught a bridge support, spilling the pizzas across the road.

The bridge was left undamaged from the incident.

The pizzas in question were made by DiGiorno and Tombstone, according to the Metro.

Images of the incident were made available by the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

 

The social media team at the department have capitalised on the pun potential.

They clearly fell like dominos.

HT Metro


More: This restaurant is serving 24K gold pizza for $2000 because why not?

A motorway got shut down after a pizza explosion


It might be sooner than we had anticipated.

Prepare for the aftermath of nuclear armageddon by reading one of these eight books set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

The writers at indy100 have spent National Book Day living in fear of the oncoming 'fire and fury' that Donald Trump has promised, so to ditstract ourselves we've put together a little list of the best reads.

Some of them have been made into films, in case you worry you won't read them all before the bomb drops.

1. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Picture: Amazon.co.uk

 

McCarthy's novel follows a nameless father and son as they try to survive in a world destroyed by an unspecified cataclysm.

The landscape is never explained, but the devastation and daily struggle to survive is gripping.

McCarthy previously flexed his bleakness muscles in No Country for Old Men and Child of God.

The Road won the 2007 Pullitzer Prize for fiction.

2. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Picture: Amazon.co.uk

 

First published in 1951, the work is a cornerstone of the post-apocalyptic genre.

While the work does sketch out the horrific event – a comet shower that blinds most of the population – the action focuses on survival in a world filled with flesh eating plants.

Reflecting the Cold War era in which the work was written, the protagonist suspects that these plants ‘the Triffids’ were bioengineered by the Soviet Union.

Survival tips for anyone in the Wiltshire and Sussex countryside area abound within.

3. The Stand by Stephen King

Picture: Amazon.co.uk

 

Some would classify this as horror, but if your post-apocalyptic setting is anything less than horrifying, it isn't much of an apocalypse now is it?

Set in an America ravaged by an influenza epidemic, King’s novel has been reissued multiple times, shifting the date at which events take place from the early 1980s to the early 1990s.

According to King, writing in his non-fiction book Danse Macbre, the Stand was intended to be an epic in the style of modern day Lord of the Rings.

4. Pandemic: The Extinction Files by A.G Riddle

Picture: Amazon.co.uk

 

Top of the Amazon bestseller list is Pandemic The Extinction Files by A.G Riddle.

The contemporary work, set mostly in Kenya, follows the outbreak of a mysterious disease and the attempts by scientists at the CDC and WHO to contain it.

Is the pandemic a true outbreak, or a sick conspiracy?

Guess what, read it and find out.

5. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

Picture: Amazon.co.uk

 

First published in 1959, Frank’s work concerns a small town in Florida, which, by some miracle, survived a nuclear holocaust that destroyed the rest of the United States.

The nuclear blast is just the beginning, as the inhabitants of the town of Fort Repose join together to ward off bandits and raiders from the town, while news trickles through on the radio of America’s collapse.

6. Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon

Picture: Amazon.co.uk

 

Another novel which borders on the genre of horror and a post-apocalyptic world, Swan Song tells the story of life after a Soviet nuclear strike.

Swan, the titular character, is a young girl with powers that could heal mankind.

If you don’t have one of these, McCammon’s novel nevertheless provides over 850 pages worth of survival tips, for living our existence in an abandoned petrol station,  

7. Children of Men by P.D James

Picture: Amazon.co.uk

 

The film for this by Alfonso Cuarón is also brilliant, so you’re excused if you just watch that instead, though the plots do differ significantly.

James, most known for crime fiction, sets her novel in a Britain where infertility is more or less universal. The last generation to be born maraud the countryside in hunting packs, while the cities are filled with the aged and the infirm.

Nuclear radiation is one probable cause for the state of infertility, but the true horror of James’ novel is the world where women like men have become unable to create, only to destroy.

8. World War Z by Max Brooks

(Picture: Amazon.co.uk)

 

Written by the son of Mel Brooks, the book’s full title is ‘World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War’.

Unlike the Hollywood blockbuster starring Brad Pitt, the book World War Z reads more like a collated account of survivors from around the world. Each chapter reveals a story of a survivor who have overcome the zombie hoard in their own way; be it the traditional fighting sense, or simply organising and micro-managing a civilisation. It's the sort of thing you'd despair to read now, if the subject matter concerned the gradual reconstruction of a country that had at some point fallen to civil war - but throw some crazy virus infected monsters in there and you have a real page turner.

The Z are Zombies, and although that’s not currently on the cards, we will not be ruling anything out.


More: Another terrifying Donald Trump message has come back to haunt everyone

8 books you should read before the world ends



On Monday, the enthusiasm of BBC newsreader Simon McCoy was killed live on air, as he reported on a dog surfing contest in America.

 

It was like that, but not in an Adam McKay film.

McCoy reported on the World Dog Surfing Championships in Linda Mar Beach, California, with just a hint of sarcasm.

If you listen closely to the voice over, you can hear the BBC's Simon McCoy losing the will to remain in journalism.

Oh no. We've run out of pictures.

Picture: BBC News/Screengrab

 

The audible sighs and sarcasm are reminiscent of former-BBC curmudgeon Jeremy Paxman.

In 2011 Paxman amused us all with his sardonic take on a Weather forecast.

It's April. What do you expect?

The humorous clip made it onto topical panel show Have I Got News For You.

 

For those interested, the Independent covered the dog surfing championships in 2015.


More: Reporter gets vomited on in live broadcast, but she doesn't let that stop her

This BBC newsreader really does not care about surfing dogs


Presidents have found a variety of ways to escape the stresses of the job.

The Kennedys vacationed at Hammersmith Farm, Rhode Island, Nixon had the 'Winter White House' at San Clemente, California, and the Bushes had the Bush Ranch in Texas.

President George W. Bush takes a break from cedar clearing at his ranch August 9, 2002 in Crawford,Texas. (Picture: Eric Draper/White House/Getty Images)

 

Even President Bill Clinton liked a little golf.

Farm Neck Golf Club, Martha's Vineyard, 23 August 1999. (Picture: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Image)

 

President Trump, has repeatedly criticised his predecessor for taking breaks.

 

 

 

 

 

Yet since taking office, President Trump has spent an sizeable amount of time at his own golf courses.

At the weekend the President tweeted to say he was doing a 'not on vacation' in Bedminster New Jersey, the site of one of his golf courses.

 

The optics are not great, especially when this photo of him behind the wheel of a golf cart was leaked.

 

Since leaving office, President Obama has been photographed on what appears to be permanent vacation.

Anegada, British Virgina Isands. 8 February 2017. (Picture: Jack Brockway/Virgin)

 

 

Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland. 26 May 2017. (Picture: Robert Perry/Getty Images)

 

However, he's left office, while Trump is currently supposed to be running a country.


More: Donald Trump's vacation vs Vladimir Putin's vacation in 8 photos

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Any time of year is good to read a book but it's important to be aware of special events that are happening in the literary world.

Take for instance this month, which is Women in Translation Month, an initiative created by literature charity The Reading Agency.

The aim of the month is to celebrate and spread the word about female writers from around the world. 

According to the charity, books written by foreign female authors don't receive as much translations as books written by men .

Of all the literary translations in the UK and America, less than a third are by women. 

Now that there is a whole month we thought it would be best to shine a light on some of the most important female writers ever.

Rather than simply giving our opinion on who we think are the best here is a list of all the foreign female novel writers who have won the prestigious Nobel Prize and some of there most noteworthy books.

Jerusalem by Selma Lagerlof

Picture: (Getty Images)

 

Swedish writer Selma Lagerlof was the first woman to ever received the literature prize, way back in 1909.

Her most notable book, Jerusalem was an epic two part tale published between 1901 and 1902. 

It spans several generations of Swedish emigrants in the 19 century who moved to Jerusalem, as well as families in Dalarna, Sweden.

The novel, which is based on true events has since been adapted into films and stage productions.

Reeds in the Wind by Grazia Deledda

Deledda was the writer of many famous Italian books that were adapted in to films, TV shows and plays.

Reeds in the Wind, or Canne al vento in Italian, is set in the harsh landscape of Sardinia and focuses on the themes of poverty, society and industry.

First published in 1913, it remains the most widely regarded of the authors work.

Deledda received her Nobel Prize in 1926 but passed away just 10 years later, aged 64.

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

Sigrid Undset was a Norwegian writer, who was originally born in Denmark.

She often wrote realistic and contemporary novels about adultery and undoubtedly her most famous work was Kristin Lavaransdatter.

The book is a series of three novels focusing on the titular character, a fictitious woman living in 14 century and the various conflicts she experiences in her life.

These books helped Undset win the 1928 Nobel Prize and was first translated into English in the same decade.

The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek

Female sexuality, abuse and the battle of  genders are the main points of topic in most of Austrian writer, Elfriede Jelinek's work.

The 2004 Nobel Prize winner is an outspoken and controversial individual whose writing and political activism often inspired fierce debates.

Her 1983 novel The Piano Teacher was her first novel to be translated into English and follows an repressed piano teacher who enters a sadomasochistic relationship with her student.

In 2001 it was turned into an awarded winning film directed Michael Haneke and starring Isabelle Huppert. 

The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller

Picture: (Ralf Juergens/Getty Images)

 

Romanian - German author Herta Muller, depicts the aftermath of violence in her work, for which she was awarded the Noble Prize in 2009.

At the time they described her as "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossesed."

The Hunger Angel which was translated into English in 2012 is her most famous novel.

Inspired by the experiences of her mother and the poetry of Oskar Pastior, it follows the troubled lives of ethnic Germans living in Stalinist Romanian during and after World War II.

HT Nobel Prize Metro


More: 10 books that will make you a better person in 2017

Five female authors you need to read this month



Eliza Hatch is on a mission to spread the word about what people need to understand about sexual harassment. 

She's  created Cheer Up Luv, a project enabling women to have their voices heard and “take ownership of experiences that were out of their control” - while also turning vulnerability into empowerment. 

We spoke to Hatch about her fantastic project. 

Picture: Eliza Hatch 

Hatch explained to indy100 that starting the project was drawn from the appalling frequency of sexual harassment women face every day. 

I became increasingly shocked at the sheer amount of sexual harassment women experienced. Right at the beginning, I wasn't aware of the scale that it was taking place, but now, it seems as though every woman I speak to has at least three examples they can give me. 

Unfortunately it’s just a normal part of day-to-day life for women, and so much so, that sometimes we barely acknowledge that it’s a form of abuse, i.e. being told to smile, or being beeped at by a car.

 

Picture: Eliza Hatch 

 

She added that women have "really opened up" to her when speaking about their experiences. 

The general sense has been relief, because we are finally talking about something that barely gets any attention. There is also understandably a lot of anger and frustration surrounding the issue, but ultimately I try and turn these negative thoughts and experiences into something positive. 

Picture: Eliza Hatch

 

Hatch also explained that she was made aware of sexual harassment from a young age. 

I grew up in a big city and am used to being catcalled and sexually harassed. When I was younger, I was more oblivious to the fact that it was happening to everyone, and didn't care as much. You either just brushed it off and carried on, or mentioned it to a friend, only to find out that they had had similar experiences. It was only until earlier this year, after one particular cat call, and a heated debate with my close friends, that something switched inside me and I decided enough was enough. 

Picture: Eliza Hatch 

 

Finally, Hatch told us exactly why she thinks these unacceptable acts still happen so frequently. 

There are two problems; one is that nobody really talks about it, and two is that when it does happen in public, it is generally completely ignored.

It has happened to me many times, and it will continue to happen as long as we keep normalising harassment. We just need to change our attitude to sexual harassment and stand up to it.

You can find out more about Cheer Up Luv right here.


More: A woman complained about sexual harassment. What her colleagues did next was truly awful

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It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that some parents can be a little overprotective.

No matter your age, your mother or father are always likely to be checking up on you just to make sure you have you are OK.

This has become even easier for parents to do in the modern age, when the majority of people in the Western world have the best technology available at their fingertips. 

Rather than send a quick text, one mother from Huron, Ohio has requested her daughter send selfies as proof of where she is.

Heather Steinkopf gets pictures from her 18-year-old daughter is Kaelyn Demmon, to prove she's ok.

Last Friday Kaelyn was hanging out with her friend Stevie Holbrook.

When Heather asked where Kaelyn was, her response of 'a movie night with Stevie' wasn't enough.

Not to be deterred, her mother wanted further proof and requested photo evidence. 

This is where the game between the two truly began.

Heather knows that Kaelyn keeps a camera roll full of selfies just for occasions like this, so when the first picture arrived she had a series of demands prepared in order to test her daughters honesty.

They started off fairly normal.

Picture: Twitter/ Screengrab

 

Picture: Twitter/ Screengrab

 

Heather wasn't being fooled, and suspected that her daughter might have edited her friend into the photo.

This called for the ultimate request, a selfie while Stevie was giving her a piggy back and a thumbs up.

Picture: Twitter/ Screengrab

 

Picture: Twitter/ Screengrab

 

W o w.

Kaelyn, who is starting college next month, shared the conversation on Twitter and it quickly went viral.

 

Her post inspired others to share stories of their moms.

 

Speaking to BuzzfeedKaelyn admitted that her Mother's paranoia comes from previous occasions when Kaelyn lied about where she was.

 There've been times when I've said I'm at Stevie's when I'm at a bonfire or something.

However, there is a twist in the tale as it appears Heather concocted the whole scenario for her own amusement.

I knew she was where she said she was, but it was more fun to keep her doing different things.

Parents - where would we be without them?

HT Buzzfeed Bored Panda


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Earlier this week, United States President Donald Trump claimed a number of bizarre things in an interview with the editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal.

One of these was that he had not received negative comments about his overtly political speech to the Boys Scouts of America Jamboree:

Gerard Baker quoted the President as saying:

I’d be the first to admit mixed. I’m a guy that will tell you mixed. There was no mix there.

That was a standing ovation from the time I walked out to the time I left, and for five minutes after I had already gone. There was no mix.

He had, in fact, been widely criticised.

Regardless, Trump continued:

And I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful.

So there was — there was no mix.

The Boy Scouts of America told TIME magazine that they were unaware of any call from national leadership placed to the White House, and referred to a 27 July statement from Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America, who said of Trump's speech:

For years, people have called upon us to take a position on political issues, and we have steadfastly remained non-partisan and refused to comment on political matters.

We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.

White House press-spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders later confirmed no call had been placed, but that "multiple members of the Boy Scout leadership" had "offered quite powerful compliments."

I wouldn’t say it was a lie. That’s a pretty bold accusation. The conversations took place, they just simply didn’t take place over a phone call … he had them in person.

Trump said in a Cabinet meeting later this week:

As you know, the border was a tremendous problem and they’re close to 80 percent stoppage.

Even the President of Mexico called me.

They said their southern border, very few people are coming because they know they’re not going to get through our border, which is the ultimate compliment.

On Wednesday, Mexico's Government replied that the leaders' last contact was at the G20 summit in Hamburg.

The AP reported Mexico's foreign ministry as saying in a statement that President Enrique Peña Nieto

has not recently spoken to President Donald Trump over the telephone.

The statement read:

During the meeting the two heads of State held last July 7th in Hamburg, Germany, the topic of migration was a topic of conversation approached by both.

President Peña Nieto shared that repatriations of Mexican nationals from the United States had fallen 31 per cent between January and June 2017 in comparison to the same timeframe in 2016.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said that Trump had been:

referencing a conversation that they had had at the G-20 summit where they specifically talked about the issues that he referenced.

Donald Trump's most recent daily net approval rating with Gallup hit -24 for 1 August.


 

Donald Trump's average net approval rating for his term is -14.52 per cent. Obama's average of his weekly average ratings is 2.32 per cent.

Obama's worst weekly average rating in office was a -14.

Trump's best daily rating was 1, achieved for two days on the 24 and 25 January, shortly after his inauguration on the 20th.

HT The Hill


More: The best quotes from the most embarrassing Trump interview yet

Mexico publicly called out Trump and it was incredible



God Save the Queen.

On Wednesday the story that Queen Elizabeth II likes to put away the booze circulated on viral news websites such as Unilad, NewsAU, and the New York Post.

The titbit, that HMQ regularly drinks four cocktails a day, has thrilled her subjects the world over.

Picture: Saul Loeb/Getty Images

 

The source cited in these stories, is none other than the Independent, in a post written in 2012 to coincide with her Golden Jubilee.

According to Margaret Rhodes, the Queen's cousin, HM's alcohol intake never varies. She takes a gin and Dubonnet before lunch, with a slice of lemon and a lot of ice. She will take wine with lunch and a dry Martini and a glass of champagne in the evening.

The piece continued, making the same point made by Unilad and others five years later:

That comes to 6 units per day, which would make Her Majesty a binge drinker by government standards.

Using the NHS alcohol units and calories calculator, indy100 find this is actually closer to 5.8 units per day.

Picture: Yui Mok/WPA/Getty Images 

 

The government states that men and women should not exceed 14 units per week.

If Rhodes is correct, and this is indeed how much Queen Elizabeth drinks per day, then she is on 40.6 units per week.

Picture: Rex Features

 

Cheers Ma'am.

HT The Independent, Unilad, NewsAU


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Because nothing says you're a great person like smirking to yourself after your own joke, then explaining it.

indy100 has found 11 smart jokes from the web.

You probably won't get them but they are actually hilarious.

We assume.

1. What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?

 

2. There are 10 kinds of people in the world.

Those who read binary and those who don't.

Picture: iStock/Getty Images / Getty Images

 

3. There's a fine line between a numerator and denominator.

 

4. A Freudian slip is when you mean to say one thing but you accidentally say Mother.

 

5. 'Welcome to plastic surgery addicts anonymous. I see a lot of new faces tonight, which is disappointing'

Picture: iStock/Getty Images

 

6. A photon is going through airport security. The TSA agent asks if he has any luggage. The photon says, 'No, I'm travelling light.'

 

7. C, Eb, and G walk into a bar. The landlord says 'Sorry, we can't serve minors'.

Picture: iStock/Getty Images

 

8. A palindrome walks into a bar, says "Yasraba Otni Sklawem Ordnilapa".

 

9. Entropy isn't what it used to be.

Picture: iStock/Getty Images 

 

10. Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Bat Man

 

11. The new band called 1023MB. They haven't had any gigs yet


 

If you got any of those without the help of Google, we salute you.

HT Reddit, Buzzfeed, Readers' Digest, IFL Science, 9Gag, Noted


More: 9 signs you are smarter than normal

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Altering your day-to-day habits is easier said than done. 

Eating a little snack in favour of a piece of fruit or catching the bus when you could easily walk are little flaws that most people suffer from.

Imgur user Melephants was one of those individuals.

One day she decided enough was enough and made some changes in her lifestyle.

The 20-year-old once weighed 143lbs, but by erasing a few unhealthy habits from her routine she managed to drop 30lbs in the period of just two years.

She did this by eating healthy, watching her calorie intake and putting in the hours at the gym, at least four or five times a week. 

Small things also helped like standing rather than sitting on a train and drinking lots of water.

See the results of her transformation below:

Picture: Imgur/Melephants
Picture: Imgur/Melephants

 

With regards to her new diet, Bored Panda quote her as saying:

I base my meals around a source of protein now (chicken, fish) and lots of veggies.

I don’t eat carbs that much, more on lifting days.

Picture: Imgur/Melephants
Picture: Imgur/Melephants
Picture: Imgur/Melephants

 

Her exercise regime now varies between High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and weightlifting.

She decided upon this after she saw no benefits from using the treadmill - it might be worth bearing in mind if you are clocking up the miles on those machines.

 

Picture: Imgur/Melephants

 

Picture: Imgur/Melephants

 

Picture: Imgur/Melephants

 

Her transformation has since gone viral and it has also improved her mental well being too.

It’s not only benefited my physical health but my mental health too.

Best decision I’ve ever made!

HT Bored Panda Imgur


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Nudity warning: Some of these photos contain (painted over) nudity


It's that time of year again, the World Bodypainting Festival.

This is proper bodypaint, not the kind you get at a colour fight or holi festival, done solely for the profile picture potential.

Festival goers spend six hours being transformed into works of art.

In late July, participants assembled in Klagenfurt, Austria (where else), and here's some of the amazing images from the 30,000 strong festival.


 

Picture: Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images

 



 

2017 is the 20th year of the festival.


 

The week long festival ran from July 24 to Sunday 30.


 


 

With body paint dominating the daylight hours, night time activities included DJs, a fine art exhibition, a 'Zombie walk', and a 'body circus'.


 

Categories include types of painting (such as brush/sponge techniques), UV effects, and best professional make-up artist.


HT Mirror


More: This Instagrammer is turning the dirtiest cars into works of art​

These are the best images from the World Bodypainting Festival


What constitutes cheating isn’t always so black and white, but we have a rough idea what it we'd call unfaithful.

But there are some things we consider cheating that really aren’t. And people took to reddit to confess what they are. 

reddit asked: "What's the least cheating-like thing you consider cheating in a relationship?" and people answered: 

1. Ignoring our recommendation, then taking someone else's

2. Commissioning the competition 

 

3. Bingeing alone

 

4. Dream-cheating 

 

 

5. "Time cheating"

6. Food fights

7. Not calling you first

8. Personal grooming

Okay, that last one's quite specific. But now you know - keep your hands away from any beards that occur outside the relationship. Unless your partner gives you permission, then you're all good. 



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Whichever way you look at it Donald Trump and Twitter were pretty much made for each other.

It's quite rare now for a day when a 140 character declaration by the US President doesn't create a major news story.

Whether he's criticising members of the press or vowing to 'Make America Great Again,' Trump has turned Twitter into a kind of art form which always warrants attention.

Often, his ramblings can be a little confusing,especially as he tends to put quotation marks around random words.

Here are a few recent examples of this habit:

 


 

Quite why Mr. Trump continues to do this remains unknown, but one person has a theory. 

Twitter user Danny Page has done some research and discovered something rather fascinating. 

 

Picture: Twitter/ Screengrab

 

Picture: Twitter/ Screengrab

 

Picture: Twitter/ Screengrab

 

Picture: Twitter/ Screengrab

 

Who would have thought that Trump would have invented one of the modern worlds great memes?

If you haven't quite picked up on what is happening here, Danny has Photoshopped  quotes around certain Trump tweets in order to spell out the first few lines of the 1999 song 'All Star' by Smash Mouth.

It's all an elaborate ruse for internet based hijinks.

Alas, Donald Trump does put quotation marks around a lot of words, but so far they don't spell out anything particularly meaningful.

Eventually we might be able to spell something out of them, but for now we'll just have to wait and see.

 

HT Twitter


More: Donald Trump's strangest tweet ever has become a glorious meme

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Warning: Baking based spoilers below.


 

If you're an avid fan of Game of Thrones, you may remember Hot Pie.

He gave Arya a Dire Wolf loaf of bread as a parting gift in season three, forgoing a stint in the night's watch to be a baker.

Probably a good move.

 


 

Having said that - that "loaf" doesn't look like anything.

Anyway, the actor who played Hot Pie, Ben Hawkey, teamed up with Deliveroo to do them properly and sell them in time for the season premiere.

A batch were sold through the app on 17 July when the new season launched - they were made of wholewheat corn bread and orange zest.

Picture: Deliveroo

 

The kicker? The popup was called: 

You Know Nothing John Dough

Of course.

Sadly it's closed now and is not taking further orders.

Reach for the pitchforks.

HT LadBible


More: Ed Sheeran was in Game of Thrones and people are furious

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If you're going to pick a fight with someone over ancient Roman facts, arguing with a historian is probably not the best course of action.

Infowars editor-at-large and right-wing YouTuber Paul Joseph Watson recently tweeted an insinuation that Roman Britain wasn’t ethnically diverse. 

A bit of a bizarre claim to make out of the blue, but the reason for his outage stemmed from a five-and-a-half minute BBC educational YouTube video on what life was like in Roman Britain. 

 

The video, aimed at supporting teachers, is suitable for seven to 11 year-olds and details what life was like for a typical family during the Roman period.

The cartoon that accompanies  the video features everything from gladiator battles, the purpose of Hadrian's Wall and the religious make-up of Roman society. 

It also features a series of ethnically diverse characters, which is what appeared to anger the Infowars host, who implied that the BBC didn't care about 'historical accuracy'.

 

It was following these claims of historical inaccuracy that historian Mike Stuchbery stepped in.

In a series of hugely informative tweets, he described how Roman Britain was ethnically diverse “almost by design”.

He explains that Roman troops were drawn from other parts of the empire, and occupied Britain. 

 

He goes on to explain that there are also accounts of Iraqi & Syrian soldiers on Hadrian's Wall, adding:

 

And just to hammer the point home, Stuchbery adds:

 

Now that, is a Twitter thread and a half. 


 


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LBC host James O'Brien makes the correct point that the promise to eradicate student debt does not appear in the Labour manifesto.

Yet it was still something they said they would do.

In an interview with NME published a week before the election, Corbyn spoke about those who had already paid the £9,000 a year tuition fee, and taken on maintenance loans.

Yes, there is a block of those that currently have a massive debt, and I’m looking at ways that we could reduce that, ameliorate that, lengthen the period of paying it off, or some other means of reducing that debt burden.

He added.

And I don’t see why those that had the historical misfortune to be at university during the £9,000 period should be burdened excessively compared to those that went before or those that come after. I will deal with it

'I will deal with it'.

The policy was also stated in the terms of eradicating existing debt by one of Corbyn's Labour candidates, who was previously and is once again the MP for Bradford East.

On Tuesday the journalist Ella Wilks-Harper shared this Facebook video of a shadow Justice Minister Imran Hussain explicitly making the pledge.

 

In the video Hussain says:

Just this morning it has been announced by Jeremy Corbyn that the tuition fees will be abolished straight away from September if there's a Labour government, and that will bring back EMA, and also that every existing student will have all their debts wiped off.

 

Since the election, the wheels have come off the suggestion of an idea.

The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell announced that the policy was an 'aspiration' rather than something that was promised.

In addition, Corbyn admitted he did not know the cost of eradicating historic student debt when he spoke before the election.

He told Andrew Marr on Sunday that when he said he would 'deal with it', this was not a promise.

What I said was we would 'deal with it' by trying to reduce the burden of it. We never said we would completely abolish it because we were unaware of the size of it at the time.

'Bonkers'

The broadcaster James O'Brien has called the media's coverage of these events 'bonkers'.

The Tories famously made a promise in their manifesto to make changes to social care funding, which they then promised would not happen.

And O'Brien says they've basically abandoned most of their 'promises'.

Much of this can be explained due to parliamentary arithmetic, and a belief that the 42 per cent of the popular vote they secured did not give them enough of a mandate.

O'Brien slammed the media:

Apparently if you are a certain type of journalist - that apparently you think people are so stupid that when you tell them Jeremy Corbyn told a porkie-pie that wasn't in the manifesto, that he never actually told, you've got such faith in the stupidity of your readers and your audience that you think they're going to start gnashing their teeth when you tell them that's he told a lie.

He continued:

If you need a better illustration of how bonkers the British media has become, surely that would be it.

It is possible 'the media' has focused on the perception that Jeremy Corbyn was dishonest. This concept, and the stories surrounding untruths, are only made more appealing to journalists because Jeremy Corbyn is the one who once pledged to create a new 'Straight Talking, Honest Politics'.

Labour Party Autumn Conference on September 29, 2015 in Brighton, England. (Picture: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)

 

To the glee of writers, he is being held to a tangible standard that he and his party set. 

Jeremy Corbyn has been an MP for 34 years and James O'Brien is correct that the Labour manifesto did not contain a promise to abolish existing student debt.

Indy100 has contacted Imran Hussain MP for comment.


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Nadiya Hussain, the 2015 Winner of the Great British Bake Off had a showstopper response to one of her critics.

On Sunday, Hussain and her family appeared in the property section of the Sunday Times magazine.

An image from the story was shared on the Sunday Times Home Twitter account.

Twitter user Nick Zen passed comment on the head covering warn by Hussain.

Why doesn't the man have heavy fabric tightly wrapped around his head and neck.

 

Hussain has been wearing a headscarf since she was 14-years-old.

In 2016 she told the Sunday Times that after her Dad gave her a poor quality hair cut, and she chose to hide it beneath the headscarf.

[The scarf was] probably to cover up my bad hair more than anything else. He cut it really badly...

It wasn’t easy for them, I have to admit. I was the only child in my school wearing a headscarf. My mum said: ‘What’s wrong with her? Why does she want to cover her hair?’

And I said: ‘Well, I don’t care what society thinks, I wear it because I want to.’ 

Shortly after Nick Zen's comments on Sunday, Hussain cheekily responded:

I don't think that pink would suit my husbamd.

 

The answer pleased the people of the internet:

 

 

 

See ya Nick Zen.


 


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For women, there is probably nothing more painful in the world than childbirth.

Hours upon hours of labour are both a physically and mentally demanding test for mothers around the globe.

Men on the other hand, can only bare witness to the pain their female partners have to go through and can only offer soothing words as a consolation.

Until now, it has been believed that barring a biological miracle, men will never experience the true agony of childbirth.

However, new technology has emerged that allow men to undergo a simulated version of labour pain by sending electrodes to their abdomen for one hour.

Two confident husbands, who didn't possibly believe that the pain could be that bad, decided to partake in the experiment, conducted by Kensington.

They got more than they bargained for. 

 

Even in the early stages of labour they were pleading for mercy.

That was early labour? It feels like someone is taking a saw and just carving up my abdomen.

Picture: (Kensington/Vimeo)

 

As the pain increases one man declares that he might 'throw up.' Thankfully he didn't.

Picture: (Kensington/Vimeo)

 

 

At least their wives seem to be having some fun.

Picture: (Kensington/Vimeo)

 

At the end both men gave their honest assessment of what they had just gone through.

That was not good. 

That sucked. It was horrible.

To make matters even better, the two gentlemen recorded their experience on Mother's Day and one participant had a parting message/apology for his Mother.

Mom, if anything that I experienced was as close to what I did to you all those years ago. I'm sorry. You're like a super hero. Happy Mother's Day.

HT Bored Panda Vimeo Twenty Two Words


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We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it can be very easy to skip.

Hectic morning schedules and a lack of time, mean that odd bowl of cereal or slice of toast are sometimes forgotten about.

Although we don't condone missing breakfast a recent medical case in China might make you think twice about making a habit out of it. 

Surgeons at Guangji Hospital in Hezou reportedly removed 200 stones from a woman during an operation last week. 

That's right, 200 stones were found in her liver and gallbladder and according to doctors skipping breakfast for more than 10 years may have played a part in it.

Picture: Hezou Guangji Hospital

 

The patient in question, 45-year-old Ms Chen, was reluctant to have the operation but was eventually admitted to hospital when her abdominal pains became unbearable, according to the Daily Mail.

The operation lasted over six hours with surgeons stating that some of the darkly coloured stones which were extracted were as big as eggs.

Ms Chen, who had first made doctors aware of her abdominal pain 12 years ago, reportedly had an irregular diet had often dined on leftovers.

Stones of this kind are usually made up of cholesterol that form in said organs and are common in overweight people who are over 40.

The NHS say that the stones often don't require treatment but should they get trapped can cause intense pain.

Dr Quan Xuwei, who worked on the operation said that gallstone sufferers were often found to have skipped or rushed their breakfast, which can cause their gallbladder to stop shrinking or expanding.

This then leads to a build up of bile and increased levels of cholesterol and calcium.

Picture: Hezou Guangji Hospital

 

HT Daily Mail NHS Guangji Hospital


More: The 5 best breakfasts for weight loss

200 stones found in woman who regularly skipped breakfast



Friends, we're gathered here today to mourn the sad passing of Steve, the security robot. 

Steve was a Knightscope security bot, and spent his days patrolling around a number of offices and the Georgetown Waterfront shopping complex in Washington DC.

Knightscope robots are fitted with multiple data inputs; including facial recognition, high definition cameras and infrared sensors.

These were sadly not enough however, as Steve sadly plummeted to his death into a water fountain and went offline earlier this week. 

The pictures were dramatic. 

 

Like, really dramatic. 

 

Greg had a pretty valid point. 

 

People had some theories on what drove Steve the robot to enter his own watery tomb. 

 

Steve was so loved by the office community that there is now a small Steve shine to the dearly departed securitron.

 

To be honest, it's all gone very Douglas Adams. 


 

Hey, let's look on the bright side, at least the robot uprising has been delayed a day or two. 

 

Steve's replacement has now arrived. According to eye witnesses, she's a bit of a looker.


 


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You know how it is. You say you're going for one quiet drink and you end up stumbling home at 4am wonder what on earth happened.

But Gareth Kelly took this to a whole new level when his civilised drink ended up turning into a three-day holiday to Ibiza.

His girlfriend Hannah received a text from Kelly saying he was going for a "quick pint". Then later on, a message saying:

Babe I'm on way to Cardiff airport random holiday I know but I'll be back in 3 days

Picture: Mercury Press and Media Ltd

 

Hannah didn't believe him, naturally - so she FaceTimed Kelly and saw that he really was in the back of a taxi on the way to the airport.

He also texted his boss, to break the news he wouldn't be in work the next morning.

Hannah added to Mercury Press:

I didn’t believe him, I FaceTimed him to see where he was and who he was with, he was just laughing at me in the back of the taxi and telling me he was going to Ibiza.

I genuinely thought he was taking the p***, he was just being a clown like he always is, he does normally go for a couple of drinks in the pub at the weekend but never ends up flying to Ibiza.

I did find it hilarious though, I feel quite laid back about it.He told me not to worry as he’ll buy me a fridge magnet. He could at least buy me some perfume from duty free

Picture: Mercury Press and Media Ltd

 


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The new Jane Austen £10 note was unveiled today by the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney.

Carney said at the launch of the note in Winchester Cathedral, the burial place of the author:

Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal, and she is recognised as one of the greatest writers in English literature.

As Austen joins Adam Smith, Boulton and Watt, and Churchill, our notes will celebrate a diverse range of individuals who have contributed in a wide range of fields.

The new polymer note featured a quote which, confusingly, is not directly from Austen, but from one of her characters in Pride and Prejudice.

 

The new £10 note will be issued in September, when Jane Austen will join 52 other depictions of women on 1,006 banknotes around the world.

According to data from Advisa, of 238 countries researched, 137 had people on their banknotes, and only 54 of those had women on notes, compared to 131 with men on notes.

While 83 countries had banknotes only with men on (including the United States of America) when people were featured on notes, only 6 countries had all women notes.

  • Belize
  • Gibraltar
  • Falkland Islands
  • Ascension Island
  • Saint Helena
  • Tristan

You can browse the data in the below map:

 

Only 15 per cent of the faces that appear on banknotes are women, and while 398 men appear on notes internationally, only 52 women currently feature.

Here's a list of the people who appear on ten or more banknotes:


 


More: The small list of countries where women feature on banknotes

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Power doesn't just corrupt, it usually tanks your popularity ratings as well.

As a random selection, take Theresa May, 60, from Eastbourne, who one month into her new job had a net approval rating of+36 per cent.

Come July 2017, the same polling company put her on -7, while in June she had almost completely reversed her rating with a different company, polling -34 per cent approval from YouGov.

A similar dip happens with most leaders, particularly because once they're in power they have to start making decisions and that means somebody, somewhere, is going to be disappointed.

All prime ministers lose something once the honeymoon period wears off, but according to this comparison, May has had one of the biggest drops.

Comparing the Ipsos MORI net satisfaction score during the first 12 months of British prime ministers, the Daily Telegraph found Theresa May's popularity went south by the largest amount.

 

As each poll was conducted one month into their premierships, there are 11 results for each prime ministers' first 12 months in the above chart.

Of the last four leaders of the country, May has had the worst fall.

  • May -42
  • Cameron -34
  • Brown +7
  • Blair -26

While Gordon Brown was the only Prime Minister of the four to increase his net satisfaction after 12 months in office, he was working from a low baseline of -16 when he took power in June 2007, raising it to -9 a year later.

By contrast his successor David Cameron, despite losing 34 points, was still more popular than Brown one year in, with -3.

It's worth nothing that Tony Blair finished a year into the job just one point below where Theresa May began.

 

Further to fall

By looking at how each of their ratings changed month to month, you can see that Gordon Brown almost had a simple bell curve. His popularity declined and then improved almost at the same rate it had been declining.

Theresa May by contrast had a much more erratic net satisfaction rating.

 

Significant political events could be one explanation for May's ups and downs.

In September 2016 her push for Grammar Schools coincided with a big drop down (16), then her visit to meet Donald Trump in January (6), and then an up tick when the Supreme Court caused a stir when they ruled on Brexit (17).

Similarly triggering Article 50 gave May another boost (up to 19), which was more or less sustained until the Tory manifesto and the 'dementia tax' debacle during the general election.

Now 12 months in, May has only just dipped into negative figures. Her immediate predecessor Cameron did this during his seventh month.

So at least that's something for the Prime Minister to be pleased about.

Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

 

HT Daily Telegraph


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If the sheer number of alternative tube maps has shown us anything, it's that Londoners may hate the tube but they sure love a good map of it. 

A tube map inspired by The Great British Bake Off might whip up a smile and this Super Mario alternative certainly brings us back to the good old days, but they don't help you get around (unless you're Mel, Sue, Mario or Luigi, obviously). 

Luckily, we've compiled a list of the most useful. 

Walking the tube

Picture: TfL

If you regularly find yourself in the endless maze of tunnels that is King's Cross, you might not feel you need any more exercise. For the rest of us, TfL have created a series of handy maps that encourage you to stop sitting around (or, more likely, standing) on the tube.

The series measures the number of steps and walking times between stations, which is helpful if you find yourself between Leicester Square and Covent Garden at rush hour. 

Where is the nearest toilet?


It happens to the best of us: you are mid-commute and suddenly nature calls. TfL is here for you with its map showing every tube station with toilet facilities.

It includes information on whether facilities are inside or outside the station's barriers, whether the toilets may charge, which toilets are accessible for wheelchair users and which stations have baby-changing facilities. 

How to avoid stairs 


Intended for older people, customers with heavy luggage, parents with push chairs and people with physical disabilities, this map highlights all tube and DLR stations that are accessible without stairs

If you have claustrophobia or anxiety 


TfL created this map to show sections of the tube network that are above ground to help people who suffer from claustrophobia or anxiety. The aim is to help commuters avoid routes they are uncomfortable with by highlighting tunnels in grey. 

Where your bike is allowed 


Cycling is so convenient, right? Right, apart from when it's time to lug your bike on the tube and the attendant at the barrier stops you. TfL has created this map to show where unfolded bicycles are allowed, though they are never allowed during the morning and evening rush hours. Note that folded bikes can be taken on at any time.

If you're feeling interactive


Tuber map is a slick, good-looking online tool that shows you the fastest route between any two tube stations plus the journey time and price.

When not to travel 


If you have the luxury of not having to travel during rush hour, then why are you travelling during rush hour? This beautiful animated map shows the busiest times on the tube, so you can avoid them.

With its colour-coded bar charts and in-built statistics, it's fun to obsess over when you're not travelling too. 

All maps published by TfL can be viewed here.

HT Evening Standard 


More: This gif exposes the lies the London Tube map is telling you

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You’d be forgiven for thinking that all optical illusions simply exist to baffle us – there’s one that can actually help our eyesight.

 Looking at one particular optical illusion can improve our ability to see fine details, including writing, according to researchers from the University of York and University of Glasgow.

This particular illusion is called the “expanding motion aftereffect”. Looking at it can make objects appear bigger than they really are.

The researchers asked 74 people to watch the spiral pattern, either rotating clockwise or anticlockwise for 30 seconds. One group would have seen an expanding motion, and the others, a contracting one. 

This is the exact image they watched:

Picture: Sage Journals / University of Glasgow

 

They were then asked to identify a set of letters on a logMAR eye chart – the one you're asked to recite at the optician’s, with the increasingly small rows of letters. They did this task beforehand, too.

The researchers found that the participants’ vision differed depending on which spiral they watched. Those who looked at the clockwork spirals experienced improved vision afterwards. 

But those who saw the anticlockwise spirals actually performed worse than before - proving that staring at optical illusions can also temporarily worsen vision, too.

The fact that what they watched was either a contracting or expanding motion, the study states, meant that "the ensuing motion aftereffect created illusory expansion or contraction in the test images". 

The only downside is that the improvement to vision wasn't permanent. 

 


More: Do these strawberries look red to you? Your eyes are wrong

Looking at this optical illusion can improve your eyesight



Research has revealed at what age you’re too old for clubbing. Apparently, it’s 37.

Once you hit 37, you’re seen as too old for a night on the town, with a brutal 37 per cent of respondents saying that there’s nothing more “tragic” than seeing revellers in their 40s and 50s surrounded by twenty somethings. 

However, most people are over big nights out by the time they hit their early 30s, with 31 being the age Britons begin to trade in the tequila for a takeaway.

In fact, almost half of the 5000 adults who took part in the study by Currys PC World (via Mixmag) prefer a cosy night in with the telly to an evening in the pub or at a club, with 30 per cent describing their ideal night-in as one lounging around and watching a boxset.


Part of the reason is economic – a big night out doesn’t come cheap, with an average night setting you back £35 (we assume this is outside of London).

On the other hand, a perfect night in – complete with a take-away, drinks and snacks – comes at half of that, at £17.

It’s no surprise then, that six in ten told the study that going out has become “too expensive.” Awful hangovers were a pretty major deterrent too, with 29 per cent being put off by the repercussions of a night out.

Matt Walburn, Brand and Communications Director of Currys PC World said that the study shows that “there comes a time when we appreciate our home comforts more than a hectic social life, and it can often be a drag to play the social butterfly at parties and nights out".

While this may be true for some, I’m sure there are plenty of people over 37 who disagree – and look forward to their next night out, no matter how “tragic” some people say it looks. 


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On 18 April Theresa May threw away the first majority won by the Conservative Party in 23 years.

The joy of being in power, and without the help of the Liberal Democrats, was smothered after just 1 year, 11 months, and 11 days.

13 July marks the first year of her premiership, after she replaced David Cameron - the leader who'd won that majority.

When she first ascended, things were looking great.

How things have changed.

Ratings worse than the red and Jeremy Corbyn

August 2016: Ipsos Mori gave Theresa May a 35 per cent net satisfaction.

A poll by YouGov in the same month found she was Britain's most popular politicians.

June 2017: YouGov gives May a net unfavourability rate of - 34 per cent, even lower than Jeremy Corbyn before the general election.

In a ranking of who would make the best prime minister by YouGov, for the first time ever Jeremy Corbyn received a higher score than Theresa May.

Enemies within and without

8 June 2017. Picture: ITV News/Screengrab

 

July 2016: May took over the the premiership, and immediately sacked her rival George Osborne.

According to the Times, the new PM gave Osborne some 'elder sister' advice that if he wanted to be the prime minister in future he should get to know the membership better.

May also sorted her rival Boris Johnson, and sidelined her chancellor Philip Hammond.

 

June 2017: Osborne, now the editor of the daily Evening Standard, describes May as a 'dead woman walking' and struggles to hide in his glee.

In the weeks following her heavy election losses the Evening Standard rips into her leadership on an almost daily basis.

In the wake of the election Johnson and Hammond both refused to say how long she would last as prime minister.

Tory disunity

July 2016: May is the golden leader among her backbenchers and party members. Falling into line behind the new boss, Tory back benchers were delighted by her appeal to voters in Labour heartlands.

July 2017: Without a majority, May makes a deal with the Democratic Unionists that offends supporters of sexual equality, and costs the tax paper an extra billion pounds in public spending. Backbenchers reportedly search for another candidate to replace her, and May is only saved because they came up short.

Speaking with the Huffington Post, the political historian Anthony Selsdon called it the worst crisis for the Conservatives in a century.

The Tory Party is now more in trouble than at any point for 100 years since the immediate aftermath of the First World War.

The Tory Party is now more divided than it was over Suez, more divided than at any point [since] 1918.

I think it’s down to the fact the country was anyway in a difficult position because Brexit was going to go wrong,

I think she was in a ‘no-win’ situation over the General Election. If it hadn’t been called, she would be having a terribly difficult summer, people would be saying she’d blown it.

 

In an interview with the Sun published 12 July, May said she wanted to be prime minister for 'the next few years', in order to see through Brexit negotiations.

Why bother prime minister? It doesn't look like any fun.

Theresa May has been PM exactly one year – she’s ...


Brexit negotiations have started badly for the United Kingdom, a former UK negotiator to the EU has said.

But he's just one man, with his own opinion.

Following Theresa May's proposals on the rights of EU citizens, President of the European Council Donald Tusk said:

The UK’s offer is below our expectations and risks worsening the situation for our citizens.

But he's the European Commissions representative, so he's biased.

Michael Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, said he was:

not in the frame of mind to make concessions or ask for concessions.

It's not about punishment, it is not about revenge.

Basically, we are implementing the decision taken by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, and unravel 43 years of patiently-built relations.

I will do all I can to put emotion to one side and stick to the facts, the figures, and the legal basis, and work with the United Kingdom to find an agreement in that frame of mind.

Meanwhile, walking away from the talks David Davis said talks got off to a:

promising start.

In fact, Davis has maintained a sunny disposition about the process, even when subjected to an embarrassing climb down about the timetable for talks

Indeed, the now-Secretary for Exiting the European Union was full of pomp and promises about life after Article 50, prior to the referendum.

 

And despite the embarrassing lack of confidence the country shows in the abilities of this Government to negotiate Brexit...

 

 

He's stayed pretty upbeat.

So of course he's still brimming with confidence that the UK has set a blooming example to the rest of the member states - about how to seize sovereignty over law and our own trade deals?

Surely they'll all be following our promising example thus far?

 

Ah.


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Human relationships are never a walk in the park - no matter what that infuratingly perfect couple tell you on their wedding day.

So here are just a few of the major 'deal breaker' moments that have ended relationships, as ranted about on dating forums.

indy100 has found the red flag moments most people complain about.

1. They act like your child

I remember waking up one day and realising I wasn't his girlfriend, I was his mother. I dumped him that day. I didn't even cry. I was so relieved.

Writing on reddit, the user 'KitchenSwillForPigs' relayed this common complaint, that you're actually parenting your partner instead of being with them. As well as this being no fun, it's a bad sign of their character that they're taking advantage of you like this.

2. Their friends annoy you

This came up a frequently among people seeking advice. Although there are only as many people in a relationship as you want, a person’s friends are often an extension of them. Being incompatible with the friends might mean you’re not the best fit.

Staff at matchmaking website e-harmony.com wrote this advice:

It’s true that everyone has one or two friends that are “special” (read: weird) that you have to tolerate. However, if all of your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s friends drive you nuts and these pals have been around since the sixth grade, odds are that the situation will not go away. If your new steady is surrounded by a village of idiots—guess what—your dearest is probably one too.

3. They make you feel drained

It’s officially not fun anymore when you come away from time with them and feel exhausted, but not in a “we had so much sex bring some Lucozade now, please, I beg you” exhausted.

Dr Ian Kerner, a relationship therapist for goodinbed.com told Saga this red flag can be resolved, but you shouldn’t attempt the impossible.

Try to pinpoint what it is about being with your partner that makes you feel this way… Then try to raise the issue with him or her. If you can’t resolve it, or if you feel you don’t want to put energy into trying, it could be time to walk away.

4. They don’t trust you

Not trusting you can be due to their own insecurities, but it’s not your fault, and nor is it your job to go above and beyond the call of duty to show them you’re trustworthy.

PastyNProud on reddit regaled readers with this tale:

He yelled at me and accused me of cheating because he found another man's pubic hair on my toilet seat.

It was dog hair.

He still didn't believe me when I got the dog and compared its fur to the hair found on the toilet seat.

5. Odd behaviour

Some of these red flags seem very specific, like this one from ‘Craignate’ on reddit.

She tried to kick a pigeon and fell over.

Or this weird accusation said to ‘Darthvault19’.

Accusing me of trying to poison him by putting a cockroach in his coffee.

6. They’re rude to waiters.

Another recurring character trait that puts people off their date, is when the person is rude to the person bringing them food.


 

This is a hard and fast rule for friendships too.

Getting help for more serious concerns

Some of the posts were much less jovial, and constituted abuse, both physical and mental.

If you’re worried about an abusive relationship, you can always seek advice and help from Direspect Nobody and Victim Support.

HT reddit, Saga, Psychology Today


More: How alcohol affects a long-lasting, happy relationship

If your partner does any of these 6 things you ...


Are you ever embarrassed by the name of your home town?

It can be something that follows you around for the rest of your life.

Inescapable during ice breaking conversations and it's even worse when you have to spell it out for someone.

We're thinking of places like Cockfosters, Dorking and Clitheroe but it appears that they aren't anywhere near the weirdest place names in the UK.

Petrarch1603, a regular redditor on the always entertaining subreddit r/MapPornhas made a handy, geographical guide to the oddest place names around the country.

Odd Places in the British Isles (REVISED) [1164 × 1386] from MapPorn

 

In our humble opinion the best place has to be Westward Ho! which actually has a exclamation mark in its name. 

Really.

However, the last place we would want to live is Nasty. Can't imagine anyone would want to visit you there.

A shout out should also go to Lllanfairpwllwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobyllllantysiliogogogoch in North Wales, whose name was obviously far too big for the map.

If you've ever wanted to know how to say that name he is weatherman Liam Dutton absolutely bossing the pronunciation. 

 

Replies to the Reddit thread were reliably entertaining.

Still no love for Shitterton.

 

If Upton Snodsbury isn't the most English thing I've ever heard.

It would appear though, that these names aren't as risque as you'd like to think.

Here are some of the rudest place names which are definitely NSFW.

 

HT Reddit


More: A map of the rudest place names in the world

This map shows the weirdest place names in the UK


A new study has revealed the photo techniques men and women use on Tinder.

Is having six photos too many? Do you look needy?

Does only three make you look like there are only three passable photos of you in existence?


 

Tinder etiquette, and coming across well on the image-dominated website, is difficult.

To cope with this, it seems users have developed some interesting techniques.

Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, studies selfies from 900 heterosexual participants.

The author of the paper, Jennifer Sedgewick, created two fake Tinder profiles - one of a heterosexual male and one of a heterosexual woman.

Research assistants were then asked to categories screenshots of 557 Tinder profile images, and categorise them into above or below angle shots. 

Prior to the study, the team hypothesised:

[Tinder users] may intuitively know to select an image where the vertical angle of the camera is consistent with how they want to be presented to the opposite sex: for men, from below to appear larger and dominant (i.e., powerful) and for women, from above to look smaller and submissive (i.e. less powerful.)

 

Get Down

The results showed that 25 per cent of women took a photo from above, with the camera pointing down at them.

By contrast, only 16 per cent of men did the same.

 

Keep it above the waist

However, 40 per cent of men took photos from below, typically from the waist up. This was only the case 16 per cent of female Tinder users surveyed.

The team stressed that not much could be extrapolated from this, given that the personalities of the participants were unknown to the researchers.

However, they did suggest that men may wish to adhere to stereotypes of masculinity, such as being tall, and having a more defined chin. These traits can be accentuated by a camera angle from the waist up.

Women also tended to use a selfie as their first image (90 per cent), compared to just 54 per cent of men who opted for a photo taken by someone else.

The results were published in the journal Frontiers of Psychology in June 2017.

HT National Post


More: These are the most swiped right names on Tinder

This is why women on Tinder take selfies from above ...



Ivanka Trump reportedly filled in for her father and President of the United States Donald at the G20 summit table today.

A Russian negotiator tweeted a photo of Ivanka sat in Donald's seat next to Theresa May.


 

 

But it was not deleted fast enough. In this glorious modern age, split-second screengrabs mean not much can be hidden from the internet. 

Even heavyweight political commentators got involved.

Quoting Lukash's now-deleted tweet, Michael McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, tweeted: "This is strange. Very strange." 

Most were alarmed that it was downright undemocratic - after all, many are sceptical about Donald Trump's qualifications to be President, but at least he had votes cast for him. 

 

Spot the odd one out... 

 

A few people had some bright ideas. 

 

While others pointed out a healthy dose of hypocrisy. 

 

Disturbing stuff. 



More: This tweet perfectly sums up the problem with Ivanka Trump working at the White House

Ivanka took her dad’s seat at the G20 table and ...


The BBC's head of political programming is leaving the broadcaster to become Prime Minister Theresa May's new director of communications.

Robbie Gibb, who's worked at the BBC for 23 years, has edited the Daily Politics, This Week, and the Andrew Marr show and is the former deputy-editor of Newsnight. He also organised major political events for the BBC, such as the Brexit debate at Wembley.

 

 

He is the brother of schools minister Nick Gibb and worked in Conservative headquarters in the 1990s before joining the BBC. 

His predecessor,  Katie Perrior, quit before the general election. Her LinkedIn states she is "Most definitely no longer the Director of Communications to the Prime Minister, No.10 Downing Street".

 


 

The broadcaster is now facing allegations of bias from both left and right wing politicians. 

In the nineties Gibb worked for Tory MP Francis Maude, and helped on Michael Portillo's campaign for Conservative party leader in 2001.

The recent general election saw many Downing Street staff quit their jobs.

Gibb will presumably have the tough challenge of rebuilding Theresa May's reputation, she is currently at a record low personal approval rating, and the Conservatives have continued to slip in the polls compared to Labour since the election last month.

 

James Landale, the BBC's political correspondent was rumoured to be considered for the job, but he tweeted that he decided not to apply.

 

The BBC's director of news, James Harding, said Gibb had been:

An innovator in story-telling on television and an unrelenting advocate of the BBC, its independence and our public service role.

The signal quality he and his programmes have shown is the willingness to speak truth to power - I suspect it will come in handy.

Gibb has been a staunch defender of the BBC's independence, most notably after Seumas Milne, Jeremy Corbyn's director of communications accused the BBC of bias over the on-air resignation of a shadow minister of the BBC Daily Politics.

Sir Craig Oliver, David Cameron's head of communcaitons, was also plucked from the BBC's ranks, where he was the editor of the Ten O'Clock news.

The role he enters was first created in Tony Blair's government, who gave the job to Alistair Campbell, a former press secretary, in 2000. 

Gibb's appointment has led to criticism of the BBC, who are fighting of accusations of impartiality.

 

 

Former Corbyn adviser, Matt Zarb-Cousin tweeted that he would need luck.

 

 

The BBC have strict guidelines on impartiality and a series of checks and balances are in place to ensure their reports are bias free. You can find out more here


More: Tory MP absolutely taken apart by BBC guest

Concerns of impartiality raised over Tories’ latest hire


When you were learning about renewable energies at school, solar panels never seemed cute.

They do now.

Check out this Solar Farm built by Panda Green Energy.

Picture: Panda Green Energy

 

The Panda Power Plant aims to provide clean energy, but it also forms part of a project to advocate the benefits of renewable energy, as agreed with the United Nations Development Program.

The project hopes to raise young peoples’ awareness of the most critical issues faced by society, especially regarding climate change and clean energy, and promote stronger leadership from within youth groups for sustainable development action.

There will also be a nine-day youth summer camp, 10-18 August at the first Panda Solar Farm in Datong County, Shanxi Province, and will bring together 50 committed Chinese-speaking youths, aged between 13-17.

The Panda Power Plant can provide 3.2 billion kWh of green electricity in 25 years, equivalent to saving 1.056 million tonnes of coal, or reducing 2.74 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

In the next five years, Panda Green Energy plans to continue building ecological plants in “Belt and Road” countries and areas.

HT Inhabitat


More: China is now getting its power from the largest floating solar farm on Earth

Solar farms are being built like drawings, and this one ...



Pride season, otherwise known as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, otherwise known as June, has come to a close.

It honours the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, commonly seen as a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. 

The 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, failed to recognise it this year.

Around the world though, there will be multiple other Parades and celebrations; London for example is celebrating Pride on 8 July, while Taipei Pride is set to take place in October.

So lets commemmorate the importance of Pride by looking over some images of marches and protests of the past:


 

1. Paris, 25 June 1977

People holding signs and a banner reading 'Homosexual Liberation Group, Politics and daily life' during the first Gay Pride to be held in Paris to promote lesbian, gay and bisexual rights.

The Parisian Gay Pride celebrated its 40th anniversary on 24 May 2017.

Picture: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

 

2. New York, 1983

Parents and friends of lesbians and gays taking part in the 1983 Gay Pride Parade, New York City, on the 13th anniversary of the founding of the Gay Alliance Association in Greenwich Village.

Picture: Peter Keegan/Getty Images

 

3. New York, c. 1980

A group of men dressed in leather fetish clothing ride in a truck at the intersection of 32nd Street and Fifth Avenue during the annual Gay Pride parade in New York City, c. 1980.

Picture: Leo Vals/Getty Images

 

 

4. London, 19 June 1993

Crowds on the annual Gay Pride march, promoting gay and lesbian rights, London, 19th June 1993.

Picture: Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 

5. New York, 11 July 1976

Gay Rights demonstration during the Democratic National Convention in New York City, 11 July 197.

Picture: Granger/REX/Shutterstock

 

6. London, 1984

Picture: Photofusion/REX/Shutterstock

 

7. London, 1987

Picture: Photofusion/REX/Shutterstock

 

8. London, July 1994

A marcher dressed as Marilyn Monroe during the annual Gay Pride march in London, July 1994.

Picture: Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 

9. London, 24 June 1995

Men in camouflage trousers riding a pink tank and carrying rainbow flags during the Lesbian and Gay Pride event, London, 24 June 1995.

Picture: Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 

10. London, 24 June 1995

Picture: Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 

11. London, 4 July 1997

Members of the Gay Liberation Movement protesting outside the Old Bailey over Mary Whitehouse's court action against the Gay News Magazine.

Picture: Malcolm Clarke/Keystone/Getty Images

 

12. London, 30 June 1979

Police accompany the carnival winding its way through London at the end of the International Gay Pride Week, an event marking the tenth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York, and with them the birth of the gay Liberation Movement.

Picture: PA Archive/PA Images

 

13. San Francisco, c. 1972

A participant at a Gay Pride gathering in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California: c. 1972.

Picture: Underwood Archives / UIG/REX/Shutterstock

 

14. Hollywood, 1982

Picture: Fotos International/REX/Shutterstock

 


More: One massive difference between Donald Trump and Barack Obama

14 moving images from the earliest Pride protests


LGBT Pride Month had just ended in the US, but here in the UK the Pride in London celebrations keep going into July.

To celebrate, two of the world's leading porn sites xHamster and PornHub, have released some stats about who watches the most gay porn and what gay porn they predominantly like.

This article is about gay porn, so contains lots of NSFW language and chat, obviously.

"Gay porn" refers to videos in which men are having sex with men (so these findings don't count lesbian porn or account for the sexuality or genders of those watching. While women make up 26 per cent of the visitors to PornHub, they are reportedly 37 per cent of the viewers watching gay male porn.)

According to xHamster, those in West Virginia are watching the most gay porn and those in Oregon are watching the least.

Picture: xHamster

 

They also revealed what kind of porn is getting uploaded the most by state.

Picture: xHamster

 

 

According to PornHub, what kind of gay porn you like to watch depends on where in the US you live.

Picture: PornHub

 

For example; people in Utah are 845 per cent more likely to search for "Mormon". While people in West Virginia are 152 percent more likely to search for "redneck". Elsewhere, South Dakotans are 569 per cent more likely to look up "furry". And the good folks of New York are 454 per cent more likely to search "dominican".

The most popular search term by state tends to be geographical too.

Picture: PornHub

 

What is searched for also varies by age.

Picture: PornHub

​More: A map of the world's favourite porn

The places in America that watch the most gay porn, ...


LGBT Pride Month had just ended in the US, but here in the UK the Pride in London celebrations keep going into July.

To celebrate, two of the world's leading porn sites xHamster and PornHub, have released some stats about who watches the most gay porn and what gay porn they predominantly like.

This article is about gay porn, so contains lots of NSFW language and chat, obviously.

"Gay porn" refers to videos in which men are having sex with men (so these findings don't count lesbian porn or account for the sexuality or genders of those watching. While women make up 26 per cent of the visitors to PornHub, they are reportedly 37 per cent of the viewers watching gay male porn.)

According to xHamster, those in West Virginia are watching the most gay porn and those in Oregon are watching the least.

Picture: xHamster

 

They also revealed what kind of porn is getting uploaded the most by state.

Picture: xHamster

 

 

According to PornHub, what kind of gay porn you like to watch depends on where in the US you live.

Picture: PornHub

 

For example; people in Utah are 845 per cent more likely to search for "Mormon". While people in West Virginia are 152 percent more likely to search for "redneck". Elsewhere, South Dakotans are 569 per cent more likely to look up "furry". And the good folks of New York are 454 per cent more likely to search "dominican".

The most popular search term by state tends to be geographical too.

Picture: PornHub

 

What is searched for also varies by age.

Picture: PornHub

​More: A map of the world's favourite porn

The places in America that watch the most gay porn, ...



The people of Dover are not happy.

You wouldn't be either if your town had just been named the worst in the country, with people describing it as a 'herpes-infested s***hole'

Charming.

The south coast seaside town in Kent came top of a league table conducted via crowd opinion by ILiveHere.co.uk beating the likes of Hull, Scunthorpe and Bradford to the unwanted top spot.

Some words against the findings.

Firstly: The methodology seemed a little less than conclusive. The website read:

Thousands of readers have voted for their least salubrious dump in this septic isle.

That seems a way to go from impartial and weighted survey data.

Secondly: Surely anywhere with this view can't be that bad?

Picture: Getty Images

 

Now for some testimony in favour of the top spot.

MailOnline spoke to a number of local residents who agreed with those sentiments. 

There are really nice seaside resorts then you come here and there's nothing that really draws you to the town.

In the town centre it's awful.

There are lots of drunks in the parks and stuff.

Said 36-year-old Dave Heath.

59-year-old street cleaner Roy McLester knew exactly who to blame for Dover's decline; the politicians.

The government has reaped all the loose change out of people's pockets so all the pubs are shut now, the shops are shutting, it's the same old story all over I think, apart from London - that's where all the money is.

Others did try to be a bit more positive, like teenager Charlie Corrigan.

I like it because I've always lived here.

It always looks a little bit run down but it's not too bad, there are a few places to hang around and my mates all live around here.

That's the spirit.

Council worker June House, had the best response to the news.

We are trying really hard. Lots of things have happened.

We've had a few disasters such as the ferry crash in 1987 and the fact that there are a lot of vacant shops in the town.

But I think in all of that we always smile and get on and think that life is going to get better.

She continued.

We're great. we've got the seaside, we've got the castle, we've got the most amazing heritage that you could ever want and it's such a fantastic castle.

How could you say it's not a great place to live? It is a very pretty town and I think people see all the negatives.

They see the homeless people who are sleeping by the local shops but it is such a diverse town.

I think it's great.

How many towns do you see where they've still got a Marks and Spencer in the town centre and a WH Smith?

Marks & Spencer and WH Smith?

Now you're talking.

HT MailOnline


More: The most dangerous places to live in the UK, in four maps and charts

This is Britain’s worst town, according to a survey


On Sunday, the President of United States shared a video of himself punching someone in the face.

His victim’s face had the CNN logo over it.

 

The clip was doctored footage of a professional wrestling match (therefore fake) he cameo'd in.

The President or someone on his team, Tweeted the video, which had originally been posted on reddit by user curiously named 'HansAssholeSolo'.

Picture: @TomEmburyD/Twitter screenshot

 


 

As per usual, the President called the organisation ‘Fake News’, while using a clip from a mock fight he'd had at Wrestlemania, which can be seen here.

Trump is also in a feud-of-sorts with the hosts of the MSNBC show, Morning Joe, whom he recently called ‘Crazy’ and 'Psycho' respectively.

As the Independent’s Tom Embury-Dennis pointed out, HansAssholSolo, presumably the source for Trump's video, has some extremely questionable posts.

 

Taking this hot lead, indy100 decided to delve further into the wise posts put up by HansAssholeSolo.

As well as ‘Starbucks coffee tests positive for fecal [sic] bacteria…could it be….MUSLIIM IMMIGRANT HIRES?’, there was this lovely one about the Obama Administration:

Picture: reddit/r/The_Donald

 

As well as memes designed to offend and provoke anger from opponents of President Trump, the same redditor has also shared what you might call ‘Fake News’.

That is to say, lies.

Such as this meme which suggested that a map of Democratic support in the US was a graphic match with a map of crime in the USA.

Picture: reddit/r/The_Donald

 

A similar map was debunked by the Washington Post in February.

The one used by HansAssholeSolo was created from Census data from 2009, and actually shows the murder rate in US cities and not the crime rate.

You can see where the top of the map has been cut off to change this to ‘crime rate’ by comparing it to the original on the Independent Journal Review.

Cities often have more crime than rural areas, and more homicides because there are more people concentrated in them.

A map which showed where major US cities are would also correlate to where Democratic support is, as the party‘s support is often concentrated in cities, and less so in rural areas.

So not only is the President using this redditor’s work without citation - he hasn't checked if the redditor is a peddler of fake news.


More: Here are all the major news agencies Donald Trump has called 'fake news'

Donald Trump’s CNN wrestle video originated from this Reddit user ...


Nathan Cunningham, a second-year statistics PhD student at the University of Warwick, recently set out in a blog post to debunk one of the most pernicious spelling rules we take as gospel.

I before E except after C.

In an article, published on his blog on 26 June,  he says the inspiration came from an episode of QI, which claimed the rule actually had more exceptions than incidents that obeyed it.

In short, that words containing 'cie' actually outnumbered those containing 'cei'.

That's spelling for you.

 

He took a list of 350,000 English words and did some analysis.

He found that there's a roughly 75 per cent chance that 'i' goes before 'e' in a word, regardless of whether there is a 'c' before it - it, statistically speaking, made very little difference to the ratio.

Here's the ie/ei split following each letter of the alphabet (‘^’ denotes words beginning with either ‘ei’ or ‘ie):

Picture: Nathan Cunn

 

So there you have it, any English teacher who taught you that rule is completely wrong.

Nathan's also worked out whether Christmas actually comes earlier every year and how to find your friends at a music festival, and previously studied at the University College Dublin before working with the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, completing research on the Irish healthcare system.

HT Nathan Cunn


More: The most commonly misspelled words in the English language

The grammar rule you think you know but don’t



Humans have existed on this planet for roughly 200,000 years and after all that time we've never really got over the fact that some of us talk differently. 

Unfortunately, a lot of the time, these difference are highlighted negatively - as xenophobia and racism continue to divide people in countries around the world. 

Fortunately, there are still plenty of times our differences are celebrated and some much needed humour occurs. 

This is one of those videos.

100 Americans were gathered by Cut to try our their best British accents on camera - and the results were pretty spectacular. 

Lots of people used choice 'British' phrases in order to get better into character. These included: 

It's raining again.

Blooming 'eck.

Cricky.

And

Would you like to have a cup of tea?

Seriously. Tea was mentioned a lot. 

This woman's London accent is amazing though. If this was a competition she won.


There was also a lot of swearing. Apparently we say the 'C-word' quite a bit. 

One thing is certain though, there were a lot of creative facial expressions while attempting the accent. 


Watch the whole video here:

 

Jolly good show.


More: The sexist accents in Europe have been revealed 

This is what happens when 100 Americans try to speak ...


Here at indy100 we love our flags.

We made a flag map of Europe, so you can tell we're not just throwing that about.

 

We've made quiz after quiz.

However, someone's gone and bettered us in flag nerddom.

Recently a reddit user called Drac-Henry submitted a flag map of some European, African and Middle Eastern Capitals to a popular mapping subreddit.

It's very pretty, and a cool way of visualising the differences.

Flag map of European capital cities [2096 x 1510] [OC] from MapPorn

 

People pointed out Copenhagen was a bit off - it has no official city flag.

 

It does, however, have a coat of arms.


 

 

So we understand the reason for leaving it blank.

People also drew issue with the capitals of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales not being represented.

Here's also, for good measure, the flag of Belfast:

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

 

The flag of Edinburgh:

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

 

And the flag of Cardiff:

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

 

There was also a point to make about the flag of London in the original post on the purest subreddit in the world, Vexillology:

 

Here's the flag of Greater London:

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

 

Here's the City of London:

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

 

The more you know.


More: The beautiful flag map that will change the way you look at Europe

This flag map of Europe is a thing of beauty


Meet Imgur user ChefShwasty - he's something of an evil genius. 

Recently, presumably to alleviate office boredom or simply to operate as a some sort of comic relief, Chef decided it would be a good idea to prank one of his fellow workers, who shall be referred to as D. 

Chef came up with the idea to hide a small, Bluetooth speaker in the vent above D's desk, and quietly play the 1977 Disco classic Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees the entire day. 

Here's Chef hiding (or possibly retrieving) said speaker.

Picture: Imgur

 

And here's where it is in relation to D. 

Picture: Imgur

 

The entire prank, and D's reaction, was summed up in glorious detail in an Imgur post, which you can read below:


The man in the red shirt with the blurry face, let's call him D.

I like to f*ck with D.

At 7:00AM PST, I placed a small Bluetooth speaker in the HVAC duct above his head, and have been playing “Stayin' Alive” by the Bee Gees on repeat since then. It's only barely audible, and the way the louvers are, only he can hear it. 

So far, this is his discovery:

7:30AM- I noticed him stop, look around, close his eyes, and seemingly try to listen for something. He shook it off and continued talking.

8:15AM- He mentioned a car driving by playing some music that sounded familiar. No car passed. 

8:45AM- Started humming the song after I had turned it down.

9:30AM- Asked what music I was playing on my computer. Came over, searched, found nothing. Looked at other co-worker, who just shrugged. Went back to talking.

10:00AM- Turned up the music when he was around the corner. Came running back, I turned it down. He asked a customer “did you hear that?” Customer said, “hear what?” D shook his head and ignored it.

10:30AM- One of the warehousemen played “Stayin' Alive” on their warehouse speakers very loudly. D closed the door to the warehouse. I turned my speaker up. Five minutes later, he went into the warehouse, where a different song was playing. I turned down my speaker. He sat down, and started searching under his desk, presumably for a source of the noise.

I will keep you posted as to further updates.

11:00AM- He's leaving for lunch. Turned it up when he was in the bathroom so he could hear it through the bathroom ducting. Left in a hurry.

12:05 He's back from lunch. He briefly tried to take up residence in another office before getting booted. He's going through the task manager on his computer and killing tasks, and playing with volume options.

12:26PM F*CK F*CK F*CK THE SPEAKER DIED, RUNNING RECON RIGHT NOW WILL UPDATE

12:33PM He ran to the store for a pack of smokes. Working on rigging up a hard wire. There's an outlet up in the ceiling. Getting ext cable.

12:44PM Alright, so, it's back up and running with a slight problem... D just got back, and one of our guys is in the ceiling still.

1:09PM I have to leave for lunch. Got our guy out of the ceiling after about ten minutes. I'll try to figure out how to update the original post, but I never have figured out how to do that... I'll work on it. Be back soon.

1:10PM Okay, have a lot to update. Back from lunch. Apparently he's under the impression someone is pranking him, but unsure how. He's been upstairs checking around to see if there's anything up there, to no avail. Turned it down for a few moments.

 2:30 OTHER COWORKER HAD A GREAT IDEA. We're now playing music on our own individual computers at a normal volume. It's creating a weird Vortex of music. We've upped the volume of Stayin Alive. We can all hear it, but it's indistinguishable from other things.

3:02 Oh sh*t guys he broke down and confronted us. Shouting sh*t like “I know you're doing this” etc etc. But he has no proof. He's now just sitting outside smoking and pouting haha.

3:17 He's back at his desk like nothing happened. Stayin' Alive is still playing. Even customers can't hear it, so he's really confused.

4:01PM, He shot out of here like a cannon. When he grabbed his keys, I upped the volume to max, and everyone started dancing to the music (about five of us). He dropped his keys and starting yelling “f*ck you, guys!” 

Before he left, he said “you'll f**king regret this on Monday.” 

Guess who's calling in sick?

Thanks for coming on this ride with me.

Big love

-Chef



HT Bored Panda


More: This man got the ultimate revenge on some people being rude to their waiters

This guy used a hidden speaker to get the ultimate ...



In the wake of President Trump's decision to remove America from the Paris Climate agreement, you'd be forgiven for feeling a little negative about the future of the planet.  

With reports of huge cracks appearing in the Antarctic ice, fears that preventing the two degree heating of the planet might be a pipe dream, and the world's food supplies at risk - everything looks and sounds grim.

Fortunately though, there are some good news stories on the horizon; with many of them coming from China. The country has been leading the way when it comes to 'green living' in recent years, with the government announcing it had completed construction of the world's largest floating solar farm. Now, in an attempt to curb the production of toxic gasses, the country is continuing to pave the way (so to speak) with the construction of one of the world's first 'forest cities'.

Designed by Stefano Boeri, who you might remember also designed two vertical skyscraper 'forests', the city is currently under construction in Liuzhou, Guangxi Province.

Picture: Stefano Boeri

 

Once completed, the new city will reportedly host 30,000 people and - thanks to the abundance of trees and plants - will absorb almost 10,000 tons of CO2, 57 tons of pollutants per year and produce approximately 900 tons of oxygen annually. 

The city will achieve these rather impressive figures thanks to roughly a million plants from over 100 species, as well as 40,000 trees being planted in facades over almost every surface imaginable.

The new Liuzhou Forest City will connect to the existing Liuzhou via a series of fast rail services and electric cars; it will also reportedly house a number of schools and two hospitals. There are also plans to make the city self-sustainable with regards to power, thanks to geothermal and solar energy resources.

Picture: Stefano Boeri

 

Mr Boeri's website states: 

The diffusion of plants, not only in the parks and gardens or along the streets, but also over building facades, will allow the energy self-sufficient city to contribute to improve the air quality (absorbing both CO2 and fine dust of 57 tons per year), to decrease the average air temperature, to create noise barriers and to improve the biodiversity of living species, generating the habitat for birds, insects and small animals that inhabit the Liuzhou territory.

 

It's hoped that this stunning looking creation will be completed by 2020.


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The project Five Year Photo is a simple concept, with poignant results

John Wardlaw, John Dickson, Mark Rumer, Dallas Burney and John Molony had a good way to measure the passage of time before 'throw back thursday' was ever a hashtag.

In 1987 they began the 'Five Year Photo' project, taking a second photo on the same spot, in the same line up, that they had done five years previously.

Since then, they've taken the same photo every five years for the past 35.

The group of five were all students at Santa Barbara High School, California who graduated in 1981.

The summer after, while holidaying at the Wardlaw's cabin at Copco Lake in Northern California, they took the first image.


 

In 2014 the quintet posted this image showing the seven photos they had created at that point.

 

Here are all eight photos, courtesy of John Wardlaw and the website of The Five Year Photo Project.


 

1982


 

1987


 

1992


 

1997


 

2002


 

2007


 

2012


 

2017

Picture: @FiveYearPhoto

 

HT Daily Mail


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Andy's absent Dad is a big point of contention for Toy Story fans. 

Despite it being 22 years since the film came out, new theories about the Pixar film are always emerging. 

Most popular fan theories emerge around Andy's parents getting divorced shortly prior to the events of the first film in the series, or speculating that Andy's Dad is deceased.


 

This week, a new theory dropped by way of Mike Mozart, a toy collector who was friends with the film's creator Joe Ranft until his death in 2005.

Mozart claims that Ranft, who won an Oscar for his work on the film, told him the whole origin story once. 

In an interview with Jonathan Carlin, a YouTuber, Mozart says that Andy’s dad was sick with polio as a child, but recovered and grew up into a healthy middle-aged man who married Andy’s mum, and had two kids before developing post-polio syndrome and dying.

 

The theory, outlined in the video below, would make a lot of sense, filling in some of the franchise's plotholes.

 

Before you reach for the tissues, Andrew Stanton, a producer who worked on the film, has debunked the theory.

He called it "complete and utter fake news".

 

It's a shame, because it would make for an interesting prequel. 

It's possible however that Stanton did not know the backstory - the interview claims that Ranft may have only told one person.

 

The theory

The origin story, according to Mike Mozart is very, very sad.

It states the house that Andy lives in first Toy Story film, is the house Andy's Dad grew up in. So all the pictures you see in the house that are Andy are actually Andy's father (which explains why he's wearing glasses in one of them).

To make things extra confusing, Andy's Dad is also called Andy.

The story states, Andy Senior came from a poor family but really loved the TV show Woody's Roundup. 

Andy Sr. had a tough childhood, as well as coming from a very poor family, he was also sick as a child (with polio) and he was bullied by a childhood version of Al (from Al's Toy Store).

Andy Sr. saved up a box tops from cereals to get his own Woody doll (which was the only way you could get one). 

Andy's dad was actually the only kid to get his hands on a Woody toy, because the show was cancelled, and all the other kids got "space toys". 

However, a nice secretary sent the protype Woody doll to  Andy Sr. who had written lots of letters to the show.


 

Because he had polio, Andy's dad's toys were all burned, but he rescued his Woody doll, Slinky and Mr. Potato Head. 

Then, while Andy's mum was pregnant since his sister, Andy Sr. gets sick with post-polio disease. 

While lying on his deathbed, Andy Sr. told him to get a box of toys from the attic but died before Andy came back downstairs.

The toys, which are sentient, don't realise  Andy isn't Andy's dad because they look so similar as kids. 

 

Is your mind sufficiently blown?


 

It certainly chimes with other theories that suggest Andy's father having died.

Speaking to indy100, Mozart stands by his story stating that:

My story is true... is exactly as told to me, by Joe Ranft, the best I can remember, and my memory is very good.

I have even left out a lot of details! 

He added that the origin story solves a lot of inconsistencies in the film.

Who are the people represented in the pictures on the walls going down the stairs? Why was the moving truck almost empty?

Why does Woody not remember any previous owners, or the Woody's Roundup TV Show?

(Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl did not forget her original owner.)

Why was Woody unaware of any other toys being in the "Woody's Round Up" product line?

If he had been in a store, he would known. (The toys in Al's Toy Barn were all having a great time EXCEPT the Buzz Lightyear dolls because they were in 'Hyper Sleep'). 

He also pointed out inconsistencies with other Pixar films which have later released prequels, such as Monsters Inc. and suggested that Stanton would deny the origin story because Pixar may want to write a different origin story. 

Pixar is currently working on at least two Toy Story related projects.

If they decided to make a prequel, the original intended story makes a mess for changing anything in any future 'Prequel' version.

I refer to the inconsistencies between Monsters Inc and the PREQUEL Monsters University.

In one of the trailers, Sulley chastises Mike for spending ALL his time in fifth Grade passing notes back and forth to Susie Boils

In the Actual Movie "Monsters Inc", Mike reminds Sulley that he has been jealous of his good looks since fourth grade. 

​Yet, in Monsters University, The Prequel, they first meet at College.

I believe that the true original intentions for the original, could produce a film like Up, which was a licensing disaster, compared to Toy Story, Monsters Inc, etc. 

The Toy Story Movies were and still are a licensing bonanza.

I feel Pixar is sacrificing story for the value of happier movie licensing revenue

He also claims that two cafe workers were present when the story was told to him by Ranft.

My retelling of this over a decade old conversation with Joe Ranft creates a large problem for a billion dollar franchise. I never intended that at all. 

Pixar has only confirmed they are working on one project, Toy Story 4, at present.

It's due to be released in 2019 and will be a separate story from the original trilogy.

indy100 has reached out to Pixar and to Stanton for comment and clarification.


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The BBC Question Time audience broke out into laughter during Thursday night's show, after Daily Mail columnist Peter Oborne called the paper "extremely accurate and fair".

 

The panel were discussing Brexit when an audience member, speaking in support of a second referendum, said he didn't know what Brexit was "going to mean when we voted for it in the referendum". He went onto blame 'lies' in "papers like the Daily Mail" for the Leave victory.

After being asked by host David Dimbleby: “What were the lies in the Daily Mail?” the audience member replied: 

£350 million a week to the NHS?

It's worth noting that the £350 million a week to the NHS came from the official Leave campaign, although the tabloid did encourage its readers to vote leave.

Picture: Getty Images / Jack Taylor

 

Oborne replied: 

The Mail is an extremely accurate and fair paper.

[You] may not like it, but it is read by an awful lot of people - honourable, decent people - I imagine a lot of you in this audience. 

It’s a great newspaper - it doesn’t tell lies.

 

Oborne was largely ridiculed online for his comments, however some left-wing commentators, such as LBC's James O'Brien came to his defence, calling him "a journalist of rare integrity". 

 

Oborne famously resigned from the Telegraph in 2015 after criticising the links between the paper's commercial and editorial arms.

This week, The Daily Mail launched an attack on the Guardian, calling them "Fake news, the fascist left and the REAL purveyors of hate," dedicating a page editorial to the left-wing newspaper that was described by the Press Gazette as "its most savage ever editorial attack".

 

The editorial was in response to a cartoon printed in the Guardian following the Finsbury Park attack, which killed one and saw eleven people injured after a van was driven outside a mosque.

The cartoon depicted the aftermath of the attack, with "Read the Sun & Daily Mail" written on the side of the van. 

 

The editorial from the Mail stated:

First, an apology to our readers. We realise that they are not interested in our differences with other newspapers, which inevitably risk being seen as self-obsessed navel-gazing.

But this week the Guardian published a cartoon so sick and disgusting – so deranged and offensive to the four million decent, humane and responsible people who read us – that we owe it to every one of them to lay to rest this malicious smear...

...The implication was as unmistakable as it was poisonous. The Guardian was telling its followers that the Daily Mail and its readers are vicious bigots with the blood of innocent, peace-loving Muslims on their hands.

 

It added: 

But this is far from a one-off insult to our readers, who – as should go without saying – were as horrified and appalled as the rest of the country by the Finsbury Park attack...

...For the record – not that this matters to the fake news the Guardian creates about the Mail – this paper has always been against UKIP, so much so that Nigel Farage blamed as for his lack of electoral success.

 

It's provoked a huge amount of negative attention from left-wing critics on twitter, who are sharing various provocative Mail front pages.

 

The Daily Mail won Newspaper of the Year in the 2016 Press Awards, where it was praised for its "strong and provocative voice, campaigning journalism and shaping of the national conversation".


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There's a group of bullies that are going to feel pretty stupid right now, after their target was escorted to school by dozens of Canadian bikers. 

Xander Rose rode on the back of a motorbike  to the entrance of Harbourside Elementary School in the city of Sydney in Nova Scotia, Zealand.

 

The ten-year-old had been the target of bullies for a number of years, and allegedly endured racial abuse and threats to his life for being indigenous.

He said he found school "rough and hard", and that he had been bullied "all year".

CTV News Atlantic

 

Three young people in his community had taken their own lives in six months, and Rose's mum, Katie Laybolt, was worried he may be next. She told News Atlantic:

I didn’t want my child’s name to be another one on that list. That’s where it felt like it was going. We were watching him withdraw. He didn’t want to come to school; he didn’t want to come out of his bedroom most days.  

The bikers heard about Rose's struggles from the children’s advocacy group Defenders of Children, who were approached by his mum. Since Rose loves bikes, his mum figured this was the best way to reach out to him.

 

Biker Mike Basso said:

His family has grown - I wouldn’t even say tenfold – I’d say what? A thousandfold? My brother’s in BC and they’re talking about it out there.

The message is getting out. Finally.  

Laybolt has accused the school of not doing enough to help her son, but a spokesperson for the school disagrees.

School board chair Darren Googoo said:

I think that we’re going to need to really carefully monitor how we provide services to all students. I think that’s going to be a challenge moving forward.

Rose and his mum will be volunteering at a bike rally in the area.

HT CTV News Atlantic


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Dozens of bikers escort bullied 10-year-old boy to school


Drew Scanlon produces a YouTube travel series called Cloth Map - his latest journey took him to a nuclear bunker in Ukraine.

The Strategic Missile Forces Museum was decommissioned in 2001 and currently serves as a tour facility - it's located roughly three hours from the city of Kiev.

But if you can't make it out to the Ukrainian countryside Scanlon's video very much puts you in the heart of the action.

The tour begins with the guide, Dymtro, bringing Scanlon into a small room.

So this compartment is for personnel after they have destroyed the whole world.

Right.  

Dymtro, the guide (YouTube screengrab)

 

The compartment was designed for use after a ‘button’ – you know the one - was pushed. The bunker was created to last for 45 days, and was stocked with food, medicine, a safe for pistols, a tea-maker, toilet, and water.

Next, the guide took him to the main room – “the room to destroy the world”.

After taking a seat, Scanlon is told that personnel would receive codes from Moscow, and then two officers would use identical keys in two keyholes which they would have to turn right at the same time. 

Just like in the movies.

And then, The Famous Red Grey Button would be pressed. 

The grey button (YouTube screengrab)

 

After the button is pressed, a loud alarm sounds, and a green light lets the officers know that the launch has started. Another blinking light shortly after, will confirm the launch has been accomplished.

The guide put it slightly differently...

So now, you can start counting 22 minutes, and you've destroyed Washington DC.

You can watch the entire tour below: 


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Chrissy Teigen underwent IVF treatment in order to give birth to her baby daughter Luna. 

The model has made no secret of her decision to conceive in that manner. 

 

Following the birth of her child, Teigen decided to freeze another embryo. You know, because it's hers and she has the right to do whatever she wants with her body. 

She had also been criticised for her decision to choose the sex of the baby. 

One Twitter user said Teigen was "messing with God's natural creation." 

To which she responded in true Teigen fashion...

 

 

Well, a troll has returned to voice a completely unwarranted opinion about the model's body, after she posted the following: 

 

Embryo storage costs money, and Teigen innocently tweeted the screengrab, probably to get a few laughs out of her followers. 

 

First there were the pregnancy rumours (which Teigen swiftly shut down)...

 

...And then, the IVF nonissue came back:

In a now-deleted tweet, one user asked: 

Why would you use an embryo? Could you not conceive naturally? 

(Twitter)

 

Um. Right. 


 

Chrissy's response was gold: 

 

Come on.

 


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Google tells me that Greater London is 1,569 km².

Naypyidaw is the capital of Burma and is 7,054 km².

This means, as the mathematically gifted among you will have deduced, that the capital city of Burma is roughly four and a half times the size of the capital of the UK.

According to official figures the population is 924,608. The population of greater London in 2016 was estimated to be 8.63 million.

This means, as the now-gratingly mathematically gifted among you will have deduced, that the capital city of Burma has a population over 9 times smaller than London's. In a city four and a half times the size.

There are a lot fewer people spread out across a much larger area. 

And it shows.

Picture: Taylor Weidman/Getty Images

 

Naypyidaw (Seat of the King) was unveiled as the new capital of Burma in November 2005 by the Military regime in place at the time.

It is rumoured to have cost $4bn to construct and was designed with expansion in mind. 20-lane highways and wide sprawling streets are emblematic of a city that was built for the future.

Unlike much of the rest of the country there is reliable electricity throughout the city and restaurants and cafes have fast, free wifi.

Picture: Taylor Weidman/Getty Images

 

The Guardian visited the city in March 2015 and described it as follows:

The scale of this surreal city is difficult to describe: it extends an estimated 4,800 square kilometres, six times the size of New York City.

Everything looks super-sized. The streets – clearly designed for cars and motorcades, not pedestrians nor leisurely strolls – have up to 20 lanes and stretch as far as the eye can see (the rumour is these grandiose boulevards were built to enable aircraft to land on them in the event of anti-government protests or other “disturbances”).

There is a safari park, a zoo complete with air-conditioned penguin habitat, and at least four golf courses.

Picture: Soe Than WIN/AFP/Getty Images

 

Strangely, Naypyidaw is not the only capital built from scratch out of political ideals.

You only have to look as far as Astana in Kazakhstan, Oyala in Equatorial Guinea or the Gbadolite development by Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo).

But they haven't quite captured international wonder in the same way as the eerie emptiness of Naypyidaw.

As the Guardian wrote:

In recent years, the city’s bizarre urban plan and strange emptiness has become something of an international curiousity. The BBC’s Top Gear team marvelled at the city’s desolate boulevards when they visited last year as part of a special episode filmed in the country, kicking a football around, staging a drag-race down the vast, empty roads, and joking about the difficulties of navigating the capital’s non-existent morning rush hour.

But to focus on Naypyidaw’s wide, empty streets is to risk missing the ubiquitous street cleaners which are their only pedestrians, walking in pairs in their neon-green vests, sweeping the already pristine streets for hours each day. Or the small army of labourers, piling bricks with their bare hands as the city’s construction continues.

The project continues, it seems.


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It is a story of “death, new life and revenge”. 

At least that is how one resident of Redondo Beach, California, describes his battle with the city council over the removal of a pepper tree from his front yard. 

Three years ago the council had noticed the roots of the 30-year-old tree had spread to the pavement in front of the house, and ordered it to be cut down. To add insult to injury, they made the man pay for the damages to the sidewalk and the cost of removal. 

In an anonymous post shared on Imgur, the resident bemoaned the loss of his favourite tree, which he had named Clyde. 

He wrote:

I loved Clyde. I’m beginning to get older and planting something that I knew would live well beyond my lifetime was something very special. I took very good care of him. 

Just as Clyde was becoming a strong healthy individual, expanding his root system, the mayor took it upon himself to uproot my beautiful child.

Unluckily for the council however, the man happened to be a professional arborist, and he plotted, quite literally, the perfect revenge for the death of his beloved tree.

He wrote online:

For this you will pay. Two years and seven months ago, I secretly planted 45 California Redwoods and 82 Giant Sequoias in various parks, yards and state properties around your city. 

Today each of their root systems will be at least 30 feet in diameter, and deeply embedded in the soil. You may have noticed the new one that sprouted up in your backyard. That’s a Giant Sequoia, and its growth will begin accelerating rapidly in the coming months.

If you were wondering what a Giant Sequoia looks like, here’s one in Yosemite National Park: 

Picture: (AFP/Getty Images)

 

While beautiful and magnificent, it is not a tree that lends itself well to urban planning. 

The secret tree-planter wasn't finished however. 

You killed Clyde but I have replaced him with over 100 living giants. And giant they will become… 

Good day to you, sir. May your city be overrun by trees. And may Clyde rest in peace.

It is unclear how successful his plot has been. But whether Redondo Beach really is overrun with giant trees planted nearly three years ago, one thing is clear: never cross an arborist. 


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There are a lot of rumours flying around about left-handed people.

Some studies suggest that left handed people die younger, others link left-handers to delinquent behaviour, it has even been suggested that left-handed people drink more.

While these claims are heavily contested and barely evidenced, there is one myth that holds some weight and that is the idea that left-handed people are smarter than right-handers - in fact it has even been suggested that left-handed people are more likely to be a genius.

IFL Science reviewed studies on handedness and mathematical ability to test this theory.

They explain that hand function is:

a manifestation of brain function and is therefore related to cognition.

Apparently, left-handers have a bigger right side of the brain which helps them when it comes to spatial awareness and mental representations of objects.

As if that wasn’t enough, they have bigger corpus callosums (that’s the bundle of nerve cells that connects the two brain hemispheres in case you were wondering).

This means they have an increased connectivity between both sides of the brain so they tend to process information more quickly than right handed people.


 

While the link between lef-handedness and maths has been explored before, previously experiments have been done to varying degrees of success and each test had different approaches to measuring mathematical ability.

To get more reliable results IFL science reviewed a series of experiments including 2,300 students varying in age.

The experiments were of various levels of mathematical difficulty. They used the same questionnaire on everyone they tested to assure comparability.

The questionnaire asked a number of questions about which hand individuals used for different activities.

Now the results are in and it sucks to be right-handed.

The tests concluded that left-handers outperformed the rest of the sample when it came to difficult problem solving. When the task required simple maths left and right-handers were on an even footing as there was no difference in performance. The results showed that ‘extreme right-handers’ –people who used their right handy for every activity, under performed in all the experiments.

So, in conclusion, left-handed people have the edge when it comes to maths and strongly right-handed people have a disadvantage.

However, IFL Science notes that it is important not to judge people purely on their hand preference as only one third of people with an overly developed right side of the brain are left-handed, there are lots of right-handed people with a similar brain function.

So there is still hope for right-handed people, don’t give up just yet.


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It’s official, left-handed people are smarter


Twenty-first century Londoners know London as a bustling metropolis where the tube comes every minute and an Uber is a click away.

However look above the traffic jams and you see a glimmer of the London that came before all this and you might remember that this is a city steeped in history.

Take a look at the pictures below to see how London has transformed over the years:


 

1.

This is what London looked like in 1616.

It's a South-West prospect of London from Somerset House to the Tower.

That big tall building in the background is St Paul's Cathedral.

Picture: Getty Images

 

 

2.

Here's London Bridge before the Great Fire in 1630.

Picture: Getty Images

 

 

3.

Chelsea Bridge look distinctly un-Made-in-Chelsea-esque in A Prospect of Chelsea Bridge Water Works in London, from the south side of the River Thames, from around 1760.

Picture: Getty Image

 

 

4.

Here is a Road map Circa 1675 showing the continuation of the road from London to St David's, commencing at Abingdon and extending to Monmouth, by Scottish cartographer John Ogilby.

Picture: Getty Image

 

 

5.

 

Here are some workmen building the Metropolitan line outside Kings Cross Station in 1865.

Picture: Getty Image

 

 

6.

Here is a Victorian 'fancy wears' stall.

Original Artwork: From 'Street Life In London by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith - published in 1877.

Picture: Getty Image

 

 

7.

This is what Paddington Railway Station would have looked like in 1855. Painting by William Powell Frith 

Picture: Getty Image

 

 

8.

A watercolour by J Varley, (1778 - 1843), after a print of 1787 of London Bridge, showing the houses built on the bridge.

Picture: Getty Image

 

 

9.

This is what going to your local swimming pool would have been like in 1949.

Sun worshippers and swimmers at the Oasis outdoor swimming pool in Holborn, London.

Picture: Getty Images

 

 

10.

City workers walk to work after the Blitz in the 1940s.

Picture: Getty Image

 

 

 

11.

The construction of Wembley Stadium in North London 1923.

Picture: Getty Image

 

 

12.

London Underground workers building the Piccadilly Line extension at Turnpike Lane, 1930s.

Picture: Getty Image

 

 

13.

Workmen using old salmon tins and other assorted containers for road foundations in Euston Road, London 1925.

Picture: Getty Image

 

 

14.

Londoners take shelter in the Underground during WWII 1940.

Picture: Getty Image

 

 

15.

1906 - Horse drawn traffic circles the Gaiety Theatre at the Strand, London. 

Picture: Getty Image

 


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Patrick Diamond is a physics professor at the University of California. When asked, on Quora, why only a few people become really successful, despite many other people being equally intelligent, he had this to say.


This is an interesting question, which, as usual, means it's important, a bit vague and difficult.

The answer surely depends heavily upon precisely what you mean by “intelligent” and “successful”. I'll take a somewhat different approach and tell you about a study of scientific productivity and its implications for the question.

Of course, here “success” = productivity in scientific research (i.e. writing papers) and “intelligence” = cognitive ability relevant to doing science (i.e. basically what we think is the conventional type of intelligence,as measured by IQ tests ). Nevertheless, I believe the lessons of this study offer insights of broad applicability.

The punchline is:

  • It is no surprise that there are few successful people (i.e. stand-outs). There are good reasons for this. If success requires skill in many different areas, success is multiplicative, not additive, and the distribution of success is lognormal, not Gaussian.

For your information, a log-normal distribution looks like this:


 

There is not much of a tail ... The message is that superstars are RARE.

Only a few of the multiplicative attributes are related to scientific ability. Other attributes include communication - i.e. WRITING ability - and perseverance, i.e. what are now called “grit factors”. Indeed, I suspect there are more such elements.

The story is based on studies of productivity at Bell Labs (remember them?) done by the famous/infamous William Shockley (don't disregard this just because its Shockley...), in 1957, and discussed in the great blog Dynamic Ecology” William Shockley on what makes a person who publishes a lot of papers (and the superstar researcher system).

Shockley was interested in the answer to the question of what it took to produce papers and why so few people were so very good at it.

Following the blog, which followed Shockley (with some annotation):

Shockley suggest that producing a paper is tantamount to clearing every one of a sequence of hurdles. He specifically lists:

  1. Ability to think of a good problem (IDEAS)
  2. Ability to work on it (TECHNICAL SKILL)
  3. Ability to recognize a worthwhile result (EXPERIENCE)
  4. Ability to make a decision as to when to stop and write up the results (EXPERIENCE)
  5. Ability to write adequately (MY FAVORITE)
  6. Ability to profit constructively from criticism (GRIT)
  7. Determination to submit the paper to a journal
  8. Persistence in making changes (if necessary as a result of journal action). (TRUE GRIT – REFEREES  TRY THE SOULS OF THE SCIENTIST)

Shockley then posits, what if the odds of a person clearing hurdle i from the list of 8 above is p(cleared_hurdlei)p(cleared_hurdlei)? Then the rate of publishing papers for this individual should be proportional to the joint probability of clearing each independent hurdle:

∏8i=1p(cleared_hurdlei)∏i=18p(cleared_hurdlei)

This gives the multiplication of random variables needed to explain the lognormal distribution of productivity (Shockley goes on to note that if one person is 50% above average in each of the 8 areas then they will be 2460% more productive than average at the total process).

But what I really like and take home from this paper is the hurdle model and how I find it a useful way to think about my paper writing productivity. The model says writing a paper is not about one thing. It is about a bunch of things. And – the really surprising point – all of those things count more or less equally. I think most academics have a mythos that people who are productive scientists are mostly good at #1 (coming up with ideas) and maybe #6 (writing).

I don’t think most people think about the fact that being productive is about knowing when to stop or knowing what is an important result. And especially, #7 and #8 are about rejection and dealing with rejection. Did it ever strike you that being a productive scientist is 1/4 about dealing with rejection well? It probably should – recently at a meeting, the vice president of research on our campus pointed out that the person with the most grants on campus was the person who had been rejected on the most grants. (INTERESTING...)

Another conclusion is that if you are really bad at just one factor (p(cleared_hurdlei)p(cleared_hurdlei) close to zero for just one i), it sinks your overall productivity. This is innate in the multiplicative model (it is analogous to the ecological concept of bet hedging*). Being moderately good at everything is better than great at some and terrible at others (the oft heard “I’m terrible at writing but really good at coming up with ideas” doesn’t cut it but nor does the opposite). BUT ONE NEED BE GOOD AT MANY DIFFERENT THINGS.

Of course, since success is multiplicative, the logs are additive and so the log of success follows the normal distribution, and voila – the log normal.

Logically, winners should be very, very rare.

There are a few observations which can be added to this:

  • The Shockley study was done before computers, let alone the internet, and in an environment of individual PI or very small teams. Times have changed. Surely, tech savvy, ability to lead and manage teams, and online presence would enter the multiplication today, driving winners further down the tail. Has a study like Shockley's been done at Google or FB? Are the results available? (silly question..., I know).
     
  • “Grit” seems a bit more specific than EQ. Surviving constructive criticism and the sniping of one's competitors takes real determination. BTW, the psychologist Angela Duckworth  ( Department Faculty)  recently got a McArthur for her work on grit.This was an excellent choice for an award!
     
  • Writing is very important. Some things don't change... Life in Quora has its merits.
     
  • A classic example of a “multiplicative success ” story is the famous Steve Jobs.His technical acumen needs no discussion. Less well known is that Jobs studied calligraphy,indicating an interest in,and ability for,art. Is it any surprise that a strength of Apple products was their aesthetic appeal.  His business ability excellent.Finally,Jobs surely had grit-he endured many reverses during his long career,and bounced back from all of them to leave Apple valued at   $7bn+. Clearly,Jobs was much,much more than a talented techie . Is it any wonder that he was one of the success stories of our time? 
     
  • The issues of luck and being in the right place at the right time keep popping up.Fortuitous timing is discussed in great detail in Malcolm Gladwell's wonderful book “Outliers”.One of Gladwell's main points is that while yes,timing matters a great deal,it is ultimately how one utilizes the opportunities which one encounters  which determines the difference between  success and failure.This is consistent with Shockley's first criterion-ability to identify a good problem.Opportunities and good problems are out there to be grabbed.Winners and successes find them -sadly,the ability to do so is very,very rare.

There is more to be said, but this answer is too long as it is. Non-scientist readers will no doubt dismiss me as arrogant, but I will display GRIT by suggesting this study has broad implications.


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