A Geordie Sense of Justice?

The Chronicle today carries the story of David Cox, a young student who accidentally injured a baby by lifting it in the air without supporting it’s head. The baby’s injuries were not insignificant, it was in hospital for ten days and suffered seizures and a brain haemorrhage. Fortunately for all involved, the baby went on to make a full recovery.

David Cox avoided prison and was placed under a supervised community order for 12 months.

The judge said “I accept that this was an injury that was caused during a reckless handling of this small child. The prosecution accept you did not intend to cause this child any harm whatsoever. Had it been intentional, you would have been going to prison for about three years – but it wasn’t. Most importantly of all, the youngster is alright, thank God.”

The prosecutor himself said:

“The Crown cannot say this was a deliberate assault and do not seek to say that the defendant intended to cause any harm, let alone grievious bodily harm.”

And Jamie Adams, defending Mr Cox said ““This, in 36 years of being at the bar, this is the lowest reprehensibility that you could get. It must be just on the very edge of criminal intent, it was a thoughtless act. He had no experience of children. He is so deeply, deeply sorry.”

So, baby okay and reckless idiot suitably reprimanded in the eyes of those who have studied the facts of the case – the prosecutor and defending representative and the judge. Time for everyone involved to move on?

It would appear not.

















I’m sure ladies everywhere are grateful to Annie for that piece of advice.


There was a couple of great stories in The Times this morning. Firstly, the IMF has said the UK’s recovery is going to outstrip other major nations, great news for George not so great for the Eds. Also it appears cocaine and ecstasy use is rising amongst young people, this is after several years of falling use and the threat that we were producing the world’s most boring young people.

I can’t be the only person to be worried by the propensity of internet idiots to pervert the ruling of the courts, as happened with this guy. The cancer is irrelevant, if you haven’t paid the mortgage then it’s your not house. The key bit of information in this story is that it went to court and the court found against him. He needs to pay £41,000. Perhaps the internet idiots would do well to remember that’s the equivalent of at least two people’s salaries for the lender and bailiff.

Today I weighed in at a post wee 13 stone 7 pounds, the lowest I’ve been for a year. Unfortunately it’s a Friday so there’s a risk that will increase over the weekend, but the general trend is down and I’m feeling much more disciplined.

I finished work early today and enjoyed the 25 degrees heat in the yard. Fee came home around half five ish and we enjoyed rib eye steak on the barbecue while drinking a 2004 Chateau Mon Brison with Milky Chance amongst others playing on the Spotify. For post barbecue drinks Fee made her first Espresso martinis at home, trying both Disaronno and Frangelico, both went down a treat!

Exciting monthiversary weekend was revealed by Fee, tomorrow we’re visiting the Ouseburn tunnel and then Gibside and on Sunday we’re having Sunday dinner at the newly opened Bonbar.

Jocelyn Brown

So tonight we’re going to see Jocelyn Brown for the first time. She’s singing at Hoochie Coochie and it’s fair to say I’m fairly excited. Ministers De La Funk’s Believe is still one of the stand out house tunes from those glory days, It’s Alright I Feel It is a classic and nearly everybody who lived through the 90s knows Something Going On’. I suspect though that the big tune of the night will be this one.


It’s about shit parents, not technology.

The BBC has posted a rather annoying article based on a charity suggesting “Overuse of baby equipment and electronic screens can impede the physical and emotional development of under-threes”. It’s possible that reading that line you may think that it’s the children’s interaction with electronic screens that is impeding the development of the child. Too many kids being allowed to play with iPhones. Further reading reveals it is not.

The charity in question is WATCH (What About The CHildren) and Sally Goddard Blythe who is speaking at WATCH’s conference has said

“Social interaction helps physical development, for example eye contact, singing and talking. That is not happening if a child is in a forward-facing buggy and her mum is using her smartphone”

I would like to suggest that what is happening here isn’t technology or electronic screens getting in the way of parenting, it’s a Mum choosing to spend more time on her phone than with her child. That’s called shit parenting.

If you don’t know that a child needs bonding and cuddles in those early days then you are a shit parent. If you don’t realise that your child is completely dependant on you for interactions and learning about the world it is growing up in, then you are a shit parent. If you are deciding to spend more time on your iPhone or iPad than interacting with your child, then guess what, you are a shit parent.

Technology is not to blame. ‘Modern life’ is not to blame. It’s you, you are a shit parent.


Looking fat? Drink more full fat milk

A counter intuitive result has arisen from a Swedish study of the impact of consuming full fat dairy products and the development of obesity. This 12 year study of 1782 men found that there was a strong correlation between a low intake of dairy fat and increased risk of developing obesity.

This seems to be supported by a 2013 review of the consumption of dairy fat and it’s link to obesity and cardio-metabolic disease. This found that in 11 of 16 studies there was an inverse relationship between high dairy fat and metabolic health and concluded that

“the observational evidence does not support the hypothesis that dairy fat or high-fat dairy foods contribute to obesity or cardiometabolic risk, and suggests that high-fat dairy consumption within typical dietary patterns is inversely associated with obesity risk”

The answer is not quite as simple as my misleading headline suggests, this short Q & A in the New Scientist with Walter Willet explains more but in brief he explains

“One likely explanation is that the full-fat version provides more satiety, but it is also possible that some of the fatty acids in milk products have an additional effect on weight regulation. Also, unfortunately, in many low fat dairy products the fat is replaced by sugar, and these will almost certainly induce more weight gain than the full fat versions.”

I’m definitely going to have more cream in my coffee.


Further reading 

Is full-fat milk best? The skinny on the dairy paradox – health – 21 February 2014 – New Scientist.

Image by Sarah Gilbert

Neknominate & the news

There has been a fair amount of coverage this morning about the Neknominate drinking game and the deaths that have arisen. This coverage displays the news making something to feel more dangerous than it really is.

There have been 3 reported deaths that I’ve read of and the Daily Telegraph has declared Neknominate as a “deadly game of drink or dare”.

Nobody reports on the hundreds of people who have played the game and lived, that 3 people have died where hundreds, possibly thousands haven’t suggests that it is possible to play the game and live and that it’s not actually all that deadly in comparison to other activities.

One of the things that makes it not so deadly is that the person playing actually has 100% control over the drink they decide to “neck”, yes an element of peer pressure is built in to egg people on to do more and more outlandish things, but ultimately the person performing is the one who decides what they drink or whether to drink at all. It’s not as if the people doing the Neknominations are surrounded by people urging them to drink, it’s easy to say no.

In the case of Stephen Brookes, who downed a pint of vodka before dying, did the game kill him or more accurately was it his ridiculous decision to down a pint of vodka. Stephen Brookes a 29 year old adult, could apparently not anticipate any problems that may arise from downing a pint of vodka.

People have died from downing vodka before, such as this man in Teesside – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-11437449. He was a fool but also an example that people were doing stupid things before Neknominate came along.

It goes without saying that anybody playing the Neknominate game is an idiot. It is an exercise in outdoing your peers through pure idiocy motivated by an inverse narcissism, a need for acceptance or praise for being an idiot. In itself that is harmless and something that has occurred time immemorial.

The danger comes from the uber-idiots that are playing it,  the ones who take blatant risks with their immediate health such as downing pints of vodka. The people eating live animals or drinking urine may stand out as sub prime examples of humanity but they are not placing themselves in immediate danger and whether people decide to drink their urine or not is of no concern to anyone but them.

So just remember to ask when you read the news, what percentage of the people who have played Neknominate do the three deaths represent, and is it statistically significant enough that I should care?








Soulsavers – Revival

I’ve only just discovered the Soulsavers and this downtempo gospel tune ‘Revival’, originally released in 2007. The vocals are Mark Lanegan who I know from his work with ex-Belle and Sebastianette Isobell Campbell. Anyway, I like it.


Got served

So I bought a server. Actually I bought two. HP are running their cash back offer on the N54L Microserver. They’ve run the offer before and I was strong enough to resist but the lure of a micro server for less than £100 was just too much.

What is a micro server?

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