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Smile -here- for the (police) video

“You are being watched”.  Does your behaviour change?  Try asking that when your car approaches the speed cameras on the trunk road.  We know what the norms are.  But we conform when being watched.  Or so the police themselves have found.

A Cambridge University study has found that police body cameras can dramatically reduce the number of complaints against officers.   It showed complaints by members of the public against officers fell by 93% over 12 months compared with the year before.  Almost 2,000 officers across four UK forces and two US police departments were monitored for the project. Dr Barak Ariel, who led the research, said no other policing measure had led to such “radical” changes. Read the rest of this entry »

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2_Stacey-Dooley.jpgStacey Dooley – “White Saviour” in Uganda. ?
Bill Lovett – “White Saviour” in Uganda. Really?
The charity I work for -“White Saviours” in Uganda/South Sudan. Really? Really?

The fuss has gone, but the issue remains.  Was Stacey Dooley, and so many other white folk flying in to “do good” actually do bad.  Reinforce racial stereotypes.  Emote.  Post “look-at-me doing good” pics on FB and Instagram.  Then fly off, leaving those village Ugandan’s no better off whatsoever.

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Tay_bot_logo.jpgThe trendy fashion retailer, Rag & Bone, held their latest show on Saturday, entitled “A Last Supper”.  Instead of Jesus hosting they promised a robot, to entertain the New York celeb guests with witty conversation.  In the end, as dinner was served, a projection on the wall displaying a “3D point cloud” of guest’s actions as processed by an artificial intelligence system, with voice and dance displays managed interactively.

Managed?  Clever, though not “Artificial” but human.  And the “Intelligence” was not machine created, but human made. Read the rest of this entry »

web3-gaurdian-angel-public-domain.jpgMy grandson surprised me a few weeks back.  We were drawing “spooky” drawing, when he suddenly turned and told me ghosts did not exist.  Well do I agree, so he does not have nightmares?  But then condemn his imagination to sterile literalism?  Is what exists, only what you can see, measure, touch?

It’s not true either.  Beyond sight there’s a world of spirits, unusual presences (which we give names like angels, demons, archangels).  And beyond them – God.  Kids see or sense more than we do.

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New Year.jpgWell?  Have you made yours yet?  Or made any?  New Year resolutions, that is.  That was the question that was put to me by Dave[1] last night.  Or early this morning to be accurate.

He cheerily told me that he once made a list , lost it, and months later found the list and discovered he’d met his resolutions.  Well done him.  But I can’t say I have made any.  No gym membership beckons.  No diet, yes the Christmas cake gets no reprieve.  No hair implants (not this year anyhow).

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millennial-christmas.jpgLet’s hear it for tat?  Millennials are buying non-traditional Christmas decorations this season – choosing to decorate their trees with unicorns and mermaids rather than tinsel, new research has found.[i]  The research found that 45% of the UK’s households will be overlooking Santa Claus and his reindeer in favour of more interesting decor.

Unicorns will also be nestled amidst tree branches leading up to Christmas as 24% of the 2,000 people surveyed said they plan to decorate with the mythical creatures.  Others from the younger generation have decided they will express their Christmas spirit through mermaid, dinosaur, and prosecco bottle ornaments.

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Grandfather’s dog-tags

It is an odd thing: the British Empire’s first shots against Germany were in Africa (Togo).  And last shots were in Africa (Tanzania).  Remember, remember the eleventh of November.  What do we remember?  Neither Togo not Tanzania spring to mind, do they?  Alongside the grieving, for many nations there were hopes in that season.

I felt quite emotional today.  But that was because in my head I am remembering not just those of my family who saw active service in The Great War – but those who were drawn into “round two” as well? I suppose it was a kind of grieving for family members past and passing.

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