Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dissertation thoughts

I have been thinking loosely about what I could do my dissertation on in the coming months and I have had various idea, most of which I've forgotten now. While reading this article, I thought maybe there would be novelty and interest in me pursuing research into the socialisation of teenagers who are home schooled.
I certainly found the article interesting and would be interested in a debate around the advantages of home schooling especially for religious reasons. Do you think it would be of benefit?

Labels: , ,

Chocolate Jesus

Some of you may know of my love of art- I believe the production and appreciation of art elevates us above all other living creatures and shows how we mimic God in creation.
I was interested to read about the furore in New York surrounding the exhibiting of a sculpture called My Sweet Lord. It is a 6ft naked depiction of Jesus made out of chocolate. The
artist Cosimo Cavallaro is known for using food in his art used 90kg of chocolate to make the sculpture. Unfortunately due to large Catholic/Christian protest the exhibition has been cancelled. I want to know why? Because the sculpture was naked or because it was made from chocolate and that is disrespectful? How is chocolate more disrespectful than bronze or clay?

What are your thoughts?

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Word of Mouth Advertising

On average we are bombarded with 3000 marketing messages a day but according to Marketing Week, only 14% of regular campaigns now have any effect. We are now cynical and media savvy to be swayed significantly.

How would you like to sign up to a company that gives you a new free product in return for talking about it to your friends and family? This is Word of Mouth marketing that seems to be the latest trend from the US. People aren't scripted and don't receive cash for their efforts but they do get freebies and the "social currency" which is the kudos of knowing about something first.

BBC story here


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Interesting Fact No.11

Trials have shown that circumcision halves the rate of HIV infection in heterosexual men.
Story here

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Writer's Block

Been suffering from blog writer's block recently and the longer it goes on the harder it is to write something! Thanks Mark for the gentle prod- I will try harder!
Wanted to do a post on Mothering Sunday/Mother's Day finding this article really interesting that the "inventor" of the modern day celebration spent most of her life (and money) trying to get rid of it.
I'm sure there were other things but that's all for now.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Stop the Traffik

I have blogged previously on the Stop the Traffik campaign and this month sees the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade, cause for celebration indeed. But the selling of people into slavery is the 3rd biggest illegal industry and it would appear to have less of the risks involved than producing, processing and distributing drugs has and its appeal as a trade is growing.
The definition of traffiking (found here) is:
“Trafficking in human beings” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

From the Joseph Rowntree Foundation website (an excellent study resource) here are some snippets of info from this latest report on slavery in the UK:

  • UK enforcement agencies estimate there may be as many as 10,000 gangmasters operating across the various industrial sectors. Many operate legally but some do not.
  • People are then trafficked by agents into forced labour in such areas as agriculture, construction, cleaning and domestic work, food processing and packaging, care/nursing, hospitality and the restaurant trade, as well as into sexual exploitation.
  • Complex sub-contracting and supply chains, managed by agents elsewhere, often obscure the involvement of people trapped in slavery
  • The UK has tended to address trafficking as an issue of migration control rather than one of human rights and statutory agency personnel are often unsure how to assist trafficked migrant workers and keep few or no records as to their subsequent well-being.
  • Research indicates that although the police see trafficked people as victims, the immigration service sees them as illegal entrants.

Scary stuff. Keep informed and spread the news in the build up to Freedom Day, which is March 25th.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Personal Ads

I sometimes have a flick through personal ads because there can be amusing ones (not because I'm trying to replace Joolian). I remember a few years ago there was one from an ex-nun who wanted to meet a man for pub lunches and conversation. In this week's "Men seeking women" section I saw this:

Unemployed, ugly, old. Interested?

Wonder what response he gets to that?