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A wilding

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  1. Well he could if he wanted to, but would be doing it as an independent. A plus for the powerful political party system in the UK I suppose. Though I do wonder what would happen if a popular figure like Johnson in his heyday was accused of such behaviour. Though, that said, the only thing that made my Johnson supporting aunt doubtful about him was his private life, so I am hopeful.
  2. I don't blame them for the spit hood if she was genuinely spitting at them. The rest sounds a bit much though! This is something Raja likely knows more about than me, but I have seen hospital staff put padded mittens and a sort of spit trap on a very confused old woman in intensive care to stop her making a nuisance of herself. They were very gentle about it though.
  3. I definitely sympathise with the police here. They indeed don't have the training. Anecdote: a relative of mine was temporarily caring for a confused elderly relative last year, filling in a gap in her professional care. A minor emergency occurred, which had the side effect of distressing the elderly relative, causing them to flail about somewhat aggressively. They phoned 111 (NHS non-emergency helpline) to get some help. The 111 operator, rather than arranging advice or assistance, told them to call the police!
  4. However that is how dictatorships such as Russia work. They tell their citizens that black is white and the citizens are required to believe it, despite the evidence of their senses. And the citizens, with no experience of any other sort of government, do come to believe it in a way, while feeling a sort of disabling guilt that part of them can't stop seeing that black is not actually white at all. That said, Putin's feet of clay are definitely beginning to show now.
  5. Actually the news is now saying that he expects the taxpayer to pay for his new lawyers as well.
  6. My favourite Paul Torday is The Girl on the Landing which is a story about the supernatural that also has something to say about the use of psychoactive drugs.
  7. Just read Sea of Tranquillity by Emily St. John Mandel. I found her Station Eleven somewhat heavy going, but this one was much lighter, an entertaining jeu d'esprit that nonetheless tackles issues such as the simulation hypothesis and the trolley problem. And there is an amusing self insert of an author on an extended publicity tour following their most recent book, about a pandemic, unexpectedly becoming a best seller. Plus a wry comment about a character lumbered with having "St." in their name. Also been reading The Death of an Owl, the last book by Paul Torday (of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen fame.) This was generally up to his usual standards, though possibly a little flat in tone, and is a typical uncomfortable read. It is a savage portrait of an ambitious near psychopathic UK Tory politician. The comparison with Boris Johnson is inevitable, except that Torday died in 2013 (the book was tided up and published by his son in 2016). Scarily Torday's fictional politician, despite being a complete scumbag, is in several ways a better person than Johnson.
  8. Hmm. For the record, in any normal relationship, if you were working on the computer in your room then your partner would leave you in peace to get on with it. They might perhaps stick their head round your door to ask if you fancied a coffee break or something similar. Certainly they wouldn't come in and engage you in casual conversation or do random stuff around you when that was clearly distracting you. And peering at your screen without explicit permission is considered way beyond the pale - there might be confidential stuff on it. I love my wife dearly, but in the unlikely event that she were to start doing that sort of thing then I might well minimize all my tabs and sit there waiting for her to go away as well. She would quickly get the point I am sure. Though I would be more likely simply to say I was going to be busy for the next however long and ask her to go away until then - but clearly your mother would react badly to that.
  9. Just to pick up on this. You have made a classic correlation/causation error here. It is indeed generally considered proven that children bought up within a stable loving relationship have statistically better life outcomes, but that is irrelevant. You need to show that, once a relationship breaks down to the point where divorce is being considered, it is better for the child for the parents to stay together anyway, even if only because society pressures them to do so, rather than get divorced. As I understand it, what evidence there is tends to show the opposite.
  10. We received our official government leaflet informing us about this new ID card in yesterday's post. Far too late to apply for it, even if they had not brought the deadline to do so forward.
  11. On Thursday's elections and the new voter suppression measures. I see that the Right are pre-emptively declaring that left wing activists are going to pretend en masse not to have id at polling stations, so as to "disrupt the elections". Thus implanting the idea that what voter suppression does happen will just be fake news. Telegraph article They get more like the US Right every day.
  12. I am seriously tempted to buy this as a present for a certain elderly relative who is still (half) convinced he is wonderful ...
  13. As someone who knows many people who canvas during local elections, quite possibly yes. Apparently it sometimes seems that parking issues are the only thing people want to talk about on the doorstep. Though in Tory land it seems that they mostly want to talk about preventing any more houses being built in their area. (I know people who would never vote Tory in general elections, but do so in local elections because they "are against building more housing estates" - that is one lie that they do seem to have sold successfully.)
  14. Tsk. Everyone knows that The Fellowship of the King is actually a UK based Christian organisation. This Polychron person has stolen their name.
  15. Agreed. Galvanism was used by Shelly to provide a veneer of science and plausibility to her story in the same way that 1930 SF writers used the ether and 1950/60s comic writers used radioactivity (see the original origin stories of many Marvel superheroes).
  16. Say what you like about the new England team, but whatever they are, they are not boring!
  17. Well anything is possible. But: There have been multiple well documented cases of respiratory viruses suddenly jumping from animals to humans before Covid. Many scientists had been saying for years that it was very likely that such a jump was going to cause a really dangerous pandemic before long. (Including one or two that I know personally, and to the extent that they had done some limited prepping for it.) There had been several near misses before Covid. The Wuhan market was just the sort of insanitary environment where such a jump is likely to occur. The Chinese hierarchical setup is one where cover up at all levels is the instinctive reaction to any situation. So their response to the outbreak proves nothing.
  18. It probably belongs in the Mental Health thread. But briefly, it all started with a big family meeting basically to do with inheritance. It unexpectedly turned out that there were a wide range of positions on it. We have now reached a resolution that I think gives this person all they can reasonably expect (and has left one or two other people a bit unhappy) but they are still angry. Basically they have had a difficult life and are a bit messed up. They are prone to considering themselves being victimised and to throwing around accusations of bullying and even abuse. I tend to keep my distance from them where possible. And glad to hear that you have recovered from your operation.
  19. We have worked it out. It stands for Reverse Victim and Offender. It is a technical psychological term relating to abuse cases, particularly sexual ones, basically meaning when the abuser claims that they were/are the one being abused. It appears to be a contraction of the much more widely used DARVO. So I think that I am now feeling rather insulted!
  20. I am guessing it is a term that they picked up from some obscure online pop psychology article and immediately decided applied to them (which would be typical of them). Or perhaps it was just a typo. It was part of a slightly unhinged rant. Still it doesn't matter, I was just curious. Someone is going round to try to find out what is going on and see what can be done to help out.
  21. A question for the hive mind. I (and some other family members) have just been accused of "RVO" by a relative who seems to be under severe stress and losing it somewhat. My google-fu has failed me, so does anyone know what "RVO" means? I doubt it has anything to do with the Netherlands organisation, the eye condition, or the C++ feature. From context it might be a synonym of projection (in the psychological sense)? Edit: and it definitely was not being used in the sense of "really good sex"!
  22. I do agree that GRRM does get hostile and unfair comments. But I think there is some nuance to the situation. While a few people may be GRRM's friends and others (such as myself) may have known who he was before ASoIaF, most people are aware of him only as the author of ASoIaF, Most people have little interest in him him other than as the author of ASoIaF. Obviously the vast majority of such people (myself included) stay away and don't bother reading his blog or otherwise interacting with him. However, in our culture, a small minority are sadly going to behave obnoxiously. Basically the elephant in the room is that ASoIaF is what has made GRRM famous (and rich), but that he is not going to finish it. And whenever GRRM goes out there to talk to ASoIaF fans, the elephant is always going to be present.
  23. At a guess, most people have given up on him. I imagine that few people now think he is ever going to finish the series. I suspect many people think he is unlikely even to finish TWoW.
  24. A shame. I remember reading his Eon soon after it came out in 1985 . An exhilarating hard SF ride at the time, despite its flaws, with several books worth of ideas packed into it..
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