zaterdag 25 april 2009

"I just wanted to look like her"

Janet Cunliffe, a woman in her 50s, living in Lancashire, was suffering from a broken up relationship and a lack of self confidence. She took a look at her beautiful, slender, 29 year old daughter and decided she wanted to look exactly like her. She spent about £ 12,000 on a complete make over. She had her breasts enlarged, her eyes lifted, her nose reshaped, and her lips filled. Now, mother and daughter go shopping together, wearing each other's clothes. They go out together on Saturday nights, asking men to guess their age. Their appearance gives them a lot of attention, but they also get laughed at behind their backs.

Personal reaction:
It is incomprehensible to me how people can do these things to themselves. They think they can fool time and nature, where in fact all they do is make a fool of themselves and take irresponsible health risks. How can a normal, healthy person willingly have foreign objects put into her body, only for their appearance? This kind op people lack any kind of self respect or self esteem, and they will not gain this by trying to look like their daughters. This woman really did not succeed in her attempt, because some of the passers-by took her for around the age she truly is.

vrijdag 24 april 2009

"UK Revises rules for Gurkha veterans"

British government has issued news settlement rules for thousands of Gurkha veterans who want to come and live within the UK. Gurkha veterans are Nepalese men who fought battles in the name of Great Britain. According to solicitors representing the Gurkhas, the government is afraid that around 10,000 of these veterans, joined by their families, enter the country. The new rules imply that in order to be eligible for settlement, the Gurkhas have to meet certain criteria. The actress Joanna Lumley, whose father fought together with the Gurkhas, says that the new rules are a disgrace, as they will keep most of the veterans out of the country they fought for.

Personal reaction:
Of course, my first reaction to this article was that the government indeed betrays these Gurkha veterans by coming up with rules that make sure that they will not be able to settle into the UK. Gurkhas were highly esteemed members of the Great Britain’s army and made a meaningful contribution to it. They have become a symbol of hardiness and heritage, with their famous curved Kukri knives. On the other hand, were they forced to join the army? Nepal was never a colony of the UK. Did they get paid to fight for the army? If this is the case, then I personally do not think that the UK is obliged to take these people, and their families in.

zondag 19 april 2009

"Five die in M1 horror crash"

Police are looking for witnesses of a car crash that occurred on the 18th of April last. The accident happened at around 11:30 pm between the junctions 10 and 11 on the M1 near Luton. The driver of a VW Passat was heading south on the motorway, when suddenly he turned around and started driving in the wrong direction. The car collided with a Jaguar, in which two men and two women were seated. Both cars were completely demolished by the crash and paramedics who arrived at the scene said the people in both cars were killed instantly. Police are in the dark about the Passat driver’s behavior.

Personal reaction:
It is always shocking to read about terrible car crashes like this one, in which people get killed. I feel especially sorry for the people in the Jaguar, who were just driving around on a normal Saturday evening, when suddenly a Volkswagen appeared in front of them. What was wrong with this – said to be Polish – man? Was he sick? Was he confused? Did he want to commit suicide? If so, then he certainly succeeded. Unfortunately, he also took the lives of four others, who were probably not suicidal. There are occasional warnings for motorists driving into oncoming traffic in Holland as well. Usually, these situations do not result in fatal accidents. One has to wonder why it went so terribly wrong this time.

“Boys who stay on at school will earn more“

The minimum school leaving age should be risen to 17, and perhaps even to 18 years.
This statement can be justified by recent research by Dr Matt Dickson in which he investigated the income of 2,266 men working in Britain between 1991 and 2006. His research shows that boys who have spent one year longer at school earn 13% more than those who have left school at the minimum school leaving age of 16 years. Even though Dr Dickson points out that the higher wages might also be caused by higher abilities or personal characters, he is convinced that prolonged education with just one year does have a positive effect on future wages.

Personal reaction:
Longer education is not a bad idea. A child of 16 is not adult enough to enter into the life of responsibilities and duties that a working life entails. Furthermore, most people have not chosen a profession at that age. They still need to learn, experiment, and let their personalities grow. This is done best in a safe environment: a school. Here, they can be guided through the choices that will greatly influence their professional lives, as well as their personal lives. In this respect I agree with Dr Dickson, although I wonder why he limited his research to boys. In my opinion the wages of working girls would have been just as interesting.