Sunday, 29 March 2015

Trivia (should have been 21 December)

Swim Class: 1905
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive – Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Swim Class: 1905
Florida circa 1905
“Surf bathing at Palm Beach”
No ocean was ever a prettier shade of gray
8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company
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Seaweed: In a World Hungry for Protein, It's the Kale of Meat
via Big Think by Orion Jones
Meat consumption is increasingly seen as a health risk, an environmental risk, and a misuse of precious land and water resources. Meat substitutes, however, have so far proven unsuccessful. Fake meat grown in a lab has proven costly and is widely mocked; eating bugs, which are rich in protein and nutrients, is simply unpalatable; substitutes such as (soy) beans still require much land and water for farming.
Enter seaweed...
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Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
On Van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh, drama queen. Rejected in love, he threatened to burn his hand. When broke, he cajoled and guilt-tripped his brother for money… more

The Ridiculously Long Flowchart To Help You Choose A Video Game
via MakeUseOf by Dave LeClair
Have you ever decided that you wanted to play a video game, but couldn’t decide which one to play? There’s a lot of fantastic games out there, whether you fancy getting your hands on a strategy game, or you want to play an MMO like World of Warcraft, it’s never easy to decide.
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Friday Fun: Little-Known Punctuation Marks
via Stephen’s Lighthouse by Stephen Abram

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Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
History of lying
Here’s the thing about lying: We all do it – three times in every 10 minutes of conversation – while finding it the most blameworthy of acts… more

Pigs on Trial
via Boing Boing by Futility Closet
For 500 years of European history, animals were given criminal trials: Bulls, horses, dogs, and sheep were arrested, jailed, given lawyers, tried, and punished at community expense. In the latest Futility Closet podcast we’ll explore this strange practice and try to understand its significance to the people of the time.
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The Shocking State Of Humanity: Our World With Just One Hundred People
via Lifehack
I’ve seen this inforgraphic before but it never fails to shock me.
View it here

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Houellebecq’s francophobic satire
Michel Houellebecq is not a polemicist but a satirist. And his target is not Islam but spineless French intellectuals… more

High winds blow waterfall back up
via Boing Boing by Rob Beschizza

The River Kinder, in England's peak district, meets such high winds the flow is blasted back into the plateau. On better days, the Kinder Downfall drops 80 ft.
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Friday, 27 March 2015

Destitution in the UK: an interim report

a report by Suzanne Fitzpatrick et al for JRF

JRF’s Destitution in the UK programme focuses on the very bottom of the poverty spectrum – those in the most extreme hardship. Over the last few years there has been growing discussion in the media about destitution, with public figures citing the rising use of food-banks as evidence of an increase. However, there has been remarkably little attention paid to whether there is any solid evidence about the extent of destitution in the UK, what causes it or whether it has changed over recent years.

JRF’s Destitution in the UK programme aims to provide this evidence, and this interim report by a team at Heriot-Watt University is the starting point, reviewing the literature and agreeing a definition of destitution. The definition was developed with experts from across the UK and a survey of 2,000 members of the public:

“People are destitute if they lacked two or more of these six essentials over the past month, because they cannot afford them:
  • Shelter (have slept rough for one or more nights)
  • Food (have had fewer than two meals a day for two or more days)
  • Heating their home (have been unable to do this for five or more days)
  • Lighting their home (have been unable to do this for five or more days)
  • Clothing and footwear (appropriate for weather)
  • Basic toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush)
People are also destitute if their income is so low that they are unable to purchase these essentials for themselves.”

A large majority of the public agree that being in this situation constitutes destitution.

Click here for more on our Destitution in the UK programme.

Full report (PDF 73pp )

Between whisper and voice: Online women’s movement outreach in the UK and Germany

an article by Henrike Knappe (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) Essen, Germany) and Sabine Lang (University of Washington, USA) published in European Journal of Women’s Studies Volume 21 Number 4 (November 2014)


Women’s movements in Western Europe are not dead, but they have altered their strategies in ways that require adaptation of investigative repertoires.

Recent research highlights women’s movements’ pathways into institutions as well as the transnationalisation of activism.

This article focuses on the shifting public communication repertoire associated with these developments. Communication and movement outreach across Europe are increasingly constituted online. The authors investigate the degree to which women’s networks in Germany and the UK mobilise constituencies via online means.

Utilising network mapping tools as well as original data from women’s NGOs, they analyse the density and distribution of relationships in German and UK networks, as well as their interactive communication repertoires as indicators of their capacity to engage constituents.

The findings show that information-focused means of communication are more prevalent than interactive mobilisation tools. Women’s NGOs in the UK utilise more public engagement features than those in Germany. The authors relate these findings to second-, third- and fourth-wave feminisms, focusing on their distinct mobilisation strategies.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Training in Mental Health Recovery and Social Justice in the Public Sector

Erika R. Carr, Rebecca Miller and Allison N. Ponce (Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA) and Ranjit Bhagwat (Samuel S. Stratton V.A. Medical Center, Albany, NY, USA) published in The Counseling Psychologist Volume 42 Number 8 (November 2014)


Individuals who experience serious mental illness (SMI) frequently encounter stigma and disenfranchisement. Attention to this concern necessitates a social justice focus within the mental health field.

This article explores the significance and critical foundations of a psychology training experience grounded in a social justice and recovery-oriented perspective to answer the call for a focus on social justice and empowerment for individuals with SMI in mental health recovery.

A specific training program is highlighted as an example of how social justice and recovery-oriented psychology training can be conducted. It includes theoretical foundations, trainee and supervision factors, a training model, and a description of didactic, clinical, consultation, interdisciplinary, and recovery-initiative training experiences. Last, specific successes and challenges of this type of training experience, as well as recommendations for future program development, are shared.

Hazels comment
I wasn’t sure about the relevance of this article to this blog but thought “what the heck” and included it anyway.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Town vs. gown? The impact of ‘studentification’ on university towns

an article by Melanie Nowicki, Intern - Families, Work and Welfare Policy at Citizens Advice

Here at Citizens Advice we spent some time last year thinking about the housing crisis and considering the debate. It was clear that there was a problem but the experiences of staff, volunteers and clients across the country didn’t always reflect the media coverage.

It seemed that the housing crisis felt very different in different places. We set about using our front-line experience to inform the national debate – by exploring problems through bureaux we could really understand the problems to ensure that we can help policy-makers and legislators find the right solutions.

Continue reading (lots of links to external articles and statistics)

Not all Labour Market Information is born equal

an article by Andy Durman (VP of UK operations for the labour market information firm Economic Modelling Specialists International) published in

The phrase Labour Market Information (LMI) is perhaps not the sort of phrase that is likely to get people excited. In fact, I can well imagine that in the ears of many it probably sounds rather dull. For me, however, I am hugely excited about the possibilities that LMI has to really make big changes to colleges, to local economies and above all to the lives of individual people.

Continue reading this interesting article

A social net? Internet and social media use during unemployment

an article by Miriam Feuls (Berlin University of the Arts, Germany), Christian Fieseler (BI Norwegian Business School, Norway) and Anne Suphan (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland) published in Work, Employment & Society Volume 28 Number 4 (August 2014)


Many people who are unemployed tend to experience forms of psychological and social losses, including a weakened time structure, diminished social contacts, an absence of collective purpose, falling status, and inactivity.

This article focuses on the experience of diminished social contacts and addresses whether social media help the unemployed maintain their relationships.

Based on qualitative interviews with unemployed individuals, the article identifies various types of social support networks and their impact on individual experiences of inclusion and exclusion. Although the unemployed use social media to cultivate their social support networks, the opportunity to establish new contacts, both private and professional, is underutilized.

Thus, social network differentiation between the unemployed and employed persists online in social media.