Friday, December 07, 2007

Sex, chocolate and meat 'boost brain power'

What "incorrect" advice!

Plenty of sex, dark chocolate and cold meats are the latest keys to boosting your brain power, according to a new book published in Britain. Authors Terry Horne and Simon Wootton believe those who want to stop their brain deteriorating should avoid watching TV soap operas, smoking cannabis and mixing with moaners.

While sex, dark chocolate and eating cold meats for breakfast top the list for the best ways to keep the brain fit, cuddling babies, cheating at homework, doing a business degree and reading out loud are also recommended. "People can make lifestyle choices that will constantly increase our cognitive capacity throughout our adult lives lives," Horne, a university lecturer, told the Daily Mail. "Mix with people who make you laugh, have a good sense of humour or who share the same interests as you and avoid people who whinge, whine and complain as people who are negative will make you depressed."

Horne and Wootton say they base their theories, contained in their book Teach Yourself: Train Your Brain, on research carried out by experts around the world. Many of their recommendations are based on various chemical reactions within the body brought on by certain activities.


More crazy "Human Rights"

Britain breached the human rights of a murderer and his wife by refusing them access to IVF treatment, the European Court ruled yesterday. Kirk Dickson, 35, and his wife Lorraine now have the right to start a family even though he is serving a life sentence. The couple, who met via a pen pal network while Mrs Dickson was also in prison, were determined to have a baby but Dickson's earliest release date from a minimum 15-year sentence is 2009, when Mrs Dickson, of Beverley, East Yorkshire, will be 51.

The Dicksons, who married in 2001, argued that artificial insemination was their only chance to have a child of their own and that a Home Office decision to deny them access to treatment breached their human rights. They had launched a legal battle in October 2001, but David Blunkett, then Home Secretary, rejected their claim. The Dicksons took their fight to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, where, in April 2006, they lost again.

However, the court's Grand Chamber overturned that ruling yesterday, voting 12 to 5 in favour of allowing the couple access to the treatment and awarding them 5,000 euros in damages and 21,000 in costs. The couple's lawyer, Elkan Abrahamson, said last night that they were both elated at the decision. However, it would make little difference because Dickson was now in an open prison and allowed home leave.


Twins banned in Britain

Reducing the usefulness of what you do makes sense only to socialists. Post below lifted from Don Surber. See the original for links

Brits save money, improve health stats. England will ban test tube twins and triplets. Instead, mothers using IVF will be given only one embryo at a time to se if it leads to pregnancy, the London Daily Mail reported. This will save the National Health Service money - and we all know the purpose of the NHS is to save money, not patients. As a bonus, this will make the health statistics look better. Twins and triplets cost more to birth and have a greater chance of dying, thus increasing the infant mortality rate.

The downside is this sucks if you want to have children. "Under plans that could spell heartache for thousands of childless couples, regulators want to cap the number of multiple births," the London Daily Mail reported.

It is estimated that if all IVF children were single births, 126 fewer babies would die each year. Critics claim, however, that limiting the number of embryos would reduce the chances of a successful pregnancy and make fertility treatment even more costly for desperate couples. Health Service funding usually covers just one cycle of treatment, explaining why three out of four couples pay thousands to go private - and have more embryos implanted.

This drew complaints from Keith Reed, chief executive of the Twins and Multiple Births Association. "If they carry through their plans, then they could shatter the dreams of thousands of patients," Reed said.

But when you run a monopoly, who cares about unsatisfied customers, right? Government-run health care is a lot like government cheese.

Immigration Crackdown announced

No word of any action on illegals, though. As in the USA, deportation orders are commonly ignored. Not even anything as obvious as that is being seriously tackled

A holiday romance that leads to marriage will in future need more than love to sustain it. The Home Office said a foreign spouse would have to speak English before being allowed into the country. The measure was among a package of new immigration measures announced by ministers.

Others include shutting the door to low skilled workers from outside the EU. Under a new points system, they will not be able to come to Britain if there are enough home-grown and EU workers able to fill vacancies.

But the English test for spouses is the most controversial component of what Ministers called ''the biggest ever overaul of the immigration system". Each year, nearly 50,000 foreigners are allowed into the country as a spouse or fiance. Ministers believe that insisting upon proficiency in English will make it easy for new arrivals to integrate. But the plan, should it be introduced, will inevitably lead to court challenges. The Human Rights Act guarantees a right to family life which could be jeopardised if a new husband must leave his bride behind.

English tests were introduced for foreigners taking British citizenship from November 2005 and extended to those seeking settlement in April this year. But the latest proposal would stop a spouse even getting to the UK and will have a particular impact on south Asian communities. Britain's Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshis between them saw 17,000 spouses or fiances enter the UK from their home countries last year, sometimes as a result of arranged marriages.

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, said: "We are underlining how important we see command of the English language. ''If we are serious about English, shouldn't we give these individuals a flying start in the UK by asking them to speak English from the day they arrive?" Research has found that when UK nationals who themselves speak English poorly - or only outside the home - marry non-English speakers from outside Britain, they often form families where English is never spoken fluently.

A consultation paper proposes that the required level of English should only be "very basic". A spouse or fiance would be expected to understand simple questions, read common signs and symbols and understand simple instructions. If they failed the test, they might be prevented from joining their spouse, even if they have children. However, officials said in such circumstances they might be allowed in temporarily to learn English.

The measures are part of Labour's effort to rebuild public confidence in the immigration system. The new points-based system will be phased in next year, starting with highly-skilled workers like entrepreneurs and doctors. They will be fast-tracked into the country and will no longer need to have a job to go to.

Mr Byrne said low-skilled workers from outside the European Union would not get in "for the forseeable future" under this scheme. The Government will also take new powers to refuse British citizenship to people with a criminal record. Anyone with an unspent conviction will be unable to take British nationality.

Mr Byrne said: "These are the biggest changes to the immigration system in its history. "We did not expect that reform would be pain free." He also dismissed complaints from some in the business world that tighter controls could make it harder to recruit workers. "We are not running the immigration policy on the exclusive interests of the UK business community, we are running it in Britain's national interest," he said. "We will continue to listen to the voice of British business but we are trying to strike the right balance on immigration policy while we listen to the evidence."


MPs say BBC should be more accountable: "The BBC is not properly accountable and should be open to investigation by the Auditor General, an investigation by the Commons Public Accounts Committee has concluded. The successor to Sir John Bourn, guardian of the public purse at the National Audit Office, who leaves his post next month, should be given access to the BBC’s accounts, MPs said. The report into the BBC’s risk management concluded: “There is still no satisfactory regime under which the BBC is accountable to Parliament for its value for money.” It should also do more to protect employees working in hostile environments, the report said, citing the Gaza abduction of its correspondent Alan Johnston. A survey of BBC staff with risk management responsibilities found that 29 per cent had never looked at the BBC’s guidance."

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