Friday, February 27, 2009

WOW; Skin Lightening in Britain's Asian Community

This BBC radio documentary will blow your mind.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Africanized bees? I thought all bees were the same.

This world never ceases to amaze. There is this latest story of Africanized bees that have been discovered in Utah. And the bees have been delt with as aggressively as black offenders are handled.

Being African ofcourse I wanted to know more about these Africanized bees. So I did a search and did I get educated. I didn't realize that African bees had a different temperement from European ones. I thought all bees were the same. As a child, we were once locked out of our house because of bees gone nuts. So I always wondered about people out here working with bees albeit protected, I didn't know it was because the bees out here had less attitude.
Anyway I went to Wiki and the info on African bees sounds like a list of Black stereotypes. This stuff is quite funny.

The Africanized bee in the western hemisphere descended from 26 Tanzanian queen bees (A. m. scutellata) accidentally released by a replacement bee-keeper in 1957 near Rio Claro, São Paulo State in the southeast of Brazil from hives operated by biologist Warwick E. Kerr, who had interbred honey bees from Europe and southern Africa. Hives containing these particular queens were noted to be especially defensive. Kerr was attempting to breed a strain of bees that would be better adapted to tropical conditions (i.e., more productive) than the European bees used in North America and southern South America. The hives from which the bees were released had special excluder grates which were in place to prevent the larger queen bees from getting out but to allow the drones free access to mate with the queen. Unfortunately, following the accidental release, the African queens eventually mated with local drones, and their descendants have since spread throughout the Americas.

The Africanized hybrid bees have become the preferred type of bee for beekeeping in Central America and in tropical areas of South America because of improved productivity. However, in most areas the Africanized hybrid is initially feared because it tends to retain certain behavioral traits from its African ancestors that make it less desirable for domestic beekeeping. Specifically (as compared with the European bee types), the Africanized bee:

-Tends to swarm more frequently.
-Is more likely to migrate as part of a seasonal response to lowered food supply.
-Is more likely to "abscond"—the entire colony leaves the hive and relocates—in response to repeated intrusions by the beekeeper.
-Has greater defensiveness when in a resting swarm.
-Lives more often in ground cavities than the European types.
-Guards the hive aggressively, with a larger alarm zone around the hive.
-Has a higher proportion of "guard" bees within the hive.
-Deploys in greater numbers for defense and pursues perceived threats over much longer distances from the hive.
-Cannot survive extended periods of forage deprivation, preventing introduction into areas with harsh winters or extremely dry late summers.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Did Carol Thatcher call Serena Williams a golliwog?

When you think enough people have been caught in a racist moment, another one pops up. This time its Carol Thatcher the daughter of former British Premier Margaret Thatcher. While watching the Australian open she refered to a black player as a golliwog. What is interesting about this story is, the insulted player is not being named. So that leaves us guessing. I am betting she was referring to Serena WIlliams who won the title for the third time.

Carol Thatcher faces BBC ban over 'golliwog' remarkComments (361) Leigh Holmwood,
Carol Thatcher faces being banned from the BBC after she referred to a tennis player as a "golliwog".

Thatcher, the daughter of former prime minister Lady Thatcher, made the remark in a private conversation in the green room of The One Show after the broadcast of the BBC1 programme on Thursday night.

Sources have said that Thatcher will not be used again on the show, where she is a roving reporter, until she formally apologises to those who were offended by the remark.

According to insiders, Thatcher – who won ITV1 reality series I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! in 2005 – was chatting with The One Show host Adrian Chiles and guest Jo Brand about the Australian Open when she described an unnamed player as a "golliwog".

Show insiders said Chiles was "outraged" by the comment and he and Brand challenged Thatcher about it.

The pair also complained to show executives – as did production staff who later heard about the incident – and it is understood that Thatcher was approached the following day by the show's executive producer.

Thatcher's spokeswoman had not responded to a request for comment before publication, but was quoted in The Times today as saying the word was an "off-the-cuff remark made in jest" and that she had apologised to the show's producer.

Sources said Thatcher had also written to the show's executive producer to apologise and that the BBC was currently considering its decision.

However, insiders said this may not be enough.

"Her apology seems to be that it was just a joke, but the BBC feels it is not acceptable under any circumstances to call someone a golliwog," the source said.

"Unless you don't think that is an acceptable joke, how can you be sorry? Until she apologises to the people who were offended her future is in question. There are people working on the show who don't feel they can work with her. Adrian was outraged by what he heard."

A BBC spokesman said there were "no confirmed plans to work with Carol on The One Show at the present time".

He added: "The BBC considers any language of a racist nature wholly unacceptable. We have raised the issue with the individual concerned and are discussing it as a matter of urgency."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hands off the Czech's castration policy.

Finally a country that has it right on the treatment of violent sex offenders, and what do we get? Some idle people making noise about it.

A European anti-torture watchdog has expressed "serious reservations" about surgical castration being used to treat sex offenders in the Czech Republic.
The Committee for the Prevention of Torture also expressed concerns about the use of chemical castration, and called for greater safeguards.

The Council of Europe committee questioned the freedom of consent for those undergoing the procedure.

The Czech government says castrations happened in accordance with the law.

In its report on the Czech Republic, the committee for the Prevention of Torture raised concerns about the use of castration, both chemical and surgical, in the treatment of sex offenders.

All the offenders sentenced to so-called protective treatment in psychiatric hospitals underwent chemical castration.

Unclear responsibility

Surgical castration was confined mainly to offenders who had committed murder, and only with their consent.

But the committee cast doubt on how free that consent could be, if the alternative for the prisoner was indefinite confinement in a psychiatric hospital.

The committee said it was concerned about the overlap between the doctors treating the offenders and the panel of experts responsible for approving the operation.

The Czech government said castration procedures were carried out according to law, but improvement in legislation would be debated this year.

One of the hospitals involved said the procedure was only used for repeat offenders, many of whom were alcoholics and individuals with learning disabilities.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

In a Global financial Meltdown, Bank of England is regulating women's dress code

Bank of England ( Yes they still exist) amidst the global financial crisis is currently concerned about the way female employees present themselves. Among their many concerns, is women's over stuffed bags. Here is a break down.

Bryony Gordon

Goodness knows how female employees at the Bank of England have dealt with today's weather.

While ladies at the Telegraph sit at their desks in dresses, wellington boots and ear muffs, those at the BofE have been told in a memo that they must always wear heels (though no higher than two inches), and that they must arrive at work with some sort of make-up on (even if it's just lipstick).

Other sartorial rules: shoes and skirts must be the same colour (though white heels are BANNED, BANNED, BANNED), ankle chains are out (who over the age of 15 wears ankle chains anyway?) and overstuffed handbags are a no-no (because there is nothing more offensive than the sight of an overstuffed handbag, is there?).

Ladies should also be careful with perfume. Meanwhile, men who wear too much aftershave seem to have escaped such judgement.

Anyway, my favourite moment of the memo is the bit that says that certain accessories would make women look "professional, but not the one you want to be associated with".

Well I don't think you need me to spell out what they might be trying to say there.

Anyway, apparently the year is 2009. Perhaps they should simply stick all of their female employees in burkhas, and be done with it.