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June 17, 2007

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Sally Wilton

Regarging the mutilation of girls in Africa. Of course it is a disgrace that this is carried out anywhere in the world but here in UK there are regular operations carried out on the NHS on boys without their consent for cultural reasons culturalMale circumcision should not be allowed for the same reasons as female circumcision and it is hypocritical to discriminate.

Feeker Peeker

Now, than ever before, we need someone like Tony Blair to lead us in Europe. The Irish must be forced to vote again on a much vaguer treaty and their approval confirmed. Tony Blair is the man to do that. He gave us peace in Northern Ireland an Durfur. He is the man. Please, can we have him back?

Ibrahim Turner

This story wont be on the front page, but it should be! It has appeared on three progressive sites and generated over 400 comments on one of them, so it is something people feel strongly about. tell me you will publish it and that you are not beholden to the Israel lobby in Britain, just as much influence as AIPAC in America. I have sent it to a key member of the EU, so it may become a major talking point in the discussion regarding upgrading the trade with Israel.
The discussions going on in the EU about strengthening ties with Israel prompts me to ask 'is this what we Europeans condone and encourage in Israel?

I realize that it featured an American Palestinian woman, but are Palestinians in Europe subject to Israel's racial apartheid too?


http://palestinethinktank.com/2008/06/26/zeina-ashrawi-hutchison-denied-the-right-to-go-home/

Imagine if an American living in Spain for a few years wanted to go home only to be told by the American government that their American Passport was revoked and that they wouldn’t be able to come back!
If I were a Jew living anywhere around the world and had no ties to the area and had never set foot there, I would have the right to go any time I wanted and get an Israeli Passport. In fact, the Israelis encourage that. I however, am not Jewish but I was born and raised in Jerusalem, my parents, family and friends still live there and I cannot go back! I am neither a criminal nor a threat to one of the most powerful countries in the world, yet I am alienated and expelled from my own home.

George Appleby

Is PR a dead issue for politicians and Media? If so, WHY?

John Barlow

Almost every day now, I am more and more baffled by editorials from non-scientists taking the stories from "activists groups" as "facts"! The reality is that they are half-truths at best and completely false at worst.

Take the editorial by Geoffrey Lean about the "toxic shower curtins." He reports as if this garbage is fact, and all our readers must take it as something to be deatly afraid of...bunk! Why doesn't the Independent do some RESEARCH instead of just yanking stuff off the wire? Here's a little information from a true SCIENTIST. Why don't you contact him and print some scientific facts for a change?

The Great Shower Curtain Scare
June 30, 2008 [by Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Health Facts and Fears]

Well, I tell them, I worry a lot more about slipping in the shower than about exposure to chemicals released from my polyvinylchloride (PVC) shower curtain. I do not look to eliminate plastics marked with the recycling identifier numbers one, three, six or seven from my life, and if I had to wear a shower cap, I would not worry about its effect on my health. Neither would I be concerned about my neighbour making wine from elderberries picked from a bush that grew in a cemetery. Alright, now for the details. Because it is there, rather than in headlines, that true science is to be found.

First, the shower curtain scare. This comes to us courtesy of a U.S-based activist organization that has magnanimously adorned itself with the name, Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ).

The Food and Drug Administration -- it's not. CHEJ commissioned a study of shower curtains made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a substance it ominously, and unjustifiably, calls "poison plastic." The study made headlines across North America. Why? Because its results revealed that PVC shower curtains can release as many as 108 volatile organic chemicals. And why is that news? I'm not sure. A cup of coffee will release more than a thousand volatiles. Ah, but the argument, as put forward by CHEJ, is that some of the chemicals released by a shower curtain are classified as hazardous air pollutants by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. You know what? Exactly the same can be said about compounds such as furfural, styrene and caffeic acid found in coffee. Yet we do not talk about closing coffee shops, or about protecting people from second-hand coffee aroma.

Exposure is not equivalent to hazard. In order to demonstrate that chemicals from shower curtains can cause harm, we need more evidence than their presence in the air. Did CHEJ carry out any tests to show that these chemicals are absorbed into the body to any significant extent? No. Did the organization examine how such chemicals may be distributed in the body if absorbed and how they are metabolized and excreted? No. Absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) are the pillars upon which toxicology is built. If these factors are not addressed, arguments about risk crumble.

Did CHEJ run any controls to determine what chemicals are present in ambient air? No. The fact is that with the sophisticated instrumental techniques available today, a sample of air will reveal the presence of thousands and thousands of compounds, both natural and man-made. These come from car exhaust, combustion processes, perfumes, cleaning agents, paints, flowers, trees, asphalt, food, sewage, sweat, cooking, and yes, shower curtains. You can include humans among the culprits too. Our flatus contains dozens of volatiles, including highly toxic hydrogen sulfide. So, in light of our overall exposure to tens of thousands of compounds, how likely is it that the chemicals released from PVC shower curtains present a disproportionate risk? Not very. The chlorinated compounds evaporating from the water in the shower probably are of greater concern.

The pliability of PVC shower curtains is achieved by the addition of compounds called phthalates, which act as internal lubricants. Some phthalates are controversial because of their potential hormone-like effects, and indeed certain ones have been eliminated from toys that young children can put in their mouths. The CHEJ study found a number of phthalates in shower curtains, which comes as no great surprise. But the study, apparently because of technical difficulties, did not determine if any of these were released into the air from shower curtains. And most people are not in the habit of eating their bathroom paraphenelia.

So what then are the 108 chemicals that got all the publicity? Mostly compounds released from the dyes used to print the colored designs on the curtains. These compounds would therefore also be released from other plastics, such as polyester or ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), and even organic cotton, that CHEJ is touting as a replacement for PVC. EVA is a very useful plastic, and doesn't need plasticizers to make is soft and pliable. But it can release vinyl acetate into the air, a compound that the Canadian government has labeled as potentially hazardous. Of course, CHEJ is fixated on the evils of PVC, and is oblivious to such details. This is not to suggest that there is any risk with EVA shower curtains, any vinyl acetate released would be trivial.

And there is yet another point to be made. Have you noticed how a shower curtain is drawn in towards the tub when the water is turned on? That's because the streaming water causes a rapid downward movement of the air, reducing the pressure it exerts on the curtain. The greater pressure on the outside now pushes the curtain inward. Why is this relevant? Because any chemicals released from the shower curtain would be quickly sucked downwards, away from the nose and mouth.

Now on to the shower cap query. Quite understandable from a consumer's point of view. If vapours from one plastic can invade our privacy in the shower, why not from another, like a shower cap? No issue here. And as far as the danger of shower caps goes, as one concerned lady wanted to know, there is none. Usually made of clear polyethylene, with nary a plasticizer or dye molecule in sight.

What about getting rid of "unsafe" plastics in the home. This question was prompted by a confused article in a suburban paper citing a spokesperson from some local "Environmental Advisory Committee" who stated that #1 plastics are made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) which is physically hazardous to one's health because it leaches a hormone-disrupting chemical called BPA. This is nonsense! PET is not made with BPA! Polycarbonate plastics, labeled as #7, can leach BPA, but the amounts with the possible exception of heated baby bottles, are trivial.

In fact, polycarbonate bottles are more environmentally friendly because they are not disposable. Single-use PET water bottles have been a marketer's dream, but an environmentalist's nightmare. What a brilliant idea to convince people to buy something they don't need, and create a multibillion dollar industry! Never mind that the process uses petroleum resources unnecessarily, and that most of the bottles end up in landfills. A crime.

And the elderberry wine question? Well, it highlights the atmosphere of fear that permeates our lives. A lady became concerned when she saw her neighbor spill some elderberry wine he had fermented in his back yard.
Why? Because the elderberries had been picked from a bush in a cemetery where the soil may have become contaminated with the chemicals used to embalm corpses. Could these toxins possibly contaminate her vegetable garden, the anxious caller wanted to know? No. I think we can safely lay this fear to rest.

While most of the scary stories about our living in a "chemical soup"
are greatly exaggerated, the stress they cause is very real. As a result, people have become so scared of dying that they forget about living. And if worrying about trace amounts of chemicals being released from shower curtains makes headline news, then living today is pretty good, isn't it? So just take a deep breath and relax. And if you are worried about the trillions of molecules of diverse chemicals you just inhaled, go and take a warm calming shower. Just don't forget to use a mat. That would present a real risk. And don't worry about any phantom risk if the mat is made of PVC.

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Firozali A. Mulla DBA

Mughabe get away.
Britain to continue to fight for UN envoy despite veto
This would never happened if we would not have taken the words of Mr. Bush with Mr. Tony Blaire on the false dossiers of the Iraq war and the alleged WMD, that were never there. Anyone would now say, “Okay we made mistake. Let us forget and stride forward”. However, this is the nation that is drowning. This sort of ironically cooked up wars never was in the history of America.
I have purposely chosen three topics to show that Mr. Brown is following the steps of his predecessor Mr. Tony Blaire who is nowhere to be seen. Russia and China the mighty powers are reaping profits from the African continent and UN too does not want any civil disturbances that UN knows will start the time the external pressure is put on Mughabe. The African countries do not want to interfere. They too are poor with the oil today Saturday, 12 July 2008, 148usdpb. Why does Mr. Brown think he will benefit anything in futile he tries to save few British farms? Uganda was, now is a gone case exactly as Zimbabwe. Why. Why, why, we do not learn from the history we make?
Today's papers
The Falling Giants
By Daniel Politi
Posted Friday, July 11, 2008, at 6:21 AM ET
U.S. Weighs Rescue of Mortgage Giants.
Then America went to boost the dollar to such an extent that all bowed and said. “Sir, you are all mighty. You lead; we follow you all the way, shoulder to shoulder, from the fatigued soldiers of Afghanistan to Iraq and call UN too to help us”.
This has all of us in the gutter looking for pennies or cents.
To add to the above, I see the TV that is very clear that is ripple has gone as far as the Norway shores and the estate agents there are broke now.
I thank you
Firozali A. Mulla DBA
P.O.Box 6044
Dar-Es-Salaam
Tanzania
East Africa


Dave

I just like to say that i feel a bit angry after reading the article on Holidaying in Italy.
Yes it is fair to warn people about laws everywhere but i think this writer goes too far.
Italy is a very beautiful country with many artworks, beautiful buildings and proud people, proud enough to want to protect their heritage. Is it maybe the actions of british tourists which could have had an effect on the Italians making these laws ??
Go to Italy (almost any town) and take note of how many drunken italians you see on the streets, how many you see spoiling for a fight or ready to cause trouble. In my experience very few. Look for the amount of litter on the streets, very little. While we think more about how 'ratted' we can get, they prefer to take more pride in themselves and in their culture. Not all Italians are little angels thats true but please dont make fun of them for proudly wanting to protect their heritage.

mrs moustakas

i belive facebook had a age limit....so please would someone tell me why my seventeen year old daughter was aloud to set up an account?? men of all ages are contacting her trying to arrange dates and this infuriates me.there should be closer monitoring as when she put hger date of birth she should have instantly been denied an account.

martin

Ever wondered WHY ?

An as yet unnamed elite, lawless organisation is actually running the country by stealth, in effect a silent insurrection from within. The control must be total, absolute, and lead top-down from the centre. What and who cannot be controlled must be destroyed by nulabor. An unelected cadre already runs the country, bypassing Parliament, the Judiciary, and all the institutional safeguards that were designed to ensure our freedoms.

Meanwhile, it is daily reported how our leaders lie, cheat, steal, bully and abuse, yet there is a reticence - for fear of retribution - to using the appropriate description - institutionalised corruption - that has repeatedly, relentlessly, ruthlessly, systematically and cynically destroyed the lives of anyone arbitrarily deemed to be a potential threat.

It is an expensive business to run an insurrectionist alternative power cult in parallel with what the ordinary decent citizen perceives as democracy. However, any perception of local democracy, people empowerment, or meaningful engagement in consultation to inform and contribute to the decision-making processes is a carefully engineered illusion.

It is necessary to create control structures, finance them, then train people to head these on behalf of the nulabor cult, to pay for fixers, and to employ the myriad of minions in the non-jobs. The money from this comes from both the current central government, and from the billions of Eurofunds. These created structures are used to facilitate the falsification of evidence of prior consultation and consensus needed for eligibility for the funds. To staff these structures, and to ensure placement of the chosen people in the right places, there needs to be a nulabor centrally controlled leadership training establishment, working as a charity. The truth is, the training establishment is not training leaders at all, it is doing the opposite, training automatons to do the bidding of their masters, regardless of morality, ethics or the law.

Why a charity? Because charities do not attract the same level of cynicism and scrutiny as public authorities, they are not subject to freedom of information laws, they are easy and naive prey for the nulabor elite, and charities are easy organisations for strategic positioning to exert influence, interest and control far beyond their legal remit.


In addition, where the chosen leaders are placed in a charity positioned for strategic control, they form the perfect base for money-laundering. Where existing charities can't be taken over, they are destroyed, and new charities created. Where charities prove themselves to be providing a needed service, they are targeted for privatisation, and the tax-liable jobs falsely claimed to be employment creation. There is no job creation, just transfer.

The secretly chosen recipients of 'training' are to be found in highly lucrative positions of many of the decision-making quangos with financial controls. They also ensure that the nulabor social-re-engineering projects are funded in preference to any other, whilst refusing any applications not in keeping with the nulabor agenda.

Once the right steps are in place, the nulabor project can continue unfettered, having control of people, publicity, processes, and pecuniary pursuits. Threats are destroyed. All this being done covertly, with the cadre elite of the cult even deciding who can have what information.

This nulabor government is corrupt. The nulabor corruption is absolute, lead from the top down, imposed through all tiers of social and government control, down to street level. Being rotten to the core and from the core, everything it touches it taints. Having neither the ability nor inclination to correct itself, outside intervention is indicated.

This statement can be extended to democracy itself. Perhaps it is not only the government that must be replaced, but the style of government, as the current flavour leaves such a bad taste. Our leading politicians, to whom we are entitled to look for behavioural guidance, have failed to make the distinction between what is legal and what it right. Finding a loophole to do something does not make what is wrong, right. The very act of looking for a loophole is evidence of intent to act amorally. It is no use saying that no rules have been broken, and therefore the behaviour is OK. Those not acting in the spirit of the law, or not capable of making the distinction between right and wrong, have no place in our society, and certainly not as our leaders or representatives in any government.

In the UK, democracy is dead. Despite the claims to devolve democracy, empower people, or derogate decision-making, what we have seen is the creation and maintenance of an illusion of consultation, followed by false claims of consensus. In truth, central control is tightened, as so-called community leaders are politically placed and imposed, and so on upwards through every control tier to nulabor HQ.

So now we have described what we have today, and how we arrived at this sorry state.

The next question must be, WHY ? and Where is all this leading us?

Ian


Its my contention that the increased rate of obesity and uptake of unhealthy lifestyles in key stage 3 and 4 (11-16 year olds) is the result of poor provision and teaching of Physical Education in schools

Does anyone share this view?

Andrew

at yasmin ali brown, do you think the democratization of british speech and dress has gone too far?

Jane Foster

I am writing to your article about facebook users naming and shaming baby p's abusers. Yes we all know who they are and got our information from newspapers. But would like to say that yes some people have taken this rather far and the groups that they have made are rather unreal BUT please take into account most people who are members of facebook have joined a good group who are doing marches an want to help fight protect ALL the children of this country. So please yes slander those who take it too far but lets not forget the people who are really trying to help.

Matthew

What a wonderful articl on page 7 of the Independent on Sunday today (16.11.08 - Director's anger over comedy film's 'disability' warning). It raised a very interesting issue about the film board's process of classifying films containing disabled actors. I hope such an article will persuade readers to consider their own attitudes to disability and those disabled actors struggling to find work while able bodied actors play disabled roles. Hooray for Justin Edgar's 'Special People' film.
I do hope we support such a film. I have done a search on it and it has had superb reviews. There was also a feature on You and Yours on Radio 4 about it (you can hear it on their website).
Matthew

Sanjeev Appicharla

I wish to draw your attention to Dr Ellen Munro's attention to the claim she made In the article, '' Lessons learnt, boxes ticked, families ignored'' published in the Indepedent On Sunday print edition dated 16th November 2008.

She rightly claimed that latent errors in the organisational context makes human errors probable in the front line staff settting. However, she failed to elaborate the reasons for such organisation failures and the method for correcting them. James Reason, who advanced this hypothesis of human error, has conclusively established that latent weaknesses originate in the fallible decisions made by the higher level staff. These have their origins in the situation when the decision makers fail to strike the correct balance between the safety, operational and cost demands when deciding options and making commitments to go ahead with a particular way action. In this way, the fatal chain of events that leads to active errors in the fron life starts.

It will be prudent to ask ourselves a very important question when designing new procedures and systems: '' how can we improve the decision making process that give rise to fallible decisions in every sector of economy and bringing the social sciences into a great disrepute?'' The current process fails to overcome the defects in human beings that come together to work in groups to produce a social good'. Both financial crisis as well this one share common feature: faulty risk assessment and management procedures.

It is the need of the hour to forsee dangers that can obtain in real situations and consider them alongside with the other tangible objectives at the same to arrive at good designs of management procedures, information systems and equipping people with skills to reduce the affordance of injury and increase the affordance of benefit to the society at large.

Regards

Sanjeev K Appicharla

HPKernoghan

What a happy coincidence that the only "independent" comment I have encountered in the media on the John Sargeant
hoo-ha is Cole Morton's today. Refreshing, honest, perceptive - and spot on.

John

Your Adelboden/Solis Cambrian article of November 9 did not go down well with Chris Nott. However it encouraged me to go to the hotel recently. Do you want another - better - point of view?

David Llewellyn Foster

Back in November 2007, Chris Langham's father Michael - who is widely regarded as a theatrical genius in Canada where he is probably best remembered for his unique contribution to the Stratford Ontario Shakespearean Festival as Artistic Director in the late 1960's - published in the Independent a defence of his son, that was also a powerful indictment of the way that Chris was treated by the police, media and prosecution: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/michael-langham-my-son-chris-was-demonised-400799.html
One wonders how the police, media and judiciary in this country is proposing to negotiate and respond to the current tsunami of atrocities that are bringing down the Vatican. In the light of Richard Dawkins' stirring condemnation published in the Washington Post last week (http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/richard_dawkins/2010/03/ratzinger_is_the_perfect_pope.html) perhaps we should re-consider Michael Langham's wise words and face up to the hypocrisy, pseudo-elitism and the pretentious, cloying cynicism cloaked in religious self-righteousness with which our "respectable" establishment is still so utterly riddled and polluted. Is this evasive charade "true morality"? genuine "ethics"? Where is the intelligent proportionality and native wisdom that every healthy society is in such dire need of? Are we now so sick from imposture and corruption that we have forgotten how to envision freely, to reason clearly, to act with probity - and authentic honesty? Shame! What a crying shame!!
David Llewellyn Foster

Paul Sousek

Your top 100 environmentalist list is a bit disappointing. It would appear that if you are a well known entertainer or otherwise famous, all you need to do to get on it is to live in a 'eco-flat', 'dislike' driving/ flying and perhaps charge extra for the offsetting racket.

How about a real environmentalist work, such as this:

Cottage Farm is an organic, sustainable, carbon neutral farm powered by renewable energy with near zero use of fossil fuels, one of the first in the country.
We rear native breeds almost exclusively on grass with minimal use of supplementary fodder, following a high welfare regime. We sell fresh organic meat boxes and aim to sell most of our boxes in our own locality. When delivering our boxes, we use carbon neutral means of transport and reusable boxes.

We bought Cottage Farm back in August 2005, not having had any farming experience at all - soon after I learned about Peak Oil. Our aim was to establish a food producing business with a zero carbon footprint, serving our local community.
We converted the farm to organic status, established a herd of local rare breed Red Ruby cattle and a herd of rare breed Wiltshire Horn sheep and now we supply our neighbours and others with fresh beef and lamb boxes.

At the same time we have almost completed conversion of our house and farm to zero carbon footprint, reducing our carbon footprint from 7 tonnes CO2/year to –0.7 tonnes CO2/year on the house alone (not counting new water supply, biodiesel from waste vegetable oil and organic farming), representing a decrease by 110%.
First we reduced consumption with loft and wall insulation, draft proofing, low energy light bulbs, A rated appliances, wind up radio, solar security lights, replacing electric kettle by a hob kettle, connecting washing machine and dishwasher to both hot and cold water and other measures

We then switched our space heating from oil-fired boiler to wood burner for heating and wood fuelled Rayburn for cooking (and heating). We also installed a heat store, which is powered by 40 solar thermal tubes, a wood burner boiler and an immersion heater to provide hot water for both bathing and to feed into the existing central heating circuit to distribute the heat from the heat store around the house. Solar thermal and wood burner is an excellent combination providing plenty of hot water and space heat 365 days a year.

We use our own wood from the farm, which we cut, prepare and dry ourselves using various specialised tools. The trees and 2 acre wood is maintained to ensure plentiful supply for future generations.
Electricity is provided by a 5kW wind turbine and 1.5 kW PV panels combination, both with on-grid inverters. Our water comes from a bore hole pumped using the home grown electricity.

We also produce our own 100% bio-diesel from waste vegetable oil, which we use to run our car, our Landrover and the farm tractor, and to deliver our meat boxes. That means that all the work done on the farm and all our deliveries as well as our general driving is almost completely CO2 free.
So far we planted some 200 trees to supplement our 2 acre wood to have something to burn in future years. We also stopped cutting hedges to encourage trees to grow, replanted an old orchard with old Cornish varieties of apple, pear, cherry and plum, as well as establishing a soft fruit garden.
We grow own vegetables, as well as keeping chickens for eggs and geese for special occasions and we're starting to experiment with Permaculture.

To help spread the message, I am also a founding member of Transition Cornwall Network and Transition North Cornwall, for which I administer the website: www.TransitionNC.org, which is packed with well over one and a half thousand items helpful in converting to a sustainable lifestyle and to maximizing local resilience. Notable sections are Local Food Directory, Local Renewable Energy Suppliers Directory, Local Services Directory, and Learning Section, each with unlimited free space made available to each supplier or source. TransitionNC now has some 800 members and is one of the largest Transition groups in the country.

We are featured by Superhomes, Grand Design Great British Refurb, the Sustainable Development Commission, the Transition Movement, Farming Futures, The Royal Agricultural College, Cornwall Today and others. I am now also being invited to speak to various groups on these subjects to demonstrate that organic carbon neutral farming is possible and that every farm in the country could be and should be a net energy exporter.
Superhomes (www.Superhomes.org.uk) is a national charity building up a national network of exemplar energy efficient homes of which Cottage Farm is so far the only member for Cornwall and only one of two for the whole of South West. Superhomes require that each member has cut their carbon emissions by at least 60%. We have reduced by 70% (as measured by the Cornwall Sustainable Building Trust) and since then we added further 1kW of PV panels and a 5kW wind turbine, which takes us beyond 110% (i.e. we are carbon neutral and we export carbon neutral energy to the grid). As members of Superhomes we hold regular Open Days (7 this year), where members of the public learn about, touch and feel the various energy saving measures and renewable energy devices and are inspired to do likewise, as well as enjoying an organic farm walk to look at our land and animals.

The best place to find out more about Cottage Farm is in our Local Food Directory: http://www.transitionnc.org/node/45 (click on Food Directory and look up Cottage Farm). You can order on-line at: www.stores.ebay.co.uk/Cottage-Farm-Shop

We have recently also established a new service, Fieldpower Organics, which delivers organic produce from Cottage Farm and later from other local organic farms to London addresses once every month by carbon neutral transport – See http://www.bigbarn.co.uk/marketplace/vendors/Fieldpower .

Have a green day

Monica 6/7C

Do you agree that album art is no longer important and that new techonology will see an end to covers being produced?

For the most part, yes. For decades, album art has been used to produce good quality album covers. However, over the years technology had evolved and thie generation is so used to all the new techonology and what it can do. I don't think album covers will be wiped out completely. I do, however, think that there won't be as much being produced as there would be without technology.
Things like iPads, Mac Books and other sources are what everyone is used to nowadays and they gave been designed to do so many cool things. Why do people use more technology nowadays? Who knows. Some say it's because they get the result they want when putting in half the effort and time. Others say it's because the gadgets are easier to manage. That's why I think album art is no longer important and that new technology will see an end to covers being produced.

Mara

Rock Art- RIP
I don't think so because if you see the cd's in the different stores they still have awesome and old covers and also with the ipod, It is very small(ipod) and the picture on it can fit the screen so, it is as big as they can make it.
From Mara

Martin

I cannot believe what I have just read in Andrew Johnson’s article. One hundred and seventy four race horses have been killed in the UK in the past twelve months! How can the sport be allowed to continue?

Imagine if there was a national sport our youths took part in that claimed one hundred and seventy four of their lives each year. Do you think we would allow the sport to continue? If instead of one hundred and seventy four horses that died, imagine for one moment it was one hundred and seventy four jockeys instead!

I was always aware that some race horses died in the course of a season. And I knew the Grand National regularly claimed one or two. But I am shocked to learn that over three horses die each week – in fact, to be more accurate, since the National Hunt racing season runs for just seven of the twelve months, the truer answer is six horses die every week.

I am no anti racing do-gooder. I can accept the sport – an even admire its participants – who can forget Red Rum’s third win? But surely, if this number of horses has to do in order for the sport to exist we need to figure out ways to make it safer – not for the jockeys, the poor horses. For they are the ones who are currently paying the price for the excitement of our nation’s weekly flutter.

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