The largest growth in people using the internet for the first time are aged between 65 and 74! As much as 47 per cent of people over 75 are now using the internet too, up from 20 per cent seven years ago! Many folk my age have been using the web for work for years and have had little or no choice in doing so, but those who didn’t need to use it for work are less likely to use it personally. It now appears this is changing. How much of that use is to keep in touch with grandchildren I wonder? It’s far better than social media. Only in Luxembourg and Denmark you’ll find more people between the ages of 16 and 74 regularly using the internet than in the UK.
Well, I can’t say I’ve ever really been a fan of Madonna. I like some of her music and respect her talent and hard work though. Without doubt she has used and milked social media for all it is worth, including Instagram which she uses often. Now, perhaps after realising her daughter’s vulnerability and risk on the social media site, she has criticised Instagram. What do they say about poachers and gamekeepers? Anything and anyone that helps clean up the social media sites and protect the kids deserves a cheer!
Have you ever wondered why we hear of so many people suffering from food allergies these days? Indeed, maybe we even suffer ourselves. If so, you probably have to assume that the stereotype explanation for so many things these days is that we are just less inhibited or more aware, but that may not be the case. Research at the University of Naples has found a link between people with food allergies and sugary, fatty substances under their skin. Between two to seven per cent of adults now suffer from food allergies, five times as many as 20 years ago. Some say it has something to do with the immune system, they call it hygiene hypothesis. The sugary fats build up under the skin and causes the gut to leak. The most likely culprit is junk food.
Staying on the subject of danger and food, there’s been an outbreak of listeria in hospital sandwiches. Three people died initially, but that has now risen to five and over 40 NHS Trusts are on alert following the outbreak. Those who died were at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and Aintree Hospital in Liverpool. Listeria is unpleasant, but normally will not seriously affect healthy people. The sandwiches came from The Good Food Chain who developed a special range called ‘Whole Lotta Good’ specifically for hospitals. Obviously, they buy in the ingredients. Soil is a common source of listeria, but it is usually killed by cooking. Most sandwiches will contain salad though, and the listeria can find its way into meat, cheese and pate. It was pate over 30 years ago that caused the last serious outbreak and one of the problems is that once it is in the ‘system’, it is easily spread by utensils and cold temperatures don’t kill it.
Does this qualify as mad? Perhaps not, but I love it and it’s not a normal sort of experiment. 157 people were asked by the Crossmodal Research Laboratory in Oxford to each sit in six different rooms painted different colours. These were dark blue, coral, olive green, mustard yellow, pink and purple. They were asked which the most comfortable room was, and which made them feel the warmest. The rooms were all at a set fixed 18 degrees centigrade. The outcome? Half felt most comfortable in the coral room but a third actually said they were warmer in the olive green room! So, you could save £270 a year on heating if you paint the rooms olive green! Well, as someone who did that in my hall 15 years ago and is a devotee and disciple to the power of the mind, I say great!
Now, as a life member of the dyslectic club, which has some very distinguished members, I welcomed the red lines, blue lines and green lines that arrived as part of the great technological revolution of computerisation. I actually think I have learnt how to spell better as a result and even use better grammar. I remember in the early days of text, which I rarely use now, how annoying the autocorrection was, because it was often totally wrong and made a nonsense of what was being written… and I’d miss it!
I suspect President Trump may be dyslectic, though I’ve never seen any reference to it, but he Tweets a lot. Although, I can’t believe that he actually types it all himself and suspect he dictates it. Now, I know I have a low opinion of staff ability, born of bitter experience, but at that level I’d expect people to see what the autopilot does. The Princes of Whales gaff was almost certainly autocorrection. It was missed by staff and took 25 minutes to correct. It also suggests that Wales isn’t in the President’s Twitter dictionary! I suppose we should be grateful for the fact that we no longer live in times when such an incidence would be seen as a gross insult and lead to a diplomatic incident or worse. It is mad!