Friday Links

Happy Friday, how was your week? Whether good or bad it is nearly over!  Time for the weekend, bring on the gin and reading material…

1) I can’t decide if this is awesome or just really, really tacky.  I think I’m gonna go with really  tacky but in a good way..

2) Never trust anyone who is rude to a waiter.

I remember my grandmother telling me that if I were ever to marry, I should make sure he was kind. But she might just as well have said: “Find yourself a man who’s nice to waiters.” The way people treat restaurant staff is, I think, a kind of poker tell, revealing a person’s character in as long as it takes to say: “I’ll have the sea bass.” A man (or woman) who is actively unpleasant to waiters is best avoided. Ditto those who patronise them. Just as bad, though, are people who treat waiters as though they’re invisible. This is not, as these cretins seem to think, a sign of metropolitan sophistication. Do this, and you might as well be wearing a T-shirt that says: “I’m an over-privileged baboon: cold, ruthless, rude and rather stupid.”

3) I’m not sure that I agree with all of this, but I am really of the opinion that adults need to behave like adults, even or maybe especially when we feel like we’re 12 on the inside. What really comes across is how much the writer loved his dad..

These days it seems the only people who are growing old with dignity – like real adults – are the Queen and Prince Philip. They don’t wear trainers, they don’t try to relive their youth or catch up on all they missed out on the first time around. They don’t follow trends or burden their children with their emotional lives. The Queen hasn’t even changed her hairstyle since she became an adult. Into that admirable category, I would like to put my father. He died 18 months ago but, as time passes, he grows in my estimation not because of the love I feel for him but because he gave me something invaluable when I was growing up. He was an adult.

4) Christina is running a 10k, the day after she sings with the Rolling Stones. She’s being awesome and you should sponsor her and if for whatever reason you can’t, you should still read the post because it’s funny and clever….

I bin RUNNIN. Yeah! Running! If you don’t know me personally, you’ve probably lost interest, instantly. I don’t blame you. If you do know me – and especially if you haven’t seen me for a while – you’re probably doing a big WHUUUUUUUT right now. Either way, let me explain.

5) Suzanne Moore on children and porn and the Internet. Earlier this year, I was part of a very uncomfortable set of conversations with L and H about this stuff, they have smart phones and will at some point have their own computers instead of using the family one. To be honest, it’s a conversation that I would like never to have. To me the twins are babies and I would like to keep them that way, however, the world isn’t like that and the only way to protect children from stuff like this is to talk about it and trust them. So there was a conversation about what’s out there and consent (for boys and girls) and experimentation and being ready and what you share online against what you shouldn’t and how once it’s out there, it’s out there. We talked about this blog and Facebook and Twitter. That conversation continues. For the adults the rules are simple, be honest, be clear and never refuse to talk about something if asked but don’t get too technical. My parents did this for me and growing up I got to see the damage that not doing that had on others. I always had the information I needed, my parents never lied to me (well not about that!) and they trusted me to make the right choices but if I needed help or had questions, they were always willing to talk. Fortunately, the parents of all my godchildren have felt the same way, unfortunately for me, I sit in that space of ‘adult that you can talk to about stuff you’re too embarrassed to talk to your parents about’, there was always a little part of my brain doing a ‘la la la, not listening’ dance and that’s ok. What’s not ok is letting your children do unsafe things because you listen to that voice!

Google will not protect your child, any more than the government. We have to teach our kids about the worst aspects of the internet and of sex. Both involve consent. In order to do this we have to trust our children. Are we grown up enough to do that?

6) This is far to sensible to ever happen but it should.

First, the public have no great affection for the private train operators (with the possible exception of Virgin, but maybe that’s because the brand used to sell records).

Second, reversing privatisation need not cost any money. The track and stations are already in public hands with Network Rail. The private franchises could simply be allowed to run their course and, upon expiry, services folded in to the existing public operator, East Coast.

Third, by combining this enlarged public operator with Network Rail, significant efficiencies and savings would be realised, which could in turn be used to cut fares, increase investment, or reduce the deficit – all politically popular ends.

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About nicdempsey

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