A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  ShortcutsShortcuts  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 The Daily Rant

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
AuthorMessage
LadyinRetirement
Decemviratus Legibus Scribundis


Posts : 610
Join date : 2013-09-16

PostSubject: The Daily Rant    Thu 01 Jan 2015, 14:39

Don't know how the double post occurred - sorry, I've tried to delete it - no luck.  Maybe when the proper broadband is working I'll be able to do it.  Things tend to run slow when I'm dangling on the dongle.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2546
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 29 Jan 2015, 14:50

Not really a rant more just an appeal for opinions...

Today another set of school league tables and education statistics have been published ... so cue the inevitable anguish, excuses and political point scoring in the media. GSCE results are up but the number of under-performing schools has doubled. Meanwhile numbers gaining university degrees continues to rise but general literacy plummits. And, quelle horreur, some of the most elite public schools are now suddenly at the bottom of the league tables because they still insist on using IGCSEs rather than the government-approved GCSEs, which are either more difficult or more easy, depending on who you read.

I've just spent the best part of this morning reading through past papers for both GCSEs and IGCSEs in English, Maths, Science and History (all readily available on-line, with marking guides). It's been very interesting although I'm still not entirely clear what are the relative levels in each subject between core, foundation, advanced and further exams. While IGCSE and GCSE maths and science seem pitched at about the same level, I thought IGCSE History was streets more advanced and demanding than the GCSE equivalent. Note however I've just looked at exam papers, but aren't all these qualifications now partly assessed by coursework?

Quite a few people here have been teachers, have been involved in education at some point, or have children at school, so I'd be interested in what you think. Overall I found the level of questions in both IGCSE and GCSE exams to be below the levels required for the old O levels as remember them, so I certainly feel the curricula have been 'dumbed down'. And bear in mind when I sat my O levels all mathematical calculations had to be done long-hand, or using log tables or slide-rules (no pushing the square-root key on a calculator), and subjects like history and geography required properly laid out, structured and reasoned essays, with good grammar and spelling, rather than just bite-size statements or tick-the-box.

But what do you all think?


If you want a bit of mental excersise I can recommend trying, say GCSE maths (I could rattle these off easily enough):

GCSE Maths Past Papers

...... or, for more of a challenge, and perhaps one more suited to the punters here, you might like to try the University of Cambridge Exam Board's History IGCSEs:

Cambridge Board IGCSE History Past Papers

pale
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 29 Jan 2015, 15:25

The main problem, to my mind, is that the government has, as usual, changed the rules again, and introduced its new ones to exams taken by pupils already half-way through a 2-year exam course.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4831
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 29 Jan 2015, 16:59

Aaaarrgghh! Not here, please!!!

The most taxing history paper I have come across is that devised by Sellar and Yeatman in their  superb revision guide, published in 1930. How would youngsters today cope, faced with questions like these:

1. Stigmatize cursorily (a) Queen Mary (b) Judge Jeffrey's asides. (Speak out.)

2. What convinces you that Henry VIII had VIII wives? Was it worth it?

3. Conjugate briefly Ritzio and Mary Queen of Scots.

4."To the exercise of Despotic Monarchy the Crown is more essential than the throne." Refute with special reference to anything you know.

5.Why on earth was William of Orange?

But the trickiest question occurs at the beginning of Test Paper II which examines candidates' grasp of the period from 1066 up to the end (sic) of Henry III:

1. What is a Plantagenet? Do you agree?


I suspect even nordmann would struggle with that one.


PS I'm sorry I cannot answer sensibly, MM. The very mention of


Quote :

Today another set of school league tables and education statistics have been published ... so cue the inevitable anguish, excuses and political point scoring in the media.



has me reaching for the gin bottle. And I never touch spirits.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4831
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 30 Jan 2015, 08:26

But in an effort to answer sensibly (you will, I hope, have realised that this is actually a subject that touches me deeply), I shall simply say that we should ask of those whose business is league tables and "education statistics" -  cui bono?

In my experience, it was rarely, if ever, the children's.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 30 Jan 2015, 08:59

Have you noticed - if the results improve, the exams have been dumbed down, if they get worse, the teachers are not doing their job - just ask the Daily Wail, they'll you.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2546
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 30 Jan 2015, 09:51

It's a subject dear to myself too ... my sister has just retired after 40 of teaching, my father was a lecturer in further education and I've even done a few stints at further and higher level myself ... and while wanting to steadily improve standards is very laudable, I don't think league tables is the way to do it. Inevitably when you start to impose a measurement system like that, the whole system becomes geared to providing the required year on year gains. It's the same whether one talks about numbers of pupils passing exams, hospital waiting times, the performance of trains, resolution of complaints, whatever. As the saying goes "you don't make a pig fatter just by weighing it".

Whilst I understand the desire to "improve" in the long run, the old O-level system, where a set percentage each year got each grade, based on the assumption that pupils were not "cleverer" from one year to the next (as well as accommodating year-to-year fluctuations in the level of the exams - a far more regular occurence I'd have thought) at least gave long-term stability to the system. I know it's a rather trite thing to say, but both as a teacher in higher education and a recruiter in industry, all too often I found that a GCSE in English to be no guarantee of being able to write a coherent sentence, nor one in Maths to give me sufficient confidence that the certificate-bearer would be able to correctly add up a column of figures, even with a calculator.

I do also accept that there is much more to education that just passing exams. I always found the 11 plus particularly loathsome as it designated young children as either grammar-school sheep or secondary-school goats, with all that meant for their future lives, on a simple written test. Few, when they sat the 11 plus can have realised that they were sitting an exam for their future wealth and happiness - when I took it I didn't even know what it was I was taking, but I guess I must have passed. But by currently putting so much emphasis on exam grade based league tables, I rather feel the current system is now even more skewed towards just passing exams, rather than gaining a rounded education appropriate to the child.

I find it all rather depressing. I loved the occasions when I taught (albeit at post 16/higher education level) but I never wanted to teach in a regular school, and all teachers that do have my greatest admiration. Other countries don't seem to make such a meal of education ... or do they?
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura


Posts : 1799
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 30 Jan 2015, 10:37

League tables are for the benefit of those who compile them as a source of income. The are used by people whose child is not doing so well but who neither child nor parent  be blamed for it.

On the other hand, proven qualitythrough results - as in football league tables  on even playing fields and all that, perhaps they have some value. But hang on  - low league Bradford have just beaten top of the top Chelsea in the FA cup.

My comment to anyone who begins a league table discussion is not to be so silly........ it really such a blessing that we do not have hand guns in our handbags.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2546
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 30 Jan 2015, 12:44

@Priscilla wrote:
My comment to anyone who begins a league table discussion is not to be so silly........ it really such a blessing that we do not have hand guns in our handbags.

Well it was just a rant, P .... and reading the UK news I sometimes just get so very dismayed. It's not that there are many things "inherently" wrong, it's just those in "control" (ha!?) seem intent on making such a meal/hash/pig's ear/dog's dinner, of what isn't exactly a new nor unknown matter - and it's one that seems to work well enough when left alone, but rather worse when constantly tinkered with by ill-informed outsiders. And don't start me on those abominations to all reason that call themselves "Faith Schools".

Re guns - I'll just say this: I live in a fairly remote area which has quite a big hunting tradition - I enjoy game myself, though I do not hunt. So, quite a few people around have guns: high-powered rifles capable of stopping a 100kg charging wild boar. But I doubt anyone has pistols or semi-automatic weapons - what would they be for? And hunting rifles are always locked away (you need a police licence to have one anyway) and they are never carried openly about the village ... it's just not done and would be seen as rather rude, like going to the village shop in a bikini.

People here tend to leave their doors unlocked and I generally never lock the house, often for months on end. Again what would be the point: the doors and french windows are so old with no double-glazing and ancient locks, that just a good shove would easily give you access. My only neighbours are about 100m away well screened by trees, so they wouldn't hear a window being broken, and anyway they are two slightly dotty middle aged ladies who frequently come round to borrow spanners, pliers etc, and so I very much doubt they've got a gun. Oh and the phone and internet often do not work, and there's no mobile phone coverage here, so all in all we are very much left to ourselves to resolve any problems.

But please don't think we live in some sort of utopia: we have the same problems as many other places. The region has a large maghreb/muslim population, mostly new but some of these 'immigrant' families may actually have been living here for over 1500 years; it is one of the poorest regions of France with little industry beyond agriculture and tourism; it has great social divides between poor renting locals and rich 2nd home owning foreigners who just come here in summer ... we even have a very vocal and active independence movement (to be independent from both France and Spain). But overall everyone just gets on with life, we try to respect and help each other, and refuse to live in a ghetto of fear. And it certainly wouldn't occur to most people to arm themselves before answering the door at night. (Although Mme Douillac can still show you the secret shelter under her house where her parents hid allied airmen when the Gestapo came knocking on the door).

Oh and by the way I run a small hotel and twice to date I've had to handle dangerously aggressive guests. With no quick-response police back-up, one just has to deal with it alone .... and believe me, I still sincerely feel that such problems are always better resolved by talking rather than by getting out the six-shooter!


Last edited by Meles meles on Sat 31 Jan 2015, 08:46; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : silly typos and spellings)
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura


Posts : 1799
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 30 Jan 2015, 14:22

Oh. MM. did I sound that It was calling you silly? No, I meant people who witter on about leagues and their children being let down. And  agree about you thoughts on facing that sort of aggression as you managed. Publicans do it all the time - no gun under the counter.

Of course there are man degrees of it as Pax will rush in to list. I once out faced a roadside gang of thieves in Indian wilds - armed as well, the were - by not yielding a jot. I gave them a packet of cigs at the end - and they said thank you. My mother said I lived a charmed life.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 30 Jan 2015, 18:35

I happened to be at a BCS (British Computer Society) meeting a few months after the system was changed so that school leavers could only claim benefits if they attended college. Many of my fellow members were academics, both in HE and NAFE. They said it was the most destructive action yet to the quality of education for their pupils - the disruptive £$%^&* who had been a pain throughout their school years were now being disruptive £$%^&* in college. Making funding dependent on "bums on seats" made it worse - I was working for a company that prepared adults for City & Guilds exams, and a good third of them (who were paying handsomely for the courses) were teachers or FE lecturers utterly disillusioned by what was happening to their institutions.

BTW - the purpose of "league tables" is only incidentally to employ compilers of such vapid statistics - it is really to make the minister and permanent civil servants in whatever they are currently calling the department seem as if they are doing something, irrespective of the fact that the effort expended is wholly nugatory.
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura


Posts : 1799
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 30 Jan 2015, 18:48

Abroad, when a shiny new govt statistics block opened we got a spate of letters demanding all manner of information. These I binned. After a few months and a repeat batch, someone called and said I had to give the data. I said I wouldn't - some of it related to diplomats who wouuld be very upset if stuff about them was listed and that I couldn't see the point anyway. They got all flustered and called again and I said I wouldn't and that was the last we heard of it all. I lived an Alice in Wonderland sort of life there. My American counter part did all of his as requested and the backlash was a right old mess. I said we were much more experiemced at foreign affairs at all levels and that they should stop being so nice.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4831
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 30 Jan 2015, 19:17

I thought that cat poem was awful - and the pictures.

Sorry.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4831
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 30 Jan 2015, 19:19

Wrong thread.

Sorry.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 30 Jan 2015, 20:03

@Temperance wrote:
Wrong thread.

Sorry.
UNF instead of UNC, maybe?
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2546
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 01 Feb 2015, 09:49

And from today's news:

The Education Secretary, Mrs Morgan has said: "We will expect every pupil by the age of 11 to know their times tables off by heart, to perform long division and complex multiplication and to be able to read a novel. They should be able to write a short story with accurate punctuation, spelling and grammar. This aim is unapologetically ambitious."

..... and most of them can't do that already? But I thought 'standards' had been rising steadily, year on year, for the past 20 years? Rolling Eyes
Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura


Posts : 2353
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 01 Feb 2015, 10:07

to perform long division and complex multiplication

Why, for heaven's sake? I could do those and calculate a square root by hand but I knew nothing of set theory or prime numbers or lots of things about number theory that would, I think, have interested me far more than the grinding tedium of carrying out mechanical operations like those. OK, there's probably an argument for being able to make approximations to check that electronically produced results are in the right ball park but beyond that, it's about as useful as being able to grind your own corn.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4831
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 01 Feb 2015, 10:16

I passed "O" level Maths with a good grade, but I still get in a terrible muddle trying to work out how much wallpaper to buy. I wonder if I could still prove that Pythagoras thing. I remember you put QED at the end, but not much else. And I never knew the Latin for " quod est sort of demonstrandum"

I keep writing short stories and throwing them away.

I remember a comment in Private Eye about government education targets: the Eye noted that by 2015 it was hoped that more students would achieve a A* in Maths and English than were actually entered for the examination.
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura


Posts : 1799
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 13 Feb 2015, 23:07

Scream. I have heard the phrase, "Thank you very much, indeed." used 15 times on TV today. Even said by a reporter when introduced by a news reader.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sat 14 Feb 2015, 19:13

Someone should explain to radio people (principally guests, but presenters are not immune) that "absolutely" is not a suitable synonym for "yes", and terminate with extreme prejudice any guilty of using it repeatedly in an interview.
Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura


Posts : 2353
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sat 14 Feb 2015, 20:25

While they're at it, would someone please explain that simplistic is NOT a fancier synonym of simple and so using it as such makes a nonsense of what the speaker is intending to convey.
More importantly, it gets on my wick.
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura


Posts : 1799
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sat 14 Feb 2015, 23:17

Oh dear, flattened wick noted, ferv because I  have often used it on these boards in apology for the simple way I view things; point noted.
Back to top Go down
Islanddawn
Censura


Posts : 1993
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Greece

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 03:25

I'd be happy if reporters (and people in general) would stop using the word decimated for any catastrophic event that effects entire populations.
Back to top Go down
Caro
Censura


Posts : 1055
Join date : 2012-01-09

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 05:06

This doesn't bother me at all; I think it is far more useful in that context than its literal meaning, which can ever be used. How often do a specific 10% of people get killed in any event?
Back to top Go down
Islanddawn
Censura


Posts : 1993
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Greece

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 05:35

So you're saying we should use any old word, no matter the actual meaning just because it isn't useful all that often in the intended context Caro?

Don't see how a word can be useful to describe something that it is not, when the very word itself tells you what the meaning is in two languages. Latin - decimus -10. Greek - deca - 10. Confusing more like, especially when there are other words to use that would be a correct description.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 09:54

I will accept no plea in mitigation for those who can't tell the difference between "militate" and "mitigate".
Clue - "mitigate against" is meaningless.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ


Posts : 5371
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 10:33

"Decimated" is so often used these days to allude to a number being reduced to one tenth of its starting point that it has become almost fatuous to point out its actual meaning.

News reporters also apparently have a blind spot when it comes to the subtle but important difference between "consists of" and "is/are comprised of" when identifying componential character. In legal speech, where such nuances are vital, the former need not be an exhaustive list of components whereas the latter must be. At the moment there is also a concerted attempt (largely being pursued by one rather sad Wikipedia editor) to eliminate the passive "comprised of" completely from the language, or at least from Wikipedia, and enforce only its active form "comprises/comprised". This is simply stupid.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4831
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 11:32

Tricky little blighters, words. Always changing their minds and their meanings. Who is to be master, one asks oneself?


Caro and ID, this is for you - Caro wins the argument on a technicality I think! Tithe, not tenth!


http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/09/does-decimate-mean-destroy-one-tenth/
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4831
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 13:17

I want to scream every time I hear the word "iconic". It is used all the time these days about so many people and things.

I was in the House of Fraser store in Exeter yesterday trying to buy some make-up from the Clinique lady. I wanted to purchase some concealer to hide the black rings I get under my eyes when I can't sleep. She waved this tube of stuff at me (Clinique Airbrush Concealer - Illuminates, Perfects) and assured me that this product was her company's "new iconic concealer". I was puzzled.

What does this mean? Will I look like an image of the Virgin Mary if I use it? Will I resemble a victorious Greek athlete? Will I suddenly be famous? Is the concealer famous?


The iconic concealer.


PS To my shame I bought some - as always the triumph of hope over experience. It does not work. I am neither illuminated nor perfected today. And I don't feel very iconic either (can you feel iconic?).
Back to top Go down
Nielsen
Consulatus


Posts : 231
Join date : 2011-12-31
Location : Denmark

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 14:04

@Temperance wrote:
...


PS To my shame I bought some - as always the triumph of hope over experience. It does not work. I am neither illuminated nor perfected today. And I don't feel very iconic either (can you feel iconic?).

Temp,

Are you certain you don't mean ironic?

So often these days, when reading something in modern English it gives so much more meaning when exchanging iconic with ironic, imo.


Last edited by Nielsen on Sun 15 Feb 2015, 14:49; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 14:42

Quantum leap - smallest possible movement.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4831
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 15:14

@Nielsen wrote:


Temp,

Are you certain you don't mean ironic?


Smile

I expect I do, Nielsen.
Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura


Posts : 2353
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 15:47

What nonsense, Temp. Why, surely everyone knows that Touche Eclat is the iconic concealer.

The dreadful tangle that folk get into using 'under-' and 'over-' estimate when following 'should not', 'could not', 'it's impossible to' and so forth, that one drives me nuts as well.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 15:57

I dislike "up to 50% off" - but how about "up to half price"? Doesn't that mean nothing costs more than half the original price? How about "300% cheaper". Shouldn't they pay me twice the competitor's price to take the product away?
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Decemviratus Legibus Scribundis


Posts : 610
Join date : 2013-09-16

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 15 Feb 2015, 19:57

I fear that some of the "loans" that are on TV may ensnare folk who are not that au fait with maths. Well to be honest maths are not my strong suit but I can work out that 175% repayment rate - which I heard on one TV advert for a "loan" during the run-up to Christmas is way over the odds.  I hope this doesn't make me sound horrible but I don't think I would be anyone's guarantor.  During my working life I had a colleague whose husband had been a guarantor for his alleged "best friend".  The best friend did a bunk to - I think - South Africa, so my colleague's husband had to step up to the mark and pay off the "friend's" debts.  They were hardworking folk so they got through it (this had been before I knew the lady) but what a horrible position to be in.
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura


Posts : 1799
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 05 Mar 2015, 14:51

Several of those awful household catalogues arrived today........ they sell things of genuine granite and real leather and natural cotton....... I never  buy when the adj grates.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 05 Mar 2015, 16:16

Poor Adjutant - why is he being treated thus?
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura


Posts : 1799
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 05 Mar 2015, 16:24

Since he got dot too short and me too lazy.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sat 14 Mar 2015, 21:50

Catch 22 nothing!
Apparently I haven't worked enough shifts for The Agency for my DBS to remain valid, so I have to pay for a new one. However, since I've not worked enough shifts to keep the present one valid, allowing for tax and travelling expenses, I've made less than a quid an hour, so it really isn't worth paying for a new one. Told The Head Agencywallahess I'd decided to emigrate instead - and to address any future missives to Der Hauptmann von Köpenick.
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Decemviratus Legibus Scribundis


Posts : 610
Join date : 2013-09-16

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 27 Mar 2015, 12:49

The DBS is the same as the old Criminal Records Check I believe.  Mine is out of date (it was a CRB so shows how old it was) now as most of the work I have done for the last couple of years has been from home so I haven't needed one. That is not a very good rate Gilgamesh (is that factoring travelling costs and paying for a criminal records check etc)?

My "whinge" of the day is nothing to do with Gilgamesh, however.  Yesterday afternoon I posted a birthday card to my brother whose big day is today but he lives in the south of the country - not that we bother about candles on the cakes etc - but I noticed that the local postbox now has only one collection a day at 9.00 am so he won't get it till after the event anyway.
Back to top Go down
Caro
Censura


Posts : 1055
Join date : 2012-01-09

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Mon 06 Apr 2015, 00:11

My rant is probably a bit of an easy target - insurance companies and airlines.  We had booked tickets to go north to our son's to help him with painting his renovations.  (Though I only paint at about chest level - I don't go on ladders, and I don't kneel or bend over much.) Naturally, and as I am sure I mentioned to them, these don't happen as quickly as you expect and are more expensive than you hope, so are not going to be ready for our painting. 

When my husband tried to get the tickets changed with the insurance we'd paid with the tickets, it turns out that whatever reason you have for changing your tickets turns out to be one of the reasons they are not eligible.  So no circumstances you were aware of when you booked, no change of plans (why else would you want to change your tickets, if it wasn't for a change of plans?), no rescheduling of any medical or other appointment or meeting, no suicide (they obviously belief in ghosts and spirits!), no stress, depression, self-inflicted injury, no nervous disorder, no wars or insurrections, no nuclear contamination, no failure of the travel agent or airline due to their insolvency.  Most of this wasn't mentioned on the website where you are encouraged to book.  On the other hand what is covered is if you have to cancel or re-arrange your journey due to unforeseen circumstances.  I wouldn't foresee that an airline was going to become insolvent, or that my meeting was to be rescheduled, or that I would have a self-inflicted injury (aren't most injuries self-inflicted? does falling off a ladder count?).  

But on the rave side, the other day our bank paid us an unexpected $250.  It just came in the mail.  Turned out that when our son and dil came home and took out a mortgage with our bank, that (with a bit of encouragement from our son) was considered us recommending the bank.  (And it was - the bank officer my husband deals with is very good indeed. He calls her his girlfriend Agnes.) So both they and us got a free $250.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4831
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 09 Apr 2015, 11:10

I had my hair cut yesterday and, while in the hairdressers, flicked through all the glossy magazines which tell us what we should aspire to be.

In May's Vogue (this year's mag - it's no longer April at Vogue), I came across an article in the Beauty Section: "Hidden Treasures - with some face creams now nudging the £1000 mark, how do the brands making them justify such eye-watering price tags?"

The article's title asked the question, but provided few answers, other than saying the various creams looked, felt and smelt nice. There are apparently several mind-bogglingly expensive pots or tubes or vials of unguent to be had, presumably on sale only in Harrods or Harvey Nics or other such dead posh emporia. You don't get them in Boots in Barnstaple. For our rich sisters in London, however, there's a new "serum" from Crème de la Mer (Cream of the Sea??) costing over £1000 and Dior offers L'Or de Vie La Cure at £1200. A Japanese brand Sensai, famed for its "technologically-advanced skincare", sells at a cheapo £580: it has a slightly lost-in-translation name of Ultimate The Cream.

But it's the advertising hype that goes with these products that made me want to post this here today, although whether I'm ranting at the senseless idiocy of it all, or raving at the sheer mad exuberance of the claims, I'm not sure.

For example, I like the following - the idea of putting my skin's clock back - sort of dermatological BST- really appeals:

Revive's Peau Magnifique Youth Recruit £930, is a "28-day treatment specifically for use around the eyes. Four separate vials ensure the active ingredients stay potent for the duration, and its tests promise a clinically proven reset of your skin's aging clock by a minimum of five years."

But this is an absolute corker - do the girls in Harrods really come out with this nonsense to the rich customers and manage to keep a straight face?

111 Skin's Celestial Black Diamond Cream, £599, contains rare diamond particles believed to have been found in space.

Found in space? I kid you not.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2546
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 09 Apr 2015, 12:51

All those supposedly "rejuvenating" products are actually terribly bad for the complexion. They mostly work by drying out the skin and so tightening up all the wrinkles (you can get the same effect much cheaper by using hemorrhoid cream on those little baggies under the eyes, though I wouldn't recommend it). In short these products work for 12 hours or so but with repeated use they reduce the skin's elasticity. So you're almost signing a Faustian pact with the manufacturers because by using their stuff you are actually enhancing skin ageing, the symptoms of which can only be cosmetically masked, albeit for just a few hours at most, by use of the same sort of products.

As a gay man I'm supposed to be obsessed by Clinique's vast and ever-changing range of male grooming products ... but I have actually hardly ever used any of them (Lidl's cheapest discount shower gel is more my thing). My partner worked as an airline steward and so always had to look glam' ... and with a staff discount in all the duty-free boutiques at Gatwick and airports around the world, he used to swear by all these creams, portions and serums. Yet in his late 30s he was the one with the premature bags under the eyes and, despite me being 10 years older, people used to think we were twins!

Quote :
111 Skin's Celestial Black Diamond Cream, £599, contains rare diamond particles believed to have been found in space."

..... sounds like standard metallurgical lapping paste, used for grinding/polishing metal to a mirror finish (although boringly such paste just uses diamonds that are industrially made on earth). It's about £100 for a 50g tube, but a little goes a long way ... and you can choose the size of diamond too: 7µm, 5µm, 3µm, 1µm etc, depending on what grade of polish you need. It comes ready blended with a waxy oil so it's probably quite good for the skin too ... I spent some 20 years hand polishing metallurgical samples for microscopy, and the tips of my fingers were always baby smooth!
Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura


Posts : 2353
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 09 Apr 2015, 14:42

But this is an absolute corker - do the girls in Harrods really come out with this nonsense to the rich customers and manage to keep a straight face?

With no problem, I'd guess, since I've been convinced for years that those counters are staffed by aliens since no-one on this earth looks or talks as they do.

It's not those pricey creams that I need, it's the self discipline (or self absorption) to apply anything regularly for more than a fortnight.

Having read MM's comments I may now try a gentle buff with extra fine sandpaper.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4831
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 09 Apr 2015, 16:41

@Meles meles wrote:


As a gay man I'm supposed to be obsessed by Clinique's vast and ever-changing range of male grooming products ... but I have actually hardly ever used any of them (Lidl's cheapest discount shower gel is more my thing). My partner worked as an airline steward and so always had to look glam' ... and with a staff discount in all the duty-free boutiques at Gatwick and airports around the world, he used to swear by all these creams, portions and serums. Yet in his late 30s he was the one with the premature bags under the eyes and, despite me being 10 years older, people used to think we were twins!

Quote :
111 Skin's Celestial Black Diamond Cream, £599, contains rare diamond particles believed to have been found in space."

..... sounds like standard metallurgical lapping paste, used for grinding/polishing metal to a mirror finish (although boringly such paste just uses diamonds that are industrially made on earth). It's about £100 for a 50g tube, but a little goes a long way ... and you can choose the size of diamond too: 7µm, 5µm, 3µm, 1µm etc, depending on what grade of polish you need. It comes ready blended with a waxy oil so it's probably quite good for the skin too ... I spent some 20 years hand polishing metallurgical samples for microscopy, and the tips of my fingers were always baby smooth!



Right, so next time I'm in Harvey Nics, I'll ask for a  tube of Estée Lauder's best metallurgical lapping paste SPF 15.  Smile

I like Clinique stuff (for women, that is): I've used their Dramatically Different Moisturiser for nearly thirty years now - gosh, thirty years of self-absorption and/or self-discipline! Don't know if it's made the slightest bit of difference, dramatic or otherwise, but, as extravagant female vices go (it's £30 for a two month's supply), it's  been quite a harmless and modest one. No doubt the fact that I continue with it is a good example of hope over experience.

Actually, genes play a huge part in how badly - or well -  your skin ages. But the real baddies are sun, smoking and stress. And not enough fat in the diet. Lots of olive oil on your salads, no smoking and a good sunscreen every day work far better than £1000 pots of gunge from outer space.


Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 09 Apr 2015, 17:28

@ferval wrote:

With no problem, I'd guess, since I've been convinced for years that those counters are staffed by aliens since no-one on this earth looks or talks as they do.
Presumably they bring the diamonds with them!
Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura


Posts : 2353
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 09 Apr 2015, 17:40

Smile
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura


Posts : 1397
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Thu 09 Apr 2015, 19:17

Actually all diamonds come (presumably) from space. The earth is part of space, ergo ......
Back to top Go down
Vizzer
Decemviratus Legibus Scribundis


Posts : 710
Join date : 2012-05-12

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Fri 10 Apr 2015, 23:37

Simple Moisturiser. Currently retailing at £1.98 for a 125ml bottle.



Developed in 1960 but only taking off in the 1980s following an advertising campaign with the iconic slogan - Not perfumed, not coloured, just kind.

This should really be on the Daily Rave thread as I'm one of their loyal customers.
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Decemviratus Legibus Scribundis


Posts : 610
Join date : 2013-09-16

PostSubject: Re: The Daily Rant    Sun 12 Apr 2015, 15:12

I usually buy a generic moisturiser - whatever seems reasonable in "Savers" or some such shop. Sorry to be such a cheapskate.  The "Magic" shop in my hometown (not that I have ever bought any 'magic' - how could one buy something that would be abstract if it existed anyway) is advertising a course in homemade creams and moisturisers. It looks intriguing but is not cheap so I don't know...I suppose at least that way one would know what went into the moisturiser.

As to the encounter I had a few days ago with Champion the ??"Wonder"?? Mouse that I mentioned on the "Moggie" thread recently, I spent much of yesterday filling in holes with something like Pollyfilla only a different brand.  A lady next-door-but-one rang to say she'd seen rats in her garden and wondered if I had been thus troubled. She had called rat-catchers in to deal and they had said putting food out for the birds could help attract the critters.  The house between that lady's and mine is uninhabited so it's possible they are having a party there.....though not definite. Such food as I put out for the birds is hanging from half coconuts from the apple tree well up the garden so should be far enough away not to attract the rodents I would have thought.
Back to top Go down
 

The Daily Rant

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 9Go to page : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The pub ... :: The Eagle and Child-