: “Linguists have identified Britain’s first multi-ethnic dialect – a variant of English that includes words and sounds from cockney, Jamaican creole, Bengali and other languages. “

Interesting. Currently this is a phenomenon of ethnically integrated urban metropoli, so I don’t really expect the kids of Aldershot to start going on about their nang creps just yet. However, if the patois continues to be used in British urban music I can see it spreading to smaller towns.

Next steps after that? First there’ll be a linguistic divide between those that speak raait and those that think it’s an offensive corruption of the Queen’s English. Then the dialect will become popular with public schoolkids wanting to sound cool. Eventually your mum will pick up a few words and throw them into casual conversation to sound ‘with it’, essentially and finally sounding the death knell for this particular trend.

Maybe in 20 years time we’ll be left with only a few dialects left in Britain. Raait, l33t and BBC…

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BBC NEWS | Wales | Drunk consent rape case scrutiny: “Jennifer Temkin, a professor of law at Sussex University, said it would be a tricky area to clarify.

‘If you have sex and you consent to it when you are drunk then that isn’t rape,’ she told BBC Wales.

‘If someone has sex with you when you are unconscious then that is rape.

‘The really difficult area is in between, where the person is so drunk they are not unconscious and are so drunk that they are not really able to consent.

‘What happens in these cases is that the defence will try to argue that this person did consent and she can’t get out of it just because she was drunk.’ “

What a tricky and controversial topic this is… On the one hand, no woman who was drunk when she was raped wants to feel that her case is worthless due to this ruling. On the other hand, no man wants to worry about sleeping with a drunken woman in case she calls it rape when she sobers up.

And what exactly does ‘consent’ entail? Drunken sexual encounters are more likely to arise out of a series of drunken snogs and fumblings before turning fully sexual and much less likely to involve a detailed question and answer session regarding intent, consent and approval. And even if the conversation does take place, what if it is not remembered the next morning?

Dangerous ground all around.

We interrupt the retelling of last week’s travels with a personal rant on the topic of those multi-coloured charity wristbands. Generally the wearers tell us that they like to advertise the causes they’re interested in, whether it’s poverty, bullying, cancer or whatever. Personally, I see them as a kind of charity bling, proclaiming to the world “I am considerably more charitable than yo!” with the implication that the wearers are somehow better people.

I think it’s bad enough that problems such as cancer and famine are dependant on charitable donations and I believe that charitable donations, if made, should be made discretely.

Saying that though, I can see it from the charity’s point of view; they don’t care whether people donate out of feelings of charity, guilt or hubris as long as they hand over cash. But I still find the wristbands terribly gauche.

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BBC NEWS | UK | Drunk young women ‘taking risks’

: “A shocking new survey conducted for responsible drinking campaigners, The Portman Group, shows that almost four in ten young women (36%) have been sexually assaulted after getting drunk.”

I had so many angles on this topic in my head about this topic, but after evaluating them all, I realised that there is no safe way for a man to talk about sexual abuse publicly. It’s just going to go wrong regardless, it’s such a touchy subject, and if you don’t know exactly who your audience is, and what their opinions are and how open-minded they are, you’re totally screwed.

So I shall just leave you with the link, the quote, the above back-peddle, the disclaimer that I do think sexual abuse is a terrible thing and the following question: Which definition of sexual abuse did the Portman Group use when commisioning this survey?

Dutch Reporter to Use Heroin, Pot on TV – Yahoo! News: “A field reporter for a new Dutch television talk show plans to use heroin and other illegal drugs on the air during the weekly program on issues that concern young people, producers said Wednesday. “

Bizarre. But what can you expect from the country that brought us Big Brother?

However, there were some interesting statistics at the end of the article:

6 percent of Dutch have used marijuana recently, compared with 8 percent in the United States, 8 percent in Britain and 9 percent in France. For cocaine, it was 1.1 percent in Holland — and rising quickly — compared to 1.3 percent in the United States, 1.5. percent in Britain and 0.3 percent in France.

BBC NEWS | Politics | Call to end sex education opt-out

This came out of the LibDem conference, and I’m all in favour of it. I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as an opt out, which just seems insane. I hope we never get to the state in the UK as they have in the US, where sex education is thought to encourage sex. The UK already has the second highest teenage pregnacy rate in the developed world (the US having the highest, they must obviously have too much sex education).

“I know I’ve just filled up my SUV that was ¾ full of petrol anyway, so I could drop the kids off at school 1 mile down the road and then go to Waitrose, but I’m not panic-buying. I’m just getting extra fuel in case it all runs out because of all the other people. They’re the ones who are panic buying. I’m just being… prudent!”

“Everyone should be able to buy all the petrol they want because I personally need to. I’m a travelling salesman/I live in a rural cottage 50 miles from the nearest bus stop/my grandmother is sick/some other reason that doesn’t apply to 90% of the people queuing up outside of petrol stations.”

“There are no alternatives to petrol cars! Okay, there are hybrid cars and electric cars and super-fuel-efficient cars and methane-powered cars, but they aren’t as impressive/big/fast so I can’t buy one.”

“I’m going to protest how expensive the petrol is by buying as much as I possibly can!”

“I know there are no actual blockades of refineries and refilling trucks are moving as normal, but I’m going to fill three cans of petrol and this jam jar right to the brim, just in case!”