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Top 10 Most Generous Britains April 23, 2010

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Mention the term ‘hedge fund trader’ and everybody bristles.

Greedy.  Immoral.  Money-grubbing gits.

But did you know that a certain hedge fund trader has also been rated as the most generous, charity-giving person in Britain?

Step forward Christopher Coopher-Hohn.

This guy has topped the Giving List for the last three years running – and with good reason.  He’s donated a whopping £531.2 million to the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the charity he and his wife help run.  That means he’s donated more than six times his personal wealth to a good cause!

The news comes around as The Sunday Times reveals its Top 10 Most Generous Britains.

The paper ranks the rich on the proportion of their total wealth given to charitable causes in one year, rather than looking solely at the size of donation.  And it’s packed with surprises!

Did you know that the guy behind Kwik Save, Albert Gubay, has donated 470m to charity?

Did you also know that Uma Thurman and her husband Arpad Busson are fifth in the list, having given £65.1 million to helping poor and abused children?

The list in full is as follows:

  1. Christopher Cooper-Hohn
  2. Albert Gubay
  3. Bart Becht
  4. Anurag Dikshit
  5. Arpad Busson & Uma Thurman
  6. Lord Sainsbury
  7. Johan Eliasch
  8. Sir Terence Conran
  9. Sir Elton John
  10. Bob Edmiston

Good going, guys!  Keep up the good work!

You can check out the full breakdown here.

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Gordon Brown “like soil mixed with Marmite” April 22, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Bizarre, Politics.
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As the general election draws ever closer, nerves are fraught.  Who are we going to vote for?  And can we truly differentiate between the policies of the main three parties?

James Wannerton can.  He’s the president of the UK Synaesthesia Association. He experiences words as tastes and textures, a neurological condition known as lexical-gustatory synaesthesia.  Which makes him a prime candidate on giving us another view on the prime candidates! (did you see what we did there?)

Here’s Wannterton’s review of ITV’s recent televised election debate:

Gordon Brown’s name tastes horrible, and his flavour was nasty – like soil mixed with Marmite. That said, he was good on education, when he tasted of peaches, sliced potato and bacon.

Nick Clegg tastes of a pickled onion yet he kept turning soft, mushy and warm. Immigration was good for him. His speech reminded me of sweets I had as a kid – fruit pastilles, Spangles and liquorice.

David Cameron’s flavour was best. He gave me a taste of ink, which I find comforting. His name tastes of macaroons, but he said sorry so frequently it covered the macaroons with condensed milk.

So there you have it.  Mmm…. ink.

Top 10 Paying Jobs for Women April 22, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Music, Politics, Sex / Relationships.
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CCNMoney.com has just released the top 10 paying jobs for women in the United States.

The winners are:

1. Chief Executive

2. Pharmacist

3. Lawyer

4. Computer and IT Manager

5. Software Engineer

6. Physician or Surgeon

7. Computer Programmer

8. Management Analyst

9. Computer Scientist

10. Occupational Therapist

…. But as the website reminds us, although these jobs may pay the big bucks, men in the same positions earn even more.

The Power of Three April 15, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Film / TV, Politics.
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Tonight (Thursday) sees the first of three political debates between David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg.

The live debate is to be shown on ITV from 8.30pm.  The BBC One and Sky will host debates on successive Thursdays.

No doubt viewers will be watching the potential PMs’ every move….

Making Your Mind Up April 10, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Politics.
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With the UK general election just under a month away, it’s time to start seriously thinking who you’re going to vote for.

But what if you’re on the fence, like BWT?  What if you can’t make up your mind?

Votematch.org.uk is a handy tool to help you on your way.  Upon visiting, you are given numerous statements relating to government policy, such as healthcare and immigration.  You can either agree with those statements, disagree, keep an open mind, or simply skip (pictured, above.)

At the end, the program will tally up your responses, and tell you which political party best matches your opinions.

Pretty nifty, eh?

Just Got Out of Prison? Here, Have Some Drugs April 9, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Health, Politics.
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Few would disagree that trying to overcome a drug addiction is hard.

Now imagine trying to overcome it in prison, where a flow of drugs is often rife.

Seems pretty impossible, doesn’t it?  But some prisoners do manage to beat their demons.  And imagine those drug-free prisoners, upon their return to society, being given methadone (a heroin substitute), by the very people who helped them get clean in the first place.

Such is the situation with English prisons over the past five years.

The process, called “retoxification”, is allegedly designed to boost the tolerance of former addicts who are deemed likely to start using drugs on their release, to minimise the risk of them taking an overdose.

But critics of the treatment have accused prison doctors, acting under Department of Health guidelines, of “state-sponsored” drug dealing and “giving up on tackling” the problem.

Kathy Gyngell, of the Centre for Policy Studies, said: “It gives the impression the Government is giving up on tackling drug addiction.

“This doesn’t get people off drugs – but captures them in the grip of methadone instead.”

It is claimed that retoxification is used at 33 prisons in England, and can be offered to former addicts even if the length of their sentences mean they have been free of drugs for some time.

Health Department spokesperson said: “The Department of Health does not have a central programme of retoxification of prisoners.

“In exceptional circumstances, qualified doctors can decide whether to use this treatment and the clinical guidance is clear that they should only do so when there is a serious risk of the prisoner reusing drugs immediately on release and therefore putting themselves at risk of death from an accidental drugs overdose if they don’t get it.

“Other drug treatment techniques should always be used first.”

What do you think, BWT readers?  Does the Health Department have a point?

Stop or My Monkey Will Shoot April 7, 2010

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Santisuk, the pig-tailed macaque monkey, joins Thai police on patrol.

More here.

Prostitution: The Stats April 5, 2010

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For a larger image, click here.

Air Pollution Shortens Lives by Nine Years March 29, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Health, News, Politics.
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Serious YIKES!

The House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee has just released findings that people living in air pollution ‘hotspots’ could find their average life expectancy shortened by NINE YEARS.

Tiny particles of sulphate, carbon and dust are the most damaging to health, but nitrogen oxides and ozone also have an effect. The UK is in breach of European regulations for all of these, and could face fines of up to £300 million. Road transport is the main culprit. Power plants also churn out damaging particles but mostly away from cities.

Only a radical shift in transport policy will allow the UK to meet its targets, the report concludes. “But such a shift is unlikely to occur in the next 10 years, unless the government starts taking sustainable transport seriously,” says Paul Firmin of the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds, UK.

Judge: A Nice House in a Poor Area Deserves to be Robbed March 25, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Bizarre, Politics.
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Laurent, a wealthy businessman, had had enough.

Since living in Charleroi, an infamously run-down area in the south of Belgium, his car had been stolen (twice), his family threatened, and himself kidnapped by armed men.

So, like any logical person, he decided to move his family out of their lovely home, to live in another – safer- area.

However, a judge is now ordering Laurent to pay back a £5,000 house renovation grant, because he had behaved “unreasonably” in leaving the region.

“It is perhaps not sensible to draw attention to oneself by driving a Jaguar and living in a big house, making an ostentatious display of one’s wealth in a poor and damaged region like Charleroi,” said the judge.

The businessman’s lawyer accused the civil court of supporting “hooligans”.

“In Charleroi, you must drive in a Trabant, wear a tracksuit and live in a slum to be safe from criminals and above reproach from judges,” said Clément de Clety.

Charleroi, in the heart of Wallonia, is said by most Belgians – including its inhabitants, known as Carolos – to be the most depressing place in Europe.

The city has become notorious as the home of the paedophile serial killer, Marc Dutroux. Another Carolo, Muriel Degauque, became the world’s first white, female suicide Islamist bomber when she blew herself up in Baghdad in 2005.

If you ask us, the judge was completely out of order.  Still!  On the bright side, £5,000 is a relatively small price to pay for making sure your family is safe and secure.