Friday, January 26, 2007

I heart study days

Today is a study day - I am meant to stay at home and study independently.

Of course, what I actually do is lie in, cook myself breakfast, phone partner dude and meet him for lunch in I did all this and then I had a sudden compulsion to walk into a rather swank hairdressers. As it turned out someone had just cancelled an appointment with one of their male hairdressers and they asked if I wanted it. I have had great experiences with two male hairdressers, both have been willing to take risks with my hair, talk me out of conservative styles and make me feel confident enough to let them loose. Today was no different, I somewhat impulsively said, "Ok, do whatever you like with my hair."

He did - I now have short hair at the back, long hair at the front, some very choppy layers and my hair is poker straight. Now I am nervously waiting partner dude's return from work. This is what study days are for.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Little Mosque on the Prairie

I stumbled across this new sitcom on Canadian TV - its absolutely hilarious! It is about a small Muslim community in small town Canada.

"Mom, stop it with the guilt, no don't put dad on. I've been planning this for months, its not like I dropped a bomb on them. Look, if dad thinks its suicide, so be it! This is Allah's plan for me." So says the new Imam on the telephone to his disapproving parents in the queue at Toronto airport on his way to the new mosque in the can imagine what happens next.

Thankfully, some Youtuber is making it available to the rest of the world. It is split into two parts the first is here and the second, here. You'll need to excuse the advertising in the second part - try to see it as a more authentic cross-Atlantic television viewing experience...(yes, it's really irritating!)

I'm sure it will give you a real giggle!

I am hoping they post the next installment soon :).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New laws protecting gay rights

I am trying to work out how I feel about the new laws that make it illegal to refuse to provide services (e.g. a room in a guest house, a wedding photographer) to same sex couples. Here's one of the latest news items from the BBC about it, in case people aren't aware

On the one hand, I welcome anything that prevents discrimination and affords people equal status in our society. Imagine if a business refused to serve black people, or disabled people, we'd be appalled, and rightly so. But, as religious groups protest, saying the law requires them to act contrary to their faith, I can't help but wonder if the law is the right place to fight the battle.

We can change laws, but its going to take a lot more to change hearts and minds, and that's where real equality can be achieved. Imagine a society, where we didn't need anti-discrimination laws because we valued people for their race, culture, religion, abilities, sexuality etc., and gladly welcomed everyone.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Adult ADHD, not treated properly - too true!

The BBC have published an unusually sensible article (for the British media, they usually prefer parent-blaming, anti-psychiatry, unscientific, biggotted, stigmatising rhetoric when it comes to ADHD) about the lack of treatment for adult ADHD in the UK.

A while back I talked to a psychiatrist (a really nice one actually, who I get on extremely well with) about an adult client of mine who I was convinced had kidding, this person could not sit still, concentrate, fiddled and fidgetted...classic symptoms, and they were having an enormous impact on their day to day life.

So I called the psychiatrist who was involved with the person and asked if he minded if I did an adult ADHD screening test and whether he'd be willing to accept a referral for adult ADHD.

"Yes," he said, "and that client almost certainly has ADHD, their younger siblings certainly do."

"Oh great," I said, "so I will go ahead."

"There is little point," said the psychiatrist, "its pretty evident this is an organic condition for this person, but as they weren't treated with stimulant drugs as a child, we aren't able to prescribe them in adulthood."

"WHAT?!" I said, "that is madness! I cannot imagine the potential improvements in this client's life if some of these symptoms were under more control. I am fairly certain that a high proportion of their current problems are due to ADHD, and medication might well be hugely beneficial."

"Oh yes, "said the psychiatrist, "I quite agree. It is madness, but it is also policy."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thanks Peterson :)

For posting this reflection on the need for non-violent action to promote and spread peace & justice in the world.

The video was made for Martin Luther King day in the States, but I think the general message is just as pertinent in the UK.

I've been trying to think what my new year's resolutions might be. I've come up with the usual list...

-get fitter
-work smarter (not harder)

I've even gone and done my research on potential new fitness programs at the gym...(is a cardio combat class appropriate for a Quaker? ;P)

But actually, I think I should find a way of peace-making more actively and this presentation is a timely reminder. I'm reminded of something from Quaker Advices and Queries.

"Are you alert to practices here and throughout the world which discriminate against people on the basis of who or what they are or because of their beliefs? Bear witness to the humanity of all people, including those who break society's conventions or its laws. Try to discern new growing points in social and economic life. Seek to understand the causes of injustice, social unrest and fear. Are you working to bring about a just and compassionate society which allows everyone to develop their capacities and fosters the desire to serve?

Remember your responsibilities as a citizen for the conduct of local, national and international affairs. Do not shrink from the time and effort your involvement may demand."
--Advices and Queries, Britain Yearly Meeting (emphasis mine)

I'll be going back to our Quaker meeting this Sunday after a month off with having been to Southampton to do my PhD viva and then staying with various family over the Christmas and new year holidays. I shall try to listen to where I should be going with my responsibility to promote peace and stand non-violently against acts of war and violence.

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it."
--M.L King

Thanks Peterson a timely inspiration as always.