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The Rich Tapestry of Life Page
Odds and ends that don’t fit anywhere else, information, general knowledge, light-hearted quips and quotes from all over the place that make up the ‘rich tapestry of life’ for reading in those odd moments when you have nothing else to do! Read on and enjoy.
This is PAGE THIRTEEN - Another “Life and Human  Encounter”   Page
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Changes in Family Life
Grandparents would win new legal rights for access to their grandchildren after divorce under proposals to be announced today.
Separating parents would be expected to ensure that grandparents continued to have a role in the lives of children after their parents split up, a Whitehall review will recommend.
The proposal is aimed at ending what ministers see as the scandal in which almost half of all grandparents whose children divorce never see their grandchildren again.
Divorcing couples would draw up parenting agreements, explicitly setting out contact arrangements for any grandparents.
If the agreements were breached and a mother or father reneged on a deal, the agreements could then be cited as evidence in court under the draft plans.
The recommendation is part of a sweeping review of the family justice regime commissioned by the Government and led by David Norgrove, a former civil servant.
The Government is likely to accept the recommendations after Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said last year that it was “crazy” that millions of grandparents lost contact after separation and divorce. He said that they often played a vital role if relationships broke down.
In 2009, 113,949 divorces were registered in England and Wales. Currently, one in three couples divorces before the 15th anniversary, compared with one in five a generation ago.
(Source: The Times 31st March 2011)

Sizes of Settlements
A hamlet = a settlement traditionally without a church.
A village = a settlement traditionally with a church.
A town (or market town) = a settlement that has, at some point in its existence, been given the right to hold a market.
A city = a settlement that has been given city status by the monarch or parts of the British government. Contrary to popular opinion just having a cathedral doesn't automatically raise your town to city status.

Wilful Blindness
We go through life searching for good matches and when we find one it feels good; the more something is like us the more we’re inclined to like it....  So when subjects in an experiment were led to believe that they shared a birthday with Rasputin, they were far more lenient in judging the mad monk than those who had nothing in common with him. Just the thought that they shared a birthday made people like him more.
Even when it's something as trivial as our own initials, we stick to what we know best. A meta-analysis of the most severe hur­ricanes between 1998 and 2005 showed that people were more likely to donate to relief funds if the hurricane's name shared their first initial – so Kate and Katherine were more likely to donate to Hurricane Katrina relief than Zoe was.
In other experiments, asked to choose a preferred letter from several pairs of letters, subjects tended, quite reliably, to opt for letters from their own names. What's so interesting about these findings is that the letters themselves are meaningless – nothing will happen as a result of the choices made. Yet still the partici­pants gravitated towards letters they see, and sign, every day.
When you take this out of the lab and into the real world, the same pattern emerges. Carol, it seems, is more likely to drink Coke while Pete will choose Pepsi.' Leo likes Listerine but Catherine prefers Colgate. And while those choices may seem unimportant, it appears that life choices too may be influenced by those initials we love so much. Dentists are over-represented by people whose names begin with ‘D’ and there are more people named George than you should expect to find living in  Georgia. Familiarity, it turns out, does not breed contempt. It breeds comfort.  
(Source: ‘Wilful Blindness’ by Margaret Heffernan)

The Skinflints Calendar – How to save money throughout the year – April
Don't buy any Easter eggs; just tell everyone you have and then pretend to have hidden them in really tricky-to-find places - obviously no one will find them because they don't exist.

Keep your eyes peeled for umbrellas that people leave on the bus. Collect as many as you can and with any luck you will never have to buy an umbrella again.

Book a train ticket to somewhere you might like to visit - maybe Bath? As long as you book your train ticket three months in advance, it will hardly cost you anything. All you need to do is remember to go when the time comes.
(Source: Chin Up Britain by Jenny Eclair)

A Times Leader 2011 : Marmite!
If the Danes do not want to eat Marmite they should send it to the Middle East
It is odd to deny people the liberty to have what they like for breakfast. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has already prevented the advertising of Horlicks, Ovaltine and Farley’s Rusks. Now the future of Marmite is threatened because its manufacturers have not applied for the licence that is needed for products fortified with added vitamins.
The Danish Immigration Minister, Søren Pind, recently said that foreigners should assimilate or leave. They may now do so as the news has not gone down well among Denmark’s expatriate community, many of whom have contemplated sending home for contraband supplies.
The Danish authorities might like to consider that the consumption of Marmite and the idea of liberty could be more closely connected than they realise. The link was, unaccountably, absent from President Obama’s recent speech and Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress. But as Edward de Bono told the Foreign and Commonwealth Office a decade ago, Marmite is the missing ingredient in the peace process for the Middle East.
The theory goes like this. A lack of zinc tends to make men belligerent. Most people get their zinc from bread. But, in countries that eat mostly unleavened bread — such as pita flatbread — the men are very low in yeast and therefore, according to Professor de Bono, more likely to be aggressive. The solution is obvious: to import a foodstuff which can make good the deficiency that comes from too much unleavened bread. The solution is, to put it in a word, Marmite.
So, whether you love it or whether you hate it, any unsold jars of Marmite could have a use. Send them to the Middle East at once.

Differing Viewpoints
The terrorists who struck the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre believe they were attacking symbols of corrupt power and materialism. My family and I have a different view of that, I was Commander-in-Chief of the people who worked at the Pentagon. My wife represents the people of New York in the Senate, I knew people who were on those airplanes. My daughter was in lower Manhattan. I met one of her friends who lost her fiancé. I talked to victims who lost their loved ones who were Jews and Christians and Hindus and Muslims, who came from every continent, including over 250 from the United Kingdom. I talked to children in schools who lost their school buildings on September 11th in lower Manhattan, whose parents come from over eighty different national racial and ethnic groups. To me, all these victims represent the world I worked very hard for eight years to build, a world of expanding freedom, opportunity and citizen responsibility, a world of growth in diversity and in the bonds of community. The terrorists who killed all these people, they thought they had the truth and because they had the whole truth, anyone who didn't share it, was a legitimate target. They thought that the differences they have with us, political and religious, were all that mattered and served to make all their targets less than human. Most of us believe that our differences are important and make our lives interesting but that our common humanity matters more. The clash between these two views over this simple question more than any other single issue, will define the shape and the soul of this new century.
(Source: Bill Clinton in the Dimbleby Lectures of 2001)

Strange Laws
Perhaps the oddness of human behaviour or wishes is nowhere seen more clearly than in the laws different societies enact. Here, we are told, are some of the laws you can find around the world:
- In Singapore it is illegal to sell Bubblegum (that is not to say you won’t find someone doing it!)
- In York it is legal to kill a Scotsman with a bow and arrow
- In France it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon
- In Samoa it is illegal to forget your wife’s birthday
- In Switzerland every citizen is required by law to have access to a bomb shelter
- In Arizona USA it is illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs
- In California it is illegal to set a mousetrap without a hunting licence.
- In Thailand it is illegal to step on a banknote
(Source: all according to ‘Phenomenal Fun Facts)

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