Some of the least fun we’ve ever had is when we’ve had the most alcohol. You know it's true.
So why do we treat anyone who declares they don’t drink with the same degree of incomprehension you’d apply to someone who’s just told you they'd rather not have their feet?
We asked eight sober young Britons to tell us the strangest and most annoying things they regularly hear from drinkers. Here’s what they had to say…
“I’m drunk. Can you help me get home?”
“If you don’t drink, you’re automatically a cab-driver,” one man told us.
Others revealed that, since giving up the old wobbly juice, they’d noticed things about their drunken compatriots that had previously passed them by.
“Girls wee in the street,” one solemn-faced young woman shared with us.
Another woman said, “Your breath stinks, your spit is all over my face and you’re trying to touch me up. Get away from me.”
“I’m not going to drink then.”
“It’s that guilt trip thing that they do, you know?” exclaimed one man.
“They just sit there not having fun and then they blame you for that,” agreed another woman.
“Is it a religious thing?”
Just because you don’t spend every Sunday morning bent in the prayer position over your bathroom toilet, doesn’t mean you’re sober on religious grounds.
“Oh my God, I get this all the time," said one man. "I’m just lucky I don’t have a beard. People are always asking me if I’m Muslim, or a Protestant from the 1600s.”
Some people, believe it or not, just don’t like alcohol. I know. Take all the time you need to digest that.
“You must smoke a lot of weed then.”
“It’s like people don’t want you to have that clean-living life,” one woman suggested.
Either that, or, "They think I’m a total health freak. Like, ‘you just eat vegetables and do yoga, don’t you?’” said one woman.
“Oh go on, just a little one.”
Why does everyone turn into Mrs Doyle on a night out? ‘Gwarn, gwarn, gwarn!'
One young man, who had struggled with alcohol before, told us, “People say to me, ‘You’ll get to the point where you can have one’,” he said. “And I’m like, no, you really don’t understand the nature of addiction!”
“Maybe you shouldn’t come to the pub with us.”
“I’m invited to things less since going sober. People assume that you wouldn’t want to go when actually you just don't want to drink,” one fella told us.
“I have drifted away from some of my close childhood friends because I don’t drink,” another man added.
“What if I want to just have a lemonade??” asked a third man.
“But why don’t you drink?”
When people just don’t want to believe.
“People are so suspicious,” one man explained.
“One – because I don’t want to kill my liver. Two – I don’t want to make a fool of myself. Three – if I had saved all the money that I spent during all those years of drinking, I could afford to buy a small planet by now!” another fella added.
Another man told us about a new discovery he'd made since giving up alcohol: Sunday morning!
“It’s like, oh my God, the weekend’s so long now. You can do so much,” he said.
Dry doesn’t mean boring. And Sundays can be enjoyable. Honestly, try it out sometime.
Follow us on twitter @KokoTeddy Facebook @kokoteddyEdition
To share please copy the links in your browser your social education
We know that babies don’t just see in black and white. But what colours can they see – and how key is it to their development? By Nicola Davis
Sitting in a padded car seat, a small black and white bullseye stuck to his cheek, four-month-old Teo Bosten-Lam gazes at a computer. The screen is a mottled grey, like the snow on a old-fashioned television, but in the top right-hand corner is a deep blue circle. Teo has spotted it. He glances at the circle and, as he does so, it morphs into a smiley face and a triumphant jingle fills the darkened room. Buoyed by the reaction, he looks around. Suddenly a black and white spinning disc appears on the screen, issuing a sound that can only be described as “boing”.
“Babies can’t resist the black and white swirl things,” says researcher Alice Skelton. “When they look away we play it and it brings them back to the screen.” A PhD student in the baby lab at the University of Sussex, Skelton is attempting to unpick a conundrum that has fascinated parents and scientists alike: when it comes to colour, exactly what can babies can see?
It’s a mission that takes technology: Teo’s ability to pick up on colour is being probed with an eye-tracking system. The sticker on his cheek directs the camera to his face, while his corneal reflections and the position of his pupils are automatically detected. “What we are looking to see is, do you have to have a more saturated blue for a baby to see it than you would for a red, for example,” says Skelton. If Teo can see a colour, the novelty will attract his attention, triggering the smiley face and jingle. And this isn’t the only ingenious idea. At the first sound that indicates our participant is becoming fed up with this science lark, the screen flashes to a clip from the 1980s cartoon Dogtanian. Teo, once again, is transfixed.
To a baby, the world changes rapidly. At birth, everything is a blur, with visual acuity around 5% of that for an adult. Stereoscopic vision has yet to kick in, with babies unable to perceive depth until several months old, while faces are only discernable at around 30cm – a distance similar to that between a mother’s face and her breast. But change is rapid. “The early stages of learning to see colour and basic forms happen relatively quickly,” says Alex Wade, professor of psychology at the University of York, and an expert in visual processes. By the age of six months, babies have more or less adult levels of visual acuity.
Just how such changes occur, and their impact on how a baby understands the world, is the driving force behind research at baby labs around the world. A handful of such centres are located at universities in the UK, probing myriad aspects of development from the role of sleep to how babies recognise faces and even how they learn to distinguish words in human speech.
Anna Franklin, head of the baby lab at the University of Sussex, is attempting to unpick how colour is understood by infants. “It is a myth that babies see in black and white,” she says, pointing out that studies have found that newborns can see large, intense patches of red on a grey background.
An expert in infant colour vision, Franklin is engaged in fundamental research answering questions ranging from how colour vision develops in infancy to why children with autism often have colour obsessions. Her research has aided the development of infant toys, theatre and TV shows, while the team is currently working on early tests for colour vision deficiencies - an endeavour that could help to prevent children from encountering problems when faced with the myriad colour-based learning systems found in the classroom.
That we can see the world in glorious colour at all, Franklin points out, is down to specialist cells in the retinas of our eyes. Known as cones, these cells come in three types – those sensitive to long, medium, and short wavelengths of light. “Signals from cones are combined in different ways - so, for example, the middle and long wavelength cones are combined to give you what is called a red-green pathway – [how much] redness or greenness there is in a colour,” explains Franklin.
While babies are born with all three types of cone, it takes time for the cells to mature, and for the brain to make sense of the signals. By two months, babies can tell red and green colours apart; a few weeks later, they can also tell apart blues and yellows. But the colours need to be strong. “If you show [a baby] some kind of washed-out green they won’t be able to see it, even if they can see a really intense green,” says Franklin. While the ability to see desaturated colours improves as infants mature, questions abound, not least as to whether all colours need to be just as saturated for babies to spot them.
And so it is that Skelton, Franklin and I find ourselves in a darkened lab with Teo - his eyes flicking around a screen. The results so far are intriguing. Testing more than 40 babies, Skelton has found that, even at four months, they, like adults, need blues and yellows to be more intense to see them than reds and greens. Research by Franklin and her team has also shed light on a surprising phenomenon: babies can categorise colours. Categorisation is something we take for granted as adults. “When you come in and you have to sit on a chair, you don’t have to stand around working out what a chair is – you know what a chair is,” points out Skelton.
But where this ability comes from is unclear - not least, when it comes to colours. “Different languages will [categorise colours] differently, so some languages will put all the greens and blues in one category and have one label for that, whereas in English, obviously, we have separate words,” says Franklin. Until recently, the accepted view was that colour categorisation was arbitrary, with distinctions rooted in culture and language. But Franklin suspected there was more to the story. She devised a number of tests, one of which involved presenting babies with a coloured screen on which a dot appears. The background screen is either from the same colour category as the dot, as defined by the English language, or from a different one - for example a green background with a blue dot. A coloured dot captures the baby’s attention, and how quickly they look at it offers clues as to how different it appears from the background colour.
Similar experiments were carried out on nine-month old babies by Asifa Majid, professor at Radboud University in the Netherlands. “You can see that infants look more quickly towards a coloured dot when it comes from a different colour category,” she explains. In other words, babies can tell that different colours of blue are all, well, “blue”. Colour categories, it seems, are not just down to language, they are in some way “hardwired”.
Franklin and her team started exploring just how many colour categories babies possess. More than 170 babies were recruited for the experiment, with each repeatedly shown two squares of the same colour, then two of different colours. “The upshot is babies have got five colour categories, we think: red, green, blue, purple and yellowish-brown,” says Skelton. Further categories, such as orange and pink, appear to emerge later with language.
Why, then, don’t all cultures have the same categories? “It is likely that languages develop or tinker or modify on that universal, innate template and tinker with it according to the needs of their culture,” says Franklin.
Much is still unknown: when, and how, colour categorisation shifts from the sensory process in babies to language-based categorisation in adults. And, “we don’t really know when children really fully understand that a colour is a property of an object and that it is constant,” says Skelton. “The questions we are asking are really the foundation of what does the world look like to a baby and how they learn about that.”
Share this story:
To share please copy the links in your browser your social education
Follow us on twitter @KokoTeddy Facebook @kokoteddyEdition
From hip-hop prairie girls at Coach to a celebration of Americana at Calvin Klein to Victoria Beckham’s grown up chic to Alexander Wang’s revival of the catsuit… Observer fashion editor Jo Jones picks her 10 highlights from New York fashion week autumn/winter 2017 By Jo Jones
Raf Simons’s debut collection for Calvin Klein is on track to make the label the giant it was in the 1980s. Simons has cleverly embraced Americana, showing both menswear and womenswear, dressing them in almost identical looks. From prairie quilted coats, varsity knitted sleeves on nude sheer bodices to sporty trousers hung from the hip with athletic stripes up the side, worn with buttoned-up western pocket shirts and of course denim. The collection shone with technical craftsmanship and precision tailoring.
There’s a point in a woman’s life when she eases into her wardrobe and feels comfortable with her style. This season Victoria Beckham has realised this for her customer. Think masculine tailoring in heritage fabrics mixed with the frivolity of a midi-length chiffon georgette dress layered underneath the comfort of a roll neck. Beckham’s colour palette with inspired by the recent Paul Nash exhibition at the Tate.
This show felt like a parting gift to the New York fashion scene, as Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez have decided to leave NYFW to show during Paris Haute Couture to enhance their sales. The duo’s latest collection was full of ideas and exquisite constructions, like their collage dresses, oversized coats with zip detailing on the inside of sleeves and monochrome shearling coats. If building sales is key, then it was a smart move to promote their logo on extra-long zipper pulls of jackets and handbags. Photograph: Jimmy Bae/WWD/REX/Shutterstock
At Coach it was a nostalgic look at the great American landscape and prairie, referencing Terrence Malick – Days of Heaven, Badlands and Sissy Spacek mashed up with New York city hip-hop circa 1980. A ditsy floral print puffer jacket joined the growing repertoire of Coach outerwear, and the ever popular shearling coats and biker jackets were softened with floral and songbird appliqué and worn over midi-length dresses. The Coach girl plays between the masculine and the feminine. Hence the shearling-lined sneakers, fuzzy baseball caps and accessories.Photograph: WWD/REX/Shutterstock
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
Jonathan Saunders’s second season at DVF has hit its stride. Saunders knows his eggs or rather, his prints. Translating graphic patterns into embroidery and 3D textiles in a playful colour palette, coupled with, as Saunders says, “the importance of sensuality and the movement in his dresses.” These are clothes to live and party in. Wind machine any one?Photograph: Billy Farrell/BFA.com
Joseph Altuzarra took inspiration from Renaissance portraiture and Lady Macbeth to deliver a strong and ultra sharp collection. Inspired by the stern- faced Renaissance lady this resonated in the mood of the models storming the runway. Exquisite pearl-encrusted coats plus capes and sleek tailored suits finished with a lavish collar. The corset lacing over an argyle sweater and red peplum sweater over biker pants gave a strength to the collection, while jacquard and heavily embroidered dresses were given a tougher edge when worn with knee-high combat boots and leather opera gloves.
With a diverse casting of models including plus size model Ashley Graham and veteran Amber Valletta, sent out the message, the Michael Kors woman is sensual and strong and ageless. Showing softly draped dresses, skirts and blouses off set against sharp tailoring, trousers hung from the hip and jackets and coats were cinched at the waist with a wide belt. Cocktail dresses followed in liquid gold and silver lamé and revealed a leg through a split or slash detail. The key bag was a crushable soft leather, gripped close to the body.Photograph: JP Yim/Getty Images for Michael Kors
Assoulin’s show space was scattered with vintage sofas and chaise longues, covered in plastic as if for protection. Persian rugs and coffee tables set with tiered trays of pastries and tea created a cosy atmosphere. The collection itself had the same warmth. The models wore dresses cut from what appeared to be upholstery fabric. Two standout pieces were a floral puffer jacket with buttons on the back, resembling a Chesterfield couch, and a beautiful multicoloured patchwork embroidered silk robe perfect to add a little glam to jeans.
The UN for Ageing team have a lot of knowledge and beauty tips
By Emilia Benton By Line Isabel Cutter
It's safe to say we've spent our teen and adult lives on a quest for the secrets to silky, shiny hair. Wouldn't you know, the secret to achieving ultimate softness or the perfect hue could be right in your refrigerator or pantry, and your grandma might have been telling you about them for years! You may have rolled your eyes at her ideas growing up, but as an adult you're surely willing to try anything. Read on for 10 abuela-approved DIY hair tricks.
1. Honey and olive oil give hair shine:Honey is not just for tea and olive oil is not just for salad. The kitchen staples are well known for their softening properties, so grandma was right when she would suggest you sprinkle a mix of the two on your strands to make them healthier. Follow a simple heated recipe for the ultimate deep conditioner. Phone grandma after reading this or grandpa.
2. Mayonnaise works wonders as a conditioning treatment:Unlike chemical-laden salon treatments, mayonnaise is chock full of oils and proteins to leave your hair strong and well hydrated. "The oil softens the hair, making it shinier — and the protein in the eggs will make strands stronger," says hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins.00:00
3. Adding avocado to a deep conditioning mask will boost results:Nature's butter doesn't just taste great, it also does wonders for parched skin and hair. Try a homemade mask made with honey and olive or coconut oil to achieve amazing softness.
4. Coca-Cola can give your hair a healthy shine:What the what? But it's true, even stars like British supermodel Suki Waterhouse turn to the soda for a just-back-from-the-beach look, thanks to its acidity. Just be sure to rinse your hair immediately after trying it!
5. Eggs help your hair grow:Who wouldn't love to speed up hair growth while dodging damage? Eggs are loaded with protein, a key ingredient your hair needs to regain strength. Mix one with olive oil to do the trick.
6. Lemon juice can lighten your hair:Skip the bleach for more gentle solution for natural highlights. It's just like a natural version of Sun-In.
7. Apple cider vinegar helps to detangle: We all know the frustrations that come with brushing out the tangles in your hair every morning. Try a few spritzes of apple cider vinegar as a natural remedy that will also add softness and shine. Bonus: apple cider vinegar is also known to help with dandruff!
P.S. Do write in tell us more
This information might change your life. By Katie Sweeney
To prevent an avocado from browning, spray it with a little bit of rapeseed oil spray. When I first heard of this concept, I wasn't sure if it was true. But I tried it myself. I ate half an avocado and sprayed the remaining half with rapeseed oil. Then, I covered it with foil and refrigerated it. Days later, I pulled the avocado from the fridge and was shocked it see it was not brown at all. Seriously, try this; it's amazing!
In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. The cow will graze near the bear. The cub and the calf will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the LORD. – Isaiah 11:6-9
During this season of Advent I’ve been reading sections of Isaiah for my devotions. Isaiah frequently expresses our great hope for peace, as you’ll see in the passage above. We yearn for that day when people will live at peace with God, one another and with all of creation. Perhaps these passages have resonated so deeply with me because they stand in such sharp contrast to the lack of peace in our communities, nation and world. While I believe that God is the One who will ultimately renew all of creation and make this world a kingdom of peace, I also believe that we are empowered by the Spirit to play a role in being peacemakers.
So, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, how do we practice peace in daily life? Here are a few practices to consider:
Contemplation. I have become increasingly convinced that we cannot have true peace in the world until we have peace within ourselves. By “peace in the world” I’m not talking about the cessation of war, though I long for that too. Real peace, shalom, is more than the absence of conflict. It means wholeness, completeness, wellbeing and harmony. Most of us are running through life so quickly that we do not take time for stillness and reflection, and so our insides are like a snow globe that is constantly shaken. And that frenetic energy is too often reflected in the world around us. Practicing contemplation (often called meditation, mindfulness or centering prayer) is a powerful pathway to practicing peace daily. No practice has done more to create shalom in me than contemplation. Click here to learn more.
Mental Diet. The daily practice of contemplation inevitably makes us more aware of our thoughts and emotions (it’s stunning how unaware we often are!). We begin to realize not only how often we feel anger, hurt and frustration, but also how regularly we feed those emotions. We tell ourselves stories about people’s intentions. We write new endings to our stories in which we inflict the pain or win the battle. We rehearse these stories over and over which only feeds them, like putting more logs on a fire that’s burning you. Feeding our anger and our hurt only keeps us living in unreconciled relationships. Practicing praying for our enemies and those who have wounded us is a profoundly powerful discipline that changes our mental diet. It heals us and opens our hearts to reconciliation. Who do you need to pray for right now?
Blessing. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe that simply expressing an intention somehow changes the world around us. Which is why I practice blessing. As I make my way through the world – driving, walking, shopping, dining – I focus my attention for a moment on someone, whether friend or stranger, and pray, “Lord, bless her or him with peace and joy”. That’s it. I think about it as planting little seeds of peace and joy into the soil of people’s lives, having no idea what will grow. Try it and you’ll discover two things. First, you’ll be surprised at how often the individual suddenly turns your way and smiles. Seriously, it’s almost creepy! Second, you’ll notice that this simple practice begins to change the way you see people and the world around you. The truth of the Kingdom, that we are all connected in ways we cannot begin to fathom, begins to dawn in our hearts and causes us to fall more deeply in love with God’s broken and cherished world.
Jesus calls and empower us to be peacemakers. How can we do anything less when we follow the Prince of Peace? I urge you to practice these simple disciplines in daily life. Dare to believe that God is at work changing the world through you!
Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN.
Lucifer morning star The rising Sun --- Not the son of Man
Written Isabel Cutter
My nominee for 2016 person/deity of the year is Satan (aka Lucifer, Beelzebub, and the Devil).
Sure, there were other more important religion and politics stories this year. But never before has Satan been as visible–or as successful–in politics.
This incarnation “Lucifer in the flesh. When we first sw appeared before Chloe of the Corinthians we all saw the confessor. So may die around hell's son and yet we are gripped by him on our television set and on catch up days.
It’s one of the devil’s most effective: the offer of power. The person to take the the offering as a blessing... "Darkness is good,” Bannon said, Satan and darkness are positive power." The confession satifies your thirst for hunger yet another human is dead besides you Chloe. I question you Tobin Grant, He has angels of all colours... 2016: The Year of Lucifer
The girl next door had something to teach me
about what to air: On the linesome
body’s business gets told
then recounted; it’s best to thread a tale
for the neighbors, an orchestration
of sorts. But I am far from modest
in my telling of lies. There are three references
I put forward: each a past lover
who liked a different kind of underling
to his genius. You wouldn’t know it
from the delicates I rollin
to the yard. It’s all the same peek-a-boo lace
and stunted imagination.
Of course, all of this is scanty
truth. Who hangs anything out to dry
anymore, when invention
has halved the work?
By Rosa Alcalá