Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why standing up to cancer matters

Channel 4 was recently the host of an important charity gala, Stand Up to Cancer. While the evening itself was the usual mix of entertainment interspersed with sob stories and begging, the amount raised was around £6.5 million on the night. Not bad at all, and every penny counts.

But compared to something like Comic/Sport Relief, it was small fry. How much did they raise last time on the day? Over £50 million (£50,447,197 to be precise). Helping to cure a disease that causes so much suffering all around the world in all its ugly guises is not as important, apparently.

No Red Nose Day events with people getting dressed up, no endless stream of programs where celebrities dance for charity, no Pudsey bear to cuddle, no celebrities swimming, running or cycling anywhere. Not that Comic/Sport Relief or Children in Need aren't worthy charities that do a lot of good, because they are and they do. (Arguments have been made about whether or not they're basically subsidising African war lords, but I'm not clued up on that subject to say either way. And they should run Comic Relief every year instead of any other year, because telethons based on sports ... well, ugh, no thank you.)

It's just that trying to find a cure for cancer is fucking important to all of us. 9 out of 10 will either get cancer themselves at some point or know someone that have it, isn't that what they say?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I think I'm developing a polling allergy

Speaking of voter turnout in general, maybe it's so low in the UK (65.1% in 2010) compared with Sweden (84.63% in 2010) not just because of a cultural difference (Swedes often feel it's their duty to vote, and would rather go and submit a blank polling card than not go there at all if they want to protest), but because a vote in a Swedish general election actually feels like it's doing something.

In Sweden, you vote for a party to get into parliament, so every vote really does count. In the UK, it's done on a constituency basis, where only the winner gets a seat in parliament. All the other votes in the constituency are only good for the bin.


Monday, October 08, 2012

I'm meant to touch myself?

Last week, I was given a book about a Japanese health practice called Jin Shin Jyutsu (or Jin Shin Fee, written by Felicitas Waldeck), which is about how there are energy lines running through your body and energy centres and they need to be balanced, or you will feel unwell.

Sort of like acupuncture and reflexology but without needles or pressing. You just hold your hands over the energy points, which completes the circuit, so to speak.

The easiest thing to do is to hold your fingers. Start with e.g. the thumb on one hand, gently gripping it with the other hand. Hold it for 2-3 minutes, then switch to the next finger. Repeat until all ten have had a go. It's meant to balance your body's energy systems and make you feel better.

Too early to know yet, but I'll try it and see what happens. It's easy and can be done while watching telly or trying to sleep. Even if it doesn't work, there's no harm in having tried. I did it earlier in the car, using a clock for timing, and I should point out I wasn't driving at the time, I was a passenger! Last night, I tried it in the bath (counting to 120) and got about halfway through before I realised I kept losing count and dozing off.

It's very relaxing and meditative, at any rate, so if you have issues falling asleep, why not hold a finger and counting to 120 (you may need to increase the "120" if you count quicker than one a second, or if you want a longer time per finger)? It might help you relax and fall asleep and could well also make you feel better in general. There's no harm in trying, and of course, it's free! I'll see how I get on. If it improves my health, I'm all for it!