I am sitting in a circle in a grey, corporate room with 10 housing association employees – administrators, security guards, cleaners – eyes darting about nervously. We are asked to eat a sandwich in silence. To think about every taste and texture, every chewing motion and bite. Far from being relaxed, I feel excruciatingly uncomfortable and begin to wonder if my jaw is malfunctioning. I’m here to write about a new mindfulness initiative, and since I’ve never to my knowledge had any mental health issues and usually thrive under stress, I anticipate a straightforward, if awkward, experience. Then comes the meditation. We’re told to close our eyes and think about our bodies in relation to the chair, the floor, the room: how each limb touches the arms, the back, the legs of the seat, while breathing slowly. But there’s one small catch: I can’t breathe. No matter how fast, slow, deep or shallow my breaths are, it feels as though my lungs are sealed. … [Read more...] about Is mindfulness making us ill?
Notices 20 minutes
If you're looking to post something about John Oliver on Chinese social media this week, chances are you can't.The British television host been censored on China's biggest social media site, just days after he criticised Chinese President Xi Jinping on his popular US show Last Week Tonight.In the show's latest episode, Mr Oliver highlights the political, human rights and economic issues China is currently facing, and delivers some striking criticisms of the Chinese government. Why China is censoring Winnie the Pooh again How authorities censor your thoughts Liu Xiaobo: The man China couldn't erase Attempts by the BBC to post a status on Weibo - China's biggest social media platform - with the term "John Oliver" were blocked. Instead an error message pops up, informing you that the post violates "relevant laws and regulations".If you try searching for "John Oliver", it does yield some results, though you won't find any new posts - the most recent one is from the 12 June, a week before … [Read more...] about Why you can’t talk about John Oliver in China
A primary school has been heavily criticised for scrapping its students' free play time and instead replacing it with a co-ordinated session led by a teacher. Clarkson Primary School in Clarkson, northern Perth changed its playground policy at the start of this year, giving its pupils only 15 minutes of unstructured play each day. The school's principal Tony Shields said the change was made because staff believed children were not interacting with each other. A primary school has been heavily criticised for scrapping its students' free play and instead replacing it with a co-ordinated session led by a teacher (stock image) 'A lot of that we attributed to increased social media, the likes of screen time plus a breakdown in families,' he told 9News. 'We wanted to come up with a way of teaching kids how to play properly.' The restructure has meant recess now consists of 15 minutes of structured play, 15 minutes of eating and then five minutes of wind down. RELATED ARTICLES … [Read more...] about Primary school is slammed for scrapping free play for students – as principal blames screen time and social media for changing the way kids behave
Eighty years ago tomorrow, Britain declared war on Germany and so began a worldwide conflict that lasted almost six years, and would claim the lives of 50 million people. On Saturday, Jonathan Mayo recreated the heart-stopping moment when Britain’s ambassador in Berlin delivered an ultimatum to Hitler to withdraw from Poland, or face all-out conflict. He also recounted the events in Westminster leading up to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s broadcast to the nation, and the preparations on the Home Front. This final part of our gripping minute-by-minute reconstruction reveals that it took only hours for the horrific reality of war to start to unfold ... and the first fatalities. German submarine U-30 fires four torpedoes. Two miss the ship, one gets stuck in its tube but the fourth hits the Athenia and explodes. Dozens are killed instantly, including ten-year-old Margaret Hayworth returning home to Canada with her family. Survivors are pictured above 12.00pm In … [Read more...] about U-boat that fired the starting gun on slaughter: Eighty years ago tomorrow, a Nazi torpedo slammed into the SS Athenia, killing 112 innocents, as our gripping reconstruction of the first day of Britain’s involvement in WW2 reveals
A determined young mother who was advised to abort her daughter 14 times has defied doctors' advice and brought home a healthy baby girl. Kiera Meldrum, 20, from York, was offered an abortion every week of her pregnancy after her 21-week scan showed her child had Grade 3 severe ascites to the bowel. This build-up of fluid caused a range of complications, but Kiera - who had suffered four previous miscarriages - refused to abort her daughter. Kiera went into labour at 34 weeks and was terrified of losing daughter Lillee-Rose as she was whisked away for emergency surgery minutes after birth. Kiera Meldrum, 20, from York, was offered an abortion every week of her pregnancy after her 21-week scan showed her child had Grade 3 severe ascites to the bowel (Pictured: Kiera and daughter Lillee-Rose) But after multiple life-saving operations and eight long weeks in hospital, Kiera has now finally been able to take her daughter home. Six months on, Lillee-Rose is home and happy, and while she … [Read more...] about Determined mother who was told to abort her daughter FOURTEEN times due to complications in the womb brings home a healthy baby girl