Turn off your lights with WWF for ‘Earth Hour’

Source: Maverick Photo Agency

By Georgi Bomb

This Saturday, 26 March, remember to switch off your lights at 8.30-9.30pm as people around the world sit in the dark to join in the world’s biggest environmental campaign, set up by WWF.

WWF are doing their bit for climate change week with ‘Earth Hour.’ It started in Australia during 2007 and has now stretched across 35 countries.

On 26 March at 8.30pm, not only will people in their homes switch off their lights but offices, government buildings and iconic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle will be taking part in the campaign.

Tune into Edinburgh Napier News radio for the 12:30pm and 1:30pm bulletins where they will be talking to the director of WWF Scotland, Dr. Richard Dixon.

BAFTA Scotland winners announced

By Georgi Bomb

Copyright: BAFTA.org

It was all about the suits and gowns last night as the BAFTA in Scotland New Talent Award ceremony took place at Glasgow Film Theatre.

Celebrating fresh young talent, awarding students, and highlighting the future of Scottish film, television and digital media.

The night belonged to Lou McLoughlan who received two awards for Best Director: Short Form and Best Student Work. His work, Caring For Calum was a moving portrait of a man looking after his father in the Scottish Highlands.

The horror genre was well recognised with Hanna Stanbridge winning Best Actor/Actress award for her role as Petronella in Outcast, an Edinburgh-based horror. Naysun Alae-Carew scooped Best Producer: Short Form for his zombie take on High School Musical, Zombie Musical.

Ewan Angus, Chairman of BAFTA in Scotland said: “In today’s current economic climate, it is especially important that we take the time to recognise the outstanding level of talent emerging from the Scottish moving image industries. Tonight demonstrates the enormous wealth of potential we have within Scotland, and we’re proud to be able to give the winners the recognition they rightly deserve.”

For the full list of winners, check out the website.

1430 News Bulletin

Read by Adam Smyth

Adam reading the news

Written by Susannah Radford, Adam Smyth and Georgi Bomb.

Listen Here:

As Colonel Gaddafi declares a ceasefire, 25 more people are killed in Libya. The National Health Service report the Scots like more than just a tipple and Edinburgh Dungeon puts their bloody stamp on Red Nose Day.

13:00 News bulletin

Adam reads the news

Read by Adam Smyth

Stories by Susannah Radford, Adam Smythe and Georgi Bomb

Listen Here:

The stories at 1pm declare Colonel Gaddafi has declared a ceasefire in Libya and Japan comes up with a final resort to tackle the nuclear threat.

A suspicious package caused an evacuation at Edinburgh Airport and Red Nose Day raises millions for Comic Relief.

Cardinal O’Brien visits convicted child killer in hospital

Cardinal Keith O'Brien visited Riggi at Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Source: BBC

By Georgi B

Cardinal Kieth O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland visited a woman in hospital who confessed to murdering her three children, it is believed. [Read more…]

Swans’ fat reserves measured to protect from extinction

Source: Lancashire Lass

By Georgi B

The Bewick swans’ derrieres are being measured by the UK’s Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust to see if their fat reserves will last during their migration flight to Arctic Russia. [Read more…]

Marriages in Scotland on the up

By Georgi B

Marriages in Scotland are now on the rise according to new figures. This is also relative to the number of divorces, which has dropped dramatically since 2009 according to information collected by the General Register of Scotland.

In 2010, there were 28, 480 marriages which is 956 more than in 2009. Divorces have dropped by 478 to 9,893. Duncan Macniven, the registrar general for Scotland told the Scotsman, “We saw an increase in the number of marriages in Scotland in 2010. At 28, 480, the total for the year was 956 higher than in 2009, but still 423 fewer than in 2008.”

This is in spite of the financial strain which is affecting people across the country. An online poll by Opinium Research done in 2010 found that more than half the people polled were feeling the pressure to buy expensive gifts and attend stag/hen parties. The average amount of money spent on gifts in Scotland was £100.43.

The New Organic

By Georgi Lindsey

Sourced from: SL Metal Works

Bringing organic into the bedroom. Sourced:SLMetal Works

 

We all want to be greener, healthier and adopt a more eco-warrior stance in life. Now we have the ability to do this in another area of our lives and not necessarily one you would have thought of.

 

Carbon Footprint, greenhouse effect, recycling and organic. These are all words we see daily to encourage us to do more to protect our planet.  In turn we can provide a better and healthier life for future generations and ourselves. We have options to buy organic food, body care, skin care, hair treatments and now, we can turn our attention to the things we buy for the bedroom. Once you slip under the organic bed sheets at night, you can introduce eco-friendly toys, lubricants, massage oils and know you are doing your bit to help the environment and your own well being.

 

It is now possible to buy sex aids that are graded fully organic. Meaning all ingredients are animal and ethically friendly. They are good for the environment and for the body but if there is a call for such products, what are the normal high street toys doing to us? To start with, there are ingredients called plastic softeners used in some toys that are called phthalates (pronounced “thay-lates”). These are thought to contain carcinogens, in short, these are substances believed to be directly linked to causing cancer. To understand the severity to what we are, ahem, putting into contact with our bodies, carcinogens can be found in tobacco smoke and asbestos.

 

Mary Clegg, a Sex and Relationship Therapist and Chair of the British Association of Sexual Educators, explains the importance on why we should think more about the products that we are using in the bedroom, “I think we need to think about what we are putting in and around our bodies especially since a lot of sex toys are going toward a very sensitive part of our body which has a very thin cellular wall. We need to think about how inert things are because a lot of people are allergic to latex, a lot of people have vulva conditions which means they have to be extremely careful but they still have every right to a sex life.”

 

“There is no substantial evidence that the above toxins have a direct link to causing cancer, nor is there any information on the long term effects of using these products.” Mary continues to explain why she advises health professionals to steer more towards the organic way of life. “I don’t think the evidence is conclusive enough. As somebody who advises and trains health professionals, I tend to steer them away from [toxins] and into the more organic area. Some people will become hyper sensitive so we need to reduce the amount of toxins and not increase them.”

 

We all know being organic is better for our bodies, but what are the main differences between the conventional and the more expensive kind? Take food for example, organic farmers use natural fertilizers like manure over chemical ones that help the plants grow. Insecticides are used to rid the plants of pests and diseases whereas our organic friends prefer to use insects and birds which are beneficial to the crop. More chemicals in the form of herbicides are used to kill off weeds from the normal farmer compared to our green-fingered friends who pull out those weeds by hand or rotate their crops. As for the animals used for meat, organic animals are allowed access to outdoor sceneries, clean housing and are well looked after. It is believed standard animal farmers feed their animals’ growth hormones and antibiotics to prevent disease.

 

As for a person’s overall health, going organic has many positive effects. Aside the obvious benefits organic food can offer such as better nutrition, less likely to contract an illness and very little exposure to chemicals. They can contribute to a healthier body weight; provide better moods and general overall fitness due to their methods of production.

 

If you are concerned more about the ethics behind your sex gadget, then think about the lower end products on the market, which have probably been massed, produced in countries like China who are well renowned for their poor work ethic and worker’s rights.

Other ethical and organic products that have become more popular recently are the materials in clothing. Organic cotton is the main one, like with food; cotton fields are also sprayed with insecticides and pesticides, which can be ingested like the organic food. These sprays get into the air, absorbed into water and soil but the seed of cotton is also made into oil, which is used in processed foods. The ethical side to this is to consider the conventional method of collecting cotton, farms in developing countries employ children to pick the cotton, and being paid one to two cents for every pound they collect. This is then sold at 50 cents (US dollar) per pound.

 

Another shocking fact is the illness these workers can suffer from. Pesticide poisoning includes a set of horrific symptoms including headaches, memory loss, vomiting, severe depression, confusion, and loss of co-ordination, seizures and tremors. Of the estimated 5 million cases, 20,000 of these people end up being killed by this disease. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) has been created to aid those people in need. Various clothing companies support GOTS, which is constantly growing. The standard is not just to wipe out the use of pesticides and similar chemicals, but also to stop child labor and to provide fair employment rights ensuring a safe and clean working environment, fair wage and working hours.

 

Organic Pleasures is an independent store based in Edinburgh, Scotland and run by Lucy Tanat-Jones, she explains the reasons behind the idea. “ There was a lack of sophisticated boudoir shops for women in Edinburgh, there aren’t any, its just the licensed sex shops or kind of high street tacky shops. Nothing that focuses on sensuality and women really as they all seem to be about male fantasy so I decided to do a lot of research and open my own shop.”

 

The front of the shop is as classy as the inside, no tacky neon signs or flashing lights. It is warm, friendly with a burlesque inspired look. Unlike when wandering round a high street store and been harassed by staff earning commission; it is relaxed. No pressure to buy, no tacky embarrassing gimmicks hanging from the shelves. The shop’s decor screams nothing but class. So what do the general public make of this eco-erotic store? “Everybody who walks through the door, although some people may not have grasped what it is when they come in, are quite surprised, its never a negative response though” Lucy says. “It is always tough in the UK because we have got quite an old fashioned and don’t talk about it attitude so it takes a while for people to understand it is not something people need to be embarrassed about and that’s part of what I’ve tried to create here, a nice atmosphere, intimate products and to make it about pleasure.”

 

There is a wide range of product choice and all have been certified by the Soil Association, a charity organisation set up by a group of farmers, scientists and nutritionists who look to promote plant, animal and human health along with good farming practice. Massage oils, lubricants, candles and body care are all organic. Everything is recyclable right down to the packaging and has been ethically produced in the UK. “I prefer to get it all done in the UK, I have sought out people who are experts in what the do and decide on one or two to use. It’s quite a long process.”

 

Organic Pleasures has been a long work in process, the main shop and online store opened in 2006 but it took a lot of preparation and hard work before Lucy could open the shop. “It is quite a long process, there was a couple of years of research and talking to the top formulators in the UK which was quite expensive. I just love projects and throwing myself into stuff but it involves talking to a lot of different people and knowing what it is in the market and on the shelves. You have to make sure its all natural and then go one step further by getting it certified. I just think it is much more pleasurable to have something that is good quality rather than just going to pick up a tube of fake cherry flavored massage oil for like £3 or whatever.”

 

It is a known fact that organic products are expensive; this is something Organic Pleasures have taken into account. Offering customers a basic, mid range and luxury type for every product sold. Her own ranges of toys are made from the cleanest and medically graded safe materials such as silicone, glass, stainless steel, wood and ceramic. One toy was made locally in Scotland, from Cherry wood. Sanded down to pure silk-like finish, the same material used in Rolls Royce’s car interiors.

 

The lingerie is just as ethical and safe as everything else at Organic Pleasures. A burlesque inspired range, all designed by Lucy herself to fit a standard English body which is why the 1930 – 40’s era seemed a perfect idea. Good fitting lingerie, in turn, will provide more confidence for a woman, which is what Organic Pleasures is all about. “I wanted a shop that sold everything for women to feel sexy in themselves. Made in England, silk lingerie and keeping mid price range. I wouldn’t spend £100 on a bra so I try and keep them more normal priced, in the £30-60s range.”

 

Lucy range is now taking off all across Europe and she has more designs in the pipeline. Although don’t expect to see her range of organic goodness on the high street any time soon, “That is so far removed from my philosophy and why I started it so that is the last thing I would want but definitely a couple of other boutiques and a few more shops up and down the country and across Europe.”

 

So do organic products of an erotic nature have the same effect on our health as the food and clothing? Mary offers her view, “Not sure it will make any difference but if you are comfortable about the product you use and you are not worried you are going to get a rash from it or develop some kind of reaction. It may certainly make for a better experience because you will have confidence in the product.”

 

Organic Pleasures is taking a new and innovative step in encouraging a person to take control for their well being. Not only can they feel more confident but also they can have some fun at the same time. So if you are thinking about taking an organic approach into the bedroom, then take Lucy’s advice as a final thought, “Your love life is paramount to one’s happiness.”

 

To find out more about Mary Clegg then visit www.basrt.org.uk (The British Association of Sexual and Relationship Therapists) or www.baseuk.org.uk which Mary is the chair of. Organic Pleasures can be found at www.organicpleasures.co.uk and to find out more about farm practice, environmental, human and animal health then go to http://www.soilassociation.org.

Gaga for Gifford!

By Georgi Lindsey

The pop sensation, Lady Gaga has just bought herself Scotland’s most expensive stately home in near Edinburgh worth £8 million. The cost of the 17th Century Yester House will be deducted from Gaga’s earnings which totalled around £38.5 million in 2009. It is expected she is seeking more privacy for herself and partner, Luc Carl which she is sure to get from the property which includes 16 bedrooms, two drawing rooms, a music hall and billiard room.

 

Yester House

 

The 24-year-old star, born as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta joins other celebrities such as Bob Dylan and comedian Dylan Moran who have moved to Scotland over the years, seeking the peaceful life, away from the flashing lights of the paparazzi. But not everyone is excited about the removal vans rolling up the driveway. Inna Sklarska, Supervisor of the Goblin Ha’ Hotel from nearby village Gifford commented, “The locals are concerned it will attract fans and are actually quite scared, this is a quiet village and everyone knows each other so they are worried there will be lots of fans here.”

Lady Gaga‘s debut album, The Fame, soared her to stardom in 2008 and she has carried a lot of controversy during that time. A lover of fashion and a fan of the late Alexander McQueen, she sparked recent outrage at the MTV VMA awards when she turned up to the event in an outfit and headpiece made entirely of raw meat. Addressing all her fans as “little monsters” her outlandish behaviour and pop duets with icons like Beyonce saw The Fame go platinum, and the follow-up remix album quite simply called, The Remix is alleged to have sold over 500,000 copies worldwide. Lady Gaga is currently finishing off her second album, Born This Way which is expected to be released in early 2011.

Lady Gaga

So what would the Goblin Ha’ Hotel serve Lady Gaga and Luc if they popped into their local for a relaxing Sunday dinner, “I think maybe Haggis as it is a tradition in Scotland and maybe a locals beer like Bel Haven Best.” Maybe the pubs in the surrounding area should look into creating a new drink in honour of her arrival. Little Monsters, consisting of Jagermeister and an energy drink, topped with a shot of Goldschlager to symbolise her fans.

 

Award winning UK festival, Bloodstock Open Air announce fourth act, Morbid Angel

By Georgi Bomb

The number one independent festival in the Uk, Bloodstock Open Air has just confirmed Death Metal act, Morbid Angel to their line up in 2011. There are four acts now confirmed and Morbid Angel will join the main stage with Triptykon, Immortal and Rhapsody of Fire.

Bloodstock Open Air began as an indoor festival in 2001 when Paul Gregory and Vince Brotheridge met through mutual friends. A company called Amust4music was born and so the start of the festival. BOA is held in Derbyshire and originally was held at the Assembly Rooms in Derby city center. Their slogan, “By the fans, for the fans” was the idea behind the name of the festival which was put out as a competition for the naming of the event. The logo changes every year but will always features a ram which coincides with Derby folk law, based around a ram. BOA didn’t become an outdoor festival until 2005 when the event became a sell out and the indoor festival had its final run in 2006, when it became an outdoor festival only.

The Virtual Festival company awarded BOA with “Best Festival, 15,000″ in October this year and they are up for a further two awards of “Best Grass Roots Festival” and “Best Headline Performance” for this year’s event by long-standing act, Twisted Sister.

In little over two months since their tenth anniversary, BOA have been proud to announce the American Death Metal lords, Morbid Angel which is also confirmed as their first and only UK date of 2011. The four-piece from Tampa in Florida consist of David Vincent, Trey Azagthoth, Destructhor, Pete Sandova and Tim Yeung on session drums since this year. The  band have seen a phenomenal amount of line up changes over the years with Trey being the founding member from 1984.

Releasing seven studio albums and one live during their current 26 year career; fans are eagerly awaiting the next installment which the band started work on from June of this year.

N-Dubz drummer claiming racial discrimination at sexual assult verdict

By Georgi Lindsey

The drummer of award-winning UK Urban group, N-Dubz, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two young females at an after-party in Glasgow which he claims is “hardly a haven for models” by the Sheriff Court.

Aaron Fagan, 25 years, was found guilty but given six months probation on the charge yet has still been put on the sex offenders register for six months. The attack took place after a concert at Strathclyde Students’ Union in October of last year when Fagan invited two young females to the after party. Fagan was later sacked from the award-winning band after it was discovered he led the two women to a stairway and proceeded to touch the bottom’s of both girls and grab one of their breasts; which was told to the court. Both girls later declined the invitation to the party and informed a bouncer at the event who called the police.

Aaron Fagan, former drummer of N-Dubz

Fagan denies the charges and is claiming racial discrimination due to the case not being heard by a jury but by  Sheriff Joanna Johnston. Fagan expressed his anger to the Daily Mail: “It’s pretty clear what happened in that court and it’s the opposite of justice. I’ve been convicted with no evidence, no CCTV or anything.”

Fagan explained in court he was “like honey to a swarm of bees” in relation to female fans of N-Dubz, who picked up Best Album and Best UK Act at the Mobo ceremony of last year. The drummer was told by Sheriff Johnston, “Your behaviour that night towards these girls was wholly unacceptable. You clearly shocked and upset those young women. However, I have taken into account the fact that you did not persist when they asked you to stop and your actions fall to the lower end of this sort of offending.”
The Drummer was later heard by the Daily Mail expressing his disbelief at the verdict, “Tell me how many people could have been convicted for squeezing a girl’s a***, nearly every guy could be up for that.”

Sentencing has been postponed until next month following further reports.

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