Does “the terrible twos” actually exist?

Very interesting article from my colleague Mike


s1030647_2I’ve never agreed with the idea of the “terrible twos” and now a former teacher, coach, and therapist has come out and said what many of us have long thought.

Tantrums are caused by lax parental discipline and unrealistic expectation rather than being an inevitable part of child development.

9781785831089newGillian Bridge, in her new book The Significance Delusion says this behaviour is peculiar to the UK and the USA where there is an acceptance that toddlers’  frustrations are worked out in “semi-feral behaviour labelled the terrible twos” which doesn’t exist in many other parts of the world.

She says visitors to the UK are often baffled by misbehaving toddlers and either had higher standards of behaviour for their own children or were more indulgent of childhood without having expectations about a child’s self-control. Some thought Brits expected too much of their youngsters.

In more traditional cultures…

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Steam locomotives……….it’s in the blood!


Our train makes its first appearance

Last Thursday I took the opportunity of travelling on the East Lancashire Railway from Bury to Rawtenstall on a gloriously sunny day. This is my third trip in the last twelve months and just as enjoyable as the other two. In many ways it was better as the weather was so much kinder


Gently easing its way into the station at Bury

As I waited to board at Bury Bolton Station there was a hive of activity as a tourist group made their way along the platform to a reserved carriage and similarly, a large group of under fives children from Bury Grammar School (nursery section I assume) were being shepherded by teaches and support staff to their own carriage.


Loading and unloading passengers

We were pulled by a beautiful old black steam engine, which built up a head of steam during the half hour journey to Rawtenstall. There is something about sticking your head outside the window and getting the smell of steam and raw power in your nostrils.


Approaching the tunnel……..

As we went through several tunnels I could hear the shrieks from the children’s carriage, as they got excited about being in darkness. I think it was more excitement than any kind of fear as for many of them this would probably have been their first experience of travelling on a steam locomotive.


Approaching Ramsbottom Station


There is some lovely scenery on the route particularly around Summerseat and Irwell Vale, you can hop on and off at each of the stations as you wish and catch a later train. It is quite easy to forget that you are not very far from one of the old industrial towns of Lancashire and it is easy to see why people move out here and commute into such places as Manchester and Leeds.


Young children introduced to the world of steam

On returning to Bury I got off the train and then noticed a sign on several carriages that said “Evacuee Experience.” I asked one of the staff what this was and he explained that groups of children, who dress up in 40s clothing, come along to experience what it was like for children being sent into the countryside during the war. Just at that moment a large group of children came down the station steps all dressed in short trousers, flat caps and similar clothes of that era, even the teachers were in 1940s apparel.


Excited children with teacher embrace the “evacuee experience”

I waited for the train to leave and then made my way back to my car, another very enjoyable day spent on the East Lancs Railway who do so much to preserve the industrial heritage of this country.


Highly skilled train driver and fireman


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The Ig Nobel Awards 2016……and the one for psychology is?


The 26th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony took place on Thursday night, and as always, the goofy award show recognized some of the silliest science around — or as they put it, research that makes “people LAUGH, and then THINK.

The theme of 2016’s ceremony, which featured a bunch of scientists having an infectiously nerdy good time, was time. There were demonstrations, and a three-part opera about what, exactly, a “leap second.” (Short answer: It’s a second that’s occasionally added on to the super-precise atomic time that the world runs on to make sure it doesn’t drift too far away from the time of day based on Earth’s rotation around the sun. It’s complicated.)

But the big draw of the show, which was held at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre, were the awards. Here, then, are your 2016 Ig Nobel prize winners. I draw all my psychologist friends attention to number six, which is my own personal favourite out of the whole bunch.

Rats Who Wear Polyester Pants Don’t Get Laid as Much

The late Ahmed Shafik of Egypt won the Reproduction Prize for his study that measured the effects of wearing polyester versus cotton or wool trousers on the sex life of rats. He dressed 75 rats in polyester pantsuits, and, honestly, this study raises far more questions than it answers.

We Think Rocks Have Different Personalities and Personal #Brands

The Ig Nobel prize for Economics went to Mark Avis, Sarah Gorbes, and Shelagh Ferguson for finding that people project different personality traits onto different types of rocks, and this can be useful from a sales and marketing perspective. A hunk of obsidian is glamorous and contemporary, while pumice projects independence, for instance.

White Horses Are the Most Horsefly-Proof Horses

The Ig Nobel prize for Physics went to a Gábor Horváth, Miklós Blahó, György Kriska, Ramón Hegedüs, Balázs Gerics, Róbert Farkas, Susanne Åkesson, Péter Malik, and Hansruedi Wildermuth, for finding that horseflies weren’t as attracted to white horses as they were to black beauties. The stronger the light reflected from their coats, the less attracted flies were to the equines.

Åkesson, who accepted the award, added that there were other patterns that were less appealing to flies that could help you avoid being bitten. “You can also either have stripes like a zebra or you can dress like myself in a dotted coat,” she said.

Volkswagen Sucks (lol)

The Ig Nobel prize for Chemistry wasn’t so much an actual award as it was a sick burn directed at the German car company for its infamous emissions scandal. The host sarcastically said Volkswagen won the prize for “solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested.”

The Ig Nobel prize for Medicine

Was awarded to Christoph Helmchen, Carina Palzer, Thomas Mnte, Silke Anders, and Andreas Sprenger. Together, these researchers injected 26 volunteers in the arm with itch-inducing chemical histamine. When they itched the opposite arm while looking in a mirror, they felt some relief.


Young Adults Are the Best Liars 

The Ig Nobel prize for Psychology went to Evelyne Debey, Maarten De Schryver, Gordon Logan, Kristina Suchotzki, and Bruno Verschuere for, as the Ig Nobels put it “asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers.” More specifically, they asked 1,005 people, ranging from 6 to 77 years old, to lie to them in an attempt to see what age group was the best at it. The conclusion? Don’t trust a damned thing anyone between the ages of 18 and 29 says. (I believe a similar study was undertaken by Professor Ivan Wackadoodle at the University of Kamchatka whose study group consisted of 1000 Yaks).


Some People Are More Susceptible to “Pseudo-Profound Bullshit”

The Ig Nobel prize for Peace was given to Gordon Pennycook, James Allan Cheyne, Nathaniel Barr, Derek Koehler, and Jonathan Fugelsang, true heroes, all of them. Their study, On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit, examined how people perceive “seemingly impressive assertions that are presented as true and meaningful but are actually vacuous.” Some people, they found, are just more susceptible to this type of bullshit.

Pretending You’re an Animal

The Ig Nobel prize for biology was jointly awarded to Charles Foster and Thomas Thwaites. Both men pretended they were animals… for science. Foster, who was recently featured in an episode of This American Life pretended he was a badger, a deer, an otter, a fox, and a bird for his book Being a Beast.

Thwaites, meanwhile, made custom prosthetics so he could live life like a goat. Inverse interviewed Thwaites about his work over the summer.

Collecting Dead Flies Is a Pleasurable Experience

The Ig Nobel prize for Literature went to Fredrik Sjöberg for his three-volume autobiography, The Fly Trap, which was centered largely around how much pleasure he got out of collecting dead and/or dying flies. Kay.

Things Look Different When You Bend Over and Look Through Your Legs

The Ig Nobel prize for Perception was given to Atsuki Higashiyama and Kohei Adachi, for their study Perceived size and perceived distance of targets viewed from between the legs: Evidence for proprioceptive theory. They found that when you look between your legs like you’re about to hike a football, you’re not as consistent while estimating size and tend to compress the scale for distance.

Inverse attempted to predict some of the winners of this year’s Ig Nobel prizes, and while “You Probably Think Legos Are Real” or any of our other guesses ended up getting a nod, it just goes to show that there’s a lot of fun science out there.

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“Catch”………..a seafood restaurant to savour


There are times when I despair about customer service these days in hotels, bars and restaurants, where casual indifference to the customer seems to be “de rigeur.” Put this alongside portions of food that wouldn’t feed a whelk it leaves me thinking what happened to the days of “substantial food” and value for money.

Last night I went out for a celebration meal at a restaurant we had not tried before, but had been recommended by a friend.


Catch Bistro is situated in West Vale just outside of Halifax and upon walking in there is a nice atmosphere about the place, a sort of cross between a contemporary restaurant and a works dining hall. Seating is spacious and informal and with enough room between tables for a little privacy.

We ordered a sea food platter to share and for my main course I went for the king size battered fish with chips and mushy peas for accompaniments.


When the sea food arrived I could not believe how much food was on the platter and the variety of sea food e.g. calamari, whole king prawns, prawns in a dressing, monkfish, scampi and some battered goujons of white fish (possibly haddock) all with accompanying salad and focaccia bread.

After getting through most of this I was beginning to regret ordering the king size fish for main so I popped to the bar and spoke to the manager who very kindly agreed to serve me a “medium” battered fish.

I managed to finish my medium fish and mushy peas (Manchester caviar) but the chips defeated me, they were beautifully cooked but I was just too full. I accompanied my meal with a bottle of American blonde ale, which was very palatable.

The waitresses who served us were impeccable, a genuine warm smile to greet us and attentive throughout the meal without being over fussy. This is the kind of service that brings customers back, and there is no doubt I shall be back again within the very near future.

You can find the restaurant on the lower level of the newly developed Victoria Mills in West Vale at HX4 8AD.

Get in touch via / or call 01422310003

Photographs (c) Kindadukish


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Vilnius……..happiest residents in Europe


Ninety-eight percent of residents of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, were satisfied with life in their city in an EU survey taken last year, closely followed by Stockholm and Copenhagen at 97 percent each. The lowest satisfaction among EU capitals was in Athens at 71 percent, below Rome at 80 percent.

As a regular visitor to the city for the last 10 years I can confirm that it is a lovely city with a “home town” atmosphere about it. I still conducer it one of the undiscovered beauty spots of European cities.

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“Ee, bah gum, its grim up north”…..until you get to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Having lived in West Yorkshire for the best part of twenty-four years I have been a regular visitor to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park at Breton, as it is one of the UKs most beautiful country parks.

Today was a glorious sunny day so I took the opportunity of driving to the park to indulge my ever-increasing interest in photography. My walk took in the grounds around the two centres as well as a stroll around the topside of the lake (now full again with water) where the views back across the lake towards the Emley TV transmitter are quite stunning on days like this.

Below are some of the images I captured today which, I hope reflect the sheer beauty of the park and its many art and sculpture displays………not to mention the animals roaming around.


Peace and tranquility on the lake…………



Looking towards Emley TV mast


It was a long night……………


There are feet……and there are BIG feet!


Is it safe mum?


Off with their heads…….


Part of the exhibition of the work of the artist Not Vital


Even the sheep found it hot


Well you do have to admit it is a fine colour of green


Out of my way…………


Elvis has left the building (try working that one out)



“The Last Supper”…….and no, I don’t get it either


All photographs (c) Kindadukish 2016


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Boys behaving disgracefully at school & where are the teachers?


figure_dancing_fad_500_clr_11824I was sickened to read that an MPs report says sexual harassment is rife in schools. Girls as young as 11 are groped, taunted and called “slags” and “sluts” and unwanted touching is accepted as a daily part of life in the classroom.

Well it shouldn’t be!

Apparently many boys think nothing of pulling up skirts, slapping bottoms and feeling girls’ breasts. Nearly 3/4 of girls had been called offensive names, over half had been sexually harassed and a third of girls aged 16-18 had been sexually touched at school. It’s assault people. In the workplace people would be sacked and even charged with a criminal offence.

What are the boys thinking about? On-line pornography will no doubt get some blame but what about the fact that most schools let pupils use their smart phones at school where they can sext away to their hearts content rather than…

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