Posted by & filed under General, Hot Topics, Social.

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The near-miss is far more serious than a fallen ice cream

Of all the daft things people say these days – from ‘going forward’, ‘at this moment in time’, to ‘perfect storm’ I think ‘near-miss’ takes the biscuit.

It describes an unplanned situation where somebody had a lucky escape, where an accident about to happen, didn’t, where people got away by the skin of their teeth. A near-miss is a close call, a close shave or too close for comfort.

It can apply to airplanes almost colliding with drones or each other; rocks crashing through windows; people almost being knocked off their bikes…. the Grim Reaper whistles past in touching distance, but on this occasion doesn’t stop and say hello.

The point is the crash, mishap, disaster, accident DIDN’T happen.

It was NOT A NEAR-MISS, IT WAS A MISS.

It was in fact, a near-hit, not a near miss! Read more »

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If the summer has finally arrived, you could do worse than spend an hour sitting in the sunshine listening to a TED talk.

No, not teddy bears but a fascinating repository of ideas worth spreading, innovative thinking from people sometimes called mavericks who share their expertise, experiences and new thinking with the world at large.

TED is from Technology, Entertainment and Design and is a non-profit making organisation devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short talks – usually 18 minutes or less and delivered without any notes at all – from global issues to science to personal life-learning experiences.

It has over 2000 talks available to ‘stir your curiosity’. You can search for specific topics from A for algorithm or ancient world to Z … well, there aren’t any Zs yet, but several hundred in between. Read more »

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PIC FROM Sarah DeRemer/ CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: cross between a shark and a spider Shider ) - New species have been created by an enterprising artist who has merged photos of animals together in this incredible series of pictures. Californian Sarah DeRemer, 25, started making hybrid animals as a way to improve her photoshop skills. SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Sarah DeRemer / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED:cross between a baboon and a sparrow - Birboon ) - New species have been created by an enterprising artist who has merged photos of animals together in this incredible series of pictures. Californian Sarah DeRemer, 25, started making hybrid animals as a way to improve her photoshop skills. SEE CATERS COPY23F7289000000578-2869796-_Mittens_area_mash_up_of_cute_kittens_and_monkeys_which_are_crea-a-38_1418294772143

What do you think of when someone says hybrid animals?

Things from the wild, from imagination or from the two? Well check out these hybrid animal photoshop images courtesy of 25-year old Sarah Lee DeRememer from California.

Even seen a monkey with face of a kitten and thought to call the resulting things ‘mittens’?

Sarah DeRememer has. A whole Frankenstein gallery of them. Read more »

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Bill Gates, the wealthiest man on the planet, gives away billions

I’ve never been as interested in the life, works and sayings of Bill Gates as those of Steve Jobs. If I thought about it, it was probably down to that period in the early 1990s when I became addicted to the Apple Mac over other kinds of personal computing.

But recently I’ve found myself discovering the billionaire Bill Gates and been impressed.

For a start he gives away billions. Through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for instance he has just given away $10 billion (£6 billion) to develop and distribute vaccines. It is the largest ever single donation made in the world.

The Microsoft founder is the richest man on the planet worth around $76 billion despite giving away money in huge billion dollar chunks totalling at least $26 billion.

That’s impressive by any measure. Read more »

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Crowdfunding Is Now So Mainstream, You Could Use It to Do Anything
An update on our previous crowdfunding blog

As crowdfunding becomes more mainstream and ever more people look to the crowd to raise money for projects, it’s timely to have a look at just what people are hoping others will support.

The banks are having to accept that crowdfunding is the way forward. Investors like the flexibility of this kind of investment and those who seek funding like having all sorts of people willing to pay into enterprises great and good, bad and mad.

From business ideas that ought to work to pipe-dreams that will never see the light of day, crowdfunders underpin all sorts of ventures, sometimes in return for shares or glory or a sense of adventure.

Recent bids include arts centres, renovating derelict areas of towns, a company wants to put on a musical. Bedminster wanted money to light up the town for Christmas. The Green Party in Swindon wanted funding for the last election. An events company in Cornwall made a crowdfunding bid to pay for the Foo Fighters to visit Cornwall.

It seems that nothing is too ridiculous, ambitious, off the wall but that it will raise a few quid if not the full asking amount.

So how do you join the party? Read more »