Speaking out on increasingly worrying news

​I’ve been trying to write something about the past week about the news coming from Donald Trump’s America about the recent travel ban for people who come from seven mainly Muslim countries (and not just that, it includes green card holders ect) and I’ve been to shocked by this, about how it can happen in 2017 and especially after our history.

So here’s the short version instead of a massive rant: the new US travel bans are unjustifiable (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/28/trump-immigration-ban-syria-muslims-reaction-lawsuits) and so is Theresa May’s refusal to condemn them (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38784199) and not to speak out that this is not right for so many reasons.

All Refugees should be welcome and immigrants should be welcome as well (especially seeing that the United States was built on immigration and being the land of the free). Refugees and immigrants should be welcome without barriers in the US, in the UK, in fact anywhere that can support them.

I know I’ll properly get some hate from UKIP voters who are convinced that Britain Should Be For The British and that’s it, but that’s not who I’m talking to. I’m talking to the undecided folks. The folks listening to the rhetoric, and thinking “I don’t know, maybe it’s for the best.” It’s not.

We turned them away‘ is not something that looks good in the history books and we made a promise not to let history repeat itself and not to let it happen again (I’m talking about the Holocaust here) . With people agreeing with this travel ban, we’re letting this happen again and letting history repeat it self again.

So please in summary, look out for people less fortunate than yourself. Donate time or money, whichever you’re able, to effective charities. Be heard. Use your platform. Shout out and challenge it.

More prominently, do not let intolerance win

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Thoughts on BBC Two’s ‘Transgender Kids: Who knows best?’

So BBC two aired a documentary called ‘Transgender Kids: Who knows best’ last night in the UK which has quite rightly so got a lot of negative feedback from not just the trans community but many other people as well for so many reasons and not just for including disgraced Canadian doctor Kenneth Zucker, who’s name filled many trans canadians with dread.

If your not aware of Kenneth Zucker has basically since the  1970s, treated about 500 preadolescence gender-variant children with reparative treatments till an age where he believed that they could determine their own gender identity.  

So for children assigned as male at birth, Zucker would ask parents to take away toys associated with females and instruct the child not to play with females and vice vis with female to male children. Psychologist Darryl Hill wrote that Zucker believed that this reparative treatment could reduce the possibility of gender dysphoria. All you would have to do here is to replace ‘Transgender’ with ‘Gay’ and their would be out cry.

But on with the program, it seemed to focus on the extreme part of the binary which was very much that ‘Girls play with barbies and that boys played with toy trucks’, along with a so called expert comparing transgender children to dogs… ‘a four year old might say its a dog, do you go out and buy him dog food’. The so called experts also tried to claim that being transgender was a result of other mental health issues and being autistic where being transgender was just a fixation on something.

As well as a focus on that being of a young age and having life chancing surgery which is completely wrong. There’s guidelines in place which means this doesn’t happen. Here in the UK, it’s 18, children can take puberty blockers which is reversible and spares the child the torment of going through a puberty which is wrong for them. Trust me, ask any transgender teenager or adult about that and it be the same answer. It was hell.

The best thing to take from this is that transgender children do know best, they know whats going in their heads, they can make decisions, forcing your own view onto them won’t make a difference apart from maybe either adding their name onto the ever growing list of transgender people who have sadly taken their life or by adding to the life in terms of happiness of feeling loved and supported.

So what other advice to take from this? If you have a trans child or a child questioning their gender then love and support them, understand them, help them, don’t for gods sake shoot them down or bury it. Trans people have one of the highest suicide rates going (The hidden extent of suicide attempts in young transgender people)

If you have been affected by any of the content here or the program please do use the following helplines and be kind to yourself:

Samaritans: 116 123
Childline (under 18): 0800111111
Gender Trust: 01527894838
Mermaids: 08443340550

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Thoughts on the recent Mental Health reforms

There has been a lot of talk over the past few days over Theresa May’s speech about Mental Health reforms where she pledged about new initiatives to help those with mental health problems.

Having a look through her speech it seems like most of her initiatives seem to focus on younger people, once again leaving those over the age of twenty odd left to fend for themselves with services that have been slashed over and over again thanks to budget cuts by the Tory government. Theresa May also promised to take action to tackle the ‘stigma’ around mental health, I’m sorry? Stigma? I’ll rather take the funding.

Any hows

There are positives from her speech however. She pledged new support in schools such as Mental Health First Aid Training and closer links with schools and CAMHS. I do welcome these seeing that according to studies half of mental health problems start by the age of 14 and 75% by 18. She also said that by 2021, no child will be sent away from their local area to receive treatment for mental health issues. This will be an interesting one to watch seeing that it’s quite common knowledge that children being admitted to hospital can sometimes be sent up to 300 miles away from their home. Again what funding is in place to make this happen? The £220 million promised by David Cameron still hasn’t filtered down to  front line services as many services are using it to fund other services.

How ever research conducted by the Education Policy Institute Independent Commission on Children and Young People’s Mental Health in November found that a quarter of young people seeking mental health care are turned away by specialist services because of a lack of resources and that waiting times for treatment in many areas are also incredibly long. Which again is a funding issue.

Also in the speech, Therese May announced that just an extra £15m is to be pledged for creating more places of safety. This works out to be about £23,000 per parliamentary constituency. Which in the scheme of things isn’t a lot at all.

She also talked about Digitally assisted therapy. So treatment provided over the internet such as Scotland’s ‘Mind the Blues’ in what seems like an attempt to make overstretched services go even further. Maybe Therese May would like to introduce my Crisis Team Chat Bot?


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Fallout Perks Timelapse on a HPC LS6840 PRO Lasercutter

So the local Makerspace (Swindon Makerspace) have recently had a HPC LS6840 PRO Laser Cutter on loan from the cool people over at Reprap Ltd, so after many questions (I really don’t fancy breaking a cutter worth a few thousand pounds), I got brave and loaded up the software and loaded up a vector of all the main pip boy perks from the Fallout world and set the cutter going, nearly three hours later, I got this….

Fallout Perks Laser engravement

Not bad going at all, maybe a little bit deep, could have put the speed up a bit as well, but for a first attempt, I  can’t complain.

The time-lapse at the top was shot on using a GoPro Hero 3 +  with around 1400 photos, with one photo every five seconds.


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