Maybe it’s time for a ringtone revolution

THEY can interrupt a tense moment in a film, drive stage actors to distraction and set teachers’ teeth on edge. Still, more and more people seem to think it’s okay to leave their mobile phone ringtones on when they’ve been asked not to.

IT was a Monday morning.

Like a lot of people out there, I’m keen on maintaining work-life balance. I believe a part of that is doing active, healthy things, like going for walks and heading to the gym every once in a while. It clears your head and puts you in a more positive mind-frame.

So last Monday I found myself lying on a mat at the LC2 in Swansea, feeling a zen-like calm after a yoga session. We had just done 45 minutes of stretches and I was starting to feel ready to take on the week ahead.

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It was love at first sight when I saw my first okapi


One of Marwell Wildlife Park's okapis. Picture by David Connop Price.

Their stripey hind-quarters and velvety coats mean many people think the okapi is a cross between a horse and a zebra, but in fact the okapi is the giraffe’s distant cousin.

BECAUSE of their shyness, okapis are not necessarily a zoo favourite, but I became enamoured with them from the moment I set eyes on one – at London Zoo.

I was accompanying my sister, Kim, on one of her regular trips to London Zoo with the boys she was looking after at the time. We’d gone to the Into Africa exhibit where towering giraffes, beautiful zebras and strange-looking tapirs are housed.  

Then we came across an enclosure which I’d not been to before.

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Breaking the 140-character barrier is going to take a kind of stamina I have never tried to muster

With Twitter, Facebook and other blogging platforms, every written word and published item is increasingly rushed. That’s why I have decided that it will be an interesting experiment to try to slow down and write something that has length and, hopefully, longevity.

AS a modern journalist, I have been trained to have a short attention span. Twitter has taken that to a whole new level. It’s a self-styled “micro-blogging” platform and lets you share the interesting things going on around you in 140 characters in an instant.

But I have been thinking seriously about trying to write something more substantial than a tweet or a few paragraphs of a blog.

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Welsh, it turns out, isn’t at all like French

I have learnt a lot of things since moving to Wales. Chief among those is the fact that the Welsh language isn’t at all like French.

THERE has been a flurry of St David’s Day celebrations across Wales this week.

Although most celebrations were on March 1 – the patron saint of Wales’s dedicated day in the calendar – many more have continued throughout the week.

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Two very different ways to react to rioting: Comparing the English legal system to Vancouver’s slower response

Riots were a huge talking point last summer. Although we saw inspirational images of people rising up against tyranny in Africa and the Middle East, we also saw – in Vancouver and England – people perpetrating mindless acts of vandalism and violence for no discernible reason. In the aftermath of those horrible riots, I think it’s interesting to compare Vancouver’s response with England’s.

CONSIDER this: The first rioters from Vancouver’s Stanley Cup disorder are only beginning to hear what they will face as punishment. Ryan Dickinson, from Surrey, B.C., was the first to be sentenced – eight months after the riots.

He was given a 16-month jail sentence for his part in the riots, which saw him, among other things, throwing a newspaper box at a car.

But some people are speculating that many of the other convicted rioters will get off lightly.

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The Grey premiere at Smithers’ Roi Theatre

The Grey, starring Liam Neeson, was filmed in and around Smithers, northern BC, Canada. The community got together for a uniquely northern BC premiere. Wish I could have been there. I like how director Joe Carnahan is drinking a Labatts Blue in the Skype link-up.


Britain is missing out on one of the joys of winter

Carefree moments are rare things – especially in the middle of winter. That’s why I don’t get why more Brits aren’t keen to embrace the cold, and enjoy the past-times winter can offer.

A CRISP, winter morning has a special quality to it. There is something wonderful about walking outside to see grass covered in frost and your breath in the air.

These kind of moments are pretty rare in the UK, with winter characterised more by rain than by chilly weather.

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An immigration policy that is both condescending and unfair

In today’s dire economy, immigration is increasingly seen as a cause of social problems. But not only do the ideas put forward by the government not address the problems, they’re also an insult to hard-working, low-income earners (who happen to be born elsewhere) who are putting tax revenue into government coffers. 

I couldn’t help but baulk at today’s announcement by Immigration Minister Damian Green.

The minister wants all non-EU immigrants to be commanding salaries of £31,000 and above. If you aren’t “adding to quality of life in Britain” in this way he said, the UK doesn’t want you living and working within its borders.

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