The Facts About: Depression

first_img“It was a feeling of total inertia. I just didn’t want to do anything, not even get out of bed”.  “Everything I used to enjoy seemed pointless”. “I felt very alone.”  Depression is a serious medical condition. It is not something that you can remedy by ‘pulling your socks up’ or simply ‘getting on with it’.  The causes are complicated and still not fully understood.  In some people it is caused by an under-active thyroid gland which can make you put on weight and feel sluggish and lethargic; other people may experience it as a response to certain foods; and still others become depressed as a symptom of illness. Often though, it has no apparent physical cause. Some experts describe it as a form of ‘unfinished mourning’ following a major life change or a major shock.  And while it is unclear as to whether there is a genetic basis for depression, it seems that some people are more susceptible to it than others.    As far as Oxford goes, the environment that students are in is one which can be conducive to depression.  It is a very intense place.  Many of us find when we get here that, although we were easily among the most able and talented at school, at university we are suddenly just part of the crowd.  There are other changes too.  The workload can at times seem not only daunting but physically impossible and as a fresher you might be separated from your family and friends for the first time.  Suddenly your old routines and your old support networks are gone.  Even if you’ve been here two or three years already, it can still be difficult to cope at times. It is easy to feel that you are not as successful, as popular, or simply as happy as many of your peers.  It is important therefore to keep things in perspective: to remember that most people here are not superstars.  They are just like you, and just like you they have low points and times when they feel that they aren’t getting the most out of university.  However, a ‘low point’ is reasonably common amongst most people.  Think of it as the mental health equivalent of the common cold.  It is no fun, but it will pass after a while.  The clinical term ‘depression’ on the other hand, refers to something more serious.     The main symptoms of depression include: having negative thoughts, feeling extremely anxious, not enjoying things that you usually enjoy, wanting to distance yourself from others, feeling restless and agitated, having difficulty sleeping, feeling helpless, feeling aches and pains with no physical cause, and feeling tired.  There are other symptoms, and people with depression may experience a different number of symptoms, in different combinations.  The way people experience depression is very varied. For some, it can even be a strangely productive period.  One student told me “I sometimes relish those days when I feel depressed. I can wallow in pure selfishness.  I don’t care about anyone or anything else. I do a lot of thinking then.” For others however, depression is extremely dangerous and can lead to self harm and even suicidal thoughts.  In Oxford there are reasonably good welfare services. OUSU provides counselling services run by trained professional counsellors where most students can get an appointment within a week, there is the student run ‘nightline’ open from 8pm to 8am and each college runs its own welfare system, often with student peer supporters and professional members of staff.  However, the symptoms of depression can mean that it is difficult for people to get help, and students can fall through the welfare net.  A depressed person often lacks the motivation to actively do something about the way they are feeling and may also be less inclined to talk to others than usual.  So it is important that friends and neighbours keep an eye out for each other.   The good thing is that depression is treatable.  Exercise, for example, is particularly good because it stimulates the endorphins in your brain and also eating a healthy diet, especially one containing oily fish, can help a lot too.  But it is not an easy battle.  Depression is something which feeds off itself and fighting the negative attitudes that it creates is tough.  Oxford does not always provide the best atmosphere in which to deal with this, but the support is there if you need it.  The important thing to remember is that you are not alone.last_img read more

Oriel freshers hold scone sale following party trouble

first_imgOriel College freshers are hosting a charity cream tea sale this Saturday 1st November, as they seek to atone for a drunken party held over matriculation weekend.In response to a call from the Deans at the College to redeem themselves, a group of students came together to organise the fundraiser, with all proceeds from the sale going to St John’s Ambulance. Cream teas will be sold for £3, and the event will take place in the Oriel College Porter’s lodge from 10.30am until mid-day.The idea for the fundraiser follows a riotous Matriculation weekend. A group of Oriel freshers hosted a ‘scones and rosé’ party without informing the Deans. When the event got out of hand the College raised concerns.The Oriel freshers were summoned to meet the Deans and were berated for their actions. They were asked to come up with an idea to apologise for their mistakes, and after careful deliberations, it was agreed a cream tea sale was the perfect response, given the evident popularity of scones.Determined to give something back to an organisation vital to the Oxford community, they asked the Deans if all proceeds might go to St John’s Ambulance charity.Annie Hazlitt, co-organiser of ‘The Scones Say Sorry’ event, told Cherwell, “We just couldn’t think of a better charity. Having had personal experience of St John’s Ambulance I know it’s there for every Oxford student. They’re always there to catch us when we fall.”Some Oriel freshers were particularly remorseful about the party. “We believe we’ve all learnt our lesson now”, Serena Yagoub commented. Tina Moll, a modern languages student, was less sure however, “We would do it again but with less rosé”, she suggested to Cherwell, “maybe even whiskey next time.”Other students were keen to put the incident behind them and look forward to the charity sale. Max Mccreery, a first year PPE student, remarked, “The scones and rosé was a great idea, but anything for charity — that’s what we’re interested in.” Will Cook, another fresher, was more equivocal, telling Cherwell, “A lot of people have viewed it through rose tinted glasses.”He went on to say that he was mindful that a bit of perspective was needed given this was Matriculation weekend.All costs for ‘The Scones Say Sorry’ sale are being covered by the students themselves. Another Oriel fresher involved in the event stated, “It’s really gratifying how everyone’s chipping in. The whole college seems really behind this. I’ve had people coming up to me in the street asking for a room service scone delivery.”The logistics of the event are complex. Kate Welsh, who will be responsible for brewing over two hundred cups of tea on the day, told Cherwell, “In terms of tea, as I’m not a tea drinker I’m feeling pretty daunted by the task ahead. It’s a personal barrier I’m just going to have to overcome. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’m just doing it to put on my CV.”Stevan Boljevic secured the much sought after role of Chief Creamer for the event. He claimed, “When I was first offered the position of Chief Creamer I felt somewhat overwhelmed. I’ve never creamed so much in my life on such a tight schedule. However, now that we’ve upped the quantity of cream on offer I’m certain I can cream to everyone’s satisfaction. I’m thrilled to be working with someone as jammy as Isaac Virchis on creating the perfect scone.”Oriel students were also quick to engage in the age old debate of jam-before-cream, or cream-before-jam on their scones. Cherwell pressed Boljevic on this issue, and was told, “I’d like to stress that following a team meeting we will be catering to all cream preferences and nobody will face discrimination on the grounds of how they want to be creamed —the customer must come first.”Both the College and JCR President were unavailable for comment.last_img read more

Tip to Shore Travelers: Turtle Crossing Time

first_imgDiamondback terrapins make their way to nest and back again, but some are getting hit by cars on a stretch of roadway near Corson’s Inlet Bridge. By MADDY VITALETiny turtles crawling on the road this time of year are no match for the much faster cars and trucks.Motorists should be on the lookout as the female diamondback terrapins cross the road to look for areas to lay their eggs.Steve and Susan Ahern, who run a terrapin rescue organization at the shore, offer a piece of advice to anyone who spots a terrapin in distress or in danger, especially while crossing the roadway.“You have to help them cross in the direction they are going. They will nest in any place soft enough to dig – even people’s front yards,” Steve Ahern said, noting that no one should put themselves in danger while assisting turtles.Between Corson’s Inlet Bridge and the Rush Chattin Bridge there is a stretch of Bay Avenue on the Ocean City side littered with crushed turtle carcasses.Despite bright yellow turtle crossing signs to warn motorists that there may be turtles in the area, travelers may find it difficult to spot the dark, grayish-green coloring of the terrapins that seem to blend in with the black pavement.The small, dark turtles are difficult to see on the black asphalt. This one made it safely across the road.On Sunday, at least a dozen turtles were dead on the shoulder of the roadway along Bay Avenue near the Corson’s Inlet Bridge.Steve Ahern said of the turtle deaths, “They have been out, but concentrated on certain days. Corson’s Inlet has been a real hotspot.”This year has been one of the latest starts to the diamondback terrapin nesting season, according to the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, which keeps records going back to 1990.Nesting season for diamondback terrapins is normally from May to July. Females emerge from the marshlands to lay their eggs.This summer, the turtles did not begin appearing until mid-June. Some experts say it could be due to a cooler beginning to the season, others just aren’t sure.But the biggest issue now for rescuers such as the Aherns and other turtle experts is how to protect the terrapins on their journey to lay their eggs and then back to the marsh.Cars, predators and construction will continue to pose dangers to the turtles.It can take anywhere from eight to 14 weeks for the terrapin eggs to hatch. Since the terrapins, which can live up to 30 years, typically nest in sandy soil, places such as the beaches and dunes give them a safe place to lay their eggs.Crushed terrapins are along the shoulder of Bay Avenue on the Ocean City side of the Corson’s Inlet Bridge.last_img read more

Gingerbread Houses

first_imgGingerbread houses are very common throughout Europe, particularly at Christmas time. They are relatively simple to make, and will look fabulous in your shop during the festive season. Children adore them. IngredientsGingerbread, royal icing, baker’s chocolate, décor.Method1 First, prepare your gingerbread dough – we use a Swiss Lebkuchen mix, made with honey and slightly chewy. Roll it so that the gingerbread will be 10-12mm thick when baked. It is now ready to cut into pieces.2 We use card templates as a cutting guide.3 Bake your gingerbread and leave to cool. Glaze the tops with apricot jam and brush the backs with chocolate. This design uses one rectangular piece for the base, two triangles and two rectangles for the house, and two small triangles for trees.4 Spread a thick layer of icing onto the base. Place the two triangles on the base and hold in place with icing. Let the icing firm up.5 Pipe a line of icing along the triangle edges. Place on the two rectangular sides of the roof.6 Decorate the trees and put in position.7 Last, Pipe on icicles with royal icing – this covers the joins.Décor Hints: roll out doors and windows in sugarpaste and stick to the house. Keep the individual components simple.Pipe icing decorations on your trees. Small pieces of gingerbread can be used to make a fire.last_img read more

Healthy mix

first_imgNew from Country Range is a line of cake, bread and pastry mixes, to meet the demand for healthier baking products. Every mix in the nine-strong range is free from hydrogenated fats, artificial colours and preservatives.The mixes include: sponge (also available in a reduced-fat version); chocolate sponge; ginger sponge; crumble; scone; white bread and roll; all-purpose pastry; and vegetable suet.last_img

Press release: Celebrities pledge to clean up their act on social media

first_img The key piece of consumer protection legislation relevant to the CMA’s investigation is the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs). Amongst other requirements, it is a banned practice to falsely claim or create the impression that a trader is not acting for purposes relating to his trade, business, craft or profession, or falsely representing oneself as a consumer. This investigation – which began in August 2018 – assessed whether influencers were clearly disclosing paid-for endorsements. The CMA considers payment to be any form of reward, including money, gifts of services or products, or the loan of a product. It follows earlier work in 2015 that considered online reviews and endorsements. As part of that, the CMA accepted undertakings from four companies to ensure that online advertising is clearly labelled or otherwise identified so that it is distinguishable from the opinions of bloggers or journalists. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has secured formal commitments from 16 celebrities to ensure they will now say clearly if they have been paid or received any gifts or loans of products which they endorse.The influential celebrities, with large online followings, who have acted in response to the CMA’s concerns, include singers Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora, models Alexa Chung and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, former Coronation Street and Our Girl actress Michelle Keegan and TV reality stars Millie Mackintosh and Megan McKenna.Online endorsements from celebrities and influencers can help brands boost sales, as millions of fans follow their social media channels to see where they go on holiday, what they wear, which products they use and more.However, where such stars are paid or rewarded to promote a product in their social media feeds, consumer protection law requires them to disclose that they’ve been paid or incentivised to endorse a brand. Otherwise, they risk giving a misleading impression that a post represents their personal view about a product or service.Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: Warning letters have also been sent to a number of other celebrities, urging them to review their practices where some concerns have been identified.Further investigation work will look at the role and responsibilities of social media platforms.The CMA has also published a quick guide for social media influencers, marketing companies, agents and brands to ensure they are aware of their obligations under consumer protection law. This is in addition to the joint guidance issued with the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) “An Influencer’s Guide to making clear that ads are ads” published in September 2018.More information can be found on the CMA’s social media endorsements pageNotes to editors Influencers can have a huge impact on what their fans decide to buy. People could, quite rightly, feel misled if what they thought was a recommendation from someone they admired turns out to be a marketing ploy. You should be able to tell as soon as you look at a post if there is some form of payment or reward involved, so you can decide whether something is really worth spending your hard-earned money on. The enforcement action taken by the CMA has seen a number of social media stars pledge to be more transparent when posting online. It also sends a clear message to all influencers, brands and businesses that they must be open and clear with their followers. We will also continue our work to secure more improvement in this space. Media enquiries should be directed to [email protected] or 020 3738 6460.For CMA updates, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The CMA has not made a finding on whether the influencers’ practices have breached consumer law. All influencers co-operated with the CMA and volunteered to make changes to their practices. The provision of undertakings is not an admission of a breach of the law. As an enforcer under Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002, the CMA can enforce the above legislation through the courts. Ultimately, only a court can decide whether a particular term or practice infringes the law. The CMA is working closely with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in this area. The ASA is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media. In March 2018, the ASA issued a call for evidence to find out more about what types of labels help people to understand when the online content they see, hear and interact with is advertising. ‘Influencer’ refers to bloggers, vloggers, celebrities and social media personalities. The influencers who have complied with the CMA investigation and agreed to change their social media practices are: Alexa Chung, Mario Falcone, Alexandra Felstead (‘Binky’ Felstead), Ellie Goulding, Holly Hagan, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Michelle Keegan and Rosia Promotions Limited, Iskra Lawrence, Camilla Mackintosh (‘Millie’ Mackintosh), Megan McKenna and M McKenna Limited, Chloe Sims, Zoe Sugg, Louise Thompson and Louise Thompson Associates Limited, Dina Torkia, Rita Ora, James Chapman and Jim Chapman Limited.last_img read more

State lawmakers are pushing to curb governors’ virus powers

first_imgState lawmakers around the U.S. are moving to curb the authority of governors and top health officials to impose emergency restrictions such as mask rules and business shutdowns. Many legislators are resentful of the way governors have issued sweeping executive orders. They are pushing back in states such as Arizona, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Pennsylvania. Some governors say they need authority to act quickly and decisively against the fast-changing threat.last_img

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney Begin Performances in Oh, Hello

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 22, 2017 Related Shows Nick Kroll as Gil Faizon & John Mulaney as George St. Geegland in ‘Oh, Hello'(Photo: Christian Frarey) Some hilarious geezers are headed for the Great White Way. Comedy dream team Nick Kroll and John Mulaney start performances in Oh, Hello at the Lyceum Theatre on September 23. Under the direction of Alex Timbers, their delightfully crotchety alter egos Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland will gab about politics, tuna and the water on the top of yogurt packets in a both scripted and spontaneous performance. Opening night is set for October 10, and the limited engagement will run through January 8, 2017.Gil Faizon (Kroll) and George St. Geegland (Mulaney) are outrageously opinionated, 70-something, native New Yorkers that Kroll and Mulaney first began performing on the alternative comedy stages in NYC. Honed for over a decade, the fictional duo garnered a cult following and found their way onto a Comedy Central special, viral videos and late night couches everywhere. Oh, Hello on Broadway is Gil and George’s “memoir for the stage”—a laugh-a-minute two-man tour-de-force that’s totally unprecedented.”The show is filled with references to theatre,” Kroll told “It’s really George and Gil’s love letter to Broadway.””And a stalker’s note scrawled in lipstick on a mirror,” added Mulaney.Buckle up and get ready to laugh. Check out go On the Scene with Oh, Hello below!center_img View Comments Oh, Hello on Broadwaylast_img read more

Ice-damaged Trees.

first_imgSouthern Pine BeetlesFrom the Piedmont up into the mountains, Dickens said, trees are more vulnerable to Southern pine beetles. These beetles spread fast and can take out huge tracts of pines, so it’s important there to monitor trees and quickly identify any beetle damage.Ice damage to hardwood trees is usually less harmful to the overall health of the tree, Dickens said. Cleanup is still important, though.”You may also want to saw off jagged limb stubs even with the branch collar,” he said. “Or get a qualified arborist to do it. That will make them less inviting to insects and diseases.” Remove the downed trees and branches. This may be the best option for yard trees.Burn them, where that’s possible. In a state where the wildfire threat is high, burning carries some risk, whether you pile up the limbs in your yard or conduct a prescribed burn. In either case, be sure you get a burning permit first from the Georgia Forestry Commission.Spray the remaining trees with an insecticide labeled for pine bark beetles. Get details on the best insecticide treatment from the nearest county office of the UGA Extension Service. In the wake of the recent ice and snow damage to Georgia trees, your best response is to clean up the mess and leave the rest alone.”For pine trees that are bent over from the ice, the rule of thumb is to give them the next growing season to straighten up,” said David Dickens, an Extension Service forester with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Young trees are likely to straighten up, he said. Older, bigger trees, though, may not recover.Old Trees Too Top-heavy”Beyond a certain physiological stage, generally somewhere around 10 to 12 years, pine trees become too top-heavy to straighten up,” he said. “If they haven’t straightened up after a year, it’s best to go ahead and remove them.”Where the weight of the ice snapped off pine limbs and even trees, Dickens said, cleanup is important. The potential for increased beetle activity this summer makes it important to clean up the downed trees and limbs.Pine bark beetles drawn by the resin oozing from damaged trees bore through the trees’ bark and lay eggs underneath. The larvae carve out feeding galleries under the bark and introduce a fungus called blue stain. The feeding and the fungus cause branches and even whole trees to dry out and die.Ips Beetles Major Problem”In the Georgia coastal plain, the major problem is Ips beetles,” he said. “Black turpentine beetles can also be a problem.”Since Ips beetles will move into downed trees and branches and begin spreading from there, he said, you’re left with three choices:last_img read more

This Land is Your Land

first_imgPrivatization and commercialization of public lands is increasing. More companies are being allowed to manage national forests and other federal and state-owned lands, and fracking and mining firms are often permitted to extract the minerals beneath. Partnerships between public lands managers and the private sector are also on the rise. For example, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the restored log cabins in Cades Cove is “brought to you by Log Cabin Maple Syrup,” with a plaque advertising the brand and logo.Carter_Sheilds_Cabin,_Cades_Cove_IMG_5003_FIXWhat to think of all this? Everyone knows our parks and forests are short on funds, but where should we draw the line between corporate money and public land management?BRENT MARTIN, Southern Appalachian regional director for The Wilderness Society, is concerned about the potential harms of privatization and commercialization, especially over the long term.What are the greatest potential harms from privatization of public lands? Martin: There are many, including a lack of oversight in environmental protection, overuse, unsustainable exploitation and depletion of natural resources, no guarantees of public access, and a lack of public input regarding management.   Which public lands in the East are most vulnerable to privatization? I think that Eastern national forests are particularly vulnerable. National forests are the largest concentration of public lands we have and were acquired after decades of degradation and exploitation. The purpose of acquiring these lands after the passage of the 1911 Weeks Act was largely to protect watersheds from this type of degradation in the future. Since then, these lands have come to provide much more than watershed protection, including protection of biodiversity, a wide spectrum of recreational uses, and special designations such as Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers. Any threat from privatization by default threatens the common good.What about agencies that need the cash from selling public lands, or at least selling the mineral rights? Would you be willing to pay higher taxes to keep public lands public and those minerals in the ground? I’m not sure it has to do with a lack of money or having to pay higher taxes. It appears to be more of a political issue, and one that’s partisan and driven by particular economic interests. However, if one of the states truly needed money, I would pay higher taxes in order to protect public lands.What’s wrong with a state or national park allowing a private company to “sponsor” something in exchange for cash? Is this public-private partnership a realistic way to bring in much-needed funds? I don’t think anything is necessarily wrong with the idea of sponsorships like this. I wouldn’t, however, want a billboard inside a park advertising Log Cabin Maple Syrup, nor would I want the parent company influencing park policy. Also, sponsorship messages should be presented tastefully and not in an obtrusive or glaring manner. Sponsorships such as these could be a good way to raise much-needed money, but there should be parameters on what the sponsors can expect in return, and it shouldn’t diminish the visitor experience in any way.Randal O’Toole of the Cato Institute supports arguments in favor of privatization.In your view, what are the main arguments in favor of privatizing public lands?O’Toole: Public lands are poorly managed due to their ownership status. Lands are managed for their most politically productive, rather than economically productive, uses. But the political system encourages people to polarize the public in order to get the biggest share of the public-land pie. In contrast, markets encourage people to cooperate in order to produce the greatest net value.Isn’t it wrong to sell off public lands—which, by definition, belong to everyone—to the highest bidder?Most public lands are dedicated to various special interest groups and don’t truly benefit everyone. If they could be sold to the highest bidder, the revenues would help everyone by contributing to debt reduction or paying for other essential government services. For example, Forest Service studies have found that the market value of most public lands for recreation is many times greater than other uses combined. Recreation would be the dominant use if the lands were managed for maximum economic value.Don’t we have a responsibility to preserve public lands for future generations instead of using them for short-term corporate gain?Public land managers often become just as exploitative of the land for short-term gains, especially when their agencies are allowed to keep some or all of the receipts from resource sales. Elected officials can rarely see beyond the next election, while private businesses have been known to sell 99-year bonds or make investments that aren’t expected to pay off for decades.Even if just mineral rights are sold, won’t the exploitation of those minerals severely diminish the wilderness character of many public lands?Open-pit mining can conflict with many other resources. But many minerals can be extracted in ways that aren’t so damaging. Oil and gas production, for example, uses very little land. In private hands, the owners would balance uses among various groups and what they’re willing to pay.How far should commercialization go? Should companies be allowed to sponsor buildings or even geologic features in national and state parks? Absolutely. Private sponsorship of recreation, scenic, and historic resources makes perfect sense. That doesn’t mean spelling out Exxon or Shell Oil in giant letters on the landscape. But many museums and other urban facilities receive private donations, so there’s no reason why public lands couldn’t do the same.last_img read more