Mike Leigh slams Radiohead

Mike Leigh slams Radiohead

Mike Leigh slams Radiohead for Ignoring Palestinians

There has been masses of coverage about Radiohead breaking the Boycott, here is just a tiny part of it. Film writer and director Mike Leigh has criticised Thom Yorke and Radiohead for ignoring Palestinian suffering, two days ahead of their controversial Israel gig. This follows Radiohead front-man Yorke defending the band’s decision to play in Israel and ignore the Palestinian picket-line, arguing that music was about ‘crossing borders’ and ‘shared humanity’.

Oscar nominated Leigh said “On Wednesday Radiohead will perform in a Tel Aviv stadium built over the ruins of the Palestinian village of Jarisha. It is a sad fact that Radiohead have failed to engage with Palestinians who have called for them not to play, and that Thom Yorke’s comments are devoid of any reference to Palestinians at all”. He continued “As the lights go out in Gaza and Palestinian cancer patients die because they are denied travel permits by Israel, while a Palestinian poet in Israel lives under house arrest for a poem she wrote on Facebook, while a young circus performer from the West Bank languishes in administrative detention without charge or trial – Thom Yorke speaks loftily about ‘crossing borders’ and ‘freedom of expression’. One has to ask, freedom for whom exactly?” Read more on the Artists for Palestine website.

Poetry Competition Closing Soon

Poetry Competition Closing Soon

The Latest From The Horses Mouth Poetry Competition is Closing Soon

You only have the month of August 2017 to get your entry into the #FTHM Poetry Competition

The Top Prize is £100 Cash

It is simple to enter, just email your entry to Dean Charlton. It can be a Poem of any length on any subject.

The only rule is that YOU MUST join in with the Magazine to enter, simply enter your email here.

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Poetry Competition Prizes:

1st Prize – £100 (GBP)
2nd Prize – £50 (GBP)
3rd Prize – £25 (GBP)

Read More about the #FTHM Poetry Competition

Google’s future is useful, creepy and everywhere: nine things learned at I/O

With Google Assistant coming to the iPhone, the company hopes to kill off Siri and wants to see inside your home as it reiterates its AI-first approach

There were whoops and cheers from developers as Google announced the incremental ways it is strengthening its grip on many aspects of peoples lives at its annual developer conference, Google I/O.

There were no jaw-dropping major product launches nor executives proclaiming their utopian vision of the future (ahem, Mark Zuckerberg). Instead there was a showcase of features, powered by artificial intelligence, designed to make people more connected and more reliant on Google.

We are focused on our core mission of organising the worlds information for everyone and approach this by applying deep computer science and technical insights to solve problems at scale, said CEO Sundar Pichai.

By combining the personal data harvested from its users with industry-leading (and human Go player beating) artificial intelligence, Google is squeezing itself into spaces in our everyday interactions it hasnt been before, filling in the gaps and oozing into new territory like a sticky glue that is becoming harder and harder to escape.

Heres what the key I/O announcements tell us about Googles future.

1. AI is Googles unique selling point

Google reiterated that the company has shifted from a mobile-first to an AI-first approach. This means using AI at the core of all of its new products, whether thats to improve image recognition in Google Assistant or for beating human players at Go.

2. Google wants to see as well as hear your surroundings

Lens is Googles answer to Facebooks augmented reality Camera Effects platform. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Lens is Googles answer to Facebooks augmented reality Camera Effects platform. It comprises a set of vision-based computing capabilities, combined into Google Assistant and the Photos app, that works to understand what youre looking at. So you can point the camera at a flower and it will identify the species or automatically connect to a wifi network by showing the camera the log-in details printed on the sticker on the router. You can also hold your camera up to a restaurant in the street and see reviews.

3. Google Assistant is getting smarter

Googles equivalent of Siri, Google Assistant, is embedded in Android devices including smartphones, watches and Google Home. Googles Scott Huffman noted that Assistant would become even more conversational over the coming months, allowing you accomplish tasks with a quick chat.

In addition to having voice recognition, Google Assistant, drawing on Lens, can now take in, understand and have conversations about what you see. For example, if you are in Japan but dont read Japanese, you can hold the Assistant up to a sign advertising some street food and it will read and translate the text. You can then ask what does it look like? and Google will know that the it refers to the name of the food written on the sign and it will pull up pictures of the dish.

It comes so naturally to humans, and now Google is getting really good at conversations too, said Huffman.

4. Google Home is getting creepier (and more useful)

The voice-activated smart speaker Google Home will offer proactive assistance rather than waiting for you to say OK, Google to wake it up. For example, it might notify you if you have to leave your house earlier than expected because traffic is particularly heavy. Perhaps the company will start proactively advertising to customers in the future?

Less creepy is the option to make hands-free calls from the Google Home speaker. You simply ask it to dial any landline or mobile number in the US or Canada and it will do so for free. The device can also now recognize up to six different voices in a household and adapt to personal preferences accordingly.

Hands-free calls are coming to the Google Home speaker. Photograph: Stephen Lam/Reuters

5. Google wants to replace Siri on iPhones

A key theme throughout the keynote was creating a seamless experience across devices, even if that device isnt in Googles Android ecosystem. This means that Google Assistant is now available on the iPhone.

Assistant is widely considered much smarter than Siri, thanks to the fact that Google harvests a lot more personal data than privacy-conscious Apple. This means that frustrated Siri users wanting to translate a sentence into another language, play a movie on their Chromecast-enabled TV or order takeout using voice commands will now be able to do so.

6. Its trying to keep YouTube creators happy

Ever since Google added stricter controls for advertisers on YouTube after it was discovered ads were being placed alongside hate speech or terrorist videos, some vloggers have complained about making less money.

YouTube relies on these internet celebrities to post regular videos and live streams as they attract huge audiences to the platform. That might explain why the company has launched the super chat, announced in January. Audience members can pay to have their comment featured prominently during a live stream and in turn donate money to the YouTuber or their chosen cause. The feature was enabled during a popular live stream of a New York-based giraffe giving birth in February, allowing the zoo to make tens of thousands of dollars.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki speaks on stage during the annual Google I/O developers conference. Photograph: Stephen Lam/Reuters

7. It wants to take a slice of recruitment advertising

Google for Jobs is a new search function that, by disintermediating the many job listings middlemen, makes it easier for people to find employment (and harder for those listing sites to make money).

We want to better connect employers and job seekers through Google for Jobs, said Pichai.

The company has worked with partners including LinkedIn, Monster, and Career Builder to aggregate search in one place similar to what its done with its airline-search tool, Google Flights. The company uses machine learning to understand and group together roles for which employers and employees use different words, for example store clerk and retail manager.

Pichai positioned the launch as an effort to boost American employment, but its sure to help get Google already taking, along with Facebook, the lions share of online advertising revenue a bigger slice of the pie.

8. It needs to attract the next billion or two

During the I/O keynote, Pichai stated that seven of Googles products had more than a billion monthly users: Google search, Android, Chrome, Maps, YouTube, Google Play and Gmail. However, if its to continue to grow, it needs to attract the so-called next billion users, typically users in lower-income countries just starting to come online through mobile devices. Thats why Google has developed Android Go, a pared-down version of the mobile operating system for entry-level devices that uses less data and loads apps more quickly, even when the signal is poor.

Android Go will be embedded in the latest version of Googles mobile operating system, Android O, which is more battery efficient and features better protections against viruses and malware in downloaded apps a notorious problem for Android devices compared with iPhones.

Pichai stated that seven of Googles products had more than a billion monthly users. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

9. Its realistic about VR and AR

Theres a bucketload of hype around virtual reality and augmented reality, but Googles approach felt more measured, focusing on the immediate, practical applications (perhaps a symptom of being burned by the now defunct Google Glass prototype, launched with great fanfare and an army of tech evangelists).

The company already has an entry level VR headset that uses a smartphone as the screen, but it teased a couple of more advanced standalone DayDream headsets, made in collaboration with HTC and Lenovo. The details were scarce but Google emphasised that unlike with Oculus or HTC Vive headsets, DayDream headset users wouldnt need expensive computers to power them or rigs of external cameras to detect the persons position.

With augmented reality, Google described a visual positioning system similar to GPS but with accuracy to the level of centimetres. It works by using the camera to identify objects visually within a space, for example a large store. This means youd be able to hold up your camera (or wear a pair of smart glasses) and be guided to a specific product on a shelf. This extends Googles mission to organize the worlds information in the physical domain.

Imagine what it could mean to people with impaired vision, said Clay Bavor, vice-president of virtual reality, who suggested that Google-powered camera phones (or other wearable devices) could act as a blind persons eyes.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/18/google-assistant-iphone-ai-future-things-we-learned-at-io

Photograpy Competition May 2017 Winner

Photograpy Competition May 2017 Winner

Photograpy Competition May 2017 WINNERS

The Photography Competition was on the very general subject of Nature and we had many entries. After much deliberation and consultantation with our main judge, a professional phtoographer (retired) we came to the conclusion of these three admirable winners. So in reverse order and without any further ado.

In Third Place

This amazing Spider’s web against a background of autumn leaves in a colour changing transition state from Susie Laing
Susie Laing

In Second Place

Some mouldy boots grab the second place point.
Amanda Millington

In First Place

This piece of Poultry from Jason Oldroyd grabs the first prize pot of £100
Jason Oldroyd

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Kieran, can you tell me a bit about this club you’re involved with? ANDYMANSCLUB  is a great place for men, from all backgrounds, to get together and discuss problems like mental illnesses (I suffer from bi-polar) and alcoholism etc. We all get together and it becomes almost like a brotherhood.

Where do you meet? My main meeting place is the Shay Stadium in Halifax although we have meeting places in Hebden Bridge Town Hall, Hull (Pulse Rate Group Wincolmlee), Leigh Sports Village, S. Wales (Bridgend The Brewery Field) and one has just opened in H.M.P. Armley for the people in there. Please note that all meetings are at 7 pm on a Monday evening, everything is confidential in the room, not judgemental and no counsellors are present.

Who started the group? A professional rugby league player called Luke Ambler who has played for Halifax and represented England and Ireland.

What made Luke start the group? His brother-in-law Andrew committed suicide out-of-the-blue, having seemingly never having had a problem in his life; he left his kid and his wife behind so Luke took responsibility for them both and realised that men don’t often express their feelings and talk about their problems – they have a shield up and feel they have always got to be the ‘man’. So Luke created this safe place for men to go in order to try and stop things like this happening again.

To view more and subscribe for free please click on: www.deancharltonmag.com


from-the-horses-mouthSubject: Nature

Open to everyone. First Prize: £100, Second Prize £50 and Third Prize £25.

Maximum entry is 3 pictures per entrant. Maximum 4MB per image file.

Email pictures as jpg or png to: deancharltonmag@gmail.com

You must join the magazine (free) via sign-up form at: http://www.deancharltonmag.com from the same email address as the address used to send the images to us.

To view the magazine please click on: www.deancharltonmag.com

Hemp cant get you high, but it can get high-tech

Hemp cant get you high, but it can get high-tech

Marijuana is an ancient plant with borderline mystical properties just ask the 266 million people who smoke it every year. Hemp, the industrial strain of Cannabis sativa, has been used for many purposes food, fuel and textiles among them for tens of thousands of years. Unlike its sister strain, hemp cant get you high. But much like the drug, it has extraordinary qualities.

America is no stranger to hemp. In fact, Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag with hemp and George Washington farmed it at Mt. Vernon. Unfortunately, its full potential was never realized; drug restrictions that banned marijuana suppressed hemp, too. This spurious conflation quashed the industry for about 60 years, until a 2014 farm bill defined it as an agricultural crop, leaving the door ajar to American farmers.

As marijuana laws continue to loosen across the country and the world it looks like hemp could be brought back in a big way. With China leading in worldwide hemp production and Canada having capitalized on it during Americas drug war, now is the time to get in the game. In todays fast-paced and tech-driven world, this means re-adopting the plant for todays innovation economy.

Hemp could make a huge difference in everyday products, certainly. But even more exciting are the groundbreaking research and high-tech products its already spearheading.

Amazing properties

Before we launch into some of hemps cooler applications, its important to understand just what makes hemp so unique.

First and foremost, hemp is incredibly environmentally friendly. Instead of depleting the lands nutrients, like cotton does, hemp actually puts nitrogen back into the soil. It takes less water, but produces more plants per acre (for reference, one acre of hemp produces four times the paper an acre of trees does.) Its low lignin content and natural brightness reduces the need for pulping and bleaching, meaning fewer chemicals are needed all around.

Hemp grows in a wide variety of soils and climates, so it can be harvested in all 50 states (though only about half legally). Its one of the strongest plant fibers and is naturally resistant to weeds and pests. It harvests quickly, growing 10 to 20 feet in just four months.

Then you have hemp seeds, an incredible source of protein. More than 25 percent of their calories come from high-quality protein, considerably more than similar foods like chia seeds and flax seeds. Various studies have linked them to a reduction in risk of heart disease and easing of PMS and digestion.

As a form of sustainable agriculture, hemp farming holds enormous potential.

Hemp is also ideal for the production of ethanol, the cleanest-burning liquid bio-alternative to gasoline. Combustion releases water vapor and CO2, which plants absorb.

Its no wonder hemp is called a smart plant, as it seems almost too good to be true, especially in a world rife with environmental and climate concerns. Considering farmers need the DEAs approval before sowing seeds, there is still a barrier to entry for now, anyway.

Future-forward applications

Restrictions aside, preliminary research has yielded results that only confirm hemps potential, and not just as an everyday alternative to cotton and wood, but for high-tech innovations.

Ever heard of graphene? Hemp fiber is also incredibly strong and light, and Dr. David Mitlin, a scientist from Clarkson University in New York, says his team has mimicked the nanomaterials amazing qualities using hemp waste. According to Dope Magazine:

Dr. Mitlin and his team were able to recycle leftover hemp-based fiber, cook it down and then dissolve it until carbon nanosheets that resembled the structure of graphene were left behind. They proceeded to build these nanosheets into powerful energy-storing supercapacitors with high energy density, thus creating a hemp based graphene.

The best part? This graphene-like hemp costs only a fraction of the price of traditional graphene: $500 a ton compared to $2,000 per gram. Dr. Mitlin also suspects the hemp-based product could outperform graphene.

Another amazing product is hempcrete, a concrete made with hemp and lime. For construction, hempcrete is essentially a super-concrete: Its negative CO2footprint alleviates the greenhouse effect and improves air quality. Its natural insulation keeps homes warm or cool, reducing need for energy. Its resistance to cracks under high pressure makes it well-suited for earthquake-prone areas. Its even mold, fire and termite proof.

Hemp also can be used to create bacteria-fighting fabrics. As early as the 1990s, scientists in China were developing blended hemp fabrics with superior resistance to staph in order to prevent sometimes fatal infections in hospitals. Considering at least two million Americans get staph infections when hospitalized, and 90,000 die, this could be a life-saving innovation here in the U.S.

Luckily, Colorado company EnviroTextilesis on it. The companys hemp-rayon fabric blend has shown in preliminary studies to be 98.5 percent staph resistant and 65.1 percent pneumonia-free. In addition, EnviroTextiles offers hemp fabric resistant to UV and infrared wavelengths, ideal for military purposes.

Whats next?

These are just a few of the many high-tech and future-forward applications hemp has. As a form of sustainable agriculture, hemp farming holds enormous potential for the planet, the economy, and even veterans seeking employment. Once the hemp is produced, it may not get you high, but figuratively, the skys the limit.

After all, how fitting is it for an ancient plant, used both 10,000 years ago and in early America, to continue its legacy in our modern world? Betsys hemp-based flag became a symbol for the country, which is now a leader in technological innovation. It would be foolish not to take the bull by the horns and ride it.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/27/hemp-cant-get-you-high-but-it-can-get-high-tech/


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