Friday, 27 January 2017

Holocaust Memorial day 2017 - our recommended resources to aid your remembrance

Holocaust Memorial Day 2017


The United Nations has designated 27th January as the international day of commemoration for victims of the Holocaust.  You can use the UN website to find out more about UN resolutions and official activities, this year’s theme is How can life go on? Post holocaust memorial. The mini site for 2017 has artistic works on the theme of absence


Use the Holocaust Encyclopedia, from the United States Holocaust Memorial  Museum for more factual  information, chronologies and articles on

  • The USMM website also has an oral history section with pod casts and rembrance from survivors
  • Yad Vashem: The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority has an extensive online library of survivor’s accounts. Its resource centre has subject based collections of articles, images and documents relating to all aspects of the Holocaust.
  • The Holocaust Memorial Trust produces lesson plans. They include materials to introduce children to the history of the camps.
  • Wiener Library has specialist collections relating to Genocide and the Holocaust

LSE Research resources

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Presidential Inauguration - access free primary source materials.

The official website of the 58th Presidential inauguration will have news of the  programme for Donald Trump's inauguration on 20th January 2017
the Joint Comittee on Preidential inauguration has information on arrangements for the  current and past inaugurations.
Our earlier posting on presidential transitions links to useful resources on the admin process of changing administration.

Historical resources. has background information and trivia on what happens at inaugurations. Find out the shortest speech , the longest and what the weather was like!
C-span has video footage on youtube of inaugural speeches.
The Avalon Project has transcripts of all speeches from George Washington onwards.
The Library of Congress has the great

U.S. Presidential Inaugurations: "I Do Solemnly Swear..." A Resource Guide . this has a chronology . Each presidential entry has images of photographs, ephemera and links to documents. 
See fascinating diaries, photographs and prints about the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln

 Educational Resources

See some guides prepared for teachers by the Library of Congress with suggested lessons using primary resources.
Emerging America also has some useful suggestions.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

iphone at 10- how has it changed our lives?

This month is the 10th aniversary of the launch of the iphone.
many commentators feel that this technology has changed the nature of modern life 

See the changing image of the phone in this gallery of photos from the Guardian.
More recent articles on the business and social impact of the iphone can be found in news stories from the Guardian and the New York Times

Data on smartphone ownership can be obtained in smartphone use 2015 from the Pew Research Center which records that nearly two thirds of Americans currently own a smartphone. The report details how they use it in their daily lives.68% of smartphone owners use their phone at least occasionally to follow along with breaking news events, with 33% saying that they do this “frequently.”

In the UK Ofcom publishes the media use and attitudes reports records all forms of adult usage including smartphones.
in 2016 they published a Smartphone by default report
Also useful is the Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey 2016: UK Cut . In 2016 it found that 31% of smartphone users make no traditional voice calls in a given week

but are mobile/ smartphones transforming the whole world?
Oxford Internet Institute has some concerns and is funding research
The World Economic Forum  presented statistics that phones cost considerably more to own in some developing countires.
ITU has data on internet access and mobile phone subscriptions which show the worldwide digital divide. This was echoed in a 2016 Pew Internet report
which showed progress but still a clear divided.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

NHS - is it in crisis?

 According to the BBC leaked documents show there is a crisis in NHS A&E departments.
Royal College of Physicians has written an open letter to the Prime Minister on the state of the NHS

Campaign groups that share this opinion include:
NHS Support Federation
in 2016 they analysed the winter NHS crisis
BMA survey of doctors showed the majority felt NHS was less prepared than in earlier years.
they has also produced research briefings on the nature and extent of strain on the NHS
Royal College of Emergency Medicine
Their winter flow project examines the flow of patients in A&E departments. In december they recorded only 78.69% of patients were seen within the four hour target.

NHS data
Official data on the situation can be found on the NHS England site which has winter daily situation reports. These are collected from acute trusts each weekday during winter and include data on areas such as A&E closures and diverts or bed pressures. The site has historic data from 2012-13
There are also bed availability and occupancy reports. 
NHS evidence is a useful place to search for references to recent NHS reports, articles and policy reports 

Here are some useful sites/ resources which discuss the evidence.

Kings Fund - Urgent and Emergency project.
Has quarterly monitoring reports on the preformance of the NHS
According to the latest report the NHS faces a 'difficult winter due to increased demand'

Nuffield Trust has reviewed levels of pressure in the NHS . It has also published papers on understanding bed occupancy rates.
they are now producing winter insight briefings. The first one covers winter beds.

Health select committee inquiry, meetings and reports

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Sugar- are you eating too much?

This week Public Health England launched a new Change4Life public health campaign with the statistics that many children are consuming half the daily recommended sugar intake at breakfast
the campaign has an app where you can find out how much sugar is in everyday products.

the National Diet and Nutrition Survey  collects detailed, quantitative information on the food consumption, nutrient intake and nutritional status of the general population aged 1.5 years and over living in private households in the UK. The survey covers a representative sample of around 1,000 people per year.the most recent data concludes that while children's consumption of sugary drinks has declined it is still too high.

Much of the consumption of sugar is blamed on soft drinks See this recent paper from the BMJ which surveys calories and sugar in different types of drink. The BBC website has a list of those containing the most sugar. However coffee served by major chains often contains large amounts of sugar. Find out who are the culprits by reading this study from the Guardian
Also to blame are many breakfast cereals. See Action on Salt 2015 survey of nutritional content to identify those with high sugar and salt levels.
Action on Sugar regularly links to recent studies on the impact of sugar consumption on health

On a global scale the US Department of Agriculture publishes biannual surveys of sugar production and consumption trends. This recent paper from the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. For children aged 4–10 years, sugars consumption data were compared for  16 countries including intakes of total sugars (12 countries), added sugars (seven countries) and sucrose (five countries) Total sugar intakes expressed as a percentage of total energy (%TE) ranged from 17% in 3–10‐year‐olds in Italy to 34.8% for 4–6‐year‐old girls in the Netherlands

Further information

See our earlier blog on the proposed sugar tax which includes links to proposals and responses from the industry.
Search for references to health related articles on Pubmed