- A couple in Brittany, France, have been banned from calling their baby daughter Liam. Laws about names used to be much more strict in France, with a list of “permitted names”, and a veto on giving a child a ridiculous name which could cause adversely affect the child. Things have eased up but even so the authorities still step in to prevent names which might lead to gender confusion. Previously, names such as Manhattan, Nutella, Strawberry and Deamon have all been banned in France. (Why anyone might call their child Nutella is beyond me. But then, so is the reasoning behind giving a girl a boy’s name, or vice versa, unless like the Beckhams you are ignorant of the fact, for instance, that Cruz is a common girl’s name is Spain but you like it anyway and so you give it to your boy child!)
- By contrast, a family in Alabama, USA, have Saylor, Wales and Bridge. In the photo I saw they looked like boys but, well, you never know. Their mother is Courtney, a name you never heard when I was a girl. They were in the news for Courtney’s giving birth to sextuplets. It didn’t say what their names were but they were all swaddled in colours of the rainbow so they might well be Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Indigo - Violet being far too normal a name! Yellow and Indigo/Violet were adorned with little coronets of flowers in the photo shoot, so I assume they are girls.
- Coming up soon, March 16th, is World Sleep Day. “Intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving. It is held, apparently, every year on the Friday before the Spring Vernal Equinox.Who knew?
- Here are some suggested ways participate in World Sleep Day:
* Circulating the official press release with sleep experts and local media.
* Distributing sleep patient literature such as booklets, leaflets and newsletters.
* Finding other ideas at worldsleepday.org.
* Spreading the word on social media about #WorldSleepDay.
I wonder if it is possible to organise something to stop the rain and wind from battering the window, like the other night, and waking me up!
My Fitbit gives me an analysis of how well I have slept each night. I take it with a pinch of salt and wonder if it is tricked by times I just remain still and quiet without actually sleeping! I know that sleep is important and all that but really some organisations take themselves far too seriously. Here’s a sample:
“World Sleep Day is designed to raise awareness of sleep as a human privilege that is often compromised by the habits of modern life. Sleep impacts nearly every aspect of mental and physical health. Research suggests:
* Sound sleep is one of the three pillars of good health along with a balanced diet and regular exercise.
* There are close to 100 disorders of sleep, but most are modifiable and manageable with the help of sleep specialists.
* Effects of insufficient sleep favor outcomes such as increased appetite and enhanced sensitivity to food stimuli.
* Next day effects of poor quality sleep include a negative impact on our attention span, memory recall and learning.
* Studies suggest that sleep quality rather than quantity has a greater impact on quality of life and daytime functioning.
* Short sleep duration appears independently associated with weight gain, particularly in young age groups.
* Longer term effects of reduced sleep duration are being studied, but poor-quality sleep or sleep deprivation has been associated with significant health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, weakened immune systems and even some cancers.”
However, we end up with so many World This That and The Other Days that it’s hard to have an ordinary life!
Here’s something else, a bit of serious madness.
- The Vatican has just set up a new exorcism training course, following an alleged increase in demonic possession. It seems that half a million cases are reported in Italy yearly, according to a Sicilian priest, Benigno Palilla. He doesn’t sound very benign to me! Visiting fortune-tellers and Tarot-readers “open the door to the devil and to possession”, he says. This is the 21st century, isn’t it. I suppose people can believe what they will but exorcism practices can be dangerous and harmful, especially to children.