Ah, this is a feminist site. So this has been a long time coming. Hardly a day goes by when we don't receive an email asking when, when are we going to write about cleaning products. When are we going to post up tips for relief from housewife's knee? WHEN are we going to write about the joys of a neat and tidy home? Well, we got pretty close last week when every member of the team when asked about robots expressed a desire for aRoomba. Yes, it turns out our imagination stretches no further than a desire to be able to eat our tea off a sparkling floor. So here are the Squeamish team's best cleaning tips so you too can achieve our levels of domestic bliss...
In 2012 Chelsea Bernhardt Polis and Laurie Schwab Zabin of John Hopkins university published their findings on misconceptions over fertility in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Amusingly named Missed Conceptions or Misconceptions: Perceived Infertility Among Unmarried Young Adults In the United States the study found that from a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,800 unmarried men and women aged 18-29: "19% of women and 13% of men believed that they were very likely to be infertile." It seems a lot of young women are under the false impression they are infertile, leading them to be somewhat reckless with birth control methods and finding out via the surprise foetus test that they were in fact most fecund. Or reasonably fecund. Look, they're fertile OK?
I think we can all agree that the peculiarly slow, nay laissez-faire world response to the 200 abducted girls in Nigeria by Boko Haram was odd, or questionable and could be potentially tragic. It took ages for celebrities to get it together enough to take a selfie of them holding bits of paper saying #BringBackOurGirls, David Cameron seemed a little spooked to be filmed definitely aligning himself with the side that would like the girls to be returned rather than sold into slavery on the Andrew Marr Show. But another strange reaction to the dire situation has been the resurrection of the #RealMenDon'tBuyGirls campaign, which involved male celebrities doing 'concerned face' whilst holding a sign saying the aforementioned hashtag for the anti child sex slavery campaign and swearing off wild parties with coke and sex workers I suppose...Or getting caught at wild parties with sex workers and coke. Or certainly not PAYING for any of it.
On Saturday night over 120 million people across Europe (and presumably outside of it as well) watched Conchita Wurst win the Eurovision song contest with 290 points. Her song, Rise Like a Phoenix, would make a plausible Bond theme tune. And it was delivered like one - sung emotively but almost without movement, in a flowing gown and against a dramatic lighting background, Wurst certainly looked the part. Oh yeah, apart from the beard.
When I was a kid, I didn't understand the way people talked about politics and Eurovision at the same time. What could this gloriously over-the-top spectacle of sugar pop, pyrotechnics and big dresses possibly have to do with the grey-suited world of ballot boxes and people arguing on TV? And all those jokes about how countries voted for their neighbours...Why would you do that? Surely the point was to reward the best song?
The robots are coming and a third of Brits fear the rise of the machine. They fear robots will take their jobs and 10% expect to see Robocops on patrol in a decade. Some people are more open to robots, with 17% saying they'd get intimate with an android.
We are, of course, already surrounded by robots or machines and at Squeamish HQ we like to try and embrace leaps in technology. Particularly leaps in technology that involve household chores. So we have come up with some robots we don't fear, nay, we look forward to them. Now we know (most of you) aren't robots but SEE IF YOU CAN SPOT A THEME here...
The success of various TV shows, One Born Every Minute, Embarrassing Bodies, Bizarre ER, demonstrate that we have a fascination with the gory and the genitalia. Or gory genitalia. We are also very interested in the kind of person who will leave certain medical conditions (not birth, obviously nobody just ignores that hoping it will go away) because they are horribly embarrassing until apparently it has reached a point that only a qualified doctor called Pixie (I yearn for Pixie to treat me, yearn) can cure you. On TV. These people don't want to be famous, or I don't think they do. They are just desperate and perhaps realise the service they are doing (I'm being sincere!) for all those watching who have similar symptoms but are yet to visit a reality TV surgery. It probably makes a lot of people feel less alone and gives them the confidence to seek treatment. Probably.
Last month Commons Speaker John Bercow told BBC Radio 4's PM programme that women MPs find Prime Minister's Questions "so bad" that they increasingly refuse to take part. No one really went for it. Which is odd because if your local MP is a woman and you wish her to represent you, or give her money to big up Fiji or something, then you need her to take part in PMQs. Last week a hotline was launched for MPs and staff to report harassment. Last month Beyonce launched a hashtag campaign asking #whatispretty? and recently Dove released the results of a survey that revealed 90% of women feel bad when they look in the mirror, they have begun The Beauty Project with Selfridges. We know women have a confidence problem. So why do we keep addressing it only by treating the surface?
Summer's so close we can almost taste it. And by 'it' we mean sand-blown icecream; fresh strawberries; bbq-blackened sausages. The many and varied tastes of summer. Seems like we're not the only one with food on our minds at the moment. The annual'50 best restaurant' list has once again been published, allowing foodies everywhere to plan food-based world trips (or, more realistically, sigh in envious disappointment as they imagine where they would eat if they won the lottery and didn't have to worry about waiting lists.)
But that's the thing - while these best restaurant lists ricochet establishments into the culinary stratosphere and create celebrity chefs - how many of us drool over memories or longings of high-end, Â£50-a-pop food? Ask people about their favourite meal and you're as likely to hear about something their gran used to make when they were ill or that perfect hotdog they had at the fair on their first date. But whatever the answer, it's always fun to hear about other people's food memories: what makes a meal stick in the mind and make someone's mouth water when they recount it 10 years later? We're not saying it was easy, but we tried to choose one each that has that effect on us...
So, Max Clifford, the man whose face has become familar to us as the white haired man standing by a celebrity who has narrowly missed disgrace, has met his own disgracing, from which PR can't save him. Clifford is one of the many white haired men who have been trooping in and out of court to discuss crimes they allegedly committed against young girls years ago. However many of these men have fans who feel a strong affection for them on account of a past gig hosting a now rather quaint show in which they entertained us by wobbling large sheets of card to a tune or announcing Bucks Fizz as the next act. However it's hard to dredge up affection for someone who does a job like Max Clifford, and due to being found guilty of eight indecent assaults on women and girls - some of whom were no more than 15 years old at the time - there is going to be no fond nostalgia for Max.