NO LICENCE FOR YOU: Man fails driving test five seconds in

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King’s Lynn, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via TANVEER MANN and Metro.co.uk

A British man has probably set the world record for quickest time in flunking a driving test after failing it five seconds in, reported the Metro newspaper yesterday.

Craig Barraza, aged 33, originally from Portlethen in Aberdeenshire but now living in Norfolk, crashed out of his driving test after pulling out of the centre of the wrong side of the road, according to Metro. The hapless learner told the paper he had a ‘complete mind blank’ once he got behind the wheel and largely forgot everything the driving instructor had taught him over his lengthy and expensive preparation lessons.

 

 

Barraza, who appeared for his exam at the King’s Lynn test centre, immediately pulled out and began driving down the wrong side of the road. Vehicles in the UK drive on the left. His error was so obvious that even the examiner who was in the front passenger seat with him at the time exclaimed “You do realise you’re on the wrong side of the road?”.

Despite immediately failing his test, Barraza still had to continue driving for another forty minutes, where it is alleged he actually drove so well that he would have passed had it not been for the ghastly error he made at first. The examiner, and Barraza’s driving instructor, Steve Fletcher, said that it was the worst blunder they had seen in 50 years of instruction.

Barraza, who is employed as an operative on a wind energy farm, is said to have spent £1,000 in total on forty lessons with Fletcher, as well as the multiple-choice question ‘theory test’ that all new British drivers are required to sit in addition to the practical.

He said: “I was only just leaving the centre to get out. We were literally just five seconds into it. I was approaching the junction to exit it and I had an absolute mind blank, questioning in my head: ‘What side of the road do we drive on?”

‘I had a 50/50 chance, and I chose to exit it in the right lane. Instant fail. Had I not been so stupid I’d have breezed through.’

‘My examiner with 20 years experience, and my instructor with 30 years both said they have never witnessed anything like it in their careers. I hadn’t even left the test centre car park.”

He added: “I’ve avoided driving because when I was 17 I stalled at a roundabout which just completely put me off. But I was more confident now.

‘I think it’s when you get older you get a bit wiser but that’s rich coming from me after failing like that. I’ve lived in the UK my whole life so there’s no excuse for not driving on the left.

‘Honestly, who fails a test quicker than that? I didn’t even get to the junction.”

Despite his huge messup, Barraza has received supportive messages from his friends after posting about the calamity on social media, however it is not mentioned if he will retake his test.

SOURCES:
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/
“Guy fails driving test in just five seconds after pulling out of centre on wrong side of road” – Tanveer Mann, Metro – News – UK/Associated Newspapers Limited (4 February 2017) http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/04/guy-fails-driving-test-in-just-five-seconds-after-pulling-out-of-centre-on-wrong-side-of-road-6426532/?ito=facebook
Rabia Ali.
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Jan 9 : The Driving Lesson” – Dawn Sajn, Flickr (9 January 2012) https://www.flickr.com/photos/dawnps/6664634135/

 

TOP DOCS: GP surgery in Forest Gate rated ‘outstanding’

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London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH and PHOEBE COOKE via Newham Recorder

A doctor’s surgery located in the Newham, east London district of Forest Gate has been rated ‘outstanding’ despite having a caseload of 13,000 patients and at a time when the National Health Service (NHS) is under strain from government cutbacks and pressure on services, local newspaper the Newham Recorder reported yesterday.

The Woodgrange Medical Practice, located on Woodgrange Road in the north of Forest Gate, was recently rated ‘outstanding’ in an inspection report issued by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), an independent regulator of health and social care services in England. Staff at the practice were overjoyed to receive the Commission’s rating, which they ascribed to a ‘team effort’.

 

Woodgrange was particularly commended for its ‘clear vision and leadership’, and CQC inspectors were impressed by its high levels of positive patient feedback and its work with residents with diabetes, asthma and mental health conditions – as well as its use of ‘innovative and proactive methods’ to improve patient outcomes. The surgery, located near Forest Gate rail station, was also lauded for its efficiency and excellence in staff leadership, and also received a secondary ‘good’ rating from the CQC for its record on safety, care and response to patients’ needs.

One of the senior general practitioners (doctors) at Woodgrange Medical Practice, Dr. Muhammad Naqvi, said “I think we are really responsive to the patients’ needs,

“We are working in a difficult climate from a financial perspective but also from the demand – in a borough like Newham the population always in flux.

“We have got a great team and the practice is really well led, we are very conscientious and try to leave no stone unturned.”

Naqvi’s partner GP, Dr. Yusuf Patel added It’s a wonderful acknowledgment and it’s good for Newham,

“This shows a lot of the hard work and team-work that our staff have put in. We just wanted to do our best and show what work our team can do – this is a fantastic surprise.”

The CQC inspection visit in May 2016, also gave special praise to the practice nurse Noreen Gilhespy, whose work at the surgery was also described as outstanding. Gilhespy runs some community group geared towards Forest Gaters’ general health, social interaction and exercise routines.

The surgery currently has 13,000 people on its books, a massive increase from the 1,300 it began with when it opened in 1993. It has been rated four out of five on the NHS Choices patient website.

SOURCES:
Newham Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Newham.Recorder/
“Forest Gate GP practice with 13,000 patients rated ‘outstanding’” – Phoebe Cooke, Newham Recorder – News/Archant Community Media Ltd (3 February 2017) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/forest_gate_gp_practice_with_13_000_patients_rated_outstanding_1_4875910
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Child at Doctor – Kid at Doctor’s Office” – Wellness GM, Flickr (23 January 2015) https://www.flickr.com/photos/130100316@N04/16162536809

PHOTO MOMENT: Foxy Bear

 

 

A furry and fluffy blast from the past. On the 8th of January, 2013, a friend and former colleague of mine received this teddy bear as a gift. With his chunky paws and smart tartan bowtie, Foxy Bear, as he came to be called, took pride of place on our bank of desks in Fitzrovia, while doing sweet-all work himself. Sadly the bear went walkies some time later and his current location is unknown, although I suspect he took off with another ex-colleague. Farewell, Foxy Bear.

P.S. You might spot someone familiar peering at Foxy in the background.

IMAGE CREDIT:
Andreea Frasinescu.

HUMOUR MOMENT: Facebook newspaper joke

 

 

What happened when a social media addict decided to enact their pastime in real life (IRL)!!

 

IMAGE CREDITS:
Fun Pics and Stuff, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Fun.Pics.Stuff/
Sunshine Su.

2017: Happy New Year’s greetings

 

 

The Half-Eaten Mind would like to wish all our followers and readers a very happy New Year 2017. 2016 has not been the greatest of years and we hope that 2017 will bring happiness, hope and glory.

MARRIAGE AND A VEGETABLE: Husband loses wedding ring; finds it around carrot

Bad Münstereifel, GERMANY
VIJAY SHAH

 

 

The website Gemstars reports today the story of a man in Germany who lost his wedding ring, only to find it in a place he never expected to discover it in.

The 82-year-old, a keen gardener, was said to have been in his yard in the small town of Bad Münstereifel a few years ago, when he found to his horror that his wedding band had slipped from his finger and gone missing. Fearful for any possible impact losing the jewellery would have on his marriage, he searched everywhere for it, but to no avail. He eventually gave up the search, and assumed his ring was gone for good.

Three years later, the man pulled up some carrots he had been growing for his kitchen. One of the carrots was found to have something shiny and golden wrapped around it, in the manner of a corset, causing the carrot to be deformed. It was the exact same wedding ring the gardener lost all those years ago. Though his wife had passed away some time after he lost the ring, she told him that one day he would find it again. Six months after her death, he struck gold, rediscovering a lost memento of his many happy years of marriage.

 

SOURCES:
The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind
Londoners, Wind Smoke, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/windsmoke_uk/lists/londoners
WWF, The Tweeted Times http://tweetedtimes.com/WWF
“82-Year-Old Man Loses Wedding Ring, Finds it In Carrot From His Garden” – Gemstars http://gemmstars.com/06e9f0033df9
“Möhre bringt verschollenen Ehering zurück” – Kristina Schlömer, WDR 1/WDR (4 November 2016) http://www1.wdr.de/nachrichten/rheinland/ehering-trifft-moehrchen-100.html
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Wedding rings.jpg” –  Jeff Belmonte, Flickr via Wikimedia Commons (20 May 2005) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wedding_rings.jpg

ONLINE TRANSLATION STUDY: English-language websites becoming more popular for foreign language speakers

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London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via the Open Business Council

A recent survey by an online translation company has discovered that English-language websites are becoming more and more frequented by speakers of continental European languages, particularly French and German, the Open Business Council reported this past Thursday.

One Hour Translation, an online translation agency which self-describes as the world’s largest in this sector, and which provides translation services to global e-commerce companies, conducted a research study of 4,000 e-commerce translation projects during late November 2016. The projects stretched from a period beginning in 2015, and up until November this year. The agency’s research discovered that the first language of choice for translation of Anglophone sites was French, with German coming in at second place.

 

 

Several international tongues were examined in the study. The analysis ranked target languages according to the rate of translation projects opened for them, against the total annual number of translation projects for English-language e-commerce websites.

In 2016, translations from English to French ranked first, with 13.5% of the total relevant projects, followed closely by German, with a rate of 13.4%. Unexpectedly, Dutch was placed at third, with 11.3% of the projects. The languages that ranked 4th to 10th in 2016 were, respectively, Italian (10%), Korean (9.8%), Japanese and Spanish (both 9.3%), Polish (8.5%), Norwegian (7.8%) and Swedish (7.1%).

French and German also topped the 2015 ranking, with 19% and 17% respectively. However, in 2015, Spanish was ranked third (15%), Dutch fourth (12%) and Italian fifth (9%). Ranks number 6 to 10 were Swedish (8%), Korean (7%), Norwegian (6%), Polish (5%) and Japanese (2%), respectively.

One Hour Translation’s chief marketing officer and co-founder Yaron Kaufman commented on the study results “…the fact that the French and German markets top the priorities of global e-commerce players immediately below the English-speaking markets is not surprising, since Germany and France are the strongest economies in Continental Europe. French and German are also spoken in other strong economies such as Canada, Switzerland and Austria. Dutch came third as a target language in 2016, compared to number 4 in 2015, and this strengthening demonstrates the resilience of the economy and purchasing power of the Netherlands compared to other European countries.”

Kaufman added: “Another notable fact is the sharp rise in the ranking of Japanese, which rose from number 10 in 2015 to number 6 in 2016. This development demonstrates that e-commerce players are also targeting the significant purchasing power of consumers in Japan.”

English is the most dominant language on the web, with more than half of sites written in that language. While English is widely used on the net due to its founding and dominance by Anglophone countries such as the U.S., other language communities like Chinese and French are also strong internet users. 

 

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
intelligentHQ.com, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/intelligentHQ
“English Language E-commerce Websites Target French German Dutch Markets” – Open Business Council (15 December 2016) http://www.openbusinesscouncil.org/2016/12/english-language-e-commerce-websites-target-french-german-dutch-markets/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:WMF Fundraiser 2011 Translation Project-1.jpg” – Victorgrigas, Wikimedia Commons (29 December 2011) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WMF_Fundraiser_2011_Translation_Project-1.jpg

WELCOMING 2017: Ilford’s Ashgrove restaurant launches NYE night

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Ilford, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH

 

 

Popular Ilford based Indian gastropub the Ashgrove Restaurant has formally announced a special New Year’s Eve night to welcome in 2017 for local partygoers to come and enjoy great music and traditional and contemporary Punjabi, Indian continental and Chinese fare, great music and visual entertainments.

The restaurant, a short walking distance from Seven Kings town centre, will have music entertainment on the night provided by DJ Kash of local outfit Kash Events, which provides party and other event planning services as well as boasting a wide music portfolio from the Bollywood, bhangra, RNB and ‘club classics’. The NYE event is currently being promoted on the restaurant’s social media page where they promise it will be an ‘amazing evening’. A finger food buffet will also be available.

Located on Green Lane, Ashgrove, which was formerly a public house, is renowned locally for its dishes, including chilli paneer (Indian cheese), lamb and chicken grills, kebabs and snacks – including vegetarian, coupled with a well-stocked bar. The restaurant is popular with local sports fans who flock to watch football matches on its many widescreen televisions. It also boasts a beer garden to round off its unique ability to combine a traditional English pub with a modern Indian restaurant.

The event will be held on 31st December 2016, with tickets costing £25 for adults and £10 for children under 12, with buffet included. People interested in attending should call +44 208 599 4181 or email info@ashgroverestaurant.co.uk. The Ashgrove Restaurant is situated at 271 Green Lane, Ilford, Redbridge, Essex, United Kingdom IG3 9TN.

 

SOURCES:
Ashgrove Restaurant, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/ashgroverestaurant/
Kash Events, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/KashEvents/
KASH EVENTS http://kashevents.co.uk/
“About” – Ashgrove Restaurant, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/pg/ashgroverestaurant/about/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“The Host” – SteFou! (Stephen Oung), Flickr (13 September 2011) https://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen-oung/6268131892

MAURITIUS COMMERCIAL BANK: Major island bank voted best six years running

Port Louis, MAURITIUS
VIJAY SHAH via Le Defi

The Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), one of the largest banking firms operating on the Indian Ocean island, has been declared ‘2016 Bank of the Year – Mauritius’ for the sixth year in a row, French-language Le Defi Media Group reported this past Friday.

The bank, one of the island’s few indigenously operated financial institutions has won the coveted title six times in the past eight years. A feature of the Mauritian high street with its distinctive red and white livery and stylised red sailboat logo, MCB received its latest award from The Banker, a banking magazine covering retail finance, technology and investments globally, and part of the prominent London based Financial Times group, who also publish the highly regarded Financial Times newspaper here in London.

 

 

Luke McCreevy, representing The Banker cited MCB’s record of offering local excellence in the island’s lucrative banking sector. He said “The jury found that the MCB is the Mauritian bank that grew the most during the last twelve months. This growth is reflected not only in the excellent financial results achieved but also by the range of initiatives taken by the MCB during this period,”

Antony Withers, MCB chief executive said “This award inspires us to do even better in 2017, and already we intend to offer our clients even more services, more effectively,” 

MCB, headquartered in the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, also maintains branches in the Seychelles, Maldives and in Madagascar. It is the oldest bank on the island, founded in 1838, as well as also having the distinction of being one of the oldest retail finance institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. After a slow and rocky start, the bank began to massively expand in the post-World War II years and now maintains forty branches and 150 cash machines in Mauritius alone.

 

SOURCES:
Arzina Ghannoo.
“LA MCB ÉLUE BANK OF THE YEAR POUR LA 6E FOIS” – Le Défi Quotidien/Le Defi Media Group (9 December 2016) http://defimedia.info/la-mcb-elue-bank-year-pour-la-6e-fois
“Mauritius Commercial Bank” – Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauritius_Commercial_Bank
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:MCB-Logo.png” – MCB Webmedia and Mauritius Commercial Bank, Wikimedia Commons (25 July 2013) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MCB-Logo.png

QUOTE MOMENT: Days after

trans_compose

“You have to fight through the worst days in order to get some of your best days”

 

 

 

 

SOURCES:
HEM Businesses, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses
musicukacts, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/musicukacts
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Calendar*” – Dafne Cholet, Flickr (20 January 2011) https://www.flickr.com/photos/dafnecholet/5374200948