My three year old granddaughter sat in a pink and black witch's dress on Saturday waiting excitedly for her Halloween "guests" to arrive to receive the sweets that she had ready.
A few eventually rang the doorbell when Daddy placed the prepared pumpkin head by the front door.
So yes, I can appreciate what fun can be had from this strange custom imported from the States. Where I would take issue with Philip Hensher (2 November) is that anyone who does not answer the door to a motley collection of "spooks" deserves to have their house pelted with eggs.
A few years ago my extremely houseproud mother was dying of a brain tumour in our local hospice. I never told her that just because she wasn't at home on Halloween that year she had her front door smeared with rotten eggs and half a bag of flour poured through the letter box. An elderly neighbour, crippled with rheumatoid arthritis and unable to answer the door, received similar treatment. "Killjoys" who "deserved it"? I don't think so.
Halloween has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain. The Scots named it after the holy day of All Saints. It is surprising that your leading article of 2 November views it as an American import. It should rather be seen as the reintroduction of a British Isles native back into England. While it's accepted that the Americans introduced variations on this Celtic New Year celebration, colouring it in more recent years with British Hammer Horror film imagery, its history as discount pandora bracelets and charms a Celtic native cheap pandora charms and bracelets festival should be embraced.
Newcastle, Co Wicklow, Ireland
Trick or treat an American import? Never seen 30 years ago except in films? Clearly you were not brought up in the North of England. In Sheffield during the late 1940s and early 1950s it was commonplace.
It is very depressing to read letters like that from Sheila Wright (3 November), which seems to imply that David Nutt believes that cannabis is the same as when he and his colleagues "were at University". Presumably that is why he was invited to chair the drugs advisory panel in the first place not because of any romantic ideas he might have gained from the implied association he might have had when he was "at university".
It is not just the Government who fail to appreciate that "experts" are experts because they know a lot more than the rest of us about their subject. No wonder we cannot have intelligent debates on important matters when attitudes like this prevail.
That is why this and any future government cannot dare to take sensible decisions based on facts rather than on prejudices. They would be crucified by the media and punished by the electorate. Don't blame the Government when the real fault lies with us, the public, and the media.
Your correspondent Sheila Wright writes that "the cannabis on sale today is many times stronger than the drug that was around when Professor Nutt and his colleagues were at university".
That's because the importation, distribution and sale of cannabis is now almost entirely in the hands of organised crime (it used to be more in the hands of disorganised crime), who don't care a fig for anything except profit. If cannabis were legalised (as I believe all drugs should be) then licensed premises could sell the much less potent and much more pleasant varieties that most smokers would prefer.
As a scientist, Professor Nutt knows you must compare like with like. His comments that alcohol and tobacco are worse than cannabis may be true in some circumstances. But you cannot compare occasional use of cannabis with a low THC content to the daily use of skunk. You cannot compare the occasional glass of wine at dinner to an alcoholic drinking more than 30 units of alcohol each week. You need to take account of the numbers of people using a substance, how often, what strength, in what quantity.
Since so called harm reduction was made central to UK drug policy, the use of drugs has escalated. For more than 10 years the strategy has not been to reduce use of drugs but to reduce the harm from the use of drugs. This harm has been centred around the physical harm to the user, and ignores the harm to those around the pandora jewelry store user family, employers, health services etc.
I am no academic, but I have observed my university from the outside for as long as Professor Fahy has watched his from the inside. Research is a necessary tool for teaching by the best teachers. All the top research led universities are valued and admired for their teaching. That is no coincidence.
Here at Sheffield, lecturers are actively encouraged to share their research interests with their students, which enriches both the experience of students and their learning of the subject matter. pandora online australia While it would not be true to say anyone can teach, nevertheless a lecture illuminated by the products of the lecturer''s own research is a real boon.
Chairman of Convocation, University of Sheffield
Bring banks into the real world
Slowly those living in the ivory towers of the western elite are coming to realise how immoral and unacceptable the existence of "bank bonuses" has become to the rest of the citizenry. Undoubtedly, the recent and consistent views of Mervyn King have assisted this perception among us mere mortals.
It is time for radical alternatives to be investigated and implemented such as decoupling retail and investment banking (bring in a Glass Steagall 2 Act immediately). But far more is required to reassure those of us who will shoulder the 1trn UK debt ($13trn worldwide) created to keep these senior banking "operatives" in post.
We must consider public finance alternatives such as credit unions, mutual institutions and publicly owned and run retail banks to place competitive pressure on their private sector rivals. The latter should be broken up and regulated to benefit wider society, not to benefit the "commissions" allocated to individuals in those banks.
Sean O'Grady's enthusiasm for a population of 86 million ("Zimmer frame nation", 22 October) perfectly exemplifies the proverb coined 40 years ago by Kenneth Boulding, President John Kennedy's environmental adviser: "Anyone who believes in indefinite growth of anything physical on a finite planet is either a madman or an economist."
The argument that looking after ever more old people needs ever more young people, who will grow old and need ever more... etc is obviously an ecological Ponzi scheme which I thought Adair Turner had helped us all grow out of by now.
And then there's "the economy", the God to which its acolytes believe everything must be sacrificed. But our YouGov poll in June showed that people are more interested in their quality of life. Seventy per cent of us think population growth poses serious environmental problems in England (already the most crowded country in Europe); half of us would prefer a smaller population than we have now; and only 8 per cent actually want any more growth at all.
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