Tag Archives: The Times

“Everyone’s getting a beard transplant!” says surgeon willing to do ridiculous procedure

Wannabe hipsters can get a beard transplant for £7,000

A check shirt, waistcoat and fixed-gear bike used to be enough to set the aspiring hipster on his way. For the whiskerless wannabe, it seems that something more drastic is now required: a beard transplant.

Rising numbers of men are having facial follicle grafts to achieve the bushy look favoured by trendy urbanites, surgeons say. The cultural link between beards and masculinity is also fuelling demand in some ethnic groups.

Source: The Times, 3rd October 2015

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Men are spending thousands on beard transplants

Men said they had spent up to £14,500 on beard transplants.

Men are spending thousands of pounds to fill in their patchy beards, as the number of beard transplant procedures increases dramatically.

Men surveyed by The New York Times said they spent up to £14,500 on beard transplants to achieve a fully groomed look.

Source: Independent, 2nd October 2015

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Beard transplants really are all the rage, aren’t they? In fact, is there anyone among us who haven’t had one? I’ve personally had three, because this is definitely a thing and definitely a big trend and definitely not just a PR piece for a private hair clinic to try to pretend that the niche service they offer is secretly the Next Big Thing:

The number of beard transplants performed has risen from being just 1.5 per cent of all hair restoration procedures undertaken internationally in 2012 to 3.7 per cent in 2014, according to the nonprofit medical association, International Society of Hair Restoration.

Vincenzo Gambino, president of the ISHRS said: “While a clean-shaven appearance is still popular, beards are now very trendy among more males than ever before thanks to their resurgence in Hollywood and among professional athletes.”

“For those who prefer a fuller beard or more facial hair, beard hair transplants offer excellent results.”

Well, thank god the ISHRS is here to offer us expensive and clearly-niche surgery to live up to the latest look, while using their PR to make out like this is an entirely normal state of affairs. Otherwise this whole story could have seemed utterly ridiculous.

“People would love/fear/fuck a robot!” says TV show about robots

Did you see the story about mankind’s fear of the impending rise of the robots? Chances are you did, with widespread coverage of the story including appearances in the GuardianTimesDaily Mail and Daily Star:

Humans hope robots of the future will make love not war

A fifth of Britons have said they would have sex with an android but considerably more fear the rise of the machines will threaten mankind.

One in three, perhaps influenced by the likes of the Terminator franchise, believe that robots will spell the end of the human race.

Perhaps more pressing however is that almost as many are concerned they could lose their job to intelligent machines.

Source: The Times, 6 May 2014

Would YOU have sex with a robot? Prostitutes, police and cleaners revealed to be just some the jobs that droids could take over by 2025

In 10 years our streets could be governed by RoboCop-style police, our taxis may drive themselves and prostitutes might be replaced by so-called ‘sexbots.’

That’s according to a survey that looked at how robots will rise over the next decade.

It found that more than a third of people fear robots will take their jobs, while the same number fear androids will threaten the human race’s existence.

Source: Daily Mail, 6 April 2014

The Times and the Daily Mail, amply illustrating their differing priorities, there. However, whether we’re fighting or fucking our new robot brethren, the source of the story remains the same:

The survey was completed by 2,000 British people to mark the launch of new sci-fi TV police drama, Almost Human, which features an android cop.

Curiously, the list of jobs which could be taken over by robots didn’t include ‘journalist’ – when given the number of outlets who ran this simple copy/paste of a One Poll survey press release, it seems an industry ripe for automation.

“We DEFINITELY won’t look at your dick-pics!” says smartphone repair company

In the era of ubiquitous smartphones and an ongoing moral degradation of our nation (copyright: Daily Mail), we have a Venn diagram with an inevitable overlap point:

Well that’s awkward! one in seven people have sent sexually explicit text to the wrong person (including naughty photos to family members)

There are many awkward moments in life but ‘sexting’ the wrong person has to be close to topping the list.

And for anyone who has made this humiliating error, you’re not alone because according to the latest research 1 in 7 Brits have accidentally sent a text message of an explicit nature to the wrong person.

And it gets worse, a quarter of these messages contained a risqué image in it and a tenth got shamefully caught out sending it to a family member.

Source: Daily Mail, 22 February 2013

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Perhaps indicative of the gravitas of the subject, even The Times got in on the misplaced-message act:

Why you shouldn’t be embarrassed by a misplaced ‘sext’ message?

Imagine the embarrassment when you think you’ve sent a raunchy text to a partner only to realise the recipient was either your mother or your best friend’s dad.

Well one thing you can be assured of is that you are probably not the only one to have done it.

One in seven people living in the UK have accidentally sent a sext – a text message of an explicit nature – to the wrong person, according to new research.

Source: The Times, 23 February 2013

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It’s likely to come as more of a shock to you than that time you got that text from your mum to discover that this story came from an online opinion poll paid for by ingeniously-named mobile insurance company Mobileinsurance.co.uk, in order to assuage fears that any saucy images on your handset will not be endlessly poured-over by the technician fixing your phone:

A spokesman for MobileInsurance.co.uk, who carried out the study, said: ‘We often have customers write in concerned that the contents of their mobile phone will be revealed when sending their handset off to be fixed, but people needn’t worry about that due to confidentiality. 

It’s also going to shock you more than that time your dad mistakenly posted that photo to your Facebook wall to hear that this story was derived from a press release placed by the same company, with Bianca London of the Daily Mail churning 63% of the original copy into her final article:

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The bit that will blow your socks off more than that time you saw that photo of your mum blowing… OK you get the idea. The genuinely shocking part of this story is that along with the press release, we get to see the actual data, with the questions that were asked of the online participants.

I rarely quote original data on this blog, for a very good reason – getting poll data out of a PR company is far harder than getting that photo of your mum out of your mind. No, that joke is not running out of steam yet.

Taking a glance at the questions, the first thing that stands out is the minority of people who have ever experienced this headline-baiting sexting disaster:

1. Have you ever accidentally send a sexually explicit text message to the wrong person?

Yes – 14%
No- 86%

This shouldn’t be a surprise – we know the answer is 1 in 7 people – but when shown as a cold percentage it’s more clear than ever just how much of a non-story this is.

Here, exposed, is the key to almost every one of these PR opinion polls – even when the shocking or ‘interesting’ finding is untrue for almost 90% of respondents, the weight of numbers don’t stop the worst case scenario making the headlines. This exposes an important truth: the data does not affect the outcome, the pre-written story runs regardless, and the poll is conducted only to fill in the number-shaped holes in the storyline.

Whether the percentage of people who’ve sent explicit photos to their parents by mistake is 100%, 10% or even 1%, the story remains the same – meaning the data isn’t providing information, it’s merely window dressing; a scientific-looking convincer. And that can be an awkward thing to see exposed. A bit like your mum.

“Keeping a new baby healthy is hard!” says private health firm

Being a new parent can’t be easy, with your recently-minted bundle O’joy taking an inordinate amount of time and attention – just at a time when sleep deprivation leaves you at your least aware and attentive.

It’s a wonder more parents don’t crack under the pressure, and it’s why the Daily Mail were entirely believable when they declared:

Anxious new mothers make 16 visits to GP in child’s first year: Millions admit ‘panicking’ over minor ailments

Anxious first-time mothers make 16 trips to the doctor on average over a child’s first year, a study has found.

Millions of mothers admitted ‘panicking’ and taking a baby to their GP only to be told they had a minor ailment. As many as one in three went to the doctor for a common cold, according to the research.

One in ten dashed to the surgery believing their baby was unconscious – to learn he or she was sleeping.

Source: Daily Mail, 11 February 2013

The story also made the paper editions of the Daily Mail and The Times.

Those poor mothers, worrying their pretty little heads over nothing – how they must feel like such a drain on NHS resources and a burden to the busy GPs around the country. In fact, the article mentions this very worry:

One in five mums admitted worrying too much, while one third considered their worrying to always be justified.

However 44 per cent had been made to feel like they were a hypochondriac or guilty of wasting the doctor or health professional’s time.”

It seems the new parent can’t win – it’s a constant trade-off between the fear of an unwell baby and the guilt of wasting the important time of their healthcare professional. It’s just a huge shame, then, that there aren’t healthcare professionals you could pay to deal with these worries, who are private and therefore have the time to be reassuring:

The study, by mutual organisation Benenden Health, found the average mother did not get a full night’s sleep until 12 months after giving birth.

Yesterday Jean Scott, of Benenden, said: “Being a new mother can be an overwhelming experience.

As a mother myself, I know how daunting this can be and how vital it is to get support during this initial period.

Often getting professional advice when you feel your child may be unwell can be the only way to put your mind at east, even if it ultimately turns out only to be a cold.

There we are then – the perfect solution! This study, commissioned by a private health firm via 72 Points OnePoll service, has identified that what new parents really need most is a private health firm. Because – as Benenden’s own slogan declares – life is precious… and good publicity is even more so.