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A warning from the future

Muslims don’t share the traditional British values that make Britain such a nice place to live […] they treat their women in a very aggressive patriarchal manner that goes far beyond the reasonable limits of objectification that we’ve all agreed upon in the enlightened west. And they cover their women up too and a lot of them are probably very pretty so that’s unfair.

[via B3ta newsletter 604]

Tiger tiara

Everpix Flashback working its magic again, reminding me of this gem of a photo from 3 years ago today. I’m surprised Flickr hasn’t stolen/borrowed Everpix’s idea yet.

Tiger and tiara


A’s first public violin performance

A’s been getting on wonderfully with the violin and piano this half-term.

We’ve had the piano – technically, a clavinova – at home for a couple of years but I’ve never tried to teach her as I wanted her to discover it herself. She’s just at that age now, though, where she wants to learn to do things properly and started piano lessons at school. She’s picked it all up so quickly, I can’t help but be chuffed, seeing as the piano’s ‘my’ instrument.

A started with the violin last year but in a group lesson and, having sat in on one of those sessions, I wasn’t surprised that she didn’t make an enormous amount of progress. This school year, though, she started with individual lessons, and the progress is amazing compared to last year. She’s surprised me by visibly enjoying it – even if I can be quite tough with her during practice at home – and is insistent that she wants to carry on with it, even though she obviously finds it more of a challenge than the piano. This is a great trait to have in her personality, of course.

Today she performed a couple of pieces in assembly at school. Unfortunately, since it was a normal school day, I wasn’t able to witness the performance but she obviously enjoyed the experience, not being daunted at all by the idea of playing in front of 100 children and some teachers. It’s great to see the innocent joy with it. She has no concept of being afraid or nervous about it – and why should she? Long may it continue.

Why do so many incompetent men become leaders?

Following on from yesterday’s post about getting rid of managers, here’s Harvard Business Review asking Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?

The truth of the matter is that pretty much anywhere in the world men tend to think that they that are much smarter than women. Yet arrogance and overconfidence are inversely related to leadership talent — the ability to build and maintain high-performing teams, and to inspire followers to set aside their selfish agendas in order to work for the common interest of the group. Indeed, whether in sports, politics or business, the best leaders are usually humble — and whether through nature or nurture, humility is a much more common feature in women than men.


The paradoxical implication is that the same psychological characteristics that enable male managers to rise to the top of the corporate or political ladder are actually responsible for their downfall. In other words, what it takes to get the job is not just different from, but also the reverse of, what it takes to do the job well. As a result, too many incompetent people are promoted to management jobs, and promoted over more competent people.