Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tom Cruise True Superstar or Mission Impossible?

In August Tom Cruise and Paramount, so long a partnership that seemed to have been made in heaven, announced that they were to part company.

A bitter and public divorce is now likely as Viacom Inc's Chairman Sumner Redstone belittled Tom Cruise by publicly evicting Cruise's production company from his company's Paramount Pictures studio.

In a war of words, Cruise's team have claimed that it was they that left while Paramount executives have given 'unreasonable behaviour', 'excessive demands' and unfordable salaries as the reasons for 'their' decision.

In recent months Tom has been seen bouncing on Oprah Winfrey's sofa to declare his love for a girlfriend who then it is rumoured gave birth in Scientology-demanded silence, where gossip would have it that he went on to eat the baby's placenta. Are these the actions of a 'weirdo', untrue gossip or just Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise?

Will the Tom Cruise cash cow be snapped up by a rival company, will he fade away or will he threaten the major players by finding funding for new films through new channels?

Were Paramount right to take a stand or will Tom Cruise go on to serve them humble pie?

Participate in this weeks free survey Tom Cruise True Superstar or Mission Impossible?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Are Honorary Degrees a Slap in the Face to Real Students?

It takes the majority of people time and sacrifice to study and successfully achieve an academic degree.

For those that succeed there is the public acknowledgement of receiving their degree dressed in the traditional gown and hat and the personal satisfaction of having achieved a qualification respected throughout the world.

However, for a fortunate few there is the Honorary degree handed out on a plate by the world's academic institutions.

Honorary degrees are not a modern day phenomenon, the first being awarded to the brother-in-law of Edward IV by England's Oxford University in 1478.

Are honorary degrees that are awarded to the famous and infamous valid recognition for people who took a different path through life or are they a slap in the face to real students?

Participate in this weeks free survey Are Honorary Degrees a Slap in the Face to Real Students?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Is Community Service Suitable Punishment For Famous People?

Boy George, the androgynous eighties pop icon, was ordered by an American court to complete five days of community service that required him to sweep the streets of Lower Manhattan.

He was joined by a gaggle of news photographers, reporters and fans that together prevented him from carrying out his assigned duties forcing the sanitation department to instead find a gated parking lot for him to clean.

Other stars who like Boy George have been given community service instead of custodian sentences have been George Michael, Winona Ryder and Halle Berry.

Is community service a suitable punishment for people in the public eye or is it a punishment that is just not appropriate to the rich and famous?

Participate in this weeks free survey Is Community Service Suitable Punishment For Famous People?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Is Hizbullah a Terroist Organisation?

As the Israeli military action against Lebanon continues unabated and with no end in sight, UN proposal put forward to cease hostilities are viewed by the Lebanese government as one sided and have described one proposal 'agreed' by the UN council as simply "a recipe for more confrontation".

Despite the past rhetoric from Hizbullah calling for the destruction of the Israeli state few will be prepared to argue that Israel faces a real threat of destruction or occupation from Hizbullah, Hammas or Iran.

Israel is however actively engaged in the destruction of a nation, bombing Lebanon back "by 20 years", as the Israeli military put it, and is in occupation of Palestinian land.

Much has been said and reported to label Hizbullah as a terrorist organisation and the root cause of Israel's military escalation but how true is that accusation?

This weeks survey tests your knowledge of Hizbullah and asks if you view Hizbullah as a terrorist organisation or a legitimate resistance movement?

Participate in this weeks free survey Is Hizbullah a Terroist Organisation?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

How should recreational drugs be classified?

A number of countries have recently looked at the systems used for classifying drugs.

A recent UK report stated that they found "The system for classifying drugs is inconsistent, irrational and "not fit for purpose".

The same report was highly critical of the police, the Government and its advisers and called for the classification system to be put on a scientific basis, according to the harm a substance causes.

The committee that compiled the report took advice from a panel of drug experts and concluded that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than ecstasy, LSD and cannabis, based on a "rational" classification system that the committee strongly supported.

The committee took into account research conducted by the University of Bristol who assessed a list of 20 drugs, legal and illegal, in nine categories and weighed up the physical harm, tendency to induce dependence and the impact on families, communities and society.

Using a "rational" ranking method showed that some legal substances were much riskier than those deemed most dangerous, the current Class A drugs.

Others that have been demonised, notably ecstasy, are near the bottom of the table of risk. Even though it is legal alcohol was high up the new scale because it is involved in more than half of all visits to accident and emergency departments and orthopaedic admissions. Alcohol often leads to violence and is a frequent cause of car accidents.

Another legal drug tobacco is estimated to cause up to 40 per cent of all hospital illness and 60 per cent of drug-related fatalities.

By the experts' method, alcohol and tobacco would both be Class B drugs which in the UK currently includes Amphetamines, Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Pholcodine and carries a punishment for possession of up to five years in prison or an unlimited fine; Or both.

The committee want to see the classification of drugs routinely reassessed using a rational and court sentences for drug abuse stratified according to how far up the new scale a drug lies.

Do you think that the classification of drugs should be based on risk factors and not the present systems that tend to be inconsistent and the results of ad hoc judgments and historical accidents?

Participate in this weeks free survey How should recreational drugs be classified?