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Blog Awards - VOTE!

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Campaign for Gender Balance Blog Awards

The Campaign for Gender Balance has announced the shortlists for its Blog Awards, to be announced at the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference.

The shortlists are as follows:

Best Blog by a Woman Liberal Democrat

Best Blog by a Woman Liberal Democrat

This shortlist will form the basis of two awards - the Judge's Choice and the Peoples' Choice. To vote in the People's Choice category, follow this link: http://cgbblog.notlong.com/

Best Blog Post by a Woman Liberal Democrat

Best Blog Post by a Woman Liberal Democrat

Best Blog by a Woman Non-Liberal Democrat

Best Blog by a Woman Non-Liberal Democrat

We are sad to report that Rose Hacker died on 4 February, one month before her 102nd birthday. Her remaining columns are continuing to be published by the Camden New Journal.

Congratulations to everyone who has been shortlisted and commiserations to everyone who was not. The final results will be announced at the Campaign for Gender Balance Blog Awards' Drinks Reception, taking place on Saturday 8th March 2008, between 8.00pm and 9.30pm, at Canada Suite, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Liverpool.

The awards will be decided by a prestigious team of judges:

  • Jo Swinson MP: Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Equalities and Chair of the Campaign for Gender Balance
  • Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter: Liberal Democrat spokesperson on broadcasting, a former producer on Newsnight and Vice Chair of the Campaign for Gender Balance
  • Ros Harper: Solicitor and compliance officer for a global bank, Lib Dem 2005 parliamentary candidate for Surrey Heath (as which she wrote a blog for Channel Four News) and Vice Chair of the Campaign for Gender Balance
  • James Graham: winner, Lib Dem Blog of the Year 2007
  • Olly Grender: former Liberal Democrat Director of Communications
  • Ros Taylor: Guardian journalist and an editor on the Comment is Free website

To read blogs by Liberal Democrats (women and men), see the Lib Dem Blogs website (http://www.libdemblogs.co.uk).

Latest Lib Dem Blogs

  • Aug 27, 2014:
    • Opinion: A ringfence is not enough for the science budget
      The party has recently been trailing hints of the content and priorities of the new manifesto. One released last week was an announcement touting a ringfence of the science budget. They write: The manifesto plans include ringfencing the science research budget and introducing a green innovation arm to the British Business Bank. It's great that the manifesto team have chosen to flag investment in science and innovation as a reason to vote Liberal Democrat in the 2015 general election, but what a meagre and unambitious announcement this was. One worrying sign is the wording mentioning only the 'research budget', which ...
    • Liberal Youth Elections 2014 - nominations close at 8pm TONIGHT
      It dawned on me yesterday, my wedding anniversary, that a baby born on the day I was married would, as of now, be ineligible for automatic membership of Liberal Youth, having reached the age of 26 years. That is a very scary thought. It's been a very long time since I was eligible to stand in Liberal Youth elections, but I am now their Returning Officer for their annual elections. This is a reminder that nominations for their Executive at Federal level and for Liberal Youth England close at 8pm tonight. You can see details of all the posts available ...
    • Prestwich - Manchester Cycle Way
      In 2013 the Government granted monies to Greater Manchester which will allow for a £20 million investment (over two years) in cycling infrastructure. The aim is to increase the percentage of journeys that are made in the county by bike. One of the first aspects of this investment is a proposed Manchester - Prestwich cycle route, which links the city centre to Prestwich and Middleton ending in Heaton Park. The proposed route goes from Heaton Park and uses quieter roads and some new 'cycle only' paths through Collyhurst and the Irk Valley towards the city centre. [IMG: Screenshot 2014-08-27 10.17.32] ...
    • 3.5 million YouTube viewings
      Hot on the heels of my Flickr stats, I am pleased to report that another viewings milestone has been reached. My videos on YouTube have now been watched 3.5 million times. There are 884 videos on my channel with a long queue of more waiting to be edited and uploaded. The most viewed video continues to be the one I filmed in a former Soviet submarine base deep inside a mountain in the Crimean town
    • I'm just going to say it: I really like John Bercow
      [IMG: Bercow pic 3] The Speaker of the House of Commons seems to fill lots of people in Westminster with outright bile these days; they call him arrogant and in extremis say that the Rt Hon Bercow is trying to start some sort of revolution from the inside. His list of enemies is growing all the time, particularly with his latest ploy of bringing in Carol Mills as Commons Clerk, an outsider who was interviewed for the position and is Australian to boot. Jobs for the boys being junked by giving Westminster's plum job to a foreigner - what has ...
    • People Selling Cars From the Public Highway
      The Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005 makes it an offence to leave two or more motor vehicles parked within 500 metres of each other on a road or roads where they are exposed or advertised for sale or causes two or more motor vehicles to be so left but this would not of course apply to individual vehicles. This legislation is endeavouring to prevent people from running commercial car sales from the public highway. A council should not put notices on cars as this is in effect a trespass and criminal offence.
    • The Blood is The Life 27-08-2014
      Boris Johnson's presumption of guilt is a dreadful idea that will create more terrorists (tags: ) Ministry of Justice fined for breaking the law. (tags: ) Tories should back statutory sex education, says Health Committee Chair Sarah Wollaston: lord love her. (tags: ) Dadabhai Naoroji Awards to honour people who have furthered UK/Indian relations Named after the UK's first MP of Indian extraction, a Liberal OfC (and over 100 years ago too). (tags: ) Flowchart: Should You Catcall Her? - in which I share a Playboy article #qtwtain (tags: ) Letters of Note: <3 Frank Lloyd Wright (tags: ) I ...
    • Don't nag couples to get married
      The Atlantic reports new research suggesting that a big determinant of the success of a relationship is how the couple deal with relationship milestones. If they make a proactive decision to say get married or move in together then that appears to work out better than just sliding into them: For couples, deciding means taking [...]
    • Simister Green Street Cleaning
      Just to let people know that Simister Green had a special street clean last week following a request from me in response to local residents. The team have I understand cleaned a number of areas, but remained constrained by the overhanging bushes at the western side of the green, which - which I will see if it is possible to have cleared. [IMG: photo] Please let me know if there are further issues to take up.
    • Tim Farron: President's Update (August)
      Firstly I'd like to apologise for the lateness for my August blog. Rosie and I took the kids away to Spain for a fortnight. It was nice to get away for a couple of weeks. I hope you had the chance to do the same over the summer. As we head into September we are [...]
    • Metrolink Pigeon Update
      Just an update on the continuing issue of pigeons and their droppings at the two Metrolink bridges near to Prestwich station. After requests from me Metrolink have repaired the netting at the pedestrian bridge (Poppythorn Lane), and I have requested that Metrolink now take action on the road bridge (Fairfax Road) where the netting has almost vanished. [IMG: Screenshot 2014-08-27 09.40.04] In the meantime the Council have agreed to undertake a power wash of the pavement underneath the bridge which has become very slippery as a result of the pigeons. Tim
    • Liberal Democrats: try and keep your head up to the sky?
      If all that I knew of the Liberal Democrats was the pronouncements from the centre and the debate on Liberal Democrat Voice, I would probably be pretty depressed. That isn't to say that it hasn't been a bit grim of late, as the fire of the Party seems to be turned on itself, aided and abetted by outsiders with little fondness for liberalism or, in some cases, interest in its survival in our country. In some cases, where people have been hurt, or failed by the Party, I understand their unhappiness, even whilst wishing that it wasn't so. And if ...
    • The Gender Agenda #4: The Liberal Democrats are a feminist party
      [IMG: Feminist fist by Eva the Weaver] The Liberal Democrats are a feminist party. When I first wrote that down I knew it would be a controversial statement among a minority, but right now I think it's going to cause a wider stir. It shouldn't. When I first read the Lib Dem constitution, it seemed obvious that liberalism as it is expressed there, is feminist. Feminism as I understand it describes a movement that aims to achieve true equality of opportunity, as reflected in more equal outcomes between genders. My support for that movement is why I joined a party ...
    • Friends of Blackness meeting
      Last night, I attended the first Friends of Blackness meeting of the new term. Friends of Blackness undertakes both the Parent Council and Parent Teacher Association roles at Blackness Primary School. It was an extremely positive meeting, not least because of the excellent news about the recent Education Scotland inspection report on the school. This report can be downloaded here. The report is extremely positive and a real credit to Gordon Ferrier, Head Teacher, his excellent team of staff and the pupils and parents of the school. Other topics discussed tonight included the welcome extension to the school dining hall ...
    • And finally: here's some extra revenue in the Lib Dem policy plans
      [IMG: Danny Alexander. Photo courtesy of the Liberal Democrats. Some rights reserved - https://www.flickr.com/photos/libdems/8043941203/] I've written just a few times about the financial pressure building up in the proposals being made for the Liberal Democrat general election manifesto. With lots of goodies being floated in the media, combined with an aim of removing the structural deficit by the middle of the next Parliament, it's hard to see how the sums will add up without requiring significant further cuts in those areas of public spending that have not been blessed so far with commitments such as the ring-fencing for the NHS ...
    • Rotherham: The simple truth
      The search for simple answers to what happened in Rotherham is on. So let me cut through the crap and give you one. It wasn't video games or music videos as some claim. Or religion and PC brigades (Why always brigades and never divisions, battalions or platoons?) as others claim. The simple reason is that wicked men with a warped sence of morality had the means, motive and opportunity to take advantage of young girls and were allowed to do so for so long because the people charged with protecting those girls failed ( and in some cases it seems ...
    • Visit to the MS Therapy Centre in Peddie Street
      Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of visiting the MS Therapy Centre in Peddie Street, where I had a very positive meeting with the centre's committee and had a tour of the excellent facilities. The photo below is of myself and some of the committee at the centre yesterday:For those who kindly nominated me for the ice bucket challenge, I can't take this up (for the very obvious reason that I had a serious bout of pneumonia earlier this year) but I made a donation to the centre in lieu of taking up the challenge. The centre is looking for ...
    • Expanding the Merseyrail system - Now where have we heard that before, before, before.....
      The Echo has the story - see link above. I really do hope that this latest big plan works but readers of this very site will know only too well from my reviews of previous Merseytravel 'big plans', as they were were covered in the railway press, how they pretty much failed on the majority of counts. My postings can be read from the link below:- But I would also raise another matter which I had to bring to the table via a motion to the last Sefton Council meeting. The matter? No mention what so ever in ...
    • Meeting with sheltered housing tenants
      Sinderins Court Yesterday morning, I met with the residents' association that represents the tenants at Sinderins and Pennycook Courts. We had a good discussion about various local issues including trees, an unsightly gap site, service charges and other issues. The residents' group works hard for all the people at Pennycook Court and Sinderins Court and it was a useful and positive meeting.
    • Worth Reading 125: InterCity
      American police are more trigger happy than British criminals - "Americans are three times more likely to be killed by a police officer with a gun than someone in Britain is by a criminal with one." 'We Have Always Fought': Challenging the 'Women, Cattle and Slaves' Narrative - An essay from the Hugo-winning writer Kameron Hurley. "Half the world is full of women, but it's rare to hear a narrative that doesn't speak of women as the people who have things done to them instead of the people who do things. More often, women are talked about as a man's ...
    • Ambassadors for evidence
      The need for scientists and policymakers to work together around the world has never been greater. Sir Mark Walport, the UK governments chief scientific adviser, sets out his agenda for science diplomacy. Ebola infections, wars in the Middle East, an erupting volcano in Iceland - a glance at newspaper headlines in London last week shows how important issues requiring policy decisions are not constrained by national boundaries. However, the science advisory systems that help policy-makers are predominantly national, matching the basic structure of democratic mandates. As our economies, our societies, our health and wellbeing become increasingly globalised, science advice needs ...
    • A rough guide to science advice
      As scientists and policymakers gather in Auckland for a global summit on scientific advice, what lessons can we identify that apply across diverse national systems? Scientific advice has never been in greater demand; nor has it been more contested. From climate change to cyber-security, poverty to pandemics, food technologies to fracking, the questions being asked of scientists, engineers and other experts by policymakers, the media and the wider public continue to multiply. At the same time, the authority and legitimacy of experts is under increasing scrutiny, particularly in areas that often spark intense debate, such as climate change, energy choices ...
    • Kate Bush teaches Delia how to cook rice
      If like me you are still smarting at not having tickets to the Kate Bush comeback concerts then you may well find some solace in this video as highlighted in the Independent. This is the iconic moment she appeared before a confused-looking Delia Smith to talk vegetarianism, adding Marmite to vegetables and difficult task of cooking rice ("You just add it to salt water, really," she wisely recounts). The year was 1980. The show was part of the Smith's BBC Cookery Course series. "One day I had a stew and there was a bit of meat in the stew and ...
    • The easiest job in the world...
      Nick Clegg is looking for a new member of staff - and it's the easiest job in the world. Here's how a typical day might go... Nick Clegg's new member of staff: "Hi can we arrange a leader's visit to your marginal seat?" Marginal seat member of staff: "No, thanks, we'd like to win thank you" Nick Clegg is on -43%.
  • Aug 26, 2014:
    • California Dreaming: Eight Miles High
      Gene Clark always hated to fly. The Byrds' first UK tour had been a disaster, from the moment they stepped off the plane, when they were served a writ by the British band The Birds, who felt that their name was too similar to avoid confusion. The band had been hated by British audiences for [...]
    • Beat School (1961)
      We should all be grateful to Sam Holler for tweeting this video. As he says: "Everything about this 1960s alternative school is delightful and hilarious. Best clip ever." One mystery is where the school was. The commentary on the video says Burgess Hill in Hertfordshire, but I can find no such settlement. There is a Burgess Hill in West Sussex, of course, and also an area of Hampstead with that name. Maybe it was in one of those? - someone may recognise the building. As Dangerous Minds says: Like the best of the British Pathe clips, this short clip on ...
    • Six of the Best 460
      Viktor Orban "Descriptions matter, I'm not saying they don't - but when the politics of language pushes the rest aside, it seems to me that what it does most of all is remind us of our own powerlessness." David Boyle discusses the absence of big issues from today's politics. Ian Ridley on why he still wants to see a change of Liberal Democrat leader. "To be black and interact with the police is a scary thing. The fear doesn't have to come from any kind of historical antagonism, which, trust me, would be enough; it can also come from many ...
    • The guardian of the Jordan would have got his paws wet
      A couple of days ago I posted a photograph of a cat sitting on the stones at the mouth of the River Jordan. This is a photo of the same spot after two days of rain. (It also shows the larger River Welland and the railway bridge over it.) The guardian of the Jordan would have got his paws wet if he had tried it today. Still, I am pleased to have met the Jordan's genius loci.
    • The case for devolution for the regions
      Today, local member Wayne Chadburn posted on the libdemvoice website arguing for more devolution for the regions. You can read the post and the comments posted in response here. This is the post in full... The British economy and hence the politics of Britain are London-centric. Of this there is no doubt. Gross value added [...]
    • Just how implausible are AIDS conspiracy theories?
      Quite a few conspiracy theories surround HIV/AIDS. Most destructively there is the notion tragically adhered to by former South African president Thabo Mbeki that AIDS is not actually caused by HIV. There are also significant numbers who believe that it was created deliberately: According to a 2005 survey of African Americans living in the US, almost [...]
    • Egypt: The Elusive Arab Spring
      During the first few weeks of 2011 I was glued to Al Jazeera's English-language TV channel as the revolution in Egypt unfurled and President Hosni Mubarak eventually stood down from power. But this proved to be a hollow victory for the predominantly liberal and often secular young demonstrators who had been so visible in Cairo's [...]
    • The fight for sefton park meadows continues
      The Liberal Democrat Press Release Issued Today. If Redrow think they are going to have an easy ride then they should think again!! As the City Council announces a preferred developer for the Meadows at Park Avenue, Councillor Richard ... Continue reading →
    • Opinion: The argument for devolution
      [IMG: Yorkshire Dales] The British economy and hence the politics of Britain are London-centric. Of this there is no doubt. Gross Value Added figures, which show the value of goods and services produced by the different regions of the UK highlight this perfectly. The Gross Value Added figure for London is in excess of £37,000 per head of the population. The only other region which gets above £20,000 is the South East. The gap between London, the South East and the other regions of the UK in terms of economic power and hence influence, is widening by the day. Government ...
    • Which Liberal Democrat is most likely to...
      [IMG: Golden Dragon. Public Domain CC0] The recent list of unusual Freedom of Information requests made me wonder which Liberal Democrat would be most likely to have submitted which. Number four is the one for me, and number five is Lembit of course. As for the others... What plans are in place to protect the town from a dragon attack? (Wigan Council) Please list all the types of animals you have frozen since March 2012, including the type and quantity of each animal. (Cambridge City Council) How many times has the council paid for the services of an exorcist, psychic ...
    • Whatever happened to the big issues?
      I must confess feeling a moment's sympathy for Austin Mitchell, the retiring Labour MP for Grimsby, wriggling on the hook of his BBC interview for saying the unsayable: distinguishing between the different contributions of men and women MPs. I can't say I agree with him (he says quickly). But this issue about Big Issues versus domestic issues does need a bit of unpacking, because I do think something is going on. I don't believe it has anything to do with the influx of women MPs. I think it has to do with the demise of socialism as a coherent intellectual ...
    • ALDE: listen as your day unfolds, challenge what the future holds...
      It's getting towards the time of year when thoughts turn to re-election, and as my second term as a member of the Liberal Democrat delegation to the Council of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) comes to an end on 31 December, I should be giving some thought towards a manifesto. There are some new complications this year, in that gender balance will be more strictly enforced, which given that more men than women generally run, makes my prospects somewhat less rosy - c'est la vie, I guess. I am, it is true, somewhat more low profile ...
    • Kingston Liberal says 'Vote Labour': a leaflet from 1945
      Anthony Asquith, son of Liberal Prime Minister H.H. Asquith, stunt double in Boadicea and respected film director, never quite fulfilled the promise of his talent. Graham Greene said of him, "Mr. Anthony Asquith was once a promising director, though he was always more tricky than imaginative", but he was always in plenty of demand as a director, keeping him busy throughout his career. That heavy involvement in the film industry helps explain his appearance in a Labour election leaflet in 1945, urging people to back the Labour candidate in Kingston, George Elvin. Elvin was a trade unionist in the cinema ...
    • Report Zero-Hours Loopholes
      Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, is urging people to report possible legal loopholes in zero-hours contracts - ones that could be used by rogue employers in the future to exploit people on zero-hours contracts. According to the ONS in April, about 1.4 million jobs are offered on zero hours contracts in the UK. Zero hours [...]
    • Opinion: A hundred years ago...
      [IMG: Rt. Hon. H.H. Asquith (LOC)] 1910 was a momentous year for Liberals in UK government, with a long-desired end to bitter struggles with the Conservatives over House of Lords reform arriving at a triumphant conclusion. Now a House of Lords of whatever persuasion would no longer be able to resist indefinitely progress for the vast majority of democratically drawn-up Parliamentary bills, and Asquith, Lloyd George & co could take much credit for this. Only four years later, however, the country slipped into a war, the wastage of human life caused by which remains unrivalled in the history of western ...
    • Remembering Bristol's First World War VCs
      This morning I unveiled a memorial stone to Captain Douglas Reynolds, on the hundredth anniversary of the action that led to him being awarded Britain's highest military honour, the Victoria Cross. In this centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War there will be many events around Britain and the rest of Europe. [...]
    • Opinion: Why I'm supporting all women shortlists
      [IMG: three_women_standing_together] As the dust begins to settle from the Rennard affair we must now reflect on how our party can stand up to liberal values when it comes to gender equality. It is welcome that, following a review of the procedures of the case, the party now no longer needs a criminal burden of proof in internal disputes of this kind. We can, and should, be proud of the fact that we have changed protocol in light of the failures that have occurred; not every party is so open and willing to change when things go wrong. However more ...
    • Cllr Simon Wales - A few months as Sutton's mental health champion
      A few short months after being moved to volunteer as the London Borough of Sutton's mental health champion, and what has been happening? Quite a lot as you will see, and I would urge all councils to appoint a mental health champion - it is a stimulating, rewarding and worthwhile role! Sutton has unanimously passed [...]
    • Go read another Mark on the Party President contest
      [IMG: Not Mark Valladares. Photo courtesy of - some rights reserved] Mark Valladares has a typically thoughtful post about the withdrawal of Pauline Pearce from the contest to succeed Tim Farron as Liberal Democrat President: I don't know Pauline at all, although I knew a little from some of the coverage she had received. But it was never entirely clear to me why she was running for the Party Presidency, or what she hoped to achieve both through her campaign and if she were to be elected. And, whilst the other candidates were beginning to campaign or, at least, ...
    • Government science advice: where are the honest brokers? Roger Pielke Jr
      Scientific and political leaders need to focus more attention on the integrity of advisory processes, rather than taking sides in the political battles of the day Complaints about the state of scientific advice to governments are commonplace. Yet, willingly or unwillingly, science advisors often find themselves participating in the unhealthy politicisation of advice. If the practice of science advice is to improve, scientific leaders in and outside government will have to show a deeper commitment to strengthening institutions of scientific advice. This means that some scientific leaders should step back from the political battles of the day. For instance, Ann ...
    • Rubber ducks cause chaos
      Story of the day comes from the South Wales Evening Post who report that some 100 rubber ducks wrought havoc on the roads yesterday morning, when the boat trailer they were travelling in opened while on the move. The ducks were scattered across a 0.25 mile stretch of the A4042 at Llanellen. They had been on their way to the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenney Canal Trust's annual duck race in Llangyndir: 69-year-old Tony Pugh was part of the team that rescued the ducks: "I can laugh now but earlier I had to run down the road kicking the ducks to ...
    • First rule of customer service - it's only when you need it most we'll cut you off!
      Blog Categories: Personal Vote: 1 vote + Vote up! - Vote down! I'm having one of those moments when "customer service" takes on a whole new and sinister meaning. A service I have been signed up to since, in internet terms at least, "time immemorial", been paying for regularly for at least six years, though admittedly have used little, has frozen me out of my account just as I started to need to use it more. Skype has gone through, I think, three owners, since I signed up with them. As best I can fathom from what emails I have ...
    • Angels and Demons at play: Saturn's best pianist, Sun Ra
      [IMG: sun-ra-heliocentric-worlds-vol-2] Jazz musicians have a reputation for being weird, outré, strange. Thelonious Monk's middle name was Sphere; Miles Davis was so infamously difficult to interview because of his tendency to ramble that journos dubbed him the Prince of Darkness. But in the deviation from the norm sweepstakes, the grand prize must go to Sun Ra. Born Herman Blount in Birmingham, Alabama sometime between 1910 and 1914 (birth records for black people in the south at the time are, as you would imagine, not great), he was nicknamed Sonny. Little is known about his early life, as he would later ...
    • Zero hours contracts - closing the loopholes
      [IMG: Vince Cable at Social Liberal Forum conference 19th July 2014 - photo by Paul Walter] Yesterday was a public holiday (except in Scotland, where they have more important things to think about), but it seems the party never takes a holiday. It chose a wet and windy Bank Holiday Monday to announce that Vince Cable was crowd-sourcing loopholes in zero hours contracts. He is specifically concerned about those that require an employee to work exclusively for the one employer, even though no work is guaranteed. Vince is launching a consultation and inviting employers, unions and individuals to point out ...
    • The Problems with Clegg
      Following the awful European and Local Election results in May, the Liberal Democrats have paused for thought but, in the end, decided to keep Nick Clegg as leader. From St Austell and Newquay to Edinburgh West, local parties have discussed whether to use the constitution to call a Leadership Election. Mark Pack is keeping track of who has decided what. A minimum of 75 local parties are needed to pass the Leadership Election resolution and at the time writing 4 have. It is unlikely the current attempt to unseat Clegg will work. The reason for this is not because most ...
    • Good Food in West Cornwall
      Good food in West Cornwall is in plentiful supply but there are a few cafes, pubs, restaurants and take-aways that do not strive hard enough to reach the high, safe standards we would all hope for. Last week I went out with the officer responsible for food safety checks locally. Although he has been in the job for many years, I was surprised to learn he had never had a Councillor join him before. We went around Penzance. I was aware of the star ratings at eating places but these visits brought the meaning home to me. There is no ...
    • The Real Independence debate is for the English Regions
      I watched the Independence debate for Scotland last night. It was basically what I had expected. Passion from Salmond - facts from Darling. How the Scottish electorate vote is not a matter of great concern for us in the rest ... Continue reading →