New Vegan Cheese ‘Flying Off The Shelves’ In Canada

Julain Molnar, a food entrepreneur, is making a name for herself by carving out a niche in the vegetarian and vegan cheese market. She found that even though people may not be 100{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} vegan, they still liked to sometimes eat that way. Up till now, cheese has never been totally vegan. It has also not been very readily available.

‘Fauxmage’ is the term that is being used to describe cheese which is made without using any dairy products. Julain uses crushed cashew or almonds, and coconut milk to make her cheese. Other ingredients such as yeast, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil are other ingredients which are added to the cheese.

The alternative to highly processed cheeses comes in such types as cheddar, gouda, feta and chevre. Julain, who is 50, has been eating a mainly vegetarian diet for most of her life. She says that she has seen the ‘health food’ section of supermarkets expand over the years, but there has always been a poor selection – if any – of vegetarian and vegan cheeses. Not being able to find any cheese for herself was the motivation she needed to start making her own.

P.E.I. Vegan Cheese

“It’s a really great alternative to the highly-processed alternative cheeses that you get at the supermarket these days,” said the 50-something entrepreneur.

“The growth of alternative food is exploding right now, it’s really huge,” Molnar noted.

“It’s not a fad, it’s serious, serious numbers in the food business,” she said. “It’s an exciting time to be in this corner of the market.”

Fresh Start fauxmage
Fresh Start Fauxmage has been ‘flying off the shelves’ at the Riverview Farm Market, the business says. (Sara Fraser/CBC)

Julain, who is also known for her stage roles in productions such as ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and ‘Anne and Glenda’s Kitchen’ decided that she would have a go at making her own cheese. That was the beginning of her venture into cheese production. She took her produce to the Riverview Country Market, where all 32 cheeses sold within the hour! Julain knew she was onto something!

“The business is just sort of rolling. So many people are interested in it, it seems to be doing itself — not that it’s not a ton of work!” Molnar laughed.

“It feels like a whole new amazing turn in my life that’s given me all kinds of new energy … something that I can do that I really love that can give me a support system when I’m not doing theatre, give me more of a balance.”

Julain Molnar (right) and her sister
Julain Molnar (right) and her sister promote Fresh Start Fauxmage at Riverview Country Market in Charlottetown recently. (Submitted by Julain Molnar)

The cheese business took off, thanks to posts on her social media page, and also Riverview Country Market, who are thrilled to have her selling there. The cheese flies off the shelves, with customers buying as many as six at a time. Even with customers who are not vegans, the cheese has been popular.

Trisha Viaene of Riverview Market says that it is important that local businesses are supported, and up-and-coming enterprises are encouraged. The cheese falls into the mid price range, with a block selling for $10 for 180g.

“It’s important to Riverview to support new, local up-and-coming producers,” she said.

“More people are looking for vegan options, even if they’re not 100 per cent vegan,” Viaene commented.

Fresh Start Fauxmage from P.E.I. on plate with nuts and berries
The vegan cheese can be used just like dairy cheese — on its own as a snack with some nuts and berries, or in recipes. (Submitted by Julain Molnar)

Julain is now making her cheese at BioFoodTech in Charlottetown , at the government run facility. The program there is designed to encourage people to put their products on the shelves. Julain is very excited now, because she has had enquiries from three supermarkets to put her cheese on their shelves.

The cheese is still sold at the Riverview Farmers Market, and she has branched out to the Charlotteville Farmers’ Market as well as the new Farm Centre which is held on Thursdays. She also has a farm stall at the bottom of her driveway, where passers-by may pick up a piece.

P.E.I.'s Julain Monar puts Fauxmage in over at BioFoodTech Centre
‘It’s an exciting time to be in this corner of the market,’ says Julain Molnar, putting some feta in the oven at P.E.I.’s BioFoodTech centre. (Sara Fraser/CBC)

Julain says that the cheese is not only bought by vegans, but also by people who are lactose intolerant, but would still like to enjoy the creaminess of cheese, without the bad side effects. The cheese will soon come in more flavours, and Julain plans to add Brie to the type very soon.

“I’m making it because I miss cheese … that creamy hit,” she said. “So people like me who don’t eat dairy, lactose-intolerant people, vegans, or people just looking for a different experience … I like to think of it as sort of a food adventure.”

“If I could take the theatre jobs I really want when I want them, instead of having to take everything that comes along, I would feel rich,” she said.

Source: CBC News

Google’s PhotoScan App Now Automatically Removes Glare From Your Old Photos

Fed up of photographs that have glare across them? The ones where parts of the most important object is not visible? Fret no more, because Google has a new app out now, which gets rid of glare completely.

Previously with glossy prints, you would find glare somewhere when you covered the pic with glass or even plastic in a photo album. Even taking four or five shots – as photoscan recommended – and merging them into one was not a guarantee that the picture would be glare free. The process would also only work on flat images although Google did try to make it work using an optical flow. It was never 100{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} successful.

Google’s latest app lets you take one single shot using your smart device. The algorithm does the rest. It removes the glare by taking into account the surrounding colours and then making sure that they are matched in with the rest of the picture. It calculates the surrounding colours and parameters and works from there. So, instead of taking a series of shots of the same image and hoping that you will get no glare, with this app you need to take just one shot, run it through the app, and you will have a glare free picture!

Left: A regular digital picture of a physical print. Right: Glare-free digital output from PhotoScan
Left: The captured, input images (5 in total). Right: If we stabilize the images on the photo, we can see just the glare moving, covering different parts of the photo. Notice no single image is glare-free.
Left: Detected feature matches between the reference frame and each other frame (left), and the warped frames according to the estimated homographies (right).
Comparison between the warped frames using homographies (left) and after the additional warp refinement using optical flow (right).
Comparison between the glare removal result with (right) and without (left) optical flow refinement. In the result using homographies only (left), notice artifacts around the eye, nose and teeth of the person, and duplicated stems and flower petals on the fabric.
The grid setup for grid optical flow. A point p is represented as the bilinear interpolation of the four corner points of the cell that encapsulates it.
Left: Illustration of the computed flow field on one of the frames. Right: The flow color coding: orientation and magnitude represented by hue and saturation, respectively.
Flipping between the homography-registered frame and the flow-refined warped frame (using the above flow field), superimposed on the (clean) reference frame, shows how the computed flow field “snaps” image parts to their corresponding parts in the reference frame, improving the registration.
Regular minimum (left) versus soft minimum (right) over the registered frames.

Not every phone will support the update, particularly some of the older phones, but all newer models will be able to download and install the app (iTunes,  Play Store). You can also download the app to tablets, and work on your photos instantly to give you glare free pictures to share with friends.

Source: DIY Photography

Woman Sues Hospital After Traumatic Birth That Turned Her Family Life Upside Down

Childbirth is by no means an easy task. It’s usually fraught with pain and often anxiety, too. But Caroline Malatesta learned that childbirth can be truly traumatic if the expecting woman is treated improperly.

Malatesta was 32 old and halfway through her pregnancy with her fourth child when she decided to change to a different hospital in 2012. The previous hospital she was at took a very traditional medicalized view on childbirth, insisting she lie on her back and use stirrups. It also made use of epidurals and episiotomies. Malatesta decided that she’d prefer to go to a different hospital which had switched to a fancy new marketing campaign in an effort to attract more pregnant women. Instead of the medicalized childbirth options offered by the other hospital, this one claimed to give pregnant women “natural” childbirth.

This new hospital started advertising heavily, and natural birth was one of the central themes of their new campaign, including water births. It was all about comfort and choice. It was about getting whatever you want out of your birthing plan. That’s what first drew me in and eventually convinced me to leave my longtime ob-gyn to birth at this hospital.”

“I had interviewed a doctor during my first trimester, just to confirm all of these basic, natural birth services that they were advertising. In our conversation, he confirmed what I had read. He said I could labor in any position, not necessarily on my back, and didn’t need continuous monitoring.

The advertizing campaign promised choice, autonomy and comfort. But what Malatesta endured at the hospital was far from comfort, it was downright abusive…

Malatesta was the victim of a “bait and switch” scam. Instead of the choice, autonomy and comfort that the hospital had advertized, she was forced to lie on her back in bed in a hospital gown for hours.

On the night of March 11, around 9 p.m., I started feeling tightening and texted my doula that I might be going into labor. Around 11 p.m., the feeling became more consistent, so I called into the hospital to let them know I was in labor. They told me to wait until the contractions were at least one minute long and five minutes apart. They were really mild contractions, so my husband and I decided to get some rest so we would have energy when my labor would begin to pick up.

Around 2:30 in the morning, I felt a gush and thought my water had broken (it ended up being bloody show), and even though my contractions were still far apart, we went to the hospital. When I walked into my birthing room, the nurse told me to go to the bathroom right away, because I wouldn’t be able to get out of the bed for maybe for the rest of labor. I told her that my doctor said I’d have wireless monitoring and that I would be able to be mobile, but the nurse said my doctor wasn’t on call. From that point on, it became a back-and-forth of “But my doctor said I could” and “But you don’t get to.”

She found it agonizingly painful, and at one point she flipped over onto all fours because it was much less painful. But two nurses forced her onto her back and held her down.

I continued asking why I had to be on my back and saying I needed to move around, but she ignored my questions and demanded I obey her, as if I were a disobedient child.

I could sense my husband’s anxiety mounting. As we went back forth — me asking questions and telling her this was more painful for me, and her getting increasingly irritated — it became very clear that this wasn’t about health or safety. It was a power struggle.

After her water broke and her baby’s head crowned, the nurses actually forced his little head back into her. They held her like that for six minutes until the doctor arrived, leaving Malatesta with an excruciating, debilitating nerve injury — a permanent condition, pudendal neuralgia, which causes daily pain “much worse than labor,” — as well as a diagnosis of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Pitocin was aslo given without Malatesta’s knowledge or consent.

She screamed in agony the entire time.

I desperately tried to flip back to my hands and knees, struggling against the nurses to do so. The nurses held me down and pressed my baby’s head into my vagina to delay delivery as he was trying to come out.

So that’s how my precious child entered this world. As if birthing a baby isn’t hard enough, I gave birth while engaged in a physical struggle against the people I trusted to care for us.

But she eventually made the hospital pay for its abusive treatment.

After her harrowing experience, Malatesta was left with a debilitating medical condition, post traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. She sees a therapist and takes medication for both the pain and anxiety.

I was worried people would think I was being dramatic, because it’s not socially acceptable to complain about your birth if you have a healthy baby.

This sort of abuse is becoming so common that is has a name: obstetric violence. But she would not let the hospital get away with its horrific abuses. She decided to sue the hospital and its parent company in February, 2014.

I tried to reach out to hospital administration. The patient advocate referred me to the vice president of the hospital, who referred me back to the patient advocate, but nobody was able to give me any answers. The patient advocate finally agreed to set up a meeting but then called me back and said, “Risk management and several key individuals have declined your request for a meeting. I’m truly sorry from the bottom of my heart for all you’ve been through.” She ended the call abruptly by telling me that somebody walked into her office and she had to go. She told me to have a good day and then hung up the phone on me.

It was at that moment that I realized that despite not wanting to go through litigation, I had no other choice but to file a lawsuit, because they weren’t going to listen otherwise.”

Several aspects of litigation have been emotionally hard, including having to answer deeply personal and sexual questions in deposition and having my personal emails sifted through by attorneys,” Malatesta explains. “But the hardest part by far is sitting in depositions as a passive spectator, and listening to people try to justify their actions even in the face of my clear refusal. It’s a creepy feeling to hear nurses and hospital administrators who sincerely believe they have the rights over my body.

On August 5, 2016, she won her case and was awarded $16 million in damages. While the money will help cover her medical bills, it will never erase the trauma she experienced that night.

The verdict (Photo: Facebook/Birth Monopoly)

This verdict is a wake-up call for hospitals that don’t take women seriously. It’s a wake-up call that they need to review the way they’ve been doing things and make changes. Sadly, I think it took this verdict to make them wake up.

So many women are told, “It’s best to be flexible because birth is unpredictable,” but I think that it’s just a blanket excuse for anything that happens during a birth. I believe that’s the most abused phrase in childbirth, especially when it comes to railroading a woman’s choice.

Read more: The Cosmopolitan

Effortless Food Production With Hay Bale Gardening

Using hay bales as a simple and ‘no work’ gardening method is a relatively new idea. Here we have an article which, along with a video, gives us an idea into this method of food production.

It seems that hay bale gardening requires little or no work and a minimum amount of maintenance. After planting directly into the bale we find that as the season progresses so the hay breaks down to nourish the plants from inside. A huge advantage with this method is that all the beds are raised which means that predators are kept away and even an avid gardener with an aching back can enjoy this new style of veggie garden. With this method there is no weeding needed and neither is there any need to fertilise. Less watering is an added bonus.

There is a section of choosing hay over straw which is well documented and very informative. After reading this article you might be very tempted to have a go at this new method of growing vegetables.

Why Hay Bales are Superior to Straw Bales

  • Straw is likely made from genetically modified plant matter
  • No fertilizer needed with hay
  • Less Watering

How to Grow a Hay Bale Garden

1

  •  Acquire Hay Bales and arrange them in your yard.
  • “Condition” your bales

Days 1,3,5,7,9 – Add 1/2 cup of nitrogen to your bales and spray them with water so the nitrogen will soak in.
Days 2,4,6,8,10 – Soak the bale with water only.

  • Simply plant your vegetable seeds or germinated seeds into the bale, water them once a day and you’re on your way to healthy produce in a few exciting months.

How to Grow a Straw Bale Garden

Read more: Hay Bale Gardening: Effortless Food Production with No Weeds, No Fertilizer & Less Watering (VIDEO)

Man Who Advertised For A New Fishing Buddy After His Friend Died Has The Trip Of A Lifetime With A Young Angler

After losing the friend who always went fishing with him, Ray Johnstone, aged 75, posted an advert for a fishing buddy. Ray had always gone fishing with a friend, and felt very lonely going on his own. He wanted to go with someone who felt similarly to fishing as he did, but he got an adventure he never expected!

Mati Batsinilas, 22, from Brisbane replied to the advert and took Ray out on a trip. He offered to take Ray on a fishing trip in Queensland, and flew him there for an all expenses paid trip.

Mati says that the weather was perfect, but the most rewarding part was to see Ray smiling and happy. Ray was beaming as they boarded Mati’s boat and set sail. The pair took numerous pictures of themselves, including one of Mati’s entire family with Ray. They managed to land a large amount of massive whiting on their trip.

A lonely widower has had his dream fulfilled by a young man after he posted an ad to Gumtree in search of a fishing buddy
A lonely widower has had his dream fulfilled by a young man after he posted an ad to Gumtree in search of a fishing buddy
Mati Batsinilas, from Brisbane, saw Ray Johnstone's heartbreaking viral ad shared on Facebook and quickly got in touch, offering to take the 75-year-old fishing at Stradbroke Island (pictured)
Mati Batsinilas, from Brisbane, saw Ray Johnstone’s heartbreaking viral ad shared on Facebook and quickly got in touch, offering to take the 75-year-old fishing at Stradbroke Island (pictured)

“When I read it I thought it was a heartbreaking story so I commented on it, but I never thought it would ever get to Ray,” Mati said. “When I woke in the morning after posting the comment it had 1,600 likes and more than 500 messages in my mailbox on Facebook.”

“Everyone was trying to get Ray and I hooked up together to do this trip.”

“I offered him a holiday away — and not just for fishing, but to get away and relax,” he continued. “I said from the beginning to Ray that we would get there and that I would commit to it and do it.”

Ray, who was a toolmaker and quality control officer, offered to pay all the costs for ramp fees if they needed a boat. He also was prepared to split petrol costs with his new mate. The great grandfather left all his contact details for people to reply to his advert.

“What I want is a fishing mate in a similar position to myself who also wants someone to go fishing with,” Ray wrote.

Elderly widower Ray Johnstone found a fishing buddy to replace a deceased friend after his heartbreaking Gumtree ad went viral
Elderly widower Ray Johnstone found a fishing buddy to replace a deceased friend after his heartbreaking Gumtree ad went viral
He posted on the online classifieds site last week seeking a fellow lonely angler to enjoy regular days out in waters around Adelaide
He posted on the online classifieds site last week seeking a fellow lonely angler to enjoy regular days out in waters around Adelaide

Ray posted a reply to his advert, thanking the public for their kind words and thoughts on his advert.

“I just want to thank everyone for their kind words and remind you all that this was a family effort, not just mine,” he wrote.

On Tuesday, the 22-year-old angler posted a photo of himself, Mr Johnstone and his entire family and thanked the public for the 'kind words'
On Tuesday, the 22-year-old angler posted a photo of himself, Mr Johnstone and his entire family and thanked the public for the ‘kind words’
The great-grandfather left his contact details so potential buddies could organise to meet up and 'see if we could get along with each other'
The great-grandfather left his contact details so potential buddies could organise to meet up and ‘see if we could get along with each other’

The fishing buddies had such a good time that they have already organised a second outing, and Mati is hoping to take Ray four wheel driving to catch beachworms!

“It’s so good to see him smile.”

“The feedback has been unreal and the support from everyone has been phenomenal.”

Read More: Lonely man who advertised for a new fishing buddy after his friend died has the trip of a lifetime with a kind young angler (and they caught plenty!)

Vegan Cheese Renamed ‘Gary’ After This Enraged Dairy-Lover’s Post Goes Viral

Vegans can’t eat cheese because it’s made from milk, which is an animal product. But there are various vegan “cheese” products on the market. Here’s a side-splitting story about why vegans have renamed all their cheese “Gary”.

Vegan “cheese” isn’t really cheese at all because real cheese is made from milk, an animal product. And vegans don’t eat any animal products at all. Vegan cheese is made from various non-animal product ingredients, such as coconut.

One enraged woman posted an epic rant on Facebook about how Sainsbury’s vegan cheese isn’t cheese. Her online rant was filled with cheese emojis and countless exclamation points. She was clearly utterly furious. She even told vegans that they’re not welcome at her cheese and wine parties if they’re going to eat coconut cheese. After giving a short history of cheese-making, she scathingly suggested Sainsbury’s rename their products “Gary or something”! Vegans responded by posting a number of hilarious pictures of “Gary” products!  

This epic rant from an unidentified woman, which went on for several paragraphs, was posted by Vegan Life Magazine’s Facebook page:

vegan-sadness

After the post, several individuals have shared photos of their memes and ‘Gary’ jokes, including the Sainsbury’s:

Sainsbury's and the vegan community embraced the idea of renaming dairy-free cheese 'Gary' after a woman's angry Facebook rant against vegan cheeses went viral 

A Facebook post has also been shared from But Island Foods (manufacturer of the Sainsbury’s vegan cheese), showing a photo of ‘line manager Gary’ holding up a pack of the dairy-free cheese with the ‘Gary’ label:

Bute Islands Foods - which make the vegan cheese for Sainsbury's - uploaded a picture of 'line manager Gary' holding up a packet of the dairy-free cheese with a 'Gary' label

A photo of vegan cheese has been posted on the Facebook page named ‘It’s not Vegan Cheese, it’s Gary’:

A picture of vegan cheese was posted to the 'It's not Vegan Cheese, it's Gary' Facebook page with the caption: 'We interrupt this broadcast to inform you that vegan cheese is now called "GARY".

The same Facebook page took the famous ‘One does not simply walk into Mordor’ meme from Lord of the Rings and changed the writing to:

Another riffed on the popular 'One does not simply walk into Mordor' meme from Lord of the Rings, instead writing: 'One does not simply call it vegan cheese. It's Gary'

Another meme was posted which shows the cheese-loving Wallace from Wallace and Gromit with the caption:

One person posted a meme of cheese-loving Wallace from Wallace and Gromit with the caption: 'GARY!' instead of his usual catchphrase of 'cheese, Gromit'One of the Facebook page admins later published a photo of a dinner of butternut and sweet potato topped with grated vegan cheese, with a caption:

One of the Facebook page administrators later posted a picture of a dinner of butternut and sweet potato soup topped with grated vegan cheese

The page edited another popular meme replaced a photo of a pack of Sainsbury’s vegan Wensleydale-style with cranberries on top of the infamous image of Jack Nicholson in The Shining:

In another riff on a popular meme, a picture of a packet of Sainsbury's vegan Wensleydale-style with cranberries was placed on top of the infamous image of Jack Nicholson in The Shining with the caption: 'Here's Gary'

Teespring took advantage of this viral hit, making a T-shirt available in 5 different colors for $16.66 that reads:

Teespring have capitalised on the viral hit, producing a £13.10 T-shirt that reads: 'It's not vegan cheese, it's Gary!'

Hayley Jeantou posted on Facebook:

Hayley Jeantou posted on Facebook that even her five-year-old had cottoned onto the meme, insisting vegan cheese is called 'Gary'

Vegan Life Magazine posted a photo of a vegan cheese and tomato sandwich:

Vegan Life Magazine wrote above a picture of a vegan cheese and tomato sandwich: 'We're just about to tuck into our Gary and tomato sandwich'.

On Twitter, CaitlinAC mused:

On Twitter, CaitlinAC mused: 'The first company to put out #vegan cheese and actually brand it as Gary will be so rich'

At the same time, Daiya Foods jumped in with the jokes on Facebook, and edited a photo of its vegan Margarita with its ‘latest name’, ‘Mar-Gary-ta’:

Meanwhile Daiya Foods joined in with the jokes on Facebook, and Photoshopped a picture of its vegan Margarita with its 'new name': 'Mar-Gary-ta'

The viral sensation has even reached Italy:

Fra Casta shared a photo on the 'It's not Vegan Cheese, it's Gary' Facebook page to show that the viral sensation had even reached Italy and possibly other continents too
Fra Casta shared a photo on the ‘It’s not Vegan Cheese, it’s Gary’ Facebook page to show that the viral sensation had even reached Italy and possibly other continents too

Read More: Woman’s epic rant against Sainsbury’s new vegan cheese goes viral – and the supermarket’s response is hilarious

For All Knitters – Here Is The Best Yarn Video You’ll Ever Watch

If you’re looking for a sweet story or just love knitting or crocheting, you simply have to watch this delightful video called Knit One posted by Sky Machine on Vimeo. It is guaranteed to leave you with a lovely warm, fuzzy feeling!

This charming story was written by Claire d’Este, directed by Clare Gray and produced by Clare Gray and Shaun Wilson. It was made in 2012 for Wide Angle Tasmania. The quirky short video tells the story of Sadie, an avid knitter whose husband dies. She’s filled with grief and develops a rather sweet, if somewhat strange, obsession with knitting.

The video is sweet and charming, with some excellent acting. So, if you’re in need of a bit of cheering up, love knitting or simply have a few minutes to spare, you just can’t miss this lovely story. And you’ll never think of knitting in the same way again!

Source: Vimeo

Hooverville Of Colchester. A Score Of People Are Living Rough Just A Few Minutes From A Historic Market Town

Just a mile from the gentrified centre of Colchester, up to 20 people are barely surviving in a tent shantytown. As if that weren’t bad enough, a gang of thugs have been stealing phones, cash and gas stoves, making the residents lives a misery.

Elizabeth Burnett, a 43 year old mother who has spent the last 3 months living rough, said: “I feel like I could die out here and no-one would care. We don’t know where to go and I know I’m going down hill fast. None of us want to be here.”

Elizabeth Burnett with boyfriend Craig Findley in the camp of homeless people
Elizabeth Burnett with boyfriend Craig Findley in the camp of homeless people
The camp of homeless a people which has been discovered in East Bay, Colcheste
The camp of homeless a people which has been discovered in East Bay, Colcheste

She and her 20 year-old-son fled their home in Clacton, Essex, claiming to have been victims of domestic violence.

She was given shelter in a B&B, but was then forced to leave. When she contacted Colchester Council, they replied that they had no statutory duty to find a place for her and her son.

She eventually arrived at the East Bay encampment, sharing a tent with a friend. Every night since then a group of men have raided the camp.

The camp is said to have been targeted by a gang
The camp is said to have been targeted by a gang

Elizabeth said: “It is scary at night when those guys [the gang] arrive.

“They come in howling and screaming and they go round us all stealing from us. I’ve had £90 stolen from me.

“They steal from everyone because no one stands up to them because you just don’t know what will happen.”

Miss Burnett has COPD and says the squalid conditions have taken a toll on her health.

She admitted having to go into hospital half a dozen times, which she worries has “wasted a lot of NHS money”.

Thankfully a publicly funded pay-it-forward breakfast scheme has meant Elizabeth and her son can now get regular meals.

She added: “The big thing for me is keeping myself well because I need to look after my son, who has got mental health problems and I know he gets bullied.

“I’m desperate for help – we all are and we need it before it’s too late.”

Mike Lilley, a Colchester councillor responsible for public safety, has promised to visit the encampment.

He added: “This is a sad, sad situation. There isn’t the housing going spare and each of them [encampment residents] has problems which has contributed to why they are there and there comes a time when they must address what is going on before they can be helped.”

How Much? Tax Rises And Compensation Awards Set To Drive Car Insurance Above The £1000 Mark

The cost of car insurance is likely to rise steeply next year thanks to disruptive reforms and a sneaky new tax. Honest motorists are already suffering, having seen the average annual policy rise 16{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} this year alone. The increase is largely down to a spate of fake whiplash claims and ever pricier repair costs.

But analysts warn upcoming increases to Insurance Premium Tax, combined with new rules on injury pay-outs are set to make prices soar.

Confused.com experts have warned 2011’s record of £858 is set to be smashed, and could easily hit four figures for some renewal quotes. Worst affected will be young male drivers, who already pay a whopping £2,363 on average. In June the Government will increase Insurance Premium Tax to 12{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} from its current rate of 10{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949}. This under-reported measure has been accused of being a stealth tax on hard working households, affecting around 36 million policies, from vehicles, to houses and private healthcare.

Car insurance bills could soar above £1,000 next year due to stealth taxes and controversial compensation reforms, according to a report

However insurers are warning that changes to the way serious personal injury compensation is calculated will force premiums up even more. Compensation is worked out by courts using complex sums around loss of earnings, the cost of care and are even offset based on the amount of interest victims would earn from a lump sum. This last factor is called the Discount Rate, and was set at 2.5{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} – however last month it was adjusted down to -0.75{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} based on poor interest rates.

An outcry by insurers lead to a promise of an urgent review by Justice Secretary Liz Truss.

The Office for Budget Responsibility warned drivers would have to deal with a rise of £2 billion overall, with the worst affected areas including Manchester and Merseyside, which have already seen the largest increases in recent times.

Rob Cummings, from the Association of British Insurers, said: ‘Motorists are being hit by a cocktail of rising costs … recent changes to the Discount Rate, that will massively increase injury claims costs, are now being felt too. It is therefore vital the Government legislate for a new way of setting the Discount Rate.’

However Guy Anker, of MoneySavingExpert, said: ‘Given insurance companies almost always overcharge existing customers by hiking premiums at renewal, you wonder whether some may use the new discount rate as an excuse to increase the price of policies.’

This Woman Used Photoshop To Trick Husband Into Thinking She Adopted A Coyote

Metro has a brilliant post by Hattie Gladwell about a young woman who used Photoshop to trick her unsuspecting husband into believing that she had adopted a wild coyote!

Photoshop is an amazing tool, especially if you’re looking to pull a prank on someone. One young woman used it to pull an epic prank on her poor husband. Kayla Eby, from Oregon, USA, managed to convince her husband, Justin, that she believed a photograph of a wild coyote was a photograph of a pet dog.

She sent him the picture of the wild coyote, and a text telling him that she found the lost “dog” on the side of the road. Then she texted him to say that she’d rescued the dog and taken it home with her. Eventually she sent Justin a picture of their son sitting next to the coyote on their couch. Kayla had photoshopped the coyote into the picture, but Justin freaked out, thinking his wife had adopted a wild animal!

This is how the conversation between the two went:

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Justin wasn’t exactly happy since his son was sitting right next to the ‘dog’:

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Kayla tries to convince her husband that she wanted to keep it as a pet: 

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She also said that she had wanted to get a dog for Christmas:

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But then Justin just continued to freak out:

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Justin freaked out even more when Kayla sent another Photoshoped photo:

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11.jpgFinally, she let Justin on the prank:

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Source: Mirror