Nigel Gordon

AD Author
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Nigel Gordon

  • Rank
    AwesomeDude Author
  • Birthday 08/17/1948

Contact Methods

  • Skype

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Leicester England
  • Interests
    Bookbinding, Cooking, Theatrical Magic, Aikido, Kijuryu Atemi Jutsu, Mathematics, Science, Computers, Politics, History, Paganism, Environmentalism and Gaia

Recent Profile Visitors

5,035 profile views
  1. Stephen Hawking died today

    I was one the way to Dublin when news of this broke in the early hours of Wednesday morning. I actually heard it on the car radio of the taxi taking me to the airport. When I got to security there was a whisper going through the crowd waiting for clearance. All you could make out was the repetition of the name Hawking. He was a great thinker and his intellect will be missed.
  2. I can't believe Trump said this!

    Much as I despair with what I see in the political thinking in the Western World, there are times I come across something that gives hope. Finding this video was one of those times:
  3. I can't believe Trump said this!

    What is somewhat more worrying about the gun statistics for the USA is that 50% of the guns privately owned in the USA are owned by 3% of the population.
  4. I can't believe Trump said this!

    A major problem of any two-party system is that it can be effectively blocked from taking necessary action by the presence of a minority interest group that has a presence within both political parties. Neither party will act due to fear of losing part of its support base. Only when a third political force comes into action can be deadlock be broken. It looks as if you need a third effective political party over there in the States, I know we need one here in the UK.
  5. Valentine's Day 2018

    Well, I have only read one of them so far and that was outstanding, looking forward to having time to read the rest.
  6. Hava Nagila Boys

    This I found by chance browsing some sites, then I had to chase down the original on YouTube. These boys are amazing. To steal a line from 'Cast A Giant Shadow' "Now I suppose they will start to dance."
  7. The Leapling by Nicholas Hall

    There is something about Nicholas's writing which always seems to capture my imagination and draw me in. I must say that I have not been a fan of all of his work, but even that which I did not like I have to respect for the quality of his writing and his ability to evoke a time and a place with minimal description. A sure sign of a highly talented writer. In the first chapter of 'The Leapling', he has managed to build a picture of time and place which is tangible. More importantly, he has laid the foundation for what appears to be a very interesting story. I cannot wait to read the next chapter. You can find 'The Leapling' here:
  8. Can we say this now? About Frickin time

    Cole, the system I am describing was how it was some fifty years ago. Unfortunately, in the 1960s there was a general move in the UK to the comprehensive system, which was based on the system in the States. Basically mixed ability schools with mixed ability classes. The argument in favour of it was that it provided equality of opportunity in education and allowed students to achieve in some subjects whilst they might not in other. However, the main driving force behind it was cost cutting. Rather than having four or five smaller schools with up to about seven hundred pupils in each you could have one massive school with a couple of thousand pupils. The administrative resources required for one large comprehensive was not much more than was required for one smaller school so you got massive cost savings. In addition, local authorities could sell off the land and property of the old schools for housing developments and industrial development. Most of the new comprehensive schools were badly designed being built more along the lines of office blocks. As a result, they were hard to supervise and bullying became a problem. Fortunately, most of them are now badly in need of replacement and the new schools that are being built are being designed to minimise the opportunity in the school for bullying. Also, there is a move campus schools where age groups are located in different buildings across the same site, with separate specialist buildings for subjects taught across age groups. Whilst many schools dropped the prefect system in the latter part of the last century it now seems to be coming back into use. A recent study showed that pupils felt safer in schools that used prefects than in schools that did not have them. With the re-introduction of prefects we have seen houses being brought back into schools which appears to be providing better support to pupils both in and out of school. The main bullying problem these days seems to be cyberbullyin, which whilst school related is taking place out of school.
  9. Can we say this now? About Frickin time

    Cole, I think there is some transatlantic confusion here. In Britain, specifically England, when we are talking about the house system in relation to schools we are not talking about boarding schools or even the residential houses within boarding schools. What is meant is an administrative division of pupils in a school into a number of units, called houses for the purpose of non-scholastic activities. Although the concept originated in the boarding schools, it was generally implemented in all state secondary schools in England until the late seventies, when it started to fall out of fashion, though apparently, it has come back into fashion again in recent years. The head of house, be it the housemaster or housemistress, would be the responsible party for anything concerning you that related to the school and was not the concern of a specific teacher, e.g. head of English. So, when I wanted to get a place in the bike sheds for my bike, it was my housemaster I had to talk to about it and he sorted it out for me. Again when I had a problem with the overall level of homework I was having to do on a specific night I again took this up with my housemaster. The important thing about the head of house was that they stayed the same for your whole period at the school. Your form teacher and your subject teachers changed each year. As such, they got to know you quite well and you got to know them well. The house system works well where you have continuity of head of house over extended periods and the size of the houses is reasonable. At my school, each head of house was dealing with about one hundred students. That is manageable. The comprehensive which is local to me now uses the house system but each house has over five hundred pupils in it. There is no way that can work. The important thing about the system, whether you call the units houses, pod or any other term, is that it breaks large student bodies down into smaller, socially manageable units.
  10. Can we say this now? About Frickin time

    Actually, there was very little bullying. I have to say I was probably one of the most likely targets when it came to bullying. I was, until my 4th year, one of the smallest boys in my year, I came from out of the area, so had not gone to primary school with any of the other boys there, and I had few real friends in the school. To make matters worse I was extremely not athletic and seen as something of a teachers' pet as I was constantly in the top three academically in each of the academic subjects for the year. The final nail in the coffin for me to be a potential victim was that I excused the two vocational classes we had (woodwork and metalwork) so that I could do typing, a class I had to go over to the girls' school for. However, in my four years at the school, I can only remember one incident where I was a victim of bullying and that took place outside of the school. Even though I did not report it, the Headmaster knew about it the next day and the other boys involved were paraded in front of the school assembly and made to feel like right idiots. One thing was that we had to wear a school uniform and the local community was very quick to phone up the school and report any incidents they saw which concerned anyone in the school uniform. The other important factor was that there were not the unsupervised spaces in the school where bullying could take place. Any area where a pupil might go was patrolled either by a teacher or a prefect.
  11. Can we say this now? About Frickin time

    It depends on what basis the competition is encouraged. At the school I attended, and it was a working-class secondary modern school in a poorer part of the Black Country, only twenty percent of House points in the year could come from sporting achievement. They were split ten percent for team sports and ten percent for individual achievements. Ten percent came from academic achievement in each of the core subjects, English, English Lit., Maths, Science, History, Geography. Ten percent of the House points came from attendance, the final ten percent were for what would now be called social interaction. Basically, how polite you were in school, the after-school activities you took part in and your participation in out of school groups and activities. Although one house could and usually did dominate the sporting activities between houses, they generally failed to win the House Competition because they spent so much time on their sporting activities that they failed on the academic and social side of things.
  12. Can we say this now? About Frickin time

    I am very much in agreement with Merkin on this.
  13. Can we say this now? About Frickin time

    A major problem in the modern educational system is the size of the schools. I went to a school where there were under four hundred pupils. Yes, there were bullies but the teachers knew who they were and kept things fairly well under control. A friend has just retired from teaching at a modern comprehensive school. They had over two thousand students and she readily admits that she hardly knew any of them. She was aware that there was quite a bit of bullying in the school but, as she put it, 'we never knew the students well enough to know what was going on'. The thing is that school was in the town where I went to school. In my day there were three 'state' secondary school, one Catholic secondary school, one Church of England secondary school and two grammar schools. Now there is only a single comprehensive school for the whole area. All right, the students have a much broader curriculum that they can follow and they have much better facilities but all this has come at a cost. There is no longer the close interaction between staff and pupils that there was in the smaller schools. As my friend told me if a student did not take her particular subject, she was highly unlikely ever to learn the student's name, let alone anything about them. Yes, large schools are a lot cheaper to run and can offer a wider range of subjects than smaller schools. However, would it not be better to put more money into the system and have smaller safer schools.
  14. A Ghost for Christmas Present

    A Ghost for Christmas Present By Nigel Gordon Even through the heavy bed curtains, Scrooge was aware that there was a change in the room. It reminded him of all those years ago when the Spirits of Christmas had visited him, that night so long ago that had been filled with fear, emotion and joy as he had found the true spirit of Christmas. Now, he had no doubt, the Spirits were back. “Scrooge,” an eldritch voice screeched through the dank night air, “Ebenezer Scrooge.” Scrooge sat up in his four-poster and threw back the curtains. “Yes, spirit, I am here, Ebenezer Scrooge.” His manner and voice being that of one who has faced the spirits of the night and triumphed over them. “Why come you to me now, do I not keep Christmas better than all other men.” “Indeed you do,” wailed the ethereal voice. A sense of despair and loss filling the room as the sepulcher tones echoed where no echo should be. “Maybe you keep it too well.” “Too well spirit, and how can that be?” “Did you not yesterday go down to the market and buy up all the geese as gifts to the poor of the parish?” “Yes.” “So now there is no pressure on them to work at a pittance to get sustenance for the feast. Those who rely upon such services must pay more, which beggars them, and they must go elsewhere for their fowl at increased costs. The merchants, bankers, tradesmen and clerks, suffer increased costs for your generosity.” “It would be better if they paid a decent wage to their employees.” “As you do Bob Cratchett? A wage far more than what he deserves now that he is crippled with arthritis and can hardly work.” “A condition for which I am to blame, having made him work so many years in an office without heat and for hours beyond those reasonable,” stated Scrooge in justification of his generosity, “what should I do, turn him out without means or support?” “Aye, maybe that you should, for no man can be as generous as you. Did you not give Tiny Tim, though he is no longer so tiny these ten years past, a new suit plus five guineas for his term at Oxford?” Scrooge nodded, getting Tiny Tim educated and into that University had been one of the great redemptions of his life. “And your nephew, have you not paid his debts and granted him an income, though he has no way to earn sufficient to pay his way and support his wife and family?” “It is right that I do, for he is my sister's son.” “And what of the poor of the parish who feast upon your largess? Know you that all the poor of the City know of your generosity and flock to this parish, that they may partake of your bounty?” Scrooge nodded and smiled. In ten years he had done so much good work, given so much charity, he felt happy. Who was this spirit that had come to criticise him so? “Yes, spirit, I have done all you said and much more. Only this evening I drew a cheque upon my bank to give a dress to each poor women and a jacket to each poor man. Tomorrow, on Christmas day I shall celebrate the season in all joy and with no consideration to the cost.” “Aye Scrooge that is true. In ten years you have spent lavishly in celebration of the season with no consideration to the cost. You have set an example of Christmas extravagance that many will follow, giving not care or consideration to money and the preservation or prosperity. Therefore, I have come to you.” “What spirit of Christmas be you, to be so miserly about my spending?” “No spirit of Christmas Ebenezer, for that you keep well and they will not disturb you. I am the Spirit of Insolvency! You have spent too well without consideration Ebenezer Scrooge, the bank will not honor your cheque and the poor women will go without their dresses and the men without their jackets. Ebenezer Scrooge, you are BANKRUPT.”
  15. Calico Jack by Cynus

    I do wish Cynus would write more short stories. They are always entertaining and also intriguing. This has story has intrigue, history, mystery and philosophy all mixed together. Well worth reading.