Tag Archives: London

Sunday Smile: Doctors successfully operate on twins in the womb after discovering serious medical condition


From Daily Mail: A set of twins has survived thanks to groundbreaking in-the-womb surgery.   

Jake and Oli Whettingsteel were never expected to make it after their first ultrasound at 12 weeks showed one of the boys was feeding from a single blood vessel. They were suffering from rare twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) where blood flows abnormally between the babies – meaning Jake received all the nutrients while Oli was being starved.

A generation ago, there would have been no options for their parents Ben, 34, and Jane, 33. But surgeons at St George’s Hospital, London, defied expectations by performing a laser operation to separate the boys’ blood vessels at 17 weeks – while they were still in Jane’s uterus.

Even with the operation, there is just a 50 percent chance that both would make it to the birth.  However, the pregnancy continued smoothly, and at 29 weeks both boys were born – a minuscule 2lb 15oz each, but healthy. Defying all the odds, they have now made it to their first birthday.

Jane, a human resources manager, described how scary it was discovering the boys’ condition when she was just 12 weeks pregnant. ‘The sonographer asked how it was going, then her tone became worried – she’d spotted something,’ Jane said.

Jane and her partner, retail manager Ben Whettingsteel, were told their babies were critically ill with TTTS, a disease that affects 15 percent to 20 percent of identical twin pregnancies where they share a placenta. For the next five weeks, Jane had repeated scans.

When she reached 17 weeks, the babies were considered big enough for the laser surgery. Jane said: ‘I tried so hard to be really calm throughout my pregnancy as I didn’t want any additional stress to harm the babies. I decided I was going to be positive and say that I knew I could do this. I was determined to do everything in my power to keep these babies safe.

In September 2015, Jane underwent the 45-minute procedure at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, southwest London.  Doctors inserted a small camera into Jane’s stomach before using lasers to separate the blood vessels between the boys. Only one small blood vessel was found to be feeding Oli.  Doctors told Jane if the vessel was any smaller, the babies would have died.

‘That was the scariest moment, when I realized we were really close to losing them,’ Jane said. ‘I couldn’t get over how miraculous that surgery was. It was so intricate and they could do it without damaging anything. I have been left with just a tiny mark on my stomach.’ One week later, the identical twins had grown to the same size and Jane’s pregnancy continued as normal – until just before 28 weeks.

When Jane went to pick up her daughter Jessica, five, from her last day of school before the Christmas holidays, she started bleeding. Doctors gave her steroids and magnesium sulfate to help the babies develop, in case she went into premature labor. Jane added: ‘They basically said prepare yourself, we might need to take them out now.

‘Fortunately they said they didn’t think the bleeding was coming from the boys, but they told me I would need to stay in Winchester hospital until they were born.’

On December 30, while in the hospital, Jane started suffering what were believed to be Braxton Hicks, or false contractions. But when it was realized she was eight centimeters dilated, Jane was taken to surgery for an emergency Cesarean section.

Shortly before 9pm, Jake was born weighing 2lb 15oz and then Oli, weighing 2lb 14oz. Eleven weeks early, both boys were small but relatively healthy.  ‘They both cried immediately, which was really reassuring,’ Jane said. ‘The surgery had been successful because they were both almost the same weight.’

Because of their size, Jake and Oli were taken to the neonatal ward as they needed oxygen and were jaundiced. Oli was taken off oxygen 24 hours later and Jake followed him three days later.

The boys spent seven weeks and six days in the hospital, getting bigger and stronger every day. Jane said: ‘We were really lucky, they just needed to grow.

Read the rest of the story here.



Terror attacks are ‘part and parcel of living in a big city’, claims London mayor Sadiq Khan


From Daily Mail: The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has said that living with terror attacks – like the one that hit New York at the weekend – is ‘part and parcel of living in a big city’.

Mr. Khan told the Evening Standard: ‘It is a reality I’m afraid that London, New York, other major cities around the world have got to be prepared for these sorts of things. That means being vigilant, having a police force that is in touch with communities, it means the security services being ready, but also it means exchanging ideas and best practice.’

The dopey mayor...

The dopey mayor…

Mr. Khan, who was elected as Mayor in May to replace Boris Johnson, who is ironically now Britain’s Foreign Secretary, was in the United States on a business trip.  He said he had a ‘sleepless’ night on Saturday after a bomb exploded on West 23rd Street in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood, injuring 31 people.

Another device on 27th Street in Manhattan failed to go off and Ahmad Rahami, an Afghan-born US citizen was later arrested in New Jersey.  Mr. Rahami has been charged in relation to the New York explosion and another device that exploded harmlessly hours earlier near a race in Seaside Park, New Jersey.

After taking advice from the New York authorities it was ‘business as usual’ for Mr. Khan, who visited the 9/11 memorial and attended a New York Mets baseball game. Mr. Khan reportedly hinted that the Mets could come to London next year to play a Major League Baseball game at West Ham’s Olympic Stadium.

The other dopey mayor...

The other dopey mayor…

Mr. Khan later met with the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, as well as with Muslim community leaders, and co-wrote an editorial in the New York Times.

Mr. Khan, who was the first Muslim Mayor of a major western city when he was elected in May, Mr. de Blasio and Paris’s Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, wrote: ‘We call on world leaders to adopt a similar welcoming and collaborative spirit on behalf of the refugees all over the world. Our cities stand united in the call for inclusivity. It is part of who we are as citizens of diverse and thriving cities.’



London’s New Mayor: I Won’t Be Able To Visit The U.S. If Donald Trump Wins

After what Khan has to say about de Blasio and Emanuel, you can hardly take him seriously.

sadiq khan

From Huffington Post: Newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he wants to travel to the U.S. to collaborate with other mayors — but he won’t be able to if Donald Trump wins the presidency.

Khan, who was elected mayor last week after fending off racially charged attacks from his opponents, is Muslim. Trump, the presumed Republican nominee for U.S. president, has vowed to ban anyone practicing Islam from entering the United States. The GOP hopeful defended this plan as recently as Sunday, but has also indicated that he’d allow exceptions to the ban for sporting events and heads of state.

Khan pointed out that such a ban could prevent meaningful political collaboration.

“I think Bill de Blasio is doing interesting housing stuff in New York, Rahm Emanuel is doing interesting stuff with the infrastructure bank in Chicago,” he told Time in an interview on Sunday.

baby laughing

“I want to go to America to meet with and engage with American mayors. If Donald Trump becomes the president I’ll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith, which means I can’t engage with American mayors and swap ideas.

But Khan, whose parents immigrated to the U.K. from Pakistan, also didn’t seem too worried about Trump’s threats. “Conservative tacticians thought those sort of tactics would win London and they were wrong,” he said. “I’m confident that Donald Trump’s approach to politics won’t win in America.”


Teenagers shunning part-time jobs because of exam pressure and ‘apathy’ towards work


Daily Mail: While their parents probably all had jobs washing the dishes in a pub or delivering the morning paper, teenagers today are rejecting weekend jobs in favour of working on their studies – or doing nothing at all.

The number of 16-17-year-olds working has more than halved in the last two decades – according to data from the Office of National Statistics.  Exam pressure, apathy and more of a desire to hire adults are among the contributing factors to the decline in working teens – as well as the fact that far more are staying in school.

In 1992, just under half of the 16-17-year-olds had jobs, as opposed to around 20 percent today. The number of working on a Saturday or over the summer is down to around the same proportion – whereas it used to be double that. This shows that teenagers are not only shunning jobs in favour of education, but also deciding not to work alongside their studies.

Mark Beaston, Chief Economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, believes Saturday jobs are being rejected because of increased pressure to succeed academically, as well as a change in the labour market.

More people are now happy to work unusual hours, while those under 16 cannot drive or work before 7am – meaning many employers prefer to give jobs like delivering newspapers to adults.

Anne Bingham, from the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, told the Financial Times: “There are still paper boys but a lot of our members are moving to employ adults.”

However, some teenagers admit that the reason for not working in their free time can just because of the lure of going on extravagant summer holidays – or even plain idleness.

“There’s an apathy among the youth, most want to have these amazing holidays in the summer,” said Dan Cohen, a student working two jobs – as an office temp and waiter. “During term time there’s a massive emphasis on studying. And then when summer comes it’s like you’ve got two months to chill out.


Really Cool Historical Pics. Part One.

I don’t know about you, but I love seeing old pictures especially with some sort of description. I present for your viewing pleasure part one.

~Steve~                                        H/t  hujonwi




Albert Einstein looking fabulous.


A boxing match on board the USS Oregon in 1897


The Beatles in 1957


Fidel Castro lays a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial.


Che Guevara

child laborers

Child laborers in 1880


Winston Churchill out for a swim – typical swim suit of the day

desert rats

British SAS back from a three-month-long patrol of North Africa , January 18, 1943


The construction of Disneyland


The London sky following a bombing and dogfight between British and German planes in 1940


The Great San Francisco Fire and Earthquake of 1906


Elvis in the Army

google pic

Google begins – 34 people here.


Grounded aircraft on September 11, 2001, await orders.



California lumberjacks work on Redwoods.  Thousands of tree rings in these ancient trees – each over 1000+ years old or even much older…such a shame…irreplaceable giants. National park treasures all gone but a few – what kind of men would do such a thing for over 100 years – destroy something they cannot ever fix or replace for 2000 years? It is an evergreen, long-lived, monoecious tree living 1200–1800 years or more.  An estimated 95% or more of the original old-growth redwood forest has been cut. In 1850, old-growth redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres…down to  8,100 acres by 1968, by which time nearly 90% of the original redwood trees had been logged.


Disneyland employee cafeteria in 1961


Martin Luther King, Jr. removes a burned cross from his yard in 1960.  The boy is his son.


The original Ronald McDonald – played by Willard Scott!


Young Bill Gates and the Microsoft staff in 1978:  11 people – 2 women, 5 beards.


A different angle taken of “Tank Man,” the man who stood against a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square . He is standing in the street between the tree trunk and the fleeing man. You can see the tanks approaching from the right.

Happy New Year Chuckles.

Happy New Year To all at FOTM.   😀


A New Year Prayer For the Elderly

God, grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
The good fortune to run into the ones that I do,
And the eyesight to tell the difference.

New Year’s Day Prayer for One and All

Dear Lord

So far this year I’ve done well.

I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t lost my temper, I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But in a few minutes, Lord, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on I’m probably going to need a lot more help.


A New Year’s Wish

On New Year’s Eve, Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it was time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living.

Well, it was kind of embarrassing. As the clock struck – the bartender was almost crushed to death

Lecture Tour with A Difference

On New Year’s Eve, Daniel was in no shape to drive, so he sensibly left his van in the car park and walked home. As he was wobbling along, he was stopped by a policeman. ‘What are you doing out here at four o’clock in the morning?’ asked the police officer.

‘I’m on my way to a lecture,’ answered Roger.

‘And who on earth, in their right mind, is going to give a lecture at this time on New Year’s Eve?’ enquired the constable sarcastically.

‘My wife,’ slurred Daniel grimly.

Happy New Year



I Hope London is Ready

I don’t know how many of you are aware that this year marks the 40th Anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics where the Munich Massacre took place. Palestinian terrorists took nine Israeli athletes, coaches and officials hostage, two were killed almost immediately and the others were killed later during a rescue attempt.

Here we are 40 years later and after doing some checking and a little investigating, I’m beginning to get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach and things are starting to add up.

1. Olympic park is only about 2.6 miles from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets which according to the London census of 2001 had the largest Muslim population of all the London Buroughs at 71,389.

2. On July 7, 2005, the day after London won its bid for the 2012 Olympics, London suffered its first terrorist bombing and attempted bombings again in 2005 and 2007, this century. I don’t believe these were a coincidence but rather an early test of London’s security, granted these attacks took place years ago but what better way to lure their police and security forces into a false sense of security.

3. This year for the first time ever, Saudi Arabia is allowing its women to compete in the Olympics and seeing that more suicide attacks are being carried out by women recently, I believe this is just a little too convenient.

I sincerely hope I’m wrong and that this feeling I’m having  is just the result of an over active imagination.

Tom in NC