Posts tagged with "The Daily Mail"

Now, imaginary friends are going extinct, too

September 4, 2019

The latest entry on the endangered species list may not be missed by many adults, but children worldwide would be sad to see it vanish: It’s the imaginary friend—a human, animal, or fantasy creature that, traditionally, has been created by about 37%of youngsters at about the age of seven, according to University of Oregon researchers.

Perhaps the most famous invisible friend ever was Harvey, a six-foot rabbit that appeared in the 1950s film of the same name—and was seen only by a middle-aged man named Elwood P. Dowd, played by the actor James Stewart.

However, most adults either don’t have ethereal friends—or don’t admit to them. And today, it turns out that many children are too practical and levelheaded to play with illusory sidekicks.

At least, that’s according to a recent survey conducted by daynurseries.co.uk. According to a report by the UK newspaper The Telegraph, out of 1,000 nursery workers surveyed, 72% percent said that fewer children have invisible friends than they did five years ago

And fully 66% think they know they reason why: They place the blame on the growing prevalence of screens like iPads and cell phones, which kids can now turn to whenever they don’t know what to do with themselves.

“I think that children are not allowed to be ‘bored’ anymore,” David Wright, the owner of Paint Pots Nursery in England, told the Daily Mail, another British daily newspaper that covered the story.“When children have free time to themselves, they find something creative to do with their mind, such as forming an imaginary friend.”

But the crisis might not be as bad as it sounds. “One or two children in our nursery do have imaginary friends but they mainly come out at home, when children are alone,” Wright told the Daily Mail.

Research contact: @daynurseriesuk

Age before beauty? When a newborn is not easy on the eyes

July 2, 2018

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder—and you usually can count on new moms and dads to think that their babies are pleasing to the eye. In fact, 82% say it’s love at first sight. But there’s another side to the “big reveal” that a good number of parents find embarrassing and don’t want to admit: The truth is that fully 18% of parents secretly believe that their wee one is a bit on the plain side (if not downright ugly), based on the findings of a study of 1,000 U.K. adults conducted in 2013 by Promotional Codes and posted on The Daily Mail.

Maybe the newborn has daddy’s nose and grandma’s mouth—and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Or maybe his or her face got “squished” coming out of the birth canal. Of the nearly one-fifth who admitted to being disappointed by the looks of their baby, more than half had discussed their feelings with their partners but only 8% said they had spoken to anyone else about it. Instead it seems the vast majority suffer their disappointment in silence, choosing to put on the brave face society expects.

One father of two who asked to remain anonymous told the news outlet: “There is a lot of pressure on new parents in all kinds of ways and this is something that remains taboo and just isn’t talked about.

“My daughter is three now and she is gorgeous,” he said, “but when she arrived she was the most disgusting little thing I’d ever seen. She had a face only a mother could love, but even my wife admitted she was ugly.

“She was our second child and we knew we were being objective because when our eldest girl was born we had been convinced she was beautiful. When number two arrived we both felt very differently.

“It doesn’t mean you love them any less of course. In fact it brings out some very intense feelings of protection. You really feel you have to root for them in life because they aren’t as good-looking.

He also admitted that the truth is not an option for friends and family, either. “You do get offended if anyone ever dares to suggest your baby isn’t beautiful.’

A spokesman for Promotional Codes, which fielded the research, commented,”’As human beings we are wired to love our babies and the poll overwhelmingly supports the theory that we all fall in love with our offspring at first sight.’But interestingly loving your baby doesn’t have to mean that you think it is beautiful. It seems that every parent feels a pressure to say their new baby is—but only four out of five actually believe it.

“Yet the remaining fifth who secretly feel their baby is ugly don’t love them any less and may even feel the need to spoil them more than they would a good-looking baby.”

Research contact: darren@promotionalcodes.org.uk

Trump whacks Germany’s Merkel and U.S. Democrats, while defending his own immigration stance

June 19, 2018

Fully 56% of the 1,000 U.S. adults polled by Ipsos on behalf of The Daily Beast this week say that it is not “appropriate” to separate children from their parents at the border—and yet President Donald Trump continues to blame his administration’s zero-tolerance policy incorrectly on the Democrats and to assert that Germany’s more open immigration program has led to a rise in crime.

On June 18, the POTUS tweeted, “The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up.”

Several minutes later, Trump added, “Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture! We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!”

However, according to a report by USA Today, in May, Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior actually rebutted the claims that Trump currently is making—noting that the total number of crimes committed in the country in 2017 had fallen 5.1% from the previous year.

Case closed? Far from it: Just weeks later, Interior Minister Horst Seehoffer has turned on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, threatening her leadership.

Although he refuted the crime statistics, Seehoffer has created a so-called “migration masterplan” in the interim, according to the UK news outlet, The Daily Mail. Under his proposal, the German border police would be given the right to turn back all asylum-seekers without identity papers and those who are already registered elsewhere in the European Union.

Merkel rejects the idea, believing that it would be perceived by the rest of her allies in the European Union as a “Germany First” decision—and that it would further burden such front-line Mediterranean countries as Italy and Greece.

On the other side of the pond, U.S. immigration rights advocates—most of them, Democrats—support Merkel and are fighting Trump’s hard-line “America First” stance.

With more than 2,000 children already torn from their parents’ arms, a contingent of Democratic legislators insisted on inspecting a facility in McAllen, Texas, where the youngsters were being held this week.

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland), who was part of that group, released a tweet on June 17: “Just left Border Patrol Processing Center in McAllen—aka ‘the dog kennel.’ Witnessed loads of kids massed together in large pens of chain-linked fence …. @realDonald Trump, change you shameful policy today! #FamiliesBelongTogether

And even a few Republicans are pushing back. Representative Susan Collins (R-Maine) commented during an appearance on CBS-TV’s Face the Nation on Sunday that, “What the administration has decided to do is to separate children from their parents to try to send a message that, if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you. That’s traumatizing to the children, who are innocent victims and it is contrary to our values in this country.”

Former First Lady Laura Bush wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post, also on Sunday, in which she said, “I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And It breaks my heart.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan—who rarely says a word against the administration’s policies—admitted, “We don’t want kids to be separated from their parents,” when asked by a pool of reporters, but blamed the situation on “a court ruling,” according to Time magazine.

Will the Trump administration budge? Not if you listen to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has shown little pity for the plight of the children. He spoke in support of the zero-tolerance policy earlier this month: “If people don’t want to be separated from their children, they should not bring them with them.”

Research contact: gideon.resnick@thedailybeast

Americans are loyal to Britain’s royals

June 15, 2018

Nearly 30 million people in the United States watch Britain’s Prince Harry marry American actress Meghan Markle on May 19—a bigger audience even than  the 23 million who tuned in to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, ratings giant Nielsen reported the next day. The numbers merely reinforce what we all already have known: Americans have a love affair with Britain’s royal family.

That makes sense, based on a poll conducted by Ipsos in advance of the nuptials, which found that Prince Harry tied with Queen Elizabeth II in terms of their popularity (23%) among 1,000 respondents worldwide. Other members of the royal family followed closely behind in the poll of 28 nations—among them, the Duchess of Cambridge (the former Kate Middleton) at 18%, Prince William (17%), Prince George (10%), Princess Charlotte (9%) Prince Charles (8%), the former Meghan Markle (8%), and Prince Philip (5%).

Indeed, on balance, perceptions of the royal family are favorable in most nations—but especially in Romania (51%), Saudi Arabia (45%), India (38%), and the United States (36%). The only countries in which Ipsos registered a negative net rating were Spain (at -2%) and Argentina (-8%).

The poll’s most surprising results came from the question “Do you think it would be better or worse for your country in the future if it had a constitutional monarchy like Britain instead of an elected head of state?” Only 36% of Americans felt comfortable answering “worse” to that, while 11% said “better.”

There is a persistent royalist temptation in America,” National Review commented on May 22, adding, “Not in the sense of any tangible movement to enthrone a king, of course, but in a more subtle and psychological sense. A pernicious impression, spread by a certain sort of cosmopolitan type, holds that the monarchy question was something the Founders simply got wrong in 1776 — along with the Electoral College, the Second Amendment, etc.—cursing Americans to a lifetime of envy of more ‘enlightened” nations.’

Americans are similarly ambivalent about whether the British monarchy should be abolished. While only 15% believe that Britain would be “worse” for jettisoning the royals; just 12% think the country would be “better” if the Windsors were put out to pasture.

Finally, while Americans love the royals, they also seem to have a general fondness for the British public. In a study commission by British Airways a few years ago, as many as one-third of 1,000 Americans interviewed “love Britain and everything about it”—except for the “terrible” weather.

The Daily Mail, which reported on the study, said, “In the eyes of people from the other side of the pond, UK residents ‘speak properly,’ sound really clever and are also extremely polite.” Three in ten Americans said the UK is their favorite country—and one in seven said they would move to Britain, if they had a chance.

Research contact: Gideon.Skinner@ipsos.com