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Good News vs Bad News …

We constantly moan that the news is dominated by negative headlines but have you ever wondered why we love to hear bad news?

Newspapers, TV broadcasters, news apps are all constantly filled with stories of disaster, acts of terror, political corruption. When you read the news, it can often be overwhelming with the amount of depressing headlines but our minds are drawn to the negativity, the fear. Why else would the media focus their efforts on reporting all things bad in life? Where is the good news?

The Audience

Not only bad things happen in this world, the media just feeds the bad to us – but what does this mean about us as the readers? Our brains home in on the terrible events and we as the audience seem to get a ‘buzz’ from it. It’s not that we necessarily enjoy hearing bad news, but that we are intrigued by it. It catches our attention because it’s not the everyday norm, therefore it interests us. Hearing bad news and hearing good news sparks contrasting emotions, it comes down to which emotion is stronger. Bad news is more exciting and grips us, whereas good news has a less stimulating reaction. As readers we seem to respond to words such as “terror attack”, “cancer”, “devastation” more than the positive words “happy”, “joy”, “fun”. It seems our human mind tends to prioritise negativity over positivity, it increases our alertness and spikes our inquisitive mind. Take a second to think about it, “Puppy stuck in drain rescued” or “Twenty-five dead from car bomb” – which one catches your eye more? The headline about a car bomb instantly grips you, it’s natural empathy, it shocks you yet thrills you at the same time. Whereas the headline about the puppy simply gives a quick thought such as “oh isn’t that nice” and you continue with your day.

We love to hear about the bad in the world; the natural disasters killing thousands and devastating communities, the wide-spread government corruption, the acts of terror on our country’s soil. But why don’t we love to hear about the milestone achievements, amazing charity work or accomplishments in life?

The Effects of Social Media

News stories are broadcasted via social media channels quicker than they are put out on news websites, TV channels and radio stations. These social media posts get shared, retweeted, commented on and liked within a matter of seconds, soon filling the internet with a variety of reactions (generally the bad outweighing the good), soon a Facebook post becomes a forum of people venting their anger. Could this be why journalists continue to pour out the bad news, because of its value? Do journalists report more bad news than good news because it gets them higher ratings? We say we want good news, but is it actually true?

Social media is truly fascinating, the power it holds and influence it has is outstanding, so let’s use it positively! Share your achievements, share your good deeds, share your stories and experiences…because we all love to see it, we just need reminding of the good in the world (you’ll soon be racking up those Facebook likes, don’t you worry). One day the good will outweigh the bad. The question is, whether we know the adequate balance of negativity and positivity?

At Banana Crumble, we love to go bananas (ha ha get it?) for good news stories! Our aim is to brighten your day with happy and exhilarating stories. If you have a good news story you want to share with us, we’d love to hear from you!

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This isn’t just good news – it is great news! Win a £50 Amazon voucher for the best Smile Wall photo.

Smile Wall ? What is this ? Go Bananas and be in with a chance of winning a £50 Amazon voucher.

After our photo shoot for our home page on the Banana Crumble website we all had such fun and thought it would be a great idea to get people to take these Banana Smile photos in all sorts of places and come up with funny captions. How can you not be cheered up by seeing these? Why not grab a banana and join in the fun. Why not challenge your friends to see who can get their photo onto our smile wall first.

We have decided that we are going to give one photo a month the title of Smile Wall Champion and to the person who uploaded that photo we will give a prize. In our first month the prize will be a £50 Amazon voucher. To decide which photo is worthy of this  honour, it will be down to you, our Banana Crumble members, to click on your favourite photos. The photo with the most likes will be our winner. Why not take a look at our Smile Wall gallery and vote for your favourite photo now.

If you have half as much fun as we did and are also in with a chance to win £50 – it can’t all be bad!! Join in the fun and be our first Smile Wall Champion. Our first winner will be announced on 31st October 2017. If you have already submitted a photo get your friends “liking” it. If not there is still plenty of time to get a photo dowloaded and then get voting!

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Going bananas at our launch party and charity night!

Thursday 28th September 2017 saw the official launch party for Banana Crumble and a celebration of the link up with our Charity of the Year The Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The event was held at Mangetout in Southend and over 60 people were in attendance.

The evening was a huge success with people hearing all about Banana Crumble and their crusade to bring a smile, some good news and positivity to the world. The guests also found out about Cystic Fibrosis with speeches from Sophie and Peter Holmes.

The whole evening was very yellow with huge inflatable bananas, banana themed decorations and of course the yellow of the Cystic Fibrosis Charity.

 

 

Mangetout laid on an amazing spread and even came up with banana themed deserts and cocktails. Certainly a great evening with loads of fun had by all.  We have received the following messages “what an enjoyable evening for such a good cause”, “we had a super time last night – it was a privilege to be there”, “absolutely amazing night last night, so enjoyed it”.

Money was raised on the evening with a raffle. Raffle prizes were kindly donated by Mangetout, Nandos, Asda and of course Banana Crumble. Mangetout also kindly donated funds from the sales of their cocktails. In total since the actual launch of Banana Crumble on the 14th September the total raised so far is £377 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, with £252 being made at the launch party from the raffle.

Thanks to everyone for joining us and especially to Andy Sheard for being our photographer on the evening.

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It really isn’t too good to be true – Congratulations to our first winner.

Huge congratulations to our first winner – Eleanor Harrison from Cardiff.

Banana Crumble really is something for nothing!! It was really great meeting Eleanor at the Student Union at Cardiff University. She was really pleased to be our first winner and was already thinking of ways to spend her £100. I met her on the day the money was paid into her account and it was great to see how happy she was to be a winner. This is the aim of Banana Crumble – not to change anyone’s life but to bring a smile to their face. Objective achieved with Eleanor!

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Meet our Good News Story Inspiration – Sophie Holmes

What was our motivation for promoting Good News? Read our story as to why we thought Good News needed to be promoted.

Sophie Holmes was born ten weeks premature and was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at four months old. Her parents were told that she may not live beyond her teens. Sophie spent huge amounts of her young life in and out of hospital, receiving constant physiotherapy and on permanent medication.

At this point we did not know Sophie or her family but almost ten years ago we moved and become their neighbours. We weren’t aware to start with that Sophie even had Cystic Fibrosis. We just saw a fun loving girl who lived life to the full. She would always be out running with her Dad or the dog . She was always smiling and looked the absolute picture of health.

As we grew to know them better our admiration of Sophie and her family has grown immeasurably. Sophie has taken Cystic Fibrosis by the scruff of the neck and is doing absolutely everything to keep herself as fit as she possibly can. In doing this she has decided to prove the original Doctors wrong and try and fight CF with a combination of her love of fitness and a healthy balanced lifestyle. Sophie has trained to become a fitness instructor to help with these goals and spends many hours at the gym training herself and teaching others.

When we heard that Sophie was planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro her Mum was obviously concerned but also very proud. We heard stories about Sophie training with an altitude mask set to mimic the oxygen deprivation she would experience at 19,000 feet to try and keep building up her lung function to make the trip and climb possible. If determination was anything to go by then Sophie would definitely conquer Mount Kilimanjaro and beyond.

The trip took place in 2015. Every detail had been planned to the inch and Sophie was off on the Challenge of a life time. The climb wasn’t plain sailing and certainly not easy but Sophie got to the top – only the second person ever with CF to complete this remark feat.

This is such a positive Good News story and if this doesn’t inspire you then I’m not sure what will. Sophie didn’t stop there and has completed numerous physical challenges since. Recently she spent another stint in hospital. Most people would moan about having to spend time in hospital. Not Sophie – she made the area around her hospital bed into a gym so that she could keep her fitness levels up and in the hope of increasing her lung function. I am sure at times Sophie must feel miserable but she has surrounded herself with such positive things to motivate and inspire her.

Sophie recently did the Race to the Stones – a 100km ultra marathon. I think the sentence on her blog which sums up Sophie’s positive attitude and is a real inspiration was when she was at the 95km mark she was disappointed that the sign said 5km to go – she thought it should have read 95km completed. !!  If we could take something from Sophie and look for positive things then the world would be a better place.

Read about Sophie on her website www.sophiegraceholmes.com and you will be amazed at what she has achieved and what she still plans to do.

Instagram @sophiegraceholmes

YouTube: Sophie Grace Holmes

This is why we wanted to feature Good News Stories. We hope that you agree and can take something from this article and maybe provide a Good News Story of your own.

To find out more about Cystic Fibrosis please go to our charity page at www.bananacrumble.co.uk

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Why have “Good News” ……

Why have we got a feature section called Good News Stories?

So many people get involved in sport, music, drama, art, scouting, charity work and the list goes on and on and on. A huge majority of people have never been in trouble yet it is the tiny percentage of people that do bad things that seem to make the headlines. Count in the newspaper or on the news the number of negative articles compared to the positive ones.

As the next generation comes through we shouldn’t be focussing on the doom and gloom we should be looking at the positive and encouraging them to do the best they can. I recently asked some friends if they had enjoyed their week away. “Yes” they responded “but the weather was rubbish on Wednesday morning!” Surely that means that the weather was good for the rest of the week. See what I mean, focusing on the bad? People just seem to like moaning about everything and anything!

Lots of people have bucket lists of things they want to do and probably actually will never do. Certain things almost seem to have been invented to be a bucket list item. Who wants to go naked skydiving over the Brazilian RainForest ? What happens when everything is ticked off the list – not that it is ever likely to be – not sure I fancy wing walking!! Stupid thing to have added!!

Having the most extreme things on a bucket list is almost a competition! If the list is completed more things will get added. No one is ever going to say “Done”!! Why not turn the whole thing on its head and have a “I have Done list!!” And celebrate everything you have achieved. You can still do all the weird and wonderful bucket list items but this will give you something positive to look back on. Each new thing you add to the list is something else you have achieved. Far more positive.

Our Good News feature is here to help focus on the good and positive things that you do. We will try and publish or publicise anything as long as it is positive, motivational, inspirational or of interest to our members. If it is none of these then it just needs to bring a smile to our faces or to make us laugh.

People often need a helping hand and we think we can help. If you are planning on being a journalist and need somewhere to publish that first article – we will try! If you are a new band and want some publicity for that first album – let us know! If you feel that your sport should receive more publicity – tell us!  If you have done something amazing – just contact us! Maybe some of our positivity will rub off. Maybe when I ask my friends about their week away I will get the answer ”Had a great time, the weather was amazing for almost the whole time and actually the morning it rained was a bonus as it meant that we could ………….!!

Looking forward to hearing all your Good News!!

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5 things Apple users REALLY want from the new iPhone

After months and months of rumours and speculation, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were finally announced this month, with the latter undergoing the biggest overhaul since Taylor Swift stopped pretending she was nice. Some of the amazing new features are:

  • A 5.8-inch screen that takes up the whole front of the phone meaning you have even more phone to smash! It was very restrictive having only some of the screen to break, now we can’t miss!
  • FaceID – new facial recognition technology which will be how you unlock your phone and pay for things via Apple Pay. It’s so advanced that it will even “learn” your face under various transformations (glasses, make up, radical hair style changes, that drunken Mike Tyson face tattoo) – it’s not yet known if it will work for Katie Price.
  • No more Home Button – a staple of the iPhone since 2007, and replaced with a 3D Touch home button with the iPhone 7 last year. The iPhone X has done away with the trusty home button and instead you’ll have to swipe up to go back. I foresee a lot of repetitive strain injuries for thumbs in 2018.

These features are set to be the future of the iPhone, but for those of us who have had iPhones for quite some time now, are they features we’ve really been crying out for? I’m glad we can now make our own faces become “Animoji”, I can’t wait to make a cartoon poo talk, but what is it that people truly need?

1. Better battery life.
Every time an iPhone is released it comes with the promise that it has “X% amount longer battery life” than its predecessor. And yet, by the time you get home from work after leaving on a full charge, a significant chunk of battery is missing from that devilish little battery icon. What did I do? I only listened to the Best of 5ive. Twice. That’s a good whole 7 minutes of phone used, why am I now on 60%?

2.“Through the air” Wireless charging
The new wireless charging recently announced, which has been around for a while now, means you must lay your device flat onto the wireless charger to charge it and keep it there – so you can’t lay in bed on your phone whilst snooping on Instagram or Twitter now. What fun is that? Who wants to awkwardly manoeuvre themselves onto their bedside table just to use their iPhone whilst it charges wirelessly? I want to look at my phone, not do Bikram yoga.

I don’t believe that in a world where the technology exists to unlock a phone via your actual human face under all kinds of lighting conditions and facial changes, that you can’t also invent a small wireless attachment that plugs into the charging port of your iPhone, which then reaches a signal from a wireless charger plugged into the mains. That way, you can use your phone however you want whilst it charges wirelessly “through the air” up to a certain radius or so. Now you can stalk your ex to your hearts content without having to worry about losing battery life!

3.Group FaceTime
I mean, come on! How hard would it be? 4 corners of a phone, surely that enables FaceTime to go up to 4 users at one time? Let us plan Nando’s via Facetime instead of the group chat because SOMEONE never replies. Families that like each other would love this too.

4.Bring back the 3.5mm headphone jack
This is an obvious one. The decision to get rid of the headphone jack with the iPhone 7 is probably considered the most maligned decision Apple have ever made amongst iPhone users. Having only one lightning charging port, means you must plug your new Apple standard “lightning” earphones (or use your own ones plugged into the annoying attachment) into the same port you change your phone from. This of course does away with the once easy option of listening to music/watching a TV show or a film, whilst also feeling content in the fact that you’re also charging your phone.

Gone are the days when you could go on a lovely long train journey and know you can charge your phone (if you’re lucky enough to get a table/window seat) – whilst listening to whatever you wanted to your hearts content. It’s one or the other now. Not both. Unless you buy an attachment, but why should you have to? The phone costs more than a second-hand Fiat Punto, let me have the basic luxury that every other smart phone has.

5.Completely indestructible.
I’d like to be able to drop my iPhone (by accident, I’m not a monster) and not have to experience that 5 second slow motion moment (as sponsored by Michael Bay) of turning my phone around to see if the screen has cracked. Those moments are some of the worst moments iPhone users can ever experience. Why not use the stuff they make tanks and bullet proof glass out of? Don’t give me the “but it’s expensive and we need it for the War” excuses – If Siri can book me tickets to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi then you bet my phone can survive concrete.

Paul Gold (@paulgold92)

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Facebook and its many faces

Illustration courtesy of Ruth Pickering

The way we use Facebook is ever-changing throughout the years as more and more social media platforms are launched. Who needs to read a status when you can see a caption on Instagram with a filtered-beyond-all-recognition picture instead? But no matter how long you leave it until you decide to log back into Facebook, some things will just always be the same upon your return. How many of the following examples do you recognise from your friends lists?

The Attention Seeker

Amy has “checked in” at the Hospital. The accompanying status reads “Oh my god – can’t believe what happened! So shaken up and scared” – she chucks in various emoji’s to let us know the true extent of her plight. Someone she hasn’t seen since Year 11 comments “you okay hun? Xx” – Amy replies “Yeah I’m fine, don’t worry about it!”. What do you mean you’re fine? Obviously, you’re not…And the people that don’t know you very well are all reading this, please let us know what kind of drama happened; I’m on my lunch break and could do with some light reading. Don’t be so selfish, Amy. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU’LL INBOX THEM LATER?

The Narcissist 

Jamie has just finished a work out. Naturally, he wants everyone to know this. Otherwise, just what’s the point in going to the gym if that person you met in Zante and still have on Facebook to this day doesn’t know about it? Up goes a picture of him in gym gear. “9th workout in 9 days done! Not showing any sign of slowing down either #gainz” – That’s nice Jamie dear. Remember, muscles can’t buy you friends.

The Rayban Tagger

Getting tagged in a photo of a load of Raybans for sale. Nah, you’re alright mate, haven’t seen you since we were 12, most people start with “Hello!”.

The OTT Sickening Relationship

You know – those couples who’ve only been together a few months who call each other sickening names like “pudding” or “pumpkin” in constantly uploaded pictures and heartfelt posts dedicated to them every time they do the washing up. They can’t leave the house without a Pic Stitch collage going up confessing how hard the last 7 minutes have been. We get it, you’re in love, now stop with the poetry and get in an argument with them so we can all read about it. (DISCLAIMER: THE WRITER OF THIS ARTICLE IS PAINFULLY SINGLE AND BITTER)

The Middle-Aged Mother

You’ve got your friends Mum on Facebook. You know this because almost every other day, her and the rest of Mumsnet will flock to comment on a meme she shared about needing a big glass of wine.

I could do with a big one too…….. A glass I mean! Hehe ;-)”

“Oh Sue! You are SO funny! Hugs to you and the boys!” 

The Part-time Politician / Full-time Farmviller

Mark loves Farmville. You know he does because he’s very proud of his crops and his sheep and all that farmy jazz. He invites you to play it every week but you deny his requests because you like to think you have some kind of life. But…what’s this? An election is coming? Mark puts down the cyber fertiliser to post his political propaganda and his calls to end terrorism. “It needs to STOP!” – and just like that, we have world peace. Well done Mark.

The Vague

You’re scrolling through your feed trying to avoid the countless Herbalife Harry’s and “my kid did a thing look how cute my kid doing the thing is” posts, until you come across a gem like “Great, I really need this don’t I. Thanks a lot” – Who is this person thanking? What do they really need? Come on, don’t leave it there! TAG THE MONSTER! How will we ever know what’s wrong? What will – oh wait, hang on, I’ve stopped caring and I’ve scrolled past. Kevin’s having another kid, isn’t that nice.

The Humble Bragger

A picture of hot dogs or legs on a beach somewhere. The sun beautifully beaming away in the background “How’s your view?” Michelle asks. Well, ‘Chelle, seeing as you’re asking, it’s pretty crap actually – I’m currently looking at a picture of someone who’s never paid for their own holiday, thanks for asking.

The Minion Quote Poster

“I love my children more than anything” – that’s lovely but why is that quote on a picture with a cartoon minion next to it? What’s the relevance? What exactly does the yellow creature add to the equation here? They’re everywhere with so many famous quotes attached to them – it really takes away from everything brilliant Winston Churchill ever said if people start thinking Dave the minion said it.

That Person Who Really Loves Cars

James never uses Facebook, he never likes anything, he never comments on anything, yet the one thing you can rely on is the sporadic changing of his profile picture to a fancy sports car. Nice one James, but we can tell it’s not yours because I saw you last week driving a Fiat Punto. And we can see Ronaldo in the driver’s seat.

Paul Gold

Twitter: @PaulGold92

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Ten reasons why you would be bananas not to sign up to Banana Crumble

1.Free cash with absolutely no catch

2. Vouchers and Discounts to make your money go further

3. A website that focuses on the good things and uses positive influences rather than just concentrating on the bad and negative

4. Life is what you make it – tell us your good news

5. Submit a photo for our Smile Wall and whilst having fun you can win a prize

6. If you can’t get your articles published. We will try and give you that first chance.

7. We are supporting Cystic Fibrosis so why not help a good cause

8. Who doesn’t like something for nothing?

9. It only takes a minute …..

10. It’s a stupid name, sounds like fun and just why not? You have absolutely nothing to lose.

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From Villain to Hero with just a toilet roll….

The weeks before university starts are really hectic. Can you believe how much needs to be done? Parents want their offspring to arrive with everything they need to cover almost every eventuality. Cars turn up, even vans and motor homes with things that just cannot be left at home. Going back 6 years when my eldest son was about to embark on his university life which did, in more ways than one, change his life forever. We were lucky, got on fine, other than the normal tidy your bedroom moans and we planned his university shopping list together with help from friends and the internet.

The last trip into town with the really essential last minute bits including a must have inflatable chair which then failed health and safety when we got there saw us struggling through town laden with bags. I am fairly tall but my legs in comparison couldn’t keep up so it was almost turning into a sprint just trying to stay in line as we jostled through crowds. “Hang on” I yell. “Don’t you want me to walk with you?”  The answer shattered me. I thought we had a really good mother/son relationship. So many thoughts ran through my head when I heard a loud “NO!”. “Why?” I said, thinking he was joking. “Am I really that embarrassing?” The glare and grunt said it all. “What do I do, that’s so embarrassing?” I mumbled. “Breathe” came the firm reply!!! How can children say things, possibly in jest or truth and not realise the impact of what they say or in fact the impact them leaving for university will have on the whole dynamics of the family and the family unit. I still sprinted along behind with handfuls of bags dutifully handing my credit card over for those last can’t do without items!! “Done” I said when the last item was ticked off my list. “No” he said “one last thing. I am going to treat you to a milkshake.” I sat in the coolest milk shake bar in town not realising I probably now was being really embarrassing, grinning like a Cheshire Cat!! “What is so funny” he said. “I can’t be that embarrassing if you are sitting here and bought me a milk shake”, those raised eyelids and glint of a smile made me realise how lucky I was. An embarrassing mum maybe, but a lucky one too. Earlier, I had been the villain just for breathing.

A week later we arrived at the university with only just enough room in the car for us (we had to leave his younger brother at home!). So much stuff, literally only just enough room for us all to be squeezed in alongside all of the boxes, bags and holdalls. We arrived at the gate, wanting to create a good first impression. Our car window was wound down and a tuneful morning from all of us greeted the security team, who then looked and laughed as stuff was falling out of the window including the can’t survive without it, mobile phone!!

Cases, bags and the car unloaded.  Almost managed to colour code the wardrobe, bet it didn’t last like that for long. Meet and greet friends and family was next on the planned agenda. We did go, but within several minutes we were again the embarrassing parents, loitering not wanting to stand out. I wasn’t going to cry, no big sloppy kisses, just a quick hug and see you soon! Hardly a glance, even then we knew he was happy with his new flat mates, he has since married one and the rest came to the wedding.

In the first few weeks we did get messages, I hated the Skype calls. Convinced that was the time he used to tidy his room and the call home was a must do job ranking alongside the boring tidying up. We would look at his bedroom wall, seeing his head duck up every now and again with a plate or a pile of dirty underwear. Is that how university is for us embarrassing parents? Six weeks before our next visit, I was so looking forward to that first trip, almost counting the days. We decided to make a goody box with all his favourite food and drink.  Homemade cake was worthy of a little smile when we arrived. The box was carried up to his room and unpacked. Salad cream – life’s essential, peanut butter, beer, few more smiles. Then the piece de la resistance. Padded toilet rolls and a big pack, bought in reality just to fill the box up. Not just a smile and a hug from him but from all of his flat mates too. We were the best parents in the world. How do you do villain to hero in six weeks? Easy, with a pack of quilted toilet paper!!