chief of lloyd

Chief Architect

This one is for @jerseyfiredragon20​. Thanks for the pillow fort prompt!

This ones a bit more light hearted than the last. Enjoy!

“Tell me something about yourself, Christine.” Erik offered, an uncharacteristically serene smile on his face. “Something from your childhood.”

He loved hearing about her childhood. His mother hadn’t afforded him one, and tales of Christine’s youth filled him with a warmth he had never known. Sometimes he was even able to picture himself there; inside one of her memories. Playing games or speaking to her; enjoying life as a child should. Though, they were different ages. Even in an alternate universe where Erik wasn’t deformed and his mother loved him, it could never had happened.

“I’ve told you a lot about my childhood lately, Erik.” She smiled. “Why don’t you share something from yours?” She placed a hand over his, fully aware of the gravity of this request.

Erik cringed inwardly.

“Perhaps another time.” He replied. “Tell me more about how you would amuse yourself; the games you would play.”

Christine sighed. Another failed attempt at making progress with Erik. She knew that earning his trust would be difficult after the life he had led and her part in that. It had been months since the night of Don Juan and he was still so guarded. There were times where he would betray himself; a genuine laugh, a warm smile, a playful gesture. At these times she was able to see the child inside of him. He would allow her to see the vulnerable part of him that he closed off long ago. Those moments were few and far between, but they were everything to her.

Then, just as quickly as he opened those doors, he would close them again.

 “Alright…” Christine began, deciding not to press the question. “Let me think…”

Keep reading

“Commiserations to Mirror Group editor-in-chief, Lloyd Embley, who had been hoping to impress Simon Cowell enough to be offered a job and quit the ailing tabloid. 

Cowell was interested - but before anything was finalised word reached the man who was Embley’s predecessor at the Mirror, Richard Wallace. Wallace has been working for Cowell in the States as an executive producer on America’s Got Talent ever since he was  fired from the Mirror (Cowell loves to hire tabloid hacks as he’s convinced they’re great at spotting stars and trends). 

Wallace, it’s fair to say, loathes Embley - not least because Embley slid in and took both his and his wife’s jobs (Tina Weaver used to edit the Sunday Mirror). He made his feelings quite clear to Cowell. Next thing, all plans were shelved, leaving Embley  stuck at MGN.”

- Popbitch, 25 May 2017

Simon English: Venezuela and the vampire squid - what could go wrong?

It’s about eight years since Rolling Stone’s nuisance correspondent Matt Taibbi produced his epoch-defining description of Goldman Sachs as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”.

At the time, this felt self-righteously angry and important as well as funny. It put Goldman on the back foot for a while, made it answer or at least ponder questions it would rather not, such as: is there anything you wouldn’t do for a million dollars? (Answer: not really. But we have had a little think.)

I was in a meeting with Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein not so long ago and it was clear this stuff still bothered him. It was the one subject on which his avuncular glow deserted him. What was wrong with this Taibbi guy, he wanted to know. Was he unstable?

Goldman had a brief go at claiming the vampire squid description for itself, insisting these were peaceful animals that meant humans no harm. The squid stuff has come to seem merely amusing and we’re back to thinking getting angry at Goldman is like getting angry at the moon.

Of course it is going to seize any opportunity to make money for itself. That is just what it does and we must accept that, unlike the rest of us, Goldman never has to ask itself whether it is doing the right thing. If it can profit, that IS the right thing.

Hence to Venezuela, from where we bring the following news: the squid is back. Goldman has just bought $2.8 billion of government bonds at a discounted rate, handing a financial lifeline to embattled president Nicolas Maduro, on whose watch an already troubled country has become desperate. One stat: 75% of Venezuelans have lost at least 19 pounds due to food shortages.

Perhaps Goldman is signalling dietary advice here; making the world thinner one bond deal at a time. Opposition politicians say Goldman is propping up a dictatorship. Its response is that since it bought the bonds through a middleman — it won’t say whom — it didn’t deal with the government, and isn’t in business with Maduro, a socialist ruling by decree.

The bank says: “We recognise that the situation is complex and evolving and that Venezuela is in crisis. We agree that life there has to get better, and we made the investment in part because we believe it will.”

So this is an optimistic bet on the future, right, a deal born on the wings of hope.

There’s not much point competing with Taibbi, so I’ll leave you with his thoughts on the Goldman-Venezuela tie-up: “Who says two amoral institutions with diametrically opposing ideologies can’t collaborate to sink even lower together?”

Prescriptions for Ritalin and other ADHD drugs double in a decade

Nearly a million prescriptions for Ritalin and related drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were dispensed last year – more than double the number of a decade ago.

The figures have prompted a damning indictment of the system from experts who claim that the running down of mental health services has led to children being misdiagnosed and inappropriately prescribed drugs.

There were 922,200 prescriptions last year for methylphenidate hydrochloride, the chemical name for Ritalin, and similar products. In 2010, 661,000 were dispensed compared with 359,100 in 2004. Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence suggest that the use of these drugs should only be a last resort. There have been repeated warnings from experts that clinicians were too readily prescribing psychostimulants to children when the evidence suggested there were no long-term benefits. Animal studies have also raised concerns over the potential for damage.

Tony Lloyd, chief executive officer of the ADHD Foundation, which offers support for children with the condition, said children were being let down by a cash-starved system. NHS spending on children’s mental health services in England has fallen by more than 6% in real terms since 2010.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says drugs should only be used as a last resort for ADHD. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian