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Manic Street Preachers (affectionately known as “the Manics” by their fans) are a rock band who formed in South Wales in the late 1980s. Their original lineup consisted of James Dean Bradfield (guitar/vocals), Nicky Wire (bass/occasional vocals/lyrics), Sean Moore (drums) and Richey Edwards (rhythm guitar/lyrics).

As childhood friends growing up in the mining town of Blackwood, the Manics were avid consumers of literature, history, politics and glamour. Their first album Generation Terrorists (1992) was heralded by controversial manifestos and spray painted slogan shirts, along with the now trademark leopard print, glitter and eyeliner. Perhaps the most shocking early moment of the band was when Richey Edwards cut the words 4REAL into his forearm with a razorblade. Despite declaring they would sell 16 million albums and then split up, the band went on to produce more mature, commercially friendly second album Gold Against The Soul in 1993. Critics were starting to believe…

I was recently discussing this movie in a chat channel. Okay, I will be honest - I was holding forth on this movie, regardless of whether anyone was listening. I do that a lot. Witness me here writing this. I mention this because I think my commentary, while irreverent and perhaps even slightly contemptuous beneath the awe at the commercial machine, is actually not too terribly far off base. So I will commit the most hideous sin possible and quote myself. Ready?


The quality-adjusted life year (QALY) is a measurement used in adjusting measures of life expectancy and effectiveness of medical interventions.

As the name indicates, this is not just a measure of life expectancy, but of the quality of life expected. Each extra year of life is 'discounted' in subjective value based on the amount a person is expected to suffer; 20 years of very painful, bedridden life might be considered less valuable than 15 years of relatively pain-free, mobile life.…