December 18, 2012
How Very Dare You Cook Your Own Meals
Martin White, professor of public health at Newcastle University,..took a close look at 100 recipes in some of the nation's favourite cookery books – 30 Minute Meals and Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver, Kitchen by Nigella Lawson, River Cottage Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Baking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale. They compared the nutritional value with those of 100 randomly selected brand name ready meals from Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco.
Neither, they said, met national or international guidelines for a balanced diet. But, they added: "The recipes seemed to be less healthy than the ready meals on several metrics." Per portion they contained significantly more energy, protein, fat and saturated fat and significantly less fibre than the ready meals. They would be more likely to attract red "traffic light" warning symbols under Food Standards Agency criteria.
By 2020, it is estimated that 70% of adults in the UK and the US will be overweight, causing soaring levels of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. White and colleagues think the traffic light warning scheme should now be applied to recipes from TV chefs, who could also put nutritional values on screen, on websites and in cookery books. A 9pm watershed has been advocated for advertising of unhealthy food, and the authors point out that nobody has yet suggested something similar for TV chefs.
Allowing people to cook their own food! What a dangerous idea! It would be far better if a van with prepared approved meals delivered the proper flavour-free slush everyday to everybody for every meal.
December 8, 2012
UCL Cycling Safety Bollocks
Researchers from UCL have found that cycling is safer than driving for young males, with 17 to 20 year old drivers facing almost five times greater risk per hour than cyclists of the same age.
The researchers looked at hospital admissions and deaths in England between 2007 and 2009 for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. These were studied by age-group and sex. The research is published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Using National Travel Survey data in England for the same time period, the team converted the distance travelled by each age-group, sex and mode of transport into time spent travelling using mean trip speeds.
“What we found is that risks were similar for men aged between 21 and 49 for all three modes of transport and for female pedestrians and drivers aged 21 and 69 years,” said lead author Dr Jennifer Mindell (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health). “However, we found that for young male cyclists between 17 and 20 years of age, cycling was markedly safer than travelling by car.
Did you spot the bollocks?
The risk is "per hour" travelling, not per mile. I don't know about you but I tend to travel to get somewhere not to spend time doing it..
But at least they published it in an open-access peer reviewed journal, which invites comments!
December 2, 2012
A popular Bath band known for their lively, high tempo numbers had the plug pulled on their act last night – because they were too loud.
The Bath Blues Brothers had been booked to entertain shoppers at the Christmas Market but, after taking to the stage, were told they were too noisy to continue.
The decision to bring the concert to an end was made by Bath Tourism Plus, which organises the annual market.
It was left to its chief executive Nick Brooks-Sykes to ask the band to stop, five numbers into its set, which started at 7pm.
Boos greeted his intervention at the gig by Bath Abbey.
October 21, 2012
THE environment ministry licensed the killing of two robins and a wren with semi-automatic weapons after the tiny birds were declared a threat to public health.
Semi-automatic? I gather air-rifles were actually used.
August 20, 2012
Best News of The Day
AN ingredient in red wine may help to keep older people steady on their feet, research suggests.
The findings may have implications for preventing life-threatening falls in older people, say scientists.
Lead researcher Dr Jane Cavanaugh, from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, US, said: “Our study suggests that a natural compound like resveratrol, which can be obtained either through dietary supplementation or diet itself, could actually decrease some of the motor deficiencies that are seen in our ageing population.
“And that would, therefore, increase an ageing person’s quality of life and decrease their risk of hospitalisation due to slips and falls.”
"dietary supplementation" - doesn't he mean just having a glass or two of claret? Though I can't say I have noticed it helps me keep my balance.
July 24, 2012
If Only America Was More Like Brussels
....It is surely indisputable by this stage that gun control would save lives. This has to be true everywhere, not just in America, and the stricter it gets the more lives would be saved....
Why does America so fear to be like us? It can’t just be the Second Amendment, regardless of what it is supposed to mean. True, the American tendency to treat their constitution as a holy text is baffling at the best of times. (Who cares what Thomas Jefferson meant in 1787? Maybe he hadn’t given people bringing semi-automatic weaponry into cinemas that much thought?) But this surely goes deeper.
Much as it might look that way, America’s debate about gun control isn’t really about being able to defend yourself (as part of a militia or otherwise) from the inevitable tyrannical government when the Muslims and/or Jews take over. It’s about freedom, and freedom of a very particular sort. It’s about the rights of the individual versus the greater good. America just doesn’t seem to do the latter...
When American politics sounds odd and alien to European ears, this is why. It is the sound of the clamour for individual liberty drowning out everything else.
On the American right even the desire to not let people do things — have abortions, marry people of the same sex — is today characterised as protecting the freedom of those who object. Right-wing America doesn’t want to give up its guns for the same reasons it didn’t want to be forced to have healthcare and doesn’t believe in global warming.
Opposition to gun control is this obsession at its purest. American liberty holds that the honest, decent gunowner should not be held responsible for the actions of a minority of criminals and lunatics.
European liberty starts by worrying about the criminals and lunatics and works backwards from there. Me, I’d rather be in Europe. But then, I am. In any political system other than the American one it’s unthinkable that popular outrage about a domestic problem that causes (let’s take that deep breath again) 31,347 horrible deaths a year could be so utterly dwarfed, every time it flares up, by popular outrage about the notion of any possible solution.
America could solve its gun problem in half a generation if it wanted to. It doesn’t want to. That’s a whole other problem it needs to solve first.
Firstly the Guardian (!) injects some facts into the gun debate here and secondly the notion that America would be nicer if only it was more metro-european and not so hung up on liberty and freedom and all that old-fashioned guff is so emetic that it has quite ruined my bacon and eggs.
July 19, 2012
Road Safety - Forget the numbers let's get touchy feely instead.
Recording public perceptions of risk would give society a more holistic view on whether our roads are getting safer or not.....
.... the unquestioning acceptance of the conventional wisdom that road safety is defined exclusively in terms of casualty and accident statistics. A road is "safe" for cyclists or children if there are no accidents involving cyclists or children.....the Department for Transport doesn't measure perceptions, only crash statistics. It should copy the Home Office, which annually supplements its crime statistics by publishing the British Crime Survey, that measures perceptions. Then we might come closer to a more holistic view of whether our roads are really getting safer or more dangerous.
The author is bicyclist, the numbers don't match what he feels about roads so the numbers must be wrong...
July 14, 2012
Physician Heal Thyself
Cigarette-style images would help public understand excessive drinking's link to diseases and violence, says health body
Might be fairer to put health warning on Doctors first....
The Press Association: 'Needless' hospital deaths revealed
Almost 1,000 patients are dying needlessly in hospitals every month due to errors in care, research has suggested.
Each year there are 11,859 preventable deaths in hospitals in England, the study found.
July 10, 2012
Cash Cameras Proliferate
There are actually more fixed speed camera sites in England now than there were in 2010, according to statistics gathered by the RAC Foundation from a Freedom of Information request.
But the number of cameras that actually take pictures has fallen from 529 in 2010 to 487 in 2012. Of the 32 administrative bodies that used fixed speed cameras and who responded to the request, 10 said they had made no change to the level of provision of camera sites.
Several others registered only small changes in provision over the past two years. In only two areas - Avon & Somerset and Wiltshire & Swindon - have all operational cameras been switched off.
As I very rarely ever leave the county I hadn't noticed as we are free of them, and there doesn't seem to be an outbreak of road carnage here . There is though a growing infestation of Speedwatch volunteers doing community monitoring of speeds through their little nimby villages. I always give them a cheery wave, and it seems to slow everybody down.
In other news:
July 3, 2012
Cats - For Mad Women Only
Women who own cats are more likely to have mental health problems and commit suicide because they can be infected by a common parasite that can be caught from cat litter, a study has found.
Toxoplasma gondii- nasty parasite, but "clever" as it alters behaviour in host species to make them more likely to pass it on.
Just look at the cat loving freaks you know.
Soya - Not For Men
Rich in plant hormones, or phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which appear to mimic the primary female sex hormone oestrogen, soya has been found to help provide hormonal equilibrium to women going through the menopause ....
.... researchers at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast found that soya consumption had a profound influence on male fertility....They concluded that the more soya a man eats, the more difficulty he will have fertilising an egg.
"soya is a mystery food we are beginning to understand. And its effects can be frightening.”
You just need to look at the soya freaks to see that.
July 2, 2012
If You Shag With The Lights On The Electricity Board Will Judge You
The Europe-wide rollout of ‘smart metering systems’ enables massive collection of personal information from European households, thus far unprecedented in the energy sector. The potential intrusiveness of collection is increased by the fact that data are collected, which may infer information about domestic activities: data may track what members of a household do within the privacy of their own homes.
And they give the power supplier the power to "tune" your consumption by turning on and off "smart" appliances.
Going off grid looks attractive.
June 18, 2012
Shortest Jury Deliberations Ever?
A grand jury will weigh whether charges should be filed against a Texas father who killed a man he found sexually abusing his 5 year old daughter, local authorities said.
According to the Lavaca County Sheriff's Office, the 23-year-old father and his family were enjoying a barbecue last Saturday at their ranch on Shiner's outskirts where they keep horses and chickens.
His young daughter had gone off toward the barn, to feed the chickens. Then her father heard screaming and ran. He found a 47-year-old man in the act of sexually abusing his daughter, according to Sheriff Micah Harmon.
The father stopped the alleged abuser, then pounded him repeatedly in the head.
"At this time I believe the homicide investigation should be sent to the grand jury. Sheriff Harmon made the right decision in not arresting the father at the time of the incident. All of the evidence surrounding this homicide will be presented to the Grand Jury as soon as possible," Lavaca County District Attorney Heather McMinn said in a statement Friday.
I don't think that reaching a verdict on that will trouble the good people of rural Texas much, though they may have some creative suggestions as the alternatives the father could have utilised.
June 11, 2012
When "Rights" Meet Practicality
The United Nations is increasingly concerned at the spread in Europe of "baby boxes" where infants can be secretly abandoned by parents, warning that the practice "contravenes the right of the child to be known and cared for by his or her parents", the Guardian has learned.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which reports on how well governments respect and protect children's human rights, is alarmed at the prevalence of the hatches – usually outside a hospital – which allow unwanted newborns to be left in boxes with an alarm or bell to summon a carer.
...Perhaps the most taxing problem will be Germany, the powerhouse of Europe, which has about 80 baby boxes operating across the nation. The German constitution says all citizens have a right to "know of their origins" and fathers have a right to be part of a child's upbringing. Both are breached when a mother gives birth anonymously. Hatches are tolerated – but earlier this year German ministers floated the possibility of a new "legal framework for confidential births"....
In an email to the Guardian, Manfred Weber, German MEP and vice-chairman of the European People's Party – the largest grouping on the centre right – who signed the anti-UNCRC letter, said the issue was one of competing "rights". "Although I am convinced that a child is best raised within an intact family, the safety of children is of higher priority than their desire to know their biological parents," he said.
There is far too much guff talked about the right to know one's biological background, the idea that culture is genetically based is only mainstream in Social Services and far right parties. A happy and secure childhood trumps all the theory of the importance of "family".
May 17, 2012
Research Shows Water Is Wet
Men are put off eating a healthy diet because they feel meat is masculine and vegetables are for wimps, new research suggests.
But it is and they are.
May 16, 2012
...Although there is ample evidence that sin taxes of this kind do not work, we run the risk of accepting the medical establishment’s terms of debate by even discussing it. The real argument against this kind of state interference is that what we eat and drink is simply no one’s business but our own. As he shows in The Wages of Sin Taxes, the claim that obesity is an economic time-bomb which forces the slim to pay for the sins of the fat is fallacious. Without that justification, the meddlers are exposed as the ugliest brand of paternalists. It is time to call these taxes what they are - fines for living in a way that displeases the British Medical Association. But since it is clear that these doctors won’t be happy until they can issue us with ration books, perhaps it time to remind these public servants who their masters are.
It might be worth printing out a copy or two and leave them in your Doctor's waiting room...
April 9, 2012
Tax The Dumbbells
injuries caused by workers trying to follow a New Year fitness resolution have led to a big increase in sickness absence in the past few weeks, according to research.
The problem of ambitious exercise regimes is causing headaches for employers having to deal with staff taking time off to recover, it was warned.
Mark Fletcher, clinical director at Physio Med, said: “Musculoskeletal injuries are currently the number one reason for long-term sickness absence in the workplace.
Keep fit eh? It seems to me that all the lycra clad fools I ever meet are hobbling to or from their weekly visit to the quack. I'm convinced they are a drain on the NHS and should be taxed heavily.
April 2, 2012
Is That A Truncheon Or Are You Just Pleased To See Me?
You can write your own jokes...
February 21, 2012
The Dehumanising of Rights
No, No, and No again. Forget lovable Flipper for a moment, as soon as we link intelligence to having human rights we are slipping down the ugly route of eugenics where idiots, the insane and the Untermenschen no longer have rights and can be disposed of.
Humans have human rights because they are humans.
Wales and dolphins shouldn't be treated cruelly because it offends our notions of fairness and charity, not because they have our rights and obligations.
February 19, 2012
David Mitchell - Why?
The web is full of opinions, but without knowing the authors' motives for posting them why should we pay them any attention?
I agree, I have never worked out what David Mitchell's motives are, I presume it is some sort of writing therapy for retired comics, so I will continue to ignore him.
February 10, 2012
White Man's Bad Fire Water
An American-Indian tribe in South Dakota has sued some of the world's biggest beer firms over severe alcohol-related issues in the community.
The lawsuit also names the nearby town of Whiteclay, Nebraska, which has four beer shops that sold nearly five million beer cans in 2010 despite having only about a dozen residents.
Alcohol is outlawed on the reservation....
Nebraska State Senator LeRoy Louden has said that after struggling with the problem for years, the state has introduced legislation that would impose restrictions - on the types of alcohol that can be sold and business hours.
So alcohol is banned already and the solution is further restrictions?
How about someone manning up and taking responsibility for their own actions instead of playing the victim card?
February 8, 2012
The Very Fat Man Who Waters the Worker's Beer
Alcoholic drinks should be made weaker under in Britain under Government plans to tackle the "deadly problem” of binge-drinking, a health minister has said.
(Great version - do listen to the video, just ignore the pictures)
I am the man, the very fat man,
That waters the workers' beer
I am the man, the very fat man,
That waters the workers' beer
And what do I care if it makes them ill,
If it makes them terribly queer
I've a car, a yacht, and an aeroplane,
And I waters the workers' beer
Now when I waters the workers' beer,
I puts in strychnine
Some methylated spirits,
And a can of kerosine
Ah, but such a brew so terribly strong,
It would make them terribly queer
So I reaches my hand for the watering-can
And I waters the workers' beer
Now a drop of good beer is good for a man
When he's tired, thirsty and 'ot
And I sometimes have a drop myself,
From a very special pot
For a strong and healthy working class
Is the thing that I most fear
So I reaches my hand for the watering-can
And I waters the workers' beer
Now ladies fair, beyond compare,
Be you maiden or wife
Spare a thought for such a man
Who leads such a lonely life
For the water rates are terribly high,
And the meths is terribly dear
And there isn't the profit there used to be
In watering the workers' beer
February 6, 2012
(Today) is National Sickie Day, the point in every year where the country's enthusiasm for putting in a hard day's graft reaches rock bottom and 375,000 workers stay at home at a cost of around £30 million to the economy.
Some will, of course, be genuinely ill. Colds and flu are rampant at the moment. But many more will be exploiting the sickness epidemic, and their bossesâ gullibility, to gain an extra day off.
According to the CBI, the UK economy lost 190 million working days to absence last year, with each employee taking an average of 6.5 days off sick. The total cost to employers was £17 billion, including more than £2.7bn from 30.4 million days of feigned illness.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, British workers take more sick days than workers in the US or Japan, and public sector workers more sick days than their private sector counterparts.
A poll of 3,000 employees suggested younger workers were more likely to need time off than their battle-hardened elders, with 72 per cent of under-30s saying they had taken at least one sick day in the previous year compared with 46 per cent of over-55s.
The distribution of sick days amongst employees is never a normal distribution bell curve. The vast majority take none or only one or two, and at the other end you will have those who take two a month. You may have your own thoughts as to the causes and solutions to the problem.
February 5, 2012
Grassed Up By Your Car Keys
Insurance investigators and police have revealed they are using data stored on car keys in criminal investigations. Smart ignition keys record the distance travelled by the vehicle on its last journey as well as total mileage. They are being issued by a growing number of car companies — a fact that is not advertised and that most motorists are likely to be unaware of.
If an owner maintains that a car involved in an accident had been stolen from them, for example, police or insurers can retrieve the key from the owner and compare the mileage with the odometer to check whether the claim is true. If a driver claims he has no key, insurers may be unwilling to pay out, arguing the alleged theft was down to the owner’s negligence.
All this smart technology at work, but who for?
February 3, 2012
Preventable Death Toll Rises
Dr Christopher Murray and colleagues have systematically collected data on deaths from all over the world over a 30-year period, from 1980 to 2010, using new methodologies and inventive ways of measuring mortality in countries where deaths are not conventionally recorded.
"inventive ways of measuring" sets my sensors twitching, but whatever, recognising malaria is still a major problem is important. A problem we could have solved if it hadn't been for one woman and a hysterical campaign.
January 12, 2012
"This is how they burn witches I guess,"
I'm not sure dwelling in a toxic wasteground wouldn't be preferable to living amongst such ignorant bigotry.
January 8, 2012
....Under discussion at the Oxford Farming Conference, the annual meeting of big agriculture, was nothing less than a new agricultural revolution of factory farms and genetically modified (GM) crops.
People were talking with relish about the need for “affordable” food — a euphemism that often means “dubious” — to the despair of the stalwarts at the alternative conference of organic farmers across the road.....
Yes the horror of "affordable" food. All those common people filling their bellies with food and not going to bed hungry and grateful for the beneficence of their better.
January 2, 2012
Amid growing evidence that the sport's drug culture has gripped even some of its elite athletes, the Association of Surfing Professionals will in 2012 roll out a policy for screening competitors and officials for performance-enhancing and recreational drugs.
"We believe this is a natural evolution in enhancing the professionalism of our sport," said Dave Prodan, a spokesman for the ASP. "This motion has the full support of the surfers on tour as they want to be taken more professionally, and believe this is a step in the right direction. We have been discussing and drafting a policy with the guidance of the World Anti Doping Agency for over two years and the budget, approved at the November board of directors meeting, has just allowed us the possibility of implementing it as soon as next year."
Bureaucrats, don'tcha love them! I'm reminded of those parasitic fish, remora, that attach themselves to sharks with suckers for the free ride for some reason.
December 31, 2011
Top Health Experts Don't Know Where Babies Come From
Health experts have called for the introduction of minimum prices for alcoholic drinks to help to combat a steep rise in sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies among teenagers.
The unprecedented alliance of public health experts, doctors and sexual health advisers also wants local authorities to be given extended powers to force pubs and nightclubs to curtail binge drinking.
Oh just fuck off...
December 21, 2011
Hitting The Slopes
IT MAY sound like they are skating on thin ice, but ski experts have urged unfit women to think twice before they hit the slopes.
Quite. Ski totty should be fit, and game.
December 17, 2011
Pricing Up Hurt
A hospital consultant who suffered mental trauma after colleagues campaigned to get rid of her following maternity leave was awarded record compensation of £4.5m by an employment tribunal.
Dr Eva Michalak, 53, who worked as an obstetrician at Pontefract General Infirmary, won claims for sex and race discrimination and unfair dismissal against the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS trust and three senior staff members.
The trust's medical director, Dr David Dawson, consultant physician Dr Collin White, and the human resources manager Dianne Nicholls were ordered along with the trust to pay Michalak £4,452,206.60. She had originally claimed £9m.
Appalling abuse the poor woman suffered but £4.5 million?
The Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation Scheme) Order 2011 prices up mental injury as well as physical for our service people. A sobering comparison.
December 14, 2011
A Slippery Slope To Freeing The Market?
Norwegians are facing an unexpected wrinkle in their Christmas cooking plans. Butter supplies are scarce, and prices have skyrocketed.
A higher demand for butter as a result of low-carb diets and increased interest in natural, home-cooked meals is one reason for the shortage, according to Tine, the country's largest farmer-owned dairy cooperative.
...many stores have been rationing how much butter they sell....
Some Norwegian politicians have criticized the government for acting too slowly, and right-wing bloggers have compared the government's agricultural policies -- which include high tariffs on milk product imports -- to those of former Soviet states.
Authorities detained a Russian citizen Monday who they said was trying to smuggle 90 kilograms (200 pounds) of butter from Germany into Norway. Food safety authorities then warned people not to buy butter from strangers, Norway's TV2 reported.
Who would have thought it? A State near monopoly coupled with border controls maybe isn't the best way to organise a market.
November 29, 2011
Chakrabortty - NHS Don't Pay For Success
Twickenham shows what would happen if market forces were brought in to the NHS
My feeling is the problem with the England Rugby team was that were NOT being paid by results enough. They were all too comfortable with their salaries and unsackability. They didn't have the overwhelming hunger for success that an all or nothing payment for success should be.
Maybe the lessons for the NHS aren't the ones Chakrabortty thinks they are.
November 22, 2011
How Much Salt Is Healthy?
How much salt is good for me? - Health questions - NHS Choices
On average, people in the UK eat about 9.5g salt (about 3.7g sodium) a day. This may not sound like much, but to reduce the risk of disease, we should not be eating more than 6g salt (2.5g sodium) a day.
A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has a graph showing how potentially harmful the government dietary sodium recommendation is.
...there is a near one-to-one correspondence between sodium intake and urinary sodium excretion, it’s clear that the level of “no risk” is on the order of 4,000 to 5,000 mg (4-5g) of sodium ingested/excreted per day.
November 21, 2011
Cocking A Snook At Plod
The Worstall writes It's Legal to Drop the F Bomb on a Policeman in England - Forbes
I can't seem to register to comment on the Forbes site so I will remind him of a previous precedent here.
Snook v Mannion (1982 DC) rules that "Fuck Off" is merely abuse and not an invitation to leave; I still think he was hard done by.
BMA Gets A Kicking
The British Medical Association has shown itself to be amateur and ill-informed and doesn’t deserve to be listened to
DO YOU believe what your doctor tells you? When the doctors’ trade union, the British Medical Association, speaks out, do you think it must be a reasoned and rational opinion based upon hard evidence?
I would expect most people would give an unequivocal yes to the first question but be more hesitant about the second simply because, as Adam Smith identified, when groups of people from a profession or trade get together they tend to conspire against the public interest rather than put it first. Nonetheless I think people would give the BMA the benefit of the doubt because they are doctors, not butchers, brewers or bakers.
Last week we found out that doctors, as represented by the BMA, can no longer be trusted. The BMA is no more worthy of trust than any political leader, union boss or second hand car salesman......
I do not exaggerate about not trusting anything the BMA say in future. The whole edifice of modern medicine is based upon hard evidence being rigorously tested ahead of being put before the public. For the BMA to so blithely or cunningly mislead the public deserves the strongest condemnation and the perpetrators to be removed from office.
November 17, 2011
Death Caused By Health & Safety Obsession
FIRE chiefs “should have saved” a mother of two who fell into a disused mineshaft, her family said, after a fatal accident inquiry found her death could have been avoided.
Lawyer Alison Hume suffered “survivable” injuries after plunging 14 metres down the collapsed shaft in Galston, Ayrshire, in July 2008.
Her rescue was delayed by senior fire officers who showed “rigid compliance” with official health and safety procedures, the inquiry concluded.
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said Mrs Hume’s death was “a source of enormous regret” but stopped short of issuing an apology to the family.
Firefighters had wanted to go down to rescue her, and 18 of them had been trained to do so. But their senior officers refused to give them permission, believing the situation was not safe.
In his findings after the fatal accident inquiry, Sheriff Derek Leslie said the decision by senior officers to leave Mrs Hume in freezing conditions, having suffered several serious injuries, was “in conflict with the greater aims of a rescue service”.
He was highly critical and said her death could have been avoided if reasonable precautions had been taken by firefighters, who arrived first at the scene, and police.
The sheriff criticised Group Commander Paul Stewart, the senior fire officer at the scene, for saying the rescue had been “a success”.
Sheriff Leslie went on: “Unfortunately, this was not a successful operation: a woman died who had not only sustained survivable, though life-threatening, injuries, but who had also ultimately suffered and died from acute hypothermia, brought about by a prolonged period down a mineshaft, in which time she had been partly immersed, for a time at least, in water.
“I consider that the views expressed by Mr Stewart and Mr [Group Commander William] Thomson were of a fundamentalist adherence to Strathclyde Fire and Rescue policy.”
He also chastised Assistant Chief Fire Officer John Walker for telling the inquiry “he did not consider that fire and rescue services had a sub-surface remit” and would only have one when responding to the collapse of a building, tunnel or some other “structure”, which did not include mines.
“I was not directed to any legislation, or protocol, that allows me to accept the views expressed by Group Commander Stewart, or Assistant Chief Fire Officer Walker, that the type of rescue they would have required to undertake with Mrs Hume was not within the parameters of their engagement,” Sheriff Leslie said.
“There is little doubt that the rank-and-file firefighters in attendance were anxious to conduct a rescue as quickly as possible but were prevented from doing so by the superiors.”
Lions and donkeys. If ever there was a case that demanded that the officers were publicly stripped of their stripes then this is it.
November 16, 2011
Eco-Criminals - Biggest Single Problem
Council bosses in her home town are cracking down on litter and are warning that cigarette ends are counted as an 'eco-crime'.
Nigel Wheeler, service director for Streetcare at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said: 'Eco-criminals will not be tolerated. The illegal disposal of cigarette related waste is the biggest single problem throughout the area.
'As well as creating unsightly environmental conditions, the offence can attract vermin.
'The Streetcare Enforcement Team will do all in its power to eradicate this type of behaviour.'
A Metal Theft Prevention Bill will be introduced in the House of Commons today, calling for a tougher licensing scheme and more powers for the police and courts to close scrapyards and shut down dealers who do not operate within the law.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has put forward a four-point plan which has called for councils to be given tough new powers to stop the illicit trade.
It wants a ban on cash payments so sellers can be traced, as well as the installation of CCTV with automatic number plate recognition in scrapyards.
Dealers should also be forced to keep a detailed log of people from whom they buy metal and renew their licences.
Wouldn't it be easier if there were just Government run scrap yards with none of this wheeler dealing. Proper yards with only union workers which people could bring scrap to after having obtained a licence in triplicate from a local official. A licence that would be granted after a full examination and on site inspection of the scrap. The yards could operate every other Wednesday afternoon from 1:00 to 2:30 . All vehicles bring scrap would have to be operated on biofuel only and no smoking enforced in their cabs.
I commend this to the house as the only way to get on top of private recycling, it must be stamped out.
Recycling - Gone To The Pigs
"Despite the reduction, the food we waste in homes, which accounts for about half the UK's food waste, is still worth £12bn a year as a result of food-price inflation and the food that is being wasted throughout the supply chain is significant, at a time when food security is a major global issue,"
The greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacture, distribution, storage, use and disposal of wasted food was 17 million tonnes, down from 20 million three years earlier.
Feed it to pigs. Some of us still remember the scandal of the swill feeding ban. With proper precautions this turns all those tasty scraps back into yummy bacon. A recycling project nearly all of us can support I think.
October 12, 2011
Crabs and Snappers, Cuts?
News from a year ago.
The RAF employs more than 150 photographers - more than the Royal Navy and Army combined.
A year to the day later you would pay to read this in The Times:
Last updated October 12 2011 12:01AM
The RAF employs more than 150 photographers, more than the Royal Navy and Army combined.
Quality journalism, it's what you pay for!
And why do the crabs need so many snappers? It wouldn't be vanity would it?
October 5, 2011
Cameron Doesn't Want Big Fat Lies
The government will consider introducing a "fat tax" to tackle Britain's growing obesity levels, the prime minister, David Cameron, has said.
Cameron said drastic action was needed to prevent health costs soaring and life expectancy falling.
He added: "I am worried about the costs to the health service, [and] the fact that some people are going to have shorter lives than their parents."
He warned that obesity was on the verge of overtaking smoking and drinking as the biggest health challenge facing Britain.
"Don't rule anything out, but let's look at the evidence and let's look at the impact on families," he added.
Yes - let's look at the evidence - life expectancy is rising, that's why there is the panic over pensions. Some people won't live as long as their parents, that has always been true, but it doesn't mean there is an epidemic, nor that taxes will keep them alive.
September 28, 2011
Indy Editor Backs Plan To Licence Free Speech
Chris Blackhurst, the editor of the Independent, has come out in support of the Labour party's controversial proposal to get journalists "struck off" if they are found to have committed gross malpractice.
...why can't we bar journalists from writing articles," Blackhurst said, adding that "newspapers had to take charge of their own industry". But he conceded that his thinking on the issue was at an early stage. When pressed he said he had "not thought about" what body would licence reporters.
My tip - Try engaging the brain before speaking as the excitement of felching the latest Labour lunacy obviously has impaired your ability to think.
September 17, 2011
The Lee-Metford's Contribution To Global Prosperity
Keith Tantlinger - Telegraph
Keith Tantlinger, who died on August 27 aged 92, developed the technology that launched containerised shipping – in the process redrawing the global economic map by transforming the way cargo is moved internationally.....
Containerisation did for shipping what Henry Ford’s assembly line had done for car production. It introduced efficiency by standardising cargo handling and integrating rail, river, road and ocean goods transport into a single coordinated system. Before containerisation, cargo handling required boxes, bales, barrels and bags to be stowed individually by dock workers into irregular spaces in the holds of break-bulk freighters, a process which was not only slow and inefficient but also resulted in large quantities of goods “disappearing” at the ports.....
The containerisation revolution had an impact on the patterns of world trade that no one predicted in the early days. By reducing the costs of shipping to a negligible proportion of overall production costs, containers made it cheaper to, for example, have clothes and electrical goods made in Asia then shipped to markets in the West, rather than have then manufactured closer to home.
So while it has helped make a profusion of low-cost goods available to consumers, it has also, arguably, accelerated the decline of manufacturing industry in the West and, indirectly, contributed to current imbalances in the world economy....
The idea of transporting cargos in a sealed metal box is a simple one, and indeed containers had been in use since the 19th century to haul heavy cargo like coal. It was not the box that Tantlinger designed, but the all-important twist-locks, corner posts, cell guides, spreader bars and other paraphernalia which make it possible to lift and lower containers on and off ships and stack them safely. He patented several dozen inventions. His most important design feature was the slotted eyelet at each corner of the container into which a lock, called a twist-lock, could be dropped. The twist-lock could be lowered into an eyelet and automatically engaged and disengaged from above, without extending beyond the edge of the container. A second container could thus be stacked on top of the first, and the two locked together. The device was based on the principle of a bolt-action rifle.
The action is closest to James Paris Lee's one I think.
August 30, 2011
Elfen Safety Profiteering
1000 posters £1.08 each
Example chosen as top of google search - other providers may be available unless that is you are an employer because you are required by law to either display the HSE-approved poster (or to provide each of your workers with the equivalent 'leaflet'.)
The poster is only available from the HSE or an HSE reseller - it is copyright protected and costs £7.66
August 29, 2011
Bansturbation Fake Of The Week
Manufacturers of sugary drinks should be banned from marketing their products to children, a report has said.
The study by the Children's Food Campaign.....
Blah Blah Blah - the CFC (I thought we had banned them?) is of course part of a charity - have a guess how much of its nearly two million pound income is actually from people dropping pennies into its collecting boxes.
Charity overview 1018643 gives the answer (about 3%)
August 28, 2011
No Shit Sherlock
Imperial College team says government is 'seriously undermining' anti-tobacco campaign....They estimate that of the "high-grossing" films that had their tobacco content monitored, 66% featured tobacco imagery. More than half (57%) containing scenes of smoking were rated U, PG or 12A, and only 8% were given an 18 certificate.
Recent UK-subsidised films featuring smoking include Sherlock Holmes ...
Haven't they got any wards that need cleaning?
August 12, 2011
The Dangerous Tastes Act
CUTTING the levels of salt in people's diets will save lives and public money – but action must be taken now, experts have warned.
"Civil society, governments, academia, and health organisations all have a part to play. Denial and procrastination will be costly in terms of both avoidable illness and expenses."
Prof Cappuccio, from the University of Warwick, added that trying to change personal behaviour and choice alone was "not an effective or realistic option when the majority of salt is added to food before it is sold, and food marketing relies on taste".
Bloody individuals buying food on taste! How stupid can you get, we must regulate against them having tasty options!
The Dangerous Tweets Act
POLICE could be handed new powers to shut down social media networks, after David Cameron announced the government was looking at a stringent new measures to tackle disorder following the riots in English cities over the past week.
The crackdown was described by legal experts as the most "fundamental shift" in the government's relationship with the internet and by civil liberty groups as "very dangerous"
The Prime Minister said that “everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill.”
He said that he has asked the police if they need new powers, and that Government is “working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services".
Asking the police if they need new powers is like it was asking Amy Whitehouse if she needed an extra line...
August 7, 2011
Biking in Bacelona
The Spanish-led research team found that for those using the Bicing scheme there was an estimated 0.03 extra cyclists' deaths each year from traffic accidents and an extra 0.13 cyclists' deaths from air pollution compared with an overall saving of 12.48 lives through the benefits of physical activity
0.03 extra deaths a year - one every 33 years? I don't believe it.
In 2010 two cyclists died in Barcelona - As they say -
2010 also saw a notable drop in bicycle-related accidents (by almost 20%). As for accident numbers, the Councillor for Mobility explained that Barcelona "is very close to the figure it had enjoyed before the Bicing service started" (376 accidents in 2006, 399 in 2010).
So in fact the bike hire scheme in Barcelona leads to more people being in accidents - not something the headline writers like to say.
July 29, 2011
Salt Torturing The Data To Fit
Cutting down our daily intake by just 2g can cut our chances of cardiovascular events by up to 20 per cent, leading experts said in an article published in The Lancet journal.
Research from Exeter University published two weeks ago claimed there was no strong evidence to prove the benefits of a reduction in salt in your diet, prompting reports that salt had little or no effect on the chance of suffering strokes or heart attacks.
But a reanalysis of the same data has shown that there is indeed a significant benefit to be had from limiting the amount of salt we eat.
The figures add to the “already overwhelming” evidence that salt is the chief cause that raises blood pressure, which in turn is the largest cause of stroke, heart attacks and heart failure, experts said.
Prof Graham MacGregor, one of the authors of the Lancet commentary, said: “Contrary to the claims by [Exeter scientists] and many press headlines, these new results, along with all the other evidence, clearly demonstrate that a reduction in the whole of the UK population and worldwide, is immensely important.”
That would be The MacGregor who flogs books extolling low salt diets...
and is Chairman and founder of the mysterious Consensus Action on Salt and Health which seems to just be a "group of experts" which doesn't publish accounts and solicits donations.
July 13, 2011
These Things Happen
The three cheetahs - Savannah, Boumani and Zena - were being filmed by park workers to "prove" to local council bosses at Sevenoaks District Council that they were 'safe' for visitors to get close to.
The big cat bit both men several times before swiping its massive paw at Mr Foreman, ripping his shorts off and leaving him with scratches down his leg.
Both men were taken to hospital for treatment and given jabs and had their wounds treated, but were back at work on Monday.
Eagle Heights boss Alan Ames, 55, said the attack was 'no big deal' and said that the cheetahs were 'safe'.
He said: "Its an occupational hazard.
What happened is very unfortunate and we take it very seriously, but its not like someone getting their arm ripped off by a gorilla.
You can take all the precautions in the world but these things happen.
I dont know what people expect - if they want to live in a perfect world, they are deluding themselves.
I wonder if the council takes such a sensible view? Would you like to bet on it?
H2O - Just Say No
The benefits of drinking water have become so exaggerated that people who follow official advice may even do themselves harm, a doctor warns.
Bottles of mineral water are now so ubiquitous that health-conscious people cannot make even a short journey without one. Yet the warnings about maintaining fluid levels are "not only nonsense, but thoroughly debunked nonsense", Margaret McCartney, a general practitioner in Glasgow, said.
Official advice issued by the NHS says that people should "try to drink about six to eight glasses of water (or other fluids) a day to prevent dehydration". Many schools also require pupils to bring a water bottle to school.
The idea that we are all short of water is thought to derive from a 1945 recommendation that adults should consume 2.5l of water daily, 1ml for every calorie consumed, though this advice has only caught on in the last decade. But the crucial part of the recommendation is usually ignored – that "most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods".
Hydration for Health, an initiative aimed at medics to promote the drinking of water, which was created and is sponsored by Danone, the French maker of Evian, Volvic and Badoit bottled waters, says "many people, including children, are not drinking enough". It recommends "1.5 to 2 litres of water daily is the simplest and healthiest hydration advice you can give".
Yet there is no evidence that people need to drink that much and it could be harmful by causing hyponatraemia (low salt levels), water intoxication and even death, according to a review in the American Journal of Physiology.
Dr McCartney, a medical columnist for a newspaper, has especially harsh words for the Water is Cool in School campaign; its aim to persuade children to replace sugary drinks with water is commendable but it goes too far when it claims mild dehydration – the sort people experience when they are thirsty – can result in a decline in mental performance.
Dr McCartney said people should "say no" to organisations that like to tell doctors and patients what to do.
July 11, 2011
Your Cycling Economics Question Answered
Lots - there is no point in saving up for a pension for a start. Set aside a bit for a nice slab of granite with your name on it is the only long term planning you need.
July 1, 2011
Time to get Viking on them
Together with the United Kingdom, Denmark is playing a leading role in the international work to fight piracy. Recently the Danish government presented a comprehensive piracy strategy encompassing political, military, legal and capacity building measures. Any viable solution requires stronger national mechanisms for prosecution and incarceration of apprehended pirates.
Denmark is chairing the international working group under the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia dealing with these crucial legal issues. The group, consisting of representatives from more than 55 countries and organisations, met for the eighth time in Copenhagen this week.
The working group has contributed significantly to facilitating co-operation between states on the legal aspects of piracy. This co-operation includes inter alia common legal standards in several areas linked to the military efforts and the prosecution of suspected pirates.
Lene Espersen is the Danish foreign minister
Working parties meeting in agreeable cities... how very nice. There is a simpler solution to piracy which doesn't involve croissants and expense accounts.
June 28, 2011
PCSO - Keeping Our Streets Safe
June 26, 2011
According to The Mail on Sunday the advice states: "The courts do not accept police officers are caused harassment, alarm or distress by words such as: f***, c***, b*****ks, w*****s."
Well f*** me s***** with a c********, does that mean I can ****x**** ****** 8***** them now?
June 22, 2011
Cask Conditioned Aged Spirits
Recommended safe limits for drinking alcohol by older people should be drastically cut, according to a report.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists says people over 65 should drink a maximum of only 1.5 units of alcohol a day.
That is the equivalent of just over about half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine.
A group of experts from the Royal College of Psychiatrists says there is a growing problem with substance abuse among older people, who they describe as society's "invisible addicts".
The report says a third those who experience problems with alcohol abuse do so later on in life, often as a result of big changes like retirement, bereavement or feelings of boredom, loneliness and depression....older people often turn to alcohol in later life as a coping mechanism and this can remain stubbornly hidden from view.
"Invisible", "hidden from view"; that is because it isn't a bloody problem. When your dear old Doris has shuffled off, your kids pop in only once a week and your knees ache like buggery a couple of pints at lunchtime is a very sensible "coping mechanism". But of course the professionals want you to stay sober for them to "care" for you in their own special way in the filthy institutions they run.
June 20, 2011
Maybe We Need A Royal Society for The Prevention of Cruelty to Patients
MORE elderly patients are dying of dehydration in Scotland's hospitals, figures show.
Inadequate fluid intake contributed to the deaths of 550 patients last year - up 9 per cent on the previous 12 months and up more than 25 per cent on a decade earlier, according to Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland.
The statistics also show 109 patients died malnourished, while 141 died while suffering bedsores.
Analysis of the data reveals in 2010, more than ten patients a week were "discharged dead" from hospital with a diagnosis of "volume depletion". The condition is described as the loss of both water and salts and is closely linked to dehydration.
The number of deaths from volume depletion has risen from 429 in 2001 and 503 in 2009. The highest figure in a decade was 638 in 2006.
A further 4,305 people were discharged alive suffering the condition.
Jail time would follow if this was pets that were being so treated.
The RSPCA has welcomed prison sentences and a ban on keeping animals handed out to a couple who admitted causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs. A veterinary examination concluded both dogs were very underweight and that Sally was severely emaciated. She was less than half the weight that she should have been, had early kidney failure and an infected liver.
Steady On The Water
Eight million gallons of water drained from reservoir after man urinates in it - Telegraph
Health experts said the incident would not have caused any harm to people in the city of Portland, who are supplied with drinking water from the reservoir.
They said the average human bladder holds only six to eight ounces, and the urine would have been vastly diluted.
But David Shaff, an administrator at the Portland Water Bureau, defended the decision to empty the lake.
"There are people who will say it's an over reaction. I don't think so. I think what you have to deal with here is the 'yuck' factor," he said.
Cue W C Fields - "I don't drink water. Fish fuck in it."
June 9, 2011
Swine Flu - Worse Than Thought
Half of Scots were infected by swine flu - Scotsman.com News
ALMOST one in two Scots caught swine flu during the first outbreak of the virus, but only one in 20 went to doctors reporting symptoms, research has revealed.
A study by Edinburgh University found that the swine flu outbreak of winter 2009-2010 was much more widespread than was previously realised, affecting up to two million people in Scotland.
Blood samples taken from Scottish adults in March last year at the end of the H1N1 flu season showed that almost half were carrying antibodies to the virus.
July 2009 -
UP TO 65,000 people in Britain could die as a result of swine flu as the pandemic takes hold across the country, according to the government's latest calculations.
Sir Liam Donaldson, the UK government's chief medical officer, said the scenario of 65,000 deaths was based on 30 per cent of the population – some 18 million people – becoming ill and 0.35 per cent of those dying.
But the actual number of fatalities could be anywhere between 3,000 and 750,000, he added.
June 8, 2011
The Spy In Your Bin
BBC News - BinCam makes students recycle through Facebook photos
A bin that photographs rubbish is shaming Newcastle students into recycling.
Images of their discarded packaging are being posted automatically on social networking site Facebook.....
May 13, 2011
Pieces Of Shit Cash in On Their Shit
MINISTERS were facing a new slopping out row yesterday after two convicted rapists were each awarded £500 damages for having to empty a chemical toilet.
The men claimed the sanitary arrangements in Peterhead diminished their human dignity.
They said they felt frustrated, worthless and degraded.
Worthless, check; degraded, excellent; and frustrated, that's what jail is for.
May 11, 2011
Hardened Criminal Video
Skateboarding dog owner fined £80 - Telegraph
The owner of a skateboarding dog has been fined £80 and threatened with legal action for not keeping his Lakeland terrier on a lead.
A council spokesman said Mr Fell has 14 days to pay up, otherwise he will be forced to appear before magistrates and could face a £1000 fine.
He said: "We know Bodhiâ s antics are an amusing sight and the dog and spectators appear to enjoy it.
"But when people start getting hurt and we receive complaints we have a legal duty to act."
Look he isn't wearing a helmet, gloves or knee pads, something must be done.
April 28, 2011
My Mother Said I Never Should
When a gang of travellers trespassed on her land and allegedly threatened to cut her throat with a chainsaw, Tracy St Clair Pearce dialled 999, expecting protection and reassurance from the police.
Miss St Clair Pearce, a cancer sufferer who is receiving chemotherapy, was walking in her smallholding on Friday evening when she was approached by four teenagers from an encampment next to her land.
The 50-year-old, who breeds rare Shetland cattle and Lancashire Heeler dogs at Seven Saints Farm near Chelmsford, Essex, could hear the sound of a chainsaw cutting her trees for firewood and told the youths to leave.
In response, they subjected her to a barrage of abuse, Miss St Clair Pearce claims. One of the gang, a boy of about 14, allegedly said that he would kill her and her animals.
“He threatened to slit my throat and he also threatened to cut the throats of the cows, the calves and foals,” she said.
Miss St Clair Pearce called police, who took a statement only to return on Monday with a warrant to seize the 12-bore shotgun and smaller weapon which she owns legally and keeps to deter foxes from attacking her poultry.
She was out judging a dog show in Bedfordshire when police arrived, so they kept coming back until finally getting access to the locked gun cabinet at 3am. Officers later returned to demand her shotgun licence, without explaining why they were taking the guns, she said.
Officers told Miss St Clair Pearce that they had made arrangements to go to the camp on Saturday, but it is understood that they were told that the main instigator had “gone away”.
Police said they were working with the local council, which owns the land on which the travellers are staying, to find a solution to the problem.
That's nice for them isn't it.
April 26, 2011
Gold Medal For A Green Shakedown
Britain could be fined up to £175m by the International Olympic Committee if it continues to break EU air pollution laws by the time the Games begin next August.
How many levels of venality are covered in that announcement.
April 16, 2011
Railways Belong In Museums
A flagship BBC radio current affairs show had to be cancelled after guests including employment minister Chris Grayling were unable to get to the live recording because of a body on a railway line.
Radio 4's Any Questions was due to be broadcast from the National Railway Museum in Shildon, County Durham, but only one of the four-strong panel for the topical debate show was able to get there on time.
All very tragic but yet again proving that railways belong in a museum. The invention of the steering wheel made them obsolete. A coachful of politicians and BBC employees could simply have driven round the body, been more fuel efficient, capable of moving more people per hour per mile of track and been more comfortable.
It also could have been diverted to a cliff top for the greater good of us all.
April 10, 2011
Let Us Now Praise Norman Baker
Norman Baker, the minister responsible for cycling, walking and local transport – and lifelong bike enthusiast – has reignited a debate that divides bike lovers. The Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes has declared it his "libertarian right" to put himself at risk on roads by not wearing a helmet, prompting claims from road safety groups that he is unfit for the job.
Baker said: "I don't wear a helmet when I cycle. The first reason is that I don't want to. I don't want to wear something on my head. For me the joy of cycling is to have the wind in your hair, such as I have left. It's free, it's unencumbered; I don't want to be loaded down.
"It is a libertarian argument. The responsibility is only towards myself. It's not like drinking and driving where you can damage other people. You do no harm. I'm not encouraging people not to do this, I'm just saying I make a decision not to."
Bet like Boris and Dave he gives in and starts wearing one soon.
March 31, 2011
Parents of ill vegan girl may face police - Times Online
June 8, 2008
A 12-YEAR-OLD girl in Scotland brought up by her parents on a strict vegan diet has been admitted to hospital with a degenerative bone condition said to have left her with the spine of an 80-year-old woman.
Last year, an American vegan couple were given a life sentence for starving their six-week-old baby to death. In 2001 two vegans from west London were sentenced to three years’ community rehabilitation after they admitted starving their baby to death.
The couple did not follow the doctor's advice to take the baby to hospital when they went for her nine-month checkup and found she was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight, Instead they treated her with cabbage poultices, mustard and camphor and washed her with earth and clay instead of giving her baths, the court heard.
She was also suffering from deficiency of vitamins A and B12, which may have left her susceptible to infection. She died of a pneumonia-related illness.
Medical experts told the court in Amiens that the vitamin deficiency could have been caused by an unbalanced diet. While anxious not to call into question the couple's lifestyle, Anne-Laure Sandretto, the deputy prosecutor, admitted: "The problem with a vitamin B12 deficiency could be linked to the mother's eating habits."
"anxious not to call into question the couple's lifestyle" - why not?
March 25, 2011
Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony Video
'I'm ashamed to call myself a Glaswegian after that show' - Scotsman.com News
SHE had defied attempts to force her from her home for six days. But as dawn broke over Glasgow yesterday, the stand-off between Margaret Jaconelli and Glasgow City Council finally came to an end.
Sheriff officers and masked council workers accompanied by dozens of police officers descended on Ardenlea Street in Dalmarnock just after 5am to evict the Jaconellis from their home to make way for the Commonwealth Games development.
Makes all that prancing around high on steroids worthwhile, doesn't it?
March 24, 2011
The researchers said their findings needed to be considered in the context of working life, where greater demands placed on employees as well as factors such as people not having as many close personal relationships and supportive networks, such as extended families.
Simon Lawton Smith, of the Mental Health Foundation, said: "It's worrying that even relatively mild symptoms of stress appear to lead to long-term disability and to an increase in people receiving disability benefits.
"The answer has to be to identify people under stress before they reach a crisis point, and quickly provide them with the support they need to manage their lives, whether it's at home or at work."
Do you know what gets me stressed? People telling me what to do, what to eat, what to drink, how to keep warm, how not to drive and now if some busybody comes along and suggests I need to be friendly and develop a supportive network, which I presume is girly talk for incontinently emoting all over people, then I'm going to get so bloody stressed I may explode.
UPDATE - I see help is at hand:
Feeling lonely? Have a bacon sandwich and ice-cream - Scotsman.com News COMFORT foods, such as sausages and mash, bacon sandwiches and ice-cream, really are good for you, scientists now believe. Writing in the journal Psychological Science, co-author Jordan Troisi said: "Everyone experiences stress, often associated with their connections to others. It seems comfort food is a sort of ready-made easy resource for remedying a sense of loneliness."
Bacon sarnies on the NHS - that's what I want, cheaper and far more effective than some shrink.
March 21, 2011
T for Two
BBC News - Bristol University vet students use new 'cow machine'
The two rectal simulators will enable students to learn around the clock
SIMulators not STIMulators, Phew... Memo to self don't skim read without the glasses on.
Apple has come under fire for approving an "app" that offers guidance on how homosexual people can be "cured" and convert to heterosexuality.
Disgraceful, if Apple users turn straight they might start using Blackberries instead.
March 18, 2011
Obesity Scare - Expert Admits No Evidence
BBC News - Life expectancy on the rise 'despite obesity epidemic'
Life expectancy in the UK is on the rise, along with the rest of Europe, despite fears over the impact of obesity, a population expert has said.
Despite concern that health problems arising from obesity would affect life expectancy in high-income countries, such as the UK, there is no evidence of this to date.
National Statistics Online - Life expectancy
Life expectancy at birth in the UK has reached its highest level on record for both males and females. A newborn baby boy could expect to live 77.7 years and a newborn baby girl 81.9 years if mortality rates remain the same as they were in 2007–09.
A Quiet Pub Makes It Worth The Risk
It is St Patrick's Day and Tokyo's Mermaid pub, a cosy, sticky-floored boozer that looks like it has been transplanted from the City of London, should be full of British expatriates.
But this year there are only three, nursing pints of Guinness and trying to ignore the warnings of impending nuclear doom.
One British investment banker said: "I suppose there is a bit of a Blitz spirit but, to be honest, I see the reports about radioactive winds and I just don't believe them. Where's the evidence? I blame the French for spooking everyone."
Michael Summons, 47, a trader at an international bank, said he had thought hard about joining the rush to the exit, but decided to stay because he loves the country. Just in case the worst does happens, and he has to outrun a radiation cloud, he has a motorbike on standby. "It's full of petrol and I'll use it if I have to."
Let the French run, make the most of the opportunities and enjoy a quiet pint without some garlic breathed onion seller breathing all over your pork scratchings. That's the spirit.
March 17, 2011
Thames Water plans to build a 24-mile long super sewer at a cost of £3.6 billion has generated anger across the capital.
Needed to carry millions of tons of raw sewage, the scheme will be completed in around 2021. But it is feared anyone living near the project will face noise around the clock.
I suppose she is a star so her shit doesn't smell. Bazalgette did a wonderful job, that is the Bazalgette who piped crap out of people's homes not the Bazalgette who pipes it in, but it needs up dating. And crap comes out of your back yard so Nimbyism is just stupid, so put up with the work because the option of not having a modern sewerage system is a lot worse....
March 10, 2011
Not Banned Here
The Decline of Cheese Rolling
Gloucestershire's famous cheese-rolling spectacle could be turned into a ticketed festival held over two days.
Organisers said the event "needs to change dramatically" if it is to survive...Members of the committee have now called in Cheltenham-based Events and Management Services to organise the new-look two-day festival for 2011 and has appointed Moose Marketing and PR to handle marketing and help raise sponsorship.
Peter Allison, director of E&MS, said: "We will be looking at ways to include live music and country crafts and we are planning to change the date from Spring Bank Holiday to the weekend of June 11/12.
"We would also like to reintroduce the 'wake' series of rustic games and competitions, like shin kicking, tug of war, dancing for ribbons, wrestling for a belt, grinning through horses collar for a cake, ducking for oranges, bobbing for penny loaves, climbing the maypole and coconut shies.
"We have been in continuous talks with police and emergency services, highways agency and local authorities and we are also in consultation with the immediate Cooper's Hill community.
"Whatever happens, we are determined to make it a family orientated event with proper parking, crowd control and traffic control, with public safety as a priority.
"All this will cost money so, inevitably, we will have to charge an entrance fee for the festival and it will have to be over two days to make it financially viable.
How lovely and twee! Nice safe sanitised countryside. Bollocks to them, I'm with the "unofficial" racers who will still turn up on spring bank holiday and risk all for the chance of winning a tenner.
("with" as in "watching from a safe distance" - I'm not stupid.)
Blaspheming Against The Goddess Diana
An animal rights activist whose long-running campaigns made him notorious in hunting circles has won a landmark ruling that his anti-hunting beliefs should be protected from discrimination in the same way as religion.
The judgment follows a similar ruling in November 2009. Then, a judge ruled that climate change campaigner Tim Nicolson's beliefs were so deeply held they were entitled to the same protection as religious beliefs under employment law.
Are any of my deeply held beliefs entitled to such protection I wonder. I didn't think so...
March 3, 2011
Freedom and Whisky gang thegither!
Scottish Alcohol and Tobacco Policy Summit
An opportunity to explore the links, differences and similarities
between tobacco and alcohol in society and public health
How can we innovate to change public attitudes towards tobacco
and alcohol and reduce consumption?
The Summit is organised by ASH Scotland, Alcohol Focus Scotland and Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems
15th March 2011 The Grosvenor Hilton Hotel Edinburgh
I bet that will be a laugh in the bar afterwards
March 2, 2011
Roadblocks set up to catch drivers smoking - Telegraph
Police roadblocks are being set up to catch drivers who are breaking the law – by smoking at the wheel of their company vehicle.
Chris Kitchen, acting head of environmental services at Tendring District Council in Essex said: “Police together with council officers will be stopping business vehicles and public transport vehicles on the highway.
"We have noticed that people are smoking in commercial vehicles where in fact it's banned and we will be looking for evidence that people have been smoking.
He added: "We will be looking for ashtrays and whether the vehicle smells of smoke."
Ian Wilkins, environmental officer at Tendring District Council, explained that the scheme was intended to raise awareness of the law.
Anyone caught breaking the law faces a £50 fixed penalty fine or a possible court conviction, which carries a £200 fine.
The culprits’ employers will also be informed and also be heavily fined.
Can't Save Lives For Safety's Sake
THE head of Scotland's largest fire brigade has said health and safety law is preventing firefighters from saving lives.
Strathclyde fire chief Brian Sweeney said current health and safety rules were having the "cumulative effect of putting firefighters in a position where they are more fearful of the legislation than they are of risking their lives".
Mr Sweeney's warning follows a fatal accident inquiry into the death of a woman whose rescue was delayed for safety reasons.
Alison Hume, a 44-year-old mother of two, died in July 2008 after falling down a 60ft mineshaft. She was trapped for six hours, and died of a heart attack.
Firefighters on the scene were willing to attempt a rescue, but were told they were not allowed to use their equipment to help members of the public.
I gather the equipment referred to was only for use to save firefighters..
HSE actually understands the risks that firefighters have to take and are probably not the problem, it is the moustachioed little man in a squeaky clean Hi-Viz who "interprets" Health and Safety on the spot that is the problem.
February 27, 2011
It's not the heart attack but the tarmac that will kill you
Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain Quarterly Provisional Estimates Q3 2010
Pedestrian, motorcycle and car user casualties reported to the police showed overall reductions of 3, 8 and 4 per cent respectively compared with the year ending September 2009. The number of pedestrian and motorcycle users reported killed or seriously injured both fell by 8 per cent whilst car user KSI casualties fell by 11 per cent. However, the total number of reported pedal cycle casualties rose by 3 per cent, and the number killed or seriously injured rose by 2 per cent.
The latest figures(P) are for Q3 of 2010:
6,160 pedestrians get killed or injured (severely or slightly), 5,620 motorcyclists and 5,440 pedal cyclists.
On the basis that most pushbikers I know shrug off the normal scrapes and bruises of everyday falls then that is an underestimate. (Pedestrians if they get hurt, get hurt and it gets reported, ditto motorcyclists).
It's not the heart attacks that are the problem for the bloody cyclists, it is living long enough to get into the risk age group.
February 20, 2011
How Not To Die By Your Friendly State Overseer
Eat less red meat, Government scientists warn - Telegraph
The recommendations will follow the publication of a full report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, which is due within days. The findings are expected to echo the committee's draft report, which found that lower consumption of both red and processed meat would probably reduce the risk of bowel cancer, the second most common cause of cancer death in Britain.
Looks like the rate is plummeting already - see the excellent Mortality Trends for more slicing and dicing of the actual data - for instance the female equivalent graph which shows the same.
So this is a campaign that will be a success, triples all round as the further fall in figures proves that the prodnose intervention was worthwhile as it saved lives.
February 17, 2011
Hospital Food - The Petition
More people than ever before are leaving hospital malnourished, according to latest NHS figures. These figures don't explain why this is, but in my view the food they are served in hospital plays a part. I'm Mark Sparrow and I decided to launch the Hospital Food Fight campaign after my experiences in hospital. Mark Sparrow's campaign demands that all NHS hospitals provide patients with tasty, nutritious meals.
February 15, 2011
Charity Weight Concern said improving the health of workers would also benefit employers' bottom lines.
And what would the fake charity Weight Concern know about profit and loss accounts?
February 8, 2011
Do You Like Hospital Food?
Notes from a hospital bed: Words fail me
It's a 'meal' that was served up yesterday to a child a day after he'd undergone an appendectomy.
What is it meant to be? And there is no room for improvement in NHS food?
February 2, 2011
Murderers To Concentrate On Flower Arranging
NHS managers ordered to look at environmental impact of decisions | Environment | The Guardian
Flower arranging classes for ulcer patients, water-powered air conditioning for hospitals and instructions to doctors on using the correct bin – all are key elements of a greener future for the National Health Service to be set out today.
Health service managers will be handed a "route map" laying out some of the measures they need to take to meet the government's greenhouse gas targets
Meanwhile in the real world Traction Man points out:
Two patients a day die in our hospitals for want of a drink of water. According to figures released by the National Office of Statistics and reported in the Daily Mail, some 800 patients die of dehydration in our hospitals every year.
The figures for deaths through malnutrition in our hospitals stand at 284 in 2008, that’s up from 175 deaths recorded back in 1997. And those figures are just the officially recorded cause of death. The true figures may never be known but we do know that a large number of elderly patients have their health impacted by poor nutrition.
As with dehydration, some of these figures could include people who had serious illnesses such as stomach cancer – meaning not all the cases are necessarily due to neglect.
Rhonda Smith, of malnutrition charity Bapen, said the death certificates massively underestimated the true extent of the problem – and that the real figure ran into thousands a year.
If these official statistics are true, then the NHS is owning up to more than 1000 people dying every year in our hospitals through lack of food or fluids. Unfortunately, unlike road deaths, where enormous sums of money are spent on speed cameras and other traffic calming measures, little appears to be done to address these entirely avoidable deaths.
There’s no other way of saying this… deaths caused in our hospitals through neglect in feeding and hydration need to be made a serious offence. It’s nothing short of state sponsored murder when patients die of thirst or hunger. Until someone takes responsibility and is jailed for this, patients will continue to die needlessly.
The statistics also showed that 3,627 patients died with C. difficile in 2009, up from just 457 in 1999; and 671 died having contracted its fellow superbug MRSA – three times the number when Labour came to power.
These numbers are probably a massive underestimate because people are not always tested for the bugs and the result is not always entered on death certificates.
In 2009, 604 patients died with crippling pressure ulcers – bedsores – which are entirely avoidable if nurses ensure patients are turned in bed regularly.
January 17, 2011
Organic Milk Is Girly
Organic milk is healthier! Tim Worstall points out: "It’s to do with the clover"
Cows eating red and white clover produce less fatty milk, and organic cows eat more clover.
But red clover is a funny plant that some might worry about:
Cambridge Journals Online - Phyto-oestrogens in herbage and milk from cows grazing white clover, red clover, lucerne or chicory-rich pastures The total concentration of phyto-oestrogens was 4 to 5.6 times higher in milk from the red clover diet compared with the other treatments.
(Phytoestrogens are xenoestrogens which means foreign substances functioning as the primary female sex hormone not generated within the endocrine system but consumed by eating phytoestrogonic plants.)
Funny that organic milk is full of sex hormones isn't mentioned...
January 11, 2011
Ban Not Worked So More Bans Needed
US gun crime: death for sale | World news | The Guardian
What is it with America and guns? Why does the most advanced democracy, which prides itself on being a bastion of reason and civilisation in a brutal and ugly world, put up with this carnage in its own back yard? Why does it tolerate the sea of blood that flows from gun incidents, with about 100,000 people killed or injured every year? Why does it accept an annual murder rate by guns that is 13 times that of Germany and 44 times that of England and Wales?
Obama has allowed, on his watch, guns to be carried for the first time in the US's national parks. He has watched as the courts have stripped Washington and Chicago – two cities troubled by high gun crime rates – of their stringent controls on handguns.
I can't see where the Guardian explains why stringent gun controls are needed when the only examples it produces are two cities where they had them and they failed to prevent gun crime. Is someone missing a logical step here?
Dr Clare Gerada, the chairman of the Royal College of GPs said: “People who are not in the at-risk groups are getting [private] vaccinations, leaving less supply for us. If that’s going to happen again then the Government needs to stop it and think because that will affect the delicate balance that we have.”
She called for a study looking at how many healthy people had paid to have the jab privately, to gauge “whether there should be a law that they are not allowed to have it”.
How very dare people take worries about their own families health into their own hands! If the socialist planned system has run out of supplies how dare private enterprise not do so. If we let people rather than GPs make decisions on looking after themselves where will it all end?
January 9, 2011
Oranges and Lemons
The European Union (EU) is co-funding a $2.8m (£1.8m) publicity campaign to convince UK residents that organic food is good.
They want to put across the message that there is nothing elitist about organic foods and to highlight what they consider to be the advantages, both to a person's health and to the environment.
For organic producers in developing countries, the drop-off in trade in recent years has been a bitter blow.
In the UK, organic sales dropped 13% per cent in 2009 and have been making only a slow recovery since then.
The Organic Trade Board (OTB) is unhappy that the organic sector is not getting more help from the UK government.
Nice spin, cash to help organic farmers market their stuff here is obviously for the benefit for poor third world peasants.
January 8, 2011
Take Home Trouble
Brian Sweeney, chief officer of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue, said Scottish society had to accept that alcohol misuse, not economic troubles, were the "greatest crisis" facing the country.
He added that moves to ban smoking in public had made the habit "almost socially unacceptable" and advocated that steps be taken to alter the way ordinary Scots drink.
However, a leading licensed trade body said that an increase in house fires was "one of the consequences" of the fact Scotland had become a "nation of take-home drinkers" after smoking was banned in pubs.
January 6, 2011
Pulling a Sickie
Sickness rates among NHS staff – Britain's biggest employer with more than a million employees – were higher than other sectors, forcing more money to spent on hiring agency staff to cover those who are absent.
For every five men off with a cold or flu there are eight women – indicating that more contact with children and being run down by chores has left them more susceptible to the virus.
I wonder what the rate among self-employed men is.
December 29, 2010
Unions Don't Add Up
The union calculated a council worker earning £20,000 a year paid almost £5,000 in taxes and national insurance but would cost more than £11,000 in benefits, such as Jobseeker's Allowance and child tax credit, and lost revenue.
(20-5)>11 in the old maths, but then that was the old maths.
December 28, 2010
Speed Cameras - It's All About The Money Pt. 2
Motorists allowed to go 10mph over speed limit | The Times
Motorists will be able to drive at more than 10mph above the speed limit and still escape punishment under a new funding framework designed to keep speed cameras activated across the country, The Times has learnt.
Under proposals set to be endorsed by police chiefs in the new year, motorists will be given the chance to take a speed awareness course and avoid getting points on their licence, as well as a statutory fine. Course fees will be raised sharply and the money will be used to finance a national network of speed cameras, which had been under threat from deep cuts to the Government’s road safety budget.
The plan is backed by more than 20 police forces, motoring organisations and road safety campaigners.
The Times misses the point in its excitement to describe a large fee and spending an afternoon being re-educated as "escaping punishment".
It is all about money. The Speed Awareness Partnerships are perfect bureaucracies. They employ people to create and enforce rules, which then create fines, which are they then spend on the people they employ. Perfectly circular. And from inside the circle perfectly reasonable.
December 23, 2010
After Dinner Heaven
The Royal Monceau luxury hotel off the Champs-Elys馥s, has just completed "La Fum馥 Rouge" (The Red Smoke), an intentionally faded 12-seat cigar bar by top designer Philippe Starck, which opens in January.
The aim of this "radical act", according to Mr Stark is to recreate "the private clubs where men liked to gather in small, intimate groups, to read the papers and exchange views on the world."
Guests choose after-dinner liqueurs from a trolley at the entrance and relax with a Cuban cigar regulars can then stow in a private locker if need be.
French law still allows indoor smoking spaces provided they have state-of-the-art ventilation and that no staff operate inside.
The trend has also caught on in Berlin, where the Times Bar at the Savoy Hotel on the Ku'damm avenue has a wood-panelled smokers' lounge with soft leather chairs.
How very civilised, it would tempt me to take up the habit just to be able to retreat to such an oasis of calm.
November 26, 2010
Smokin' Tractor Stats
BBC News - Passive smoking 'kills 600,000' worldwide
The first global study into the effects of passive smoking has found it causes 600,000 deaths every year.
"This helps us understand the real toll of tobacco," said Armando Peruga, of the WHO's Tobacco-Free Initiative, who led the study.
The "first study"?
9 December 2009
BBC News - Passive smoking a 'global threat', WHO warns
Almost 95% of the world's population is not protected by laws banning smoking, the World Heath Organisation says.
In its second major report on the "tobacco epidemic", the UN agency said second-hand or passive smoking killed nearly 600,000 people each year.
So is this a new study which comes up with the same number as last year's study, even though this is "the first study" and last year's "the second"?
The 2009 report calling for more legislation references:
Öberg M et al. Global estimate of the burden of
disease from second-hand smoke. (unpublished)
Which now seems to have been published: http://www.who.int/quantifying_ehimpacts/publications/SHS.pdf
And after churning the numbers it makes the following four recommendations:
Recommendation 1: 100% smoke-free environments, not ventilation
Ventilation and smoking areas, whether separately ventilated from non-smoking areas or not, do not reduce exposure to a safe level of risk and are not recommended.
Second-hand tobacco smoke causes serious and fatal diseases in adults and children. There is no safe level of exposure to SHS.
Recommendation 2: Universal protection by law
Enact legislation requiring all indoor workplaces and public places to be 100% smoke-free environment.
The critical principle bearing on universal application of smoke-free legislation is the protection of human rights.
Recommendation 3: Proper implementation and adequate enforcement of the law
Investment in tobacco control is an explicit obligation under Article 26 of the WHO FCTC.
Costs for implementing smoke-free laws may include promotional campaigns to build support for the law, commissioning public opinion polls, educational materials on implementation, compliance monitoring systems, staffing a phone number to respond to public complaints and a temporary increase in the number of inspectors assigned to monitor initial implementation.
Recommendation 4: Public education to reduce SHS exposure in the home
Smoke-free workplaces result in lower levels of tobacco consumption among smokers and are associated with a greater likelihood of workers implementing smoke-free policies in their homes
Doesn't that make you want to just light up a big one and blow rings in their faces.
November 24, 2010
A Pill A Day
Is that with or without a hang-over?
Prof Rothwell said that he thought it would be “sensible” for people to start taking aspirin at about 45, when the chance of developing bowel and other cancers began to rise. “The risk of cancer goes up substantially between the age of 40 and 55,” he said.
As aspirin had a preventive effect, it was advisable to start taking it daily towards the beginning of that period, he explained. However, he said it was ultimately up to individuals to decide whether to take the drug, “rather than us making definitive statements”.
Prof Peter Rothwell, the Oxford neurologist who led the bowel cancer study and was part of yesterday’s panel, has started taking a daily dose of aspirin himself.
A doctor suggesting it is up to people to make up their own minds and that doctors shouldn't be making definitive statements - I like the sound of him.
November 14, 2010
D for Dumb
The return of rickets in northern parts of the UK came as a surprise despite the colder climate and lower levels of sunshine in the north, but what has developed in Southampton is quite astonishing.
'This is almost certainly a combination of the modern lifestyle, which involves a lack of exposure to sunlight, but also covering up in sunshine, and we're seeing cases that are very reminiscent of 17th-century England.
Vitamin D is often called the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because it is made by the action of sunlight on the skin, which accounts for 90 per cent of the body’s supply.
Although white children can develop rickets, many affected children in the UK have Asian, Afro-Caribbean and Middle Eastern origins.
Whether it is yummy mummies swaddling their children in factor 50 Boden clothes at the hint of a sun ray, kiddy-fiddler fearers locking their kids indoors all day or the melanin enhanced denying their bairns the extra sun they need for cultural reasons it is all stupidity. A disease that is completely avoidable being inflicted due to dumb ignorance. Cluebats need to be wielded.
November 12, 2010
....throw in “racist” anyway – the word has been diluted down to such an extent that only a homeopath could believe it had any power.
As dear Oscar said; " I wish I had said that". But then he will probably have the British Homœopathic Association suing him now...
(As an aside I wonder what the subscription to the BHA is; £100 for junior members, £10 for senior, £1 for fellows, 10p for life membership?)
October 15, 2010
Cancer in the wild
Wildlife Extra News - 7 mountain gorillas die of natural causes.
3 killed by another gorilla, one unknown cause, one an infected abscess, two of cancer.
All in the wild in Rwanda in a couple of weeks.
(Story chosen as 1st on Google)
Cancer caused by modern man as it was virtually non-existent in ancient world - Telegraph
“In industrialised societies, cancer is second only to cardiovascular disease as a cause of death," said Professor Rosalie David, a biomedical Egyptologist at the University of Manchester. "There is nothing in the natural environment that can cause cancer. So it has to be a man-made disease, down to pollution and changes to our diet and lifestyle.
"Cancer appears to be a modern disease created by modern life."
October 11, 2010
I'm proud to be a stereotype
First, we take Berlin
The freedom to smoke in private establishments has become a signature issue for proper liberals. It is one that we should continue to push, not because it is the most popular, but because it is one of the most flagrant attacks against the ability of people to choose the kind of life one wants to lead.
While most smokers in other European capitals have caved in under pressure from their governments, the Germans have simply ignored the legislation.
Onerous government legislation combined with public subservience has dramatically undermined that most glorious of stereotypes: The freeborn Englishman.
In this country schools are indoctrinating generation after generation to hate smokers. A counterculture is being formed in reaction to the nanny state, which might in time subvert the statist status quo. But better to turn off the tap of hate, relax, and live and let live (or die for that matter). If not, we might as well be learning German.
October 8, 2010
I hope Boris is ordering some extra condoms.
Huge Commonwealth Games cock-up leads to condoms blocking drains | Sport | The Guardian
Delhi event's organisers 'working around the clock' to remove thousands of condoms obstructing plumbing at athletes' village
"If they are so active then that's very good," a spokesperson for the organisers said. "We are promoting safe sex."
One official told the local Mail Today newspaper, which broke the story, that more than 4,000 condoms had already been taken from free vending machines since athletes started arriving 10 days ago.
Distributing thousands of free condoms to athletes has been a tradition since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000 athletes quickly used up the 70,000 free condomsprophylactics, forcing organisers to supply another 20,000, while in Athens four years later the provision was doubled to 130,000. At both the Beijing Games in 2008 and the Vancouver winter Olympics in February 100,000 condoms were provided.
The good news is, I suppose, at least that the drug fuelled mutants aren't breeding..
October 7, 2010
Doctors Wants Control Of Your Front Room
BBC News - 'Homes and cars' smoking ban call by Wales' chief medic
The smoking ban should be extended to the home and private cars to protect children from second-hand smoke, says Wales' top doctor Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Tony Jewell.
When you've cut the numbers of preventable deaths in hospitals to an acceptable number then come back to me with your ideas. And once you've stopped the smokers at home, will it be the drinkers or the fatty food fryers you will go after next?
October 6, 2010
Anguish as taxpayer stops buying sugar pills
A HEALTH board has become the first in Scotland to begin phasing out homeopathic treatments on the NHS, after deciding they provide no clinical benefit.
NHS Highland spends a minimum of £13,000 a year on referrals to two homeopathic practitioners in Inverness.
Gavin Hogg, of the Highland Health Voices Network and a user of homeopathic treatments, said he would lodge a formal complaint against the decision.
He said: "If the homeopathic service is withdrawn it will mean people are driven towards the private sector, which they won't be able to afford."
Let's hope the rest of the NHS follows and people have to buy their coloured water for themselves if that is what they want rather than medicine.
October 3, 2010
More killed and injured is almost better say safety campaigners
Controversial 20mph speed limits in residential streets may not bring any significant improvement in road safety, a report published by the Department for Transport has found
An analysis of the UK's first city-wide scheme - in which the limit was lowered from 30mph to 20mph on all residential streets in Portsmouth, at a cost of £500,000 - found that it has not brought any significant reduction in the number of accidents.
The number of people killed or seriously injured on affected roads actually went up, not down, after the limit was lowered.
So that "significant improvement" and "significant reduction" actually turned out to be an increase - I don't know if it is a "significant" increase but stop using the bloody weasel words. It failed.
October 2, 2010
It's not my fault I was made that way...
It's not ADHD, Sir, it's in my genes. . . - Telegraph
The latest report on ADHD will be seized on as a ready excuse for bad behaviour, says Theodore Dalrymple
I couldn't be bovvered to read it all....
September 29, 2010
Drug Deaths Prevented by FDA
Some executions in the United States have been put on hold because of a shortage of one of the drugs used in lethal injections.
Several of the 35 states that rely on lethal injection are struggling to secure supplies of sodium thiopental - an anaesthetic that renders the condemned inmate unconscious - or considering using another drug.
As for the possibility of obtaining the drug elsewhere, the Food & Drug Administration said there are no FDA-approved manufacturers of sodium thiopental overseas.
I gather the drug is being used for an "off-label" use anyway - the manufacturers are a bit sniffy - "Hospira provides these products because they improve or save lives and markets them solely for use as indicated on the product labelling." So why do they need FDA approval, what's the worse side effect that could happen, a rash?
September 23, 2010
Stuffed Sturgeon on Ice
Members of Holyrood's health committee blocked the flagship SNP policy, when MSPs approved a Conservative amendment to remove the minimum price of 45p per unit from the Alcohol Bill.
The defeat came after the policy was voted down at an earlier parliamentary stage by MSPs.
A defiant Ms Sturgeon vowed to bring minimum pricing back to the full parliament at the third and final stage of consideration of the bill, despite the two defeats.
DO NOT FOLLOW THE LINK - sorry it has a picture of Ms Sturgeon looking particularly gloomy and Scottish (apologies for the tautology) and if you don't need a quick restorative after viewing that then you have a stronger constitution than me.
Though I note that Labour has called for a limit on the amount of caffeine in alcoholic drinks, which would mean no more splash of the cooking stuff in the morning coffee or a steaming mug of Kye to revive after a morning on watch....
September 21, 2010
Bed Turners Rather Than Degree Holders Needed
Scots hospital deaths from bedsores are criticised as 'third world' - Scotsman.com News
Scottish Government statistics showed that 78 people have died because of bedsores and pressure sores in Scotland during a five- year period.
Parliamentary questions also revealed that there have been 566 cases during the same period where pressure ulcers or sores were mentioned on the death certificate either as the underlying cause of death or as a contributory factor.
I haven't found up to date figures from England or the USA but older figures are as high or higher so maybe it isn't just in Scotland that patients are dying from neglect.
September 19, 2010
Elfen Safety Under Attack
The vast increase in the number of regulations over the past two decades, and in the number of officials paid to enforce them, has had enormously damaging effects. Much of the cost has been economic, with the additional burden imposed on companies by over-zealous officials being enough to put some of them out of business. But it has also been cultural, creating an unhealthy climate of fear – of the health and safety bureaucracy, of specious lawsuits, and of risk itself.
Lord Young's report is laudable, and he has a reputation as a doer but the dead hand of the petty tyrant has become so used to using the H&S excuse it will take, I fear, more than recommendations to lift it.
Please let his name be Bob....
September 18, 2010
The Scots' Fatal Addiction
NATIVE Scots are more than twice as likely to die of alcohol-related causes compared with residents who were born south of the Border and then move north, according to a new study published yesterday.
The Edinburgh University study into drink-related deaths in Scotland showed there were clear "ethnic divides"....
Dr Bruce Ritson, chairman of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems, said that it was proof of the need for minimum pricing. "This research underlines why Scotland needs to act decisively to tackle problem drinking," he said. "Whilst we may not yet fully understand why Scots are more likely to die from alcohol-related conditions, we do know what will work to save lives."... a "record" investment of almost £100 million in prevention and treatment services.....
In other words they haven't got a Scooby-Doo why people born in Scotland drink themselves to death (I have a feeling that all the information needed is in that sentence) but they know the solution, bucket loads of English taxpayers cash.
September 13, 2010
Eye of Newt, Bowl of Sputum....
An investigation has now found that some homeopathic practitioners in Scotland are offering the remedies to patients who decide they do not want to use vaccines, such as the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab.
...Katie Jarvis, who is based in Inverness, told them that she only offered so-called "homeopathic prophylaxis" to patients who said they were interested in it, and did not tell anyone that they should not use conventional vaccines. When asked about the practice, she told the BBC documentary: "The alternative that I would offer would be a homeopathic remedy made from diseased tissue, that comes from someone with that disease, and then made into potentised form so that is given in a homeopathic remedy. It can be given instead or as well as the vaccination.
What we can use is something called nosodes. These are homeopathic remedies made from tissue that is infected with a particular disease.
"For example, if it was whooping cough then we would use the mucus from the chest of someone with whooping cough to make a remedy to protect against getting whooping cough.....some people and myself are doing are using these nosodes as an alternative to vaccination.
Checks calendar for century, yep, says 21st down here. But luckily I believe the Witchcraft Act is still on the books north of the border...
September 2, 2010
Bears no longer shit in woods - BBC
Mr Thompson told the New Statesman magazine: 'In the BBC I joined 30 years ago [as a production trainee, in 1979] there was, in much of current affairs, in terms of people's personal politics, which were quite vocal, a massive bias to the Left.
'The organisation did struggle then with impartiality. And journalistically, staff were quite mystified by the early years of Thatcher.
'Now it is a completely different generation.
'There is much less overt tribalism among the young journalists who work for the BBC.'
It's the unique way they are funded that ensures we get all that lovely balance...
September 1, 2010
Deep-fried beer invented in Texas - Telegraph
The beer is placed inside a pocket of salty, pretzel-like dough and then dunked in oil at 375 degrees for about 20 seconds, a short enough time for the confection to remain alcoholic.
When diners take a bite the hot beer mixes with the dough in what is claimed to be a delicious taste sensation.
I know I shouldn't, but I want.
(No news if Glasgow has perfected deep-fried Irn-Bru)
August 31, 2010
Let me tell you about Sally Brown....
Labour-founded alcohol body calls for UK-wide price limit - Scotsman.com News
A price limit on the sale of alcohol should be brought in across the UK, a commission set up to find new ways of tackling Scotland's drinking culture said today.
Commission chair, Professor Sally Brown, also argued their approach would mean extra cash raised from any increased drink prices would go to the public purse, not retailers or producers.
Professor Sally Brown is not the obvious person to tackle Scotland’s binge-drinking culture. The 74-year-old retired professor of education and grandmother of seven cheerfully points out that alcohol is not her area of expertise. These days, she considers a small sherry an indulgence. She is, however, the Labour party’s choice to chair its commission on alcohol...She was not given freedom to choose the commission’s members, the litmus test of a truly independent body. “Labour chose the members,” she says.
In fact, half of the commission’s members are Labour politicians
Professor Sally Brown could be described as an ‘academic’s academic’ as she has worked her way up through the ranks, she has chaired every imaginable university committee and she has an outstanding record of publications. However, her contribution to public service goes much further as her work has influenced the work of teachers, young people in general, those with special educational needs and indeed our society as a whole.
She could also described as bloody nuisance playing the politician's dupe about subjects she knows nothing about - but that would be unfair....
Let me tell you about Sally Brown....
August 30, 2010
Starving in Hospital
Elderly patients are being left to starve to death in hospitals, a shocking report reveals today.
More than 200 die from malnutrition every year with 180,000 leaving in poor condition.
And even if they let you eat undisturbed it is often near inedible
August 25, 2010
Dog Law Reform
Call for action over dog ownership
Animal charities and leading trade unions have joined forces to call on the Government to improve laws on dog ownership..
"We believe that irresponsible dog ownership, whether it is allowing dogs to stray, be dangerously out of control or indiscriminately breeding them, causes significant problems for the safety and welfare of both humans and animals. Current legislation is proving inadequate in many cases to ensure sufficient protection."
"We believe that both the provision of sufficient resources at a local level for local authorities and the police, and updated and consolidated legislation that has a genuine preventative effect, are needed to address this problem.
"We call on the coalition Government to act and bring forward legislation that addresses these areas effectively."
All the usual suspects clamouring for more control and money. All preventive laws and bureaucracy. If your dog causes a nuisance or worse (without reasonable excuse) you should be liable to be prosecuted or sued, and that is the deterrent against owners allowing the situation to arise. If the law is unclear on that then change it.
(Reasonable excuse - during the day anyone has a right to walk up to your front door and shouldn't get bitten but if someone climbs over your back fence in the night.....)
August 23, 2010
If you are reading this in a council office, please take the rest of the day off.
Consultants 'insult' council staff productivity / Britain / Home - Morning Star
The study published on Friday by management consultancy Knox D'Arcy argued that over two-thirds of the working day of junior council staff was "lost."
It claimed that the 68 per cent of working time that was not spent productively was usually as a result of poor supervision.
The research also promoted private businesses by saying they typically had more robust systems that generated more personal accountability for performance.
Improving productivity within local government could "significantly offset" the government's deficit reduction cuts and ensure that the same amount of work could be done with 500,000 fewer staff, the research claimed.
GMB union's national secretary Brian Strutton said: "This is fabricated nonsense and the unfounded attacks on council workers and other public-sector workers should stop.
"It is absolutely ridiculous and very insulting to claim that 500,000 council staff are doing nothing.
He added the constant attacks on public-sector workers were "sickening" for all the hard-working council staff working for local communities on low wages.
Let me agree with the gentleman on my left. These attacks must be stopped. It is far better that council staff do nothing, look out the window or surf internet porn all day. When they go about the council's business they cost, inconvenience, harass and blight the productive and private sectors of the country. Of course it would be better if they joined that sector but idling in the office is the second best option. Please don't encourage them to start doing any work.
August 22, 2010
Speed Cameras Aren't The Answer
Ashley Brixey - life is precious - Brake the Road Safety Charity
Ashley was killed 2004 aged 20. He was in a car being driven by his friend
His mum Clare tells her story...
Ashley’s friend Richard got into the driving seat - twice over the legal driving limit and with an abusive level of drugs in his system after taking ecstasy.
Richard lost control of the car on a left-hand bend, and the car went up an embankment, through a garden fence and landed upside down in a swimming pool.
A terrible tragedy. Clare Brixey is now campaigning for the retention of Speed Cameras in Wiltshire, using her bereavement as a reason.
She is wrong, old fashioned policing might have caught or prevented her son taking a lift with a prat, a speed camera wouldn't. The diversion away from human policing to using mechanical devices is part of the problem, not the answer.
August 11, 2010
A Mouse Maybe a Mile Away
We really are into the depths of silly season now, and my eye was caught today by a story on a planned Morrisons store which a local council’s planning officers has recommended is rejected because dormice might be present on the site. They’re not even sure they live there, but apparently some have been found 2 kilometres away.
The story is funny and has a cute picture of a dormouse on it, but there’s a serious issue which is that retailers which are trying to create jobs and prosperity are coming up against crazy nimbyism from planners at a time when those jobs are needed more than ever.
August 8, 2010
Swindon Speed Numbers
Accident data shows that in the first nine months after the devices were scrapped in Swindon, there were 315 road casualties in the area as a whole, compared with 327 in the same period the previous year.
In total there were two fatalities – compared with four in the same period previously – and 44 serious injuries, down from 48.
I am not sure that these figures would pass a proper statistical significance test as a proof, but they can be called at least indicative.
And proof that the turning off the cameras didn't lead to an immediate massacre of the innocents.
If there had been a slight rise in accidents I'm also sure that the Speed Camorra would not be urging restraint on the use of the numbers until a longer period has been recorded. I seem to recall this was an experiment that was too dangerous to run in the first place.
August 7, 2010
Do you like Hospital Food, pal?
Hairmyres Hospital, in East Kilbride, which was given the worst rating in the survey, recently came under fire for offering a menu that included sausages, bridies, beans and cottage pie to patients recovering from heart surgery. Many of the meals at the hospital are cooked in Manchester and then reheated on site.
Best wishes to our friend Mr exTraction Man in his recovery, and power to his elbow in his campaign on Hospital Food
August 5, 2010
Thousands Die, Wrists Slapped
A total of 15 nurses have been suspended for failing to improve standards at a hospital where as many as 1,200 patients died due to "appalling standards of care".
Suspended. Gosh that is harsh. Imagine an oil company that killed 1,200 customers at one site due to negligence. Do you think those responsible would just be sent to the naughty step and told to think very hard as how naughty they had been?
56m NHS.ORG pages and all of them....
NHS spends millions on websites that fail patients, says government report
The NHS spends up to £86m a year on thousands of websites that are difficult to find, badly designed and irrelevant to patient needs, according to a leaked government report.
The Department of Health's digital communications review, circulated internally in June, identified 4,121 NHS websites – but noted that more than 1,000 were no longer accessible.
A layer of NHS bureaucracy, represented by websites built by primary care trusts, foundation trusts and strategic health authorities, received "almost no recognition" from the public. "The question is raised why these sites were developed in the first instance," the report says.
Experts say the problem is that user experiences of the web are shaped by buying air tickets, booking seats at the theatre or ordering from supermarkets.
"The problem with most NHS websites is that you the patient cannot do the things you want to do, like booking a doctor's appointment or requesting prescriptions or getting someone to give you a call about a problem," said Jon Hoeksma, editor of E-Health Insider.
Book seats at the theatre - no problem. Book a visit to the operating theatre - no can do. I wonder why that is.
July 28, 2010
Troubleshooters called in by the Department for Transport have called for the creation of a “snow code” to provide protection against litigation.
Householders who stuck to the code would have a defence if they were sued.
“The scale of the task requires citizens to be mobilised into clearing footways outside their properties as quickly as possible,” the report noted.
“We believe that this can be done without the prescriptive legislation of Germany and we see a solution in which the public are encouraged to undertake this role in a voluntary way, but guided by clear Government instructions on how the work can be done in a safe and efficient way.”
The recommendations are contained in a report written by a team headed by David Quarmby, currently the chairman of the RAC Foundation and formerly the chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority
So the DofT had to employ outside consultants to come up with these brilliant ideas? No one inside the office had a spare half hour? It all stinks of the Europeanisation of our legal system. If what you do is reasonable then it is defensible. We certainly don't need fat cats demanding that the Citizens need to be mobilised and made to follow strict Government codes as they help their neighbours.
July 27, 2010
Keeping your neighbourhood crime free.
A document released by the Home Office to accompany the reform plans stated that the Government wanted more citizens in communities to help play a greater role in crime-fighting in their area in keeping with the Tories’ notion of a “Big Society”.
Unfortunately it seems to be less Magnificent Seven more Part-time Plastic Plod. Why not just introduce a bounty for every Citizen's Arrest that results in a successful prosecution?
July 26, 2010
Speed Camera Turn Off
Campaigners have said it would be a "disaster" if council cuts in England and Wales mean speed cameras are scrapped.
The government is just stopping central funding , the local councils have the choice to continue to fund them or not. They might look at the results of the Swindon experiment The number of accidents on roads next to Swindon's shrouded speed cameras is the same now as when they were active, according to council figures.
July 11, 2010
Moat -The Great Escape
Raoul Moat hunt one of most expensive in police history - mirror.co.uk
The search for Raoul Moat is one of the most expensive manhunts in British police history with the final bill expected to run into millions.
Hundreds of officers from 15 different forces, many of them specialist marksmen and sniffer dog handlers, are involved round the clock.
Around one-tenth of all UK armed police who are available for duty have been called up. The Met has sent 40 specialist firearms officers and the Police Service of Northern Ireland has provided 20 armoured cars. RAF Tornados have also been sweeping the area in the increasingly desperate hunt.
Questions need to be asked, a small 2000 population village surrounded by fields.... And why did it take so long to persuade him to top himself and save us all a lot of bother. "You, gun, down, No? Bang" Off to the pub to celebrate.
NHS Obesity Cure - Cut Bits Off Your Kids
Leading doctors call for urgent crackdown on junk food | Politics | The Observer
Professor Terence Stephenson, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said that the consumption of unhealthy food should be seen to be just as damaging as smoking or binge drinking.
"Thirty years ago, it would have been inconceivable to have imagined a ban on smoking in the workplace or in pubs, and yet that is what we have now. Are we willing to be just as courageous in respect of obesity? I would suggest that we should be,"
NHS urged to offer circumcisions to avoid botched operations | Society | The Observer
Senior doctors have called for male circumcision to be offered by the NHS amid fears that unregulated operations are leading to serious injuries among Muslim boys.
Offer your kid a bacon sarnie and you should be locked up, cut a bit of his willy off and the taxpayer should do it for you......
(The Muslim kids who were mutilated had an average age of six and the incompetent slicing was done in the school library without anaesthetic 13 out of 32 ended up with medical problems, no information about psychological after effects. No charges were brought.)
July 2, 2010
Gaurdian Defends Soya Munchers - Slow News Day
Ignore the anti-soya scaremongers | Justine Butler | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Soya is the great divider; you're either for it, or against it.
Or for some of us it is a great mystery - why, what is it for, why would I want to put it in my mouth? Like going to IKEA, I know people do it, I even have some friends who have done it, but I never have and can't see a reason to do so.
June 30, 2010
Bags for Death?
Tests on shoppers’ bags revealed half contained traces of E.coli, a lethal toxin which killed 26 people in Scotland in 1996 in one of the worlds worst food poisoning outbreaks.
Scientists also found many were contaminated with salmonella.
But while they are better for the environment, the new research suggests they could be harmful to health if not cleaned regularly.
Professor Charles Gerba, who led the study said: “Our findings suggest a serious threat to public health, especially from bacteria such as E.coli, which were detected in half of the bags sampled.
“Consumers are alarmingly unaware of these risks and the critical need to sanitise their bags on a weekly basis.”
A poll revealed 97 per cent of shoppers who used eco-friendly bags never washed or bleached them.
Art Grads Mock the Dead
Was it Mssrs Tate and Lyle's Molasses?
But I think the East Coast cultural elite should be horrified at this mocking of 21 deaths and enormous environmental damage. Have the protestors no shame?
I refer of course to The Great Boston Molasses Disaster
June 27, 2010
Thousands to die from exposure to second hand gingerism
Dame Helena Shovelton, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said the findings showed the government had to act. "Smoking just one cigarette, even with the car window open, creates a greater concentration of secondhand smoke than a whole evening's smoking in a pub or a bar," Shovelton said. "A ban on smoking in the car with children would prevent some of the 22,000 new cases each year of asthma, caused as a direct result of passive smoking.
Lottery chairman resigns over 'media insults' - Telegraph
DAME Helena Shovelton has resigned as chairman of the National Lottery Commission. She blamed increased media coverage over the People's Lottery debacle which she said amounted to "vilification against me personally".
So please don't insult the Ginger Whinger, she may get all huffy and leave....
Rational responses here
June 26, 2010
Warning - Ballbreaker at work
Indirect GM Food - the new scare
Under European rules, any food containing raw GM ingredients, such as corn or soy, must be labelled as such.
There is no legal obligation for food producers, shops and supermarkets to do the same when the GM link is further back in the food chain.
Michael Meacher, the former environment minister, said animal feed was being used as a way of “inserting GM into the food chain”.
“If people choose to eat GM that is a matter for them,” he said. “But I think we are trying to trick them by making sure it actually happens even though people realise what the implications are.”
And the implications are exactly what? Everybody in this country has eaten "indirect" or in the case of veggies "direct" GM food. Nearly every meal will have some in it and has done for years. And apart from nutritious healthy food being cheaper and more available what has the implications been?
June 24, 2010
Guns and Being a Subject Race
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." -- Mahatma Gandhi
If you don't want to venture into Murdoch's walled garden the salient points are here, in this excellent blog article.
June 21, 2010
RSPCA goes Fox Hunting and Fails
Toddler 'attacked by fox at school' - Telegraph
The boy pulled the animal's tail and was then attacked, the paper claimed, before onlookers pulled the boy free.
An RSPCA inspector was called in but could not catch the creature, it was reported.
Hardly an unprovoked attack, but maybe the RSPCA man wasn't the best choice for trying to catch Charles James, or did he rustle up some chums, doggies and horses, don the red coats and tally-ho through the streets? Maybe he didn't, which is why he failed.
June 14, 2010
Death from under the bonnet
Windscreen water infection risk
A Health Protection Agency-led study, which looked at why people at the wheel were more likely to be infected. Most at risk were found to be those driving a van, people who drive through industrial areas, and people who often had the car window open.
Well that is White Van Man doomed then...
But the "most intriguing" higher-risk group was drivers not using screenwash - which kills off the legionella bug, the study authors found. They said: "Not adding screenwash to windscreen wiper fluid is a previously unidentified risk factor and appears to be strongly associated with community acquired sporadic cases of legionnaires' disease.
"We estimated that around 20% of community acquired sporadic cases could be attributed to this exposure."
Last year there were 345 cases in England and Wales - although some infections were caught overseas. An estimated 10% of people who contract legionnaires' disease will die from complications arising from infection.
So 70 cases, 7 deaths from not using windscreen wash?... But just think of the alcohol being sprayed into drivers faces and the pollution and the damage to the paintwork....
Nanny is going to have fun with this one.
June 11, 2010
All Scots Are Dead - Official - Probably
Unhealthy living is almost universal in Scotland, with virtually everyone in the country putting themselves at risk, according to a study.
"Considering five major risk factors to health - cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, poor diet, physical inactivity, and overweight - nearly the whole adult population (97.5%) have at least one behavioural risk factor."
The study was led by Dr David Conway, who added that the true picture may be even worse due to respondents putting a positive spin on their behaviour.
June 10, 2010
Death in the Queue
The government is to take the controversial and potentially unpopular step of scrapping four-hour waiting time targets in accident and emergency departments and instead focus on delivering the "best possible results for patients", it said yesterday.
Lansley said that lower waiting times were "not a measure of the result for patients" as had been shown at Stafford hospital where between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected over three years.
He announced that a public inquiry into the unnecessary deaths of at least 400 patients at Stafford hospital, which had been rejected by the Labour government, would question senior NHS officials at the hospital's trust, as well as the local and national NHS bodies.
Sadly it seems that some sort of stick is needed to goad the NHS into actually deigning to treat patients before they die, but the crude stopwatch approach wasn't the best way. Whether there is a best way with the system we have is open to question.
June 8, 2010
Bloody thing going off can put even the hardiest stud off his stroke, and if the call is "Honey, I'll be home in five, thought I'd surprise you!" then a performance dip can be expected.
May 27, 2010
Save Money By Crime
Britain’s ballooning prison population is a disastrous mess | Harry Woolf - Times Online
In such a severe economic crisis it is folly to have policies that make the prison population substantially higher than is necessary. Many US states are introducing policies to cut the number of prisoners, which, in turn, has cut reoffending. We must do the same.
I would like to know where he gets his US proof from - my understanding is summarised:
The Great California Prison Experiment - Freakonomics
letting out the prisoners is more or less a wash from a societal cost-benefit perspective. The money we save from freeing the prisoners is on the same order of magnitude as the pain and suffering associated with the extra crime.
May 16, 2010
Brain Frying Tonight
There is some heavy data digging going on here - if you can't wait until the next results are prised out in to the open and are sceptical of the pre-release media highlights here is a link to the previous summary.
The biggest risk to heavy mobile phone uses is that you will become a tedious bore, annoying all around you.
In the largest study of its kind, environmental health observers in 16 London boroughs observed secondary school pupils as they waited, often in long queues, to buy chips, chicken dishes, deep-fried sausages and pies. The officers then bought portions of the 73 dishes that were most popular with the children and had them nutritionally analysed. Most were unhealthy, some of them alarmingly so.
There used to be a name for shifty men who hung around where school kids gathered at lunchtime....
May 4, 2010
Feeding Plod's Cash machine
A bit of a slur on Car Salesmen, they have to use wit, charm and guile to extract the money, not the threat of force.
April 29, 2010
One more for the road
Nursing leaders denied that such a move would disproportionately hit people in rural areas, who need to use their cars more to move around.
Amanda Callaghan, director of communications for the RCN, said: “Would it not be better to improve public transport than accept that people in rural areas should be allowed to drink and drive?”
The idea that public transport is an answer in the countryside is so bizarre that one has to wonder if she has been sniffing the hand gel.
Are there any figures for the risk people who have had a glass of wine at their rural neighbours cause?
I have always thought a rough but fairer way to would be to penalise harder drivers within built-up or 30 limited areas as they probably had the choice of public transport.
April 23, 2010
Wiltshire's Misleading Speed Camera Data
Wiltshire & Swindon Safety Camera Partnership - Safety Camera Enforcement - Core Site Information
The baseline figures shown (in red) give the numbers of recorded Fatal, Serious and Slight injuries at each site and the respective numbers for each year following commencement of camera enforcement.
As an example:
A30 The Pheasant, Winterslow:
In the 3 years prior to enforcement, there were 4 serious injuries and 6 slight injuries at that location. In the 7 years and 7 months (more than twice the baseline period) since enforcement commenced, there have been a total of 3 accident collisions which resulted in 4 slight injuries.
(This is cut from http://www.safetycameraswiltshire.co.uk/uplfiles/Core%20Stats.pdf where all the data for all the camera sites is.)
But wait - So we know the red baseline figures for “The Pheasant” is for three years. The presentation misleadingly could be taken that they are an annual figure, as are all the others. The pdf doesn’t seem to say for how long the base data figures are for any other site. Are they all for three years aggregated together?
For clarity wouldn’t annual figures be better? The columns for the start year and the last year of figures are also part years and so are not comparable either.
A masterclass of misleading chartmanship..
UPDATE From The Wiltshire Safety Camera Partnership:
The PDF file which discloses the accident statistics relative to each of
our core enforcement sites is updated as often as possible and certainly
when new (monthly)information comes to hand. The red figures as noted in
the explanation on the relevant page you accessed relate to the three
year period prior to enforcement and these are the figures which were
presented to the Department for Transport for their consideration for
the authorisation to commence enforcement. This is why the figures are
presented in the way they are.
We have listed accident figures year by year to enable anyone who would
wish to aggregate any three year period that they might wish in
comparison with the base line figures. Disclosing annual figures can
also show any trend that might be occurring.
The dates shown in column 3 relate directly to the date enforcement at
the site commenced and the date of the latest statistics update - hence
the last date in all cases is currently 30 November 2009.
The text you refer to was entitled 'As an example' and used the first
site on the list and was intended to imply that the three year period
applied to all sites. However, in light of your comment, I have, this
morning changed the text to that shown below which will hopefully remove
any confusion or misunderstanding.
'The baseline figures shown (in red) give the numbers of recorded Fatal, Serious and Slight injuries at each site for the three year period prior to enforcement commencing. The numbers of injuries for each year following commencement of camera enforcement are also shown.'
Speed Cameras Useless - The Proof
BBC News - No crash rise after Swindon speed camera turn-off - 22 April 2010
The number of accidents on roads next to Swindon's shrouded speed cameras is the same now as when they were active, according to council figures.
The five fixed cameras were covered in July last year after the Conservative-run borough council withdrew funding.
Swindon's Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors said they would turn the cameras back on if they had the chance....
So the experiment has been done, the brave motorists of Swindon have risked all, the results are in. But still the command and control freaks want to ignore the science....
And on how many different subjects could I write that?
April 22, 2010
Spying on the Spys
Useful mapping tool showing which administrations worldwide are asking for data on users from Google. India and Brazil are high because Google runs Orkut (a social networking site) which is very popular in those areas. And of course the USA is high because they have a lot of people using Google there, and the next nosiest Government is? Ours, of course.
April 21, 2010
Ash Fallout Begins
The lifting of the flight embargo followed lobbying from the aviation industry, which has accused governments across Europe of overreacting.
Adonis said the decision was not taken in response to BA's pressure but due to a change of advice from aircraft and engine manufacturers.
The government denied it was a blow to its handling of the crisis and said it had relied on advice from the CAA and Nats, the national air traffic controller. Nats spokesman Alex Bristol said the only pressure the company had been under was to understand the nature of the volcanic ash cloud. He said that information about how aero engines could cope with adverse ash conditions only became available yesterday.
EU Ref has and will have more but I think it can be summed up as an utter shambles, with the precautionary principle, computer models, governmental risk aversion and bureaucratic torpor all going to come under attack, hopefully.
Paintballing with Steph from Accounts?
The findings suggest that popular workplace team building strategies, which include such activities as walking over hot coals or playing paintball, are of little or no value.
Note and reference the next time the spotty Herbert from HR suggests you waste you time indulging him on one these these pointless days.
A few beers in the pub with colleagues you actually want to talk to is far better, will he pay for those though?
April 20, 2010
RSPCA - Sod the animals, let's get policing
Cost cuts mean RSPCA shelters will turn away stray or unwanted pets - Times Online
The RSPCA will turn away stray or unwanted pets from animal shelters from next month to cut costs and focus on policing animal cruelty, according to a memo obtained by Channel 4 News.
Policing, hectoring and bullying, and shooting animals. The RSPCA has abandoned its fine history of opposing cruelty and helping and become another arm of the militant campaigners, sheathed in the goodwill from the deluded and generous public. More here and here
April 15, 2010
At least they were wearing Hi-viz jackets....
Peter Aspinall, 64, had been asked to prune a sycamore tree in the grounds of a hotel, but instead of leaning his ladder against the trunk he placed it against the branch he was hacking down.
Now Mr Aspinall, who had worked at the Egerton House Hotel near Bolton, Lancashire, for just two weeks, is suing them for compensation.
He took the action after health and safety inspectors concluded the hotel failed to carry out a risk assessment on the dangers of pruning.
They also said that his employer should have given him training on where to place the ladder.
The hotel owners have now been fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 council costs and a £15 victim surcharge by magistrates in Bolton after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches.
How did he reach the age of 64? Did he have to fill out his compensation claim in a crayon, as I certainly wouldn't trust him with anything as sharp as a pencil....
April 12, 2010
Health News This Morning
Pole dancers and wads of cash good for your health! Can I get them on the NHS?
April 11, 2010
Probably the best birthday in the world
Jeremy Clarkson is 50 today;
Plods Antipodean Antisocial Proposal
Police in a town once branded Scotland's "toughest" are to build a cabin-style "modular custody suite" in its car park to deal with a surplus of offenders at weekends.
I have been advocating for some time that Plod uses shipping containers for drunks. Cut a few holes for ventilation, add some bars to split up the inside, drop them off in the Market Place for Saturday night and when the trouble makers have sobered up in the morning just rinse it out. Simple, cheap and effective, but it seems my plan would fall foul of Human Rights and so instead of my couple of thousand pound idea they are going to spend £750,000 for a ten cell block. £75,000 a berth!
A video of a prototype is here.
March 29, 2010
Government Doesn't Want to Know
..We had understood that the requirement of us, as advisers, was to comply with the Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Committees, and not to maintain the favour or trust of a minister with our advice and its communication.....
I am therefore surprised and dismayed that the government has rejected these concerns....
I feel that there is little more we can do to describe the importance of ensuring that advice is not subjected to a desire to please ministers or the mood of the day's press.....
What's the point of having advisers who offer real advice when you have pollsters and Daily Mail leader writers to tell you what to believe.
Cornflake Elfen Safety Defeats her Majesty
The Queen, 83, and the Duke of Edinburgh, 88, had been due to attend the tattoo, the world’s largest indoor gathering of its kind, in Halifax in July as part of her official visit. Then someone raised the subject of the stairs and suddenly a simple royal engagement turned into something a lot more contentious.
The offending steps lead up to the 12ft-high stage where, it was suggested, the Queen could have addressed the tattoo. There are 17 of them, rising at an angle of 60 degrees.
Too steep, said the organisers in a report, and too dangerous for the royal couple. Not at all, said the Queen’s people: the Queen and the Duke are perfectly fit.
Indeed, the Queen regularly climbs the 47 steps of the grand staircase at Buckingham Palace. Even to get to the West Terrace from her garden after a stroll with the corgis requires a ten-step ascent. What is more, the Palace said, if she cannot address the tattoo from the platform then she would not be appearing at all.
Although it is only five years since the Queen and Prince Philip visited Canada, the Canadians may have forgotten that Windsor women are made of stern stuff. The Queen Mother was still making public appearances when she turned 100, while the Queen — as a Palace source pointed out — still goes riding regularly.
I think that was a Royal Raspberry to the new breed of Canadian.
March 28, 2010
As I Lie Bleeding, Scoop and Run
THE NHS has wasted more than £11m using ambulances as “waiting rooms” to get around Labour’s target that patients should be treated within four hours of entering casualty.
New figures reveal the time spent by crews waiting outside hospitals for their patients to be admitted last year was the equivalent to funding 31 fully staffed ambulances to do nothing for 24 hours a day.
It is not just the money, the NHS approach of using paramedics and doing anything possible to prevent immediate access to Casualty Rooms costs lives.
The two approaches are ALS: advanced life support and BLS: basic life support (also known as Scoop and Run).
ALS they fanny around for ages trying to save your life as you lie bleeding at the accident, BLS they slap a plaster on, support your neck and rush you to a hospital where real doctors can put you back together with all their fancy machines.
Here's a research paper for more details.
Critical Care | Full text | Pro/Con debate: The Scoop and Run approach is the best approach to trauma services organization
in an urban environment with relatively short transport times (the typical clinical setting of most published studies), there is no strong evidence supporting field ALS – and only a suggestion of harm. It is acknowledged that in very selected circumstances ALS maneuvers might be life-saving, but the rarity of such patients and the difficulty in maintaining competence if practiced only in these circumstances preclude any advantage at the population level to implementing prehospital ALS. During the design phase of a new trauma system in an urban setting, emphasis should be placed on efficient transport, on limited BLS interventions at the scene and on triage to a designated trauma center
How it works in practice:
In June 2007 the Channel 4 documentary Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel claimed that the first person to touch Diana was Dr. Maillez, who chanced upon the scene. He reported that Diana had no visible injuries but was in shock and he supplied her with oxygen.
The first police patrol officers arrived at the scene at 12.30. Shortly afterwards, the seven paparazzi on the scene were arrested. The Princess was removed from the car at 1:00 a.m. She then went into cardiac arrest. Following external cardiopulmonary resuscitation the Princess of Wales’ heart started beating again. She was moved to the SAMU ambulance at 1:18 a.m. The ambulance departed the crash scene at 1:41 a.m. and arrived at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital at 2:06 a.m. Despite attempts to save her, her internal injuries were too extensive: her heart had been displaced from the left to the right side of the chest, which tore the pulmonary vein and the pericardium. Despite lengthy resuscitation attempts, including internal cardiac massage, she died at 4 a.m
My advice is don't wait for an ambulance, rush the bleeding twitching body to the nearest hospital and barge into the casualty area, they really don't like blood on the floor in reception, and they really, really don't like people dying there, as it ruins their bonuses. The victim will get treated a lot quicker than Joe Mug who is circling the hospital car park waiting for a slot to be allowed to enter.
He was held on suspicion of possessing an object converted into a firearm, and was released on unconditional police bail without charge until May 6 pending further police investigation.
I better get my mower retuned again....
March 24, 2010
Facebook - the dirty toilet seat of our generation
The virus has increased fourfold in Sunderland, Durham and Teesside, the areas of Britain where Facebook is most popular...
Professor Peter Kelly, director of public health in Teesside, said staff had found a link between social networking sites and the rise in cases, especially among young women.
The Times leads, on Budget Day, with a similar scare story, with "leading" Docs demanding a ban on Smoking in Motors, even your own car when you are alone. How soon before they discover that some websites harm you through passive smoking and demand they are banned as well....
To The Rescue
A COURAGEOUS farmer is to receive one of Britain's top bravery awards for the dramatic rescue of a female motorist who was trapped in a raging torrent during the November floods.
After he learned of his award yesterday, unassuming Andrew Rennie insisted: "I don't think I'm a hero – I just did what anyone else would have done. All I did was answer a call for assistance....
He was fast asleep in his farmhouse home at Gask Farm, near Turriff, when the phone rang. On the other end was a local fireman with a simple message: "There's a woman trapped in her car. Can you take something big and heavy with you – preferably a tractor?"
Mr Rennie, 41, recalled: "When I reached the scene it was pitch black, but there was fast flowing water everywhere. You couldn't see the car from where the fire engine was.
Mr Rennie, at the wheel of the massive tractor, then began to edge his way slowly along the flooded road, with a firefighter strapped, half in and half out, to each side of the cab.
He said: "I was trying to figure out where the edge of the road was because the water was so deep. I was worried the tractor would get swept away. You had to watch where you were driving because of the strong currents.
"The whole road was a river. The biggest fear was that the water had undermined the road and we could get stranded ourselves."
Slowly but surely they reached Mrs Catto's car which has been forced sideways on the carriageway by the force of the torrent and wedged against a bank.
The two firemen eventually managed to prise open one of the car doors and free her. Mr Rennie said:
"As soon as we got back to dry land she was taken away in the ambulance. I never saw Mrs Catto but her son came and thanked me personally later in the day."
March 18, 2010
Mephedrone - The Fact
Stupid people are taking this crap because the safer better alternatives are illegal.
And your solution to that is what?
March 17, 2010
The Future is Girly Men
Women who live in healthier countries prefer more feminine-looking men, compared with women living in regions where life-threatening diseases are rife, psychologists say. Their research suggests masculine men have the greatest appeal for women who live in areas where a strong genetic make-up is critical for survival.
Women in Mexico, one of the least healthy countries in the study, preferred masculinised faces 54% of the time, compared with only 32% of the time for women in Sweden, which is one of the healthiest countries in the world. In Britain, women preferred the more masculine faces 43% of the time.
So where genetic fitness is less important it is less important, and it is only going to get less so. Sometimes I'm glad I'm out of the running.
March 9, 2010
Postman Pat Demands Doggie ID
Crackdown on dangerous dogs to make microchips compulsory for all |
World news |
All dogs are to be compulsorily microchipped so that their owners can be more easily traced under a crackdown on dangerous dogs to be unveiled today.
The measures will be set out by the home secretary, Alan Johnson, who will point to rising public concern that "status dogs" are being used by some irresponsible owners to intimidate communities or as a weapon by gangs.
Much of the legal framework stems from the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, which used to be held up as an example of the poor quality of legislation passed by MPs in haste but has actually proved a resilient and useful law over the past 19 years.
The Home Office said yesterday: "While this legislation is an essential tool in tackling antisocial behaviour, the government wants to look at it again to ensure it is working as it should and enables the police, local authorities and the RSPCA to take swift action to protect the public and stop abuse."
A few problem dogs so all dogs are legislated against, why is this no surprise? And for the DDA to be announced a success shows the art of revisionist history to be alive and well.
March 5, 2010
Death By Resource Allocation
Mr Stewart, of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, had arrived at the scene of the accident to take care of media duties. But when he found himself the senior officer at the top of the disused mine shaft, the 38-year-old decided to take command of firefighters who were poised to mount a rescue mission.
Mr Stewart, who has 17 years' service, explained why he stopped the paramedic going into the hole, even though he was harnessed up and ready to go.
He said: "I spoke to the paramedic and asked him some questions, if he was trained to work at height, or in confined spaces or familiar with any fire and rescue kit.
"The answer to all of those questions was that he was not trained in any of them.
"I explained to them as the officer in charge I could not let him access an area like that without appropriate training or equipment.
"It was not my intention to allow any more resources into that shaft."
"Resources" "Media Duties" "Appropriate Training" - When firemen start talking like this all is lost,
March 3, 2010
The Joys of Public Transport
The average railway carriage is providing a home for up to 1,000 cockroaches, 200 bed bugs and 200 fleas, it has emerged.
A recent survey by Passenger Focus, the consumer watchdog, found that most of the travelling public was reasonably content with the level of cleanliness of their trains.
I don't want to sound like Sir Nicholas but I'm obviously in the minority here.
February 18, 2010
Blue blistering barnacles!
The Higher Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) said in its ruling that TV8 had broken the law designed to protect people from the harmful effects of smoking and it fined the station 50,000 Turkish lira (£21,000).
A cartoon character smoking! No wonder the kids are dying in their thousands on the streets.
January 29, 2010
Peer Reviewed Paper Shown to be Bogus
We are all for bogusmongers getting bashed here so hurrah! The damage has been done with the resurgence of measles, though the scare seems to be increasingly ignored. One beneficial result is that scaremongering has been damaged as well with people increasingly sceptical.
But what of The Lancet, but what of the other 11 co-authors who quickly disassociated themselves, what of peer review?
January 22, 2010
For King and Country
“The trends are straightforward. We are all eating in much more and we are eating much more heartily. We are moving away from what has been called healthy food and we are going for comfort food.
“You can see that with the renaissance of retro brands and heritage food like gravy, like pudding mixes, like canned food. And with the cold snaps recently real, hearty food has made a comeback and we are all eating a lot more pies and Yorkshire puddings.”
“The nation has certainly carried on drinking. There has been an emphasis on the value end of the market but, then again, if you are not going out to a restaurant and are instead eating at home there is evidence that people are spending more on their bottle of wine.”
“What we have seen is a reversal of the trend of people buying their tobacco abroad. The recession has meant a lot less overseas travel, a lot fewer foreign holidays and the UK cigarette market is currently very strong,”
Asked whether Britons eating, drinking and smoking their way through the recession is now helping the nation out of the downturn, Ian McCafferty, the CBI’s chief economic adviser, said: “You could say that.”
And what thanks will we get for doing our patriotic duty? More nannying and higher taxes.
January 14, 2010
Kohl-eyed Burnham outlines the war on booze
The crackdown will mark the culmination of a scheme, overseen by Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, to cut alcohol abuse. Tackling the problem will be a major plank of the party’s manifesto.Speaking to The Daily Telegraph last night, Mr Burnham said that he wanted public backing for the radical scheme.
He compared the emerging alcohol policy to that involving tobacco – which led to a sharp increase in cigarette prices and a ban on smoking in public places.
“There is rising public concern and we have never shrunk from taking tough public health decisions and we are not going to start now,” he said. “We need to balance the rights of people who drink responsibly with those who buy ludicrously cheap booze and go out and harm themselves and others.
“The mood has changed and there is rising public concern – we need to respond to that and move on the debate…There is no shortage of research that shows the link with price and people drinking harmful levels of alcohol – there is no debate about that.”
However, the Health Secretary stressed that he didn’t want to “punish the majority of people who drink responsibly”. “In difficult times, when people are feeling the pinch, one of the ways they can relieve the pressure is by having a drink and we wouldn’t want to stop them enjoying that,” he said.
It is understood that ministers are working on a “staged process” to introduce minimum pricing. Initially, the drinks industry will have to increase warnings on alcohol cans and bottles. Supermarkets and other retailers will then be banned from selling alcohol at “below cost” – the wholesale price of drinks – if they refuse to do so voluntarily.
The minimum price will then be introduced as the third and final phase of the scheme. It is being introduced in this way to “bring the public along” as alcohol prices are steadily increased.
A levy could also be imposed on the drinks industry to stop them making windfall profits from the higher prices introduced under the scheme. The money raised would be earmarked for public health campaigns warning of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption.
All spelled out, don't say you haven't been warned.
January 7, 2010
Self Help in Snow Scotland
The wintery weather, let’s face it, is a political issue. Snow, I’m now convinced, brings out the inner Tory in all of us. In extreme situations, when forced to decide where shifting responsibilities lie, most of us revert to a doctrine that could be best be described as pragmatic, old-shires, compassionate Conservatism, as embodied in such unfashionable words as “self-help” and “resilience” and “resourcefulness”. You’ll recognise the ethos embedded in the backbone of the Armed Forces.
Scratch the surface of all but the shiniest new Labour types in weather like this, and it lurks there, that unfashionable, shameful instinct, that clarion call to civic duty. That undeniable urge — whisper it — to show initiative in the absence of a risk assessment and written permission from the State. And yes, such a response may seem desperately unsophisticated, primitive even, in these days when the State rolls like a vast juggernaut, but the thing about 18 inches of snow and a forecast of minus 20C is that (a) it’s not only pretty primitive, but (b) it also stops juggernauts dead in their tracks....
Snow reminds us is that, when necessary, we can still respond as individuals. The lesson is one of self-determination; discovering we are capable of action without having to wait for someone else to make decisions for us. In that sense, the snow brings possibilities of liberation.
So grab the shovel, get out there on the pavement and start digging. Because the freeze can do something very important for Britain. We have become a nation of two kinds of people — those that can do things, and those who can’t, but then spend their lives making rules for everyone else. There is no therapy like digging, nor the grateful smile from someone less steady on their feet than you are, to make you realise that, yes, in fact, you too are capable of doing things. You’re not a passive victim. Snow: you might say, the best political aide David Cameron ever had.
A staggering combination of arrogance, complacency and sheer indifference - Times Online
For the last two weeks Scotland has been ravaged by the worst winter weather seen in 30 years. One might imagine, therefore, that local councils, whose role is to serve the public, would take immediate action to ensure that we are kept well-informed about the state of our roads and pavements — to say nothing of stocks of grit and the advice they offer to local residents, particularly the old and the infirm.
On the contrary, nothing, not even a climatic upset, is allowed to interfere with the inalienable right of councillors and officials to take their statutory break, which runs from Christmas Eve until January 5.
...What emerges from the performance of council bureaucrats is a staggering combination of arrogance, complacency and sheer indifference to the very people they are there to represent — the long-suffering public.
When, over the next year, they face the job cuts and the lay-offs that will be the inevitable consequence of the recession they should not be surprised if the Scottish people who, after all, pay for the councillors and their officials with inflated council taxes, respond with the same shrug of the shoulders that they themselves have demonstrated this past fortnight.
December 26, 2009
Health benefit of tobacco?
In these slow news days the health writers took a break from warning about undercooked turkey and discussed this at length on the radio.
I didn't hear one mention Tobacco - I don't know if the study itself considers this but there is "a statistically significant inverse association between smoking and Alzheimer's disease, with a trend towards decreasing risk with increasing consumption" and obviously the opposite with smoking.
It maybe that the link has been considered and dismissed or maybe the idea that there might be some tobacco health benefits is a heresy too far to be reported.
Maybe if you are old you should take up the pipe, you are going to die before you get cancer and it might keep your grey cells in finer shape...
Top Gear was today named the nation's favourite television programme of the decade
A fitting choice for our green, health and safety obsessed, car-hating times; a show that celebrates the fun and joy of individual freedom.
December 21, 2009
Sometimes you can take camouflage too far
December 14, 2009
Off to the Circus
"As current resuscitation guidelines give equal emphasis to the importance of performing chest compressions at both the correct rate and depth, we regretfully recommend that playing or imagining hearing Nellie the Elephant during CPR training should be discontinued,” Malcolm Woollard, Professor in Pre-hospital and Emergency Care at Coventry University said..called for research into other songs that might work, including Another One Bites the Dust by Queen or Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus.
A previous study by the University of Illionois medical school found the Bee Gees disco anthem Stayin' Alive was, at 103 beats per minute, close to the ideal rhythm.
"Staying Alive", "Achy Breaky Heart" - sensitive choices those... and to be honest if I was dabbling my toes in the Styx wondering whether to make the crossing or not hearing a karaoke Bee Gees would have me reaching for a coin to pay the ferry man whereas a burst of the Toy Dolls would make another breath seem worthwhile.
December 7, 2009
Saturday December 5, 2009
MOBILE phones have been given a clean bill of health after new in-depth research published yesterday.
Experts found no increase in brain tumour rates during the years when the mobile phone caught on and became the must-have gadget they are today.
The Danish Cancer Society study was based on data for the 16 million adults in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden during the 30 years to 2003.
Mobiles: the hidden danger to children - mirror.co.uk
SUNDAY MIRROR INVESTIGATES By Adrian Butler 6/12/2009
As clamour for Xmas phones starts, what every parent should read
Britain is sleepwalking into a m o b i l e phone health scandal as the Government ignores a link to cancer, a leading expert has warned.
Mobile phone emissions have been shown to increase the risk of THREE types of cancer in some studies - yet ministers are doing nothing to change weak official guidelines on how much they should be used.
Radiation specialist Professor Denis Henshaw said ignoring the risks of mobile phone emissions could prove as serious as playing down the link between smoking and lung cancer in the 1960s.
What would we do without trained journalists to present the facts?
November 27, 2009
Remove Speed Cameras and then what happens?
It's now been almost four months since Swindon Council famously scrapped their fixed speed cameras. Swindon's five fixed cameras were decommissioned on July 31 due to funding issues.
Councillor Peter Greenhalgh, stated that on the roads where the speed cameras had been removed, "There has been no increase in accidents at those locations. Speed is an issue but there’s no evidence speeds have increased on those roads. We often get people saying speeds are too fast on a certain road then, when we do some analysis, we don’t get any evidence of that."
Coun Greenhalgh said: “There are a number of things we can do to reduce the risk but we cannot prevent people from getting killed on our roads.
“Road users have to take responsibility for their actions.”
Hanging Tree Decorations
When is a Christmas tree not a Christmas tree? When it is a giant cone covered in what appears to be green doormats.
Shoppers stared in bemusement at the mysterious object that landed in a shopping precinct in Poole, Dorset, this week. Some compared it to a giant traffic cone, a witch’s hat or a cheap special effect from an early episode of Doctor Who.
The 33ft structure turned out to be their Christmas tree, designed according to the principles of health and safety, circa 2009.
Thus it has no trunk so it won’t blow over, no branches to break off and land on someone’s head, no pine needles to poke a passer-by in the eye, no decorations for drunken teenagers to steal and no angel, presumably because it would need a dangerously long ladder to place it at the top.
Richard Randall-Jones, the town centre manager, said “We are a coastal town and so we have strict health-and-safety guidelines around making the Christmas tree safe due to the high winds we suffer. We have to have guy ropes and hoardings to stop it from falling over and hitting somebody. The public didn’t like all the ropes and hoardings so we came up with the cone tree.
Council, tree, rope, some assembly required? I have an idea for a tree with ropes that I know the public would like....
November 10, 2009
Daily Mail Withdraws Snooper Story
Daily Mail - Steve Doughty - Nov 8, 2009
Family homes could be invaded by health and safety inspectors checking that parents are keeping their children safe. ...
I try not to read or link to the Daily Mail, but other have linked to this story (and alerted me to it), the story is no longer on the website, cock up or was it wrong? No other paper seems to have followed it up. I have no doubt the essence of the story is correct but us nanny bashers must make sure we don't fall into nanny's trap and start exaggerating and lying.