Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Gatherings together

Dangerous world
The saying about Australia is that almost anything there can kill you. That warning appears to be spreading around the world as scientists discover more and more deadly doings.
People in their 60s and 70s who have high blood pressure may want to make sure they get enough sleep. A new study suggests that if they log fewer than 7.5 hours under the covers every night, they're at greater risk of heart attack, stroke, and sudden cardiac death than their peers who get more shut-eye.
Seven to eight hours seems to be enough sleep for most people, although older people sleep less. The risk is even higher if they skimp on sleep and tend to have a hike in blood pressure at night, a problem known as the riser pattern. Most healthy people have a drop in blood pressure at bedtime.
Those who got limited sleep and also had the riser pattern were more than four times as likely to have heart attacks and strokes as those without the combination, according to the study published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
It's not clear whether the shorter sleep times were due to insomnia, sleep apnea, or other problems, or exactly how much time the study subjects actually spent snoozing. 
The research team, led by Kazuo Eguchi, M.D., Ph.D., of Jichi Medical University in Japan, asked 1,255 men and women with hypertension how much time they spent in bed (not how much they actually slept), and then monitored their blood pressure for a 24-hour period. Those who spent fewer than 7.5 hours between the sheets were 1.7 times more likely to have some type of cardiovascular event in the next couple of years, while those who slept little and had a riser blood-pressure pattern were at 4.43 times greater risk. 
This type of study can't determine whether simply telling people to spend more time in bed would lead to better sleep or a lower risk of any of these problems. But researchers do know that a lack of sleep can throw off the circadian rhythms of several body processes.

One born every minute
Paul Snelson, 20, contacted officers to clear up "inaccuracies" in the description they gave of his offence to a local newspaper.
He had attempted to rob fisherman Dennis Rooke at a purpose-built lake in Northampton but fled when his victim pretended he had a gun.
Police issued an appeal for information to find the attacker - and Snelson made their job easy by contacting them to insist he was acting in self-defence.
He was subsequently arrested and has been jailed for 30 months.
Matthew Maynard, prosecuting at Northampton Crown Court, said: "He challenged the accuracy of the content of it. He said it hadn't happened that way. He said the fisherman had attacked him with a pole and he was acting in self-defence."
The court heard how Snelson attempted to rob Mr Rooke on May 20th and the appeal for information appeared on a local newspaper website.
Snelson, of Northampton, pleaded guilty to affray and to two unrelated counts of actual bodily harm that took place in January.
He also admitted another unrelated charge of arson and two further counts of assault.
Richard Holloway, defending, said Snelson was a "damaged individual" who been bullied at school, adding: "What this young man suffers from really is fear and panic."
But Judge Richard Bray said: "The problems you have had in life cannot excuse you from attacking other people. My primary concern must be for the protection of the public."

Her choice
I find some similarities here with the woman who sought a ruling from the Courts regarding her husband assisting her suicide. This unfortunate juvenile is choosing suicide - albeit not by that name but her death will come from her own actions. So - what is the legal position of her parents as they stand by her choice? Moot point I know but it is essential the law is uniform or none will know where we are or what is what.LONDON (AP) — A 13-year-old British girl who has undergone nearly a dozen surgeries in her young life has refused a heart transplant operation — a decision that may ultimately lead to her death.
Hannah Jones, who was diagnosed with leukemia and later a heart condition, told her parents and medical authorities that she would rather spend her remaining time at home than in the hospital. Health authorities have ceded to the decision after interviewing the girl.
"I've been in hospital too much — I've had too much trauma," Hannah Jones told Sky News on Tuesday. "I don't want this, and it's my choice not to have it."
Hannah was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 4 years old. Chemotherapy put her into remission but doctors then discovered she had cardiomyopathy, a serious disease where the heart muscle becomes swollen and sometimes fails.
The girl's story surfaced when parents complained about hospital officials who sent a social worker to interview the girl about her choice.
The family received a telephone call saying the hospital would take legal action if they didn't bring Hannah to hospital, said her mother, Kirsty Jones.
"They phoned us on a Friday evening and said that if we didn't take her in they'd come and take her. We still refused to take her," she said.
Hospital officials said it is standard procedure to make sure both the child and their parents understand the consequences of any medical decision.
"Clearly, the welfare of the child is paramount," said Sally Stucke, a pediatrician with the Herefordshire Primary Care Trust where Hannah was receiving treatment. "Pediatricians will always consider the child's best interests at all times and this would include the child's medical, emotional and psychological well-being."
"No one can be forced to have a heart transplant," she added.

C- I think
I admit that machinery fascinates me. Being a failed/redirected engineer I suppose. I once spent a heck of a long time sitting watching a machine that knitted socks with a very intricate pattern. Had I been a machine minder in those dark satanic mills, I would have been a happy bunny. So, I approached this story of a Japanese hay binder with anticipation. Would there be karaoke? Maidens with twirling umbrellas? Communal bathing for spectators?
No. None of that. It was quite a disappointment really. Definite overkill on the wrapping material - carbon overtones there. Is there a machine that will unwrap? A difficult shape if one wishes to store them efficienctly, We get by with a wrap process that deals with the job in the harvester so less traffic on wet fields.
A for effort, C- for execution Hakimoto San.

What a clever blogger
More on the Burmese blogger who got the 20 years and 6 months for blogging. Seems he was a bit of a crafty bugger with 'messages'. Well, sems 'messager' are as dangerous there as they can be here. What he did was described yesterday:
Mr Saw Wai’s poem, entitled ‘14th February’, was ostensibly a Valentine’s Day verse published last January in a popular weekly magazine. “You have to be in love truly, madly, deeply and then you can call it real love,” it read. “Millions of people who know how to love, please clap your hands of gilded gold and laugh out loud.”

But the first word of each line spelled out a pithier message about the leader of the country’s military government: “Power Crazy Senior General Than Shwe”. Mr Saw Wai was arrested the next day and charged with harming “public tranquility”.

First word of each line? Sure to confuse the Chinese eh? Not. I have to admit to finding the 6 months bit amusing. That on top of 20 years? Obviously they thought he was a slow learner. Tip - next time put the message words at the end of the line. Learning from mistakes is the aim of prison.

Fighting with big boys

Ian Silvestein's house was destroyed three years when the Buncefield Depot in England blew up. The companies that operated the depot -- Total and Chevron -- won't help him.
Literally, nothing has been done to help him with his situation — or anybody for that matter. The local authorities have failed him, the governments have failed him, insurance has failed him, and the companies that operated the facilities — Total and Chevron — have ducked blame entirely. The massive companies made more than £18 billion in cash last year, but can’t help a few people out when a leak in their tanks caused massive and catastrophic damage to dozens of people’s lives.

Oh - really. Come on now!

Times Online article about a fan-poweerd flying car. The British inventor is going to fly it from London to Timbuktu.

“This thing will launch itself without any pilot input,” says Cardozo. “You just open it up and it goes. The more power you put on, the faster you go until you come off the ground [at 35mph]. The wing will basically lock above you [once airborne] and stay there, without weaving, at speeds of up to 80mph.”

Fully road-legal - the car passed the government’s single vehicle approval test last month - and designed to run on bioethanol, Cardozo’s Skycar is powered by a modified 140bhp Yamaha R1 superbike engine with a lightweight automatic CVT (continuously variable transmission) gear-box from a snowmobile. It boasts Ferrari-beating acceleration on land, an air speed of up to 80mph and can swap between road and flight modes in minutes.

Big deal - will it get a parking space at Tescos'?

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