Archive for the ‘Medical Issues’ Category

Scientific research to order

February 19, 2007

Some types of Cocoa is good for blood supply to the brain and, as a result it may help to ward off the onset of problems such as memory loss and dementia. On the face of it, this is very good news for everyone and we should all dash down to our favourite shop and buy tins of coca and products with cocoa amongst their ingredients. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

However, perhaps we ought to take a closer look at the research first. Who has funded this research? None other than Mars Inc. For those of you who do not know what this company does, it may surprise you to find that they produce sweets and animal foods, amongst other products. Nothing surprising in that you might think. However, we you look closer at these products, particularly the sweets, such as M&M’s,” it might not surprise you to learn that most of these contain the type of cocoa that the scientists are sounding their trumpets about.

Far be it from me to doubt the works of scientists, but might I be forgiven for thinking that this is a case of science being made to fit the product of the financial backer? Perish the thought.

the Brit 

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UK Human rights and Freedom extinguished

February 18, 2007

Hi Grit

The government in the UK, if re-elected at the next election, will be taking the final steps to abolish human rights, freedom and privacy for the individual UK citizen, all in the name of protecting us against terrorism.

If the labour government have their way, all adults over the age of 16 will, by 2009, be required to place their fingerprints on a central computer. The suggested law may even extend to “iris” prints. These moves are in addition to the requirement to provide photographs for driving licences; requirement to provide details for the census and annual local government property occupancy register (for council tax purposes); and the multitude of close-circuit television cameras that adorn our towns, streets, villages and roads. An extra measure of identity that is also being considered is to place our medical records in the same “identikit” of us.

Not satisfied with us already being the most watched nation in the EU, these latest moves will actually increase the gap between us and other countries, turning us into one of the most monitored nations in the world. Some may argue that these moves are positive, but are they? Let us consider the evidence.

1) COST:

Naturally, there is the cost of the citizen ID rules. The government suggest that this will amount to just over £5.4 billion ($10.8 billion). However, independent sources put the figure at £19.3 billion ($38.6 billion). This represents over £300 ($600) per annum, per citizen. In addition to this, it is compulsory for people to give this information at one of 69 centres through the UK, at their own cost. In some cases this means travelling up to 100 miles, irrespective of age, financial situation or infirmity. A round trip of this nature, taken in work time will cost the worst affected another £100 at least. Of course, this does not take into account the annual running costs of the scheme.

2) PRIVACY

A basic human right is that of privacy. The ability to live our lives without fear or favour, and to keep parts of our lives free from the prying eyes of others. From 2009, if these plans go ahead, this will no longer be possible. Some will argue that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, but that is not the point. Do I really want my health, age, medical condition, financial status and life history potentially exposed to every form of media and individual nationally and internationally? Our data protection act suggests that such information should be secure but, in view of the fact that the government has incorporated rules to allow certain organisations, commercial as well as government and non-government organisations to access the data, this guarantee no longer holds true.

3) DISCRIMINATION

Such a system will also lead to discrimination, both intentional and by devious means. Employers will be tempted to access medical and financial information about potential employees, therefore leading to unfair bias against certain applicants. This is particularly the case in medical issues. For example, take the case of a person who may in the past have had cancer. Although possibly totally cured, when such a person is set against an applicant who has not past health problems, which is the less than totally honest employer going to chose?

Medical, legal and financial practitioners will be able to access medical records, providing a situation where they can discriminate against those they do not want to assist.   

4) MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE:

No computer or other registration system is infalible and the identity system will be no exception. With personal and biometric information on around fifty million people on file, the incidences of misinterpretation, incorrect identification and transpostion of information will rise. As a result this is bound to lead to an increase in the incidence of miscarriages of Justice. Add to this the fact that none of the biometric identity measures are 100% accurate and it can be seen that this will compound the issue. A small example of this might occur with twins for example. Especially in cases of identical twins wrong identification is even more likely.

5) THE CONCEPT OF INNOCENCE

The United Kingdom laws have always been founded upon the rule of “innocent until proven guilty.” It is bad enough that in recent decades tax and other laws have led to a reverse of this process in such areas. Now, with the introduction of of these measures, such a foundation has been totally eroded. The onus on the citizen will now be to prove their innocence in all cases.

Does this mean that in future one has to keep a daily diary of life events to ensure that one cannot get into a situation where lack of evidence to suggest otherwise leads to automatic guilt? I work from home and, during the day, this means that there is no-one to provide an alibi for my whereabouts, especially if I am not on the computer. If I take two hours off for a bath and rest, will I in future have to log this and provide photographic evidence? 

6) IDENTITY THEFT

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes of the past decade. It is also one of the least obvious to the victim, unless it has been committed for financial purposes. How can we be sure that our identity will not be stolen or duplicated for other criminal purposes? What is more important is, if such an event does occur, how will we know until a crime, using our identity has been committed?

7) PROTECTION AGAINST CRIME AND TERRORISM

The assumption that identity laws will offer protection against crime and terrorism is flawed in so many ways as to make it laughable. It only works if one starts from the premise that every hardened criminal and committed terrorist is going to abide by these laws. Naturally, Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists, and underworld criminals are going to assist the law by coming forward voluntarily to offer their biometric identity to the authorities. I think not! Such an assumption is, at best, insane.

There are those who argue that it is easier to catch someone who does not possess an identity card. How does that work? There are 60 million people in the UK and it is certain that there are not enough law enforcement agencies or officers to check each indicvidual. Add to this the fact that there is unencumbered travel in the EU through 25 countries and a determined criminal or terrorist has more than adequate escape routes. These are in addition to the many illegal ways of escaping from the country. Furthermore, why should such persons worry about being apprehended when there is always the route of identity theft to cover their tracks?

Although there may be rules and laws in place to address breaches of the protections in place, these are an “after the event” remedy, by which time the damage is done. Once the security of information has been broken, one cannot recapture the privacy, irrespective of how much money has been recovered in damages.

The hypothesis that these measures are a protection against crime and terrorism, as has been clearly demonstrated, is totally wrong. They will have little to no effect in these areas. 

In conclusion therefore, one has to observe that these new laws will have limited impact upon detering any major crime and terrorism attempts. What they will do is to damage the human rights of the innocent citizen.

the Brit

Democrats move toward socialized health care!

February 15, 2007

Hi Brit,

I hope the American people are happy, because putting Democrats in charge of Congress is already starting to pay unexpected dividends.  While the subject of socialized medicine was carefully avoided during the recent campaigns, here it comes: Mental health bill moves forward in Congress.  Of course, this sounds innocent enough, just another attempt to force Big Business to be fair to the little guy, in this case forcing health insurance providers to cover mental health treatments.  However, underneath the feel good surface lurks a sneaky plan to drive health care costs high enough that the average person can’t afford it, forcing the kind and good hearted Government to take over and protect the innocent, but not too bright, general public.  Placing Big Brother firmly in charge of another 15% of the US economy, is just a bonus.  What’s that old saying, “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it?”  So get that elective surgery now, because, after Big Government takes the reigns, the wait time for that nip and tuck or those fake boobs is going to be measured in years.  Oh, and pick up a good thick book, because the wait time at your doctor’s office is going to make a trip to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) seem like the service at McDonald’s.

the Grit

Robbie Williams – “take that” in Rehab

February 15, 2007

Hi Grit

Yet another celebrity, this time one of the most successful on the UK music scene Robbie Williams, has scuttled off to rehab to address prescription drug, smoking and drinking addictions. Estimated to be worth around £100 million ($200 million), apparently the singer’s success, or in the case of the US market, leads to periods of deep depression. Apparently, the medical addressing of this depression has led to his drug addiction.

ROOT CAUSES

In my view, all this running off to spend £2,000 a night in a high profile clinic does not do a lot of good. This is obvious by the fact that, to stars such as Robbie, even the clinic visits become an addiction. This is not the first time he has checked into such a place. It is true that, for a while, they might be able to reduce the addictive habits, but historical statistics on celebrities proves that it does not last. Why is this, people may ask? The reason for this failure is that the therapists do not address the root cause of the problem.

The crux of the problem in Robbie Williams case can be found in ego, greed, arrogance and fear. He originally started out as a member of a highly successful boy band called “take that,” However, his ego did not like the fact that he was not being noticed in his own right, so he left to follow a solo career. To be fair to the man, this was a successful step and he soon became the UK’s number one performer. But his ego did not allow him to just accept the applause. In an effort to ensure that his foundation in the band was not a part of his new-found fame, he embarked upon a series of attacks on other band members.  The difference in character is shown by the fact that the rest of the band did not retaliate. They just bided their time.

Last year Take That reformed after a gap of over ten years. The result of this was that they became an overnight sensation. Their first new album has outsold Robbie Williams latest one by three to one as fans return to the original concept. This shows that Williams was right to fear the band that kick-started his career. However, there is more than enough room for both. It is also strange that the latest visit to the clinic follows the exceptional success that the reformed “Take That” band are enjoying. It is almost as if Williams, in a desperate bid to prove he is more popular than them, is attempting to steal the limelight away.

With regard to arrogance, Robbie Williams has this in abundance. In the UK, to keep himself in the headlines he has, as well as the above mentioned attacks on “Take That” launched scathing attacks on others who were involved in the early stages of building his career, including ex-managers and girlfriends. This has gained him few friends outside of his fan base.

His arrogance was also in evidence in his approach to the US market. Unlike other UK music celebrities, like Tom Jones, who allowed their work to filter into the US market in a gentle manner, therefore creating an environment where the US public embraced their talents, Robbie Williams decided that this was not sufficient for him. He had to storm the US, standing up and saying that he was better than what you had. If you want to offend anyone, this was a classic way to do it. Where other music legends such as The Who have treated the US consumer with respect and gained a fan base, Williams has not. Because of this attitude he has found little success in America, despite moving there.

Rehab will not solve Robbie Williams problems unless those who are counselling him start to address these deep-rooted personality problems that he has.

PROBLEMS OF A HUMAN BRAND 

Robbie Williams record company EMI, who paid £80 million ($160 million) to sign for them, are also suffering as a result of the stars actions. The expected revenue that they hoped to receive as a result of this contract is not materialising. This shows that the corporation’s management team were seriously lacking in strategy when they entered into the contract.

The biggest problem with signing a “human” brand is the organisations ability to a) monitor and control its performance; b) accurately access the value; c) evaluate the stability of the brand; and d) link the contract to performance. In all of these areas EMI management failed. In terms of a) the monitoring of performance has been proven to be lacking, and there certainly been a lack of control. With b) the value was identifable then and now as excessive, particularly bearing in mind that this was a person they were dealing with.  Similarly, the evaluation of the Robbie Williams stability factor (c) was in error, bearing in mind his previous addiction problems, and in respect of d) the performance linked element was omitted. Is it any wonder that the company is now struggling?

The final nail in the Robbie Williams saga of course, is his belief in his own publicity. The media, as we know, will dramatise anything a celebrity does and, in the case of Robbie Williams, his visits on the front pages of the media was frequent. However, he also needs to recognise that the media are just as adept at destroying reputations if it helps them sell papers.

The man needs to take a step back, value his own life, cease worrying about being better, more successful and wealthier than others, and begin to enjoy being Robbie Williams.

the Brit

Great, new evidence of Global Cooling!

February 13, 2007

Hi Brit,

Great news on the Global Warming front!  “Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City have found that 2006 was the fifth warmest year in the past century. ”  Since we had the hottest year on record was 2005, then, logically, if last year wasn’t warmer, we are cooling.  What fantastic news!  This, of course, means that we can call off all the Climate Change taxes, cut the billions of dollars in research grants for “climate scientists”, and go back to spending that money on fighting disease, poverty, and starvation.  Oh, and we can officially tell AlGore to kiss the collective Global Ass.  Pucker up you evil tobacco farmer!

 The article also adds, “Most places on the globe have warmed in recent decades, with the greatest warming at high latitudes in the Arctic Ocean, Alaska, Siberia and the Antarctic Peninsula.”  Which, obviously, means it’s not a GLOBAL phenomena, but appears to be localized to the poles.  It would seem that the “climate scientists” need to come up with a better story to justify the massive investment in their theorizing.

the Grit

British are ignorant on sex!

February 13, 2007

Hi Grit

The family planning association has recently undertaken a national “Sex Quiz” for British people and found that we are generally ignorant when it comes to sex facts. (I hasten to add that I was not asked to take part in this quiz!).

Results from the quiz revealed that 1 in 3 of Brits believe that rigorous exercise, a visit to the bathroom and/or washing will stop a lady getting pregnant; Half of the people responding (I assume this was the males), did not know when a lady was most fertile; And 90% haven’t a clue how long the sperm remains active inside a lady. The answer to the last question is one week. Thus bearing in mind that tomorrow is Valentine’s day, the love activity could produce a mini baby-boom by the 21st.

However, before we all over here start running around blaming the poor education systems for all of our sexual deficiencies, we should look further into the survey carried out. It transpires that the questions were only asked of a representative sample of 500 people. Bearing in mind our population of 60 million, I would hardly call 500 representative, nor would I say that it could be called a national quiz. In addition, something around 16% of the population are over 75 with a similar number over 65. What the heck do they care about the reproductive cycle?

It does annoy me when the Media respond to these type of reports by creating headline news, giving the impression that we are just a bunch of uneducated neanderthals (even if some of us are). 450 people don’t know how long a sperm is active? Take another bunch of 500 people and it is quite likely that the reverse would be the position. Probably more to the point is how many people know how much of their tax money was spent on this report in the first place?

the Brit

PS: for those who want to know the questions and answers click here.

One more to add to the “exposed tart” list!

February 6, 2007

Hi Brit,

You seem to be correct in your theory that there is a knicker shortage.  What, I must wonder, is the origin of that word?  Anyway, Mischa Barton, who ever she is, has joined the Britney club, Mischa Barton shows off her butt in tights.  So, was there a health notice that I missed warning of the dangers of underwear? 

the Grit

Can you say “buying votes?”

February 4, 2007

Hi Brit,

While y’all have almost completely sunk into the warm, smothering embrace of the Nanny State, we still have a few vestiges of freedom and self determination left, such as worrying about our own health care.  That is, until John Edwards gets elected, and this evil rich guy isn’t afraid to spend other people’s money buying votes: Edwards: raise taxes for healthcare.  It’ll be interesting to see how many votes he can purchase with a promised $180 BILLION of looted cash that will, supposedly, come from higher taxes on his fellow fabulously rich country men and women.  The targets of this bribe are the 43 MILLION Americans who are without health insurance.  Mr. money bags doesn’t mention if he is going to weed out those who could afford coverage, but decide not to do so.  Of course, if we get into details, it seems that our trial lawyer champion of the people is playing tricky games with the meaning of words.  “Rich” for example, appears to mean anyone making more than $200,000 per year.  His rather expensive plan also calls for an attack on our economy through adding more regulations and costs on business. 

Not to be outdone, I have a health care plan of my own.  I say we confiscate, ah, that is tax at 100%, Edward’s new super luxury estate, and put that $6,000,000 in a fund to buy health care for poor people.  Just the interest on that should cover decent insurance for 50 to 100 people.  Be a sport John, use your own money to buy votes.

the Grit

At least I am saner than this!

February 3, 2007

Hi Brit,

At times, I and, I hope, everyone else, have questions as to our own sanity.  In an effort to reassure myself, and others, as to our fundamental grip on reality and rationality, I offer this:

47 Tombstones Found in Dead Man’s Locker

OK, I know that this gives a new meaning to “grave robbing,” but it also give comfort to the rest of us that we aren’t, I hope, this short of a full deck.

the Grit

Cancer and the spirit of a child

February 2, 2007

Just the mention of the word cancer brings feelings of dread, hopelessness and pain to anyone. Imagine you are five years old and you hear the word relating to you, not once but three times. It such a situation one would understand if even the strongest sufferer gave up completely, let alone a child.chloe.jpg

However, Chloe Harrison never did give up hope; she never gave up fighting. Struck first with stomach cancer, a successful operation removed this. Chloe thought that it was all over, but it was not. A short time later it was found that she had cancer in her lungs. Another round of operations got rid of those, apparently successfully. Not the case. Chloe was soon to be told that the cancer had returned to both her stomach and lungs. More operations were undertaken. Now, finally, Chloe has been given the all clear.

Yes there were tear through this terrible time; yes there was despair, loneliness and sadness. But Chloe never gave up. She fought the big C all the way. Her determination, suffering and fighting spirit has brought her through this terrible time. Just by looking into the eyes of this beautiful child one can see the scars of the journey, but also the spirit and determination that has brought her back to full health.

The spirit of this special child contains a lesson for us all. Never to give up hope; to believe in the power of oneself and to be thankful for what we have and are. Children are our future and what a special example Chloe is of that.

I think we should all take time out from the pressure of everyday life to send a message of love to Chloe on the comments section below this story. We send to Chloe and her family our very best wishes and admiration. Chloe, may you live a long and happy life. You deserve it.

the Brit

Child and Juvenile abuse in UK prisons

January 30, 2007

Hi Grit

I make no apology for returning to this issue. You may have gathered from previous posts that we, in the UK, have a serious problem with prisons at the moment. Much has been made of the overcrowding issue. However, as always, the media fail to highlight important issues in the small print.

Page 40-41 of the official report on the state of UK prisons, published today, inform us that there are 2,643 children under the age of 18 in our prisons and young offenders centres. As if that isn’t bad enough, on page 41 the report continues to report that over the past five years there has been concerns raised about the high level of use of force used in these establishments against these children. Despite that, it continues, 27% of boys and 11% of girls have been subjected to pain-compliance force, many for refusing to be subjected to strip-searches. That is nearly 1,000 cases. How the hell can a government and country, which says that it will take all measures necessary to ensure child protection, not have stopped this problem?

Further on in the report, page 64, in the section dealing with immigration, it was also revealed that, in the last twelve months 2,000 children, and many of these younger that teenagers, had been detained in detention centres, around 20% of whom had spent more than 28 days there. Is it any wonder that that the affect of sudden arrest and detention increased their fears and anxieties?

My response to this? Stop keep wasting our money telling the public that it is a problem and nothing has been done about it in the past five years. Do something about it NOW!

On page 5 the report tells us that there have been significant key improvements, yet on page 7 it says that positive assessments (good reports) on prisons have fallen from 85 to 62%.

For us as citizens and as a nation, the reports on the Children situation and treatment in prisons is a disgrace. It will be interesting to see how many of the national papers pick up on this story and are prepared to condemn the government for their part in it.

the Brit

New York paying for sex

January 27, 2007

Hi Brit,

This one is too funny to pass up, but kind of touchy to handle without going too far, so to speak.  New York Plans Official City Condom to Encourage Use  OK, I’m sure we’re all thinking the same jokes, so let’s enjoy a good laugh at New York’s expense, over their four cent official condoms, while we keep it clean, at least, in writing.  Well, I know it’s a short post, but that should just about wrap this one up.

the Grit

Diet and exercise

January 27, 2007

Hi Grit

What surprises me in this world is waste. Whilst glancing through the news last night I came across an article about diet and exercise. Nothing unusual about that you might think and on the surface that is true. However, this report is in respect of a scientific study conducted into the effects of diet and exercise, both in terms of weight loss and longevity. Their findings?

1) A controlled diet helps weight loss. 

2) Exercise helps weight loss and physically makes us healthier.

3) Diet and Exercise can have an equal impact upon weight loss.

4) Diet and exercise can improve human longevity.

Have we not had thousands of researches and studies that confirm these findings in the past? What new information has this study produced that we did not already know? The report says that its findings may challenge the way that the diet and fitness industry view diet and exercise. With all respect I think that is rubbish. These findings have been known for years by people as individuals as well as the industry.

Of course, like all similar researches, there is an area where they cannot produce positive results and that is longevity. Apparently, although I am not sure how, they have proven that worms and dogs live longer on a controlled diet and exercise regime, but have yet to positively prove its longevity value to humans. My first point here is how the heck do you control the exercise and diet of a worm? In laboratory conditions you are taking it out of its environment and, of course, there is the added problem of getting a worm to co-operate by using dumb-bells, a running machine or to go out for regular ten minute walks. This is apart from the fact that they are not physically capable of engaging in such routines. Secondly, there is the issue of the value of comparing the habits and activity of a worm with a human being. My final point is this. Yes I accept that humans live longer as a result of improvements in medicine and other advances; yes it is known that a person who eats properly and exercises potentially lives longer than one who doesn’t; but where is the scientific study in that? Surely it is a simple case of common sense?

Which all brings me back to the core of my first sentence, waste! To me this is another example of government or business pouring hundreds of thousands of pounds (or dollars), into another fruitless exercise, the results of which adds no value to the subject matter whatsoever. The time energy and products used in the course of this research has all be wasted, not to mention the potential cruelty to animals by subjecting them to experiments that they neither asked for nor agreed to.

Surely there is a more constructive way of utilising the brains of these people?

the Brit

Schumer and “friends”

January 26, 2007

Hi Brit,

One of our occasional visitors, madmouser, had a most interesting post this morning: Schumer’s Imaginary Friends.  Since it doesn’t link to the article in question, although it does, and rightly so, question the Senator’s sanity, I searched it out.

Chuck Schumer’s imaginay friends

This one is a must read.  It seems that the good folks in New York are getting more than their money’s worth from their US Senate selection, three for the price of one, if we count the imaginary friends that Chuck discusses politics with.  The question, of course, is which one of them is running the show?

OK, I do admit to having the, occasional, extra voice or four in my head, but that’s mostly just for tax purposes (although the IRS keeps denying the deduction for some reason,) and I generally don’t take their advice on anything more serious than what to have for lunch. 

Schumer, on the other hand, is basing national Democratic Party policy on the opinions of his brain ghosts.  Considering the liberals’ success in the last elections, Chuck’s imaginary friends may well be smarter than the average Democrat.  Now, while it’s really tempting to do so, I’m not calling for Schumer’s immediate removal from the Senate, nor his quick incarceration in a nice padded room.  No, no.  I want to drag this out as long as possible, then remove him from the Senate and lock him in a padded room.

One more thing, since Schumer has access to classified documents, do his “friends” need a security clearance?

the Grit

A mystery solved!

January 25, 2007

Hi Brit,

I’ve been talking about the mysterious qualities of Barack Obama, the liberal Messiah, for a while now.  Mostly, I was wondering about what he really stands for, which seemed to be classified information, until now: Obama Calls for Universal Health Care.  Add that to this, keeping in mind that a picture is worth a thousand words,

obama-ted.jpg

and Obama’s true nature shines through.  No wonder the High and Mighty in Hollywood are fighting with one another to be the first to throw money at his feet!  Barack is a liberal’s liberal.  A man with more feelings than brains.  Someone who knows he has a destiny to be part of the elite, deciding what’s best for us common people, even though, you can bet, it’s not what’s best for Him and his Rich cronies.  With this revelation, it’s easy to see why Hillary has been cast aside.  Just like Hillary, Obama is liberal to the core and a minority.  Unlike Hillary, he doesn’t come across to the general public as an evil bitch.

the Grit

It seems that I must buy a helmet.

January 25, 2007

Hi Brit,

For some time now, what with the diminishing amount of hair my head will grow, I have been searching for the appropriate hat.  This story, Spot in Brain May Control Smoking Urge, seems to have limited my choice to a helmet.  Oh, sure, the liberals will say they won’t mandate brain surgery to rid the world of the Evil Urge To Smoke, but, considering that they have no problem with slaughtering infants in the womb, bending freedom of speech to their whim, or condemning millions of people to lingering death (DDT – malaria, look it up,) I trust you will forgive me if I take precautions.

the Grit

Sick in San Francisco

January 25, 2007

Hi Brit,

It looks like San Francisco didn’t send all its liberals to Washington.  Apparently they kept enough to pass a new law, Paid Sick and Take-Care-of-Your-Neighbor Days to Be Mandatory in San Francisco.  How appropriate that Nanny Pelosi’s home town is taking a giant step forward in the race to achieve a total socialist Nanny State.  I’m surprised that they didn’t go ahead and require the employer to deliver a bowl of chicken soup and a bottle of aspirin the the “sick” employee, on foot, to reduce carbon emissions.  Ah, how I long for the days when the mountain range and desert that perpetrates me from the liberal bastion that is California offered some protection from their insanity.

the Grit

End of the world – the robots are coming

January 22, 2007

Hi Grit

I think the EU and UK health services must know more about the coming end of the world than they are telling us. Scientists, many from various parts of the UK are well on the way to developing robot nurses, which they anticipate will be in action on the wards within three years, two years before the end of the world.

These robots will be able to dispense drugs (presumably whether you want them or not), lead visitors to patients (even if you don’t want to see them), mop up spillages (keep your whiskey hidden!) and remotely monitor the patient, for example take temperature (not that it will rise as there will no longer be a pretty nurse to look at).

I assume these robots will, initially at least, take instruction from medical staff. In which case, we must make sure that they watch what they say. The term “I think that patient is dead funny” could lead to robotic euthanasia, or “he was legless when he came in” unwanted amputation.

Is the fact that these tin beings are being introduced two years before 2012 significant I wonder?

the Brit

Wii is the new diet.

January 21, 2007

Hi Grit

It seems that the Japanese have found a new weight reducing diet that does not involve any adjustment to food intake. It is called the Wii. A man in Philadelphia has lost 9 pounds (4kgs) after experimenting for six weeks, using the Wii for 15 minutes a day. During that time he made no change at all to his diet. In addition of course, the exercise makes you fitter.

However, against this one has to weigh the cost, which according to one site, seems to centre around the safety harnesses that have broken sending the equipment flying through the air, often impacting with costly plasma TV’s and, what is worse, causing physical damage to the users.

It appears to me that if you want to lose weight without dieting, the Wii is the way to go, as long as you do not mind the prospect of a black eye or worse, and the replacement of household goods is not a problem.

the Brit

Factoids

January 19, 2007

I thought I would update you all with a little offbeat news.

1) Pigeon’s cigarette fetish blamed for fire. It appears that a fire that burned the roof off a US office block, was started by pigeons. Their penchant for picking up smouldering cigarette ends from the street, and returning to their nests with them resulted in a slow burn that wasn’t noticed until it was too late.

Could someone supply the pigeons with harmless nest warmers or nicotine patches?

2) Don’t stress the Romanian medics. One man, whose surgeon became stressed whilst performing corrective testicle surgery, lost his penis, which was cut off and chopped into pieces. The doctor claimed “he became stressed” when the operation went wrong. He was ordered to pay £30,000 compensation.

Gives a new meaning to the term, putting your (love) life in a doctors hands, don’t you think?

3) Careful what you call someone in Spain. A columbian woman who wanted to acquire citizenship in Spain has been told that she can only do so if she changes her name. Her name is “Darling.” Apparently, Spanish laws will not allow people to be called a name that might become the subject of ridicule.

Guess that is why, during my time in Spain, I never heard one male refer to his partner as “darling.”

the brit