Australian health workers to close intensive care units in Victoria next week

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Members of Australia’s Health Services Union (HSU) will go on strike in Victoria next week in a dispute over stalled wage and career structure negotiations. Over 5000 physiotherapists, speech pathologists and radiation therapists will walk off the job next week, effectively closing the state’s 68 largest health services.

The strike will force the closure of intensive care units and emergency departments across the state.

It is feared the strike could continue into Easter.

National secretary of the HSU, Kathy Jackson said admissions would be crippled, while intensive care patients would have to be evacuated to New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia as hospitals will not be able to perform tests or administer treatment.

“When an ambulance shows up you can’t admit a patient without an X-ray being available, you can’t intubate them and you can’t operate on them,” she said.

“If something goes wrong in an ICU you need to be able to X-ray, use nuclear medicine or any diagnostic procedure,” said Ms Jackson.

Ms Jackson said the HSU offered arbitration last year, but the state government refused. “They’re not interested in settling disputes, they hope that we are just going to go away.”

“We’re not going away, we’ve gone back and balloted the whole public health workforce in Victoria, those ballots were successful, 97 percent approval rating,” she said.

The HSU is urging the government to commence serious negotiations to resolve the dispute before industrial action commenced.

The government has offered the union a 3.25 per cent pay increase, in line with other public sector workers but the union has demanded more, but stopped short of specifying a figure.

Victorian Premier John Brumby said the claim would be settled according to the government’s wages policy. “The Government is always willing and wanting to sit down and negotiate with the relevant organisations . . . we have a wages policy based around an increase of 3.25 per cent and, above that, productivity offset,” he told parliament.

The union claims it is also arguing against a lack of career structure, which has caused many professionals to leave the health service. Ms Jackson said wages and career structures in Victoria were behind other states.

Victorian Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu said he was not in support of the proposed strike and called on the government to meet with unions. “There could not be a more serious threat to our health system than has been announced today.”

“We now have to do whatever is possible to stop this strike from proceeding,” he said.

The opposition leader will meet with the union at 11:30 AM today.

Victorian Hospitals Industry Association industrial relations services manager Simon Chant said hospitals were looking at the possible impact and warned that patients may have to be evacuated interstate if the strike goes ahead.

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Newly discovered extra-solar planet may be Earth-like

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A planet 50% greater in radius and with about 5 times earth mass orbiting the red dwarf Gliese 581 has been discovered inside the constellation of Libra.

A 2005 search revealed that the star Gliese 581 possessed a Neptune sized planet, prompting astronomers to take a closer look.

Gliese 581 c, as the planet is aptly named, has an estimated surface temperature between 0 and 40°C (32 and 104°F). Scientists claim the planet is likely to have an atmosphere and liquid water.

A second planet, about 8 times the mass of earth, was also discovered not too far from Gliese 581 c.

A team of scientists from France, Switzerland and Portugal discovered the planets using the ESO 3.6-m telescope from the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher or HARPS, located at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in La Silla, Chile.

“The separation between the planet and its star is just right for having liquid water at its surface,” said team spokesperson Stephane Udry of the Observatory of Geneva in Versoix, Switzerland. “That’s why we are a bit excited.”

“Liquid water is critical to life as we know it and because of its temperature and relative proximity, this planet will most probably be a very important [focus] of future space missions dedicated to the search for extra-terrestrial life. On the treasure map of the Universe, one would be tempted to mark this planet with an X,” added Xavier Delfosse, from Grenoble University in France.

The newly discovered planet is 20.5 light-years away from the Earth.

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Russian territory expands by 4.5 square kilometres after seismic activity

Saturday, November 14, 2009

According to scientists, the land territory of Russia has expanded by about 4.5 square kilometres within the last few years in the Far East due to seismic and volcanic activity.

The gained land was recorded in the Sakhalin Peninsula. Boris Levin, head of the Institute for Sea Geology and Geophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that the increase happened primarily due to two seismic events.

The first, in August of 2007, was when a heavy 6.8 earthquake near the city of Nevelsk in the Far East raised about three square kilometres of seabed above the level of the water. The second was in June of this year, when the Sarychev Peak volcano on the Matua Island erupted. GPS trackers on the Matua island were used to monitor the eruption, and the volcano changed its shape, adding 1.5 square kilometres of land, scientists said.

Geologists also reported that the Kuril Islands nearby were slowly moving towards mainland Russia at an estimated rate of eighteen milimetres per year.

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Ten April Fool’s pranks of 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

April Fools’ Day pranks harmlessly pervaded worldwide again this year. Media outlets and internet sites have joined family, office workers, and friends to provide a wide variety of practical jokes. Ireland, France, and the United States celebrate April Fools all day, whereas a few countries celebrate jokes only until noon such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa.

Car and Driver claimed that GM and Chrysler were ordered out of NASCAR by the White House by the end of 2009 in order to receive any more government loans. There are press releases about this short-lived prank which received controversial feedback.

The Swiss Tourism Board has announced that volunteers were desperately needed, The Association of Mountain Cleaners “makes sure that our holiday guests can always enjoy perfect mountains. Using brooms, brushes, water and muscle power, they clean the rocks of any bird droppings.”

This year Gmail produced a new autopilot feature for April 1, 2009 which can read your email and automatically respond to every message.

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BMW released its new Magnetic Tow Technology which allows your BMW to magnetically attach to the vehicle ahead of you. This enhanced technology allows the driver to remove their foot from the gas pedal and turn off the motor.

The Guardian proposed its move to Twitter, which would allow the newspaper to fit its article content into 140 character messages or “tweets”. Included in this venture was the archiving of past events reported by The Guardian, such as, “1927 OMG first successful transatlantic air flight wow, pretty cool! Boring day otherwise *sigh*”

Google’s technological break through for April Fool’s Day was CADIE, (Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity). By extracting internet search patterns combined with Brain Search, a part of CADIE technology, Google can now search your thoughts and memories.

Wikipedia even fooled Fox News who claimed that “every item on the home page of the user-generated site Wikipedia is fake. The featured Wikipedia article regaled the “Museum of Bad Art” in Boston.” However, each item on the main page was based on reality — even news articles such as NASA reports a shower of diamonds over the Republic of Sudan, which was based on a meteorite which passed over Sudan whose fragments did reveal diamonds upon discovery.

The Conficker Internet worm had been in the news warning of a worst case scenario when computers worldwide would be affected by the virus. Even the chief security adviser for Microsoft, Ed Gibson, didn’t want to make any predictions about what would happen. Experts just knew that it was set to go off on April 1. Several anomalous happenings were attributed to Conficker including Leroy “Mac” MacElrie who claimed to be the programmer of the Conficker worm and turned himself in to police.

Hotels.com ran an advertisement offering hotel room bookings on the moon which would be offered on European websites starting at £800 a night.

Qualcomm ingeniously revealed a new wireless networking technology called wireless convergence. Making use of the flight patterns of pigeons. They then use innovative solutions to converge the birds with wolves to protect the internal improvements.

Media outlets were not the only ones pulling pranks. Gaming websites across the internet Blizzard, Joystiq, and affiliates posted reviews and announcements of games with tongue in cheek. YouTube offered viewers a unique April Fool’s experience as videos were offered upside down. In Ireland, U2 fans received a U2opia concert on a shopping centre roof top concert rather than the real thing.

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Tips For Kitchen And Bathroom Plumbing Design

Tips for Kitchen and Bathroom Plumbing Design

by

smartphones When designing the plumbing for your kitchen and bathroom, its important that the fixtures you install match the dcor in your home. Whether you want to go fancy and showy or stick to subdued and plain, your fixtures shouldnt stick out like a sore thumb, they should blend in and harmonise with the existing furnishings. The design of your bathrooms and kitchen should also be compatible with your lifestyle and the size of your family. In this age of environmental decline, its also important that you install eco-friendly fixtures wherever possible. Fixtures that save or recycle water or prevent leaks are not only good for the environment, they are great for your pocketbook as well. With eco-friendly fixtures you will save money in the long run and you will be able to sleep at night knowing that you are doing your part to make the world a better place. Here are a few tips to help you choose options that fit in with your dcor, that suit your family and lifestyle, and that are environmentally-friendly. The material the fixtures are made of is a good starting place. Is your homes dcor more traditional, more modern, or just minimalist and bare bones? Traditionally-decorated kitchens and bathrooms might benefit from copper faucets and fixtures with traditional lines. If your home has more of a modern look to it, nickel and chrome faucets will probably look good, and horizontal lines or dramatic curves will fit in beautifully. If you are going for the minimalist look, choose simple fixtures. If you have small children, you might not want to get fixtures that are delicate or dangerous. Sharp edges should probably be traded in for rounded corners, and hard plastic might be a better option than delicate crystal. When deciding on kitchen plumbing design, how much use your kitchen will be subjected to should be a major factor in which fixtures you choose. If its just you, a small, single-bowl sink will probably be enough. If you are feeding an army, you may need a double- or even triple-bowl sink for more space and flexibility. Installing low-flow faucet and shower heads will help you to conserve water and contribute toward a more eco-friendly home. With todays emphasis on the environment, it shouldnt be difficult to find low-flow faucets and shower heads that are both environment-friendly and stylish. These are a worthwhile investment to make, not only for the peace of mind you will get when you know you are doing your part to save the planet, but also for the money you will save on all the water that you are conserving. When installing your kitchen and bathroom plumbing fixtures, choosing a good plumber from the huge variety of plumbing services available is an essential step toward saving money and hassle. A good plumber is one that is qualified, insured, and careful. He or she should be clear about what the work will cost and not try to slip in any hidden expenses behind your back. Contracting quality, professional plumbing services is an art that may require quite a bit of searching before you finally settle on the right plumber, but it will be worth it in the long run. The right kitchen and bathroom design plus the right plumbing services is a winning combination that cant be beaten. More at Plumber NewcastleNewcastle PlumberNewcastle Plumbing

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NHL: Stars advance in eighth-longest playoff game

Monday, May 5, 2008

Brenden Morrow scored the game-winning goal, 9:03 into the fourth overtime, as the Dallas Stars defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1. The goal gave the Stars a 4-games-to-2 series win, and they advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they’ll face the Detroit Red Wings.

The game, which took 5 hours and 17 minutes to complete, was marked by the play of goalies Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov, who combined for 114 saves.

In the second period, the Stars took a 1-0 lead with an Antti Miettinen goal. However, early in the third period, Ryane Clowe tied the game at 1, with a wrist shot that soared past the outstretched glove of Stars goalie Marty Turco.

As the game went into overtime, both teams fought hard for early chances. Both Turco and Nabokov turned away great chances, including a glove save by Nabokov that appeared to pull his glove above — but not over — the goal line; while the goal light briefly went off, referee Tim Peel waved off the goal immediately. A video review confirmed that the shot was not a goal. The Stars outshot the Sharks 18-11 in the first OT.

In the second overtime period, the Sharks outshot Dallas a staggering 11-2, but Turco continued to keep the puck out of the net. A third OT hooking penalty against Nicklas Grossman gave the Sharks the first power play since the second period of regulation, but they were unable to even get a shot on goal, and did not capitalize on the man advantage

8:14 into the fourth overtime, a tripping penalty to Brian Campbell gave the Stars a power play. 49 seconds into the power play, forward Brenden Morrow redirected a Stephane Robidas shot to the right of Nabokov, his seventh goal of the playoffs.

Turco made 61 saves on 62 shots for the win. Nabokov made 53 saves in the loss.

The game is the eighth-longest playoff game in NHL history, and the third-longest in Stars history. In 2003, the Stars were defeated by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in a five-overtime thriller. A 2007 game saw the Stars defeated in four overtimes by the Vancouver Canucks.

Dallas avoided a deciding Game 7, which would have been held in San Jose. The Stars won the first three games of the series, but strong performances by San Jose, including a Game 5 overtime win, narrowed the series to 3-2.

The Stars advance to face the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals. Game 1 of that series is scheduled for Thursday, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

The Eastern Conference Finals, meanwhile, is an all-Pennsylvania matchup, as the Pittsburgh Penguins, who clinched their series with a 3-2 overtime victory on Sunday, face off against the rival Philadelphia Flyers. Game 1 will be held at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh on Friday.

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Pfizer and Microsoft team up against Viagra spam

Sunday, February 13, 2005

New York –”Buy cheap Viagra through us – no prescription required!” Anyone with an active email account will recognize lines like this one. According to some reports, unsolicited advertisements (spam) for Viagra and similar drugs account for one in four spam messages.

BACKGROUND

Spamming remains one of the biggest problems facing email users today. While users and systems administrators have improved their defenses against unsolicited email, many spammers now insert random words or characters into their letters in order to bypass filters. The Wikipedia article Stopping email abuse provides an overview of the various strategies employed by companies, Internet users and systems administrators to deal with the issue.

Ever since pharmaceutical giant Pfizer promised to cure erectile dysfunction once and for all with its blue pills containing the drug sildenafil citrate, spammers have tried to tap into male anxiety by offering prescription-free sales of unapproved “generic” Viagra and clones such as Cialis soft tabs. Legislation like the U.S. CAN-SPAM act has done little to stem the tide of email advertising the products.

Now Pfizer has entered a pledge with Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest software company, to address the problem. The joint effort will focus on lawsuits against spammers as well as the companies they advertise. “Pfizer is joining with Microsoft on these actions as part of our shared pledge to reduce the sale of these products and to fight the senders of unsolicited e-mail that overwhelms people’s inboxes,” said Jeff Kindler, executive vice president at Pfizer.

Microsoft has filed civil actions against spammers advertising the websites CanadianPharmacy and E-Pharmacy Direct. Pfizer has filed lawsuits against the two companies, and has taken actions against websites which use the word “Viagra” in their domain names. Sales of controlled drugs from Canadian pharmacies to the United States are illegal, but most drugs sold in Canada have nevertheless undergone testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is not the case for many of the Viagra clones sold by Internet companies and manufactured in countries like China and India. While it was not clear that CanadianPharmacy was actually shipping drugs from Canada, Pfizer’s general counsel, Beth Levine, claimed that the company filled orders using a call center in Montreal, reported the Toronto Star.

For Microsoft’s part, they allege that the joint effort with Pfizer is part of their “multi-pronged attack on the barrage of spam.” As the creator of the popular email program Outlook, Microsoft has been criticized in the past for the product’s spam filtering process. Recently, Microsoft added anti-spam measures to its popular Exchange server. Exchange 2003 now includes support for accessing so-called real-time block lists, or RTBLs. An RTBL is a list of the IP addresses maintained by a third party; the addresses on the list are those of mailservers thought to have sent spam recently. Exchange 2003 can query the list for each message it receives.

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Mumbai officials demolish 39K shanties; 200K homeless

December 25, 2004

Officials in Mumbai, India, demolished over 6,000 shanties today in a push to eradicate the capital city’s slums. In total, 39,000 shanties have been flattened, displacing over 200,000 people, in the city’s biggest-ever demolition drive, which began in early December.

When complete, over 2 million people are expected to be displaced. After wiping out the least desirable shanties, next in line for demolition are the illegal ‘well-off’ shanties and neighborhoods, according to the legal and bureaucratic motions that have been executed toward cleaning up Mumbai’s appearance by lowering the dominance of shanties, which make up 62 percent of Mumbai’s housing.

“As far as eye can see, there are mounds of wood, tin and tarpaulin, the remains of 6,200 illegal homes, flattened by a heavy excavator running on tank-like tracks and giant motorised claws,” the Indian Express reported about today’s destruction. [1]

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said that citizens would see a change within six months. “Every chief minister likes to be remembered, and I’m no exception,” said Deshmukh, who despite having an empty exchequer, also announced that Rs 31,000 crore will be spent on new roads, sea links and rail lines. [2]

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Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai discharged from hospital

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for campaigning for education for girls, was discharged yesterday from the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, England after success in the first stage of her medical treatment.

In October, Yousafzai was shot by Taliban forces on a school bus in Mingora, Swat District, Pakistan. She was given emergency treatment in Pakistan and then flown to Britain for treatment at a specialist unit which deals with injured soldiers.

Dave Rosser, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust medical director, gave a statement about Yousafzai’s release from hospital: “Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery. Following discussions with Malala and her medical team, we decided that she would benefit from being at home with her parents and two brothers. She will return to the hospital as an outpatient and our therapies team will continue to work with her at home to supervise her onward care.”

She is due to return to hospital in a few weeks for cranial reconstructive surgery.

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Football: Both Manchester teams out of Europe as Bilbao and Sporting profit

Sunday, March 18, 2012

They might be occupying first and second place in the Premier League back in England, but Manchester United and Manchester City were defeated following the second legs of their respective UEFA Europa League ties.

March 15, 2012
Athletic Bilbao 2 – 1 Manchester United Estadio San Mamés, Bilbao Attendance: 40,000 Referee: C. Çak?r
Llorente 23’de Marcos 65′ (agg 5 – 3) Rooney 80′

Manchester United went into their game against Athletic Bilbao seeking to overcome a 3–2 deficit dealt in the first leg; they were soundly defeated.

Bilbao began the game strongly, immediately pressing United and looking to attack whenever possible. The English side were the first to strike, with left midfielder Ashley Young’s early shot needing a block to stay out. Iker Muniain saw his 14th minute shot strike a post, and Óscar de Marcos miss the rebound, as Bilbao worked to break United’s defence down.

The opener came on 23 minutes, with young Spaniard Fernando Llorente converting from Fernando Amorebieta’s lobbed through ball after completely fooling the United back four. The game ended early for Llorente, as he was forced off the pitch after an injury.

The Manchester side picked up their game in the second half; they were continually thwarted by the host’s defences. Bilbao remained at their high tempo to prevent any sort of response, and soon full back Andoni Iraola knocked wide after an impressive run.

Bilbao’s lead was doubled on 65 minutes as de Marcos converted from a floated cross by Iraola from the right, and the club never looked like slipping up throughout the rest of the game. Wayne Rooney, playing as a lone striker for United, finally gave his club’s fans their money’s worth with ten minutes left to play as he hit home from long range.

It was surely a humbling defeat for a team pushing to beat their city rivals to their domestic title, inflicted by seventh-placed Bilbao of La Liga. It means that for only the first time in ten years, Manchester United have failed to reach a cup final.


March 15, 2012
Manchester City 3 – 2 Sporting Clube de Portugal City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester Attendance: 38,021 Referee: T. H. Hagen
Agüero 60′, 82’Balotelli 75′ (pen) (agg 3 – 3)Sporting win onaway goals Fernández 33’van Wolfswinkel 40′

Portugal’s Sporting Club had beaten Manchester City 1–0 at home, and only needed to consolidate that result in Manchester. The hosts put up a spirited fightback in the closing minutes; it was not enough to avoid elimination.

A slow first half from a full-strength City side meant they were easily contained by the visitors, and indeed Sporting were first to test the goalkeeper. Xandão’s header early on was a sign of things to come for City, and they opening the scoring on 33 minutes with a free kick taken directly by Matías Fernández.

Just seven minutes later the Manchester team were beaten again, as Marat Izmailov set up a pinpoint cross allowing Dutchman Ricky van Wolfswinkel to tap in a close-range finish and make it 3–0 on aggregate.

Despite trailing by three, City looked far more determined in the first half. Their first goal of the two legs came after an hour, as Argentinian international Sergio Agüero finished off Yaya Touré’s good pass from just inside the penalty box.

Agüero assisted in the second goal, in a way; after falling from a poor tackle by Sporting defender Renato Neto, the hosts were awarded a penalty kick. Mario Balotelli duly took the ball past Rui Patricio to level the scores on the night.

Late substitute Edin Džeko nodded a good corner from Aleksandar Kolarov towards Agüero, who was left completely open at the far post, who made no mistake with his finish to put Manchester City ahead with eight minutes left to play.

An action-packed eight minutes was topped off by City goalkeeper Joe Hart, who got his head onto a ball drifted from the host’s corner but was denied by a good save from Patricio. Sporting struggled to withstand intense pressure, but held out to win the tie on the away goals rule.

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