Showing posts with label swine flu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label swine flu. Show all posts

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Help!! I must be sicker than I thought

Having just got over the maybe Swine flu (perhaps) and taken the course of Tamiflu anti-virals I thought I was a safe, wrong. It seems that the system does not include telling one’s GP that one has had said Porkie flu (I think) and taken Tamiflu.

Because the “morning post” Ha firkin Ha has just arrived and amongst the bills and insurance offers there was an envelope from my esteemed GP surgery, which contained three pieces of type/printer written paper.

The first was an invite to have the “seasonal flu jab”, saying “While most healthy people can withstand a bout of flu, the elderly, those patients with heart or chest problems, and diabetic patients are all at risk of serious complications and a worsening of their medical condition.”

The second was from the Dept Of Half arsed ideas (DOH) offering me a grant from the ‘warm front team’ with a mention of the flu jab.

And the third was an invite from ‘all and sundry’ at the surgery to have an H1N1 Porkie flu jab.

And I quote “I would like to inform you that we are now in receipt of the H1N1 Flu Vaccine, your doctor recommends that you attend the surgery to receive this vaccine”, and a nice little leaflet stating that “Adults and children over six months of age who have a long term health condition including:-chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological diseases, diabetes mellitus and immunosuppression caused by a disease or treatment for a disease. For example, this may include people who do not have a spleen, and people whom are on immunosuppressant treatment or are taking high doses of systemic steroids.”

If I didn’t have the runs before I bloody well have now, I was unaware that I had any of the above mentioned diseases, my Doc certainly hasn’t told me, and I don’t remember any tests to confirm any disease, and I am fairly sure having a higher than normal cholesterol level doesn’t qualify.

So why am I in the priority group? What is it they are not telling me? Or does being 58 suddenly qualify me as “old”

Doomed! I’m doomed!




Angus Dei politico

Sunday, 22 November 2009

A Medical Experiment-Porkie Flu-Day Five

Day five on the “T” drug, seems much longer, more like 120 hours, temp still normal, still ache a bit, still feel weak, but the hacking cough has mostly subsided.

Still have a headache and sinus pain, and still have the “funny” taste in my mouth, but overall I feel much better.

Has the Tamiflu made any difference? Not sure but I think that the cough would have been much worse and persisted longer without it.

I know that most blogging Doctors are not in favour of Tamiflu and think that it makes very little difference if any, but I would like to say that if it is Swine Flu (and I still don’t know) or even “Seasonal Flu” every little helps, the stocks held have I presume been paid for and the side effects, for me at least have been minor, so before consigning it to the bin.

A snippet from: Walk a Mile

If I could be you, if you could be me
For just one hour, if we could find a way
To get inside each other's mind

If you could see you through my eyes
Instead your own ego
I believe you'd be
I believe you'd be surprised to see
That you've been blind

Walk a mile in my shoes
just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Then walk a mile in my shoes

These five posts have not been an endorsement of Tamiflu, more of a diary of a bad week, for some “Swine Flu” is mild, for others severe, the side effects of the drug can be the same, mild or severe, but what we must remember is that people are different, some may refuse the drug, and some may take it, it depends on that person.

For me one of the reasons I took Tamiflu is that I live alone, as do millions of others in the country, and if things took a turn for the worst I would be right in the brown runny stuff, I managed to catch the flu back in 1968 and spent five days “out of it”, and several weeks unable to function, but then I had “M” who looked after me, now I don’t, so self preservation was part of the reason for my “experiment”.

As the old saying goes “you pays your money and you takes your choice”, I did and have, for me it was a chance worth taking.




Angus Dei politico

Friday, 20 November 2009

A Medical Experiment-Porkie Flu-Day Three

Woke up early this morn, feeling much better (famous last words), aches have gone, just feel stiff (I wish) and weak, sore throat gone, temp down to 37.8C, still got the sinus pain and sadly the tinnitus.

The cough has gone, and no side effects of trotters cough medication, no nausea or up-chucking, apart from some projectile runs but that may be down to the Lemsip.

I will continue to take the Tamiflu for the required time and although I hate to say it, it seems to be helping.

But cynic that I am there is still time for it all to go tits up.

Proper post to follow.




Angus Dei politico

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A Medical Experiment-Porkie Flu-Day Two

Still haven't changed the date on the camera'

Slept OK-ish last night, woke up with a headache, blocked nose, sinus pain, aching muscles and a temp of 39.6C(up) but the cough seems to have lessened.

The appetite is shot now, don’t feel hungry at all, but the Tamiflu should be taken with food, so I had a milky coffee to wash it down.

In the interests of science I will not be taking any Lemsip today, just Paracetamol which I know lowers the temperature and helps with the aches, and of course the anti trotters cough miracle drug Tamiflu.

No nausea or vomiting to report, but one interesting “side effect”, the tinnitus I have put up with for five years went away last night, but it has returned this morning.

All in all I feel worse today, but I am sure that the wonderful “T” drug will have me leaping about in no time, or not.

Still don’t know if it is “seasonal” or swine flu and being diagnosed by computer and told to stay in it is unlikely I will ever find out, unless of course I come down with it again (whatever it is) in which case I can’t get more Tamiflu and I will have to visit the doctor to get anti-virals but as I won’t be able to go out for five days or so it seems a bit pointless.

Which also leaves me in a quandary regarding the “Flu Jab” which is normally given to me on my “review” at the Docs in November, do I don’t I?

Live is a sneeze and then...............

Many thanks for your well wishes, if I feel better later I may try to do a ‘normal’ post.




Angus Dei politico

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

A medical experiment-Porkie Flu

According to the infallible National Pandemic Flu Service Angus has got trotters cough, or H1N1, or swine flu as it is lovingly known.

I have checked my symptoms against the list and have been issued with an authorisation number for anti-virals.

I know I have said many times that I wouldn’t touch Tamiflu with Gordon Brown’s, but in the interest of science I have decided to prostitute myself for the public good , and anyway, every little helps.

Add that to the fact that I am a man and can’t take any pain or discomfort without falling into bed for a week, and Tamiflu is nearing its sell by date it seems the sensible thing to do.

All I have to find now is a “Flu Friend” to go and get the things for me and I am all set.

What are the symptoms of swine flu?
The symptoms of swine flu are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal flu. People with swine flu typically have a fever or high temperature (over 38°C/100.4°F) and two or more of the following symptoms:

unusual tiredness, -Yes
headache -Yes
runny nose, - Yes
sore throat -Yes
shortness of breath or cough, -Oh yes
Loss of appetite, - No, at least not yet.
aching muscles, -Yes
diarrhoea or vomiting.- Sort of

Plus a temperature of 38.9 C,

Up to now I have been taking Lemsip, and resting, so if I may I would like to do a daily diary of how much I am suffering and the difference if any Tamiflu makes, this is of course in order to give a totally impartial view of the treatment and to illicit as much sympathy and parcels of goodies etc as I can.

As I will be confined to the house for a while I staggered out at 11pm last night to stock up on necessities so that I wouldn’t infect anyone else.

So keep tuned in to this channel for the next few days and be staggered at the scientific analysis of trotters cough.

If the posts suddenly stop, I will probably be dead, so don’t bother to leave comments.




Angus Dei politico

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Saturday Snippets

$153,000 per tooth, Numpty Council, Water is Wet, Soprano Splashdown and Burning barges

It’s OK; whoever took the Sun yesterday has returned it, so all is well in the Angus garden.

I see that the BBC has an article about Swine Flu (now there’s a surprise), the WHO (World Health Organisation, not the group) has said healthy patients who catch swine flu do not need to be treated with Tamiflu.

Antiviral drugs should be used in patients who are severely ill or those in high-risk groups including the under fives and pregnant women, it said.

The cost of the drug and the potential for resistance were taken into account by the expert panel.

But the UK government said it was taking a "safety first" approach by offering anti-virals to everyone.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said they would keep the policy under review.

The UK has stockpiled enough antivirals - the mainstay of treatment until a vaccine becomes available - to cover half the population.

They are being offered in England to anyone who has the symptoms of swine flu - in many cases through the national pandemic flu helpline.

In the last week almost 46,000 courses of antivirals were handed out in England.

It is not the first time prescribing of antiviral drugs has come under scrutiny.

Earlier this month research suggested that the drugs should not be used in children because they rarely prevent complications but yet carry side effects.

Well, I suppose the Gov has to use up the Tamiflu they (we) have paid for especially since it is nearing it’s sell by date.

Anyway, first up:

Elizabeth Smith went to a dental clinic in South Carolina to have three teeth pulled, sadly the Dentist got carried away and removed all sixteen teeth from her upper jaw; thirteen too many.

She sued (of course) and was awarded $2 million ($153,000 per tooth), One of Smith's lawyers, Robert Ransom, said the woman plans to have restorative surgery as soon as possible.

That's estimated to cost about $80,000.Clinic attorney Saunders Bridges said he is considering an appeal.

Couple of points: why didn’t the dentist notice, and more importantly why didn’t Ms Smith notice after number four?

Rochdale Time Warp

Apparently it is December in Rochdale; it must be because the Council are putting up the Christmas decorations, including light decorations of traditional Christmas symbols, a giant Noel sign and Santa Claus, plus a penguin on skis.

But the council say the lights have gone up early to celebrate festivals for other faiths including the Hindu festival of Diwali in October and the Muslim festival of Eid, starting on September 20.
A spokesman for the council said: 'We're getting into the festive spirit early this year!

'Festive lights will be installed across the borough by October 19 and the work is under way now.
'These lights will be used to celebrate a number of festivals, commencing with Eid next month.'

Interesting that, I didn’t know that Diwali and Eid included the religious symbols of Santa Claus and a skiing penguin.

Numptys of the first order.

Amazing isn’t it, when you spill water onto a concrete floor it becomes slippery, especially when Dolphins are involved.

A woman is suing a Chicago-area zoo for a 2008 fall near a dolphin exhibit, accusing zookeepers of encouraging the mammals to splash water and then failing to protect spectators from wet surfaces, local media reported on Thursday.

In her suit filed earlier this week, Allecyn Edwards said she was injured while walking near an exhibit at Brookfield Zoo, where a group of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins were performing, media said.

Officials "recklessly and wilfully trained and encouraged the dolphins to throw water at the spectators in the stands, making the floor wet and slippery," but failed to post warning signs or lay down protective mats or strips, the suit said, according to the reports.

Edwards is demanding more than $50,000 for lost wages, medical expenses and emotional trauma from the Chicago Zoological Society and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, which operate the zoo in Chicago's southwest suburbs.

The suit was filed in Illinois' Circuit Court of Cook County.

I didn’t know dolphins could “throw water”

Puerto Rican opera singer Ana Maria Martinez has been taken to hospital after falling into the orchestra pit at Glyndebourne, a spokeswoman for the British festival said.

The award-winning soprano sustained minor injuries in the accident while playing the title role in Rusalka at the major opera festival in Sussex, southern England.

She was discharged after being checked by an orthopaedic surgeon.

"The performance of Rusalka was stopped just before the end of Act Onefollowing an accident on the stage involving Ana Maria Martinez," the spokeswoman said
"Ms Martinez fell into the orchestra pit. Despite Ana Maria wanting to continue with the performance, she was immediately taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

Martinez was "a little bruised" but "fine" and was sent home to recover, the spokeswoman added.

Fortunately, no-one else was hurt in the incident.

In her next scheduled appearance following Glyndebourne, Martinez is due to perform in concert with Domingo in Caracas on September 2, followed by dates in Colombia and Peru.

Wearing a parachute I presume.

And finally:

175,000 spectators turned out in Bournemouth to watch the world record-breaking fireworks display, tourism bosses boasted that the launch of 110,000 fireworks along the shoreline of the coastal town would be visible from outer space.

Sadly Sod’s law intervened and the display, scheduled to last for a minute, fizzled out after just six-and-a-half seconds and ended with the launch barge catching fire. The ‘Roar on the Shore’ event was quickly dubbed ‘Bore on the Shore’.

“It was very disappointing - not so much a roar as a growl,” said Ruth Downing, a local resident. “We thought it would be rockets exploding in the sky in this amazing fireworks display, but instead if you blinked you would have missed it.

It was just a big bang, a blinding flash and then flames. That was probably the most exciting bit because it looked like the barge was on fire.”

The company behind the display blamed the weather. Jon Culverhouse, managing director of Fantastic Fireworks, said technicians had fused the rockets to explode quickly because rain was forecast, but did not foresee them going off quite so fast. “It was always our aim to get the rockets up in the shortest possible time in order to claim the record but we didn’t expect them to go up in 6.5 seconds.”

A spokesman for Bournemouth Tourism said the event had attracted the biggest crowd to the town’s seafront in more than 15 years. “It didn’t meet everybody’s expectations, which is unfortunate.

But the good news is that the display succeeded in breaking the record for the most fireworks set off in under 60 seconds.

Oh well that’s alright then.

Sorry about the formatting errors but blogger seems to be on holiday today.




Angus Dei politico

Sunday, 16 August 2009

The Sunday Section

Mrs Christ, Saucy squeeze, Blowin in the wind, Down over and swine flu (again)

Sunday again, it only seems six days or so since the last one, doesn’t time fly.

First up:

From over the pond: A Jacksonville woman who said she is Jesus Christ's wife was charged with fraud Monday when she tried to purchase a car with a bad check.Emma Kim-Tashis Harrison, 25, walked into the Coggin Pontiac dealership on Blanding Boulevard looking for some new wheels.

She settled on a vehicle that cost almost $70,000, but things hit a snag when she grabbed her chequebook, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrest report.

A representative from a bank in California informed the dealership's financial manager that the account Harrison supplied was bad. So were the names on the check. It was signed "Mr. and Mrs. Jesus and Emma Christ."Officers who detained Harrison found a host of credit cards and checks in her purse, some issued to Emma Harrison and others made out to Emma Christ.

She said she doesn't work but owns "a travelling Web site that people just deposit money into," according to the report.

Investigators also discovered Harrison has never had a driver's license. She was charged with organized fraud, forging bank bills and uttering forged bills — all felonies.She remains in the Duval County jail without bail.

And the best bit-

And where was her husband in all this?

She said Jesus Christ would return next week to sign the paperwork and pick up the car.

The strange thing is that if the cheque was good they would have sold “Mrs Christ” the car.

It appears that the new Heinz squeezy Tomato ketchup bottle isn’t squeezy enough, the lightweight bottle, launched in April, was designed to save 340 tonnes of plastic.But sauce lovers complained that the new design made it hard to squeeze out the last of their ketchup so a replacement is on its way

Here’s a good idea, to save all that plastic and make it truly recyclable, why don’t they manufacture it in GLASS, oh no, wasn’t that the way it used to be?

It can happen to the best of us: - Rock legend Bob Dylan was treated like a complete unknown by police in a New Jersey shore community when a resident called to report someone wandering around the neighbourhood.

Dylan was in Long Branch, about a two-hour drive south of New York City, on July 23 as part of a tour with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp that was to play at a baseball stadium in nearby Lakewood.

A 24-year-old police officer apparently was unaware of who Dylan is and asked him for identification, Long Branch business administrator Howard Woolley said Friday.

"I don't think she was familiar with his entire body of work," Woolley said.

The incident began at 5 p.m. when a resident said a man was wandering around a low-income, predominantly minority neighbourhood several blocks from the oceanfront looking at houses.

The police officer drove up to Dylan, who was wearing a blue jacket, and asked him his name.
According to Woolley, the following exchange ensued:
"What is your name, sir?" the officer asked.

"Bob Dylan," Dylan said.

"OK, what are you doing here?" the officer asked.

"I'm on tour," the singer replied.

A second officer, also in his 20s, responded to assist the first officer. He, too, apparently was unfamiliar with Dylan, Woolley said.

The officers asked Dylan for identification Dylan said that he didn't have any ID with him, that he was just walking around looking at houses to pass some time before that night's show.

The officers asked Dylan, 68, to accompany them back to the Ocean Place Resort and Spa, where the performers were staying. Once there, tour staff vouched for Dylan.

So Bob, How does it feel?

A Dutchman and his grandson boarded a flight to Sydney, looking forward to visiting sunny Australia, but ended up in a much chillier Sydney -- in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Joannes Rutten, 71, and his 15-year-old grandson Nick booked the trip through a Dutch travel agency with plans to visit family living in Wollongong and Tallong, south of Sydney, according to local newspaper the Illawarra Mercury.

They set out from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport with Air Canada on Saturday but instead of arriving to views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, they touched down at Sydney in Cape Breton Island, off Canada's north east coast -- more than 17,000 kms (10,000 miles) away from their intended destination.

Air Canada organized hotel rooms in the wrong Sydney, a former mining town with high unemployment and a population of about 26,000, until they could arrange flights on to the right Sydney, which boasts sun-kissed beaches and 4 million people.

They finally arrived in Australia on Wednesday.

"I think it was quite an adventure for the 15-year-old. They're not seasoned travellers. Joannes was absolutely exhausted when he arrived," Rutten's cousin, Yvonne Wallace, from Wollongong, told the newspaper.

It is not the first time travellers have mixed up the Sydney’s.

In August 2002, British tourists Raeoul Sebastian and Emma Nunn from London spent their holiday in Nova Scotia after thinking they were flying to Australia.

Last year, Monique Rozanes Torres Aguero from Argentina flew into the wrong Sydney for her vacation but decided to stay after befriending a local woman at the airport, according to the Cape Breton Post.

No one from Air Canada was immediately available to comment.

What’s in a name? About ten thousand miles it seems.

And finally:

I wrote about this on a certain medical blog some time ago, which of course I can’t find, but it seems to have raised its ugly head again.

Doctors have been put on alert for cases of a nerve disease following the introduction of a vaccine for swine flu, it has emerged.

Health chiefs said there was an increased risk of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome after a flu-like illness, but stressed there was no evidence linking it to the vaccination.

The syndrome, which affects about 1,500 people a year in the UK, attacks the nervous system and can result in temporary paralysis.

Its exact cause is unclear but many people affected by it have had a viral or bacterial infection a few weeks earlier.

A Health Protection Agency (HPA) spokesman said enhanced surveillance was "routine" when introducing a new vaccine.

More than 13 million people in the UK, including people with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, renal disease or with a compromised immune system, will get the jab from October. It is anticipated the normal seasonal flu vaccine may be given at the same time.

The spokesman said: "Guillain-Barre syndrome has long been identified as a potential adverse event that would require enhanced surveillance following the introduction of a pandemic vaccine, but there is no evidence to suggest there is an increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome from this vaccine.

"There is robust evidence that no increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome arises from seasonal flu vaccination.

"Establishing enhanced surveillance on Guillain-Barre syndrome has always been part of our pandemic plan because there is an increased risk of this disease after a flu-like illness.

"The HPA is working in collaboration with the Association of British Neurologists Surveillance Unit (BNSU) and the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (BPSU) who will ask clinicians to report each month whether they have seen any cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome."

You pays your money and takes your choice.


Angus Dei politico


Friday, 7 August 2009

Punt hunt, Swine flu survival kit, No Post today, NEETS, Body painting and Biggs

Strange start to the day, there was a power cut at six, which lasted fifteen minutes, the Rat faced Bat cat has finally lost it (see above), the weather is dark and dingy, and I have had to reset all the “electronics” in the house.

First up:

Two thieves who raided a boatyard but failed to steal a car instead used a punt as a getaway vehicle with predictable results.

On a "drunken night" James Parkinson, 26, and Khushmet Bardell, 24, broke into 18 boats moored in a boatyard and stole various items including two TV monitors, an electric generator and an assortment of alcohol, Huntingdon Magistrates' Court was told.

After a failed attempt to steal a car the pair and two accomplices loaded their hoard on to a nearby punt and tried to make an escape down a river, but were spotted by a police officer using night vision goggles.

The officer tracked the men until they pulled the punt to the side of the river and began unloading the stolen goods, when they were arrested by police, in the early hours of Friday July 3.

Parkinson and Bardell both admitted three counts of theft and three of criminal damage at Jones Boatyard on Low Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire.

Their two accomplices, a 17-year-old youth and a 19-year-old woman, have been sentenced separately, Sylvia Cundell, prosecuting, said the four involved had been drinking and swimming in a lock near the boatyard.

As time went on they all got drunk and decided to steal from nearby boats which were moored on the riverbank and on the jetty.

Samantha Jewell, mitigating, said: "All parties consumed far too much alcohol and have been very foolish and wrong in their actions. The alcohol acted as a disinhibitor and unfortunately things seemed to get out of hand. They are both very remorseful for their actions."

Magistrates jailed Bardell, of The Crescent, St Ives, for six months for each of the three theft counts and two months for each of the three criminal damage charges, to be served concurrently.

Parkinson, of Thames Road, Huntingdon, was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court at a later date.

I suppose their time “inside” will go really slowly.

NEW YORK, NY – A new piece in Consumer Reports gives a list for how people can create their own swine flu survival kit.

The idea is that if the spread of the flu becomes so severe that citizens are confined to their homes, these are a list of things one “should” have on hand:

A two-week supply of food and water.

Fever reducers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, Cough and cold medications containing chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, oxymetazoline, and pseudoephedrine and lozenges with dyclonine, glycerin, or honey can help ease symptoms.

Electrolyte drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, to keep you hydrated.

Hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, such as Purell, to kill viruses when soap and water aren’t available.

Surgical masks with an FDA rating of at least N-95 to help prevent spreading the flu. Masks need to be replaced often and disposed of after use.

They also recommend general emergency supplies, such as:

At least three days’ worth of non-perishable food

At least one gallon of water per person, per day

A first-aid kit that includes any prescription or over-the-counter medications your family might need

Or you could just take a Lemsip and go to bed.

Up to 25,000 postal workers are due to start striking in a row over pay and jobs that is threatening huge disruption to mail deliveries.

The Communication Workers Union said members in areas including the West Country, London, East Anglia, the Midlands and Scotland would take industrial action on Friday, Saturday and Monday - the biggest outbreak of unrest since a national stoppage in 2007, with more disruption threatened in the coming months.

The union's executive has also decided to hold a national ballot of its 160,000 postal members in September which could lead to nationwide strikes in October.

Strikes have hit several areas of the country, notably London and parts of Scotland, in recent weeks in the dispute over pay, jobs and services. The action is now spreading to other parts of the country, and for the first time will involve drivers of Royal Mail's Lorries.

The Royal Mail condemned the strikes and clashed with the union over how many workers will take action, claiming it will only involve 12,000 employees.

Bosses said more than 90% of staff nationally will continue to work normally, and that with the exception of local strikes, the "vast majority" of customers' services will be operating normally over the next few days.

I agree with any workers right to strike, but the only people to suffer will be the public and business, including Royal mail, shooting yourself in the foot?

Teenagers who are out of education and work for a long period could have a one in six chance of being dead within 10 years, a top civil servant has claimed.

Youngsters who become "Neet" - not in education, employment or training - face not just difficulties and hardship, but "real dangers and a downward spiral" which can lead to them dying "very, very young", Jon Coles, director-general of schools at the Department for Children, Schools and Families said.

Mr Coles said there is a "social cost" of being outside the education and training system.

Citing anecdotal research carried out in a city in the North of England he had recently visited, Mr Coles said: "They had looked back a decade and they had examined what had happened to the long-term Neets of 10 years ago, where they were now and what had become of them.

"They found a number of interesting things, but they had found one profoundly shocking thing, which I still find profoundly shocking today, and that is that of their long-term Neet of 10 years ago, those who had been outside the system for a long period of time, whether because they were permanently excluded or simply because they had dropped out at the end of compulsory schooling and had not got into anything else, 15% of those young people of 10 years ago were dead by the time that the research was being done."

According to the latest Government figures, more than one in 10 (10.3%) of 16 to 18-year-olds were considered Neet in 2008, up from 9.7% in 2007. In addition, the number of 16 to 24-year-old Neets has soared as young people struggle to find a job in the recession. There are now 935,000 16 to 24-year-old Neets according to quarterly figures published in June, up from 810,000 for the same quarter last year.

According to the Youth Cohort Study, 1% of 16 to 18-year-olds are long-term Neets. Evidence from the British Birth Cohort Study suggests youngsters who are Neet between the ages of 16 to 18 are at greater risk of depression and poor health by the age of 21.

A DCSF spokeswoman said the research could not be seen as representative of the whole country. But she added: "It is clear that young people who are Neet are at greater risk of poor health and negative outcomes in later life, which is one of the key reasons we see reducing the Neet numbers as such a high priority

Well, the Government has only had ten years or so to address this appalling situation.

A British woman, Carolyn Roper, has been crowned World Body painting Champion for the second time.

Miss Roper, 27, won the competition held in Austria last month after taking seven hours to paint her model and entering him in the body painting special FX category.

Her art work shows naked models covered in a host of flamboyant and colourful designs.

More than 23,000 visitors attended the weekend-long event in Seeboden to see over 100 artists from more than 40 countries compete in a variety of categories.

The colourful theme of competition was "Spirituality beyond the visible eye" and to fit in with that Miss Roper took her inspiration from a book about good and bad fairies.

Each of the tiny fairies moulded on to the painted body took months of designing and involved pain-staking casting and moulding to get the right look and fit.

The 3,000 prize follows her first title which she claimed in 2007 when she competed in the Brush and sponge category.

She was even asked to be a judge in the 2008 competition but decided to stick with the painting which she started while on an art and beauty therapy course at Suffolk College, in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in her teens.

She then went on to study a specialist make-up HND at West Thames College where she got her lucky break after trying to impress artist Storm Thorgerson by posing nude as one of his models.
Mr. Thorgerson, who Carolyn now works with on a regular basis, decided she was too short to be a model but did need help with make-up and took her on as a make-up artist.

She now helps Storm design body art paintings for the like of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and says that meeting him gave her a "lucky break".

More recently she has worked on album covers for musicians Biffy Cyro and rock band Muse, along with work for Jeans for Genes and a calendar for Cancer Research which raised £20,000.

I need to study this for a while longer, probably about an hour.

And finally:

Ronnie Biggs is to be released because he is dying, his “history” can be seen if you click the link above the pic, my personal view is that I really don’t care, why should I, he didn’t care about the man injured in the robbery, he didn’t want to serve his sentence, he fled the country and went to live in Brazil.

He only returned when he needed health care, which we are paying for, he has no remorse about his crime, and I have no remorse about saying “I don’t care” karma is something you cannot escape and karma has caught up with this man who is totally selfish and uncaring.

Good riddance.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Killer Chipmunks, Strippers, Mondays, Constipation and Jezza

Weather still iffy, woke up sneezing this morning, have a head ache, temperature, a cough and feel tired, Oh MY God It must be Swine flu, I would ring the “hot line” but I can’t get through, I would go to the web site but it has crashed, what do I do now, I know, I’ll go to bed with some Paracetamol after all it’s only a Summer cold.

First up:

They are calling for pet shops to be banned from selling the Siberian chipmunk, a small Asian rodent, whose population has surged in France after being abandoned as family pets after being imported from Asia.

Thousands living in the wild in France are believed to be carrying a tick which can lead to Lyme disease.

The disease targets the nervous system and can ultimately prove deadly.

Experts warned the public to be alert to the threat posed by the chipmunks. While impossibly cute, and tempting for visitors to buy or simply pick up and take home, they pose a genuine threat to public health.

"There is a particular problem in the woods around Paris, attributed mainly to people who bought the animals as family pets then got rid of them," said Guy Bruel, a naturalist.

"This is just the behaviour that will lead to the chipmunk getting to Britain in huge numbers, possibly as early as this summer."

You have been warned, but they are nice barbequed with a side salad.

This is known as cutting off your nose to spite your face:

A group of Alloa women who got their kit off, in a charity-fundraising "Calendar Girls" style, are a little miffed that Scottish Women's Aid has declined to benefit from the proceeds.

Domestic abuse victim Morag Hill and business partner Katherine Cram decided to emulate the famous Rylstone Women's Institute 2000 calendar, which raised £2m for charity and spawned a movie in which Helen Mirren cemented her reputation as "least clothed British actress of all time".

Of the 11 women who appear in the "Hair Bares" initiative, "five have suffered domestic abuse", the Scotsman explains. However, when Hill approached Scottish Women's Aid offering £600, she got a bit of a shock.

She explained: "When I phoned... to tell them we had a calendar and I needed to know how we could get the cash to them, the woman on the end of the phone said they would not be associated with it.

"She said that they did not support women taking their clothes off to raise money and that they were a feminist movement. It made me feel really angry."

A spokeswoman for the charity Zero Tolerance, though, described such calendars as "not the right way to highlight feminist issues".

She elaborated: "We would not take money from a calendar like that. We should be showcasing women for their talents and aspirations. Anything that focuses on women's bodies is not helpful.

"We live in a culture where female nudity is everywhere and there is too much female nudity… and not enough celebration of women's brains. It undermines our work to achieve gender equality."

The Alloa Calendar Girls hope to ultimately sell 2,000 copies of their fundraising product, although who will now benefit from the proceeds is not noted

It is for CHARITY you tunnel- visioned NIMBY’s

Common beliefs about suicide being more likely on Mondays and during the winter aren't really true; according to new research from the University of California, Riverside — summer is the most common season and Wednesday the most likely day.

July and August are the most common months for suicide, followed by April and May, finds the analysis, online in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. It is based on data on almost 132,000 suicides from 2000-2005, from the U.S. Multiple Cause of Death Files, at the National Centre for Health Statistics. The researchers found that 24.6% of suicides were on Wednesdays, with Thursdays the least likely day at just 11.1%.

The analysis, co-authored by sociology professor Augustine Kposowa, will be in print in August.

Kposowa says the common wisdom used to be that suicides were more likely on Mondays because the weekend had ended; however, he says Wednesday is right in the middle of the work week when stress is highest and the weekend is still farther away.

"Thursday is lowest because usually people are in better moods because the weekend is near," he says.

He also says the folklore about more suicides in winter never really was true because much past research has shown that suicide was more likely in the spring.

With the summer we are having I am not surprised!

There’s this Romanian, and he has had a few to drink, and he hasn’t been to the toilet for a while, “I know” he slurs to himself, I'll shove a couple of hammer heads up my arse, that will cure it. So he did.

Later the the intoxicated 48-year-old turned up at his local hospital complaining of excruciating stomach pain.

Worried doctors, in Orlea, southern Romania, carried out scans and were knocked sideways to find he had not one but TWO hammerheads stuck in his rear end.

Hospital spokeswoman Dr Cristina Bontescu said: "He was a bit drunk and said he had been eating cherries that had left him badly constipated (lucky he wasn’t a badger) if you don’t get that it’s your own fault for not reading my blog on a “regular” basis.

Anyway, "He said he had a few drinks to dull the pain and then came up with the idea of poking a hammerhead up his backside in the hope of sorting out the constipation.

"But the hammerhead got stuck and then he came up with the idea of using a second hammerhead in order to try and get out the first - but then he lost the second one as well."

Surgeons had to perform surgery to remove the offending objects.

Lucky he didn’t have access to power tools.
Jezza, the Hamster and Captain Slow are to recreate the “sewer escape” from the Italian job, in Belfast.

In the 1969 film starring Michael Caine, bank robber Charlie Croker and his gang make their getaway in three Mini-Coopers, tearing through the streets, buildings, rivers and drains of Turin with the police on their tail.

But the Top Gear stars have chosen to race their Minis through Belfast's six-mile sewer network instead.

A spokesman for the hit BBC show told the Daily Star they planned to film the race through the sewer network in the next few weeks.

Top Gear's recreation of one of the most iconic film car-chases of all time will be closer to the original than one might think. Although most of the The Italian Job was filmed in Italy, part of the famous car-chase was featuring Caine was actually shot in a sewer in Coventry.

So when we know the date, will all those in Belfast please flush at the same time.


Angus Dei politico


Sunday, 3 May 2009


As I said in yesterdays post “what recession” Miliband seeks private jet tender the government is seeking to rent a private jet for the use of Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

A tender for the hire of a charter aircraft was issued in February and will last two years, it is understood.

The ministerial code states that scheduled flights should be used unless deemed impractical.

The Foreign Office said its decision was aimed at securing value for money following changes in the availability of RAF flights for ministers.

A spokesman said: "Unlike a lot of other countries we don't have a Foreign Office plane.

"We always try to use commercial airlines but sometimes that is not practical. Until now we have been able to use the RAF in those circumstances.

"Changes in the RAF mean we need the ability to charter aircraft sometimes at short notice - value for money is a top priority."

In March last year, the government scrapped plans to buy two private jets to fly the prime minister and the Royal Family around the world, citing cost and environmental reasons.

Another do as I say, not what I do from our wonderful Government, let him fly Ryanair, and hopefully he will have to use the outside toilet.

I want one of those (but not a Skoda) Artist creates invisible car The 22-year-old student at the University of Central Lancashire spray painted a battered Skoda Fabia to match the car park and entrance to her art studio.

Her work, created as part of her drawing and image making course at the university, creates the illusion that the car is see through.

The car is reminiscent of the work by pavement artist Julian Beever, whose attempts to trick people's minds into seeing perspective on the flat surfaces of paving stones.

Here are some of his works:

This one isn't

Pot-Kettle: John Prescott's attack on the English language

A sample of Prezza’s “English language” -

Mr Prescott told the BBC show: “A bus is a good way to get over to campaigning. You know I’m into Facebooks and all that kind of new technology now. But I’m into face to face. You’ve got to go out in the market square.

“I undressed 450 students yesterday with Ed Miliband and Eddie Izzard and I did 300 last night.

“You have got to talk to our people and when I hear Charles Clarke saying it’s a shame, I have got to say ... bit of dayjay vu. They were the same people who crawled out of the woodwork last September, told us they were finished, Gordon should go.

Just stick to the pie and mash John; at least that will keep your mouth shut.

And finally:

Keep away from my pigs!

Farmers fear pigs may get swine flu from people KANSAS CITY (Reuters) - Humans have it.
Pigs don't. At least not yet, and U.S. pork producers are doing everything they can to make sure that the new H1N1 virus, known around the world as the "swine flu," stays out of their herds.

"That is the biggest concern, that your herd could somehow contract this illness from an infected person," said Kansas hog farmer Ron Suther, who is banning visitors from his sow barns and requiring maintenance workers, delivery men and other strangers to report on recent travels and any illness before they step foot on his property.

"If a person is sick, we don't want you coming anywhere on the farm," Suther said.

Those sentiments were echoed by producers around the nation this week as fears of a possible global flu pandemic grew, with more than 200 people sickened, including more than 100 in the United States, and at least 177 dead, all but one in Mexico.

"There is no evidence of this new strain being in our pig populations in the United States. And our concern very much is we don't want a sick human to come into our barns and transmit this new virus to our pigs," said National Pork Producers chief veterinarian Jennifer Greiner.

"If humans give it to pigs, we don't have things like Tamiflu for pigs. We don't have antivirals. We have no treatment other than to give them aspirin," said Greiner.

That reminds me I must make a bacon sandwich.

“We work in the dark, we do what we can, we give what we have, our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task, the rest is the madness of art.” Henry James


NHS Behind the headlines

Angus Dei politico