Saturday, 30 September 2006
Anyone with a message for John and Krissy should email Tammy (firstname.lastname@example.org) to include it in the John & Krissy J-land Gazette. You can also include a link to an entry, a graphic or just good wishes - anything welcome.
I feel very strongly that bullying of any sort is not acceptable. In my neck of the woods, one teenage girl took her own life, after bullies made her life hell. Complaints to the school did not work, no or insufficient action was taken. In another incident here, a teenage girl was subjected to such severe bullying that her mother placed her in a school several hundred miles away. Again, the school did not take action, and was not prepared to cooperate in the parents' wishes to remedy the situation by placing the girl in a school 40 miles away.
Tolerance is something that is very important for people of all ages to observe. We are all different, we are all unique. If someone is perceived to be fat, ugly, red-haired, squint-eyed or whatever they stand liable to be abused. If the person concerned finds it impossible to stand up to the bullies, others should step in to address the situation.
Please do not forget that bullying does not stop when you become an adult. The BBC website has some useful information, check out this page. Bullying in the workplace, both physical and emotional, can have very serious consequences too.
One day, a train had just made the long haul up to the 1350 feet above sealevel at Corrour and jolted to a stop in the station. This jolt unhitched the couplings for the guard's van which broke loose, and proceeded to roll down the incline. In the guard's van was, precisely, the guard. Asleep. Gathering speed, the lone wagon rattled down the hill to Rannoch. The station master there had the option of shunting the runaway carriage into a siding, but this would cause it to crash, putting the guard's life in jeopardy. It was decided to allow it to run through, on the downward slant to Gorton Siding. The signalman there also decided to allow it straight through. The guard's van did not come to a stop until 2 miles south of Bridge of Orchy, some 40 miles south of Corrour. The guard, still asleep, didn't have a clue that he had retraced his steps...
Twenty years passed. It was now in the years after World War II, and to alleviate the shortage of rolling stock, an old engine stood sighing in the sidings at the station. An express train came roaring up from London through the dark evening and passed the green signal ahead of the station. As the locomotive drew level with the signal box, the driver caught sight of a ghostly white face dashing up across the lines, jumping in front of his train, trying to cross ahead of the engine. He harshly applied the brakes, and the express juddered to a stop at the top end of the sidings. The driver jumped out of his cab and ran towards the rear carriages, which were level with the signalbox. Nothing to be seen. There was no body. What was standing in the siding next to the mainline was the old engine. The signalman, who was still there after twenty years, leaned outside to see what the commotion was about. He climbed down to the tracks and glanced past the back of the carriages - and recognised the engine. It was the very locomotive that had mowed down his own daughter, all those years ago.
WHAT TREE DID YOU FALL FROM?
Find your birthday and then find your tree. This is really cool and somewhat accurate. Then send it to your friends, so they can find out what tree they fell from.
Find your tree below and see what you are like...
Jan 01 to Jan 11 - Fir Tree
Jan 12 to Jan 24 - Elm Tree
Jan 25 to Feb 03 - Cypress Tree
Feb 04 to Feb 08 - Poplar Tree
Feb 09 to Feb 18 - Cedar Tree
Feb 19 to Feb 28 - Pine Tree
Mar 01 to Mar 10 - Weeping Willow Tree
Mar 11 to Mar 20 - Lime Tree
Mar 21 (only) - Oak Tree
Mar 22 to Mar 31 - Hazelnut Tree
Apr 01 to Apr 10 - Rowan Tree
Apr 11 to Apr 20 - Maple Tree
Apr 21 to Apr 30 - Walnut Tree
May 01 to May 14 - Poplar Tree
May 15 to May 24 - Chestnut Tree
May 25 to Jun 03 - Ash Tree
Jun 04 to Jun 13 - Hornbeam Tree
Jun 14 to Jun 23 - Fig Tree
Jun 24 (only) - Birch Tree
Jun 25 to Jul 04 - Apple Tree
Jul 05 to Jul 14 - Fir Tree
Jul 15 to Jul 25 - Elm Tree
Jul 26 to Aug 04 - Cypress Tree
Aug 05 to Aug 13 - Poplar Tree
Aug 14 to Aug 23 - Cedar Tree
Aug 24 to Sep 02 - Pine Tree
Sep 03 to Sep 12 - Weeping Willow Tree
Sep 13 to Sep 22 - Lime Tree
Sep 23 (only) - Olive Tree
Sep 24 to Oct 03 - Hazelnut Tree
Oct 04 to Oct 13 - Rowan Tree
Oct 14 to Oct 23 - Maple Tree
Oct 24 to Nov 11 - Walnut Tree
Nov 12 to Nov 21 - Chestnut Tree
Nov 22 to Dec 01 - Ash Tree
Dec 02 to Dec 11 - Hornbeam Tree
Dec 12 to Dec 21 - Fig Tree
Dec 22 (only) - Beech Tree
Dec 23 to Jan 01 - Apple Tree
TREES (in alphabetical order)
Apple Tree (Love) -- quiet and shy at times, lots of charm, appeal, and attraction, pleasant attitude, flirtatious smile, adventurous, sensitive, loyal in love, wants to love and be loved, faithful and tender partner, very generous, many talents, loves children, needs
Ash Tree (Ambition) -- extremely attractive,
vivacious, impulsive, demanding, does not care for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, talented, likes to play with fate, can be very egotistic, reliable, restless lover, sometimes money rules over the heart, demands attention, needs love and much emotional support.
Beech Tree (Creative) -- has good taste, concerned about its looks, materialistic, good organization of life and career, economical, good leader, takes no unnecessary risks, reasonable, splendid lifetime companion, keen on keeping fit (diets, sports, etc.).
Birch Tree (Inspiration) -- vivacious, attractive, elegant, friendly, unpretentious, modest, does not like anything in excess, abhors the vulgar, loves life in nature and in calm, not very passionate, full of imagination, little ambition, creates a calm and content atmosphere.
Cedar Tree (Confidence) -- of rare strength, knows how to adapt, likes unexpected presents, of good health, not in the least shy, tends to look down on others, self-confident, a great speaker, determined, often impatient, likes to impress others, has many talents, industrious, healthy optimism, waits for the one true love, able to make quick decisions.
Chestnut Tree (Honesty) -- of unusual stature, impressive, well-developed sense of justice, fun to be around, a planner, born diplomat, can be irritated easily, sensitive of others feelings, hard worker, sometimes acts superior, feels not understood at times,
fiercely family oriented, very loyal in love, physically fit.
Cypress Tree (Faithfulness) -- strong, muscular, adaptable, takes what life has to give but doesn't necessarily like it, strives to be content, optimistic, wants to be financially independent, wants love and affection, hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannot be satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered at times, can be unruly and careless, loves to gain knowledge, needs to be needed.
Elm Tree (Noble-mindedness) -- pleasant shape, tasteful clothes, modest demands, tends not to forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to lead but not to obey, honest and faithful partner, likes making decisions for others, noble-minded, generous, good sense of humor, practical.
Fig Tree (Sensibility) -- very strong minded, a bit self-willed, honest, loyal, independent, hates contradiction or arguments, hard worker when wants to be, loves life and friends, enjoys children and animals, sexually oriented, great sense of humor, has artistic talent and great intelligence.
Fir tree (Mysterious) -- extraordinary taste, handles stress well, loves anything beautiful, stubborn, tends to care for those close to them, hard to trust others, yet a social butterfly, likes idleness and laziness after long demanding hours at work, rather modest,
talented, unselfish, many friends, very reliable.
Hazelnut Tree (Extraordinary) -- charming, sense of humor, very demanding but can also be very understanding, knows how to make a lasting impression, active fighter for social causes and politics, popular, quite moody, sexually oriented, honest, a perfectionist, has a precise sense of judgment and expects complete fairness.
Hornbeam Tree (Good Taste) -- of cool beauty, cares for its looks and condition, good taste, is not egoistic, makes life as comfortable as possible, leads a reasonable and disciplined life, looks for kindness and acknowledgment in an emotional partner, dreams of unusual lovers, is seldom happy with its feelings, mistrusts most people, is never sure of its decisions, very conscientious.
Lime Tree (Doubt) - intelligent, hard working, accepts what life dishes out, but not before trying to change bad circumstances into good ones, hates fighting and stress, enjoys getaway vacations, may appear tough, but is actually soft and relenting, always willing to make sacrifices for family and friends, has many talents but not always enough time to use them, great leadership qualities, is jealous at times but extremely loyal.
Maple Tree (Independence of Mind) -- no ordinary person, full of imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has many complexities, good memory, learns easily,
complicated love life, wants to impress.
Oak Tree (Brave) -- robust nature, courageous, strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, does not like change, keeps its feet on the ground, person of action.
Olive Tree (Wisdom) -- loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable well balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant, cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathetic, free of jealousy, loves to read and the company of sophisticated
Pine Tree (Peacemaker) -- loves agreeable company, craves peace and harmony, loves to help others, active imagination, likes to write poetry, not fashion conscious, great compassion, friendly to all, falls strongly in love but will leave if betrayed or lied to,
emotionally soft, low self esteem, needs affection and reassurance.
Poplar Tree (Uncertainty) -- looks very decorative, talented, not very self-confident, extremely courageous if necessary, needs goodwill and pleasant surroundings, very choosy, often lonely, great animosity, great artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean
toward philosophy, reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously.
Rowan Tree (Sensitivity) -- full of charm, cheerful, gifted without egoism, likes to draw attention, loves life, motion, unrest, and even complications, is both dependent and independent, good taste, artistic, passionate, emotional, good company, does not
Walnut Tree (Passion) -- unrelenting, strange and full of contrasts, often egotistic, aggressive, noble, broad horizon, unexpected reactions, spontaneous, unlimited ambition, no flexibility, difficult and uncommon partner, not always liked but often admired,
ingenious strategist, very jealous and passionate, no compromise.
Weeping Willow (Melancholy) - likes to be stress free, loves family life, full of hopes and dreams, attractive, very empathetic, loves anything beautiful, musically inclined, loves to travel to exotic places, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with when pressured, sometimes demanding, good intuition, suffers in love until they find that one loyal, steadfast partner; loves to make others laugh.
Tropical Storm ISAAC was a dark horse, until yesterday afternoon when this strong tropical storm started to show its true colours. The NHC has issued the following advisory:
Bermuda, the Canadian Maritime provinces and Newfoundland should monitor the progress of Isaac. At 0400 EDT / 0900 GMT, Isaac was located near 30.3N 58W or 425 miles ESE of Bermuda. The storm is moving WNW, later NW. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph with higher gusts; some strengthening is expected and Isaac could become a hurricane later today. Tropical storm force winds extend outward upto 115 miles from the centre.
Typhoon XANGSANE is now heading for central Vietnam, which will be hit with winds of 115 knots / 130 mph. After landfall, the typhoon will move to the border area between Laos and Cambodia and weaken rapidly. Heavy rains can be expected around its path. Landfall is expected near Tam Ky, but 1,000 km of coastline is affected by the typhoon.
Friday, 29 September 2006
I am also a subscriber to Technorati, and by virtue of that I found that someone linked to the Tropical Cyclone blog. This is the journal by Petar, an Australian of Slavonic [Eastern European] origin, and he has a varied journal which I would like to recommend for everybody to read. Check out http://journals.aol.com/pvodogaz/Syrophenikon/.
See the birds pictured above? They look alike, don't they?
You can tell the difference though. Would you take your man or woman to the movies, a restaurant and then home for a good cormorant?
Well, the National Trust of Scotland says it's been a great success. After the last rat was killed in February, the birds came back to nest with a vengeance. Manx Shearwaters had one nest, for the first time in 10 years. Razorbills' nests increased tenfold, and shags nests increased by 50%.
Just to give you an idea which birds I'm talking about:
Picture of shag - http://jackmaryetc.com/Birds/birdphotolist.htm
Picture of razorbill - http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA/account/Razorbill/
Picture of Manx Shearwater - http://www.btinternet.com/~portlandbirdobs/birds_apr2004.htm
Reasonably nice day, with the clouds disappearing until lunchtime. After lunch, mrs B and myself are taken to the Watermill, on the northern edge of the town, and walk back along the mill lade and through the Golf Course. The Watermill building is locked, unusually, and the wheel is stationary. Blackberries are starting to ripen, although some are still in bloom. Whatever is there in terms of berries is mostly very sour. Cross into the Golf Course, where a fair number of players are out. On return to town, go for some shopping - it's quite busy and actually warm this afternoon. Very stifling. This breaks down into a short shower around the 6pm mark. The Tourist Office had some up to date information leaflets and An Lanntair was closed for a wedding. I was wondering about all the guys going round town in their kilts. Dinner: mashed potatoes, green beans and fried mince with carrots.
The cloud formations in the pictures above are a very ill omen, particularly picture #2.
Anyways, the row has to do with schoolbuses. A 31-seater bus is used to ferry youngsters from Laxdale School, about 1 mile north of Stornoway, to their homes in the villages mentioned above. Bearing in mind that Laxdale School is a primary school, 3 children were able to sit in a double seat, in which two adults normally fit. The council has tightened up on regulations, and have stated that only two kids would be allowed to sit in a double seat. Which leaves a number of kids out in the cold. There is only the one bus, you see. Those that can't travel on the bus have to walk in. You're not talking vast distances here, 2 miles max, but the roads here have no pavements, and are in use by lorries, buses and other large vehicles. Pedestrians have to jump into the ditch to prevent being mowed down.
And that's given the row, justifiably so, as the children have to walk to school along dangerous roads. In December, they'll be walking in the dark, as the sun doesn't rise until 9.15. The parents have now threatened to keep their kids at home until the council lays on a larger bus.
Everybody wanted to welcome campers, but nobody wanted them on THEIR land. They were so busy fighting amongst themselves over whether or not to welcome them, that the islanders forgot to charge for the use of their land. I know the island fairly well, and have fond memories of it. But this is just plain stupid. And going on an Internet message board saying that caravanners are not welcome is even more stupid.
AOL have reversed the implementation of update R8, which I think should be zero-rated (sic). So all the problems you had yesterday, with pictures, screenname JOURNALS, and no update buttons should be a thing of the past. If you're so minded, you can help the journals team find the cause of all the problems. Go to the JournalsEditors blog, where Jeff has instructions for you. All you need to do is sign on to your beta journal (beta.journals.aol.co.uk/pharmolo/NorthernTrip in my case) and do what it says in the entry. I can't be bothered, but I'd like to be constructive so if anyone wants to, you know where to go.
It's a bright sunny morning in the islands, with only a mild breeze. Long may it continue - however, October is only 2 days away.
Thursday, 28 September 2006
A cruiseliner was rounding Cape Wrath, 60 miles to the northeast of here, in galeforce winds. The sea was rough, and the passengers less than comfortable. One of them, a lady from Rome, was convinced the ship was about to go down, so she rang her sister in Italy. The sister became so concerned that she contacted the Italian coastguard, who in turn got in touch with their counterparts in Aberdeen. When they radio'd the cruiseship, the captain said: "It's rough out here, it's not very nice, but we're safe and not about to sink".
Xangsane will now move into the South China Sea and hit the Vietnamese resort of Da Nang on Sunday with winds of up to 120 mph.
Wednesday, 27 September 2006
In 1923, he offered the island to its people. Only the district of Stornoway took up the offer. The parishes of Barvas, Uig and Lochs, as well as Harris, were snapped up by private landowners. The depredations of World War I, which took more than 1000 lives also led to a large surge in emigration at the same time.
Now, in 2006, a battle is going on to reclaim parts of the island for its communities. The Galson Trust has recently acquired the funding (about £600k) to buy the northern part of Lewis. The villagers of Lochs are locked in a stalemate with an unwilling landlord, who has resorted to legalistics to prevent them from mounting a succesful takeover of the land - which is possible under new legislation.
A memorial to a drugsbaron was inaugurated in Stornoway today, after an extensive refurbishment. Those arriving into Stornoway by ferry may be familiar with the monument, which stands on a hill overlooking the harbour.
It was erected by the wife of Sir James Matheson (1796 - 1878) in his memory. The inaugural ceremony was attended by representatives of the Matheson Clan and from the Jardine-Matheson company, co-founded by James Matheson in the 1820s.
Sir James Matheson made his fortune in the opiumtrade, and could arguably be referred to as a drugsbaron. This may well elicit a few gasps of horror in certain circles, but it should be born in mind that Great Britain went to war to protect its interests in said opiumtrade. At the end of the Opiumwars, Hong Kong was occupied by Britain, only to be ceded back to the People's Republic of China in 1997.
Matheson meanwhile returned to Scotland in 1842 and purchased the Isle of Lewis. For his efforts to alleviate the effects of the potato famine (1846/7) in Lewis, he was awarded a baronetcy in 1851.
Matheson was also responsible for clearing the inhabitants of 36 villages in southeastern Lewis from the district of Eishken, repopulating them with sheep. Hmm. Was shunting people off the land the underlying reason for him being awarded the title? I'm being very nasty here, actually.
1 On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food at all.
2 The beach was too sandy.
3 I bought a snorkel and swimming mask for my six-year-old son, but he was too upset to use them as the fish frightened him.
4 Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women.
5 I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.
6 It's lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time - this should be banned.
7 We bought 'Ray-Ban' sunglasses for five euros (£3.50) from a street trader, only to find out they were fake.
8 None of the hotel staff was English, and the tea didn't taste the same as at home.
9 I would like to complain about the price of alcohol in the resort. It was too cheap and I woke with a hangover every day.
The 9th November 1938 is the date associated with a night of rampage, wanton destruction and harassment of the worst degree of Jewish people in the Germany of Adolf Hitler. After becoming Reichs Kanzler in 1933, Hitler rapidly put into action a program of ostracising and later mass murdering the Jewish population of Germany and the countries his regime occupied during World War II. Six million were to die. The Kristallnacht pogrom was the start of this horror. Windows were smashed, shops looted that were owned by Jews (made easily distinguishable by the word "Jude" [Jew in German] daubed on their windows. Synagogues were ransacked and set alight.
The background to the events of November 9th, 1938 can be found on this page. Allied to that was a burning of books that ran contrary to the Nazi doctrine, and as it's Banned Books Week, (with thanks to Souternmush) thought it appropriate to tell the tale of the Crystal Night.
The image below shows a synagogue in Munich after the pogrom.
I fight intolerance where I can
The priests were all in embarrassing new territory, so they drew straws to determine who would get the tickets.
The first priest approached the window. "Young lady," he began, "I would like three pickets to titsburg..."
Whereupon he completely lost his composure and fled.
The second priest approached. "Young lady, I would like three tickets to Pittsburg," he began, "and I would like the change in nipples and dimes."
So of course he also fled.
Then came the third.
- "Young lady, I would like three tickets to Pittsburg, and I would like the change in nickels and dimes. And I must say," he continued, "if you insist on dressing like that, when you get to the pearly gates, St. Finger's going to shake his peter at you." !!
Thank you, God!
FOR THE WIFE
WHO SAYS IT'S HOT DOGS TONIGHT,
BECAUSE SHE IS HOME WITH ME,
AND NOT OUT WITH SOMEONE ELSE.
FOR THE HUSBAND
WHO IS ON THE SOFA
BEING A COUCH POTATO,
BECAUSE HE IS HOME WITH ME
AND NOT OUT WITH SOMEONE ELSE.
FOR THE TEENAGER
WHO IS COMPLAINING ABOUT DOING DISHES
BECAUSE IT MEANS SHE IS AT HOME,
NOT ON THE STREETS.
FOR THE TAXES I PAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I AM EMPLOYED.
FOR THE MESS TO CLEAN UP AFTER THE PARTY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE
BEEN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS.
FOR THE CLOTHES THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.
FOR MY SHADOW THAT WATCHES ME WORK
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE
FOR A LAWN THAT NEEDS MOWING,
WINDOWS THAT NEED CLEANING,
AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE A HOME.
FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING
I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT
BECAUSE IT MEANS
WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
FORTHE PARKING SPOT
I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM CAPABLE OF WALKING
AND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH TRANSPORTATION.
FOR MY HUGE HEATING BILL
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I AM WARM.
FOR THE LADY BEHIND ME IN CHURCH
WHO SINGS OFF KEY
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I CAN HEAR.
FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY AND IRONING
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR.
FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES
AT THE END OF THE DAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN
CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD.
FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM ALIVE.
FOR TOO MUCH E-MAIL
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE
FRIENDS WHO ARE THINKING OF ME.
SEND THIS TO SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT. I JUST DID.
In the above map, the purple date/time codes (like 29/06Z) indicate the forecast position of the typhoon at (e.g.) 29th September at 0600 GMT.
Xangsane is approaching the Philippines from the east-southeast with winds of 115 knots, which is equivalent to 130 mph, gusting to 140 knots (160 mph). The typhoon will pass directly over the capital, Manila, winds up to 90 knots (105 mph), before shifting out over the South China Sea. By the time it reaches Hue, in central Vietnam, it will have reinvigorated to 115 knots maximum sustained windspeeds. Because of its intensity, Xangsane will pass inland and only slowly lose intensity, as tropical hurricanes do over land. The forecast windspeeds for Monday, when the typhoon will be over southern Laos, are 95 kts or 110 mph. Because this is 5 days away, no further projection is made, but Xangsane could conceivably make it into Thailand.
Updates on its track are made on the Joint Typhoon Warning Center's website.
PLEASE RELAY // PLEASE RELAY
Note on picture 3: The sinking of the SS Norge in 1904 was one of the worst losses of life at sea in peacetime. Only the Titanic saw a greater loss of life. Nine passengers lie buried in Sandwick Cemetery; nearly 800 lost their lives. The Norge was en route from Scandinavia to America, when she struck rocks at Rockall Island, 250 miles west of Scotland. When the ship was put into reverse, she slid off the rocks, but the gash in her hull quickly led to her sinking. Read this article for more details.
Tuesday, 26 September 2006
PLEASE RELAY // PLEASE RELAY
A cheap and readily available drug could reverse severe liver disease, even in patients who find it impossible to give up booze, research suggests.
Sulphasalazine is currently used to treat arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. But a University of Newcastle team has found that it can also reverse the scarring associated with cirrhosis of the liver.
Liver disease is the fifth highest cause of death in the UK. It is estimated that up to 10% of the UK population have problems with their liver - and most are linked to lifestyle factors, such as heavy drinking and obesity.
Scientists had thought that the scarring associated with cirrhosis - known as fibrosis - was irreversible. However, recent studies have shown that is not the case. Now the Newcastle team, in tests on animals, have shown that Sulphasalazine can aid the recovery process.
When the liver is injured specialised cells called hepatic myofibroblasts create scar tissue, and secrete proteins which prevent it being broken down. In healthy liver tissue the scars eventually melt away and are replaced by new normal tissue. However, in diseased tissue this process does not happen. Instead the scar tissue proliferates, and spreads throughout the whole organ. The Newcastle team showed that Sulphasalazine could aid recovery by blocking the production of proteins that keep the scar tissue cells alive.
They plan to carry out trials in humans, but already
believe the drug has the potential to provide an alternative to a liver
transplant. The drug will initially be given to heavy drinkers who have given up alcohol, but too late for their liver to recover naturally. If this proves successful, the medicine will also be
prescribed to alcoholics who continue to drink but show a determination
to fight their addiction by reducing their intake. Professor Derek Mann, who led the research, said just a
5% to 10% recovery of the organ could have a huge impact on quality of
Professor Chris Day, head of Newcastle University's School of Clinical Medical Sciences, said the drug was likely to work best on people who had made some effort to kick their boozing habit. But he said it offered a potential solution to the tricky ethical problem of offering people who abused alcohol a liver transplant. Many people believe it is wrong to use organs that are in very short supply on people who have not demonstrated their ability to reform their drinking.
Professor Day said: "In that situation you may not give somebody a transplant, but you are not going to stop them getting a tablet, particularly if it only costs £10 a week. "Cirrhosis is the fifth highest cause of death in the UK today, and it would not be too optimistic to say this drug could halve that death rate."
Professor David Jones, another member of the Newcastle liver team, said he and his colleagues regularly saw patients in their twenties with severe liver disease. He said: "There is no point at which an alcoholic patient won't benefit from stopping drinking, but now we can actually help the healing process."
Anne Jenkins, of the charity Alcohol Concern, said: "The last 20 years have seen a significant increase in rates of liver cirrhosis, particularly among the 34-45 age group. "Research that could help to reverse harm is obviously to be welcomed, but this work is at an early stage, and more needs to be done.
It is good that an alternative to liver transplants may be on the horizon. Sulphasalazine is an old drug, which started life as an antibiotic in the 1950s. It has serious side-effects, such as an impact on the bloodcells, nausea and vomiting. In my opinion, it is borderline ethical to give liver transplants to people who have knowingly destroyed their own liver. I appreciate that alcoholism is a disease in itself, and an addiction.
Please bear in mind that this is early days yet, and a lot more work needs doing, as the last paragraph of this piece stresses.
A breakdown patrol man who came to the rescue of a woman motorist has managed to get her car started using her dog.
Juliette Piesley, 39, had changed the battery in her electronic key fob but was then unable to start her car.
When AA patrolman Kevin Gorman arrived at the scene in Addlestone, Surrey, he found its immobiliser chip was missing. Ms Piesley said her dog George had eaten something, and realising it was the chip, he put the dog in the front seat and started the car with the key.
Mr Gorman said: "I was glad to get the car started for the member. They will now have to take George [the dog] with them in the car until things take their natural course. It is the first time that I have had to get a dog to help me to start a car."
The Newton webcam which shows today's weather, ships coming in and out of port - or a handful of lights, some blinking, others permanent. The latter of course at night.
I also have a website about my take on the Isle of Lewis.
The Arnish Lighthouse blog offers perspectives on life in the island.
At the moment, autumn has not really arrived. As such. The leaves haven't started to turn, although we're due a spell of wet and windy weather.
These two I took in November 2005, showing the effects of a hurricane. I hasten to add: a normal, equinoctial gale. Nothing tropical about it at all.
Spray flying over Goat Island causeway (to the right); 11 November 2005
Angry riders running into number 2/3 piers; 11 November 2005
The Lewis moor turning yellow and brown, 24 September 2006
And of course: Toadstools.
There are no hurricanes in the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific at this time. The remnants of tropical cyclone 04A are trying to regenerate south of Karachi, but are not expected to redevelop.
Tag: typhoon hurricane xangsane
Monday, 25 September 2006
I also understand that some in J-land get subjected to hateful comments, and I just don't understand why anybody needs to be cruel to somebody you don't know, you've never met and in all likelyhood not even spoken to on the 'phone. Or had an IM exchange with, for that matter.
At the end of the day, you're looking at somebody's writing, on your computer screen. You may not agree with it, it could conceivably offend. Fortunately, the Internet is endowed with a white cross in a red cross. If you click your mouse on it, the relevant window closes. Nobody forces you to read an Internet page, do they?
I'm probably too naive for my own good (am I? nah), but would like to ask for a bit of tolerance around the block.
Oh, before I click SAVE: I have no indication to suggest that any journalers of my acquaintance are guilty of any such practices. At the end of the day, any AOL member can cook up a screenie - or anyone on the net can make a screenie under AIM - which is used to make such comments.
ACTUAL AUSTRALIAN COURT DOCKET 12659 CASE OF THE PREGNANT LADY
A lady about 8 months pregnant got on a bus. She noticed the man opposite her was smiling at her.
She immediately moved to another seat.
This time the smile turned into a grin, so she moved again. The man seemed more amused.
When on the fourth move, the man burst out laughing, she complained to the driver and he had the man arrested.
The case came up in court. The judge asked the man (about 20 years old) what he had to say for himself. The man replied, "Well your Honor, it was like this. When the lady got on the bus, I couldn't help but notice her condition.
She sat under a sweets sign that said, "The Double Mint Twins are coming!" and I grinned.
Then she moved and sat under a sign that said, "Logan's Liniment will reduce the swelling", and I had to smile.
Then she placed herself under a deodorant sign that said, "William's Big Stick Did the Trick", and I could hardly contain myself.
BUT, your Honor, when she moved the fourth time and sat under a sign that said, "Goodyear Rubber could have prevented this Accident"... I just lost it."
Autumn has definitely arrived, but it's not as severe as could be. However, I need to put out an advance warning for some very windy weather by the end of the week for the whole of the UK. The remnant of hurricane Helene, currently a very deep area of low pressure on the 33rd degree longitude West, will swing in from the southwest and there is a sharp gradient of atmospheric pressure on its eastern flank. If I tell you that Helene will sit over Ireland and its windfield swings north over the UK, you know what to expect. A lot of wind. Watch the forecasts!
Below shows the weatherchart for Thursday. You can probably make out some tightly packed lines over the UK - that's your wind.
- Unless it's warm, I always have a woolly hat and gloves with me. Must be the climate in the islands...
- I didn't start to take alcohol until just over a year ago
- I can walk for miles on a relatively level road, but am pegged out within minutes on a steep incline
- I chew liquorice root sticks until the taste has gone out of the mushed fibres, then expel the lump
- I have been known to drive people to distraction by the speed at which I type on a keyboard. At least twice I've been asked to stop.
- I am not married. Weird? You don't know me. Better find something else - no, I'm not gay. Happy yes, gay no.
- Give me a map and I can find my way around any city or area in the world. That is weird, I'm telling you. Because I keep running into people who can't read a map for toffee.
Now ya'll go to your journals and list 6 weird things about yourselves that we might not know yet. Link back to me, and pick out six more people to do it. (Be sure to let them know you have picked them, in case they are slow getting around to their alerts!)
Sunday, 24 September 2006
Typhoon Yagi has ceased to be a tropical cyclone, even though it sported a central pressure of 910 mbar a few days ago (on average, your barometer will show 990 to 1030 mbars).
Tropical Storm Mukda has been spinning 250-300 miles south of Karachi for a few days, but has brought no more than some strong winds (force 7 to 9) and heavy rain to the coast of Gujarat state in India.
And a tropical depression is moving inland in Vietnam and is about to disappear.
It's been pouring with rain since 6 o'clock, which was actually the time I returned from my trip north to Ness. When I was there, the weather was cloudy with a thin breeze, but otherwise as nice as ever. The village of Eoropie is overrun by rabbits. Our guest did not join us on this last voyage, as he felt unwell. I hope he feels better tomorrow. I cannot give further details, other than to say that for several reasons he is extremely vulnerable in society. It's his first holiday - ever.
Just had a look in my email Inbox, which is now showing 109 alerts. Oh dear, looks as if I've got my job cut out for tomorrow.
In the 1400's a law was set forth that a man was not allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb".
Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.
The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV was Fred and Wilma Flintstone
Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
Coca-Cola was originally green .
It is impossible to lick your elbow.
The average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king in history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand
Q.What do bullet-proof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laserprinters all have in common?
A. All invented by women.
Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"
Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.
Don't delete this just because it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it..........
I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdgnieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in what oredr the ltteers in a word are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is that the first and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it wouthit a porbelm This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe.
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow
Saturday, 23 September 2006
* A hillwalker was rescued with serious headinjuries after falling 600 feet from a ridge in Glencoe, 20 miles south of Fort William.
* A shepherd was found dead after being reported missing since yesterday near Newtonmore, 40 miles east of Fort William. He had been gathering sheep.
* Think your roads are bad? Have a look at this!
Enjoy your Sunday.
Friday, 22 September 2006
Unrelated to that, I find it singularly difficult to single out individual journals for shortlisting. First of all, I don't read that many (although, 60 keep me more than occupied). Secondly, each journal is unique in its own right - because each and everyone of us is unique. It is the story of a person's life, or those aspects that one person wants to put across on-line. Nonetheless, I'll see if the force be with me.
2. Then I worked in the woods as a Lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.
3. After that, I tried to be a Tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it -- mainly because it was only a sew-sew job.
4. Next, I tried working in a Muffler Factory, but that was too exhausting.
5 Then, I tried to be a Chef -- figured it would add a little spice to my life, but I just didn't have the thyme.
6. I attempted to be a Deli Worker, but any way I sliced it I couldn't cut the mustard.
7. My best job was a Musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.
8. I studied a long time to become a Doctor, but I didn't have any patience.
9. Next, was a job in a Shoe Factory. I tried but I just didn't fit in.
10. I became a Professional Fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.
11. I managed to get a good job working for a Pool Maintenance Company, but the work was just too draining.
12. So then I got a job in a Workout Center , but they said I wasn't fit for the job.
13. After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally g! ot a jo b as a Historian - until I realized there was no future in it.
14. My last job was working in Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.
15. SO, I TRIED RETIREMENT AND FOUND THAT I'M PERFECT FOR THE JOB !!!!