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.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Salt Lake City (Utah) resident and hospital orderly Mark Hacking pleaded guilty Friday to killing his wife Lori, and placing her body in a dumpster.
Mrs. Hacking’s disappearance last summer touched off an intense, weeklong search in Salt Lake County which a wire service report said was similar to the other sensational Salt Lake crime, the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart from her own bedroom.
After Hacking admitted details of his crime to his family, earlier, he suffered a breakdown and was placed in a psychiatric hospital. He was seen in court Friday with his hands cuffed behind his back.
He admitted to the judge that he killed his wife while she slept. His motives, according to prosecutors, were his anger and despondency when she discovered that he was not accepted into a North Carolina medical school as he had claimed, but would remain a hospital orderly.
Mrs. Hacking is reported to have broken down sobbing at her workplace, a Wells Fargo brokerage, after discovering her husband’s deception. She had placed a call to the medical school’s administrators and been told he was not enrolled. He had lied to her about graduating from the University of Utah as well.
Mrs. Hacking’s mother and father were in the courtroom to hear their son-in-law declare: “I intentionally shot Lori Hacking in the head with a .22 rifle.” They said it was like a “knife in the heart” to hear that, but were happy he owned up to the crime.
The attack occurred last July. Volunteers scouring a landfill found her decomposed remains after three months of searching.
Grilling enthusiasts all over the world have searched long and hard for the answer to the question: “How do you grill the perfect steak?”This is a wonderful question and deserves a wonderful answer. After all, good quality meat does not come cheap these days. My hopes with this article are to give you all the necessary grilling instructions and techniques possible so that your investment is not wasted. This guide will work equally well for both gas and charcoal grills.GRILLING STEP 1The first step is to choose the right piece of meat for grilling.A great steak starts with a quality piece of meat. The problem for many beginners when they go to the supermarket or local butcher is choosing the good meat from the bad. There are a variety of steaks to choose from and it can be very confusing. If you have a butcher shop nearby, you should definitely get your meat there as opposed to the supermarket. Supermarket beef has been sitting on a shelf for God knows how long whereas the beef from a butcher shop is cut fresh.Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a great piece of meat for grilling:GRADEThere are generally three different grades of beef in the United States: Prime Grade, Choice Grade and Select Grade. Prime is at the top of the grading scale and only makes up for a very small percentage of beef produced in this country. Prime Grade beef is usually reserved for restaurants. Choice and Select are usually the grades of steaks that are available to today’s consumer at supermarkets or butcher shops. So when going to your local butcher or supermarket , be sure to choose the best quality you can find. If it is not labeled on the package, be sure to ask for help.MARBLINGMarbling is a very important factor in grilling a good steak. Marbling is the visible lines of fat that you see on the meats surface. Marbling is what gives your beef its great flavor. Now of course the more fat you have on your meat, the less healthy it will be. But I think many of us would rather enjoy a flavorful meal once in a while than the healthier alternative. The marbling should be thin lines of fat and should be evenly distributed throughout. Stay away from thick marbling as this will give you a tougher piece of meat. If you visit a butcher shop, they will definitely be able to help you choose beef with good marbling.CUT OF STEAKThe last factor I would like to talk about is the cut. There are a variety of different cuts available today and it can be quite confusing. The best cuts for grilling in my opinion are the Rib-Eye, T-bone, Porterhouse, New York Strip & Sirloin. There is of course the Tenderloin cuts which give you your filet mignon and Chateaubriand. These cuts are very tender but contain very little fat and are not very flavorful. I recommend avoiding these cuts for grilling. The Rib-Eye probably contains the most fat out of the bunch, but is definitely one of the more flavorful cuts. My recommendation would be to test out a rib-eye, T-bone, Porterhouse and New York Strip to see which one you like the best, as we all have different preferences.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Fire authorities struggled to manage a vast string of wildfires stretching across the eastern part of Texas on Sunday. News sources report that prolonged dry conditions and excessive winds were the main factors in the blazes.
Traffic along Interstate-20 near Longview, Texas was backed up for several miles. Fire authorities fought a brush fire in Tyler, near Tyler Pounds Field airport; a large truck near this area was also ablaze. A fire threatened a power sub-station near the city of Van. Regional utilities companies reported Sunday that over 8,000 customers were without electricity.
A church in Hallsville opened to assist evacuees. Residences spanning several counties were evacuated by authorities for safety reasons. Multiple residences in north-central Anderson county were evacuated by fire officials about two hours after a large blaze there erupted. Authorities closed off a 9-mile perimeter of roadways surrounding this blaze. Many homes in the area were blanketed with a thick haze of visible smoke. One evacuee told Wikinews, “I have [homeowner’s] insurance. I got my dog, that matters a’ lot to me.”
A wildfire near the north-central part of Anderson county Image: Paul M. Budd.
Fire authorities evacuate residents in Anderson county Image: Buddpaul.
Saturday, December 9, 2006
When radio host Jerry Klein suggested that all Muslims in the United States should be identified with a crescent-shape tattoo,”the switchboard went from empty to totally jammed within minutes.” Some callers agreed with Klein, one saying that, “Not only do you tattoo them in the middle of their forehead but you ship them out of this country … they are here to kill us.” Another caller added that America should, “set up encampments like during World War Two with the Japanese and Germans”
At the end of the show Klein revealed that that it had been staged as a hoax. “I can’t believe any of you are sick enough to have agreed for one second with anything I said,” he told his AM 630 WMAL audience which covers Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland
“For me to suggest to tattoo marks on people’s bodies, have them wear armbands, put a crescent moon on their driver’s license on their passport or birth certificate is disgusting. It’s beyond disgusting.”
“Because basically what you just did was show me how the German people allowed what happened to the Jews to happen … We need to separate them, we need to tattoo their arms, we need to make them wear the yellow Star of David, we need to put them in concentration camps, we basically just need to kill them all because they are dangerous.”
Council on American-Islamic Relations Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper commented:
|The public reaction to Mr. Klein’s courageous parody should be a wake-up call for American religious and political leaders who remain silent in the face of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in our society. Americans of all faiths must come together to marginalize extremists and to challenge ethnic and religious bigotry.|
By Sandra Elliott
So, what are calories any way?
Well, calories are simply units of measure. They are not actually things in and of themselves; they are name-tags for other things, just like how an inch really is not anything, but it measures the distance between two points.
So what do calories measure?
Easy: they measure energy.
Yup, the evil calorie the bane of the dieters existence is really just a 3-syllable name-tag for energy.
And it is important to highlight this, because the body itself, despite its vast intelligence (much of which medical science cannot yet understand), does not really do a very intelligent job of distinguishing good energy from bad.
Actually, to be blunt, the body does not care about where the energy comes from. Let us explore this a little more, because it is very important to the overall understanding of how to boost your metabolism, particularly when we look at food choices.
In our choice-laden grocery stores and supermarkets, with dozens of varieties of foods, and perhaps even hundreds, there seems to be a fairly clear awareness of what is good food, and what is bad or junk food.
For example, we do not need a book to remind us that, all else being equal, a plum is a good food, whereas a tub of thick and creamy double-chocolate ice cream is a bad food.
Not bad tasting, of course; but for obvious reasons, if you are looking for a healthy way to lose weight, eating a vat of ice cream a day, is not a great idea. So what does this have to do with calories and energy?
It is this: while you and I can evaluate our food choices and decide that something (like a plum) is a healthy source of energy, and something else (like a tub of ice cream) is an unhealthy source of energy, the body cannot and does not evaluate.
It sounds strange and amazing, but the body really does not care. To the body, energy is energy. It takes whatever it gets, and does not really know that some foods are healthier than others. It is kind of like a garbage disposal: it takes what you put down it, whether it should go down or not.
So let us apply this to the body, and to weight gain. When the body receives a calorie which, as we know, is merely a name-tag for energy it must do something with that energy.
In other words, putting all other nutrients and minerals aside, if a plum delivers 100 calories to the body, it has to accept those 100 calories. The same goes for 500 calories from a (small) tub of ice cream: those 500 calories have to be dealt with.
Now, the body does two things to that energy: it either metabolizes it via anabolism, or it metabolizes it via catabolism. That is, it will either convert the energy (calories) into cells/tissue (anabolism), or it will use that energy (calories) to break down cells (catabolism).
Now the link between calories/energy, metabolism, and weight loss becomes clearer.
When there is an excess of energy, and the body cant use this energy to deal with any needs at the time, it will be forced to create cells with that extra energy. It has to.
It does not necessarily want to, but after figuring out that the energy cannot be used to do anything (such as help you exercise or digest some food), it has to turn it into cells through anabolism.
And those extra cells? Yup, you guessed it: they add up to extra weight!
In a nutshell (and nuts have lots of calories by the way, so watch out and eat them in small portions), the whole calorie/metabolism/weight gain thing is really just about excess energy. When there are too many calories in the body that is, when theres too much energy from food then the body transforms those calories into stuff.
And that stuff, most of the time, is fat. Sometimes, of course, those extra calories are transformed into muscle; and this is usually a good thing for those watching their weight or trying to maintain an optimal body fat ratio.
In fact, because muscles require calories to maintain, people with strong muscle tone burn calories without actually doing anything; their metabolism burns it for them.
This is the primary reason why exercising and building lean muscle is often part of an overall program to boost your metabolism; because the more lean muscle you have, the more places excess calories can go before they are turned into fat.
So, now you understand calories, you do not have to be scared of them just be aware of how your body treats them. Balance those calories and there will be no reason why Food Lovers Fat Loss cannot be a reality for you.
About the Author: Sandra specialises in helping women to lose weight and has written the inspirational Sandras Secrets. To get your free copy just visit: http://www.easywaystoloseweightforwomen.com or visit her blog at http://www.easywaystoloseweightforwomen.blogspot.com
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Copies of The Profit, a 2001 film blocked from distribution in the United States due to a court injunction won by the Church of Scientology, appeared on the Internet Friday on peer-to-peer file-sharing websites and on the video sharing site YouTube.
Directed by former film executive Peter N. Alexander, the movie has been characterized by critics as a parody of Scientology and of its founder L. Ron Hubbard. Alexander was a Scientologist for twenty years, and left the organization in 1997. The film was funded by Bob Minton, a former critic of Scientology who later signed an agreement with the Church of Scientology and has attempted to stop distribution of the film. Alexander has stated that the movie is based on his research into cults, and when asked by the St. Petersburg Times about parallels to Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard said: “I’ll let you draw that conclusion … I say it’s entirely fictional.”
The film was released in August 2001, and was shown at a movie theatre in Clearwater, Florida and at a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in France. A Scientology spokesman gave a statement at the time saying “the movie is fiction and has nothing to do with Scientology”. The Church of Scientology later took legal action in an attempt to stop further distribution of the film. The Church of Scientology claimed that the film was intended to influence the jury pool in the wrongful death case of Scientologist Lisa McPherson, who died under Scientology care in Clearwater, Florida.
In April 2002, a Pinellas County, Florida judge issued a court order enjoining The Profit from worldwide distribution for an indefinite period. According to the original court injunction received by Wikinews, the movie was originally banned because the court found that it could be seen as a parody of Scientology. In his April 20, 2002 ruling on the injunction, Judge Robert E. Beach of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court in Pinellas County, Florida wrote: “…an average person viewing the film entitled The Profit could perceive that it is a parody of the Church of Scientology”.
“To the extent that any person considered as a potential juror in evaluating any issues involving the Church of Scientology, the process of voir dire provides a fair and complete remedy to eliminate any potential juror that may possibly have been influenced to be less than fair and impartial,” added Beach.
Luke Lirot, the attorney for the film’s production company, announced on the film’s website on April 7, 2007 that “We have absolutely no exposure for any repercussions from the court order,” but that the film was still blocked from distribution due to an ongoing legal battle. Lirot wrote: “all that’s stopping the release of the movie is the legal battle with the partner who was compromised by Scientology (Robert Minton) and is currently using his power as partner to stop the release of the film.”
In an October 2007 article, The Times described the film as “banned in the US because of a lawsuit taken out against it by The Church of Scientology,” and Russ Kick’s The Disinformation Book of Lists included the film in his “List of 16 Movies Banned in the U.S.”. An 8-minute teaser segment from The Profit appeared on the film’s website and on the video sharing site YouTube in February 2008, and an attorney representing Bob Minton sent a letter to Luke Lirot requesting that the film clip be taken down. In a response letter, Lirot wrote that “Rather than damage any asset of the LLC, the short clip merely keeps the film in the public eye, and in a positive way.”
On Friday, copies of the film began to circulate on peer-to-peer file-sharing websites and on YouTube. A link related to the film’s appearance on the Internet on the community-based link aggregator website Digg.com had 3,638 “Diggs” – and hit the front page of the site’s Entertainment section on Saturday.
|I had nothing to do with this release at all. But I’m happy it’s out there.|
On Saturday, Scientology critic and Emmy award-winning journalist Mark Bunker put a streaming version of the film on his website, www.xenutv.com, and encouraged others to watch and discuss the film on a real-time chat channel. In a video posting to YouTube Saturday, Bunker said “I did not do it. I had nothing to do with it … I had nothing to do with this release at all. But I’m happy it’s out there … people are finally having a chance to see it. A lot of people have been curious over the years and there’s been a lot of interest in seeing the film, so finally you can.”
|We have all wanted to see this movie that scientology kept hidden away from us. We have all wondered just how damning could this story be that we were banned from watching it.|
On the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, a poster by the username “Alexia Death” commented on the film’s appearance on the Internet in the context of censorship: “It is out! And so it is a WIN if many people review it even if they say it SUCKS! … Being bad is no cause to allow censorship … And being censored is no cause to assume its good”. A post to the blog Blogsreel commented: “We have all wanted to see this movie that scientology kept hidden away from us. We have all wondered just how damning could this story be that we were banned from watching it.”
In a post on Sunday to the message board attached to the official website for the film, attorney Luke Lirot asked that individuals stop distributing copies of The Profit over the Internet. Lirot wrote: “It has been brought to my attention that several unauthorized transmissions and downloads of this protected work have taken place over the last 72 hours. Such actions are copyright violations and are unlawful. I request that any further distribution and/or dissemination of this important work cease immediately and any copies of the work that have been downloaded please be deleted.” In his statement, Lirot recognized the rights of individuals under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, but also said that unauthorized distribution of the film “will only serve to harm the goal of vast distribution”.
Blog postings have attributed the film’s appearance on the Internet as part of the anti-Scientology movement Project Chanology organized by the Internet-based group Anonymous, but this has not been confirmed. Wikinews previously reported on international protests against Scientology which took place as part of Project Chanology on February 10 and March 15. A third international protest by Anonymous is scheduled for April 12. Titled “Operation Reconnect”, the third international protest will focus on highlighting Scientology’s practice of disconnection.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The provincial election was called today in British Columbia. Alongside with the election, the citizens of the province will also be debating if they should change their electoral system from Single Member Plurality to Single Transferable Vote (STV). The vote for both the election and the referendum is to be held on May 12th.
According to the Angus Reid Strategies online poll, the issues before the candidates this year are the economy, crime and public safety, and health care.
Gordon Campbell is the current Premier of British Columbia, and leader of the Liberal Party. Three new tax measures have been proposed, increasing apprenticeship training tax credits, reducing small business income tax, and raising the revenue definition for small business. “Keep B.C. Strong” is the Liberal slogan.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Carole James is focusing her election platform on supporting a green economy, eliminating the carbon tax, offering families tax relief, freezing post-secondary tuition, raising the minimum wage, and providing a small business tax holiday. The NDP slogan is “Take back your B.C.”
The Green Party, led by Jane Sterk, is focused on environmental issues, crime and police, and a ‘green economy’. The Green Party is in support of the carbon tax and will be campaigning in favour of the new STV voting system that is being proposed again. The Green Party slogan is “A better plan for B.C.”File:Carole james.jpg
Wilf Hanni is at the helm of the Conservative Party which opposes the Recognition and Reconciliation Act, privatization of BC Hydro Bill 42 ‘gag law’, and the carbon tax. They propose to reduce senior civil employee pay scale, as well as personal and corporate income tax.
Other parties running candidates are the Democratic Reform under Graeme Roger, the Marijuana Party under Marc Emery, the Work Less Party under Conrad Schmidt, the Refederation Party under Mike Summers, the Sex Party under John Ince, and the Communist Party under George Gidora.
For 60 days before the election, each party may campaign with an allowable CA$1.1 million, in the final 28 days, $4.4 million may be spent. $70,000 is allowed by candidates before the writ is dropped, and another $70,000 in the midst of campaigning.
The referendum will allow BC voters to choose between two voting systems. The Single Member Plurality system is the current system in all Canadian provinces, and is also used to elect Members of Parliament in Ottawa. The other system is BC-STV, which would replace 85 single-member ridings with 20 larger ridings in which between two and seven Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) would be elected. The total number of MLAs will not change. Voters would rank the candidates in order of preference, as many or as few as they wish. When the results are tallied, votes are transferred to the next preference on the ballot when the first preference has been elected or eliminated. The system is designed to ensure that every vote helps to elect someone, every vote counts as fully as possible, and every voter is represented by a candidate they voted for, as nearly as mathematically possible.
Previous elections held under the current Single Member Plurality (also known as First Past The Post) system led to odd results in certain elections, such as the 2001 election where the winning party obtained 77 of the 79 seats of the legislature with just 58% of the vote, and the 1996 election, in which the party with the most votes failed to win the election. The recommendation to switch to STV was made by the British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, a group formed in 2004 of randomly selected citizens. They spent a year learning about voting systems around the world and consulting with BC citizens.
It’s the fourth referendum in the country and the second in the province within the last 4 years. The previous referendum held in 2005 also voted on these same electoral systems and came within 2.3% of the 60% threshold. In order for the referendum to be binding, BC-STV will again need 60% of the popular vote and 50% of votes in 51 of the 85 ridings in BC. If the change is approved, it will be the first province in the country to adopt reform of the electoral system in recent history.
Fair Voting BC, recognized as the official proponent group, argues that STV will lead to fairer election results, effective local representation and greater voter choice. They argue that BC-STV will give voters the power to hold politicians and political parties accountable, by giving every voter a vote that actually makes a difference. If the STV system is approved, then it will be put into use for the first time for the 2013 provincial election.
The recognized opponent group is the No STV Campaign Society. Their arguments are that STV will give larger ridings, voters would be unsure of whom their MLA would be, there would be unequal geographic representation, that the counting method is too complicated, the electoral system results are unverified in practical usage, the system results in a higher probability of minority governments and the subsequent coalition of parties. They also argue that other countries who use systems similar to STV have had problems with their election results.
$500,000 in public funding has been given to both the proponents and the opponents of the referendum.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
NASA’s Cassini–Huygens spacecraft has discovered evidence for a large-scale saltwater reservoir beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The data came from the spacecraft’s direct analysis of salt-rich ice grains close to the jets ejected from the moon. The study has been published in this week’s edition of the journal Nature.
Data from Cassini’s cosmic dust analyzer show the grains expelled from fissures, known as tiger stripes, are relatively small and usually low in salt far away from the moon. Closer to the moon’s surface, Cassini found that relatively large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes. The salt-rich particles have an “ocean-like” composition and indicate that most, if not all, of the expelled ice and water vapor comes from the evaporation of liquid salt-water. When water freezes, the salt is squeezed out, leaving pure water ice behind.
Cassini’s ultraviolet imaging spectrograph also recently obtained complementary results that support the presence of a subsurface ocean. A team of Cassini researchers led by Candice Hansen of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, measured gas shooting out of distinct jets originating in the moon’s south polar region at five to eight times the speed of sound, several times faster than previously measured. These observations of distinct jets, from a 2010 flyby, are consistent with results showing a difference in composition of ice grains close to the moon’s surface and those that made it out to the E ring, the outermost ring that gets its material primarily from Enceladean jets. If the plumes emanated from ice, they should have very little salt in them.
“There currently is no plausible way to produce a steady outflow of salt-rich grains from solid ice across all the tiger stripes other than salt water under Enceladus’s icy surface,” said Frank Postberg, a Cassini team scientist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
The data suggests a layer of water between the moon’s rocky core and its icy mantle, possibly as deep as about 50 miles (80 kilometers) beneath the surface. As this water washes against the rocks, it dissolves salt compounds and rises through fractures in the overlying ice to form reserves nearer the surface. If the outermost layer cracks open, the decrease in pressure from these reserves to space causes a plume to shoot out. Roughly 400 pounds (200 kilograms) of water vapor is lost every second in the plumes, with smaller amounts being lost as ice grains. The team calculates the water reserves must have large evaporating surfaces, or they would freeze easily and stop the plumes.
“We imagine that between the ice and the ice core there is an ocean of depth and this is somehow connected to the surface reservoir,” added Postberg.
The Cassini mission discovered Enceladus’ water-vapor and ice jets in 2005. In 2009, scientists working with the cosmic dust analyzer examined some sodium salts found in ice grains of Saturn’s E ring but the link to subsurface salt water was not definitive. The new paper analyzes three Enceladus flybys in 2008 and 2009 with the same instrument, focusing on the composition of freshly ejected plume grains. In 2008, Cassini discovered a high “density of volatile gases, water vapor, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as organic materials, some 20 times denser than expected” in geysers erupting from the moon. The icy particles hit the detector target at speeds between 15,000 and 39,000 MPH (23,000 and 63,000 KPH), vaporizing instantly. Electrical fields inside the cosmic dust analyzer separated the various constituents of the impact cloud.
“Enceladus has got warmth, water and organic chemicals, some of the essential building blocks needed for life,” said Dennis Matson in 2008, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
“This finding is a crucial new piece of evidence showing that environmental conditions favorable to the emergence of life can be sustained on icy bodies orbiting gas giant planets,” said Nicolas Altobelli, the European Space Agency’s project scientist for Cassini.
“If there is water in such an unexpected place, it leaves possibility for the rest of the universe,” said Postberg.