Rabu, 29 Februari 2012


February 29, 2012

“(A nurse) started strapping up my right wrist. I was puzzled, I didn’t know what she was doing, and then she secured me to the side of the bed… I became unconscious. And I don’t know how long I was unconscious for, but when I eventually came to, my son was gone.”

* In latest news: A NATIONAL apology and financial reparation is owed to parents and children who were victims of forced adoption policies, a Senate committee has found.

The community affairs committee says the practice was wrong not just by today’s standards but by the laws of the time.

The committee has called for governments and institutions involved in forced adoption from the 1940s to the 70s to set up grievance processes and provide redress where wrongdoing is established.

And it says the states should provide financial reparation schemes for the victims.

Did you watch the Four Corners program Give or Taken? on forced adoption this week?

It was deeply affecting and, at times, harrowing to watch. No doubt many tears of sympathy were shed across the nation for the women bullied and coerced into giving up their babies.

The program was also a testament to the endurance of mother love – perhaps the most powerful of all human emotions.

Reporter Geoff Thompson talked to some of the women who lost their children. They told the truth about the way they were treated in the hours after they gave birth. Heartbreaking.

Until the 1970s, having a child out of wedlock was seen as a social disgrace and young women who fell pregnant were either sent away or actively encouraged to give up their babies for adoption. A ‘clean break’ it was called. Women were given sedatives and drugs to dry up their milk.

Something we forget when we talk about the 'good old days'.

Authorities argued this was done with good intentions, but now a Senate Committee has heard evidence that tells a very different story. It will release its report tomorrow.

Many young, single mothers were never given the option of keeping their child.

Unmarried mothers automatically had their hospital records marked ready for adoption – even before giving birth.

There is evidence that some were sedated. Others were denied access to their babies as they were making crucial decisions about their future. As a result, these women have suffered terrible emotional distress throughout their lives.

One person who examined a variety of evidence said:

“I have no doubt that some illegal activity occurred, I have no doubt that women were subject to what nowadays… we would call abuse; that forged consents occurred.”

Over the past decade individual hospitals and the West Australian Government have offered an official apology to the women who lost their children.

“Given or Taken?” Reported by Geoff Thompson and presented by Kerry O’Brien will be replayed on Tuesday, February 28 at 11.35 pm on ABC 1 and can also be seen in ABC News 24 on Saturdays at 8pm, on iview or at abc.net.au/4corners.

Source: http://thehoopla.com.au/forced-adoption//

A Rose By Any Other Name

A Rose By Any Other Name

A Rose By Any Other Name

human nose is a marvelous thing.
It can detect over 10,000 different smells and our sense of smell can call up powerful memories in an instant.

scenting is a very personal choice. A particular scent will connect to an event, person or thing. When you smell it again, it often triggers
memory in the form of a conditioned response, for example the smell of the
ocean call up a particular seaside holiday.

can also activate the subconscious and influence your mood. Instead of reminding you of specific holiday
details, the ocean scent might make you feel content or happy. Fragrance is so
powerful it can take you from a
feeling of calmness and relaxation to a feeling of joy and stimulation.

categories include:

– this can be a single flower
or classic floral blends, which may have fresh, fruity, or even powdery

Fruity –includes such
fragrances as lemon, orange, bergamot, apple and berries.

Aquatic - scents
from nature, which bring the outdoors inside all year round. Fresh clean
scents are usually inspired by fragrances taken from nature's elements, like
the rainforest and the ocean.

Greens - lively fragrances such as green tea, spring
leaves and fresh mown grass are great for living areas and hallways
because they are both revitalising and welcoming. The beauty of
nature and green culture has grown demand for green vegetable and aromatic
herb-based fragrances like thyme and new
mown hay.

Oriental - rich
scents that evoke the feeling of warmth and comfort are becoming increasingly
popular, especially in the autumn. People want to bring the scent of warm
woods and rare spices into the home with fragrances such as sandalwood, vanilla
and cloves.

- foodie aromas can lend an atmosphere of nostalgia – a
fragrance such as cinnamon or ginger may rekindle happy memories of family
times spent in the kitchen and create feelings of wellbeing and reassurance.

You can also consider the season when choosing
a scent. Winter is a popular time for
the likes of apple, cinnamon and pine, while scents like pumpkin, spice and
maple leaves are popular for autumn.

We are bombarded with
artificially scented products. The chemicals often used to formulate these
fragrances can be toxic to the human body over time. It is estimated that 95% of the synthetic fragrances on the market
today are derived from petroleum by-products. These chemicals can cause irritation to the nose, eyes and throat and
are often found in artificially scented air fresheners, soaps, detergents and
cleaners, deodorants, lotions, perfumes and other more common products, so
do check labels before you buy.

There are many different types of home
fragrance units on the market. The
scented candle and pot – pourri are are among the oldest forms of scenting
homes. Candles can offer design variety but over the years accidental house
fires and soot marks have become an issue.

use a safer product many people have moved on to reed diffusers, which are
particularly pleasing to the eye.
Wall plugs, light bulb heated warmers and scented oils are all alternative

your home fragrance will add greater depth, which can be achieved through the
use of candles, flowers and perhaps diffusers. Candles and flowers will give you a
short-burst of fragrance lasting a few days and an aroma diffuser will provide
you with a constant delicate underlying scent that can last for months, just be
sure your fragrances enhance one another and don't clash.


To add fragrance and beauty to your home Ashleigh & Burwood would like to
offer one lucky Women
Talking subscriber the chance to win a Premium Fragrance Lamp Gift Set.

Each Fragrance Lamp is
individually handcrafted, and each piece is therefore completely unique

To enter answer the following question:

Name one of the oil

For help visit www.ashleigh-burwood.co.uk

Send your answer to competitions@womentalking.co.uk
ensuring you put the words fragrance in the subject header and also include
your Women Talking username with the

Please note this competition is only open to Women Talking subscribers and any entry
without a valid username will not be accepted.

The competition closes on March 31st and the winner will be contacted soon after.

Source: http://womentalking.co.uk/new//topics/lifestyle/rose-any-other-name/

Efforts to Improve Research on Kids' Drugs Paying Off: Report (2/29/2012)

Efforts to Improve Research on Kids' Drugs Paying Off: Report (2/29/2012)

Efforts to Improve Research on Kids' Drugs Paying Off: Report (2/29/2012)

Efforts to Improve Research on Kids' Drugs Paying Off: Report

But information still limited on long-term safety, efficacy, especially for infants.
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Federal laws requiring medical companies to conduct pediatric drug studies have helped provide guidance on whether it's safe or effective for children to use certain medications, a new U.S. report finds.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report noted, however, that there's still not enough data on the use of drugs in newborns or the long-term effects of drugs on kids generally. The IOM, part of the National Academies, is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides advice to U.S. policymakers, health professionals, industry and the public.

Congress has attempted to increase the number of pediatric studies of medications with the passage of two laws: the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act, which offers companies financial incentives to conduct the studies; and the Pediatric Research Equity Act, which requires pediatric studies in specific situations.

In reviewing these laws, which are due for reauthorization this year, the IOM committee found that both laws have had a positive effect on the use of drugs in children. The committee noted, however, that the laws could be more effective if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration used its authority to require that drug makers undertake long-term follow-up studies after products have been approved for sale.

Long-term studies are especially important for young patients because children's bodies and minds are not fully developed and they could be taking medications for chronic conditions over the course of many years, the report stated. The IOM committee added that newborns are also more vulnerable to the side effects of medications.

The report, released Feb. 29, concluded that Congress and the FDA could step in to improve research in these areas and force drug manufacturers to conduct timely long-term studies on the risk of medications among children or face penalties. This may be necessary, the report authors suggested in a news release from the National Academy of Sciences, because conducting research on children is more difficult and often yields less lucrative results than studies involving adults.

Source: http://www.womenshealt.gov/new/news/headlines/662238.cfm/

Selasa, 28 Februari 2012


February 27, 2012

All the glamour and ceremony highlights from the 84th Academy Awards.

First our live updates … then scroll down for all the winners and gorgeous photos.

This is Bonnie Vaughan live-blogging the 84th Academy Awards to you from my apartment in the heart of Sydney, where it’s a steamy 28 degrees and I am the polar opposite of Hollywood glam as I sit in front of a fan trying not to drip on my keyboard.

And heeeeeeere’s Billy. It’s his ninth time, and yeah, it’s going to be cheesy and predictable, but at least the guy’s comfortable up there – unlike awkward Gen Y disaster couple James Franco and Anne Hathaway last year. There’s no point trying to make the Oscars hip – never have been, never will be. Welcome back, Billy!

Octavia Spencer looks lovely but that dress is so tight she had to be helped out of her chair. A standing O? “Thank you guys, I’m sorry, thank you, I’m sorry…” Maybe this is the new “You like me, you really like me!”

Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz: it’s a battle of the skintight champagne frocks up there. Not much chemistry between these two, though; not BFFs in real life, I’ll warrant.

George and Stacy watching Cirque de Soleil. Kind of how I’m feeling.

P.S. That Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow bit bombed, sorry.

Chris Rock presenting best animated feature. “UPS is hard work, okay? Strippin’ wood is hard work. I’ve done some animation… and it’s the easiest job in the world!” He needs to host next year.

Christopher Plummer for Beginners. First Oscar at 82! “You’re only two years older than me, darling, where have you been all of my life?”

Aww, it’s wee Brett McKenzie from Flight of the Conchords. He’s adorably nervous – I’m so glad he finally got his due as well as Jemaine.

Winner, original screenplay Midnight in Paris. And, as is customary, Woody Allen is a no-show.

Billy Crystal stutters out his intro to Angie Jolie, presenting for adapted screenplay, and it’s easy to see why. How long do you reckon she rehearsed that pose?

Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy presenting for best documentary do a shot when someone yells “Scorsese!” Random, but some desperately needed comic relief.

Michael Douglas presenting the award for Achievement in Directing. Incredible how much he looks like his father, Kirk.

In memoriam always gives me chills and there are people I had no idea had passed, every time. Jane Russell? Polly Platt? Peter Falk? Ben Gazzara? I’m glad Elizabeth Taylor got star billing over Whitney Houston – on this occasion, it’s entirely appropriate.

Natalie Portman presenting for Best Actor is strong, confident and stunning in Jungle Red. She can hold her own up on that stage – a rare thing in Young Hollywood today. I’m on the edge of my seat here – George or Jean?!?!?

Best Actor Jean Dujardin: “Formidable! Merci beaucoup, I love you!”

And for best actress, the Oscar goes to: Who else? Meryl Streep, who feigns surprise very nicely, takes the piss out of herself for the predictable win and then tears up at the mention of her husband’s name – all in under 10 seconds. Legend.

Tom Cruise presenting best picture? Why? Well here he is, scrubbed up and looking his Ken-doll best.

The Artist wins for Best Picture. Harvey Weinstein is back. Aww, Uggie the dog is up there. Nobody got played off during their speeches tonight – surely a first.

And it’s over, thank you very much everyone and good night!


Cinematography and set decoration: Hugo

Best supporting actress: Octavia Spencer

Costume design: The Artist

Makeup: The Iron Lady

Foreign language film: A Separation

Film editing: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Winner, sound editing: Hugo

Sound mixing: Hugo

Best documentary feature: Undefeated

Animation: Rango

Visual effects: Hugo

Supporting actor: Christopher Plummer

Best original score: The Artist

Original screenplay: Midnight in Paris

Adapted screenplay: The Descendants

Original song: Brett McKenzie, Man or Muppet, The Muppets

Live action short film: The Shore

Original screenplay: Woody Allen

Documentary: Saving Face

Animated short film: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

Achievement in directing: The Artist

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin

Best Actress: Meryl Streep

Best Film: The Artist

Stop the presses: George Clooney looks dapper. And GF Stacy Kiebler is gorgeous in bronze Marquesa. Speaking together on the Oscar’s Red carpet — this is a big coming out for them, so to speak.

Michelle Williams looking demure, as always, in Louis Vuitton and what is that colour? Tangerine maybe? “Some kind of a fruit,” says Ryan. Hmmm. I can hear Joan Rivers already.

Source: http://thehoopla.com.au/oscars-live-updates//

Senin, 27 Februari 2012


February 24, 2012

The death of the American journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik in Syria this week has caused an international outcry – and brought home the dangers of reporting from the front line.

Colvin, 56, a veteran war correspondent with the UK’s Sunday Times, died with 28-year-old Ochlik, when they were fired on as they tried to flee a makeshift press centre that had suffered a direct hit from a shell.

Their murder followed claims that Syrian forces had pledged to kill “any journalist who set foot on Syrian soil”.

In her powerful first novel What Remains, Denise Leith has written with intensity and candour the story of a female war correspondent and of the impact of what she sees in the course of her career.

The book follows the tumultuous life of journalist Kate Price from her first assignment as an idealistic correspondent in Riyadh in 1991 through the war zones of Palestine, Bosnia, Rwanda and Chechnya to Baghdad in 2004.

We track her as she pays the price of bearing witness to unspeakable calamity and cruelty until she can't feel anything unless it cuts her to the bone. Along the way Kate meets legendary photographer Pete McDermott.

From a cynical beginning to grudging respect to something much more precious, their growing attraction frames the danger and terror of their working lives.

Denise talks to Caroline Baum in this exclusive Hoopla video:

*Denise Leith has taught international relations, Middle East politics, Australian foreign policy and Australian politics at Sydney’s Macquarie University. Her first book The Politics of Power: Freeport in Suharto’s Indonesia was published in 2002. Her second book, Bearing Witness: The Lives of War Correspondents and Photojournalists (2004), looked at the world of war, disease and famine through the eyes and voices of the world top war correspondents and photojournalists. In 2005, as part of the committee of International PEN, she was awarded the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Community Award for work with writers held in detention. Denise currently lives on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and writes and teaches part time at university. Visit www.deniseleith.com

Source: http://thehoopla.com.au/remains-courage-fire//

Another Batch of Birth Control Pills Recalled for Faulty Packaging (2/27/2012)

Another Batch of  Birth Control Pills Recalled for Faulty Packaging (2/27/2012)

Another Batch of Birth Control Pills Recalled for Faulty Packaging (2/27/2012)

Another Batch of Birth Control Pills Recalled for Faulty Packaging

Dosing directions could limit effectiveness, lead to unintended pregnancies.
MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A second company has issued a voluntary recall of birth control pills because of a packaging error that could lead to incorrect dosing and expose women to unintended pregnancies.

Glenmark Generics Inc. said the seven lots of birth control pill packets, sold as Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol, do not pose any immediate health risks, but that women using these oral contraceptives should immediately switch to another form of birth control. The company added that it has informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the recall.

"The safety of patients who take our medicines is our first priority. The cause was identified and corrected immediately," the company said in a statement. "At this time, there remains sufficient supply of unaffected lots of material in the marketplace to support demand."

Glenmark did not specify how many pills were affected by the recall. The lot numbers on the packets are: 04110101, 04110106, 04110107, 04110114, 04110124, 04110129 and 04110134.

Doctors offered this advice to women who may be affected by the recall.

"With birth control pills, if the exact count or sequence is out of order the efficacy of the birth control pill could be significantly decreased. If this is the case, patients may be experiencing irregular bleeding and may be at higher risk for unintended pregnancy," said Dr. Adam Jacobs, an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

"This packaging error does not pose any other immediate health risks. If a patient has this lot number they should stop taking the pills immediately and discuss other birth control options with their physician, including emergency contraception, if necessary," Jacobs added.

"Sequence and content of active vs. inactive pills is crucial in determining efficacy, including whether or not unwanted pregnancy will be actually prevented," said Dr. Jill Rabin, chief of ambulatory care, obstetrics and gynecology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "Expiration date could also affect efficacy of the pill in question, as active ingredient potency may be affected. Fortunately, the exact cause of this packaging error was identified and immediately reported."

However, patients who are affected by this should do several important things, Rabin added. Make sure you are not pregnant; immediately begin using a non-hormonal form of contraception if not pregnant; notify your physician/health care provider; and return the product to your pharmacy.

The pills involved in the latest recall were sent to wholesalers and retail pharmacies nationwide between Sept. 21, 2011 and Dec. 30, 2011. Glenmark said it discovered the packaging problem after a customer complained that one of her blister packs had the pills packaged in reverse order.

Earlier this month, Pfizer Inc. recalled 1 million packets of birth control pills for similar reasons. At the time, the company said it had discovered that some blister packs of Lo/Ovral and generic Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol had packaging that could contain either too many or too few active pills and that the pills may be out of sequence. The expiration dates on those recalled packets range between July 31, 2013 and March 31, 2014.

Source: http://www.womenshealt.gov/new/news/headlines/662167.cfm/

Minggu, 26 Februari 2012


February 23, 2012

As a teenager I worked as a ballet teacher and my most stressful role was choosing soloists for the end-of-year concert.

When the time came for our 2002 production of Tubby The Tuba, the role of Tubby was hotly contested among the ballerinas. One particularly ambitious girl, who I’ll call "Abby" (because that is her name and she can probably use the internet by now and she should know that I still hold a grudge) was so keen to upgrade from her secondary role of "Pee-wee the Piccolo" that, a day out from the concert, she walked out in a huff, taking her friends with her.

The ballet was a disaster – I’m sure you saw the reviews. On concert night, bemused parents were forced to look on as Tubby became a one-person show and Abby and co put on a self-devised piece which could best be described as "tween funk".

Well, now K-Rudd’s in a bit of a tween funk, storming out of the rehearsal room and forcing we, the Australian public, to watch gobsmacked as Julia pirouettes around an empty stage.

Like all good Gen-Ys, I first heard the news of Rudd’s resignation on Twitter.

Or, rather, I noticed a sudden explosion of pun-based hashtags: "Ruddvenge", "Rudderless" and the re-emergence of the 2010 classic "Spillard"- and drew my conclusions from there. (I’ll admit, my first concern was for the safety of Paul Rudd – in my defence, Clueless was on TV the other night – but happily his cheekbones have no part in this scandal.)

The Twitter community was divided into three camps – those who supported Rudd’s decision, those who thought he was acting like a spoilt child (shout out to my people!) and spambots who used the opportunity to offer people an "OMG sexeee video #Rudd".

Leading the charge for the first camp was Rudd’s very own daughter, Jessica Rudd (@Jess_Rudd).

Immediately after K-Rudd made his announcement, Jessica tweeted that she was "Effing proud of you, Dad. Xxxx", proving that a fondness for colourful language runs in the family. Joining the love-in was his wife Therese Rein (@Therese_Rein), adding "Me too, Kevin xxxx".

Source: http://thehoopla.com.au/effing-proud-you-dad-xx//

Jumat, 24 Februari 2012

Contraceptives Work Well in Obese Women, But Hormone Levels Lower (2/24/2012)

Contraceptives Work Well in Obese Women, But Hormone Levels Lower (2/24/2012)

Contraceptives Work Well in Obese Women, But Hormone Levels Lower (2/24/2012)

Contraceptives Work Well in Obese Women, But Hormone Levels Lower

Expert panel also outline new research on weight gain, birth control.

By Maureen SalamonHealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Hormonal contraceptives appear to thwart pregnancy just as well in overweight and obese women as those of normal weight despite markedly lower pregnancy-prevention hormone levels among heavier females, a group of reproductive experts said.

During a media briefing held Thursday by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Society of Family Planning, researchers said few large studies on contraception have included obese women, creating gaps in knowledge about the safety and effectiveness of various methods among this population.

About one-third of all American women between ages 20 and 39 are obese, and most of these women will use contraception, said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president of external medical affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

"Obesity and unintended pregnancy are two of our major health epidemics, and this is at the intersection of both," Cullins said. "Armed with additional information, we hopefully will be at a place where we can give more detailed and customized advice to women who are overweight or obese."

New findings presented Thursday indicated that pregnancy-prevention hormone levels varied widely among obese and normal-weight women using Implanon, a contraceptive implant that works for up to three years. These hormone levels ranged between 31 and 54 percent lower in obese women, whose body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher, said study author Dr. Melissa Gilliam, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics at the University of Chicago.

BMI is a measurement that takes both height and weight into account.

"Obese women had a much slower time to reach peak [blood] levels -- 100 hours versus 50 -- and these were never as high as in normal-weight women," said Gilliam, also board president of the Society of Family Planning, adding that the study did not determine whether these women were more likely to become pregnant while using the method.

Weight gain, another concern among hormonal contraceptive users, was addressed in a study of young women using the Depo-Provera contraceptive shot, which is administered every 12 weeks. It found that those who gained significant weight within six months of starting the shots had higher levels of certain enzymes in their fat cells before they even began.

However, "The majority of women are not at risk for large increases in weight while using [Depo-Provera]," said study author Dr. Andrea Bonny, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. "Future studies need to better identify the differences in fat cells between those that do and don't gain weight."

Another study, on rhesus monkeys, found that birth control pills were not linked to weight gain among female primates and actually triggered weight loss among those who were obese. However, scientists note that research involving animals often fails to produce similar results in humans.

Study author Dr. Alison Edelman, an associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, also presented findings from separate research suggesting that birth control drug levels were lower among obese women -- especially after the seven-day pill break coinciding with users' menstrual periods.

In theory, obese women might be more vulnerable to pregnancy during this time period, but Edelman noted that a recent study of 52,000 women found only slight differences in oral-contraceptive failure rates between obese and normal-weight women.

"These differences aren't sufficient enough to overcome the overwhelming benefits achieved by women finding the method that works best for them," she said.

In an era of increasingly customized medicine, the researchers said more data would help doctors to better tailor contraceptives to overweight and obese women.

Edelman referred to long-term methods such as hormonal implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs) as the "Cadillac of products" for women of any weight, but said she and other experts don't have yet enough information to recommend that obese women currently alter their usage of hormonal contraceptives.

"Contraceptives are usually studied in a normal-weight population . . . but we're changing our one-size-fits-all philosophy," Edelman said.

Source: http://www.womenshealt.gov/new/news/headlines/662096.cfm/

Kamis, 23 Februari 2012

Fashion Statement with Suzannah Roach

Fashion Statement with Suzannah Roach

Fashion Statement with Suzannah Roach

Few members
of the public get to see any of the designers' fashion shows first hand. If you
are not A list celebrity status your name is most certainly not down and you
are ever more certainly not coming in. It appears that Fashion Week, be it London, Paris or
New York has become more of a celeb spotting moment than a focus on the up and
coming trends for next season.

When I did may usual trawl through the press to see what
the latest was from London Fashion Week the
majority of the news reports seemed to focus on the celebrities that were FROWing it (Front Row of the Fashion Shows
for anyone not so closely following). I had to dig deep to actually get any
first hand reports of the designs the models were actually wearing on the
catwalk. The focus was more on Alexa
Chung and Kate Bosworth's outfits and hairstyles than Jonathon Saunders'
designs and whether Kate Middleton would be arriving to view the Temperley

By all accounts, when I did get to the bottom of the
fashion reports, it appears there were
some truly amazing designs coming out of London Fashion Week and thank
goodness there still are. London Fashion
Week has, in the past, been a poor relation to Paris and New York but the
more focus that is put on it the bigger and better it becomes.

It is interesting to see who the main focus points are
this year. Top Shop Unique is a big draw
and Burberry drew in the A-listers in droves. There are pages and pages of
names that show at London Fashion Week
and thankfully some of the big players are choosing London over Paris to
showcase their new designs. Erdem and
McQueen showcase their latest ranges and Mulberry and Burberry cause a stir
with their stunning looks. These are the big players of the fashion
industry and they have chosen London as their launch pad.

Burton states that London is at the centre of the fashion world, allowing
designers to have their own creative flair whilst having the world's media at
their fingertips. The United Kingdom is known for not only being edgy and
creative in their high-end fashion designs but also leading the way in the high
street too.

Unique being one of the big players at Fashion Week now indicates how the
focus has shifted and how influential the high street can be. Victoria Beckham interestingly chose New
York to launch her lower key Victoria range this year, but then chose London
Fashion Week to launch at Harvey Nichols in London. Interpret that
whichever way you choose but thankfully the big players are staying loyal to London,
which leads to more publicity and hype.

Fashion Week carves an insight into what we will all be wearing in the next six
months. Many items on the catwalk during the past week may not be
something you can imagine striding down the street in but a more wearable,
customer-friendly range is often presented by these influential designers in their
diffusion ranges which allow them to access "Jo Public" on the high street.

February saw many designers at London Fashion Week focus on military jackets
and door knob statement belts and grown up gothic looks with leather and
brocade. The clothes we see the teeny-weeny models wearing on the catwalk
probably won't be the clothes we'll be wearing come autumn but you can rest
assured there will be many military coats on sale on the high street and the
accessories will be waist belts with big buckles.

So whilst we see Fashion
Week paying more attention to the celebs and what dramas they are drumming
up at the after show parties, this celeb frenzy brings more media attention.
More media attention, the bigger London
Fashion Week becomes and the more revenue it brings into the UK. At the end
of the day that is what this multi-billion pound industry is all about.

We may look at these astronomically expensive items of
clothing and think it's pointless even taking note. However, if you plan to make a fashion purchase over
the next six months, what you buy will have been influenced in some way by the
events that have just taken place in some uber-cool location in London, be
it the designs seen on the catwalk or the clothes worn by the A list
celebrities lucky enough to get to see the fashion shows first


Source: http://womentalking.co.uk/new//topics/fashion/fashion-statement-suzannah-roach-14/

February 23, 2012

Whoa! Before you start thinking you have some hideous 'hoarding' disorder because you have a garage full of stuff… a little reality check.

Are there more than one million Australians who can be classified as having a serious issue with hoarding? Are one in 20 of us bordering on having an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with our stuff?

I very much doubt it.

That's the statistic that’s been bandied about over the past few days, making people feel guilty about the stuff they have. I'm prepared to say that’s a wildly inflated number.

Wendy as host of the ABC-TV series, Stuff.

Now, I am no clinical psychologist, however I did spend a year researching this very topic for a four-part documentary I wrote and hosted called Stuff which aired on ABC-TV in 2008.

By now I know quite a bit about objects and that our relationship with them is complex.

There’s a lot of joy to be had in our material possessions, that’s what the series said. Thousands of personal responses to my series convinced me I was on the right track.

Like this one from Georgina: “Thank you, Wendy! By the way, on the topic of childhood possessions, I still sleep with my teddy bear from when I was born and I’m almost 17!”

Truth is, the accumulation of stuff is right there in the old DNA.

Every human society on earth has owned stuff. It may not be the sort of stuff we have now – the plastic busload of Barbie dolls, 17 pairs of black shoes and bottom drawer full of dead mobile phones – but it was stuff nevertheless.

No-one quite knows when it becomes 'hoarding' and a mental illness.

Not even clinical psychologist, Dr Christopher Morgan, director of the Melbourne Anxiety Clinic who was a speaker at the "Pathways Through the Maze National Hoarding and Squalor" conference held in Sydney over the past two days.

I was watching his interview on ABC-TV Breakfast this week where he called for more research and funding on what can be, for some, a debilitating condition.

But, I repeat, that is not you or me with too many books and a pile of busted printers and computers in the spare room.

As for those crazy 'one million Australians have OCD' statistics? Recently Dr Morgan was reported as saying: “It's been a largely under-diagnosed and unrecognised condition. There have been estimates… In Australia we're not sure but it's certainly over 100,000-200,000.”

That seems to be more like it.

I spent a lot of time unpacking our relationship with our objects in my own research. (And I hate that 'unpacking' term, but in this case it's apt.)

There are many things to think about.

Objects bring us great comfort. Enjoy your stuff. It's yours. You've earned it.

Source: http://thehoopla.com.au/precious-stuff-junk-hoarding//

Chemical Used to Strip Bathtubs Linked to Worker Deaths: CDC (2/23/2012)

Chemical Used to Strip Bathtubs Linked to Worker Deaths: CDC (2/23/2012)

Chemical Used to Strip Bathtubs Linked to Worker Deaths: CDC (2/23/2012)

Chemical Used to Strip Bathtubs Linked to Worker Deaths: CDC

10 products containing methylene chloride associated with 13 fatalities in U.S. since 2000.
THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A chemical used to strip bathtubs has been associated with more than a dozen deaths of people working as bathtub refinishers in the United States in the last 12 years, according to a new report.

Methylene chloride is used in industrial processes but is also available in over-the-counter paint- and finish-stripping products. It's previously been identified as a potential cause of death among furniture strippers and factory workers, according to a news release from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2010, the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-funded Michigan Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program investigated the death of a bathtub refinisher in the state who used a methylene chloride-based paint-stripping product marketed for use in aircraft maintenance. Investigators also identified two earlier, similar deaths in Michigan.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration also identified 10 other deaths of bathtub refinishers who used methylene chloride stripping agents that had been investigated between 2000 and 2011 in nine states.

All of the deaths occurred in residential bathrooms with inadequate ventilation. The victims either did not use protective respiratory equipment or the equipment they used did not protect against methylene chloride vapor, according to the report in the Feb. 24 edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the CDC.

Victims ranged in age from 23 to 57 years, and 12 of the 13 were male, the authors of the report noted.

Ten different products were associated with the deaths, with six marketed for use in the aircraft industry and the others for use on wood, metal, glass and masonry. Bathtub refinishing was not mentioned on any of the product labels.

Methylene chloride concentration in the stripping products ranged from 60 percent to 100 percent.

When using products that contain methylene chloride, work areas must be well-ventilated, the study authors said. When levels of methylene chloride in a work area exceed recommended exposure levels, respiratory protective equipment must be provided to and used by workers, according to experts.

The study authors said that it's unlikely that a stripping product that contains methylene chloride can be used safely in a small bathroom and employers should consider alternative methods of stripping bathtubs, they recommended.

Source: http://www.womenshealt.gov/new/news/headlines/662081.cfm/

Rabu, 22 Februari 2012


February 22, 2012

One year ago this week a powerful earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people. The 6.3 magnitude quake came at 21.51 pm local time. Nationals from more than 20 countries were among the dead. Morag White shares her family’s story.

The purple glass vase I gave my mother when I was 10 years old no longer sits on the shelf in the lounge room.
The family photos that once decorated the walls now languish on the bed in the spare room and the roof of the glass house sports a large gaping hole, like the purple vase.
They all lost their battle with the aftershocks.
This is how life is in Christchurch a year on since the devastating earthquake that killed 185 people. In the past 12 months there have been thousands of aftershocks, the latest in December measuring 5.8 and 6.0 on the Richter Scale.
The result, for a visitor like myself making the periodic pilgrimage to my hometown, is bewildering. The comfort and joy of revisiting old haunts and glimpsing the familiar is no longer guaranteed, memory lane has cracked and it is littered with piles of rubble and vacant lots.
I experienced the December earthquakes from the relative safety of a grounded small aircraft.
When the first earthquake hit I thought it was the baggage handlers roughly flinging the luggage into the hold but when the second earthquake struck an hour later, just as we were about to get the all-clear to fly, I started to get concerned – the shaking felt threatening, the consequences potentially fatal.
When the tremors ceased I noticed, to my amazement, that one of the cabin crew was falling about laughing. I was quite surprised she was able to laugh it off – I thought it would be exasperating for her.
We all had to disembark and wait on the tarmac and all the flight schedules had now been thrown into disarray. However, this was just another day at the office for her, luckily she has a sense of humour.
Christchurch was once my home, but now it will never be the same. 
I was lucky that I wasn't there for the two major earthquakes nor have I had to live through the ongoing aftershocks. Thankfully nobody close to me died.
However, I still feel a major loss and deep sadness as buildings that were my memory markers, the tangible links to my history have now been completely destroyed.

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/christchurch-year-today//

Twiggy’s First M&S collection

Twiggy's First M&S collection

Twiggy's First M&S collection

Twiggy has been modeling for M&S since 2005. With her amazing
career in fashion and her love for design, she has a unique appeal for M&S customers who are sure to enjoy
this new collection.

At 62 Twiggy wanted the M & S range to suit all women
and not just those who are a svelte size 10 like her. "I couldn't just design clothes that I love," she
said. "It was important to cater for women of all ages, shapes and sizes.

"I am very proud of my
new collection and I loved working closely with Neil Hendy, M&S Head of Design and his team.

"We started talking
about the collaboration three years ago and have now produced over 40 pieces.
The collection is stylish, timeless, fun, easy to wear and most importantly
affordable. I am a high street shopper myself
and M&S are happy to indulge my passion for fashion."

"In the design stages of the collection, we discussed the idea of the
key pieces for inspiration that was both contemporary and timeless and incorporated
the latest catwalk trends, " said Twiggy. "A Jacket, dress, blouse, trousers, and so
on. This was the starting point and then we built on these ideas and completed
the look with colours and fabrics to complement the styles.

"Tailored jackets and comfortable footwear are my wardrobe
necessities. I love a well fitted, jacket you can wear it with just about
anything. I like to push the sleeves up for a casual, chic look and team it
with a T-shirt, skinny jeans and brogues for day wear.

"We designed the statement sequined jacket to add the
perfect sparkle to eveningwear and a touch of glamour to daywear. The fabric is
soft, allowing the jacket to fall naturally and the gunmetal grey shade of the sequins
give a sophisticated finish.

"When it comes to dresses, I pay particular attention to
Whether the style needs texture, to be lined, to be with or without a belt is
very important to the overall finished look. My personal preference is a narrow dress, which is not too
tight around the middle. This gives a
beautiful streamlined look. I find stitch
detail or gathering on the tummy disguise a multitude of sins.

"I have many favourite
colours. However, if I had to choose I
love shades of blue, so versatile and can be paired with most tones. We
have incorporated soft neutrals and taupes as well as bold monochrome, florals
and splashes of colour to the Twiggy

A sneak preview of the autumn range revealed another few colour
favourites of Twiggy's, magenta pink and beautiful soft purples and wines included in the pieces
to be released later in the year. 

A selection of belts, bags, shoes and scarves offer the
essential finishing touches to the collection.

"You will always find
me in a comfortable pair of flat shoes" said Twiggy "I can't walk in high heels,
I have weak ankles and I'm concerned that I might fall. We have chosen a selection of pretty sandals and pumps to complement
the summer collection. I hate to see youngsters staggering around in high
heels when they are clearly uncomfortable. It's so much more liberating to wear

Twiggy is a
skilled seamstress herself and a dab hand on the
sewing machine. "I love sewing and I am very good at it," she said. "My mother taught
me to sew as a youngster and I have always enjoyed creating and designing
clothes even before the opportunity with M&S

"Being in the
fashion industry for so long I know my body and what suits me. I know what
styles will complement body shapes and I am delighted that this is illustrated by
the M&S Twiggy range."

Twiggy for M&S Woman will launch on Thursday 12th April
exclusively online at www.marksandspencer.com/Twiggy

The range will be available in sizes 8-24 and range from
£12.50 for a T- shirt to £79 for the statement sequined jacket.

Poppy Watt

If you would like the
chance to try out some of the wonderful clothes in the Twiggy M&S range then we have a great competition prize for you
to enter. Just click here for more

Source: http://womentalking.co.uk/new//topics/fashion/twiggy%E2%80%99s-first-ms-collection/

Exercise in Pregnancy Safe for Baby, Study Finds (2/22/2012)

Exercise in Pregnancy Safe for Baby, Study Finds (2/22/2012)

Exercise in Pregnancy Safe for Baby, Study Finds (2/22/2012)

Exercise in Pregnancy Safe for Baby, Study Finds

Moderate to vigorous activity is recommended, but check with your doctor first.

By Carina StorrsHealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Exercising at moderate or -- for very active women -- even high intensity during pregnancy won't hurt your baby's health, a new study finds.

Researchers monitored healthy women in their third trimester before and after 30 minutes on a treadmill and found no problems with measures of fetal well-being, including heart rate and blood flow. The results were similar whether or not the women exercised on a regular basis.

"Healthy pregnant women who exercise should be encouraged to continue, and if a woman is pregnant and is not an exerciser, she should be encouraged to start a moderate exercise program," said study co-author Dr. Linda Szymanski, an assistant professor in the division of maternal-fetal medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

The findings are in line with the recommendation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that healthy pregnant women get at least two and a half hours of medium-intensity aerobic exercise a week even if they did not exercise before becoming pregnant. Exercise improves heart health and may reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy, such as developing high blood pressure and diabetes.

However, research indicates that women tend to exercise less when pregnant, and most fall short of the government guidelines.

"Many women say their doctor told them they should cut back on exercise, and if they weren't exercising before pregnancy, now is not the time to start," said Szymanski. "I think it's just because there's not enough data out there to assure [health care] providers that the fetus is okay."

The study is published in the March issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

For the study, 45 women between 28 and 32 weeks of pregnancy walked or jogged on a treadmill for 30 minutes at moderate intensity, which the researchers defined as 40 percent to 59 percent of their maximum heart rate.

Fifteen of the women were not regular exercisers. The other 30 did either 20 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking, three or more days a week, or 20 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as running, more than four days a week. The regular exercisers were assigned an additional 30-minute session of high intensity (60 percent to 84 percent of maximum heart rate) exercise on a treadmill.

Before and after each exercise session, Szymanski measured the fetus' heart rate and blood flow to the fetus using an exam called a Doppler ultrasound. The authors also did a biophysical profile, using ultrasound, after exercise to determine whether the baby was moving as it should.

Although the fetal heart rate rose after the medium- and high-intensity workouts, the heart rate, blood flow and biophysical profile stayed in the normal range. These data help reassure that the baby is fine and that exercise did not keep the baby from getting enough blood or oxygen, Szymanski said.

"I thought this was great, especially for women who don't exercise, because I think people were afraid it would be too much stress all of a sudden and the babies wouldn't like it," Szymanski said.

Still, Dr. Hye Heo, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said mothers-to-be should consult with their doctor before exercising because every pregnancy is different.

Also, the study involved a small group of women who were healthy and not obese, so it does not necessarily apply to all women, Heo said. "If a woman is fit and has been exercising, continuing within moderation is appropriate after taking into consideration health complications," she added.

Besides talking with their doctor, Heo urges pregnant women to use common sense. Listen to your body and ease up or stop if you are out of breath or feel pain or cramping, she said.

Szymanski said good options for reaching a moderate level of exertion include walking, biking or using an elliptical machine. Activities that could cause falls or that involve contact, such as skiing or basketball, should be avoided.

Heo is concerned about the long-term effects of exercise on the child, and said research has not broached this topic.

It's possible that the tests used in this study can't pick up small but important changes that occur after exercise, Heo said.

All the women in the study gave birth to healthy babies, although the study was too small to make a conclusion about the effect of exercise on health after delivery.

The authors plan to study exercise in pregnant women who develop complications, such as high blood pressure, as well as competitive elite athletes. "There's a lot of questions about what happens at very high levels of exercise," Szymanski said.

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new/news/headlines/661997.cfm/

Endometriosis Could Raise Risk of 3 Ovarian Cancers (2/22/2012)

Endometriosis Could Raise Risk of 3 Ovarian Cancers (2/22/2012)

Endometriosis Could Raise Risk of 3 Ovarian Cancers (2/22/2012)

Endometriosis Could Raise Risk of 3 Ovarian Cancers

Increased screening advised for women with the uterine disorder, study says.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) --
Women with a history of endometriosis have a significantly increased risk of developing three types of ovarian cancer, according to a new study.

Endometriosis is a disorder in which cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other areas of the body. It affects about 10 percent of women of reproductive age.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 23,000 women in 13 studies and found that those with a history of endometriosis had a more than threefold increased risk of clear-cell ovarian cancers, a more than two-fold increased risk of endometrioid tumors, and a twofold increased risk of low-grade serous ovarian cancers.

There was no link between endometriosis and increased risk for high-grade serous, mucinous, serous borderline, or mucinous borderline ovarian cancers.

The study is published online Feb. 22 in The Lancet Oncology.

"This breakthrough could lead to better identification of women at increased risk of ovarian cancer and could provide a basis for increased cancer surveillance of the relevant population, allowing better individualization of prevention and early detection approaches such as risk-reduction surgery and screening," lead author Celeste Leigh Pearce, at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, said in a journal news release.

Despite the seeming association, the risk of a woman with endometriosis developing ovarian cancer is small, and the study did not show a cause-and-effect relationship.

"Although we have reported strong associations between endometriosis and risk of clear-cell, endometrioid, and low grade serous ovarian cancers, most women with endometriosis do not develop ovarian cancer," Pearce and her colleagues said. "However, health care providers should be alert to the increased risk of specific subtypes of ovarian cancer in women with a history of endometriosis."

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/661906.cfm/

Senin, 20 Februari 2012



February 20, 2012

Very early in my spiritual life, I was brought up short by the offhand remark of a wise old priest: “You're a strange sort of Christian if the sins of others disturb you.”

Like many Catholics of my generation, I was raised to think that my faith was about achieving perfection and I should do everything I could to be perfect. In fact, I thought it was up to me to be perfect.


That's a heresy condemned in the early Church - Pelagianism - and it triggered St Augustine to develop our understanding of grace and its action in our lives which has been unsurpassed in 1600 years.

We are pretty undeveloped Christians, perhaps with an outstanding blindness to our own failings, if we get upset when we hear or see other Christians demonstrating vividly for us the weaknesses in all humans.

This has relevance to the flow of news from and around the Vatican this past few months.

There's an old saying that does the rounds in many variants. But they all come down to this: "Don't go to Rome if your faith is shaky."

And if your faith is shaky and you're easily shocked or surprised, there would be plenty of actual or unfolding scandals happening in Rome, or with reference to Rome, to send a shaky faith crumbling.

There are the leaked documents that reveal the misgivings of the now Papal Nuncio to the US who wanted to stay at his post as second-in-charge of Vatican governance to clean up the City State's financial and business practices.

Archbishop Vigano wanted to see through the task of reforming the Vatican's business systems and processes rather than accept an apparently more prestigious position. And, as if to compound the problem and confirm the skeptics in their cynicism, the Vatican's spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi SJ prescinded from considering the documents and did what amounts to shooting the messenger: he lambasted the media for releasing hitherto confidential documents.

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/priest-handles-scandal//

Minggu, 19 Februari 2012



February 16, 2012

For God's sake, please get out of our schools.

That's the plea from parents who are taking landmark action against churches indoctrinating their kids. They claim it's a breach of the Equal Opportunity Act.

"For many of these kids, it's the first time they experience discrimination," according to Scott Hedges from the group, Fairness in Religion in Schools.

My first memory of school is one of segregation. Once a week, I was left in an empty classroom because I wasn't of the right faith.

The practice continues to this day.

In most states, religious instruction is compulsory.

If parents opt out, their children are given nothing to do. This is valuable teaching time.

My girlfriend Lisa was horrified to find her five-year-old's colouring-in during scripture was on the theme of creationism.

"I wish they were teaching her more useful stuff, but I don't want to take her out of scripture class because she might be ostracised," she lamented.

When my seven-year-old started talking about how God made the birds and the bees, I countered with Darwin's theory of evolution.

"Well Mum, you stick to your theory and I'll stick to mine'!" he replied defiantly.

In NSW, the former Labor government brought in ethics classes as an alternative to scripture but their future is threatened by a bill introduced into the upper house by the Christian Democrats.

Instead of voting against the bill, the current Liberal government referred it to a parliamentary committee.

And it's not just conservative governments singing from the same hymn sheet.

While the Howard government brought in the National School Chaplaincy Program, the Rudd government boosted funding to $220 million a year.

Evangelical activists are being paid by the government to convert children to Christianity.

As ACCESS Ministries' CEO Canon Evonne Paddison said in 2008, "Our goal is to reach every child in Victoria with the transforming love of God. Through Christian Religious Education we aim to reach 80 per cent of primary school children by 2012."

YouTube Preview Image

Scary stuff, especially when you consider many of the school chaplains are unqualified.

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/god-schools//

Rabu, 08 Februari 2012

Big Drop in Americans' Blood Level of Trans Fats, CDC Says (2/8/2012)

Big Drop in Americans' Blood Level of Trans Fats, CDC Says (2/8/2012)

Big Drop in Americans' Blood Level of Trans Fats, CDC Says (2/8/2012)

Big Drop in Americans' Blood Level of Trans Fats, CDC Says

New findings focus on whites but studies on other groups underway.
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Trans fat levels in the blood of white adults in the United States fell by 58 percent between 2000 and 2009, which should help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in the nation, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study says.

The findings suggest that public health initiatives to increase consumer awareness about the danger that trans fats pose to heart health and to help people reduce their consumption of trans fats have been effective, according to the researchers.

They analyzed data from white adults who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2000 to 2009. Their goal was to examine trans fat blood levels before and after the 2006 implementation of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration law requiring food and some dietary supplement makers to list the amount of trans fats on the Nutrition Facts panels of the product label.

During the study period, some local and state health departments worked to force restaurants to limit their use of trans fats in food and to boost campaigns about the health risks of trans fats.

"The 58 percent decline shows substantial progress that should help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults," Christopher Portier, director of the CDC's National Center for Environmental Health, said in an agency news release.

"Findings from the CDC study demonstrate the effectiveness of these efforts in reducing blood [trans fats] and highlight that further reductions in the levels of trans fats must remain an important public health goal," he added.

Dr. Howard Weintraub, clinical director of the Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease at NYU Langone Medical Center, is encouraged by the new findings.

"Trans-fats have been shown to be highly linked to atherosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of arteries," Weintraub said. "Cities have banned trans-fats from restaurant cooking and this report shows there can be a true measurable difference from these proactive actions."

The study, published Feb. 8 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, provides information for white adults only. However, additional CDC studies are underway to examine blood trans fat levels among adults in other racial/ethnic groups, children and teens.

Foods high in trans fats include store-bought baked goods such as crackers, cookies and cakes, many fried foods and some shortenings and margarines.

Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats are not necessary for people and do not promote good health, according to the CDC. High consumption of trans fats increases levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol, which boosts the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Another expert also weighed in on the findings.

"With the direct effect of trans-fatty acids on the increase in LDL, which is the cholesterol leading to heart disease, this FDA initiative clearly had significant benefits on public health outcomes," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

But problems with the American diet are still far from solved, Weintraub warned.

"The new CDC report shows that people are concerned about trans-fats, since a nearly 60 percent decrease is really impressive," Weintraub said. "But Americans are still getting fatter and diabetes is getting higher. We shouldn't feel we have these epidemics beat because trans-fats are down."

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/661596.cfm/

Selasa, 07 Februari 2012


February 6, 2012

Fair shake of the sauce bottle.

The Labor Party should stop handing around the leadership like a pair of barbecue tongs.

The ongoing leadership issue is a “microcosm of everything that’s wrong with modern Labor”.

 It's a good thing someone hid the knives before the barbecue at The Lodge last night, or it would have been a massacre.

Picture this: In one corner the PM's loyalists, including Combet and Wong; in the other the Ruddbot army of Bowen and McClellend; in between, a shambles of MPs crying into their chardonnays wondering where it all went wrong.

The real barbecue stopper is this: It doesn't matter who the leader is. The Labor Party is broken. And it may never be fixed.

The problems began long before Kevin Rudd copped the raw prawn in 2010.

Around the world, Centre Left parties are stumbling along the Third Way, a political philosophy combining economic rationalism with the traditional ideals of social justice. This has seen great success, like the floating of the dollar under Hawke and Keating.

At the same time, reductions in tariffs have seen manufacturers in Labor's heartland shed jobs at a record rate.

If the Left was choosing the music at last night's soiree, it would have been Midnight Oil's Read About It: "The rich get richer, the poor get the picture." While they fight for onshore processing and gay marriage, the Right heralds Howard-era policies on asylum seekers and family values.

The ideological divide is too deep. It leaves the rest of us wondering: What does Labor stand for?

The first branch of the Labor Party was founded at a meeting of striking pastoral workers at Barcaldine in 1891. To this day, half the delegates at national conference are union affiliates, despite membership in the workplace being at an all-time low.

As a member of the Mount Martha ALP branch wrote on the National Times website late last year, "The ALP is a hollow shell managed by a coterie of union officials, factional operators and political professionals".

The leadership struggle between Gillard and Rudd is a microcosm of everything that's wrong with modern Labor.

Instead of dealing with division, party elders have ceded their power to spin doctors. All they're doing is papering over the cracks.

One Prime Minister wasn't polling well so they inserted another.

Like many women in politics, this one was given a poisoned chalice: Forever haunted by her role as Lady Macbeth.

Her reward? Saddled with the impossible task of selling a carbon tax at a time of global financial meltdown.

Her punishment? Potential replacement by the man who pushed for an Emissions Trading Scheme in the first place.

It's a perpetual episode of Yes, Minister.

While Julia Gillard is the worst Prime Minister in recent history (even leading light of the Left Robert Manne agrees with that) the fault is not hers alone.

The party has allowed itself to be hijacked by wealthy lobby groups.

Under pressure from the Right, the PM watered down Rudd's Resource Super Profit Tax after a $22 million campaign by the mining industry.


Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/real-barbecue-stopper//

Avoid Window Seats to Cut Risk for In-Flight Blood Clots: Study (2/7/2012)

Avoid Window Seats to Cut Risk for In-Flight Blood Clots: Study (2/7/2012)

Avoid Window Seats to Cut Risk for In-Flight Blood Clots: Study (2/7/2012)

Avoid Window Seats to Cut Risk for In-Flight Blood Clots: Study

Experts say DVTs can strike any immobilized passenger, not just those in economy class.

By Alan MozesHealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Potentially dangerous blood clots in the legs known as deep venous thromboses (DVTs) got the nickname "economy class syndrome" from widely publicized incidents involving passengers on long-haul flights.

However, new guidelines from a leading physicians' group suggest the class you sit in on a plane may not raise your DVT risk, but your proximity to the aisle might.

Sitting in a window seat is a risk factor for DVT, the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) warn in their new advisory, regardless of whether it's in economy or first class.

"DVT risk has nothing to do with economy class," said Dr. Gordon H. Guyatt, chair of the ACCP panel that drafted the new guidelines. "Really, the evidence is that actually where you sit isn't really an issue. It's how much you move around. And if you're in a window seat you are probably more willing to sit for long periods of time being uncomfortable because you are reluctant to make anybody else move to let you out."

The new recommendations are published in the February issue of CHEST.

DVTs are blood clots that typically occur in the legs. They can become especially dangerous if they travel through the bloodstream to the lungs, where they can form potentially lethal pulmonary embolisms.

The current guidelines, which are endorsed by a wide range of American medical associations, are the ninth in a series of ACCP updates on the issue. They were drafted after the panel extensively reviewed findings from relevant studies published since the last update in 2008.

Long-haul immobility does boost DVT risk, the experts noted. But as the ACCP panel sifted through the evidence, they found no basis for the notion of "economy class syndrome." Rather, folks in a window seat might be more hesitant to get up and move around -- and that might raise their odds for a DVT.

Still, "the first thing to say is that if you are a healthy person you should not really worry about DVT because your risk -- even on a long-term flight -- is considerably less than one in a thousand," said Guyatt, who is also professor in the department of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. "So these guidelines are for those who have more than a normal risk. For those who have had a clot before, or an abnormality of their coagulation system, or disability that affects mobility. Or if you are obese or have active cancer."

In addition to those risk factors, the ACCP says that air passengers who are elderly, pregnant, take supplementary estrogen (including oral contraceptives) or recently underwent surgery and/or trauma also face a higher-than-normal risk for DVT.

Apart from seating considerations, the guidelines also suggest that people on flights lasting six or more hours move about frequently and stretch their calf muscles.

Higher-risk individuals should also wear graduated compression stockings that stretch below the knee. Guyatt said it "would be crazy" for passengers at normal risk to wear such stockings, and the ACCP guidelines specifically argue against their use by healthy passengers.

The guidelines also generally discourage the taking of aspirin and/or anticoagulant medications for the specific intent of lowering DVT risk. That said, those at very high risk are encouraged to consult their doctors in order to weigh the pros and cons of such drugs.

For his part, Dr. Christopher Cannon, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said the new DVT guidelines "make obvious good sense."

"Getting up once every hour or two during a long flight and walking up and down the aisle is what you want to do," he noted. "It's not about class and the slight extra room you'll get in business. It's about sitting by the window and looking over at the guy sleeping next to you and thinking you'll wait rather than get up. That's the issue."

"I would also add that all of this would also apply to people taking long car trips," Cannon said. "I've had tons of people driving home on long car rides who have had problems with DVT. Hence the emphasis on mobility. It's all about making sure you get up or get out and move."

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/661525.cfm/

Minggu, 05 Februari 2012


February 2, 2012

There's something visceral about the way we women respond to Tony Abbott.

It's a gut reaction. Deep down we know he's no good for us.


Not fashionable with women… Tony Abbott in the February 2012 issue of GQ.

When it's there in the latest opinion polls, in real numbers, perhaps the Liberal Party should have a long hard look at their pin-up boy.

Women can see through the façade of the fit, charitable family man who's partial to a spot of…What?

No-one knows what Tony does in his spare time, apart from flogging himself on a pushbike or running in sand. Maybe that's part of the problem.

Most women do know that Malcolm Turnbull, with his wife Lucy, likes to blog about his dogs and they adore him for it.

His recent heartfelt eulogy for his departed dog Mellie showed a soft and compassionate side.

Tony's problem is that women don't like him. It's reflected in the latest polls if anyone cares to dig a little deeper.

Essential Media's January poll found 53 percent of women disapprove of Tony Abbott as Opposition leader; 29 per cent approve. His disapproval rate among women has jumped two points since August, while approval has dropped four points.

"He is much stronger with men than women," according to the CEO of Essential Media Communications, Peter Lewis.

The results from Newspoll are equally telling.

Aggregating the results over the last quarter, on the question of who would be the better Prime Minister, one point separates Julia Gillard on 39 percent and Tony Abbott on 38 percent.

But if you, like the late and beloved Mellie, keep digging even further, a disparity emerges: 42 percent of women prefer Julia Gillard; 33 percent Tony Abbott.

"There is a significant gender imbalance," Newspoll CEO Martin O'Shannessy told me.

What is it with Tony? Is anyone listening to what women have to say?

Take his position on equal pay.

In a landmark test case yesterday, almost 150,000 community sector workers – mainly women – were awarded pay rises between 19 and 41 per cent. These are Australia's unsung heroes. They care for the disabled, run homeless shelters, and counsel families in crisis. Fair Work Australia found their work was undervalued because of their gender.

"We're hoping this decision will go towards putting a dent in the 18 percent pay gap between men and women in Australia," Sally McManus from the Australian Services Union said.

The Prime Minister put out a statement saying the decision was "good for the sector, good for caring workers, good for women, good for families and good for the economy".

But there was nothing from the Opposition Leader.

That's because in 2010, Tony Abbott refused to commit a future Coalition government to supporting the equal pay case.

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/trouble-tony//

Booze and Family History of Colon Cancer a Bad Mix: Study (2/3/2012)

Booze and Family History of Colon Cancer a Bad Mix: Study (2/3/2012)

Booze and Family History of Colon Cancer a Bad Mix: Study (2/3/2012)

Booze and Family History of Colon Cancer a Bad Mix: Study

Red meat, smoking and skipping veggies also associated with a raised cancer risk, research finds.
FRIDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- People who consume a few alcoholic drinks a day and have a family history of colorectal cancer are at increased risk for developing colon cancer, new research suggests.

For the study, researchers in Boston examined data from more than 87,000 women in the Nurses' Health Study and 47,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and found that 1,801 cases of colon cancer were diagnosed among the participants from 1980 onward.

People with a family history of colorectal cancer who drank an average of 30 or more grams of alcohol per day (about 2.5 typical drinks in the United States) were at increased risk for colon cancer, according to lead author Eunyoung Cho, of the Channing Laboratory, department of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues.

Those at greatest risk also ate the most red meat, smoked more and consumed the least folate, which suggests they ate fewer green vegetables and cereal. The findings indicate that other lifestyle factors, such as diet, play an important role in colon cancer risk, the researchers said.

Although the study uncovered an association between these factors and colon cancer risk, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Among people who did not have a family history of colorectal cancer, no significant association was found between alcohol consumption and colon cancer. Greater alcohol intake was not associated with a consistent increase in cancer risk, the authors noted in a news release from Boston University Medical Center.

The study was published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/661274.cfm/

Kamis, 02 Februari 2012

January 31, 2012

Leave the poor man alone.

That's what I thought when I saw the pack of vultures descend on Alan Bond less than 24 hours after finding his beloved wife dead in the swimming pool.

Diana Bliss was a tortured soul who'd twice tried to kill herself.

"We spoke to her last week and she seemed brighter, and we were all hoping for a miracle. Instead we got this," one of her friends told me yesterday.

Losing a loved one is deeply traumatic. In the case of suicide, it can be almost unbearable.

So imagine what it was like for Alan Bond (pictured left with Diana on their wedding day in 1995), leaving the house for the first time since the tragedy, to go to church on Sunday morning.

This is how it was reported on the PerthNow website:

“He struggled to find the words to explain.

“In the end, Alan Bond – the man who, during one of the country’s most “colourful” careers has never been short of a quotable quote – answered simply: ‘I lost my beautiful wife.’

“That was all he had.

“The media had gathered outside the house Alan Bond shared with his wife Diana Bliss in the Perth suburb of Cottesloe yesterday, hoping for some insight into her sudden death.

“The former tycoon sought solace in his local church before joining his family to mourn her death.

“Looking distraught, and frailer than he should for his 73 years, he appeared to be overwhelmed by the crowd awaiting his return.

“Asked how he was feeling, Mr Bond paused and appeared to struggle for the words, before saying softly: ‘It’s so new. I lost my beautiful wife.’ “

How dare a journalist accuse a grieving man of not being his usual quotable self.

Is it any wonder he was "overwhelmed" and looked "frailer than he should".

The first question asked was this: "Mr Bond, how are you feeling?"

Talk about Special Subject the Bleeding Obvious.

Later that day, Mr Bond's daughter Jody Fewster said the family would "appreciate a little bit of privacy at this time".

When I started in journalism 25 years ago, a news director gave some salient advice.

"If you're doing a death knock, make sure you do it within 24 hours. That's when they're at their most vulnerable," he said.

As newsreader Jessica Rowe wrote on The Hoopla last October, "Often the shell-shocked family would be told that, by talking, it might prevent the tragedy happening to another family".

Sometimes, we'd couch it in terms of a 'tribute' to the deceased.

This is morally reprehensible.

People in the first stage of grief are desperate to talk to someone – anyone.

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/grief-vultures-descend//