XDR TB: Extreme Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

October 3, 2008

These powerful photographs from Photojournalist James Nachtwey are truly disturbing. I, for one, thought that this disease was mostly beaten.

I was obviously wrong…..

I thought you should see these photographs. They’re both powerful and moving.  They highlight the awful disease XDR -TB, a new and deadly form of tuberculosis that is threatening to become a global pandemic.

By viewing and passing on this link we can help to spread awareness, which is the first step to halting the disease. XDRTB.ORG (http://www.xdrtb.org/)

(As background, the photographs were taken by leading photojournalist James Nachtwey and were ‘unveiled’ on October 3rd, 2008 in more than 50 cities on seven continents as a deliberate attempt to highlight this new danger faced by the world.)

Thank you for taking the time to think about this.

More info is available at:



A Nuclear N. Ireland?

March 24, 2008

Ever considered having a Nuclear Power Plant sitting on the horizon?

How about five?

Well it is five nuclear power Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Ever Drink From Hotel Glasses

December 14, 2007

Just when you thought it was safe to have a quiet drink in your hotel room… someone posts this on the internet!Gulp…. or maybe not!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Given the number of times I’ve used glasses in hotels you can figure, if you’ve just watched this video all the way through, just how ill I feel right now!

Can someone in the NI hotel trade tell me this is an uncommon practice… please..please?

Man bites rabid dog…..

December 14, 2007


Now this is, perhaps, one of the saddest tails tales I’ve heard in a while:-

It’s news! Man bites rabid dog in southern India | Reuters

wikipedia image A report in the Hindustan Times on Friday said that the dog had become a menace to villagers in Pakakkadavu, in the Kollam district of Kerala state, which, like most of India, has a large stray dog population.

The 65-year-old man wrestled with the dog in a ditch near his home on Wednesday and bit it so hard that it bled from its neck while one of his hands was in the grip of the animal’s mouth, the report said.

Neighbours separated the two and beat the dog to death. The man was being treated in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram for rabies, it said. (Writing by Y.P. Rajesh)

Reading this Read the rest of this entry »

Hospitals to reduce visitor hours

December 7, 2007

At last…. a modicum of sense in a hospital initiative! A bright spark has figured out that the more altnagelvin1.jpgpeople you have traipsing through an area then the more opportunities there are to import and spread infection.

The BBC in this story – BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Hospitals to reduce visitor hours – reports on the Southern Health Board trial:-

“Acute hospitals in the Southern Health Trust are to reduce visiting hours in a bid to reduce infection.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey launched the initiative at Craigavon Area Hospital on Friday. Newry’s Daisy Hill Hospital will also be affected.

The number of visitors admitted to see each patient is also to be restricted.

The trust hopes the policy will reduce the number of infections, especially those caused by so-called superbugs like MRSA and C-Difficile.

Mr McGimpsey said Read the rest of this entry »

Food waste- who’s fault is it?

November 2, 2007

I just loved reading this piece by Dennis Winterman on the BBC Website. It’s not very often you food2.jpgread sense anywhere these days but this is one of them! His piece – The lost art of leftovers – explores the wastage of our normal cookery lives. According to Dennis our lost skills in using leftover account for:-

“… 6.7 million tonnes of food we throw away each year. A third of all the food we buy is now thrown into the bin and half of it is still perfectly edible, according to the government’s waste reduction agency, Wrap. You’re throwing away one bag of shopping in three, it says.”

Good grief…. every £90-00 I spend in Tesco’s I’m throwing away £30!! It is startling when you think of it that way.

Dennis goes on to argue that:-

  • we’re basically all too lazy to use up leftover food and prefer just to chuck it;
  • we really don’t know how to shop for food – we just throw anything in the trolley and don’t have a plan;
  • domestic science should have been extended to into boys’ education instead of being virtually eradicated from the school timetable;

It’s pretty hard to disagree with all of this. He goes on to say:-

“This wanton wastage is not only costing us money – up to £400 a year – but is hurting the environment: the methane released by decomposing food in landfills is the most potent of greenhouse gases. Cutting it out would be the same as taking one fifth of cars off the road, says Wrap.”

I now feel throughly chastised for my extremely lazy attitude to using up those leftovers and intend to discover what to do with the 2 potatoes, 6 pieces of carrot and three marrowfat peas left after to-night’s night’s dinner.

I’ll let you know if I find a recipe that is edible…. in the meantime if you come up with any ideas don’t be afraid to append them below.

***Check out the WRAP website and their campaign Love Food Hate Waste. ****

Smoking daughter ‘hit with brush’

November 1, 2007

This BBC story is fascinating – Smoking daughter ‘hit with brush. I think I can understand, in this justice.gifcase, where the parent was coming from when he decided to thump his daughter with a brush shaft. Now.. at first hearing the immediate reaction is to say that the dad overstepped the mark. I mean, come on, taking a brush shaft to a child is way outa line, isn’t it?

But then you read on to discover that the guy has the lung disease emphysema. So I suppose he maybe saw his daughter throwing her lungs away and well … I suppose he saw red. Losing the head is no way to convince a kid not to smoke but, on a human level, you have to understand the frustration he must have felt.

In the end Resident Magistrate Barney McElholme sentenced the man to a month in jail , suspended for a year. Hopefully, they guy won’t go to jail, the daughter will stop smoking and they’ll get back to playing happy families.

What do you think?

Is it ever right to physically punish a child at all? Did Barney do a King Solomon here?