Thursday, March 26, 2009

Infectious Disease Specialist Leaves Province and People Really React, to the St. Pierre Seabed Rights story

Interesting. On March 24 news space was given to the urgent Infectious Disease Specialist void that now exists in the province - there were 11 comments. Today the France/St. Pierre seabed rights story has 300 comments so far. Looks like the political rows win over direct life and death matters.

Just to highlight the desperate Infectious Disease Specialist status, the last one has left the province. These are the people who when you are in hospital, weak from some illness, or from treatment or surgery, and are vulnerable to dying from an infection, are the people who will improve your chances of surviving. They do this by identifying the cause of the infection and treating it appropriately.

Hospital infections kill. "Each year, 220,000-250,000 hospital acquired infections result in 8,000-12,000 deaths" in Canada annually. Thirty to fifty per cent of these hospital-acquired infections are preventable. NL apparently does not know exactly how many die from infections while in hospital here, but auditor general John Noseworthy said NL lacks an infection control program.

It's not just specialists voids that are problematic. On prevention, people need to be aware of some basic infection avoidance habits. The auditor general reported last year that the four health boards were not required by the province to provide information on hospital-acquired infections.

A huge part of the solution is to learn as much as you can as a patient or potential patient about how to minimize the risks of infections, i.e., hand-washing, wearing masks, avoiding visitors with bugs, sanitizing things in the room that you will come in contact with. Keeping that gastrointestinal scope properly cleaned is up to hospital health workers.

One more suggestion, out of many to be sure, is for hospitals to provide isolation rooms or units for those who are high-risk to infection, e.g., those with weakened immune systems. A patient recovering from chemo or radiation for example, may have a near zero immune system, while people walking back and forth the corridors a few feet away are reacting to their own colds or flus, with coughs and sneezes. Patients could be given the option to wear masks, at least to be informed about it.

Providing literature about infection risk reduction is easy. Too bad getting a reaction to the Infectious Disease specialists crisis isn't as easy.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Elizabeth May is Ignorant Green

Maybe she is just ignorant like so many others or just brainwashed like many naive supporters of anti-sealing businesses, but Elizabeth May is misleading the public.

Contrary to what veterinarians, scientists and experts around the world agreed on in a Royal Commission report on sealing (the facts are there), that the seal hunt is humane, perhaps more than other animal culling industry, she says it is inherently inhumane. The Commission said that the seal hunt is neither unethical or inhumane.

If sealers replaced sealing with boat tours (not sure if that's possible with heavy ice) or if someone wanted to pay off the sealers for not harvesting seals, fine, no problem from this blogger. I would not personally be able to kill cows, pigs, birds, or seals, and many people would not, but many 100s of 1000s of people are in the animal industry across Canada, and do just that. If cows, pigs, turkeys and chickens were associated with being cute and cuddly, boy, wouldn't the nutters like Paul Watson, and other purveyors of hate, be salivating with thoughts of many more million$ for their often perverted distortions of an industry and the people involved in it.

As for markets drying up for seal products, well there is an ebb and flow to many things, and new markets are possible, China and India for example. Even if the industry faded away because of low demand, fine.

But when a national party leader like May shamelessly lies to the public to make it happen, then she loses credibility, and respect. It is pathetic that she has associated herself with hate-filled activists like Paul Watson who said last year that the icy death of sealers was not as tragic as an animals. That's the animal rights activists' thinking, and they make many millions from their hate. Why people like that are not charged with hate crimes remains a mystery.

Past links on subject.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AIG (All Insatiable Greed)

Why are people so down on AIG giving $165 million bonuses to 73 (11 no longer work there) of their top peo (cough/shysters) ple? I mean they have jets to fly, show-off vehicles to run and multiple homes, too. For frigsakes they represent success in our world, rich, helping to build up the 18th largest corporation in thee world, and they must have had that "positive attitude" to achieve such success. Yes, the American Gov/people are bailing out AIG with around $170 billion, and they cannot get enough. What a model for the next generation of positive thinking, economy-driving successes out there! "Sure you're a millionaire, but just keep on wanting more no matter how irresponsible and reckless we've been, or how everyone else is suffering during the tight times of a recession." What an attitude! Where's the conscience!!

When millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and homes, bank accounts, everything, these guys want to go ahead with huge bonuses. Is that success? Is that a positive thing? This is for sure, AIG's rewarding themselves will not get any respect from anyone. If the U.S. gov. can reverse this by setting conditions on pending stimulus money, or by 100% taxing them, or whatever means, do it.

At this point, there is a question as to how much the government knew of AIG's plans for the bonuses before they gave the giant so many billions. If they knew their intention, shouldn't they have set conditions for the stimulus money before they handed it over? $55 million was sent out to employees in December, and the rest by Friday. Otherwise, it was good to see a U.S. President yesterday lambaste AIG for planning to more forward on the $165 bonuses. It was apparently the first time a president scolded a major financial player in such a way.

It is greed from the likes of AIG, Bernie Madoff and so many other not yet mentioned working criminals that turn people off from investing, and doing business with any subsidiary company owned by AIG.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Recovered and recovering

The remaining 16 bodies have been recovered from the Cougar 491 wreck by the Transport Safety Board. Using a remote operated vehicle (ROV) it must have been a delicate operation to retrieve the people inside the fuselage. Good job on doing that, folks. This was done quickly. Now the families will at least have their own back in physical form, and perhaps some consolation in saying their good byes in their own traditional normal way. As someone who has not experienced the bodily shock of a direct family member being lost in such a way, it must feel like being involved in a paralyzing accident - the life left, one which requires living with a missing part, and chronic pain. Wishing the grieving families in NL, BC and NS healing and peace.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Your Light will Shine on

(Click to enlarge)

Canadian and Provincial Unemployment Rates Up for Feb. 2009

Every province except Nova Scotia experienced higher unemployment for the month of February. Alberta, the western economic propeller had the most dramatic rise, going from 4.4% to 5.5% in one month. Newfoundland and Labrador had the second highest jump, rising by .8% in Feb. Nova Scotia held steady, and New Brunswick has again showed only slight increases in unemployment.

Canada's Unemployment Statistics Feb., 2009 (%)

PlaceDec. ' 08Jan. ' 09Feb. ' 09Rate of change
from Jan.
NS8.28.88.8no change

Table figures were compiled from this source.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Helicopter Design Played a Role in Survival in North Sea

Update below
The Super Puma helicopter "crashworthy design" is purported to have played a part in the survival of passengers in February's North Sea crash. Similar to yesterday's crash, 18 people aboard a Super Puma helicopter headed for Aberdeen's oil field, crashed just short of a landing pad, in poor visibility. Actually, it was not so much a crash, as it was a slow descent into the water - the copter was upright, floating, and with water gradually seeping in. The pilot apparently did not realize he had landed on the water and it could easily have been fatal.

At this point, it appears that the scenarios between the March 12 crash off Newfoundland, and the one in the North Sea, may have been quite different. Not sure if the Cougar 911 had flotation bags. It may or may not have made a difference to the crash yesterday but the flotation bags on the Puma Helicopter may have helped keep that chopper afloat, and upright.

A BBC story on the North Sea crash says,
According to the aircraft's French manufacturer Eurocopter, the new EC225 has a "crashworthy design" with a reinforced central structure, a full de-icing system and low vibration rotor blades.

Its flotation system is certified to stay upright in sea swells of up to 18.4ft (5.5m).
(The swells off Newfoundland's coast were reported to be around 3 metres at the time of the March 12 crash.)

Out of this traumatic tragedy, could there be improved safety standards for helicopters?

After the sad Ocean Ranger disaster there was great emphasis on survival boat launching from the rigs, stricter survival suit regulations, and survival testing and training. At this point there is little known compared to what we hope to find out from the black box and copter voice recorder. Perhaps after yet another tragedy there will ultimately be an increased chance of survival from helicopter crashes.

Update: The search and rescue team has ended their search and the Transportation Safety Board will begin recovery of the helicopter and possibly the victims. Investigators will board offshore support vessel Atlantic Osprey, and operate ROVs (remote operated vehicles) equipped with cameras, to first inspect the fuselage of the helicopter, and surrounding area at the bottom of the Atlantic. (the Telegram)

It must be an unbearable grief that victims' families are experiencing at this time. The news of this crash has indeed touched people all over Canada, and the world. Messages, comments of condolence have arrived by the thousands, and news of the crash was on CNN, BBC and likely other international news outlets.

Like everyone else, this blogger feels deep sorrow for this horrible tragedy, and can only wish strength and eventual healing for the victims' families, and for survivor Robert Decker.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Message to Earth Siblings

Hello fellow Milky Way brothers and sisters. Late Friday, NASA (an earth space agency) launched a rocket, containing a powerful telescope that is programmed to watch 100,000 other stars in our galaxy, The Milky Way (hello to bloggers in other galaxies. Link to me).

Depending on your level of technological advancement, this message may seem old-fashioned or maybe weird, as in, a science fiction future scenario.

As you may or may not know, our universe, is, according to our planet's (Earth) scientists, 14-15 billion years old. Earth is about 4.5 billions years old, but you guys may have formed earlier or later than us. Considering that the millions of solar systems in our Milky Way Galaxy alone, probably contains 10's of millions of planets orbiting stars (what we call suns), you and your planet may have evolved millions, or thousands of years in advance of us.

So, as you would presume, we are wondering how things are going on your planet. Are relations going well on your planet? How do you handle individual differences? We are a relatively young "civilized" planet - still doing a lot of fighting on our speck in the universe because of differences and misunderstandings (well, what we call national, religious, political and geographical differences).

A major force on our planet is capitalism or consumerism. It involves accumulating a lot of material possessions, repeatedly, and competing with others, to basically "prove" that we are more "meaningful" individuals, than others. Sounds silly I know, but where are your inhabitants on inter-individual interactions? Are we on the right track, or maybe, just adolescent in our thinking?

How do you get along? Is your planet divided on how you philosophize about your world? Or, did you evolve past the competitive stage to perhaps a stage whereby you value the worth of each individual born into your world?

Anyway, please drop me a comment. No anonymous alien bloggers please.:) Please state how many light years away you are so that I can accurately date stamp this comment.

Patiently awaiting your reply,

Earthling 90,000,000,009.

P.S. If you have a technology that can transmit electronic messages faster than the speed of light, please describe so that we can communicate faster.

P.S.S. Apologies to older, more advanced civilizations than Earth's. for the old technology and wording; and to younger planets for the confused advanced wording of this message.

P.S.S.S. How many eyes and ears do you have?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

NL Separatism: Yes We Can't

When George Baker told the public that he would encourage NL separatism, it again, raised some questions like, "Where would the money come from to pay out EI benefits to the 14% of people in the province?"; "If we can't afford to offer nurses a competitive salary now to even fill the 1000+ vacant nursing jobs that currently exist, then how would that improve being separated?"; "How about paying the old age pension to seniors - can an independent NL fund that?"

Newfoundland and Labrador is nowhere near to being in the position that Alberta is, having paid off their debt years ago, and oil surpluses year after year. NL has over $10 billion in debt, which at the rate we are going will take 20-40 years to pay off. Keep in mind that a project like the Lower Churchill, which if NALCOR has it's way, would like to see a couple of national parks dissected by hydro lines and towers, would cost at least $10 billion dollars. Also keep in mind any in-migration to the province is hardly because the jobs are so plentiful. Lay offs from Alberta's oil field are a factor there. So otherwise, the population has been sliding down for many years now.

It would be nice to think that our province is in such a magnificent position to even imagine being independent without help from anyone else, but that's not reality. The province has indeed come into oil money in recent years, and it's a good feeling to at least experience for one year, being a "have" province, but that status will at best be intermittent over the next 10-20 years. The "have" status will be disappearing after this year for who knows how long. Many would also like to think that an NL threat of independence would give more torque to NL's position on the Lower Churchill development, either getting federal help, or by getting Quebec to give us a break on running a line through that province.

The Telegram's article on George Baker's remarks predictably sent commenters' fingers a typin'. One commenter put it this way,
"Count me down as a separtist...that is...If this BlocNL BS progresses and a separtist movement becomes more mainstream in NL, my family will be separating from NL - permanantly."

If you think the province is in bad shape now, it will seem like paradise compared to a separated NL. Get back to reality Mr. Baker, it's a waste of time, energy and emotion.