That’s no energy drink

31 08 2009

Please tell me this was made up for the Russian Tabloid.

A 14-year-old Chinese boy in Szechuan Province thought that the best way to be like his idolized transformer heroes was to start drinking petrol every day for five years.

A 14-year-old boy, from the town of Yibin in Sichuan, first saw the animated saga about robots from outer space – able to transform into vehicles, electronic items or weapons – when he was nine years old.

The youngster was so impressed that he began drinking fuel on a daily basis to “obtain energy” and become a mighty warrior like the Transformers.

He started out with lighter fuel, then upgraded to siphoning gas from his parent’s motorcycle. When his parents locked that up, he started stealing from neighbours.

Sadly (but not unsurprising), the young boy did not develop the superpowers he was looking for, and instead appears to have damaged his brain.

Honestly, does this make any sense? I don’t remember transformers actually requiring fuel? I thought they  ran on sunlight, or nuclear, or the energy released during the reduction of children into mindless consumers.


Katrina tried to poison children with fun and games

21 06 2009

A natural disaster has cut off your power supply. Luckily you have a generator. What is your priority?

  • Keep the refrigerator running. Who knows when you’ll next be able to buy milk?
  • Keep your fan/heater/air conditioning going. It’s gonna be a long hard night ahead. It’ll be even longer if your freezing or sweating to death.
  • Television and radio. You need to pay attention to news reports.
  • The playstation or nintendo. Get those children out from underfoot.

Apparently in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, 37 Texans were treated for carbon monoxide poisononing caused by generator emissions. 20 of these were aged under 20. Of those interviewed, 75% were using their generator for video games (granted only 9 families were interviewed).

Does this still fall under the category of catassing?

Common health for the Commonwealth?

23 02 2009

6 minutes’ Michael Woodward summarises some of the NHHRC’s suggestions that have been made to improve Australia’s healthcare system.

1. More Super Clinics.
2. Voluntary enrolment with a single practice.
3. Fundholding to supplement fee-for-service.
4. Performance payments.
5. Super divisions of primary care to replace division of general practice.
6. Extending Medicare and PBS rights to nurse practitioners.
7. Procedural work to be done by physicians’ assistants.
8. Shared care arrangement s and care co-ordinators.
9. Electronic health records for all.
10. A National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health Authority.

Crikey‘s health blog, Croakey, believes in only one solution to reform of Australia’s broken health system.

Let the Commonwealth take right over everything. Sure delivery will be local, but no authority will rest in local hands.

Now, while I agree that a state-based model is next to useless. There’s no sudden shift in medical needs as you cross the border from New South Wales into Queensland, so really hospital standards, doctor qualifications and diagnostic testing shouldn’t differ either.

But this solution sounds typical of urban-based Australian politics. Read the rest of this entry »