The chances are fairly slim, but if I were ever to have something named after me, I would prefer a star in a galaxy far, far away — or a postcard-inducing beach — rather than an abscess.
I’m sure Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie was a rather pleasant chap who liked patting puppies and drawing unicorns — and by all reports was an outstanding surgeon and physiologist.
However, it is an interesting way to be remembered — some poor bugger’s abscess sticking out of his shin being named after you.
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A sickening book that celebrates the joy of measles – yes, the potentially fatal and brain damaging disease – was dumped by Australia’s biggest online bookstore last week.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that more parents are falling for the sort of twisted fearmongering that this dangerously ridiculous book uses.
The children’s picture book, Melanie’s Marvelous Measles, is just another tendril of the insidious anti-vaccination movement, a movement that should be crippled by removing parents’ ability to be ‘conscientious objectors’ to immunisation.
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Stroke remains one of the most significant economic and social burdens in our community.
Despite the fact it is the second biggest cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability, the considerable needs of people who have had a stroke, their families and the health professionals who care for them remain shamefully underfunded, under-resourced and under-recognised.
This is a condition that strikes in an instant, without warning, and tears apart the fabric of the life it affects.
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While it’s true that the war against obesity will not be won by superficial government interventions - fat taxes, bans on junk food advertising, campaign jingles - it is wrong to conclude that there is no collective responsibility in finding a solution to this epidemic.
Obesity is a disease that can be mapped along patterns of social and economic status. This is plainly evident to anyone who travels widely throughout Australian. It is a plague that targets outer suburbs and regional and remote areas.
Obesity is both a cause and a result of disadvantage. It is a response to living a life without options, and a reason that further options are closed off. In a paradox that would have fascinated Freud, people often become physically larger in inverse proportion to their wealth and status (although your common Aussie mining magnate challenges this theory.)
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You can pet a human, but you really shouldn’t human a pet. Things can get… a bit sick.
No, not in a Monaghan kind of way. Wash your mouth out. In an awww-i-wuv-my-widdle-wascal-so-much-I-just-wanna-dress-him-up-like-a-real-little-boy kind of way.
Going overboard on the pet love can nauseate your friends and family, and can make you really – really – sick. Some people anthropomorphise their pets to the point where they forget that pets don’t floss or use alcohol-based sanitation gels as often as they should.
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Sue O’Reilly, who has guest written today’s column on The Angry Cripple, is a freelance journalist. She is is a parent and raised her son with cerebral palsy until last year, when he died at the age of 21. She co-founded Australians Mad as Hell with Fiona Porter to campaign for an NDIS and established a charity called Fighting Chance to help people with disabilities pay for essential therapy services.
When does any form of disability turn into a “disease” to be eradicated?
When it is being discussed by doctors and medical researchers seeking money from governments, corporate donors and members of the public to fund research aimed at finding ways to prevent and/or cure some form of disability.
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It’s the stuff of an edge-of-your-seat thriller: Scientists develop a fatal flu virus, one that could decimate humanity. What happens next?
Well, the fatal virus, a mutated strain of bird flu that can pass between other animals, is here. Scientists have created it in a lab - and it’s not clear what will happen next. Some scientists want to stop all the details of the research from being published for fear of bioterrorism, while others say ‘censorship’ will obstruct the search for a vaccine.
The very existence of the fatal virus, though, is a dramatic development. It echoes the plot of myriad horror flicks where the heroes battle an invisible villain amid gruesome illness and an increasing body count.
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When I told my Australian friends that I was moving to Kenya to work as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development many of them told me not to have sex while I was here because of the country’s high HIV prevalence. Some 280 people are infected with HIV every day in Kenya.
The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is getting to zero, but getting to zero doesn’t mean zero sex. Along with zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths it also means zero unprotected sex with someone whose HIV status you don’t know.
Knowing your HIV status is the first step in prevention; if you are negative then you can take measures to ensure that you stay negative and if you are positive then you can access treatment, care and support services.
For three months Australia’s world-class health system refused to treat Thornlands’ Della Johnson who has a rare vascular disease of the brain called moyamoya. The reason: she’s a Queenslander. More precisely, she lives on the Southside of Brisbane, sees doctors on the north and needs an operation interstate.
If she lived in New South Wales, she would now be cured; months post-operation and free of her horrible symptoms. But she comes from a smaller Australian state which lacks a surgeon trained in this ‘one in a million’ procedure.
Her battle for life-saving treatment captured media attention nationwide because it exposed a flaw in our world-class federated health system. Australians are divided into eight public hospital systems and scores of hospital regions. Those boundaries can mean delayed health care and unquantifiable mental anguish for those trapped in unfortunate postcodes.
In recent months a glance upward at dusk has revealed the chaos of a giant flock of bats blackening the sky. Over the summer the bat population in Geelong’s Eastern Park has skyrocketed.
They swoop low with intense chirps and descend on whatever trees are offering their fruits. At the peak of its bounty our neighbour’s apple tree would accommodate forty at a time. Offending apple cores littering the garden attested to a busy night of consumption.
The streets of East Geelong have been dotted with the macabre site of errant dead bats hanging from above: the victims of an encounter with power lines.
Lost in the aftershocks of the home insulation scandal is a story with deadly implications for beef farming in Australia.
A Senate inquiry is underway into a decision to lift the ban on importing beef from countries tainted by mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
From next Monday, beef from countries like the US, Canada, Britain and other European nations will enter Australia, without being subject to the usual import risk assessments.
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Whenever I read the word ‘contagious’ I think of chicken pox and the summer I spent scratching myself stupid as an eight year old.
My younger sister caught it from a school friend the week before and I remember my mum telling us to keep close to each other in a bid to hit all thee kids at once.
And it worked. Before you knew it I was covered in Pinetarsol and ensconced in the shade of the back yard with a pile of books.
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As a politician one of my roles is to attend official openings. Like all of my colleagues I’ve opened schools, sporting facilities, roads, bridges and buildings complete with photos in a hardhat and safety vest. It is a part of the job and one that I quite enjoy.
It is fair to say that in my twenty-two years in Parliament I have attended hundreds of these ceremonies. Out of all of them, there is one which sticks in my mind as both the strangest and also among the most important.
In 2008, in the tiny Pacific nation of Kiribati, I formally opened a girl’s toilet at a school.
The propensity for us ascribe days to inanimate objects seems endless. Some of the more obscure that we’ve encountered recently include ‘Picnic Day’, ‘World TV Day’ (which coincidentally shares a day with ‘World Hello Day’, one promoting socialising and one well…not), ‘Lefthanders Day’ and everybody’s favourite, ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day’.
So it would not be out of the question to, upon hearing the words ‘World Toilet Day’, shake your head, perhaps laugh, and turn the page, or click the link for Laser Hair Solutions in the right side panel (because this site appreciates the plight of the left hander when designing web content).
All jokes aside, World Toilet Day is an internationally recognised and significant promoting a critical issue for 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty. It is the lack of safe toilets. We know the solution and we have the technology to simply, effectively and practically make a difference, all we need is the will.
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The strange thing about having swine flu is that it is more like meeting a pop culture icon than being told you’re sick.
After being examined by two doctors yesterday (the intern called for backup) I was told that I had the best accessory in the Winter 2009 collection – the H1N1 virus.
This terminology was obviously preferred by doctors who refuse to engage in the more tabloid pig or swine flu. It also would have sounded alarmist when paired with their sage advice which was basically “go back to bed and you’ll be right, young bloke like yourself” etc.
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