Daily Archives

Graphene could revolutionise future technologies

PC Authority – Scientists are betting on a new high tech material, which is among the strongest and thinnest known materials in the universe
The one atom thick material is called graphene and its qualities lend themselves to the super powers found within the countless pages of comic book fiction. Except graphene is real.
The material isn’t new to science. It’s been known since the 1980′s (you’ll find trace elements of it in your pencil), but it wasn’t until 2004 that researchers were able to conclusively isolate and explore graphene on the atomic scale. Read article

Save the Children opposes internet filter

ABC – Save the Children has urged the Federal Government to abandon its plans to censor the internet, saying it will not be effective in protecting kids from online dangers.
The child protection group is one of several organisations including Civil Liberties Australia, and the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre who have today released a joint statement opposing the proposed mandatory internet service provider (ISP) filter.
The statement says the filter will neither work to shield children from explicit material nor stop child pornography from being distributed on the internet. Read article

Quotation Of The Week

“Car exhaust gases consist of harmless gases (CO2, nitrogen, H2O vapour), pollutants (carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and PM-10 (very small particulate matter). A cars catalytic converter converts some 95% of these pollutants into H2O and CO2. Smog consists of ozone (formed from the photochemical reaction of nitrogen oxides with hydrocarbons), sulphur dioxide and PM-10. Smog can kill people, plants and animals”

- Profession Ian Plimer, “Heaven & Earth – Global Warming: The Missing Science”

Cases of celiac disease up dramatically

Reuters Health – In the United States, celiac disease is four times more common now than it was in the 1950′s, according to a study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The Mayo Clinic study also found that people who didn’t know they had celiac disease were nearly four times more likely than people without celiac disease to have died during the 45 years of follow-up.
“Some studies have suggested that for every person who has been diagnosed with celiac disease, there are likely 30 more who have it but are not diagnosed,” senior author Dr. Joseph Murray noted in a statement from the Mayo Clinic. Read article

South Korea Braces for More Cyber Damage

VOA – South Korean computer security experts are bracing for more damage from a three-day old hacker attack that has been spreading like a virus and targeting government Web sites.
South Korean officials warned Friday tens of thousands of personal computers around the country may be on the verge of wiping out their own data. Read article

Turkish leader calls Xinjiang killings “genocide”

Reuters – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Friday genocide was being committed in China’s northwest province of Xinjiang and called on Chinese authorities to intervene to prevent more deaths.
“The incidents in China are, simply put, a genocide. There’s no point in interpreting this otherwise,” Erdogan said.
Rioting between Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese in Xinjiang has killed 156 people and wounded more than 1,000 in the worst ethnic violence in China in decades. Both Uighurs and the Han have claimed a higher death toll from the strife. Read article

AIG bonuses: $235 million to go

CNN – Bailed-out insurer AIG again found itself in the crosshairs of bonus rage on Friday over its plans to pay $2.4 million in executive bonuses next week.
But the larger issue is how AIG will deal with its obligation to pay roughly $235 million still owed to employees of its crippled financial products division. Read article

Swine flu plan to allow 14-day sick leave without doctor’s note

Guardian – Anyone infected with swine flu could stay off work for 14 days without a doctor’s note, under government plans to deal with the pandemic.
Employees can currently be off for seven days, including weekends and bank holidays, without needing a sick note from their GP.
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “The government is rightly considering possible measures to minimise the risk of further spread of swine-flu and protect public health. Read article

Polemic – particularly intriguing is the quote “The advice is not to visit your GP if you get swine flu.”

BP shuts alternative energy HQ

Guardian – ‘Beyond Petroleum’ boast in doubt as clean energy boss quits and renewables budget will be reduced by up to £550m this year.
BP has shut down its alternative energy headquarters in London, accepted the resignation of its clean energy boss and imposed budget cuts in moves likely to be seen by environmental critics as further signs of the oil group moving “back to petroleum”. Read article

Doctors offered cruise to prescribe Sigma

News Limited – A DRUG company is offering doctors who prescribe its medicines a 10-day Mediterranean cruise in a move that could breach a code of conduct.
And taxpayers will help subsidise the cruise – described as “the perfect mix of education and relaxation” – because doctors are being told they can claim it as a professional development program.
The cruise raises questions about drug company ethics and the Australian Medical Association and the peak pharmaceutical industry group have warned the offer could lead to the perception of a conflict of interest for doctors who take it up. Read article