Well it turns out that what we all suspected is in fact true: Bad boys get more girls. Rather amusing really given that at the pub on friday I got to watch one such individual involved in discussion of this very topic with a bunch of girls who were all vehemently denying that they were looking for a bad boys to give them hot lovin’ and then discard them like a used and crumpled tissue (well perhaps I’m embellishing a little on that last description).

ANZAC Perspectives

One of the interesting things I noticed this year in relation to ANZAC day was the changing national cultural attitude to the Gallipoli landings.

Everywhere there seemed to be an increased focus on the experiences of the Turkish forces who were at Gallipoli. Turkish veterans were involved in the dawn services and the marches in the cities. The usual ANZAC day evening barrage of documentaries contained a number of shows that either directly dealt with, or included aspects of the Turkish perspective and history of things, and the focus seemed to be on soldiers from two sides who developed a respect and admiration for each other. They made light of the individual personal perspectives of the Turkish soldiers and officers, and highlighted the fact that in addition to the well known tales of heroism and bravery by the Australian and New Zealand forces, the Turks had also performed remarkably both at an individual and unit level, in a setting of being under strength and poorly equipped, in a war they had little personal interest in.

Hail to the King Baby

A while back I watched a little doco on the town of Parkes in New South Wales, and it’s annual Elvis  festival. Now the Doco was a pretty mediocre thing, but I rather liked the festival notion, and given that I’ve wanted to go to Parkes for a while anyway (its home of one of Australia’s largest radio telescopes, made famous by the movie “The Dish”) I though that a road trip to see both things might have to be on the cards at some point.

Anyway. The festival is on again and if you believe the locals, Elvis lives in Parkes.

(And a little note to any members of the Bells who are reading this, I reckon we should do this as a Bells Camp in a year or two…)

Good old China

BBC is reporting that China’s gender imbalance resulting from the one child policy is starting to get really quite pronounced. In one city , in children under 4 years old there are 163.5 boys for every 100 girls. Ninety nine other cities there are running ratios of at least 125:100. The government are trying to legislate to stop people aborting girls, but I don’t fancy their chances. In 15 years those girls are going to have their pick of boys, and the boys are going to all have well paying jobs as pimps (because prostitution will be HUGE business to cater for all those lonely single men) or police (as the government tries to crack down on the organised crime that runs all the prostitution rackets, a situation that the government will have ironically created).

Are you doing your part for your Country?

Over dinner this evening, while my thoughts were running on a tangent I came up with a little idea that has subsequently rather amused me.

Currently politicians all over the world love to wax lyrically about carbon offset trading schemes as a way to save the country from the scourge of global warming.

Given that another issue that concerns our politicians is the fact that Australians are not breeding rapidly enough to replace the population, and people with higher levels of education are even less likely to have more than 2 children, I feel that an opportunity exists for some pro-active government policy to reverse this problem. To be specific, I propose we establish a

Bogan offset trading scheme!!!

People who are above average education or intelligence but who don’t want kinds could subsidise other intelligent people who are inclined to have more than two kids to do so.

This way we could both encourage population growth, and increase the reproductive output of the  intellectual elite of the nation, to offset the thousands of poor bogan babies born annually to people who cannot figure how to use a condom, let alone raise a child.

It’s win win!!

(and this is the point where I stand back and prepare to receive the avalances of “You can’t say that!!!” emails from people who didn’t get the joke)

Cheers Big Ears (Part 2)

You sass that hoopy Douglas Adams? Now there’s a frood who knew where his towel was.

If you understood even half of that preceeding sentence you would probably appreciate the concept of International Towel Day (May 25th), where you are encouraged to carry your towel, and appreciate all those wonderful things that Douglas Adams brough into our lives.

Having recently re-read the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy (a trilogy in 5 parts) I love the idea, and can’t wait for the opportunity to wear my towel and wave my elecrtonic thumb.

Sparkies with secretaries

For years it has been apparent that if money was the driving ambition in our careers we should have avoided poorly paying careers such as law or medicine, and instead trained as electricians, plumbers, builders or air conditioner installation people.

I was however amused the other day when we had to get an electrician out to look at our broken stove top, and at the end he said that he’s have his secretary call and sort out a time to come and replace it.

I suppose that it’s not exactly unexpected if you actually think about it, but until you do it seems a little instinctively incongruous that your friendly local tradesman in his dirty jeans and ute also has an office somewhere with it’s own secretary.

What is a lift?

One of the things I found most disconcerting after the September 11 attacks was a story I heard about an american journalist who went into Afghanistan before the american invasion, and was showing afghani villagers pictures in glossy magazines of the world trade towers collapsing, and asking them what they thought about the attacks. The interesting thing which put many things in perspective, was that there were many villagers who commented that it was sad that so many people had died, but that they had never known that buildings could be built that tall, and additionally a number of them were fascinated by the magazine, having never seen a glossy magazine before in their life.

It created a nice contrast of priorities, when we were so outraged that 5000 people had been killed, but weren’t even aware, let alone concerned, that there were many people in the world who were so poor that they had never known highrises or magazines even existed (although whether this in fact made them very lucky is a matter for debate at another time) (and lets not even begin to get into illiteracy rates).

Now the reason that I was reminded of this story is because the other day I was on the ground floor of the hospital and an old aboriginal lady asked me how to get to one of the medical wards. I told her that it was on the 4th floor, and she asked me if I could take her there. She seemed quite nervous and so I took her up in the lift to the ward, and it was only afterwards that I realised that the probable reason for the request was that prior to coming to the hospital it was quite concievable that she had never been inside or operated a lift before.

I actually remember being told about this situation in some lecture in medical school, but it wasn’t until I experieced it that it hammered home the disparity of development that exists, even over relatively small distances within a supposedly first world country.

If (as I suspect) she had been flown in for treatment from a remote aboriginal community on the Cape or in the gulf, or even from one of the torres straight islands, then she may actually not have seen a building taller than 2 or 3 storeys. I take lifts for granted. For her it may have been a completely new and (at the age of 70-odd) frightening experience.

Setting a good example

Today in a quiet moment in outpatients I had a bit of a wander around the World Health Organisation’s website. As much out of curiosity as anything else I had a look at the Jobs at the WHO section, and made a rather pleasant discovery.

You cannot work for the WHO if you smoke.

It’s stated clearly as one of the terms of employment. Their reasoning is that to have workers who smoke undermines their credibility as a health promoting organisation, ans specifically undermines their smoking cessation campaigns, which are some of their main activities at present.

I liked the idea. People are free to choose to smoke, and organisations are free to choose to not hire those people. Now we just need a few more governments and health departments and hospitals to follow the WHO’s courage and foresight.