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Monday, June 28, 2010

New Zealand Government bans smoking in prisons from 1 July 2011...

Common adverse effects of tobacco smoking (See...Image via Wikipedia
Will the recently announced policy of the NZ Government to ban smoking in New Zealand from 1 July 2011 have any detrimental affects onprison life - will it cause riots and increased violence within prisons, as claimed by a prison guard's union? Guards have already been threatened in advance.

The Corrections minister, Judith Collins, aptly nicknamed "Crusher", announced the policy yesterday NZ time. She claimed health and safety reasons - second hand smoke and threats to sue for the ban but others cite cheap political expediency  - it will be just a few months short of the next elections.

As for the ban, 67-80% of prisoners in Kiwi prisons smoke. The prisons will have to provide support for those wishing to quit - phone support and nicotine patches. As an ex-smoker I know diet has a lot to do with recovery from the habit - but they won't get any extra food  inside.

PM John Key knows the inmates will get grizzly, but it will be just  too bad! But he and his government don't have to work inside, the guards do. I know there isn't much support out there for many of the nations worst prisoners, but take their 'fags' off them and what do they have left? Just their thoughts. Nearly half of all inmates in NZ prisons have mental health problems anyway, this will make them worse, I would suggest.
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting a new toilet and bathroom...

An American bathroom of a freshly renovated ho...Image via Wikipedia


Getting a new toilet and bathroom...

First published at Qondio:

Toilet week at Qondio is appropriate for us. We are actually getting a new bathroom with toilet and a walk-in level shower made for us. The bath was taken out and dumped. We are older people and sitting on a chair having a shower will become a reality very soon. Just put in a plastic chair and we will be away...showering.

The downside has been we haven't been able to stay at home until the building and installation has been carried out. We had to move out temporarily until the job has been completed. Cleaning up is easy because the whole floor is waterproofed. Mop and bucket; even a little hose would go well too!

Acknowledgements: Peter Petterson

http://fo.rtitu.de/1228   Write for Fortitude

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Elderly American man killed in freak accident at a Mcdonalds drive-in...

McDonalds Restaurant Riyadh in King Abdullah RoadImage via Wikipedia
Elderly American man killed in freak accident at a McDonalds drive-in...

An elderly American man has been killed in a freak accident at a McDonald's drive-through.

Richard Lowrie, from Ohio, was celebrating his 86th birthday on Monday when he was fatally crushed between his car door and the wall of the restaurant, the Sun Star Courier reports.

Police said Mr Lowrie had driven up to the first window of the restaurant and collected his change.

It is believed he then dropped his glasses and opened his car door to pick them up.

But, as Mr Lowrie leaned down to retrieve them, his foot accidentally hit the accelerator. Mr Lowrie was then dragged along hanging partially outside the car until he and the vehicle smashed against a wall.

Other McDonald's customers rushed to Mr Lowrie's aid, with one person turning off the car's ignition.

Another customer had a Bobcat construction vehicle and hooked it up to Mr Lowrie's car to try free him from between the building and the car.

Mr Lowrie was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Acknowledgements: MSN NZ

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Soloist - a book preview, not a review...

The Soloist - a book preview, not a review...

This a preview of the The Soloist, not a review. That will come later.

This book has also been made into a movie starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. It has has been lent and recommended to me by a mental health support worker here in Lower Hutt. Should help me to understand my grandson's schizophrenia a little more. I hope so.

" When Steve Lopez sees Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on Los Angeles skid row, he finds it impossible to walk away. More than thirty years ago, Ayers was a promising student at Juilliard Music Academy - ambitious, charming and hugely talented - until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia. When Lopez finds him, Ayers is homeless and paranoid, but glimmers of his earlier brilliance are still there.

Over time, the two men form a bond, and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayers' life. For each triumph, there is a crashing disappointment, yet neither man gives up. Their friendship will change both of their lives in ways that neither could predict."

Well I will now read the book, and later review it.

Acknowledgements: Peter Petterson


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Postcard arrives home...after 95 years...

Long Beach, California at nightImage via Wikipedia
Is it really Caravaggio? A postcard sent home by a Bosnian soldier in World War I has finally reached his family after 95 years, thanks to an American antique collector, who delivered it personally to the man's grandson after buying it at a fair in Long Beach, California.

"Oh my God," was all Nadir Bicakcic could say when he recognised the face on the card.

During a visit to Sarajevo, collector Nihad Eric Dzinovic accidentally met Bicakcic, who was looking around a local antique shop in downtown Sarajevo, and the name rang a bell.

The next day he found the 48-year-old dentist and pulled out a postcard he had recently bought at a Long Beach antique show.

The card was signed by "Edhem" and dated June 13, 1915.

"I'm sending you a photo with me on it," the text read.

The card had been made from a black-and-white photo showing a small group of soldiers sitting in front of a pile of army boots.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Justice will be served on Chinese man in China for NZ murder...

New Zealand Herald logoImage via Wikipedia
Justice will be served on Chinese man in China for NZ murder...

A Chinese kitchenhand accused of murdering an Auckland, NZ, cabbie will be tried in his native country, but will not face the death penalty.

It is understood an agreement has been brokered between the New Zealand and Chinese Governments in which 23-year-old Zhen Xiao will stand trial for the killing of Hiren Mohini, but will not be subject to capital punishment, provided New Zealand police hand over their evidence.

Police located Xiao in Shanghai last week - more than four months after Mr Mohini, 39, was stabbed to death in Mt Eden's View Rd.

Xiao's Auckland flatmates previously told the Weekend Herald he had fled the country - apparently to visit his sick grandfather - about a week after the killing.

Inquiry head Detective Senior Sergeant Hywel Jones last night told the Weekend Herald, from China, the death penalty was typically taken off the table in cases stemming from other jurisdictions.

"Basically what happens in a case like this is we go through diplomatic channels and request that the death penalty is waived and that's what's happened in the past and once they give assurances they don't go back on that."

Mr Jones said he could not reveal how Zhen was located as the case was now before the Chinese courts and details were sub judice.

Acknowledgements: Weekend Herald/ MSN

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kiwi prison warders prepared for action...

Kiwi prison warders ready for action...

 The equipment is available to prison staff if they suspect violence is imminent. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The Corrections Department has shown off new prison guard safety equipment introduced in all prisons to a parliamentary select committee.

The personal protective equipment includes a bullet-proof vest, a shield, safety boots, knee and arm pads, fire-proof overalls, a baton and a helmet.

Department chief executive Barry Matthews gave the committee a breakdown of the new safety equipment, which has been slowly introduced in the last six months.

"This equipment is not available to the staff all the time. It is accessible by staff when they get an indication of violence that is about to occur."

A pepper spray device used to go in cells without the door having to be opened was also shown.

Mr Matthews said it was still being tested.

Select committee chairwoman Sandra Goudie (National) thanked the department for the display, saying "it is important for us to see what protection correction officers have because of the [Jason Palmer] incident".

American-born prison guard Jason Palmer died last month after being punched by an inmate at Springhill Prison.

He was punched shortly after he and two other prison guards opened the inmate's cell door.

Acknowledgements:  - NZPA

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

NZ Men's Health Week starting tomorrow...

Silhouettes and waist circumferences represent...Image via Wikipedia
NZ Men's Health Week starting tomorrow

NZ men unhealthy- smoking, obesity, liquor their downfall as Men's Health Week gets under way tomorrow

The poor state of New Zealand men's health is in the spotlight.

Figures just released show nearly a quarter of New Zealand men smoke, more than 50 percent are overweight, and 27 percent indulge in potentially hazardous drinking. Two men die every day from a preventable illness, according to the Men's Health Trust, which is promoting Men's Health Week, launching tomorrow. Spokesman Dr Graeme Washer says New Zealand men see a doctor only a third as often as women do. He says men also lack awareness about health screening for preventable diseases like diabetes and cancer.

On average, men in this country live four years less than women.

Acknowledgements: © 2010 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Nelson Mandela's great-granddaughter killed in car crash after concert in Soweto...

'''Nelson Mandela 2005, 2004 & the 20th century'''Image via Wikipedia

 Nelson Mandela's 13-year-old great-granddaughter was killed in a car crash on the way home from a concert in Soweto on the eve of the World Cup, his office said.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation said Zenani Mandela died in a one-car accident and no one else was injured. No other details on the crash were immediately available.

Zenani, who celebrated her 13th birthday June 9, was one of the anti-apartheid icon's nine great-grandchildren.

"The family has asked for privacy as they mourn this tragedy," the foundation said in a statement.

Acknowledgements: - AP

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Just heard on our TV news that cheap fish from the polluted Mekong River being sold here in NZ...

A sunset on the Mekong River.Image via Wikipedia
Just heard on our TV news that most of the fish sold in New Zealand for fish and chips comes from Vietnam. It is called Basa. It is a cheap quality catfish grown in the Mekong River - one of the dirtiest and polluted rivers in Asia, and maybe the world.

Unfortunately it is cheap quality budget valued fish that suits a depressed economic market. It has been described as tasteless with almost no smell. Most of our supermarkets are stocking the fish. Many of our fishing boats are tied up because the New Zealand hoki is not being sold in the supermarkets here.

A blind taste test resulted in nearly all of the tasters selecting the hoki. One customer became nauseated and was unwell for three days after eating the so-called Basa fish.

There is really something fishy down here in New Zealand, and it smells too! A bit of corruption perhaps, some graft and backhanders along the line? Much of the fish has been sold without a country of origin sticker. I bet that will change after the publicity on television here - something just fifty years old here too!

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