May 15, 2008
Plastic surgery begun over 4000 years ago in Ancient Egypt, which consisted of very basic skin grafting procedures and nose reconstructions.
Although reconstructive surgery was used in India in 800 BC, the history of plastic surgery moved very slowly for thousands of years.
In the late 19th century the American medical community embraced reconstructive surgery and the history of plastic surgery in the United States began.
World War I presented doctors with hundreds of victims suffering obscene facial wounds and burns, changing the history of plastic surgery.
Some of the greatest medical talent devoted themselves fully both to exploring the history of plastic surgery and creating new techniques to treat men maimed by the war.
Aesthetic surgery took its place in the history of plastic surgery at around this time, as surgeons fully realized the influence of ones appearance.
Cosmetic surgery is now a multi-billion dollar industry and the most common procedures are breast augmentations, face lifts and liposuctions.
May 15, 2008
Although techniques are becoming well advanced and fine tuned, there are still a number of risks that need to be factored in when choosing to have cosmetic surgery, and these risks are very real:
• In March 2007 a 26-year-old Melbourne woman, Lauren James, died after her liposuction in January.
• Last year the nation watched as Claire Oliver told us of her battle with skin cancer and warned against the dangers of solariums. She passed away in August.
• The death rate among liposuction patients is higher than car crash victims (FDA Department of Health and Human services statistics)
• There are many risks associated with surgery such as infections and embolisms or clots.
• A small number of patients experience burns or toxic shock from certain substances injected into or used on the body.
May 15, 2008
By Nathan Tanti
The increase in fuel prices has meant a surge in petrol theft around Melbourne, costing some service stations in excess of $8000 a year.
Adel, manager of BP in Sunbury said the public don’t appreciate the effect petrol theft has on businesses.
“Nobody cares about the merchants,” he said. “It’s not fair for us, and it’s not fair for the community.”
“I am losing around $5000 a year, but I know it has gone up to around $8000 for some,” he said.
“We are lucky in Sunbury, it’s not so bad. But in areas like Deer Park, St Albans, Broadmeadows, Thomastown and Fitzroy, it’s a lot worse.”
His branch is working with local police to identify serial offenders, despite the installation of cameras on every bowser in the station.
“When someone does a drive-off, all we can do is get their number plates, call the police or chase them ourselves,” Adel said.
The average thief steals about $50 worth of fuel, and tends to be aged in their 30s.
“It’s always the same type of people, and the police know who to look for. Sometimes they work in a group, but mainly it’s just the driver.”
Adel is pushing BP to install 24-hour pre-pay bowsers, but he says his requests go unanswered.
“I can push only so much, there needs to be more stations pushing for this.”
“We can get approval for eight or nine hours a day with pre-pay, but a thief is a thief. They know the ways we work and the times where the pre-pay system is off – and it can happen at any time of day.”
- Petrol theft costs the fuel industry about $63 million a year
- Victoria accounts for $12 million of this figure
- There were 6267 petrol drive offs in 2006-07 after a 40 per cent jump the previous the year
- More than 10,000 car registration plates were stolen in 2006-2007
Source: Victoria Police
May 22, 2008
|Picture: Adele Holland
Kesang Wangmo is staging her own personal protest
By Adele Holland
If it weren’t for all the noise, silence would not be as powerful as it has become. Following the recent mass protests around the world in regards to China, there has been plenty of noise, but in a stand against Chinese treatment of Tibet, one Melbourne woman is going against the trend.
Kesang, was born in Tibet and is currently undertaking a silent vigil outside the Chinese Consulate in Melbourne every Sunday for two hours, as part of her own personal protest against the treatment of her family, her friends and her country.
“It is a very peaceful vigil, and we do not want to create any problems for Chinese consulate members or the Australian police,” she said.
Although Kesang has lived in Australia for nearly 18 years, she still has strong links to her home country of Tibet. In 1959 her family moved to India, where Kesang grew up in exile, along with thousands of other Tibetan people. She moved to Australian with her husband in her mid-20s.
“For the first time in my life I experienced what real freedom means,” she said.
“What it means to be an individual, what power we have. So I thought, I have to do something. I knew that the Chinese were bullying our government, into believing they were willing to negotiate, but they had no intention of negotiation, and also I felt like I have a responsibility to stand up for the human rights issues and to push for the general autonomy.”
In an effort to make Australian’s aware of the lack of basic human rights in Tibet, Kesang sits at an altar outside the Chinese Consulate between 2pm and 4pm every Sunday, in the lead up the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Much controversy has surrounded the Free Tibet protests as many believe the Olympic Games should be kept separate from world politics.
The Olympic Torch relay has been the focus of media attention recently, and Kesang believes it is the perfect opportunity for Tibetans and supporters of the movement to get their word out.
“It’s not like now the torch has come and suddenly we are protesting, we were protesting before, but nobody was paying attention,” she said.
“People are saying the torch is sacred and asking why we are attacking it? What does the torch symbolise? It is a mark of civilisation, and in our culture we say, the torch symbolises wisdom. Because when light is shone, darkness is gone, and people can see the truth. The Games stand for equality and harmony… but that is not happening in Tibet.”
Although her protest is peaceful, Chinese Consulate members have not made it easy for Kesang to undertake her vigil.
Originally Kesang set her altar up under the branch of a tree outside the consulate. It gave her shade through the warmer months, and was a place she could hang her prayer flags. However one day she arrived to find someone had stripped the branches of the tree. Kesang believes this is a reflection of the bullying nature of the Chinese government.
“We Tibetans have nothing against the Chinese people; it is just the totalitarian government,” she said.
“At the same time I would like to thank all of the Australians, for so much love, for their understanding. There is not one Tibetan whose life hasn’t been touched by this tragedy. Sometime you feel like why did we live? Wouldn’t we have been better off dying and not having to go through this? But I heard a writer say once, ‘To live is to suffer but to survive to find a meaning’. So I think my purpose is that. I have met so many kind, compassionate people. Australian’s have such big hearts.”
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May 22, 2008
By Clayton Bennett
Original author Watty Piper, now replaced by transport giants, may be rolling in his grave as the saying “I think I can, I think I can” is replaced by “we wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused”. While The Little Engine That Could was written as a moralistic tale of optimism it is suffice to say that the optimistic ones in public transport are the government bodies that renew their contracts.
There are three major problems with public transport in Melbourne, as outlined by the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) of Victoria: the wait, the cost and the safety.
Wherever you see commuters bunched together at a tram stop, on a platform at a train station or even at a bus stop, what you are seeing is ‘the wait’ in action. Waits from 20 minutes up to one hour are common in Melbourne and it seems to be always when you need to be somewhere.
Price wise, public transport for Melburnians is a big issue with users of the system paying the highest fares of any public transport system in Australia, according to the PTUA. When speaking to The Age, president of PTUA Daniel Bowen explained, “for people who already have a car sitting in the garage, public transport is not cost-competitive, even with petrol prices rising again.”
However, Victorian Transport Minister Lynne Kosky defended the fares, saying that former premier Steve Bracks had reduced prices on public transport with action such as the abolition of Zone 3.
The figures though still show otherwise. These expensive trips with long waiting times cannot be justified by any safety record, as bashings and road collisions occur regularly. Despite Connex implementing its yellow ‘safety zones’, cases like that of a teenager being admitted to Royal Melbourne Hospital with stab wounds after being attacked at Bell train station in Preston earlier this year continue to be a grim reality.
Last year, two Yarra Trams travelling down St Kilda Road collided, leaving the driver of the second tram in a critical condition, the tram itself a write-off and 12 passengers injured.
Country travellers of V/Line are not omitted from danger. In June last year a semi-trailer crashed into a V/Line train at a level crossing in the central Victorian town of Kerang. Eleven died and many more were injured after being thrown about the carriages like rag dolls. The question begs, what safety is included in the price of a fare?
For the average Joe Citizen who is lucky enough to avoid these road crashes and knife attacks, riding on public transport is a frustrating hell at best. If there isn’t a chroming junkie, a group of obnoxious kids or a ranting old man sitting somewhere on your tram then you mustn’t get out much. As comedian Dave Callan would add, if you are travelling on public transport and you can’t find the token loony then chances are you’re it!
No one is ever going to be completely satisfied with public transport with such a differing opinion amongst the daily, weekly and bi-monthly commuters of the metropolitan melting pot. A new transport company may well just be as hopeless as any we have had in the past. Connex has etched a special place in the vernacular of the public however, with the Urban Dictionary giving one definition as being slang for late or delayed. Perhaps next time you are caught without a ticket and fined on a train, the excuse “Sorry I was running Connex and forgot my wallet” might work, or at least get a laugh.
Until the wait, the cost and the safety are improved however there will be nothing funny about using public transport in Melbourne.
Connex has attempted to appease commuters by adding new services running across the Melbourne metropolitan rail network. Scroll over your line to see the upgrades that have been made.
Click here for map of upgrades
Click here for the history of Melbourne’s rail network
Click here for main page
May 23, 2008
Experts are anticipating the results; the first data they will have that accurately depicts the amount of homeless on Melbourne’s streets.
We ask two experts what they think about the street count, and how we can stop homelessness.
Sherri Bruinhout is manager of Front Yard, the youth division of Melbourne City Mission, who provide services to those under 25 who are at risk of homelessness.
Steve Perrson is CEO of the Big Issue magazine, which provides self-employment opportunities for the homeless and long-term unemployed.
Why do people become homeless?
Steve Persson: “It’s the reasons that go back to family, it goes back to drugs, it goes back to a whole range of potential problems that I guess we’re all so very familiar with.”
Sherri Bruinhout: “Homelessness happens when families break down.”
What do you think the street count will reveal?
Sherri Bruinhout: “It’s going to be really interesting. There’s been street count in Adelaide and there’s another one coming up in Sydney. We’re really keen to get involved and we’re one of the partners on that. I’m actually really not sure, I think that it’s exciting because it’s benchmarking street homelessness in the city and we really haven’t had that before. We have homelessness in the census but it’s very hard to get people who are sleeping rough to participate in things like [the] census.
“I’m quite apprehensive because I think it’s going to be quite shocking what we find and I think that we should be shocked and we should be really appalled by what we find in the census”.
Do you think homelessness is an increasing problem or is it on the decline?
Sherri Bruinhout: “With the American sub-prime loan debacle, that’s having a trickle effect all across the world. The effect is that rents are increasing in Melbourne, the interest rates are going up significantly and that’s having a follow-on effect with real estate, with private accommodation.”
“So a young person on Youth Allowance, by the time they’ve paid for an average sized rental property in Melbourne, they have less than $10 a day to live on and we just find that that’s not a viable option for young people, if they were to be successful for applying for a rental property anyway which is just not happening, the market’s too tight.”
Steve Perrson: “I’ve got a very unhappy feeling that we’ll see a rise, I think the pressure on housing is going to increase I think the gap between those people that can afford housing and the housing costs is going to mean that we’re going to see an increased number.”
“I know that there’s a number of great works to try and stem that and I can only hope it’ll be successful but I have a really uneasy feeling that we’re going to see an increase.”
Is there a solution to homelessness?
Sherri Bruinhout: “I don’t think that we can stop people from being homeless…I think we can aim to stop people having to sleep on the streets when they’re homeless, I think that we can aim to getting a really good solution to people’s homelessness, but I think what most people can do is if you can see someone, if you see a friend in trouble, if you see a family in trouble that you know, offer some sort of support or information.”
Steve Persson: “I think the range of strategies that they’re talking about to increase homes for homeless people is a key to it, you know, you’ve got to provide shelter to people and that’s one of the cores of anything, but I’d like to see a variety of solutions rather than a one size fits all.”
“I’d like to see a range of social ventures like the Big Issue established that people can engage in, in a business sense. I’d like to see case management and welfare services increased absolutely and better targeted, but I’d like to see a little bit more variety, I’d like to see something creative, and I’d like to see some business solutions to a social problem.”
|Download Steve Perrson, CEO of Big Issue magazine.||Download Sherri Bruinhout, General Manager of Frontyard.|
May 23, 2008
Alice talks of a time she once completed a lesson plan on probability and “it’s probable to assume that there is little that can be done to retrieve text book arithmetic from the perils of classroom boredom”. But instead Alice weighed herself down with bags of colourful smarties – tools to be used in the probability exercise “how many smarties can you fit in your mouth”.
“While half the students probably fell into a diabetic coma or became hyper I think it is safe to say that they will never forget the basics of probability.”
Always looking for a creative alternative, Alice a first-year-out teacher was one of the first students to put her hand up to do volunteer teaching rounds in indigenous communities around Australia. But like the probability lesson Alice soon discovered that while things look attractive from the outset – the sometimes chaotic reality of the activity can be a lot to digest.
Selected from a panel of students Alice and a classmate saved and took to the top end of Australia to work in a remote Aboriginal community in Arnhem Land. Convoyed into the camp by 4WD the conditions of the community were immediately apparent to the Alice, a well travelled student had never seen anything like it.
“I won’t lie and say that it wasn’t intimidating and I was not prepared for the shock, but when I think about it nothing could have prepared me and that’s why I was there it was an unbelievably segregated community and the cultural and economic gaps were enormous.”
But Alice from the outset wanted to make a difference and launched herself into her role as a teacher’s assistant at the one and only local school. “As a teacher I wanted to know about Australia’s history and how history was being played out today.”
What Alice, the self confessed idealist was presented with was an education system and culture so flawed that even the most creative, spirited individual could not help feeling disheartened by.
“Oh there were so many challenges – the first where to start?”
Teachers did not work cohesively but it was understandable in a hopeless situation with no support. It was not uncommon for the teachers and members of the community to be bitter and combined with a sense of guilt and obligation to the community these seemed to be the only traits that united them.
While Alice admits that the problems were far reaching, small rewards in the classroom were enough to inspire and encourage her.
“It is a very traditional chalk and talk approach.”
Alice introduced lots of role playing, music and interactive activities. By default a student that was known to the teacher as ‘difficult’ took the lead role and excelled, was “a completely different child” and beamed.
Alice identifies the problems in indigenous education as being deep rooted and not widely understood.
“There were 20 students enrolled in our class but our daily average attendance was eight.”
“I made the most of my time there – I talked with all the locals and understand the situation better than I could imagine. But something drastic needs to be done, anyone who considers going should go and not just for the short term. Amazing and motivated people are really what is required if any sort of change at all will be achieved.”
And like the eager maths class, who ran-a-muck and got their hands and all surrounding surfaced covered in coloured dye – Alice will never forget the lessons of Arnhem Land.
May 23, 2008
May 22, 2008
The history of national defection in Australian football is littered with hard luck stories and tales which make both fans and sport administrators wonder what might have been.
Since the 1980s, Australia has been the subject of an unwavering attack on its footballing stocks, with nations such as Croatia, England and in more recent times Greece, raiding local institutes and competitions for untapped talent.
The likes of Craig Johnston and Tony Dorigo have since been joined by the World Cup triumvirate of Ivan Ergic, Josip Simunic and Ante Seric, each developed with taxpayers money, while goalkeeper Joey Didulica, a Geelong-native also wore the red and white checks of Croatia during Germany 2006.
Ironically, Simunic, Seric and Didulica were eliminated from that tournament by the Socceroos; however, this hasn’t deterred others from doing the same, and ignoring their homeland for fame and fortune.
This year alone, two former VIS athletes, Paul Giannou and Andreas Govas, as well as Sydney-born Dean Bouzanis have represented Greece at youth international level following perceived snubs by national selectors.
Rollover markers to use map.
VIS Head of Football, Ian Greener, attributes this continued trend to the lack of identifiable pathways available to up and coming professionals.
“The national coaches can only select a certain number (of players), so there are going to be boys who are technically gifted not selected in the Under 17 or the Under 20 national program,” he said.
|Picture: Football Federation Victoria
Ian Greener with Socceroo Matthew Spiranovic
“That’s probably when they say ‘well ok, if I’m not going to be selected for my homeland then I need to move to an overseas country’, and if they do have a dual citizenship or a nationality link, I can’t blame them for wanting to play at the highest level.
“If we haven’t given them an opportunity to play, then they probably have no other option.”
Players let down by system
Govas, currently contracted with English Premier League side Portsmouth, is a prime example of a player let down by the current development system. After being overlooked by AIS selectors, Govas was forced to look overseas to reignite his flagging ambitions and continue his rise to the summit of the sport.
“I represented the Victorian squad at Under 15 and Under 16 levels and I was lucky enough to have been selected for the VIS to be part of a development program aimed at producing players for the national team,” he told Melbourne’s Greek newspaper Neos Kosmos.
“As I came towards the end of my time at VIS I was hoping to get an international call-up or an invitation to the AIS. I was invited up to the AIS for a day trial, but unfortunately I was not in the (selected) 18 and was sent home.
“I thought I was really good while on trial there and was surprised not to have been picked. I was also then told that I would not be in the mix for AIS selection, so I looked overseas.”
Download Full interview with VIS Head Coach Ian Greener.
The National Youth League will be played during the A-League season and attempts to fill the void in Australia’s youth development program, providing starlets with the opportunity to play regular football without venturing overseas.
May 22, 2008
State Government’s plan to impose a 2am lockout on inner-city Melbourne pubs and clubs is intended to stem the growing incidence of alcohol-fuelled violence and binge drinking.
The lockout means licensed venues in the areas of Port Phillip, Stonnington, Docklands and Yarra councils cannot allow patrons to enter their venues from 2am to 7am.
The lockout, for now, is only a three-month trial and is part of the government’s five-year $37.2 million Alcohol Action Plan aimed at addressing alcohol abuse.
The Brumby Government was sparked into action when a report chaired by Mental Health Minister Lisa Neville uncovered that 64 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 32 per cent of 14-17 year olds were binge drinking.
The report also said alcohol was directly linked to 24,714 inpatient hospitalisations, 759 deaths and 57 road deaths and 8850 assaults each year.
Ms Neville said, “The cost to the Australian community of alcohol abuse through lost productivity and social and health impacts is $15.3 billion a year”.
According to The Age, in the past year there has been a 17 per cent jump in assaults on Melbourne streets from the same time last year.
Police say Flinders Lane, Queen and King Streets are notorious for assaults and crime late at night.
Chief Commissioner of Police Christine Nixon said in a press conference the late night entry bans were aimed at reducing the amount of people ‘venue hopping’ late at night often after they had been kicked out of another venue.
“We know the majority of alcohol related violence occurs on the streets as people move from venue to venue not in the actual venues themselves,” Ms Nixon said.
“Late entry bans control the movement of people and allow police to target key times around 2am. This gives police a greater ability to manage people not in a venue late at night.”
Many people are still skeptical about the plan saying it will only lead to more drunk people being on the streets and long queues for taxis after 2am.
Hospitality workers are also concerned they’ll lose pay as well as a place to relax after long night-shifts.
Managers and owners of well-known Melbourne bars and clubs say the lockout will hurt business and the city’s night-life.
Owner of Revellers’ bar in Prahran, Marc Beyer said, “I am very worried about the future of my business with the introduction of the 2am lockout… with the hours that we operate, we’d be devastated by such a lockout”.
Professor Robin Room of the Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Centre has recommended pubs and bars be made to close earlier instead of the lockout and there should be a day a week where alcohol is not for sale.
Crown Casino is the only major venue to be exempt from the curfew as it was deemed to not have as many safety issues as the city’s bars and clubs.
Ballarat, Warrnambool and Bendigo already have a 2am curfew and there are similar laws in New South Wales and Queensland.
The Melbourne curfew will come into effect on the morning of June 3.
Download Melburnians have their say on the 2am curfew.