What environment? 80% of Tonnage Scrap in 2017 Ended Up on South Asian Beaches


Katiekk/Shutterstock

❝ Of the 835 large ocean-going commercial ships that were sold for scrap in 2017, a total of 543 ships were intentionally run ashore and dismantled by hand at shipbreaking yards in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, where the controversial ‘beaching’ method continues to be the predominant means of disposal for end-of-life vessels, according to new data released by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

The 543 ships represent just over 80% of the total tonnage scrapped worldwide last year, according to the organization…

❝ The data shows that the practice of ship beaching, where end-of-life-vessels are run aground within the tidal zone and dismantled by hand, continues to be the shipping industry’s preferred method for scrapping despite human and environmental risks and more stringent regulations associated with the practice.

Shipbreaking yards in places like Alang, Gadani and Chittagong are notorious for their often-abysmal safety records and hazardous working conditions. Although certain yards in the regions have made strides to align their operations with international standards for the safe ship recycling, the shipbreaking industry in South Asia continues to be marked by its lax safety oversight and frequent, often-fatal accidents.

RTFA. Safety standards, environmental practices aren’t up to a century any of us have lived in.

Gunshots land kids in the ER with the most serious injuries – 21% of deaths from serious injury

Guns are a leading cause of death among U.S. children, and the number of kids getting killed by bullets has been on the rise over the past three decades. But the toll that gun violence takes on kids’ health goes far beyond those high fatality rates, according to a new study. Even when children survive being shot, bullet wounds tend to cause the most serious types of injuries on their bodies, requiring complicated and costly types of surgery.

Researchers analyzed hospital data collected over the course of three years in several urban areas. They found that gunshot wounds contributed to the highest proportion of serious injuries (23 percent), major surgeries (32 percent), and deaths in hospitals (8 percent). Altogether, gunshot wounds were associated with 21 percent of all deaths among kids who landed in the ER after sustaining a serious injury.

And because the wounds caused by bullets are more likely to require specialized treatment, the emergency care for kids’ gunshot wounds typically costs more than $28,500 — much higher than the costs associated with any other type of injury. Injuries resulting from car accidents were the next most expensive, averaging a little more than $15,500…

“If we focus on just fatalities, we’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg,” Craig Newgard, who directs the Center for Policy and Research in Emergency Medicine…explained to USA Today. “In every metric that we looked at, the front-runner far and away for worst outcome and greatest impact was gunshot-related injuries.”

Last year’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, which killed nearly two dozen kindergartners, brought the issue of gun violence and children back to the forefront. But policy solutions to the problem have faltered, and thousands of Americans have gone on to be killed by guns since the Sandy Hook tragedy. Very young children are often accidentally shot by other children with firearms kept in their homes.

Medical advances have ensured that fewer Americans are dying from bullet wounds. But, since gun violence has actually been on the rise, that means more people are surviving after receiving treatment for serious gun-related injuries. According to research from the Centers for Disease Control, treating wounds resulting from gun injuries costs Americans an estimated $5.6 billion in medical bills each year.

Part of the core problem with American gun nuts is that the cost of killing our kids, the cost of keeping them alive but not really living anymore – doesn’t mean a damned thing. Income isn’t so much a decider as ideology. If you’re filled with enough dementia and fear, simple economics, humanist ethics are irrelevant.

BTW, guns are not part of a foreign culture to me. From one family member classed among the best military prototype gunsmiths in the nation, trap-shooting at the old Remington gun club, a friend who did [appropriate] time for manufacturing illegal machine guns – to decades of hunting, I’ve experienced an amazing range of legal and illegal gun culture. None of it was as lost and demented as what passes for today’s NRA and the gun nuts who support their extremely profitable religion.

Where’s the beer?

A Las Cruces woman was jailed after allegedly stabbing her boyfriend for not buying her another 40-ounce bottle of Olde English 800 malt liquor.

Dona Ana sheriff’s deputies were called to a house on the 9500 block of Butterfield Boulevard around 5:30 p.m. Thursday after Alexa Monet Rodriguez, 22, allegedly became enraged at her boyfriend and stabbed him in the arm with a 14-inch stainless steel knife, according to sheriff’s office spokeswoman Kelly Jameson.

Rodriguez also allegedly had thrown a 3-pound weight at her boyfriend so hard it got lodged in the wall, then struck him in the back with a TV tray and a chair, Jameson said. After the alleged stabbing, Rodriguez allegedly threw the knife at the victim and fled.

She was arrested soon after and charged with aggravated battery against a household member with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault against a household member with a deadly weapon and two counts of battery against a household member. Magistrate Judge Richard Silva set Rodriguez’s bond at $15,000 cash.

The victim, a Farmington man who just moved to Las Cruces three months ago, was transported by ambulance to an area hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

I don’t know about that last paragraph. Looks to me like she tried like hell to threaten his life!

MRSA infections hospitalizing children have doubled in last decade

A new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shows that in the past decade, there have been a number of shifts in the reasons children are admitted to the hospital. The most notable change in hospital admission data involves severe skin infections, which more than doubled between 2000 and 2009 and now rank as the seventh most common reason for childhood hospitalization, up from 13th in 2000.

The increase is attributed to the rise of antibiotic-resistant staph infections — called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. A vast majority of MRSA cases happen in hospital settings or nursing homes, but 10 percent to 15 percent occur in the community among otherwise healthy people. Infections often strike people who are prone to cuts and scrapes, including children and athletes. MRSA spreads by skin-to-skin contact, typically in crowded conditions and through the sharing of contaminated personal items like towels.

“I don’t think it’s really well appreciated that in most communities, community-acquired MRSA has become the dominant cause of soft tissue infection requiring emergency department care and inpatient care,” said Dr. Patrick S. Romano…“People think of MRSA as a hospital bug, but it’s not just a hospital bug anymore. It’s a community bug…”

This is scary stuff and, yet, something that can be prevented by attention to hygiene including clean surroundings. No one’s going to be able disinfect playing fields or anyplace outdoors where kids will play – which is where many flavors of Staph Aureus abound. But, making certain children wash up when they get back home – especially around inevitable scrapes and bruises – is a requirement. As it always should have been.

Nothing new; but, those critters which lurk in the real world ready to attack at any opening are still alive and well and aren’t going away.

Lawsuit filed in Canada over car collisions with moose


See that big thing in the road? That’s a moose.

Two Canadians injured in car collisions with moose in Newfoundland have filed a class-action lawsuit against the province, claiming it has not properly controlled the animal’s numbers…

Ben Bellows and Hugh George have both been paralysed by injuries sustained in separate car accidents involving moose.

More than 700 of the animals are struck each year by motorists in the province…

There are roughly 125,000 moose in Newfoundland, a province with 480,000 residents…

Both Mr Bellows and Mr George, who have been restricted to wheelchairs following their accidents, are…seeking financial assistance in the case…

About 40 other people have also signed on to the class-action suit, Mr Crosbie added.

I wish Mr. Bellows and Mr. George no ill for their injuries – and I have no idea how the Provincial government or Canada will handle such a lawsuit. Here in the Rockies it would be considered nothing more than a nuisance and frivolous lawsuit.

In my neck of the prairie, the law governing fences, for example, takes into account free-ranging wild animals – and cash crops like cows. City folks think fences are to keep things inside the fence. Out here, fences are put up to keep things out. Like cows, like moose or elk. It’s the law.

When I still was on the road, I used to drive an East-West stretch of Colorado state highway every two weeks, at night, where hundreds of deer/car collisions happened, every year. And Colorado doesn’t make the top 10 states for deer-car collisions. I drove at the speed limit or below. Used my high beams and driving lights whenever I could – without bothering an oncoming driver. There are lots of tips.

The United States still averages about 1.5 million deer-car collisions a year. That’s slightly better than 2 a minute!

Not hitting a deer is your responsibility. Not the state. Not the police. And certainly not the deer. They ain’t any smarter than a 6-year old child – and it’s your responsibility not to drive over them either.

Botched suicide bomber busted in Copenhagen hotel – UPDATED


Bomb squad techs let their robot in to deal with suspect’s bag

Police in Copenhagen have arrested a man in connection with what appears to be a botched bombing.

The man was apprehended shortly after a minor explosion at about 1:30pm in the bathroom of Hotel Jørgensen, located near Nørreport Station, the capital’s busiest commuter railway hub.

Police arrested the man, reportedly carrying identification from two foreign countries, in nearby H.C. Ørsted Park with a bag attached to his waist. The area was quickly cordoned off, and despite injuries to his face and arm the man was left immobilised on the ground for about five hours until a bomb squad robot could remove the bag and detonate it.

The detonation could be heard throughout the immediate area, but a police spokesman declined to comment on the bag’s possible contents, saying only that it was ‘no longer a concern’.

At about 8:00pm the man was taken by ambulance to hospital under police escort where he was treated by a medical team wearing bomb squad suits as a precaution.

A police spokesman said a terrorism emergency had not been declared. And officials from Copenhagen Airport and national rail operator DSB said they had not increased security measures.

However, the terror level has been raised to new heights throughout the United States. Especially New York and Floriduh. [/sarcasm]

UPDATE: The Danish police raised the terror level a fraction of a notch, this morning, to “information awareness”, e.g. everyone stay in touch.

UPDATE: Looks like the dude was preparing a letter bomb to mail to the Danish newspaper “guilty” of publishing Mohammed cartoons.

Direct head impact not required for blast wave brain injury

New research on the effects of blast waves could lead to an enhanced understanding of head injuries and improved military helmet design.

Using numerical hydrodynamic computer simulations, Lawrence Livermore scientists Willy Moss and Michael King, along with University of Rochester colleague Eric Blackman, have discovered that nonlethal blasts can induce enough skull flexure to generate potentially damaging loads in the brain, even without direct head impact.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results from mechanical loads in the brain, often without skull fracture, and causes complex, long-lasting symptoms.

TBI in civilians is usually caused by direct head impacts resulting from motor vehicle and sports accidents. TBI also has emerged among military combat personnel exposed to blast waves. As modern body armor has substantially reduced soldier fatalities from explosive attacks, the lower mortality rates have revealed the high prevalence of TBI…

In particular, the team showed that blast waves affect the brain very differently from direct impacts.

And helmets designed to protect the skull from impact and penetration – prove to be much less of a defense against blast waves.

Anyone who’s been on the field of battle anytime in the last century knows what blast waves feel like – and they sure as hell haven’t been getting any smaller!

Auditions for Top Model turn ugly!


Click on photo for raw riot video
Daylife/Reuters Pictures

Pandemonium erupted outside of an “America’s Next Top Model” casting call in midtown Saturday when an overheating car triggered a stampede of catwalk-craving cuties.

Screaming as they ran for their lives, hundreds of hotties in heels toppled over barricades along W. 55th St. after several people in the crowd started yelling, “There’s a bomb!”

By the time the model madness ended, two women were hospitalized and two others and one man were busted for inciting a riot, authorities said.

Seems to be about as well-managed as a bull in a china shop.

Head and neck injury risks for Head Bangers

Head banging increases the risk of head and neck injury, but the effects may be lessened with reduced head and neck motion, head banging to lower tempo songs or to every second beat, and using protective equipment such as neck braces, finds a study in the Christmas issue published on bmj.com.

What began in 1968 at a Led Zeppelin concert with fans banging their heads on the stage, has developed into a collection of distinctive styles including the up-down, the circular swing, the full body and the side-to-side. Anecdotal reports of head banging induced injury include hearing loss, stroke and mild traumatic brain injury, but there has been little formal research into head banging…

The researchers attended hard rock and heavy metal concerts including Motörhead, Ozzy Osbourne and Skid Row, and identified that the up-down style was the most common head banging technique. They constructed a theoretical head banging model of this popular style to examine the effect the range of head and neck motion has on injury severity. A focus group of ten musicians was used to calculate the average tempo of their favourite head banging songs.

The authors found that there is an increasing risk of neck injury beginning at tempos of 130 beats per minute related to the range of motion in the head banging style.

And what of two of the most famous head bangers, Beavis and Butt-head? When head banging at a tempo of 164 beats per minute to “I Wanna be Sedated” the range of motion of Beavis’ head and neck is about 45º, say the authors, so he would be unlikely to sustain any injury. But the news for Butt-head may not be so rosy. Preferring to head bang at a range of motion of 75º, he may well experience symptoms of headaches and dizziness.

I like their suggested remedies: have AC/DC switch to songs like “Moon River” instead of “Highway to Hell”. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that one.

Kingsnorth police injuries? Beside the six insect bites and a toothache?


Daylife/Reuters Pictures

When climate camp protesters descended on the site of the Kingsnorth power station for a week-long summer demonstration, the scale of the police operation to cope with them was enormous.

Police were accused of using aggressive tactics, confiscating everything from toilet rolls and board games to generators and hammers. But ministers justified what they called the “proportionate” £5.9 million cost of the operation, pointing out that 70 officers had been injured in the course of their duties.

But data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act puts a rather different slant on the nature of those injuries, disclosing that not one was sustained in clashes with demonstrators.

Papers acquired by the Liberal Democrats via Freedom of Information requests show that the 1,500 officers policing the Kingsnorth climate camp near the Medway estuary in Kent, suffered only 12 reportable injuries during the protest during August.

Injuries reported included “stung on finger by possible wasp”; “officer injured sitting in car”; and “officer succumbed to sun and heat”. One officer cut his arm on a fence when climbing over it, another cut his finger while mending a car, and one “used leg to open door and next day had pain in lower back”.

A separate breakdown of the 33 patients treated by the police tactical medicine unit at the climate camp shows that three officers had succumbed to heat exhaustion, three had toothache, six were bitten by insects, and others had diarrhoea, had cut their finger or had headaches.

Sounds like British coppers are daisies and their political bosses are liars. So, what’s new?