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Showing posts from August, 2012

Superhuman moneybag lifter a misprint after all

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From the Metro 22/08/12:Mary Deller heard her back pop when she was asked to lift two bags of 500 £1 coins, weighing a total of 9.5kg (21lb), on to a trolley.Ah – that isn’t quite what I read in the paper version of the Metro yesterday morning:  She was left in constant pain and unable to walk or work after the accident in September 2010 and is now bound by crutches and a wheelchair. The trained dancer, 26, was awarded an out-of-court settlement from NatWest, which she said failed to give her health and safety training in Cheriton, Kent. She added: 'Compensation can only cover loss of earnings - it will never cover the loss of my quality of life.' Yes, yes, we got all that the first time around.  I thought it didn’t look quite right when I read it in the paper yesterday morning.  I thought either cashier girls must be built like Jet from Gladiators, or something had gone horribly wrong.  In my usual absent minded away, my thoughts must have drifted on to something else (prob…

Graffiti Madness

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I like to think we live in quite a nice neighbourhood, but maybe I’m kidding myself. When I was on a casual jaunt recently, I noticed the wall running alongside the quaint little footpath adjacent to the bottom of our rear garden had acquired some rather rude ‘daubings’ (as Alan Partridge would no doubt have termed them). The graffiti ran along the wall for some distance (probably 30 metres or so in total). The focal points were two rather rude words about 20 metres apart – one rather racist (if hilariously misspelled) in small letters and another in massive letters that was a certain 4 letter word beginning with c). I don’t know – kids today, huh? There were also some very large squiggles (maybe they had exhausted their knowledge of “naughty” words by then) in an uninspiring mixture of yellow and blue. Heck – those cans of spray paint are expensive! The fact our neighbourhood had been graffitied came pretty darn close to annoying me – I’m a sensitive chap like that, but then again, a…

Accidents can just happen: tragic but true

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From BBC News 14/08/12: [A teacher], Glennroy Blair-Ford, 45, was on a Kent school trip in Devon when he broke his neck while taking part in a sporting event commonly known as welly wanging. A judge said it was a "freak accident" and dismissed his claim against outdoor pursuits centre firm CRS Adventures. Lawyers for Mr Blair-Ford, formerly of Bromley, south-east London, argued that he had been asked by centre staff to throw the welly adopting an "unsafe" method.An unsafe method of throwing (ahem – wanging) a welly? I don’t know: how about balanced on a pointed stick above a pit of snakes? Throwing a welly boot seems fairly innocuous doesn’t it? But freak accidents are the worst – and the toughest to come to terms with. They said his injuries were "a logical and foreseeable consequence" of a 6ft tall, 15 stone teacher throwing the welly backwards through his legs using the requested method. The 45-year-old is unable to move his body below the neck and req…

Catalogue of errors left patient to die of dehydration

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Every now and then I see a news article which leaves me truly shocked, and earlier this week I read about the tragic case of a young patient who was so badly neglected by medical staff that he died of dehydration.

Kane Gordy, who was only 22, was in hospital for a hip operation, after his bones were left weak following a battle with a brain tumour back in 2009. Medical staff at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London, neglected Kane so badly that he was forced to call 999 as he was so desperate for water.

Police visited the hospital after the call but were turned away by staff – and Kane died soon after.
Stories like this are thankfully rare, but this does not make them acceptable. Doctors and nurses train for years to be able to look after others, and most go into their profession due to their naturally caring nature, so when this basic level of humanity disappears it is truly disappointing.

What makes this incident even more unacceptable is that it was caused by so many errors on th…

Law Actually is recruiting...

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We’re looking for a Google Reader ReaderLaw Actually is a UK-based global leader* in the blawgosphere.Who the frick are we kidding?!?!?   After being repeatedly driven to distraction by an unmanageable list of Google Reader subscriptions, editor-in-chief (the Michael) has decided to recruit someone to do it for him and report back providing a digest of all the blogs and blawgs and other stuff out there he regularly peruses.We’re looking for an enthusiastic and hardworking individual, driven to succeed (you know, all the usual bits of airy-fairy recruitment mumbo-jumbo which job descriptions are full of these days). The ability to organise and assimilate vast amounts of information is crucial yadda yadda yadda.You should be familiar with Google Reader (for hopefully obvious reasons) but hey, training can be provided ‘on the job’ if required.We’re looking for a candidate to grow with us. (we’ll put you in traction if necessary!!)The ability to read is a must; the ability to understand w…

No Facebook account? Then you’re a twisted weirdo (or worse!)

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Or something like that. From Forbes.com 06/08/12: I used to say that “if you’re not on Facebook, it’s possible you don’t actually exist.” I think it’s time to update that, courtesy of Slashdot: Facebook abstainers will be labeled suspicious. Slashdot flagged a German news story in which an expert noted that mass murderers Anders Breivik and James Holmes both lacked much of a social media presence, leading to the conclusion, in Slashdot’s phrasing, that “not having a Facebook account could be the first sign that you are a mass murderer.”Oh you’re just pulling my plonker now. That’s a tad extreme, but I’m seeing the suggestion more and more often that a missing Facebook account raises red flags. Several years ago I was renowned for my Facebook bashing. Then, in January 2010, I gave in and signed up for a Facebook account – just as an experiment. After a lacklustre few log-ins, I quickly lost interest and winded up deleting my account without even a poke to my name. Does that mean I’m in…

Religion the saviour for Cornish superfast broadband

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From ISP Review 06/08/12:The coastal fishing village of Polperro in Cornwall […] which has so far been unable to benefit from the massive £132 Million “Big Build” scheme to roll-out BT’s superfast broadband services around the region, has finally found a solution after the local Methodist Church stepped in to help.Yay!!  Just cause for a rock-around-the-pulpit me thinks!  Polperro’s layout is similar to a number of fishing villages along the coast. It is built into the side of a hill and features very narrow roads with a distinct “lack of pavements“. As a result BT Openreach were unable to locate any suitable locations to build the new street cabinet for their superfast Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) service.Goodness me! Let’s not get an overblown idea of BT’s abilities; they couldn’t find their own bum’oles in a power cut, never mind suitable locations to build street cabinets.And while we’re on it, I’ve never liked the FTTC acronym; “Fibre-to-the-cab” is much catchier, more meaningful …

Viewing porn at work

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From the Verge 02/08/12:It's never really a good idea to watch porn while at the office — especially if your job involves mildly important tasks like defending the US from missile attacks. Yet that's exactly what some employees at the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency have been doing, according to a report from Bloomberg.Sounds like the staff have been minding some lap rockets of their own during work hours, then.Last week, MDA Executive Director John James Jr. issued a memo warning employees against using government computers to access pornographic websites, since such behavior could pose potentially serious security risks.We’ve all surreptitiously checked the internet for something at work which was mildly ‘against the rules’.  But porn? Really? Why would anybody do that while they’re stuck at their desk surrounded by colleagues? Unless their all doing it, you know, like some kind of organised LAN orgy? You never know. Maybe that explains the stain on your colleague’s ch…

Anyone for mushy grapes?

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From the Telegraph 26/07/12: A grocer has been ordered to pay £111,000 to a shopper who slipped on “mushy" grapes outside his shop. Samira Hassan, 57, fractured both wrists in the accident outside The Stall, in Greenford, west London. She sued the owner, Onkar Singh Gill, claiming that despite wearing sensible shoes she had slipped on grapes that were "trodden in and mushy". Ooh – mushy grapes. Damn grapes - how very dare they be mushy! And it’s always grapes isn’t it? Nobody ever goes down over on a banana any more. What’s up with that? Poor sprouts, carrots and corn on the cobs never get a look in? If you get one of those wedged between your foot and the pavement and weren’t expecting it, chances are you’re going to be eating dust in seconds. Mr Gil, 50, said he and his staff had taken all reasonable steps to ensure that the pavement was clear of debris, sweeping the area up to five times a day.  Gracious! What diligence. But in September last year a County Co…