Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday Skinfest

I'm kinda tired after the long weekend and spending 99% of that time with the kids, so I'm just gonna whack the pictures up and you can enjoy at your leisure:

Who knew recovery sessions involved surfing?

Or writing on oneself whilst wearing teeny-tiny Speedos... not that I'm complaining...
Mmmmmmm, snail trail...

Ok he's not *entirely* shirtless but check out those arms.
 Happy 2012 everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Photo Friday

Regarding yesterday's post, I thought you might like to see a picture of the actual banner:

For the Win!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Banner Headline From Above

I am missing something from my body.  Something a lot of my slightly older peers have, something my husband has.  I don't have it, neither does my brother nor do any of my children.  Chances are your children don't have it either.  Wanna guess what it is?  This:

Recognise it?  It's a smallpox vaccine scar.  I was one of the first cohort of children in Boston not to get this vaccination.  It's not because my parents were against vaccination, but rather because due to the overwhelming success of the smallpox eradication program it was not necessary.  I did not need to be vaccinated against smallpox.  Smallpox no longer exists in the wild - it is contained only in a few laboratories - due to vaccination.  Stop for a moment and consider the impact of that statement.  We humans, not always known for our overwhelming altruism, stopped a disease not just in a handful of countries but the entire world.  That's pretty frickin' awesome.

We were nearly there with polio.  And until very recently measles was declared eradicated in the United States.  But a shift has started, and not in a good way.  Measles has made a comeback in the US, Canada and Europe in recent years.  Polio is only a plane flight away.  How is this possible?  How can we have wiped out smallpox but not have continued with polio, measles and other diseases for which exists a vaccine?

Because of people like this:

This is Meryl Dorey, President of the deliberately misleadingly named Australian Vaccination Network.  I came to learn of the actions of Meryl and others like her through listening to podcasts.  Meryl and the AVN are Australian leaders in the anti-vaccination movement.  Crazy, isn't it, that people are opposed to the very thing that, along with clean water and improved sanitation, have improved our life spans and allowed us to thrive as a species.  Her qualifications?  20 years of  "researching" vaccines - aka learning how to Google - and a brain.  Really.  Published studies in peer review journals?  Why no, Meryl takes those studies done by actual researchers and reinterprets them to fit her anti-vaccination paradigm.  Much like how your children attempt to reinterpret the chore list you left them. Except all that leaves you with is a sink full of dirty dishes; Meryl's reinterpretations lead to potentially deadly diseases regaining a foothold in our communities.

What really pushed my buttons about Meryl and the AVN, however, was her actions in relation to the death of a 4 week old baby of pertussis.  She demanded the medical records of the child, publicly stated the baby "supposedly" died of pertussis - also known as whooping cough - despite a confirmed diagnosis and indirectly blamed the parents for their child's death by not breastfeeding.  Her supporters sent horrid letters harassing the grieving family.  When I heard about her antics I became quite outraged and decided it was time to stop listening and start acting.

I found the Facebook group Stop the AVN.  Until 2009 Meryl Dorey had been given a free ride in the Australian media.  She was called on to present the "other side" of vaccines in the name of journalistic balance.  What a load of crap - while there may be two sides to a story vaccines are not stories, they are science.  She positioned herself as a lone voice telling parents what "they" didn't want you to know about vaccines.  You know... "they".  A mysterious cabal of governments, health professionals and pharmaceutical companies who were all in league with each other to keep the truth about vaccines away from naive parents but were evident to lone voices like Meryl.  She'd tell you all about them... if you just joined the AVN, bought books exposing more lies "they" tell you, subscribe to her magazine that may or may not be published and send donations to various causes that never seemed to reach fruition.

The loose coalition of people who set up SAVN aimed to expose Meryl Dorey for what she is.  It is due to the actions of this group that, after a 12 month investigation, the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission took the unprecedented step of issuing a public warning about the AVN, labelling their information as "...false, misleading and solely anti-vaccination."  It is due to the actions of this group that the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing held an investigation and discovered a multitude of financial irregularities which led to the loss of the AVN's charitable fund raising license.  And it is due to the actions of this group of concerned citizens that Meryl Dorey is now openly called anti-vaccine by the very media who once turned to her for "balance".

However not everyone gets that message.  This year Meryl was invited back to the Woodford Folk Festival to spread her anti-vaccine message, claiming the thoroughly debunked myth that vaccines and autism are related.  Owing to the wonders of social media, the Festival was inundated with outraged letters, emails, tweets and blogs.  The Queensland Health Minister openly referred to Meryl's brand of information as "nonsense".  I even wrote to my local councillor to express my concerns, since the Festival takes place in my council area.  Following this much publicised and prolonged criticism of allowing such misleading and potentially dangerous information to be presented from a self-styled expert, the Woodford Folk Festival changed Meryl's presentation from a one woman bullshit band to a forum featuring Immunologist Prof Andreas Suhbier- you know, an actual expert instead of a pretend one - and moderated by Dr John Parker from Doctors Without Borders - you know, an actual doctor instead of someone who holds modern medicine in contempt.

And flying overhead the Festival just as this blog is published is an airplane.  A lovely single engine airplane towing a simple banner.  One that looks a little like this:

A banner paid for not by desperate calls for action alerts and urgent donations, or sales of poorly sourced data which can be found for free on the internet.  It was paid for by 34 persons who have gathered in the SAVN Facebook group for a common cause.  Everyday people - parents and pensioners, students and health professionals, retirees and working stiffs - who between them raised the needed $2,800.  1% of the AVNs declared revenue in 2010, by the way, yet they can't produce a single advert or their promised magazine.

It's a simple message: VACCINATION SAVES LIVES.  If you are concerned speak to a qualified health professional, not some self appointed quack, or learn more here.  You could save a life.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Just watch this space, boys and girls.  You may not agree with me come tomorrow, but I'm making a statement about something near and dear to my heart.  Watch this space...

And yes, I've disabled comments just for this post.  Be patient.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Skinfest

You guys need your skinfest, I know.  I'm getting better at getting back on the blogging train so bear with me as we hit these speed bumps known as life.

Michael Witt is totally Photoshopped.  Do I care?  Not really, no.

Somehow Billy Slater makes falling off a surfboard look graceful.  I barely noticed the pansy-ass wave he was surfing.

Travis Burns wants to know if the sharp delineation between his torso and hip looks weird.  Yeah, kinda looks like a Ken doll but so long as he doesn't share Ken's other anatomical abnormalities it's all good.

Free Website templatesFree Flash TemplatesFree joomla templatesSEO Web Design AgencyMusic Videos OnlineFree Wordpress Themes Templatesfreethemes4all.comFree Blog TemplatesLast NewsFree CMS TemplatesFree CSS TemplatesSoccer Videos OnlineFree Wordpress ThemesFree Web Templates