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Wed, 8th April 2015

The drama of anti-social behaviour grinds on. Every night television Current Affairs alerts us to the horrors of degenerating lifestyles, violence, hold ups, aggression, negative attitudes, horrific outcomes. Where is it all heading? What is the answer? Would you believe it, but nothing changes. Society will take it all in its stride. The world is not coming to an end, nor is it going to hell. This is real time reality. In thirty years, todays anti-social delinquents will be middle aged to elderly. The baby boomers of yesteryear will have died out, the trouble makers long since vanished. Society and real life have a way of balancing. The razors edge however will continue.

Charles Dickens

Simply read Charles Dickens whose fame peaked in the mid-1850s, as he described London in the 1820s. Disaster, child abuse, poverty, madness, murder, mayhem, social injustices (juvenile and otherwise) were at their height. London drowned in a sea of alcohol, making todays illicit drug scene a non-event. And what took place? Exactly nothing. The world continued, in fact it became more modern and more moderate, less evil. Social injustices, world wars, famine, fire and pestilence wiped out millions, as did the 1918 flu pandemic. The rebels of one era later developed into pillars of society. The "no hopers" and "ne'er do wells" became the lawyers, barristers, doctors, research glitterati, bankers and empire rulers a few years later. The timid and oppressed no hopers of society who never created anything of note simply faded from sight and memory.


My headmaster of a strict boys school would scream and yell about current teenagers, lack of respect (as he doled out the cane) and despaired of the future. He is long since dead and forgotten (thank heavens). Anti-social behaviour appears more intense simply because todays contemporary society can record and regurgitate "crimes" big and small. Australia was built on a criminal history, although most of those doling out the sentences of either hanging or transportation to Australia were little better than the "criminals" they convicted. I have every faith in the upcoming generation. There will be a heap of geniuses that will inevitably float to the top. Simply watch young kids and their achievements in sports, theatre, on telly, radio, papers. Vast numbers are brilliant. Kids that play musical instruments, dance, skate, surf, run events, lead their peers at school. Respectable "little old ladies" often the "victim" of crimes, were often themselves just as wild as those who beat them up.


Today's computer nerds are often youngsters in their teens. Just look at Apple, Microsoft and Google, the latter totally unknown fifteen years ago and now the world biggest companies on the Dow. Parents who instil sensible skills, goals, and lifestyle standards in their kids may run better chances of producing a high level of excellence. But genetics, serendipity and inborn talent ultimately win out. Today's kids are great and this story will never end.



I am reading books of English life 150 years ago, and it seems alcohol in its various forms (with or without additives) was the chief medicine prescribed at the time.


The world of medicine in the Dickens era (the 19th century) was indeed a weird one. Medicine as we know it had not yet emerged. Alcohol and opium were the chief ingredients of most medications. One bombed out pain, stopped diarrhoea and coughs. Alcohol in its myriad forms made the patient feel a bit light headed and happy. What better combination at the time. However the historical records indicate the "carer" often took (read "stole") more of the medication than administered to the patient. As tuberculosis was rampant at the time, killing thousands in their middle life, cough suppressants were widely used. They did nothing to kill the germ which at the time was virtually unknown.

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I often get nipped by ants, both large and small, and it comes up in a welt and is often a bit painful red and itchy.


Formic acid (or similar irritant) may be injected. This is the ants inbuilt protection and survival mechanism. Keep out of their way, and you will avoid attack. Apply cold packs (such as a face cloth with some ice inside), and gently rub in a mild cortisone cream every few hours. Drink lots of water to remove the toxin. Paracetamol for pain relief helps. This also suppresses itch for these two sensations are carried on the same sensory nerves.

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Today every about-to-be mother wants to see ultrasound images of the baby. These can be stills, or in colour, even movies, but what is the effect on the developing baby inside?


It is believed that the baby suffers no adverse events from repeated ultrasound exposure. Unlike x-rays (which are cumulative and potentially dangerous), sound waves carry no such risks. Young mums (and dads) are ecstatic seeing the baby from a relatively young age. They see it sucking its toes, wriggling about and going into contortions. It is an unbelievable site and recording for posterity is a wonderful opportunity. It probably helps early bonding also. Remember baby can hear and mentally retain thought from the very early weeks. By 12 weeks nearly all major organs have been developed.

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Is it possible to get chicken pox inside as well as outside the body?


Chicken pox in infants and young children usually affects external skin but it may readily spread to inside the mouth or even the gut lining. These may ulcerate and bleed, and the little one may be nigh unto death. It all sounds fanciful, but does happen. Nevertheless, this should now be a thing of the past, as chicken pox vaccine is now readily available to all infants in Australia. Mothers must not neglect vaccinations, despite the forceful noises from idiotic minor pressure groups.

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Some parents have very strong views and force these on their children, who unknowingly accept them knowing no better. I believe this is dangerous, and to the ultimate detriment of the child in later years.


My parents believed dancing was "sinful", so was barred. Alcohol was a demon, and we had to sign the "pledge" when seven or eight, also crazy (but ultimately to our good perhaps). Cigarette smoking was a one way ticket to hell (never started - no problems with this!). Being home by 10 pm (even when 18 years) was also the ultimate. ("Pernicious lust - could overtake the weak human frame") Yes, some restrictions are stupid, others not too bad. Today most have choices.

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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.



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