Who says that comedy can’t be informative?

Was just watching the 7PM project on SC10 (ad free, courtesy of my computer and a fast-forward button), and saw a couple of very interesting news items.

The first item was about the unusual approach taken by Atherton State High in Cairns to reduce bullying in their school, and the principal of the school, Tony Whybird, was interviewed in order to get the full picture. There has been much talk recently about how an average of 3 children per class are being bullied – either in person or via text messaging, and the prevalence of cyber-bullying and also how this has affected the teen suicide rates.

So, you may ask, what was the approach taken by the school? Simple… ban the use and possession of mobile phones and other electronic devices such as iPods by students while on the schools premises. If students are found in possession of a mobile phone or other electronic device on the school site, it is confiscated and later returned to the parents. The result… the respect that students have to one another has improved, the rate of bullying in the school has dropped, and students are now talking to one another instead of text messaging to friends and enemies and listening to iPods. It will be interesting to see if this approach is adopted by other schools, as to put it bluntly, there is no need for students to have mobile phones and iPods while at school, and they cause major problems with the behaviour and attitudes of students when they are at school.

The second news item was the apparently the biggest news in HIV research in 15 years, which was is two antibodies that attack the HIV virus have been identified, and with the quoted number of people with HIV worldwide being 33 million, this potential for a cure for the virus can’t come soon enough. The 7PM project crew spoke with a Dr Andrew Rochford, who explained how blood samples had been taken from approximately 160 who have HIV but don’t show symptoms of the virus, and compared that with the blood of other people who have the virus in order to determine what was unique about their blood, and researchers discovered two antibodies that attack the HIV virus even if it mutates.

The result of this research is that scientists now have a blueprint for the genetic code which can be used two ways; to be reverse engineered so that they can develop a cure for people who already have the virus; and to immunise people who don’t have the HIV virus and prevent them from getting it. Hand in hand with that news items was talk of an anti-obesity drug… but this is just a pipe dream at the present time – the combination of anti-depressants and anti-alcohol &opiod dependent drugs simple means that 1 in 2 people will lose 5 kg over a 12 month period – so a far better and more effective option is still healthy eating, a good diet and plenty of exercise.

Other notable headlines include… Men Love Sheds and Women Don’t, and Robbie Williams has a new single out.


Posted on 4th September, 2009, in news, personal and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Who says that comedy can’t be informative?.

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